Kitsun were sly and treacherous, but Michael learned one particular thing about their mindset; they were afraid of pain.

Even though they loved to inflict pain and watch others suffer, no Kitsun liked to feel pain. They were hypocrites of the highest level, and they would lose their desire for combat quickly at the possibility of sustaining injuries.

Their mindset and constitution turned the Kitsun into one of the worst types of combatants. However, that flaw was made up for by their high fertility, their fast maturity circle that spanned less than two years, and the fact that they were both business-minded and focused on enslaving monsters and other races to fight for them.

But that was exactly where Michael held an advantage over the Kitsun. The nearby Beast Ranches were destroyed, and the slaves that had been trained for combat were now dead. The Elemental Empress and her Elementals had been the Kitsun Lord's main strength in terms of Battle Slaves, after all.

Therefore, all that was left were the Kitsun Guards and Awakened.

Conjuring hundreds of fire spears with the Elemental Empress' aid, Michael attached tendrils of extraction to them before he released them with a burst of energy. The fire spears propelled through the air and pierced through the steel armors and chests of the targets, leaving them gravely hurt – but far from dead.

The tendrils of extraction invaded the gravely injured Kitsun and extracted their energy for Michael to annex. Using the annexed energy, Michael possessed enough energy to face the onslaught of Tier-3 Guards and Awakened. No more than 500 Awakened and around 200 combatants at the 3rd Tier were left behind for him to tackle.

The only issue was that not all Tier-3 Awakened were easy to deal with even with the energy he hoarded.

His combat prowess after fusing with the Elemental Empress was clearly on par with a Mythical Existence. His Soultraits and the Elemental Empress' Powers allowed him to fight enemies above his Tier without too many difficulties. He could thus be considered a Tier-2 Mythical Lord.

As for the Kitsun, their combat prowess was Inferior. It was weaker than the average Awakened at the same Rank and Tier.

Thunder crackled in the sky, and crimson roots shot out of the ground. The crimson roots coiled around Michael's leg but quickly caught fire when they came in touch with the mythical fire armor that shrouded him tightly. Nonetheless, the crimson roots were sturdy enough to hold Michael in place for a second.

It was long enough for a bolt of thunder to blast down from the sky and travel towards him with a tremendous speed.

Michael's eyes narrowed at the course of events. His body glowed golden, and he vanished. A tremendous amount of energy was consumed but Michael used the Elemental Empress' spatial affinity to jump through space. His understanding of the spatial affinity was minuscule, but it was just enough to warp him three meters through the air.

He escaped the crimson roots and began to charge into his enemies right after using six layers of Enhancement on his body to enhance his physical strength. His constitution reached an entirely new level, but this didn't come without a downside. Using Enhancement on himself strained his body quite a lot. One wouldn't notice the strain too much with one or two layers of Enhancement, but six layers of Enhancement were too much to handle for Michael's body.

The only reason why his body wasn't ripped apart due to the sudden increase in Strength and Agility was his high refinement degree. All the work, effort, and money he spent on his body refinement had been worth it. He could increase his Strength and Agility to be on par with another Human at the Peak of the 2nd Tier. That was more than enough to deal with the enemies around him.

More bolts of lightning burst down from the sky, crimson roots emerged from the ground, and mental attacks struck him heavily. And if that was less, barriers and shields emerged in front of him, trying to block his path, and elemental attacks poured down on him like there was no tomorrow.

There were even Kitsun Awakened with similar transformation Soultraits like Tiara's Silvarean Tiger. Michael saw an Awakened transform his inferior physique into that of a Minotaur – to a certain extent at least. The Awakened's combat prowess skyrocketed, but Michael didn't give the Kitsun Awakened a chance to finish his transformation.

Michael released a four-fold enhanced Qi Blaze Sword toward the Awakened in the middle of his transformation. The attack burst straight through his chest, reaching his heart where the blazing mythical fire burned down everything obstructing its path.

Using the surplus of energy surging through his body, Michael easily controlled the battlefield around him. Exploiting the power of his Eagle Eyes and Spirit Gaze and the lethality of enhanced Spirit Disturbance, Michael could temporarily weaken Tier-3 Guards before finishing them off with an enhanced Qi Blaze Sword.

