" Joshua, you?!"
Upon hearing what the warrior said, Roland who was initially silent suddenly sensed that something was not right. He was in a great shock as he lifted his head and looked straight at Joshua who seemed calm and peaceful at the moment. His blue eyes were filled with astonishment.
Within the dimensional rift in the sky, a distorted great evil that felt looked at everyone on the ground from the Void. The holy knight could sense it very well. That was the ultimate evil worse than the quakes and any other natural calamities in the entire world. That was the monster powerful enough to devour worlds, having wandered around the multiverses from time to time.
The reason why Father Nature carried the wish to fully awaken was to deal with this enemy head-on. The golems were not even worth being mentioned.
However, in the face of that evil, even Father Nature stood no chance of winning. He was ready to fight against the evil, hoping to slip into slumber for the whole eternity by the end of the battle.
That would be a battlefield that no men or any other existence could intervene.
However, judging from what Joshua had said, it seemed that he had decided to stay and battle against an Evil God alongside Father Nature.
"Are you insane?!"
He could not find any other words to describe the behavior of the warrior. For the first time, Roland felt speechless. He could only use his doubtful and shocking tone to express his current emotion.
"Roland, this is an actual Evil God."
Joshua responded to the question with a calm smile. His face was covered by a helmet forged by his own Combat Aura. Hence, his expression remained unknown beneath that helmet. The only visible thing were his two red eyes. They shone brightly through the sockets of his helmet. The tone of the warrior remained extremely calm and firm, completely different Roland's. "Only the Sage and the gods have encountered such monstrosity. The Evil God has been deemed to be the highest form of the Chaos, the most powerful kind."
"A battle with an Evil God. No warrior would ever reject such an excellent opportunity, especially me. If I ever give up the opportunity presented to me just like that, I will definitely drown in regrets in my days to come.
"Anyone would pick the option to retreat momentarily when faced with an enemy too powerful to be beaten, only returning when there is a chance to defeat the enemy."
It seemed that Roland had been influenced Joshua's attitude after being around the warrior for some time. The holy knight took a deep breath and when he realized that he was calm enough to express his thoughts, he looked at the warrior, who was holding on the Dragon-hunting Gunblade as his entire body was charged up with his own red Combat Aura, and said seriously, "Joshua, you're by far the best prodigy that possesses the best potential."
"You will definitely prevail in becoming the youngest Legendary champion in the entire world. I believe that the day is approaching!"
"And that's not going to be the end of the road for you, Joshua. You might even surpass the boundaries between men and God, transcending your soul to the heaven, standing alongside with the gods and lords"
Saying the words that a true believer would never say, the holy knight recalled the form and the state of the warrior back in the previous battle. Then he spoke firmly and confidently as he shook his head at the same time, "If you lost your life in a place like this, even the gods would sigh in regret."
" Haha, I have never thought that you would have such high regard of me. However, my decision remains unchanged."
As he laughed, Joshua did not seem to be amused by the holy knight. He remained steadfast as he said, "If the situation has reached a point where everything is irreparable, then I shall leave without any hesitation. However, Roland, the situation remains unforetoldwe might not lose just yet."
He turned around and looked at Father Nature which was supporting the purifying network that covered half of the world. Then he spoke in a clear voice, "And because we still stand a chance to win, I'm staying."
"I have faith that such a powerful enemy would become a memory to remind people of our victory here today.'
Roland's chest puffed up and down a few times. Then he opened his mouth as if he had something to say but changed his mind.
Nevertheless, without a proper reason on his mind, the holy knight felt more hopeful and brave as he looked at the confident warrior.
Perhaps he really has a plan in defeating the Evil God?
That sort of thought flashed across his mind for a brief moment. However, that thought gradually became something more heroic. The holy knight's pursed lips slowly turned into a fearless smile. He felt a burst of enlightenment deep in his heart. He felt that he might have understood the man who stood in front of him.
Even if it means death, what is there to be afraid of?
Victory and failure were irrelevant. The biggest mistake would be not moving forward.
Joshua turned around as he looked at the half-draconic horse and the souls of Ling and Ying that were detached from the gunblade.
The silver-haired girl looked at Joshua with a puzzled face, while the black-haired boy was frowning in silence. Even Black which had a simple mind could not help but look at its master seriously.
