Baltoh and the others were hovering in the sky above the coast of the Isle of the Damned, a continent about the size of England and surrounded by a flat sea of Hellfire, burning for eternity and stretching forth without borders. Above them was a sky filled solely with crimson clouds and black lightning, forever stirring in a windless hurricane. Down below on the barren landscape of the Isle of the Damned lay burning fields, lakes of bubbling magma, forests of undead trees, and millions of people getting raped and tortured by the Gargoyles and Sinners of Hell, all in the most brutal and cruel ways possible. But no matter how much the people suffered, they would not die or even lose consciousness. Their bodies would continue to regenerate instantly so that they could continue to suffer.
Among the people being tortured and used like slaves, there were those who were desperately fighting against the Gargoyles and Sinners. With rusty swords and guns cast from Hellsteel, they fought for their freedom against their tormenters, running across the apocalyptic landscape in fear and terror while desperately trying to escape from pain, if only for a short time.
“Oh my god, this is horrible.” Selene gasped, clutching Baltoh’s hand and trying not to vomit or cry.
“These are the Burning Pastures of the Isle of the Damned, the first zone of Hell. This is where new prisoners appear and where escaped prisoners flee to in the hopes of some form of safety. It is a battlefield, with the deceased souls fighting in and endless and hopeless war in order to escape their torment and punishment. Considering how this is always a battlefield, it’s not surprising that it is also part of the Circle of Wrath. It is here that we shall begin.” Baltoh explained with his voice dry.
“What are we doing?” Raphael asked.
“We are going to free the unjustly punished. There are far too many prisoners here, innocent souls cursed for all eternity for minor infractions and sins. I may have been born from hatred, but I am still far more merciful and driven by justice than your God.” He said, clapping his hands together.
“Angel Art: Crusading Legions Summoning!” He called with his voice carrying across the Isle of the Damned.
Down on the shores of the Isle of the Damned, hundreds of thousands of suits of armor began to materialize, made of glistening metal and indestructible silver that glowed like the stars. Protruding from their backs were large wings that seemed to be made out of mercury while in their hands were bladed weapons that were as long as cars and consisted of a long crescent blade –almost like an arch- with a handle stretching between the two points, parallel to the spine of the blade. The weapon was designed to be held with both hands far apart, for a powerful offense and defense.
“What are those? I’ve never seen a spell like that performed.” Rosemary asked in wonder.
“They are my Crusaders, summoned with a spell that I myself invented. Cinereo is the universe from which Heaven and Hell budded off from and its energy was both the architect and materials from which Archangel and Demon spells were formed. Having acquired the Throne of Cinereo, I now have the power to create new spells of light and darkness, as well as cast celestial spells.” Baltoh proudly explained.
Without anyone inside of them, the suits of armor marched across the burning fields in formation. Echoing throughout the Isle of the Damned, their synchronized footfalls shook the ground and echoed through Hell. As they came upon the sadistic Gargoyles, they slew them like machines without mercy, swinging their massive blades and carving through bone and flesh with ease. They trekked through the pastures of fire, slashing and cleaving every Gargoyle in their way. Every time they came upon a human soul, they would scan the soul to identify whatever it was that had banished that person to Hell, and if the person received their sentence through a serious crime like rape, theft, adultery, or unjust murder, then they were left behind. But if they were only guilty of small harmless sins, then the suits of armor would open up like blossoming flowers and envelope the prisoner. Fused with the suit of armor, the condemned soul would be given great strength and power, even beyond Archangels. With this new strength, the prisoners became the new Crusaders.
A great shadow filled the crimson sky as an army of Demons appeared, bringing forth Conjuring Necropolises and Graveyards of the Damned to instantly summon thousands of Gargoyles and Sinners to recapture the prisoners of Hell. With this new challenge, the Crusaders began to pick of speed. Half of them took flight while the rest charged towards the Gargoyles.
A loud roar echoed from deep within the Isle of the Damned as well as across the burning sea as Goliaths and Bleaks began to arise. They were of all types, creeds, and forms, ranging from black dragons, demonic birds, nightmarish insects, colossal Gargoyles, towering four-legged beasts with monstrous physical characteristics, and countless other animals that were large enough to trample a city and were adorned with horrifyingly demonic appearances.
With a snap of his fingers, Baltoh summoned suits of armor for all of the Archangels, as well as Selene and Molly. Without even knowing what was going on, everyone was swallowed by their suit of armor as it wrapped around them like Venus flytraps. Unlike the freed prisoners below, their helms looked like a mix of a welding mask and a futuristic motorcycle helmet, with their halos burning in the center of a large golden fireball that hovered above their heads, something that the others did not have.
Their armor also had a much sleeker and more form-fitting design, with gold lining every plate and an emblazoned cross on the chest plate. On top of liquid metal chassis, each piece and plate fit together like reptilian scales but with full solid protection like regular armor plating. For the men, their armor had a certain bulkiness, while the women’s armor was more slender and flexible, while still consisting of large solid plates. Hanging sheathed from their belts were their swords, each remade with greater durability and cutting power.
For Molly, Rosemary, and Selene, there armor was even more unique. Instead of being consumed by a golden fireball, their halos had been completely replaced with miniature solar systems, quite similar to the entire miniature galaxy above Baltoh’s, and each with a real egg-sized star and ten planets orbiting around it, five going around in one direction and five going in the other. While retaining their gold lining, the plates of their armor had changed in color, switching from pearly white to a very deep and dark blue and decorated with patterns of small diamonds that looked like stars. Instead of a cross like the others, their chest plates had been adorned with Baltoh’s own personal crest: two infinity symbols overlapping at the center perpendicularly with a sun within each loop. Last but not least, their wings themselves had gained a new form, gaining a mercury membrane in place of their feathers.
Obeying their will, everyone’s helmet opened up and folded back as they looked at their armor in amazement, feeling their power levels skyrocket. Selene, Molly, and Rosemary were the most shocked at their new transformation.
“That armor has just increased your speed, strength, and power up beyond my former level. Consider it a gift, and they appear and disappear whenever you want them to. Selene, Molly, and Rosemary, you three have just been turned over from the realm of Angels to become my Celestial Valkyries. You three now have the ability to harness the powers of the universe and elements as your spells, and knowledge of how to use them will come naturally. With these enhancements, I believe I can leave these Goliaths to you while I take on the guy approaching our position.”
“Who?” Michael asked as he flexed his fingers, more than satisfied with the maneuverability. Before Baltoh answered, a huge flaming mushroom cloud formed deep in land, as if the world’s most powerful atomic bomb had just been detonated. Everyone watched in horror and gagged as they felt a dark and heavy sense of dread as a malicious energy weighed down upon them.
