Release that Witch Chapter 762
Once the announcement was made, the Cut Bone warriors immediately drew their weapons, and without performing the slightest of probes, they encircled the four opponents from both flanks.
No matter how well-thought-out Osha's plan was, they were but four people.
It was impossible for them to control even their own half of the arena. When the 22 warriors completed the encirclement, the Osha party would face attacks from all directions.
These warriors lived to duel, and thus had no apprehension toward a life-and-death battle. From the moment they stepped on the platform, they had already dedicated their lives to the Three Gods.
This was not only a contention for power, but also a fight to delight the gods.
Suddenly, they heard a sad and mellow singing voice.
Drow Silvermoon's song swiftly drowned out the blusters from the underground fire and the Styx River.
The melody was ethereal and smooth, and sounded as if it came from the distant horizon. Deep feelings of loss, suffering and grief were embedded in the song, such that anyone who heard it could not help bursting into tears.
This made the Cut Bone warriors pause their footsteps.
"No... stop that!"
"What... are you doing?"
"Stop it! You're blaspheming this holy place!"
"I'll kill you!"
The onlookers' expressions changed dramatically. Some pointed at the Cut Bone clan and berated them, while others hid their faces and cried as if they had encountered a sorrowful incident.
Thuram could not believe what he was about to see.
The Cut Bone warriors turned with murderous intent towards their own clanspeople. In a flash, the audience stand was covered in fresh and boiling blood as the warriors slashed at the abdomens of their kin. Heads rolled one after another onto the platform, permanently seized in an expression of consternation and disbelief. The accompanying sorrowful melody seemed to record and narrate this horrifying massacre.
It lasted only for a brief moment.
When he blinked his eyes again, the scene he had just witnessed disappeared without a trace. The 22 warriors were still lurching forward, albeit with much slower footsteps than before.
Their sluggishness could not be helped. Their clanspeople were supposed to be their greatest source of strength, support and spiritual sustenance. They lived and died for their clan and its quest for power, while their people cheered them on as heroes. Unfortunately, it was all messed up now. The cries and curses of their clanspeople made them feel highly uncertain of what had just happened, while even the other clans which supported them now glowered at the warriors as if they had done something unforgivable.
Warriors are never fazed no matter how powerful an enemy is, but they can't disregard rebukes from their own people.
Could this be the Osha princess' ability?
"But... how?" Although Thuram had seen mind control abilities before, such as that of Kabala of Sandstone Clan, he had never seen or heard of these abilities being used at a range exceeding ten footsteps! He touched the God's Stone of Retaliation that he wore on his neck and glanced at his new owner. Drow Silvermoon was visibly standing at a distance far greater than ten footsteps from the audience stand. "Was it really her singing voice which compelled those people who didn't adorn a God's Stone to cry bitterly?"
He believed that the Cut Bone warriors probably held the same doubt.
And in a duel, doubts were fatal.
Everything happened in a split second.
The instant they slowed their footsteps, Andrea seized the initative.
Without using the short bow she carried on her back, she flung an arrow at each of the four nearest enemy duelists.
Perhaps because they were affected by what was happening outside the platform, or because they lowered their guard as they saw that the opponent was not holding a bow, they took no responsive action. By the time they saw the arrows flying straight at them, it was too late to evade.
The handful of arrows traveled as powerfully as the hardest shots a bow could make!
Each arrow penetrated its target slightly below their right clavicle and wedged in their bones. This caused their dominant hands to lose all energy and become unable to wield weapons. The four warriors thereby became entirely incapable of battle.
This created a gap in the encirclement.
The song which reverberated on the platform suddenly changed from sorrowful to passionate and high-pitched. Intense drum-beating sounds seemed to throb on every listener's heart and inspirited them.
Ashes' figure was like a black shadow, which once again attested to her inexplicable strength. She was visibly carrying a sledgehammer and a shield, yet her footsteps were so light that she seemed to be drifting. Her left hand was used for parrying while her right hand wielded her weapon. Nobody was able to guard again her strikes. Instead of smashing her opponents with powerful blows, she held the sledgehammer horizontally and dashed in all directions around the platform, and this way could subdue six or seven people in no time.
The numerically-superior Cut Bone warriors now found themselves in a dilemma.
If they attempted to continue flanking the Osha party from both sides, they would struggle to parry Andrea's arrows, and moreover would have to find a way to get around Ashes and mend the gap. Even if they held up their shields, the arrows, which seemed to have eyes on them, could still puncture their legs. The Magic Stone arrows which they could fire amidst their panic would barely even threaten the opponent, and when the God's Stones fell on the floor, Iron Axe, who served a defensive role, would simply step and crush these expensive playthings that were worth dozens of gold royals each!
Yet, if they decided to abandon the encirclement, their numerical advantage would become useless.
"Everyone, close up to me!"
Perhaps seeing that their initial plan was no longer viable, one of the warriors gave a loud cry for the dozen or so standing men to gather together. At this point of the duel, it was clear to everyone that, despite Ashes' cocky proclamation at the start, not a single participant had died.
If she truly intended to kill them, none of them would be able to resist her hammer blows.
Every warrior was a precious asset of his clan. Thus Ashes' method garnered the respect of the onlooking clans, including the duelists of the Cut Bone clan themselves. While they were not afraid to sacrifice themselves for the purpose of the holy duel, it had to be a meaningful death, instead of simply perishing blindly. Mother Earth was not a bloodthirsty deity. Though she was fond of courage and strength, she would not wish to see needless deaths.
The warriors sheathed their weapons and lined up in a row. They each stretched both hands in front of them such that their intentions could not be clearer.
Ashes laughed easily and placed down her shield. Subsequently, she dashed directly towards them while raising up the sledgehammer horizontally.
The sledgehammer collided powerfully against the wall of men.
"Don't fall back!"
Some shouts were heard from the audience stand, but neither clan's name was mentioned. It was as if at this stage, nobody cared who won or lost as long as they could witness a brave and magnificent contest. Those who were crying only a moment ago now clenched their fists and stared at the center of the platform. For some reason, Thuram did not feel that anything was strange - the drum beats continually grew more intense, as if calling for the audience to move forward courageously. Every listener was now in such a highly excited mood that they felt themselves to be a participant in the duel instead of an onlooker!
Ashes stretched her upper body into a long and slanted line and bent her legs, before she engaged in a physical standoff with the Cut Bone warriors. Her arm muscles formed a perfect arc, such that they were perhaps the best visual depiction of strength with beauty.
But of course, this was not a duel between one person and an entire clan.
Once Iron Axe, Andrea, and Drow joined in the scrimmage, the stalemate was broken.
The four of them slowly pushed their opponents towards the edge of the platform. Every step was greeted with shouts from the audience. Thuram could not resist joining in the clamor and waving of arms.
After a period of crescendo, the melody finally reached its climax.
The advancing footsteps became synchronized with the drum beats. At this point, the warriors had no energy left. The Osha quartet roared in chorus and pushed their opponents off the platform!
The music abruptly stopped as this happened. Yet, the stirring melody continued to reverberate non-stop in everyone's ears, and would not dissipate for a long time...
"The winner is the Osha clan!"