Like catching a falling star, the potted plant collapses neatly into the hand of The High Overlord of Inexorable Cruelty. It’s Chaos – of course it’s him.
In his grasp is a constellation lily – the black, blue and twinkling white displays of the petals streaking along the flower in a glorious night sky scene.
The High Overlord needed to dive for it, which is somewhat humorously the only thing he’s needed to dive for in the past seven hundred and fifty-eight years.
The last time he had to dive was under the eighty-ton blade of Aigarch the Unkillable Baker Lord, who was neither unkillable nor capable of baking a better hot cross bun than Chaos. Not that one can blame Aigarch considering Chaos moved the poor lad’s heart to where his brain was the second after he swung at him.
It turns out that Chaos doesn’t really like it when people try to assassinate him during baking contests, though as you know that’s neither here nor there.
Chaos rights himself with his focus on the lily. He brushes it off with the poise of an overly attached gardener, and he rests the small pot into his arm.
He looks across from where his greenhouse room was supposed to be, though now it’s not much of a greenhouse at all.
“I’m pretty sure I didn’t order this addition,” Chaos muses.
Just past the persimmons is an enormous tear in spacetime, leading to what looks to be an exceptionally nasty hell.
There are, as anyone knows, a very large number of hells, just as there’s all sorts of different dimensions in general.
Don’t get on my case – I don’t know why.
Staring out into the ten gates of Sernog, faceted by a tawdry seven billion demons, the great face of the realm’s devil lord manifests in a sick explosion of rock-and-roll and fire.
“Overlord Chaos,” he addresses, a chorus of accompanying electric guitars wailing madly in the background.
Chaos finishes putting the lily up on another, safer shelf, one that’s less likely to fall off into the infernal abyss that’s opened up.
“Yes?” answers the curious Overlord.
“You’re a BITCH!”
At that great proclamation, a massive heavy metal accompaniment of choir demons and synth organs blare out with unparalleled insult to The Dark Master.
Chaos looks at them all perplexedly as a million burning crossbow bolts shoot up from the depths into the now-divided greenhouse. He also spots that the hell dimension has a runic atmosphere of “heavy magic” attributed to it. Chaos shrugs and decides to show them all why that’s such a bad idea.
“Fo’,” is all Chaos speaks out.
At that one utterance, a massive inertia reversal field is raised, sending all million of the arrows back at their firers.
“What the FUCK?!” Sernog shouts, though this time most of the heavy metal chorus are cowering to take cover.
“Show me your light,” Chaos starts with a wave of the hand, “Ultra Meteor.” Another spell cast, an enormous rift summons up from the sky above Sernog’s hell, ushering forth a jagged meteor the size of a tower right into the face of the great burning devil himself.
With a skewed scream, Sernog’s head explodes, sending a thousand smaller fragments of the meteor as well as his obliterated skull down into his hell, showering miles with high-speed debris.
Chaos watches the insanity unfold a moment with a look of pure confusion.
“Now just how did all of this happen?”
He ponders it as he watches the guitarist demons run about wildly to dodge the incoming pieces of their now ex demon lord’s corpse.
“Did I… do something different, recently?” Chaos asks himself.
He snaps his fingers in a eureka moment, turning promptly to the watering calendar for the greenhouse. Surely this will have the answers he seeks.
His glowing eyes scan over the page for a moment, but his look becomes more and more perplexed. Just as always, three days out of the week it’s Gardening Minion, the other three it’s Flower Minion, and on the last day of the week it’s Horticulture Minion.
He can tell because of the cute little stamps with each of their faces on them that’s used to note who had visited the greenhouse on what day.
Chaos shakes his head and looks back to the hell dimension.
“That really is quite a big rift,” he mumbles to himself.
He spots from across the hell dimension that there’s a mass of hellfire artillery soaring with pinpoint precision at Chaos’ humble little greenhouse suspended in the air.
