A/N: If you are new to this story and find the first chapter too long or daunting to read through, skipping to the end of the Maligog bit should have no consequence on your understanding of the story.
Here you go.
In the first age, in the first battle, when the shadows first lengthened, one stood. Burned by the embers of Armageddon, his soul blistered by the fires of Hell and tainted beyond ascension, he chose the path of perpetual torment. In his ravenous hatred he found no peace; and with boiling blood he scoured the Umbral Plains seeking vengeance against the dark lords who had wronged him. For eons he suffered, rancorous in his rampage of retribution, and without pause, he etched terror into the hearts of the abysmal shadow-dwellers, striking fear into the lowest of their kin. He witnessed untold worlds and universes fall to Hell's demonic clutches, and with rage ever-growing, he crusaded against the blackened souls of the damned, unbreakable, incorruptible, and unyielding in his conquest to end the dominion of the dark realm. By his vengeful fists, the beasts of the nine circles fell endlessly, the blood of the wicked painting his mind, body, and soul. Through the passage that preys upon the weak, he prevailed, and impenetrable in his onslaught, he travelled between worlds and through time saving one world after another from unholy consumption. Though his name and influence spread throughout the multiverse as none had before, he remained oblivious to such fame, set on banishing all that were left unbroken by his savagery to the void.
Through many dimensions he travelled, and over his continued existence, he unveiled the lies and treachery of the Ancient Ones. His conquest everlasting, he sought retribution in all quarters, dark and light, fire and ice, in the beginning and the end. Striking down all who dared face him, he punished the Ancient Ones and crushed the essence of the Father. Wrathful in his step, he sought to end the eternal war, and unfaltering, he stole the essence of the Dark Lord and took it to the False Beginning. He watched, hateful in his gait as the Luminarium brought forth the First, and thus started the Beginning of the End. Unwavering, he stood as evil followed the abysmal shadows, the Dark Lord rousing Immora, the Armies of Armageddon rising to challenge all of Creation. But even as the treacherous shade stretched on between realities indefinitely, he stood among them unfettered.
Vengeance prevalent, he leapt between worlds and rallied the armies of Argenta, and thus the Final War began. Ever-powerful, he charged through the dust and the fire, and he tore down the immortal gates of Immora, destruction following his path. He took to the center of the Origin where the Ancient Gods awaited, and unperturbed, he challenged the First; thus, the Final Battle, the End of the End began.
Two Titans met, and worlds were shaken as total power was unleashed, destructive flames sweeping endlessly across the lands. The strength of their opposing wills took them across dimensions, and blow for blow, blood for blood, the truth of the Ultimate Betrayal was slowly unveiled, and it became known that the First was the True Creator, the lies of the Father exposed. Still, the blaze of battle remained unextinguished, and the Final Battle between all-powerful equals continued. Soon, the Fate of all of Creation was due; one power overtook the other, and as the quakes of war ceased, and the fires of destruction quenched, he stood at the top, almighty, immovable, invincible.
He ripped and tore, until it was done. And now, it is done.
Atop the Ingmore Sanctum of the once holy Jekkad, he and his adversary faced one another, the air still, the battle over. The essence of life, the blood of Creation poured from the Dark Lord like it never had before as the First True Creator rest his tired, beaten body upon a knee, his chest heaving, his armor in shambles. His iron fist gripped his sword of cosmic destruction tightly, but with an undeniable air of acceptance.
Across from the First, the Destroyer stood, fists clenched but calm, a vengeful whirlwind of ice and fire in his eyes as he stared hatefully at the source of his torment. The strongest Being, the one who had risen from the dust to the cosmos in true divine authority, the Doom Slayer glared through the cold visor of his impenetrable armor, the Praetor Suit, with a calm and righteous fury, the eons worth of torment he had endured flashing through his mind in an instant. Everything he had lost, everything he had done to get to this point, every last demon he had torn to veritable shreds with his bare hands, every last god he had turned to pools of blood by his will, everything he had sacrificed... everything that he had loved. It all came down to this.
The End was here.
Slowly, gradually, his weary hands reached for his helmet, and for the first time in eons, he showed his face to another physical being. He took a slow, deep breath, then dropped the accessory by the soles of his boots. He stepped forward.
The Dark Lord breathed heavily, the weight of Fate not lost on him. He raised his weapon, but it was nothing but a deadweight, useless in his hand for what was to come, for what was inevitable.
"Tell me," he spoke, eyes glaring deep into his adversary's. He tossed his weapon to the side. "Have you nothing to say to your creator... before you strike him down?"
The Doom Slayer glared back, a scowl coming to his scarred face, lips warped by hate. The End here, he bared his fangs one last time, the Doomblade singing its song of Destruction as it extended with a harsh screech. Without a moment more of hesitation, the Destroyer plunged the blade deep into the True Creator, blood and energy spilling forth. He ripped the blade out, and for the first time in countless eons, he spoke.
The Dark Lord grunted, his body shaking and sparking in pain as the limitless power within him swelled. He looked up, and the power of Creation and Destruction raged forth from his visage, a pillar of infinite energy shooting far into the sky, billowing out as it reached the boundaries of Hell. The Dark Lord fell back, and from his chest rose the First Soul Sphere. It cracked, unstable, then it shattered in an intense eruption that sent waves of power and influence flowing throughout the multiverse.
The ritual was complete.
In an endless number of dimensions that had been infected by the treacherous demons, the denizens of Hell crumbled. On one Sentinel World, man and woman alike cheered the Slayer's banner as the demons that plagued their world turned to ash. On another world, one in which society was ruled by ninjas, the weary Chakra users were rendered speechless as the demonic threat of decades untold simply vanished. On another world, spiteful heroes and villains that had been forced to cooperate stumbled in relief and confusion as demons disintegrated around them. On another world, a treaty between humans and a vast race of sexually-sustained female anthropomorphic monsters rejoiced as the enemy fell to dust. On another world where ancient heroes and their masters compete for the power of a Holy Grail, the wars were ended as the Armies of Armageddon were destroyed. Countless other worlds saw the end of their plight as the demons were brought to Doom. It was over.
The Slayer gazed up at the infernal sky, the cold fury in his heart temporarily sated for the first time in billions of years. For eons he had wasted away, slaughtering every last demon he could get his hands on, living for the sole purpose of tearing Hell asunder. Today, he had taken rightful vengeance against the Dark Lord himself, the ultimate source of his pain. There was still much left to do, but for the most part, his conquest of Jekkad, his quest for revenge was over. The rage within him settled; he felt nothing but an empty void. What was there left for him now that the True Creator, the Father of All was dead?
It is done.
The Doom Slayer slowly looked back and forth as a wave of exhaustion suddenly passed over him, nausea and dizziness overwhelming his senses. His brows furrowed in confusion as he fell to his knees, and he gazed down at his tired hands, perplexed. What was happening to him?
Soon, he had his answer.
"By his hand, all things were made," the Maykr Father's omniscient voice reverberated throughout the Holy Ingmore Sanctum. "... Even you."
As he heard those words, the Doom Slayer finally understood the situation at hand, but it was too late. In his moment of weakness, he fell over, and the Father's treacherous minions leapt at him. In return for his power, he was being betrayed yet again. The Father had set him up from the start.
