106 CHAPTER 106: KERES
Most of the demon soldiers were taken back by the sight of blood pouring out of Night's eye, but he didn't even lose a beat in his stride as he turned around to face the approaching Diego Family troops. Night unsheathed the three short swords on his side and stabbed them in the sand in front of him.
"Grief," Night said mentally and a second later something appeared in the sky above him. The winged creature landed next to him sending sand flying everywhere. The demon soldiers standing on the wall were startled by the woman's sudden appearance. They hadn't noticed her patrolling the sky above. At almost the same moment, the blood from Night's eye stopped flowing and the sexy silhouette of a woman began to appear next to him.
Over the course of fighting against the small oases, Night's whole crew had gained tremendous strength. The Keres has gained strength and Night had gained strength through the Keres. The information that Nox had given Night was a hundred percent accurate...Keres thrived in a bloody battle. Misery and Grief were already approaching the higher levels of Demigod strength from the months of battle so far. The three newest Keres had already advanced to the lower level of Demigod strength.
As the women stood at his side, Night didn't even glance their way as the shadow of darkness spilled out from his eye to engulf the enemy soldiers in an eerie shade. As he exerted his darkness elemental energy, he felt an odd feeling of concern wash over him. Something didn't seem quite right.
"Kill them all," Night said as he brushed the feeling aside and continued to steadily walk toward the incoming troops. He needed to stay on his toes.....the Doom skill seemed to be letting him know something wasn't right.
Misery and Grief moved forward picking up the swords stuck in the sand in front of Night.
At this time, the Diego Family troops weren't just waiting to be attacked. They had assumed battle formations and were fully prepared for an assault. Some long ranged elemental attacks flew up in the air from the group and headed straight towards Night and the two Keres.
Seeing the attacking army, Grief and Misery squatted down in an odd pose. Then, with a sudden movement....the two Keres launched themselves into the sky.
The Diego soldiers were instantly put on alert and were staring at the sky.
"Fools," Night said as he realized that the soldiers weren't paying him any attention, "Do they not have anyone keeping them in line?"
Seeing the soldiers in slight disarray, Night pulled out two blades from his storage ring and disappeared on the spot.
An instinct that Night had picked up during his recent fighting was communicating with the Keres through the shared mental link between their souls. So on a battlefield, they could constantly communicate with each other to strategize and influence the battle. For this particular battle, Night had decided that he would like to attack first. He needed the training....he was so close to a breakthrough in the two body skills.
A few of the soldiers in front seemed to notice him, so Night reached out with his perception towards the front row of the soldiers. Once his perception was about three rows deep, Night exerted the power of his soul. It was like tens of invisible hands grabbed hold of the souls of the soldiers at the front of the formation and squeezed. The movement of the enemy's approaching formation stopped. Some men fell to the ground screaming out in terror as Night warped their mental state by using his pressure on their souls.
However, the screams and fallen men were soon bypassed by their comrades. The march toward the oasis town continued.
'Seems like that isn't going to slow them down much,' he thought as he could hear the shouts from some enemy commander yelling at the men to start moving again. With a hard squeeze, Night destroyed the thirty soldier's souls and felt a wash of their energy pass through him and into his own soul. From an observer, it looked like the entire front three lines of the soldiers collapsed dead on the spot.
When Night had performed this killer move, he felt another odd hint of dread in the air. He was getting kind of nervous now. With a flex of his soul strength, he spread out his soul perception some more but didn't see anything out of sorts. So, he continued forward.
As the frontline collapsed, Night took out a pair of knives and threw them forward into the crowd of soldiers. The blades spun at rapid speed and headed into the awaiting group.
"Now," Night said mentally to the Keres at the moment that the knives met the soldiers. The soldiers' attention was drawn to the attack from the front..... and in that split second of distraction....the Keres launched their attacks from above. The three short swords came crashing down from above penetrating the skulls of three Demigod soldiers in the formation. They were dead instantly.
The other soldiers were caught off guard but quickly began stabilizing their formation from the attack. However, the blood that seeped out of the three demigods was slowly forming into three identical looking women. Before anyone realized what was happening, Sorry, Despair and Gloom had fully formed and were wielding their swords and bodies into the crowd of soldiers. It was also at that point that Misery and Grief descended to attack again from above.
