The three thousand passengers had consisted of half the total Magisters in Battlezone 33. Naturally, the majority of those ferried were slaves. Adamyrs and Shiva were the undisputed overlords among the slaves. The only level-one lifeform among the crowd of cannon fodders was an alien material whose body was protected by a bony carapace. There were no level-two slaves assigned to Battlefield 33 since it wasn’t regarded as a high-risk area. The Magisters stationed there saw no demand to request for them either.
After the floating vessel arrived in Battlezone 7, the Zauberian forces would soon move into Battlezone 2 after a short layover. The floating vessel finally came to a descent two days later.
“Wow, how many floating vessels have landed today?” Och, a ground crew, asked his colleague.
“This would be the sixth.” A young knight answered without looking up from his record book. He jotted down the vessel’s plate diligently.
“Why do they keep sending troops back here?” Och grumbled, moustache moving with his lips. Being a ground crew couldn’t be any easier for a high-rank Knecht like Och. He didn’t need to risk his life on the frontlines and the pay was great. There was no way he could’ve scored such a steal without nepotism.
The younger knight, Xain, closed the record book with a thud. He seemed to be at least a year or two younger than Locke. He was a high-rank Knecht at such a young age, presumably due to unmatched ability or solid familial support. It became evident that his success was owed to the latter for Xain was the young bachelor of the Philip clan. His family had pulled some strings for the role to protect him while making sure he got the most out of participating in a planar war. The Philip clan was content with his bright achievements and didn’t wish for Xain to be endangered.
Unlike Xain, Och was obviously here to mess around. The high-rank Knecht was close to fifty years old, which wasn’t as young as his appearance would suggest. Despite his age, the Knecht had been deployed by the Hall of Knights to Botania for some reason. A Ritter had noticed his degrading physicality and capabilities by chance, which allowed Och his current effortless position with family involvement.
“Hey, it’s the casters! Pull yourself together!” Och tugged at Xain, reprimanding him in the tone of an elder relative. While Och’s clan wasn’t as established as the Philip clan, the older Knecht was relatively experienced in life. Xain was just an excellent knight that abided chivalry to its finest, hence he was rather obedient towards Och.
Throughout his time on Botania, Xain came to learn that casters were more artificial than knights. He placed the record under his arm and watched the unloading of the vessel. The first to alight would be the Magisters, followed by the Lehrlings and later the crowd of slaves. The opening of the doors was followed immediately by the sense of an intense presence, followed by the sweep of an intimidatingly sharp mental energy. This was the fastest way to assess their environment, an instinctive move Magisters would pull when at a new place. Xain was familiar with this sensation; this was an intensity that only lifeforms above level-one could manifest.
Sweat began to bead across his forehead. He could sense a few powerful presences in this vessel. Xain’s heart sank under the pressure. He’d been on Botania for a while and had consumed plenty of Botanian essences. The Knecht was remarkably stronger than before but the mental energies had intimidated him tremendously. The Magisters must be profoundly outstanding.
Xain searched around for the intense presence, trying to get a glimpse of the Magister. Soon enough, a female Magisters in a black robe was the first to emerge from the vessel. Based on her aura, Xain was certain that this had been the source of the pressing sensation. His interest was piqued by the overall behaviour of the Magisters; they were deliberately keeping their distance from Ashar. Yet, the shadowmancer did nothing to dull her energy. Maybe that had been her intention all along.
It appeared that Ashar’s aloofness and arrogance had offended a few Magisters along the way. While they kept their displeasure to themselves, there were still bad comments spreading around among cliques. However, they could never deny that she was their ace. Ashar was a peak level-one lifeform, a powerful shadowmancer that hit the benchmark to advance as a level-two Magister.
Even with their blatant dislike, Ashar couldn’t be bothered with their opinions. She had research projects and cultivations to tend to. Socialising and relationships were never given the spotlight throughout her three hundred years of life. It certainly didn’t help that she was fundamentally a maniacal pursuer of knowledge.
Ashar was a master among her peers. A simple waft of her mental energy was more than enough to shut the other Magisters up. She was intense enough to intimidate peak level-one Magisters even, and they dared not consider the possibility of defeating Ashar in a spar. Shadowmancers were notorious among the casters for their odd temperament and the eerie curses, after all.
“Jeez.” A middle-aged Magister walking at the tail end shook his head with a wry smile. The only level-two Magister onboard was coincidentally Ashar and Carla’s senior. He’d noticed that the other Magisters were ostracising Ashar but did nothing more. Regardless, he was a true intellectual that possessed unrivalled power. While he towered over the other Magisters in terms of capabilities, the man kept his energy controlled, causing Xain and Och to mistake him for a Lehrling.
If this had been a batch of knights instead, Xain and Och would need to match them to the registration. There was no need to do so for a batch of casters, though. The efficiency of their telepathy abilities and crystal ball transmissions made the knights’ approach incredibly primitive. It was likely that the relevant Sanctum division had received word before the vessel’s landing.
Xain and Och could finally breathe easy after the Magisters left. They lifted their heads slightly to observe the Lehrlings. Most of the Lehrlings were between the ranks of mid to peak so their presences didn’t affect the two Knects much. Xain and Och had always wanted to learn more about the casters. They witnessed the miracles they were capable of and a number of their clan members had dabbled into magic. The inherent distance between casters and knights had always filled them with the urge to satiate their curiosity. At that moment, something bizarre caught their eyes.
A charming knight in a suit of armour stood atop the back of a massive purple Akanasd whilst brandishing a spear. There was also a caster in long robes that stood on another sapphire Akanasd. Judging by the scorpiondrakes’ colossal sizes and immense presences, they were level-one lifeforms without a doubt.
Xain and Och froze at the sight. From their knowledge and senses, they could tell that the knight and caster on the monsters’ back were far from becoming level-one lifeforms. What the hell is going on? Since when were Knechts and Lehrlings allowed to have base-rank monsters for mounts and familiars? Wait a minute, why is there a knight among the Sanctum’s troops?
Before Xain and Och could ponder further, they gape at the few base-rank scorpiondrakes that skittered behind the transcendent-rank Akanasds. The peculiar group zoomed past under their widened gazes.
“Adamyrs, is this really alright?” Locke couldn’t help but question. He’d felt iffy about standing on the Akanasd sovereign.
It huffed, white smoke escaping its nostrils. An answer rang in Locke’s mind. “How can I disobey Ashar? These are her explicit orders.” Adamyrs’ helplessness was obvious. Angelina too wasn’t comfortable with the arrangement either. Yet, Carla had personally requested Shiva’s aid in protecting Angelina, so the sapphire Akanasd was determined to follow it through. The fact that the Akanasd sovereigns had willingly abided by the Magisters’ words was very telling of their superiority.
Locke flipped some of Adamyrs purple scale with his spear mindlessly. His weapon was basically useless against its colossal size. Come to think of it, it had been years since he’d wielded a spear. The weapon had been made with meteorite metal, standing at five metres long and crafted by the future master alchemist, Angelina.
The current arrangement placed his mind at ease. There was no need to worry about his and Angelina’s safety in the presence of two transcendent-rank Akanasds and a group of base-rank scorpiondrakes. Their survival was guaranteed and as long as he played safe, he would walk out of this unscathed. There might be greater opportunities awaiting him even.