Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
On the bridge of the Pioneer, the flagship of the Central Midgardian Fleet, Commander Tarquin finally raised his hands that had always been clasped behind his back, pressing them over his own face after seeing that the Void Mother’s flesh that had lost all signs of life. He then exhaled, shuddering.
“It’s over…” the aged Midgardian laughed with a tired voice. “The last few months had really been… the damned Void Mother, the damned Folbians!”
His voice became gradually hatefully even as he murmured the incoherent words. Psionic radiance was flickering from the space between Tarquin’s fingers where he covered his face, for the Midgardian Fleet Commander could no longer suppress his hate for the neighbors. If not for the Folbians’ summoning of the Void Mother and yet left it undestroyed, if not for the Folbians panickily escape their homeworld without resistance, if not for the Folbians’ lack of the will to warn them with the intent on using them as bait to delay the Void Mother—all these would not have happened! If the Folbians had notified the Midgardians early on and worked together with them, the Void Mother might never have grown to such colossal levels!
Yet everything was far from being the case, and everything were the Folbians’ fault.
That sentiment had been spreading throughout Midgardian society. Countless Midgardian youths who previously held high esteem of unknown races from other worlds had hence reversed their beliefs, turning the generally welcoming Midgardian notion to a xenophobic one. If there was one day where he came across the fleet of Folbian refugees, he would definitely lead the entire fleet to wipe them out, purging them and leaving none alive!
Just as they were purging the Void Mother.
Putting down his hands, the old man looked towards the stars where an airship was slowly approaching the lifeless scraps of the Void Mother. Every crew and researcher on board were prepared for death even as they closed in to ascertain if the Void Mother was dead and do their best to find where the Void Mother’s psionic core was.
In truth, Tarquin did not believe that the Void Mother would survive from the Sub-Space Breaking Cannon’s bombardment. He once saw the outcome when a warship failed in its warp process—the most powerful of unique alloys were cut into pebble fragments, the flesh of crewmen was compounded with machine fuel, flowing over what remained of the half-living airship. No life could survive from such manner of chaotic space, not to mention it was exposed to all sorts of radiation in the thick of the universe.
It was his belief as well as most Midgardians’– every troop and personnel including those stationed in the Sea God Star Fortress breathed a long sigh at the news, rejoicing that they did not have to face the Void Mother, since it was definitely a good thing to not die even if they were willing to sacrifice their life for kin and homeworld. Having ‘defeated’ the Void Mother, most began to imagine unfetteredly the sights of their triumphant return, while most began to cry over their comrades’ sacrifice.
But in distant space, the monster of Chaos callously shattered their imagination.
“High energy signature!”
A red alert suddenly shone as a smile appeared over every Midgardian face! In that instant, thousands of tentacles abruptly shot out violently from the Void Mother’s corpse and tightly wrapped around the research vessel that was carefully approaching it. Its sturdy alloy shell and emergency warp unit were meaningless—it twisted the vessel into a clump of steel husk, before turning into endless fragments in one violent explosion.
At the same time, like a sharp blade, a dazzling and edged beam shot out from that flesh scraps that should not have life in them—it covered the distance of light seconds, striking and shattering the Sub-Space Breaking Cannon directly. Instantly, the horrific energy ripples utterly pierced the colossal manmade silver rhombus-shaped octahedron in its entirety, the shockwaves bursting out from the other end, shattering a significant number of defensive shielding on Midgardian Fleet vessels, crippling them temporarily.
The world-destroying beam that had caught even Legendary mage Nostradamus off-guard not too long ago had appeared once again. Even so, it was far from that previous power that could shatter even the dimensions, resembling a thick and solid main cannon from a fortress instead.
Although sound waves could not move across empty space, all Midgardians felt that they could hear sounds of minced meat and innards being slapped together and reassembling, even as they looked in astonishment into the distance. On the flagship bridge of the Central Fleet, Tarquin pointed with a trembling finger at the optical lens, where the Void Mother was shown to be slowly reassembling itself and regenerating. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but an invisible force pressed upon his vocal organs, permitting it to only watch silently as the Mother of Aberrations returned to this world.
