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Chapter 829: Head-On Conflict
Lan Jue and Qianlin’s Harmonious Sword technique fought off two more avatars and one titan. Captus and Occisus was empowered by Lan Jue’s Boundless Starlight Domain. Together, not only were the two not in danger, they even held the upper hand.
Boundless Starlight, enhanced by the Queen of Heaven Domain, captured the three beasts within it. Lan Jue’s Palm of Five Lightnings was also a great boon. Since the monsters had to work harder to defend themselves against the Domain, their Harmonious Swords forced them to stick together and combine their might to ward off destruction.
It was still unsure which side would win, but for the moment the humans were not in danger of losing.
The Terminator fought off two of the monsters by himself. Already intrepid and formidable, his strength swelled beneath the light of the Queen of Heaven. He was no less frightening than the creatures that assailed him, and keeping them at bay was not an issue.
Things were going less happily for the other Paragons. The beasts were all of Nirvana-level at least. Other than the Pharmacist whose Slaughter Domain helped her keep up despite being a Reflection of Heaven and Earth, the others needed to double up against their foes.
Those avatars not locked in battle with the Paragons focused their attacks on Middle Heaven.
“Aagghh!” Monarch’s avatar, commanding the power of the Infinite, roared in feral rage. The other avatars cried back in response. They broke off their attacks on Middle Heaven and focused entirely on the Paragons.
Jue Di and Luo Xianni stood shoulder to shoulder, fighting off three more Infinite-level aliens. Lan Jue and Qianlin were still at war against two avatars and a titan. The Pharmacist had one avatar to herself. The Driver was focused on a titan, relying on the power of his primordial lightning to keep it pinned down. The Terminator was using all the strength available to him to battle two avatars.
Yet this was only ten of the creatures. The remaining twelve fell upon the rest of the human defense; the Wine Master, Clockmaker, Pauper, Keeper, Bookworm, the two Gods of Wine, the Pontiff, and Gourmet.
Just in terms of numbers they were at a disadvantage. What’s more, they couldn’t match up man to man in terms of Discipline strength.
The Clockmaker had already summoned her dharmic image, the enormous grandfather clock manipulating the flows of time to their benefit. The remaining eight Paragons fought for their lives head to head against a superior enemy.
“Go help them.” Jue Di said to Luo Xianni at his side.
The two of them were faring well against three Infinite-level monsters. Jue Di’s golden staff was almost more than his foes could protect against. They were forced to defend themselves with everything they had and had no way to fight back. With the addition of Luo Xianni’s mystical camera they had already managed to cause them some harm.
But while they were gaining ground, their allies were in dire straits. Jue Di had to make a decision. Luo Xianni stared at him for a moment but offered no resistance. In a flash of pink she was gone, off to help their friends.
“Take advice from Luo Xianni. A camera is all you need!”
With the sound of the shutter all area above the twelve aliens was painted pink, twelve mirror images of Luo Xianni appeared from nowhere. The aliens froze in place.
The rest of the Paragons saw their moment. The Keeper and Bookworm’s Positron Cannon, the Wine Master’s Dimensional Compression, Gourmet’s soul fire, Pauper’s Taming Dragon Palm, and the others’ special attacks were unleashed all at the same moment.
At last some respite.
But containing so many Nirvana-level creatures was not easy for the Photographer. They remained frozen only for a moment, but at last the situation was coming under control.
As Luo Xianni left, the pressure on Jue Di rose sharply.
The three avatars he faced were the closest in strength to the planets themselves. Their experience in war was varied and extensive. Resilient tentacles lashed around the Paragons and he drew upon his Deva-gati Domain to hold them back. Suddenly this sector of space was filled with copies of the man, but when faced against the planets’ doppelganger they had little deterring effect. All they could do was distract and harass. Together the three monsters began to chip away at his Domain. While he quickly patched the holes they created, he was slowly losing ground.