The five women mowed down the Diego Family soldiers like they were blades of grass. What was surprising to the demons watching on the walls was that the Keres did not just fight with weapons. Their bodies were manipulated to give them razor-like talons on their hands and feet that was used to slice into the enemy. Their wings were also as sharp as razors and sliced through the soldiers with only the slightest touch. They could understand why the other humans would think that they were demons...these fierce women looked every bit the part of an airborne demon warrior.
Night strode forward into the battle to retrieve his knives. He was no longer focused on training and was trying to figure out why his Doom skill kept giving him a warning. He decided to be a bit safer in his movements and exerted some of his concepts. The soldiers here were not a threat to him as his visage twisted and phased between shadow and a morphed reality. In his battles, a tactic that he had developed was a fluctuation of his Shadow and Presence concepts. The fluctuation of the concepts took some practice to get right initially, but he had mastered their use to the point that he looked like a mirage as he moved through the battlefield. His opponents wouldn't be able to figure out where he was or how he was moving.
Under a normal situation, Night wouldn't have used most of this power in a battle of this scale. He would have just let the Keres fight it out. However, he had felt unease since he first cast the Doom Skill today and it was steadily getting worse. He had a feeling that something seemed off, but he couldn't quite figure it out.
After he picked up his knives from a pile of dead bodies, Night watched the Keres' massacre without even flinching. Every now an then he would move forward and attach with his knives but most of the time he seemed to be observing the Keres. When Gloom had her arm cut off by a soldier, Night was there immediately to give her the second she needed to recover. When Grief was surrounded by a group of ten men, Night attacked from behind to break the entrapment. The Keres lead the main attack and Night was the support.
Just when everything seemed to be going well, Night felt an intense threat wash over him and became highly alert. He still hadn't felt anything with his soul perception but this feeling was not good.
"Retreat," Night said mentally to the Keres....he wasn't going to risk it anymore...something was wrong and he wanted to figure out what was happening.....and then he caught a glimpse of something moving at his feet and reacted to protect himself. Night pulled up both knifes in front of his chest and head in a cross guard.....the knives resting against his gauntlets in a downward position. With one of the hardest hits he ever felt, Night was sent flying into one of the oasis' buildings by an impact that crushed half of his body.
With a boom, three men erupted from the sands from beneath the current fight.
"Kill the demons," the man in the middle shouted, "Let's get this over with."
The two other men launched themselves forward each with a set of poison grenade canisters in their hands. The canisters went flying above the town and exploded....causing dust to settle down from the sky.
As this was going on, Night was bloody, broken and semiconscious lying under a pile of rubble. He had looked so cool earlier as he charged out to fight the Diego Family troops...now he was a defeated heap laying amongst the rubble of a building. Despite the pain of his physical condition, Night's soul perception was running full out in order to see if another attack was coming.
Luckily, everyone had seemed to forget about him as he lay crumpled under the sandy bricks of the building. Once he realized that he wasn't under imminent threat, Night started checking up on his Keres. They were all fine for the moment.
"Misery, how are things going on out there?," Night asked with some concern as he started mentally shifting through his storage devices to locate some healing medicines. His Body of Recovery was working.....but nowhere near as fast as it needed to right now.
"Three really strong guys appeared and attacked the demon army inside the oasis. Two of them are using those grenades to try to kill the demons off quickly," Misery responded.
"Ha ha....they have no idea that they are messing with an army that has a few Gods and high-level demon soldiers that are already prepared for their poison," Night laughed before getting serious. He mentally connected with both Misery and Grief, "Come near me just in case we need to get out of here though."
The feeling of dread from his Doom Skill was completely gone. He felt that he had made it past the worst part. Night didn't really know how strong that attack had been. He had managed to get his arms and knives up to defend against the attack in time, but he hadn't been able to handle the strength of the hit. He knew both his arms were broken for sure.....and probably a few ribs.
"Night, it is getting pretty fucking hardcore out here. The guy that hit you is fighting with Roth and shit is getting crazy. What do we need to do?," Gloom asked with a bit of concern in her voice.
'Fuck....no wondering I am hurting....I took a hit from a God,' Night thought to himself as he downed a healing potion that he had stored away.
"Keep yourselves safe. Kill enemies if you can. Leave if you need to. Misery and Grief are coming to dig me out of this mess. They will let you know if more support is needed," Night relayed.
