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340 Wild Battle, The Mark without Restraints and the Two Inheritors of the Crystals

 Day 54 - 12:25 PM - Industrial Area, South District, Bay City Settlement, Parañaque City, Philippines

Miasma blew like waves rippling on the ground in a large circle. In the center of that ripple, Mark's unsteady body stood, twitching and growling.

Both Gar'Vlam and Shin had to retreat because of the miasma. Especially Shin, since he had a weaker body than the flame demon. The dread he felt from the pressure emitted by Mark was too heavy.

"You bastard..." The gigantic flame demon growled. "You should just lie down if you are dead already!"

Gar'Vlam shouted as he controlled the floating skulls in the air to attack. Immediately, hundreds of balls of fire were launched towards Mark who was just staring at the two without moving.

As the attack came, Mark hunched low with his arms dangling down. The blade of Flam that was still on his right hand hit the ground causing a metallic sound. Mark then raised his head looking at the balls of fire approaching.

When the first volley approached...

BURST! BURST! BURST! BURST! BURST! BURST!

The balls of fire burst apart. A volley after another, the balls of fire came in droves covering the area with bright light as they exploded. Mark was enveloped by hundreds of basketball sized explosions.

It might already have been a thousand or more when the rain of fire stopped. With that amount, the enemy should be dead already.

Or not...

To both Shin's and Gar'Vlam's surprise, the pressure they could feel never lessened and the rippling miasma never vanished. When the smoke from the explosions was gone, they saw Mark unharmed from the new attacks.

Mark stared at the two with his glowing eyes and his head lilted to the right. His hunched posture was still the same. However, six red tentacles could be seen swaying behind his back. On the end of each tentacle was a reddish-black colored blade.

ROOOOAAAARRR!!!

He released an inhumane roar from his throat. That could just be a simple roar on the outside but Shin immediately fell on one knee as he felt his head ache badly.

Shin felt a wet sensation on his nose and ears. As he touched it, he saw that his ears and nose were actually bleeding. He finally noticed, Mark was staring at them with his eyes fully red.

"Sh*t! It's that strange energy again."

The swordsman realized. He was too focused on the heavy feeling he had and failed to notice the very same energy that covered the large area from before.

"Tsk." Gar'Vlam clicked his tongue and spoke to Shin. "Kid, I appreciate your assistance but retreat now. If you can prepare our escape, then do it. That bastard is just standing there not because he can't move. He's preparing for something."

Gar'Vlam already realized. The enemy might have turned into a soulless one but it did not make the situation any better. Instead, it became more dangerous.

BURST! BURST!

As the flame demon finished his sentence, two more tentacles emerged from Mark's back. However, unlike the first six, the two new tentacles started to envelop his body. From his shoulders, the gelatinous blood spread to his arms and torso. Then it spread to his back, wrists, legs, face and the already torn wings. Even Flam was engulfed by the blood.

Still hunched, he looked like a figure totally covered in blood. The blood then wriggled as it started to take shape and hardened making a hideous looking armor filled with thorns and blades. Even the tentacles on his back changed into jointed limbs similar to a spider's or a beetle's which was filled with thorns. Flam was changed from a Flamberge into a reddish-black wide sword with spikes instead of a blade. Mark's face was covered with a mask that only covered the upper parts leaving his mouth and chin open.

CLINGK! CLINGK! CLINGK! CLINGK! CLINGK! CLINGK!

Metallic sounds could be heard as the six new limbs landed on the ground. The transformation only lasted for several seconds.

Mark then raised his head glaring at the two and then...

POOF!

Gar'Vlam hurriedly used the wide side of his sword as shield and put the sword in front of Shin.

It was because Mark suddenly disappeared from his initial position.

BAM!

The large sword was shaken heavily as Mark appeared in front of the sword with his metal limbs hitting it. From the loud sound, it was obvious that the impact was too strong that the sword held by the flame demon shook fiercely.

"Tsk. This Bastard aiming at you kid! Retreat now!"

Gar'Vlam shouted as Mark jumped away kicking the blade of the sword. Mark then landed on a pile of debris but before the two could blink, Mark vanished once more.

Normally, a trail of black mist could be seen. But as Mark appeared and disappeared now, it was not just a trail of mist but a thick wave of miasma bursting into the surroundings. It totally masked Mark's true movements making his attack very hard to predict.

VOOOOM!

Another burst of miasma scattered as Mark appeared behind Shin.

BAM!

Gar'Vlam blocked the attack once more. On the other hand, Shin took the opportunity to counter attack before he retreated. He unleashed several slashes at Mark with his katana.

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

All the slashes from the katana was blocked by one of the metal limbs. Seeing his attack blocked, Shin jumped back and started to retreat. As he retreated however, a wall of miasma appeared blocking his path.

Still, it was not enough to stop him.

Shin slashed the wall of miasma creating a large gap for him to go through. That slash contained his ability and rather than slashing the wall into two, it looked more like the miasma that his sword passed through was erased instead.

With that gap, Shin used his inhuman speed and ran away.

As the primary target ran away, Mark tried to make chase but he was blocked by the flame demon from following.

When Shin was already out of sight, Gar'Vlam smiled.

