Chapter 143:


Mad God

Lightning flashed through the cave as Rudrick was leaning backwards, dodging Ren’s spear by a hair. The bloody air around him formed a shield in the meantime, obstructing Leinor’s fists from behind him.

“You have great coordination. But it won’t help you.” Rudrick said calmly, pressuring Ren with his full might, punching out. His fist, while going through the air, formed a dark red, spiked gauntlet around it before arriving at her.

“We’ll see.” She answered, unfazed by it. She was letting her spear dissolve and form armor around her instead, receiving the punch, skidding backwards, leaving deep prints on the ground with her feet. Leinor was not slacking off either. As soon as Rudrick made his move, he was already on him once again. Taking a deep breath, he gulped down the cloud of bloody energy in the air like a whale, stripping it from his opponent’s body.

“You are brave to consume MY energy, boy!” Rudrick turned towards him but he couldn’t switch his target as Ren was back on him with a loud booming noise. She landed a punch on his slightly turned face, sending cracks of lightning everywhere. “Ugh!” Rudrick stumbled backwards for the first time, taking heavy, thumping steps, spitting blood to the side. “Pesky bitch!” He roared as the same, spiky, blood red armor appeared around him, covering his body fully. He was now holding a giant, two headed battle-ax. As he was roaring angrily, his aura was rising exponentially. Leinor’s face turned deep red and finally he could only vomit out the same blood he previously consumed. It was quickly drawn back to Rudrick’s body, making him laugh. “You are too young to be able to consume my powers, boy!” He shouted as he swung his weapon towards him, sending Leinor flying back with a giant laceration across his chest.

By the time he landed on his feet the wound was closed in and he looked uninjured. He was letting his own body be surrounded by a creamy colored light, forming a bow inside his hands, similar to his father’s. Drawing it fully back, its release was accompanied with a loud “thwang”, shaking the earth around him. The energy arrow flew forward, leaving a blinding trail of light behind itself. Before impact it broke into multiple, smaller projectiles, all of them bombarding Rudrick’s back who was already facing off against Ren’s relentless, quick jabs at his armor’s joints.

“Their teamwork is perfect…” Orsi whispered, watching their fight.

“Yeah… even though that bloody bastard has a tough armor on and looks intimidating, he couldn’t move an inch from his starting position!” Jishan nodded, fired up by what he was seeing.

“But none of Master’s attacks cause real damage…” Ariana murmured. “They just do not go through.”

“Striking the same point long enough will create a crack.” Orsi added quickly.

“If they can keep it up.” Ariana nodded at her, but somehow her mood was swinging constantly from dread to excitement. While they exchanged these few words the battle between the trio came to another standstill.

“How’s your energy reserves?” Ren asked with a voice transmission, before going in for another round of blows and dodging the counter-strikes from Rudrick’s ax.

“Don’t worry about it! It is a bit sparse down here to refill myself but I can do it! But I can’t absorb too much from him! He has damn good control over it!” Leinor answered while he was switching out Ren, drawing over Rudrick’s attention. He was facing off against him, holding a giant kite shield and mace, made out of energy.

“Keep switching between your methods and keep him guessing!” Ren’s voice arrived. “I almost cracked his shell! Give me four more rounds and my spear will go through!” She was attacking once more, and her stabs landed, once again, at Rudrick’s weak spots. At the same point, just like before.

“Leave it to me!” Leinor smiled, taking another deep breath, switching his energy weapons once again, now changing it into a warhammer. He was swinging it towards Rudrick’s back with full force, shattering the forming blood shield of his.

By now even Rudrick felt the pressure. At first he dismissed Ren’s attacks but only after the second round did he recognize that they were aiming at the same point again and again and again. No matter what pose he took up or if he changed the pattern of his attacks, they landed exactly at the same place. Even though, through his 2nd stage of Harmony cultivation, he could tell where Ren’s attack would come, he couldn’t block it perfectly, thanks to Leinor’s efforts. His attacks came just at the right time, every time, making him forcefully split his attention. His interference was letting Ren’s attacks land on his armor every time. Deep inside, he was already fuming and realizing if this keeps up, he will be injured. The chance of losing or dying never occurred to Rudrick but the thought of being injured by them was more than humiliating enough for his ego.

