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717 – The Broken Beast
After parting with Aro and treant… all I see stretching out below me as I fly forwards is a vast desert covering the land.

『…I found Harenae first, huh.』

The kingdom of Ardesia and Harenae are close to each other. The country of Harenae itself isn’t that big, but if the desert is included, it’s rather large.

If I continue flying in this direction, I’ll eventually arrive in one of Ardesia or Harenae. Even if I end up overshooting, I should be able to correct my path as long as I can gather information in some other human territories.

I enter the desert and look around for the Harenae city. The once seemingly all-encompassing Harenae desert looks like it can be crossed in less than half a day with my flight speed as an apocalypse.

The sight of the desert feels somewhat nostalgic to me. I’d gone around defeating the red ants, only to end up cooperating with them. Even the giant centipede that had thoroughly chased me around virtually a baby to my abilities now.

I catch sight of the Harenae city in the distance. Countless rectangular buildings fill the space beyond its towering walls. I get hit with nostalgia at the familiar scenery.

Suddenly, a thunderous roar reaches my ears, even with me still far away in the sky.

The ground shakes violently and a gigantic shockwave bisects Harenae. An enormous fissure, like the walls of a tall cliff, are left in its wake.

…I was correct in coming for Harenae, huh. It doesn’t look like I have time to reminisce.

Saint Jornes was quite the monster, but it seems like the enemy this time isn’t a run-of-the-mill opponent either. If I pick a fight with something with such ridiculous power, the entire country of Harenae might crumble just from the aftershocks of our blows. I suppose it’s a near miracle that I’ve arrived while Harenae is still mostly intact. It can be said that it’s a silver lining.

I immediately increase my speed, heading for the tip of the fissure splitting Harenae.

A gigantic monster in the shape of a lion around my size stands in the centre of the city. It has dark blue fur, and squishy red-black tentacles extending out from all over its body.

Its face looks like that of a lion’s, but is also strangely human-like. A large mouth is also open wide in its chest.

I don’t remember there being a monster that looked like that when that God’s Voice bastard sent those [Spirit Servants] out, though…

However, Saint Jornes’ true form was that of a monster that looked like a giant statue. So then, maybe this is the true form of the giant armour I remember seeing.

From the armour it was wearing, I guess this is a former Hero. It fits too, as this place is Harenae, the land of Heroes.

I look him over with [Status Inspection] from afar.

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
[Ares Argreil]
Species: Taotie
Condition: Spirit
Lv: 140/170 (Lock)
HP: 16423/17292
MP: 12635/12963
Attack: 12105
Defence: 8214
Magic: 4755
Speed: 3026
Rank: L+ (Upper Legendary)

Divine Skills:
[Human Realm (Replica): Lv-] [Animal Realm (Replica): Lv-] [Asura Realm (Replica): Lv-] [Hungry Ghost Realm (Replica): Lv-] [Naraka Realm (Replica): Lv-]

Characteristic Skills:
[Automatic HP Recovery: LvMAX] [Automatic MP Recovery: LvMAX] [Grisha Language: LvMAX] [Flames of Antipathy: Lv-] [Divine Beast’s Sturdy Hide: LvMAX] [Divine Beast: Lv-] [Petrifying Demon Eye: LvMAX] [Tentacle: LvMAX] [Poison Sash: LvMAX]

Resistance Skills:
[Physical Resistance: LvMAX] [Magic Resistance: LvMAX] [Poison Nullification: LvMAX] [Paralysis Nullification: LvMAX] [Confusion Resistance: LvMAX] [Petrification Resistance: LvMAX] [Instant Death Resistance: LvMAX] [Curse Resistance: LvMAX] [Illusion Resistance: LvMAX]

Normal Skills:
[Flame Prison Slash: LvMAX] [Multi-Shadow Stride: LvMAX] [Clay Wall: LvMAX] [Telepathy: LvMAX] [Humanisation Technique: LvMAX] [Autoregeneration: LvMAX] [Roll: LvMAX] [Chomp: LvMAX] [Decomposition Breath: LvMAX] [Tongue of Defilement: LvMAX] [Baleful Claw: LvMAX] [Baleful Fang: LvMAX] [Split Beast: LvMAX] [Extreme Poison: LvMAX] [Hungry Curse Orb: LvMAX] [Hungry Beast’s Flame Prison Wind: Lv-] [Earth Mother’s Lament: LvMAX] [Sky Father’s Rage: LvMAX]

Title Skills:
[Final Evolution: Lv-] [Former Hero: Lv-] [Former Demon Lord: Lv-] [Four Perilous Beasts: LvMAX] [Natural Disaster: Lv-] [Subordinate Spirit Beast: Lv-]
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐


As I predicted, he is indeed a former Hero… I had resolved myself, but those are some ridiculous stats. It’s way ahead of even the apocalypse’s overwhelming HP, attack, and defence.

