The Sword of Sumeru pierced the Temple’s enchantment.
Light penetrated the curtain of darkness – a dagger to the heart of Sky Fortress.
It was an area even Cloudhawk couldn’t pass through. It took a direct blow from the superweapon to cut open a doorway. Then, once the Sword’s energy was fully released, it swallowed up everything in the vicinity.
The enchantment shattered like someone had taken a hammer to a mirror. All of the traps and defenses erected by the four Supremes collapsed as well. How terrible the power of this divine weapon!
Waves of power swept through the area in what felt like an endless barrage, a flood of dragons dancing among the ruin. Although Cloudhawk had deflected the sword away from himself, the blowback from impact was nearly enough to fling him backward.
All of the elite gathered around the Temple felt it. A wave of destructive energy so intense it was hard to fathom. They scrambled away in every direction to avoid being devoured by it.
The Sword’s forging platform took a good deal of the residual explosion. The disc-like structure cracked and tumbled away in pieces like a broken kite. Spatial disturbance orbs lining the hallways shattered one after the other.
Everywhere one turned – annihilation.
Cloudhawk hung in the air, surrounded by a pale shell of light. As he retreated he observed the situation. Among the chaos he sensed a familiar aura. Looking toward it, he saw a flock of lightning birds trying to escape the energy vortex.
The Lightning God!
He’d watched the two Supremes get caught in the Sword’s path. Mortal beings would have been vaporized, and the two gods hardly fared better. The Light God was gravely injured and only survived by the grace of light speed.
The Lightning God was harder to kill. It was able to change its body at will and destroying one portion of it didn’t affect the whole.
A massive area was consumed by the energy of the Sword and any living matter within was atomized. Only a few lucky survivors had escaped destruction, including the Lightning God. Now it was the god’s misfortune to be spied by Cloudhawk.
A rare opportunity had presented itself. The Lightning God was weakened. This small flock of birds was all that remained. In other words, if this handful were eliminated the Lightning God would die.
Seriously injured, the Supreme was trying to flee and recover. In its desperation it did not know where to fly to. Cloudhawk knew that no support was coming in the aftermath of that explosion. There was no better time to destroy this creature than right now!
It was time!
Cloudhawk warped space around him, appearing before the flock of birds. He hacked at them, destroying a portion. In a display of terror the remaining birds gathered together. Once again there stood the tall and imposing humanoid figure.
The Lightning God was forced to return to its original form. Without a moment’s hesitation, it summoned several hundred lightning bolts and flung them at his attacker. But Cloudhawk would not be denied. Brandishing Godslayer, he hacked through the bolts and buried his sword in the Lightning God’s shoulder.
A god’s armor seemed to be tied to their energy and willpower. Where before the Lightning God seemed invincible, now the blazing electric light was dim. It was at its weakest point, on the verge of collapse. Drained as it was and with no way to recover, the god could not protect itself from Godslayer’s bite.
The Lighting God’s right arm was cleaved from his body at the shoulder. But so long as any portion of him remained intact he could reform. Its right arm fired at Cloudhawk like a shot from a railgun. Were he a normal mortal that would have ended the fight, but Cloudhawk had the benefit of the Eye of Time. He saw this attack coming, deflected it with Godslayer, and the crackling black power of his sword blasted the limb to pieces.
Then he blinked back before the deity.
Too fast! With nowhere to flee it could only react by swinging a sword of lightning clutched in its left hand. Cloudhawk hacked toward it and as the weapons met, the Lightning God’s sword evaporated. Once again Godslayer bit into godly flesh and its left arm disintegrated.
Cloudhawk didn’t hesitate. His enemy’s tricks were myriad, so he pressed the attack. If the Lightning God was given any chance, the being would find a way to survive and this rare opportunity would be lost. So long as this Supreme lived, it was a danger to the human race.
The dark light of Godslayer streaked passed again, this time across the waist. The Lightning God’s legs disappeared in black lightning and green fire. Only the being’s upper half remained, hovering in the air. No blood leaked from the wound, only arcs of lightning that tried to rocket the god from the path of danger.
