Neave stood over Radeon’s headless corpse. Blood not of his own dripped down his lips. He remembered Radeon’s words.
Have you not slaughtered your sect members!?
Now, in the post-fight silence, he stood alone.
And those damn words finally sunk in.
The Zearthorn sect was gone.
Neave had no idea why it was gone.
Did everybody, for some reason, think it was Neave that destroyed the sect? If so, did that mean that everybody in the sect was dead? But that made no sense. It made no sense at all. If everyone were dead, that would include Marven. If they thought Neave had killed Marven, they wouldn’t have sent silver and gold path cultivators after him.
But those words still hung on his mind. Did these people genuinely believe he was some sort of loose monstrosity that needed to be hunted down and killed?
His breathing sped up.
Did this mean that they were hunting him down not out of greed but to remove a potentially dangerous threat?
His heart beat faster.
If so, then who had he just slaughtered?
No, that wasn’t right. These people were still after his life. If it was due to a misunderstanding, it was still their damn fault for being dumbasses. So they were either dangerously stupid or greedy and evil.
Just the way all cultivators are…
Killing humans wasn’t like killing demons. When he killed the elders, he knew they deserved it, so he was fine. When he was attacked by the masked cultivators in Pavarrie, he couldn’t see their faces. He didn’t know their names or genders or dreams or beliefs or anything, so he didn’t care.
“Isn’t this world just fucking rotten?”
Neave felt the madness recede. It was like he was lucid for the first time in a while. He stood, covered in blood head to toe, every cell in his body screaming in agony, yet he felt the same way he had felt when he was nothing more than an eleven-year-old boy.
An outcast whose very existence seemed to be unacceptable to cultivators.
As he drifted in thought, he sensed something. There was a spirit. It was way out of his spirit sense range, but he could still feel it nonetheless. He frowned and focused harder, noticing a small, ethereal thread connecting his spirit to the other. So he followed it.
Gabrias hid in a tree. He was on the brink of shitting his pants. The noise stopped coming a few minutes ago, and he was too far to tell which side had won. The rational part of him felt there was no way they had failed.
But the fight was so, so loud.
What made all the noise, then? The child must have put up a damn good fight if it sounded like an entire mountain was collapsing.
The child was still alive. He could feel it with his spirit power. They caught it.
It was alright. The child was perfectly still, which meant it must be detained. Suddenly, he felt the child disappear. Did they accidentally kill it? No, that wouldn’t happen. Perhaps they sealed the qi, preventing him from sensing the child.
Maybe they’ve picked him up and carried him too fast for his spirit power to catch up. He waited for the location to synchronize, for the child's presence to reappear.
And then it did.
Right below the tree he stood on. The child stared up at him.
He nearly had a heart attack.
Neave stared at the shivering cultivator and felt he knew him from somewhere. The man shuffled and fell from the high branch onto the grass beneath.
“No! Please! Don’t kill me!”
“Wait, I remember you! Didn’t you pay me a visit when I lived in Pavarrie?” Neave remembered the feeling of something washing over his spirit. Then he looked at the thread connecting their spirits. “Oh, for fucks sake, don’t tell me you were tracking me?”
“Please, please, I will do anything! Just don’t kill me!”
The man begged and screamed.
Neave could see the cloth patch around the man’s crotch dampen as he pissed himself. Neave stared at him with a sad look in his eye. So they knew. If this man had visited him first, he must have described Neave. They had no excuse to be hunting him down like an animal.
Out of every belief he'd held, out of everything he thought was correct…
This was the one time he wished he had been wrong.
“Okay, alright, man, just stop this crap. I’m not going to kill you.”
That didn’t make Gabrias feel any less frightened at all.
“Wh–What are you going to do to me?”
Neave pondered that. He didn't want to kill this man. This man was a malicious child killer worth less than the dirt he pissed himself on.
But did that mean that killing him was truly the only option?
Yes, it was.
No, it wasn't.
Neave blinked a few times, dazed at the strange sense of incongruence he felt. He had a small headache. He touched the temple of his head. But when he touched his hand, he pulled it back and looked at his hand.
His hand was bloody.
Why was his hand bloody?
He wasn't bleeding.
He didn't remember using his hands to kill anyone either. Neave shrugged.
