Baltoh flew through the fiery galaxy of Tenebrous’ personal domain with enough power streaming from his sword to shatter a planet. Spinning like a top, he delivered a flurry of slashes to Tenebrous, but the Demon King blocked them all with his claymore of Hellfire. As Baltoh was about to deliver his hundredth attack in the second, he suddenly disappeared, teleporting and reappearing behind Tenebrous. Before his foe could react, Baltoh kicked him the ribs with catastrophic power, sending him zooming across the cosmos and crashing straight through a line of planets, turning them into crumbling rings of fire and stone.
“Demon Art: Apocalypse Eruption!” Tenebrous howled as Baltoh flew through the shattered planet cores faster than the speed of light.
Putting Lucifer’s ultimate attack to shame, Tenebrous fired a black and red beam of energy powerful enough to obliterate a solar system.
“Celestial Art: Wormhole Barrier!” Baltoh countered, refusing to alter his trajectory or slow down.
At the sound of his voice, a lake-sized vortex appeared in front of him and engulfed the blast, sending it to the void between dimensions where it could do no harm. Maneuvering around the screaming blast, Baltoh tackled Tenebrous, knocking through the final planet in the tiny pocket of space. With rubble and terrified monsters flying around them, the two fighters began attacking and blocking each other so quickly that they made light particles look like snails.
“Demon Art: Debt Retrieval!” Tenebrous cackled, having the time of his life.
Reaching out like a geyser from one of the “nearby” destroyed planets, a powerful arm with pulsing muscles and black scales stretched like rubber and grabbed Baltoh, reinforced with Tenebrous’ own divine power so that Baltoh couldn’t just break free of it without effort. Lunging forward, Tenebrous pierced Baltoh’s chest at the collarbone, driving straight through him and cutting through his coat. Tenebrous smiled at the sight of Baltoh coughing up blood, but lost it when Baltoh gained one of his own. Bending the light around it, Baltoh’s coat began to swirl and expand with the hand gripping Baltoh disappearing as his body seemingly dematerialized.
“Oh shit!” Tenebrous swore as the undulating coat took form into a barrel-sized black hole, as strong and heavy as one that was full-sized.
Easily able to consume light itself, the black hole grabbed Tenebrous with its invisible claws and slammed him into it like a bear hug. Gnashing his teeth and swearing in frustration at the power of the quantum singularity, Tenebrous managed to turn his head enough to see Baltoh several millions of miles away with his hand raised.
“Celestial Art: Terrestrial Cataclysm!” He thundered.
With a snarling roar, a burst of twisting fire and stone appeared above his head, taking form into a molten sphere that was as hot as the surface of the sun and large as a continent. Layers of bedrock appeared around the sphere, securing it tightly in countless layers until the heat could not be sensed on the surface. With a blue aura, the planet was supplied with oxygen and shook as oceans crashed on its surface upon their birth. Rising up from the soil, towering trees took root, looking for sunlight. The whole creation had taken only a handful of seconds to complete and was almost a perfect ecological equivalent to Earth.
His face contorted with focus, Baltoh threw the planet down at Tenebrous, who was still trying to overpower the gravitational pull of the black hole. Sending pulses of light across the cosmos, the planet slammed into Tenebrous dead on, crushing him with its weight and the power of the black hole as it was consumed. Baltoh watched as the planet wrapped around the black hole and was pulled into the darkness, waiting for Tenebrous to make his move.
The reply came with a booming laugh and a black supernova of shadow fire, erupting from between the crumbling planet and the black hole and destroying them both. The dark Hellfire surged across the solar system, obliterating the destroyed planets but being pushed aside before they reached Baltoh, unable to even come near him. In the center of the gyrating torrent of Hellfire, Tenebrous was laughing as loud as possible in joy at the battle. This was definitely going to be difficult.
Selene and Gabriel were flying through the labyrinth of stomachs and tracts of Baal, dodging the spikes of flesh and bone that were filling the corridors in an attempt to skewer and hold them down for digestion. They had already passed through dozens of stadium-sized chambers, filled with people being melted in lakes of stomach acid. While the sight sickened them and they wished they could help, their efforts would make no difference, and without Baltoh to create suits of armor and turn them into Crusaders, it would only slow them down. They had to get out and regroup before they continued to rescue souls.
“Gabriel, we’ve been flying in circles. That’s the third time we passed that pile of skeletons.” Selene mentioned, looking back.
“I know, I’m trying to figure out the anatomy of this creature and find the esophagus so that we will have a straight shot to the mouth, but I don’t think it’s that simple. None of these stomachs seem to be linked synergistically like a cow, these corridors seem to provide only space for the damned and allow for the easy movement of those parasites. I think damned souls are deposited here some other way, possibly through passages hidden within the folds of these walls, and I doubt we would be allowed to use them.” He said.
“Basically you’re saying this is all a closed circuit, but what if he tried to move through it outside of the gastric tract?” Selene suggested as they made a corner.
“What are you proposing?” Gabriel inquired, beginning to like her.
“A Demon like this must have colossal blood vessels, right? Possibly large enough for us to move through? If we can manage to burn through a wall of these intestines and break into an artery, then we can use it to get to the heart. Once there, we destroy the organ and hopefully weaken this monster enough to make our escape.” She said, smiling with confidence.
“That could work, but we have no way to cut through it. Whether it is some sort of mucus membrane or spell, these walls are completely protected from physical and energy attacks.” He reminded.
“True, but we may be able to remove that barrier if we stress the tissue behind it. I have an idea.” She said as they came to a stop at an intersection with a ventilation shaft-sized artery in the ceiling.
“Celestial Art: Crystal Ice Ray!” She called, drawing the blue lens in the air and then firing a beam of sapphire energy.
The beam of blue light sprayed the ceiling like a high-pressure hose and immediately began to create a chandelier of ice, while almost doubling its size every second. Selene and Michael stepped back as she continued to fill the chamber with a growing iceberg. After reaching the point where it had blocked off all the passageways, a groan echoed through the tunnel and the interior walls began to shiver.
“It’s working! Even if the ice can’t directly touch the flesh, it still reacts to weight and impacts, and now the weight of ice is hurting it. Once the cold starts seeping through, then we’ll really be set.” Selene said as she ended her spell.
True to her words, the flesh around the perimeter of the ice began to swell and bruise as the weight cut off circulation through the capillaries, wearing down the protective membrane and allowing for the frigid cold to get to work. With its frigid sting, the ice killed all the flesh it touched and left it vulnerable to attack. Drawing his sword, Gabriel shattered the ice with a single swing, then jumped into the air and severed the artery.
A waterfall of blood poured down into the chamber, but knowing that the wound could close and heal itself at any second, they jumped up and climbed inside. Ignoring their squeamishness, they crawled through the river of Demon blood, working their way through Baal’s body. Going against the current, they crawled for what felt like hours through the artery.
After an unknown amount of time, the steady flow of the blood became a pulsing surge, slamming into them with all the power of a flash flood and forcing them back. Even with their strength, they could not fight the powerful beats of the nearby heart and were forced to carve their way out. Landing in the chest cavity, Selene and Gabriel raised their power levels to burn off the blood and then turned around, facing the heart of Baal.
The pulsating organ was the size of a warehouse and had a much different design than a human’s or even most animals’. It had veins reaching out almost randomly across its surface to distribute blood through the body and well over a dozen chambers that were expanding and contracting on their own.
“I doubt it’s protected like the walls of Baal’s stomach. Would you care to do the honors?” Selene asked. With a smile, Gabriel drew his flaming sword.
“It would be my pleasure.” He said.
Leaping like a grasshopper, he pounced on Baal’s heart with a downward slash of his sword, carving through the thick muscle without too much difficulty and causing a flood of gore to spray out like a tsunami, filling the entire chamber and forcing Selene to take to the air to avoid getting snatched by the waves.
“Alright, now let’s see if we can now find our way out.” Selene said as the blood-flow slowed to a trickle.
“Oh no, you need not even bother.” A deep voice laughed. Selene and Gabriel both looked up as a mouth of dripping fangs appeared up above the heart, smiling and laughing.
