Interlude to War 2
“What?” Amaranda asked, taking a moment before finding his response confusing. “What do you mean it relates to the Calamity Titan?”
To that, he merely grinned and thought, “Nope. Not going to answer that. You’re just going to have to find that out by either asking the Calamity Titan himself… or… asking the Phoenix Titan about it…!”
Amaranda, on her side, furrowed her eyebrows in seriousness and thought, “The Phoenix Titan? How is he involved with it?”
Lagron chuckled darkly and replied in a sinister voice in his mind, saying, “Please. It has a… how do I put it…? Yeah… A dark history with it…” As those words left her feeling puzzled, he snorted and said telepathically, “Anyway, tell the other slackers how to defeat that monsters, otherwise, I’m going to have a lot of work on my hands.”
“They aren’t weak enough to depend on anyone, especially you,” replied the Magic Titan and cut the communication link right after hearing him snort in disdain.
As she sighed, Cantia smiled as she seemingly understood what had happened and asked, “Was that Lagron? IS he arrogant as ever?”
“Naturally,” she replied and sighed once before saying, “Anyway, I will inform the others about the method to defeat the monster.”
“Okay,” said Cantia with a smile as Amaranda became engrossed in her attempts to contact the other members of the Nine Pillars of Power.
She made contact with Dominic, who was in the midst of battle fighting against the devastating purple monster unleashed upon them. He had already activated Dominion of the Blades and was decimating the monster by stabbing it thousands of swords, firing energy waves at it and even going as far as to slice it so many times that it was reduced to minuscule size, but none of them worked.
Upon Amaranda informing him on how to defeat him, Dominic laughed and said, “I’m so silly. It’s so obvious. I should’ve considered it.”
He instantly put the idea into motion by raising his sword high into the air, which began to glow brightly. A moment later, all the swords floating in the air and sticking out of the ground soared towards the glowing area and got absorbed into it.
Several seconds later, the sword came into view with a slight change to its appearance. It still remained the way it was before, but this time it had a smaller spear like object sprouting out of its sides, sporting a look similar to a trident. Holding the sword vertically upward in front of him, he momentarily closed his eyes before reopening them in a flash.
“Spirit Blade!” he shouted as, at that moment, runes appeared one by one on the sword’s blade side.
Spinning it with incredible skill, Dominic held the sword firmly in his hand and aimed it towards the monster that was advancing towards him. Exerting his energy, he activated the sword and out of the two outer pointed ends released an energy beam. The two beams soared towards the monster and pierced it with relative ease, but the monster did not seem to even feel them as it rushed at him.
“Come!” Dominic shouted and with an exertion of his energy, the monster got pulled towards him.
The two beams of energy seemed to latch themselves onto the monster so that it could not attempt at escaping as it flew towards him. As it reached him, the Sword Titan placed both of his hands on the hilt of his sword and stabbed the monster forcefully through the chest.
The monster continued to not feel any pain as he seemed to blankly stare at him as Dominic shouted, “Perish!”
In an instant, the sword glowed brightly and cracks began appearing all over the monster’s body. This time, it seemed to feel the pain and as the unknown sensation ran throughout its being, it began screaming from the intense pain. It felt an intensity so great as if it was swelling from within, causing it to widen its eyes and finally show a reaction.
In a last-ditch effort to get away, it pulled its hand back and punched Dominic squarely on his forehead. Dominic did not bother to dodge, and he stood motionless for a moment as a shockwave got unleashed from the impact behind him. A moment later, he moved his head to look at the monster before giving it a serene smile.
“Go to hell you stupid thing,” he said calmly.
With another exertion of his energy, the monster let out a hellish scream before it got silenced. At that moment, its body glowed momentarily before exploding into tiny particles of light that slowly vanished into thin air. Seeing the battle over so quickly, Dominic sighed and smiled a little down at his sword.
“That was good,” he muttered.
“I told you we need to destroy it from within. You just didn’t understand what I meant,” replied his Sacred Spirit, Seta.
Laughing, he deactivated Dominion of the Blades and went to join the battle still being waged between the Angels and the Fallen Angels.
