The leader of the elites had a bizarre mix of blue and standard gold heavenly-light oozing around him. He unsheathed a long sword that glowed as bright as the sun then made a gesture, beckoning me forward.
“Come, former prince,” he said. “Let’s see how hard can you make this job.”
I shot a blast of force—a cheap shot—and bolted at him as he regained his bearings.
The elite leader still managed to block in time. His eyes widened when he took one look at Ruin.
“You have one those swords.” He shook his head. “I just don’t understand nature.” Moses pulled back, but I continued forward, keeping the bastard on the defenses.
I needed to finish this—state two could lose stability at any moment and I could either lose control or even fizzle out. I aimed a hand at his shoes—risking the loss of essence for this one—and fused them with the ground. I pulled the semi toward him with force. The god didn’t lose a beat as he somehow undid the binding and jumped on top of the semi, stopping it with his own force.
“You’re much stronger than we took you for,” he said then raised a hand.
The moment I saw it spark, I dove to the side. A bolt of lightning struck in my prior spot. Whew.
This was the primary reason why being in the air while facing off against a god sucked. They could call down lightning. Well not everyone could do so, but there was only one clan known for excessively causing lightning phenomenon. The Jupiter Clan.
Moses smiled as if reading my thoughts. I took that as the cue to start running. I wasn’t wrong. The elite leader consecutively unleashed seven more lightning bolts, each narrowly missing me by what felt like an inch.
I shot a solar energy ball at his hand knocking the sword out of it. He scooped it up then reengaged with me.
Strike, block, strike, block, neither of us seemed to be gaining. Well, I wasn’t gaining. Moses looked as if he’s having the time of his life, like this is simply a leisurely event. And maybe it was. Everyone’s having a fucking dandy time, but me.
I pulled back, hopped backward, and took a risky draw of solar energy from the moon. It resisted. I pulled with my greatest effort until at last, I was able to fill my tank to half.
“Tell me, halfling, what drives you?” Moses said. “Let me try to understand you a bit. Why break the law?”
“Will it matter how I answer?” I said. “When I tried to surrender, you bastards wouldn’t even allow that.”
“You did?” he shot a glare at his crew. “Marissa, you allowed this torture?”
Daniel stepped to her defense.
“Moses, you know how I am. Besides, look at his records and tell me he shouldn’t be punished. Why would the House call a huge meeting with an urgency as if the King himself stepped into our realm? I know Jose wanted to let him off easy on account of his family, but I refused. And when he attacked, I just knew I made the right choice.”
“But he surrendered,” Moses said.
“Take a look at him,” Jose said. “Is that a surrender? Who knows what kind of dirty tricks he’d use—we see for ourselves how the numerous hunter crews sent after him either never returned or came back empty handed.”
“Numerous hunter crews?” I said. “Look, the only hunters I’ve encountered were Yulese, the four that were sent by Michael, and if you want to count Karma, then do so.”
“You defeated Karma? Now that’s interesting.”
“I’m pretty sure she let me win, but that’s not the point. Just let me explain everythi—”
“I will find out what drives you, Epex Helios,” Moses interrupted. “You’re not just some halfling—there must be a reason why you were the heir to the universal throne.”
The elite leader’s heavenly-light went crazy as it swirled around him like a giant tornado. Winds picked up. “Time to get serious.”
Let me tell you something about life. It sucks. There were once tales of an ancient primal called Life. Well, if she exists, she sucks. You want to know why I’m emphasizing this? You want to know why my eyes widened and I begin to tremble inside. No, not because Moses exerted out incredible energy.
My second state, the one that allowed me to go toe-to-toe with the elite hunters and survive, wore off, downgrading to state one. And to make things better, I felt a steady plummet of my essence.
Fuck, I’m so fucked. Shit!
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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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