Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In the world of Simboa, the darkness remained as dust wafted everywhere. The sky was raining lightning and lasers, and on the ground, fragments of the lithosphere were lifted by two different profound powers and flung at respective adversaries.
Mountains tremble as cyclone rampage. Magma and molten irons extended as Joshua raised his hand amidst an ocean of fire. A defensive shield formed from an accelerated cloud of metals that swirled rapidly appeared over his head, blocking the clusters of rays that were descending upon him. As the energy beams shot down relentlessly, countless bowl-shaped luminous stripes appeared beside him, the spreading energies sending the earth ablaze.
The battle was not over despite time being reverted. In the instant the world was returned to its original state, Fattrovi who was now back at the top of the spiral tower launched an assault with a wide area of effect. This time, he used an Ultra-power that was completely different from before: gathering the energies in the atmosphere to form focal points, it swept through the earth and vaporized all lakes and rivers on the ground. Endless gray clouds rose into the skies alongside the steam before being condensed into toxic downpour and hail, causing a snowstorm and freezing all living things. Displaying deft technique, every single one of Fattrovi’s attacks had endless follow-ups that formed multi-phased attacks.
Though Joshua never believed that the Time Turner ‘couldn’t come up with a way’ to fight him at once, the diverse powers Fattrovi now displayed certainly had the force to destroy his puppet. Others notwithstanding, he absolutely could not withstand the high-energy particle beam blast directed from the energies of a Soul Star.
But Fattrovi did not use that. He would rather reverse time and use ten thousand different Ultra-powers that were unthreatening, which in turn did nothing more than scratched Joshua’s itches.
When the two stood of dozens of minutes ago just as time was reversed, Joshua realized that Fattrovi’s time reversal could not affect his will and memory, and still remembered how the battle unfolded.
The memories of a normal being would assuredly be wiped off since both brain construct and soul constitution would be reverted to become identical as it had been in the past. After all, memory was incorporeal and illusory, and were stored in the essences of objects under most situations. Moreover, there was no guarantee against disturbance of the soul—the burning of souls and search for its mysteries were clear evidence.
But it was not the same for Joshua. His memories were stored upon his Steel Strength, and Steel Strength, being the most basic power was itself an essence, virtually unalterable. Not learned in that aspect, Fattrovi naturally could not sway the warrior’s memories.
That is why Joshua now sharply realized—after time had completely be rewound and everything in heaven and earth returned to its original state, one of the sixteen hundred Soul Stars dimmed.
“Looks like the ability to reverse time consumes energy as well… Although unreasonable, doesn’t it mean he could only reverse time one thousand and six hundred times?”
More importantly, what was the condition for reversal?
Although time did not exist—something that Fattrovi himself admitted—he certainly had the ability to rewind time, and there must be something underlying that Joshua did not notice yet. But who cares? Joshua narrowed his eyes at the thought, his entire puppet body throbbing once and releasing waves of tidal energy ripples, shaking off the endless Ultra-powers pouring down around him and rising high above.
“Ultra-power is a mere part of Steel Authority… Now’s my turn.”
Breaking past Fattrovi’s gravity seal and the storms of energy beams, Joshua extended his right hand and leveled it at his adversary across thousands of meters and clenched thin air, cascading formless ripples.
In an instant, the space around the Master of Time rumbled dangerously. Infinite dust began to latch onto his body, just as the top of the spiral tower where he stood twisted unnaturally as if it was stretched, contracting at the direction where he was. Sensing that something was not right, Fattrovi hurriedly teleported away just as the top of the entire spiral tower and the dust around it crumbled into a steel sphere that was a meter larger, falling and piercing a cavity into the ground, vanishing deep beneath it.
And the groans of gravity after being distorted only wafted into their ears much later.
Gravity Point Collapse. Joshua would lock on to one crumbling point, and then use Steel Strength to directly affect the gravity within the observable distance, elevating it up to a million times its normal levels. If it was the warrior’s original form applying it, it would be sufficient to compress the body of his enemies into white dwarf matter.
Fattrovi was not surprised that Joshua could use such power as he looked on. Although the warrior had been fighting with melee moves to counter his blows, range was but a word for fighters of their standard. As a return gift, Fattrovi materialized dozens of focal lenses, shooting dozens of cutting lasers toward Joshua while dicing the devastated earth into pieces.
And in response, he received Joshua’s boundless return gifts.
Catching the brunt of Fattrovi’s laser that left a long red gash on his body, the warrior simply pointed at his location. Numberless molecules split at once, and beneath a majestic power, the dust particles around that spot began to rapidly split, a chain reaction that was originally impossible. Thus, a gigantic nuclear fireball appeared high above and detonated directly, just as rolling, searing winds swept across all directions.
Forced Fission. But although Fattrovi’s body left the fireball unscathed, the next attack was darting at him before he could react.
Mass Shift. Swinging his knifehand, Joshua flung over hundreds of focused shockwaves that could split mountains at Fattrovi, cutting the entire spiral tower into ten thousand pieces as he tried to evade.
Energy drain. Joshua clapped his palms together, and all energies dead ahead began to assemble at the warrior. Fattrovi attempted to dodge, only to realize that the energies adrift in the air completely vanished and that he was a notch slower.
Artificial Sun. Following Forced Fission and the elevated pressure, Joshua split all matter into hydrogen and helium, quickly creating a small sun around Fattrovi, incinerating the center of Simboa into dust.
Unlike before, Joshua was using various supernatural abilities originating from Steel Strength or perhaps his own to directly assault Fattrovi’s body. The Time Turner was visibly evading every single blow from the flurry of attacks, but he was still injured—his right arm was completely vaporized by the luminous nuclear sphere Joshua created out of thin air. The wound did not reveal human flesh either, instead flickering with energy bodies of dark-blue radiance.