Moving on from Dominic, Amaranda collectively connected Tempest and Azar telepathically in unison since they are both on the same continent fighting the same monster. Upon contacting them and asking for a report, she was taken aback by surprise when they informed her that they had already taken care of the monster by utilising the same idea she had prepared to give them.
“We tried burning it down, shocking it to death and even destroying it utterly, but nothing worked, so we thought the only way was to destroy it spiritually. Lucky for us, we’re Elemental Spirits that were taught in the Spirit Techniques and so we killed it using the Spirit Slayer method,” said Tempest telepathically while Azar smiled confidently.
“Oh. That’s excellent work, you two,” replied Amaranda, who had momentarily paused because she was awestruck in their quick action to successfully destroy the monster.
“It’s alright. We are also thankful for our teachings,” said Azar telepathically in his mind, while winking at Tempest who merely chuckled.
“Yes, but the war is not over yet. Please remain there in case enemy reinforcements arrive,” said Amaranda said to them in their mind, and they telepathically replied, “I understand.”
As she disconnected the telepathy connection, Azar sighed and said to Tempest, “That wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be.”
“That’s true, but if we had not known the method in dealing with it spiritually, the result would’ve been completely opposite,” said Tempest, nodding in agreement and turning to face a certain direction.
Lying on the ground was the dead body of the monster that was slowly sinking into the ground as it returned to the place whence it came from. The monster was truly strong and terrifying with the way it thoroughly annihilated both sides with the expressionless look on its face. As it continued to return to its original form no matter how badly it was sliced up and destroyed, the situation would have been grave if it were not for their teachings in the Spirit Realm.
While they were musing over the monster, a Forest Elf walked towards them and asked, “Um…? How were you able to use Voiceless Incantation?”
The two of them turned to the elven warrior and together asked, “Voiceless Incantation?”
The elf blinked in confusion and tried asking, “Um… I don’t know if it can be even called that since I couldn’t see a single magic circle being activated. Just what kind of magic did you use?”
This time, understanding what the elven warrior was asking, Tempest chuckled and said, “It isn’t magic, my friend. It’s called Elemental Control and you apply the same law in controlling your energy, except you’re controlling the physical nature of the elements.”
“Watch,” said Azar, and he clicked his fingers to create a small flame to appear floating above his hand. As the elf looked on in amazement, Azar moved the hand around while explaining, “You don’t need magic when you can control the natural flow of the elements while the mortal in the Physical Plane rely on magic circles to cast their spells.”
“The technique we used to kill that monster is more advanced and very tedious to master, but it paid off for learning it,” informed Tempest, and the elven turned to look at him in awe.
For a moment, the elven remained quiet as he thought about all that he heard before he finally asked, “Can you teach us please? The Elven King will give you plenty of rewards and much more if you agree! I promise!”
Azar and Tempest blinked at the elven before turning to look at each other before flatly saying, “No!”
While Azar shrugged his shoulders with a bemused look on his face, Tempest smiled smoothly and said, “You’re a warrior, right? You have this, right?” While saying that, he taped the side of his mind before continuing to say, “Gods gave you free will and curiosity to learn, develop and refine. It’s your turn to apply them on your own to grow much stronger than you are presently.”
The Forest Elf looked a little taken aback before he smiled sadly and replied, “Okay. I’ll do my best.”
With that, he hurried off to the group of elves that were standing a few meters to explain the conversation he had with the two members of the Nine Pillars of Power.
Tempest and Azar smiled as they knew that he was sent on their behalf to learn the secrets of the Elemental Control. Their smiles, however, became frowns when they sensed an ongoing fierce battle somewhere far away from them. They did not know that at that moment that one remaining purple monster was fighting fiercely against the Monkey King, Rumble.
While Amaranda was contacting the other members of the Nine Pillars of Power, Ash was standing around doing nothing. Actually, she was staring curiously at the boy that Emilia was carrying on her shoulders who seemed to be staring fixedly at her. Emilia noticed this and pointed it out by walking nearer to the Demon Titan.
“Do you want to hold him?” she asked curiously.
“H-Huh?!” Ash exclaimed, taken aback despite herself by her proposal. “H-H-Hold… him…? Are you… sure…? I mean… I’m a demon, you know?”
“If that’s the case, then I am also guilty of possessing demon blood in me. Notice my miniature horns?” Emilia asked with a small smile on her face.
