Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Mother Tree fulfilled each of Joshua’s request.
It did not matter if it was the most advanced Midgardian warp engine, remains of Void Spawns, or even body parts of the Void Mother that was blown off and left floating—the Mother Tree would never hesitate to provide Joshua with any manner of precious material or secret technology. To most, it would appear to be desperate measures—since Midgardians alone had no way of defeating the enemy, they hence simply allowed Joshua who came from beyond the Void Curtain to do what he wanted, and watch what ripples he could churn out.
“All of your requests are reasonable—I have no reason to refuse you.” Mother Tree, however, explained its actions as thus. “To try learning rapid movement and grasp the initiative in battle, after which to understand the armies at the enemy’s disposal and the enemy, everything is methodical and typical requests. However, the Void Mother’s remains must be subjugated within our body—its power of corruptions are too strong, we can’t allow you to take it out.”
“Of course. I understand the attributes of Chaos monsters, especially this kind.”
In the hastily constructed wooden room deep within the planet’s crust and the body of the Mother Tree, Joshua did not chatter much with Mother Tree since he was focusing and analyzing the unique half-crystal half-plant creation that was intrinsically complex.
The square giant cavity was a hundred and twenty meters in length, breadth, and height, all six walls dark brown sturdy living matter that the Mother Tree deliberately created. With such a huge space, even a smaller unmanned warship fit in, much less a single spare-part. Even so, a huge blue spherical object had occupied most of its space, and Joshua was now floating in the air, employing Steel Strength across thin air and peeling of the outer layers of the sphere bit by bit.
The blue sphere was undoubtedly the important transportation technology that Midgardians relied upon—the ‘Warp Engine’. It was through the development of this technology that the Midgardian civilization could travel distance calculated in light years all those years ago, and head towards other star systems and build colonies. Now, Joshua was using his own method to understand the meaning behind this technology.
With Steel Strength as his hands, Joshua carefully stripped the shell of the half-living engine that was exquisitely constructed to the last, and did his best not to damage its internal energy circuits and psionic build. Even if he did receive the full blueprints from the Mother Tree, Joshua had no way of guaranteeing that he could completely remove the external protective armor and components—he could only completely store every information he could of each component he was removing.
The process lasted almost eight hours, and in that period, Nostradamus headed to the Midgardian archives by the central east of the continent and browse through the world’s ‘constant’—otherwise known as information of the world’s order. The Legendary champion is a superior being that had evolved to the highest threshold, but they could not employ their full might in every world. For example, if they arrived at a world without extraordinary energies, they could wither, weaken or even die. While Stellaris had psionic energies and could provide Legendary champions with enough energy thanks to the Great Mana Tide, it remained was largely different from the world of Mycroft.
Unlike Joshua whose fundamental power revolved around Steel Strength, Nostradamus must study the local energies and basic constants, after of which he would calibrate his own body to utilize his full power.
Meanwhile, Ying and Ling were acting as Joshua’s helpers, with Ying taking charge of unequipping part of the warp engine’s armor, whereas Ling would help the warrior determine the spots where the psionic constructs had the most compact and most obvious dimensional ripples. As for the luminous orb, it appeared to be resting inside Joshua’s pocket.
After almost half a day of advanced analysis, the warrior mostly understood the principle behind the psionic warp engine.
“Using its flesh body to activate psionic energies and subsequently expanding the amplification of the crystal machine, creating a ‘psionic vacuum’ similar to the Void as the powerful psionic energy splits a fissure in the physical realm. In that psionic vacuum, specially designed warships could accelerate infinitely at the speed of thought until the very limit psionic energies could stretch.”
Joshua muttered for a while after having finished his study, his eyes glinting silver. The Midgardian engine design was certainly refined—they created artificial psionic flora that could release powerful psionic powers far above that of Midgardians, after of which the crystal machine parts maintain the vigor of the psionic plant while amplifying its psionic energies over a thousand-fold, and finally using that energy to tear apart space and warp. It appeared to be a flawless design—harmonious, capable of self-regeneration, and the ship could keep sailing with enough cultured fluid.
