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541 Price Would Have To Be Paid!

    "You can't save what doesn't deserve to exists!"

    Miria, Maldonado, and Crimson Wolf swiftly turned towards the direction of the Cosmic Spark, their eyes constricting in disbelief.

    Ripples of grayish energy surged out, and through them, Extermination started emerging. He looked a bit weak and worn-out, but otherwise, he seemed fine.

    "You got to be joking with me!" Maldonado muttered.

    Just a minute ago, they had pushed Extermination into the outer space, far away from Earth, and yet, he was back!

    While an Alpha can survive in outer space, living there wasn't easy. Then there was the amount of time it would take one to return to Earth!

    But Extermination was different! He defied all logic!

    "He must have been fused with that supreme treasure!" Crimson Wolf said, his face serious. "While their bodies might be separated, they are one! So one can directly return to the other! Extermination is using that principle to emerge here!"

    Miria nodded.

    "We failed in our original plan, but we can't stop, not now!" She gripped the katana and rotated it in the air. "We have to stop him, but without destroying this world!"

    Circles of sword energy swept out, turning into a furious storm, emanating with her sharp will.

    BANG

    Like a meteorite, Miria shot through the storm, arriving before the ripples. Extermination was still emerging and she dragged the katana through the ripples, rampaging it with blinding essence.

    "You might be very strong, but your body is exhausted and so is your spirit!" She said coldly. "I refuse to believe you can continue to handle all of us!"

    A blurred slash swept through the sky and ground alike, encapsulating everything.

    In cities far away, people felt as if their bodies were sliced apart by this blurred slash. They broke out in cold sweat, their breathing heavy.

    Extermination stretched his hand forward to stop the katana, but the katana was too fast. It slashed through the air and space, and directly ripped on his chest.

    Crisp, loud cracking noise ringed out, and in response, Miria's body turned stiff.

    "No way!"

    She looked at the hand wielding the katana. The cracking noise was from her hand bones!

    She imagined the katana to cut through his bones, fracturing them like a bundle of straws... But even though the katana landed on his chest, it was her hand that was fracturing with crisp sound.

    His chest was fine except for a slash mark on his clothes!

    "Just how strong is his body to handle such an attack?!"

    What shocked her, even more, was the shock-impact her attack created. It damaged her bones instead of harming him.

    Her thoughts and the fracture occurred in a flash, and instead of losing her fighting spirit, she pressed the katana into his chest.

    A burst of sword winds swept forth from her, enveloping the grayish space with illusory swords, pulsing with stabbing aura.

    His gray skin tore apart, revealing his flesh, and as this happened, Extermination fully emerged. His stretched hand closed to her face.

    Before it could touch her, to his side, Maldonado appeared. He pointed a finger at Extermination.

    RUMBLE~

    Mountains erupted like divine spears, emitting majestic might. They stabbed at Extermination, but he didn't stop.

    "Bloody hell!"

    Miria retreated and pulled her katana back. The essence on her katana was corroded with grayness just like surrounding and she knew she couldn't handle direct contact with his hand.

    At the same time, Maldonado's face fell. After Extermination failed to grab Miria, he moved his hand towards Maldonado.

    There were layers of majestic mountains in between, but his hand passed right through them. As it passed, the mountains broke into gray shards, merging with the grayness.

    Maldonado jumped back, but before he could fully, the hand was on him. His body was covered with multiple shells of mountains to resist the grayness, but now, those shells also broke into shards.

    "No!"

    Maldonado twisted his body and narrowly escaped from his head being grabbed. The gray hand touched his right shoulder blade instead, and his pupils dilated in terror.

    He was a mid- Level VII Alpha with power to shock the world, but when the hand touched, his body started breaking into grayness.

    His body turned heavy and he felt himself becoming part of something extraordinary, something beautiful... the chaos!

    RIPPPP

    This feeling barely lasted a moment, and by then, Miria slashed the katana through his body, ripping away the part infected with grayness.

    "Snap out of it!"

    Crimson Wolf pulled Maldonado and backed off, their bodies vanishing in a puff of crimson smoke.

    The infected part collapsed on the gray ground. In seconds, it fully merged with the grayness, making the grayness expand.

    A few miles away, Maldonado snapped his teeth. He knew Miria cut his body to save him, but the pain of losing almost half his body was heart-wrenching. Thankfully, as an Alpha, his recovery ability kicked in, regenerating his missing part.

    He took out the flute and played it again, calming his mind.

    "Get ready!" Miria said as he transferred more power in her katana. "We can't stop!"

    Crimson Wolf nodded.

    Extermination turned in their direction and said, "You wish to exhaust me."

    Miria's eyes narrowed.

    Indeed, they had no delusion of defeating him, at least not in the present situation where they didn't wish to damage the world further by using their full strength. They already knew he was exhausted with barely any reserve of stamina left. So all they wanted was to make him use that stamina and end this.

    "Then I should use my remaining stamina for what truly matters."

    Extermination made a grasping motion, and simultaneously, the Cosmic Spark flew into his hand. Space began to twist and his aura exploded out, soaring to the sky.

    In Earth's orbit, the dust particles glowed with grayish energy, rapidly expanding in size.

    Miria's and others' faces went pale from alarm.

    "Dammit! He plans to use that treasure to summon enough power to materialize that asteroid attack again!" Crimson Wolf shouted. "Those bastards in the government won't take action! So if the asteroids land, more cities would be damaged!"

