“Goldy, this won’t do. I need to go to the frontlines,” urged level-three Fehrann atop the citadel. The ice fruit’s heart palpitated with anxiety as it watched more of its kind succumb to the distant battle.
“Absolutely not! You’re far from recovered and we have Alanta and Arnold there. They can hold out for the time being.” The sunflower high priest refused without a second thought. It was most important for the lower Botanians and stronger elites that they grit their teeth through the predicament. There were more level-three lifeforms on the invaders’ side and it certainly didn’t help that these aliens could manifest peculiar and effective attacks., which the Botanians had learnt through the hard way.
“But the treemen formation is crumbling!” Fehrann pressed.
The Three Western Isles’ army was advancing with great momentum, led by their numerous Magisters and Himmelritters. To make matters worse, Odis had destroyed most of the treemen formation, which used to be the Botanians’ most promising hope, a month ago. The remaining treemen could only act as a mere barrier that slowed down the invaders as much as possible.
That was all the treemen formation could do for now. The war had already arrived at a point where the Botanians’ inadequacy was highlighted to their invaders. Their only available solution was to gather their remaining population to resist the Three Western Isles.
Earlier, Goldy had issued an order to mobilise all Botanian elites above level one with the World Tree’s help. Many Botanian lords had brought their people to the Holy City following that but their numbers were still small. Not every lord had abided by the call of duty and not everyone had managed to arrive in the city with their troops in one piece. The Sanctum and Hall of Knights had stationed multiple barricades along the outer radius of Holy City, after all.
The casualties of the Botanians were astronomical. Hanging on was the only thing they could do. Most ancient Botanian heroes slumbering beneath the Holy City had been awakened to avert the plane’s calamity. While they should’ve been lost to time, they’d willingly placed the last of their life on the line. Frankly speaking, the Botanians’ foundation was pretty solid. The Three Western Isles had seen the appearances of Botanian demigods and a level-four god over the two-year planar war. There were still nearly twenty level-three Botanians active on the field. Yet, their numbers were drastically less than the beginning.
Tendril City, where Goldy was currently stationed, had a population of nearly a million inhabitants. It was one of the largest cities on Wilderia and the external support that arrived had further boosted its numbers with another half a million. Even so, the number was prone to fluctuations as the high priest would dispatch a portion of them to aid the frontlines.
Goldy had rejected Fehrann’s offer for the greater good. The number of level-three Botanians were limited and they needed to be utilised sparingly. There were no prehistoric Botanians left to awaken, which meant that this was all they had for the remainder of the war. To Goldy, the sacrification of a few hundred thousand Botanian soldiers for the life of one level-three elite was worthwhile.
Ignoring Fehrann’s relentless disapproval, Goldy sighed, “Alanta’s party is reaching its limits. You may take his place by evening. Remember to stay vigilant out there.”
Goldy had always idolised the ice fruit, infatuated with it, even. Fehrann had left its profound mark on Botanian history and was already serving as an established leader during Goldy’s early childhood, which meant that the sunflower had once lived under Fehrann’s reign. Thousands of years had passed and Fehrann was reaching the end of its life, prompting it to hibernate beneath the Holy City. It was then that Goldy inherited the divine staff and became the new Botanian high priest.
The sudden outbreak of the war had forced many of the past Botanian heroes to awaken and burdened the sunflower high priest with agony. Among the four level-three Botanians of the current generation, Gleamyellow the potato had perished during the start of the invasion while Arnold the banana was injured by the beam of destruction. The banana had spent a huge chunk of time recovering from its injuries and the same could be said for the sunflower. Without its divine staff and the World Tree’s timely intervention, it would’ve died in the hands of the alien demigods. The only untouched Botanian leader thus far would be the vineman in Aqualilia. Unfortunately, its peaceful days would come to an end once the Three Western Isles were done trampling Wilderia and Fertilia.
Suddenly, a ray of light crossed the horizon and a pale pear Botanian plummeted towards Tendril City. Smash! A huge crater was created upon impact, shaking all the buildings within the city. The pear was only left with the last of its breath when Goldy finally reached it. There were two horrible bruises across its chest; one looked like a palm print while the other looked like a fist. It’d collapsed the pear’s chest by a good fraction; it was obvious from the extent of the damage that its organs were crushed beyond repair. Frankly speaking, the palm print barely looked like one. It appeared more like a pile of mushed flesh skirted by curling skin. All in all, the wounds on the left of its chest were gut-wrenching.
The pear wheezed painfully. It willed itself to stand but failed for all that was left of its torso was a gaping hole. Its palpitating heart had long been removed, leaving behind only terrifying wounds and bruises. The level-three Botanian with a glorious past was reduced to nothing but a suffocating mess; it was dying.
The resilience of the Botanians was indeed outstanding when compared to creatures of other planes. The fact that they could hibernate to prolong their lifespan was already shocking enough. Despite the absence of its nucleus, the pear Botanian didn't die right away, which went to show that any lifeform that could survive in the vast astral realm was never simple. The pear’s lips trembled in an attempt to say something. Unfortunately, all its words were reduced to nothing but pitiful wheezes. And that was the end of its life. Goldy grasped its lifeless palm, shoulders slumping more than ever.