GDK 1017: Taking a Slice of the Pie
Han Shuo's body was still absorbing Mystical Yin using the harvester while his avatar continued to strategize for the battles with the other elites in Pandemonium. The sudden attack from the Dominions of Light, Water and Life against the Dominion of Destiny was something he hadn't expected, so he had to gather the forces of the Fringe immediately so that he would be able to react in time.
Before Han Shuo had finished the briefing, an odd twist in the spacetime fabric manifested above Pandemonium where then Fernando emerged. He took a glance at Han Shuo and the others before smiling at him and invited, "I believe we should travel to the skies of the Dominion of Destiny to take a look since you might not know how the Mirror of Destiny channels its power. Let me take you there."
Bollands, Stratholme and the rest stared wide-eyed at Fernando when he appeared, their faces filled with doubt that morphed into terror and shock when Han Shuo told them who he was. One of the most mysterious existences on Elysium, the ancient God of Space, had personally come to Pandemonium of all places. That immediately implied that Han Shuo was now more or less on the same standing as the Quintessence overgods!
"Can you wait for a bit?" Han Shuo asked.
Fernando nodded with a warm smile. "There's no rush. I'll wait."
After hearing the conversation, most of those in the room stared at Han Shuo with worshipful expressions while some had their jaws dropped to the ground. Phoebe, Emily, and the other women looked at him hungrily as if they wanted to devour him. It was unimaginable to them that a Quintessence Overgod would wait for anyone. Han Shuo merely smiled and rushed through the rest of the matters before following Fernando into his spatial tunnel.
In the airspace of the Dominion of Destiny, Han Shuo and Fernando stood above the clouds as they looked down on the vast area. There were many ant-like dots far below them, all of whom were gods of Elysium. They didn't just look like ants, they might as well be, given how easily Han Shuo and Fernando could crush them.
"Look there. The Mirror of Destiny is at the top of the shrine and the many fine lines connecting to the people below are their marks of fate." Fernando explained the various aspects of the mirror that normal gods weren't able to perceive.
From Han Shuo and Fernando's point of view, they did see a large mirror in the sky that let out really fine threads. There were easily billions of them, many intersecting with one another, and a particular bunch pulsed with a strong life force. The gigantic mirror seemed to be reflecting the fates of most people on Elysium and absorbing some trace of energy from the gods below.
Every time a god fighting down there perished, the corresponding thread of fate would grow longer and thicker, causing the already dense mirror surface to look more and more like a tight net. Colorful fist-sized lights could be seen moving about the strings. The lights seem to draw the other strings in.
"The moving clumps of light represent Aethernia. Althea used them to mark the moving city. The closer Aethernia is, the more threads would be enveloped in the clump of light, resonating under the effect of Aethernia." Fernando sighed and continued. "However, that is not Aethernia's purpose. The gods below can’t even feel its influence on them. Only the twelve of us are able to feel its pull as our Quintessence grow more and more out of our control."
"What does the mirror do to weaken the pull?" Han Shuo asked.
"Just watch. With each god down there that perished, the Mirror of Destiny will cause the energy in their divine soul to be unleashed. That way, their threads will grow thicker and the net will become tighter and denser. Althea can then move the threads of the dead gods to make a net that can mitigate the pull from Aethernia. The denser and larger the net, the better it works to stop the pull."
Han Shuo started to make sense of what he was seeing. The net did indeed grow with the deaths of the gods below. "I didn't think the mirror could be used this way. It's no wonder why everyone says that the most mystical of energies is that of destiny."
After some hesitation, he asked, "Since the net is woven by Althea, will it boost her power?"
He couldn't be faulted for having those doubts. If Althea could really make use of the energy from the souls of normal gods to weave a net like this, the net must be of truly mystical sort. If it could be used to block Aethernia's pull, what other abilities did it have?
Fernando paused at the question, before shaking his head with an odd expression. "I'm not too sure about that, but it isn't hard to imagine there being another use case for it. All these years, the power of destiny has been growing in Althea. Nestor and the others also suspect that apart from mitigating the pull from Aethernia, the mirror is also helping Althea. They believe that she is hiding something from us, but mitigating the pull is not something we can do without, so nobody actually confronted her about the matter."
Hearing Fernando say that, Han Shuo had a thought. He nodded as he figured that the other eleven Quintessence overgods probably had their grievances with that too, but as long as they needed her power to resist Aethernia's pull, they couldn't really bring the matter up.
"I believe that must be part of the reason Azdins targeted the Dominion of Destiny. Lyna and Monroe must've been unhappy with this for quite a while now too. After all, the Dominion of Destiny hasn't participated in every other battle of the gods and benefited much over it. Since Althea herself said that even her people wouldn't be able to evade the war this time, the others finally got a good reason to vent their frustrations." Fernando relished in the schadenfreude. He definitely had some pent-up frustration as well.
"I think it must be because some destiny divine souls have to be sacrificed this time around. There's no way she would sacrifice her own subordinates otherwise," Han Shuo said.
"Well, who knows? Either way, even if Althea again chooses to watch from the sidelines and let us battle it out, I believe neither Azdins nor Nestor would let her have it her way. After all that sacrifice, their subordinates couldn't really grow or improve, so they ended up having much fewer elite fighters to count on."
"Still, the Dominion of Destiny is really amazing. They actually managed to hold the three armies of the other dominions back!" Han Shuo exclaimed.
At that moment, seven astrarium-wieding old crones were sent out to fight. All of them were peak-level highgods. They used their astrariums to form a heptagonal star and used it to guide astral debris to come crashing down into the ranks of the enemy, claiming many lives of light, water, and life gods.
"The power of destiny has something to do with the movement of celestial bodies. Those seven have been with Althea for a long time. Even if they weren't able to become demi-overgods, their combined power enhanced by their astrariums make them about as powerful as an overgod. If they work together, even Quintessence overgods like us would have trouble dealing with them. Althea must've been intentionally hiding the power she had gathered, making people think that the Dominion of Light is the strongest one in Elysium. Azdins really suffered a humiliating slap by her this time around!"
Most people did indeed believe that the Dominion of Light was the strongest of them all. When the Keepers of the Light showed up, many dominions had to be wary of them and evade them. The three keepers came to be synonymous as the strongest demi-overgods, but even then, they hadn't made their way to the Dominion of Destiny before. People thought that was because Azdins had a deal with Althea to not cause trouble for her, but now that seemed to be far from the truth.
It now appeared that Azdins was long aware of the power of the Dominion of Destiny. Had he sent his keepers there to cause trouble back then, they probably wouldn't be able to escape alive from the seven old crones.
Marveling at the might of the Dominion of Destiny as he watched many gods perish at the hands of the crones, Han Shuo saw the energy of their divine souls vanish before he suddenly had a thought. Could he use his cauldron to take a slice of the mirror's pie?