Chapter 872: Death and the Princess

    Chapter 872: Death and the Princess

    By now the three Nirvana-level aliens scared away by Lan Jue's attack had realized they were not his target. The Princess' subordinates hurried back but were barred from helping her by the Bookworm, Keeper, the Gods of Wine, and the Gourmet.

    Lan Jue had decided on his first target moments after coming back to his senses. With Qianlin's help, he knew that they could kill at least one Nirvana-level monster. But was that enough to alter the outcome of this battle? He didn't think so.

    The combined power of the four Infinite-level aliens was beyond their abilities. What's more, they were wise, informed, and by some means were able to protect themselves from the dangers of universal protogenia. While Lan Jue's own side was not weak, they certainly didn't have enough peak-level powerhouses to contend with their foes. Once they ran out of stamina more of them would die, then the battle would be lost.

    So, in order to change this grim fate he had to kill one of their strongest. If he could create a space for his allies to take advantage of, they could fight back.

    He chose the Princess. What he had not anticipated was the Pontiff's noble sacrifice.

    When the Violet Prince shed Luo Xianni's pressure and came to the Princess' aid, Lan Jue thought the best they'd manage was to injure her severely. Worse, there was the potential for harming his own people who might get caught in the path of the Harmonious Swords. Instead the man Lan Jue had come to deeply despise, whose dark heart had plagued Lan Jue for years, chose the righteous path. He gave his life, the thing Lan Jue knew was most precious to the covetous old man.

    For the first time he had a sense of admiration toward the Pontiff. His final act helped to wash away the many sins he'd committed through his life. In doing so the late Citadel ruler ensured his organization could rise from the ashes left behind by the alien attack.

    The Violet Princess' body gradually burned away. The Prince fought like a wild animal, trying to come to her aid. However, Luo Xianni fought back just as hard to keep him pinned down. He was forced to watch as his sister was slowly annihilated by the combined power of three Banishing Blades.

    Lan Jue didn't dare let up, for he knew how tenacious the life of an Infinite was. These monsters grew to prominence through the consumption of outside life force. He knew that given even the slightest chance the Princess could claw her way back from death.

    He had to keep it up. He had to continue to barrage the Princess with his full power until she was erased from reality.

    As layers of the Princess were destroyed a translucent crystal appeared. It was perfectly formed and shimmered with a golden purple light. Little by little the octagonal crystal was revealed nestled in the muscle of her chest.

    With no flesh to hide it, brilliant light radiated from the Princess' core. Even the light of the three swords couldn't cover it. But once the vital crystal was burned from the monster's body the rest of the Princess exploded into a mess of flesh. This detritus, that had been the nightmare of humanity for years, was incinerated by the light of the Harmonious Swords.

    But the crystal seemed to have a mind of its own. The glittering gem propelled itself with appalling speed at the net closing in around it. It struck with such force that it broke through and started back toward the alien home worlds.

    It was trying to flee! Lan Jue and the others did not slacken their assault but it still did not seem to be enough. What was left of the Violet Princess took the opportunity.

    Everyone knew that these crystals were the essence of the monsters. Destroying the Princess' body had been a victory, but without her crystal there would remake her, and she would return to terrorize mankind.

    But Lan Jue was prepared. The two of them had tangled many times, this was just the chance he'd been waiting for.

    Thump! The crystal stopped dead in its desperate escape, like it'd been caught in a trap. Another net, this one blue. A figure appeared hovering nearby - none other than Hua Li.

    He'd arrived on the scene a short time before. The moment combat broke out in Middle Heaven he'd started back, only to discover they were teleported outside of the armada. When he finally reached his friends he saw Lan Jue make his move and decided to wait and see where he would be needed.

    In a flash Lan Jue and Zhou Qianlin were by Hua Li's side. He said nothing, bringing his hand down upon Hua Li's net of power. Instantly the Princess' crystal was encased in a shell of Lan Jue's Domain. Captured in Boundless Starlight, the flash of the five thunders rumbled ominously.

    Pure empyrean lightning, All-Heaven Lightning, and Primordial lightning blasted the crystal with alternating strikes. Eventually the crystal stopped, and struggled no more. There was a twinkle of light and the inert crystal appeared in Lan Jue's hand.

