Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
A murkiness shrouded all things within the world of Simboa. Befuddling mists covered heaven and earth, and there was darkness no brightness could pierce… But just that darkness was about to continue forever, a great light shone upon the skies, turning the world as bright as day.
Those were the stars beyond the heavens and the spiral tower at the center of the world. They were unleashing a dark blue radiance as if from the nether world and forming a great net that ensnared all. The great net then acted as if it was a hand and grasped toward a certain spot in the skies, which the Resistance and the Soul Puppets on the ground could clearly see that the net intended to catch the other source of light in that world.
A burning Steel giant.
Joshua said nothing in response to Fattrovi’s declaration, since silence was the finest mockery. He did not believe that debating right and wrong with an opponent was worth it, for their fight had nothing to do with those things—He was disgusted by the things Fattrovi had done. The Ruler had shown no guilt after harvesting billions of souls, which is why he would send him to the Eighteenth Floor of Hell.
It was the reason he fought, the value of being strong.
He loved that the most.
Joshua did not move as the obscure dark blue hand swung toward him, spreading his arms instead and allowing it to attack him freely. In the next second, the gigantic hand of energy that covered the puppet clenched, as if to crush a doll with its grip. At the same time, the Steel constructs behind the colossal puppet opened silently. ( B oxnovel.c om )
In the air, something began to hum as if thousands of butterflies were spreading their wings, or a dull horn being blown.
The Snova-21 puppet that had been remodeled by Joshua’s Steel Strength had already differed distinctly from its original state. As if armed to the teeth, he had dark-red plating and a fearsome dragon-horn helmet, and now, as the Steel module hidden for a long time behind the puppet was about to be activated and unleashed, two veins of silver-gray rays almost a thousand-meters long shot out from within!
The bulky presence pierced the world. The two rays fluttered restlessly, rampantly stirring the energies around like the wings of angles or gods, although it resembled a butterfly of light. Pure Steel Strength extended and surged within, eroding the dust, crystal bodies, energies and even all living things around. The clenched dark blue hand tried to struggle against the erosion, ending up being turned into bubbles and fragments of light, while countless soul energies withdrew like a tide.
But that was not the end. As the two vast rays throbbed, endless silver dust dropped. Countless Steel particles that were of the smallest scale and belonged exclusively to Joshua dropped down into the world. Like a greedy swarm of piranha, they all darted greedily toward the spreading energy fragments and consumed every single atom. At that moment, even Fattrovi’s heart of stone sensed danger—he felt something dangerous spreading right before his eyes that he could never control.
Just like… cancer!
As Fattrovi stared in shock, metallic luster began to extend on the very second silver Steel Strength dropped on the ground, the composition akin to a mineral ore rapidly unfurling between breaths.
Mountains and hills disintegrated one after another into an ever-present silver shroud. All things—organic or inorganic, with or without mass were assimilated by unchained Steel Strength. The sight was essentially a nightmare, as an entire mountain chain had been assimilated by Steel Strength in seconds. Even now, the Steel shroud began to flicker and shine brightly, rising into the air and assembling above Joshua’s huge puppet’s head to form a colossal metallic meteor.
Ejecting Steel Particles and eroding worlds—Joshua’s tyrannically controlled mass inside the world of Simboa, attacking it instead.
Then, the mountainous meteor crashed down as if it was the second blazing sun over the sky. Horrible friction broiled the atmosphere within thousands of meters, brewing unimaginable shockwaves—it crashed toward the spiral tower, as if the break Fattrovi and his throne into shards.
Indeed, it would not only be the spiral throne being pulverized if the meteor truly landed. The tremendous impact and tremors would crater the center of the continent, and the resulting hollow would drive deep into the earth’s core, sending lethal shockwaves that would tear the continent apart and destroying all life living over it.
Which is why it would not hit.
A cold voice echoed, and the world appeared to blur. As air burned and scream around the landing meteor, the entire sight abruptly froze like a photograph. The man standing on top of the Spiral Tower steeped forward once, clenching his scepter and extended his hand: formless ripples spread around him, and thus time stagnated.
A deep but sonorous voice wafted from the thin skies. Fattrovi only uttered a single word, and the meteor stopped falling—then, lifting his Steel Python Scepter and pausing the movement of all objects, the Soul Light from the stars above surged incessantly, shooting down thousands of beams that focused on the tip of the silver scepter.
