A voice pierced his mind, as though trying to shatter his conscience: What a weak Shithead.
Darkness swallowed the cave, time seemed to stop and everything stood still, as if life had gone out of the world.
As though some higher entity had taken control over space and time.
Helial took a look around and realized he was unable to move. What's more, the world was not standing still. It was simply moving so slowly to look frozen.
Helial could see the Silvery Lone Wolf run towards Lumia in slow motion. Every second, the monster was getting closer by a fraction of an inch.
Ten years earlier
"Are you really ready to give up everything?"
"Take whatever you want", said Helial, throwing the Interspace Ring at him.
The young man standing in front of him was wearing a flashy colorful armor, like a peacock tail. The ring bounced against his chest and fell to the ground.
The young man was handsome as a statue, with dark, deep eyes. He was surrounded by a kingly Aura, a feeling of innate grandiosity that permeated him from head to toe.
Helial stayed quiet, his eyes filled with hatred and contempt fixed on him.
He was clutching a baby girl at his chest, as if trying to protect her from the young man.
"Are you kidding me?"
"How do you plan to survive? You aren't even in the First Phase", a mocking grin spread on the young man's face.
"By becoming stronger."
"Hahaha. Stronger? You'll likely die in a couple of weeks, hahaha!" The young man was clutching his belly while laughing his head off. "You're just a shrimp, I could crack your skull open like a melon before you even realize what's happening."
Helial sighed and said: "And you, do you think yourself strong?"
"I suppose so", replied the young man, now looking calmer. "I believe I have all reasons to call myself strong. I can crush someone one Phase above me, now that I found this Blood Legacy."
He paused and looked in awe at his hands, his eyes sparkling.
"Hahahaha! Cool, uh? This place seems to be made for us, or rather, for me."
"Why do you need to become so strong? What do you want to prove to them?"
"Stupid brat", he uttered, dramatically opening his arms wide, "do you really think I have to prove anything to those filthy pigs? Do you really think I am doing this for them?" He walked up to Helial and whispered in his ear: "I'm doing it only for me."
"And you are willing to abandon us here…" said Helial through gritted teeth.
"You are ruthless. We are…"
The young man cut him off: "Brat, you are weak and nothing else."
He slapped Helial so hard that he sent him sprawling to the ground, still holding the baby tight in his arms. In the fall, Helial did everything he could to protect that innocent little creature.
"You don't care at all, do you?..." asked Helial, tears welling up in his eyes.
The corners of the young man's mouth curled up in a ruthless, cruel smile.
"… that a poor child and I will be completely defenseless? So?!"
"Hahaha, and why should I care? I can't kill you, but see the both of you die would give me great pleasure", the young man spat on the ground.
"You would kill children for your gain…"
"Do you really think I care about two useless children? Hahahaha, I would gladly raze an entire city to the ground if I gained anything from it! Hahahaha! Why don't we kill our sweet little sister? You could actually achieve something in life, instead of being a baby sitter."
The young man with the colorful armor walked closer, then kicked Helial in the face and crushed his head to the ground with the sole of his boot. Helial tried with all his might to protect the baby. Helial's eyes locked with the scorn-filled eyes of his brother.
"The only person I'd like to kill is you", roared Helial, sobbing.
His brother looked satisfied rather than annoyed by those words. In response, he dug his boot even harder on Helial's face, making him cough up a lump of blood and saliva.
"You keep refusing a better future because of your stupid stubbornness! You're just a useless, weak brat. Take a look at yourself and then behold my splendor. I have the guts to make difficult choices to win, while you are unable to make even the easiest one… you will always be a craven. Power, Glory, Victory: I'll keep shattering all limits to obtain them. I want all."
The young man with the flashy, colorful armor looked at the sky for a second, then turned his scornful eyes to Helial one more time. He said: "You, brat, what do you want?"
In the present
A deep breath.
How much had he endured?
Blood began to boil in his veins.
How much more would he have to suffer?
His eyes became blurry with tears.
How much more would he have to lose?
His hand gripped Curse of the Demon.
Would his sister die right there or maybe at the hand of their brother?
Helial felt his chest explode, while a terrifying amount of Mana seemed to converge towards his Meridians.
He let out a horrible cry and his eyes changed color.
From a blue full of death and desolation, they slowly turned lighter and lighter. First bluish, then light blue, then greyer and greyer, greyish… and then white.
The iris turned completely white.
He ground his teeth so hard that they seemed to crack.
