The Lizard race was present within the Lowlands. It was, however, a threat to the far western regions of the Lowlands. As such, the only time's Lizard Men were seen near the Airom region were slaves. And they would be top-quality slaves.
"A lizard captain?"
"Grandfather. I believe that there could be a portal of some sort down this mountain. We saw armies of Lizards. We only brought these three for evidence.. But if you journey two days march down this cave, you would soon encounter those beasts! The lizardmen controlled these large lizards and even organized them. They had weapons, bows, and ranks. The vampires that went after us were too strong. But they all were massacred by a Lizard Champion. That's how we survived! We managed to kill this Captain as evidence. I hope you will all believe me!" Branze revealed.
The words of Branze drew a commotion.
An army of lizards appearing within the mountain would be a huge problem. The mountain was one of the primary resources for ores and materials for all human kingdoms. Losing it would mean losing the supply in the future. The mountain region itself was connected to the livelihood, the businesses, and the economy of various human kingdoms.
It was one thing to defend the fort of the mountain, it was another to fight an enemy that had bypassed all defenses.
Mezal's eyes grew cold.
"A lizard army?!" Mezal shouted.
"The vampires didn't seem to understand or expect it. They came looking for something else. But as it was the lizards who killed them, we were unable to find any more about their intentions. I would request for all human kingdoms to send troops to protect the depths of the mountain!"
At that moment, the expressions of the Champions grew ugly.
"You do not know of the chaos that has been brewing in the Lowlands. The orcs are moving for war. A large army is not stationed in Airom Logat. Our troops have yet to arrive. But war will soon break out. The news of the Eldrich that your grandfather has revealed has also been reported to some Midland kingdoms. The chaos in this region is only expected to grow. The kingdoms cannot afford to send soldiers here!"
"We don't need many! Inside of this mountain, there is a ruin of an ancient city. In that city was a large, powerful gem that released powerful magic! Knights! Show them!" Branze spoke again.
The knights brought in another figure.
It was a stone creature that had the shape of a man.
Instead of placing it like a corpse, the knights positioned it as if they were erecting a statue.
The group was confused why the group placed a lifeless statue of a poorly crafted man.
"The gem had certain abilities that shocked us! With that, we managed to protect ourselves for a time from the lizard hordes that tried to kill us after killing those vampires. For some reason, the lizards were being attacked, and init allowed us to create this creature. A Rock Golem!"
At once, the golem opened its eyes.
The group was startled.
The Rock Golem then moved and assumed a defensive pose.
"I ask a Captain Shield warriors to defend against an attack from this!" Branze requested.
"What?" The Champions were confused.
"Do it. Time is of the essence." Drake Vestitude suddenly spoke. All throughout the trip, he decided to follow Mezal as the numerous changes on the past day occurred.
Drake Vestitude motioned, and one of the shield warriors that was a mid-level captain raised his shield.
The Rock Golem then rushed in and delivered a powerful punch.
The Shield warrior was surprised that even his Force energy caused him to move back.
"This creature can be summoned in that ruin. This one was summoned by us and had been serving us for the entire time we stayed there! If we can summon more, we won't need to spend most of our men! These golems can defend that land!" Branze declared.
"Summoned?! This creature obeys you?!"
"Yes. The reason why we had to bring it is that whatever is down there was sealed long ago. These Golems acted as the last line of defense. I was barely able to make out a strange inscription left behind. The golems are bound to serve those that summoned it. Whoever created this wanted us to protect ourselves from the incoming horde of monsters that appear down there. The golems are bound to certain rules and cannot be ordered to fight or attack. But we found a workaround, and that's why we carried it here!"
Mezal listened and was impressed at Branze's explanation. Back when he was still receiving the updates from Branze through the Message Talisman, Branze had already explained the truth and the vows that limited the Golems from moving. As such, they had to bring the golem up so that the Rock Golem that Petra summoned wouldn't be guilty of breaking the vows that the golems followed.