Reborn from the thousand blades of the spatial fissure, the Void Mother returned to its sea urchin shaped albeit much smaller than before. Its diameter was about five hundred and fifty thousand meters now, and its sturdy outer shell did not recover, leaving just boundless sporadic and cracked black chitin shards. Its stalwart psionic shielding was now so translucent it almost did not exist at all, but it remained a superior being larger than a fortress. As it rebuilt itself from its sprinkled Nanovirus form into its present colossal form, the Void Mother felt an unprecedented hunger—its composition that had been maimed continuously was screaming for energy source and organic objects. It must head towards a living planet and plunder its ecosystem for one filling meal, recovering its form and mass.
But clearly, there were at least dozens or even hundreds of astronomical units separating the Beam System to the nearest gaseous planet. If it wanted to go there with its utterly broken body, it might even break apart on the journey.
But that was fine.
Were there not bountiful resources right before its eyes?
Whirling its body, the Void Mother aimed its thickest shell layer directly at the Midgardian Fleet that was scrambling to assume formations. To the unselective Monster of Chaos, the fleet which was mostly a scrumptious meal with its half-organic half-machine composition, and it at most just had to peel off that layer of tin can. It would not mind a little hassle.
Thus, in the very next moment, the Void Mother that was largely reassembled but shrunken by quite a few circles plunged towards the barely in-place Midgardian formations with a far ferocious and savage injured-beast presence. Its speed surpassed three thousandth of one lightspeed in no time at all, while the Midgardian Fleet did not hesitate to open fire at once, countering the interloper with psionic luminous lances. However, even with the three thousand and five hundred warships from the Central Fleet along with the three Colony Fleets, it at most scorched one tenths of the Void Mother’s skin and struck no deeper than three hundred meters. While painful, it was merely an excavation of a piece of flesh, completely insufficient to render it immobile.
Attack was ineffective at the moment. Defend was definitely meaningless. Fleeing… In the face of an impending strike from a five-hundred kilometers meteor, the warships by the flanks could certainly escape—but what about the main force at the center of their formations? Would they not simply be pulverized by the Void Mother!
Was there another way?
Commander Tarquin whose mood went from delight to rage had nothing else other than loss and rage. He could lead his fleet and the fleet of alien races in circles around asteroid belts, could easily expel colossal space insect swarms, but had never once encountered such a situation. He simply did not know how to hold against such a huge and tough superior being that could regenerate and survive even after it was churned into powder—it had truly exceeded the limits of his ability.
But the elderly Midgardian clearly forgot one fact—their reinforcements from the Mother Planet was not merely the Central Fleet who came here to deliver the engine, but also the Void Beings they summoned through the Void Door.
Behind the Void Mother, a vein of crimson fiery light was moving at an explosive speed, striking the monster pre-emptively on its rear. Just as everyone was left clueless as to what was happening, the Void Mother spasmed as if convulsing, and begin to skew in its flight path. On a planetary scale and for an object traveling at three thousandth of one lightspeed, skewing in one small angle meant utterly missing its mark. A dozen seconds later, Tarquin gaped as the colossal Void Mother scraped past the Fleet’s flanks and flew to their rear!
Meanwhile, Joshua who had been swatted by one of the Void Mother’s tentacles accelerated once more towards its back—it had been the warrior who launched an attack aimed true from behind the Void Mother, skewing its flight path and saving the Midgardians. It was also his consecutive onslaughts on its body that the Void Mother, now frightened following his excursion into its body, turned to focus on his assault instead, forgetting its rapid movements towards the Sea God Star.
The Void Mother quickly passed by the planetary fortress that the Midgardians built on the Sea God Star’s gravity balance point, heading together with Joshua towards the inner orbit of the planet. In that period, the Void Mother assuredly noticed that it was being dragged down by the gravity of the blue gas giant and attempted to shake off the gravity restraint—it naturally did not succeed with Joshua being there with it. Using Joshua’s flesh, Joshua once again ignited his Furnace, mustering his pull power to subjugate its vigor flawlessly so that the Void Mother accelerated. Unless it wanted him to get in its body for an explosive encore.
