Extra 3 – Extermination Phase
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Day 480 - Crimspur

“Good news.” Crimspur suddenly said while Takemikazuchi brought him another pile of materials. This time, the materials are liquid. He transported it through a dimensional storage ring that Crimspur had made a couple of months ago.

“What is it?” Takemikazuchi answered while unloading the pale blue liquid that seemed to be molten sapphire. Although it was liquid, this is a lightning-path resource, Hydroelectric Bluelight. It is a rank 2 resource which was set as priority-3 material, but having it would allow Crimspur to refine a far more efficient reactor network to power the fortress. After all, maintaining the Plasma Cannons and the newly built Photon Colliders are not cheap, energy wise.

“Since you don’t want to wear my biochemical suit, I’ve been trying to refine a power armor suitable for your combat style!” Crimspur dragged Takemikazuchi’s arm, but the man’s body did not budge. “Come on, you’re going to like it.”

Naturally, even the Sword Seigneur has reservations wearing armor that eats people. Even if he used them, he was more comfortable without a symbiote as it wouldn’t mesh with his fighting style. Still, Takemikazuchi wordlessly followed Crimspur’s arrangement and arrived in a large, high-tech room. 

“Are you Albert Einstein or something?” Takemikazuchi cursed, seeing the high tech facility that he’d never thought would see from Crimspur. If this was Intelligent Metal’s space cities, it would be natural, but this is Crimspur’s underground bastion.

“I was Albert Einstein when I was learning space-path, yes. My brother and I were quite active in Europe during the 19th century, but that identity was getting far too much attention so I had to switch. Why do you ask?”

Takemikazuchi was lost for words. “Never mind, forget I even asked.” 

The two passed through an open space filled with power armors of various shapes and sizes, but the biggest one is a 3-meter-tall model. Other than that specific armor, the rest is smaller with their average height being 2.25 meter tall. 

“Trash.” Takemikazuchi commented.

“Of course, they were my prototypes.” Crimspur wasn’t bothered by the harsh critique. “Every single one of them would crumble the moment you used [Shukuchi]. That’s why, I always save the best for the last.”

As they reached the end of the hall, there was a bluish power armor which seemed to be made out of crystallized lightning. Having a 2-meter tall body and streamlined design, the design was focused on movement instead of firepower. 

“I’ve set the pilot’s physical augmentation to 0%, that means it wouldn’t amplify your strength, not like you needed them anyway, but in exchange, it wouldn’t break even if you use Shukuchi consecutively. Also, it is focused on mobility and endurance. If you periodically replace the energy cells, you can use it without rest. This is the cornerstone technology required for us to assault the City of Blood.”

“I thought we’re going to wait until you make MEKAs… but I guess this should be sufficient.”

“Why are you so fucking infatuated by my MEKA. I’ve produced far more powerful creations than them. There’s the Biochemical Titans or even the Leviathans, but the MEKA is what you’re asking for? Even if I made them, I would have no pilots. The Formic Overlord can only breed cannon fodders; they are not like the Plantae or Chimerae Overlords that can be used for convoluted war strategies!”

Takemikazuchi felt he was being scolded. “F- fair enough.” He doesn’t have the heart to tell him that he always wanted to pilot one. As a martial artist that came from the land of the rising sun, piloting a giant humanoid mecha has always been the dream of any hot-blooded youth.

But then again, not only has he already passed his prime, he was also a dead man.

“With this, all the winning conditions are cleared. We just need more resources to breed more ants and equip them before we can start besieging the City of Blood.” Crimspur smiled when he saw Takemikazuchi willingly entered the power armor and tested the parameters of the armor.

 

Day 550 - Takemikazuchi

 

The man paid great attention to the blood-path resource point in front of him. 

Due to the existence of magical formations, it was easier than ever before to maintain a city-wide defensive force field. Once activated, the red shield would protect the content like a turtle shell protecting its host. There are all sorts of levels of protection, ranging from simple investigative methods, into complex defense against strategic killer moves designed to destroy towns or cities.

Naturally, the resource point in front of the Sword Seigneur is the second type. In this toxic, blood red world, the resource points simply look like an unnatural dome of blood. Investigative methods wouldn’t work beyond the dome, and he had tried to use some sword-path killer moves, but to no avail.

If he used a stronger killer move, it might be possible to destroy the blood dome, but that would take too much energy. The war has progressed into the extermination phase, Crimspur would force-feed Takemikazuchi with disgusting but high-nutrient food if he was out of shape. 

So as not to be force-fed with Crimspur’s crappy food, Takemikazuchi has chosen not to break it with his own power.

“Open fire on these coordinates…” He spoke into the omni-gear on his wrist, before taking a step back a few hundred meters away.

Just as he had expected, a few seconds later, the sound of a projectile piercing through the toxic air can be heard. The supersonic projectile was magnetically encased photon-matter, it reached critical state before even leaving the barrel of the Photon Cannon.

BOOM! The explosion of the photon cannon is smaller than a tactical nuclear warhead, and weaker too… but the attack isn’t a single one!

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The bombardment of the photon cannon continued for a solid minute before the last one broke the blood dome. The firepower was so precise that it was barely sufficient to destroy the shield.

“Hahah! Myriad Overlord-sama was a bit salty as his Photon Collider couldn’t produce antimatter in this dream world, but he was a very resourceful man! Even if he can’t use the Photon Collider to make his desired antimatter, he derived a Photon Cannon out of it!”

With the defenses gone, he simply used Sword Genesis to kill the panicking vampires. It was a swift battle as the man is probably the most powerful lifeform in this dream world, especially since he is now equipped with power armor.

“Having artillery support is very nice.” Takemikazuchi muttered as he plundered the blood-path resource point, which was a blood lake.

….

 

Day 690 - Lord Erebus

His shiny red hair has lost its luster. His eyes sunken, he had lost a chunk of his body mass, and this wasn’t because of the lack of nutrition, but rather, depression.

