Chapter 724: Teleportation, Ultus!

    Chapter 724: Teleportation, Ultus!

    Thor's Promise shimmered with an internal light. Then, in a flash, an enormous sapphire figure appeared suspended in space. Lan Jue placed the psionic generator and Blinding Stone within Thor's central gem lattice then boarded the mecha to calibrate.

    Thor had been upgraded along with Zeus-1 when Lan Jue had gone to visit his father. Jue Di had fitted the mecha with an important assembly unit called a focal pool. It could accommodate all sorts of power gems in such a way as to have them work seamlessly together.

    With the Blinding Stone equipped Thor could cloak itself from view as Zeus-1 had. The psionic generator was more complicated, but after some modifications to the operating procedures Lan Jue made it compatible with Thor. Concealing the mecha would be easier than a whole ship, and safer.

    Seated within the mecha's cockpit, Lan Jue felt at home. It was like a piece of him was returned. He carefully flooded the suit with All-Heaven Lightning.

    Thor was constructed with a slew of rare materials that either resisted or amplified electric conduction. It'd cost Lan Jue dearly in both effort and funds to construct. His Discipline was different now, stronger, so he wasn't sure the suit could support it. He stole a moment in his rescue mission to make sure it could.

    All-Heaven Lightning wasn't just destruction, for within pure destruction was the seeds of life. Thunder essence was an example, where the tremendous power of Tribulation Lightning struck the most powerful lifeforms down or lifted them up.

    Thor started to shimmer with a strange dark blue light. In the dim expanse of space it looked black, but when a star's light bathed it the machine sparkled like a sapphire.

    He shot off into space. Lan Jue's hands immediately fell into a familiar rhythm as they danced over Thor's controls. Under the cover of Zeus-1's equipment he was as invisible as space dust, and slipped through the Starfields silent as a specter.

    His target was the alien planets. A mecha suit could not compare to a spaceship in regards to speed, but Lan Jue was an important factor. Thor's current pilot was a different man than he had been, time had moulded him into something better. He was nearly a Paragon, and with the benefit of Qianlin's help he could fill the suit with enough energy to maintain light-speed travel for long periods.

    So far everything was going his way. His only hoped the Pharmacist hadn't reached those evil worlds yet. He'd gotten a late start, but he was fast and taking a direct route.

    As he neared the planets, alien patrols began to appear. Thor's radar was extended as far as it would go to give its pilot time to react. When a creature appeared Lan Jue kept his distance. At range the psionic generator might fool his enemies, but its efficacy was greatly reduced the closer he came. In the end it came down to how well Lan Jue could fly.

    Thankfully space was a big place, and the aliens were few and far between. He maintained lengthy separation but pressed ever inward toward his target.

    He leaned upon his knowledge and experience fighting the beasts to know which ones were the most dangerous. As he came upon one kind of alien or another he knew what measures to take in order to remain hidden. After some time the alien worlds appeared in the distance.

    He'd lost count how many times he'd seen these planets, but each time he was filled with a pervading sense of dread.

    He spotted Queen first, fully recovered from the damage Arachnid had wrought. She and the other two seemed smaller than they had been. All of them were surrounded in a hazy purple atmosphere, and a sense of stillness prevailed. They seemed dormant.

    Lan Jue found a sizeable asteroid and settled Thor atop it. He didn't dare get close to the planets now. Instead he would use his mecha's remote monitoring equipment to learn what he could.

    Where they hibernating? He couldn't tell, know did he know if the Pharmacist had arrived or not. Lan Jue watched his screens with a frown.

    He wanted to save the Pharmacist, but he wouldn't foolishly throw himself into the enemy's net if she were already captured or killed. He'd stop her only if he had the chance, otherwise it would be a pointless sacrifice.

    You're not here yet, sis... I know you haven't gotten here yet!

    Communicators were useless out here because of the interference and weak signal, even for Zeus-1. For Thor, radio silence was the only option. He'd tried to reach the Pharmacist several times before entering the Starfields, but she must have had her communications system disabled.

