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Chapter 1288 The Skyhall's End Is Nearing

Standing alone on a mountain top, Michael stared out at the dark ocean, its waters even darker than usual. The realm had plunged into utter darkness, mirroring the void he felt within. Thoughts of Diana his mother, surged within him. He had grown up as an orphan, abandoned early in life. Despite their strained relationship and his rough upbringing, he understood the harsh necessity behind her decisions. They were right, perhaps, but not easy.

Now, knowing that Andohr intended to torture her, a fierce anger took hold of him, mingling with a newfound determination. He couldn't stand idly by; he needed to save her. The loss of Eve already weighed heavily on him, and the world's plunge into darkness seemed to feed him, making him feel stronger than ever. This strength, born from the shadows that now enveloped the world, fortified his resolve.

Unfortunately Michael's peace was shattered when a massive airship sliced through the dark clouds above, its engines a dull roar against the howling winds. As it hovered ominously over the mountain peak, several figures descended from it, their silhouettes sharp against the dark sky. These were the angels of the Skyhall, clad in metal armor that gleamed dully in the sparse light. Attached to their armors were metallic, feathered wings that spread wide, fluttering with the sound of rustling metal sheets. Each angel radiated a formidable aura, their cultivation at the Half Celestial stage, making them powerful opponents in any encounter.

Leading this formidable group were several elders of the Skyhall, their faces stern, and their eyes cold and unyielding, fixed on Michael with clear intent. These elders, veterans of countless skirmishes against the dark army, carried themselves with an air of authority and deadly purpose.

As they formed a tight circle around Michael, the lead elder stepped forward, his voice cutting through the tension like a knife. "Dark Lord, your reign of terror ends today," he declared.

"Surrender now, and perhaps your end will be swift. Refuse, and not only you but also those you hold dear, Harry and Lailah, will be hunted down."

Michael sighed deeply, his gaze piercing through the encroaching darkness around him. The bitter wind whipped at his clothes as he faced the assembly of Skyhall's forces arrayed against him. "I'm already in a bad mood, so get the fuck out of my sight before I kill all of you and toss your bodies into the ocean below," he said coldly, his voice barely louder than a whisper yet carrying an unmistakable threat.

The lead elder, undeterred by Michael's menacing tone, responded with equal coldness. "You are far from your strongholds in the Southern Continent, and without the powers of a god at your disposal here, we stand on even ground," he retorted sharply. "Make no mistake, Dark Lord, we will use Lailah and Harry as leverage if necessary."

As the Skyhall angels and elders tightened their circle around Michael, a sudden surge of dark energy rippled through the air. From the shadows of the dark castle, figures began to emerge, led by Azazel, Lenora, and Trista. Behind them, the powerful dark army advanced, their presence menacing under the heavy, oppressive sky. The army halted just behind Michael, poised and ready to engage at his command.

Michael raised his hand, signaling them to stop. The battlefield fell into a tense silence, punctuated only by the rustling of metallic and feathered wings of the encircling angels. "Where are Harry and Lailah?" Michael demanded, cutting through the cold air with sharp authority.

Azazel stepped forward, his face grim. "They are still in Mazeroth, my lord," he reported.

As the standoff intensified, the lead elder's voice pierced the tense air, his words laced with menace. "You've already lost Eve, Dark Lord. Are you prepared to lose Harry and Lailah as well?" The threat echoed ominously, causing Michael's hands to tremble slightly.

In that moment of hesitation, a new voice resonated across the battlefield, distinct and commanding. "Dark Lord!" Michael turned sharply, his eyes widening at the sight of the figure approaching through the mist.

It was Elidyr, his presence marked by his distinct dark elven features, which had not aged a day. Michael hadn't seen Elidyr in a long time, and the sight of him now stirred a complex mix of emotions within him. Elidyr, who had been like a mentor to Michael, had secluded himself for months, consumed by his work on runes intended to track down Zariel and exact vengeance.

Michael's gaze hardened as Elidyr approached, the familiar sternness of his mentor's expression unchanging. But before he could speak, Elidyr's hand struck him sharply across the face, the sound crisp in the cool air. Michael staggered slightly, more from the shock than the force, as Elidyr's voice cut through the silence sharply.

"Snap out of it, damn it!" Elidyr barked, his eyes blazing with an intensity that demanded attention. "Stop wallowing in your self-pity and regret. It's unbecoming of you, and useless."

Michael rubbed his cheek, staring at Elidyr with a mix of resentment and respect. "Everything that has happened, has happened for a reason. It's time you snap out of this fog and fight back." Elidyr continued, gauging Michael's reaction before he pressed on.

"Andohr's imprisonment in that castle and his escape were inevitable. By killing Noah, you've indeed made the realm darker, but remember, the night is always darkest before the dawn. This isn't the end, Michael. It's an opportunity to rise stronger and smarter than before."

