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246 Do I Look Blind to You?

 "Are the humans really going to be alright?" Elder Rangka asked the tribal chief back in the Long Ears' village. "We'll be next if they can't stop the Hyena-men..."

As a matter of fact, it was already too late to say anything. The Long Ears won't bode well even if they attempt backstabbing the Players and destroy the Lifestone, because burning bridges with the Players would instead leave them in greater trouble.

Even so, it was an instinct to say meaningless things to soothe one's emotions-which was exactly the case with Rangka.

He knew very well what the chief's answer would be, and yet couldn't hold back from asking.

"There's no going back now."

As Rangka expected, the Long Ears' chief replied came at no hesitation. "The outsiders may act weirdly but they had truly helped us. There's no need for hesitation-we must stand with them.

Taking a pause, he then continued. "And... the one leading them is someone I've met years ago in a summit... he's no anonymous foreigner exiled from his home, but the former chief of the Grayclaw tribe-Zonyan Grayclaw himself!"

"We were already helpless when Swordtail Grayclaw forced us to such desperation. Zonyan is our last hope, and I would take this gamble for the future of our tribe's children!" The Long Ears' chief took a long look at his brother. "I ask not for you to understand my choice, but you must lead the tribe and help those weird people. That's an order, Rangka!"

"Alright... I understand."

Rangka sighed and left the room as instructed.

He called up several strong Long Ears, intending to help the Players... only to be stunned by the sight before them when they reached the village gates.

Nonhumans rarely see large-scales battles, which was why they wouldn't match the humans in the Eastern Continent in strategy. The Hyena-men didn't have the faintest idea what's a combat formation, and were simply pouring forward chaotically just said the battle began.

That being said, the Players-most of whom were displaced peasants or ordinary tramps-were more or less the same, and naturally know nothing about military tactics.

Even though some had seen the fires of war, were tormented by the conflict and lost everything down to their family to it were aware that in battle, armies would assume formations before rushing towards each other, they simply didn't know what they should be doing.

It was fortunate that the Players were more individually powerful despite their chaotic ranks, and the teamwork that they built while farming dungeons day after day was not just for show. In spite of being terribly outnumbered, they were no different from a steel plate that rigidly stopped the charge of the Hyena-men.

All at once, everything from fireballs, tombstones, vortices, and seafood were launched across the battlefield, while ghostlike familiar spirits and Junglewalkers would slip between arrows and projectiles.

The Hyena-men's physical bodies didn't last long under such hammering-some were lit like a bonfire and slowly burned down to ashes.

Others had their head split apart colorfully by massive tombstones dropping out of the skies, painting the dirt in red, black or even purple and looking doomed.

Some were caught in the vortices that appeared out of thin air, their entire body ground down into mincemeat until a thick dark red puddle was all that was left of them on the ground, bearing zero resemblance to what it had been when they were alive.

And then there were those who were eaten alive by the seafood. Caught in a death grip by horrific tentacles or suction pads, their flesh would be shaved off, bit-by-bit with razor-sharp teeth. That slow death was the goriest of all, and some of the other Hyena-men who was about to come out for a bite of seafood were scared off.

In comparison, the Hyena-men who had their heads cut off by Swordmaster Players were the luckiest... at least it was a clean death with not much torment.

The Hyena-men might be strong and ruthless, but they are only strong and ruthless to the other nonhumans.

None of them had ever witnessed a terrible sight such as this!

Hence, what remained of them were split in two.

One was the bottom-feeders. They realized that the enemy had both strength and numbers, deciding that advancing did them no good other than dying and hence lost all will to fight, and began retreating to flee the battlefield.

Others were ascended specimens such as elites or warriors, with some such as Hyena-men priests that had grasped supernatural abilities.

Their will were stauncher compared to the normal hyena-men-they were not frightened at the sight the cannon fodders' horrible deaths, but became more cautious instead.

Using their innate abilities, the ranked Hyena-men would force their fellow tribespeople forward to continue wearing down the Players while they searched for an opening, waiting for the chance to ambush the Players.

And that naturally caused chaos on the battlefield.

***

Nonetheless, the chaos didn't affect the ranked Hyena-men's chances of winning.

It was actually helping them instead.

With the normal cannon fodder Hyena-men having limits to their fighting capabilities, they could have encircled or ambush the Players if they had been alone. But with them fighting together, they wouldn't be interrupted or be cut off into fighting alone for a long time. As such, the cannon-fodder no longer holds value whether they exist or not-instead, it would be them, the ranked Hyena-men who decide the outcome of this fight!

One must mention here that ruthlessness seemed to be carved into the Hyena-men's DNA even after they had ascended. When most ordinary species ascend, their change would present themselves in size, color or the growth of certain special organs. Even the most casual ones would have a few stripes added, right?

But that's simply not the case for Hyena-men. There was just no difference in their ascended forms or unascended forms! Because they couldn't see that there were ascended forms hidden amongst their opponents, many champions who fought packs of Hyena-men would ultimately be ambushed in the beads and die!

That was why the present confusion in battle was the perfect chance for the ranked Hyena-men to hide for an ambush!

One particular Frenzied Hyena-men's reddened eyes caught sight of a Player's buttocks and smiled. It slipped amongst the cannon fodders and sneaked towards him, before promptly charging its poisonous claws that it gained after ascension and charging towards the player's vulnerability at lightning speed!

Say goodbye to your family jewels!

And yet, the human seemed to have an eye on the back of his head-he promptly turned and raised his sword, blocking the Frenzied Hyena-man's claws with ease.

Then, before the Hyena-man could react as it was staggered by the parry, the Player swung his sword again and decapitated the Frenzied Hyena-man.

"Woah there. Trying to ambush me when 'elite' is written so large over your head? Do I look blind to you!?"

The Player spat a mouthful of spit at the disappearing corpse of the Frenzied Hyena-man, cursing as he continued to cut down other Hyena-men...