Chapter 104:

Cahokia under fire

Elyon - Gods among us

Cahokia is a massive city that serves as the capital of the Mississippi Empire. It's located right on the banks of a gigantic river, also named Mississippi. This word simply means "Great River", so this civilization was known as the inhabitants of the great river.

The vast city is protected by a massive circular wooden log wall, covering about 20 kilometers in diameter. Although there are several pyramids within the city, the main one, a giant three-story pyramid, is currently where numerous human sacrifices are taking place.

However, the priests halted when a loud explosion emanated from one of the palaces facing the grand square where the pyramid stood.

Suddenly, the entire city began to experience unbearable heat, easily surpassing 50 degrees Celsius. People, terrified, fled from their houses when they saw that the whole city was completely enveloped by a massive reddish layer of heat, while many of the roofs of the houses began to catch fire, causing chaos throughout the region. Not only there, but the enormous Mississippi River began to boil with heat, and the dense forest around the city ignited.

The priests and the sacrificial victims watched in astonishment at the flaming woman with bat wings and a fierce scorpion tail standing right where the explosion occurred. Her eyes were filled with rage and her breath deep and slow.

—It's Tania!— exclaimed Anpiel, who was among the sacrificial victims.

—Tania-san has finally achieved her transformation here!— yelled Susanoo excitedly.

—No, this must be... rage— remarked Anpiel.

—Rage?— Susanoo asked in confusion.

—Tania detests human sacrifices more than anyone in the world, and this must have deeply affected her— replied Anpiel. —If she lost consciousness, she'll destroy this place in seconds—

—Shimata!— shouted a worried Susanoo. He noticed that none of the soldiers were watching them.

—Anpiel-san! You're closer to that soldier. Take his weapon so we can free ourselves and help Tania-san— urged the Oriental god to the angel, taking advantage of everyone's distraction.

At that moment, all of Cahokia began to shake. The people believed it was the end of times and fled the city as best they could, including some soldiers under the protection of Heshuka. The power they felt was like nothing they had ever felt before, and they believed even their sun hawk god wouldn't stand a chance against this monster.

—Ch'úupal, you have to calm down! You're destroying the whole city!— Tul shouted in desperation, trying to embrace her, but Tania turned and signaled 'stop' with her fire-filled hand.

At that moment, the heat subsided and the tremors ceased. The fire that had appeared over the rooftops and in the forest began to rise, forming a huge sphere that traveled to Tania and entered her body.

—Don't worry, Tul. I learned long ago to control my power to prevent a tragedy— Tania said. —Besides, I would never let anything bad happen to you—

The soldiers who didn't flee clung to their weapons and began to stealthily approach Tania and Tul.

—Do you think you can intimidate us with your tricks? We will show you who we are, the proud soldiers that protect the sun hawk!— shouted one, and the others nodded.

The rabbit goddess reached into her bag, took out a grayish powder, and threw it at the soldiers. As it began to glow platinum, she recited: —Múuyal Náay

All soldiers, without exception, who breathed or merely touched the powder Tul threw, fell to the ground asleep.

—I'll handle this situation, ch'úupal. Go and save your friends!— the rabbit goddess shouted excitedly, to which Tania smiled.

At that moment, dozens of flying monsters, like those that had attacked Onondaga, were hovering over Tania and Tul. Easily over ten of them.

—Those creatures are called Piasas and we can't attack them unless we break their hard shell first— Tul said, searching her bag again.

Then, she noticed Tania raise her hand to the sky and recite: —Shimushu—. Fireballs shot from her flaming fingers, and when they collided with the terrifying flying monsters, they exploded into pieces.

However, one of the creatures managed to dodge Tania's attack and landed right behind Tul. The monster opened its jaws to unleash a thunder attack, but the goddess took out a red sphere from her bag, threw it directly into the monster's mouth while reciting: —Waak' k'aak eek'

The sphere entered the monster and immediately caused a massive explosion, destroying the beast without a problem.

Tul turned to Tania and smiled again. Tania, understanding she expected praise, extinguished her flaming hand and caressed her head.

—Good job, Tul— she said.

After caressing her, the goddess looked towards the pyramid and saw dozens of flying monsters and hundreds of soldiers approaching their location; then the most terrifying sight appeared. Two enormous serpents, just like the one they had defeated in Ontario, were slithering towards them.

—This is bad, Tul. They greatly outnumber us— Tania remarked.

—I will have your back, ch'úupal!— Tul shouted as he drew more fireballs. Tania understood that these chemical abilities were enhanced by the divine power of the rabbit goddess.

