Chapter 332 But Who is the Oriole?
The battle erupted!
The two knights were aware of the danger the moment they smelled corpse rot.
However, a black flood of bugs had already surged out of the bushes before they could get out of the river.
Soros knew what these were from his numerous encounters with Evil Bugs. These were no ordinary mutated bugs, but young carcass beetles that had been nurtured with human flesh. They might not be large, but their shells were as durable as metallic armor that was one finger thick.
The toughness of their shells was still insufficient to protect them from death. Soros could kill every one of them with a single slash of his sword. However, there were just way too many of them. Even Soros, with his crushing strength and power, had no means of enduring the surging flood of bugs.
The young carcass beetles had no extraordinary means of attack. They only needed to use their venomous fangs.
They fed on rotten meat. It was natural that the bugs' fangs also possessed venom. Toxins would cling to the wound where they bit the victim. The flesh would rot and stop the injury from healing.
That was why even a radiant knight had trouble protecting himself when faced with a swarm of these tiny, yet sturdy, bugs.
The already injured spellbreaker knight Sim had already been drowned in bugs after killing a dozen of them. Only a human-shaped pile of bugs remained on the spot.
A brilliant and blinding light emerged from within Soros' body. The explosion of energy blasted away all the beetles that had gathered around him.
A monstrous storm of energy gathered about his runic sword. However, he hesitated right as the powerful sword technique was on the verge of launching.
This one slash might cause tremendous damage to the bug swarm, but Sim had no chance of surviving the impact either.
Just one moment of hesitation and an intense pain shot up his legs. The carcass beetles had once again closed in on him. They had bitten through his steel boots and dug their claws into his limbs.
At the same time, a small energy storm erupted in the middle of the pile of bugs.
Bugs were sent flying in every direction, along with broken bug limbs and disgusting fluids.
Spellbreaker Knight Sim roared as he charged out of the mountain of bugs.
Savage energy flowed around him as he let out a battle cry. He grabbed a beetle with each hand and forcefully crushed them to paste with his bare hands!
Soros was surprised but happy to see this turn of events. He shouted at his companion, "Quick! Come over, and we will break out of this together!"
"Leave me," a severe expression appeared on Sim's rough face, "Sir! Attack now! Leave me, I… I can't go on…"
Soros paused, but he quickly understood when his gaze shifted to Sim's body.
Several bulges had appeared underneath Sim's muscular body and were quickly moving.
Some beetles had dug into his body and were wildly feasting away at his flesh.
Sim looked at the unwilling Soros as more and more violent energy rose within him.
"Sir, I'll be going ahead!"
Sim yelled and self-destructed!
The incomparably destructive wave of energy instantly destroyed an area of twenty meters, bringing with it pieces of bone and flesh.
Countless bugs were hit by the bones and gore as they shot away from the center of the explosion. They were riddled with holes and died.
The debris didn't hit the beetles that stayed at a distance, but the ferocious shockwave still sent tremors through their bodies. Their organs and brains were crushed to paste in the impact. They too were dead.
A single blast and nearly a hundred young carcass beetles had died along with Sim!
Radiant Knight Soros opened his eyes wide in anger at this scene. His eyelids nearly split from the strength he exerted. He no longer hesitated with the violent blow that had been gathering in his hands.
An even wilder and more powerful storm of energy exploded within the swarm of bugs!
The dome-shaped shockwave unfurled outwards, blowing away all the beetles. Nothing could resist wherever the shockwave went. It destroyed everything.
This attack visibly demonstrated the power of a Second Grade knight.
Knights, as a profession, might not have the agile long-ranged attacks of casters. However, they better trained at gathering and concentrating energy at close range. Adepts could never hope to rival the sheer destructiveness of knights at that distance.
After all, most of the adepts' energy came from the wandering elementium energies. These were powerful but unconcentrated. In comparison, every ounce of a knight's energy came from within their bodies. They had complete control over this energy.
It was why elementium adepts were doomed to death if the knights were able to close the distance. The reason bloodline adepts were respected and hailed as the most powerful was due to their expertise in both close and long range. Their ability to engage in bloody melees was no weaker than their ability to sling spells at a distance.
