Soul Of Searing Steel Chapter 744


Chapter 744 Illuminating The Way Ahead

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Strictly speaking, both time and space are tools and illusion created by humans for convenience as well as to describe the world. It was a measure, designed by the logic of the human mind, and not an absolute existence.

Time would extend with speed, space would distort from mass—no matter how psalms would sing about the eternity of all space and time, it was all a romantic fantasy.

While dimensional rifts were described as fissures of space shattering, it was fundamentally the wrinkling caused by gravity from an extremely dense object. It curled from the frightening attraction force, distorting even light that existed in between, forming irregular darkness in an observable wavelength to the human eye, consuming everything just like a rift directed to nothingness.

Therefore, a mysterious, indestructible world barrier existed as well. Things that entered it was not merely light, but endless elements, ether and Steel Strength, which made it invincible.

And just when the space of bright galaxy near to the Void Vortex wailed from the massive event happening in an extreme speed, endless dark spatial rifts unfurled along the silver light, striking the boundless darkness directly.

Joshua converted the substances from seven worlds into powers, using the Soul-Substance Transition Rune given to him by Vahina lavishly and wastefully create fuel for himself, before punching out brutally. That single strike contained power to tear a planet’s mantle and surface paper, shattering its core like an egg yolk. It would destroy a planet directly, scorching the celestial body, a true apocalyptic punch.

That strike was a condensation of all of Joshua’s effort and preparation. He had created the Restoration Beam and condensed a neutron star body so that he would have the power to unleash such a strike one day without destroying himself. It utilized all his techniques and calculations without leaving any vulnerabilities or weakness.

But was such a perfect strike meaningful against the main body of the Black Fog?

No.

The dark tide bellowed as it surged, extending endless tentacles that reached out like shadows toward that silver light of destruction. Millions broke at first, before burning and disintegrating beneath that light’s illumination, becoming nothing just coming into contact.

And yet, there were still billion more tentacles kept pouring forward out of the Black Fog. In the end, even the star-shattering punch was intercepted and blocked by the Black Fog, the silver radiance dimming and dispersing as a fluctuating gaseous flow, finally leaving utter darkness and burning sparks wafting in the Void.

The defense of the Black Fog, called the Black Body—since itself would not name it anyway—was a shroud seemingly engulf in eternal darkness, able to absorb all substance. Nothing could create an opposing force against it, which was burning, detonation and blunt force would be broken down frivolously. Its surface was near absolute zero degrees, stagnating all objects and pausing both space and time, which was precisely why that unbelievably sturdy molecular would not even move from the blast.

As long as the energy vault of the Black Fog was not full and did not wither from consumption, that wall would never break.

Such was the power of the Black Fog, the greatest creation exquisitely designed by the Shelter civilization. Like the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds that was built by the Glorious Era, the Black Fog was the realization of their ultimate ideal—the greatest protector of all the weak.

Any member of civilization could embody part of the Black Fog and coexist with it at birth, henceforth unleashing part of the profound power of Legends. As long as the Black Fog existed, all members of civilization would never face any calamity, and the Black Fog would guarantee their survival even if they wandered accidentally into the Void… It was the most beautiful ambition and image for the future, recorded upon the walls of the Nok Research Center on World Zero Three, never once fading even after a thousand years.

Slowly withdrawing his fist, Joshua watched as he full-powered punch was rendered meaningless, his eyes glinting in silver starlight.

After so many exchanges, Joshua finally understood the Black Fog’s defense was to absorb all external energies, light, and heat, which was why it was ‘black’. Apart from that, through the profound processing power of the main body, it could even form greater, tailor defenses by simulating attacks enemies displayed before.

There was no question just like how the Black Fog attained electromagnetic abilities in its pursuit against the Ancient Dragon of Lightning, the Black Fog’s defensive capacity must have been learnt from observing World Zero One’s black hole. Although those nanomachine swarms could hardly understand the super-dense existence of that singularity itself, they still could manipulate energies, recreating the event horizon where the black hole devoured light itself.

