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Chapter 536: Godblade Secrets

    Chapter 536: Godblade Secrets

    Jun Yongye smiled at him. "Lan Jue. No need for courtesy. We believe you know our purpose for being here. We are Captus and Demortis - our spirit given human form as we seek our bearers. When we were made aware of the Great Adept Tournament, we decided to take a look. After all, no normal human has what we seek."

    Xuanyuan Shishi sat at the other's side, nodding.

    The White Blademaster continued. "We selected you. Or to be more precise, you and the woman with you. We were once with the one you call Celestial Bearer Qian, and when we took human form he taught us two sword styles. But maintaining this form is draining, and cannot be maintained for long. This is why we seek a suitable bearer. If we do not, then our bodies pass in ten years' time."

    Lan Jue blinked, surprised. "Ten years and you die?"

    Jun Yongye nodded. "We are not the first generation of sword-spirit. We pass, and every once in a while a new soul-spirit is born. Only once a suitable handler has been found will the spirit bond totally within the sword. Until the bearer's death at which time they, too, pass. We exist as transient faces until we find our bearers, or pass away and wait for the next time we take shape.

    "It is not easy to earn our loyalty. There are many conditions to be met. They must be strong, and true. They must be unique in their skills and singular in potential. Then they will have earned a chance at our acceptance. They must be the pride of the Banishing Blades."

    "After Luo we returned to the site of our true forms and rejoined with them. We had to first prepare ourselves to accept a new bearer before seeking you. Then, we heard about Ms. Zhou..."

    At mention of Zhou Qianlin, Lan Jue's face darkened, though a sad smile lifted his lips. "I failed to protect her, and she suffered it by getting poisoned. It has caused her to become... lost. She doesn't recognize the outside world. I'm afraid there may be no way..."

    Xuanyuan Shishi's brows furrowed. "This is troubling. The style we know must be taught to two who share a common mind and purpose. Without her senses about her, I fear the acceptance process may be dangerous for her."

    Jun Yongye's deep voice continued. "But our time also grows short. If we wait any longer our spirits will grow weak - we won't have the strength to join. Then we will disappear."

    Lan Jue took a deep breath. "Then choose others." Lan Jue said it with force. Jun Yongye and Xuanyuan Shishi exchanged a look after seeing the change in the commander's eyes.

    These two were representative spirits of some of the strongest artifacts in the universe. Joining with them would mean Lan Jue's Paragon Astrum would be unparalleled but for the other swords. Could he really be turning down something so magnificent as the chance to wield a godblade?

    After he said it, Lan Jue seemed to deflate a little. He bowed respectfully before the two sword-spirits. "I must apologize. Though I do wish I could battle with you in the coming war, I cannot accept such a risk to Zhou Qianlin. She suffered greatly because of me and was nearly killed. I will not allow that to happen a second time."

    There was admiration in Jun Yongye's face as he smiled and replied. "It is evident we have selected well. Not just anyone has the qualifications to bear us, and our decision is not lightly made. Even if it means our death, the selection of a bearer is venerated."

    "I can see the connections between you that go deep as veins. Joining with us is not impossible. If you can bear the process for the both of you, the end result will be the same. Though be warned, it will be a grievous path for you. You will face the baptism of Demortis and Captus together. This is to say that Xuanyuan will join with Qianlin, but your body will be her surrogate in sustaining the internal energies. Once the powers are filtered, they will be imparted unto her. In this way she may painlessly accept to bear Demortus. From what we have seen of your joined strength, we suspect the chances are good. However, the process will be painful."

    Lan Jue's eyes sparkled. If they said there was a chance, then he couldn't give it up. Pain? What pain could be worse than the pain he bore in his heart? Ever since seeing the videos from Hera and Qianlin it was like a scorched hole in his chest. Maybe some pain in the body would help distract him. Most important was making sure Qianlin didn't suffer a thing.

    "Very well, I accept. I'll accept you both!" Lan Jue resolutely said to Jun Yongye.

