The explosion happens suddenly. The ground exploded like a mortar blast just erupted. The pillars of the temple shakes and some of them shattered into dust.
There is a hole in the ground. A big fricking hole.
Azief was already in a far off distance as he smirks and he looked at the ground behind the Asura.
If not for the situation he would laugh in happiness.
The Asura who was busy using his saber slash force to attack Azief and Sofia from a distance was shocked and startled when he looks behind him.
The saber slash force stopped and so was the gale of saber energy.
The Asura looked behind him and sees that the place where there used to be an altar where the Universe Orb resided has now disappeared.
The Asura face turns pale as he could feel life essence leaving him. He could feel the attributes inside him…slowly dissipating.
He could feel that slowly his Disperse Energy that was condensed gather back and turn into an Orb. He now became an Orb Condensing Asura with a golden violet color.
The Asura could feel pain in his heart but more than pain he could feel anger. Losing the Universe Orb, that is practically a death since for him.
Then the Asura look at the mortal far away from him and his face was devious and his eyes was shrouded with hate.
‘YOU WANT TO KILL ME! A PUNY MORTAL! I WILL NOT ALLOW IT!’ He cried out and his scream produces sound waves as it hit the walls and the wall cracked.
This was Azief plan. To steal the Universe Orb. It has always been his plan from the beginning.
The notification told them they could not teleport out this floor. But it didn’t say anything about running out….of the dungeon.
And he already confirmed it when Loki informs him during the last phase of the plan. Loki has already tried it out and he whispers it into Azief ears on how he could return to the fourth floor if they run to the exit.
It is a mistake to think of this as just a game.
It blends with the current reality. For example in a game, you have no choice when you enter the Boss dungeon.
You either win or you die.
And then you load the game again. But human life has no redo. So, Azief has been fighting the Asura with the assumption that there is a way out.
And he found it.
Teleportation is banned? It’s fine! I will just run to the entrance and get out of this dungeon!
The beneath of the temple has been dug out by Badge the entire time they were battling. That is why Azief wanted the Asura to always pays attention to him.
But this plan will not work if Azief did not use all of his abilities.
But Azief target is not the Asura but the Universe Orb. The explosive was for that and also for another reason.
The Asura who was recovering then rushed towards the hole in the ground. Azief on the other hand did not want to wait until the Asura confirms the orb is missing.
He yelled and his voice was amplified by the power of his orb and it was like a sound wave erupted out from his throats.
‘Retreat! Run outside.’ Sina was the first to move. Sofia follows while targeting fallen debris from reaching Azief. The moment her arrows reached the debris, it turns to fine dust.
They all began to run outside. Azief knows that Loki must have managed to steal the Orb.
The Asura who was checking the hole then clenched its fist as he realized he was being duped.
He could also feel power leaving him as he began to age.
His longevity decreases like being drain of the very thing that makes him exist. Its longevity, essence are all being absorbed with great speed by the Orb.
What Azief didn’t know and what the other people in his group didn’t know, that even Loki with his Sovereign level knowledge didn’t know, the orb not only gives the Asura the barrier to protect itself but also give the Asura his life.
This secret is only known by the Prince when he reached Sovereign level. The Universe Orb has always been his possession in Loki timeline.
Even Loki with all his Deals never got the chance to touch the universe Orb.
Which is why Loki once make a Deal with the Prince once to inspect the Universe Orb but negated since the prince found a way to break away from the Dark Price.
Since then Loki has always been tempting the Prince to make a Deal with him. But the reason why the Asura is so angry is for an entirely different reason.
It was not because the mortals trying to steal the Orb. The Asura has always cursed the damnable Orb…but he can’t live without it either.
He was in the verge of death when the War of Devas ended.
It was during this time the Elder of the Universe bonded him with the Universe orb as punishment for killing someone from the Jade Palace.
He would always be the Universe Orb protector until the day he died.
And his life essence, his strength is all constrained and restricted while his very own life is depending on the distance between him and the Orb.
He could not run away and could not touch the Orb, could not use the Orb, only to guard it. But other people?
They could touch it. They could carry it around. And once that happens, the Asura life will not be long.
And looking at these ants tat dare steal his very own life in front of his own eyes, how could he not be crazy with anger.
He could accept if he was beaten by other super being in the universe but to be killed by mere mortals, he could not accept it.
He makes trouble in the Palace of The Devas and led the other Asura in a Great War and even participated in an Invasion into the Jade Palace fighting the Jade Emperor, Yu Wang.
