Ripples gradually stirred up a vortex of water in a lake, making a surging turbulence. Underneath the vortex, a different dimension was cracked, sucking Shiryu up into the realm. The waves sent him to the mountainside of a volcano, where piping-hot steam filled the air as the water evaporated on the torrid surface.
Shiryu: Cough...What is this black fumes!
Shiryu saw a couple of women is doing their farm work at the foot of the hill. Meanwhile, lava cracked a slit at the peak into a huge breach, resulting in an eruption. Volcanic bombs were raining all over the sky.
Shiryu: This is bad! The eruption is gonna destroy all those neighborhoods at the foothill! It’s too late for evacuation!
Shiryu: I must stop the disaster or they’ll be doomed!
As the steaming lava was approaching, Shiryu concentrated the power on his right fist to release a dragon-like attack.
Shiryu: Rising Dragon Punch!
Shiryu bounced into the air to give the lava a punch, strong enough to freeze its flow and even cause reflux.
Although the lava crisis was temporarily eased by Shiryu, the danger still remained. The burning hot lava, bubbling in the crater, was moving slowly. Sooner or later it would come back again in the next eruption, wreaking havoc on the village nearby.
Shiryu: “The volcano is still active, and I don’ t know if my punch can save the village again...If I make a mistake, their lives will be gone!”
Shiryu hurried all the way from the mountainside to the village .
Shiryu: Another eruption is happening very soon! This place is not save anymore. Evacuate now!
Villager: But where to go? There is no safe place around us at all!
Kid: I’m scared…
Shiryu: “...Guess I have no choice but to stop this eruption once and for all.”
In a panic, the villagers had nowhere to go. Gazing at the higher place, Shiryu found that the rugged paths extended all the way through undulating ridges and peaks. The volcano was surrounded by few towering mountains; naturally-eroded rocks stood erect on the cliffs.
Earthquake happened again along with the rise of lava. At this moment, Shiryu came up with an idea and gathered his energy.
He cracked the cliffs to make those weathered rocks slide, which successfully blocked the crate to stop the lava flow.
The villagers swarmed to express their gratitude immediately after Shiryu stopped the volcanic eruption. While he was asking about this place, an ominous aura was given out from behind. Shiryu, in the nick of time, made a quick dodge.
Deathmask: Praesepe Underworld Wave!
Deathmask created a sinister aura at the tip of his finger and turned it into an invisible wave. The attack rippled through the air and became an energy vortex. A few villagers perished after taking the hit.
Deathmask: Looks like I just added few collectibles into my cancer temple! Go to the underworld, weaklings!
Shiryu: Cancer! Unbelievable...How could a Saint kill the innocent!
Deathmask: Naive brat, life is just something that comes and goes. If it wasn’t for your intervention, they would have died in the eruption.
Shiryu: ...So it’s all your plan!
Deathmask: Hahaha! Or where else do you think I get the decoration for my temple?
Shiryu: ...What an evil! Saints are meant to uphold and fight for justice! You don’ t deserve this gold cloth!
Deathmask: Humph, bring it on!
Shiryu sprinted towards Deathmask instantly.
Deathmask: Humph, is that all you got?
The praesepe coiled around Shiryu and began to rip the soul from his body. Then, he was casted into the underworld.
Shiryu’s soul was exiled to the entrance of the underground. Brightening up by blue-green fire, he saw a long queue on a hill far away. They were entering the underworld one by one.
Shiryu: Darn it...I’ll never go back to the mortal world if I follow them.
Deathmask: Shiryu, don’t think about going back. Let me send you to the endless abyss.
Shiryu: No way will I submit to evilness. Be remorse to the innocent you killed! Rising Dragon Punch!
Shiryu concentrated power on his right fist and released; Deathmask easily caught the punch with his right hand.
Wearing a grin, Deathmask punched right into Shiryu’s stomach, which almost shattered his soul. Yet Deathmask kept on punching without any intention to stop; Shiryu had no gap to fight back but to block the attacks.
Shiryu: “Strange. I’ve never seen him using such kind of attacks. The pattern is dull like clock ticking with no vitality…”
Shiryu closed his eyes and counted in his heart in order to predict the trajectory of Deathmask’s fists. Soon he could dodge all the strikes perfectly.
Shiryu: These punches are lifeless and conventional. You’re not Deathmask, are you!
Shiryu: Imposter, do you really think you’re able to surpass the speed of light by disguising yourself as a Saint?
Deathmask: ...Oh, you’re clever enough to figure this out. Unfortunately, your life ends here! Pass my trial if you want to survive!
Shiryu: There is no similarity between you two, except evilness. Redeem your sin in the abyss!
As Shiryu triggered his Cosmo, a green dragon tattoo emerged in his back, as if it was about to roar.
Shiryu: Rise, dragon!
The track of his attack resembled a majestic emerald dragon, soaring and hovering in the sky. Just like the waterfall of Mount Lu, it dived from the clouds and pierced through Deathmask’s body with the force of his punch. The fake Deathmask was shattered into pieces.
Shiryu: No matter your evil is real or not, I won’t spare you. Making justice prevail is a mission of Saints!
The underworld became blurry suddenly. Then Shiryu was brought back to the volcano. But there was no eruption; the village was still intact as usual. A twisted dimension popped out ahead; Shiryu sensed a familiar Cosmo inside.
Shiryu: It’s Seiya’s and the others’...Have they come into this world also?...Anyways, I better meet up with them.