Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In the face of the silver trail that formed from Joshua’s streak, the massive World Fleet began to decelerate instinctively in the Void, moving not an ich forward.
“Ω spatial axis shift failure. Behemoth has abruptly ceased advance, could it be a phase displacement organ malfunction?”
“No, energy core has stopped working!”
Inside the body of the Void Behemoths, the eight-legged fungi that were responsible for the creatures’ energy logistics and nutrition fell into panic since they did not receive the order to stop. “Warning! Energy out of control in fringe zones! First, Seventh and Forty Second organic outer shell charging circuits heavily damaged!”
“Energy transference pathway to observation module sealed!”
“Self-circulating system has ceased functioning, frontal sensory organs damaged… Warning. Due to serious damage, the behemoth’s spiritual ripples are radicalizing, energy output has lost control!”
“Where are the spiritual soothers? Hurry and calm the Behemoths spirits! Supply team, bring along organic materials for maintenance!”
Shrill alarms resounded within every chamber inside the Behemoths’ body. At the control room responsible for adjustments, fungi with red caps anxiously checked the errors in the main display screen, while innumerable ordinary ones sped here and there hurriedly in there as well, moving various minerals or organic substances to various spots. They moved like ants in the vast energy circulation piping, helping to calm and restore the Behemoths.
The eight-legged fungi built their world upon the behemoths’ body, which was precisely why their existences became part of the Void Behemoth—a fundamental cell inside them, in charge of accelerating energy circulation and providing nutrients. Naturally, the body of the Behemoth possessed regeneration capability, but with the help of those eight-legged fungi that formed a mutualism with them, the Behemoths would heal faster than they themselves ever could alone, and were even willing to allow those little creatures to replace them in thought.
Nonetheless, that was limited to typical situations… soon, the recovering Behemoths instinctively made the next move.
“Ω spatial axis stabilizing, energy core reactivating… wait.”
One of the fungi that had been in charge of a certain zone and was summarizing the current situation suddenly found an anomaly, and the ripples it released promptly sharpened. “Alert! The Behemoths are not moving forward—they are retreating!”
In the Void.
The few Void Behemoths leading the World Fleet and faced the Giant Steel God directly had stopped slowing down. Instead, after a brief pause where it was, they began to move back one pace at a time.
Void Behemoths were creatures after all—not matter how powerful, brainless or even if they were Void Behemoths, they would evade foes by situations, dodging powerful foes just as they would feel ‘fear’.
Inside the world enshrouded in Black Form, the gradually strengthening Chaos could not scare them. Due to the Chaos presence being weak, it would at most be food for the Void Behemoths that were just a little harder to digest.
Joshua, on the other hand, was different—he instilled the fear of death upon those Behemoths.
The Great Khan had kept the Behemoth at the front from retreating and prevented it from disturbing the Fleet’s formation, and then turned to stare up front at the Giant God who was blocking their way to the Black Form world.
Although it did not understand Mycroft’s common tongue, the other’s meaning was so clear that it was comprehensible even without language… it was the most simple and direct threat of violence that had no hint of concealment.
‘Do not cross this line’.
‘Stop right there’.
‘This is our territory’.
There would have been nothing other such meanings, and its intelligence was not so low that it could not guess such things.
‘Funny,’ the Great Khan thought. In the past decades, it had heard such warnings thrown countless times by other civilizations at the Starherder Fleet. Though what they said were different, their tone had been, without exception, meek and powerless—who could really stop the charge of a dozen Behemoths?
But this time, things appeared to be different.
The Steel Giant God that warped the dimensions made the unstoppable Void Behemoths felt terror through his existence alone. That terror had nothing to do with thought or impression, but progressed from the depths of their instincts: the fear of a natural enemy.
It appeared that the Giant God might truly be able to stop the advance of the Behemoths… Who actually was he?
Still, the question was quickly answered as soon as it appeared in the Great Khan’s mind.
Who else could they be?
