Mufasa was a highly underestimated machine of large-scale destruction.
The omnidirectional blast of wind that he whipped up with every movement was like the shockwaves of a several-kiloton nuclear bomb, with himself as the epicenter.
No one, absolutely no one, could fight alongside him, not even his allies.
Shere Khan was a different story.
The only one whose fighting style came close was Azeus.
When he fought, the giant tiger would generate a very powerful voltage that converted all the energy in his cells into electrical or kinetic energy.
Like Azeus, he could transmute his body into lightning, but unlike the probationary god his body was much more tenacious and he could revert to solid form after reaching much greater speeds.
Shere Khans fighting form of choice was therefore a half-solid, half-lightning state that gave him, at the cost of a slower movement speed than pure electricity, an offensive and defensive prowess that very few Players in this Ordeal could emulate.
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When Mufasa and Shere Khan fought in close proximity to each other, they would inevitably compete, rampaging and ravaging their battlefields beyond redemption.
Several Mirror Vanguard Players had almost died several times fighting too close to them.
Then there was Crunch, the rubber cat who thought he was a giant flail.
Once its tail was firmly planted in the ground, the black cats body would become a spinner covered in spines and once launched its rotations would become unstoppable crushing anyone unfortunate enough to stand in their way.
With the centrifugal force continually increasing, the cats elastic tail would also grow longer and longer, increasing the range of its deadly spins as the fight went on.
If Crunchs spinning attack was miraculously stopped, the rebound would hurl his thorny body in a random direction increasing the chaos and damage done in unpredictable ways.
Then there was his faithful sidekick, Lord Phenix.
Since the orange turkey had realized his dream, he liked to remind everyone that he was no longer a lowly bird, but a spectacular fire phoenix.
In addition to continually launching kamikaze attacks by blowing himself up to rise from the ashes, each of his wingbeats triggered deluges of flame as hot as the suns surface on the battlefield, incinerating everything for kilometers.
If a blast of Mufasas wind inadvertently collided with his flames, a flame tornado with a tenfold diameter would cover the battlefield, multiplying the extent of the damage by an unknown factor.
Their propensity for carnage and the advent of their True Will had only made them more unpredictable.
After these four brutes had wiped out several entire cities in an attempt to help, Vexa had formally forbidden them to participate in any combat without his permission.
Unfortunately, he had overestimated the respect these animals paid him and every time they fought he would be forced to clean up their mess.
“Sigh… I dont know how Jake keeps these beasts under control.” Vexa lamented wrily.
Radur seemed to like them…
“At least they are our allies.” Prysm consoled him with a peck on the cheek.
“Well need them for the final battle.”
Far from relaxing, Vexa darkened when his companion reminded him of the impending final confrontation.
In recent days, the planet had finally been completely blanketed by the black clouds and Mana Storm.
Leaving the planet was now impossible with the allowed artifacts.
The only alternative they had was to gather enough Codexes of Aurae to gain full control over the planets settings and reduce the density of Mana to weaken the black clouds and the Mana Storm.
Easier said than done.
A Codex alone had limited effectiveness and range and could easily be countered by another Codex.
If Jake used his Codex right now to reduce the Mana density to zero, it would actually take several years or a decade for the Mana accumulated over the centuries to dissipate.
The only way to speed up this process was to merge the Codexes together to increase their performance.
According to their intel, a total of 26 Codexes of Aurae had been found on Quanoth since the beginning of the Ordeal.
Because Vhoskaud had arrived first, three of them were in its possession.
Mirror Vanguard had 2 more, Lost Divinities had another 2, Demiurges had 4 but they were fighting in space, and Anti-Life had 3.
With Jakes, that made fifteen.
So there were 11 Codexes currently owned by Players of unknown factions.
The Ordeal was coming to an end and if these Players had managed to hide and survive until now then they were definitely not weak.
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“In the end, well still have to kill each other to get all those Codexes…” Vexa grumbled sullenly, which made Prysm tremble.
“If there are less than ten thousand of us at the end of the battle royal, getting final control of the Codexes wont matter.
And if the Codexes end up in the hands of the other super factions and there are more than 10,000 of us, theyll use them to get a free pass for their members by letting the other factions die.
“And if were still over 10,000 after that… well have no choice but to kill each other.
Mirror Vanguard has over 10,000 players scattered across Quanoth.
Id hate to have to fight Jake and the others.
I hope theyll forgive me…”
“You worry too much.” Jakes voice suddenly boomed behind him.
“Its just an Ordeal.
We have our assignments and we do what we need to do to get through them.
If we have to fight and you kill me in the end I wont blame you.
But lets do it fair and square without backstabbing.
Besides, youre too optimistic.
I doubt youll have more than 100 Players left after all this.”
Jake didnt mince words.
Between the robotic army Vhoskaud had been tirelessly manufacturing for hundreds of years, the billions of mythological creatures from the Wilderness migrating to Celestial City, and the other super factions and solo Players, there were too many variables they couldnt control.
For a while now, his Shadow Guide had hardly responded, telling him that all the remaining Players had Oracle Ranks equal to or greater than his.
They were probably using all sorts of special abilities like Oracle Cloaking and Promotion to confuse their enemies predictions.
What Jake didnt know was that since Rubys release the other super factions, Mirror Vanguard included, couldnt predict anything about him and the Myrtharian Nerds either.
Even if he knew, he would have simply chalked it up to Ruby and her Digestor aura jamming the Oracle System.
“Youre probably right.” Vexa forced himself to smile.
He was indeed getting worked up over nothing.
It was still too early to be thinking about hypothetical events that were unlikely to happen.
Over the next week, all the cities of the Serinese Theocracy were visited by Caphriel and spreading her gospel she converted all who could be converted while the rest were slaughtered without remorse by Mirror Vanguard and Myrtharian Nerds.
After ten long days of reconquest and preaching, Caphriel, her escort and millions of reconverted angels finally returned to the capital, Cradel.
Vexa, Jake and the others expected a tough fight, but they were taken aback when they discovered a desolate city.
The three Virtues and their elite troops had deserted the country, fleeing to who knows where.
“I didnt think these angels were so wimpy…” Radur snorted with a disappointed look.
“At least we kept our end of the bargain.” Jake commented in relief, not giving a damn about what would become of these renegade Schwazens.
Caphriel was finally going to give him the Blood Essence she had promised him and that was all that mattered.
The fate of the Corrupted Virtues and Powers was a concern for Mirror Vanguard and the other Players.
His only regret was that as long as they were alive he couldnt get a perfect rating on his Side Mission.
Nevertheless, he was confident that he would meet them again before the end of this Ordeal.
A few hours later, Jake found himself in a private room in the temple of Aurae with Hade and Caphriel, who was hooked on his arm like a leech.
Judging by the Fluid Grandmasters embarrassed expression, their relationship had made some progress over the past few days…
Feeling the cheeky gaze of his leader, the centenarian Player coughed and glowered at him.
Caphriel, who hadnt noticed, released her crush and pricked her fingertip with one of her golden feathers.
A drop of blood that looked like molten gold beaded on its surface and Jake carefully collected it in a vial specially processed with his telekinesis.
The female Virtue did not stop there, however, and two more drops of Blood Essence beaded off her finger and the glowing halo radiating from her dimmed significantly after this deed.
“One drop would have been enough.” Jake chided her gently.
“What does it matter Im going to die soon.” The young woman smiled sadly as she cast a rueful sideways glance at Hade.
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