When Ren’s lightning spear struck once again, her body suddenly shook a little. She knew that it was Rudrick’s eyes that were aiming at her, trying to influence her mind. She resisted it as much as she could, already expecting it as she was avoiding eye contact throughout the battle. Not to mention she was also focusing on shielding her mind right from the start. Yet somehow her body flinched enough to give time for Rudrick to bring down his battle-ax. It shattered the lightning spear of hers and then came a heavy kick into the middle of her chest, sending her flying backwards, making her cough up a mouthful of blood. Before Rudrick’s leg could be brought back down, a white whip landed on it. Leinor, with a loud shout, pulled on it, giving it his all, shaking Rudrick out of his balance. Ren, who by now landed on the wall at the opposite side, used the rebounding force of the impact to shoot herself out like a spring, forming a new spear, stabbing it forward.

“Gotcha…” She whispered under her breath as the spear finally broke the armor on him, going through and exploding with a loud boom, sending electric sparks all over his body. Ren was already distancing herself as Leinor descended down, right on the stunned Rudrick, bringing down his two fists held together, pummeling him into the ground with another loud bang. The whole cavern was shaking as rocks flew everywhere, while Ren just popped a healing pill, breathing erratically as Leinor landed next to her. His chest was similarly heaving up and down as he also stuffed pills into his mouth.

“You good?” Leinor asked, looking at the dust, premating in the air, standing beside his wife.

“Yeah.” She answered shortly as she regulated her breathing.

“Master!” Ariana stood up, wanting to go to them but Ren just flashed, standing between a sudden, blood colored flash and Ariana, catching it with her bare hands. It was a red energy arrow that quickly exploded when being touched, leaving her with holes in her hands yet Ren just ignored it, watching the smoke clear up.

Rudrick was standing there as pieces of armor fell off of his body, like shedding his skin. He was stepping forward, a bit shaky at first but he quickly recollected himself. He looked uninjured but he was taking deeper breaths every time he took a step forward.

“I don’t know what to do.” He opened his mouth. “Kill you before your disciples or kill them before you. Or kill your husband and you, before your disciples. Or cripple them, kill you before them and then kill them. Maybe I’ll cripple them and rape you before their eyes and torture them to death? The options keep coming to me and I just can’t choose.” He said with glowing, violet eyes, looking at the disciples behind Ren. “For now, you all sit down.” He ordered, and Ariana, Jishan and Orsi, even if they wanted, couldn’t refuse him at all and just fell down, unable to move their bodies. “I have reached the 2nd stage of Harmony for almost 300 years now… I reached it even before my father did. You know… I kept it a secret before him. Watching him prance around as a failure of a king for a century… pathetic fool.” He shook his head with a nostalgic smile. “And you think that you… Mere kids, can go toe to toe with me? Don’t make me laugh!” He groaned as he spat out a foul smelling clot. “I acknowledge that you are strong. Geniuses even. But the higher someone climbs, the bigger the chasm between stages! You can’t dream of overcoming me! I had years of preparations… you? Seconds, compared to the time that I roamed this earth!”

While he was monologuing to himself, Leinor rushed behind Ren, placing his hands on her shoulders, trying to heal her wounds. What immediately surprised him was the fact that he couldn’t do it. No matter how hard he tried, the wounds wouldn’t close on her arms no matter how much energy he poured into her.

“He is controlling my blood… and through it, my body.” Ren said, squeezing out her words with great effort. “I can’t move.”

“You just realized it now?” Rudrick chuckled. “You are connected to me girl! Your bloodline was made to serve me! No matter how far you are from the family tree, you are a spawn of mine either way. You purely exist because of me. Since I modified myself… I can control everyone who has a little me in them, ahahahaha!”

“Take my energy and kick his teeth in.” Ren grunted and her husband, after a short hesitation did just that. Their combined powers gave an instant boost to Leinor who rushed out, attacking Rudrick. He was meeting him head on, in hand-to-hand combat.

“You may be a skilled combatant boy but you are weak!” Rudrick smirked, blocking Leinor’s fist, bringing down his elbow on it. He broke it with a loud crack but Leinor’s face showed no pain. He just followed up with his knee, landing it in his stomach, making Rudrick grunt and slouch forward.

“If I am weak, why are you grunting?” Leinor asked, headbutting him as his broken arm just realigned itself. He was grabbing onto Rudrick’s head, bringing it down to land another knee strike, now at a more vital point, right in the middle of his face.

