Chapter 726: He’s Not Dead…

    Chapter 726: He's Not Dead...

    Lan Jue's mind wandered back to the man he'd saved the Pharmacist from, and the golden sword he'd borne. That had to have been Ultus.

    Did that mean the one who used Ultus against Occisus was the true master, Monarch? Just in human form. Somehow he wasn't as... perfect as the Violet Prince and Princess.

    "He's not dead!" The Pharmacist soft voice startled Lan Jue.

    He snapped his head her way. "Who?" He asked instinctively.

    But a moment later his pupils contracted as the thought crossed his mind. "You... you mean that was your husband?"

    The Pharmacist's stunned eyes had regained some spirit, and leaked bitter tears as she nodded her head. "It was him... it was him! I would know him no matter what they've done. He'd not dead, that was him! Only he wielded Ultus like that."

    The Pharmacist lifted her hand, and it was then Lan Jue spotted the wound. A rivulet of fresh blood dripped from her pale skin onto Zeus-1's floor.

    "Sis, are you alright? Why isn't the wound healing?" Small injuries like the one on her hand should have healed quickly as a Paragon.

    She shook her head. "No, don't let it. This is my chance."

    She stretched out her hand and revealed her palm to Lan Jue. What he saw was the cut, but it was strange. It looked like a rune, or a picture. A picture that was carved by a dozen precise slices.

    Lan Jue fumbled for his nearby instruments and snapped a photo to record it. The Pharmacist was in a trance as he did. "He was your husband? Then why..."

    She bitterly shook her head. "It was him, and it wasn't. I had waited for my moment to strike. When I did, when all of me was pushed through the sword, that's when it felt it clearest. I thought if I could just find Ultus it might have a piece of him left in it. I never thought I'd see him."

    "Unless I'm mistaken the aliens must have sensed Ultus' power when they captured him. But they can't use it, they don't have a human's blood to call on the spirit of the weapon. So they kept your husband, and are using him to control the sword. I don't know what it means exactly, but I'm right - my husband is still alive and under the monster's control. But when I arrived there was a moment, when the two of us clashed, that he fought back. For just a second he was himself. A wisp of his consciousness shot out at me and I blocked the blow with my hand. I heard him. He said... 'search.'"

    "Search?" Lan Jue was a smart man, it didn't take him long to puzzle out the meaning. "The picture on your hand has something to do with the Banishing Strategy?"

    The Pharmacist nodded. "I only just digested what I felt. Thank you, A-Jue. Without you I likely wouldn't have survived. He stopped the alien from killing me but I was too weak to escape."

    Lan Jue smiled sheepishly. "You know that was way too risky. You can't just think of yourself, you have Jun'er to consider! That little girl can't be denied her mother."

    The Pharmacist's head dropped. "I'm sorry. I was consumed with my loss, losing him was like losing my heart. At Least Jun'er still had you, and I believed you would take care of her. How could you be so foolish as to bring Jue Di along to save me? What if you..."

    Lan Jue didn't explain. He didn't tell her he'd come by himself and Jue Di had chased after.

    "It's fine, it's all in the past. We know your husband is safe and his mind is whole. We still have a chance. We can defeat these monsters to get him back. You don't need to go rushing into danger anymore, right?"

    "Yes." She answered with a resolute nod. She was drained, but her spirit was strong. Her eyes sparkled with fervent light to know her love still lived. She couldn't have asked for better news. She had a reason to keep living.

    "We'll learn what we can from this rune when we return. It has to have something with our inheritance from Celestial Master Qian. When I find a lead, you me and Qianlin will go search for the Banishing Strategy. With the Strategy and by virtue of the Banishing Blades, we'll get him back and destroy those damned aliens!"

    If there was anything that could accomplish such a feat it was these swords. Lan Jue thought they were legends until he and Qianlin joined with them. Only once he felt the outstanding power they bore then he understood.

    The Pharmacist turned her head and lightly kissed his face. "Thank you, brother." She rose to her feet and separated herself to another part of the ship, where she began to meditate.

    Lan Jue felt a warmth pass through him. If he hadn't had come the Pharmacist would be gone. He'd never have seen the smile of joy that touched her lips. The danger they'd faced was worth it.

    He gathered his focus and steered Zeus-1 from the Shattered Starfields. Only once he left the Starfields and got in contact with Lan Qing and the Avenue would he know more about where the alien planets disappeared to.

    All-out war had finally come. His only hope was that humanity didn't suffer too greatly.


    Distant starlight danced on the surface of the Bastion ship. Terminator - flagship of the Northern military - hovered in the vast emptiness.

    Terminator's Admiral was a man named Brown. Admiral Brown wasn't only the captain of this mighty ship, but also the right hand of the Northern armed forces. He was a truly powerful man in the world of fighters, second only to the Commander-in-Chief. That was the President.

    Admiral Brown cast a longing glance at the circular side table next to his desk. Atop it sat a dozen of his most favorite spirits, some of the best ever made. Among them were prime examples of Chinese rice wine 1, old Scottish whisky, and others.

    1. No one outside of China thinks Chinese rice wine, or Baijiu, is good for anything other than stripping paint.
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