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The explosion and shield combo allowed me to move as fast as an arrow, but I could only move forward, and to use that technique underground was too dangerous, I could end up creating a cave-in. Thankfully, the Wind Blessing allowed me to run faster than normal.
Creating teeny-tiny explosions continuously, for light only, I dashed in between the stalagmites, ran over the water stream, took a sharp turn in the chasm room, and hurried back to the room in which I fought the mysterious wolf. Soon, I started to listen to breaking waves, and not long after, I saw a dim red light come from the room.
Once I reached the room filled with bones, I saw a dozen or so floating spheres of water, each containing a fainted person. And a three meters tall fish-man monster pushing an unconscious man down its throat.
No, it wasn’t simply a “monster”. It wore the blue cape of Arapaima…was that him?!
“Stop!”, I jumped towards the creature, pulled a punch, and-
“SWASH!”, the fish-man easily slapped me away with a water whip that sprouted from the lake behind it, as if I was but a fly.
I hit the walls of the cave hard, there was a loud crack, and my ribs were hurting as if I was being eaten from the inside. I’ve never been so easily defeated since I broke the first link of the chain.
The thought pulled my mind to the tattoo, and I almost couldn’t control myself from reaching for that strange power.
“No, I haven’t been defeated yet!”, I pulled myself back up, and approached one of the water spheres.
Only 2 of those bubbles contained still awaken people; the green-haired girl, and the mohican guy from before. If I could defeat the wolf with some help before, maybe this time I could team up to defeat my enemy again! And so, I tried to free them with shields and explosions, with my own hands and nails and teeth.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t destroy the bubbles, or pull those two from inside them. And they were quickly turning purple, drowning.
“Arapaima, that’s enough!”, I appealed to the fish-man, desperately.
Right when I turned to the one who wore the blue cape, however, he closed his mouth with dozens of needle-like teeth, cutting the unconscious man he held before in half. The waist and leg of the eaten man fell down on the ground with a disgusting wet sound, and spilled out his butchered intestines and bladder.
“…That’s enough”, I whispered, falling to my knees.
The monstrous Arapaima, however, ignoring my words, if he could even comprehend them, simply reached for someone else inside one of the bubbles, slowly pulling an unconscious man by the leg, and opening its huge terrifying mouth.
“I said that’s enough”, I frowned, my hair turning completely white.
It was before I fell down from the skies, I knew it.
My consciousness came back to me for just a few seconds at a time. And what I saw around me was bent metal, broken stones, cut tubes continuously spilling lightning or water, and many fragments of some kind of transparent crystal. As I drifted away from the scene, into the darkness beyond, the place revealed itself to be some kind of fortress made out of stone and metal, planted deep inside a spherical floating rock the size of a mountain. The moon?
Then, my eyelids turned heavy once again.
With control of a whole new element implanted in my head, I got back up, and shot a handful of pebbles towards the fish-man, the same way I did against the giant wolf. When Arapaima tried to defend itself with the water whip from before, however, a stone pillar sprouted from the ground and stopped the defensive magic on its tracks, and so, my pebbles tore apart the left hand of my surprised enemy; the tiny rocks first ripping off the creature’s fingers, then breaking its palm, then cutting off the wrist.
“Gluh?!”, the fish-man, losing the hand that held the planned next victim, retreated, blood sprouting from the removed limb. “Gluluh!”, it babbled out loud, and the waters from the lake raised up.
“You’re not the only one who can do that”, I said, and immediately after, the ground before the underground lake raised too, cutting the waters off the rest of the room. “Now, come!”, I covered both my fists in stone and threw the first punch against the stupidly gaping fish-man.
My first hit broke off many of its needle-like teeth, but it also brought the astonished creature back to reality, and it started to scratch and bite, and kick back too.
But it was useless, not much different from my fight against Sumixam, my power had grown exponentially, if not even more, and when I understood the abyssal difference between the two of us, I even stopped trying to dodge the attacks, but simply covered myself in an unbreakable stone armor, and let the creature tore off its own nails and teeth against my stone covered fists I used to protect myself.
My next punch broke the right forearm of the fish-man in half, and the punch after this one broke its arm, then the same thing with the left arm, and when Arapaima tried to defend itself with its tail, I grabbed the limb with both hands and pulled them apart, ripping off the tail from the fish-man’s back.
When the creature couldn’t protect itself with water or its limbs anymore, it cowered in the corner, screaming and lowering its big head. But I didn’t hesitate.
I continued to punch, again and again, crushing collarbones, shoulder blades, and ribs. And when Arapaima fell down, unable to even stay in a seated position anymore. I passed the stone protection to my feet and started to stomp it, crushing vertebrae, pelvis, neck, and skull. Blood gushed from a hundred punctures and cuts in the body of my enemy, then skin, muscle, and bones mingled in a purple paste that stuck to the sole of my stone boot. I didn’t register when the screams from the fish-man stopped, but when I finally stopped stomping, my enemy had been reduced to a formless pulp in the corner of the cave, unrecognizable.
Turning back to the trapped people, I was relieved when I saw them free. They, however, or at least the two who were still awakened, stared at me, shaken.