WAR OF THE MADMEN (III)
Lino’s chest heaved up and down, droplets of sweat cradling his face gently, his veins still bulging. Several things factored into his ability to instantly kill a Sin-Devil Variant despite the vast difference in strength, yet even he had quite a bit of difficulty still accepting it wholly.
He was rushing over like a madman for the past few minutes as the Writ informed him of the situation, even going as far as to unfurl his wings -- which he was ready to tear to bits despite the fact they couldn’t really ever be entirely destroyed, merely broken down until repairing them would become a nightmare -- increasing his speed to nigh that of the light. Just as he arrived at the skies above the Ava’s sect, he saw the Devil walking toward her. Without stopping -- and using the full brunt of the momentum -- he whipped out the [Earth-Scorcher] from his void world, utilized every bit of Qi he could gather and even managed to infuse a sliver of his own Will into the blade before hurling it toward the Devil.
Besides that, several other factors having to do with the Devil played a major role; Lino recognized her the moment he saw her, which was also why he was partially confident in his attack -- her name was Akava, and she had by far the worst defensive capabilities of all the Sin-Devil Commanders currently on the Continent. In addition, he had Writ hide his presence all the way through, which was why she never even sensed the attack coming at her before it was too late.
If any single one of those factors was missing, it was likely he would have been unable to do what he just did. Still, he neither celebrated nor continued to enjoy the delirium; shooting like a star toward the ground, he landed next to Ava as he withdrew his wings. Reaching out his arm forth, he froze as his eyes landed squarely on her body. There wasn’t an inch that wasn’t bleeding or broken, he realized.
Though her eyes were closed and her body listless, Lino could still sense a whiff of life force within her. If he left her lying here like this... she would undoubtedly die within ten minutes at best. Yet, his body wouldn’t move an inch, trembling as though whipped by colds winds of the winter.
He didn’t let it stop him for too long, though, as hit bit his tongue, forcibly ripping himself out of the frigid state. He walked over and slowly leaned down, gently lifting Ava’s body before sending a shine of Qi to inspect her entirely.
“... shit.” he gritted his teeth and cursed lowly. “You better tell me you have a way to save her...”
“I do.” the Writ replied.
“... what’s the price?” Lino asked.
“You’ve just crossed into Illumine Realm,” the Writ replied. “With the help of your items and my gifts, you should be able to fight on the frontlines.”
“... is that really all?” Lino asked, somewhat doubtful.
“That is all.”
“... what should I do?”
“Let me control your body for a bit.”
Lino’s very soul seemed to jolt at that moment as his mind levitated outside his own body, looking down at it. However, he didn’t pay much attention to it; it wasn’t the first time the Writ had taken over him. While the latter was healing Ava, Lino looked around and saw that the battle had turned somewhat sluggish. After all, the fall of the Commander -- even for the Demons -- was a mighty blow.
“It is done,” a voice quickly called out to him as he felt being pulled back into his body again. “She should wake up in a few days, but it will take a number of years to heal fully.”
“... thank you.” Lino grunted meekly.
“Hey, you,” Lino suddenly called out to a nearby middle-aged looking man who was staring at him ever since Lino landed. The man jolted, seeming startled, yet still daringly walked forward. Lino quickly whipped out a simple cloak from his void world and covered Ava’s body with it. “Stay here with her. Anyone -- anyone comes, use this and sever their fucking heads off. Got it?” Lino threw the [Moon Beheader] at the man who clumsily grabbed it.
“Y-yes... w-will... will the Lady be okay?” the man gulped down a mouthful of saliva before embracing enough courage to ask.
“Yeah, she will,” Lino nodded, getting up and grasping at the [Earth-Scorcher] still embedded in earth. “Take good care of her.”
“Y-yes... w-what about you?” the man asked, standing next to Ava and gripping the sword’s handle tightly.
“I’ll go and show those shitheads the true hell...” Lino mumbled into the wind as he unfurled his wings yet again.
The man stared in awe at the creature he had long since considered something far greater than just human; a pair of golden wings stretched twenty meters across altogether, white feathers covering their surface, glistening in what can only be described as light holy. The wings suddenly fluttered once, bringing with them cascading winds as the figure ascended into the sky, holding onto the bloodied, massive sword.