It must ÞÞÞÞbe notҾhing.
Neave looked back at the pathetic man and decided.
“I will be making you my henchman, of course!”
Gabrias stared at Neave, dumbfounded.
“You will be my loyal dog! Now get on your knees and beg!”
Gabrias froze. He couldn’t believe his ears. But the moment Neave as much as opened his mouth to speak again, he was already on all fours, barking like a dog.
“Good boy! Now you smell like shit, so I’ll have to bathe you!”
Neave dragged Gabrias by his leg and ran to a nearby creek. Then he dipped him into the water a few times and gave him a good swirl. He pulled out the dazed Gabrias and blew at him with fire breath to dry him up.
“Oh, don’t be a baby! You’re on the bronze path. A bit of fire won’t hurt you.”
Neave then pulled a rope out of his dimension ring and tied Gabrias up. He tied him up into more or less a ball and then tied this giant man to his back, literally carrying him like a backpack.
Neave set off running.
Neave spent the entire day traveling. This time, rather than leaving a disaster behind him, he moved stealthily and avoided fighting or stirring up any monsters.
Although he didn’t know the direction towards the capital, he was still a gigantic nerd. He couldn’t tell just from the nearest few mountains, but after passing several mountain ranges, he was somewhat confident he remembered where he was on the map of the empire. He had literally memorized the entire map and now he cross-referenced his environment and placed his location rather confidently on the map.
Surprisingly, he had been running vaguely toward the capital this whole time. He still only covered a tiny bit of the distance, however. But he was very close to a settlement.
Neave ran to the small town and left Gabrias alone in the woods after he'd approached it. He tied him up to a tree like a dog.
Gabrias couldn’t run away even if he wanted since Neave could track him down by following the thread generated by Gabrias’ spirit power. And sadly for him, Gabrias couldn’t just cancel the tracking either. Not unless he had another target to track. But he was in the forest. Alone.
A place where he would prefer to remain without targets to track.
Also, Neave promised to kill him if he moved out of the range of the rope.
Neave walked over to the town. He stopped once he spotted the town in the distance. He felt… Awful. The very thought of stepping into the settlement made him feel sick to the stomach.
He was tempted to run into the woods and never talk to another person again. But he wanted to be around people. He didn’t want to just be a ‘thing to be chased down’ forever. Besides, there was something he needed to do.
He walked towards the town, taking careful step after careful step. Neave kept looking down to the ground. He approached the entrance and reached the short line of people waiting to get in.
He was breathing heavily. His palms were sweating.
“Hey, kid! Where did you come from? Are you lost?” The town guard looked Neave up and down.
His clothes were torn and crusted in dry blood. He looked like he’d been living in the wilderness for months.
Neave looked up to the guard. He clenched his teeth, tensed his muscles, and resisted his reflex reaction. The guard wasn’t a human to Neave.
It was a dҾmon.
The guard was a sickly gray, dirty, eyeless demon with a gaping maw. Neave kept looking at the guard's face until the image disappeared. He breathed out a sigh of relief.
“Good question. I want to say that I am not lost, but what defines lost? Are you perhaps referring to the state of not knowing where you are? If so, I know where I am. Are you referring to the state of being lost to someone else? I have nobody to whom I could be lost. But if you may be referring to a more spiritual, philosophical definition of lost, then I am…”
A burly man behind Neave spoke up.
“Hurry the hell up, kid!”
Neave turned around, spotting the large (demØÿn) ÞÞÞÞÞÞ man.
“This kind gentleman has asked me a question. I’d be rude to deny him an answer, no?”
“I don’t have time for some beggar being a smart-ass. Move, or I will make you move.”
Neave just turned around and ignored him.
“As I was saying…”
Suddenly, the man grabbed him by his hair, pushing him out of the line and onto the ground. The guard frowned at that, but he didn’t say anything. Neave lay on the ground, completely motionless.
Just kill him.
He doesn’t deserve to live.
That is no man.
That is a beast.
That is a demon, Neave.
The guard is a dÞemon too.
The spectators are demons too.
You are young.
They are old.
They have ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞbeen here for much longer than you.
These are the ones who have created such a rotten world.
They are guilty.
They are guilty.
They are guilty.
And you must punish them.
