Like all the other attacks, Su Chen and Gu Qingluo’s incredibly powerful fireball didn’t seem to do anything to the Desolate Beast. However, Su Chen disregarded what he saw and continued to attack the Desolate Beast along with the rest of his disciples.
Even though none of the disciples' attacks seemed to have any effect on the balloon-like creature, Su Chen insisted on resolutely forging onwards.
The battle seemed like it would drag on forever, and its high intensity put a tremendous strain on the disciples. If it wasn’t for Su Chen’s peerless reputation, they would have long since started to doubt whether their actions were having any effect.
But as they continued to barrage the Desolate Beast with their attacks, it finally showed signs of slowing down.
It wasn’t very fast in the first place, which made its change even more dramatic and obvious. Even the wind that flowed out from the hole in its body was beginning to die down.
“It’s growing weaker. It’s growing weaker!” someone cried out when they noticed the change.
Light had finally appeared at the other end of the tunnel.
The Sect Master was right!
Everyone’s excitement redoubled, and their desire to fight was rekindled.
The streaks of sword light flying through the air grew sharper as well.
The Desolate Beast being barraged by their attacks roared ferociously, but it seemed like there was nothing more it could do. No matter how fiercely it struggled, it was incapable of escaping from the relentless bombardment of attacks, and its movements only further revealed its weakness.
Surprisingly, this weakness also began to manifest in the Desolate Beast that the Ravager were fighting against.
As time went on, this weakening became more and more obvious.
Even though the Desolate Beast’s body didn’t have any visible wounds, its discernible slowing down was an obvious indication that it was indeed accumulating and feeling the damage.
When Li Chongshan saw this, he couldn’t help himself from sighing with relief. As he unleashed thirteen punches in a row, he asked, “Are you sure that this creature is just an illusion? If so, why haven’t we seen its true appearance yet?”
Su Chen slowly replied, “Because this is no ordinary illusion technique...... It’s Method Power.”
“Method Power?” Li Chongshan was stunned.
He knew exactly just how powerful the mysterious Method Power could be.
Su Chen had gained the ability to travel through the void without aid due to his mastery of spatial Method Power. In fact, that was also how he had invented the Dimensional Slash technique, a void transportation technique, transmission boxes, etc.
The Desolate Beasts before his eyes were actually products of consciousness Method Power.
The Astrals were incredibly talented illusionists, but they had never produced an individual who had comprehended Method Power.
Throughout the thirty thousand years that the Intelligent Races dominated the planet, the humans, Harpies, Oceanids, and even Ravagers had all managed to comprehend Method Power at some point. Surprisingly, however, the Astrals, who were individually the strongest, had never managed to comprehend Method Power.
Some people theorized that this was possibly linked to the Astrals’ unique body composition.
As originally biological creatures who had given their physical bodies up for ethereal ones, the Astrals may have also unintentionally given up something for greatly increased Origin Energy sensitivity and consciousness power.
That something was Method Power.
At least, that was one explanation for why the Astrals had never produced any individuals who could use Method Power.
On this day, however, that theory was debunked.
It turned out that the Astrals did in fact have someone who had comprehended Method Power.
Only Method Power was capable of maintaining an illusion for so long, an illusion that was basically impossible to identify.
Although Su Chen had been able to sense that something was wrong, it was not because he had seen through the Method Power.
Even though illusion Method Power was quite powerful, it only had macroscopic effects, as that was their entire point for existing — they deceived other creatures that interacted with the macroscopic world, not microscopic ones.
This was why illusion Method Power had no effect on the microscopic world.
Thus, while Su Chen’s microscopic eye didn’t directly see through the illusion Method Power itself, the issue had immediately become apparent when Su Chen had seen nothing where he should have seen something.
Unless there were even more profound forces at play, nothing else could explain this phenomena.
The other clue was the Desolate Beast’s incredibly powerful consciousness energy.
It was simply illogically strong.
How could a Desolate Beast with such incredibly strong physical defenses also possess such vigorous consciousness energy? And even with such a strong consciousness, why would its actions be so brainless? And how had Menelaus even managed to plant a trap in its mind?
All of these contradictions pointed to the situation being abnormal.
Even without understanding how the Method Power was used, Su Chen had been able to identify the crux of the issue with just his logic.
When Li Chongshang heard Su Chen’s full explanation, he finally understood what had happened.
“So what are those things, then?”
Su Chen faintly replied, “We’ll know once we break it open.”
As he spoke, the Desolate Beast was struck by yet another violent barrage of attacks.
This Desolate Beast, which was already on its last legs, let out a final, mournful howl. Its seemingly indestructible skin even seemed to tear slightly.
Even though this rupture was extremely small, it was easily noticeable due to the bright light shining from it. Additionally, it quickly grew in size even without further stimulation until it finally burst open with a loud bang.
At the exact same time, the Desolate Beast that the Ravagers were fighting against also exploded.
The two Desolate Beasts simultaneously burst forth in a blaze of light, rising into the sky like two miniature suns. Upon closer inspection, it was possible to see the faint outline of two Astrals sitting inside the two blazing balls of light.
Those “Desolate Beasts” had actually been Astrals!
How could they be Astrals?
When had the Astrals developed such a powerful technique?
Su Chen and the others were all stunned.
