Here it is. The last chapter of this arc.

Disclaimer: Do not own Naruto or High school DxD; except for the story concepts.

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Pandemonium

VII

Ares

2 hours before Great Red's imprisonment

14 hours after the Academy's lockdown

Ares, the Greek God of War, was standing at the heart of the training ground inside Olympus, a place that was empty and untouched for millennia.

He recalled the glorious days of Olympus. He remembered the clash of swords and shields, the resounding roars of mighty warriors, and the relentless banging of armor. This training ground had been alive with the energy, blood, and determination of countless Greek Champions. This was where they honed their skills and proved their valor. The echoes of those battles still hung in the air, even after all this time.

Ares let out a wistful sigh.

He turned his gaze to Olympus itself.

He felt it. The Throne Room, where the mighty Greek Gods and Goddesses once held court ages ago, was humming with Divinity once more. The massive twelve thrones, touching the very sky, were still empty but their presence now exuded the aura of authority and might, as it should.

It was not just the Throne Room.

The Inner Chambers, filled with statues of Greek Gods, Goddesses, and Champions… the walls, marked with tales of love, conflict, and adventures… the outer courts, where Gods and Demigods had once mingled… to Ares, everything came to life. An unmistakable sign that their Divinity and Authority were growing once more after a thousand years.

Everything was just as it should be but one element was missing, the laughter and the presence of the living.

Still… Ares smiled.

"We are home."

They had done it. They won.

After millennia's worth of planning and treachery, the home that had been taken from them was now, once more, in their possession.

Ares began to walk, the smile never leaving his face.

He passed the garden, various empty temples of both major and minor Gods and Goddesses, and finally reached the grand chamber.

Countless soldiers, the cream of the crop, were lining up outside the chamber. All of them immediately went down on one knee the moment they saw him, making Ares smile wider.

"When Apollo recovers his lost Divinity, I will need to ask him to heal Cane."

Despite his failures, Cane, his son, was an excellent soldier. And he had the brains and the muscles to be a good general. That was why he didn't remove him completely from their faction after his failure at the Dark Elves Island.

Ares moved past the kneeling soldiers and entered the chamber.

A sense of nostalgia hit him when he saw the twelve grand thrones. All these years, the grandeur of the Divine thrones had not diminished. The intricated markings were still pulsing with Divinity and Authority, albeit not as much as they used to.

But his smile waned when he saw the new furniture.

"We have a separate room for the war council, Athena, or did you forget?"

Athena looked up from the massive table positioned right in the middle of the room, "I have not," She then pointed at the thrones around her, "The Divinity here is stable and the connection to the outside world is fairly decent."

Shaking his head, Ares stepped forward, "Relax. We have won."

"Have we?"

Athena's question made him frown, "We have reclaimed our home without alerting the Biblical God," He immediately raised his hand when he saw Athena getting ready to dispute, "Before you start with your counterarguments, let's take a step back, shall we?"

When he reached the out-of-place table, the Greek God of War took control of it from Athena and changed the illusionary contents above it.

"Grigori will fall soon," Ares smiled, "It was an ingenious idea to let Hades personally conquer the lands in the Underworld after we backed off. By doing so, his Domain has expanded significantly, and with it, his Divinity. I would not be surprised if he has already reached the 'Top Ten' once again."

Seeing the questioning look from Athena, he decided to elaborate, "Our uncle may not have reached my level yet but if he conquers the entire region under Grigori, he will surpass me," Then he frowned, "But, I will admit, I am not certain if he will be strong enough to handle both Sirzechs and Ajuka. Those two bat bastards do not possess a single ounce of Divinity but their raw power is undeniably unique and formidable."

"Still, by the time the bat faction realizes their neighbor's situation, it will be too late," Ares waved his hand and the images on top of the table changed again, "And let's not forget, Gasper has already created a path in the mainland, undetected by all the factions, which can be used to move the main army in and out. Our little dhampir went beyond and set up multiple outposts around the concealed route to make sure we do not receive any surprises."

Ares removed his control over the table's mechanism and looked at Athena, "I understand what you will say next, that we should prepare for the future. I agree. But moving around too much will attract unwanted attention," Then his smile returned, "And a celebration will improve the morale of our troops."

As usual, Athena's unblinking silver eyes made Ares a bit uncomfortable. And she held her gaze for a solid five seconds before looking back at the war table, "You are right on many accounts. But what you failed to see are the," The table started projecting images of the dragons, "Unpredictable variables."

This soured Ares' mood instantly.

"Remember, our ultimate goal is to regain our full Divinity, to reach our prime once more. And to do so, we need to complete three subgoals. We have achieved the first one with minor inconveniences – which is to reclaim our home, Olympus.

"Why the lecture, Athena? We all know it."

Athena looked up. Ares was surprised to see her eyes filled with frustration, an emotion she rarely showed, "We still do not know where are the Titans, where the Biblical God sealed them. We need to 'Find their location' and then get them 'Under our control' for us to reach our prime since a large portion of our Divinity and Domain come from the Titans."

"Is that not why we chose to reclaim Olympus? To use the Divinity residing in our home to find the Titans?"

