Chapter 174:

Torn Soul

Mad God

While down on the ground, Ariana and the rest were fighting against the golem of the dwarfs; up in the sky, Ren was facing off against Harimau. The Tiger King did not waste any time; as soon as the golem had landed, he was already upon Ren, using his own nigh-invulnerable body as a weapon. Knowing that it was a waste to fight against Harimau’s sturdiness, Ren just flashed away, dodging him quickly, keeping on a calm expression.

“You are lucky that I’m not at the same level as you,” Ren said while her body lit up once again, moving to the side, dodging another strike of his. The pure pressure and wind generated from every strike of his tore up the land below them, yet he was unable to land a hit on Ren.

“Even if you were stronger, I’d still crush you!” He roared at her. “You may dodge it now, but I’ll catch you. Then tear your limbs off, one by one!”

“Looking forward to it.” She smiled with a provocative smirk before forming an energy spear and throwing it at Harimau.

“You can’t hurt me!” He roared, catching her weapon, and it barely affected him. Yet as he was holding it, from the sky, natural, yellow lightning struck down, like a dragon’s roar, drawn towards the spear in his hand. The sky itself was assaulting Harimau one after another. Crushing Ren’s weapon, the barrage of natural elements stopped, but the sky was still rumbling, and clouds started to form above them. “This is all?” He snorted, shaking off the electricity from his hands like someone would do with water.

“No, it is not,” Ren said as she shook her head. “You are completely infatuated with your body.” She said as flashes of purple lightning danced faster and faster around her. Her long, white hair started to rise upwards behind her as electricity intensified in the air around them. “You think you are indestructible? No. You are just sturdier than those living around you. In the big picture, you are just a brain-damaged beast. You completely forgot to keep your balance.”

“What are you rambling about, human?!” Harimau spat, trying to attack her once again, but Ren, without looking, easily dodged Harimau's every move. For her, his claws approached her in slow motion. “You are just afraid of fighting me! I perfected my body! I am the pinnacle of what my species can reach! I am going to tear you apart; you can’t dodge forever!”

“Nature always aims for an equilibrium. A perfect balance between all things.” Ren explained. “You are sorely missing this aspect.”

“Yeah? And?!” He roared with a rageful voice. “You are some kind of perfectly balanced scale from the human world or what?!”

“Sadly, no.” She shook her head as electricity danced inside her pupils. “You are hell-bent on dominating others. Then let me show you what true domination really means.” She said as she flew high up, just below the churning clouds. “While you are trying to bend others to your will, I’m standing here, taking control of nature’s wrath… and unlike on your end, nature has no other choice but to obey me!”

Just as she finished, a yellow lightning bolt struck right at the top of her head, connecting her small body to the sky. The thick, giant bolt of lighting did not dissipate but stayed there, buzzing with a dangerous sound while Harimau just laughed. He was thinking about how ridiculous her speech was and right after she finished, the world itself punished the puny human. His laughs did not continue for long as the yellow color slowly turned more and more purple, finally changing into a deep shade of violet and starting to morph, taking the shape of Ren. When the Tiger King’s laughing voice died down, a 30-meter-tall figure of Ren, made out of electricity, stood before him. When she spoke, it was accompanied by an ear-shattering thunder.

“You had your laughs. Now it is my turn.” She said as she punched at him. Even though she was huge, the speed of her hands was literally as fast as lightning would be.

Harimau barely transformed into his demonic form when he got hit. Even with his hardened body, he was smashed into the ground like a meteor. He had no time to climb out from the hole he just made, as Ren was already there stomping on him repeatedly, squashing him like a bug. She was stepping on him again and again, continuously making the earth tremble. Whenever her leg rose upwards, different bolts of lighting came down from the sky, showering the ground itself. It completely seemed like nature was filled with rage, and it was taking it out on the Tiger King. For others, it was like the end times had arrived, as wherever one looked, everybody could only see black clouds flashing with lightning.

“What’s going on…” Sengge murmured, watching the scenery, not even believing his eyes as no demon he knew was capable of something like this.

“Thunder Valley strong,” Kang said with a wide grin, standing proudly on the belly of the defeated golem, watching Ren’s new figure. “Saviour kill God even. She helps not only humans but everyone who makes friends. No matter the tribe, follow Saviour, and you are going fine!” He explained with a clear and unshakable belief in his words.