“Baal, so you aren’t as mindless as I thought.” Gabriel cursed before giving a sideways slash across the heart out of spite. This only drew another taunting laugh.
“Cut at it all you want, a heart is as useless to a Demon as teeth to a creature that does not eat. And no, I am in no way mindless; I just wanted to see how far you could get. At any time, I could have killed you without any trouble, but you proved to be very interesting. But now the show is over and I look forward to digesting you both. But you girl, I might just eat you up all over again, as you were the most delicious.” He cackled as a tongue reached out and licked the fat lips that bordered the pit of teeth.
“So if you’re going to kill us, then can we at least get a final request?” Selene asked, pretending to be afraid.
“I’m feeling merciful.” Baal chuckled.
“Can we see the sky one more time?” Selene pleaded.
“Fine, see the light of day before you spend eternity in darkness. Don’t even try to make a run for it, not even your fastest spells will let you outrace my reaction and instinct.” He said mockingly before opening his mouth, letting Gabriel and Selene look up a mile-long shaft at the burning sky. At the very end of the shaft were several rows of teeth, as it was the true mouth of Baal.
“Thanks, now I know which direction to fire.” Selene said with a maniacal grin. Gabriel looked at her and Baal gave a booming laugh.
“Ha! As if you could have any chance of piercing my flesh! The only reason why you were able to climb into my artery is because I let you out of interest! There is nothing you can do to harm me!” He laughed as the shaft slowly closed, constricting to the point where it was like there had never been a passage before.
“As far as you know. Now, how about I grant you a final request and show you where you made your mistake?” She said with her grin.
Like a bull lowering its horns, Selene pointed the tips of her liquid metal wings at Baal’s mouth. The mini solar system above her head that had replaced her halo moved between the wings, with the tiny planets now orbiting around the sun more like electrons around an atomic nucleus.
‘It can’t be, is it even possible for her to use that technique?!’ Gabriel thought in disbelief as the sun’s light grew in intensity.
Shining as brightly as a star, a tongue of molten gold and silver shot up from the depths of the volcano, taking shape and solidifying. A demonic skeleton of pure sterling Hellsilver took form with long claws extending from the fingertips and a pair of bull-like horns reaching up from the grinning human-like face. The skeleton was then wrapped in a cloak of shifting Hellgold, becoming both the muscles and clothes of the Hell Prince, while the face remained without flesh. His eyes glowing brightly, Mammon opened his jaws and gave a booming laugh, terrifying Molly and Michael. He then raised his hand and a ring of fire surged up from the mountains around junkyard, like the Hellfire fence that had originally been erected around New York.
“Do you think we have any chance of being able to escape?” Molly asked.
“Not a chance. I doubt even our spells will let us break through that barrier, so our only hope is to fight him and hope for the best.” The Archangel replied.
“All of us combined barely put a dent in Leviathan, what the Hell can the two of us alone do?!” Molly cursed as the power of the Prince of Greed weighed down on her like a heavy backpack.
“Well then all we can do is try and live long enough for help to come! Watch out, he’s going to attack!” Michael shouted as Mammon raised his head.
Laughing maniacally, Mammon swung his arm and hurled a tsunami of Hellfire at the two warriors, setting the junkyard ablaze and barely giving them time to dodge. Knowing that there was nothing they could do to change the situation, the fighters resolved to just buy as much time as they could and try to survive.
“Angel Art: Spear of Destiny!” Michael shouted, firing a cascade of voulges from his hand.
“Celestial Art: Lightning Obliteration!” Molly called, launching a colossal beam of blue electricity. Being like ants fighting an elephant in terms of size and strength, their spells had little affect on the Hell Prince, causing only a stinging wound on the arm that he used to block.
“Do you really think you can kill me with such pitiful attacks?! You’re out of your league!” He cackled as he launched a blast of crimson fire, barely missing Michael but causing his armor to warp and melt from the proximity to the blast. His whole right side badly burned and his wing incinerated, Michael was unable to stay in the air.
“Celestial Art: Meteor Obliteration!” Molly shouted in frustration, forcing herself to look away from Michael and focus on the battle.
Having drawn a car-sized block of gold from the junkyard below, Molly took aim at Mammon and fired, causing the heavy projectile to shoot forward fast enough to break the sound barrier and cause a sonic boom. The block of gold slammed Mammon in the chest, nearly causing him to fall back out of the volcano like a released jack-in-the-box and making him roar in pain. This was the opportunity of a lifetime!
“Celestial Art: Carving Sandstorm!” She cast, hoping that the attack would lessen Mammon’s power.
With each grain impacting with enough strength to drive through a tank, Molly sprayed Mammon with a jet of dust, trying to lessen his heat and power like a fire being extinguished. Blinded by the sand and feeling it seal his power back into his body, Mammon swung his arm wildly to get her to back off and stood back up in the mouth of the volcano. Snarling in annoyance, Mammon opened his mouth and fired a glob of liquid Hellsteel, hitting Molly dead on and knocking her out of the sky, struggling to free herself from the hot gooey prison.
Having recovered from his burns, Michael once again took to the sky to replace Molly, after summoning four Hope Beacons to boost his strength even further.
“Let’s see how you like fighting fire with fire: Angel Art: Burning Moon Slice!” He bellowed with a tornado of holy flames surging from his raised sword.
As his elevation increased, the storm of fire grew in size and intensity, washing across the junkyard and shoving against the Hellfire that was still burning. He swung his sword in circles, further spinning the flames as he tried to get the blast to its maximum power. Roaring in determination, he finally slashed the air and launched the firestorm down at Mammon with the flames compressed into a massive crescent blade, the size of a sports stadium.
Mammon raised his arm and caught the blast with his hand, but instantly shuddered as the blast hit him with much more strength than he had expected. Struggling to fight the power of the blade, he released a powerful snarl to counteract the shaking of his body. Knowing that this was his one chance to inflict some heavy damage, Michael shot forward and slashed Mammon’s hand with all of his strength, turning it into a two-fold attack that overpowered Mammon. The Hell Prince roared in agony as the blast cut through his hand, sheered off his arm, and left a huge gash across his chest that managed to break through his robes and muscles of gold and break through five silver ribs.
“Molly, now!” Michael shouted, counting the seconds of their window of opportunity.
“Celestial Art: Crushing Ocean!” Molly beckoned from high in the sky.
Mammon had just enough time to look up before a waterfall that dwarfed the Niagara and the Victoria poured down onto his molten ore body and his volcano, causing more steam and smoke to spew up than the volcanoes of Hawaii in a year. He howled in pain as his body was suddenly hardened by the cooling affect of the water and began to shatter. The deluge of saltwater coursed down the sides of the volcano, flooding the fortresses before washing across the miles of junk piles like a tsunami, managing even to extinguish the Hellfire.
The spell soon ended and Molly landed on the ground beside Michael, both panting heavily as they looked at the smoking shards of gold and silver that poured down the side of the volcano like an avalanche. The volcano itself had several large cracks running through it with molten ore oozing from it like thick syrupy blood. Molly had a large smile on her face at the accomplishment.
“We did it, we defeated a Hell Prince all on our own.” She said ecstatically. Michael remained skeptical.
“Don’t be so sure.” He warned as an ominous laugh echoed from the volcano.
Just like the first time, a gargantuan deluge of Hellgold and Hellsilver erupted from the volcano, taking shape into a skeletal golem with muscles and flesh of ore.
“You fools, did you really think you could beat me with such a pitiful attack?!” He cackled as he summoned a dome-like wall of solid gold around his volcano.
“Damn it, we haven’t gotten anywhere and there is no time to recover our energy or flee.” Michael cursed. Molly stepped forward, squinting at Mammon.
“Wait, I think I have an idea.” She said, her eyes widening. Michael turned to her.
“What are you talking about?” He asked.
“Have you noticed? He’s smaller than before and splattering gold with each movement. Before, he was larger and held together perfectly. See what I mean? Every attack we had meant nothing to him, but something changed.” She said.
“I see it, but what is different?” Michael asked. Molly gasped.
“The volcano, that’s the source of his power! That monster we’ve been fighting is basically a hologram being projected by the mountain! He’s not coming out of the volcano, he is the volcano itself! Look, he even summoned that shield around it to protect it from damage!” She exclaimed. Michael grinned.
