Between gloomy sky and dreary, gray earth, a closed eyes bald old man stroked his long white beard while sitting on a throne of light attribute energy.
Archbishop Silternja spread his Sublime Soul Sense across the eastern coastline of the Eastern Continent. As a fifth level Martial Mortal he could cover a radius of four hundred kilometers to every direction, and when narrowing the shape of his Sublime Soul Sense to an oval and thinner, its length could go as far as one thousand kilometers.
'Your grace', an anxious voice rang in his mind, its tone coupled with the identity of the person behind it aroused a presentiment of disaster.
'Report, Bishop Kristin'. Archbishop Silternja opened his eyes and tried to keep a straight face, speculating whether the matter related to Stelero Mars or worse, the young lass, Sister Iaura?
'Your grace, the Galactic Communicator was stolen'. Bishop Kristin, who guarded Sister Iaura alongside Ninient, cut to the chase.
On his luminous thrones, Archbishop Silternja's hands grabbed the armrest as his body experienced a spasm. In a blink of an eye he recounted the beginning and end of the commotion inside the Grand Abode. An enemy surprised them in their own nest! It came out naturally for him and Cardinal Northstar, the strongest powerhouses of the church in Ercas Mir, to first and foremost consider the security of the sixth and above storeys, so much that they were easily hoodwinked by Zax's scheme.
The tension in his hands lessened as he composed himself and the fretful glint in his pupils was dispelled.
'Send out two thirds of the forces, priests and sisters of the third level and higher, come immediately to the Down Ocean's coastline. Send word to the other four powers; inform them of the theft alone. This issue might disrupt His Holiness's plans; however, if we have to smear our face with feces to prevent it, we would do that, too!'
After ordering, Archbishop Silternja took a standing stance and his light attribute throne vanished. 'Overwhelming numbers, with this you are certain to get caught!'
Exiting the cavity, Zax raised his head with a smile on his face. 'Even in this poisonous water my body still feels great'. The sensation of rejuvenation invigorated him mood. Glancing at the far reaches of the Down Ocean, his field of sight was limited by the turbid, mercury seawater. 'I should explore the mystery of this ocean'. He was interested in what else could the previous owner of the Black Cores had left, what was so alluring that three Immortal powerhouses longed to find. 'Another day. I must bring senior Gid the communicator and right now, probably even after I'll break through to the second stage; I would still not be sufficiently strong to brave the dangers of this ocean'.
In the Down Ocean even fifth level Martial Mortals and Overlords Deformed Being had to be cautious, much less Zax who was weaker than both.
'It's time to leave'. He contemplated hard on how to escape. 'The Archbishop must have been informed that I stole the Galactic Communicator. I doubt that he is not aware of the repercussions. If Senior Gid could come up with the idea to sabotage the connection of the five powers with their Immortal powerhouses, then they also should have known that it is possible'.
Minutes passed as Zax deliberated over all the aspects of his current situation. Getting back to the Eastern Continent was inevitable, but "How" was the problem.
Skimming the environment of the Down Ocean without making particular findings, a sudden realization struck Zax like a bolt of lightning in the dark.
"Hahahaha, that's right! I should do that and even if the five powers come at me in full capacity they won't be able to catch me!" He was so gratified with himself and even more so, impatient to see the response of Archbishop Silternja that he burst laughing outloud.
Forty three figures arrived to the eastern coastline of the continent. Among them were four of the church's fourth level Martial Mortals, as well as twenty seven of its third level Martial Mortals, Cardinal Northstar and eleven experts of which five were in Golden Desert Fort's uniforms, two were in Blessed Army's uniforms, two Blue Sea's aquatic beasts and two Violet Scaled Troops beasts.
Eight of the experts not of the church were the other four powers' envoys for the Elite Tryouts. The remaining three Golden Desert Fort's experts were stationed in Onzengvas. All eleven were third level Martial Mortals and they all were ordered to aid Luminous Church.
As for additional support? Archbishop Silternja could not leave the Grand Abode vulnerable by summoning everyone and the nearest of the other four powers was Golden Desert Fort. Even if General Beking will come in person it will probably be too late.