    "We need to stop him before the attack materialize!"

    Crimson Wolf cut through the sky and pounced on Extermination, his claws surging out with crimson power.

    Miria followed. Her katana slashed through the aura surging out of him, trying to break the connection with the dust in orbit.

    Maldonado lifted his hands and aimed at the sky. With an explosive crackling sound, enormous mountains crashed down, suppressing the grayish aura.

    Extermination raised his hand outward just as Crimson Wolf launched his attack.

    BOOOOM

    A terrifying explosion boomed out, unleashing massive impact force.

    *****

    Meanwhile, in Crystal Temple at Atlantis.

    Rhea felt the gray matter inside her turning stronger, resonating with the usage of the Cosmic Spark. Despite her best efforts, she wasn't able to stop the gray matter from devouring the origin of her life... her bloodline!

    "Argh!"

    Rhea coughed up grayish blood. Her body collapsed on the crystal throne. The gray matter swept out of her body, like ethereal smoke, sucking her body dry.

    BANG~!

    Just then, the door of the temple opened up. Poseidon charged in, his eyes filled with shock and terror at what he saw.

    "Holy Seer!"

    He gritted his teeth. Throwing caution to the wind, he lifted his trident and aimed in front. Filaments of pure energy streamed out and charged at the gray matter.

    But before they could make contact, the gray matter flew away as if completing its mission. It passed through the crystal walls and disappeared.

    Posideon didn't have time to bother about the gray matter any longer. He arrived before the crystal throne and bent down.

    "This can't be!"

    Posideon felt her lifeforce on the brink of disappearing. She was barely holding up.

    "It seems my end is near... isn't that a bit of an irony for a seer to not predict this?"

    Rhea asked as her eyes dimmed and the blue radiance around her dulled.

    Poseidon couldn't respond.

    As Rhea began to close her eyes and Poseidon give in to despair, a teenager dressed in royal attire rushed in. Her head was donned with a tiara, denoting her status as the princess.

    She was the daughter of Poseidon! The future of Atlantis!

    Melina!

    Looking at the dying figure of Holy Seer, her pure, innocent eyes flashed with firmness. She slashed her right palm and planted it on Rhea's forehead.

    "Don't tell me you plan to...!!"

    Poseidon was astonished.

    What Melina was doing would result in many important events. But that's a story for another day...

    *****

    The gray matter rushed out of the ocean water and flew into the sky, arriving in the outer space. Resonating with the energy fluctuations from the Cosmic Spark, it turned around and rushed towards the source.

    In the restaurant independent of space and time.

    "For everything one wants, one has to pay the price beforehand," Cosmic Emperor said. "This is the balance that ensures the existence of the cosmos."

    Instead of flowing towards Extermination, the gray matter rushed into the restaurant. Perhaps, if Extermination wasn't busy stopping Crimson Wolf, he might have noticed this strangeness.

    The bloodline power of Time surged through the gray matter. Cosmic Emperor grabbed this power and transferred it to the body of ethereal Hope.

    Her body started undergoing a strange development. The time on her body flew backward, approaching the instant where the other "Hope" died and she was nothing more than an ethereal existence.

    Her time in this world was over with her death. The only reason she was still able to exist was due to the constant interference of Cosmic Emperor.

    Now, as the power of Time injected into her, she turned completely life-like. The instability caused by something she lacked disappeared.

    Hope smiled at him before closing her eyes, falling into a deep smile.

    "We received what we wanted without giving the payment. The balance has been broken."

    Cosmic Emperor let out a sigh while sweeping a glance out. His vision passed through space, arriving directly on Atlantis.

    He noticed the state of the descendant of the Lords of Time. With a sigh, he retraced his vision and focused on Extermination.

    "Make no mistake, the price would need to be paid, that too with interest."

    Cosmic Emperor closed his eyes.

    "The Time would ensure that..."

    ****

    Dream Rise House.

    In the underground facility, Eva sat on the examination table while observing the visuals from the battle site. Despite not having any knowledge about Genesis or what exactly happened, she was sure Extermination was none other than Kiba. This was obvious to her since she knew Kiba has gone to kill the titan after Hope's death.

    "He has lost his sanity," Eva said bitterly. "How do we bring back the man we all liked?"

    She didn't want to see Kiba like that, lost in the madness. She wanted the cheerful him, the one who amused her with his dreams and actions.

    [[We can't.]] Claudia replied. [[No one on this planet is capable of that.]]

    Eva lowered her head in disappointment.

    [[But for better or worse, we do have the capable person here.]]

    "?!" Eva was startled.

    Claudia just said no one on the planet was capable of helping. So how could the person who can help Kiba be here?!

    As she thought this, around the table where Agatha was sleeping and the table where she was sitting, a glass wall emerged, like an impenetrable barrier.

    Eva was stunned. Before she could ask what Claudia was doing, the latter said: [[The wall would help but you also need to use your powers to shield yourself and Lady Agatha.]]

    "?!?"

    The lights in the lab dimmed down and an electromagnetic force field flashed on the outside of the lab entrance.

    RUMBLE~~

    Everything started shaking violently. It was like an explosive earthquake was passing through the underground facility, making everyone feel violent tremors.

    Eva was shocked. Through the transparent forcefield, she saw the gateway to Section IV slowly opening, emitting strands of violet energy.
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