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Chapter 29 - All Out Assaul

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Everything was ready.

By the time Belial and Cloudhawk were finished, every inch of the pocket dimension was infused with Source. It covered everything seamlessly, like tile. Thirty six enormous columns of it connected all the pieces together.

Most striking were three structures erected in the cube's central section.

They were three eight-sided trapezoids [1] with a flat portion on the top. This was their gateway into Sumeru. The home of the gods was not in any physical location they understood, much less could reach. No spatial technology they possessed would get them there.

So these three structures were built to make a path.

During his last mental foray into Sumeru, Cloudhawk managed to record its coordinates. To avoid putting all his eggs in one basket, the plan was not to throw everyone into battle in one wave. His army would be separated into three parts, each responsible for a different section of the divine realm.

The first group was Greenland's best, representing the strength of humanity. They included Legion, Selene, Autumn, Phain, Pelagius, Bruno, Phoenix, Frost and others.

Second was the weapons of Ark Base, robots and artillery that were all controlled by Hellflower. Father was her backup. Hundreds of thousands of war machines were awaiting orders, practically everything Ark Base had to offer.

The third group was made of demons and other races from Gehenna. Elder of the Fifth Seal Haborym led them into battle. Theirs was the mightiest of the three divisions, and the only one that could face Sumeru's might and hold firm.

After reconstruction, Cloudhawk's cube was like a transport vessel that defied human understanding. The cube didn't convey them across the stars, however, but to the furthest reaches of the universe.

Everyone was gathered inside, preparing for the assault. Cloudhawk floated above the three platforms, like a nightmare vision hovering in the void. No trace of his dominant aura could be felt, but nonetheless all eyes were on him.

"My King, the soldiers are all gathered. Our holy war can commence on your command."

Cloudhawk slowly opened his crimson eyes. He swept his vision wide, looking over the troops who had rallied to his call. In their faces he saw many things; enthusiasm, excitement, nervousness, fear... but they all had something in common. Like him, they understood that there was no going back.

If they won, if civilization was allowed to continue, then this fight would live on forever in the memory of their respective species. How will they talk about this in the future, assuming there was a future? How will they talk about the people who fought?

They were questions these soldiers pushed from their minds. Whether they were forced to fight or volunteered, they all had the same goal. Survival.

There was nothing more fundamental, more righteous than the fight for survival.

Cloudhawk nodded toward Legion.

A grim look came over the Grand Elder. He turned and passed on the order. Division leaders told their lieutenants, who told their soldiers. Divisions marched toward the gate, preparing for what was to come.

Cloudhawk slowly closed his eyes. He extended his hands and through some inscrutable power, the Phase Stone set in the center of the Demon King's Cuirass separated from the armor. It floated forward, then began to release a steady pulse of energy like a beating heart.

Its beats influenced every corner of this dimension. The floors, ceilings, walls and pillars all began to glow. At first it was dim, but with every wave of power from the Phase stone their light grew.

Before long, the world was a sea of blinding luminescence. It spread until it clashed with the infinite void wherein the platforms lay. It was a strange combination, dream-like and indescribable.

All of a sudden, the sub-space cube became a nether landing vessel. Cloudhawk needed it to power the portal. With it now running at full throttle the cube screamed through the unfathomable expanse of the universe toward its destination.

The link was complete!

A terrible, extraordinarily powerful mental energy was released like a bomb.

The Demon King's Phase Stone shattered into three pieces, each settling upon one of the altars. The light that encompassed the pocket dimension gathered like molasses and flowed over them. The shards of the Phase Stone drank it in. Space shimmered and warped from the intensity of the power. This energy moved through infinite time and space in all directions, creating a perfect channel.

The gate to Mount Sumeru... began to open!

Once again Cloudhawk opened his eyes. In that instant cracks formed in reality. The sound of ripping and cracking filled the air. Over the three platforms space and time froze. Then, like glass, reality fell apart.

When space collapsed, what was revealed was a twisting void - like a mirror, though the other side was clearly somewhere else. From the undulating image a potent and unshakable energy emerged. Their road to the home of the gods was forged and stable.

Legion's eyes were fixed on it. His voice rose, calm but commanding. "Begin the invasion."

"Kill! Kill! Kill!"

Nerves ran high. They were about to go where no other soul had tread. The origins of the gods who had imprisoned them for so long. No one knew what awaited them on the other side.

"With me! Charge!"

Haborym's demonic voice growled over the din. He took the lead, both hands wrapped on the haft of his terrible battleaxe. He was first to cross the threshold, not a ripple to mark his passage.

Thousands of metallic bodies, clutching tight to their weapons, marched onto the second landing platform. Like a ravenous maw it swallowed them all up.

Selene turned her head and looked up at Cloudhawk. He looked back. With a smile and a small nod, she drew Sublime Transcendence from her back and dashed through the first portal.

"Quick! Pick up the pace! March!"

"When you get to the other side, begin your attack immediately!"

"Anything in your path is the target!"

As the three portals activated thousands of soldiers poured through. As the numbers within the cube began to wane more were sent in from Greenland. Those that were going in with the first wave were just the opening salvo.

Cloudhawk didn't wait long. After the first few entered he, too, walked toward the first portal. A cloudy, inexplicable image greeted him. Even with his great power Cloudhawk couldn't see the other side. But like all the others, without a hint of hesitation, he stepped through.

Space drank him in like a straw and all at once he was speeding across the universe.

1. That's the translation