“Alright, so if we destroy the volcano, then we destroy him.” He said.
‘Baltoh, you sure trained these girls right.’ He thought to himself, embarrassed that he had not seen it first.
“Right, there is no point in fighting that thing coming out of it, it’s just a distraction.” She established.
“Yeah, but we still have the problem of power. None of our long distance spells are strong enough to break through that shield, let alone obliterate the volcano, and if we get in close, he’ll realize what we’re doing and kill us.” Michael warned. Molly just grinned and spread her wings before pointing them both at Mammon. She then lowered her face, looking between them like a set of crosshairs as the miniature solar system revolving above her head moved between the tips.
“No way.” Michael whispered, realizing what she was about to do.
Raphael sprinted up the outer staircase running up the central tower. His armor kept him mostly protected from the Lust Lightning that constantly crawled up the spire like fire up a chimney shaft and with his wings retracted, the wind and water of the furious gale storm above the castle was not strong enough to lift him off his feet, though the huge bay windows did not fully protect him from the sabotaging blast that made each step several times more difficult. Like the rest of the castle, the pillars between each window was a petrified human, standing up nude while the freezing wind and water battered their bodies. Raphael ran past and even stepped on more damned souls than he could count, men begging him for help and women offering to pleasure him in any way possible if he freed them. He regretfully ignored their please, knowing that his friend was in the most danger and that getting others involved would only slow him down.
Down below him, the wall and other buildings surrounding the main towers of the castle were piles of burning rubble, with Demon body parts scattered everyone and blood splattered across every surface. While their numbers had been great and their combined power was well past his own, he had quickly learned to just take them on one at a time. While it was a slow process and the uncertainty of his ally’s fate made it difficult, he survived with little damage or energy loss.
Without warning, a long black tail broke through the ceiling and smashed through the staircase, opening it up to the storm. Raphael looked out into the typhoon as a colossal Gargoyle rose up alongside the tower, hovering at his level despite the wind and rain. The Gargoyle released a loud shriek and reached out with one of its clawed hands, nearly slamming Raphael into the wall. As a surge of Lust Lightning crawled up the tower and illuminated it with violet light, Raphael gave a thunderous roar and leapt off the destroyed staircase, pouncing on the Gargoyle and knocking it back into the storm. The beast grabbed its foe, holding Raphael out from its body. Refusing to back down, Raphael hacked off the beast’s hand, freeing himself from its grip and making it howl in agony.
Falling through the air, Raphael grabbed its tail and was flung up behind it, where he delivered a flaming slash to the creature’s neck, decapitating it. As he and the creature began to fall, Raphael pointed his hand back at the tower and launched a rosary chain, using it like a grappling hook to grab onto one of the human pillars holding up the roof of the stairwell and pulling himself back up and out of the storm.
After pausing to catch his breath, he stood up and continued sprinting up the staircase, hoping that he wouldn’t arrive too late to save Rosemary. Along the way, he encountered a group of Demons on the stairwell, raping a few damned souls that had managed to unfreeze themselves and break free from the palace structure. Without slowing down, Raphael beheaded the beasts with four quick slashes and kept running.
“Angel Art: Crusading Canter!” He announced, instantly becoming faster than a bullet and zooming all the way up the staircase in only a second.
Raphael smashed through the wall of Asmodeus’ bedchamber, flooding it with the dim light from outside. The ruler of the Circle of Lust was nowhere to be found but his eyes immediately fell upon Rosemary’s naked unmoving body on the floor in the center of the room.
“Rosemary!” He shouted, running over to her.
Before he could even get down on one knee, Asmodeus appeared beside him in a cloud of black smoke and kicked him in the chest, easily sending him flying across the room and crashing into a marble statue. Raphael slowly raised his head to the sound of Asmodeus’ laughing as she stood beside Rosemary, nudging her body with her foot.
“You bitch, what the Hell have you done?! Why do you look like Rosemary?!” Raphael demanded, drawing his flaming sword.
“Quite simply I took her soul. I am Asmodeus the Shape-Shifter, ruler of the Circle of Lust. I simply fell in love with this girl’s body and decided to experiment with it as I literally sucked her dry.” She laughed, ripping the breath from Raphael’s lungs.
“You killed my friend, now you shall suffer a fate worse than the most pitiful souls in this world!” Raphael barked.
Asmodeus’ face suddenly transformed, her cheeks splitting open to reveal long needle-like teeth, her eyes becoming jet-black and almost reaching the size of fists, and her long black hair writhing like snakes. Clapping her hands together with a hiss, she placed a hex upon Raphael, making his whole body jerk and causing his sword to fall out of his hands. He tumbled to the ground, unable to move as the power of Asmodeus assailed his mind like a nightmarish drug.
“Did you really think you could face someone like me?! Even with that armor of yours, a lowly Archangel could never dream of having a chance against a ruler of Hell!” She cackled.
“Then how about a Valkyrie? Celestial Art: Elemental Bonds!” Rosemary shouted with a smile as she jumped to her feet.
Asmodeus jerked as four spheres of energy, each having consumed her extremities, suddenly pulled on her limbs. Her left foot locked in a sphere of water, her right foot in a sphere of stone, her right hand burning in a flaming orb, and her left hand trapped in a orb of glowing air. A bolt of crackling electricity stretched between the orbs and formed a ring.
“Celestial Art: Sealing Ice!” She then called, swinging her arms.
Stretching up from the ground, a sheet of ice wrapped around Asmodeus’ naked body, further securing her. Stronger than steel and imbued with the power to drain energy, it sealed her in place so that not even her midsection could move.
“How?! How is it possible?! I stole your soul!” Asmodeus shrieked, struggling to break free of her prison.
“Simple, you stole ONE of my souls. I guess you never bothered to do any research, because if you had, you would have known that while I was originally an Archangel, I was created through the fusion of an army of Angel souls instead of given life by Jehovah. True, you managed to steal a piece of me, but it’s nothing I can’t do without.” She said confidently.
“But the ritual, I felt it drain everything from you! You gave into the illusion!” She hissed.
“No, I just infused that soul with my energy so that you would think it was my true spirit. I used it as a decoy to keep you from noticing my other spirits. And the illusion? Well, I just gave into that because I can never ignore a chance for some kinky fun.” Rosemary said, wishing that there were more people around to see her accomplishment. Alas, the only one there to watch was the astonished Raphael, staring at her with wide eyes.
“And don’t even bother trying to break free of those spells, because while you were failing to study me, I closely examined you. Your strength doesn’t come from sheer destructive power like the other Hell Princes. Instead, you force your enemies into submission with mind-bending illusions. However, after all the time I spent linked to you through that hallucination, I studied your powers and developed a mental immunity. In truth, you are weaker than the Masters of Torture in terms of raw power, but your illusions are strong enough to subdue the other Hell Princes.” She continued. Asmodeus cursed.
“However, being that you are still a Hell Prince, I will still take you out with my most powerful spell to make sure that you don’t survive. Raphael, I suggest you move.” She said as her armor appeared.
The illusionary paralysis broken, Raphael shakily retrieved his sword and got to his feet, staggering away from Asmodeus as Rosemary pointed her wings as her with her miniature solar system gyrating between the tips.
‘Is that even possible?’ Raphael thought to himself in disbelief.
“This is the technique first created by Baltoh, the man I love…” Selene began as the marble-sized planets between her wings began to orbit around the sun at tremendous speeds.
“It was an incomplete technique, but one that is more powerful than any Archangel or Demon spell…” Molly said as an atmosphere of energy formed around her own cosmic halo, turning it into an orb of light.
“But he bestowed it upon us, his lovers and loyal followers. It is his gift, the power to shape fate itself.” Rosemary finished as the castle began to shake from the insurmountable power radiating from her body as she charged the blast. Baal, Mammon, and Asmodeus all became terrified as they realized what the women were doing and what the results would be.
“This is the completed Resolute Cataclysm, powered by our desire and dedication to fighting for Baltoh! We love him and he loves us too much for you to interfere! Not even the Hell Princes can stand up to our loyalty and strength!” All three women shouted before releasing their blasts.