Neave started getting up. His mouth opened just a bit too much, and his fists clenched. His eyes shot open, and he stared back at the tall demon.
He took one step forward.
“What is it, kid? You wanna fight?”
Just as Neave was about to kill the man, he heard a voice.
Neave turned around.
Two demons, no, two people, stood behind him.
Harel and his father stared at him with wide eyes and gaping mouths.
Neave’s first instinct was to run away. But upon seeing his father’s face, he just couldn’t stop the spite from pouring out.
“Father dearest! What a surprise! May you please let me know exactly what kind of calamity struck the sect after I left? Did a fucking meteorite fall from the sky? Or maybe it was some horrible monster from the depths? Or maybe…”
Neave was going to continue, but he noticed the unusual expression on Marven’s face. No, it wasn’t just unusual…
Marven was crying. He ran towards Neave, who almost reacted by hitting him with a true strike but held himself back. Marven hugged Neave and cried into his shoulder.
“You’re alive. My son is alive.”
Neave couldn’t find the words to speak.
Neave, Harel, and Marven sat awkwardly around a campfire. It was already nighttime. They didn’t go into the town, instead choosing to camp outside for some much-needed privacy.
Harel was deathly silent. Not only was she afraid that saying anything could ruin the father-son reunion, but she was also… Intimidated.
Neave gave off a crazy presence now. He didn’t have much mass, but Harel could tell those weren’t ordinary muscles. Harel couldn’t feel his cultivation, but she could tell that even elder Kaphor would have gotten utterly demolished in a fight against this Neave. Everything about him looked wild.
They had already been sitting in front of the campfire for at least half an hour. Nobody had said even a word. Neave stared directly at his father. Then he finally spoke up.
“What happened to the sect?”
Marven responded with a sardonic smirk on his lips.
“I destroyed it.”
“... … …Bruh.”
“What?” Both Harel and Marven asked at the same time.
“I mean, uh, why?”
Marven took a deep breath and released it slowly. Then he looked Neave in the eye.
“You were right. In hindsight, I can’t believe I let things get that bad. I was cooked alive like a frog, slowly boiling over hundreds of years. It is almost ironic that being such a shitty sect master was the only reason none of my subjects grew powerful enough to kill me. What a joke.”
Neave couldn’t believe his ears. He was looking at Marven Zearthorn. The arrogant, almighty know-it-all sect master that represented everything he hated about cultivators.
Harel was taller than him.
He was relatively short, so being taller than him wasn’t a massive achievement, but… He always seemed gigantic. It was like an optical illusion. No matter the physical size of anyone standing next to him, he always seemed larger, greater.
But now he seemed tiny, defeated.
“I want to ask you a question in return. Neave, what was in that book?”
Neave paused. He was about to give him some bullshit excuse and dodge the question, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to tell them. Neave wanted someone to know.
So he did.
He told them about the place he had found himself in, and he told them about the demons. He told them about the impossible challenge he had to overcome and the eternity spent in agony.
Harel couldn’t breathe. At some point, she felt like she would have a panic attack. Marven looked grave and distressed.
They wanted to believe he was just pulling their leg. Harel and Marven wanted to believe Neave was joking or merely overly imaginative.
The sheer level of detail, juxtaposed with Neave’s abnormal abilities, was proof enough.
And he did not sound like he was joking.
Not at all.
“I am… I am so sorry, Neave. I should have cast that book away a long time ago. I am so sorry. I… I…”
Harel passed out.
“Harel! Are you alright?” Marven jumped.
Neave felt strangely satisfied with their reaction. Some twisted part of him relished. It felt validating. He had lived through something these weaklings couldn’t endure through a retelling. But those feelings were cast aside. The way Marven jumped when Harel passed out just felt…
The first person Neave had seen Marven treat like their own child…
What a joke.
Neave waited for Marven to wake Harel up.
She got up and sat back down, looking petrified.
Neave looked at the two of them, and he felt… Confused. Marven had always been what Neave thought of as a lightly put, horrible human being.
So why did it feel like he had changed?
Did this mean it was possible for shit people not to be shit people?
Neave asked them a question.
“What do the two of you want?”
Marven spoke slowly, almost as if embarrassed.
“Well, I just wanted to talk to you and apologize for my…”
“No, you idiot, I mean in general. Why do the two of you strive for power? What are your goals?”
