Laughter echoed throughout the cavern, the source of it, Luon couldn’t but exclaim, “Ascension? Does that imply that when you reach level 100 that you’ll be equivalent to a god? If it was that easy, then everyone should be aiming towards it. That’s rather a childish dream and pathetic excuse to execute many beings just for the sake of it.”
Ner nodded as he explained, “Indeed it does seem like a sad excuse to say, but no matter how ridiculous it seems that is the truth.”
With Ner’s serious expression Luon frowned as asks, “Are you kidding me?”
Ner shook his head as answered, “That is the truth.”
“So you’re saying that hundreds of people are dying to Inzektors daily because of one guy wanted to reach ascension?”
“Our race has always sought the truth.”
“The more you talk about the truth, the more ridiculous it sounds.”
“No matter how ugly or beautiful the truth is, it doesn’t matter if it was told or untold. I told you, but will you tell others? How will they feel about it? Would they feel like they were lied to? Or will they laugh just like you? Regardless of what you decide to make of it, if you wanted people to know about it, the explanation process is the same. The result? Nothing will change.”
The truth, sometimes fragile, sometimes thin, an ambiguous word that could be differently perceived depending on how much much information one knows. Luon thought about it, how would people react if they knew that the entire war started because of a power-hungry warlord?
They would scream out of anger, cry out of depression, or continue their day as if nothing happened. And nothing would happen. They were already at war so they can’t solve it with force. They were unable to compromise since it was more of a matter of greed rather than rationality. The battle will still continue no matter how many people know about the truth. The truth didn’t matter at all, there is no need for a reason for everything.
Breaking out of his thoughts with his conclusion Luon said, “You’re right, it doesn’t matter if people knew it or not, the battle still continues. Your species is extinct, yet you don’t actively resist against the Inzektors. Did you feel that there is no hope? Or that vengeance wasn’t the way? I don’t know. Your story was a lot to take in, but let me ask you this question.”
Their eyes matched and Luon, who had a deadpan expression asks, “How much of what you told me was the truth?”
Ner smiled as he thought Luon would ask this. Almost immediately he replied, “Everything.”
“Can you prove it?” Luon looked at the man, his words seem to have a reason. A mysterious race with a mysterious origin, living in an Inzektor filled planet. He had all the quantities of someone of key importance if this were a story. If he were right then the higher-ups in the Alliance wouldn’t let this information slide like this. In fact, Luon might even be awarded for bringing him in.
However, this is only implied if his the information was true. The man looked like a beggar, he had no ambition or desire, and he lived a simple life of scavenging for food. The tunnel that Luon used was probably the one he made to sneak off with some produce from the Inzektor farm. Sadly it was destroyed and exposed because of Luon… despite all of this, Luon couldn’t help but ask the man to prove his identity, to prove his story. It wasn’t a matter of trust. What Luon wanted was confirmation.
Ner nodded to Luon as he asks, “Do you remember what I said about our clans’ inherent technique?”
“The Golden Road, right?”
“Yes, but it isn’t actually a road. Rather…”
It was easier to show rather than explain the phenomenon, Ner’s eyes turned gold causing Luon to back away in fright. Ner continued to talk as his eyes emitted a golden hue.
“It’s a transference of information technique, rather unique to our race.”
‘Unique? I think I’ve seen that glow somewhere before. Wait!’ Luon thought as he suddenly realized that Ner’s eyes closely resembled the colour of the beam that the BMPU had shot at him when he was doing the synchronization of memories process.
‘Could it be that a Tacar made this? Or maybe someone who managed to stumble upon some ancient relics made by the Tacar and managed to reverse engineer the ability? Regardless, the Tacar had a hand in developing this device.’
Ner noticed the oddity in Luon’s expression, Luon fell deep in thought after looking at his eyes. Ner felt that he should have been more surprised, a feeling deep within him made him curious, he wanted to know why he had that expression, as one theory popped into his mind.
‘Could it be? That there are others still alive?’ Ner thought as he studied Luon’s expression. He asks, “What’s wrong? Did you find it a little surprising?”
At his words, Luon replied, “It indeed looks pretty unique. Do you want to try the transference technique then?”
It was a tempting offer if Ner accepted the choice, then he would immediately be able to find out the traces of his people through the memories that Luon had, but he declined.
The journey towards the truth was the fun part, he wanted to find out more himself, no matter how good or bad it is.
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Disappointed after losing the opportunity to learn more about the BMPU, Luon stood up and asked Ner once again.
“Can you help me escape the planet? Even if you have given up all hope. I still haven’t.”
Ner continued to sit, but instead of receiving his denial he asked a question, “Do you know why you didn’t lose the war against the Inzektors yet? When even my race wasn’t able to accomplish so? When we were much more technically advanced than you were?”
