Although they had put a lot into their initial attack, the flames weren't going to last forever. After a few minutes they started to die down as the tornado faded and only smoke and small fires remained. Joshua was certain that the boss was still there as he could see its figure in the smoke as the earthen walls that Amber created from all of the heat. Soon the smoke faded and Joshua was able to get a good look at the gorilla.
A lot of the gorilla's fur had been burnt off from its body, but it was growing back at such a rapid pace that it didn't seemed to matter. It's exposed chest had several burns around, especially where Laura's spell had initially hit it, but all in all the gorilla seemed to be steady on its feet as it glared in the direction of where the others had sent their spells from. Even so it was a good sign that their spells were able to do so much damage to it considering the haze was quickly thinning out as it all rushed into the body of the gorilla to heal it quickly.
'That's good. Even if our spells weren't able to kill it, at least we were able to damage it enough to where it had to use the haze to heal itself.' Laura said through the mental link as she glanced over the injured beast.
'Even so we'll have to get the close range fighters an opening to go for the core if we want to end things quickly. We've only got forty minutes left in our estimation for when the support group will have been pushed out of the haze.' Isabella responded.
'Well then let's make this quick.' Joshua simply responded as everyone prepared for the gorilla to go on the attack once again. Joshua frowned a bit when he saw the condition of all of the vines that had been following behind the gorilla. A large amount of them had been caught up in the flames and burnt to cinders, but they simply responded by growing as they fed off the haze and started to dash forward to catch up with the gorilla once more. One of the larger vines rose up into the air above the gorilla and placed one of the apple like fruits in front of it. The gorilla continued to glare at their group as it reached up with one arm and ripped the fruit off before eating it.
For a moment they all waited to see what kind of effect the fruit would have, but it wasn't something they'd want to wait and see again. The fruit was like a full restoration item that had the gorilla healing back up to perfect condition within less than a minute. All of its fur was back to swaying with the wind, it burns were gone and the only sign that any damage had taken place that remained was the fact that the haze had thinned out by so much. Joshua frowned at the sight as he looked at all of the fruits that hung from the larger vines. He realized the fight would become an endurance contest on his side of things if he didn't keep the gorilla from being able to eat the fruit then they'd run out of time and have a swarm of haze creatures at their back alongside the deadly gorilla in front of them.
'Lilly get Cinder to go into her ice form. Fire doesn't seem to be enough to slow down the growth of those vines so we're going to have to freeze them. Isabella help out in that regard.' Joshua ordered through the mental link as he rushed ahead towards the gorilla to make sure he got its attention before it could target someone else. He used a heroic shout to grab its attention before jumping over a vine that tried to grab him and sending an energy slash to leave a long cut along the gorilla's chest. Even though he was so close the energy slash barely broke through the gorilla's skin do to its tough muscles.
The boss responded with a flurry of punches that were slower than the monkey's and less controlled that the orangutan's, but even so they were hard to deal with since he couldn't try to block or redirect them. Joshua could see the large crater left by each punch and he knew that trying to block one without using any defensive skills would be asking for a quick death. Even with Henry's support spells to give him more weight when blocking he was certain that one of those large fist would squash him into the ground. The scorpion tail on the backside of the gorilla was even more dangerous as whenever it struck out it would pierce clean through anything it touched. Joshua wasn't certain if his scale blade would hold up against such a strong tail as he saw it cut clean through cement, and metal alike as if it was piercing through paper.
Even though the gorilla on its own was an issue, Joshua's main problem was the vines. They were constantly trying to restrict his movements as he dodged around the gorilla. The larger vines weren't an issue since they were only there to give the gorilla fruit or block some of the spells being sent over by the mages like a line of defense. The small vines however were all over the place. They struck out at Joshua forcing him to either cut them down or move away while avoiding the powerful gorilla that was trying to turn him into a pancake. He wasn't getting any opportunities to go on the offensive.
'Adrian!' Joshua shouted through the mental link as he avoided another vine that tried to grab his leg.
'On it.' Adrian responded without another word. He could see what was going on and he knew that he was perfect for dealing with the smaller vines that were starting to become a pain in the ass. Adrian leaped into action as he started to use his movement skill to breeze pass all of the vines as he took the appearance of a shredder that was tearing all of the vines apart as he passed by. There were so many of the vines that there was no way he was going to be able to keep them all at bay on his own, so both Allen and Adam jumped into the fray as well to try to help him out. Allen used his energy manipulation at the edge of his spear like a scythe as he waded through the vines cutting them apart, while Adam just dodged around with his clone cutting anything he passed by.
