Joshua woke up earlier than everyone expected, including Ling and Ying.
The flesh of his upper body had been thoroughly incinerated; he was kept on the brink solely by divine powers. If it was not for Father Nature's healing such wounds meant certain death, though none of them expected him to wake up that quickly even with such levels of mending.
Both Ling and Ying had even resolved to wait for monthseven years.
Nevertheless, things were simpler now that the warrior had woken up.
After looking around, Joshua could tell that he was in a room within his own residence. Nonetheless, he never slept here year in year out; for him, resting meant finding a spot in the study or the hall to shut his eyes. That was why he never used these quarters muchand come to think of it, this case of coma was the first time he slept on a bed within the residence.
"What happened when I was out?"
Smiling as he watched Ying blush and finishing off an apple, Joshua spoke. He watched his weapons closely, and asked slowly, "Looking at your faces, is there some kind of trouble? Do tell."
"Yup... There is some stuff that needs to be handledbut since Master is up, it shouldn't be a problem."
Ling was standing at a corner, rubbing the back of his head. The young boy had responded quickly and taken out his own notebook, as if he were prepared all along to give a report as soon as the warrior opened his eyes. He flipped a few pages, saying, "Such as"
"Just tell me."
Before Ling could list them out, the air within the room was permeated by another sound, cutting him short.
Traces of magic gathered mid-air, the fluorescence slowly forming a human silhouettebefore the ghost of an Avian maiden with long, pale-blue hair appeared in the room. Her humanoid figure was a little blurred in the beginning but soon stabled and solidified; it almost looked like a real person.
Ling shrugged, slightly let down. "Well, Miss 03 knows more than I do."
After 03 had gathered her projection she fixed her eyes on the warrior, who in turn sensed traces of magic sweeping across his body. Knowing that this was the method the A.I. girl made its examination he took no mind and let it did as it pleased. Still, he was only wearing a set of white pajamas; the warrior crisply took out a leathery coat from one of the clothing racks and put it on.
03's expression soon became perplexed, and she muttered, "Energy levels rising at 182/100, in addition to an unrecognizable but immense power focused at the heart and bones This is already at the level of my main cannons during my early days"
"How can you become so strong" She mumbled, appearing to suspect that her inspection mechanism was faulty.
"It's been a while, 03. You look fine, are you doing your job recently?" Catching her attention by waving his hand, Joshua smiled lightly at the hologram. "If you're done looking, let's go down to business."
"Yes, Joshua, I'm doing my work seriously."
03 responded, quickly looking up to meet the warrior's gaze. She sighed in an almost-human manner, and her eyebrows shook as if lamenting. "In just two weeks, I have successfully broken two smuggling cases, stop nine thefts and four robberies while single-handedly catching twenty suspicious characters within the main city. Half of those caught were identified by archbishop Artanis as members of the Cult. Proof of my hard work."
"Didn't expect that. Seems that Moldovia's security could still be improvedso many criminal elements and Cultists It's been hard on you." Joshua lifted his eyebrows, resolving to strengthen public safety management in the city whenever he could spare the time.
Intrigued by the A.I. girls' last words, he couldn't help but ask, "And who are the other half?"
"Just as bad, demon worshippers."
Shaking her head like a pellet drum, No.3 added helplessly, "Quite a few shady unknown characters were slipping into town. Discounting the cannon-fodders paid to scout the city, the others are all followers of Chaos and demon worshippers. This isn't normal, Joshuawhat sort of troubles have your band been picking up that so many people are sneaking into the main city to raise a ruckus? And you actually returned unconscious. Who could drop you into a coma for that long given what you're capable of?"
She seemed to be holding back before and was now blurting out all her concerns in one breathJoshua could hear the concern in her voice. Moved, he turned towards Ling and Ying; the silver-haired girl understood, and said quietly, "Since you were unconscious, Master, we did not tell 03 about the other realm To her, we were just out for a few, despite all that has happened."
Nodding in understanding, Joshua turned towards the blue-haired Avian girl. 03 did not seem to be taking notice of his conversation with Ying; she was scanning the warrior's body again and lightly frowning, as if seeing something inconceivable. "How could this be, how could my observation is failing so miserably; even when it was not clear before there would be at least some message feedback"
She seems very intent on analyzing the warrior's physicality. However, Joshua's flesh had been incinerated by divine powers and then healed by Father Nature; it now carried hints of sacred powers. Normal observation skills would naturally failbeing able to determine just a bit of the energy distribution on the surface was already more than satisfactory. This proved the excellence of 03's skill at observationwhich exceeded that of many Gold-tier mages.
After some thinking, Joshua told 03 all they had seen at the other world.
It was not something that must be kept hidden, but it's such an extraordinary tale that not many would believe in it. However, 03 had once fought side-by-side with Joshua at Karlis, she naturally wouldn't doubt his words.
The story did not take long. Ying had just peeled another apple when he almost finished.
"That's about it."
With those concluding words, Joshua took the apple. And yet there were still things he wanted to say; such as his childhood as a sage and the gifts from the World Will. However, those things that happened in his spiritual realm were so mysterious that the warrior himself could not fathom most of itand so he decided to leave them out for the time being so as to not mislead the others.