“Satan, the first Hell Prince and caster of judgment upon the new arrivals. Oh look, here he comes now. Don’t worry, I’ll make it quick, just make sure you take tare of those Goliaths.” Baltoh said calmly, as if bored. As he spoke, the crushing presence of the approaching Hell Prince was swept aside, freeing everyone of their dread and returning their excitement and enthusiasm.
Reassured by Baltoh’s words, everyone nodded and split up, giddy and desperate to try their new strength.
As a building-sized Gargoyle began to charge a Dark Pulse, a Crusader charged towards it. She had been locked in hell for three hundred years and was glad to have the power to fight back. The beast released the blast, tearing apart the infertile ground and barely missing the armored fighter. The Crusader jumped into the air and imbedded one of the two ends of her weapon into the top of its skull and making sure not to lose any momentum or to pull the blade out of its cranium, she pole-vaulted over it, using her blade to cut its head in half down the middle. As she ran down its back, her blade cut down its neck, into the chest, and carved right through its black heart. The beast fell over dead with its brains and blood spilling out onto the arid soil.
A Demon flew towards a Crusader like a striking eagle, skimming just over the ground with a spear in her hand. She reached out to stab the Crusader, but he blocked with his weapon, granted more than enough strength by his armor to face the sentient conglomerate. Using his newly-gained power, the Crusader reached out and grabbed the Demon by the throat and slammed her down into the ground with devastating power, making her cough blood from all the shredded channels and veins in his throat. The Crusader stood up and lifted his bow-shaped sword and swung it down onto the Demon, cutting her in half down the middle.
A Crusader flew through the air around a colossal Gargoyle that was sending down waves of shadow fire into Baltoh’s armies. The creature noticed the freed prisoner, but acted like it was a mere fly. Taking the initiative, the Crusader flew by its wing and cut right through the membrane of leathery flesh that allowed it to keep flight. The Gargoyle roared in pain and began to plummet out of the sky with the soldier standing on its back. The Gargoyle reached up with its tail to try and smash the Crusader, but he dodged with ease before he raised his weapon and slashed the beast across the back of the neck.
The Gargoyle roared in pain but still had control of its body. It struggled to flap its wounded wing, but it could not take flight. Just before it crashed into the ground, the Crusader imbedded his weapon in the gash in the back of the Gargoyle’s neck. The dark behemoth landed in a burning field, tossing soil and stone into the air, and the impact drove the soldier’s weapon into its neck, cutting off its head.
All of Hell began to shake as fissures opened up in the ground. Fire poured out of the gaps in the earth and huge skeletal hands reached out. Slowly, thirteen Bleaks crawled out and stood towering over the army of Crusaders. The Bleaks opened their jaws and released several Dark Pulses into the landscape, destroying the weaker Gargoyles and the Crusaders without any distinction.
“Come on Molly, let’s take care of them!” Selene said as she flapped her liquid metal wings and shot towards the giant skeletons.
“Don’t start without me!” Molly laughed as she held out her hand and materialized her own huge cleaver. With their long hair hanging out of the back of their helmets and whipping around a they flew, the two women zoomed over to the Bleaks, desperate for battle.
Molly was the first to reach the group and instinctively attacked the skeleton closest to her. With a roar of determination, she spun around in the air and swung the arch blade with all of her strength, imbedding the edge in the corner of the Bleak’s left eye socket. Instantly, cracks formed across its skull like a spider web and its whole cranium shattered in a bright explosion, as if the blade had been lined with claymore mines.
“You stupid whore!” One of the Bleaks howled as it opened its jaws and began charging a Dark Pulse.
Moving faster than a speeding bullet, Selene shot up along beside the Bleak and delivered a devastating kick right to its spine between its ribcage and its pelvis, crippling it with ease. The gargantuan monster roared in agony as it fell and looked up, inadvertently releasing its Dark Pulse into the sky. But before it could hit the ground, Selene zoomed straight up and shot right through its skull like a living bullet, ending the Bleak’s life.
Hovering in the air, Selene swerved to the side as several Bleaks reached out to grab her, followed by Molly who came along and cut off all their hands with her cleaver. Falling back to plan her next movie, Selene gasped as she felt a ripple of knowledge flow through her mind. Instructions for a spell were entering her subconscious as if it wanted to be cast. Memorizing the instructions, she began to dredge up her energy, feeling it naturally direct and organize itself. Driven by unstoppable instincts, she pointed her hand and called out,
“Celestial Art: Lighting Obliteration!”
Answering her call, a crackling bolt of pure electricity erupted from her palm, as strong if not stronger than a Divinity Ray. Unlike the Blessed Lightning spell used by Archangels, this was true elemental electric power, not an imitation made of holy energy. Moving almost at the speed of light, the massive surge struck a Bleak in the center of its chest, shattering its ribs and severing its spine. As the dying monstrosity began to buckle, she fired again, this time blasting off the top of its skull.
“Celestial Art: Tornado Scythe!” Molly hollered.
Glowing like neon gas, silver wind wrapped around her bow-shaped sword and howled as she raised it above her head. With a roar of confidence, she threw the weapon at cluster of Bleaks and it was instantly wrapped in a flashing tornado. The pillar of glowing wind charged into the trio of skeletons and knocked them back like a charging bull. As they fell to their ground, every bone in their body split into dozens of flawlessly-cut sections, as if they had all been hit with a net of laser beams. The blade returned to Molly like a boomerang and she gained a wide smile underneath the tinted glass visor of her helm. She finally had the true strength to avenge her own death.
Selene smiled as well, sensing Molly beginning to gain a certain competitiveness with her. Not wanting to be outdone, she pointed her palms at two Bleaks that were lumbering towards her.
“Celestial Art: Cosmic Crush!” She bellowed as she closed her fists.
As the Bleaks opened their jaws to launch a barrage of Dark Pulses, their bodies began to shake violently. In an ear-splitting crash, they were suddenly yanked down as if by a weighted leash and crashed into the ground, shattering on impact. Selene had increased the force of gravity on their bodies, multiplying their own weight by more than ten fold and crushing them with it.
“Celestial Art: Star Birth!” She then called, pointing at one of the Bleaks that Molly had dismembered.
Firing from the tip of her finger, a sphere of red light shot across the open space and hit its mark on the Bleak’s forehead, passing harmlessly through the bone and entering its skull. Selene cracked a smile and the Bleak spontaneously erupted into a flaming mushroom cloud, originating from inside its head. The spell she had just used mimicked the fiery fusion process that takes place in stars, causing a small-scale nuclear explosion inside the beast. It was basically a firecracker compared to the nuclear explosions caused by atomic bombs, being only strong enough to annihilate a city block. She pointed at two more Bleaks and killed them in the same way, obliterating them form the inside out with small nuclear explosions.
“Celestial Art: Meteor Obliteration!” Molly cast, holding out her hands.
