Phoenix Rising – Chapter 399

Chapter 399

Rage of Hatred

Meanwhile, third stone tower to the right was joined by the Sword Titan, Dominic Rutherford. Originally, he had intended to stand next to his best friend, Lakshman, but that chance was taken when Lagron took that spot. Instead, deciding to keep a separation between the Dragon Titan and the War Titan, who stood on his other side, were avoiding each other’s gazes with serious determination.

So, going into the tower, watching the door close behind him and finding a room full of nothing but white surrounding him, he sighed discontentedly. It was such a dull scenery that he momentarily wondered whether he was here to read a novel or fight since the lone figure in front was seated on a comfortable looking chair.

“Greeting! My name’s Croto! The being of hatred, and you’re…?” the man asked and hesitated, leaving his sentence hanging as he silently gestured for Dominic to introduce himself.

“Dominic Rutherford. I’m the Sword—!”

“Great! I hate that name,” commented the man, with a disgusted look on his face. “For that matter, I hate you as well!”

Dominic blinked in surprise and asked, “Huh? You hate my name? Why?”

“Because it’s so grand! So, dominating that you can literally say you’re a bringer of victory! Such absurdity!” the man retorted, his eyes piercing into Dominic. “It’s always the same. Give yourself grand names, act all bold, achieve total victory and become stupid! It’s so hateful!” He suddenly pointed at his foe and said in a clear voice, “I hate you,” spread his arms around and said, “and I hate this place!”

Dominic blinked while remaining silent for a moment before he curiously asked, “Just… what don’t you hate…?”

For moment, the man seemed lost for words before he lifted his fingers and began ticking them off one by one while saying, “Let’s see. I don’t hate my hands, I don’t hate my feet, I don’t hate my legs, I don’t hate myself aaaannnndddd I don’t hate my powers!”

He held his fingers up to show Dominic with a confident smile on his face, causing Dominic to sigh and say, “Honestly… I don’t understand. Why do you hate?”

This time, the man’s face became serious as he stared daggers into his enemy as he replied, “I hate things because I was betrayed! By names, my emotions, my feelings, my people and by the very world I lived on! I hate it all!”

Those were some serious words that had a lot of hatred behind them, which could be seen plainly on his face. It was also those words that made Dominic to quickly realise that any form of trying to negotiate with the enemy to turn them around was useless.

“Then die,” said Dominic in a quiet voice with a murderous look on his face.

Instantly summoning his Destiny Sword into his hand, he wielded it with a purpose and flicked it where he held it. In an instant, magic circles appeared all around Croto before swords began raining upon him. Shocked at the sight of so many swords flying towards him and poised to take his life, he gritted his teeth and yelled at the top of his lings.

“I HATE YOU!!!”

At his scream, all the swords instantly shattered into pieces and even the magic circles that summoned them got destroyed with the sound of breaking glass. Dominic blinked once and widened his eyes in shock at the unbelievable event that occurred in front of him.

“I also don’t like Sacred Spirit! I hate Sacred Spirit!” Croto shouted once again.

Dominic felt a shock run from his hands and throughout his body as the Destiny Sword began to shake violently. In the next moment, its blade shattered into pieces and stunned the Sword Titan into silence. His best weapon was shattered, and he instantly dropped the handle onto the ground where it lay amidst the shattered fragments of its blade.

“What the hell… was that…?” he asked slowly.

“And as for you…” said Croto, making Dominic looked at him sharply with a distraught expression on his face. Seeing it, the Testament of Hatred smiled and said in a glorious voice, “I… hate… you…!”

As he completed saying those words, a large magic circle appeared a few meters away from where the Sword Titan stood. Immediately realising the magic circle was preparing to attack and recognising the fact that he cannot escape, quickly brought his arms up and crossed them while, at the same time, taking a defensive stance.

A massive wave of cyan coloured energy wave was unleashed from the magic circle and it completely consumed Dominic who stood in its path. Soaring forward, it smashed forcefully against the wall behind where he stood and caused the tower to tremble, but nothing happened. Soon, the waved died down as smoke spread everywhere, clouding the view in the process.

