"That's a little disappointing, I was hoping for a little more fight out of you."
"Then you should look over the wall." Just coming into their sights was the black mass that covered the horizon. It looked like most were already in their demon form skipping their human disguise. The demons were serious about this battle from the start. This would be the final battle that determined all.
Yumi and the others leapt up to the wall joining Saki at the edge. All around them soldiers stared out to an empty horizon on unease edge for the battle to come. 'They can't see them yet…' She easily forgot that they had better eye sight.
Yuki pulled out some binoculars so that he could get a better picture of what the others saw. "Damn, that's as impressive as I imagined it to be. Not sure this plan will be able to handle enough of that."
"We can handle clean up!" Seiji answered enthusiastically. He stared off at the dark sea approaching completely focused for the fight. All of the joking shook off quickly with his resolve strengthening.
The sight before them presented an image worse than anything that they had faced before. Nothing could deny that to Yumi. As though it had to best themselves. But she had hardly been present for their last battle back in the real world. In her mind, Atlantis remained the bar to top, which it exceeded far more than she wished. 'We can only count on Yuki's plan evening the odds up for us…'
A plan that hinged greatly on the cooperation of the Hunters sounded like a terrible plan. She had to accept the fact that they could not do it without them, even though Yuki could have alone. His hesitation to use his powers the way he normally would in the real world bothered her. He would not be normally trying to keep from disrupting the natural order.
Why was he so concerned about this world? It was not even real. He would be fine using them.
"When does it start?" Saki asked, watching the horizon carefully.
"A while still…they have to get closer."
"Ain't they gonna to be able to hit us?"
"It won't be that close. I can't even see them, remember. If they got too close it'd damage the city." He stared through the binoculars again making distance judgments of the advancing army. It had not even started to spread out yet for a siege or assault. They were on march, not ready for what would be happening soon.
Chapter 439 – Total Destruction
As the army slowly marched to its unsuspecting doom, more of the soldiers joined the wall. They already had their orders. The tension did not make that change at all. Every one of them had the slightly glazed look of fear, knowing beyond their sight that a terrible death awaited to come charging at them. Each attempted to hide such fears behind courage and steely resolve. The success varied. They needed a rallying moment to turn their doubt into hardened determination and the belief that they would win.
Even with all of their plans and promises to fight, they all had the look of death. They felt that it would be the last stand of humanity. All they could do was allow their families to survive. It would be the end.
"I think it's about time, Yuki."
"Yes, they look to be in the best position now. Anymore and they'll start surrounding us."
Saki turned away from the army to check in with Yuki as well. "I can see the Lords making some sort of motions, like to separate their forces for the assault."
"Then we can't wait any longer then."
"Let's show them not to underestimate humans."
"I don't actually think that they do," he remarked casually as he stepped forward to the edge of the wall. Yuki paced a hand on the top of the wall. "Time to become a demon myself…" Sliding a finger down, he lifted up a talisman attached to the wall. Unlike many seen before, this one was large overflowing in his hand. Taking the left half in his other hand, he lifted it up in front of them before tearing it in half.
An otherworldly spark erupted from the talisman for a brief moment that startled the soldiers. They knew the plan in a broad sense, but not what the actual details of it meant. None of them had any idea of what would happen next.
The air ran still. Nothing seemed to happen after he released the talisman's power. Everyone not clued in looked around waiting for something to do happen. They expected something dramatic. Yet it still defied their expectations all the same.
Lord Hokuren paused as the demons marched around him. The appearance of an elderly and frail man, yet with an oddly soft and kind presence. It countered the stature he held as the most powerful demon in Japan. He barely seemed to have the ability to run, let alone fight. Yet under it all, there was a font of power that did not weaken. "Something's wrong," he commented, searching the sky.
He could not understand what bothered him until he felt the ground rumble suddenly. "An earthquake? No…this is different and not nearly as deep behind the earth…still…" Quickly the earth liquefied under his feet acting more like a wave. Then explosions of earth erupted. Everything collapsed quickly with that release.
A massive cloud of dirt spread out from the collapse. It blanketed everything instantly and expanded out to the city wall. The force behind the cloud blasted against the stone and knocked over soldiers gasping in shock.
Shards of Yumi's barrier danced around the air deflecting away stray chunks of rock. She made little effort and watched out for the results. All of the dirt in the air made it impossible to see anything.
"Lord Hokuren!" shouted Lord Guri through the thick veil of dirt.
Barely fazed by the fall, Hokuren stared up into the clouds unable to see anything. He wanted a perspective of their fall, there was only a guess based on his feeling. "I'm fine, Lord Guri. This was merely a trap, nothing that would harm us."
"The humans know this won't stop us," Lord Anumera replied. She stared around at the ground analyzing everything about the situation. It surprised her, like it did everyone. "This is different from the way they've fought us before. They aren't ones to fight at this scale and I still don't understand fully how they managed to carve out the earth to make this trap."
