While the Sanctum and Hall of Knights preyed on Botania, there was another plane that had been suffering under the same hands. Centauria was also invaded by the Three Western Isles and plagued by perpetual chaos and instability. The low-rank plane was reduced to barren land, only able to sustain the simplest shrubs and weeds. From the state of its pitiful vegetation, Centauria was in a miserable state. Plants were primary producers that served as the foundation of the ecosystems of planes that weren’t associated with elemental mana; it was the basic key to its energy cycle.
Centauria was bigger than the whole of Botania, boasting four continents that were each larger than the combined area of Botania respectively. Simply put, the low-rank plane was at least three times bigger than Botania, nearly as vast as the Three Western Isles and its surrounding sea territory.
Fifty years had passed since the Three Western Isles breached Centauria and the conquest was finally coming to an end. In the boundless astral realm, only minor planes that’d developed over aeons and had matured appropriately had the potential to become low-rank planes. The existence of level-four lifeforms was a benchmark, which in turn was also a clear indication of the plane’s developmental status.
There were limitless possibilities in the astral realm. There were instances where the exceptionally talented prodigies would appear on minor planes to challenge the peak lifeforms there. They’d grow into formidable forces at a breakneck speed until they pushed the plane’s capacity to its limit. A minor plane would only be able to house level-three lifeforms at most, while low and mid-rank planes could house level-six lifeforms. Even so, these prodigies stood a chance at breaking the shackles of the plane to advance as a higher being. Their success would push the entire plane forward, which was why these prodigies were often referred to as the plane’s kin.
Incidentally, the Botanian World Tree had paled in comparison to a true plane’s kin. Despite its solid foundations and gargantuan size, it had never been able to become a level-four lifeform even in a time of crisis.
Since Centauria had remained undisturbed for as long as possible, it had been lucky enough to have sufficient time to develop into a low-rank plane. Apart from the eastern continent, its other three landmasses were completely plagued by violence and smog. Countless slaves were working with the knights, forcing the Centaurians into a corner to be mercilessly slaughtered.
Streaks of mana decorated the sky prettily, a deceiving mask to the catastrophic elemental tide it brought upon landing. The attack bloomed across a radius of a few dozen metres, destroying everything within reach. Centaurian was now an infertile land, yes, but it was still much more valuable than minor planes.
The Three Western Isles captured three million level-one Centuarians throughout the campaign. It promised a return that was lucrative enough to compensate for the few level-four lifeforms’ casualties. Apart from that, there were a few corners of its world that hid precious minerals that could benefit the casters and knights well. There were still scattered resistance forces all across the central and western continents formed by surviving Centaurian chiefs but their efforts were futile; the complete fall of Centauria was inevitable at this point.
This was a prime example of a planar war. Fighters mostly consisted of Magisters and Ritters above level one and the slaves selected for the conquest were level-one lifeforms as well. The enslaved army was the Three Western Isles’ best weapon, allowing them to conquer one plane after the other in the astral realm.
The nomadic Centaurians that lived on the last untouched continent in the east had horror plastered all over their faces. They were frightened and lost; the grotesque and feral invaders that trampled their kind were finally arriving in their proximity! The devastating news had arrived from other continents through level-one lifeforms that were capable of flight, feeding the widespread fear that brought chaos all over its land. The terror couldn’t be helped since a large proportion of the plane’s population were regular beings below level one. There were only no more than a million elite Centaurians that stood a chance against the invaders while there were one billion regular folks.
Two overwhelming presences watched Centauria from above. One of them was a golden giant that stood at one thousand and five hundred metres, which was almost as tall as the Botanian World Tree. The other appeared in the form of gloomy clouds. The clouds weren’t the elite’s true form but merely a manifestation of their skill. Though the clouds had shrouded away most of their energy waves, the impact of its presence was still a few times more intense than the golden giant.
“Archmagister Banam, I can sense the Centaurian deity in the temple below,” said the giant. His voice made the surrounding air molecules vibrate with a resonating whine.
“Very well. We’ve played its game for too long and it is time to end it,” Banam cackled, his muffled laughter ever so terrifying. It was a voice made of nightmares.
Goomy clouds filled the sky with ridiculous speed, covering the royal capital below within a second. Mayhem began to brew above the majestic city that’d housed the culture and history of the Centaurians. Its inhabitants took in the sight with a heavy sigh, knowing that their doom had probably arrived.
The golden giant leapt into action, landing straight in the heart of the capital, crushing a third of the city under the weight of its gigantic feet. The ground cracked, killing tens of thousands of Centaurians in that moment.