With this thought, he flew into the air, and an instant later, he appeared over the land that had just now been gobbled up by the Sea. A roar of sound reached his ears, but he shut it off immediately. Above him, his ultimate nemesis was waiting, shining in all its glory and blotting out all of existence with its might.
He had arrived right at the central point of Angaria. The center he had created so long ago had already been ground to dust, and right now, the flood of light was close to reaching the land and finishing its job.
Only he stood between it and his home. Activating the Basilisk's Breath, he breathed in deep… and the Endless Sea responded in a way that it never had before.
Even he was surprised by the flood of Energy that shot into his veins, fighting to destroy his body that had dared to do something so sacrilegious, but he controlled it with a single thought. He grew in size rapidly, and soon, with just the Energy he had absorbed from the sea, he stood over 100 feet tall.
He was still an ant compared to the Saint's attack… But he wasn't done.
Below him, it was almost like he could feel the millions of Angarians awaken. Like wights that had been stirred by a stupid necromancer, they shot to their feet. Their faces were blank, but that soon changed as the system cast the spell he had been given by the Treasury of the Gods.
Each of them grew in size just like him. Even the frailest of children burgeoned into monsters that towered over their previous selves, and soon, an army of muscular giants had appeared in the now-empty core of Angaria.
The explosions had made it so that there were many holes all around. The Sea flooded in, and as it touched each Angarian… it was absorbed.
They grew even bigger as this happened. The took in as much Energy as their body could hold, and when they reach their limit, they opened their lips and screamed.
Their mouth glowed, and rays of Energy traveled into the air where it was grasped by the system and sent to Daneel.
He felt himself ballooning in size as the Energy that was being absorbed from the Sea with the sacrifice of his people filled him up. This ingenious combination of the blessing given by the Mother and the gift bestowed by the Treasury of the Gods worked perfectly. The sovereigns were among the greatest conduits of them all. After all, their bodies would perish, too, so he had decided to use them as he was using the rest.
Soon, the flood of light was so near that he could merely raise his hand and touch it. He was bigger than he had ever been; taller than the tallest mountain on Angaria, his head was 500 feet in the air, and if it hadn't been for the system's careful calculations, this abrupt growth in size would have forced him to meet the attack of the Saints before he was done gathering power.
Despite the gravity of the situation, he felt the kind of exhilarating thrill that only came with feeling boundless power in one's veins. With a smile, he raised his hand… and the shield as large as Angaria appeared above him.
He caught it, and just then… the power of the Saints struck, evaporating all the water in its way.
Below the Sea, there was no sound, but still, it was as if an explosion had gone off in his ears. His knees instantly buckled, and for a scary instant, it seemed as if he had been wrong about it all. A crater appeared beneath him and he was pushed down while the tops of many mountains on Angaria were shaved off, and he believed that he might be done for… but then, he suddenly stopped, and the shield held.
"YES!" He screamed, even though there was no one to hear him. His adrenaline was keeping the pain at bay, but he could still feel it in the edges of his mind. It was as if his entire body was on fire as the Energy was burning through him at a pace that he could hardly believe, and if he relaxed for even a moment, it would tear him into a million pieces.
'Now… the hard part begins.'
His joy was short-lived. It disappeared as soon as he got this thought, as he felt the power of the Saints pushing down continuously, as if enraged that it had been met by opposition.
He knew that no such thing was happening, as he had already confirmed that the Saints would simply send the attack and dust their hands of the matter. After all, it was completely impossible that anyone would be able to stand against it, and in ninety-nine times out of hundred, they would be right.
He was determined to prove them wrong, now.
[New calculations in progress.]
This was the only response he got from the system when he asked it about the status of his defense. His plan so far had worked perfectly. Using the best of his cards, he had stopped the attack from eating into Angaria and leaving nothing behind. The attack was such that it would balloon out after it met its target so that it could destroy everything in the vicinity, and that was the main thing he wanted to stop from happening, as it would result in the destruction of Elysium and their hope for the future.
The first hints of panic appeared in his mind when he looked below, and saw that thousands of Angarians had already perished. They left nothing behind, their entirety swallowed up by the raging power of the Sea that had been tamed for a few brief moments by the spell given by the Godbeasts. One by one, more and more Angarians began to die as they reached their limit of acting as conduits.
So far, he could tell that this was happening with only the normal citizens who had had no talent at all. For the moment, the rest were holding on… but for how long could they continue to do so?
With bated breath, he waited for the system's verdict. All around him, a whirlwind of destruction was poised to swallow everything, and he was in the eye of the storm. With one knee on the ground, his back was bowed and both his arms were raised to the heavens. His expression was akin to one holding up the sky with their bare hands, and at any moment, it looked like he might collapse.
But he didn't.
There were so many things that he had to contend with. The system was using his consciousness to control the conduits, so he felt the exhaustion of overdrafting one's mind gnaw at his will to hold on. Then, there was the pain of the power of thousands of Heroes that he was controlling, alone, and he could not let it have its way.
Each second that passed was excruciating. The crater he was in was already so deep that he was nearing the core, and the shield was only a few feet above the surface of Angaria. If those few feet were also swallowed up, then nothing would remain.
'I did all the calculations! The power of the Saints was supposed to dissipate by now! What the hell is wrong?!'
Finally, the system gave him the answer.
[Calculations completed. Amount of power has crossed beyond that calculated for the attack of two Saints. It is probable that this attack is being carried out by three Saints.]
As he heard it, for an instant, his face and mind went completely blank.