Even so, in reality, there were huge defects.
The first was the warp distance. Although the Midgardian warship moved at the speed of thought and was akin to teleportation, it would not extend too far. Even with specialized Midgardian crystal design, it would not exceed three trillion kilometers, meaning that they would have to warp twenty to thirty times to travel the distance of one light year, or perhaps even more. Furthermore, it had to pause for some time after each warp to let it cool down, even as the engine became more error-prone the more warps it had made. It was also why Midgardians only colonized three planets within a thousand years—they had been stuck on the wall in regards of psionic output of their warp engine.
It was not easy to elevate the output like living technology or crystal arts either. Even if the Midgardians resolved to collectively alter it, they would need the time of at least one or two generations—in other words, one or two hundred years to produce results.
“My Steel Strength could emulate psionic energies… if I followed their categorization, my psionic powers would far surpass the Midgardian Omega-class psionics, even outclassing the Pioneer by several times at full power. If I reconstruct the engine in Steel giant form, my warp distance would be even further than the Midgardians since my body is far stronger than any material Midgardians could find, the very particles being far sturdier.
It was certainly a truth theoretically, but Joshua was muttering precisely over that as well—even if he understood the principle behind the engine by taking it apart and through studying the blueprints given by the Mother Tree and was positive that he could recreate it, warping cannot be trifled with for it was a necessity in battles of universal scale. He also had the lingering feeling that he was not mastering it, but not one to tangle with frivolity, he shifted his thinking and began the next phase of research.
“There isn’t much time. I’ll take a look at those Void Spawn remains and fragments of the Mother Void’s body.”
The remains of the Void Spawns were sent over urgently by Garden of Roots survivors, while fragments of the Void Mother were forcibly retrieved from space by special operations teams from the same System, under the lethal threat and encirclement of countless spawns. Having heard Joshua’s request, the Mother Tree had quietly withdrawn the disassembled pieces of the warp engine into its own body, before raising a wooden platform, where a psionic shield and Void Spawn corpse lay upon it.
“Bastard… What the hell are you…”
Joshua could not help frowning when he saw the Void Spawn’s true form with his own eyes. When the Mother Tree had transferred its memories, he could not see them clearly since space battles spanned over millions of miles, which was why it was much more stimulating when it was right before his eyes.
Of course, it was not to say that the Void Spawn was very ugly, bizarre, or indescribable—the truth was that Joshua was surprised because its appearance was simply too simple.
“Isn’t it just a ball with a few tentacles growing out of it?” Ying could not help but complain. “Even those do not have the slimy and slippery feeling—it’s more like an iron whip.”
“A little different from what I imagined…” Ling nodded as well. He approached and observed the Void Spawn, but could not find anything unusual. “It really is just a ball and tentacles… How does it even fight?”
The Spawn’s body, spread out over the platform, was almost twenty meters long and fifteen meters tall. According to the Mother Tree, this was just the weakest, infant form. Adults could grow up to several hundred meters, their bodies covered in black-red crystals that resembled bones spikes, capable of ejecting hot energy flow and is powerful enough to cut through warship armor. Moreover, infants came in diverse shape and sizes—some were cylindrical, others had sturdy joints on their lower bodies, while some were even crown-shaped. In a nutshell, there were five types: sphere, spiral, twenty-faced, cylindrical, and tadpole.
Their appearance was simple and held certain streamlined aesthetic, which was completely different from the grotesque Chaos monsters that Joshua came across before. Even so, he could sense a Chaos breath that was as concentrated as it could be.
And somehow, he had a curious familiarity towards it.
“Right, it’s the virus!”
Joshua easily found the source of the familiar before long thanks to his ability to browse through his own memories as if data search—were these Void Spawns not simply viruses that were enlarged over a billion times?!
Although it was similar in appearance, it was essentially a monster of Chaos with the form of virus!