As direction by a finger, Ash looked at her indicated part of the forehead and found two small mounds that seemed to be sticking out of her skull. She was surprised because they certainly do look like shapes of horns that never got to fully grow. Looking at them made her realise they were similar to the Serprad Demon Clan who had horns that grow on their forehead like that.
“Um… Are you…?” Ash began to ask hesitantly.
“My father’s a demon and my mother’s a human.”
“Oh, wow… So, your son is part human, demon and… phoenix?”
“That is the case,” said Emilia with a light laugh. “Anyway, here. He seems to be looking at you with great curiosity.”
Ash stood there as Emilia gently held her son towards the Demon Titan, who remained stock still as she did not know what to do. She found the little child to be cute, but she wondered if she had the right to think like that considering who she was. Still, the boy fearlessly continued to stare at her and seemingly stretched out his small hand towards her.
The Demon Titan was a little taken aback by the boy’s outstretched hand and hesitated before looked at Emilia nervously. Emilia nodded to reassure her and so, Ash lowered herself to face him on equal height before stretching her own hand out. Fearing to hurt the fragile child, she slowly moved her hand towards the baby and touched his small hand.
“So soft!” she thought, shocked by how smooth and soft they were as she remained touching the hand. Gently, unwilling to apply much force, she shook the hand up and down while saying in a small, but cute voice, “Hello.”
The way she did it was so cute that the other girls immediately smiled reflexively and thought in unison, “Cute~!”
Ondine found it cute as well, but beyond that, she found the impressive Demon Titan as just an ordinary girl like Priya and Indira. The only difference was that she had experienced different things to the twins at her age and grew up to be like this; a warrior. So, seeing the feminine side to her pleased Ondine and gave her hope on Ash’s future.
“Aa. Aa,” the baby boy replied, widening his mouth and smiled happily up at the Demon Titan as his eyes seemingly sparkled with joy.
Ash was momentarily surprised by the baby’s reply before a wide smile appeared on her face as she said, “Ah! Nice to meet you!”
“Aa. Aa. Aa. Aha,” the baby said, smiling joyfully at her.
“Wow. He really likes you, Ash,” said Emilia, staring at the both of them in amazement.
“Yeah…” Ash replied absentmindedly, shaking the small hand gently up and down while continuing stare into the eyes of the baby as they too stared back at her.
“So, young and full of energy, I love it!” Engraut, the God of Energy, said, praising the young child possessing an unusually strong energetic sense compared to the babies he had seen throughout his existance.
They remained like that for a few seconds before Amaranda broke it by saying, “This is odd… There’s a battle being waged on the Bazaraka Continent, but I don’t remember sending anyone there…” As they turned to look at her in surprise, Amaranda took a deep breath in alarm and said telepathically, “Oh no… Lakshman forgot to send someone over to the Bazaraka Continent. Damn… I forgot about it too…”
She turned to face them and said telepathically, “I’ll be leaving for a bit to take care of the monster on the Bazaraka Continent. Please inform this if Lakshman arrives during my absence.”
At her words, Ash immediately jumped at the opportunity and asked, “Can I go instead of you? Please! I really want to get out there and do something helpful and kill some demons!”
While everyone stared at her with mixed expressions on their faces, Amaranda gave a sad smile and said telepathically, “Sad. You’re a demon who hates demons and wants to kill them. Ironic, but sadly I cannot approve since Lakshman ordered you to just stay here.”
To that, the Demon Titan became annoyed and said, “I know, but I want to help out! I’m not a powerless woman to sit around here with them!”
She suddenly regrated saying those words, turning quickly to look at them and seeing them staring at her in surprise, she immediately attempted to correct her meaning by saying, “I mean, I’m not calling you weak; it’s just you have children to look after while I’m free like Amaranda. Besides,” she suddenly looked sternly and finished by saying, “I get the feeling he thinks women are weak and should stay out of battle.”
The reactions of the wives of the Phoenix Titan was various, but most of them felt a slight annoyance towards Ash. Cantia was wearing a very forced smile on her face while her eyebrows twitched in anger, Silvera was staring at her with wide eyes full of surprise and annoyance, Ondine seemed to be smiling in bemusement and Emilia smiled softly as if she sympathised with her way of thinking.
