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Chapter 619: The Might of Lightning

    Chapter 619: The Might of Lightning

    The alien roared in pain. Its massive body was well-defended, by the Driver's taiyin lightning swept right passed its guard. More proof that an Adept's Discipline was the antithesis of these creatures.

    These alien monsters consumed energy to survive and evolve. Adepts were similar in that their Disciplines relied on vital energies. However, the aliens harmed that which they took in.

    The creature's whole body shook and a purple aura sprang up around it. Thunderclap was quick, retreating quickly a thousand meters away. Thunderclap could outpace Thor when it came to speed.

    The Driver brought his mecha back around, and pointed his glimmering spear at his target. The machine was surrounded by light, but the tip of its weapon wasn't the same as it had been. The light condensed and became translucent at the blade, like a purple gemstone. Flickers of lightning buzzed within.

    He was going to try.

    Lan Jue narrowed his eyes and paid close attention. He was also eager to know what measure of damage the Driver's combined lightning could inflict on their foe.

    The carrier alien contracted, then with a burst of air thrust itself toward Thunderclap. Its nightmarish maw opened wide, revealing a hell-scape of razor-sharp teeth.

    The Driver didn't try to escape. A blinding electric light erupted from behind him, and Thunderclap was launched forward at top speed. As he raced ahead the light of his spear brightened until it hung over Thunderclap like a membrane of light. It parted the air in front of the mecha, creating a protective wake.

    From afar all they could see was the purple light vanish into the creature's body. They held their breath, but didn't have to wait long. In a blink the light revealed itself again bursting out of the alien's far side, then slowly faded into the darkness of space.

    The carrier's inertia sent it sailing into the distance. Soon it was almost too far to see clearly.

    But then thunderous blasts, loud enough to wake the dead, broke the silence of the cosmos. A purple explosion blinded the eye. It was so fierce that all of the asteroids around it were disintegrated. A patch of clear space was left where the alien had been.

    Thunderclap lowered its spear. It hung heroically in the middle of space, with the purple light of its handiwork reflected of its metal body.

    "Why the hell are you posing? Get the crystal." Lan Jue's irritated voice interrupted the Driver as he was basking in how awesome he was.

    "Oh... I forgot. I was tryin' to be handsome." The Drive cleared his throat then rushed over to the site of the explosion.

    Back on the ship's bridge, Lan Jue peered over the destruction and nodded his head. The yin-yang lightning was as strong as was promised. Strong enough to overcome an alien's defenses.

    As the aliens' strength corresponded to their size, it was easy to imagine how strong an interstellar carrier would be. However, with the power of their combined thunderbolt Disciplines, the Driver split the beast from head to heel. Then to rub salt in the wounds, the monster detonated in an explosion to rival the death of a star. Overall, more impressive than the fireworks from the one Lan Jue killed.

    Few were the men and women who saw these beasts and lives. Most ended up like the many scouts or the North's Seventh Fleet - devoured. The alien threat had always existed, but the war was only just starting. Humans still understood so little, but Lan Jue was growing wiser with each encounter. He could see that Adepts, more than the technology of man, were the most crucial weapons in the fight for their survival.

    Take the Driver as an example. He was a powerful Adept, with exceptional piloting ability, amplified by a great mecha. He could take on a battleship and win. Take that same battleship and pit it against a carrier alien. The battleship had a good chance, but the Driver could put it down in half the time.

    All of this data was priceless. The Accountant was quick to record everything he could for analysis. In the coming war, scores of soldiers like the Driver would be needed. This information would be used to train Star Division to fill that need.

    "Boss, there was a massive psionic spike, something's searching in this area. We should already be able to see it." Lin Guoguo called over.

    Lan Jue's heart skipped a beat. He shouted at the Driver through the ship's coms. "Get back as fast as you can, there are more coming." He had to remind everyone that they were a recon squad. If they exposed themselves here, the losses would outweigh the gains.

    The Driver urged Thunderclap back to the ship at top speed. The tell-tale purple flicker of a vital crystal pulsed in its grip. As he was boarding Zeus-1 specks of purple light flashed in the distance. They were getting bigger, and heading right for the ship's location.

    Lan Jue sucked in a breath. The radar showed at least three hundred of them, of all sorts. Some of them were over a thousand meters long.

    "We're surrounded, they came in from all around us. 1" The Accountant's anxious voice cut in. "Our chances of getting out without a fight are less than three percent. Some of them are faster than our ship."

    Lin Guoguo reported again. "Another psionic sweep, it's strong enough that they'll know we're here. Boss, what do we do?"

    Lan Jue's eyes hardened. "Full speed, Head to where they're most spread out. Arm the shields, and prepare for battle."

    "No need, I'll handle it." A familiar voice contradicted the commander.

    Lan Jue turned his head to find the Wine Master had snuck up at some point. His scepter glimmered in his hand.

    Without waiting for an answer, a silver light bloomed from the Cosmagus. Zeus-1 was revealed to the dark universe, but enveloped in a mystical silver glow. The light flickered, and all at once, the ship disappeared.

    Empty space was buffeted by waves of psychic force, searching for something no longer there.

    Before long the alien force had converged, and hovered over a wide swath of space. They slithered and squirmed among one another, looking. There was no trace for them to find.

    Far in the distance, behind a lumbering asteroid, Zeus-1 reappeared in a flash. Its main engines roared to life, and they fled before the aliens could sniff them out. When they were a safe distance, Lan Jue shot the Wine Master an appreciative gaze and a thumbs up.

    There were real benefits for taking Paragons along. Now the commander knew he could rely on his old friend to help them flee if a similar situation arose. If he hadn't been here, Lan Jue was ready to fight. But that would have cost them. Thankfully all it took to solve the problem was a well-placed dimensional transport.

    Fear didn't tie Star Division's hands. They had five Paragons ready to back them up in a fight. Killing so many would have alerted the alien planets, however, and subsequently would affect their reconnaissance. Retreat was the best option.

    Lan Jue turned to his intelligence officer. "Accountant, look into how that first alien discovered we were there."

    The door to the bridge hissed as the Driver entered. He held a large vital crystal, over a foot long. Waves of rich vibrant energy pulsed from it occasionally.

    He held one of the most valuable objects to his species. The black market was already purportedly selling vital crystals for obscene prices. A piece like the one the Driver gathered could buy him a fully equipped battleship.

    He grinned at the eyes that came his way. "Spoils of war. Not bad, not bad. I'll just hang on to it for now, I promise I'll give it back when we go home."

    "Stop screwing around," Lan Jue answered. "Half a second later and we'd be buried in aliens. I think we can assume they're trying to establish themselves in the Shattered Starfields. We aren't out in the far reaches, but we're not at the galaxy's heart either. It looks like they've already spread pretty far."

    The Wine Master nodded. "This is not a happy situation. If they can see through our cloaks getting close enough to learn anything is going to be a challenge."

    Lan Jue's lips were turned in a frown. This was a problem. They couldn't fight their way in, even with all their Paragons. The Violet Princess was stronger than Luo Xianni, and they had no way of knowing how many of her kind there were! There was only so much they could handle before it got too dangerous.

    The Accountant called out to him. "Preliminary analysis is complete. It wasn't that easy for them to pick us out."

    "Eh?" Everyone looked his way.

    The Accountant explained. "According to my readings, we were first discovered by the alien because we got too close. Psychic pulses like that are a kind of energy, and one which required a lot of effort to employ. We may be a different species, but they can run out of steam just like us. So, they likely use it rarely and only in a limited scope. It's deliberate, they have to energize their perception to scout long distances."

    1. Cue Reaper bwhaaaaaaaaaaap!
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