718 – [Heavenly Father’s Rage]
Dragging the taotie through the destroyed buildings, I head in a straight line out of Harenae.
The taotie roars in pain as its scrapes against rubble.
Its body twists, and the mouth in its chest snaps at my abdomen. I pull up, and its fangs snap centimetres below me.
It won’t end well if those fangs catch hold of me! A single bite could tear me apart.
Roaring, the taotie wraps its tentacles around me.
As it pulls down with its tentacles, its sharp claws rake through my body.
We’re so close together and taotie’s posture is so unstable that the attacks don’t have much force behind them. What I need to be worried about is the snapping mouth in its chest that tries to bite me at every opportunity.
…However, the taotie has the [Poison Sash] skill. I can feel burning pain spreading from where the claws dug into me as the poison spreads into my body. Glancing at the wound, I see they’ve turned a sickly purple.
I’m managing to cancel out the damage with [Autoregeneration], but I’m still losing more at this rate. In order to make the struggling taotie a little more docile, I push harder down, forcing it into the ground.
This hurts, but… I can’t fight it in the middle of a city! No matter what, I need to drag it into the desert.
A little further and we’ll be beyond the city walls. But my HP is constantly getting shaved away. The poison has seeped into my body… Staying tangled like this is bad.
At this rate, my HP will reach zero before we exit the city. I abruptly soar up, lifting the taotie with me, then punch it as hard as I can.
The taotie crashes into the desert sand, but quickly gets to its feet and glares at me.
I’ve successfully taken it out of the city. The battle starts here.
『From here on is the real battle, taotie… no, Hero Ares! I won’t let you wreck this world any longer!』
I fly over the taotie’s head and provoke it with [Telepathy], trying to lead it as far away from the city as possible.
At the same time, I ascend to an altitude where its attacks probably won’t reach, and heal with [Autoregeneration] and [High Rest]. I could cure the poison if I were to scoop out the poisoned flesh and and use [Autoregeneration], but against the taotie I’d probably soon be poisoned again anyway.
The taotie’s stats are monstrously high, but most important is that its speed stat is only modest. On top of that, it has no way of flying. Seeing as the air will always be a safe refuge, it should always be possible for me to heal in safety.
『That power… that form… I see, you are a divine skill holder…』
The taotie mutters with [Telepathy].
『…Is there more of you left than Saint Jornes?』
Saint Jornes was almost entirely silent throughout our fight. I was wondering if all of the [Spirit Servants] of God’s Voice would be the same, but apparently not. Even though it’s not in perfect clarity, the taotie has some of its ego remaining.
『My divine skills were pulled out, and I lost everything… I… I… That’s it… If I take your divine skills, I can finally become the ruler of the world!』
The taotie’s expression twists and becomes villainous.
『What are you talking about?』
『Give me your divine skills! It’s not over for me yet! With your divine skills, I can redo everything!』
The taotie howls. I can sense a fierce determination from it.
『…I thought you had more sense left, but it doesn’t look like conversation is possible.』
However, it’s good that I seem to be its focus. I should be able to lead it further into the desert.
『[Spirit Servant] is a skill to control those you’ve killed. You’re already dead, Ares. I’ll free you from God’s Voice, and put an end to it all.』
At any rate, the taotie’s inability to fly is a huge advantage for me. As long as I can stay high in the air, I should be able to control the battle. It’s not a good idea to get close to an opponent with such insane strength…
『[Heavenly Father’s Rage]!』
Suddenly a bright light engulfs me, and I feel my entire body burning. My consciousness fades for a moment.
There was no chance to avoid it. I had practically no warning sign at all.
I haul back in my receding consciousness and regain my balance in the air. I’ve lost a lot of altitude, but I’ve managed to avoid hitting the ground.
Looking down, I see a huge depression in the sand, about thirty metres wide. A round perimeter has been neatly gouged out of the desert surface, the sand within having been scorched black.
I again use [High Rest] and [Autoregeneration] to heal while, keeping my distance from the taotie and flying at a medium altitude.
…The [Heavenly Father’s Rage] skill. I had an idea of its effects from skimming the description, so I knew it was a little similar to the Dragon King Eldia’s [Lightning Strike] skill, which also causes a bolt of lightning to fall from the sky.
But I didn’t expect it to have this much power. Eldia’s [Lightning Strike] was scarily fast and powerful, but the taotie’s [Heavenly Father’s Rage] far surpasses it in both regards.
If I fly high in the sky, I can’t avoid the [Heavenly Father’s Rage]. It doesn’t seem like staying high in the sky will be a winning strategy. I’ll probably fare better if I stay at a medium altitude and constantly keep an eye looking on the sky above me to spot any signs of [Heavenly Father’s Rage].