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Chapter 7


“Yet if they had hoped that their sundering would quell whatever had triggered their rage, the First Gods were soon proven wrong. For once those below them, the first of the mortals, began to understand what happened to them, they rose up in a blinding fury that paled that of even their once masters. The clergy were slain, the temples were razed, and it is said that even Elysium itself was assaulted by the mightiest of the mortals, who in their unbridled fury enacted vengeance upon the First Gods. Because when they had sundered our bodies and souls apart, they had indeed ruined one kind of perfection, yet had opened the door for another. One that we have come to know today as the Path of Incarnation.

—Part Two, The Origin of Incarnation, Gaesen Reed,The Age of Tyrants, circa 3638

You will try,” Malvis answered as the shaking only continued to intensify. “And you will fail.” 

And with those words echoing through the air, the conjured creatures leapt towards Vincent and Zera en masse, their combined bulk momentarily blocking out the sight of Malvis and the circle surrounding him. But despite the wall of monsters that launched themselves forward, neither Vincent nor Zera hesitated in responding, unleashing a tidal wave of magic in response.

Reacting fastest, thanks to the aid of his Insight, Vincent threw a reaving net of emptiness and hunger at the horde, the virtue imbued weave of death mana expanding out so completely that it carved furrows in the ground, ceiling, and walls on either side of them. Following an instant behind him, Zera joined his efforts by throwing several dozen gleaming balls of light, each and every single one of them passing through the gaps in the net that Vincent had unleashed and lancing deep into the monsters ranks. A moment later, just as soon as they vanished out of sight, Vincent felt them all collapse inward at once, immediately drawing in everything around them.

Which in this case, meant each and every one of the conjured creatures charging down at Vincent and Zera.

Yanked straight off of their feet, or plucked from the air itself, the horde of monsters were all bodily smashed together as the intense wells of gravity washed over them, overpowering whatever strength they might have had to resist. Then, with their advance stopped cold, Vincent’s devouring web of annihilation fell upon them, shredding apart the Will and Virtues that had given them life and sending a tidal wave of mana exploding out into the air around them.

Consuming all that there was before them in a blinding wall of white, Vincent’s battle honed instincts then immediately screamed at him to conjure the most powerful aegis he could muster. Snapping into existence as a solidified wall of Aether mana imbued with a primal virtue of indomitability, the barrier formed just in time to absorb several beams of pure darkness that lanced through the blinding curtain of mana, stopping them just inches away before shattering like glass. Not breaking their stride as they continued their charge forward, Vincent felt Zera’s will grab hold of the mana that had been unleashed around them and throw it back at the source that had spawned it, a move that in a blink revealed Malvis and his circle once again.

Not that Vincent had the time to do anything other than raise a bar of blinding light to intercept the sword that was suddenly flying towards his face.

You are fools to resist me,” Vincent heard Malvis’s voice echo out as he deflected the blade out and away from him, the armored priest suddenly before him a complete blur as they slashed yet again with weapon held in other arm. “You both should be just as angry as I.”

It was a statement that Vincent paid no mind to, if for only the reason that he couldn’t as he focused the entirety of his attention on the new opponent before him, their blades, and the storm of magic that accompanied them demanding that all else fall away. In any other situation, fighting against a Hierophant of Fate would have been something that Vincent would have preferred to avoid, their skill, tenacity, and ability manipulate reality around them making them daunting opponents, even for someone like him.

However, this was simply not any other situation.

So instead of burning precious time that he didn’t have in fighting the man, Vincent drew forth the answer that he had prepared in advance for such an encounter from his Nexus, needing to only parry a score of strikes before it was ready. Then, just quickly as he had appeared, the Hierophant of Fate was gone, his rapidly fading screams echoing through Vestibule of Creation as the manifested disbelief that Vincent had struck him with shredded apart his faith, and by extension, certainty of his own existence. Altogether, it had been an exchange that had cost Vincent less than a handful of seconds before he was free of the man, a time that he soon discovered had been just enough to change everything before him.

Having continued her charge forward into the remainder of Malvis’s clergy, Zera had completely devastated more than half of what Vincent remembered seeing, a move which in turn had attracted Malvis’s attention as well. Yet before Vincent could do more than to begin to close the distance separating him and the true battle, the woman’s voice rang out, her words instantly filling Vincent with fear.

Vincent, the Door!

Heart leaping up into his mouth as his focus started to shift, he didn’t even manage to get a glimpse of the door before an unearthly wail abruptly cut through his mind. One that was so loud and so potent, that it caused both his body and mind to freeze as an alien terror pierced straight through him. Something that until that moment he thought was completely impossible for any entity to ever manage, let alone do so completely that it even caused his vision to darken, as if a veil of shadow had fallen over it. Gritting his teeth against the foreign Will, for that is what he realized it was, he shrugged enough of it off to finish turning towards the Door of Eternity, only to have yet another surge of terror shoot through him.

For while the Door still remained closed, the seal that had protected it, the one left by the Old Gods had been broken, allowing the magic that Malvis was directing against it to bore a hole straight through it before abruptly coming to end. A hole that immediately erupted with smoke like tendrils of black and white. Racing into the Vestibule en masse, they then launched themselves with absolutely blinding speed to grab hold of one of Malvis’s clergy.

And promptly yanked them back through the yawning portal, the impact their body made on the door before passing through widening the hole drastically.

