It didn't take long for the forces within Darknorth to congregate at the gates with Damien, Feng Qing'er, and Qing Tan.
Of course, they vehemently opposed at first when they were told about the forces they were up against and their number, but it didn't take long to change their mind.
Darknorth was in an odd geographical position, situated in a zone where beasts rarely, if ever, roamed, so the surroundings were naturally desolate of contribution points. The geniuses were even completely unaware of the existence of Demons until they were informed of the incoming force.
So these geniuses still had stars that shone bright silver or with a dull yellow hue that indicated they had just recently reached the Golden Star level.
For them, it would take tons of extraneous effort for them to find even a single beast, let alone enough for them to level up their stars. So something like a war, it was a perfect opportunity for them.
None of them wanted to be ejected from the Primordial Undying Realm so early. They would lose out on any sort of treasure at all if they were. As such, their minds were changed in that instant.
Damien didn't know whether to be disgusted at their ability to easily change their faces in the presence of benefits or admiring of the fact that they had the courage to participate in such a large-scale battle at all.
Like this, their original three ballooned until they had a little over fifty geniuses gathered together to face the incoming army.
That was around half of the geniuses that had entered the Trial World together. Combined with those that stayed in Astoria, Damien had met 3/4ths of the total number.
As for the remaining 1/4th, they were most likely dead or living in the wilderness while hunting for beasts.
Either way, he didn't really care. Even as his gaze scanned the crowd of geniuses, his face remained passive and indifferent.
He could clearly sense and see the mana emitting from their bodies, and frankly, he wasn't impressed at all.
'These are the ones that are called geniuses?'
He couldn't understand. They were totally average in his eyes, and that was a compliment.
But they couldn't be faulted for appearing like this. Especially since they were being compared with figures like Long Chen, Ruyue, Feng Qing'er, and Qing Tan.
Perhaps it was Damien's mistake due to the type of people he usually associated with, but that didn't change his outlook on the situation. In his mind, he was only being realistic.
'With their levels, they at least shouldn't have a problem with the horde of Demon Captains. If we're lucky, they'll get the chance to team up and hold back the Demon Generals.'
Holding them back. This was the entirety of Damien's expectations for the geniuses in front of him.
Sighing lightly, he briefly looked at Feng Qing'er, who was strongly commanding the geniuses and giving them orders, and Qing Tan, who was happily watching from the side.
When she sensed his gaze, she smiled at him and waved.
'That girl...truly no sense of propriety.' He shook his head wryly.
His gaze soon left his own camp and looked towards the Demon army that was speedily approaching. There was only an hour until their clash would begin.
About half a day ago, when Damien, Feng Qing'er, and Qing Tan had just finished defeating their respective Demon armies, a second convening took place within the pantheon at the demon city.
"It was truly a good idea to put the record crystals on those Generals before they moved. We were able to catch an interesting sight."
"You call that interesting? It's just a minor matter."
"Well, I can at least say that there are a few worthy ones among this batch of outsiders."
"Hmph. Worthy? They aren't even worthy enough to lick our Lord's feet. You dare consider them as such?"
"Even we are not worthy of such an action, but our Lord has still allowed us the opportunity. Anyway, enough of that. We did not gather to drown in our own arrogance."
"Indeed. It seems we must take care of this problem before it becomes a true hindrance for us."
"A hindrance? How low have you fallen to consider mere kids who can't see Mount Tai a hindrance?"
The man at the head of the meeting watched his comrades arguing with a passive look on his face. In the end, he decided to speak.
"Sigh, you lot still have a habit of looking down on everything and everyone. Being the absolute beings within this realm for so long had turned you complacent."
"It isn't complacency and you know it. We are beings at the peak of 3rd class. Even if we wanted to, there is no more area for us to improve without undergoing Universe Baptism. And due to the restriction, we have been disallowed from doing that."
"Indeed. Their power cannot compare to us in the slightest. Rather than us underestimating them, I think that you are underestimating us."
"Enough. Will you take responsibility if they end up becoming a hindrance to our Lord's plan? Will you dare to speak the same words at that time? We will take care of them now. My words are final."
"Hah, since when did you get to make that decision? They are just brats. Send a large number of Generals at them and they'll easily die."
"You are talking in circles due to your arrogance. If you don't want to go, then simply don't. Only three of us need to move."
The beings at the table glanced at each other, hesitant to raise their voices. None of them wanted to take on a task that they deigned beneath them. But in the end, three still volunteered.
"Sigh, I'll go."
"Me as well."
"If there's nobody else, then I'll go as well."
The man at the head of the table nodded his head. "Good. Kroa, Winthrop, and Polius will take on the task this time. Gather forces and head out immediately. Also, make sure to take the record crystals with you in case of emergency."
"Emergency? Do you truly think anything like that will happen this time? Even the three of us are too much to deal with those brats, so gathering a force is also useless."
"Right. We'll take care of it and come back with haste."
"Hmph. Didn't I say it before? We need to prepare for anything. If you all are forgetting, the Lord told us that there was another entity of equal strength to him in this realm. Or did you all forget such a major detail?"
Indeed. When they were reminded of the fact, their arrogance faltered. If their Lord could lend them his power, who was to say that that entity wouldn't do the same to their enemies?
Other than the fact that it set barriers around the human cities to prevent an easy slaughter, that entity had been silent this whole time, but if they thought about it, it could be due to the fact that the only beings it could support within this realm were mortals without cultivation. Now that powerful individuals had entered, what reason did that entity have to remain passive?
Although they didn't want to admit it, they were no match for such an entity. The three beings begrudgingly took the record crystals they were given and left the great hall.
In another hour, they had already gathered thousands to follow them. And with such a force, they immediately set out towards Darknorth.
Considering that there were only four human cities in this entire region and three had already been attacked, it was too easy to know where their enemy would be.
"Lord! Lord! Something big is happening!"
A panicked voice rang through the study as a maid barged through the door. Judging from her disheveled look, it was clear she rushed in a hurry.
"Oh? Something interesting? Calm down and speak, Trishia."
Although he maintained his indifference, a trace of interest could be seen from within his eyes.
Of the hundreds of servants that occupied his castle along with him, Trishia was one that he knew he could trust.
He had raised her from birth, after all. Even though she wasn't his daughter by blood, his love for her was only slightly below what he had for his own daughter.
But he was a man who learned from his mistakes. Outwardly, he didn't show a hint of emotion towards her, whether it be love or hate.
"Lord, the Apostles have made a move. Three of them are currently gathering a large number of Captains and Generals for unknown purposes. But from the looks of it, they are preparing for war."