The horrible feelings of panic, loss, sorrow, fear, and defeat crushed Amelia as she witnessed the glowing blade slide from his shoulder. Time seemed to slow as every inch of him completely turned to stone. Blood dripped off the edges of the leader’s katana.
Amelia had to process everything again in an instant.
The sudden appearances of all elites, tipping the earth’s balance of power, the strongest of them being among them, and the absurd orders.
Amelia glanced around at the ruined city, cut off from the world, sacrificed. Epex’s friends barely escaped—the only sensible move on the demigod’s part so that they wouldn’t have to see the cruelty inflicted upon him.
Amelia still tuned out the world, her mind just barely hanging onto stability. She believed she could save him. She thought she had everything in the bag, but she was naïve.
The goddess hated this naïve side of her. She…she thought she could protect him, hoped that he’d live the life of his choice. But…she now realized the facts.
They were not going to let him be.
Amelia would rather die than run from this fight, even if winning was impossible. She thought about the crest choices her father predicted for her. Enlightenment or disaster. She always lived up to the former but not it was time to admit it to herself.
Time to admit to being both.
“You did find him, months ago,” Moses said to her. “But now, the time of sheltering him is over. Come back with us. You’ve been away from home far too long.”
Amelia burst into tearful laughter, confusing the six elites. She laughed for almost half a minute. When she stopped, Moses offered her a hand, as he believed the goddess released tears of joy. Amelia only frowned.
“I finally get it now,” she said.
“Share your revolution, number six,” Moses said softly.
“The orders to kill him were hastily and sloppily sent. All of you blindly followed orders—I bet Conus has no idea everyone was sent at the same time.”
“What is your point, Princess Venus,” number two, Marissa said, distain in her voice.
“All of you broke the balance by coming here. This is way too much for the puny human world to handle. Look around. Look what you have done,” Amelia said.
“Orders are orders. The house deemed this necessary. A sacrifice. We are the tools to get the job done.”
“You cannot possibly believe that these are the House’s orders, you idiots. There’s something going on—and this…this just makes you murderers.” Amelia spat. “I will become disaster and do whatever it takes to end you.”
Moses held up a hand.
“At peace, daughter of Natural Selection and Mother Nature.”
His voice reached Amelia too late.
She took in the surroundings, the destruction of the city she loved, the death of Jade, the hard words she told her friends before sending them away, the fruitless attempt at saving as many lives as possible.
Finally, the most recent…. she looked at the stony figure of her love.
Then Amelia allowed her other half, the disaster within to take over.
Her divine state erupted like a volcano and then changed, vibrating the ruined city even harder. A geyser of red light smacked from the sky above onto the goddess like a waterfall feeding its river. The wings of her divine state shifted from its beautiful snow white to a menacing crimson and fiery red. Amelia’s hair darkened to blood-red, her eyes taking on a glow of orange like the embers of a raging fire. Her heavenly-light, if it could be called that, turned silver and purple.
“What is this?” Marissa said to Moses but the elite leader didn’t respond, mesmerized by the frightening beauty before him.
The other half of Mother Nature’s daughter actually gave Moses chills. For the first time of his eternal life—he knew fear.
“It’s time to ascend,” he said. “Mother Nature’s daughter has lost her sense of self.”
“There is no escape,” Amelia suddenly said in a voice that seemed to cross the oceans of the earth in just seconds. “It is time for you to answer for your crime.”
The second Moses blinked, he heard an intense gurgle behind him. He also felt a strange heat in the air followed by an electric sensation. The path to ascension, their own means of getting home—Amelia somehow shut it down. He could die. His elite could…. he turned around right as Marissa fell.
The Venus girl moved so fast, she jumped a half-second through time. Moses’s eyes widened—Marissa—her head vanished. He looked at Venus, eyes soaked in horror. She tossed the head to the side and beckoned for one of the remaining elites to come at her. Jose, engulfed in rage, charged like a fool, ignoring his training.
“Hold!” Moses barked but his elite ignored him. “Elite hunter Jose, hold!”
Too late. Jose was very powerful, his skill easily getting him in the elite, but he didn’t stand a ghost of a chance against Disaster. The god executed a brilliant combo of sword forms that would’ve killed anyone else, but the Venus girl’s time-leading kept her a half-second ahead of his blade.