From the ground, a volcanic boulder was pulled free and flew up to Molly. She pressed her hands against it and the boulder instantly disappeared, moving at almost 70 km/sec, about the same speed as the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. The boulder hit one of the Bleaks in the center of its chest, creating a sonic boom in the air that instantly reduced its entire body to dust. The meteor shot off across the Isle of the Damned, barely being pulled by the planet’s gravitational pull. By the time it left the continent, it had finally fallen enough to touch the planet, and it would only have one chance before shooting off into the completely empty space. For a split second, it skimmed across the burning sea, but that light touch was more than enough to rocket a tidal wave of fire out of orbit. The flaming cloud was almost as large as the planet itself and Hell shook wildly from the light yet sudden impact.
She called forth another boulder and launched it at another Bleak. The giant managed to sidestep to avoid physical contact, but even without touching the flying boulder, the sonic boom of its momentum created a shockwave in the air that shattered the entire right side of its body in a fraction of a second. As the slain beast crumbled like demolished building, Molly looked over to Selene, who had just killed her sixth Bleak with another bolt of lightning.
The two friends looked at each other and then to the final Bleak, too stubborn to run away. Moving at hyper speed, they both charged towards the skeleton, both wanting to beat the other in Demon-killing and have the higher score. The Bleak was just about to launch a Dark Pulse at the two women when they appeared in front of it, pulled back their arms, and simultaneously punched it in the face with enough power to destroy its head.
With the Bleaks taken care of, the women both gave the mental command to retract their helmets and their armor obeyed, opening up the protective gear like the opening of a puzzle box. With warm smiles on their faces, Selene and Molly leaned forward and kissed.
“Angel Art: Divine Smite!” Gabriel thundered as he flew towards the millipede Goliath that Baltoh had encountered earlier.
The gargantuan creature had its body raised out of the burning sea and was launching a stream of acid from its fanged mouth. With a roar, Gabriel punched the Goliath in the middle of its body with all of his strength, sending a catastrophic shockwave through its body. The mass of Demon spirits howled in pain as every blood vessel in its long body ruptured and its eye popped like a paint balloon. Had Gabriel tried to do that to a Goliath before, even while casting the spell, he would have probably just been laughed at and then devoured.
Blind and in agony but still very much alive, the Goliath hissed and launched a Dark Pulse powerful enough to obliterate a mountain range. With golden flames automatically burning along the blade, Gabriel swung his sword and cut through the blast, protecting himself from its destructive power like Moses parting the Red Sea. Once the blast finally trickled to a stop, Gabriel raised his sword and gripped it with both hands. With blinding intensity, the golden flames around the blade surged upwards, multiplying in size over a hundred times every second.
Even without its eye and swimming in a sea of fire, the Goliath was filled with dread as it sensed the colossal energy within the golden flames. At its pique, the sword was the route of a golden burning tornado, larger than any tornado on Earth. Filled with confidence, Gabriel swung his sword like an executioner, launching it in a crescent blade at the Demon.
“Angel Art: Burning Moon Slice!” He bellowed as the blast slammed into the Goliath, ripping its head and the upper half of its body in half.
“Angel Art: Spear of Destiny.” Michael said, holding his hand out to the helmeted eagle launching boat-sized steely feathers at him.
Upon his command, over a hundred rays of light began firing from his hand, each bending and straightening out with the golden voulge blade at the ends leading them. The blades of energy and the giant wings collided with each other like bullets in the air. Such a feat was impossible without the armor that Michael had been granted.
“Angel Art: Crusading Canter.” He calmly said.
Moving so fast that his speed was second only to teleportation, he appeared behind the Goliath without ending his original spell. The eagle looked back and saw Michael a nanosecond before hundreds of massive energy blades bombarded it all at once, knocking out of the sky like a Frisbee hit with ten loads of buckshot. It plummeted towards the burning sea with the endless stream of blades striking it with unstoppable power and literally chopping it to pieces. It was dead long before it landed in the flames.
“Angel Art: Enlightenment Flash!” Raphael called, giving off a radiant flare that was brighter than the sun.
The mountain-sized Gargoyle recoiled at the bright light and shielded its eyes, giving Raphael the perfect opportunity to swing his sword and lop off one of its hands in a single slash. The Goliath howled in agony and clutched the bleeding stump as the severed hand fell into the burning sea with a massive splash. Spinning around, the Goliath swung his tail in an attempt to knock the pesky fly back so that he could recover, but Raphael stopped the massive attack with one hand as he were swatting aside a moth, proceeding then to slice it off with only one movement of his sword.
“Demon Art: Monster Slash!” The Goliath roared, raising its one good hand and then bringing it down with all of its strength, launching five invisible edges that were each powerful enough to cut through a tectonic plate.
“Angel Art: Gates of Heaven.” Raphael calmly hummed, holding out his sword.
Before the slashes could reach him, a golden gate, as large as the front of Mt. Rushmore, materialized before him and blocked the attack. With the holy energy that the gate was radiating with, the invisible blades couldn’t even slip between the bars.
“Angel Art: Ultimate Penitence.” He said as the blades grinded against the barrier futilely.
Before the Goliath could even realize what has happened to it, a wooden cross that was twice as large as the Empire State Building fell out the sky and struck it in the back, piercing it through with its intense weight and blasting its black heart right through its chest.
“Celestial Art: Crushing Sea!” Rosemary shouted as she dodged the Dark Pulse of a tiger Goliath with a mat of quills on its back.
Above her, a building-sized sphere of water appeared in the air and suddenly began to spray out into a thunderous waterfall, as if it were and inter-dimensional drain that lead to the bottom of an ocean. The deluge splashed down onto the Burning Pastures, extinguishing the flames and slamming into the Goliath as a powerful tidal wave. Vast clouds of steam rose up into the sky as the water poured across the barren countryside and put out all the flames before reaching the coast of the burning sea. Flapping their wings, the Crusaders all took to the air to dodge the devastating tsunami as it snatched up the Gargoyles and Sinners and pulverized them.
“Demon Art: Debt Retrieval!” The tiger snarled as it tried to hold its footing against the ceaseless flood. The surging surface of the water was further disrupted as dozens of huge skeletal hands reached out like leaping sharks, stretching like rubber to grab Rosemary.
“Celestial Art: Stone Jaws!” Rosemary called with her heart burning with confidence and power.
Intercepting the bony hands, great daggers of earth burst from the ground in the midst of the growing arms, crushing them like twigs in the claws of lobsters.
“Celestial Art: Lightning Obliteration!” She called, launching a devastating bolt of electricity down into the water.
The Goliath howled and snarled in agony as it was electrocuted with enough energy to power an entire state. Bridges of electricity arched between its quills, its flesh peeled and melted off its body, and smoke wafted from his mouth as its insides burned. It fell to its knees, letting the endless tidal wave wash over it, but Rosemary was not done yet.
