There were in front of the temple. The gigantic temple made Azief feel like he is an ant in front of something bigger than himself.
The temple stands 40 feet high and in front of the temple on its left and right side there is the statue of two lions with fire as their manes almost like they guard the temple.
Azief even thought that the statue would come to life and come attack him when they approached but nothing happens.
For some reason, he could hear Sofia heaved a sigh of relief behind him.
‘We move forward.’ Azief said after he made sure the coast is clear.
The other nodded and they cautiously enter the temple.
The moment they enter they could see the ground was a deep blue color, the surrounding were filled with large bricks of ruins and there was even some shield so big that it was as big as a giant satellite dish.
Azief nodded as he thinks that it would be a perfect cover for an explosion.
He shares his thoughts with the rest of the group and Loki has already planned to hide behind the ruins if the battle between Azief and whatever beast hiding here gets intense.
After all he is on a disadvantage fighting one on one.
Sofia on the other hand is mapping out the place where she can fully utilize her long range attacks.
She was to provide support for Azief when he battles.
That has always been her role. Sina on the other hand has other roles. They then look at the roof.
The roof of the temple depicts a great battle between beings that is blue in color waging war on the cosmos.
It shows stars fall, shattered and destroyed.
It shows myriad of abilities being used and monstrous beings battling each other. One is represented with a bright tone while the other sides were represented with a darker tone.
Azief instantly think of a duality concept. Good and evil fighting each other, keeping the balance.
And then suddenly the whole group hears a laugher.
‘HAHAHA’ the sound resonated inside the temple. Loki pillars cracked just hearing the laughter while Azief orb revolves faster than ever trying to dispel the pressure.
Black aura quickly roiled around him as it protect him from the pressure. It was like Azief was shrouded by darkness revealing only his cold eyes.
‘Who goes there?’ Azief said trying to be brave. His hand quickly grabs his sword and his eyes glint with danger
Sofia behind him has begun preparing her arrows, while Sina is ready to hurl the explosives she prepared earlier.
With as much gold they have, Azief has bought hundreds of explosives, grenades, potions, stamina pills and strength boosting pills.
Not to mention the ingredient for Sina latest pill recipe. But he didn’t want to use it unless it was the last resort.
As the laugh dissipated a mirage like barrier shattered and there could see another shocking scene.
‘What is that?’ This time it was Azief that ask this question. He could see a large altar. On top of the altar was a well.
A suspended well on the air, which drips golden water.
But it could be seen that the water has stop dripping and only a trace of it remains. A drop for every second that passed that keep beckoning Azief to move forward…like it resonates…waiting…calling to him like a siren song that leads him to ruin.
It is an illusion.
An enchanting illusion Azief realizes. The moment he stepped into this dungeon he was playing to someone else tune.
Looking at the well in the air….and realizing the sound is no longer in his ears.
‘The time has come.’ The voice was cold and hoarse.
Then as Azief look at the center of the altar, an orb, shining with a lustrous blue, and inside of that orb, that crystal orbs was white clouds, spherical world, countless of them, almost like they were trapped inside the orb.
There are vortexes inside the orb and the vortexes give rise to undulation of energy outside the orb, an ancient and calming aura.
But what make his face turns pale, what makes the rest of the group face to turn pale, was what they could see not far from the altar.
A throne made of blue stones and sitting on that throne is a being blue in color like the depiction in the roof of the temple, having one horn in the middle of its forehead, six bulky arms and each arm has a saber glittering like a diamond in the dark.
Standing 12 feet tall, the being looks like some kind of giant. A well-proportioned giant with muscly arms and a cruel expression.
And there is a smile on its face.
A malevolent smile. A wicked smile and the aura this creature emitted were so powerful that it was like something repressed his orb to moves faster.
His orb revolves faster and the world inside his consciousness is trembling and shaking. The Golden Violet Sun in his consciousness dims as dark began to reign in the world of his consciousness.
The golden violet turns more violet and the golden luster began to lose its shine.
The more Azief uses the power of his orb the more it downgrades to a lower color orb. But usually after a few hours it will recover.
It was the same with any Orb Condensing stage user. This is why having a higher grade orb makes you stronger.
You can use your skills longer and the attack would be more damaging.
The specialty of a Perfect Orb Condensing is that the recovery of colors is many times faster and they will never truly downgrade.