The Greek Goddess of Warfare and Wisdom leaned onto the table, looking quite tired, "Divinity in Olympus is much weaker than what I had anticipated. Our home possesses enough to search for the Titans but that's all we have. Raising the barriers, activating the defensive mechanisms, powering the temples, restarting the teleportation runes… there's not nearly enough."

This was concerning.

"How about we share our Divinity?"

"That will leave us defenseless."

"Absorbing the residue of Divine energy around the world?"

"The procedure will attract unwanted attention."

Ares released an audible breath and tried his best to keep his voice calm, "Never thought I would see the day when our great Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare is afraid."

Athena didn't take the bait, "Not afraid, just cautious, Ares, as I always have been," She let out a tired sigh, "We cannot make a single mistake from this point onward, not when we are right under his nose."

"I thought we agreed on the conclusion that the Biblical God is either slumbering or has taken his hands off the earthly matters," Ares frowned.

"That is just an assumption from our side, not a conclusion," Athena pointed at the images of the dragons, "Tell me Ares, why did the Dragons choose this moment to make a ruckus?"

Ares visibly stiffened.

He recalled Gasper's words about the abrupt appearance of these dragons and the enormous strength some of them possessed.

Before he could reply, his communication device came to life.

He glanced at the message and smiled when he read the content.

"Seems like luck is truly on our side."

Athena stood upright and looked at Ares with a questioning gaze.

"Our scouts from the eastern region spotted Thor and Scáthach making their way to the mainland.

"Unexpected duo, but what…" Her eyes widened as the realization was drawn to her, "You cannot be serious!"

Ares let out a bloodthirsty smile, "Thor possesses the 'Stormbreaker', a weapon that was created using a 'Power core'. If we can have it, won't that solve our lack of Divinity issue?" Ares raised his hand and continued, interrupting Athena, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you know it."

"The Norse and Celtic factions will be upon you the moment you clash with them."

Ares turned away and headed toward the door, "Then make them unable to do so."

Without waiting for a reply, the Greek God of War immediately set out.

He used the teleportation from Olympus, which was barely functional, and landed directly outside of the mainland, far away from Olympus and where the dragons were sighted. After all, it wasn't the right time to get their attention.

He made sure to fly low and conceal his Divinity, but without putting any restrictions on his speed. After all, he needed to catch Thor and Scáthach before they reached the mainland.

Was he excited about the fight?

Without a doubt. His last fight with Azazel didn't live up to his expectations. And he expected that. After all, Azazel was merely an 'Ultimate' ranked fallen. But what he didn't expect was the fact that the Grigor leader got the last laugh. And it didn't sit well with him.

Thor alone might not have been enough of a challenge. But with Scáthach, the Celtic Goddess, their clash would be legendary.

Was he sure of his victory? Absolutely. Was he being overconfident? Perhaps. But, would his power live up to his claim? Of that, Ares had no doubt.

The reason he was certain of his victory and had complete trust in his Divinity was because of his Divine weapons. After all, his strongest weapon was created using the blood of millions during World War II, a war that the Greek faction caused.

Well, Ares wasn't the only one who benefited from that war.

"Ares," His communication device came to life, "I have transferred a teleportation rune to you," Ares noticed that his right hand was slowly being covered in red runes. Athena continued, "When you reach your targets, activate it and all of you will be teleported to the Underworld," Her comment made him raise an eyebrow.

"You will have ample time to finish your job. And in case, your enemies get the upper hand," Athena's words made him scoff but the Greek Goddess carried on regardless, "Our uncle will be there to support you."

There was a pause before he could hear Athena's voice again, "Lastly, after you are finished with your task, head back to Olympus II."

"Why?"

"We have to make sure you are not being tracked. In addition, the weapon needs to be thoroughly examined," Again a pause, "I won't take a 'No' for this."

After Athena said her piece, she cut off the connection.

Of course, this didn't sit well with the Greek God of War but he put his focus on the present since he had bigger fish to fry.

With that in mind, Ares took out one of his primary weapons for battles – his 'War Spear'.

A Golden spear with a simple design, unlike most of his other weapons. He purposely reformed this spear to make it more efficient for battles. It could be considered one of his oldest weapons but it wasn't his strongest one.

Still, this should allow him to measure the level of his opponents.

And it seemed that his targets became aware of his presence.

The sky started to become darker and the storm was getting stronger the closer he was moving toward his destination.

One more minute and he was finally in front of his opponents.

Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, stood tall and mighty. With fiery blond hair and a beard to match, Thor's eyes were crackling with Divine lightning energy, it was as if he was ready to strike Ares down at a moment's notice. He even had his battle armor out, filled with intricate patterns and symbols, which was glistening with raw power.

But Ares' focus was more on the legendary armament 'Stormbreaker' that Thor was wielding. It had a unique shape, a combination of axe and hammer held together by tree roots. It was not quite a secret that Thor's previous weapon, Mjølnir, and the mysterious power core were used to create this weapon which in turn made way for Thor to reach the 'Top Ten'.

