Shirou had no trouble pin-pointing the exact location acting as the focal point to the Bounded Field that was erected around Jounan Academy. Athena called this magic formation a barrier, but he was more comfortable categorizing it with something equivalent with his own understanding.
In any case, the focal point of the bounded field led him once more to the large field behind Jounan Academy's gymnasium.
It was lunch break, and school was obviously still in session, but Shirou could see not a hair of any student nearby. It was almost as if they'd all just walked up and left. Considering the scale of the bounded field, it wasn't much of a stretch to conclude that it must have had warding properties to drive away anyone uninvolved.
Similar examples were abundant in his own world with magi driving away humans not because of their innocence, but to safekeep the secret of magecraft.
Was this the same?
He shook his head and decided to focus ahead while leaping onto the vantage point of a tall tree overlooking the field behind Jounan's gymnasium.
He materialized on a branch, his weight startling the birds and squirrels making a home in the large tree, but doing little else as the animals scurried away from him. The branch wobbled, but held firm while he bent his knees into a crouch and Traced his black bow in preparation to fire.
Peering down, he noticed several individuals in ordinary attire helping to set the boundary of the bounded field's perimeter by chanting some sort of ritualistic incantation. By the looks of it, they were magi? No, Athena called them sorcerers or magic users?
He grimaced, not allowing himself to fall into the pit that was conformity and assumption. He was new to this world, and he should take things with a grain of salt, and a handful of caution.
Perhaps Athena's presence had forced them to act or take drastic measures? It was only reasonable considering the number of perceived 'Heretic Gods' (He still didn't really consider himself one, and labeled himself as a Servant and Heroic Spirit) had shifted from just one to two in a span of a single encounter.
Following the energy pathways of the bounded field through his senses, his gaze soon settled on a bright ball of energy far larger than any sorcerer's. The comparison was odious like comparing a lake to an ocean.
Was this the Campione Athena had spoken of?
Th guy's energy pools were truly massive and comparable to even his own.
Shirou narrowed his eyes at the seemingly unassuming guy, but couldn't help but frown when he then noticed Erica beside him.
If this were before, he may have assumed Godou to be Erica's Servant in disguise, but this world was different and wasn't so simple to conform to the basis of a Grail War.
Impeccably, his mood took a turn for the worse.
When he considered that Erica and Godou were the ones who nearly harmed Arturia, it couldn't be helped that he was already scowling and debating whether he should just flat out attack them here. He had the perfect vantage point, and his foes knew next to nothing of his capabilities. Moreover, this bounded field removed any undesired variables such as innocent bystanders in the given area.
Technically, he was free to act here.
The problem was, his character wouldn't allow the attack. It was one thing if Godou and Erica appeared truly evil, but one look at Godou, and Shirou had heavy doubts as if he was looking at a figurative reflection of his past self in Homurahara Academy.
This was a Campione? Indeed, they did feel like Servants, but for Athena to accredit them as natural enemies of Heretic Gods, Shirou just didn't see it with Godou.
Godou appeared too innocent to be involved in a hidden society, too normal. The way he interacted with classmates, his earnest attitude, and even his favourability with his female classmates, not because he was a womanizer, but due to his character.
Someone like that truly didn't seem evil.
Moreover, from the way Godou and Erica acted with each other, it was almost like Shirou was looking at his past self and Rin Tohsaka quibbling.
Dammit. He put his bow down and dematerialized it.
He wasn't over the past offence, but he wouldn't allow it to sway his judgments.
If he was the type of person to truly hold a grudge, then there was no way he would have been able to work with the spearmen who had once stabbed him through the heart, or accept an older sister he'd never met who'd tried to kill him on their first encounter.
Irritated as he was, he still decided not to act on impulse.
Leaping from his perch, he sailed through the air and landed in a crouch directly in front of Erica and Godou before standing tall on his feet, his features a measured mask of calm.
"Eirca!" Godou called in warning.
Erica and Godou naturally tensed at Shirou's arrival, Erica taking a few steps back while Godou took a few steps forward to shield her. Godou's sudden seriousness and courage to stand against Shirou to protect a friend was strikingly familiar considering how much of a goof and pushover Godou could be against Erica's teasing.
