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464 The Eyes, The Retreat of the Races and the Interference of the Old Man

 Day ▊▊ - ▊▊:▊▊ ▊▊ - Northern Border, Forest of Illusion, Eastern Mountain

The warriors of the races led by Diwata Danaya thought that everything would be over once they sealed the movements of the giant.

With all their might, they succeeded in making the giant fall on its back and kept it from standing once more. With its body covered with vines, roots, and shackles made of stone, there was no way for it to recover back up on its feet.

What was left was crush its head and brain. That way, the threat of the giant would finally end.

Still, even when pinned on the ground, the sheer size of the giant gave a threatening pressure to everyone. Because of that pressure, none of the races was able to approach any closer, especially near the giant's head.

And thus, the ranged attackers and magic users took point. The Angittays focused their enchanted arrows at the giant's ears, where the muscles of the head should be softer. The Sylphs, on the other hand, continued to destroy the giant's eyes, trying to dig further into its eyes.

The pain from the attacks made the infected giant trash around. Diwata Danaya and the Duendes took the toll from that. Nevertheless, they held on as they continued to repair the breaking shackles around the giant's body.

Ranged attacks and magic continued to attack the giant's head. Just a little more, the battle would already end.

That was what they thought.

It was until a stomach-churning feeling enveloped everyone.

Diwata Danaya was the first to notice. They were in a dangerous situation. She felt some sort of dark and frightening energy that started to leak from the giant's body.

"Everyone! Retreat!" Danaya shouted as loud as she could. "Get away from the giant!"

Knowing how the Diwata treated everyone, they knew that something was up. Something dangerous was up. Along with the Diwata's superiority towards everyone present, they immediately followed her orders.

They were supposed to be winning, and yet, they were now retreating.

However, as they retreated, the sinister energy burst forth from the giant's body. It made everyone that felt it shiver. Worse, the closest ones to the giant with weaker minds ended up falling unto their knees. Some even lost consciousness almost immediately. It was the worst case to happen as they needed to get away as much as possible.

Enduring the weakness of their bodies, those that were still conscious came to aid those that fell.

Diwata Danaya did her best to reduce the effect of the sinister energy towards her people. This way, they would be able to retreat faster. In exchange, however. Her magical energy was depleting rapidly. She did not know how long she would be able to maintain it.

The Diwata watched the warriors retreating and the giant that was still moving wildly in its restraints.

But then...

CRACK!

Loud cracking sounds were heard echoing across the mountains. However, those sounds did not come from the breaking restraints, but from the giant's body.

Several humps started to grow on the giant's body, one on each shoulder, one on the center of its chest, six on its back, and one on each palm. The formation of these humps started to bend the restraints of the giant.

BURST!

The humps on the giant's shoulders and chest burst open, causing it to break free from its restraints. Instead of standing, however, the giant rolled over to its front and raised its body on all fours. That was when the six clustered on its back similarly exploded open.

At the same time, a thick, sinister, and evil aura permeated into the surroundings.

Each of the humps bored holes on the giant's skin, revealing huge eyelidless eyes. Every eye of the giant, big or small, rolled in different directions, searching for both enemies and prey.

And of course, the eyes saw the races. Most of them were fleeing in fear, some were frozen, while many fell to the ground. Many could not resist the dense evil aura that was coming from the giant.

That was when the smaller eyes on its body wriggled disgustingly. Then, each eye extended out of the giant's body, being the point of countless tentacles that reach out towards the nearest races.

Diwata Danaya immediately flew towards the giant, trying to stop it from attacking her people. With a wave of her hand, several tentacles were cut off and were left wriggling on the ground.

That was the worst thing, however. The eyes on the giant's back all turned towards her.

Then, the surroundings grew dark as a clump of light appeared centered on the pupil of one of the large eyes.

Danaya felt a crisis that could threaten her life. She wanted to immediately flee. But once she did that, the races fleeing behind her might be hit of whatever attack was to come.

All she could do was to wave her wand, trying to put up defenses in front of her using magic.

Before she could finish all of the layers, however...

THOOOOOOM!!!

The surroundings grew darker as a blinding beam of light shot towards Danaya. Feeling the energy from the attack, she knew that it was the end of her. The layers of defenses she managed to put up did not even resist the attack and was immediately broken.

She was overwhelmed by the feeling of death, making her want to flee. Nevertheless, she did not and started to let out her remaining magical energy, to at least divert the attack in a different direction. This method, however, would inevitably end her life.

Of course, she did not want it. She wanted to live. But to protect her people, it was inevitable.

Facing the incoming attack that seemed to slow in her perception, she smiled. At her acceptance of her incoming outcome, she closed her eyes.

"Unfortunately, you can't die just yet."

Danaya heard a voice in front of her. She could not help but open her eyes in shock.

There, she saw a man with two pairs of bat wings, each glowing with a red light. He had red horns, fangs, and his hair had grown to his waist. Furthermore, his forearms and neck were glowing.