Yanto was similarly stunned.
This Astral, who Zhu Xianyao had enslaved and then used to turn the tables on the Astrals in the past, suddenly cried out when he saw the figures within the two balls of light. “How is this possible?”
Su Chen hurriedly turned around. “You recognize them?”
Yanto, however, didn’t respond. Instead, he fell to his knees, his expression filled with shock. “Achilles the Immortal and Kapius the Eternal? So you are both actually still alive? Alive......”
Yanto began to weep profusely.
At the same time, Zhu Xianyao clutched at her chest and spat out a mouthful of blood. “He’s broken free from my control.”
Shockingly, Yanto had managed to break free from Zhu Xianyao’s control at that moment.
But even more shocking were the words that he had just uttered.
“Achilles the Immortal? Kapius the Eternal? It’s them?” Su Chen stared up at the sky in shock.
The two former Astral leaders?
Didn’t they die a long time ago?
Why had they suddenly appeared here, and from those “Desolate Beasts” no less?
Su Chen hurriedly pulled out his transmission box and yelled into it, “Patelocke, Diomedes!”
Light appeared above the transmission box, forming a projection in the sky.
Diomedes’ voice came through the box first, filled with shock and disbelief. “Achilles the Immortal?”
He had been away from Astral society for too long and didn’t recognize Kapius the Eternal. At the very least, however, his reaction clearly indicated that Yanto wasn’t lying.
“How could this be?” Su Chen stared up at the sky, his expression cloudy with doubt.
After the two floating suns in the sky lost their outer shell, they began to fly back towards Gloom City at an incredibly fast speed.
“Don’t let them get away!” Li Chongshan immediately commanded as he prepared to unleash an all-out onslaught.
Diomedes, however, sighed. “I understand now...... There’s no need to chase after them. They’re already dead.”
“What did you just say, Diomedes?” Su Chen asked hurriedly.
“First tell me what happened. Then, I will be able to give you an answer.”
Su Chen succinctly explained what had just happened. By this point, the two “suns” had already flown back to Gloom City, and it was impossible for them to catch up any longer.
As such, Su Chen gave the order for everyone to rest. After such a bitter battle, they needed some time to regroup and reorganize their forces.
After hearing Su Chen’s summary, Diomedes sighed. “So that’s how it is. I never expected them to actually succeed. But at this cost?”
“Tell me. What exactly is going on?” Su Chen asked.
But when Diomedes heard Su Chen’s demand, he actually began to chuckle. “Su Chen, you are attacking members of my fellow race. Do you really think that I’m going to reveal anything to you?”
Su Chen harrumphed impatiently. “I wasn’t counting on it in the first place. However, now that these two creatures have been defeated, your answer will merely serve to satisfy my curiosity, nothing more. The outcome of this battle was determined long ago.”
Diomedes froze for a moment before smiling bitterly. “That is true. It seems that my race is destined to be exterminated from today onwards. Su Chen, if possible, I would ask you to leave the Dark Astrals alone after you wipe out the Astrals, and for you to only destroy the consciousness extraction instrument.”
The Dark Astrals were the pre-converted Astrals, and in some sense, the true form of the Astrals. But because they hadn’t undergone the conversion procedure yet, their strength was actually quite limited. Even so, their statuses amongst the Astrals was impossibly high. For a variety of reasons, their population had never reached a particularly high level, which meant that they were the main limiting factor for how fast new Astrals were created.
The fact that Diomedes was no longer asking Su Chen to spare the Astrals but instead the Dark Astrals meant that he was willing to abandon their current position of strength for the sake of the race’s overall future survival.
Upon hearing Diomedes’s words, Su Chen thought for a moment before nodding in agreement. “That’s fine.”
Without the consciousness extractor instrument, the Dark Astrals didn’t pose a real threat. In addition, Su Chen himself held the personal belief that it was important to not go too far in his actions. As he had gotten older, his extremist tendencies had been rounded out, and he had become slightly more compassionate. As a human who stood at the very peak, it was necessary for him to act as a role model, and in some instances, avoid slaughtering for the sake of slaughter. Keeping his bottom line intact was an extremely important goal for him at this point.
Of course, Su Chen had no way of knowing that, in the future, the Dark Astrals would manage to free themselves from the chains of the consciousness extraction instrument and radically increase their reproductive capabilities. After developing their own cultivation system, they would then go on to establish a powerful kingdom on the continent, which would pose a significant threat to the human race. But that was a story for another time.
When Diomedes heard Su Chen agree, he said, “This is probably a combination of the Ascension plan and the Vitality Tunnel plan.”
“The Ascension plan? The Vitality Tunnel plan?” Su Chen arched his brow in curiosity.
The Astrals’ inquisitive nature meant that they had developed many plans throughout their storied history. These included the Eternal Spring plan, Radiation plan, Consciousness Network plan, and many more. The former had resulted in the destruction of the Reproductive Temple while the latter two laid the groundwork for the Astrals’ consciousness enslavement techniques and their Consciousness Network.
Of the myriad plans that they had come up with, many had failed, and many had succeeded.
The Ascension and Vitality Tunnel plans were two plans that Diomedes believed had failed.
Now, however, it seemed as if they had succeeded.
Or at the very least, they had partially succeeded.