    The Violet Princess had fallen!

    At last the incredibly powerful monster had been defeated, though it was but one of their elite. However it was one of only two that possessed a true inheritance from the home worlds themselves. Monarch's remaining offspring, the Violet Prince, was shocked by what he saw. But it lasted only a moment, for now his reinforcements had arrived.

    The Pharmacist did not pause to celebrate their victory over the Violet Princess. Once the threat was neutralized she turned around and returned to face the three alien elite that had entangled her before. Before the Keeper and Bookworm had struggled to keep the situation from spiraling out of control, but with the Pharmacist they managed to stabilize their section of the battlefield.

    Under Lan Jue's direction Hua Li went to join the Driver. Lan Jue's lightning-bearing friend, together with the Epochrion and Pauper, were facing an uphill battle. However the Wine Master had also come to their aid after the teleportation was complete. Altogether they were managing to keep the Infinite-level beast they faced from wreaking havoc. Now with Hua Li's help their situation was even better - maybe even equal to their foe.

    The rest was left up to Lan Jue and Qianlin. Together they would have to face the encroaching six aliens and protect their allies. Lan Jue's eyes flashed with a clear and resolute light. Both sides had suffered, with the aliens losing the Princess and the Pontiff destroyed by the Prince. Humanity's losses were worse, however, with the death of Xiuxiu.

    It was far past time to exact vengeance on these beasts.

    Once again Lan Jue released his Boundless Starlight and in response the light of distance stars shone brightly upon them. In contrast to before, though, this time the light of the stars covered a much larger area.

    The incoming alien reinforcements were immediately swallowed up. Lan Jue and Qianlin followed up by releasing a prismatic spray from their Harmonious Swords to black their path forward.

    At the same time Qianlin was stretching to spread the warmth of her Queen of Light Discipline ever farther. Primarily it had to reach Luo Xianni, so that she could use her full strength without fear of universal protogenia.

    Lan Jue's expression was as deep and inscrutable as the sea. He was cold, calculating, collected, and the calmer he was the most dangerous he became. The power summoned through him and Qianlin, channeled through their swords, stopped the aliens dead in their tracks. But it did not stop them from reacting.

    Humanity wasn't alone in adapting to the situation!

    The six avatars of Monarch, Queen and Consort linked hands and created a circle. Together they released their Creation and Destruction Discipline and allowed it to spread its chaos. Meanwhile their bodies also began to change.

    Threads of purple light appeared between them and twined together. Quickly the light coalesced into a shape, a figure that swallowed up the rich aura of strength seeping from all the avatars around it.

    Was there no end to what these beasts could do? Lan Jue was almost at a loss, for as he watched these six beasts combined into one. The three-headed, six-armed horror's central head took the shape of Monarch's 'human' features. On either side were Queen and Consort.

    A nightmarish amalgamation of the three - a sort of humanoid hydra!

    Once they combined into a single form, the strength of the new creation's aura surged. All of a sudden it was stronger than the fallen Princess, even stronger than the Prince. It even seemed to surpass the mighty avatar Lan Jue had fought in the depths of Monarch.

    "Humans, your species is destined for destruction. It is foolish to think you can resist your fate. Give in to the inevitable and we will grant you immortality." The middle head, Monarch's, spoke to them.

    Lan Jue didn't bother to reply. In lieu of words he thrust forward with Captus and released a stream of focused flow in its direction. Qianlin imitated and released her thousand blades as one style to join with Lan Jue's, and together they melded into the versicolored ray of the Harmonious Swords. Together they wielded power as though they commanded the Infinite.

    Lights flashed around all of the monster's six arms. Weapons appeared in each one; knife, gun, sword, halberd, axe and spear.

    Monarch's arms bore the knife and sword. As Lan Jue and Qianlin's attack came bearing down on it the aura of power surged.

    All at once all six weapons were employed, producing six beams of golden-purple light that combined into one. The two columns of energy crashed into one another.

    Boom- - - -! The Boundless Starlight shell they fought in shuddered from the impact. Qianlin and Lan Jue felt a wall of force strike them so hard it knocked them back.
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