Everything was still moving in slow motion, and now Helial too was starting to move slowly.
From a slight movement, almost unnoticeable, his hands started to come together faster and faster. Half inch per second.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The air was crackling and exploding as he pushed his hands together.
Helial let out a shriek that seemed to come out from the deepest reaches of Hell.
Two sharp translucent horns appeared on his head.
He looked like a demon.
He was now moving faster, about an inch per second.
He grasped Curse of the Demon with both hands. He was not going to lose his sister like that, not after all he had to go through.
Space started quivering, while Helial was moving quicker and quicker. He was now moving at almost normal speed.
But it was not enough. Even though the Silvery Lone Wolf was moving only a fraction of an inch per second, Helial was still too far away.
Helial looked at his sister, who was beaming at him.
Helial had a black-out. He lost his head. His body seemed to be moving of its own accord, while breaking the sound barrier.
The sweet smile on Lumia's pretty face had just made Helial's heart bleed.
Trust. On Lumia's face there was the kind of trust that laughs in the face of death. Until her last breath on that planet she would keep thinking that her brother would save her. Lumia would never doubt her brother, never in her life. She would keep believing that her brother would protect her at any cost. She placed blind trust in him. The naïve trust of children.
Do you want to let her down?
Flames and fire, it seems that Helial was spitting flames and fire, while foaming at the mouth, he slashed at the Boss with all the force of his hatred.
He was now moving at a higher speed than normal, but the world was still in slow motion.
A terrifying blade of air and Mana was released from Curse of the Demon, headed towards the wolf like death's scythe.
On the battlefield
Caesar slapped his Commander on the back.
Immortals were generally not easy to approach. But Caesar had always been close to his people, had never turned his back on them or asked them to kneel before him. He left those barbarity to men. Caesar loved his people, how could he have asked them to give up their dignity and kneel before him?
In spite of everything, sometimes someone would kneel anyway, him being unable to stop them.
In the great Clans, Sects and Guilds, who disrespected the Immortals was likely shredded to pieces, even for a minor offence or on a whim. Caesar, however, had never killed one of his men without good reason.
He was an unusual Immortal.
"I'm sorry, Commander."
The army Commander turned suddenly around, unaware of his king being so close to him. He opened his eyes wide and panicked, completely at a loss.
"Your majesty… You…"
Caesar fished out a weapon from his Interspace Ring and handed it to the Commander.
"This will not bring back your troops and my brothers, but could maybe help us to protect them better."
"Your majesty… I…"
"Do you dare refuse the gift of an Immortal?" Caesar scowled for a second.
The Commander suddenly felt very useless.
Then Caesar smiled benevolently and nodded. He then went to cure the dying Goblins; for an Immortal that was a piece of cake.
"Your majesty, allow me to take out that devil that killed a bigger number of our brother than Commander Pausan…"
"A middle-aged man with a Staff has wreaked death and desolation on us, but I think I can handle him. I'll take a couple of men with me. Then, I'll come home with his head and I will be finally able to look my recruits in the eye. Else, I would be a laughingstock."
"I will wait for you. In the meantime, I will gather the bodies so they will have a proper ceremony once home", said the king solemnly.
The Commander nodded and turned around.
How many Goblins had died in that battle?
He took a look at the battlefield where piles of greenish body could be seen everywhere. Tears streaked the Goblin's greenish cheeks, while he sniffed.
A few miles from there, the Goblins were seeking their revenge.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit."
Vidio was running through a flower field.
The Master was covered in wounds from head to toe and blood drenched the meadow with every step he took.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit."
Birds chirped merrily, singing love tunes.
Vidio stumbled, sprawling to the ground, but with a risky somersault he started running again at breakneck speed.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit."
Two deer were nuzzling, showing each other the sweetness of their loving hearts.
Vidio fished out a potion, gulped it down and, after a loud belch, he flung the vial to the ground, where it shattered.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, sh-"
Thump thump thump
Suddenly, he heard a deafening clatter of weapons, first far away, but getting closer and more pressing. While Vidio kept running like a madman, that small earthly paradise was flooded by howling, bloodthirsty Goblins, who swarmed the place like locusts, wreaking death and desolation.
A Goblin with sharp fangs was running after Vidio.
"It's him! The one that killed our brothers!"
"Hell if being strong is my problem, puah", muttered Vidio, followed by about 300 Goblins.
A little bird, bothered by all that racket, decided to take a stand.
Vidio felt something warm trickling through his hair.
Helial saw the Boss pounce on Lumia.