Some Orb Condensing Orb can be destroyed with extreme usage which is called sacrificing an orb to increase battle power.
Using that kind of skills the Orb will downgrade and one had to once again level up the orb.
But not for Perfect Orb Condensing. The rate of the recovery is also very fast and as such people with Perfect Core could display their abilities longer than people with lower level core.
‘Shit’ is the only thing Azief could say.
Behind him Sofia follows by saying
Loki on the other hand said
‘Motherfucker. I should not have followed him to the jaws of death.’ But even as he said this there was excitement in his face.
He wondered if this is the same situation that the Prince had to endure and realizes that the Prince came here a little later than now.
In his timeline, the Prince comes here after the first world Government meeting and that takes about two months.
One month in prison after his debacle with Jean mother and another month exploring the dungeon.
Loki changes things. Throwing a stone into the river of causality. And as a result the Prince might die because of him changing things.
‘You have come’ the creature said, his voice was hoarse and deep and there is a hint of excitement.
He still did not get up from his throne and only looked at the group like they were its meal.
The blue shield around the monster ripples every time it speaks. Then he slowly got up and the temple shakes with fierce rumblings.
Then notification appeared
TELEPORTATION TO GO OUTSIDE THE DUNGEON IS PROHIBITED.
WORLD ORB SHOP IS CLOSED
TELEPORTATION DEVICE DEACTIVATED
‘Shall we begin?’ the blue being said smiling malevolently
Winds and gales strikes around the land as the monster strike a slash towards the group using one of its arms.
Azief jumped to his left and rolled the moment he landed into the cold hard ground as the tiles of the temples was destroyed.
He yelled at the already invisible Loki.
‘Take care of Sina!’ Sina on the other hand who was late in dodging quickly were pushed by something and ended up dodging the attack.
Azief quickly activated Body Fortification and his body shines with a golden luster of colors, making him for one second appearing like he has a golden body.
Body Fortification skill gives him boosted endurance and defense.
Sina who was pushed aside pull the pin on the grenade she got from her bag of holding and throws it towards the Blue creature.
Sofia already takes her distance and already showering the blue creature with her Storm of Arrows from behind a cover in one of the ruins of the temple but the barrier keep holding on.
A large explosion happens as flames envelopes the area of that blue being. When the flame dissipated, standing there unscathed was the creature.
The creature laughs. Its shield could be seen to enduring the attacks and it was like a bubble that inflates and deflates as it endures these attacks.
‘Sina keep throwing the bomb!’ Loki whispers in her ears, the urgency in his voice is unmistakable. He was nervous.
Loki looks at the long line of hole that appeared dafter that casual slash of that blue creature.
It’s an Asura! The Prince battle an Asura to get the universe Orb. Looking at Azief, he thinks to himself.
What a freak!
Azief zoom his visions toward the blue creature and he could see the blue creature smirking. And at the same time Azief could feel that slash is not the limit of that creature power.
‘IT’S AN ASURA!’ a voice shouted from out of nowhere.
A voice without a face and Azief knows that it is Loki. An Asura? That is a myth isn’t it ?Azief mused before quickly accepting it.
This is reasonable considering all the unreasonable things he has seen since the world gone to hell.
He summons Badge and with his mind order Badge to drill tunnels. And do it undetected. Because he has a plan.
Azief who was on the left side of the Asura began his counter attack.
He rushed towards the Asura and slash using his blade and an aura of death permeated out and hit the barriers and the barrier shakes.
The Asura looking at its barrier is amused.
The Asura this time find that Azief is amusing and he began slashing down at him. It was a casual slash but the force emanated out from the slash is like a mountain descended from the sky, threatening to crush everything apart.
Azief using his black blade meet the Asura attack and when the sword and saber meets , shockwave erupted out and the ground beneath Azief feet cracked, the tiles was flying away and the walls of the temple was scratched by the shockwave.
Then one could hear a cracked bone
Azief was forced back five meter from the place their sword meet while the Asura still stay on the same place.
Azief gritted his teeth and he could feel indescribable pain around his arm, his left hand is broken, and his right hand bones crack under the pressure.
Yet, he gritted his teeth and did not scream. He will not give the Asura the satisfaction. Using his Sense Blocking, he block the pain in his mind making him be able to focus on the matter in front of him.
