At the same time as I uttered those words, a dazzling light cut across the universe.
It was as if the stop button was pressed. The crew members, the Controllers included, were stunned as their eyes were fixated on the screen to check the battlefield information. They were dripping with cold sweat and they looked ridiculous. Unfortunately, my vision was distorted the moment I tried to get a good look at them.
"Goddamn it! Dae-ha, are you all right?"
Celestia helped me up as I rolled on the floor, but that didn't mean the pain that hit me would disappear.
"I think you've said something similar a couple of times before, but... This time too, I am clearly not okay. However, phew. I can't believe this is happening all of a sudden. It's a little, ugh... baffling."
Even I, who endured the torture of the demi-humans, was breaking out in cold sweat due to the pain. It felt like the muscles in my whole body were twitching; it was as if there was a blade wriggling in my stomach like a snake. On top of that, the agony that surged throughout my whole body felt like someone was striking my head with a large hatchet. What was even more annoying was that these two pains were completely separate entities.
"You fool! Why did you use Mana when you were injected with the torturous substance?"
"Then was I supposed to just die in that situation? No, that aside, my head hurts so badly... Is this also the effect of the torturous substance?"
It was a question directed to Celestia, but Hyun-il answered instead.
"The torturous substance does not affect the brain because they would often want to solicit information from the memory of the prisoner. Like now, the torturous substance would usually... only cause all your internal organs to turn inside out. Hmm? Your heart already went down to the pit of your stomach? If it weren't for the Golden Lion Aura, you'd be dead already."
"Why the hell is this bear talking so nonchalantly! We have to treat him quickly!"
Hyun-il shrugged at the sight of Celestia screaming out of a sudden.
"My speciality is focused more on smashing things apart rather than healing."
"Can you stop bullshitting and just do it?"
"Wow, chill out. Even if you didn't say anything, I was going to do it anyway. He's also my lifesaver too… Hupp!"
Hyun-il concentrated his spirit lightly, and a somewhat cool Aura flowed into my body before surging through my stomach. It was a cruel measure to the point where it was awful to call it treatment, but unexpectedly, I didn't feel any pain. As I looked up in bewilderment, Hyun-il tapped me in the chest with his thick front paw.
"Oh, I blocked off your pain receptors for a moment. I'm forcefully moving your internal organs."
"Ugh… but my head still hurts though?"
"That's not a physical pain, so there's nothing I can do about it. But what exactly are you? I can't believe you can handle a Transcendence Weapon despite not being a transcendent. But even so, I don't think what you just used is a Transcendence Skill... Is it an Ability?"
I scoffed at Hyun-il's question.
"It's not a Transcendence Skill, nor is it an Ability. I just used Warp, a function that's also in the Albatross ship."
"What? The Warp Gate's not even open, and the coordinates are also not keyed in, so how did you use Warp?"
Astral Drive was a technique that existed for the sake of super-long distance trips. It was made to accelerate over a long period of time and achieve an overlapping acceleration that increased the speed of a ship to become hundreds of thousands of times faster than the speed of light such that it could reach places that it could never reach before.
However, Astral Drive couldn't be used all of the time as the process of acceleration would take at least days, or even weeks or months or even more. As such, it would only have a greater effect the further away the destination was.
In conclusion, there existed distances that were too far for battleships to just fly normally but at the same time it wasn't that far away to activate Astral Drive for it. So, there was a need for a technique to ease interplanetary travel, and that was how Warp came to be.
Before the Great Universe Era took place, Warp was a technique that was mainly used because it can be used in various applications. However, the flaw of Warp was that the farther the distance travelled, the higher the energy needed. For that reason, it was now considered an accursed navigation technique to only be used as backup.
"Why didn't you open the Gate? If you don't open it, then it's impossible to move."
"...Open it? But to where?"
Hyun-il raised his head and asked. I thought he was treating a patient too harshly, but I answered obediently because the treatment was going well despite his attitude and tone.
"The place where we are flying in."
Hyun-il didn't say anything as if he was lost for words for a moment. Celestia proceeded to speak to him.
"Come to think of it, I heard there was someone who did something like that before."
"There's someone else who's done this absurd thing before?"
"Yeah. The King of Adventure, Carlos."
Hyun-il froze. He was lost in thought for a moment and then nodded his head.
