All things moved at one psionic thought: with the psionic agitation of the Triple Curtain that transcended worlds, a radiance of silver and blue abruptly ignited upon the paradox spiral, which previously had only been black and white. Indeed, the cocoon thread could not avoid being shone upon by that light, even if it had accelerated its stirring of dimensions to muddle dimensions to the point where it actually turned that spatial sector into a rotating vortex, and was hence caught inside the virtual realm and completely separated from the worlds beyond, briefly stopping its continuous attempts to break the Stellaris World Barrier.
But that was not the end, as Joshua had already made his move before the Triple Curtain made its own. As multiple black holes moved and stirred simultaneously into a muddle of spatial tremors of unidentifiable trails, the massive silver world swung its four protruding Black Hole Fists. With the thrust that it would split apart the virtual realm as well, it swung downwards from high above, cutting down powerfully at the very heart of the paradox spiral!
It was a combined ultimate killing move from the pair. With the Triple Curtain doing the targeting and Joshua being the lynchpin of their attack, their partnered move instantly unleashed their strongest blow.
Psionic energy was not actually a measure for inflicting direct damage, but merely an application of energy, a gimmick to create things in a simulated manner. Against champions of absolute power, even the most complex and volatile skills were useless against the unbreakable barrier of definitive power, with illusory spells or special spiritual energy being even more meaningless—to hurt the champion who had transcended all boundaries, the only measure at the Triple Curtain's disposal was nothing more than the rare few specialties such as Psionic Singularity or Virtual Realm.
But that was enough.
In the split second when the virtual realm manifested, the single cocoon thread of the Ultimate Sublimator that had reached inside Stellaris froze and was rendered immobile, for the simulated space created by the Triple Curtain this time was literally a parallel world of full symmetry.
In that world, all was equal and parallel, with a corresponding aspect to everything regardless of principle. They were balanced, stable, complementing, and nullifying towards each other, allowing neither change nor possibility...
Because within it, time and space had yet to come to be, just as objects and energies were not at all present.
It was neither a spatial seal nor the stopping of time, just as it was not a frost lock that absorbed energy. If one had to describe it, that stillness was an unobservable independence, and with the cocoon thread being completely isolated from the axis of observation, it lost all capacity to observe and sense.
Even so, that was only momentary. As long as the main body of the cocoon thread that had remained outside Stellaris became aware of the fact, even the parallel world attack would not be able to stop its assault—and that was why Joshua's blow was needed to completely crush that balance. With brute force akin to a Big Bang beyond the world, he would forcefully destroy that virtual realm along with the thread that had reached inside to probe around Stellaris!
The mass of the black hole broke through inside the parallel world, and the explosion that resembled an eruption of the universe itself utterly broke the balance within the virtual realm. The punch, which had gathered the flesh of Ultimate Entities by the billions, and stellar mass therefore directly created a flaw into the symmetry of the virtual world—that was also exactly why the objects and energy that the nonparallel aspects therein developed from the excess mass made the framework of space and time.
Just like when the world was first birthed, the greatest of eruptions had detonated.
Though it was a simulation, that single blow was undoubtedly a blast at the level of the Big Bang. With a power that blurred all fundamental principles in that virtual realm in the most violent and unfathomable fashion, those dimensions were a broiling tide, dragged along as the peerless Black Hole Fists hammered down at once on the cocoon.
It was only then that the cocoon thread began to resist, as if waking from a dream after finally sensing space and time. Even so, it was too late—as the briefest of moments passed, the cocoon thread, which was so sturdy that it did not appear to be made out of any material in the universe, began to shatter layer by layer, reduced to nothing.
Even before that simple thought came to mind, Joshua's mind had an inkling—his mind that processed beyond lightspeed was unaffected by any delay or dimensional distortion, which incidentally was the aspect that gave him time to react.
A shattered nebula now lay at the center of the virtual realm which had been struck by the Black Hole Fists, its fragments continuously absorbed by the black holes. But suddenly, an eruption far beyond supernovas burst out as divine radiance of boundless brightness emanated, its very luminosity rising without limit both at the starting moment of its shining and at full power—in that very same second, within the shattered nebula and directly in front of event horizon of the Black Hole Fist, the little bit of the cocoon thread that had yet to be destroyed wiggled.
Energy was gathering, while the dimensions were shaking.
