Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After struggling to awaken form the dark void of death, the Great Khan swiftly realized that it was in great danger after being simultaneously maimed by Joshua and the Evil God of Wither.
Meanwhile, the river of souls flowing with color formed a ring in the dark, obscure mists of Chaos. The surface of one end burned as if the sun, inside of which was a luminous silver crystal sphere, while the other end was a galaxy filled with dots of souls where darkness swirled.
The Dark Galaxy flowed with the presence of calamity and destruction, the cry of a world after its destruction and the vengeance of a race, or even a civilization. That force was so great that the grudge ignited black flames upon the Void, intent on reducing all Order into ash.
“It’s… the Evil God! And that Forerunner champion!”
The Great Khan quickly understood the present situation without a doubt. After he had lost, the Forerunner champion did not destroy its soul, instead turning to fight the Evil God. Now, it appeared that the Evil God had just awakened albeit was maimed badly, but the Forerunner champion was unwell too, and both appeared about to enter one final decisive battle in the plane of souls.
Nonetheless, even as a complicated mood arose in it, the Great Khan noticed that though the soul that was akin to a sun might appear to stand evenly against the Dark Galaxy, he was on the back foot on various details, that he appeared not to be at a disadvantage thanks to his extreme regeneration.
Wither’s presence compounded with Chaos as it swept through the Void, and the perished remains of countless spirits from the Soul Pool were directly destroyed. After that, the silver radiance mostly faded, although more silver radiance would be released at the very next instant, keeping appearances so that things did not appear dire.
Their battle was just like a tug of war. One side was powerful and kept pulling the rope to itself, while the other, though weak, could ceaselessly create new rope, preventing its opponent from pulling itself and the rope eternally.
In the realm beyond, the surface of the Steel Strength continent was ablaze.
Soul-Substance Transition was an ultimate skill of Vahina, the Sage of the Oceans. Users could apply it to freely convert between mass, soul, and energy, and the sage whose specialty was in spirit cultivation would mostly convert souls to mass or energy, and other techniques that were close to immortality and infinite energy. As for Joshua, he himself mostly converted mass to energy or soul after learning that skill.
Meanwhile, the Steel Strength continent remained ablaze, just as the soul akin to a sun maintained its form in the spiritual realm despite several defeats as it struggled against the Dark Galaxy to become the host of countless souls.”
“This won’t do.”
While they had been enemies and fought out a terrible battle, those were personal and frivolities. The Great Khan would not revel in the delight against something as monumental as an Evil God, something which affected an entire race. It also remembered the Void Behemoths and its subjects wandering the surrounding Void, and could not help but frown.
“The Forerunner’s champion is not that great in soul battle techniques.”
While it had fallen to a single blow in the soul battle before, the Great Khan did not believe that itself would lose so easily if it was not for Wither’s influence. Apart from that, the Forerunner had also claimed that he had no soul, which made most soul offensive ineffective against him.
It was both an advantage and a disadvantage, with the former being that the Forerunner champion could entirely ignore defending in the aspect of soul in battle while focusing on destroying the opponent’s physical battle. On the other hand, the disadvantage existed in that when his soul was required to secure some right of attribution, the soul he converted on a temporary capacity definitely was not as agile as his limbs.
“You’re up then, Otherworld champion.”
The just-awakened Great Khan suddenly heard a rich voice. “You’ve recovered slower than I thought.”
At present, the Void Crab spirit had been floating behind the Soul Sun, its eight limbs turning rigid subconsciously in a defensive state at the sound of that familiar voice.
Soon, however, the Great Khan realized that the Forerunner champion had no intention to attack it.
“As you can see, I’m fighting the Evil God in the plane of souls—it’s the final bout.”
The rich voice resounded in the Void; its tone serene yet earnest. “I, however, don’t have a soul. The soul I forged from Soul mastery was but a tool: I could create it, but it isn’t nimble when used. That is why I never did learn how to fight with my soul.”
Even as he spoke, the Dark Galaxy of Chaos burst out with countless black gas tentacles in the lightless Void as if to claim the river of souls. In return, the silver sun also whipped out countless crystalline rays that withstood its erosion, but it was obvious that the silver sun was spending dozen times the energy used by the Dark Galaxy, while the Steel Strength continent beyond shrunk by a distinct chunk.
The voice continued slowly after having defended against that abrupt and vicious attack from the Evil God. “Otherworld champion, I could tell that you’ve mastered this path.”
