Chapter 143: The Cosmagus
It was little more than a giant, fleshy orb, a thousand meters in diameter. It’s bulging form was composed of numerous folds and wrinkles. It was similar in form to an enormous brain. Dimples and scars dotted it’s surface, leading to a single hideous mouth at it’s apex.
As it rose over the waves the wrinkles stretched and flapped, smacking sickeningly against each other. With each fleshy smack more of the magenta mist was expelled.
The monstrous maw twisted as it’s angry roars filled the air. The fleshy orb lurched, and began to rise towards Zeus. It’s fleshy flaps had stretched and become wings, which beat furiously at the air and water.
As more of it’s body was revealed, it was shown that the left half of it had been burned black. Evidently Zeus’ bolts had found their mark. He took it as affirmation of his strategy, and the sky lit up anew as scores of lightning bolts crashed towards the monster.
But this time the beast knew what to expect. The thick purplish mist surrounding it congealed and hardened in to an impenetrable membrane. It’s twisted mouth opened wide, stretching a hundred meters in all directions. Peering in to the depths of that maw brought a palpable sensation of despair. The air changed, as everything above it began to get sucked down towards it. The skies roiled as the clouds started to descend. Even Zeus was caught in the vacuum.
The inhalation force was strong enough to devour anything caught within it. The monstrous thing seemed poised to swallow the whole world to achieve it’s goal. It’s already bulbous girth was expanding larger still.
Zeus glared at it, his face dignified and imposing. He struggled against the vacuum to keep himself from begin drawn in. However, the sudden force of this vacuum was indeed powerful, and unexpected. Not to mention it’s new plating, which appeared capable of enduring a blast from a warship.
Punching through that armor would be difficult, even for a Paragon. And Lan Jue wasn’t even a real Paragon – he didn’t know how to wield this level of power.
His thoughts were interrupted by a familiar deep voice, that hung in the air around him.
“Jewelry Master, you must remember that you’re part of a team.”
A single column of silver light appeared without warning. It stretched tall and wide, but beside the swelling titan it seemed miniscule. Further, it didn’t appear to do anything to the monster. It flickered and stretched until it was like a curtain of light.
Pssshhhttt! An earsplitting noise burst forth. It sounded like reality was tearing at the seams. Zeus felt the terrible drag of the monster’s suction inexplicably cease. The monster froze as though lapsing in to a cataleptic state.
A slash of pitch darkness, black as ink, appeared before Zeus. A powerful vacuum began again, but this one was not from the beast. Instead it came from the fissure, but stranger still it’s undeniable suction did not effect Lan Jue’s side.
The two mighty absorption forces were at odds, one drawing the other. Whichever was more powerful would come out the victor. In the end, though the monster was powerful, it couldn’t match up to the dimensional tear before it.
Phsssup! A spout of purplish-black fluid erupted from the monster. The thick fluid, strangely, acted like a sort of adhesive as it sprinkled over the fissure. Little by little the fluid began to clog the tear.
“Eh?!” A surprised shout called Lan Jue’s attention to his side. There was suddenly two more people in the air a short distance from him.
As ever the Wine Master was the very picture of nobility; well dressed, finely kept. He was also, at this time, surrounded by a faint silver glow. A doctor was with him, with a face like spoiled milk. Fortunately he, too, was covered by the Wine Master’s protective light or he’d really have something to scowl about.
“What in the hell is this thing?!” The Doctor exclaimed.
“No idea,” Lan Jue responded. “But what I can tell you is that all the beasts on Taihua have some connection to it. We kill the root of this hideous weed, and the ugly leaves will follow.”
The Doctor looked at the writhing thing below them, a strange glint in his eye. “When we’re done, make sure to leave a little bit for me to do an autopsy.”
“The Wine Master shot Lan Jue a look, changing the subject. “How are you suddenly able to control the laws like this?”
Lan Jue’s smile was bitter. “Fantascia Genetica Decoction. Otherwise too many people would have died.”
“What?” The Doctor’s eyes nearly bulged from his head. “Angry alpacas riding antelopes, you really will eat anything won’t you! Eat something unclean and you’ll get diarrhea. What you ate is far beyond dirty. Are you trying to kill yourself?” In a flash the Doctor appeared before the Jewelry Master’s side. With a flick of his wrist, a syringe appeared in his hand. He unceremoniously jabbed it at Lan Jue’s arm.
Gzzt! A jolt of lightning flicked the syringe away. A Paragon’s skin wasn’t so easily broken.
A look of profound displeasure washed over the Doctor’s face. “It’s imperative you finish this fight as soon as possible. Otherwise there wont be enough of him to fit in a shoe box.”