At that, he moves his hands, speaks a few words, and turns around to the door.
Chaos closes the door to the greenhouse with the sounds of a million explosions overtaking the hellish countryside as well as a massive tidal wave and the piercing screams of only about five billion demons now.
He looks around.
It’s the same fauna tower as before, but the greenhouse on floor eighty two totally has a massive portal tearing across it.
The Overlord sighs. “How bothersome.”
Inspection Minion, looking prim with his chest puffed out and his slick officer’s cap, raises his pen to a clipboard.
“Something needing addressing, sir?”
“You didn’t hear that?” Chaos asks.
“Hear what?” Inspection Minion asks with a suave smile, as if he were being made privy to an intrigue or something of that nature.
Chaos opens the door, revealing the greenhouse for about ten meters, which then opens up into a nightmarescape of weeping demons, exploding hell cities, and natural disasters – dually caused by Overlord Chaos, and the arrogance of the unwitting populace that dared challenge his standing within the cosmos.
“Anything wrong here, dear lad?” Chaos asks, with a look that’s far more unsure than it should be, as if he really, genuinely isn’t sure.
Inspection Minion squints at the scene with a hint of distaste.
“I see minions of evil getting what they deserve: a swift and merciless end. Good show on the flood, sir.”
Chaos smiles as if charmed. “Oh, thank you. It looked very hot, so I thought it would be sort of ironic to drown them.”
Inspection Minion nods. “Then all is as it should be. Evil is punished, and greenhouses stay green,” he says with a nod before glancing aside. “Dang, that was a good one. That’s definitely going in my quote boo-”
“No, dear Inspector,” Chaos starts with a breath, “I’m asking you, is there supposed to be a massive hell of wormlings connected to this room? I’m relatively sure I hadn’t ordered demonic incursion to treat the plants, yes?”
Inspection Minion’s face is as confident and as ready as ever, until he looks down at his clipboard, and realizes the answer isn’t there.
His pen hand begins shaking.
“W-well I mean… I mean it’s not really a big deal if it’s there, right? We’re not necessarily on the books for that item, are we? We’re not actually going to have someone audit the extra twenty meters of a greenhouse, now are we?! Right?” He says all of this with a wavering, falsehood-spewing grin: just the right trait for an “always successful” inspector.
Chaos however, is not so satisfied by the answer.
“Now, I do belie-”
“That wouldn’t, happen, right sir?” the minion interrupts, “This inspection…” he begins hyperventilating. “This inspection has been planned for an entire month, and we’ve never really had a problem like this before, so I guess that leads me to ask is if there is an inconsistency in the books, couldn’t we just ask ourselves if there’s a problem to begin with surrounding the context of the-”
“You don’t know, then?” Chaos asks.
Finally, Inspection Minion snaps. “No! No, sir! I have no clue! I haven’t the slightest clue! Please don’t send me to The Minion Wago-”
“Please, dear inspector,” Chaos cuts in, patting the meter-high minion on his head, “there’s nothing to worry about. We’ll get to the bottom of it and have a grand time afterwards.”
“D-doing what?” Inspection Minion asks.
Chaos shrugs nonchalantly. “Well, I suppose that is quite up to you. What do you like to do?”
“P-passing inspections!” Inspection Minion says with an exasperated grin.
Chaos smiles and nods.
“Well, I’ll pass it all if we can figure out what’s going on with this,” The Master Baker of World-Ending Power says with a quaint smile.
Inspection Minion gives a long, rolling sigh of deep relief. He takes a second or two to recollect himself, and then he’s back to normal.
“As you say it, sir!”
Their first stop is Flower Minion, who’s out in her garden as usual.
“Dearest Flowering One,” Chaos starts.
Flower Minion jolts with a yelp as she snuffs out a rolled stick of what looks to be some herb.
“Wh-we-hello, Head Gardener!” she bleats with a wide grin.
“Oh my. What are you doing with that roll of cannabis?” Chaos asks.
