Chapter 164:

Meeting of Four (3)

Mad God

The air rumbled with thundering noises as Ren's small fist met with Harimau's. They exchanged multiple moves in a span of a few seconds, flying high up in the air as they did so. The Tiger King quickly realized that even though the small human before him could not match his bodily strength, her speed outmatched his own. After they parted, Ren gently unfurled her fingers, stretched them a little, watched her bloody knuckles, and licked the red drops off with a smile.

"I admit that you are stronger than I expected. Still… not a real threat." Harimau said, watching her with a more serious glint in his green eyes.

"Oh, this was just the warm-up! I still have some things to show you~" Ren chuckled before flashing forward faster than what Harimau's eyes could follow. She was already behind him when he tried to look over his shoulder. What really rang alarm bells in his mind was the fact that when watching those eyes of hers, his own body felt like slowing down even more. It was a minute detail, yet it could be deadly in a fight. The fact that she could influence his mind was something that should've been impossible for a weaker opponent. Or at least he thought so. "You may be tough, but I can peel off your skin one layer at a time." Ren's voice came from behind him as she was wielding a purple spear, stabbing forward and hitting Harimau square in the back.

The tip of the energy spear spewed electricity everywhere as it made contact. While it was unable to go through Harimau's thick skin, it scraped against it like metal against metal. The Tiger King let out a loud bellow, turning towards her with a swipe of his clawed hands, but he could only hit the afterimage of Ren. She was already far from his reach, with stretched-out hands. Bolts of lightning flashed from the sky, striking Harimau from every possible direction.

"Those eyes…" He groaned as he was, once again, hindered enough to let the attacks land on him. The surprising thing was that it left only a little damage on his hardened skin, drawing out smoke from his pores and numbing his senses. "As I said! You are weak! You won't be able to kill me like this!" The Tiger King spat in an enraged voice.

"Maybe not… but do not bet on it," Ren replied while she licked her lips. "As I'm not alone."

It was that moment when a golden flame column rose up from the ground, right below Harimau. His only answer was a loud roar as he transformed into a giant, 10-meter-tall tiger. The approaching flames hit him from below without a chance for him to escape them. It was enveloping his body as he disappeared inside the golden light. Rumira, standing on the ground, was looking at him, her nine tails all pointing upwards, their tips glowing blindingly as she conjured the column made of fire.

When it died down, and they were watching the smoke clear, the giant tiger was still standing in the air, his eyes glowing angrily. His body was smoking, and his fur was charred and blackish. Opening his mouth, he let out a long breath, exhaling the turbid air that he had been holding in until now. His golden eyes shifted from Ren to Rumira, then back to Ren. Shaking himself, he just shook off the black spots from his fur, revealing his uninjured skin. He shed his fur like a snake does with its skin, regrowing a new coat.

"How…" Chono murmured, unable to believe that an attack that was so intense that it melted everything around Rumira, turning everything into a glass-like wasteland. Yet it still hadn't had any real effect on the Tiger King's body.

"He developed his body to a frightening level," Tylvana whispered, whispering their fight. "We never saw him suffer an injury. We don't know the color of his blood."

"This is going to be hard…" Ariana gulped loudly, but seeing her Master's still smiling face eased her worries a lot.

"Your body qualifies as a Demigod's. Yet you can't use spells like others, can you?" Ren chuckled while Harimau's eyes turned extremely cold. At that moment, he wasn't even blinking as he watched Ren. "From Tylvana's stories, I gathered as much. After exchanging some moves with you, I am completely sure about your situation."

"Like a human could know anything about us. I told you! I am going to be the first Demonic God. What you see is just the beginning, human." Harimau opened his jaws to answer, and his voice was as chilly as a frozen wasteland.

"I know it hurts your ego, but I know exactly what's going on." Ren continued, leaning on her energy spear in the air. "You are the polar opposite of Rumira! Her accumulated energy is what is at the Demigod level and not her body. That is why she can't control it. Your situation is reserved. That is why, with that body of yours, you can't use spells. You are nothing but a hard turd floating above water." She laughed with a deep-cutting irony. "We just need to capture you and bury you alive. Easy!"

