G 005: Demon Godbeast

Ugh, damn…

I stay on the ground for a while. A corner of my brain realizes that doing so constitutes a death sentence, but the rest of it doesn’t seem to care. Maybe it’s too busy listening to the complaints coming in from my body. Everything is still attached, and I suppose that, technically, I’m not injured, but I feel like I was just squeezed through a meat grinder. At this point, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to just die.

That bitch kept kneeing me in the stomach with earth-shattering force – literally, earth-shattering. Fortunately, all my clothes are defensive artifacts that increase the power of my shielding magic, or I would definitely have died right then and there. Even then, I could still feel my defenses breaking apart with each blow, and the residual vibrations from the shockwaves punched me in the gut like a battering ram.

I feel nauseous…

And I feel disgraced.

The fight didn’t last long, but while it lasted, not a single one of my attacks actually landed on my opponent. This is simply humiliating. AK-A-13 danced circles around me while I blundered forward like a blind cripple. That display was unworthy of me.

No…

The main problem is that my enemy simply moves way too fast.

I knew AK-A-13 heavily strengthened her own body while she was in the Planar Tower, but I couldn’t have imagined it would reach this extent. I have to use my own reinforcement magic at full power for my eyes to even catch a glimpse of her movements. Otherwise, I would only see a few vague blurs before being smacked around, not even knowing what’s hitting me. However, not only does it require a whole half of my qi to maintain my increased physical capabilities – which is still better than flying, at the very least – but the fact of the matter is that I’m just not used to moving at such speeds. Everything goes too fast. I don’t have any time to consider my next move. During the fight, I did manage to react to AK-A-13’s attacks, just barely, but all my counters were clumsy and flurried. I was just flailing around.

None of my training courses ever included battling quite that fast. For the good and simple reason that it’s just not a practical tactic for most of the enemies I might face, so my instructors didn’t focus on that. Indeed, the amount of energy required to sustain this sort of speed would usually be used much more intelligently in a wide-area destructive spell – the only thing capable of doing anything noticeable to the humongous godbeasts that roam the Godrealm, which all gods train to fight in priority. Well, someone with more qi at their disposal could afford the expense of the physical strengthening, I suppose, but a 1st-rank god like me is rather restricted on that point. All energy I expend on reinforcing my body is energy I’m not leveraging toward actually winning the fight.

Right. This is the issue.

It’s not a question of being strong or weak. It’s simply a question of suitability. I’m well-equipped to fight against godbeasts – and against human gods too, come to that – but I shouldn’t see AK-A-13 as either of those. She has the strength of a godbeast, certainly, and her magic is also as rough as one, but she’s also small and fast enough to easily dodge around my strikes. Her tactics, strengths and limitations are all different from the opponents I’m trained to fight.

Primitive, simplistic magic. An absurdly strong body.

I need to adapt my own strategy as if I am fighting an Swamp Panther or something. I’ll no doubt see more success this way.

I struggle to my feet, clutching my aching stomach, and look around. A heavy fog, created in the clash of magic between Akasha’s ice and Orsino’s lightning, covers the surroundings. Neither of them is in sight.

I hope Orsino’s fine. He really helped me out on this one; I’m glad I brought him along. Without his intervention, it would have gotten seriously dangerous for me.

I take a deep breath and am about to cast a spell to wipe away that fog, making sure first that my shield is back at full strength, when a strong gust of wind suddenly buffets my face. For a moment, I wonder if Orsino preceded me on the magic I’d planned, but then a desperate shout breaks the strained silence the heavy, tarp-like fog brought over the scene.

“N-NO!”

zzt, zzzzzzzzzzzt!

Orsino’s desperate voice is followed by the distinct crackle of his electricity. The fog hanging in the air is thick and dense enough to conduct his power everywhere, and tiny bluish electric sparkles flit here and there all around me, as if hanging mid-air in the mist.

Damn it. That didn’t sound good.

Did Akasha turn her attention to him after he interrupted her attempt to kill me? Judging by his scream, she must have caught him in close combat, his weakness.

I better hurry.

I have to return the favor and save him!

bang! splat!

But I fear my inward promise is given the lie a moment later, when one more powerful impact yet again rocks the earth under my feet, followed immediately by a sickening wet sound, halfway between a bursting balloon and a bug being squashed under a boot. The blood drains from my face as I imagine what could have produced such a revolting noise, and the sprint that was supposed to bring me to Orsino’s aid dies in its cradle.

