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Chapter 796: Controlling the Situation

    Chapter 796: Controlling the Situation

    Majesty deftly set down on Angel's surface. Star Division immediately disembarked and spread out in all directions.

    This time the ground assault team didn't set about installing a defensive perimeter, since they didn't bring the materials for it. Retaking the planet was the first step, followed by saving the remaining humans. Those were their primary directives.

    This work was not nearly as entertaining as battling aliens.

    Lan Jue had sent them all images of the mutated humans, showing how they fought and their extraordinary condition. Killing them wouldn't have been a problem, of course - nothing a laser rifle couldn't handle. But they were humans, compatriots! They had to do whatever was necessary to safely capture and return with them. That's where things got hard.

    Luckily Lan Jue's last expedition had returned with many treasured resources. This time the soldiers had been outfitted with specially crafted weapons designed to capture instead of kill.

    "Begin. Spread out, no less than five to a unit and keep all lines of communication open. Unit commanders keep your head on a swivel, you could be engaged any moment." Su Xiaosu shouted the orders and Star Division leapt into action. Using radar to guide them, they went out searching for survivors.

    Majesty lifted back into the air and provided them air support. It's more powerful radar equipment could scan farther.

    The rest of the ground assault forces were dispatched similarly and without incident. They were greeted with a much different situation than they'd faced on Monteux. The aliens' retreat had been complete, Angel had been entirely abandoned by the enemy.

    The pink light in the air grew thicker and Luo Xianni's mirror images more clear. At some point and from somewhere a deep chanting hum buzzed. For the soldiers it was just a curious sound, but its effect on the mutated victims of Angel was profound.

    Star Division found the first group wandering through the streets of a ruined city. Scores of them came charging at the Avenue's warriors. Compared to when they were human their strength had been multiplied tremendously. They could leap cars and climb buildings. No terrain impeded their mindless desire for destruction. Some of them had even developed powers like Adepts.

    Star Division's long-range attacks began, with balls of light spouting from their mecha suits. As the orbs sped out they expanded into nets that ensnared their targets. The lightning nets immediately filled the unfortunate monstrosities with electric current. They shook so fiercely they couldn't counterattack. Eventually they fell limp.

    It was a very effective way to deal with their charges. It didn't cause any lasting harm, but it effectively shut them down. Under Star Division's disciplined assault it wasn't long before most of the mutants were laying helplessly on the ground.

    Then the hymns of Luo Xianni's power began to echo.

    A kindness spread through the chests of Star Division's soldiers. A comfort beyond expression that refreshed their minds and bodies. The mutants had a different reaction, holdings their hands to their ears and howling in pain toward the heavens. They would eventually freeze in place like statues.

    To say it surprised Star Division was an understatement. However, it was clear this was to their advantage so they didn't stop. Majesty quickly collected the mutant humans.

    Similar scenes popped up all around Angel. Countless mutant victims were frozen solid by the echoes of Luo Xianni's power.

    Lan Jue started to get reports five minutes later. He looked in shock at his mother, seated cross-legged nearby as though nothing was going on. He was filled with admiration for her, pride for his mother! With such an aggressive display of power, was it possible she could control the whole planet on her own?

    But Lan Jue was quick to moderate his disbelief. What seemed sudden and incredible was, in fact, to be expected. He had just arisen to Paragon status, and in the process awakened spectacular power through the Middle Heaven Great Emperor of the North Pole of Purple Subtlety. His mother, on the other hand, was striding the gap from Nirvana to the Infinite! Two full degrees above what he was capable of. Amazing as all of this was, he had to remember the levels of power she was working with.

    Lan Jue also had no idea what the limits were for a Paragon who joined the Infinite. He'd never seen his father employ the full extent of his powers. Clearly, even planet-covering capabilities weren't out of the question.

