Neave was moving in a random direction. He killed and ate monster after monster. He was growing unsatisfied with the progress he was making. After killing and eating the goblin tribe, he had plateaued. He still felt growth from eating, but that was a trickle compared to the initial flood of power he had gained.

Would he have to dive deep into a cave?

The rational part of him knew that was a terrible idea. The deeper he went, the higher the risk of getting overrun by high gold-rank monsters or encountering a platinum-rank threat. Those meant either he miraculously ran away, or he died.

But his desperation was getting worse. He felt anxious and frightened.

The demons were hunting him again.

If he didn’t get more powerful, he would die.

Just as he was thinking this, he felt it. Thirty-two spirits.

One on the bronze path, twenty-eight on the silver path.

Three on the gold path.

The moment he sensed them, he ran.


Radeon was in charge of the tactics for the group. The cultivators had hatched a plan and divided their roles. They were prepared, and according to Gabrias, they were getting closer to the child. Mirna turned to Gabrias.

“You will stay here. We are close enough that we can track him alone.”

Gabrias breathed a sigh of relief but wasn’t quite at ease yet. They would be leaving him entirely alone in a monster-infested forest after all. Mirna just smiled as she knew what he was worried about.

“Don’t worry. I can’t sense any strong monsters within the range of my spirit senses. I can barely sense any monsters at all in the nearby area…” She frowned. “So you can wait here in safety. I trust you can defend yourself or run away from weaker monsters. You shouldn't be a total pushover at the peak of the bronze path.” Mirna winked at him, but Garbias wasn’t very amused.

However, he did look like a massive boulder had just rolled off his chest. Gabrias nodded to them and climbed up a nearby tree.

Mirna had shared a ton of equipment with the other group. They were all plated in cumbersome, dark gray armor. It was the type of equipment that entirely sacrificed maneuverability for protection.

This group of cultivators did not need mobility. They weren’t going to be fighting in melee combat at all. Mirna had also provided them with gigantic crossbows. The second group of cultivators would stand back and shoot bolts at Neave.

After finalizing their preparation, an ice pillar rose beneath Radeon’s feet. He was lifted dozens of meters into the air, and he scouted ahead. Neave couldn’t be sensed with spiritual senses, not until one could feel his life force directly.

Sensing him from such a distance would be challenging, even if one could. However, to a gold path cultivator, if the target was within the field of view, eyes were enough. Radeon could see Neave moving across the landscape, decimating monsters in his path. He noticed his unusual weapon.

The child's power was significantly above what he had expected to see, even after witnessing the carnage he had left behind.

He jumped off the ice pillar and floated down on an ice disk. Once he landed, they ran forward for another hundred meters, and he went up again.

“Shit!” Radeon screamed.

The others immediately panicked.

“What happened?”

“He is running, and fuck is he fast! Mirna, I will have to go ahead!”


Radeon landed off the ice pillar. Mirna’s hands were enveloped in a blue mist, one she imbued into Radeon. He calmed himself and accepted the strange mist into his body. He began glowing with a faint blue light, and his eyes lit up like small blue stars.

Radeon ran.


Neave sensed one of the gold path spirits approaching him at incredible speed. He cursed and panicked, doubling down on his running. However, it was hopeless. The gold path cultivator was on top of him within less than a minute.

Neave heard faint whistling, turning around at the last second. A gigantic ice spear flew at him, and he barely blocked it, his bones squeaking as they bent under the force.

What the hell kind of gimmick is this now?

In Neave’s eyes, all he could see was a demon. A gray, eyeless creature with a gaping maw. It was the same as it had always been. He was staring at yet another challenge too great to tackle. But this time, he didn’t have the privilege of failure. This time, it was do or die.

Suddenly, a gigantic wall of ice rose from the ground within a hundred-meter radius. The trees inside the walled-off area froze and crumbled into dust, while the entire surface within the hundred-meter radius was covered in ice.

Neave immediately ran towards the wall, the ice on the floor not hindering him even a bit.

Radeon’s eyebrows furrowed as he noticed the complete lack of hindrance in Neave’s movements. He ran over slippery ice as if it were solid ground. Radeon stood atop the wall of ice, and spikes of ice shot at Neave out of the floor and walls.

