Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Page 1591 -- CLXXI.

Chapter One Hundred Seventy-One: ‘The Lord of Darksteel...’
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The overwhelming sensation of emergence in that particular moment was not immediately helpful. If anything, it made matters worse, because the feeling took him by surprise while he was mid-swing with the Moon’s Wrath.

Which threw Hector off balance.

Instead of smashing cleanly through the wall of sludge in front of him, the mace stopped halfway and got stuck there. It had still managed to make an opening for him to launch himself through, which he did, but in doing so, the Moon’s Wrath slipped from his grasp and was swallowed by the amassing sludge.

Hector flew farther than he expected to, as well. His iron had launched him with much more strength than he’d intended it to, and he ended up hitting the wall on the far end of the chamber, though he did at least manage to catch himself on it instead of slamming into it face first.

He slid back down to the ground, armor scraping against rock, and turned around to observe the worm.

It had stopped chasing him, for the moment. It was perhaps impossible to know what the beast was thinking or feeling--assuming it could do either of those things--but Hector got the impression from the way it was sloshing up and down that it was quite pleased with itself.

Pleased with its prize.

It’s okay,’ Garovel was saying. ‘Don’t panic.

Hector wasn’t. As much as he might’ve liked to hold onto the Moon’s Wrath, losing it didn’t bother him terribly. Not now, at least.

Instead, he was already thinking about what he was going to do next. What he could do next.

Just before the emergence, there had been something he had wanted to try, something he had done a while ago but had yet to properly integrate into his fighting style. And now, well...

He was certain that he could get it to work.

A single iron cube appeared in orbit around him.

He added to it, doubling its mass. Tripling it. Quadrupling it. Increasing it still further, larger than anything he had yet tried to put in orbit. It became so big that he had to raise himself up on a platform so that the cube didn’t scrape against the ground.

Soon enough, it was the size of a car.

The worm, having concluded its little celebration, finally noticed him again and started sloshing toward him.

Hector ramped up the speed of the cube’s orbit. Faster. Faster. Still faster.

He added his soul to the boulder, though of course he knew that he couldn’t compete when it came to soul-strengthening. It was just for that little bit of extra oomph. Because really, he intended to make up for that difference in power with sheer physical force.

So he didn’t stop increasing its speed, even when the giant cube began whipping up a whirlwind around him, even when he could feel himself beginning to lose control of it. That was the ultimate goal, after all. He just had to focus and allow himself to lose control of it at just the right moment.

And he did.

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