All the while Jue Di faced his foes with a calm face. He swung his staff in an endless flurry of attacks, pummeling them with his Thousand-ton Cudgel technique.
The avatars worked together to defend themselves. Queen’s avatar split into several copies, revealing her master of interdimensional powers. Her images flit in and out of existence, attacking Jue Di’s blind spots. Consort’s fragment hovered by Monarch’s avatar and manipulated time around them.
Achieving such heights of power, the home worlds were knowledgeable in all the ways of the universe. Creation, destruction, space-time – all of them were fundamental powers of reality. In order to evolve and create their own realm, these were the powers they’d focused on cultivating.
Monarch’s avatar was encased in a shell of dark purple light. It glared at Jue Di with a ghastly face. Its arms had split into countless tentacles that seemed to swipe at the human from everywhere at once. Its own Domain fluctuated between creation and destruction, in constant conflict with Jue Di’s imposing aura.
Jue Di was strong, but even he had his limits within the Infinite. Facing three enemies of similar strength, even with all his knowledge and fighting experience, turning the tide to his favor would be extremely difficult.
The war continued on three fronts. Suddenly, a light erupted around them.
While the aliens were busy with the Paragons, Middle Heaven had slipped away and rejoined the main battle.
So far the armada had not gained ground, but were holding their own. The most dramatic fights were among the Paragons, but winning victory on the main field was key to success. If they could destroy the enemy’s primary force it would take the pressure off the human ships and give them more leeway.
Lan Qing did not join the Paragon battle, but not for lack of desire. He had a more important task to manage.
When Middle Heaven returned the alien leadership did not follow. Seeing their mighty bastion return unscathed, the human soldiers felt their hearts surge with hope.
The moment it returned to battle, Middle Heaven’s array of cannons were unleashed. With its molinite contained, the energy was refocused toward the bastion’s devastating attacks. Meanwhile Middle Heaven’s drones were finally able to return and charge their weapons.
After so long nearly all the drones from every bastion were low on energy. They had to return and recharge before returning to the front. For the moment, the armada was in a weaker position as its backup dwindled. They had to hold while their drones recharged. This was why Middle Heave hurried to return to their side.
The alien forces had sacrificed much, but were nearly through the human defensive line. The armada had begun to suffer significant losses. However as Middle Heaven came in guns blazing, the aliens were shoved back. The fleet commanders had some space to breathe.
As one side gained ground the other responded, back and forth as the fight continued. The stalemate kept both sides from dealing a definitive blow. Now it was a matter of who could hold out longer.
At present it appeared as though it was the aliens who were suffering greatest. Though the humans had to maintain a continuous rate of fire, they were not losing many ships and could hold out against a thinning alien horde.
However they were only gaining against weaker breeds of creatures. The stronger ones among them were withstanding the attacks, so the losses they faced were only their lower caste. The core of the alien army remained intact.
Hummmm. A strange buzzing sound arose as suddenly six glittering blue halos appeared. They spread out among the aliens, washing over them and freezing them in place.
Poseidon’s main weapons fired, six Soft Water bombs detonating in the midst of their enemies. All of a sudden their side of the field was less crowded. Though the attack was hardly flashy, the efficacy of Poseidon’s primary weapons were uncontested. In this fight they were even more effective than Tyrannosaurus.
The Northern bastion did not employ its main cannon, the cost would be too great. The enemy was too spread out and using it would be like trying to hit a mosquito with laser rifle. Under these conditions it was more useful to siphon that power into their shields, keeping them in the fight as long as possible.
Though they were holding their own, the situation was looking less favorable for the humans. This was especially true for the Paragons, who were stretched thin. If one fell, it could cascade into a torrent that would turn the battle against them.
Lan Qing wasn’t the only one who saw it. Kang Hui and Hua Li recognized the danger as well.
“Lan Qing, I’m going in to join them. We can’t afford to lose that fight.” Hua Li said impatiently to Lan Qing’s image on his screen.