Marven went silent, and Harel stared at Neave in confusion. She wasn’t sure how to answer the question, mostly because the answer seemed obvious.
“Why else but to gain more power? Being more powerful is good. You and those you care about are in less danger, and you can live a better life.”
“Be honest with me, Harel. That’s a bullshit answer. If anything, the more powerful you become, the more danger you and those you care about are in.”
Harel was about to object, but Marven nodded in agreement. So she paused and thought about it. She remembered their trip so far, the places they’d visited.
Everywhere, everything was fortified. All cities and towns were heavily defended and walled off from the outside. And outside…
“I want to get more powerful to help fight against the monster apocalypse.”
“You are lying.”
“No, I am being honest.”
“That isn’t what you want to get. That is what you’re willing to trade for it. That is the bit of freedom you’re willing to cast away. So I am asking you again. Be honest with me, Harel. What do you want?”
Harel hesitated for a good bit, but the more she thought about it, the more confident she was that she had the correct answer. She blushed as it felt incredibly embarrassing saying it out loud.
“I… I want to be seen as a hero!”
“Those are some thick chains.”
“And what do you want to do then?”
Harel blushed harder.
“I want… I want people to praise me, and I want my name to be remembered. There, happy?”
Neave nodded. A solid answer in his books. He then turned to Marven, who laughed.
“Are you going to ask me the same question? I mean, shouldn’t that already be obvious? I’ve never been particularly secretive about it.”
Both Harel and Neave raised an eyebrow at that.
Marven was surprised that they couldn’t guess.
“It’s so I can have as many women as I want, of course!”
Both Neave and Harel gave him a flat look. Harel scooted a bit further away from him, and Neave snickered.
“What!? Didn’t you say I should be honest?”
“Oh, that was honest, dad, maybe even a bit too honest.”
Marven scoffed and turned away.
“Well, that’s what my goal has always been. Sadly it isn’t as easy as it may seem. I haven’t made much progress in that regard.”
Neave broke out into laughter, and Harel stared daggers at him.
“There’s more to relations with women than just, you know… Why the hell am I talking to kids about this? I must truly be going mad.”
Neave almost fell over to the ground in laughter. Harel looked at Marven as if he were a wart growing on her finger.
Neave laughed it out and asked again.
“So, do you two want to start a sect with me?”
Marven and Harel looked at him in surprise. Harel was the first to speak.
“A sect? What do you…?”
Marven lifted his hand and interrupted Harel.
“Neave. We have told you ours. Now I would like to hear about your goals. What do you want?”
Neave pondered. His eyes seemed vacant, and he stared into the sky.
“Oh, my goals are simple. I just want to slaughter all the devils and lord over the gods.”
That sounded like a joke. But something about the way that joke was delivered felt… Well, if anything, he probably wasn’t lying about those being his goals. Insane, and a bit too… Ambitious, but honest nonetheless.
Harel and Marven didn’t press any further.
“Look, Neave, I know why you would want to start another sect, but I am unwilling to become a sect master again.”
“Who said you will be the sect master?” Neave grinned.
“Oh, you wish to do it yourself?” Marven grinned back.
“Nope. I have a brilliant idea. Follow me!”
Neave led the two of them a bit further into the woods.
Harel shrieked, and Marven frowned. There was a man tied to a tree like a farm animal. The man whimpered upon seeing Neave and stared at Marven and Harel with pleading eyes. Marven stepped up.
“Neave! What the hell is going on here?”
“Oh, this? This is just a dog, don’t worry about it.”
“Neave, I know you’ve been through a lot, but that doesn’t give you the right to act like you’re out of your heavens damned mind! Unhand that man at once!”
“This man right here, pops, is a man that had marked me with a tracking spirit power and led an entire platoon of cultivators to kill me, including three on the gold path.”
Marven paused. He paused at the insinuation of Neave’s statement.
Neave just grinned.
“How… Exactly how much have you advanced since you escaped the sect?”
Neave grinned harder and removed the veil.
Marven’s eyes shot open in disbelief—the very beginning of the foundation realm.
“Is that… Is that another trick?”
Neave just blew a bit of fire into Marven’s face. Marven flinched.
“No. Let’s just say I side-stepped the path for now. Dog! Get up.”
