Against the giant's fear inducing roar, the only variant on the other side of the sinkhole that stood firm against this was Crab, the leader of the crabmen variants. It raised itself up on its segmented legs, standing as tall as it could, before smashing its huge pincer claws together.
A deafening shockwave echoed all around it, and as the sound passed over its crabmen subordinates, their fear dissipated. The crab variants could not speak, but it seemed that this claw smash was the equivalent of a rousing war cry.
In response, the crabmen all raised their claws up in renewed confidence.
Looks like this would be more of a battle than was initially thought.
In response' the Zombie Giant jumped over, soaring over the sinkhole and landing right at Crab with a fierce snarl. The giant smashed two fists down into the ground, and the sheer size and strength behind that blow caved out an enormous crater with Crab at the center.
Crab raised its pincers up and actually handled the blow, but with some difficulty. The red shell of its pincers were cracked, and it shook from exertion under the giant's might. Flecks of strange bright red light started to spot around the crab's shell.
All the fishmen and smaller crabmen around it were blasted away by the shockwave, leaving the giant and Crab locked in a one-on-one duel.
This duel zone marked the center of the battlefield. Meanwhile, Aldrich gave commands to organize his forces to the left and right of this duel.
"Valera, take the A-class and Stella with you towards the left. I will deal with the right side," said Aldrich.
"It will be my pleasure!" said Valera.
Aldrich turned to the crowd of fifty fishmen he had reanimated. "It's time for you to meet your brethren again."
Aldrich faced an open palm towards them and chanted, "[Burning Agony]."
In response, the fishmen all began to undergo a distinct change. Their veins started to bulge through their musculature, engorging with additional blood flow. Their bodies swelled up as their muscles increased in size.
Then, their visible veins began to glow red before blood burst out from them not in clouds of liquid, but in clouds of blazing red fire.
Auras of fire wrapped all the fishmen as their flesh and bodily processes worked to their maximum limits, generating heat like an overclocked computer processing unit.
Yet despite the fire burning on them, melting their flesh, they did not react in pain.
No, instead, the fishmen roared in sheer bloodlust, converting the agony of their burning bodies into pure aggression.
"Go. Kill them," said Aldrich as he waved his fishmen forward.
The fishmen shrieked in unison as they sprinted forwards. When they reached the edge of the sinkhole, they jumped up, clearing the wide gap with their temporarily enhanced stats.
[Burning Agony] dramatically increased the strength of undead that still had flesh on them in exchange for burning off the flesh after a set amount of time. And this dramatic increase showed itself obviously and violently.
As soon as the burning fishmen landed on the other side of the hole, they savagely reached out to any living thing they could attack. They were bigger, faster, and stronger than all their brethren fishmen by leaps and bounds.
With hisses and aggressive shrieks, the fire wrapped fishmen tore their brethren apart limb from limb. They could even easily overpower the usually superior crabmen in single combat, punching through their durable shells or cooking their insides with prolonged contact with their flaming bodies.
Because the fishmen under Aldrich were all covered in intense fire auras, they could not get swarmed by superior numbers, making them the perfect individuals to charge through the hordes of variants.
Aldrich checked the left side of the battlefield:
"Everyone on board!" A Blackwater A-class student shouted with a cool smile as he swept back long, curly rockstar hair. Glowing green rings circled his black pupils, mimicking the large green ring beneath him.
This was Damian Fritz.
An Alter who possessed the power to create large rings that acted as platforms that he could freely levitate using his mind.
The rings could also be used as shields or thrown at as weapons, which he demonstrated now as he spun his hands together before thrusting them out, weaving out a rapidly rotating green ring that sawed into the ranks of the fishmen, cutting right through them.
All the Blackwater students, variants, and monsters that could not fly hopped on Damian's ring, and with that, he waved his hand up, making the ring float and speed over the sinkhole.
From the ring, all the ranged Blackwater students unleashed their abilities.
The Blackwater A-class students were strong. They were not individually as strong as the leader type variants, but the fodder beneath the leaders were nothing to them.
