‘Be prepared to make your move, Zax!’ Kloky and Bonjier urged his fallen façade of an old, lanky man. ‘We only have time to generate a strike to distract him. Subsequently, we’ll leave back to the pathway”, while in the Companion’s Link formation they combined soul could vaguely skim the visage within the Bewildering Archons Magic formation. “And it would be up to you to draw him far and for as long as possible. Transporting your family and friends to the base will take a week at the fastest!’
‘When you are ready’. Zax sent back. He already recovered from his major injuries, but has not found the opportunity to catch Bishop Nunsup from behind and it was still unclear in which ear he keeps the communicator.
Bishop Nunsup advanced in a moderate flying pace toward the two, giving them enough time to retreat and reveal the means in which they could navigate in the Bewildering Archons Magic formation, but not too much time for their World Gathering Bone cubes and invisible formation to reach a state of completion that could threaten him.
Eight cubes started spinning frantically, as Kloky and Bonjier commenced their assault, which could not be delayed anymore.
Bishop Nunsup puckered his brows and then scoffed. ‘Eight will be tricky to block while avoiding damage, but it’s doable. Afterwards they won’t be able to prepare anymore cubes for a second volley; hence their only choice would be to run’. Or rather he will let them, temporarily.
From beginning till this very moment, everything that took place was within a time frame of barely three seconds. Now, however, as Zax used internal dark attribute energy to contain instead of expel the fiery attribute energy and patiently waited to initiate his real assault, time was about to get even slower as powers were about to get unleashed.
“Go!” Kloky and Bonjier, each raised his and her right arm and pointed as if they were the other’s shadow.
The eight spinning cubes shot through the invisible formation, absorbing its refined energy while losing any indication of solidness, turning into pure rays of brilliant white light.
The eight rays crossed the tens of meters between them and Bishop Nunsup in a blink of an eye.
Bishop Nunsup’s expression grew solemn. The devastating power of the rays was both prominent by their speed and the fluctuations radiating from them. He extended his hands sideways as two daggers with curved, Old Nature Metal blade appeared in them.
Fiery attribute energy pervaded the blades, inspiring red marks and shapes on them.
‘Six? Seven?’ Bishop Nunsup quickly estimated the number of rays he will be able to counter as well as all eight trajectories to determine which one or two will make the least amount of harm, should he miss. With this, he took stance and brandished his daggers in a peculiar yet dazzling set of dagger arts.
Six rays were his targets. He could parry a seventh, but it would have required him to slightly alter his maneuvers and permitting a cube with perilous trajectory to hit him. Conversely, the two cubes that he will miss by maintain his chosen maneuvers, will only hit below waist at his left knee and right thigh, resulting in injuries that will not impede him as well as ones he has the means to easily recover from.
With a “Ding” sound, three rays with the power of a Beginner fourth level Martial Mortal simultaneously clashed with Bishop Nunsup’s two daggers. The glaring light of the rays dissipated rapidly, soon to show the dim squared outlines of the cubes they engulfed.
At the same time the eight rays shot off, Kloky and Bonjier turned tail to escape, furthering Bishop Nunsup attention on them.
The cubes inside the fourth and fifth rays recoiled from the collision with the daggers, once their energy was thoroughly depleted; they followed the previous three in a flight back to their owners.
One ray was left to parry and Bishop Nunsup readied himself to the incursions of the remaining two.
Zax could not have known that the borrowed time for his sneak attack is at its end, but he could perceive the incipient awkwardness in Bishop Nunsup’s maneuvers and deduce the advent of the chance he needed.
Dark Titan Storm’s second stage.
Even if he wanted, Bishop Nunsup could not fail to notice the sudden ominous undulations of dark attribute energy at the back of his neck. Nevertheless, he was about to parry the sixth ray and absolutely could not afford to be distrusted and having it hit him, when it rocketed with clear trajectory toward his left eye.
‘What? Who? Could it be?’ Were the last word he heard asking himself in his mind when his vision turned blur and his ears rang.
Zax slammed his two black palms at Bishop Nunsup’s ears. Perhaps by instinct, perhaps it was a sort of defensive mechanism put in advance, but a fiery shell of mist energy emerged as a thin layer on the skin of the gorgeous Bishop of the church.
For a brief instant Zax was not sure whether he succeed in destroying the communicator or if his attack was completely blocked. Then, he felt a minute tingling at the palm of his right hand, the discharge electricity and violet stone’s energy.
‘It’s done!’ Zax was exuberant.
Blood sipped from Bishop Nunsup’s ears due to the sneak attack, yet he managed to parry the sixth ray. However, he was in no position to celebrate, apart from still being about to get hit by two rays, an influx of the violet stone’s energy rampantly swirled in his sea of consciousness, wreaking havoc in his blazing Inner Panorama.
‘Be gone!’ A formation of soul energy was erected in his mind and vanquished the ruinous energy of the violet stone.