Rage bubbled beneath the Slayer's skin, but the death of the Dark Lord cut deep into his own power and temporarily incapacitated him; he lie helplessly as the Father's Seraphs and the Ancient Gods cast hex after hex, seal after seal, imprisonment incantation after imprisonment incantation upon him, further stilling him. His helmet was placed back upon his head, and he was carried into a cursed sarcophagus.
Exhausted, he glared at the Seraphs that stared emotionlessly at him, trapping him as he had been in the past. They said nothing as they entombed him, lowering the sarcophagus at an excruciatingly gradual pace. The sarcophagus hit the ground with a thud, and the Seraph before him raised a metallic hand, curling his fingertips.
And as the lid of the eternal sarcophagus slid over him, the Doom Slayer slept once more—not in peace, but evermore in silent suffering.
"... May the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again..."
After several days of combat, the Sentinels tore the Capital City of Immora and its unholy citizens to the ground, ripping and tearing through beast after beast before their resources were eventually exhausted. Word had spread that the Dark Lord had been defeated, and as a result, so too had the demons outside of Hell been annihilated; the rest were sealed within the Dark Realm for good. The Sentinels left, loud and victorious, but despite a number of search efforts, the legendary Doom Slayer was never found. Commander Valen was the last to leave; he waited another day for the return of the King, but when the Slayer never returned, Valen could only assume the worst. He left, the victory evidently bitter-sweet. Although the Sentinels no longer had a King, their scattered tribes remained scattered no longer, as the conflict and the demons that surrounded them had been vanquished. They reunited, and the day of the Final War became known as the Holy Crusade, and the victory day, the Eve of the White Star. For generations untold, the Eve of the White Star would be celebrated as the day on which the Sentinels had defeated the demons once and for all, and the day on which the Slayer had made the ultimate sacrifice to Doom the Dark Lord. He would never be forgotten, and Argentians across the stars would cheer his banner. Similarly, a countless number of other worlds would name their respective victory days and celebrate them for millennia.
Unbeknownst to all, the Doom Slayer remained intact but in stasis, his powerful body trapped atop the Ingmore Sanctum's Temple of Souls, surrounded by a number of untouched minor Gods. Time moved differently in Hell than it did anywhere else; Hell was the First Realm, one that connected to all others in the Omniverse, and by the Dark Lord's deceased but all-powerful will, the concept of space and time was skewed. Atop the Ingmore Sanctum, it was even more so. What was effectively a million years in the Temple of Souls might only have been a few thousand years in one universe. As such, time passed, gradually and painfully, the Temple still and silent.
The prideful Maykrs could no longer monitor the Dark Lord, for with the elimination of the Father's soul sphere, the transfiguration was upon them. With no power to influence them, they gradually went mad, and thus began the terrible rebirthing of their species. Even had they not undergone the feared transfiguration, they'd still be sure of themselves, for without the Dark Lord's influence, the void was sealed permanently, and there was no chance that anything could escape; not even the Slayer could move, trapped under an uncountable number of ancient and arcane seals as he was...
However, as powerful and nigh-omniscient as the Maykrs had been... they'd miscalculated. For there was one factor they had forgotten to consider when they used the Slayer and sealed him away: Titan Maligog.
Intricately developed by the Dark Lord himself, Maligog's name is feared by all that know it. A cursed scarred titan of unrivaled physical power with only a single purpose, Maligog watches over the Ingmore Sanctum and denies passage to those unworthy. The largest, eldest, and most physically powerful titan ever created, tall enough to crush even the Icon of Sin underfoot, Maligog was an unstoppable beast that could only be controlled by the will of his Creator. But now, the Dark Lord was gone, and his influence was no more.
The troubled Maykrs remained oblivious as millennia passed, and gradually, Maligog's purpose was forgotten, replaced by the gift of free will. After an unsure amount of time, a single, narrowed eye opened. Maligog had reawakened.
Ancient as Hell itself, and with a low gurgle in its throat that shook the foundations of the dirt it lay atop, Maligog rose from the fetid Blood Swamps, the world beneath it groaning and crumbling as it stood to its full height of more than three-and-a-half kilometers, its gargantuan body piercing the clouds and casting a massive shadow upon the world, the mountains in the distance shaking from the sheer weight of its form. Freed from its demeaning purpose, the titan looked to the sky with a single glaring eye, chunks of boulders and heaps of dust falling from its massive body, and it roared in sheer defiance, guttural, dangerous, and free. The ground beneath it shattered as the vibrations shook it apart, the landscape for miles and miles all but quaking as if tectonic plates had shifted. The power from Maligog's call was felt far throughout Hell, and an indefinite number of demons paused their ever-unending toiling and turned to the source, seething. As conflict was born in Hell, it was inevitable.
Hell-kin of all shapes and sizes, from Fodder to Demon Lords—the denizens of Unholy Jekkad came raging like a storm. Maligog, unfazed, roared again, the sound waves threatening to rip the world apart. The structures of the Blood Swamps, Blackstone and metal were blown to smithereens, the mountains themselves crumbling, weathered to nothing but flat plains as if the largest bomb ever conceived by man had been dropped where the titan stood. So powerful was the beast's call that the Ingmore Sanctum itself began to crack, threatening the release of an even greater monster. Maligog continued to roar, and lesser demons were all but liquified by the mere pressure emitted by the sound of its voice. The Ingmore Sanctum cracked even more.
Slowly, the beast ceased its call, and it turned around, each step causing earthquakes that had never been felt before, ripping the ground apart for kilometers and causing mountainous landslides and avalanches. It could sense them, the powerful presences of the beings entombed atop the Ingmore Sanctum. It's singular unscarred eye glared at the top, the other eye a cursed, angry cloud of white; it knew that its creator—its slaver had once rest at the top of the Sanctum; it was the ultimate resting place of the vile being that had tortured the titan into brutal, bloody submission, the one who'd given him the agonizing, cursed wounds that marred his form, ones that would never heal. Maligog was overcome by anger, and with another guttural roar of defiance, one that brought even Super-Heavy demons to heel, it swung its fist straight through the Ingmore Sanctum.
The force of the blow was staggering. The Ingmore Sanctum all but shattered, erupting into fragments that went kilometers into Hell's endless void of a sky, the kinetic energy of the blow sending shockwaves that flattened mountain ranges as far as the human eye could see. The Soul Spheres of Gods and Demon Gods alike rained down haphazardly, and among them all was a single cursed sarcophagus.
As the sarcophagus reached the apex of its flight and began to descend, Maligog eyed it with curiosity, then rage; the one within the unholy coffin felt most similar to Maligog's Creator, and as such, the urge to enact revenge was overpowering. Maligog's ability to see reason was lost. Cutting through the clouds, the super-titan's claws shot at the stone casket, and it snatched the offending object with such speed and force that hurricane winds swept throughout the Blood Swamps, toppling any already weakened structures. Maligog remained oblivious, and with an enraged call, it launched the sarcophagus into the dirt of the swamps.
The impact created a ferocious explosion of mud, rock, and dust, forming a crater a kilometer in diameter. The following shockwave obliterated any approaching Fodder demons. Only Super-Heavy and Heavy demons were resilient enough to survive, though their flesh was torn and their essence was spilled. Maligog was unsatisfied, and with another powerful roar, one that blew dust into what was equivalent to the Earth's stratosphere, it sent a fist soaring at the coffin, its impenetrable knuckles cutting through the air at massively hypersonic speed, generating heat at such a degree that it melted rock and vaporized the swamps. Its fist buried itself deep into the dirt, down to the elbow, and once again, the force of a meteor tore the Blood Swamps asunder, sending the decrepit and shriveled vegetation of Hell far into the sky, land masses the size of buildings soaring.
