Return of the Shattered Constellation

Chapter 504: Star, Twilight (4)



Chapter 504: Star, Twilight (4)

‘Will this be my end?’ Mephistopheles wondered.

Rather than assuming his Outer Celestial form, he had chosen to travel across <Nihil> as a Lich engulfed in blue ghost fire. After all, the bigger he was, the better target he was to his enemies.

Mephistopheles smiled bitterly. He used to get stronger by traveling between Eros and Nyx, becoming as powerful as the Eight Gods of Disorder. Hence, he never expected to be driven into a corner overnight.

‘I was too complacent. I used too much power without considering someone might be after me.’

When Mephistopheles had been a mortal, his master had told him he no longer had to be too cautious. However, the long peace he found himself in after becoming an Outer Celestial with absolute power had dulled his edge.

Detecting a trace of <Dull Darkness> during Chang-Sun’s Rollback loop, Mephistopheles thought he had finally found his master. Hence, he quickly took action. However, analyzing and tracing back the trail several times used up a lot of his <Darkness>. Moreover, he had become too occupied with his search, preventing him from paying attention to anything else.

Mephistopheles felt bad for leaving Chang-Sun in a crisis, but tracking down his master was more important to him, and even though he knew that <Dull Darkness> headed to the Imaginary Plane, he needed to confirm his suspicions anyway. After some time, he found a trace of <Dull Darkness> that led him to R’lyeh… where he crossed paths with them.

‘Sun Wukong.’ Mephistopheles still couldn’t understand what was going on. ‘Why was he there?’

Sun Wukong was one of the most famous <Supreme Light’s Faces>. Behind closed doors, he was <Supreme Light>’s teacher and the most active representative of his will. Although that only applied to the Original Sun Wukong, the other Worldlines’ Sun Wukongs were just as renowned as the Original. Even Outer Celestials recognized their standing.

However, Sun Wukong #801 suddenly began acting strange. He had even started working with the long-standing enemy of Mephistopheles’ student.

Mephistopheles wasn’t sure how to make sense of the situation. Was the hard-earned peace after their long, boring fight coming to an end? Eros and Nyx had previously come to an accord to work together for the <Pangu Tribe>, which was coming from beyond the Imaginary Plane. Did Eros change their mind? Did Sun Wukong #801 betray his Original as if afflicted with a virus?

There were too many possibilities, but Mephistopheles was sure of one thing. All the confusion aside, he would be in real danger unless he did something. L𝒂aTest nov𝒆ls on (n)𝒐velbi/𝒏(.)co𝒎

Breaking out of his thoughts, Mephistopheles quickly looked up. ‘No!’

A golden lightning bolt containing an immense amount of energy flew toward Mephistopheles. Sun Wukong had just launched a Heavenly Bracket, the technique that he learned based on Seventy-Two Bian.

Rustle!

Mephistopheles swung his hand and pulled out his [Emerald Tablet], the book known to contain every secret of the universe. It was also the original copy of Chang-Sun’s [Prelati’s Spellbook].

He planned to use his full power in this fight.

As <Nihil> violently shook, he created dozens of layers of sturdy dome barriers. However, they weren’t for his protection. They were merely covers that would allow him to escape from the lightning bolt, which he had to dodge at all costs due to its property, not its destructive capability.

Rummmble―!

[The barriers have been struck!]

[The property of Divine Steel has been applied, nullifying all the barriers!]

The barriers that Mephistopheles had created using all his power disappeared as if they never existed in the first place.

This was the reason he was losing ground against Sun Wukong.

‘[Ruyi Jingu Bang]…!’ Mephistopheles grumbled.

Fortunately, he was already several steps away from where he had been before the attack hit, allowing him to narrowly dodge it. He immediately initiated his counterattack.

Zinnnng!

Mephistopheles held out his right hand, creating five different magic circles for each fingertip.

Rummmble!

Boom, boom, boom―!

Ripping, slashing, destroying, firing… each magic circle unleashed a magic spell that could blow away most civilizations.

Wooosh!

[The property of Divine Steel has been applied, nullifying all the attacks!]

Upon the activation of the [Ruyi Jingu Bang]’s ability, a ray of light soared through the clouds of dust and canceled all the magic spells.

Pzzz―!

Soon, a man with long white hair appeared, a mischievous smile on his face. “Going this far in hide and seek is unfair, Mephisto.”

Richardus and Sun Wukong’s other followers surrounded Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles’ ghost fire slightly narrowed, making him look like he was frowning. Thanks to his ability to see the Hidden Side of the universe, he could also see their malice. Moreover, although they were alive, these unidentified Terminals couldn’t really be called actual living beings.

Mephistopheles’ jawbones slowly moved. 『Are you going to keep this up until one of us dies?』

“Why else would we be here?”

『Are you representing the will of <Supreme Light> or acting on your own?』

Sun Wukong crookedly smiled. “Let’s call this a rebellion to find the truth.”

『That’s the same thing. So you’re acting on your own, huh?』

“We won’t see any progress if we just keep staying the way we are right now.”

Mephistopheles let out a short sigh. ‘The [Ruyi Jingu Bang] is supposed to be the trap for R’lyeh and <Stars>, so I still don’t get how he has it… I guess I’ve got no other choice, though.’

Mephistopheles opened the last chapter of his book, causing ten <Darkness> spheres to spin around him. Representing all the knowledge that he had acquired until now, each of the spheres could create drastic changes in the universe.

