Dark Star Survivor
227 Call of the Dead
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Dark Star Survivor
Author :Enraged_Bear
© Webnovel

227 Call of the Dead

As Zoey began to make her way step by step into the chamber, she was acutely aware of the countdown timer displayed by her system in the corner of her vision. Saigo and her had opened the doors to the chamber at the same time, and this had triggered the one minute timer before Praesidio would activate the shutdown routine, and they both had to find their respective control terminals within that one minute, or their mission would be a failure. Due to the interference of the violent energy inside the chamber, all communication with the outside was cut off, and all Zoey and Saigo had to coordinate off of was the timer.

Praesidio had calculated the time from what little they knew about the superactive energy and how long a human could survive under the effects of cellular disentanglement caused by it. There was some room for error, and Saigo's innate talent would no doubt give some room to maneuver, but even taking that into account, Praesidio had kept the timer to one minute. They had to find the terminal within that time, and after the minute was up, Praesidio would shut down the city's factories as long as both codes were uploaded in time.

Now that she was inside and had somewhat adjusted to the intense burning and freezing sensation that covered her skin, Zoey started searching for her target. The orange light that illuminated the chamber seemed to come from a central position, with numerous, evenly-spaced pillars positioned throughout the room. The path ahead of her was open, and to her surprise, Zoey spotted what looked like a terminal directly ahead of her! However, she quickly realized that it would not be that easy.

That open space between her and the terminal was hazy, and the air seemed to swirl with a thick miasma of orange energy. Zoey had already noticed that the further she moved into the chamber, the more pronounced the effects of the energy became! The terminal was in the direct center of a swirling hurricane of superactive energy that became stronger the closer she got, and she still had a long way to go.

Glancing at the timer in the corner of her vision, Zoey clenched her fists tighter in determination. I can't stop here. {Only forty seconds to go, and my crew is counting on me!} With a fierce light in her emerald eyes, she continued deeper into the energy storm.

Across the city in the other chamber, Saigo had encountered the same hurricane of energy that Zoey had, and he had come to the same conclusion when he saw the terminal in the center of the room ahead of him. Since he had entered into the chamber, he had never stopped moving, constantly circulating his Diverting Tides as he progressed, but the mounting fury of the energy storm was quickly exacting a heavy toll on him, and he could already sense his strength waning as the cellular disentanglement began to affect his extremities. Diverting Tides was preventing more severe damage for now, but he did not have long.

Earlier, when Markus had spoken up to volunteer his life to shut down the city's factories, Saigo had spoken privately to Praesidio through his Eve, and from that conversation, he knew that despite the capabilities of Diverting Tides, the energy he was trying to redirect was not from this universe, and it did not follow the same rules. The second he stepped into the chamber, his fate as a dead man was sealed, and his ability would only delay the inevitable. He would certainly be able to survive longer than Markus possibly could, but he would still die in the end.

The reason he had chosen to take the noble's place and sacrifice his own life, was partly because what he had sensed from his hidden ability to sense the future, and also because he knew that he had the best chance out of his team to complete the task on time. A lifetime of battle and hardships had resulted in this moment, and he was determined to see the Asurai clan survive. He could make this choice easily knowing that Zoey would still be here after he was gone. Taigen had already become a fine leader, and Ssaul was still here as well. He had also taught all he could to his bright grandson Max, who would one day be a powerful warrior in his own right. With those thoughts in his mind, he had taken Markus's place with a clear heart and a determined mind that left no room for failure.

Now, as his skin blistered away from the torturous energy howling around him, he kept moving while he circulated his ability, his mind unwavering despite the looming specter of death that he knew was approaching. Like Zoey, he also had a timer projected onto the corner of his vision thanks to an energy injection from Praesidio, and he had only thirty-five seconds left to make it to the terminal. The good news was that he was close, the bad news was that he was inside the worst of the energy storm at that very moment.
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Despite his best efforts and the temporary relief provided by Diverting Tides, the cellular disentanglement caused by the superactive energy was steadily eroding him as if he was a soft stone under a crushing waterfall. His clothing had already been disintegrated into atoms, and the tips of his fingers and toes and been reduced down to white bones, and still more of his flesh was steadily being reduced to dust every second. It was without a doubt the worst pain Saigo had ever experienced in his life, but none of it showed on his face. His jaw was set, and his eyes focused on the terminal that was now only a few steps away as the timer continued to count down.

Saigo was not thinking about the pain, he was remembering the friends and family he had lost during his long journey. He could hear them whispering, calling out to him, and soon it would be his turn to join them, and he was ready. But before he could go to see his beloved wife again, he had one last duty to fulfill for the remaining Asurai who were depending on him this very moment.

He would not fail them.


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