“My lord… The Blood Crystal Forest #45 that supplies us with crystalized blood essence fruits has been taken.” A vampire bride reported. “Reports indicate that the blood lake in the periphery was quickly plundered by the enemy. The blood is refined into blood swords…”

The news naturally put more pressure on Erebus, but the vampire bride was just doing her job. If she did not report the news from the frontline, then her master wouldn’t be able to react properly.

“Is it that swordsman?” Erebus inquired, his tone containing fatigue.

“Yes, my lord. Ever since he equipped that power armor, he has been sighted multiple times assassinating our leaders before the ant swarms attack. The men also reports that during the attack on Blood Lake #91, thousands of blood swords suddenly appeared from the ground, completely obliterating the defenders…”

Another depressed sigh left his mouth. “He has reached this point…” After what seemed like a period of pondering, he made a difficult decision. “The enemy has occupied 25% of the resource points of my dream world, the ants are gorging the very soil even as we speak. We must consolidate our power. Order all Vampire Brides to return to headquarters ASAP. Employ Scorched Earth tactics, leave nothing behind.”

The vampire bride wordlessly nodded. She was genetically engineered to have no emotion at all. “Understood. Recalling all vampire brides and employing scorched earth tactics. Shall I commence the Last Stand Protocol?”

“Yes. Enable all of our defenses. As long as Gorod Krovi still stands, they won’t be able to destroy my dream world.”

 

 

Day 870 - Crimspur

 

Crimspur muttered under his breath, probably to himself. “There’s nobody I wouldn’t sacrifice, I would plunge a world into destruction… I won’t hesitate to exterminate races or kill god if that will save my little brother from certain death. Even if he has an indestructible soul, no big brother would be happy to see his little brother experience death… You… a mere Haemodominari Vampire Lord, dares to act up in front of my little brother? A hundred million years too soon!”

An army of ants surrounded a giant city the size of a country,  sheltered by a shimmering red forcefield. 

“Something similar to the Holy Shield System in Crimson Mars after Intelligent Metal-sama took it… a city-wide defensive force field that even the constant bombardment of Photon Cannons have no way of scratching. It’ll probably take us a decade of constant bombardment before the shield breaks…” Takemikazuchi then turned to look at Crimspur. “Myriad Overlord-sama, do you have something to break this turtle shell?”

Crimspur shook his head. “I’ve reached the technology cap of this dream world. Any more inventions are useless as the laws of this dream world won’t be able to support it… It’s not even possible for me to reinvent Biochemical Titans as their body will crumble under their own body weight. According to my calculations, this shield is reinforced by the vampire lord’s spiritual force, it’s probably worth a few million of his life. To break this is no easy feat.”

“That was what I was thinking too.” Takemikazuchi said. “It seems like even now, the vampire lord did not forget his winning condition. As long as this farce lasts longer, it would be more beneficial because he has a better spiritual foundation than Grimsong Specter-sama. He wanted to outlast him…”

Crimspur turned to face Takemikazuchi. “Is it possible for you to perform [Excalibur]?”

The Sword Seigneur smiled, as if he already read his mind. “If we’re talking about the possibility of using it with my rank 3 body, then yes, but that would be the last killer move I can perform… if you get my drift. But even then, I am unsure if that will be sufficient in breaking this turtle shell.”

“I know, there’s an internal blood circulation system in the whole city. If I use Intelligent Metal’s term, the shield probably has an obscene amount of HP and an incredibly high regeneration rate. If we do not destroy it in one attack, then it would be impossible.” Crimspur voiced his calculation. “Then, I’ll grant you sufficient energy. Prepare your best state.”

“Roger that!”

 

 

Day 900 - Takemikazuchi.

 

On an elevated facility with direct visual sight onto the Gorod Krovi, Takemikazuchi took in the toxic air of this red world. When he exhaled, the air became visible like wind snakes. While he sat cross legged, his lower body is submerged in a special liquid containing copious amounts of electricity, enough to fry even the most resistant lightning-path lifeforms. He was also naked, as power armors would instantly melt.

The electricity in the liquid is so absurdly concentrated, that it shouldn’t be called water instead, but liquid lightning.

“It was fortunate that Mordred’s lightning-path attainment is extremely high. Because of that, his dream world has a copious amount of lightning-path resource points, allowing us to build this facility…” Crimspur used his eyes to pry on the blood dome-like shield, but to no avail. No matter how sophisticated his investigative methods are, they could not pierce the shield. 

Behind the artificial mountain, there were countless transformers, connected with thick cables that spanned for miles. This ‘facility’ was a hastily built mountain that channeled every single power reactor that Crimspur can build into the pool that Takemikazuchi currently meditated on. 

“This reminds me of the first OVA episode of my favorite anime1Evangelion 1: you are (not) alone… I can’t recall the names anymore now, but it includes giant robots and angels…” Takemikauzchi suddenly muttered, with a tone that mocks his own fate.

“What are you even on about at this point? I only built this mountain according to your request because it was effective and efficient.”

“In that episode, the Angel is so powerful that every mortal weapon is useless… so they created a weapon that sucked all power from Japan… This condition is very similar…” He ignored Crimspur.

“You’re getting muddle headed. Are you afraid of dying?” Crimspur asked, but there was not a single tone of empathy in his words. He had accepted Takemikazuchi’s death even when he was still alive. 

“Perhaps in your eyes, a thousand of myself is worth less than your little brother… After all, you threatened the Human Imperium to save Grimsong Specter-sama… But I have my own pride! This is my… a warrior’s resolve to sacrifice myself, do not tarnish my fighting spirit!”

There was a glint in the heroic ant’s eyes for a mere moment, before Crimspur scoffed. “As long as you don’t fuck up in the last moment.” Crimspur’s attention never left the blood dome.

Although they were speaking as if they were enemies, they actually were when Takemikazuchi was still alive. 

Even now, Crimspur has never forgiven Takemikazuchi for trying to take his little brother’s life. Now that the man is once again meeting his last moments, he’s outright joyful that the samurai is almost gone. A bit regretful because he wouldn’t be able to get a taste of the Sword Seigneur, but it wasn’t something too impactful in the grand scheme of things.