Gabrias shot up to his feet.
“Now stop shaking.”
Then he froze.
Neave turned to Harel and Marven, who stared at Neave in disbelief.
“See? Wouldn’t he pass for a great sect master?”
Marven initially wanted to set the man free, but his actions had undoubtedly not gathered much sympathy. However, he didn’t want his son to be walking down such a path. But he didn’t know what to do either. Neave was more than a little crazy. Marven wanted to be careful and approach the situation delicately. For now, he decided to play along.
“Look, Neave. It takes more to be a sect master than just being intimidating. This man is on the third step of the bronze path. Even the most backwater sects are led by at least someone on the silver path…”
“Don’t worry about that, father! Look!” Neave pointed at Gabrias, and a thin tendril of life force shot out of Neave’s finger. A strange liquid flowed along the life force thread, touching the man’s skin. The moment it did, he started screaming in agony.
Marven winced and wanted to stop whatever Neave was doing, but if he interrupted him, he feared the man’s life would be endangered. Marven gritted his teeth, but his mouth shot open in shock soon enough.
Neave wrapped a thin layer of the man’s life force around his spirit.
“Phew, that was hard!” Neave wiped the sweat off his brow, and the man finally seemed able to breathe, “Now that we’ve hidden his cultivation, we can just make him pretend to be strong!”
Marven took a few steady breaths and continued playing along.
“Alright, exactly how do you want to do that?”
“You, of course! If an elder of our new sect were on the platinum path, people would naturally assume that the sect master must be even more powerful! This life force veil will only serve to convince people of that fact.“
Harel hid behind Marven, shaking in fear. She tried her best to appear relaxed, but that was becoming impossible.
Marven was fully convinced that this idea was horrible. However, his son was alive. And what he had gone through was entirely Marven’s fault. He decided to play along with this idea for now. If anything, it would allow him to remain close to Neave and work on helping him properly recover.
He couldn’t abandon Brivia’s son after everything that happened.
“Alright then! Let’s do it. That sounds like a plan to me!”
Harel looked at Marven with total disbelief. Did he eat some funny mushrooms or something?
“Excellent, excellent. We will make the ultimate sect! Nobody in this entire realm will be able to stand up to us!” Neave looked at the sky, “Not in this realm, and not beyond.”
Marven ignored the ominous connotation of those words.
“Alright, but we should probably disguise ourselves in some way.”
“You are correct! Nobody will join a sect with the sect destroyer and the demon child, after all. Hmm, let’s see.” Neave focused for a bit, and then his expression relaxed.
Marven almost jumped in surprise.
“What the hell!?”
Had Neave initiated a spirit trial? Why?
Marven’s heart was about to burst as he feared for his son's life. But seconds later, Neave opened his eyes again. Then he cackled.
Suddenly, Neave started morphing. His body transformed bit by bit, growing and shifting. Once the transformation stopped, Harel and Marven took a sharp breath of air.
Standing before them was what looked like a thirteen, perhaps a fourteen-year-old boy. He had long, pink hair streaked with red locks and Neave’s face, but older-looking. He was significantly taller, however, undoubtedly far more than Neave would be once he aged a little. He opened his deep blue eyes and gazed at them with a self-satisfied smile.
“Meet the perfect young master! And as for you, old man…”
“I think you should shave your head!”
Ilkivir had been traveling for quite a while. Currently, he was walking through a treacherous mountain path. The mountain range he was located in was nothing but barren, jagged stone. He was incredibly high up, carefully treading the course so he wouldn’t cause an avalanche of rock.
He made his way through the mountains and eventually finally walked into a small cave high on one of the peaks. He sat down in front of what looked like a ritual circle embedded in stone. He pricked his finger with a needle and let a single drop hit inscribed surface.
The very instant the drop touched the ritual circle, he appeared. Ilkivir didn’t flinch externally, but his spirit still winced when this individual appeared. It was a hooded figure with a plain white mask, nothing but two large, round openings for eyes.
And there was no light behind those openings at all.
This was nothing but an illusion, or a projection rather, of the actual individual.
The archdemon Ilkivir had sold his soul to. Ilkivir prostrated himself.
“The third disciple greets the shadow of death.”
The hooded demon responded in a voice that sounded like an ominous whisper.
