Chapter 593: The Blackstone Forest
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
A reconnaissance platoon was established soon after confirming no trace of the demons in the camp.
To find out the cause for the Red Mist's disappearance, Maggie led the probe into the camp carrying Agatha, followed by Soraya and Summer who were not capable of escaping were thus protected by 50 soldiers of the First Army.
"We're about to arrive. Get ready to land!" said Lightning, who made a gesture towards Maggie,
Agatha poked her head up and the Rocky Beach gradually came into her sight. As the little girl said, the heavy Red Mist had vanished completely, revealing the dark brown earth. Different from the dark green forest around, no trees were there in the camp area which looked as if the soil surface was torn off.
This was the first time that Agatha had approached a residence of demons.
As a member of the Quest Society, Agatha could not help but feel a burst of excitement.
"Lightning is landing! Repeat, Lightning is landing."
"Be careful! Remember to escape immediately if there is any danger." Roland's voice came through the sigil.
Folding her wings, Maggie dived sharply towards the ground.
Agatha saw the landscape under her feet changing rapidly, from the blue ocean to the off-white rugged rocky wall, and then to the humid brown land. After a sudden shock, Agatha found that the huge Devilbeast had already landed safely.
"Do the demons really live in such a place? Looking from the sky, there's nothing special in this place but now it really looks weird," Lightning clicked her tongue and said.
Agatha felt the same way.
The swarthy stone towers stood high on the empty ground everywhere, like a black forest in picturesque disorder. These strange buildings were the black spots that they had seen from above. The height of the higher buildings was about three to four stories and that of the lower ones were just taller than their heads. In terms of the density, these building far surpassed that of a forefront battalion.
It seemed that these stone towers had some functions other than the storage of the Red Mist.
"I don't know what happened to them, but it must have happened not long ago," she said.
"Why do you say that?" Lightning asked with curiosity.
"As the stone towers haven't withered completely." Agatha pointed to a nearest Blackstone Pagoda and said. "Their surfaces simply dimmed, far from being rough and fragile. They look totally different from the barren land that the Union conquered in the frontline. That means, the demons didn't intend to withdraw, or... they just made a hasty decision to retreat." She paused momentarily and said, "let's go to the center of the camp, the highest tower, where the Eye Demon lived. Maybe we can find something else."
"Hope Summer can find the cause... Ah!" Lightning screamed suddenly. She was walking in the front, but instantly sunk into the ground. Seeing the frightening scene, Maggie transformed into a pigeon to fly up immediately, and Agatha also conjured up an ice barrier in front of herself.
Before they took any further action, the little girl flew out of the hole in the ground and said, "I'm okay." She flapped her body to clear away the dirt and complained. "Who dug a trap here?!"
"What a naughty gremlin!" Agatha sighed with relief inwardly and prepared to disperse the ice barrier. Yet the following words of Lightening made her heart jump in her throat again.
"Uh! Here's a demon!"
"It's true, but the demon seems to be dead," Maggie perched on the head of Lightning and said.
"Maybe. Otherwise, I would be in trouble," the little girl patted her chest and said, still quite scared.
Holding an ice spear in hand, Agatha came over to have a look. As Maggie said, a Mad Demon stood in the soil pit with its head slouching, and a chunk of its bare skin had dried and curled, like the salted fish exposed to the scorching sun.
"I remember Sylvie once said that the demons were hiding under the ground, right?" Agatha said and further confirmed her judgement. Whether the demons decided to withdraw or met with some other incident at that moment, it must have been some emergency. Otherwise, these demons wouldn't die by exhausting the Red Mist underground little by little before receiving the new orders.
"We'd better fly to investigate. I don't want to fall in a trap again," Lightning mumbled.
Carrying Agatha on her back, Lightening flew forward slowly, remaining close to the ground. After they bypassed rows of stone towers, they suddenly got a wider view.
An open field in the camp appeared.
"It's..." Agatha gasped and said. Judging from the spot, it was obvious that the open field was not left deliberately by the demons, as a huge cavern could be seen in the center of it. It had a size almost equal to that of the square of Border Town, and many debris of the stone tower scattered around it. The three witches stood by the bottomless hole and looked down attempting to see where it led to.
"It seems the same as the place where we found you. How about let me go down and explore first?" Lightning smacked her lips and said.
"NO! You can't."
Agatha and Maggie stopped Lightening at the same time.
"Okay," the little girl said and sighed with a look of regret. She had restrained herself a lot from her desires to take risks after being punished by His Majesty to do test questions. "So, let's take a walk around it."
The rest of the place in the camp had slight differences. Of course, the exploration of the three witches was not fruitless. Maggie found a large number of Magic Stones in a flat-roofed stone tower and a withered, dead Chaos Beast. Actually, she just wanted to perch on the top of the tower for a while, but happened to find a narrow entrance there, which may serve as an air duct that the demons used to imbue the Red Mist.
The First Army arrived at Rocky Beach two days later.
Lotus found a slit chapped in the mountain, and dug a path out in the rocky wall, which could allow only one person to go through. Maggie, at the same time, was responsible for transporting the important equipment like heavy machine guns. It took great effort to deliver 50 soldiers and witches into the inland area.
This was the first contact between the indigenous people and the alien demon race.
Even the hardiest soldier would felt dread and panic at the sight of such an incredible scene. Roland had expected that and ordered his people to pitch a camp nearby the entrance to the rocky wall to avoid overstraining themselves. As for Summer's replaying work, the First Army was not allowed to watch.
According to Agatha's judgement, the time at which the high tower in the camp disappeared should be between one and half a weeks to one month ago. The consumption of Summer's magic power would be accelerated if the retrospective time exceeded one week. As for the events that happened one month ago, they could only be replayed once a day. Under such circumstances, there was no shortcut except for trying again and again.
Among the Magic Stones brought back by Maggie, there were some practical ones. The quality of these Magic Stones could not match with those obtained from Fearsome Demons, but it was better than nothing. Now the Spellcaster Tower to be completed soon only lacks a living demon.
It would take a long time to find the accurate time of the incident that happened to the demons. Roland developed new gadgets as he waited for the result. He received the second secret letter from the Fjords.
It said that Tilly Wimbledon was about to arrive at Shallow Beach of the Western Region.
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