God of the End - Volume 1
God of the End - Volume 1 | Chapter 1.1: King of Idiots I
Chapter 1.1: King of Idiots I
“You ready to kick some butt, Keith?” Rex stood confidently with a smirk on his face, as he gazed upon the chaos before us.
Rex was wearing his usual punkish attire with his signature black leather jacket and his sword still sheathed and strapped on his back. A black diamond pendant with a gold chain proudly hung from his neck. Rex considers the necklace to be his lucky charm, and he would often always attach a gold chain on his waist to compliment the… ‘aesthetic’ as he puts it.
The sounds of blades clashing and explosions detonating erupted in the background. Demigod soldiers battling one another, each fighting for which god they devote their prayers to. People fled in a frenzy, attempting to escape the carnage behind them. It’s a horrific scene, but not an uncommon one in Deus.
Combat and bloodshed. Schemes and conspiracies. Gods resort to such methods to gain what they seek. Whether their desires are virtuous or malicious, it is inevitable that the innocent civilians, whom the gods ‘love’, pay the price.
“So, what are we dealing with?” I asked Rex. I clutched my bow tightly in my hand.
Honestly, I was both nervous and terrified. It has only been a month since Rex recruited me to serve as his retainer. This was my first real battle. I was no longer sparring against training dummies or sniping pieces of fruit from afar. Every action made at every second could lead to my death or someone else’s. The prospect made me break out in a cold sweat, as my hands began trembling.
“A couple of greedy minor gods devoted themselves to another of the Dei Consentes.” Rex turned his gaze towards me. “Now they’re trying to take over some of Dad’s territory as a sort of offering to this god they’re now serving. You know, to start off their new life in this other kingdom on a good note.”
“But, why did they betray Quetzalcoatl?”
“If I had to take a guess, they got offered something a little higher in the social ladder. Probably just a small step up from what they have now. That’s typically all that it takes to win over these losers anyway.”
“Which of the other Dei Consentes do you think is responsible for this?”
“Could be any one of them,” Rex placed his arm over my shoulder. “But does that really matter, dude? All Dad ordered us to do is beat up the jerkwad leading this coup.”
Rex sneered. I tried to smile back, but the pressure of the situation made my expression die down instantly.
“C’mon, Keith,” Rex said, trying to cheer me up. “You’ll be fine. You’re an amazing archer, dude. As long as we got each other’s back, we’ll probably come out of this battle unscathed.”
“Speaking of, where did the other two run off to?”
Besides me, Rex also had two other retainers who have been serving him for much longer than I have. While I’m good friends with them, one is a vulgar skirt-chaser while the other is a melancholic recluse.
“They already went on ahead without us.” Rex took his arm away and rubbed his chin, contemplating in thought. “The Ape was itching for a good fight. So, he ran off to beat up as many enemy demigods as he can. As for The Edgelord, he disappeared as soon as I took my eyes off him. Nothing new there, he’ll probably show up again whenever he feels like it.”
“They’ll be alright. I’m more concerned for the demigods who’ll face them.”
Rex snickered at my comment. He smiled innocently, despite his ‘bad boy’ image. “They’ve probably taken down dozens of them by now. We can’t lose to them, right? So, you finally ready to head into battle, Keith?”
With a gentle smile, I nodded. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
“Then let’s go take down this bastard!”
Rex, with his usual cheerful smile, briefly patted me on the back. He then proceeded to wildly rush headfirst into the battlefield ahead. I followed after him so as to not get left behind.
“So, where’s their leader?” I asked, as I caught up to Rex.
“He’s holed up in City Hall. Couldn’t care less who’s leading these idiots, but the scouts said he should be a piece of cake for us.”
The pandemonium scattered corpses of fallen demigod soldiers from both sides across the street, alongside their weapons and debris. It would be indiscernible which god they fought for, if it weren’t for the emblem of Quetzalcoatl being crudely ripped off of the defected demigods’ uniforms.
However, despite the battle occurring, the metropolitan city of Aztlan remained as beautiful as ever, there was still a semblance of the wealthy city despite its current state. It was just yesterday we four were hanging out in this part of Aztlan because of how near it was to one of the biggest malls in the city.
Thankfully, Rex and the demigod soldiers were handling this raid fairly well. There hasn’t been that much destruction upon the surrounding infrastructure. Due to the swift evacuation of all the people nearby, there haven’t been many civilian deaths either.