When she finished speaking, the sky was already dark, and storm clouds were gathering above them. Harimau only glanced at the changing scenery before shaking his body and deciding to leave.

"Oh? At least your mind is in the right place and not overly hung up on that whole; 'I am the invincible king' shtick of yours." Ren murmured, watching the small changes in his body language as he decided to flee.

When the Tiger King tried to run, Rumira was already in his way, releasing a pink fog from her body. Harimau just rushed into it, and even though he felt his urges rising. His clear mind was getting foggy and overwhelmed with lust and unnecessary thoughts. Especially in a life-and-death battle, yet he did not stop. He roared like a violent beast as he smashed right into Rumira, who was also in her huge, white fox form, half the size of Harimau.

"Queen!" Emi shouted painfully as everyone heard bones breaking. From the pink fog, Rumira's was smashed out and blasted into the ground like a meteor. The giant Tiger King rushed out from the smoke, quickly flashing far away, leaving a pinkish trail behind him.

Ren, in the end, gave no chase. Instead, she flew down, helping Rumira climb up. She was already back in her human form, wiping the blood off of her lips.

"Sorry." She said, but Ren just smiled, shaking her head.

"No problem. I did not expect anything out of this in the first place. Now I am clear about his strength and can come up with ways to take him out of the picture." She said, giving a pill to her to ease the pain from the heavy hit she received.

"My Queen!" Emi arrived with worry, but Rumira just shook her head.

"I'm fine! What are you screaming about like a scared little girl? Compose yourself, silly!" She patted her head with her fluffy, white tail, turning Emi's face into a deep shade of red.

"Was it really that hard, Master?" Poli also came over, watching where the tiger left.

"Yup. I can say for sure; If you struck him with your sword, it would break it apart."

"Hell no! I love my little baby!" He shook his head immediately.

"You really fought with him…" Tylvana murmured, not taking her eyes off Ren.

"Master is not someone who lies." Ariana protested immediately, not happy with the jaguar's words.

"Haah… I just realized how weak I am… This trip only served as a depressing realization and brought nothing good for me." Uhure moaned with a small smile.

"Ahaha, you are suited for battles in the night and assassinations! Not direct battles. Don't be so hard on yourself!" Ren grinned as Chono and Luto also managed to return to reality.

"What are our plans now?" Chono asked in the end, walking up to them. "Won't we fail to lure him into a trap after today?"

"It is going to be harder, yes, but I had to have this opportunity. I had to feel his true strength with my own hands." Ren nodded. "Without it, how could I exploit his weakness?"

"Does he have one?" Luto sighed, depressed by the Tiger King's apparent strength. "His body seemed indestructible. How can we kill something that can't be broken in with our weapons?"

"It is only hard from the outside. Not from the inside." Ren smiled. "We need to kill his mind, his soul, then what remains is just an empty, hard shell. Think of it like an oyster. Reach the soft, squishy parts hiding inside, and you are good to go!"

"Do you have a plan for how to do that?" Rumira asked, tilting her head.

"I have a formation that can do the trick… the problem is…" She crossed her arms, falling silent for a little.

"Yes?" Chono asked after a minute, unable to remain calm. Just her words were enough to let him see the light for his people.

"I'm thinking!" Ren replied, scratching her chin. "I can derive a weaker version of a formation I know… It would be able to operate with only a few demonic cores, requiring only a dozen or so similarly powerful demons as those two." She pointed at the two dead bodies of the tigers Harimau just left behind. "It would hurt him, probably not enough to kill him but strong enough to make him suffer. Or even immobilize him for a very long time. After that, we can capture him, and you can rest easy; he won't be a problem anymore by then." She mused as she looked at them, watching their reactions.

"Perfect." Chono nodded immediately. "We are in." Seeing the previous battle, he had no more questions. Whatever this weird human said was a chance to gain back what they had lost.

