Chapter 584 Mission Assignment
The Dragon Cultists came in great numbers, and even the Dragon Cultist Priest leader seemed to be a First Grade elite.
After a short moment's silence, Bug Adept Billis stood forward.
"I will go, Lady Mary! My little fellows are just in need of some meat and nutrition. Their numbers are just enough."
"Very well, do as you will! But you must draw them away from this place and wait for us to start before you do. You may take fifteen Archers and fifteen Loggers with you when you go." There was no surprise on Mary's delicate and pretty face when she heard the brutality and bloodiness in Billis' words.
Archer and Logger were the codenames that the adepts gave the different models of magical machines.
The former was equipped with a tremendous number of arcanite rifles and goblin rockets. They were swift and agile on their feet and were the long-ranged attackers of the magical machine army. The latter had most of their long-range means of attack removed. They were outfitted with heavier armor as well as large chainsaws and drills, turning them into fearsome close combat machines.
The force that had been chosen to intercept the fire dragon's dragonborn army here in the Swamp of Sorrows didn't consist only of the adepts. Mary had also brought along two hundred magical machines of various models. Adepts that went on a mission were accompanied by a certain number of magical machines. They were meant to be used as cannon fodder.
That was the only way to minimize the risk to the adepts as much as possible!
"A squad of fifteen dragonborn scouts have gone to collect food from the swamp murlocs one kilometer away from here. Who wants to go and deal with them?" Mary's crimson eyes were still fixed upon the one dozen shifting screens of light as she loudly asked without even lifting her head.
A dragonborn squad was usually formed of First Grade dragonborn and led by a First Grade elite captain. The adept that took on this mission would have to single-handedly take on fifteen powerful First Grade warriors who also possessed some elementium powers.
Adept Deserra looked around him and realized he was the only human adept left in the tent. He had no choice but to step forward with a bitter smile on his face.
"Lady Mary, I can give it a try!"
With his ability, he should have no problem killing two to three dragonborn warriors in a head-on challenge as long as he had sufficient preparation. If the numbers were too many, and Deserra lacked a meat shield, then the risk he undertook would increase exponentially.
Even though the accompanying magical machines would protect him, no one knew how effective they would be; it was the first time the adepts were working with the magical machines. Even Deserra didn't have complete confidence in exterminating the enemy under such circumstances. He was facing off against fifteen dragonborn and an elite-level dragonborn captain after all.
Deserra alone seemed too weak to deal with this.
Medusa Dana slithered forward with her slender waist while Mary was still contemplating what she should do.
"Lady Mary, I can go with Adept Deserra!"
Two adepts and some magical machines. Mm, this much firepower should guarantee success!
Mary was pleased. She turned and looked at the medusa, who was wearing a wind indurium armor and nodded.
Of the three magical creatures that had submitted to the Crimson Clan, Dana was the only one that had displayed sufficient loyalty and intelligence. The Manticore Leader Charon was also a loyal subordinate, but he was too stupid and was only suited as an assistant.
In contrast, there was great value in cultivating and training Dana!
Perhaps because her gaze had lingered a little too long upon Dana's hair of snakes, Mary could feel a wave of strange energy surge into her body through her eyes. The flesh and organs near Mary's eyes started to show signs of paralysis.
Mary smiled brilliantly and silently used her blood powers to neutralize this foreign energy. She then cast her eyes back upon the screens of light as if nothing had happened.
"I'll give you ten Archers and ten Loggers. Remember, make sure no dragonborn escapes alive. The time of attack will be set at…"
Adept Deserra couldn't help but be amazed at the sight of Mary calmly neutralizing a medusa's petrification powers.
In all seriousness, Deserra had never taken a good look at Dana, despite being her colleague for such a long time. The books always described the Medusa's as lovely and seductive creatures, but Deserra never dared to cast his gaze upon Dana.
Otherwise, those natural powers of petrification might turn him into stone. He would then need other adepts of the clan to help him, and then his reputation would be utterly ruined.
As such, Deserra had never dared to look directly at Dana despite his curiosity about her beauty. He merely bowed along with her before leaving the tent to pick out the magical machines they were assigned for the mission.
Mary lifted her head and looked around once the two groups of adepts had left the tent.
Currently, she and Zacha were the only Second Grades in the tent. The three blood knights were pseudo-Second Grade, while Charon and Endor were First Grade. (Second Grade Oliven had been completely ignored!) An army like this should have no issue defeating that dragonborn army, especially with the cooperation of a hundred and fifty magical machines.
However, it was going to be difficult to exterminate the opponent entirely.
At least, it would be difficult unless she put some particular means into motion!
Mary's ruby-like eyes couldn't help but fall upon Poison Hag Endor.
The old witch put on a bitter smile and stepped forward to bow.
"Lady Mary, simply command if there's something this old hag can help you with!"
Endor didn't wholly belong to the Crimson Clan after all. She was a relative of Witch of Fate Alice. That was why even Greem had to be extremely polite and courteous with her. He treated her with plenty of respect.