I stand unmoving for a long time, in the middle of the fog, listening carefully for more sounds and trying very hard to convince myself that what I think happened didn’t just happen.

But the only thing that reaches my ears is my own ragged breathing.

“Move. Move, move, move. Damn it, Gareth, move. Right now.”

Whispering quietly to myself, I shake off the shudders climbing up my spine like the legs of a crawling centipede and slowly walk toward the point those… undetermined noises… came from. My fingers are clenched around the familiar hilt of my sword tightly enough that my knuckles turn white.

Soon, I reach the edge of a crater. There wasn’t any such thing here before the fog covered the battlefield.

“Fuuuuu…”

Letting out a deep breath, I wave my arm, and a strong wind abruptly blows, dispersing the fog in my immediate surroundings, revealing the grisly spectacle at the bottom of the crater.

A block of ice is resting at the very center of the crater. But the white of the ice is stained with crimson. And pieces of Orsino, all torn flesh and shattered bone, are strewn everywhere around it, like gruesome decorations placed next to an altar to set off its grandeur. One of his arms flew halfway up to the lip of the crater and lies there, its fingers bent in something like a grasping eagle’s claw, as if demonstrating how hard its owner fought his eventual fate and sought to escape it. Nearest the block of ice, resting lifelessly against it, is Orsino’s head, his face an almost unrecognizable ruined mess of blood and meat. Something seems to have pierced right through his skull and out the other side.

“Urgh!”

All this, I see in the short second before I turn away, wrenching my frozen gaze from this disgusting spectacle, slapping a hand against my mouth to prevent myself from vomiting.

Orsino…

The terrifying scene I just saw keeps flashing into my mind despite my attempts at keeping it out. My breathing is rough and uncontrolled, and getting more so by the second. Until I bend over and empty the contents of my stomach onto my own boots. I keep retching even long after I have nothing left inside me to throw up. My eyes are tearing up at the burning pain in my throat.

Coughing and wiping my mouth on the sleeve of my robe, I straighten up and take a deep, coughing breath before forcing myself to look again.

“Fuck…”

Orsino’s dead.

He sacrificed his life to help me.

Fighting the nausea once again welling up inside me, I slowly climb down the slope of the crater, keeping an alert gaze on the block of ice, my shields at full power. When I arrive near it, my gaze is drawn to Orsino’s destroyed head, and as much as it was difficult for me to look, just a minute earlier, now I can’t tear my gaze away from it.

It’s not the first time one of my subordinates dies for me. I don’t remember it myself, but Father told me once that, when I was very young, the Mera family sent assassins after some notable characters of the Adkins family. I was targeted, as well, and several of the gods assigned to me sacrificed themselves so that I could escape the ambush alive.

…He saved my life.

…I was supposed to save him right back.

Gritting my teeth, I tear my gaze away, violently enough to make the muscles in my neck hurt.

“I’ll see to it that your family lacks for nothing, Orsino,” I swear aloud, pointedly not looking back down at what’s left of him. “Your years of service have been appreciated and will be rewarded accordingly.”

Avoiding Orsino’s mangled remains, my eyes instead land on the irregular block of ice resting next to me. I didn’t have the mind to notice it earlier, but a blurry shadow nests in the middle of the ice, though its surface is too opaque to make out any details.

Though I don’t need to.

It’s not hard to guess what – who – is sheltering inside.

I grit my teeth so hard I can hear them grind against each other. The hilt of my sword creaks in my desperately strong grip. I feel a deep, burning anger rise up from the pit of my stomach.

Once more, this monster has taken a life. The life of a good man, of a god who might have accomplished great things, if only he’d had the time, if only he’d been given the chance. This worthless bitch has torn that time and that chance away from him. Not only that, she’s reduced him to such a pitiful state. There isn’t even a whole corpse for me to bring back to his wife and his son.

‘N–NO!’

Orsino’s desperate, terrified scream before he died seems to echo in my ears again, and with a snarl, I lift up my sword and stab it down toward the block of ice.

“Raaaaaaaaaah! Die!”

Time to put an end to this revolting creature once and for all, to cleanse the world of this Tainted monstrosity!

The blade, tinted blue with my magic, pierces through the first few centimeters of ice like a hot knife through butter. I feel a surge of savage, bloody satisfaction at the achievement.

I’ve finally ended it!

Father! I’ve finally ended it!

Except…

baaaaaaaang!

