Published at 2nd of April 2024 01:31:41 PM

Chapter 67

If audio player doesn't work, press Stop then Play button again

“It must sting to see your doomsday monster get stopped by someone you deem weak,” Aisha taunted. Above her was Kargon’s flaming giant form as it stretched to deliver a powerful punch against Atlas’s face.

Aeraza kept his guard up but his distracted focus was obvious. Rage filled him at the sight of a lowly half-elf manifesting an enviable form. For it to be on par with the demon king’s creation was beyond belief. Such an obvious opponent made it difficult for Atlas to focus on his master’s orders. The chosen one remained in the beast’s sight; as did the manmade inferno guarding her. It was clear that attacking the woman was impossible without taking down her companion. The assessment took the mutant demon far longer than anyone else involved. Kargon immediately struck with two quick jabs followed by a straight.

Embers showered the smaller beings but Aisha seemed to enjoy it. Sparks of lightning around her caught the falling flames. Thin black tendrils whipped off Aeraza to swat away the sparks. The ground shook with each impact between the goliaths. However, only Atlas retained damage from each strike. Kargon felt pressure on his limbs when they were hit but not a scratch appeared on him. Though the astral giant form was causing issues of its own which the monk ignored. Instead he continued to throw haymakers in hopes of breaking the shell around his opponent.

There was no more chatter from the demon king. Only the sound of bludgeoning echoed around the cliff. Aisha was no longer frozen in fear. Nothing could pull her attention from Aeraza even if he hoped to. It was guaranteed that Kargon would handle any unforeseen issues. Lightning danced along Valefor as Aisha swung it to her left. Anyone else in such a stance would be defenseless but her speed bypassed such a flaw. One step forward balanced her. The next made her vanish as she broke into a sprint. Only Aeraza could keep track of the speedster and blocked the incoming attack. There was no hesitation as the swords clashed and Aisha redirected her blade for a follow up. Rapid attacks struck the demon king from every angle. It was as though the adventurer was dancing around her adversary without a care. Openings that she couldn’t see before became clear. It especially helped that the earth shaking fight overhead hindered Aeraza.

It wasn’t that the demon king couldn’t keep his footing. Rather, he wasn’t expecting Atlas’s arms to repeatedly land nearby. The massive slabs blocked Aeraza’s movements while simultaneously improving Aisha’s. It didn’t take a second to realize why. Kargon fought in a manner focused on using Atlas’s unfamiliarity with its form against it. Every clash resulted in one of its arms planted firmly on the cliff. Deep divots formed in the land and forced the smaller beings aside. Aeraza tracked Aisha but wasn’t prepared for her nimble maneuvers. Leaping off the large arm, she spun and kicked the demon king’s head. She landed with a crouch and slashed through the armor on his legs.

He groaned and pulled his sword high over his head. With a fierce chop it cut into the ground. Aisha dodged it without issue. It was expected as Aeraza rushed forward and grabbed her by the neck. Though she choked for air, Aisha didn’t falter. Heavy feet planted against her opponent’s chest as she tried to kick him back. But there was no chance to produce force. Aeraza slammed the warrior headfirst into the ground. Blood burst from a gash on Aisha’s head as the monster pulled her back up. This time she didn’t show her next move. A swing of her blade was immediately caught. While the demon king focused on it, Aisha screamed. Lightning erupted from her mouth and bore into Aeraza’s face before exploding. The shock made him release his target. However, her landing was met with a heavy greatsword to her right arm. It dug into her skin before she could break away. Lightning could only seal edges of the cut as blood poured out. Adrenaline was at an all time high as Aisha’s focus refused to waver.

“Well-laid plans might come to fruition but that doesn’t mean they can’t be messed with.” she smirked as blood trickled from her lip.

“Contingencies exist for this very reason,” Aeraza growled.

“You have a contingency for a flaming giant? Because let me tell you, even I didn’t know Kargon could do that.”

“I’ll simply take him under my control after I finish with you.”

It was infuriating to see a slight upward curl to Aeraza’s lips as he looked over Kargon’s astral form. By now Aisha knew that it might be possible for the demon king to take control of anyone. But she’d be damned if he had the chance to engage with anyone else. This cliff would be his burial ground.

Sparks flew as their blades collided once again. They were too fast to see but it didn’t matter as Kargon’s eyes couldn’t leave Atlas. The lumbering monster wasn’t much for hand to hand combat but its eyes blasted a random assortment of spells. At first only some of them affected the flaming behemoth. But as time passed, Atlas figured out what worked and only used those spells to damage the astral entity. Each portion that was torn away quickly recovered at the expense of mana and more burns across Kargon’s right arm. Worse yet were the few eyes looking at the monk’s real body. Blasts of ice pierced through the flaming shield. Frozen beams felt cutting. The sharp decline in temperature caused a forceful reaction that reopened old wounds. Nevertheless, Kargon didn’t falter. Pain and suffering was evident on both sides. Blood poured from massive burns across Atlas’s body. Shattered plates were jammed into its muscles and further hindered its movement.

