Chapter 56:

Rodrigo vs Susanoo

Elyon - Gods among us

The earthquakes had ceased, and the sky appeared blue and grayish. Tania's immense power could no longer be felt. Since they had been inside Susanoo's rain, neither Rodrigo nor the Eastern god had been aware of what was happening outside.

Rodrigo remained on the ground, badly injured, but his wounds began to heal, while the totema floating above the young tannin continued to emit a field of wind energy.

—Where could that stone have come from? Could it have pierced Ares' dimensional shield?— Susanoo wondered, holding his sword defensively as he observed this phenomenon.

Rodrigo slowly regained consciousness. The young man felt a certain familiarity with that energy, but he didn't know from where or why. He opened his eyes and saw the stone.

—What is this?— Rodrigo asked.

—Isn't that your ofuda... I mean, totema, Rodrigo-san?— Susanoo replied, posing another question.

—I don't know— Rodrigo commented.

As Rodrigo's wounds finished healing, the field of wind disappeared, while the stone continued to float in the air.

—Master, master, I finally managed to find you, sir— a voice was heard inside Rodrigo's mind.

—Who are you? Who is speaking to me?— Rodrigo asked, puzzled.

—It's me, your servant Ehécatl. I have come from Ilhuicatl Iohtlatoquiliz to assist you— the voice continued.

—Wait, what are you saying? What is that? I don't understand— Rodrigo continued questioning, bewildered.

—We don't have much time. Please, for now, use my teotonli to defeat your enemy— the voice said.

At that moment, the small totema glowed brightly, and the voice uttered: —Ejekatl kiixkuikuilotia tetl, tetl atl itekomaj, atl ixpoliui, ejekatia. Tetl, ejekatl, atl—

Immediately, a gigantic tornado emerged, completely engulfing Rodrigo and darkening the sky. Strong winds began to blow violently in the now valley, causing Susanoo's hair to sway violently.

The Eastern god simply smiled.

The tornado split in half, and the wind soared into the sky, which cleared up. Rodrigo appeared, adorned with the totema, wearing a conical-shaped helmet on his head, with his hair raised and taking on a crimson hue. His mouth was covered by a mask with a lengthened shape, peculiarly resembling a bird's beak.

His body was protected by a breastplate featuring the figure of a golden bird, and dark wings appeared on his back. In his ears, two enormous green earrings with white feather-shaped blades gleamed. The lower part was covered by a blue skirt, tied with a belt that had a snail design in the center. His feet were clad in green sandals with red feathers, and he also wore arm braces.

A kind of whirlwind appeared beneath his feet as Rodrigo floated higher and higher to avoid touching the ground.

—Subarashi! You look like a tengu, Rodrigo-san— Susanoo exclaimed.

Then, the Eastern god attempted to strike him, but as he approached, a kind of force field, created solely by air currents, stopped him and threw him out of sight. Rodrigo didn't even move a muscle.

Susanoo got up and wiped off the blood caused by that attack, watching Rodrigo, who still looked astonished.

Mizu no Yari— Susanoo shouted, attempting to impale the young tannin again, but the spear shattered into drops of water upon colliding with the young god's invisible barrier. The drops immediately took the shape of a lance and attempted to penetrate the barrier, but to no avail.

Rodrigo raised his right hand and said:—Ejekauakki

At that moment, a strong scorching wind began to blow, causing Susanoo to go on the defensive. All the moisture in the soil, which had been brought about by the rain the Eastern god had summoned moments ago, evaporated.

The Eastern god continued to resist the onslaught, but the skin on his arms started to burn and peel. After a short while, he could no longer hold on and was thrown towards the sky, colliding with the dimensional wall.

Susanoo managed to regain his footing halfway through his fall and landed on his feet on the ground.

—Abunai! Without water, I won't be able to fight at full strength— the frustrated god exclaimed while still trying to protect himself from Rodrigo's scorching wind attack.

With great effort, he drew his katana and, with a swift strike through the air, split the wind in half and smiled, but it was futile. The wind rejoined once again and hurled the Eastern god with such force that he appeared like a ball of fire, his burns becoming severe due to the scorching wind.

—With my current level, it's impossible to win, but Rodrigo-san, I believe you have miscalculated— Susanoo said, still defending against the Tannin's wind attack.

—I am also a Suisei— he said.

With limited mobility, the Eastern god pulled out a small golden dagger from within his gi and said: —Watashi no namae wa arashi no kami, Susanō no Mikoto desu. Chikyu no ryodo no yūkande boryoku-tekina gadian

At that moment, the sky darkened, and it began to rain once again, while enormous ocean waves appeared behind the Eastern god, enveloping him and creating a whirlpool of water that revolved around him.

The marine whirlpool split in half, and Susanoo found himself in the center of it, kneeling on one knee.

