Unlike ‘normal’ armies, armies of cultivators could carry all their supplies with them without worrying about long supply lines- magic bags made that possible, though not all of them would have their own magic bag. Lower ranking cultivators might rely on others to carry excess supplies for them- sometimes volume was a bigger problem than weight. It was still more secure than having supply wagons that could be attacked. If there was going to be a long term campaign of cultivators fighting things might be different… but Barrett didn’t want to think about that.
Barrett watched the Anakoni clan cultivators marching in front. They stepped with such determination, he doubted anything could stop them now even if everyone else all left. It had been more than a decade since their clan had been nearly destroyed and their land taken over. Even for cultivators, a single decade was a long time. Barrett had taken about that long to return to his home city of Durham, but he knew the home and the people were already gone. He returned only for revenge. However, the Anakoni clan still had some surviving members- even more would likely surface once they could confirm things were safe. They were a clan of cultivators and meant to continue that way but Barrett hadn’t been interested in going back to being a normal person.
Kail was the one in charge of the Anakoni clan forces- he had been in the line of succession for leadership of the clan and he was also the strongest. At his side stood an older uncle, Makana. He was one of those to break through to fourth tier, but having done so late in his life showed his more limited talent for cultivation. However, he had knowledge of how to run things and could provide advice to Kail. Makana had no left arm- though it was possible for Kail to procure medicines to help him regrow the arm, he had refused to use them until after the clan was resurrected. At first that had seemed to be a far off dream- scattered clan members couldn’t grow stronger faster than a clan with established holdings, both the land that they had for a longer time and the new holdings taken from the Anakoni clan. Fortunately, Kail had managed to receive the support of the Immortal Berserker Sect to help with his cultivation- and then the help of the Leipeka clan. While the Leipeka clan was growing stronger more quickly than the Macaio clan- along with Kail himself- the Anaconi clan as a whole wouldn’t grow quickly without their own land. Thus, they were taking a more risky attack now for greater future growth for their allies. Besides, it couldn’t be said for certain that the Macaio clan wouldn’t accelerate in growth somehow.
The army had almost reached Crilen, though they would be going around the city itself. It was likely that they would be spotted before they reached the Anakoni clan’s land, but there wasn’t all that much that could be done about that. The important thing was that they avoided being spotted enough in advance that the Macaio clan could call in reinforcements from their other locations, or any nearby allies.
Since they were close, the entire army picked up the pace- not enough to tire them out over just a few hours. They moved with purpose, eventually arriving outside the north end of the Anakoni clan’s land. There were walls surrounding the area, but there was a river flowing through the land- that was the primary featured that made them settle there in the first place. The river flowed from north to south- towards the Metal Sea, of course. As they approached the area everyone began to feel the corrosion, but it was nothing compared to being near the Metal Sea. Even very close it was only about equivalent to being half a day or more away from the sea. The lower tier cultivators needed to protect themselves, except the few from the Anakoni clan. It wasn’t difficult- the corrosive vapors produced were based off metals, after all, and the Leipeka clan cultivators merely pushed them away. All of the Immortal Berserkers could withstand that level of corrosion without issue- especially for a short time.
As they approached, the guards on the wall spotted them, opening with the firing of ballistae. These were similar in design to those possessed by the Leipeka clan, lacking metal entirely but still managing to fire bolts with deadly force. However, only a few of them were ready by the time the group reached the walls. They fired on those in front, which included Barrett and other Immortal Berserkers. Barrett was slightly hesitant to try to block or deflect one of the bolts directly, but he threw out one of the stone pits to deflect one. With perhaps a tenth of his magic behind it, it carried enough force to shatter the bolt. They were only meant to take out second tier cultivators at best- and Barrett didn’t have to use any of his magic to protect the structural stability of the stone pit.
It couldn’t be certain whether any magical restrictions had been set on top of the walls- it was expensive to do in all locations, but there might be a few that would attack anyone attempting to climb over or destroy a section of wall. Thus, the lower tier cultivators remained back while Kail stepped forward, supported by Makana, Kaylani, and another master from the Leipeka clan.
Kail turned to Makana, who nodded. “The river gate does not seem to have been changed.” From where they were, the hundred meter wide river stretched out to their left, flowing under and through large gates.
“Very well then…” Kail spoke confidently, and Barrett could feel how much he had gained over the years. “Tear open the gates.” Kaylani and the other cultivator from the Leipeka clan reached out with magic, entwining it about the metal gates. They had already been told what they would be doing- and how they should do it. Barrett could sense the magic tugging, but the gates held… then tore apart all at once. An explosion blew out from the gates, but what reached the group was blocked by Kail and Makana. Even though Makana knew how the defenses on the gate were designed, he couldn’t say how to perfectly avoid its backlash. The explosion certainly alerted the entire place- if the guards on the walls had somehow not seen them yet. However, they had only been around a very short time. “Scum of the Macaio clan! For your crimes against the Anakoni clan, you shall all die, and any who entreat with you! We shall generously allow any servants to flee!” Kail’s voice, aided by energy, carried over the whole compound.
That was the plan- everyone on the grounds would be killed, except for servants. Of course, with a force of their size they couldn’t completely stop everyone from running away… and they wouldn’t try. If they gave no path of retreat then the enemy would fight even more fiercely. Today, they just wanted to regain control of the land… further actions would be for later. However, they would still kill who they could- especially the stronger cultivators so that they didn’t have to face them later. The army ran towards the gate as cultivators of the Macaio clan did their best to hold the breach, but they had only been able to gather a portion of their force in the few minutes since the army had been spotted.