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Phantom Wars Chapter 26

The greatest tournament battle begins

Chapter Twenty-six: The God Tournament

It had been several months since Ethan’s dad had moved on. Gradually Ethan had returned to his normal self but the tournaments were forever changed. With David gone there was a massive power vacuum in them that was constantly struggling to be filled. The tournaments became more chaotic then ever as the strongest competed for first place and those below them competed for the top nine below that.

Neither Ethan, nor Marry, nor Picario had entered any tournaments or battle games for a long while. They just spend their time leisurely messing around, playing games; just having fun.

Finally the time came when the three of them were ready to enter tournaments again. Ethan became more conservative about using his mind magic against others. He instead kept to his normal illusionary magic and only used his mental magic against opponents like the shadow twins.

Ethan got more beat up in the battles without using his mind magic, but Marry and Picario were always there to back him up if he needed it. They ranked in the top three in the grand tournament upon their return. The reapers tournament proved a bit more challenging but they were able to rank in the top three places in that as well.

They were determined more than ever to keep ranking in the top of the tournaments because they still had a shot at making it to the god tournament this year. And if they could get Marry to place first in the god tournament they would finally accomplish their goals of finding the answers they were searching for.

The Masters tournament proved to be especially difficult for them because only Marry had much experience in it. Ethan ended up getting killed by a monster in there because his powers didn’t work on them, and Picario and Marry were preoccupied with other phantoms at the time to help him. Fortunately they were already in the top ten when Ethan died so he was still eligible for the God tournament.

As they fought their way to the top in every tournament they became famous. They started gaining other phantoms respect because they always played as fair as they could. Even Ethan was no longer being castrated by others since he no longer used his mind magic on everyone. And finally the day had come; New years and the God tournament.

Marry Ethan and Picario stood in Marry’s living room anxiously waiting for the portal to the god tournament. “This is it, make it or break it time,” Ethan said.

Marry and Picario smiled at him. “Well win or not at least we can say we gave it everything we have right?” Marry said.

“That’s the talk of loser, we are going to own this tournament,” Picario said excitedly.

Ethan and Marry laughed. After a few more minutes of waiting the portal finally appeared before them. The three of them jumped through it together.

It was chaos on the other side of the portal. Unlike every other tournament there was no preparation period before the other phantoms appeared, they all just showed up right away in the same dimension. Most of them ran but the few that stayed fought with one another.

Ethan got a large slash across his chest within a second of entering the tournament by a slender woman in tight spandex. The woman looked very agile and flexible. Ethan didn’t have enough time to gather in more about her as she charged at him again.

She came in at Ethan with great speed, but he was used to people moving faster than her, and easily managed to bring up his knife to block her. He went to stab her with his free hand but she quickly caught it by the wrist.

The woman started crushing Ethan’s wrist in a second and Ethan noticed the red ring around her finger; it was a power ring, it enhanced her strength greatly. Thinking quick Ethan kicked her away from him. She flipped through the air with acrobatic grace and Ethan rubbed his wrist; it was broken.

Without even looking at the woman Ethan created a false clone of him that was still studying his wrist while he stepped quietly aside. Ethan started feeling very heavy suddenly and really tired. The blade was poisoned.

When the girl came after Ethan again she went right through his illusion and it disappeared into nothingness. Ethan didn’t hesitate and as the girl went through his illusion he came at her, still invisible, and slit her throat with his still good hand. Neon green blood sprayed out of her wound and she fell to the ground dead.

Ethan soon became too tired to stand and he fell to one knee. Picario and Marry came up to him after that and they asked if he was alright. He chuckled lightly to himself and said, “I’m sorry I won’t make it any further than this, it’s rather pathetic actually; dying in the first minute. This poison is lethal and was introduced too close to the heart for me to have a chance at removing it later. You guys are on your own, but I know you two can do it.” Ethan then winked at them before collapsing on the ground. His body started disappearing right away.

