Joshua turned to look in the direction of where the lightning had come from only to see a female zombie standing on the roof of a nearby building with its hands outstretched in his direction. Electricity seemed to still be flickering around the zombie's hands as it looked towards Joshua with a weird gaze. The orangutan seemed to smile at the situation before it started to once again attempt to smash Joshua into the pavement. Now with the zombie helping out the orangutan, Joshua didn't know what to expect next.
The zombie wasn't acting like the usual empowered zombies that Joshua had come across in the past. Empowered zombies were usually rather simple minded and brash. They may have had extra abilities that caused them to be far more dangerous than other zombies, but in the end they would still charge forward towards their target with reckless abandon. The fact that this zombie was staying still far away from Joshua and anyone else was already a sign that something weird was going on. Even if it had an ability to attack from range the usual empowered zombie would do so while moving towards their target.
'There's something up with that zombie that seems out of place.' Joshua said through the mental link as he avoided another blow from the orangutan.
'It seems to be under control of the boss if I had to guess.' Henry responded while casting a support spell to empower a fire ball launched by Cinder that was far bigger than any of their other attacks. The ball of flames broke through the orangutan's block of concrete, but instead of hitting the sub-boss in the chest it was blocked by the scorpion tail at the last moment. The explosion was large, but was still away from the main body of the beast.
While everyone was focused on slowing down the sub-boss Aito decided to turn his attention to the empowered zombie that was starting to charge up another lightning spear to throw in Joshua's direction. He aimed right for the zombie's skull, since it wasn't paying attention to him, and he knew that one shot was more than enough to kill it. Empowered zombies might be more of a threat with their special abilities, but they were still zombies in the end. They had high regenerative capabilities, but as long as you took out the head then there would be no coming back.
In one smooth motion Aito fired off a rail shot just to make sure the creature wouldn't be able to survive the attack and watched as its head exploded. For a moment the rest of its body stiffened up, but it soon fell over to the ground as the electricity around its hands faded away. With that taken care of Joshua had far more freedom while taking on the sub-boss. He no longer had to look over his shoulder expecting a blast of lightning to come from behind.
The smirk that was on the large orangutan's face also vanished for a moment when it noticed the situation had shifted out of its favor. Before it was able to easily corner Joshua while defending itself from the ranged fighters at the same time, but without the extra help Joshua was able to get in some counter attacks that was leaving far more damage than the beast was expecting. It let out and angry roar as it chunked a large piece of rock towards the building that all of the ranged fighters were on to give itself a breather, but before the rock could even get close it was frozen still midair. Natalie had used her telekinesis to slow its movement down and toss it aside without any danger to the group.
This allowed everyone to keep focus on damaging the orangutan which started to get on the creatures nerves. It was forced to use two of its arms to protect itself from the onslaught while the other two were busy trying to keep Joshua away. Its scorpion tail was the only reason that it was able to keep Joshua at bay since it would strike out anytime Joshua would find a hole in the creature's defenses. It knew that it had to change things or the flow of battle would just get worse and worse as the haze wouldn't be able to keep up with all the injuries it was getting from Joshua and some of the stray spells.
The sub-boss suddenly jumped back creating some space between itself and Joshua. It got just out of the range of the spell casters for the moment and seemed to smile as it realized it. They could of course send some spells over, but the power behind them would be either weakened by the time they reached the ape, or they would be to slow and easy for the ape to knock aside. The only ones still attacking were Natalie and Aito since they had the range to keep going.
Joshua wasn't certain if he should move closer himself with how things had been going so far. The ape seemed to know just what to do under several different circumstances so getting close on his own wasn't going to be a good idea. Luckily he wasn't on his own this time around as Cinder leaped over and landed just behind him. Her large figure intimidated the ape as it started to pound its chest and look at her with anger. It was taller than Cinder and most likely more powerful in the strength department based off of some of the feats Joshua had seen it do so far, but Cinder on her own would be quite the challenge for the sub-boss. Having Joshua and the other close ranged fighters next to the giant spider would be too overwhelming for the ape to handle on its own.
The large ape looked challengingly towards the group of close ranged fighters approaching it alongside the more threatening spider that had smoke and flames leaking from its mouth. It knew it couldn't handle the situation on its own so it decided to go to another back up plan. The orangutan let out a shrieking sound that seemed completely different from its usual screams. For a moment Joshua and the rest of his group stopped approaching the creature to figure out what exactly it was up to. After a few seconds they heard a few creatures around the area start to scream in response.
