Chapter 321 – Lash vs. Mole
Shang and Lash went into one of the caves in one of the tall mountains and descended the tunnel.
After a couple of minutes, they found several Soldier Stage beasts, but they ignored them.
The Soldier Stage beasts also felt that these two humans were too powerful, and they ran whenever they saw the two.
The cave was dark, and in comparison to the Caves in the Storm Eagle Zone, they looked natural.
They were also far less confusing from a layout perspective.
After a couple of minutes, they found the first General Stage beasts, but they also avoided the two humans.
When they saw a Mid General Stage beast, they noticed that it didn’t immediately retreat. Instead, it stayed around but didn’t attack them.
They continued, and a couple of minutes later, they saw a Late General Stage beast.
It was a five-meter-long mole with rocky armor and long, sharp claws.
“Can you kill it alone?” Shang asked Lash.
Lash estimated the mole’s power for a couple of seconds.
“I don’t know,” he said.
Shang nodded. “Then, that’s good training. Fight it. If I see that you are about to die, I will intervene and kill it.”
Lash took a deep breath.
This would be a difficult fight.
After some seconds, he charged at the mole. The mole hadn’t noticed them up to now, but as soon as it saw Lash approach, it sharpened its claws, which began to grow even more.
Lash also took out his own weapon.
Lash was one of the more powerful barbarians, and he also had his own weapon.
His weapon was a huge spike made out of hard bone. It couldn’t be called a spear since it lacked the finesse of a spear. It was literally just a big, sharpened piece of bone.
However, its weight and power were still astonishing. Shang guessed that this bone came from an Initial Commander Stage beast, and even though it hadn’t been crafted with a lot of finesse, it probably had been very expensive.
The two of them charged at each other.
And then, they both attacked.
Lash pushed his long bone forward, hitting the mole on its head.
It broke through the earth armor, its skin, and its muscles, but it eventually got stuck in the mole’s skull.
The mole’s attack had missed since it had misjudged Lash’s reach.
The mole screamed in pain and jumped back.
Funnily enough, it also stumbled a bit, showing that it had received a heavy concussion.
‘He got the initiative,’ Shang thought. ‘As long as he can keep it up, he will eventually wear down the mole.’
Sure enough, Lash continued stabbing his bone towards the mole. The mole evaded most of the strikes, but that forced it to retreat even more. It was simply too big to sidestep the strike, leaving only retreat as an option.
The mole tried to strike the bone several times, but Lash always managed to make the mole miss.
The fight continued like this for over two minutes.
‘Is this how long normal hunts take?’ Shang thought.
Shang’s fights always ended very quickly due to his very explosive and offensive battle style. He wasn’t really used to seeing fights go on for so long.
The mole managed to push the spear to the side.
Even though the mole was a level below Lash, its body was still a bit more powerful than his. Together with the leverage it had by hitting the spear’s tip, it managed to throw the bone out of Lash’s hands.
The bone hit the wall about twenty meters away, and Shang frowned.
‘The bone is too big, and there is no handle. Even the worst smith knows that a good handle is important. Why would anyone able to create such a powerful weapon refuse to make a good handle?’
Without his weapon, Lash was defenseless, but his eyes remained narrowed and concentrated.
Shang prepared himself to intervene. He wasn’t sure if it was necessary, but he had to be ready.
Lash jumped back, and the mole jumped forward with its claws. It had been on the retreat for so long, and it could finally go on the offensive.
It extended its right claw and tried to skewer Lash.
At that moment, Lash’s training kicked in.
Out of reflex, Lash pushed the claws outward, diverting the mole’s force.
The mole landed sideways behind Lash since it hadn’t expected its force to be diverted like that.
Lash charged away from the mole and reached his spear rather quickly.
The mole had recovered and already jumped at Lash again.
Lash’s eyes focused on the mole’s head, and he stabbed forward.
The spear hit the same spot it had hit the first time, and the mole’s skull broke.
The bone didn’t pierce through the entire brain, but it managed to destroy parts of it.
The mole’s body quickly began to convulse as its brain malfunctioned.
The fight was already over, and Lash quickly ended it.
After the fight, Lash looked at his injured left arm. There were a couple of deep cuts on it since it had deflected the mole’s claws.
However, that action saved Lash’s life.
“Without your training, I would have died,” Lash said without looking away from his arm.
“Fighting with a weapon doesn’t mean that you only fight with it,” Shang said. “There are a couple of things you could have done.”
“For example, you could have baited out an attack from the mole, kick its claw to the side, and kill it by using its own charge as additional force for your spike.”
Lash imagined that scene and nodded.
It made sense to him to fight like that, but while fighting the beast, he had reverted to his old habits.
He was used to fighting beasts like this, and it was difficult to change it on a whim.
It needed a lot of training and practice to change one’s fighting style.
Luckily for Shang, he had been a master at hand-to-hand combat before he had even received his first weapon.
MMA had a nice flow to it, especially in the ground fights.
Make yourself as compact as possible, get behind the enemy’s defenses, and release a powerful attack.
It was like the fighter was a slippery eel that suddenly transformed into a strong gorilla when the time was right.
Shang’s fighting style had built upon that. When he fought beasts, he mainly focused on evading their attacks and getting even closer while doing so, and when he was close to the enemy, he unleashed a devastating attack.
Lash was more direct. He essentially made his power clash with the enemy’s power, which wasn’t the smartest move when one was fighting a beast.
But it was the safe option.
Even if one messed up or lost the clash, they could still retreat.
In comparison to that, if Shang misjudged his opponent’s attack or messed up his dodge, he would probably die immediately.
Lash’s fighting style was low risk, low reward.
Shang’s fighting style was high risk, high reward.
Lash used his weapon several times to block, while Shang only blocked when there was no way to dodge or parry. The reason was that blocking broke Shang’s momentum and flow, and he hated that.
“Give me your weapon,” Shang said.
Lash handed his spike over without any protests.
Shang had proven more than once that he knew what he was doing.
“I’m going to make a handle for you,” he said.
Lash didn’t say anything. He simply trusted Shang.
Funnily enough, Shang didn’t say this sentence for Lash but Sword.
Shang had never forged anything before, and he knew that he couldn’t do this alone.
But Sword probably knew what to do.
Shang stabbed the spike into the ground so that its handle pointed upward.
Then, Shang held Sword to it and began to grind upward.
Shavings of bone left the spike as Sword ground on it.
Sword had understood what Shang wanted, and it stealthily moved in the perfect way to create a stable handle.
It took a while, but an hour later, Shang was finally done.
At the backend of the spike, Shang could now see the bone narrow again in a smooth way until it became thin enough to be held by human hands.
Then, the handle continued for a bit until it widened again, and at the very end, it turned completely flat.
The wide end was so that Lash could put more force into the spike.
Shang gave the spike back to Lash, and he carried it in his hands.
One had to remember that this was a spike, not a spear. Spears could also be swung from side to side due to the sharp blades at their tips, but this spike couldn’t be used like that.
This spike had no sharp edges. It only had a sharp point.
Lash put his hand on the handle and saw how easily he could angle the spike.
Then, he put his right hand on the butt of the spike and pushed forward.
The stab released a lot of power with tremendous speed.
‘With that flexible handle, he can also use feints,’ Shang thought. ‘He can charge in, point his spike at the enemy’s head, force them to block the attack, but then quickly change the angle of the spike before punching forward.’
‘But that’s for him to find out. I think he will notice that application very quickly.’
“Let’s continue,” Shang said. “I’m going to get us two Peak Fighter Stage beasts.