“Celestial Art: Crystal Ice Ray!” She shouted, swinging her arm in rotation and drawing a large ring in the air with her own energy.
Once the ring was completed, the air within it glowed brightly with a blue shade and shined like the stars. With a roar, the tiger Goliath burst from the surface of her sea, claws barred and black fire burning between its jaws. With a roar of determination, Rosemary slammed her palm against the middle of the ring, launching a blast of sapphire-shaded energy that was six feet in diameter. The blast struck the Goliath in the chest, instantly freezing it and the entire forming sea.
With the beast and the flood now a giant ice carving, Rosemary shot towards it with her fist pulled back. Reaching the frozen Goliath, she reached out and punched it on the nose with all of her strength. Simultaneously, the entire frozen structure exploded into icy powder, killing all the Demons and Gargoyles trapped inside.
The battle suddenly became silent as a deafening roar shook the Isle of the Damned, forcing everyone but Baltoh to cover their ears to try and block the crippling noise. In the distance, a flaming comet could be seen approaching, flying like a mortar shell before crashing into the ground in front of everyone and burning away all the ice and debris with a wave of fire. Standing in the flames arose a gargantuan creature, large enough to snap up a Goliath in its jaws and kick aside a mountain like an exercise ball. It was Satan, the first Hell Prince and the Mascot of Wrath.
The son of Tenebrous had the legs of a goat with huge stomping hooves, red fur that was matted with blood, huge powerful arms lined with blades, serrated claws that were twice as long as his fingers, massive wings that could obscure the sky, curled bull-like horns, and a face that seemed like a mix of a jackal’s and a Gargoyle’s. Everyone stared in horror at the colossal monstrosity, towering over everything they had come to know and fear.
“So the vigilante returns. Normally you would flee to the world of the living at the smallest sign of my approach. It seems that you have gained some new powers, but it does not matter, you always were and always will be nothing compared to me.” Satan laughed.
“That’s where you’re wrong. I have transcended to the level of the gods and gone far past your puny world. You, the Hell Prince of Wrath, is no more of a threat to me than a dying maggot.” Baltoh calmly taunted, with his cape wrapped around him and billowing in the arid breeze.
“We’ll see about that! Demon Art: Apocalypse Eruption!” Satan roared as he opened his jaws and began charging a scarlet blast so powerful that only beings of the position of Hell Prince and higher could use it.
Everyone was brought to their knees by the crushing weight of the energy it was giving off, energy so dark and powerful that it could kill a city of people just through its ambient existence. The blast itself was so powerful that if launched from the sun during a full alignment, it would obliterate every planet in the solar system. Even after everything she had seen, Selene was filled with dread and fear for Baltoh as the radiance of the blast made her feel like she was going to die.
“Baltoh, move!” She shrieked before Satan released the beam.
With its launch initiated by a full-on nuclear explosion going off between his jaws, Satan fired the colossal beam of blood-red energy with almost ten times the strength as Baltoh’s old rage blast. The energy washed over the Celestial Avatar like a flood of magma and surged out over the ocean of fire, sending burning tidal waves in all directions that could consume entire countries. Flying out from the planet due to its curvature, the beam shot deep into the empty space, soaring for several seconds before detonating in an explosion that looked like a supernova.
“Funny that you call me a dying maggot, when you’re the one who is dead!” Satan cackled as the smoke cleared.
“I was wrong.” Baltoh’s voice echoed. Satan’s eyes widened in terror and everyone gasped, unable to believe that someone, even Baltoh, could take a blast like that head-on and survive. The smoke and dust cleared, revealing that he was completely unharmed.
“If that’s the best you can do, then you are even lower than a dying maggot compared to me.” Baltoh said coldly with Satan trembling like a leaf.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?!” He roared.
“A god.” Baltoh answered as he snapped his fingers.
Satan suddenly released a bone-chilling screech as his body went from fearfully trembling to violently jerking. Baltoh was allowing his energy to finally release itself like body heat and was focusing it all on Satan. Now, his entire body was being crushed from every angle as Baltoh’s energy closed in on him like a deflating balloon. The Hell Prince gave an excruciating howl as every bone in his body simultaneously snapped and his body began to collapse in on itself. He raised his power levels as high as they could go, but he was basically trying to hold back a tsunami with a rotting fence. Every open space in his body began to collapse under the strain, his broken bones being reduced to powder, his veins and muscles tearing themselves to shreds. As the execution continued, his body began to shrink as the weight of Baltoh’s energy began compacting his atoms themselves, pushing them so close together that the electrons were grinding against the nuclei and could not orbit.
Finally, Baltoh closed his hand into a fist and Satan’s whole body snapped, being instantly crushed in a pitch-black marble, as dense and heavy as a black hole. The marble floated over to Baltoh and he flicked it with his finger, sending it flying up into space where it exploded in a blinding flash, having been converted into raw energy by its own instability.
Baltoh looked down at everyone, staring at him in awe.
“Let’s keep moving. We have a whole interior of a planet to clear out.” He said.
The face of a Gargoyle had been carved into the Isle of the Damned with the jaws open in a furious roar. A colossal pit served as its throat, leading down into the depths of Hell. The pit was the size of a meteor crater, allowing for entities as large as Satan to pass through, while the sides were lined with countless staircases. With Baltoh, the Archangels, the Valkyries, and the Crusaders all standing at the edge of the pit, one of the freed spirits cautiously approached him.
“Please, who are you?” He asked.
“I am Baltoh, the Celestial Avatar. I’m here to liberate the unjustly punished and slay Tenebrous once and for all. When I am done, Hell will no longer be the cradle for evil but its punisher. I will exterminate every last Demon and Gargoyle and take away the power from darkness.” Baltoh replied before leaping over the edge and falling out of sight. Selene, Molly, and Rosemary all jumped after him, followed by the Archangels and the Crusaders.
As they fell, Baltoh held out his hand and a sphere of light appeared in his palm, illuminating the way down. The pit was so massive that if he were to try and fully illuminate it from that sphere, anyone who looked directly at him would be instantly blinded. As far as anyone was concerned, they might as well have just jumped off a cliff at night and there was no other side. Selene and Rosemary watched the passing side of the pit as they fell, noticing that the wall was made entirely out of human skeletons. There had to be a billion different remains in the pit alone.
‘We have to be careful once we enter the threshold, as there may be some barriers and restrictions that even I won’t be able to break.’ Baltoh said telepathically.
‘How is that possible? You’re a god!’ Selene responded, via her mind.
‘Yes, and so is Tenebrous. The only difference is that this is his world, his universe. Down here, he makes the rules. I will be able to overcome most of his obstacles and rules, but we are on his turf and he has the home field advantage.’ Baltoh explained.
