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CHAPTER 295

CATHARSIS (VI)

Landscape lay ruined and scorched, smoke and ash sprinkled in the midst of crackling lighting. Thunder suddenly blew past, bolts adjoined fiercely, stirring up both the rubble and the dust from the earth beneath. Hannah spun midway through her dash, kicking off into the sky in a vaulting position and throwing one thunder bolt after another down below.

Litha was right at her heels, scorched in coral flames, halo behind her spinning like a gear, ceaselessly spitting molten lava around her. Noticing the bolts, she heaved her arms in an upward motion, palms facing up and wide open, as a massive canvas of flames erupted from the ground beneath, swallowing the bolts before swirling together into an upward shower of fire clacking at Hannah.

The latter dashed sideways, seemingly in perfect control of her body, spinning as to create momentum before spitting a massive sphere of lightning which broke off halfway through its distance, creating a falling net aimed at Litha.

At that moment, tepid shadows alongside rotting corpses left a spacial distortion, throwing themselves at the net and eating away at it despite being burnt in the process. Looking up, Hannah saw a massive, descending corpse of a strangely-shaped bird entangled in thick shadows of death and decay. Clicking her tongue, she cried out lowly and clasped her hands together whereupon the far sky above split open into a vertical slit, just for a brief second, yet long enough to spit out a ten-mile long, golden bolt of lighting which pierced the bird’s skeleton cleanly through, blowing it into pieces.

Quickly channeling Qi into her feet, she dashed into a blur sideways yet again, barely evading a flaming blade that cut down from above at her before striking at the earth, creating a miles-long crevice which began spitting out flames as though it was a volcano. Not to be outdone, Hannah suddenly changed her path and heaved down, appearing directly in front of shocked Litha; while in the process of passing her by, Hannah reached out with her arm and grasped at Litha’s shoulder, jerking her backward while the latter cried out in pain, tiny bolts of lighting covering her body.

An explosion blasted out with Litha taking the brunt of it, blown backward, flying through the sky like a kite. Hannah didn’t get out unharmed either, though, her one-piece dress destroyed in several places, with a massive burn smoldering her right arm.

Wincing for a moment in pain, she suddenly felt a shudder tackle at her heart as she pushed her Singularity to its limit, summoning a massive domain of lightning around her; one bot after another crackled and blast apart the earth beneath alongside the reaching arms clawing out from it. During the domain’s short duration, Hannah once again took to the sky where a giant, blazing fist welcomed her; groaning in frustration over how well the two were cooperating, she shimmered slightly sideways and used the distance to swat sideways with her arm, lightning whip forming as an extension and slightly altering the fist’s trajectory upon impact, barely whiffing by Hannah’s side.

Sighing in relief, she suddenly took a deep breath as her eyes shone in peculiar gleam; devouring herself entirely in the dance of lightning, she turned into a volatile array that neared the speed of light itself as she dashed about. Every once in a while, she would come to a brief halt and spit out a bolt, forcing both Litha and Vyrove to dodge constantly while helplessly trying to attack her.

“Don’t waste your Qi,” Vyrove warned. “She can’t keep it up forever. Focus on defense.”

Seeing she wasn’t reaching desired results, Hannah came to a sudden stop, well up in the sky, looking down at the two. Qi around her appeared restless and roused, the Will of the world itself bending slightly to her own. Both Vyrove and Litha frowned for a moment before realization struck the former.

“Avatar Form!” he cried out, channeling Qi like mad and rising one aerial corpse after another. “Attack her with all you’ve got!”

Hearing his voice, Litha too quickly pushed her Singularity to its limits as an inferno rose around and above her, transforming into one flaming boulder after another that flew at ungodly speeds toward Hannah. In addition, screaming Litha suddenly brought the halo behind her to a screeching halt before dismantling it into ten pieces and arranging them in an odd sort of a pattern; suddenly, one blazing wyvren after another rose from the burning inferno beneath her feet, each crying out before dashing toward Hannah in the blaze of glory.

“Avatar of Creation,” Hannah mumbled as her crimson hair suddenly turned ghastly white, her eyes shining like diamonds in earth in cyan, the whole of her body lighting up in strange arrays. “Law of Command -- Commence; First Form -- Elemental Creation!!” as though dragged by primal arms, elements conjured up from seemingly nowhere as they began to orbit her.

