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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Collectively speaking, the imagination of all intelligent life was underdeveloped.
It was another matter entirely when compared to the unicellular, multicellular lifeforms, beasts or even the dead, but generally speaking, the imagination of all intelligent life was restrained.
However, it was not actually a flaw. Imagination was a tool with which humans linked and fused different aspects, a model with which inspiration was gained and new things were created. It has to be restrained in the first place to conceptualize things that were practical and useful for daily lives instead of diverging to contemplate things wilder than dreams—for instance, such as how lower-ranked people would have imagined worlds beyond theirs despite an empty stomach to guess if aliens existed, imagine some useless social hierarchy, or create an ultimate nemesis of unbelievable power.
Was there a purpose? the many races of Stellaris would often think. How are the entities beyond the world connected to me? Considering the breadth of the galaxy and the universe, there’s nothing that can reach me—it’s better to change myself, my environment, my world, and think about how to fill my stomach than to think about that. Even imagining getting a promotion or raise tomorrow could be psychologically benefitting .
But unfortunately, there were times when reality was stranger than fiction—or dreams, for that matter.
One fine day, light beyond the world shined on as starfaring warships hovered above skyscrapers, and the once stable reality bent.
As countless primitive species were forcibly groomed at the hands of the Stellar Guard into starfaring civilizations…
As employees’ complaints about empty stomachs and demanding employers were overwhelmed by the substantial amount of basic resources brought by advanced technology….
As primitive civilization, doctrine, and thought were left in dire straits and was about to crumble under the sudden advancement of technology…
What they faced was an ultimate foe with such exaggerated settings that not even science fiction authors would have utilised: The Evil Gods of Chaos, capable of corrupting the entire Universe. And not just one, but a few of them.
Empty stomach? Genetic technology could have one person’s crop yield feed ten thousand. No aliens? The many different shapes and sizes of starfaring ships answered that clearly. Useless social hierarchy? Apologies, it was useful now—the world was now in an age of Great Unity and would be fully militarized.
What ten thousand individuals amongst the thousands of races would never have imagined was now fundamental truth. Such was what most ordinary races and civilizations experienced on Stellaris.
They once kept themselves uninvolved and unconcerned with the future, believing that their superiors would have kept the skies from falling and the universe to always have a place for them, given its vastness. Reality simply shattered that fantasy and told them that they were not alone, that civilizations were not islands and that they had to be responsible for their own destinies, for a formless chain connected all life from the beginning to the end.
In the silent darkness of the universe, the colossal silver star distorted its own rays to distort level space, hanging alone beyond a thousand stars and watching them. “What a massive chain,” he then murmured in wonder. While waiting for his partner, Joshua observed all of Stellaris in a unique perspective: all ordinary light was blocked, and only two lights shone against a dark background. One was the radiance of life, and the other was a composite of intelligence, soul, and imagination—psionic illumination that changed the physical through spirit.
It was as if all of Stellaris was massive silver-blue net like no other, having white particles that were living planets, settlements of the universe. The net itself was the raw form of Soul Cycles, the integrated form of all Psi in the world—the winding, profound manifested form of a serpent, a chain of destiny that bound all Stellaris realms together.
Joshua was left in awe, able to tell that Star the Steel Python slumbered within the net. It was not unusual that it would never have completely awaken given its mass, and because the bigger one was, the slower one would be. Indeed, only a part of its consciousness would have awoken with a single converging point.
Still, the warrior could see that the net was broken—one-thirds of the universe had been consumed by darkness that attacked relentlessly, destroying one white particle after another, tearing apart the network and consuming the stars, eroding the world away bit by bit into pitch-black remains. No life could remain uninvolved with such threat; all minds and intelligence were connected in destiny.
Joshua could also see that the net was enraged, and retaliating as if it was only natural. Between the net and the countless planets, a swirl of unimaginable size formed, emanating dazzling radiances of different hues—it was the great net of emotion, psionic energies driven by the emotion of infinite lives, ever existing and ever piling.
That was when he noticed a profound psionic power gathered by the net threads closest to himself. Silver-blue light took form in the physical world, and a warm translucent crystal appeared out of nowhere as he switched to ordinary photosensitive organs. Starry blue light wandered within the circular psionic crystal, forming contracted galaxies.
It was an encounter that unfolded in silence.
From the perspective of a bystander, it would have been very unusual: in the darkness of the Void, a silver sphere that distorted light and another translucent blue sphere were whirling in a regular spiral pattern, forming an extraordinary system of binary suns. Both were emanating visible signatures of supernatural powers as well, in order to communicate profoundly and simplistically.
[Welcoming protocols activated: guest from beyond, we are pleased that a champion like you would aid us. We are one of the three major machine intelligence collectives, and you may address us as the Third Curtain or the Beacon of Perpetuity.]
The faint unvoiced psionic presence contained endless information, to which Joshua silently replied with spirit. “It is a pact I have made with Star the Steel Python, and that is why I came when they called.”
“The Beacon of Perpetuity… the leader of the Stellar Guard alliance, or at least one of them. With that being the case, I won’t spare words in preamble—I want to know why Star the Steel Python is in slumber once again, and why the Evil God invasion has escalated to such a state in just ten years.”
[Detailed response: ‘Steel Python’ has been determined to be the ‘Mother of All’. It is the Mother’s normal state to be in slumber, having only been known to have awaken partially twice since its birth in observable universal history. It should be asleep, which benefits all life.]