Michael grew more adept at using the Elemental Empress' powers with time, but the fights grew increasingly more difficult as well. That was why, whenever he felt a tinge of mental, or physical tiredness, he annexed the lifeforce of those he had left alive with the intention to sap them dry once needed.

Nonetheless, Michael's focus grew weaker as time passed, and the pain in his head intensified. Maintaining the fusion with the Elemental Empress all while using her elements and several Soultraits in an exaggerated manner was far from easy.

The tendrils of Extraction may not require much of his focus, but that didn't mean they could be left without supervision.

Being fused with the Elemental Empress didn't really increase his focus either. In fact, it was the opposite. Her rage and fury distracted Michael far more than they helped in the battle.

Thus, the following hours on the battlefield were more of a struggle to stay alive, keep his energy storage filled to the brim, and ensure that his stamina would never run out. As long as he was alive, he could wear down his enemies. Once dead everything would be over…and that was not something Michael wanted to happen – obviously.

All while Michael fought with his life on the line, killing thousands of Kitsun in a matter of hours, his War Rune was churning. The energy influx of everyone he had killed over the last few hours had entered his War Rune, which tried to refine the energy influx as quickly as possible. Michael's War Rune was refined rapidly, but it would take hours, if not days for all energy influx and energy shares to be digested.

Unfortunately, Michael didn't have that much time. He was already in the middle of the final battle.

He was faced with seven Awakened at the 3rd Tier, two of them being at the Peak of the 3rd Tier. Their Soultraits were too weak to hold a candle against Michael, but their numbers and power were quite high. Using Eagle Eyes and Spirit Gaze to analyze their attack pattern, Michael slipped through the gaps like a slithering serpent.

He evaded their attacks with great precision while searching for an opening to attack as well. Manifesting a few Blaze Swords, he released them without hesitation. The Wyverntooth Spear lunged forward in an attempt to reap a life as well. Unfortunately, his spear was blocked while a series of barriers and shields blocked the Blaze Swords.

Moving closer to one of the Low Tier-3 Inferior Awakened, Micheal tried to utilize his knowledge of the Kitsun race's personality traits to perfection. His tactic worked out more or less. The Peak Tier-3 Inferior Awakened continued to target Michael without caring about his brethren who were nearby. The attacks struck weaker Tier-3 Kitsun heavily, only for Michael to have warped three meters behind the same Kitsun.

An enhanced Qi Blaze Sword had manifested in his palm, and it burst forth, piercing straight into the back of the Kitsun, who had just been hit by his own brethren. Michael killed the Kitsun and received another energy influx. However, the number of enemies didn't seem to decrease.

On the contrary, the dead Kitsun was immediately replaced by two more Kitsun.

'Fuck this nonsense… Can't they just form a line to get killed one by one?' Michael cursed, gritting his teeth at the arrival of the two Kitsun. They were not Awakened, but Tier-3 Summons. Unfortunately, that did little to improve Michael's situation.

The only thing that improved Michael's mood was the gossiping Kitsun. They had yet to enter close combat against Michael because their superiors were in the middle of the battle, but that didn't matter. All Michael cared about was the content of their gossip.

"The Kitsun Lord commanded us to hasten up. The Valyr have already barged past the border watchtower. The other Lords are also on their way here," One of them whispered to his comrade, only for the other Kitsun to growl loudly.

"We need to finish this bastard quickly! Our settlements cannot fall…or we will fall…"

'The neighboring Lords finally started to move? Why did they take so long, either way?!' Michael asked himself before his focus moved back to the battle.

He spent another half an hour struggling to kill a few more Tier-3 Guards, and a few hundred weaker Kitsun. In the meantime, Michael sustained a few injuries as well. The Elemental Empress' mythical fire armor absorbed the impact of most attacks rather easily, but not everything could be blocked.

Some attacks were softened but they reached his skin and flesh nonetheless.

One of his arms was mangled, leaving Michael wondering whether the bones had just cracked or if they had shattered into countless pieces. All Michael knew was that he had difficulties moving his arm without searing pain shooting up from his shoulder blade.

But the injury was of little concern since the forces of the neighboring Lords arrived at last.

"The kill stealers have arrived," Michael scoffed.

"A little late, but that seems to be normal for those who want to reap the benefits of the hard work of others."