Quetzalcoatl is used to these kinds of attacks. Compared to all of the battles in the past month alone, this assault is pretty minor. How long would it take this time to finish all the needed repairs and get things back to normal, a week? Two?
Rex’s father, Lord Aurelius, is already pretty annoyed. From my past experiences with him, he had quite the temper. If he finds out that one of his city’s busiest areas has been destroyed, he will definitely throw a tantrum, creating an earthquake that would cause even more devastation than the assault itself.
As we ran across the battlefield, all the enemy demigods we’ve spotted were being swiftly dealt with by Lord Aurelius’ soldiers. We weren't only attacking them; we were slaughtering them. Not even those on the enemy’s side those who tried to flee nor surrender were spared, a scene that caused Rex to grimace.
“Dad’s soldiers get the job done real quick,” Rex said. Despite having his sword still sheathed in its scabbard, he was attentively looking around for any enemies that could target us. “Can’t even leave us with some of the fun.”
“That’s not something you should wish for,” I replied, with a nervous giggle.
“But I really want to test out my fighting skills,” Rex whined. “I’ve been practicing my cool poses and catch phrases ever since I screwed them up last time.”
“I have never actually seen them before. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Dude, you have been missing out. Good thing you’re done with training, you can finally join us in these battles now, and you get to see me live in action.”
I just smiled back and gave him the response he wanted. As Rex was about to make another… over-confident remark, an arrow flew past Rex’s head, barely grazing his cheek.
Instantly, we looked ahead to where the arrow came from. There, we found a lone archer peeking from the remains of a luxury sportscar. Nothing about him was notable, to be honest. He wore the standard brown uniform of soldiers serving Quetzalcoatl. However, like the other demigods that defected, the emblem representing the Nation of Earth was torn off.
“Dammit.” Rex wiped the blood with his thumb. “This better not scar.”
“Are you alright?” I asked Rex.
“Yeah, I’m fine, Keith. But this a-hole won’t be after I pay him back tenfold for injuring my handsome face!”
The archer snickered at Rex’s comment. “Oh, we’ll do much worse, godling.”
The enemy demigod pulled out a small brass whistle from his pocket and blew on it. The whistle let out a shrill, irritating sound. In response, a horde of soldiers burst forth from the nearby buildings, encircling us in the intersection.
“An ambush, really?” Rex looked bored. “How original, guys.”
“I don’t think now’s the time to comment on their battle tactics.” I anxiously clenched an arrow from my quiver, readying myself for the battle that will inevitably follow. “So, what’s the plan?”
“Just take down as many enemies you can.”
Rex unsheathed his sword from its leather scabbard. The hilt was black like the night sky. Gold accents shone along its length. Reflecting a warm glow from the sun’s rays, the silver blade glistened in the daylight, as Rex pointed it to the enemies in front of him. Meanwhile, I grabbed the arrow I was holding and faced the defectors behind us with my bow in hand.
“How are we doing this, guys?” Rex smirked, as he taunted the demigods to attack. “One by one? Or maybe all at once? Either way, you’re all no match for me, let alone the two of us together.”
Our enemies didn’t take Rex’s comment lightly. Some scowled while others voiced their irritations and jeered. I could hear whispering amongst members of their ranks, probably plotting their next move. However, I knew that as long as Rex is fighting by my side, we could take all of them on.
“You talk a big game, godling,” the enemy archer proclaimed from the crowd. “But you’re all bark and no bite!”
A dozen ambushers leaped forward from the crowd in all directions, weapons in hand. We were cornered in the middle of the intersection with no way of escape. However, Rex was a scion of the Aurelius family, who have served as Aztlan’s guardian deities. They have been the God of Earth’s most loyal confidants for millennia. I know he can defeat them all on.
“Time to crush these losers.” Rex rested his sword on his shoulder.
I readied my bow and took a deep breath as I waited for Rex to make his move. However, even as our enemies drew closer by the second, Rex never bothered to enter into a fighting stance. It was finally when the demigods got dangerously close, when Rex plunged his sword into the concrete.
I felt a slight tremor in the ground. Seconds later, the earth shifted and sprung forth pillars of rock, sending the enemy demigods flying back. Rex’s attack knocked many unconscious and dazed the rest. However, it only took them mere seconds to snap out of it.
