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452 A War for Nothing Part 2

    Aside from the slight gravitational pull that came from the gauntlet, nothing seemed to attract the attention of the commander, and the onlooking generals. The only one who realized what was truly happening was the old explorer, who quietly covered himself with a layer of spatial essence.

    Before anyone could ask him what he was doing, he had disappeared and reappeared in the same place in less than a few instants. When he reappeared, he was holding the greatsword of one of the generals, who immediately recognized it, and reached for his back with his hand only to find nothing.

    Thanks to his nearly perfect comprehension of spatial essence, The old man was able to see the warped space that surrounded the entire room. He then realized how the soldiers were able to move at such speed, and how to emulate it. Anyone who wasn't inside the folded space as a foreign object surrounded by a separate space, would be affected by it, and therefore, while nothing had changed in their eyes, from the perspective of the old man, their figure, as part of the surrounding space, where bent along with space itself.

    "They use these instruments to fold space. They use the curvature in space to move further away with the same effort.. That is how they are able to move that fast." Explained the old man to the commander, leaving the rest of the generals with brows furrowed in confusion.

    The commander was the only one who understood the theory of the old man's guess, and after a few seconds spent thinking, she asked, "Did you move using your immortal essence?" What she meant to ask was whether the aliens were able to reach the same speed a high immortal could achieve, without this object. After all, even if their speed was multiplied by a thousand times, they should have not been able to reach a high immortal's speed.

    Quick to understand what the commander was asking, the old man shook his head from left to right, then said, "I did not. I simply stepped towards General Buria, took his sword, and walked back here. It is not only a matter of space, I am afraid. Whatever that little material in the gauntlet is, it seems to be able to bend both space and time."

    "So you're telling me that these aliens not only have a machine that makes them move faster through space, but that they can use the curvature to accelerate the time around them?!" Asked the commander with a hint of irritation, that in the eyes of her generals, was replaced by fear and shock.

    The old man responded by nodding faintly.

    Amongst the fearful expressions and words of worry exchanged between the generals, the commander was smiling. "Commander, what do we do now?" Asked the female general clad the lighter silver armor.

    "The same thing as before.. But bigger." She said before looking down at the small pool of blood and cut limbs. She then turned towards the tallest man in the room, also clad in silver armor, but oddly thin, and asked, "The enemy ships are all built similarly, right?"

    "Yes, ma'am. Frigades and flagships are different, but every ship seems to be built according to its category's specifics." Responded the lanky general.

    This response was exactly what the commander was hoping for, as shown by how quickly she raised her fingers, and after pointing at a few more generals. To the lot of them, she ordered, "Take your divisions and single out one frigade each. Select a specific point of the ship, and focus your attacks on that sector. Once destroyed, retreat and report." The generals immediately headed out of the room, but before they could leave, the old explorer stopped them, and said, "Encase your attacks with spatial essence."

    The generals nodded in acknowledgement, then left the room.

    After about two hours, the generals started to come back one by one. Some of them were unharmed, some of them were heavily injured, and four of them were missing altogether. To take their place were four captains. Amongst the missing ones, was the lanky general, who had died during his mission.

    "Ma'am, we have successfully destroyed the bow, but it did not seem to compromise the functioning of the ship." Said the first general to come back, starting a series of just as disappointing reports.

    "The left side of the bridge.."

    "They spotted us after destroying the right side of the bow.. The general did not make it."

    "Numerous soldiers left the ship, but.."

    This went on for awhile, until finally, one of the generals came back without the hint of a bruise, and said, "Commander, my division was in charge of destroying the left side of the stern, right behind their burners. After extensive damage, the ship stopped working, and the protective shield disappeared completely."

    The commander's plan was simple. She had already assumed that whatever the strange object the old explorer had mentioned was, it would be some sort of source of power for the majority of the alien's technology. Now that she knew this, she wanted to know exactly in what part of the ship this "core" was being kept.

    "Spread the word, focus the attacks on the left side of the stern, let's see how many more ships they are willing to waste, now that we know exactly how to destroy them." She said while showing a complacent smile. As the commander finished speaking, the little less than one hundred general went back to their groups, and shared what they had just discovered.

    What happened next was a tilting of the balance that had been created, caused by the hundreds of thousands of cultivators that struck directly into the heart of the enemy's forces by destroying their ships one after the other.

    The aliens desperately tried to protect their ships by the magical attacks of the cultivators, but unfortunately, not even their barrier could withstand the concentrated effort of an entire division of high immortals. The only thing they could do was to use their cannons for as long as their ships allowed them to. Nevertheless, that was not enough to save the ships which, soon enough, joined the dozens of others that had turned the battlefield into a cemetery of metallic wreckages.