    There was appreciation in the sword-spirits response, and he nodded back. "Good. However, space is unsuitable. We must wait until your feet are on solid ground. Best we finish in under half a month. After that, there may start to appear fluctuations in our presence."

    Lan Jue nodded in understanding. "Alright. After we enter the Shattered Starfields, we'll start looking for a place to merge right away." The Division was well established by this point, and their mission wasn't difficult or critical. Lan Jue did not need to keep his eye on them the whole time.

    Majesty and Zeus-1 crept through the darkness of space like shades. Somehow the Wine Master had made good on his promise, and by means unknown acquired another Blinding Stone just like the one on Zeus-1. Now even the most sensitive radar couldn't pick them out.

    Hence how precious Blinding Stones were.

    Five days later the two vessels slipped past the border into the Shattered Starfields. Thanks to their cloaking abilities they encountered no pirate resistance as they penetrated into the inner parts of the system.

    The Starfields were a big place. Thousands of pirates roamed the asteroid fields but the distances were vast. Only those small planets with valuable resources saw any settling, and the rest were lifeless hunks of heavy elements.

    Lan Jue and his brigade leaders had come up with a simple plan; from easy to hard. Start with the weaker pirate clans for experience and confidence. Then, start hunting for fatter fish. The task began the moment they entered the Starfields. With only a month to eradicate the pirate menace, they had work to do.

    As former mistress of the system Su Xiaosu took the lead. She would direct them to objectives, all of which were wicked men.

    Their first target was a small clan called the Poison Wasps.

    The Poison Wasp Clan did not have a long history in the Starfields - a couple of years, at most. They had no battleships, only five modified patrol ships. Relatively weak, the man who ran the outfit made up for it with cunning and ferocity. They were a type of pirate that preyed on others of their kind. They were new and small, but infamous.

    They did have their advantages. They had no static base, living on the five ships they used for pillaging. They would hit a target, loot it, then disappear into the dangerous seas of asteroids to evade counterattack. Other pirate clans had their own territories they didn't appreciate being violated. And yet, that's what the Poison Wasps did regularly and got away with it. Every time they made themselves stronger. When they started, they only had a single patrol ship.

    Poison Wasp's leader was also called Poison Wasp, a cruel sociopath.

    Su Xiaosu was already familiar with them, since they'd been a popular topic of conversation for some time. They would hit one of the three primary planets and then vanish before a deterrent force could muster. Cunning as a fox. Not long ago they signed up with the Pontiff's forces and were absorbed. Now they served as an advance force, with a small base planet to call their own.

    This was, of course, covert support from the Moonfiend Pirates that few were aware of.

    The location of their new base wasn't far from the three primary planets, but separated by a dense asteroid belt. If you had a pilot with experience navigating it, you could cross the belt and get to the planets in a day.

    Majesty and Zeus-1 quietly slipped closer to Poison Wasp and his band of murderers.

    Their base planet was not resource-rich. On the contrary, it could be said to be barren. If it did the Moonfiend Pirates probably wouldn't have let it go. At the very least, however, it was safe harbor. At a certain point every pirate clan needed a territory to establish and expand from. The alternative was to drift through space, desperate for resources and unable to grow. After all, strength needed men to wield it. Those patrol boats didn't have very much in the way of space.

    Lan Jue stood by the porthole and watched the tiny planet as it spun through space. He could see its three big sisters behind it in the distance. His brigade leaders stood at his side.

    "Give this one to Fourth Brigade," he said.

    The Coffee Master looked up. "Why give it to them? Third Brigade can handle it."

    The Driver scowled, but didn't reply.

    Lan Jue explained. "We're testing synergy. There's no need to fire a nuke at a bunny rabbit. Now it's time to talk about our plan..."

    ζ

    Poison Wasp looked out with pride over the base beginning to take shape before him. With the support of the Moonfiend Pirates they had already secured and established and area of one square kilometer.

    It wasn't the most welcoming planet. Life support systems needed to be in place for anyone to live for long. They also needed shields and other defensive structures to protect against harmful cosmic radiation and keep precious oxygen inside. All food was either brought from off world or cultivated from small plots of land beneath the shield.
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