MMORPG : Ancient WORLD
Chapter 298 Time Is Ticking
Alex stood in a dark, gloomy chamber that stretched far and wide, illuminated only by a few dimly glowing gems embedded in the ceiling, casting eerie shadows that danced upon the walls.
In one corner, there were hundreds of iron cages stacked one above the other, up to the ceiling, filled with malnourished humans belonging to various soldier regiments and affiliated, unaffiliated adventurers.
In another corner, many were chained to the walls, their bodies bearing the scars of deep gashes and slowly flowing blood while similarly many were hanging from the ceiling, their arms cuffed that had dug deeper into their wrists, their limbs dangled, lifeless and heavy, as if gravity itself sought to pull them deeper into the abyss of despair.
The stench of death permeated the air, mingling with the metallic scent of blood and iron, creating a nothing short of nightmarish atmosphere.
Groans and desperate, low cries echoed throughout the chamber, each one a haunting testament to the suffering that had become a daily reality for these unfortunate souls.
Alex knew what to expect when he came here but felt truly enraged when he spotted barely any female prisoners. He knew all too well what their absence implied, yet he kept his emotions in control and walked toward the chamber door with his mana sense expanded to the limit.
Alex sensed no sign of life from the other chamber, which made him question if he was wrong about the demons\' plan to capture him and forcefully make him join the cult.
Alex phased through the door and appeared in another dark, gloomy room of similar size, filled with corpses, piles, and piles of corpses, ignoring them, he walked toward the door and phased through it.
Alex appeared in a dimly lit passage connected to various other tunnels in both directions, but there were still no signs of any life around him other than the prisoners, so picking a route randomly, he moved with quick steps, scanning the area with his mana sense.
Alex knew even though he was under the effect of multiple potions, there were still ways to find him, so staying cautious, he moved forward while questioning if he was wrong and if the cult had no hidden plans for him.
Alex had moved just a short distance when he heard multiple voices of demons conversing in their native tongue, so he swiftly moved toward their direction and found a group of five demons walking toward some destination.
Alex used the system translation and found out they were speculating when the commander would make them do the next raid.
Alex started to follow them, knowing they would lead him to the heart of the hideout, and as the demons navigated through the labyrinthine tunnels that were definitely not naturally formed, their conversation stopped when all of them received a communication request.
One of the demons laughed as he said it was time to hunt some humans and accepted the communication request, and all five demons received the same order to gather at the center.
The demons swiftly changed their way and started to navigate through the tunnels, going deeper and deeper, and Alex followed them closely while questioning if this was all planned.
Alex questioned if he had stumbled upon a live preparation of a raid or if following the demons was all planned, and if it was true, then does that mean that the cult wanted to make it seem as such so he wouldn\'t suspect Omori and his team in case their plan failed?
Alex had various questions going through his head, seeing multiple demons running through the tunnels like their life depended on it, and while he was observing his surroundings, he felt the five demons running before him just vanish into thin air.
Alex was startled for a moment, and an instant later, he found out the reason for their disappearance as he crashed into a barrier, stopping him in place.
Alex instantly knew it was the barrier designed to only let demons pass through it, and there was no other way to enter it except destroying it, while it also had an illusion to prevent from seeing the inside. nove-lB-1n
Alex used his eyes on the ancient without any delay, and instantly, the illusion disappeared, and a vast stretching open area appeared in his sight with thousands of demons rushing toward a portal in the distance with maddened looks on their faces, trying to be the first to enter it.
The area was immense, and it stretched for at least a few hundred kilometers in each direction with a winding wall covered in openings that led to the labyrinth of tunnels, its ceiling lost in the inky darkness above, reaching the height of at least three hundred meters.
The walls were composed of smooth, black marble, molded straight in the shape of a crescent with thousands of artificial platforms that held an array of war machines and cannons.
Bridges connected the platforms, and thousands of demons could seen walking on them, going in and out of tens of tunnels, showing no interest in reaching the portal.
Alex observed the surroundings with a frown as he realized he was wrong and there was no trap, and the more he observed, the more he felt he was overthinking things.
So, putting aside his thoughts, he started to observe what he could to get an idea of the number of demons, mana cannon, and everything that could help the army clear this place as cleanly as possible.
While Alex was busy exploring the demon hideout, oblivious that two piercing gray eyes were meticulously tracking his every move, the demon commander was diligently preparing for the very reason that the demon invasion happened.
Wrathahr, the demon commander, stood at the epicenter of a colossal underground chamber, surrounded by thousands upon thousands of demons who stood in eerie silence, forming an imposing wall of bodies that extended in every direction.
The chamber itself was vast, its dimensions hidden in the shadowy gloom, but it was clear it could house a few million army standing shoulder to shoulder.
More than a dozen ominous portals, hovering ominously near the chamber\'s walls, crackled with dark energy as they continued to spawn demons by the thousands.
These newly arrived demons, bewildered by their sudden appearance in this cavernous space, hesitated briefly before a floating demon close to each portal swiftly instructed them to join their brethren in silence.
As the sea of demons grew denser, tension rippled through their ranks as whispered conversations broke out, and a sense of anticipation hung heavily in the air fueled by the palpable surge of mana coursing through the chamber.
Then, as minutes passed, a grand and intricate magic circle began to materialize on the ground beneath Wrathahr\'s feet.
In mere moments, the small magic started to stretch across the entire expanse of the chamber, glowing with an eerie, dark radiance that cast an otherworldly light upon the assembled demons.
The circle\'s intricate patterns and symbols pulsed with power. Its significance was known only to the highest-ranking demons present, who took deep breaths looking at it and, after giving their commander a look of respect, returned their attention to the newly arriving demons.
The gathering mana created an almost palpable tension, and uneasy murmurs rippled through the sea of demons. However, before the tension could escalate further, a single command roared the command for silence.
Every demon, regardless of rank or size, fell silent, their attention fixed on the unfolding spectacle below their feet, with all of them questioning the purpose of the dark magic circle.