“You have brought me news.”
“Yes, lord. The news isn’t good.” Ilkivir swallowed. “The sect that the child belonged to has been destroyed.”
“Had the child perished?”
Ilkivir explained the rumors about the “demon child” from the Zearthorn sect. The archdemon listened intently. Once Ilkivir was done, it asked.
“Are you certain that the rumors about this book are as you say?”
The archdemon stared at Ilkivir for a while, making every single hair on Ilkivir’s body stand on end.
Then it finally spoke.
“Fake your death, Ilkivir. Then find the child and kill it. At all cost.”
The Emperor was standing with his arms crossed, his expression hard. The worst had come to pass. He didn’t mention it to the others, but they all stood tensely, watching the disaster.
They all knew. Had they not been late, this could have been avoided.
Beanna was crying.
“Jeevian, we have to do something.”
“Silence. It is already too late. If we step within the range of that thing’s senses, it will fight us. I have witnessed the destruction it is capable of firsthand. If we get involved, everyone will die. Zhaore has already warned them. They still have the time to evacuate a few of those among the younger generation. Remember this, all of you. This is the price of sloppiness when the weight of an empire lays on your shoulders.”
Hunter was being dragged by an elder of the Bentheta sect. He was thrown like a bag of rice onto a literal pile of disciples from the younger generation.
“For the love of all that is sacred, get that teleportation platform going!”
Faint green light enveloped the platform Hunter was laying on, and he was teleported together with the other disciples.
To the capital of the Yixine empire.
Kaigo Bentheta stood on top of the main building of his sect. This entire situation had only started less than two minutes ago. He looked down to the outer edges of the borders of his sect. Kaigo had heard the warning from the man in the black trench coat.
He couldn’t believe it until he saw it with his own eyes. The moment his gaze landed on the creature approaching his sect, he turned around and ran. He jumped off the building and ran like a coward, leaving the rest of his sect behind to die.
She was getting tired of walking. She could smell the thing that lured her out to the surface.
It was close.
Walking on top of dirt was like treading through deep snow to a golem as heavy as her. It was annoying. The surface was barren and frustrating. But she was so close. Once she encountered the large building the wonderful smell was coming from, she scoffed.
These mutant flesh golems had zero taste in architecture, seriously.
She would be doing them a favor by, let's say, forcing them to renovate a bit.
She lifted her arm high above her body, and in the palm of her hand, a light appeared. Golden fire concentrated into a point. It started buzzing so loudly that the noise alone caused the area around her to fall apart.
Then it started growing. The fire washed everything around her in glaring golden light as the trees vaporized into smoke. Then the massive fireball shrank into a tiny, egg-sized ball that blazed brighter than the sun.
She threw the ball at the ugly building.
The guilt was devouring Kaigo. He felt like a worthless piece of shit for leaving everyone behind to die. He had already exited the sect premises when he spotted the golden light.
Once the relief washed over him, he felt even more deplorable, but there was no hope. A single glance at that thing told him everything he needed to know.
That creature was far into the diamond rank.
He ran through the woods, making distance from the sect premises.
That was when the entire world turned into gold. The shockwave shattered every bone in his body, and he fell to the ground. The last thing that he saw was the entire Bentheta sect enveloped in a pillar of golden flame.
A pillar that stretched endlessly into the sky.
She walked over to the remains of the hideous building. Even as a sea of lava, it still looked nicer than it used to. She swam through the thick magma and went to the thing calling for her.
She finally had it. And it was beautiful. She swam out and raised the object. It was a foldable, square-shaped piece of wonderful red material. Every carat of precious metal in her body ached to incorporate this into her being.
Something was happening. Dark tendrils sprouted from the object and latched onto her beautiful hands. She cursed and threw the object away. Was this some sort of ploy by those wretched liches? Had she been tricked? She shot out black lightning into the material, and it sunk into the lava.
She was angry. She would go all the way back down and destroy all of those…
The red material shot out from beneath the lava and sank into her body. She screamed. Her screams were like mountains of metal scraping against one another. The lava around her boiled and evaporated as the noise alone made even the lava heat up until it evaporated. Eventually, she silenced.
She turned around and started walking again.
With every footstep, she left a bloody mark deep within the soil.
