Chapter 156:

Tyrant King

Mad God

Ren was calmly floating above the fortifications where multiple demons were standing in their human forms. There were chimps, gorillas, owls, and orangutans. They were the ones who looked calm and collected. Next to them stood a dozen other races; raccoons, squirrels, and deer, ones who were visibly nervous and afraid of what was coming towards them. Surprisingly, Ednai, Keely, and Itto were also present, not showing any hint of fear, holding their crossbows, ready to do battle.

Those tribe members who were weaker in terms of physique had human-made crossbows in their hands. They were taught how to use them and reload as fast as possible. Those who had strength, simply because of their natural mass, like the gorillas, had oversized longbows in their hands. They were itching to finally use them, releasing low growls now and then. Yet their real firepower was set up at the other side of the river. That is where the siege ballistas were placed, ready to rain down a long-range, flaming barrage on the approaching beast tide.

"I'm pretty excited…" Keely whispered, standing on a two-person platform with a crossbow in hand.

"Me too… it is going to be the first time we can… finally put up a fight and not be played with!" Ednai nodded, watching the edge of the forest.

"I'm happy you are this eager…" A weak voice added to it, and looking to their left, on another platform, a young deer demon was standing, trembling like a leaf, almost unable to hold his own crossbow straight.

"Shape up!" Itto said coldly, who was grouped up with him. "Just concentrate on shooting down anything that moves! If it looks lost, we are going to retreat anyway. Coward..."

"Hey!" The young deer demon tried to argue, but Itto's remaining, cold eye froze the words into his throat.

"I'm surprised you are here with us and not at the frontline." Another voice said, and when they turned towards the source of it, it was Ushi. She was also standing on an elevated platform with another male bunny next to her. Just like the others, they were also holding crossbows in their hands.

"I volunteered." Itto nodded. "But Founder Thunder refused. She said that the trio of them will do it. She can't let others join them."

"How noble…" The one standing beside Ushi whispered, but Itto's following words made him almost fall off from the podium.

"She said that I would only be in her way."

"Eh…" Ushi, Ednai, and Keely twitched their mouths hearing it, but Itto did not seem too bothered by it.

"She's right." He said after a short pause. "We never fought by her side. We would just get in the way. This is the best we can do for now. Even if this is nothing more than decoration and a way of raising our morals, don't miss your shots!" Itto exhaled calmly.

Minutes later, they could feel the earth tremble as the trees in the distance started shaking. The first beasts that appeared were all some kind of insect or reptile, be it spiders, snakes, giant lizards, or huge centipedes.

"Ariana." Ren said, floating above them calmly. Her disciple just nodded and produced a mat, sat down on it, and started to meditate. It was none other than what Ren once tested out when she was developing her clone technique, made by her father. Now, years later, it is a much more perfect product. It was still way too expensive to produce, but Xendar wouldn't let her daughter leave without some gifts… As soon as Ariana sat on it, she could feel the surrounding energy rushing into her body.

From her shadow, many tentacles stretched out but did not go forward. Instead, they were going towards the platforms, attaching themselves to every demon's shadow, easing their nerves. All of their bodies stopped shaking, and their negative thoughts quickly disappeared, replaced with confidence and a growing fighting spirit. The first to raise his crossbow was Itto, and the arrow he let loose nailed the foremost spider right in the middle of its head, killing it instantly. The rest quickly followed suit and took aim, showering the incoming beast tide with multiple volleys.

"Mom, there are so many… I can't eat them all!" Kyu said, moaning with a bit of a frustrated voice.

"Silly! You don't need to eat them, just smash them! Poor bastards are being herded our way! If you can scare them away, back to the tree line, that is also good enough."

"Okay!" She nodded, eager to fight, but stayed still, not wanting to move before Ren ordered her to do so.