“I suppose that is how it looks to most third person spectators, but I feel there is a deeper meaning in his action in keeping women as far away from conflict as possible,” replied Amaranda, speaking telepathically in a serious voice. Ash went to say something, but Amaranda sensed her about to speak and quickly said, “I know this because he trained me several times and while I did learn quite a bit in the close-combat fighting style, I always sensed him going easy on me even after I urged him to put in his all.”
Ash raised an eyebrow in puzzlement and said, “Okay. That’s your point of view, but I don’t seem to share it one bit. I mean… are women weak enough to always stay behind the back of a man and let them fight all the time?”
To those words, Emilia laughed lightly and said, “Yes and we do end up getting badly injured in the process. That’s why Lucky doesn’t want us to fight because he cannot bear to see us wounded or getting hurt.”
“Hmph!” Cantia said, folding her arms and looked very annoyed as she continued to say, “Of course he does! There was even a time he yelled at us to get out of his way and stay somewhere safe because we were causing his stress level to rise.”
“Oh, Cantia, you didn’t let that go still?” Silvera asked, patting her sleeping baby gently with one hand while smiling softly at her. When Cantia shook her head, Silvera chuckled and said to Ash, “He yelled at us because he we very stressed, but he had a point because it was a serious battle and we would’ve been severely injured.”
Emilia looked at Cantia’s pouting face and peacefully said, “Cantia… A husband might yell at his wife, but a good wife would question why he yelled at her and eventually come to understand the reason behind it, making her better understand him and creating a strong bond of trust and acceptance.”
“Of course, this doesn’t apply to all families since everyone are not alike,” said Silvera in order to not give a complete positive impression to Ash with Emilia’s soft explanation. “There are families where the husband mess with their wives and there were even cases where the wives took over the rulership of the household and played the husband like a puppeteer.”
“That’s a little too much to explain, Silvera,” said Emilia, and Silvera shrugged her shoulders indifferently as Emilia spoke by saying, “Listen, Ash. Lucky’s a caring husband, but the most important thing is; we’re all he has. His parents are gone and even his sisters will not stay here forever as they will eventually go out into the world to lead their own separate lives, but that’s not the case for us. We will always stay together with Lucky as his wives and lifetime partners.”
“So, when you realise this important fact, it’s not so strange that he yells at us to keep us away and even goes as far as to order us to not interfere in matters that does not involve violence,” said Ondine with a bright smile on her face.
Ash listened quietly to all their explanations and once they finished, she slowly nodded in understanding and thought for a moment in silence before asking, “Okay. That makes sense from your standpoint, but what about me? I’m not part of his family, so why is he so severe on the women, especially me as I’m also part of the all-powerful Nine Pillars of Power?”
For a moment, all of them hesitated as they wondered how to respond to it, but it was Ondine who chuckled and said, “It’s obvious actually; it’s because his mother is a woman.”
“Huh?” Ash asked reflexively, looking very surprised.
While everyone, besides Emilia who was smiling knowingly, stared at Ondine in amazement, she said, “He cared a lot for his mother and would never bring harm to her, always stuck close to her and loved her very much. It’s actually not so discrete to not notice, but his affection for his mother automatically transferred over to all the women he ever met, causing him to treat them with great care and keep them away from harm’s way since he would not let his mother get hurt.”
Ash blinked at her in surprise and was momentarily rendered speechless as she remembered her parents, who happily spent their time with her during her childhood before their tragic death. She thought back to that moment and wondering what she would have done if she was stronger, she realised she would definitely not bring any harm to her parents, especially her mother who had given birth to her to begin with.
“It’s that very reason that Lucky never considered our love so seriously at a young age due to this belief,” said Emilia, smiling cheerfully as she continued to say, “It is pure innocent and childish belief, but it’s amazing. The strong bond of a mother and their children is truly amazing and one to be respected greatly.”
“Oh… So that’s why he took time to notice our affection…” said Silvera slowly, smiling in amusement. “No wonder it took time and here I was thinking he must’ve been dense or stupid. Silly me.”
