Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Third Fleet Commander inhaled sharply in shock, uttering the stunning number.
In truth, Midgardians did not breathe through their mouths, but it was precisely in the shock that the commander acted in disorder. The military man—a Midgardian who was barely middle-aged but had yellowed leaves all over his head—unwittingly clenched his fists and seethed quietly. “What is going on?! Why is their number six times more than last time?!”
“According to our observation, there had been a large-scale distortion signature around the Garden of Roots system,” someone quickly answered. “Commander, it’s a shapeshifting space-insect swarm!”
There were not just intelligent being within the universe, but also many extraordinary spacefaring beings such as Void Clouds, crystal beings, deep-space jellyfish and many others. The shapeshifting space-insect was one of them—these giant lifeforms that could warp moved in swarms, possessing colossal bodies and a mild demeanor. They often voyaged to the vicinity of planetary systems where intelligent beings resided and naturally, the Garden of Roots system was no exception. This time, however they ran into Chaos daemons, thus either falling as rations or allowing the numbers of Void monsters to multiply wildly.
At present, as the first wave of Void monsters warping ended at once, the second dense, world-blanketing—or more specifically, endless galaxy-blanketing warp ripples began to appear behind the first wave of scouts. According to the psionic processing core in the warship, they numbered up to two million five hundred and seventeen thousand three hundred and twenty-nine.
The extremely repetitive warp ripples were even affecting each other and fusing together, forming a tremendous psionic vortex that even Midgardians could no comprehend. Through the dark-green vortex that could devour half a planet, a supremely gargantuan lifeform which was over nine hundred thousand meters and still unceasingly expanding was brandishing its tentacles on the other end of space, intending to cover the distance of trillions of kilometers to their position. It was hence fortunate that the gargantuan lifeform had yet charged enough energy for warp and would only arrive sometime later.
It was not unfortunate, however, that the second wave of assault—two million army of Void monsters had begun to warp!
Recovering from his shock, the commander of the Third Fleet focused again, sweeping his eyes over a densely pack collection of monitors and studied the data listed within. “Recall the starfighters and scatter psionic warp traps,” he said, biting down with a low voice as he stroked his yellowed scalp. “We shall retreat to the vicinity of the ‘Sea God Star’ defensive live and conduct our defense in coordination with the fortifications—the enemy is too many, we can’t engage them!”
Despite the prompt change in battle tactics, it was the best judgment even with slight contradictions. Against millions of Void monsters, even if two thousand Midgardian mainstay warships that were already armed could not triumph definitively, they carried a significant advantage. Their fearsome psionic lances were planetary armaments that could instantly destroy surface cities and crumble mountains—hence, to kill Void monsters was as simple as chopping vegetables, but having two million Void monsters warping together simply exceeded the limit, and could not be blocked whatever the case may be.
The simultaneous warp of two million monsters had caused a chaos ripple that devoured tens of thousands of monsters, causing them to be lost in the dimension between psionic vacuum and the real world. That, however, was frivolous to the enormous numbers of monsters, and with the incessant creation of more Void monsters from the Void Mother had dimmed the entire edge of the Beam System at once. The starlight of those parts was blocked out by the infinite swarm, and inversely, the Midgardian fleet was retreating without stopping. As little starfighters returned to the warships like birds returning to nests, several unique spherical warships suddenly appeared amidst the fleet.
The warships were completely silver-white, and an orderly perfect sphere. As the Midgardian fleet gradually moved to the rear prepared for short-distance warp to the back, those spherical warships advanced rapidly. Completely ignoring the cries of their engines, they held aloft the most modern needlepoint shield without regard of the luminous psionic orbs—a corruption projectile—shot out by every Void monster along the way. They simply darted into the location where the Void monsters warped, and violently self-destructed.
As dazzling fireworks flashed, silver-blue ripples churned the dimensions. Through the unique stabilizing of a single-dimensional psionic ray, they destroyed the warping of the Void monsters and obstructed the massive psionic vortex from taking forming, interfering with the arrival of the Void Mother. At that moment, every Midgardian could seemingly hear the angered bellows from the Void Mother from the other end of space, and yet none of them felt pleased—it was a mere delay of the enemy’s advance, and the two million Void monsters had finished warping. They sensed the psionic energy like sharks smelling blood, and wildly accelerated to pursue the retreating Midgardian fleet.
In the first wave, thirty thousand were completely wiped out by luminous lances.
In the second wave, a hundred thousand were blown up by deep space torpedoes and psionic beams.