As the shockwaves dissipated, Maligog removed its fist from the cavern it created, and it peered down at the charred, smoking pit of death. At the very bottom of the cavern, the sarcophagus lay, its surfaced cracked beyond all recognition but still intact, the symbols upon it glowing a crimson red. Unseen to the naked eye, seal after seal was broken under the power of the super-titan, and as the symbol grew brighter, Maligog took a knee and leaned in close. Taller than the mountains, the titan strained to listen, but what it heard shook it to the core.
Unending hate and rage, loathing and malice met its eyes. But what met its ears was the sound of heavy metal.
Suddenly, the lid burst open, and from the cursed confines of the coffin rose a being that struck fear throughout all of Hell, his suffocating aura of fury unleashing itself upon the Dimension of the Damned. The Doom Slayer had risen.
Eyes glowing with repressed rage, fingers curling in hate, the Great Slayer tore himself from the coffin and stood to his full height, fists balling hard enough to crush the cursed stone of the sarcophagus that had imprisoned him. His gaze was drawn up as his suit's systems rebooted, and through the helmet of the now active and ancient Praetor Suit, he glared up at the one who'd roused him.
Maligog faltered for only a moment, then the anger spilled forth once more, and it raised its titanic fist to strike again, it's elbow breaching the clouds as it pulled back. For the first time in millennia, the Slayer moved, anger driving his thoughts, impulse driving his movement, and with a heft of fury, he threw himself at the walls of the cavern, smashing his gauntleted fingers into the rock. Then, with the speed of a rocket, he threw himself upwards and instantly cleared a hundred meters, repeating the motion till he reached the top, whereupon Maligog's ancient arena-sized fist came down upon him. With total control over his movement, the Slayer dashed out of the way, and the meteor-like fist missed him by a centimeter. He jumped, dodging the subsequent shockwaves that ruined the already Hellish landscape, clouding the atmosphere with dust and debris. When he landed, the Slayer glared hard at the titan before his own fist balled, the power of a True God held within. Energy crackled, and with a look that could vaporize steel, and will that only Doom could summon, he sent his fist of Argent death rocketing forward.
The blow crashed against Maligog's titanic elbow, energy erupting, and flesh was torn and bone was severed by the combined force and heat, the power of Argent swirling Hellishly. The turbulent winds of the punch sent a shockwave high into the atmosphere that blew away any and all aforementioned dust and debris, clearing the air for kilometers, and the impact created an absolutely massive crater, anything and everything within its radius totally annihilated. Maligog roared, not in pain, but in ever-increasing rage, removing its bloodied arm from the ground, giving not more than a glance as pools of blood and flesh dripped from the elbow like a waterfall.
Thus, the Doom Slayer was given several seconds to stop and think. The memories of his fight with the Dark Lord resurfaced, as did his subsequent sealing. Though his mission was complete, and the object of his pain had been destroyed, rage bubbled beneath his skin; it was an inherent quality of his. For once, he didn't immediately act on it, cold and controlled as it may have been. He needed to leave Hell—something he'd never thought he'd desired; his mission was over, his thoughts were jumbled, and there was no longer a reason to stay, at least for now. He would leave as soon as possible—the only functioning slipgate he could think of that was powerful enough to possibly leave a sealed Hell was the one to Ardur, several thousands of kilometers away from the Blood Swamp, relatively close in his opinion. He would get there soon, but first...
He huffed in anger, rolling his shoulders and popping his knuckles. Fury and loathing defined him, and he would not let his thirst for blood go unquenched, his hunger for the destruction of evil unsatisfied. Body and mind brimming with hate, the very essence of rage seeping from his pores, the Slayer looked up at his aggressor. Whatever had Maligog's panties in a twist, he didn't give a flying fuck, for the urge to RIP AND TEAR was stronger than it had ever been in millennia, and as far as the Slayer knew, there were demons coming.
There was an earth-shattering roar, and the Slayer saw a gargantuan palm coming down atop him, the Trial of Maligog thundering in his ears. He dashed back at lightning speed, skipping past intact boulders and shredded swamp trees, then the titanic appendage met the ground, sending quakes throughout the lands, creating an imprint dozens of meters deep. At the same time, the army of the demons finally approached; Barons of Hell, Dread Knights, Whiplashes, Prowlers, and Pain Elementals were among the first. Approaching was their biggest mistake.
Reaching deep within himself, the Slayer grasped at an ancient, legendary weapon that hadn't seen the light of day in untold lengths of time. Still blazingly powerful, the Hellbreaker, Argent Sentinel Hammer of legend revealed itself, and the Slayer leapt high into the skies as he clutched the handle, then he came back down with nuclear force. Although Commander Valen had used it well, a weapon is only as competent as its user, and in the Slayer's hand, it was a God-slaying weapon of Empyreal Judgement.
When the hammer came down upon Maligog's iron hand, flesh was liquified and bones were shattered in a light show of red. The massive explosion created from the pure physical nature of the impact alone was large enough to reach far past the titan's wrist, more than a hundred meters from the center of its hand, and the Argent shockwave ripped the nearing army of demons to veritable shreds, faltering the larger ones, but nonetheless setting all of them back another few hundred meters. Maligog seemed totally unfazed beyond the glare in its eye, peering down at its titanic hand now malformed beyond all recognition, its opposite elbow fractured and exposed. With a gurgle in its throat, it raised its fleshless palm to slam down again, but the Doom Slayer began running along its knuckle.
The Hellbreaker disappeared from the Slayer's hands and out came the Ballista, still powerful and functional after all these years—as all of his weapons were. He charged the Destroyer Blade, slowing his movement slightly, and when Maligog raised its exposed bones to eye level, he fired. In a mere instant, he cycled between all of his single-fire conventional weapons multiple times over, firing enough projectiles and payloads to rival a fully functioning military; so many projectiles lit up the air at once that it seemed as if a massive, solid, multi-colored beam of Doom shot at Maligog. But Maligog was more intelligent than lesser demons, for before the Slayer could finish the first cycle, it raised its opposing, undamaged hand and blocked the attack. As a result, the flesh upon its intact hand was obliterated by the sheer volume of Argent-enhanced bullets, rockets, bombs, and beams.
Undeterred, the titan swept its damaged palm at the Slayer, who huffed in ire. The Hellwalker leapt high, dodging the sweeping blow that blew past with such speed and force that demons three-and-a-half kilometers below toppled over from the winds, hundreds of tons worth of dust being propelled a dozen kilometers into the void sky. Turning, the Slayer dove, cutting through the thunderous clouds of Hell's sky and out of Maligog's sight. A super-storm was approaching, a phenomenon that only occurred in Hell when super beings of immense power clashed. The Slayer ignored it, diving a few hundred meters before the illustrious Super Shotgun appeared in his gauntlets. With fury in his eyes, he fired the Meathook, latching onto the titan's intact elbow. From that, he swung himself into the sky and through the clouds again, but not before blasting the joint to dust, firing weapon after weapon so quickly that the impossible recoil in tandem with a well-timed double jump propelled him much higher.
