Now, he was Zeus. Mighty, all-powerful Zeus. By virtue of the Fantascia Genetica Decoction he was stronger than he’d ever been, a power that coursed through him like fire. It didn’t matter how many ninth level beasts appeared before him now, none could raise a hand against him.
Lest one forget, he was a being of two converging powers – thunderbolt and lightning intertwined. He was destined to be unbeatable.
Thor tore through the sky, leaving a grey contrail in it’s wake. In seconds, it was leaving the stratosphere. As it did it’s chest glowed blue. A golden figure appeared in the space before Thor.
Zeus’ cold eyes were cast down at the grey planet below. Bolts of lightning raced across his eyes, behind his lids. Golden lightning bolts.
“These creatures couldn’t have arrived for no reason. When the East took over this place, they must have sent probe after probe through the planet to prevent just this sort of thing. Taihua was a suitable place for human life, though without any significant resources. And certainly without massive poisonous monsters hiding in it’s depths. They must have come from elsewhere. Where precisely who knows, but they can’t be endless. Their vitality was drawn from Taihua itself, Something must have drawn them here, and the only way to end an infestation is to obliterate the nest.”
“Thor, await me here,” Zeus commanded after his quiet murmuring.
He dissolved in to a golden beam of light and pierced the atmosphere once more. Around five thousand meters from the ground he reappeared.
“Hear me! Clouds, come!” Zeus’ powerful voice reverberated far and wide. It started small, but increased until it filled the air like rolling thunder.
Ascension! Godly Decrees!
At his command the sky grew dark, heavy with black clouds.
“Bring me thunder!”
Thrummmmmm! Tremendous blasts roared back at him, echoing far in to the distance. Snaking licks of lightning danced among the clouds overhead, lighting the skies from here to the far horizons.
“Gather!” Zeus’ imperatorial voice crashed among the thunder, overpowering it.
Lightning split the skies, hundreds upon thousands of errant bolts lancing in all directions. The clouds overhead shined brighter than the sun, becoming an ocean of lightning that filled one’s entire vision. The clouds and mists thickened, the lightning crashed down faster. And Zeus was their point of impact. Countless bolts of electricity struck him, again and again and again, until his golden aura filled the sky like a supernova.
“What is it, Clairvoyant?” The Wine Master furrowed his brows at the old man as he asked.
Skyfire Avenue’s leaders replied hesitantly. “I just got an ominous sense. We knew when I read his fortunes before that he’d be facing danger, but that he’d eventually overcome his tribulations. Why is it, then, I’m suddenly unable to see what will become of him?”
The Wine Master looked at him in anxiety and confusion. “What does it mean?”
“Only two things could result in me losing the sight,” he said. “The first, that he’s met his end. But that is a very unlikely possibility. If he had the sensations I’m feeling would be much stronger. The second, is his powers have increased to a level comparable to our own. I cannot predict what is to come for him. Are you sure he’s on Taihua?”
The Wine Master nodded. “I am. On a trip, supposedly…”
The Clairoyant’s voice was deep, troubled. “Head over there. It’s not too far, it shouldn’t be much trouble.”
The Wine Master turned as if to leave, but the Clairvoyant raised a hand, stopping him in place. “Wait a moment. When you go, bring the Doctor. He returned a few days ago.”
“The Doctor’s back? Very well.” The Wine Master turned again, and left.
For the first time in a long while, the Clairvoyant felt helpless. “This kid! He never gives anyone a break. He’ll end up being the death of me.”
National Eastern University.
Zhou Qianlin was busying herself with an equation, alone at her desk. She was studiously at work far past when she’d ordinarily be leaving. The equation itself was difficult, and far past what she’d already learned. Still she felt like she’d made great progress, both in her research and personal knowledge.
“Qianlin!” The sound startled her, and she jumped in her seat. Her train of thought was lost. She shot an irritated gaze at the door.
Tang Mi raced in to the class as though she were being chased. “Did you hear,” she said breathlessly. “Qianlin, something’s happened on Taihua. Tons of unknown beasts suddenly appeared all over the place.”
Qianlin calmly plucked her cup of water from the desk and took a sip. “Some unimportant business of Taihua had you running in here screaming, ruining my train of thought? How many beasts are we talking?”
“Countless,” she replied. “Spreading all over the planet, I heard. And they’re really strong – if you don’t believe me ask your father.”
Suddenly, Zhou Qianlin’s body became still. Taihua… Taihua. Didn’t he say…?
