With their gigantic size, the sheer power of the Demon Fire Igneous Giants vastly outclassed the Purgatory Warhorses’ own, despite being at the same Star-level. Given that one’s size was directly proportional to his energy, one could only imagine how powerful these towering titans were.
“Oh right, what are the levels of those Warhorses?”
“The strongest is a Six-stars, 14 Five-stars and the rest are Four-stars. As for the giants, only one of them is a Five-stars, the rest are Four-stars.”
“Six-stars?!” That was a full tier higher than Sasani and Sinmosa, a Warhorse at that level had to have been a bigshot in its clan.
“The Six-stars is most likely an elder since any hunting party involving a Demon Fire Igneous Giant had to at least have an elder leading the team.” Sinmosa then proceeded to placidly state: “The blood of those giants can be counted as a rare ingredient to any fiendish creatures; even us Hellhounds highly value it. Moreover, while that elder might be a level higher than the giant, there’s guarantee that it can win either. One mustn’t underestimate the power of those creatures.”
‘So it’s like a RPG boss then? Even if its level is the same as or lower than yours, its attributes are still going to be a lot higher than any player, making it impossible for them to be soloed. Essentially, those horses are fighting an instance boss right now.’
With that comparison in mind, I simply couldn’t imagine such a powerful creature staying so helpless for long.
Enraged by the pesky Warhorses, the Five-stars Demon Fire Igneous Giants suddenly raised its head into the air and howled. Its boulder sized fist punched through the air, stretching out to its limits before crashing down onto the ground. With gravity boosting its roaring descent, the speed of the fist was a lot faster than before but it still wasn’t enough to hit the galloping horses. Yet just as I thought that was the end of that attack, a rounded rock wall, measuring five meters in diameter and over ten meters tall, sprang up from the ground and abruptly cut off the escape route of a Warhorse who had just rushed in to attack.
That unsuspecting horse gave the giant a rousing kick, smashing off a piece of rock in the process, before making a swift turn away. Probably still drunk in the elation of scoring a hit, the poor soul didn’t realize that its escape route was now replaced by a towering wall of death. Unable to react to the suddenness of the wall as it made its turn, the horse smashed right into the black wall with a force so hard that I swore I could hear its bones cracking even from 200 meters away…
“Disperse!” Having suffered a casualty for the first time since they appeared, the leading elder promptly commanded his clansmen to retreat in the language of the devils, in order to avoid getting hit by another such attack.
The Demon Fire Igneous Giant however, wasn’t one to care whether or not they were of the mind to retreat. From start to finish, its attacks had never once ceased, and the wall summonings had never once abated. By now, several other Warhorses had already been trapped by it.
“Blast it, to think it actually knows a skill like that…leave the biggest one to me, the rest of you go take care of the other two. I’ll go rescue our trapped clansmen so just be ready to receive me then.”
Realizing that the giant had entered a frenzied mode, the elder Warhorse knew that he couldn’t hold back any further so he ordered a retreat while charging at the largest giant.
As fast as a falling meteor, and just as bright, the Warhorse rammed right into a nearby wall with a frightening speed, penetrating it in an instant like a burning laser. However, instead of continuing onwards, it took an abrupt turn towards another wall, charging right through that as well, with just as much as ease. “Evacuate that unlucky fool, quick, I’ll go rescue another…”
The moment the word ‘another’ left its mouth, it disappeared in a flash, leaving behind a resounding boom in its wake as it crashed right through another rock wall. Just like that, the elder saved all the walled off Warhorses before finally stopping for a break, mouth heaving with each inhalation before exhaling out a mouthful of rubble a moment after. From the look on its face, it must have expanded the majority of its energy doing that; the following fight was most likely going to be a tough for it.
“Elder, you should take a rest first.” Seeing the elder in such a haggard state, one of the other Warhorses trotted up and tried to persuade him to rest. Unfortunately for them, this was no longer a fight that they had control over. Instead, it was the Five-stars Demon Fire Igneous Giant who held the absolute say in this fight.
“There’s no need for that, you lot just need to be careful, I don’t want anymore injuries.” Disregarding the advice of his clansmen, the elder charged right into what was destined to be a desperate battle.
