WRATH OF AN EMPYREAN (IV)
Two swords heaved across the sky like cannonballs in a perfect, shimmering, golden arc. Lino’s physical strength was immense; as the matter of fact, him throwing weapon directly was at least four to five times stronger than someone of Early Purity Realm using Qi to do the same. However, Yox didn’t know that. He merely scoffed, considering Lino a fool.
Two swords, naturally, weren’t able to break apart the massive formation; however, two explosions were massive, obliterating clouds in the sky and breaking apart the shadows hiding the city beneath. Lino saw Yox fluttering in the air with shocked expression. He’d only met the Prince once, but it was more than enough to conclude he was nothing but a bastard.
Lino didn’t pause; taking out another two swords, he repeated the same action while golden wings fluttered behind his back. Though his face was almost expressionless and his eyes appeared dull, and even if he couldn’t exactly be called superbly handsome, at the moment he exuded a sort of majesty that Yox had never seen in his life. He, a former Prince, current Emperor, paled in comparison.
Two swords struck the shield of the formation... and exploded. Lino didn’t seem to care, but even Yox felt his heart hurt as he realized both those swords were actually [Epic] tiered ones. Was this the style known as ‘throwing money at your opponent’? Yes, yes it was.
Two more weapons emerged... and were thrown. Then two more. In a few seconds, Lino didn’t wait until weapons blasted against the formation to throw new ones. Purple, red, golden, yellow, blue, green... nearly every color imaginable was interwoven in a single array of light reaching from Lino toward the formation’s shield.
Explosions resonated one after another, stirring and collapsing the world around the city. In no time, cracks spread like spider webs across the formation, sending the already shocked Yox in a spasm of madness. Over and over and over and over again weapons crashed against the formation until, a mere few minutes later, the formation cracked like glass and Yox finally felt the true pressure. In the sky above him, there were twenty-four weapons, eighteen of which were [Rare] tiered ones, five were [Unique] tiered ones and one [Epic] spear.
It was like entering a treasury, except touching anything would mean causing an explosion strong enough to blow up half the city. Yox couldn’t defend against the sudden rain. Weapons fell but, strangely, they ignored him completely. Rather, they struck at the city, leveling the glorified basin into dust. Yox watched as the world around him turned to ash bit by bit, realizing that all his confidence in facing Lino was but a mere fool’s dream.
Lino didn’t target Yox because he wanted to spare him, but because he knew those two Devils would never let him kill the Prince. Even if two Devils wouldn’t actively attack Lino, it didn’t mean they couldn’t simply tie him down till Lino’s borrowed strength expired. It was frustrating. It made him angry. He was too weak; he always knew it, but today he felt it deeper than ever before. He couldn’t even avenge the people closest to him. How pathetic was that?
He could only throw the storm of swords toward the city and watch it burn. It wasn’t even a consolation... it didn’t even help him vent his fury, just further encapsulate the notion of just how weak he was. Frustration... anger... regret... pain... loss... grief... anguish... he tried pouring all those emotions into those weapons to cleanse himself, but it was pointless.
“... she’s already dead, isn’t she?” he suddenly asked, halting the onslaught for a moment.
“... he he he, ha ha hahaha,” Yox seemed to have finally been liberated from his fear as he saw Lino’s expression. “You realized? Ha ha ha. She committed suicide. Can you believe it? Said she didn’t want to be sullied. Ha ha ha, what an idiot. If she served me properly, she could have had the best life she could imagine! Ha ha ha...”
He remembered his conversation with Ella, he remembered her opening her heart toward him and he remember him leaning against her shoulder and crying. His heart was bleeding more than ever before. He wanted nothing more than to just hide back in his shell and bury everything. But he knew he couldn’t. The loss was too great.
For the first time since he learned of their deaths, tears of pure, unfiltered agony and fury began falling out of Lino’s eyes. They were tears of pain, of anger, of frustration and, most importantly, of hate. Hate toward himself, toward the Devils, toward the world, toward mankind... toward the cruelty of reality. All his life he seemed to only ever come across the worst of cruelties; he couldn’t understand it. No, he didn’t want to understand it. Why has the world gone so cold?
He bit his lower lip as it bled. His tears tasted salty, he realized. He didn’t have many weapons remaining. All these were supposed to be future resources, the base for his Mercenary Group to grow. What worth were they now? They were scrap to him. Worthless junk. So he threw them all. Dozens... even hundreds. City, save for a few buildings, was leveled. There were craters larger than what eye could see everywhere. Yet, it hardly helped.
