Chapter 192: Burning Agony
Volantis smashed his sts together, letting out a metallic cry of condence. "A new form, is it!? Like a spirit of re! Or a war demon! Good! Show me your strength, your warrior's will, O Armored!"
Aldrich got into his ghting stance, and as he did so, he felt burning, searing pain across every single inch of his body. After all, right now, he was literally on re. His blood had ignited, bursting through his bulging veins in scorching red ames that covered him in a raging aura of heat.
Patches of his skin were starting to melt o, revealing raw muscle beneath that, and soon, even that would melt down until there was nothing but bone.
This was [Burning Agony]. The spell Aldrich used to bu his esh undead into raging, burning ghters as erce as any war demon. The way the spell worked was that it provided a strong base level boost of 50 to all stats or a stat multiplier depending on which was greater.
For Aldrich, the stat multiplier yielded far better results, granting him nearly double all of his physical stats. The amount of power he felt brimming within him, coursing through his veins in burning intensity, was staggering. In this state, he could probably even beat down Valera and Okeanos in close combat.
Though, the biggest issue was stamina. This only lasted as long as Aldrich's
Materius did, and that was probably not much longer than thirty seconds. The eects of the spell also decayed over time as the esh burned away.
On top of that, the spell dealt damage to Aldrich. His Materius might have just been a construct of esh, but the burning ames from the ignited blood still scorched his true body of bone, and bone was weak to ame.
Aldrich calculated that [Burning Agony], if toggled for as long as possible, would cut down between 30-40% of his maximum health.
Thus, using this spell was a declaration to end a ght quickly.
And Aldrich made true on that declaration. His center of gravity slightly lowered, his knees bending as he got into a position to charge.
Volantis clenched his sts and pued his chest out, ready to take any hit head on. Without guarding, as he had promised.
When Aldrich charged, he disappeared. The only thing left behind where he was were a pair of molten footprints. "Wh-," Volantis managed in surprise before an immensely powerful punch, orders of magnitudes beyond any that Aldrich had thrown before, crashed into his stomach like a aming meteor.
Aldrich grit his teeth as he put all his strength into that punch, aiming not to hit Volantis, but to hit THROUGH him. The blood vessels around his arms popped in ery bursts, wreathing his arm in a swirling gauntlet of intensely hot ame.
Cracks shattered out from where Aldrich hit Volantis. The metal around
Volantis's entire torso started to superheat up, turning from obsidian black to bright hot red.
Then, all of Volantis's sizable bulk was sent ying far backwards like a pinball. = "Look at him! I knew my Usurper would not fail to entertain!" said the Death
Lord proudly. She leaned forward against her seat, her forked tongue itting out in excitement. "See, youngling?" said Valera, equally proud. "Our master always has a way to win." "..." Okeanos watched and nodded in awe. "But the master is taking damage. He cannot do this for long." "That does not mean anything if Volantis does not guard," said Medula. She watched the ght hunched forward, her elbows rested on her legs and her chin resting on her interlocked hands. "Taking damage is not all that goes into weathering a strike. The time it takes to reel and recover is also crucial. Without guarding, Volantis leaves himself to get struck over and over again.
Were he to simply guard or even try to retreat, he could easily nd a path to victory.
What he is doing now is simply idiotic and irrational - I simply cannot grasp it." "D-don't call Vol that!" said Wai'ki. She lightly punched Medula on the shoulder. "Taking all those hits like that - he's kind of cool, don't you think?" "Mmm. He seems more akin to a training dummy to me." Medula shrugged. "You simply do not understand a warrior's honor," said Valera. "But that is to be expected for someone that never steps out of their study." "I do not indulge myself in shouting and beating matches, yes," said Medula. "But I suppose activities like that would suit a woman like you."
Valera and Medula both glared at each other, leaving Wai'ki nervously glancing between them, her mouth open as she wondered what to say to calm the two down. "Quiet down, ladies," said the Death Lord. Her eyes were still glued to the ght. "The nal exchange is near, and I want to enjoy it in silence." =
Aldrich exhaled, and blood from his melted throat spilled out in tongues of re.
He briey looked down at his st. It was utterly mangled. The esh around the arm was completely gone now, leaving just raw muscle. The muscles around his hand were ripped apart, baring black bone beneath. 'It's not just burning from the spell that limits its duration,' thought Aldrich. 'It's the power from my hits too. Because they're getting thrown out beyond my normal limits, they break apart my Materius.'
All the more reason to end this as soon as possible.
Aldrich charged again, disappearing with his speed once more. He reached
Volantis literally in mid air and slammed him back down into the ground with an axe kick.
In an explosion of ame, Volantis plummeted down, smashing into the dirt and carving out a sizable crater.
Aldrich dropped down in front of Volantis and prepped another hit. He realized he could not really chain his hits into smooth, uid combinations like before.
The way his body rapidly deteriorated plus his lack of experience with this level of stat boost meant he did not have the high level coordination necessary.
Still, that did not mean Aldrich's individual blows did not have devastating power behind them.
Volantis got up to a knee. His whole body was red hot from exposure to
Aldrich's ames. His eye dot was narrowed in pain.
Aldrich sped forward again, preparing another punch.
Volantis reacted this time, showcasing his incredible capability to read
Aldrich's movements. It was quite likely that subconsciously, Volantis was tapping into his demonic Truesight even if he consciously wanted to only use his orcish powers.
Volantis tried to grab Aldrich's arm again, but even if Volantis could react, he was just too slow.
Aldrich just weaved under Volantis's grab attempt. He got a hold of Volantis's arm, turned around, and then threw the Living Armor over his shoulder. He did not throw Volantis into the ground, but instead straight away, into the towering walls of the Arena ghting pit.
Wreathed in a ball of ignited blood from Aldrich, Volantis shot out like a shooting star and smashed into the grey stone walls with ear rupturing impact.
The durable stone wall cracked under the force of the attack, embedding
Volantis slightly within it.
It was a testament to how durable the wall was that Volantis did not just straight up smash through it.
In an instant, Aldrich was upon Volantis again. An issue with this form was because the power was so explosive, it was hard to pin a target down for multiple attacks. Each of his blows sent Volantis ying, making Aldrich waste time traveling between attacks.
But now, with Volantis pinned against the Arena wall like this, that problem had been erased.
Aldrich could go all out with no issues.