Chapter 60:

Tannit vs Selardi

Elyon - Gods among us

Meanwhile, outside the palace in Areopagus, Tania and Selardi were facing each other, both goddesses in combat stance.

—Do you know that fire is more powerful than ice?— Tania asked confidently.

—Unfortunately for you, every atom stops before the power of total freezing— Selardi replied.

—That's the theory, right? But let's see if you can stop my atoms!— Tania shouted as she raised her fire-generated bat wings and launched herself at Selardi at full speed, shouting: —Rahafu Sharshi!—. A sound of a moving vehicle was heard as she lunged forward.

But before the goddess could do anything, she was frozen in mid-air. Selardi had her right hand raised and calmly said: —Sarrts'akalman alik'

Selardi lowered her hand and approached the frozen statue of Tania.

—No energy can overcome freezing. You will remain solidified for eternity— Selardi said.

The armenian goddess then took a rose, instantly froze it, and placed it next to the ice sculpture, a tear rolling down her face.

—So young, so beautiful, so full of energy. Why do the most beautiful flowers wither?— she said.

But then, the ice sculpture began to bubble and turn red. The ice started sweating and vaporizing rapidly. Selardi turned her gaze to Tannit, who was exerting an enormous effort to heat the ice and destroy it from the inside.

—So, this girl can heat my freezing power. Now I understand why she's seen as a threat in Lel— Selardi said, maintaining her serious and composed demeanor.

Tania used her fire power to break the ice layer and continued launching herself as a fiery ball towards Selardi.

Selardi jumped back to avoid the attack of the Punic goddess, causing her to crash into the ground, creating an explosion.

Tania created fireballs with her hands and shot them towards Selardi, but the Armenian goddess simply moved her hand, freezing the fireballs mid-air, and causing them to fall to the ground.

Selardi continued to look at Tania expressionless while she took another rose and smelled it as she froze.

Frustrated, Tania opened her wings and lunged towards Selardi at full speed. However, Selardi threw her frozen rose towards Tania, impaling her shoulder. Upon impact, the rose exploded into the shape of an ice star, leaving the goddess frozen inside it.

Selardi created several frozen stalagmites in the sky, pointing them towards the Punic goddess. Just as Tania destroyed the ice surrounding her, the ice needles flew towards her, impaling her without her being able to avoid it. Selardi then froze Tania again, this time in a layer of ice shaped like a dragon.

—It's impossible for you to defeat me, Tannit. Surrender already— Selardi said.

The Armenian goddess stood there watching as Tania once again tried to destroy the ice structure where she was frozen. There was a slight smile on Selardi's face.

Using her strength, Tania destroyed the ice dragon from the inside, but suddenly she felt dizzy and fell to the ground face down. Her skin, eyebrows, and hair were turning white. Tania lost her manticore transformation and couldn't move.

—What's happening to me?— Tania asked desperately.

Selardi knelt in front of the goddess and began to caress her head while Tania couldn't move anymore.

—You only received the freezing poison from my rose: 'Byureghya vardi t'uyny', which carries a very powerful venom from a tannin that lived in Mount Ararat. Now your blood has been poisoned, and unless you can ignite your own heart, you will remain frozen until your blood turns into pure ice— Selardi said while continuing to caress Tania.

The Punic goddess attempted to ignite her hand again and tightly grasped Selardi's ankle, but as soon as she touched the goddess, the fire froze, and she turned into an ice statue.

The Armenian goddess let go of Tania's frozen hand and, with a wave of her hand, encased the ice statue of Tania inside a chest made of ice.

—I will take you like this to Lel. This way, your body won't receive any damage, and you won't die, Tannit— the goddess said.

Selardi stood up, but as she took the first step, she noticed that her ankle, which Tania had held, was burned and the skin torn. Selardi was surprised that a simple grip from the Punic goddess could have caused so much damage to her skin.

—Why? Why doesn't my ichor heal this?— the Armenian goddess wondered.

Selardi then tried to freeze her ankle to heal the burn, but the ice melted. To her horror, the wound began to spread up her leg, making the Armenian goddess start to panic.

—It's as if it's poison, as if she poisoned me with her ability— Selardi pondered.

In that moment, Selardi tore off her leg and destroyed it to prevent the poison from persisting. However, when she saw that her ichor wasn't regenerating the leg, she created a leg made of ice to keep walking.

—That was a very dangerous ability— she thought.

However, as Selardi's torn-off leg disintegrated, fragments of it fell onto the ice chest where Tania was frozen. These fragments infected the entire structure, causing red spots to appear that bubbled and melted the ice.

After a short while, Tania was freed from the ice, which Selardi could only watch in surprise and terror as the goddess recovered her composure.

—I almost died— said Tania as she stood up from the nearly melted ice.