    Indeed the truth of it was staggering, as Luo Xianni discovered. She had quickly slipped into the process, and with the Queen of Heaven's stabilizing help propelled her forward without concern or misgivings. After all she had been at the cusp of the Infinite for a long time. It had been Jue Di who had helped to keep her powers repressed, for her own safety.

    Jue Di was the most talented Adept to have lived in the last thousand years, and the last to join the Infinite. In fact, however, Luo Xianni's talents were no less exceptional. She had helped to establish Skyfire Avenue, and was its strongest member for a long time. She had spent many grueling years perfecting herself while she searched Jue Di. For a long time her intention had been the beat the hell out of him.

    After they reconnected and worked through their differences, Jue Di had told her about the dangers of growing her Domain. He told her about how universal protogenia was eating away at his life force, killing him despite a natural death being hundreds of years distant. He'd helped her to keep the final breakthrough at bay.

    Now the fears had been assuaged. She opened her heart to the full extent of her interdimensional protogenia and spread herself farther than she'd ever dared before.

    The mutant humans may have been corrupted, but they still possessed a soul. It was their tainted souls that Luo Xianni was sealing away. Interdimensional powers were extensive in their control once risen to a certain degree. Not only was she able to seal sections of space-time, but destroy or create at her whim. More incredible was the ability to control all manner of dimensions, including the spiritual realm.

    Every living creature had spiritual energy, a power that resided in the spiritual realm. The name was mystical but its presence was real nonetheless. Upno striding across the divide into the Infinite, Luo Xianni felt like she was suddenly part of it all. She could sense every minute detail in all possible dimensions. Some were strong, others weak. Their size was related to the amount of power contained within. The spiritual realm was particularly active.

    Coming to appreciate this truth, her breakthrough materialized. Nirvana was everywhere, but the Infinite was all-encompassing. All of creation was at her fingertips. Luo Xianni was the planet, and the planet was her.

    Luo Xianni had her own Paragon title, though she almost exclusively went by the Photographer. Because she had been gone for so long most who had known her had forgotten it. She had once been known as the Continuum Conduit. Simple, at least compared to the likes of Lan Jue. But in her day the name resounded even louder than the Eye of Tomorrow.

    The Photographer, Continuum Conduit, and the Clairvoyant, Eye of Tomorrow. The two of them together were the pillars of Skyfire Avenue. It was through them that the mighty adept organization was created and able to thrive.

    Luo Xianni didn't like the title - she never found it cool enough for her taste. Unfortunately once the populace knew of one's name it was virtually impossible to change it. Still, her heart was never in it.

    Now the title simply wasn't applicable. Her powers had grown beyond the continuum. She was a conduit for the soul.

    ζ

    In another dark corner of the cosmos.

    A tall man hung in the blackness of space, silent. His gaze was on a purple planet in the distance, unmoving.

    Just as he was approach to approach something caught his attention. Shock was painted on his expression as he stared through the blackness.

    She's attempted to break through? She must have encountered a foe she was unable to contend with. Furrowing his brow, he cast his perception far into space. Strong as he was it was not difficult to pinpoint the source of his feelings. He frowned, surprise evident in his face.

    "This woman never listens." He wasted no more time, and in a flash was off toward the purple planet.

    ζ

    When Lan Qing got the news, he was also stunned. Nirvana, omnipresence! It was the first thing he thought of when word of the strange hymn reached his ears. Somehow his mother was able to project herself all across the planet - an act he thought must have been incredibly draining. He only knew of her decision to break through after calling his brother.

    Undoubtedly this was a tremendous boon for the ground forces. Now the assault team's mission had changed from 'capture' to 'recover'.

    However the sheer number of infected humans was massive, far more than they'd anticipated. The amount of them discovered while searching surprised even the ground troops. If it wasn't for the three bastions, the twelve fleets would have been hard pressed to find space for them.

    Lan Qing called Hua Li and Kang Hui for a quick meeting.

    "We've already found one hundred million survivors among the wreckage, and the number keeps climbing." He wasted no time in getting to the point.
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