Chapter 818 - Smart AI Gravedigger Demons
The Hellhounds were essentially crazed dogs, attacking everything in their path. The second wave of Hellhounds immediately ripped the players in the frontline. Some of the smaller guilds were not able to hold against the attack, and they fell one after another. I could hear their wails and screams, but the Hellhounds showed no mercy. Not long after, all guilds ranked under a hundred had fallen. If they couldn’t even stand their ground against these Category 3 Hybrid Demons, then it was useless for them to continue forward anyway.
My Zhen Yue Blade raged against the monsters, releasing bursts of energy and combos. Who knows how many Hellhound corpses were under my horse’s hooves. The corpses piled up before the [Zhan Long] frontline. After all, our Steel Blade Horsemen had superior health and defense stats. The Hellhounds couldn’t break through no matter how fiercely they tried. All they could do was get killed by the ranged attacks. The Royal Army was in the same situation. After an hour of fighting, [Zhan Long] and the Royal Army didn’t lose a single member. It was practically a miracle.
Not long after, the number of Hellhounds began to decrease, and their survivors were sparse. Thankfully the corpses of the monsters disappeared quickly, or else the piles would build up so high that they’d hinder our line of sight. Piled at the top were mounds of gold and equipment. A Category 3 Hybrid Demon wouldn’t drop any high tier equipment. Even so, there was a lot, and the feeling of picking loot off the ground was quite satisfying.
In the distance, Prince Theodore raised his Marshall’s Sword and looked into the horizon, “Advance!”
The Flame Dragon Army began to push forward. I felt my heart sink. The Hybrid Demon Army wouldn’t solely rely on this group of Hellhounds to block our advance. There had to be some type of other force. Wasn’t the Flame Dragon Army being too careless with its advance?
The Flame Dragon Army’s knights rushed across the plains, raising clouds of dust. I heard a loud rumbling sound coming from within the dust clouds. Following that, the soldiers began to scream and yell.
“What happened?!” I raised my Dragon Reservoir Sword and dashed forward to get a closer look.
Han Yuan held his blade in hand and reported back, “General, it’s a trap! The Flame Dragon Army’s frontline knights were ambushed!”
“As I predicted…”
I fell silent. I felt no satisfaction in being right. The Flame Dragon Army was fighting alongside the Royal Army in this battle. If they took heavy losses, that would mean that the Royal Army would have to fight the rest alone.
The fog slowly dissipated, revealing an enormous ditch. Heaven knows when the Hybrid Demons dug out this trap. It was a dozen meters wide and stretched across the entire plain. When I led my Royal Army Cavalry to the scene, I could see long and sharp spikes emerging from the ditch. The Flame Dragon horsemen screamed as they fell onto the spikes. This trap had taken the lives of at least a thousand Flame Dragon horsemen.
As the border of the trap began to shudder, a familiar hand and blade emerged from the dirt. A fierce head soon followed behind it. It was a Gravedigger Demon. The originally Category 2 Hybrid Demons had now advanced to Category 5 and their attack power had increased along with their rankings. One after another, more and more of the monsters crawled out of the ditch like enormous ants.
I quickly retreated and shouted, “Get into formations, prepare to defend!”
The ditch was at least a dozen meters deep, obstructing the players and the NPC troops in the southern plains. Looks like we won’t be able to pass without killing these Gravediggers first. Furthermore, their appearance was enough to show how the Hybrid Demons were able to create such an enormous trap in the first place.
The Gravedigger Demons attack power was far greater than that of the Hellhounds. With two sharp blades, they definitely outmatched the claws of the Hellhounds.
A group of Barbarian Blade and Shield soldiers ran back in a frenzy. Even so, the Gravedigger Demons immediately caught up with them. Three of the demons rushed at one of the barbarians and immediately delivered a flurry of attacks. That Barbarian acted pretty fast and managed to turn around and block the attack with his shield. “Keng, keng, keng!” he parried the blades. Unfortunately, the Gravedigger Demons were even faster. One of them dipped forward and swept out his blade. “Ka Cha!” The blade sunk into the warrior’s right leg, while the other two continued their onslaught. Within moments, the Barbarian finally gave in and was killed. The scene roused anger and fury among the Royal Army soldiers.
Long Xing roared his orders over the chaos and clamor. At the same time, he threw his spear forward. “Pu Chi!” It pierced straight through one of the Gravedigger Demons. With a push, he threw the demon into the air. Several Cavalrymen Archers fired away, killing the demon in the air.
Concurrently, the rest of the Gravedigger Demons had caught up. Who knows how many more demons would crawl out from the ground. They flooded our defenses without any signs of stopping. Sparks flew off the shields of the Barbarian Soldiers. Some of them couldn’t hold against the pressure and were forced to retreat. Very quickly, the lines were being pushed apart by the Gravedigger Demons. [Zhan Long] was in a similar situation, and as a result, the lines began to shift and loosen. The attack power of these Gravediggers was no joke, they were too strong!
Not far from us, a mid-sized guild of around four thousand players had completely lost their formation and fell apart. [Zhan Long] couldn’t help them. After all, we needed to watch own formation. It was already hard enough to just protect ourselves.
