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Chapter 1188 Battle of the Black Skull (2)
The battle formation of Clan Valor was steadily advancing while keeping its shape, but Sunny was a poor fit for their polished tactics.
Someone needed to break the momentum of the horde of the Beastmaster's thralls, anyway. There was a sea of them, ranging from pitiful Dormant vermin to frightening Corrupted behemoths. The charge of the cavalry had destroyed some, but countless more remained.
Looking at the surging ma.s.s of abominations, Sunny couldn't help but feel a shiver run down his spine. Beastmaster… her power was truly great and terrible.
But then, he could be terrible himself.
As Sunny unleashed the shadows contained within his divine lantern, a tide of darkness suddenly spread from his feet, reaching into the attacking horde.
A moment later, it came alive.
Sunny had come a long way in his mastery of Shadow Manifestation. From swiping a piece of trash from his kitchen table to binding a t.i.tan and beyond, he had never stopped improving. And now, it was time to make use of all those lessons for one single purpose.
…The darkness came alive, and countless inky-black hands suddenly rose from it. They grabbed the lunging abominations, tearing their flesh with long obsidian claws. A wide swath of the horde was instantly turned into a harrowing h.e.l.lscape of moving shadows, spilling blood, and mutilated bodies. There was a cacophony of piercing shrieks and howls, too, all of them full of chilling agony.
Sunny paid no attention to the reactions of the warriors of Valor. His mind was in a state of battle clarity and augmented by the Shroud of Dusk on top of that, but still, it took every bit of his mental ability to control that many manifested shadows. He felt as though his brain was going to explode, but as a result, the destruction he had perpetrated was on such a large scale that it almost seemed like the work of some profane deity.
He only maintained it for a few short seconds, not wishing to burn too much essence, but that was more than enough — the center of the horde was utterly broken, its momentum spent.
Somewhere to his left, a blinding flash suddenly illuminated the world, and another chunk of the thralls was swallowed by furious white flames.
As soon as the darkness dissipated and the white flames dissolved, the vanguard of the Valor force — Sunny, Nephis, Morgan, and Jet — were already upon the enthralled monsters.
Nephis was clad in an intricate black armor, with soft white radiance spilling from its seams. Her longsword, however, shone the brightest, cutting through the Nightmare Creatures like a ray of incinerating starlight. She moved with the stunning speed and ruthless elegance of a heaven-born killer.
Jet was almost as deadly, although her battle style seemed much less refined. It was all about efficiency, practicality, and butchery — even though her strikes left no marks on the bodies of her victims, the kills somehow looked more savage.
Morgan, meanwhile, was like a hurricane of steel. Everything around her was cut and sliced to pieces, as if she was surrounded by a shifting field of some invisible severing force. However, there was no force — there was only Morgan herself, her body, and her sword. She was like a streak of black and vermilion, leaving misty crimson clouds in her wake.
And then there was Sunny himself. This early into the battle, he was conserving his essence, so there was nothing flashy about how he fought. It was best described by the word elusive — he danced between the abominations like a shadow, easily evading the deluge of attacks and sometimes delivering swift strikes of his own. Although these strikes did not seem too powerful and only left behind small wounds, they somehow never failed to bring the creatures down.
Just a few moments after the four of them dove into the horde of thralls, the battle formation of Clan Valor finally connected with the enemy.
Swords rose and fell. Arrows flew. Hundreds of Aspect Abilities activated in unthinkable harmony.
Blood spilled on the ground.
Sunny was startled.
'What… what the h.e.l.l is this…'
There was a limit to training and being familiar with the powers of your comrades. Sunny knew it better than most, since he had been a part of an Awakened cohort before, and even led one for a period of time. He had been in command of large military forces, too.
So, Sunny understood very well just how important synergy and synchronicity really were. Only when the cooperation between the members of a cohort reached the level where they could move as a single whole without the need for words would the cohort have a chance to survive.
However, cohorts were usually small for a good reason. With how different and unpredictable Aspect powers were, it was nearly impossible to bring them together in harmony — and the more Awakened there were, the more difficult that task was. The difficulty grew exponentially.
What the army of Valor showed, however, was a level of unity that went beyond reason. It was not exactly perfect, but close enough to perfection to be startling. Their battle formation seemed less like hundreds of warriors fighting side by side, and more like a single being with a thousand arms and a thousand heads.
Like a perfectly crafted war machine.
It was honestly a bit frightening.
Carving a b.l.o.o.d.y path through the thralls, Sunny couldn't help but pay attention to the battle formation of Clan Valor. It steadily advanced, withstanding the pressure of the horde of Nightmare Creatures like a moving fortress of steel. Countless abominations were dying beneath the sharp swords of the Awakened warriors, and when an especially powerful creature attacked, one of the Knights would step forward to face it.
Arrows rained without stop. The giant tortoise was marching behind the formation, serving as a mobile fort… but even its presence could not explain how the archers were so effective in slaying the enemies without ever putting their allies in danger.
'...It's the swords.'
Sunny did not have any reason to come to that conclusion, but he felt that he was right. This incredible, almost unnatural level of unity between the hundreds of Awakened warriors of the great clan Valor had to have something to do with the swords forged and bestowed on them by their Sovereign.
'No wonder Clan Valor is famed for its battle prowess.'
Just how deadly would perfect cooperation be in a war?
Sunny quickly adjusted his understanding of the battle, accounting for the new variable.
The boon of the forged swords was, without a doubt, a powerful advantage — much more powerful than one would think.
But would that boon alone be enough to turn the tide of the battle?
Somehow, it didn't seem like it.
No matter how Sunny looked at it, the position of Valor was still incredibly weak.
'What is Morgan thinking?'