Somewhere in the Dream dimension, in an opulently large dream bubble.
Many dream bodies were streaming inside after their identities had been verified by the guards and the protective mechanisms in place. Everyone was rushing, with a tense, alert atmosphere all over the place.
Once they entered the dream bubble, they were welcomed to an opulent palace surrounded with luscious gardens and hills, even containing lakes and small valleys, large enough to accommodate more than 50,000 people. Everyone sat in one of the available seats with their life essence signatures placed.
People were talking in hushed voices, obviously unaware of why they were immediately required to go to the headquarters.
"Hey, Adelaide, do you know why we were summoned?"
"Actually, I also don't know, Brian. Maybe Darleen would know, though."
"Huh, me? Well, I do have an inkling, but don't tell others!"
"Don't worry, you know I can keep secrets," Adelaide said, rolling her eyes.
"Yeah, uh-huh. Anyways, according to Long Fei, there was a large, massive disturbance in one sector of the dream dimension, leading to the total collapse of several thousands of dream bubbles coming from sentient beings."
"No way, an area in the dream dimension just collapsed?" Adelaide couldn't believe it. Although the dream dimension is known for twisting the rules in the physical dimension, it was quite as stable as the physical dimension.
"I'm not lying! The whole area looked devoid of life and dream energy, and if one looked closely enough, they would see the ordered system attempting to fix the damaged area! However, according to Chui Ming, you know Chui Ming right? One of the Marshals? Yeah, well according to what he had observed, the recovery was quite slow, and it would take years or even decades before it can be fixed." Darleen protested, before lowering her voice and continuing her explanation.
"So...what then? Are we not to venture into the area anymore?" Adelaide asked after a few moments of silence. Darleen shook her head, before shrugging her shoulders as she didn't really know.
After nearly half an hour, the news had spread about the collapse of the area, and the current theories of why it happened were also quite widespread. Some said it was a natural phenomenon, some said it was the dream dimension decaying, while some said it was caused by another organization, etc., the rumors flew unfettered from one dream walker to another, and with their hyperactive imaginations visualizing different disasters and causes.
After another half an hour, everyone that could come was already inside the palace, patiently waiting for their leader to appear. After a few minutes, a mist began to appear in the head seat, overlooking each and every one of them.
The figure of a voluptuous woman appeared from the mist, sitting in a golden throne studded with gemstones and crystals. Her face had pronounced cheekbones and accentuated, natural eyebrows and long eyelashes. Her eyes were curved and smaller than most people, yet it only seemed to increase the charm of her looks. Her gaze was quite penetrating, with anyone who felt her gaze land upon themselves stripped of any lies and schemes. Her smile was a bit crooked, yet anyone who sees it would feel quite happy and relaxed under that smile, wiping their negative thoughts and worries away.
She opened her mouth, her voice echoing within the palace.
"My fellow dream walkers, welcome." Her voice was serene and sonorous, bearing down to the people below her. Immediately, all of the dream walkers placed their hands to their chests, bumping it twice in synchronized motion, shouting,
"Greetings, your majesty!"
"We have summoned you all as a bearer of ill news. Through recent investigations, there has been the appearance of a rogue dream walker, one that does not follow the rules we have established for fellow dream walkers. You have all heard of the recent occurrence in the dream dimension, specifically the appearance of the void area? We believe the rogue dream walker has caused this to happen, and thus, a threat to what we do."
"And so, we must become vigilant afterward, for we do not know the complete motives of this being. First, if you ever meet someone who you don't recognize in the dream dimension, do not approach, but rather confirm their identities through the database of members we have established. If the dream walker is not in our database, send an alert, and track the dream walker from a faraway distance."
"Second, if you are ever discovered, immediately leave your dream body. We have received reports that the man can completely erase your existence as long as you are below Divine rank. Please be careful, as we don't want you to be dead with no chance of resurrection."
"Third, if you think you are strong enough, try to lead the enemy to the headquarters, where we can deal with the rogue dream walker collectively."
