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Chapter 658: Aliens Reemerge!

    Chapter 658: Aliens Reemerge!

    The pulses of thunderbolt power that came from Lan Jue had undergone a clear, qualitative change.

    The Driver, seated across from him, opened his eyes. He sounded upset. "I'm not there yet. I still need time."

    "About half a month," Lan Jue replied. "You've been working hard, don't push yourself too much."

    The Driver had worked harder than every over the last stretch of time. He'd been tirelessly cultivating in attempts to catch up with Lan Jue and transform his Discipline. However, there was an enormous difference in potency between him and the Jewelry Master. It would take time to close that gap. Grasping this opportunity would take time to fully realize.

    That is not to say the Driver had not sensed progress, he had undergone his own significant transformation. He had reached the peak of ninth level, and suspected that he could breakthrough to Paragon once the evolution of his Discipline was complete. However, hoping and achieving were different beasts. There were at least ten times as many peak-ranked Adepts as there were Paragons in the universe. Breaking through was a rare happening.

    Lan Jue enjoyed most of the thunder essence's benefits, but some small amount of the immortal qi contained inside was transferred to the Driver. It had a metamorphic effect, however the Driver adhered to Lan Jue's suggestions and restrained the growth of his powers. He intended to temper his abilities as much as possible, and shore up his foundation. It was a long and grueling path.

    "Alright, I'll head back. I need to consolidate my Discipline." Lan Jue stretched and rose to his feet. The crystalline quality gradually disappeared from his flesh. The waves of energy from him also became gentler and more subtle.

    By the time his feet touched the ground he was back to normal, and his powers were once again contained within. Now that the conversion of his Discipline was complete, he was a conduit of yin-yang lightning. In other words, he was All-Heaven lightning. It was sure to substantially speed up absorption of the thunder essence. The power within the essence was concentrated, and very pure. In all this time he'd only managed to take in one-tenth of it. However, even that little bit was incredibly potent.

    The immortal qi was another matter. It wasn't only useful to him, but to Qianlin as well - even more so. The Queen of Heaven abilities were inherently rich with congenital qi, so although her consciousness had yet to return, her powers felt like a fairy goddess.

    Beep! Beep! His communicator called for his attention. He peeked at the screen and saw it was Lan Qing calling.

    "Hey, brother!" 1 He said by way of greeting.

    Lan Qing's tepid voice replied. "Where are you?"

    "I'm headed back to the surface shop," he said.

    "I'm going there now."

    When Lan Jue got back to the jewelry store, Lan Qing was already waiting for him.

    "What's the rush?" Lan Jue asked in curiosity.

    Lan Qing's face was downcast. "A planet in Eastern space has reported an alien sighting. I have to go."

    Lan Jue was shocked. "Which one?" If it was an Eastern planet, did this mean the aliens had chosen them to begin their invasion?

    "Lyr," he answered.

    When he heard the name, Lan Jue's heart sank. Lyr, former home of the Bookworm. It was a planet covered in oceans that were teaming with life. Lyr University had a long history of rivalry with the NEU. More importantly, it was where the Tears of Neptune were mined - items integral to the extraction and purification of the vital crystals. If the aliens were there, it meant...

    Lan Qing's troubled voice continued. "We can't underestimate them, the aliens may very well be smarter than we are. Come with me, now isn't the time to mobilize An Lun. Is the Star Division ready for deployment?"

    "Let me check with the Wine Master for instructions," he said. The communicator didn't even have a chance to ring before the Wine Master answered.

    "Jewelry Master, aliens have been sighted on Lyr. The soldiers garrisoned there have already engaged the enemy, but they need reinforcements. We can respond quickest, so prepare Star Division for dispatch."

    "I heard the news from General Lan," he said. "We'll leave as soon as we can. I'll tell the Division to get ready. You stay here and look after the Avenue, and make sure this information doesn't get out. We mustn't let the West or North know. We'll handle it."

    The sudden tense situation shattered Lan Jue's calm. He was ready for action. He fired off a series of orders through his communicator, and half an hour later Zeus-1 was tearing through the atmosphere toward Lyr.

    Skyfire wasn't far from Lyr. Majesty was further away at An Lun but at top speed it would arrive at roughly the same time. An expedition cruiser was with Zeus-1 as well - Lan Qing's transport. He was bringing an elite squad of mecha pilots.

    Lan Jue connected with his brother's ship through the bridge's main controls.

    "General Lan, please share the information you've received with us." The two brothers faced each other through the screen.

    "I'm sending it now," he answered.

    For this excursion only Su Xiaosu of Zeus' Amazons had come along, the others remained behind to look after the stores. They knew the market better than anyone.

    Besides Xiaosu, the Driver had also come along. The Wine Master, Clockmaker, Keeper, and Bookworm had all remained on Skyfire. Lan Jue also didn't trouble his parents. Preliminary reports suggested the invaders were typical breeds, none of the stronger ones. There was no need to bother the two strongest humans alive. Lan Jue and his brother had also sensed a problem the last time their father took to the field. They had an unspoken agreement not to trouble him unless necessary.

    The Accountant wasn't on Zeus-1 because he had been left on An Lun to iron out their plans for electronic warfare. He'd taken well to the role, and in fact was an entirely different person than when Lan Jue had first met him. Now he was one of the most important people in the Division. Since Xiaosu had returned to Skyfire with Lan Jue, he had been left in charge of the Division together with the Bartender and Coffee Master.

    Lan Jue had told them about the crisis on Lyr moments after he'd learned about it. Majesty was already on the way.

    A data upload began. It wasn't much, just a few images. There were some surface photos and satellite images, and that was all. Su Xiaosu opened the files so Lan Jue and the Driver could examine them.

    Judging by the satellite imagery things didn't look too bad. There were a few small splotches of purple here and there, but nothing dramatic. After so many encounters they knew the aliens tactics. The more their caustic power covered the planet, the more dire the situation. So far it wasn't an occupation.

    The environment was different on Lyr than it was on Taihua, the last Eastern planet visited by these creatures. Taihua was a tourist planet, its population was few and far between to protect the planet's environment. Lyr, though, was a colonized planet. Although it had a relatively small landmass, there was a stationed military presence. The closest interstellar fleet had already responded.

    Images from the planet's surface revealed that the aliens were coming from the sea. Once they made it on land they began to terrorize the population.

    "What do you think? You have a plan?" Lan Qing asked.

    Lan Jue studied the pictures with furrowed brow. "On the surface it doesn't look bad. Typical invasion procedures, from what we've experienced. It starts with a progenitor. It infiltrates the planet and starts to gather vital energy to create its soldiers. They in turn spread out and gather more energy for the progenitor to continue the cycle and grow stronger. So long as the progenitor remains alive and life remains, it's soldiers never stop. If there are first responders left they should use their most sensitive sonar scanning systems to sweep the ocean beds."

    Lan Qing responded. "They have sonar, but you know that Lyr's oceans are full of power gems. The magnetic fields they release will interfere with their systems. They won't be able to get any accurate readings. Right now the soldiers are busy trying to stem the tide of creatures coming from the ocean. They're holding, but the corruption is spreading fast. A fair amount of area has already died. Transport ships have already begun evacuating civilians and two small fleets are on their way. In six hours they will have a few mecha units to shore them up until we arrive."

    "Alright. We proceed full speed ahead and try to get there as soon as possible." Speed was the best option. Thankfully the East was ready for war, so their response was quick. If they hadn't been waiting for it, it could have taken them three days to muster a defense.

    1. Stupid seals!
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