'But what kind of disaster would cause that? No... Not a disaster...'
The Four Seasons Canyon was a few thousand kilometers wide. It was more than a dozen times bigger than Thousand Sails City. If it could be turned into a desolate desert by a disaster, then how shocking would that disaster need to be?
'It's fine if such a disaster happened, but it would have to be a very rare occurrence in Noscent's history, and it would give rise to large-scale mana fluctuations. Who knows how many mages would curse at such an event? How could it not be recorded in the books of the decaying library? Why would the Artisan who excavated Vaughn's laboratory not mention it?'
'But what if it wasn't a disaster? Could it have been man-made?'
"..." As he thought of this, Lin Yun felt a chill. If the cause had truly been man-made, then the Four Seasons Canyon wouldn't be as simple as he had thought...
The trees, the soil, everywhere... It could be said that the vegetation here was flourishing.
For such a huge change to happen, someone or something on the level of a Heaven Rank powerhouse would be needed. Only those who had mastered the Extraordinary power and could open a Demiplane using their own might would be able to create such a disaster.
"Merlin... Merlin..." Solomon had been walking ahead for quite a bit, but he hadn't heard Lin Yun's voice in a while, so he couldn't help asking, "What are you thinking about?"
"Nothing important." Lin Yun shook his head, temporarily putting away these chaotic thoughts before slowly following Solomon to the Four Seasons Canyon.
The small, rugged path stretched all the way down. At the end, there was a row of lush trees. When they entered the Four Seasons Canyon, Lin Yun even felt that they had entered an Elven Kingdom. This place was reeking of the aura of life. Tall trees, fragrant flowers, verdant grass, and the soothing sound of running water... Even the atmosphere carried a hint of sweetness.
But for some reason, Lin Yun kept feeling that this aura of life was too vigorous, to an abnormal degree. Yet Lin Yun couldn't pinpoint exactly why it felt so abnormal; it was just a feeling, after all.
From where they were, the two could already see the camp that the gathered troops had established. Several hundred tents were lined up, occupying an entire area at the foot of a cliff. There were a dozen sentry towers built around the camp, and the ones stationed there were the most outstanding archers of the Silver Moon Mercenaries and the Viper Nest. Countless traps and arrays were set up below the sentry towers. If the small groups of fighters patrolling were added into the picture, then this camp could truly be described as well fortified.
"Most of it has been arranged by the Silver Moon Mercenaries. After all, they are the ones with the most battle experience in Thousand Sails City... Careful!"
Just as Solomon was introducing the camp to Lin Yun, a shadow suddenly swept past the latter.
In fact, there was no need for Solomon's reminder.
Syudos had already appeared just as the air began to move. There had been no signs at all. A dozen Fire Arrows were cast, creating a loud impact. Before Solomon could even recover, the shadow sweeping at their back had already fallen down in despair.
"A Shadow Wolf." Lin Yun squatted down and examined the burnt corpse, finding some characteristics exclusive to Shadow Wolves.
But this discovery made Lin Yun frown.
Shadow Wolves were merely level 12 or 13 magic beasts, and even the alpha among them wouldn't exceed level 15. But the Shadow Wolf that had pounced at him had shown power and speed surpassing that. Lin Yun had been able to handle it because Syudos was so powerful. But another 9th Rank Great Mage might have been in trouble facing this sneak attack.
It seemed that this was the mutation Solomon had been talking about...
Otherwise, how could an ordinary Shadow Wolf be this fearsome?
Thinking about it, Lin Yun inspected the Shadow Wolf's corpse even more carefully.
"Eh..." Lin Yun soon found that its eyes were unusually red, as if blood was dripping out. Even though it was burnt up, its body still exuded a faint aura of life. Due to this discovery, Lin Yun finally understood why he had felt that the aura in the Four Seasons Canyon was too abnormal...
This Shadow Wolf was like an embodiment of the entire Four Seasons Canyon's state. The Four Seasons Canyon was in its death throes but was exuding its final radiance, and every organism living within was the same, giving a false appearance of vitality.