All of Hell suddenly shook as the beams were released, each giving off as much power as an atomic explosion upon their initial flash. Firing at an angle with only a fraction of the true power, Selene’s focused neon blast carved through Baal’s interior like a blowtorch through snow, boring a shaft straight up to his mouth. Bursting out through Baal’s closed jaws, the ray of light expanded as it shot up into the sky, casting a vibrant light upon the surrounding mountain ranges.
With a hole blasted open and Baal in too much agony to stop them, she grabbed Gabriel’s hand and turned around. With her back to the shaft, she fired again, this time into the depths of the Hell Prince’s torso cavity. Unleashing all the power she had held back with the first blast, Selene and Gabriel were rocketed through the air by the recoil of the blast and shot out of Baal’s mouth. As they careened through the sky, they looked down at the giant scaly mountain that was the Demon.
Baal had the body of a morbidly obese stegosaurus with demonic characteristics. His stumpy atrophied legs were armed with long claws, his head had no nose and was instead (originally) a pit of teeth surrounded by eyes, his humped back was covered in sandstone from the hardened dust that the wind had slammed against him, and his tail looked like a rocky ridge that had existed since the birth of the mountains around him.
They looked back just in time to see the entire Hell Prince erupt into a mushroom cloud large enough to annihilate the entirety of Australia. The flaming bubble hurled blood and guts in all directions like a whale stuffed with dynamite, ensuring that the Hell Prince Ball would never again eat another soul. Still firing the beam and being pushed by the shockwave of the explosion, Selene was thrown several hundred miles with Gabriel hanging on for dear life and trying not to be blinded by the brilliant light.
With Molly, her blast’s size multiplied every second, gaining the diameter of a lake after just a hundred feet. Raising his hands and clapping them together, Mammon formed the Apocalypse Eruption and desperately launching it to counteract the blast. The two beams collided like jets of flaming oil, sending shockwaves across Hell and causing the entire junkyard to instantly rise into the air and dematerialize from the sheer power. Regardless of Mammon’s strength, the Apocalypse Eruption was quickly overpowered, with the expanding Resolute Cataclysm eating it up and continuing forward. By the time it reached the Hell Prince, the beam’s radius alone was greater than the height of the volcano and the molten golem. It slammed into the fiery mountain, shattering it like glass and obliterating the ore apparition. As the molten stone and metal were vaporized, Mammon gave a final shriek of agony.
Asmodeus shrieked as the blinding light washed over her like a volcanic eruption, peeling away her flesh and destroying the wall behind her. Outside, every damned soul and demonic entity looked up and gasped as the highest point of the tower exploded and the storming sky was illuminated by a neon beam, as powerful as a solar flare. Growing like a gas fire, it shot across the skies of Hell, and in every circle, the black and red clouds and the burning sky were blocked out by a brilliant colorful light show, like the Aurora Borealis but ten times brighter.
Finally, the spells faded and the woman stopped to catch their breath. Molly and Rosemary fell to their knees, gasping for air, and Gabriel had to catch Selene to keep her from plummeting out of the sky. For all three Archangels, the same flurry of amazement, awe, and embarrassment filled their minds as they realized just how much stronger Baltoh’s Valkyries were than themselves. Even while scattered across Hell, they were all thinking the same thing.
“Holy shit, you just killed a Hell Prince!” They all exclaimed in unison. All three women smiled.
“Yeah, now let’s go find Baltoh.” They all peacefully murmured.
With the fiery galaxy in full view, a portal opened up in the space of Hell and the Archangels and Valkyries leapt out, having interrogated a Master of Torture on how to gain access to Tenebrous’ domain. The first thing they felt was extreme difficulty in breathing. Even while the space of Hell was not a vacuum like the cosmos of Cinereo and their suits provided their own air supplies, there was more energy in the environment than the output of a billion suns across their lifetime. Selene and the others had to raise their power levels just to keep from being crushed to death and to breathe. Looking out over the blood-red galaxy, they all gasped at the scene taking place before them, for even on a galactic scale, the ripples from the fighting between Baltoh and Tenebrous were impossible to miss.
Baltoh was thrown across the cosmos, crashing into a Hellfire star with enough force to knock it off its orbital position and sending about a fifth of the flames spraying off like water from a splash. Zooming after him, Tenebrous held out his hand and grasped the damaged sun with his power, then threw it at Baltoh as if it were a baseball.
“Celestial Art: Galactic Ocean!” The Celestial Avatar roared. Holding more material than a solar system, a deluge of water appeared before him, large enough to drown several dozen planets. The deluge caught the Hellfire star and extinguished it like a burning coal.
“Celestial Art: Razor Meteor Shower!” He then called, clapping his hands together and causing the entire torrent to freeze solid in a second. He then pulled his hands apart, making it all shatter into hundreds of trillions of javelins, all harder than Hellsteel and imbued with divine power. Swinging his arms, Baltoh hurled the javelins at Tenebrous like a swarm of heat-seeking missiles, sending them flying towards him at the speed of light.
“Demon Art: Planetary Demon Nursery!” Tenebrous countered, holding out his hands.
Upon his command, a jet-black planet appeared before him with a snarling face carved into the side, almost making it look like the spherical head of a gargantuan monsters. Forming on its glowing red eyes and clenched jagged teeth, billions of Demons were brought to life, their bodies forming from the dust of the black planet. Just as they were fully formed, the storm of ice javelins rained down onto the planets surface, killing every single one of them in less than a minute. The barrage continued, chipping away at the planet like twenty machine guns carving a boulder.
On the other end, Tenebrous was trying to hold the planet in place, using it as a shield. With the javelins still raining down on the planet, Baltoh appeared behind Tenebrous, teleporting across the vast distance. Before the Demon King could retaliate or defend himself. Baltoh slashed him across the back, cutting through the wing-like cape and leaving a huge gash in his back. But even with his sword of black hole matter drawing in matter and light, Tenebrous’ body was so dense that the affect was minimal. The force of the cut was beyond human comprehension and sent Tenebrous crashing right through his own planet like a bullet through ice, causing continent-sized pieces to fly off in all directions.
Spinning in the air, Tenebrous regained his control and balance and raised his sword.
“Demon Art: Blood Rain!” He cast.
A starry sky of red lights appeared behind him, and from his lights beams of energy were fired with the power of Lucifer’s Apocalypse Eruption. Baltoh swerved through space, dodging each blast like a biker going down the freeway in the wrong direction. For any that could not be dodged, he cut through it with his sword, activating his swords power and absorbing the blasts into a compact atomic membrane that coated the blade.
From outside of the galaxy, everyone watched the battle with awe and utter disbelief, staring at the chain of planetary eruptions that rippled across the red nebula. This was fighting on a scale that they could not even comprehend; it made everything they had done and achieved look like the acts of toddlers compared to a super-genius. The power that they were carelessly tossing around was enough to stomp out the lives of the Hell Princes like ants under a steamroller. Selene was the most astonished, unable to believe that this was the man she loved.
Baltoh finally reached Tenebrous and the two fighters locked blades with loose flames streaming from the Demon King’s sword and being absorbed into the Celestial Avatar’s. With unparalleled speed, Tenebrous reached around with his tail and stabbed Baltoh in the back, piercing his heart with the stinger at the end. Baltoh immediately coughed a mouthful of blood and Tenebrous took advantage of his weakness, strangling Baltoh with his tail then proceeding to stab him over and over again like a sewing machine moving at the speed of light. The Hellfire sword pierced his body several thousand times, nearly cutting Baltoh in half had he not been blessed with divine healing.
Releasing Baltoh with his tail, Tenebrous spun around and kicked him in his still-healing stomach, sending him rocketing across the cosmos before crashing into one of the barren Demon-infested planets. The impact was powerful enough to send fissures across the surface of the dark world, easily visible from outside its orbit. Charging towards him like a bull, Tenebrous slammed into Baltoh while gouging him with his horns, shattering the planet as he forced Baltoh straight through the fiery core.