As the view cleared, Croto was taken aback at finding golden armoured wall right where his enemy was standing previously. Standing behind it was Dominic, who had recovered from his stance and stared at the wall in surprise.

“Did you forget that I’m with you?” the voice of his Sacred Spirit said in his mind, sounding a little irritated. “You do realise you would’ve been fried by that attack just now, and you still attempted to take it head on?”

Dominic chuckled and muttered apologetically, “Sorry. I kind of got agitated in that situation and didn’t think of activating the technique. My bad.”

As she sighed, he heard Croto’s voice shout, “I hate you wall of armour!”

In an instant, the armoured wall shielding Dominic shattered and disappeared to reveal Dominic to his enemy.

“Damn you! How did you survive?!” he demanded, expecting an explanation to what had happened.

The Sword Titan, deciding to not waste his time, lunged towards the ground to grab his bladeless sword before kicked off the ground to fly straight towards his enemy. Croto, taken aback by the sudden action before letting out a maniacal laughter when he noticed the still broken sword clutched tightly in his enemy’s hand.

“You’re going to attack me with—?!”

As he exclaimed, his eyes widened in shock when Dominic seemingly activated his sword while saying, “Sling Blades!”

The next moment, his sword materialised new blade that soon started materialising other blades that hovered a few centimetres from the pointed tip of the sword from behind. As soon as he neared his enemy, Dominic landed and got his feet dragged on the ground before he swung the extended length of the sling of blades at the enemy.

Croto clicked his tongue and shouted, “I hate your attack!”

In an instant, hall the swords got shattered into pieces once more and in the process, Dominic’s sword became bladeless. Despite the initial surprise, it was within Dominic’s expectations that such a thing might happen and because of that, he was prepared for an alternative way of attacking his enemy.

The moment Croto’s attention was focused singularly on the figure in front of him, he never once sensed an attack coming from behind him. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he managed to discover the plot and whirled around just in time to see the Sword Titan leaping towards him, a glowing Destiny Sword wielded by him as he went for the kill.

“AH!” Croto shouted in shock and fear with his eyes wide open.

His reflexes, however, had a different reaction as they immediately moved his right arm to the side and instantly conjured a brightly glowing energy sword of some kind. Swinging it forward, the Testament of Hatred blocked his foe’s sword, but it did release a strong blowing wind as well as caused the ground to crack and cave in with great intensity.

“I understand now!” Dominic shouted, pushing his sword firmly against his enemy to try and cut him down. “That skill… It’s the power to dismantle whatever you dislike!”

Croto’s face contorted into rage as he realised his skill was easily discovered, but he still managed to exert his power and push Dominic away with great force. Flying through the air and just as he landed on his feet, Croto charged at him while holding his pulsating energy sword with a clear intent to kill.

The two warriors began clashing against one another and sparks flew violently from each swing that clashed against the other’s weapon. The wind blew faster and faster with each swing with immense force was unleashed upon each other and the shock waves shook the room violently while they moved back and forth while furiously fighting each other. Every now and then, one or the either ducked and dodged the sword before lurching forward to land a strike of their own that managed to miss or get deflected.

“He is pretty skilled in the art of swordsmanship like you. It’s a pity he’s an enemy,” said Seta, the Sword Titan’s Sacred Spirit in her master’s mind in a regretful voice.

Dominic felt like chuckling, but could not manage as he was in the midst of a heated battle, but he did manage to reply in his mind, “Pity? You really think so? Well then, I guess you need to be enlightened!”

He dodged another sword slash and attempted to summon Raining Swords after casting his sword’s magic to form magic circles all around them. As expected, his enemy destroyed them by shouting, “I hate magic circles!” and took the opportunity to hold his sword to his side while rushing in for the kill.

In a moment’s notice with his guard down, Croto screamed, “I hate attacks!”

While rushing forward with great momentum, Dominic suddenly widened his eyes in shock when a sudden sensation ran throughout his body as if he had passed through an invisible barrier. At the same time, his rushing s became sluggish, and his speed soon decreased to that of jogging that gave his enemy an ample amount of time to guard himself once more.

“Tch!”