Of course I have.
The octopedal fungi were essentially a race of spirits. Their newborn bodies were mere shells nurturing souls, and they would become a citizen of their race with one, or they would be a void product without soul otherwise, waste that was less than a slave.
Their survival, life, and battle all relied upon on spiritual power and magic, both of which depended on the soul for strength. The fungi’s depth of mastery in those paths was long considered sagely.
When the World Eaters destroyed their homeworld all those years ago, the Great Khan, the champion of their race had vanquished the soul of a Void Behemoth through its powerfully cultivated soul, assuming control over its body as it evacuated the masses away raggedly. Thousands of years later, the Void Behemoths grew rapidly and split off thanks to their race’s nurturing, even forming the World Fleet that many civilizations feared, while the Great Khan’s own soul split along with it to control that number, strengthening and even assuming the form of the first Behemoth.
It was simply assured in the way of fighting with its soul.
“I grasp your meaning, but why should I aid you?” The Great Khan asked coldly in return. “We were still enemies attacking each other before with the intent to kill. Why are you confident that I would help you?”
“Because I would threaten, force, and entice you. I don’t need the confidence—you have no choice.”
The deep, rich voice choice spoke its opinion very earnestly. “You and your subjects would die if you don’t help me. I know not why you’ve come to this galaxy, but I could guess that it’s because you were fleeing the Evil Gods, and there’s one weakened sample here. Don’t you intend to try destroying it and accumulate the experience for the counterattack?”
The appearance of the Great Khan’s soul became warped, its pincers and joints twisting so much they flipped. It had never experienced such troubling emotion, just as it was the first time it spoke with a warrior whose words were so choking it kills.
But it made its decision in the end.
“You’re right. I certainly have no choice.”
The Great Khan said feebly, just as there was a hint of heartfelt expectation and thrill. “I would help you destroy the World Eater.”
And with that, the white Void Crab spirit thus swiftly fused into the silver sun.
“What help do you require?”
The rich and deep voice said. “The Evil God is using an entire destroyed world to bombard my spiritual defenses to whittle me down, reducing my own control over my own soul and weaken it. I could feel the outer layers of my souls rapidly withering, and everything from endurance and essence were reduced to nothing as if time is being reverted, converted into feed for Chaos. The weaker I am the stronger the Evil God becomes—this must be stopped at once.”
The Great Khan did not reply. Communicating non-verbally, it instructed Joshua in the technique to control soul.
In an instant, the countless crystalline spawned from the silver sun disperse, before reassembling into a much complex and sturdier construct.
“The battle of souls is not too different from physical combat. The most important aspect is to have a more complex soul information and construct that the opponent could not analyze at once—it does not matter if it is functional, even useless information works. One way or the other, keep your opponent confused and unable to attack.”
The translucent silver sun thus became turbid visibly, while boundless maze-like ramparts and metal construct manifested on its surface. The sun itself was rapidly shrinking just as it became sturdier, and any individual specializing in the spiritual aspect could clearly see that the dense metal pipelines and maze walls were actually countless mathematical formulae such as differentiation, integration, and who-knows-what, containing many random and meaningless information.
The black ripple—the Chaotic presence of Wither which had been on a winning streak and could instantly whittle and erode a huge chunk of the silver sun was forced to retreat fruitlessly. It dispersed by itself right after eroding part of the soul’s surface, while the thirty-seventh defensive rampart was being constructed in haste.
“The most vital aspect on assault of the soul is to dissolve the opponent’s soul. Be it by brute force or technique, it’s all to better destroy the enemy’s constitution—you are considerably accomplished in that, but unable to extend the effect of your battle. I’ll teach you a little trick.”
The crystal ray that had been tanging against the tentacles of Chaos promptly shrunk and bended with agility, escaping the bind of the tentacles as its tip became a bladed drill that whirled rapidly, dicing chunks of tentacles into powder. In an instant, as the powdered tentacles squirmed wildly and were about to reform as new tentacles, the countless drill tips detached and shot out like missiles, detonating majestically where the tentacles clustered and reduced the countless Chaos forces to nothingness.
“Ah, I know that.”
The rich voice interjected. “Very well.”
In the beyond, the burning of the Steel Strength continent slowed visibly to the point that both Nature’s Magister and Legendary beast could feel the pressure on their bodies lighten at once. They certainly knew that it was a result of Joshua’s battle turning around, leaving them thrilled at once.