Then again, wasn't he the same with Rin? He could take on a Servant without flinching, but would grow unnerved from one of Rin's wrathfully indignant smiles veiling the cold fury within.
Indeed, Godou really did remind him of himself.
Did this mean that Erica and Godou had a reason for their prior attack? Shirou could grudgingly hear them out despite his animosity with them.
"As expected, you were here again," Erica spoke up a tad nervously, her eyes darting, but her demeanor resolute. She predicted that this Heretic God would be around due to whatever fixation it had with Arturia Pendragon, but Athena's arrival changed everything.
Godou may have trouble dealing with one Heretic God, and couldn't risk combating two at once. One of the Heretic Gods had to be eliminated before they may seek cooperation, or God forbid, clash with each other and kill numerous innocents in collateral.
"What are your intentions?" Godou asked stiffly.
"Isn't that something I should be asking?" Shirou grumbled in response, keeping a careful eye on Godou or Erica for any sudden moves. "If you knew that I was around, then isn't setting up this kind of Bounded Field a provocation on your part?"
"It is?" Godou sounded painfully clueless, his eyes glancing at Erica who looked somewhat guilty.
"Mother Earth Goddesses are shrewder than most Gods of Steel, so this method of challenge is the best to draw just one of them out," Erica eventually admitted, doing her best to remain calm and unfettered, but giving her unease away from the colouration of her cheeks. She coughed. "This was a tactical decision, and all uninvolved bystanders have been vacated from the area, including many parts of Jounan. To the students around in lunch break, they'll just find themselves choosing to leave campus for fast-food elsewhere. Please don't worry, Godou. I'm acting in tandem and in compliance with Japan's History Compilation Committee locking the area down. This was a measured decision, and a committee member that also attends this school is on stand by to aid us if necessary."
Godou kept opening and closing his mouth in disbelief, and Shirou could practically hear what he was thinking.
'Why am I the only who didn't know about this?'
The thought was blatantly clear on Godou's features, and once again reminded Shirou of himself when Rin would settle matters in advance and only inform him later or if he somehow got involved.
"Take this as a challenge Godou," Erica mediated while Godou seemed depressed and reluctant. "You are a Campione, mankind's only defence against the Gods, and sad as it may sound, you are likely the weakest as the newest. You must temper yourself and consolidate your power, and being a pacifist won't help in your position."
"But I didn't sign up for any of this. I-I just went to visit Sardinia on my grandfather's behalf," Godou lamented.
Shirou's brow twitched as he listened in. Dragged into circumstances outside his own control? Why was he getting the strangest feeling of dejavu?
"I understand," Erica nodded in earnest, wiping away at fake tears. "If it's your wish to stand by while any Heretic God wreaks havoc and slaughter within the country or the world, then I as your woeful Knight will comply with your wishes."
Godou's eyes widened. "That's not what I meant!" He stressed, but a cough drew his attention back to Shirou.
"I'm going to leave," Shirou said flatly, much of his tension practically vanishing. All that really lingered was annoyance.
Neither Godou or Erica seemed to be the type of enemy he was expecting.
Erica a ruthless Master? Manipulative, yes, but her character was strikingly similar to Rin's and his old friend Issei considered Rin a two-faced witch.
Godou? He was practically someone innocent dragged into something in over his head.
Shirou was done. Barring his dislike for the two's prior actions, it wasn't to the point of murder. Arturia was safe, and he could think of the encounter as her first real experience with the dangers of the supernatural.
He was obviously being lenient here in consideration from his own observations on Erica and Godou. It would have been different if Erica or Godou had had the motive to actually kill Arturia, but over the course of the morning classes, he'd seen both Erica and Godou shooting concerned looks Arturia's way. This alleviated some of his anger towards them, as it was evident that they didn't have the intention to actually harm Arturia.
Still, it wasn't as if he was just going to let them off scot-free. His armoury was chalked full with harmless curses and items of bad luck. It wouldn't kill them, but they'd have to endure misery for as long as it takes Arturia's mental state to recover.
He was going to get even, one way or another.
Shirou walking away was the same as giving Godou and Erica a second chance, but the conversation evidently wasn't done.
"Wait!" Erica boldly called out. "We can't just let you leave!" She insisted, shooting Godou a look to help, and causing Godou to scratch the back of his head in inaction.
