Soul Of Searing Steel Chapter 901
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Hundreds of hexagonal-shaped warships parted the shroud of the Great Mana Tide, journeying forward in a tight formation amidst the void, a stark resemblance of beehives.
As those vessels slowly made their approach behind the thick shrouds of energy, a protruding harbor of steel slowly revealed itself from which a bright, guiding light shot out, shining upon the bow of the lead ship.
Guided by that navigational beam, the fleet began to turn slightly and decelerate along the light, slowly heading towards the dimensional anchorage.
The frontier harbor was dead ahead—the largest military port in the Void of the Eldar Empire.
Initially, it was a civilian harbor used as a hub for moving supplies to border provinces and colonies, but following the Eldars’ continuous investment on Void warfare in the last few centuries, almost all harbors and larger fortresses had been refurbished with strength. And in recent years, this former harbor critical for transportation had been completely renovated into a large Void fortress.
The beehive fleet of four-hundred was merely a small portion of military ships stopping by the port. The frontier harbor could hold fifty-six hundred larger beehive warships at full capacity, one of the Eldar Empires’ most formidable Void harbors.
But now, even such a colossal harbor appeared to be overburdened: two smaller docks had to be built adjacent to it to place the massive ranks of more than ten thousand fleet vessels.
All was over the recent state of affairs, where a storm brewed.
According to the increasingly sharp and accurate reports from the Empire’s military various border observation points, the last three years (the Eldars’ standard time is different from humans, but for sake of readers, all Multiverse units are identical by default) had saw ever clearer massive sub-space energy surges and echoes, the insinuation prompting the Eldars’ authorities to resolve themselves.
While the entire nation’s fleet converging to border regions would see them lose the ability to react within their own borders, the Eldars were clearly aware that if there were indeed invaders from other galaxies, they never had any ability to resist in the first place since they were a fortunate young Void civilization. Instead of worrying over something that could not happen, it was better to pay attention to the storm that had reached the Silent Void.
Having prepared and departed from their planet of origins, moving from the Dirt Regions to the Red-Light Province, subsequently to the Black Fang Fort and then to the frontier harbor, the small fleet of four hundred ships were not reinforcements—they were here to transport the state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, the presently most advanced technology of the Eldars.
Having a special military designation, the fleet swiftly entered the center of the harbor through a special path, the transport vessels rapidly disassembled as the huge surveillance equipment were detached from the vessel’s half-living bulk. Soon, as the Eldar military hastily assembled them, a spire-shaped sub-space energy surge detector was hence put together.
Half a day later, a series of urgent alerts was relayed to their planet of origins, the capital system of the Eldars.
“…We are seeing very distinct gravitational warping around our Void borders, but we could not observe any light or energy fluctuations…”
“…According to our calculations, a supermassive dark celestial form that blocks out all light is quickly closing on our borders. Their technology is far more advanced and powerful than we imagined, and it now appears that our unnamed visitors would soon arrive…”
“…Venerable Queen, the sub-space echoes are so clear they could be heard, and is now reaching the outer zones of our galaxy with signs of substance distortion…”
“…There is every reason to believe that the unknown signal had left the Silent Void and entered the fringe dust region. They are still moving in a straight line and not deviating from their path, and we are already monitoring the possible point of entries for those signals…”
From the 18th of September to the 27th of November in Year 1103, the consecutive alerts and reports were saturating the inbox of the Empire and the military department. They had learned from their advanced equipment that the signals from the other side was approaching them at an unimaginable speed—although that was not anything unusual: according to relativity of information, if object A advances at the speed of information transmittance, object A would almost arrive when the receiver obtains the sent information.
Either way, to avoid the large casualties suffered back when the horde Void Behemoths attacked their galaxy, the Eldar Empire mobilized every fleet of their race and built fortresses at the unknown signals’ point of entries. They had allocated half of the resources the Empire accumulated over the years there, with the Elder Princess—the Twenty-Fifth Evoker and heir of the Queen having headed for the frontlines with their vice commander-in-chief and their military minister, making evident the importance the Empire placed upon the matter.
In the very least, the Eldars would feel no regrets over preparations since they had done their best.
27th of November in Year 1103 of the Eldar calendar.
High-alert sirens sounded, shattering the silence in the fortress of the frontier harbor and fortress chains.
The Elder Princess who was powerful and did not need sleep at all, along with the vice commander-in-chief, military minister and various frontline marshals, even the Queen who was in the distant capital of the Empire and other cabinet ministers all received the same message.
In truth, those warnings were unnecessary since all elite Eldars above Class Three could all feel it…
The tide that surges from the distance; the tide that is known as fear.
“—Alert—We have caught an unknown powerful presence that engulfs the entire galaxy!”
“—Alert—the border observation points has been struck by an abnormal spiritual surge. Ninety percent of our observers are spiritually comatose and irresuscitable!”
“—Alert—the signal is approaching—they are here!”
In that single moment, the authorities of the frontier harbor all heard a terrible rumble resounding to the depths of their souls. Apart from the military minister—the most powerful amongst them, every other Eldar was left unable to think straight at once, confused and stunned by the soul echo that appeared to contain boundless memories and erosion.