Meanwhile, in the spiritual space, the river of souls that was being pulled towards the Dark Galaxy began to flow toward the silver sun.
The souls inside the nine massive warships that were shuddering incessantly gradually calmed, while the powerful souls awakened. However, they were the most profoundly eroded by Chaos, and were unsure of what they could or had to do.
Millennia ago, the nine Legendary champions had chased the Evil God of Wither here.
They established the seal, molded the planet and imprisoned Wither, using its ability to convert Chaos and Order to create a perfect world.
However, a long time passed and the reinforcements they waited for never came. Distorted dimension compounded with time, leaving the hopeful expeditionary force uncomfortable and enfeeble.
And the Chaotic powers of Wither seized the chance and crept into the depths of their hearts, making them forget their skills and lose their technology, thinning their desire to struggle and reduce them to walking dead who knew to live but without purpose.
The nine Legends discovered that, but they were already severely corrupted. In order to not become accomplices of an Evil God, they sealed themselves within their warships, using automated programming to control Chaos power and resist the Evil God of Wither.
They had certainly been corrupted by Chaos, and yet were not its Wither’s teeth and claws.
Joshua had swiftly learned the technique taught by the Great Khan and did not apply unaccustomed or rigid when applying it. Although it was not yielding exponential results, he always managed to catch the Chaotic Evil God’s vulnerabilities and effectively break its hold over the river of souls. While Wither’s presence emanated could still force the warrior into defense, it could at least be considered a two-way battle.
Looking on, the Great Khan felt that Joshua had a steady grasp of the stage. As long as he could maintain the spiritual supply, he could attempt retaliation even as he guarded his own soul in this long attritional battle.
But just when the Great Khan thought that it was time to prepare a counterattack and truly lay waste to the Evil God’s constitution, it suddenly heard Joshua’s voice.
A clear voice spoke from within the core of the silver sun. “I understand now.”
What? The Great Khan thought, at a loss. What did you understand? Isn’t this moment just the beginning?
There was still much to cover in the battle of spirits, and according to its calculations, it would drag out to a dozen thousand peta (six months) at minimum.
But clearly, it did not have Joshua’s understanding of Chaos.
“Evil Gods of Famine, Pestilence, Calamity, Air, and now Wither… I have personally experienced five different powers of five different Evil Gods, and repelled them.”
“I now understand the essence of the Evil Gods’ power.”
Joshua voice sounded as if everything was in his grasp, while the silver sun released an even brighter light.
“The decay of substance, the reversal of growth; becoming strong to weak, turning from prime to infantile. This is not a simple reversal of time, but a pure reduction of power and decay from perfect. The reason the power would not age individuals is simply because Extraordinary individuals would not necessarily be weaker when they are older, which is why it simply they were retrogressed to their past forms… it was an unreasonable power.”
The Great Khan was aware that the power of World Eaters never was reasonable. Therefore, it promptly focused, listening attentively to Joshua’s analysis.
“But no matter how illogical it could be, one principle must be obeyed—higher power levels meant greater priority.”
Skill had limits. Even the individual’s millionfold power to bend heaven and earth through magic circles and skills was helpless against the enemy’s billionfold assault on themselves. That is the same thing as how purest of compressed toxins could kill an entire city of humans when a single drop of it went airborne would be harmless when dripped into the ocean.
Even if a single ocean was not enough, what about two or three more? How about vast oceanic worlds? Or a plane derived entirely from water elements?
If it still would not work, it could be dumped into a sun—it would be no toxin then.
When Joshua obtained the power to blast all enemies into a black hole, his enemy’s only value of existence was to look good as they struggled.
“The bottom line is that the Evil Gods are an aberrative existence that is a combination of a world, the dead souls of a civilization and a certain supernatural power even I could not dissect. Such is their essence, and through the information corruption of world and civilization, most bodies would be beaten by it in every turn, with myself being suppressed… but ultimately, it is one world and the dead souls of one civilization.”
“It’s not as if I could not destroy a world,” Joshua said.
Those were words that left a chill in the Great Khan’s bones. It was unsure what terrible being it was actually aiding, even as the warrior continued.
“The Evil God is now very weak. Its Chaos corruption—in other words, its destructive informational corruption is now no longer absolute. I just have to elevate my processing power by several times to completely nullify its informational bombardment, even eroding it in return.”