Picario clenched his fist in anger and grabbed Marry’s arm, then rocketed him and her high up into the sky. They were able to see the battlefield more clearly. There were still 12 people left fighting down on the small sand covered flat that they emerged into. All of these people had powerful protection talismans around their necks that kept them from getting hurt; it was nothing more than a matter of whose talisman would break first.

Picario let go of Marry’s arm and then held both his hands out facing down at the other phantoms. After a moment of silent concentration small bursts of blue energy started shooting down from Picario’s hands aimed directly at the other phantoms. The energy shot out so fast that it looked like countless flashing blue stars falling down in one concentrated area.

After less than a minute Picario stopped his barrage completely and there was a massive smokescreen of sand that blocked their field of vision. With a wave of his hand Picario sent the thinned out sand blocking their vision far off and out of their way. Not a single phantom remained down there, only sand.

“Well I suppose that takes care of the preliminaries,” Marry said. She didn’t want to admit it but Picario was starting to frighten her. She only saw power and ruthlessness like he just displayed in phantoms eligible to be reapers.

The two of them hovered casually back down to the ground. “I don’t sense anyone else around where’s the nearest portal?” Picario asked as his feet touched down on the sand.

“I’m not sure; Portals can show up at any location at any time. And they can stay open for days or seconds, that’s how the god tournament works. Even worse is you have no idea where the portal will take you, it could land you two feet further from where you came in or put you inches above a pool of acid.”

Picario went to say something when a sudden warning sensation flared up behind him. He had no time to think, acting on instincts and reflexes Picario quickly leapt in the air spinning around in diagonal fashion with his right leg placed out smacking into whoever was behind him. As Picario landed back on his feet, facing the opposite direction he was just standing, the mysterious stranger he kicked hit the ground hard but used their momentum to roll back up to their feet.

Picario turned to face the stranger. She was a woman with blue hair and white futuristic armor covering all but her head and she wielded twin blades of blue and red. The woman wiped the blood from her mouth and grinned. “Now then, which one of you shall I kill first?” The woman asked in a heavy Russian accent.

In response, Marry shot out a stream of fire from her hands at the woman. The woman countered the flames by swinging her red sword in a small arc at them. A small wave of intense red flames burst forth from the swing of the sword and neutralized Marry’s flames. Before Marry could summon another attack though the sword woman started charging her with great speed.

She was almost upon Marry when the sand suddenly sunk down beneath her feet dragging her down to her knees in the sand. “Marry I think you should let me handle the stronger opponents this time around.” Picario said. “Please go wait off in the distance; you would only get in my way. You’re the one who needs to win this tournament if I do then it will mean nothing.”

Marry didn’t like anything of what Picario was saying but he did have some good points. He was already a much more skilled fighter than her, as well as he had insane power to back him up. And now with David Alaster gone Picario may be potentially the new strongest phantom in the world.

“Alright,” Marry said. “But be careful this woman was the fifth ranking leader of the tournaments for many years and she is still in the top ten spots today.”

Then Marry turned and began to fly off. The sword woman brought her swords close to her then swung them outwards emitting a twin spiral of flames and ice aimed at Marry’s back; Picario instantly teleported in front of the attack holding both his hands outward in front of him. He summoned an invisible barrier of energy that blocked the spiraling fire and ice waves.

Hot steam clouded the sword woman’s vision briefly until it cleared up and she saw Picario still standing, without a single scratch on him. “Your time would be better spent getting back on the surface level” Picario said. “But since I have time to kill before the next portal appears I will give you time to get out. Anyways you have a name?”

The sword woman scoffed and said, “Over confident young man, soon you will be dead and names won’t matter. But out of courtesy, my name is Natalia.”

Natalia then started slowly climbing her way out of the sand trap Picario had thrown her down into. He never let his eyes leave her as he started silently gathering in energy in his palms.

As soon as Natalia was out of the sand trap Picario put his wrists together, fingers bent in, and shot out a large beam of fast green energy straight at her. Natalia didn’t even blink as she took the energy beam right in her chest. Her armor glowed green in response to the energy and quickly spread around the armor, then disappeared and was back to its normal white.

Picario glared at her briefly then asked, “The armor, it neutralizes any magic doesn’t it?”

