Subscriber of the Gods Chapter 25 - Center of the battlefield
Ethan carefully collected the remains and byproducts of the Manticore.
Just like with the previous encounters with the Black Scorpion, these powerful monsters had a wide variety of useful materials.
‘I can’t bring them outside of the trials, but I can utilize them to gain other abilities.’
Especially, the Manticore possessed potent venom. The venom flowed through its blood and resided in its fangs.
The uses for this venom were endless.
While Ethan was busy collecting the Manticore’s materials, a loud noise erupted from the front, startling everyone.
“Now is not the time for this.”
“The situation up ahead is dire.”
The Royal Knights, who had made it this far while being pursued by the Manticore, spoke urgently with concerned expressions.
Ethan rushed forward and asked.
“There’s more than just the Manticore appearing.”
“Did something else show up?”
“Yes, if it were only the Manticore pack, we could have dealt with it swiftly, but the Cockatrice King has also appeared.”
The Cockatrice King.
Ethan’s expression stiffened.
‘It seems like the path to slay the Fire Dragon King is filled with immense peril.’
The Cockatrice King was no easy opponent to face.
‘It’s annoying, but.’
He knew the strategies to deal with the Cockatrice King inside and out. Dispelling its petrification was not difficult.
“While the Cockatrice King is powerful, it shouldn’t be too challenging to handle upfront. Is it because of the Manticores?”
“Yes, it doesn’t make sense, but…”
“The Cockatrice King has brought the Manticores instead of its own kind.”
It was an occurrence that wouldn’t happen under normal circumstances, defying the natural order. Ethan swiftly moved forward with the Royal Knights.
“I entrust this place to you, Sir Yatro.”
“Don’t worry and return quickly! We will ensure the safety of this place.”
* * *
“Where are the priests!”
“The priests are currently petrified!”
It was truly a chaotic situation.
The Cockatrice King was the top-tier monster among monsters.
And of all creatures, it had to appear alongside the Manticores.
Normally, such powerful monsters wouldn’t appear simultaneously.
Different species of monsters inherently held hostility towards each other.
Yet, as if they had formed an alliance, the Cockatrice King led dozens of Manticores in their assault.
This was the reclamation mission to slay the Fire Dragon King.
Handling the Cockatrice King was manageable, but the problem lay with those manticores.
It seemed as though the Manticores were moving under the command of the Cockatrice King.
“It’s not an ordinary Cockatrice King!”
Moreover, the Cockatrice King wasn’t an ordinary one.
Among the Cockatrice Kings, it stood out as an exceptional individual.
Its crest had a deep purple hue that made it easily recognizable.
“It uses petrification!”
In particular, petrification was an extremely troublesome ability.
The single eye in its crest periodically turned all nearby living beings into stone.
Those with mana could resist it to some extent, but there were only about ten people, including the princess, who could resist the petrification in this place.
The rest were helpless against this petrification. Especially the priests and mages were the most vulnerable.
With the wizards incapacitated, it created a dilemma in hunting down the manticores, and eventually, several Royal Knights tried to salvage the situation but ended up falling victim to it.
Lea’s eyes shone.
The presence of the Cockatrice King and dozens of Manticores was undoubtedly a burden.
But they couldn’t afford to be immobilized here.
They had to move forward as quickly as possible.
Lea’s hand grasped her sword, emitting a blue light.
“I’ll take the lead.”
First, they had to deal with that troublesome Cockatrice King, and then they could handle the remaining Manticores.
Lea firmly planted her foot and stepped forward.
The Cockatrice King immediately turned the surroundings into stone with its petrification ability.
Lea swung her sword.
Her sword possessed the ability of reflection, allowing her to deflect the creature’s petrification power.
However, the Cockatrice King, unaffected by its own ability, remained unpetrified.
Enraged by the deflection of its petrification, the Cockatrice King soared high into the air.
It struck down with its front claws, but Lea didn’t evade. Gripping her sword with both hands, she leaped forward and struck back with her sword.
The sharp claws and the sword clashed.
For a moment, it seemed like a balanced struggle, but then the Cockatrice King’s claws shattered.
The Cockatrice King let out a pained scream as it began to emit a blinding light.
At her command, the shield bearers raised their shields, but the power of petrification was stronger than anticipated.
The petrification power pierced through the defense of the shield bearers and began turning the soldiers caught in between into stone.
“Damn it! It’s undoubtedly a monster sent directly by the Fire Dragon King.”
Princess Lea was convinced that the Fire Dragon King feared their coming.
“Then let’s deal with it decisively.”
She tightened her grip on the sword and swung it from above to below.
Then, a wave full of coldness shot diagonally.
The impact wave hit the Cockatrice King, causing its body to freeze in place.
Even as it was dying, the Cockatrice King let out a final roar.
Thinking it was its last struggle, she ignited her mana to its fullest extent.
Then, she began relentlessly striking the fallen Cockatrice King.
Her power, the Frostblade, accumulated with each swing. And when the power accumulated five times, it could completely freeze the target.