Michael's eyes narrowed, digesting Elidyr's words. The slap had jolted him, and now, Elidyr's wisdom seeped into the cracks of his turmoil, kindling a spark of resolve within him.

"Listen to me. Only by asserting control over the mortal realm can you stand a chance against the gods once the barrier's destruction becomes a reality. It's inevitable." He paused, ensuring his words sunk deep.

"Noah's death and this enveloping darkness, while they seem like a curse, are actually a blessing in disguise. This darkness... I can sense it has empowered you. This newfound strength could be pivotal in seizing control of the mortal realm and preparing for the inevitable war with the gods." Elidyr stepped closer, his voice intense. "If Noah were alive, you'd be caught in a war on two fronts, against both Noah and the gods. That kind of two-sided war would bleed us dry, regardless of any victories we might claim. So, in a twisted way, Noah's death is a strategic advantage. It simplifies the battlefield." As the tension on the mountain simmered, the dark sky was suddenly cleaved by the arrival of a massive warship, dwarfing the Skyhall airship that had first brought the elders and angels. A grand staircase extended gracefully from the belly of the ship to the ground below, and Nithroel, Empress of Awor and Goddess of the Hunt descended with regal poise, causing the gathered elders and angels to instinctively back away.lightsnovel

Taking a deep breath, Michael greeted her with a nod. "Nithroel, what brings you into this shitstorm?"

In response, Nithroel's scanned the gathered crowd before settling on Michael. "I heard about your recent... troubles," she began, her voice calm but carrying an undercurrent of authority. "And I wanted to address the problem between Gaya and myself directly."

"Go on," Michael nodded, gesturing for her to continue.

"I understand why Gaya did what she did. It doesn't change the fact that Zariel is still out there, a demon who revels in taking lives and sowing chaos, abandoned even by his own god, Fourcrux." She sighed. The revelation from Nithroel struck a chord of shock through those gathered. Michael, who had long thought Azazel was the last of his kind due to some mysterious calamity that had befallen his race, found himself reassessing the situation. Azazel himself, usually calm and composed, displayed a rare crack in his composure.

"Like Azazel, Zariel is also a demon. And you must be wary, for if Azazel does not keep his inherent bloodlust in check, he will eventually become uncontrollable and may disobey you, Michael." Nithroel, noting their surprise, continued.

"This is just another reason why we-" the elders of the skyhall attempted to interject. "Enough," Nithroel raised her hand, silencing them with a firm gesture. Turning her gaze back to Azazel, Nithroel's expression softened slightly, though her eyes remained piercing. "Azazel, have you informed your lord about the bloodlust you must be feeling lately?" she asked.

Michael, who had once overheard Gaya remarking on Azazel's apparent enjoyment of brutality during battles, initially dismissed as mere adrenaline, suddenly felt a chill of realization. It seemed there was more to it after all.

"This bloodlust in demons is why your kind was nearly wiped out. The longer you live, the stronger the urge grows, until it overwhelms you. Eventually, you may succumb to it, turning on even those you once cared about." Nithroel continued.

"I won't deny there are urges, but I swear I'll never turn against the Dark Lord or those around me," Azazel firmly shook his head, his expression resolute.

After hearing Nithroel, the elders and angels directed their pleas towards Nithroel.

"You must stop him!" one elder shouted, his voice cracking with urgency. "Before he and his demon wreak havoc upon the world!"

"Damn right!" another chimed in, his tone laced with anger. "If you don't step in now, there won't be a world left to save!"

"This turmoil began long before today," she began gracefully, her voice clear and authoritative. "When Skyhall chose to trust a dubious prophecy over the very principles it was founded upon, principles of protecting all lives, including those of two innocent babies, Noah and Ghost." She paused, letting her words sink in. "Your fear and that prophecy have shaped his life, thrusting him onto this path. The current chaos is not just a consequence of his actions but also of the decisions made by those who once sought to control his fate."

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Seeing Nithroel cutting them off again and again, the leading elder was fuming with anger. He couldn't hold back his frustration any longer and shouted.

"If you're not here to stop him, then why the hell are you here?"

"I'm here to do something I should have done a long time ago," Nithroel met his anger with a calm demeanor but her lips curling into a sly grin that betrayed her ruthless intent.

"It's time you returned the favor I've been granting you," she said, returning her gaze to Michael. "I ask you to take out Skyhall and clear the way for me to rule the mortal realm. In return, I will extend my support to you when the gods come for war."

The moment they heard her, shocked murmurs erupted among the Skyhall elders as their eyes opened so wide to the point they looked like their eyes would pop out any second.

"What the fuck? You can't seriously be considering this!" one elder exclaimed.

"Are you out of your goddamn mind?" another added, the words sharp and accusatory.

"The Skyhall has been a thorn in my side for too long and its time I take it out," Nithroel said with a chilling voice.