Brendel raised his longsword. Longhorn Devils were one of the few highly intelligent devils who fought within melee range in the Sulfur River. Their appearance bore a slight resemblance to that of a naked Werejackal (TL: Werewolves,but instead of wolves,jackals.). However, their size was vastly more massive than the Werejackals. No one knew the exact origin of the Longhorn Devils. The first Longhorn Devils appeared in the Bloodfire Lands of the lower Sulfur River. It was said that Imps which had experienced hundreds of battles were promoted to their current appearance.
Some of the Longhorn Devils’ features did retain the Imp's characteristics, be it the identical purple-red skin or the sharp teeth and claws. In fact, when viewed from the back, it itself looked like an Imp that was several times larger, apart for the devolution of its fleshy wings and the fact that its tail had become a little stiffer in order to maintain its balance.
Even more importantly, every Longhorn Devil had proven to have a wealth of combat experience. There were practically no juvenile Longhorn Devils. Every Longhorn Devil discovered by the Holy Cathedral of Fire was an adult, and adult Longhorn Devils had strength that was almost equivalent to Elemental Activation’s true powers.
In other words, Brendel had to deal with three Elemental Activated monsters at the same time. Before he had time to think about it, the three Longhorn Devils were already charging with large strides.
Brendel pulled out the King Buni’s Concealment Cloak from the Dimensional Space and handed it to Amandina, who was beside him. The Concealment Cloak only lasted for about four minutes a day, so the most appropriate use right now would be giving it to Amandina to allow her to find the portal’s node as quickly as possible without any worries.
As she took the cloak, Amandina bit her lip and looked at Brendel. Since she already understood how to use the cloak, she didn't need Brendel to explain anything. After a brief pause as she slipped it on, she already covered herself with it and disappeared out of sight the next moment.
Brendel was then the only one left by the portal.
"Amandina, hurry up!" Brendel shouted into the air.
He didn't know if Amandina heard him, but hopefully, she did. It was like Amandina had completely disappeared while under the effects of the Concealment Cloak, which made Brendel less confident, but at this point, he had no choice but to trust the noble maiden from Braggs.
A claw swinging towards him interrupted his thoughts. The three Longhorn Devils had arrived. To be more precise, the first to arrive was their merciless attacks. At least one of the three Longhorn Devils was a Fire-related Elemental, as Brendel had seen its snow-white claws dragging three long flame marks in air.
This was the power of the Elementals.
Brendel's eyes even reflected the golden Lines of Law that stretched after its claw, and heat assaulted his face. He didn't dare to take it face on. His body dodged backward and the scorching air swept past his forehead. The brown hair on his forehead immediately dried and curled.
After the claw.
Came the tail.
Brendel subconsciously attempted to catch the movement of the Longhorn Devil's tail. The moment he saw them turn sideways, a whiptail already swept towards him. He was ready to roll underneath its tail with a sideways roll, and then rising up in a smooth and fluid movement to stab the Longhorn Devil in the back.
Most unfortunately, the sword only left a shallow wound on the Longhorn Devil's body.
Both their defense and attack were high, but their movement was a little on the slow side, exactly as Brendel remembered it. Of course, the slow movement was relative and for ordinary people, the Longhorn Devils’ movement was still within a spectrum they were unable to see clearly.
The two rounds of attacks fell short. The three Longhorn Devils were also taken aback. Although they had never battled a human before, Brendel's reaction was clearly faster than the typical expectation of what was considered quick. With their level of intellect, they faintly sensed that something was wrong. It was as if they were facing a familiar old enemy, even though they were obviously fighting for the first time.
The Longhorn Devil turned around.
Brendel rolled to the other side that was out of their melee range and immediately launched an offense. As he did so, he looked in the direction of the portal and wondered where Amandina was; he would never dare let these devils go there.
The Concealment Cloak was just a cover at the end of the day; it was still in the Principal Material Plane. He'd have to find a way to catch the attention of these monsters. That wasn't an easy job, but Brendel immediately found a way.