They definitely had to be the Forerunners Civilization that survived in the Lost Galaxy for at least twelve thousand years. Only they could possess such terrible ability and arrive so quickly upon the location where Chaos awakened—they were perhaps the ones who sealed that World Eater.
“So, the Forerunner Civilization survived…”
Ignoring Kumocinda, which was left gaping and its fungal cap reddened, the Great Khan released a series of mental ripples. “I know that there is exaggeration in legends, just as there would be some truth to it. The Forerunner Civilization might not be as powerful as it was said to be, but they were not wiped out by the World Eaters—but could their champions had really lived through that unknown war ten thousand years ago?”
It was common knowledge that escaped most people.
Furthermore, if they were really survivors, why would that ancient and advanced Forerunner Civilization not head for normal galaxies? Compared to the ruined, dimmed, endlessly wounded and broken galaxy, other galaxies were at least complete even if they had countless flaws.
Various questions swirled in the Great Khan’s mind, overburdening its already split thoughts. Soon, it realized that it must not keep thinking in that manner—it must be at full strength to face that powerful existence.
As to why they did not leave this galaxy… they might perhaps have lost that spirit. After the flourishing civilization was left in pieces by the World Eaters and the terrible war had destroyed their homes, their own galaxy had been thrown to the edge of the Multiverse amidst an upheaval unbeknownst to all. After such a massive blow, they would probably no longer think of expansion, and would instead be willing to watch over their paltry lands. Indeed, the Great Khan doubted that they would really remember the technology they possessed during their golden age.
Tens of thousands of years would have gnawed away upon the wills of those survivors. A desolate galaxy certainly would not trigger the yearning for triumph in those ancient champions, and it would be hundreds and thousands of years before a brand-new civilization birthed upon this galaxy and grow enough to threaten the Forerunner Civilization.
“Kumocinda. You and the others are now in charge of controlling the Behemoths’ spirit.”
Inside the Starherder Court, the black octopedal fungus was finally jolted from the display screen. He heard a rare, smooth command from the Great Khan, and promptly answered at the top of its voice, “I won’t fail!”
An instant later.
The Startherder Courts drummed softly in spirit in the Akasha upon the backs of all the Behemoths. Veins of powerful soul signatures gradually awakened as if supernovas.
Somehow, the Great Khan felt a hint of sadness and rage as it watched the Giant God that stood before them, blocking their way to the Black Form star without any intention of backing down.
Borders… laughable. That prideful word, the mysterious irreverence and defiance.
The Great Khan remembered its homeland, how the Starherders and itself came to be… the powerful fungus recalled how they had wandered for millennia after their race had lost in the war, recalling the powerful beings that had kept pursuing their tribe, forcing them to stay wafting around the galaxy.
The Great Khan remembered the power of the World Eaters.
It was a power that corrupted the galaxy and destroyed worlds, a singular body that could ruin a Void civilization. It was a power that could force countless prideful empires to let go of their pride and aloofness, compelling them to interact and ally unintelligibly with other civilizations and release their prejudices.
“Too funny… be it you, or the Forerunners…”
In the dark silence of the Void, Joshua, who had been standing off against World Fleet suddenly heard a clear spiritual ripple. That sound did not come from any of the Behemoths, but from all of them.
Narrowing his eyes ahead, he saw veins of formless radiance shooting out from the dorsal humps of the twenty or so Void Behemoths. It gathered, shining as a bright white star amidst the background of the starry skies, spreading towards all directions before condensing into a fix form, a giant frame of light.
Oom— the sharp noise unfurled in the quiet Void. As the powerful soul illumination gathered, a pale-white but study crab pincer reached out from within, singular but more massive than a real Void Behemoth, not to mention the other eight claws that formed later, and its shell harder than a fortress.
It was a crab-shaped Void Behemoth, but one composed entirely of spirit and soul. Its form eclipsed the entire World Fleet, its pincers appearing able to sever worlds when clenched.
Everything happened in a split second, and in that split second, the unnamed champion known by its subjects as the Great Khan became as large as a world. its spiritual ripples filled the entire dimensional region, heading even towards other directions of the galaxy.
