Chapter 140: Drink Medicine! Break Out!
The calls Tan Lingyun had sent to Lan Jue and Wang Hongyuan were in fact received, only they’d chosen not to answer. He hadn’t expected she would stay behind on Taihua – and judging by the sheer number of curse words in her messages to them, he judged the only reason she did remain, was to find them.
The woman was cold as ice on the outside, but did indeed have a good heart as Jin Yan assured.
A dim blue light reached from Thor’s chest. When it receded, Tan Lingyun was gone, safe inside the mecha. Thor’s cockpit wasn’t small, easily big enough to accommodate two people. Years ago he’d built it that way for when he rambled with Hera.
Tan Lingyun was covered in grime, passed out, and stinking up his cockpit – but Lan Jue didn’t concern himself with that. He reached out to feel her pulse. When he was sure it was simply exhaustion, he breathed a sigh of relief.
For her to last so long out there without a mecha was testament to her strength and ability.
It was time to retreat. It meant conceding Taihua to these beasts, but even something as strong as Thor could get exhausted. He was off again, flying towards the encampment. Idoloclast was already waiting.
There were still a number of empty airships remaining. Wang Hongyuan chose one without a pilot. These ships were mostly run automatically, so piloting one was nothing difficult.
“Professor Lan, on your way back? We’ve got to get out of here as soon as possible. Radar’s picking up several more of the monsters heading our way. ****1, do all these things know we’re here?!”
“I’ll be there in a moment,” Lan Jue replied. “And I’m bringing Tan Lingyun along for the ride. I think she came to save us. She pushed too hard and lost consciousness.”
“You’re not talking about the Savage Goddess…”
“That’s her,” he said. Thor continued towards the encampment, only stopping to dispatch two more monsters on the way.
The stabbing pain in his chest was worse. Lan Jue once more cursed the damn angel Michael for what he’d done. If he were at peak condition he’d have been able to sustain the fight for at least twice as long without issue.
Wang Hongyuan tapped in their intended coordinates and lifted off, first towards Lan Jue’s location. Idoloclast had already withdrawn, so he was only waiting for the etiquette teacher to make their escape.
Lan Jue appeared in a sudden flash of light. That mecha’s speed! A light reached out from it’s chest and deposited Lan Jue on the ground. He carried Tan Lingyun on to the waiting airship.
He turned once on board and motioned with Thor’s Promise. It flashed, and Thor vanished through interdimensional space. “Let’s get out of here!”
“Got it!” Wang Hongyuan roared with maniacal laughter 2 and blasted off towards space. But the laugh was short lived, as suddenly the ship pitched to the side.
Lan Jue, just managing to shut the doors, then slammed against the cabin wall. He shouted angrily towards the pilot. “What the hell are you doing?!”
Wang Hongyuan’s tense voice responded. “Look for yourself.”
Lan Jue stuck his face against the nearest porthole, and his heart sank.
Their escape was cut off by the erratic flight of a colossal monstrosity. Volley after volley of energy salvos launched at them from the creature’s head. Ten ships had taken off before them, and already two were falling to earth as flaming debris. The terrifying attack was as impressive as Thor’s Forest of Lightning.
This was easily the deadliest beast they’d encountered so far, worse than the Tyrannosaurus Lan Jue had dispatched. From what they were seeing, he estimated the beast to be equivalent to a ninth level Talent. More than a match for an average mecha.
“We’ve done enough,” Wang Hongyuan said, his voice low and defeated.
They were still quite a distance from the behemoth. The earlier roll was made to avoid an errant beam of energy that had swung their way. So far they hadn’t captured the monster’s attention. Now was their chance to get clear.
Wang Hongyuan’s words reminded Lan Jue of something. A small smile spread across his face. His eyes were clear and sharp.
“My wife died, three years ago. When she left she took my heart with her. You really don’t need to worry about Jin Yan and I. I know everyone who’s lost a loved one hurts. I might not be able to save everyone, but even saving one more person means I spare someone the pain I feel. I can save a family.”
“When you get back, if the Savage Goddess wakes up, don’t tell her it was I who saved her. Promise you’ll keep my secret. Now get out of here.”
His left hand had risen, and that familiar green glow once more called Thor from the abyss. He waved towards the cockpit, then yanked open the cabin door and leapt out before Wang Hongyuan could lock it shut.
