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271 Edge of the Known Space - Clash

    Wormholes. A link that connects two disparate points in spacetime.

    Generically speaking, rifts were not difficult to see in the space which the Universal Government occupied. The reason for that, was the superimposition of the normal space over the dimension where the void space was. The two dimension occupied the same place, and yet not.

    This superimposition caused the space to often warp and crack, and consequently, for rifts and portals to be created. If the individuals that ended up being dragged into these rifts were lucky, they would reappear within the boundaries of the territory of the universal government, otherwise, they would never return. The more time they spent into the void, the further they would reappear.

    These rifts were usually temporary, and would repair thanks to the surrounding natural mana, or more specifically, space essence.. But wormholes were different.

    The difference between a wormhole and a rift was that there was no assurance that the wormhole would disappear with time, and even worse, it was not guaranteed that it would not link the area in which it had appeared, to the opposite side of the universe, another dimension, or worse.. Another time.

    When a wormhole was sighted, after a quick scouting of its insides, it would be immediately closed by the universal government to make sure that nothing that came from the other side could come in. Most wormholes would take to a different part of the universe, which would usually be plain and empty space, but since there was no assurance of what could be lurking on the other side, something about it had to be done.

    In the ancient times, the most powerful cultivators which had a close to perfect comprehension of space would take care of similar issues, but after the government had discovered the Void Dwellers, which possessed a gift specifically made to control spacetime, these kinds of events were assigned to their care.

    The group of ten soldiers quickly rushed towards the explorer, and soon noticed what the man had seen. Partially covered by a sphere of absolute darkness, was what looked like a sinkhole which warped and bent the scenery itself.

    This wormhole had been difficult to notice due to the black hole, which attracted every form of light before it reached the eyes of the people on the other side. Only the rays of starlight which crazed the edges of the black hole, and were only diverted by its gravitational pull, were able to reach them.. Making it look like there was absolutely nothing but empty space, and stars in the distance.

    To the bearded explorer, it all made sense now. How the other party had appeared out of nowhere, how they had disappeared in minutes without leaving any trace, and how their two groups of origin had lived so close-by to each other, without ever finding out about one another.

    Before approaching the wormhole, he took four differently colored beads from inside his pocket, and shattered them in between his fingers.. Less than two seconds later, three portals opened in front of him.

    From two of the three portals, the sniper called Krit, the muscular and hairy Borus, and the old mage came out along with the two groups of soldiers that they were supposed to lead.. but from the third portal, One of the soldiers was dragging the injured and unconscious captain from the other side.

    Without even asking, the four explorers dashed into the portal and reappeared on the other side. There, they saw Ada covered in injuries, with four barely alive soldiers, and just as many dead ones that float next to her. Millions of knives were forming a deadly dome commanded by her, but despite the defensive capabilities of her dome, she was still covered in injuries, and one of her legs and eyes were missing.

    After seeing Ada's state, the expression of the bearded man because furious, and with the speed of light, he unsheathed the knifeves at the sides his chest, and disappeared from where he was floating. At the same time, the old man grabbed his staff, and injected an enormous amount of immortal essence into it, causing the lightning sphere to glow with a blinding white light.. His eyes began to brighten as well, and his body started to emit discharges of electricity continuously.

    Around Ada, nothing but her knives could be seen.. Only a few flashes of light which moved too fast to be noticed with the naked eye. They would approach her in a moment, leave an injury on her body, and retreat right after while avoiding all of her wandering knives.

    Every now and then a few droplets of blood would appear in space, showing that her attackers had made a mistake, and that she had managed to injure one of them, but it was never enough to kill them, as there were no bodies aside from the soldiers in her group.

    The bearded explorer was just as fast as the aliens, and the very moment he had appeared from the other side of the portal, he had disappeared, making his movements impossible to trace. Sparks formed in some parts of space, showing that he was clashing against one of the aliens.. but unfortunately, it did not seem like there was a superior one amongst them.

    Tirah shivered from next to Krit, which was adjusting something within his goggles, and preparing his musket to fire.. when suddenly, a flash of light dashed towards him at an incredible speed.

    The sniper did not bother to move, and right before the flash of light reached him, Borus appeared in front of him, and punched at the empty space in front of the flash of light with so much power, that the space cracked which grew in size for a few moments, before collapsing into a small rift.

    Whatever was going for the sniper, did not expect that Borus could possess such a power. He was caught off guard by rift that had formed, which swallowed a leg and an arm right off,  before closing once again.

    After the sniper finished preparing, he tapped the back of the large hairy man, which quietly floated aside. He then moved the musked in front of his face, and quietly stood in wait.

