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Book 7, Chapter 68 - Legion, The God of War

 Cloudhawk, through his electric doppelganger, gave Selene and Dawn gifts and a mission. He then walked toward the barrier to another section of the subspace reality.

Suddenly, an intense wave of energy rushed through the area.

As the Cube's owner, the arrangement and shifting of the subspace was wholly under his control. He felt any change that occurred. The wave of energy was intense, so much that it could be felt between barriers.

He muttered to himself, "The rite is complete."

With that said Cloudhawk stepped through the barrier into another section. Herein were a number of instruments used in the Rite of Reincarnation. Already present were Belial, Abaddon, Squall, Frost and others.

Everyone was a follower of Legion, or a demon like him. Cloudhawk wasted no time when he arrived. "How did it go?"

No one rushed to answer. Their eyes were fixed on the figure stepping out of the Sarcophagus of Rebirth. He was three meters tall and wrapped in black armor, threads of light dancing all across the surface. It was a huge and perfect body, full of explosive force.

Cloudhawk looked at the god. Only, it was not a god - not on the inside. The sense it gave was completely different from those divine beings. While the body may have once belonged to the mighty War God, its current owner was someone else entirely.

"So should I call you Wolfblade or War God?"

Yes, Legion had taken the body of the fallen god for himself.

Of the six Supremes on this world the Cloud and Shepherd Gods were no match for Cloudhawk. The remaining four he'd beaten single-handedly. However three of them retained a special sort of residual power. These were the War God, Dragon God and Light God.

Those three gods had been sapped of this power in order to strengthen Cloudhawk's allies. Afterwards the corpses of the Dragon and Light Gods were picked apart, providing valuable samples for research purposes. From within they also extracted Sacred Flash and the Abyssal Scale much to his friends' benefit.

As such, among the three defeated and captured gods only the War God remained. No samples or relics were needed from it. Why? Because this Supreme's relic was special - it was its own body. It was enormously strong, and now it belonged to Legion.

The former Marshall's body was even stronger than Cloudhawk's. As such it remained as a usable husk. When all of the will and thought that had powered it before was eliminated, what remained was a perfect form for Legion to inhabit. Nothing more than an empty suit, the next in a long line the Elder demon slipped into.

Yes. Times were different. With the new epoch, so too was there a new Legion.

His mental powers had gradually recovered over time. Now he needed a new form that could withstand his abilities. It was the only way he could fully recover the strength he once wielded. This body of a fallen god was perfect!

A few days after the spirit-draining experiment, Wolfblade took the body before it withered away entirely. Here within the subspace cube he began the Rite of Reincarnation, with Belial and Abaddon's aid.

It was a success.

'Wolfblade' was gone. It was just another cast-off skin used by Legion in his eternal scheming. An abandoned thing that would never be used again.

Legion himself had also changed.

The fallen god's body was a mighty thing. It had been a Marshall, among the mightiest of its kin. Such a form was also able to withstand a much stronger will. Once Legion took it as his own, his mental powers were more fully unleashed and he had the benefit of a much stronger form.

"My King may address me as Legion, if it pleases him."

Now residing within the body of the War God, Legion no longer spoke as humans did. As with others of his species he spoke through his mind, using mental power to make air resonate as needed. It showed how well and how quickly he was adapting to his new form.

For all his newfound power, however, Legion's reincarnation was not without limits. The process itself was dangerous, susceptible to terrible consequences if something went wrong. Furthermore, every reincarnation took a toll on one's spirit, weakening it with every iteration and increasing the chances of failure.

Legion had managed to evade destruction after the Great War by changing forms several times. It prevented both gods and demons from discovering his whereabouts. Both sides thought he was dead. Cloudhawk wasn't sure how Legion's success rates were so high, but after a thousand years the dangers of reincarnation had to be looming large.

