Chapter 877: A Radical Reversal

    Chapter 877: A Radical Reversal

    A flash of purple light appeared behind Lan Qing. The Prince appeared, reaching out for the admiral's back. With all the power of Infinity behind it, if the strike landed Lan Qing would be done for.

    Luo Xianni chased after the monster, right on his heels. Now the Violet Prince was in a difficult position, for if he chose to focus on Lan Qing and land his attack he left himself open to vengeance from Luo Xianni.

    But he had no option. Getting the sword was paramount. No one was prepared for the sudden shift in battlefield dynamics.

    Lan Qing felt something wasn't right, even before the flood of Creation and Destruction Domain stopped him from moving. The difference in strength between them was too great, he couldn't extricate himself from the trap.

    It was during this life-threatening moment that Ultus reacted. The sword became a streak of light that arced backward behind Lan Qing to swipe at his enemy. Just a single reaction, but the keen power of the godblade forced the Violet Prince to react.

    Lan Qing wasn't the only one who could wield Ultus. It possessed the spirit of Li Ke, and the former master could also exact a measure of control.

    Li Ke was different from Jun Yongye or Xuanyuan Shishi. The latter spirits were created by the sword and shared the will of the weapon. They were a part of the godblades, and were controlled rather than controllers. The sword was their master.

    Li Ke, on the other hand, was once master. His unfortunate death forced him to emblazon his spirit within the weapon. With the mark of his soul in the blade he could manifest his will through it.

    This independent will was exercised when Lan Qing was frozen. At the key moment Li Ke - through Ultus - struck back. Linked with Lan Qing's will and the power he contained, he acted as an extension so that they were not defenseless.

    The Violet Prince made a quick determination and broke off his attack. This time he would be denied.

    Although he would have gravely injured or killed Lan Qing, the riposte from Ultus would have likely wounded him in return. The sword would remain out of reach. Luo Xianni would have quickly followed, and with her strength she would have dealt a blow he might not be able to recover from. The tradeoff wasn't worth it.

    Lan Qing's face was calm but a cold sweat had broken out along his back. He knew he'd been inches from death. But he was an admiral, and the shock of nearly losing his life was quickly pushed aside. His eyes flashed, and he began to give orders through targeted acoustics, delivered only to the target of his commands.

    One could not forget that Lan Qing was more than an admiral. He was a preeminent warrior of the Eastern Alliance, and a Divine Monarch. He had led his brothers in the contest against Star Alliance guided by the Clairvoyant and nearly won, and he did it through control of the battlefield. His wisdom and talent of command could be applied wherever it was needed.

    The flow of battle continued to change. The Driver and his eight companions broke off from trading blows with Monarch's Infinite-level avatar. Two identical particle beams swept by and kept the beast from moving and allowed the Paragons to regroup.

    Lan Qing ordered everyone together. This served to protect him, but also to set them up to be more effectively organized.

    "Prajna-paramita!" Lan Qing muttered the mantra which summoned his dharmic image. The admiral's body swelled while the power of the Buddha caused the Creation and Destruction Domain encasing him to grow translucent.

    A clock appeared in Vairochana's hand that shimmered with a rainbow of colors. Time began to act erratically.

    Everyone focused on four enemies; Monarch's strongest avatar and the three Nirvana-level doppelgangers. One of them was already wounded.

    Luo Xianni continued to grapple with the Prince. Their clash had only become more intense.

    The four avatars gathered together and eyed their opponents warily. Their instinct told them to flee, but that was not an option. The home worlds demanded success or death.

    Monarch's strongest avatar lifted its arms toward the sky, and a golden-purple light sprang up around it. The other three pressed close. Together, the aura of their power swelled in defiance.

    The Paragons didn't hesitate. First to react was not Lan Qing nor the Pharmacist. It was the Driver. He had chosen one of his previous names to adopt as his Paragon title - the Voltaic Wraith. He'd always liked it.

    Flashes of purple Primordial Lightning lit up space, a marvelous and frightening display. Its power was palpable as it spread across the field. Pressure descended upon the four avatars, so intense it started to influence their own aura. Flashes of Primordial Lightning continued to ripple in the darkness but were not directed at the monsters yet. Their presence was intended to suppress.

    Lan Qing and the Pharmacist shot forward to the head of the group of Paragons. They seemed determined to face the avatars two on four.

    A beam of gentle blue light fell upon them. Their aura expanded as though full with water - Poseidon's amplification. Another pool of blue light appeared after the Primordial Lightning began to flash, but this amalgamation of power gathered around the feet of the avatars. It gripped them like a mire, preventing them from moving.

    These monsters were powerful, and individually these attacks did not amount to much. However, as they came one upon the other their influence compounded. Uncertainty gripped them as they felt themselves slipping deeper into trouble. The strongest of them was forced to react.

    Its attack was measured, a punch that released an orb of Creation and Destruction power about the size of a rice bowl. The punch was directed at Lan Qing, for he held the sword stolen from Monarch. The home world's command was to direct their strength against the human admiral and recover the sword. Once it was in hand they were instructed to retreat.

    Tactically they planned to weaken him with a series of attacks. Then once he couldn't defend himself any longer they would attack all at once and claim their prize.

    There was a flash of silver and then, without warning, all of the humans were simply gone. No trace remained of the humans, their swords, or the powers they employed.

    On shaky footing and with the battle turning against them, the avatar was cautious. Lan Qing was its target, but it did not use its full strength. When that silver light flashed it felt its psychic lock erased. With no target in sight its attack sped off into space.

    Then the light flashed again, and suddenly the avatars were surrounded.

    Countless thorny vines reached from the darkness of space attempting to wrap up the avatars. Purple light flashed from around their leader and burned the creepers to ash.

    The last thing the aliens wanted was to be surrounded. With nowhere to turn Monarchs avatar gathered the others and together they tried to break the encirclement. It was confident in success, for although the enemy was strong and in greater numbers they couldn't contend against its overwhelming power.

    Before they could reach an edge the interior of the encirclement became thickly populated with threads of red light. Suddenly their feet were caught, and when the avatars looked down they saw silver space-time fissures as the threads of red light tightly gripping their legs. Before they could react an orb of marbled light surrounded them that slowed the passage of time to a crawl.

    In less time than it took for fear to grip them, the avatars were weakened, captured and under enemy control. Despite their lofty powers these monsters were stuck. Their only option was to rely on their Domain, and hope they were strong enough to overpower the forces arrayed against them.

    Their plan had been a good one, and likely effective if left unchecked. But their dramatic break had been brought to a standstill.

    The Infinite-level Paragon's eyes had gone from a deep purple to a brilliant gold. In this fight its cultivation was second to none, no human could contend against it. The monster pressed ahead with indomitable force to burst through the impediments.

    At last the hindrances were breached, it was through. The avatar seared across the darkness of space as a beam of purple light, only stopping when it was time miles from the trap. A second followed close on his heels, then a third.

    "Hm?" The avatar felt something was amiss and looked back to where the humans waited.

    None of them gave chase, and in fact remained right where they'd been. Finally the monster noticed its three companions were now only two.
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