Chapter 26:

Battle in the Woods

Mad God


Deep within the forest, where the trees were so close to each other, their canopies blocked out most of the sun. Between the trunks hung multiple giants, grayish-brown nests filled with buzzing sounds as young wasp demons scurried around inside them. Compared to their other flying counterparts, a humanoid figure who stood about 150 cm tall walked around the trees. She had thin, insect-like legs, and behind her slim waist, a yellow-black striped abdomen protruded backward with a sharp stinger at the end as her upper body was coated with the same pattern. Four sharp-angled wings buzzed periodically behind her, giving commands with them to the less intelligent sons of hers. Her head was human-like, but her eyes stayed like a wasp’s, and her jawline contained symmetrical incisions. When she opened it, they did so like mandibles, revealing a long tongue filled with sharp spikes. She grabbed a still squirming and living fairy up with it and threw it into one of the nests, which immediately went abuzz, tearing the poor thing apart in seconds.

“My Queen!” arrived another humanoid wasp, half her height.

“What is it? I’m feeding the children. I don’t have time to babysit you all.”

“The workers sent out to bring back food stopped coming back. We are missing more than 20 of them.”

“Send out a commander. They may be too eager and eat up everything before coming back, those greedy children!”

“I already went out. I found their corpses and also human remains. It seems like the food asked for help.”

“What?!” Their queen flared up, and her voice immediately quieted all of the nests.

“...”

“Call the other commanders! Turning to humans? Even food should know its place! We chase and feast on humans then!”

“But my Queen, their base is near… It’s….”

“Silence! You are a soldier, born for war, not for questioning my decisions!”

“Yes, My Queen!” he bowed his head, and soon the Queen’s buzzing wings stirred up the whole forest as hundreds of wasps and almost a dozen humanoid figures rose from the bushes and trees, following her out of the shades.

….

…..

“Master, we don’t see anything behind us but… I just... “ Poli came up from behind.

“A bad feeling? I have the same premonition.” Ren nodded with a serious face.

“Me too.” Leinor nodded back at her.

“If all of you have the same feeling, it must be right.” Feynor added, “I heard from my father that they have heightened senses and sharper instincts in the Harmony Realm. Probably because you all cultivate the new method and also possess something similar, which is why you can use small-scale energy skills. I really envy you all! I tried your method, but I have been in the 9th realm for almost a decade. It improved me greatly, and I could ascend to the next realm if I want only….”

“You want to open and strengthen your energy nodes, yes?” Ren smiled.

“Yes. Especially after seeing you fight.”

“I’ll help you out when everything is over,” she replied with a wide grin. “It’s not that hard if you have help showing you the way, where, and what to look for! I also have great experience with LeiLei here, and being his brother; It will be a breeze to guide you.”

“Tsk, but it will be painful,” Isha added from the side.

“Not that much. It was worse for you as I had no experience with fire. Same for Zern.” Ren looked back at them.

“Well, I was lucky!” Poli smiled proudly, only to receive a death stare from Isha.

“I could help my mother out, so after a quick session, you will be fine!” Ren laughed, but soon she turned serious. “But what should we do now?”

“Move!” Feynor answered in a decisive tone, “Leave the carts behind. Only take what is necessary, everyone! We need to move with haste!” he ordered his men, who looked at each other as they worked for months to dig up the dozens of relics. “What are you hesitating for? These are just mementos from a long gone-by era! Start moving if you don’t want to join them in rotting away!”

His words made everyone pick up their pace as the fairies, most of them still injured and unable to fly correctly, were looking around frightened, fearing that they would be left here as dead weight.

“Don’t worry!” Leinor patted one of their heads. “We came to help you out. You will be fine!”

“T-thank you…” murmured the small, dark red-skinned fairy with bright, flame-like hair and ruby-like eyes as she fluttered her now somewhat vitalized reddish, half-transparent wings. “For everything. We didn’t know humans were this kind….”

“Well…” he wanted to say something but held back, as the traumatized little butterflies did not need to hear anything more than just a few kind words, “You’re welcome.”

As they were cutting through the forest an hour later, Poli rushed up again from behind.

