The air around Pride bubbled. It was uncomfortable to see Pride on the ground with barely any effort.
“That’s right,” Timothy said. “Eat shit.”
“Uh, Timothy, I don’t think that’s a great idea to say that.” Jones half-heartedly chuckled, “but I got to say it’s a nice hit.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s six against one. So you think Pride’s going to win this?” Timothy said arrogantly.
“Well, we don’t know that….”
“Get back!” Simon shouted.
“What-?” Timothy glanced down, but he was too late.
Pride hissed, his eyes turning pitch black. A blast of dark energy shootout, hitting everyone back. In seconds, Pride disappeared and reappeared, standing in front of Timothy. His hand reached over, grabbing him by the arm. He flipped him over his shoulder with an easy throw and broke Timothy’s arm in one fluid swing.
Timothy cried out in pain.
Jones roared. He shot his bullets at Pride.
Pride used his telepathy to raise his hand, stopping the bullets from breaking through. It shook, vibrating, and it slowly turned around. Then, with a flick of his fingers, the bullets zoomed through the air and straight at Jones.
“Shhhhhhhittt!” Jones couldn’t do anything as he realized the bullets were coming straight at him.
Alexus darted forward. His eyes catching every bullet that flew in the air. Then, quickly, his sword made an impact, deflecting every single one.
“Thanks.” Jones sighed in relief.
“Don’t mention it.” Alexus darted off. This time, he went straight at Pride, both making an impact.
Pride let Timothy go, His hand blocking Alexus’ sword.
“Gluttony, I’m glad to see you.”
Both Alexus and Pride were head-to-head.
“Out of all the Deadly Sins, you are the key.” Pride pulled back. He then snaked his hand around Alexus’s sword, grabbing him by the shoulder.
Alexus twirled, pulling Pride’s hand off his shoulder, but Pride didn’t let him get away too far.
Instead, Pride moved with Alexus’s rhythm, grabbing Alexus by the head. Then, yanking him back, causing Alexus to go off balance, his mouth temporarily gaped open in surprise.
At that moment, Pride stuffed something in Alexus’ mouth. His mouth was grabbed shut as Alexus unconsciously swallowed.
“Good. Now, it’s all set.” Pride said with glee. “We will finally ascend to Godhood.” Then, pride let go, allowing Alexus to pull back.
With a heavy cough, Alexus tried to throw up whatever was stuffed down his throat. “What did you do?” He glared.
“The same thing that you have been doing in the past. Giving you the cores of the Deadly Sins that were leftover. So now, you have all seven.”
“What?” Alexus was confused.
The Animus Progessium hummed. Glowing blue and gold. Trickles of water started to reverse, pulling up into the air.
“What’s going on?” Crystal gaped.
“I don’t know,” Simon replied.
The cave throbbed as if it was alive, humming as winds blew through the air.
“Everyone, watch out! Pride’s doing something suspicious!” Timothy shouted. He had a broken arm that dangled on his side. Blood dripped down his lips; he glared with pain as he tucked his arm in. The dragon suit fluctuates, turning into a sling, and hooking his injured arm onto his side.
“What are you guys doing?!” Jones shouted. He was on the ground, trying to get back up. “We need to kill him now!”
“We’re trying-” Alexus fumbled.
The ground shook.
“It has begun.” Pride smiled.
With a powerful blast, the blue light flashed.
Everyone went blind, covering everyone completely in the light.
Alexus groaned, blinking his eyes. He tried to see, which took time for him to see. He was in an empty white space. Looking left to right, they couldn’t find anything or anyone nearby.
“Hello?” Alexus called out, wondering what was going on. He didn’t remember how he got here.
Walking around, Alexus looked for anybody.
“Hello,” Alexus called out again. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was ferried away. There was no way that I could be brought here. The only explanation was the monument that flashed with a light that blinded everyone, but he didn’t quite understand why.
I saw something shimmer into existence from the corner of my eyes.
A black shadow appeared in front of me.
“Who?” I asked.
A being with white clothes stepped forth. At first, I couldn’t see his face, but it slowly became clear.
“Marcus?” I asked, “Wait, no, Pride.” I growled.
“No,” Marcus spoke. “He’s not here right now.”
“Then, you’re really Marcus?”
“Yes, I don’t have much time,” Marcus said in a hurry. “Right now, Pride has complete control of my body. He has been using the Animus Progressium to his own as we speak, awakening. The others right at this moment are being converted.”
“What?! What am I supposed to do?” The thought of Crystal turning to the Darkside made his skin crawl. He didn’t want to kill any of them if he had to. He wished that they weren’t all so bent on power to survive and ended up at this moment in time.
“Quickly, follow me,” Marcus spoke, turning his back.
Alexus quickly took steps, power walking next to him.
“How were you taken over so quickly?”
“I wasn’t. I struggled at first, taking months for it to slow down, but Pride….or Naz had something that had sped up the process,” said Marcus, “he had the piece of the Animus Progressivism from the old machine that we were sleeping in.”
“Wait, wasn’t it that time when we were forced awake?”
“Yes, that was when he came to raid it. To take the piece from the old Animus Progression. It wasn’t
even the complete Animus Progressium that this one.”
“Really? Is there a difference?”
“Yes. This is the motherboard, where every magic happens.” Marcus waved his hand.
“All I see is a white background,” Alexus replied.
“That’s because that’s what you’re seeing it as.”
Alexus tilted his head, wondering what he meant. “How do you see it?”
Marcus smirked. With a snap of his fingers, the whole world around them changed. The ground exploded with color, wires zipped through the side, and plants grew from nothing as a large valley of a canyon was present.
“Holy…” Alexus said with a gasp.
“This is how I see the motherboard,” Marcus replied. “Everything is connected, Alexus. From the pulse of a beating heart to the very core of the molten lava. The Animus Progression is the gateway into the intricate matrix code of life.”
“What is something so powerful doing here?”
“Don’t you remember? The fight against the Demons and the Aliens.”
“Yes, but still. Did they create it?”
Marcus shook his head. “No. The Aliens did not. It was created at the dawn of time, and they were just a guardian to watch over it. Which they have lost.”
“To hear that such an advanced species has lost something so dangerous….”
“I said the same thing, but the longer I stay here, the more I’m getting to know. We are just a fraction of
the key that the Animus Progressium had made to activate it when needed.”
“When needed? What do you think?”
“Yes and no. It’s hard to explain.”
“Try your best.”
“The whole universe is alive, Alexus. And when things go out of balance, it activates to create an antigen. The demons are the chaos that brings changes, and we are the Antigens that bring order. An intricate balance when things get too out of control.”
“So, the demons have been trying to take complete control.”
“Yes, merging with an Ouroboros that has a higher chance to activate the Animus Progression. There has been no other Ouroboros that has such a high level of synchronicity as you.”
“Yes, you were the last one to enter the machine last time, and you still had your mind intact, did you not?”
“Exactly, and the last one to leave as well.”
“How do you know this?”
“It’s all recorded here.” Marcus waved over his head. “Anyways, we need to completely kick out all the demon Energy from all of you guys now before they try to corrupt it-“
Suddenly, the whole world started to shake. Parts of the cliff shattered, coming down from above.
“Move!” Marcus shouted.
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