If that was the case, Joshua would not mind at all blowing himself up again, utterly bursting apart the Void Mother’s remaining two energy cores.
His body filled with cold condensations—liquid seeping out of his plant composition, Tarquin wiped away the liquid flowing down from his brow. He watched uncertainly in the direction where Joshua and the Void Mother plunged, and with his wisdom as fleet commander, he certainly could guess that Joshua and the others had taken control over the Void Mother’s vigor, preventing it from wiping out his fleet and killing its intent to rush towards the Sea God Star orbit….
His thought process paused suddenly. Tarquin felt that there must be some vital element behind this, but he could not comprehend it, which in turn pained him greatly. Whatever the case might be, as an extremely obvious wave spread over the surface of the Sea God Star, it was enough to prove that the Void Mother had crashed completely inside the gas giant.
A gas giant, composed out of ninety percent hydrogen and helium.
“What does the ‘Giant God’ intend?”
Endless voices chattered and discussed in the control room. As optical equipment focused, everyone could see the Four-Armed Giant’s form that was tangling with the Void Mother. Yet to compose themselves, they were certainly thanking the reinforcement that rescued them, but were unable to discern what he was doing—was there significance in punching the Void Mother into the gas giant? Would it not allow the Chaos monster to use the substantial gas layer to conceal its whereabouts and thus slowly recover by absorbing substances? Some of them had a general understanding of the Void Mother’s abilities by now, leading to the doubts in turn.
“Could it be that the Giant God intends to use the powerful windstorms above the Sea God Star to tear the Void Mother apart?
The possibility that one of the Midgardians raised was refuted by most of the others, since everyone had just seen the result of physical damage on the Void Mother’s body. There was simply no meaning apart from stunning the behemoth for a moment, and it might even allow it to split apart and produce infants, making it even harder to fight against.
A crewmember had suddenly exclaimed in surprise near the observation platform. He quickly forwarded what he just saw to the others around him. Then, after the information was sent, everyone saw that a discrete dark green shade was appearing over the surface of the Sea God Star, usually shrouded in the three colors of blue, yellow and white. The dark-green shade resembled a drop of water dripped onto oil initially, but soon accelerated and unfurled like culture itself. The ripple of Chaos hence fluctuated, corrupting everything into green tides!
“It’s the Void Mother! It’s spreading within the gas giant… Shouldn’t it only feed on planets with living ecosystems?”
The Midgardian who said that closed his mouth almost immediately afterward. It was impossible for all intelligent lifeforms to have pure organic compositions—even the Midgardians themselves had substantial elements. It was hence not unusual for the Void Mother to feed upon the matter within the gas giant, and to mention it merely revealed one’s ignorance.
At present, thoroughly buffeted by the windstorms of the Sea God Star, the Void Mother’s fragile external layer of its body was cut apart by violent gales as if chainsaws, blown away into matter particles of no vigor. But at the same time, it was also swiftly congealing a strong fluid outer shell to hold against the impact force of the winds, while greedily absorbing the trace particles on the outer layer of the gas giant—with the spreading green at the moment, it was clear that the Void Mother was a notch above compared to the hostile environment on the Sea God Star.
Without sparing any time for words, the Midgardian Fleet began to rally and drop towards the orbit of the Sea God Star. Tarquin, whose expression was terrible, inquired after his chief officer, only to receive a reply that was even more terrible.
“Apologies, commander… due to the Sub-Space Breaking Cannon and the barrages on the Void Mother, the ships do not have much energies left… We can’t simultaneously withstand the Sea God Star’s gravity while firing psionic luminous lances.”