With another word spoken, Authority gathered. In the center of the world, boundless energies were gathered and refined, for the Time Turner was commanding the stars as all things froze, absorbing the strength of billions of souls to utterly vanquish the powerful foe from another world.
( B oxnovel.c om ) Space was quaking. Beneath the mountainous meteor, an undetectable warped space appeared in the company of thunder, instantly becoming to a spatial wrinkle visible to the eye while continuously enlarging. It swept across the land, disintegrating soil and sand into atoms and diminishing every chemical bond. Electromagnetism was weakened for it was the principle of mass being destroyed at its essence, with no physical object being spared.
Fattrovi unleashed that quake to break everything before him, form or formless on the very base of their existence.
Over the skies, metallic meteor crashed into distorted space, and the whole world fell silent—Joshua’s blow and Fattrovi’s Authority burst in that instant, the two’s profound powers instantly pushing away all air across thousands of miles, forming a vacuum. All shroud and dust were blown away by the superstorm, while horrific impact leveled anything protruding above ground, flattening the hills!
The earth shattered and magma streamed. It was the first time such a vast domain of vacuum appeared in the world of Simboa: the formless spatial wrinkle was destroyed by a massive force, just as the gigantic meteor was crumpled into endless pieces, raining down upon the land.
At the same time, Joshua abruptly burst forward over the skies. He charged toward the spiral tower, silver Steel Strength shaping into the silhouette of a small planet around his body.
Even if he was a clone, a puppet of projection, Joshua’s understanding and control over Steel Strength now did not lose out against his original form. He could see through the essence of Fattrovi’s time stopping ability which was to freeze the movements of objects, which was why he simply released his Steel Strength and eroded the world, turning his environment into another realm that his adversary could not freeze.
Joshua was rampantly claiming the mass of Simboa for his own use, and to attack. The huge falling meteor was a ploy to simply force Fattrovi so that he revealed any moves he had apart from stopping time. As planned, he observed that the Ruler could release an Ultra-power attacked that was developed around the principle electromagnetism that weakened the bonds between atoms. However, such an attack was meaningless to Joshua, since he could perfectly control every particle of his own mass!
However, Fattrovi’s expression remained indifferent. Thousands of colors began to cascade around the Steel Python Scepter—those were the condensation of millions of different Authorities given form. Having lived in reality for a thousand years and more than five thousand when stagnated time was taken into consideration, the Ruler never idled over that period. Apart from his own Standstill ability, Fattrovi had long learned how to use Ultra-power units so that he could employ other Ultra-abilities.
Authority moved, and formless ripples spread.
Bang, bang, bang, bang.
Joshua suddenly stopped moving forward mid-flight. A few dull sounds echoed over his body before he abruptly dropped down from above, hitting the land and forming a deep crater on the ground with his tremendous mass. Like dominos, the land around him began to crumble incessantly as well, shaping into a barren land that was dozens of squared kilometers wide: every natural object disintegrated and reshuffled, in that domain of mass that was suddenly a hundred times heavier.
Fattrovi looked down from the top of the tower as magma boil and the scent of sulfur wafted. He was aware that the body of normal lifeforms would have disintegrated over the hundred folds of gravity, but that Foreigner from beyond the Void who could transcend the Barrier of endless energy would not be so weak. Thus, he saw the puppet rise again, unscathed even after being soaked in the magma zone that exceeded the heavy gravity of the earth’s core, although its body surface appeared incandescent.
Joshua shook his head to flung away the magma flowing on his head—the heat that was thousands of degrees hot did not even scratch his paint, much less his shield plating. But even the very next instant, endless rays shot down from above for Fattrovi was not holding back, unleashing a dozen different blast to bombard that basin while maintaining the abnormal gravity domain.
Nuclear flame blasted mushroom clouds out of the basin, as lightning that was over seven hundred million kilowatts rained down and tore a thousand cavities over the ground. The heavy-gravity zone shifted rapidly as well: some places had no gravity just as others now had gravitational force thousand times beyond what was normal. With the varying pressure exerted upon the Steel Puppet at the heart of the basin, he was about to be torn part.