Thinking fast on his feet, Dominic held his sword firmly with both hands and swung it in an arc, which caused an immense slicing energy wave to be unleashed. It cut through the air at an incredible speed and just as attempted to cut the target down, but Croto reacted at the very last moment by lunging to the side to avoid it. The attack missed him clean and soared away before smashing against the other side of the room while the Testament of Hatred recovered and faced his enemy with a fierce look on his face.

“See! He’s well rounded and has good adaptability!” Seta said in her master’s mind in an impressed voice.

“Stop praising the enemy, Seta!” Dominic retorted in his mind and rushed forward to continue battling.

The battle between them continued to rage on for several minutes before their final clash caused both warriors to fly away from each other. Soaring through the air, they skilfully maneuverer through the air and landed on their feet before turning to face each other while breathing a little quickly.

“You’re pretty good. I hate it,” said Croto in a disgusted voice.

Dominic chuckled, but he was seriously thinking of a strategy to defeat his opponent as he thought, “He’s tough alright and more difficult to handle with his dismantling ability which I still don’t understand how he’s able to use.”

“Just accept it as my ability to use Dominion of the Blades,” said Seta in response, which made sense.

“Alright, at least I know he isn’t at a level where he can destroy someone or something as long as it’s a living physical being. Wait…! How did his earlier attack work on you, Seta?”

“It would work since he only attacked what he could see physically, which was my sword form and destroyed it. I don’t think he can destroy what he doesn’t know, cannot see or has no knowledge off,” replied Seta, responding like a teacher answering a student’s question.

Dominic remained silent for a moment, staring at his enemy who breathed a deep sigh and stood a fighting stance while shouting, “I hate your life! I want you to die!”

At those words, he rushed forward at high speed and quickly covered a great deal of distance in a matter of seconds. Seeing his enemy’s movement suddenly game the Sword Titan idea, and he quietly muttered, “Illusion Blade.”

For a moment, his sword glowed before it died down This was the same method as before, where it looked like he was attacking his enemy when, in fact, he was moving around his enemy to attack him from behind. Once again, using the strategy of creating an illusion of himself facing his enemy, Dominic moved away and watched from some distant away.

The moment Croto reached his illusion, the fake Dominic began to fight back that almost seemed like he was really there. Unfortunately, the feint is only a defensive measure and as such, it did not last long and the duration of that length is only for a short while as the movements became sloppy until his sword was thrust away before he got cut diagonally.

“Oh no! You died!” Seta cried in his mind jokingly, which caused the real Dominic to form a small smile on his face.

“Finally! I got him!” Croto shouted and while he was distracted, Dominic surged with power and rocketed towards his enemy at high speed to catch him by surprise.

It only took a moment for Croto to realise that what he fought up till then was a fake as the slashed Dominic transformed into light and vanished on the spot. Widened his eyes in shock and sensing a strong power source approaching him from the side at a rapid pace, he whirled around with a horrified expression on his face to see the real Dominic bearing down on him with his sword held ready to take his life.

“He spotted you!” Seta warned him as he also recognised that obvious fact.

“Good! All according to plan!” Dominic thought back in a firm voice.

As Croto went on his guard, the Sword Titan instantly activated Illusion Blade once more and like before, moved away from his fake self that was on the verge of lashing against the Testament of Darkness. This was a strategy that he came up with after witnessing his best friend, Lakshman, use it numerous of times in the past before his battle style changed.

Thinking back to his past self who would condone such sneaky cowardly tactic, the current him only snorted and thought, “This isn’t a war to fight gloriously and follow rules; it’s either life or die, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in winning and return home to my family!”

Those were the strong words that came with the resolution of a man determined to do whatever he must, an influence he got directly from the Phoenix Titan. He also arrived at that answer during his time at the Bazaraka Continent to ally with the War Titan when he realised that justice is not the absolute path that brings about the best of solutions at times.

It did not take long for Croto to easily block the sword strike before moving at lightning speed to cut the second fake Dominic up. As it was happening, Dominic made his move by rushing towards his enemy so that he could catch him off guard while he was in the midst of finishing off his fake copy.

To his surprise, however, Croto seemingly whirled around just as he reached him as if he knew that the one he slayed was a fake. Even so, it did not stop Dominic’s movement as he was already close enough and dodging the pulsating energy sword’s attack. Dominic moved his sword with a purpose and slashed at Croto’s right leg and sliced the shoulder partially before letting his movement take him away from his bleeding enemy.

