Road to Mastery: A LitRPG Apocalypse

Chapter 422: Matching a B-Grade
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Chapter 422: Matching a B-Grade

Jack’s mind went cold. On the outside, however, he showed no difference. His aura flared, his back shielding both his friends and the bromobile. Until they were ready to teleport, he wouldn’t let anyone touch them.

“Come at me,” he challenged. At the same time, he sent a telepathic message to Brock, telling him to stay with the others and serve as the last line of defense.

His message was heard. Bro chants filled the void, and a golden shield appeared around the starship. A massive golden brorilla sat cross-legged on its top. Under Brock’s protection, the bromobile could defend against any stray attacks.

“Useless!” the Grand Elder spat out. He laughed. “This is already over, Jack Rust. Just give up and die!”

“Make me.”

A punch shot out, cracking the skies. Jack couldn’t just sit back and be reactive—he had to take the initiative!

Facing his attack, the seven Elders did not meet it head-on. They scattered. Everyone flew in a different direction, surrounding both Jack and the starship, while the elef Elder drew back and readied her healing powers. At the same time, the Grand Elder and the other five waved their hands, unleashing a barrage of attacks headed directly for the bromobile!

Jack’s form flickered. He appeared next to the starship, and a hail of punches tore their attacks like paper. Only firework remained of the continent-crushing powers. Yet, the Elders only laughed, unleashing even more attacks at him. Jack gritted his teeth. His fists swept out again, easily defending against everything. He tore through space to approach a sharken Elder, but the moment he did, every other Elder ignored him to attack the starship.

Jack’s eyes widened. He shot a hasty Meteor Punch into the Elder, severely injuring him, then rushed back to defend. He didn’t make it in time. Five of the six attacks, he blocked—the sixth smashed into the bromobile, shaking Brock’s golden shield. It had persisted, but it wouldn’t forever. Jack needed to defend.

“Damn!” he shouted, anger seeping into his voice. The Elders laughed again.

Jack was more powerful than all of them combined. He could use his Dao of Space to wildly teleport around and eliminate them one by one. However, if he did that, the rest of them would pummel the bromobile with attacks until Brock’s shield shattered and the bromobile was impacted, stopping its teleportation. That would delay them massively.

On the other hand, if Jack only defended, he would be forced into a passive position. Defending wasn’t his forte—a few attacks would inevitably seep through. And, even if Brock’s shield did manage to defend, all the shockwaves would still delay their teleportation.

Jack could already sense a powerful presence heading his way, far more mighty than these Elders. Attacking would not work, and neither would defending. He had the strength, but it was useless if he only punched empty air.

He felt checkmated.

“Damn it!” he shouted again, releasing his aura wildly. It buffeted the Elders, but they simply used their Daos to defend. They laughed again, a cacophony of arrogance.

“It’s useless, Jack Rust! Just bow down and accept your fate!”

Jack’s eyes sharpened. Even if it’s risky…I will kill at least a few of them!

Killing intent erupted. His body flashed, appearing behind the same Elder as before. He no longer held back. A massive meteor tore through space, exploding right on the Elder’s back—and though he tried to escape, Jack locked space around him, rendering him unable to move. The Elder could only defend. With a tremendous explosion, he was sent flying away, spitting blood and severely injured.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t dead yet. Jack would have liked to use Supernova, but it took a longer time to charge—as it was, he only barely had time to return, defending against four of the attacks of the other Elders and letting two impact Brock’s shield. Cracks appeared. The golden brorilla sitting atop the shield shook, its color dimming a little.

Meanwhile, the far-off elef shone with green energy. The Elder that Jack had injured was enveloped in her power, his wounds regenerating at a rate visible to the naked eye. He laughed and charged back into battle.

The powerful presence from afar kept drawing closer.

Jack gritted his teeth, his eyes falling to sub-zero temperatures. The Brutalizing Aura rolling out of his body rose in intensity, assaulting the Elders with visions of getting wildly mutilated, but they were powerful enough to resist. Their attacks kept coming—a ceaseless onslaught.

Jack teleported again. The Elder he’d attacked before had been the weakest one, but it was clear that half-measures would get him nowhere. He had to kill someone instantly. He had to use Supernova, even if it took longer to charge. And, since he was using Supernova, he might as well target the strongest Elder he was sure to kill.

The one he’d targeted was a leonine, the second strongest after the Grand Elder.

As he saw Jack appear behind him, this Elder’s eyes flashed with terror. He hurriedly withdrew his power and smashed it all towards Jack, his body flashing with electricity—he was part of the Emberheart lineage. A large palm violently shot through space.

But how could it compare to a supernova? A part of the universe was sucked into Jack’s fist. Space, time, light, matter, even the Dao itself, everything was sucked inside and compressed on the tip of Jack’s middle knuckle. The energy density reached a terrifying degree. The world came to a standstill.

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And then, as the energy grew too dense for Jack to control, it erupted in a massive explosion pointed forward.

You have to hold, Brock!

Flames seared the world. Chaotic energies ran wild. The void shattered, and the stars lost their luster. The leonine’s palm simply disintegrated, and his body cracked apart as it bore the brunt of the supernova. All his organs shattered instantly. He was dead before he knew what hit him.

But Jack had no time to rejoice. He hurriedly withdrew, even letting the energy shockwaves strike him to arrive faster, but he couldn’t be quick enough. The only attack he managed to stop was the Grand Elder’s. The other four shot past him and into Brock’s golden shield, rocking it with far greater intensity than before. The golden brorilla roared—the shield’s light flared for a moment, withstanding the attacks, but it paled greatly afterward. Brock had consumed a massive amount of energy just now. He couldn’t necessarily do it again.

But there were still five Elders remaining, plus the healer. Jack had no way to handle this. For a moment, he didn’t attack again.