The chief officer whose face was as pale as paper stated the dilemma the Central Midgardian Fleet was now in with a numb voice, with similar scenes on other command posts in other warships. Everyone was now informed that they had two options: to sit and watch as the Void Mother recovered its form in the gas giant and fight it head-on once more, or to keep firing psionic lances whilst being dragged down by gravity into the Sea God Star itself.
In other words, they must choose between awaiting their deaths or to seek it.
“…It’s a superior lifeform, more than what our technology could handle.”
The middle-aged Midgardian who was the commander of the First Colony Fleet stroked his head that had not a single leaf, showing an expression that was indescribable with words.
“I have a little inclination to admit defeat,” he said calmly into the officer-only psionic comms channel.
Meanwhile, Sina, the Third Colony Fleet Commander and another middle-aged Midgardian as well, stared at the yellowed leaf that had just fallen into his palm silently for a long time. He was thinking about many things—how he had conscripted, sailed the universe and climbed, bit by bit, from the lower reaches of an officer to fleet commander.
Finally, he remembered a familiar old Midgardian, the starfighter pilot who had no qualms about sacrificing his own life to warn the two allied Void Beings. The image where Azra had peacefully journeyed to his own death reverberated in Sina’s mind, stilling his heart. The Third Fleet Commander hence sensed a power brimming within his whole body.
“Never,” he said, filled with resolved, and began to laugh. He was longer worried, and swiftly issued an order of his own.
” Shatterer —all crew, abandon ship.”
“Coordinates confirmed: the green spot—the Void Mother’s location.”
‘—There were many Midgardians lost on this day, they probably won’t mind losing one more.’
At the thought, Sina exhaled a long breath. “Fire luminous lances. And then ram it.”
There was nary a sound on the bridge, apart from the motions as the officers determined the coordinates for the lances’ firing and the ramming trajectory. The middle-aged Midgardian closed his eyes and returned to his seat, the monitor before him displaying a parabola and a single long line—it was precisely the trail where the Shatterer would plunge and the lines where the luminous lances would fire. Even so, Sina did not have any intention to head towards the emergency exits.
“Counting down to engine self-destruction… 220, 219, 218…”
But just as the warships began to slowly dip towards the surface of the Sea God Star as it could no longer resist its gravity and hence temporarily lost all weight, Sina opened his eyes, looked around only to find every single one of the bridge’s officers still seated around him.
“I said— all crew, abandon ship!” He screamed angrily. “What the hell are you damned bunch of fools still doing here?!”
None of them replied. Some of them were opening image files of their families on the colonies on their monitors, some were hailing their faraway kin through psionic channels or leaving messages for living relatives, some were simply letting their tears flow while there was also one reprimanding his own stupidity for dying together with this bunch no thanks to one impulsive moment. Beside that particular Midgardian, his friend was bantering, saying that there was no need to worry—their souls could journey together and fuse in the Mother Tree as one.
After all, the homes of everyone from the Third Fleet had all been destroyed by the Void Mother—they had no place to return from the start.
Thus, none of them left.
The warship was plunging. It had already fired four volleys of psionic lances, and the million degrees heat broke apart the Void Mother’s shell. Although it was no serious injury for the Void Mother, the turbulent airflow over the Sea God Star expanded the wound and caused the behemoth to lose mass on its surface layer. Precisely because of that, there was no longer any light inside theShatterer apart from the illumination of the red emergency alarms. The booming psionic energy was also gradually stopping, but the light became even brighter as overloaded psionic energies kept going, awaiting the moment of detonation.
“Counting down to engine self-destruction… 82, 81, 80, 79…”
Soon, it tuned out that it was not just the Shatterer. Many other warships were dropping down one after another, assaulting the Void Mother and chipping apart parts of its mass just like steel rain that had been laced with searing rays. Hundreds of escape pods were launched out from the warships that were falling out of orbit, taken in warships that were not taking a nose-dive.
All of it happened with a deathly silence.
Too lazy to scold his stubborn crew now, Sina closed his eyes once more as he returned to his seat. Many images flashed past in his mind, but none of it were about himself, which discreetly infuriated him in turn: he had intended to relieve his own life, only to find that his instincts were not quite compliant.
