Chapter 853: Execution
The technicolor light blazed again and once again the two Banishing Blades thrust for their mark. A streak of white joined in after but was the first to come near Monarch's avatar.
The doppelganger's eyes were dual pits of rage. He never would have imagined these insignificant creatures were capable of constraining his strength. He responded with a cold grunt, and the golden-purple light living in his eyes flared. Ultus was raked cross-wise through the air before him, so thick with power it make his deep purple Domain rumble. Every ounce of his power seemed focused into the Banishing Blade and the wave of energy it released.
But the white light of Occisus would not be denied, and it bore down on the avatar with a dense and murderous aura. It was unaffected by Ultus' strike, and the Pharmacist pressed forward even despite the very real possibility of destruction at Monarch's hand.
Scorn was writ plain on the doppelganger's face. In his view this insignificant woman would be swept away by the wave of energy. More threatening were the other two and their dual sword technique. They were the focus of his attention.
Drawing on his extensive combat experience with humans, Monarch estimated that Lan Jue and Qianlin, though strong, could not maintain such power for very long. This avatar's power was obtained from the home worlds themselves and was near limitless. He only had to keep up the pressure and eventually the Paragons' Domains would fail. Then, death.
But in truth Monarch's hubris blinded him to the fact that Lan Jue and Qianlin's combined might was indeed a match for his on. However his determination for the Pharmacist proved mostly true. Even before Occisus light could reach him, it was dispersed by the shimmering light from Ultus. She was like an infant trying to bring a sword to bear against an adult. An adult who wielded a legendary weapon, Ultus!
But the Pharmacist pressed on. The two swords were on the path to collision.
Then, in the moment before they struck Ultus' inherent turquoise light erupted from deep within the blade. Its impossibly sharp nature coalesced into a whirlpool of power that tore apart the purple-gold aura that hung over it.
Clang! The two swords met and the ring of steel on steel hung in the air. For the space of a breath the avatar felt muddled, his hand loosened, and in a flash of blue-green light Ultus stuck to Occisus. The Pharmacist pulled her arm back and disarmed her enemy.
The wave of power emitted from Ultus and cast by the avatar dispersed like leaves on the breeze. As his weapon was wrenched away a grotesque fissure split his body. His soul shook with the reverberating din of the swords' collision.
And then the rainbow of color came crashing down upon him.
The power of the Harmonious Swords poured into him like a clay ox disappearing into the sea. Once it struck home, the dazzling colors vanished.
Reality warped sickeningly all around them, like a beast writhing in the throes of its demise. Then the rainbow light erupted from the avatar's back and carved a path through the purple world behind it.
Reality fractured like a broken mirror.
Meanwhile Lan Jue and Qianlin had arrived before the avatar, in the wake of their mighty attack. Lan Jue released Qianlin and lashed out at his enemy. Parry and strike! [1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ga2YiOTZTs] Lan Jue brought the power of his Domain to bear in the Taiji attack, aiming for the doppelganger's head.
Even up to this moment Monarch couldn't shake his disbelief. He couldn't comprehend how it was he was disarmed, or how it managed to shed his power so easily. He was nearly an immortal, but the sword denied him!
Conditions changed quickly in the heat of battle. However much the avatar refused to believe it, the truth would not be denied.
Shhhhck! Monarch's avatar dropped its head. A streak of electric blue light carved a path from his crown to his groin and then, in an explosion of light, the avatar was no more. Only a glittering golden-purple vital crystal remained. An invisible force started to draw it away.
Clang! It didn't get far. The Pharmacist appeared to block its path and batted the crystal back toward the others with the flat of Occisus' blade.
Power roiled behind Lan Jue's eyes, and his Domain concentrated around them. He reached out and from the palm of his hand shone a universe of stars. Its light hung over the crystal and drew it into his grip, smooth as water.
"Go!" An urgent voice cried out to them from within Ultus.
Lan Jue didn't dare hesitate. He took Qianlin's hand and together they reached out once again with their swords. The rainbow light of the Harmonious Swords cut open a path for them to escape.
Once the avatar was lain its Domain began to collapse. The world of purple bucked and shook, eventually changing back to the misshapen landscape that was Monarch's body.
But things had changed. Lan Jue could feel a vast and angry energy bearing down on them. Clearly Monarch knew something had gone wrong and aiming to intercept them.
Now was the time to flee, as fast as they could. Lan Jue believed the avatar was right, and Monarch's attention had been focused on joining with Europa until this moment. Attempting to destroy the planet now was unwise if not downright futile. They had to go. Recovering Ultus was already a great success. Seen another way, if they'd had a chance to destroy the planet Ultus would not have suggested they leave.
The ray of rainbow light tore a path through the purple world, severing the walls of the undulating vessels like paper. They could do nothing to impede the protogenia-imbued attack, though the torrent of power Lan Jue felt coming their way certainly could.
However Lan Jue and Qianlin together commanded as much power as an Infinite-level Paragon. What's more they were the bearers of the Banishing Blades. Between Captus' reality-rending abilities and Demortus' ubiquitous presence their escape would not be denied.
The Pharmacist stuck closely behind. The three humans raced for the relatively safety of space as fast as they could.
The light of a thousand golden stars appeared in the sky, and the dense reality the Prince was caught in began to break apart. However, so long as that man knelt nearby the Violet Prince didn't dare make a move. He feared the opposition of a man on his proverbial deathbed.
He could not comprehend why this human would do what he did, knowing that the universe would exact a toll. Still it filled him with a peculiar sense of respect. This human was willing to battle against his own instincts of survival for the betterment of his species. Jue Di could have chosen to live forever as a part of their immortal pantheon, but instead he chose death. Human priorities confounded him.
As the beast looked on he grew calm. After all, the Prince was a product of Monarch himself, a true heir. He was familiar with their evolutionary process and precisely what it would take. Even locked within this human's Domain he could sense that the home worlds' process was nearly complete. The humans could delay him, but only temporarily. Once he was free they would not be able to break the aliens' line of defense, even despite their worthy fighters. Without this man, their strongest, the humans had no one who could stand against him.
All he had to do was wait.
Clang! There was a cacophonous rattle like the. The bronze light surrounding Jue Di faded away. And then, so did he.
A single beam of dark golden light rose toward the heavens. It flickered weakly, and then was gone. The Prince saw that it was the last remaining light from the human's weapon.
He had wanted to take that golden staff as his own, but he was in no rush. For now he would be content with the destruction of the human race. Afterwards there would be time to discover what had become of this tool of destruction. He suspected it would be quite useful.
Once Jue Di's Domain was gone, the Prince and his cohorts reappeared in the battlefield. In a hundred seconds the situation had changed dramatically. He suspected that would be the case, but the Prince was still filled with anger and indignation once he saw how bad things had become.
The left flank was hardly worth mentioning. Under sustained assault from the armada it had been steadily pushed back. About forty percent of his forces were destroyed. Luckily these lesser creatures were possessed of only rudimentary intelligence, otherwise they would have been routed long ago.
The condition of the horde's right flank surprised the Prince.
Poseidon in its human form, with Middle Heaven at its side, were slaughtering his soldiers with wild abandon. Scores of alien fighters broke against the bastions like waves against a mountain side. A third of his people had been cut down, and that number was quickly rising.