If Brock’s shield shattered, it wouldn’t as simple as the bromobile’s teleportation getting interrupted. Maybe even the entire starship would blow up. Nauja and Gan Salin, both of whom were D-Grades, would die in the aftermath. He couldn’t afford that risk.

And the teleportation was still a far way from completion.

“I can take one more,” Brock’s weak voice resounded in Jack’s mind.

“Save your energy,” he replied decisively. “Stop the teleportation. We cannot make it in time. Prepare to run.”

The powerful presence approaching was almost here. It was probably a B-Grade, and Jack had no illusions of defending the bromobile against five powerful C-Grades and a B-Grade. As for fighting them, though he could maybe do it, that would mean giving up on the bromobile and letting Brock, Nauja, and Gan Salin die.

The only choice was to capitalize on his space Dao and run away as fast as possible. But there was a reason he hadn’t done that before. A prolonged chase would give other people the opportunity to catch up, including the Hand of God’s late B-Grade.

Unfortunately, he was out of options.

Jack’s aura boiled over. The golden shield flared temporarily, and the starship’s gathered energy dispersed, aborting the teleportation. Instead, it prepared to dash away.

Jack and Brock’s souls were connected. In that moment, they didn’t need to speak. They knew what needed to be done. With their hearts feeling incomparably heavy, they dashed away…in opposite directions!

Escaping together was useless. Jack could not fight while protecting them, and they would slow him down. At the same time, the bromobile was fast even without Jack’s assistance—even if the Grand Elder chased them down, there was no guarantee he could catch them. However, if Jack tried to travel with the bromobile, the approaching B-Grade would soon catch up, so he had to fly separate. He was much faster alone.

At the end of the day, he was their target, not the bromobile. And, right now, he was left alone in space, without a starship. Long-range teleportation was impossible. He was a turtle in a jar.

Inside the starship, everyone was silent. Even the usually jovial Gan Salin could only feel despair. Nauja’s knuckles were hard around the starship’s helm, and as for Brock, he hated himself for being weak. As much as he wanted to fight and die alongside his big bro, he knew he would only drag Jack down. He wasn’t fast enough. Staying here would only doom Jack to death, robbing him of his tiny chance to survive.

He could only escape. He had to protect dog bro and girl bro. That was his role—but he had never felt as useless as at this present moment. He roared out, letting his animalistic instincts take over and pouring the entirety of his feelings into the bro shield he’d conjured. The golden brorilla atop the starship mirrored him, screaming into the void—and the shield’s speed shot up, reaching a peak in exchange for all of Brock’s energy.

The bromobile shot into the weakest Elder like a missile, smashing him away with ease and escaping the encirclement, then shooting into the distance. The Elder spat blood but did not give chase.

It was as Jack and Brock had expected. Chasing the bromobile wasn’t worth the risk—they would rather invest all their energy into killing Jack.

As for Jack himself, his grief and anger exploded. With nobody to protect, he could not be stopped. A supernova erupted, shaking the world and flinging the Elders away. He dashed out of the encirclement, wanting to escape—and space suddenly split before him, revealing a wide-chested, golden-haired leonine. His eyes were like stars, and his aura was immeasurably deep.

This was a B-Grade, one of three Ancestor-level characters of the Animal Kingdom. He was also the one who had once joined Eva Solvig to chase Jack to Earth, but had been intimidated into inaction by Sovereign Heavenly Spoon. Now, seeing Jack again after so many years, he laughed wildly.

“I finally catch you, Jack Rust!” he shouted in the void. “With nobody here to stop me, let me see just how you can escape!”

Jack did not reply. His aura erupted. A tremendous amount of energy gathered into his fist, overshadowing the auras of everyone present, and he charged straight into the B-Grade, not changing his course even a little.

The Ancestor’s gaze flickered with surprise. “Do you really think you can match me?” he asked. The starlight around him intensified—endless white clouds appeared in the sky above, and his body was covered in awe-inspiring, world-shattering might. Glowing white armor covered his skin, a heavenly lance appeared in his hand, and eight wings proudly unfurled behind him.

The Ancestor laughed out loud, his voice carrying the majesty of a God. “An ant before a king! Laughable!” he exclaimed, drawing back his lance. Intense energy gathered, cracking the void through its sheer weight.

To Jack’s surprise, this leonine was not a simple character. His level had reached the peak of the early B-Grade, and his talent was nothing to scoff at. Just in terms of battle power, he wasn’t that much weaker than Spacewind or Uruselam. He had no idea whether he could win or not.

But it also didn’t matter. Ιf he stopped now and let himself be surrounded, his chances would be even lower. He had to break through.

“Supernova!” he roared, punching forward.

“Lance of God!” the Ancestor cried out, driving out his lance. Divine might shrouded the void. Cracks spread for endless miles. The fragments of the previously-shattered asteroid disintegrated completely, and even the Elders were pushed back by the shockwave of this collision.

Purple clashed against white. The world was washed away. And, when the shockwave dispersed, the Ancestor hadn’t been pushed back, but neither had Jack!

“What!?” the Ancestor exclaimed, his eyes growing wide with disbelief. “How… How can you resist me!?”

As he was surprised, so were the Elders watching. To match a B-Grade from the mid C-Grade…this was an unprecedented level of power!

Jack did not bother with them. He overdrew on his Dao to keep pushing forward, rushing past the leonine and shooting into deep space. He was confident that his speed was superior—with any luck, he would be able to escape before anyone else caught up, then hide himself in the endlessness of space. Flying to another planet would take some time, but it was doable.

Just then, a faint ripple passed through the void, originating from the nearby planet of Hell. This ripple birthed despair in Jack’s heart.

A late B-Grade had just teleported in—and they would be here in moments.

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