At this point the monster had figured out the fissure. The beast didn’t appear to have suffered any damage, but it had stopped it’s slow ascent. It’s mouth had closed, and hovering now as it was it’s body began to shift again. A strange, deep indentation appeared near it’s center.
The Wine Master, his eyes stern, beckoned in the air with his right hand. A flash of silver light, and a scepter appeared from nowhere, now clutched in his palm. The whole length of the weapon shone brilliantly, and at it’s crest was a shining gem the size of a human skull. Black and white flashed in the stone’s interior.
The elderly gentleman swept his scepter through the air. Where it passed, the air turned silver. The light fanned out, then surrounded him and his two companions. Anything that drew near to them vanished as it touched the screen of light.
Brraaaahhp! In that same instant the beast’s mouth cracked open and belched at them. Plumes of violet mist issued forth like a geyser. The monster – having swollen to perhaps three thousand meters at this point – shriveled appreciably with the attack. In the blink of an eye it withered down to around five hundred meters.
The purple gusts of air spread out over a distance of three hundred meters. In the center were Lan Jue, the Wine Master and the Doctor, lost in the toxic mist. The blast of air rose higher and higher until it swept passed the atmosphere. Only once it struck space did it begin to dissipate.
A silvery flash, and the three human challengers appeared outside the creature’s area of attack. Both Zeus and the Doctor looked uncomfortable, but the Wine Master proceeded unabated. With brows knitted, he swung his scepter again. This time, an ornate and complicated rune appeared, floating in the air before them.
The old man shut his eyes. The silver aura that surrounded him suddenly flashed bright and powerful. The rune rippled, and suddenly there appeared a shadow, as dark as the depths of space.
The Wine Master pointed his staff at the beast. His aura flashed. The rune disappeared.
The monstrous creature was not unaware of the danger. Perhaps it felt something coming, for it quickly began to turn in mid-air. It’s multitude of fleshy wings flapped disgustingly from the effort. However it could not escape, for in the next instant the rune cast by the Wine Master appeared plastered on it’s wrinkled body.
The beast replied with an earth-shaking roar. It’s entire, hideous form writhed and shook. It’s outer layers of fleshy appendages fell away as it tried to shed the rune from it’s skin.
However compared to it’s enormous girth the rune was only a very small thing. It remained where it was, like it had been branded in to the monster’s hide.
The Wine Master lifted his scepter high. “Singularity!”
As the Wine Master’s hoary voice filled the air, the silvery rune on the beast’s body flashed with power. Once again it began to shrivel and contract. But this time, it’s mouth was not the source. Instead the monster was slowly being devoured in to itself, through that silver rune tattooed to it’s side.
“Aaghhh! Rgghaaaaooo!” Hideous, pained cries reached them. Struggle as it may, nothing the monster did could free itself from the rune and it’s destructiveness. Plumes of caustic mist continued to pump from it’s fleshy body in vain attempts to shed it.
It was like the rune didn’t really exist here, that it was a ghost of another dimension. It bore through the beast unceasingly, rotating as it did. Intertwining bands of black and white followed in it’s wake. It circled again and again, over and under, out and in, leaving devastation where it passed.
It’s flesh parted, it’s blood flowed. The monster’s whole body twisted grotesquely as it was carved up. All of it happened in the space of a few moments. The silver light that assailed it continued to move, continued to grow until it was ten meters in diameter. It moved without care for the monster’s gradually weakening cries of pain.
It was clear this black hole, called by the Cosmagus, was slowly devouring their enemy. Zeus and the Doctor looked on in utter shock.
This was the power of a Paragon. The terrifying strength of a true Paragon.
The old man they knew as Skyfire Avenue’s Wine Master was gone in that moment. Right now, commanding the power of space and time with his shining scepter, he was the Cosmagus – one of the three Alliance’s master Paragons.
Finally, there was hardly anything left of the monster for the Cosmagus’ black hole to obliterate. The roiling violet seas below had begun to grow lighter. The shuddering waves of energy had started to fade away.
“Leave some for me!” The Doctor was suddenly shaken from his stupor, and shouted his plea towards the Wine Master.
In response the old man lifted his scepter and drew a circle in the air before them. A cut of wriggling flesh the size of a man’s head appeared.
The Doctor hurriedly employed his own interspacial equipment to pull a silver box from nothing. He carefully plucked the squirming remains from the sky and put them inside. As the box shut, it’s edges spat a chilling mist. The remains of the giant alien monstrosity was inside, frozen solid.
“What is this?” The Doctor stared at the box, his eyes full of wonder.