“How do we know that both fortresses were equal in strength?” Nicu slammed his hand on the table in frustration.
The Graylash group that Owen was leading was heading off towards the Dalki side of the beast planet. At the same time, the other group being led by Grim was about to arrive as well and was just a short distance away from them, only heading in a different direction. The group was in a garden-like hall with a stone table set in the middle at the ship’s centre.
There was even a pond nearby with a small flowing waterfall. It certainly gave a calming feeling, but it felt strange to have a place like this in the ship, but that was just how Owen had always done things—he wanted to feel comfortable wherever he was.
Lifting his fan over his mouth, Owen let out a chuckle.
“What you say is true, but I thought the rules just stated who could clear a fortress quicker? Besides, it wasn’t like there was a prize for this event or anything. Let’s just say that they were stronger than the one I fought.”
Nate, who was also at the stone table, felt a little uncomfortable, but he was just thankful that Owen wasn’t so…childish. He was happy to concede defeat and go with Nicu’s ways; in fact, he had been doing this the whole time.
Nicu wanted to make it a competition, and Owen had agreed; now, he was complaining again, and Owen was taking a step back once again.
“Pft.” Nicu scoffed, crossing his arms. “And unlike us, you had a lot more people on your side.”
“Ahem,” Clearing his throat, Nate interrupted to talk about the matter at hand.
“We got a report from Sam. We need to be careful of the new Gen Dalki on these planets. I would suggest we slow down our pace a little and fight together from this point forward. It was good to let the humans and vampires fight separately, but now we might need everyone’s strength. After all, I’m sure you all heard what happened with the Earthborn group led by Sach.”
For the first time in a while, Owen had an expression of sorrow on his face. Although he covered up his face with his steel fan for most of the time, it wasn’t hard to judge his emotions from his eyes, and Nate understood him very well.
Everything was going well, and all groups were reporting good news, but then the report about Sach’s group arrived. In truth, they perhaps should be celebrating that One Horn was dealt with, yet… the loss of their comrades was much heavier.
“There still has been no report on Graham, so we need to keep an eye on that as well. Is there any update from vampires about Quinn? Is he on his way back? I’ve been keeping his shadow active for a while.” Nate asked.
Nicu remained quiet for some time because he was in contact with the eighth family, who had the ability of telepathy. He was communicating with the vampire Shelter, who would, in turn, forward the message to Quinn’s group.
“Yes… they’re alright, but Quinn seems to be in the middle of something. Right now, they are protecting him and are fighting. Some reinforcements have also been sent from the settlement to support, so they should be fine.” Nicu conveyed to the others in the room after disconnecting.
‘Doing something? What are you up to, Quinn?’ Nate wondered.
It sounded strange but knowing Quinn, it had to be important, and he was glad that the vampires were actually trying to protect him earnestly.
Eventually, the fleet of ships started to pull in towards their destination, a Dalki planet. However, there was a very serious look on everyone’s faces this time, including Nicu’s.
It was a relief for Nate because he was worried that others might continue to see this as a game. It would, of course, be their downfall if they didn’t change their attitude.
When landing, the group followed Nate’s suggestion, and now, the vampires were mixed in better among the humans since they will be fighting side by side. There were about a hundred thousand soldiers in the army, all assigned into platoons, with each platoon having five or so vampires.
At the front of the army stood a large group of mechs acting as scouts. They soon spread out and began searching for any sign of the Dalki or the fortress. They had purposely landed away from the energy signals to avoid confrontation as soon as they landed.
The planet they were currently at had enormous empty craters on the surface. They were quite deep, and some even stretched out more than a mile before returning to the level surface, and soon there would be another crater. With their enhanced sensors, the mechs were a big help in this terrain.
They knew the enemy wouldn’t be on a plain or levelled surface; rather, they would hide.
“Still see nothing up ahead, but we are about to enter a huge crater.” One of the Mechs reported coming to a halt and standing just on the edge of a crater. He was about to look down, but all of a sudden, a large hand had pierced right through the mech’s headpiece.
A large arm was seen sticking through the mech, and the next second it was thrown off, falling to the side.
“Attack! I repeat we’re under at- “The other one in the mech suit had only said a few words before it had fallen as well.
After a few moments, the main force witnessed two Dalki slowly stepping out of the crater, and soon there were more.
“Four spikes, three spikes…these are high-level Dalki? I can’t even see a single one or two spiked Dalki!” Nate commented while summoning his shield with the shadow.
Just then, Owen made his move, activating the lighting on his foot; he charged forward.
“Mech Unit, fall back! Nicu, I hate to say this, but it would be a pleasure to have your help in this!” Owen shouted.
The four spiked Dalki are immensely strong, and it wasn’t too long back when Owen would drastically struggle against one, but he had improved as well. But, just because he had made vast improvements and had confidence, he couldn’t say the same for the others.
If the four spike and three spike got into the army’s centre, they would cause a rampage. Looking ahead, Owen had a fist full of lighting. The ground was being ripped apart as he ran with his hand down.
However, as Owen concentrated on one, he soon saw another three spiked Dalki leap over his head and head straight at the crowd.
“Leave it!” Nicu shouted as he jumped up and pulled out his sword. The outside started to glow red, and Nicu slashed it several times in midair. The power of the beast equipment, along with his natural talent, gave him more additional strength and speed than before.
The Dalki was cut into pieces when he landed, and Owen was thankful he had a strong partner on his side.
“He did well against the three spikes, but there’s a big jump in power whenever we face these guys!” Owen said as he suddenly accelerated and struck the Dalki right in its stomach. Its whole body lit up and blew before being shot back into the large crater.
Owen wasn’t sure the Dalki was down for the count, so he went to look over and see if there were any more, but he paused for a second as he did.
“No…no..” Owen couldn’t help but drop his metal fan onto the floor.
He found the Dalki fortress in the crater, but there was an army of more than a hundred dalki, and all of them were three or four spikes, and among them, he could see Dalki that had four spikes but appeared a little more… human.
Standing in the centre, on top of a tower in the fortress, was a male Dalki whose arms were covered in black scales, but his bare body and face remained mostly human. He looked up at Owen, showing its black eyes without a trace of white, a smile formed on his face.
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