“FUCK YOU!” Rudrick shouted, right as his nose was broken in and his teeth were blown out by Leinor’s knee. Rudrick grabbed onto Leinor’s waist, lifting him up, roaring like an animal and brought him down, breaking his back with a loud crack. After that he just tossed him away like a ragdoll. “Trash!” Rudrick spat out blood and chunks of teeth, but just as he turned his back to him, Leinor was already back up, landing a kick on his back. His attack came out of nowhere for Rudrick as he was sure he broke his spine. Leinor’s leg was shining in a creamy, white light, mixed with violet lightning bolts as it landed right on him, sending him forward. “Die already!” Rudrick shouted with clear frustration, getting back up from the ground.

He was turning back towards him, forming a bloody sword in his hand, which made Ren flinch. She was feeling that control of her body was coming back as Rudrick couldn’t multitask so well. The more he used his powers, the less control he had on Ren. Swinging his weapon around, it left deep gushes on the hard ground and cut through the shield Leinor summoned with ease, even severing his arm that was now spinning between them in the air.

“Now die!” Rudrick screamed, trying to cut him down but Leinor just raised his other hand, letting the blade cut it off. With that he managed changing its course, hacking into his shoulder, instead of his head. The blade was lodging itself in his collarbone at that moment. “DIEEEEE!” Rudrick grinded his remaining teeth with bloodshot eyes.

“I don’t think I will.” Leinor replied as he took a breath and with it, he absorbed not just the sword but every energy around them in a 10 meter wide circle. His hands regrow right before Rudrick’s eyes, stunning the old man, as he felt Leinor’s fingers stab into his sides like knives. He was grabbing onto his ribcage directly, breaking down parts of it like twigs, tearing them out, making him howl like a dog.

The ruling king of the Naulins never imagined what he was seeing was even possible. He heard the legends from Zelig, tellings of his fights against Aerthus and how he constantly called him a cockroach. A zombie. A cursed being with the most frightening affinity he ever came across. Now he realized why. As long as Leinor was able to get enough energy, it seemed like no wounds could put him down. He was regenerating everything with an unbelievable speed. He could only roar and distance himself while profusely bleeding from the sides, holding onto the open wounds, healing himself. Even though he was dabbling in replicating Leinor’s bloodline he was far away from the real deal. He extracted the basics of it from Sentios but he was not born with it. The best he managed to do so far was to produce something like Elder Bourast’s weaker, mutated affinity and not what Leinor possessed.

“Damn it!” He coughed as Leinor was upon him once again, holding Rudrick’s own, broken ribs as daggers. He was trying to stab him with his own bones, looking at Rudrick with cold, indifferent eyes. “You damned freak!” Rudrick shouted as he summoned his armor once again, meeting Leinor’s attack. In that moment he freed Ren from his control who quickly swallowed an energy pill and was already joining in, supporting her husband in dealing with Rudrick.

“Elder Leinor is scary when he is like this…” Jishan whispered, seeing their battle. The girls could only nod when hearing him. While he and Orsi felt everything was going smoothly as the pressure on them lessened, able to sit or even stand up, Ariana somehow couldn’t shake off the unease she was experiencing.

“JUST…. FUCK… OFF!” Rudrick cried out with a hysterical voice, grabbing towards Leinor with his two hands. Ren’s spear clashed against his armor, breaking it but he just ignored the pain, only focusing on Leinor. “Give MY energy back!” He groaned as he looked into Leinor’s eyes and drew out the blood he absorbed from him. He was swallowing it back into his own body, making Leinor weaker immediately, smashing him into the ground.

What surprised Ren was the fact he did not turn towards her. Rudrick just grabbed her spear, breaking it, letting the electricity run through his arm, ignoring the pain, before dispelling his armor. He was turning his blood into a bow and taking aim. But not at her, or Leinor, but at Ariana, Jishan and Orsi. He did not hesitate and released the concentrated energy as soon as it was ready.

“Shit…” Jishan moaned, seeing the bloody light flying towards them.

What stopped it was Ren. Both her and Rudrick knew this was going to happen. She was summoning all the remaining energy inside her body, forming an electric shield before her, fighting against the energy arrow, before it finally exploded, sending rumbling waves everywhere around the cave. The disciples were spared as Ren stood before them like a staunch wall, blocking the spell with her own body.