Even so, Fattrovi, who styled himself World and Order could not ignore that presence that never once diminished. Violent energy ripples had long detonated through the earth’s core and lithosphere, and yet Joshua’s presence became increasingly distinct that even nuclear explosion could no longer conceal it.
In the very next instant, with the vast, shuddering burst of might, the magma sea and pulverized lithosphere were parted by silver radiance. All Ultra-abilities were blasted away, forming a circular cavity that was over a thousand meters wide, with the red-black Steel Puppet at its center. The thousands of different Ultra-power attacks were perfectly blocked by Joshua, whether it was substance conversion or wondrous spatial shift.
But now, as the warrior prepared for a second assault, he looked up to find… a sun.
“Who did you think moved the sun every day so that day and night changed?”
“Who did you think maintained Order upon the world so that all things lives?”
Fattrovi had left the top of the spiral tower, and now stood upon the zenith of Simboa’s skies alongside sixteen hundred Soul Stars. Above him was a blazing fireball of energy over one hundred and fifty kilometers wide, emanating endless light and heat that released warmth and luminosity upon the world.
There was no question that it was Simboa’s sun.
“Damn it, he really stole the Steel Python’s place!”
Would Joshua not have realized who drove Simboa’s Steel Python out of its own body? There was now no question that it was Farttrovi—although he did not know how he did it, but as the embodiment of the world’s power, he could call himself the incarnation of Order and World without qualms, and was even able to divert the force of the sun to attack the warrior!
Such level of ability was far beyond comparing to certain Legends! In fact, was that even Ultra-power? It was clearly the Authority of a god!
The Time Turner’s visage was hard as stone. With his back to the sun, his front fell into the shade—lifting his Steel Python Scepter, clusters of fireballs filled with incandescent positive energy were split out from the sun. However, as he kept imbuing different abilities into them, the golden-red fireballs turned a chaotic red-black, throbbing as if living as welling with the presence of destruction.
“It is I, Fattrovi the Time Turner.”
Every red-black orb from the Simboan sun contained energy that could instantly devastate a chain of mountains and melt summits into plains. A dozen of those fireballs was now descending at the same time, carrying shockwaves that could flatten the center of the Simboan continent and turned the world into a burning hell. It would destroy every Garden Zone on the surface and turn Simboa into a lifeless land of death, much less the spiral tower that was nearby.
It was an apocalyptic class of Authority, but Fattrovi did it. His gaze was apathetic as he pointed his Scepter directly at Joshua, and a dozen fireballs of direction shot out, descending upon him relentlessly like a chain of beads!
However, Joshua remained composed and fearless—he was simply astonished by Fattrovi’s callousness. While it may be difficult for other Legends to handle those glowing spheres of energy, it was not even a challenge for him since he ignited a gas giant when he faced off against the Void Mother on Stellaris, creating a real sun by his own hands!
Ka-boom! The giant puppet shrugged off the gravity field and stomped the ground. Using that bursting force, Joshua rose straight above into the skies like an asteroid falling backward, while below him, endless burning fragments of the earth’s crust and magma were lifted by the levitation as well, forming a belt of light behind him.
Boom! The Steel Puppet pierced straight through the first fireball. Endless lightning and disintegrative rays burst away at once into red-black energy clouds over the skies. Amidst rolling thunder, the puppet decelerated before darting ahead and breaking through the third and fourth fireballs
But that was already his limit. At the moment he struck the fourth fireball, the dragon horn on the huge puppet’s head broke off, while his right hand shattered when he crashed into the fifth. Half of his armor plating had melted by the time he met the sixth, and his entire body was about to be crippled.
In the end, it was one of Joshua’s clones which had descended upon that world. He was not the Giant God of Steel, and his puppet’s armor had not evolved to the threshold of degenerate matter. It was precisely because Fattrovi determined limits of the warrior’s body early on that he simultaneously produced fifteen fireballs.
As the seventh fireball was about to fall, Joshua looked up and leveled his eyes at Fattrovi’s own from some distance away. The two glared at each other, one with visible indifference while the other with visible delight.
With a soft cry, two veins of silver-gray rays ejected out of Joshua’s back once more. Surging Steel Strength gathered, materializing and finally transforming into a bulky mountain-splitting axe. With a flash of red light on the observation lens of the puppet, Joshua once again charged toward the falling luminous spheres!
