Chapter 560: The Beastmen’s Combat Form (1/3)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“No, no, no!”
Dazed, Avatar found himself in the middle of Mara City. He was surrounded by crazed Beastmen whose bodies were dripping with green pus and covered with scars that had sprouted white hair.
They tore towards him, green mist issuing out of their mouths as they roared. They looked even more savage than the wild beasts of the plains.
Avatar was forced to cut down his own people with his obsidian sword, but their number was overwhelming. They were threatening to tear him apart and eat him alive.
“Why are there so many of them? Is Mara City doomed? And what about the grass plains?”
In a panic, Avatar began cleaving his way through the ravening mass of Beastmen towards the city gates.
To his horror, he realized that his strength was rapidly depleting as he cut down many of his fellow Beastmen. He had used up all of his strength when he finally got to the city wall.
His arms were now sore, and his legs felt like lead. It was like wading through a mire. But there did not seem to be any end to the swarm of infected Beastmen. The streets teemed with them like ants swarming out from their nest. The Beastmen surged towards him, ready to sink their fangs into his flesh.
With what was left of his strength, Avatar leaped up onto the city wall. He was ready to leap down and flee for his life. However, as he got onto the wall, what he saw plunged him into despair.
The same infected Beastmen had spread far across the grass plains. There was no end to them.
“Is this real? Are the Golden Plains done for? Is there no hope for my people?”
Avatar heard shrill laughter from behind him. He turned around and saw that in a shadowy corner of a street stood a couple of slender figures with long, pointed ears.
It was the High Elves.
Sensing his gaze, one of the High Elves spoke with a sharp voice, “Hahaha, you’re all going to be extinct quite soon, Beastmen!”
“Avatar, you’ll die as well. Your people will feast on your corpse until not a single bone is left.”
The crazed Beastmen dashed towards Avatar, who was now too fatigued to put up a fight. In an instant, he was submerged in the torrent of infected bodies. Amid the chaos, he could only flail his arms about, but it was useless. He roared in pain as one of the Beastmen bit into his neck.
He sat up. He immediately realized that something was wrong. There were no Beastmen or High Elves anywhere around him. Only a warm fire crackled happily near where he sat. A metal pot was hung from a metal stand above the fire, and there was a figure sitting near the fire. The figure seemed human. He was holding a skewer of a dead rabbit that was cooking above the fire. At that moment, the delicious aroma of cooked meat filled the air.
The place was dark. A full moon shone down from the night sky. There were thick clumps of reeds around them. A night breeze was blowing, but thanks to the fire, Avatar did not feel the least bit cold. There was something soft beneath him. Avatar looked down and saw that a thick bearskin had been laid out beneath him on a pile of reeds. A thick woolen blanket covered his body; it appeared to be woven by human hands.
Avatar tried to get up, but as he moved, there was a piercing pain in his arm. His entire body was also extremely weak. Everything seemed like a dream to him.
He felt his neck and was relieved to find that there was no wound on it.
While he was still trying to process his surroundings, he noticed that the human figure was approaching him. In his emaciated state, Avatar could not see what he looked like, especially when the figure had his back to the fire. Avatar could only see the cooked rabbit in his hand. The aroma of food now wafted close to him. Suddenly, the Beastman’s stomach growled. He was starving.
“Here.” The person handed the cooked rabbit over to him.
Without thinking twice, Avatar took it and began stuffing himself with the rabbit. It was delicious. The rabbit’s skin was crisp, its flesh tender. There was also a hint of spice added to it. Avatar had never tasted anything like it.
Within ten minutes, he managed to devour the entire 20-pound rabbit. All that was left were the rabbit’s thigh bones. He had swallowed down its smaller bones together with its flesh. Still, Avatar was not completely full.
Once food had entered his stomach, Avatar felt a surge of energy and strength return. He turned to the figure and asked, “Who are you? Why did you save me?”
The man’s aura was powerful, perhaps even more powerful than Avatar’s. But it was gentler, almost inoffensive. Avatar had never felt such power before.
The man chuckled. He took a few steps and let the glow of the fire illuminate his face.
“Master Link, is that you? Why are you here? How long have I been sleeping?” Avatar was so surprised by Link’s presence that he could not help but fire multiple questions in quick succession at him.
Link did not attempt to hide the truth from the Beastman. “You’ve been asleep for half a day. As for me, I’ve come to the Golden Plains to discuss the matter of the Army of Destruction. As you probably know, the Storm Warlord has joined the Army of Destruction, so I thought maybe I could solicit your aid in the matter. Who would have thought that such a thing would happen to Mara City before I could even meet you?”
Avatar was not averse to helping Link. He was on good terms with him after all. In the last few years, the Beastmen and Ferde had done a lot of business with each other. Avatar’s people had imported all kinds of magical weapons from Ferde. Said weapons had played no small role in Avatar’s unification of the Beastman tribes.
Hearing Link mention Mara City, Avatar quickly asked, “Master, how much do you know about what’s happening in Mara City?”
“A lot. I’ve been doing some investigations. When I saw the High Elves attacking you, I finally understood what was happening.” Link knew that Avatar was going to ask him about Mara City. He was also prepared to leverage this to form an alliance with Avatar.
Avatar’s face was grave. “I want to know.”