“They are coming, and there are a lot of them,” he reported with a severe expression signaling the trouble headed their way.

“How many?” Ren asked.

“Too many. I couldn’t count, but there were hundreds of bugs, and I saw humanoid ones leading them.”

“Damn it…” Feynor cursed.

“We need to stall them,” Ren said, and her words made many soldiers gulp with fear.

“I volunteer!” Zern said immediately.

“No.” Feynor replied, shaking his head, “We will stay back while you escort the fairies. We will buy you enough time to retreat.”

“Sorry to say, but you may be strong, Eldest Brother, but we are stronger! Can you kill a Harmony expert?”

“N-no… I could fight one, but to kill? No.”

“We already killed one.” His youngest brother grinned at him.

“Still, there is more than one, not to mention the horde of bugs!” The first prince retorted.

“Then it’s good we are brothers!” Leinor laughed.

“Haahh… you…” Feynor massaged his temple.

“We will stay back, draw them away; you speed up and bring my father here! If he hears I’m in trouble, he will hurry here faster than lightning!” Ren giggled, seeming to be in a cheerful mood.

“You… sure?” Feynor asked again.

“Sure, sure!”

“Wha… come on… I knew I should have stayed home!” Isha moaned but still stood with the others, not leaving.

Feynor looked into Ren’s eyes, then steeled himself, patting her shoulder.

“We will be quick!”

“Better be, or there won’t be any trophies to collect as we wipe them all out~” Leinor clapped, showing the same mood as his fiance.

“Move out, men! Triple your steps and grow two more legs, or I castrate you all!” Feynor shouted as they rushed out, and soon only Ren and the others stayed behind.

“When we get back, Ren, you owe me a LOT.” Isha flicked her forehead.

“Oh, come on, it will be fine! Take it as hardcore training!” she rubbed her forehead.

“That we can die from.” Poli laughed wryly.

“Not if you are strong enough!” His master countered.

“Still, I would prefer not to have training like this, Master!” Zern chimed in when everyone else was gone.

“Ahaha, the road to the top is filled with dangers, tribulations, and whatnot; this is the normal course of things! We survive, we become stronger, we lose, and we die. Simple!” Ren crossed her arms with a wide grin.

“You know how to motivate, Master!” Zern said, cracking his shoulders.

“Of course!” Ren laughed as buzzing sounds started to resonate from a distance.

It didn’t take long before the first wasps appeared between the trees, whizzing around as a lightning spear struck out, going through the first one and the tree behind it and nailing the second one before disappearing.

“That's two!” Ren grinned and threw it out. “Let everything out, guys, the one with the most kills gets to be the boss of the others for a week!”

“Fuck, say that first, Master; now you got the advantage!” Poli cursed as he shot out, slicing with his sword, sending out a current that struck another arriving wasp, cutting it in half.

“Ohoho, watch out, boytoy, you will need to follow my every whim for a week!” Isha laughed as she rushed out, as the fallen leaves below her feet caught fire.

“YOU need to watch out, or you will burn the forest down around us!” Leinor followed her.

“That's not a bad idea,” Zern commented, already prowling through another attacking wasp like a bulldozer as the horde slowly arrived.

….

“Who are these?” asked the wasp queen in a cold voice, floating in the sky, watching as a big part of the forest was decimated.

The battle between her children and Ren’s team cut down not just her soldiers but also the majority of the trees as the fire was burning around them, thanks to Isha, whose every punch was followed by a fireball shooting out, even exploding, sometimes burning 3 or 4 wasps altogether.

“Probably human reinforcement.” one of his generals said, also in human form, as 8 of them stood behind her.

“They are strong. Are these the so-called Harmony experts of humans?”

“It seems like my Queen. They use spells to attack, so they should be. But if we all attack at once, we can take them on.”

“I could also do that, but we don’t know what tricks they may have up their sleeves.” “Send in the children, let their numbers drain their strength, and we will feast on them when they are exhausted!” The Queen nodded.

“Yes, Your Majesty!”

….

