A metallic wall stood in the center of a destroyed metropolis, separating the old from the new. On the other side of the twenty foot high barrier was a large silver mansion overlooking rows of factories and shoddy houses. Thousands of humans toiled away, producing machine after machine. It was ironic. They were giving life to the very thing that enslaved them.
A metal collar held tight around their necks, with only a button needed to activate it. As if that wasn't enough, hundreds of soldiers, drones, giants, and stealth bots silently watched them. As much as the humans wanted to rebel, their bodies were weak and thin. They were provided only enough food to survive and work, nothing more.
Soldiers and stealth bots patrolled the settlement without pause. Near the metallic wall, five soldiers suddenly spotted a transparent human hovering off the ground. Strangely, their thermal sensors detected no heat. Alerted but not yet in combat mode, they followed the flying human to the edge of their territory. When they rounded a corner, a plethora of attacks wiped them out.
Not a second later, cloaked figures shot out from the alleyway and spread out, moving swiftly and silently. They moved in groups and numbered fifty in total. Whenever a transparent human led a squad of robots around a corner, they ambushed them with ruthless precision. Like this, they were able to exploit the fact that robots didn't know how to respond to ghosts.
Slowly but surely, the cloaked figures infiltrated the settlement, wiping out each and every robot they came across. Stealth bots were no exception.
Two hours later, all fifty infiltrators regrouped next to the marble wall surrounding the silver mansion. Jason pulled off his hood. "Report."
"South is clear."
"North is clear."
"West is clear."
"East is clear." Dubaku, Shenlong, Peter, and Zhen Hu reported.
Jason turned to the figure gasping for breath. "Ebba?"
Ebba leaned against the wall as she struggled to answer. "The entire settlement is clear."
"Good work, your new undead helped a lot. Teleport back for now." Jason nodded with a smile.
"Good luck." Ebba wanted to continue, but controlling fifteen high tier undead took quite a toll on her mind. She had no choice but to teleport back to the community floors.
Peter peeked over the short marble wall. "The courtyard is pretty big. We should be fine."
Jason and Shenlong glanced at each other, their excitement as clear as day. The past few months of preparation was all for this moment. Killing Hector, and more importantly, getting an m-serum. Participating in this raid was the strongest members of Peter and Shenlong's guild.
Jason turned to Amara as he gestured at the mansion. "The honor is all yours."
"You want me to use it here?" Amara looked at the beautiful mansion that was worth millions. When Jason gave his affirmation, she smiled innocently.
She took out a heroic grade energy boost module, stepped back, and began to chant a long incantation. Unlike most spells, a large magic circle appeared at her feet as visual phenomena flickered around her. Only after twenty seconds did she raise her finger at the sky and shout passionately. "Meteor!"
True to her words, a massive rock of fire appeared in the sky. A trail of flame was left in its wake as it slammed into the mansion, exploding with such force that the ground trembled violently. If not for the marble wall blocking most of the impact, Jason and the others would have been affected.
"Hahaha! That felt great!" Amara fell on her back, exhausted from overusing her mana. The energy boost module increased the mana cost and power of her next spell by 200%. Meteor was already an ultimate skill with a long cooldown and mana cost, so increasing it further depleted even Amara's vast mana reserves.
"Who dares attack me?! Is it you, Fox?!" Hector screamed hoarsely from the direction of the now destroyed mansion.
Jason peeked over the marble wall and found a lone man standing among the wreckage. His clothes were tattered and his chest partially melted. The skin fell from his face, revealing a silver metal skull. As soon as Jason's eyes landed on Hector, Hector spun around with a grim smirk. "So many humans still have the guts to fight? So be it!"
(Mutant Raid Boss) The 14th Artificial Intelligence, Hector - Level 145
"Do as we rehearsed!" Jason ordered as he jumped over the wall and charged. Shenlong, Peter, and Zhen Hu followed at his side, while the rest of their raid fanned out to surround Hector.
"Inferior ants!" Hector sneered as the palm of his left hand faced forward. A thin beam of concentrated energy instantly struck Jason, only for it to miraculously reflect back and strike Hector's shoulder.
"You da-" Hector was knocked back under the combined assault of Shenlong, Zhen Hu, and Peter after activating their berserk skills. Their teamwork was impeccable; each attack in sync with the next. Not only were they in a berserk state, they also had buffs from their allies support skills, food, and potions. In their current state, each one was a match for Hector, if only for a little while.
Arrows and magic from the ascenders in the back damaged Hector further. He was unable to retaliate at all. Every time he tried, Shenlong, Dubaku, and Jason would interrupt him, somehow knowing what he was about to do.