"That is all we have to say. May everyone have a prosperous and safe experience in the dream dimension. For any questions, you may ask the Colonels, Major Generals, or Field Marshals for such things." At once, the majestic woman known as her majesty had disappeared from her seat surrounded in light, with all the Members, Captains, Majors, Colonels, Major Generals, Field Marshals bowing reverently at the throne.
After the light had faded, the throne disappeared, and everyone began to talk to themselves and the other members. Adelaide, Darleen, and Brian began to discuss with themselves and another Marshal they were familiar with, Long Fei.
Cerulean Empire, around the time Xander used [Twilight Sonata].
Machines and scanners began to beeping, signaling that there was a positive response concerning the unique elemental fluctuation signature. Immediately, they began to track it down, a race against time, as the signal began to ebb and weaken. However, after 30 minutes of tracking, they still failed to triangulate the location, and the trace was quite faint as if anytime it would fade away.
Varius, when facing this scenario, thought about it for a moment before asking the researchers to shift the search to a different dimension. After changing the parameters of tracing, a wonderful pinging sound was heard, before fading.
"W-we did it. We managed to trace it..!"
"Good job team. Although we didn't get the exact position, we now have a deeper understanding of the target." Varius said, thanking his research teams. He looked at the large screen in front of him. Dream dimension... not only is he versed in space-time elements, but he can also move around in the dream dimension?
Varius, of hugging and congratulating his members, he left the research office and headed to his personal quarters. Using his secure and private computer, he sent the results to the Emperor, Bluestacks CLV, as well as sending it to someone far, far, away from the empire, attaching a personal note in it.
"Possible recruit. Befriend if possible."
After sending the two messages, he wiped the traces, as well as completely wiping the data on the private computer.
Galactic Empire, in a well-developed civilization planet. 3 days after the clan extermination.
In one of the large bars in the major city of Carwell, three beings were sitting down in a private booth. The three looked quite serious, with one of them looking quite confused.
"Brother, why have you called for us? You know we are busy creating a foothold for our clan," one of them, a woman, said exasperatingly. She had to cancel several meetings just to meet with her brothers. However, looking at their faces, it seemed that there was really an urgent matter.
"...I've received an important message."
"Hmm? What is it?" the lady asked, with a bit of impatience present in her voice.
"... The clan has been eradicated."
"... Caddeus, if this is your attempt of a joke, it's not funny." The lady said quietly, glaring at her older brother, Caddeus. Even the younger brother was looking at Caddeus weirdly.
"..." Silence. This was the point the two knew that their older brother wasn't fooling around. It was the lady that snapped first, her power immediately being expressed around her. It was her other older brother that stopped the fluctuation, looking at her and shaking his head, telling: Now is not the time to get mad.
"Caddeus, what happened exactly?"
"According to the message, approximately 3 days ago, one of our descendants had interacted with a mysterious being, and the current elders wanted to know who this being was, however that descendant remained mum. This was because the descendant had rapidly accelerated to Elite-9 from Elite-6 in the span of a night. They wanted to find out the method of doing so, to benefit the whole clan.
The clansmen were guilty by association, due to the actions of the select demigod elders. They actually imposed the VR torture program to one of the descendants, trying to mentally break down the descendant the very next day. It was then the mysterious being targeted the entire clan as a punishment, and even toyed them in the eyes of every single person in Eteria in the span of 9 hours."
Upon hearing this, the faces of the two younger siblings changed, and even the lady couldn't help but swear at the stupidity of their elders.
"Didn't they know that there's such a thing as non-disclosure binding contracts, and some of them had bonuses attached? Are the elders of this generation stupid, dragging the whole clan to extinction?" the lady raged, almost toppling over the table.
"Calm down, Amelia." The middle-aged man said, patting her at the shoulders. Immediately, Amelia began to calm down and contract her power.
"Sorry, Wuhshan. I'm really just mad! Haven't we interacted with the clan in the past, even giving them vital information! How were they not able to read the contents??" Amelia said, almost sobbing. She had her younger sister's great-granddaughter there. What happened to her? Is she still alive?