"Really?" Ren asked, surprised. "It won't be easy! I would need to set it up first. It is a fixed formation; it can't be moved. We need to lure him into it. Also, I'd need to personally operate it! No one would know how to control it, and I have no time to teach any of you the details! It would take decades, even if you have prior knowledge of formations… which you don't. So I wouldn't be able to help you lure him in."

"I volunteer to be bait." Chono slapped his chest immediately.

"Won't do." Rumira shook her head with a soft smile. "The only person he would come out for is me. I left a strong impression on his mind when he rushed into my spell. He wouldn't be able to ignore it for years to come. His mind is poisoned by lust. I'll do it. No, only I can do it."

"Queen!" Emi protested, but Rumira just shot her down with a look.

"If we want peace in our forest, this must be done. I'll be the bait." She said once again, looking at Ren and Chono.

"I still need to work out the details." Ren continued after nodding at her, giving Chono and Rumira a two-way communication crystal. "We can keep in touch with this! We also need to capitalize on his defeat today. You need to launch an offensive against the tigers!" She said to Chono. "Don't worry, I'll send reinforcements to you! Use them as you see fit. My four underlings are probably bored to hell anyway." She laughed loudly. "Also, Poli and Emi, please help them out."

"Sure, no problem, Master!" Poli grinned while Emi just nodded after seeing Rumira's approving look.

"I'll rest a little, and if Harimau appears, tell me. I'll come and help you." Rumira said to Chono, quickly easing the wolf's nerves, igniting long-lost hope inside his chest.

"Thank you." Chono and Luto bowed both towards them, a gesture coming from their heart.

"Don't worry! We will draw a lot of pressure off of you." Ren said as she picked out a voice transmission talisman and spoke into it. "You can start the offense."

"Yes." The only answer came from Kang as the others looked at Ren.

"It is time the kittens taste their own concoctions. Let us see how they like being invaded from the south~" Ren chuckled, making the wolves shake with excitement.


It was already night, and after a long discussion, laying out the details, Ren was walking out from her tent, looking at the silvery moons hanging high up in the sky.

"Can we speak?" Tylvana asked as she walked up next to her.


"I want to join the war in the south."

"I see no problems with that. Sure." Ren nodded.

"Just… like that?" Tylvana faltered, not expecting her to agree immediately.

"Yep. You already gave us a detailed map, marking the outposts and hidden bases and a rough estimate of the sizes of the different tribes located there."

"But those could be obsolete by now! If he changed them after my betrayal…"

"So what? It is still better than going blind. Also, you were a general, so I expected something good from it! I am not someone who does not use talents if they come and volunteer themselves. Go! Take your underlings and recruit other demons, or ask Kang to send men under you. But I don't want to hear complaints about them not trusting you. It's your job to make them change their thoughts about you!"

"I won't complain. Not even if nobody is willing to follow me."

"If they wouldn't trust you, why not recruit the tribes under the Tiger King's rule?" Ren smiled, looking at her with one eye. "You told me how he conquered everyone… I don't think you are the only one with resentment hidden deep inside your chest. Rally them up! Take villages by word and not force if possible. You are well known amongst them, no?"

"But if they follow me, they…" She furrowed her brow as she was sure that Thunder Valley would find it dangerous. Giving an "outsider" a chance to build her own army.

"You are overthinking it," Ren said as she shook her head. "Thunder Valley won't keep any territory we take in this war. We are here to defeat Harimau and not to rule over the felines. More precisely, I want to keep the East unified as its own nation, copying the style that Thunder Valley operates with. With you at the helm of the East."

"Me?" She pointed at herself with surprise.

"Yeah." Ren patted her back as she walked back towards her tent. "I like making friends instead of enemies. Fighting is fun, but I prefer having a friendly match instead of a life-and-death battle. Losing people close to me drives me mad." She whispered softly in the end.

Tylvana just watched her enter the tent. She was looking at the gently swaying flaps of the tent for a moment before cupping her hands and disappearing from the spot. She was hurrying back towards Thunder Valley to join up with Kang and the assault on the tigers' territory.