Having been separated from Tenebrous in the wreckage of the crumbling planet, Baltoh tried to mend his injuries and regain his strength. He had used up about half of his power so far, but Tenebrous seemed to still be completely fresh. If he were to have any chance of slaying the Demon King, he would need to bring out the big guns and stop trying to wear him down.
In the corner of his eye, Baltoh saw Tenebrous charging towards him, laughing as he approached. Holding his arms out to his sides, Baltoh gave a roar that was heard across the galaxy.
“CELESTIAL ART: SUPERNOVA SOUL!” He bellowed.
From his body, the light of a thousand suns shined as an unfathomable tidal wave of fire surged out in tall directions. Tenebrous shielded his eyes, blinded by the light just a split second before he was caught in the spinning wave. Expanding at a rate that put the Resolute Cataclysm to shame, the supernova reached out in all directions and lit up the crimson galaxy with its nuclear flames, burning hundreds of times brighter than any natural star death.
Tenebrous had wrapped himself in shadow energy for protection, using his own power to keep from being burned to a crisp in the nuclear fire. Suddenly, the flames around him were snuffed out and Tenebrous was able to look up, immediately becoming breathless. Baltoh was above him, and in his hand was a full-sized star, compressed into a disk.
“Celestial Art: Solar Slicer!” He shouted before throwing the nuclear disk down at Tenebrous like a mere Frisbee.
Tenebrous quickly raised his sword, using it to block the flattened star that threatened to cut him in half at the waist. Spinning so quickly that a tidal wave of fire stretched across space, the saw blade of compressed nuclear explosions pushed Tenebrous back like he wasn’t even there. As he flew across the galaxy like a bug splattered on the windshield of a truck, Tenebrous didn’t even notice Baltoh appear behind him with another flattened star in his hand.
Baltoh threw the disk, this time vertically. Tenebrous looked back and was about to curse as he saw the paper-thin blade of nuclear fire flying towards him, but was unable to stop it from slamming into his back. The agony of the cosmic flaming saw distracted Tenebrous, allowing the first sun to knock his sword aside and crash into his stomach. The two grinding blades continued to spin with Tenebrous held between them, howling in excruciating pain. Seeing his opportunity, Baltoh pounced on the Demon King, knowing that this was his chance to end the battle. Tenebrous suddenly stopped screaming and turned to Baltoh with an evil smile.
“Just kidding. Demon Art: Universal Extinction!” He cackled as he swung his sword, shattering the two flattened suns. In an eruption that was darker than a black hole, a cosmic sea of Hellfire surged out in all directions, like the shadow equivalence of the supernova spell that Baltoh had just used, Baltoh was forced back, wrapping himself in his coat for protection.
Teleporting to the other side of the galaxy, Baltoh was shocked but prepared when Tenebrous appeared behind him. Casting aside all skill and technique, both foes began wildly slashing at each other, not even bothering to block or dodge any attacks. Their swords were moving like the blade of a food processor as they basically hacked away at each other, sending blood and gore flying. Acting on instinct, Baltoh suddenly shoved the air with his palm and Tenebrous was forced back by an invisible shockwave.
“Celestial Art: Sound Shatter!” Baltoh cast.
Roaring like an animal, he gave off a sound wave that was louder than anything else in the history of the universe and went across every frequency. The pulse traveled through the miasma of Tenebrous’ galaxy like a ripple through a pond after the splash of a large stone. Every planet and meteor that was caught in the shockwave was instantly broken down at the atomic level, with the vibrations having shaken the bonds to the point of breaking. Tenebrous covered his ears and howled in pain as his cells threatened to self-destruct.
“Celestial Art; Black Hole Machinegun!” Baltoh then called while Tenebrous was distracted.
Raising his hands above his head, he formed a mountain-sized black hole with altered abilities, negating its gravitational pull. Baltoh closed his hands into fists, causing the whole black hole to break apart like with the battle against Lucifer. Shoving the air, he launched the black marbles at the Demon King as the spell suggested, each bullet weighing more than an entire star and flying at well past the speed of light, The stream of bullets rained down on Tenebrous, each round striking with incomprehensible power, breaking all of Tenebrous’ bones and tearing through his flesh. Not even he could stand up to the marbles’ weight and power as they struck like sniper billets. But even with his body broken and battered, he still had more than enough power to cast a spell.
“Demon Art: Black Thread Hex!” He called.
Crackling like bolts of lightning, a net of millions of black cords with harpoon-like barbed blades at the end stretched from his horns towards Baltoh. The Celestial Avatar retreated, knowing that getting caught by one of them would give Tenebrous a huge advantage. He teleported behind one of the Demon worlds and watched to see what would happen. The storm of bladed cords struck the planet head-on, burrowing through it like worms and tearing it apart. Chunks of stone were thrown off the planet as it destabilized with the cords’ depth, until finally shattering like a fragile wine glass in someone’s powerful grip.
‘Damn it, I’m running out of power, it’s time to finish this!’ Baltoh thought as he swung his sword, severing all the cords with an invisible slash of power.
Pressing his palms together, he began gathering his power for one of his ultimate attacks.
“Celestial Art: Gamma Ray Burst!” He announced.
Behind him, a full-sized supernova flared into existence without so much as a star, lighting up the cosmos. A spinning field of fire and gas stretched out from the center like a whirlpool, and from the center on either side of the gargantuan burning coin, a beam of silver and violet energy was launched. Everyone watching the battle gasped as a line of light arched across the galaxy, one end surging straight towards Tenebrous with enough power to make the Resolute Cataclysm look like a laser pointer.
Having recovered from his injuries Tenebrous held out his hands and began gathering a sphere of black and red energy.
“Demon Art: Apocalypse Eruption!” He thundered, hurling it at the oncoming death ray. The two unstoppable forces collided in a catastrophic burst of light and energy so powerful that the galaxy itself threatened to be ripped in half. Everyone watching had to look away to keep their eyes from melting from the blinding light, which surpassed all other forces in the universe. This was god-level fighting at its peak!
The light finally faded, revealing Baltoh and Tenebrous on opposite sides of the galaxy, the former gasping for air while the latter showed no signs of fatigue. Even over such a vast distance, they could both see and hear each other so clearly that it was as if they were standing in the same room.
“Someone looks tired, want me slow down so you can take a break?” Tenebrous taunted.
‘Damn it, it’s just as I feared. By fighting him on his turf, I’ve given him the ultimate advantage. Being the owner of the Throne of Hell, as long as he is in Hell itself, his power is limitless. Trying to wear him down will only get me killed. There is only one way to end this, and that is to actually end it.’ Baltoh thought to himself.
“No, I’m just so bored that I can barely stay awake. Let’s finish this Tenebrous, once and for all!” Baltoh thundered, waving his arm. With every lost drop of power he had, he summoned a thousand full-sized stars, all at critical mass and on death’s door.
“You can’t win!” Tenebrous laughed as he waved his own arm. Behind him, a thousand Demon heads materialized, all looking like the heads of Lucifer with charging Apocalypse Eruptions between their jaws.
‘A thousand each?! They’ll destroy the entire universe of Hell!’ Selene realized. She turned to everyone.
“We have to get out of here, now! We have to jump back to Earth!” She exclaimed with her voice filled with terror.
“We can’t, Baltoh locked up the barriers between the universes so that no one could enter them. We can’t leave without him!” Raphael argued.
“Then what do we do?” Molly asked as Baltoh and Tenebrous’ attacks approached their maximum level of power.
“RUN!” Selene yelled as she turned away from the galaxy and began flying away as fast as she could. Activating their speed boost spells, everyone shot through the empty space as fast as possible, trying to get as far away from the galaxy as reality would allow.
Spotting them in the corner of his eye, Baltoh snapped his fingers, placing the teleportation on them. In a fraction of a second, they all disappeared and reappeared in one of the farthest corners of space, so far away that Tenebrous’ galaxy looked like just a red star. Believing that they were far enough, everyone stopped and turned around, waiting to see what would happen. Back in the crimson galaxy, Baltoh and Tenebrous were just seconds away from firing their blasts.
“It’s a shame that you were unable to say goodbye to them, because after this attack, you won’t exist in any shape or form!” Tenebrous cackled.
“There is no need to say goodbye, I will see them all soon.” Baltoh replied coldly.
