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899 Night Looms

"They are approaching."

"Something massive, powerful… approaches our world."

"Prepare. My instinct tells me that is the first sparks that would ignite a great inferno, or the surging tides that would douse the flames of war…"

Diverse civilizations were making different choices.

***

"Prophesize."

Within the Twelve Sanctuaries of the Takur Galaxy, the Grand Patriarch of the Ruin Cult suddenly opened its one eye from its meditation. Its pupil appeared to be a swirl of energy that resembled a galaxy, with profound psionic presence emanating from within, along with distinct, unique divine power.

"Prophesize," it repeated solemnly. "I hear the echoes, the cries of ancient remains that floats amidst the darkness… something unknown has appeared in the 'Ruin Pit'!"

The 'Ruin Pit' was the name of the Takur Ruin Cult for the outer Void of the Multiverse. It encircles the worlds were life existed, and would eventually consume every star—it is only by gathering the soul and consciousness of every individual to create the Canopy that the fate of destruction could be avoided.

However, to become a member of the Takur Ruin Cult meant placing a soul in the Canopy after death as a material for its foundation. It was a form of eternal life that none apart from Takur Ruin Cultists could accept—that said, the Ruin Cult would simply destroy the physical form of civilizations which refused to join them, claiming their souls and fuel and resource to forge their kingdom.

And now, the Takur Ruin Cult detected the movement in the Ruin Pit. 

They made a great prophecy at once.

***

The Imperator's throne in the Bloody Palace, the Revelation system, the Amos galaxy.

A will powerful enough to warp reality reverberated throughout the planetary system.

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The consciousness that appeared to be holding its anger forcefully swept through the minds of every Amos person. It was the first time their Imperator was so grimly giving them, the children of success such a clear command.

Hence, they too began to listen and observe every facet of the Silent Void.

Apart from them, almost every powerful civilization was relaying similar commands. Compared to the youthful and ignorant ones, the ancient and formidable civilizations knew clearly that 'anomalies' also meant 'uncontrollable', 'unexpected' and 'unknown'—those were the most dangerous of all, and must be discerned at once.

Thus, colossal prophet circles that covered an entire star system was activated.

Thus, the most detailed and augmented biological probes were unleashed from planet-sized nurseries.

Thus, countless vessels roaming the Void combined into a Skyline formation.

Thus, supermassive negentropic probes that obtained motion through stellar forms were linking to energy sources.

All of them began to run, activating, and watched the distance with various methods—measures no young civilization could fathom: science, mechanical, elemental, psionic, lifeforce, holy light, mysticism, and even metaphysics were used simultaneously to sense and observe the unknown faraway origins that caused all present motion.

In one of the Takur Ruin Cult Sanctuaries, the Grand Patriarch solemnly presided over a ceremony to open a dimensional rift in the faraway Ruin Pit and gather information. Its superior ability naturally did not necessitate collecting elements around like the Third Prophet—it only had to open the rift, and directly use its own psionic and divine powers to witness first hand the existence on the other side.

Whooooosh—

With a sound that dragged on, the dimensional rift parted, and the sight beyond greeted the elderly Grand Patriarch.

The Ruin Pit was lightless and directionless, with all that once held form were disintegrating within and dying. Anything that could create light and heat or affect other objects were now in complete stagnation as if time itself had stopped. It was a scene that matches the precise description which the Takur Ruin Cult foretold for all things as they met their end.

But in that limitless, dark and silent Void, a bundle of bright lights was rapidly advancing.

It was a fleet.

The core of the fleet was built of colossal vessels forged from some silver alloy, unusual in both appearance and application but advanced—or, in the very least, the Grand Patriarch could not identify the technology and the alloy materials. He could barely make out slight protrusion runic armor over the silver alloy, compact and patterned like dragon scales and emitting a rainbow radiance while humming like a bee.

On one flank of the main fleet were vessels of another type, each planet-sized and glinting in golden brilliance. The ships on the other flank were dark and dull, irregular crafts that appeared to be asteroids or world fragments that floated around in the Void.

In a nutshell, the fleet of almost ten-thousand ships was not actually huge—an insignificant force to the Takur Ruin Cult. Each of their sect commands an armada of such numbers, and yet the Grand Patriarch knew that numbers mattered not for fleets, but technological standards.

It then saw eight powerful Void Behemoths leading the fleet up front. They were familiar—if anything, they would appear to belong to the Starherders that vanished from the grand stage of the Multiverse centuries ago. Incidentally, the Takur Ruin Cult had wanted to bring in those nomads who had unique skills in molding worlds but were rejected and escaped their pursuit…

But that was not important.

