Chapter 401 Battle Against the Manticores
The elite-level manticore howled out in pain.
Violent elementium flames ravaged its body, burning and roasting its flesh. All the hair on its skin vanished in an instant. Boils of all sizes rose on the exposed areas, exploding and sending blood splashing all over the place.
The elite manticore frantically retreated into the cave and deep into the smoke. No one could see the creature, but they still heard its pained cries and howls.
It had been severely injured!
Truly, severely injured!
That blow might not have been lethal, but it had been excruciating. That elite manticore was not going to rejoin the battle any time soon.
The Roaring Monster took this small window of opportunity to absorb as much earth elementium from the ground as possible. It then compressed the elementium and formed it into tough rocks to repair the damage done to its body. Meanwhile, Greem launched a few more magma fireballs at the ground. He set the entire entry on fire and bought a little more time for the Roaring Monster to recover.
However, the next wave of attacks from the enemy quickly descended upon them.
The manticores no longer attempted a self-harming charge with their bodies. Instead, two adolescent manticores flapped their wings, blew away the fires on the ground, and approached the Roaring Monster by climbing across the stone wall.
The limited space in the tunnel made it impossible for them to use their large movements and attacks. Still, their sharp claws and piercing fangs remained a threat to the Monster.
On the other hand, the manticores had no space to dodge the attacks coming from Greem and the Decayer. They endured all the blows with their defensive forcefields and tenacious Physique.
Every time the Roaring Monster managed to repair its stone armor, it would instantly be shredded and torn apart by the vicious attacks of the manticores. The Monster's stone body had been severely damaged. There were wide cracks and piercing claw marks all over the front of its body.
The elementium core used to create the Roaring Monster was still of slightly inferior quality. It was at an absolute disadvantage against these manticores that were just as strong and resilient as it was.
The Roaring Monster still endured thanks to its powerful crowd control ability. Every so often, it was able to launch its Trembling Earth and disrupt the rhythm of the manticores. This bought it some time during the fight to regenerate. Its stone armor also increased the golem's defense tremendously. Without these abilities, it would not have lasted this long against the manticores.
If it had been the Decayer in its position instead, the fight would have ended in a matter of a few minutes!
Despite all its abilities, the Roaring Monster was at its limits. The two manticores retreated from the battle, having sustained wounds all over their bodies. Two fresh manticores promptly took their place and started attacking the Monster.
The rocks it had gathered around its body shattered, while its stone armor and body were shredded and in tatters. Soon its core would be exposed.
It would be difficult to keep the enemy contained within the cave once they destroyed the Monster!
Greem had no choice but to have the Roaring Monster retreat and regenerate its body. The fire adept strode forward to stop the manticores, his body swelling in size with every step.
Greem had activated his Flame Fiend Transformation without hesitation. However, he had yet to unseal the Flame Fiend's Heart.
The appearance of the powerful Flame Fiend was torturous to the two manticores crowding the chokepoint. Greem might not have the same Strength and Physique of the Roaring Monster, even after his transformation, but he did possess plenty of defensive magic to spare.
The flames from his own body were a protection of sorts. Anyone that sought to attack him took fire damage when they came into contact with his body. Apart from that, there was also the Magma Shields, the energy shields from the Ioun Stones, and the burning Ring of Fire. Even a man made of stone would be baked into clay if he stood before Greem. What were manticores of flesh and blood before such overwhelming might?
The two manticores recklessly struck at the Magma Shields, gritting their teeth and enduring the barrage of Magma Fireballs as they did so. Their flesh had been scalded and burned. The flames, lava, and streams of fire all came together like a giant oven, roasting and cooking them inside and out.
The two manticores fled the battlefield as fast as they could once they had broken through Greem's Magma Shields and scratched his massive body a couple of times. The one to replace them was an intimidating manticore far larger than any one of them.
An overbearing killing intent pressed against Greem's face. Even with all the might of his Transformation, he felt a chill in his heart. Greem's burning passion for fighting extinguished quickly.
The manticore leader!
An elite male manticore!
Greem didn't dare hold anything back when dealing with such a strong being!
The fires on the outside of his body started to roil and surge around chaotically. The Flame Fiend's Heart began to beat at a wild rhythm as wave after wave of pure fire energy coursed through his veins to every part of his body. The flames on Greem's body turned from crimson red to dark purple. Evil and twisted power of the utmost purity surged forth alongside the abyssal fires.
This fire could destroy the soul even as it burned the flesh away. It was a wicked and sinister strength!
