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Book 7, Chapter 23 - Desperate Counterattack

 Chapter 23: Desperate Counterattack

Everyone was shocked by the might and scale of the battle they'd witnessed.

The strength of the gods was never in question, however the onlookers were a special breed. Among them were Master Demonhunters and accomplished martial artists who were confident in their abilities. Some believed they had reached the level of some gods, but this fight showed that they were still inferior to these mighty creatures.

Why were these beings called gods? It was because of their limitless lifespan, millennia of experience, breadth of knowledge and tremendous power! They had bodies that were evolved to perfection and their long years made them excellent fighters. What's more, the tools and weapons they used were indistinguishable from magic. How could humans see them as anything other than divine beings?

Men like Siegebreaker were the peak of human achievement, but Cloudhawk had made a fool out of him. However even he was beaten into the ground by these creatures. Obviously, the gulf between humans and gods was too wide to overcome.

Legends claimed that thousands - maybe tens of thousands of gods lived on Mount Sumeru. Weapons like the Sword of Sumeru were probably commonplace there. Formed into an army and focused on their planet, humans stood as much of a stance as insects before the magnifying glass. All would be destroyed.

There was no overcoming the differences between their races. Humanity's infant culture was insignificant before the gods.

The Sword of Sumeru continued to emerge. One third of it blazed threateningly from the ball of light. Demonhunters continued to pour their mental powers into it, forging the weapon inch by inch. The sheer energy surrounding it was equivalent to a nuclear bomb.

Movement caught the attention of the gods. Cloudhawk stirred beneath the rubble. He was still alive?

The Lightning God reacted with a vicious punch. Power from his fist extended outward and swelled to several times its original size. Blasting through the ruined halls it came crashing down on Cloudhawk to end his life.

Cloudhawk rose from within the rubble on shaky legs. He had just enough time to raise his left arm after feeling the attack bear down. His movements were sluggish, almost haphazard. However the flash of dull white light that emerged blocked the Lightning God's strike, causing the surrounding debris to be further shattered but causing no damage to him.

Onlookers gaped at the scene. Somehow this man got back onto his feet despite being wreathed in holy fire, then block the Supreme's deadly assault. The damage he sustained had to be fatal, how was he still breathing? He was nothing if not tenacious!

Of course Cloudhawk was no ordinary man. In addition to his great power he also had a superhuman constitution. It was the only thing that prevented the Light God's attack from slaying him outright. What's more, in defiance of his injuries Cloudhawk had risen from the ruins to defend himself. It was a miracle, that was the only way to describe it.

It'd been so long since he suffered wounds this bad. So long since he was backed into a corner.

Cloudhawk had survived to this day because he never stopped fighting. For a time he was tired of the fighting and believed death would be a liberation. But never before this moment had he felt so full of the desire to fight back.

All the times before he fought on the book foot - a passive figure, pulled along by the currents of strife. Now, though... this was different. He wanted to fight. He wanted to live!

He had to stop the gods and protect his family. He was the only hope for this dying world! He wasn't sure when it started, but Cloudhawk felt a deep sense of responsibility. Destiny had chosen him to be born in this place, in this moment. There was a reason, he couldn't swim against the current any longer.

"You have no hope of victory. Your defeat is inevitable." The power of the Light God flared again. "The inferiority of your species is obvious. Why do you come seeking your own demise?"

Cloudhawk lifted his head, revealing a ghastly smirk. With a shrug, he answered. "I'm here... I figure I might as well leave behind a little something to remind everyone that I was."

"You are naught but a speck of dirt. No one will remember you."

The Light God's voice rang through everyone's mind, emotionless and dignified. He punctuated the declaration with another attack at near light speed, directly at the impudent human.

Cloudhawk saw it coming with precise accuracy. He moved a few meters to the side and the sense of danger washed over him - but not a hair was disturbed.

For a moment, there a puzzled tone in the Lightning God's 'voice.' "He dodged?"

How? There were only a handful of creatures that were able to evade the Light God's attacks. During the Great War, the Light God had slain three Elder demons with this power. How, then, was this lowly mortal able to do it? It was unthinkable!

Cloudhawk was clearly badly wounded. It had to have a negative impact on his reaction time. When he lifted his face it was covered in dirt and blood and cuts. Both his eyes gleamed with light; the left a deep and imposing black, and the right a dazzling silver.