"You're talking about that legendary pirate huh…"
"That's right. I've only seen data about him while I was learning navigation skills, but... He also showcased this method of navigating."
Generally, a Warp was performed by creating a Warp Gate at the point of departure and the point of arrival, and then passing through the Warp Gate to arrive at the other point. In that scenario, the Captain's job was to calculate the coordinates of the point of departure and point of arrival, and then stabilize the Gate.
However, there was a disadvantage with this approach. When you start building a Gate outside, others on the outside would be able to see it. It was easy to interfere with the space-handling warp function. As such, Warp came with the risk of turning into dust in the universe within a single moment if the enemy was nearby and interfered with it.
So, I simplified the method a little bit. Basically, instead of building the Gate outside, the Gate would be built inside the moving ship after setting the correct coordinates. The ship would then pass through the Gate as soon as it was opened. With this method, it would be impossible for the enemy to even be aware of it, and it would be difficult for them to hinder it too.
"By the way, there's someone else who's done this before me? And here I thought I was the first one."
"...You thought of this method yourself? You didn't copy it after seeing the records?"
My answer invoked a strange expression on Celestia's face.
"That's pretty fascinating. The King of Adventure, Carlos, also called this technique 'Jump'. That's why his other nickname is Jumper."
"Eeek... That's such an obvious nickname."
However, there was nothing unjust with a name that was given as soon as it came to mind. It wasn't as if there would be a patent for it or something anyways.
"You're really full of surprises in more ways than one. It's widely believed that an excellent Gigas pilot would also be good at controlling ships, but I didn't know that also applied to Terra-class battleships. But, is the condition of your body faring well?"
"To some extent. But my head still hurts. Do you perhaps know why?"
"It's because you're using skills that are beyond your capabilities. I'm not sure about your techniques, but honestly, your Mana is so meager that it's basically dust. It's just, it would make sense if you can't do it. However, it's my first time seeing someone pull that off, no matter how you did it, and then be in so much pain like how you are now."
While we were talking, the dazed crew members came back to their senses one after another, and they began to return to their positions and tasks. My control stopped as soon as I rolled on the floor, so the authority was returned to them.
"Location confirmed! We're currently sticking close to Great Sky."
"Yes. The distance between Great Sky and us is only about ten meters."
"What a joke, what kind of Warp only does this much? Ten meters? Hahaha."
Hyun-il made a baffled look, and that was fascinating to me. For one thing or another, he was still a bear, so I couldn't believe his facial expressions were so vivid. It was as if he was not a real life form and more like an animated character.
"By the way, Dae-ha, what are you doing here? Did you come to save the brats?" Celestia whispered into my ear.
I slightly pushed her body away from me and answered, "I obviously had a plan, but... I take that back. We have to find another way."
I heard an explanation from Celestia on the way here. If the controlled persona was destroyed, a backup controlled persona would be put in place. If so, wouldn't I be able to invoke my commanding authority on that control persona too? Therefore, my original plan was to turn Great Sky into a huge soul energy bomb. After using Jump to get into the vicinity of Great Sky, I would save Bo-ram and Dong-min and then order the control persona to self-destruct. After that, I would use Jump to widen the distance, and use the explosion to make Rising Storm retreat. (It was difficult to get Rising Storm to self-destruct. They would be able to detect the self-destruct order.) With that, there would be a big enough gap to activate Astral Drive.
'But that's no longer possible. I can't do it.'
The key to this operation was to leverage Jump and Great Sky at the same time. I had to operate Great Sky right after I used Jump so that I would be able to get out of the self-destruct range and escape back to this place. However, they were already in so much commotion with only one Jump, so it wasn't possible for Great Sky to 'immediately accelerate with Astral Drive'. No matter how I thought about it, there was a greater difficulty level on Great Sky's side.
'Of course, I might be able to do it all if I could get rid of the torturous substance, but… the torturous substance is not the problem. Somehow, I have a bad feeling about this migraine I'm having right now.'
In other words, the problem was that it was not possible to use Jump and the Great Sky consecutively in the current state where it was already difficult to use just one Jump.
'If Albatross had been a higher-ranking Transcendence Weapon, things would have been different.'
Not all Transcendence Weapons were the same, and a higher-ranking Transcendence Weapon would of course have a higher output, on top of it being less of a burden to the user. For example, this key I had around my neck was also a Transcendence Weapon, but it didn't inflict that severe of a burden on me.
