The scorpiondrakes lazed on the deck, having grown lax after the fight in Battlezone 1, reverting to their carefree composure in the absence of threat. Adamyrs laid pliantly at the vessel's bow to let Ashar plunge a thick syringe into its neck. Blobs of maroon with a hint of black quickly gushed into the tube. The needle was harrowingly huge for a regular human but it was only the size of a toothpick for the gigantic Akanasd by comparison.
The shadowmancer removed the syringe once she was satisfied, a trickle of blood escaping the small opening at the abrupt change of pressure. The wound immediately scabbed; the recovery ability of transcendent-rank monsters was indeed a sight to behold.
“We’ll keep this up for a week and a level-one Botanian nucleus core will be yours,” said Ashar as she patted Adamyrs’ scales. They were both users of the shadow attribute and the shadow aspect in the Akanasd’s blood was beneficial to her. She could formulate potions or incorporate their energy into her staff with it. Its blood was a booster that could be applied flexibly.
The Akanasd was delighted at the prospect of receiving a level-one Botanian nucleus core. That would improve its capabilities and lengthen its lifespan at the price of one tube of blood per day! It was a win-win situation without a doubt.
Ashar’s powers had flourished to a point where she could take on three level-one Botanian city lords simultaneously. The Akanasd’s presence, on the other hand, was more solid and majestic after making a full recovery. The purple scales that used to cover only its neck had now extended to two-thirds of its body. Locke couldn’t help but wonder what would happen once its scales could cover its entire length.
The scorpiondrake family had grown as a whole throughout their prolonged stay on Botania. The scales on the base-rank scorpiondrakes were darkening, a sign of their imminent metamorphosis. Transformations meant leaps in capabilities; it was a phenomenon that would happen once every century among the scorpiondrakes. Akanasds would typically reach the height of level-one lifeforms by a thousand years old, this was how both Adamyrs and Shiva attained their current status.
Passive advancements were the norm for major monsters. Unlike humans, monsters rarely relied on actual cultivation. Most lifeforms Monsters rarely needed to rely on cultivation like human knights and casters for more power. In fact, most existing lifeforms would undergo passive advancement as a part of evolution. The scorpiondrakes’ metamorphosis was arriving sooner than expected, most likely due to the large volume of Botanian essences ingested so far.
“Grandmeisterin and the Magisters have already wrapped up Battlezone 22. It appears that we’re heading towards another continent right now,” said Angelina as she walked over to join Locke.
“Are we heading to Fertilia?”
“Yeah. We’ll be meeting Grandmeisterin Parlina and the others there too.” She rubbed her cheeks against his. She’d spent the last two days away from Locke, busy with tasks and magic learning from Magister Carla. There was barely any time for them.
“When do you reckon we get to go home?” Locke questioned out of the blue.
“I’m not sure.” The Faustian princess’ expression was clouded.
It’d been two years since they returned to Botania and Locke’s thirties was already creeping upon him. He wasn’t a level-one lifeform so his life expectancy was going to be no less longer than the average human. Even so, his quasi-Ritter physique made him immune against most health concerns, so living to a hundred years old wouldn’t be difficult.
Even so, a century felt too short. A level-one Ritter could live for three centuries and a level-one Magister could easily live past five or six centuries. Planar wars were ultimately designed for lifeforms above level one since they could afford to lose out a decade to bloody battles. In retrospect, how many years could a regular human afford to lose?
They’d left the Three Western Isles six years ago and it may take another two years to properly end the conquest. Added with the long returning journey, the planar war would’ve consumed a whole decade of their life! Decades were insignificant to those that lived for centuries but it was a very long time for a regular person like Locke. He’d never felt the desperation to become a level-one lifeform until now. He was growing afraid of losing loved ones.
Their next battle would take place on Fertilia, which had the largest population in all of Botania. However, the number of higher Botanians was surprisingly few and the surviving level-three Botanians had made a run for Aqualilia. In that case, going to Fertilia was Locke’s best ticket to faster advancements.
“We should hurry up and advance soon,” Locke murmured into Angelina’s ear, bringing her closer by the waist.
As sharp as she was, Angelina immediately picked up on his worries. “Don’t worry about it. Grandmeisterin Carla has already prepared everything necessary for my quasi-Magister advancement attempt,” she replied.
Truth be told, Locke didn’t need to worry about his mortality. It was normal for a knight to advance as level-one Ritters at sixty or seventy years of age. Unlike high-rank Knechts who’d see a decline as soon as they reached their fifties, quasi-Ritters would maintain their peak for a little longer. Locke was barely thirty so he still had plenty of time to cultivate. His chances for success were also very high provided that everything had progressed smoothly. He was already considered a prodigy by the Three Western Isles’ standards for becoming a quasi-Ritter before thirty.
The floating vessel continued its journey for another three days, crossing vast oceans to arrive on a lush continent. Its thriving vegetation was no surprise since Fertilia was the most suitable place for Botanians to live; it was also a gold mine to the Sanctum and Hall of Knights for more Botanian essences.
Parlina’s camp was set not far from where the floating vessels had landed. As everyone ushered the slaves off the vessel, Ashar brushed past Locke, pressing something into his palm in that split second.
He watched her inky black sway behind her, a little bewildered at the action. There was a foreign object in his hand. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a purple potion that glowed with a mysterious hue under the sun.