Link nodded, ready to share what he had learned. “Before saying anything, I should remind you that I’d only just arrived near Mara City a few days ago. Everything I’m about to tell you is merely what I’ve deduced from my observations, and there may be some discrepancies between my deductions and the actual truth. In other words, you don’t need to believe everything I say.”
Avatar nodded, somehow even more confident that what Link had to say would be true.
Link began telling him what he had learned. Only one insignificant human Dark Magician had a hand in this, which would not be enough to incur Avatar’s wrath towards the whole human race. Link then told Avatar about the High Elves and the Army of Destruction, the real culprits behind everything. He did so in detail to stoke the fires of Avatar’s hatred towards both sides.
Of course, Link chose his words objectively. He did not let his emotions sway the way he spoke.
Though Avatar was never in the habit of showing his feelings, when Link was finished, he could not help but punch at the ground in frustration. He said through gritted teeth, “How cruel can those High Elves be!”
Katyusha, the fallen angel, and Stormlord Parmese of the Army of Destruction had targeted Avatar. After all, he was a Warrior, and he had never backed out from a fight. Even if he lost that fight, Avatar could only blame himself for not making adequate preparations and letting the enemy take advantage of his weak points.
But the High Elves had targeted the ordinary folk of the city with such an insidious method that threatened the Beastmen’s very existence. At that moment, Avatar wanted nothing more than to tear those three High Elves to shreds.
Just then, a sweet aroma drifted from the broth in the pot that was still cooking above the fire. Link activated the Magician’s Hand and poured the broth into two silver bowls. One floated towards Avatar, the other towards himself.
Link took a gulp from it. The taste was rich and thick. Once inside his stomach, a feeling of warmth and fullness spread over his body. He let out a sigh and said to Avatar, “Don’t think too much about it. Your body’s still weak. Let your hatred and thirst for vengeance simmer in you. Your recuperation is top priority right now. Try some of the snake soup that I made with cobra meat. I learned how to cook it from another master. It’s perfect for restoring you to your full strength, especially when you’ve only just had your body cleansed of all that poison.”
Avatar nodded and drank some of it from his bowl. His eyes lit up. Despite how hot the soup still was, he drank all of it in huge gulps, including the snake bones that had been left to stew in it. In the blink of an eye, he had even gobbled up all the snake meat in the soup.
Link shook his head as he watched the Beastman swallow everything down. All the trouble he had gone through to make the snake soup had gone down the drain just like that.
When he was done eating, Avatar placed the silver bowl beside him. He then struggled to stand up and began practicing his combat forms.
Link knew that Avatar was trying to regain his full strength, so he did not interrupt what he was doing. Link rolled up the sheets and put everything else away in order to clear out a wider space for Avatar to practice his forms.
Link then watched as Avatar moved.
At first, Avatar went at a slow pace, as his arm’s injury had greatly affected the fluidity of his movements. Gradually, a dim red light began radiating from his body, especially from the wound on his arm. As the red light grew brighter, his movements began picking up speed.
Gradually, Avatar began losing himself in his movements. Though his eyes were open, they were not focused on anything. His movements were guided entirely by instinct, fluid like flowing water.
Link observed the Beastman’s movements intently. He was a master himself in the art of combat, and his senses were also as acute as any other combat master. Even though Avatar was only practicing one form, Link could sense his breathing rate, the movement of every muscle and the flow of Savage Power in Avatar’s body.
Link recognized the form that Avatar was doing—it was called Soul Furnace, and it was a highly valued combat form of the Beastmen. The idea was to turn one’s body into a furnace and one’s soul into tinder. In the duration of the Soul Furnace, a Beastman’s body would be able to recover from any injury twice as fast and even strengthen their bodies at the same time. Besides that, the synergy between soul and body would be greatly improved. Constant practice would also help boost one’s battle instincts.
In other words, this was the Beastmen’s trump card, just like the High Elves’ World Tree and Ferde’s Sunlight Power.
One could develop both physical and spiritual strength through the practice of this technique. However, even though Link understood the form’s movements, he could not grasp how he should bring out his spiritual strength through those movements. Link simply watched Avatar practice for his own pleasure.
Two hours later, Avatar ceased all his movements. He put his arms down and let out a long breath.
His forehead was beaded with green drops of sweat. It contained the rest of the poison that Link did not manage to remove from his body. Avatar waved his arms. He could now move normally.
He turned to Link and said, “My injuries have almost healed completely, and I’ve regained most of my strength. I take it that you’re able to grasp the form that I was practicing, Master Link?”
Link nodded. “Looks simple enough.”
Avatar laughed. He took out a book whose cover was made from pelt and said, “This form can only be performed by those with Savage Power. It’s not really a big secret. Everything you need to know about letting your spiritual energy flow in your body as you practice it is all in this book. You can take a look at it if you like.”
Seeing how curiously Link had observed him, Avatar did not mind sharing such knowledge with him. It was not as if Link would be able to execute the form anyways.
Link took the book. As soon as he opened it, a message popped up before him.
The Beastmen’s Battle Technique
Description: Body, mind, soul, all coalescing together to form a warlord’s path to ascension.
(Note: The road to becoming a god of war!)
Link jolted in surprise. Before, he probably could not pick this up, but now, the Realm Essence in his body had allowed him to ignore all racial limitations imposed on techniques like this one. He could now master even the Beastmen’s prized battle technique!