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Chapter 590: Did You Birth Him?

    Chapter 590: Did You Birth Him?

    Luo Xianni looked distracted, as though she were considering something. "The first thing we need to go is get the word out. Then, we need to find a way to get in touch with your father. He's the only one who can face the Violet Princess. The scariest question now is, how many 'princesses' do they have? If there are enough of them they won't need to rely on anything else. A handful of these Greater Demons and humanity will be wiped out."

    She wasn't exaggerating. Someone with Jue Di's power could destroy a planet. His power was so terrifying that nearly all the leading Adepts of the time felt he needed to be killed. They were so convinced that they waged war against him.

    What they saw from the alien today was on par with what Lan Jue's father could do. One shuddered to imagine the damage she could inflict on humans when the battle began in earnest.

    Third and Fourth Brigade were still in the dark. They had been ordered to retreat before the fight had really begun and were not aware of what had happened.

    The Star Division had performed a miracle by defeating the strongest pirates in the Starfields without any losses. The Barber's tragic death was as sudden as it was unexpected. Though he did not die at the hands of pirates, his was still a devastating loss for the Avenue.

    The Barber had been one of Skyfire Avenue's esteemed council members. He had been an influential voice, with the potential to reach as high as ninth level fourth rank. Youth was on his side, and already he'd been an influential voice among his peers. All of it had been senselessly taken away.

    He never even got the chance to defend himself. How could he have known the monster beneath that pretty face?

    The Beautician was attached to the Third Brigade. Her illusion Discipline allowed for very potent manipulation of the battlefield. Therefore, she was with the Coffee Master on one of the battleships and still didn't know her partner was dead.

    Lan Jue decided to keep it a secret. It would have to wait until they got back to the Avenue. Communication was difficult since the planets and their communication equipment were no more. The background noise of the Starfields and all its broken stellar bodies made the signal distorted. It meant they would have to bring the information back to the East, they couldn't transmit it from here. Luckily the alien planets did not give chase. Xiaosu navigated them into Eastern-controlled space as quickly as possible.

    "Boss, I've got An Luo on the line." Xiaosu looked Lan Jue's way with a tired expression.

    With the threat of alien attack looming over their head, Lan Jue hadn't rested for more than forty-eight hours. He had to be ready to react at any moment. As leader of the Star Division, whom the Clairvoyant placed great hopes on, one could imagine how much stress the Jewelry Master was under.

    "Connect with Admiral Lan Qing," he said.

    "Aye, calling him now."

    Their screens were white, but eventually a figure appeared.

    "A-Jue?" Lan Qing's surprised voice answered. The An Luo super soldier had given standing instructions to his communication officers to alert him immediately if the Avenue called. Still, getting word from Zeus-1 was a surprise.

    "Brother." Just seeing Lan Qing's face on the screen made him feel better.

    Lan Qing narrowed his eyes. Lan Jue almost never called him that in front of other people, especially since he was a military commander now. He could also see the fatigue in his sibling's face.

    "What's happened?" He asked.

    Lan Jue looked briefly at Xiaosu, then turned his eyes back to Lan Qing. "We managed to win a couple battleships, we were hoping to trouble you for some identification so they move around unmolested. I want to bring them back to Skyfire Avenue. In a moment you'll be getting some images and data packets from Xiaosu. You have to get this to government leaders as fast as possible. Then, you need to prepare for invasion. Things have gotten bad."

    Lan Qing's heart sank when he heard his brother's report. He motioned for a subordinate to begin the download. "Where are you now?" He asked.

    "We're on our way back to Skyfire," Lan Jue replied. "When I get back I need to get in touch with dad. We came across one of the leader aliens, we figure. She was incredibly strong, even mother couldn't beat her."

    "Mother?" Lan Qing paused.

    Luo Xianni suddenly appeared on another screen. "A-Qing, you ungrateful brat! Don't pretend you don't know who he means when he says mother!"

    In an exceedingly rare display, embarrassment spread across Lan Qing's face. "Now, don't be angry. It's just sudden, that's all. I'm a little absent-minded. Oh, right - dad's here."

    Prometheus was economical with his words, but that didn't mean he was dim. He changed the subject as quickly as he could.

    As Lan Qing hoped, this took Luo Xianni by surprise. Laugh wrinkles scrunched up around her eyes. "Oh, so suddenly Chi Bupang decided he wants to look after his kids, eh? He's not so bad, that old coot. Let me talk to him."