“Really…?” Sengge looked at him, but then he turned towards Ariana. Her spell before, too, was something that frightened him but on a completely different level. “Are all humans like this…?” He whispered the same question that was bubbling inside Tylvana’s mind.

For years, their only frame of reference was their own strength and the one that Harimau showcased. Now, seeing it play out like this made them realize there was so much more to the world than they believed at first.

“E….. NOUGH!” Harimau roared, and his voice was filled with maddening rage, frustration, and shattered pride. Being stepped on multiple times and being humiliated in front of others was worse than death. He grabbed onto Ren’s foot, stopping it from moving and trying to flip her, just as Kang and Sengge did with the golem.

“You are not the brightest tiger, are you?” Ren chuckled as her giant form popped and dissipated without warning. Harimau’s front paws collapsed, suddenly holding onto nothing, falling forward, while Ren landed on his back, holding a spear and stabbing it into his neck from behind.

Surprisingly, after all this, the tiger’s body was without injury; only his fur was burnt and ruffled, but beneath it all, he was without any wounds. When the tip of the spear hit his nape from the sky, lightning struck at the end of it, like a hammer hitting a nail, again and again. It was trying to drive it through the Tiger King’s skull, yet it only spewed sparks everywhere.

“Still too weak…” Ren murmured, barely audible, knowing her strength was not at a level where she could deliver any kind of meaningful blow to the demigod body of this tiger.

As it seemed that it was impossible to kill him, she did not hesitate to back off, flying away with a rumble echoing behind her. Harimau was so overwhelmed with rage that his brain almost short-circuited itself, and madness took over. He did not even think about what happened; he just pushed himself up, chasing after the seemingly fleeing prey of his. Even though Ren could not draw blood from him, the pain was still coursing through his veins. It further fueled his desire to kill her at any cost. As Ren was ‘fleeing,’ she was already contacting Rumira.

“Change of plans; meet me at the formation.”

“I’m almost there… What happened?”

“Nothing much.” Ren said calmly, “But I am being chased by him right now.”

“...” A short silence reigned before an answer arrived, and Rumira continued once again. “Meet you there.”

“Good. Will be there soon. Get ready!”

Even if the Tiger King had heard her, his mind was already overloaded, unable to pick up on their conversation. The only thing he would make out of it would be that Rumira was coming, and this would mean nothing else but more fuel for the fire inside of him. This is exactly what happened when Ren closed in on the place where she laid down the formation with Harimau in tow, constantly roaring like a mad beast. His eyes caught the silhouette of Rumira, who was flying towards them from the opposite direction in her fox form. With her long, fluffy, white tails waving behind her like a cape, Harimau just felt endless lust mixing into his rageful body.

“I finally found you, you bitch!” He cackled, gasping for air, already ditching Ren, flying towards Rumira.

The queen of the foxes knew, in a close confrontation, she was going to be at a disadvantage. She was not as strong as him in body and not as fast as Ren to dodge his attacks. What she immediately did when Harimau switched targets, focusing on her, was to sweep the air with her nine tails, sending nine burning arcs toward Harimau.

“Hahahaha, I love your hot temper, woman! I’ll make you mine, you were destined to be mine!” He laughed, jumping at the arcs, clawing them into two. Even as the rest hit his body, exploding, he just shrugged them off. By now, he did not even try to really dodge or block, letting his body take the abuse, burning off his fur completely. His eyes solely focused on Rumira, imagining how he would finally break her in. After so many rejections in the past, it was time that he conquered the woman before his eyes. “You are going to learn to respect my strength; don’t worry, I won’t destroy your body! I’ll be gentle!” His voice traveled through the dispersing smoke and flames, flying towards her once again.

“Love is in the air, it seems…” Ren whispered, landing on the ground, sitting down in a lotus position, closing her eyes, and concentrating on activating the formation buried underground.

She was not wrong, as the air really was filled with Rumira’s natural, sweet scent. Unlike previously, she did not spend any time with Aerthus before coming here. Her aura was free, uncontained, and because of this, everybody and everything around her was affected by it in a 300-meter radius around her. Animals felt like a heatwave had come, searching for partners, no matter what species, ignoring the frightening battle around them. Even trees started to bloom in their full beauty as if spring had come. Harimau, who previously flew through a cloud of her spell, was even more easily influenced. He couldn't help but only think about Rumira and the wild and raging crotch of his own. He wanted to conquer her body in multiple ways. Rumira’s expression was calm, unbothered, and unaffected by the constant explicit shoutings and moans of Harimau as he got hit by her attacks. She was easily blocking it out, keeping her distance, either using flaming swipes and fireballs to assault Harimau or flying circles around him, keeping him at the same distance throughout the fight.

