In all honesty, a battle between strength-reliant warriors was not as exciting as one would think.
The two Second Grade dragonborn were of fairly high grades and were having a genuinely bloody battle. Every punch and strike would draw blood. Anyone would feel their blood boil and their emotions soar at the scene alone. However, the variety and strangeness of their battle techniques were far inferior to the Second Grade body refining adepts of the World of Adepts.
Though the dragonborn were Second Grade as well, the body refining adepts of the World of Adepts were all ordinary humans who had slowly climbed up the from the very bottom as beginner apprentices. They had made their ways past intermediate apprentice, advanced apprentice, pseudo-adept, and First Grade with great difficulty to become the Second Grade adepts that they currently were. These various levels were all testament to the process of change and metamorphosis that these human adepts had undergone.
A human adept could not compare to a bloodline creature like a dragonborn in terms of Physique, Strength, or regeneration even after becoming Second Grade. However, if the two were to fight in a duel, then the one to die would most definitely be the dragonborn. The final survivor would undoubtedly be the human adept.
The main reason for this was that the dragonborn had far too powerful innate talents!
A dragonborn would possess powerful physical ability comparable to a First Grade body refining adept even if it did nothing and naturally grew up into adolescence. In fact, a First Grade body refining adept was very likely to lose to a First Grade dragonborn if they took off all magical equipment and compared physical strength alone.
Yet, it was this extremely high starting point and powerful bloodline talent that caused the dragonborn to lack the refined and concentrated power of the human adepts, that had only come about through training and countless trials. The human body-refining adepts knew they had poor bodily foundations, and thus, sought every way possible to increase their power. They relied on all sorts of strange techniques and evil abilities to enhance their capabilities.
That was why even a mere First Grade human adept like Deserra could easily defeat multiple First Grade dragonborn warriors. The profound logic within this phenomenon couldn't be clearly expressed, but it could be demonstrated through practical action.
Take for example the intense duel currently happening between the two Second Grade dragonborn. The dragonborn warriors around them were exhilarated and excited by the fight, but the adepts were all frowning. They couldn't help but be exasperated by how these muscle monsters were wasting their exceptional talents.
They had potent bloodline talents. All they needed to do was direct their strength slightly, and they could easily be capable of many new tricks and techniques. Those two dragonborn, however, were like two blacksmiths. Trading axe blows for spear strikes, accompanied by the ringing of metal.
Physical strength was physical strength. Elementium power was elementium power. These two powers of theirs had not been perfectly merged together. Dust was dust and dirt was dirt; so clearly separated with such poor coordination!
They never tried to consciously direct the elementium powers in their bodies when they struck, and they only relied upon the elementium powers within their bodies to instinctually amplify their attacks. That caused their attack patterns to be overly uniform, and their techniques to be extremely lacking. There weren't many fundamental differences between a First Grade and Second Grade dragonborn apart from being tougher, stronger, and having faster regeneration.
That was telling of the attitude of the dragon lords. They had no intention of turning the dragonborn into an extraordinarily powerful species. Instead, they only treated them as loyal and useful slaves.
It also caused the adepts to be utterly disinterested in this intense battle that all the dragonborn warriors couldn't tear their eyes away from. Deserra and the other First Grade adepts were only amazed at the rising energy intensity of the explosions between the two dragonborn warriors. They held a profound contempt for the dragonborn's battle technique and skills.
The Second Grade Dragonborn of Lance were vastly inferior to the Second Grade adepts of the World of Adepts.
If Lord Greem went all out, he would have no problem exterminating two of these dragonborn with a single barrage. The only ones that could match Lord Greem had to be the Second Grade Dragon Lords of Lance. Moreover, even the Second Grade dragon lords with ordinary talent couldn't make it. They had to be Second Grade dragon lords with exceptional abilities and bloodline powers!
The impression of Greem as an invincible Second Grade fire adept had unknowingly embedded itself deep within the soul consciousness of the Crimson adepts. The process of this had been gradual and slow, causing them to accept Greem's extraordinary power as an absolute truth unknowingly!
Of course, many of the clan adepts held such feelings of admiration. It was merely a matter of intensity. Meryl was undoubtedly the most fervent and unyielding believer in her master. Deserra, as her disciple, had almost been affected by these feelings to some extent.
In contrast, adepts like Endor, Gargamel, Dana, Charon, and Billis had much more complicated feelings about Greem and his power. Regardless of what they thought, they still held a certain recognition of Greem's power deep within their hearts, along with the confidence that Greem would continue growing in power and strength.
These feelings all came from the battlefield that they were currently fighting upon!
They were only a group of ordinary adepts with First Grade power, yet they were able to stand tall upon the lands of another world, fighting for the future of the clan and expanding its territories. It seemed like something they had never heard before in other adept clans!
Planar wars had always been a matter of concern left to high-grade adepts.
