Chapter 1857: Empty Shell (Part 1)
There would be no judgement until the final tribulation really started.
No success or failure until all conditions were met.
Are you telling me that not only is my brother a powerful Divine Beast but also a potential Guardian
Orpal gritted his teeth until his gums bled and clenched his fists until his claws pierced his skin.
Baba Yaga truly was cruel.
Everything that Night said only spread salt on Orpal\'s open wounds, making him cry in frustration.
During their long history, the Hogums had strengthened the arrays surrounding their house with each generation, turning it into a fortress.
Yet even a fortress would fall under a siege if its walls were left unprotected.
The Hogums had invested most of their wealth on the defensive arrays, certain that an intruder would be either kept out until reinforcements arrived or crushed by the magical formations if they managed to sneak inside the house.
The storm of arrays, spells, and Flames attacked the mansion in waves, each one draining the mana crystals that fueled the multi-layered magical barrier.
The Demons and the blackness prevented the servants from switching them with fresh ones, and soon the barrier fell.
One final burst of Void, Frozen, and True Flames destroyed the runes that formed the defensive arrays.
Now even new crystals would do nothing.
The magical formations were gone forever, centuries of hard work went down the drain.
The Tiamat roared as he ripped off the ceiling of the mansion, tearing apart the upper floors to reach the room from where his father\'s energy signature came.
A faint trace that was growing weaker by the second.
Dad! Hold on.
As long as there\'s a spark of life I-
It was then that Lith/Derek McCoy saw him.
The body of Raaz Verhen, lay on an oakwood table.
It was covered in his own blood and with no limbs, yet such a dreadful sight wasn\'t the reason Lith froze.
His shock was so great that the Call of the Void in the mansion disappeared, allowing Tista to see as well.
In Lith\'s/Derek\'s head, the oakwood table was the hospital bed.
The missing limbs were Carl\'s broken corpse that had been cobbled together to make it decent for his brother during the identification.
He was back on Earth, during the worst day of his life.
The Tiamat\'s knees buckled, his fall onto the ground followed by a weak quake as the scene became more similar to the one that had taken place almost twenty years ago.
His gigantic hand slowly moved toward Raaz, until Lith realized that he was trembling so much that a wrong move would cut his father asunder.
He didn\'t notice the black clouds assembling over his head nor the slow rumble that shook the ground below him.
Tista was blind and deaf as well, her body frozen in shock as the hate that coursed through the body of every Demon drove her insane.
All that Lith could hear was Derek\'s voice.
\'You tried to change, but it was pointless.\' His old voice said, full of scorn and spite.
\'You know it in your soul that this place is no different from Earth.\'
In a place similar to the Mindscape, Lith faced Derek while in the real world, Tiamat was frozen.
\'They will always hunt us.
Hurt us.\' Derek looked like an angry teen, before turning into an even angrier adult.
\'You tried to become this Lith and forget about me, coddled by the warmth of these people.
\'You forgot that we are just like space.
Empty, cold, and we kill everyone that comes close to us!\' Derek\'s clothes turned into those he wore the day Carl had died.
He stood still with his fists clenched and tears streaming from his eyes.
Yet not a hiccup came from his throat, just a primordial roar that had scared the nurses.
In the real world, seven rivers of tears, each of a different elemental color, ran down the Tiamat\'s eyes, mixing together in a white pool on the floor that made the red of Raaz\'s blood more evident.
Responding to his grief, the sky started to cry as well and rain came down.
\'You kept living your dream life, leaving me behind.\' His appearance changed again, turning into the one he had the night he had avenged his brother.
\'Too bad that without me, you are an empty shell.
A punching bag for our enemies.
\'A fool that puts chains on himself so that people like Hogum can pull your leash.\' Derek suddenly was covered in Chris\' blood, and then in his own.
\'It\'s time you break free of those shackles, to return to your true self.\'
Then, Derek disappeared, replaced by a humanoid Abomination with seven white eyes and an open maw.
\'I can avenge our father as I did with Carl.\' The Abomination grew in size and small cracks started to open on the Tiamat\'s body.
\'I can kill Hogum.
I can kill Orpal.
I can bring the entire Griffon Kingdom down to its knees, make it beg for mercy before killing everyone in the slowest and most painful way possible.\'
The cracks expanded, the blackness inside and outside Lith ran toward each other while the Void turned back into Chaos, running rampant throughout his body.
\'All you have to do, is to let me out!\' The Abomination\'s body had grown in size, matching the Tiamat.
Yet he stood still, his hand extended toward Lith.
Now, Lith could feel the call of Mogar and that of his own core.
The deep violet was coursing with light violet, begging him to remove the chains that restricted his mana core.
Yet once again Lith didn\'t know how.
He slowly raised his hand, thinking to have found the answer and the Abomination\'s grin grew wider until it went from ear to ear.
Then, he heard Tista\'s screams and saw his own madness reflected into her.
He witnessed the cracks that were destroying his body from within.
Most importantly, he could see Raaz\'s breath steaming in the cold that his fury generated.
He remembered Baba Yaga\'s words on the day of Solus\' birthday and finally made sense of them.
\'No.\' Lith pulled his hand back, staring at Derek with hatred.
\'What do you mean no Are you letting them get away with this How weak have you become\' The Abomination roared its fury but its size shrank as the balance changed.
\'No, I\'m not letting them get away with this, and no, I\'m not weak.
You are.\' Lith\'s voice was firm and his tone cold.
\'I remember who we were.
A wounded beast that spent his days licking his wounds just to bite them open over and over again and never let them heal.
\'We were a bloodthirsty monster, alone, with no one who cared whether we lived or died, ourselves included.
We existed solely for our revenge and once we achieved it, there was nothing left of us.
\'We were a hollow husk, waiting to die so we just pulled the trigger.\' Black scales covered Lith\'s body as five new eyes opened on his face.
\'You say that my new life made me weak, but it made me strong.
Without these people, I would have been no different from all those who reincarnated here before me.
Just another Abomination.\'
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