In an instant, she struck five times, and the body of the Cockatrice King started to freeze.
Princess Lea fearlessly stepped on the frozen head of the Cockatrice King and shattered it.
“Cockatrice King is dead! Let’s clean up the remaining monsters!”
One knight who was ahead of Princess Lea shouted in a grave voice.
“A swarm of Cockatrices is coming!”
Could it be that the sound earlier wasn’t the final attack but a call to their allies?
If the Cockatrices came on top of the fact that they hadn’t finished dealing with the Manticores, it would be overwhelming.
Their weapons were not limited to petrification.
If the Cockatrices emit poison while the priests were all incapacitated, the damage would be unimaginable.
She had to make a decision.
Should they temporarily retreat or, even if it was a bit risky, use the things she intended to use to defeat the Dragon King?
While she was pondering, the swarm of Cockatrices quickly joined them. However, they passed by Princess Lea without attacking her.
They knew instinctively.
They realized that Princess Lea was the strongest human in this place.
Therefore, it was logical for them to prioritize attacking the weaker ones. In this case, the weaker ones here were those who had already been petrified.
They were extremely vulnerable in their petrified state.
If they were to be attacked in that state, they would shatter and die.
It was absolutely not an option to let that happen.
She urgently unleashed all her power.
The blue frost descended, and it felt as if the entire castle was enveloped in it as if it were a divine intervention.
As she stomped the ground with great force, frost remained in that spot.
She swung her sword with that power, but she missed the Manticores that were in front of her.
At that moment, she realized that she had to endure and block the inevitable damage, cursing under her breath.
The Manticores’ bodies were sent flying backward.
At the end stood Ethan Whiskers.
Desperately, he threw his sword, Dinalychus, obliterating the Manticores, and sent a relieved gaze to Princess Lea.
Then, he immediately leaped toward the Manticore in front of him.
He pulled out the Dinalychus embedded in the Manticore and swiftly swung his sword.
Taking advantage of Whiskers’ unique speed in swordsmanship, he pierced and stabbed the visible weak points with precision.
Thanks to his Giant’s Strength, his already impressive speed became even faster.
Normally, it would be difficult to adapt to sudden acquired strength, but who was Ethan?
He was famous for his control in MePan.
Ethan flawlessly displayed his Whiskers’ swordsmanship.
Starting from Form 1 and swiftly advancing to Form 5, he skillfully stabbed the vital points of the Manticores with his dazzling swordsmanship.
Everyone was astonished.
To easily penetrate the Manticore’s hide and launch an attack was unbelievable.
The Royal Knights, who were staring dumbfounded, quickly regained their senses and started rescuing the vulnerable individuals.
Princess Lea also swung her sword at the Cockatrices.
With Ethan joining the battle, the previously dangerous situation was instantly reversed.
Ethan, who had exploited the Manticore’s weaknesses using Monsters’ Calamity, swiftly turned around and stabbed the vulnerable spot beneath its jaw.
As the massive Manticore collapsed, the Cockatrices went berserk, opening their beaks wide.
“They’re spitting poison!”
“Everyone, hold your breath!”
When they spewed poison, they had to retreat. However, by doing so, they couldn’t stop the movements of the Cockatrices.
Normally, there would be no hesitation in stepping back, but at the moment, there were many people who needed protection.
Ironically, with so many people to protect, the actions of the strong were constrained.
At that moment, Ethan lunged forward. Even if he got poisoned through his skin while holding his breath, it didn’t matter.
The poison could be cured later.
What mattered now was hunting down the Cockatrices.
‘This situation is bad.’
Before reaching the Fire Dragon King, their feet were already entangled with the top-tier monsters.
The situation both in the front and rear was unfavorable, and the balance was off. Even the strong warriors positioned at the front were in a hopeless state.
To fight on the front lines while being entangled, protecting their allies—it was a chaotic scene.
However, it ignited Ethan’s spirit.
Ethan had always enjoyed difficult games.
The harder it was, the more fun it became for him.
The fact that he could accomplish what others couldn’t make his heart race with excitement.
‘There’s nothing more exciting than turning the worst situation around.’
If everyone else could clear it, he wouldn’t have been so interested in the game.
It only had meaning because only he could clear it.
His mind was racing.
What should be prioritized and what should be discarded?
In order to find the answer, he instinctively moved his body, seeking the actions to be taken immediately.
He pierced the red dot on the chin and immediately drew his sword.
Then, targeting the weak points one after another, he brought down one Cockatrice.
With a final groan, the Cockatrice collapsed.
“Seven of them remain.”
Ethan’s eyes sparkled.
His stamina was already depleted, but he didn’t stop.
Adrenaline continued to surge through his body.
At that moment, Princess Lea gave the command.
Thanks to Ethan’s decisive actions, they were able to cure the petrified allies.
Furthermore, the strong ones who were protecting the petrified allies could now fight without hesitation.
“Follow Ethan Whiskers!”
Ethan stood at the center of the battlefield.
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