She cut him down with a single knife-hand, slicing Jose in half like butter. Blood, gore, and matter sprayed in every direction.
Fortunately, Moses’s remaining elites obeyed his orders. He’d focus on saving them. At first, the elite leader didn’t intend to hurt Princess Venus, fully aware that her actions could’ve been a result of imprinting. But even he knew imprinting was a conscious declaration to seek love, enhancing the heavenly-being’s capacity a bit. He planned to give the goddess time to mourn then move on. Some things she said did bother him but that didn’t matter.
The elites were placed under oath with the new orders. They were going to complete the mission one way or another.
“Fall back,” Moses said. “While I handle her, focus on breaking the trap.” His elites nodded but before they could move, Disaster appeared in between them.
“I don’t think so,” she said then smiled at number seven, Anna.
“Amelia, wait, we’re friends. Please. I don’t want to fight you.” Anna threw down her sword to the cold horror of Moses. This surprised him—Anna normally followed the elite rules to the letter. Surrendering to a dangerous enemy wasn’t an option.
“Did you give him a chance when he willingly surrendered?” Amelia said. “I felt him surrender. Did you let him release the breath that would allow him to explain everything, and while he’s not the type, did you listen for a plea of mercy? Orders will be your excuse. No…I WILL CONSUME YOU!”
Disaster’s wail shook the earth, sending more chills through Moses’s body.
In a blink, she moved faster than the group could perceive, her hand plunging through Anna’s chest, and pulling out an intense glowing blue-white version of the elite hunter. Anna screamed and cried, begging for forgiveness from her old friend. Moses froze as the Venus girl did what should only be possible by the primals. She ate the soul. What he saw was Disaster ball the still-crying Anna into an orange-size ball then took one large bite, chewed, and then swallowed. There sounded one final shriek of utter terror and crying before the elite huntress was no more.
The pressure, the force….no, it was fear that kept Moses in place vanished. Moses admitted that much to himself. Disaster did that to her former friend, who threw down her arms in surrender. There was no reasoning with her.
Survival and escape…
“Daniel, Akiro,” Moses said. The two men looked at him and nodded, realizing the reality of the situation. “Put up your defenses, for the divine state I will release will hurt.”
“Of course,” they both said then stepped back.
“I will kill you,” Moses told Disaster then…allowed his self-placed power-restraints to fall.
Wings as bright as the sun emerged on his back. His eye color and heavenly-light took on a silvery glow.
Silver heavenly-light was not just a show of incredible power mixed with intense electrical radiation, but a symbol. A symbol of a god’s true wrath if provoked. Moses’s wrath. He wasn’t number one for nothing.
Sword ready, he rushed the Venus girl, determined to end this in one strike. And he could….or at least he thought so, but something strange happened.
The Venus girl grinned as she skipped backward and forward in time simultaneously.
Moses fazed through her—this wasn’t just incorporeal, she leapt outside of time for a half-second, making her truly untouchable. Moses’s vision blurred as blood gushed from his mouth.
This was it. A first defeat and a first death. He couldn’t go down like this.
With a thrust of all his strength, the elite leader roared and plunged his blade into Disaster’s shoulder. This is it—he’d won! She’d turn to stone.
No one could resist the blade of Medusa’s power.
He looked up to see his elite’s heads get slashed from their bodies in one swoop of Disaster’s knife-hand. The shoulder that he stabbed into bared no wound. \
The Venus girl walked over to him.
A moment of intense pain flooded him but…the goddess suddenly froze, her eyes locked onto nothing in particular.
Moses pushed his healing to the limits, essence low, as he sensed the approach of two heavenly-beings. At the same time, he felt six devils manifest in the city and they were powerful. It took him a few seconds to realize the reason.
How could he be foolish enough to not ask the House about the balance. In fact, this is something the House MUST know about, as the job of higher gods is to maintain the balance. The universe let out six royal-class devils from their containment in Hell.
Moses remained motionless as the Venus girl picked up the fallen prince’s sword then started to walk way, probably to deal with the threat alone. Moses wasn’t sure if even she could take on a threat of that magnitude alone. He struggled to stand. He’d at least go back to Paradise Realm when he’s healed…in twenty-hours.
The Venus goddess’s damage left a poison in his wounds that prevented him from ascending.
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- The Enlightener
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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