However, the situation was different in the case of this battleship, which was also a Mass-Produced Transcendence Weapon. A considerable amount of power was needed to operate it. The fact that Hyun-il, who was not from a human background, became a Major General and the Captain of the Albatross battleship was also due to the ability he could bring forth as a transcendent. It took astronomical amounts of money to mass-produce battleships above Terra-class. Without a transcendent-grade Captain, it wouldn't be possible to bring out the full power of the battleship. Hence, even the Leonhardt Empire who believed in humanocentrism  had no choice but to appoint Hyun-il even though he was of a spiritual beast background.
"By the way, how's the situation of Rising Storm?"
"We don't know what's going on with the internal affairs inside, but it's currently standing by in place. If they realized that they've lost us, then... they might even think that we evaporated due to Rising Sun."
"It's not entirely impossible, but it's not to the point that we can be assured that we're safe. It would definitely be weird if Albatross, a Terra-class battleship, evaporated without leaving a single debris behind."
"Well, anyways, we won't get caught right away."
Albatross was a Terra-class battleship and Great Sky was an Exa-class Space Carrier. What I meant was that Great Sky was much bigger in size, so it wouldn't be easy to distinguish us on radar as long as the identification signal was turned off and we stuck close to Great Sky.
'Of course, they will find out eventually. But this will buy us some time.'
Rising Storm wouldn't be able to identify us, but of course Great Sky would discover us. The backup control persona would at least be able to do that much, and even if that wasn't possible, the demi-humans would definitely be able to see us with their naked eyes. Even though Albatross was smaller as compared to the Great Sky, it wasn't a small-sized ship, so it would be rather strange if they couldn't spot Albatross which was sticking so close to their ship.
Furthermore, it was highly possible that the demi-humans, who had a hostile relationship with us, would inform Rising Storm that we were here.
"For starters, please bring Bo-ram and Dong-min here as soon as possible. Now that I've bought some time, I can at least ask for that much, right?"
"Of course. However, you should get surgery first. You're not able to do things you would've been able to because of the torturous substance," said Hyun-il.
I nodded my head. I didn't have the slightest thought of carrying this damn liquid metal in my stomach either. Most of all, it was annoying to be tied down by some sort of weakness whenever I try to do something.
"Excuse me, Captain-nim, one moment please."
Just then, a crew member on one side looked at Hyun-il and grinned. Judging from the atmosphere, he was most probably sending a telepathic message with Inner Qi.
'I can't believe they're using Martial Arts in the Great Universe Era.'
It was ridiculous, but this was an era where all kinds of power coexisted. If there was a useful power, it was natural to learn it, and if there was an advancement in science, that would be implemented too. This was the kind of era the Great Universe Era was. However, Hyun-il's expression became strange after hearing his report.
"I don't understand. Why?"
"There's no way to know. Ahh... It just requested to board our ship. What should we do?"
Seeing that Hyun-il answered openly, the crew member realized that it didn't matter even if he spoke openly, so he stopped sending a telepathic message. After listening to the crew member's report, Hyun-il looked at me.
"What's going on?"
"Hmm. The Legion who was on that ship brought two of your friends with her and requested to board our ship."
I recalled the Legion girl I left behind when I escaped from the belly of Hell's Hand, she who tried to help me unconditionally with good intentions, just like a cute puppy. But was she intelligent enough to request for something?
"Hmm. I don't understand either. Legions are not ones to move like this. Those bastards are..."
"Those bastards are? What are we?"
The bright voice that sounded turned the atmosphere cold in an instant. As I came to my senses, before I knew it, I saw Hyun-il turn around and release a blue Aura.
"Huh. This damned… This son of a bi..."
But I couldn't feel any fighting spirit. Hyun-il looked at the Legion girl with an unbelievable expression as she suddenly stood before us.
The Legion girl put down Bo-ram and Dong-min whom she carried in her hands. When I looked at her in surprise, the Legion girl explained with a smile.
"They just lost consciousness, so there's nothing for you to worry about."
"You're… you're speaking well now. Did you find your name?"
She had told me before that she had lost her name. Since she had turned to how she was now, I thought it was because of that very reason.
"My name? Ahh, hoho. Yeah, I supposed you can say that. It's an honor to meet you again."
She bowed respectfully to me while gracefully brushing her three-layers-thick hair.
"Please call me Hawa."