THE NAIVE ONES
[Lyonel Qa’yi – Human – Level 281]
Titles: Adept of Writ (???), Empyrean Soldier (???), Continental Crafter
Occupations: Beggar (Level 68), Blacksmith (Level 200 - Continental Master), Cultivator (Level 8)
Martial Arts: Empyrean Will (Level 1), Peerless Empyrean Spear Scripture (Level 1), Sword of Chaos (???)
Primal Spirits: Ra, Ye, Gu, Li, Glog, Tet, Astub, Ashta
Named Creations: Celestial Rod (Unique), Celestial Plate (Unique), Bisected Soul Set ((Chest) Soul Armor), Cleft Shadow(Epic), Twin Shadows (Legendary), Hell's Belittlement (Epic), Spear of Salvation (Legendary), Jailer's Wail (Rare), Earth Scorcher (Epic), Heaven-Cast Armor Set (Legendary Unique), World Defender (Epic), Celestial Crusher (Unique), Phantom Blades (Unique), Northern Frost (Unique Legendary), Lunar Beheader (Unique Epic)
Gates Opened: 4/72
Lino stared at his status window sheepishly, his eyes shining like small diamonds. It has changed quite a bit since the last time he checked, and if he ever needed a way to know just far he’d come, the letters and numbers he was seeing were it.
He, however, couldn’t stare at it for too long; he still had two major headaches to deal with, the Emperor who no doubt would not simply wait for him to come knocking, and the Devils who will soon try and get access to the Titan Realms in order to take Umbra. Though Eggor was watching over the latter, Lino had told him not to do anything too out there, as he simply wanted to see what methods they’d use.
As for the Emperor Rex, he was the first priority. Since nobody could ever quite know what a maddened man will do -- especially one as powerful as the Emperor -- Lino had asked Hannah, Ella, Scarlet and Annar to gate the city, while he, the Unholy Guardian, Patriarch Chen and the Sky-Bearing Monk headed off toward the Palace and the entrance to the Titan Realms.
Lino would have simply allowed the three of them to take care of things if he bothered to trust them enough not to do exactly what the Emperor wanted to do; while he still couldn’t quite grasp the ultimate importance of a Prime to a Clan or a Sect, he was fairly certain that it wasn’t tiny, and that most would do quite literally anything to obtain one.
The once grand-looking Palace was now in a sorry state, its walls and most of the buildings crumbled and toppled over by the corpses, its previous golden and holy shine nowhere to be found. Lino was, however, still quite apprehensive; even if he had three Titular Voids on his side, the Emperor still had his own Guardian, to say nothing of the Defensive Artifact. Chances are that they’d have to have a battle of attrition, if not even invite help from others, if they wanted to come out on top of it.
Entrance to the Titan Realms was beneath the floating rock on top of which the Palace stood, over ten miles deep underground. They, however, didn’t have to travel that far to meet the Emperor, as he seemed to have been waiting for them, standing near the entrance alongside the Guardian of Light, holding a tattered-looking scroll emitting golden shine in his hand.
“...” Goddammit, why can’t you just surrender?! Lino groaned inwardly, realizing that the battle was inevitable. “So you choose extinction?” skipping the small chat, Lino went to the crux of the issue.
“I choose to fight.” the Emperor replied calmly. “What makes us different than those on the Holy Continent who all posses a Prime?”
“Well, for starters, they’re forbidden from awakening it,” Patriarch Chen replied with a frown. “We were lucky that the Descenders were here with us this time around, Rex. Otherwise, you could have caused the collapse of the entire Continent.”
“Save the speeches for someone who doesn’t know you, Chen,” the Emperor replied in kind. “You stand on that end now, but if you were in my shoes, you would have done the same thing.”
“... I’ve asked you a question,” Lino interrupted the two, exuding a slight ounce of Will outwardly, causing the air to grow ten times as heavy. “Will you surrender and receive punishment on individual basis, or will you fight and sentence your entire Bloodline to eternal grave?”
“... are you saying you’re going to go after my family?” the Emperor suddenly frowned, glancing at Lino with piercing eyes. “I see that Great Descent is as thorough as ever. You people are nothing but beasts donning human skin.”
“... while you piece of shit pissed your royal diapers inside,” Lino growled. “I’ve had to ensure your goddamn stupidity didn’t cause the extinction of the entire Continent. Goddamn right I’ll skin you lot alive. What if I am a beast? At the very least I’m not a vehement moron incapable of rational thought, sucking on the people’s bent beliefs and stroking my own ego like it’s my cock. You’ve repeatedly pissed me off ever since I came here, yet time and again I’ve given you a way out. And you want to take some retarded form of a high morality with me?! Look inwardly, you obstinate piece of shit. Fucking dog’s shit has more integrity than your broken ego.”
“...” Patriarch Chen and the Unholy Guardian glanced at Lino in disbelief, wondering where that tongue-lash came from. Though they very much wanted to say something, they could hardly claim to be able to put it as eloquently.