“How?” The Great Khan could not help but ask. “My skill could not raise processing speed through thin air, it only improves the quality of your calculation to process more information at a constant speed. Though what you say is simple, processing speed isn’t so easily raised!”
The Great Khan heard Joshua’s answer, but it was somehow calm and dispassionate. “As the mass of my true form enlarges, my mental organs would increase and strengthen my processing speed, power, and soul… I would be stronger in every aspect.”
“Otherworld champion. Tell your subjects to find worlds without left, have them devour those mass and supply it to me in asteroid form.”
With Wither’s presence affecting information transmitting, exchanging information to the beyond within the Sealed World was ineffective, or in other words, things could go in but not out. Therefore, Joshua was unable to connect to his Restoration Beams placed in other worlds and have them devour and supply local mass to him extra-dimensionally.
The Void Behemoths, however, could act in their place this time.
‘ I’m no good man after all,’ the warrior thought coldly, ‘ and have no right to accuse the Void Behemoth swarm that devoured worlds.’
He would at most pick worlds without life, not to protect primitive life that did not even have intelligence, but because he did not require organic substances. More than that, dead worlds had a chance of revival even if it was almost little more than none, and might never happen even up to the end of the Multiverse. Even so, when he devoured a planet or a world meant that the chance would no longer exist… not that Joshua found it wrong.
Compared to a fractional chance, life that exists now was more important.
The silver sun looked at the river of souls wafting around it.
Within the river was the spirits of millions of intelligent lives.
The Evil God intended to feed upon them to restore its own power—and Joshua would stop it all.
To him, useless substance would never compare to a living being, even if it was a single planet, just as dead worlds would never be equal to a human soul when considered in its entirety. All things in the world existed in service of life, fore even worlds were incubators for life.
Joshua would admit that he was narrow-minded, a person with double-standards who could only see the living and decide a world’s fate depending on the degree of chance.
Or what else could there be?
Unless one held ‘absolute power’, life would never have to make a choice.
A small piece of soul detached from the silver crab. With Joshua’s help, it became a flying star, streaking through the and piercing the Steel Strength continent, vacuum, and World Barrier, arriving at the vast and barren Void of the Multiverse. It flew toward the Void Behemoths that remained before the silver line and did not dare to take one step beyond it, entering them and issuing its command.
Thus, countless Void Behemoths began to wander towards surrounding worlds, finding, and consuming barren worlds that were frozen or burning but without life, absorbing the substances and condensing them into asteroids. Then, they return to the outer atmosphere of the Sealed World, throwing it down inside the fissure of the Barrier that Joshua and the Great Khan made when they crashed into it.
In the vacuum that no longer had air, endless strips of scarlet descended from the edge of the world, turning into distinct red lines under the corruption of Chaotic mists.
Void Behemoths were not very intelligent, nor did they possess much control over their strength or direction. They simply absorbed substances, compress them into asteroids that they would throw into the world—the red lines would spread in all directions as if a great firework display.
But someone was there to clean up their mess.
Steel Strength surged over the silver planet, stirring dimensions and increasing gravity, guiding each asteroid to fall onto the continent. Massive flames billowed as Steel Strength disintegrated and absorb it all as the purest of particles.
Thousands of arcs unfurled at the starting end and finally converged upon a single point, resembling a contracting world line in one glance.
But unlike what everyone imagined, Joshua did not convert those substances info his own mass, instead clustering the colossal asteroids into a single sphere.
A supremely dense sphere of degenerate neutron matter, one to fits the warrior’s combat form.
It whirled rapidly, with its initial spin velocity reaching ninety-four hundred turns per second. As the asteroids fall without stopping and exploded tremendously, the spins accelerated as well.
The miniature neutron star that was the size of a fingertip began to enlarge visibly, the dimensions around it distorted into a basin-like crater, or perhaps a gravity well.
At the same time, every construct inside Joshua’s body that were specialized for processing quickly gathered as well. Physical constitution that mutually supported the warrior’s soul hence spread everywhere about the continent, condensing into a single brain-like form.
That brain was a degenerate matter object too. Infinite energy rays and Steel Strength weaved within, providing the Legendary champion with processing capacity beyond any supercomputer.
He was sent to the distant outer space by the extracted Steel Strength planet, and underwent a mutualism through the information resonance within the world.
