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Chapter 886: Revelations

    Chapter 886: Revelations

    As beautiful as Europa now was, it portend the end of the human race!

    Blasts from the ships pummeled the planet but were swallowed up without so much as a whisper. Suddenly the planet was as deep as a black hole. No matter how much firepower was directed at it nothing left a mark.

    "Hold your fire!" There was a flash of pin, and a figure appeared at Kang Hui's shoulder. It was one of Skyfire Avenue's founders, the Photographer.

    Luo Xianni's face was dark as she placed a hand on the admiral's shoulder.

    Kang Hui was understandably shaken. He snapped back at her. "Why?! We're nearly there, we-"

    Luo Xianni cut him off. "Shut up. Can't you see that our attacks helped its evolution? The energy from them has boosted it, and now their immortal realm is almost complete. Keeping up your attack only hastens the process."

    Her reproach brought him back to his senses. Of course, ever since their attack on Europa began the planet had started to change. But what if she was wrong?

    "Quickly! Do you want them to complete their process? They've reached the point of no return. Nothing your ships do now can harm it." She tried again to convince him.

    Kang Hui heaved a sigh. "Cease the attack," he ordered. "All ships hold your fire." He respected Luo Xianni and her status. She was, after all, the only Paragon alive who had stepped into the Infinite.

    The flashes of cannon fire slowly tapered off. When the lights faded the scene that was revealed hung heavy on every heart. That place was no longer Europa. What had it become?

    Luo Xianni scowled. "Lan Qing would have stopped you earlier."

    Kang Hui's face reddened but he did not share his misgivings. "Your Majesty," he said, "what should we do now?"

    Her eyes flashed. "Wait. Wait for Lan Qing and the others. Those four are our only hope now. You've done all you can, the armada is of no use anymore. We were deceived by them from the very beginning.

    Trap. The word gave Kang Hui pause but he quickly recovered. He broke out in a cold sweat and his face went pale.

    "You mean, they meant to..."

    Luo Xianni didn't respond except to nod.

    Kang Hui's thoughts were in chaos but one thought rose to clarity above the others.

    Yes! The aliens were strong and wise. Destroying humanity would only mean perfecting their strategy. In fact all they would have had to do was keep up the fight and total annihilation would have been inevitable for mankind. It was clear to everyone, especially once this final war had begun.

    Once the home worlds were out of the equation, three bastions and twelve fleets from the human lands were repeatedly pummeled by the alien horde. Were it not for Lan Qing's superior tactics they wouldn't have come this far. Even then there were several times humanity was on the cusp of defeat.

    For instance, the battle where most of their elite were on the field. If the armada had lost they would have been routed. Without the help of the Paragons they would have fallen before the Violet Prince for sure.

    Strong as the horde was, how much more terrible would they be with the addition of the home worlds?

    Those three planets were not comparable to a trio of bastion ships. Kang Hui had learned this the hard way in the Shattered Starfields. Against the planets and their horde, even the total might all of the Alliances - all their bastions, ships and soldiers - would likely fall.

    Thinking about it, the aliens could have fought back with their full strength at any time. So then why didn't they? They were smart enough not to make such a glaring oversight! He was beginning to see that they were wiser than he gave them credit for. There was a method to their madness, as it were, and even the destruction of their army was part of the plan.

    In constantly engaging the humans the horde had weakened them and kept the armada busy, but never lashed out with their full might. For instance, they never once attacked with all of their elite aliens at one time. At the outset Lan Jue and Qianlin weren't even Paragons much less having achieved Nirvana. If all of the alien generals had come for them then, humanity would have been utterly destroyed.

    They chose not to. Instead they indulged the human fighters' clever tactics and bold strategies. Step by step they gave up ground and allowed their prey to retake the planets around Europa. All along they threw up hurdles and roadblocks that weakened them and attacked their morale.

    It was all planned, even down to the moment they allowed the humans to destroy their army and focus their attack on Europa.

    The change that had overcome the West's capitol only occurred after the concerted effort of the armada to destroy it. Was this merely coincidence? If one believed that the aliens completed their evolution at that very moment, who was in control? It certainly wasn't Kang Hui's side.

    The possibilities stabbed at Kang Hui's heart. He was finally thinking clearly.

    The greatest possibility was that the aliens had planned everything from the start. Losing was part of their strategy, allowing a series of defeats to lull the humans into a false sense of security. All of it leading up to today, where they'd laid in wait for the moment when the armada would turn their guns on Europa. The remaining alien soldiers were a ruse to draw them in.

    The final steps of their evolution must require a tremendous amount of energy. Energy like that released by bastions, energy Europa could swallow up and use to its own advantage. If this were true it meant the home worlds knew what was needed from the beginning. They'd masterfully guided the humans every step of the way to happily deliver the final piece.

    What he and his soldiers had thought was the cusp of victory, was in fact the machinations of a vastly superior enemy. He'd given the order himself. His command gave the aliens precisely what they needed.

    If all that were true than the entity they now faced was more terrifying than anything he could imagine.  Everything had been perfectly calculated, exquisitely structured. It was too late now to take it all back.
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