Below them, Ren’s body was already syncing up with the Soul Tearer formation that began to activate as the plates she buried underground resurfaced. Above them, pillars of electricity started to form, one after another. While she was powering it up by herself, she heard Leinor’s voice inside her mind.

“Lady Rumira, even though she is not as fast as you, easily avoids his claws. Admirable.”

“She is already used to her own power. Affecting that idiot's mind, she leads him on a wild goose chase, perfectly calculating every move. She knows exactly how to stay at an arm’s reach away, giving him the impression he almost caught her, yet he never could in reality… and that buffoon never even realizes this.” She chuckled, opening one of her eyes and looking upwards. “I wonder if you would have been affected by her.”

“Not a chance. I only had eyes for you. The only effect she could have had on me is that I may have pushed you down as soon as we were alone.” Leinor’s chuckle answered her in her mind, drawing a smile onto Ren’s face.

“Don’t worry, you are going to have a chance at it again.” She closed back her eyes as Leinor’s voice faded from her mind. The formation began to activate, and she sent a voice transmission to Rumira: “Leave, the formation is ready!”

She did not bother with an answer; she just opened her mouth, and a thick, pink mist sprayed out, obstructing Harimau completely and confusing him. It gave Rumira enough time to fall back quickly. By the time the Tiger King fanned away the mist, he realized he was in a giant, electric cage. Looking around, he could see the nine pillars of light reaching towards the sky. They gave him a foreboding feeling as his clouded mind also picked up on the weirdness of the situation, but it was already too late. Chains made out of milky-white, corporeal energy, surrounded him. No matter how he tried to avoid them, they honed in on him, latching onto his ‘body.’

The thing that really scared him was the fact that when he tried to grab onto them, his claws went through the chains. They had no weight, no real form, yet they were still visible to the naked eye. The end of theirs that latched onto Harimau did not attach themselves to his body but directly to his soul. A second later, he was frozen in mid-air, unable to leave as the chains started to reel backward.

“What… What is this?! What is THIS?!” He roared, struggling, but it was to no avail. Ren, sitting just below him, looking upwards, controlled the formation with a morbid smile.

“Your soul is really weak… Nowhere near to your body… I can feel it.” She whispered, taking a deep breath. “I can do it by myself. Goodbye and sorry… you won’t have a chance to try again as you won’t have a next life.” She clapped as she focused on operating the formation with her full powers.

The chains, even though they were not something tangible, started to rattle loudly, pulling on Harimau’s soul. He could not help, but for the first time, howl in pain and fear. His eyes regained their clarity as the pain in his soul washed away everything that was influencing it. Rumira watched on with horror, seeing a corporeal image of the Tiger King slowly emerging from his body, hooked to the chains. His cries became more and more wretched, trying to fight, but it was to no avail. Suddenly, a paper-tearing sound made Rumira shiver, and they quickly stepped backward multiple times. She was watching as Harimau’s visible soul first cracked, then in the next moment, began to tear into nine different pieces, being dragged away by the chains into the electric pillars they originated from.

His head, attached to a chain, was still howling, blinking his eyes with fear and shouting for help. Same as his tail, arms, and legs, all moving around, trying to reattach themselves. As the remaining chunks of his soul, moving and flailing by themselves, tried to fight and get free, Ren just smirked, watching him up there. There was no blood, no gory scenery, only the panicked screams of a tiger whose soul got swallowed up by nine pillars before they sank back to the ground.

It took no more than a few seconds to play out and the lifeless body of the Tiger King, still with open but now hollow, empty eyes, plummeted to the ground, never to move again. Watching it, Ren just stood up with a smile, letting out a long breath, feeling weak and exhausted, yet her eyes were watching the corpse like a dragon seeing a pile of gold placed before her.

“You were nothing more but an angry, little cub…” Ren murmured, walking up to the body, crouching down at its head, watching the empty eyes of the Tiger King that was still wide open. “But I need to thank you…” She said, licking her lips, patting the head of the corpse. “Your core is going to help me out immensely… Ahahahaha!”