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Chapter 2 - The Marshals Power

 The Abyssal God's eyes slid open.

The moon's surface was now covered in divine buildings, weapons and tools of war. The gods themselves were arrayed in formation, as silent as statues, awaiting further orders.

Their defeat in the southern wastes was felt through the divine matrix, but the gods were not troubled. It was as though those who died on the earth's surface weren't compatriots. They were expendable components of a much larger machine.

Gods were creatures of no emotion, with hearts of stone. It was what made them strong. Whatever the setback, they felt neither regret nor remorse. Instead they fought harder, battling to the last in the face of an enemy stronger than they anticipated.

Their first assault had failed, a result sure to have consequences. It had been prepared in haste so it was not totally unexpected that it should not succeed. All it meant was that these humans were a little more tenacious than originally thought.

"Begin."

The Marshal gave its order and like clockwork automatons, the gods all moved in unison. They moved to preconstructed weapons and poured their mental power into them. How terrifying was the combined mental power of so many gods?

It took less than a few minutes for fifteen Sword of Sumeru blasts to be prepared. Divine soldiers aimed them all toward a single target. But it wasn't the southern wastes they aimed at. They weren't even pointed toward earth. All of the weapons were trained on the Abyssal God.

In the next second all fifteen swords were released. Like arrows from a bowstring they were launched forward. In their wake were blasts of power that burst through the lunar craters. The ground quaked, many mountains and crater walls collapsed.

In the face of this terrible onslaught the Abyssal God did not move. It spread its arms wide, ready to embrace it. What followed was a magnificent scene.

Reality shattered around the marshal, as though it were made of glass. A void was formed and all the energy that came near it was sucked in. Little by little it was all swallowed up.

Fifteen swords of radiant light disappeared into the darkness. If a human were here to witness it the scene would shock them to their core. The power in this onslaught was no less intense than when the chaos beast exploded. Like several hundred nuclear bombs all exploding at once!

Yet for all the fire and fury, none of it harmed the Abyssal God. Its powers gathered and condensed all energy then siphoned it into itself. The marshal's dark armor had started to illuminate, taking on a steadily intensifying glow like iron left in a furnace.

The gods launched another attack.

No matter the sort of energy, everything that came near was drawn into the Abyssal God's body. Less than an hour later all the swords were gone and the deluge of attacks had come to an end. The god's body was a black hole that swallowed it all.

There was enough power contained in the marshal now to single-handed destroy a whole civilization. It wielded the destructive power of a divine armada. Empowered like this, the Abyssal God was Sumeru's mightiest general. Such power could only be contested by the former Demon King, or perhaps the highest demon elders.

But the Grand Elder was only a fraction of what he used to be, and the Second Seal was dead. With the destructive power now at his command, the former Demon King reborn would struggle to survive. It was no exaggeration to say that the Abyssal God had become an ender of planets. This would last for roughly three days, so once the soldiers' mental powers recovered the Abyssal God would lead the next charge from the fore.

**

Gehenna.

Legion, Korath, Haborym and Belial - the highest ranking demon Elders - selected the most reliable troops from among Babel's denizens. Three thousand were selected. The remaining demons would trickle into the fight as needed.

Three thousand demons was not a lot, but it wasn't anything to look down one's nose at.

Gehenna's King had appeared suddenly and in only two days had instigated a coup. From the demons of the tower to the citizens of the city, no one was prepared. So they did what they were told, and demons were gathered to strengthen humanity's waning battle lines.

The gods weren't going to give mankind any breathing room. After the failure of the first wave their marshal would be preparing for a second. Nearly ten days had passed since the gods invaded the moon more than enough time for the gods to establish a foothold. Cloudhawk anticipated their full force.

With all the divine technology of Sumeru, with thousands of divine troops on their doorstep, and with half their defenses in shambles, no one dared clap their chest and boast. However, at least with a force of three thousand demons they might be able to hold their own for a time.

"What weapons does Gehenna have?"

"Honored King, the demons of Gehenna have lived in hiding for a thousand years. Even during the reign of the former King, we demons could never match divine technology. This was only more true after our terrible loss."

Cloudhawk was not pleased with this response. Have the demons been painting fucking pictures and carving statues for the last thousand years? When had this war-like species become a bunch of timid artists?

Belial spoke up, sensing his master's displeasure. "Gods and demons are strong fighters by their nature. In many cases equipment is just cumbersome. So long as we can continue to use relics, I am confident our forces can keep the divine soldiers at bay."

Gods and demons had their own advantages. Under a unified consciousness the gods were as efficient as a well-oiled machine. Order was built into their way of life. Although they had some measure of self-determination, it was only in rare circumstances and always in service to the collective. They followed their primary orders first, before their own aims. This made gods the perfect soldiers, growing more frightening with numbers. One need only look at the universe and how they had swept through to understand the truth.

But that was not to say gods were without flaws. They were born into a system of complete transparency. No deception existed, making them better at fighting rather than planning.

Demons were different. Centuries of self-determination had made them tricky and wise. A deep survival instinct also galvanized their deepest potential. Every demon had relics unique to them and the ability to work alone. This meant that, on average, demons were stronger than gods.

Every demon was unique. Unpredictable, but full of potential.

Legion spoke next. "Gehenna cannot match Sumeru for strength, which means we must be brilliant in how we fight. Make the best of our strength, guard our weaknesses. Likewise if we play to their flaws we may just survive."

IT was never easy for the weak to rise up against the strong. But Gehenna could not afford to lose.