In the space of reality which had been stirred, the boundless brightness that had abruptly appeared hence assembled and focused—and just like that, it turned into a blast of energy a million times more powerful than the Great Mana Tide outside Stellaris, hitting Joshua's 'fists' at lightspeed.
Even the black holes, which were said to consume everything, were not actually invincible. Just like how Joshua could control gravity to shift black holes or even control them to attack, there were always measures to manipulate the stellar form of finality.
And now, in that very moment, the Ultimate Sublimator was applying one of the simplest measures there was: exerting almost limitless force to blast it away.
Still, Joshua reacted at that instant and attempted to pull his fists away to avoid it, just as the Triple Curtain reacted as well by creating a spatial distortion to deflect the blast unleashed by the Ultimate Sublimator back to its own…
But there was not only a single energy blast.
A blinding saucer of light abruptly transformed into an accretion vortex of seven colors, forming a dark rainbow in the space within the dark universe and thus, bit by bit, pushed the opposing blows away.
Joshua could feel the rapid heating of one of the black holes in his right fist instantly reaching the billion degree temperature of a miniature black hole—it was unimaginable for a black hole, because the eight black holes that were assembled as his black hole engine each had the mass of hundreds of suns, and that their warmth was merely one thousandth of a degree above absolute zero!
Heating up black holes? It would be nonsensical… unless unlimited energy was injected into it by force!
And yet, the Ultimate Sublimator had really applied unlimited energiy.
The temperatures climbed promptly whereas mass expanded rapidly as well. Near unlimited and focused energy hence pushed the black holes, creating a profound mass far beyond what Joshua could control—the balance within two of the black holes that made up Joshua's right fist collapsed, with those black holes creating a gravitational force far beyond what it had exuded before, directly pulling another black hole towards it, with both stellar bodies about to collide and fuse.
Even Joshua very expression changed at that sight. He could only determinedly sever his connection to the black hole which was struck, while also using every iota of strength he had to withdraw the black hole which had been pulled, before throwing it at the direction of the cocoon thread which was under concentrated blows and which mass was still increasing.
Like a baseball flung away rapidly, the black hole left a long accretion trail as if it was a dark comet after being freed from Joshua's own gravitational influence at the cocoon thread, its presence echoing beyond 500 decibels within the thin nebula layer, the profound mechanical waves shattering everything around it.
Even so, another astonishing sight presented itself—after Joshua had cut off his connection to the black hole, the twelve streams of energy had also paused. Out of control, the massive black hole brushed adjacently above and past the cocoon thread as it rapidly regenerated, before pausing where it was and mysteriously remaining motionless.
The streams did not nullify every power in the Black Hole Fists by coincidence. It had even canceled out the angular momentum of the black hole, reducing it into a pure Schwarzschild black hole.
A perfect deflection. It really seemed to have used as much power as I did!
Immediately understanding that, Joshua did not pause despite being attacked as a flash of resolve struck his mind.
"At the very least, that move tells me that even if it were an existence as powerful as the Wise Ones, it could not withstand the singularity of black holes directly."
Joshua and the Triple Curtain conversed rapidly—at the moment, the latter was using Psi to slit the dimension and completely controlled the space one light-second around the cocoon thread and pulverizing every form of matter within, while also cutting space itself into countless irregular and complex stripes. Despite that, the cocoon thread appeared to exist separately from everything else—neither the psionic pulverizing and psionic slitting were of use against it, with the spatial rift that could tear everything physical apart having no trace of effect of it.
Even so, regardless of how unreasonable and at once unfathomable that cocoon thread was, it feared black holes, singularities, and Joshua's own Black Hole Fists—that was why it had instantly burst out with near unlimited energy to push away Joshua's punches. At that moment, if the ratio of power Joshua had used was one, then the one that Ultimate Sublimator had used was more than a million.
The singularity was the black hole's core. Within its reach or on its rings, everything known and unknown would lose all principles and meaning, regardless if it was present within a universe or any form of world. It was something that transcended the reaches of human imagination and awareness, with time moving endlessly slow at the edge of the singularity. If one could survive being at the edge of the singularity, they would see the destruction of a black hole in a split second, or indeed the end of a universe.
