Thud, thud, thud.
A faint blue radiance could be seen glowing in the center of the metallic pathway. Right where the magic flowed, the sounds of heavy footsteps could be heard echoing in the pyramid.
That was the sound of Joshua and the others heading deeper into the pyramid under the guidance and instruction from 03. Their main goal was to arrive at the [Ecological Cycle Area] that was located right at the most bottom region of the middle region in the pyramid.
A little earlier on, after he had a little talk with Moreila and the others, Joshua decided to temporarily believe what 03 had told him. After all, no matter how dubious the magic projection appeared to be, she had not shown any ill intention from the very beginning up till this point. Since they had set foot in this world, 03 was the only existence that they could communicate with. Because of that, Joshua had plenty of questions to ask her.
Of course, their primary goal would still naturally be to find the [Ecological Cycle Area] first. After all, they still had no idea how long they would be staying. The food and water supply that they brought along became very vital to their stay in this world. After informing 03 about their limited rations, the Artificial Intelligence immediately led Joshua and the others into another passage that seemed to lead them deeper down into the place.
There were numerous intertwined passages inside the giant pyramid. Some of them had blue light radiating on while the light of some had been completely extinguished. According to 03's words, due to lack of personnel maintaining the place, even though the mobile fortress had the ability to self-regulate and self-repair, quite a number of damages inflicted on the place for the past thousands of years had become permanent and could no longer be repaired.
"We are going through the Energy Storage Area and we are arriving at our destination shortly." 03 reported to Joshua and the others about their current situation, "The Food Storage Area is just at the other side. However, it has been over thousands of years. The food supply has probably turned to ash and dust."
Right above them all was the Core Doctrine Area that right at the center of that region where the place regulates energy all across the pyramid. Meanwhile, right beneath it was the Living Area and the Ecological Cycle Area.
The light in front of them was getting brighter and brighter as they proceeded forward. Without the need for 03 to remind them anything at all, Joshua could already feel the presence of life which felt stronger as they walked forward. It was completely the opposite of the deadly atmosphere out in the deserted wilderness on the outside of the pyramid. Meanwhile, Clyre also slightly raised the corner of her mouth. She could also sense the existence of the Primal energy and the message it conveyed.
The passage that was built from steel was gradually widening. The entrance of the passageway that was initially narrower was now getting wider and wider.
The passage of steel began to expand, and the original passageway began to grow wider and wider, and the flow of the wind began to become obviously stronger as they moved further down the passage. Joshua and the others continued to move forward and they arrived at the end of the passage by the end of it. They crossed over a translucent barrier that was formed from magic, entering a vast space.
The breath of life stirred all around them. Joshua lifted his head and looked at everything right before his eyes.
Looking at the vast space, Joshua noticed that the place was a world of blue and green. Joshua could not see any boundary at all as he looked far away into the land and sky all around in the space. Comparing themselves to this vast space, they were just as small as ants standing on earth. Flourished and exotic plants were moving gently along the gentle wind, with the soft rustling of the blue-green leaves. Meanwhile, there were all sorts of shrubs and weeds scattered all over the dark-brown earth.
"So, this is the [Ecological Cycle Area]."
Hearing the voice of 03, everyone observed the world around them.
"This is really something to marvel at." The old dwarf sighed. "I've never thought it was possible that such a large land exists inside this pyramid."
Then, he knelt down, grabbed a handful of soil and rubbed it in his hands before nodding. "The soil is not bad. Though it's not fertile, it is still considered as regular soil."
Clyre was also observing the surrounding environment. The fields, the forests, the hills, the cliffs, and the little lake not far from where she stood. Right in the vast space inside the pyramid, everything was basically there. Although the world in here was extremely small compared to the real world out there, however, there was a complete ecological system here…
No, it was not complete.
Because regardless of whether it was Joshua or Ling, Moreila or Clyre, the four of them did not find any trace of animals while they were observing their surroundings. What they could find in the place were just ancient trees and some plants scattered all around the place. There was not even a trace of insects in there.
"The plants are the only existences that are stable here."