[Analysis: The escalating invasion is due to the awareness of all life in regards to the presence of Chaos, Evil Gods, and the Evil God spawns’ building of large teleporting openings called the Permanent Void Anchor Points. There are also more than thirty-one species of Evil God spawns and more than five entities resembling Evil Gods clones, the most active of them being codenamed ‘Pestilence’. However, their invasion has been delayed with the destruction of the Permanent Void Anchor Points.]
The Beacon of Perpetuity’s response was simple and easy to understand without excesses, and was easy for Joshua to communicate with. It then asked, [Information: The archives state your name as Joshua van Racliffe, an Extraordinary individual of the Perpetuator class (Legendary novice to intermediate) who once appeared to the Midgardians. Identity confirmed, present ability determined to surpass Endless Light (Legendary advanced and above). Your rate of ascension surpasses every record of Extraordinary individuals archived.]
[Inquiry protocol: Could you be the Heir of ( )? Are you from the same world as ( )? We must confirm that detail before proceeding.]
Blank? What does that mean?
Joshua paused puzzledly for a moment at the Beacon of Perpetuity’s question, before understanding what it meant at once.
The blank could have been the Sage’s name.
To be fair, everyone else, including even the Seven Gods to World Wills, had been calling the Sage ‘the Sage’ over and over without ever mentioning his real name… it was acceptable for the Seven Gods since their memories were incomplete in the first place, but there was no reason for the World Wills to have been compelled to address him as the Sage like ordinary Mycroftians.
Joshua also had many theories on why the Beacon of Perpetuity could have only asked in blank portions, but he left that aside as he did not have enough information at the moment. “I am an heir of the Extraordinary individual known as the Sage, belonging to the same world as him.”
It is a pleasure to communicate with machines, the warrior thought. Very pleasant—direct, no nonsense, and comforting.
Truth be told, Joshua had long since spoken with anyone so pleasant, for nothing could be simpler than getting an answer for each question.
[Confirmation: The Life Preservation Sequence has provided you with 00θ-level clearance.]
[Relaunch: Commencing negotiations.]
[Entrusting: The Life Preservation Sequence invites you to aid the Final Defense Protocols and assist us in resisting the invasion of Evil Gods. In exchange, we will fulfill any reasonable requests, including and is not limited to Initial Psi Construct, Creation Course, Arbitrary Living World Maker, Reality Rewrite, and others.]
[Note: Third Curtain holds full clearance, but requires unanimous agreement with First and Second Curtain to fulfill any demands. Delays are to be expected, we thank you for your understanding.]
Joshua was not surprised—in fact, he had expected everything.
The Life Preservation Sequence… the curious machine intelligence collective possessing the capacity to lead the alliance of an entire universe, as well as to stand up against Evil Gods and speak to Star the Steel Python. Joshua currently knew that the Sage had came to Stellaris with an intention beyond helping the Midgardians, even having met Star albeit just once and without exchanging too many words.
So, who was it who really talked to Sage? The answer was too simple: there was a huge chance that it was the core intelligence of the Life Preservation Sequence who was now talking to him. But what they actually shared could wait. Joshua had other questions now.
Didn’t the intelligence mention something unusual? he thought perplexedly. Star is said to have only ‘awakened partially twice since its birth in the observable universal history’… that meaning and way of putting it seems to suggest that the Life Preservation Sequence had witnessed Star’s birth, and is treating the Mother of All as an equal…or simply considering it a tool that benefits the living.
Furthermore, the ‘Creation Course’ and ‘Arbitrary Living World Maker’ seemed to be hinting at something.
The Sage had previously deliberately left a beacon to Stellaris, and the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds had also listed it as the priority mission. If he had not been there, the other Apostles might even have been called upon…
The truth behind Stellaris was certainly extraordinary.
Knowing that it was better to ask, Joshua quickly did so.
“I want to know the history of Stellaris, from the beginning to the present, along with the purpose of the Sage’s visit to this place. ”
In response, the huge psionic crystal flickered as if processing and assessing. Soon, simple and precise waves reached Joshua, carrying endless information.
[Clearance confirmed: requirements up to standard. Transferring data: summarized observation of No. 79524913 (including all present documentation)]
[Detailed response: Stellaris is a project of the Creator to artificially expand their world. Its original scale was a single planetary system, with its present form coming to be after several hundred thousand years’ worth of enlargement and natural gathering of stellar bodies. It would have grown by default without limit if the Evil Gods had not attacked. Stellaris’s growth hence stagnated by year 34,796,621, even as diverse primitive lifeforms were born.]
[Detailed response: Star the Steel Python was a natural physical manifestation of the Extraordinary forces birthed following the founding of Psi and world expansion. Its existence cultivated innumerable living worlds, a prototype of the Arbitrary Living World Maker. The galactic psionic network was the technology that observed the creation of Star’s body, just as the Triple Curtain was made to shoulder the duty of watching over the world and the Mother of All. We maintain stability.]
[Detailed response: ( ) had visited Stellaris in search for our Creator who had left (disproved)/been destroyed. We had provided him with relics and data of the Creator, while ( ) aided us in regulating the realm’s construct before leaving. Since then, Extraordinary powers aside from Psi have appeared in Stellaris. We are very pleased with the enriched information.]
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