‘You did not yet disperse your energy’ the Asura spoke.
‘You still did not create the thread inside your body so you were not my match.’
Azief look at the Asura. And the moment the Asura look at him he is startled; the Asura could see that the mortal in front of him is smiling.
‘Well, I’m not going to take your word for it’ Azief said.
There is blood on the edge of his mouth but he was smiling. Azief have managed to confirm something when he meets his sword with the Asura.
That the barrier could be undone with the will of its caster. This is his initial analysis.
If he could make the Asura opens his barrier to meet his attack Sofia and Sina could use it to their advantage, they could attack him.
That barrier of his makes Azief quiet fearful to engage with the Asura but now that he found out that it can be entered…he believes he has a chance.
Either way, he already could not teleport out of this floor. The only way is to overcome the obstacle in front of him.
There is no other way out.
Do or die moment. This is that kind of moment. That Asura make a mistake. Mistake of underestimating them.
And Azief don’t mind.
He will use that to his advantage. To the Asura, the mortals does not even register as strong….and because of that the Asura would lowered own its guard.
It would underestimate. And Azief will use it as much as he could. Underestimate them more. That is what he wanted.
He then rushes again into the battlefield.
The battle between them consist of dodging and attacking. The dodging is mostly Azief as he keep dodging left and right, rolling sideways and jumping backward as each strike of the Asura is capable of splitting the earth apart and shaking mountains.
Azief then employs his Shadow Clones. His golden violet orb rotates, employing its divine powers and slowly Azief orb turns violet.
Three clones appeared from a dark mist that comes out of nowhere. These 3 clones have 50 percent of his abilities and begin restricting the Asura other arms.
The Asura keep hacking and slashing and the temple shakes for every second. Statues falls, and ceremonial altars were cut into two.
This battle is even more ferocious than the time Azief fought the beast in the stronghold.
Azief tries to use Shadow Imitation on the Asura but it could only restrict the Asura for a second.
But that is enough time for him to do what he excels the most. Dodging its attack with great accuracy
After all, if this was any other person they would have already been slashed by that six sabers that keep attacking without stopping and with a hundred variations.
If not for that one second, Azief could not hold a candle toward the Asura prowess in battle. And there is no other person that could employ this many skills in battle other than him.
With his Perfect Orb keep revolving and at the same time regenerating the colors back, he could stand the consumption of energy that he needs to expend to use this variety of skills.
The Asura creased it eyebrows and then speed up his attack. The moment it speed up its attack, it was like a gale of sabers assaulted him.
‘Tch!’ He complained as one of the saber slash nearly cut of his head. Azief then without any other choice activated Shadow Haste and his violet orb turns blue.
The consumption for using all this technique is not cheap.
For 30 seconds he was faster by 45%. Using this ungodly speed, he managed to dodge all the saber slashes like he was strolling around the park.
It was like everything was slowed down, like he was the only one moving and he could see with the most clear vision of how the saber slashes is shot out and when it will arrive and the trajectory of the saber slashes.
And it was during this time he uses Shadow Step, which teleport him behind the Asura.
Sensing a chance, Azief slashes horizontally but while three of his clones restrict its three arms one of the arms around its shoulder blade deflect Azief sneak attack.
But Azief under the influence of Shadow Haste managed to change his attack trajectory and his attack connected and blue blood spurted out.
A hint of astonishment appears on the Asura face.
‘Hmm’ it said as Azief distance himself away.
Shadow Step can only be used 3 times a day and he already used one. This is one of his trump cards.
But he also knows that this is not enough.
By now, Azief orb has already turned cyan. The power he expended is almost half.
While he is taking his distance, he down a few pills and his orb color quickly recovering and while he is resting one of his three clones was cleaved to half
A few minutes later the other one was decapitated. They both turned into shadows and disappeared.
Azief sighing entered the battle again accompanied by raging rain of arrows no doubt a support by Sofia.
On the other hand, Sofia, Loki and Sina all have their own way fighting the battles. The battle rages on in the temple as the Universe Orb shine more brightly in the altar beneath the golden water well.
IN A CAVE
A man could be seen lying on a poorly made stretcher. In the stretcher lies a man so badly burned that almost all of its skin has wilted of.
But…the man breathes. It was slow and weak like a flickering flame that could be extinguished with a light blow…but it’s there.
