Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Joshua curtly refused the offer.
“If I wanted to become a god, I wouldbut I believe there are more pressing matters for You other than answering my questions right now.”
To become a god was a very tempting suggestion. Any normal individual might have already asked about the way, but to Joshua, it was not something of value.
He did not pursue ascension above all life, nor sought to protect a faction or a race and slowly watch them grow into a prosperous civilization. Instead, what the warrior sought was combatcombat that could thrill him, that could him find his meaning of living.
Indeed, he still had a long future and a lot of time. He would take his challenges step by step, from Extreme to Legendary, before fighting against the Abyss and Chaos. He would improve, grow and become stronger bit by bit.
He would not need others to tell him how to progress or to map out a road once taken. His conviction told him that he would eventually triumph against everything and walk to the ends of the earth. That was when he would finally think about how to challenge the gods in heavens above and how to become a god.
To ponder by himself, to challenge by himself, to seek a path for himself, and not to walk shortcuts once tread upon by othersthat was the mindset of the powerful.
Hardships and obstacles are but a journey’s spice. Without those, life would be rather dull just as it was in Joshua’s preexistence, where none would challenge him who was the world’s greatest martial artist. The warrior knew then that the latter stages of his life would be bland, until he finally aged and the young ones finally come to make a name for themselves by stepping on his head.
”You really don’t want to know?” Though Ogner was conspicuously shocked, he still tried nonetheless. ”While my methods do dull in comparison against Father Nature and the Sage’s legacy, it remains an experience. Do you really not desire it?”
The twin-headed giant had believed that the warrior may have acquired some information from the Sage’s inheritance or Father Nature, which in turn made him uninterested. However, the truth was that Joshua simply does not want to speak about it.
“Compared to those things, Ogner,” the warrior replied, shaking his head and furrowing his brow, “You are a wise and compassionate deity and should not simply disappear in a human underground lab. You might be content, but I believe that you could depart with more bliss.”
“Hold my hand,” Joshua said, holding out his hand without hesitation. Although his hand was minuscule compared to the giant’s huge body, Ogner still quietly extended his own palm and ‘held’ the warrior’s own.
Then, with the transfer of a curious energy, the giant’s silhouette solidified from its blurred state.
”You’ve poured some divinity into me” Ogner mumbled softly, baffled.“You will be weakened for most of a month before your divinity recovers, only for me to survive a few more minutes You don’t desire to know how to ascend either, so why”
Apparently, even a deity did not understand what was going on, while the warrior simply shook his head without any change in his expression, gesturing non-verbally for Ogner to follow him.
The warrior left Underground Research Lab 2 where the Chest of Erebus was completely destroyed. With the mages’ safety secured, Joshua thought that it was not a bad idea for those fellows to stay unconscious a little longer since they did cause this entire ruckus after all.
Behind him was the twin-headed giant who followed him closely across the headquarters of the Imperial Mage Guild. As if an apparition, his body could slip through walls and stairs, and together they walked past the underground corridors and stepped to the surface levels one stair at a time.
It was as He watched the warrior’s back that Ogner gradually grasped Joshua’s intentions.
On the ground level near the Avenue of Truth.
“What’s happening, Sister?!”
The Great Nun who stood beside the path trembled slightly, her platinum hair cascading as if a wave. Beside her, the Church knights instantly caught on, and quickly went on alert as they asked about her in concern.
Just moments before, the black shroud around the Imperial Mage Guild had gradually dissipated, living just a sheet of thin white vapor. While the city guards and mages were relieved, several scouts were knocked out again by the edge of the vapor. The others quickly returned to attention once morealthough the white vapor seemed a little less vicious or corrosive, it was still dangerous nonetheless.
Nostradamus also found that the dimensional distortion that blocked his observational spell was still there, most certainly consciously caused by a certain existence. But with Saya guaranteeing that Joshua was still alive and the clear improvement of the situation, the old mage kept calm, saving his strength instead of attempting to break the barrier, waiting for his chance to make a move.
In the Morlaix Palace, the Emperor was naturally keeping himself updated about the situation. He had to be closely aware since the Black Shroud incident happened in the Imperial Capital and though there were no casualties, it did cause buildings to crumble sheerly from its aspects of corruption.
Holding herself steady, the Great Nun clutched on the cross-shaped star protective amulet over herchest. She nodded slightly, gesturing to the knights that she was fine. Her expression was unfathomable with her eye-shield covering her eyes, but the knights trusted her regardless, and stopped asking, returning to their watchful state.
Still, Saya’s heart was filled with shock.
