Reina, Donna, and the still unconscious Leon appeared in a dome-like Coliseum made entirely of dark gray stone and illuminated by bright yellow stones that seemed to mimic the LED lights of earth. Separating the 'gladiators' from the crowd of tens of thousands of angels was a hundred or so foot-tall wall of obsidian, while the wall separating the inside of the Coliseum from the outside was six or seven hundred feet high... It was clearly meant to prevent the 'volunteers' from escaping once the battle had begun. Though she couldn't tell if they were underground or not due to the lack of natural light filtering in from the outside.

"Reina, you need to focus!" Donna yelled. "Leon needs your help and we're going to need his!"

"Right!" Reina shook her head and promptly ignored the sounds coming from the stands as thousands of angels flashed into the Coliseum. 

"What's happening!?" Reina yelled over the cacophony of noise as she quickly scanned Leon's body.

She noticed some form of toxin in his bloodstream that appeared to be inhibiting his body's natural healing ability and one of his lungs had been punctured by a broken rib and he was quickly suffocating to death.

Either the doctors at that so-called 'hospital' sucked at their jobs or they left him like this on purpose.

"We've been brought to Zuriel's Coliseum, the place ol' little dick likes to show off for his supporters. If I had to take a guess, I'd say he plans on letting his followers watch our execution."

"Why'd he bring Leon? If he wanted to punish us, then surely he could have left him at the hospital!"

"He is punishing us, Reina! Zuriel is, was, and always will be a megalomaniacal narcissist... and we insulted him. We're lucky he didn't just kill us in the hospital and be done with it." She yelled with a twinge of madness in her voice.

Reina bit into her bottom lip as she slowly pushed Leon's ribs back into place and threw approximately fifteen percent of her total supply of magic into healing it as quickly as possible. She needed him up and moving before whatever Zuriel had planned for them began.

"Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls... Welcome to the show."  Reina heard Zuriel say over the sound of cheering angels.

"Hurry, must hurry!"

"Tonight, for your viewing pleasure. An old friend has decided to pay us a visit and look, she's generously brought some snacks for our champion!" The dirt floor of the arena shook with the excitement from the crowd and their cheers made Reina's ears ring.

"There, that's the ribs!" Reina internally cheered.

Now to remove the blood from his lungs so he could breathe properly...

 The entire Coliseum shook violently as a sudden earthquake sent most of the angels, Reina, and Donna sprawling. Reina protectively covered Leon's body with her own and rode out the quake by sitting on his waist and continuously siphoned the blood out of his lungs.

... For once, she was really glad Torga wasn't around to see this.

"Now, now, calm down everyone! No need to let a little quake ruin our entertainment for the evening, eh? I've dispatched soldiers to investigate what happened. In the meantime, what say get this party started!?"

The roars of the crowd were truly deafening and were making Reina's head throb, but she needed to focus. One wrong move and she could accidentally puncture his lung... or worse, she could cause it to collapse.

 "Donna, I don't know what's about to happen, but I need you to cover me until I can stabilize him!"

Donna didn't respond.


Still no response.

"Answer me goddamnit!!" She whipped her head around and saw what had rendered Donna speechless.

From the center of the arena, a massive eight-foot-tall, hideously disfigured demon was being raised from an area below the floor on a previously unseen platform. It was built like an Olympic body-builder with massive pectoral muscles and wide treetrunk legs, fire-red skin, bloodshot eyes, and four massive arms. 

"Is that a demon!?"

"What have you done, Zuriel..."


Donna whipped her head around and stared at Reina, Her eyes were wide, her pupils were dilated, and her body was shivering.

Donna was truly terrified.

"I know you're scared, but I need your help. I can't do this without you."

"R-Right." Donna nervously replied.

The platform raising the demon locked into place with a loud *thunk* and the crowd went silent as it scanned the arena with those ominous bloodshot eyes.


The demon's head turned to stare somewhere above Reina's head.

