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Chapter 820: Hello, Goddess

    Chapter 820: Hello, Goddess

    Lan Jue looked at his father, eyes bright, but after a moment shook his head. "I'm sorry, dad. I don't have such ambition. I only want one thing after this fight is done - I want to live quietly with Zhou Qianlin on Skyfire Avenue. Immortality doesn't interest me, I think I'd be happier as a man."

    Jue Di was stunned. He spoke after a moment with a playful derision in his voice. "You lazy kid, you always have been. Fine, everyone has different aspirations and if this isn't yours then so be it. We'll talk more about it later."

    Lan Jue smiled back. Of course he would support his father in his attempt to create a new immortal realm, but he wasn't interested in living there himself. He wanted the life of a normal man, to have a wife and children and friends. That's all he wanted, a simple life of happiness.

    Zhou Qianlin didn't offer her opinion. She stood by his side and took his hand in hers.

    Just then, Jue Di's head snapped toward the window. His eyes narrowed. "They're here. We should get ready to greet them!"

    Lan Jue's heart skipped a beat. He gripped Qianlin's hand tight and lifted his communicator to his lips. "The enemy approaches, prepare to defend. Let's go!"

    Both he and Qianlin vanished from the room in a bolt of crackling lightning. In the next breath they were hovering in the sky outside.

    Lan Jue narrowed his eyes and let his perception spread, reaching out past the sky into the cosmos beyond. A glint of understanding flit through his expression as he realized that if the enemy was here, it meant the frontlines were likely already embroiled in battle.

    ζ

    Space.

    Middle Heaven began to slow down its forward momentum. In the distance the armada commanders could see the wave of purple headed their way.

    The hue was, of course, from the scores of alien arrayed to meet them. There were about half as many as what met them around Angel. They were spread out wide and approached slowly.

    The atmosphere was instantly tense, battle would break out at any moment.

    Lan Qing watched them come with frigid expression, glaring at the screen before him. His voice was cold when he gave the order. "Change formation!"

    Middle Heaven stopped and the warships around it began to readjust their arrangement. Some rose higher and others dipped low to create a stratified formation with their cannons primed and pointed straight ahead. The benefit of this structure was in giving every ship a clear line of fine, with nothing in their way to dampen attack capabilities. On the other hand it gave their enemy access to every one of them. If the aliens got close enough the humans would be forced to take the full brunt, like a surge barrier before a tsunami.

    The alien forces continued to draw close, expanding ever wider. Clearly they'd learned from past defeats and spread out to minimize the humans' range advantage. They came to a stop just outside of weapon's reach.

    Attack? They were in no hurry, it was the humans who were racing against the clock. These monsters were here to slow them down.

    Once the armada was in formation the two sides maintained their distance and stared at each other across the darkness of space. Neither was eager to act rashly, for the first side to act would be the one to suffer the greatest losses and lose battlefield advantage. Lan Qing knew it, as did whoever - or whatever - was leading the alien forces.

    ζ

    Angel faced a different circumstance. The fight started the instant the monsters arrived, so many that they blotted out the sun. From below the whole sky seemed to turn purple in a matter of seconds from the press of enemy numbers.

    Lan Jue maintained a line of communication with his brother. From the Jewelry Master's vantage there were far more alien attackers than when they first came to liberate Angel. His enemy was cunning, they didn't begin the assault until they were all around the planet and could attack from all sides.

    The An Lun engineers were masters of their craft. All of Angel's new planetary defenses were online and primed to face the enemy. These were some of the same railguns they used on bastion ships so one could imagine the stopping power they possessed, but they weren't without drawbacks. They had a long cooldown period, were less maneuverable and more.

    However they tried to get around that with sheer numbers, with these reserve weapons spanning far and wide across Angel in only a matter of days. Now the planet resembled An Lun with its fields of bristling cannons. Energy rounds glittered in the dark barrels, ready to fire at a moment's notice.