When the third volley of arrows was on its way, everyone could feel the earth trembling. Bulky beasts appeared from the trees, trampling over some insects and injured beasts as they were felling trees left and right. There were big, overgrown rhinos, 9- and 10-meter-tall elephants with tusks so big they could be used as pillars when building houses. Between them, many huge moose were rushing forward. They also stood at 3 meters tall with sturdy, dangerous antlers, almost in the same size as their bodies. The sea of wild boars that criss-crossed between their legs was even ignored by the onlookers' minds. It was hard to take it in in just one breath. They were rushing, or at least they walked the fastest they could because of their immense weight. Some of them were at the threshold of gaining true intelligence as they were hesitating. They were looking for ways out, but the terrifying, multiple aura pressing them from behind overwrote their thoughts, urging them to move forward.

"They have grown pretty big…" Ren whispered as she remembered that back then, these animals were not even close to these sizes. "The arrows won't be enough." She shook her head, and she was right. When the next salvo landed, they just bounced off of their hardened skins. "Time to use the heavy artillery." She shouted while she raised her hand, sending a violet lightning bolt towards the sky. As she did, the dozen or so ballistas from the other side of the river let loose their payload.

Giant wooden stakes whizzed through the air with metal balls tied to them, ringing like weird bells of death. One such stake pierced right through an elephant-like beast. It released a mournful cry as it fell to its side, crushing half a dozen wild boars under it. Some were lucky to scatter with their limited intelligence and avoid being mushed to a meatpaste.

"Sorry." Ren said, shaking her head as she was floating upwards. When she brought her arm down from high up, lightning struck down, hitting the 'stakes' and blasting them into small pieces.

The metal balls tied to them were heated up immediately, resulting in a chain reaction. They were exploding with an ear-shattering noise, spraying black, tar-like liquid everywhere. It was quickly ignited from the heat of the lightning bolts, causing fire to spread all around them. Soon, dozens of animals were screaming and running around, their bodies aflame, spreading it further, causing chaos through their ranks.

"Mom…" Kyu licked her lips. "It smells like barbecue…" She whispered, smelling the air, salivating already.

"It does." Ren grinned, shaking her head as she was landing beside her, gently caressing her furry back. "Go! Until the chaos, priests, cause some damage!"

"Mm!" Kyu nodded, and she just jumped up, curling up like a black and white ball, rolling forward, kicking up dirt and grass everywhere.

When she reached the panicking beasts, they were already running over each other, trying to escape the fires. Kyu's arrival was violent and unstoppable, blasting into their ranks like a bowling ball. She was sending even the biggest beasts flying through the air, and some of those were completely torn to shreds. No matter how big or strong they were, Kyu, who had been under Ren's care for a long time, was outranking them in strength. When her rolling body met with the twin tusks of an elephant, wanting to nail her to death, it just broke into splinters as it met with her skin. It was like hammering a toothpick against a metal wall. As Kyu was bulldozing her way through the flames and carnage, Ren furrowed her brows, watching the still-arriving beasts through the forest.

"They won't stop until there is a force herding them here," Ariana added, watching their numbers being replenished. She was helping the demons to focus and sharpen their aim, making most of their shots count.

"Yes. I'll try to draw them out! If they come to the light, the horde will disperse as they are no longer pushed to their deaths." Ren nodded, flying forward. She just flew a meter or so, but high up, the sky already darkened, and lightning was flashing, rumbling as if Mother Nature were angry at what was happening.

"She is strong." Tylvana exhaled, seeing her approaching. She was watching from not so far away, turning her gaze towards the sky when she heard the thunder above.

"So what! She is dwarfed by the light of the King!" Toothie snorted. "I don't think she is that formidable! I could take her on!"

"Yeah. Sure." Zazuba rolled his eyes, saying it quietly.

"You can go and try." Letty added, "You are clearly bored! Go and kill that beast of hers, for starters, then."

"That does not sound bad!" He smiled, licking his long teeth, looking at Tylvana, who just nodded. "Ahahaha, cool! Finally, something is happening!" Next, he just turned into a 4-meter-tall, saber-toothed tiger, rushing forward with extreme speed, leaving deep footprints behind him, etched into the hard ground.

"I'm doing it," Tylvana said just as soon as he left them behind. She was also disappearing while Letty and Zazuba nodded with focused eyes.

Back on the battlefield, the second volley of the ballistas' were already on their way. They were blasted apart by lightning in the air as instead of rain, fire showered the beast from the skies, accompanied by Ren's voice.

