It wasn’t just zombified cows, horses, pigs and humans, but also mosquitoes, cockroaches, locusts and other swarming insects. Rather than the ‘danger’ involved, Michael was more concerned about the rancid odor and overall unpleasantness that would have been involved, if he tried to ‘walk’ through something like that.
Thus, he went around the left side of the crater and headed towards the mostly undamaged part of the chain-link fence. The Nephilim used those powerful bronze gauntlets, combined with his impressive upper-body strength, to rip a hole large enough for him to fit through.
Then he continued jogging to the north-east, eventually reaching a patch of thick wooded forest. That flaming serpentine dragon in the sky suddenly soared down, crashing into the undead hordes and swarms. It was similar to a colossal humpback whale devouring krill or small schooling fish; the relatively minuscule and insignificant creatures couldn’t even put up a fight against the beast. The more it ate, the closer it came to gaining a more ‘corporeal’ form and even though it was raining, its infernal body didn’t even seem to be phased by the moisture.
Michael glanced back and grumbled “Seriously Ally, how the fuck did you even create something like that? Ugh, I’m so hungry… My mouth still tastes like blood and that poisoned iced-tea.” Even though Alice was floating around in his mind, she was too intoxicated by the overdose of mana. It was currently being ‘refined’ within her soul and transformed into a more ‘stable’ form, but in the meantime, she wasn’t able to be of much help to the Nephilim.
The forest that he was jogging through wasn’t filled with fantastical monsters or demons, but it was far more overgrown than it had been a few months prior. Arcana placed ‘Artifacts’ and ‘Legacies’ all over the planet; however, the majority of items were located in ruined cities and other relatively well-known places.
Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, and Mount Rushmore were some of the most ‘famous’ landmarks in the United States, but there were thousands of similar natural and man-made ‘wonders’ throughout the world. Each of them held secrets, from long before the ‘Goddess’ took her two month vacation; yet, nothing could be as amazing, mystical and outright ‘magical’ as the treasures that she had ‘buried’ there.
Unfortunately, while the woods were a little eerie, they weren’t quite interesting enough for Arcana to randomly plant some overpowered ‘Seeds’ there. The trees were similar to the corn and other plants or animals in the area. Everything on Earth was being exposed to an ever-increasing amount of mana-radiation, and it was only a matter of time before all forms of life were permanently transmogrified.
As the old species died off, the stronger ones would take their places. It wasn’t quite that ‘easy’ to destroy the world, much less the entire universe. Of course, everything has a reason and a purpose; the ethereal Goddess may have enjoyed her little ‘game’, but she didn’t just hand out all of that power as a way to amuse herself.
After trudging through the mud and thick foliage for several hours, Michael’s metallic ‘feet’ finally stomped down upon the asphalt of a small road. The storm was dissipating and that strange fiery dragon had long since soared away to the southeast; as for the zombie horde, they were almost totally devoured, but there were still a few hundred undead ‘survivors’.
Glancing around at the totally empty street, the crimson-robed Nephilim muttered “Welp, which way should I go? Hmmm, I wonder if there’s wifi out here?” The shiny bronze material that was coating his arms abruptly converged into the back of his hands and transformed into two, metallic tattoos: each of which, resembled the head of a ferocious dragon.
Then a smart-phone materialized in his right palm, and he immediately complained “Oh for shit’s sake~! Ugh, great, I’m in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, without a goddamn map of any kind… No bars either.” A pink motorcycle plopped down onto the asphalt in front of him and he ‘attempted’ to sit down onto the seat.
The fiery robe split down the middle and the bottom half seemed to transform into loose, baggy, bright-red silk pants. Michael snickered, as he put away the ‘conventional’ cellphone and pulled out one of the magical ones from his mysterious ‘inventory’.