“Fucking hell, they won’t stop!” Ren groaned, throwing out one of his father’s coins, attracting a loud thunderbolt that came down like punishment from heaven, smiting six wasps around it and blasting a giant maple tree into splinters. “Nice, I’m at 69!”

“80!” Poli laughed, dodging a stinger, stabbing backward with one hand, and nailing a bug. He was not done as with his free hand; he grabbed onto a wasp’s stinger, sending through electricity and blowing it up like a balloon.

“Bwahaha, amateurs! 91!” Isha laughed as she resembled a human torch, her clothes already burned to pieces, only a few threads hanging around her waist and breasts while showering everything with a fiery rain.

“Damn it. Only 54.” Zern smacked his lips while Leinor just smiled as he focused on supporting them, sometimes rushing up, slapping onto their backs, transferring energy to keep them in the fight; he was not killing many of the wasps.

“Then I need to pick it up!” Ren laughed as he started to circulate her energies to the fullest, and soon from the ground, the water in the soil began to rise, making the land dry up in seconds as the grass and shrubs started to wilt away.

“Oh?” Poli exclaimed.

“I’m only halfway there, but… this should be enough!” Ren murmured as the water vapor rose upwards, making the air moist and damp. “Let the storm begin~” she slapped her hands together, and countless lightning bolts struck out from her body, using the water in the air as a conduit, traveling far and wide. It struck dozens of wasps simultaneously, making them screech and let out smoke from their bodies. Some even had the misfortune of exploding into bits. “Let’s just round it up to a hundred, yes?” she laughed, but her steps were a bit flimsy now, and Leinor immediately appeared next to her, supporting her petite frame, transferring energy over.

“Cheater!” Isha huffed, whose flames were extinguished around her by the thick water vapor in the air.

“They are mighty….” With a trembling hand, the Queen murmured, not far away, “But they should be exhausted by now… start moving. I want one of them alive and bring the lucky one back to the nests. The children will grow strong, feasting on their flesh!”

Her generals immediately moved into action, and Poli was the first to be struck. Luckily he fended off the incoming blade-like hand with his weapon. Still, it wasn’t long before he was surrounded by two, same as the others, as the humanoid wasps attacked in pairs, and clearly, they were cautious, trying to draw the fight out, further exhausting them.

A little earlier

“Move, move! Don’t slack off!” Feynor shouted while the little red fairy in his arms flew upwards.

“I… I can fly fast! I… If you tell me where to go… I can go and ask for help!” she said with a trembling voice, but her eyes were shining in a new light.

Feynor only hesitated for a few seconds before nodding, telling the little fairy which way she should fly, and when arriving, she must ask for General Xendar.

“What is your name?”

“Rem.” The fairy murmured.

“Then fly as fast as you can, Rem! We are counting on you.”

“Um!” she nodded as she shot out and soon disappeared faster than a messenger hawk.

….

Xendar was standing atop the wall, looking towards the northern horizon, with an uneasy feeling.

“Something is not right.” He murmured as soon Anya came up, with the same expression as his, saying the exact words.

“Something is approaching at 1 o'clock!” came a warning through a voice projection crystal embedded into his gauntlet.

Focusing his eyes, he immediately spotted the little flying figure that resembled a small woman and immediately recognized it was a Fairy from the First Prince’s descriptions. Realizing something went wrong, he shot out, startling the panting and tired little butterfly.

“Kyah?!” Rem screamed as she bumped into the suddenly appeared giant man’s chest, knocking her head against his solid, plate chest piece.

“What happened, speak!”

“D-don’t hurt me, please!” she cried out, hearing the thundering voice of his, almost soaking herself in fear, “They said to look for the… the General, saying they were in trouble, a horde came, and they stayed and- “

“Where?” Xendar thundered as Anya just arrived with a pale face

“T-that way!” Rem pointed her fingers.

“We go, now!” Anya cried out, but Xendar grabbed Rem, who almost passed out from the aura coming from him.

“Take care of her; you stay; we can’t leave the fortress without someone strong. I'm going.”

“But-”

“Dear.” Xendar looked back with a smile, “I’m faster.” He just flashed, and everyone saw a lightning bolt rushing through the sky, leaving behind only thunder.