“The Door is open!” Vincent announced with a shout, the sight of the vanishing priest enough to break the last dregs of Will attempting to pin him down with fear. A good thing too, seeing as even more tendrils began to erupt from the scar in the door and whatever lurked beyond, a handful of them even going as far as to launch themselves towards Vincent.

What?” Malvis gasped from across the room as Vincent threw himself to the side to avoid being ensnared by the tendrils, sending a reaving line of air to slice them into shreds. “That…that isn’t…

That isn’t what?” Vincent immediately demanded as he spun towards where he had last seen the Avatar, only to see them completely frozen in place beside the notably dimmer Seed of Origin, staring at it blankly while a set of the attacking tendrils bore straight into it. “That isn’t what Malvis?

Yet for all the rage and ire that Vincent possessed in that moment, nothing could have prepared him for the sight that he saw next when he laid eyes upon Malvis, the Dread Avatar of Fate and Eternal Tyrant of Mythranor, his words failing him instantly. For unlike Vincent, neither Malvis nor any of his remaining followers had managed to shrug off the alien Will that had pinned them in place. As such, none of them made any move to avoid the next set of grasping tendrils that reached out from beyond the Door, which wrapped themselves around their bodies.

That isn’t supposed to be there.” The Avatar announced in a tone just above a whisper, one just loud enough to be heard over the deathly silence that had fallen over the Vestibule.

And then they were gone, pulled off their feet without so much as a gasp of breath echoing out.

“Damn it!” Vincent immediately swore as he watched his longtime nemesis and all of his followers each slam into the door as they were pulled through, their collective impact fully shattering what remained of the Door of Eternity. Yet as for as final and unexpected that end had been for them, Vincent had no time at all to even begin to accept, let alone enjoy it, for he soon after found himself the next most target for whatever lurked beyond the portal.

Striking out at him with the same blinding speed that it had before, Vincent found himself the target of dozens of smoky tendrils at once. There so many in fact that his only defense was to unleash a burning wall of primeval fire, its scalding heat, and all-consuming flames just enough to buy him a second’s breath.

One that Zera’s voice immediately filled.

“Vincent, there’s something wrong with the Seed!” He heard her shout in a panic. “There’s something eating it! I…I can’t—oh, oh no. I am so sorry, Vincent.”

With only an instant to process her words, the next thing that Vincent knew the room went completely white around him, blotting out absolutely everything there was. Then, a second later, the blinding light was accompanied by a storm of agony beyond comparison as a wave of power unlike anything Vincent had ever experienced before slammed into him even going as far as throw him through the air. Cutting through his defenses and protections as if they weren’t even there, there was simply nothing Vincent could do in response to the immense energy burning through him, the pain that it brought causing his mind to go completely blank. Yet just before he could lose himself in the light’s torturous embrace, the pain it brought abruptly vanished, its departure immediately accompanied by a gentle enveloping embrace.

Then a voice spoke out to him.


“W-what?” Vincent stammered, still reeling from the agony that had ripped through him, his body having gone completely numb from the experience. “W-who are you? How did get here?”

But if the voice heard him, it showed no sign of it.


Wait—what do you mean?” Vincent asked plaintively as he struggled to think under the weight the of emotions that had just washed over him, ones orders of magnitudes greater than anything he’d ever experienced. “I don’t understand!

But once again, there was no answer from the voice, at least not directly. Instead, Vincent felt himself pulled forward through the blinding light, the sense of movement that followed afterwards hitting him so violently that his mind went blank until the voice spoke out once more.

<TIME BETWEEN OUR REALM AND THE BEYOND SPINS WILDLY, UNPREDICTABLY.> it stated, Vincent’s vision snapping back into focus to reveal him standing amid an endless well of color seemingly floating the air before him. <AS SUCH I CAN ONLY SPARE THE BRIEFEST OF MOMENTS. HOWEVER REST ASSURED WE WILL GIVE YOU THE TIME YOU NEED. OR…WE WILL TRY TO…>

G-give me time?” Vincent stammered as the pull began to lessen, leaving him feeling like he was about to come to a stop. “Please, I don’t understand! What do I need time for…

Vincent’s words trailed off as the blinding light abruptly began to dim, allowing him to finally make out the familiar shape of an open doorway, this time revealing a swirling storm of color beyond it. Yet if that was not enough to take in itself, there was a figure that stood just past its threshold, one that Vincent saw to be visibly injured, with large sections of their body either missing completely or reduced to ragged threads that drifted lifelessly in the air.

 <TO PURGE THE CORRUPTION THAT HAS TAKEN ROOT, TO FIND THE ECHOES OF THE FIRST, AND TO REJOIN THIS REALM TO THE FONT. WITHOUT IT, ALL WILL WITHER AWAY INTO DUST.> The being stated in a final tone, their words causing Vincent’s attention to wander up towards their face where a single symbol was written in place of any other features.

A symbol that sparked instant recognition from within his mind. 

To…the what?” Vincent protested as the being raised a hand towards him, an intense well of prismatic power forming in its palm. “I don’t understand! You need to—


W-wait, what do you—

But that was all that Bel, the God of Magic, had to offer before a well of power enveloped Vincent, sending lightning coursing through body and mind. Screaming from the unexpected agony that accompanied it, he once more lost all sense of its being for a time, the moment stretching out for what felt like an eternity. 

Then the next thing he knew, there was a bright flash of light that washed over him, and he knew nothing more.

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