Chapter 1277: Imitation Gaia
As the name implied, Forrund’s Divine Sword Imitation could create a replica of a divine sword.
The enormous, misshapen sword in Forrund’s hands was the splitting image of Ashwrath’s divine sword Gaia.
However, the pressure I felt from it seemed weaker than the original Gaia. Anyone would recognize it as the Grand Earthblade, but the aura was a bit off.
As expected of an imitation. Of course, inheriting even a fraction of Gaia’s immense powers would make it way stronger than anything we can do.
The pressure emanating from the imitation blade caused the air to tremble, sending shivers across Fran’s skin.
We reflexively distanced ourselves using teleportation, a sign how much danger we felt.
「What… is that…?」
Even Apollonius took a step back in astonishment. However, quickly recovering from the shock, he began to laugh maniacally.
「Hahahahaha! Fantastic! Truly befitting of the Rank A adventurers that have antagonized Raydoss for so long! How reliable it is to have you on our side!」
Forrund promptly sprinted past Fran and slammed the imitation Gaia into Laranflura.
「Haaah! Binds of the Land!」
He effortlessly shattered what was left of the seemingly invincible barrier, gouging out Laranflura’s stomach as well. Furthermore, numerous black chains sprang forth from the earth and entangled her body.
She was dragged down to the ground, and restrained with her massive body lying on her back.
More and more black chains sprung forth, covering Laranflura’s entire body and binding her to the earth. She attempted to break free, but her body wouldn’t move as if trapped by an invisible force.
I think I figured out the secret behind this. Judging by the huge amount of mana, she was actually getting pinned by some sort of super-gravity. Regardless of her intense resistance, the binds showed no sign of breaking.
Even as an imitation, Forrund’s weapon was truly a divine sword. He went on to deliver a second strike.
「Rage of the Land!」
「How can you——WAARGHH!!」
He shrouded the enormous imitation Gaia in black divine energy, swinging it down towards Laranflura. If that technique hit us, we would likely disappear without leaving a trace. Teleporting away is the only way to survive. The divine energy infused in it was that formidable.
However, the Superhuman General refused to take this sitting down.
Laranflura released an immense amount of mana from her entire body. Devouring tens of thousands of people had turned her into a monster that could hardly be called mortal.
This surge of super-dense mana shattered the chains, clashing with the imitation divine sword.
An intense flash blinded us, followed by a deafening roar and violent shockwaves.
I instinctively shielded us with a barrier, but I could see the Hero Zombies getting blown away.
When the light subsided, I saw both Forrund and Laranflura in critical condition.
The imitation divine sword was no longer in Forrund’s hands. I bet it couldn’t withstand the massive impact and disappeared.
Moreover, Forrund didn’t even have his hands since both of his forearms had evaporated. The recoil of the technique was just that intense. In addition, the rest of his body was covered in lacerations, and he showed no signs of movement.
He looked unconscious too, so leaving him with such diminished life force would be dangerous.
On the other hand, Laranflura still showed signs of vitality despite the ridiculous amount of damage she had taken.
The top half of her head had been blasted off, along with all of her limbs. Yet still, the figure of the Holy Mother embedded in her chest was unharmed.
The current Laranflura lacked internal organs and blood. Despite appearing humanoid, she was far from it.
Because of that, it was hard to view her as a person. When I saw the grotesque sight, I saw her as more of a broken doll or statue.
The mouth on her shattered head began speaking.
「To think it would come to this…」
She could clearly see us despite having lost her eyes. Perhaps she was observing us through a skill.
「Ah, Balfon-sama… You were supporting me by using your soul to restrain the Chimera, yet I failed to accomplish anything…」
Laranflura’s body began crumbling away into sand. There was no sign of regeneration, and her mana was dissipating rapidly.
That said, her fighting spirit was not gone yet.
「Had I been able to devour these simpletons, felling the fragments would be a simple task… But if I am to fall here, then…! Uwaaaah!!」
Was she attempting a desperate last resort? Maybe trying to self-destruct? Either way, I readied myself for a quick escape. However, Laranflura showed no intention of attacking us.
Her fighting spirit hadn’t waned one bit, but her focus was not directed toward us. Was she staring at the ground? No, the depths of the earth?
In the meantime, the Hero Zombies got back up and attacked her alongside Urushi. The remaining portions of Laranflura’s body shattered, accelerating her disintegration.
But we were forced to stop right before the finish line, by a barrier erected around the giant crystal and the Holy Mother. None of our attacks could break through.
We could see the slightly smaller crystal peeking out from Laranflura’s shredded flesh. What’s going on with the Holy Mother though? She seems completely motionless…
Despite having lost her mouth, and even her face, we could hear Laranflura’s voice echoing out from somewhere.
「Holy Mother… Extract every last bit of power from the crystal! Take this, Evil God!」
A flow of power radiated from Laranflura’s remnants, but it did not attack us. Instead the mana flowed deep underground.
And then, the earth shook.
A dull, low sound reverberated along with the quaking.
Simultaneously, I sensed joy coming from the Evil God Fragment within me.
It seems Laranflura’s sent her mana through the leylines and blasted it at the fragments sealed in this land, delivering a devastating blow. Those tremors were akin to the fragments’ screams.
But why would that make the fragment within me happy?
『Do you hate the others or something?』
Perhaps fragments of the Evil God aren’t necessarily friendly with each other. My fragment appeared to harbor resentment towards the others.
Everyone was surprised by Laranflura’s actions. The sudden earthquake that followed left them even more confused.
That said, Laranflura had clearly exhausted the last of her strength. The cracks in the giant crystal spread, until the entire thing had crumbled apart.
The remaining chunks melted away into dust, leaving only the lump of flesh that contained the Holy Mother.
Was Laranflura still holding her prisoner…? As we were wondering what to do, Sibylla suddenly screamed.
Visibly in pain, Sibylla fell to one knee.
『On it! Vishnu!』
Ignoring the heavy costs, I invoked Vishnu on Sibylla. However, this proved to be futile. While she showed some signs of recovery, the pain only came back just as hard.
「…Fuhaha… Sibylla of the Red Sword, I’m taking you down with me… There’s no saving you now. I applied the Chimera’s power to make your monster factor go berserk. Descend into monsterhood like the savage you are…」
Again, Laranflura’s voice echoed from an unknown location. Fran gripped me tightly, but a certain man jumped into action before I could do anything.
「Orooooooogh! What have you done to my daughter?! Ora!」
It was Apollonius. He cut down the crumbling flesh along with an angry shout. The last piece of what was once Laranflura incinerated into black smoke under Apollonius’s flames.
Ten seconds later, an somehow unharmed Holy Mother emerged from the remains, along with Laranflura’s decapitated head, now normal-sized. It seems this head was acting as her core.
「Oi, cancel the berserk factor thing!」
「So this is the love of a stepfather? I see you are quite agitated! But it’s already too late. Not even I can stop it now!」
「I’ll fucking kill you!」
「By all means, go ahead! I can only maintain myself for a few minutes either way. Fuhahaha! I hope you enjoy watching Sibylla turn into a monster!」