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Chapter 849: Jue Di’s Immortality

    Chapter 849: Jue Di's Immortality

    Boom-! The impact caused dozens of cracks to appear along the Prince's weapon while he spat up a mouthful of black blood. He was knocked violently away, but in the midst of his uncontrolled retreat he lashed out at a nearby avatar with his right fist.

    A dark light arose from the monsters forehead and spread down to its tail, then dissolved it entirely. The light was then consumed by the Prince and he was immediately in better shape. The cracks on the Princess-sword quickly mended.

    This was the great advantage of these alien creatures. So long as there was vital energy they could draw upon, they would not easily die.

    Jue Di watched with an emotionless expression. He attacked again with his Compliant Rod, an attack precisely the same as the first. Three more strikes, and three more elite aliens were consumed to keep the Prince and Princess alive. But the scowl on the Prince's face said he knew his time was limited. Once there were no more aliens for him to draw from, he would die.

    Although this human was not in complete control of his new powers, the might at his fingertips was far greater than the Prince's own. Were it not for the blood of Monarch in the veins of he and his sister, they would already have been destroyed.

    Jue Di lifted his staff again, but this time crackling bolts of lightning appeared in the air around him. The lightning was strange - erratic but tightly compact. They were almost like shackles that wrapped themselves around Jue Di.

    Regret passed across Jue Di's face. His voice was bitter as he sighed to himself. "Unfortunately there wasn't enough time."

    He stopped his attack, kneeling in the midst of the golden universe he'd created. As she shut his eyes his whole body began to slowly fade from existence.

    Indeed this was his universe - an immortal realm, not a Domain. He'd poured himself into its creation for the lives of his sons, for the chance to defeat the alien menace. For victory. For humanity! He threw caution to the wind and spat in the face of universal protogenia's throttling power. With understanding and determination he had taken that final step to break through and join the ranks of immortals. The first in ten thousand years.

    Upon ascending to immortality his Domain had become an immortal realm. Here he was the unchallenged master of reality. However Jue Di was not able to fully control the breadth of his power, otherwise he would have easily destroyed half of these monsters before the universe came to shut him down.

    Ten seconds. That's only as long as he was given after achieving immortality. Then the universe claimed him.

    As master of this small universe he had complete control over the passage of time, and after bringing the monsters here each second stretched by a factor of ten. Were it was almost two minutes here, only ten seconds had passed in the universe where his son was at war.

    If he'd continued to fight the reality he created would have crumbled as universal protogenia took him. Killing one more avatar wasn't worth keeping this creatures locked down.

    Jue Di's mouth continued to move as he muttered something inaudible. A small smile was on his face, a face filled with solemnity and compassion.

    The Violet Prince could sense the vital energy flowing out of Jue Di. However, he didn't dare move in for an attack. His knowledge of immortality was broad, but he was not sure how this human would react in the moment of his destruction which would come at any moment. He would wait and see what happens.

    He and the Princess were different from the avatars. Those doppelgangers had the will of the home worlds branded on their souls, whereas the Prince and Princess were proper descendants. Only they possessed the genetic combination making them offspring instead of copies.

    They knew fear. Survival was paramount, and right now their survival was uncertain.

    **

    Lan Jue and Qianlin carefully searched the area, exiting the 'cave' and finding themselves in a strange reality.

    It was a place constructed of countless veins like the ones they'd seen before, only now they were inside them. Each one was like a channel. Lan Jue could feel that they were a part of the home worlds, but it was different from where they had been imprisoned. He knew they were closely tied to the planets. Injuring them would alert the monsters to their presence.

    From their earlier encounter they knew roughly where Ultus was contained, but this place was a mess of writhing veins. They couldn't start cutting them away without risking the mission, so they were left with no choice but to follow the winding paths created by the vessels as they searched for Ultus' precise location.

    The Pharmacist stopped frequently during their search, reaching out with her perception to search for the sword. Occisus and Ultus were close ever since the Pharmacist and her husband discovered them. They had a connection, and she knew Ultus' energy as intimately as she knew her own. With the other two Banishing Blades nearby, they were even more sensitive to their missing companion.