Then there was Scáthach, the legendary warrior queen of the Celts who rose to Godhood. With flowing auburn hair and striking emerald eyes, Scáthach possessed an otherworldly beauty like many other Goddesses, but Ares could easily see through her façade. Behind that pretty and stoic face, a warrior was lying in wait, a warrior known for her unparalleled skill in combat and her mastery of martial arts.

Even though his opponents were ready for battle, they were not fast enough to react to Ares' first move. Because Ares didn't halt his movement or even display any sort of offensive stance before activating the 'Teleportation Rune' from Athena.

An enormous amount of Divine power burst out from the Rune. Ares felt the Divine power from the Rune caging all three of them. He noticed their connection to Earth, the mortal realm, getting severed temporarily. He even saw the shift in their surroundings. And then, he felt Thor powering up, even with all the restrictions being pushed upon them by this Divine spell.

It was clear what the Norse God of Thunder's intention was – to disrupt the teleportation spell.

In response, Ares started to power up as well, fully intending to stop him.

But someone else was much faster than them.

Multiple daggers pulsing with various types of energy struck the unseen cage around them. And they struck true. Instantly, the Divine power hidden within the teleportation spell reacted violently to the daggers that contained draconic energy.

One swift move and their intentions changed.

Ares shifted his focus from defending the teleportation to attacking Scáthach. Thor on the other hand raised his weapon to stop him.

But the damage was already done.

The teleportation spell broke and abruptly rejected them from its hold.

All three of them were immediately on their feet, ready to strike.

The entire exchange took about a mere three seconds.

Luckily for Ares, the teleportation was partially successful. They were in the Underworld but not anywhere near the mark. It was a guess since first, this part of the Underworld was unknown to him and second, he could not feel Hades' presence.

"Have you finally lost your mind, Ares?"

He grinned, the grip on his War Spear tightened and instantly the spear was vibrating with Divine energy, "Small talk, really?" He let out a condescending chuckle, "A buffoon as always!"

As he expected, Thor couldn't take the insult. He charged, his weapon crackling with lightning.

Ares' spear started to transform. The entire shaft started to shrink while the blade expanded both in width and height. In a second, his weapon type changed from 'Spear' to 'Great Spear'. This weapon type was unique since this particular form of his War Spear seemed more of a merge between a 'Greatsword' and a 'Spear'.

At the same time, Ares wasn't standing still. He was swinging his War Spear, but not at Thor. He swiped the spear to his right, releasing a condensed lightning flame. A splash attack that forced Scáthach to become visible and move away.

She went invisible at the exact moment when the area lit up because of Thor's charge. At the same time, she reached Ares in a blink of an eye whereas Thor was only able to take a few steps forward.

The Greek God of War understood, just from the minor clash inside the teleportation spell and now, that Scáthach was the more dangerous one. She was calculative, precise, and would aim at nothing but the vital spots.

She truly lived up to her name.

Fortunately for Ares, she was not at her best at the moment because of the stunt she pulled. It seemed Athena had put some sort of counter-spells, dangerous ones seeing how those spells weakened even a Goddess.

Ares' mind sharpened as he dodged Thor's wide attack through a quick sidestep and positioned himself right at the Norse God's back. But he couldn't land any hits since Scáthach was on him again.

He ignited his spear's blade with lightning flame again before striking the Warrior Goddess. He put extra power behind that attack which threw her off balance. But instead of dropping to the ground, she slid back and created a safe distance between them.

Ares immediately sidestepped once more before deflecting Thor's Stormbreaker. He used his War Spear to redirect Thor's weapon to the ground and held it there. In a flash, he freed his one arm before punching the Norse God – two quick jabs, right at his jaw.

He regretted it immediately.

Faster than Ares could react, Thor pushed his own body toward him before headbutting Ares and used this momentum to swipe his weapon upward.

Now it was the Greek God of War who was thrown off balance.

But he instantly recovered by jumping backward to make enough distance between them and stabbing the spear on the ground to regain his balance.

His senses flared which made him immediately summoned a helmet that protected his head from the lethal spear stab, courtesy of Scáthach.

He grabbed the spear and broke it with brute force before punching her. As expected, she minimized the damage by tilting her body at the last moment.

But Ares didn't want to let her go.

The ground exploded as Ares pumped a great deal of energy into his War Spear. Unfortunately, Scáthach still dodged this initiation by creating some space between them through backflipping.

Ares clicked his tongue as he felt the power above him. He aimed the spearhead toward Thor who was descending from the sky and released a powerful blast.

Stormbreaker smashed through that energy attack without any issue. But it slowed down Thor enough for Ares to safely move away from his path.

But he was not given a moment of respite.

The stab of his spear met Scáthach's, damaging her newly created spear once more. But the position they were in gave Ares an edge, one that he sorely needed. He pumped more Divine energy into his already charged War Spear. And the blast released from his spear hit the Warrior Goddess almost at point-blank.

This time, Scáthach couldn't dodge his attack fully.

And, she was down on the ground.

But Ares immediately had to shift his focus.

He turned before deflecting the attack from the Norse God. Once again, their weapons hit the ground. But Thor didn't fall for the same trick. In fact, he was faster to utilize this position than Ares.