"Kyu, fall back a little!"

"Yes!" She obeyed, still rolling, now backward, while the fire curtain, laced with lightning, was descending down on the battlefield.

Ren was floating above the line of the beast tide now, and she looked like a thunder and fire god. She was raining death from above with every move of her hands, summoning lightning from nowhere. She was stunning the onlookers on the barricades with her showcase of strength. Feeling their emotions, Ariana just twitched her mouth, sighing softly.

"Master… when you stand out like this… Heh! And you still wonder why you are being called a Thunder God by them…" She murmured as she shook her head, but suddenly, her whole body shuddered. She hurriedly shouted out. "Kyu, watch out!"

"Mm?" She stopped, unfurling herself as she also sensed the incoming, murderous intention by then. Standing on her two hind legs, raising her front paws, she successfully grabbed onto the big tiger's teeth, which were aiming at her back. It appeared from seemingly nowhere, jumping over dozens of meters to ambush Kyu from the fiery chaos. "Big kitty, bad kitty!" Kyu shouted, smashing Toothie into the ground like a sack.

"Hmf, don't be so cocky!" He roared, tearing his teeth free, standing back up, turning into a half-human form, punching forward with all of his might. He was hitting Kyu right in the stomach. It rumbled like thunder, and the impact sent ripples through her body as she stepped back multiple times before she was able to regain her balance. Kyu's paws were bleeding from the scratches his teeth had left on them, and she looked like she was on the verge of crying.

"That huuuuuuuurt!" She roared, opening her jaw as a white, magical formation appeared, and an energy beam shot out like a scream.

"Just tricks!" Toothie growled, crossing his arms before him, with his clawed palms facing the incoming energy attack, blocking it. The strength it hit him with made him skid backward as claws were trying to grab onto the ground, plowing the earth below him.

Kyu just growled, stretching her two black paws sideways as the same formation of circles appeared. Now they were completely black, and she swallowed everything they pointed at. Carcasses of fallen beasts, fire, and the occasional lightning from the sky did not matter. Her beam of energy, still sounding like a roar, coming from her mouth quickly grew in size and doubled in strength. It started burning Toothie's paws and pushed him back even more.

"Not enough, you're still just a pup!" Toothie laughed, finding his footing as he started walking closer and closer. He was resisting the energy beam, scattering it sideways, barraging the land with it, blowing chunks of the earth into the air.

"Back! Quickly!" Ariana shouted as Kyu's scattering attack was aimed by Toothie in a way so it would bounce back straight at them. It was destroying some of the built-up fortifications. Ariana shielded those who would've been caught in the blast with her powers, forming black bubbles around them to the best of her ability.

"Catch!" Ren's voice traveled to Kyu's ear as a thick lightning strike traveled toward her from the sky.

Kyu said nothing, just raising her arms towards them, gulping them like a whale. It traveled through her body quickly, and the bright beam turned completely purple. Now, it was flashing with electricity, making Toothie scream and shoot backward like a bullet. He was rolling over and over again before finally stopping, leaving a hundred-meter-long scar on the ground. After the successful attack, Kyu quickly closed her mouth, breathing heavily. In the end, she couldn't help but let out a loud burp as sparks traveled through her body, feeling a bit dizzy.

"Hauh… Moooom… that was too much…" She groaned, rubbing her belly, which ached a lot now.

"I'll tear you to shreds!" Toothie roared, climbing up in his original form. His fur was completely fluffy, looking like a puffed-up ball as electricity danced around him, making his eyes tick uncontrollably.

"Sturdy bastard." Ren clicked her tongue, watching from the sky, amused at how resilient that bastard was.

She felt the remaining auras disappear as soon as Toothie stepped forward, and the drummed-up horde was dispersing as soon as that happened. Losing the dread and fear pushing them forward, they immediately started to scatter, running everywhere just to be as far as possible from the fire and destruction. Ren raised her hand once again to draw down lightning, but her eyes twitched, and a bolt of yellowish lightning struck right at her head. It was wild, not under her control, and if she was not expecting it, she would even be injured by it. She just flinched, quickly assimilating it into her own body, looking up with a faint smile.

