He felt sad for what happened to Hull but he also couldn't die because of that and not focusing meant dying so he threw it to the side of his mind and focused completely on his mana, he kept absorbing and the ball kept growing. Behind him the three rings were rotating at an unbelievable speed, mana went through this rings and came out from his hand to be added to the incredible fire ball, by now it was at least as tall from side to side as Thomas himself.
Finally now the Tiger seemed to feel danger, it looked over at the fire ball and ran toward Thomas at full speed. It bumped into the front line and both them and the Tiger were sent back a few steps, now everybody was working together so the Tiger also didn't have an easy time fighting against this trained army of mercenaries. When the Tiger took a step back it was hit by a falling rain of arrows and spells from all type of elements.
It didn't do any visible damage but the Tiger took another step back, even if there was no damage done to it, as long as they could hold it far from Thomas while he was channeling the mana it would probably die of such a huge fire ball.
While the ball was growing the heat in the cave was also becoming more and more painful, a few of the weakest mercenaries were starting to fall to their knees. Everybody else was sweating buckets.
"Mister Frank, won't this fireball exploding burn the cave completely and us together with it?"
A mercenary asked, if they were going to die anyway he preferred not dying burnt, it was rumored to be the most painful way to die.
"Don't worry, this cave is made of mana stones it won't collapse, it will also absorb the exceeding mana. We risk nothing as long as it isn't aimed at us, focus on holding it back ! It shouldn't be much longer, this is already way stronger than what I can do..."
He couldn't help but comparing himself with this young man, he was already nearing the fifties and was actually one of the most talented of the region, this young man that came out of nowhere wasn't even 20 years old judging from his face and already had three rings, add to that the fact that his rings were something seen once every thousand of years, he guessed Thomas must be amongst the three or four most talented people actually living. That was without including the other races such as elves, vampires, beastmen and the rest, as they didn't have much contact with the other races in Brel country he had almost no information on their strength.
Finally Thomas started feeling the ball getting out of control, just like the sun balls of plasma started to pop everywhere around it. He felt like it was the moment to throw it, he wasn't sure if it could kill he beast but that would be their best chance, he kept going for a bit until he felt it was his limit and yelled as strong as he could
"MOVE FROM THE WAY !!!"
All the mercenaries that were holding back the beast jumped to the side and the beast ran toward Thomas, before it could take a second step it was hit by the flaming ball that came at it in a second, the beast was sent flying in a straight line and hit the wall made of mana stones on the other end of the cave.
It's back got penetrated by sharp mana stones while it's front was burnt to a crisp.
Thomas looked at the beast, the mana around its body was starting to fade away it meant that it was dead.
« One shot ! Yes ! We survived ! »
Mercenaries jumped around, some fell on the ground crying while other hugged, everybody had tears all across their faces, Hull had also woken up by now, he looked weak but he would definitely survive as he hadn't been hit in any vital organ.
Now was the dilemma, should he kill everybody present or let them live. He hadn't killed any human yet since he came to this world, since he was told that this world was ruled by the strongest he had guessed that there would be a day when he would be forced by the situation to kill someone, he just didn't expect it to come this fast.
He could also make them leave this place and run away when he was done absorbing the tiger's mana but he wouldn't have anybody to protect him from sneak attacks. He was caught between a rock and a hard place, he didn't want to kill innocent people but at the same time that decision could cost him his life.
Frank was looking at him, he had guessed what he was thinking, of course if he was in his place he would have killed everybody present. My life is more important than the rest. He was just waiting for Thomas to take a decision, if he decided to go on a rampage he would try his best to stop him, even if it was useless.
Thomas looked around him and saw everybody happy, arms linked and jumping around, honestly happy that they survived. Wouldn't killing them make him a bad guy ? He didn't care what people thought but he didn't want to hate himself, that was the most important thing, he looked at Frank and said
« Leave with everybody else, come back tomorrow to collect the mana stones. »
Frank nodded, everybody had heard what Thomas said. Most didn't understand what was happening but still followed Frank outside, he was the one that was the most aware of how strong Thomas was, if he really wanted to kill them it would be a matter of minutes at most.
Thomas walked slowly behind the group and channeled the blue flames in his hand, he used them to close the only entrance, then he walked toward the Tiger and sat down and began absorbing the left overs of mana. His third eye started hurting, like a needle had been put inside, slowly he felt like more and more needles were continuously stabbed into his third eye.
He understood, this was due to the difference in strength between him and he beast, before he had only absorbed beasts that were at most one grade above him, the Tiger was the first that was two grades above. He knew that it couldn't do much damage, Tom said that at most he would faint due to the pain, he trusted him and didn't lose time to absorb everything, since he wasn't safe in this country anymore he was planning to go to another country, a stronger one that could protect him.
Hours later he stood up, he was drenched with cold sweat, the pain was too much he had almost fainted a lot of times. Every time he had to remember that he couldn't lose any time, he might get ambushed at the cave's entrance if someone had a loose tongue.
He channeled another fireball and threw it against the wall, he wanted to grab a few mana stones before leaving.
« You better give up, I've heard that throwing spells at them only makes them harder. It is said that only physical attacks can break them as they absorb the mana. »
« Should I use my hands ? I the mercenaries took their buddie's bodies and their stuff with them, they left nothing I can use. »
He spent half an hour trying everything until his eye fell on the dead Tiger, he approached it and checked its back where it had been pierced by sharp mana stones, there was a bone the size of a baseball bat, forgetting the nauseating feeling of pulling out a bone of a dead beast he pulled it out and tried it against the wall. This bone had been strengthened by mana for decades, it broke the tip of the mana stone as easily as if it was a normal stone. Picking it up Thomas realized it was very heavy for such a small thing, like this he kept breaking and picking stones until he had nowhere else to put them and left the cave.
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