What, isn’t【Attack: 12105】ridiculous? Even I might be killed in one hit if I’m unlucky. It possesses enough destructive power to split a country in two in one attack.

The only thing is, other than poison, it doesn’t have any obviously dangerous trickster-like skills. It does have skills with imposing names, but after skimming over their descriptions I think I can classify them as straightforward attack skills.

Comparatively standard skill composition… Unlike Saint Jornes, this is an opponent who fights with brute strength in a straightforward way. Then again, well… I suppose any skill composition would appear normal when compared to Saint Jornes’ repertoire.

…However, an upper legendary rank finally appeared. It’d be nice if the four servants were just legendary rank, but it seems that isn’t the case. Only Beast King Baal was mentioned by God’s Voice as the strongest magic beast in history, so I had thought that he was the most likely to be Upper Legendary. I wasn’t expecting the former Hero to be one as well.

Perhaps, Hero Ares is the second strongest within the four [Spirit Servants].

【[Taotie]: L+ (Upper Legendary) rank monster】
【A beast said to appear from the depths of the earth when the human world began to be ruled by desire.】
【Constantly in a state of severe hunger, and stimulated by greed and the urge to destroy, it will not stop until it has consumed everything in the world.】

…It won’t stop until it has consumed everything in the world, huh. Since God’s Voice’s aim was to pressure me into hurrying up, it was probably holding back on destroying the country in one go, but it might be an actual miracle that only this much harm has come to the city.

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Hero Ares, or rather, the taotie roars and raises its two forelimbs.

Don’t tell me, this guy… It’s planning on sending another of those country-bisecting skills!?

I’m not going to let it rampage freely any longer!

I aim at the taotie’s raised forelegs and hammer in a [Dimension Claw] with all my strength.

“Uu, UOOOOOOh!”

A sharp claw attack flies into the taotie’s arm, and several tentacles that were wrapped around its body are shorn off and sent spiralling away. Its arms fall.

…I’ve managed to stop it from destroying more for now. However, if I come to blows with it directly, there won’t be a single thing left standing in Harenae, no matter how I go about it.

Unlike the abaddon, the taotie doesn’t have the ability to fly. Harenae’s ended up having to take the brunt of my attacks. In addition, both myself and the taotie have over 10,000 attack.

“GuOOOOOOOOh!”

I send in multiple consecutive [Dimension Claws] at the taotie. With its posture broken by my surprise attack, it ends up receiving my salvo of attacks head-on.

But unfortunately the consecutive [Dimension Claws] aren’t having that great an effect on its health. The MP cost is severe, and it would’ve been better to send in one heavy attack rather than forcing multiple.

One purpose of the barrage was to quickly follow up after it had its posture broken by the surprise attack, but the main purpose was to limit the movement of this overwhelmingly strong monster. If it used its full power to rampage, Harenae would probably cease to exist, after all.

No matter how small the damage is… At any rate, it’s become unable to move from the amount of attacks I threw.

The taotie bunches up its tentacles to use as a shield against my attacks. I should have been throwing quite the number of attacks at it, but the injuries I can see are below my expectations. It looks like trying to overwhelm it with numerous attacks won’t work, what with it having such ridiculous defence. Though my aim right now isn’t to deal damage, but just to seal its movements until I can get close, so it can’t be helped…

I swoop down at my greatest possible speed and seize the taotie’s shoulders with my claws, dragging its body into the ground.

I’ll bring it out of the country like this…!

There’s a mountain of destroyed buildings thrown up along the great fissure borne from the taotie’s attack. It’s probably safe to assume that there isn’t anyone taking shelter within this mountain of debris.

Smashing the taotie’s body through the mountain of rubble, I press it into and drag it along the ground, heading out of the country without pause.




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