Chapter 111 – Tragedy Befalls

A trail of fresh blood splattered all over Jarken’s face as he savagely ripped out the windpipe of an enemy beast.
“Uleron, cover the left flank! One of the griffins has managed to penetrate our defensive line there!”
The dark panther roared at the nearby towering golden gorilla who was currently engaged in combat with two enemy beasts.
Hearing Jarken’s commanding voice, Uleron swiftly grabbed the two beasts by their necks and smashed their heads together into a mush of flesh. Nodding his head at the panther, the massive gorilla pounded his fists against his chest as he let out a fearsome cry.
The body of the golden gorilla started to rapidly expand until he reached a height of twelve feet. Furthermore, two ivory tusks slowly emerged from his bottom jaw. Bending his thick knees slightly, Uleron used his powerful legs to jump up high into the sky and towards the crumbling line of defense at the west part of the battlefield.
“How long are you going to sneak around?”
Jarken coldly stated to his right once Uleron had left.
“Haha, so you did discover me. Although I do not wish to fight this war, I must heed the orders of my king. Prepare yourself, panther.”
Orpen softly responded, as his figure gradually became visible. He had been using a secret cultivation technique to alter the light waves around him, but it still failed to escape Jarken’s sharp senses. With a mellow, white glow emanating from his body, Orpen spread out his wings and instantly charged towards the dark panther.
“A cultivator of the light element? Looks like we were fated to clash from the very beginning.”
Jarken chuckled, as he released his own essence, and clouds of dark smoke began to revolve around him. In the next second, the dark panther nimbly rushed towards the griffin while his emerald eyes flashed with an ominous glint.
Jarken let his pent-up bloodlust out into the open, inciting an abrupt shiver of horror from the surrounding enemies.
This kind of bloodlust only followed those who continuously bathed themselves in the blood of countless massacres.
“What in the heavens is this…”
One of the late arriving Nobles muttered in shock upon seeing the scene below.
It should have only been a few minutes since the war had started, and yet the ground was already stained with dark crimson blood.
Weir’s forces were clearly being overwhelmed by the greater number of troops that Xardoth had brought. If it were not for the Nobles fighting at the front line, then the city would have already fallen within the first few seconds.
Regardless of how powerful the Nobles were, they were gradually starting to take injuries while they kept slaughtering the common beasts from the enemy’s camp. It seemed like even the mighty Nobles would eventually get exhausted under the constant consumption of their essence.
Meanwhile, Weir and Xardoth remained hovering in the air as their eyes locked onto each other. Theirs was a battle that could only be seen by them.
In a different and ethereal realm, a ghost-like draconic figure was mercilessly slamming its body against a grey smoky barrier.  
Inside the soul cocoon was Xardoth, as he adamantly braced himself and endured the dragon’s onslaught.
“Give up, Xardoth, you cannot win against me.”
Weir mentally spoke to the enraged Griffin King.
This was a world where only the minds of the Saint stage experts could travel and any damage sustained in this plane would have a much severe effect in the real physical world.
“Don’t feed me your lies, Weir, where is my son!?”
Xardoth bellowed with fury, staring right into Weir’s eyes through the soul barrier. Droplets of sweat rolled down from his forehead while his body slightly trembled under the force of the silver dragon’s barrage of attacks.
“Heavens have mercy! Have you gone mad? I told you already that I do not have your son, in fact, I did not even know you had a son until you came roaring into my city asking me to hand him over! I will stop attacking if you promise to calm down and think straight.”
Weir suddenly stopped midway in the midst of his next attack and solemnly stated to the unreasonable griffin.
“I know he is here! This was the last place that he came to, and if not you, who else could take him away? Don’t tell me that you are so pathetic as to not even know what goes on inside your own city?”
Xardoth goaded the dragon, as he instantly withdrew the soul barrier and sent a surging wave of soul energy towards Weir.
“If you are not willing to listen to reason, then do not blame me for what happens next.”
Weir spoke in an icy tone, livid at the inability of the griffin to think rationally.
“Haha, before you make any threats, shouldn’t you look more closely at what is happening on the battlefield?”
Xardoth laughed with madness, taunting Weir even more.
A trace of dread creeping into his heart, Weir momentarily turned his attention back into the real world.
“Oh no…LARIS!!!”
“Delicious. I never knew griffins tasted this good.”
Jarken sinisterly whispered, his tongue flicking at the specks of blood splattered across the corner of his mouth.
“You bastard! What kind of a beast are you?”
Orpen murderously rasped, as streams of blood unceasingly flowed out from his injured chest.
After the first initial clash, Orpen knew that something was not right with his opponent. Although both of them were at the first rank of the Saint stage, Jarken had instantly overwhelmed him and swiftly bit out a chunk of his flesh.
This level of savagery and brutality was not something that Orpen had expected, and he was afraid that his initial error might now lead him to his death.
“You are still talking? I thought the poison would have numbed your muscles by now.”
Jarken darkly stated, as his body quickly darted behind Orpen and grabbed the wounded griffin by his neck.
Poison? When did inject me with poison!? No… he never injected me with poison… he is the poison himself!
Orpen’s thoughts helplessly raced, when the sudden realisation hit him that he was going to die.
Gazing into those stone-cold glowing emerald eyes, he finally knew why this panther had so easily defeated him.
It was because he possessed a special bloodline!
“My king, I am sorry that I have failed you.”
Orpen breathed out the words just before a steely jaw locked onto his throat and crushed his windpipe.
“Yet another beast dies today under my jaw…”
Jarken morosely whispered while glancing up at the passing clouds.
The sky was so peaceful and blue, but the earth below it was tainted by the blood of their beast kind. A sorrowful expression flickered across the panther’s face, a stark contrast to his previous behaviour with the griffin.
“It’s the way the world runs, Jarken. There is nothing that we can do to change that fate, and only hope that we survive to see the next day.”
Laris softly consoled her friend, as she treaded towards the griffin’s corpse. From her bloodied armor, it appeared as if Laris had already killed a few enemy beasts on her way here.
“Fate, huh? Something which I have been running away from since the beginning of my life.”
The panther said in a mysterious voice.
Laris abruptly shouted, sensing multitudes of projectiles heading their way.
“Dammit, when did they surround us!?”
Jarken roared, seeing a group of griffins closing down on them as they launched a series of essence imbued spears at him.
Rage and fury was etched all over the griffins’ faces when they saw their captain lying dead on the ground.
Around twelve spears were headed towards Jarken, and it was clear that he would not make it out unscathed. The griffins wanted revenge for their fallen captain, and their main target was the dark panther.
“Hang on, Jarken!”
Laris yelled, summoning an aqua shield over the panther’s body and reinforcing it with another shield of ice.
Only a second remained until the spears were about to hit.
However, in that brief span of a second, an armored griffin suddenly flashed right behind Laris and pierced his sword straight through her back and out of her stomach.
Laris spat out a globule of blood, as she looked down at the rapidly spreading crimson colour across her stomach and the tip of the blade sticking out.
With her arms lifelessly falling to her sides, Laris slowly toppled onto the ground with the sword still pierced into her stomach.
Soon, a giant golden bird flew over the battlefield with a rider on top of it. His silky white fur fluttering in the wind, Rebran scanned the area for his father.
“I see him! Over there, Calron!”
The young lion abruptly shouted when he noticed two figures hovering in the air in the middle of the battlefield.
One of them was his father.
Rebran’s juvenile voice resounded throughout the city’s outskirts.
None of the beasts fighting below on either sides paid any heed to his shout and the war continued to take more lives.
However, the Griffin King sharply turned his head towards that voice. How could he not recognise his own son’s voice?

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