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Chapter 9 - The Marshals Judgmen

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Several successive attempts to escape had failed. The Abyssal God was peppered with injuries, its armor was failing. If it didn't do something soon the god would die here.

But the dimensional prison was impossible to escape!

The chamber it was caught in could be destroyed, but the god couldn't shatter the whole dimension. Cloudhawk's subspace cube was a collection of layers, all connected together. Breaking through one only revealed the next, forming a constantly shifting and unbreakable fortress.

Each of the cube-shaped pockets of this place could exist individually or connect together - a massive, changeable honeycomb. All of the Abyssal God's power meant nothing when the enemy he fought was reality itself.

Even in the face of this desperate situation, Sumeru's Marshal remained calm. Seeing that its efforts have accomplished nothing the god stopped trying to fight back. Different methods were needed in light of unique circumstances.

The Abyssal God's immense mental power was released into the space. The air warped and twisted as everything in the near vicinity was pulled inward. The fabric of space began to frantically collapse around the god.

With the naked eye one could see the thousand-meter square section begin to fall in on itself. The violent compression affected everything, causing the constantly shifting cubes to freeze in place.

"It's going to try and destroy everything!"

Once they knew what the god was planning, the many demons felt shock and alarm. With no deliberation or fear, the Marshal decided to sacrifice itself to kill them all. It was as though the god held no regard for its own life.

Few beings with power like the Abyssal God existed in Sumeru. It was one of their most elite leaders, the left hand of the God King! Logic dictated that such a creature should live as long as possible, providing its strength and knowledge to the collective. The benefits of its continued existence should outweigh any benefits of death in this moment.

But the Marshal was a god, and like others of its species it did not put worth in its own life. Every decision, especially in combat, was done with the emotionless calculation of a machine. Every choice was in service of its overriding purpose.

When to fight, when to retreat, when to burn bridges, when to go for the kill: Everything was performed as ordered without hesitation.

The god determined that there was only a ten percent chance of escape. Successfully fleeing preserved its life, but the chances of failure - and thus wasting any opportunity to punish the demons - would be lost.

On the other hand, if it focused its energy on bringing everything down instead of escape, chances rose to fifty percent. If this dimension was eliminated it would take every living thing in here with it. The Abyssal God would die either way.

Most creatures would fight tooth and nail to survive, even if the chances were one in a million. The Abyssal God was not constrained by instinct. Cold deliberation helped it to see that being stuck in here with these fiends could be turned to its species' advantage.

There were two or three thousand demons in here. To that defeated race these were stunning numbers. If they were destroyed in the course of this fight it would be a catastrophe. It was the Abyssal God's judgment that its own life was worth obliterating the demonic hordes. A fine trade, for as a Supreme was aim was better than the destruction of demons?

As for its own demise, it was not a concern worth fixating on. Gods did not consider their own lives separate from the species. It was a secondary matter at best. So if it was to die, then so be it. Nothing more than being reformatted and rebooted.

So, with its decision made, the Abyssal God launched its final gambit. Its body became the power source for a black hole that bent the flows of space-time. So intense was the gravitational force that no light or energy could escape from it.

Panic set in among the demons. None had experience fighting the Abyssal God, but they could sense the growing danger. The orb it summoned was similar to a true black hole, and though small was still capable of warping space.

The god was swallowed up by its own creation. What was a small orb swelled and grew stronger, even more similar to a real black hole. It shattered the spatial cube the orb was contained within. Other sections nearby also began to be affected, frozen in place and those closer to center were dragged toward it.

Cracks appeared in every section. If this continued everything would fall apart. Without structure, the fragments would be quickly devoured by the black hole. If even the weave of space was shattered, what would happen to the creatures inside? Popped like a soap bubble. If even the air exploded, where could they flee?

These demons, fresh from Gehenna, hadn't even had a proper breath of free air. Now they faced destruction in another pocket dimension, at the hands of a hateful god.

"What should we do?"

"There's no escape!"

They found themselves enveloped in the draw of the black hole. Fear mixed with dismay that this should be their end.

Cloudhawk never stopped manipulating his realm. He saw what was happening in the center and when he sensed that the Abyssal God was committed to its suicidal plan, he acted. "Korath, can you stop the black hole?"

The Third Seal was a powerful creature. With its eye, the Elder could sever a target's connection to any sort of energy. So long as a victim was in line of sight, they were silenced. Mental strength was useless. This was how Korath sealed Crokel, and how he restrained the mighty Abyssal God.

The many pupils within the Elder's eyes dilated for a moment. "If it were living I would have no problem. The god's body has already evaporated into the orb. There's too much power inside and nothing to focus on. I cannot stop it."

"Then seal off the surrounding space, keeping the influence of the black hole to a minimum. Leave it to me."

Light poured from Korath's eye. One beam split into dozens, each piercing the void surrounding the singularity. Energy was spat out from the void, stabilizing the area somewhat. But things were hardly going smoothly. Once space started to collapse in on itself it was hard to stop.

The best Korath could manage was to pause the process, not reverse it. Cloudhawk teleported toward the black hole to take the next step. Radiant light blanketed his body, but even as a beacon of light he vanished upon crossing the void's event horizon.

All the demons stared in disbelief. A few were frightened out of their wits. The Abyssal God's self-destruction was not contained by these fragments of reality. It was right before them, threatening doom! There was enough power to obliterate a continent. Could anyone - even their mighty King - escape this cataclysm?