[AP: 1690] → [AP: 1739]
Umbra’s aura exploded and made me get away from him. Even though many parts of his body were already flattened and bloody, his injuries were instantly regenerating as if we were inside a Mental Space. After distancing myself I wished to pouch at him again, only to hear something that made me freeze in place.
[I see… a Semi-Devil…]
…And what of it? → Shen
I asked back annoyed while focusing on my own powers so it won’t start dropping. Right after, Umbra stared at me with hollow eyes and a chill ran down my spine.
[Your heart is missing. Your goals have been forgotten while darkness is the only thing filling the hole in your heart. Immortal one, isn’t it insane to have no place to return to? Aren’t you only living a nightmare at this point? Come, be my home’s source of power and I’ll promise you a welcoming home only for you.]
I was momentarily stunned by his words, then a small grin slowly formed on my face.
“Ha….haha~…” → Shen
I felt as if I heard the dumbest thing in my life. But what he said still struck me hard enough.
No goal…? What do I want…? It is indeed driving me crazy… I feel like life passed me by and I couldn’t accomplish a thing. Even though I’m still young, even though my future is still there, my past made me unable to see it. My memories made me able to see only darkness and coldness. It’s insane and maddening, while the hole inside my heart only deepens as I see the smiles from the ones around me, making me unable to understand why they do so and what they feel to do so… It drives me nuts. → Shen
Although my thoughts were dark, my stomach was still feeling ticklish, as if everything that was happening or that happened had absolutely nothing to do with me. Umbra felt my mind darkening but was unable to tell about my blood starting to boil.
[You think is a ridiculous idea, am I right? But, what else can you do? You have no heart to listen to, what else do you have? Living only with a consciousness? That would only make you a higher ranked golem in comparison with what you’re controlling. Heartless one, stay with me and you might find what you’re searching for.]
Umbra mockingly talked while staring at me with red eyes in Ryu’s appearance. Even I would normally not mind this trash-talk, but this time he made some good points I couldn’t ignore.
Heart… heart… Is my heart truly missing? → Shen
I then remembered the fun I had when I observed the spirits in pain, the excitement I had while fighting the monsters, the sadness I felt every time I was thinking about how lost I am but then the wild fighting spirit that made me ignore the sadness and get up to fight. Be it gods, devils, the universe or reality itself, to fight anything that would make me end up in the jaws of despair.
All of these, albeit toxic feelings, they are still emotions. → Shen
A smile appeared on my face as my red eyes turned back into the green with a brown ring around them. Umbra’s smile disappeared and a serious expression took its place. It seems he felt the difference in my aura and understood that his plan failed.
“What? No more so confident?” → Shen
[AP: 1840] → [AP: 1900]
Feeling the power swirl inside me I suddenly focused all my powers and the ground started to quake and crack all around me. My hair was rising from the excitement of feeling overpowering as a heavy voice escaped my mouth.
“Let’s dance, shall we?” → Shen
One step and the entire ground exploded as I disappeared, flying like a bullet right at Umbra who roared in anger.
[You fool! You accepted those dark feelings as your goal! A future Ashura you’ll become!]
Umbra then blocked my fist with everything he had and the ground dented with a huge crater forming under us.
“Hahaha~! I must thank you for helping me understand that!” → Shen
I laughed in excitement as I felt my power surge while darkness swirled around me, combining with my own aura.
[You… you’re eating my essence?!]
Feeling his own darkness being slowly consumed by my aura, Umbra retreated in a hurry with panic flashing through his eyes, trying to also separate the darkness from around from me.
“Thanks to you, I finally understand that, if you don’t have a goal, then just make one! And what my goal is? To exterminate the devils!” → Shen
My eyes reddened again as my hair turned completely black. The chain tattoo all over my body started to shine with a red luster as it burned my skin, trying to keep a hold of the swirling darkness inside of me. The pain only made me more amused as the pressure upon Umbra grew once again and I completely buried him underground by using [Gravity’s Pressure]. Afterward, I rose my feet and smiled at Umbra.
“Called me heartless? I’ll show you heartless.” → Shen
Then stepped hard and the entire ground blew up, sending flying waves of stones and boulders all around us as if a bomb just dropped over the ground.
[You… Just what are you?]
Umbra got up while barely able to keep a materialistic form. Right before I stepped on him, he turned into a spirit and got away from me, the strong spiritual wave still hitting him and making him suffer some damage.
