The path of Magi was a path of truth, each and every step wrought with peril. Many, many worlds of all sizes and powers existed in the astral plane, but few could climb to the peak. A peak rank 8 had reached the limit of all aspects, leaving no more room to grow.
The only way to advance further was to use their own bodies to nurture the power of spacetime, successfully advancing to become rank 9 Grand Magi. Fail and one would be wiped from the sands of time completely, without even a chance to resurrect.
“My path shall not stop at the peak of rank 8. I WILL become a rank 9 Magus, an immortal being that transcends all existence!” Leylin’s giant figure shrunk back down to the size of a normal human being. The dark mist turned into a regal robe that draped itself around him.
“The Lord of Original Sin!” Everyone congratulated Leylin upon his return. His advancement caused waves of energy to ripple throughout the astral plane, his proclamation as the Lord of Original Sin being heard by every being of laws. There was no pretense in the congratulations of Mother Core and the rest, only containing respect for truth and improvement.
“You’ve waited long enough,” Leylin said with an apologetic face, seeing the suppressed killing intent in the Lords of Calamity, “But now, we may rejoice. The real battle is about to begin!”
Leylin had promised Mother Core that he would participate in the Final War once he advanced to the peak of rank 8. Now was the time to fulfill that promise!
*Boom!* The perfect power of original sin spread out from Leylin’s arms, turning into a crimson-veined darkness.
The Lords of Calamity avoided his gaze with fervour. Seeing Leylin seemed to remind them of their worst nightmares. The same went even for Mother Core, her large eye shifting away as she didn’t dare to make eye contact.
“Innate spell— Nine-Headed Nightmare Hydra Transformation!” Leylin’s body was wrapped up by the power of original sin, expanding as it morphed into the physical form of the Nightmare Hydra. As the primogenitor of the entire bloodline, each piece of his flesh was incomparably real.
*Hiss!* The Nightmare hydra spread apart its nine pairs of wings, blotting out the entire world as it vanished from the divine kingdom. The black mist whizzed through the air, roaming freely around the lower planes as he reached the Barrens of Doom and Despair.
Leylin followed the oozing river, flying across the Fugue Plane before the gods could even react. He’d reached the end of the Barrens of Doom and Despair in an instant, arriving at a large door located at the Peaks of Flame.
The Nightmare Hydra roared as its nine serpent heads spat out the powers of laws, immediately blasting the large gate into bits. It continued moving all the while, not even stopping at the entrance.
The gods entered a frenzy the moment the Nightmare Hydra crossed the gates. It was like a calamity had befell them.
“It’s the nightmare of the gods! The Night Serpent is here!” Many avatars arrived at the Celestial Hall, their eyes filled with worry.
“The final prophecy of the Goddess of Prophecy before her fall, the Serpent of the End… Are we at the end times?” Oghma clutched his beard in vexation.
“Forget why he knows about the secret in the Barrens of Doom and Despair, do we have the time to get there?” The Morninglord was someone who believed in action.
“No… That area is the end of all things. Teleporting there is impossible even for deities, and it’s the same for the oozing river and the Fugue Plane…” another greater god answered.
“Then why could he traverse those lands so quickly?” Lathander frowned, and Tyr did as well.
“Because his speed already surpasses all of us. He represents the end of everything, containing the same essence as the Barrens of Doom and Despair. He won’t be suppressed by the oozing river and the Fugue Plane…” Oghma collapsed to the ground in despair. “We can only hope that the final guardian will emerge victorious…”
All the gods cast their gazes behind the door, despair and more complicated emotions filling their faces.
*Boom!* Past the door was a land of unimaginable heat and blazing fires. A boundless ball of fire floated in front of Leylin, radiating large amounts of heat.
“The sun…” The Nightmare Hydra roared in indignation, activating the power of Prideguard. The heat that could melt all metals didn’t affect Leylin one bit.
“Let’s follow the prophecies of the gods then, and end the world!” The Nightmare Hydra roared and moved forward.
“Wait, Magus!” Just as Leylin was about to take action, another massive figure walked through the door and stopped him in his tracks.
This was evidently a god, yet he took on the figure of a beast like a gigantic monster. The golden light radiating from his body was at the peak of power, and he gave off an ancient, archaic aura.
“The Father of Dinosaurs, Creator of Chult, Ubtao! You’ve been missing for millennia from the Church of Nature… So this is where you were all this while…” Leylin’s voice sounded from the hydra’s central head.
“To stop the Serpent of the End and protect the world is my calling!” Even if this monstrous god looked extremely malevolent, he actually radiated the power of justice and hope.
“Guarding the sun and protecting the world may be righteous to you, I admit. But… Defeating the entire World of Gods and winning the war for the Magi is true righteousness for me…” Leylin had nothing much to say to someone who stood on the enemy side.
*HISS!* *ROAR!* Two massive figures collided in the void, the aftermath of their collision so strong even the sun had to avoid the energy.
*Boom! Boom! Boom!* Space was destroyed in their fight, disintegrating into the tiniest of pieces as multiple worlds rumbled and roared. They hadn’t felt such destructive force since the dusk of the gods.
“You are indeed a powerful god of ancient times, but your time is over. You can’t compare to me in any aspect, Ubtao…” The Nightmare Hydra roared, and under Leylin’s powers of original sin Ubtao’s body was riddled with holes. The peak of a path’s power, replenished continuously from the beings of the entire astral plane, let Leylin exceed the peak of rank 8 in power. Even Distorted Shadow in his prime would have to give way to him!
“Protecting the world is the mission the overgod gave me.” The powerful beast roared out, a raging aura forming at its jaws.
“Stubborn…” The Nightmare Hydra opened its jaws, chomping down hard on Ubtao. A crimson light appeared from the vertical pupil, entering Ubtao’s head.
“Ubtao!” The fortified defences of Ubtao’s soul were corroded away just like that, and Leylin appeared in front of him with Seven SIns in hand.
Leylin roared out, swinging a large battle axe down on Ubtao’s truesoul. A forthright middle-aged man parried the attack, using a dinosaur claw that looked like a crossblade.
“Wrath!” Leylin shouted just one word in the moment of the collision. The head of wrath appeared behind him, causing Ubtao to lose his concentration. Although his soul could not be corrupted by Leylin, a momentary lapse of awareness was a fatal mistake in such a high-level fight.
*Boom!* Seven Sins broke the dinosaur claw apart, continuing downwards as it pierced into Ubtao’s skull. It carried the powers of Death and Massacre, destroying everything.
*Boom! Boom!* Ubtao’s truesoul was destroyed, followed by his body constructed with divine force. An ancient god fell just like that, causing multiple worlds to weep.
“No one, no thing can stop me!” The Nightmare Hydra howled out, heading above the sun.
The sun of the World of Gods was quite different from the other stars of the astral plane. It was extremely large and hot, almost as big as a world! It was projected into multiple different planes, providing a continuous stream of energy to the Celestial Planes and the prime material plane.
It was at this moment that a dark shadow appeared above it.
“Innate spell— World Devouring!” The Nightmare Hydra body grew incomparably large, and its nine heads formed into one huge maw, hissing as a terrifying stormy black hole appeared at the Devouring Serpent’s head. Heat could not escape, nor could small particles, not even light could escape this!
The black hole grew larger and larger, growing into the maw of a beast that swallowed the entire sun whole!
*Boom!* Beings of multiple worlds saw a horrifying scene— A winged serpent which covered the skies had gulped the sun down!
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