Thor used the lower corner, the heel side of the axe of his weapon to grab Ares's spear and yanked it forward; a maneuver that disrupted Ares' balance.

And Thor wasn't done yet. He immediately slugged the Greek God with his left hand while simultaneously bringing up Stormbreaker and going for a vertical strike with his right. But Ares countered it. He hit Thor's chin by extending the shaft of his spear since the spear-blade was still stuck to the ground.

Thor was disoriented but it didn't stop his attack completely. Even in his shaky posture, he released the buildup energy from Stormbreaker and the shockwave from it struck Ares.

The Greek God took a second to shrug off the blow and stand back up. The Norse God was the same. Unfortunately though, he was a fraction of a second faster.

Ares was forced to use the shaft of his spear to block the incoming strike from Thor's weapon. And then, Thor did something unexpected.

The Norse God freed his offhand before punching the handle of Stormbreaker with all his might.

It was as if Stormbreaker received a boost. The newfound pressure from Thor's weapon, to Ares' utter surprise, broke the shaft of his spear. He immediately took half a step back, allowing the axe-hammer to safely pass in front of him and strike the ground. He then used the broken parts of the spear to stab the ground at a cross angle, effectively trapping the head of Stormbreaker.

Thor had to be disarmed for a few seconds at any cost since Ares needed that time to switch to another weapon. There was no way he could go against Stormbreaker barehanded.

Unfortunately for him, Thor was having none of it.

The Norse God completely let go of his weapon before grabbing Ares' hair with one hand and giving him a solid uppercut with the other one. While it distorted Ares, he still was able to take out two swords but once again, Thor was faster.

He kicked Ares right in the middle of his chest, pushing him back. And the time the Greek God took to balance himself, Thor freed his Stormbreaker by yanking it up with one hand, completely destroying Ares' War Spear.

Ares spat out blood without moving his gaze. But he shifted his stance so that his body was facing both Thor and Scáthach who was on her feet once again.

He had underestimated Thor. He might not be a God of War but he was a Warrior through and through.

And from the looks of it, it seemed Scáthach had fully recovered, her gaze was sharper and her stance was more refined. Unlike previous times, she now had an ominous crimson-colored spear out that was releasing an eerie vibe. And the design of it was simpler than even his War Spear.

Ares frowned when he recalled the state of one of his favorite weapons.

"I need to step up my game."

And there was only one weapon in his arsenal that could do that. He put back the two swords from before and took out his strongest one.

The usual Golden Sword, an ornate and intricate model, was used as the base of the weapon. A commonly used design that symbolized a God's Divinity and Authority. But the outer layer completely destroyed this image.

Fleshy crimson substances writhed upon the surface of this blade, a manifestation of the remains of countless humans and supernatural beings who died to create this sword.

It was the strongest weapon in the current Greek faction. A weapon that Ares and Athena designed and created using World War II as the catalyst, with the help of Hades.

"Blasphemous Blade."

The look of wariness on Thor and Scáthach's faces, when he took out the Blasphemous Blade, brought a smile to his own.

Frankly speaking, their intended design for the sword had a more 'Celestial' look and feel to it – A large golden sword constantly radiating divine blue flames which would have received the name 'Blade of Olympus'. But during the creation of the sword, it forcedly took this hideous form. No matter how hard Athena and he had tried, the weapon refused to follow their predetermined concept.

Athena wasn't happy but Ares didn't mind. After all, the sword was just as powerful as he wanted it to be.

Ares raised his blade high up before slamming it down on the ground. In an instant, the entire area was engulfed in flames, scorching and scarlet. He felt multiple spear projectiles coming toward him, courtesy of Scáthach, but the Hellish Flame of Blasphemous Blade melted them all.

Right at the next moment, an equal amount of lightning, piercing and white, smashed onto the flame and pushed it back, clearing the area.

His smile turned into a sneer.

Lightning was dancing around Thor's entire frame. But what got Ares' attention was Stormbreaker. Unknown runes appeared on top of the hammer-axe part of the weapon and the roots now had a silvery hue to it. And the entire hammer-axe was enveloped in thick lightning aura.

It seemed Thor wasn't going all out either.

But it mattered not. After all, Ares was sure of his victory.

Another surprise came in the next moment.

Thor raised his weapon and blocked Scáthach who looked puzzled just as much as him. Then the Norse God took a step forward, "He's mine!"

Ares wasn't sure if he would feel offended that Thor thought he could take him alone or excited since now he would be able to focus only on Thor. He just chose the middle ground and sneered at his opponents.

Scáthach looked reluctant at first but in the end, decided to follow Thor's command. She took a step back before flying away.

It happened so fast that Ares found it strange.

Not wanting to take any risks, he subtly took out multiple ornaments; one ring to alert him of any unknown life signature in the vicinity and another one that would consistently send his life signature to Athena. He also wore a wristband on his offhand that would continuously scan the area, gather the information, and telepathically give him the summary; the important details that he needed to watch out for.

After all, Scáthach leaving could be just a bait for him to drop his guard down; not that it would change the outcome for the Greek God of War.

Without uttering any words, Thor started to move sideways and so did Ares.

They kept circling each other without saying a single word.