A forlorn dream emerged inside his mind. It was bitter, seeing their smiling and laughing faces. He couldn’t even imagine them mocking him and jeering at him and cursing him for letting them die. In his heart he knew their kindness. They never blamed him. Even in their final hour, he knew they didn’t blame him. If they did, he figured he’d even have felt somewhat better.
“AAAAAGHHH!!!!!” he couldn’t help but scream into the sky because of the frustration. Suddenly, like a bolt from empty void, golden shine of his wings dimmed and twirled into a vortex as though sucked away. Beneath them, blackened sheen tried to break through.
“Asmodei’s wings!!” two voices exclaimed at the same time, shocked. “How do you have them?!!”
“FUCK YOU!!” Lino screamed back as he felt pain tear away from his back toward his heart. He knew something strange was happening with the wings but he didn’t care. He felt power. Strength. It was beyond his understanding... and beyond his capacity!
His vessels burst, causing his entire body to immediately be dyed in crimson red. He truly looked horrendous, like a crimson moon in front of the fading sun. His face was distorted to the point of nearly breaking apart. He reached into the void world and took out the Dragon Spear, his strongest item. As he held it, his lips curled up in a devilish grin.
“Wretched dogs of hell,” Lino’s voice was mutated, as though a choir of thousands rather than his own; it caused Yox to suddenly freeze. A sense of deadly crisis overcame him. “Today I have failed. But I’ll bury Devil’s Domain in ashes one day. To that I vow with my Heart and Soul!” Lino raised the arm which held the Dragon Spear and entered the throwing motion.
World seemed to have suddenly frozen as clouds ceased to spit thunder and rain and earth calmed from the eternal quaking. Winds halted in their currents and breaths reversed back into lungs. His eyes were like swirls of damnation as he stared down below at the scorched earth, his heart empty of any feeling. His entire being was wrapped in coil of shadows which mingled like threads, weaving about into crying faces. Yox wasn’t alone... two Devils and hundreds of Demons suddenly felt their blood freeze. Death... they only saw an advent of death hovering in the sky, looking down on them as though they were ants.
Lino had already lost his senses; his sight was blended with crimson dye, his ears drumming with countless voices, some crying, some laughing, some whispering. He smelled only blood and rotting corpses, and the shaft of spear was cold despite the flames flickering.
“... you aren’t this weak,” the only voice that could break past the veils of darkness was the robotic one. It felt kind and familiar, and even slightly warm. “You can’t be broken, Lyonel.”
“... everyone can be broken,” Lino replied. “And I was hardly whole to begin with.”
“Let it go...” the Writ said, his robotic voice suddenly turning human, startling Lino. “You’re larger than this pain. Take all that’s in your heart and put it in that spear... and then let it go.”
“... I spit in the face of your strength,” Lino said with a voice full of anger and hate, though he listened to Writ’s advice. “You’re a sly, manipulate cunt that’s just as bad as them. You think I don’t know you were aware of it all? You think I don’t know you didn’t warn me because you are trying to test me? I always knew you were using me, but it was fine because I was using you too. But... you’ve crossed the line. If you ever as much as attempt to tell me what to do,” Lino’s voice was coarse and low, as though he’d suddenly aged hundreds of years, which his sudden shift in appearance would lead one to believe. His hair had turned gray, his face wrinkled, back hunched and body thinned. “I’ll shove a knife through my throat and end it all.”
Lino let go of the spear; it roared like a magnificent dragon, trialing in golden, black and crimson while shadows danced around its shaft and blade. It wasn’t an attack that an Exalted could pull off, no matter how talented or strong they were.
It was the sort of attack that transcended the cultivation; it flew at speed beyond recognition, tearing apart space wherever it passed, inviting infinite void into reality. It blew past any barrier, it blew past any defence, and it crashed through Yox who couldn’t even move a muscle. It blasted directly through his chest, leaving behind a gaping hole where his heart once was, and it ventured onward. It blew past the formation guarding the last remaining buildings, and it blew past them and earth itself.
As though a mountain imploded from within, explosion blasted apart earth for tens of miles on end. A crater size of a massive lake emerged within heaving dust storm, barren of anything but lonesome earth in its make. And there, embedded in the earth, was a spear, its luminosity dimming. It stood there proudly, and it would stand there for thousands of years, and many heroes from all corners of the world would seek to pull it out, yet all would fail. The spear bore one’s heart, his resentment, anger, pure, unadulterated fury toward the reality itself. It bore Wrath of an Empyrean.