—But the venomous fire I use in my manticore transformation is much more powerful than your ice; and like bacteria, ice cannot stop it—

—But I can freeze everything, even entire planets. How is it possible that such a small fire could do so much harm?— Selardi asked.

—Although you can stop atomic movement, any element whose atoms are in motion will cause a small reaction, setting the immobile atoms in motion. It's a basic principle of physics, and my venomous fire is very, very active— Tania said as she transformed back into a manticore.

—Unfortunately, I can't take too long with you, Selardi, because the more power I use, the faster time will advance. So I'll have to defeat you in a single attack— Tania said as she raised her hands together to strengthen her technique.

—Don't feel too confident— Selardi said, annoyed, as she opened her palms and created a sphere of ice.

—I've frozen suns with this technique! 'Sarrts'akalman sarruyts'— the Armenian goddess shouted as she launched the enormous ice sphere at Tania.

The Punic goddess raised her power to the maximum: —This is my ultimate power! 'Esh Kela - Safar: Beth-resh'— she declared.

A gigantic fireball emanated from Tania's fists, which she had placed horizontally, aiming at Selardi and her ice sphere.

But the ice sphere, upon colliding with Tania's technique, froze her instantly and created a freezing sphere that completely enveloped Tania.

—This time, you won't be able to use your venomous fire— Selardi said as she continued channeling her energy to increase the power of her freezing.

However, Tania's expression within the ice remained unchanged: determination.

—I don't like that look!— Selardi shouted as she kept applying her freezing power.

—No matter how much heat you can emanate, my energy will freeze you completely, even reaching your heart!— the Armenian goddess continued shouting.

Yet Tania's expression remained unchanged, and for a moment, Selardi felt as if her eyes were glowing.

Within the ice sphere, a red glow started to shine, and bubbles of fire began to emerge inside it.

Without giving Selardi any space to retreat, a gigantic atomic explosion emanated from the core of the ice sphere, sending the Armenian goddess flying away. The explosion subsided, leaving a massive column of smoke. Within it, Tania was seen breathing heavily, having used up almost all her manna, and her transformation had also vanished.

To her surprise, Selardi was also standing on the other side. Tania had created a huge crater in the ground, but Selardi was just at the edge of it, her skin and part of her clothing burned and torn by the impact of the explosion.

—So, you've run out of manna?— Selardi asked as she struggled to remain standing, her ice leg having melted, and she now supported herself on only one leg.

—I don't need my manna to defeat you— Tania said, breathing heavily with a smile on her lips.

Selardi then raised a finger to the sky and shouted: —Varderi dasht

Thousands of blue roses grew in the field, while Tania extended her fiery claws and launched herself towards the goddess, shouting: —Uph-arimat Eshar

The roses started to shoot towards the Punic goddess, who destroyed them with her claws as she advanced towards Selardi, but the number of roses was overwhelming.

—If one of those roses pierces you, your blood will freeze, and you'll die without remedy— the Armenian goddess shouted victoriously.

Tania destroyed as many roses as she could, but they were too many, causing her to stop and focus solely on avoiding the onslaught of the rose field. However, she couldn't avoid falling onto the roses, and they pierced her legs.

—You're finished, Tannit— Selardi shouted triumphantly.

But to her surprise, Tania tore off her legs and lunged at the Armenian goddess with her drawn claws, piercing and slashing her numerous times.

The Punic goddess fell face down, unable to stand without her legs, which had frozen and couldn't be regenerated. Selardi also fell backward, with several wounds caused by the fiery claws of the goddess.

The roses then rose as if forming a wave, about to fall on Tania, who was now immobilized.

Selardi laughed as she got up again with effort. —This is my victory, Tannit— she said.

But just before the roses could fall on the goddess, Tania transformed back into a manticore and shot herself like a flaming sword towards Selardi, who couldn't react quickly enough and was split in half horizontally by the Punic goddess.

Upon cutting Selardi, Tania lost her transformation and fell to the ground face down again.

—I didn't tell you how much manna I had left, Selardi— Tania said, gasping and trying to lift herself with her hands.

Selardi's body regenerated, but the goddess was already badly wounded. She stood up, swaying, while taking deep breaths, as if struggling to breathe. Then, raising her right hand, Selardi started to create a very cold and strong wind that caused the roses to lift and fly in the air all around. Tania couldn't move to avoid the attack.

Selardi turned towards Tania, shouting: —Varderi alik'

The roses, blown by the wind, flew towards Tania, but by pure luck, none of them hit her.

—It can't be! The odds were less than one in a million!— Selardi shouted furiously.

The Armenian goddess resorted again to creating ice spikes in the air and launching them at Tania. They hit the goddess and impaled her mercilessly. The ice spikes pierced her hands, shoulders, and the base of her spine. Unable to move, Tania was defenseless.