“So I’m going to ask you one last time,” Lino leapt off Grim and landed squarely on the flattened valley, around fifty meters away from the Emperor. “Are you going to bow or defy, you sub-human corpse?”
“HOW DARE YOU?!!” rather than the Emperor, it was Guardian Jean that reacted first, his expression distorted and dark.
Spreading his arms, he spawned a mirage of light behind his back in the ilk of wings, ascending to the sky before beginning the bombardment. Array after array lit high up, spinning like wheels, before spitting out beams of golden light repeatedly. Each beam was as thick as a grown man’s thigh, as long as an average spear, and was heading straight toward Lino’s head. The latter looked through his mask, meeting the Guardian’s eyes.
Lino was truly tired; not of fights, not of constantly dancing the fine line between the living and the dead, but from meeting incompetent fools on each stacking floor of the cultivation world. He had truly wondered numerous times by now how was the world still going forward with idiots like these acting as some sort of rulers. He truly couldn’t comprehend it; how can someone develop such abominable devotion to another human being that they’d lose their mind over a simple, almost childish, name-calling.
The two weren’t even related, Lino mused, still standing in the same place, seemingly welcoming the beams onto himself. Time and again everyone kept telling him that he’d understand one day, that it’s the very belief which he mocks that holds the people up and helps them when they stare into the abyss. However, Lino had already realized that would never be him. He doesn’t need to project his dreams onto another to stand on his own two feet. If abyss stares, he’d stare back, whatever he may find in there.
“... it’s just... so sad...” he mumbled faintly as he whipped out [Spear of Salvation]. “That the world is ruled by absolute idiots...”
A pair of wings suddenly unfurled behind his back and conjured up a spherical shield around Lino, absorbing rather than deflecting the holy beams of light. Expressionless, Lino fluttered his wings and took the sky in a straightforward manner, entirely ignoring any possibility of a strategy -- he headed directly toward the Guardian of Light, holding tightly onto the spear.
Just as the Guardian was about to flush backwards, Lino took out the chain-sickle from his void world and swung it once, wrapping it around the former’s leg and forcibly pulling him toward Lino. Rather than using the spear, Lino put it away and clutched his fingers into a fist, taking a shot directly at the Guardian’s jaw; the latter screamed in agony once as he felt his entire skull break, a force like a mountain pushing him from the sky into the ground.
He fell like a comet and blasted apart a huge crater before continuing to roll and cascade onwards for nearly a mile. Lino then turned toward the Emperor, who remained expressionless throughout the whole ordeal.
“With the Artifact,” Lino said casually. “I alone can’t kill you. Chances are that even the three of us combined can’t kill you. But... so what? Do you really think you can flee? And, even giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that you could miraculously survive and then escape, what of it? Where would you go? If We as much as whisper your name, even the afterlife won’t be a safe house. Just surrender and spare us all the upcoming headaches.”
“... you smirch my ego, but have you taken a look at the mirror?” the Emperor suddenly chuckled after a few moments of silence. “While it is true that not many would dare defy the Descenders, do you really think anyone would listen to you? For all your eloquence, you are still but a child with naivety practically shining in your eyes. You know little of the world, little of the people and, most-importantly, little of the absolute disgust everyone feels toward you lot. You can preach to some children however much you want, but I’ve lived long enough to learn many things.”
“... I see,” Lino merely smiled, putting the spear away. “Alright. You’re free to go.”
“... eh?” practically everyone suddenly turned toward Lino and looked at him in disbelief.
“You heard me,” the latter merely shrugged though. “Go. Leave. Find those who are ‘disgusted’ by us and hide. You say that the world is on your side. Go on. Prove it. Prove to me my naivety and your supremacy. Prove to the world that it, indeed, can stand up and flip us off.”
“Why are you staring at me like a sheep? Get that broken butler of yours and get out.”
“... w-what about... what about my Family?” the Emperor asked.
“I promise I won’t kill them,” Lino replied. “I may lock them up, and poke them here and there, and maybe get them to fight some exotic beasts, but they’ll continue to live so long as you manage to stay safe. But, the day that I catch you, I’ll bring them all in front of you and behead them in front of your eyes, one by one. How’s that sound?” Lino grinned innocently, causing both Patriarch Chen and the Sky Monk to shudder; that innocent smile seemed far more terrifying than the entire Devil army at this point.
“... heh, this only proves your naivety.” the Emperor said, slowly backing off, but still not letting go of the tattered parchment. “This isn’t over, Descender.”
“Bye bye!” Lino waved. “See you soon guys!”
Withdrawing the wings, Lino landed on the ground and summoned out Grim and Non. Everyone focused on the bird and missed the dog; Lino merely glanced at the silver husky whereupon the latter’s eyes lit up like lanterns, his maw turning up into a mischievous grin. The dog merely nodded before casually running in the direction of the leaving Emperor.