As she chuckled, Cantia sniffed disapprovingly and said, “What can you expect from a kid who’s been raised completely from home, and even got home studied? Most kids of his age usually ventured out to explore, make friends and start making a living.”
Emilia smiled coolly at her and gave her response by saying, “He did lack exposure, but that’s what made him so pure, open hearted, honest, straightforward, strong willed and righteous.”
As she wore a bright smile on her face, Ondine turned towards Ash and grinned as she said, “I hope that gives you plenty of reasons to why he doesn’t let women involve in violent matters.”
Ash nodded and said looking a little bemused, “Of course. Sevedant told me how some men usually treat women as their sisters, regardless of whether they actually have them or not, so it’s amusing to find someone treating women the same way he would treat his mother. Just goes to show the kind of secluded environment he was raised in.”
Ondine laughed at her statement before replying, “You’re not wrong.”
The Demon Titan nodded once more and said, “I know, I finally get it. Sadly, even that won’t stop me from doing what I must because I have a role to perform and because I have a title that urges me to fight.”
“That is not a problem, but don’t come back screaming in pain and agony because that’ll make Lucky very annoyed,” replied Silvera with a cheeky grin on her face.
“I’ll be fine,” said Ash and turning around to face Amaranda, she said in a firm voice, “I’ll be going now.”
Just before she left, however, there was a whooshing sound before a black ball of energy soared straight towards them. AS soon as it neared them, the black mass transformed into the Death Titan, who slowly walked towards them while carrying a groaning form of the Phoenix Emperor over his shoulders.
“Back,” he said shortly, greeting them in his usual calm and expressionless fashion.
“Oh, my! This is serious!” Amaranda said telepathically from sensing how serious Zen was wounded as Sevedant gently lowered him to lay him on the ground. Deciding to heal him quickly, she informed Sevedant, “I’ll look after him. Please deal with your protégée, who wants to go to the Bazaraka Continent to deal with an unchecked monster.”
As she knelt down to attend to Zen, Sevedant turned to face Ash and asked, “Oh? Go? To fight?”
Ash nodded at him and replied, “Yes, Sev. I’ve become strong but I don’t know how strong I’ve become and that’s why I want to test it out on the battlefield. Besides, I feel so useless standing around here doing absolutely nothing while the rest of the Nine Pillars of Power are out there fighting!”
Sevedant merely stared down at her through his red gleaming eyes before gesturing at the Magic Titan, saying, “She’s here. Not fighting. Only monitoring.”
“Leave me out of your conversations,” said Amaranda telepathically in a serious voice in order to not get herself involved in this matter.
Ash smiled a little in reflex from her statement before she looked sternly up at her mentor and said in a firm voice, “I’m going, Sev! Up until now, I’ve ever fought in duels and practice battles, but never against an enemy! I got that chance now, and I’m not going to let you take it away from me! I mean, I’m going to be fighting against the Nine Testaments of Darkness when I haven’t had actual field battle experience so far!”
Once again, Sevedant remained silent for a moment as if he was thinking about what to do to stop her. Watching from the sidelines, Ondine and the others realised how caring the Death Titan was despite his intimidating appearance and murderous aura whenever he fought.
“Sure? I come?” he finally asked, his voice a mask of his real feelings hidden within his shell.
Ash hesitated at his question and was lost for words as her mind suddenly rethought about her bold statement earlier. At his sudden question to check how unafraid she was, she realised she did feel nervous and wondered if he should come with her.
Finally deciding on a course of action, she looked up at her mentor and said, “No. With you around, I will feel safe and unguarded, which is bad since I will end up thinking you’ll help me if I’m faced with trouble. Besides, I should learn to depend on myself more now that we’re here at this present predicament.”
Sevedant remained silent yet again as if he was thinking on how to stop her, but it was Ondine who said, “Sev, listen. There’s an old saying within the Phoenix Clan; a young tree can never grow in the shadow of a fully-grown tree. Basically, she will never get the experience she craves for with your shadow lingering around. Do you understand?”
The Death Titan tilted his masked head at her for a moment before looking back at the determined look on Ash’s face as he finally said with a small sigh, “Understood. Proceed. Be cautious. Stay alert. Be safe. Win.”
Getting the approval from him made her smile widely in joy, and she said, “Thank you, and I will!”