The man looks like even the act of breathing is hard for him…but he keeps breathing. His will to live…is probably endless.
He has been lying on this stretcher for a month now.
And every day when there was time he was energetic enough to open his eyes, all of his basic amenities was already prepared.
He was always curios of this matter but today he will found out who have been taking care of him.
Everyday around dawn, that man will come. He always hear the footsteps of that man but before his injury was so severe that even both of his eyes was blind
If not for the medicine that the man who saved him always gives him, he might not even be able to see right now.
Slowly he recovered. But he still lies on the stretcher. His body was paralyzed fro the waist down and he could feel anything below his waist. But the pain on his body….that he could feel.
The last attack he received….should have killed him. Even he had to admit that.
But someone managed to save him…and not only that but managed to make people believed he was dead.
If not…Raymond would be hunting him right now, like a lion hunting down a sheep.
But he survives. Against all odds, he survived.
Then as he ponder upon this, with pain coursing every veins in his body, still feeling the fire consuming his skin…he could hear the footsteps.
Slowly the footstep come near and become clearer. Then a man appears on the entrance of the cave with cautious expression.
The man was six feet tall, blonde and lean. He was thin to be honest and there doesn’t seem to be anything extraordinary about him…but he recognize that man.
Now…he understands. And he could understand how that man managed to save him and even to do it undetected.
If it was him…it is possible.
He tries to smile but only feeling pain as the skin near his mouth wrinkles and the wrinkles turns to droplets of blood.
‘You awake?’ the man said and there is a hint of joy in his eyes as the man rushes towards him.
He was about to move but he is stopped by the blonde man.
‘Don’t move. I will rub the ointment for you.’ The blonde man said
‘Warp’ he said.
‘Good, you remember me’ Warp said.
‘Don’t say anything. When I took you from the Gorge you were half dead. I have been outside. Collecting information.’ Warp said.
He nodded even though the pain was unbearable. Even now, even at his situation now, Warp remains loyal.
He was about to say something but Warp stop him from talking as he rub some jelly like ointment and the pain quickly dissipated but the flesh is still not regenerating.
He almost wanted to scoff at his situation right now. He didn’t think Raymond was that powerful or even that vindictive.
‘You don’t have to say anything.’ Warp said as Warp look at him.
‘I will tell you what I learn. Raymond has controlled the whole compound and has begun conquering some states. He wanted to unite back the United States….and him as the leader. Texas and Florida has their own organization but seeing Raymond organized and powerful army I doubt Texas and Florida has a chance. There might be some powerful leveler there but Raymond has the approval of the World Government. I will explain about the World government later. But with all the support he got, it will only be a matter of time until Raymond conquers the 51 states. We must stop him. It was fortunate that my cover inside his rank was not discovered or I might be like Vasquez or Leila or Jack.
‘Wh.a..t ha..pp…en..ed t..o th..e..m?’ He said stuttering.
‘Leonard….’Warp is hesitating to say their fate, the fate of Leonard comrades but then he hardens his expression and said.
‘They were executed secretly. Vasquez was forced to drink poisons. Leila was beheaded by Jesse. Jack was murdered during his sleep by Raymond Secret Forces. All of our affiliates and allies inside the compound has been neutralized by Raymond.’
‘HAHAHA’ Leonard laughed bitterly. Who would have thought that kid could become so ruthless? Poisoning. Execution. Assassination.
‘Good…job’ Leonard said to Warp his voice was hoarse.
‘Haihh’ Warp sighed.
‘Don’t worry about it Leonard. I am always on your side you know that. Raymond….is good. Better than you. But he was not the one that save me. Or guide me. You might be bad. You might be evil. But you’re not bad to me. You’re not evil to me. And that’s good enough for me.’
‘I will get my re..ve..nge.’ Leonard said through the pain in his throats but he still wanted to declare his intention.
With red eyes full of unsatisfaction and his hand trembling because of his anger, one could feel their heart turn cold if they could see the hatred inside Leonard eyes.
‘And I will be there beside you, Leo. But for now….rest. And when the time is ripe, you will get your vengeance.’
That day, Warp and Leonard began their scheme to kill Raymond. Leonard will not forget what has been done to him.
Even then, he could still smell his own flesh burning. And his hatred grew bigger.