He stopped and turned around to find the enemy let go of the energy sword from his hand that transformed into tiny particles of light and disappeared. Feeling intense pain from his leg and shoulder where blood spilled out like water from a broken jar, Croto began to yell in pain as if this was the first time he was this badly wounded in his entire life.

“THE PAIN!!! IT HURTS!!!” he yelled, seemingly effected much worse than expected by the pain than what was considered normal.

He writhed on the floor, moving back and forth while slapping his hand hard on the floor several times. This baffled the Sword Titan greatly because he believed he had not inflicted such a serious wound to make his enemy roll around on the floor like that. He believed the injury was indeed painful, but he considered it as a minimal damage and would shrug it off and continue fighting the enemy despite the stinging feeling he was sure to get from the wounded areas.

“He’s a baby… Worse! A crying baby…!” Seta commented, her voice filled with utter disbelief. “Is he really a member of the Nine Testaments of Darkness? I mean, sure, his skills are top notch and all, but what the heck? He’s literally crying from something that small.”

Dominic considered her words and wondered whether an average human, working as an adventurer, would be able to survive it. He quickly realised that they will really be facing serious medical condition due to the heavy loss of blood and the sharply decreasing will in them as their life slowly begin to fade. Shaking his head to discard the unrelated thoughts, he focused his mind at the present and had to agree with seta questioning Croto, who seemed like a wimpy person, was really a member of the Nine Testaments of Darkness.

While crying in the pain, Croto managed to move his bloodied hand to his cut shoulder and shout, “I hate this pain!”

In an instant, a green light occurred where his hand was and as he removed it and revealed a fully healed wound, Dominic’s eyes widened in shock. When Croto did the same thing to the cut area of his leg and seeing it healed made Dominic felt utterly dumbfounded.

“What the heck? He can heal wounds by just… saying he hates them…?” Dominic asked himself in a quiet voice, blinking rapidly in utter disbelief. “That’s wrong! I thought his ability was dismantling, so why are his wounds healing?!”

“I don’t know… Maybe he dismantled the wounds and repaired his wounds…?” Seta suggested, but he shook his head in disagreement because, for one, they did not make sense and for two, they broke the laws of logic.

Seemingly not caring about what he just did, Croto rose to his feet from his previously bawling position and glared at the enemy that had caused him such immense pain. His hatred towards him rose like some built-up centuries of rage and like a volcano, it exploded in the form of him yelling at the top of his lungs.

“I HATE THIIIIIISSSSSS!!!!”

Roaring wildly caused him to begin surging with wild power that instantly shook the ground and sent shock waves to all sides while causing great cracks to appear on the floor. Dominic got buffeted by the increasing speed of the wind as he watched his enemy continuing to roar like a madman that had lost all sense of self-control and was about to go on a rampage.

The intensity of the unleashed force of power shook the room violently, made the wind blow wildly around while shock waves were sent rapidly to all sides. Dominic kept his teeth gritted firmly as he had to narrow his eyes to avoid the dust that threatened to block the view as he struggled to maintain his upright position against the powerful force of wind and shock waves.

“This power…! It’s insane!” he yelled with the howling of the wind quickly blocking out his exclamation.

As Croto’s power continued to increase in intensity as it surged fiercely with great intensity, a sudden flash of light occurred that could only mean one thing. Knowing this, Dominic’s eyes widened with horror while his Sacred Spirit warned him in a serious voice inside his mind.

“It’s an explosion!”

“I know!” Dominic shouted, gritting his teeth as he came to the same conclusion at almost the same time as her.

Reacting quickly, he spun his sword quickly with amazing mastery of sword skills to stab it firmly into the ground. Kneeling down behind it while gripping it with both hands, he yelled, “Destiny Sanctuary!”

There was a flash of golden light from him just as the immense white light swept over where he was positioned, seemingly consuming him. Continuing to spread to all sides, the white light soon smashed heavily against the walls of the tower, causing great large cracks to appear all over the walls. In the next moment, an explosion of immeasurable impact occurred that flashed a white light on all sides, blackening the view and decimating the entire place.

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