Caesar had the same enigmatic and pensive look as before.
Helial suddenly turned his back on Caesar and walked towards Lumia.
In his grasp, Curse of the Demon was shining with a black light, opaque and yet blinding. It seemed as though it was trying to swallow the light of all the stars in the universe. The black weapon began to seethe with Mana Energy.
I will help you only circulate the power inside your body. You will likely die, but first we will have some fun, if you are willing.
Helial sighed and nodded ever so slightly. Then he slashed upwards, emanating a terrifying Aura of death and Destruction, much stronger than what one would have expected from the level of that boy.
Caesar knitted his brow: "Third Phase. That blow is already at the Third Phase. Who is this brat? Could he come from some great Clan? No, or he would have already whipped out some big name to scare me with."
The pressure that was crushing Lumia and Snowflake suddenly shat-tered and Helial helped his sister stand up.
The Goblin Commander was losing his patience and was ready to jump on Helial, but Caesar blocked him with a hand, shaking his head. He was curious to see what the boy would do. The life of an Immortal could be strangely monotonous sometimes, and ignoring an usual event like that one could mean the beginning of a new boring year. If in the end the boy turned out to be a mediocre opponent, Caesar would have wast-ed only a couple of minutes of his eternal life.
Snowflake looked at Helial with ill-disguised concern: "Dickhead… what are you doing?"
Helial beamed at him with such warmth, that irradiated even to the heart of the animal.
He hugged his sister and kissed her sweetly on the cheek.
"Do you trust me?" he whispered in her ear.
Helial was not even in the First Phase, why should Lumia trust him? What could he vouch for? Nothing, not even safety. However, Lumia had never had such a thought and with eyes brimming with tears, she nodded with some effort. Her eyes were stinging and she could not talk, but she did not want to let her big brother down. Helial stroked her hair, then he turned to Snowflake and said: "Things are going to get really dangerous, take her and go as far as possible. I will catch up with you when I can."
Having said this, Helial did not waste another word. He finally turned back to Caesar and took a deep breath.
His Aura began to violently erupt a huge amount of Destructive Ener-gy. The space all around him was savagely distorted, while the energy ex-ploded in all directions.
The grass all around where Helial was standing wilted, and so did all the plants in a five yards range.
His irises became whiter and whiter, until they blended in with the cornea.
A second shockwave scared the crap out of Snowflake, who grabbed Lumia's clothes in his teeth and ran away.
Your body is approaching its limit and your Aura is only in the Third Phase. You haven't got a chance.
Helial was in a great deal of pain and not losing consciousness was becoming harder with each second. On his head there were two translu-cent horns, while his Aura brimming with death flooded all his body.
Inside his Meridians, the energy roared savagely, destroying everything in its path.
Helial was not even in the First Phase, he was just above level 20, but he was controlling an amount of energy equal to that of someone at level 220.
This power goes against order, it represents the freedom of chaos, the force of Destruc-tion, which is not an end, but a new beginning if you want. Show me your new beginning, brat.
"Even though he could not reach this level without my help, he is truly remarkable", thought the little boy with the black bangs and the bowl cut.
Helial's Meridians started breaking, but Mana kept flowing constantly inside his body.
230, 235, 240.
His Aura kept growing against all reason. Meanwhile, Meridians were shattering, muscles tearing and Body of the Qilin was unable to regener-ate quickly enough.
Helial's body was now held together only by his willpower and his astounding Mana Control.
A web of pitch black veins spread from around his eyes.
280, 290, 295.
The rate at which his Aura was growing slowed down; it looked as if it were approaching its limit. Helial had already surpassed four Phases, a feat that no one else before him had accomplished. But it was going to cost him dearly. Even if he did not die, he would probably be a cripple all his life, unable to use Mana again.
Caesar was now looking at him with new eyes. He was speechless. That brat in front of him was about to reach the Fifth Phase with his Au-ra, despite his true level being close to 20. What kind of monster was he facing? What creature in that universe could accomplish such a feat?
