It was a pity that the truth left people pessimistic.
The universe is dark, cold, callous and filled with unknown. For every world across the Multiverse that emitted light were a thousand shadows—humans had always been left helpless against those dangers that hid behind the shades of worlds, and the only way to advance in such a universe was to raise their torches and illuminate the road before them, prudently striving toward the depths of the unknown darkness.
In the Void beyond the Five-Hundred and Eighty-Seventh Abyss, formerly known as the world of Kronos.
The instant those white spaceships that bore the presence of destruction darted here from far away with nobody to stop them, the battle was fated to happen.
The Insectoid Demon Shaluka could only remember one thing: just as the powerful beings were standing off against each other hesitated, an immeasurably gigantic silver fist materialized out of thin air, instantly streaking toward its ship—
Where did that lunatic come from?!
The ambushed Shaluka never understood why a being that exuded a scent of destruction more terrible than demons would suddenly attack it. After all, there are five whole Monarch-class beings present! Was he not afraid of becoming everyone else's target to provoke a battle just like that?!
Regrettably, the attacker did not think that far—the two mages that were close to him could barely hear a quiet murmur.
"It shouldn't wrong to punch a demon, right?"
Certainly not—in fact, it was considered the most correct choice. In the instant Joshua just arrived and struck out immediately, the balance between the many champions was abruptly broken.
The flames of war ignited in the Void. The Black and White Dragon Kings, the Void Behemoth, the Golden Fleet, and two Legendary mages acted at once, launching a battle that was majestic and should but recorded in history books.
Its body carrying dark-gray negative energy, the Black Dragon King Kanor silently darted toward the Void Behemoth, with the colossal monster called Leviathan throwing its weight toward the oncoming opponent, causing dimensional turbulence in a comparable show of power. The behemoth was ten of thousands meter large, and yet when Leviathan charge toward Kanor that was barely a fraction of its size, it did not have any significant advantage—the astonishing fact was that the Black Dragon was giving the colossal Leviathan a one-sided trouncing. Under the impact of concentrated negative energy that was virtually anti-matter, all defenses and offense of the Void Behemoth were neutralized, every aspect of its innate and Extraordinary ability incapable of withstanding that plain and simple attack.
The Dragon of the Nether Sea certainly had a fully justified reputation. Kanor's mastery of negative energy had arrived at an extreme that its attack was akin to the reverse flow of the Abyss's Nether River, turning all things into nothingness. None of the Legendary champions present could match it in destructive capacity alone, and it was able to manipulate gravity field and the dimensions, not even the Leviathan that wanders the Multiverse freely could stand against it.
Nonetheless, Void Behemoths never were famous for their ability for devastation. That which made them formidable was their undying vigor and physical size that exceeded common sense—in the pace of Kanor's immeasurably hostile and near-indefensible offensive, Kanor simply abandoned defending, allowing the Dragon King to blow cavity after cavity over its body since its tremendous regenerative prowess could heal it to its original state in seconds. Compared to its tens of thousands of meters physicality, those hundred-meters wounds were insignificant, and the battle instantly turned into a competition between the Black Dragon King's energy reserves and the Void Behemoth's vigor.
On the other hand, the Rune Master Barnil found the Lord of the Falling Sleet—Bognar the White Dragon King. The two appeared to be acquainted and did not fight at once, but after a brief exchange of words, the two Legendary champions simply flew toward another end of the Void, their actions not making it clear at once if they were searching for a battlefield or to continue the conversation. But soon, blinding runic light and slowly freezing dimensional turbulence made it evident that the battle between the two had already begun, the rune power that imitated all things now an opponent of the frost that froze the dimensions.
As for William—the Legendary mage who was left behind by his old partner, he did not clash at once with the Golden Fleet that was standing by alertly beside him. The fleet of the race known by other races as 'Celestials' was slowly pulling back and distancing themselves from the battlegrounds that were now a field of chaos. Clearly, they did not intend to come into conflict with any faction, the Ancient Dragon of the world of Kronos being their target. William was happily relaxing as well, and taking a seat as he spectated the exciting drama.
Still, self-preservation under such circumstances was simply a pipe dream. As the First Magma Fleet of the Sixth Abyss fired erratically away because their flagship had been ambushed, thus bombarding the Leviathan with one volley of Abyssal flame from their main cannons, the Behemoth hence stirred the Void, and the battle was no longer one fought between one or two individuals. As a massive dark-green energy shot out of the Leviathan, releasing shockingly profound energy that bent the surrounding the dimensions into a bowl-shape, the dramatic shift pulled William and the Golden Fleet into the center of the battle between Leviathan and Kanor.