Selardi conjured a gigantic iceberg, which floated above the Punic goddess, ready to crush her. Its pointed tip would impale the goddess with immense power.

—Goodbye, Tannit— Selardi said.

At that moment, Selardi made the colossal ice block fall upon Tania, but just then, the iceberg exploded and was destroyed.

—Who did this?— Selardi asked furiously.

In the distance, she saw a man with light brown hair wearing a Phrygian cap and holding a curve dagger in his right hand. It was Mithras, who had also arrived at the palace.

—Who the hell are you?— Selardi asked with an angry glare.

—My name is Mithras, and I've come to rescue this girl— the god said, pointing his dagger at the Armenian goddess.

—Mitra, huh? The Persian god who now fancies himself as Roman? I've heard of you, of course. You were quite famous a few centuries ago— Selardi said as she created another ice leg to support herself.

Mithras then turned his knife into an enormous sword of light.

—I hope you're not thinking of defeating me. Certainly, I'm weakened, but you're still no match for me— Selardi taunted.

—I'm aware of that— Mithras replied as he assumed a combat stance.

The Persian god lunged at Selardi with his drawn sword, but the goddess easily evaded the attack. After several attempts, the Armenian goddess touched Mithras's sword, which froze instantly.

—I told you it would be futile— Selardi said, pointing her hand at the Persian god, freezing him like a statue of ice.

—And thus, you wasted your pitiful life— Selardi retorted.

At that moment, Selardi felt a powerful attack in her abdomen. Looking down, she realized that it was Tania who had impaled her with her fiery claw, just when Tania had turned Mithras into an ice statue.

—But when? You were already dead!— Selardi shouted.

—Mithras wasn't the only one who came, didn't you notice?— Tania asked as she continued pressing her claw into Selardi's abdomen. The Armenian goddess then realized that Tania had already regenerated her legs.

Selardi saw Montu with the empty ambrosia flask, kneeling right where Tania had been lying. They had used up all the ambrosia Horus had given them.

—It was just a tiny drop, but enough to execute my most powerful attack— Tania shouted as her eyes lit up, and her mantico transformation returned.

—Wait, Tannit! Don't do it!— Selardi shouted desperately.

But Tania shouted at that moment: —Esh Kela – Safar: Beth-resh

A massive explosion erupted right where Tania and Selardi were, causing Montu to be thrown by the impact, and the ice that had frozen Mithras melted as the god was propelled by the shockwave. When the dust settled and the smoke dissipated, Tania was holding Selardi unconscious by the neck.

—Don't worry, I left you some ichor so you can keep living. I have no intention of taking your life— the Punic goddess said as she threw the Armenian goddess away from her.

—Thank you, guys, I appreciate it— Tania said, giving Mithras a thumbs-up.

At that moment, the goddess lost consciousness and fell face down to the ground.

—That girl is incredible; now I understand why Lel is so interested in her— Mithras said as he got up from the ground, still very agitated.

Montu emerged from a pile of debris, his skin burned, but his ichor was healing his wounds rapidly.

—I think we should take care of her. After all, we can't face Ares; I suppose we'd only be a hindrance— the Egyptian god replied, to which Mithras nodded.

Mithras then approached Tania and laid her down on her back.

—We can do nothing more than take care of you, goddess Tannit— the Persian god said as he tended to the Punic goddess.

Just then, Maahes arrived at the battlefield.

—We have a serious problem— the lion god said.

—What happened? Were you able to reach where Epona and Sol are?— Mithras asked, concerned.

—No, it's impossible. It's... it's...— Maahes started but then became petrified.

—What happened?— Montu asked.

—It's Khonsu! He's up there, and he crucified Epona and Sol. The bastard didn't die— the frustrated lion god said.

—What? We have to finish him off— Montu shouted angrily.

—And rescue Epona and Sol!— Mithras added, equally enraged.

—It's impossible— Maahes replied.

—What do you mean?— Mithras asked.

—The bastard set up a dimensional shield. It's impossible to get in from the outside— the lion god said, frustrated.

—So, we can't rescue Epona, Sol, or the angel?— Montu asked, feeling defeated.

—We must be able to do something!— Mithras shouted as he laid Tania on the ground and flew rapidly toward the mountain peak.

—Montu, Maahes, take care of Tania. I'll go and see what I can do— the Persian god shouted.

—Wait, Mithras! We want that bastard dead more than anyone!— Maahes shouted in frustration.

—And what are we doing here then? Folding our arms and saying it's impossible? My best friend and the woman I admire are there. Damn it!— Mithras yelled furiously and flew off.

Montu and Maahes could only bow their heads in frustration and helplessness.