After we retreated several hundred meters, the myriad of Gravedigger Demons charged at us. I glanced behind us and shouted, “Bring out the crossbow carts and prepare for release!”
Not long after, numerous crossbow carts were equipped with arrows. Han Yuan raised his long blade and roared, “Blade and Shield Camp, Testudo Formation!”
Right then, the first row of Barbarians knelt to the ground with their shields covering their bodies. The center and back rows of Barbarians all knelt and raised their shields over their heads. The entire unit was at about the height of half a man and couldn’t attack. On the flip side, this was the most flawless defense formation. With the front row kneeling, this gave the crossbow carts a line of sight. Han Yuan roared, “Release!”
“Keng, keng, keng!” The mechanisms shifted, releasing a flurry of powerful arrows that pierced through the Gravedigger Demons. Sometimes the long arrows would skewer multiple demons together like a kabob. Seeing them flail around the spear was actually quite hilarious. The crossbow carts continued shooting into the crowd of monsters, killing them in droves.
I quickly ordered, “That’s enough, stop the crossbow carts and refill the arrows. Blade and Shield, rise for battle!”
The Barbarians had long been holding in a belly of anger. They all immediately stood up and began swinging their blades at the Gravedigger Demons. Even when they fell, the Barbarians would swoop over their corpses, dismantling their heads and limbs before they would feel satisfied. There was no helping it — many of the Royal Army brethren had fallen to the hands of these Gravedigger Demons. This kind of hatred was inextinguishable.
The [Zhan Long] Steel Blade Horsemen held their ground against the Gravedigger Demons. This alone was enough to display the advantage that the players had in battle. Whether it was [Drain], [Health Potions], or just the [Heal]s they received, each one of them was more than what an NPC could ever hope of receiving. After all, the NPC army didn’t have healers, and could only rely on crude herbs and first aid to maintain their health.
After several long minutes, the crossbow cart arrows were finally restocked and we repeated the cycle. All the Royal Army soldiers were leveling up. These Gravedigger Demons granted copious amounts of experience.
I galloped to the frontlines with my bloody Zhen Yue Blade and Dragon Reservoir Sword. Most of the Hybrid Demons weren’t even humanoids and didn’t have red blood. Of course that concept applied for these Gravediggers as well.
Right then, a man in the Royal Army group suddenly shouted, “What… what is this?”
I quickly forced my way through the crowd of people only to see a mound of dirt rise up from the ground. I felt my heart sink and I shouted, “Be careful of the ground, the Gravedigger Demons are tunneling under the ground!”
Even as I was talking, I lurched forward and sunk my Zhen Yue Blade into the dirt. “Pu Chi!” Black blood bubbled out. As I raised my Zhen Yue Blade, a Gravedigger Demon’s head came along with it. I swung my Dragon Reservoir Sword out, slicing his neck. On the side, the Barbarian Blade and Shield soldiers as well as the Royal Army Horsemen quickly calmed down and began hacking at the onslaught of demons.
I raised my sword and walked forward, warning everyone, “Be careful, these Gravediggers are like groundhogs, their natural environment is underground. They can ambush us from the ground. Everyone, make sure to watch your feet as you fight. When the Gravediggers appear, a mound will rise up!”
Right as I was said that, I could hear shocked screams around the [Zhan Long] players. The Gravedigger Demons moved extremely fast. More and more were appearing. They had completely given up on a frontal assault and switched to this kind of guerilla type ambush. Even the monsters were becoming more and more intelligent!
Li Mu roared, “Steel Blade Horsemen, split up and become tanks. Everyone, form small units and protect the ranged and support type players!”
[Zhan Long] quickly spread out and the members divided themselves into individual units. The Royal Army also split up similarly. I could tell how advanced Han Yuan, Xiao Lie, Long Xing and Xia Ye’s strategy was. The Flame Dragon Army on the other hand didn’t act as quickly. The Gravedigger Demons’ ambush had caught them completely off guard, creating 20 minutes of chaos and disorganization. In the end, Theodore is the heir to the throne, and while the Flame Dragon Army is strong, most of their strength is derived from their numbers and quality of equipment. In terms of true battle power per soldier, I’m afraid the Royal Army is much better than the Flame Dragon Army.
In the distance, I saw that several Tian Ling City guilds were falling apart. The underground ambush by the Gravedigger Demons was like a nightmare and didn’t give the players any warnings or chances to defend. This, however, wasn’t the true nightmare. Soon after, someone shouted, “Look, there’s something in the sky!”
My heart sank, and my first thought was that it was a Plunderer!
As I expected, those objects were the fierce, flight type monsters. Furthermore, these Plunderers had risen to Category 5 Hybrid Demons. Their attack power was even scarier. They screeched and rushed from the skies, diving straight for the densest masses—— the Flame Dragon Army!
“Pu pu pu…”
Slashes of fresh blood poured out. The Flame Dragon Army Horsemen fell in the droves. Heads flew into the sky. The Flame Dragon Army’s formation loosened up.
“They’re coming, those b*st*rds!” Han Yuan raised his blade and charged at the Plunderers.
Li Mu looked up at the sky and said, “Everyone… be careful. The attack power of those Plunderers is very scary….”