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After Seth threw a big stone into the pond, the small ripples died down and everyone soon came to an agreement. Bement was able to dissuade most of the guilds from trying to throw themselves into their demise and concentrate on the orc kingdom, Kozdam.
After the meeting concluded they could finally leave and rest for the night. As Seth left the hall someone grabbed his arm. Brock, the leader of the boulder guild had followed him. Seth could see the worry in his eyes. It seemed that not everyone had forgotten the very real danger of dungeons.
“Seth, are you sure about this? I know you are strong, but if you thrust your men into this kind of situation… some of them might die. Are you prepared to lose some of them?”
“Me? No. If you are really worried about our people, you can follow us and I will show you something fun once we reach our area. You did get some of the places along the border, didn’t you?”
“Ah, of course, you noticed. It was in case you may need some help. You know that Elza and Marcel became chosen ones, right? I’m sure that this time we will be of help if needed,” he offered his help confidently.
“The offer is appreciated and I will return it to you. If you find yourself in a tough spot and unwilling to sacrifice anyone, you can ask us for help.”
Seth knew that Brock underestimated them a little based but he couldn’t blame him. The man would soon see why Seth was so confident.
“Thank you, I will, ” Brock said with a wry smile before they walked their separate way. Seth returned to his friends to brief them on what had happened and their future course of action.
Like most of the guilds, Seth and the others set off two days later with the Oathguard and the Chimeras in tow. Brock and the teams of the boulder guild decided to travel together with them as their area was close to the border between the Orcs and the Hive.
They didn’t face any problems in the outer areas the guild had already cleaned, except for some solitary beasts that had probably come from the Pathworks. They left these fights to the teams of Oathguards that valiantly rode into battle.
Only when they came closer to the canyon itself, did they start facing something that could be called resistance. The scar ran roughly in an east-west direction, with the territories of the orcs and the hive taking up almost the whole northern half.
Coming from the east, the allied force made a swerve around the hives territory and enter close to the border, where Minas Mar intended to enter the Hive and set up their camp. However, even this resistance was only scouts and workers roaming the hills.
The scouts and workers of the insects looked like giant versions of ants or termites. Their main method of fighting was their strong pincers that could break rock and their spear-like legs that could pierce stone, which allowed them to wander even across vertical surfaces.
Even these weak and numerous units had levels in the early 70s and were able to match the mounted Oathguard in a one-on-one. Too bad for them, that they didn’t have the numerical advantage this time around. With the oathguards taking the lead, they soon reached their destination, where they would also split from the Boulder Guild.
“I guess this is our time to say goodbye, for now.” Brock approached Seth. “I have to say, seeing your Oathguard in action really calmed me.”
“And if you need our help, we will come!” Marcel repeated Brock’s promise. The man had finally gotten over Seth semi-murdering his girlfriend and returned back to his old confident self after being chosen as a champion.
“Ah, hearing that makes me feel glad but don’t be so quick to leave. I still have something to show you. I promised after all,” the blacksmith spoke mysteriously.
The blacksmith pushed back his cloak, revealing a dark armor with a red tinge covering his whole body like a carapace. He lifted his hands in the air and a massive rift opened in from of the assembled people.
Out of the rift walked rows and rows of soldiers Almost 200 people, roughly a third of them wearing identical sets of silver Oatharmor, the rest glad in various other equipment. The audience could only watch in shock, as the army of new faer exited Legion.
“I guess you understand now, why I am pretty confident to take on the hive?” Seth asked smugly.
After a moment of silence, Brock finally laughed.
“I should have known you had something planned when you “sacrificed” yourself to do the hard work. Now I won’t feel bad to ask for help if we get into a pinch.”
With that, the teams of the Boulder Guild finally left, knowing they had a huge force to rely on in their back. Seth was just glad that they didn’t use on the faer. Despite having stats rivaling a player level. 75 from the start, their levels were only in the mid-50s.
“Okay, okay, let’s start setting up camp. The Faer will scout the surroundings and get rid of any dangers.”
An hour later they had set up a camp that was not much smaller in size compared to the fort set up by the adventurer guild at the entrance to the holy land. This was largely thanks to Seth building a wall by casting the intermediate earth magic stone wall.
What was originally meant to be a spell to raise a 2×2 meter slab to block an attack, hat turned out to create a 4×4 meter and 50cm thick wall after the effects of the Giant’s Rod and his new equipment were added to it.
They had not set up their camp on the plane outside of the canyon, where they separated with the boulder guild, but on a wide plateau that was at the entrance of one of the canyon’s many branches. With the camp completely set up and the surrounding cleared out, they were ready to start with their plan.
—a day later—
In a subterranean court, lit by bio-luminescent mushrooms, a mantis the size of a bull stepped out from a row of advisors.
“New softskins have been seen traversing our territory. The anisopters have spotted a fortified camp not far from the greenskins,” the regal-looking mantis-like monster reported.
“How many are there?” a booming voice
“There were originally almost two swarm companies, but they have split into three groups. Two groups have been seen traveling through our territory to other places, leaving just half a company back in their camp.”
“What is their estimated strength?”
” At most that of an Elite Unit. I suggest we send three companies led by an elite unit to wipe out the fortified camp. The other groups won’t have a place to fall back to, and we can corner them easily,” the mantis explained its plan.
“Fine, do as you suggested. It will be enough to test their strength,” the booming voice affirmed the suggestion of the aide. The monster insect in question gave a deep bow before returning to the row of other insect monster advisors.
This time it was a giant, hideous water scorpion with massive appendages beside it’s mouth. It looked almost comical wearing the regal robe of an advisor as it was spanning tightly over its carapace.
“The offense of the greenskins has greatly dropped because of other groups of softskins attacking their camps and fortifications. Instead of bothering with that little camp, I suggest we gather our forces and deal the green skins a devastating strike, while they are distracted by the softskins. We can just wipe out the camp on the way.” it suggested with its weird appendages twitching erratically.
Despite its weird antics, its voice was so charismatic that it was hard to argue against its suggestions.
“What do the other advisors think?” the booming voice asked its court of nightmares.
A majority of the assembled creatures fell into an agreeing hum, some did not but nobody stepped up to speak against it. The mantis that had spoken first only clicked with its mandibles. Although it wanted to suggest to scout first, it had not enough convincing reasons to stop the water scorpion’s momentum.
What could one defiant village do in the end?
“Then it shall be done. Gather our forces. We will go to war on the surface.”
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