Where before a fog had covered the silver eye, now it was gone. Focus returned, and like a shining bulb it released a corona of silver light. Mysterious and unsettling.

"That eye..."

When the Light God saw the shimmering orb, there was an inkling in the back of its mind. Something acquired from the collective memory of its species. Only, it wasn't possible... how had this human come to possess the Eye of Time? It was not a power he should have been able to use!

Yes, the Eye of Time was renewed!

The mighty relic had been nearly destroyed when overused by the Avatar. However, Wolfblade had predicted that Cloudhawk's special constitution and willpower would restore the eye to working order.

Faced with the Light God's deadly attack, the eye's potential was activated. Cloudhawk's will poured into the relic and from that instant forward, he began to see.

Not normal sight. This was no normal relic. It was an instrument of time, rarer even than spatial relics. Cloudhawk was now capable of using both!

With Wolfblade's help he was now able to use a portion of the God King's power. A man able to weave the folds of space-time. Such a thing had never occurred before.

Both of Supremes were frozen in shock. They did not know what this meant. Somehow this ordinary mortal had the talents of the Demon and God King - which made his potential greater than both.

But... why? How? He was a mere human, cursed with a short lifespan and meager existence!

He took advantage of the gods' confusion. Cloudhawk's body jerked as a series of cracks and pops surrounded him. His bones reformed, fusing whole in the space of a second. All the cuts and bruises melted away, reversed by his superhuman vitality.

The Light God's attacks were strong but could not come in quick succession. Now that Cloudhawk could see them coming, he could avoid them. In more ways than one, the Eyes of Time were the Light God's bane. They were the nemesis of all who relied on explosive attacks. What's more, with the help of this eye his attacks were infinitely more powerful!

Shame did not color the Light God's decisions. Its species was not prone to such base outbursts. Although it recognized the slight on its authority, its voice was calm. "Even if you can predict Sacred Flash, do you think your power alone is enough to defeat two Supremes?"

"The Sword of Sumeru is nearly complete." The Lightning God marked the progress and both beings looked toward the weapon. "This sword will destroy your insignificant alliance. With one blow everything you love will be annihilated."

"Heh. In your dreams!" Cloudhawk screwed up his lethal intent and launched forward, Godslayer held aloft!

His mental powers were in no way inferior to the gods he fought. With the help of the Eye of Time, now he was able to predict how they would react as well.

The Lightning God had reformed into its beast form. Cloudhawk immediately cleaved it in two. But he was clever and knew that wasn't enough, so he imbued the strike with flame. Castigation Fire painted the sky green as it devoured the Lightning God's ion form, slowing its ability to reform.

But his target wasn't really the Lightning God. That creature was too hard to kill, it would take him far too long and require far too much energy. He would leave the god for another day. The Light God was the one Cloudhawk meant to put down first!

The Light God was more threatening than his contemporary. With its deadliest trick countered, however, it had no choice but to take up its blazing sword and attack directly. Even without its unique advantage, the god was no weaker than Arcturus had been. With such overwhelming mental power, even the basest relics were life-threatening.

From below, the human onlookers watched as Cloudhawk passed through the two pieces of the Lightning God. He dodged several counter-attacks to appear before the Light God with his black blade at the ready. Black steel and blazing light met in a shower of sparks. The god's holy light dimmed.

On the one hand, Godslayer was a frighteningly powerful tool. On the other, Cloudhawk was attacking with the ferocity of a mad beast.

Ten exchanges followed before suddenly Cloudhawk unleashed a mental assault. The Light God stumbled under the burden, giving Cloudhawk an opportunity to grab the advantage. With a mighty blow he shattered the blade of holy fire. It followed through to cleave into the god's body.

All at once, Cloudhawk released Godslayer's power.

The god's magnificent armor cracked and the attack sent it flailing backwards.

What an unimaginable turn of events! In an incredible reversal, Cloudhawk had succeeded in a desperate counterattack.v

1. What's this? A translator's note first thing? Interestingly, this title is also 'Return of the Jedi'! But check this out; Cloudhawk is a scrub from a desert wasteland who is discovered to have special powers. He has an old mystical weirdo looking out for him. Now he's up against a technologically superior highly organized empire of gods who all think on the same wavelength - kinda sounds like clones to me.

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