What is happening to that boy? Those horns, those eyes… The power of a demon, of a terrifying demon. What kind of a Legacy has he found?, thought Caesar in awe.
The Goblin King looked at him and sighed: "So much wasted tal-ent… stop, kid. If you go on, there will be nothing left of your body, lis-ten to me. I mean it."
Helial saw compassion in the Immortal's eyes and felt something ex-plode in his chest. Pity! He did not need anyone's pity, not even of the strongest of Immortals!
The tunic he was wearing got ripped in the back, torn by two majestic bat wings that opened forcefully, showing their giant wingspan. Helial looked like the harbinger of doomsday.
Helial's Aura had entered the Sixth Phase Late stage. The boy was now emanating a terrifying and sinister pressure, as though he wanted to anni-hilate all life on this world.
The Devil himself was observing Helial, deep in thought. "This kid, such control. No, it's not really the control. The determination. His body is about to explode, and so is his Soul." The little boy with the black tunic made a gesture with his hand and a strange energy enveloped Helial's Mana Seed. "I want to enjoy the show, before his Mana Seed explodes", said the boy, coughing.
Helial could not feel anything anymore; even the pain had vanished. That was a sign of his imminent death. But what did it matter? Rage, re-sentment, grudge… all gone. Helial was free, free of the fear of standing in the presence of an Immortal. He sensed his Mana Seed was about to collapse. Actually, it was incredible that it still had not exploded. He could go on further; now it was time to attack.
He looked at the palm of his free hand. The skin had become a trans-lucent black shell.
"Being a monster is not too bad, if you can be a monster for free-dom."
The Devil was shocked by those words and kitted his brow in a dis-tressed frown. He crossed his finger before his mouth.
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls it butterfly", sighed the little boy.
Helial slowly raised the arm that was holding Curse of the Demon, while his body seemed to be falling to pieces at any moment.
A mischievous grin spread across the Devil's face. He whispered to himself: "I'll lend you a Skill, but for today only." Then he too raised an arm.
The black outline of the sword loomed up defiantly in the sky. Out of the blue, all the light in the world was absorbed by the sword. The colors were washed out from every blade of grass, every piece of clothes, every tree, and even from the sky.
"What's happening?!" asked the Commander, alarmed. The Aura of the kid could not be described with words, and so the terror that had seized the Commander.
Caesar scowled: "He's activating a Skill."
The Immortal chose not to intervene. Although the Aura of the kid had surprisingly reached the Sixth Phase, it was still not enough to threat-en him. But there was something in that attack that aroused a primordial fear in his limbs. Caesar, King of Orma and the Goblin Empire, was shivering.
In an undefined time, countless years earlier.
In the dead of night, a young man and woman were lying next to each other on a grassy field. The dim light of the moon shone on them, falter-ing whenever hidden by a passing cloud.
The blonde hair of the girl was like a shower of comets on the grass, while her hands were intertwined and rested on her belly. Her skin was pure white jade, her slender fingers did not need jewels to shine. Her eyes were the same bright color of amber; a mere glimpse of those eyes could have soothed any pain. She emanated a warm and reassuring Aura.
But what stood out the most of her appearance was the faint smile that rested on her lips.
That smile shone with the light of a thousand suns; not even her hu-man appearance could mask the absolute grandiosity of that smile. Every-thing looked brighter next to the girl, as if shining from within.
At her side lay a young man.
His hair was pitch black as the darkest of nights, blending in the shadows. His hands were behind his neck, propping him up to take a better look of the sky above. He had a pale complexion, like an unearthly creature, while his bony fingers were morbidly fascinating. His intense ebony eyes were so deep one could get forever lost in them. He emanated an icy, steady Aura.
What was shocking in that boy was his gaze.
Those eyes could have swallowed all life in the universe. His gaze was so intense that not even his boyish looks could conceal those tyrannical eyes. Everything felt colder around him, as though the temperature dropped below zero.
"Aren't you scared?" asked the girl.
"Of what?" replied the young man, in a casual tone.
