Chapter 6

Entering The Battlefield Of Despair(2)

“Your sweat will attract enemies that track their prey via scent, you need to control it,” Beye stated coldly from up ahead. Richard felt awkward and quickly agreed, tightening up his muscles and pacing himself to control his heart rate and blood flow. Most others would need to train in such thing for a long time, but given his underworld techniques and the time he had spent trying to imitate Beye already combined with the blessing of truth, he was quickly able to control himself.

“Not bad, you learn quickly.” Beye even gave him a compliment.

The two crossed through the cave system for an entire hour before Beye slowed down, “It’s safer here, I can explain the situation.”

She elaborated that there were multiple Battlefields of Despair. This one was called the Land of Dusk, formerly an expansive and powerful plane. However, it was connected to two primary planes, Norland and Daxdus, and amidst unending wars its civilisation had been completely wiped out. The armies of both primary planes met in the centre of this plane, erupting in an earth-shattering war that lasted centuries. Almost all of the natives had been destroyed.

The powerhouses of the two planes continued to battle in various corners of the continent. One blow at full power was enough to shift mountains and form new seas, wiping out all nature. The ones that dealt the largest blow were the legendary mages, constantly extracting the ambient mana to fuel terrifying spells against their opponents.

As the source energy of the plane died out, all life gradually banished. The plane slowly became a dead land, becoming unsuitable for lower forms of life. The only remaining value was its link between Norland and Daxdus, the long period of battle making the passages incomparably stable. This turned it into a natural battlefield. Such was the origin of the Land of Dusk, one of the Battlefields of Despair.

Teleportation gates from the two primary planes were now spread across the place. Outside of a few large fortresses, every inch of this continent was unsafe. Enemies were around every corner.

Both sides found that traditional armies could not outdo their opponents, so they stopped sending out cannon fodder and instead started fighting with saints as the main forces. This was one of the most brutal, true versions of planar war.

“Why kill each other with saints?” Richard asked in doubt, “Is there anything on this plane worth occupying?” He had seen pitifully few life-forms during their walk, and all of them were creatures with no intelligence to speak of. This was vastly different from Norland’s Underdark, which held powerful races and civilisations that could hold their own on the surface.

He hadn’t seen any ores of value either, and although there were quite a few streams the currents were filled with a metallic poison that few could tolerate. Just like Beye had said, this was a plane on the brink of death with nothing of value.

“To wear them out,” was Beye’s answer.

“Wear them out?”

“Yes. We want to kill the powerhouses on the other side to deplete all of their resources. Norland and Daxdus have been at war for over a thousand years and know the coordinates of each other well. However, teleporting into another primary plane is basically suicide. The Battlefield of Despair is the best way of wearing out the enemy. The birth of every saint or legendary being takes an inordinate amount of resources, so we fight here to make each other bleed. Once one side cannot take it anymore, they’ll lose their footing in the battlefield and the situation will turn very dangerous. The Land of Dusk will become one of the best fortresses of the attacking army, allowing them to send an unending stream of soldiers over to the other side.”

Beye glanced at Richard, “That is why your primary responsibility on the Battlefields of Despair is to survive. The second and third are also to survive.”

She then pointed ahead, “Have a look, this is the true appearance of the Land of Dusk.”

Richard walked in the direction she had pointed, circling past a bulky stone pillar to come out onto a cliff. Everything suddenly opened up, showing a gigantic world where the rugged earth merged into the skies in the distance. The ground was a dark grey, black regions dotting it everywhere like injuries that were yet to heal. The huge, dried-up riverbed in front of him was like a gaping injury; nobody could see its start and end.

The withered riverbed was at least a few dozen kilometres wide, over a hundred kilometres at its broadest. If not for the land on either end, he would even have suspected that this was not a river but a strait!

The sky was dull, almost entirely covered in thick, ashen clouds. From his perspective, it was a huge wall of black with few gaps between that left one unable to tell how the sky actually looked. Blood-red light shone down from the gaps, dyeing the earth a rich red.

The crimson light illuminated very little of the ground, leaving the rest as dark as night. However, pitch-black wasn’t the only colour of the land; splendid auroras could be seen flickering around the place, incomparably magnificent. However, looking at these strips from a distance, Richard felt a chill run down his spine.

These ribbons of light were similar to those in the depths of the Land of Turmoil, a condensation of energy from rifts in spacetime. They looked thin, but each one could potentially contain an entire plane within. These rifts led to other continua; once caught within, there was no way to know where one would end up.

Outside of these strips, one could see other specks of light flickering across the dark earth from time to time. These were lights produced by magic or battle; to be seen from several thousand metres away, they had to possess the power of grade 8 spells at minimum. There were even radiant flashes of light amongst the clouds; the people in battle there might not be legendary beings, but they weren’t far from.

An indescribable scene straight out of the apocalypse, a combination of chaos, darkness, violence, and despair. The smell of blood and fire everywhere, with no sign of life to be seen. This was the Land of Dusk, the Battlefield of Despair.

Daxdus was a little similar to Norland, but the main elements there were chaos and darkness. Its inhabitants were humanoid as well, but affected by the energy of chaos they were taller, stronger, and more violent. The civilisation was quite advanced as well, but while Norland placed equal importance on social status and power, they only cared about the latter. In Beye’s words, the inhabitants looked like chimeras formed of humans and various monsters.

“Let’s go, we need about ten days to get to the capital of the Unsetting Sun and return via the portal there. You’ll definitely meet many of Daxdus’ claws along the way, so there are plenty of chances for you to widen your perspective.” Having said this, Beye jumped off the cliff. Falling a few dozen metres from the sky, she twisted her body mid-air and rammed one arm into the cliffside. Displaying extreme control over her body strength, she used her arm to counteract gravity and keep her movement steady. Whenever she slowed down too much, she relaxed her hold and started dropping faster. Whenever it was so fast it grew dangerous, she gripped harder to slow the fall. In the blink of an eye, she had disappeared from Richard’s line of sight.

Richard wanted to cast a featherfall spell and go down, but the speed of his fall would be far too slow to match Beye’s. Besides, it also showed a lack of adaptability. If there was an enemy hidden below, a mage floating down would be an easy target. He clenched his teeth and gave up on the easy way, copying Beye’s actions in jumping down the cliff. He obviously couldn’t sustain a near-vertical drop like her, so he dropped a few metres at a time before grabbing the cliff walls. This was much slower, but it was better than floating down.

After sliding down a few thousand metres his body grew more coordinated. His decisions to land were coming faster and more precise, and his speed slowly increased. Still, it took a lot of effort to make it to the bottom of the cliff.

When he crawled up to stand, a strong smell of blood assaulted his nostrils. Beye was already done with a battle, cutting up a body a few dozen metres away. This was a mouse-like creature that was nearly a metre long, but its head was similar to a human’s.

Her daggers moved quickly, separating the bones, meat, and skin while leaving blood splattering all over the ground. Richard had no idea what methods she was using, but there was very little blood left on the back of the skin. It was almost at the level of processed hide.

Beye picked up the creature’s bones and teeth, carving out a few black crystals that looked like diamonds. She kept the crystals in her pocket before wrapping up the rest in the skin, turning it into a small sack that she put on her back.

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