Chapter 57:

Phantom Queen vs Queen of the Night

Elyon - Gods among us

Ishtar shone like the morning star in the sky. Her hair had taken on a silvery-white color, just like her eyes. The goddess levitated above the ground, her white wings flapping slowly.

Ana, on the other hand, wielded her enormous sword Gram. It had a golden hilt with two dragon faces sculpted on it, and the pommel was shaped like the head of a golden dragon with red eyes. The blade was white and gigantic, with a dark, night-like aura. The massive weapon emanated dark energy, which took the form of raven feathers.

At that moment, Ana sensed Epona's energy near her.

—Guys, I found it! I found Areopagus. I need your support for the final battle— she heard the clear and concise voice of the horse goddess in her mind.

—Well, how embarrassing. Epona achieved her goal, and here I am still trapped in a fight— the Irish goddess said with a smile.

—Don't worry, Ana. I'll finish you off in no time— Ishtar said as she began to ascend towards the sky, an rainbow appearing behind her. When she positioned herself in front of it, she pointed her scythe at the Irish goddess, which gleamed like ivory.

—Impressive, Milady Ishtar. Are you going to use that technique?— Ninshubur asked, excitedly observing her mistress.

—Goodbye, Ana— Ishtar said as she swung her sword, which took on the form of the rainbow behind her.

At that moment, several swords made of white light began to appear around the goddess, arranged in a carousel-like formation. Simultaneously, the sky darkened, and the planet Venus could be seen very closely behind the rainbow.

Inannamul Zalag Shegh— Ishtar said, and the multiple swords transformed into beams of light that rained down like lightning.

Ana then shouted: —Crág Dubán!—. From her wings, her legendary shield appeared, which she placed above herself to deflect the attack from the Mesopotamian goddess.

—This time, your shield won't help you!— Ishtar shouted, as Ana could see her shield starting to be damaged by the shower of swords she was trying to stop.

The Irish goddess then began creating several shields with her wings, but they started to crack as the rain of sparks became more and more intense until they were destroyed. But just before Ana received the full attack, she wielded her mighty sword Gram, creating a dark air that deflected the beams of light. Quickly, she tried to escape by transforming into ravens.

However, the ravens started falling one by one. No matter where she escaped, the rain seemed endless, so Ana returned to her human form, kneeling on the ground. The goddess covered her head with her hands, using her wings to withstand the rain of light that attacked her.

—I won't... lose... here!— she shouted furiously, struggling to stand up amidst the rain of lights piercing her body like pins.

—How is she resisting the attack if it's sacred element and she's a Saturn?— Ishtar wondered to herself as she continued the assault.

At that moment, Ishtar aimed her scythe at Ana and shouted: —Tir-An-Na Tedeti

Ishtar, like a meteorite, flew towards Ana, descending towards the Martian surface, emanating a wave of white light. Upon colliding with the goddess, an explosion of white energy radiated outwards, forcing Ninshubur to cover her eyes.

To everyone's surprise, Ana had managed to stop Ishtar's attack by using her sword Garm to shield herself. She held the hilt with one hand and the blade with the other. The impact of their clash created a massive hole in the ground beneath Ana's feet.

Both goddesses gritted their teeth with the effort they were exerting. Ana pushed against Ishtar with her sword, prompting her to quickly grab the hilt and make a gigantic slash.

The energy emitted by the slash cut through Mars from end to end, splitting the terrain where they stood in half and creating a massive cliff beneath their feet. Although the attack hit Ishtar, it didn't harm her thanks to her transformation.

However, Ana quickly leaped towards the goddess and attacked her with her enormous sword Garm. Ishtar attempted to defend herself with her sword, but it was cleaved in half with the first strike, dividing the Mesopotamian goddess along with it. A massive explosion followed in the wake of such a grotesque weapon.

Ishtar quickly healed her body, thanks to her abilities. Ana continued to pursue the goddess with her unsheathed sword. The eight-pointed star shone on the forehead of the queen of Uruk as she furiously shouted: —Zi-sha-ghal Nigh-si-sá!