Boom! Boom! Boom! Joshua darted through the air, masterfully swinging his axe. Colossal yet invisible ripples of mass cut with the deftest angle into the luminous spheres, triggering self-destructive blasts. Abandoning brute force and relying on techniques and weapons, Joshua destroyed three spheres in an instant, and strode out, swinging his axe to force the tenth to implode itself. Frightening shockwaves descended on the ground along the swings, cutting an extended rift valley through the eastern mountains of Simboa.
But at that moment, the silver axe turned into fragments as well: Even the weapon formed from Steel Strength could not withstand the excessively brutal clash of energies. Thus, the remaining five luminous spheres of devastation shot toward him from every direction—and this time it was not the half-hearted trial effort. The two champions who had been probing the limits of each other’s power were finally about to enter direct conflict!
And facing the simultaneous ambush of the five spheres, Joshua did not materialize the Steel Strength axe again.
Instead, he paused where he was, and then…’breathed’.
Standing in the sky, Joshua spread his arms as if to embrace the world. Soon, the chest armor of the huge puppet dropped away, revealing the Extraordinary module behind it—a blazing, miniaturized sun!
Boom, boom— The little sun quaked and rumbled louder than thunder. Under the warrior’s control, it began to whirl and ceased emanating energies, voluntarily absorbing the energies around him instead. A windstorm was stirred at once in the skies of Simboa as if to devour everything around it cleanly, endless consuming the wafting energies around it. There were even specks of fluorescence appearing in the air, turning into translucent winds that poured into the small sun.
Such was the precise definition of ‘World Devourer’! The surrounding light promptly dimmed as the dazzling sun turned deathly, and everything was seemingly entering finality and end.
Even time itself!
The five luminous spheres of devastation that was about to strike Joshua abruptly slowed, and kept decelerating until they had almost stopped, wriggling forward with turtle speed. Faraway, Fattrovi’s eyes widened at the sight, showing an expression beyond ‘indifference’ for the first time.
And in the ensuing moment, he realized the reason.
It was the phenomenon where all things had been drained off their energy and approaching absolute zero.
Around Joshua, mass and energy fell into silence as all energies that allowed molecules to moved were drawn away. The five destructive luminous spheres had long since collapsed into a sparse nebulous mass, since they consisted of object particles which existence nothing apart from energies could support. At the center of the huge puppet’s chest, the miniaturized sun that was a few times brighter now pulsated with a terrible presence, and with such a pillar of energy, Joshua’s broken dragon horn and melted armor completely recovered. In a single breath, the huge puppet returned to its original state, becoming even larger and stronger—
Time was an illusion, or at least it was for the physical universe. It was a restraint enforced upon the speed objects move, just like how space was the coordinates in which objects moved. On a certain meaning, time paused was the ceasing of movement for all object, and Fattrovi could achieve that miracle through Steel Strength’s Authority. While Joshua was not so direct, he could obtain the same outcome by draining all energies in the world him, thus stagnating all things.
In such lowered temperatures, even large chunks of a sun would be extinguished into visible sunspots, much less drain away the energies from some luminous spheres of devastation.
Stopping his draining of the energies adrift around—which considerably burdens his core engine—the warrior lifted his eyes toward Fattrovi, who did not say a word. At present, his puppet body had become larger and sturdier like his original form, composed of nearly indestructible degenerate matter.
Joshua feared no human or being when he did battle in a world with substance and energy—not even Fattrovi, who held the Authority of a world.
And at the zenith of the world, the Time Turner remained silent. His back still facing the sun, his brow tightened as if considering a way to counter Joshua, but finally shook his head.
“You are very powerful,” Fattrovi said. “I can’t actually come up with a way to fight you at once… which is why.”
“Let’s start again.”
In the very next instant, the world stood still. As Joshua looked on in astonishment despite having expected it, time reversed once more… The sun set to the east, the mountains recombined while the crater on the earth protruded. Shattered lithosphere combined, and countless Garden Zones and steel factories were built.
Everything returned to what it once was, but even as he resisted the reversal of time, Joshua, faintly noticed.
There was a single star upon the sky that dulled slightly.
That was the only difference.