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Book 7, Chapter 28-2 - Destroying the Temple

 The dark skies were awash in chaos. Debris spread out across the expanse like shooting stars across a galactic battlefield. Every second that passed the conflict grew more intense, especially in the heart of the fighting. Blinding flashes and deafening blasts came and went like a current.

The three Supremes - War, Dragon, and light - attacked Cloudhawk as one. Although he had a few chances to escape, the Demon King's successor grit his teeth and stuck it out for as long as he could.

No one was better than him at escaping a sticky situation. Running wasn't hard, but it would give his enemies a chance to regroup and recover. The gods' evolved physicality meant the Light God would be more or less healed by the time Cloudhawk came back. He didn't want to give them that chance.

The gods' methods were as numerous as hairs on an ox. Who knew what other tricks they had prepared? If Cloudhawk chose to rendezvous with Wolfblade, the gods would certainly improve their defenses and probably surround themselves with more warriors. The time and cost of this war would stretch on, which hurt the Green Alliance far more than the Elysian realms.

Thankfully the Cloud God was able to create a link between Wolblade and Cloudhawk, allowing them to communicate.

"The War and Dragon Gods are far stronger than ordinary. They are suited for close combat, so in enclosed spaces they have the advantage. Do not meet them head-on. Use your skills to exploit their weaknesses."

"Can we cut the riddle shit? Just tell me what to do!"

Cloudhawk managed to just dodge out of the way of another one of the Light God's attacks. He then activated his defense to ward off two punches from the War God. The second was almost bone-shattering, but Cloudhawk's improved constitution helped him shrug it off. As he prepared to strife back another wave of weakness took him.

The Dragon God was siphoning his mental powers again. One God attacked him straight on, another attacked when he was distracted, and a third was protecting its allies and stealing his power.

These gods were powerful. One on one Cloudhawk could handle, two on one would be a challenge. All three, however, all he could do was continue to dodge their attacks. He wasn't sure how long he could hold out.

Wolfblade, the slimy fuck, sure seemed to be taking his time! One slip-up and Cloudhawk would be dead!

"Use your psychic attack. For the War and Dragon Gods, their mind is their fatal weakness. They cannot protect against mental assaults. When usual attacks are ineffective, you must find another means. Do not strike their bodies - strike their psyche!"

Is that so... Cloudhawk quickly disengaged. Fires sprang to life behind his eyes and suddenly the area was suffused with oppressive mental energy.

It wasn't a power he'd been born with. Rather, he acquired it after accepting the Demon King's skull. In fact it was not a means of mental attack but a protection against mental intrusion that he spread outward.

When Cloudhawk fought the Cloud God in Woodland Vale, he'd felt helpless against the god's mighty illusion. By releasing the Demon King's psychic protections he had saved himself. The might of the ancient creature was what allowed this defensive measure to be used offensively. Any who attempted to overcome its mind not only failed, but was in danger of having its own mind overcome.

The former Demon King's will was no trivial thing. Strong enough to be both an attack and a protection.

As he released the new trick Cloudhawk saw the War God bearing down on him. The being's glimmering eyes were immediately infected by threads of fire and its moves grew sluggish. It was really working? For just a second, the War God was frozen.

The condition lasted only for a moment before it regained control. No damage was caused by the psychic assault, but it had managed to slow him down. Used properly it might open up an opportunity. As Wolfblade said, the War God's domineering physicality was tempered by a vulnerable mind.

"Mental attacks? Dragon God! Drain his energy!"

Right away the War God knew what had happened. Not only was this human surprisingly strong, he also had the ability to lash out with his mind. As gods they were immune to most attacks, so Cloudhawk's had to be different. Indeed, the former Demon King's psychic powers were anything but ordinary.

Once he was touched by his predecessor's power, Cloudhawk's mental attacks were empowered with the Demon King's will. Foes of similar power and mental fortitude were still at risk, which was how Cloudhawk was able to attack the War God.

However, that alone wasn't enough to win victory. These psychic attacks required powerful mental focus to employ. If the Dragon God could drain Cloudhawk's powers, not only would the psychic assaults stop, but he also wouldn't have the strength to flee. After fighting for so long Cloudhawk was almost exhausted already. It was entirely possible to lock him down.

Wolfblade's voice returned. "Your mental powers aren't enough, but it doesn't matter. The Cloud God will use his mental link to empower you. Your next attack will affect them far greater - but it's your only chance!"

"Got it!"

Cloudhawk began to gather himself. From a great distance, ethereal tentacles reached over and slipped into his body. He felt a huge surge of energy run through him. The Cloud God was reaching across a vast distance to help him.

The Cloud God was also one of the original six Supremes, no lesser than his compatriots. His talents lay in mental power, and so was the only one of his kin who could use relics to establish a connection hundreds of kilometers away. He was the only one who could empower Cloudhawk's psychic attacks.

But just as Wolfblade said, this was his only shot.

The War and Dragon Gods sensed something had changed. They charged at Cloudhawk together, but in their rush caught the human's eyes. The fires that burned within were mesmerizing.

A burning, crimson light intensified until it was all they saw.

Those fires spilled from Cloudhawk's eyes and filled the space around him. They continued to belch forth like a firestorm. Until - to the two gods - the only thing that existed in the universe was this inferno.

Danger! Both gods realized it at the same moment. They'd been caught in an illusion.

How could a human snatch them up like this? And then they understood... the Cloud God! It had to be their fallen brethren was helping the Demon King's successor. An illusory world of this magnitude was exactly what the cloud God excelled in.

The Cloud God's mental powers and the Demon King's psychic assault combined to create a world of fire. Creatures even as mighty as these two godly generals were caught, at least for the moment. A wave of weakness overcame them.

Focusing the deluge of psychic energy on the generals kept them temporarily at bay. Cloudhawk then turned his eyes back to the Light God. "Just you and me now. This time, you die!"

The Light God wasn't sure what had happened. Psychic attacks were specific and targeted. Cloudhawk had launched it at the two generals, sparing the Light God. As a result, all it saw was its compatriots standing dumbly in place.

A flash. The Light God fled the area. Cloudhawk followed the trail of light left behind.

It ran? Cloudhawk breathed a sigh of relief. He was a spent bullet, hardly in better condition than the Light God. His aggressive posture was a bluff that paid off. If the Light God had tried to call it, he wasn't sure who would have had the last laugh.

"Wolfblade. The Light God fled."

"I saw. Worry not, the cloud God is in pursuit. You only have a few seconds before the other two shake free of the illusion. Time is short. Destroy the Temple!"

Cloudhawk wasted no more time. He teleported above the pyramid and pulled the nuke from his dimensional cache. He through it into the structure as space fluctuated in all directions.

Then the two gods shed the mirage, just in time to see Cloudhawk disappear.

"It's done."

Darkness was dispelled as an orb of light, bright as a small sun burst into being. Its light and heat swallowed up the gods. The Temple and everything around it was annihilated in a nuclear explosion.

1. That's the literal translation. I liked it so I wanted to keep it as-is.

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