When he realized the Orb was stolen right under his nose, he quickly scanned the temple with his Divine Consciousness but he could not sense it…but he could sense a trace of Olympian divinity.
An artifact of Olympus.
This makes him angrier as he quickened his pace even under the pressure of his longevity disappearing and energy dissipating.
Azief and the gang was already halfway to the exit of the dungeon when Azief feel a tingling behind his back and his heart began feeling dread.
His Orb paled in color and rotated.
Something dangerous behind me! Azief mused
He quickly sidestepped to the left and he landed ten feet to the left as a slash narrowly missed him.
The slash was a slash force, a saber slash that exert energy out and was the Asura most lethal strikes.
The moment the slash was shot out, it was like a tidal wave has come and threatens to destroy even the dungeon.
The slash accurately landed in the center of the dungeon entrance and the dungeon entrance collapsed and suddenly Azief and his gang stopped.
Loki who was still invisible clearly sees that the odds are not in his favour so he went hiding again. After all, he already concocted another plan with Sina.
Sofia on the other hand looks at Azief as she asks.
‘Fuck’ Azief cursed.
He never thought he really have to fight the Asura to the death. The moment he sees the Orb and really faced the Asura he already had the plan to steal the Orb.
He made Badge made a tunnel underneath the altar, and Loki to put the explosive.
He never thought he really have to fight the Asura. So he really could only curse.
But now,, that there is no other way he look at Sofia, his eyes was full of tenderness and then he look at Sina.
He wanted to look at Loki but for some reason Azief believes Loki is somewhere watching him.
Then he looks in front of him as the Asura is coming towards him. It was like time stopped and he has all the time in the world to look at these faces.
These people who have been through life and death experience with him, these people who stayed with him through thick and thin, these people who he respect and admire very much.
Then he looks in front of him and his eyes flashed with determination. Fine! He yelled in his heart.
You want to fight! Bring it! Let settle this!!!
He then yelled to Loki.
‘LOKI! Bring them out of here! I will delay this monster!’ As he said this his feet dashed forward leaving only his afterimage.
Shadow Haste was activated and his speed was like lightning, only a blur of black streak.
His Golden violet orb rotates like a vortex that threatened to devour everything as it rapidly turning violet then blue, then cyan then green, then yellow as Azief push his boundaries of his perfect Orb.
Vortexes of energy pulsates around his body, black mist was formed under his feet.
He first use Shadow Binding but this time the Asura uses four of his sabre attack to instantly dispel the binding and then as they grew closer to each other the Asura shot out his sabre attack and energy was shot out from his sabre slash.
Azief also release his sword slash and shot out black energy as black mist shrouded his sword and the two energies clashed in the middle and then explodes making Azief moves ten step backwards while the Asura five step backwards.
Then as the Asura was about to move suddenly pillars appeared out of a mist of darkness that encroaches nearby him.
Three pillars entrapping him and darkness covered the Asura.
Countless of screams, wails, and shrieks could be heard in the Asura mind but the Asura was not fazed.
How many beings he has killed, how many civilizations he has finished off, this much of screams and shrieking is like pleasant tune for its ears.
He slashed the pillars with his sabre and he was about to dash out the darkness mist when suddenly he heard someone yelling.
‘HYARGG.’ Before the Asura even have time to respond a tearing sound could be heard. It was the sound of its skin tearing apart.
Azief realized when he casted the Shadow Prison that it would not last long.
So, the moment he activate the prison he waited in front of the prison. Waiting for the Asura to break out.
While he waited, he charge out his most powerful attack and combine several attributes inside his sword slash.
It was gutsy of him to do it.
It was not the confident he had for his skill that leads him to plan it like this. Instead he trusted the power of the Asura.
He trusted that the Asura would be able to break the Prison and he trusted the Asura rash behaviour.
He trusted that without checking anything of the mist of darkness, that the Asura would rush out because of his prideful behaviour and because of his impulsive and rash behaviour.
And that would be Azief most perfect moment to strike and attack.
And he took another hand of the Asura as Azief spins around in the air and with a flash he appeared behind the Asura.
The Asura was moaning in pain when Azief disappeared and strike another sword slash and another hand of the Asura was flying away.
If anyone could see that Asura they would certainly feel cold in their heart. Four bloody stump, bleeding nonstop, dripping on the cold hard blue ground.
Then in anger as the Asura slash another saber slash Azief teleported again far away from the Asura nearby the entrance of the temple.