The thousands of tons worth of flesh seemed to all but melt away with each subsequent hit from the Slayer's God-slaying weapons, exposing the cracked skeleton, and with the damage done, Maligog noticed and turned, glowering up at the Slayer who was now nearly four kilometers in the air. Maligog roared a powerful call that blew the approaching clouds away, then sent a titanic, enraged, planet-cracking fist at the ancient Hellwalker that parted the atmosphere, an intent to murder in its hateful eye. The Slayer dove for it, Doomblade extending. He waited for the moment, then only a couple meters before impact, he rolled out of the way.
Charging the Doomblade with enough Argent Energy to obliterate a Tyrant, the Slayer plunged the armament a meter deep into Maligog's flesh, the speed of his fall dragging him down the side of the titan's arm at great speed, tearing the appendage. The length of the Doomblade alone was not enough to reach beyond skin, but the Argent Energy did damage on the inside, destroying pockets of flesh within. As the Slayer rode down the beast's mountain-sized arm, he quickly approached one of its metal shackles, each one larger than an arena. Prepared, he grunted, kicking off of Maligog's arm, the Doomblade retracting with a metallic ring, a river of blood spewing forth from the massive length of flesh he'd mutilated. Unrelenting, his fist burned with the might of the stars, and he spun, punching at the wall of metal in his way, vitriol in his gaze. The metal cuff burst like a brittle cracker, and the Slayer shot through the arena-sized shackle like a comet, headed straight for Maligog's eye.
The titan noticed, but it was too late. Its fist was extended, and it had overreached, and though it could pull back at hypersonic speed, the Slayer moved faster. Maligog brought its closer, opposing, mutilated hand up to swat the Hellwalker away, but the Slayer easily passed through the large gap between its claws. When the titan realized this, another gurgle of discontent escaped its throat, and as a last ditch effort, it closed its eyes and thrust its head forward.
Although Maligog was nearly as old as time and was powerful enough to destroy worlds, it was inexperienced in the ways of combat, for it spent the majority of its time sleeping against its will. On the other hand, the Slayer, though far younger, was eons old, and had spent the majority of his time ripping and tearing, honing his skill in all ways of combat. As such, he took advantage of the situation.
The Slayer adjusted his course easily, diving straight for Maligog's functioning eye. He dodged its titanic head, and moments before he reached the surface of its closed eyelid, the BFG-9000 appeared in his hands, its majesty shining like a malicious jewel. Emerald Argent blazing from its dangerous barrel, the BFG flared as the Slayer thrust the weapon forward, plunging it into his adversary's eye.
Maligog's head was engulfed in a cloud of red and green, lightning hotter than the stars striking everywhere, obliterating faraway pieces of land, the initial explosion bringing annihilation and total destruction to Maligog's visage. It's eyelid gave near nothing in resistance to the BFG, and its single functioning eye vaporized, boiling liquids spilling from its now empty socket. The shockwaves of the explosion parted the incoming super-storm clouds, cracking and melting a large portion of Maligog's skull, a chunk of its horn vibrating apart. Maligog roared in pain and anger, thrashing about as the Slayer absorbed all of the energy he had thus far sapped from it, replenishing his ammunition and reinvigorating his weakened power. The titan stumbled, crushing hundreds of demons underfoot with each step and causing earthquakes where it lingered. It's mangled claws came up to its face to rip the perpetrator to shreds, but the Slayer kicked off once more. The Hellbreaker was replaced with the Super Shotgun, and the Meathook shot forth like an angry wasp, embedding itself into one of Maligog's horns. The Hellwalker swung from the horn, the wind rushing up against him, and he unlatched from the bony structure before landing heavily at its base. He peered down at Maligog to observe the beast.
Maligog continued to stumble around, and the Slayer had to make micro-adjustments to stabilize himself as the titan shifted. Suddenly, it looked up, thrashing about violently. Before the Slayer could even begin to fall, he fired the Meathook into Maligog's flesh and used the weapon to still himself. After a moment of ceaseless thrashing that caused numerous landslides, the titan began to run blindly, rapidly, and enraged. Each one of its steps shook miles and miles worth of Hellscape, equivalent to meteor strikes upon the lands; it was as if a snow-capped mountain suddenly got up and ran.
Hurricane winds pushed against the Slayer as the titan took off in a fully-fledged sprint, unleashing unadulterated destruction wherever it went, but the Hellwalker refused to be blown away. He held on, looking beneath himself at Maligog's massive frame. It took him a moment, but when he saw the titan's swinging arms, he noticed that the mutilated flesh was very slowly beginning to repair itself, reforming destroyed tissue and bone. The Slayer's brows narrowed.
It was damn annoying but it made sense; Maligog supposedly had enough strength within it to destroy a plethora of planets with sheer physical ability alone. The only reason it wasn't regenerating faster was because it was under the influence of the Slayer, who had the inherent ability to weaken and kill immortal beings, and to deprive them of their energy. The only way to reliably stop a titan of this caliber would be to exhaust it of its energy and rip and tear it until nothing remained, or to seal it with the Crucible—something the Slayer didn't currently have—and seeing that it had such enormous energy... this would take a bit.
The Slayer huffed. He had time.
Maligog was persistent and utterly relentless, but the Doom Slayer was even more so. As the super beings clashed, Maligog was pressed to defend itself from the Slayer's onslaught. For the limitless power it had, it was doing poorly. Every blow that the titan threw was countered, every dodge or evade that it took was cut off, and every mistake that it made was punished thoroughly. Conversely, the Slayer dodged and leapt, spun and weaved, his movements fluid and calculated, his attacks ever-brutal and devastating.
Their battle was lasting and drawn out, and their blows took them all across Hell. With every punch Maligog threw, mountain ranges splashed like water, and with every step it took, earthquakes of untold magnitude shook the horizon and flattened the landscape. The Slayer dodged at speeds invisible to even the fastest, and his punches were superior to the might of the Gods. Every blow he dodged, he crossed hundreds of meters at at time, traveling kilometers in moments as he circumvented widespread attacks. As time moved differently in Hell, the Slayer didn't keep track of it, and now, he faced the demons and Maligog at the same time, but neither could keep up with his fury.
As a titanic palm swatted at him, the Slayer dashed through the air, firing the Ballista's twin beams of superheated Argent to propel himself whilst damaging the appendage. Gravity took hold of him, and he fell, the Rocket Launcher appearing in his grasp. Down below, a Doom Hunter and a Baron of Hell glared up at him hatefully, the Baron bringing it's claws together as a tank-sized ball of Argent flames spun between them, the Hunter shifting as its numerous weapons armed themselves. Revenants and Hell Knights, Mancubi and Arachnotrons accompanied them, along with a plethora of Imps, Gargoyles, and the Possessed of different worlds—Possessed Soldiers and Possessed Ninjas, Possessed Martial Artists and Possessed Sorcerers, Possessed Heroes and Possessed Villains. They all glared up at him, pointing their weapons and baring their fangs as they screeched and growled with ferocity that would make any seasoned veteran go mad.
