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Chapter 7 - Captured

 The small sun formed by the Abyssal God had reached a tipping point. With a heave it threw the orb forward. Originally the size of a basketball, after leaving the god's control it quickly inflated to the size of a water vat and continued to swell.

Harsh light blanketed everything and was growing brighter by the second. Flares dancing across the sun's surface were tongues of blinding fire. Intense heat incinerated large swaths of the landscape. Soon the barely contained power would be released.

Grim acceptance of their death was setting in. But just in that moment that light and heat just... stopped.

The city-destroying star ceased to exist, vanishing entirely from view. In its place was a crackling splinter in reality. Light poured from it like a portal into the heart of a sun.

It was a tear in space. Only one person they knew of could do this. Had Cloudhawk finally returned?

Selene deflated, as though a heavy load had been lifted from her shoulders. He'd come in the nick of time!

The Abyssal God could sense Cloudhawk's arrival. From the tear in space, a deluge of fiery power was released. The terrifying energy was all directed toward the Marshal. It was the god's own star, finally detonated.

A portion of it forced its way through the rift and slammed into the god. It was caught unprepared, so when the energy hit it the god was sent reeling. The Abyssal God quickly raised a hand and much of the offending energy was drawn into its palm. Space around its body began to crack like glass.

Cloudhawk again.

The Marshal could feel space collapsing around it, a strange power that was trying to fling it into another dimension. This time, however, it was prepared. As space began to crack apart the Abyssal God released another torrent of power. Such an intense concentration scoured the area and forced the unstable spatial flows to settle.

Cloudhawk's attempt to teleport the Abyssal God away was foiled. This enemy knew his tricks; the higher the energy intensity in an area, the harder and more draining it was to teleport anything. His enemy wielded obscene power, so much that even the Demon King's abilities were overcome. With just a brief moment to react, the Abyssal God was able to capitalize on it.

The Marshal felt Cloudhawk's presence behind it. In one fluid motion, it turned and punched at the Demon King. Simple though it seemed, with just one one-thousandth of the power contained inside it the god's punch could level a mountain range. Nothing could suffer such a blow and live.

Such was the god's attacks; simple, direct, ruthless, unavoidable.

However as it extended into the punch, the Abyssal God sensed something wasn't right. It felt like punching into a cloth bag. All its strength was taken away.

"This is... the subspace cube!"

The god's eyes were fixed on its fist which had disappeared into a glowing box nearly up to the elbow. At that moment, it knew what Cloudhawk had done.

This was the human's plan, to capture it inside the pocket dimension. Once trapped inside all of its world-destroying power meant nothing, for it would cause the real world no harm.

Underestimating the cube was foolish. The former Demon King had plans to use it against the God King. If such a tool was designed for use against a being like the God King, what hope of escape did the Abyssal God have?

Encountering the cube was not part of its prediction, however despite the intense vacuum it felt from the relic the Abyssal God fought back. With the help of the extreme forces contained within it, the Marshal slowly began pulling its arm free.

The new Demon King was mighty, but trapping the humanoid weapon of planetary destruction that was the Abyssal God would not be easy. Cloudhawk could not teleport it away or trap it in his pocket dimension. At least, the god was confident of this fact.

But in the midst of this struggle and upon pulling its arm free, something unexpected occurred. A ripple in space appeared overhead from which a ferocious demon was spat forth.

Ordinary demons were not a concern for the Abyssal God, but a mere glance told the god this creature wasn't ordinary. Its features were recognizable and telling. The one gleaming eye and its many pupils belonged to only one of those fiends.

It was the Elder of the Third Seal - Korath! None of its intelligence suggested his presence among the humans.

As Third Seal, while Korath was not as strong as the Abyssal God he was by no means an easy adversary. The threat he posed was heightened by the state the Marshal found itself in. So it moved quickly, using the arm not trapped in the cube to punch at Korath. But in that exact moment a light gleamed in the Elder's single eye, releasing a formless energy that wrapped the god up.

All at once, the storm of energy inside the Abyssal God was sealed away.

By some infernal means, Korath had deprived the Abyssal God of its energy. It would last only a moment, but in a fight of this level a moment was enough.

Cloudhawk attacked again.

The Marshal's right arm was still stuck in the cube. It struggled against Cloudhawk's trap and Korath's seal, but the two together were more than it could handle. Neither the Demon King or his Third Seal were pushovers.

Selene came to recognize what was happening. A streak of holy light crashed into the god's body from Sublime Transcendence. This time not all of it was swallowed up, instead forcing the Abyssal God to stumble. No wound was suffered, but by forcing it off balance Selene pushed their foe wholly into Cloudhawk's cube.

Her face lit up: Success!

The Abyssal God was caught in Cloudhawk's pocket dimension. Now trapped inside, none of its frightening power was a threat anymore. She thought that Cloudhawk must have known about what was happening but had been waiting for the right moment.

A familiar silhouette appeared. Dark armor, a hideous mask, salt-and-pepper hair...

The Demon King Cloudhawk held the glowing cube in his hand. It trembled and shook, made unstable by the intensity of power trapped inside trying to break free. Yet try as it might, the Abyssal God could not force its way out of captivity.

This was how the great Marshal of Sumeru's forces was captured.

The black orb lodged within Greenland's barrier began to shrink until it was no more. But although the Abyssal God was defeated, a breach remained in their shields of which the gods were more than fast enough to exploit.

Cloudhawk extended the cube and used it to plug the hole. Once in place, it dissolved into a ray of light and slipped into the subspace dimension as well.