Book 7, Chapter 97 - War Parties

But Cloudhawk was in no hurry to summon help. 

On the one hand he wanted to see what these gods were capable of. On the other, something seemed strange. Caution was the better practice.

One of the gods reached out, holding a pearl-like artifact in both hands. A light emerged from it, quickly swelling to envelope the area. It hung over everything within several thousand meters, including Cloudhawk and the gods he fought.

The divine soldiers attacked all together. The battle was on.

How rich was divine battle experience? Enough to compliment their eternal lifespan. Every soldier was a perfect specimen and their unity was superhuman. Even the likes of Arcturus Cloude, a man of incomparable wisdom and power, would be overwhelmed.

Dozens of columns – screaming lines of energy – came pouring down toward him. They descended with the roar of a tornado, obliterating the terrain.

Yet in the instant of their attack Cloudhawk summoned the power of his left eye. Time unfurled, and with the knowledge of where the strike would fall he blinked to safety.

Before he could regain his footing two gods charged at him.

One lashed out with ice and fire and lightning. The other drew a sword and fell upon Cloudhawk like a waterfall of light. Strong – but not strong enough.

With the Eye of Time Cloudhawk saw them coming. His deflection field sprang to life, sparing him from the storm of energy. He used Godslayer in his other hand to knock away the sword of light.

Thunderous blasts ensued. Whole mountains crumbled. Evenly matched, the small group was flung apart but quickly reengaged. The gods surrounded their target and attacked like a swarm of wasps. Cloudhawk was struggling to find a flaw in their onslaught.

Let’s get some space first, then we’ll see. Cloudhawk gathered his powers. His plan was to get a few hundred kilometers away and plan his next move. Only, when he released his abilities he hardly moved.

He’d only gone a few thousand meters. That… was not what he expected.

Why had it failed? Cloudhawk quickly discovered the reason – it was that god with the pearl. More specifically, it was the shell of power it was producing. The field was suppressing his dimensional capabilities. By some method he didn’t understand it was interrupting the flows of space and preventing long-distance teleportation. Cloudhawk couldn’t resort to his old tricks to get some distance.

IT seemed like they were prepared to fight him. But even so Cloudhawk didn’t let it fluster him. He called forth his powers again.

Over the course of just a few seconds he teleported several dozen times. In a series of lightning-fast moves he escaped the gods and their attacks, reappearing each time to attack with Godslayer or Castigation fire. He created chaos among their ranks. They were too turned around to grab him.

On the surface he was attacking at random, but it was one part of a deeper plan. With every flash he was circling their leader, getting in close for a strike. The gods knew what he was up to but were not fast enough to get in his way.

Leaping from one place to another, they couldn’t put hands on him. Nor was there time to fall back and support their leader. What they did do was release a host of black smoke creatures. These monsters coalesced into one, forming a creature in liquid state. The towering nightmare howled at Cloudhawk, belching plumes of black smoke from its mouth.

What the fuck was this thing? Some sort of divine beast? Or something they pilfered from the reaches of outer space?

Fuck it, didn’t matter. It would die with the rest of them at the tip of his sword!

Godslayer was a fragment of shadow, wrapped in tongues of green flame and bolts of purple lightning. Cloudhawk gathered its power, causing it to expand tremendously before bringing the sword crashing down on the monster. Its liquid body vaporized back into smoke with its dark power scattering. Cloudhawk’s attack kept going into one of the leaders.

A light flickered in its eyes. It knew that remaining still would be fatal. No longer able to concentrate on the pearl, it summoned its own defenses to protect against Cloudhawk’s attack. The restraint on his abilities disappeared.

Cloudhawk’s mental powers flared, so intense that the space all around him warped. Several figures emerged, weapons raised and ready for what they might meet. They launched into a series of attacks they were so sudden and powerful even the gods were caught off guard.

Cloudhawk was quickest. Two of the gods had charged at him and were met with a mental barrage that caught them in a world of illusion. For a handful of seconds they were frozen – a short time, but enough to change the tide of battle.

Bruno had deployed the spatial lock. They could be confident the Abyssal God wouldn’t interrupt them.

Frost de Winter deflected the spear of a god with his own. By his side, Phoenix released a blast of fire that consumed one of the soldiers. The others – Autumn, Selene, Dawn, Abaddon and several more – joined the fray and stopped the divine assault. This was the heart of Greenland’s strength they faced now. Everyone with the exception of Belial had arrived to give aid. Even Legion was on the field.

It was a risky gambit, but if they couldn’t even defeat several dozen divine soldiers their hopes of victory were foolish. 

