Dianmu leapt for Moloch, her glaive held high over her head, howling a battlecry. Moloch flicked his wrist and hit her with a gust of air before she could get within reach. He raised his other hand to counter Anansi’s twist. The spider god sent of bolt of lightning streaking towards Moloch, but Moloch stopped it by raising a stone wall from the ground. “What is it going to take for you to stay out of my way?” Moloch asked.
Moloch knew they were as likely to do that as he was spare the life of the Eschaton or Crystal. This is my victory, my triumph. I’m not going to let these upstarts ruin it.
Dianmu lowered her glave and charged. Moloch whirled to face her attack, slamming his fist into the ground. He added a twist and his fist’s impact generated a wave of molten rock that shot out and streaked towards the approaching goddess. Her charge interrupted, Dianmu leaped over, momentarily lit red by the lava beneath her.
No. Not that easy this time. Moloch flicked his hand again, increasing her gravity at the apex of her leap, pulling Dianmu sharply towards the molten rock. She managed a last second twist of her own, freezing the rock beneath her. Her impact with the ground was brutal, but it didn’t incinerate her. Moloch sighed as she started to rise and increased the gravity again, holding her in place.
When Moloch turned to face Anansi the trickster was gone. Moloch glanced back to Dianmu. “It appears only one of you has the sense to-”
Dianmu was gone as well. Moloch scanned the battlefield. Two of his Helhests were feasting on the last of the centaurs, and the sweet melody of a faun being torn limb from limb filled Moloch’s ears. His monsters were gaining the upper hand against the disorganized chaos of the creatures of the unleashed Labyrinth. Yet either of his opponents were nowhere to be seen.
He was caught completely off guard when they phased out of the ground on either side of him. Dianmu’s swing was aimed at Moloch’s neck, Anansi’s sword was coming for his back.
Moloch twisted time as the blades closed in, slowing the two of them to a near stop. Too close, Moloch thought, stepping aside. The motion forced him to take a breath. Too close, and I’m starting to feel Hungers. Moloch kept the alteration up for a few more seconds, just enough to rush behind Dianmu and kick her forwards.
Normal time resumed. Pushed ahead, Dianmu’s glaive bit into Anasi’s shoulder, and Anansi’s sword caught Dianmu in the side. Before they could pull away from each other, Moloch struck them with a bolt of lightning. “Perhaps I shouldn’t have worried about Enki,” Moloch said as he clenched his fist, striking them again. “You two weren’t even there, and the other three managed to defeat him.” Moloch went for a third strike, but Anansi and Dianmu had managed to separate and leap apart. Anansi’s skin was smouldering, and Dianmu’s eyes were turning red from burst blood vessels. “I can only imagine what I could have done with his power,” Moloch said, stepping back so he could see them both.
“And yet you did not,” Anansi said, “Why is that? Was Enki smarter than you? How did he figure out what the great bird man did not?”
Moloch snapped, “I reject the notion that a mere human god could have come up with something beyond me.”
“And yet, a mere human did,” Dianmu countered from the other side, “perhaps you’re not quite as intelligent as you pretend to be, Moloch? Or do you just need to feel superior to us to justify genocide to yourself?”
That’s right, Moloch thought, let them think they’re goading you. “Enki was a fool with power he didn’t comprehend. I could have crushed him at any time, I just did not want to waste my strength.”
“Lies,” Anansi said, “Enki had more power than you ever held.”
“Power is nothing without the knowledge how to use it. Allow me to show you.” Moloch flung his hands out and began to manipulate the chemicals in the air.
The air around Dianmu and Anasi caught fire, a pair of raging infernos. Anansi was the first out of his fireball, his skin seared into black and red patches. Dianmu was not emerging. “Dioxygen Difluoride,” Moloch crowed. “Your skin is now catching on fire at these temperatures, spider. I doubt there’s much left of Dianmu. You, Anansi, are lucky enough to witness the end of humanity.”
Anansi started to rise to his feet, and Moloch struck him with lightning. Let’s not repeat the mistake I did with Athena. Moloch had known the effort of setting up high electron density points before the fight had been worthwhile. The ability to call lightning with minimal twisting helped him look even more impressive than he already was. Did it even occur to them, he asked himself, that I had weeks to prepare the battlefield? Weeks where any twist made would stay in place?
Moloch doubted it. If they had thought of it, they certainly didn’t seem to have prepared at all. I wonder if they honestly think they chose this battlefield? “Dianmu is immolated,” Moloch growled, turning back towards Crystal. “And I’m about to stomp the spider. I was going to make you watch the Eschaton die first, but since I had to kill one of them already, I suppose Athena should be next.”
Crystal’s eyes were full of hate. That’s right. She and Dianmu are friends. Moloch wished he’d made the thunder goddess suffer more before her death.
Then he sensed something behind him, a twisting of equations. The inferno surrounding Dianmu was dying down.
Dianmu crouched in the center of the fire, encased in a whirling bubble of air. She rose to her feet and charged, her glaive lowered.
Impressive, Moloch acknowledged. She’d more dangerous than I had thought.
Moloch threw out his hand and turned a tiny number of the air molecules in front of Dianmu into antimatter. The explosion sent her flying backwards, the force of a grenade going off in her face.
Then again, so am I. Under normal circumstances antimatter would be a stupid waste of energy – Moloch thought he might have burned a full millenia of power on that – but it was worth it. Moloch cracked his neck. “I’m barely even Hungry,” he said to Crystal. “You cannot win. You never could. You need to accept that.”
The hatred in Crystal’s eyes hadn’t abated and she rose, standing protectively over Ryan. Her throat was an ugly purple color, and Moloch wondered if she could even speak through the damage. It doesn’t matter.
Moloch held out his hand, and gestured for her to come to him. Crystal started to charge.
And so it ends.