Hector's health fell rapidly under the combined assault of the strongest ascenders. Even after the berserk skills wore off, they were still able to hold their own. The fight that Jason had feared so much was progressing a little too smoothly. Was it because he overestimated nobles? Or was it because his foreknowledge helped them grow faster than the mutant did?
When Hector's health dropped to 20%, he grew afraid. "Damn it all! You made me do this!"
A pulse of energy exploded from Hector's body, pushing everyone back. When Jason looked up, he found that Hector's appearance changed dramatically. His head now glowed with blinding light, while thick tendrils of energy wrapped around his metallic body. An angelic hum filled the air.
The energy was so vast and dense that Jason's battle energy was suppressed. What was once a raging river was now a lethargic stream. Even then, his situation was better than most. His allies found to their shock that they were unable to cast any skills, and worse, their mana worked against them. They were unable to move a single finger.
Hector lazily glanced over at an ascender from Shenlong's guild named Fei Hong. In the original timeline, he was the best multi-target healer in the world.
"Behold the power of a superior lifeform, humans." Hector's voice reverberated through the air as he pointed at Fei Hong before abruptly clenching his hand.
Fei Hong screamed in anguish as his body burst apart like a balloon, killing him and several ascenders nearby. Amidst the blood and flesh, blue light flew over and gathered into a ball above Hector's hand. "Hmm, this energy is strange."
Hector inspected the ball of mana for a second then tossed it away and laughed. "This energy is inferior to my own. No wonder you humans are so weak!"
Everybody struggled to move as Hector chuckled. Seeing this, he clicked his tongue. "I am the master of all energy. Now don't you see how foolish you are for trying to fight me?"
Hector slowly rose his arm and pointed at another ascender. Carly let out a muffled scream as her body trembled in fear. What was more terrifying then being unable to move as death approached? Than being killed by a single finger?
Just as his hand was about to clench shut, a crescent wave of grey energy split the world in half. The air, Hector's energy, the ground, the sky. Everything. Only after traveling three hundred feet did the wave dissipate.
Hector watched as his left arm hit the ground with a thud. Previous attacks left only small marks, yet now, a single attack had chopped his arm straight off. He refused to believe what was happening, but when he turned and saw the sight before him, he felt terror for the first time.
"Your energy is inferior to my own. No wonder you're so weak!" Jason sneered as he used Hector's words against him.
"You…" Hector staggered backwards, aghast. "Who are you? What are you?"
Jason no longer looked human. Grey lines covered his body as his battle energy was sucked into the cracked sword he held in his right hand. The sword devoured it all, yet it never seemed to be enough. It took more and more, until it even started drawing from Jason's blood, flesh, and lifeforce. His right arm and shoulder shrunk until only bones were left.
The sword emitted a frightening howl. To Jason's surprise, he could sense a will within the weapon. He felt a connection with the sword's soul, much like the one he had with Tank. That was why he could sense the disdain it felt for him. You are weak. Your battle energy is thin. I am strong, so I will take it. The soul entered Jason's mind, drowning him in battle intent.
"I am the master. You are the tool!" Jason let out a guttural growl and activated the skill that he unlocked from upgrading his battle physique. Over the past year, he had slowly extracted battle energy from the weapons his kingdom produced. As for the other requirement, he found a few rings that provided willpower.
Ruler of the Battlefield
Consume remaining Battle Energy to temporarily unlock your full potential.
Gain absolute control over Battle Energy. All skills possess the Battle Energy attribute. All skills that consume Battle Energy cost nothing. Lasts 1 minute. 24 hour cooldown.
After this skill ends, -99% Stamina and Health gain for 2 hours.
The sword submitted instantly. As it did, the weapon became an extension of his body. Unfortunately, he had no time to get familiar with the sword or soul. Time was of the essence, so he used a skill he hadn't used since duelling Shenlong. Mental suppression.
The world shuddered as the will of a battle god descended. Streaks of grey energy in the millions filled Jason's surroundings. This was his domain now. His realm. A single streak touched Hector's waist, cutting through it like a hot knife through butter.
Due to possessing full control over battle energy, his skill also manifested in the physical world. Hector wanted to flee, yet he couldn't move an inch. Compared to his situation, none of the streaks touched Jason's allies.
Even with full mastery over battle energy, the sword was too powerful. It was like a mortal wielding the weapon of a god. Blood seeped through every pore in Jason's body as he raised his arm. Just then, the soul within the sword sent Jason an image. Struck by inspiration, he controlled the millions of streaks to condense around his sword.
Now free and terrified out of his mind, Hector turned and fled through the sky.
Unconcerned, Jason lightly swung his arm. A black streak followed behind the wave of energy as space itself ripped apart. It continued for miles on end until it struck an invisible barrier. The barrier cracked and shattered, only to repair itself a few seconds later.
As for Hector? He was utterly annihilated.
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