Channeling a bit of mana into the device, he immediately saw a ‘message’, which read “New World Quest: The organization ‘Humanity’ is rounding up mutants and ‘collecting’ psychics. Many people are currently being imprisoned, experimented upon and forced into slavery or simply executed. I have placed a bounty on every member of Humanity, within their bodies; simply kill them and the Artifacts will swiftly reveal themselves. Once every member of the organization is ‘eliminated’, everyone will be ranked and rewarded with ‘Favor’, depending on their achievements.”
There was even a global map of the entire planet, with not only the secret bases revealed, but every single person was ‘marked’ and easily trackable. Michael snickered, “Wow, ya really don’t wanna piss Arcana off, huh? Wait a second, what the fuck is this bullshit?!”
It wasn’t until then that he realized there was a whole list of different organizations or specific people, who had ‘bounties’ on their heads. However, the one that had the most outrageous and extravagant reward was himself.
“Michael Cinagra: I personally hope that he succeeds in his mission to destroy the world and kill all of you in the process, but for the sake of ‘fairness’, I shall give you the opportunity to prevent him from accomplishing his task. If you are able to either destroy his body or convince him to betray me, then I will not be able to consume this universe and your souls. He is also an incredibly potent source of mana, so even if you can only drink some of his blood or devour a bit of his flesh, it would improve your own abilities quite considerably. Good luck and have fun.”
After reading that, he clenched his teeth and growled “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! Seriously Arcana, whose side are you on anyway?!” It was even possible to track his location on the map, constantly.
However, since he was in northeastern Kansas, there weren’t many bounty-hunters within a few hundred miles. Besides that, the risks were far too great for most of them to even consider; it wasn’t possible to see the Nephilim’s ‘stats’, ‘Passives’ or ‘Spellbook’, but from the ‘comments’ section, it was obvious that most people were skeptical.
Someone named ‘Killsforfun1837’ wrote “Dude, it’s totally a trap. Like, even if you could pull it off, you would definitely die bro.”
Assholeforhire2100 said “Arcana is such a fucking troll tho, lololol. Anybody remember Pakistan? Ya, it was a country, now it’s a goddamn crater. Go look it up kids, Noogle FTW.”
BadbitchAlex asked “Didn’t she play tic-tac-toe with some girl and give her the power to call down asteroids or something like that?”
ApostleRochev wrote “ARCANA IS GOD! ALL PRAISE ARCANA! ARCANA FOREVER! DESTROY THIS WORLD AND TAKE US INTO DIVINE GRACE! ARCANA IS THE ONE TRUE GOD! DEATH TO THE NONBELIEVERS!”
After that, it was just a long stream of religious arguments, and Michael immediately lost interest. He muttered “Ugh, well, at least she waited until after I left Linda’s house to post this nonsense. Oh hey~, there’s totally a ‘Humanity’ base not that far from here… Hmmm~, Cassie Hudson, Jacob Alexander, Bonnie Johnson, Bill Smith, Shakir Alacu-something something… Jesus? Never mind, it’s Hey-Zeus, hehehe~. Ah, well, whatever, there’s at least fifty of them over there and I can see a few driving around; holy shit, sweet! The dumb-asses are really fucking close!”
He placed the ‘Whisper Booster’ onto a cell-phone dock on the pink motorcycle’s dashboard and then yelled “Oi, Ally, stop snoring in my subconscious and help me use these stupid gloves again!”
A few seconds passed and he grumbled “Ugh, fuck it, I’ll just figure it out on my own…” Bronze liquid erupted from the backs of his hands and abruptly started swirling around his forearms and all the way up to his shoulders. Then it quickly settled down into a relatively thick, but incredibly flexible, latex-like coating. Only his hands were given long and sharp talons, where his fingernails would be, while his knuckles were much larger and sharper than normal.
Michael grabbed hold of the handles and kicked back the stand, as the vehicle started releasing copious amounts of Chaotic aura. Then it started roaring like a magical-beast, making “Nyah~, nyah~!” and “Mroaw~!” noises, as if Jasmine herself was possessing the obnoxious motorcycle.