The rolling hills at the foot of Great Ajax Mountains extended all the way to the center region of the northern flatland. Even if the travelers arrived at the Grand Canyon within the defensive region of Ural Fortress, they would still be able to see the slightly raised hills on the vast plain.
As seen by all the travelers who were walking on the streets, on the side of the Mount Ural dividing the north and central region, there was a narrow canyon that spread across the seas of the West. The gigantic cracks caused by the movement of the two continents over tens of millions of years could potentially form a new embryonic ocean tens of millions of years later. However, currently, it was just a tunnel that connected numerous water rivers underground. Meanwhile, in the bottom of the canyon, a giant bridge connected both sides of the shores that were hundreds of meters apart from each another.
That spot was the border of Moldavia and the central region of the NorthUral Fortress.
Historically, Ajax the Emperor sounded the first horn that opened up the first era at this very spot. Countless knights had gone deep into the wilderness of snow in search of glory, taking the cold flatlands and the Lost Sea at the end of the earth as the domain of the Empire Kingdom. As the current center point of the kingdom that connected the north and the central region, it was becoming a great city of prosperity.
Starfall Year 834, 5th of April, the border of the Empire's Central Region, Mount Ural, Ural Fortress.
Walking through the crowd, Joshua and his two weapons were sitting in a carriage made of steel-core wood and dragon-patterned wood. They were crossing the checkpoint at the gates of the city at an average pace. Meanwhile, after the soldiers at the checkpoint saw the emblem of two hands bearing swords that was not displayed obviously on the carriage, they remained in silence as they slowly back away so that the carriage that seemed ordinary yet extremely tough could enter the fortress.
Ever since he rejected Nostradamus's suggestion, Joshua already set his mind on departing to the Imperial City by himself. However, he also did not want to just find a teleportation circle so that he could arrive at the Imperial City with a 'whoosh'Even though the teleportation circle was a convenient method, it would make the trip meaningless. Hence, after a few master-tier tailors made his evening suit, the warrior packed his luggage, got in a carriage, and departed on his journey to the Imperial City.
This trip was actually a waste of time and it did not make much sense. However, the journey would be a great opportunity for Joshua to re-evaluate this familiar and yet unfamiliar world through listening and seeing on his way to Imperial City. The coachman skillfully stirred the horses that were dragging the carriage. The carriage took a turn and arrived on the main street of the fortress.
From the main city of Moldavia to Ural Fortress, the entire journey was considerably pleasant and warm. Without any political affair burdening him, the warrior could relax his mind as he enjoyed the scenery of early spring in peace.
Next to Ural Fortress was an artificial river that sparkled with the golden light of the sun. Blankets of green grass went all the way from the sides of this river to the woods next to the mountains. A sawmill and a water mill were inside the compound of the fortress. Hence, the artificial river branched and extended into the city, bringing the vibrant presence of grass and trees from the mountains. The carriage was moving along the artificial river towards the center of the city. Ling was already sitting beside the old coachman much earlier on. He was learning how to control several horses at the same time with a humble heart. Meanwhile, Ying was curiously looking out of the carriage through its window as she was enjoying the different views of the city than the views she always saw in Moldavia.
Joshua also smiled and looked at the scenery outside the window of the carriage. He was also looking at the people walking around on the streets. They seem to be walking in a hurry though. The warrior was feeling unusually pleasant at the moment.
Humans truly needed to relax from time to time. In the current year, the warrior had been working too hard. He was bombarded with significant events and incidents, one after another. There was not even a single moment for him to catch his breath, until now. If he did not grab onto the opportunity to travel to the Imperial City in order to attend the banquet, he would not even have the chance to put aside all of his work and official businesses, take a few days break, and travel to see the world beyond his territory.
Of course, if they were walking at that pace, they would not be able to arrive at the Imperial City in that few days of time. It also remained uncertain if they could even make it to the regions that were under the jurisdiction of Ural Fortress. However, as long as they could enter the central region of the Empire Kingdom, Joshua and others could easily borrow any of the teleportation circles they could find in the local cities, they could just teleport themselves over to the Imperial City without having to worry about getting there late.
"If you want to go out and take a look, then just go."
Joshua suddenly said to his weapons. His order took Ying and Ling by surprise. For that reason, Ying returned to the carriage and looked at his sister's face. Even though Ying had been in the carriage for the entire time with Joshua, she did not have the slightest clue as to why Joshua would suddenly have that sort of thought.
What does Master want to do this time?
Their feelings of doubt were clearly seen on their faces.
Joshua had also noticed their expressionsbut what other ideas would the warrior have then? He merely wanted to see their curious expressions. That was the main reason he told the two of them to go out and have fun in the first place. In any case, this trip was to ease up a little. They needed time and space to relax. Furthermore, it was not necessary to always do things together. Not to mention that he and the two Divine Armaments had Spirit Sense that linked their minds. So there was no reason why they should fear about getting lost from each other.
As for the aspect of danger, Joshua was not worried at all. Ying and Ling were both as powerful as Upper Silver-tier beings. If only he would work them harder as their master, both of them could even advance into the Gold tier domain. So, even if there were traffickers or other wicked people who marked them as targets because of their pretty faces, the two Divine Armaments would not be the ones who would suffer.
