Ava, losing her carefree appearance and donning a majestic, sky-bearing one, took to sky alongside Sevan, bounding toward the dark shadow hovering in the sky. Ava had already perceived it was a Skydevil Variant, but merely a recently ascended one. It was only a few dozen levels or so stronger than her, but that still made him the most dangerous opponent she ever faced. Even with Sevan’s backing, she was only confident in holding him back, and not much else.
In the numerous books depicting Devils, the number of Variants was vast - estimated anywhere between 60 and a 100. Being a ‘Variant’ simply denoted the Devil’s roots; for instance, Skydevil Variant meant that, prior to becoming a Devil, he was a Sky Demon, born of corrupt Qi diffused directly into air. Unlike the Six Exalted Royalties of the Devils - whose roots stemmed directly from the Devil Qi itself - other variants weren’t as dangerous, but were still fiendishly difficult to deal with.
“Hmm?” a hoarse voice broke out from the shadows as Ava and Sevan ascended before the Devil. “Hallowed bitch dares show up before me?!”
“A Skydevil child calling me a bitch?” Ava smiled nonchalantly. “World must have turned upside down since I last left my home.”
“Heh, a brave front,” the voice said with a faint chuckle. “Are you so terrified of me that you’d bring a kid along to die with you?”
“Are all Devils this arrogant?” Sevan asked genuinely.
“Ha ha, you’ve got no idea Sevan,” Ava laughed. “This? This is just a little kid trying to imitate adults. Why do you think he’s talking to us? He first wants to see if the battles below go his way. If they don’t, he’ll most-likely scurry back to the hole he crawled out from, begging his master with a snot-infested face to take revenge for him.”
“... you’ve really got a tongue on you, hallowed bitch,” hoarse voice remained strangely composed. “But, it doesn’t matter. I suppose I should let you vent before the last breath.”
“Why don’t we observe the battle down below in silence, eh?” Ava said, grinning as she turned her sight toward the charging armies down below.
In reality, she wished she didn’t have to fight the Devil; if the others were able to gain advantage and force the other side to retreat, that would be for the best. It would also give her time to inform her Elders to send proper reinforcements. A boy-aged Skydevil Variant certainly wouldn’t be the leader of anything, let alone an expedition into the Gaia. That, at the very least, required someone at least as strong as a human Deus Imperium cultivator and would most-likely end up being one of the Six Exalted Devil Variants - God-Devil, Death-Devil, Sin-Devil, The Fallen, The Exalted or The Imperial. There’s even a chance a descendant of those old monsters might show up... the very thought gave Ava shivers.
While the battle of observation was occurring in the sky, Lino - alongside Temar and Seya - was leading a charge with roughly fifteen other cultivators as a vanguard force. They seemed to have a rather imposing momentum, but when compared to the force opposite of them - numbering in tens of thousands - they looked like mice charging against a giant. Lino sensed the long-buried longing inside his heart, that familiar flame, urge, the utmost need, being born. It began to spread, to blossom like a flower, taking root in every part of his body bit by bit. The Writ’s already insane circulation speed increased, Qi traveling throughout his entire body like a gushing river. Unlike other cultivators, who would create an Inner World upon reaching Soul Realm and store their Qi there, Lino’s Qi wasn’t stationary; it was everywhere and nowhere and could be employed at any point of his body but with a thought. His entire body was simply a channel for the rampaging force to travel through. He fished into the void world and took out the Dragon Spear; its sharp tips bellowed silently, resonating with the battle intent of its wielder. Crimson flames urged along the shaft like tiny, coiling dragons, waking the light in the ever falling darkness.
Both Seya and Temar trembled for a moment; those flames caused their Seeds to tremble. As Purity Realm cultivators who had already shed their body of its original mortality, for their own Seed - the very essence of their power - to tremble was something neither had experienced before, not even when coming face to face with those old monsters. This seemed more akin to a primal urge to bow before something innately larger than them; it only meant that those faintly flickering crimson flames wrapping around the shaft of the strange boy’s spear were innately purer than the Flames of their own Seeds. Both glanced at each other for a moment in wonder, but as though they realized their action, scoffed and looked away shortly after.
