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599 – Snake King
Flying low over the swamp, I search with [Presence Perception].

That strange red slithery thing was indeed fast. But I’m sure I can deal with it as long as I know it’s coming. Its attack power was also considerable, but nothing compared to Lilixira.

“Givaaaaah!”

The death carriers shoot a barrage of [Cursed Flame Spheres] at me. The purple flames skim past my back.

“[Gale]!”

Aro produces a storm, scattering the death carriers. The winds churn up the swamp water.

As the water flies up, a giant snake is revealed in the swamp, its scales glittering purple. Like a death carrier, it has three eyes. It has a cobra-like hood and a golden head ornament reminiscent of a pharaoh’s sarcophagus. Bat-like wings spread out behind it.

『Wh-what is that…』

Is it different from the red slithery thing…? As I think that, the purple snake opens its mouth.

Behind its fangs, a creepily smiling magenta face can be seen.

『No way, it has a face on its tongue!?』

A shudder runs through me. I thought it was armless and bizarrely long. But that was because it was just its tongue.

But, now I know its position. I stop and turn in the air, swinging my foreleg to aim a [Dimension Claw] into the area around the boss snake.

A huge depression carves through the swamp, spraying up muddy water. But I don’t feel any feedback from hitting it… I guess it wouldn’t stay put with its position exposed.

Five [Cursed Flame Spheres] fly towards me from the swarming death carriers. I dive down to duck below them. Suddenly the water parts and the boss snake’s tongue, the magenta human face, shoots towards me.

It’s fast, but I was expecting it this time. I can finally check its status.

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[Merhotep][1]
Species: Apophis[2]
Condition: God of Madness
Lv: 130/130 (MAX)
HP: 2154/2154
MP: 1765/1765
Attack: 1842
Defence: 1369
Magic: 1756
Speed: 2058
Rank: A+

Divine Skills:
[Animal Realm (replica): Lv-]

Characteristic Skills:
[Scales of the Snake King: Lv8] [Grisha Language: Lv2] [Human-Faced Tongue: Lv-] [Automatic HP Recovery: Lv8] [Automatic MP Recovery: Lv6] [Heat Perception: LvMAX] [Soft Steps: Lv9] [Petrifying Demon Eye: Lv9] [Flight: Lv6] [God of Madness: Lv-]

Resistance Skills:
[Physical Resistance: Lv7] [Magic Resistance: Lv7] [Petrification Resistance: Lv9] [Poison Resistance: Lv6] [Paralysis Resistance: Lv6] [Curse Resistance: Lv6] [Fall Resistance: Lv6] [Starvation Resistance: Lv6] [Fear Resistance: Lv5] [Instant Death Resistance: Lv5] [Confusion Resistance: Lv5]

Normal Skills:
[Clay: Lv8] [Plague Breath: Lv8] [Curse: Lv7]] [Gravity: Lv8] [Pure Bite: Lv7] [Autoregeneration: Lv7] [Tongue of Defilement: Lv6] [Wide Quick: Lv6] [Wide Berserk: Lv6]

Title Skills:
[Final Evolution: Lv-] [King Snake: Lv-] [Former Magic Beast King: Lv-] [Shaman: Lv9]
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A+ rank! It’s a former divine skill holder!

Still, I’m relieved it’s not Legendary. If another one like the origin matter came out now, I’d have needed to seriously reconsider how would I proceed through this forest.

A maximum level A+ rank is troublesome. To make matters worse, unlike the death carriers, the apophis is a speedy attacker type.

However, even though it’s good at attacking, it’s poor at taking a hit. It would be ideal if I could leverage my stat advantage to land a single good hit.

If it was one-on-one, I could settle this in an instant. But it seems it’s determined to hide among the death carriers in the swamp and strike at me with its [Human-Faced Tongue].

I raise my foreleg to launch a [Dimension Claw] at the incoming tongue, but then stop myself. Even if I cut off the tongue, I don’t think it’ll do much damage. I don’t want to just wound it if it means I lose a chance to finish it off. Aiming for the tongue is bad. I need to look for an opportunity to strike at the main body.

“Veh!”

The [Human-Faced Tongue] opens its mouth, and black smoke spews from its throat, obscuring my vision.

[Plague Breath]! This [Human-Faced Tongue] can even use breath attacks! What kind of weird body structure does it have?!

I probably won’t be affected by the curse effect, but losing my vision is troubling. That was probably its aim.

“[Gale]!”

Standing on my back, Aro creates a small hurricane in front of my face. She’s kept the force of it down. Rather than dealing damage, her aim is to dispel the [Plague Breath] smokescreen.

The [Plague Breath] becomes thin, allowing me to see the [Human-Faced Tongue]. It’s trying to wrap around my body from the left.

I twist my wing to the side, blocking the [Human-Faced Tongue]. It bites into my wing.

My wing hurts, and poison flows into my body from the wound.

I force my stiff body to move, stabbing the claws of my foreleg into the [Human-Faced Tongue].

“Veh!”

It shrieks in surprise.

『Caught you!』

I grip the tongue firmly between forelegs and pull.

From the start, this was my aim. I abandoned using long range attacks so that I could reel in the main body.

The [Human-Faced Tongue] suddenly feels heavier. The tongue becomes completely taut, and its face contorts in anguish. The apophis is doing its best to pull its tongue back in.

『Sorry, but I have an overwhelming advantage in strength!』

I put more strength into my forelegs. The apophis’s huge body breaks through the water and flies through the air. Its three eyes are open wide and glaring at me. It probably didn’t think there was this much of a difference in power.

[1] – A name made from the ancient Egyptian word for beloved (mer) and peace (hotep)
[2] – A giant snake deity of chaos in Egyptian mythology, born from Ra’s umbilical cord – wiki




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