I placed my hand on the ground, sending a wave of power to begin the activation of the deity-trapper.
And, holy shit, to my surprise, the light-blue glow appeared instantly. I wouldn’t have been able to do this a moment ago.
The power that coursed through me felt like a torrent of violent water. I felt the crack reinforce, confirming that Amony was well and doing her best to keep it from shattering. I could only imagine that my newfound power boost added to her strain.
Just then, I felt the shockwave of a devastating blow, before Amelia spiraled toward the ground like an asteroid. Panic set in—then went away just as quickly as I quick-ascended and caught her. She gave me a weak smile and whispered, “I’m sorry”, before falling into unconsciousness, reverting to her normal state. Amelia’s a badass, but one could not expect to beat Karma with brute force.
Karma descended to the ground, eyes locked on me, surprise, and curiosity in them. I sat Amelia down gently, out of harm’s way, then retrieved Ruin. The deity-trapper’s glow slowly brightened, fixated on Karma’s power. It would have no effect on Amelia and me.
“Glowing blue eyes like your father. I like it,” Karma said. “You feel like an entirely different person.”
“Let’s end this, Karma,” I said, my voice calm. “I need a beer or twelve.”
Her divine state seemed to flare up its intensity before she rushed me, confidence in her eyes, the belief that she won.
Karma seemed to move in slow motion. I easily sidestepped her sword swing, grabbed her arm, and threw her forward onto the ground—courtesy the judo training Amelia had included. I waited for her to stand, giving her the old Bruce Lee hand gesture to come forward. When she recovered, rage replaced her earlier assumed expression. Karma, did not enjoy getting hurt. She didn’t bother picking up her sword, charging me instead, unable to accept that she was no longer a match for me. She funneled lightning from her finger tips. I caught the slow bolts with Ruin, then redirected the power back at her by thrusting the sword forward. The lightning smashed into Karma hard enough to rocket the goddess at least twenty yards away. She landed back-first, exactly where I wanted her. The deity-trapper’s intensity hit maximum brightness, shining like the sun. Karma’s divine state withered away as she lay there.
I walked over and knelt beside her, not to gloat but to confirm my suspicion and her motives.
“No need to worry about me killing you. You’ve shown me mercy, so instead I’m going to banish your ass from this realm and you won’t be able to come back unless I allow it.” I caressed her cheek. “You’re going to be my goddamn sister-in-law one day, so no more of these schemes. As the son of Conus, heir to the universal throne, I say you are hereby relieved of your duties as punisher. Paradise Realm can figure out how to replace you, but your powers will no longer work in the human world, except to ascend, or if I allow them. I will also permit you to visit your sister. Your powerlessness should encourage you to drop the sisterly rivalry shit.”
Karma laughed, tears flowing from her eyes. “Why show me mercy? I was hellbent on getting you sent to the depths.”
“Don’t give me that bullshit,” I said. “Swallow your pride. The Venus Clan are a bunch of softies. Even you aren’t exempt from that. I must thank you, though, for putting on this whole show, drawing me into an impossible situation in attempt to make me look like some kind of hero. But it won’t work. Those charges aren’t going anywhere.”
Karma’s eyes widened. “What do you mean?”
“There is corruption in the House of Judgment, maybe scattered in the Paradise Realm leadership. Conus knows it, but the perp is doing a damned good job at hiding from him. So here’s a message to the hunters who will eventually come for me. I will not back down nor surrender. Suck it.”
“My lord,” Karma whispered. “Please take me as your mate. Surely I—”
“You know I can’t do that,” I interjected. She sighed.
“You are the heir. You can have more than one,” she said.
“I don’t think so,” I laughed, then placed my hand on the ground. “Goodbye, Karma. And take your politics with you.”
Just like that, she was gone. Any angels or misthangers that lingered would go back with her, dead or alive. I let out a calm breath. I could feel the seal within lock, which reverted me back to normal.
“So glad that shit’s over.” I dropped to a knee as the wave of exhaustion hit. It’s not surprising that the locks would have limitations until all of them were removed. If Karma had been serious about killing me, I’d be dead. Fortunately, whatever appeal the universal throne gleamed to her saved our asses. I hurried to assist everyone.
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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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