Not even the voice of the Ultimate Sublimator Collective was able to retain its previous calmness, with the countless cocoon threads simply flailing wildly as the shocked voice resounded. "No, it is not the initial form…it must have been the first artificial World Will created through the imitation of a god born from natural divine power! By expanding this world and allowing it to eventually grow with it, its power eventually surpassed the limits of the mind, and hibernation would be its normal state."
"Perhaps, such a design aims to avoid the overly powerful World Will from affecting the world's cycles—such wondrous design, such an exquisite creation…who could have created this world, and gave form to this World Will? I am even more curious!"
Even as the Giant God of Steel arrived before it, while both guardians of Stellaris—Star the Steel Python and the Triple Curtain—watched it, the Ultimate Sublimator showed no hint of nervousness. In fact, it was simply surprised, and delighted as if encountering something unexpected.
"So, this world does indeed conceal secrets and clues related to the history of ancient origins… I must obtain it."
However, every cocoon thread was restrained near the Permanent Void Anchor Point at the moment. The massive monochromatic saucer had sunken within the accretion disk of the silver core black hole—the dominating force that Star the Steel Python commanded as the World Will of Stellaris had nullified the Ultimate Sublimator's own dominating ability, with the space that the two controlled standing off against each other and colliding in the accretion disk of the black hold, causing the most colossal river of substance in the observable universe to bend, arching as if it was the wings of a butterfly.
The backdrop of that battle was the Central Black Hole of the Dark Galaxy with a total mass equal to six billion times the mass of a standard star, a titanic mass with an event horizon radius extending more than eighteen billion kilometers long and rotating at the rapid speed of 70% light speed, watching the world like an eye from prehistoric times.
"Beast, turn back. Go forth to seek your origins away from here, and never return."
In space, the imposing spirit reverberated amidst the surrounding planetary region. The voice of Star the Steel Python and the Triple Curtain resonated as overlapping echoes as they continued somberly, "We shall otherwise throw part of your body along with the entire Permanent Void Anchor Point into the silver core black hole to absolutely sever the entrance with which you have intruded upon this world, while also dragging other parts of you in here to be used as fertilizer for our world."
"It would be a very long process, but I will do all I can to speed it up so you can perish peacefully."
Even if those words sounded ruthless, it was in reality a humiliating decision: both the Steel Python and the Triple Curtain were actually requesting that the Ultimate Sublimator leave them and cease its intrusion into Stellaris, with both sides ceasing hostilities and giving up on their conflict.
It was equivalent to having the countless lives lost to Evil Gods over thousands of years going to waste without any recompenses, in return for simply having their adversary give up on its invasion.
But for the thousands of civilizations and the billions of creatures still alive now in Stellaris, along with the futures of more who would come to be…they would brave the humiliation that came with making that choice.
Because the Ultimate Sublimator Collective was simply too powerful.
The title was certainly deserved, for a single part of its body was able to display overwhelming power, and there certainly would not be any being in the observable Multiverse who would meet it in a fatal engagement if it was unnecessary. However, the Triple Curtain and Star the Steel Python fought by putting everything they had on the line to protect Stellaris and all life residing within. Even so, they could affect the balance of Sterllaris if they truly fought the Ultimate Sublimator in a deadly battle, suffering losses that exceeded gains even without accounting for possible defeat.
As for Joshua himself, he had come here to fight and fulfill a promise, just as the warrior himself certainly wanted to witness the power of the Demi Saint.
And now, positioned outside the accretion disk of the black hole and in front of the vast river of matter, he saw it all—and thoroughly understood the power that class possessed.
If the Sage and Fertility had embodied such level of ability back then, their battle would have torn a massive rift into the Lost Galaxy, and it would not have been unusual for their simple movements to form a Void Vortex and shockwaves to destroy the Vortex of Creation. In other words, their conflict transcended the cosmos itself, a destruction, massacre, and creation on the observable scale of the universe.
However, even if their enemy was so powerful, they were not weak either.
Joshua looked up towards the emptiness of space which appeared devoid of any object—but things were different in reality. With Steel Vision, one was able to tell that a colossal entity, whose body was larger than an entire planetary system, was hovering around the sector. Each of its scales carried the power of a star, and there were so many that no number could account for every scale at once.
It was a supermassive World Will, a form combined with the Triple Curtain. The pair were like an equation where 1+1 far surpassed 2, and at that moment, their power was fully overwhelming the Ultimate Sublimator. One could see that the paradox spiral, which had been the size of several light-years, had rapidly shrunk and was now no larger than a solar system—it was because the World Barrier was being augmented, preventing the Ultimate Sublimator that was latching itself to the outer reaches of the world from fully projecting its power, while the rest of it was forced into the silver core black hole.