—Alright, Tul, but first, we need to destroy those giant snakes— Tania remarked.

At that moment, a wave of water attacked Tania and Tul, emerging from the underground sewers. The goddesses narrowly avoided the assault, but when the water finally settled, it morphed into a grotesque feline.

—It's another monster, a lynx named Mishibizhiw, and it controls the water element!— Tul yelled. But right then, more water waves emerged from the ground, encircling the two goddesses.

Tania once again tried to use her fireball attack, but the monstrous lynxes enveloped Tul within their body, and she began to drown inside. Tania knew that if she attacked, she might hurt her friend and stopped her assault.

However, at that moment, the water lynxes exploded, only leaving rain in that area. Tul fell to the ground, still coughing from swallowing water. Tania rushed to her friend when she sensed someone behind her.

—Don't worry, Tania-san, I've come to help— the Punic goddess heard the voice and quickly realized it was Susanoo, donning his totema and ready to fight.

—Susanoo! I'm glad you're okay! I thought they were going to sacrifice you— an elated Tania said while helping Tul up.

—Anpiel-san and I were tasked with escaping the moment the sacrifice began and to find you, so we hid our totemas in our clothes. From what Bellona said, we assumed Tania-san wouldn't be sacrificed, but we feared Tania-san might have been sent to Lel— explained Susanoo, turning his gaze to the rabbit girl.

Suddenly, his expression completely changed, his heart raced, and his face turned cherry-red.

—Utsukushi usagi-chan, daisuki desu!— Susanoo shouted upon seeing the rabbit goddess, who only looked back at the oriental god with bewilderment.

—Is he your friend, ch'úupal?— Tul asked, noticing Susanoo kneeling before her, both hands raised towards the goddess.

—Yes, but I've just seen a side of him I never thought existed— Tania remarked annoyed, giving the oriental god a knock on the head.

—Behave yourself. Look at the situation we're in— Tania said sternly.

Susanoo quickly stood up, pretending nothing happened. Then, they saw the gigantic flying creatures approaching, and worse, the enormous snakes. They also heard soldiers ascending the stairs where they were.

—Anpiel, where is he?— Tania asked.

—Don't worry about Anpiel-san. He's helping the people evacuate— the Oriental god replied, wielding his katana against the impending threat.

—Susanoo, this may sound crazy, but I want you to team up with her to fight these beasts— Tania said. —Her name is Tul, and from today, she'll join us in our adventures—

—Subarashi!— Susanoo shouted excitedly, quickly regaining his composure.

—My name is Susanoo-no-Mikoto, but you can just call me Susanoo, Tul-chan— the Oriental god said, bowing.

—Chan? Do you speak Maya, maak Susanoo?— Tul asked, surprised he used that term.

—No, definitely not, Tul-chan— Susanoo responded. —It's a title we use in my land to affectionately refer to younger people—

—Chan also means 'small' in my homeland...— Tul said excitedly.

—Usotaro!— Susanoo exclaimed excitedly, before Tania reminded them of their situation again.

—Tul— Tania inquired, —can you generate thunder or electricity?—

—Yes, ch'úupal— the rabbit goddess replied.

—Good, I want you to produce it and feed this young Oriental god with that electricity. I'm sure that way, you will win this battle— Tania explained.

—Absolutely, ch'úupal! Trust me!— an exhilarated Tul shouted.

—Leave everything to me, Tania-san— Susanoo added.

—Good luck to both of you— Tania said, flying off towards the pyramid.

Susanoo was amazed that Tania could fly despite the anti-deity barrier.

—Tania-san is truly exceptional— he thought.

—I... will generate electricity, maak Susanoo— Tul yelled. Then, she opened her bag, releasing a dark smoke which quickly turned into electric clouds as the goddess chanted: —Cháak iik

—You're amazing, Tul-chan— Susanoo said, raising his massive katana to the sky.

—Now, make a powerful thunderbolt strike me— he ordered.

—Are you... sure, maak Susanoo?— Tul asked in disbelief.

—Trust in Tania-san— Susanoo advised.

—Alright!— Tul shouted, just as two Piasa landed their claws on the ground where the gods stood.

Lightning struck Susanoo, and in that moment, the god momentarily transformed into his electric version. With blinding speed, he drove his katana through the heads of the two flying creatures, killing them instantly.

Susanoo went into combat mode as he saw more of those monsters approaching. At the same time, Tul used her sleeping powder against the soldiers entering from behind.