The man was the seat-in Patriarch of the Skies of the Wayfarers and he wouldn’t come across as arrogant if he were to claim to be quite an influential figure across the entire Continent, especially so due to his Sect’s backing. He always lurked around Ava toward the battle’s end as he wanted to ensure that even if she were to die, she would do so with dignity. He, however, never expected to see the Sin-Devil, a being well beyond his understanding, be cleaved in two with a flying meteorite of a sword.
Lino looked at the world down below with his jet-black eyes within which a swirl of unbound anger was currently brewing. If he were only a single minute late... no... even just a few seconds late... glancing up into the sky, he saw several dozen Hell Army’s Generals flickering toward him, seemingly in business of avenging their fallen Commander.
“... I might go a bit insane later,” he mumbled as he heaved the sword into his arm up. “Bring me back if that happens, ‘kay?”
“... fight to your heart’s content.” the Writ replied.
The golden wings shone momentarily in a blinding light, fluttering like bird’s, before carrying Lino forth like a bolt of lightning. Disregarding everything, Lino immediately activated the weapon’s [Berserk] effect, the sudden surge of strength nearly overwhelming him.
Within a blink of an eye he streaked across nearly ten miles of distance in the sky and crashed in the group of nearly one hundred Generals, tearing his muscles with each swing of the massive sword and regenerating them almost instantly. The sword became but a blur, a link of afterimages that were impossible to discern. Each strike unleashed a torrent of blazing flames which soon replaced the darkened blanket of the world above.
Lino swung like a madman, tearing apart any and all and everything who would approach, disregarding who or what they were. Cleaving through the Generals, he followed the falling flames from the sky like rain and rammed into the heart of the Hell’s Army, crashing in like a blazing boulder thrown from the sky. He quickly withdrew his wings and whipped out the [Hell’s Belittlement] from the void world. Wielding the [Earth-Scorcher] in one and the war-hammer in the other, his entire body nearly toppled over, but he pushed his Singularity even further, breaking out into a bellowing roar of a beast.
Veins on his necks popped till they nearly jumped out of his skin, his muscles bleeding profusely -- yet, he didn’t care. He heaved the hammer over his shoulder and trashed it against the earth, splitting it open upon the impact, creating a slithering crevice nearly a mile long and fifty meters wide, swallowing up hundreds of wailing cries in the process. He continuously swung his sword around, reaping souls with flames seemingly not belonging to this world.
He suddenly injected a surge of Qi into the war-hammer, setting it ablaze in the process, before swinging it around as though it were made of cloth. His voice had grown coarse and dull and archaic, yet he hadn’t stopped roaring like a beast besieged by death from all ends. Coating his legs in lightning, he streaked across the ravished battlefield of the plains covered with blood and gore, heaving about like a maelstrom, splitting open skulls and chests and devouring all life within the hell’s blaze.
The flames raged like an ocean, streaking into the sky like a sign from gods; both the remaining Devils and Demons had long since abandoned any notion of fighting. They all attempted to flee to the best of their ability, for the fear inscribed within their hearts had even overwhelmed their most basic instinct -- to fight till death.
Lino, however, had no intention of letting them go; golden of the wings, azure of the lightning and crimson and coral of the pair of flames on each of his weapons mingled into the mass of brazen light; but an array streaked through the world as he seemed to meld into the reality itself, crossing hundreds of kilometers of distance within a flash, capsizing those who would flee through the air with a swift cleave and devouring those who would flee by the earth with a decimating smash of the hammer.
Crater after crater sprung out from the ground like mushrooms after the rainy day, all entirely devoured in an ungodly blaze seemingly unwilling to perish no matter what. Fires burned loudly, yet still couldn’t douse out the screams and cries and wails of the dying. Parts and pieces of tens of thousands of Demons and Devils were scattered across what ought to be a battlefield -- but was turned into execution grounds.
From the far distance, within the Sect’s grounds, remaining survivors all stood in a massive circle surrounding Ava, their eyes glued to the visage in the distance, that streak of light that they had no hope of ever catching up to. Wherever they’d look, there’d be a head flying up in gore and, before it even came close to landing, there would be hundreds more. Despite the ghastly sight, not a single of them felt even an ounce of fear or dread. All they saw within that streak of blinding light was someone who seemed capable of changing the world.