‘I can’t break that thing alone…’ Joshua thought.

And it was the truth. The main body of the Black Fog held far greater reservoirs of energy and materials than himself even after he linked himself to the seven worlds. In the end, he would not really destroy the fragile balance existing in those dying worlds, vanquishing them just to fight the Black Fog, for how would he be different from the darkness before him then?

But just as the warrior was left in a dilemma, the squirming darkness, that object of irregular form and stirring darkness roared indescribably, its bellow echoing across all surrounding dimensional region—then, as if having had enough of staying on the defense, the main body of the Black Fog began to change significantly.

Darkness was gathering profoundly, surpassing the mass shift of an entire world and stirring stormy ripples over space—at the center of the galaxy and right above that dark world, a shroud so thick it was pure-black arose. It began to condense, forming constructs, and soon a colossal ‘human silhouette’ appeared amidst the stars, having two hands and the lower body of a scorpion, its entire form emanating a metallic luster. On its skin was streamlined dark blue runs, flowing with distinct electrical sparks and spatial distortion.

The unusual giant slowly detached from the world to stand in the Void, with energy bolts unfurling like a net around it. Though it appeared similar to a human, it had no human traits at all—that was the form of the Black Fog’s makers, the residents of Shelter Alpha!

The creature hence lifted face devoid of any features to level its gaze at Joshua from afar, clenching its fist, its spiritual storm reverberating over the entire dimensional region.

[You, are evil.]

It said with conviction and no hesitation.

Then, it raised its hand, a white newborn star forming in its palm. Joshua’s expression changed slightly at the sight of that familiar light, and quickly moved his body and true form to evade. By the next second, sub-lightspeed particle flow gushed out violently from the giant’s hand like how the warrior himself attacked the Black Fog, blasting toward Joshua.

‘White hole?!’

Space and time were ‘torn’ once again as the savage particle flow cut the small galaxy in half like a keen edge. Even faraway planets were ruined in the senseless destruction, as the silver beam shattered all things profoundly and shone its light upon a great part of the Void.

‘The Black Fog was actually collecting energy unleashed upon it, and then redirecting it against its enemy in response?’

Even Joshua himself would not brave a single full-power strike of his own. He dodged one strike after another, even using powerful gravity to move small worlds of that broken galaxy into the way of the attacks. He could see that those worlds were born recently, still forming like the world in his body—because Joshua himself was a few times larger than those worlds.

On a strict definition, it was destroying a hope that could be born millions of years later, but it remained better than destroying a world that had already formed.

And Joshua could not care that much at the moment.

But.

‘Wait. Come to think of it, could this galaxy be energies collected by the Black Fog from the Void Vortex?’

Joshua caught the familiar presence as he evaded. It was a presence unique to the Void Vortex, and when he realized that, the warrior discovered that the small galaxy appeared entirely artificial. Unimaginably dense primordial nebulas were assembling one small world after another, an identical sight he had seen in the Void Vortex before.

‘What was the Black Fog planning? And what is it with this galaxy and those miniature worlds?’

Another silver flash—the starbreaking punch Joshua unleashed before, sent as a return gift from the Black Fog. However, as there were still violent surges of sub-lightspeed blast around him, the warrior had no place to evade, and thus diverted electromagnetism and gravity to create a defensive construct.

Electromagnetism was one of the fundamental forces in which all things assumed form, while gravity was a minuscule year profound power that permeates everything. Both were part of the four fundamental forces, and learning them was learning part of the Truth.

‘If someone were to master the four fundamental forces and establish a single integrated theorem, everyone would be able to touch the origins of all universal truths.’

Layers of substances froze where they were by Joshua’s gravity, their very proton being stagnated like bricks piled together. Hence, a wall of hundreds of layers of such protons was emanating powerful gravity, distorting and folding space and causing all attacks to deviate in their paths, a complex shield that would never be destroyed in a supernova explosion.