Cloudhawk had his foe locked down. Legion, abusing this advantage, used his legendary sword to disintegrate the god’s defenses. A stream of unfathomable power tore through its body.

The Elder was a creature who had survived countless battles. At one time it had fought by the Demon King’s side. His relic, the Blade of Oblivion, was legendary even among his kin. It possessed more killing power than Godslayer, especially in the hands of this powerful being.

Against the god Cloudhawk had the upper hand. Legion’s sudden arrival and sneak attack was perfect. For all the strength and experience of the godly leader, it could not withstand Oblivion’s cruel bite.

“Oblivion… demons.. Legion!”

It was impaled, residual force from the attack causing its armor to crack apart. Still reeling from the blow it was conscious enough to see what happened. Though this creature bore the body of a god, it was no such thing.

Legion, the demon Elder! An ancient foe who once walked with the Demon King. He was not dead, as they thought. Instead he fought for the humans? Wearing the likeness of a god? Had he mastered the ability to take new forms?

This new information was quickly disseminated through the Matrix. Now all the gods knew. Legion was a pivotal figure among the demons and one of their most enigmatic. No one, even among his kin, knew what Legion’s true aims were or what he fought to achieve.

The God King, Demon King, and Legion… these three held more secrets than the rest of the galaxy would ever know.

Legion’s thoughts pushed through Cloudhawk’s mind. “Don’t let it run!”

Responding quickly, he released a mental attack slammed into the gravely wounded commander. Cloudhawk closed the distance while it was frozen stiff and slammed into the back of its body with a fist.

Space split open, like the maw of some terrible beast. Cloudhawk shoved his foe forward and the commander went tumbling through the portal. As quickly as it appeared, the rip in space knit back together.

It had been flung back to the Southern Capital, where Belial and Hellflower were waiting. A wounded Supreme was a great asset. Capturing it served their cause well. Victory!

Cloudhawk could sense that the gods were unprepared for a fight this tough, but it was no time to be careless. There were still dozens of the soldiers left. Even once they were destroyed it was a meaningless loss to the divine army.

The Alliance heavyweights and Elysian elite got to work.

Sumeru’s two Supremes and the forty gods they brought with them were on the back foot. And of course they would. Cloudhawk, Legion, the Cloud God, the Shepherd God, Phoenix… these humans each were equivalent to Supremes or stronger themselves.

These gods were strong, but not strong enough. In addition to their leaders the other humans were equal to the task of mopping up forty soldiers. Bruno, Gorman, Pelagius, Walrick, Selene, Dawn, Frost, Atlas – they were a formidable force.

Unless something changed, Cloudhawk’s team would wipe them out!

“Die!”

Phoenix unleashed the full weight of her ire against the gods. With a deafening roar she flung herself forward, ripping through a god’s protections and pummeling it with her fists. Each punch landed with the force of a bomb blast. What was left was a creature barely clinging to life.

Frost, working in tandem with Cloudhawk, flung a spear of ice at the Alliance leader which he used to strike down another god. It blinked back into Frost’s hands when he was done.

Dawn was playing defense. She rampaged through the heart of the divine soldiers, swinging her sword with vicious abandon. Her attacks were not strong, but her defensive abilities were unparalleled. The gods’ spear struck her armor and bounced off harmlessly. Dawn used her relics to absorb their power and empower Selene.

With the aid from Dawn, Selene became a terror on the battlefield. Her attacks rivaled Phoenix’s in strength and cruelty.

Sacred Flash!

Hundreds of blazing swords exploded across the area. Each one found purchase in the body of a divine soldier. It was a deadly storm of power.

There was no denying that the soldiers were mighty. They had impressive defensive and offensive abilities, high combat solidarity, nigh impenetrable armor and impressive rates of regeneration. But there was a clear weakness: Their lack of equipment. Each god only had one or two auxiliary relics. Their strength lay in teamwork.

Who among Cloudhawk’s team didn’t have four or more high-level relics? Their powers were diverse, making cooperation all the stronger. In particular was the interplay of space and time, empowering their combat skills to tremendous heights. At this moment, the gods were at a loss.

The two remaining Supremes surveyed their situation. They felt no anger nor hysteria. Calmly, they spoke to one another.

“The plan to capture Cloudhawk has failed.”

“Request permission to unleash Last Judgment.”

Both gods conveyed their petition. After a few moments a majestic voice replied.

“Permission granted.”

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Xiao Lai's Thoughts

Look out for that cli-i - i -  i  -   i   -    i    -    f    -    f    ........