Chapter 63:

Battle at Thunder Valley

Mad God


Not far away from Thunder Valley, Zern, Olup, and four other chimpanzees were patrolling the area, searching for clues and traces of the scorpions, without any success yet.

"Nothing." Olup came up, landing from a tree before Zern, who was kneeling on the ground, touching the soil, trying to feel traces underground.

"They either left early after provoking you and were already far away by the next day, or they hid close by. I have a feeling something is after them… not just us."

"Why would they remain? If they are really being hunted down, I would have already run away in their place." Olup commented.

"And where will you flee? Go south into the human territory? This is the best chance they have. Let it come; fight the village that is supported by humans. If we don't come and help, the alliance will break down; we come and help, we fight, we might kill him, and then they can be saved. Or we die but weaken him… they can move in for the kill. I'd do the same as them, to be honest."

"If they are truly hunted, as you believe. But… I still need to learn how to think like a human. I never thought about those."

"The clues we saw… clearly indicate that… It's just my speculation. But I have a gut feeling they didn't leave because of it. We haven't discovered any traces of them since morning, and it is past noon by now. If they are in a hurry to run away, they must have left behind something we can find. If not, it means they didn't leave. Simple as that."

"For a human, you are brilliant."

Just as the foreign, young voice sounded out, Zern didn't hesitate a moment before crushing the jade in his pocket, turning his body into metal, and meeting the incoming, clawed, thin hand that sent him skidding backward.

"Oh. Strong, too!" the short figure nodded, standing before them as Olup and the rest surrounded him.

At first glance, the figure was only around 100-120 centimeters tall, looking like a young, thin boy with short, black, spiky hair. His body was covered, except his chest, with rough, grayish-brown colored, short fur and black, horizontal stripes, while a long tail was coiled around his waist. His human-like face wore a slight grin, showcasing his sharp canine teeth.

"Those pointy-tailed bastards thought they were so smart! I already received news about your little hybrid village, stained with the smell of humans. I planned to deal with you after I caught them. This makes it easier to do so!"

"You are alone against six of us," Olup spoke up, holding a staff. "Why do you think you can deal with us?"

"Because I am stronger than you six. Don't worry, I know what kind of settlement you built nearby, and it has some strong fighters. I am confident I could escape even if all of them gang up on me." he licked his lips.

"I want to see that happening." resonated another voice as Poli appeared, standing on his sword, floating above them. At the same time, Kang also arrived from the trees, coming through like a bulldozer, already summoning his bone armor around his body.

"Oh? That's unique. I dislike flying enemies; it's a cheap skill to have." the boy nodded, looking up at Poli before scanning his enemies. "That's all? No more is on the way?"

"..." Poli furrowed his brow.

"Okay, if those idiots can't deal with the rest staying at the village, they aren't worthy of keeping around. This is going to be the last chance I give them. I'll deal with you here and check out their progress after. Who knows, maybe I'll munch on some of them for a snack if you manage to tire me out!" he giggled as he targeted Kang right from the start, moving out quickly, arriving before him, and punching him in the stomach. It was a jarring contrast as a small, kid-like frame punched into the giant, armor-wearing white gorilla's belly, yet still sending him flying, cracking the armor.

"Seesh, you are a hard walnut!" He shook his hand with a giggle, dodging the arriving sticks from Olup and his warriors, dancing around them, finally grabbing the last one's staff, pulling it forward before delivering another kick, supporting his body with his own tail. The poor chimpanzee immediately spat out blood, flying backward and knocking another to the ground.

When his leg landed on the ground, two hands stretched out, grabbing onto his feet, trying to lock him in place. He saw Zern touching the ground a few meters away, conjuring the attack. With an excited grin, he just leaned back, almost bending 180 degrees, using his tail as support once again, dodging the incoming sword that shaved off a few strands of fur from his body, scattering it in the air.

"You are good!" He laughed before stabbing his tail like a weapon into the earth hands, freeing his leg and jumping backward before Kang could land on him, returning from the previous attack. "My, my." he sighed, checking the shaved-off patch on his stomach. "That was close; you almost cut off my nipples too! But, at least you are worthy of fighting me. My name is Matu. Remember it as you die." he laughed as his aura stormed out, and it was suffocating. "Don't make the others from your tiny village wait in the afterlife~."

"Village strong. Bugs won't hurt." Kang snorted, rushing at him again, smashing down with two hands but only hitting the ground. Matu moved quickly, easily dodging him before his hands even landed. The next moment a sword met him on his path that he needed to block with his clawed hands, letting electricity and sparks fly all around them.