At present, Joshua was holding that shield aloft and standing where he was, blocking the star-breaking punch that came striking at him. As space itself twisted and boomed, even the warrior, who had planetary mass, was sent flying. Fissures thus appeared in the shield he carried, and he was forced to nullify it, reabsorbing the particles into his own body.

‘Was there only four fundamental forces in this world?’

It had magic, aura, and holy light. The four fundamental forces are hence unable to explain how mana, the six elemental particles and ether existed, just as it could not explain how the Holy Light can be unleashed across the Multiverse while retaining its special purification effects.

The four fundamental forces could not even explain aura and lifeforce, the scope of idealism.

***

Joshua was thinking calmly even as he was sent flying. He did not stop absorbing and shifting the momentum on his body, and finally stopped himself from being sent backward. Now, he was at least thousands of worlds away from the main body of the Black Fog, which bizarre form was still releasing massive swarms of the dark shroud that entered portals to fight against other Legends on World Zero One.

Hence, gritting his teeth, Joshua charged at the unusual giant once more. His mission was to intercept reinforcements, allowing the Legends on the other side to destroy any effective Black Fog forces.

If the Sage’s single act was to enchant the Multiverse by introducing the supernatural power known as Holy Light, then could other powers like mana, the six elemental particles, ether, aura and lifeforce, Nature’s power and psionic energy be enchantments as well?

Who could tell how many times the Multiverse had actually been enchanted?

“Hahaha. Who cares?”

Launching another charge, Joshua was once again sent flying by the violent tides of power mustered by the main body. However, he paid that no hint, and approached it again and again, allowing his energy to be absorbed before being blown off by his own attack. For its part, the main body was busy protecting Shelter Alpha and could not move too far from it, which was why it held its ground and allowed Joshua to run interference time after time… until it finally a tide of energy rays that burst out of its body was directly blocked by the warrior effectively.

Through it all, Joshua’s clone was ascending, its body that was about to separate gradually melting into his planet form.

However, it was then that a dazzling ray swept across the galaxy, engulfing the planet—but with the flash of red-black screen over Joshua’s body, that attack blocked by a steel curtain of energy burst that could trigger planetary detonations, keeping all heat and momentum at bay.

“It’s not like I don’t learn.”

A deep laughter echoed. As he had put it, the warrior was not unrewarded in the extended battle.

***

World Zero One.

Pope Igor was suddenly distracted.

“Is that so?” He sighed after a brief silence, having caught a communications signal sent from Mycroft. “If such anomalies are occurring on World Zero Two and the other worlds, it would seem that Joshua is having trouble. We must make haste.”

Twelve monumental halos whirled, unleashing Holy Light more blinding than the sun, illuminating those parts of the universe. In response, the other Legendary champions who were culling the Black Fog also quickened their offensive.

The colossal Golden Dragon flapped its wings, charging toward the Black Fog swarm ahead. As the leader of the Metal dragons, it was forced to seclude itself for its own safety following the treachery of the Pentashade dragons. It was after it had proven itself uninvolved in that betrayal that it finally left Dragon Island, proving the Metal dragons’ loyalty to Mycroft. At present, it was stirring violent winds with its luminous wings of pure energies, and yet nothing moved under that kinetic force, freezing and turning brittle where they were and breaking into tiny particles. The Black Fog was no different, dissipating into nothingness as if it was natural when touched by the cold, vicious winds.

What the Golden Dragon King had mastered was the mysteries of energy conversion. Its wings were the most powerful tools for stealing power in the world, and those winds were actually a space where all energies would be drained. Energies of any beings that existed with a warmth of above two hundred and sixty degrees would have their electromagnetism taken as well, causing them unable to maintain their form and be broken down into base particles.

Beside the Golden Dragon and holding off enemies from its flanks was a psionic elder of the West Mountains. He was once a king, but had moved to live in the mountains for his pursuit of Psionic Truth. It was recently when Saint Igor’s notification reached his hidden residence, and made the Legendary champion who had vanished from the eyes of the world for over a century to leave those little mountains.

