Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
It was in the moment when the superior entity in the lead crashed into Joshua that it learned the meaning of pain—its gravity shied that could withstand the main cannon bombardment of a battleship was swiftly torn while a giant wound creased in the shape of a vortex appeared over its five-kilometer-long body. It was instantly sent flying in circles from the recoil before being shredded to pieces by the centrifugal force.
The entire process took place in an instant, and in the very next moment, endless minced flesh squirmed like tumors as if intending to be reborn, only to be enshrouded by the searing trail of heat by the golden drill that was advancing in the three thousandth of one lightspeed. It remained heated over a few dozen thousand degrees after cooling, incinerating the flesh of these minions and vaporizing them, turning them into the nothingness.
Every crew on the Third Fleet could see a sun shining at the edge of the Beam System and subsequently piercing the dark swarm—in the time of a breath and a blink, the center at which two million monsters gathered were completely destroyed, while a belt of light formed from blinding spherical explosions flickered amidst the universe, blasting the vast swarm apart.
“I-is that a level a being could reach?!”
Azra gaped at every action shown from the monitor on his sickbed; the old Omega-class psionic had once believed himself to be formidable amongst the many races of the stars. He could control the planet’s rain and thunderstorms to turn dried deserts into greening forests over a dozen years. He could also manipulate psionic energy into rays to melt warship alloy armor. However, it was difficult such power to even kill the infantine body of a Scout-class monster without relying on a starfighter, much less those Void aberrations that were over a dozen meters or a few kilometers long.
However, the spectacle before the Midgardians that made them stop breathing for an instant told them that there was a boundary to life—that there were races that could stand alone against a fleet, or an entire civilization. It was the same for both the Void Mother and the unknown allied Void being who came from another universe, a pioneer of another civilization and the paragon of an entity.
At present, the particles from infinite Void monster corpses were blazing in the Nuclear Heart Furnace in the center of Joshua’s chest. Their filling raised the searing pressure of the Furnace up by another notch, even crushing some smaller mass particles so that they fused with others of the same kind and created a core with a heavier mass. Once this process known as nuclear fusion activated, it could rampantly continue, the massive energies thus expanding at the center of the warrior’s body and bursting.
In response, the ultra-dense degenerate matter formed from Steel Strength swiftly transformed the outer layer of the Nuclear Heart Furnace into a layer of airtight ring of protective shell, with streaks of black spike metals stabbed into it and emitting a magnetic field that could burn every electronic product. The two combined and controlled the boundary of fusion, with one powerful spiraling magnetic field that bound the Furnace’s reaction and the broiling ions. Instantly, a Tokamak unit shaped within Joshua’s body—the artificial organ that imitated stars emanated power that no being could hold, but through subjugation by the warrior’s stalwart will was converted into energies that drove Joshua forward and rotated rapidly.
Propelled by such power, Joshua’s supremely resilient body instantly became the most fearsome and sturdy missile with the greatest destructive force. Using nuclear fusion to shoot himself out after the fashion of a diamond needle poking a balloon, he punched through the million-monster swarm with relative ease—though the scattered clusters of Pestilence minions had overwhelming numbers, mass, and energy, it was but a nest of ants about to be wiped out in the face of Joshua’s power.
In the vacuum of the universe, Joshua used his own power as a buffer to stop the rapid onslaught and whirling of his own body. If he did not do so, he would reach the velocity that could shake off the gravity influence from the supreme black hole at the galactic center and fly like an asteroid beyond the Beam System and to vacuum devoid of mass. Should he pause his living processes halfway through the journey and hibernate like a stone, he might truly be able to leave this galaxy after endless years with this pure physical method, a true planet traveling procedure with a body of flesh and blood.
Slowly exhaling once, Joshua looked back at the explosions that were not stopping behind him and the swarm that was gradually routed. And with that breath, in the center of the Steel giant’s shell that had been heated into an incandescent white, the Nuclear Heart Furnace also shot out a cluster of ionic gases that had been compressed to its very limit and swept like the corona of a star towards the distant space, with every Void monster corpse abruptly ignited by the cooldown matter and residual mass from incineration discharged by the warriors body, and promptly converted into a part of the searing ionic fog.
‘From now on, it would be meaningless for me if pawns would not cross that critical boundary.’ Joshua thought quietly as he sensed the unprecedentedly surging power in his body.