The instant I think AK-A-13’s life is forfeit, something – something ridiculously heavy and fast – slams into my back. My full-power shield shatters and disperses like a tiny little cobweb in front of a crashing meteor. In the face of that single blow I receive, all my defenses, which held up well enough during the short fight against Akasha, mean absolutely nothing.

“Aaagh!”

I lose my grip on my sword and my dagger. I lose my grip on everything. And I’m blasted away into the distance like a leaf before a hurricane, speed turning the world around me into a blur.

Is this how Akasha felt when she was struck by the displacement grenade?

Strangely enough, however, I don’t feel as much pain as I should. Certainly, my entire body hurts from the suddenness and violence of the acceleration I was subjected to, but whatever it was that struck me was powerful enough to plough through my shielding magic like it wasn’t even there. By all rights, my unprotected body should have been turned into paste – no, into mist, to scatter in the wind. Except I’m not. I haven’t lost any limbs. I don’t even have any broken bones!

I’ve flown almost halfway back to Dorn before the parabola I draw through the air brings me back down toward the ground. I hastily cushion my fall with a burst of the same wind magic I used earlier to dissipate the fog that had covered the battlefield, then spin around as soon as my feet touch the ground, my hands, free of the blades I dropped, rising in front of me in a textbook-perfect martial art guarding stance.

But there is nothing behind me.

Whoever sent me flying didn’t follow me.

That’s not too surprising. If they’d wanted to kill me, they could have done so with absolutely zero effort. In fact, it was probably more difficult for them to hold back enough not to kill me – which, in its own right, is an impressive demonstration of control of their strength.

But why would anyone do this?

Are they perhaps aware of who I am, and who my father is? Whoever attacked me must be afraid of incurring the wrath of the Adkins family. It’s the only reason I can come up with to explain why I’m still alive to have these thoughts.

But, once again, why?

Why interfere?

Is someone protecting AK-A-13?

Another of the Septentrion trying to profit from Father’s research? I can’t pretend to understand what it’s all about, but I know it’s important to the family. It’s not implausible that someone else might have somehow learned of AK-A-13’s existence and tried to take her for themselves.

As the feeling of that terrifying force suddenly pushing against my back comes back to me, cold sweat streams down my face and coats my back, making my clothes stick to my skin. I have to deliberately control my breathing to avoid falling into panic. Even then, my stance isn’t steady. My legs are shaking; my hands and fingers trembling uncontrollably as the shock settles in.

Never have I been so close to death before…

Even against Akasha, when I was in danger, I still had the ability to resist. I wasn’t completely powerless.

But now…

My eyes dart everywhere, looking for a threat – for anything at all – but the scene in front of me couldn’t be more ordinary. I landed in the forest north of Dorn. Stuck between the two mountains, the trees here certainly aren’t very big or leafy or pretty. But there is nothing to indicate that a god far above my own level is nearby. Looking at these calm woods, it’s almost like I dreamt the whole thing.

I don’t know how long I stay, almost paralyzed, nerves tight with fear, just waiting for something to happen.

Eventually, though, my hammering heart calms down. I lower my arms that are starting to get sore and relax my stance…

“Sir!”

“Hyaah!”

I jump in fright at the voice suddenly appearing right behind me, my heart once more beating so hard it feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest any second. I spin around to face the voice and move to run away from it at the same time, which almost ends up with me tangling my feet and tripping to the ground. As it is, I stumble a few steps away like a drunk before I manage to regain my balance and look with wide eyes at the owner of the voice.

Clara is standing there, just a few meters away, her hand still raised in greeting. She seems frozen in place, her eyes examining me with obvious surprise. Behind her, floating in the air with shackles around his ankles, wrists, and neck, is the humongous devil I told her to capture when we started the operation.

“Um, sir? Are you all right?”

“H–Huh? What?”

“Are you all right, sir?” she asks again. “You’re white as a sheet. Did something happen? Where are Orsino and AK-A-13?”

It takes a few seconds for my harried brain to understand Clara’s words. Even then, I barely manage to form a half-coherent answer. I vaguely wave my hand toward the collapsed hill that served as the battlefield for today’s confrontation. “Oh, huh. O–Over there.”

Clara tilts her head. “Is the fight over? Is AK-A-13 dead?”

“Yes, I mean, no, but… Um, huh… That’s… I just…”

Clara looks dubiously at me. Even I know my behavior right now is a mess, but despite my efforts to calm down, every word I say comes out as if from the mouth of a lunatic.

