Chapter 17: Relentless Battle
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Two illusory forms danced through the clear blue sky as the exchanged countless blows.

Sword and spear lights continuously danced through the air as they wreaked havoc on what was left of the grassy plain below.

The figures suddenly crashed into one another before being blasted backwards in opposing directions.

When they came to a stop the figures were to revealed to be Athena and Basil.

Both of them were panting roughly as they bleed from countless wounds, yet neither of them was willing to admit defeat.

Basil's clothes had become tattered due to their constant exchanges and countless cuts now decorated Athena's armor, causing its former aura of majesty to fade.

After a brief reprieve they flew back towards one another, weapons raised in preparation to clash once more.

They had already continued in such a manner for months having already lost sight of their original objective in entering this sealed space. Their only goal at this point was to continue fighting until one of them was able to declare a decisive defeat over the other.

In this time they had exemplified what made Deva so different from the other Major Races. The two of them had continuously fought with no breaks in between for rest or food yet were still able to maintain their peak fighting conditions.

Their had been many times where one of them inflicted on the other what would be considered grevious wounds for members of the other Major Races, yet they would continue to fight as if those wounds didn’t exist allowing their natural vitality to heal them in mere seconds. This vitality of theirs was almost limitless truly Awakening their Bloodlines and forming their Ruhk. And even if their Vitality fell below a certain level their were able to draw power from the world itself as naturally as breathing to recover said vitality.

As the two engaged in battle their combat standards had experienced a constant rise as they adapted to one another's fighting styles and made up for some of the previous weaknesses within their own.

The two completely lost themselves in the fight and utilized the powers of their Bloodlines in ways they had previously thought impossible as they delivered, blocked, parried, and circumvented countless attacks every second.

As they were fighting Athena's amythyst colored eyes suddenly released a purple light.

She gripped her spear tightly with both hands and swung it at Basil's chest. He quickly parried with his swords and was blasted hundreds of miles away before crashing into the ground.

As he flew away Athena's body suddenly expanded becoming thousands---no, tens of thousands of feet tall. Her spear grew along with her, becoming a Heaven and Earth connecting pillar.

She once more donned her her helm, concealing the top half of her face, leaving only her amethyst colored eyes visible.

After climbing out of the crater Basil looked up at her.

She resembled a Giant God of Battle had descended upon the World to return everything to darkness.

Basil released a dauntless smile as he spoke, "Very well then I shall accompany you for one more round."

He too then underwent a transformation as his body became tens of thousands of feet tall, his Dual Swords now long enough to sever oceans.

This was a Bloodline Skill possessed by all Deva who had a Bloodline Rank of 5 or higher known as Size Alteration.

Basil knew that since Athena had activated this Bloodline Skill she was prepared to go all out in the next exchange.

Knowing this, he also cast aside any thoughts of holding back, and exploded forth with full power.

Their Divine Might soared to the Heavens as their blood boiled.

Athena gazed at his swords and spoke, "Have you named them yet?"

Her voice echoed across the entire plain.

Basil looked down at the blades in his hand and spoke subconsciously, "Adam and Eve."

"Fitting." Athena responded before she twirled her spear and took on a fighting stance.

"I agree." Basil spoke as he tightened his grip over Adam, The Sword of Creation, and Eve, The Sword of Destruction.

He lifted his head and stared into into her eyes as he spoke, "Beforr we start there has been something I wanted to try for a while now."

He raised both swords before him and and crossed their blades at the center.

His eyes began to emit a black-black-gold light and the Runic Images covering his body began to manifest.

Besides the ones that had originally appeared as he drank from Gaia's breasts a few more had become somewhat discernable.

A green-blue water serpent encircled his arm, with its body winding around the lotus on his shoulder and its head stretching across the right side of his chest with three purple colored moons hanging above its head.

Although they were now more prominent, when compared to the golden flame on the back of his right hand and the runic images covering the left part of his chest, the others were lackluster, as if in a state of dormancy.

As the Runic Images appeared the green orb in the center of his chest released a blinding light.

When the light faded Adam and Eve had fused together at the hilt and taken on a more Archaic style. Both blades had become black-gold in color and been inscribed with countless Archaic Symbols. Golden-red flames encompassed both blades and gave off a Sacred aura.