Smiling with happiness and confidence, she walked into the courtyard and held her hand out before saying, “Transverse Portal.”
In an instant, a whirling wind began flowing around them as a black space appeared in front of her as well as lightning that began wildly discharging around them. She looked back at them for a fleeting second and smiled before turning around and walking through the portal, which closed behind them and left no trace of its existence behind.
At that moment, on the Demon Continent, the Demon King, Serabella, was receiving reports from the remaining Demon Kings about what had been happening around the world. The Calamity Titan watched the stressful look on his wife’s face with a cool expression on his face. He was not enjoying seeing her look so stressed, but as a powerful being himself, he reserved himself to stay calm and cool at all times since he felt his attitude counted a lot towards victory.
“This is bad! All the monsters the Demon Kings all around killed the Demon Kings, decimated both armies and are finally destroyed from the arrival of members of the Nine Pillars of Power! They seemed to have used some kind of spiritual slaying technique or something from what was seen!” Serabella informed him, looking very worried once the reports have ended. “Now, there’s only three Demon Kings and that’s including me! Our warriors have been drastically reduced.”
“Calm down,” he said in a cool voice as sweat slowly appeared on her forehead. “Relax, Sera. All of this is well within my predictions. I knew our warriors will be reduced once the monster was let loose and even the monsters would be destroyed once the Nine Pillars of Power show up.”
Serabella blinked at him in surprise and asked, “So, all of this was an experiment? Why?”
He looked at her, and she thought he fleetingly smiled at her as he replied, “What can I say…? A higher being demanded it for various unknown reasons and while it’s a pity they all died and we lost our warriors, but the results are as expected. Now, it seems they will be planning to do something more with them.”
Earlier, when she was informing him about the goings on, there was a man who was listening in on the conversation and said in a quiet voice, “Excellent! All went according to plan. Now to increase the strength of their spirits!”
“Strengthen their spirits…? How absurd…? To strengthen the souls of mindless beings… That is ridiculous…!” the Calamity Titan thought with a sigh. Looking towards Serabella while wearing a smooth smile on his face, he said, “Anyway, they’ll be coming here soon, so call for reinforcements, Sera.”
“Eh? Reinforcements? You mean the Nine Pillars of Power will be bringing warriors of their own along?” Sera asked, looking surprised.
The Calamity Titan chuckled and said, “Yes. Remember that earlier blast that I destroyed? It was a warning that they’ll be coming here and that means the final battle will be waged here, and I couldn’t have it in any other way!”
As he clenched his fists tightly in excitement, she blinked in surprise and amazement at seeing her husband, who was excited for the battle. She knew all along the deep hatred he had for his enemy, the Phoenix Titan, but she never he could predict his enemy so accurately. Remembering what he told her earlier about the bond between brothers, she wondered how it could relate to the both of them.
“Could it be that they’re—?!” she thought when, all of a sudden, a sudden shock ran through her mind.
She instinctively closed her eyes and clutched her forehead as something intense occurred within her mind. In that instant, she heard a familiar voice say in a soft voice, “Chellamma.”
“Huh?!” she exclaimed, opened her eyes in shock as the sudden shock vanished almost as soon as it came. “What was that?”
“What’s wrong, Sera?” her husband asked, looking a little surprised by her sudden behaviour. “Did you have a headache or something?”
“Ah… Yes… It probably was…” she said slowly, realising that her head still hurt a little.
“I see. Well, make sure to take rest after calling for reinforcements, okay?” he asked and smiled at her.
Nodding wordlessly, she walked out of the throne room and disappeared. Once she was gone, he sighed and relaxed in his chair, feeling tired from doing absolutely doing nothing. He believed that tiredness would come after a few hours of doing nothing to those who are accustomed to training on a regular basis. Even so, his mind focused on what his wife just experienced, making him realise something familiar about it.
“That was no ordinary headache… It was a memory recall…” he thought, clearly understanding from the look on his wife’s face when she seemed thoroughly confused. “Looks like she tried relating me to him and got a slight recall. Oh well. Even if she does remember the past, it doesn’t matter since I’ll soon be avenging you, my dear.”
With that, he wore a sinister smile on his face that clearly described the kind of evil intent he planned on performing.