“I see,” Clara says slowly. “Sir, I’ll go get Orsino, then, shall I?”

Without waiting for me to work up the courage to tell her Orsino’s dead, Clara starts walking toward the battlefield where Orsino and I fought Akasha, the huge devil floating along behind her.

More to the point, she starts walking toward the point where the person who threw me flying is most likely still standing.

“No, wait!”

A terrible premonition given birth in my heart, I raise a hand and take a step after Clara to grab her and prevent her from dooming the both of us with her stupidity.

But the moment my foot touches the ground and brings me a half a meter closer to AK-A-13’s position, the entire world stops moving, and Clara and I stop in our tracks.

Bloodlust, so thick and heavy that the very air coagulates around us, rises up in the distance and covers the world. The wind stops blowing. The tree leaves stop fluttering. The sky darkens perceptibly. Images of rivers of blood and mountains of corpses and dark, hungry maws filled with fangs flash through my mind, burying every other thought underneath them.

My eyes widen until they almost fall out of their sockets. I hear my teeth chattering. My breath freezes in my lungs. My heart lurches unsteadily, on the cusp of failing. My body itself is shutting down, without obvious cause, as if it’s simply a law of nature that everything should be dead under the heel of that boundless bloodlust, and I’m simply, inexorably moving toward that natural state.

A bird falls out of the sky and crashes next to me, dead. A tiny corner of my mind that still manages to maintain a modicum of sobriety realizes that I’m going to end up like this as well, in just a few seconds, when the bloodlust abruptly retracts back to where it came from. I see out of the corner of my eye that Clara too has been freed, as she mutely falls to the ground on her hands and knees, her shoulders heaving, her entire body shaking uncontrollably.

For a small, mistaken instant, I give inward thanks to that mysterious expert for his mercy – I have no doubt that the owner of that bloodlust is the one who threw me away from AK-A-13, earlier.

But then, the rumbling starts. At first, I feel more than hear it, like the faint tremble of a deep earthquake spreading from the ground and into my feet. Except that this rumbling gradually becomes louder and louder until, like the ocean of bloodlust before it, it fills the entire world. Pebbles on the ground are rolling and bouncing around. The trees and leaves are all violently vibrating.

As it becomes louder, the rumbling’s tonality and pitch also change, and I finally realize what it is.

The growl of a beast.

grrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

When the growl turns into a full-throated roar, an explosive gust of wind swipes across the forest, originating from the direction of the crater sheltering the frozen AK-A-13, like a breath pushed out of a monstrous throat. A visible tidal wave of air sweeps across the entire forest. Trees are violently uprooted and flung through the sky, and both Clara and I are blown away, falling onto our backs and rolling over the ground.

The roar continues unabated, still getting louder and higher, and soon, it blends into a screech that sounds for all the world like nails scraping on a blackboard right next to my ears.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Still on the ground, I scream but barely hear myself beneath that horrible noise. I see the trees and the earth splintering and shattering and turning to dust all around us, as if the world itself is ending. I hurriedly cover my ears with the most powerful shield I can muster, and it too vibrates and trembles, even closer to breaking from this simple soundwave than it was from AK-A-13’s blows.

screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!

Blood leaks out from my nose and covers my lips. My teeth ache. All the muscles in my body are shivering. Even my eyeballs are twitching painfully, as if getting ready to burst. Tears of blood flow down my cheeks and drip down to the ground.

I almost wonder if I’m going to die just like this, when I catch sight of the huge, rhino-like devil, still floating unconscious in the air. He looks even worse than I probably do. His whole body is shaking and twisting. It almost looks like countless worms are crawling under his skin, as if his blood is running backward through his veins or attempting to burst out of his arteries.

But then, it really does.

The huge devil bursts open, like an overripe melon being crushed by a battering ram. I’m not sure if it’s due to the vibrations of the unearthly screech or something else, but that heavily muscled, 2.5-meter-tall frame breaks apart into a black cloud of blood mist, which then unnaturally soars through the air, dodging around the branches of the few still-standing trees, heading up toward the sky and quickly merging with the black clouds covering it in every direction.

What in the void?

Are those clouds made out of demon blood or something?

screeeeeeeeeeech!

“Uuuuugh!”

Unfortunately, I don’t have the leisure to investigate anything about this situation. I can’t even stand up. It takes everything I have to hang on to my consciousness.

And then, all of a sudden, from one instant to the next, that horrible screech stops, not even a residual echo of it remaining.

