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Book 8, Chapter 40 - True God

 No mortal could oppose a true god! It was an unbreakable law, a strict impossibility. Gods, humans, demons - these were flesh and blood, mortal races only. Only a true god could fight a true god. Only the laws of the universe could combat the fundamental nature of reality.

The Demon King and God King as they existed before, were fragments of a true Quintessence. From the instant of their schism they became imperfect. Their power was incomplete. Both wielded a portion of cosmic elements, neither were whole. Thus, they were mortal.

What did power in the hands of a mortal mean in the face of true supremacy? What difference did absolute strength make against one who could rewrite the laws of the universe? Even if one wielded the power to extinguish galaxies in a single breath, this power was meaningless to a true god. They existed on different planes of existence, comparison was impossible.

Cloudhawk's understanding of these powers was in its infancy, but it was still enough to combat this King. His first act was to correct the chaotic flows of time. The demon Elders and Cloudhawk were all free from the impregnable domain of the God King.

Their enemy's inexhaustible powers and temporal copies all vanished. What remained was a lone figure, the God King as he existed in the present.

Upon seeing this Legion issued a command to the surviving demon Elders. "Fall back. You cannot help with this fight."

They welcomed the order. The God King's power had shaken them to their core and they likely would not have survived for much longer.

An obvious gulf existed between their king and the lord of Sumeru. Except, suddenly there had been a change. The demons weren't sure what happened just now, but a shift had overcome Cloudhawk that changed him completely. Now he could dispel the God King's power with the ease of waving off a fly. Obviously, this conflict was beyond their ability to influence so they placed their hopes in the Demon King.

The God King viewed this change with indifference. His resplendent armor shone with mysterious power and a temporal storm exploded forth. It washed over Cloudhawk and formed into tens of thousands of shimmering swords. Scores of temporal blades hacked at him.

Cloudhawk simply watched them come. As they smashed into him the weapons of condensed time simply ceased to exist.

Such an attack exacted a heavy toll on the God King, but it cost Cloudhawk nothing to resist it. With a thought he adjusted the rules of space and time around himself to eliminate the threat. The blades struck him with all the force of a gentle breeze.

Shocked expressions marred the faces of the Elders as they looked on. The God King's attacks were useless!

The God King tried to peer into time, to predict Cloudhawk's next move. Only he discovered that, from the moment Cloudhawk grasped the laws of the universe, his prophetic vision was robbed from him. He could no longer see the future of Sumeru, or what Cloudhawk would do next. Changes to the code made it impossible to follow the flows of time anymore.

He reached out his hands and a spear shot forth from his palms. Energies contained inside were intense and palpable. The Demon King as he had existed a moment ago would surely have been overwhelmed by it. Indeed there were precious few in any universe capable of withstanding the God King's spear.

Cloudhawk saw everything. In his eyes all energy was the same, regardless of complexity or strength. The God King's spear of condensed time was a string of code, nothing more. Everything in the universe was just strings of information, bits of universal data. The so-called universe itself was just a mathematical model of variables put together in infinite combinations.

It was like code running through a computer system. If you could read the program you could understand how it all worked, even annihilate and create information out of thin air.

Cloudhawk reached out with a hand and took hold of the spear. To him it wasn't a spear in his hand, merely a brief ripple of information.

He picked away at its structure and decompressed the data. Stability was infected with chaos and the spear dissolved away before everyone's eyes.

Cloudhawk was truly invincible, no matter what attacks were thrown his way. Cloudhawk could be as small and frail as an ant, but in mastering the laws of the universe a hundred thousand nuclear bombs were nothing. Unskilled though he was, against a single mortal his understanding was sufficient.

"Are you confident in your grasp on time?"

Cloudhawk weaved together time into a cone shape. It didn't look especially powerful - at least not to the God King. He could summon hundreds of these cones. But the truth was he could summon countless barriers and none could stop the attack that was to come, for it was encoded with the laws of everything. It was separate from this reality and did not obey the limitations of this universe.

When he released it the cone burst through the God King's defenses and directly into his body. Time froze. However much he tried to reverse the flow it would not obey him. He remained conscious, however, and watched Cloudhawk slowly approach.

Cloudhawk looked at the God King, a collection of shifting data points. He didn't completely understand it with his amatuer capabilities, but he knew enough to change it. "You have lost."

The God King neither acknowledged nor denied this. "But your fight has only just begun."

Reaching out a hand, Cloudhawk pushed it into the God King's body. He adjusted the fragmented Quintessence on a fundamental level, introducing inconsistencies into the data. All the strings of information that made up his mind, spirit, and even thought began to unravel. No more complete destruction existed in all the multiverse.

The God King had lost. It was certain. Despite his name the God King was no true god. But unfortunately for him, his opponent now was.

Cloudhawk was preparing to erase the God King from this existence and all others when something expected occurred. The data model that was the 'God King' began to leak, as though something was sucking it away.

Cloudhawk's attention was drawn toward the leak. The power released by his foe was coalescing in another location not far away. Very close in fact - within Legion's body.

"What... ?"

He saw the data that comprised the Grand Elder begin to modify itself. A strange shift not unlike the sort he had just undergone.

Legion regarded these events with calm detachment, almost as though he knew it would happen. "You are the one chosen by destiny. From the birth of the universe, it was your responsibility to shoulder the burden of resurrecting our race."

Cloudhawk waved his hand, releasing a wave of elemental power.

But upon striking Legion it was harmlessly turned away.

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