Her voice took on an urgent tone. “Xiao Mi, didn’t our school just send a bunch of teachers to Taihua?”
Her friend nodded gravely. “Yeah! Why do you think I came running in here? Your class leader Tan Lingyun is with them.”
Crash! The ceramic cup shattered in to countless pieces, forgotten as Zhou Qianlin shot suddenly to her feet. Her fingers flew over the buttons of her communicator.
It was only a short moment before the call connected. “Qianlin, I’m busy in a meeting – I can’t speak right now.”
With that, her father hung up.
She sucked in a breath, and tried to keep herself calm. It worked, at least on the surface, for her usually gentle eyes took on a sort of disconnected calm. She tapped another number in to her com. Her will reached out through the spirit caller gem in the same instant.
“The number you’ve dialed it out of service.” The uncaring female voice recording on the other end was like a punch to the gut.
There was no response from the gem.
“What is it,” Tang Mi asked, surprised by her reaction. She hardly recognized her now.
Qianlin shook her head. “Xiao Mi, head on home. I have something I have to do.” She raced out of the classroom before her words had a chance to dissipate.
Tang Mi watched her go, utterly confused. “When did she get so fast?”
Qianlin raced through the halls at top speed, once again jabbing at her communicator.
“Miss.” A pleasant female voice answered.
“Give me the most recent news from Taihua.” Her voice was commanding. “I need the latest satellite imagery, and the fasted ship we have to get me there.”
“I’m afraid the lanes to Taihua have already been closed, Miss. Apparently something’s happened.” The woman’s voice was still smooth and slow, but it was clear there was surprise in it at Qianlin’s demands.
“No matter the cost! I’m leaving for the civil airstrip right now.” She cut the connection before giving the woman any further opportunity for argument.
She looked up just in time to see a figure blocking her path.
“Qianlin, what are you racing off to?” Richard blinked at her.
She skidded to a halt. “Is your verti-car parked here?”
“Yeah! Over in the parking lot.” He jabbed a thumb over his shoulder.
“Give me the keys.”
“Oh…” He fished an electronic key from his pocket and put it in her waiting hand.
“Thanks, I’ll get it back to you.” She was off again, disappearing from Richard’s view as quickly as she’d come.
“Qianlin… Qianlin! What are you doing?! I’ll go with you!” He called after her.
“I got it!”
Half a minute later, a verti-car was lifting off from the campus parking lot. It grew bright, flashed, then vanished.
Richard had given chase but was unable to catch up with the girl. His face fell, dark with depression. His communicator rang, interrupting his gloom.
“Mr. Austin, you have been found in violation of the university’s traffic rules. Please return immediately and present yourself to the student affairs office for disciplinary action.”
“Mother-“ Richard only just kept himself from smashing his communicator to pieces.
A blinding light flashed in the heavens. Zeus was at it’s center, shining as though he were cast in gold. The light radiated out from him in all directions. His body had begun to grow, to swell. He’d already stretched to ten meters tall. Towering, golden, suspended in air, he truly was like an avatar of the gods.
The tearing bolts of lightning dancing over head began to recede. Zeus stood in their flashing midsts, turning to view his domain. Two great beams of golden light issued from his eyes, bathing the ground below in resplendent light as he tore through the skies five thousand meters overhead.
Thor was on the move as well, five thousand meters above it’s master. The mecha’s radar was set to its highest frequency, and swept over the planet as it launched in another direction.
“Zeus, all satellite imagery over Taihua is being intercepted. No sign of your presence will be permitted.” Thor’s mechanized rumble echoed through his mind.
“Good.” He sped up.
His body was feeling the full effects of the Fantascia Genetica decoction. Thankfully It was the decoction’s ability to strengthen his discipline that allowed him to take control, keeping himself from being torn apart.
At this moment, with the power at his fingertips, he was no more a ninth level talent. He was a Paragon. With this level of control, he felt like the master of the universe. Wherever he looked, he could see all, sense all.
A shimmering cocoon of golden energy surrounded Zeus as he raced through the sky. Scores of golden lightning bolts fired out in all directions with his passage. Any creature that crossed his path, regardless of size or strength, was instantly and ruthlessly wiped from reality. In the eyes of a Paragon, they were no more threatening than scraps of paper.
His communicator was gone. It had been destroyed long ago in his mad assault on the monsters. There was no Lan Jue, only Zeus. All that remained of the man before was the spirit caller gem, and Thor’s Promise.