    "He says he's not here." Lan Qing's eyes darted off screen for a moment and he muttered something inaudible.

    "You little **, are you looking for an ass-kicking?!" Jue Di's tyrannical voice shrieked through the speakers. Lan Qing flew out of frame.

    "What do you want?" Jue Di's curdled expression filled the monitor.

    "Hey dad," Lan Jue greeted ardently.

    Jue Di just stared at him for a moment. He then fixed his hard eyes on Luo Xianni.

    She, in turn, scowled. "Want? The hell would I want from you, you crotchety turd. Stop imagining yourself so sentimental. All I wanted was to see my son."

    Jue Di gaped at her. "When the hell did he become 'your son'? Clearly you mean my son!"

    Luo Xianni's eyes narrowed to accusing slits. "Did you birth him?"

    "Did you birth him?!" Jue Di indignantly shot back.

    Luo Xianni flippantly replied. "Well, that was because you aren't man enough."

    Jue Di looked like a choking fish. He fought with his words until they flatly eked out. "Not man enough?"

    She sneered demeaningly at him. "If you were, how come you never got me pregnant?"

    The Paragon was speechless. "I... How can... even at this age, know you no shame?"

    Luo Xianni waved her hands as though swatting a fly. "'At this age' my ass, old man. Your whole family is old! Fine - fine. Let's stop this nonsense. You are allowed to take them as children and for some reason you won't allow me to. This is gangster logic. Why don't you just focus on being a father, and I can focus on being a mother. How does this get in your way? When your son faced a damn demon, where were you? And you still have the nerve to say I'm not their family? Out of the two of us, who has no shame?"

    "I..." This time, Jue Di really had nothing to say.

    Lan Jue saw his opportunity to intervene. "Dad, mother's been injured."

    Jue Di stopped, appearing skeptical. "Hurt? What in this universe can hurt her?"

    "Horse-**!" Luo Xianni spat. "Nothing's hurt me more than you, don't act like you give a **." She spun on her heel and left without giving anyone a chance to speak.

    Jue Di stared at the screen for a moment, but recovered quickly. He suddenly looked like a man ready to handle business. "What in the hell is going on? Who hurt her?"

    Lan Jue gave him the short version of their meeting with the Violet Princess. In truth, Lan Jue wasn't sure if Luo Xianni was injured. However, it was clear that her condition wasn't the best. Sometimes a little embellishment was unavoidable to keep those two on the same page.

    Jue Di's face gradually darkened as he listened. "Have you sent the video?"

    Lan Jue nodded. "I sent them to Lan Qing."

    His father took a calming breath. His eyes narrowed. "Now it really looks like we're in trouble. I'll go take a look, then we'll plan our next move. I'm off." Like Xianni before him, he turned and trotted off before Lan Jue could get a word in.

    Lan Qing's face returned to the screen. He, too, looked dispirited. While his adoptive parents were bickering he looked over what Lan Jue had sent. It wasn't an overstatement to say that the alien presence in the Starfields was catastrophic news for humanity.

    Everyone's eyes were turned outwards. Their guns and shields and ships were anticipating a foe from the depths of uncharted space. Suddenly that enemy was in their midst, and no one was prepared.

    "Hurry back and we'll figure out what to do about it. I need to report your findings." Lan Jue's brother gave him a nod, then added. "Take care of yourself."

    "Yeah," Lan Jue nodded in return. The brothers looked at one another for a moment, each seeing their fear reflected in the other's eyes.

    Of course there would be fear. All of a sudden, the enemy was at their throat. To simply transfer, right into the heart of human territory... unthinkable.

    "Brother," Lan Jue began, "if possible I think you should send some unmanned spacecraft to the Starfields to try and keep an eye on things and confirm our findings."

    "It's serious, I'll make sure it gets done," Lan Qing affirmed.

    His heart was heavy as Lan Jue hung up. If only he'd known what he had lead the Star Division into. Now humanity would have to reassess everything. War hadn't descended upon them yet, but the strength of their foe was on full display.

    Star Division's two new battleships were quickly assigned An Luo identification hails. Passing through Eastern Alliance space, they would not be hassled. With them in hand, the four ships made for Skyfire as quickly as they could.

    Their ships were laden with riches from their conquests. Most of the Division was well pleased with their haul. It had been months of grueling combat in hostile territory, but they'd gained more than just valuables - more than they'd expected.

    For the moment, only a few people knew what fate had befallen Moonfiend. Lan Jue decided to keep it that way. Otherwise they risked a panic.
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