Have you ever done something only to see that it was a mistake, as that something returned to bite you in the ass? Twilight Zone shit, right? Yes, even I know about the damn show. The internet can sometimes lead one to miracles. This was one of those moments.
My eyes were wide as I saw him in full view. He held me up, his smile so wide I shivered inside.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I gasped.
“What? Surprised? Aghast? Petrified?” Yulese said. “My goodness, you really thought something like that could kill me? Sure, it burned, maybe felt like bee stings, and boasted enough strange properties to boot me back to Paradise Realm. To give credit where it’s due, that was somewhat impressive. I got some criticism on my early return, mostly by peers who were ticked that I let this happen.” Yulese shook his head. “Demigod. Worm. No…you’re an ant. I could take you back now but I have a better idea.” He slammed me to the ground, knocking the breath out of me. I groaned as the pain shot through half my back and arm. “I’m going to let some misthangers vent.”
Just then, huge wings the color of cream soda appeared on his back. Within seconds, the asshole had ascended away, leaving me there with a thick cloud of mist. The fog probably covered at least three city blocks. Then I felt them:, twenty heavenly-presences, descending one by one.
I also felt bloodlust.
Holy shit, did they want to kill me. Not just kill me, but tear me to pieces, rebuild me, and do it again.
Here’s a word of advice: don’t piss off a bunch misthangers. Just don’t do it.
I took a fighting stance, as the mist morphed into twenty separate beings, each of them five to six feet tall, cloaked in mist, and armed with shiny steel daggers. I didn’t know if it was possible, but it felt like their bloodlust thickened.
Hell, they didn’t even bother with the daggers right away. I felt an explosion of pain in my chest, as they collectively force-bashed me.
The world spun as I hit the ground back first, head slamming with what felt like skull-crushing force against pavement. Blood streamed from my nose and mouth. I felt fucking tired, my eyes closing. Too bad the misthangers weren’t going to let this be easy. No, this bunch—they reminded me more of demons than heavenly-beings as they bashed me.
They even played a little game of Pass the Demigod.
Good for them. I hope they had so much fucking fun.
What about me, you say? Let’s say this was just the best time ever. Best fucking time ever, that is, if diving into super-heated nuclear blasts was like going to the beach. Or if getting your head bashed by a baseball bat was simply a game. Yeah, fine and fucking dandy.
God, did it hurt. Each hit, each bash hurt more than the last and threw me further. The assholes weren’t going to make my death quick. They had been ordered to make me suffer, demon-style. Not happening. Midflight, I manifested a beautiful fifty-caliber black Desert Eagle, then put a bullet in each of three heads before I landed. The massive hand cannon practically made their heads explode. Of course, stopping the assault there was stupid. Fighting the pain, I caught a few off-guard with force bashes of my own, while moving around. We were all wide open, no cars around to use as cover and, for some reason, no people. Probably Yulese’s doing. He seemed to have a knack for controlling humans, the asshole.
I put bullets in the skull of one more before I turned to run. The first rule of combat is to get to cover, right? I may have caught them by surprise but it wouldn’t take them long to retaliate.
As I turned to fire more rounds, I heard the distance sound of sirens. They were minutes away. Oh, now the cops get called, probably for loud noises and explosions. Goddammit, Yulese. For a god who loved to control humans, he sure as hell didn’t plan this assault very well. If a higher-up or even Conus caught wind of this, he’d probably be thrown into Hell for making a fuss in the face of humanity.
Just then, a misthanger quick-ascended, appearing right in front of me. Before I could react, the flash of its dagger left a long slash across my arm—it only missed my neck because I leaned back in time. The creature then force-bashed me hard enough to send me to the ground. I hung on with dear life to my gun, fighting the pain. It took a second to land a bullet into the fucker’s face before it morphed into a bloody puddle.
I hopped to my feet and looked around only to feel my heart drop upon the cruel realization that there were just too many of them. The sirens continued to get closer, the blue and white flashes of light getting brighter by the second.
