Tianyang saw a light.
Silvery at first, then orange, red, blue, black, and purple…
Colors strange and diversified, the shades of which were rich and vivid, reminiscent of an oil painting created by a master impressionist.
After a little while, all the colors merged together, blending into a yellowish light with a hint of red, like the glow of the setting sun.
Within that dusk-like light, a bright star river gradually appeared, a long river formed from countless stars that stretched across the line of sight.
Tianyang strained his eyes, but still could not see the beginning or end of this star river.
Behind that star river, hidden deep within the faint glow of the evening light, lay a copious shadow.
It was blurry, but one could see that the shadow was human-shaped, though it seemed too huge if it was indeed a human, especially considering that the endless stars appeared like small stones before it.
Whether an illusion or not, Tianyang felt the shadow move, raising its arm.
And he soon realized it was not an illusion, as the shadow's arm passed through the star river, and it moved through the starry river, numerous stars vanishing within its shadow.
In an instant, a section of that radiant star river was replaced by a black gap, seeming emptiness.
Then that hand reached out towards the young protagonist, seemingly slow but swift, though billions of light years lay between them, it shortened that vast distance with frightening ease, until it was upon him, extending a finger.
That shadowy finger occupied Tianyang's entire field of view.
He could no longer see the star river, nor the glow of evening light, but only the deepest of black.
Strangely, instead of fear, Tianyang felt a sense of expectation, a desire to interact.
As that enormous, planet-sized finger drew ever closer, Tianyang noticed that other stars flashed within the shadow.
For within that shadow, another universe seemed to exist.
And that universe was hurtled towards him.
And then they met, in a gentle collision.
Tianyang felt his head throbbing, bombarded by a flood of information that seemed like his head would burst!
Faint whispers, as if voices from some other universe, reached his ears.
He could not understand the meaning behind those whispers, but just listening to them sent incomprehensible shockwaves through his senses.
While Tianyang heard those mystical whispers, the Spreader in the tunnel attacking the Pillar of Stars suddenly stopped.
The monstrous entity abruptly retreated, like a startled beast.
It moved away so fast that a sharp shrill noise echoed within the tunnel.
Just as it withdrew, it sensed the arrival of a formidable will – a will so massive that if even its outermost tendrils merely brushed against the Spreader, it would stir up the impulse to self-destruct.
In terms of human behavior, self-destruction is akin to suicide.
The Spreader would rather die than make contact with that will – fortunate for it, that will be not focused on it, but on the human.
The Spreader also noticed that Tianyang had his grip on a root of the Pillar of Stars.
At that moment, the silver light transmitted through the Pillar of Stars coursed through every vein, nerve, and cell in his body.
Those silver tendrils soon encountered the black mist.
The black mist was something that the Spreader had injected into Tianyang's body – a substance that contaminated living things and transformed them into new, dark, seemingly terrifying life forms.
But now, the black mist and the silver glow collided and raged against each other.
As if two opposing armies were clashing within the young man's body, tearing and annihilating each other…
Tianyang's body flailed uncontrollably – the two opposing forces had such different nature, that every jolt and impact caused his body to break.
Originally, the silver light transmitted through the Pillar of Stars would have acted on instinct to destroy the black army on the other end, regardless of Tianyang's fate.
But the will focusing on Tianyang slipped out an almost imperceptible signal, integrating it into the silver light overwhelming the black mist engulfing him.
It then acted like an expert commander, maintaining high-pressure over the black mist, but separating a portion of silver light to enter the damaged cells, tissues, organs, and bones.
The silver micro-light fluidized silently, enveloping the wounds like mercury, only not poisonous, forming a biological matrix that repaired and reinforced them.
Tianyang's black hair began to gradually transform into silvery-white from the roots, and in the blink of an eye, The young man was covered in a head of silver-white hair, every strand emanating a faint, misty glow!
Within his body, the battle between the black mist and silver light began to move.
The silver light succeeded gradually, washing, dividing, and absorbing the black mist.
And so, the dark veins on the young man's face gradually subsided, and his skin became smoother and delicate.
Just as the silver light seemed to be on the verge of winning, the last and darkest clump of black mist, no larger than a fingernail, suddenly condensed into a nano-sized unit, forming a symbolic mark resembling a black goat's skull.
The symbol flickered before vanishing, so small it slipped through the detection of the will to enter Tianyang's body.
After the silver light dominated Tianyang's body, some data began to transmit in his brain.
It was a signal that humans could not decipher, and if translated into human language, the information released by these signals would be:
Will data download complete, commencing the deep-level consciousness fusion with the host.
Comprehensive examination completed, the host's damage percentage is 57% and repair already started, progress 46%.
The threat signal has been detected at level three, recommending elimination.
…Analyzing temporary loss of function of the host, puppet system is activated.
…Spiritual fusion begins, 10%, 20%, 30%…
Tianyang lifted his head in one swift motion, and the young man's only eye opened wide, with a little starlight in his previously deep brown eyes.
He slowly propped up his body, like a newborn baby, stumbling.
But the Spreader kept retreating.
This dark entity felt threatened, although Tianyang still appeared human in its eyes.
But its instincts were screaming that there was something different wrapped under the human exterior.
It was magical, mysterious, and powerful!
The 'beautiful' face of the Spreader screamed, and a bunch of tentacles shot out from under its cloak, like bullets from a heavy-caliber machine gun!
Tianyang swayed and raised his hand, a silver-blue light shone through his protective suit.
The overflowing energy in his body caused his right eye to light up instantly, emitting a dazzling starlight.
With a sweep of his hand, a thin and paper-like barrier appeared between the caster and the Spreader.
The broad barrier, though thin as paper, divided the tunnel in half, and was covered with a diamond mesh.
The tentacles of the Spreader viciously hit the barrier, but! All of them bounced back, and burst one by one!
The only thing left were a few sparks of energy that splattered upon impact.
This dark being felt helpless and powerless…
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