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The field had been partitioned, with a large mill occupying the center.
Not far away, there was a small farm and a stone castle. However, it was very small and lacked a moat.
At a glance, it looked to be the territory of a small aristocratic family.
In a shadow, Ernis had respectfully lowered his head and was reporting to Longbottom. “My lord, I can confirm that this is a secret stronghold of the Green Water Gardens guild. The Great Magus Rosby who is in his down period is hiding here.”
“En! This is their nest, and there should be many defensive spell formations. Since they’re a rank 2 Magus, even if they were weakened temporarily, they cannot be compared to an ordinary peak rank 1 Magus!” Longbottom muttered to himself, and then glanced at his subordinates.
Those following him were all official Magi, but few were even semi-converted. He could unearth their potentials, but what he needed was time.
He had brought them along now as a declaration of allegiance, to form an impassable divide between them and the ruling class.
Longbottom glanced at the few figures dressed in black robes. These people had slim bodies and had concealed their features with large cloaks. The cloaks were so large, in fact, that one could not even tell the men from the women.
These were the backup he had been given by the dark elves. All of them were at the peak of rank 1.
As for the rank 2 matriarchs? Every single action of theirs was being monitored; it was impossible for one to sneak across the border to conduct an assassination.
In addition, even if they somehow got in, they would be surrounded and attacked by the Magi of Twilight Zone.
Dark elves could bear the deaths of rank 1 Magi, but rank 2 matriarchs were the backbones of their clans; their presence was a spiritual support to the clan members, boosting their morale. The death of a matriarch was a heavy loss for any clan.
It was for this reason that Fendix, who had killed a matriarch, had gained large rewards from Twilight Zone as well as a huge bounty from the Dark Elven Empire. Honestly speaking, the rewards that the crazed dark elves promised had even tempted Leylin.
Fendix himself was so frightened that he spent all his time at the headquarters of his guild, and had naturally not come to the aid of the central region.
“Go!” With Longbottom’s order, flames of death descended on this peaceful field.
*Rumble!* Fireballs rained down like meteors, sending sparks flying everywhere.
“What’s going on?” A knight dressed in the garb of nobility rushed out, shocked.
“A- An attack from Magi? Why? Are they dark elves?”
*Xiu!* After seeing the situation, he retreated without the slightest hesitation, leaving his territory, subjects and even family behind.
As a knight who had entered the battlefield before, he knew the terror that Magi brought with them. He knew that once they attacked, this place was doomed.
“Don’t let any of them go!”
Longbottom watched the knight who was darting away and pointed at him like one would at an ant.
A deathly light streaked across the sky and reached his back. Like cutting through cotton, it easily penetrated the knight’s defence and exploded on his back.
*Bang!* A hole that could fit a basketball was opened up, revealing white bones and black blood. The knight’s eyes were filled with fear, as well as shock. The powerful inertia allowed him to run a few more steps before he fell with a thud.
Under the constant onslaught of spells, the village turned into a sea of fire. None of the peasants lived, and it soon turned into a white land.
However, Longbottom was still not satisfied and ordered the Magi to quicken their actions.
Layers of soil were lifted, revealing a glossy rock wall, with runes on it concealing any energy fluctuations.
“Hehe, he’s actually liked a groundhog hiding under the feet of regular humans, and has even carved energy runes to conceal his aura. This Magus Rosby really is rather timid…” Longbottom sneered, and pointed at the magic wall.
*Rumble!* Numerous spells were interrupted by several rays of light before they could reach the rock wall.
*Rumble!* The rock separated, revealing a large door.
*Thud! Thud!* Accompanied by heavy footsteps, four large silver guards walked out.
These silver guards were all adorned in heavy armour, and their expressions were moulded to be blank. There was even some light flashing out of their eyes like a searchlight.
Ernis immediately stepped forward and spoke “Rosby is very careful and cautious. He hasn’t revealed this location to any other Magus, and even the guard has been set up by him alone, consisting only of Secret Silver Puppets. Hence, he’s the only one in here. We need to prevent him from fleeing.” As for how he had found this out, it would stay a secret.
“When working together, these four Secret Silver Puppets are equivalent to two peak rank 1 Magi. The two of you, go up there and stop them. The revolutionary army will be around to keep them from fleeing.” Longbottom quickly sent down the command.