Cloudhawk teleported into range again. Godslayer thrust into the god’s chest and exited from its back. This froze the Lightning God in place. It could no longer flee. Cloudhawk looked into its eyes, pools of cold electric light. They were the eyes of someone who knew their doom approached.
“My destruction is only temporary, but your end is preordained.”
This asshole was pontificating even in the moment of its death?
“Well then let’s move this along.” Cloudhawk hacked his weapon at the god’s head, splitting it in two like a watermelon. Dark lightning and green fire spread across what remained. In only a few short seconds everything was gone.
It was done. Cloudhawk had murdered a Supreme God. It was so complete it could be called a violation. To the humans who watched it was a staggering blow to their core being. From this moment on Cloudhawk had earned the title of a true Godslayer! He proved that humans could overcome these lofty beings.
Cloudhawk looked around for his second target, the Light God. Now was the time to finish off the god, but the chaos of the battlefield was widespread. He couldn’t pinpoint his foe’s location.
Fuck it, good enough for now. It’s too wounded to be a threat anyway.
Cloudhawk stood in the empty space where the Lightning God had been destroyed. The only thing his fires had not consumed was a thumb ring . The fact it survived meant it was a relic, and a high-quality one at that. He snatched it up and put it away to examine later.
The field of energy at the heart of the explosion continued to rage. A storm had sprung up of buffeting winds that only seemed to grow more intense with the passage of time. If this continued it wouldn’t just threaten the Temple, but all the Fortress around it. All the soldiers stationed here were in mortal danger.
Once the Sword of Sumeru unleashed its terrible power, the results were disastrous.
Cloudhawk threw out a small cube, his subspace relic, which immediately activated. It spun in the air and spread open to reveal a portal. Spatial interference had kept him from using it before, but once the Sword of Sumeru struck those disrupters were destroyed. His unique powers were restored.
He picked up Idonea, who was still too stunned to understand what was happening, and flung her into the portal. He then used his willpower to project his thoughts into the minds of everyone: “This place is coming down, there’s no running away. If you want to live you’ll go through this portal!”
“Why should we believe you!”
“It’s a trap!”
Many voiced their concerns, but it was clear the Fortress was crumbling around them. Only a fraction of the Sword’s energy had reached them so far. Soon it would be too much for them to withstand.
“Stay and die. Go through the portal and die. If you’re going to die anyway might as well have a change in scenery.”
Once the dimensional portal was opened Cloudhawk moved it over to the others. That was the best he could do, whether or not they chose to save their own lives was up to them. Luckily, while they saw Cloudhawk as an enemy they weren’t stupid. After a moment of hesitation they all began to run through the portal.
Cloudhawk kept the Cube activated while folding dimensions to the spore planet. There he deposited Sky Fortresses’ survivors.
It used to be that moving people through dimensions was a taxing process. A thousand soldiers of their strength would have taken him a full day to accomplish – except that the subspace cube made that process much easier.
“Where are we?”
As they were ejected from the cube, elite soldiers from the four Elysian realms looked around in astonishment. Moments ago they were on the edge of an explosion high above the world. Now, in the blink of an eye, they were somewhere else entirely with plants they’d never seen before.
Meanwhile Cloudhawk took some clothing from his dimensional warehouse and pulled them on. His own wounds were considerable, and if these angry faithful knew that they might descend on him. After all, there were a number of Master Demonhunters and high-class martial artists in their ranks.
“You evil bastard, where did you bring us!” It was Siegebreaker who yelled the challenge. His injuries were already improving, as was typical for a man with such a highly evolved constitution. Only, when Cloudhawk turned his attention to the warrior his fighting spirit withered. This monster was too strong, enough that they all felt hopeless. If a Supreme could not survive his ire then how could they?
So, even though Cloudhawk stood brazenly before them, even though he was wounded and drained, no one dared to lift a finger.
He calmly looked over the crowd. “This is another world your gods conquered. Now this is all that’s left; ruins and fungus. Below your feet were the cities of its original inhabitants. Their grim present is our future. That’s why we have to join together and fight back.”
1. These rings are thick pieces of ornamentation old-timey emperors used to wear