Upon noticing all the doubts in the eyes of Joshua and his people, 03 spoke out to explain. Her calm and emotionless voice rang in the ears of everyone once again. "The artificial life cycle is fragile. Without the maintenance and adjustment made by the Karlisi, one small mistake will bring irreversible destruction and cripple the entire system… In this completely enclosed safe environment, all animals have depleted their own hidden potentials as they repeatedly approach and breed with each other. Because of that, genetic diseases happened, and that had caused them all to lose their ability to leave behind their own offspring… And that is why they had walked down the path to their own extinction."
Upon talking about it, 03 sounded bitter. "Just like the rest of the world that was lingering on last breath out there, truthfully, these plants are on the verge of dying as well. Ever since the Karlisi went extinct, I've been the one who is trying the very best to maintain the stability of this ecological system. Although it works, the effects are not that huge."
Both Moreila and Clyre could not understand what No.03 said. So both of them frowned. Meanwhile, Ling was trying to explain it to the two of them by their side.
"… well, indeed, she's right. And the plants here are dying."
After hearing Ling's explanation, Claire squatted down and gently touched the grasses and shrubs around her. Her hands were radiating with light green light. She closed her eyes as if she was attempting to communicate with 'nature' here.
Then the elven druid sighed and stood back up. She just shook her head and did not continue to say anything.
Meanwhile, Joshua and Moreila were looking around uneasily. Although they had already prepared themselves for worst case scenarios, and the current situation was not as bad as they anticipated, it was not optimal.
"It doesn't matter if there are no animals. Even if there are only tree barks, I can also generate them and turn them into energy." Joshua furrowed his brow a little and took a step forward. Then he whispered to 03, "So what's the story about the remaining bones that are being buried beneath the ground then?"
With a wave of his hand, his red Combat Aura blew off the dirt and sand on the ground. Instantly, countless white bones of many beings appeared right before the eyes of everyone. Some of the bones belonged to some unknown creatures, while some belonged to the people of Karlis. All the remaining bones had been covered over by a layer of dirt and sand all along. Most of the bones were damaged. Only some humanoid skulls retained their shape.
Meanwhile, Moreila who had also noticed this before did not get bothered by those remaining bones. He just stood by the side of Joshua while he frowned. Then he looked at the warrior with his golden eyes while the warrior was communicating with 03 using a language unknown to him.
Joshua Radcliffe. The man was a descendant of that family and was now its heir. After finding out about his father's passing, he returned home straight away without a second thought. Upon receiving the title as count, everything that the warrior did recently could be deemed as miracles. Regardless of the incident where he annihilated his uncle's forces to take over the city, or the two times he fended off the Dark Tide and destroyed the dimensional rift, all the incidents seemed so unreal. This time, he accidentally came to this dying world just because he was carrying that piece of steel-essence crystal with him.
Now, he actually knew the language of other worlds. He could communicate with an artificial intelligence… Everything felt so strange as if everything was orchestrated or set up.
"The gods in the heavens…"
The old dwarf muttered to himself, "God damn it. This is exactly like the legends."
Even though he did not believe it, however, his heart could not help but think of the word 'Fate'.
Meanwhile, Joshua was still communicating with 03.
"The bones in front of you are the remains of the warriors who resisted Chaos over thousands of years ago."
The artificial intelligence with black wings responded to Joshua's question, "On the last day of civilization over thousands of years ago, they could not see any hope. That was the reason they chose to die. Not just here, there are also a lot of remaining bones right above the temple of the crystal sun. I believe you have already seen them all."
After a slight pause, No.03 seemed to be handling the information of the fortress. Then she said "There are more of the remaining bones all around the Living Area nearby. Most of them decomposed from the magic power in this place. And also because their souls had gathered in the [Central Doctrine Area] of the fortress, I gained wisdom."
"Is that so…"
Upon nodding slightly, Joshua suddenly had some thoughts on his mind. His voice came through his armor. His voice seemed a little heavy though. "03, you've wandered around this land for many years, am I right?"
"Precisely 1072 years."
No.03 bowed slightly. "Of course, if you're asking when I had awareness, then it's around over a thousand years."
Joshua was satisfied with the answer he received. He looked at the eyes of the artificial intelligence projection. "Then can you explain those strange phenomena that we saw out there? And tell us about some of the special areas of this world as well?"
The warrior got straight to the point. "For example, the location where the Aragami gather."