"You clearly underestimate us." Poli's words came from the left, delivering a punch, while from the right, Zern's fist whizzed through the air...

"Maybe a little. Still, it's not enough!" Matu replied, swatting once at the ground with his tail as two earth pillars rose up, blocking the human duo's attack while Matu himself dealt with the sword in the front.

"So he can use spells!" Olup commented, striking from behind but was blocked by Matu's tail before the mongoose just sank into the earth, disappearing suddenly

"Watch out!" Zern shouted to one of the chimps, but it was too late, as Matu burst out from the ground behind him, skewering him through the chest with his tail, grabbing onto his arms and using him as a shield as he rushed at another who dared not to attack because of his screaming friend. This sealed both of their fates, as Matu just flung off the first chimpanzee, tearing him apart before cutting into the second one with his claws, gutting him on the spot.

"Let's start with the pesky ones first; your sticks and pokey-pokey attitude get me riled up~" Matu giggled, grabbing a piece of flesh from his tail and munching on it like it was some kind of snack.

"Don't let him separate us! Attack at once!" Poli shouted, trying to rush over, but the mongoose sank again to the ground. "Zern!"

"I can't feel him clearly; he has better control over the surroundings than me!"

"Tsk! Group up!" Poli ordered, watching the battle from a higher advantage point.

"Under you!" Zern's warning almost came in time, but as soon as Olup heard, he felt a claw grabbing his leg as it went right through his thigh, tearing through it easily.

"Gotcha~" Matu's voice resonated as he wanted to drag him down under the earth, but Olup laughed out loud.

"Yes, you are right! Got you! Do it, Kang! Don't mind me!" he grabbed the thin hand with his other foot, clamping down with all of his strength, surprising Matu.

Kang only flinched but smashed down with all of his strength, sending tremors through the whole area. The earth cracked, and trees fell over as the soil rippled like a stone was thrown into a lake. When the dust settled, what remained was Matu, standing a few meters away, blood dripping from his mouth and ears, his tail broken, and a bone sticking out from it, just like his left hand that was completely deformed.

"Well… shit." Matu spat out some teeth, sticking out his tongue, and licking up his blood.

Surprisingly Olup was still alive, apparent from his heavy breathing and moaning, but his lower body was pulverized into nothing.

Where once his legs used to be nothing but bloody, meaty paste remained. He was bleeding from all of his orifices; clearly, the impact shook up his insides, lucky for him, knocking him out, so he didn't have to deal with the pain.

"I give you this match, monkeys! But you know this means we need to have a rematch." he winked at them before shrinking and turning into a small, furry mongoose, scurrying off quickly.

"Check Olup and hurry back to the village!" Poli shouted before rushing after Matu.


….
…..

It was only minutes after Kang and Poli left the village when the ground, after a few shakes, broke up at multiple points as a dozen scorpions climbed out from underground, turning back into humanoid form and indiscriminately started to wreak havoc.

What they did not expect was the swift response by the demons. Rem's sweet yet commanding voice came from the air just as they appeared.

"Ready, Aim… Fire!"

From above, differently colored arrows started to rain down on them. They were made from simple wood and crudely crafted metal arrowheads, yet infused with the fairies' different affinities, be it fire, wind, water, small sparks, or even purple-colored poison. In the sky, the colorful, little winged muffins were holding bows and short quivers strapped to their waists, constantly letting loose their arrows, hitting the attacking foes. When an arrow landed on a scorpion, striking its armored scales, it just bounced off, yet it still stopped them in their steps, giving enough time for the young or weak to rush to safety.

Shaman also rushed out and took action, throwing a flask at one of the scorpions closing in on him, aiming at the seemingly old prey. When it crashed onto his tail in the air as he slashed at it by reflex, the flask exploded into foul-smelling tar, splattering all over him. It didn't take a second before painful crying escaped the scorpion demon's mouth as it ate into his body, be it the scales or flesh, right down to the bones, even corroding those.

"How does it feel? I made these to water those talking treefucks with my love!" Shaman laughed maniacally, tossing out more flasks.

"You are still coooool, you old monkey~" Pongo laughed while surrounded by two scorpions, yet their every attack was missing her.

Pongo's eyes were surprisingly clean, and they moved rapidly, counting the movements of every muscle of theirs and dodging their strikes by the least amount of her own movement. It was making it seem like they purposely missed her, just as the rest of the orangutans who, since last night, stopped using their… supplements.