In moments, thousands of projectiles lit up Hell's skies—Argent plasma and infernal magic, homing missiles and hypersonic rockets, superheated acids and Lost Souls, bullets and bombs, pressure waves and energy blades. The Slayer scrutinized them with superior eyesight, then fell into a dive, accelerating downwards from more than a kilometer in the sky. Spinning around projectiles with untouchable finesse, he activated the Lock-On Burst, then he returned fire. His gauntlets blurred so quickly as he cycled through his weapons, it looked as if he held multiple weapons at once. First, he fired away at the Baron of Hell, and the moment the third Golgothian rocket left the launcher, he switched to the Heavy Cannon, whereupon he swapped between it and the Ballista, tearing weapons and armor from those below him, ripping cannons off of arms and rocket-pods off of shoulders at incomprehensible speeds. As he grew closer, the Combat Shotgun appeared in his hands, and he rained down explosive ordinance unto the army of demons with impeccable aim where they would tear Fodders to shreds and bloody chunks.
Nearing the ground, he did away with his weapons just as the Sticky Bombs met their targets and the rockets he'd fired before slammed into the Hell Baron, faltering it, blowing chunks of its carapace off. With the force of a nuclear bomb, he smashed fist-first into it. The moment his iron knuckles met its Blackstone carapace, the Baron was no more, erupting into chunks of fiery gore as the Slayer's boots hit the ground, generating a shockwave that faltered the aberrations around him. The next moment, the horde was upon him.
Rather, he was upon the demons. They came after him, falling upon him like a tsunami, but he overwhelmed their titanic ferocity.
A hundred Imps surrounded him, but in moments, each and every single one was reduced to a piles of mutilated flesh and pools of demonic blood as the Slayer dismembered them, tore swathes of them in half at unthinkable speeds. Still, the demons continued to spill upon him.
As the Slayer's fingers found purchase on the spine of a dazed Prowler, a Hell Knight bounded for him, seething as its claws glowed with Hellfire. The Hellwalker tore the spine out, and the Prowler let out a dying gurgle as a Revenant locked-on to him with its last remaining rocket-pod, letting out a skeletal screech of unseeing anger. A turret-less Arachnotron armed its bombs, lowering its head to launch them as the Hellwalker caught a Possessed Ninja by the leg before tearing it mercilessly from its pelvis to its skull. A Doom Hunter roared viciously, its weapons clicking as it calculated at light speed, aiming at the Slayer, who decapitated a Gargoyle with its own limbs. He dropped the corpse, and seeing the new demons that faced him, the Slayer dashed for them. They didn't last more than milliseconds.
The Hell Knight swung its muscled arms, but the Slayer caught one of the appendages in his gauntlet and crushed it like a berry, squeezing hard enough to rend flesh and expose broken bone, then he snapped it like a twig. The Hell beast let out a defiant roar before its head was reduced to literal mush by virtue of the Slayer's fist. As the Revenant screeched, the Slayer kicked the Hell Knight's bloody corpse towards it, blocking the majority of the subsequent rocket barrage. He dodged the rest, pulling the Heavy Cannon from his arsenal whilst slaughtering a dozen more Fodder demons. He fired the Precision Bolt, and the Revenant's weapons were no more. The demon staggered, and as the Slayer lunged for it, a Frag Grenade was launched from the Equipment Launcher, landing before the Arachnotron before it could launch its bombs. The Frag Grenade detonated, ripping a number of Imps to shreds and blowing flesh off of the Arachnotron, cluster bombs damaging it further as the Slayer kicked at the Revenant's tibia, snapping it right off. The Doomblade shot out, and the Revenant was decapitated, the Slayer stepping away just as a number of fireballs and bullets annihilated the area he had just stood upon.
Before the Arachnotron could recover, the Slayer held the Combat Shotgun, and he rushed at it, plunging his fist through a Gargoyle's chest as he passed. The Arachnotron rose, but not before the Slayer shoved his weapon deep into its throat, the Full-Auto Mod spinning up. He pulled the trigger, and the demon squealed as it was turned to paste on the inside, a large hole blasting through its backside. Sensing a shift in the air, the Slayer whipped around, throwing his fist at a slippery Whiplash, glaring as Argent Energy erupted from him. There was a large explosion, and the Whiplash was thrown back as Fodders were obliterated. The snake-like demon had no time to recover, for the Slayer grabbed it by the horns and tore it straight in half, discarding its maimed body without care.
Unstoppable, the Hellwalker locked his attention on the Doom Hunter. The Hunter growled, and it weapons revved before it fired a torrent of demonic bullets, cannon shells, and dozens of Argent rockets, the latter of which quickly locked-on to the Slayer. The Hellwalker didn't hesitate, and he moved with such speed that the tracking systems of the Doom Hunter's weapons were thrown into disarray.
He approached the demon with intent of obliterating it, and he brutalized a Mancubus and a Dread Knight that got in his way, but before he got close, he halted himself. There was another, massive shift in the air, and he jumped away just before a titanic fist slammed down on the Doom Hunter, just barely missing the Slayer. The entirety of the mountain he had fought atop erupted like a volcano, the majority of the remaining demons being annihilated in the process.
The Slayer glowered at Maligog as he soared through the air once more. The titan glared back, letting out a literally earth-shattering roar as it struck at him again. This time, the Slayer didn't dodge.
Seeing Maligog's knuckles approach him at super speed, he pulled back his own fist, the glow of a Primeval shining in his eye as rage filled him. Then, he punched, and their fists met.
And thus, their battle continued. They traded blows that transformed the lands, moved at speeds incomprehensible to the human eye, but the result would soon be clear; the battle felt endless, but the outcome was never really in doubt. For as time passed, Maligog's power grew weaker, and the Slayer's, greater. With every hit sustained, Maligog slowed, and its abilities were hindered like a rusted machine's. Every wound it healed was reopened by virtue of the Slayer's might.
The Doomblade cut lengths of flesh into its stature, whittling it like soft wood. The Combat Shotgun blew chunks from it with every trigger-pull, punching away at it like a chisel. The Heavy Cannon thundered as it spat metal that pierced through it like a brigade of miniature explosive spears. The Plasma Rifle melted the skin and flesh from its body, sending small stars of Argent to disassemble it. The Rocket Launcher brought pain and torment, ejecting the very abstract idea of pain unto its limbs. The Super Shotgun boomed with Argent vitriol, powerful, loud, and unrelenting. The Ballista fired its twin beams of super-heated energy, poking holes into it. The Chaingun released a wall of metal upon it, rending muscle and tissue mercilessly. The Hellbreaker rumbled as it clashed with it, sending Argent lightning where it struck. The BFG shook it to the core, boiling its demonic fluids from the inside. The Unmayker vaporized its demented flesh, agonizing it. And the Slayer's fist brought death and destruction wherever they landed.
The cycle of destruction and healing continued for untold stretches of time, but in due course, the Super-Titan was defeated. Maligog stood, the flesh stripped from its bones, its eyes gouged out, its blood flooding the plains of Hell. The corpses of an uncountable number of demons surrounded it—so many, that they had piled faster than most could burn away. Slowly, the Titan staggered about, each one of its steps still as powerful as tectonic quakes. But, it was at its limit.
The Slayer stood several kilometers from the foot of the World Destroyer, not a scratch upon his armor, his eyes filled with hate. He waited, and soon, Maligog, exhausted, agonized, and beaten, fell forward. Its massive body parted the clouds and brought a rush of hurricane winds as it fell. When its form impacted the ground, the realm of Jekkad shook, mountains cracked, and Maligog's chin fell before the Slayer, just shy of hitting the Primeval, generating a shockwave of immense proportions. Then, Maligog was still.
