As the flash of light dimmed, Asura opened his eyes and saw that his armour had protected him from the destructive sphere that the God of Calamity, Climax, had unleashed at him. However, he was surprised to find himself no longer in the Spirit Plane and instead be in the Alzard World, specially the place where he and Amit had fought previously at.
“What? How did I get back?” Asura asked as he glanced around his surroundings before looking back at the God. “You! Why are you here as well?”
“Attacking and reducing my son to such a state is enough reason for me to be here,” replied Climax in a cold voice. “Now, to deal with you…!”
As he trailed away ominously, Asura charged himself with his power and rocketed towards him while bringing his fist back in order to strike at him. While he drew closer to his enemy, Climax merely raised his right hand and aimed it at him before flexing his muscles. In an instant, Asura felt an iron grip of some sort grab him and stop him in mid-flight. To add to that, he found that he could not move a single muscle in his body other than his eyes, which he used to glare at his enemy.
Then the God of Calamity gestured with the same hand to bring him forward. This caused Asura to slowly move towards him while his posture was fixed so that he would remain vertical while his arms were raised up in an imprisoned position.
“What the heck is this?!” Asura exclaimed, finding that he could use his mouth and snarled at his enemy.
“Do I need to educate you, who knows the ways of the ancients?” Climax asked, and Asura knitted his eyebrows together. “I know you’re the Asura of the past, not the so called Lakshman of the present. I’m the God of Calamity, fool. Seeing simple differences like this is a simple task for a being like me.”
“Yet, you failed to kill me no matter what era it was!” Asura retorted, managing to grin despite his arms and legs being unable to move.
His words caused the God of Calamity’s eyes to flash dangerously and made him raise his hand and aim the palm of it at Asura. There was a momentary pause before Climax exerted his power and caused something to emit from the end of his palm. A second later, something with immense force smashed into Asura’s fixed body, causing him to widen his eyes in shock and grit his teeth from the heavy impact and the pain it caused him.
“What?!” He exclaimed, unable to understand what had happened and looked angrily at his enemy.
Without saying a word, Climax exerted his power and let of another powerful attack that shot towards Asura like a bullet and the impact caused the first Phoenix Titan an intense pain that was much stronger than the one he previously experienced.
Like that, the God of Calamity continued to exert his power and shot out an invisible like force attack that smashed into Asura and caused him a lot of pain. Asura, for his part, could only hover there with his arms raised above his head and take the incoming attacks with no way to defend himself.
Each impact of the attack caused him more and more pain and it in turn made him grit his teeth tightly to not make a painful sound. Still, the attacks caused his body to shudder each and every time it smashed into him. The others watched in shock as the strongest warrior in that world was facing his demise while being in a fixed state like a statue.
“What is he doing?!” Vikram exclaimed, looking shocked.
“Fight back, dammit!” William exclaimed angrily.
“I don’t think he’s in a position to fight back!” Maxwell stated, looking concerned.
“Yes, but still…!” Fred said, looking worried.
Martin, who was looking worried and nervous at the same time, gulped and said, “Um… Guys? C-Can’t you s-sense that… that man’s power? That enemy? It’s… It’s… Um…”
He faltered and gulped nervously, and Ward finished it by saying telepathically, “It’s overwhelming.”
While Martin nodded, Natsu nodded in understanding and said, “Yes. I feel it too. It’s ridiculously powerful. Just who is he, and where did the other guy go?”
Gram did not say anything to any of them and simply watched Asura getting beaten up with little resistance in shock. He had his eyes widen and watched as impact after impact soared at the man whom he swore as his rival and felt a deep sense of despair at how easily he was being beaten up without a single chance of fighting back.
At that moment, Natus suggested, “We need to help him.”
“Yes. It looks like we need to,” agreed Maxwell with a nod of his head.
Martin dropped his mouth in shock and glanced between them nervously as he clearly did not like the idea.