Natalia smiled and said, “You are very bright, yes it does negate any magic that touches it.”

“But you couldn’t complete it, your still missing the helmet. Or rather I should say the helmet would hinder you more. Your armor can stand against any magic but non magical attacks could rip right through it and your helmet, it would blind you too much?

“No that’s a simple fix, some visors on it and you would be set, unless the armor also negates your magic as well. But the only combat magic you have is sensory isn’t it? You can track phantoms from miles, away and in here maybe even through the different dimensions.”

Natalia grinned and said, “Very good, tell me though how did one as youthful as you get so smart?”

“In truth only in terms of magic am I so knowledgeable. Everything else I’m pretty much a complete moron. This last year alone I have learned so much more than I had in all my time here before.”

“Well then enough talk, let us find if your knowledge will save you.”

Without warning Natalia stabbed her ice blade in the ground as spikes of frost sped towards Picario at incredibly speed. Picario barley had enough time to teleport before the spikes reached where he was standing and erupted around the area. Natalia spun around swinging her red sword behind her thinking Picario would be there. Red flames scorched nothing more than the air around her as there was no one.

“Not quite,” Picario called out from above.

Natalia looked up just in time to see Picario shoot out another blast of raw energy aimed at her head. She only had enough time for one move. Moments before the blast came in contact with her a white helmet sprung up from her neck surrounding her head entirely. The blast hit the helmet and was immediately neutralized into nothing more than a color pallet spreading through the top part of Natalia’s armor then disappearing again.

Natalia leapt up in a spinning arc, with her blades held outwards she counter attacked Picario; sending a stream of fire and ice racing to him in the air. Picario barley had enough time to throw up a defensive barrier around him. On impact the barrier broke and Picario took the rest of the attack directly on his torso.

He was knocked out of the air in an agonizing mix of blistering fire and stinging ice. Picario fell head first towards the ground as Natalia landed smoothly back on her feet and began preparing a final attack to finish Picario off. She brought her blades close to her chest in a cross fashion and began charging up the energy stored inside them.

Before Natalia could finish charging her weapons she felt a low rumble beneath her feet in the sand. She let go of her focus on the blades and leaped back as far as she could just as the ground opened up beneath where she once was into a small chasm.

Natalia looked over to where the attack had come from and said in a mocking tone, “Sand is much harder to break apart isn’t it.” Her voice was a little rough and distorted from the helmet.

Marry tried not to show her frustration to her enemy. She hadn’t known that there was nothing but sand below her in this entire dimension; she believed that there were harder minerals deeper below. Her attack that opened up a small chasm should have instead destroyed the entire ground in front of her, opening a massive ravine that would have taken Natalia miles down into.

Natalia charged after Marry who was crouched down in exhaustion; her last attack took almost everything out of her for this fight. Her footsteps buried deep in the sand as she ran, her armor was as light as it could possibly be but it still added some weight to her and running in sand slowed her down a lot.

After several steps something snagged on Natalia’s foot causing her to trip. She landed in a roll and got back to her feet instantly in time to be pushed violently away by an invisible force. She hit down on her back, the sand cushioning her landing as she slid for a couple feet. The sand piled up behind her and Natalia quickly rose to her feet to see Picario standing with his arms to his side only 7 yards away from her.

Picario was now wearing a stretchy vinyl type dark green jumpsuit. It had a black five pointed star in its center and there was a silver dragon headed pin close to his neck. He looked a little tired and seemed to be in some sort of pain when standing up straight but otherwise he was alive and kicking.

For the longest time Picario stood starring at Natalia from the distance; he was gathering energy in his right hand secretly. Finally Natalia grew tired of their stand off and in a series of steps and sword swings sent out arc after arc of fast moving ice and fire slash’s.

This time Picario was prepared and ready to dodge the high speed attack. He teleported swiftly to the side, but Natalia kept in her sword swinging dance and turned her body with him. Picario kept teleporting to the side dodging each new incoming attack until finally he put Natalia’s back towards Marry.

