Chapter 103: Battle against the desert (II)
-Three minutes before the Human army arrived at the battlefield...
"Why would he suddenly jump towards that monster without even explaining why? And what's with those eyes he had at that moment... He seemed really different from the many other times I had seen him before..." Yuuki, who walked alongside Delbere, pondered with narrowed eyes, as she tried looking into the distance to see if the current battle between Aspen and the Sand elemental could be seen.
However, due to the enormous cloud of sand surrounding the battlefield, they had yet to be able to see anything from the battle between these two.
"I had seen him a few times before... But until now he didn't really seem that different from a usual guard. He didn't speak, nor did he show any emotions during my meetings with the King. Even during the [Clean-Up] he barely showed any emotion except that dangerous crazed smile of his that appeared while he was killing those criminals... So, since you have been the one more in contact with him, how is he as a person?" Delbere prepared some of his weapons so that he could attack immediately, and asked Yuuki without looking at her.
Yuuki, who was hearing Delbere speak, suddenly blushed lightly as her eyebrows furrowed, and he looked at Delbere with a displeased expression.
'Why does "Since you have been the one more in contact with him" sound so bad...?' Yuuki thought deeply in her mind. However, she soon put those thoughts aside and calmed herself down so that she could answer Delbere properly.
"As far as I know, aside from being a little arrogant, he doesn't seem to have ambition for anything besides money, as no matter how important on influential the positions are given to him were, his priorities were always to know how much was his payment... Also, he seemed to be some weird mix between being extremely lazy and being extremely diligent when it came to studying magic or training himself. I really can't understand completely how does his mind work..."
"He doesn't really sound like someone that would launch himself towards a giant monster of unknown power..." Delbere nodded a bit after hearing Yuuki's words while narrowing his eyes, but still continued walking without looking at her, and instead, continued trying to be able to watch what was happening inside the battlefield.
"Indeed, I was very surprised about it when he suddenly jumped out of the palace and rushed towards that strange humanoid monster... However, now that I think about it, his behavior seemed really similar to many other people that had come back from war or had faced traumatic experiences in the past. Either the fact that he became overly violent when dealing with those prisoners at the [Clean up], or right now when his entire personality seemed to have gone through a change, and he dashed without hesitation towards that monster, both of these situations seem really similar to many other people that just become incredibly violent depending on the situation" Yuuki narrowed her eyes as she reminisced many other similar cases like she had seen with Aspen after she joined the war personally.
"Well, humanity these days isn't really facing good times. We have yet to reach the level of progress we had back then before the Great War" Delbere just shrugged his shoulders and placed one of his weapons on his shoulder, as they were already arriving at the place of the battle.
A few minutes later, the leader of the archer squad raised his voice and warned the entire army about their situation.
"We are about to enter the sandstorm!! Open your eyes wide and pay attention to your surroundings!!"
The winds inside the sandstorm were ferocious, and although it wasn't something completely dangerous, it couldn't be hard for someone to get sent flying because of being watched out of guard.
However, right when the archers were starting to get prepared, suddenly terrifyingly loud explosions and shockwaves started reaching their ears and made them jump in surprise.
"W-what is that sound?" One of the soldiers asked in fear as he couldn't help but wonder what kind of being could be able to produce those enormous sounds. However, as they walked further into the storm, suddenly everything got clearer, and everyone present was able to watch carefully what was happening in reality.
The giant monster that they had seen just an hour ago, and that projected so much majesty and power, was now being mercilessly punched continuously without rest.
The beautiful appearance of a woman had long ago disappeared, and now it looked more like a humanoid being trying to conserve its shape without being blown away by the giant wood fists that were attacking it without mercy.
"Who is that?!" One of the soldiers noticed the figure of Aspen controlling the nearby trees and using them to punch the Sand Elemental, However, since the helmet was very big, none of them was able to distinguish his face properly.
Yuuki on the other hand, widened her eyes enormously as she watched the figure of Aspen using such incredible magic to such an advanced extent. Even at this distance, she was able to notice how much mana was that technique draining from him, yet, he seemed unmovable even while being under that pressure.
It wasn't until a few more seconds passed, that Aspen finally stopped punching the Sand Elemental and tried to recover himself by drinking a mana potion. Unfortunately, during these few seconds, the Sand Elemental managed to gather enough sand to recover the lost parts of her body and returned to her former appearance.
The obvious look of fury in her eyes, and the stirring winds filled with sand, made it obvious that the patience of this Elemental was starting to reach its limits
((("I was saving this to turn that the Human Kingdom into nothing but a mere wasteland, but I guess I will have to use it against you if I want to get rid of you first... I will deal with them later myself")))
And as if to confirm what they were suspecting, suddenly the mana inside the giant body of the Sand Elemental started moving at enormous speeds, and an enormous sandstorm that seemed taken out straight from hell appeared behind her and started moving towards Aspen ready to engulf him and tear him apart.
It was at this moment that Delebere used the weapon on his shoulder and shot an extremely powerful projectile that blew off an enormous part of the Elemental's body.
Delbere, who put his weapon aside after firing the projectile, looked at Aspen and smiled excitedly seeing that such a powerful human actually existed and had that much mastery over a type of magic.