The eyes of all champions were full of greed as they saw this creature. Captains weren't resources that they had plenty of. If a summoned creature has strength similar to captains, it will change the tide of the war.
A commotion erupted as all the soldiers and knights began to discuss the power of these golems.
"How strong is that?" Champion Ordeus asked.
"This is a Stone Golem. It could roughly fight a low-level captain. Iron Golems, which are stronger than them, can fight high-level captains, and some of the more refined Iron Golems could even match the strength of a Champion!"
"WAIT!" Champion Ordeus exclaimed.
"But... Right now, it follows our orders! I will speak to you all! My family had long been treated unjustly. We've always been pursued and pressured. Seeing that my father is being treated respectfully, I can guess that he finally showed his true power. Then I will tell you this! The golems are under my control! And while these aren't useful soldiers, they make amazing guards! I will offer this to you, kingdoms, but you must pay the price!' Branze shouted.
"You better not be lying, boy! And those golems don't belong to you!"
Branze frowned as he turned to one of the knights that belonged to a viscount family. It was one of the families that had hated the Steele clan.
Branze brought out a rock and handed it over to the golem.
The golem immediately threw the stone, and it struck the knight before it could raise its shields.
The stone sank on his mouth, and his teeth were sent flying.
"Does this prove my control over this golem?" Branze laughed.
"I've hidden the inscription of this golem and how to control it! If you want to control it, you go through me. Either you can torture me so I can tell you the location and means of how to control these golems, or you pay tribute and offer trades that can help my family survive!"
The Champion of who this family belongs to got angry and slapped the Viscount before the Viscount could recover from the stone throw.
"Forgive his presumptuous behavior, Brane Steele. I am willing to negotiate!" The Champion declared.
"As do I."
"Young Master Branze, we have a deal with your father. I will make it more beneficial as long as you can help us secure some of these Golems."
"I can do that. Only I know how to control the stone. Of course, I shall bring you all there and see that stone for yourself and even make you access it! I will prove to you that I am the sole controller! I will reveal this... These golems are born and improved by offering monsters as sacrifices. I believe that it has the same concept of leveling up. Through the offering of life, this kind of life is offered. This Rock Golem was formed from offering several Captain level!"
"Young Master Branze. Although I understand your concern for your family, the chaos in the Lowlands demands attention. Please bring us to that place first! We need to protect that city!" Champion Ordeus immediately ordered.
"... I understand. I will allow negotiations as we move down there," Branze spoke.
As the group began to move down the cave, several scouts were rushing back to the main fort with crazy speed. The revelation of the Golem City and because of the strange interference to send messages, everyone had to send back scouts to report to their respective kingdom.
The power that these Golems wielded could give rise to the family that held it. As such, the report was so crucial that most Champions were willing to lose their forms of communication.
As the scouts moved back...
Martha and the group were hidden among the thick fauna on the side of the mountain. The group had discussed some of the Mystery of Fate. Hunter revealed how he managed to control it and how his brothers awakened before their deaths.
The tale brought shock, sadness, and surprise to everyone. But as they were on the move, Martha only gave broad explanations to what she learned. Only Diana and Scarlet kept asking questions pertaining to Fate.
"It's here. The orc patrol is here." Martha smiled.
"I can sense Grugnyr now. He should know we're also near." Hunter also sensed it.
"Lady Diana. Do you have any suggested plans on how to attack?"
"Yes. I have already thought about it with our current resources and the orc ghouls that we have turned. There is also all those new powers that your strange job class has given you and the dragon soul. And so, we make use of a certain identity to help our family! Your newfound power is perfect for this scenario." Diana smiled.
"A certain identity?"
"I am talking about the perfect scapegoat for this plan. I want you to pretend to be the Blood Calamity by summoning those ghouls which you hid in your dimensional space."
Martha was stunned at Diana's suggestion.
"Of course! We add fear to the name of the Blood Calamity!" Martha laughed as he realized Diana's plan.