“Guh, huh, huff…”

I cough out a few mouthfuls of blood and wipe my palm against my face. It comes out red with blood, but I don’t care.

I’m alive! I made it!

“Nnngh!”

Gritting my teeth, I work my way up to my feet and stumble over to Clara’s prone form. I trip on my own feet before I can make it to her and fall on my face next to her unresponsive body. Groggily climbing to my knees, I shake her shoulder to try and wake her.

“Clara. Hey, Clara.”

She doesn’t respond. I’m about to roll her over onto her back to check her state, when I notice that night seems to be falling.

Gasping, I lift my head up toward the sky.

A clearly unnatural tide of clouds, all pitch black, is gradually covering the entire sky, slowly stretching all the way to the horizon and plunging the world into darkness.

“Haaah, haaah, haaah… No way. No way, no way, nowaynowaynoway…”

Tendrils of panic creep into my body and take hold of my heart. All the heat seeps out of me, leaving me as if bathing in ice-cold water.

What in the void is happening?

Is this really Caldera? Worthless little backwater Caldera?

What kind of monster is hiding on this plane?

What would something this powerful be doing here?

And how powerful is it, really?

I’ve seen Father fight before. Not even he could possibly cover the entire sky with his power like this. Would even the head of our clan be able to accomplish such a feat?

By the time my thoughts have caught up with the situation and I can form a proper thought again, a moonless night has fallen. I can only see the forms around me by silhouettes and outlines.

Slowly, I stand up and turn around to face the north.

There, a gigantic, indistinct form is standing, only visible because it is even blacker than the night around it. It dwarfs even the two mountains on either side of it.

My gaze falls onto this titan in time to see a bright, glowing red sun slowly open over its surface, 7 more following in short order.

Demon eyes…

I stand transfixed, in the dark, until those 8 red suns subtly move.

Toward me.

A small, strangled, sputtering whimper escapes my clogged throat as those eyes, each as big as a hill, focus on me. I feel their attention like a physical weight slamming into my mind. I feel my soul strain and creak, threatening to shatter and disperse in the face of that unbelievable presence.  Something wet and warm trickles down the bottom of my robes and forms a pool at my feet. 

Godbeast…

A demon godbeast…

Probably something like an 8th- or 9th-rank demon godbeast.

That’s it.

This plane is forfeit. Dead. Gone.

And so am I.

The huge demon stares at me for a few seconds more, before something rises up and stretches out from the main bulk of its silhouette.

…A leg?

When the monster’s leg falls down, looking slow and ponderous from this far distance and with its enormous size, it strikes the ground like a falling, city-sized hammer. It’s only a single step, but gullies and crevices and canyons crack the earth in every direction. The plane’s crust buckles and splits open, and the mountain on my left-hand side directly collapses, a terrific landslide sweeping over the surrounding land, Dorn and the forest in which I’m standing included.

But I couldn’t care less about the landslide.

Because that gigantic monster just took a step.

In my direction.

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Heedless of everything, I turn around and bolt. I trip on Clara’s unconscious body and fall to the ground, but it barely even registers. I push with my feet against her flank and use her as a springboard to scramble the next few meters on my hands and knees before I manage to get my feet under me and start running again, my magic drawing on the wind harder than ever before to help me flee just a second faster.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Leaving everything behind, I run from this place without turning back.

44 comments

  1. Almost two weeks for this chapter. I’m really having trouble writing, these days. Sorry about that.
    Still, I’m finally satisfied with it, so that’s something.

    1. I hope you get your mojo back, even if it involves longer waiting times between updates. This chapter was certainly a good one.

  2. Ok – the spider is MUCH stronger then I originally thought (its interesting that she spared the godlings).

    Hopefully she’ll leave some food for her friend.

    1. I’m not so sure actually. I think she’s stronger than she lets on, but i suspect a lot of that last bit was little more than a show.

  3. Great chapter. RIP Grigori.

    Nice to see Sanae let loose. It seems that she was holding back during the battle with the frog godbeast, and maybe faking unconsciousness after.

    1. It’s just a matter of reference. At that time Sanae had to protect Akasha, and was fighting a mountain sized frog something likely stronger than her and as big (or bigger) than her too. To say she was holding back implies that prick could actually be worth showing her full power to, and was as strong as the frog. Clearly not the case.

      It’s more likely that he’s just a pleb when compared to Sanae and can’t withstand her natural aura that comes with her cultivation or whatever.

