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338 Intensifying Battle, Transformations Amidst the Rain of Flames and the Song Heard in the Background

 Day 54 - 12:12 PM - Industrial Area, South District, Bay City Settlement, Parañaque, Metro Manila

A tower of flames lit up the already darkened surroundings under the thick dark clouds and enclosed by the black wall of miasma. Around the tower, floating flames decorated the sky like lanterns. It was not a festival though but a fight of beings that already transcended the current level of humanity.


The eerie laughter of the floating flaming skulls echoed all over the place with their ghostly voices and rattling jawbones.

It was an amazing but totally horrifying sight to behold.

In the surroundings, flames scattered across the Industrial Area as the heat from the pillar started to light up anything flammable near it. Buildings both finished and unfinished were already demolished and turned into unrecognizable debris as the walls and floors cracked under the extreme heat. The remaining parts of the tower crane that lost its jib earlier started to incline as its metal supports started to melt.


Finally, the tower crane fell. Due to its height and position, some parts on top of it fell outside the wall of miasma connecting the inside and outside of the Industrial Area.

Quite a distance from the tower, a black sphere of Miasma could be seen floating. Inside was Mark who flapped his wings while he covered his body with Miasma to protect him from the heat. From the black sphere, only his eyes could be seen at a small gap in front of his face. He was staring at the towering flames with a calm expression.

From the start, Mark was aiming for the guy to blow up his temper. Inside the memories Mark had regarding the flame demon, he knew that he was extremely arrogant and had a short fuse. It was already amazing that Gar'Vlam lasted this long in holding his temper. That improvement might have been due to being sealed for a long time. However, the realization that Mark had been toying with him since the start pulled out the stopper.

Mark could feel the enemy inside that tower of flames growing stronger. In exchange however, his spirit was getting weaker. The flame demon had just gained his body causing it to be weaker than before. To empower it in the short time he had just revived, he needed to take the energy straight from his source, his spirit that had been sealed for who knows how long.

The enemy was growing stronger. However, there was one thing that did not cross the flame demon's mind.

The heat in the surroundings started to cool down and the light the tower of flames was giving started to dim. However, it was not because the flame demon was already done.

Only those outside the walls could notice that the walls of Miasma were getting thicker and thicker.

The heat in the surroundings was caused by a paranormal source. It carried energy emitted by the supernatural powers of the flame demon. That was a perfect food for the miasma Mark was controlling.

While Gar'Vlam was empowering himself, Mark was doing the same. The difference was that the latter was using the former's energy instead from his own source.

Soon, the tower of flames was extinguished by its own revealing the flame demon that was a meter taller and was with a body made from boiling lava. Rather than a demon, Gar'Vlam not looked more like a gigantic Lava Golem. Not only his body but his sword also grew in proportion to his size. Comparing the size of the two, Mark was like a dwarf now.

The giant turned his head towards Mark. At the same time, all the floating skulls did the same.

"You better prepare yourself."

The giant mocked.

Mark did not reply as he removed the miasma covering his body. It was then that his figure appeared causing the witnesses to be taken aback.

His hair had grown longer up to the back of his knee. The bat wings on his back were covered in a thick black smoke making the wings larger than before. His eyes glowed violet while black lines and markings could be seen on the parts of his skin that could be seen outside.


The flame demon was taken aback.

"What me?" Mark tilted his head. "You transformed, why can't I?"


The flame demon roared as it realized that Mark was still not taking him seriously. He swung his very large sword from above.

His movement was fast and the slash came in almost instantly. The speed the demon displayed totally betrayed his current size.


A large explosion like sound could be heard as debris and dust scattered after the slash connected with the ground. That attack despite coming from a sword was like a hammer that was capable of shaking a whole city.

Unfortunately, it did not hit its target. The attack was fast but Mark had already seen the attack coming even before the actual attack was made. With a poof, he turned into black mist and flew around the demon in a half circle.

"You should tone it down. The place is getting totally wrecked because of you."

Mark spoke as he appeared just at an arm's reach to the right of Gar'Vlam.

The demon did not speak as it just punched Mark who immediately retreated.

However, that was not the end of the attack. At the same time the very fast punch was unleashed. The floating skulls flew towards Mark's direction trying to ram him down.

Mark was immediately surrounded and used his [Shadow Mist Movement] to escape. He appeared quite a distance away but his clothes and skin had scorched marks all over.

"Tsk. I can't just rely on my movement ability anymore. That guy is really going all out."

He realized. Each of the skulls was infused with energy that could burn a gap in his subspace during movement. Since he passed by several of them, it could not be helped his body was hit.

While Mark patted his clothes and his burns started to heal, the next attack came. It was not from the flame demon but from the hundreds of floating skulls in the surroundings. Each skull opened their mouths wide and...