Neave dodged them with razor precision and kept running.

Radeon built walls in Neave’s way, but he just teleported through them. The ice manipulator covered the entire path before Neave in ice spikes, but he walked on them as if they were solid ground.

Neave was just about to reach the ice wall. He flipped into the air, rotated his torso, and touched the surface of the ice with his left foot. His movement technique completely collapsed, and Neave felt a pressure build on his foot, enough to shatter it were it not for his rubber bones.

The wall is too damn thick!

Neave ran up the wall, dodging the spikes and barriers Radeon put up every second. As Neave rose, so did the wall until a giant bald man suddenly dropped down from the edge. He was glowing blue, and his eyes blazed with azure light.

Kayix swung his giant sword at Neave.

Neave was going to block the strike, but when he noticed the force behind the technique, he wasn’t willing to risk getting his sword destroyed.

But he couldn’t dodge.

The technique shot out a lot faster than Neave was expecting. Neave contorted his body and burned life force to throw himself back as far away as he could from the sword swing, but the outer edge of the blade still cut his stomach open.

He used his elastic body power to manipulate the skin on his stomach and keep it intact as he burned more life force to seal it together.

The man persisted. He dashed at Neave and punched him. Neave’s torso caved in, and he flew, bouncing off the ice.

Neave burned a bit of life force and recovered from what damage he had suffered from the strike. He got up and looked around, running through his options. Suddenly, armored cultivators appeared on every side atop the massive ice walls.

They lifted heavy crossbows and fired simultaneously.

Neave desperately dodged around, but the sheer density of the volley of bolts made it damn near impossible to avoid them while dodging the ice spikes that constantly jutted out of the ground.

Kayix charged at Neave again, landing a solid slash. The blade would have probably cut through Neave’s entire body without his crystal veins and steel nerves dulling the blow.

Neave flew back from the strike, but suddenly, a force tugged on his body and pulled him back toward the armored man. This time, the sword penetrated Neave’s torso.

Kayix punched Neave again. Neave was knocked back but then pulled back again.

Only then did he see the silver threads connecting his body to the man. The threads were slowly wrapping around him, and the man tightened the bonds as he pulled Neave back again.

Neave swung at the threads with the sword, which went right through them. The faint image of the centipede did a bit of damage to the threads, however. Neave didn’t hesitate. He immediately shaped a dagger out of spirit and cut the threads apart.

Kayix’s eyes shot open, and his jaw dropped.

Neave freed himself from the threads. More bolts embedded themselves in his skin, but they weren’t doing as much damage as it may appear. Most of his organs were insanely tough. Not just that, but the steel nerves and crystal veins were doing an incredible job of resisting the impact of the bolts.

He wasn’t bleeding much, and the attacks had little success in paralyzing his limbs. His rubbery body absorbed a lot of the force of the arrows as well, so they didn’t sink quite as deep as they usually would have.

The biggest issue the bolts were presenting was limiting his range of motion. Not just that, but they were damaging his muscle, although that was significantly less impactful given his troll muscle spirit power.

Even if damaged beyond repair, his elastic body spirit power let him move his body entirely independently of his muscles, although at much less speed and force. Neave dashed at Kayix using a rapid movement technique.

Kayix readied himself in a stance perfect for a counterattack.

Neave instead attacked precisely where the man was best defended. Golden runes flashed, and a massive centipede crashed down on Kayix.

Kayix groaned with exertion as he held the centipede back. The phantasmal monster bit his sword and kept it in place just long enough for Neave to strike again. Neave lowered his sword, got into a stance, rotated his torso, and pulled his arm back.

Neave ignored the bolts as they pelted him repeatedly, blocking only those aimed at his head. His legs were getting cut up by the ice spikes, but he put all his focus into this one strike. Neave pushed his fist out, blazing in a red fire as the life force burned like a torch. He added extra speed by stretching his arm further.

Suddenly a thick sheet of ice appeared before the man to defend him from the attack. Neave slammed into the barrier of ice, crushing it into fine flakes as his fist continued onward. The punch landed on Kayix’s armor, denting it in the process.

Mirna, standing on top of the wall next to Radeon, tensed up. The blue light surrounding Kayix flickered, and Mirna spat out some blood. Kayix flew away and rammed into the ice wall. He quickly got up, ignoring the damage.

