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443 The Beginning of an End

    For the next two hours, the Kruga fleet traveled through the curved space, traversing a distance that could compare to some extent by teleportation, but which lacked its risks. After all, while bent by a gravitational pull formed by a small, yet highly excited type of energy, the space did not present any sign of being damaged. On the other hand. teleportation was an ability subservient to spatial essence, while the method created by this alien civilization used technology to force space itself to bend to their will.

    The curvature of space could only be captured by the aliens, thanks to the observable starlight that went through it, and that forced to follow the curvature, had allowed them to understand the nature of gravity, and develop the technology they now used. However, that was not the same for Daniel, whose spatial comprehension was deep enough to perceive any of the changes within his surroundings. Space, was not an exception.

    To him such an event was as noticeable as a massive whirlpool that had suddenly appeared in the otherwise calm body of water in which he was happily swimming into. Something that affected his sensing ability to a point where it could not be ignored.

    The fact alone that they had been traveling at this speed for hours and had yet to reach the wormhole, was enough to shock Daniel. He knew exactly how fast they were moving, and he was aware that even if the universal government was undoubtedly more powerful than this technologically advanced civilization, in order to make their way to their planet of origin without the use of their technology from the wormhole's entrance, it would take them millions of years.

    The mobility of the two armies made cultivators seem like a group of newborn babies that tried to face a line-up of horsemen.

    Still unaware of how much longer it would take for the fleet to arrive, Daniel kept an eye to his surroundings, and started to focus on acting less like a fish out of the water and more like a trained Kruga soldier, as the ones with whom he was sharing the cabin, had started to notice more of his odd reactions the more time went by.

    It was only after noticing that none of the soldiers had unpacked their bags, and guessing that the travel would not last much longer, that Daniel stopped bothering with how he appeared. Instead, he decided to assume the sleeping position of this odd alien race, and started to scan the interiors of the ship while pretending to have fallen asleep.

    From the behaviour of the many soldiers onboard, Daniel started realized how similar the two civilizations were. Starting by how easily a group of bored passengers who did not know each other would try to bond over a game of cards, or how some rejects would often try to stick to their own due to nervousness, or unwillingness to form any form of premature connection with others.

    The last time Daniel had been in this situation, Heimart and Ligart were gambling their very scarce reserves of coins in a game of cards, while Alis would spend her entire day hidden underneath her blanket, unwilling to allow any of the three to even peek at her.

    A lot had happened since that day, starting from the pirate attack which they were forced to repel, and ending with the Kruga attack to his planet. Thoughts of what could have happened if only he had taken another ship, or if he had pretended not to be awake during the pirate's attack came and went into his mind, forcing him to think of all of the things he wouldn't have seen, or all of the people he would have never met.

    Would he have found his family? Would his nephew be born, or Alesia's family still be a happy noble family within their empire? Would he be the same person that he was now, had things gone differently? The answers to each of these questions were very clear to him, and appeared almost as fast as the very questions they were tailor-made for.

    The answer was that he wouldn't. In fact, there was a high probability that if any of the events that led him to where he was now changed ever so slightly, he would have never met Aeron, leading him to share the grim destiny of each of the other hosts that had carried Iewah's children. No matter if it was a simple turn of the head, or a tragic event, each detail had brought him to where he was now. From a petty malnourished thief, to a feared entity, his life had been nothing but incredible.

    Daniel could not help but laugh at the appearance of these thoughts, but soon after, the smile disappeared from his face, and was replaced by a look of horror, and a terrifying feeling that crept down his spine.

    In the curved space, something had appeared. Invisible to the eyes of the Kurga soldiers, and undetectable to their scanners, seemingly peaceful monstrous beings started to approach the curved space only to be left behind by the fleet's massive speed. The further ahead they went, the more of these monsters they would find, to a point where Daniel felt as if he had been swimming amongst a bloom of jellyfish.

    What caused Daniel to feel the grim feeling he had felt, was the fact that he could recognize these monsters. As big as asteroids, covered in short tentacles and semi-closed eyes.. They appeared as a more peaceful and smaller version of the monsters which inhabited the void. The same monsters that would showcase their sovereignty over the spatial wasteland by further destroying its already shattered environment, with the concept of collapsed space that was contained in their bodies.

    Daniel's every motion stopped, his body frozen by a fright which locked his jaw shut, and his eyes wide open. In his mind was the sudden realization of what the nature of the void truly was, as well as the origin of these odd and powerful monsters.

    Once a dimension similar to the one in which Daniel lived, the void was now nothing but a wasteland of spatial shards that would tear the weak body of a human into shreds in less than an instant. Now, Daniel had started to realize how that place could have come to be.