Suddenly, Atlas stood straight and all its eyes looked at the astral giant’s chest. Hesitantly, Kargon looked down. It was now he realized that except for his magical form, nothing was standing in the way of the mutant demon and the rest of the battlefield. Familiar high pitched humming emanated from hundreds of deep black orbs. There was no telling what it was except for the source. Mana collected near Atlas’s many eyes as small beams fired from them. While they were short-lived, it was clear they weren’t the last. Something powerful was coming and it wouldn’t do to wait and see.

Kargon lunged forward and planted his astral right arm on the monster’s head. It blocked out most of it but the pain of the blasts traveled through his senses to his real body. Nevertheless, he pushed on. Energy gathered and a massive black beam fired out of the monster’s face which threatened to tear off the monk’s limb. It took all his effort but Kargon could push the head back as the beam ripped through his arm. The beam had a moment to cut across the battlefield, taking fifty Vethyean soldiers with it.

For a short moment, the monk hesitated. Eviscerated corpses littered the ground marked by the dark beam. Fear was evident in the eyes of survivors nearby. Yet they grit their teeth and carried on. Tears didn’t flow from sorrowful faces. Fierce attacks were all they could use to release the tension felt. Rage was all that kept them sane as the blood of allies poured over them.

A guttural roar emanated from Kargon as he slapped his left hand on Atlas’s face and brought it down against the cliff. Rageful pounding slammed it repeatedly into the dirt as inky blood pooled out. Eyes exploded under the intense heat and pressure. Flames erupted outward each time a fist crushed parts of the beast. Atlas couldn’t move its head but still flailed its arms in order to beat the overpowering astral being. Each hit rattled Kargon’s head. Bruises quickly formed throughout his body but he wouldn’t let up. Even Aeraza was stunned at the furious display from the hero.

“What an unbecoming display,” he said plainly.

“It’s what’s needed to protect everyone. You wouldn’t understand,” Aisha replied.

“It’s a waste of strength.”

“It’s more strength than you could muster.”

Those words struck a cord that Aisha wasn’t expecting. Another shift of Great Sunderer returned it back to greatsword form. Heavy footsteps carried Aeraza forward. They were so slow and deliberate that it felt like he was asking Aisha to retaliate. It was obviously a setup. But not reacting meant taking the brunt of the demon king’s attack. Playing into the trap was awful but the best option. As she blocked the strike, Aeraza let the sword bounce back. It went far enough to hang over him before he dropped it. A forceful step forward pushed the adventurer back and blinded her to the transformation. There was no chance to figure out its form as she had to block one powerful punch and dodge the following one immediately after. With both arms extended out and blinding Aisha’s view, the demon king struck. Great Sunderer had taken the form of a dagger and fallen into Aeraza’s waiting tail. It weaved around his shoulder. Aisha had no chance to move. The blade stabbed directly into her prosthetic eye before slashing downward along her scar. Almost instantly, the lightning around her vanished. There were no minute vibrations blurring her movements. The air escaped Aisha as pain surged through her eye.

Aeraza pushed the adventurer back while retrieving his dagger and roared. “You dare lecture me about strength?! You waste what little you have on weaklings!” The weapon transformed in his hand as he continued. “Kharim had more abilities than you! Both magic and martial prowess were his to command! You pale in comparison to the point that you can’t even face me alone!” He pointed the sword at Aisha’s bleeding eye socket where the prosthetic remained dormant. “You rely on the weapon of a dead man without knowing its true power! You require a crutch just to imitate his strength!”

Silence invited Aeraza to keep speaking but it seemed he’d run out. Nothing was said as he stared at the wounded warrior. But there wasn’t an inkling of fear as she stood in the presence of the demon king. Ferocity remained in Aisha’s glare as she faced the beast baring its fangs at her. He took one step but stopped at the sound of thunder.

Clouds gathered overhead as Aisha raised her sword forward to match Aeraza. Heavy thunderclaps pounded in unison with Kargon’s beating. Static in the air raised Aisha’s hair as her temper flared. Finally, a bolt of lightning streaked down and collided with her blade. Not a single bit of silver light was present. Violet bursts of electricity hugged her entire body. The air itself vibrated around her. Pebbles hopped from the rapid discharge.

“I should thank you, Aeraza,” Aisha said with light flashing in her single working eye. “You’re right that I’m not Kharim. However, he was a hero that protected the weak. That’s something we have in common. That’s what allowed him to master Valefor. Up until now, I wasn’t fighting on his scale; not really. But facing you, here, that’s something he could do. Something I’ve been doing.” She shook her head and smirked. “It’s a given that I’ve mastered Valefor. I’m the chosen one, after all.”

Please report us if you find any errors so we can fix it asap!