Were the seafolk truly that weak?
Greem was at first confused, but he slowly found the reason behind their weakness after reading through the analysis data from the Chip.
Seafolk, also known as intelligent marine lifeforms, were a strange but guaranteed occurrence in high-magic worlds.
If animals and plants that had adapted to the aura of magic could come into existence in an area where magic gathered upon the land, then the number of magical creatures born in the depths of the ocean–broader than any stretch of land–would be even greater.
Much like what happened on land, governmental systems and ruling hierarchies similar to human societies also developed among magical sea creatures after hundreds of thousands of years of history and competition. Those who could become the rulers of the seafolk had to be an intelligent race with powerful military might and magical power.
And deep in the depths of Faen's boundless sea, the rulers of the seafolk were a race of powerful Sea Naga.
In general, the sea nagas were a race of magical humanoid creatures with lower bodies that resembled serpents. Their bodies were also covered in fine fish scales. Female nagas were tall and slender. Their scales were also even more elegant than their male counterparts. They had looks as delicate and perfect as human women, only with a slightly darker skin tone.
Male nagas had larger frames, stronger bodies, and rough personalities that weren't much unlike wild beasts.
Female nagas were superior and more compatible than male nagas when it came to intelligence and magical aura. That was why the sea nagas were a classic matriarchal society. Sea priests and casters were roles that were often undertaken by female nagas. Male nagas, on the other hand, filled in as warriors of the lower class.
As natural rulers of the seafolk, the sea nagas chose to believe in the great God of the Sea– Dions. The nagas built a thousand-meter tall idol of the Sea God in the depths of the Gem Sea. They then built massive sea temples around the icon and constructed a gigantic ocean city, the likes of which land creatures could not imagine.
The power of the seafolk was universally known.
However, sadly, their strength was limited to the boundless Gem Sea. All of their various racial weaknesses were thoroughly exposed the moment they stepped on land.
Most seafolk warriors might have strange gills that allowed them to breathe even after leaving the water, but their unique bodies still required the constant nourishment of seawater. If they were away from water for too long, their muscles would start to shrivel, and their strength would begin to fade. They could then only lie upon the ground and wait silently for death to descend upon them.
It was this massive flaw that caused the Oceanic Empire, that had over a hundred times more intelligent creatures than the empires on land, to be incapable of charging out of the sea and setting foot upon the land. That was the reason they couldn't wholly conquer this rich and beautiful plane of Faen that was bountiful in resources, population, and territory.
The seafolk couldn't set foot on land and thus held no goodwill toward the land species'. Under usual circumstances, they wouldn't easily permit human and elven ships to travel across their sacred and beautiful sky.
The maritime business of Faen had always struggled to become prosperous. The main reason was the seafolk laying claim over the entirety of the Gem Sea, raiding and sinking any large ships that dared to travel within their territory. It didn't matter whether they were warships or merchant ships; everything was sunk!
That was why both human and elven ships would only travel near the coast, and every one of these ships had to be accompanied by sufficient military force. The slaver ships that moved between the two continents, on the other hand, could only choose to travel via special sea channels where seafolk rarely appeared.
Even so, one in five human slaver ships still perished at the hands of seafolk patrols on a yearly basis.
After all, even a frail First Grade sea priest could raise massive waves measuring up to five or six meters when they were at sea. The weak and brittle ships of the humans would be devoured without a trace, without even a chance to retaliate, when they ran into seafolk spellcasters.
Moreover, due to the limits of their particular environment, almost all seafolk casters were hydromancers.
Compared to the large variety of element affinities of the land creatures, this was clearly far too uniform and inflexible!
Of course, there was also one more factor that limited the strength of seafolk powerhouses, which was the severe lack of hard metal armor and weapons.
Rich metal veins might exist under the sea, but due to the lack of any way to smelt the metal, the seafolk could only opt for the closest alternative. They used crude and rough stone spears, as well as sharpened coral spears. The lack of high-grade defensive equipment also caused the seafolk powerhouses and the agile bodies they were so proud of to be substantially exposed in front of land fighters!
It was perhaps the root reason why the Goblin Bomberman could slaughter the entire group of seafolk!
Greem waved away the Goblin Bomberman, shut his eyes, and sat silently in the underground hall that had been dug into the place. He wordlessly contemplated the motive and reason for the sudden attack of the seafolk.
Third Grade Dark Witch Uzzah, who sat beside him, spoke first after seeing him remain silent for so long.
"What is there to be worried about?! The seafolk have always been bullies that went after the weak and averted the strong. They love to take everything they can, be it in the World of Adepts or here."