Unlike the assimilation rate aspect of Steel Strength, it was a new power brought by the reformation of his constitution. His level remained at the early-phase of Legendary, although his ability was one that Legendary-intermediates might not even possess—according to the warrior’s own calculations, even if he lost his Psionic Soar statues buff, he could still use powers equivalent to thirty percent of the output levels he was using now. That power in turn could wipe out a country within a day, and if one stopped him, destroying an entire continent was a matter of time too.
Such was the difference brought by vision, knowledge, and methods of observation. To Joshua’s his ability to directly view magnetic field, energies, and matter particles, the micro view of the universe was as clear and tangible as dust illuminated under sunlight, while also playing the role of a metaphorical state-of-the-art technological laboratory as a superior being who could directly manipulate particles and gravity fields.
“The Void monsters are beginning to scatter towards other corners of the system. It could cause severe repercussions.”
Focusing once more after pondering about the rise of his body’s power, Joshua could not help frowning at the endless swarm that was dispersing like clouds towards the surrounding stars. “Even leaving just one would be giving the chance for the Evil God minions to rise again.”
Joshua had already learned how stubborn aberrations of Chaos could be; he had to kill the Chaos black dragon a total of three times before he succeeded. If they were not truly dead, the remaining parts of the monsters’ body would corrupt other creatures, reviving themselves by using the creatures they latched on to as a host. Even if the monsters were just a few dozen meters large, it did not mean that they would not shrink—when that time comes, even Joshua would not have any effective solutions, and might even have to play villain, incinerating the surface of an entire planet to wipe out all the seeds of Chaos.
Thus, he accelerated again to the heart of the swarm where searing explosions filled the region. Apart from the [Nuclear Fusion Dash] before, the only skills he could use in space combat at the moment was only [Sword of Steel] and [Spatial Fissure]—the former was merely a mindless full-speed assault while the latter two were long-range blows with technical merit albeit unable to reach out over a dozen hundred kilometers.
He purged every monster even as he flew rapidly. His sword of Steel swung out, its invincible gravity ripple swiftly tearing apart every Evil God minion in the vicinity and crushing them into spatial refuse. When the Spatial Fissure swept diagonally away, even the bodies of thousand-meter class monsters were split into two. As for the superior entities that were almost five kilometers, they had already been diced away by Joshua in his first onslaught, with the remaining few being vaporized and pummeled by the Third Fleet, no quarters given. After all, superior entities were mere pieces of meat once they lost their gravity shielding.
Nevertheless, Joshua did not notice that the seemingly scattered swarm was approximatively assuming an elliptic formation—his entire mind had been focused on calibrating the Nuclear heart in his body to increase his energy output with the lowest consumption. The ellipsis stretched over ten thousand kilometers, and was a loose formation that even Legendary champions would not be able to tell at once if they did not deliberately observe it. It was when Joshua had been culling away at the monsters in passing and arrived at the center of the ellipsis that the anomaly commenced at once.
Hundred thousand Void aberrations, as if of a single body, explosively expelled every ounce of psionic energy from their body and unleashed dark green light that completely covered the stars. Their psionic energies linking and resonating, they formed an infinite three-dimensional cage that was akin to a small star, with the already-reacting Joshua in its center. Without hesitating, the warrior propelled and charged by activating the Furnace within his body, intent on breaking away from the trap designed for himself.
Even so, was he aware of the length of the trap’s perimeter? The beasts’ formation itself being a universe-class psionic entrapment with a radius of fifteen thousand kilometers, it meant that one would need almost twenty seconds to escape even if they moved at three thousandth of the speed of light—but would the Void swarm that broke away from their typical behavior and displayed extraordinary intelligence give Joshua such a chance? As the green light visibly brightened, Joshua was held down by the collective psionic energy of over a million aberrations despite entering Fusion Propelling Mode, while the ellipsis cage began to rapidly close itself as the monsters gathered once more!
“I’ve underestimated them!”
As he stood amidst the Void, Joshua, now bound where he was, clenched all four fists. Energy where crimson and silver jumbled appeared over his arms and shot out, penetrating the over thousands of aberration bodies which in turn caused incessant explosions. That, however, was not even worth mentioning for the monsters—having lost its propulsion, the Steel giant could only attack the encirclement of monsters that did not fear death, and no matter how much the output of the Nuclear Heart Furnace had been raised, it would never outclass the aggregate force of over a million aberrations.
Such was the way insects fought best—to drown the enemy with numbers!
