Moses’s eyes widened as he witnessed my juice running out like a car wheezing its last gasless breath before leaving the driver stranded. What’s the term used for someone completely screwed? Oh, that’s right, fucked. What’s worse than being fucked? Not having a way out of said situation.
“Well, I guess it’s back to square one,” Moses said.
“Arrest him,” Marissa said to the lower ranked elites. Moses held up a hand.
“This is going to contradict how I felt earlier, but allow me to show him what happens to those who don’t know their place.”
Moses’s fist was the next thing I saw.
The blow bazooka’d me to the ground—yes, I said bazooka’d. It knocked me a few meters from the son of bitch. Fuck, the crater I created seemed to absorb some of the pain.
“You see Epex Helios, what happens when you bite off way more than you can chew?” Moses picked me up by the throat. I struggled to breathe. “It all started when you were given a two-year sentence. You’ve let the inevitable drag out until getting to this point. And now. Well, I’m going to make it hurt. A lot.”
He beat the shit out of me. By the sixth punch, exhaustion hit. It didn’t get better when the bastard slammed me to the ground.
State one flickered off then back on again. Dammit. I swear it seemed like every time I get somewhere, someone stronger than me comes along and slapped me back to square one. This was getting old! I’m not living in some kind of anime dammit—I need to get out of this.
I placed my hand on the road. Let’s see if this old trick will work. Buying time wasn’t my style—but Amelia wouldn’t be able to ignore the clashes of power. Judging by how much time had passed, the elite either put up a barrier to prevent ascending or Mosses killed her. He did show up late.
I shoved away the thoughts and asked the molecules of the road to change. Nothing happened. Moses smiled.
“You’re not only who can use conversion and manifestation, Epex,” he said. “I told the surrounding area not to change shape until we leave.”
The god kicked me hard enough to send me flying. He moved so fast, the asshat met me on the other side and punched me to the ground. The explosion of raw pain felt like a car crash.
“Enough,” I wheezed. “I surrender. Just send me off.”
“I don’t think so,” Moses said. “You may as well get used to this, because when you get to the depths, it’s going to be way worse, forever. Now take your sword.” He used force to send it flying at me. I caught it with a single hand. “Epex Helios, your punishment isn’t over yet. It hasn’t even begun.”
I charged him, fighting my exhaustion, tank of essence diminishing. He blocked my sword, pulled back, and then inflicted a painful slash across my shoulder and arm. My backward movement is what saved it from being hacked off. My body pulsed.
For some reason, Ruin and even my arms felt heavier. My vision blurred for a few seconds.
Blood continued to flow from the fresh wound. Moses came at me again. I aimed a hand at him, straining for a shot of force. The elite leader didn’t react to what probably felt like weaker than a mosquito bite.
The next few slashes came across my legs, my chest, my forehead, and even my back when I attempted to dodge. Everything felt heavier. I could barely move.
“Epex, do yourself a favor. Look at my handy work. Look at your body.”
I did and was shocked. Starting from the wounds, my body began to turn into stone.
“What you see is a result of my sword, the blade of petrification,” Moses said. “You took the punishment and now you’ll watch yourself die.”
State one fizzled out as if in response to his words. I could no longer move.
“Everyone, give your blade a taste of his blood,” Moses said. “Stab into his flesh.”
Everyone except the Anna chick moved.
“Come on Anna, it’s the start of a new tradition,” Jose said.
She hesitated, as if conflicted with something. “Come on.”
“This doesn’t feel right,” she told Jose. “Can we just please send him to the afterlife and leave?”
Jose gave her a death glare.
“You do understand your position, number seven, Anna. Put aside your standard morals and think in a leading position, else you’ll be kicked out of the elites.”
“Don’t be,” Jose said. “We’re just doing our jobs. Keep that in mind.”
She hurried behind the ground as they approached me, the struggling demigod.
I tried to force open the lock to state two but it was no good. I even tried to go for the higher locks in hopes that my powers would go out of control. No such luck here. There just wasn’t a single drop of essence left in my tank—the petrification was too strong. Reaching elite standards. Damn.
“Epex Helios, fallen prince of the universal throne, today you will be an example of justice,” Moses said. He punched me a few times in the face then gave me a look of disgust. “We will do what has to be done, to show what will happen to those that want to get the elite involved. Everyone, stab some flesh.”
A whirlwind of pain encircled my body as they stabbed into me from various places. Marissa even pulled out a dagger and stabbed one of my eyes.
I yelled in agony but couldn’t even move my stony arms to cover that eye. My wounds weren’t healing on their own due to lack of essence.
I stopped screaming and held it in just to keep them from having more satisfaction, the sadistic fucks.
The stabbing stopped after a few seconds. Stone covered seventy percent of my body by now, from lower body to a steady degree of rising.
So this is how I’d die.
Well, at least it was by the very best I must say. It’d be shitty if that first misthanger killed me… Wow, that day felt like it happened so long ago. From fighting off demons, to joining Sunset, fighting toe-to-toe with mankind’s favorite bitch, Karma. Among the passed time, I felt more than just a physical attraction to Amelia, I’ve discovered the truth of my mother, and was so close to being among the element that would destroy Sunset.
As I saw Amelia land from her flight, I weakly smiled.
“I love you. And I’m sorry you have to see me like this.”
Blackness. The stoned covered me and I died.
End of part one…
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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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