The sound of clashing metal rang out constantly followed by multiple shockwaves running through the ground.
A roar tore through the air followed by thousands more as if a chorus of beasts were calling out to the gods.
Kazuki’s ears twitched as he got continuous images from all the noise. Down in the arena, the images flashing in his mind showed thousands of large ape-looking beasts. They varied in size from only a few feet high to well over 15 feet. The bigger ones all had arms as round as barrels with fists even wider than their arms. The apes had large tusks or maybe horns jutting out from the tops of their shoulders.
Kazuki was nowhere near them yet he could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand.
(These things are dangerous. I should back away for now, while they seemed to be gathered in that arena.)
Just as Kazuki was about to turn back, he heard something flying down from above.
Kazuki had no time to look up and rolled forward.
The stone pathway behind him held firm but from the sound of the impact, Kazuki knew this attack was no joke.
Getting to his feet, he was already surrounded by at least 30 of these ape-looking creatures. Each of them was equipped from head to toe in simple armor but in their hands, they each held staffs that resembled the flat stone path.
They all aimed their weapons at Kazuki. The one who had just attacked a moment before stamped his staff and the very next moment, unbelievably, Kazuki witnessed air rush around the creature and he could feel the inkling of magic.
(This thing is using magic, how?)
His thoughts ran short though because the very next moment, the ape leading them lunged at him.
Its staff thrusting towards Kazuki’s chest, there was no hint of panic from Kazuki. Instead, he watched the staff move toward him rather slowly.
With a slight sidestep, the staff went right past him. Taking another step, Kazuki closed the distance between himself and the large ape and gave a simple shoulder check.
The ape was knocked several feet back and skid on its feet until it came to a stop.
When this happened all the other apes looked at Kazuki in confusion and a few took a step forward with their staffs but before they attacked the one leading them beat its chest like an oversized drum and roared at them.
*Thump Thump Thump RAAWRRRRR!*
The approaching apes stopped dead in their tracks hearing this and maintained an encirclement around Kazuki and their leader. Keeping a stance, they held their staff pointed outward, ready to take action at a moment’s notice.
The leader walked closer to Kazuki in a cautious yet defiant manner. It eyed Kazuki up and down and sniffed at him. It banged on its chest once more as if to challenge Kazuki before pointing at the other apes around it.
(So this thing wants to challenge me and it will sick its lackeys on me if I don’t fight. It seems like this thing has some pride. I don’t have time to waste on such things. I need to leave before these apes call for reinforcements.)
Kazuki ignored the big ape towering above him. He turned to run but the ape behind him roared once more. As it did that, the eyes of all of the apes began to glow with either a silver or green light. Not only their eyes but also the staffs began to glow as well.
Heavy torrents of wind kicked up from out of nowhere and small tornadoes formed in front of Kazuki. Kazuki was even more surprised that the magic from earlier wasn’t a fluke but he needed to escape right now and swiftly leaped over the tornadoes. He did this with ease but the apes were not done. Large walls of metal, rock, and crystal rose up and formed cages to try and trap Kazuki all at once.
(These things, how are they using magic, is it the staff’s?)
Kazuki sidestepped and pivoted, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, he zigged and zagged dodging all of the traps. His speed was incredible. No matter how he moved he would leave afterimages in his wake. This, in turn, surprised the large apes. A few quickly roared seeing things not going well but the leader quickly roared as well to shut them up.
It then took a whip off the side of its waste and began to twirl it.
(You think you’ll hit me with that? Foolish.)
Kazuki ran forward and appeared before the leader in a flash. The ape was not prepared for this but tried to use its whip. Kazuki would not allow that. He grabbed the leader’s wrist which was difficult seeing as how much bigger the creature’s wrist was compared to Kazuki’s hand but Kazuki grabbed enough of it and squeezed with some strength.
The ape’s wrist broke and its hand went limp, with that it dropped the whip to the ground.
Kazuki then punched the ape in the chest and the leader flew back once more and crashed into one of the earlier erected walls. It laid there still, it was out cold.
Turning to face the other apes, Kazuki grinned.
(Time to leave.)
Kazuki grabbed the staff and the whip from the ground before turning to leave.
(These tools are interesting, I might be able to gleam a bit of insight as to how they can use magic with these.)
Running toward the nearest wall, Kazuki threw out a simple punch.
The wall made from metal, rock, and crystal exploded into thousands of pieces and Kazuki ran ahead. A single step took him into the mountain and two more would allow him to cross it entirely but as soon as he entered the mountain there were thousands of apes already waiting for him.
(Hmph more weak apes. I’ll simply run past them and then…)
The flat stone path Kazuki raced across suddenly rose up while he was in mid-thought. It shot upward and sealed the only exit from the mountain in almost an instant.
The stone path was made out of material that Kazuki could not damage with even his strongest blows. He knew there was no point in trying and changed direction. He dove toward the side of the mountain.
(I can easily dig through a normal mountain and come out the other side in a minute. If I can’t go through the original path, I’ll simply go around it.)
Kazuki could sense that the apes were observing him and not giving chase and found this to be the perfect opportunity to escape. He jumped into the air and dove at the mountain. His impact shattered more than a hundred feet of rock but right after that, his body slammed into something incredibly hard.
Several bones broke as he was buried in debris and rubble.
Climbing out of that, the world around him erupted in wild laughter as the apes went wild with glee and bemusement at the fact that Kazuki didn’t die when he crashed into the mountain.
Looking up where he hit the mountain, he understood instantly. It was covered with that same weird flat stone. On the surface of the mountain, it was completely normal but inside it was that stone.
(No wonder I couldn’t get through it. Fuck that hurt!)
Kazuki stood up and the broken bones protruding through his skin were already resetting and regenerating. All of the apes stopped laughing and stared at this scene in bewilderment. At this moment, they all realized that Kazuki was actually quite dangerous. For him to crash into such a thing and survive was already insane but with broken bones it became funny. Seeing his wounds heal in seconds though, Kazuki was a problem. AN enemy that could not be killed easily was not something to laugh about.
All at once, staffs and whips appeared at these apes’ sides. Their staffs began to glow along with their eyes and magic began flowing through the air. Their whips started twirling in the air and hundreds of them leaped into the air and took flight, while hundreds more created armor over themselves and rushed forward with their staffs at the ready.
(Hmm, this will be interesting.)
Kazuki stood perfectly still. Watching their movements and sensing them with his hearing, their actions appeared to be incredibly slow.
(They may have magic but they are not my match. Still, I should remain on guard until the last one is defeated.)
Kazuki still had the staff and the whip in his hand he had recovered from the ape leader earlier. Dropping the whip, he held the staff and took a stance before shouting at the top of his lungs.
His voice ripped across the sky and the vibration alone could be felt in the apes’ chest. Their expressions all changed when they heard this shout and they stopped in place.
A roar as loud as Kazuki’s shout countered back and the apes all turned their head toward the source before promptly kneeling on the ground.
Kazuki could feel a change in the air as magical energy surged up and rushed toward him from that direction.
Something strong was coming.