      1. The frog was only a 2nd rank godbeast, while Gareth is a 2nd rank god, so he is only slightly weaker than the frog.

        Also, Gareth estimates Sanae as a 8th or 9th rank godbeast here. Assuming his assumption is close, she would easily obliterate the frog at her full power.

        Thus, I’m pretty sure Sanae was holding back against the frog.

        My speculation is that her intent was to force Akasha to fight as hard as possible, as a form of training. Without Sanae, Akasha would have lost to the frog. With Sanae at full power, the frog is dead immediately without Akasha being able to fight.

        1. 2nd Rank godbeast does not equal a 2nd rank god.
          I doubt Gareth would even know how strong a 2nd rank godbeast is. He has just been watching everything through a screen scoffing and saying “Yeah, I could’ve done that.” like an asshole.

          Demons are the anti-thesis in this world, it makes sense they’re stronger than the norm at weaker levels considering they’re designed to kill everything. So, all those conditions on top of one another compound to making Sanae seem stronger than she really is for Gareth.

          On the other hand, she has poor mileage, so it’s doubtful she could maintain top combat form for long before weakening even if she is far more powerful. It hasn’t really been all that long since they escaped the prison and it’d be hard for her regenerate her energy levels in the new setting I think.

          1. A 2nd rank godbeast is roughly equivalent to a 2nd rank god, though.

            From W 002 (In reference to the sulfur frog):

            “It is a lesser godbeast, to be sure, but an old one, with power equivalent to a god at the very highest peak of the 2nd rank.”

            If Sanae was really only equivalent to the frog, then Gareth is estimating her at 6 or 7 ranks higher than she really is. Even with Sanae being a demon godbeast, I highly doubt that.

            1. Well, my bad on that.
              But I still think that its partially due to Sanae being a demon that he perceives her strength to be so high. Whether or not that is actually the case.

    2. I don’t think so. I think it’s more like she has a hugely draining, self-enhancing type mode. Can dish huge amount of damage at once, but at a cost of severe amount of Blood Qi. (The fact that she was ‘asleep’ for a while after the Frogbeast fight checks out).

  4. It is not impossible that Sanae got a lot of food out of Akasha`s former release of the blood ki (probably the taint itself).
    Sanae clearly knows something of politics or else the little God would be dead.

  5. Am I the only one that thinks that the human god training is stupid (or maybe just Gareth’s)? As in focusing on wide area destruction instead of a more targeted approach. “Why use an anti tank rifle when you can use a nuke?” seems to be his teachings.

    1. Actually that could be because it would take extra power on your part to limit the power of what most people would be focusing on, explosive power. Even punches at a certain speed would take extra power to prevent shockwaves, but that extra power may not increase the power more than using the power to add more explosive force to your attacks.

      1. That may be so, but in G004 he mentions: “However, powerful practitioners can’t be allowed to throw their magic around wherever they want. There are too many of them and too little livable space for such a thing. Poisoning arable lands, irradiating cities, laying waste to whole swaths of what little territory humanity has earned for itself… These are real dangers, up there.”

        So, why are young gods taught to do the opposite of what rules they have to follow in the godrealm? They will just form bad habbits.

    2. He was trained to be a god that means he skipped steps 1-9.
      He only knows spells level 9 (flight magic) and above.

    3. That was Gareth’s thoughts on how to combat a speedster, and area of effect can be a viable tactic against targets that are too fast to hit with more directed attacks. Hitting someone with a weak attack is better than not hitting them with a stronger attack, after all.
      That said, what would be even better is being able to hit with a strong attack. Honestly Gareth, three simple words. Speed is key. Repeat after me, SPEED IS KEY.

  6. Typos:
    All the energy I expend on reinforcing my body is one I’m not leveraging
    referring to “all the energy” with “one” seems wrong

    Orsino’s desperate voice is followed but the distinct crackle
    followed by

    I have definitely return the favor and save him!
    have +to

    Blood leaks out from my noise
    nose

    Tendrils of panic creep into my body and take hold my heart.
    hold +of

  7. This really seems to support the Sanae is Miroslav theory. Strength, desire to train Akasha, maybe because she was doing well in the tower, knowledge of humans. And just the fact that Sanae was hanging out in the tower, despite being strong enough to leave it solo.

