Chapter 18: A Brief Moment
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A purple colored ray of light expanded outwards from the tip of Athena's spear, and a black bolt of lightning shot out of Basil's sword as he swung it downwards.

The two attacks instantly crossed tens of miles before coming into contact. 

*BOOM!!*

A massive explosion sounded out as visible shockwaves spread outwards and space began to collapse in on itself for a moment before exploding outwards.

Layers of earth directly below the point of contact between the two forces were vaporized as the clouds in the sky above were swept into a frenzy and exploded outwards.

Both Athena and Basil were forced backwards, their feet forming deep crevices on the surface of the plain; nonetheless the two continued to channel Divinity into the Divine Edicts behind them and power continued to pour out of their weapons.

The light escaping their eyes continued to grow in intensity as they locked gazes, their determination to win as strong as ever.

Athena flapped her wings as hard as she could, forcefully coming to a stop.

Divinity then began to spill forth from her eyes with even greater intensity as she used every fiber of her being to push herself forwards. 

Basil on the other hand continued to slide backwards before eventually leaving the plain and crashing into the side of the mountain range.

Even as he spit out a mouthful of blood his desire to win remained strong and his determination hardened.

His blood continued to boil and his white horns were died an inky black color as black aura flames sprouted from his body.

The black lightning sprouting from his sword suddenly grew in intensity. It became a malevolent Black Dragon that tore apart and devoured the ray of purple light.

It instantly closed in on Athena and swallowed her whole before she could react.

Black lightning ravaged her body destroying her armor in multiple places, yet she refused to lose so easily. Her body released a spout of purple colored aura flames that ripped the dragon to shreds.

She then collapsed to the ground in exhaustion as blood spilled from the countless wounds spread across her body.

Far away Basil didn't fare any better. Eve had vanished from his hands as had the Divine Edict behind him.

His horns once more became pure white as his blood calmed and the black aura flames faded from view.

He then slowly collapsed in exhaustion as he fell into a deep sleep as a result of over drafting his Vitality to activate Ascension at the last moment.

***

Athena was the first to awaken a few days later.

When she slowly opened her eyes the amethyst colored moon hanging in the night sky was the first thing to enter her field of view.

After staring up at it for some time she once more closed her eyes and used her mind’s eye to look over her body's current state.

Her physical wounds had mostly recovered due to the abundant Origin Qi flowing through her body, but her Soul was still in an exhausted state, leaving her severely weakened.

After understanding this she silently stood to her feet and looked at Basil's sleeping form thousands of miles away.

She unfurled her immaculate wings before gently flapping them and taking flight.

She flew through the air with incomparable grace and approached his unconscious form at the base of the mountain range.

After she arrived above him she descended softly onto the ground beside him and furled her wings.

She then half-kneeled on the ground beside him and unabashedly slipped her arm underneath his waist and supported his body's weight as she lifted him up.

She then once more unfurled her wings again and ascended back into the air, flying towards the boundless lake in the east.

***

Athena flew at relatively slow speed, spending most of the night and only reaching the lakeshore when the sun began to rise on one end of the horizon and the moon set on the other.

The lake’s surface was peaceful and various animals rested on its shores as they drank its water.

When Athena began to descend from the morning sky with Basil in hand amny of the creatures fled in terror having recognized their auras.

The two had been ferociously locked in combat for around a year scaring many of the stronger lifeforms in this sealed space into hiding, while the weaker ones were left to cower in fear.

And just days ago their battle had suddenly escalated to the point where most of the plains were overturned leaving countless lifeforms with no choice but to flee.

Now that Athena arrived here with the unconscious Basil in her arms many of them feared that the lake would be the next place to feel their wraith and potentially face destruction, and thus they immediately fled for their lives.

Athena's face remained impassive as she landed on the lake's shore.

She gently laid Basil's body on the ground before unabashedly disrobing. Her silver helmet fell to the ground soon followed by the rest of her armor; revealing a set of purple colored lace underwear decorated with flora patterns.

She reached back to unhook her bra and slipped it over her arms, exposing her firm breasts and the pink colored buds sitting atop them to the slightly crisp morning air.

