This was a world filled with scorched earth.
The sky was gray with soot everywhere. The sun was only a dot of yellow light, high up beyond the layer of soot. The forests burned and the hills and grass, turned to ash and dust. Bodies and remains of humans and beasts are scattered all over the ground. In the blurry layer of haze, seven huge portals stood at the peak of a mountain in the distance. Red lights were seen from the seven portals, making all seven of them appearing just like seven dimmed suns.
On the other side of the portal, the sky was bloody red and there was a red lava lake. Many bastions built from black bones and black irons were everywhere. There were also countless demons with wings flying around the place as they shrieked in a way that sends chills down the spine.
That was the view of the [Dark Abyss] floor that is located nearest to the Mycroft Continent. The scene looked just like the molten sea of h ell. Those wretchedly looking bastions were the campsite of the Demon Army.
Joshua's will was levitating in mid-air. He stared at the scene. His red eyes reflecting the flames that were scorching the earth. The warrior remained silent. Besides the crackling of the burning forests, the entire place was silent.
The silence lasted until another wave of will emerged.
"I did not expect that you too can actually see the activation of the door to the Dark Abyss" the voice came from nowhere. It sounded sacred and like a choir of people talking. The voice was a little surprised. "Have you experienced this era before as well? Or have you seen the future?"
"Who are you?"
Joshua did not turn his head around, neither did he answer the questions that were thrown at him. He just stared at the seven gigantic portals. Then he asked in a calm tone, "What is it that you seek by showing me this illusionary realm?"
"The Sage's Successorthis is not an illusionary realm."
The voice explained slowly, "This is what you've experienced before in your past, or perhaps it is just a scene that you've seen before in your past. I simply gave you an 'empty' scene. However, it seemed that your memories have awakened as it presented you with this scenery."
"... Anyway, what is it that you seek then? What is your purpose? Speak your mind."
Since the other party did not show any malicious intention, Joshua was able to communicate patiently with the voice. However, there was also a limit to his patience. The warrior turned his body to the side as his eyes darted towards the direction where the voice came from. Then he impatiently said, "My comrades and my friends are waiting for me to wake up. Now is not the time to take things slowly."
Through his own will, Joshua could also see what was happening on the other side of the realm. A gigantic black dragon charged forward at its top speed. It leaped across the hills, the canyons, the forests and the ruins long the way. There were many stone giants and aerial golems tailing it. Roland frowned as he sat on the back of that draconic beast. He was using every single idea he had in attempt to wake the warrior up. Ying and Ling were also trying to reach the warrior through their spiritual links that they have with the warrior when they made the pacts with Joshua. However, none of their efforts were effective.
His body has fully recovered under the power of the azure orb. The benefit of destroying the Thunderous Mountain is tremendously great as the Azurite has absorbed a tremendous amount of the Chaos energy to be used as fuel to generate healing life force for the warrior to heal himself. Even if he was fatally wounded to the point where he is on the brink of death, he would still be able to recover fully to his former state. So the true reason that he could not wake up from his coma was completely because his soul was trapped in this realm.
From the direction of the ethereal voice, there was a mass of green light. It was completely different from the human body of Joshua in the reality. That mass of green light gleamed with countless human faces. They either looked dignified or compassionate. In the face of that light mass, the warrior narrowed both his eyes as he spoke in a calm but cold tone, "If you did not speak when I was retreating from the Thunderous Mountain, I would not have been distracted and gotten myself heavily injured."
"That was regrettably an unfortunate accident, warrior. I did not know that you were in a dire situation. You will certainly wake up from your coma, but now is not the time."
The voice did not seem to have detected the threat in Joshua's voice. Instead, it spoke slowly just like it did before, "The place where your comrades and friends are going is perfectly safe. There is not even a single sign of the existence of daemons in that direction. That is the one and only location that can turn the situation around As for now, warrior don't you want to know what is really going on with this world?"
" It seems that you're quite clear about the current situation of this world."
Staying silent for a brief moment, Joshua then furrowed his brows and smiled with interest, "Alright, speak."
"I'm coincidentally also very confused by the current situation."
The Illgner World, above the great plains in the wilderness.
In order to avoid being attacked by the golems and the stone giants, Black sprinted as it carried everyone on its back. However, it seems that the enemies were able to sense their presence. So the draconic horse was not able to shake the golems off of its tail. Instead, more and more golems joined the pursuit. Many more different types of golems emerged right behind Black.