Things were so convoluted that there was no telling the state of battle. The wide-reaching effect of Legendary champions also escaped common sense, and as the battle shifted incessantly, everyone changed opponents rapidly. In one second, Barnil and the Lord of the Falling Sleet had been comparing the might of rune and frost, only to be forced to jointly counter the raging main cannons volley of the Golden Fleet. Meanwhile, the Leviathan that had just blocked the main cannon volley directed at it with spatial distortion was now forced to activate its gravity shield, for the shockwave from Joshua's Sword of Mass was flying directly at its head.
In such a state, tempers flared at once—everyone, initially wanting to find out the thoughts of their opponents, were now considering how to 'skin that damned bastard'. Tremendous psionic power focused as the Golden Fleet of the Celestials began to establish focal points in the surrounding Void, their semi-spherical warships combining with their huge triangular Mothership to launch covering fire over the entire boundary of the battle. An entire sky of green-blue beam rained down amidst the dimensional turbulence. Not one to be outfought, the demons Magma Fleet activated their Abyssal magic circles, and veins of torrential flames containing corrupt presence focused at the center of the circle, clubbing any target within reach.
A chaotic melee such as this had no outcome—the battle where opponents were continuously exchanged meant that even if there was a gap in their strengths or there was a deterrence in their abilities, other beings would appear to disturb the stage before the advantage could be enlarged. Though Kanor's negative energies had subjugated Leviathan comprehensively, the dragon could not even use its strength against the spiritual disturbance of William who was adept in evasion, even hurting itself occasionally, making for an unusually frustrating fight.
At the same time, while the Golden Fleet's dimensional stagnation boundary could withstand most offensive present. Their main cannons also certainly hold terrible power that could destroy mountains and tear continents apart, it was useless against Leviathan who was proficient at manipulating dimensions, gravity shielding and could almost distort rays of light. Moreover, any damage the fleet inflicted was healed in the matter of a dozen seconds.
The muddled warfare thus lasted for a good few days, with everyone fighting to a sheet of chaos, disturbed by others whenever victory was in sight. Each combatant was filled with irritation, getting ever angrier as the fight continued and did minding unleashing their trump cards to subjugate their opponents in a bid to kill them before others came to disturb… to those champions, the battle had no pleasure or meaning to speak of, and was nothing other than sheer confusion. The starry sky was now obscured by the strength they released, with the light of distant worlds invisible.
Even so, there was just one individual who was happy about the current state of affairs and enjoying things so much he was not at all tired thanks to the pleasure of it all.
Meeting the Insectoid Demon General with his fist, powerful energy—perhaps lightning generated in the Void emanated dark-purple bolts and plasma. Joshua laughed loudly once and kept exchanging blows with the demon that seemed to have mastered the power of evolution and was capable of shifting into four powerful forms. The warrior did not transform into the Steel Giant, instead fighting in human form albeit wielding the crushing force of a hill with every fist.
It was not hyperbole but a precise description, for that punch was absolutely as heavy as a mountain! Through focused Steel Strength and accelerated magnetic fields on the outside, Joshua could punch out without any obstruction in the Void, a force as frightening as a million-ton asteroid falling from the sky. One of the ships from the Magma Fleet that was barely brushed by the shockwave was promptly crushed by the tremendous force.
And yet, Shaluka could take the blow—with his physicality shifting rapidly, the robustly-built Insectoid Demon General that was a dozen meters tall abruptly transformed to an augmented sphere of muscle, using its stubby but infinitely sturdy arms to block Joshua's fist directly. Then, as his form changed, the stubby arm suddenly turned long and narrow, stabbing toward the warrior like a lance!
Defensive form, offensive form, speed form, and general form—through the grasp of its own physical energy and the essence of the beings, Shaluka could transform its body as it wished into a state that fits its current state best. The Insectoid Demon Generals' defensive form could block the Black Dragon King's assault, its assault form was capable of shattering the Void Behemoth's shield while its speed form could even greatly pressure William who was adept at spatial magic.
However, despite being its full power, Shaluka could only occasionally counter the simple moves of Joshua that was either physical blows or incineration.
Watching as Shaluka's arm lance stabbed toward him at once, Joshua clenched his right first—no one saw if his hands actually moved, but as terrific gravity shifted, Shaluka's entire body that was in front of the warrior was sent flying, its ragged body thrown into the center of the battle between Golden Fleet and White Dragon King, taking a dozen volley of psionic cannon beams.