The moment they moved half a circle, when they reached their opponent's initial location, they lunged at each other.

But right in the next moment, Ares stopped and swung his sword upward, releasing a burst of flame toward Thor.

Unfortunately, this didn't stop him.

Thor used his Stormbreaker to plunge through the attack, tanking the rest of the damage, and continued heading toward Ares who at the last moment used his Blasphemous Blade to defend himself.

But even that wasn't enough.

Thor used the momentum to lift Ares and flew toward the sky.

This made the Greek God angry. And he used this anger to ignite his sword and drown both of them with Blasphemous Blade's Hellish Flame.

And immediately he felt his muscles being torn apart by Thor's Divine lightning.

This small elemental clash allowed them to be separated, just by a mere meter. And right at the next moment, in sync, both Gods grabbed the handle of their weapon with two hands and swung at the other.

The shockwave generated when the two Divine weapons collided disrupted their balance.

As they were free-falling, completely out of control and destroying whatever was coming in their path, both Gods waved their weapons aimlessly and tried to land a hit on each other but failed to do so.

Finally, after a few long seconds, they crash-landed on solid ground.

Ares let out a few groans before quickly getting back on his feet.

It felt like they went through a few mountains.

Telepathically, he received the important details regarding this area from his wristband. One, their new location was quite far from their old one. Two, there was no one in the vicinity other than them. And third, his trinkets still couldn't pick up Hades' presence.

"Did we teleport that far from the original site?"

His instincts kicked in and he immediately turned around while raising his sword.

Ares expected Thor to lung at him, aiming for his head. There was also the possibility for him to throw a charged Stormbreaker at him. But what he didn't expect to see was an enormous pillar heading his way. That pillar was almost as big as the ones used in the main temple of Olympus and he had no idea how Thor found it.

The Greek God powered up the Blasphemous Blade and melted the incoming object. And as expected, it was a decoy.

Even though he knew that he couldn't dodge the next attack since, to Ares' surprise, it came from behind.

A direct hit from Stormbreaker.

And it felt like he was hit by his father when he was in his prime.

Ares was already up on his feet and jumped sideways to create some distance. He understood what had happened. Thor threw the pillar to distract him while at the same time, he maneuvered Stormbreaker and positioned it behind him, sneakily, before going for the hit.

If it was any other Greek God or Goddess than him, even Athena, that hit would have been lethal.

Luckily for Ares, Blasphemous Blade was already healing him.

He sneered at Thor, "If you're not fighting dirty…"

Thor scoffed back, "You're not fighting, right?"

Once more, they started to circle each other.

The Norse God of Thunder was landing more hits than Ares expected. Honestly, this wasn't a concerning notion. Because even though Ares was more on the receiving side, his wounds were healing whereas Thor's wounds weren't.

The concerning part was Thor's fighting style and growth.

In the past, the Norse God would have fought aggressively, without any care. He would have used both his Mjølnir and his fists, and at the same time would have absorbed most of the damage or disregarded it through sheer force and will; basically, fighting like a Viking Berserker.

This style was still there but it was more refined.

Now, Thor was relying more on his new weapon Stormbreaker. And unlike before, he was using his current weapon to soak incoming damage instead of tanking it with his body. Plus, it might be just him but Thor was showing a great mastery in handling his new weapon compared to his old one.

But what really surprised Ares was how levelheaded Thor was now.

The Greek God of War showed up alone and challenged Thor unprovokedly while insulting him. He also implied that the Norse God alone wouldn't be enough of a match. And through his actions, Ares displayed his intentions to kill Thor.

And yet, Thor didn't lash out… not as much as he had hoped.

Ares stopped circling as he gripped his legendary weapon with both hands. His scowl became fiercer as the unholy flame erupted from the blade.

"Victory is mine!"

After all, in the current century, he was a Top Ten ranker. And Thor wasn't.

In response, Thor stopped as well and empowered his own weapon, "Says who?"

Then he smirked as if something occurred to him before uttering the last word.

"Dickless."

Ares was stunned. It took his mind a second to process that he was insulted. Then, unleashing a deafening roar, he lunged at Thor.

It wasn't the word but rather how it was said that angered him.

Ares swung Blasphemous Blade in a wide arc and let the sword cover the entire area in front of him with fire.

He sensed Thor using his lightning element to instantly fly away and dodge the attack.

During his swing motion, Ares released his offhand and gripped the sword in reverse with his main hand. The command was given to his sword through his new stance as the flames condensed and started spinning around the blade whereas the handle expanded. At the same time, Ares spun, allowing his sword to power up further.

And then, he threw the sword.

The fire-drilling sword reached its mark, and as expected, Thor tried to deflect the attack by hitting it with his Stormbreaker.

The result was an enormous explosion and Thor was right at the center of it.

As Thor was blown away, Ares rushed toward him, replacing his 'Scanner' wristband with an offensive one. This wristband allowed him to summon and cancel various shields much quicker than his regular methods. It was a great way to catch his enemies off-guard.

When he reached the Norse God, Thor was already up and swinging his axe-hammer.