It was fairly obvious what had happened after the battle in Jintha'Alor, especially after Greem summoned that Third Grade thunder dragon. This snobbish Third Grade Dark Witch had finally started placing Greem in a position where he could talk to her as an equal.
The most obvious demonstration of this was the position in which everyone was currently sitting in the underground hall.
Two rows of stone chairs facing each other were currently occupied by male and female adepts of various sizes in the damp and dim stone hall. On the right were the Dark Witches. However, after this brutal battle, the number of Dark Witches had fallen from their initial eleven to the current six.
Of course, of the five casualties, only one had their soul and body wholly exterminated by the divine moonlight magic. The other four just had their bodies destroyed. Their souls had already returned to the soul energy pool previously set up upon Shadow Island.
Their revival was estimated to take about a month. Moreover, their revived souls and new shadow bodies needed some time to be broken in. That was why it was very likely that they won't be seen for the first half of the invasion against Garan this time.
Compared to the Dark Witches, the Fate Witches appeared much frailer!
They were almost all witches that had only just advanced in the past couple of decades. They might have a limited sense of the veins of Fate and the arrival of danger after mastering the powers of Fate, but their power wasn't enough for them to altogether avoid harm and danger.
That was why their losses were undoubtedly the most severe of the lot!
Following the death of one Fate Witch, two more casualties had occurred in the midst of the Fate Witches during the battle of Jintha'Alor. It caused the initially weak Fate branch, whose numbers were already few, to be knocked down to where it started. It was a tragic and sad sight to behold.
Of the ranks of the Fate Witches, there were only two newly advanced witches left, apart from Alice–the leader–and the deputies, Berserk Witch Sofia and Icelady Snowlotus.
In comparison, the Crimson adepts were relatively untouched.
After all, all the magical machines prioritized protecting the closest Crimson adept during the fight. That was perhaps the main reason why there were practically no casualties among the Crimson adepts.
However, while there were no casualties on the surface, the losses calculated by the Chip caused Greem to frown hard.
When the adepts counted casualties, they would only count their companions who also shared the same status as adepts. They wouldn't include the losses of their followers, golems, voodoo beasts, or summons. The highest price the Crimson Clan had to pay was in the form of such things.
Medusa Dana had lost one four-armed snakefiend bodyguard and two ordinary tribesmen.
Over half of the fiendhounds that Three-Headed Demonhound Unguja had brought with him had died.
Forty-two Archers were destroyed. Thirty-seven of those were utterly wrecked and could not be repaired. They had to be recycled and processed once again.
Sixteen Shield Swordsmen were destroyed; all of them were ruined.
Visible structural damage had been done to the flying ship's space furnace. Repairs were estimated to take a week.
Eleven of the construction machines working upon the ship had been destroyed and their numbers needed to be replenished as soon as possible.
Multiple energy leaks had appeared in the energy pipes of the ship. A large batch of construction machines was badly needed for maintenance.
Large areas of the metal deck were also damaged, and a massive amount of special alloy was needed for repairs.
This long list of various losses caused Greem's scalp to buzz. It drained him just to muster the patience to read through the entire list.
The warehouse of the flying ship still had some metal ingots and alloy materials. Even if all of them were used to repair the ship's damage, there would still be an estimated shortage of around a dozen tons of metal materials. It seemed Greem needed to find a large metal mine that he could directly dig from if he wanted to repair the ship completely.
Otherwise, if he were to exhaust all his metal materials here, the flying ship would very likely not be able to continue in operation if they ran into any more significant battles from now on.
If the Crimson adepts and Fate Witches were forced to the ground, they would no longer have the same tactical advantage they had always held! They could no longer casually move around and choose their battles as they liked. They were simply too weak for that.
With the overall strength of Greem's faction, one or two battles against the elves without the ship would be enough to wear away all their remaining forces.
As such, Greem took the opportunity of a victory and their retreat to the isolated island to gather the adepts to discuss follow-up arrangements.
Such an open meeting was a fresh feeling for the First Grade Dark Witches.
After all, in the World of Adepts, power was everything. One's grade was hard logic!
That was why all decisions and operations undertaken by the Dark Witches were given out to them in the form of orders after high-grade witches had discussed them in private. Uzzah's personality would never have allowed her to patiently sit together and talk things over with these First Grade Dark Witches.
All First Grade Dark Witches shut their mouth tight at the start of the meeting. They cast their gaze toward their leader– Witch Uzzah. On the other hand, on Greem's side were the First Grade adepts who were behaving extremely active. They constantly gave their opinions and perspectives on the various matters. It was an amiable and lively atmosphere.
Cold and warm, ice and fire. These two adept factions of completely different standpoints were gathered together in such an awkward manner!