In the third wave, two hundred and fifty thousand were routed by the second wave of psionic lances.
In the fourth wave, five hundred and sixty thousand as well as a dozen colossal spindle-shaped monsters started to move slowly. Giant green energy emissions appeared behind the monsters and started to charge at their fastest speed towards the three fleets that amounted up to just two thousand ships. It was by immeasurable toil and dispatching starfighter pilots that the enemy was pushed back.
In a half-conscious state and powerful instincts, Azra forced his starfighter to the effective area of the warship’s tractor beam and returned to its hangar. He had just destroyed a thousand-meter class Void monster in the interceptive battle just now, the price being a significant decrease in his bodily functions—in fact, the aged Midgardian was at the edge of a coma. Three combat medics swiftly leaped up to his fighter and dragged Azra from the pilot’s seat. “He can’t keep fighting…” One of them said urgently. “His age is over eight hundred, and his psionic core is beginning to wither. If he keeps fighting under such an overburdened state, even an Omega-tier psionic would die!”
“No! I still can—”
At the medic’s words, the about-to-faint Azra seemed to come to immediately. He seethed, his eyes widening and sitting up to grab the medic’s collar. Physical psionic light even illuminated the medic’s face, before Azra lay down again, his breathing weak even as his mouth kept spewing words along the lines of ‘let me rest for a bit’ and ‘I can still fight’.
“Just relax. We would soon return to the perimeter of the Sea God Star.” The medic calmed the old man, taking out a vigor injector from his first-aid case and supplying Azra some liquefied nutrients. “We can destroy those Void monsters with the satellite fortifications, that way, even that superior being would be alone even if it warped, and we might stand a chance.”
“Fifth wave! Seven hundred thousand!”
“The enemy is advancing in full force! Abandon the plan of shredding their ranks, retreat at full speed!”
The alert rang throughout the fleet, which naturally included the hangar. In that instant, the expressions on both medic and Azra changed at once—only now did they understand that the enemy was different from intelligent beings.
Armies of intelligent life forms would retreat. Even elite ones that numbered up to millions would fall back at once after taking thirty percent of damage—real battles where they fought to the very last man were special circumstances… and now, how much losses had the army of Void monsters suffered? More than half? Or at least forty percent? The destructive power of the luminous lances could spread, and the ashes the Void monsters left behind in death had become a cluster of black specks and clouds. They would have been routed if they were a fleet of normal beings—that was something everyone knew.
Nevertheless, the Void monsters would not run—they had neither fear nor intelligence, only knowing attack and not defense. They would assimilate instead of creating, for they were a virus of worlds, a super plague that spreads through worlds, universes, and planes. Their very existence was an incarnation of horror.
That was why the Void monster army that has overrun the countermeasure capabilities of the Midgardian began to charge. The first to retreat was the elite First Fleet that was holding at the rear of the three Midgardian fleets. They carried the most excellent weapons and shield that must be kept at the best conditions before the Void Mother warped here. Amidst circles of psionic ripples, they successfully entered short-distance warping under the covering fire of the Second and Third Fleets, reaching the planetary fortress of the sixth Beam System planet, a gaseous planet that had no atmosphere.
Behind the Sea God Fortress, as well as the Sky God and Blazing God fortresses behind it, the colony planet of the Garden of Flowers was the third planet from the sun, with the defensive perimeter on that planet and its moon being the point where the resources of the entire region had been assembled.
“Listen. It’s very likely that we would become the platoon holding up the rear.”
The Third Fleet was a remnant armada that was repaired and refurbished and mostly crewed by survivors of the Garden of Roots colony. Therefore, most of the personnel were similar to Azra—kin who wish for vengeance over their departed loved ones and actually having nothing apart from their boiling blood. They were considered the weakest whether in terms of equipment and training, a fact they knew very well. Thus, nobody was especially surprised when the order was given from the bridge of their flagship. There were certainly emotions, but most of it were out of reluctance to resign themselves.
“If we had warships in perfect conditions… We wouldn’t lose out to the First Fleet!”
Hence, many began to hate the Midgardian policy over their thousand-year history. Due to their long strife and unrest, these psionic plants hence hated war even when they became a spacefaring race. If not for protection against all sorts of space creatures and other civilizations, they would not even have formed standardized fleet and colony, instead staying in a drunken stupor within their Mother Planet. But now, the sinister outcome was clear that their spacefaring civilization would not have established a fleet of two-thousand ships if they had not been invaded by the Void monsters.
Perhaps, if they had a fleet of ten thousand or two thousand, along with more than ten colony planets, even the Void Mother would not have been a worthy opponent.