While everyone seemed to agree with the suggestion, it was Gram who raised an on objection by speaking up for the first time by simply saying, “It’s useless.”
“What?” Maxwell asked, turning to look at him with furrowed eyebrows while the rest stared at him in surprise.
“You sense the enemy’s power, right? You see how he’s beating up the demon, correct? So, what makes you think that we… that we… who are undoubtedly weaker than him… can do against such a monster?”
There was a moment of silence before Vikram went up to him and glared at him fiercely as he stated, “Are you telling us just to give up and surrender and say it’s the end of the world and crap?! Ha?! Is that it?!”
Gram turned to look at him, and Vikram was shocked to see the ‘given up’ state of mind that was seen in his eyes. He grew angry at him, so angry that he raised his hand and slapped at him across the face twice and yelled at him.
“Prideful bastard! Why’d you give up now of all times, ah?! What about your pride as a prince?! As a warrior?!”
“This isn’t like you, Gram,” said Natsu, who was the only one looking sympathetically at him. “Back when the aliens blew up their ship to destroy us, you were the first to step forward and do your best to fight back while I gave up. Such is your strong spirit, yet why are you giving up now?”
There was a momentary silence before the prince from another world replied, “There was a slim chance of fighting back, so I wanted to go down blazing. Here, on the other hand, there is a clear difference in power levels and achieving victory is absolutely zero,” and he turned to him and looked hopelessly as he finished by saying, “So, what’s the point in trying when you know you are doomed with no chance at all?”
“That doesn’t mean you give up, dammit!” Vikram exclaimed angrily.
“Yes. Fighting to the very end is the way to go, Gram,” added Maxwell in a firm voice.
“And giving up is for losers, not for warriors like us!” William remarked, looking disappointedly at him.
Gram cast his eyes down and closed them as if he was refusing to believe in their words. Seeing this, Vikram became furious and turned away to face them all.
“Let’s ignore him and go help out comrade!”
“Yes! Let’s do it!” Maxwell said in agreement.
“Yeah! I’m with you!” William added with a smile.
With that, Vikram, Maxwell, William and Fred were the first to move out of their hiding spot and begin heading over to where the first Phoenix Titan and the God of Calamity were at.
“I must go and support them!” Bolten said, and was above to move from his hiding spot when Alestor grabbed his hand firmly with no intention of letting it go.
“No, prince! You must not go!” Alestor said fiercely.
“I have to! This is my world, and as the first prince, it falls onto my duty!” Bolten argued with him.
As Alestor shook his head, Natsu said to him, “Alestor is correct, Bolten. You’re not as strong as us heroes, and you’ll end up dying unnecessarily.”
“But—!” Bolten exclaimed, looking shocked.
“And I believe you must stay alive to take over the throne once this mess is over,” added Natsu as he spoke loudly over the first prince. “The current king is not a great king, who has let his emotions cloud his judgement and cause a lot of problems. Not only that, but I feel as though he had been neglecting his people and solely focusing only on himself. That a trait a righteous ruler should have in my opinion.”
Bolten did not say anything as he understood what the Zeklock Hero was saying. He read the reports about the abuse and mistreatment that was happening to the cities that came under attack from the alien attack and realised the grave errors of his father, the current king. However, even with his guilt-ridden feelings towards the people, he could not bring himself to dethrone the king as he was his father and felt very bad about it.
Now, however, after witnessing the destruction and the mismanagement that was going on, Bolten realised that he was the correct choice as the prince. While he lacked experience, the understanding of internal affairs, politics, and management, his heart was steadfast, strong, righteous, and a caring nature for his people unlike his father and the second prince, Santa.
“That just means that I have to fight with you!” Bolten argued back.
“If you were a king that was powerful and all like Lucky, then you’d be fighting at the front lines. But, you’re not, prince. You’re not as strong as us heroes, and would simply get in our way since we have to worry about your safety. I know it hurts, but your duty as the future kind is to stay behind, help the victims, and provide any support with the evacuation.”