    For the next few hours, the universal government appeared to be gaining the advantage in this war. The ships were being destroyed faster than they would be resupplied, and without their leaders to give them orders, the soldiers did not appear to be as organized. Those who did not work in group would be generally picked off by the members of the odd factions, and killed soon after.

    The universal government gave its all to destroy as many ships as quickly as possible, making use of lightly wounded soldier, and even deploying those who were currently resting. With this joined effort, for a moment, it appeared that they had successfully repelled the invaders.

    That, at least, was until a single round ship dashed through the length of the recently opened wormhole at the speed of light, and reached the very core of the battlefield, right in the middle of all of the destroyed ships.

    This ship did not appear menacing in the least. It's perfectly round surface made it look like a tiny metallic planet, and would be mistaken as one if there hadn't been a large burner in its stern.

    Soon after this smaller ship stopped, before any of the members of the government could wonder what its use was, something within the ship activated. An immensely powerful gravitational pull started to form, which in turn, attracted every bit of destroyed ship towards it. No matter the distance or the size of the wreckage, every bit of metal was pulled in.

    The generals, busy in the strategy room, quickly sensed the lower intensity of the conflict, and immediately left the strategy room. "What is that?!" Said the female general clad in lighter silver armor.

    The confusion attracted the attention of the commander, who left the strategy room right after the rest of the generals, and soon found herself looking at what was going on. Luckily, It didn't take long for her to understand what was happening. Dragged along with the spaceship's wreckage, were the orbs of grey matter, which would land on the surface of the ship before being buried by layer upon layer of metal. "They are retrieving their fuel! STOP THAT SHIP!" She shouted to every captain, general, or soldier of the military of the universal government.

    Hundreds of thousands of cultivators heeded the order and shot words the ship, and once close enough, they unleashed the full power of their cultivation against it.

    Layer after layer of metal was stripped from around the round ship by the multicolored lights of thousands of attack, when finally, a few minutes later, one of the archers of the government's military was finally able to spot the surface of the round ship.

    Eager to obtain a medal, the soldier tightened his grip around the bow, and after nocking the arrow, he set it off with a silent twang which only he could hear.

    The arrow pierced the invisible space for only a few moments, perfectly aimed at the finger-sized exposed part of the ship's surface, and moments later, it hit its target, piercing through the outer layer, and reaching the core right away.

    Suddenly, time seemed to stop. An uncomfortable silence took over the entire battlefield, and a glow started to seep through the nearly invisible slits in between the pieces of metal. And then, before anyone could even think of escaping, the round ship cracked, and the metallic mass that until moments earlier appeared like a small planet, exploded with the power of a thousand stars.

    A horizontal wave of power flashed through the battlefield, vaporizing anything that it went in contact with, followed by a rapidly expanding sphere of power that disintegrated any form of matter, essence, and existence through which it passed.

    The most terrifying aspect of this explosion, was the fact that none of the remaining alien ships, nor the soldiers who had valiantly fought against the government's forces, had been warned beforehand. Whoever was in charge of the military effort of the intergalactic coalition had decided to sacrifice the members of their own military, just so that they could claim a much larger number of their enemies.

    Unfortunately, while brutal, that action was also a success, as the explosion, before compressing back into nothingness, had been able to vaporize more than ninety percent of the government's warriors, leaving only those who were occupying the constructed camps alive.

    The generals, shocked beyond comprehension, turned to look at the commander in hope that she would know what to do. But it was not long before they realized that on the woman's heart was even less confidence than inside their own. She had been bested by the enemy's general. The only thing that was left for the alien's army to do, was to go for the kill before they could recover.

    Her guesses were once again spot on, as right after the explosion disappeared, more than twenty wormholes opened in the now empty space, and from each of them, came hundreds upon hundreds of ships.

    "Summon the reinforcements.." Said the commander with a dispirited voice.

    "How many?" Asked one of the generals.

    "All of them.."

    The situation was grim, and from the government's point of view, their forces would soon be wiped out, and the invaders would soon proceed to the deepest parts of their territory, probably destroying the majority of it. Nevertheless, even this was nothing worth mentioning against the true danger they faced. A danger that had roamed around them ever since this fight had started. A danger that had fed on every bit of essence of spacetime produced by the warriors' suits, the ships' engines, the immense explosion, and now, the many wormholes.

    "Hey, do you see that?" Asked one of the generals as the outline of a planet-sized monster started to appear in the distance.
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