Baltoh and his group finally reached the bottom of the pit and fell out of the sky into a whole new world. In the distance, a city of blood-red sandstone, bones, and undead trees woven into wicker structures stood against the burning background. The buildings ranged from small huts to entire jagged skyscrapers and each shook with the agonizing screams of the people inside being tortured by Sinners. The city itself was larger than New York and held a much larger population.
Just like with the Burning Pastures above, the land around the city was completely barren and lifeless. Even though they were technically underground, a sky of sickly vomit-shaded clouds swirled above their heads. The sky of Hell was different from the sky of Earth; it was… bigger. It was like the clouds were much higher in the sky with a larger atmosphere, providing an overwhelming feeling of exposure, like a mouse caught in the open with a hawk flying overhead.
Baltoh and the others finally landed on the summit of a mountain of reeking brimstone, cracked and burning with a putrid odor as flames streamed out from the fractures. The mountain had a dull tempered summit, almost like the tip of a pyramid, and was set at the very bottom of the pit as a sort of agonizing landing for damned souls dragged across the Burning Pastures and cast down into the pit to fall down to the city. This idea was proven by the thousands of damned souls that blanketed the mountain, naked and moaning in pain from their shattered skeletons and their normally lethal injuries. Scanning their minds with his own, Baltoh analyzed the sins of everyone on the mountain, and for the people he deemed innocent and/or justified, he healed their wounds and bonded them with one of his suits of armor, recruiting them into his armies while the criminals and guilty souls were ignored. As the raining Crusaders organized themselves on the mountainside, it was obvious that the inhabitance of the city were doing the same.
“Behold the City of Wrath, where people who have sworn their allegiance to Tenebrous get their sentence annulled and are employed to torture everyone else. They are the Sinners. However, because they have sworn their allegiance to the Devil, the spell that resurrects them over and over again is broken like a contract, and they become mortal like the rest of the demonic forces. While this is only a fraction of the Sinner population, this city is their largest hive. This and the Burning Pastures were originally Satan’s domain.” Baltoh said. As he spoke, Selene and Molly were looking up at the writhing sky with curiosity.
“I don’t get it, how can there be a sky if we are underground? We didn’t even fall that far.” Molly pondered.
“It’s true, we are in the planet of Hell. However, this is a world that does not obey the natural laws. This is a realm of mysticism and phantasms, not science and reason. The interior of the planet is a whole other world of it’s own, see?” He asked.
He pointed his finger up at the exit of the pit they had just fallen through, protruding from the swirling clouds like a towering dagger of stone from a cascading maelstrom. He fired a bolt of lightning from his finger, aiming just outside the lip of the pit. The slithering serpent of electricity dove into the clouds beside the pit, but there was not a crash, an explosion, or falling rubble. It was as if the pit was reaching through a hole in reality itself like a pipe. In the city, the skeletal followers of Tenebrous looked up at the mountain in terror, having watched the bolt of lightning shoot up like a signal flare.
“So are we going to take the city?” Michael asked.
“Yes, I want to take away the power from the Sinners once and for all. They were sent here to be punished for their crimes, not become the masters of the dungeon.” He replied with a steely tone as he snapped his fingers. Beside every suit of armor and crusader, a winged stallion appeared, covered in golden armor.
“Now we shall bring down the walls of this city and continue our siege on Hell! Let these Sinners know that their evil ambitions and wretched souls stand no chance against the power of light! Decimate this bastion of darkness and put these monstrous spirits back in their place! Everyone, attack!” Baltoh roared as every Crusader climbed onto one of the horses.
With everyone giving a roar of confidence and dedication, the Crusaders answered the call and began their charge. Half of the winged stallions took to the air while the other half galloped down the side of the mountain with their massive cleavers in hand and their armor shining like mirrors. Every follower of Tenebrous looked up to the side of the mountain and gasped as the Crusaders flew and galloped towards the City of Wrath. Leaving their torture victims behind, the Sinners gathered at the edge of the city in the tens of millions and prepared their defense. As wave after wave of glistening fighters surged down past him, Selene walked over with her helmet retracted and watched Baltoh, noticing a smile on his face.
“What?” He asked, seeing a curious grin on her lips.
“You’re smiling. You seemed so preoccupied and focused ever since you gained the Throne of Cinereo that I was worried that you had lost your emotions.” She mused.
“I’m happy, I’m finally able to do what I was born to do. I finally have the power to slay evil once and for all. Back when I was just a hybrid, I would never have dared of going up against the Hell Princes and trying to wage a war like this, but now I finally have the strength and ability to make my dreams come true. And with you by my side, there is no way I can fail.” He said, taking her hand and kissing it.
Selene smiled and pressed her lips against his, while drawing her blade with her free hand.
“Let’s go.” She said warmly once their kiss ended.
As the flood of warriors approached, arrows and bullets were launched from the city by the millions as the Sinners fought with weapons from all across time. Projectiles rained down upon Baltoh’s armies, but could do no harm to the horses or their riders, as their armor was far too powerful to be damaged by such puny attacks. Sprinting down the steep mountain, the mystical stallions panted heavily with each step but felt no fatigue or loss of strength. Their powerful muscles shook and warped as their hooves struck the ground, shattering the brimstone like frozen dew.
Holding their car-sized cleavers above their heads like blocks of Styrofoam, the Crusaders shouted out their resolve to slay their tormenters, with their armor going from shining to glowing as their confidence and dedication grew in strength. By the time they were halfway down the mountain, each Crusader was glowing like the moon, joining together into a radiant ray that blinded the Sinners below.
In one great crash, the ground troops slammed into the line of Sinners like a mudslide, knocking them down like dominos. The Crusaders used the size of their arched blades to reach out and stab and cleave the Sinners as their winged steeds galloped over them and trampled them with their hooves, shattering their bones like twigs. Dead or fatally wounded Sinners turned to ash as the last traces of their existence withered away. Even while outnumbered five to one, the Crusaders pierced the horde of Sinners like a tank and drove deep into the city.
Gargoyles and demons filled the sky but were quickly overpowered by the flying warriors. Moving as fast as lightning, the winged horses flew through the air, maneuvering between each Demon as the Crusader would reach out and slash them with their weapon. Gargoyles were knocked out of the sky by beams of light, shot from the wings of the horses like the Feather Arrow spell. The light energy burned their flesh like acid, causing them to plummet down into the streets in smoldering husks.
Baltoh walked through the city streets as his warriors flooded the city, slaughtering any Sinner that approached without even acknowledging their existence. As he remembered, the buildings of the city were make with a wicker-like weave of sticks from undead trees, but they served a purpose other than building material. The walls, floors, and roofs also served as prisons for damned souls with their bodies packed inside past the point of being crushed to death or suffocation. Every body had been pierced dozens of times by steel rods that served as reinforcements for the buildings like the 2x4s of a house. The bodies were pressed against side sides of their wicker cages like nets of piano wire with blood streaming from the cuts that each branch had worn into their skin. They continuously moaned in pain from their suffering and begged Baltoh to help.
