Otherworld Adventure Book 8 Chapter 415
Ren led his team over to Karen and Cecilia's group and when everyone saw the peculiar weapons that they were using, many people couldn't help but turn an eye towards them.
Karen stepped forward when she saw Ren and asked, "Hey, little guy. You're Cecil's apprentice right? I hear he's here, where is he?"
"Uhh, well, never mind. Can answer my question first?"
"...Master isn't with us right now..."
Karen looked a bit dejected when she heard his answer. From the looks of things, she still hadn't given up on getting to Cecil so that she could get to his wives.
Ren felt that the girl in front of him was rather peculiar. He thought that it was best to stay away from her. He turned towards Cecilia and said, "Miss Cecilia, our group is ready to move. We'll follow after you and provide support from afar."
"Are those weapons long-ranged?"
"Yes, they're our kingdom's magi-tech guns."
"I-I see... Well, let's get moving then. Is that alright with you, Princess Karen?" Cecilia turned and asked the other leader of their group.
Karen shrugged and replied, "Since the High Priestess is ready, let's get going then. My group has many knights so we will take the lead."
"We'll take the middle since we can provide long range support," Ren quickly said.
"Then we'll leave the rear to the High Priestess' people?"
With Cecilia's agreement, the groups got into formation. Each group had around 50 to 80 people in them.
Karen's group was quite large since she had over 60 people with most of them being magic knights and archers. Cecilia's group had only 50 people and most of them were priests and mages. There was only 20 Holy Knights with them.
The Silvaria Kingdom group had the lowest amount of people. There were only 40 people and over half of them were non-combatants. The remaining people were those from the kingdom's academy who were specifically trained for combat.
Ren found it quite odd that there were no a.d.u.l.ts with them. He saw that the oldest person around was at most in their mid-twenties. He wasn't aware of the age limit, but he found it a bit odd that the leadership position was somehow forced onto him for their group.
Normally, in their circle of friends, Angelia would be the one that took the lead since she was the most outgoing person in their group and in a way she was the glue that stuck everyone together.
He didn't find it all too burdensome since he was already used to leading and ordering around the team of artificers back in the Silvaria Kingdom which were being trained under him.
The group moved deeper into the plains and quickly encountered some monsters. Maybe it was because it was just the area outside of their initial location which was most likely a safe zone, but the monsters were rather weak.
Karen's knights and archers were all it took to defeat the monsters and the other groups didn't even need to interfere. The group moved in this manner and continued moving through the plains.
As they proceeded in deeper, the monsters became stronger and more numerous. Eventually they had to stop and reposition their people to make things easier for the ones who were fighting on the front and sides.
The rear was rather safe since the monsters weren't smart enough to move in a roundabout way and attack there. They instead just came at them in waves from the front and sides.
As they continued pushing forward, the trial now seemed to be telling everyone that there was just no way that a single person or small group would be able to push through by brute force. The monsters were going stronger and more in number and there seemed to be no end to their assault.
After one wave of monsters was dealt with another would quickly rush to attack them without any sort of break in between attacks. Not even half a day had passed since the group had marched into the plains but everyone was already exhausted.
The other groups in the trial began making their moves after seeing Ren's group moving. They similarly met with the attacks of the monsters and while many were doing fairly well just like Ren's group, however, there were some foolhardy ones that didn't want to join any other groups and decided to proceed by themselves.
Most of them quickly met their ends but the ones from the Empires and hidden families and factions of the Midgard Continent didn't break a sweat dealing with the numerous waves of monsters constantly charging at them.
Their speeds of advance were even faster than Ren's large group and after clearing the plains, they quickly arrived at the next section of this trial which was a dense forest.
The average time that these strong groups took was around 1 to 2 days to get to this forest section. There was a big advantage of getting there first and it was that they received valuable rewards which were dependent on the time they took to get to the forest section from the plains section.
Ren's large group took 5 days to get there and when they got their rewards. It was rather lackl.u.s.ter compared to the groups that took only 1 or 2 days to get there. Ren looked around to try and find his master but he couldn't find his figure anywhere.
"Master must have arrived here on the same day...we're 5 days late..."