Azief panted and his heart was beating like a beating drum. He has use all of his Shadow teleportation limit.
He can no longer use it today.
But that was worth it. He managed to take two arms of the Asura. Then Azief runs toward the inside of the temple.
Meanwhile on the entrance, Sofia was blocked by Loki. Sofia was about to enter the battle but was stopped by Loki and Sina.
‘Let me go, bastard!’
‘NO!’ Loki said.
‘This is not what he wants. He wants us to get out from here. Don’t be stubborn’
‘He will die!!LOKI, RELEASE ME!’ Sofia yelled not caring anything.
‘He made his choice’ Loki said calmly while skilfully pushing Sofia back each time she tries to break out from him.
‘YOU!!’ Sofia take a few distance from Loki and aims her arrow at Loki but Loki did not budge even one step and there is not even a trace of fear in his face.
Sofia then jumped and rushed towards the temple but Loki was faster. He arrived in front of Sofia and punched her in the stomach and Sofia was thrown back.
‘Listen!’ He said.
‘Azief has a plan. Believe him’
Usually Sofia would believe this, but the look Azief was giving him before, was not a gaze of a man with a plan.
It was a gaze of a man who has accepted what is coming.
‘His plan would get him killed’ Sofia said defiantly and she aim her arrow at Loki again.
‘I’m serious this time. Step away or I’m going to put this arrow on your head.’ She was really cold when she said this.
She never really liked Loki. The only reason she accept Loki was because Azief approve of him.
But if he becomes an obstacle, Sofia will not hesitate to kill him. For him. For her. For that promise under the peach tree.
She could become….whatever he needed her to become. Even if that means she will be a killer.
Then unexpectedly Loki laugh. He come closer as his face was only one inch from the arrow. Then with a mischievous smile he said.
‘Well, I also have a plan. And my plan will not get him killed. Right, Sina?’ Loki said as he towards the unmoving Sina.
Sina looks at Loki and then she just smiles.
Sofia lowers down her bow and asks
‘What are you not telling me?’ Loki smiles mischievously and then with an annoying smirk he said.
‘Oh, ye of little faith’
IN THE TEMPLE
Azief was trading slashes and strikes with the Asura. The interior of the temple has already been ruined beyond repair.
Slash mark filled the walls of the temple, the ground was sunken and dented, big blocks of soil were carved out and craters surrounded them.
The area around them was like a no life zone.
The pillar sin the temple has also eroded and decaying. This is because the attributes attack of both the Asura and Azief is almost the same.
And the undulation of energy of their attributes began to affect the temple negatively.
As 15 minutes passed, Azief began showing fatigue and his move is not as nimble as before and then in a moment of carelessness he met the saber slash of the Asura head on and he was pushed back as he slammed on the temple walls and the pillars around the walls crumbled.
The temple walls cracked and sound of broken bones could be heard.
‘UHUK.UHUK’he coughed up blood as he kneels on the temple ground. There is no longer nay energy in him.
The Asura looking at the mortal in front of him wanted to savor the moment. Clearly, he should have prioritized the retrieval of the Orb.
But Asura was never the thinking bunch.
Asura follows their Killing Hearts. Follows their emotion and act upon it. Magic also follows the same principle.
Belief. Emotions. Following the emotions and believe in…something. Slowly it walk towards Azief.
Azief on the other hand, kneeling, his knees was scraped and scratched, blood dripping from his mouth, each breath is like a chore, his bones broken but….there is a smile on his face.
They should have been able to escape right? He mused.
He closes his eyes and started to think of the moment in his life and then he realizes something.
He smiles. Not a grin. Not a smirk. But a sincere smile. Because he realizes something as he is on death door.
He also wanted to laugh, thinking of what he is thinking now. Is he some main character in some drama?
To reminisce life in death door? So cliché…. He wanted to say. For some reason he finally understand why movies always shows the last moment when someone is approaching death.
Because it is happening to him right now.
Before the Fall, he live his life like the days was the same. And it was that routine existence that suffocate him so much.
The life…where the world has no more adventure. No more lands to explore. No more seas to sail to. No more great mysteries to unravel….only the dull existence of life.
And when the fall came…..he met her.
Was he happy seeing her again? Smiling as the Asura come near he finally admitted to himself that he was happy.
After all those years ago at the library, he met her again.
Before, Azief has always wondered about one thing. What will he regret in his dying moment? What will he miss the most? What will he remember the most? Which moment? Who will he remember and who will forget?
