The Dark Witches wouldn't usually be bothered with participating in such a meeting given their usual arrogance.
However, considering that they still needed to borrow the power of the flying ship for their future venture into enemy territory, they had no choice but to patiently lower themselves and take part in the meeting. Moreover, there was a topic that very much attracted them during this conference. It was a topic that they couldn't wait for.
That was the splitting of the loot!
After two consecutive battles, they had killed and captured countless elves. Now that they had moved to a relatively safe place, it was time to make clear the ownership of the spoils.
A Dark Witch accompanied Snowlotus to collect a proper count of all the elven prisoners. They performed a comprehensive and detailed record of the elves based on their grade, gender, profession, age, and appearance.
This long list quickly reached the hands of Greem, Alice, and Uzzah.
Remembering simple numbers like these was no problem for the adepts and their supernatural Spirit. The list was quickly read through by everyone present, and the discussion promptly shifted to the splitting of the loot.
According to their prior agreement, the Dark Witches were to take a majority of the elven prisoners. They also had priority in choosing the prisoners. Greem politely invited Witch Uzzah to pick first.
Greem's humility flattered Uzzah. A rare trace of a smile appeared on her ugly and sinister face.
There were plenty of elven prisoners this time, and the quality of the 'goods' was extraordinarily high.
That was only natural. Be it the Jintha'Alor camp or the army of the Moonlight Goddess that came after, the ratio of combat professions was far higher than an ordinary elven village. That was why one hundred and sixty-two of these four hundred and twenty-seven elven prisoners were First Grade fighters. There were even twelve Second Grade fighters among them.
Of course, there was also one half-scorched corpse of a Third Grade god messenger and her complete soul.
The Dark Witches were indeed representatives of the sinister and evil witches. They had quickly pressed a high-quality soul diamond into the forehead of the god messenger Xenia right after she died horribly to Arms' lightning blasts.
Under the pull of the soul diamond, Xenia's soul that was supposed to return to the Moonlight Goddess' holy kingdom through the channels of faith was imprisoned.
The Dark Witches might be skilled at dark magic, but they weren't as well-versed in the arts of processing souls and modifying bodies as the Death Witches were.
If Xenia's broken corpse and soul were to fall in the hands of the Death Witches, they would, at the very least, be able to create a Revenant Banshee of elementary Third Grade power level. If they were slightly luckier, an intermediate Third Grade lich would be pretty good as well. Considering Xenia's former identity as a god messenger, an advanced Third Grade lich was not impossible, though somewhat unlikely.
If Xenia's soul were sold to the Pale Witches, they would be able to wipe away her soul's memory and assimilate her into an accompanying spirit.
A high-quality Third Grade soul would most definitely sell for plenty!
This plane wasn't the World of Adepts, where the trade of souls was forbidden. Those Third Grade Pale Witches were sure to go mad over such a high-quality soul if they could get their hands on it here.
However, Xenia's soul wouldn't be wasted in the hands of Uzzah either. It would be an easy matter for Uzzah to turn her into a Third Grade Shadow Assasin. Dark shadow golems like these that had no sense of self and only listened to orders were the best aides to high-grade Dark Witches.
Uzzah picked all of the ordinary elves, including the elderly and the young.
She had no choice. The elves with combat professions were most definitely the ones who were worth the most. However, the order that Uzzah had received upon venturing on this mission was to bring back an elven tribe that could continue thriving. For that to be the case, the elderly and youths were necessary!
A tribe composed of only adolescent male and female elves could not be called a whole tribe.
After taking all the ordinary elves, Uzzah took one-third of the First Grade elves and three of the Second Grade elves.
It wasn't as if she didn't want to pick more of the elves, but the subordinates of that male adept had captured most of these fighters during the battle. Given the situation, they could no longer be classified as shared loot for Uzzah to take. Instead, they were private spoils belonging to the male adept's faction.
The numbers of the Dark Witches was still a little on the lower side. Moreover, the chaotic skirmish had further caused them to be suppressed by the elves and incapable of unleashing their full strength. That was why the private spoils of the Dark Witches were far fewer than those of the male adept's faction.
Even the broken corpse and soul of this Third Grade god messenger belonged to the male adept.
After all, the one who contributed the most in the battle was that Third Grade thunder dragon, which in essence was a contract creature summoned by that male adept. Furthermore, the male adept had paid the price of three vials of moonwater to capture this god messenger while also sustaining tremendous damage to his flying ship along the way.