Sky above split open into a massive void of thunder, fury of flames consuming her body whole like a sun, wrath of the earth erecting hundreds of pillars from the ground below, winds, water, light, darkness... all elements beholden to the eye were drawn out from the world’s corners and brought down before her.

She glanced down suddenly and, as though woken, all elements bounding her shuddered and shook before crying out in horror as they bound together into a massive, colorless, shapeless, wordless shield of pure matter and energy; Litha’s and Vyrove’s attacks landed squarely on it, but rather than causing an explosion or bouncing back, they were devoured. Litha quickly withdrew, rearranging her halo, and stopping by Vyrove who had rather ugly expression on his face.

“... ten minutes,” he mumbled faintly. “If we can hold on for ten minutes, we win.”

“Question... can we?” Litha mumbled.

“...”

Hannah hovered on a higher plane, her gaze catching far more than the world others saw; colors ceased to matter, sounds, shapes, it was all blended together into a distorted image of reality -- the actual reality, that is. Elements alone made up the world, and perceptions made up shapes themselves; what a mountain was to an ordinary human, to Hannah it was an ever-changing blurb of elemental swirls. And though she couldn’t claim, at least at the moment, she had both Heaven and Earth under her command, she came very close.

While elements such as Death, Life, even Creation, Destruction, Ruin and so on certainly didn’t fall under her command at the moment, hundreds of others did, those represented by Laws and those not; she felt beyond powerful, a feeling that she can only ever experience by activating her Avatar Form. A faint smile crept up on her lips as her Will suddenly externalized, encompassing a range that left both Vyrove and Litha shook, even less confident in being able to endure for ten minutes.

“Qi Formation--” unwilling to waste time, she mumbled faintly, extending her right arm out and pointing the index finger down below. “Augmented Adjoining -- Form.” the reality in front of her blurred and bent, seemingly on the verge of collapsing, as Qi swelled up like a balloon before transforming into everything and nothing; shapes ranging from bladed to wholly formed dragons created a blend until it all accumulated into a singular beam of black and white.

Vyrove suddenly grasped Litha’s arm and mumbled something under his breath, burning six golden-shining talismans. A mere breath later, the beam descended from the sky, devouring all and any within fifteen miles circumference; as the blinding light settled, all that was left within the beam’s scope was a colossal pit whose bottom could not be gleamed.

Frowning slightly, Hannah glanced sideways and saw both Vyrove and Litha still standing, though with the former missing his entire left arm; there wasn’t blood or gore, just... nothingness. As though void itself ate up his arm. There wasn’t even a wound, just a bulge of skin, as though he never had an arm to begin with. He glanced at it bitterly and sighed; he knew there was no going back from it. He would remain without the arm till the end of his days -- which could very well come quickly if they don’t do anything.

Just then he burned six of his Sect’s most-prized talismans in order to escape; within their actual design, the capacity of teleportation extended across the entire Holy Continent -- with six, he could virtually go around the world and arrive at his starting point. Yet, he had to use six of them to break past the shattering reality and merely move thirty miles or so, barely escaping with his life.

“Humph,” scoffing coldly, Hannah suddenly stretched out her other arm and brought the hands together, forming a triangle-hole in-between the two. “Qi Deconstruction,” she mumbled. “Elemental Dissonance -- Consume.”

“Oh for the love of...” both Litha and Vyrove cried out as the latter took out six more golden talismans, and even the former taking out two.

Just as they used them, the earth beneath their feet exploded into a pillar of raging elements that rose up to the sky itself, forming a gigantic hole both above and below; it kept on raging madly for a few seconds, leaving behind literal nothingness after it vanished -- no matter, no elements, no energy, no space, time or even reality itself. If someone were to step into it right now, they wouldn’t merely die -- their existence would be completely removed. Nobody would remember them, or even knew they ever existed -- it would truly be as though they’d never lived.

Realizing she missed again, Hannah’s frown turned deeper as she moved her gaze back and saw Vyrove and Litha huddled up together on a mountain top, the latter now missing a leg; however, unlike with Vyrove, she bled -- very much so -- crying out in pain. At the very least, Vyrove mused as he quickly tended to her wound. If we survive, you’ll get your damn leg back...

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beddedOtaku

Bio: Bad writer, worse painter, terrible singer. Accumulation of all things gone wrong. Rather proud of it, actually.

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