Strangely, for the first time in countless centuries, a small, insignificant facet of Hell was silent.
The Hellwalker's gaze lingered on his titanic foe a minute longer, then, unfeeling, he turned around and stared at his objective: the last functioning slipgate in Hell, or at least, that's what the Praetor Suit signified. During the fight, the Slayer had managed to steer Maligog in the direction of the slipgate while finishing it off at the same time. It saved him the time of needing to journey across Hell in order to leave the realm, and now, he could leave.
The slipgate was a huge, unmissable edifice, large enough to allow an Atlan through. It was a wonder how it managed to survive in the plains of Hell for so long. Calm, the Slayer walked over to the slipgate, and routinely, he linked the Praetor Suit's systems to it. Three low blips signified that it was out of power. The Hellwalker huffed, studying the device for a moment. He moved to one side of it and ran a gauntleted hand along the structure, the Praetor Suit scanning it briefly. Soon, he found what he was looking for, and he plunged his fist into a small compartment on one facet of the device. His fingers grasped a battery, and he let the Essence from his Primeval body flow. After a moment, despite its size, the slipgate hummed, full of energy once more.
Satisfied, the Slayer activated it, quickly reprogramming it such that it'd self destruct at the moment he passed through—he couldn't have any demons escape the void. A relatively unstable hurricane of blue swirled into existence before him. It would have to do.
He stepped forward...
There was a sudden groan and a shift in the air, and the Slayer whipped around, faster than a comet. His eyes widened slightly at what he saw. For the instant his head turned, he saw a wall of bone—a titanic knuckle centimeters from his face. He stepped back, and the world twisted.
The Great Red was a powerful, prideful, and arguably delinquent being, a dragon that was so powerful that only the Ouroboros Dragon or the Trihexa could rival his might. He did what he wanted, when he wanted it, and nobody could do a fucking thing about it lest they wanted to be erased from existence.
For thousands upon thousands of years, he wandered the Dimensional Gap, doing flips and tricks, defending it, doing pretty much whatever he wanted. He was the Dragon of Dreams and Illusions, and by his will, whatever he wanted happened. He cared not for what anybody else really thought of him, their stupid little theories about how he came to being never really bothering him that much. In truth, his background, while known by little to none, was far more complicated than any other and was tied to that of the Ouroboros Dragon's, going back a very, very long time.
See, many, many, many, many, many millennia ago, Red and Ophis had once been siblings serving as war dragons for a long forgotten and extinct people called the Argenta. The Argenta led a powerful, multiverse-wide empire that stretched on endlessly for light years, dominating all other forms of life in existence and spreading their influence to endless cultures. They were a good, law-abiding people, though they did have a long legacy defined by war.
The dragon siblings knew—for generations they fought alongside the elite soldiers of the Argenta, the Night Sentinels, and in their days of glory they'd conquered warring clans and took down massive, ferocious beasts the likes of which had never been seen. The Night Sentinels had been masters of technology and magic, and although World-Destroying entities and calamity bringers called Ancestrals roamed the planets, transforming the land with their very breaths, the Night Sentinels brought them down.
The siblings held a certain level of respect for the Night Sentinels for their philosophy. The siblings were not pets, not creatures to be ridden, but equals to their Night Sentinel comrades, having free will despite being a part of their army. They held respect for one another and were like brothers and sisters when in battle, in spite of their difference in species. It had been an honor to fight by their side.
Everything changed however, when they invaded. The demons. It wasn't the devils mind you—those pussies were nothing compared to the real Hell's monstrosities. The demons came relentlessly, consuming all in their path with ravenous hatred and hunger for anything living, be it human, Sentinel, animal, or plant. Entire worlds—nay, entire universes were consumed by their terrible and corrupt power, absorbed into Hell's realm as races and species were tainted and transmogrified into powerful demons themselves. Fighting them had been horrifying for both Red and Ophis, especially when they witnessed their kin fall in battle, only for those kin to become demons themselves, far more powerful than they had been before they'd been damned.
Despite their fears, the dragon siblings stood strong and proud alongside the Night Sentinels, and they held back the demonic forces long enough for him to arrive. The champion of the Argenta, the strongest king of the Night Sentinels, the Great Slayer himself. When he graced the battlefield with his presence, the demons fell by the millions to his hands alone. No matter how large or how powerful, whether they be the fodder Imps, the ferocious Barons of Hell, or even the World-Eating Demonic Titans, the champions of Hell all fell to his might. Fighting by his side had been an honor and a privilege. Without him, countless Sentinel worlds would have fallen to the demons.
Then, the treachery was unveiled. Fighting with valor by the Doom Slayer's side, a single legion of Night Sentinels discovered the truth about the demons, and how the worshipped Sentinel Gods, the Maykrs, had betrayed their subjects. The Holy Maykr Angels, beings who had brought prosperity upon the Argentians, ones that brought peace and justice wherever they flew, had been working with the demons!
The dragon siblings shared shock and anger with the Sentinel legion, and with the Doom Slayer in tow, they sought to rectify this unholy treaty. However, their honor was undone by deceit, and the Sentinel legion was betrayed by the Holy Priests of Argenta. As their numbers dwindled under the demonic onslaught that followed the treachery, the dragon siblings stilled as fear crept into their hearts. They didn't want what happened to their kin to happen to them. They saw how the souls were consumed by the darkness—tortured endlessly into submission, toyed with by the forces of Hell. As the last of the Sentinels fell with only the Great Slayer remaining, the siblings escaped via slipgate and closed it behind them, but instead of arriving on another Sentinel world, they found themselves stranded in an another universe entirely. That was when they had first arrived in the dimensional gap together, several billions of years ago.
Things had been far from over however. Over time, the duo changed and grew more powerful. Red became the delinquent True Dragon that he was today, as did Ophis become the emotionless Ouroboros Dragon of Infinity. A couple millennia after they arrived in the new universe, Earth became a thing, as did all the life that surrounded it. The Biblical God came into being, along with the Greek, Roman, Norse, and others. Species like devils, angels, vampires, humans and various youkai came to roam the Earth as well. From the ambient power of the dragon siblings, new dragons were born as well.
Over time, powerful beings grew complacent, and the dragon siblings were ashamed to admit that they too grew cocky with their ever-growing power. It was only when the demons attacked again did they realize how weak they had become in their arrogance.
In a mere four months, Earth had been totally consumed by the demons. Despite all of the powerful reality-defying magics and powers that all of the species wielded, gods included, none of them had harnessed the power called Argent Energy, the only known magic to effectively combat the demons, said demons using it themselves. None of them could command the power of the Wraiths. They were fucked.
Men, women, and children died by the millions, and the magics that they wielded became corrupted by Hell's influence before they were turned against those who were left. Corrupted flesh and bone borne from the slaughter of the innocent covered the Earth like a plague, consuming it, absorbing it into Hell's world. The spearhead of their invasion, the dreaded Icon of Sin warped reality with its mere presence. Simply by existing in Earth's domain, the Hell titan caused infrastructure worldwide to crumble. Back then, Red and Ophis, despite their immeasurable power, only managed to barely hold off the World-Eater. Earth would have been doomed... if not for his arrival yet again.