"Found your body, Night," Misery said, "You are pretty busted up, but you don't look like you are dying."
Night couldn't feel a damn thing.
"The healing medicine is working, but it should take a while before you can move around again. What do you want us to do?," Misery asked.
"Keep protecting my body. Move me if you have to. My safety is paramount," Night said before saying, "Since you are watching over me....let me help out with this situation."
He reached out with his soul perception and could see hundreds of glowing soul orbs throughout the area. The Gods' orbs were like brightly burning stars while everyone else's seemed to be the same as typical.
From his perception he could tell, the three demon gods were fighting it out with the other three men that showed up. From Night's guess, the man that hit him was a God. The other two men did not appear to be as strong....they looked to be peak Demigods.
"That Diego Family God is pretty strong in the defense department and the two peak Demigods are wonderful at support. The demon Gods are not entirely into the attack. They seem to be using this as a test of how the poison and the masks are working....they are not taking any risks at the moment and are just holding the God back," Night said to the Keres.
After thinking about the situation, Night decided to help out.
"Misery and Grief, go, double team, one of those supporting peak Demigods. Kill them if you can. If the God shows you any attention, then leave," Night ordered.
"Gloom, go get the freed human slaves out of their hiding place and tell them to help out with whatever they can," Night followed.
"Despair and Sorrow, stay near me in case someone realizes that I am the one behind what is about to happen," Night said mentally.
The Keres did their jobs as ordered.
Night reached out with his soul perception and started crushing the soul orbs of the enemy troops in rapid succession. He had originally not wanted to use this strength, but he needed to make sure this situation was under control. If the demon gods weren't going to fully risk themselves in a fight with another God, then Night would try to give them the push they needed to get the job done.
With a flex of his strength, Night destroyed the souls of all of the foundation stage troops and almost half of the demigod stage troops of the Diego Family. Over 300 of the 400 remaining troops collapsed to the ground.....dead in an instant. With the killing of the soldiers, Night felt a wash of soul energy build up in his soul. He had so much soul energy he felt like he was going to explode.
Sitting on the ground in his soul space, Night felt like he needed to expend some of the energy. He focused on one of the peak level Demigods supporting the Diego Family God in battle. With a push of his intent, Night focused that excess soul energy to brush aside the Demigod's soul defenses...and he ripped into the man's soul with his own strength.
As Night completed his attack, one of the supporting demigods stopped moving and fell to the ground. The unexpected collapse of their comrade startled the two other men. This second of distraction gave both the demon Gods and the two Keres a chance to attack. Almost as if timed perfectly, the four demon Gods launched simultaneous attacks that the Diego Family God couldn't stand up to at all. The God's body was blown to pieces by the multiple attacks.
Misery and Grief had actually made short work of the remaining peak Demigod once the shock of the God's defeat became apparent. The two women celebrated their kill along with the rest of the demons cheering on the victory. Because Night had been the only one directly attacked, the demons made out very well during this fight....no one was lost, no supplies were lost, and all the enemies were defeated. It was amazing to most of them.
The spontaneous battle in the oasis town was actually quite beneficial to the demon's efforts in this war. The Diego Family God had walked himself right into a trap of his own making and was killed. Based on Night's knowledge, the God that was killed was not one of the newly advanced brothers.....but the stronger Level 2 God that was one of the original three in Nazca City. Since this man was dead, the demon army only had to worry about two Level 1 Gods in their retaking of the City of Southern Wind.
The demon army had also survived their first encounter with the toxin that could kill them instantly. No one died from the poison, but a few did get skin exposures that were being treated.
Despite his bodily injuries, Night had also received some benefit from the unexpected battle. He had advanced to a Level 2 Demigod in the Truth of the Knife when he used the Defend Skill to attempt blocking the God's attack. The Keres had also progressed really well. All of them managed to get a brief taste of a God's blood from the pieces scattered about..... which had a wonderful effect on their cultivation.
Regardless of everything great that happened, Night still felt like shit. He was currently being carried by Misery with the demon army as they advanced forward to the City of Southern Wind. His body was so broken that he was going to need a good amount of time to heal. But with his resources.....he would be back to his full strength by the time he got the City of Southern Wind.....hopefully.