“What I am? Apparently, it seems I’m a God of War. But yeah, probably I’ll turn into an Ashura anyway. I have no goal to fight for, so I might as well fight just for myself, absorb others’ powers and become the strongest God there is, then annihilate all the devils and fallen gods that cross my path!” → Shen
I exclaimed as my blood boiled. Slowly but surely, I became more aware of just how great my powers are right now: my body is immortal until I wish for it to stop functioning, my powers are greater than a Spiritual power-rank, my mind is unbreakable by devils and being unbound by earthly desires as family or dear ones, I am free of all and everything while the devil’s powers are under my control. So what if I’m alone? So what if there is no light in my past? From now on I have power, I have the control of my own destiny. I thought that once I’m done with my duties over Antara, all the chains will break and I’ll be free to go whenever and do whatever I wish.
Of course, the risk of turning into a fallen god was still present, but unlike an Ashura, I won’t necessarily start killing blindly, the Godly Test still being a pain for me. However, that had nothing to do with random duels or battles that might help me grow and grow, until I’ll finally be able to take down Rosabhi.
[God of War touched by a Devil. Even other gods will hunt you-]
Umbra felt my revolting thoughts against everything else and a shiver ran down his spine. He wanted to warn me but I was faster. I disappeared and reappeared in front of him, grabbed him by the face and smashed his head on the rocky ground once again. As I pushed his head deeper in the ground I glared at him and said:
“Gods? Those bastards are going to pay for messing with my destiny. I was supposed to stay on Earth and finish my purpose right there. But now because of them, I will have to reincarnate once again in that boring and damned world, for I have a purpose of my own which nobody else could do it but myself. And now for suddenly dragging me into their mess, I will not forgive them until I’ll make them taste a piece of my mind.” → Shen
Fury erupted inside him as Umbra shouted out and suddenly transformed into a black dragon, the same appearance Ryu had after transformation. Because of the fast transformation, the shockwave sent me flying for quite a distance as his body also struck me while growing. Two deep dents appeared on the rocky ground as I tried to stop my retreat, needing to even use one of my hands to grab at the ground. After sliding more than 20m, I finally stopped and looked upwards at the gigantic black silhouette. Two dragonic red eyes stared at me from above as a deep grown made the air to vibrate everywhere around us. A small grin appeared on my face as I looked at the great body which shadowed me and the terrain around me completely.
And here I thought I absorbed enough of his essence to not let such a thing happen. Oh well, not like I hate it~. → Shen
I lowered my balancing-point, with one hand on the ground and ready to shot out in any direction in case of need. I observed how my AP finally stopped and remained in 2000 for a while now. Then I activated the same power as Umbra.[Dragonic Materialization]!
The air rippled while the ground cracked everywhere around me as a reddish-dark aura started to envelop me from head to toes. My whole body was covered into white scales with dark vines on them, my red eyes turned into slits, two sharp horns grew on my forehead while behind me, two huge white wings and one long tail appeared. With one swing the tail broke the ground behind while the two wings made for strong gales of wind to wipe out the stones around me. My entire body was filled with sharp white scales that had dark vines, looking as if black blood was flowing through them, especially through my wings.
[You can do this as well?!]
“Only this much, but it should be enough for you.” → Shen
I leaped with a boom and appeared right in front of the dragon Umbra. He instantly distanced himself from me then struck out with its claw, sending me flying for quite a distance until I struck the invisible wall. Although the impact alone could have flattened a mountaințs tip, the scales protected me well enough to feel it like a normal push. I then shot out again and struck his face with one draconic punch. Umbra then bit forward at me but I simply dodged midair and shot out toward its stomach. Right before I could strike its stomach, a humongous shadow-claw appeared in front of me and pushed me back once again. Blocking the shadow-claw, I was too late to see the humongous tail coming my way. With a deafening sound, the tail struck me but I was able to still resist it, feeling on my arms as if I just blocked a whip. Grabbing a hold onto the tail, I tensed all my muscles as I circulated the Kundalini through my body, strengthening my physical strength and making my bulging veins to resemble worms under the scales and skin. With a dragon-like roar, I pulled hard on the tail toward me. Because of the ridiculous difference in physique, I was unable to throw the dragon in the air, but it was still enough to bring him closer to me.