"I can't use my puppets or attack if that kid is around me but with the restraint gone..."

Gar'Vlam hacked his sword towards Mark creating another large tremor as the sword hit the ground. However, Mark was still safe and sound. He did not even turn into mist but just propelled himself away using the metal limbs.

SLASH! SLASH!

The flame demon unleashed slash after slash causing dust and debris to fly around. However, Mark moved around like a jumping spider evading all the attacks with erratic movements. From time to time, he would also charge forwards attacking Gar'Vlam's body with either a smash with the sword on his hand or by piercing with his metal limbs. Mark also tried to give the flame demon a large bite but was not able to do so as the flame demon tried to counter attack.

The two fought like there was no tomorrow. Unlike before where Mark just flew around dodging everything, the current Mark was attacking fiercely without holding back.

Due to the difference in speed, attack after attack from Mark connected on the flame demon's body. If not for Gar'Vlam's enhanced body, wounds would have already covered it. Still, there were scratches and holes left on his body as Mark attacked.

BAM!

Mark was finally hit and his body flew towards a huge pile of debris quite a distance away.

Gar'Vlam used a feint and slashed down on Mark when he was actually going to use the wide part of the blade to slap the latter away like a fly. The attack was successful. However...

From the debris, Mark sprung up like nothing happened. However, something changed.

The red glow on his eyes became violet steadily.

Seeing that, Gar'Vlam surrounded Mark with the floating skulls and shot a barrage of balls of fire.

However, the balls of fire were being blocked by the metal limbs that moved on inhuman speed. Some of the fireballs hit Mark as they were too many causing him to sway around unsteadily and even fall. Still, he would sprung up like nothing happened. While all those were happening, Mark was staring at Gar'Vlam with a ferocious stare.

GRRRROOOOOOAAARRR!

Mark bellowed. Another ripple of miasma covered the ground but different this time, black balls of miasma emerged from the ripples.

The balls of miasma then shot towards each of the floating skulls. Gar'Vlam made the skulls evade and counter attack with balls of fire but the balls of miasma chased persistently while dodging the balls of fire.

Then, a skull was caught and the miasma covered the skull entirely. The flames were not extinguished but the control the flame demon had on the skull was cut off as it fell unto the ground.

While the balls of miasma and the remaining skulls did a chase in the sky, Mark charged forwards piercing his metal limbs towards the unguarded head of the flame demon.

***

"This is wild..."

Flam commented on the scene he could see on the monitor. Unlike before where Mark was playing a war of attrition, his body was behaving the opposite. It was only dedicated on attacking without even minding if he was hit or was hurt.

"Yep, my body even tried to bite but Mutators don't carry the [Unstable Strain] of Mutagen so it should be unnecessary." Mark complained. "By the way, do you recognize the other guy?"

"Well, I'm not sure." Flam scratched his head. "If I'm correct, that guy is called Shin. He belongs to a group in the outer division of the organization."

"His ability is to erase energies right? I didn't expect that the holder of Eigrid's ability to assist Gar'Vlam. I also feel Maurellfel nearby. To think that the inheritors of those two are members of Auraboros. There could be more."

Mark spoke in a low voice and a sigh.

"Who? What?"

Flam asked in confusion.

"No, don't mind me."

Mark shook Flam's questions away.

Eigrid, one of Freed's Royal Knights. He was about ten years older than Freed and was initially the personal knight of Freed's father. When Psypathogen invaded Eriellis, he was bitten during the time the castle was invaded. He managed to survive the infection and became a Psychic that had the ability to erase any kind of energy in a certain radius around him at will. However, instead of using his ability like mages, he preferred to pair it with his swordsmanship. It seemed that the habit was also inherited by Shin.

On the other hand, Maurellfel was a retainer of Freed's former fiancé. She was a body guard and an expert in using laser sniper rifles. As a Psychic, she gained the ability to open portals and travel through them. However, it was not omnipotent as the mental energy required to open a portal varied heavily and opening the portals needed to follow quite a number of rules.

Mark never expected that two of the reinforcements of the enemy were inheritors. When he saw Shin, Mark wanted to cancel the [Release] but as the song was still ongoing, there was no way to take control of his body. He needed to wait until the song was stopped. Even if the hypnotism was still in effect at that time, it would be weaker and he would be able to break it.

Now, he could only patiently wait. Once the song was stopped, he would immediately take control of his body and deal with the enemies. He had a promise to fulfill after all.

***

The sounds of intense battle echoed over the distance.

Spera carefully traversed the area searching for Dopp. At the short pause of the battle earlier, Shin asked the flame demon if Dopp was still alive which the demon affirmed. However, since the flame demon was deranged at that time, he could only direct Shin to the general direction.

Now, Spera was running towards that direction.

Carefully running around large debris and jumping over obstacles, she finally reached the area where the ritual that resurrected Gar'Vlam happened before.

There, she saw the barely intact aircraft Dopp and his team used to come here.

Scouring the area, he finally found Dopp and Emmett that were both severely injured and unconscious. She immediately pressed the device on her ear.

"Shin. I found Dopp and one of his subordinates. No one else is alive. What are we going to do next?"