At this point, the transformers and cables have stopped supplying the pool with electricity, and exploded in electrical fire. Golden lightning snakes seemed to have coiled around Takemikazuchi’s body as a result of all these accumulations. 

“That’s the last thing I can do. All my reactors have burnt out, I can no longer supply you with energy.” Crimspur reported.

“That’s alright, I’ve enough power to activate my strongest method.” The man’s pale blue hair has turned golden at some point, with golden lightning radiating from his body.

“[Thunder in Heaven: Perpetual Lightning Form]2Negima! Magister Negi Magi!” Swoosh! He had instantly turned into humanoid golden lightning. Although he has the form of a human, his cells have been galvanized into the purest form of lightning energy. This was his most powerful method of boosting. In this state, the only reason why the Sword Seigneur did not die is simply because of his martial will. Otherwise, without a physical body made out of flesh and blood, it would be impossible for the martial cultivator to survive.

Therefore, when he activated this method without a rank 4 paragon cultivation base, his life was on borrowed time.

“[Perpetual Lightning Form]? Was that from an anime? I still can’t believe a damn weeb is numbered with the Sovereign Magi of Holy Terra…” Crimspur muttered in a very low voice. “Were you ever even Japanese to begin with? That would be outright cringe.” 

“Perhaps, I am cringe… But that makes me free!”3Based Takemikazuchi The man blitzed through the air, gazing down at the giant blood dome that protected the megatropolis of blood.

Golden lightning and light began materializing on his hand, creating a broad sword of golden light. The man’s cells have been broken down, so has transcended human existence into what Crimspur categorized as an electromagnetic lifeform. After all, he is literally a lump of photons, electricity, plasma matter and energy which was maintained by sheer martial will. 

“Rank 3 sword-path killer move, [Excalibur]!”4Fate/Stay-Night, Fate/Zero, etc When the man swung the golden sword of light, there was a trace of blackness left by the golden trail.

“A killer move so unreasonably potent… that it broke the dream world…” Crimspur sighed. “Excalibur should be a rank 4 killer move… even when weakened by the limit of this world, it is a powerful antiplanet-class killer move.”

With an attack of this caliber hitting the blood dome, it undulated in high frequency. Waves of blood were made at the point of contact, as if the defensive shield was alive and resisting the blade of golden light. Unfortunately, no matter what the blood dome did or no matter how high its regeneration rate was, it was torn to shreds as the sword light passed through like a blade slicing water. Black nothingless was left behind the trail of the golden sword light. If this was a real plane, this blackness would indicate the dimension being destabilized, space literally being torn to shred into spatial maelstroms.

Since this is a dream world, the blackness is something like an invulnerable wall that wouldn’t budge or heal no matter what was done to it. It was a giant wound that would permanently be left behind in this dream world. 

“Farewell…” After performing Excalibur, Takemikazuci evaporated into golden dusty particles. The martial will that maintained his form has been completely expended, he was unable to maintain his existence. With the last arrogant smirk of a martial sovereign, his existence has disappeared from this world.

“The Sword Seigneur is dead. Attack at full force. Rank 3 compound killer move, [Pandemic Blade]!”

With the destruction of the blood shield, the city walls are now laid bare to see. In that instant, plasma artillery, MIRV tactical warhead, photon cannon artillery, pandemic blade spore pods, large caliber railgun artillery… all sorts of long range big guns which were too heavy to be mobilized with the army are shot from the ant swarm’s headquarters. 

The long-range bombardment fell onto the walls and the interior of the city, killing tens of thousands in the first volley alone, but to a mega city with a population of more than hundred millions vampire and countless other vampiric beast slaves, it was a negligible loss.

Unfortunately for the vampires living in this city, it was merely just the beginning. 

Crimspur might have lost the Sword Seigneur, his most powerful chess piece, but it doesn’t mean he was helpless in besieging the mega city. Far from it. He was already prepared for a long urban siege, after all. His ants with various shapes and sizes equipped with varying levels of technological tools instantly swarmed through  the rapidly multiplying holes of the city which were made either by Excalibur or the ongoing long range bombardment.

Spearheaded by Crimspur himself who donned the Eternal Arms Race, there was nothing that could stop his onslaught. With a wave of his bladed hand, a wave of red spores would spread, infecting the vampires in virulent, explosive spores that would spread rapidly. This is no longer the learning phase where Crimspur is learning the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, nor the expansion phase where he lacked the resources to end his enemy. This is the extermination phase; his rate of killing is extremely fast

Whenever he passed through some resistance, he would first spread his spores to weaken the opposition before his army of cannon fodder consumed the vampiric army. The spearhead ants were elite ants who have survived multiple battles and devoured copious amounts of vampires. They had some level of immunity to blood poisons and heightened senses to detect vampires who are hiding in plain sight with blood magic.

“Rank 3 enslavement-path killer move, [Mass Frenzy]!”

Because millions upon millions of ants are currently under his control, he was heavily burdened in micro-managing them. Therefore, he had forgo micro to pursue macro. Through control nodes who are in the form of superelite ants like the Reaper Ants, Crimspur has multiplied his control beyond what he usually could. Naturally, this comes at the cost of being unable to be the perfect micro commander, that’s why he used a wide-range boosting killer move to control his ants through the semi-self aware Reaper Ants.

An intense sweet scented pheromone is being released by Crimspur’s body. The winds carried these intense pheromones far and wide, rendering the ants into a berserker state that forgoes defense for an all out offense. There was no need for self-preservation instinct when the battle had reached this point. 

The lesser ant soldiers are like rabbits in heat injected with chicken blood and force-fed steroids. They immediately rampaged through the battlefield, ignoring the wounds accumulating on their body just so they could kill more vampires. Through this boosting method, the casualty of both sides reached a staggering amount as blood magic and the occasional elemental magic which was released by uncommon elemental vampire mages are thrown chaotically. There were no vampires safe from this attack. 

