‘So that Warwraith is actually some kind of hidden boss himself…fascinating.’
To be honest, there were a wide variety of rare abilities one could be born with. For example, those who were anointed with an original sin like Mo Na, or being born with an elemental affinity like Elena, Eugenia or Numila; they were all gifted individuals in their clans. However, while there might have been a wide variety of abilities to inherit, those who did were far and few between.
During the time when I was talking to Sinmosa, No.3 and Big 4 started duking it out with that Demon Fire Salamander.
For the most part, they approached this fight intelligently, choosing not to fight it head on but instead choosing to make use of their natural advantage of flight to harass the salamander. After all, just because their target was riddled with wounds didn’t mean it was a pushover. At the end of the day, it was a Six-stars.
The two of them took turns to hold the attention of the Demon Fire Salamander. While one attacked, the other would distract the salamander without even needing any sort of communication between them. Initially, this tactic worked spectacularly and the salamander was left scrambling about to try and cope their tactics. Even worse for it was the fact that the both of them concentrated their attacks on its injured limb. If it even lost focus for a single second, it would be instantly met with a couple of lethal attacks from the front and back.
Because its left front leg was injured, it had a limited range of movement available to it. Adding on the fact that No.3 and Big 4 were able to fly circles around it with their superior mobility, all the injured salamander could do was feebly launch ranged attacks at them.
Naturally, for a salamander at its level, it had more than just physical attacks in its repertoire. It had a ranged attack of its own as well, but it wasn’t magical in nature. Instead, this ability had more to do with the scope of its innate abilities.
Dive after dive, the two devils would take potshots at the helpless salamander who could only spit out pillars of fire at them, to not much avail. Because of that, we had the impression that those pillars were the only ranged attack it had in its arsenal…who would’ve thought this was exactly what it was aiming for…in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had even more attacks after the showing that it was about to put up.
Just as Big 4 completed another dive, confidence brimming as he soared into the air, he was suddenly onset by countless flame arrows that gathered together into a huge, blinding bunch of flames which soon exploded and engulfed him…
‘Sh**, don’t tell me he’s done for…’ Not only was I concerned, so were Mo Na, Sinmosa and Sasasni…
Yet even our most optimist predictions couldn’t be any further from the truth. With Big 4 as its core, the flames started rapidly fizzling out until only Big 4 was left floating in the air as before, not only uninjured but looking even more radiant than before.
‘Don’t tell me he ate those flames…if that’s the case, I would have to thank that salamander then.’
“I guess flames really can’t harm a Flame Devil, in fact, they feed the devil energy instead…but still…did the salamanders always possess such a long ranged attack?”
“I’ve never encountered such a case before.” Sinmosa answered immediately, without any hesitation whatsoever. “Perhaps that’s its own unique ability. After all, for a salamander to survive for so long under the onslaught of those Warhorses, it had to have something special in its arsenal.”
“Mhm. That sneak attack was really well executed, if Big 4 hadn’t evolved into a Infant Flame Devil, he would have probably died then. Even a Flame Demon Childe’s fire resistance isn’t even to cope with a conflagration of that magnitude.”
Once we discovered that its ranged attacks weren’t going to harm them but instead help them, No.3 and Big 4 immediately dropped their wary stance. Clearly, with all of its ranged attacks ineffective, that salamander probably wasn’t going to try and launch anymore ranged attacks at them. In all likelihood, this battle was going to be decided with a melee. While No.3 and Big 4 knew some fire attacks as well, that salamander had its own fire resistance so they couldn’t deal it any effective damage either.
Once again targeting its crippled limb, No.3 and Big 4 split up once more, each taking up a flank as they cycled through their attacks, one from the left and the other from the right.
No.3 dove in, winds rushing around him as he delivered a resounding swipe at the crippled front left limb. Seeing that, the salamander immediately turned its sight onto the offending devil and counterattacked. On the other hand, while the salamander was distracted, Big 4 took the opportunity to sneak a swift punch and kick to its soft underbelly.
Naturally, the salamander was able to sense his approach but it simply didn’t have to ability to react because of its injuries. Trying to cover its belly and limb at the same time, the salamander nearly collapsed onto the ground thanks to its awkward positioning. By the time it was able to stabilize itself and raise its head once more, it was met with the taunting gazes of No.3 and Big 4…
With the way the two of them pestered the salamander, I wouldn’t be surprised if it just got annoyed to death at this point.