The observation lens of the Third Fleet hence saw such a spectacle: a sun that was emanating radiances of gold and silver was being enshrouded by an endless dark green psionic net that seemed to occupy the entire universe. The net was also shrinking incessantly—the dark green covering the sun bit-by-bit—and subsequently, as everyone watched in disbelief, shock, fear, and rage, it drowned the sun.
On the other end, when Joshua leaped out of his portal with much difficulty, such a sight welcomed him: millions of beasts were swarming across the vast star system, moving like a part of a larger body or a cell of a supreme lifeform and releasing psionic energies that left even he, a Legendary mage, shaken. It was also wrapping around a blinding sun completely and absorbing all its light. At first, the old mage was not sure what was going on—he had been disturbed by the shockwaves caused by Joshua’s fight against the Void monsters in his journey and had no way of warping normally. But soon, he understood when he recognized the familiar energy signature and the large piles of aberration corpses.
That sun was the phenomenon as his junior and friend, Joshua van Radcliffe fought at full power!
“How did this happen?!”
Noticing the new superior being that had warped here, the great swarm that had been crushing and pressing down on Joshua quickly dispatched a little portion of their ranks that flew swiftly toward Nostradamus. Unlike before, even the old Mage who never came across them could tell with his Legendary-tier acute senses that a monumental will was emanating through the Void to directly control the body of these Void creatures which were glinting in dazzling psionic ripples. It burned their being, unleashing inconceivable brute power that temporarily elevated their combat strength.
Perhaps precisely because it had been an unforeseeable move, the swarm could therefore entrap the warrior, catching him unaware despite his bestially agile senses.
Nevertheless, the Legendary mage was not too concerned about the warrior’s vulnerable state. In Nostradamus’s mind, Joshua’s current disadvantage was temporary—instead of minding the safety of that human-shaping walking machine of destruction which was also the most unpredictable being on the Mycroft Continent, it was more apt to be irritated by how the Void creatures were belittling himself.
“Probably about two hundred thousand… That’s what, one eight or one ninth the number that is besieging Joshua?” He laughed coldly as if in a fine and bad mood at once, looked toward the space monsters that were charging at him with the speed a thousand times faster than orcs and stone rhinoceros, before summoning a grimoire out of the Void. “It’s fine for you brainless monsters, but to think that the Chaos being behind your backs is belittling me as well?”
“Looking down on a Legendary Mage born for war?”
He, Nostradamus, a Legendary champion who made his name on the battlefield all those years ago and groomed the innumerable war mages headed by Vale Dani! Who is there in this world who would dare glaze over him!
The instant the grimoire had been summoned, tremendous energy undulation visible to the naked eye appeared in the seemingly tranquil Void. As if a cauldron that had been heated to boiling point, spherical energy rings resembling air bubbles appeared, with countless positive and negative masses materializing in the sea of vacuum and annihilating each other to form the purest of energies. Thus, Nostradamus human-form began to hollow, separate and transform into a pale-blue human silhouette.
“This is a vacuum space similar to the Void… I can unleash my full power without restraint.”
With a deep spiritual undulation, the human silhouette composed of endless dimensional fissures of varied sizes appeared to have been simply transmuted into elements, but when viewed on a microscopic level, there was a complete shade of Nostradamus’s form behind each fissure. Each were doing a different action in every moment, guiding varying energies like a supercomputer while casting the procedure ten thousand spells.
As a mage of the dimensional discipline, Nostradamus had refrained from attempting ascension to Legendary due to his ideals. However, with Joshua’s appearance and Israel’s recovery, he now had the confidence to try it. After viewing the contents of most Divine Dungeon Shroud within the borders of the Empire, the mage was enlightened with a portion of the god’s knowledge, and finally ascended within the Star Observatory that floated amidst the Void and became ‘Dimensions Incarnate’.
Still, how would the power of dimensions be applied to war? If it were before, Nostradamus would warp and lead an entire band of mages and elite special forces to assault the enemy’s base for their heads and leave safely, an almost modern warfare with cold weapons. Be that as it may, the mage had seen the vastness of the Multiverse after ascending, and understood the profoundness of the starry skies along with the boundary of space combat in the Grand Midgardian Library. Nostradamus thus learned that using the dimensions to fight should be thus.
“The world contains inexhaustive energies—in the inner reaches of the calm Void are atomic particles that crash into each other due to their conflicting paths and were thus vanquished. Such is the power of vacuum… I could not adapt it to my uses, but I could guide that energy to develop my magic.”