On an elevated building 2 kilometers deep beyond Gorod Krovi’s wall, Crimspur stopped advancing as he and the Eternal Arms Race were munching on an unlucky vampire child. “As expected, young females have the most tender meat…” He commented on the taste, as his body continued producing Mass Frenzy pheromones. “Though, strong warriors also have their own unique taste…” He wasn’t doing this just for the sake of a meal however; this was a trap, and he was the bait.

The armor suddenly transformed from a loose congregation of carapace and mouths into a full armored mode donning a black-red carapace. In the instant afterwards, bloodlight so intense that it melted the building and everything around Crimspur in a 20 meter radius was sent from the center of the city.

It was a precise, long range snipe through blood magic.

Fortunately, he had already developed a strong resistance to blood magic. After the blood light subsides, it revealed a humanoid crustacean with its shell partially melted from extreme heat. In fact, the shells are glowing red hot and probably merged with the flesh beneath the carapace. “Assassination?” Crimspur shook his head. “A new method… but It’s too bad that I’ve already developed high resistance to blood magic…”

The melted carapace slowly loses heat as it heals at the speed visible to the naked eye. After that, the red-black armor slowly gained a deeper red hue, developing even further resistance against blood magic. Stronger, more durable cells were being processed as old and obsolete cells were being eaten by process of controlled autophagy. In the end, Crimspur’s armor did not have a notable change with the exception of color, but it was healed rather quickly in a matter of seconds.

Despite what he said however, Crimspur frowned because the blood magic had a secondary effect. Although he had evolved his crustacean shell, it is still breaking down as if it were experiencing genetic collapse. Even now, some of the shells of the armor are falling, breaking upon contact with the floor as if they were cheap ceramic.

“I see you have a specialized team ready for me…” Crimspur muttered, as the building he’s hiding in crumbles. The debris that weighed several tons put Crimspur in even more pressure as his shell became soft. He quickly walked towards an opening to escape the crumbling building.

When he reached the open air, he saw a group of superelite vampires wearing biochemical suits. What’s special about them is that, Crimspur noticed their fleshy body has been treated with a specific method so that pheromone-based attack would have limited effect. He knew because he can smell the viscous liquid on the surface of their bodies.

“You can put up a fight, after all…” Crimspur praised as his gaze reached the leader, Erebis himself. Behind the vampire lord, there was also the vampiric blood dragon who is trying to salvage the frontline by carpet bombing the ant swarm with its breath. 

“The swordsman is gone, there aren't any more obstructions to me ending you…” Erebus gave a telepathic command towards his assassination squad, and they moved beyond mach 3.

“A sound plan, but you’ll have to have the capability to kill me first… Rank 3 compound killer move, [Eternal Arms Race]!”

The process of eating, at least for a human, is the consumption of food through the digestive system. Even a child knows the mouth is a human's tool to eat, but as a transcendent in the food-path, Crimspur doesn’t necessarily need to use his mouth to eat. It was the same case with Mordred who doesn’t need to use his vocal cord to produce sound as his whole body could vibrate, or Takemikazuchi whose body can be used as a sword. 

Crimspur has actually used other methods of consuming food than using his mouth, which was photosynthesis. It was a method that literally eats light to produce energy. Although it was a gross oversimplification, Photosynthesis is still a digestion method that plants use.

With that said, Crimspur’s skin which was covered by the living armor known as Eternal Arms Race can be used to eat the said armor. Crimspur has decided to use his primary battle style to fight against Lord Erebus’ last resistance because no matter how many technological tools and ants he brought, this man wouldn’t die.

The killer move [Eternal Arms Race] used the living armor with the same name as a material. 

Crimspur and the living armor has eaten an uncountable number of things, either biological (vampire or ant corpses) or non-biological (metal ingots and minerals). The number one question is, where the fuck did he store everything he ate? It has been almost two years since the creation of Eternal Arms Race (the living armor), and he had almost never stopped eating. Even if this is a dream world, the law of conservation of energy can never be broken. 

Where did all that energy go?

All those nutrients are actually stored within the form of an extremely dense biological matter that Crimspur simply referred to as biomass. To him, biomass is the ultimate food-path currency. Naturally, the biomass in his body is already accumulated to a point where his body should be as heavy as a mountain, but why didn’t he simply collapse on his own weight?

Anti-gravity organs.

There exists a specially designed alternative sinew wrapping his skeleton, connected to an organ within his lower belly. It produces a magnetic repulsion field that counters the pull of terrestrial magnetism. Therefore, the ultra-dense biomass which was even denser than adamantium superalloy stored in his bones can be hauled safely without the worry of his body collapsing in on itself.

Despite having the physique of a 1.7 meter tall man, Crimspur’s body weight is actually two thousand metric tons, the absolute limit of what his anti-gravity organ can accomplish. If he wants to store more biomass, he has to get a bigger form than his current as this accumulation is enough for Crimspur to use various forms. 

Within a fraction of a second, the ultra-dense biomass was consumed by Crimspur’s body to grow various features. Of course, the mutation wasn’t  instantaneous, allowing a superelite vampire to pierce his eye with a blood spear. 

Stab! The crustacean armor which protected Crimspur became incredibly soft after being saturated by the long range blood magic. It was unable to completely protect his eyes, the blood spear  capable of penetrating the soft defenses and pierced the eye socket, reaching for Crimspur’s brain.

Naturally, a fucking stick piercing one’s brain is not something that people like. Crimspur used his left hand to break the blood spear, but the vampires have studied Crimspur’s combat style. He wasn’t like the swordsman whose movements were too fast to see and  lacked a stance that revealed no openings. Crimspur wasn’t a Magus who is known for his personal combat strength!

A vampire brute who wore a biochemical suit used his greatsword to sever Crimspur’s arm. When the massive blade struck their hand, the brute felt as if he was trying to sever a dragon’s bones instead of a man’s hand. Even with the heavy resistance felt, his great sword was augmented by several dozen forms of blood magic. In the first place, they were Erebus’ finest. Although it looked like a simple attack, it was a sword-path killer move designed to saw through flesh and bone

Therefore, the arm was actually severed!

When Crimspur’s extremely viscous and dense black bone marrow was exposed to the air, every vampire in the vicinity instantly recognized that the juice was capable of making them evolve into a greater vampire species. In that instant, Erebus gave telepathic commands to his underling so as not to be distracted with the battle. 