Neave clicked his tongue. He pulled some bolts out while loading his body with more life force.

He spun through the air, dodging and deflecting the endless bolts and ice shards flying at him. Radeon manifested massive ice pillars and dropped them on Neave, but Neave used true strikes to obliterate them. He would have dodged with movement techniques, but the nature of true strikes made them a lot more cost-effective.

Neave was starting to get into the rhythm.

Kayix was about to approach Neave, but Neave disappeared and reappeared behind him.

Neave didn’t attack Kayix, however. He spun so fast the air whistled, and he kicked one of the bolts with a true strike, redirecting it toward Radeon, who flinched in surprise.

Radeon quickly manifested an ice barrier, but the bolt shot through it. The ice shifted its trajectory a bit, and Mirna barely dodged the bolt as it cut a shallow line on her cheek.

“Holy fuck!” Radeon exclaimed.

Mirna held her breath for a long second.

“Holy fuck indeed.”

Neave dodged bolts, avoided Kayix, and kicked the bolts back every once in a while. He aimed them at the armored men lining the walls, although the armor mitigated the damage even when he landed one. Even though the cultivators lining the walls weren’t suffering injuries from the attacks, Neave’s stunt seriously shook them up.

Lank was beginning to sweat, partially due to the cumbersome armor but primarily due to the insane level of power this tiny child demonstrated.

Neave was surprised at the sheer quantity of life force in his body. Excess life force could remain in the body for a while, but Neave was surprised at how much of it remained, despite constantly leaking a bit. All the eating he had done in the forest left him loaded with so much life force it felt like Neave would explode.

Kayix was an insanely fast warrior, especially with the addition of Mirna’s power, but he struggled to get close enough to Neave to attack. Neave kept teleporting around.

Neave could barely feel anything at the moment. He didn’t feel pain, excitement, fear, or anger. He was merely flowing like a calm creek. This was where he felt at home. This was his zone. Pushed to the edge and beyond by insurmountable odds.

This was where he excelled.

But it couldn’t go on forever.

His life force reserves were firm, but his qi reserves rapidly dwindled. If he had a tiny monster or anything he could eat alive, he could regain some qi, but at this rate, he was like a candle flickering in the wind. Now it was time to act, or he might lose the chance to do so. Just as he was about to switch his focus to Kayix again, Radeon screamed.

“Reckless assault formation!”

Kayix’s expression darkened. All three of them pulled a small vial of black liquid out of their dimension rings and drank it.

Mirna and Radeon jumped down into the fray. Mirna yelled out to the armored group.

“Keep shooting! You don’t have to worry about hitting us!”

She opened her dimension ring, and four massive artificial iron golems popped out. She focused, and the golems were enveloped in blue light. Radeon put his arms together, and ice armor materialized all over the golems’ bodies.

He manifested armor, a giant sword, and a shield on all the golems. Kayix put his arms together, and the silver threads encased themselves into the ice armor and weapons in rune patterns. Neave was already on top of Kayix before he could fully complete his runes. Kayix released the threads and firmly gripped his sword.

Kayix used a movement technique to lunge at Neave. Neave was about to move out of the way, but Radeon blocked Neave’s escape with a wall. Neave clicked his tongue and used a movement technique to get to the other side. One massive golem kicked at him, another swung its sword and a third thrust. He barely avoided the three attacks. His qi reserves were still dropping.

The bolts flew in his general direction, but the fight was so hectic that men struggled to aim Neave.

Radeon lunged. He got within melee distance and materialized small ice blades he swung and threw at Neave. Meanwhile, he was generating as many obstacles around Neave and in his way as possible. Mirna used the pressure Radeon was putting on Neave to dash into a kick, using a powerful attack technique.

Neave flew right into the path of a bolt, and it embedded deep into his back. It was in one of the worst places it could have hit, making it almost impossible for Neave to twist his torso, which came into play almost immediately as Kayix swung at Neave and cut deep into his left arm. The silver threads appeared again, wrapping Neave’s entire arm up, but he used a small spirit blade again to sever them.