Separating himself and his soul into infinite portions imbued within the thousands of distinct dimensional fissures, Nostradamus gripped his grimoire as he simultaneously underwent Legendary calculations over a thousand times. With his magical equipment that was carved with uncountable runes and already became another supercomputer, the rush of the Void swarm was almost no different from stopping. At that moment, the boiling phenomenon around his body was also becoming ever more fearsome, even reaching another extreme: it paused.
It was not only the energies around the old mage’s body that had paused—even those Void monsters that had arrived right in front of Nostradamus had become still. Indeed, everything within a radius of twelve from him had stopped. The matter particles that floated across the vacuum of the universe, intriguingly shaped Void creatures that emanated faint psionic light and the ocean of vacuum itself that was almost boiling all thus became motionless as a monumental forced them to keep still.
Nostradamus panted once. He did not have the boost of Joshua’s Nuclear Furnace Heart which every blow would strike an area of over a dozen kilometers in the very least. Using that strike had consumed most of the energies he drew out of vacuum ocean. That, however, was enough—the mage had frozen most of the Void creatures that arrived just ahead of him, and then turned the pages of the book in his hand.
“First Mode: Dislocation.”
The dimension that had been frozen moved once more as the pages of the grimoire stopped turning. However, the monsters that were charging at three thousandth the speed of light paused where they were instead after losing most of their torque. Then, almost sixty thousand of them that were in the immediate vicinity of the old mage shattered into unnumbered pieces in the same instant—the injury caused by dimensional dislocation was perhaps greater than the sharper blades. By merely changing the ripples in dimensions would cause terrible harm that a hundred layers of warship armor could never hold against, while the flesh and blood bodies of Void creatures would directly be cut into millions of pieces, before triggering their energy core to self-destruct into dust amidst the universe.
Then, for the dozen thousands of Void monsters left that had neither formation nor acceleration, the old mage only needed to counter them with rays, lightning, and energy compression spells. He was practically strolling as he massacred the beasts, before looking towards that behemothic dark green cluster of flesh—the monster swarm which was wrapping around the sun. “To be truthful, I definitely can’t face so many at once.” Nostradamus frowned. “I would have to run if they were charging towards me… but it seems that Joshua had been facing them and routing them head-on, before being caught off guard?”
The old mage certainly was not worried at all about Joshua’s safety, although that was limited to ordinary Void creatures. Nostradamus turned and looked toward the distance where that colossal psionic vortex which resembled a pupil was a fear rising in his heart. “But it appears that the superior Chaos being would not simply stay on the other end of space… Joshua, you’re going to have to hurry.”
Now, locked in the psionic cage put together by millions of monsters, Joshua had been pressed into the center of the meat planet formed from endless, squirming sea of monsters. Despite the Steel giant’s body unleashing dozen thousands of searing heats that ceaselessly vaporized the monsters, which in turn ceaselessly regenerated. They also soon began to force their flesh to evaporate into heated gases that separate themselves from the charring skin of the warrior, reaching out with their tentacles with the intent to invade the warrior’s body—just like how they assimilated other organic matter, they would completely devour even this most dangerous enemy, assimilate, and convert him into their own power.
But the monsters had clearly been mistaken about one fact, and that was the fact that Joshua’s body was no longer considered or organic—although they were mistaken about another, more fundamental problem.
“Wanting to devour and assimilate me?”
Pressed into the center of the planetary cage that was effectively physical, Joshua showed an astonished expression as he compared this particular cage to the elderly knight’s [Stellar Bind] back in the world of Grandia. In truth, he had no way to counter such a brutal tactic of individual suppression—with the hundreds and thousands of monsters piling up, he would at least need a foothold to shake them off, and where on earth would he found one in the Void? At first, the warrior planned to go into an attritional warfare with the enemy since the Nuclear Heart essentially had an inexhaustible source of power with such a dense assemblage of mass around him, with the enemy clearly needing to trigger the depth of their vigor to snare him. But even so, Joshua never thought that the monsters were greedy enough to try to assimilate him—
“You bunch of viral creatures. You intend to do what Herlas failed so long ago?”
Laughing sonorously once, Joshua did not try to withstand their effort, even deliberately spreading his hands to lower the warmth over his body. All four of his hands touched the bodies of the Pestilence minions that came unfurling, allowing the Void monsters to undergo their ‘assimilation’ as much as they wish.
“Let me tell you, not all things can be assimilated.”
“Only the weakest fellows would be.”
The deep voice echoed within the narrow cage that had now become a pale green psionic hell, and while the radiance flickered, silver was spreading.