Episode 11: The Grand Scheme / Chapter 187: Dark Clouds (2)
TL: emptycube / ED: SlowAsLightning
The warriors didn’t sleep. They gathered around the defensive line created by connecting 13 stars as they observed the monsters’ movements.
The monsters didn’t sleep either. As though they had been turned into hideous stuffed creatures, they didn’t move as their black eyes glared at the alliance warriors and the defensive line.
There were common sightings of monsters with long octopus legs and a wide mouth with saw-like teeth on the top of their heads. Earthlings called them ‘Teeth Krakens’.
It was a tense standoff.
However, the warriors were belligerent even as they faced off against the enormous, threatening monster army.
‘Come at us if you dare.’
They had already resolved to risk their lives the moment they gathered on Dragonic for the final resistance.
The glass crabs’ whistling resounded lengthily like whale calls, and the universe within the 13 stars was shining brightly with a milk-white light like a sunrise. There were mysteriously appearing characters. Opinions that dying in such a beautiful place wasn’t bad were spreading.
However, the basics of fighting were dampening your opponents’ spirits, doing the unexpected, and smashing your opponents’ calculations into pieces.
War started in a state no one expected.
“Huh? Huh? That’s?”
The monsters, which didn’t move as though they were stuffed, suddenly moved aside, opening holes in between them like sponges.
Meteors shot through those holes at incredible speeds.
Brightly shining characters appeared on the defensive line. The shooting meteors scattered into tiny fragments when they contacted these lights. However, the defensive line and the characters making up the defensive line shook.
The participating earthlings felt that their vocabulary was lacking at times like this. Should they describe the sound of countless meteors crashing into the defensive line as a downpour? Simply a downpour?
This might be how it sounded on Dragonic, which was the furthest from the defensive line.
The sound echoed out by riding on the karma that filled the milk-white defensive line. Since their bodies were shaking, the sounds were not coming from outside but from within. Endlessly, it sounded like their flesh was ripping into a thousand pieces and their bones were shattering into thousands of pieces by just the impact.
This was the drumbeat that declared the start of the war.
The monsters charged after the meteor shower.
The warriors tried everything to block them, but their bodies didn’t move as they wanted. While they had a lot of experience, this was their first time fighting a battle like this. A battle with superclusters’ life or death on the line? A meteor shower that fell like raindrops? Each meteor seemed to possess the power to bring all life on a planet to extinction. Each one was a calamity, yet they belted the defensive line like a machine gun. This wasn’t a legendary battle, rather, it seemed like they were literally flung into a myth like Ragnarok that would result in the deaths of gods. In other words, the warriors were scared.
“Get a hold of yourselves!”
The ones who didn’t lose their fighting spirit in a situation like this were those from the so-called noble tribes like the Flame Wing Tribe, which was born from the flames of the Big Bang, the Dark Tribe, which was born from dark matter, and the Armored Soul Tribe, which was born from warring civilizations in the universe and had witnessed the collapse of such civilizations. Those whose birth backgrounds were spectacular didn’t lose their focus when faced with such a terrifying sight as though they were proving why they were called ‘nobles’.
“They are just physical attacks! You are warriors who wield karma!”
Even if they were physical attacks, it was a different matter if these physical attacks could destroy planets. Still, their thunderous shouts weren’t completely wrong. Since the defensive line was holding up magnificently, the majority of the meteor shower’s impact was absorbed. The damage the meteor shower left was more mental than physical.
Perhaps they felt something from the outstanding warriors’ encouragement, but one by one, the warriors overcame their fear and focused on fighting. However, the monsters didn’t wait for the warriors to recover their senses.
Teeth krakens grabbed warriors with their long legs and shoved them in their mouths, crunching down on them, as they swiftly swam through space.
An all-out war broke out without delay.
“… They are collapsing faster than I thought.”
Lee Jinhee mumbled.
The most elite warriors partaking in the Dragonic defensive battle were gathered at the back.