In reality, the battle has only progressed less than 0.1 seconds as they are moving beyond mach 3.

Almost at the same instant, another blood blade was sent after Crimspur’s head. Decapitation was a tactic that almost always works. Slash! The vampire who tried to decapitate Crimspur experienced the same thing. Crimspur’s bones are so dense that it felt like cutting through stone with a butter knife. Unfortunately, Crimspur’s skull, spine and rib cage are specifically designed to contain more than nerves and biomass. 

Each spinal segment is far denser than his limbs because they are not used to move around. The blood sword was stuck at Crimspur’s neck, and the cut flesh was closing, clamping down the blood sword.

While one of the vampire’s blood blades became stuck on his neck, it doesn’t mean other vampires stopped attacking him. They behaved like vengeful Roman senators waiting their turn to stab Julius Caesar. Countless bladed attacks, blood arrows, and blood rays, each the most lethal variation that they can be, rained upon Crimspur. His body is being gouged, sliced, and broken as countless wounds are being accumulated, yet, the man simply just wouldn’t, couldn’t die.

His heart has been gouged, his secondary and tertiary brain have been pierced by blood spears. 

His eyes are both gone, a poisonous blood parasite is drilling its way through the brain right now.

His two arms and legs are sliced, each limb which probably weighed fifty metric tons after the anti-gravity organ lost its influence after being secured by four different vampires…

Yet, he did not die.

In fact, his body is currently adapting at a rapid pace. Broken cells are being eaten by other cells to produce far more efficient cells. The first visible mutation was the left hand that was first sliced. A new hand grew from the severed part, but it wasn’t his original hand, but a burly, muscular hand with clawed fingers like that of a dragonoid. 

The hand tried to push away the vampire who’s holding Crimspur’s body in the air with a blood spear, but it was for naught as another vampire reacted fast enough to cut the hand once more. 

This time, a new right hand grew, but it wasn’t even humanoid in nature, but a blade hand. This one did not try to push the vampire, but to decapitate it.

The new hand was immediately severed as the speed the vampire moved past mach 3. 

The next mutation was his nearly decapitated head. The open wound had already eaten the blood blade that was stuck there, and a cancerous growth suddenly grew, creating a second head. 

Because this new head wasn’t made out of Crimspur’s original spine or skull, it doesn’t possess the extreme durability of the original head. It immediately exploded by a vampire who struck it with a hammer.

Just as the vampires were about to once more decapitate Crimspur’s original head, his body suddenly produced copious amounts of red powdery spores. It was so intense that the vampire’s countermeasures against Pandemic Blade were almost broken. 

With a mental command from their masters, the vampires retreated back, throwing Crimspur’s corpse a few hundred meters away towards a certain direction where a group of superelite vampire mages had already prepared for this tactic. 

It wasn’t the first time Crimspur had used his own body as bait, so Erebus was cautious enough to have countermeasures for various conditions.

The open space where Crimspur's body was thrown was a core for a magical formation. At the same instance his body made contact with the floor, a 20 meter-diameter blood dome covered his body, not allowing the dangerous toxic spores to spread.

A few seconds later, a super-long range pillar of blood light was dropped onto the dome of which Crimspur’s was trapped in. Although it looks like the same blood magic that was used to ambush him, it was a new variant with its power amplified multiple times greater than the first.

When the pillar of blood light subsides, Erebus and his vampires use their investigative method towards the blood dome. From the inside, Crimspur was unable to see anything outside whereas Erebus and his vampire can freely see the inside of the dome.

What they saw made Erebus and his vampire shocked.

He realized he had made a crucial error; in this brief moment, Crimspur’s limbless body has grown multiple inhuman limbs.

The most noticeable was his rear, which possessed a tail that seemed to be formed from spinal segments. The next was the crushed second head on his neck, it actually had regrown into a reptilian head with a long neck, the head having draconic features despite its small size.

Next, his left leg has entirely reformed into three reptilian legs, and his severed right hand has regrown into a wolf-reptile hybrid arm. Underneath the severed left armpits, there was a smaller hand that seemed like a useless limb.

As for his original head, there were three reptilian eyes on his left eye socket, whereas his right eye socket is replaced by an ant’s compound eye and a growing ant’s antenna on top. Although his skin, carapace, and scales are melting, new layers of flesh and stronger scales or carapace are still growing to replace what had been lost. The two heads are not proportionally located, his body isn’t even symmetrical, but Crimspur was undoubtedly still alive.

ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAR! Crimspur’s draconic second head roared so loud that it literally exploded, yet two new reptilian heads grew from the same neck. One of them continued roaring, while the other one began continuously spraying toxic red spores to saturate the cage.

Seeing the beast is still alive, Erebus ordered the continuous bombardment of blood magic, each different than the last as he knew Crimspur must’ve adapted his genes to endure them.

By the second bombardment, the blood magic’s corrosion was so strong that weak organs such as old limbs and eyes melted into goo. In retaliation, Crimspur increased his body volume by 25%, his torso no longer having the features of a human, but a beast. Four pairs of legs have grown in exchange for his melted ones.

The beast roared once more to the same effect. This time, his second dragonic head breathed out pale blue liquid plasma at the blood dome while a third head constantly produced red spores.

Boom! Another bombardment was done, but Lord Erebus was unable to continue creating new methods. Sooner or later, he must’ve run out of new methods to use, but Erebus wasn’t worried.

Although adapting to new methods looks simple, it was actually not.

Since blood-path also touches the field of bloodline, it naturally contains the profundity of genetic engineering. 

If Erebus wanted to add a new feature to a lifeform, it was inevitable that the said feature would mean a higher complexity of genetic structure. The thing is, the genetic structure of a rank 3 lifeform might be countless times more complex than a rank 2, but it can’t be infinitely complex.

As more features are added, one also needs to consider the balance of one trait to another. Creating a fully functional biochemical suit is the best example. If one wanted to add wings to a biochemical suit, it isn’t as simple as attaching bones and wrapping it with muscle fiber, no. The operations of a lifeform is more complex than that, as one also needs to consider genetic stability and synchronization rate of the blood and nervous system. 