[Dragonic Phantom Fist]
A dark great draconic fist suddenly appeared behind me, as huge as the dragon’s arm. When the dragon’s back was close enough, I released the full blow and the great fist struck the back of the dragon in full, sending him flying crashing on the spatial wall that was now completely visible, bellow us being only a land of stones and boulders. A great trail was left behind, looking as if an asteroid just rolled on the ground. With a thundering sound, I shot out once again toward the black dragon, leaving behind great boulders that were sent flying from the pressure.
“You can’t even control the body all that well. Why still keep that form?.” → Shen
I then reappeared right above the dragon with a wild grin on my face, and unleashed out a fury of Phantom Fists, trying to bury it in rubles completely.
[Might be so, but you give close to no damage.]
With just one fist, Umbra sent me flying for a dozen of kilometers right on the other side of the separate space. With a heavy sound, I struck the barrier once again, coincidentally, in the same place as before, deepening the crater that resided at the end of the barrier once again.
I’m already annoyed by this wall. Let me see just what are the limits of this place. → Shen
I struck the wall with all my power then focused on the sonic wave that reverberated throughout the space. I then observed how this space was basically a ten kilometers cube created by Umbra so the dark energy it accumulated won’t dissipate in the chaos between the separate-space and the outside world. The main reason why I was able to actually strike a spatial barrier such as this one, was only because Umbra lost control of the separate space, bringing its limits into the material world and such making us able to even touch it, something unfathomable because one does not simply touch space as he wishes.
“Ten kilometers cube? You really are still a young spirit, right? What the hell can you do with ten kilometers cube?” → Shen
[You can’t escape from here.]
“Oh, but on the contrary. I was just thankful. Like this, I can fully display my powers.” → Shen
I looked mockingly at Umbra and stared at the dark sky, my eyes shining red. My aura swirled and the darkness around twisted on its own. The sky started to spin as space collapsed inside the cube for a fraction of a second, letting for a great spatial boulder to invade the separate space. Through the clouds of dust, if one were to look closer, stone and iron dust fell here and there all over the rocky plains.
Umbra as a dragon suddenly felt a pressuring force from above and shifted his gaze upwards. His normally emotionless eyes now shone with shock and confusion as he observed the brown clouds being slowly pushed away for something greater to go through.
[…The End will come when Earth will fall from Heaven… You might end us both.]
The entire area was completely covered by a humongous rock, with one kilometer above the ground. The asteroid slowly descended while a strong pressure made the ground to crack and for the wind to blow as huge waves of dust were sent flying.
“I appreciate your worries, but please keep them for yourself. I can handle myself.” → Shen
With a grin on I dropped the asteroid on top of both of us and the ground usurped even before the huge rock could completely land while the entire space almost collapsed, the walls shaking and white cracks appearing all around the darkness which surrounded us.
[I won’t let you!]
With a loud roar, Umbra used a great part of its power to summon the Dragon’s Breath, trying to destroy the asteroid before it could completely fall atop the land of darkness created by him. The flames and the asteroid collided, only to create even greater destruction than initially anticipated.
A great cloud of smoke rose and covered the entire space as great mountains of dirt and stone rose up on all the edges of the cuboidal space. The middle of the space had a great crater which covered entire kilometers while gigantic blocks of stone remained from the crashed asteroid, boulders covering the entire area. After a rain of boulders and sand, silence finally took over the cloud of dust which was still covering the entire space.
Suddenly a beam of dark flames burst through the rubbles and boulders which covered the great crater in the middle of the space. A huge hole appeared and a black dragon got out from under the rubbles, shaking his entire body off the dirt and dust.
[That almost got me.]
With the always neutral voice, Umbra commented while starring in the direction where I was before the asteroid crashed on us. He transformed back in Ryu’s dragoon form and walked closer to my area then commented.
[This is my domain, immortal one. I can feel you hiding in the shadows.]
Just as he finished talking, I appeared behind him and struck out with my elbow. Umbra blocked with his palm and the impact made for a shockwave to clean up the dust from around us.
“Turning back to the smaller form was the wisest choice. Well done.” → Shen
Because of the ridiculous spell, my AP fell down to 1900 while my dragonic form canceled. Even so, my powers were quickly growing back after only focusing.
Umbra then turned around and punched in front with power much superior to Ryu’s 1900 AP. I disappeared again and a great wave of earth separated from the ground, disintegrating from the ridiculous shockwave.[Cardinal-Point-Fist]
I then appeared from four separate points around umbra and punched out the [Heaven’s Might].[AP: 1970 → 2000]
Umbra disappeared from the dead-zone and space where he was before deformed into a spherical form and anything which was in that place compressed to little particles of heavy sand, leaving a free space inside the cloud of dust and a perfectly round semi-sphere in the ground.