Despite the utter hopelessness of the situation, the Slayer had appeared and single-handedly stopped the Hell invasion with his arsenal of retribution. Where Red and Ophis could only barely hold back the Icon of Sin, he had utterly and completely annihilated it without breaking a sweat. It was like a fucking cakewalk for him.
Without a word to the goddamn world, he left as soon as the invasion was over. He didn't even realize that Red and Ophis had been there. All of that had happened a mere five-thousand years ago. Most if not all of the species remembered him as a vengeful god stronger than any other, but with time, his memory began to fade, and when the Great War happened a couple thousand years later, he was forgotten amongst the chaos. The only images of him left in this universe were the...Relics of Doom.
All of that being said, when the Great Red suddenly felt that commanding, powerful, ever-angry divine presence grace him yet again, even if only for a millisecond, Red nearly shat himself in reverence. For once in his life, he paused in his flips and tricks, and turned frantically towards the source, his eyes wide.
"The... The Great Slayer... is here!?"
It took him a moment to confirm the no, he was not imagining things and that yes, the Slayer was here in the Dimensional Gap. He pinched himself anyways, just to be sure that he wasn't asleep, and sure enough, he wasn't. So enthralled was he by the Unchained Predator's presence that he didn't even register Ophis appearing by his side, the dragon-loli looking just as shocked as him despite her usual emotionless demeanor.
"B-Baka-Red? Is Slayer-sama... here?"
He didn't register the question either. Instead, a dilemma was currently working its way through his draconic cognizance. The Great Slayer himself was here in the Dimensional Gap! But why? It's only been five-thousand years! There wasn't a demon invasion going on back on Earth, was there? No, surely not—he would have noticed by now. But if there wasn't a demon invasion going on, and the Slayer wasn't off holding back the demonic hordes like he was normally wont to do, then what was he here for? The only reason he would ever leave Hell was if a planet was in danger, but if nothing was in danger then that meant...
Ophis quite uncharacteristically pouted at Red, miffed at his ignorance of her.
"What is it, Baka-Red?"
"... It is done."
The dragon-loli's jaw slackened when she heard this. Then, with further shock filling her body, she felt it as well. The ambient evil that Hell leaked out in all corners of the multiverse—it was no longer there. Hell was sealed.
As if a switch had been flipped, her expression immediately brightened. "Then... that means... Slayer-sama is here to stay? If Hell is sealed, he won't leave again. Right, Baka-Red?"
Red turned towards Ophis in alarm, but paused when he saw the heavy blush on her face. She stared at nothingness in a daze, drool dripping from the corner of her mouth as her lips tugged into a small smile. "Oh. Shit."
Despite technically being genderless, Ophis kinda had a crush on the Slayer. Red wasn't sure why and he wasn't really one to judge. Especially since he could see the Slayer's magnificence for himself. Just feeling that irresistible power beckoned him to either submit or fight back, and, having seen what the Slayer could do first hand, he was more than willing to go with the former. It wasn't like Red was a big fan of the guy as well though. Heh, totally not.
Before anything more could be said or done however, the Slayer's signature disappeared into one of the many realms of the universe...
"S-Slayer... sama?" Almost instantly, tears formed at the corners of the dragon-loli's eyes. Red paled in realization.
For endless lengths of time, Ophis had longed for the day her precious Slayer-sama would return to this universe. She waited for eons and eons, patient as could be. For him to return would make her elated! But for him to return only to be immediately stripped away again?
'That can't be good.'
In the next moment, the infinite emptiness of the Dimensional Gap was filled with the ferociously terrifying sound of a nigh-omnipotent dragon-loli crying anime tears, the other nigh-omnipotent dragon unsure of what to do, unable to take any action other than pat the sad girl on the back as she crushed his bones in a needy hug.
"O-Oi, Ophis! I can't breath!"
Welp, one thing was for sure. Anything that gets in the Slayer's way is fucked.
When the Doom Slayer's eyes finally snapped open from the stasis he had been subjected to, eons worth of anger and rage flooded his body, filling it to the brim. In that instant, the only thing he knew was the loathing held within and the suffering he had been forced to endure for millennia. In that instant, beings across dimensions were subjected to his wrathful aura, and every last entity that could sense his immense rancor went insane.
Gods went wild as the impending feeling of Doom itself washed over them, and they were thrown into fits of uncontrollable rage and terror as their arrogance and pride told them to strike down the source of their distress. Devils and angels shook in their boots as untold amounts of unadulterated malice tore at their minds, bodies, and souls. Dragons and various youkai shivered as a powerful, dominating presence settled itself upon them, and those who weren't strong-willed enough to handle it were forced to submit, seemingly bowing their heads at nothing.
Fortunately, in the next instant, the raging storm calmed as memories of what had just occurred flashed through the Slayer's head, the boiling blood within his iron veins cooling to a simmer. Maligog was alive... The Hellwalker's fists clenched hard. In his billions upon billions of years as the Doom Slayer, never once had he missed a kill. Slowly, he exhaled and relaxed his balled fists. It was no longer of importance.
Hell was sealed, the Dark Lord was dead, the Slayer's war was over, and now, he could rest his weary fists. For the first time in an eternity, the Hellwalker let out a satisfied huff, the rage that had blinded him for so long receding a bit...
It was over... all of the pain he had carried, the burden of perpetual torment he shouldered, the sacrifices he had made, the love that he lost—it wasn't in vain. It had finally all been avenged. He could finally rest. He could be at peace.
... Who was he fucking kidding. He would never be at peace. He had been fighting with hate for so long that his rage was an innate part of his being. They took everything from him, and although slaughtering them had brought him limited solace, nothing was going to bring them back. Nothing was going to bring her back. His precious little bunny, Daisy...
The Slayer scowled silently as the anger he had just extinguished rose once more. There was no point in thinking about it now. He had trillions of years to get over it, but even now he was still brooding. If he was going to be stuck with this curse forever, then so be it, but he wasn't going to sit there and mope about it, or let it stop him from relaxing. At the very least, the demons wouldn't be hurting anyone else and that's all he really wanted.
The Hellwalker's thoughts wandered to his sealing, further exemplifying his anger. The Maykers had used him from the start, and though he had never truly trusted them, their betrayal still stoked his wrath. Ironically, just as the Father had betrayed Davoth, the Father had also betrayed the Slayer. At that moment, the Slayer considered revenge. Not only had they used his power for their own benefit, the Unholy Maykers had proven themselves insidious from the beginning—their willingness to collaborate with Hell spoke volumes of them already. However, the Slayer quickly stomped the idea away when he realized that going after them would be useless. Although he could bring destruction to their now evil world, it would be pointless; without the Father's physical presence or Soul Sphere in tact, each and every Maykr in existence would go through the transfiguration process.
Now that the Slayer thought about it, how far into that process were the Maykers? How long has it been since he'd been entombed?
The Hellwalker shook his head. None of that was important right now; right now, he needed to figure out where he had been teleported to.
After a pregnant moment of silence, the Unchained Predator stood at his feet, his armored fists clenched at his sides. He looked around, and it quickly became apparent that he was not in the city of Ardur. He thought back to the moment he had entered the slipgate, when Maligog had thrown its final punch at him. Had the slipgate been damaged? Fuck! It had already been highly unstable when he was prepared to use it. There was no way it would've transported him correctly if that was the case.
