Lila didn’t even have to do anything as they took over the keep. Most of the enemy soldiers were outside on the walls, while they had almost a whole army pouring into the keep from below. Of course, that didn’t mean there weren’t any defenders in the keep itself. They still had people in the towers and the gatehouse- but they hadn’t expected so many people.
Lila hadn’t particularly expected this particular plan to work either… but William had been extremely motivated. They hadn’t finished exploring the tunnels… but after stepping into a few of them he had picked one and it had gone directly to the keep… as directly at the tunnels could go anyway. There were a few branches where different tubes met up, but William confidently strode down one without stopping to think.
Presumably he had used ki to sense where the tunnels went, but Lila hadn’t sensed it. But of course, if he didn’t want her to… she couldn’t. He’d even broken into the sixth tier of his cultivation technique- one he’d created for himself. Even the old lords were all at the fifth tier in their own techniques. While some techniques were stronger or weaker, William’s was definitely stronger- at least for what he needed it for.
“Headmistress!” One of the captains came up to Lila, “Should we be concerned about… that magic?” He referenced, of course, the magic that was moving all of the mana in the keep toward the upper floors.
Lila shook her head, “That’s just the Eternal King at work. Nothing to be concerned about.” Though she said that, it was rather concerning. This was the second time… the keep managed to replenish the mana in the area very quickly- good for defenders, but a weakness once attackers were inside the walls. Regardless, this meant that William was destroying a second soul- which could only be one of the old lords- within a few minutes of each other. It took a lot out of him each time… would he be able to handle it? On the other hand, he was growing stronger terrifyingly quickly, and the lords might be without armor… perhaps it wouldn’t be a problem. There was another bang, and Lila checked off one more in her head. That left… five.
Another captain came to report, “We have secured the gatehouse. The towers and roof of the keep are not yet in our control… we think there’s a strong lord up there, so we pulled back, as ordered.”
Lila nodded, “Good, we’ll keep watch down here. We will wait a short time before moving up.” Within the next few minutes, Lila saw another huge draw of mana, but she could not hear the resulting explosion. That didn’t mean much, since there were many feet of stone between her and where the sound would theoretically originate.
Lila waited another few minutes before a message came down from the upper floors. “Headmistress, the Eternal King says the inner rooms are secure. Three lords have been defeated and a fourth is… contained.”
“Very well then.” Had William needed to knock out one of the lords? Had he run out of energy? Well, they could deal with that later. Reports indicated that two of the old lords had been placed amongst the gatehouses along the path up to the peak, which left just one on the roof. She would have to deal with that one while the rest of the troops held off or killed the more minor lords and any other guards. Lila looked around, “Lord Thorston, if you’d lead the way…”
Abiel Thorston had taken over the lordship of the Van Cann family… who had mysteriously had their entire manor collapse into a hole in the ground. “Very well.” He nodded. Fighting his way up a tower would be a pain… but this was also the last chance to really contribute. Lila followed closely behind him. As they came upon the first defender, Abiel prepared himself… but he heard chanting and saw a quick fluctuation of mana… then the man had slipped and fallen. Abiel didn’t miss the chance to impale him through the helmet. The same thing happened to every soldier they faced, a quick burst of magic and… they slipped. This usually happened when they were just out of vision around the corner, but he saw traces of ice beneath their feet and felt a sudden sharp breeze each time. Well, if this was how it was going to be, he didn’t mind taking the lead. Stab, walk, stab, walk, stab stab… and then he was at the top of the tower. There were more people than he was comfortable facing there, but he wouldn’t be alone.
He stepped out, moving to the side to allow Headmistress Lorenz access… and the patterned continued as more soldiers poured out onto the roof. Abiel didn’t get to watch, however, as he soon found himself engaged in melee combat with a few other gevai.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Headmistress Lorenz facing off against someone in rather exceptional armor… one of those old lords.
Abiel parried a blow, then swept his leg to trip another opponent. One of the other soldiers finished that man off.
Abiel saw the old lord casting a spell. The headmistress appeared to be using magic as well, but she seemed to be less powerful- some of the mana near her that should have been under her control was wrest away, flowing over to the old lord.
Abiel blocked a blow with his shield, but didn’t have to do much else as the same soldiers came up behind his opponent and grabbed him. It was a simple stab at the visor to finish that enemy off.
Abiel saw the spell targeted at Headmistress Lorenz trigger. It didn’t look like anything he’d ever seen before, but he knew it was terrifying. The Headmistress Flinched and paled but… then there was an explosion. Abiel couldn’t see it, but he heard it. The enemy lord toppled over… perhaps struck by the invisible explosion. With that, there were only a few outnumbered enemy soldiers left at the top of the keep, and they were quickly finished off.