Mephistopheles wasn’t sure if it would be enough to withstand the nullifying ability of the [Ruyi Jingu Bang], but it would be better to keep fighting until the end. Should his current move fail, he would create a new one that would damage them and their Cloud Server. It didn’t matter if it would cost him his life.

Seemingly noticing his determination, Sun Wukong and the others turned serious and prepared for combat.

Instead of his master, whom he had been missing badly, his damn student suddenly crossed his mind. Mephistopheles found it truly funny. Chang-Sun must have grown on him during their time together.

*

“How much longer can you use your [Ruyi Jingu Bang]?” Richardus asked Sun Wukong.

“Not for long. It’ll probably be gone after this fight.”

Sun Wukong and the others only managed to drive Mephistopheles into a corner because of the [Ruyi Jingu Bang] in their possession. However, it was only a Replicate like their golden keys, and it only had a few uses left. With Mephistopheles determined to fight until the bitter end, they’d find themselves in a huge predicament if it broke down now.

“Did you not bring extras?” Richardus casually inquired.

“You think this is something that can be made from a factory? The fact that I can mimic its ability using this Replicate alone is already remarkable…. I brought one more just in case, but it’s a failed Replicate. Tsk.

“What a bummer. This would have been better if we had the original.”

“That’s exactly why we’re here. We have to try,” Sun Wukong said with a shrug.

One of the missions of all their other Terminals, who were in the realm of R’lyeh, was to retrieve the Tower. Sun Wukong’s group only had Replicates. Knowing that nothing was more valuable than originals, the Terminals had to try their best.

“Well, at the very least, we have to secure Asclepius. He’ll be a great help in the future.”

A Celestial of medicine, Ascle was great at healing and recovery. However, his true value lay in reversal. He could turn an imitation into an original and give it an aura that only the original would have, helping it become a true Simulacre[1]

To become new Originals, Sun Wukong and the others needed Ascle’s help. Since the process also required a great amount of energy, they also needed Mephistopheles for his uniqueness, knowledge, and huge amount of <Darkness>.

Woosh, woosh, woosh…!

The <Darkness> spheres around Mephistopheles spun faster, releasing even more power. Although Sun Wukong wasn’t sure if he could block the attack with the limited number of uses he had with the [Ruyi Jingu Bang], he decided to at least try.

Richardus suddenly extended his arm and stopped Sun Wukong. “Hold on.”

Concerned, Sun Wukong raised an eyebrow. Upon seeing Richardus’ serious expression, he frowned. “What? Did something happen?”

“The Terminals’ situation seems to have taken an unexpected turn. ”

“An unexpected turn?”

“I never would have expec—!”

Swooosh―!

One of the <Darkness> spheres flew toward Sun Wukong and Richardus, cutting their conversation short.

“Let’s talk about this later,” Sun Wukong said. He then sprang forward before Richardus could stop him.

Boom, boom, boom―!

Sun Wukong swung the [Ruyi Jingu Bang], destroying the sphere with ease.

[The property of Divine Steel has been applied, nullifying all the attacks!]

Messages that only Sun Wukong could see popped up.

[The artifact’s nullification ability only has a few charges left.]

[The artifact will be destroyed once it has been exhausted.]

[Remaining charges: 11]

Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh!

More of the <Darkness> spheres flew at Sun Wukong, who defended using his [Ruyi Jingu Bang].

[The artifact’s nullification ability has been used!]

[Remaining charges: 10]

[The artifact’s nullification ability has been used!]

[Remaining charges: 9]

[Remaining charges: 3]

Just before the artifact’s ability was depleted, Sun Wukong managed to narrow down the distance between him and Mephistopheles.

‘This should be close enough!’ Sun Wukong thought in delight.

A [Ruyi Jingu Bang]’s true ability was incapacitating Celestials and Stars, not nullification. Sun Wukong intended to use it to lock up Mephistopheles.

Rumbleeee!

Sun Wukong violently swung down the [Ruyi Jingu Bang] and launched a Heavenly Bracket toward Mephistopheles’ head.

Mephistopheles’ book shook profusely and unleashed a great amount of <Darkness> against the [Ruyi Jingu Bang]. Certain of his victory, Sun Wukong prepared to end the fight.

Paaah!

However, before he could finish his target, a ray of light flashed between the two combatants. A [Ruyi Jingu Bang] shining more beautifully than Sun Wukong’s had appeared!

Boooooom!

Rummmmmble―!

After blocking the offense, the [Ruyi Jingu Bang]’s wielder immediately counterattacked. Sun Wukong, failing to deflect it, was catapulted away.

Pzzz―!

As he tried to regain his balance, his [Ruyi Jingu Bang] turned into dust even though it still had a few charges left.

[The property of Divine Steel has been applied, nullifying all defenses!]

Considering the sudden turn of events, this could only mean that an original had shown up.

The real [Ruyi Jingu Bang] was now right in front of Mephistopheles.

Sun Wukong’s lip trembled as he looked at Chang-Sun, who now stood in his way.

“How in the world…?”

Ooong, oooong!

The real [Ruyi Jingu Bang] was violently shaking, seemingly mocking Sun Wukong.

1. It is simulacrum in English, and the usual definition is a representation of someone or something. In a book named Simulacra and Simulation, written by Jean Baudrillard, it is said that society is currently filled with so many simulacra, which refer to signs and symbols in real life that they have replaced reality. ☜


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