Many wastelanders were gathered on the decks of their ships. No one knew what Cloudhawk was up to.
Those with keener senses – like the Wendigo King and Coal – could feel a shift. It shuddered through them as Cloudhawk changed from a sickly dog to a roaring dragon in the space of ten minutes. At this moment, those standing closest to Cloudhawk could feel a suffocating pressure settle upon them.
The feeling didn’t from nowhere. The epicenter was clear. Be it the Wendigo King or Coal, they understood that in this moment Cloudhawk could erase them from existence without lifting a finger.
When Cloudhawk opened his eyes anew, his pupils gleamed the color of old gold and shone like a lighthouse.
“What incredible psychic power!” The drunk muttered. He could feel the waves of psychic energy flowing from him.
From what he could gather, Cloudhawk had not only suppressed his injuries, but in ten short minutes had somehow empowered himself to near the level of a Master Demonhunter. Meteoric did not come close to describing this sudden rise. It was light speed. Two of the drunks together couldn’t match his mental prowess now.
Incredible! Frightening! So this is my full potential? Will wonders never cease!
Cloudhawk felt the abundance of power washing through him. However, it was not his. All of it was taken from the Demon Lord’s legacy. In truth, he was frightened. If he had time to absorb all this power properly, it would reduce the chance of dangerous side-effects. He could more easily be able to assimilate it into himself.
But what he was doing now was a heedless expression of pure force. He needed what the Demon Lord had left behind – the more, the better. The stronger, the better. Right now, there was no space for other concerns.
It was not enough! Still not enough, not by a far margin! His hope had been to draw on and make use of the totality of the Demon Lord’s strength. However, everything had its limits and Cloudhawk could not take any more into himself. But it didn’t matter. Cloudhawk had concocted other plans.
There was a reason why he’d had Autumn construct the augmentation altar on their airship.
Recently, a fair bit of Greenland’s resources had been spent gathering items from the other worlds. This included spirit beings which, after being delivered to the God Tree, were transformed into psychic pearls. By the time Dawn was captured, they had hundreds in surplus. All of those were used in the creation of this altar.
Last time he used an altar, it consumed a hundred psychic pearls to open a permanent dimensional portal. The altar he used now had a hundred times the available power. The limits of what it could accomplish were unfathomable.
Standing atop the altar, Cloudhawk could wield a relic with the strength of a Master Demonhunter. Furthermore his own, intrinsic power had exploded to new heights.
If it is war they want, I will give them a show.
They thought a Master Demonhunter was frightening? Well, today Cloudhawk would make the Elysians see how a man they’d cast out from their home could fight back.
The light pouring from Cloudhawk’s golden eyes continued to increase. His psychic energies spread far and wide. With the help of the altar, his capabilities were augmented to levels he never would have dreamed possible.
He raised his hands high. The whole ship shook.
Psychic energy was invisible, intangible and difficult to detect with typical senses. Unlike waves of sound or light whose origins were known and whose energy was physical, psychic energy was not. This was of course typical at average levels of strength. However, past a certain threshold even items that were not relics were forced to resonate with these psychic flows!
“Boss! What the hell is he doing?!”
“The fuck are you asking me for? Quit bugging me!”
“Look! Over the city, something’s happening!”
All eyes turned to the skies above Sanctuary. A thousand meters over the center of the stronghold the air had started to twist and warp. The folds in reality could not directly visible, but were obvious by how the surroundings reacted.
First, the clouds. The unseen force pulled at them and twisted them into spirals.
Then an airship that had wandered too close was caught up in the invisible vortex. Too quick for the doomed vessel to react, it was drawn into the center and ripped to pieces.
Cloudhawk released the full brunt of this energy with a booming declaration: “Witness the meaning of true power!”
With that, the sky shattered! Cracks splintered far into the distance as though the world were made of fragile glass!
It was replaced by a gigantic black hole, like someone had torn through a painting. A shrill, ear-piercing sound erupted from it, followed by a hail of tumbling rock.
Each meteor was the size of a three-story building. As they descended from a thousand meters above the city, everyone held their breath in anticipation of the impact to follow. The devastation they would cause would be ruinous and unavoidable, the equivalent of thousands of tons of explosions unloaded on a single target – more apocalyptic than a nuclear bomb.
Sanctuary’s enchantments warped from the strain. The Elysian warships caught in the shower were immediately thrown into disarray.
Wide eyes and open mouths gaped at the apocalyptic scene. No one knew what Cloudhawk had done. Where had these meteors come from? How were they falling from the sky without foundation?
And yet, this power that could obliterate a wasteland city was not enough to threaten either Sanctuary or the Elysian vessels. Both were protected by formidable shields. Although the sights were frightening and the sounds imposing, Sanctuary’s protections did not buckle and her fleet held strong.
“I’m not done yet,” Cloudhawk growled.
Before the words vanished from the wind, bright red lines emerged all over his bandaged body. It came from his veins bursting inside of him. Indeed, the power he was wielding – giving him the strength to open up a portal so large and drag meteors through – was more than a mere mortal’s body could withstand.
That first wave was just the appetizer. What followed was the full course.
A thousand meters above Sanctuary, the black hole was ripped open further. With horrified expressions on their faces, everyone watched as an object, massive beyond reckoning, slowly started to emerge. Even as it just started to peek through, the onlookers felt as though the breath was stolen from their lungs.
What is that…
It was an absolutely humongous meteor, dozens of kilometers from one end to the other!
A metallic sheen outlined it as the sun played across the craggy surface. The meteor was mostly composed of metal. Horrific did not even begin to describe it. The curse Cloudhawk had called upon this place was calamitous.
Behind Sanctuary’s walls, everything was frozen in mindless shock. No one could comprehend what was happening. How had this enormous threat appeared out of the blue?
They didn’t have time to think, nor time to prepare. An unnatural and terrifying darkness enveloped the stronghold like an eternal night. The meteor was belched forth, and a moment later the impacts begun. Ships that were too slow to escape were decimated, with over a dozen being smashed to pieces as they were caught between the meteor and Sanctuary’s shields.
The earth shuddered violently for kilometers all around! The Elysian solders could barely hold their footing. It was as though the world itself trembled in fear. Some stared stupefied, unable to grasp what they were seeing. It was simply beyond their capacity to accept.
In the eyes of Elysians, Sanctuary was unbreakable – an indomitable shield no heathen could pierce. After the meteor’s impact, an ugly gash had appeared, one that no measure of time or resources could hope to repair.Previous Chapter Next Chapter