"Caddeus, can you continue? What happened next?"
"... the mysterious being created a game for them to participate, and everyone was transported into a mysterious space. In that space, they had to fight 108 waves of magic beasts and natural disasters. Slowly, they died one by one, all 250 of our brightest and most talented members that remained. The worst part is that it's the people of Eteria who decided their fates. Accordingly, the mysterious being made them vote what magic beasts they would fight, and even the natural disasters they would face. When I saw a snippet of the list of magic beasts, even I paled in fright. Some of those magic beasts were the ones that caused the Galactic Empire to suffer heavy losses during their expansion." He transferred the list snippet to them, and when they saw it, their faces also paled, as they had seen videos and recordings concerning these magic beasts.
"... So no one survived, huh?"
"We're only left with the uncle of the descendant who was tortured, the descendant itself, James Corde, and his sister. They were never put into the mysterious space. However, for those that came out of the mysterious space, their very existence was reset. All their memories, abilities, and cultivations were gone. They only knew their ages and names." Caddeus sent them another file, which contained the list of 76 people that appeared in Eteria from the mysterious space. When Amelia checked the list, she heaved a sigh of relief, as it seemed she survived, but she had no prior memories of her life.
The three were quiet, contemplating the issue.
It was Wuhshan that broke the silence.
"So what do we do now? Do we bring the remaining descendants to the Galactic Empire? Or leave them there? Will we take revenge? Do we know who we should search for? Do we have any idea who this Homer Simpson is?"
"...I think we should let them grow and redevelop in Eteria. As for revenge, we're basically blindsided by the appearance of this character. We're not really sure if there's a power behind this person or not, and making a mistake will lead to disastrous consequences for what we have been building for the clan in the Galactic Empire for the past 10,000 years." Caddeus responded after a bit of silence.
"...What we need to do right now is to gather information concerning this person with our current connections. One of us must go to back to Eteria to investigate the situation. Wuhshan, are you willing to go to Eteria? I have heard from others that there was a situation a week ago that caused alarm to all country and clan leaders in Eteria."
"Sure. I can be there in 2 to 3 weeks if I use the relay points of the Galactic Empire."
"Great. There would be other sage-rank cultivators from other families coming as well, so be careful but stand on your ground if they tried to bully you ok, bro?" Amelia spoke to Wuhshan, teasing him and telling him to stand his ground. Wuhshan rolled his eyes and nodded in response.
Caddeus then looked at the two of them and said,
"That's all I have to say for now. Amelia, continue consolidating your power in Planet Carsus and begin putting up outposts for the company in nearby exoplanets. I'll have to head out now, and while I'm in the military, I'll try to search up this Homer Simpson Character. You guys can leave now."
"Okay, big brother. I will do that ASAP. See you then!" Immediately, Amelia stood up, gave each brother a hug, and left the bar. However, Wuhshan looked at Caddeus, waiting for him to say something. When Caddeus saw the look his younger brother was giving him, he sighed.
"What gave it away?"
"... You usually don't say such things at the end of our meetings. Which means, the situation is much direr than we thought. Spill, brother. What do you know?"
"... I can't tell you right now, it's still all undergoing investigation. However, Homer Simpson might be related to that situation." Caddeus briefly mentioned, before standing up and paying the bill, before heading out of the pub. Wuhshan's face contorted to confusion for a moment, before a sense of realization occurred.
That situation... if that character was really involved, the clan extermination case would have heavier stakes involved...
In Eteria, in the International underground meeting room. Everyone had solemn faces. Ms. Brightcroft was once again addressing the numerous leaders and representatives present. Two hours after the hologram video broadcast had ended, showing the demise of the Corde clan. Before the meeting started, Ms. Brightcroft used the video projector to show the bombs hitting the barrier, before suddenly collapsing on its own and turning into a small ball of light, which then headed to the highest atmosphere in the planet before exploding.
Everyone here wasn't stupid, and they could see the power the explosion carried. Not only that, based on the data detected, but the explosion was also strong enough to cause elemental decay, a phenomenon where elements just return to nothing, causing an area to be sparse of elemental energy.