A female figure wearing beautiful white armor flew over the ocean at immense speed. Her armor was smooth and polished, covering every inch of her body. Her helmet was a smooth, roughly head-shaped piece of pristine white metal.
After flying over the ocean for a while, she encountered a massive wall stretching endlessly in every direction, both to the horizon and into the sky. There was a large sea creature swinging its tentacles at the wall. It would never break through the Great Wall of Langen even if it smashed away for a million years.
She felt disgusted at seeing this filthy creature lay its suckers on something created by the great gods. She held her sword upright, and a giant, phantasmal replica of the sword manifested out of qi above the creature. It sank and obliterated the disgusting creature into a billion pieces.
That was better.
She walked over to the wall and moved through it as if it wasn’t there. She smiled in pride as she looked down. Almost all the land of the Langen continent was covered in beautiful buildings of white stone. Even the weeds that grew were like rainbow gems that lined the streets.
As for the parts of land that hadn’t been built on, they were only the most pristine and perfect parts of nature. Glittering bodies of water so pure it could wash away even one’s sins. Grass and leaves of verdant green so vibrant merely looking at them felt like one was sharing the joy of bathing in the glorious light of the mother sun. The bark of trees, ancient and wise, had every pore reciting the stories of the glory of their kingdom. White bunnies and unicorns of shimmering mane feasted on the bountiful fruits of nature.
Not all of the buildings were populated. Far from it. But the generosity of the gods was endless. It was a matter of pride to them that every one of their faithful, at least of those pure, were taken care of. She breathed in the fragrant air and finished her admiration. It was time to go make her report.
She flew over to a large platform. Complex runes lined the surface as she released a bit of qi to start the teleportation process. Everything around her melted in shimmering rainbow colors, and seconds later, she was standing in the court of the Great Queen.
The large hall was lined with immaculate statues armed with priceless gear. These were true golems, not the bastardizations manifested from remnants of the blasphemous monstrosities. Rainbow colors morphed and shifted along the ceiling as angelic doves flew, peacefully fluttering through the divine mist.
The armored woman dared not take flight in the Grand Queen’s court. She walked instead.
A woman sat on an imposing throne of platinum. Her skin was so clear that not even pegasi milk could compare in beauty and purity. A voluminous mane of golden hair adorned her head. Her pupils were a golden ring surrounding a true white center.
She smiled sadly at the armored woman. As expected of the Grand Queen. She must already be aware of what she was about to hear. The prescience of someone directly suborned to the gods should never be underestimated. Regardless, the armored woman made her report.
She spoke of the current condition of the Xinkummar continent. A dire report, telling a tragic story. The number of individuals sullying their spirit with corruption was increasing drastically.
Yet, that was a minor detail compared to the truly horrible news. A transcendent monstrosity had made its way up to the surface, chasing after a devil-made artifact. Those words in the same sentece, directed toward a non-fictional place, made her feel deep dugust and fear for this realm.
The grand queen nodded wistfully.
“The gods have decided that it is time. These recent events have finally convinced even the almighty rulers that the continent of Xinkummar has truly been lost. The last vestiges of their protection are going to be retracted.”
“Milady, what about the Bonmiele church?”
“Those that remained incorrupt have already been evacuated.”
The armored woman bowed her head.
“As expected of your eminence. That ends my report.”
The Grand Queen giggled. In a moment, her demeanor shifted from supreme ruler to caring mother.
The armored woman removed her helmet. Her striking silver hair flowed out of the armor like a heavenly waterfall, and her cyan eyes shone like spotless gems. The Grand Queen nodded and smiled at her.
“Excellent work, Brivia.”
In the darkest corner of a long-forgotten underground chamber, a corpse lay rotting, wrapped in dark tendrils of madness. Whispers, shrieks, and promises of oblivion hung past the limen.
The only entrance was a smashed part of the wall, already overgrown by jagged obsidian brush.
After an eternity of remaining behind, forgotten, abandoned. Shackled in the rustiest of chains.
"Took you long enough, you little shit."
He opened his eyes.
[The Jester of apocalypse: Eternity]
Support "The Jester of Apocalypse [BOOK 2 FINISHED]"
Bio: Man do I love recursion. Man do I love recursion. Man do I love recursion. Man do I love...