For example, if the base of the biochemical suit is a mammal, then adding a lizard’s features might be difficult. Even if it was possible, the difficulty of adding an avian feature on top of the said lizard’s feature would be beyond difficult, almost impossible. Despite that, refining the perfect biochemical suit is actually possible, it just takes a lot of time, perhaps more than designing the perfect power armor.

In essence, the more complicated it was, the higher the likelihood of complete and utter genetic collapse.

Even from a glance, it was obvious that Crimspur’s asymmetrical, ugly body was the result of forceful adaptation. The genetic material of the head part would probably be different compared to the ones harvested from the tail. 

‘It was like a chimera experiencing an extreme genetic collapse…’ Erebus muttered in his mind. 

Unfortunately for Lord Erebus… Crimspur knew what he was doing. 

After the fifth blood magic bombardment, Crimspur’s body has grown into the size of a bus. His body has become almost entirely reptilian, with scales and crustacean shells decorating various parts.

His head has been reduced into one, but his dragonic head has two mouths which were stacked on top of each other. The big, dragonic head has a short neck, like a crocodile, but there are multiple eyes on the said neck. 

The two pairs of draconic legs are thick, like the fictional beast known as Tarrasque, but there are smaller arms underneath the left armpits. Multiple bright red crystals are growing on some of his body, they seem to hum with mysterious power. Of course, the distribution of the crystals are asymmetrical, just like the draconic black scales and crustacean shell that littered all over the body. There were also thick, sparse hair growing in random places.

The current Crimspur seemed like a chimera with random body parts and organs, with no clear reason why those organs existed in the first place.

Just before the sixth bombardment began, Crimspur suddenly roared, his thick tail which was hiding a large crystal growth on its edge suddenly glowed. He knew this one would be far more lethal than usual, he accelerated his growth so that he could escape.

“Rank 3 compound killer move, [Cell-obliteration Cannon]!” 

The tail is actually a cannon, the crystal is a facet for photon-energy made by using biomass within a furnace-type organ as fuel. Red lasers are produced by the tail, containing far more concentrated energy than the photon cannons he refined back in his headquarters.

A hole was made at the blood dome! In that split second, Crimspur’s large body made a swift move that reached mach 3. Still, it was too late as the blood magic bombardment which was in the form of a blood light pillar that contained a tinge of gold managed to consume his tail. The tail evaporated, but he has successfully escaped from the cage. Crimspur’s dual mouth roared, he rampaged through the battlefield starting by eating a shocked vampire mage.

‘The penta-heart system allows better biomass circulation to the whole body… My cells are now strong enough to move at mach 3. Biocrystal formations are still in shambles, I need to fix them later. The tail has grown into a triple spear-tail, it should be enough to handle speedsters…’

The battle has progressed into a brutal melee. The vampire mages are being recalled, while the superelite biochemical suit-equipped vampires are swarming towards Crimspur with their weapons and blood magic. 

“ROOOOOAARRR!!” Crimspur’s double mouth spewed superheated bioplasma, spreading plasma fire everywhere. This move gave him some breathing room against the hundreds of superelite vampires that went after his head.

“Don’t panic, mage squads, blow this flame away! Use a large-class beast hunting strategy, tie him down!” Erebus has experience in hunting myriads of massive beasts, including chimeras. 

Blood chains connected to a spear edge instantly fired through blood magic. If one or a dozen, it wouldn’t be able to hold down Crimspur, but when the chains numbered in the hundreds, his large body size became a liability. Although more volume meant more muscle mass, it is now also a bigger target.

And so, the solution was simply to reduce the body volume.

Through a process known as autophagy, Crimspur’s cells are being rapidly consumed by himself. In a sense, because he’s a food-path transcendent, well at least a former transcendent, he was able to recycle the biomass of his body with extremely high efficiency. 

Crimspur’s large body quickly shrunk into a 3 meter tall human figure, with a pair of digitigrades legs. Long, sleek limbs, made for speed rather than defense are the focus of this form. A long, spinal segment tail with a biocrystal on the edge has become a scalpel that broke the countless blood chains that bind this segment of his body.

“HAHAHAHAH! AND THIS ISN’T EVEN MY PRIMARY PATH!” Crimspur laughed, the multitude of changes he undertook in a short timespan vastly affecting his mentality into a ferocious beast, “THIS IS MORE THAN SUFFICIENT TO KILL YOU! LET ME SHOW YOU THE PATH OF AN EVOLVER!”

Martial is the path of Sword Seigneur, Magos is the path of Intelligent Metal, Soul is the path of Grimsong Specter. Chaos Nemesis and the remainder have their own path, and as for Crimspur, it was Evolver, adapting to each and every possible circumstances!

After all, he is the Sovereign Magus of Evolution.

At first, Crimspur’s transformation rate was extremely slow in their perspective. But now, it was rapid and most importantly, clean

Crimspur’s chest suddenly opened up, like a mechanical contraption. The rib cage which was originally a solid cage of interlocking plates split up, creating gaps on his chest and neck. His back suddenly grew a lump as two pairs of dragon wings rapidly grew from it. The ‘dragon’ wings are strange, although it resembled a bats’ or reptilian’s wings, the ‘webbing’ is unnaturally thick. The ‘finger’ part of the wing is much longer, with small bone spurs growing on it.

“BOOM!” An explosion of red dust was suddenly being produced by the two pairs of wings. The wings aren't for flapping, but instead behaved like a jet engine, exhaling extremely intense bioenergy to produce propulsion power. 

The gaps in his chest were to allow air intake, while in his back, there was an organ that burns oxygen and biomass to produce propulsion force. Naturally, at this state, Crimspur’s metabolism is beyond extreme. The jet engine is expending copious amounts of biomass every second. Even if he is reducing his weight through an antigravity organ, he wouldn’t be able to use this form for long.

Which is why, his tactic has changed from simply enduring to eat them during battle to replenishing the expenditure. 