Having sensed the fact, Joshua walked up to it with no hesitation, reaching out to touch the body of the spherical monster. Then, amidst the sharp warnings from the Mother Tree, he quickly endless microscopic ‘beings’ the moment he directly touched the corpse after penetrating the psionic barrier laid down by the Mother Tree. It was the most direct and ferocious method that the ‘Forces of Chaos’ was using to invade his body by studying it and assimilating within, thus infecting Joshua and turning him into a Chaos monster like them. Everything was the same as a microscopic virus invading cells, merely exponentially faster.
“As expected, it’s the Evil God of Pestilence. A familiar method.”
Waving his hand, Joshua completely destroyed every invisible force of Chaos with a flowing silver radiance. As the roots of all things, Steel Strength was far viral than viruses in terms of assimilation, and it was naturally the warrior’s complete victory as the two met. At that moment, Joshua could not help remembering how Robzek was forced to kill over a dozen of his holy knight apprentices in the Plaguelands all those years again. The Mycroft Continent had been overwhelmingly suppressing the forces of Chaos, which was why infection had to happen through contact of bodily fluids. Perhaps those apprentices that suddenly went berserk must have been assimilated by the Chaos virus? It was therefore completely correct that Robzek decisively killed every apprentice—they were no longer human, but crucibles of Chaos in human form.
That was where Pestilence inspired fear. Though its ability in direct combat did not compare to the minions crystal insects and golems of Famine and Calamity, it far outshines both in unusual aspects.
“…It seems that I have been paranoid. I believe an existence of your level would never fear such abnormal corruption. ” Mother Tree’s voice became calm, having observed that nothing weird was happening to Joshua, and continued with an impassive voice that was almost cold. “On the Garden of Roots, the survivors are either staying near freezing vaults, volcanos or antiseptic labs. Citizens of other regions would assume the form of monsters such as this one before your eyes, and follow the Void Mother as they head towards the next colony… Even plants are no exception, for this bizarre power could assimilate and corrupt as long as it lives.”
“The enemy is the enemy of organic life. Though you’re a psionic race, your kind ultimately never left your shell—it’s therefore normal to be completely dominated by the Evil God of Pestilence.” Joshua mumbled, having studied the Spawn’s corpse with one glance—or what was a living virus assemblage that had lost its main mobility. “By that argument, the Void Mother is the source of the pestilence, and its invasion is to infect world after world… Not quite the same as the insect swarm I have in mind, but it’s fine.”
For his own body was precisely the Steel Giant that emanates heat of up to ten thousand degrees, while its body uses a Nuclear Star as an energy source. Regardless of what virus it was, it would never infect him even if it was a plague of Chaos, and moreover, Joshua still carried a portion of Order power even without the Azurite.
While it was not exactly the case for the Evil God of Pestilence, he would naturally overpower its minions. He was white-blood cells to their virus!
Joshua mood lifted considerably at the thought, before abruptly frowning again when he remembered how the Void Mother, the source of the plague, had wiped out the entirely Midgardian colony fleet in an instant. Its endless dark-green shield of light had spread three-hundred and sixty degrees, turning every planet and warship into nothingness in that very moment. The warrior was unable to tell the principles that lay behind that move—was it anti-matter destruction? Or matter collapse? Or an extremely unique Chaos virus that had eroded all matter?
Whatever the case may be, it was a move that was very difficult to counter. Joshua could not be sure that it could not disintegrate his body since he had not fully assimilated, and his body mass was a far cry from the quality a white dwarf—he could only temporarily condense and achieve that state briefly.
“Joshua, do you still want to examine the fragment from the Void Mother’s body?”
The will of the Mother Tree spoke while Joshua pondered. The warrior quickly nodded. “Let me have a look.”
The Void Spawn’s body hence was quickly wrapped in psionic light and subsequently sank into the Mother Tree’s body. As a superior being, Mother Nature was definitely aware of the horrors of Chaos virus, but having lived for millions of years and being the integration of Midgardian psionic wills, it naturally did not fear such levels of corruption, and was even capable of studying it albeit a little slower.
Next, another platform that was wrapped in psionic shielding floated out of the wooden room. Joshua strode towards it, and watched the fragment in the beam.
“It’s still alive?”
