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Book 8, Chapter 43 - Boiling Poin

 After his legs dissolved, the glowing cracks continued to extend up Cloudhawk's body. It was a strange sensation. Cloudhawk felt no pain, only his connection to reality weakening.

The demon Elders who were erased were casualties of Legion's assault on Cloudhawk. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time and because of it, they ceased to have ever been.

As the new quintessence's primary target Cloudhawk experienced an intensity one hundred thousand times stronger - a force that would erase those mortals countless times. Yet only a fragment of his data was affected. So far, it did not threaten his existence.

He gathered the primal essence into a counter attack.

A portion of Cloudhawk was integrated into this fundamental law, searching for a way to delete Legion. In his eyes Legion was a collection of data that flowed like an angry torrent. But there was something... a hole in the center of Legion's chest.

A glow existed in that absence of code. Shards of light that constantly drifted out like water vapor. When he looked closer he saw that the debris was infinitesimal portions of Legion's essence escaping. It spread out in all directions, forming an ever-increasing network of cracks.

Both sides were slowly dissolving into non-existence.

The battle escalated to its boiling point in total silence, but no less deadly. As the two wielded the essence of creation against one another, their surroundings were continuously influenced. Anything that crossed the event horizon was deleted.

It was like an invisible monster silently devouring everything in its path. Most frightening of all, this was silent and invisible to mortal creatures. Memories of anything that was erased were also eliminated.

Belial sensed an incomprehensible field of... something stretching out from their conflict. It frightened him for he did not understand what it was, or what sort of battle was taking place. He couldn't remember what had happened just moments ago because that period no longer existed. It'd been forcibly erased. All the elders and everything else caught in that field were entirely forgotten.

All he knew was that gaping holes existed where he knew there used to be something. His fear came from a fundamental instinct that was screaming out. The war between Legion and Cloudhawk was beyond his capabilities to understand. He couldn't stay here. He had to run!

Belial's most basic creed had always been self-preservation. He only took part in this doomed venture because Cloudhawk and Legion coerced him to. Now the two fought each other and something terrible was creeping through the world toward him. How could he just stand by?

The other elders, sensing the same, all began to fall back.

Two were too slow and were caught in the field. Primal powers wrapped them up and in a barbaric but never-remembered execution, they were erased. All traces of them vanished.

What horror! A war like this was unheard of, inconceivable! The data that made up a mortal thing erased in an instant so that not even a memory remained.

The conflict between Cloudhawk and Legion was reaching its climax. Forces they unleashed on one another were growing stronger and stronger, and the information that made them up was fading fast. But both held out, for indeed the information that made up the two newborn Gods was enormous.

Yet they were not evenly matched.

Cloudhawk was erased up to his abdomen. Legion's physical form was also dissipating but at a slower rate. At this rate Cloudhawk would be unraveled and when only a fragment of him was left it would be sealed away. Legion would reach out to the rest of his race and the string of data that was Cloudhawk would be used to restore them.

"Do not resist! You are the root of suffering for all the people of this universe! You are the herald of disaster! Do you care nothing for your mortal friends, for the young homeland you have built? If you do, then you must give yourself up!"

"Sleep, and it all will end!"

Cloudhawk suffered wave after wave of attacks. His body was rapidly deteriorating, the cracks now creeping up into his chest.

Legion's form was less than half undone. His torso was gone, leaving his head and limbs intact but disconnected. The effect was unsettling to look upon.

Both were using the same power, but Cloudhawk had only begun to touch upon this power. Legion, on the other hand, was born from a fragment of a Quintessence and knew these primal powers more intimately. Fighting against him was an arduous and losing battle.

It was like a battle between two hackers, vying for control of the same system. The first to delete the others' operating system was the victor. One of the hackers was not familiar with the code while the other had more experience. In this example the advantage was clearly in the latter's favor. In addition the volume of data contained in the first computer was small in comparison to his opponent's. Even if both degan furiously deleting files at the same time, one would reach the end before the other.

The vicious consequences of their struggle were growing more widespread and more serious. From the center of Sumeru, their power was reaching out and erasing all that it touched.

Belial and the other Elders ran for their lives but could not escape the silent creeping death. The encroaching danger drew ever nearer. Although they focused all of their efforts on escape, they were frightened to discover that at best they were maintaining distance, not getting further away.

"What should we do? The whole place is going to collapse!" Belial was shaken to his core at the dark realization. The clash of powers wasn't expanding - Sumeru and the reality it inhabited was being drawn in toward them, like water swirling down a drain.

Why was this happening? What was going on?

In their violent struggle Cloudhawk and Legion had created a hole in reality. All data was being sucked in and undone. Everything was at risk; time, matter, space, everything that made this place exist. When the three existential elements ceased, everything stopped.

Sumeru was a self-contained universe. Like a balloon, and all the matter and space and time was the air inside. The war between Legion and Cloudhawk had punched a hole in the balloon and now everything was leaking out. The universe was shrinking because it's structure was broken.

Surrounding space-time was drawn in to try and fill the vacuum only to be deleted, creating a rapidly expanding cycle of collapse. If the trend continued Sumeru would be extinguished in less than half an hour. It would become nothing, along with all the information contained within.

Could nothing stop this? No mortal thing, for this was the work of real Gods. All they could do was quail and cry, and avoid being erased.

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