    Star Division was already suited up and headed into battle.

    Meanwhile Lan Jue and Qianlin hovered in the air. They surveyed the scene hand in hand, with their Godblades at the ready. Thankfully the common folk were not near enough to see. If they saw their goddess hand in hand with some strange man they might have been heartbroken.

    A small smile played across Lan Jue's lips. He turned his face toward Qianlin. "Hello, goddess."

    Her face reddened. "What are you doing?"

    "I don't know why," he answered, "but knowing other people worship you and I am the one who gets to hold your hand makes me happy."

    Qianlin tittered a pretty laugh. "You and your naughty thoughts."

    Lan Jue's voice dipped low. "Oh I've got naughtier, if you want to give them a try."

    She blushed furiously now. "You pick a fine time to talk about this."

    This earned a chortle from him. "You're my wife, no matter what time it is! Is it not entirely normal for a man to be attracted to his partner?"

    Qianlin had been nervous seeing so many aliens approach, but Lan Jue's patter helped her to relax.

    Their enemy was practically on top of them now. They filled their view, from earth to sky and all across the horizon. Leading them was a beast twenty thousand meters long 1 that looked like a warship. It was larger than a human Capital ship and was just as imposing.

    Behind the titanic creature was two figured, much smaller but no less terrifying; the Violet Prince and Princess.

    When he saw them Lan Jue sucked a breath through his teeth. He knew that aliens were going to harass Angel, but he hadn't anticipated the arrival of two of their strongest generals. Both of them commanded the powers of the Infinite. The monster they rode was just as mighty.

    Was this their main force? Here to retake Angel?

    The Violet Princess felt the unseeable attraction as well and looked toward him. A faint smile pulled at the corner of her pretty lips and a hungry light shone in her eyes.

    Lan Jue's heart beat against his chest. He remembered the first day he saw her on Moonfiend, back when he thought she was simply a beautiful woman. Later he would discover she was a nightmare in the flesh. She'd proved that when she struck down the Barber, revealing her Nirvana-level power. She was even stronger now.

    However, the Infinite wasn't the advantage it seemed to be. Like Paragons, they had to be feeling the effects of universal protogenia.

    Star Division was gathered and arrayed before the Paragons that led them. In both numbers and size these young men and women were like ants before the alien horde. Still, they faced their enemy fearlessly. After all, they had ten Paragons on their side - what was there to fear?

    Tan Lingyun, NEU's Savage Goddess, had been placed in Lan Jue's group. Her heart ached a little when she saw her commander hand in hand with Qianlin. Her mind harkened back to the time she spent with the masked Lei Feng. From behind, was he not just the same? All he was missing was the mask.

    Both sides watched each other from across the rapidly closing space. Out in orbit around Europa the humans and aliens stared at each other, buying time. But here their enemy hoped to split the frontline's attention and collapse their rear. The atmosphere was entirely different.

    The Violet Prince thrust a hand forward and two wings of his horde came charging forward. More than five hundred wriggling purple bodies flung themselves at Star Division's flanks.

    A veil of rainbow-like color sprang into existence between the two forces. As the aliens crossed it their lightning-fast approach was brought almost to a stand-still, charging in slow-motion.

    The Epochrion. As her powers manifested they were joined by a resplendent beam of white. As it swept past the unfortunate creatures were sliced in halves before they could react. They were dead before their bodies completely separated.

    With her dress fluttering in Angel's winds, the Pharmacist stood beside the Clockmaker, surrounded by Occisus' bloodthirsty aura. The sudden death of five hundred beasts quickly boosted her Slaughter Domain, which spread out like a righteous tempest.

    What was a terror for their enemies brought courage to allies. As the Harbinger Faerie's powers washed over them, Star Division's soldiers seethed with the need for righteous battle. They could hardly hold themselves back.

    Two Paragons had, with little effort, eliminated five hundred alien attackers. It made a strong impression.

    1. Twelve and a half miles long.
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