“DIE!” Both deities roared as they swung their arms. Behind Baltoh, all the stars went supernova, instantly turning into colossal disks of fire and gas while launching their gamma ray bursts. Behind Tenebrous, all the Lucifer heads opened their jaws all the way and fired their Apocalypse Eruptions. In the very center of the galaxy, the blasts met.
From the corner of space, everyone became breathless as a bright light could be seen shining from the red galaxy in the distance. It was not only bright, but… growing, like an underwater explosion. Moving faster than the laws of physics would allow, the light surged across space in all directions like a universal tidal wave.
“BALTOH!” Selene tearfully shrieked as the light reached their position and consumed them like metaphysical flood.
Baltoh hovered in space, unsure whether he was alive or dead. His clothes were shredded, blood oozed from wounds that covered most of his body, and his senses were bubbling and fluctuating.
‘Did I fail? Did I succeed?’ He pondered as he slowly regained a few sparks of energy. Baltoh opened his eyes, though that feat alone was like a human picking up a mountain. Drifting in zero-gravity, he looked around at his surroundings. The crimson galaxy was gone, reduced to a misty stew of melted particles. There wasn’t a single intact atom in the entire galaxy, almost all of it had been reduced to raw energy.
Without warning, a blade of condensed Hellfire pierced his chest from behind, driving straight through his heart. Tenebrous was behind him, devoid of even a single injury and at full strength. Baltoh stared at the sword with his whole body trembling.
“How… how is it possible?! How could it have no affect?!” He shouted. Tenebrous laughed and used his sword to point him at the former center of the galaxy, where his black throne still hovered, undamaged except for a large crack across the back.
“Behold, the literal Throne of Hell! As long as I am here, my powers aren’t just divine, they are limitless! Even with all your strength, you cannot face all the power of this universe on your own! No matter how hard you fight, as long as you are in Hell, you are child’s play to me! You never had a chance in defeating the darkness, evil has no weakness!” He laughed. Baltoh cursed, feeling the sting of failure in his pierced heart.
“The almighty Baltoh, the Celestial Avatar, helpless and weak! How about I let your friends come see what you’ve been reduced to before you watch them die!” He cackled.
“Tenebrous, no! You wouldn’t dare!” Baltoh shouted, unable to gather any strength with the Demon King’s sword still lodged in his chest.
Raising his arm, Tenebrous fired a house-sized hand of shadow energy from his own palm and sent it across space at speeds that dwarfed light itself. As it reached out to snatch Baltoh’s friends, the crack in Tenebrous’ throne began to extend and widen. In the corner of space, he grabbed the unconscious Valkyries and Archangels and yanked them back, waking them up as he dragged them across Hell. Unbeknownst to everyone, more cracks began to appear in his throne and small tongues of Hellfire began to flick out.
Bringing them to the scene, Tenebrous released Selene and the others so that they could see Baltoh. Tears ran down the women’s faces as they saw the helpless state he was in.
“Look upon your savior, this the man you trusted and believed in! Look upon him and forever remember that is the power of darkness that rules over everything!” Tenebrous thundered as more cracks began to appear in his throne. He then ripped his sword from Baltoh’s chest and pointed it at Selene.
“You will be the first to die.” He laughed, making the blood in her veins run cold.
“Don’t do it Tenebrous!” Baltoh desperately shouted, trying to regain some energy.
Tenebrous leapt towards her Molly, Rosemary, and the Archangels quickly got between them with their weapons drawn. Even after seeing what he had done to Baltoh, they all attacked Tenebrous in the hope that they could at least slow him down, but the Demon King effortlessly carved them down with his Hellfire sword. Reaching Selene, he raised the blade above his head, about to slay her.
“TENEBROUS!” Baltoh shouted at the top of his lungs as the Throne of Hell suddenly shattered. Tenebrous brought down his sword towards Selene, but the fiery blade disappeared before it could touch her, as well as the flaming crown above his head.
“No, it can’t be.” Tenebrous gasped as he looked at the hilt of his sword and back at the Throne of Hell. The black throne of human and Demon bones was gone, the ominous interior having broken away to reveal a throne of pure Hellfire. Everyone stared at it amazement as they tried to understand it.
“DAMN YOU ALL, DIE!” Tenebrous howled as he punched Selene as hard as he could, but was unable to even make her flinch.
“So that’s it.” Baltoh said, gaining a smile on his face. Tenebrous looked back at him with his face filled with terror.
“This is the true Throne of Hell, no longer being corrupted by your evil. That black shell that coated it before, you used that to use the Throne of Hell and keep it in your control so that it would give you power instead of killing you.” He said.
“What are you talking about?” Gabriel panted, healing the wound in his chest.
“When I unlocked the Throne of Cinereo, a voice in my mind asked me if I was ready and willing to protect the balance of the universe. It was when I said yes that I gained the power. To unlock the Throne of Hell, I imagine Tenebrous was asked a similar question. The Thrones have wills of their own; Heaven to reward the virtuous, Cinereo to maintain the balance, and Hell to punish the sinners. Tenebrous lied to gain the Throne of Hell and then used the power it gave him so that it could never disobey him. Only through our clash was the seal broken and Hell freed from his evil control. After all, how could the place that punishes sinners be ruled by a Demon?” Baltoh explained with a wide grin.
“So you’re saying that the Throne of Hell has now rejected him?” Molly asked.
“Yes, with the seal broken, it has now seen his true colors and will no longer offer him power. I on the other hand…” Baltoh said as he leaned over and touched the burning throne. A fiery aura instantly wrapped around him, restoring his energy and healing his wounds.
“You could say that Hell and I are under good terms with each other.” Baltoh said as a sphere of energy began to form in his palm.
“You can’t do this to me, you can’t do this to me! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME!” Tenebrous howled, feeling truly helpless.
“You’re a liar and a monster Tenebrous, and that isn’t my personal opinion; it is the decree of Hell. Hell and I fight side by side, Hell is my ally, and we exist for the same reason; to slay evil! You have corrupted and abused this realm for far too long, and it is time for you to pay the price! In the name of Hell, I will kill you!” Baltoh thundered with the sphere of energy growing in power and gaining a neon-silver hue.
‘Everyone, it would be better if I don’t set this off with you around.’ Baltoh said telepathically before again teleporting them out of harm’s way, putting them at a ten-mile distance.
“What… what is that?!” Tenebrous stammered as he looked at the sphere of power in Baltoh’s hand and the light that was bending and warping around it.
“My most powerful and dangerous spell; Celestial Silence. The power in which to remove a space completely from existence! Even I would die if I got hit with it, what chance to you think you have?” He said with a confident smile but an icy tone.
“Get away from me!” Tenebrous roared, turning around and flying away with the Shade Shimmer spell.
“You cannot escape from your sins!” Baltoh shouted as he threw the Celestial Silence. Guiding it with his mind, he had the orb swerve through the air and strike the former Demon King in the chest.
Upon contact with Tenebrous, a spherical perimeter with a radius of five miles radiated from the spell, severing that space from reality. The sphere quickly began to shrink, compressing all the matter within it while leaving only darkness behind. It didn’t just create a vacuum, it left a gaping hole in the universe and the fabric of space and time. Tenebrous gave one final roar of terror as the sphere closed in on him, crushing him with all the matter trapped within it. Defying the laws of physics, it continued to shrink, crushing all the matter beyond the point of black hole material and shrinking until it was smaller than a quark, then completely disappeared. Tenebrous was dead.
Weary in both mind and body, Baltoh turned to the flaming throne and sat down. The tongues of fire brushed against his skin and clothes like the fur of an animal, causing no harm. They barely even felt real. Sitting in the Throne of Hell, he took a deep breath and thought back through his whole adventure. It was done, there was still work to be done in Hell, innocent souls to save, but the Princes and ruler of the fiery realm had been defeated and the race of Demons would soon be extinct. The immediate past barely meant anything, what was important was the long term. Would he take the Throne of Hell and rule both it and Cinereo? Was it possible to even rule them both? Would he return to Earth with Selene? Was it possible to truly find peace after everything he had done, seen, and accomplished? Could someone who had fought for tens of thousands of years and reached the levels of a god truly put away his sword and stop fighting?