“Master!” Ariana cried out with pain, as Lienor finally gathered himself back up, climbing up from the ground, panting heavily. He was hurriedly taking pill after pill to recover but he was running out of resources.

“Damn it… all of you…” Rudrick heaved, feeling deeply ashamed and that just fueled his rage to new heights. “Fuck, fuck FUUUUUCK!” He grabbed onto his own hair, tearing long strands out, roaring and his aura started to rise higher and higher. “I’LL KILL YOU EVEN IF I NEED TO SPEND HUNDREDS OF YEARS WORTH OF RESERVES!”

“Damn it!” Leinor groaned, hurrying to stand up.

“STAY THE FUCK DOWN!” Rudrick turned towards him. His purple eyes were almost red in color when they lit up, and his commanding voice, soaked with his tremendous aura, hit him like a warhammer. It was making Leinor spurt out blood from his mouth, falling backwards. “AND YOU!” He roared at Ren as the bow in his hand lit up like the sun, taking aim at Ariana behind her. “MOVE.” He ordered, wanting to kill her disciple before her eyes.

“Master…” Ariana whispered, watching Ren’s back who stood straight like a tree, not moving an inch.

“MOVE!” Rudrick screamed at her, trying to influence her body to obey but she just stood there with a smile, gently looking back at the disciples over her shoulder.

“Relax.” She said with a happy voice. “Nobody can hurt you until your Master is here. I told you…” She looked into Ariana’s eyes. “I’ll shield you until death.”

“Master!” Ariana screamed out as Rudrick released the arrow, giving up on his raging wish to torture her for what they have done to him.

The arrow was more like a crimson beam, immediately reaching Ren who was looking forward with a peaceful expression. She grabbed onto it with a leisurely expression. Rudrick expected it to go through her in an instant yet Ren was resisting it. Her feet was sinking into the ground, flesh tearing off of her arms but she was holding it in place. The whole cave was trembling by now. It was at this moment when Leinor finally could stand back up and see as the ceiling above them cracked, rocks falling downwards while the earth itself was separating quickly into two sides above them. It was as if someone reached down and simply pulled the land apart.

“What the…” Rudrick gawked, looking up and what they first saw was the clear sky. It was deep into the night and the glowing Tear was perfectly visible. It was gathering deep, red lightning bolts, emanating a dreadful and angry energy. “What are you… doing?” Rudruck mumbled, looking down at Ren. Her aura was climbing rapidly, rising further and further, now even matching his own.

“Nobody can hide, no matter where they are.” Ren spoke up with a smile. “Tribulation will find you. Especially if you call it down forcefully~ I now understand… The 2nd stage of Harmony can be reached two ways; You either become one with nature peacefully… or you decide to take control over it! Only, it won’t like being ordered around by anybody!” She laughed, knowing full well, that this tribulation is going to be nothing like ascending to Harmony. That was nature’s way to cleanse them. This? This was an angry punishment.

Before Rudrick could react, very deep, crimson colored lightning came down, hitting Ren square on the head. She only flinched, spurting out blood through her closed lips and through her nose but she was finally having enough strength to squash Rudrick’s attack.

“Now it’s my turn!” She licked down the blood from her own lips, forming a spear that was half purple and half red, throwing it forward like a javelin.

“NO WAY!” Rudrick screamed at the top of his lungs, as he grabbed onto it like Ren did with his. Yet his fingers quickly got blown off as the spear stabbed into his chest. Unfortunately it could not go completely through but it made him roar with pain.

Seeing Ren was already forming the second one and another lightning strike was gathering up above them, Rudrick made a decision. He just flew up, leaving before anything could strike at him again. He was hurrying away, with the energy spear still stuck inside his chest.

“Master!” Ariana shouted and then came Leinor’s voice.

“Ren!” Her husband stumbled towards her with hurried steps.

“Ah…” Ren chuckled, dispersing her spear, looking upwards before falling into Leinor’s arms. When touched her, he realized that the insides of her were still being ravaged by the tribulation. She had no strength left to fight back against it at all. “Well…” Ren giggled. “It seems this is it for me!” She looked at Leinor with a smile, reaching up, touching his face. “It was fun…”

“What are you talking about?” He asked with a trembling voice, trying to hug her closer to him. “I’ll help you! I can… I can share the overflow of energy with you! No problem!”