"Why?" Shirou paused and regarded Erica sternly.
She flinched, but continued on anyway. "Your presence itself is a danger not only to Japan, but to mankind," she reasoned. "No Heretic God left alone has ever led to a positive conclusion."
Shirou was stunned. Him, a danger? On some level, he could relate to what was being said due to the Curse of Madness Athena had described to him, but he'd never felt any different since the moment of his summoning.
Obviously, he wouldn't try to reason with this, as there was no way he would be believed given the circumstances. Therefore, he'd try a different approach.
He scoffed. "I assure you that I am no such danger to any innocent, and am in complete control of myself."
Erica was skeptical, but Shirou could see Godou subconsciously relaxing. The guy really was good natured. It almost made it hard to believe that the boar may or may not have been summoned by him.
Under Erica's stare, Shirou gestured at Godou with good reason.
"You accuse me of causing peril to humanity through my 'descent' and yet are Campione not equally as dangerous? All this power in the hands of a single mortal, don't tell me that all of them are just and honourable?" he reasoned.
A strange look flickered across Erica's features as several accounts came to mind at the point. Meanwhile, Godou actually seemed even less willing to fight considering how logical Shirou was being.
"I'll have you know, but I have no deigns with causing anyone harm unless provoked or forced," Shirou insisted with a frown as if the thought of killing innocents appalled him. "Moreover, it takes a lot to truly anger me as an Ally of Justice."
Here he spoke in all confidence, possessing the heroic bearings of the heroes spoken of in legend rather than forsaking it in a Curse of Madness.
Godou perked up.
Look at that, a reasonable Heretic God, and for once, Godou appeared hopeful.
"Erica…?" Godou began slowly. He was more of a pacifist than anything, unwilling to start battles unless truly necessary. However, Erica was the one more experienced with the magical society side of humanity, so it was better for her to make the call.
Erica was biting the nail of her thumb, thoughts in constant turmoil and doubt. The earlier guilt from seeing Arturia's expression caused by the mistake she made weighed deeply on her. Arturia truly had just been a normal civilian, and by rushing to assumptions, Erica had wronged her newest classmate.
What if this new Heretic God really was different from others? It was already a plus, that he wasn't attacking needlessly or sought to bring anyone harm.
Perhaps, it was better not to act on ingrained assumptions this time? Although she was considering the kind of Authority Godou could gain by defeating Shirou, power wasn't everything. She understood Godou's personality well, and it was one of his good points that drew her to him.
She glanced at Godou, and immediately saw him giving her a pleading look.
She pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed helplessly.
Ah, forget it.
"Assuming that we believe you, would you be willing to answer a few questions?" Erica relented in exasperation, causing Godou's shoulders to slump in relief and Shirou to regard her in a better light and nod.
"I'll answer what I can," Shirou said cordially. His information in this new world was still limited to what Athena had told him, and Athena may have even had a biased opinions so perhaps he could gleam a few things from this conversation.
However, the first question already delt a blow to his level of amicability.
"If we are to believe that you are not a danger to society, then what fixation do you have on Ms. Pendragon?" Erica went right to the point on this one.
Shirou's eyes narrowed, considering whether he should be truthful on the matter or not, but instantly leaning towards the latter option. If it was discovered that Arturia was his Master and leverage over both him and Athena, there was no way the world's magical societies wouldn't take a vested interest in her.
"You can ask anything else of me, but you should drop this matter here," he leveled a warning, and took a hard stance.
Who would have known that this one action would end all civility?
Godou grew uncharacteristically serious. Even if it meant aggravating Shirou, he wouldn't just sacrifice his new classmate as a tribute to appease whatever motive Shirou had. It sounded barbaric even to him.
Shirou opened and closed his hands into fists as he noticed the change. He could understand where Godou was coming from, but it didn't change the response.
"Leave this matter alone," he stressed coldly. "Don't push it."
"Will you not just leave Arturia alone?" The dynamic between Godou and Erica suddenly shifted with Godou taking the initiative to press further. "She's innocent and has nothing to do with anything. She should be able to live a life she enjoys, not influenced by things outside her own hands."
You are a good man, Godou, Shirou couldn't help but compliment inwardly, but it meant nothing else.