“How did you get in?” Baltoh suddenly asked, speaking to a man approaching from behind the Throne.
The man was dressed in a white suit, had a pair of wings with sterling silver feathers, and his halo was in the form of a crown of light. His hair was white and combed back and he had a short beard and his complexion was a light tan, as he was of Middle Eastern descent. He was walking casually on the empty space as if he was taking a stroll through the park and came to a stop beside the Throne of Hell.
“I established a backdoor in here some time ago. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to keep Tenebrous from discovering it.” He said calmly as he straightened his suit.
“Jehovah, one of the earliest Angels and the ruler of Heaven. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Baltoh asked dryly.
“I just figured we should meet at least once in our lives.” He replied.
“And you decided to wait until after I was nearly killed by Tenebrous?” Baltoh asked angrily.
“I was about to step in when he attempted to kill Selene, but I stopped when I saw the Throne of Hell beginning to release itself. I really came here to ask you what you were going to do now that the Devil has been defeated and the Throne of Hell sits vacant.” He sighed.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I sure don’t need you here bugging me.” Baltoh growled.
“You have every right to be angry with me. It was because of my rules that your original human souls were sent to Hell in the first place. It is because of me that heroes have been burning because they acted out of justice. Everyone should hate me for how I turned my back on them. I’m sorry Baltoh, this is more my fault than anyone else’s.” Jehovah replied.
“A lot of good that does. You meddled with the world of humans and then you pulled away when they needed you most. You let wars and religion burn out of control and it was all because of you.” Baltoh scolded as he leaned forward in the Throne with his tented fingers in front of his face.
“That is true. I pulled away from the world because I realized the mess I had made and wanted living beings to be able to shape their own lives. I also pulled away because I believed that if anyone were to rule over Cinereo, it would be one who occupied the Throne. I waited for that person to arrive and bring balance so that the war between light and darkness could come to an end. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was you.” He hummed.
“Yeah, big surprise.” Baltoh said with the same icy tone.
“Listen, how long are you going to stay angry at me? I sent Selene and Molly to let you know that I had forgiven you for the mistakes you made, now why can’t you forgive me? Don’t you think its time to let the past stay in the past?” He asked.
“You really have spent too much time ignoring everyone, I guess you have forgotten how time moves here. Past, present, and future; they mean nothing and everything down here in the inferno. I am who I am because of my hatred and the pain that I’ve endured. You’ve led a spoiled life compared to mine, so don’t act like you understand me or anyone else.” He said, finally standing up but refusing to face Jehovah.
“I guess it’s too much to ask for someone born from hatred to release their hatred. Very well, keep your grudge; I deserve it. But you still haven’t answered my question about what you’ll do now and how you’ll leave the Throne of Hell.” He said. Baltoh sighed and bent down, picking up a handful of dust and melted quarks that were hovering in the zero gravity.
“This all started because of too much interference in some places and not nearly enough in others. My duty is to maintain order, so to start, I think I’ll implement order. That’s all you need to know old man.” He replied as he rubbed the cosmic dust between his hands.
“Funny, you call me an old man, yet you are 26,000 years old.” Jehovah mockingly replied. Scowling, Baltoh stood up and stormed over, grabbing him by the collar.
“What the Hell do you want from me?! Why can’t you leave me alone?!” He shouted to Jehovah, who remained completely calm.
“I said that you were old, but you still need to grow up. It is time for you to come to terms with who and what you are. There is too much hatred in the three realms, too much anger and violence. You were born because of hatred the Earth and its universe were nearly destroyed because of hatred. If you are going to bring order and balance, then you yourself must be balanced. It’s time for you to finally ask yourself if you can live with all this hatred, or if the lull in battle will stir the beast and cause it to consume you and twist you into darkness, just as it has to so many others. You have the power of a god now Baltoh, but are you truly deserving of it? We both know what happens when a Throne is taken by someone with the wrong ambitions.” He said, making Baltoh let go and turn away.
“You’ve gone through a great change Baltoh, you transformed what you are and where your power comes from. It’s time to change who you are as well.” Jehovah said before walking off and disappearing. Sighing, Baltoh sat back down in the Throne of Hell with his face in his hands.
“Baltoh!” He heard.
Looking up, he smiled as he saw Selene and the others approaching with their armor gone. He got to his feet and stepped forward, not wanting to be sitting when Selene tackled him. The tearful beauty crashed against him like a wave, hugging him with all her strength. Her words were impossible to understand, as she was both praising his victory and saying how worried she had been about him.
“It’s ok Selene, it’s ok.” He said as he savored the smell of her silky hair. Selene eventually let go (reluctantly), letting Baltoh turn and hug Rosemary.
“Master…” She tearfully whispered with her face buried in the side of his neck, making Baltoh chuckle.
“Oh, my dear sweet Rosemary, you are so pitiful.” He teased, causing her to laugh. Rosemary finally let ago, letting Molly show her care. Like Selene and Rosemary, she clutched Baltoh as tightly as she could and he returned the embrace.
“Thank you Baltoh, thank you for everything.” She said softly.
Raphael and Michael then came over, shaking his hands and congratulating him on doing the impossible. Gabriel was the last to congratulate him, and he did it with the warmest smile he had ever worn.
“You were once my sworn enemy, but you are now my greatest friend and my welcome superior.” He said, shaking Baltoh’s hand.
“I’m not your superior, not for long.” Baltoh replied, drawing everyone’s curiosity.
“Gabriel, of all the Archangels, you have always been the one with the strongest will to slay evil and enforce justice. That is why I am leaving the Throne of Hell to you, so that you may rule this realm and make sure that evil is never allowed to grow again. I trust you to make Hell what it is supposed to be.” He said, shocking everyone and even causing Gabriel to faint.
Baltoh then turned to Selene and lifted her chin before giving her a soft kiss.
“Let’s go home.” He said softly.
After leaving an exit for Michael and Raphael to use once they woke up Gabriel, Baltoh, Selene, Molly, and Rosemary reappeared on the riverbank of New York, right where they had left. Barely a second had passed on Earth since their departure, and Earth was still in a frenzy as people tried to figure out just what the fuck had happened.
‘People of Earth, hear my voice.’ Baltoh said telepathically, addressing everyone on the planet while simultaneously converting his speech to the language of those who heard it. A new ripple pulsed through the Earth as people looked at each other and simultaneously asked,
“Did you hear that?”
‘My name is Baltoh, and I am the god and ruler of this universe. I am speaking to you now so that you may know what has transpired here. The war in New York has been won, as well as the war in Hell. With the help of the forces of Heaven, I have slain the Devil and his kingdom now lies in ruins. A great change has arrived and the power of darkness has been brought to its lowest point since its birth. But that is not enough, for if there is to be peace, then the fires of evil must be extinguished once and for all.
I swear that I will purge this world of the evil that poisons its citizens. With Hell below to punish the sinners and Heaven to rewards the virtuous, I will reshape this world so that all good people can live in peace and happiness. I will end the corruption, the wars, the greed, and the suffering, and all I ask in return is your good will towards the people around you. I ask for no worship, no praise, only a pure heart and good deeds. If you can redeem yourselves and purge your souls of evil, then this world can finally become a utopia.
No matter what religion you are, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any other, you are equal in my eyes and have the same opportunities and obstacles to get yourselves on the right path. Your faith means nothing to me, only your deeds and your resolve to make this world a better place for everyone will dictate your place in the next world. This metamorphosis will be difficult and there will be rebellions fueled by greed and evil, but together, we can make this world into what it is supposed to be.
So rarely do we get a chance to completely reshape who we are, but now, in this time, the greatest chance of all has been given to you. We can finally repent for the crimes of the past, we can finally enjoy the present instead of enduring it, and we can know that the future will be even greater. This is our chance to cleanse this world and reacquire the true will to live and desire to do good. The time of pain and hatred is over, the time of justice has arrived.’ Baltoh announced before signing off. He then turned to his three loyal followers.
“Let’s rest and then get moving. We have work to do.” He said.