“Who’s next?” Rex removed his sword from the ground and taunted the enemy demigods. “Doesn’t matter to me, you’re all going down anyway.”
Our assaulters responded with divine attacks of their own. However, their betrayal of Quetzalcoatl greatly affected their earth divinity. Not a lot of people from the Nation of Earth would worship these demigods after their favoring of another deity. The most they could do now was form stone bullets made from the nearby debris and fire them at us.
With a swift slash using his sword, Rex knocked back the stone bullets back to their casters. Some demigods dodged at the last minute, while others couldn’t. A normal bullet attack would kill those unfortunate enough to get hit, but they were only strong enough to render them unconscious. Rex must’ve reduced their power when he countered them.
“C’mon guys,” Rex said, pleased with how the battle is proceeding. “Don’t you have a better challenge for me? I’ve fought training dummies with stronger attacks than you.”
There was but a mere fraction of enemy demigods left. Most of them were skeptical about continuing the fight. Some already dropped their weapons and fled. The commander was shaking. He looked around the battlefield with his eyes wide open. Sweat ran down his forehead.
In sheer frustration, the commander screeched at his soldiers. “Dammit, we still got numbers on our side, you cowards! Remember, if we’re successful, they’re going to make us gods. Now, stand your ground and kill them!”
All at once, the remaining enemy demigods charged at us, wielding their weapons with reckless abandon. Some had tears in their eyes, knowing full well their slim chance of winning. Instead of giving up, they drowned out their anxieties and doubts with a deafening battle cry. As they drew closer to the center of the intersection, Rex and I nodded at each other.
“It’s showtime,” Rex jeered.
The first demigod to reach us swung his claymore at Rex. However, Rex effortlessly blocked using a single hand. Coating his blade in a thick layer of rock, he bashed his sword against the side of the soldier’s head. He did the same to the next one that tried to attack him.
“Is this all you’ve got?” Rex’s fighting style was as wild and rambunctious as his personality, swinging his sword at his opponents like a feral beast. “You’re going to make me yawn.”
Meanwhile, an enemy demigod attempted to flatten me with his war hammer. I jumped back and lodged a sharp arrow in his leg in response. The soldier knelt over in pain.
“Now’s my chance,” I said to myself. “Remember, just like Rex taught you.”
I rushed in and gave the injured soldier a swift knee to the jaw. As the soldier fell to the ground, I took out some arrows and shot them rapidly towards the hoard of incoming enemies, incapacitating those shot.
“Whoa.” I could feel Rex staring in awe behind me. “You’re for real one of the best archers I know.”
One by one, Rex and I took down the enemy demigods in rapid succession. We were careful to not kill any of them. According to Rex, we were given the orders to quash the assault on Aztlan, as we saw fit on the condition that we kept the damage to the city to a minimum. This included whether or not we kill those involved in the attack itself.
However, we both knew Lord Aurelius’ soldiers would kill, regardless of whether we were going to. They viewed the defectors as heretics who must be brought divine retribution for their crimes towards the God of Earth. Most likely, we four were the only ones actively avoiding lethal force. “These men and women we’re defending our city against are just like the rest of us, tenaciously fighting tooth and nail all for the sake of their ambitions.” I remembered Rex making his speech to Lord Aurelius’ soldiers before we began the counterattack. “We won’t disrespect their hopes and aspirations by shedding needless blood. Unless you are acting in self-defense, you all are to merely subdue and capture them.”
Within minutes, we defeated all our opponents. Rex and I bumped fists. Rex smiled as brightly as ever, and I also smiled in relief. Only their commander, the archer, was left standing, being the only one who refused to charge us. As his soldiers went down, one by one, he stood by with a face growing pale.
“I-I,” the commander stammered.
“Is this the worst you can do, godling?” Rex mocked him. “I didn’t even break a sweat.”
“I suggest you surrender peacefully,” I called out to him. “The faster we resolve this attack, the faster we’ll be able to treat the injured on both sides. So please, drop your weapon… for the sake of your soldiers.”
The commander was ready to burst into tears and call for his mother. I was sure he peed in his pants. “N-not like this.”
He ran. I hastily tried to shoot him down, but the commander always managed to dodge my arrows.
“Leave him,” Rex ordered, his voice more serious than usual. “We still got to take down the jackass behind this. Let’s go.”