Now, dark purple psionic lightning extended over the battlefield, causing the Black Fog which had assumed various unusual forms to unleash substantial magics and artillery fire to lose all movement and fall as pure metal particles, piling into a metal desert. A curious halo that switched between red and blue hues hence appeared over the forehead of the psionic monarch who went by the name Stanley, while his silhouette would appear intermittently, seemingly weaving in and out of different worlds.

Psionic energies could pierce space and time to create a special dimension known as psionic space. It is through psionic powers that the Midgardians developed Psionic Warp Engines that could bind over lightyears distances, but the psionics of Mycroft who did not have such grand requirements walked another path. At the moment, Stanley was controlling psionic energies to open and close countless Psionic Space between breaths, using spatiality as a blade cutting on the most minuscule angle to break all links between the Black Fog. Being a collective runic creature, their body was fragile—Stanley just had cut the link in between to instantly vanquish them.

Nostradamus was doing something similar, albeit in more fanciful fashion. Twisting space itself, the dimensional mage ensnared swarms of Black Fog into dimensional traps and sealed them, isolating them from the external realm. Instead of directly destroying the Black Fog, Nostradamus simply created an impassable barrier, placing all threat behind it so that it could be dealt with in days to come. However, that was also why the old mage’s sealing was far faster than other Legends, since his move saves more hassle.

With the diverse power of Legendary champions, the Black Fog which was virtually of the same module and had their limits figured out was naturally routed. They simply could not understand the power of Mycroft’s champions, and yet their foes knew them well, allowing them an overwhelming advantage on intelligence. If not for the occasional surge of Black Fog from the other side of the portals as new active forces, the darkness would have been swept away beneath the leadership of the pontiff.

Soon, the massive swarms of Black Fog that numbered up to hundreds in World Zero One were finally purged. Igor himself could have done it all himself, but that would be too slow—the combined force of the legends made it ten times faster.

“Joshua has entered the other side of the portal and stopped all Black Fog reinforcements by himself until now,” Pope Igor said summarily as he reverted to human form and joined the others. “He has drawing fuel from seven worlds, meaning that he is in his most difficult fight yet.”

“Let’s move.”

***

The other side of dimensions, Shelter Alpha’s planetary region.

Endless darkness filled the Universe, swallowing all light.

The main body of the Black Fog, utterly enraged by Joshua no longer maintained its absolute defense. It unfurled its form, consuming the galaxy around the Shelter.

Nevertheless, in the heart of the most profound darkness, a single brilliant silver light flickered. Ambushing, bursting, he broke layers after layers of walls the main body set up, weaving wildly in and out of its body.

That, however, was his last remaining option. Joshua could not keep evading thousands of black tentacles shooting out from thin air, swarming that silver planet as bright as a star, as if endless shades were pouring toward a sun to consume its light.

[You’re defeated.]

[Become us.]

The tremendous dark will swept across the stars as the Black Fog’s main body spoke coolly. [Offer your power to the ultimate defense.]

The Multiverse was so dim that darkness could very well be eternal. Even the stars and worlds were but dull specks within that darkness, granting faint but temporary hope.

One man could never illuminate such darkness alone. A group, or the power of civilization was needed to pierce it, and that was the only way to penetrate the stockade of despair, igniting the insignificant yet precious fiery light.”

“Defeat? That’s too early. You may be frightening, but you’re not invincible.”

Burning his own mass and detonating again and again to shatter the stockade which the Black Fog tried to imprison him with, Joshua laughed with his deep voice. “Do you not understand the principle that the older one would come after you beat up the younger one? It’s a little shameless, but amongst the Legends, I am definitely the youngest.”

The main body Black Fog could not understand the joke, putting Joshua’s humor that rarely surfaced even in a hundred years to waste.

And just as the two continued the exchange of pressuring and explosive escape, another illuminate shone upon a corner of the darkness.

That was light emanating from the other side of dimensions. A dozen immeasurably powerful beings were arriving at once, unbelieve power gathering upon the Void, glinting and releasing infinitely bright fiery light.

It brightened the darkness.

Illuminating the way ahead.