"It troubles me as well Lord Anumera. Seems aren't facing the same humans we've fought in the past."
"A new human that might give us a challenge like the old days," mused Guri with a slightly excited laugh.
"They killed one of us. The threat is real," Lord Kokonemu replied.
"Let's get out of this hole then and greet this human!"
Anumera's gaze turned sharply up, though still masked. She sensed the pressure difference. "So that was their play."
"What is it?"
"They're put up a barrier over the opening. Our soldiers can't escape."
Guri stepped towards her voice not convinced, though the sounds around him of the soldiers complaining about their failures started to give him a taste. "They don't have a barrier strong enough to stop us."
"There's something else going on here. They've got something planned, this is only the setup."
"We can just break through and keep the march going."
"And fall into another one of their traps."
"They can't stop us! It's just a stalling tactic while they escape."
"Lord Guri, give Lord Anumera moment to think." Hokuren stilled Guri's restlessness for the time. He would listen to him, however charged with revenge he would not try to turn against him. Anumera was their strategist and someone he trusted as an advisor. She had the skill to turn battles they were losing around.
Yet it felt strange to see her so perplexed by the human's tactics. It was not normal for her. Though the human organizing their forces in the Capital did not fight like any they faced before. So her having trouble getting a read on it gave him some concern.
Rapidly analyzing the situation, Anumera ran through different scenarios trying to make a conclusion. Each second lost, she knew they fell closer to whatever their enemy had planned. She needed to be faster in making a decision, yet it was a confounding tactic. 'This must all be done by the Hunters. They're the only remaining vestiges of the humans we fought centuries ago. Yet they've never shown this degree of abstraction. For all of their smoke and mirrors tactics, they remained very straightforward in plans. This doesn't fall within their methods.'
The use of their powers troubled her even more. She had never seen them use any of their abilities in such a fashion. She did not even know such things was even possible by them. 'They had to have used some sort of ability that carves or erodes away the earth, yet also supported it until our army came. They released that support in time with us trapping us deep inside. Yet if they only wanted to delay us they had other methods of doing and would have done more than one trap. The scale of this is meant to be for something different.' Several conclusions came to mind, but one bothered her the most.
"We need to get out immediately! The scale at which they're using their powers is completely eclipsing anything they've demonstrated before. Whatever they have next is planned to be their killing blow." She was not convinced absolutely that what she said was true. It was only a possibility that it was. Yet, she could not allow that one to happen if it was true. The others she could plan for still.
"All I needed to know," Lord Guri smirked with pleasure, "Destroy the barrier now! Focus your attacks!"
"Lord Guri!" shouted the army in acknowledgement.
The demons paused their random attacks bringing their focus together. Flashes of light lit up around the massive pit as a concentrated effort began to generate a gale of wind. The clouds that had hung around the pit started to clear finally giving a true sense to the scale of the trap.
"Impressive," gave Hokuren in approval with the others taken back. A sheer cliff rose up from the collapsed pit that forced them to tilt their heads back to even see the sky. Rough guesses of their fall had to be corrected now that they saw how far it was. Even the largest of their demon soldiers in their true form from were dwarfed in comparison. It was a monumental feat accomplished.
"Our enemy is more resourceful than we expected," Kokonemu remarked suddenly feeling new odd sensation under her feet. Unlike before, this definitely felt more like an earthquake.
Anumera ground her teeth together realizing the truth. "We were too late…"
"Defensive positions now!"
"It won't be enough…" A dark expression came over her face as she looked at the other Lords. She knew more than the rest and understood the depths of the meaning. "They're a frightening opponent."
"Lord Anumera! What is it?" Kokonemu demanded feeling a surprising amount of ill pressure from seeing the complete overwhelming darkness that consumed Anumera's features. It was a look that a Lord should never make and one that she never saw from Anumera before. The look of having been completely played, but worse than that realizing that the one that played her was so seeped into the depth of immorality that it made the Dark Gods themselves weep in joy.
No further questions could be asked. Time had ended and the answer came. The quiet and soft rumbling under the earth had stopped, but it merely acted as a tease. A prelude to something far worse taunted the unknown and unsuspecting. Brief relief ended and a deathly roar came up from the earth like nature itself had became stained in the black unfeeling coldness of the reaper. A merciless and violent execution devoid of any heart.
Outside of the pit from the view of the Capital, the soldiers watched in complete horror as the mountain they saw as home and a waypoint to guide them by exploded. It started as a small burst with red veins of death appearing rapidly venting immense pressure. Then the peak let out roar of a thousand hells being unleashed stealing the souls of men.
Lava flew into the air with chunks of stone and rock from the mountain the size of estates or even villages being flung effortlessly into the air. Even with the top thrown off it was not enough. The pressure built up still needed to escape. Cracks ran down the mountain and the neighboring mountains in the range triggered with them. The entire field, forest, grass, roads everything disappeared suddenly as the earth for kilometers leapt into the air.
Death came quickly.
To be continued…