Luon shook his head, Ner explained, “Although we were arrogant, we had the right to be. Our weapons were way beyond your current capabilities, but we lost regardless. The average level of our kind was 75, and our numbers were massive. Our weaponry could shoot beams from afar, we couldn’t possibly lose the war against regular Inzektors. However, the Hivelord is an entirely different story. He personally slaughtered each and every single one of us, he consumed us even as we fought, and the moment he did, his regeneration rate instantly healed all of his injuries. The only ones that were able to match his might were the 4 great elders, and they still fell before his might. Now the reason why the war hasn’t ended for you guys is because of two things.”
“One, our great elders had inflicted a heavy curse on the Hivelord before perishing. The other is because of the desire for evolution.”
“Desire for evolution?” Luon asked, confused.
Ner nodded, “Wars accelerate technological advances. It stimulates both sides to better themselves. With the death of our kind, the overall combat levels of every other species fell way behind for the Hivelord’s consumption. Instead of slaughtering everything for the sake of levelling up, he made his Inzektors level up by constantly fighting against your people. Afterwards, they would offer themselves and the corpses of their prey for experience and nutrition. By doing this, he’ll slowly level up to a realm of ascension.”
“So you’re saying that we’re all just high-level experience consumables for him? If this were a game, then all he had to do was tap the eat button to level up? That kind of body is way beyond convenient, it’s unfair.”
“A downfall is that it takes much longer to level up though. Which is why if the Hivelord were to know my presence they would actively try to seek me out.” Ner stated.
His reason was a good one indeed, but regardless, Luon stood firm to his decision as he answered, “But I still need your help.”
“If you’re willing to take that risk yourself. It is nearly impossible for you to guarantee my safety.”
“Don’t underestimate the power of the Alliance, you only said that the Hivelord is powerful, not his minions. I’m sure we can take care of refuge or two.”
“That was before the Highlord went to reclusion, but now the overall strength of Inzektors increased.”
“No matter how strong they are, we’ll all get stronger.”
Ner wondered where Luon’s confidence was stemming from, they locked eyes, the only thing Ner could see was confidence. There was not a single strain of doubt, Luon truly believed that they could beat the Inzektors.
Luon leaned forward while looking down at Ner who was still seated, eyes their eye level matched he slowly articulated, “Don’t. Look. Down. On. Humanity.”
Standing straight up once again he asks once more, “The alliance is fighting for a new era. Are you in?”
With a sly smile, Ner couldn’t help but say, “If you say so. I guess I’ve been living under a rock for the longest time ever.”
“Good let’s to get work right away. The sooner, the better.”
Luon turned around as he started walking towards the only exit, but before he could, Ner tapped his shoulders and said, “Wait a second, we should do some more planning first. The day we escape is when the ones in space have resumed their patrols in another solar system. It would be easier to escape that way.”
Luon nodded as he replied, “I guess we wait then. I’m sure the day we’ll strike is quite near.”
“It’s only a matter of days, but for now let’s familiarize ourselves with each other, I can’t trust my back with someone I don’t know.”
“You can go first. Mine will take years to do,” said Luon as he recalls that he has over several lifetimes worth of memories.
“How about you go first instead? Mine will actually take centuries,” Ner replied. On that remark, the two laughed. A proactive conversation between two individuals continued, both of them actively exchanged their point of view.
“Are you ready?” Ner asked.
Before the two was a tower that soared high towards the sky, Inzektors were walking about, some of which pass by them, unable to sense their presence.
They were invisible using the tools Luon had on hand, Ner was quite surprised at how much technology had advanced. During his time they were more focused on improving weapons rather than integrating skills and abilities to devices.
A warp engine for them didn’t use spatial magic, rather quantum physics. The past technology screamed science while the modern day representation felt more like fantasy. It was unfortunate to find that despite Ner having the knowledge to reproduce some of their designs, only to find most of them impractical in modern day applications. Why use electricity when you have mana? Why use water when you have mana-infused water or magma?
Ner was excited to see what changes the world had in store for him. But their first step was to conquer the tower before them.
“To think that we’ll be attacking the tower straight on from the front door,” Luon replied.
“If it weren’t for some idiot invading the food production region we wouldn’t be attacking straight on.”
“But because I did the Inzektors scattered to satisfy their stomachs until their farm is back up and running again.”
“Whatever. It doesn’t matter if there were fewer Inzektors in the building. Or that we’re coming from a different way. What we need to do hasn’t changed.”
“Frontal Assault, let’s go,” Luon yelled the two had been quite familiar in the last week until the Inzektors had finally left the planet. Luon was surprised to find that Ner was stronger than he expected.
The two disabled their invisibility alarming the nearby Inzektors as they flew several meters away from them. The two ran inside of the building, and Luon tossed an object towards the pillars next to the door.
A loud roar happened a few seconds later sealing the world inside from the outside. Their climb is now starting.