On one fateful day, roughly twenty years after the apocalypse, a horrifying beast emerged from the ‘Abysmal Pit’. It was essentially just a giant blob of pink sludge, but it was still quite dangerous. Any demonic beasts or other creatures that approached, would be sucked inside and consumed. Even the rocks and minerals were devoured and transformed into mana.
The chaotic aura that had strongly permeated throughout Africa over the past two decades, was suddenly beginning to be pulled towards that strange creature. Even though the continent had plenty of deserts, there were still many oases as well. Nearly the entire population was demonic in nature, but that didn’t make them ‘evil’.
There were also plenty of animals and plants of the Nature Affinity, which were able to feed off of the chaotic mana. Unfortunately, since the density was rapidly lowering, they would either die or migrate.
A beautiful illusory elven woman was floating above the pink slime-monster. Arcana giggled, whispering “As life flourishes, so does death. However, your presence interrupts the natural reincarnation process and creates a soul-vacuum.”
Hundreds of colorful wisps were constantly flying from all over the Solar System, being pulled towards that jiggling blob of goop. They weren’t able to put up the slightest bit of resistance, being swallowed by the magical whirlpool within the demon’s blubbery body.
Suddenly, the enormous gooey monstrosity began congealing and condensing as it rolled away from the collapsing Abysmal Pit. The ground was covered in millions of colossal worms, along with several Land Krakens, so there was plenty of ‘food’ for the slime to devour.
It headed south at a speed of over two-hundred miles per hour. Even though it wanted to move more quickly, the gravity and wind-resistance was far higher than it had been in the past.
“Interesting… It appears that a lot has changed in the short time that we were gone.”
Arcana continued floating above the creature, casually glancing around and noticing the planet ‘Luna’. It was so close and large, that it filled the entire night sky. The light reflecting from the former Moon’s oceans was golden, while the land appeared to be a lustrous silver. There was only a single continent, but it was truly gargantuan.
“Hmmm, several of the gateways that I had placed throughout this Solar System have been damaged or destroyed. Perhaps you should go and replace them? Providing teleportation services is an excellent way to accumulate mana…”
That blob of pink goo abruptly stopped moving a few dozen miles away from the Abysmal Pit. Then it began shrinking rapidly, transforming into a three meter tall man. His skin was porcelain white, but his veins were pitch-black. His right iris was crimson, with a thin serpentine pupil, while the left was blue, with a slightly wider feline pupil. There was a vertical eye at the center of his forehead, which was almost entirely golden.
He had two huge obsidian gazelle horns sticking up, out of his temples. His ears were extremely long and pointed, similar to a High Elf. Instead of hair, there were dark-green vines with purple flowers, along with shadowy tendrils that constantly writhed around. A thick, orange-scaled, draconic tail was connected to his sacrum and was six meters long. It occasionally dragged across the ground, but for the most part, it just whipped around through the air. He only had a single pair of enormous golden-feathered dove-like wings, but that was more than enough.
As the giant took in a deep breath, he stretched his huge arms and even yawned. Then he cracked his neck, fingers, and even his toes. There was no fur on any part of the strange humanoid’s body and it did have male genitalia. When he gazed up into the ‘night’ sky, he grinned, exposing his ferocious fang-like ivory teeth.
“You’re right… Things really have changed a lot since we’ve been gone. So~, what’s the status on those Seeds or Fruits or whatever the fuck you used to call them? Have they all been planted yet? Have any ripened? You did mention that there would be problems if I neglected them for too long…”
Even though it wasn’t his ‘usual’ physical appearance, the voice and manner of speech certainly belonged to Michael.
Arcana giggled, landing onto his left shoulder and whispering “Indeed, this may be rather… problematic. I did not anticipate their rate of growth to be quite this rapid. Even more unfortunate, is that many of them seem to have close connections to each other. Iris Angelica Healy will be the most difficult to manage. She managed to reach the peak of the Deity Realm…”
Michael immediately asked “Wait, what the hell are you talking about? I’m super confused now… Are you saying there’s some sort of Xianxia-styled power-ranking system?”
She murmured “Every reality has its own laws and rules… Within each reality there are innumerable universes. It is also possible for realities to exist within realities. An example would be the combined Soul Realm of you and your Companions. By fusing together, you created an overall reality, which possesses seven individual universes-”
“Okay, stop, if I hear you say reality or universe one more time, my OCD is going to explode! Let’s just say I kinda-sorta know what you’re talking about, so get back to the Deity thing you mentioned before.”
As the naked giant interrupted the Arcane Goddess, he also began putting some ‘clothes’ on. His legs became covered in orange scales and even his feet started to look much more like Alice’s. Then everything from the knees down, was suddenly protected by a thick golden, elastic metal. After that, draconic gauntlets appeared over his hands and a bronze liquid swiftly coated everything up to his shoulders.