"To think that a monster like him was acting as a mere guard all this time" Delbere laughed heartily thinking that such a man with the capability of destroying the entire castle at any moment was simply acting as a guard of the princess.
Yuuki was still in shock after seeing such advanced use of magic that she had never seen before. However, she still nodded nevertheless and agreed completely with Delbere.
'Where did a guy like him come from?' Was everything on Yuuki's mind right now.
-Back at the present
As the final battle between the enormous Sand Elemental and Aspen together with the army of humans begun, the entire battlefield turned into pure chaos as well.
Giant explosions surrounded the body of the Sand Elemental, as dozens of giant tree-fists punched heavily each part of her body at a vertiginous speed, and various shockwaves destroyed her body from the inside and blew large pieces of sand out of her body. While on the other side of the battlefield, hundreds of tornados moved rapidly through the landscape trying to eradicate the army of humans, aiming mostly for Aspen, Yuuki, and Delbere.
Unfortunately for the Sand Elemental, these three characters were beyond what a normal human could reach, and avoiding these tornados wasn't really a hard task. However, this wasn't exactly the case for normal humans like the soldiers that were doing their best to fire arrows at the creature without losing their life on the process.
Aspen, who was looking directly at the Sand Elemental in the eyes, squinted his eyes and prepared himself to start barraging her once again with Tree-fists.
Title: The personification of the desert's wrath
However, right when Aspen was about to attack, suddenly the Sand Elemental unleashed an enormous expansive wave and sent everyone on the battlefield flying away.
Her eyes, which until now were glowing with golden color on them, now started shining so brightly that they seemed to resemble the sun of the desert itself. In a way, the Sand Elemental now had an appearance that resembled the desert much more.
((("I thought that I could deal with you guys without spending too much of my mana... However, it seems like I will have to use most of it if I want to finish you all")))
The tornados that were moving around the battlefield started moving towards her body and fused together to form an enormous tornado that enveloped her whole body and gave her a much more intimidating appearance.
However, unlike what everyone on the battlefield thought, the Sand Elemental started shrinking from his skyscraper-like size and took the same size as a normal building. Reaching like that a more compact and sturdy form.
Aspen frowned slightly as he looked at this new villain transformation. He sighed in exasperation and looked at the new status effect that had appeared in her stats.
Title: The personification of the desert's wrath
[Compact body: After shrinking the distance between the particles of sand in her body, this Elemental gains +50% Knockback resistance, 10% Agility, and +50% sturdiness, which makes the sand on her body harder to be dispersed]
Immediately without warning, Delbere launched a rocket of some sort with his bazooka and attacked directly the chest of the Sand Elemental. However, unlike before this time, the body of the Sand Elemental just shook briefly, and instead of blowing away an enormous part of her body, the attack just burned slightly the particles of sand attached to her body.
Seeing such resistance, Aspen launched a punch with one of the Tree-fists and attacked directly her face.
However, just like the typical overpowered villain, the punch just moved lightly the head of the Sand Elemental in another direction, before she turned to look back at Aspen as if the punch had not affected her in the slightest.
The soldiers panicked immediately after seeing that the attacks from their strongest members were doing barely anything, and looked with trembling eyes at the movements of the Sand Elemental in fear that she might attack them right away.
Aspen, however, just snorted shortly before he surrounded himself with Treefists once again, and prepared himself to fight against the Sand Elemental.
"Our attacks are as effective as they were before and they deal the same amount of damage, the only thing that changed is that they don't really move nor affect that body of yours..."
Soon, however, to the shock of everyone present, Aspen retracted the control of the Tree-fists surrounding him and made them go back to their normal tree form.
"Aspen, what are you doing?!" Yuuki raised her voice in bewilderment as she saw how such powerful weapons were turned back to being simple trees that could be blown away at any moment by the monster in front of them, while the Sand Elemental just looked at this with eyes full of arrogance, and curiosity.
Soon, however, the entire forest surrounding them started making creaking sounds. Startling the army of humans, and making the Elemental open her eyes wide at the realization of what was Aspen trying to do.
((("To think that a human could use Nature Magic to such an extent... However, I won't let you!!")))
She launched herself towards Aspen and prepared herself to turn him into mincemeat before he could make his move.
Unfortunately for her, she didn't count with the control speed of Aspen when controlling the trees around him. And it was no wonder she didn't count with it, after all, not even the best Dryads from before the Great War were able to connect themselves to the nearby trees with such speed.
Soon enough, an enormous shield made out of reinforced wood appeared in front of her, and blocker her path.
((("W-what? Such a trick won't work against me!!")))
The Elemental slammed the tree away with her tremendous strength and looked at the place where Aspen had been standing just a few seconds ago.
However, before she could even finish asking her question, an enormous shadow appeared above her and slammed her on the ground heavily, making her widen her eyes in shock.
On top of her, an enormous golem made out of wood was pinning down her body while raising its fist high into the air, ready to start punching her mercilessly. However, suddenly enough, the voice of Aspen came from inside the head of the golem and made the situation clear for the Elemental.
"How is that desert lady? It seems like my theory worked"
Inside the head of the golem, Aspen had his four limbs connected with the head of the Golem, as if acting as his brain. He was seeing through the golem with the magic he learned from Evvie, and he was controlling each limb as if they were his own.
This was in all the meaning...
A wooden mecha.