Chapter 846 Hard Times Part 2
Erlik\'s defeat had greatly affected the battlefield.
The undead believed that without their leader, even if somehow they managed to kill the Titania and her Fae guards, it would be a hollow victory.
They were unaware of Gremlik\'s contingency plan and were expecting that the reinforcements from the other city-states would arrive shortly to finish them off.
The moment one of Erlik\'s followers managed to disengage from their opponent, they Warped away with no care for their allies.
With the enemy side\'s number thinning and Kalla being able to devote her full attention to her minions, the Fae were quickly gaining the upper hand.
Phloria stood guard at the Wight while Lith and Friya backstabbed one undead after the other.
They would have loved to help Leannan and kill Gremlik, but the Titania kept him too close to her for them to have a clear shot at the Grendel.
Gremlik knew that as well, so he tried to finish the fight in a last burst of strength, hoping that losing its only means to interact with the outside world would force the Sapling to surrender to his will.
The Grendel had no magical equipment, but his battle experience was vastly superior to that of the Fae and so were all of his physical abilities.
Also, he had fed upon the Sapling multiple times, whereas Leannan hadn\'t got a single opportunity to rest.
Her fight with Erlik had drained her mana, which was the reason why she had opted for a match of pure strength.
Every time the Grendel struck at her, she could feel her body snap under her protections.
Gremlik was able to strike with the claws on both his hands and feet, biting whenever she came too close.
His whole body was a weapon, forcing Leannan to move her grip near the hammerheads to be able to swing them in time now that Gremlik stuck so close to her that she could smell the stench of decay from his breath.
She could feel her protections getting weaker, her body\'s regenerative abilities soon wouldn\'t be able to keep up with the damage she kept sustaining, whereas each time her opponent bit off a chunk of her flesh, he regained part of his strength and health.
Finish him! Leannan yelled, throwing away her hammers with all the strength she had left while making every single golden thread turn tangible.
Gremlik struck at her one last time, plunging his claws deep into her body and almost reaching the flower that was her core.
Even after becoming an undead, he had kept a Dryad\'s affinity with life that allowed their kin to always find their target\'s weak spot.
It was the Dryads\' only real offensive talent besides magic.
Despite his speed and the opponent being wide open, he could barely graze the flower before the threads sent him flying away.
Leannan\'s strength was so great that the hammers pierced deep into the wooden walls.
The golden threads were so many that they formed a net that restricted Gremlik\'s movement.
His claws and fangs ripped the energy threads as if they were made of silk, but it was still not fast enough.
A barrage of spells rained upon him from every side, depleting the mana inside his body.
Gremlik was forced to revert into his Dryad form since not even feeding off the wall provided him with enough energy to withstand the attack.
\'What are you waiting for\' Gremlik sent his thoughts to the Sapling.
\'Do you really think that anyone will trust you anymore I\'m your only hope.\'
To make his argument even more compelling, Gremlik made the infection stop hurting the Sapling, but didn\'t stop its spreading.
If he really had to die, he didn\'t want to die alone.
The sudden relief from pain gave the Sapling enough clarity to probe Leannan\'s weakened mind and discover her plans about getting rid of the Sapling once the fight was over.
The ancient plant folk cursed its bad luck and started to form a new contract with the Grendel.
The runes appeared on Gremlik\'s arms and shoulders, just before his body completely turned into dust.
Where the Grendel had been stuck until a second ago, now there was a giant hole that allowed to see the city outside.
Everyone had cast their tier five spells without caring for the Sapling.
The creature tried to talk with the Titania, but she broke their link by her own will, making the runes on her body disappear.
The undead threat is over. Leannan said in her communication amulet, speaking with the other Fae leaders.
I need your help to evacuate the city and take the humans back home.
After that, we have to take care of the Sapling.
A few days later, Laruel\'s crisis was solved and the city-state was no more.
The Sapling had tried to explain its reason, but had met only deaf ears.
Erlik\'s death while they were still linked had damaged its mind, while Gremlik\'s parasite had deeply affected its roots and compromised its body.
Even if it decided to completely exit its slumber and run away, the other Saplings would always be able to locate it, forcing it to spend the few years it had left on the run.
Lith and the others could finally return home, spending the rest of their vacation home.
Jirni didn\'t manage to find Manohar, who only reappeared months later, once he was done with his project.
Yet it didn\'t affect her career nor it influenced Phloria\'s trial.
Purging the Night Court out of Othre was still a huge success, something that had been considered a pipe dream for decades.
The prisoners that Jirni had taken and the documents she had recovered would give the Kingdom a lot of work to do in the future, easing the pressure that the undead invasion from Jiera was causing.
The Magic Empress, Milea Genys, rejoiced of all that good news, yet wished she had a few of her own.
The cure to Erlik\'s plague had still set a terrifying precedent, forcing the city-states to further isolate themselves and depriving the Empire of the plant folk\'s reinforcements.
The battle against Veeza the Lich was at a stalemate.
Both the Empress\' patience and resources were growing thin while she searched for a way to end the conflict once and for all.
Killing a goddamn Lich is nigh impossible! Milea slammed her fists on the wooden table where her generals had just finished setting the maps and miniatures that represented the opposing armies\' numbers and positions.
No matter how many times I defeat her, Veeza always returns.
Every corpse we fail to retrieve becomes a new member of her army.
How the heck did this situation never happen before
First, Liches rarely have any interest in conquest.
The only thing that drives someone to become a Lich is the obsession with the magical research since by the time one achieves Lichhood things like love or revenge lose any meaning. Leegaain explained.
Undeath clouds most of their mortal feelings, making only their obsessions survive.
Second, usually raising greater undead is a problem.
You have to feed them and you have to somehow keep them by your side since they have a will of their own.
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