Ares stopped just at the right distance before summoning a shield through his new wristband and hitting Thor's weapon. But instead of hitting Stormbreaker away, he pushed it in the direction it was going which threw Thor off-balance.

Using the momentum, he landed a solid punch on Thor before receiving one himself. Ares continued with his offense by replacing his shield with a smaller one with a sharp outer edge and smashing Thor's main hand with it, forcing Thor to retaliate with his offhand.

Ares took the hit as he summoned a poisoned dagger in his main hand and tried to hit Thor with it.

Unfortunately, the Norse God dodged. He teleported away from the spot using his lightning element. His senses were sharper than Ares expected as not a moment later, Blasphemous Blade crash-landed at the exact same spot where Thor was.

Ares dismissed the poisoned dagger before grabbing his primary weapon. And in one swift motion, he turned and aimed the tip of the sword at Thor.

Fire erupted from the blade before breaking off into chunks, condensing until they were almost solid, and then blasting toward Thor.

Thor started to spin his weapon which released a massive amount of lightning energy, creating a makeshift shield in front of him.

While Thor was blocking the attack, Ares grabbed the hilt of his sword with two hands and took a proper stance. Calming his emotions, he gathered his Divine energy and synchronized it with Blasphemous Blade. Then, he took a deep breath and raised his sword high up before releasing the breath and bringing it down.

In an instant, the world in front of him was drowned in fire as the land beneath him parted and the storm in the sky cleared.

He relaxed his stance as his face broke into a smug smile.

"Oh~ I definitely felt that one."

And then, the smile turned into a scowl.

When the dust cleared, Thor was still standing. He was wounded but not heavily.

Ares was quite confused because it didn't make sense. Thor shouldn't be strong enough to take this level of damage. He and Athena did thousands of simulations and came up with just as many plans to take care of the Norse God.

Yet, against all odds, Thor was still standing tall.

The ominous hum from Stormbreaker broke his clouded mind. Then he noticed it – the smug and taunting look from Thor.

Gritting his teeth, Ares gripped his sword in reverse once more.

In response, Thor widened his stance while holding his axe-hammer with one hand.

Ares pushed out as much of his Divine energy as he could into Blasphemous Blade. Not a moment later, the sword started to hum with unholy red energy.

Thor, on the other hand, raised his Stormbreaker high, which was instantly being struck by numerous lightning from the sky… continuously. And Ares couldn't see exactly where the bolts of lightning were coming from.

Ares leaned backward and took a deep breath before throwing the sword with all of his might.

Thor grabbed the handle of his weapon with both hands before throwing it forward as well.

One blink, and the weapons immediately reached each other. And when they made contact… there were no explosions.

While still connected, both of the weapons were just hovering there, unresponsive.

But a second later, Ares realized what happened.

The power released from the clash of these two Divine Godly weapons was so great that it disrupted the very time and space in that small area where the weapons were.

"You shouldn't possess a weapon of this caliber."

Ares noticed that Thor had taken a few steps forward but kept a reasonable distance from the frozen area.

The Norse God scowled at him, "What did you do?"

The sheer audacity of Thor made Ares grit his teeth, "I will tell you after I carve your body with my sword."

The scowl turned into a smile as Thor relaxed his posture, "Not a bad idea."

This caught Ares off-guard… and he paid the price for it.

"Half Dimension!"

His instincts flared but it was too late.

Ares felt an overwhelming external force trying to shrink his Divine energy and his physical form. Of course, his Divinity retaliated but this sudden conflict momentarily immobilized him.

He sensed someone coming at him from behind.

The Greek God of War immediately called for his Blasphemous Blade. And then he realized. His sword wouldn't be reaching him on time.

Releasing as much Divine energy as he could, Ares barely loosened the hold that external force had on him and turned around.

An unknown individual fully clad in white Dragon-like armor was rushing toward him. And his arm was merged with an ominous crimson spear.

The same one Scáthach was using.

"Their reinforcements?!"

Ares summoned his strongest shield, Aegis II, a replica based on Athena's shield. But to his horror, the shield couldn't block the spear from his new foe.

The shield broke and the spear went through his hand. His foe was targeting his heart but Ares titled his body at the last second to dodge that lethal attack.

The Dragon-humanoid roared, one filled with rage and hatred.

But before he could land another attack, he was teleported away, just as Blasphemous Blade reached him.

Ares swiped the sword, in anger, covering the entire region in unholy fire.

A fire that died down quite fast.

The Greek God of War shifted his stance to cover his crippled arm and looked ahead.

Scáthach was back. And she had two more individuals.

From what he could sense, one was a Demi-God; someone from the Hindu faction.

The other one was a human, somewhere from East Asia.

Then the Dragon-humanoid appeared and started to hover them.

And finally, Thor appeared and stood before them, wielding his Stormbreaker. The smile from before never leaving his face.

"I have some questions. And I will have them from you after I…" He paused and glanced sideways before resuming, "After we carve your body."

Ares was shaking.

The rage and hatred he felt at this moment… it was unimaginable. These intense emotions almost clouded his judgment. For a split second, his entire being wanted to do nothing but rush forward and try his damnest to take as many heads as he could even at the expense of his demise.

But he held himself back.