Though this didn’t escape Lino’s sight, he didn’t say anything. Even if he preferred crafting over battling, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t like the current feeling, the feeling of heralding himself over into the unknown with every muscle in his body screaming to tear open a void in space and down a god all on his own. The distance between the two sides shortened quickly, and by the time they were fifty meters apart, Lino’s eyes grew into slits as he urged Qi into his feet. The originally chaotic Qi soon changed forms, turning into spectral, azure lightning.
Like tiny specs they evolved from mere flashes to full bolts that wrapped around his feet like serpents, flashing brilliantly in dark night. Lino’s lips curled up into a grim smile as he suddenly bounced off the earth and spiraled through the sky in a beautiful arc of azure lighting, crossing fifty meters and more in a flash and diving straight into the heart of the entire formation. Everyone watching suddenly got startled, especially Ava who stared at what just happened with slacked jaw. Seya and Temar were no better, as both simply had an idea of taking the brunt hit and immediately retreating as numbers were simply too much. However, seeing this kid whose cultivation they couldn’t see through just jump into the heart of massive, blackened swarm caused their hearts to stir. SO COOL!!
If Lino could read their thoughts, he would smugly reply ‘Damn hell it’s cool!’. But, at the moment, he didn’t really care. It wasn’t much of a conscious decision to dive in like a fool, but more of an instinctual desire. As though black swarms of Demonically Possessed were welcoming him with open arms, he dove straight in with a big grin on his face, pointing the spear downward and crashing down like a falling star. Immediately, a booming explosion occurred which sent mashes of black blood and rotting organs flying, alongside piercing screams and shouts and masses of shattered rock. It rained outwardly like a fountain, the initial range of impact nearly a hundred meters across.
Lino rested but for a moment inside the settling dust as his black eyes grew ever darker. He sensed madness rapture his heart, cracking the faint sanity which remained. In that single impact, he had managed to increase his Level. It was a beyond wonderful feeling, sensing Qi surge like raging waves throughout his body. Bathing in it for a moment, he flicker his sleeve and donned the Soul Armor as well as other pieces he crafted; though they weren’t a part of the set, they were still individually rather strong. Behind him, black cape flutter like fleeting shadow, spear exuding radiance of brutal death. He looked like a knight arisen from hell as he bolted forward, his feet still coated in lightning. Rather than retreating backwards after causing a massive commotion, he dove even deeper in.
Pinning the spear in-between his ribs and arm, he took out a sword from the void world, which was also a high-ranked [Epic] weapon he crafted in the first batch, he was like a mowing death, piercing straight through dozens of the Possessed and pinning them atop of the spear before flickering it sideways and sending their dismembered pieces flying. Endless wails and cries of agony and pain beckoned into the sky as the seeming incantation of death descended upon the army of Demons.
Deep within the ranks, a few Greater Demons finally responded to the commotion as they broke ranks and immediately flew over to where Lino was causing havoc. Three of them intercepted him, stopping his endless onslaught. As he was forced to retreat backwards, his grinning expression darkened, as though he was a kid who suddenly had his favorite toy taken away after playing with it.
“You’ve sure got balls kid.” one of the Greater Demons said, smiling wickedly. “But, your playtime ends here.” Lino scrutinized the three deeply; all three were early-ranked Purity Realm cultivators. If he were in his normal mood, he’d avoid them like plague. Yet, a voice deep within his heart kept whispering ‘You can kill them... you can kill them...’ repeatedly, urging him to just continue his onslaught.
“Heh, you fuckers sure are obstinate,” Lino said as he withdrew the sword and held the spear with both his hands. He then began sending droves of Qi directly into the spear’s shaft, causing crimson flames and golden light to radiate out ever more brilliantly. At the same time, he decided to dispose of accuracy in favor of more speed. “Come then, let’s have some fun.” You’ll be my grind wall for Mythic Realm, heh...
Without waiting for any of three to speak, Lino was the first to move as he swept the spear sideways, sending an array of golden light toward the trio. He followed right behind, his feet coated in lighting; he didn’t dare reveal his Wings as he was afraid someone would recognize him - at least until he was in deadly danger. In the end, lighting also provided sufficient speed as he was moving faster than any of the three Greater Demons were able to anticipate. The three worked in concert as they split into a triangle formation, making sure Lino had no path of retreat; however, he completely ignored their games and dove straight towards the one who spoke. Just as the Demon deflected the golden array of light, the face of a boy carrying maddening expression and a smile of a Devil appeared before him, startling the Demon. He immediately shuffled the Devil Qi inside of him and pushed it outwardly to create a massive veil in front of him like a shield. However, it was useless.