That was why Third Grade Dark Witch Uzzah was behind the male adept known as Greem when it came to his rights over the god messenger's remains and soul, even though she had also contributed quite a lot.
No one would ever say no to high-grade loot as attractive as this, and certainly, no one would be willing to part with it.
That was why Greem ecstatically put Xenia's corpse into the warehouse under Witch Uzzah's passionate eyes and put the soul diamond into his pouch.
Of course, Uzzah's contributions in the final fight could not be denied. Thus, Greem gave her two Second Grade elven prisoners as compensation.
After splitting the prisoners, the only things left were the elven resources and materials obtained from Jintha'Alor's warehouses.
These things all belonged to the Fate Witches, as agreed upon before the battle. That very meant that they were the spoils of the Crimson Clan as well.
After dividing the loot, the elven prisoners were escorted off the flying ship and sent into the dark and damp underground cells. Considering the truly horrible environment and the frail bodies of the elves, many tragic non-combat losses were bound to happen if they weren't transported away as soon as possible.
Thus, the Dark Witches and Greem's forces stayed on the isolated island and silently waited for the flying ship to be repaired!
Garan Continent, West Coast.
There was a small elven village hidden within a quiet valley.
There were no more than two or three dozen treehouses in the entire village, scattered across three massive ancient trees that pierced the clouds. Entwined passages of various heights had been constructed between the treehouses with elven nature magic, combined with vine bridges woven from vines and tree bridges crafted from thick, flat branches.
All the construction material here came from nature and the Great Forest. It didn't matter whether it was the platforms built upon the branches of the ancient tree, the stairs wrapped around the trunks, or even the materials used for the vine bridges. Everything was provided by the green plants here.
The bright and cheerful sunlight couldn't pass through the dense green sky above their heads, but the shredded shards of sunlight projected the greenery to every corner of this peaceful valley.
The lighting here wasn't great. One would even call it dim.
Yet, the fantastical scenery and the slender vine bridges that rocked in the wind were just so beautiful and amazing to behold!
Elves weren't a particularly hard working race.
Their longevity, casual and easygoing living environment, and their art-loving peaceful personalities were all factors that caused the elves to be extremely leisurely and lazy!
There were only around sixty elves in Rut'theran Village. Almost eighty percent of these elves were ordinary people that had not chosen combat professions. They either decided to become florists, artists, or organists; their pursuits were varied, and thus their choices were very different. Still, all their jobs did not differ from their essence as elves– a great love for nature and passion for life.
All the elves of Rut'theran would leave their treehouses in the evenings and gather upon the largest platform behind the village hall.
It was a place that the village had specially created to provide the elves with a place to practice archery.
If the elven kingdom were said to have imposed any requirements upon its citizens, then it would be the practice of archery!
All elven villages, towns, and cities had to build such a public archery range for elves in the area to practice. Every single citizen of the elven kingdom was also obligated to spend a minimum of one hour per day to practice their archery skills.
To better guide these ordinary elves living in peace and comfort, and to ensure that they didn't abandon the racial proficiency of the forest elves, archery instructors and war dancers were stationed in every elven settlement. They were to provide the elves with proper training.
Elves that performed well from a young age would be selected and sent to nearby training camps.
There they would be able to fight with talented youths from the dozens of nearby villages, train with them, and grow to become qualified warriors or archers. Those who possess spellcasting talents were sent to even further places to receive more systematic training from more professional druids and elven spellcasters.
If the central mountains of the elven kingdom were said to be a massive ancient tree with winding branches, then a small place like Rut'theran Village was like an insignificant whisker of the extended branches of this tree.
It was the existence of many such whiskers that allowed for sand to gather into a tower and for a droplet to collect into an ocean, forming the massive elven kingdom. It was large enough to rule over the entirety of Garan!
Evening time was the period that Rut'theran village used to practice archery.
Apart from some elves who were out on errands, all the elves in the village put down the tasks at hand. They left the flowerbeds they were tending to, emerged from their treehouses, and walked across the haphazard vine bridges to gradually assemble on the platform.
What they never expected was for each and every one of their actions to fall under the eyes of a terrifying and evil adept.
Countless beetles as tiny and light as flies beat their wings and flew between the green leaves. They kept a close watch on every elf in the village.
As the elves unknowingly gathered on the platform, a strange swell appeared in the earth near the roots of one massive, ancient tree; it was in a dim corner where no one could see.
As the black dirt broke apart, numerous fearsome bugs swarmed out from within.