The seventh and eighth rays hit, yet Bishop Nunsup did not react to them. He turned his head to the side, to see with rancorous eyes the figure that snuck on him.
The figure was a tad difficult to recognized, at first, but then a memory of it resurfaced and it because clear as the sky in a sunny day.
“You…!” Bishop Nunsup’s gaze turned shocked.
Afraid to miss this moment in which his opponent was too stunned to properly counterattack, Zax smiled. “For my wife and daughter”. His words cause Bishop Nunsup to be even more shocked as it dawned on him…
Gripping Bishop Nunsup’s shoulder with one hand and with the hand pushing at his back, Zax issued a burst of dark attribute energy and hurtled, pushing the Bishop tens of kilometers from the pathway.
An involuntary groan seeped from Bishop Nunsup’s mouth. He gathered his strength to revolt. The temperature around his body escalated from tens to hundreds and thousands degrees.
Zax resisted the scalding heat, but even in his Dark Titan Storm’s second stage, the palms of his hands started developing blisters. The pain was tolerable for the first few seconds; however it continued to spread along his arms and the fiery attribute energy with an explicit intent to hurt him pervaded past the defenses of his dark attribute physique, into his body.
He let go from the Bishop when below them the forest of Titan Kapok Trees was replaced by a series of sceneries, mountains, villages, tribes and rivers till passing a great clan, alerting the beasts in it so much that even its second level Martial Mortal leader cowered in her residence, and arriving to a frosty, solitary mountain top.
Ignoring the freezing landscape, Bishop Nunsup turned to face the black figure that hijacked him. ‘He really came!’ The Bone And Muscle Transformation technique was annulled by the transformation to the Dark Titan Storm’s second stage. ‘And…’ He touched his right ear with his fingers. Pulling his hand before his eyes, his facial muscles twitched from the sight of his own blood and the destruction of his communicator. Looking back at Zax, he contemplated. ‘Killing him… even if I can, he could escape Archbishop Silternja. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to chase him… This leaves me with only two options and a very short window to pick which to follow’.
In essence he could choose to negotiate for peace with Zax or head back to the pathway, seek out his loved ones and use them to threaten him.
‘Kloky and Bonjier are probably back at the pathway. Worst case scenario, if they will manage to sneakily destroy the communicators of the members of the church and army over there, then counting on reinforcement would be meaningless…’
“Zax Walaow!” He opened in a steady and loud voice. “There is no need for us to fight”. Now it was his turn to shock the other side.
‘No need to fight?’ Zax did not ask outloud only because he expected Bishop Nunsup to clarify the notion.
“Archbishop Silternja extends his good will for peace between you and Luminous Church. To bury the hatchet, as they say, the requisite is for you to first sincerely repent for your sins against The Almighty”. Bishop Nunsup spoke in a domineering tone, yet swiftly explained to avoid Zax misinterpreting him. “You gave oath in the name of The Almighty. If you won’t stand by it, not anyone, no hideout will be able to protect you from the wrath of The Almighty.
“You know the context of your oath, so I won’t mention it. Tell me, do you really believe yourself infallible? Sufficiently competent to make it a reality? Not in the far future, but today? A week from now? A month? A year? Ten years? Though you did not allocate a timestamp, do you think The Almighty will wait for you? Slowly but surely you will be dealt Godly Retribution. The blood you coughed, the weakness you felt when you made the oath, they are but a nip of what’s coming, soon”.
‘The pain I felt back then…’ Zax reminisced to the instance he made the oath. ‘He… is telling the truth!’ He could not sense and ounce of falsehood in Bishop Nunsup’s words. On the contrary, there was a hint of pity in his stringent tone.
His heart pounded in his chest as dread germinated at every fiber of his being, remnant of the oppressive force that followed the oath and lay dormant in his cells, dantian and soul. ‘I…’ He said to himself and the next words came out to the world in an ignorant timbre. “Did not know…”
Regular people, non cultivators, curse the Gods and curse Nature probably as much as they curse at each other. Despite that, there are never such things as “Divine Repercussions” for verbally venting due to misfortune and without discrimination.
For cultivators, however, it is different. The higher the level of cultivation, the more likely the accuser will gain the attention of Gods and Nature. Since cultivation’s level correspond to loudness it is normal for some cultivators to get punished more severely than others.
“Of course you did not. Most cultivators in Ercas Mir would not know even if they take The Almighty’s name in vain thousands of times. Not all are worthy to cough blood; the weak and dull perceive Godly Retribution as earthly cause and effect, unable to accurately realize the presence of the entity executing it. Your cultivation entitled you a glimpse at The Almighty’s might; hence your Godly Retribution will surely be calamitous. That being said, so long as his grace Archbishop Silternja’s offer stands, even for the ne’er-do-wells and insufferable bastards, absolution is still viable”.
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