Meanwhile, the Egoistic Beast did not respond to the words of the Triple Curtain and the Steel Python. It appeared to have no intent to keep talking, and instead mused to itself.
"I have a feeling that my death would come with certainly if I keep advancing towards the Fountainhead of the Mana Tide towards the Initial Flame, just like the other beings who have perished along the way."
"But I must move forward, for I know that ceasing my advance means a fate of death."
"I have felt the profound terror, the dark hand which lurks behind the curtain of line. The final era of civilization in this Multiverse is about to end, and none of you will survive—just as I would not. That is why I would struggle with all my power in search of the Truth and the last hope."
Having been forcefully shrunk countless times by Star the Steel Python to a twenty billion kilometer diameter while being pressed back towards the Permanent Void Anchor Point in the silver core black hole, the entity suddenly stopped moving backwards, as if entrenched where it was, and remained motionless.
Then, in the split second, as a clear sound as if something had cracked echoed from the center of the anchor point, the millions of cocoon threads no longer cared if they were being pulverized in the dimensions or the black hole, instead simply squeezed wildly into Stellaris from the Void beyond the world instead—every thread was flailing crazily, before shining brilliantly while the dimensions were distorted. Now, rays of light that were travelling in a straight path assumed ripple patterns and extended over all directions.
Then, a great surge of energy exuded from beyond the paradox spiral, completely destroying the Permanent Void Anchor. In its place was a single orb of light resembling an eye and emanating cold malice, and one could see innumerable world fragments wafting from it into Stellaris.
The Ultimate Sublimator was using the Evil Gods it had captured in the Void as tools, and viciously pried open a larger entry point in the most barbaric and violent manner possible from outside the world.
"And yet, you're in my way."
The apathetic voice spoke, as the white-hot orb of malice began to rapidly expand, extending as a Space Cocoon composed entirely of Ultimate Dominator Space. It enlarged like a balloon in the three-dimensional space, heading directly for Joshua and the Steel Python—in split seconds, the colliding space between two realms began to lose control, just as the accretion disk of the black hole crumbled.
A fault of gloom thus appeared the spot at the center of the Dark Galaxy, which should have been eternally bright. After freeing itself from the Steel Python's suppression, it began to expand as well.
"Don't stand in my way."
It was a warning that carried the threat of death.
From the accretion disk's edge of the silver core black hole, Joshua looked on solemnly, seemingly wanting to identify a weak point of the enemy.
The warrior himself was already a definitive champion who would certainly make a name for himself even in the Multiverse. The total mass of his world was the approximate equivalent to a hundred and seventy-four standard stars, which in other words was the mass of sixty million Earths. His very breath could break stars, and his very presence would completely destroy a world's cycles—even black holes were a source of energy and weapon to him, and any attack, arcane, or Extraordinary individuals unable to manipulate the fundamental forces of the universe or were as powerful as singularities were frivolous against him.
And that was without accounting for the improved ability when he installed his engine of multiple black holes.
Was he powerful? Certainly.
Even so, Joshua appeared ever so small in the Multiverse-scale battle between the Demi Saint and the World Will of a supermassive singular realm.
He watched as the titanic and indescribable cocoon-shaped space expanded at the speed of thought, and could only see a single flailing cocoon thread despite his own size. Moreover, it was still enlarging to the point that it was untroubled by a part of itself being caught in the colossal black hole at the center of the Dark Galaxy—after all, even if the supermassive black hole was the size of six billion suns, its event horizon would only extend to a range of eighteen billion kilometers, which was nothing more than the size of a planetary system.
If it had been compacted and stuffed into the point of entry, then the portion of alternate space that the silver core black hole had devoured was merely a not quite sizeable wound to the Ultimate Sublimator.
That was all there is to it.
It was a multidimensional clash that transcended the physical and the spiritual. Apart from Joshua, there was perhaps none who could observe every detail of the confrontation, with which one could uncover weaknesses and possibilities.
He could confirm that the Steel Python and Triple Curtain had an edge at present, while the Ultimate Sublimator's bursting alternate space form was contracting on every turn. Soon enough, it was pressed back to its forty light-seconds size from the light-years size it burst into.
However, as time passed, the contraction slowed and eventually stopped—with actual signs of recoil.