As for the other two giants, while they didn’t have the ability to create walls, their attacks still contained a degree of Earth Elements within them. While they still weren’t able to directly hit the galloping Warhorses, unlike their previous attacks, these attacks now caused a change in the ground itself. With one forceful stomp, a wave of Earth Spikes sprouted from the ground. With one grasp of the soil, a giant Earthball was created and projected soon after at a nearby Warhorse.
Naturally, there was no way such a large ranged attack would cause much threat to the speedy Warhorses, the psychological effect it caused them, on the other hand, must not be underestimated. After all, should that two meter wide ball ever hit one of them…it would be an instant, grizzly death for that Warhorse. Thus, the moment that Earthball came careening through the air, all the Warhorses’ attention was instantly drawn to it, causing a slight delay in their reaction time.
Heads not being entirely made out of stone, these two giants naturally knew to take advantage of an opportunity when they saw it. Immediately, the two giants embarked on a furious barrage of swings and stomps while the Warhorses were still distracted, defense be damned. To begin with, was there even a need for defense? Their bodies were the strongest defense after all.
“To think those giants are actually this strong, even against over a hundred Warhorses, just three of them are able to hold their own…”
I meant every word that I had just said, truly, their strength left me in awe. After all, that herd of Warhorses contained a Six-stars elder figure, ten Five-stars over dozens of Four-stars. Exactly how strong did their body have to be to fend off such a terrifying force?
“It’s their racial characteristics after all, there’s no helping that. With such a huge body, they are able to output a large amount of power. Not only that, these giants possessed the traits of both an Elemental and a Giant. As long as they remained in contact with the Earth Element, they have an infinite source of energy that recovers their mana and health in a short time. Defeating them is going to be a tall task.”
“Then how were those Warhorses ever going to win?”
“Roughly speaking, there are two methods of taking down these giants. One is to use an absolute level of strength to suppress them and finish them off in a short amount of time. The other is to maintain a constant level of damage such that it exceeds their recovery rate.”
“So a burst of damage or a sustained approach then?”
‘That doesn’t sound all that complicated…’
“That’s right, other than those two methods, there’s no other way to take them down.” Sinmosa nodded her head before saying: “At least for us right now, there are no other methods but those two.”
‘To suppress a giant like that with absolute strength would take at least a Seven-stars Hellhound or Warhorse…as for the other sustained method…that’s not even viable without an army of a certain size. I doubt any of us have some method of recovering MP after all. Explains the sheer numbers those Warhorses brought to bear against three giants.’
However, reality was, and always will be, a capricious mistress that throws you a multitude of curveballs when you least expect it. A lot of times, an opponent’s strength wasn’t something that could be predicted; what this hunting raid was facing now was the best proof of that fact. Thankfully, the Warhorses had already accounted for this possibility by sending out so many Five-stars and even an elder.
Even so, their opponent’s new tactics had caught them off guard and had it not been for their prodigious speed saving their hides multiple times, who knew how many Warhorses would have been sent flying by a stony punch. This lack of familiarity with their opponent, while troubling and dangerous, wasn’t something the Warhorses could remedy easily however. Given the rarity of these lumbering creatures, was it any surprise that the Warhorses weren’t able to gather sufficient intelligence on the Demon Fire Igneous Giants?
As time passed, the battle grew ever more intense and the pock-marked ground reflected just that. Just as damaged were the culprits themselves, the Demon Fire Igneous Giants. However, while the Warhorses might have succeeded in smashing the giants multiple times with their powerful hooves, the damage they caused wasn’t truly effective. These creatures known as elementals had a special trait to them where, as long as their core wasn’t destroyed, they would never die, assuming there was a steady supply of elements nearby for them to feed on.
On the surface, their crumbling and hole-ridden exterior might seem serious to most outsiders, this degree of damage was basically nothing to the giant’s themselves. Had it not been for the sheer number of Warhorses, their attacks would have been nothing more than mosquito bites.
There was no real limit to the endurance level of elementals since they had no physical body to begin with. In a sense, they could considered ‘perpetual motion machines’. The Purgatory Warhorses however, were different. Each time they attacked, they had to retreat at breakneck speeds in order to avoid being hit. By fighting at such a blistering pace, their endurance was on the verge of running out any second.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.