Skully's knowledge had been crucial in the preparation of the plan. She knew how the Kesier Apes acted better than anyone else. She had even memorized the layout of their packs and the exact range of their consciousnesses.
Through the years, Skully's forces had come in contact with multiple tribes and had learnt how their rulers acted. In Noah's target case, the Ape didn't even bother scanning the region while remaining on the mountain.
Noah and his team had been able to plant many traps between its strolls. There were disposable items hidden everywhere and in numbers that could make any force flee in fear.
Carl nodded, and the group stood up to launch a series of long-range spells toward the massive cloud. The attacks didn't have any offensive property. They aimed to lock the Ape in place so that the smoke could affect it.
Ethereal barriers, walls, tall magical beasts, and puppets of various elements appeared around the cloud and isolated its form.
Seconds of silence passed among the hunting team. The six of them remained still as they waited for the powerful creature to show signs of life and reveal if it had suffered any damage.
The various spells around the cloud broke as an invisible pulling force made the smoke converge in another dark sphere, revealing the rank 6 Kesier Ape.
Noah's eyes scanned the creature, analyzing its body down to the smallest detail that he could see at that distance. His vertical pupils constricted as soon as he noticed the detonation had burnt some of its black hair.
There was a small black spot on the skin under its fur too. The Black Mark spell had managed to infect the creature, but it seemed unable to spread further.
That result made Noah happy. He had finally confirmed that there was hope in defeating that creature!
The hunting team had revealed their position during the last attack, and the rank 6 Ape didn't fail to sense the origin of those spells. Its head turned in the direction of the group, and it took a step on the air toward them as the two spheres floated behind its back.
Noah and the others felt their instincts screaming in fear when the Ape's focus went on them. There was a rank 6 creature coming in their direction, and all they could think about was to escape.
Noah had it even worse than his allies. Magical beasts had innate respect toward the power hierarchy, and sensing the aura of the Ape made him want to kneel.
However, his mind was superior to both human and magical beasts. That pressure wasn't enough to make him crumble, especially since he knew what the Ape would experience.
The Kesier Ape stepped on the ground once it crossed the hole formed after the detonation, but that action triggered another explosion. An even vaster cloud appeared in that spot, and a storm of saber-shaped runes filled the area.
"Again!" Noah shouted, and his companions relaunched their restrictive spells, constricting the corrosive smoke in a fixed form.
The spells remained in place a few seconds longer at that time. Yet, a cry suddenly resounded from inside the cloud, and both ground and smoke shot in every direction.
Noah felt his ears ringing as he stabbed his hands on the ground to resist the shockwave. The cultivators next to him used spells or clung on trees nearby to prevent losing their foothold.
Their hiding spot was a small patch of short trees near the mountain, but the shockwaves eradicated most vegetation between the group and the creature.
Another black spot had appeared on the Ape's skin, and another small patch of its fur was gone. The group's traps were slowly affecting the mighty creature, but they had made it furious in the process.
'Not yet,' Noah thought as Snore materialized behind him. The Blood Companion launched flames, sword-shaped lightning bolts, and a chilling gale as its wings unfolded and started to absorb the primary energy accumulated in the area.
Power at the peak of the fifth rank wouldn't be enough in that situation. Noah needed to push the limits of his mind and puppet at least half a step above that level.
Snore's attacks fell apart as they flew toward the Ape. An invisible force made the flames disperse and changed the trajectory of the gale. Only the lightning bolts managed to move a bit further and catch the beast in their range when they exploded.
The Ape barely noticed that some black sparks landed on its fur. Snore's attacks didn't follow the usual ranking due to the higher energy in their structure, but they could only reach the solid stage in terms of power.
A being in the sixth rank barely had to act to fend them off. Yet, Noah didn't attack to hurt the creature. He aimed to trigger the other traps in the area.
The destroyed ground lit up when the black sparks landed on it. Noah and the others had planted layers of various disposable items in the area. The bombs had different effects too and targeted multiple parts of the Ape.
The cloud that filled the region after the sparks triggered the explosion appeared different from the previous ones. The smoke flew in a circular motion and created a condensed area of destruction in the form of a sphere.
Noah had hidden a weapon capable of unleashing the Black Hole spell's effects among the various improved Instabilities. The smoke could focus on a smaller area in that way, and its density would increase, enhancing its destructive properties.
The experts at the peak of the fifth rank reinforced the black sphere with their spells and waited to see the result of that offensive. There was hope in their expressions since they could understand how many weapons the sparks had detonated in that spot.
Noah had mass-produced disposable weapons in the past years because he knew exactly the kind of threat that he was going to face. He had emptied the rebel's stash of black metal, but that had allowed him to create countless items.
The sparks had triggered more than two hundred disposable weapons at the peak of the fifth rank at the same time. The amount of power amassed in the rotating sphere was immense and shook the entirety of the region.
The restrictive spells slowly crumbled after a while, and the sphere began to show signs of instability. Another beast cry then sounded in the area and dispersed the entirety of the smoke.
The Kesier Ape reappeared in the open, and anger was everywhere on its face. Its expressions were remarkably humanlike, so everyone on the scene understood the intensity of its emotions.
A series of sharp feathers shot out of Snore's wings at that point. Most of them had power at the peak of the fifth rank, and only a few of them gave off the feeling that they had taken a step toward the next level.
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