"Archbishop, the eleven of us were ordered to help catch the culprit who desecrated your Grand Abode". A muscular woman with dark brown complexion and light brown spots on her skin, one of the five from the Golden Desert Fort, spoke in a civil tone. "Please tell us everything there is to know about the culprit as well as what we can do for you".
'How is His Young Eminence?' Before replying to the muscular woman, Archbishop Silternja interacted with Cardinal Northstar via Sublime Soul Sense.
'This is twice that he nearly lost his life on this planet. After this matter is concluded, I won't postpone anymore our return to the Holy Palace, regardless of anyone's opinion. So go ahead and do as you will with the tryouts, Silternja. If you manage to recruit good seeding you are free to ask for someone else to come and take them'.
"Do you all know the Ground Pool formation?" Receiving Cardinal Northstar's aggrieved and bitter answer, Archbishop Silternja accepted his temper in understanding and proceeded to ask the eleven. The member of the church that arrived knew the formation, which is why he did not direct the question to them, too.
The six of the other four powers gave a positive response through a grunt or a nod.
"Good. The third level Martial Mortals are to split into teams of two. We will erect the formation along the coastline. Cardinal Northstar and I will each take an edge, the Bishops will guard the rear and the rest of you will be positioned between us. Remember to activate the formation by my signal and if you encounter the perpetrator, although he should be severely wounded, be cautious against him!"
"Archbishop, how strong is that person? Is he a beast or a human?" A green furred python of the pair from Violet Scaled Troops asked in a hissing tongue.
"He is a human, a bodily cultivator, the one, in fact, who caused the earlier commotion during the Event in Demirva Ridge. His understanding of the dark attribute is better than mine in the light attribute. However, he spent all his energy in the poisonous water of the Down Ocean and his cultivated physique is about as strong as a Peak second level Martial Mortal".
"The one who killed Rijok…" The muscular woman said in a low voice.
"The person Lieutenant General Debuk Jin pursued". A man from the Blessed army mentioned in a slightly louder voice.
"Together with Feather Ulvil". A white woman with white feathers for hair, a beast in human form from Violet Scaled Troops, shared a glance with the green furred python.
With a little prior knowledge about Zax, the company of third level Martial Mortals got a rough idea of Zax's strength.
"If there are no more questions, go!" Archbishop Silternja instructed. "I suspect that he will soon make his move".
The forty four of them spread, making the pre activation arraignment for the Ground Pool formation.
The eastern coastline stretched for several thousand kilometers. The largest form of the formation the forty four could erect was a few tens kilometers long. It was nothing in comparison, but Archbishop Silternja was not worried of missing Zax. If the latter will choose to take a detour he will waste valuable time, enough for the Golden Desert Fort to send more people. Also, if Archbishop Silternja's assumption of what would be Zax escape plan is correct, then it is of no use to him to seek other location to execute it…
As they took their positions, each member of the forty four drew azure shapes below them with their feet, which disappeared into the ground, and stood in silence and anticipation to the execution order.
The waves of the Down Ocean were tall as ten storey buildings, even those near the coast, between them and the eerie sky strong winds blew in speeds that could carry relatively small Deformed Beings.
Due to their highly acute perception, time passed slowly to the experts of the church and their assistants, and another the pressure of waiting to capture Zax, one minute was as an entire day and longer.
"Fres, for a while now the waves appear to gradually subside". The feathered head woman said to the green furred python who sustained his animalistic form.
"Yes. This gives me a bad feeling, Nurkit, I think I know why Archbishop Silternja chose the Ground Pool formation…" Fres whispered.
"You think you know…?" Nurkit repeated. Gazing back at the ocean, she was about to ask him what he knows when her mouth closed, presumably because there was no need to question what she also figured.
They were not the only ones to understand Archbishop Silternja's motive, not even how can he be sure that Zax will try to escape through this location.
'Silternja, three seconds are enough to foil that method, but he can still retreat back to the ocean. When he will show up, we will activate the formation together, but for the last second, you will support it on your own while I seize him'. Cardinal Northstar sent through his Sublime Soul Sense.