He turned his attention away from Godou and onto Erica.
"Suppose that I do distance myself from Ms. Pendragon, I assume that she would still not be let off?"
As he spoke, the air was steadily growing saturated with the divine might of Authority, the origin of all magic and supernatural anomaly in this world.
Erica made a regretful face, but she dared not lie with something like this, especially when Godou flashed her a look. A feeling of helplessness assailed her.
"You'd be correct, esteemed God," Erica didn't beat around the bush here, and directly began to elaborate. "After careful consideration and observation, it has come to the conclusion that there might be 'something' about Ms. Pendragon that attracts Heretic Gods. Even after altering her memories of the supernatural, it would be better to take her into custody for her own safety. If she truly does have this property, then she can't live a normal life as her presence alone may bring about calamity."
"You would seal her away?"
"The choice wouldn't be mine, but in Japan's magic society," Erica went on to elaborate further. "It's quite likely though. The knowledge of a human able to attract Heretic Gods would fall under the vested interest of at least one of the most infamous Campiones in the world."
"I see," Shirou murmured in a low tone.
Reasonable as Erica's answer was, the answer was a mistake because no matter what…It was the wrong thing to admit.
He grew angered at the thought of this Arturia's carefree and smiling face replaced by the weight of factors outside her own control. Her face would be haggard, her eyes paranoid from the risk she posed to those around her.
He couldn't accept that.
Bronze-eyes hardened into a steely grey.
"This knowledge of Arturia," he began ever so seriously. "I assume it's not wide spread."
Erica suddenly flinched in realization, a shiver traveling down the base of her neck and causing tingles to run up and down her body. Godou in comparison was still slow to catch on.
Shirou who'd been staring attentively at Erica the whole time all but verified his conclusion upon noticing Erica's change in demeanor.
Athena had just arrived, and considering that this Bounded Field was made to just attract him rather than Athena, it was likely that Athena's arrival hadn't been linked with Arturia yet.
Only Erica and Godou would have been able to see Athena interacting and protecting Arturia within Jounan Academy's classroom.
All other information could be chalked up to two Heretic Gods appearing in Jounan Academy due to the presence of a Campione, thereby eliminating any suspicion on Arturia.
Its unfortunate, but there weren't many things Shirou couldn't bring himself to do if it was for the sake of Arturia, look alike or not.
He'd tried being civil, but now the situation had reached towards his bottom line. Of course, if he could just unsummon himself and let this Arturia live a normal life, he would have had no complaints, but now he feared that with his passing, she would have to fend for herself against the machinations of this world's magical societies. If they were anything like the Moonlit World's Association, then he couldn't allow it. For the sake of Arturia future, he would fight, even if this Arturia wasn't his own.
Related or unrelated, it didn't matter as it wouldn't hinder the depth of his emotion.
This was what love was, inexplicable, and at times unreasonable.
A happy and carefree life was all that he wanted for his present Master, and if that meant silencing information regarding her, then he could be as efficient as any vaunted Assassin.
He would fight for this Arturia, just as his Saber had once fought for him.
Tensions rose, and suddenly, Erica backed a distance away upon sensing Shirou's change.
Immediately, Erica summoned a crossguard sword. "Godou, it seems that we've passed the point of discussion," she warned rightly.
After all, a large confluence of magical energy funneled into Shirou and erupted from around him like a pillar, parting the clouds above and suffocating the area with a heavy pressure of subjugation from a higher being.
A message was then conveyed through the link in Shirou's soul.
-Master, engaging the enemy.
Arturia perked up as the faintest whisper of Shirou's voice resounded in her mind. The problem was, when she tried to respond back, she didn't know how to cast her thoughts over long distances. Her efforts made her look like she suffering brain freeze with her palms rubbing over her temples as if conduits to convey her message across.
A sigh echoed from beside her, shifting her attention to Athena who had put away an empty lunch box and was idly staring off in the direction of Jounan Academy's gymnasium.
"What?" Arturia called to Athena nervously. "What's happening?"
Athena glanced to Arturia, then glanced back in the gymnasium's direction. Arturia followed Athena's gaze, but couldn't see anything wrong. The skies were idyllic up on the school roof, and students were milling outside campus. The field behind the gymnasium was also empty.