    She stopped. "Suddenly the sensation is weaker!"

    Something flit across Lan Jue's eyes. Suddenly all the vessels around them contracted.

    They huddled together, surprised by the abrupt change. Since they couldn't risk being discovered they were forced to avoid the squeezing veins by drawing closer together. All at once they were squeezed into a confined space. There was no danger, but it was uncomfortable.

    "Monarch is stirring," Lan Jue muttered.

    The Pharmacist's brows furrowed. "The evolution shouldn't be finished yet..."

    He shook his head, and spoke with a low voice. "No, it shouldn't be this soon. It's more likely its reacting to the war nearby. I can almost feel the unease in its vessels. Unless I'm mistaken, whatever is happening out there is in our favor."

    Despite the considerable gap in strength between man and alien, Lan Jue's faith in his brother was unshakable. He was sure Lan Qing would find a way to capitalize on any advantage. He would give his best, and the rest would be left up to the fates.

    Monarch's vessels continued to squeeze and writhe for several minutes, but eventually relaxed. The Pharmacist scrunched her face in thought for a moment then piped up. "It's back. That way!" She marched on.

    In contrast to the Pharmacist's excitement, Lan Jue was filled with an inexplicable sense of unease and discomfort. He felt like something bad was happening. Did something happen to Lan Qing? No, that was unlikely. He was safe in a bastion and was a powerful fighter in his own right. But what was it?

    As they traversed the vessels, following winding turns and branching veins, Ultus aura was becoming more distinct. The maze of channels were complicated and forced them down many detours, but they were getting closer with every meter. So far it seemed they'd escaped Monarch's notice, for the way was unhindered.

    "There?" He asked the Pharmacist. He could feel the sword clearly now. Clearly they had to be close.

    The Pharmacist took a deep breath, trying to conceal the fervent look in her eye. Recovering this sword meant saving her husband's spirit from the clutches of these monsters. It was the only thing left of him, but it was enough.

    The three of them moved slowly, taking pains to conceal their aura. Lan Jue led the way while Qianlin and the Pharmacist were a step behind. They had a plan for when they found the sword. Even if they had to destroy the walls of the vessels to get to it, once Ultus was in hand it was Lan Jue and Qianlin's time to act. Together they would employ their Harmonious Swords to carve a path to freedom. Surprised and distracted by their evolution, the planets should not have time to stop them before they fled.

    In front of them, a section of the purple-black vessel walls was glowing with turquoise light. It was the light from Ultus' aura.

    The light time they encountered the sword things had happened so fast, Lan Jue hadn't seen clearly. This time he sensed the aura, strong and potent, like his own body was drinking it in.

    They passed through a narrow vessel that opened into a wider space. In the center, floating in air, was Ultus. It was surrounded by purple-gold threads like meridians, but its turquoise light shone through.

    The whole sword was blue-green from pommel to tip, like a wave frozen in time. Even here, captured and contained, its deadly might was palpable. The flickering light that surrounded it said the sword knew of their presence.

    When they saw it, instead of joy a darkness fell over the humans' faces.

    Beneath the sword there knelt a man. Yes, a man!

    He was handsome and rugged, perhaps in his thirties, and clad in luxurious golden-purple robes. He was the very picture of dignified nobility, and here in this poison place how could there be any mystery as to his identity?

    Just his presence filled them with a sense of gloom and oppression.

    Monarch!

    This image, this aura... they knew it from their first real conflict with the aliens in the Shattered Starfields. Who else could it be but Monarch?

    But it wasn't - it was more accurate to say that this was another avatar. The aura they felt was strong, but not strong enough. Even so Lan Jue could sense that this doppelganger commanded Infinite-level power, and they were in enemy territory!

    "I've been waiting a long time for your arrival." Monarch's avatar slowly opened its eyes. Their depths burned with golden-purple light.
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