"Okay, let's go first." Lin Yun clapped his hands and stood up. Just as he was about to call Solomon to get going, he suddenly noticed something. "Hold on, what is that sound?"
"What sound?" Solomon was at a loss at first, but a moment later, he also reacted. "Fuck, it sounds like Thunder Elephants! And over a dozen of them!"
"Twenty-three... Quick, let's go!"
Fortunately, the two weren't far from camp. The two had reached the camp just as the sound of the Thunder Elephants could be heard.
"Sound the alarm! Sound the alarm!" One of the vice leaders of the Silver Moon Mercenaries seemed to have found out about the situation, and under his command, over a dozen sentries fired several dozen signal arrows into the sky. The whole camp was roused into action, ready to deal with the upcoming battle.
The patrolling unit was the first to arrive. They were armed with swords and shields, and they formed a thick defensive formation behind the traps and arrays. They would be the second line of defense against the Thunder Elephants.
When over twenty Thunder Elephants were running at the same time, they would make the ground shake. These huge bodies made of rough hide and thick flesh could reach level 15 at the very least. They soon appeared hundreds of meters away from the camp, and all that was visible was the dust they raised up. As they drew closer, their maddened red eyes made them look quite crazy. Steam could be seen coming out of their trunks as they raised a loud clamor while charging wildly towards the camp.
"What's the situation?" At this time, some of the other leaders also came out from their tents, and they were a bit stunned when they saw the situation.
There were more than twenty Thunder Elephants stampeding at them! If they let them rush into the camp, then it might end up in ruins.
No, no, it wasn't just the two dozen Thunder Elephants...
Just as everyone was feeling stunned, a huge red cloud appeared in the distant sky. From this distance, it looked as if the sky was igniting.
"Damn it, Flame Crows!" Badrack, the leader of the Flash Arrow Mercenary Group, was the only 9th Rank Spirit Archer of Thousand Sails City. He had the best eyesight out of all present. But after he looked carefully at that red cloud for a bit, he suddenly shrieked, "There are at least 3,000 Flame Crows!"
"No way..." Badrack's shriek was followed by shocked cries.
If over twenty Thunder Elephants could turn this place into ruins, then the arrival of over a thousand Flame Crows would make it hell on Noscent...
Although Flame Crows were magic beasts that only ranged from level 5 to 10, they had the innate ability to control flames and loved to roam around in groups. The smaller flocks would have a few hundred, while the bigger ones could have over ten thousand.
Normally, a small flock of Flame Crows wasn't much of a threat. Many mercenary groups would place traps under an active volcano in order to capture these small Flame Crows. Their feathers were commonly used as materials for alchemy. It could also be used as a casting component to increase the damage of some Fire System spells.
Flame Crows were usually about level five. They were rather weak in raw power, and their innate magic was quite inferior. It would be fine if there were only a few suicidal Flame Crows, as it would let the mercenaries gain some experience.
It seemed to some that it wasn't such a big deal...
Only those who had actually seen Flame Crows moving in large numbers before would know how frightening a flock of over a thousand was. Just the rise in temperature was enough to roast a whole person, not to mention after the crows actually attacked with their flaming feathers. That could truly scorch a place bare in a matter of seconds.
Not to mention that there were over 3,000...
"Prepare to fight." Sasu could be considered the most experienced with large-scale battle as the leader of Thousands Sails City's number one Mercenary Group, so it had already been decided that he would take charge if there was an open battle.
When Sasu's words resounded, everyone quickly got on the move. The people present could be considered true powerhouses, and although they didn't have experience with fights on this scale, they didn't have any issues carrying out orders. Everyone made their proper preparations the moment Sasu transmitted his order. A few High Mages even cast Float spells, prepared to rise into the sky and fight the Flame Crows.
"Wait." But there was an inharmonious voice in the team this time.
"Wait for what..." Sauss was quite irritated by the interruption. He had been readying himself for the fight, but when he heard someone telling them to wait, he suddenly felt like cursing.
But just as he opened his mouth to curse back at the offender, he noticed that the one to speak was actually Lin Yun.
He ended up swallowing his angry words.