"If you do not want to stay, you can go. I shall deactivate the pacts."
The voice of the warrior sounded much gentler than before. The two red lights that could be seen through the holes on his helmet were not terrifying at all. The warrior reached his hands out as the tattoo on the back of his hands gleamed. He spoke to his subordinates who were like his family. "This is a madness that I want to endure on my own. You need to follow me into this madness for the sake of serving me. So, you are free to make your own decision."
At first, he wanted to say more. However, a scorching heat spread on the back of his hands. That was the most intense method of the divine armaments for expressing their objection towards the warrior's decision to dissolve the pacts with them.
The draconic horse also leaned against the warrior. It was looking straight at Joshua with its huge draconic eyes. Behind its golden pupils, Black seemed to have an unexplained emotion lingering on its mind. At the same time, a foreign voice echoed through the warrior's spiritual mind. Although the voice sounded unfamiliar to him, Joshua still felt a sense of familiarity and kindness.
Joshua finally heard the inner voice of his horse for the first time.
Before I met you, I was merely an ordinary warhorse.
That voice spoke slowly.
A horse that may have died by the hands of the orcs back in the war with them. A horse that could also lose a limb or two and be crippled forever, having no chance to return into the battlefield. I would have become an ordinary warhorse that died of old age staying in a stable somewhere on earth without having any way to contribute anymore.
Joshua van Radcliffe, my master.
You gave me wisdom, gave me strength, gave me dignity, and gave me hope.
Everything I have, including my life is yours to ask. I shall follow you till death do us part.
The draconic horse lowered its head, offering itself to stay with the warrior.
Looking at his horse lowering its head, Joshua did not get to say anything before the scorching heat that brought pain to the back of his hands gradually cooled, followed by a trembling voice that was slowly calming down as it started speaking.
"Master, your words hurt us"
Ying's soul was levitating in midair. The eyes of the girl became clear and firm as she no longer felt doubtful anymore. She smiled gently at Joshua as she said, "We're your weaponsand your divine armaments."
"Will there be any weapon that would leave their master just because they fear that they might die?"
Next to her, Ling seemed to have recovered from the shock. He also smiled at his master and shook his head then spoke calmly, "We're forged by your bones. Even if we have to follow you to the depths of hell or the dark abyss, we shall remain by your sides as always."
Master, where you are going, we will be going as well.
Where you live shall also be where we live.
Your wish is our hope. Your goal shall become our expectations.
And where you die shall also be where we would die and be buried. Until death does us all apart.
Their words sounded as if they were taking everything they have said for granted, as if they did not even have the slightest hesitation about it at all. They had gone through countless battles together, and their trust towards each other had long been sublimated and turned into a connection that cannot be severed by anything.
" What a bunch of good kids. You're truly my greatest weapons of all time."
The warrior remained in silence for a brief moment, then a confused voice came from beneath the helmet. It sounded as if he was feeling gratified and regretful at the same time, "I knew things would turn out just the way it is now. You'll surely battle alongside with me. However"
However, this is just too damn dangerous. Although there was a slight hope that they would be victorious, Joshua also knew how terrifying it was to encounter an Evil God. That was the true form of Chaos, the most horrific existence that could bring destruction in all the multiverses.
It was precisely because the warrior believed that everyone would stand their ground to fight alongside with him, that the warrior was hoping all of them could leave this place at once before everything was too late. He cared about them all. They could leave and live in another dimension that was safe from all these existences. Having him to face such a horrible threat would be more than enough.
But it seems that Ying, Ling, and Black had no intention to follow his plan.
As he looked at all of them in the eyes, he found an unconditional trust within them.And because of that, Joshua felt an emotion that he had never felt before in his entire life.
In the past, he had been battling alone. Regardless of whether he would succeed or fail, he would never have to think about the others. However, now, he is responsible for others' lives and carried the trust others had for him.
"You're all insane"
Roland witnessed and heard the conversation between the few of them. He shook his head and sighed. Eventually, he laughed. "It seems that I'm insane as well. I actually want to stay with you guys."
"That's just because you are starting to believe that we actually stand a chance to win this battle."
Joshua smiled as he replied the holy knight. He tightened his grip on the Dragon-hunting Gunblade and reached one of his hands up to his chest as he grabbed onto the Azurite that seemed to be burning hot.
[Flame Seed LV2: Torch]