He did not remember his family. He might always say that blood is thicker than water but he didn’t remember much about his family.
They rarely make memories with each other.
Pressure by society, he and his family always has been working trying to find a job, trying to get some money.
What is life anyway before the fall?
Got into a good school. Get good grades. Graduate. Find a good job. Find someone to love. Get married.
Preferably with someone you love and someone who love you. Live a peaceful life for a few years.
Get some children.
Share the good and the bad with your partner. And if you are lucky, they will stay with you through it al. Make that children go to school.
And the cycle continues. And what constitutes value of these years, of this moment? What give its meaning?
Time……gives existence meaning.
And then Azief realizes that he never really fell in love and like a person intensely. He was not afraid.
At least that is what he always said to comfort himself. He is…..afraid.
But….he likes her. He doesn’t know if that is love. Or simply liking her. But seeing her endure the pain, overcoming it, seeing her tears under the peach tree, seeing her thrive and bounce back, and still maintain that humanness of her…he felt something in his heart.
The fact that she does not change and the fact that she is honest with her feeling….and even though she breaks and breaks…..she will always be stronger…..Precisely because she was broken.
‘Another step’ Azief mused as his eyes turns blurry. Strength is leaving his body. He could see the Asura coming towards him, step by step, slowly like mocking him.
‘I’m tired’ Azief said as his eyes slowly wanted to close. He desperately longs for someone to be beside him right now.
At this moment of the absolute fear. The fear of……not knowing where he is going to end up after this.
He closes his eyes and he could no longer hear anything…and he could not see anything anymore.
Then as he accept his fate suddenly he was yanked out from the temple and before he manage to register what is happening, Azief could see a smiling Sina in front of him while Loki is dragging him out.
In a distance he could see the Asura was sprawled in the ground like he was hit with something pretty powerful.
On Sina body was a vest and then smiling she said.
‘It was nice meeting you, Azief! Forgive me!’
Saying this she push something in her hand and in front of his eyes, Sina was blown up and the flame envelops everything inside the temple as the temple come crashing down.
Azief could see Sina organs exploded and quickly consumed by the fire while Loki keep outrunning the explosion and they jumped out from the temple as the fire slides out of the temple and singed Loki eyebrows.
Then another explosion happened and Azief could feel the trace of attributes.
And it was a revolving orb explosion.
Sina uses her Condense orb to explode herself with the suicide vest thus increasing the power of the explosion.
The ground left a 15 feet width crater and ground that is full of fire.
Azief was stunned. He could not believe what happened.
Sofia who was nearby hugged him but Azief still does not register what just happened. Hand trembling, he then grab Loki collar and stares at him with the most anger he could muster in his state and yelled.
‘WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!! I HAVE ORDERED YOU TO BRING EVERYONE OUT! I HAVE GIVEN YOU A WAY OUT! WHY DID YOU DO IT!!!!’
Loki looks at Azief and then smirk. Behind him were the scene of the explosion, flames sky high and the smells of explosives permeated around the fifth floor.
‘I’m not your lackey. I’m your friend. I will not let you die. Nor will Sina let you die. Or Sofia letting you foolishly killed yourself to save us. We live and die together.’
Loki said calmly. But Azief still could not accept this.
‘What about Sina then!’ He was about to punch Loki when his hand was being grabbed by someone
He was about to break free when the voice startled him
‘You mean me?’ Azief could scarcely believe what he is hearing so he turned his back and he could see Sina standing there safe and sound.
‘What…happened here?’ he then said as this time Azief really is confused. He clearly saw that Sina blows herself up in front of him.
Loki then smiles as he said.
‘Let me explain this’
Then Loki retells back the story.
‘Sina Two you’re ok? Can you hear me?’ Loki said as he is waving his hand in front of Sina Two face.
‘Of course, I can hear you. Let’s go.’ Sina Two is wearing a vest full of explosive.
He’s going to be mad about this you know. Sina Two said as she run forward.
‘What? You mean, Azief?‘ Loki said following beside her.
‘Yes, of course him. Who do you think I’m referring?’
‘Well, it is for his safety after all.’
‘Though the fact this skill is your skill, I’m somewhat envious’ Loki said.
This is one of Sina most powerful ability. She could use any beast, monsters bodies to change them; with her alchemic abilities or to be more accurate morphed them into her.
And it will have all of her abilities but none of her weakness.
And there is another advantage of using this technique.
Sina could not eat her own miracle pill but her second self as she called it could. This is a loophole that she managed to find.