And the fact that he had to do so enraged him further.

Thor shouldn't be a match for him. Unlike Ares, he couldn't secure a position in the Top Ten and neither was he an active player in the last century or two.

Stormbreaker shouldn't be this powerful. Yes, it was an exceptional Divine weapon but the design of it was quite simple and it didn't possess any unique ability, unlike his Blasphemous Blade.

Scáthach shouldn't be able to call for a reinforcement, not this fast. To do so, she needed to leave the Underworld through a crack. Hades would have noticed this and would have stopped her.

And he, the Greek God of War, shouldn't be feeling fear.

But he couldn't deny it. Hidden behind his rage and hatred, a part of his was afraid. Because that part of him couldn't see him coming out alive from this encounter.

Was this his last battle?

This idea, this thought should anger him further. This should sharpen his mind and strengthen his will. Unfortunately, it was only stroking his fear.

He couldn't win this fight.

Not alone.

And then, he remembered.

Ares let out a fake groan before shifting his body to protect his injured arm further and took a quick glance at that arm. From his enemies' perspective, he might seem inspecting his injuries but he was focused on the ring that he had taken out before, the one that was constantly sending the status of his life signature to Athena.

The ring was subtly vibrating with Athena's Divinity.

The message was clear… his own reinforcement was on their way.

It was as if a huge burden left Ares' shoulder. He knew he wasn't in the clear yet. He needed to buy some time now, not an easy task considering his current condition.

Still, he refused to back down.

"What else to expect from raiders?" Ares stood straighter and grinned mockingly at Thor, "You know you will never be able to defeat me alone so you sought…"

"Enough!"

The individual wearing full draconic armor roared.

"I will have your head, Ares!"

And then, he charged.

Out of all his enemies in front of him, the 'Divine Dividing' wielder was the loose cannon. His actions made it crystal clear. As for his identity, Ares recognized that Longinus, not by its visual appearance but by its unique ability.

Ares was unable to even lift his left arm properly. His energy level and mental stability were nowhere near their peak. At the same time, he needed to keep an eye out for every enemy in front of him.

But he was still the Greek God of War and the only Greek God of the current era who secured a position in the Top Ten.

"Divide!"

Ares swiped his sword sideways, releasing an enormous amount of flame that shielded him from the ability. If his enemy thought it was easy to cast a powerful curse such as 'Divide' on a God then he was a fool.

The Greek God deflected the arrow aimed at his heart using the butt of his sword and without losing momentum he swung the sword downward to dispel the shadow creeping up to him.

He immediately sidestepped to dodge the spear attack from the Divine Dividing user and once more to dodge another arrow aimed at his heart.

Just for a split second, Ares' gaze landed on Thor and Scáthach both of whom never moved from their position.

It was easy to see through their deception.

Thor and Scáthach were waiting for a single opening to immobilize him. But Ares knew that if he were to go all out then Thor would step in since the current striking team wouldn't be able to handle him. Unfortunately, Scáthach wouldn't move. No, she would wait indefinitely for that perfect opportunity.

Still, this worked in his favor since he needed all the extra time he could get.

Ares sidestepped once again to dodge the spear attack but at the last moment…

"Divide!"

The space between him and the spear shrunk.

Ares cursed out loud before deflecting the spear with his blade. But he could do nothing about the body tackle that came next.

"Divide!"

Ares' battle-instinct screamed at him making him tilt his body and use his injured arm to catch the arrow aimed at his heart. He immediately released a large amount of flame forcing the Longinus user to move away and burning the shadow and the second arrow which were coming at him from his blind spot.

"Divide!"

The flames shrunk and so Ares released another burst of flame. Fortunately, this gave him an opening to create some safe distance from his enemies and he took it.

The moment his feet touched the ground, his senses alerted him once more. Disregarding the immense pain from his crippled arm, he shifted his body again to block the attack from Scáthach who was wielding another crimson spear.

And then he heard the sky roaring.

Thor was coming at him from the sky, his axe-hammer burning with his Divine lightning.

Why did they enter the battle now? He got the answer to that question in the next second.

Thor was struck by an enormous powerful white beam but Scáthach was able to dodge the white orb aimed at her. As for the rest, they were being distracted by warrior-like puppets.

His reinforcement was here.

Unfortunately, he couldn't relax because Thor shook the attack away like it was nothing and was still descending on him.

Ares raised his sword arm but realized that their surrounding was rapidly becoming hazy, thick with purple mist.

"Lord Ares, touch the orb."

He heard the echoing voice and looked at his side to see a white orb. An enormous lightning explosion occurred somewhere in front of him which immediately removed all of his hesitation.

He touched the orb and felt the distortion in space. He was being teleported.

The moment his senses stabilized, he heard another voice.

"Balance Breaker: Dimension Create!"

The entire area, as far as he could sense, shifted. He felt as if he was somewhere in between the Underworld and an unknown location.

"Lord Ares."

Finally, he saw his reinforcements…

And it was only two humans.

"Cao Cao, Georg," Ares looked around but all he could see was purple emptiness, "Where are the rest of the reinforcements?"

Cao Cao took a step forward, his head held high, "Lady Athena has asked us to retreat to Olympus II."