The amount of aerial golems were so large that they covered the entire sky.
The speed of Black was faster than the speed of the ordinary golems. So the stone giants that were moving even slower than the ordinary golems were left far behind. However, the speed of the aerial golems was bizarrely fast. Not to mention that the draconic horse has to occasionally get around obstacles on the ground along the way. And because of that, the golems managed to catch up with Black.
"Black, can't you go any faster?"
Right on the back of Black, Ling looked at the aerial golems as he urged the draconic horse to go faster. "The golems are about to catch up with us!"
Black let out a long howl as its golden core right on its chest began to flashit was not because it did not want to go faster If it went any faster, it would not be able to maintain the balance. When that happens, everyone on its back would be thrown off.
At this point, there was no other better ways to do it. As time passed, the aerial golems that filled the sky were about to catch up with the draconic horse which was already running as fast as it could. There were also several giant figures in the clouds that were attempting to launch their surprise attacks on their targets. Their appearance resembled gargoyles. Each of them possessed a pair of bat-like wings. Such golems evolved from ordinary aerial golems. They shrieked at the draconic horse as they launched thunderous light beam attacks, one after another from their mouths in an attempt to blast Black and everyone on its back into pieces.
"To the right! Evade to the right!"
"Speed up! Now!"
As Black could not see the light beam attacks behind it, it had to rely on Ying and Ling as they were on a look out, notifying Black on where to move in order to avoid getting hit by the attacks. The two divine armaments and the draconic horse worked together as one. Under the instructions given by the two divine armaments, Black evaded most of the attacks as they continued moving towards their destination. Most of the missed attacks struck the ground, blowing up dust and sand. The scene was chaotic.
However, a curved light came through from a strange angle. It was already too late for Ying or Ling to warn Black. It carried along a deafening buzz as it struck the draconic horse right in the stomach. With a flash of blinding light from the spot where Black was hit, it roared painfully.
That blow was as quick as lightning, burning and inflicted a numbing pain. Even though the outer shell of Black had magic resistance, it could still feel tremendous pain. However, it did not affect the holy knight and the others that were sitting on its back. The draconic horse endured the excruciating pain as it continued to push forward despite slowing down greatly. More and more aerial golems were drawing closer. The situation had become significantly dangerous now.
"There is no time anymore. We can only hope and pray for better luck. We can only pray that this fellow can wake up as soon as possible!"
In the face of such threatening danger, Roland, who was still attempting to bring Joshua back to consciousness, had to stop at once. He turned away from the warrior and started speaking the holy words as he summoned his huge shield and his war hammer from the Void.
[Soul Armament] was a divine spell that could turn a certain quantum of weapons or defensive equipment into the Void and store them in the divine space, allowing holy knights to be able to summon the weapons and the defensive equipment out again so that they can wield their weapons and equipment in battles or whenever the situation turned perilous. In the face of thunderous light beams, Roland flew into the air as he began to wield his giant shield and his cross war hammer, attempting to block the light beam attacks that were coming at them at an unstoppable momentum.
Returning to Black's back after blocking the light beam attacks, Roland temporary assigned Ying and Ling to a very important mission. "Protect Joshua no matter what. Leave the problem to me momentarily!" Then he leaped back into the sky once again as he continued blocking the assaults that were thrown at them.
The holy knight performed astounding battle techniques and skills against the Chaos daemons. He wielded the holy light and his Combat Aura as smoothly as he breathes. He flew as he blocked all the attacks directed at Black, one wave after another. Occasionally, the golems would get close enough to him. However, all of the enemies that gotten too near would be crushed into bits by the war hammer that radiated the sacred holy light.
If Roland came to this world wearing his full armor, he would not have faltered against powerful magic attacks. H would have performed much better than he is doing at the moment.
But no matter how powerful the holy knight was, he was only one person after all. The number of the aerial golems was increasing by the second. Because of that, the battle has become tougher with each passing second.
As the magic energy in the atmosphere grew denser, these golems, that originally had the most basic capabilities, gradually gained various new special powers and abilities. Many of them grew so strong that they were a threat to the holy knight. A golem, which looks like an eagle, flapped its wings and suddenly vanished from the vision of Roland. After that, it reappeared right behind the holy knight as it struck its beak right at the center of Roland's back. The sharp metallic beak gleamed.
