Chapter 730: To Create an Alien Realm?

    Chapter 730: To Create an Alien Realm?

    Lan Jue swallowed. The Pharmacist's insights were more than important, they redefined how Lan Jue understood his enemy. With brows furrowed, he spoke. "So they must evolve to a certain point before they can create this Alien Realm, right? And if they succeed, it would mean the end of our species?"

    The Pharmacist smiled bitterly at the prospect. "That seems to be the case. So we need to stymie their evolution by any means possible. According to the knowledge in the rune my husband imparted, the aliens have been studying us for at least the last ten years. He and his compatriots weren't the first group of humans to be captured and experimented on. They were just a continuation of their efforts."

    "Of course creating a realm outside of the universe is not easy. Getting enough ancient DNA is their chief obstacle. At least they still have a long way to go before they succeed."

    Lan Jue pressed further. "Assuming they did accomplish this, how powerful could they become? Is there any precedent for this?"

    "It's hard to say," she answered. "It's never been made clear, even in the ancient days. However, according to what we do know of the beasts from my husband, and the knowledge that remains of the ancient days, we can guess. If they built this realm and complete their evolution, they likely still wouldn't able to surpass the highest order of immortal realms."

    Lan Jue sucked in a gasp of surprise. "How are you so calm? We're talking about celestial immortals, the most powerful in all the history of the universe! Even Paragons who've achieved the Infinite are inferior to even the weakest Immortals. Celestial immortals... that's inconceivable levels of power. At that point we couldn't contend against them even in our wildest dreams!"

    The Pharmacist answered with a small, cryptic smile. "You shouldn't underestimate yourself. I'm calm for good reason. You know the frightening power of the celestial immortals, but even they trembled against the combined might of the Banishing Blades and Banishing Strategy. No matter how many of the immortal realm's most powerful descended to try and destroy them, none returned. That is why in the end my husband urged me to recover Ultus no matter the cost. Once he fully joined with the sword, he discovered that the Banishing Strategy had been locked within it all along. We don't need to search for it any longer, it's found. What we need to do is get that sword back and find someone to wield it. Once we do, it wouldn't matter if those planets were harbingers to the end of the universe, the Banishing Blades would destroy them."

    The Banishing Stance was contained within Ultus? Lan Jue didn't know if this was good news or bad news. He decided on good - at least they knew where it was instead of having an entire universe to comb through. Of course there were arguments to the contrary. The key to humanity's salvation was quite literally in the clutches of their strongest foe. Capturing it from him would be no easy feat.

    It was true that the Pharmacist's husband controlled the sword, sealing it away from the Monarch. Yet, the alien leader was as strong as an immortal already. Stronger even than Lan Jue's own father. Besides their enemy was a planet. They had to face an entire world to get the weapon back.

    Lan Jue glowered at the dark news as the Pharmacist continued. "We have no other choice, the Banishing Stance is our only play. It will be difficult, but not impossible. My husband has said that entering into human territory means they're ready. They've kept their distance until now not because they didn't think they could destroy us. They were preparing to make their alien paradise. Now, like us, they no longer have a choice. The Monarch, Queen and Consort have entered into a meditative state to prepare themselves. This means the strongest we'll have to face are the Prince, Princess, and the Monarch. The highest level we contend against is the Infinite. 1"

    "So in a way, while their evolution is the precursor to mankind's destruction, it's also our greatest opportunity. We wait for our chance, and take the initiative to recapture Ultus."

    "Did you husband say how many others like the Violet Prince there are?" Lan Jue asked.

    "Around ten," she replied. "The Prince and Princess are two, the others are also extensions of the planets. Those would not have the same level of intelligence as the other two."

    Lan Jue couldn't contain his bitter laughter. "Ten creatures that command the power of the Infinite. We're not any better off!"