The Slayer huffed as the Praetor Suit did an omnidirectional scan, searching for anything noteworthy. He looked around with a keen eye, noting that he was in a large cave of some sort—more of a cavern with the sheer size of the structure.. The ceiling was several dozen feet above the ground with stalactites hanging from it, pointing down at their stalagmite counterparts. There must've been water running from somewhere—possibly ground water leaking through the numerous cracks lining the roof of the cavern if such cave structures had come to grow so large. Perhaps a river or a pond? If that is the case, then it's most likely that he is in an underground cave rather than a mountain cave—unless the mountain had a river running through it.
The Slayer turned his gaze to the cave walls which were marred with large claw marks—something at least the size of a Baron of Hell. The image of the large demon flared in his mind and an ugly scowl came to his lips, but after a moment he let it go. Hell was sealed. Inescapable without means of slipgate, and he had destroyed the last one. Stop fucking thinking about it.
Huffing as he shook his head slightly, the Slayer focused back on the task at hand. Claw marks lined the walls, which meant something big had lived or fought here. The scratches weren't very old neither, so whatever happened here, happened recently. It was probably still nearby...
Three consecutive blips notified him that the Praetor Suit had finished its scans. He gave a short nod of approval, and turned to see a waypoint on his HUD leading to the cave exit. It wasn't too far away. With that, he started walking.
He didn't get too far before something gave him pause.
The cave suddenly shook as something from deep within roared aggressively, the shockwaves bouncing off the walls and cracking the already damaged ceiling further, stalactites breaking off and falling atop their counterparts below. The Slayer merely turned his head and glared at the perpetrator in annoyance, his wrathful stare sending waves of his apathetic ire towards whatever beast had dared to hinder his progress. He was somewhat surprised to see a very Sentinel-esque blue-scaled dragon glaring back at him. It made him stop for a moment.
Had he arrived on a Sentinel world? The probability of that happening was incredibly low.
The Hellwalker was snapped out of his thoughts as the dragon roared again, and seeing its hateful gaze, he turned to face it fully. No, it couldn't be a Sentinel world, for no dragon on one of their worlds would oppose a member of the Night Sentinels. He gave the dragon a cold, unimpressed stare, his hands preemptively balling into fists. Whatever—the Slayer wasn't one to start fights for no reason unless demons were involved, but if this thing wanted a piece of the pie, he would deliver the whole fucking package.
Without warning, the dragon charged forward, its powerful wings ripping chunks of rock out of the sides of the cave, each one of its heavy foot steps cratering the ground as if a Hell Knight were running a marathon. The Slayer continued to glower coldly, giving it one last chance to leave him be. When it didn't kindly fuck off, he made his move. He faced it head-on, then dashed forward, glaring as his fists blazed with Argent splendor.
The urge to rip and tear sky-rocketed, and with his fury growing ever-more potent, the Scourge of Hell raised his iron fist to punch the blood out of this fucker. He moved, faster than any other thing this world could comprehend, and the dragon gave another roar as he threw the first punch...
The very moment before his fist impacted, the Slayer stopped, his ire leaving him. Where the blue-scaled dragon had once stood, a beautiful, blue-haired woman took its place. A naked blue-haired woman.
With lightning quick-reflexes, the Unchained Predator caught the woman in his arms to keep her from tumbling to the ground. The moment he caught her however, she wrapped her arms and legs around him like a snake coiling around its prey. She squeezed him tightly, pressing her large breasts against the chest-plate of his armor. When he looked, he noticed that there was a content smile on her face, and her eyes were closed as she tried to snuggle deeper into the Praetor Suit.
"Master! It's been so long!" she said in a delighted, mature voice, smiling up at him.
The Hellwalker was confused. A myriad of questions went through his mind at that moment.
Master? This woman thought that he was her master? Why was there even a woman here? Where did the dragon...? Wait, she was the dragon. One of those rare shape-shifting dragons from long ago, back on Sentinel Prime. But... no, none of the Sentinels owned any dragons—neither did he. They had fought alongside dragons, not as their masters. But apparently, this one had a master?
Narrowing his eyes, the Slayer placed an armored hand atop the woman's head and pushed her away. She fell on her naked ass, her breasts bouncing from the motion, and when she realized what had happened, she stared up at the Slayer in shock and a little bit of hurt. Her sad expression made the Slayer furrow his eyebrows even more, but he didn't do anything other than give her a questioning look that burned through her soul.
Despite being unable to see his face, she seemed to understand the unasked question, getting to her feet, though the sad expression never left her face. "Eheh, I apologize if it looked as though I was attacking you, Master. It's just, it's been so long since I've last seen you. I missed you so much."
He continued to stare unflinchingly.
"Erm, Master...? Don't you remember me?"
"I-It's me, Tiamat! Don't you remember!? You saved me from that wretch. The... the Icon of Sin."
Hearing that name made him bristle, and he raised his head in recognition—an action that did not go unnoticed.
"So, you remember?" the identified Tiamat asked hopefully.
She had misunderstood. He had only reacted because she had mentioned the Icon of Sin... The name made him scowl inwardly. That metric meat-bag had been a repeat offender during many Hell invasions—a real pain in the ass to deal with every time it consumed or tried to consume a world. The Hellwalker was glad he wouldn't have to deal with that piece of shit again.
That being said, Tiamat mentioned being saved from the wrath of the Icon of Sin by him. If that was the case, then that meant this was one of the world's he had saved before... Now that he thought about it, he had never actually visited any of the worlds he had saved before unless it was one of Sentinel origin.
Still, he shook his head in response to Tiamat's question. He never cared to remember any of the worlds he saved anyways either. The only thing he had cared about was ripping and tearing.
"Oh..." A dejected look crossed her beatific face. He raised a brow when she bounced back almost instantly. "That's alright! It has been five-thousand years after all, I suppose. I'm sure there are plenty of things that you need to catch up on, Master. Would you care to?"
He took a moment to think and analyze his situation. The Slayer wasn't stupid. He realized by now that he was more than likely confined to this planet for a while. His ship was gone, and he didn't have that old tether-system either. If he was going to be stuck here, then he might as well get to know everything he can. From there, he could figure out what the fuck he wanted to do with his life. Now that Hell was sealed... he could do whatever he wanted he supposed. Should he even return to the Sentinels? Were they even existent any longer? He didn't have a clue... Maybe, here on this planet, he could try to find peace within himself as fruitless as an endeavor that might turn out to be.
The Slayer scrutinized the nude dragon-woman before him once again, and the Chaos Karma Dragon, Tiamat, quivered as she felt his judgment. She sighed in relief a moment later when the feeling left, and looked up to see the Slayer nod.
Tiamat's expression brightened at that. "Great! Why don't you come inside, Master?"
She went deeper into the cave, and the Slayer followed silently, interest piqued.
On a large, nondescript airbus headed for Japan, a certain blonde-haired nun jolted in her seat as a wave of something passed over her. Despite never before having felt such a thing, there was a certain amount of familiarity within it that she couldn't quite shake off. For a moment, she was tempted to let it go...
But then everything came back. All of the memories of a past life she never knew she'd lived rammed into her like a truck, a life in which she had not been a human, but rather, a bunny. Memories of the loving and caring man who had raised her came flooding back, and with the realization of what was happening, she gazed out the window as tears came to her eyes.
'Father... You've come home.'
Asia "Daisy" Argento smiled wistfully as she closed her eyes.