That provided a distraction. Not for me, but for them. I felt an explosion of pain on my chest as a mist-fuck stabbed me, followed up by force-bashes all over the place.
My gun flew from my hand, skidding several feet away as I hit the concrete once more. I began to come to terms with the fact that I’d probably die here.
Maybe things would be better for the others, without me in the picture. No hunters. Yeah right, as if getting stuck in Hell or forced into reincarnation would solve my problems. Giving up wasn’t my favorite option here, even if I was outnumbered. In reality, winning in a fight against this many misthangers was impossible.
I needed to think outside of reality. I’m a demigod. That’s got to count for something, right? Maybe, maybe not. But I do have a sword made to deal with hunters. Note to self: enchant the Desert Eagle too. I scraped myself off the ground, unsheathing Ruin.
The bastards were probably surprised how I suddenly charged them head on. I needed to be quick, demigod quick. I focused on pulling some of my power hidden behind Conus’s seal.
At first it wouldn’t budge. With a single desperate thought, I willed some of it out. I used the power to increase my speed ten-fold as well as a slight resistance to force-bashes.
I dashed toward the closest misthanger, stabbed into it, and watched as it turned into ash. The others attempted to hit me with more force and though I felt the pushes, I didn’t budge. I charged at them, lopping off the heads of at least five before they changed tactics.
I didn’t wait. Not while I had the upper hand. My power tank felt low as I grew more exhausted. Not to mention a headache that just wouldn’t go away.
I rushed another foe, swinging Ruin, but it dodged to the side. Then it retaliated with a force-bash that hurled me to the ground. The smack to the concrete didn’t exactly help my goddamn headache.
Still, I hung onto my sword.
Dammit, I couldn’t lose. What did I train for? Why did I go through Amelia’s sadistic training? How had I survived this long? I didn’t get this far to be taken out by these clowns.
I viciously charged power into my back as I rolled to the side, dodging a dagger that stabbed into the concrete of my previous spot. I sheathed Ruin as I dove for my gun, took aim, and put bullets through the heads of five more.
The sirens were too close now, the annoyances of the swirling blue and red lights brightening. I released my energy, ascending right as a misthanger lunged for me. Possibly becoming aware of the human cops, I saw the group simply vanish.
You thought this shit was over? I did. Well, here came a sad state of affairs. I didn’t ascend to Amanda’s house—no, I stopped in the middle of an abandoned park to rest and heal. If I didn’t cover up the damage, Amelia would freak out. After five minutes of my body resting and knitting the slashes back together, they appeared. Ten misthangers.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” I hissed. “Fuck off!”
The grinning bastards responded with simultaneous force-bashes so hard that when I hit the ground, the impact erupted a crater beneath me. I needed to get creative and fast, or else they’d kill me.
Five minutes of rest-healing felt like three seconds, just enough time to think of one plan.
I still had a low power tank, but it’d be more than enough to take down the bastards. Good thing Yulese left because if he joined the fray, my game would be over.
I focused and then manifested a ten-foot-high brick walls around me. I would’ve tried steel if I had enough power to create it. Fortunately, the wall held off the force hurls, buying me just enough time to unsheathe Ruin.
I spread a tiny bit of power into my legs and then hopped over the brick walls, right as the misthangers jumped right in. Holy shit, did they think I planned to hide inside? What fucking idiots. This was the break I needed. I aimed my hand at the closest wall and focused my remaining power to pull off one of the hardest forms of manifestation: conversion.
Manifestation involved pulling power from my body and changing those atoms into whatever I imagined them to be, as long as I’ve seen the object before. Once an object is born, that’s it. It’s chemical make-up, atoms, whatever, is final. Normally I wouldn’t bother with this—manifestation feels more relevant, but a trap requiring less power would do the trick for now.
I poured my power into the material and asked it to change for me. There was resistance at first, but I desperately sent the power through, silently begging the atoms to obey me. The wall gave in to my demand and turned into lava. With force, I made sure that lava crashed like a tidal wave onto the misthangers.
“I hope it hurts.” I could smell the iron in the air as I made the jump into ascending.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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