Munch! The superelite vampires might have set up proper countermeasures for Crimspur’s Pandemic Blade saturation attack, but they obviously had no counter to being devoured whole. 

Because he knew the biomass income from eating them wouldn’t be able to offset the expenditure if he is using the jet dragon form, he reverted back his transformation. 

‘That brief transformation cost me 200 tons of biomass…’ Crimspur calmly calculates the remaining biomass within his bone marrow. Despite his complaints however, he had killed 40% of the superelite vampires in mere seconds. 

Since he had lost his original limbs which carried a portion of his original reserve, there’s always a chance for him to rapidly recover them, but for now, there was a need to fight Lord Erebus himself.

The form that he took now is a werewolf-like creature with long, digitigrade legs and sleek limbs. He has a sword spear tail. There was a sleek biocrystal underneath both of his eyes, like an additional pair of eyes. 

HOWL! Crimspur howled as his hand was rapidly consumed and regrown into a blade hand. The sword-path attainment he learnt from Takemikazuchi is now being used in battle.

Although this form looks weak, it was actually very biomass-efficient. After all, his enemy is a vampire lord that can resurrect himself.

“DIE YOU FUCKING BASTARD!” Lord Erebus ordered, but he retreated back. In his place, superelite vampires from far away arrived to serve as reinforcement. In the first place, this was Lord Erebus’ domain, the underground bunkers that housed vampires are too numerous to count.

However, it was all in Crimspur’s arrangement. The man has no plan to use his Formic Overlord to kill Erebus as it was his most basic overlord, unable to breed complex lifeforms for precise operations or convoluted stratagems. 

‘Don’t enslavement-path cultivators have extremely low personal battle strength?’ 

That was a real concern, an ironclad rule because most strategists aren’t combatants. For example, if he is pitted against Takemikazuchi in a fair fight, he would undoubtedly lose because the Sword Seigneur’s combat strength is off the charts.

The thing is, Crimspur is a Sovereign. 

Sovereigns are referred to as such because they were the peak of their respective world, or civilization. As a Sovereign, there were certain qualities that allowed them to stand above others. Therefore, Crimspur being weak in one-on-one combat is actually wrong. As long as his accumulations are sufficient, he might be able to best Takemikazuchi!

Crimspur opened up his mouth, breathing out a superheated plasma cloud that burns everything. Enduring blood magic as a retaliation from Erebus’ vampires, the man’s body grew multiple metallic horns on his head and shoulders. Those horns instantly crackle with bioelectricity and strike the offending vampires to dust.

It needs to be said that the vampires are superelites, wearing biochemical suits. Otherwise, a simple saturation attack from Crimspur’s Pandemic Blade would be sufficient to handle them.

From the backline, Lord Erebus was mentally biting his fingernails in frustration; Crimspur’s combat ability is far higher than even his most dire estimation. 

Superheated plasma cloud which was similar to a fire-path method.

Cell-Obliteration Cannon stood in for light-path attacks.

Horns that smite his troops to ashes; literally lightning-path methods.

Having fur, scales, or carapace composed of biometallic superalloys which can be easily renewed, similar to metal-path healing methods.

Pandemic Blade spores, which was a true wood-path method.

Although he hasn’t seen it yet, the man must still be hiding a multitude of other methods. This beast of a man is extremely dangerous, perhaps more so than the swordsman! Furthermore, his movements have started getting more and more streamlined! He no longer moves like a non-combatant with great strength. Now, not only is he gaining greater control upon his powers, his power level is increasing by the seconds!

Morphing from one form to another seamlessly, it was as if he had changed into another lifeform.

“Hahah… Takemikazuchi was correct. The Eternal Arms Race is my true body! He was too smart for his own good, so I was unable to eat him. To tell you the truth, it wasn’t I who devoured the Eternal Arms Race, but it was I who ate the Formic Overlord’s Heroic Unit!” Crimspur suddenly muttered, seemingly to no-one, as he had taken the form of a three headed, 4 meter long dragonoid. 

Superheated plasma clouds, concentrated breath of electric ion-particles, and toxic Pandemic Blade spores… each of his head breathed out different things. 

He was not eating with his mouth as occasionally, flesh tendrils would grow from his body and fetch corpses into his body. Then, the skin, carapace, scales or whatever his skin is made out of would open up, letting more flesh tendrils that wrapped the corpse and saturate it with special digestive fluid, quickly turn the corpse into fresh biomass.

Through this method, he can focus on killing. 

As more and more vampires are being slaughtered, Crimspur has taken on a new form. No longer entirely biomass-efficient, but rather, he has the highest killing efficiency that he can reasonably sustain; a six headed, 24 meter long dragon. Naturally, this isn’t the dragon of Morgen World with bullshit racial traits, but a dragon in mere form, having Crimspur’s abilities.

Obviously, when Crimspur had escalated with this form, Erebus sought the only logical solution, which was to recall the vampiric blood dragon who is suppressing Crimspur’s ant army with its blood flames.

Therefore the battle of two dragons of the same size will be epic!

Unfortunately, contrary to reason, Crimspur’s dragon form subdued Erebus’ dragon without much difficulty.

The six thick heads which can now breathe petrification gas, cell-obliteration cannons and acid mist in addition to the three original breaths and are overwhelming the vampiric blood dragon who only has one head, not even giving it the light of day as it was eviscerated at range. It was so one-sided the battle was a joke.

Only after seeing this, does Lord Erebus face the despairing reality.

‘The learning-phase was not for my swarm to learn of your weakness. It was for me to learn of your weakness through the expense of my cannon fodder. After all, the Formic Overlord is my simplest Overlord. It is specialized in producing cannon fodders.’ Crimspur thought to himself as his six heads quickly devoured Erebus’ vampiric blood dragon.

‘The expansion-phase wasn’t for my swarm to expand their numbers. It was for my swarm to find materials so that my Eternal Arms Race can grow in the aspect of complexity.’

‘The last phase isn’t called Assimilation-phase but rather, Extermination-phase; you are not worthy of being assimilated by me!’

