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Chapter 876: Lan Qing Arrives!

    Chapter 876: Lan Qing Arrives!

    "Unacceptable!" A rich and commanding voice boomed around them, and a golden light shone down from on high to encase the Keeper and Bookworm.

    The two old men had primed all the remaining energy in their body. Through some means they'd targeted two of the enemy and were preparing a blast that'd erase their foes from existence. Yet when the golden light enveloped them they felt a sense of warmth and comfort and the raging tide of energy within them eased. The powers of both men returned harmlessly to their respective Cores.

    "Leave them to me!" A figure raced passed the two stunned old researchers. A golden-turquoise light sparkled in their eyes as they watched a wondrous Buddha appear from nowhere seated in the midst of the fighting.

    "Great Spiritual Mantra!" The guttural chant rang out like a bell, and everything seemed to calm. All of the pain, anger and disquiet in the hearts of the Paragons was assuaged, and stopped the alien monsters in their tracks.

    An enormous blue, green and gold hand came crashing down from above to strike at the central avatar attacking the Pharmacist. It lifted its arms to try and ward it off.

    Boom--! The figure that had come with the Buddha's hand was knocked back. But the alien did not come away unscathed. A flicker of turquoise light burns in its palm before, suddenly, the beast's whole arm cracked down the middle.

    Excitement glinted in the Pharmacist's eyes. She'd been waiting for this opportunity, and reacted by lashing out with Occisus. Guided by the turquoise light the copies of her sword wrapped together, became a single cohesive beam of energy and struck!

    Thump! A pair of deep gashes appeared on the avatar's shoulder, and a murderous aura ripped through it. Screaming in pain, the monster was blasted away.

    Suddenly three enemies became two, and the remaining Paragons redoubled their attacks. What's more, the Keeper and Bookworm had put a deep fear in them after nearly detonating themselves to achieve victory.

    The figure that had so suddenly arrived returned to the two old men. Lan Qing regarded them both.

    He looked at each and gave them a nod of respect. Without saying a word he was off, descending to help the Pharmacist. At some point a shimmering blade had appeared in his hand. Ultus, the greatest weapon of the gods!

    Lan Qing's sudden arrival caused the humans' morality to soar. In the distance the Terminator's final strike was about to land.

    The myriad golden skeletons eventually melded back into one and the Terminator's form reappeared in its entirety. Queen's avatar also reappeared, only not as she had been. Her upper half was securely caught in the Terminator's bony maw. Her lower half floated through space in several pieces.

    The golden light in the skeleton's eyes had begun to dim. His mission accomplished, he raced off toward Chu Cheng.

    "Your Majesty!" Chu Cheng cried out and rushed forward to meet the light. By the time they reached each other the Terminator had gone from the size of a starship to no larger than a hand. Chu Cheng caught him instinctively, now only a skull. The light in its eyes had gone out, but clenched tight in its bony jaws was a twinkling gemstone. The avatar's vital crystal.

    The Terminator had put every ounce of his body and soul toward destroying that monster. He succeeded, but all that remained were his inert remains. Just as the Keeper and Bookworm had come to terms with dying, he'd prepared for this eventuality. Few knew that the Terminator was more than just the strongest Northern Adept, but also its foremost scientist. He'd done all his research under an assumed name to keep the secret. No one was more proficient in the art of conversion than he.

    After achieving Nirvana the Terminator underwent a series of physical upgrades. He happily used the new powers available to him in order to improve upon his construction. Of course as his cultivation grew so did his abilities.

    The Terminator's final secret was one even Lan Jue was surprised to discover. The energy that had come from that golden skeleton was nothing short of stupefying. In reality the Terminator hadn't even developed it for use against the aliens. The home worlds hadn't even appeared when he had it installed.

    At the time Skyfire Avenue's Adept superiority had begun to be revealed. He needed an answer, especially since the North had a history of harassing the East. What would happen if war should break out, he thought? What if he were to face the strongest of Skyfire Avenue, or even Jue Di? This awful but effective result was what he came up with.