He answered their pleas, reading the mind of each soul to identify their sins. To those he deemed innocent or undeserving of such punishment, he freed them with his mind and created a suit of armor for them to bond to so that they could join his ranks. As raining beams of energy brought down the dagger-like skyscrapers, Baltoh peered into the buildings and felt sick to his stomach. The people they were saving were locked in torture devices and undergoing abuse that darkened his mind with painful memories from before his birth as the hybrid. The Sinners had preformed everything from rape to forced cannibalism.
As Baltoh stepped out into the street, a round from a tank shot through the air and detonated five feet from him, unable to come any closer. He turned to the mechanical monstrosity, made from Hellsteel and decorated with human bones. The Sinners inside loaded another round and fired, but just like the first, it exploded before it could touch him and the flames and shrapnel were deflected.
Raising his arm, Baltoh closed his hand into a fist and instantly caused the tank to flip into the air and dematerialize, taking the passengers with it to the realm of nonexistence. A chorus of commotion reached his ears and he turned with a small smile of amusement as a crowd of Sinners came sprinting down the street with several Crusaders on horseback chasing them. The Sinners’ bony feet clacked on the cobblestone ground as they ran desperately, unable to escape the Crusaders. With powerful swings, the men and women hacked away at the Sinners, shattering their skeletons like rotting sticks. As they rode past Baltoh, they all gave loyal bows of their heads.
“Celestial Art: Carving Sandstorm!” Molly shouted as she flew overhead.
Aiming her hands at a group of Demons, she released a powerful jet of sand that seemed to form out of the air itself. The blast was just as large as a Divinity Ray and it washed over the Demons with each grain striking with the power of a high-caliber bullet. The Demons howled in pain as their bodies were pealed away layer-by-layer, sending misty blood and sleety flesh streaming behind them.
She was suddenly knocked down to the clouds by a deafening roar that shook the burning sky. A great Goliath lowered itself from the clouds with a body that looked like a mix between a vulture and a dragon, with jagged feathers, a long neck, a fanged beak, and serpent eyes. It released a bone-chilling shriek and a Dark Pulse appeared between its jaws, strong enough to take out the whole city. Before it could release the blast, Baltoh snapped his fingers and chains of light reached out of the sky and ground. They wrapped around the Goliath, strangling it until the sphere of energy in its beak disappeared. He snapped his fingers once more and the chains constricted until they ripped the beast apart.
Within minutes, a growing cheer echoed across the city as the last dying screams were extinguished. The city had been taken faster than any city on Earth in all of its history.
The Sea of Envy was in their sights and hearing range. Shrieks, as high as whistles and as low as dying animals’ could be heard, sending shivers crawling up everyone’s spine. Only Baltoh was immune to the psychological affect, due both his experience in Hell and his powers. Standing on the shore of the inky black ocean, they watched as waves crashed on the beach and revealed the people hidden beneath the spray. They were chained to the ocean floor, staring aimlessly with glassy eyes and pale faces. Many were chained to the beachside cliffs, forced to endure wave after frigid wave slamming into them and the demonic birds and crustaceans of Hell picking and feeding on their bodies, with every wound instantly regenerating so that they could continue to feel pain. Even as they looked upon Baltoh and the others and their casted light shined on them, they showed no emotions.
“Damn it, I hated this place the most when I came here.” Rosemary cursed.
“This is the Sea of Envy, the place where those who let jealousy run their lives are damned and punished. Just as Satan, Prince of Wrath, ran the Burning Pastures and the City of Wrath, Leviathan, Prince of Envy, is in control of this ocean. Here, the oily water poisons their bodies like battery acid to symbolize how envy poisons the mind and it weighs down on them with crushing power, just like how their feelings of inadequacy crushed them and made them jealous of others. And that isn’t even counting all the Demons and Gargoyles underneath the surface, torturing them without pause. Now the only things they envy are those that no longer exist. This place is tricky, as it has the greatest number of Goliaths and it is difficult to tell who exactly is guilty and who deserves to be freed.” He explained.
Baltoh then searched the minds of all the spirits in the immediate area to figure out which ones were guilty, and which ones were innocent. Those that were driven to commit crimes and caused harm because of their envy were left to stew, while those who were only the victims of human nature had their chains broken so that they could rise to the surface. But even though they were still aware and sentient, they floated on their stomachs and did not move.
Baltoh quickly summoned another army of winged suits of armor on flying horses to recruit the freed souls and slay the monstrous inhabitants. They galloped across the shifting water, immune to the affects of gravity as they reached down into the water with their two-handle blades, slaughtering the Gargoyles and creatures of darkness just below the surface. Any suits that weren’t fighting bonded themselves to freed prisoners, granting them their power. The light energy that flowed through the armor healed their ravaged minds and gave them the resolve to fight.
The Gargoyles and Demons swam deeper below the surface to escape the massacre, thinking they would be safe. The evil beasts were filled with terror as the Crusaders and their horses dove below the surface, galloping on the water as if they were running downhill. Swimming with incredible speed, they followed the beasts deeper and deeper into the water, slaughtering the slowest of them as the gap between the groups grew smaller and smaller.
A kilometer from the beach, the ocean floor dropped into a step continental slope, that seemed to delve into the darkest depths of Hell. As the Crusaders chased down the wretched creatures, their weapons and the wings of their steeds glowed brightly, illuminating their way.
Deep in the shadows, a great eye opened.
From the shifting waves of the ocean, a colossal whale burst from the ocean. Its mouth was open and full of jagged teeth, its back was covered in spikes, and it was large enough to snap up an aircraft carrier in its jaws. It dove back into the water, swallowing several hundred Crusaders in the process. Cricking his neck from side to side, Baltoh fired a lightning bolt from the air above him, able to draw forth and release the energy without even using his body or a source. The beam of light expanded as it passed between its jaws and burst out of the back of its head, destroying half of its skull and all of its brains. The dead beast sank below the surface as the bottom-feeder creatures immediately began feeding on its carcass.
Another great splash tore apart the surface as a massive set of pincers reached out and tried to snatch up the flying Crusaders. They managed to avoid the massive claws as the Goliath rose to the surface. It was a gargantuan lobster with four sets of pincers and a tail like that of a scorpion. A Dark Pulse began to charge at the end of its stinger and it was aimed for Baltoh. With a twitch of his eye, a spinning disk of energy appeared above his head and shot towards the Goliath, expanding to the creature’s size. The disk collided with the Goliath’s face and vertically sliced it in half. Once the blade reached its stinger, the charging Dark Pulse exploded and ripped the dead body apart.
