Chapter 680: The Cusp

    Chapter 680: The Cusp

    A stillness came over everything, but instead of easing the fear in Lan Jue's heart it only increased it. As he watched the asteroids crash into one another, he and his friends were bathed in a beam of light from Tyrannosaurus.

    A tractor beam. Lan Jue's sullen expression lessened. The Admiral had come to their aid instead of kicking them while they were down. The beam drew them in, and in a flash they appeared within the belly of the Bastion ship.

    A familiar face was waiting for them when the scouting party settled. It was Ling Ya, though her face was absent the prideful glower from before. Now it was drawn and pale. She bowed respectfully before them. "Please, everyone, come with me. The Admiral has requested I bring you to meet with him." She turned and headed away.

    "I've got it." Lui Xianni scowled, and with a wave of her hand the pink manifestation of her power sprang up and covered them all. In a blink they were again within Kang Hui's office.

    For a Paragon of Luo Xianni's standing the internal security o Tyrannosaurus was in name only. She only needed to know a location to transfer herself and anywhere she pleased right to it.

    When they appeared in the office, Kang Hui rose to his feet in solemn silence. He saluted.

    The gesture represented his respect and appreciation for their work in those crucial moments. Words couldn't express his sentiments well enough. Besides, there was still an eminent danger to address.

    "Admiral, is there anything on the radar?" Lan Jue wasted no time, immediately engaging the Northern commander in questioning.

    Undoubtedly, the ship's radar systems were state-of-the-art. Only through it would they be able to pick out encroaching alien forces as early as possible.

    Kang Hui's eyebrows drew together. "Everything is strangely quiet. But several of our smaller ships were dragged away by that strange force. I've already ordered the ships to pull into defensive formations as quickly as possible."

    As he spoke, he indicated one of the large screens near him. It switched to a large radar display. It crackled and flickered, for although it was constructed of the best technology it was still affected by the Starfields' interference.

    There were a few blips indicating alien forces. But as they watched the number of bogies grew.

    "They're gathering!" Lan Jue hissed.

    Kang Hui muttered. "They aren't moving quickly... slow. At this rate they'll be on us in an hour."

    "Admiral, prepare all ships for battle. These are aliens, we can't face them the normal way. The one who infiltrated your ship is known as the Violet Prince - one of their strongest. He's good at looking like us, copying our genetics. They need it because they believe our DNA will unlock their potential as a species."

    Kang Hui sighed. "How many of his kind are there?"

    He knew that without the intervention of these people before him, Tyrannosaurus would have been lost. The devastation a fourth-degree Paragon could do was unthinkable. He didn't even want to imagine what would have happened without their help.

    "We aren't sure. At least two that we know of, and we believe the planets themselves are alien lifeforms. Those three worlds are probably the strongest of all the alien creatures." Lan Jue voice was gloomy.

    The Admiral sighed once more. It seemed things were worse than he thought.

    He reached out a pressed a button on his desk. "Combat division, spread the word: All ships, prepare for battle. Get back into formation as quickly as possible and engage shields. Wait for the attack." The aliens were amassing for an offensive, now wasn't the time to charge ahead. They would wait for their foes to come to them.

    The five fleets were some of the North's best. Their formation had been broken by the surprise traction, but they were already forming back up. They would only have one shot at this, so the ships formed an arc formation centered around the Bastion. It allowed them to unleash the full might of their weapons on the aliens as they came.

    The full might of the aliens were on full display. All of humanity's combined military might couldn't copy what was amassing just outside of the fleet's strike range.

    The living planet continued ahead unabated, maintaining stable speed. The large black hole that was its maw remained open, and the mass of the planet itself seemed a hundred times larger. The length and breadth of space as far as the eye could see was thick with alien creatures.

    'Terrifying' didn't do the scene justice. However, they faced five of the best trained fleets in space with a planet-sized ship at their head.

    With every kilometer they drew nearer, the anxiety in the air thickened.

    Kang Hui closely monitored the data as it flit across his screens, ticking down the distance between the two armies. He'd called to prepare them early because different ships needed different prep time. The larger the vessel, the more time was required to charge their weapons.

    Lan Jue watched the screens as well, but his mind was on other things. When he struck with Captus he felt it slip into the Prince's body. The beast's mighty defenses seemed significantly less mighty in the face of the Banishing Blade. In other words, the god weapons were particularly well suited against them. The Violet Prince would likely be able to survive a direct blast from Jue Di. This meant what aliens feared the most was the combination of a Paragon's abilities and weapons such as Captus. They devoured vital energy, but it was also their undoing.

    The only way to prove the hypothesis was to face the creatures again. When the Prince's eyes had found his own, Lan Jue didn't see hatred. He saw respect. He respects me? He must know the Princess sought me out and made her proposition. These monsters are no less intelligent than mankind. But what was their end game?

    As he thought Qianlin stood silently by his side. Ling Ya was nearby as well, lifelessly staring at them.

    She's so beautiful! She thought. So beautiful... but where did she come from?

    The two of them together seemed like towering pillars. Ling Ya's feelings were strange; before seeing Qianlin she was anxious to test herself against Lan Jue. However, once the beautiful woman in white appeared that eagerness abated.

    She couldn't figure out why, but it was true nonetheless. It made her uncomfortable.

    The communicator on Kang Hui's desk was never silent. Reports flooded in to Tyrannosaurus from the various fleet leaders. His office doubled as the center of military action, where all of his staff officers sent information and waited for the admiral's orders.

    Eventually Lan Jue looked at the man responsible for the Northern fleets. Being admiral was no easy job, he thought.

    "Sir! The alien forces will be in range of our main cannon in five minutes. We've charged and ready to fire on your orders!" One of the gunnery officers shouted into the office.

    "Give the order," Kang Hui began. "Capital ships and dreadnaughts have their weapons at the ready. Once they're in range, let them have it. Let's test their defenses!"

    It was the first time in his life Kang Hui gave that order.

    How terrifying was the strength of a Bastion's main gun! He had no choice but to see. There were two reasons; First, the enemy was clustered, it was a good opportunity to see how strong their defenses were. Second, it took twenty minutes to fully charge the weapon. Using it at the battle's onset gave them a chance to fire it a second time.

    It was a weapon of mass destruction, and two blasts increased their chances of victory.

    The Skyfire scout team watched with baited breath. By now they were recovered from their fight with the Prince, but his escape was clearly planned. How was the alien planet going to face these human defenders?

    What was about to transpire was one of the most important moments in human history. Who lived and who died hung in the balance.

    The decision would soon be made!

    "Enemy will be within range in one minute! Fifty-nine... fifty-eight... fifty-seven..."

    The countdown began. Tyrannosaurus turned end over end toward the beasts, revealing its base. To save on energy the ship's main thrusters and main canon were constructed together.

    A canon the size of a small moon extended from the base. An angry red light roiled within the barrel. Even the soldiers of the Northern fleet peered out of the windows with nervous excitement. Witnessing a Bastion's main weapons fire was a rare event.

    The center of Kang Hui's desk separated, and from the opening arose a single, blood-red button. As he placed his hand upon it, a light scanned is retinae.

    "Retina and fingerprint scan complete. DNA conformation complete. Emotional state; normal. Heart rate; normal. Identification process complete."

    Not even the ship's Captain could be trusted implicitly with a weapon as powerful as this. Checks were required to make sure they were in the right state of mind. Only then could the hell that was Tyrannosaurus' primary cannon be unleashed.
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