Standing upon the center of the skies where searing gales spread in all directions, Fattrovi’s eyes glinted, his expression unfettered even after being maimed. Against Joshua’s assault, he first evaded, and then considered for a moment before reverting time.
But even as everything returned to how it had been in the beginning, Fattrovi did not use Ultra-powers he was familiar with, instead replicating Joshua’s own attacks that he was unacquainted with in retaliation. He stretched out his hand and point toward Joshua to induce an invisible gravitational force, just as Joshua, who kept his memories despite temporal regression did the same thing—focused lasers was unleashed as focal lens identical to Fattrovi’s before appeared, the focused ray emanating as both sides attacked with their opponent’s moves.
This time, however, the battle was extraordinarily horrific. Both sides threw away all restraint and began to unleashed their destructive powers through lasers, flames, lightning, frost, acid, and the like. Fattrovi lifted a piece of the earth through psychokinesis and threw it at Joshua, while the warrior compressed a mountain into something the size of a house and threw it in the opposite direction at fifteen times the speed of sound.
The piece of earth was evaded, and it drew an arc over the air before crashing into the ground. Continental plates over thousands of miles hence shattered, sinking directly to the depths beneath the earth’s mantle and quaking the inner region of Simboa into shambles.
Time was rewound again and again, but amidst the unbridled violent assaults, the world was trampled like a toy. The earth’s crust was distinctly split, the continent sinking, while gravity and electromagnetism clashed at each other as weapons. With Joshua’s Steel Strength and Fattrovi’s Ultra-powers, the Simboan continent was flattened repeatedly or crumbled into massive craters. There were even fragments that floated in the skies above and formed one floating island after another, the countless unbelievable sights appearing at the center of the world.
With the use of endless Steel Strength and Authority, the once indestructible mountains and lithosphere were mere butter and cookies. And Joshua and Fattrovi were virtually two normal humans who lived in a realm created from paper and butter, their every move would destroy the balance of ecosystems throughout the world, wiping out civilization and turning all intelligent creations into nothingness.
And through the consecutive reverting of time, Joshua finally realized the conditions for Fattrovi to have time retrogress.
The Time Turner was unquestionably formidable, and what he meant by ‘can’t come up with a way’ to handle him was not really a lack of solutions, but that Fattrovi was merely being conscious of a certain boundary. Whenever that boundary had been encroached, no matter how the battle against Joshua had progressed, he would hesitate to revert time so that the battle restarted.
And that boundary—if the warrior did not guess wrongly—was the survival of the Soul Puppets, and it was such a vital element for Fattrovi that it may even be beyond destroying himself.
“You care a lot about those Soul Puppets, don’t you?”
Joshua noticed a slight change in Fattrovi’s stony visage when he uttered those words, the outer shell that had frozen in isolation over thousands of years finally twitching. However, the Time Turner promptly lifted his scepter and pointed at Joshua—in that instant, Joshua felt the molecules that formed his body began to animate violently as if they were about to split or trigger a nuclear chain reaction. Although Joshua quickly stilled the surge, there was no question that if the did not still it, the huge puppet would instantly become the greatest nuclear fireworks in Simboa’s history.
Blocking the enraged blow from his opponent, Joshua looked toward the spiral tower and scanned the entirety of the huge building, catching the complex and mysterious runes as well as streamlined energy patterns inside. It was a technique Fattrovi developed from millennia of research, and there was no question that he was a genius from that aspect alone, able to single-handedly drive the advancement of the world. Still, that was not the critical point—focusing his gaze, Joshua found a lithe figure.
It was a Soul Puppet that wafted behind the window of the tower and resembled a little girl.
At the moment, she was silently watching the skies and the battle between Fattrovi and Joshua. She felt no fear despite the greatness of their attacks, her eyes never once leaving Fattrovi, showing a reverent and worshipful gaze from the depths of her heart.
Noticing that, Joshua finally diverted some attention to observe the details around Simboa.
The death battle between the two with no regard for all life around them was apocalyptic. At the center of Simboa, tens of thousands of Soul Puppets were dashing wildly to flee the burning soul factories, escaping the heart of the battle—but as Joshua tore the earth’s crust without restraint to create meteors for bombarding Fattrovi, rolling sear ignited all things around it.
No matter how fast the Soul Puppets were, they could not outrun a shockwave moving above the speed of sound. Their metallic bodies were melted into free-flowing molten iron upon the ground, while those that were more heat resistant kept running even as they were turned into fireballs, although they too soon dropped to their knees, motionless.
Fattrovi, moved away from Joshua’s mass wave slash, leaving the solid mass wave to keep extending behind him and finally striking the eastern mountains of Simboa. Devastative mass impact destroyed everything at once as a terrible earthen calamity triggered, the mountains hence falling like dominoes while great earthquake that trembled a considerable portion of the continent. In a dozen seconds, the mountains distinctly crumbled into ruins, the earth was flattened, leaving only debris and magma over hundreds of miles.
The earthen constitution over the entire east was destroyed, the once tallest peak now disintegrated into shatter debris around the place—just like every Garden Zones of the Soul Puppets over hundreds of miles.
At once, just as Joshua expected, Fattrovi’s unfettered expression became a scowl, and he clenched his scepter to revert time once more.
But unlike before, Joshua slowly grasped his patterns.
After another exchange, and a land filled with scorched earth and debris, Fattrovi tried to rewind time again.
This time, seventeen stars in the skies dimmed.
Just as Fattrovi was about to rewind time, Joshua spoke softly atop the hot winds emanating from the magma. “I understand now—the Soul Puppets cannot be wiped out, and that is the minimum requirement for reverting time.”
“You are the god of the Soul Puppets; you require religion.”
“I sensed your divinity. That might be the reason you can revert time.”