Shaking the entire ocean, a vast legion of Goliaths began to appear from the darkest depths of the sea, each resembling a creature from Earth. There were sharks that just had circular pits of teeth instead of heads and jaws, squid with tentacles lined with blades of bone, crabs that had mountains blanketed with castles on their shells, sword fish with serrated barbs that could fire Dark Pulses from the tip of the blade, and millions of demonic piranhas that were individual cells of a single Goliath.
As the legions formed, one final entity rose up from the depths. The creature was as large as Satan with slimy green skin, an apish body, webbed fingers with sharp claws, outstretched wings that looked like the skin of frogs, and a head that looked like an octopus with almost a hundred long swinging tentacles.
“Is that Leviathan?” Selene asked as she clutched my hand.
“Yes, the Prince of Envy. Though he is also known as Cthulhu. I’ll take him on, the rest of you kill those Goliaths.” He instructed. Rosemary stepped forward from behind him with her helmet open and a smile on her face.
“Actually Master, how about we face Leviathan and you kill the Goliaths? I wouldn’t mind testing my strength against a Hell Prince. Besides, there are so many of us here and we can always ask you for help.” She suggested. Selene gained the same smile.
“I like this idea. What about you Baltoh, do you want to try it?” She replied. Baltoh mirrored the smile held by the three of them.
“Sure, you girls have fun.” He said before teleporting and reappearing behind Leviathan.
The Hell Prince turned around and was about to swing at him with one of his clawed hands, but an explosion rocked against his head and drew his attention back to the beach.
“Your fight is with us!” Selene hollered with smoke wafting from her palm.
“YOUR SKELETONS WILL LIE AT THE BOTTOM OF MY OCEAN FOR ALL OF ETERNITY!” Leviathan thundered as his tentacles stretched like rubber and shot towards them.
The Valkyries and Archangels split up to dodge the attack and each got read to counter.
“Angel Art: Feather Arrows!” Gabriel shouted as he pointed his wings at Leviathan and launched a volley of burning javelins.
“Angel Art: Divinity Ray!” Raphael shouted, firing a beam from each hand, both the size of office buildings.
“Angel Art: Spear of Destiny!” Michael shouted as he launched a flashing torrent of blades of golden light with each beam bending in the air and honing in on the target.
“Celestial Art: Lightning Obliteration!” Selene called, launching a crackling eruption of electricity from her palm.
“Celestial Art: Crystal Ice Ray!” Rosemary cast, drawing a lens in the air and then launching the sapphire beam.
“Celestial Art: Tongue Of White Flames!” Molly yelled, raising her arms above her head and releasing a bending and twisting geyser of pearly flames and surged towards Leviathan with enough heat to burn diamond.
Combined with the attacks of the other Archangels, the vast cascade of techniques slammed into Leviathan like a dozen riot slugs, knocking him back and drawing forth a howl of pain, but causing no visible damage to his body. Stepping out of the cloud of smoke, he only roared in fury and lunged with the tentacles hanging from his face like a swarm of frog tongues. As they shot forward, fanged mouths opened up at the end of each tentacle, snapping in hunger for their prey.
“It seems this won’t be as easy as we thought.” Raphael said, grinning under his helmet.
“Well it wouldn’t be fun if it was.” Michael said, he too with a grin.
“Come on boys, there is no way we’ll beat him from a distance. We’re going to have to get up close and deliver some real damage.” Rosemary said as she materialized her arch blade.
“Let’s hurry up before Baltoh has to save our asses! He’ll never let us live it down!” Selene laughed as she spread her wings and flew towards Leviathan with her blade in hand. Chuckling to themselves, everyone chased after her and dove into the maw of biting tentacles.
“Now allow me to show you the true benefit of being god, the one thing that only someone in my league can achieve. Celestial Art: Animal Kingdom Siege!” Baltoh called as he clapped his hands together.
Up above the sea, a miraculous thing began to take place. Matter was forming from pure energy and rearranging itself into specific compounds and molecules. These molecules bonded together and formed enzymes and amino acids, and they in turn joined together to create cells. Jehovah could make Archangels, Tenebrous could create Demons and Gargoyles, but only Baltoh and Cinereo itself could create life.
Announcing their arrival, eagles, hawks, and falcons, all larger than Goliaths and each with greater ferocity and strength, swooped down to begin their battle. Every feather on their bodies was glowing faintly, showing the protective energy sealed within. Showing no fear, the birds of prey obeyed the will of their creator and attacked the Goliaths, snatching them right out of the water with their long talons. The omega Demons desperately attacked the birds with Dark Pulses and other spells, but their techniques had no affect on the birds whatsoever, as their feathers were acting as energy transmitters that cloaked them in a protective aura, and the energy they were receiving came straight from Baltoh himself.
With their claws tearing through flesh and bone with ease, the birds threw their prey into the air and finished the almighty Goliaths off with their wings, cutting through the Demons’ bodies with their feathers harder and sharper than katanas. Blood and butchered body parts rained down as the Goliaths were chopped to pieces, completely helpless against the superior creatures.
With his hands still pressed together, Baltoh reactivated the spell, creating more creatures in which to kill the Goliaths with. Sea serpents, miles long with bodies so large that they approached Leviathan’s size, rose up from the depths with booming roars. Each serpent had glassy black bodies, decorated with patterns of glowing yellow lines. The backs of their heads were guarded with mats of bone spikes their eyes glowed with power. With furious roars, the serpents dove down into sea, gobbling up every Goliath that came close to their jaws. With powerful chomps, they crushed the bodies of the Demons like peanut shells and swallowed them whole, carving down their numbers like a natural disaster.
Sensing the amassing danger, dozens of the Goliaths all turned to Baltoh and released their Dark Pulses at once, trying to take him out in the hope that his creations would die with him. The blasts washed over Baltoh like a flood but were unable to even touch him, being deflected by an invisible egg-shaped shield that stood whether he willed it or not. As the blasts shrank and split into their last flickering beads of darkness, Baltoh once again pressed his hands together, this time with his fingers interlocked.
“Celestial Art: Almighty Forest Assault.” Baltoh calmly said.
Like the sea serpents only minutes prior, massive wooden tendrils wrapped around the Goliaths like the tentacles of the squids that filled their ranks. The tendrils grew in size, forking out into leafy branches as they formed towering trees, dwarfing the human-made skyscrapers back on Earth. Trapped in the wood like animals caught in hardened concrete, the Goliaths snarled and roared as they tried to break free of their wooden prisons, but even with all the strength in their bodies, the wood held strong and carried a deadly ability. Not only were the trees infused with vast amounts of light energy to counteract the toxic presence of the undead creatures in their grip, but they were also draining them of their power. It was as if the trees were digesting them as the ocean floor was colonized.
With town-sized birds attacking from above, sea serpents almost as large as mountain ranges attacking from below, and grabbing trees bursting from the ground like spikes from a booby trap, the Goliaths had no way to escape their massacre.
Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and the rest of the Archangels sprinted across Leviathan’s shifting tentacles with their flaming swords drawn. With each biting tendril that came close, they would jump into the air and chop them up into sushi with a lightning-fast flurry of slashes. Butchered pieces of flesh were sent flying as the sewer line-sized tentacles were torn to shreds by their swords. They all had confident smiles on their faces, unable to believe that they were actually battling a Hell Prince, and dare they say even winning.
With a shout of determination, Selene spun through the air like a top nearby, delivering a dynamic bombardment of punches and kicks to the snapping jaws of the tentacles, smashing them like a baseball bat to a line of sausages. Even without using any sort of speed-enhancing spell, she was moving faster than the human eye could catch. The tentacles were seemingly exploding without her even touching them due to her speed.
Down below, Molly was launching blades of wind from her cleaver, chopping down the tentacles like trees being hit with the shockwave of an atomic explosion. Without even noticing it, one of the tentacles attacked from behind and grabbed her, swallowing her whole. As she fell down its throat, the tentacle suddenly froze, literally into solid ice. With a smile, Molly released a raw burst of power from every inch of her body, causing the frozen tentacle to shatter into pieces. Having been rescued, Molly looked down at Rosemary, who had a lens of ice energy hovering in front of her. Smiling under her helm, Molly blew a kiss to her lesbian concubine and Rosemary responded by forming a V with her index and middle finger in front of her face.
Their flirting was cut short as another swarm of tentacles lunged towards them both. Pointing her hands at the gnashing teeth, Rosemary cast her spell.
“Celestial Art: Nuclear Flash!” She called.
A blinding ray of light flared from her palms, carrying with it both devastating heat and lethal amounts of radiation. The tentacles were all brought to a sudden stop as the outer layers of their flesh were reduced to ash, every cell having been simultaneously incinerated by the atomic burst of energy. Materializing her cleaver, Rosemary threw the weapon with all of her strength, sending it flying through the air like a boomerang and causing the burned tentacles to explode into dust.
Several loud howls echoed from behind her as a group of tentacles tried a surprise attack. Clapping her hands together, Rosemary cast her next spell.
“Celestial Art: Bladed Comet!” She shouted.
With fire streaming from the edge and forming a hypnotic tail, her spinning cleaver returned and shot past her head, carving down the approaching forest of tentacles in a single flaming strike.
“Rosemary, come on!” Selene shouted, having just about reaching Leviathan’s face.
Rosemary caught up to the group as they busied themselves with dodging the Hell Prince’s huge swinging arms. Bleeding profusely with almost all of his tentacles severed, Leviathan sought only their death and was done playing. Raising his octopus head, he revealed a fanged mouth underneath the webbed mat of severed tentacles.
“Demon Art: Apocalypse Eruption!” He roared, casting the same spell that Satan had and charging it between his jaws.
“Everyone move!” Gabriel shouted as Leviathan took aim.
Selene, Molly, Rosemary, and the Archangels desperately tried to escape from the blast but many were caught within it when the beam was finally unleashed. Shaking all of Hell, the crimson beam of energy was launched with an atomic explosion detonating between Leviathan’s jaws as the initial flash and the Archangels caught within the beam were instantly dematerialized as every atom in their bodies was converted to pure energy. The beam shot off across Hell, narrowly avoiding obliterating the taken city of Wrath and shooting up into the stirring sky.
“Damn it, how the Hell can we possibly compete with that?” Raphael cursed as he got to his feet, having been knocked to the ground.
“Celestial Art: Woodland Imprisonment.” They heard Baltoh announce.
Rising up from the sea floor, trees that could knock aside the tallest skyscrapers reached out and grabbed Leviathan. The trees formed a vertical ring around him with massive branches grabbing his limbs, pulling them out and making Leviathan resemble Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man sketch. A horizontal ring then formed from the vertical ring, making it resemble a gyroscope with a wooden bar reaching out from the front of the horizontal ring and wrapping around his waist while a branch from the back grabbed his tail.
“You bastard! No prison can hold me!” Leviathan roared as he began charging another Apocalypse Eruption.
“This isn’t a real prison, consider it more as a cradle for my next creation. Celestial Art: Forest Bloom!” Baltoh called, finally raising his voice as he clapped his hands together.
As the sphere of crimson energy charged between his jaws, a leafy branch burst from the back of Leviathan’s throat and pierced it like a balloon, disrupting it and ending the spell. Gagging on the branch, the Hell Prince screamed in pain as more branches began to burst out of his flesh, forming massive trees in a matter of seconds. Throughout his body, unstoppable branches were shredding his muscles, crushing his veins, and tearing through his organs as they looked for the perfect places to spread out and drain him of his energy. Desperate to avoid his approaching death, Leviathan cast a nameless healing spell and reached out with a fresh flood of biting tentacles, but before they could even come near Baltoh, they stopped dead and were blanketed with flowers. The forest continued to grow and thrive, devouring Leviathan’s body and stealing his energy. By the time the spell was complete, his wings had been replaced with two hanging lawns of grass, his bones were serving as the handles for countless massive trees, almost every muscle and organ had been torn to pieces and absorbed, and only his skeleton remained intact. The Prince of Envy had been killed, and in his death he had brought forth life.
With a smile, Baltoh turned to his lover and friends.
“Sorry, it looks like you needed my help.” He chuckled. Selene smiled.
“Ah damn it, there is no way that he is going to let us live this down…” She laughed softly to herself.
After crossing the ocean and recruiting tens of millions of new Crusaders while searching the sea floor, they reached the shoreline on the other side and reached the next area of Hell; a desert of black sands.
“These are the Ash Fields.” Baltoh announced as he and his group stood at the edge of the expansive desert. Selene’s eyes widened.
“This is the place where you were born? Where you first came into existence as a Demon?” She asked in shock. Baltoh nodded.
“Yes, I was born under these jet-black dunes, and after I became a hybrid, I spent almost my entire life here slaying Demons upon their birth. This barren landscape is also known as the Desert of the Proud. It is the domain of the Hell Prince Lucifer, the first Demon that was originally a fallen Archangel, having been cast out of Heaven when he staged a coup against Jehovah. Here, the souls guilty of the sin of Pride are subjugated and humiliated. They are used as the slaves of the Demons, serving as a work force for building monuments and also as concubines. This desert serves a very unique purpose beyond just being a circle in Hell for which to punish the damned, as it also serves as the birthplace and nursery for Hell’s Demons. This is where they all come into existence, born from the darkness of human souls that can no longer endure the punishment and cease to exist.” He explained.
“So is it the same job as with the others?” Molly asked. Baltoh cracked a smile.
“Free the innocent and slaughter the Demons, the perfect way to spend and afternoon.” He replied.