Balls of fire were launched towards Mark's direction.

Mark frowned. It would be easy if these balls of firecould be dodged using his [Shadow Mist Movement] but all of them contained the same energy from the skulls. Without any choice, Mark started to maneuver around the hundreds of balls of firelaunched towards him.

However, that was not the end. The hundreds in numbers, soon became thousands as the flaming skulls continued to launch balls of flame in succession.

Seeing Mark having difficulty in dodging the balls of fire, Gar'Vlam became delighted. He charged forwards attacking Mark with another slash of his huge sword.

Some of the balls of flame hit the demon's large but it really did not matter to it as it continued to attack Mark.


Further destruction ensued as Mark concentrated on dodging the sword more than the balls of fire. It could not be helped that Mark was hit several times by the balls. Compared to the damage that the slash of the demon could do, the balls of fire were nothing if he started to block the attacks with miasma.

"Such nuisance."

Mark murmured as he started slashing the skulls that was close to him. Unfortunately, he was dismayed. Instead of being slashed into half, the flaming skulls hit by the cursed sword in his hand bounced of instead. Each of the skulls was as hard as Flam as it seemed.

"Hey Flam, are you getting dull or something?"

Mark asked in annoyance. Those skulls he had just attacked already came back and launched fireballs once more.

In response, Flam shook very hard. Mark could tell that it was annoyed by his question. However, it was true that it was unable to cut through those skulls.

This was a problem. There was no issue with the sharpness of the sword but the issue was on the skulls' hardness.

However, Mark was annoyed but not troubled at all. He could still dodge and block majority of the attacks. Not only was that but his true goal was still not being noticed by the opponent.


"That guy isn't human at all."

Yoko voiced out as the four of them watched the fight between Mark and Gar'Vlam.

The four had already entered the place a while ago but just had not made a move in the open. Their primary goal was to secure Dopp who hired them for rescue and not to fight openly. In the worst case, they would need to assist the flame demon but they still needed to find their rescue target first.

"That person is strong but it looks like Gar'Vlam is already overwhelming him."

Tsukiko voiced out seeing that Mark was struggling as he tried to dodge and block as many of the attacks as he could.

Both Yoko and Spera thought the same but it seemed that Shin had another view of the battle.

"You three shouldn't be blinded by what you can see in the surface." He said with a serious expression making the three look at him. "My ability had to do with energies so I'm sensitive to it. You three can't tell but while the fight is being prolonged, Gar'Vlam is getting weaker but his opponent is growing stronger."

"Are you sure?"

Tsukiko asked making Shin nod.

"But how?"

Yoko asked as she turned her gaze back to the ongoing battle.

"Have you two forgotten the main characteristic of Miasma?"

Hearing that, the two finally realized.

"That's bad."

Spera voiced out.

"Yes. It's bad. Before we can take Dopp away, we'll surely get dragged in their battle."

Shin said.

"What's your suggestion?"

Yoko asked as the serious atmosphere ensued in the group.

Shin thought of it for a bit and finally decided.

"Spera, you go and find Dopp. Me, Yoko and Tsukiko will assist Gar'Vlam. It's not really our goal here but if we succeeded, we can take more credit. If emergency arose, we will release the emergency signal so Spera, hurry to pick us up at that time whether you found Dopp or not."

Hearing the orders of their leader, the three females nodded. With Spera splitting from the group, the other three headed towards the area of the battle.

Still, Spera could not help but look at the current opponent of the flame demon as she ran. After all, the unsettling and nostalgic feeling she had was targeted towards that individual. For sure, Shin was feeling the same.


Mark still continued to dodge and block the incoming attacks. It was rather going smoothly.

Gar'Vlam still had not noticed but the energy he was releasing was decreasing in an abnormal speed. It was also still unnoticeable but the speed that the skulls flew and attacked was decreasing. Even the glow on Gar'Vlam's body was slowly dimming but the flame demon was too enraged to notice all the changes happening.

On contrary, Mark's flying speed was getting faster and faster. He even started to have the urge to parry the huge sword that the flame demon was swinging but the number of balls of flame being shot around him was still within thousands. A short pause in his movement could turn him into barbeque.

The fist-sized balls of fire that missed and landed on the ground caused small explosions about the size of a basketball. It might be small but with hundreds of them landing on the wall of some of the remaining buildings, the structures started to crumble. Aside from that, the merciless attacks of the flame demon caused craters and more destruction everywhere the huge sword landed.

In the middle of battle...

"Na~ Na~ NA~ NANA~"

"La~ La~ LA~ LALA~"

A song was heard with two beautiful voices echoing in the area.

Mark froze in the air.


That sudden pause in his movement caused several balls of fire hit his body and caused him to plummet to the ground.