He now wore a completely white armor with red fabric underneath. The armor appeared to be made of silk, and in certain parts, such as his shoulder pads and belt, it fluttered in the air, resembling horns. His armor consisted of shoulder pads, breastplate, faulds, gauntlets, and boots, all in pure white.

On his forehead, a white diadem could be seen, from which two corrugated blue horns emerged. The god's eyes had turned a bluish hue, and his hair had a somewhat greenish tint, with some seaweed visible within it.

The power of both gods was so evenly matched that it rained on one side of the area while Rodrigo's scorching wind blew on the other. Both gods stared at each other with determination.

—This power is impressive, but I feel as if this totema wants to take control of me, and I mustn't allow it— Rodrigo nervously thought.

—Now, let's go, Rodrigo-san. This time, your scorching wind won't be able to defeat me— Susanoo declared with determination as he launched himself at high speed towards Rodrigo. But when Susanoo attempted to strike the young tannin, he vanished, leaving a trail of wind.

The Eastern god looked around in all directions, but at that moment, an attack struck him from behind. The warrior of Yamato fell to his knees as he turned back. Rodrigo stood there with his palm raised.

—When did he get behind me?— Susanoo wondered.

Mizu no Yari!— Susanoo shouted, launching a massive water spear. This time it was ten times larger than before, with water carp spirits swimming within it. However, the attack failed once again. Rodrigo disappeared.

—Uso taro!— Susanoo exclaimed furiously, quickly turning around, but he saw nothing at all. Then, from above, Rodrigo descended with a flying kick in the shape of a tornado, striking the Eastern god and tearing through his armor. Susanoo swiftly attempted to slash at him with his sword, but Rodrigo vanished before his eyes.

—This Ryujin possesses the power of teleportation— Susanoo realized, trying to search in all directions but unable to find Rodrigo.

Sesejakatl— Rodrigo shouted, and a icy wind began to emanate in the area, freezing Susanoo and leaving only a statue of ice in a combat stance.

—I can't believe the power of this technique— Rodrigo said to himself.

At that moment, he saw Susanoo break free from the ice that had trapped him. The Eastern god raised his katana.

—No matter what tricks you use, Rodrigo-san, you won't be able to inflict enough damage on me— the god said, showing Rodrigo his open palm and holding his sword horizontally.

Susanoo's face had changed to one of anger, and red lines painted his face.

Rodrigo then shouted: —Raios de luz

The young Tannin unleashed a barrage of attacks on the Eastern god, striking him forcefully. However, Susanoo managed to avoid falling to the ground by supporting himself with his hand.

Watatsumi no ibuki!— Susanoo shouted, and behind him, the shape of a winged oriental dragon materialized from water. The dragon opened its mouth, and an enormous marine tornado rushed out, speeding towards Rodrigo.

The god attempted to teleport, but the attack was too fast and struck him. The young Tannin invoked his freezing air and managed to freeze the aquatic storm, including the attacking sea dragon. However, Rodrigo became trapped within the ice.

Upon seeing Rodrigo immobilized, Susanoo quickly ran towards him, leaving behind shadow-like trails as he moved, and said: —Mayonaka no u~ōkingu

When he reached the ice structure, he made an incredibly swift cut with his katana, splitting it in half with Rodrigo inside. The Tannin was severed at the trunk and waist, displaying a pained expression. But Rodrigo regained his composure and teleported once again.

Susanoo plunged his katana into the ground and shouted: —Shi no ame

At that moment, the rain transformed into swords that impaled the ground. Realizing the attack, Rodrigo teleported away from the Eastern god.

—Ike!— Susanoo shouted, and marine veins began to emerge from the wet ground, taking the form of swords as they surfaced.

Rodrigo teleported into the sky to avoid the attack, but he witnessed as the rain started to take the shape of birds, which then transformed into swords flying towards him at high speed. The young Tannin quickly unleashed his Raios de luz technique to destroy the attack. The birds evaporated before Rodrigo's technique, but he failed to notice that the swords on the ground were forming a column, and in the end, they impaled the serpent god.

Rodrigo screamed with all his might, and a barrier of wind shattered the spear that had impaled him, while his wounds began to close once again. The young Tannin then summoned his scorching wind, drying up the water in his vicinity, and returned to the ground.

To his surprise, Susanoo was no longer in the area where he had been before; he had disappeared.

Directly above Rodrigo, Susanoo, who had once again utilized his ability, Mayonaka no u~ōkingu, to move swiftly without revealing his presence, attempted to strike Rodrigo. However, almost instinctively, Rodrigo intercepted the strike by covering his arms with scales, but this time Susanoo's katana was stronger and managed to sever his arm.

Rodrigo teleported, but Susanoo ran towards his new location, which Rodrigo took advantage of to unleash his most powerful technique: —Esfera de Venus— Rodrigo shouted.

Susanoo realized his mistake once again and was once more intercepted by the technique. A massive explosion of light shook the surface of Mars but caused no physical damage to it.

As the light faded, Susanoo lay prostrate on the ground, taking deep breaths and leaning on his katana.