He reached both his hands forwards with open palms. A wall of miasma surged out, blocking and absorbing the beam of light that hit it.

"You still have a debt to pay. You can't die without paying that."

The man said as he manipulated the wall of Miasma to spin from the center, lessening the impact of the attack and made it easier to absorb.

"You..."

Danaya voiced out as she recognized Mark despite his transformation.

"Seriously, you better take your people away already. They will be in the way."

"Th-thank you!"

Danaya said as she immediately retreated. Using her magic, she brought away as many races as she could.

The contest between the beam of light and the wall of darkness continued. Sure enough, even Mark was having a hard time contending with it.

"Old man! Is this what you want?!"

Mark bellowed.

Then, a voice echoed inside his head.

"That is right! Absorb the attack until everyone can retreat back into the fortress. And remember! Never try to absorb that black aura!"

"Tch, you made it sound easy!"

***

Back when the surge of energy was felt by almost everyone, the familiar yet, an unfamiliar voice echoed inside Mark's head. It repeated the words Eyes and Observers over and over. He held his head in pain.

For some reason, he felt the urge to charge forward and fight the giant that was amidst its transformation.

However, he did not want to. And the more he tried to resist, the more he felt the pain on his head. It was to the point that he fell on his knees while holding his head with both hands.

Everyone around him became shocked and worried. Mei immediately hugged him, thinking that something from the giant was affecting him. She wanted to use the characteristics of her body to thwart any negative element that was affecting him.

However, it seemed that his condition was still worsening.

This made Mei a bit teary. She could see how much pain Mark was in. However, she could not help.

"Don't cry, young lady. It is not your fault."

A familiar voice echoed on her mind. It was also heard by everyone around her.

It was when a hole in space opened near them. Then, a familiar old man stepped out, giving Mei and Spera a huge surprise.

Pefile and the others immediately tried to step forward as they were wary of the old man. That was when they realized that they could not move their feet at all.

The old man turned to Pefile and the others.

"I'm sorry about this, but we don't have too much time."

He then approached Mark and Mei.

Looking at Mark, the old man shook his head.

"Your ancestors surely put a huge burden on you."

He said as he tapped Mark's head. With a single tap, Mark returned to normal.

Surely, Mark felt a bit weakened. Nevertheless, he stood up with Mei beside him.

"Is he?"

Mark asked Mei, and she nodded in confirmation.

"That is right. I'm the one they met in the Trading Area." The old man also confirmed. "I know you have questions, but by your own logic, it should be a tradeoff."

He said with a smile.

Mark, on the other hand, could not say anything to contradict that. Not only items but also information could be traded.

"What do you want?"

Mark asked.

The old man did not reply immediately and pointed at the giant that was amidst its transformation.

"Get rid of that creature. I'm sure that you can do it."

Hearing that, Mark felt strange.

"If it's just dealing with that thing, I think, a single finger is enough for you."

Mark said with a frown. He could not feel the exact strength of this old man, but his magical energy was definitely higher than him and those that he fought before. He felt like a child before this old man, not only in age but also in strength.

To Mark's question, the old man shook his head. The voice of the old man then echoed inside his mind.

"If it is that easy, I definitely would love to." But then, the old man's expression had a grim turn. "But you heard it yourself. The Eyes are here. The Observers are definitely watching. Appearing here like this is already risking myself. If I did any more than this, they will definitely make things harder for us."

Everyone could not understand what the old man meant. They wanted to press more questions. However, the old man stopped them with a signal of his hand.

"The questions should come later. I will not escape, you all have my word." He turned back to Mark. "Deal with that thing first. I will give you some instructions. We don't have much time. It this continued, that young Diwata will die."

With a deep sigh, Mark nodded.

Everyone from his group also wanted to help. Nevertheless, the old man stopped them.

"It is better if your leader is the only one to go. That thing there is not something you all should be able to face at your current strength."

Mei and the other felt down. The old man was right, however.

Mark patted Mei's head along with the little girls.

"Wait for me, I'll be back."

Mark then jumped off the wall before soaring towards the giant that was now standing on its fours with that disgusting clump of gigantic eyes on its back.

When he felt the energy being released by one of the eyes facing Danaya, he immediately transformed into his Blood Demon Form. However, what was different this time was that the markings left on his body when he absorbed the Deity of Bloodshed were flickering with a strange glow.

While he wondered about this, the old man's voice echoed in his mind.

"It is me who did that. It is better to face that thing with those markings restricted if you didn't want to lose control of yourself amidst the battle. Also, I know that you will try to use the miasma on your body to drain the giant of its energy. DO NOT DO IT! You cant absorb the incoming attack into your own, but NEVER try to absorb that raw black aura that that thing is releasing from its body."

While receiving the old man's instructions, Mark faced the attack of the giant and let the warriors of the races fall back into the fortress.