"You want your freedom?"

The demon slowly nodded its head.

"Then butcher them, and I'll grant you freedom from this place."

The demon's eyes shifted downwards until they landed on the forms of Reina, Donna, and Leon. Its lips drew back, revealing a mouth full of horrifyingly sharp teeth and a long forked tongue.


"You don't have to fight it alone. Just stall it!"

"I don't think I can... That's not a normal demon, Reina... That's an Arch-Demon."

"I don't care if its a god, Donna! I refuse to die here and I'm not letting you die either, so put on your big girl panties and focus! You travel with something a thousand times scarier than that thing will ever be on a daily basis, so don't give me that shit!"

"... I don't want to die."

"... Neither do I." 

The demon roared, its heavy power reverberated off the walls and sent dirt flying everywhere.

"Shield, now!!" 

Donna lifted her arms and a solid dome of magic appeared around them in a fraction of a second and just barely managed to block the massive fist that slammed into it. The shield rippled under the force of the blow, but Donna was able to repel the first blow... Then came the second. The shield cracked under the force, so Donna had to reinforce and repair it.

"You should really hurry up! I don't know how much longer I can keep this up!"

 As if to emphasize that point, a massive impact cracked the shield once again and almost made Donna's knees go out.

"I'm going as fast as I can!"

Reina finished siphoning the last of the build-up in his lungs and moved on to the toxin in his bloodstream... Which, upon further inspection, made her grit her teeth in annoyance.

"It's a damn sedative." 

She dumped as much magic as she safely could into his system and began a rapid purge of everything she considered 'harmful' to him. Leon's eyes shot open a few seconds later and he greedily sucked in as much air as he could.

"Reina, Demon!?" He yelled incoherently.

"Right, he also has a concussion."  

Reina grabbed the top of his head and poured her healing magic into him, which simultaneously healed his concussion and gave him a burst of energy. He quickly climbed to his feet and spun in a circle to look at the barrier protecting them.

"What... Where... What's happening!?" 

 "Long story short. Bastard stalker of Donna's is trying to feed us to a demon—" A sudden impact cracked the barrier and caused Leon to reflexively jump away from it.  

"Seriously!? How many exes do you have!?"

"Is that really the problem, here!?"

Another impact cracked the barrier.

"Probably not, but I need something to focus on or else I'm going to start panicking!"

"Fine, then focus on this. If we make it out of this alive, then I'm going to fuck you into a coma."



"Can we focus on the fact that a demon is trying to—" A massive red fist smashed through the top of the barrier, revealing the hideous face of the demon glaring down at them. "Nevermind!" Reina drew her pistol and quickly fired four rounds into the demon's face, causing it to stagger away from the shield.

"Yes, really. Hell, I'll even let you stick it in my ass if you want. Just. don't. die!"

Leon's eyes grew comically large and he stared at Donna...

"Right then," He said after a moment. "It's time to get serious." 

 "...Really? That's what you're getting serious about!?"

Leon ignored both Reina's words and her dumbfounded expression and narrowed his eyes at the demon through the hole in the shield. 

He took a step forward, then another, then another... and then he moved.

"Juggernaut's reign." Reina heard him whisper just before a  glowing suit of transparent plate armor over seven inches thick formed around his fist and flowed over the entirety of his body.

He smashed through the shield and slammed his fist into the demon's ribs.

The demon doubled over in pain, briefly forgetting about its rapidly regenerating eyes, and roared down at Leon. Leon slammed his armored fist into the mouth of the demon and sent its head spinning to one side.

"You're in my way

 A massive transparent longsword, over seven feet long and a foot wide, appeared in his raised hand just before he swung it down and nearly bisected the demon, though it managed to jump back in time to avoid it. The sword slammed into the ground with a heavy *clang* and cratered the ground. 

 "Tsk," Leon shifted his weight and spun like a top, causing the massive blade to whip through the air faster than the human eye could see.