"Of my Clan. Who should you fear more than them in the entire uni-verse?"
The young man seemed to ponder those words for a few moments. "Myself", he smiled.
The girl shook her head, covering her mouth with her hand, while shaking with a giggle. There was unique and indescribable tenderness in that gesture.
The young man sighed. "Why should I be scared?"
"They won't let you see me again. You are in the Third Phase and powerless against them. Even now we could be watched. If you stopped seeing me you wouldn't run any risks, you know?"
The girl rolled on her side and their eyes met.
"There's more danger in those eyes of yours than in 20 of their Im-mortals: if you give me a sweet look, I'll be able to make it", he sighed again.
"What those shitheads want to kick my ass for, anyway? Mpf, mpf, how many people in the Fourth Phase could face me? How many in the other Phases? They can only employ Immortals to stop me. One day, I'll be the Patriarch of my own Clan and I'll change everything. Actually, what am I saying, not a Patriarch!"
He jumped to his feet, in a strange frenzy.
"Not a Patriarch! May all those old bastards die: I'll be a traveler, king of this universe only by my name, I'll have no need for useless titles. I'll be the lord of Monkeys, Tigers, Eagles and Dragons. I don't give a shit about these stupid Clans. I'll be a monster, like those people in your Clan say. You know, being a monster is not that bad, if you can be a monster for freedom."
His Aura suddenly started seething, enveloping everything, washing the colors out of the entire world, but for the girl. She stood up and walked to the young man, softly putting a hand on his shoulder.
All of a sudden, his Aura turned off and the world regained color. Even the young man's pale complexion looked now brighter, next to her.
"How can you say these things with a light heart?" asked the girl in a disappointed voice.
"With a light heart?" the young man laughed, "which heart more than mine is always burdened by dark thoughts? Your Clans wants me dead and my Clan wants you dead. My heart is not light, and neither is death. But as long as we won't step on a different path, as long as we won't trace our own way towards what seems to be an abyss, what can we do?"
The young man smiled sweetly: "What would be the point in denying what I love, what I am? Am I a beast? No, not at all. My life won't be mere survival, but a full life. I'll bend destiny to my will, even if it meant tearing the universe in two!"
The girl rested her head against his back and whispered: "Don't die, then. It'll be just the two of us, together to change our destiny."
In the present
Helial's Aura now looked like an insuperable mountain for the two Goblins. It did not matter that one of them was an Immortal, there was a primordial grandeur in the movements of the boy, as if he weren't just a boy, but a terrifying demon.
The Longsword that he kept raised above his head was collecting an incredible amount of Mana, by sucking in all the light around them.
"This Skill is monstrous…" said Caesar, shocked by what he was see-ing happening at the hand of a brat that was not even in the First Phase. What would have happened if the boy would have been in the Sixth or Seventh or even Eighth Phase? Could he have been able to fight an Im-mortal?
In his long life, he had had the honor of knowing many powerful and talented people, but no one had made such a deep impression on him like Helial had.
Your people does have someone as remarkable as you, brother, thought Caesar.
"Stop, kid, your body cannot bear so much Mana, stop it."
Caesar spoke in a serious tone: losing a young talent for such a trifling matter was silly.
Caesar took a step forward, but right at that moment, Helial attacked.
An Unknown Skill is activated:
The world froze, faded, and life seemed to be wiped off the face of the earth, while darkness took over the air. The only hint of light seemed to be coming from the tip of Curse of the Demon.
Helial slashed the sword, without any apparent effort. However, the moment the movement completed its course, it generated a gigantic ener-gy blade.
The Aura of the sword emitted a dull metallic boom, as it collided at lightning speed with Caesar.
In the exact moment when the energy left his body, Helial fell back-wards, completely drained. He was as pale as a corpse and started bleed-ing from all facial orifices. His bones turned to dust inside his body. There was nothing left of his Meridians, which had completely shattered. His body was now an empty shell; only his Mana Seed remained, shining feebly, as if it were about to go out at any moment.
That blow contained everything that Helial had received from life, and now barely anything remained of him.