Mirna kicked him again, and this time he flew right into a kick of one of the golems. The bolt shattered and embedded deeper into Neave’s torso, sending splinters deep into his chest. The kick sent him flying right into a shield bash by another golem, sending him over to a third golem in the middle of taking a swing at him with the sword.

He twisted in the air to dodge the blade, ignoring the agony the shards of wood caused inside his chest. His pure blood ability was already removing them.

Neave was in a desperate situation. He ran through his options, mind whirling to come up with anything. He was astonished at how much life force he had built in the forest, but that advantage wouldn’t be enough.

Not on its own.

His body suffered severe life force abuse, and his qi ran low. His spirit was almost fine, but that was only because he didn’t get any opportunities to use a true strike. His mind whirled, and he wished he could think faster.

Then he got another crazy idea. He overloaded his nervous system with life force, praying that his steel nerves spirit power stopped them from disintegrating. The entire world appeared to slow down as his thoughts sped up massively. He could see the bolts and shards of ice flying toward him, and Kayix was getting ready for another lunge.

Neave concentrated a ridiculous amount of life force into his lungs as he prepared to eject all the fire he could.

Kayix dashed towards Neave.

Neave took a breath so deep it felt like his lungs would burst. Then he blew out a massive jet of flame toward Kayix.

It hit him head-on, but Kayix grabbed his sword, and it lit up with golden runes. He used a true strike to blow away the mass of flames. The absolute devastation this move caused threw Neave up further into the air.

So that was what it looked like when a gold path cultivator did it…

The fire kicked up a ton of smoke and steam, and the true strike blew it all over the place, obscuring the vision. Radeon launched a massive spike of ice at Neave, and Mirna lunged at him again, preparing another kick.

Yet another one of the golems took a sword swing at Neave. He used the absolute last of his qi to twist in the air. As the blade swung under him, his foot landed on it.

Neave disappeared.

The steam and smoke made it damn near impossible to see anything. Everybody panicked, looking around to see whether Neave would ambush them.

Suddenly, a brilliant golden light shone behind one of the golems. Before it could turn around, Neave landed a titanic true strike punch at its back, sending it flying straight into another golem, momentarily incapacitating both of them and leaving Neave alone in a clearing.

The cultivators present paused and gaped at the awe-inspiring display of might.

Neave was utterly out of qi.

Neave swung his sword in a true strike thrust and launched a gigantic golden centipede toward Radeon. Radeon used a sheet of ice to block it, but it burst through with little effort. Mirna and Radeon kicked at the centipede in tandem and redirected the strike upward.

Kayix used the opening to lunge at Neave.

Neave could see him slowly taking a step forward. Everything moved in slow motion, and Neave felt his body deteriorating. His body was battered, and even after the healing, he still felt aches all over his body.

However, there was one part of him that felt like it was endless.

He could feel the sea of life force burning inside his body, threatening to tear him from the inside out. So he may as well release it himself.

He lifted his sword high up above his head. Suddenly, his entire body was enveloped in searing crimson flames. His beautiful hair shone, and his skin lightened. His whole body looked like it healed instantly, but in reality, the life force had done much more damage than it did healing.

Kayix was already lunging at Neave, and it was far too late to stop himself.

“Kayix, no!” Mirna yelled out.

All of them could feel the intense energy blazing around Neave. The bestial screams and wails of agony send shivers down their spines. Kayix appeared before him, desperately using a defense technique to stop Neave’s blow. Neave moved the sword.

The centipede appeared for just a second until the tides of life force shattered and obliterated it. As the sword moved through the air towards Kayix it screamed with the dying howls of the countless monsters Neave had consumed. The quasi-spirit within the blade emitted a high pitch shriek until it shattered into a million pieces, pulverized into ethereal dust scattered in the wind.

The moment Neave’s sword touched Kayix’s defense, both of Kayix’s arms and legs immediately shattered under the force. The sheer impact of the strike sent cracks through the entire dome of ice, and the walls collapsed from the shockwave. The armored cultivators flailed through the air as they dropped like flies. Mirna spewed blood out of her mouth from the backlash.

Neave’s sword was now little more than a chunk of bent iron. Kayix was still alive, but Neave finished him with another life-force-empowered strike, smashing his head into pulp.

“Kayix!” Radeon screamed in despair, and Mirna recoiled from the intense impact, blood running from her eyes.