On Natalia’s next attack Picario teleported just above it. Natalia stopped her dance and began charging her blades. Picario was seconds away from finishing gathering enough energy in his right hand; he was almost ready to finish Natalia off.

Picario teleported right in front of Natalia next which threw her off as she hesitated when she leaped back and swung her ice blade at him. Picario teleported further back still facing her as his right hand started to shake uncontrollably from all the power gathered into it.

Picario raised his right hand close to his face and dark energy started crackling around it. He dashed forward at great speed charging Natalia. She prepared herself in a defensive position when Picario suddenly vanished once more. Unknown to her he teleported behind her, still dashing, and when he got just a foot away from her with all the force he could summon he punched his hand right through Natalia’s back.

His hand tore through her armor and her chest and back out the other side of the armor. Picario quickly pulled his hand out of Natalia’s chest as it was now covered in her blood. She fell to her knees as her armor glowed with color and slowly died down back to its white. After a minute Natalia disappeared completely; only then did Picario finally fall down on his back in the sand.

He was covered in sweat and breathing heavily. Marry approached him a moment later. “You alright?” She asked.

“I’ll be fine.” Picario said. “That was the most,” He had to stop and take in another few breaths before continuing. “Power I ever put forth into one attack.” Picario stopped and breathed some more air. “If that didn’t work we would be done for.”

Mary smiled then asked, “What kind of attack was that anyways, it’s the first I have seen of it.”

Picario sat up and was breathing at a better pace now. “It’s nothing new; I simply kept bursting forth energy in front of my hand in a small range, but with immense speed. I figured a strong single beam attack might not cut it entirely. So I decided instead, for more continues burst attacks filled with energy.

“I figured the constant bursts would confuse the armor making it stop absorbing even for the tiniest of seconds for the next one to come in and start damaging it. It might not have looked like it but I put in ten-thousand total burst attacks in that one charge.”

Marry grinned, “You know only one other magic user had broken that armor before you. He destroyed most of it in one blast but it is still an incredible thing you have done. That woman, Natalia she is known as the magus hunter. She’s taking on a score of magus before and come out without a scratch.

“Obviously that armor is her greatest weapon; I can only ever run from her though. You on the other hand, well you’re the only other magus in the entire mansion who could fight her.”

“Well if it’s one on one, but if there was even just one more person with her they could tip the balance drastically against me. By the way who is the other person to beat her?”

“Leo Alaster.” Marry answered. “I believe he has powers just like yours, but he’s much stronger and more talented than you; although his attacks are darker, both visually and physically.”

“Well now don’t appraise him all at once.” Picario said sarcastically. “What’s with the Alaster family and their power anyways? Did they make some kind of deal with the devil or something?”

Marry knew Picario was joking around but part of her wondered if he was onto something. “Come on we should be prepared for when the next portal comes.”

Picario got to his feet and the two of them waited around for the next portal while also recovering the energy they lost from the fight with Natalia.

After a long while a portal finally appeared not to far off in the distance and Picario and Marry rushed towards it. The coast was clear so far but they began slowing down greatly as they got close to it. They hesitated briefly before going through it.

On the other side of the portal was a serene landscape filled with beautiful flowers, a crystal lake off in the distance, and tall thin trees with large purple flowers the size of a persons head growing from them. Picario smiled at the gorgeous scenery and took in a deep breath through his nose; it smelled heavenly. As he went to run off towards the lake, Marry hastily grabbed his arm roughly and began quickly pulling him up in the air.

Picario struggled with her a bit until she finally stopped going up; nearly a mile above the ground. Picario tore his arm from Marry’s grip and asked, “Why did you do that, that place is beautiful.”

Marry let out her breath which Picario just realized shed likely been holding it in since they arrived there. After she got her breath back she said, “This place is filled with poison, even the air you’re breathing is lethal from down there.”

Picario went to argue with her when a horrific burning sensation filled his nasal passage and his throat. He started coughing out blood and lost control of his own levitation. Marry caught him before he fell down too far though. Marry held Picario carefully for a few minutes while he continued coughing out blood uncontrollably.