Such singularities destroy all forms of common sense and fundamental principles, and that was precisely the reason why black holes were known as the final stellar form. Power beyond common sense and fundamental principles must hence be relied upon to stand against it—in other words, one must at least have the power to disseminate information beyond lightspeed and ignore energy conservation laws in their creation of brand new Extraordinary ability, engulfing the Multiverse with a single thought and creating a new path, the individual himself surpassing the exceptional threshold of the Wise Ones.
That was why, below the Wise Ones, the simplest and most powerful form of attack which Extraordinary individuals could use were black holes. In fact, the attributes of various singularity abilities were essentially charging almost endless Extraordinary powers into an attack resembling black holes, and was a completely identical measure, and the different ultimate skills established upon it were nothing other than moves like Black Hole Fists.
When one's power reached such a level, there would be more similarities than contrasts.
"I now understand why so many black holes had remained in the battlefield between the Sage and the Evil God of Fertility, even forming a wall of black holes which edge I could not see completely cutting apart all connection between the Darkest Abyss and the Abysses beyond…"
At once realizing the cause and effect, Joshua knew at once that it was the battleground that the Sage had created back then to seal, or perhaps limit the movements of the Evil God of Fertility.
In the end of that battle, the Evil God of Fertility was completely destroyed by the Sage. Its remains were then sealed with black holes and affixed with a bounded field to be used as raw material in the creation of a singular supermassive world. The Sage broke through into the threshold of the Wise Ones as well, becoming an existing that surpassed all limits.
Joshua called out to the Triple Curtain suddenly. "Pull every star around us here!"
Without asking any questions, the Triple Curtain knew well that it could not stand alone against the behemoth beyond the world, and working with Joshua was their only chance for victory. Therefore, as it used Psi to calm the dimensional distortion that the paradox spiral had wreaked, the psionic collective energized the stores of energy that it had stored for almost eighty million years and was almost limitless, drawing the stars around them to their location.
At this time, the Triple Curtain had no intent of holding back. It would truly fight at full power, and with them incidentally being at the dense center of the Dark Galaxy filled with innumerable stars, there were soon hundreds of stellar bodies promptly appearing around Joshua and itself amidst flashing lights of warping.
"Meaningless. I want to enter this world, and see for myself how it has kept standing after so long despite the impact of the Great Mana Tide."
At the same time, the cocoon thread began to dance as well. The stability of the World Barrier decreased once again, and there was apparently something even larger than it breaking inside, bent on extending within from the other side of the paradox spiral.
Meanwhile, a mysterious voice spoke flatly from beyond the world. "I want to know why this world can exist so closely to the fountainhead of the Mana Tide as well as the Initial Flame, and what kind of secrets are contained within."
"Don't get in my way."
This time, it was a machine gun firing black holes that was used against it.
It was neither a metaphor nor a hyperbole, but a machine gun of black holes in its truest definition—Joshua and the Triple Curtain were working together at full power: the former was splitting and compressing stars, turning them into small, unstable black holes that were approximately the size of Earth, while the latter would stabilize them, delaying their vaporization. Bursting out at full power together, they instant fired over thousands of small black holes, unleashing the next wave before the previous wave was finished, a rain of bullets with layers and resembling tides.
The Schwarz radius of the small black holes did not exceed eight millimeters and was actually smaller than the common bullet, but the mass and speed they contained granted them such momentum that could leave stars in pieces. Using those stellar bodies as ammunition, endless miniature black holes were fired at the cocoon thread that seemed to be pausing blankly where it had been, with some vaporizing by themselves halfway through due to bad control, turned into energy oscillation and radiation that could engulf an entire planetary system. Still, most were steadily darting towards the enemy, ignoring all obstacles and barriers.
The essence of civilization was boiling water, explosions, and throwing rocks—at least, those were the human civilizations Joshua came in contact with.
The ocean of vacuum, supernovas, and black holes were merely water, explosions, and rocks of another form. Plain and honest, there was nothing to it.
The boundless and abnormal light appeared once again. Streams of unlimited energy burst out away from the cocoon thread as if connected to the true form of the Ultimate Sublimator, sweeping through vacuum and intercepting most of the small black holes. Even so, the dimensional distortion that the black holes caused skewed even light, and the endless waves of those bullets punched an opening into that almost unbounded energy defense. Like a dark storm, the dense rank of black holes roared as they struck the cocoon thread, evaporating after absorbing part of its mass, heating everything around it to the absolute maximum temperature.