The gorillas formed a circle around the weak and young in the village to defend them while the rest of the chimpanzees were ganging upon the enemy, and by Niji's order, at least two took on one all the time.

The raining arrows, the coordinated attacks, and the surprisingly prepared teamwork from different tribes were something none of the scorpions dared to imagine. They thought after those with the strongest powers left, it would be an easy picking as a panicked village, without its main pillars, it wouldn't pose a threat.

Orsi, at first, was truly frightened while one of the female gorillas picked her up, protecting her with her own body, rushing to the others, watching the battlefield from the safety of their backs, and was amazed by what she saw.

"Young Master is so strong…." Orsi murmured softly, watching Reignar, who was also giving his best, facing off against one of the scorpions who were, in human terms, way above him.

"Tsk…" Reignar clicked his tongue and found himself way underpowered against his enemy.

The warrior demon's skin was hard as metal, so it was a stalemate between them. Even though his hands were covered with a bronze-like luster and dancing flames, strengthening his strikes, he couldn't cast spells like Isha or Zern. He could only dance around the scorpion warrior, assaulting him constantly, keeping up the barrage of attacks, and forcing it to defend his weak points that Reignar aimed at.

"You may wait for me to exhaust my energy… but it's too bad for you; I can go on all night, buddy!" he thought. "But I seriously need to pick up the pace, or I'll be dead if, from now on, I need to fight battles like this," he grumbled with a smirk.

Soon the scorpions found themselves in a dire situation, some of them were already lying dead on the ground, and when they tried to retreat back the way they came, Kang arrived. He landed in the middle of them, grabbing onto one of the scorpions, lifting him up, and just tearing him into two while roaring, using the lower body of the torn warrior as a club, smashing against the closest one.

It didn't take long to break them and Kang, enraged by what happened, just grabbed those who even surrendered and smashed their heads into nothing, leaving none alive. He had just finished off the last scorpion when a whistling sound rang out, and soon Emi showed up on the wall, a little bit out of breath, clearly showing she was hurrying here.

"Emi?" Niji asked with surprise.

"Mm. I was sent here by my Queen. Where is he?"

"Who?" Shaman asked, wiping his face with a cloth.

"Their leader," she said, pointing at the scorpions.

"Escaped. Poli after him." Kang answered, and soon Emi shook her head before rushing out again.

"Idiots!" rang out her voice before disappearing just as quickly as she showed up.

"Where are the others?" Reignar came up to the giant, white gorilla asking the question as the battle was over, having time to look around, noticing the rest of the group was still missing.

"Coming. They have injured, slower. I hurried." he sighed, sitting down, looking tired.

"Was he strong?"

"Very. But now injured. Poli is strong. No problem." he said confidently, having faith in him.


….
…..

Sharp, ringing noises echoed between the trees as Poli's sword struck against Matu's claws, chipping at them slowly as they fought while running through the forest.

"You are persistent; I give you that," Matu said, fending off another round of attack, continuing to rush forward, dodging trees and branches.

"I won't let you escape."

"I get it, really, I do." he chuckled, seemingly calm as they exchanged another flash of moves in mid-air. "I would do the same. The only difference is that I would follow you silently until you drop your guard. Because you can't tell if the one in pursuit has a backup plan."

When they arrived at a smaller clearing, the ground immediately shook as it crumbled, revealing a deep pit where multiple tunnels led underground, who knows where. Matu, shrinking back to his small, mongoose form, scurried into one of the holes, disappearing quickly.

"You little rat…." Poli spat, floating above the pit, watching the dozens of tunnels.

"Ahaha, I learned this from one; it was a pain in my butt to hunt her down." his voice rang out. "Anyway, I had fun fighting with you, don't worry, I am persistent; I'll be back soon." Then after that, only the wind remained, accompanying Poli, who floated there for a long minute before sighing.

"Damn it…" Poli turned his back to it to leave when without a sound, four sharp-clawed fingers aimed at him struck out from one of the tunnels like black lightning.

Before it could strike him, his sword, covered with blue electricity, fended off the attack as he performed a back kick, but Matu just backed off. When his attack failed, without a second thought, he disappeared once again.

"Bastard." Poli cursed, looking down at the ground

"Can't help it; I had to try." came the laughing answer. "I'll remember you, human… and I'll come and find you… until then… see ya~”

After that, only silence remained, and when Poli turned his back again, no attack came as he also lost the feeling of danger lurking around.