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214 Whale Power! All Items Stat +7

 A pair of bat-like wings extended out of the devil's back. They gently flapped once, and all the dust in the air was blown away.

The creature resembled an exceedingly muscular hairless gorilla in appearance and stood around five meters, with a pair of horns that was around a meter each and resembled a buffalo.

Its tail that protruded out of the small of its back looked like a crocodile's, albeit with a bony arrow-shaped tip that was a signature appearance for all devils.

Either way, there was no doubt that the creature was a devil from every trait-and an individual of a superior race at that.

And before it could do anything else, it took a deep breath before speaking with its gruff voice.

"Fresh air, how I've missed you! Such delight... I even believed that I hadn't woken from my dream!"

Many assumed that devils preferred the sulfuric scented air down in hell because they lived there, but that was not true-though they could survive over long periods in environments with zero oxygen, those creatures preferred fresh, oxygen-rich air as well.

Although sulfuric air would make them feel nostalgia and remind them of the scents of home, they didn't really like it all that much.

In fact, the mortal realm with its fertile resources and suitable climates are the most ideal colony for most devils.

Hence, the devil took another deep breath-but not merely to breath, but to identify the scents in the air.

"Ho? An elf with impure bloodline... and that human just now. Were they really the ones who freed me?"

It licked the palm it had crushed Marni with, suddenly noticing in surprise that the taste of blood it expected wasn't there.

The devil stared at its palm by instinct only to realized that the mincemeat and blood were gone entirely as if the human's corpse had vanished, leaving only its spit from its own licking.

Nonetheless, the devil did not care too much about it-instead of minding its curiosity about the human, the fleeing elf was the real main course!

"Hmmm?"

But just two steps out, the devil noticed vines shooting out of the ground, intent on coiling around itself.

"I see the elves did not improve their skill even after so many years." The devil snorted at the puny spell, spread its wings, ignoring the vines as it flew straight for the elf.

Even if wood elves are buffed in speed in the forests, they were no match to the speed at which the devil flew-it landed with a rumble right in front of Selene in an instant!

The devil lowered its back, looking down upon the elven girl which was knocked down on the ground by the shockwave and its landing.

"Yo, little kitty..." It grinned. "Where are you going?"

Nonetheless, Selene did not say a word with the great foe right in front of herself, and promptly raised her hand, firing several emerald rays at the devil's head and dyeing it in green.

It was a spell of considerable power, and equal in devastation with a Blast Fireball that human mages could release after a charge delay of thirty seconds.

And yet, devils were a supernatural species that bathed in magma as if it was hot springs-not only were they immune towards magic, their physical defense made such level of attacks negligible. It didn't even have to care about the greenness over its head, and it simply smiled, watching as Selene struggled against her inevitable death.

"Tsk tsk tsk. Unlike the foolish humans, your kind should know very well what power devils would have... one lone half-bred elf is never going to win." The devil's eyes widened in mockery and curiosity at the elven girl. "What drove you to attack me without hesitation anyway? Were you merely trying your luck? Or could it have been your survival instincts at work?"

Selene did not reply, however. She was in fact hoping that the devil could muse to itself, because that was the only way that the paper crane that she released would have time to return to Trinia and inform the Elven Queen about the devil's escape from its seal.

"No answer? Not a surprise, since generations of elves have been hostile towards my kind."

The devil did not appear suspicious about the uncooperative reaction of the elven girl, and continued self-indulgently musing to itself. "If that's the case, I shall make my guess."

At those words, it inched its face closer to the elven girl.

Selene took a step back by instinct after a single glance at the massive maw that could swallow her whole.

It was not as if she hadn't thought of seizing the moment to attack its eyes or mouth, but her rational mind told her that not only would it be ineffective, it would instead provoke the devil.

And if she was killed, the mana-imbued paper crane would become very obvious within this area!

That is why she must endure it...

It wouldn't matter if she died as long as her paper crane reached other elves.

"Could it be... because of this little thing?"

The devil was grinning broadly even as it showed her what it was talking about-the exact same paper crane she had folded with tree leaves to inform Trinia!

Selene felt her mind go blank in that split second, just as her heart was clenched tightly by a colossal hand called despair. Whatever strength she had that kept herself going was also gone in an instant, and she dropped to her knees as her whole body went soft.

"Hahahaha! That's it! That's the look I wanted to see!" The devil finally laughed out loud. "How wonderful... it's not a waste of effort getting this little thing! It was so worth it!"

Its face turned menacing right then. "And relax, you're just the first! With the hate I have after being sealed for so long, I won't be satisfied until I kill every elf in this forest!"

At those words, it swung its palm viciously down at Selene's head!

Even so, a golden-red figure suddenly appeared in that very moment to stand between the devil and the elven girl.

The figure was armed with a metallic full-body armor. Though Selene had seen armor of every variety in her long elven life, that was the first time she had seen that armor, which was at once gaudy and impractical.

And yet that armored figure had handily withstood the force of the demon's palm!

"What are you!?" The devil exclaimed at the unexpected guest.

Even so, the armored figure did not answer. Instead, he turned to glance at the elven girl, its weird helm suddenly opening to reveal a human face which she would never forget.

"Like I said, it's going to be okay as long as you're alright." Marni grinned. "Leave the rest to me."

With that, the Iron Man armor closed itself, with every joint shining in faint blue light as the familiar spirit started firing on all cylinders.

"Now witness the whale power of having all item stats strengthened to plus seven!"

At those words, he was slapped by the devil into the dirt.