[Show me more.]
Umbra appeared behind and punched out the same [Heaven’s Might], forcing me to retreat once again in the form of smoke, then I reappeared up in the sky.
I already reached 2000 AP in a stable form… It was about the time. → Shen
A small smirk formed on my face, then Umbra appeared behind me once again. I glanced back and saw his fists united above his head, dropping the strike on my back. Trying to dodge, I was with a fraction of a second slower and got stuck in the back, crashing on the ground like a second meteorite. The pressure was ridiculous enough to form another wave of dirt flying in the sky for more than 50m around me. Although the destructive power seemed ridiculous and my body sustained quite a bit of damage, weirdly enough, the pain was completely numbed while my mind was only clearer and clearer.
[You’re mine now.]
Umbra shot out like a bullet downwards toward me and his landing was just as groundbreaking.
A strong gust of wind dispersed the screen of dust around us, caused by the impact of Umbra’s and my first’s collision. Because my AP was still much inferior to his, I was sent flying for around 100m away with the bones from my fist fractured and penetrating through the skin, crashing through more blocks of stone, 10m tall with an even greater thickness and length. After finally stopping at the fourth block of stone, Umbra appeared in front of me, levitating in the air like some kind of divinity or great demon from the legends, staring down at me. I looked plainly at him while I waited for my broken spine to reconnect.
“What?” → Shen
I asked somewhat annoyed at his superior appearance as a golden barrier weakly flickered around me, almost disappearing, while blood was dripping down my face, dropping on my tattered clothes and cloak. Seeing Gabriel’s cloak so ripped and filled with holes, and the magic runes almost completely erased, I felt how more troublesome things awaited for me to be dealt with in the future.
Seeing how lately my enemies are only godly beings, I might as well just change this cloak with a normal one. I’m sick of constantly repairing it over and over again. Simply changing it with a normal one should prove to be much easier and time-consuming. → Shen
While I was thinking on my own, exasperated at the sight of my ragged cloak, Umbra then opened his mouth, a rare expression of confusion and irritation appearing on his face.
[You are weaker than me. Yet why are you not showing any signs of despair and fear? Your eyes are not shaking when looking at me, even though you know that your soul will be mine in just a matter of time. So why is that? Immortal one?]
He flew closer to me and starred in my eyes with annoyance and confusion, waiting for an explanation. At his question, I couldn’t help but smile mockingly. Seeing him so confused, I gave out a simple explanation as I raised two fingers.
“Two reasons. One: you can’t take my soul. Second: I’ll be the one to take yours.” → Shen[AP 2000 → 2010]
At that moment my powers grew again as darkness enveloped me. The chains on me started to shine as another presence appeared inside my mind. Umbra’s eyes turned into slits then kicked me in the air as the tip of his foot penetrated my solar plexus, pushing my heart upwards and making me spit blood.
The barrier broke while the runes disappeared completely. 100m in the air, I tried to recover my breath and balance, but Umbra wouldn’t let me do so.
[It was something like this?]
Four Umbra’s appeared around me as they punched me from the four cardinal points toward the ground.
My chest-bone had almost all my ribs shattered to pieces which stuck out through my skin, my organs shattered into a meat-paste while my abdomen, chest, and sides dented inwards for a gruesome image. I crashed like a torpedo on the ground, forming a ridiculous crater while I was inside a 1m deep imprint inside the crater. Dust covered my sight but I was able to feel Umbra rushing toward me for the next finishing blow.
My heart was completely shattered as my thoughts were in disarray. Even so, I never felt more alive as my spirit was burning wildly.
Umbra was just about to fall on top of me but my roar created a strong enough shockwave to stop his fall. Even though my lungs were pierced, the magic amplification would make even a mosquito’s sound to resound loud like thunder. Even so, his power was still much superior to mine and the shockwave was instantly dissipated.
He shot out toward me again and penetrated my chest with his hand. He grabbed my regenerating heart and took it out with a fountain of blood.
[Now you won’t be able to circulate your blood. Your body will remain dysfunctional.]
He burned the heart to ashes then grabbed me by the neck. He raised me above him then with his left, he touched my bloody chest.
[Now I will take your soul.]
Purplish-dark energy gathered in his left palm and a sucking force started to absorb the dark aura which was still enveloping me. Although more energy left my body, I couldn’t feel anything but sleepiness, as a mocking smile appeared on my face. Until a fierce expression took its place and-
[You, a mere insect, dares to touch me?!]