She flinches as she presents the smoking weed. “W-oh, this? It’s uh… I’m… burning it!”
There’s a pause.
“Well, I suppose that’s obvious, don’t you think?” Chaos asks with a wide gaze.
“Y- I mean yeah, duh!” she laughs, “any ol’ fool could see that it’s lit! I mean it’s lit because… humans use it for… uh… you know: weed shit!”
There’s another unsure pause.
“I am… not sure I follow,” Chaos says next to a skeptical and bitter Inspection Minion.
“Sir,” he starts with a professional snootiness.
“Yes?” Chaos responds, glancing over to him.
“She’s been smoking weed. That’s not my department, but I think it’s quite obvious.”
Chaos hums. “‘Smoking’ weed… fascinating.” He looks to a petrified Flower Minion. “And just why were you doing that?”
“I… you know, it feels… good… and stuff.”
Chaos smiles. “Ahh, that’s lovely. I’m glad you can find a good way to unwind while staying busy on the j-”
“Sir,” Inspection Minion starts with a hiss.
Chaos glances over.
“I’d like to remind you that the use of any kind of drug, from coffee to cannabis is strictly forbidden. This would fail inspection.”
Chaos hums again, this time placing his hands on his hips.
“Well that won’t do at all, then!” He looks to Flower Minion. “I suppose I’m going to have to ask you for that.”
She practically thrusts the lit blunt into his hand with a jittering push.
“I’m sorry! I’m so so sorry! Please don’t punish me. I swear I’ll ne-… whoa.”
Flower Minion stops herself seeing Chaos take a drag from the blunt himself.
The two minions double take between one another and then back up to Chaos as if they can’t even believe what they’re seeing: The Overlord is smoking weed.
Chaos rotates the joint in his hand a bit as he ruminates on what he had just imbibed. He looks to his left, then to his right, and then finally produces an expression of surprise.
“Oh,” is all he starts with, “you know… that’s a rather interesting feeling.”
The two minions stare on dumbfoundedly for a moment before responding.
“S-sir I never… I don’t think that’s-”
“Right fucking on, dude!” Flower Minion snaps over Inspection Minion, “I knew you were cool!”
Chaos flourishes proudly. “Why yes. I suppose it is ‘cool’ to try new things every once in a while.” At that he hands it back to Flower Minion. “Thank you for letting me try out your herb, but I don’t think that’s proper if it’s against the rules.”
“Uh,” Inspection Minion starts, “Sir, you shouldn’t give the contraband back to the culprit,” he says with an irritated tone.
“Oh, shut up,” Flower Minion spits. “You’re always such a tool dude. Can you not be a complete kissass for even one seco-”
Inspection Minion gets on his tip toes and looms over Flower Minion. “You can’t say that! I’m The Overlord’s Inspector! Do you even know what that means?!”
Flower Minion scoffs and meets up equal to him. “Oh?! You’re the Overlord’s Inspector?!” she says with a mocking tone. “I wonder what that means?”
“It means you can’t backsass me! You’re going to show me the same respect as hi-”
“Oh, is that in your little rule book?” she asks with a look of equal insult to match her tone.
Inspection Minion’s finger shoots up. “Well… well I mean technically if you look at it-”
“You don’t have anything that says that, do you?” she asks with a smirk.
Inspection Minion huffs and looks to Chaos to back him up, but Chaos just smiles back.
“I don’t think that’s very fair, do you?” he asks. “It’s not like you’re truly me after all. How could I expect you to administer my estate the way I would?”
Flower Minion gives Inspection Minion a quick jab. “Yeah, idiot. See? What he says, goes, and that goes for eve-… every… oh geez.” Her monologue turns into an uncertain bleating as she sees it form across the woodline.
“What are you looking a-” Inspection Minion stops himself as well, finally turning about to see what she’s looking at.
Chaos felt it coming the second it happened.
It’s another portal, tearing across the way with phantasmal abandon.