She then bent to pull down her delicate underwear revealing her pert behind in all its glory and the slit resembling a budding flower further down.

She soon straightened back up as she stepped out of her underwear and set them on the ground beside her bra and armor.

She then walked over to the lake before diving in and gracefully swimming below the lake’s surface.

After awhile she resurfaced and gave herself over to the water as she floated on her back. Her entire body's stress melted away as she closed her eyes and allowed her mind to drift off into space.

Her Anima was soon at peace and by extension so too was her Soul. Her Soul's wounds began to heal naturally as the surrounding Mana flowed into her body.

***

After awhile Basil's unconscious form began to stir.

By now the sun had risen to its highest point, its rays shining down on the entire world.

Basil opened his eyes and slowly climbed up into a sitting position.

After checking that all of his body's surface wounds had healed he closed his eyes to check its internal condition.

He heaved a sigh of relief when he confirmed that his physique was in peak condition. 

But, his Soul similarly to Athena's was currently in an injuried state significantly impact his combat ability when it came to manipulating his Divinity.

Basil could only release another sigh when he came to this conclusion and opened his eyes to observe his surroundings.

The sealed spaces wildlife had returned to the lake's shore when they noticed Athena enter the lake and Basil remaining a state of deep sleep.

They had initially felt fear after seeing him stir. But, upon seeing that he didn't seem agitated they remained calm and continued to lounge about.

After taking in the peaceful lake side view Basil took note of Athena's nearly stacked pile of clothes not far from him.

"She must've gone for a swim to wash away her fatigue and excess stress..." He thought aloud.

He turned back to the lake and soon located her floating figure on the lake's surface.

"Actually come to think of it, exactly how long have we been inside of this sealed space...?" A thought suddenly crossed his mind as he stared into the distance.

He was aware that the time here passed much faster than the outside world of Olympus. But, he wasn't sure exactly how much faster it was, so he couldn't be sure how much time had passed in Olympus.

He soon brushed off such thoughts as he spoke, "I'll ask Athena when she comes back from her swim."

He then looked down to check if his Spatial Ring was intact.

It could have been destroyed any number of times during their earlier battles. If it was that would truly be too bad as it held quite a few Divine Materials within that he had planned on practicing his forging and crafting skills with.

They weren't too valuable compared to what Gaia had stored away back at the house but it would truly be a waste for them to simply be lost.

But, luckily enough his Spatial Ring was actually completely unharmed with its sealed space being left intact.

He injected his still injured Soul into it and brought out the the long-necked bottle containing Origin Water.

He popped the cork and took a long swallow.

As it slid down his throat it diffused across his body through his meridians.

He moved his mind and began the process of refining the Mana within the Origin Water before absorbing it into his Soul in order to heal its injuries.

After all the Mana had been absorbed the Origin Water became Origin Qi that was naturally absorbed and refined by his cells.

He then took another long swallow from the bottle and repeated the process a second time.

After that was a third time, then a fourth and so on.

After a few hours his Soul was almost completely healed.

He put the bottle back into his spatial ring and rose to his feet.

He then stretched his body before pulling down his pants and underwear and placing them in his spatial ring to get washed when he got back home.

He pulled out a new set of clothes and set them on the ground beside Athena's before walking into the lake and swimming away from the shore in a direct different from Athena.

He dove deep beneath the lake's surface. The lack of both oxygen and light posed no problems for him as he could see even in pure darkness and his lungs could naturally filter the oxygen out of the water before expelling the the hydrogen out of his body through his pores.

After he reached a deep enough point he came to a stop and allowed the water to carry him along. 

In that brief moment everything else ceased to exist. His mind felt at peace and his pulse slowed to a crawl as the tension melted away from his body. 

That brief moment seemed both infinite and, well brief. It almost felt like an illusion as the giant body of water cradled him similarly to Gaia's wound just a relatively  short time ago.

After awhile he woke up from his reverie and began swimming back up to the lake's surface, his eyes peering through the apparently endless darkness waiting for the first ray of light to break through.

 

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