“The World Eaters blankets the worlds, devouring the stars—what meaning does your so-called borders have to this cruel Multiverse!”
With those words, amidst terrible spatial warping, the Behemoth did not hesitate to step beyond the silver trail that Joshua had carved. Then, as if a white star that had lost control, it crashed towards the silver Giant God, embodying unstoppable profound power.
The awakening of the World Eaters was absolutely not a responsibility a single civilization could shoulder. If you wish to fight it alone… Prove your power!
“You wish to test my ability?”
On the other side of the Void, seemingly feeling his opponent’s clear intention for a fight to the death, Joshua narrowed his eyes at the behemoth that was ten times bigger than his Giant God form. Putting down the great sword in his hand, he reverted it to pure silver mist.
“What a coincidence. I thought so too.”
Joshua clenched his fist. Red-black stripes of light began to extend on the other side of his hand.
‘I would like to know as well what right do you, bastards who devoured worlds without restraint, have to face the Evil Gods!’
In the very next instant, dimensional turbulence raged. As the Nature’s Magister looked on helplessly from behind, Joshua strode out, his body turning into a Void storm that stirs all, bellowing as it raged at the Behemoth!
Two specks of light, as dazzling as stars, one large one lesser collider.
Then came supernova radiance.
Within that powerful light that enshrouded everything, the Behemoth silently flailed its gigantic pincers, a weapon that could bend space through its mass alone, pounding it down upon Joshua like a falling moon.
Joshua, however, had no intention to dodge. As the pincer crashed down upon it, his two right hands stretched backward in a straight posture just like bow being pulled as far as it could, and its two steel fists shot out like a meteor!
As the two fists swung out as a double uppercut, it carried peerless momentum and mass as if two hurricanes that swirled at opposite directions, crushing everything before it with unimaginable gravity. The steel fists that could break half a continent thus struck the giant pincer without any disadvantage. Joshua, who appeared a dozen times smaller did not dull in comparison compared to the Behemoth, even lifting the monster’s body slightly with the power from his strike!
Both were sent backward by their respective power. The Great Khan withdrew its pincer from the shock—the soul form it had manifested through spirit condensation wielded solid mass, and in defense alone, it could well be more powerful than Void Behemoths.
A dense, net-shaped energy barrier distinctly covered the pincer that collided against Joshua’s fists. It was the Great Khan’s own spirit shield that held a toughness certain smaller World Barriers could never compare against—but now, that layer of protection was almost shattered, just as the giant fist behind the barrier was filled with gaps and ruptures, now healing rapidly.
The Great Khan appeared to be considering something. But on the other side, an intimidating presence crashed towards him and interrupted its analysis.
Joshua, testing the endurance of the opponent’s defensive shield and his own actual ability, raised his right hand without a care. His eyes widened, with dark-red radiance flashing under silver radiance, and apart from the engine that operated visibly by the Giant God’s chest, the warrior’s shoulders also shown at two incandescent spots.
The opponent was strong—but not as strong as Joshua’s fist!
Triple engines activated simultaneously. Incomparable presence unfurled away from Joshua, as if the most deeply rooted intent to kill and terror pervaded the Void from the bottom of the Abyss. Every eight-legged fungi thus trembled in fear—in that very moment, even the Behemoths that fed on worlds were barely stopped from fleeing, restrained by the King of the Akasha and paralyzed from fear. For they knew that they could only feed upon worlds as if it was an egg, and yet the man would grill them in any style possible as if cooking crab.
Bzzt—Glug —the sharp sound of electromagnetic pulse echoed. Joshua felt two miniature neutron stars that whirled at seventy-two hundred times per second rapidly unleashing massive electromagnetic flow, a terrible power that the warrior converted into a profound force of electromagnetism shift. Then, with his two arms as a pathway, charging a power that exceeded fifty percent lightspeed, capable of destroying all things.
“Careful,” Joshua said as if hinting and reluctant to directly kill his opponent. “I would shatter you and your shield with my next punch.”