“Another portal!” Inspection Minion starts with a jaunty flinch backwards.
Chaos squints. Looks like this one’s coming from an entirely different dimension.
Dragon God Vi’Osh stares down upon them from his jungle ziggurat.
“Aha! It worked!” he roars, his feather headdress ruffling with his excitement.
Chaos’ antennae slant with irritation. “What worked?”
Vi’Osh starts back in disbelief as a dragon-kin attendant clears his throat.
“My lord,” the attendant starts. “I’d like to point out that it’s a two way portal, not a scrying portal. One can travel between them,” he adds.
Vi’Osh draws forward, looking at the portal with abject wonder and awe.
“Woooow! So I could breathe fire on that bastard from the comfort of my home!”
The attendant bows with a smile. “Precisely, my lord.”
Vi’Osh laughs with the joy of a child. “This is great! And we’ll be able to hear him burn and everything!”
The attendant nods. “He won’t question your authority, that’s for sure. No one is greater than Vi’Osh of the Endless Golden City!”
Vi’Osh nods in approval before looking back down to Chaos.
“Fool!” he starts in a tone of righteous accusation.
Chaos looks back to the massive dragon with a hint of annoyance as he renders a respectful nod.
“Good morning,” Chaos says, as if encouraging the dragon to address him like a civil person would another.
“You must know who I am,” Vi’Osh starts with an illustrious grin. “I am the ruler of the deep jungles, the great protector of my people, the unkillable-”
“I do believe we all have titles,” Chaos says, “Please, won’t you tell me how you were able to open a portal here?”
“Haha!… To kill you!” Vi’Osh says after a thoughtful pause.
Chaos sighs, “I asked ‘how’ you were able to-”
But at that, Vi’Osh breaths a beam of molten power out through the portal at Chaos and his two minions.
The High Overlord draws the energy into a single point on his fingertip, and after the nearly thirty-second-long breath attack had ceased, Chaos is left with an immensely powerful spark of condensed sunlight dancing upon his hand.
Vi’Osh, completely full of himself, can finally see inside the portal to notice that nothing’s changed whatsoever on the other side, with the exception of a small, very bright dot resting in the Overlord’s hand. “Well… well that didn’t work at all!” Vi’Osh shouts to his attendant, who immediately hops back in terror.
“I-I’m very sorry, sir! Your beam should have blown them all to smithereens!”
Chaos smiles. “Oh, was that what it was supposed to do?”
Before the two dragon-sorts can answer, he inverts the momentum of his drawn energy, firing the tiny, ultra-compressed bolt of power back at them.
The fire reaches past the brim of the portal, some of it spilling near Flower Minion’s petunias. The impact’s so bright that it’s difficult to see inside.
“Goodness me,” Chaos notes with a sigh. He picks up Flower Minion’s half-full watering can resting next to the fence post and starts putting out the fire. “Now this really is quite a conundrum,” he adds.
“Another portal…” Inspection Minion says. “It must be a… a conspiracy!”
Chaos hums with a paternal tone. “Now, I am not sure we need to go that far right away. I am certain there’s a reasonable, natural explanation for it all.”
“Well, what are you gonna do?” Flower Minion asks, just glad the current topic is no longer revolving around her beloved weed.
Chaos’s long, jagged antennae flick with communication as the scent of roast dragon fumes from the portal.
“Space Defense Minion, speak to your master,” Chaos speaks with a click of his antennae.
From dimensions away, Chaos receives a response.
“Sir! Batteries One through Eight Thousand are all GO! Windage is minimal. Commies are suppressed. Freedom rings true.”
Chaos smiles genteelly. “I have a firing mission for you. Fire on any portal greater than… let’s say three meters for now. We have an extra-dimensional incursion throughout Towerne.”
There’s a gasp from the other end.
“I bet it’s those liberals again!” Space Defense Minion snaps with disgust.