    "Not now, but perhaps one you make your breakthrough," the Pharmacist pointed out. "The Harmonious Sword technique you and Qianlin have learned can summon great power from Captus and Demortus. With it we can take them on one by one and carve a path to victory. What's more, you must have been paying attention during the fights against these monsters. They may be as strong as a Paragon who's achieved the Infinite, but against a real Paragon like Jue Di the differences are vast. We humans are the product of an unbroken line of ancestral knowledge and ability. We do have a chance, if we fight our hardest."

    Lan Jue's mind raced as he explored the odds of success. Eventually he conceded that there was some truth in the Pharmacist's words. There was a chance, slim though it was - less than thirty percent. But if what her husband said was true there was an opportunity.

    "What if we got all the Bastions together for an assault while the Monarch and other prepared to evolve?" Lan Jue asked.

    She shrugged. "I'm not familiar enough with strategy to tell you. If so, then that's wonderful. At any rate we can attack from two fronts; a headlong assault and finding a way to get Ultus back. Either way we destroy our enemy."

    "Yeah." The Pharmacist's husband had revealed the truth of their enemies to them. More importantly, they knew what they were going to do next. Now, for the first time, they had a tactical advantage.

    The Pharmacist folded her hands in front of her. "Everything can wait until we return home. We have to learn where the planets have transferred to. Furthermore, you and Qianlin's advancement must come quickly. I can sense you're at the border, one foot past the threshold - but you mustn't be impatient. More than break through, you must succeed the way your brother succeeded. If you can rise to a Reflection of Heaven and Earth, you'll have all the more control over Captus. It's the same for Zhou Qianlin."

    "Yeah." Lan Jue nodded.

    After Qianlin's rise to her peak, Lan Jue felt his Discipline react. It felt galvanized, ready to act and beyond his control. Already pulses of protogenic energy radiated around his body. It was a sign that his breakthrough was near.

    Yet the Pharmacist was right, he couldn't rush. The more insight he accumulated the stronger his grasp would be when the time came. His protogenia now was vastly different than it had been years ago as the God of Lightning. He needed more time, he needed to keep his cultivation in check.

    Zhou Qianlin's progress was like a river carving a path through a mountain, powerful and irrepressible. Still, Lan Jue's heart was heavy. Up to now her senses had still not recovered. It seemed she would only fully return to him once they became Paragons.


    At last Zeu-1 left the Shattered Starfields behind and returned to human-controlled territory. The first thing Lan Jue did was dial in his brother's number.

    "What the hell were you thinking?!" Lan Qing's harsh voice answered on the other end.

    Lan Jue sheepishly answered. "I'm sorry, big brother, but I really had no choice. I couldn't just sit by and watch the Pharmacist throw her life away! Relax, I'm fine and so is she. We got back safely. Where did the planets teleport to? Not the East, right?"

    Lan Qing paused for a moment. "You saw them teleport?"

    Lan Jue nodded. "Yes. We got there just as they were leaving. And stupid as this trip was, we came back with some very important intel. First you have to tell me where the planets went... judging by how calm you are, not the East."

    Lan Qing's tone remained even. "Two days ago the planets appeared in the Northern Alliance. They immediately surrounded their Terminator-Class Bastion. It self-destructed, but did no damage to the enemy. We believe the planets have taken the area Terminator was sent to protect. This included the planets Dakkar, Saqi, Monteux and Bollen. There were a billion citizens still on the planets when they went dark."

    When he heard his brother say the North, Lan Jue felt a pressure lift from his chest. The North was farthest from the East. But his elation was short lived, and quickly replaced with sadness.

    A billion... a billion innocent people!

    Lan Jue's voice was strained. "Is there any chance they can be saved?"

    "It would be difficult, if at all possible," Lan Qing responded. "The North has fully engaged their military. They've asked us and the West to send support, to save the survivors and destroy the enemy. I'm on my way to the Northern Alliance now. You should come as well, you're more familiar with the planets. We're gathering in orbit around Luo."

    1. This is a little confusing since TJSS says that Monarch, Queen and Consort have to meditate prior to their evolution. Then a few sentences later he says they'll face Monarch. This might make some sense since he bears Ultus, I suppose.
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