First and Second Grade adepts like them seemed never to have been of much use in such scenarios, apart from being cannon fodder and foot soldiers.
Yet here in this other plane, where dragons gathered, and dragonborn roamed the earth, they were able to become the main force of the invasion. How could this not impress them?!
The Crimson adepts couldn't help but feel their spirits rise as they watched the battle in the distance. Their minds wandered into fancies about their future glory. However, as the mastermind behind this battle, Mary didn't dare let down her guard at all.
Her unexpected capture in the World of Adepts had already left a mark of humiliation upon her mind that couldn't be easily erased. Though Greem had successfully turned the tables in the end, that had also been the first crisis of life and death that Greem's faction had ever needed to face.
It was a crisis that had been created by her own recklessness.
That was what bothered Mary so terribly!
The choice of intercepting the dragonborn army in the Swamp of Sorrows this time had been a decision Mary decided upon after a long and patient discussion with Old Fox Vanlier. Naturally, Greem gave his full approval to this idea.
The Goblin Plane was only a start, while Lance was just meant as practice.
The Crimson adepts would be able to get training from Lance, giving birth to powerful adepts or even commanders that could lead entire armies. It would be a fortune for the Crimson Clan.
After all, the Crimson Clan had the metal fortress as their final shield. It was virtually impossible for them to lose completely, regardless of how many battles they lost. That was why the most critical objective during this rare period of development was to have the younger generations of the clan experience war and battle!
The duel at the center of the battlefield was starting to reach its conclusion while everyone watched on with anticipation.
The unknown poison that Commander Will had been desperately suppressing suddenly activated after parrying a ferocious strike from Zacha. The commander's organs were abruptly upset. In the blink of an eye, several of Will's vital organs had deteriorated under the corrosion of the fearsome poison.
Yet, a change like this wasn't easily detected or sensed on the surface.
The already exhausted Zacha immediately erupted with a newfound strength upon sensing the rapid deterioration of his opponent's physical and elementium powers. He launched yet another ferocious and violent succession of attacks.
Will, who had previously been holding his own, seemed to have turned into a toy deprived of its batteries. Not only was he incapable of countering with his own attacks, but he also wasn't even able to parry and defend himself.
Will quickly retreated under Zacha's quick and fierce strikes. His four thick dragon limbs trembled uncontrollably. It was clear that he was no longer able to deal with Zacha's immense strength.
Finally, Will's axe shattered from a charging strike by Zacha. The metal armor in front of his chest broke apart as a deep wound was made in his chest, piercing straight into his heart. The destructive powers of lightning upon the electric spear roamed through Will's body, directly setting off all the hundreds of other wounds on his body.
Countless streams of crimson and purple blood splashed from Will's body like a water pouch that had been abruptly punctured. The blood quickly stained the earth around him a bright scarlet.
Commander Will collapsed to the ground, his heart blown away, his organs rotting, and his front limbs broken. Commander Will finally managed to stand up once again after a long struggle, but the light was slowly fading from his dark red scales and skin.
"You win. This…this axe, and… my head. You, take… them both. These… are… what… you deserve."
Will bowed and lifted the heavy metal axe above his head with much difficulty in accordance with the most ancient dueling rites, and offered it to Zacha.
Zacha stepped forward and took the axe with a difficult expression on his face. He loudly exclaimed, "You are a powerful individual worthy of my respect. I will not rob you of your honor as a warrior. I will cut off your head and lay it upon the highest peak of the Stonetalon Mountains, allowing your soul to return to Dragonheaven."
A trace of gratitude appeared in Will's eyes when he received Zacha's acknowledgment and promise. Finally, the dragonborn that had been barely holding on closed his eyes limply.
No one knew when, but someone among the surrounding dragonborn warriors started humming and singing a strange song of the dragonborn. It was a tune that all dragonborn would hum when burying their dead. As the sorrowful and tragic melody echoed throughout the battlefield, an indescribable emotion grew in the hearts of the surviving dragonborn.
Their leader had already died in battle. An unmatched fear of Zacha had risen in the hearts of the dragonborn warrior. The crimson-armored adept that had temporarily vanished appeared above them once more. The magical machines had formed into a circle around them and were slowly pressing forward.
Even more powerful adepts had started showing up and were sealing off all paths of escape.
While the remaining sixty-seven red dragonborn were stuck in confusion, Zacha raised the battleaxe and severed Will's head in one swift blow. He held the head up high in his hand.
"Submit or die!"
His voice was loud and clear, rumbling across the entire battlefield.
"We will not surrender. However, we are willing to listen to your orders until our master Lady Philippa comes to ransom us." Deputy Commander Eden shouted in an equally loud but sorrowful voice as tears of blood streaked down his face.
Zacha raised his head and looked toward Mary.
This turn of events didn't fit with her original plans, but she had no choice but to nod her head reluctantly!