Genius Mage in a Cultivation World - Chapter 120: Nightshade (2/3)
The first monster died. Vanishing into nonexistence, it left no stone nor materials that could be used.
‘That’s an evolved monster for you,’ Layn thought while watching how its corpse continued to fade away. From the moment that the monster would enter its evolution phase, it would no longer be seen as just a great source of magic or mana stones.
Even in Layn’s own times, any evolved monster that would appear would be quickly cleaned up by a specialized crew trained to kill them. Because there were two essential factors when it came to the evolved monsters.
One, they were economically useless. Their energy was too violent to draw on it while it was alive. The very mana core that made killing the monsters a profitable endeavor turned into the mana exchange point, the same point that Layn smashed with his brick.
As such, there was no economic benefit behind killing those evolved monsters whatsoever. That is unless one would ignore the costs of allowing such monsters to roam the world freely. Then, the scale of both civilian and official losses would quickly reach numbers greater than the entire sector of monster hunger economy ever managed to bring!
Even with the death of the first aggressor, the situation was far from being over. As little as Layn cared about the possibility of the monsters like that roaming the desert, he had to ensure that his people were safe from the incursions.
‘In the end, there is no way we triggered this event to happen,’ Layn thought to himself, allowing his mana to flow more and more rapidly. Given what his opponents would be, he didn’t dare to go easy on them, even for a fraction of a moment.
The ripples appeared on the surface of the water again. But as much as Layn was interested in seeing whether he could defeat this kind of evolved monster on his own, he didn’t dare to test his limits.
In the end, behind his back, a group of his followers was hiding. Right now, they would be completely and utterly useless in a fight, given the scale of it. Out of everyone, only Irea could hold her ground for a bit before also succumbing to the overwhelmingly oppressive aura of those evolved monsters.
‘No, I can’t take it easy,’ Layn scolded himself in his thoughts, retreating from the shore in a hurry. Right now, the water was behaving quite frantic. Rather than a single type of uniform wave crashing into the coast, it appeared as if the entire surface of the lake suddenly started to boil.
‘No, that’s not it,’ Layn strained his eyes towards the water. The lake wasn’t boiling at all. If something like this were to be happening, he could quickly feel the temperature from the rising steam all over his face. “It looks like… waves crashing into each other?” Layn was so puzzled by the discovery that he ended up voicing his question out.
Soon, the truth became apparent when a swarm of monsters broke through the surface of the lake. With so many sources of disturbance, it now turned clear why the lake behaved like it did.
‘Are they all…’ Layn stopped himself from even thinking about such an opportunity. In the end, the brick-buildings he set were likely to withstand the onslaught of a single evolved monster, but the same couldn’t be said about an entire army of them. Ultimately, every kind of material had this hidden stress-point past which a force of a literal ant could break it apart.
The monsters continued to jump out of the water. Some of them rushed towards the shore in the distance, some of them swam towards Layn’s camp, others remained in place. In a sense, this entire event looked like if someone opened a gate in the middle of a lake before forcing its mutated soldiers into expanding in every single possible direction.
“At this rate, they will be here in about half an hour,” Layn said to himself before biting on his lips. ‘If they are spreading so fast and so far, then they need to expand a fuckload of energy.’ Layn’s mind spun at its maximum speed as the archmage attempted to figure out a way out of their current situation.
‘But it doesn’t really matter if they die from exhaustion or by being stomped by those monsters first.’ Layn continued to analyze various options, from developing quasi-nuke magic on the spot with the use of the crystal from before, all the way to even packing the essentials up and just straight out leaving.
In the end, Layn wasn’t willing to sacrifice the lives of others just to keep his camp in this particular place. The further one went into the desert, the stronger and more wicked his opponents would be. After all, there were no records of something like the ongoing situation appearing near the barrier at all!
“Okay, let’s do it like this, then,” Layn said to himself as he jumped down from the vantage point he climbed previously. Not that he understood what was coming, there was no point wasting even a single second of his time more.
“ATTENTION!” Layn shouted as soon as he reached the dormitory. The people inside followed his order without even a single moment of doubt, even though most of them still have yet to realize what kind of situation they were in.
“Guys, I won’t lie. We are in deep shit right now,” Layn said, instantly bringing up everyone up the speed. “A massive horde of enraged monsters and evolved monsters is spreading in every direction from the middle of the lake,” Layn informed before pointing his arm at the monsters were coming from.
For a moment, the silence took over the place. No one dared to say a single word. Then, right as the tension was about to explode and people fell into a panic, Irea stepped forward.
“What is the plan, then?” she asked, not paying any mind to how tense the situation was. “Like, come on, you wouldn’t come here just to scare us? I know you well enough to know that if it was really the end, you would just let us enjoy ourselves until the very last moment, isn’t that right?” She quickly proved that she wouldn’t be a pushover this time, forcing Layn to confess.
“Yes, you are right,” the archmage answered with a strange look behind his eyes. “But just as you are right with the fact that there is a plan, there is one thing you didn’t guess,” Layn said before turning his head back to the general public rather than Irea alone. “We have very little time. I already tested out, and those bricks can withstand the attacks of the evolved monsters, but I’m worried that a single layer of bricks might not be enough to ward off the horde.”
Layn decided to be completely honest. There was a chance that this would be the end for them all. There was a chance that the monsters would completely ignore the buildings as if they were just a random stone or a tree in their way… That is, as long as they couped inside and stayed silent.
‘Wait a moment,’ Layn suddenly stopped as both his body and his mind froze. ‘A stone or a tree… But what if we actually make it like that?’ he asked himself before looking to the outside.
From Layn’s current perspective, he was unable to see the approaching horde. That meant they still had enough time to put his plan into motion.
“Okay, everyone, forget what I said a moment ago,” Layn announced before dropping the idea of reinforcing the walls of the dormitory with another layer of bricks. In the end, it was something pretty time-consuming to achieve, so they would have to risk quite a lot to finish such rapid construction before the horse would come.
But there was a simple way to completely ignore the problem of the monsters attacking. A method that commoners used in the past to ward off against tornados or other storms that wouldn’t result in a flood.
It was to just hide underground and wait out the entire ordeal. A crude and straightforward method, but as long as it worked, there wouldn’t be a single person that could denounce it.
“Everyone. Grab whatever shovel, brick, or any other tool you can find. We need to create a slope on the wall facing the shore so that any monsters wanting to pass through the building will simply move over it!” Layn shouted, going outside on his own. As simple a plan as it was, there just wasn’t any other realistically better option right now.
“Dear… Are you sure?” Irea followed after the archmage only to catch his hand and ask.
“Yes, but there is one thing I didn’t tell yet,” Layn announced before turning around and placing a gentle kiss on Irea’s forehead. “I’m not going to hide inside the dorm with you and everyone else.”