But now, it was all too late.
With the Second Fleet beginning to warp and extend their one-dimensional ray, the Third Fleet was abruptly left behind alone to fend off the Void monsters that were coming at them wildly. The Chaos beings that bore the appearance of virus but was far sturdier than alloy generally had no special attacks. Even so, only the thousand-meter class behemoths having any long-ranged offensive moves such as ejecting the psionic spheres akin to Midgardian’s luminous lances—most of the time, they were their own weapons.
Any matter would gain fearsome destructive force after being accelerated in incredible speeds. The Void monsters were precisely doing so—dark green trails of acceleration that kicked up endless magnetic sparks appeared behind each Void monster, and they sped up to the inconceivable velocity of three thousandth light speed! Though it appeared insignificant, it in truth was a terror that leaves people trembling, for it was something the beasts could never do if they did not completely disregard their own lives.
In an instant, such a spectacle could be seen: the ever-present dark swarm exploded in a powerful green light that illuminated the entire planetary system, and soon, they collectively accelerated and charge, causing even vacuum to distort. The Third Fleet that had been keeping guard as the Second Fleet warped looked on vigilantly—all their warships had stopped moving and paused in their respective positions, releasing their needlepoint shields at full capacity. At the same time, their engines loading at full capacity and condensing one luminous lance after another.
Even if they were all to die here, they must stop the beasts from the Void—they must secure time for the First and Second Fleets to equip themselves so as to coordinate with the satellite fortress and wipe out the two million Void beast, and only then could stand against the Void Mother!
As Azra was helped to the medical bay, there was a psionic screen before his eyes that was relaying the scene observed on the bridge in real time. Silent, unemotional Void monsters that were fearless against death forced themselves into the three thousandth light speed acceleration despite the fact that their lives were leaving their very bodies, and thus simply cannoned their own corpses at the Third Fleet.
The old Midgardian could not help shuddering at the sight, first remembering not his own fate but another question—what could happen if the swarm had not targeted the fleet but the colony instead? When tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands little asteroids accelerated at the three thousandth of light speed that came striking into the Garden of Flowers, would the beautiful planet not have ended up as a living hell? It would be a blaze that no Midgardian folktale could ever compare, a dark boundary called an infernal hell.
“Brace for impact!”
As the enemy was about to arrive, the four hundred and fifty warships of the Third Fleet had already assumed a conical formation. Every warship had their shields on at maximum power, bracing as the demi-lightspeed cannons came crashing. The Second Fleet’s warp was almost complete—psionic vacuum was appearing and their warships were becoming illusory as they readied to enter the portals.
And yet, the impact never came.
Crimson concentric halos appeared out of the blue between the Third Fleet and the multitudinous beast, churning the dimension and causing tremendous energy ripples. The energy essence itself was overtly volatile that numerous explosions appeared out of vacuum, while terrifying plasma forces tore a fissure out over the vast space of several thousand square kilometers. Though it was not worth mentioning on a universal scale, it greatly disturbed the strike path of the Void monsters, and under the obstruction of energy undulation, explosion, plasma, and dimensional ripples, most of the Void beasts lost their acceleration.
“It’s a warp portal!” The commander of the Third Fleet muttered in disbelief, unwittingly crushing the baton in his hand. “A ripple from the Mother Planet! How is that possible?!”
“And why is it red?”
The psionic dye of every being was different, with most Midgardians mostly divided between silver and blue, while the Void beasts were an orderly dark green.
So, what was the red psionic signature? And when did the Mother Planet had support forces? Were they not conducting the Void Door ritual at the moment? Additionally, they still had to construct up to eight space strongholds and satellite fortresses, how could they cover the distance of several light years to rescue them? It should be known that they were already ready to sacrifice them as scapegoats for the First and Second fleets, to unleash their final assault.
“Wait—the Void Door ritual? That red warp path, could it be?!” Suddenly, the commander came up with a possibility in his mind, his eyes widening.
Nevertheless, present developments would never stop for the Midgardians’ shock. As the crimson psionic portal started to whirl wildly, layers of concentric circles began to shrink and assemble before finally forming a huge exit similar to a vortex. In the very next instant, a golden-red ray streaked out and made a direct dash for the Void swarm!
Not quite catching what the being inside the ray was, every Midgardian who looked on stared blankly—regardless if the being that suddenly appeared was allied to the Mother Planet, he should not be heading straight toward the Void swarm! That was a pile of spacefaring beings that could crush a planet under their weight!