That beak could tear through a steel, let alone the body of a human being. As his instinct kicked in in face of the imminent danger, Roland burst out with a thunderous roar as he unleashed his Combat Aura to the maximum, dodging that deadly attack which could have ended his life. He then slammed his gigantic war hammer right onto the golem, which had the ability to teleport, crushing it into half.
Even though he has momentarily escaped danger, the situation continued to get worse. The stone giants that were on their tail have vanished from the horizon. They were left behind as Black was moving too fast. However, the clouds seem to be moving unnaturally, as if something was about to descend from the heaven.
As he continued to block the attacks, Roland could not help but to be distracted. So he lifted his head up and looked at the sky.
What he saw shocked him. The clouds were torn apart by the being that was descending from the sky.
It was a huge golem in the shape of a gigantic whale! It simply appeared from the folds of clouds.
Unlike the other golems, this gigantic aerial golem looked more like a floating castle in the sky. It has no wingsonly a huge hexagon body, the bottom of its body gleaming with blurry light blue magic runes. That seemed as if it was the energy rune that keeps the golem floating in the air.
Roland has forgotten that he was defending the endless waves of light beam attacks. He was only reminded of his task block all of the attacks when one of the light beam attacks struck his head. He raised his shield to block the attacks that kept coming.
Ying froze and slightly opened her mouth as her breath got caught. Ling felt a chill down his spine. He frowned and he laughed bitterly, "What on earth is that monster again?!"
He has travelled to the desolated world alongside Joshua where Aragami had overwhelmed the land. There were many huge daemons in that world. He even fought a Supreme-tier Aragami with the warrior before. Hence, he was not too surprised to see the monster that appeared in the sky.
However, the situation remained unchanged and continued to worsen.
The humongous fortress that was floating in the sky let out a series of noises. The same noises that were heard when the silver humanoid appeared earlier. The noises were deafening and it caused unease to those who heard it, however those who have heard it could understand what the noises were trying to convey.
"Harmonic Interface No.7 (HI7) initiate mission to purge. Targets, five. Estimation, several strikes are required to complete the mission. Number of attacks, uncertain."
The voice sounded monotonic and cold as if spoken by a machine, "Initiate attack"
Magic circles with complex runes appeared on the bottom part of the fortress. They looked like ordinary gears. Suddenly, a stream of offensive magic were directed straight at the draconic horse and the people on its back like an unstoppable waves of tsunami.
Fire balls, frost attacks, lightning attacks, explosions, shapeless impacts and even eye-burning white beam attacks! All sorts of attacks showered on Black and the others. Roland burst out in full strength to get himself ready to embrace the wave of attacks. The holy light started to merge with his Combat Aura as they gathered on the surface of the giant shield Roland was holding. He even kept his war hammer back as he focused all of his attention on using the giant shield to defend all of the offensive spells that were raining on them.
Even when he deflected a hundred spell blasts, the fortress in the sky simply fired two hundred spells towards them. The holy knight was holding tight against the direction where the attacks came from, but Roland has reached his limit. The moment his grip loosened up a little, a blast of fire attack came at him and the impact of the explosion sent him flying straight towards the ground.
The huge body of Black has become a huge target for the fortress in the sky to send attacks at. No matter how quickly the draconic horse could move, a few of the offensive spells would find their way to land on the body of the draconic horse. It was true that the outer shell of Black carried the legacy of an Elder Dragon, giving its outer shell the greatest magic resistance. However, under the continuous bombardment of attacks, Black had sustained a tremendous amount of injuries.
Ying and Ling had to use their own bodies to shield Joshua from the incoming attacks. Although the body of a divine armament was tougher and stronger than ordinary people, Ying and Ling could not have possibly walked away from such attacked unscathed. But, other than using their own bodies as the shields to protect their master, they didn't have any other ways.
Could that be the end already?
Were they going to be purged just like what the fortress in the sky forecasted?
"Alright, step aside."
A voice said from beneath the bodies of the two divine armament.
Ying and Ling lifted their heads up, shocked, as they looked at each other. Then they looked down at the warrior they have sworn to protect at all cost. The both of them then broke into a joyful grin. Upon hearing their master telling them to step aside, they moved aside as quickly as they could.
Joshua looked a little pale. He slowly sit himself up then got himself back on his feet. Looking at the incoming attacks, the warrior took a deep breath. With his weak but determined voice, he said, "I shall take it from here."