Book 7, Chapter 116 - Stasis

Chapter 116: Stasis

Heaven was burning. The air was on fire.

Even from below on the mountain Selene could see soldiers throwing themselves against the spirits to die. The pain in her heart ached, but their sacrifice was a necessary one. She had a Supreme to deal with, but even if she didn’t there was nothing she could do to save them.

This living weapon of mass destruction built by the gods was beyond mankind’s means to stop. Meanwhile the Quantum God shifted in and out of reality. In its quantum state Selene had no way of causing it harm. Neither did she have a way to force her foe to take physical form. They were helpless, even if they all focused on this one enemy.

The other god’s powers involved transforming matter. It molded reality the way a child molded clay, turning everything it touched into a weapon. Soldiers and monsters were spun from the ether and sent to fight on behalf of the Supreme.

Yes, the god made its will palpable. Whatever it wished, it could create. Everything it came into contact with became an extension of its power.

A constant stream of mindless soldiers were created, along with cannons, warships, bombs and other weapons. An entire army was built in an instant as easily as a programmer wrote a piece of code. If any creature could be said to truly be a deity, this creator was such a thing.

Belial belched out a plume of fire which shattered several dozen nearby crystal soldiers. It reached further toward the Supreme, but with a wave of its hand the Source reared up in its defense to form a barrier. Belial’s hellfire crashed against it like a seawall. Afterward the Source cracked apart and reformed into a giant twenty meters tall.

Hundreds of cannons bristled from the giant in an instant. It released a resounding blast of force, but thankfully Master Anan was quick to answer. The blast was deflected by a shield he summoned.

Yet in this instant the Quantum God also acted. It appeared at Walrick’s side with a hand outstretched. This unobtrusive motion was actually filled with lethal intent.

 Selene had foreseen this, so her sword flashed to life. A blast of brilliant holy energy slammed into Master Anan and sent him tumbling backward.

Selene’s Eye of Time allowed her to see where the Quantum God would appear and how it would attack. If the god was allowed to lay its hands upon a victim, it would dissolve into quantum particles and become locked in that state.

In other words, if Walrick had been touched by the Supreme he would have dissolved into microscopic pieces. He would cease to exist in their reality. A single touch meant death.

“The Eye of Time?” Several of the Quantum God’s sneak attacks had failed. Selene’s stolen power was preventing it from dominating the battlefield. She cast a wave of power in its direction but the god vanished before it could land.

What hateful power! Selene turned her ire on the crystal giant, whose cannons were in the cusp of a second salvo. The brilliant gleam of Sublime Transcendence cut the monster into unequal halves.

But her brutal attack was not enough to destroy it. Nearby the Creator God called Source shards from the air and used them to create two giants from the pieces of the first. Both trained all their weapons on Belial, who’s artisan powers made the demon a favored target.

Selene’s face darkened. She knew how important Belial was to the Alliance. Without him their front line would be nonexistent. It was likely these two gods had appeared here to make sure the Elder died.

It was also likely they knew they wouldn’t survive once their mission was done. This didn’t matter much. Gods had a very different concept of life and death. If sacrificing themselves achieved an important part of the collective’s aims, then it was a perfectly acceptable end.

A storm of attacks descended on Belial. At the same time a figure appeared behind him, the Quantum God. It took advantage of the Elder’s blind retreat and lightly placed a hand upon his body.

Finished! The thought flashed through Belial’s mind like a searing bolt of electricity.

In fending off the first Supreme’s attack he had stumbled into the arms of a second. Once contact was made he was damned to the quantum world. All of Sumeru couldn’t stop the process.

This was the scene Selene witnessed.

She knew how critical such a loss would be if she allowed it to occur. So, without hesitation, she poured energy into her right eye and it flared with power. The relic absorbed all her mental energy, along with everything contained in her Holy Vestments. Even the nearby psionic towers were drained.

Like a bottomless pit, the Eye devoured all.

Despite the huge flood of power the relic was still not satiated. But it was enough. A formless energy spread out before Selene and quickly covered anything. The light released from the giant’s energy cannon froze mid flight. Debris flung into the air by explosions were frozen in place.

The Quantum God – even Belial in his despair – were locked in an instant in time.

“Die.” Selene drew on the deepest parts of herself and a sword of light burst into being. Her right eye was fixed on it so that the attack did not freeze like everything else. It descended from the sky like a divine death sentence and pierced through the Quantum God’s skull.

She couldn’t hold it anymore. The flows of time returned to normal.

Selene’s attack knocked the Quantum God off its feet. Time’s brief freeze and her attack prevented it from destroying Belial or engaging its protections. Its companion’s attack slammed into both the demon Elder and the Supreme.

A deafening explosion followed.

Belial had been focused on the first attack already so suffered relatively minor trauma. The Quantum God, on the other hand, was not prepared. Already wounded by Selene’s attack, the explosion was more than it could bear. Its body was ripped apart.

This was not what the gods anticipated. They had underestimated the power of this human and her mastery over time. Although her innate strength was nothing to fear, the rare talent to manipulate time made her a great danger.

The remaining god abandoned its assault on Belial and turned all its attention on Selene. 

Her use of the Eye left her spent. She had nothing left with which to defend herself. It had all happened too fast for her companions to react, so Walrick and Belial watched with anxious faces.

Whoosh!

A streak of golden light arrived with hurricane force, slamming into the god’s side. Electric power and raking claws dug into its body and tore apart the sturdy armor. While the bird-like attacker tore into the god, another lion-headed beast raced by and pulled Selene onto its back.

The Creator God formed a cage to try and lock the bird in. All the weapons and soldiers nearby fired in a wild display at the winged lion attempting to flee. It deftly managed to dodge many of the attacks, but not all. With a pained wail the beast tumbled from the sky.

Belial took advantage of the god’s distraction, rushing in for an attack. A spear wrapped in black fire appeared in his hand, which he plunged into his foe’s body. With all the strength he could muster he heaved, the two crashing through five walls of crystal before finally stopping.

“We have failed. This is… unexpected.”

The god felt lethal power filling its body. Belial was not a combatant, but he was a creature with the power of a Supreme. A direct attack was enough to end its life.

Humans were strong. Stronger than other species they had subjugated. It was not a power that came innately, however – it was born from their limitless potential. Still, it hardly mattered. The gods might have failed, but it did not mean their mission was not a success.

The vortex overhead began to shrink. A massive figure began to emerge, partially visible through the darkness. This fragment of Chaos was coming into reality – but then stopped. Something was wrong. Its core, contained in another piece of itself, had been destroyed.

What hovered over the Source mountain was only a piece of the chaos beast. Without the core it could not exist independently. A terrifying power began to gather inside it, surging erratically. As the aborted fragment of Chaos fell from the sky it prepared to release all the energy it had devoured.

The imminent explosion promised to be catastrophic.

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