However, before it managed to reach a critical point and cause a cascade reaction on the planet, they felt two powers acting on the area. One originated somewhere in Ete, while the other originated from the Yggdras continent.
The explosion, within a matter of minutes, quickly diffused into elemental particles that melded into the atmosphere.
After the video was played twice, Ms. Brightcroft closed the projector and began her speech.
"Current leader of Eta, Mr. Nehamia, please explain the situation clearly for the other countries to understand how this came about."
"Thank you, Ms. Brightcroft, but it would be better if our head military researcher, Professor Willow, explain."
Another hologram of a person appeared, showing a middle-aged looking woman, however, she looked like she was in her 30s. Of course, young can be quite subjective since some manage to retain their youth due to their high cultivation.
"Good morning to everyone. The situation is quite unique. The bomb was developed through the help of one of our country's assets, and thus, its destructive power had been calculated. The total amount of magic bomb projectiles launched should only be equivalent to a pure magic power being launched by a Divine-4 magician. When it was launched, however, from the single condensed ball of light that headed to the atmosphere, the initial power it produced was roughly 10-fold of the original strength of the number of bombs deployed, roughly Divine-9 pure magic power strength. We can assume that at this point, the bombs were intercepted by the outsider, modified, compressed, and then released in the span of seconds."
"We were lucky that the Heavenly Tree Sprite and one of our assets managed to neutralize the explosion in time, or else it would have caused a widespread, intercontinental elemental decay that would take decades, if not centuries, for the elements to recover to their previous count."
"Thank you, professor Willow. You are dismissed." Mr. Nehamia said to her, causing the latter to nod and disappear.
"This was why our country was quite against using our magic bomb projectiles. We don't know the abilities and powers of the outsider, and we almost shot ourselves in the foot for it. Not only that, but it's also possible that the outsider now holds enmity against our countries!" Mr. Nehamia said passionately, taking the opportunity to shame those that supported Nema's plan.
More and more voices appeared after his speech.
"That's right, we should have established ties!"
"Look at the viewers of the show! They did what they were asked to do, and they got handsome rewards for it! 2 kilograms of a metal that doesn't exist in the planet!"
"If we had ingratiated ourselves, we would have much more rewards!"
"Nema truly is pulling us down with them. Just because they were almost shamed in the international news, they attempted to pull us down as well! Pui!"
Ms. Brightcroft began to quiet down the representatives as it developed into a rowdier situation. After a few minutes, everyone managed to calm their racing hearts and focus to the topic of the meeting. Presenting her traditional smile, Ms. Brightcroft looked at everyone before beginning the discussion.
"As the situation had rapidly changed, our decisions must change as well for the sake of our people and our countries. The first topic is changing the approach to Homer Simpson, an outsider, and other outsiders that may appear. The second topic is concerning the information blocking of the existence of other civilizations and empires. The third topic is how to do we go about in requesting the citizens who had received the 2 kilograms of metal to their respective governments."
After she spoke, flurry of comments, suggestions, and voting occurred, taking up roughly an hour. After an hour, they finally had a decision for each topic.
For outsiders like Homer Simpson, non-aggression. For outsiders different from Homer Simpson, expulsion from the planet once their business is done.
For the information blocking on the existence of galactic civilizations and universal empires, let them mire on their thoughts and ideas, and merely not answer any questions posed by the media. This would only encourage the people to develop stronger and explore on their own in the future, and the media's like for the topic will decrease after having no details or information after a few days or weeks.
The last issue, they decided that the governments will opt for a purchase or an exchange program, wherein they can exchange the metals for a certain equivalent amount of items, or currency. The price will be standardized for every country, and anyone caught manipulating the price will be removed from the international committee and all their metals confiscated, before being declared as a collective enemy of the countries.
After these were all agreed upon by the majority, all of them began to set up their campaigns to collect the 2 kilograms of metal, and the information about the existences of aliens and the like was quickly buried by new discussions about their respective metals.