The warrior was having great fun and enjoyment in the melee—it was the greatest days in the recent dozen years for Joshua. Bewilderingly powerful opponents were everywhere, wielding unthinkable powers: The Black Dragon King's negative energy that could pierce degenerate matter, the Void Behemoth's supergravity field that could disturb other mass attacks, the White Dragon's freezing of dimensions, energy-plundering sleet that stopped even nuclear fusion reactions. The Golden Fleet was a generally formidable force with flawless psionic powers when combined, as well as the demon rapid evolution that was somehow achievable despite exceeding common sense.
Those abilities were considerable wherever it was placed, and plenty enough to give anyone headaches, having them think how to counter them. Every being present were unquestionably a fighting force that could wipe out small to medium-scaled civilizations. With everyone gathered at once, it was truly a miracle that was neither large nor small.
It was fortunate that he was not too shabby.
Exuding a deep breath in the Void, Joshua exhaled the waste gases produced by the Nuclear Heart Furnace in his body, forming a streak of crimson tempest over a million degrees. He spread his arms, and the illusion of the Steel Giant appeared form just an instant.
Joshua knew not to enter Steel Giant form in such a battlefield because it was easier to be focused upon as a larger target. As with the Void Behemoth that was larger than 'mountainous', more than half of the Legendary champions present had aimed half their attacks on it. Additionally, there was not much issue even if Joshua did not enter combat form—at most he could not handle behemothic beings, and could only fight enemies of normal sizes.
Such as the Insectoid Demon General.
At present, Shaluka was so focused down by the warrior that it was about to spew blood—it had already entered a few bouts against Joshua for a few days. Although there was no telling time in the Void, beings of their level had a body clock that was as comparable to atomic clocks, precise to the microsecond. And being aimed at to such extent, it was about to fall despite being a Legendary Insectoid Demon General.
Joshua's power was not as colorful, dazzling, complex and volatile as Barnil's, or as mysterious and unfathomable as William's, much less as impressionable as Kanor and Bognar's negative energy and frost powers. As a Legendary, Joshua's ability was special because his ordinary strength was massive, his body hardened enough, his stamina sufficient and heavy enough. However, it is those few simple powers that pushed the Insectoid Demon Generals' evolutionary powers to its limit.
It was an ability that transcended evolution itself. Even if the body of demon dragons of the Abyssal sea was considered the greatest, but they would suffer the fate of broken bones and shattered nerves beneath Joshua's front jab. The magical insects of divine blood from certain worlds could hold against the blaze and pressure of the sun, but such defenses would last for just two of Joshua's punches. Placed under such pressure, Shaluka had only escaped by a hair's breadth on every turn, gaining a little ground to not be utterly crushed each time it fought Joshua.
That, however, did not mean that Shaluka was weaker than Joshua—it was far appropriate to say that their compatibility was poor. The Insectoid Demon General would never be disadvantaged against any opponent here, but its variable forms were simply meaningless against Joshua's simple and powerful bodily fundamentals, and only that.
"Damn it, how is that human holding me down?!"
Having separated itself in another exchange between the Void Behemoth and the Golden Fleet, the Insectoid Demon General was so annoyed it was about to burst. Since when had it been so irked as a Demon General now? But against Joshua, with his sturdy and plain power that had no flaw for him to exploit, Shaluka was truly helpless. Unless its reinforcement, the Beholder Demon General Helm rushed here as soon as possible, it was confident in killing Joshua with the combined force of two Demon Monarchs.
Perhaps the attention of all Legendary champions had been placed on their opponents due to the supremely tense battle, none noticed that the radiance from the Great Mana Tide was growing dull in the Void around them. The flickering light of stars also dimmed, that even the chaotic and illusionary dimensional turbulence started to become obscure, as if a sheet of dense fog was shrouded over it.
And when everyone finally noticed the fact…
Along with the sudden arrival of coldness and shade, the dark fog spread rapidly in the Void, spreading an unrivaled chilling presence. In an instant, every present Legendary champion, Extraordinary fleet, Void Behemoth and even the entire world of Kronos was engulfed into the bowels of the great black fog that appeared out of nowhere!
Such was darkness—ever concealed beneath light.
When they look up toward the starry skies, positive people would be in awe of the beautiful stars, while the pessimistic people would sigh in the face of the endless darkness.