—We are equally strong, Rodrigo-san— the Eastern god said, smiling as he struggled to stand up.

—We'll be here until our manna runs out— Rodrigo responded with a frustrated expression.

—No, I'll end this fight with my ultimate technique— Susanoo declared.

—Alright, there is a record in my mind of an immensely powerful technique. I will use it too!— Rodrigo shouted.

Susanoo began performing certain acrobatics with his sword, then he raised his katana to the sky with both hands, and a gigantic wave started to form behind him.

—This tide not only floods but also destroys everything in its path. It could be said to be millions of water swords united together," Susanoo said, then he lowered his sword and shouted: —Kamikaze no Tsunami!— The surge rushed towards Rodrigo at full speed.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo struggled to control small tornadoes with both hands. Then, Rodrigo yelled: —Tlapopolistli Ejekamalakatl!

Rodrigo generated a gigantic tornado by bringing his hands together. With difficulty, he released it, and the phenomenon ravaged everything in its path.

The tornado and the tidal wave of both gods collided, creating a tremendous explosion that threw both combatants far away. The destructive power of this attack left a cliff on the Martian surface.

Both gods rose from the attack, in a somewhat battered state but with enough ichor reserves to heal themselves.

—You are amazing, Rodrigo-san— Susanoo said with a huge smile.

Rodrigo returned the gesture, raising his right hand. He was on all fours on the ground, breathing heavily.

—I suppose you still have some manna left, right?— Rodrigo asked.

—Very little— Susanoo replied.

—Then you'll keep fighting until it runs out, won't you?— Rodrigo asked.

Susanoo shook his head.

—I have realized that you are an impressive rival for me, and I would like to fight under different circumstances— Susanoo said.

—So, you're no longer interested in my head?— Rodrigo asked, surprised.

—I suppose there must be other malicious Ryujin in the world that I can feel proud of defeating, but not a great warrior with such a big heart like yours— the Eastern warrior replied.

—So, what now?— the young Tannin asked.

—From this day on, you will be my rival, Rodrigo-san. I won't allow you to die or be defeated until I do it first— Susanoo said, bowing.

—A... alright... my rival— Rodrigo responded, puzzled by the gesture.

—Daiyobu— Susanoo replied, raising his face and turning his back to Rodrigo. Then the god began to retreat.

—Grow stronger, Rodrigo-san. I will do the same to be able to fight against each other again— he said.

—Of course, I'll win next time— Rodrigo said, smiling.

Susanoo raised his hand in farewell, still with his back turned to Rodrigo as he walked towards the horizon.

The young Tannin then fell exhausted to the ground.

—I almost used up all my manna in that last attack. I thought I would die— he said, surprised.

Rodrigo stood up and began to reflect on the situation that had distracted him.

—I can feel Tania's divine power already stable, and I sense that Ana is fighting against an enemy— he thought.

The young Tannin also turned and sensed the presence of Athena and Horus, and he felt the presence of Maahes and Montu once again.

—It seems we have managed to survive after all— he thought.

Then he looked at the totema he carried. It felt a bit strange, as if he sensed an enormous weight on him and the totema wanted to take over his consciousness.

—Who was this guy? For some reason, I can remember his name, although it was complicated to say— he thought.

—Perhaps he is a link to my past— he continued to ponder.

Far away from there, Epona, after defeating a group of enemy Malakim, saw a gigantic mountain before her eyes, which stood out from all the others. In the middle of it, there was a massive white palace constructed.

—That must be Areopagus— she said to herself in surprise.

Immediately, Epona began to channel her divine power to telepathically communicate with the others.

—I found it— she said. —Follow my energy and come here!—

Rodrigo quickly sensed Epona's power.

—Ep did it!— he said, surprised.

At that moment, he was about to fly, but he remembered that he had been able to teleport during the fight against Susanoo.

—What if I teleport there? Will it work?— he thought.

Concentrating on Epona's energy, Rodrigo teleported, and to his surprise, he appeared right in front of the goddess.

—An enemy!— Epona shouted in fear as she summoned her winged horses.

—No, wait, Ep, it's me, Rodrigo— the young Tannin shouted, trying to calm the startled goddess by waving his palms in a gesture of negation.

—Ro... Rodrigo, is that you? What is that... totema?— the puzzled goddess asked.

—I don't know, it told me its name was Ehécatl and that it came to help me. Thanks to this power, I was able to win my fight— Rodrigo replied.

—I've never... seen such a strange totema— Epona said, surprised.

—It's possible that by uncovering the origin of this totema, I can learn more about my past— the young Tannin said.

—Well, Rodrigo, I don't think we should waste any time— Epona responded, pointing her index finger towards Areopagus.

—That's our target; Ares and Anpiel are there. We must do our best to emerge victorious, don't you think?— the goddess said.

Rodrigo nodded.

There are three hours left until Anpiel's execution.