As they run forward inside the temple they come into the scene of Azief kneeling, blood dripping from his mouth, his eyes was already closing as the Asura slowly coming towards him with a malevolent and almost a crazed eyes.
Sina looked at Loki and then said.
‘I’ll hold him of. You bring him to safety.’ Loki nodded and quirky moved. Sina gulped all of her forbidden medicine.
One Realm higher Pills, Strengthening Burning Life Pill, Bone Breaking Defense Forbidden Pill, Godly Force Giving Speed pill.
Each one of this pill will have great side effects.
One Realm Higher pill will give the user a higher stage of power for example as Sina eat that pill, she could feel the presence of attributes near her.
Strengthening Burning Life pill burn her pillars as each pillars turns into a liquid that nourished strength and Bone breaking defense Forbidden Pill decays the bone in her body in exchange for a momentary powerful defense.
The Godly Force Giving Speed Pill give the user a godly sped in exchange of paralyzing the user after the pill lost its effectiveness.
The moment that the Asura is near Azief Sina was there like lightning and hold of the Asura with her bare hands.
They traded blows each one of their blows was like mountains colliding with each other.
Then as Loki has managed to extract Azief a distance away, Sina managed to rip apart the Asura left hand and then she was pierced by the Asura right hand on her shoulder.
She then punches the Asura and the force of her punch was so powerful that air ripped apart and spatial crack was almost formed.
This is the power of her forbidden pills.
She quickly push the bomb vest thus burying her Second Self inside the temple as the debris of the temple keep falling and smashing her and the Asura at the Asura look unwillingly at the escaped Azief.
Then as Sina was consumed by the explosion fire, she burns her newly formed Orb in her consciousness and her body was protected by violet aura before it consumes her body and the fire that was emitted out of her body was violet fire as it melts everything nearby and Sina Second Self disappeared into nothingness as the fire of her life essence keeps burning the temple.
It roars was the last thing the second self of Sina heard before she was consumed by the fire of her orb.
‘Then…..the beast is….’
‘Sorry’ Loki said, his face look at Azief apologetically.
Then as Azief realizes something he check his pets section his status window and he almost wanted to strangle Loki again.
‘You use Badge!’
‘Well….he is the only available beast here. And it’s not like we have any other choice. I like the beast. But he’s not you. ‘
Azief……on the other hand…..does not know what to feel. After all even though Bade was his pet, badge is not really adorable or anything.
It was not a mascot.
But Azief feel a little pity to the beast. After all, it did do the hard labor in the group. But then…….the only thing he could do…is…mourned him, Azief guess.
Though, as he thinks of many moments which stood out in his memory about Badge nothing shows up.
Well….at least it died for its master. Not knowing what to say and to feel, Azief quickly gulped recovery pills and slowly his injury is getting better.
Then he got up.
‘The Orb?’ Azief said and then smiling Loki bring something out from his bag of holding.
A shining blue orb with worlds inside of it. Azief was about to check the orb when he realizes something else.
‘Why there is no notification?’
‘What notification?’ Loki asks.
‘The notification that we killed t-‘
When suddenly coming out of the ground was a hand covered with burn marks shot out towards Azief heart.
It quickly pierces his heart and then with one hand pull his hand back and ripped out Azief heart and the Asura shot out from the ground.
It was floating but its look terrible. Its lower half was nowhere to be seen, only its intestines juts down to the ground.
His body was full of burn marks and its horn was melted. In his eyes was hatred…and the aura of death permeated around him….the Asura had not have many moments to live…but looking at the Orb he smiles.
With this he will have hope to regenerate. As long as he put the Orb back under the Golden Water.
In his right hand was Azief beating and bloody heart.
Looking at the slowly collapsing body of Azief it laughed. Sofia on the other hand who was the closest to Azief yelled in shock.
She nearly collapsed of shock. Sina kneels down on the ground, she could not believe what she is seeing right now. Loki on the other hand was about to faint.
Loki looking at the floating Asura….in Loki eyes only despair could be seen. Sofia hold Azief hand as Azief breathes his last breath.
It’s going to be okay Sofia said as she tried futilely trying to stop his bleeding.
He couldn’t even say anything before dying.
Loki on the hand is in a frenzy and fear. The World no longer has the Prince. It was doomed. This Earth is doomed!
Behind a large block of stone, a man with black coloured attire who was observing these people from the beginning looks at the scene and said.
‘You’re done, Asura!’