Joshua quickly searched the area and found five empowered zombies responding to the orangutan's screeching. Just like with the lightning empowered zombie they didn't rush over like maddened zombies usually would, but instead stayed in place and started attacking his group from a distance in various ways. One zombie was creating wind blades and throwing them in front of the path of Joshua's group to cut them off from attacking the orangutan. Another was shooting large fire balls towards the group. The rest were doing anything they could possibly to hinder Joshua's group.
'Aito take care of the zombies quick so that we can focus on the orangutan.' Joshua shouted through the mental link as he used an energy slash to take out one of the large fire balls that was headed in their direction.
'Got it, just focus on taking out the big guy. We've got your back.' Aito responded just as a loud gun shot busted through the air. An instant later the empowered zombie that was creating fireballs was suddenly missing its head. Joshua grinned at the fact that the onslaught from the empowered zombies was going to slow down rather quickly, but he also knew that he couldn't rely on the rest of the long range fighters for the rest of the fight since the orangutan was going to stay out of their range. Inviting them down to fight up close wasn't a good idea either since it would put the healers in the line of sight of the powerful creature. It was already smart enough to try to trap them, Joshua had the feeling that the orangutan would be more than smart enough to go after the healers and mages relentlessly if given the chance.
Joshua dashed forward to take the large creature out as quickly as he could. Its intelligence had dragged this fight out and he didn't want to give it anymore chances to do anything else. Some of the empowered zombies were still trying to stop his approach, but Aito and Natalie were taking care of that problem as he rushed forward. He dodged under a wind blade before blinking right next to the orangutan's left leg. The creature was surprised to see Joshua suddenly appear right next to it. Joshua took advantage of this fact and used all of his strength in his next strike.
He made sure to cover his blade in aura while also fusing it with an aura blast to get the most power in his next strike. At the last instant before the blade was about to slash through the giant creature's leg he made sure to use his will to empower his strike even more. The result was his blade cutting clean through the skin and muscles of the leg followed by an explosion of aura that blew off large chunks from the now gaping injury. Before it could back away an echo strike followed suit causing a similar yet slightly weaker effect that damaged the beast all the way down to the bone on its legs.
The orangutan roared in pain as it tried to back away. It struck out with its scorpion tails in hope that the attack would get Joshua to back off, but at that moment it had made a grave mistake. Using its tail had left it open for Cinder who immediately launched herself onto the sub-boss. The sudden surprise assault caught the orangutan off guard enough that Cinder was able to bite deep into its shoulder. The orangutan roared out in more pain as Cinder's poison started to flood its system. The orangutan was busy trying to hold off Cinder with all of its arms. Two were holding up her front legs that were busy trying to pressure the sub-boss down while the other pair of arms was busy hammering into her underside trying to get her to back off.
The rest of the close range fighters decided to use this as an opportunity to go in for the kill and do as much damage as possible. Amy followed up on her brother's earlier attack and smashed her fist into the exposed bone of the ape's damaged leg. The force of her blow forced the creature's leg to fracture which caused it to fall as Cinder's weight became too much for it to hold up. Adrian then took the time to go on a rampage as he slashed all across all of the weak points he came across while he had free reign. Madalyn was busy planting her daggers into any exposed wounds that she could find so that her own poison would start to course through its body.
Allen and Adam were busy fending off the tail of the creature so that it couldn't badly injure Cinder who had the creature pinned. In the end they were able to take the advantage and put the sub-boss into an extremely bad position. Aito and Natalie had cleared out all of the empowered zombies in the area while the mages focused on letting their mana refill as they watched from afar. After a while the haze in the area had thinned out d to all of the damage the sub-boss had taken, but Joshua wouldn't give the creature any breather.
That's when the boss decided it had enough. It had been forced to the edge and seemed to be driven mad as its hair turned purple and its muscles bulged. It roared frantically as it through Cinder off of it and tried to rise up. When Joshua looked into the Sub-boss's eyes he could no longer see the intelligence he had been seeing for the entire fight. In that moment he knew that they had the fight in the bag. The orangutan started fighting like a mindless creature which made things much easier. It no longer had any help as Aito and Natalie had cleared out all of the straggling haze creatures and zombies in the area.
Joshua just sighed as he saw the creature dash towards him frantically after he used heroic shout. The battle was over the moment he dragged the sub-boss within range of the mages. In its crazed state it could no longer block off the onslaught of spells. In the end it died when one of Cinder's legs pierced through its core.