185 Clash of Titans
The Digestor Pterosaurus was colossal compared to the Lion and the Tiger, who in front of it looked like two kittens. And yet, Jake's instinct was telling him that these two felines were absolutely not inferior to this monster. The Lion in particular emitted such a dominating pressure that the Silver Butterfly, more sensitive to mental attacks, could not help but take off again to take some distance.
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The Rank 7 was comparatively much dumber, or more reckless. Either way, the creature seemed unable to sense the danger of the two insignificant creatures in front of it. Anything it could swallow in one bite could only be easy prey to it. And these two prey seemed particularly juicy.
Based on this difference in behaviour, it was clear that the Butterfly was more dangerous. If Jake was pushing the paranoia even further, it was even possible that the Rank 7 was the underling or under the control of the Butterfly.
There was no doubt that the Pterosaurus Digestor was a formidable opponent, but Jake was more wary of creatures capable of reasoning. At his current level, it didn't matter whether the Butterfly was Rank 6, 7 or 8. The insect's speed was such that he wouldn't have time to react anyway.
All of a sudden, as if the silent negotiations had failed between the two groups of opponents, the two felines began to growl, while the Pterosaurus deployed its gigantic pairs of wings to make itself more imposing. Its wings were so wide that they almost covered their sight.
The mere growl of the two felines was deep and low enough to cause the earth, dust, and gravel to vibrate and jolt on the ground at a high frequency. Even for Jake it was a terribly uncomfortable experience that made his teeth rattle despite his excellent self-control.
Feeling that the clash of titans was about to begin, Jake picked up his unconscious teammates, making them disappear underground once again. Crunch, the lionesses and other felines were extremely calm, as if this wasn't the first time they'd seen their leaders fight seriously.
In any case, just like Jake, the other members of the pack retreated hastily, only stopping after retreating five hundred meters from them. According to Jake it may not even be enough. Although he popped up with his head on the surface to watch the fight, he was ready to run away at the slightest sign of defeat.
The other felines, and especially the lionesses, went into a prone position, some of them even starting to groom by licking themselves. Crunch went to annoy the female leopard he had harassed earlier in the Mission Hall. Hanging around with two other leopards, she growled at him by lifting her clawed paw as a warning, but it had no bearing on the old alley cat.
He had apparently convinced the lonely leopard to accompany them with his legendary shamelessness. On Earth, feminists would surely have considered the cat's flirting tactics as harassment, but sadly the feline equivalent did not yet exist.
Jake was planning to sermonize him again with the intention of drilling some sense into his skull, but that was when all hell broke loose.
A deafening roar erupted from the lion's mouth, a sonic wave of compressed air blasting absolutely everything in front of him for several hundred meters. Even being five hundred meters behind, the residual sound wave that passed through them was loud enough that Jake cautiously decided to avoid it by diving back underground.
The other felines were clearly prepared, as they all posed without exception, including Crunch, with their front paws on their ears to muffle the slightest sound. It wasn't perfect, but it was enough with their present Constitution. It reminded Jake of the scene in a movie where a group of politicians put on their goggles to watch a demonstration of a new weapon.
The shock wave hit the massive body of the Rank 7 Digestor without doing any damage as if it were a pleasant refreshing breeze. However, it did have the desired effect on his temper. Enraged, the flying monster shrieked in turn.
The shrill cackling that had uprooted hundreds of trees exploded again, but with even more intensity if that was possible. The two felines were much lighter and had to dig their claws deep into the rock to avoid being swept away.The mane, fur and skin stuck back gave them funny heads, reminding each bystander that in the end they were just two huge cats.
Meanwhile the Butterfly had lost no time whatsoever and had already started since its take-off to spread its paralyzing powder by actively flapping its wings. The wing beats were slower and measured to avoid alerting the two felines.
Unfortunately, the Lion and the Tiger didn't know anything about the Butterfly's faculties and had no way to fight by avoiding contact with this powder. Long before the Rank 7 Digestor launched its attack, the first symptoms of poisoning appeared.
The Tiger stiffened, its breathing became slower and its eyelids became heavier, but by stomping hard onto the ground and shaking its head, the feline forced itself to stay awake. An intense yellow and green light covered its fur, and the influence of the poison seemed to dissipate as if by magic.
As for the Lion, he did not show any physical sign that he was affected, but he did not move either, suggesting that the paralysis had taken effect. Satisfied, the Silver Butterfly uttered its out of tune whale howl, ordering its stupid ally to attack. This scream also contained a mental attack powerful enough to turn the brain of a normal human into a vegetable.
Again, the mental storm hit both felines, generating different responses. The Tiger's vertical pupil irises glowed electric blue and a strange bluish force field covered its body, neutralizing the immaterial attack.
The Lion remained frozen in the same position, as if the paralyzing powder had really damaged him. The mental wave passed through him, then disappeared long after the energy had dissipated.
The Butterfly had some doubts, but in the end it was still just an insect. It trusted the destructive power of the Pterosaurus Digestor. Prudently, the insect hovering high above them uttered a last cry to remind its comrade to attack the vulnerable lion first.
The gigantic monster shortened the distance to the felines in a heartbeat, as its eight pairs of metamorphic legs and three pairs of huge wings gave it an insane burst of speed. At that moment, it was not a good idea to stand behind the beast, because the blast generated by its acceleration was enough to reduce a small hill to dust.
Its four forelegs turned into monstrous scythes that were vibrating at a very high frequency, producing excruciating ultrasounds, and then they struck down at a speed impossible to follow with eyes on the motionless Lion.
When the four scythes were only one meter away from cutting the Lion into pieces, the vertical pupils of the cat turned abruptly toward the Butterfly. As if time was frozen, the flying Digestor, unable to interpret emotions, nevertheless felt for the first time an intense fear, unnatural for its species.
The Lion then gently tapped the ground with his paw and vanished, leaving a few long yellow hairs in its former place. The four front scythes of the Giant Digestor fell to the ground with a thud, their extremities spouting a geyser of silvery blood.
Completely unable to process what had just happened, the Rank 7 with its multiple asymmetrical eyes opened its pelican beak in a vain attempt to express its indignation, but no sound came out of its mouth.
As the Digestor looked for the culprit, its field of vision suddenly changed, the ground, its headless torso, and the sky following one after another several times before crashing into the dust in a heavy bang.
The seven silver eyes of the monster did not lose their light immediately, continuing to oscillate and move asynchronously in search of the culprit. The Digestor had such vitality that the creature's brain could survive several tens of minutes drained of blood without any source of oxygen.
At last, the culprit reappeared above it, the Lion standing poised on its enormous beak. The seven silvery eyes finally found a common direction to point in, but the feline made sure it would be for all eternity.
Raising his front paw again, a blinding red and golden light covered it. When the Lion slammed it down, the Digestor's skull exploded like a balloon full of water thrown from the fifteenth floor. The ground caved in, forming a crater seven or eight meters deep, stirring up an absurd amount of dust.
Jake, who had witnessed the fight from beginning to end, was completely flabbergasted. All in all, the real clash had lasted only one or two seconds and the Tiger had been useless.
The Butterfly was as shocked as Jake and its survival instinct kicked in instantly, defying the supposed fearless nature of the Digestors.Taking advantage of its altitude, the flying insect flew like a comet towards the sky, disappearing from their sight within one second.
They had won the battle.