Chapter 95: Research
"There's another one?!" One of the soldiers widened his eyes immensely as he glanced at the furious White Antlion coming their way.
"Yeah, I kinda had to defeat him in order to take the staff. However, when I was about to kill it I noticed that the swarm had actually already noticed me and were coming my way, so considering my options, I decided to go and pick you guys up in order to leave before the swarm found us... Though it may be a little late for that already" Aspen looked carefully at the incoming numbers and decided to go for the best option in this situation.
"Run while you can"
"Eh?" The Knights and Yuuki turned to look at Aspen with dumbfounded expressions. But when they looked on his way, they noticed that he was already running away at full speed while carrying Jeffrey on his shoulder.
It wasn't long before they started running behind him as well, after all, staying there was just suicide.
Behind them, an enormous army of more than a thousand Antlions pursued them with fury in their eyes. It seemed that whatever that white-colored Antlion was, it seemed to be some kind of leader among the swarm, as all the Antlions running next to it followed its orders without hesitation.
"You fought against that thing alone?" Yuuki who was running next to Aspen due to her increased physical abilities raised an eyebrow in wonder after seeing the horrible state in which the Antlion was.
"Somewhat, I just took it by surprise and started attacking it non-stop to make sure it couldn't retaliate. However, as I said before, when I was about to kill it the other Antlions noticed me and started coming towards us. So I just picked up the Staff and got the hell out of there, even if that Antlion was still alive"
While Aspen was talking calmly with Princess Yuuki, suddenly the mouth of the White-colored Antlion started gathering an enormous amount of electric energy that produced an enormous amount of heat.
Soon, the Antlion shot an enormous ray of electricity that traveled across the battlefield in direction of Aspen and Yuuki, ignoring completely the other Knights running behind them.
Aspen suddenly moved at an incredible speed and grabbed Yuuki by her collar before pulling her away from the attack's range. He did not forget to dodge as well of course.
"Hmm... Control over electricity? That's something new..." Aspen raised an eyebrow while looking at the Antlion with curious eyes. He had never seen this type of enemy, and such an interesting trait as producing and controlling electricity using your own body was something that was bound to attract his attention one or either way.
"How can an Antlion acquire control over electricity, I don't understand" Yuuki shuddered a bit seeing the charred ground where the attack had just passed by. If an army of these monsters came and tried to decimate the city, then the future could turn very bleak.
However, when she heard Aspen's theories she suddenly started feeling a bit more relieved.
Aspen, who until now was looking towards the army behind the group, suddenly had an idea and looked at the newly acquired artifacts.
[Storm spear, and Thunder Staff] Both of these weapons had the ability to produce electricity and use it to amplify their combat prowess or use it as a weapon to harm their enemies. Thus, it couldn't be too crazy to think that the White-colored Antlion had actually absorbed the energy from both of these weapons, and mutated into a stronger version of his own species...
'And judging by their incredibly low number, and the fact that they were walking around the weapons completely alone, it is safe to say that they were not pleased with having other Antlions absorb their precious energy' Aspen formulated a reason for this to happen, and soon explained it to Yuuki and the rest, hoping that maybe one of them had any idea on how to counter this matter somehow.
Unfortunately, none of them had any idea on how to deal with that special characteristic of the White-colored Antlion.
"Very well, Princess Yuuki, while I hold the white-colored Antlion for a bit, use your magic to hold the others from approaching us too much. They are advancing too fast for us to escape properly"
"O-oh..." Yuuki just nodded her head and looked with curiosity at the overly confident behavior of Aspen.
The guy had already surpassed common sense more times than what she could count, and if he said something like that with such confidence, then it must be possible... maybe.
As Aspen saw Yuuki nod her head, he soon stopped running away and tossed the body of Jeffrey to Yuuki's arms without care before he raised his finch staff into the air and an enormous portal appeared in mid-air. Soon, eleven small birds appeared from inside the portal and looked around reassessing their situation.
The biggest of them, Neo, looked at Aspen and chirped cutely before he turned to look at the incoming swarm of Antlions with his eyes almost popping out.
"I know that every time I call you it gets worse than before, but this time I just need to hold those guys off until the Knights and the princess get far enough so that these bugs can't catch them. I will need you and your group to take care of the Antlion swarmer's wings so that they can't track us properly"
"I count with you Neo"
Aspen nodded lightly to the little bird and soon started running towards the white-colored Antlion with his Blood butcher in his hand.
Seeing Aspen fight against him head-on, the Antlion let out a furious shout before he used all its remaining strength to increase his speed and charge towards Aspen's frail body with a strength he had never used before. Not only that, but the Antlion also started surrounding its body with electric energy to the point that whatever touched his exoskeleton could be electrocuted severely almost instantly.
"What a dangerous beast you are... I wonder how is your body designed for you to have such a dangerous ability?" Aspen launched an enormous torrent of fire towards the incoming Antlion using his magic and laughed lightly before he dodged to the side in order to dodge the attack. After all, a little fire could probably just scratch its body at most, but the pain was still there.
Even if he could cancel off most of the Antlion's chargings using his Shield of Cthulhu's dash, he wasn't sure if this was an attack he could cancel. After all, in the game, there were attacks that could still hurt if you were to dash towards them. So this shield was not invincible, nor something that he could use in every situation when an attacker approached him.
The Antlion yelled in pain after having its face burned slightly by Aspen's attack, a few of its eyes had even been damaged due to the extreme heat of the torrent of fire had when it touched his face. So not only was he furious right now, but he was also confused, after all, the human that had been standing there a few seconds ago was nowhere to be seen right now?
Suddenly, the Antlion felt its movements be restrained completely. When it turned to look at his feet, it noticed that several dozens of small vines were there tying its legs to the ground with extreme strength. The vines looked extremely dry and on the verge of collapsing completely, but with dozens of them tying each leg, even the Antlion had a hard time trying to escape from their grasp.
"A shame I don't have trees with me in this place..." Aspen suddenly appeared from above the Antlion and stabbed its back with his Bloodbutcher.
The Antlion let out a shout full of pain and started trying to take Aspen off his back, only to find that Aspen was not ge1tting off no matter what.
"Most ants are weak to the cold right? What could happen if ice started bypassing your exoskeleton and entering your body?"
As if following Aspen's words, suddenly ice started spreading from Aspen's hands to the blood butcher, and soon, it started entering the insides of the Antlion using the fissure created by Aspen after stabbing it before.
The Antlion tried its best to continue fighting, it soon started dying because his inner organs couldn't stand the cold. And before it could even try to electrocute Aspen that was on top of it, the beast had already died.
"I'll be taking this corpse with me, who knows which kind of things I can create with you..."
As Aspen placed the body of the Antlion on his shoulder, he turned to look at the swarm of Antlions that seemed to be having a lot of problems dealing with Neo's group and Yuuki's magic. Soon, however, he shrugged that matter aside and started running away at the highest speed he could reach while carrying such a heavy corpse.
"I wonder what I can create with this... Maybe if I somehow replicate the functioning of his body in a weapon, I can create an electric cannon that destroys everything on its path..." Aspen started muttering in a low voice as he glanced at the lifeless body on top of him, and smiled suspiciously as he continued running away from the incoming swarm.