Arturia couldn't see it, but a battle had already begun and was obscured by the borrowed Authority derived from the magic circle inscribed in the area. Athena however was different. Her Divine Sense could see through most illusions or befuddlements.
"Hey, what's happening?" Arturia gently nudged Athena at her continued stoicism.
Athena glanced down at Arturia's hand gently nudging her shoulder, and found that she wasn't repulsed by this human's touch. How odd, considering that she'd never allow any simple human to touch her without permission without feeling displeased.
"A battle has started, between your 'Servant' and his natural enemy," Athena answered cordially, a ring of azure light glowing around each of her pupils while staring off into the field.
Arturia stiffened at the answer, drawing her hand back and inwardly growing anxious. "Is Shirou going to be alright? He'll be back, right? By battle, its like just a spar, right?" She pursed her lips and clasped her fingers together almost like she was praying.
In response, Athena turned to stare at Arturia.
"What do you think combat is? A simple match and then its all over?" Athena scoffed, a sinking feeling welling up from Arturia's chest as she turned her gaze onto her feet.
Arturia had never felt this powerless before. Ordinarily, she'd be the first to come to the aid of her friends, but she knew that she'd only be a burden. "I was just hoping that Shirou doesn't get hurt," she mumbled.
Athena shook her head. "That's not how it works between natural enemies," she reasoned. "Either Shirou dies, or the opponent dies, that's how I picture things will turn out."
Arturia's eyes dilated in shock and alarm. "Shirou's going to k-kill someone? No, he shouldn't have to go that far."
Arturia was using the world's common principles to judge whether an action was right or wrong, but to Athena, it was just a trivial matter. People had been killed for less in the age of the ancients.
"Its what I would do," Athena shrugged, unwilling to euphemism the statement in any way. "It's never wise to keep unwanted variables around, or problems unsettled. Killing them, is always the best answer."
Arturia's brows creased in consternation, suddenly realizing that Athena could be far more dangerous than what her harmless appearance indicated.
"Why kill?" Arturia asked, troubled at Athena's ruthlessness.
"Doth thou not understand?" Athena bugged out, reverting to her original dialect in her incredulity.
Based on the solemness on Arturia's features, she was being dead serious with that question.
Athena no longer bothered with her new Master's naivety and scornfully clicked her tongue while giving Arturia the cold shoulder. If not for the Master and Servant pact that seemed able to ward away the Curse of Madness, she would have never tethered herself to a human. Moreover, her priority was just keeping Arturia safe, lest that Monster of Steel fall victim to the curse and destroy everything.
With Athena giving Arturia the cold shoulder, Arturia's lip quivered as she understood that Athena was nothing like her Shirou. She knit her brows and understood that if she wanted answers, something would have to be given in exchange.
Her gaze shifted from one of her boxed lunches, then back to Athena, and suddenly it was like she was being knifed.
J-Just one. You can sacrifice just one more. F-For Shirou's sake.
One of Arturia's arms extended a boxed lunch forward while trembling as the other viciously grabbed at the extended arm's forearm as if it was committing sacrilege. In the end, she reluctantly offered one of her remaining lunch boxes, causing one of Athena's eyes to narrow on it once the smell wafted up to her nose.
Athena subconsciously wet her lips, saliva glistening.
"This…tribute." The lunch box was snatched from Arturia's hands faster than she could react to it, making her appear despondent that she could no longer retract the offer. "I will accept it."
"You wished for me elaborate on why I'd kill, yes?" Athena separated her chopsticks and began practically sucking up the bento's contents while speaking in between.
Arturia slowly nodded in response, and this time, Athena indulged her.
"Humans revere Gods and in turn, Gods grant their providence by bestowing Authority or magic for humans to use. This is the earliest form of contract, but later the existence of grimoires, tomes, and ancient relics bypassed the old ways and created a back door for humans to use a God's Authority." Athena pointed with her chopsticks in a lecturing pose. However, a grain of rice was stuck to Athena's cheek that she didn't seem to notice, ruining the image she was going for all together.
"Man creates legend, twisting the myth of Gods and distorting their origin."
Arturia listened raptly, trying to associated how the history of Gods and humans led to the conclusion of why Shirou would have to kill.