"In order to become stronger, to obtain something, Shithead, some-times we have to lose something else", whispered the Devil.
Helial remembered that moment when, after losing all Strength and MP, he had been able to develop and improve Mana Pistol. Maybe the Devil had not lied to him, he really had done it for his own good.
Was that the end? Or was this end a new beginning?
He fell to the ground.
An impalpable layer of translucent black energy prevented him from hitting the hard soil. His conditions were critical, a single bump could have killed him on the spot.
Caesar stared at the blow of the kid rushing towards him.
In the moment right before lowering the raised sword, Caesar had seen two images merge. The outline of a tremendously fascinating Devil, with eyes that could have swallowed the universe, had appeared where Helial was standing. The two figures merged, becoming one, and threw the attack together.
Caesar stretched a palm in front of himself, generating a shield of Mana. His had an Affinity with Earth, so his Skills were based on abso-lute attack and defense. Few people could survive a direct fight with someone with Affinity with Earth.
The blow collided with the shield.
Caesar sensed an abyss forming in front of him, a chaos ready to swallow him.
The shield cracked.
"What the hell is happening…"
That blow was full of corrosive properties and was slowly making its way through the shield, to his palm.
Caesar frowned and reversed even more Mana inside the shield. But that did not help: although the blow did not contain a huge amount of power, his corrosive properties were astounding. Not even the shield of an Immortal was able to withstand that.
A dense web of cracks spread on the surface of the shield.
"Impossible." A puzzled look spread on Caesar's face, his eyebrows slowly contracting in shock.
Something was wrong. How could a boy not even in the First Phase exercise so much pressure on an Immortal?
Sweeping past the shield, the blow hit Caesar's hand. He gritted his teeth, bracing himself for a good shake. But nothing happened. The blow quickly extinguished itself on the palm, as if nothing had happened.
The sky regained its colors, the grass started waving again. The world was not in black and white anymore.
"Good job, kid, good job", whispered the Devil to himself.
Caesar looked about himself with a puzzled look, then saw Helial lying on the ground, the Longsword with the blade as dark as night still clutched in his hand.
The Goblin King took a step forward to grant to the boy the eternal rest.
The Commander was fretting. He had almost shitted himself in all that chaos.
"Such a seemingly weak boy has managed to shatter the King's shield? What kind of monster would he become if we let him live?" he whis-pered to himself. Luckily, the boy was unable to move and was not going to get up any time soon.
It would have surely been a calamity for their race to let him live, knowing the grudge he would hold against all Goblins.
But the Commander kept quiet. He did not dare to speak. Caesar's pride had been wounded and he probably wanted to personally end the brat's life.
Even the biggest of geniuses in this world cannot survive without someone to watch their back. And clearly the boy had no one, or he would have spit out the name of some Clan, Guild or Sect, way before ending up in a state like that.
"Sometimes one is just unlucky", sighed the Commander. He had to admit that he would never have such talent, and that made him really jeal-ous. Helial was not even 20 years old, but he already possessed such tal-ent to shock all living creatures walking on the planet.
Caesar had raised a palm on Helial, ready to turn him to dust.
For just a moment, he felt a slight sting in his palm. He turned it around to look at it.
Caesar's eyebrows contracted spasmodically.
His skin was split in a thin cut, from which a drop of blood rolled out and fell to the ground, regardless of the indignation of the Immortal.
"Interesting…" Caesar smiled as his gaze fell on Helial.
Okay then, it's PlainJane here. I couldn't write longer comments in the author's thought but I wasn't done writing, so here I am.
The authors often say that The Awakening of the Demon is somewhat imperfect - lots of flashbacks, slow start and stuff. The writing will become more refined, and the plot more compelling. Don't you trust me? Go read it! :3
Leave a comment below and a review if you like! From now on I will be publishing 3 chapters per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I live in Italy so I might take a bit to settle down with the time difference. Anyhow, see you on Friday guys c:
The world began to slowly regain its colors and time started flowing again at its normal speed.