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Book 7, Chapter 98 - Last Judgment Comes

 Cloudhawk's most important task was holding off the Supremes and general crowd-control. He shuttled across the field, guarding his allies from danger and preventing casualties.

The gods were few, comparatively.

Still, the gods were a galaxy-conquering race who didn't need numbers to dominate. A few deaths to them meant nothing. It meant nothing when a creature like Cloudhawk rose from among the herd the God King was little concerned. It would send waves of gods at him on a whim, and they with their superior weapons and tools would raze this planet promptly.

On the other hand, if Cloudhawk wanted to win this war then every life was precious. The gods could afford to lose a dozen of these grunts. The Alliance would crumble if they lost that many here.

For the moment the humans were winning. Little by little, the gods lost ground.

"Cloudhawk, get 'em!"

Dawn released a beam of energy, large enough to engulf one of the soldiers. At the same time gravity increased by a thousand times under her power. Her target bowed under the weight as a streak of power closed in.

The god thrust its spear at her, striking several times. Dawn's armor protected her from harm while her foe's power siphoned away by the Abyssal Scale.

Cloudhawk summoned a vortex of spatial energy. With a heave, Dawn hurled the god through it. One less soldier to worry about.

At the moment things were going their way. One Supreme and four soldiers were captured, and two more slain on the field. Meanwhile Cloudhawk made sure their losses stayed at zero. If this was representative of the gods' strength, then they didn't deserve to be masters of this galaxy. Cloudhawk and his band of primitives were ripping through them.

Almost laughable. Their species wanted to rule the cosmos?

Cloudhawk, however, was unsettled. It was too easy. He drew on more of his energy to expand the Eye of Time. Perhaps he could protect them from any unseen traps if he peered deeper into the future.

"That's... strange." He realized the same thing Selene was discovering. Their Eyes didn't work.

Not vision, but their ability to look through time. No insights of the scene to follow. Somehow that power was being interrupted. The future was a dark curtain.

Not often the Eye is suppressed. Something's off.

The sense of foreboding in him grew. More enigmatic tools were being used by his enemies, things he hadn't anticipated. Cloudhawk decided to fall back in the sake of caution.

"Break off! Withdraw!"

His sudden order came as a shock.

"What?!" Dawn balked. "We're winning!"

She was right, they had the upper hand. If they kept fighting there was a chance they could wipe out this whole group. How did it make sense to fall back now?

"Follow orders!" Cloudhawk didn't explain himself and stuck to his decision. He trusted his instincts. Any power strong enough to disrupt the Eye of Time wasn't one he could discount. If they didn't leave now it might be too late.

Legion knocked back an encroaching god with his sword. "Go!"

The humans banded together while Cloudhawk prepared their escape. They'd accomplished enough, humiliating the gods and capturing a few. Time to go, even if it was unlikely this small victory would do much for humanity's morale.

At last the gods had enough breathing room to regroup. The Supremes saw that Cloudhawk was trying to flee. "These humans are clever to recognize our plans."

"No matter. Escape is not possible."

As the two gods exchanged their thoughts, changes crept into the environment. It caught everyone's eye, approaching from overhead.

The sapphire blue shell covering the planet was stained dark red, like looking through goggles. A sudden and ominous sunset.

The humans looked on in confusion. One of the Supremes thrust his sword forward and released a beam of energy that was not uniquely strong. It was aimed directly for Legion but Abaddon saw it coming. He leaped in front of his Elder, hands raised, and summoned a burst of sand in midair.

He called on it to form a series of solid walls, yet he discovered the sand wouldn't listen. It started to form but something intruded and it failed. The streak of light cut through the floating particles and struck Abaddon, cutting him open.

"Wha-?" A gout of purple blood poured from his body.

How did the Gospel of Sand fail...? Abaddon's defenses were more than strong enough to deflect a blow like that. Even failing that the book turned him to sand instinctively to protect him from harm. This time, though, it didn't.

Something was happening. The demon's powers were gone and he'd suffered a grievous wound from it.

"The relics aren't resonating!"

Bruno recognized it first. His job had been to keep the area locked down and prevent reinforcements from arriving. But the instant the sky turned red he found his link to his relics was gone.

Frost pointed his spear at the nearly split body of Abaddon, encasing it in ice to pull him back. His power also quickly faded. One by one the others lost their connections. It was hard to even remain flying and they started to plummet.

Cloudhawk's Eye was useless, but he saw what was happening. Selene, Dawn, Legion, and the Cloud God... they all felt it. The hum of their equipment was gone, and with it their power.

It had to be these fucking gods! Screwing with reality somehow.

"All the gifts Sumeru gave you can also be taken away. Your Last Judgment has come." The god's emotionless decree filled their minds. "Your relics fail you. Without them you are as harmless as ants."

More than just their relics were being affected. For Legion and the Cloud God, their divine armor was weak.

"So this is Last Judgment. When did the gods build this scourge? Could they have... ?"

In the millennia he could remember Legion had seen nothing like this. He was shocked, for nothing he knew hinted at Sumeru having such a power. He could think of only one possibility.

Cloudhawk's face was growing darker by the second. Last Judgment was an energy field that was cutting them off from their relics. To humans this was a disaster! A Master Demonhunter was only slightly better than an average person without his relics.

At the end tally humans were merely humans, except those like Skye Polaris who trained his body to perfection. Martial artists of his level could still tear down mountains with their bare hands under this field, but they were few. Much fewer than Master Demonhunters.

"Did you truly expect victory, fighting the gods with their own creations?" Another Supreme spoke a command as the orbs of energy spinning around him faded from few. It seemed they were also affected by the Last Judgment.

"Eliminate them."

The Supreme was right. Relics were made by the gods and they wouldn't have given their weapons away without a fail-safe. They made the things, they must know how to turn them off.

Once again the divine soldiers circled round. Even without relics these beings were deadly. What's more, their spears were custom made for this occasion. Each weapon had its own energy stored like a battery, charged in advance and employed when needed.

The skies were crimson now. Relics were useless.

Ever since the great war, humans thrived in the Elysian lands by the grace of gods and their technology. For most everyone, relics were the root of power. It had to be said that the gods were brilliant, they pulled the rug out from under humanity with a flourish.

They fell clumsily out of the air.

"Foolish mortals. Judgment cometh."

Several dozen gods formed into a line. All at once their spears were engaged. Streaks of light screamed through the air, threatening to blast their fragile human forms apart.

Cloudhawk understood now why the Abyssal God didn't come himself. Why it didn't dispatch more soldiers. If the Abyssal God had come itself would Cloudhawk have been foolish enough to come? Would the humans scramble out of their hole if a thousand divine troops were marching their way?

Instead a small contingent was dispatched and spread across the globe. Cloudhawk would surely come if they began exterminating humans. That was the perfect opportunity to deliver Last Judgment.

The Abyssal God's trap was sprung. When this petulant group was destroyed, this planet's rebellion would wither. They never were worthy of posing a threat anyway.

Nothing could stop what was to come.

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