    For a few moments, from behind his thick goggles, his eyes flashed with a speed comparable to that of the aliens themselves.. And just as he sighted the nearly invisible trails of greyish blood that the alien had lost, he pulled the trigger.

    *BOOM* A comet like bead of metal came out of the barrel of the musked, and dashed straight into a specific point in space. Nothing was in the way of the bullet, but the moment it arrived in the exact point in which Krit had aimed, an injured alien flashed right in front of it, and found himself with a new hole in what the sniper assumed was his head.

    From next to Krit and Borus, the old man which until now was storing in his  body more and more lightning essence, moved his fist in front of his chest, and as he opened it, from the tips of his nails a net of lightning came out. It then extended outwards.

    The speed in which this net of lightning extended was incredible, and was difficult to avoid, as the moment something approached it, the current would jump from the net to the object which had touched it, and electrocute anything that came in contact with it.

    The only person who had expected this, were Ada and the bearded explorer, which created a layer of metal around them which would defend them from the electric net.

    One by one, the net passed through the aliens, and electrocuted them. The power was not enough to kill them, but enough to stop them for a fraction of a second. Fortunately, a fraction of a second was all that Ada, the Bearded man, and Krit needed.

    Multiple knives and numerous bullets were shot towards each of the aliens, and penetrated their bodies multiple times, leaving them lifeless. Those who were not attacked by the Krit and the injured Ada, were cut in half by the bearded man's lightning fast speed.

    In no longer than a few seconds, numerous bodies had appeared and were quietly floating in space. Unfortunately, before they could be taken by the bearded explorer, which was still busy with fighting against the still numerous flashes of light, a particularly fast alien would always grab the corpses in time, and make them disappear.. leaving only a faint image in the minds of the four explorers of how the aliens appeared.

    The collaboration between the four explorers showed how impressive their abilities were, and more than anything else, how well they knew each other's capabilities. They were able to sync perfectly, and in certain cases, they would predict each other's actions, or even aid one another without having to communicate.

    The numbers of the enemies quickly started to go down, but even though the situation was getting better for the five of them, the bearded man had still failed to complete his mission.

    There were two possible conclusions for this mess. The first one, was that they managed to kill all of the enemies, and keep one alive in order to extort information, while the second, was to escape, and come back with a more or less even amount of losses.

    Of the two possibilities, the second one was by far the worse conclusion. According to their plan, the soldier should have never fought to begin with, and the moment they did, they immediately attempted to use what they had learned as soldiers.. Unfortunately, due to the surprise nature of the attack, they had ended up being killed immediately.

    If reported back, that would have been a huge blow for the universal government.. To have a division of their army be annihilated by a group of scouts, would paint them as soft, and could possibly cause the idea of an invasion to appear in the minds of whoever ruled the other side.

    They had to kill them all.

    Unfortunately, nothing ever goes exactly as planned.

    The particularly fast one amongst the group of scouts, which was also managing to retrieve the bodies of his fallen comrades, had spotted the weak link amongst the group of powerful enemy cultivators.. That link, was none other than Tirah, the necromancer.

    His speed was beyond that of Krit's eyes, and Ada's knives. The only individual that could keep up with him was the bearded man.. But alas, he was too far away from him. So with a burst of speed, he approached Tirah, and took her away from the old mage, the sniper, and the muscular man in a matter of instants.

    The bearded man had just finished racing against that particular enemy for the past minute, and he knew perfectly well how fast he was. So, as he went to capture the necromancer, the bearded man took the occasion to reach one of the paralyzed scouts, throw a small bead at him which broke the moment of impact, and created an entire prison of space around him that caged him, and pulled him into the bearded man's ring.

    The actions of the two gave the others enough time to recover from the shock of the lightning net, and to find a way to retreat.

    Unfortunately, these main abilities of these individuals seemed to be about speed.. And the moment of distraction of the bearded man was just what they needed to retreat, and escape towards the wormhole.

    "Should we follow them?" Said the sniper while pointing his musket at one of the escaping scouts.

    "Let them go.. If we can't kill them all, it's better if we let as many as possible alive." responded the bearded man. He was sure that, if a chance for diplomacy arised, every single kill from both sides would turn into the most expensive of debts.

    With a bit of disappointment, the bearded man looked at the place where the necromancer was a moment ago. He felt no pity for her, as the chosen of Iewah were mostly war junkies, and usually not worthy of a single tear. What he was feeling bad about, was losing the chance of probing into the alien's mind without having to force the information out.

    "Are you okay?" He said after turning towards Ada, which was currently healing herself with an extremely high level healing pill paired with her own power.

    "Yes."

    "Okay then.. Let's go back.. There is a lot to do to avoid making this day a complete fiasco."
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