    But the state of the universe had changed dramatically since then. In the end his secret weapon was turned against the enemies of mankind and not his fellows, though his mind was ever on the North and the Conclave he commanded. His skeletal form was a sort of god weapon, strange and unique, which was then bequeathed to Chu Cheng along with an Infinite-level vital crystal. The Terminator's final message was clear. Protect the Great Conclave!

    Another of the might Infinite-level aliens had fallen. As a result, things began to change rapidly on the field. Lan Qing's arrival was the final straw to tip the balance in humanity's favor.

    Had the Terminator not used his life to earn them an advantage the Queen's avatar would have been Lan Qing's first target. Even then, there was no guarantee that they would have been able to take the alien down. The other flanks would still have been in danger of succumbing. But with one of their top warriors dead, the balance of power shifted.

    Xiuxiu. The Pontiff. The Terminator. Mankind had suffered terribly from this sneak attack. But the aliens had also lost two of their own, and two of their strongest along with the vital crystals that empowered them.

    Lan Qing's face was grim as he and the Pharmacist fought shoulder to shoulder. His understanding of Ultus was minimal at best, but he could still feel the blade reacting to Occisus. Whether it was the keen power of Lan Qing's weapon or the bloodthirsty aura of Occisus, both godblades were stronger together than they were apart. Perhaps not as strong as the Harmonious Swords, but a mighty force nonetheless.

    The Keeper and Bookworm still held one another above the fray. The Bookworm snorted. "That was quite the trick up the Terminator's sleeves. That meathead really pulled it off! Certainly worthy of respect."

    The Keeper nodded in agreement. "Indeed! He died a hero. But we're still alive, beyond all expectations. What was this young punk doing, stopping us!"

    "Eh? Why the hell are you so close to me! Have you been eating garlic? Agh!" The Bookworm said through a scowl.

    "Bull**, you were the one eating garlic! You wrinkly bastard, get away from me!"

    Both men released one another at the same time and separated by a handful of meters. Yet as though still of one mind the two of them lifted their hands and fired off shots of their Positron Canon at the nearby avatars.

    The Bookworm and Keeper attacked from above, while the Gods of Wine helped from below. Nearby Hua Li lent his powers. Lan Qing and the Pharmacist fought within their midst.

    Lan Qing was only a Reflection of Heaven and Earth, but one could not discount the might of his lineage. The dharmic image of Vairochana frightened the aliens. As the light of the Buddha blazed, and the aura of their godly weapons swelled, the pressure lain upon these monsters continued to grow. This went double for the Monarch avatar that was already injured.

    The Terminator's sacrifice also affected Lan Jue deeply.

    He'd always been cautious of the Northern leader. There always existed the possibility that he would turn against the East, and he'd proven that. However, at the same time he admired the master of the Great Conclave. He was willing to do whatever it took to protect his people, up to and including giving his own life. The blood he gave didn't only help his people, but all people. Was this not a gift to be cherished?

    In addition, Lan Qing's arrival meant the four Banishing Blades were finally together, with masters to wield them. Though they could not yet employ the Banishing Strategy just being in close proximity amplified them all. Three golden runes blazed on Captus and Demortus now, and their glow further strengthened the ones who wielded them. All of a sudden the tables had turned.

    The change was not decisive, but things were beginning to turn in their favor. The Violet Prince's face had grown dark and anxious. He knew that if things continued along this path they would fail, and likely face more losses.

    Their aim was not to destroy the humans but to recover at least one of their weapons. He had to see it done, and quickly.

    The Prince quickly cast his eyes around the battlefield, and they eventually fell upon Lan Qing. He knew it at a glance; the sword that human wielded was the one stolen from Monarch!

    When he realized it the Prince belched a roar. Space around him quivered as the powers of creation and destruction swapped. His body vanished.

    Even the Photographer, with her mastery of space-time, was caught off guard. The method he used to transfer was completely different from hers. Somehow the monster used the gap between creation and destruction to leap small distances.
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