"As I thought if I call forth the power of both my Runic Images and Bloodline I am capable of fusing the two swords into various forms. Sadly I haven't fully Awakened most of them my Runic Images so I cannot manifest all of its variations, nor can I maintain any one of the ones I have unlocked for to long at the moment." Basil murmured in satisfaction.

He then began to twirl the weapon around in his hands.

He instinctively understood how to wield it with perfect balance, twirling it around with movements that flowed into one another as naturally as water.

Monstrous gales of wind appeared in his surroundings and wreaked havoc on the plains below.

He then apodted a new fighting stance, wielding the shaft of the weapon with one hand and balling his other hand into a fist.

He once more released a dauntless smile as he spoke, "Now we can begin."

Within Athena's eyes flashed an uncharacteristically provoking light as she gave a small laugh and spoke, "Do what you must because this time, I shall render you helpless."

Instead of waiting for his response she moved first, using both hands as she thrust her spear forwards.

Basil knew he wouldn't be able to dodge so he unfolded his free hand and pushed it forwards allowing the blade of her spear to stab directly through to the otherside.

With his other hand he thrust his double-sided sword forwards in the direction of her exposed abdomen.

A shield of purple light formed before her abdomen and managed to diffuse a significant portion of his attacking force as the golden-red flames clashed with the purple light. Yet, Athena still stumbled backwards as she spit out a mouthful of blood.

As she did the blade of her spear freed itself from Basil's palm and a large amount of blood spurted outwards, falling to the ground below.

In their current states their attacks appeared significantly slower than they had been before, but carried mountain crushing power.

As the shockwaves of their collision spread outwards the plains were almost completely overturned.

But as their blood fell upon it new life blades of grass immediately surged upwards becoming even taller than before, giving off a vital energy.

Basil rushed forwards as his wounded hand instantly began to recover.

He used both hands as he twirled his double-sided sword and launched out several slashes of crisscrossing sword light.

Athena had no time to dodge and once more manifested a purple shield of light, this time wrapping it around her entire body.

Extensive cracks spread across the spheres surface before it eventually fell apart.

When it did Athena's spear thrust forwards like an agile viper, circumventing his sword and piercing towards the orb at the center of his chest.

Basil erupted into a spout of golden-red flames before reappearing directly behind her.

He thrust one end of his sword forwards as if to pierce through her back.

Athena remained calm as she reacted instinctively, pushing against the ground with the tips of her feet as she agilely flipped backwards over his head, her purple colored mantle dancing in the air.

As she descended to the ground she suddenly shrunk back to her regular size and a pair of immaculately feathered wings closely resembling those of birds of prey sprouted from her back.

She held her spear aloft with both hands as she flapped her wings with full force. Her speed surpassed that of light as she instantly approached Basil from behind and swung her spear with all the strength she could muster.

A purple colored spear light swept outwards diagonally across Basil's back causing a fountain of blood to spill outwards, as his shirt was finally ripped away from his body after becoming nothing but rags.

Basil yelled out in pain as he too returned to his normal size.

His blades also seperated to become two individual swords once more.

"’Hah’...It looks as if we...‘Hah’... can only decide this with our Divine Phantasms." Basil spoke between pants as his back wound began to close.

"It seems that way." Athena nodded.

She held her spear at the ready as light once more spilled from her eyes.

"I shall use Eve's Divine Phantasm this time." Basil spoke as Adam vanished from his grasp and he held onto Eve with both hands, black light beginning to spill from his eyes.

Their Divine Might once more surged as their Divinity overflowed from their bodies and formed two opposing Divine Edicts in the sky.

The one behind Athena released a purple colored light and gave off both a kingly majesty and a heroic air of courage. Purple points of light came into existence around her and congregated at the tip of her spear creating a sphere of light.

The Divine Edict behind Basil released countless rays of black light and possessed an overwhelming aura of annihilation. Black streaks of lightning continuously flickered in out of existence around the sword in his hands as he held it aloft before him.

"Heroic Spirits, Descend and endow me with your strength so that I may slay the enemy before me, ‘God-Slaying Ray of Divine Punishment’!"

"From the Destruction of one world will come the Creation of a new one, ‘World-Annihilating Strike’!"

The two launched their attacks simultaneously as their voices shook the Heavens.