Baltoh stood on the sidewalk in the suburbs of upstate Maryland, enjoying the sunlight and fresh air. Behind him was a blue-painted house with a fresh-mowed lawn and well-tended garden, and inside, an elderly couple with chocolate-shade skin were holding hands and with looks of dread on their faces as their daughter explained everything that had happened. Without even having to look back, Baltoh watched as Selene moved over to the couch with her parents and hugged them. Several minutes later, she stepped out of the house and walked over to him, her body shaking as she breathed deeply. In eastern Vermont, Molly was having a similar conversation with her family, while Rosemary was busy addressing the UN on Baltoh’s behalf.
“So how did they take it?” He asked as she finally reached them. Selene gained a beautiful smile.
“You mean you weren’t listening in?” She asked.
“I wanted to give you your privacy.” He shrugged.
“It was hard convincing them what I had said was true, even after everything that had happened. I had to reveal my armor, wings, and celestial halo for them to fully believe me. They reacted the strongest when I told them about my death, even though I was right in front of them, though they became more at ease when I reassured them that I was still with them just as closely and physically as ever before.” She sighed. Before continuing, she gave a soft chuckle.
“They both said that thought they had gone senile when you spoke to everyone. Boy, I wasn’t even sure how to explain you to them or the fact that you and I are romantically involved.” She mused.
“Along with two other women.” Baltoh teased.
“Yes, and two women. I wanted to introduce you to them but when I told them that you were standing out on the sidewalk, they were too terrified to move. Are Molly and Rosemary still not back yet?” She asked, leaning her head on her shoulder.
“Molly is still talking to her family and Rosemary is having trouble announcing my new commandments to the world. I did everything I could to keep from forcing any sort of religious or spiritual belief on people and to only implement requirements for good deeds and good behavior, but much of the world is still rebelling. I might have to put on a true display of power before they finally accept my rules and give up their selfish sins.” He muttered.
“Well if there is anyone who can purge the world of its evil, it’s you.” Selene purred as she wrapped her arms around his with her eyes closed.
“Say, while they’re gone, how you and me go and…” He began before trailing off. Selene smiled.
“I know of a few nice hotels nearby.” She whispered.
“I was thinking something a little more romantic.” He said before casting a teleportation spell on the two of them.
Disappearing off the face of the Earth, the two lovers rematerialized in the very center of the universe, in a bright nebula of all colors cascading together with billions of stars glistening in the background. Clouds of hued gas as large as solar systems wafted past them like tongues of flame, more beautiful than a human mind could comprehend. Baltoh and Selene were naked, Selene without her liquid metal wings and Baltoh without his coat, and the two of them holding each other in the heart of the universe, and while there was no air or warmth in the vacuum of space, they were both completely immune to the inhospitable affects and had no trouble breathing and felt like they were in a hot bath.
‘Where are we?’ Selene asked with her mind, unable to speak without air to carry the sound.
‘The cradle of everything. It is from this point, billions of years ago, that the universe was born. From that initial flash, Cinereo came into existence and Heaven and Hell later budded off from it like cells. We are in the very heart of all existence, what better place to make love?’ He replied, beginning to kiss her neck. Each touch his lips against her skin sent waves of pleasure through her body, like miniature orgasms.
‘I love you Baltoh, I love you so much.’ Selene mentally said while she tried to think through the euphoria. Baltoh slowly raised his head and gave a warm smile.
‘Not nearly as much as I love you.’ He replied before kissing her.
As their lips swirled together like oil and water, they reached out with their tongues and let them wrap around each other and probe the inside of each other’s mouths. Even though he had lost all of his Demon characteristics, Baltoh was able to change his physical form to make his tongue as long as he wanted. While Selene kissed him and deep-throated his tongue, she raised one of her smooth legs and wrapped it around his thigh. With all of the stars in the universe positioned around them like viewers, Baltoh penetrated her with his manhood.
Looking up, Selene released a silent scream of mental euphoria as Baltoh’s energy flooded her body, letting her glimpse into the power of Cinereo. As if having gained omnipotence, she could see the whole universe so clearly that it was like she had created it as a figment of her imagination. She could see everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies, all with equal clarity. Baltoh slowly pulled out of her, causing the indescribable feelings to slow to a trickle, leaving her nearly catatonic and feeling like she couldn’t return to the life she was living before after having experienced what Baltoh had just given her. Gently brushing his fingers against the side of her face, he revived her.
‘Baltoh… I… I don’t think I can…’ She began.
‘It’s ok, don’t worry. Calm yourself and trust in me. I will give you everything you desire and more.’ He mentally said, using his mind to ease hers after the sudden transition.
With their lips interlocked, Baltoh again penetrated her, filling her every aspect of her existence with the aura of divinity, allowing her to glance into his level of existence without truly being in it, like peering into another dimension. As he pulled back, he left the head in her, lowering the intensity of the feeling but without completely removing it. He then re-entered her, giving her another full glimpse into his world and making her mind cry out as it struggled to find a way to describe the bliss and happiness she was feeling.
Taking a slow steady rhythm, he began moving in and out of her while they hovered in space, their lips having yet to fully separate from their kiss. As it went on, Selene could feel her mind getting used to the god-like feeling and became mostly immune to it, regaining her clear senses. As Baltoh’s energy surged through Selene like a blood transfusion, they both began to glow with their bodies intertwined from their energies being released and orbiting around them like dust around a star. As they continued the act of lovemaking and more and more of Baltoh’s power flooded Selene, they felt like they were approaching an equilibrium in terms of power, moving to the same level of existence.
Casting aside their powers and living side by side in the same level, they shed the feelings of the energy entering and exiting their bodies. In the neo space, they felt only each other’s physical forms, just like the first time they made love. His arms wrapped tightly around her, Baltoh continued to penetrate Selene over and over again with his phallus, moving at the perfect speed and touching all the right places. Selene was inadvertently trying to dig her nails into his back as he drove her wild with his deep thrusts, not needing any of his powers to excite or pleasure her. Breathing deeply even without air, Selene stretched and writhed at the feeling of Baltoh’s cock being forced into her hourglass frame. Again she tried to find words to describe how good it felt to have him inside of her, but even after having his power flood her mind and grant her a view of the realm of the divine, the variance between the two sensations offered no advantage in coming up with a description.
In his mind, Baltoh too was struggling to find a description, not only for the incredible feeling of being so close to the woman he loved and the feeling of her soft touch, but also his love itself, the love he felt for her. No matter what he came up with, whether it be an entire book of poetic gold dedicated to the sole purpose of summarizing his feelings for her or using the universe itself to paint a mural in the sky of the two of them together, he could not find a way to properly express his love, no matter how much he wished to.
Their lips and tongues still joined together and Baltoh’s cock being worked in Selene at a deep and steady rhythm, the two lovers lost track of time, for time itself was bending around them as their energies were released in greater and greater intensities, forming an atmosphere of raw power that was like a sun with them in the center.
Finally, Baltoh and Selene ended their kiss as they each experienced a simultaneous orgasm, so powerful that it affected their minds as well as their bodies and surpassed any physical sensation. As they looked up and gave silent moans of happiness, the star around them of their energies closed in on them, being channeled back into their bodies and minds. Defying her view of reality, the sensation she experienced with the surge of power surging back her mind surpassed the original feeling that Selene had gone through when Baltoh first penetrated her. Even while divine, Baltoh too was in awe at the waves of bliss that flooded him like tidal waves of light. To Baltoh and Selene, it felt like they were fusing together or switching existences completely, for the mixture of energy contained both their hearts and souls. Neither of them could even tell if they were still alive or dead, as the bliss they felt went beyond their understanding.
Then, in a flash as brilliant as the Big Bang itself, the power was released back out in a radiant supernova. Twisting and rolling, clouds of their energies flared outwards, carrying with them their emotions and feelings like radio waves. The power and passion of the surge was so powerful, it was as if the universe itself was experiencing a climax.
After an immeasurable amount of time, everything became quiet, revealing Baltoh and Selene still hovering in the center of the universe as still as statues. Slowly, they raised their heads and stared deep into each other’s eyes, unable to believe what had just happened.
‘I love you.’ They were only able to say before sharing a soft kiss.