Joshua was starting to get a better handle on the situation now that he didn't have to constantly look over his back with all of the vines around. He was finally able to react to the openings the gorilla was leaving and tore into them with every opportunity he was given. Henry had coated his scale blade with a wind buff that made it sharper with each swing. Adding the effect of Joshua's aura and will he was able to leave big gashes with each strike deep enough to tear into the muscles of the creature.
Madalyn was the first one to take advantage of the wounds that the gorilla was getting and started using her high speed to dash around its body as she used her grappling hook to get up higher and stab her daggers deep into its injuries. From the green tinge they left behind Joshua was certain that she was leaving poison in each wound she made. Amy on the other hand was focusing on smashing her fist along the gorilla's chest whenever she was given the opportunity. Each of her blows were aiming for the creatures insides and Joshua was certain it was working as the gorilla was starting to cough up a bit of blood.
Even so none of the damage they were doing would matter the moment the gorilla reached out and grabbed one of the fruits on the larger vines so Joshua made sure to pay attention to them. Luckily the vines didn't seem nearly as resilient against the blizzard and ice cold fog that Isabella and Cinder were generating. The larger vines were starting to shrivel a bit while the smaller ones were moving much slower making things easier on the group. The problem was the fact that the fruit were still fine and that was going to be an issue.
The gorilla started to reach for one of the fruit, but Laura was already a step ahead as she sent a smaller bird made of flames directly for the fruit it was reaching for. Before the gorilla could grab it the fire hit the fruit causing it to explode into a large cloud of haze that was quickly absorbed by the gorilla. They all noticed that the haze had healed the gorilla by a decent amount, but not on the same level as if it had eaten the fruit directly. The fight would still get dragged out for far too long if it was able to do the same thing with all of the rest of the fruits that were hanging along the thick vines.
Joshua used an aura blast to kick off the ground and slash the giant gorilla across the face to get its attention once again. He had to keep it from reaching out for another fruit. 'Lilly summon Tank now. Get him to send a torrent of water towards the vines.' Joshua shouted through the mental link as a plan came to mind.
Soon Joshua could hear Tank roaring behind him grabbing the attention of the gorilla. It roared back as if it had been challenged, but Joshua cut across its shoulder before using the grappling hook to swing over to a nearby building avoiding the scorpion tail at the last moment. The small distraction was enough to give Tank the opportunity to shoot off a torrent of water that crashed into the gorilla and the vines around it. Do to the river running through the town Tank had a prime water source which made his attack more powerful.
It didn't take long for Isabella and Cinder to catch on to what Joshua was planning as they used the water to make freezing the vines much easier. Isabella redoubled her efforts when it came to her blizzard while Cinder started covering the surroundings with large ice spears that made things cool down even faster. Within minutes the vines were frozen solid and the fruits on them followed suit. Aito actually shot one of the fruit causing it to shatter, but no haze came pouring out. 'Alright looks like the biggest problem is dealt with.' He said with a smirk before aiming for the gorilla's face with the next round of shots.
With the gorillas biggest source of healing gone the fight started to go in Joshua's group���s favor. The wounds on the gorilla's body weren't healing fast enough to keep up with all of the damage it was taken. With twenty minutes left on the countdown to when the support group would most likely be forced out of town the gorilla seemed to be in bad shape. With the help of Cinder Joshua was able to rip one of its arms off while Aito had shot out both of its eyes. The haze in the area had been used up so much at this point that there was only a small purple tinge to the surroundings.
The gorilla roared in frustration as it felt threatened. Its muscles started to swell as it went into its enraged state, but Joshua and Tank weren't going to let it happen. Tank let out a powerful torrent of water that was so concentrated that it blasted off a large part of the gorilla chest that was damaged from all the injuries earlier. The large wound in its chest exposed its core which was all Joshua needed. He coated himself in aura and used his will to empower himself as he blinked directly towards the core and smashed his scale blade across it with all of his strength. The force of the blow sent the gorilla stumbling back as its core cracked.
Joshua forced an aura blast through his scale blade to finish things of as it exploded forcing him to leap away. The large gorilla stood there still for a moment, half way between entering its enraged state. The life in its eyes faded as it started crumbling to dust that mixed with the haze. Joshua watched as the broken core fell to the ground and the dust swirled in the air before heading into some sort of portal that appeared in the middle of the destroyed mall. He knew that they had reached the most important part of taking over a territory, and it was time for the final step.