"Man, envies Gods, and Prometheus propagates man's arrogance."
Athena's features flashed with murderous intent, as she recalled the story of her own pantheon.
"Pandora pities Man," Athena spat the name out with venom. "Man, now bites the hand that fed them. God Slayers- Campione are born, usurping the authorities of every God they defeat."
Here, Athena scrutinized Arturia, Divine aura locking down on Arturia and causing her to squirm.
"Tell me, human," Athena whispered. "Would thou really keep an enemy alive, knowing that they're trying to kill you to satiate their own greed for thine power and Authorities? That is the kind of people Pandora adores most, favouring only those who have slayed a God, knowing that they'd likely slay others and amass their power. This is why it's never wrong to kill them."
Arturia trembled at the pressure Athena was releasing, yet as quickly as the pressure came, it vanished.
"Doth though know another name for Campione?" Athena asked softly while Arturia slowly shook her head.
The title was spoken with impact, carrying a weight that caused even Athena to shudder.
"They are Paragons of mankind that no mortal laws could ever hope to bind, and in some aspects are worse for your human society than Shirou or myself could ever be."
Arturia listened, felt the gravity of the matter, and then threw Athena off completely by focusing on a different issue all together.
"A-And we're leaving Shirou alone to handle a Devil King by himself?"
Arturia trembled, physically pained at the thought of Shirou dying, as if it were only natural that she be the one acting as his sword and fighting off his enemies. The feeling was difficult to explain.
'I am your sword,'
Inexplicable words echoed in her mind, causing her to resolve herself.
Arturia obviously knew that she'd be a hindrance to Shirou on her own, but Arturia had always been quick witted and battle smart. She may not be of much help, but where she went, someone tasked with protecting her would have to follow.
Athena's brow twitched while observing the minute changes in Arturia's features, knowing full well what Arturia was thinking in her infinite wisdom and not liking it.
Ah, how bothersome.
Athena looked from the bento she'd just taken as tribute, and then to Arturia running off to Jounan Academy's gymnasium.
This exchange of information hadn't been worth it.
Athena continence soured.
The sound of rushing wind echoed in the expanse of the field, uprooting grass and blowing up a storm of loose dirt and debris.
-[Fergus is a God of Steel known for his strength and anger when provoked. The nature of his legend denotes him as a King, a warrior, a womanizer, and a stalwart leader with ties to the Welsh mythos. His sword, Caladbolg is often associated with Britain's sword of the victorious and its sister blade.]
Godou gritted his teeth, his arms raising up to guard against the ensuing storm erupting from the Heretic God before him. It was like Italy all over again, but at least this time, he and Erica came prepared.
In his mind was all the knowledge Erica had imparted to him prior regarding the legend of Fergus Mac Roich. It would be his means to cut apart this Heretic God's Authority using the Warrior Avatar of the Persian War God, Verethragna.
Now, all that he had to do was wait for that sword to come, and use the chance to defeat his enemy while his opponent's guard was down.
A roar echoed out from a clap of thunder up high, lightning shooting down and illuminating the steely grew of Shirou's gaze.
Here he comes.
Godou cast aside his reservations, his nervousness, and his doubts to focus on the moment before him.
The strength of his Authority burst into life, the Ten Avatars of Verethragna cycling through an internal rotation within him just as he was forced to block a sudden punch.
Shirou was right in front of him.
Godou observed in the calm sanctity of his mind while his cross-armed guard took the blow. Then the impact set in, blowing him away as circuit-like patterns flashed over his opponent's body.
What Authority is that?
-[As a God of Steel, Fergus possesses the traits of Steel. His body will not be easily cut, his strength can shatter mountains, and his speed could outpace the laws of physics]
The thought resonated in Godou's mind as a ring of air born from breaking the sound barrier was left in his wake, smashing him into the ground and cratering it.
A dark bruise formed over his forearms, a dull aching in his joints, but he didn't have the luxury to check over himself.
He shot up into a guarded position, waiting for the enemy to press the attack only to find the enemy just standing there with a punch still outstretched.
Godou's keen eyes couldn't help but notice a detail that caused a shudder to travel down his spine. Rather than fighting, it was almost like this Heretic God was testing himself and the limits of what he was presently capable of.