A sinister, hateful and hoarse voice resounded inside Umbra’s head as my aura ate away at his left arm. His arm burned completely even before he was able to retreat, being absorbed by it and helping the aura grow stronger.[2010-2200]
Umbra looked confused for a moment then he froze in place. He finally looked into my eyes and felt his back turn cold. My eyes were completely shining red while tears of blood-soaked my cheeks. A ferocious expression imprinted on my face as my hair turned completely dark and spiky. The chains on my body then started to rattle and tighten as they shone with an incandescent red color. Smoke and a smell of burnt skin emanated from all over my body while my face only turned more ferocious.[AP: 2200 → 2300 → 2400 → 2500]
My AP only grew while the tattoo chains became more and more realistic as my entire body was set aflame. I slowly got up from the broken ground while all my injuries were healing even faster than before. My face was twisted from agony and anger, while my eyes changed: one turning completely red, while the other one pitch black.
With a hoarse voice I groaned from the pain, then I stared at Umbra with hate and blood-lust.
[Because of you I needlessly have to suffer! Why don’t I make you feel the same pain I do?] [Torquem Infernum!]
The chains from around my arms separated and fell with a ridiculously heavy sound as if they were anchor-chains for warships. They burned the sand and made it mold then turn into a glass which stuck to the chains. I threw with an angry roar the chains toward Umbra and got his other arm.
Insupportable pain circulated through his entire being from just touching the incandescent chains. Feeling despair and fear for the first time, Umbra panicked and separated his right arm from the body on his own, letting it burn and turn to ashes.
[Kekeke~ nice expression you got there.]
With a twisted smile I continued to swing the ridiculously heavy chains faster and faster, Rosabhi controlling my body with even more dexterity as he swung the chains of a few tons like two whips. The ground was elevating all around me while I sunk from the strong pressure, Umbra dashed around and tried to dodge with everything he had, a panic-stricken expression on his face. The fire from the chains danced in the air with an intimidating light while the chains flew in all directions, chasing after the running Umbra no matter how far or close he was, the chains taking the perfect lench all the time.
[Boahahahaha~! Run and flee like an insect you are! How dare you wake me up from my slumber? I’ll be sure to keep you with me in Hell as my own pet!]
Rosabhi laughed and shouted amused, my red and black eyes locking onto Umbra with hate and mockery. Then the chains started to burn even harder as even my aura seemed to be affected.
[Tsk. No more time. You come with me!]
[I won’t permit it!]
Umbra revolted and darkness absorbed him entirely, turning one with the background. Then the image everywhere around reverted back to how it was the first time I arrived inside the space: cracked ground through which lava was flowing, humongous mountains and volcanoes while hundreds of pillars of red light shot out in the ashen clouds filled with lightning from through the deep and incandescent holes found everywhere around the space.
[This! Is my DOMAIN! I am GOD here! And I won’t let a chained devil absorb me! NEVER!]
Through the ashen clouds a humongous head of a dark spirit with white-shining eyes, black horns and no month appeared and talked with a thunderous voice, shaking the mountains and making the volcanoes to erupt.
[God? You’re just another demon. Let me show you what a true GOD would be like.]
My energy suddenly skyrocketed and huge blocks of stone everywhere around started to levitate just from my aura alone as if the gravitational pull had no longer any effect on them.[AP: 2500 → 2800 → 3000!]
[ERROR: Host’s body overwhelmed. Time until self-destruction: 00:10]
My body started to crack everywhere around as dark blood either splashed on the ground or got vaporized by the fiery chains. Even Prana had a hard time healing my body as my HP oscillated from critically low to half-way filled.
Another second passed until I was able to understand what was happening to my body and irritation filled my voice as I reprimanded Rosabhi.
You’re worthless. At least if you were useless, I wouldn’t have had my body in danger, so you’re lower than useless. → Shen
I talked as I observed with a calm face what happened from inside the subconscious. When Umbra wished to absorb my soul, I suddenly revealed the devil’s spirit, making him be the first victim. Of course, that also meant that I gave him access to my body while I also tried to weaken the strains on him. After Umbra touched Rosabhi’s aura, the devil instantly woke up from his slumber and with blind rage, he shot out at him in a fit of fury. Now that he finally felt some freedom, he actually forgot that he wasn’t in a strong enough body to support his full power, making me strengthen the restrains on him before he released any more power.