He had plenty of other options to choose from, but Michael just decided to put on the comfortable and loose Fiery Robe of the Ancient Sorceress. The defensive properties weren’t that great, though it was still better than nothing.
Arcana whispered “There are three Realms of power within every universe within ‘this’ Greater Reality. Mortals would be considered to be the weakest and most prevalent. Even if their souls were powerful, they would not have access to them. When you first returned to this world, you were still a Mortal. Once you unlocked the majority of your abilities, you would have been considered an Immortal. I did not create or designate these terms myself, so there is no point in your disapproving glare. Your current physical body could be considered as being within the Deity Realm, but just barely. It is vital that you avoid Iris until you have approached her level of power.”
Those gigantic wings began changing from gold, to pitch-black. It was possible to see stars, galaxies and other celestial bodies through the void. However, their most important attribute was that they could easily and constantly consume mana from the atmosphere. Everything they devoured was directly infused into Minari’s body.
The Goddess warned “You should not so causally reveal that… ‘item’. Even though Iris has reached the threshold between this world and the next, it is impossible for her to ascend. You do not need to rush. It would be better if you simply refined your physical form, as you had planned.”
Michael snickered, absorbing that ‘cape’ back into his Soul Realm. Those enormous wings returned to their previous golden luster. Then he jumped, while flapping them violently downwards. That three-meter tall and extremely heavy body was miraculously able to make it close to one-hundred meters into the purple sky, before he had to start flying.
That relatively small illusory elf was still sitting on his shoulder, so he asked “If you’re so OP, and beings like yourself can just enter these ‘lesser’ universes so easily, then why do you even need me?”
She unhesitantly answered “There are obviously laws and rules, which are regulated by the most powerful entities in our Greater Reality. This Avatar is indeed far beyond this world in terms of physical power. If I wished, I could devour or obliterate this entire universe with little effort… However, that would breach the Code of Conduct charter that was created to prevent us and everyone else within the Greater Reality from abusing the lower planes.”
The giant demonic angel grumbled “Wait what? Are you telling me that what you’ve tricked me into doing is basically illegal? Am I some kinda scapegoat?”
Arcana giggled, “No, of course not. If ‘you’ destroy this universe, it would not be problematic. I am allowed to bestow small amounts of power upon beings within this world, as long as it is in order to enforce the ‘laws’ we have collectively decided upon. Slavery and rape can be particularly harmful to the wellbeing of souls, especially the younger ones. Many forms of non-sexual torture could be considered as dangerous… Devouring tainted souls is similar to consuming rotten or poisonous food. They must first be thoroughly purified and prepared before becoming edible. Of course, there will always be those who do not follow the rules. There are also other factions who have their own twisted beliefs and laws…”
“Mmkay~ then, I’m just gonna pretend like I didn’t hear any of that… So umm, where the fuck should I be going? All I can really see for miles and miles are creepy tentacle monsters and demonic smog. Oh, there’s a weird space-tree over there, should I go and uh, I don’t know, kill it or something? There’s also a giant hydra thingy that kinda seems like something outta Revelations. The Moon looks like a gold and silver Earth, and I’m pretty sure those dragons up there aren’t even in the atmosphere.”
He was essentially just aimlessly soaring above an endless pink wasteland, that was covered by all sorts of worms, mutated vines and enormous octopi.
I was going to post chapter 95 too, but I’m tired, so I’ll do it tomorrow lmao. The next few chapters have major cliffhangers, so I kinda want to post them together-ish… This one doesn’t really have much of a cliff, so I figured it’d be better as a waiting chapter? I’m too tired to really think about it right now…
Also, I’m basically finished with Volume 2 of “Tower Defense Deities”. I’m writing the epilogue at the moment, but even that is pretty much finished. Then I’ll probably write a bit of the volume 3 prologue and then get back to writing “Hardcore Legacies”. I really need to finish this series.
By finish the series, I mean “Hardcore Legacies”, because it’s practically a different series from Hardcore OP-ness lol. I don’t know… I’ll probably do a fuckton of name-changing and organizing once I finally get around to it. HCOP might get split up into 10 different books, while HCL will probably become at least 3 books.
When I get around to continuing the story of Minari(Michael Cinagra and his harem of soulbound companions), the next book will be called “Noobaggedon”. And it’ll be getting back right where Hardcore OP-ness left off… Kind of? It’s a little confusing, because Hardcore Legacies is kind of like a prequel, but at the same time, it literally happened to the main characters ‘after’ the events of HCOP…
Anyway, like I mentioned before, I’m too fucking tired to thing about this kinda stuff right now. Goodnight!