Whatever the case, luck appeared to be on the demon's side. He completed the rite one more time. Without a doubt the Elder was hiding some ulterior motive, but despite that he was an important part of Cloudhawk's inner circle. He was glad that his ally came through the ordeal without issue.

"Should we test out your new skin?"

"Very well."

Cloudhawk led him to an empty section of the subspace, telling the others to stand guard so they wouldn't be interrupted. He then turned to the reborn demon.

"After you."

"War God Legion obliged by raising his hand. With a wave he summoned a rapier of dazzling blue steel. It looked like an embroidery needle in the hand of the massive creature. Yet the aura it released promised unadulterated destruction. Indeed it was the legendary artifact that had been lost for a millennia and reforged. It was the Blade of Oblivion.

A flick of his wrist. The sword flashed through the air faster than lightning, right for Cloudhawk. He responded by calling Godslayer forth and casting it forward as a streak of power.

The two met, Legion's unimpressive sword and Cloudhawk's gash of light. At that moment a black hole appeared where Oblivion had been. Its traction force immediately began to suck everything toward it.

So much power ravaged the subspace that it began to warp. It was almost too much, threatening to collapse this section of the pocket dimension. Cloudhawk's attack was devoured by the black hole and disappeared.

Meanwhile everything around them started to spaghettify. Like rivulets from a pool of water they slithered in long strings toward the emptiness and were no more. Cloudhawk wanted to pull back his sword but something was fighting him. Oblivion's dark power had it surrounded and was trying to destroy Godslayer. Wrenching it free would not be so easy.

Luckily his precious relic was a cut above. Any lesser relic would have been annihilated.

"Interesting!"

Thrusting forward with his right hand Cloudhawk released a blast of repellent power that struck the black hole and dispelled it. With a sharp flick of his wrist, Godslayer drove into the thinner body of Oblivion and knocked Legion's relic flying.

During its flight the sword swelled to several times its original size. Under Legion's will it swung around to re-engage, once more unleashing a torrent of destructive power. Few artifacts could match it for sheer ruinous ability.

Cloudhawk's was one of them.

For all Oblivion's terror Cloudhawk could have met it straight on. However, a soldier knew that battles were won by expending as little cost as possible. Instinctively, he chose instead to avoid the attack.

With a thought, he shifted through dimensions several dozen meters away. Legion's weapon struck air and in its wake was several layers of torn reality.

The Elder was growing more proficient with time. With a casual move of his hand Oblivion returned, now of ordinary size as it rested in his palm. All at once the War God's relic-body came to life with a thrust so quick Cloudhawk could barely see it.

Clang! Two swords met! Cracks had appeared along the white walls of the subspace. Lightning crackles through the fissures. For a handful of seconds, turbulent power raged through the area until eventually subsiding.

"That's enough." Cloudhawk disengaged and put Godslayer away. No more point in sparring, it would only result in injury or irreparably damage this pocket dimension.

He determined Legion's fighting ability to be slightly stronger than Belial's. Probably not what it had once been during the Great War, but definitely enough to be a huge help in the war to come.

Cloudhawk nodded. "After fighting the God King my own mental powers have grown. In terms of mental strength I'm probably only slightly better than you. I've also got several talents and relics to give me an advantage. But your body is certainly stronger than mine. Your experience as well, of course. In a real fight I'm not sure who'd win."

Legion's voice was stoic. "Having fought the God King, you must know that our power is insufficient."

Cloudhawk didn't know what was going on in Legion's cunning mind. But it both confused and concerned him that the demon was so calm about the God King. There was no doubt their divine enemy wanted Cloudhawk dead. It could only mean Legion had already acted, or was already prepared.

If the God King hadn't eliminated Cloudhawk by now, it was certainly because it had some reason. On some rationale Cloudhawk could not understand, the God King did not want to just cut him down. The only explanation was that Cloudhawk was still useful. Was Legion in on this secret? He mulled it over, but Cloudhawk didn't let the thought trouble him too much. There was still a lot to do.

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