"Nice try! Be a good boy! Or Girl! And start obeying!" She laughed, taking control over nature's force once again, bombarding Toothie on the ground.

"Give it to him, Mom!" Kyu cheered as the tiger was bombarded from above and smashed into the ground again and again. When her attacks eased a little, Toothie was still moving, standing back up, but now his fur was burnt. He felt pain traveling up and down in his body, unable to get close to any of his targets. He was fuming, quite literally. He felt that he could take on both of them; he just had to get closer.

"Still kicking?" Ren tilted her head, surprised once again.

"He was fed with the blood of the King." Tylvana's voice echoed out as she appeared in the sky, standing close to Ren. To her surprise, Ren just nodded, not bothered by her sudden appearance.

"Does the King know what is happening to him?" Ren asked, still watching Toothie, who was trying to stand back up after being buried in the ground by a lightning strike.

"No. But if he dies here, he is going to know. And see the last minute of his death. And as to who killed his soldier." Tylvana explained it to her.

"I see." She pointed again, zapping Toothie with a lightning bolt once again. "So? Why are you telling me this? Courtesy?" She tilted her head, looking towards Tylvana. "Are you wearing that armor because you want to be a knight? So you also act like one? Fighting fair and square and all that?"

"No." She shook her head. "I wear this armor because it saved my life once. It is my lucky charm."

"Oh. Okay! That is at least an explanation I can get behind!" Ren grinned, pointing once again, not even looking at Toothie, just letting him scream from pain and rage. "So?"

"I told you this because I want you to take me seriously," Tylvana said, looking into her eyes before disappearing, reappearing behind Toothie.

"Finally! Block that bit-" Toothie grumbled, but suddenly he could say nothing more.

Tylvana's gauntlet was sticking out from his chest, coming from behind him. Before he could trash around, Zazuba appeared, coiling around his left arm while Letty held down his right.

"Traitorous bitches!" He roared with unbridled rage, but it was too late. The trio pulled his body into three pieces, dismembering and killing him before anything could go wrong.

Kyu, Ariana, and the rest of Thunder Valley watched on with surprise while Ren just calmly floated downwards, looking at them. Letty and Zazuba were cautious, standing before Tylvana, guarding her with their bodies, even though she was stronger than both of them added together.

"You got my attention," Ren said as she touched down. She was picking up Toothie's head, starting to get out his core, unbothered by the disgust in Letty's eyes. "So? What do you want?" She asked, acting like she was peeling an orange before them and nothing else.

"You are here to declare war on the Tiger King." Tylvana watched her without a change in her expression.

"No, but yes." Ren chuckled.

"What?" Zazuba asked confusedly, unable to remain silent.

"Never mind," Ren said, fishing out Toothie's core and tossing away the remaining piece of the head. "Don't eat it!" She said, flicking the core towards Kyu, who caught it with her paws, transforming back into a little girl. "Let's say I believe you. What now?" Ren asked after she crossed her bloody arms before her chest, looking into Tylvana's eyes.

"I want to join you. The Tiger King is a tyrant! He conquered my homeland and exterminated any tribe that did not follow his lead! My parents were also killed because of him. She is Letty, the one who raised me. Her husband and children were drafted and used as disposable fodder in the conquest of the tribes. He is my childhood friend Zazuba. His whole tribe was traded to the Dwarfs in exchange for resources." She explained everything in almost one breath.

"Dwarfs?" Ren asked, tilting her head.

"We call those who live deep in the mountains. They are digging down, down and down. They are the rulers of the underground empire in the north. I can tell you everything we know if you take us in."

"Take you in…" Ren mused a little, scanning them individually before she nodded, producing three collars. "If you take these on and follow me back, we can talk."

"Are you mad?!" Letty flared up. "We just killed a tiger for you! Now, we are already marked for death by them! And you still want us to wear slave collars?!"

"Letty!" Tylvana grabbed onto her shoulders. "It's okay." She said as she stepped forward, taking one from her hand and putting it on without blinking her eyes. Seeing her actions, Zazuba just sighed, following suit, and finally, Letty, too, still grumbling and looking at Ren with hatred.

"Good." Ren smiled softly. "Come… we have a lot to talk about."