"Then we'll take our leave?"
Before leaving, they stood at the side of the street. Ling looked at Joshua who was still sitting in the carriage with a little doubt on his face. Then he softly said, "This is not a joke, right?"
"Of course not. Go. Just don't spend all your money."
Joshua shrugged. Then he nodded at Ying who was standing beside him. "Just go if you feel like it. You don't have to look so doubtful about it."
Looking at the two of them disappearing into the corner of the street in the central region, Joshua nodded lightly and opened up the city map he brought along with him. Then he took a quick glance at the map to confirm his next destination in order to locate his targeta famous alchemist at present time. He had something he wanted to inquire from an alchemist.
However, just when he was prepared to ask the coachman to change the direction of the carriage in order to get to the southern district of the city, Joshua suddenly felt an inexplicable chill straight up his chest.
That chill did not originate from the temperature in the air, nor did it come from an unknown enemy. Instead, it came from the depth of his soul.
The altar in a distance.
The bizarre ritual had come to an end. The armor that was placed on the obsidian altar earlier on had been crushed by the corrosive black tentacles, leaving behind only tiny pieces of black-brown blood clots. Under the support of the eight pillars engraved with cursive runes, the presence of Chaos was spreading towards the void in a distance.
"All hail Chaos!"
Along with a simple spell, the fragments of the armor melted away by darkness that originated from the dark void. The dark brown blood clots seemed to regain their vitality, turning into fresh plasma blood again. However, the green blood of the orcs was completely wiped away without a trace by a powerful force. Only some dark red blood droplets were wrapped in the black tentacles, appearing like red beads as each of them shook relentlessly.
"Blood sacrifice for our god!"
Next to the altar, a tall figure suddenly cut its forelimbs, spilling its own blood onto the lines presented on the ground. Meanwhile, the line patterns began to radiate. The blood beads that were levitating on top of the altar was instantly subjected to an unpredictably evil force and evaporated into thin air without leaving a single trace behind. Dark-red mist began to shroud the space above the altar. After that, the mist was absorbed by the obsidian altar. Meanwhile, after that, the altar seemed to have acquired something essential to it. It began to fully activate. The altar that was initially floating in mid-air began to rise even higher into the air while rotating. Meanwhile, the two giant figures that previously recited the incantations now respectfully leaned backward as they bowed towards the phenomenon right in front of them. They were expressing their fear and respect towards the altar.
The lines with the color of blood on the altar that was built from obsidian were flashing with relentless radiance. Meanwhile, along with every round the altar spun, the magic circle on the dome-shaped ceiling and the runes that were engraved on the pillars would stop radiating for a brief moment, resembling the pace of breathing. As the altar rotated faster and faster, the speed of the lights flashing was getting faster and faster as well. In the end, the altar that was spinning vigorously suddenly stopped. Meanwhile, the magic circle had also stopped functioninghowever, at that particular moment, the void was torn apart. An extremely powerful negative Will descended into that location without making even the slightest sound. After confirming some messages, that force turned towards a certain direction and pierced away.
The speed of Thought and Will was much faster than the speed of light. That sort of speed had been freed from the constraints of time. Right after the moment the ritual was performed completely, the curse was activated upon Joshua's body who was currently in Ural Fortress which was extremely far away from the location of the ritual.
At this moment, Joshua subconsciously felt a great terror lurking through his entire body. The muscles on his entire body that were tougher than steel suddenly tightened up intensely. His heart was also pumping violently, spreading the power of life across his entire body to resist an unknown danger.
However, the power of the curse came so quickly that, in contrast, any attempt of resisting it had become sluggishly slow. Just when Joshua was frowning intensely as he was ready to burst out with his full power, the evil force suddenly broke through the protection power that had yet to be activated! It struck deep into the soul of the warrior.
In the meantime, Ying and Ling who were walking on the main street hand in hand were listening to an elf singing poems and songs about the great King Ias with joy. But suddenly, both of them were shocked as they instantly looked at the distance and felt a quiver as if they had just made contact with obvious traces of evil fluctuating waves that suddenly appeared from afar.
Before they could even say anything out of their mouth right after they called out for their Master, the psionic bodies of the two of them that were slowly collapsing suddenly got stabilized again. While Ying and Ling were filled with doubt, a shapeless and intangible force that only the Order power such as [Purify] would possess suddenly burst out at the North side of the city. It turned into a blazing bright light pillar that was even brighter than the sun, where ordinary people wouldn't see, but only visible to class bearers. It went straight through the clouds as if it pierced forward endlessly into the void.
In the meantime, at the center of the light pillar, a dark-haired man was pressing one hand on his chest, holding tightly on the precious item that was hanging on his chest all the time. His entire body was blazing with some sort of translucent light of a flame. That flame was different from all other flames in the world though. It seemed as if it was the origin of life. It seemed as if it was the origin of existence itself. It seemed as if it was the most basic force for all things to survive.
[Flame Seed: Lv1]