Soon, as Joshua provided mass without stopping while the Void Behemoths kept throwing asteroids, the thumb-sized neutron star sphere grew slowly but steadily, whirling dozen thousand times per second. It turned into a pulsar that was infinitely more terrible than ordinary neutron stars, but under the dimensional concealment of its own gravity, that electromagnetic field that could turn all things into ash was bound to a single direction.
At the same time, Joshua began to draw that wild pulsar into his own body, sending it to the converging mass center he and the Evil God of Wither shared.
Was he killing himself?
Joshua already had a plan in mind.
He certainly did not lie to the Great Khan he needed mass to raise his processing power—to suppress that Evil God.
However, the path he assumed was the most just and plain there was in the world. Each single effort meant one single accomplishment, and no more: if he wanted to increase his processing power by several times, he must increase his mass by that amount as well.
However, even if more than twenty Void Behemoths absorbed substances at the same time, they could not transport such tremendous mass at once.
So, how could he raise his processing power as much as possible in a short period of time?
Thanks to the terrible enemy in Fattrovi he faced previously, Joshua gained an idea recently about the dimensional anomaly that appeared in Mycorft, as well as the entire galaxy.
At present, the pulsar in the air was almost ten meters in diameter. With Joshua’s own mass and its supreme velocity in stirring everything around it, the dimensions began to warp unimaginably and indescribably—it was the complex process of a soul rampart formation when represented using a mathematical formula.
The asteroids never stopped falling from the skies even as the mass of the pulsar increased without restraint. The boundary of the dimensional anomaly kept increasing too until it completely covered most of the continent.
In that instant, Joshua ceased his other thought processes and focused his processing ability, flinging the pulsar to the edge and ascertaining that a stable model could be maintained.
How could processing power be increased?
It was simple, even completely unnecessary: he did not have to accelerate, the enemy just had to slow down.
When one second for the enemy become three, four or even five, his processing ability would increase correspondingly.
It was a simple principle and technique. Sufficient mass would distort the dimensions, slowing time for the enemy, and in turn increase one’s own processing capacity.
When Joshua’s mental core—the root of his soul left outer space, Joshua’s body and the Evil God of Wither all utterly became a celestial form of super mass and entered a region of abnormal dimensional stirs, in the instant that the warrior’s processing core rose above into the universal vacuum and another frame of reference…
Time stopped for the entire silver planet.
After three whole seconds, Joshua mental organ that was now in outer space stabilized the zone where the dimensions stirred, keeping the temporary pulsar alive for another eight hours.
And that three seconds was less than a single second for the silver planet and the Evil God of Wither, the latter of which was five times slower.
In return, it meant time moved five times faster for Joshua.
In other words, while both sides were essentially constant, his processing power was improved by five times.
Within that split second, inside spiritual space…
The Great Khan which had not sensed that time had slowly watched in astonishment as the Soul Sun unleashed peerlessly bright light.
Boom— as a rumble that warped space and time reverberated over all of spiritual space, the Silver Sun whirled, dragging the Dark Galaxy with unbelievable might towards itself, through boundless crystalline rays with five times the speed and power, as well as a precision that was now a class above!
And the soul galaxy around it all moved toward the direction of the Soul Sun in that very second!
Just like a tug of war, the two once equal enemies saw one side unleash a power that was now five times more than before. Not only did he drag the entire rope to his side, he pulled his opponent directly along with it!
Thus, the soul radiance counterattacked viciously, after having only managed to fight out on equal terms with the Chaos galaxy, even being forced to defend against the boundless erosion of Wither.
The warrior’s fearsome and cruel desire to destroy was exceedingly difficult to control. As if to devour and destroy all soul essence, it even began using the purest and most brainless way to directly break through that erratic information defense of the Chaos, subjugating and eroding at the opposite direction!
In the Chaos Galaxy where black and gray compounded, a dazzling silver network thus appeared!
Inside the nine colossal steel warships on the surface of the silver continent, war cries resounded across boundless dimensions. Though dim, massive and eye-catching soul stars appeared around the silver sun, and though they were dim, they rapidly circled around Joshua as if satellites, further breaking the information construct of the Evil God of Wither!
“Fattrovi… this is the true power of dimensions.”
Joshua, who was thinking at five times his normal speed, could not help recollecting a great foe of the past. Meanwhile, he pierced layers after layers of the Evil God’s essence, shattering the ramparts of information and spiritual defense formed from a world and a civilization, unhesitatingly advancing at the roots of the Evil God’s existence.
“Exceeding worlds, not leaving it motionless.”