It was a black sphere that appeared before Joshua, floating by itself in the air while wriggling and splitting incessantly. Its diameter was five meters, and infrequently shoots out a smaller sphere that crashed powerfully at the psionic shielding the Mother Tree had conjured, so much so that the shielding that was far above Mycroft’s Supreme-tier quaked obviously. After the smaller sphere failed, it would disperse into a dark green fog that holds powerful corruption and assimilation, intending to corrode the shielding bit by bit. Fungi were distinctly growing out of thin air inside the shielding, while viscous dark-green liquid also flowed without ceasing from within.
“The fragment of the Void Mother’s body has terrifying assimilation. It could devour any matter, energy or even spiritual and psionic powers to grow itself… before we caught it, we had always been doubtful why the Folbians would allow their summoned Chaos monster to grow so huge and flee so haggardly. Now that we thought about it, it’s probably that.”
Joshua assuredly understood what the Mother Tree was saying. When the Folbians had conducted the Void Door ritual and summoned the Evil God of Pestilence’s minion, the Void Mother must not have been huge—or in fact, very small, allowing that star faring race to lower their guard. However, when Pestilence had finished engulfing the whole world and the Void Mother finally displayed its full power, bloating while assimilating, the Folbians would have lost any power to resist already… Perhaps, part of the Void Mother was hiding in the ships that they fled in, a part that resembled the Void Mother and virus—meaning that the Folbians were deliberately allowed to escape but would in turn become their host to infect other races amidst the universe.
Apart from ascertaining once more that it was definitely a minion of the Evil God of Pestilence, Joshua noted nothing else that was out of the ordinary. He reached with his hand, allowing the Void Mother fragment to rampantly invade his body, but failed—even if the Void Mother’s corruption was undoubtedly far more powerful than Chaos Virus, it still could not break the warrior’s defenses. The aspect in which Steel Strength could resist such corruption aspects was simply too great, and could even assimilate and convert the Void Mother’s body for its own uses, turning it into stone. Nevertheless, the process was too slow and required too much strength, otherwise Joshua would allow the Midgardians to shoot him like a missile into the Void Mother’s body, allowing him, the ‘white blood city’ to wipe out all those viruses.
“There all things could either counteract or complement each other, I never thought that you could completely ignore the corruption force that is virtually a natural enemy to us Midgardians… To summon you is a fortune, and a blessing from the Sage.”
Having witnessed that Joshua could assimilate the Void Mother instead, the Midgardian Mother Tree’s voice became significantly deeper and without any hint of happiness or feeling blessed.
There was no question that even the Mother Tree that was an assembled body of wills was starting to fear Joshua’s power. If it could not detect the scent of the Sage emanating from the warrior’s body, it would probably be even more alert against the fellow that was even more terrifying the Evil God minion, even transferring him far way to an external colony, far away from its main body.
What sort of joke is this? What difference is there between a white blood cell that could devour and assimilate infinitely, compared to those Chaos viruses?! Though the Mother Tree was not aware of leukemia, it was still instinctively vigilant.
Still, Joshua did not mind its vigilance—being truthful, he was a little fearful of his own power himself. It was no joke but reality, and if he indeed assimilated with Steel Strength fully one day but also his control over it and devolve into a puppet of that power, there was two outcomes in store for him: one was to self-destruct, while the other, less possible outcome was to become a living white dwarf or small blackhole that, like leukemia, incessantly devoured worlds of order.
But vigilance being vigilance, Joshua remained confident towards his control. He could suppress even divinity, so what was Steel Strength that he assembled single-handedly? The warrior could not even imagine how much he had to fall to be reduced to such states.
“Alright, I’ve almost determined what the real form of the enemy was.”
Having attained a way to fight in space and understanding the essence of the enemy, Joshua had completed most of his objectives on Midgard. He turned and looked above towards the direction of the Mother Tree, saying, “I’m truly thankful. Could you provide me a wide and quiet place? I wish to attempt to build a Warp Engine in my body.
“Don’t worry, Mother Tree. I won’t stay here for long since I am ultimately a foreigner of this world.
“My companion and I would depart when the Warp Engine is completed.”