I rushed into a scene of Amelia struggling. She fell to one knee. The once-intense heavenly-light of her divine state dimmed. That didn’t stop both her and Michael from turning to me the moment I walked in. The lock one state must be a mesmerizing thing for the eyes. With silvery heavenly-light and supposedly the glowing eyes of Conus, I could only hope I was more than just an attempt at intimidation.
“That form again,” Amelia whispered. “I totally forgot to ask you about it.”
“I challenge you, Michael,” I said. “You won’t hear us out, so we’re down to this.”
“I sure hope you don’t feel like you’re emerging victorious, criminal,” Michael said. “Because I can clearly feel that you haven’t damaged my hunters, not even a little. Cowardice will not get you anywhere.”
Michael charged me, unarmed, well, except for his super strength. He moved so fast, I barely had time to react—his fist felt like a truck as it smashed into my gut. I recovered, and smashed the butt of my sword into his gut. He didn’t react like I hoped, instead countering with another soul-shaking punch—this one so strong, I felt myself fly backward before I actually did.
“That strange circle will not work on me,” Michael said, his voice still cool, calm. So much for stunning him a bit. Without a full active deity-trapper, making the fight fair wouldn’t be possible. Fortunately, Ruin was covered with the symbols on his blade.
Wait…it’s not fully charged, but now is my chance.
And so, I supercharged Ruin in an instant as I stood up. The sword’s blade changed, shifting from a metallic to what appeared to be a glowing diamond-like substance. Even Michael’s eyes widened along with mine.
This morph was not intended.
It felt like somewhere deep down, the sword had developed a will of its own. Or at least that’s what humans called things like this in movies.
“At this point, I’m not sure if nature surprises me anymore.” He slowly walked over to me. “I was hoping to never see another unnatural blade again.” Michael manifested a golden sword of his own, almost hastily. What did he mean by, again? I pushed the thought away, aware that my time was slowly slipping.
“Come on, you bastard,” I said, then charged the archangel. When our blades collided due to Michael actually blocking, a maelstrom of black, silver, and gold power and electricity raged at the collision point.
I pulled back and we went blow for blow; however, even in my lock one state, Michael was just too much for me. Not only did he have the raw power, but his skill felt nearly impossible to keep up with—hell, if it wasn’t for this treason shit, I’d ask him to train me in place of Amelia.
And speaking of Amelia, she fired an arrow.
Michael blocked my oncoming attack, then caught the arrow with his other hand, snapping it in two. I continued my rush on the archangel, forcing him to cautiously block my blade.
Amelia unleashed a volley of arrows that should’ve killed him. Michael quick-ascended behind the goddess then kicked her forward, Bruce Lee style. I thought he’d go for the kill, but he rushed me instead.
Once again, there was speed I shouldn’t be able to see, but thanks to my state, I managed to block Michael’s strike. He…smiled.
“You actually have no idea how to use that sword, do you?” he said, then chuckled. “And here I was, worried over nothing. A novice. And a waste.” Before I could answer, I found myself dodging a strike that I wasn’t supposed to see. “You won’t be able to weasel your way out of everything.”
I quick-ascended over to Amelia—Michael flinched as he wasn’t expecting me that. I grabbed hold of her and then quick-ascended downstairs.
Amelia’s friends were ready.
There was still no sign of Vor. And the hunters were still either flying or believed me to be in the forest.
That’s when it hit me—I could ascend despite Michael’s barrier. That’s why he was froze, surprised. This state negated his effect on me. My original plan was to use the forest as cover while Amelia broke Michael’s barrier.
“Grab on, quick!” I said. They did. I ascended us just as Michael walked downstairs. The last thing I saw was the grin on his face.
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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 (It's a joke. These are among my favorite authors) , 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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