The sky, which had already cleared after the goddess's previous attack, now lit up with a white glow. Ishtar created a ball of energy in her hands and hurled it towards Ana. The planet Venus appeared behind Ishtar, gigantic and radiant.

Ana attempted to cut through the energy ball, but it exploded in her face. The goddess was thrown backwards, still holding her sword up to protect herself.

—Not yet!— Ishtar shouted, creating blades of energy in her hands and launching them continuously at Ana while shouting: —Shu hul Kur dú!

The blades were too fast for Ana to avoid, and they began to cut her body. However, the Irish goddess prepared for another powerful strike with her sword. She raised her wings and leaped towards Ishtar, striking her head-on.

Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess, was sent hurtling at high speed to the other side of the planet Mars, crashing into the dimensional wall. However, she suffered no damage thanks to her transformation.

But Ana, who had followed her, positioned her sword vertically and struck Ishtar, sending her hurtling towards the Martian surface at great speed. The planet trembled violently, and Ishtar's impact created a gigantic crater.

Ishtar lay on the ground, seemingly unharmed. This frustrated Ana because she felt that her attacks were having no effect.

—I must drain her manna until she loses that stupid transformation— the Irish goddess thought.

Ishtar smiled and said calmly: —Aratta Anzakár

Ana, trapped within the immense white and blue tower, found herself confined. The tower took the form of a ziggurat, with a trapezoidal base and two white staircases. At the pinnacle, a towering structure reached towards the sky, extending up to the dimensional wall, the highest point it could reach.

—That is the Tower of Aratta. No one can destroy it, and you will remain trapped until you admit your defeat!— Ishtar exclaimed triumphantly.

As Ishtar rose to her feet, she felt a slight pain in the spot where Ana had struck her. She quickly inspected it with her hand and saw fresh blood.

Ishtar realized that her transformation had ceased to heal her. Summoning the magnificent tower had depleted a significant amount of her manna, causing her to start losing her transformation and the sacred powers it granted her. As a result, her wounds could no longer be instantly healed.

Suddenly, the tower split diagonally in half, with the upper portion crashing to the ground as the entire structure vanished. Ana had cleaved the tower in two with her sword, Gram. Her forehead was covered in blood, indicating that her ichor was also running low.

—Impossible! You destroyed my greatest technique!— Ishtar exclaimed in disbelief, witnessing the tremendous power of Ana.

—Indestructible? Don't make me laugh— Ana jeered, emboldened by Ishtar's weakened state.

Ishtar attempted to unleash her attack once again, chanting, —Sagh-gaz Galla aka— but nothing happened. Her mana was nearly depleted, leaving her unable to perform any further techniques.

In that moment, Ishtar completely lost her sacred transformation and fell to her knees, overcome by a powerful dizziness.

Ana relentlessly struck at Ishtar with numerous cuts from Gram, but the Mesopotamian goddess, using her remaining reserves of ichor, managed to reform her body and evade Ana's violent attacks. Eventually, Ishtar found a mountain where she stood her ground, while Ana flew towards her at high speed, ready to strike.

—This is bad, this is bad— Ishtar muttered anxiously, gritting her teeth. —Well, if I'm going to lose anyway, I'll do it in style— she declared.

The Mesopotamian goddess crossed her legs and raised her arms in a 'V' shape, palms open. Ana thought it was a sign of surrender and abruptly halted her attack.

—I haven't surrendered, Ana, and that was your biggest mistake in this battle— Ishtar proclaimed. Immediately after, she repeated the mantra: —Éd Bar Kur

Then, Ana watched as Ishtar's skin turned milky white. Her legs transformed into those of a bird, her wings darkened like the night, as did her hair. Ishtar's eyes changed to a crimson hue, and illusory owls appeared behind her.

—Long ago, I died in the underworld, but when I returned to life, I learned to harness the power of that realm to my advantage. This energy rapidly consumes the remaining ichor within me, but I can fight without worrying about my manna— Ishtar explained, her face betraying immense agony beneath the transformation.

—And why should I care?— Ana shouted, attempting to strike Ishtar, but the goddess swiftly leaped into the sky, evading the attack and positioning herself above the Irish goddess.

