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Chapter 583

When Ben had created the matter of his home reality, it had reacted explosively upon meeting the universe, bursting outward and warping space itself in a way that had even damaged the orichalcum armour hed been wearing to protect himself, but the beast theyd just slain wasnt made of the sort of stuff that would naturally be found in either his current world or his last. It was instead a third type he hadnt previously encountered, and without a soul to dominate it, it was left to react to the physics around it.

As kilometers of material were left to interact with reality itself, all at once the world was sucked in under the force of the massive implosion it created, taking both Ben and Thera with it as they were pulled through the air, being the closest victims to feel its effects.

The fastest of Bens minds pulled the rest of them to his same speed as he took in the situation before reaching out with connect to link up with Thera, wanting to bring her mind to the same speed so she could use her power to deal with the severe situation they found themselves in, only to find something very wrong. No matter how he poked and prodded in her head, she wasnt responding.

That set off a whole new wave of panic in him. He knew she was alive at least, he wouldnt have been able to connect with her otherwise but couldnt tell why she wasnt thinking, nor did that give him many options to figure out how to make sure theyd both survive the sudden situation they found themselves in as he looked at all he had at his disposal, finding that despite whatever situation she had to be in, Thera was still his greatest resource for ensuring theyd live through the ordeal.

Given the severity of their situation, he didnt think shed particularly mind either as he made use of the connection in a different way, reaching down into her reserves to pull out whatever mana he could for his own use, only once again to come up almost empty as he struggled to figure out where he was failing.

While the experience of taking someone's mana was different from having someone pass theirs through him, with practice it became minimal. At his current level of deep connection, he could take an equivalent of half his current mana pool from someone at once and from there just keep taking that same volume again and again in a process that would typically overstrain his soul, but as he tried it on Thera he got almost nothing, a few stray points of the stuff at most as what was going wrong snapped into place.

Mana exhaustion. Jesus, if we get out of this then thats going to hit her like a brick.

In that fight for the safety of the planet, Ben had been taking advantage of her raw strength liberally, getting her to materialize left and right while shooting out attacks and dodging incoming ones just as much, all in an effort to find a way to deal with the creature, and that was the result. He was being forced to see that despite how much power Thera had, it wasnt actually infinite no matter how she made it look, with her first time experiencing the condition coming at the worst possible moment, forcing him to look for other options of survival as they were pulled through the air.

Even with her in that situation though, she still absorbed mana at a rate far faster than him, leading him to take the few points that were regenerated each second while he was left with his own strength as the source hed have to turn to as he looked at what he could reasonably do while they were being pulled outward before he gave in to the best plan he could make and put it in motion.

They were still in the basket theyd been flying in and with the strength of his material manipulation, Ben poured out his mana to reshape it, looking at how it was being pulled through the air and stretching out the stone that made it up to create wings to both keep them from tumbling and create a smoother ride as he tried to predict what the best choice to do from there would even be.

If the creatures body had collapsed into anything like a black hole then that was just going to be the end of the planet so he ignored that as an option. If there was nothing he could even theoretically do to stop it then it wasnt worth considering. Instead, he looked at two other bits of potential and tried to assess the best course for either scenario.

The first and worst option as far as he was concerned was that the body had some sort of self-generating sucking force that was going to pull everything in and keep pulling up to a certain range, not stopping until it was buried under a mountain of rubble.

It was again a problem he wasnt sure he could deal with, less severe than the idea of a world-ending threat but would still require him to be able to escape its pull if he wanted to survive, so he instead pinned his hopes on the second option.

Still not great, he was forced to hope that the massive sucking force they were under was all the result of an intense implosion, and that once it stopped theyd all be safe enough, leaving the only issue being how hed create a safe landing for the two.

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If I had some trees around I could try to hook one to slow us down, but Yeah, thats not actually an option.

The few glimpses of the surroundings were even more bleak than theyd been when dealing with the monster. The gorges its blows had created were left but looked so much more shallow from all of the topsoil being sucked in as well, with trees and shrubs flying through the air with the rest to the central point where it all converged while he did the only thing he could think of. He tried to bring them up higher.

Angling the wings to help with lift and once more reshaping the stone that contained them in an attempt to add propellers he could rotate with his magic to add to it, for the first time in a long time, Ben was cursing a lack of knowledge on his part as he desperately wished hed studied up on aerodynamics a bit to give him whatever edge he could get to make such a hastily thrown together craft function, only breathing the smallest sigh of relief when he felt it work.

They were still being thrown forward through the air but they were rising up, getting out of the way of so much of the debris flying around them as he did his best to make minor adjustments on the fly. They could only have been moving for a few seconds but under the pressure and the strain of his mind, to Ben it felt like hours of quick tweaks and reactions to keep them afloat and alive, all the while dealing with the knowledge that even if he could think faster, his mana pool would only regenerate at one speed. Every little adjustment had its cost that he wasnt going to get back and stealing the trickle of points Thera was taking in would only do so much.

But he kept it up, rationing everything he could until they finally passed the epicenter of it all and through the force he was putting into the propellers, used it to carry them forward as he noticed one small mercy. The strength of the implosion was weakening significantly, meaning it wasnt going to be a constant force hed need to fight against, leaving only one final problem for him to deal with. Landing.

Hmm. Yep, were going to die.

They werent outrageously high in the sky, but they were above where the treetops would have stood if any forest that had been there hadnt been completely devastated in the last few hours, far higher than anyone should be falling in a basket made of stone while his own mana was beginning to get low.

Their fate felt inevitable, but even then he couldnt help but struggle to think of something, anything he could do to let them walk away from that in the end as he compared his current skill levels to the barely two hundred points of mana he had left before making a quick decision in the heat of desperation.

With the points of mana he had left he ripped away maybe a forearms worth of stone from their container and reshaped it into what could best be described as a comically large umbrella.

Its canopy was four meters across and as thin as paper, only able to hold itself together thanks to Ben continuously running his mana through it to strengthen the entire thing beyond the limits of the material as he pushed his body to keep up with his mind, feeling his muscles rip and tear as he grabbed Thera and held her tight before the two tumbled out of the basket as it was carried off, letting them fall down.

And fall they did. His makeshift umbrella was slowing them down sure, he would even say significantly so, but not so much that the landing wasnt going to hurt as he did his best to protect Thera from the impact as much as he could while the strike rattled throughout his entire body, leaving him tremendously grateful for his various defensive skills, even as he felt his bones strain.

But he did it, he survived! That fact made his heart pound against his chest as he let himself collapse to the ground and breathe, taking stock of everything before focusing on the next problem.

His body hurt all over and he was nearly out of mana as well, but he could move if he wanted to and hed regenerate back to his maximum level in just a few minutes, all he needed was to see if he was going to get his perfect victory.

Myriad Myriad Myriad, your very sore, very tired, very fantastic apostle would very much like to hear that he succeeded on all fronts. Tell me there isnt some new eldritch god wreaking havoc in the heavens and that Ive successfully sealed its soul away somewhere please.

The cube told him, relief plain on his voice.

If you know a better way we could have done things then keep it to yourself. Now onto my list of complaints. I deserve a mountain of titles for what I did but got none, plus I still havent heard a notification for my quest which we still very much need to talk about by the way. What gives?

Myriad, what in the ever-loving fuck do you mean its not done? We killed the monster, we saved the day and the world and even the heavens by trapping its stupid soul! How much more done do you need?

In the desolated area around them, with Thera still suffering from mana exhaustion, there was nobody around but Myriad to hear the string of curses that came out of Bens mouth with the news that despite everything, this hadnt stopped being his problem yet.

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