Ares sneered. He would not be retreating from this battle, not without taking at least one head, "I am not leaving."

Cao Cao frowned and Ares contemplated if he ought to take his head. But before his anger could get the best of him, Georg moved forward and bowed, "Lord Hades has fallen and the Greek faction's hold on the Grigory territory is lost."

Ares blinked. He must have heard wrong, "What did you say?"

"Sun Wukong and traces of an unknown Deity were found on the location," Georg answered, "Lady Athena believes that the Hindu faction may be involved."

Now this woke up Ares.

"Please, Lord Ares. My Balance Breaker will not be able to hold them off for much longer," Georg pleaded.

Ares gritted his teeth while his grip on his sword tightened. Then he recalled that one member of Thor's reinforcement had a Demi-God from the Hindu faction.

The Greek God of War let out a silent scream.

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0 hours before Great Red's imprisonment

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Everything was falling apart.

Hades, the Greek God of the Underworld, had fallen in a battle. Ares didn't think it was possible but that was the truth. A harsh truth.

There was very little information on exactly when the fight occurred or who were the culprits but Hades' death had been confirmed. And the domino effect had already started. The Greek faction had lost all the Grigori territories and a majority of their force stationed there. Not only that, even their territories in the Underworld were not safe anymore since they lacked severe manpower.

But the unfortunate news didn't stop there.

Poseidon's forces had also lost their battle. Their task was to capture a few major cities of Grigori. They succeeded in taking two cities but lost during the third takeover.

From the reports, it seemed Grigori had unexpected reinforcement from the Devil faction. While there was no major loss, Poseidon and his forces had to retreat after the Greek God of Sea's loss at the hands of Grayfia Lucifuge and her team.

Athena, on the other hand, had locked down their original home Olympus and destroyed all the traces of their forces near their home. It made sense. After all, she or anyone else in the Greek faction didn't want the supernatural world to find out what they were truly up to.

Another news that worried him greatly was the fact that they couldn't get in touch with Gasper or his team. It was complete radio silence.

For the last hour or so, this was all he was hearing… one bad news after another.

With a grunt, Ares moved his left arm. With the help of his Blasphemous Blade and his brother Apollo, the critical part of his injuries was gone. Still, it was not fully healed yet.

"What had gone wrong?"

A question that echoed in his empty room.

Their plan was perfect and yet…

"Unpredictable variables."

He recalled Athena's words but was it truly? Ares didn't think so. Quite a few things were not adding up.

A knock on his door broke his trance.

"Who is it?"

Ares thought that the commotion he had created when he reached Olympus II would have deterred anyone from finding him.

Unless…

"A portal from Lord Ares' home is opening."

In an instant, Ares was out and rushing down the hallway.

"Has Athena found the answers?"

He needed to know.

When he reached the main hall, Ares saw that most of the Greek Gods and Goddesses were there, and he felt many more coming to their location. It made him realize that he wasn't the only one who was concerned about their current predicament. Maybe 'Concern' was too light of a word to describe their current emotional state.

Ares' gaze landed on the portal.

Something told him that he would be finding some answers to his question.

Finally, the portal stabilized and a person walked out of it.

And, it wasn't Athena.

A tall charming dark-haired man wearing a black suit stepped out. One who looked completely human but at the same time everything about him felt inhumane. And his signature blazing red irises held nothing but glee as his gaze washed over them.

"It cannot be!" Ares took a step back subconsciously, he felt his blood freezing, "You are supposed to be dead!"

The man smiled, "As you can see, I am very much alive," Then he gave an exaggerated bow, "And thank you… for finally inviting me to your home."

Ares felt everyone in the vicinity panicking and the fear in their heart was becoming apparent. He saw the newer Demi-Gods taking up arms but older Gods and Goddesses? They were trying to run away.

And he couldn't blame them.

After all, the one in front of them was none other than the Devil.

Lucifer Morningstar

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.

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Next Arc: A New World

Teaser:

Everything around Naruto started to shed their colors and their identities. He felt the forces and concepts of the World and the Gap rebelling against his command. And his eyes showed him the dangers and the consequences of the action he was about to take.

But he didn't care.

Not this time.

He warped the realms and realities around him and looked straight at… the Infinity…the Second Beast

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Done

Hope you all liked the multiple revelations of this chapter – the individual behind the scenes and the teaser of the next arc.

Speaking of the next arc, I plan to divide it into two parts. I will start working on the first part, the first three chapters. After I am done with that, I will take my usual break from this story. And don't worry, the first part of the arc will contain what is shown in the teaser above, so you don't have to wait too long.

Moving on…

About 'Son of Infinity'; let's just say that a few people in Discord was able to convince me, so I wrote a different version of it – where Naruto has 'True Longinus' and the story is more lighthearted. I only wrote the first chapter and it is posted on the page of patrons. And yes, anyone can read it there. I plan to write the second chapter and will compare the two versions to see which one is better before I continue that story.

You can join the discord for more story-related updates. Here is the invite code to my discord server:

v2ChQdhvFe

If the code does not work, check the latest chapter or my profile.

See you all soon…