Instead, it was the Steel Python that appeared to have a hard time holding on, emanating a pained flow of presence despite holding the advantage.
It was easy to understand.
Star the Steel Python could barely control the excessively profound power, since it had not been awake for more than a few years in the millions of years after it had been born. It would have been fine in a less intense fight where its instincts could take the veins, but with the enemy being the Ultimate Sublimator, a Demi Saint and one of the most powerful physical forms in the Multiverse, mistakes would easily be made in such a violent confrontation.
Before this, it had been the Triple Curtain completely relying on its own supreme processing capacity to keep things going—but the Triple Curtain was only a Life Preservation Sequence and not built for battle, and as such, was naturally handicapped in terms of combat processing.
It was anything but reassuring.
Now, Joshua could clearly sense that the white-hot hole that was the true form of the Ultimate Sublimator was enlarging at the center of the massive cocoon space. Its power was also rising seemingly without limit, closing the gap to the limits that the Triple Curtain had predicted—there was no question that the current confrontation had yet to test its depth, since it was only reaching out with a hand to arm-wrestle against its adversaries from beyond the world.
It truly was anything but reassuring.
For an instant, all life in Stellaris felt an indescribable fear in their hearts, as if a premonition before a tremor or a storm. It was a sensation of impending destruction, for the world in which all creatures survived upon was being destroyed.
Indeed, a being from a Void was gnawing at the fundamental roots of the world, with no one to stop it.
The original form of the Ultimate Sublimator Collective should not have been that gigantic. Even it had grown to such scale from tininess—in other words, it had grown after consuming one world after another, for such was its instinct and form.
And now, Stellaris was the only world it had came across in its journey to the Fountainhead of the Mana Tide and the location of the Initial Flame, and the largest world it had ever encountered… because the path ahead is the most dangerous trail in the Multiverse, it had to be as prepared as it could be, which was why it would never let go of such an excellent replenishment stop filled with secrets, possibilities, and Truth regarding historical origins.
Regardless of right and wrong, both sides had no reason to give up.
[Warning: Approaching critical dimensional pressure values. Probability engine operating at 30% above normal capacity, world autonomous guarding core energy effective rate less than 64%—warning, enemy power level is still rising, and is presently 2586.76342856% higher compared to initial levels.]
[Briefing: Enemy ability has surpassed 'perfect condition'—activating backup plan K: 'mutual disadvantage'.]
[Relay: Radcliffe, the power Ultimate Sublimator is beyond what we predicted. The worst case scenario has presented itself, and I could not subjugate the target because I could not fully use Star the Steel Python's power even if I energized it once again.]
"Heir of the Sage. It is truly regrettable, but I am simply unable to unleash my full power."
The voice of the Triple Curtain and the Steel Python echoed simultaneously, revealing regret and dissatisfaction.
When Joshua dispatched a clone towards the Void even before he had headed to the Dark Galaxy, he had already spoken to the Triple Curtain and determined many plans beforehand.
Amongst them were plans for conditions where the Ultimate Sublimator would be unable to hold itself against the fused form of the Steel Python and the Triple Curtain.
There were also plans that dictated a resistance, but maintained the status quo.
Naturally, plans were never a thing that supposed that the conditions were advantageous, not to mention that such situations would not require Joshua's actions. In fact, most plans were made in the supposition that circumstances were unfavorable, such as the Triple Curtain and the Steel Python being unable to perfectly suppress the Ultimate Sublimator, and instead slowly being countered by their adversary.
It could even be worse.
And now, this was perhaps one of the worst amongst the plans.
That being said, both Joshua and the Triple Curtains still had alternatives.
"I know that there are hardly any choices here—from the moment I saw the giant cocoon in the Void, I'd already imagined that things would come to this."
Breathing out, the spirit of silver world stayed unaffected. Joshua, who had been on standby in a corner all along, stared dead ahead: he saw the giant cocoon form of the Ultimate Sublimator in a deadly tangle against the Steel Python, with the former being left bent by inches under the great power of its adversary, thereby conceding a path that was small and insignificant to behemoths such as them.
And yet it was still a path, linked directly to the silver core black hole.
The God of Steel raised his 'fists' that were actually formed from black holes, controlling his own power to try compressing that utterly compact clump of matter.
Then, Joshua breathed a sigh.
"There is no going back now that things have come to this. Since all of you are unable to stuff it into the silver core black hole…"
"I shall hence be the one who would blast it into pieces."
"So that is what it is, the will of all things—such grand scale, such history, it is as if it is the initial form of all the World Wills that once existed in the Multiverse."