Chaos grins. Sometimes he legitimately has no clue whatsoever his vassals are referring to – it’s understandable if one pulls their Minionry from thousands of different dimensions, after all.
“They are… being liberal in their dispensation of evil, perhaps,” Chaos says, doing his best to relate to Space Defense Minion.
“Ha! Same thing!” Space Defense Minion replies. “Don’t worry, sir. Any commie portal greater than three meters in length will absolutely get the ol’ howdy.”
“So you’ll fire at them?”
“Yes, sir. That’s what I meant by ‘ol’ howdy’.”
“Ahh,” Chaos nods gently. “Very good, then. Fight on with my blessing.”
“Yessir. I’ll defend freedom until my very last breath.”
Chaos just nods. “Very good, please take care.”
“You too, sir! Those dirty, slimy, cowardly potato and beet-eating, heavy-accent having, totally l-”
“I am quite busy, dear minion. So long.”
Space Defense Minion pauses for a moment, perhaps realizing that he was going off on one of his usual tangents.
“Y-yes, sir! Sorry sir!”
At that Chaos lowers his antennae back to their relaxed standard arch.
“That should solve the problem in the meantime,” he thinks aloud, his hands placed on his hips.
“What do you want to do, sir?” Inspection Minion asks.
Chaos’ face alights with recollection.
“Oh, of course!”
He turns to Flower Minion.
“Was there a large portal to a hell dimensions when you were making your rounds up the Fauna Tower yesterday?”
She shakes her head with an aghast expression.
“So… Inspector here said that this one here’s another portal,” she says, nodding over to the still-opened portal filled with fire and horror as a massive burning dragon corpse slides off a ziggurat into a busy market square. “Are you guys saying that there was one up in the Fauna Tower too?!” she adds.
“Which room!?” she bleats. “Was it four twenty?!”
Chaos squints. “No, it was eighty-two. What’s so important about room four hundred and twenty?”
She looks aside, simultaneously realizing she’s too high to be a good liar and that she was actually speaking out-loud instead of thinking.
“I… uh… I don’t know. My special… fire… fluffs… are there. Yeah, my crossbreed firefluffs, sorry. I’m glad they’re okay.”
Chaos smiles and nods. “I haven’t finished the inspection today, but I’m quite certain they’re fine.”
She starts nodding and doesn’t stop. “Ahh, yes… good.”
Inspection Minion squints crassly at the feminion.
“Sir, I think after all this we should pay special attention to room four twenty… wouldn’t want her firefluffs to go unappreciated, after all,” he says with a snide grin.
Chaos nods at the idea the moment Flower Minion shoots a frenzied death stare at Inspection Minion.
“Now, if this is all happening today… I actually think I might have an idea who to ask,” Chaos ponders.
“Oh?” Inspection Minion coos.
The High Overlord of Truly Incorrigible Brutality nods, and raises his antennae again. There’s no time to have them brought to him, after all; he’ll just communicate directly. “Towerne Infrastructure Minion,” Chaos addresses through the ether.
There’s a pause, and then a waking groan from the other side.
“Oh, heya, Head Architect. What’s poppin’?” a voice rings through Chaos’s mind.
“You sound a bit tired.”
“I’m always tired, man,” Towerne Infrastructure Minion says with a scoff. “How may I assist?”
“We’ve been having an… well, a problem with portals opening up to… I guess enemies?”
“Yeah, I saw a few big cuts through the fabric recently, but I couldn’t quite make it out, the mana system’s getting kinda low and we’re still trying to figure it out from our end.”
Chaos’ eyes slant in a way befitting of his exceptionally violent titles. “Is that so,” he says, more like a statement than a question.
“Yeah. It’s weird. Input’s good everywhere but the source readout is starting to just… I dunno… blip out. It’s acting like it’s not even there, but that obviously can’t be the case.”