This time, the cocoon thread seemed to have lost all ability to resist, allowing itself to be destroyed as is.
Instead, it was Joshua and the Triple Curtain who were left at a loss as they watched their enemy deprived of every form of reaction.
They had intended to suppress the cocoon thread by firing the small black holes and create a black hole wall with the compressed stars, forcefully seeing it under the event horizon. Then, they would fuse those black holes together into a supermassive one, directly restraining the paradox spiral created by the Permanent Void Anchor Point.
But destroying the enemy at the very first move?
It was absolutely impossible!
In situations where things unexpectedly exceeded expectations, these would most of the time not mean that things were surprisingly 'good', but unexpectedly 'bad' instead!
And this occasion proved to be no exception.
In the instant as both Joshua and the Triple Curtain realized that the cocoon thread had lost its signal, they could once again observe the narrow and long cocoon thread that resembled a one-dimensional line. It was shining and diminishing slowly as it was bombarded by numerous miniature black holes—soon, they discovered another bizarre phenomenon: the miniature black holes were not evaporating by themselves after striking their targets, but were simply vanishing for some unusual reason.
As if they were swallowed by something.
Soon, Joshua and the Triple Curtain saw that the miniature black holes they launched had appeared at the rear of that sector after suddenly vanishing, rapidly darting away while collapsing by itself due to the delayed psionic vaporization boundary that the Triple Curtain embedded on it, bursting in a dazzling ripple energy as if it had stepped through a portal.
"No, it is not teleportation!"
A master of virtual realm, the Triple Curtain realized that something was not right at the first instance. "Our mini black holes have entered another world—the black hole just now had vanished, but in reality, it has entered the borders of another world. That world was also spreading out when we saw it again, allowing us to see inside it!"
"We are here inside Stellaris. Could there be another world here?"
In truth, that rhetorical question was unnecessary. Joshua quickly realized where that bizarre other world was from.
He looked up in shock at that thin and seemingly ordinary cocoon thread which was about to vanish.
It was small, vulnerable, and insignificant as if it was a one-dimensional line. And yet, it was able to stir dimensions and shatter World Barrier, even bursting out with unlimited energy to nullify his Black Hole Fists—Joshua had thought that it was the Ultimate Sublimator which supported it, using it as a medium to direct its power and fight Joshua and the Triple Curtain from across time and space.
And now, in the face of an unstoppable attack, the cocoon thread spread itself.
The single line turned into a surface, and eventually becoming a three-dimensional area—a complete universe.
Thus, as the seemingly ordinary cocoon thread unfurled, a dark aberrative space resembling the Void itself replaced the space which existed before, hence manifesting in Stellaris.
It was the true form of the cocoon thread, an alternate space which was at least the size of six astronomical units. It was only then that Joshua realized with a start why the single tiny cocoon thread could not be transported easily through the paradox spiral, even if its had allowed Evil Gods and near endless ranks of Ultimate Entities through.
The answer was so simple: it was larger even after those Evil Gods and Ultimate Entities were put together!
Millions of miniature black holes could be seen firing into that massive space.
There was neither explosions nor vaporizations—not even any form of devouring. Even the delayed boundary had vanished, and yet mysteriously, the miniature black holes never disappeared and retained their original state.
Then, the micro black holes adjusted their positions slightly, injected once again with momentum and a delayed vaporization boundary before being fired away rapidly.
This time, the target did not vanish or spread itself into cocoon threads in alternate space, but vigilantly stood guard against Joshua and the Triple Curtain.
The attack was reversed, deflected.
One could even see boundless light shining upon that alternate space, waiting to explode after having weathered every attack in that time. All energy hence converged, and the momentum, which had been incidentally and perfectly nullified, was that ability at work.
Absolute control and absolute selfishness—under the rule of that selfish beast, it was not a difficult matter for that space to reverse offensives, deflect damage, remain invincible, and use the enemy's blows of energy on themselves.
The voice of apathy resounded over the world as the Demi Saint thus spoke, "Regardless of whose power it belongs to."
The psionic virtual realm that the Triple Curtain had conjured was just like a border—a formless world that simulated erratic universal constants as dividers. In the instant that the thought came to be, the dimensions which the cocoon threads had stirred was locked on.