Simon Wells tapped his visor as he channeled his kinetic beam, firing off his bright blue laser that sliced fishmen right in half or, when it hit crabmen, bored through their shells within seconds.
Kat, a Mutant type Alter with twitching antennae and carapaced pale skin, pointed her wrists towards the fishmen and unleashed shotgun shot volleys of white acid balls.
Each volley possessed over a hundred acid bullets, and whenever any of them hit a fishman, even if it was a single bullet, the fishman faced an agonizing death where their flesh liquefied and turned them into steaming biomass soup.
Jonas, the unfortunate man who had gotten his head crushed by Seth Solar back in the Necropolis, pointed a finger gun at the variants as his eyes flashed purple. Beams of violet spiraled outwards, and whatever they hit, they flattened, crushing fishmen into condensed goop under ultra-condensed gravity.
But the most notable among them all in terms of firepower was definitely Alexis. She led the flyers over the sinkhole, protecting them in a barrier of swirling wind that also crackled with electricity.
From within, she clasped her hands together, and from the edges of her barrier, small storm clouds formed, each of them firing off miniature lightning bolts that exploded on impact.
Devastating small scale explosions rocked the variants, blowing them apart.
Yet, if explosions were the topic at hand, then there was nobody that could beat out Stella. She flew into the air over the fishmen with small burst explosions form her hands and feet, and when she was over a particularly large group of them, shot herself down with a smile of complete reckless abandon.
Her arms grew completely orange as her explosive blood channeled through her veins en masse, and when she landed in the center of the fish and crabmen crowd, a massive explosion engulfed the area and lit up the night sky in bright orange.
The blast wave rose up in a pillar visible from several hundred meters away.
Stella stepped out of the explosion while patting her arms down of dust. There were chunks missing from her arms, exposing the bone, but she did not mind at all, instead breathing deeply in to savor the smell of smoke and fire.
"Steamed crab. Smells real nice. I could go for some seafood after this." Stella then looked over to Valera, and Valera did not let herself get outshone.
Valera was literally running through the fishmen at rapid speeds. She had grabbed a crabman, punched its head off, and then started to rapidly spin the corpse in front of her while she charged into the mass of variants.
The crabman's spiky outer shell and body acted like a bladed rotor blade, and Valera herself was like a lawnmower, completely mowing down everything in her way. She left behind her a trail of mangled corpses, blood, shattered bones, and dismembered body parts.
"DIE! DIE! DIE!" roared Valera as she sped forwards in a sea of gore.
Already, Valera was far ahead of Stella, mowing her way deep into enemy lines.
"Tch. Show off," said Stella.
Meanwhile, the notable undead variants made their presence known. The Antlion leaped off the green ring and into the sinkhole, burrowing inside of it as it roamed the battlefield from underground, creating huge sand wells to entrap hordes of fishmen to leave them rooted and vulnerable to attack.
The Bloodspitter Lizard fired off beams of acidic blood, devastating whatever the Antlion trapped. The Geist unleashed its neurotoxic cloud freely, and any fishmen or crabmen that stayed within the noxious purple cloud for more than thirty seconds started to freeze up before dropping dead.
This was especially horrific for the fishmen trapped by the Antlion, for they had no means to escape their inevitable brain deaths. If the natural variants did not tear their throats out or reduce them into bloody acidified puddles, the Geist's toxic gas was sure to shut down their brains.
Chiros and the Death Knights moved out on their own with professional grace… They marched in formation, slashing and hacking with elegant poise, killing in trained movements and making mincemeat of anything that came near them.
Aldrich nodded at this sight, satisfied. He spoke to Seismic who stood on standby beside him. The hero's arms were crossed as he looked ahead, awaiting orders with his individuality still turned off. Crow also sat beside Aldrich, ready to move or defend Aldrich at a moment's notice.
"You're going to stay with me," said Aldrich to Seismic. "You could probably handle the riff raff over there by yourself, but I want my Legion to shine a little. Plus, you and Crow are the most suited to guarding me against Shrimp if he starts moving again.
You, especially, I need to conserve your strength for Shrimp. On that note -
Volantis, keep that energy signature on Shrimp marked… Inform me the exact moment he ever makes a move."