    Thor stood on the surface of the asteroid, still like it was just another feature of its topography. Lan Jue continued to watch his equipment and hope. As he looked on aliens continued to come and go from the planets and everything seemed normal.

    He spotted a few breeds he'd never seen before, which he carefully recorded in the event he made it back. If he wasn't able to stop the Pharmacist he didn't want the trip to be a total waste.

    Twenty four hours passed quickly, with Lan Jue vigilantly scanning for any trace of his friend. He was beginning to feel restless. If the Pharmacist had already arrived and the planets were this quiet, it meant he'd missed his chance. Each of these worlds were stronger than his father - stronger than the greatest human alive. What chance did he have if the Pharmacist was in their grasp? The minute he got in close he would be captured and slain.

    But it would likely be worse. Lan Jue thought about the Violet Princess' desire to couple with him and steal his DNA. The thought made him shudder, it was too frightening to ponder what would happen if he were caught.

    His mind turned to Zhou Qianlin. Her spirit had stirred from its meditations, she was now at the peak of ninth rank just like him. Perhaps when they returned to Skyfire they would isolate and prepare for the next step. Once they broke through and mastered their Banishing Blades, perhaps they could find some means to come to grip with the alien menace.

    Seventy-two hours. Lan Jue decided that was the cut-off, if no trace of the Pharmacist was found by then it meant she was likely already dead. He would have to leave.

    Time marched on, and Lan Jue's heart sank with each passing minute.

    Sis, have you already...

    Thirty-seven hours passed. She should have arrived by now, if his guesses of her speed and trajectory had been correct. But there was no sign of her.

    Wait. Lan Jue's heart was heavy.

    Suddenly his pupils dilated as he stared into the distance. His mind snapped to laser focus - something was happening with the planets.

    They stirred from their slumber and began to swell. The stagnant purple atmosphere roiled and became an ominous violet like the planet was coming back to life.

    It's awake? What's it doing?

    Lan Jue poured Thor's processing power into the psionic generator. At the same time he focused inward to slow his breathing and heartrate. Thor's secondary systems quieted, leaving only the generator and Blinding Stone running. Lan Jue did all he could to make himself part of the rock that surrounded him.

    In the black cockpit of the mecha Lan Jue watched as the alien raiders poured toward the expanding planets. A dark premonition filled his mind.

    At first the number of aliens returning to the planets were relatively small. An hour later they'd become a flood of writhing purple bodies, more than he could count.

    As the beasts returned the worlds they disappeared into continued to grow. That familiar vortex arose at their center, rotating like a perpetual tempest. However, there was no traction as he expected. Instead light around the planets started to warp and shift.

    They were going to teleport!

    Lan Jue knew where his premonition had come from. These alien worlds were getting ready to move! Damn! Where they ready for their invasion?

    He stared at them, wide-eyed and in shock. He couldn't warn anyone, not even if he got back to his ship. If the alien worlds were headed for the human territories, then where? Even if he could warn the others, who would he warn? It was already too late.

    Lan Jue didn't anticipate this, the trip was supposed to be a rescue mission. He didn't know he would be here to witness the start of an invasion.

    Suddenly his dark thoughts were interrupted by a streak of white in the distance.

    It began as a single point of light which gradually became brighter until it blazed like a star. Where its light fell, a murderous sensation followed.

    Sis! Lan Jue almost shouted.

    That unbridled thirst for slaughter had to come from the Pharmacist's sword, Occisus - the deadliest of the Banishing Blades!

    She must have seen the planets preparing to leave and chose this moment to strike. It was the first time Lan Jue saw a Banishing Blade wielded by a Paragon, as a conduit to one's power. When he looked closer he saw what the light was coming from; a sword over ten thousand meters long that forced reality around it to crack. Black streaks energy crackled like dark lightning through the canvas of white light. They were undiluted blasts of murderous intent. The terrifying flood of power was difficult to describe.

    Aliens continued to return at the planet's call, but those unfortunate enough to bear near the white light were instantly eliminated. He shuddered as he watched, for their destruction was as cruel as the bloodlust that white light contained. All-Heaven Lightning swept his foes away beneath a flood of overwhelming power. But Occisus did not kill that way.
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