There were four transcendent warriors.
They were Choi Hyuk, Commander-in-Chief of the Event Horizon Troop Light-Maze, Vice-commander Kalon, and the alliance ranked 49 Dark-Feet, who had been dispatched to the Perseus-Pisces Supercluster but couldn’t retreat and had been chased here.
They didn’t go out to the frontlines and instead observed the war situation.
This was the advice of various ranking advisors under Baek Seoin.
“You still have to endure. Until now, we have confirmed three monsters at the level of Exalted Wings. We have no idea how many transcendent monsters there are besides them. They too aren’t showing themselves. If you show yourselves first, there’s a chance you’ll be targeted.”
The strongest spears of both the alliance and the monsters were still hidden in a fog. These spears would show their greatest strength when they pierced through the fog and launched a surprise attack.
Exposing themselves first was more dangerous.
Choi Hyuk’s expression didn’t seem like he quite agreed.
Baek Seoin attempted to calm Choi Hyuk.
“Endure it for a bit and use your strength to maintain the Net of Fate. It is especially important to quickly maintain the time scale.”
The ‘Net of Fate’ was the most powerful strategic asset the alliance possessed. Its function didn’t simply end with suppressing monsters’ strength and reinforcing allies.
The universe was a complicated place. Like in a movie that came out a long time ago, depending on the speed and gravity of a celestial body, an hour in one place could be a year in another. The miraculous feat of tying all these different time zones on a single time scale and allowing countless tribes to communicate with one another was only possible through the Net of Fate.
Currently, the four transcendent warriors were meddling with the Net of Fate to make time flow slower in the Laniakea and Shapley Superclusters. A day here was four days outside. This was possible because they were in control of over 70% of the Net of Fate.
Because of this, the support troops would arrive faster than expected. This was why it could be better for the four to maintain the Net of Fate rather than partaking in the battle.
“That’s why I’m worried.”
Yet, Choi Hyuk didn’t seem to fully agree with Baek Seoin. While he doing what he was told right now, a dangerous feeling swelled as he observed the constantly updating war situation.
The glass crabs’ whistling hadn’t stopped even now, but a more ominous shriek covered their whistling sound.
A shriek that seemed to come from hell ripped the world around them.
The teeth krakens forced their way through after the meteor shower. While the warriors endured the best they could, the frontlines kept receding, and one of the key points of the defensive line, a star at the very front, happened to enter the monsters’ range.
The shriek erupted at that moment.
“What… What is that?”
It was an enormous stake that looked like it could cover a continent. It looked like a cross. A gigantic dragon was nailed to it as it bled, its body trembling as it shrieked.
Its shriek sounded like it was announcing the end of the world.
Whenever the dragon shrieked or squirmed its large body, the pointy tip of the cross emitted a strange resonance, releasing a destructive power.
There weren’t just one or two.
Ten stakes were held up towards the star. They were so fast most warriors didn’t even see an afterimage.
Something seemed to fly by when bang exploded a moment later.
The whistling sounds of glass crabs stopped, and instead, an incredibly loud scream erupted.
This was the scream of the defensive line that surrounded the 13 stars and Dragonic. Having utilized the Speckled Light Tribe’s colony system, the defensive line itself was no different from a similar lifeform, and this defensive line squirmed in pain. The milk-white space flickered as though there was an earthquake and the characters that appeared mysteriously trembled. The artificial satellites and robots blew up in a chain explosion.
The scream had yet to end.
A stake that stabbed into the star’s dimensional distortion field twisted its body as it slowly penetrated the distortion field and pushed its way towards the star. “Kiyyyaaaak!” The dragon nailed on the stake trembled as it roared.
It felt like the entire universe was screaming. The warriors fell into a state of panic just from the screams.
Baek Seoin swore.
Then, at some point, a stake fully penetrated a star’s distortion field and stabbed into the star. Unconcerned with the star’s surging flames, the gigantic dragon nailed on the stake was injected into the star like a syringe.