‘The reason why Mordred recalled Takemikazuchi is not only to guard my weak early-stage self, but so that the man can be eaten by me should things go awry, an emergency food supply so to speak. Though things went awry as Erebus erected the blood dome of his city of blood, which forced Takemikazuchi to sacrifice himself. But in the end… things went according to your calculation, my little brother…’

A seventh head grew from Crimspur’s neck, he also increased the body volume by 20%, reaching almost 30 meters long. This new head was extremely similar to the vampiric blood dragon, it does not breathe any special attack yet, but the pores of Crimspur’s whole body is exhaling an extremely potent anti-vampire Pandemic Blade spores. The intensity was so dense that Crimspur’s large body is hidden behind the spores.

With a whiff, even superelite vampires are infected and explode, turning themselves into a new vector of infection.

At this point, Erebus realized that he had lost. After all, the virulent spore explosions also engulfed him. Without the control of the commander resurrecting himself in a deep underground facility, the army completely lost their advantage of superior coordination. 

The absence of the vampiric blood dragon suppressing the frontline, the ant swarm was able to push through, killing more vampires under the support of the seven headed dragon that continuously spewed death. Not long after devouring more vampires, Crimspur grew an eighth head. 

At this point, he had long outperformed the lifeforms in the Dream World. Any modification was the most literal form of overkill.

 

 

Day: Unknown - Mordred.

 

“Yo, you’re up!” Crimspur muttered towards his little brother, their body frame and facial structure is literally the same. The only difference is the color of their hair and eyes.

“Almost three years, was it?” Mordred asked. Unlike Erebus, he had the extradimensional perception to sense time. His synesthesia was able to capture the echoes of time and derive how long he has slept.

“Something around that time, yeah.”

“I thought you’d be faster.” Mordred sat from his original position of sleeping. “Did you use [Eternal Arms Race]?”

“Yes.” Crimspur nodded. “I could be even faster, but you have no attainment in my primary path, so I had to get creative with your Exemplary attainment level of food-path, wood-path and the rest.”

“I see. From your tone, you must’ve failed to cannibalize Takemikazuchi, right?”

“Well, it’s fine, you can always dream some more. For now, you just need to wake up.” Crimspur pats Mordred’s head.

“Hmm, alright.” Mordred stood up from his bed. This pure white room which looks like a medical room was possibly the best maintained part of the dream world, but Mordred felt he had rested enough. 

“Wait, I have a couple of questions, since it’ll probably take a while before you dream again.” Crimspur stopped Mordred from activating a soul-path method to wake up from this dream. Without the obstruction of Erebus, it was now possible to wake up.

“Ask away.”

“I’ve been curious, why is Lord Erebus’ city of blood being referred to as such in russian? Did you spread Holy Terra’s culture in Morgen World?”

“Oh, that.” Mordred touched his chin. “Did you know the Emperor has two disciples? The first one was Chaos Nemesis, and the second was some kid… If I recall correctly, his name was Demiurge.”

“What about them?”

“I’ve lost the detail of my memory regarding him, but I remember Demiurge theorized about the culture of worlds. The Boundless Astral Plane is… well, theoretically infinite. If there’s a limit, we have yet to find it, because Demiurge is yet to ascend into a space-path Sovereign Magus. He was still a kid the last time I saw him. Maybe when the End War begins, we might be able to meet new generations of Sovereign Magi of Holy Terra…”

“And? It just so happens that Morgen World’s culture is similar to our Holy Terra because the Boundless Astral Plane is infinite? Is that it?”

“Un, something like that.” Mordred nodded as if it was the most obvious thing. “There are massive amounts of minor differences, but it’s a hassle to describe all of them… For now, his theory was more or less correct, and I’m not specialized in space-path, so that’s the only explanation I can give you.”

“Alright… one more thing.” Crimspur turned serious. “Why are you not using your primary path in battles? Why are you holding back too much like this? During your physical battle with Erebus, you’re not using your primary combat style…”

“Heh.” Mordred smiled wryly. “My primary combat style relies on my soul foundation being expended and recovered through killing. Perhaps, I’m the only Sovereign Magi of Holy Terra with my foundation constantly fluctuating up and down. It puts a heavy burden on my soul integrity, and I can no longer do it freely because I’ve yet to regain my indestructible soul. That’s why, I’m trying to find a new combat style… The Armored Soul Tribe.”

“Undead Machinery…” Crimspur mused. “Well, I’m satisfied. May us meet in the flesh soon…” He spoke, smiling as Mordred activated his soul-path killer move. He wasn’t one for long goodbyes.

Mordred responded with a rare, wistful smile. There would be a brief moment before he awoke. “Also, I have one more thing to say.” 

Crimspur slightly cocked his head, mildly amused. “What’s worth mentioning to the remnant memories of your brother?” 

Mordred wore a shit-eating grin, “Takemikazuchi isn't the typical mentally challenged Sovereign. He’s actually a hikikomori who found his path after being infatuated with anime and hentai, a heavy emphasis on the hentai.5SEEEGGSSS He is… the ultimate otaku...”

“Excuse me what the fu-” Were the last words Crimspur spoke before Mordred left the Country of Delusions.

When Mordred finally opened his eyes, the shit-eating grin still plastered on his face.

 

"I have the power of god and anime on my side."
~ Takemikazuchi, probably.

 

Fun fact: Soul Venerable wasn't my first work, it was my third. My first work was about 'Myriad Overlord' Crimspur and the second was about Intelligent Metal, but they were so bad that I have to scrap that project and take it down forever from the internet. Just re-reading it in my personal archive made me cringe, but I never deleted them as they have their good points. Perhaps in the future, I might be able to post Crimspur's or Intelligent Metal's adventure before Mordred arrived on Morgen World.

Also, this wrap up the extra chapters of Volume 3 (each should be 2-3 chapter worth istg, I have shot myself in the foot by promising to show Crimspur's battle style this early, his appearance should be near the End War smh). Starting from chapter 101, it would be the start of Volume 4 - Project: Wild Hunt. Thank you for reading my works! 

Proofreader: Engie

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