  8. Why don’T you make a patreon page?
    You wrote once that you didn’T make one, because you dont have any rewards to give, and a donation button does suffice.
    Rewards aren’t necessary to encourage people to support you there. I have seen several, who simply offered their gratitude, and this was enough for the fans.
    Those who like to support you might even appreciate it, because this way they don’t have to go ‘through the hassel’ of having to click on the donation button everytime they want to give you a dollar or two.
    With patreon they just have to do it once, and then it will done automatically every month, until they decide to stop it.
    You also mentioned that writing this story is just a hobby, but just because it’s a hobby doesn’t mean you can’t be rewarded for the effort you put into it.

    1. I don’t want to use Patreon because, in my mind, it’s inherently linked to the concept of a “salary” — more so than something more impersonal and generalized like Paypal. Maybe it’s just prejudice or narrow-mindedness or something, but that kinda puts me off.

      I don’t mind being paid a salary for my actual job, because I’m fucking good at it and I deliver results commensurate with the money I receive in exchange. But with this story, I pointedly do *not* deliver results commensurate with anything at all. Just look at this chapter. Twice as long to write, and it’s not actually any better than the others. That’s not professional quality, right there. And I’m fine with that. As I said, this is just a hobby (I follow the dao of Saitama).
      Really, the donation button is mostly there because every other website out there has one of those, these days, and I wouldn’t want to be bullied by the other kids during recess because my mommy and daddy weren’t rich enough to pay me a shiny new Paypal button.

      But you don’t have to feel like you should throw your money at me.

      I think it’s time for a necessary disclaimer, now:
      Do remember that this wall of text applies to my personal situation. Patreon is a fine tool for people who have something to offer through it.

      So. I don’t know if I actually explained anything at all, but there you have it.

      TL;DR: No Patreon. There is an option in Paypal to make recurring donations, if you really insist.

  9. Can anybody tell me, why Sanae is in such a rage?
    Isn’T such a behaviour quite unsual for her?
    The reason shouldn’T be because Akasha got hurt, as she hadn’t expressed such emotions, when something similar happened.
    Making Gareth retreat shouldn’t be the cause of it, as well, as this is simply overkill, and such a waste of rescources. How long will it take for her to recover after this incident. The first time she easily threw Gareth away she already showed her superiority.
    In the short term it might be profitable, because he is going to leave this planet, now , so there won’t be any disturbances for the time being.
    But, the moment he reaches his home, he obviously is going to report the sighting of a ridiculous strong Demon Godbeast, which will result in them sending their biggest assests.
    I would think it better to be underestimated than the opposite.

    1. Going by Gareth’s response, Sanae demonstrated a level of strength high enough that no members of his family would be willing to face (As he isn’t even certain if his family’s head can produce such power).

      It’s much more likely that they’ll simply cut their losses and abandon the plane as soon as they can.

      1. He is talking about 1v1,but they would send a big force, if they would decide to attack her.
        They would obviously suffer huge losses, so they would have to ask themselves the question, if it would be worth it. I think that they would deem it to be necessary, because they would know that the demongodbeast is protecting Akasha, who obviously wants to exterminate their clan, when she discovers that they are the reason for her imprisonment. By waiting they won’t just have to deal with Sanae, but with Akasha, as well, who is going to become much stronger in the future.

        1. I disagree. It may not be that easy for the Adkin Family to send a few high-level experts to kill Sanae and Akasha. They are, according to the god-emperor, a bunch of selfish bastards. Secondly the political situation in the god realm may not allow it. Furthermore, there are some clues that demons are not well liked by the denizen of the god realm and Akasha is still, compared to the god-emperor and Sanae, pretty weak, so she “should” need a couple of thousand years to catch up – if she ever does.

          I guess it’s time for Akasha to get a real power-up, not just a lot of blood.qi.

  10. So… Clara was dead, right? Gareth didn’t notice it?

    I feel sorry for him. He’s going to have to report to daddy about this, and that’s not going to be fun for him.

  11. This was perfect strategy on Sanae’s part.
    Forcing Gareth to deliver a report that his father categorically will NOT believe. Will, in point of fact, believe to be Gareth’s excuse for failing to kill AKA-13 and losing Orsino in the process…It effectively destroys any possibility of Gareth’s father ever placing any faith in Gareth again. Without that, Gareth is nothing. Sanae just killed Gareth’s future, without needing to kill his body and potentially validate suspicions on Gareth’s father’s part.

    One Adkins down, one to go.

  12. I mean think about the substance of the report Gareth would be giving:
    “I’m sorry Father, AKA-13 survived and Orsino is dead. I didn’t even manage to retrieve any of the Devils.”