When he was finished Marry let go of him and he steadied himself out in the air. His throat still hurt like hell but he was getting better. “How did you know?” Picario asked.

“I almost fell for the same trap my first time here too, but I was quickly pulled into a battle and went to the sky. Before I could even get in my first attack my opponent fell down dead and I started puking blood out. That’s when I realized the air was poisonous, afterwards I tested everything else and this whole place is a lethal trap of beauty.”

“That’s kind of disturbing. Where is our portal out of here anyways?”

“Unfortunately that I do not know. I was only here once and was killed by another phantom before I could find the portal out, so we will have to search around.”

Picario sighed then said in a sarcastic tone, “Fantastic.”

The two floated high up in the sky looking around for a portal to take them out of that area. The beautiful landscape of flowers, trees, and crystal lakes eventually came to an end as Picario and Marry flew onward. The lands past the lethal traps of beauty gradually decayed into barren wastelands filled with dying thorn vines and brown dried up earth.

Looking back Picario and Marry realized the change wasn’t that gradual as they first thought, but rather almost sudden. From the sky they could see a small patch of green life that served as the middle ground between the two worlds. Marry couldn’t help but feel there was some strange meaning, the way these two landscapes boarded each other so closely but were almost exact opposites. She didn’t dwell on the thought though, as Picario soon spotted a portal out of there.

They came down to the ground slowly and cautiously, alert to any kind of trap. They touched down on the ground softly; there was nothing but silence. Before they went through the portal though Marry asked, “How are you feeling?”

“Recharged, just about full energy but its not like were going to have to fight an army beyond this portal.” Picario said. “And you?”

“Feeling rested as well. We must have been between both worlds for a very long time because normally I would have taken days to recover like this.”

“Well maybe it was several hours, maybe even days. We don’t know how time works through these dimensions in any tournament. Time is relevant, we could have spent to us what felt like only a few hours here but to every other dimension it could have been years. There is a chance that we might have simply outlasted all of the other competitors and it’s just us now.”

Marry smiled at Picario’s optimism. “Wouldn’t that be awesome? Well then let’s find out.” Then she stepped through the portal.

Picario followed right behind her.

The two of them came out to a city landscape filled with a maze of skyscrapers. The ground beneath their feet was all black turf. It took Picario less than three seconds to sense another powerful force in the city with them. It was far off and didn’t seem overly strong, but Picario felt there was something more to the mysterious person than he could tell.

Marry noticed Picario was zoned out and in an almost trance like state. He was using his sensory magic. When his eyes came into greater focus she asked, “What are we dealing with?”

“Just one as far as I can tell but, something seems strange about them; I don’t know how to explain it though.”

“Well I suppose there is only one way for us to find out.”

Picario nodded and the two of them started walking towards the other person Picario sensed. It took them some time of just walking there because they were in no hurry to get to their opponent; especially given that the person was not moving at all from what Picario could tell.

They found the other person in the middle of the road at a four way intersection, just standing there with his arms crossed. He was slender and a little tall with red hair. His clothes looked normal and not much about him really stood out.

The man smiled when he saw the two of them and said, “Well well the final birdies show up at last.” His voice sounded American.

“You, you’re the Diablo, one of the top ranking players of our mansion,” Marry said.

The man bowed lightly and said, “Yes and now that both Leo and David Alaster are gone I will soon be the top player of our mansion for good. And today, after I deal with you two I will win this years God tournament.

“But I must congratulate you two for making it this far. I expected to see you here at the end, where is your third companion though; the other Alaster?”

Picario glared at the man and said, “Gone, fortunately for you.”

“Well I was hoping to finally have my chance at all three of you since in the other tournaments I was always, preoccupied with other contenders.”

“Your confidence is amusing but if you haven’t noticed we have been the top three players in the tournaments for the last several months now,” Picario said with a little spite.

The Diablo smiled and said, “Well now let us find out who is the strongest once and for all.”

Without warning the Diablo transformed into his Devil form. He rose to the height of the skyscrapers and was equal to twice there width. With an ear deafening roar the last battle to win the God tournament had begun.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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