Like glass, the veil shattered as unstoppable spear pierced through, barely missing the Demon’s vitals and striking at his shoulder. Rather than being pinned, he was blown backward into the sky like a cannonball, flying nearly five miles before coming to a halt. Rather than following up, Lino swept the spear downwards, stuck it into the ground, spun around and blew himself forward toward another Demon using the momentum. While midair, he kept pouring Qi into the shaft and already began attacking. Though he was unable to externalize Qi on his own, using weapon as a conduit, he could still attack from range, though the damage was lowered greatly. However, he didn’t care.
Soon, sky was bathed in brilliant, majestic radiance of crimson and golden hue interwoven like lovers as they dove toward the Great Demon who had a dark expression. Though the lights themselves didn’t pose much threat, the youth before him certainly wasn’t easy; for some reason, he was still unable to discern the youth’s cultivation, but, at the very least, he wagered that youth was a notch above them, which was at mid-Purity Realm, and it looks like he condensed three Seeds - one of Light, one of Thunder and one of Flames. One has to know that having three Seeds means one’s Qi is six times purer than having one Seed, while its quantity is at least three times as much. It means that even if all three of them pooled together, they still wouldn’t match this single youth’s Qi reserves, whether in quantity or quality.
Lino appeared before him like an apparition, that maddened grin sending shivers down the Demon’s spine. The latter wasn’t careless and had already poured all his Qi into a [Rare] graded shield that was a treasure he was gifted by the Master after successfully breaking through to Purity Realm. However, it was useless; how could he know that the spear in Lino’s hands was not only a [Legendary] grade one, but was also crafted by a legendary Exalted-ranked Blacksmith? Even if you gave him ten thousand chances, he’d have never guessed the seemingly slightly above-average spear was so strong.
Like piercing a piece of bread, spear went straight through to the shock of the Great Demon whose expression immediately grew pained as he realized spear’s tip pierced his chest and straight through his heart. No matter how strong his vitality is, he was just a Purity Realm cultivator; his Seed was still in his heart, and having it pierced, even if he by some miracle survived, his cultivation days are over. Overwhelmed with anger, he couldn’t hold it in and roared toward the sky in anger as he drove the last ounce of Qi into the Seed, forcibly enlarging it to explode.
Lino naturally didn’t know what Seed was or what imploding it meant, he only felt a massive amount of Qi condensing into a singularity. Crap! He had but a moment to conjure a thought before the Demon in front of him blew up into mass of meat and blood, and blackening storm. A force beyond what Lino could handle pounded against his chest, causing him to vomit a mouthful of blood as he felt his organs churn in discomfort. Luckily, all his gear was extremely sturdy; he was merely blown backwards, but didn’t sustain a deadly injury. Gotta watch out for this! He wiped the blood from the corner of his lips and glanced at the last remaining Great Demon who came to stop him, smiling grimly. The Demon stood shellshocked and watched the youth focus onto him; it all happened within seconds!! His two brothers who were both slightly stronger than him were either crippled or outright killed within mere seconds!! And even a full-on explosion of one’s Seed barely scratched the youth! A single thought emerged inside the Demon’s head: run. It was only then that Temar and Seya arrived at the frontlines, struggling to accept what their eyes were seeing. They were not alone, though. Ava, Sevan, Skydevil, Hanner, Endor... they all stared at this unassuming youth that tagged along with Ava. There was eerie silence encompassing the battlefield, one broken by Lino who brandished his spear yet again.
“Ha ha, finally!! Finally!!!” others may not know what it meant, but he certainly did: a robotic voice sounded inside his head.
[Congratulations on reaching Mythic Realm...]
[Ascended to Mythic Realm via killing Purity Realm Greater Demon]
[Fourth Gate Opening pending...]
[Quest updated: Current Realm insufficient, raise to Late Mythic Realm]
[Please finish the battle before undergoing the official ascension...]