But soon, four gigantic beams mixed in silver and red appeared in their eyes. They pierced the dark swarm and detonated, creating thousands of spherical explosions in the darkness as blazing fiery light with metallic gasses that were ten thousand degrees hot unfurled amidst the Void. It was just an instant, but five thousand monsters were now nothingness, while five thousand others were charred!
Over ten thousand of those abominations were vanquished with one strike! The fearsome destructive force gripped the Third Fleet commander’ heart. Although a factor that allowed such ease of carnage was caused by the swarm’s own tight formation, the mysterious being’s power was sufficiently revealed—if it unleashed several hundred times of that assault just now, would the great swarm of beasts not be completely vanquished?
Shaking his head, the commander abandoned the naïve thought. Leaving aside the fact that the newcomer did not have the energy reserves for such functions, the Void swarm would soon disperse—they would instinctively make evasive maneuvers despite lacking intelligence against beings of such destructive power! That would in turn create planet-sized gaps of distance between their ranks, and if that happens, it was fortunate if one dash of the newcomer could kill a few hundred of those monsters.
However, in the very next instant, the commander no longer had the energy to calculate the effectiveness of the mysterious being’s attack. Even as the crimson concentric circular ripples began to slowly close themselves, the clumps of clouds that were formed from corpses of the Void monsters started to dissipate, and every crew on the Third Midgardian Colony Fleet saw the true form of that mysterious being.
It was a four-armed giant resembled a battleship in itself, its length over four hundred meters and its skin a golden-red hue. Its four arms glinted with a golden halation akin to suns, with the occasional silver radiances tangling and combining with the four halation. Clearly, the four colossal beam attacks were unleashed by the giant’s our arms.
“It’s… It’s the Void being!”
“It’s our Void being!”
“Was the ritual on the Mother Planet successful?!”
The spirits of every crewmember in the Third was lifted at once. Somehow, waves of courage began to pour into their hearts, as if the appearance of the giant and the success of the ritual was the first step to victory. Indeed, the giant’s formidable force illustrated the fact—it could freely enter and leave the swarm as if there were nothing there, proving that they were far more powerful than your typical Void beasts!
“Wait, be careful!”
In the medical bay, Azra, who had been elated as well by the sudden appearance of such a powerful reinforcement was unexpectedly bellowing. He had caught a flashing light near to the four-armed giant, and was crying out loudly as he sensed danger despite the fact that the giant could not hear him.
At the same time, in the distance where the Void monsters gathered, the four-armed giant was standing upon the corpse of a thousand-meter class Void monster, flexing his four arms that were searing after unleashing the energy beams at full force. He appeared to be distracted, and upon sensing the fact, another colossal thousand-meter class swiftly accelerated up two thousandth of lightspeed—or perhaps three—and rushed towards the opponent even as the distorted ripples flowed across the dimensions!
At that speed, the beam was rushing at almost the speed of a thousand kilometers per second, a speed that could never be reached in the atmosphere and could shake off the restraint of planetary gravity at will. It was the fundamental speed of heading from one galaxy to another apart from warping, a terrific speed that did not come from Midgardian civilization and hence likely be a creation of another civilization the Void monster had devoured.
It was also a speed at which a creature’s nerve-conduct velocity could never possibly react to,
Be it a foretelling or an instant reaction after sensing the incoming beam, the Steel giant did not appear too concerned with the Void monster that came striking at himself. Standing upright over the corpse of the thousand-meter class monsters, two of his arms holding the front of his chest while his eyes scanning the Void swarm as if judging his prey. Meanwhile, the second left-arm over his shoulder lifted high above, dull gold energy particles assembling at the speed of thought into a colossal long-hilted axe. The giant did not even look towards the direction where the enemy was coming from and simply swung the axe—with a dull gold edge of light that flashed once and quickly vanished.
Soon, the thousand-meter class Void monster that was dashing at the giant promptly paused in its tracks, and split down the middle of its body, revealing its harrowing anatomy of unusual organs and energy core that appeared to be formed from countless tumors. Then, it self-destructed violently, turning into a cluster of fireworks amidst the dark universe.
However, that was for lowly beings that evolved naturally.
In that very moment, Joshua, having finally understood what was happening, had a single simple thought in his mind.
“Tsk. The warp portal is heading in the wrong direction,” the warrior muttered quietly. “This is bad—the warping has consumed all my energy.”
Before his chest, the golden light that represented his Nuclear Furnace Heart was rhythmically glimmering in fluctuating radiance and slowly flickering.