Neave didn’t even wait for a second as he imbued all the life force he could into the sword again and threw it toward Mirna’s head.

Her momentary inability to move made it impossible for her to dodge.

Radeon put up an ice barrier but it got pulverized on impact. He tried blocking the attack with his arm, but his arm was smashed into pieces as the sword cut through it and then right through Mirna’s head. The golems stopped moving.

“Mirna!? Mirna! Oh heavens, why…?” Radeon wailed and hollered as he hugged Mirna’s headless body.

The armored cultivators scrambled to their feet and scattered in every direction.


“Run for your fucking lives! That thing will doom us all!”

And Neave was standing.

What is the demon doing?

That behavior makes no sense.

Then he blinked. Why did he think that? That wasn’t a demon. That was a cultivator. These were people, weren’t they? But why were they hunting him? That made no sense. No, it made sense. They were destroyers.

They attacked him, and he should kill them off. So why… Why did the sight of the man crying over the woman's corpse make him feel so… Sick?

Radeon got up, fury and despair burning in his eyes as he bared his teeth and spewed curses at Neave. He held his mangled arm and fumbled forward, thoroughly exhausted from how much he’d abused his spirit power.

“I’m going to kill you! I’m gonna tear you apart, you demon!”

Neave couldn’t believe his ears. Did this man just call him a demon?

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

Radeon paused and recoiled at Neave’s tone of voice. He flinched at the mere fact that Neave could speak at all.

Neave frowned harder, bared his teeth, and spat.

“Did you fucking idiots not hunt me down first!?”

Radeon was caught off guard. He didn’t know how to respond for a second, but his irrational anger and anguish took over, so he spluttered.

“You killed our men!”

“Yes, after they came for my life.”

What is happening? This child, it…

“They didn’t come to kill you!”

“They sure seemed like they were trying to!”

“And they should have! You are nothing but a monster anyway. I do not care if it costs me my life. I swear I will avenge them.”

Beneath all his rage, even Radeon felt those words echoed emptily. The incongruousness of this child’s behavior bewildered him.


Why couldn’t he just act like a beast?

Why, why, why!?

Neave shook, but it wasn’t in mindless rage. He hated himself for being here, for getting himself into this situation. What was he thinking?

No, it was the world that was wrong. It was the cultivators. He was the victim. He wouldn’t blame a victim for being attacked, would he? It was obvious whose fault it was. It was them. So he shouted back.

“You dare… You fucking dare. You dare talk about vengeance to me? You lowlife. Are you and your men not the ones hunting down a child? What am I to you? What have I done to you to deserve being hunted down like a wild monster!?”

Radeon hesitated but pushed aside any remaining reservations he still had.

“You’re a heavens-cursed menace! Have you not slaughtered your sect members!? No righteous sect would let a monster like you run around unchecked!”

“And according to what evidence did you decide I was a menace?”

Radeon simply ignored him and walked forwards. Neave continued, his eyes growing more and more empty.

“You must have fucking known. You and whoever sent you here. There is no justification for what you’re doing. I was right. You cultivators are all the same. Given enough incentive, all of you become destroyers, rejecting your morals and committing whatever atrocities it takes!”

Radeon was stepping closer to Neave. He materialized a sword out of ice. Neave could barely move, but he took a step forward.

Neave lunged at Radeon, and Radeon thrust at Neave’s chest. The sword of ice stabbed into Neave but stopped dead upon hitting his crystal heart.

Radeon’s eyes shot open, and he stepped back, readying himself to materialize another sword.

Neave’s gaze grew vacant. His eyes turned into the back of his head, and his mouth opened.

Wider. Wider. Wider.

His teeth sharpened into points, and his neck elongated.

Radeon froze with terror. His sword was just about to finish materializing, but It was too late now.

As Neave’s gaping maw approached Radeon, his teeth vibrated with a resonant screech.

Golden runes appeared around his neck and head.

Radeon watched with horror as Neave’s mouth closed around his head in a true strike bite.



Support "The Jester of Apocalypse [BOOK 2 FINISHED]"

About the author

Robert Blaise

Bio: Man do I love recursion. Man do I love recursion. Man do I love recursion. Man do I love...

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