Dawn heard an impact nearby the capital’s center. They couldn’t afford to ignore any potential threat, so she rushed to the scene as quickly as possible.
She came upon a hole one hundred meters across. Scores of trees had been splintered and flattened by whatever happened. Only, there wasn’t anything there. The hole was empty. It looked like something had impacted here, but she had no idea what.
“How did this happen?” She was surprised and confused, but thankfully no one had been hurt.
Cloudhawk’s plan had gone perfectly, lucky for him. One misstep and he could have been seriously wounded, even killed. As he cut down the Supreme within Chaos, his allies were still battling it from outside.
They watched as a spectral body was flung from the beast. Headless, a tail of green flame followed its descent. Nothing – not even a god – could survive such injuries.
A flash of light and Cloudhawk stood by their side once again.
Cracks were visible on the front and back of his armor. Wounds leaked thick blood. But the hand that gripped half the god’s ghostly head held it tight.
“That’s our leader. You killed it!”
Everyone had seen Cloudhawk blink into the body of this monster to do battle with the god. Through strength and courage he had prevailed, a miracle only Cloudhawk could pull off. Others might have the Daring to try, but only their leader was strong enough to succeed.
“Can we get it under control now?” Cloudhawk’s breath was a little strained. The fight had taken a lot out of him. “We need to stop it!”
The Supreme inside Chaos had been eliminated. Like a truck without its driver, they should expect it to cease its attacks.
“I’m afraid it’s not that easy.” Legion’s discouraging words were confirmed when Chaos began to change. All the dark clouds and mist gathered close around it and the hulking behemoth began to shrink.
The sudden collapse of space caused everything to be pulled toward it. Nearby mountains were uprooted and boulders were drawn high into the air. Everything was being drawn inexplicably toward a dark center as though a black hole had opened up over the wastes.
Cloudhawk’s body flickered as his spatial powers extended, teleporting him and the others a safe distance.
Thankfully the intense gravitational pull didn’t last very long. After two minutes, Chaos had compressed from the size of an island to the size of a small hill twenty or thirty meters tall. It also abandoned the tentacle form from previously and adopted something new.
Phoenix glared at their foe. “What the hell is it doing?”
From their vantage everyone could see the area of earth beneath Chaos that had been ripped into the sky. Something lay within now, a strange creature in the deepest part of the five-hundred meter deep crater. It slowly raised to its feet – yes, feet. It had the torso and limbs of a humanoid but four horns jutting from its head. Its skin was black as pitch but for a faint glow beneath the folds. Within the eyes, ears and nostrils was a storm of energy ready to be released.
“As expected.” Legion regarded the beast. “Chaos has changed forms.”
Chaos could always take whatever form it pleased. Now it chose to look like its attackers. In this new skin it lost the ability to traverse space, but gained increased speed, power and combat ability.
Cloudhawk was puzzled. “How could it have a physical form like this?”
“Chaos has many forms. The tentacle monstrosity is suitable for movement and combat in the vacuum of space. It materializes on the planet’s surface to adapt to its surroundings. You managed to kill the spirit controlling it, but you have not stopped Chaos yet. It is now free of its masters and acts on instinct alone.”
Cloudhawk had assumed without a driver Chaos would cease to fight. Instead this fucking thing just kept trucking along!
Still, without the gods’ direct control Chaos was relying on its own lacking intelligence. Now that it had taken physical form that meant it could be killed, as opposed to the quantum cloud it was before.
Cloudhawk waved everyone forward. “With me!”
Thirty warriors attacked Chaos in unison. They tore across the landscape and down into the crater with their relics bursting to life. A brutal series of attacks slammed into Chaos before it regained its footing.
Autumn unleashed her full power, lashing at her foe with countless vines. They wrapped up the ten meter tall monster like a dumpling. After absorbing the Cloud God’s power, she had become one of Greenland’s strongest protectors.
Torrents of sand poured from Abaddon and coated the vines. Governor Pelagius and other Elysian leaders unleashed any control measures they possessed. Under a barrage of constraints, Chaos was held fast for the moment.
“Now’s the moment. Kill it!” Frost launched himself at chaos with Ashfall held high, screaming toward him like a meteor.
Legion attacked from behind with a thrust from the Blade of Oblivion. Phoenix, meanwhile, launched her assault head on with two flaming fists. She crashed into Chaos at nearly thirty times the speed of sound.
The rest of the team followed, utilizing every tool at their disposal.
Chaos unleashed a deafening roar of fury. It slammed a fist into the earth that caused it to buckle another several dozen meters. Rock was superheated for a thousand meters all around and turned the crater into a lake of lava. All of the vines around it broke apart.
With a deft step to the side it avoided Ashfall and grabbed at LEgion with its left hand. With its right it struck back at Phoenix. All other attacks were completely ignored as they drilled into its body.
Phoenix was the first one to make contact. She slammed right into Chaos’ fist and went spinning backward in a spray of blood. Her nearly immortal body was nearly broken by the strike.
Its left hand then reached for Legion. The Elder juked away and hit the monster with his sword. It released its terrible power all at once, carving a wound in its palm. It was the only attack that managed to cause any damage.
Chaos belched another earth-shuddering scream.
The strange lines all over its body glowed brighter before a supersonic wave of force burst from it. Everyone – Legion included – was blasted away as though struck by a tidal wave and smashed into the ground.
By now Chaos had risen to its full height. The wound in its left hand was quickly healing. It towered over the humans. An ominous scene – there was no question that this was one of Sumeru’s most terrible weapons.
One of these monsters could wipe out a planet and all life on it. Its energy was inexhaustible and with a single punch it could liquefy rock. Phoenix and others, the best of humanity, were powerless. With a stomp of its feet it spawned earthquakes. What few things could wound it were rendered impotent by its healing abilities.
There was nothing they could do.
After swatting away these irritating gnats, Chaos did not elect to finish them off. Instead, with a gentle leap, it exited the crater and landed a thousand meters away.
Boom - - -!
A section of mountain range fell apart in a landslide. Chaos ran a few steps and leaped again, soaring several kilometers before disappearing across the horizon at frightening speed.
“It’s headed for Southern Capital!”
Cloudhawk immediately knew the monster’s intentions. It wanted to destroy the city and everything Cloudhawk had built. It was going to decimate humanity’s defensive line.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
17k screwed up the chapter numbers again, forcing me to totally restructure the numbering on the back end so the chapters would show up properly for this book and the next one. I am not pleased. But hey! You guys and gals get a free extra chapter!