    God-Emperor to Gareth: “What?!?! How could you allow a catastrophe like this?”

    Gareth: “Well, it was going reasonably well..AKA-13 had been critically wounded, despite the loss of Orsino. I was just about to deliver the killing below as she hibernated due to the critical levels of damage she’d sustained. Then this 8th or 9th-ranked Demon Godbeast came out of nowhere, slapped through my shield and sent me flying for several miles, but it didn’t otherwise harm me. Then I saw it manifest an absolutely tremendous aura of power, considered Caldera to be forfeit, urinated on myself and fled at best speed back here to warn you we need to evacuate.”

    Now, the 4th-rank God has a choice. Buy that an 8th or 9th ranked Demon Godbeast that could shred him in a microsecond has somehow, inexplicably, been hiding on Caldera all this time. Doing nothing particular to gain the attention of any Gods or high-rank cultivators all this time.

    Or conclude that his son is a lying piece of shit trying to cover up his failure. I mean Gareth is basically saying “I had her Father, until Bigfoot showed up and kicked my ass.”

  13. Actually, it make sense that Sanae is more than she seem. Akasha need to optimize her every movement because of her weight, while Sanae can change size and weight at will, going from very small and weightless to so big that one of her eye has the size of a hill and so heavy that merely taking a step destroy a mountain.

    To do that, I think she is using some very high level space magic to store her excess mass when she want to be smaller, so the theory about her being Miroslav seem even more plausible now. Or at least having something to do with him (well, other than being from his tower).

    And I don’t think her show of strength is a bluff, her bloodlust was enough to incapacitate the idiot, and just the screech wounded him (even if he is using pay to win, he is still rank 2, so for this kind of thing to happen, there need to be a really big gap in strength).

    It has been a while so I hope I remember correctly, but the range for casting spells or using abilities should be proportional to the strength of the soul, which itself determine the rank.

    There is also how easily she understand humans and their society (more than Akasha, which is pretty easy anyway).

    And the most ridiculous is Miroslav’s tower, that could be renamed demon tower, since pretty much everything inhabiting it is a demon. The 199th flour even had millions of each types of demons. As if it could create them at will. It hint at Miroslav having heavily studied demons. And Wayland lost control of the tower, every time Sanae showed herself. This is the biggest hint, since he didn’t create it and only inherited it, only Miroslav could have overwrite his control over it or made a backdoor for someone.
    Also, Wayland was Miroslav’s student, and his main preoccupation seem to study demons and making experiments on them.

    My guesses are:
    – Miroslav has been “reborn” as Sanae (strange since he had access to rebirth pill) and he is genuinely enjoying himself with Akasha.
    – Sanae is only a temporary form for him, until he manage to make a more fitting body.
    – Sanae is his familiar, or at least the one working on his resurrection. He may not even be dead, just trying to make a better body for himself.
    In both later cases, Akasha is probably the beta version of Miroslav’s future body, and Wayland’s project is merely a shadow of Miroslav’s. You can’t compare Akasha and Sanae to the apostles, after all. How well this will bode for Akasha can vary a lot. In the worst case, Sanae may even be planning to take over her body.
    Since Sanae appeared just after the obelisk, Miroslav may even had planned that Phineas would take over/freeload Akasha’s body (I found it strange that the obelisk’s purpose was unknown to Wayland). Maybe he tampered with the obelisk to make Akasha a valid target, so that Phineas is in control and is easier to predict/control (since we had his point of view, I doubt he was an accomplice), or has other plans for him.

    All of it pieced together give the start of a coherent explanation, but we lack the cornerstone to make anything solid enough. We lack too many of the pieces more directly related to Akasha for that, like what happened exactly when she got kidnapped, the involvement of her father in the researches, her origins, why she was sent to the tower (and by who), her transformation with body parts in adamantine, her hidden word, etc.
    Actually, it’s a bit strange that the circumstances around Sanae seem easier to understand, so yeah, take everything with a grain of salt.

    Oh, and also Phineas told Akasha that war (probably between gods) would be fought over a dagger in adamantine, and that she was the richest person in the universe just from the parts of her body made of it. Now imagine a lump of adamantine the size of Sanae… That would be enough for the whole godrealm to go into a frenzy and crazily hunt her. It’s no wonder that she try to be low key and only show herself when the visibility is low like in this chapter. Actually, they are actually pretty lucky that Wayland didn’t notice Akasha’s adamantine yet. He was probably delaying the study of her body for when he kill her when she get out of the tower.

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