Almost immediately he was caught in a beam of light, and found himself in Thor’s cockpit. He settled in, then reached in to jacket. He pulled a small vial from within, and took a deep breath.
Lan Jue poured the contents down his throat. Almost immediately his power began to pulse erratically. His gloomy expression became alive with vitality. The aura that surrounded him was magnificent and terrifying.
Thor trembled from the unstable bursts of energy from it’s pilot. “Zeus, in consuming this unknown medicine your body’s energy is swelling. Estimates read you can only sustain this level of power for thirty minutes. Your body will be unable to endure the medicine’s effects after that. Your Core will be in danger of being annihilated.”
“Thirty minutes eh?” Lan Jue fixed his eyes on the distant monster. “That’s enough. Thor, time for a real fight!”
Lights of all shades and hues were seeping from Lan Jue’s pores. The energy surrounding him was growing more unstable by the second. But in the same instant an intense flood of energy was welling up inside him. It washed over his Core, injecting it with power.
Thor had already passed critical energy levels, but suddenly it’s energy reserves began to quickly replenish. A shimmering azure light bloomed out around it, stark against the grey sky.
If Wang Hongyuan had understood what Lan Jue had chosen to do, then he’d have seen true insanity.
If Jin Tao had known what was to occur, he’d understand the suffering he was enduring amounted to nothing.
Piao Hong had given him two Fantascia Genetica decoctions for his promise to aid them. He’d diluted one, and given in to Hua Li for use with Jin Tao. Three doses, spread three months apart.
He’d just taken the entire vial of highly concentrated Fantascia.
Lan Jue knew precisely what he’d done, and what it meant. He also knew what the decoction was capable of. It’s basic function was to catalyze a person’s inner potential, and increase their genetic capabilities.
It was a useful decoction for anyone below ninth level. Taken successively it was sure to increase one’s abilities. Of course something that powerful didn’t come without risks. The sudden rearrangement of one’s DNA sequence meant the future trials involved in becoming a Paragon were almost impossible. What’s more, ninth level adepts were not permitted to take it.
Ninth level Adepts were already in possession of energy levels no normal human could sustain. Taking the decoction meant their power levels instantly catapulted them in to the realm of the Paragons. It was a level of power they had no foundation to keep in check, and as a result their power eventually spun out of control and exploded outward.
Lan Jue knew all this, but he had no other option. Of course he could have left with Wang Hongyuan, but they’d only be able to watch helplessly as boatloads of innocents were slaughtered.
Hera was already gone. Like he’d said, these last three years he’d been living without hope or purpose. At this very moment he faced the circumstances with a calm heart. Almost cold. His earlier encounter with that young soldier still swam in his memory. Responsibility, guardians of humanity. Were these not the marks of a true man? Nobility?
Lan Jue didn’t know what fate was in store for him, whether or not he’d succumb to the overwhelming power of the decoction. He didn’t care. He’d taken the vial, it’s effects were already under way. His weakened Discipline, stagnate for these three years, writhed within. It surged up, unprecedented levels of power bursting forth.
It came paired with a blinding pain. Indescribably agony wracked his body, so bad it threatened to suffocate him. But his eyes were sharp, and his hands were steady. His discipline surged through him and into Thor, filling it as well.
The beast had become aware of something in the distance. It turned it’s massive girth through the air and, upon seeing the glimmering jewel that was Thor racing directly towards it, opened it’s hideous maw in a bloodcurdling roar!
Lan Jue stared back at it with hard eyes. With a flash, Thor was suddenly behind the beast.
The monster’s roars faded in to the wind. It remained rooted in place, hanging in the air. Waves of staggering energy pulsed outward, and it’s body began to glow. Piercing rays of blue light began to shoot out from it as great tears appeared over its flesh.
One moment the beast was there, it’s cruel jaws poised. In the next it was a fine red mist, scattering with the winds.
“Go!” Thor’s thunderous and majestic voice rang out through the cabin of each and every ship remaining. Their engines fired up, flinging them towards the heavens. Thor was right behind them.
Lan Jue sat within the sapphire mecha, clad in golden robes, a golden mask, and a golden mantle, watching the sky race by dispassionately.