How strong could this Heretic God be?
Nonetheless, one thing was clear as Shirou appeared in front of Godou again:
The level of this Heretic God's strength and ability, Godou could match it blow for blow.
The inner wheel of his Avatars cycled through his will.
'For I am strongest amongst the strong! Truly, I am one that holds each and every victory. I care not whom challenges me, whether man or devil; I may face all my foes and all my enemies! Regardless, I shall crush all those who wouldst stand in my way!'
He met the Heretic God head on, the Avatar of sharp horns activating from within him as he forced the enemy to lock arms.
"'O' mighty bull that possesseth the horns of shining gold, grant me your aid!"
Unbelievable strength welled up at his core.
The Avatar of the Bull would raise his base strength against super human enemies to match their level in an equal bout.
"Ghra!" Veins popped over his skin, his teeth gritting while he faced off against the Heretic God before him who looked somewhat surprised at his resistance.
"For what it's worth, I don't really think of you as an enemy," the Heretic God spoke cordially. "However, I must do what I must for her sake. Your strength and durability are great, but it has no direction."
Godou's eyes widened when he found his feet kicked in, leaving him at the mercy of his opponent's grip who hurled him high into the air.
"Godou!" Erica called out in concern, jumping on platforms of magical energy while trying to reach him, but to no avail. He was too high.
"Survive this if you can," The Heretic God produced a black bow, eyes trained on Godou's descending form in the sky while notching an 'arrow.'
Meanwhile, Godou forced his eyes to remain open in the turbulent winds.
That sword had finally appeared. Resembling a drill more than any conventional blade, it was notched onto the black bow and aimed in his direction.
C'mon. Now's the time.
Godou forcibly stabilized his mind.
The Warrior Avatar shone radiantly as its cycle came to a stop, the spell words of power and severing taking root.
'Both eloquent and powerful! I am the sword of wisdom, that which tears foes apart!'
He inwardly incanted the first line, golden swords hovering from all around him and creating a descending world of aura.
'I am the strongest, for I am the one holding all victory in my hands! I shall smash through all enemies in my way!'
The swords formed a circle, pointing down towards the fired projectile.
"Fergus is a Warrior King of the Ulster Cycle, his sword able to cleave three hills with a single swing, but this is wrong. That sword is not a sword of cleaving, but of eruption! Its power is similar to that of the sun, violent energies exploding forth with rage, twisting and bending!"
The golden swords showered down like rain, the violent energies surrounding the Heretic God's projectile eaten away with each sword it made contact with until even the energy propelling it was extinguished.
The Heretic God's expression widened in alarm, but Godou was waiting for this moment since the beginning.
The trajectories lined impeccably.
The gymnasium stood behind the Heretic God.
The prerequisites were set.
"The bearer of sharp tusks! Killing with one stroke, trampling foes to dust!"
Verethragna's Avatar of the raging Boar was unleashed, a massive black portal forming above Godou's head as he flailed his arms down in a throwing motion.
"The Boar shall ravage you! The Boar shall exterminate you!"
A gutter roar reverberated before a massive boar with a flaming mane charged through the air, locking onto the enemy's position in its path. Gravity and Divine Might formed a veritable missile.
Godou could have never seen it then from his position up high, but Erica was different.
Two words sounded in the chaos, and Erica stumbled.
T-That's not Fergus.
"Protector of the walls; champion of the Trojans; defender of the army, this spear shines peerless!"
Spell words of power and Authority echoed out while an immaculate spear appeared in the Heretic God's hand, prepped to be thrown in wake of the boar's charge.
"It won't fall apart, break down, nor bend! My spear pierces through everything!"
The power of laws encompassed the spear, bending words into truth; an uncanny Divine Authority spreading out and causing even Athena to perk up in familiarity; for this spear belonged to her own pantheon.
The spear was thrown, a trail of divine fire left in its wake.
"Scatter them all, Durindana!"
The spear's peerless sharpness bored right through the Boar's body and out the other end in an instant.
Erica's complexion paled whiter and whiter at the unexpected development.
"G-Godou!" She called in alarm and terrible concern.
W-Where did it all go wrong?
The Warrior's swords crumpled like wet paper, ineffective against an entirely different Authority.
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