He focused on one of the Longhorn Devils on the left and charged from the side. That way, it would take some time before the other two devils could surround him. He tightly gripped the Halran Gaia in his hand and sliced at the devil's horns, which were the source of the Longhorn Devil's power.
The Longhorn Devil quickly dodged Brendel's sword by shifting its head while its hand simultaneously reached up to parry the attack. Brendel let out a roar, the Halran Gaia in his hand that was shaped like a black light suddenly disappearing from in front of the Longhorn Devil's arm. The next moment, it hit the Longhorn Devil squarely in the shoulder.
There was a loud thud. The devil was knocked flying and it collided with the other devils.
Brendel immediately saw it crawl back up with a bone-deep gash on its shoulder, but other than that, it seemed to be okay. Devils had three hearts and four lungs. Their body functions were not on the same level as humans. It was a serious injury, but it was not even considered a minor one for the devil.
Brendel frowned and hurriedly backed up. The remaining devils had already swiped at him with their claws. He tilted his head back at the last moment to avoid it, but his cheek was still inevitably hit by the blast of wind created by the sharp claws. It cut a gash that was hot and raw with pain.
He wiped it lightly. Blood was smeared all over his face.
The smell of blood seemed to pervade, making the three Longhorned devils a little agitated. Brendel pursed his lips. He knew that the taste of blood excited devils uncontrollably. Even high-ranking Longhorn Devils could not resist.
Devils in a manic state were much more difficult to deal with than when they were normal, but at least it was guaranteed that their way of thinking would not be dominated by reason again. This meant they wouldn’t cause trouble for Amandina.
Brendel carefully calculated the situation as he stepped back. Everything was still under control now, but there was still an element of uncertainty. He gritted his teeth and decided to wreak more havoc for the enemies, once and for all.
"Is that all there is to a bunch of skinless giant lizards?" he taunted with a contemptuous tone.
This was in fact a line often used by the Dark Elves of the Underworld to taunt the Longhorn Devils. Ever since the loss of the Point of Ashes, the Dark Elves and devils had long been inseparable enemies. Naturally, their conversations weren’t any friendlier.
If you were to rank the ten most hated taunts of Longhorn Devils, then they hated it the most
when anyone called them big, skinless lizards, even though they do look a bit like a certain sort of food for Dark Elves.
As soon as Brendel said this, the three Longhorn Devils let out a vicious stream of curses. They already wanted to kill Brendel, but now, they were even more relentless.
As soon as the three devils rushed up, Brendel naturally wouldn't be foolish enough to face them head on. Rather, he used the terrain near the portal to retreat. The Longhorn Devils were, in truth, even faster than him but unfortunately, sometimes you can’t catch up using speed alone.
Especially for Brendel who knew exactly which direction they were coming from to intercept him. If it had been in Amber Sword, his display of superior kiting skills at this moment would have been enough to draw most people's attention. Of course, that was lost long before the game's fourth update, because after that, the player had long since learned to defeat the devils. For a high-level infantry like the Longhorn Devil, there was no difficulty at all. Brendel later even watched a video of a player - whose level was within the 10s - kiting Longhorn Devils. He wasn’t sure which pro the alt belonged to, but in fact, everything that he did was the result of the wisdom of countless players.
Even so, reality was still slightly different from the game after all. Every one of those differences manifested itself in the form of bloody wounds upon Brendel’s body. If he hadn't reacted in time, he probably would have been torn apart several times over.
To be honest, if he had any one of Berserk, Nine Luminaries Sword Art or Flash Strike Sword Art, let alone the Card of Fates, he was confident that he could effortlessly take on one of them alone. It would not be too much trouble even against the three of them.
Unfortunately for him, he had nothing at that moment, and his physical strength was quickly getting exhausted. Luckily, he still had the Unyielding Talent, otherwise the negative effects from the fatigued state alone would be enough to defeat him.