When the demon attempted to block the sword with its massive hand, it lost three fingers and would have lost its entire hand had it not jerked away at the last second. 

Leon ended the swing by bringing his sword high into the air and once again slamming it into the ground mere inches away from the demon's body.

Reina leaped over Leon's body and kicked the demon square in the nose, then she flipped backward and fired two rounds into its eyes before landing in a crouch and diving out of the way of a wild swing of its fist. 

Leon took the blow head on and shrugged it off with nary a grunt or a whimper and returned the blow with one of his own. He grabbed the demon's arm and swung his massive sword with one hand up and through the arm, chopping it off just above the elbow.

He stepped to the side to allow a spike of ice to pierce the demon's chest, then used the pommel of his sword like a hammer to drive the spike deeper in while Reina continued to pester the demon with rounds from her mag-pistol. 

The spike was driven deep into the demon's body, then Leon swung his massive blade and took its head clean off. The demon's headless body collapsed to its knees, then fell forward onto its stomach.

Leon's armor and sword vanished a moment later and he fell onto his butt, panting from exhaustion. 

Reina had known about his class's inherent ability known as 'Juggernaut's Reign' since he first learned it a few years ago, though this was the longest she'd ever seen him use it.

The way he explained it to her, in exchange for all of his stored magic power, he was able to summon the 'Armor of the Juggernaut' a suit of nigh-impenetrable armor that increases his strength and durability by ten times and completely numbs any and all damage accumulated before activation or during the skill's use.

Unfortunately, Leon's magic regeneration is complete crap and it takes almost an entire month to store enough magic to even warrant the activation of the skill... Which meant he was pretty much out of the fight now.

 Reina let out a sigh of relief and noticed that Donna had done the same. The two women stood protectively in front of Leon, Reina pointed her pistol at Zuriel's throne that sat on a raised dais, while Donna created a massive spike of ice that floated in the air behind her.

"You're going to let us go now."

Another earthquake rocked the Coliseum and faint screams could be heard coming from the nearby hallways.

"Right. Now."

"Are you giving me an order?" Zuriel snidely asked. 

Yet another earthquake shook the building as the screams grew even louder.

"No, I'm trying to save your people!"

"What could we possibly need you to save us from?"

"Me... Most likely." A power-laden voice echoed from the tunnel behind Zuriel's dais. "A fruitless effort, but one you should thank her for, nonetheless."

Reina's eyes widened as the angels nearest to the tunnel dissolved into a blue mist that was sucked into the tunnel... Save for Zuriel who stood up and spun around with his spear in his hand to face the incoming threat.


"You think that toothpick is going to save you?" 

Zuriel was driven to his knees by the malice and power in the voice.

Even from behind him, Reina could see his hands shaking, his legs trembling, and his chest heaving with unneeded breath.

 As the sound of scales moving across stone filled the arena, more and more angel were dissolved where they stood. Even the angels that wisely tried to flee the scene soon found themselves faced with a problem... The faster they tried to escape, the more that simply flashed away, the faster they dissolved.

Torga wasn't just doing this to scare them, Reina realized... He was set on exterminating them all.

"By all means, run, flee, tell your friends, your family of what's happening here. And pray that whatever god you worship has plenty of mercy to go around... Because you'll find none here."

Reina saw the glowing orange eyes of the man she loved appear in the tunnel, but... There was something different about them. They weren't filled with the love, the kindness she'd come to expect from him.

There was only anger in those eyes.

 The eyes vanished from sight, only for them to reappear an instant later directly in front of Reina.

Torga was in his true form, though his shape was akin to a Naga rather than a serpent. His mist like body churned angrily, the maelstrom he called a stomach spun wildly, and his eyes glowed with barely suppressed power.

He reached out and gently cupped her chin, presumably to inspect the bruise on her face. "Are you hurt anywhere else?"  

 "A few scrapes and bruises. Nothing to be concerned about."

"I see..." 