The Overlord sighs and nods to himself in a way that tells the two minions around him that he’s figured it all out. “I see,” he communicates over to Towerne Infrastructure Minion, “Meet me at the core.”
At that Chaos cuts his mental link from his underling and turns to the two minions next to him.
“I have to see to something, if you don’t mind.”
Despite their previous bickering, they both come to an immediate moment of understanding that The Overlord wants something and that objecting would be folly.
“By your own leave, sir,” Inspection Minion notes with a box.
“You go… kick some ass!” Flower Minion adds with a fragile mix of confusion and enthusiasm.
Chaos nods, swipes his hand, and creates a him-sized portal leading directly to another tower: the one containing the source of most of Towerne’s explicit arcane power.
At Spa Tower, Chaos hovers with a weight spell over a connecting set of outdoor baths, laden with relaxing toweled minions. It’s not so important that they don’t have any genitalia to hide or hair to put up – it just feels appropriate to have towels for a public bath, is all.
The Overlord receives a set of lackadaisical greetings from a few dozen of his minions as he glides across one of the tower’s many outer ledge pools, this particular one styled after a woodland onsen. It was inspired by a time Chaos visited a dimension with a Japan and bathed about, while also freaking out everyone there. He felt unappreciated, so he just decided to bring the atmosphere home.
Chaos hovers along and lands past the bath, reverting his weight by undoing the spell just as quickly and silently as he had cast it upon himself – there really are some magics so simple to him that the thought alone causes The Verses to bend to his will. With a single tap on the ground, he rockets off down the steps to the core of the tower, past the secured boundary.
About twenty security minions strike up to the position of attention with their hyper-enchanted weaponry. Some have rifles, others swords, and still others with hands and fists at the ready.
Portaling straight into the place is directly against his own orders, and even he’s clever enough to remember that – there’s a procedure to follow here.
“Sir,” The officer of the watch says, his black-white beret draped professionally over his right eye. “All’s well,” he grunts the second the doors to the connecting hallway slap open.
“Hey dudes,” the minuscule but enormously intelligent Towerne Infrastructure Minion snorts. “Big O’s on his way over he- oh, I see it’s showtime already!” he fixes himself with a chuckle as he brushes off his architect’s smock, which is identical to an average smock, with the slight difference of it being exclusively for architects.
Chaos nods. “Show me.”
With the guards parting aside, the minion and the master step down a long, fortified hall complete with chokepoints, magic trap sigils, and automated turrets designed to engage any non-ether lifeform in sight.
Behind a menagerie of secured doors, unlocking and parting via automation, the way is revealed to a uniquely fitted mana-drawing chamber, made exclusively to house the glorious, immensely magical and quite grapefruit-sized Planar Sphere.
The two stare up at the container vice, only to acknowledge that it’s contents are gone.
Towerne Infrastructure Minion smiles awkwardly. “Well… yeah, that’d do it.”
Chaos nods. “If we’re still somewhat operational then that means we’re running of the residues still in the system, but that could cut off any second now.”
The sound of a thousand hot tubs, saunas, water jets, and auto-massagers abruptly cease.
The two are silent as they hear an accompanying several thousand minions moan, groan, and complain in a simultaneous expression of relaxed disgust.
“Aaand there we go,” Towerne Infrastructure Minion notes with a smirk. “Guess we got to get…” he looks over to The Overlord, only to see that he’s gone now, too.
“Oh,” is all he says.
Chaos cannot believe it. Someone stole from him. Stealing from others is to be expected because people that get stolen from are weak, he knows this; but if someone’s stealing from him, valuable things, no less, then what is that to say about him!?
With a manic obsession, The High Overlord focuses in on the mana signatures that had passed through the area recently. The burglar couldn’t have been out more than a half hour, so the trail of the Planar Sphere is still fresh.
Chaos follows the trail down across all of his security line, upstairs to the ground floor, cheekily between a few tables at the bistro, and then back around in a loop where it goes up a flight of steps to all the mudbaths.