The Grand Patriarch had fixed its gaze upon the object at the center of the eight Behemoths: a mundane silver sphere that appeared to be a mere metallic ball.

And yet, it was that sphere that prompted a sense of danger in the Patriarch far beyond the combined might of the eight Behemoths. Furthermore, it even felt a dozen more presence of great Extraordinary powers, each of which were at least a class above the Prophets. They were spread across various points in the fleet, emanating strong barriers that covered the entire armada.

"You again?"

Out of nowhere, when the Grand Patriarch was studying the ships from the other side of the rift intently, he detected a thick, horrific and threatening presence: the silhouette of a dark-haired, bipedal creature had silently appeared in front of the rift. His eyes were shining with searing red light as if melted steel, and staring back to the side of the rift.

He reached out and grabbed at the core of the prophet ritual. Dark, malevolent and endless Chaos followed, welling with the presence of destruction. All at once, millions of powerful psionics across the sanctuary fell as if struck by lightning, sinking into comas where they dreamt of the fall of one civilization after another—the Chaos Memories had become a weapon of the existence from beyond, invading the depths of his enemies' spirit.

"Damn it!"

Though the Grand Patriarch was unaffected some frivolous Chaos memories, he realized that his cult's coordinates must never be found by those creatures from the other side—hence, in the next split second, it closed the dimensional rift, intent on using the profound power of the prophet circle and sever the hand of the creature from the other side.

And yet, the Grand Patriarch realized in shock that the rift that could cut through almost object in this world shattered naturally when it touched the body of the creature from beyond. That body was in a league of its own, utterly unaffected by ordinary spatial offensive!

The Grand Patriarch still had certainly moves to follow up and repel the Thing. He was formidable, but they were on par and there was no reason to fear the other.

However, the being from beyond suddenly frowned and quietly mumbled in some unknown language, before stopping its probing the coordinates of the other side.

The probing exchange thus ended abruptly.

If anyone who knew Mycroft common tongue had been there, they would know what the powerful creature from beyond was saying.

"What's going on? Why are there so many spies?!"

***

When the other Prophets had hastily teleported to aid the Grand Patriarch, the prophet rituals had ended, with all unconscious psionics sent to various healing facilities for analysis.

Meanwhile, the Grand Patriarch who resembled an old farmer and an insignificant presence had changed into a full set of priest robes: elegant, imposing, and brimming with all kinds of energy halations.

"They have departed…"

Watching the Prophets who had just arrived and unaware of what happened, the Grand Patriarch lowered its voice and spoke with immeasurable grimness.

"…and are now approaching."

"Storm's coming. We should all make preparations."

***

At the same time, the authorities of every civilization that had launched grand scale Void observation had reacted at once in an orderly manner, albeit differently.

"They appear to be organized."

In Void platforms that hung above worlds and were colossal enough to subjugate each realm, transmissions were made. Huge, sturdy black warships followed rising beyond the Void, gathering from thousands of worlds into a single spot.

"Notify all fleet commanders, sound the command for maximum mobilization."

A galaxy-roaming navy of ants, whose primary goal was knowledge were shedding their ordinary safe outer skin. As dull crystal streaks on the surface of their warships recharged and shone in dark green lines, the massive navy started their engines and steered towards another bearing.

"…New prey… new food…"

In an empty system, a swarm of locust-like creatures that blanketed the worlds were pulling a planet forward, having built their hive inside it. An evil horde that consumed the skies, they never had excess emotions—their boundless hunger and thirst for organic matter kept them fearless and welling with insatiable appetites.

"Poor creatures, wandering the Void. They need our aid and care."

Inside worlds controlled by machines, strong neutron signals were sent through subspace circuits to each world. The great collective machine consciousness was awakening—having encountered a new subject to care for, the mission objective inscribed in their main programming had reactivated.

"Reasonably speaking, is it really impossible for us to communicate with them?"

"How interesting, a powerful civilization from the Lost Galaxy."

That was the opinion of all friendly or neutral civilizations. Though they were doubtful and vigilant against the presence of powerful beings who had come from the direction of the Lost Galaxy and emanated energy waves even over the Silent Void, they were more inclined to communicate than to fight.

On the other hand, those individuals or civilizations filled with lusts of destruction and malice had simpler ideas.

"Such crude alien species must be purged!"

News that an unknown but powerful Void armada advanced in the Silence Void certainly slightly calmed the Multiverse where all-out war would erupt at the drop of a hat, but it was merely the calm before the storm.

And everyone knew that the storm was coming, that the Night looms before many civilizations.
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