This left them with no obvious weakness!
Even Soros couldn't easily fire an attack as powerful as this.
If it had been in the past, he would only have needed to swap out the energy crystal in his sword. He would have been able to fire plenty of such attacks with the supply of energy from crystals. But now, they were dogs without homes. Where were they to go and find new magical crystals for this purpose?
Thus, Soros' legs gave way after firing this shocking blast using only the energy reserves within his body. He almost fell to his knees.
At that moment, odd rustling sounds came from the bushes in the distance.
Several gigantic beetles with black shells, green wings, and corpse spots slowly flew towards him.
Dammit! The real carcass beetles were here!
Two bright energy blades shot out of his sword. The two carcass beetles leading the charge were blown away, somersaulting through the air as they received the impact. However, no visible mark seemed to have marred their shells. They beat their wings, readjusted their positions, and continued to fly towards the radiant knight.
Dammit! These beetles were even tenacious than before!
Soros was a radiant knight. Those two blows contained at least fifty points of damage. However, these beetles were able to endure the strike without any noticeable injury. His face couldn't help but sour at the sight of this.
Fortunately, these carcass beetles weren't exactly the fastest things in the world. It was hard for them to surround and kill a Second Grade radiant knight unless their numbers reached a critical mass.
Soros didn't dare stick around. Energy surged to his back and transformed into a brilliant pair of wings. With the help of the wings of lights, he dashed forward. His speed increased again and again. His feet had started to leave the ground. It seemed he was about to take to the skies.
The wings were a battle technique the radiant knights had researched and developed themselves after long periods of contact with runic energy.
In the end, this was just another unique way of utilizing runic energies!
A black shadow saw Soros take the sky and leave the bugs behind. It quickly flew into the sky, like a blast of lightning, and crashed with Soros.
A muffled crash and a minor shockwave blew apart the two figures. Soros' wings of lights extinguished and he crashed toward the ground.
The mysterious black shadow fell along with him.
Soros' body had been enveloped in thick armor and surging energy waves when they crashed. Moreover, the speed at which he flew was swift. It wasn't hard to imagine the impact that the black figure had to endure himself.
The dark figure fell onto a bush.
Countless black spots fell off the body made of black beetles as 'he' scrambled to get on his feet.
Those weren't black spots, but dead beetles.
Even Acteon couldn't remain unharmed after the crash earlier!
The stunned Soros shouted in anger when he finally saw the mastermind behind the black bug swarm before him. One after another, threatening energy blades sliced towards Acteon's body of bugs.
Three carcass beetles flapped their wings and moved in front of Acteon. They used their armor-like shells to endure all the blows.
However, Soros had already lunged forward before they could recover from the attacks. His sword of light pierced forth several times in a row, instantly stabbing the beetles through their mouths and crushing their innards to pieces.
The carcass beetles might have had durable shells, but their insides weren't quite as resilient. All three of them died with a single stab of the focused sword of energy.
The stumbling Acteon hissed at Soros when he saw three of the carcass beetles, that he had so carefully cultivated, die. He spewed forth countless scorpions out of his mouth and lunged at the knight.
Soros waved his blade. The energy blades no longer fired at the enemy but gathered along the runic longsword. The consecutive slashes protected him from the scorpions.
All the scorpions that crashed into the storm of swords disintegrated and were minced to pieces. Pungent purple fluid splashed everywhere.
Soros continued to deflect the bugs with his sword as he closed in on Acteon.
His only weakness as a knight was his lack of mobility. There was no way to escape a siege other than to carve his way out!
As Acteon suppressed the knight's speed, the numerous carcass beetles had already caught up. It was far harder to break the enclosure now!
"Don't even dream of escaping now! Stay here and became part of my bug body."
Acteon shrieked in what was supposed to be a maniacal laugh. The ear-piercing hiss was painful to the ears.
The battle was quickly approaching its climax!
Yet at this very same moment, a gray-furred, red-eyed bat was crouching upon a tree branch two hundred meters away. It gazed upon this intense battlefield.