The two black-robed people charged up without a word.
*Roar!* The Secret Silver Puppets yelled and brandished their large silver swords, battling the black-robed elves.
Immense energy fluctuations gave rise to a storm, sweeping through the region.
The revolutionary army Longbottom had brought with him dared only to watch on from a distance, occasionally supporting the two and pinning the guards down.
“Ernis and the rest, follow me.” Longbottom shook his robes, and the rest of the dark elves and Ernis followed him.
Only after they were far from everyone’s eyes did Longbottom speak to Ernis, “Quick! Find the escape routes Rosby could be using!”
“Come with me!” Moments later, Ernis led the way.
“Go!” Longbottom watched Ernis who was leading the way, eyes darting everywhere. Nobody could guess his thoughts.
In a little farm about five kilometers away…
*Pala!* The soil flipped over, revealing a dark pathway.
A grim middle-aged man in dark red Magus robes walked out. After glancing at his surroundings, he immediately unfurled a scroll. Green hurricanes blew forth, and a large pair of wings formed on his back.
“I can’t stay here any longer. How did this get out?”
This Magus was obviously Green Water Gardens’ rank 2 Magus, Rosby.
He was obviously in a stale mood. The location that only he knew of had been leaked, and someone had even found him while he was weak. The whole situation reeked of a conspiracy.
However, he had another question. “I didn’t tell anyone about this place. How did they find out?”
However, he did not dare dwell on this for long, “This place is dangerous. I’ll think about it after I leave.”
Just as Rosby was about to spread his wings, an extreme sense of danger came upon him.
He immediately retreated, his figure turning into an afterimage.
*Rumble!* A large explosion occurred right where he had been standing, and the energy particles that were dispelled caused massive damage to the ground.
*Xiu! Xiu!* Two black streaks of light flew across the sky, forming a cross in mid-air. These arches accurately homed in on Rosby’s wings.
“This trajectory? It’s the dark elves’ curved archery! You are dark elves!” The wings fell apart, and Rosby paled before crying out in alarm.
*Shua!* Black light flashed, and a distortion appeared in the air, revealing a few figures.
Longbottom took the lead, and the two robed people behind him also took off their clothes, revealing pale, handsome features and pointed ears.
The twisted runes on their fantastic black bows were now flickering.
“Humans and dark elves! Looks like you are the revolutionary army that has been causing such a ruckus. You are the leader, right? Longbottom?” Rosby calmed down.
“Yes!” Longbottom bowed, “As a rank 2 Magus, you are my senior, but for our hopes and future, please die.”
*Rumble!* Just as his words sounded, the dark elves suddenly attacked.
Black streams of air formed what looked like a spider web and fell from the skies. On Longbottom’s body, the phantom image of a large giant appeared and jumped onto the web, hissing loudly.
“Combination magic? Its power is almost as much as that of a rank 2 spell!” A strange smile appeared on his face, “But just that isn’t enough.”
*Rumble!* A torrential power exploded forth from Rosby’s body, as if a landslide or tsunami had come upon the area. Silver spiritual force slashed at the skies like a sharp sword, and quickly severed the web into two. The phantom image was also bisected, causing both Longbottom and the dark elves to pale.
“Rank 2 strength! You’re not weak anymore!” Longbottom had become deathly pale, his voice quivering.
“Impossible! Impossible!” Ernis could not believe it either.
“Recognise the reality of it! Your opponent is a rank 2 Magus. How could he not have a few trump cards? Even if his strength might have been lowered because he was in his down period, he can still suppress that for a while and reveal true rank 2 strength!” Merlin’s voice sounded in Ernis’ mind.
“How is this possible? I didn’t predict…” Ernis was flushing red, but suddenly became silent, like a duck that had been grasped at the neck.
“Do you understand now? You’re only a rank 1 Magus, and in ancient times you’d be considered as just having crossed the gates of becoming a Magus. With just this bit of strength, it’s impossible for you to completely predict the trump cards of a rank 2 Magus using Sacred Flame, even if he were weakened or heavily injured. The fog of destiny may shroud him, or even counterattack!”
Merlin’s voice was as cold as ice. “Now, do you know why I fell?”
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