Every chain bound to my wrists melted into dust, as Teemie manifested in full glory. A warm and tingling sensation made its way through my veins, indicating that my powers were back. She held up a hand. A sphere of light appeared over it. A half-second later, it began to repeatedly launch huge bursts of white energy in random places, at two second intervals. These weren’t ordinary bursts of power—the dream angel wasn’t known to be a slouch.
So, the earthquakes that occurred came as no surprise—thus the crowd scattered in panic, just as I wanted, though Conus and the house as well as Lucifer remained frozen, shocked that I didn’t plan to follow along with their shenanigans. Dipshits. They looked to be in awe, utter shock, at the sight of the legendary dream angel—one who rarely appeared outside of the dream world. In fact, she’s one of the thirteen wonders of existence itself. No one really knew of her origin.
Note to self, ask.
I bet questions of how I swayed her to my cause cycled through their heads. And believe me, she told me there was a price to pay for her help. Just not what it is and when will I pay.
“Let’s go. Amelia’s expecting us back in the human world,” Teemie said to me. I followed her in a heavy sprint without looking back. We needed to get out of here—ascending was only authorized for the higher-ups in the arena.
Angels chased and nearly cornered us but the fairy created a second death sphere which shot beams at all six of them. The force of the impacts bashed them at least a hundred yards away. Damn!
The second we made it out of the coliseum, a familiar figure blocked our path. One of my brothers. Tackiron, sixth son of Conus, though we called him Tack for short. Shit. He was two years older than me, tall, lean, with short black hair and golden eyes. He sported a tan shirt, black pants, and tan combat boots. His golden wings shined like the sun but also indicated that he had no intention of letting me pass. I mean, he did have them out, right? Gods don’t show their wings unless they need the full power to do battle. Wings stored their reserves. Despite our ages not being far apart, Tack and I were never close. He was too much of a tool for the stepmother. Douchebag.
“Careful now, Epex,” Tack said, smug look on his face, “you’ll miss your ride back to Hell.”
“So, you’re going to get in my way,” I said, taking a fighting stance. Tack chuckled.
“A demigod, believing in himself to be more than half a sheep, that’s rich.” Tack mimicked my stance. “You never deserved the title of successor. It infuriates me to think that Father passed over all of us for the likes of you. Scum who cannot even show the slightest bit of loyalty to his own homeland.”
“Should’ve known this was about power,” I said, not surprised. “You can have that title, I never wanted it. Never asked for it.”
“Wha—what?” Tack said, taken aback. I used that opening to sucker punch him. The force of the punch sent him back a dozen yards before he used his wings to recover—yes, I already had moved on him.
Teemie simply watched, probably preventing interference. She should be rushing me, not gawking at this pointless fight.
Tack and I exchanged blow after blow, neither of us gaining much of an advantage, but I knew the reality of it. Despite the sucker punch, he was enjoying himself, purposely holding back. Gods, full of themselves, right? After minutes of stalemate combat, I did something he didn’t expect. Shot a fuck ton of force at him. And just like that, surprise shown on his face as he sailed backward, eventually landing on his back. None of my brothers expected me to know how to wield force. Believe it or not, I’m still surprised that I can use it so easily. It normally took years to master. One should not be able to simply create power from nothing. That’s why I categorized misthangers that didn’t immediately force-bash me into pulp as novices.
Tack stood up, his expression darkening into that of a pissed off douche-nugget. Heavenly-light erupted around him and I mentally prepared for the real fight, because he took off the kiddy gloves. Tack roared, then blurred to me—I felt a series of punches and kicks—faster than the eye could perceive—before the force propelled the hell out of me.
When I hit the ground back-first, I rolled to the side as Tack’s fist slammed into the concrete, creating a six-foot-wide crater.
Damn, I hate it when heavenly-beings are pissed off. I recovered but before I could do anything, Tack engaged me. I found myself barely hanging onto my defense, blocking as much of his martial arts as possible. Blood trailed from my nose, some from my mouth as I absorbed godly blows. I couldn’t keep this up any longer. Teemie also wouldn’t be able to hold off the House of Judgment if they decided to come after me. Hell, it was more than likely, Tack was sent to deal with me. Thank the stars, Hialucus kept his word. I’d consider surrendering if he showed up in seriousness. Tack landed a blow in my midsection, sending me to my knees. I felt my own warmth of heavenly-light burst around me as I blocked what was certainly his finishing kick. If I fall, all is lost—I’d be stuck as Ghost or Lucifer’s bitch for an eternity. I couldn’t let Tack’s arrogance put him in the spot of victory. I will not let that bitch of a stepmother feel butterflies.
“You have the light too, huh,” Tack said as he pulled back his leg. “It seems we all underestimated you, little brother. Stand. Surrender and I’ll let you walk back in there, to your fate without further harm.”
His words lit rage inside of me. Thoughts of Amelia and the others roared throughout my mind—how’d they feel if I simply gave up. I dug deep inside and took advantage of Tack’s arrogance again, hitting him with a force-bash hard enough to crack a city, maybe a country in half. The ancient juice I absorbed was still at an amazing eighty-percent, fueling the move. Tack grunted as he took a blow that blasted him several yards away. He landed on his back, heavenly-light vanishing, and didn’t get up. I hit him with three more super-strong force-bashes to make sure he stayed down. It worked. I only took a second to congratulate myself internally for besting my brother before turning to Teemie. She smiled, nodding in approval.
“Let’s go,” she said and off we went. After minutes passed, she grabbed my hand. Her wings glowed with intensity.
The familiar feeling of vertigo struck then we ascended. Too bad we didn’t make it to the human world. Teemie and I shared looks of confusion as we stared at a land of infinite purple flowers that was neither Paradise Realm nor the human world.
The scent of honey and roses made me feel a rush of panic. We spun to see Karma standing, her arms folded.
“Conus thinks he’s clever, letting you go, pretending to be in shock but we all know that man saw worse in his younger days,” she said. “He can’t fool me, though.” She blurred in front of Teemie, backhanding her into unconsciousness. The fairy vanished, her internal failsafe retreating her to the dream world for recovery. I felt the overwhelming rush of fear and defeat hit and sink in. We were so close. So damn close, but this bitch interrupted the ascension. Oh well, fight or die, what do I have to lose? I rushed Karma, only to have her easily dodge my punch, and counter with a backwards elbow that spiraled me into blackness.
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Bio: 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. Don't be shy. Give him a wave. A read. And maybe whisper, "waffles," because the man loves his waffles. It's a miracle his keyboard doesn't have maple syrup all over it. Best of all, Alvin Atwater can be found all over the net. Read some seriously funny things from Webnovel, Wattpad, Penana, Scriggler, StoryStar. Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. https://www.patreon.com/syr456/ (Advanced Chapters) Newly-made discord channel: https://discord.gg/t2qVaAR