He was right that those words hurt Bolten, who gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly with frustration. However, he realised the sense in which Natsu spoke to him and received a pat on the back from Alestor, who looked kindly at him.
“The king’s first duty is towards the people,” said Ward unexpectedly, causing them to turn to him. “A ruler’s decision must always be aimed towards his people. Feelings and emotions must not cloud such judgement and decision making. Go where you are needed, future king. Your people need you.”
“Yes, and leave this battle to us heroes,” added Natsu, smiling at Ward for his support, to which the Walmeky Hero smiled bitterly at him.
“Even though it’s a battle that requires a miracle to win,” he said telepathically in a bitter voice.
“Then we’ll make it happen! Somehow!” Martin said suddenly, trying hard to smile despite the fear he felt on the inside. “If we try hard enough, we might just make it. Right? Right?”
He asked the question twice as he looked at Natsu and Ward and then back in an attempt to convince himself more than convince them of the possibility of success.
Natsu chuckled and said in a firm confident voice, “Right!”
Martin smiled, and the three heroes bid their farewell to Bolten and Alestor before they rushed after the other four heroes that had left ahead of them. Bolten and Alestor watched them go and glanced at Gram, who was the only hero remaining there with his eyes cast downward before leaving him and going to help whoever they can from distress.
As the seven heroes rushed towards them, the God of Calamity had been beating the first Phoenix Titan thoroughly with no remorse or holding back. With one final force blast, Asura vomited blood out of his mouth and groaned weakly as he hung limply in the air. He was badly beaten, as bruises, cuts, and other injuries sported on his body that weakened him to the point of losing focus.
“Pitiful,” commented Climax, and released his magic holding Asura in the air.
In that instant, Asura’s weakened body fell down and landed with a thump on the ground. He lay there and breathed heavily while keeping his eyes half open from how weakened he was from the merciless attack from his enemy.
“I expected more from you, Asura. You disappoint me. So much for the warrior that fought the gods, who now lay on the ground grovelling at my feet,” said Climax with a smug satisfied look on his face.
These words spurred Asura’s dwindling spirit to rise up, and he heard the fairy exclaim in his mind, “Come on! Get up! You have to fight that monster! You’re the only one who can right now! Come on, Asura! Get up!”
As such, he slowly pushed himself into a kneeling with one leg positioned in a way to let him get up. He could not get up immediately to his feet because his legs shook violently when he tried applying strength into them to rise up. Still, he remained in that position and glared at Climax, who looked at him disinterest.
Mustering as much strength and confidence remaining in him, he spoke firmly to the God of Calamity by saying, “It’ll take… more than words… more than that… to destroy me…!”
There was a moment of silence between them before Climax clicked is tongue and remarked, “Such are the words of a loser.”
He raised his hand, aimed it towards his enemy, and unleashed a powerful wave of destruction at him. The attacked towards forward and seemingly obliterated him as it continued to fly towards and explode several meters away in a massive explosion. Smoke spread everywhere and covered the view for several seconds while the God of Calamity watched the scene with narrowed eyebrows.
Several seconds later, the smoke cleared and revealed a view where Asura was no longer there. It looked like he was destroyed by the wave, but the god still felt his presence and turned towards the left to where the smoke was clearing to reveal Asura alive and well, sitting down with the other seven members of the Nine Heroes of Legends being there.
“Interlopers,” he muttered when he saw who they were.
“It’s not interlopers! It’s the Nine Heroes of Legends!” Vikram shouted at him as he heard Climax’s words.
“Well, there’s only eight of us presently,” said Maxwell with a wry smile.
“More than enough to beat this bastard!” Vikram said confidently.
The other heroes faced towards Climax with firm looks of determination on their faces, who smiled disdainfully at them. As such, the battle between eight of the Nine Heroes of Legends and the God of Calamity was about to commence.