Chapter 57:

Volume 2: Chapter 5: A Festival of Confrontation - Part 4

Nephalem


For just a moment, Alicia nearly forgot that she was locked inside of the barrier. Jacob was fighting Gabriel, an archangel of Heaven, one of Heaven’s most powerful warriors, and he wasn’t doing too bad. He wasn’t winning. Even now cuts continued to open on his skin, though they healed almost as quickly as they appeared. He was being pushed back, constantly giving ground, losing out to Gabriel, whose experience with warfare far exceeded his own.


But he wasn’t dead yet.


Even as she watched, Jacob threw his power at Gabriel, a massive wave of blackish energy that sought to engulf the archangel. It was destroyed. Gabriel cut it in half like Moses splitting the Red Sea. This was in spite of how powerful the attack was.


'He’s not using his powers efficiently.'


Demonic energy wasn’t really used for spells like mages used magic. Of course, while there were spells for demons, which was what Alicia specialized in, most preferred simply applying their power to create attacks—waves, crescent blades, massless weapons. Demonic power was very easy to mould and shape.


An angel’s power ran along the same lines, one could even say they were identical but diametrically opposed elements. Light and dark.


Of course, angels often preferred close-combat to long-range bombardment, which devils tended to specialize in. They created weapons like swords and spears, and then closed the distance and attacked that way. Close-range tended to be more effective with their powers.


As a Nephalem, Jacob had the powers of both, but he couldn’t use them efficiently. All he was doing was releasing the energy has massless attacks. Such attacks, even if they were more powerful than anything his opponent could dish out, were easy for someone such as Gabriel to cut through.


'I need to help him.'


Alicia studied the barrier, trying to see if there was any cracks she could widen to escape. This barrier had been formed by the six angels surrounding her weaving their energy together like strands of yarn forming a blanket. The “strings” overlapped and combined to create an impenetrable barrier that couldn’t be broken with brute force.


Her father could probably break it. Well, obviously he could break it. He was King Bael, the undisputed most powerful king who controlled the eastern realm of the Underworld. His only rival in power was Lucifer.


However, she was not her father. She didn’t have his experience, his power, or his abilities. Alicia considered herself a powerful individual, but she knew her limits. This barrier was not something she could break with power alone.


'There has to be a crack in this barrier. No technique is perfect.'


It was something that Matilda had once told her, back when she was being trained in how to use her powers. No technique was perfect. There was always a weakness that could be exploited. If one knew that weakness, they could break the technique and render it harmless. This went double for barriers.


Alicia sent her demonic energy into the barrier. The angelic energy fought back, hissing and spitting at her, drawing the attention of the angels. There were six of them, three men and three women. The one on her immediate left frowned and tapped the barrier with his light spear.


“Hey! I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but I suggest you stop it right now! We may have orders not to kill you. However, keep making a racket and we’ll be forced to take action.”


Alicia heard the words, and then she subsequently ignored them. What did she care if they took action? Her friend was in danger. He was fighting against an archangel!


Barely a week ago, Jacob had fought Belial alongside her, helping her overcome the devil who’d been haunting her every footstep. He had no reason to aid her, no reason to defend her, but he had done it anyway. There was no way in hell she would let him fight this woman alone when he had already done so much for her.


Just like Gabriel had said, the barrier was formed from weaving strands of angelic power together. It reminded her of tapestry weaving. Each strand created by the angels around her strengthened the other strands, creating a web. The end result was an impossibly strong barrier shaped like a cylinder.


Fortunately, this type of barrier had a weakness. If she attacked this barrier one strand at a time, she could dissolve it. That would take a long time, but there wasn’t much else she could do, given the circumstances. If she wanted to help Jacob, she would have to break this barrier.


'Hold on, Jacob.'


Alicia slowly, carefully, so as not to be discovered, used her demonic energy to eat away at the barrier one strand at a time.


'I’ll be free soon. Just hang on until I’m finished.'