As a large insectoid race, the Eldars were a psionic race that obtained self-awareness and intelligence from the soul. In fact, most species without actual mental organs obtained supernatural powers through psionic abilities, a norm for the Multiverse and the most common Extraordinary ability. In itself, psionic powers could also easily be converted with other energies—as long as the soul was powerful enough, it meant great psionic abilities.
And the blast on the soul aspect made every Eldar aware instantly that the greatness of the existences about to come was simply unimaginable for them.
“Ch—check for the source of the soul eruption. I want to know where it’s gone to!”
Presently, only the military minister had enough strength to think and immediately connect and activate the automated sequencing of the subspace monitoring equipment and open the results of its surveillance before that unusual blast.
And they were left in terror.
“Un-i-den-ti-fi-able—warning: psionic signature is too massive; automated sequencing could not identify source—warning, supermassive subspace quake detected. Please hold all ships and have them fix themselves on the harbor anchor points!”
“—Optical surveillance and arcane surveillance lenses back online. Unknown target leaving surface barrier, transmitting image… success!”
Soon, as the Eldar Princess and the others came too, all of them saw the blurry image that the automated sequencing sent alongside the military minister.
It was a massive Behemoth, as profound as a world.
With the dimensional quaking that the entire Void harbor could feel clearly, eight familiar yet unknown Void Behemoths broke through the spiraling barrier matter that the galaxy’s spiraling created naturally, darting through the fringe dust of the galaxy. They were actually slowing down as if prepared to land, parting the Void and gloom while shattering condensed clumps within the specks of dust. Like brutes that care not for trampling over the roadside plants, they hence charged at their target planetary system.
“It’s those Void Behemoths—and other fleets?!”
All Eldar authorities gasped in shocked at the sight of those Void Behemoths. The horde that had destroyed their lands had reappeared, filling them with rage…
Soon, however, more images followed, and the oversized bugs calmed with it.
At the center and surrounded by those eight Void Behemoths was a seemingly inconspicuous silver sphere that emanates light brighter than a star, and three sets of fleets that appeared, parting the shroud guided by that light.
The dimensional stabilizing field that was visible to the naked eye was so conspicuous that it could have been seen from its sheer magnitude. In comparison, the eight Void Behemoths were mere creatures pushed along by the silver sphere and the fleet behind them, while the silver steel fleet that appears to be its main force lacked numbers, although the Eldar could not identify or tell if it was friend or foe from their technology.
Meanwhile, in the planet of origins, the Eldar figurehead Queen, along with the actual policymakers—their president and cabinet were all silently studying the psionic communications that kept coming in.
“The unknown existence has appeared: an unusual combined fleet of four parts, one fleet of which had once invaded us… They are the source of the subspace energy surge we observed before that were approaching our galaxy.”
“The images make it clear that the fleet’s mass is not enough to cause the terrific subspace tremors before. The true source of that tremendous force we observed could not be identified, and we suspect that this is merely the advance party of an unknown faction—their bulk remains in the Silent Void and had yet to come. The nature of it all is puzzling, not to mention that the unknown creatures are all declining any psionic communications or hailing, and they may be using another form of extradimensional communications tool.”
That was where the suggestions provided by the observation points were clearly divided.
“Our Empire—our galaxy is invaded by a powerful foreign faction of the Void. A war like no other lies ahead of us, and we should make a move before their main force arrives for the unknown power is extremely powerful!”
“We may attempt calibrating communication frequencies. Meaningless conflict in unneeded, and before we clash against them over our doubt of the unknown, we should enter a formal exchange!”
The brief yet solemn communications left the Empire’s authorities at a loss. They realized that they know nothing of that foreign fleet from an unknown region—not their force, skill and living form, and all they had were only observation of the outward appearance of the ‘acquainted’ Void Behemoths, never once fighting them as equals.
Still, what the unknown fleet did next soon made the Eldars resolved themselves.
After dispelling the black barrier, the otherworld fleet could now be seen even with simple observation spells. Having parted the dust zones, the Void Behemoths had led the fleet to a target planetary system—and that was when the silver sphere that had been encircled by the Void Behemoths emitted a translucent circle that covered the entire system, stopping the automated fortresses and sentry arrays in the region instantly.
In the ensuing moment, even long-distance observation spells all dimmed—with the dimensional stabilizing field gone, the fleet’s excessive propulsive ejection had created a small artificial mana tide at the Zeta Ram system.
Then, notifications from several living worlds reached them, along with another violent dimensional surge.
“—High alert—eight World Barriers of lifeless planets in the Jack Tram system had been destroyed. The Behemoths are feeding!”
“The dimensional integrity of the Zeta Ram system is crumbling a widespread scale. We have picked up complex arcane signatures: it appears that the unknown fleet is at the center of the system and creating a colossal dimensional rift… it appears that they intend to set up a dimensional hub and stargate! We even intercepted the signals the fleet is transmitting amongst them… they appear hungry, crazed and in confusion, and are cheering as if having been repressed over a long period. Now, they are brimming with delight. It sounds like euphoria!”
“They are moving swiftly with a precise purpose. We don’t have time—if they complete dimensional hubs and stargates, we have no chance of victory when their main force arrives!”
And that terrifying news was the last straw that forced the Eldar policymakers into action.