Torga held out his hand and the still motionless Zuriel was dragged as if by invisible hands, to kneel at Reina's feet. He kicked, clawed, and stuck his spear into the ground to keep from moving.

As if any of that would have worked.

"Did he give you those 'scrapes and bruises'?"


"Yes, and he would have killed all of us had you not shown up." Donna interrupted from where she was tending to an exhausted Leon.


"Yo," Leon mumbled lamely.

"I should've known you wouldn't die. Bed bugs are a stubborn bunch."

 "Y-You... You're the devourer..." Zuriel whispered reverently.

"Did I give you permission to speak?"


"I didn't think so."

"It... It all makes sense now... The reason I couldn't see her... You protect her?"


"The bitch!" 

Zuriel was suddenly driven into the dirt by a visible pressure on his body. His perfect skin sagged, his robes tore, and Reina could hear his bones break from several feet away.

"S-Sorry, I meant Dohna. The fallen angel. I haven't been able to see her for some time now, so I thought the bi— Dohna had finally died."


"Long story short, he's an old stalker of Donna's."

"Ah, I see..." 

Zuriel, Reina, Donna, and Leon's bodies slowly floated into the air and followed Torga as he burst through the ceiling and only came to a stop when they were approximately a mile about the silver city.

"This is your old home, Donna?" 


"If you were given the choice between sparing it or destroying it. Which would you choose?"



"If you were in my position, would you destroy it or show mercy?"

Reina's eyes widened as Donna actually seemed to be giving his question some thought.

"Donna... You can't seriously be considering this!? Think of all the innocent people down there!"

 "You're too naive, Reina. There are no innocent people down there... There haven't been since father died."

"Blasphemy! Our father who art our divine creator is not dead!"

"Keep telling yourself that, Zuriel. There's a reason no one in Silver city has seen him for millennia."

"So, God is dead, huh?"

"He is most definitely not!"  

"Oh, it doesn't matter to me whether he is or not. I haven't been a devout Christian since I was a child... Reina was though."

Reina felt all eyes on her as she tried to process that, that God was dead and had been dead since before she was ever born... Logically, something like this shouldn't surprise her since... you know... she was kind of married to a living god, but... It hurt to find out something she'd believed in for the whole of her human life was a lie.

"Very well, I've decided."

"On what?" Donna asked.

"Their sentence, of course." 

Torga held out his hand, palm down, and grabbed Zuriel by the back of his neck and held him in the air in front of him.

"There is only one judgment that fits your crime, bird-boy."

"Life in prison?" Zuriel asked hopefully.

"You're funny... But no, your punishment is Death."

Zuriel wailed in pain as his body was destroyed atom by atom from the bottom of his feet to the hair on his head, while the Silver city crushed beneath a wave a gravity that flattened as far as the eye could see in every direction.


The entire process took less than ten seconds, though it probably felt like an eternity to Zuriel.

Reina wanted to cry, she really did. 

"What are we going to do about them?" She heard Leon ask from behind her.

She looked over her shoulder and saw ten angels floating behind them. Each looked to be between the ages of ten and fifteen and they were all bound together by large pieces of metal.

"Ah, I almost forgot about my messengers." 

Torga floated over, dissolving the metal as he drew closer to them, and forced them to look at him.

 "I've kept this secret long enough, I suppose. Do you see that beautiful elf over there?" 

They nodded.

"That is Reina, she's my wife... I want the ten of you to spread that as far as your little wings will carry you. I want every God, Angel, Demon, Titan, or whatever else exists out there to know this... Harm one hair on her head and you'll suffer the consequences. I clawed, I killed, and I fought to obtain my current power and now... Now I'm going to put it all to use. Come for her, I'll kill you. Injure her, I'll butcher everything you've ever held dear... And should you somehow manage to kill her?"

"All of Yggdrasil will pay the price."


Support "A Snake's Rise"

About the author


  • The insane snake handler


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