Brendel circled the portal three times while getting clawed on his left arm and taking a hit in the back, his entire body covered in blood. He tried to return the favor a few times, but unfortunately the Longhorn Devils’ hide was too thick. He estimated that using the game's calculation method, he at most chipped away less than one-third of the enemy’s health.
Besides, the devils’ self-healing was extremely strong, so they might have recovered quite a bit by now.
After a minute of fighting that got nowhere, Brendel began to feel the pressure increase. There was still no news from Amandina. On the other side, Nicholas didn't seem to be able to hold it any longer. He estimated that he would have to hold out for at least another minute.
But that minute was enough to kill him.
This would not do.
Brendel suddenly turned back and stood by the portal. The Longhorn Devils pouncing from behind rushed to a halt. Having high intelligence had its disadvantages; they knew what they shouldn’t hit. Although the portal was not something that could be destroyed that easily, who could guarantee it?
Had it been an intellectually inferior hellhound, it would have jumped head-on and slammed Brendel right into the portal, but alas, the Longhorn Devils didn't have the courage.
If they hadn't been by this portal, Brendel probably would have been cut up dozens of times.
He stepped backward and subconsciously felt around his arms and body to see if he could find something to save the day. However, that action only led him to a dagger.
He was slightly startled before remembering that he made this when he had been practicing alchemy. Honestly, it wouldn’t be all that useful on a battlefield like this.
However, Brendel still took it out and hurled it at the devil.
The Longhorn Devil was shocked when it saw Brendel's attack and hurriedly dodged to the side, but then it realized that it was just an ordinary dagger. It couldn't help but scream in anger, while Brendel laughed from the other side; he hadn’t expected this stroke of genius to do him a small favor.
The devils pounced yet again.
Brendel retreated again and rolled backward. Another dagger was thrown at the Longhorn Devil, but this time, the devil didn’t fall for it and blocked it with its hand, knocking the dagger away. It didn’t even break the devil’s skin.
Brendel immediately threw out a third dagger.
He had made many such daggers during his practice earlier, so the later ones were made of ordinary materials, which made them even less powerful than the first one. The dagger he threw was no threat to the devils and was simply pure mockery.
It only took a few moments for the Longhorn Devils to almost go mad. They were also within striking distance of Brendel. Two of the Longhorn Devils had even circled around to block Brendel's retreat, while the remaining one pounced with a roar.
Once again, Brendel flung another dagger.
That dagger hit the devil squarely in the chest.
Without even looking at it, it was ready to knock the thing away. To the devil, it actually felt like a child grabbing a handful of sand and tossing it at the devil. It was no use throwing things at the devil if you didn’t hit its eyes.
However, this time, it could tell that something was wrong right after touching the dagger.
The moment it sensed something was slightly different, it lowered its head, unbidden. It was surprised to see that Brendel had thrown some sort of monstrous cone instead of a dagger. The Longhorn Devil couldn’t figure out what it was despite its extreme intelligence.
But it didn't really need to figure it out.
Because at the very next moment, a terrifying pain was already coming from its chest. The Longhorn Devil saw magic disintegrating on its body. Its massive body was shattering as if it had crumbled. Dark magic power surged forth and formed a black hole, pulling the devil back in a blink of an eye.
It was pulled back into the ground of the Sulfur River.
After a while, only the final screams of that devil were left in the heavy rain.
Even Brendel was shocked. What he threw was naturally the terrifying Godslayer Cone. However, he didn’t expect for it to not only disintegrate the devil’s power, nor did he expect it to deny the very existence of a being like the devil that was projected onto the Principal Material Plane.
Having witnessed it with his own eyes, Brendel raised his head, dumbstruck. He now understood why players called it a nuclear weapon back in the day.
Whoever held it had the potential to be a terrorist.
There were two more Longhorn Devils. Brendel subconsciously tried to get up. However, the bones in his body hurt like they were falling apart. Even he didn't know if the devils would ever give him a chance. Presumably not, as the Longhorn Devils were not fools.