    The spatial monsters appeared to be attracted by large scale celestial events, which naturally included the artificial deformation of space produced by the energy contained within the odd, round spaceship. The speeding fleet would inadvertently brush against these monster, including them into the curvature of space before dashing past them a few moments later.

    Despite how brief this encounter was, those moments were enough for the monsters to feed off of the anomaly. A few of the closed eyes present around their bodies would slowly pry open, and the short tentacles would grow of numerous meters for every instant they would be in it. Had these monsters been affected for a prolonged amount of time, they would inevitably reach the size of those that inhabited the void. From what Daniel had seen in Edmund's memories, he was certain that if that ever happened, it would mean the end of his dimension.

    This advanced alien civilization had not only created something that could break the limitations of nature, but something that went outright against it, and that would inevitably cause the end of life.

    Out of the blue, the alien race of which Daniel had no interest in, and with which he shared a common enemy in the universal government, had become the biggest threat to his, and his group's lives.

    He walked around the corridors of the spaceship, observing the carefree behaviour of this alien race, clearly unaware of what they were doing. If leaving the spaceship and destroying the entire fleet with his own hands was an option, he would have done it. Unfortunately, something told him that if the warp bubble that surrounded the spaceship was as much as damaged while they were traveling at such a speed, his immortal body, spirit, or even mind would not be spared by the same fate as the ship itself, and be vaporized.

    If that wasn't enough, aside from the fleet in which he was traveling in, dozens of other alien races were part of the intergalactic civilization of which the Kruga race was part of, and that meant that what was happening around them without them noticing, could possibly be happening everywhere around the sector of space occupied by the alien civilizations.

    Suddenly, every form of enmity that Daniel felt towards the universal government started to lose value, and in his mind, he started to wonder whether the government, after being informed of the detrimental effect that the alien's technology was having on their universe, would ally with him in their destruction.

    What he did not know, unfortunately, was that while he tried to think of ways to reconcile with them, the universal government had already made him the most wanted individual in the history of their civilization.

    After Daniel's disappearance, the factions of the government had tried to discover Daniel's position by hiring the only ones which were able to find him, the children of Iewah.

    However, for the past few days, numerous reports had reached the government's senate. Each of them reporting of how the collaboration with the children of Iewah had been interrupted, because when asked to locate Daniel's general position, they would always claim that Daniel was currently billions of light years away from the government's borders.

    To the many factions, this information was nothing to worry about. However, that was not the case for the universal government. After the failure of the Xeno Protocol, the universal government had requested the help of the Deathbringer and of the Time Lord, two of the oldest and more reserved children of Iewah, in finding the lost Necromancer in an attempt to calculate the actual distance that separated the sector of space they occupied, and the sector which belonged to this newly discovered civilization.

    When asked, the Deathbringer had revealed the general direction and distance that would lead a possible rescue party to the kidnapped Tirah, and now, those details happened to match almost precisely Daniel's reported location.

    Before the idea that Daniel could have also been kidnapped by this alien civilization could even formulate in their minds, the universal government had branded him as a traitor, and a defector of humankind.. claiming that he had betrayed his species to ally himself with their, and to plot humanity's destruction.

    This revelation spread far and wide, and soon enough, all of those with a barely passable connection with Daniel or his academy, were either forced to go into exile, or to hide their relationship. If found, they would be branded as friends of humanity's most notorious criminal and betrayer, and would be executed.

    -----

    Back in the Kruga's spaceship, Daniel stepped back and forth a long corridor nervously. In his mind were the images of the monsters, which slowly evolved further into their mature forms. But what stressed him the most, were the aliens who walked past him as if he was behaving erratically, completely unaware of what their engines were causing.

    In the blink of an eye three more hours passed, and the round spaceship finally deactivated. The gravitational pull immediately disappeared, and with it, the interest shown by the massive monsters, who floated away in the distance, in wait for another event of such a nature to repeat itself.

    After the deactivation of the round ship's gravitational field, the ships disabled their warp bubbles, and slowly started to break formation. Each ship traveled for a few minutes, until they reached the sectors to which they were assigned to. These fleets were stationed in a round grid, and formed a hemisphere-shaped impenetrable net. Any and all entities who dared to break through this net, would be instantly targeted by the hundreds of cannons mounted on each of the battleships.

    However, none of the details regarding the flottilla's formation was of any concern to Daniem, who had long left the ship while hiding in the darkness of space, and had now stopped right in front of the massive tunnel-like passage between the two sectors of space, the wormhole. Nevertheless, to catch his attention was not the uniqueness of this portal, nor was it its impressive size.

    What he was focusing on, was a much more terrifying spectacle. One that showed thousands of spatial monsters feed off of the spatial anomaly, like ants onto a hog's corpse.

    "Oh no.." he muttered with horror.
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