Not long after, the star exploded with a bang. Numerous warriors were swept up in this explosion and oxidized into ash. The only ones that remained were warriors of the Flame Wing Tribe.[… Our control of the Net of Fate dropped to 65%. The time scale has been reset to 2.5 days from 4.]
Naro’s stiff, tense voice sounded out.
Choi Hyuk stood up. ‘Choi Hyuk’s Denial’, which hung on his waist, shook with a sound.
“As expected, we can’t keep going like this. We can’t have one of our 13 stars collapse already.”
“However, if they launch a counterattack…!”
Baek Seoin tried to stop him, but Choi Hyuk wouldn’t listen to him.
“Let them launch a counterattack. We’ll win anyways if we endure until support arrives, right? Even if they don’t, we win if we kill all the monsters at the transcendent level. If we keep waiting, we’ll just die sitting as they break down our defensive line one star at a time. It hasn’t been that long since this war started, yet we already lost a star.”
The light from the explosion had yet to reach them, who were standing near Dragonic. The reason why they could see the situation in real-time was because of the Net of Fate, which transcended space and time.
Nevertheless, Choi Hyuk looked in the direction the star exploded in.
A strange feeling covered his body.
While he didn’t learn it, he instinctively knew what he could ‘deny’.
According to Einstein, two objects moving at different speeds perceived the ‘simultaneous events’ at different times.
Someone inside a train traveling close to the speed of light would perceive lightning striking the front of the train and then the back whereas someone outside might perceive lightning striking the front and back of the train simultaneously. Simultaneous events to someone was not the case for someone else.
Existences each lived on different space-time axes. To aliens currently standing a million light years away, the ‘present’ might be 200 years in the past or future, at least until Exalted Wings used the Net of Fate to fix the time scale between karmalings.
However, at this moment, Dragonic’s defensive line was already misaligned with the alliance’s normal time scale. Also, due to the pressure of the monsters, there was a subtle difference in time scale between Dragonic and the outer most defensive line.
If space-time was bread, its current state wasn’t a properly cut cross-section but cut diagonally so that it stuck out at the front.
Choi Hyuk found what he had to do inside this.
He decided to cut the part of the bread that was sticking out, the twisted space-time.
‘Choi Hyuk’s Denial’ was pulled out from its sheath.
He struck out the moment he unsheathed his sword, and it stirred up dense dark matter from Dragonic to the location of the shattered star. The space-time of the star shattering was completely cut off.
Events that could occur and events that already occurred, he ‘denied’ them all.
When Choi Hyuk took a step, the world surrounding him shed its skin. The fragments of the shattered star and the bright light emitted when the star exploded slipped back and disappeared like plastic wrap. Then the world changed.
Choi Hyuk looked around at his surroundings. He was standing where the star had been destroyed just now. However, the star was still burning brightly here.
“What… the hell? I just die- Kack!!!”
The defensive line was completely restored. Even the dead warriors looked fine.
However, not everything was the same.
The revived warriors trembled as they died again. Fate and karma transcended space-time. While space-time was denied, the already dissipated fates and karma of the dead warriors didn’t return and the warriors who revived again had no choice but to die again.
Only, because the defensive line, which was like a lifeform, hadn’t died or was entirely a lifeform, it could recover its functions once space-time was denied.
For Choi Hyuk, this was enough.
The stakes charged towards the star while shrieking like before. One of the stakes had been injected into the star and exploded along with it so the dragon on it vomited blood as it died like the other warriors. There were still nine unscathed stakes remaining.
Choi Hyuk gripped his sword handle and smiled.
“I’m here. Try crossing over.”
The nine stakes shattered at the same time and opened the curtains for the real defensive battle.
“Crazy bastard… It was possible to slash through those with a sword?”
At the back, Light-Maze felt an unknown sense of inferiority and defeat after watching Choi Hyuk’s splendid declaration of war and swore.