"You're looking for him too?"
Ren turned around and saw Karen approaching him.
"I know that you're looking for your Master, but I bet that Cecil is already far away from this place."
"So you know how strong he is?"
"Of course, I was there when he crushed my older brother!"
"Hm... well, it's too late to even try finding him. Also, there are other powerful groups here. Even with our large group, it took us 5 days to get here but there are smaller groups which already made it here before us."
"Those groups are probably from the hidden factions, the Empire, and the stronger kingdoms of Midgard."
Ren quickly took in this information and continued observing the other groups that had arrived here before them.
Ren's cultivation wasn't that high, but he was still in the Mana Sea Stage even though he was still only 15. That in itself proved that he was a talent because it wasn't even his main focus. However, there were many more outstanding individuals in this place that had higher cultivations than him and many of them exuded a very dangerous aura.
It wasn't like Cecil's serene aura that made him look like a person without any cultivation but from Ren's eyes, these strong individuals were inexperienced compared to his Master. If they exuded such an aura, to him, it only meant that they weren't strong enough to control and reel in their aura.
He stopped paying attention to them and instead turned his full attention towards the source of the rewards on this stage.
"... I don't understand how these small crystals can just produce something from thin air as if they were using a magic spell... they aren't sentient so how come this is possible?" Ren mumbled to himself and looked at the crystal hovering above his head.
He didn't possess Cecil's Mana Eyes so he wasn't able to observe the overly complicated runic arrays inside the black crystals, but he knew that they were rather special since despite being an object with no living creature powering them, they were able to use magic spells which seemed to be connected to some sort of subspace which it used to pull out the rewards that were distributed to the participants of the trials that made it to the second section.
"...If only I had my Master's vision... too bad those eyes aren't something I can obtain," Ren shook his head and lamented.
Some of the groups that had arrived earlier than them had started moving after they had fully rested. Ren estimated that his group needed a day or two to recover from their fatigue and injuries before they could tackle the next phase of the trial.
Just as he was about to return to his group, a few people called out and approached him.
Ren turned his head and noticed that a group with a boy not any older than him was walking towards him.
He had long since noticed that they were from the Machina Reggio Empire. He recognized the boy who was leading them so he lowered his hood a little before asking, "Do you need something?"
"Hmph, I couldn't help but noticing earlier that your ragtag bunch possessed some rather peculiar magi-tech. Where'd you get them?"
"...I don't have any obligation to answer that."
"Hah, look at this kid. Why are you talking down to me? From your stature and voice, you're probably not any older than I am!"
'Tsk, this stupid kid is as annoying and nosy as ever.'
The guy that was talking to him was actually a rival of his back when he was still vying for the successor position of the Empire's Artificer Guild, Luke Aerin. The kid was from the Aerin Duke House of the Empire and he was the only other brilliant artificer genius aside from Ren during this generation.
He was from a noble family while Ren was only of common birth. It was only natural that the two would become rivals even though Ren himself didn't want to. This self-proclaimed rival of his was the one always mentioning about their status and upbringing and said that since he represented the noble faction and Ren represented the commoner faction, it was only natural that they'd become rivals. It was fate and it was preordained, as Luke would say.
Ren was rather fed up with it all. He just wanted to learn and invent because it was his passion. In fact, after traveling for so long and staying by his Master's side, he no longer cared about the successor position even though the deal between his Master and his former-master was that after he came of age, which was in another 3 years, he'd return back to the Empire and take the test to inherit the position.
Ren was no longer keen on that. Ideally, he would rather stay in the Silvaria Kingdom and invent whatever he wanted there alongside his Master. The new things he learned every day from the people of that kingdom inspired him to invent and create.
It was much better than his dull life back in the Empire where he had to learn just for the sake of inheriting some position of power which he no longer wanted.
"Hey, are you listening?"
"Tch, the way you act. I find you rather familiar!"
"...I believe this is the first time we're meeting, no?"
"Hmph, anyway, I'd like to take a look at the weapon that you had pulled out during your clash with one of the Holy Knights in your group."
"Well? Are you going to take it out?"
Ren didn't answer and instead turned away and began walking back to his group.