My eyes were completely glued to the fight right now. It was then that Sinmosa coldly muttered: “Weak…”
“That salamander, it’s too weak. There’s no way a Six-stars Demon Fire Salamander could be so weak. Furthermore, just look at the way it keeps trying to protect its underbelly. From its standpoint, it would make more sense to just try and take down No.3 who keeps trying to attack its injured limb. Big 4’s attacks might be powerful, but they aren’t at the level where its own defenses couldn’t handle them unless…”
‘Deliberating protecting its underbelly…appearing in a region where it shouldn’t be…why does this remind me of something.’
I turned my gaze onto its belly and gave it a hard look. There, I found no wounds whatsoever…even though its body was covered in cuts all over and drenched in blood, only that particular region of its body was completely clean.
“Is that a male or a female salamander?”
“A female.” Sinmosa immediately answered. While I wasn’t the best at recognizing a creature’s gender, Sinmosa clearly wasn’t the case.
“Is it pregnant?”
“That…I can’t tell.” She answered albeit with a slightly exasperated look. In her mind, she was probably saying to herself, how would she know…not like she was some kind of gynecologist for beasts…
Since she had no way of telling if the salamander was pregnant or not, it was now up to me and my well-honed soul sensing abilities. Because of the salamander’s significantly higher strength, I initially wasn’t able to get much information from her soul. However, because of her serious injuries, I managed to make out a sea of soul fragments wandering about in her body, after some digging on my part. Normally, a soul only had one soul within its body, if there was more than one soul living within that body, then it would be safe to say that the creature in question was pregnant…naturally, I was an exception to this rule…
“Don’t tell me…it’s about to give birth, isn’t it…”
That was the only possibility I could think of at the moment. The reason for her uncharacteristic behavior must have been precisely because of that; in order to stabilize her birth, this salamander came looking for Flamegrass from Warhorse territory. The Warhorses must have stumbled on her and she ended up as their prey… ‘So the salamanders like Yosuga no S*ra too…ahem, I think all that talk about blood relations is starting to get to me…not everything related to Flamegrass has to be about Yos*ga no Sora…’
“Stop!” I yelled out to the two of them. “Come back for now.”
With that possibility in mind, I immediately halted their attacks. Still basking in the elation of being able to bully someone of a higher Stars level than them, my sudden command stunned them for a moment but the both of them soon recovered and returned to my side without any hesitation.
By now, the salamander was basically a defeated lizard, completely unable to retaliate at all, or perhaps she simply chose not to, out of concern for its child. Prior to this, she had basically given up on all forms of attack and was busy protecting her own belly while crawling forward relentlessly. Unfortunately, her crippled left front leg meant that she could only slowly hobble forward with three of her limbs. With two devils harassing her from the side, it took all her attention and effort just to maintain some semblance of balance in her crawls. She knew she mustn’t fall, else the first to make contact with the ground would undoubtedly be her belly…should that ever happen, that egg in her belly would definitely crack under the sudden force…
“Master, we’re back.”
As they landed beside me, the both of them had a look of confusion on their faces. In their minds, they probably weren’t able to comprehend why I recalled them when the battle was about to end. Their foe clearly had no way of resisting so victory was merely a matter of time.
To me however, it wasn’t a matter of victory at all. What we were doing was ganging up on a pregnant mother who was ready to give up her life for her baby. No matter who it was, or what they were, this show of motherly affection was universal. For us to act against such a mother would just be…
Besides, we didn’t actually have any sort of blood feud with this salamander; all she did was make fun of me for a second or so. Now that I had taught her a lesson, there really wasn’t a point in attacking her anymore.
‘As they say, the cycle of hatred and all that…heh heh, just look at me, repaying her belligerence with magnanimity…I know, I’m such a noble guy.’
“Let’s go, it won’t be able to block our way anymore.”
The moment I said that, everyone, including Mo Na and Cinderel, gave me a bewildered look as if I had just done something inexplicable…
“What’s up with you guys?”
‘I’ll be honest here, that look you guys are giving me right now, creeps me out. Don’t tell me you guys all got possessed or something…’