Amelia turned to us, still powered up, and stared for a few seconds before shifting her gaze to Sin.
“Are you good to go?” I said to her. She didn’t respond, that cold stare not leaving Sin. I looked at her friends. “Please tell me that state doesn’t take away her awareness.” They shot me a sad smile. “Sin, you may want to slowly get the fuck out of here.” My warning was too late. Amelia blurred to him. He managed to jump away from her knife hand just in time. “Amelia, what the hell are you doing? Don’t attack allies.” She ignored me, her gaze following Sin.
“Epex, kindly tell your girlfriend not to kill me,” Sin said, his voice falling short of the humor he tried to put in it.
I heard Devante chant something fast, and before we knew it, Sin was gone.
“All right, snap her out of it,” he said.
“You’re a goddamn useful sorcerer,” I said.
“I try.” He laughed.
Amelia wasn’t amused as she turned to him. “Sorcerer…taking from nature without permission. You will be judged now. I sentence you to death.”
“Epex, are all divine douchey like this?” Devante said.
“Get out of here before she kills you too,” I snarled. He nodded, chanted something, and within a second, was out of here.
“You betray Paradise Realm to help denizens of Hell?” Amelia said. Before I could answer, she was there. And I felt the erupting pain of a backhand, along with the feeling of flying backward. I hit the ground back first, knocking the wind out of me. I was dazed for only a second before I stood up, only to be lifted by my throat.
“Lady Amelia, please don’t hurt him,” Jade said, her hands on the goddess’s arm. “Please have—”
“Follower, you who has my favor, I command you to return to your home,” Amelia said. “I value the kindness you show even to those who don’t deserve it. However, he let two of the dark, escape. This shall not be overlooked.”
The others chimed in. “Amelia, snap—”
“Go!” The command rang with power behind it. The eyes of the women glazed over as they walked away. Amelia turned to me with an alien-look in her eyes. Ice, venom, unrecognition. I…felt a huge sense of loss.
Fuck that, I couldn’t let this go on any longer.
I felt the familiar warmth of heavenly-light surround me as I aimed a hand at the goddess. I force-bashed her away, not far, but there was enough jolt in the power to get me back on my feet. There was no way I could face Amelia—not in a fair fight. I finished charging the power in my back, jumping into ascension a second before Amelia’s fist could collide with my face. I knew she’d follow me, though, so I appeared in the city and blended into the crowd.
Of course, I had to calm down so that my heavenly-light could collapse in on itself. Else, they’d give my visible location away, staring at the glowing guy. Oh, if only it was easy to escape, to stay in the crowd and to devise a way to snap Amelia out of her death-giving state. I happened to take one look up at the sky and my mouth went agape.
What the humans probably thought was a bright star was actually the goddess, following my every move. Fuck. I needed to dive deep, to come up with a way to end this shit. She’d come down eventually. Her state made no sense. What could be driving it? Faith never set heavenly-beings on a rampage. The power boost given to Amelia by her friends seemed as if it turned on some kind of ancient warrior-goddess instinct. But like any ON switch, there was an OFF setting. At least I hoped there was.
In other words, I’d have to knock Wonder Woman up there out cold.
Easier said than done.
Then the idea hit me. Emotion.
I’d have to get into killing range of her again, but the same ability she taught me could be used to turn her back to normal. Now, the hard part: ascend, survive the assault, and change her back. Yeah… I know, insanity. Still, I needed my goddess back. I charged emotion first, then charged power into my back.
Amelia probably sensed the ascension, and prepared to follow. Of course, she would. I only had one shot at this. I unsheathed Ruin as I ascended back to the college campus, to the area of Simon’s gut fest. She appeared just as quickly, and I shoved the blade into the ground.
A truckload of force smashed into me before I had the chance to unleash the wave of emotion.
Fuck, so close.
I prepared to ascend again, despite my power-tank reaching dangerously low levels. The only reserve I had left was the emotion I had set aside to restore the goddess. Shit, shit, shit!
A rush of anger seeped into me as I leapt to my feet and engaged Amelia. I’d either die or fight back. And trust me, I wasn’t going down without a fight.
As I made the first punch, the warmth of heavenly-light surrounded me. Amelia blocked it with a finger and then tossed me onto my back with some judo move. I rolled out of the way of her punch, which created a ten-foot crater in the concrete.
I took that chance to tap what was left—sadly weak force-bashes, none of which budged her. Amelia shook her head and blurred right in front of me.
This was it. I’d be killed by the one who showed me how to…. Not hate?
A fitting end, right? Shit. That’s when a large purple sphere of energy shot from nowhere, smashed into Amelia, laying her out. I turned toward the direction to see Elly.
“I told you goddesses can’t be trusted,” she said and then winked. “You better fix her and fast. If she gets up in that state, we’re both dead. I won’t catch her off guard again.”
“Turn on any mental defenses,” I said as I bolted toward Ruin. I picked up the sword, stabbed it into the ground, and released enough emotion to even make three-hundred giant elephants blush.
A translucent-purple sphere surrounded Elly as the shockwave of love, covered anyone within a two-hundred-meter radius.
Amelia convulsed until finally her wings shrunk to their normal length, the light around her vanished, her hair changed back to its normal blonde and her eyes back to green. She collapsed into unconsciousness. I sighed in relief that the gamble I had taken didn’t get me killed, then looked at Elly.
“Thanks. You just saved my ass,” I said, weakly. She smiled.
“I expect that life debt to be paid in full,” Sse said. “Now enough with the sappy talk and scoop up your goddess. We’re done here. Let’s not be spotted by the cops when they show up.”
I told the others what happened when we arrived at the vehicles. Fortunately, Sin and Devante caught Amelia’s hypnotized friends and forced them into Amanda’s car then watched over them. I shook the women. It took some effort, but they snapped out of their zombie-states. I could drive but mind you, I was beat. I’d rather not experience what it would feel like to fall asleep behind the wheel.
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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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