“Nobody can take another’s tribulation…” Ren giggled again, spurting blood from her mouth. It was filled with electricity, rampaging angrily inside of it. “Also, this is a tribulation of force… I’d need to take control of it or be destroyed by it… I did not want to do this but… sometimes things don’t go as planned.” She sighed.

“No… nononono…” Leinor panicked as his tears were already falling down on her face.

“Crybaby…” She whispered, with a tired voice, maintaining smile, caressing his face. “Take care of everything after I am gone, okay? And find a nice girl! Maybe try going for one with big boobs now, eh?” She joked while Ariana was unable to even think, hearing her Master’s words. She was just watching them, frozen in place.

“No… no, I… I can… I can do something… I…” Leinor mumbled but a thundering noise cut him off as the Tear, high up in the Sky, was gathering force. It was as if it was telling him to move or it was going to smite him to death.

“Kiss me…” Ren said with a calm and loving voice. “Then step back and let me go LeiLei.” She played with his messy hair. “I love you… Always will.” She said but Ren knew, it was possible that her soul is going to be shattered too, not just her body.

“...” Leinor could say nothing, just slowly lowering his face as their foreheads touched and gently kissed her. Ren was about to pull away when she realized that Leinor was holding her firmly. Opening her eyes she saw his determined look, not releasing her exhausted body.

“What are you doing?!” Ren’s thoughts resonated inside his head.

“Kissing you.” His determined answer came immediately.

“Release me! Are you mad?!” She panicked, trying to fight back but Leinor just held her strongly. He was absorbing the residue energy of the first lightning bolt, refining it as much as he could, then sending it back to Ren’s body. This way she could try and take control of it.

“I won’t let you die.” Leinor said, calmer than he ever was.

“Idiot! Fucking idiot! You can’t-” Ren squirmed in his hands but her thoughts were cut short as the second bolt descended down. It was now hitting both of them at the same time. “Leinor!” She cried out, struggling, trashing in his arms but he just pressed his lips firmly on hers.

The influx of energy rampaged through both of them as Leinor circulated between their bodies, just as he did so many times since childhood. The synchronization between their essences was perfect and with Leinor’s help, Ren’s body could take control of the tribulation’s energy.

“Stop it… please…” Ren’s weak voice echoed in Leinor’s mind. It was the first time he could hear him beg and see her crying. “You are killing yourself… please… don’t do this… please!”

“I can’t let you die…” Leinor answered as his body regenerated over and over again. Yet it was breaking down nonetheless. “I won’t.”

“No… don’t do this…” She held onto his arms while tears were flowing down from her eyes.

“Crybaby.” Leinor words inside Ren’s mind as a third and final lightning bolt struck them both.

“LeiLei! No, no, no, no, no, no, noooo!” She tried to push herself away but it was too late.

The third bolt immediately got absorbed by Leinor, circulating it between them, helping Ren’s body to refine it completely. It came with the price of his own energy points exploding, his inner organs turning into pure ash. In the end only his spirit was keeping his body together, driving the tribulation between them, circulating it with his sheer will alone.

“I love you. Always.” Leinor whispered as their trembling lips slowly separated. He was looking into her eyes with a warm smile before his body simply turned to white specks of energy, leaving behind red, dancing electricity between them, slowly flying upwards.

“No… nononono!” Ren grabbed after his fading image. “Give him back! GIVE. HIM. BAAAAAAAACK!” Ren screamed with such a force it made the shocked disciples fall to the ground with bleeding ears. The next moment she just blasted upwards with red and violet electricity mixing together, leaving a long stream behind. What Ariana saw at that moment was multiple, energy pillars appearing around Ren. Chains were coming out of their tops, and as she stretched her arms towards the Tear, a giant hand manifested from nowhere. It was like a devil from Hell, trying to reach towards Heaven as an otherworldly scream echoed through the land. “I WON’T LET YOU HAVE HIM!”

People from the Capital, from the Immortal Wonders Sect and from Heaven’s Gate could see the hand, reaching upwards, grasping at nothing, before dissipating into bright sparks of lightning and into the rumbling of thunder. It resembled a maddened, painful scream, making Zelig furrow his brows as he heard it.