Then it gets a little complicated.
Chaos spots that the robber took the Planar Sphere directly through a wall and then, using some kind of occult geometry, moves directly upward as if lifting up like an elevator.
Of course, The High Overlord and Punisher of Billions is not about to be shown up by some upstart trickster that just so happens to know a few asinine extra-dimensional merging techniques.
He follows along using comparatively vague magics to even those used by pretentious “secret magic” wizards and witches, following the trail up to a T in pursuit of Towerne’s most beloved sphere of power.
The trail goes into another dimension up along the side of the grand hot stone massage parlor, he cuts through the realm to get to the other side: a woodland forest of some kind.
It’s here Chaos pauses. The feeling of the air is completely different.
His antennae flick gently with the mild late-Spring breeze. His target is close.
Not only can he feel the presence of a humanoid dirtbag, he can see their mana signature in a cabin just a hundred meters forward.
It’s a ramshackle, sad sort of building, though it’s gained a rustic fairy tale charm now that it’s been weighed down by a thick carpet of moss along its exterior.
Chaos can spot a small light within next to the mana signature, and the unmistakable signature of the Planar Sphere, though it’s definitely less pronounced – he guesses it’s within a sealing box of some sort – witchwood is his first guess.
Creeping up with a horrific silence and grace that leaves not even a single blade of grass twisted, he approaches up to the side of the cabin and listens.
“Yeah, can’t wait to see him,” a gaudy, young, male voice starts, the very moment Chaos selects his magic outside.
“Wait no longer, cur,” The Overlord proclaims, instant-casting “Pewter Lance” via the fire magic school of expression: Pyromancy.
Instantly an army of arm-sized metallic shivs, white hot with temperature, extend out to blast through the wall and light anything contacting in a blaze.
Chaos leaps in, expecting to see the half-roasted corpse of a smartass thief, but instead finds five things:
-A thin, scarcely notable mana signature trail leading to another dimension,
-A magic slip sealed with a mimicry of a human,
-A magic slip sealed with a mimicry of the Planar Sphere,
-An activated chat stone,
-And an expertly hidden, massive trap circle humming with crimson violence the second Chaos entered.
“And there he is!” the chat stone speaks with the same, infuriatingly suave voice as before.
The trap circle is remotely activated and the entire shack, along with the square mile of woodland around it, is leveled in a mountain-shattering explosion.
Trees soar every which way with wild clumps of soil and stone, projecting the forest at artillery speeds across and into other debris.
A thick cloud of dirt is lifted up like the hood of a cobra over the ground zero, blanketing it all in a choking hush of swirling, super-heated earth and flora.
It takes an entire minute for the heavy particles to stop raining down, especially considering the enormous crater provided by the explosion gives them a little more time to fall.
The last piece, a chunk of wood that was weak enough to be shattered out from its tree but heavy enough to be thrown a great distance, soars down in its decent. It passes through the cloud of dust and lighter particles, down into the crater, and then right into the hand of Chaos, outstretched to catch it.
Covered in soot and dirt, he shifts the Euclidean structure of his body to allow it all to slide off frictionlessly. He then reverts his structure back to its original: good as new and the cleanest thing in the Omniverse for the nanosecond it takes for an air particle of something to make contact with him.
Chaos looks over the shard of wood with his great white eyes, attempting to parse out the magic used.
“For a thief, you certainly are equipped by someone who wants for little,” he muses. Chaos looks up to where all the magic objects were just a minute ago and sees that even the trail of the mana signature has been dispersed due to the force of mana ejected from the blast. Any hint or trail he could have caught onto has been explicitly ruined.
For the first time in years, Chaos gains an expression that would almost suggest anger.
“A magic explosion to disperse a magic signature… clever little cat, you are.”
He looks up to the sun, hardly pressing through the dust of the explosion. “I’ll have to skin this one a bit more firmly than usual,” he decides with a cold, lordly tone.
End of Part One