Kur Ush— Ishtar uttered, and a red energy emanated from her feet, firing at incredible speed. Ana tried to dodge, but she couldn't evade it entirely, and part of her leg was struck by the attack.

At that moment, Ana began to feel a severe dizziness overwhelming her body. She turned to gaze at Ishtar in terror as the goddess flew above her, attempting to force a smile despite the pain that consumed her.

—Hellish Miasma— that's my ability under this transformation. It won't do much damage to your ichor, but it will completely destroy your manna— Ishtar said to Ana as she continued flying above her.

The Irish goddess gripped her massive sword and attempted to attack Ishtar with a wave of dark energy, but the Mesopotamian goddess evaded the attack and unleashed the miasma from her feet once again.

Ana managed to dodge two attacks, but the third one struck her directly. The goddess with black hair fell to the ground, kneeling.

Ana continued feeling dizzy and couldn't get up properly after the attack. Her body felt weak, and she could barely lift her sword. In that moment, the Irish goddess looked up at Ishtar above her and felt as if she were facing a true goddess.

—Now, do you see me for what I am? My name is Inanna, the conqueror of the underworld and the queen of the night!— Ishtar shouted just as she began firing several rounds of her miasma at Ana.

The Irish goddess could no longer move well and received all the attacks. Horrified, she watched as her sword, Garm, disappeared from her hands. She had run out of enough manna to summon such a sword.

The goddess fell to her knees and crawled on all fours. Her vision blurred, and the world spun around her. Ana began to vomit and felt like she would lose consciousness at any moment.

Ishtar descended from the sky and grabbed Ana with her dark avian feet, hurling her towards a mountain, obliterating it.

Ana, struggling, stood up to defy Ishtar, who once again began firing her infernal miasma. Ana made no attempt to avoid it and took several direct hits.

—Do you think you'll only lose your manna, Ana? These attacks also inflict precise damage to your ichor. Are you willing to die?— Ishtar asked.

—No!— Ana shouted in response.

—Then what?— Ishtar asked, perplexed.

—I won't do anything— Ana said with a certain conviction.

—Very well, as you wish— Ishtar replied.

The Mesopotamian goddess created an enormous red sphere with her feet and hurled it, screaming: —Kur Ush

The massive sphere struck Ana, dragging her along as she screamed in pain.

—Rui, Tania, Epona, wait for me— Ana thought in that moment.

Upon crashing into a cluster of mountains, a massive red explosion erupted from the impact. Ana lay on the ground, almost unconscious, but still wearing a smile.

—Why, Ana? Why do you persist in this? Surrender already!— Ishtar cried out in desperation, seeing the determination in the goddess's eyes.

—Surrender? How arrogant of you to decide the outcome of the battle when it's not over yet— Ana said with a smile.

—And what can you possibly do now? You can't even stand on your feet or summon your sword— Ishtar shouted.

—Cornered animals bite harder, Ishtar— Ana said.

In that moment, with great effort, the goddess stood up and clenched her pendant tightly as she screamed: —Caoin cath

Following that, Ishtar felt horrified. Ana's divine power began to multiply almost exponentially. Mars started to tremble, and the dimensional wall vibrated in unison. Time began to flow in a monstrous manner.

—The less manna I have, the greater the divine power I can elevate. When I discovered your technique, I knew that this was the only way I could defeat you!— Ana shouted.

—It's incredible, that power would pale even in comparison to the mighty Ares!— Ishtar exclaimed in fear.

—Don't worry, I can only perform one attack. I'm sorry, Ishtar, but if you're the queen of the night, I am the phantom queen!" Ana yelled as her aura ignited with dark fire.

Ana then ran towards Ishtar, and before she could even react, she struck her with all her might.

A massive shockwave emanated from the attack, destroying the mountains around them and creating a huge crater in the ground. The Mesopotamian goddess was sent flying and landed headfirst, losing her transformation as the queen of the night.

Ana's power subsided, and she fell to her knees on the ground with a smile.

—Guys, forgive me, this is where I'll stay— she said and fell face down to the ground.

Both Ishtar and Ana had become unconscious from the battle.

There are one hour left until Anpiel's execution.