"Adept Endor, I need you to spread a type of poison near the camp where the dragonborn will be resting. It should effectively reduce their combat power. However, they cannot discover the effects of the poison ahead of time. The symptoms need to manifest only right before we start our attack."
The old and sinister Poison Hag let out a broad smile when she heard Mary's difficult request, revealing her missing and yellowed teeth.
"No problem! Leave this mission to me, Lady Mary! You don't need to worry about it."
Endor left the tent after promising to complete the task. The ground thudded as she walked out while leaning upon her staff, which was almost twice her height.
"Charon, the opponent seems to have sent two dragonborn scouts to Twin Peaks. You go and kill them! Remember, you must hurry back before the offensive on our end here begins."
"Understood, Lady Mary!"
The tall and muscular manticore leader beat his wind-indurium armor with one of his paws and loudly responded to Mary's orders. He then turned and left the tent.
He hadn't come here to Lance alone. He had brought with him his partner, the First Grade elite female manticore, and two manticore subordinates.
They weren't accompanied by magical machines this time. The four manticores flapped their leathery wings and took to the skies. They hid their bodies within the dense mist and quickly flew in the direction of the two dragonborn scouts.
As one of the first official members of the Crimson Clan, Charon and the others had received tremendous privileges on several aspects.
The new wind-indurium armors, the evil Vampiric Knuckles, and all the various magical equipment, scrolls, and potions had thoroughly weaponized them and turned them into powerful slaughter machines.
If one were only to compare basic combat power, the odds of four First Grade manticores against two First Grade dragonborn were only sixty-forty.
Sixty for the manticores and forty for the dragonborn.
It wouldn't be weird for losses to occur on the side of the manticores if they slipped up on their cooperation.
After all, the dragonborn were fearsome monsters that possessed dragon bloodline. Their combat power was unexpectedly high. Moreover, the manticores were underground creatures. Their strength could only be fully displayed if they were within the unique geography of the underground world.
Consequently, the chances of four manticores fighting two dragonborn on the surface wasn't that high.
However, the four manticores were utterly different from before after being equipped with so much magical equipment. Their power had doubled. That was the main reason why Charon was so confident in completing this mission!
"Miss Mary, what about me?" Oliven, who had been hiding in a corner cloaked in her robe, couldn't help but move forward and ask.
Dragonborn Zacha huddled and betrayed a trace of fear when the dragon devourer walked near them. However, he quickly suppressed this instinctual reaction with his powerful will. Instead, he opened his two large eyes and his two small eyes and stared at Oliven, almost as if he was facing off with a fearsome enemy.
Mary sighed helplessly, pointed at Zacha and replied with a question, "You see this as well. The dragonsoul curse on you is far too conspicuous. The whole dragonborn army will know we have a dragon devourer in our ranks the moment you appear. We can't guarantee one or two of them won't escape from today's battle. If that happens, rumors of you will be spreading throughout Lance in less than a month."
Oliven frowned when she heard this.
"That leader of yours made a promise with me. The spoils will be split according to contributions in combat. Where am I supposed to obtain these contributions if you won't let me participate in the fight?"
Mary smiled when she heard this. She then flipped her wrist and took out a strange orb from her robe.
"Have you heard of the Orb of Deception? I happen to have one here with me. You might not ever need to worry about your aura leaking if you keep this Orb of Deception with you at all times."
"Orb of Deception?" Oliven opened her eyes wide. It seemed this was her first time hearing of such a fantastic thing.
Mary didn't say anything. She turned with the jewel and smiled at Dragonborn Zacha.
An awkward expression appeared on Zacha's face. He hesitated for a moment before extending one of his right fingers, its nails curved and sharp as a dagger. He then lightly cut his left palm. The sharp knife-life fingernail easily sliced apart the unprotected palm, leaving a shallow cut on the flesh. A single purple drop of blood seeped out to the surface.
Zacha wiped the blood upon the Orb of Deception, his wound disappearing almost instantly after.
The next second, Mary's aura abruptly changed. It actually became the same as Zacha's aura.
This fantastical scene caused Oliven to open her eyes wide in shock. She almost couldn't believe her own eyes, and even more so, her spiritual senses.
It was important to note that multiple factors decided a being's life aura. It merged the being's soul flux, mental consciousness, magical aura, as well as natural odor. In most cases, life aura could be suppressed and even hidden, but it was difficult to disguise it.
After all, no magic could perfectly replicate the aura of another living being. It would all be exposed in the face of powerful spiritual senses.
Yet, at this moment, Mary and Zacha were standing side-by-side before Oliven. When Oliven closed her eyes and felt with her spiritual sense alone, she was shocked to find that two Dragonborn Zachas were standing in front of her.
"I want this Orb!" Oliven exclaimed.
Oliven clearly had no idea how to hide her desires and thoughts. She had always been a lone wolf.
Mary lightly tossed the Orb of Deception in her hand, causing Oliven's eyeballs to flick up and down along with the Orb.
Mary smiled and betrayed a little joy from her plan going as well as she had thought.
"This Orb is really expensive. Did you intend to get it just like that?"
"I'll buy it. I can buy it with the equipment on me; why don't you offer a price?"
The smile on Mary's face grew even wider.