—One way or another, we will win this battle— both thought.

Tania landed on the pyramid and saw the blood from the sacrifices on the ground, a sight that repulsed her. Nevertheless, she continued walking towards the door of what seemed to be a temple on top of the pyramid. Seated on a throne of copper and precious metals was Heshuka, looking bored.

The Punic goddess finally got a clear view of him. The god had a large bronzed falcon mask covering all of his face except his mouth. His wings, though white, were also metallic, attached to his body with a pair of bronze-colored shoulder pads. His chest, painted red with the image of a sun, was only shielded by a plate connected to a necklace. Additionally, he wore a red and ochre loincloth, and copper sandals. Upon closer inspection, he definitely didn't resemble Horus.

—I assume the tremendous power I felt was yours, right?— Heshuka remarked.

—Indeed, and I advise against challenging me, you're no match for me— Tania replied confidently. —I could obliterate this city in moments, destroying everything, including you and your vile human sacrifices—

The falcon god laughed.

—You think I'm lying?— Tania asked defiantly.

—You're right; in my current state, I wouldn't stand a chance against you— Heshuka replied, rising from his throne.

—Tannit, I can tell you don't get along with Lel, and I admit I don't appreciate that Anath bitch telling me what to do either— the falcon god said. —But if we joined forces, we might defeat her—

—You have no idea of Lel's power; she might be one of her most potent warriors, but I have over forty siblings equally powerful— Tania informed.

—I see. Then I'll take another approach: Defeat you, capture you, and renegotiate with them— the god declared.

—That will never happen— Tania retorted.

—You think you're not valuable enough to be held hostage?— Heshuka inquired, intrigued.

—No, it won't work because there's no way you can beat me— Tania stated, pointing at him with her flaming right hand's five fingers.

—Fine, Tannit, but we won't fight here; we'd obliterate the entire city. I'll take you to my world: Ckaárus— the falcon god proclaimed, raising his hand to the sky.

Suddenly, Tania found herself on a vast, arid plain, gazing up at a gigantic blazing star. The sky was non-existent, as if she was on an asteroid orbiting a massive sun. Heshuka appeared, flying before her.

—Here, we can fight at full power, unrestrained. And don't worry; this area is just a belt of asteroids torn apart by this imploding star. It was my planet, destroyed centuries ago— the falcon god explained.

—I'm sorry about your misfortune, but I won't pity you— Tania responded.

—I neither need nor want it. Soon, I'll find another paradisiac world to inhabit. Sadly, I'm the last of my clan, meaning I need immense power to conquer another nearby world; hence, I need gallons and gallons of human blood— Heshuka elaborated.

—You selfish and despicable creature! Instead of living peacefully with the humans you rule, you use them for your selfish desires!— Tania exclaimed furiously. "You're nothing but scum."

—I'm unfazed by your words— the falcon god replied. —When I'm done with you, I'll send your head to your sister to show her she shouldn't mess with me— Then, the falcon god pointed his finger at the sun, and golden energy orbs started adhering to his body. Tania realized his power had potentially increased 500-times.

—I had shared most of my power with my soldiers to conquer more territories, ensuring they wouldn't have to worry about any idle gods they might encounter. This allowed more sacrifices to feed me. But now, I've reclaimed my power and can fight with all the blood I've absorbed over the years— the falcon god said.

In that instant, the falcon god underwent a transformation. Flames enveloped his body, reminiscent of Tania's manticore transformation. His wings grew colossal, completely consumed by fire. Fiery lightning bolts emanated from his eyes, causing a vast distortion in the dimensional plane where they stood. The star above them rippled in response to the falcon god's immense power.

—In the north, the god Wenabozho created birds called Wakiya to battle demons. Much like you, I took inspiration from a creature to shape my fiery form and amplify my powers— Heshuka said.

—So that depraved rabbit did have warriors, but he didn't want to lend them to us— the goddess mused to herself.

With grace, Heshuka landed on the asteroid's surface, leveling a determined gaze at Tania. Then, with a mere finger, he shot a heat ray at the Punic goddess, which she narrowly dodged.

—Moreover, I remember telling you last time you should address me as 'My Lord'—" Heshuka roared in fury. Swift as lightning, he kicked Tania, sending her hurtling to another asteroid.

—Even if I can fight at full power here, I can't let my guard down, or it'll be the end of me— the goddess thought as she wiped blood from her mouth and rose to her feet.

Then, with her blazing wings, Tania lunged at Heshuka like a meteor. The battle had truly begun.