Then, a deep voice that was unfamiliar for Sina echoed in his mind.
“This really troubles me,” it said. “It is fine to have the courage for sacrifice—everybody loves gallantry, but it only adds to the amount of work Joshua and I have to do.”
“Live well, don’t keep thinking about walking to your deaths—it’s not up to you to be heroes yet.”
With those words that taunted as much as it praised, Sina felt his body being wrapped in a vein of pale-blue radiance. As the fleet commander felt the extraordinarily familiar dimensional ripple, he cried out in surprise as he was teleported to who-knows-where, just as every Midgardians that were still staying in their plummeting warships that were armed to self-destruct.
At the same time, a pale blue portal opened behind the four-armed Steel giant who was standing atop the Void Mother’s head. Nostradamus’s Legendary form hence appeared beside Joshua, who did not turn to look and spoke into their spiritual link instead.
“Barely have one move left,” the old mage replied solemnly, having been shot by the Void Mother with a high-yield laser that could vaporize a city instantly. “Any more and I’ll die.”
“Then hold down this fellow below us—wouldn’t take more than a second.”
Spreading his four arms, the Steel giant shifted profound gravity, and boundless helium and hydrogen poured like a waterfall into his embrace, gathering the trace elements that neither Nostradamus nor the psionic Midgardian race knew how to apply practical use for.
“I’ll need you to take me along when we run—remember, we must escape far, far away!”
Nostradamus furrowed his brow at the Void Mother beneath his feet once, finding it rather problematic. It was not too possible to use dimensional spells if he wanted to hold down such a big bastard—even he has to pay a certain price for a chance at success. As for Joshua’s second request, the old mage simply agreed heartily.
“I can’t guarantee success, but I’ll do my best—I’ll go first.”
Before he finished, before Joshua could reply, Nostradamus had turned into a blue beam and darted towards the heading of the Void Mother. Soon, the dimensions undulated and the colossal monster truly paused for one single instant. A pale blue human could almost behind the thick layer of gases, browsing through his grimoire and burnings pages—with the cost of the energies within the grimoire, he was mustering his full strength to stagnate space.
In that brief instant, Joshua did a great many things. Ying and Ling were resonating with his soul in his spiritual sea, giving him the help of three consciousness as he performed complex calculations. Joshua then inhaled deeply, pulling out tremendous hydrogen-helium clusters that could shroud the entire Midgardian fleet that the warrior compressed and condensed with Steel Strength into an indiscernible dot.
“There’s nothing weird in nuclear fusing since it’s hydrogen and helium.” His mind flickering with bizarre ideas, Joshua stared at the supremely compressed fused body of boundless hydrogen and helium that was almost visible to the naked eye within his embrace. His body abruptly shining with blinding golden red radiance, the warrior slowly raised the high-energy output, pouring limitless heat and energy into that dot that was about to explode. Cyclones billowed, with warmth that caused space to boil to spread everywhere, even blowing apart part of the gas cluster on the surface of the Sea God Star.
And crimson radiance brightened half of the Sea God Star.
Now, a golden, vibrating miniaturized sun was held in Joshua’s embrace, just as he grasped his own heart before. Paramount heat originating from the universe’s creation surged within his four arms, and there was nothing apart from the Void Mother’s coordinates in the warrior’s mind.
And he thought of nothing else other than destroying the Void Mother.
—Was it unusual to undergo nuclear fusion by using only Hydrogen and Helium?
In truth, it was assuredly unusual and inconceivable. But the forces of magic and the extraordinary were things akin to miracles in the first place—their every purpose for existence was to accomplish the unimaginable fantastical.
Legendary champion Joshua believed that he could do it.
Therefore, on this day, he did not follow his previous idea of pushing the Void Mother into the sun—
Instead, he pushed the sun towards it.
In the very next instant, nuclear fusion shifted into a sea of flames, ignited the Sea God Star.