03 was quiet for some time after hearing about what the warrior went through. After that she let out a long sigh, appearing rather lonely.
"Such a pity I would have liked to see for myself the descent of an Evil God and the moment it fell"
The Avian girl did not grumble about much beyond that. She had lived for thousands of years alone in the desolated world of Karlis after all; though regrettable it wasn't enough to make her feel depressed.
Her gaze focused once more as she changed the subject. "Well, I'm clear on everything now, but those are all in the past Weren't we just discussing some problems in town? Let's talk about those first."
Much had happened since Joshua left; there was some good news tooapart from the exponentially increasing ranks of Cult members and demon worshippers.
With 03's proper briefing, the warrior swiftly got a handle over the happenings in his domain.
Five days ago, the leader of the runic dwarvesmaster craftsman Moreila has put the finishing touches to Joshua's special magic armor. The end product was placed at the storage room in Winter Fort Academy at the icy mountain of Nissia; the dwarf himself had also been invited by Nostradamus to teach the art of crafting in the institution.
Beyond that, Winter Fort Academy was preparing to kick-start several courses for a variety of new professions and are preparing to hire more than ten teachers who were experienced in those fields. The academy had thus extended an invite to Joshua, the honorary dean, to hold tryouts.
The holy knight Roland was in seclusion within the St. Laurent Cathedral, insisting that he must be notified at once when the warrior awakens. Archbishop Artanis also asked to be informed should Joshua regain consciousness.
"And then there are a few transmissions from the Empire City."
Having listed everything, 03 took a break before voicing her doubts about the transmissions from the capital. "Each of those calls required special identification which only you possess. I could not answer as a representative so I kept the address Joshua, you can use the address to reply if you have the time."
"Thanks. A call from the Imperial City Perhaps it's Brandon or Nostradamus who're looking for me?" Joshua mumbled as he thought about it. Taking a bite of the apple, he then made up his mind. "It's late in the night right now; there probably won't be anyone answering if I called anyway. The other stuff isn't urgent either, we'll handle them all tomorrow morning."
A few more bites and the apple was gone, even the core. Ling was expressionless, but very happy inside.
Seems like no one hates sweet stuff!
The warrior extended his hand, ready to pet the young Avian lass's head absently mindedly and shower a few praises. But 03 dodged away agilely and turnedher body dissipating while telling Joshua softly before she vanished, "I'm going off to work Still, don't forget your promise, warrior"
Her words held deep meaning. Though she did not seem to care much about their experience in a different world, in reality, she really wanted to go on an adventure with them.
Joshua didn't mind much about 03's departure. He stared blankly at his outstretched hand.
He seemed to have touched something just now.
Shifting his eyes to where No.3 vanished, Joshua squinted and mumbled silently, "I did touch something That should have been just a magical projectionwhy did it feel like I brushed against something?"
It's impossible for the warrior to be under an illusionit was not a mistake that he could feel it. As Joshua tangled with the thought, Ying collected the plate of fruits while Ling retrieved his notebook, looking prepared to help the warrior make his bed.
"It's fine, I've been troubling you these few days." Joshua stopped the pair, shifting his attention. "This is stuff the maids should be doing. If you guys want to help, do something worthwhile like getting some rest. Ensure you're at your best so that you could perform better for me."
Ying and Ling stopped at Joshua's orders, but still obediently opened the door and walked outalthough before they left, both of them poke their head back in and said together, "Master, you should be resting too!"
"That's for sure."
The door closed, and the warrior sat alone in the room on the bed. He frowned, and opened the system panel, receiving all sorts of message notifications as before.
[You've entered a new world!]
[You've destroyed a Harmonic Puppet Hill Golem]
[You've destroyed a Harmonic Puppet Titan Colossus]
[You've destroyed a Harmonic Puppet Air Fortress]
[You've destroyed a Harmonic Puppet Hill of Thunders]
[You've destroyed a Harmonic Puppet]
[You lit the Bonfires of Order!]
[Ancient Deity Father Nature has descended upon you!]
[You completed a mythical missionthe Star of Ten Plagues!]
[You've unlocked an achievementWorld Savior!]
[You've rescued an elven civilization! All the elves are thankful for your actions, your natural favor with the elven ranks has changed to Friendly, your reputation among them is rising exponentially!]
"Favor changing to friendly. Would that stop them running when they see me?"
Joshua couldn't help shaking his head. He knew that Favor was just for first impressions, and there's still the Despair Aura that he carriedso even if the elves are friendly towards him initially, their legs would soon turn to jelly.
Ignoring such notifications, he turned to look at his character card.
[Name: Joshua van Radcliffe]
[Title: The One who shoulders all Life]
[Race: Northern Division of Humans, ???]
[Race Skill: Warrior Race (Combat Skill Experience x1.1)]
[Level: LV54. Preliminary to Extreme (Strength)]
[Challenge Level: LV52 (Hero)]
At that, even Joshua couldn't stop himself from gaping. He blinked a few times and looked clearly to make sure that he was not mistaken.
"MINUS TWO HUNDRED AND NINE?!"
The warrior growled lowly, appearing preposterous. "I just saved a world, not destroy one; how could this be?!"