'Fine, Northstar, but be fast. He cannot have the chance to ruin the Galactic Communicator out of desperation; otherwise we will still have to give His Holiness an explanation'.
Floating two hundred meters form the surface of the water, undulation of mixed dark attribute energy and Kinetic Force were emanated from Zax's body.
Utilizing his dark domain, although there was not worldly dark attribute energy to control, the one he exuded could still be used in a wider range. Adding the pull of the swallowing property and his escape plan was halfway through its motion.
'Waves, I need towering, vast waves'. Zax repeated with mind concentrated on the energies and forces in play. 'Tsunami'. Was what he wanted, what he, with great difficulty, attempted to excite from the ocean.
'There it is!' Finally, a wave two kilometers tall was built and surged toward the coastline.
Zax ceased releasing dark attribute energy and Kinetic Force and shot like a torpedo into the center of the tsunami wave.
'Forty four, the Cardinal came with four of the Bishops and a bunch of other experts, probably third level Martial Mortals'. They were in plain sight since there was no difference whether he saw them or not.
'They realized what I was doing'. He sort of expected that. A bit of attention on the movement of the seawater and anyone could tell what he was instigating.
His line of sight intersected with the Archbishop but he could read nothing from it. He retreated into the turbid water of the wave.
'Two fifth level Martial Mortals and four fourth level Martial Mortals'. He only considered them as adversaries. 'By how they spread they probably formed a formation. To stop the wave won't take much effort even to a second level Martial Mortal. The formation… did they also predict what I'm about to do next?' His heart tightened. 'I have no other means to return to the continent. There are no fluctuations from the arrangement of their formation, if I'll act now I'll have a window for retreat'.
The tsunami wave surged in terrifying speed toward the continent, prepared to wash the ashen earth. When it reached two hundred meters distance from land, a black luster reflected from Zax's skin.
Dark Titan Storm form's second stage.
"Go!" He shouted, kicking his feet, throwing his arms back.
Inverting the pulling of the swallowing property, Zax caused them wave to expand from inside and explode into countless mercury droplets that poured down on the eastern coastline and far back.
In an instant a portion of the land for tens of kilometers turned veiled by nonstop raining and a blockade for all types of Soul Senses.
If Zax had the fiery attribute, than he could evaporate the seawater, causing it to reach much farther.
"Now!" Archbishop Silternja's voice roared. The moment he was waiting for has arrived!
The ground where the azure shapes were drawn on quaked and began to glow in clear azure that absorbed the gray muddiness.
Zax noticed the activation of the formation, but did not wait to see its function. He dashed away, using the rain to conceal himself.
'Suction?!' He suddenly felt the droplets hitting his face, being hauled back.
The Ground Pool formation in mere second amassed a quarter of the droplets that made the tsunami.
'Not good!' Zax extract will the strength of his muscles to accelerate. In one more second even if they still will not chase him, perhaps they will be able to see or sense the fluctuations of his Dark Titan Strom form.
"Silternja, I'm going!" As the third second reached a fraction from passing, Cardinal Northstar's voice echoed. To the others Zax was maybe too far to detect, but when he will leave the cover of raining seawater, with his Sublime Soul Sense it will be child paly tracing the target.
'This is bad!' Zax gritted his teeth upon also hearing Cardinal Northstar. 'I just recuperated, improved my physique and already pushing myself to the limits!' He wanted to pull the droplets toward him with the swallowing property, but was concerned of losing speed by multitasking.
Three deafening explosions muffled Archbishop Silternja's voice.
Three colossal spheres of pure, berserk energy bloomed like moon flowers.
The three moons emerged between Zax and the members of the five powers.
Feeling his back being burnt despite using his strongest transformation, Zax did not care in the least. With the obstruction and destructiveness of the three spheres, the Ground Pool formation was interjected, and though the droplets were evaporated completely, losing their effectiveness, the berserk energy of the moons that appeared out of nowhere was more than sufficient to impede fifth level Martial Mortals.
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