The manticore leader stood proudly in the sea of flames. Its powerful life forcefield distorted the space around its body, preventing it from being harmed by the fire. Its magnificent and regal eyes trained on Greem. There was deep hatred in them, but there was also something more. Confusion and incomprehension, and even more than that, the light of wisdom unique to intelligent life.
"Human, why do you invade our home? We have never hunted or killed any adepts!"
"Your land!" Greem did not put on an adept's air of arrogance when faced with an enemy of equal power. He gave the answer the manticore sought, "I need this land! I need the volcanic energies in the depths of this underground cavern!"
The light in the manticore's eyes flickered. He immediately knew that today's matter was not going to end well!
As underground creatures, manticores couldn't divorce themselves from the unique environment here.
Further down in the underground abyss they would only find more dangerous magical creatures to contest them. Many were creatures they didn't even dare to cross.
If they went to the surface, they would lose to the magical creatures there. They had neither the power nor the rate of reproduction to contest with those monsters.
In the end, only the uppermost levels of the underground world suited the manticores!
If they left this familiar land behind, they would fall from the middle ranks to the lower levels of the Black Forest's food chain. It wouldn't be them going out to hunt others. Instead, it would be their turn to run and hide from the pursuit of their predators.
The significance of this den to the manticore pack was clear and distinct!
The only way to have them surrender the land would be to step over their cold corpses.
The manticore leader no longer entertained any thoughts of negotiation once he understood their position. With a furious roar, he leaped at the massive Flame Fiend.
Greem lunged at the manticore with equal vigor and energy.
However, he had already swallowed a potion before he stepped forward. It was the antidote that Gargamel had specially concocted to deal with the manticore's paralyzing venom.
Greem pushed forward with both of his hands before he clashed with the manticore leader. A massive torrent of fire blasted towards the beast. The manticore took the flames head-on with its powerful forcefield, parting the flames and charged at Greem.
Scritch. Scritch. Scritch.
Frightening claws left deep marks on the Magma Shields floating in front of Greem. The fire singed the magnificent hair on the manticore leader's chest and instantly burned away.
His long scorpion tail abruptly struck at the Flame Fiend as the two held each other at bay. The hook-shaped stinger had some kind of armor penetrating effect. It immediately broke through the Magma Shield and embedded itself in the body of the Flame Fiend.
The two opponents let out screams of agony at the same time.
Greem felt his shoulder hurt and slowly become numb. By the end of it, he couldn't feel anything from his shoulder. The manticore leader's potent paralyzing venom also possessed the ability to cripple the soul. Greem felt himself losing control over parts of his body.
It was a slight and insignificant loss of control, but it did indeed exist!
The Manticore, on the other hand, howled from the fire damage he took from his burnt stinger. He felt like he had just thrust his tail into molten magma. There were plenty of Spirit nodes located in his tail, and it felt like his tail had been completely cooked in a flash.
Even though he was already injecting as much venom as he could into his enemy, it didn't appear to have much effect. While most prey would have collapsed entirely, it only seemed to have slightly hindered and slowed the movement of this adept.
Meanwhile, the Ring of Fire and the sea of magma beneath his feet were burning him.
Even the manticore leader could not endure such monumental fire damage.
After a dozen more seconds striking at each other, the manticore leader was the first to back away.
The tremendous damage that both of them had suffered in the short skirmish was only noticeable now that they had separated from each other.
All the Magma Shields that Greem had around him had shattered and a gaping wound had been torn in his chest. Crimson lava continuously flowed from the hole, transforming the ground into a small magma lake.
While he was the Flame Fiend, all this lava was his blood!
The manticore hadn't fared much better either.
It was almost as if he had been thrown into a volcano for a lava bath. Not a single piece of his skin was unharmed by the flames and lava. Every inch of skin had been burned and damaged; boils and blisters covered his entire body. The blood that flowed from his wounds turned to vapor before it could drip to the ground.
If it weren't because his eleven points of Physique granted him the innate ability of Rapid Regeneration, he would have had to retire from this battle.
The manticore leader put some distance between the two of them. He intended to catch a breath before launching an even more ferocious wave of attacks. On the other hand, Greem didn't even take a step backward. Instead, he gestured and grabbed the Scroll of Voodoo in his hands. The fire adept wanted to launch another wave of spells at the manticore without any pause.
Fire Core Explosion!
Two destructive fire spells instantly locked onto the opponent and devoured the enemy like an unstoppable storm.