She could see that the deep blue bunch of lights that represented Joshua was slowly rising from beneath the ground and exiting the Imperial Mage Guild.
But behind him were elusive and chaotic circles of light she could not even tell if it was alive or not.
“He has solved the problem?”
The Great Nun thought that it was very likely following the shift in the Black Shroud out here. Despite that, she could not judge if the divine existence behind Joshua was benevolent or malevolent, or alive for that matter. Her vision was broad but also blurryand tended to be erroneous before her training.
This could be one of those times.
After cautioning the knights within the perimeter to stay alert and reminding them to ‘flee in self-preservation when there’s a chance’ Saya quickly walked towards Nostradamus.
Although Robzek’s condition was fine, he still has not awakened. Therefore, the old mage, the most powerful individual right here, had to be informed.
A silhouette appeared by the entrance of the guild.
The rhythmic footsteps and that figure were obviously Joshua’s. He looked unscathed and perfectly fine; he was unhurt by the shroud or the Chest of Erebus.
Nostradamus nodded after his exchange with Saya. Though they need to keep an eye of what she found, the mage was still confident in Joshua’s ability. It was a fact too, that while the thin vapor did not hypnotize people it no longer spread or corroded. Indeed, it was even shrinking, which meant that the entire incident was mostly solved, all credit going to the warrior.
Then, the elderly mage’s brain seemed to freeze and stop functioning. He stared, his eyes widening at something inconceivable.
Around him, the city guards were clearly shaken too. Many drew sharp breaths, their hands trembling.
In a corner, although Saya already had already prepared herself, she still gasped.
“By the gods”
Behind Joshua, a tremendous object appeared before the crowd. As if hollow, He slipped past all sorts of stone and magic circles and stood unaffectedly outside the Guild.
With His presence, the white vapor quickly dissipated as if a dream, as the twin-headed giant’s enormous body appeared before the crowd.
Ogner had followed Joshua out of the guild.
He lowered His head and looked towards the warrior Joshua had made way for him without a word, allowing Him to walk first.
“Human”Sighing quietly, His dim-gold eyes welling with emotion, Ogner asked faintly,“Human, may I know your name?”
A deity, asking a common man’s name under His own initiative.
“Joshua van Radcliffe.” The warrior replied, leveling his own gaze at that rather vicious expression Ogner had. He showed no fear or apprehension, but calmly turned and look towards the night streets of the Imperial Capital. “Your time is almost up.”
Nodding lightly, Ogner ignored the mages, city guards, knights and every strongman who were gaping at Him, unheeding their cries of surprise or scrambling in preparation for a fight. The giant simply trotted slowly to the middle of the street and looked up at the sky above, where the bright twin moons were throwing down silver radiance that thinly veiled the Imperial Capital.
”This world is so beautiful”
After a thousand years since His demise, the God of Fortune and Despair feasted His eyes upon the stars that were unfamiliar yet familiar at once, as well as the everlasting sky and floating clouds. ”It’s precisely because of this beautiful world that I would pay the price of My eternal life. This land, where my race was raised”
Lowering His gaze slowly, the giant lowered his back and reached down to touch the soft stony path corroded by the Black Shroud. As if his gaze could penetrate rock and space, Ogner looked towards the Highlands of Tartaros in the distance, towards the ancient ruins of the Orc Palace.
That was the homeland of the Orcs, the land that once nurtured his kind.
A thousand years has passed and the Ougel were long extinct. Even the centaurs that lived there after them, and later the Orcs were gone.
But that was fine.
Beneath the Guild of Imperial Mages, the seven slumbering wizards awakened at once, just as Robzek and Moore were doing at the Avenue of Truth. The latter two looked out at the night streets of the Imperial City, as if not quite understanding why they had returned to this place.
Ogner’s reappearance in this realm allowed Him to witness the boundless world He once paid the ultimate price for. He watched the skies, the earth, and the new civilizations that were flourishing.
While it does seem to have declined compared to His own era, the world did take a step towards an entirely new direction.
To critique the new Mycroft? He could not, would not and do not need to.
He was now truly content, for all his disquiets were gone.
“Thank you, Joshua,”Ogner calmly said as He turned towards the warrior. His giant body was now evanescing into thin air like a distorted phantom, but He did not mind that one bit.“I’ve almost forgotten that I could still look upon this world once more.”
Golden dots started wafting away from His body.
“No thanks necessary. Even if you did not answer my questions I could still find out for myself eventually.” Joshua shook his head noncommittally. “However, you did satisfy my curiosity, so it was logical that I must grant your wish.”
“Hmph. Not willing to accept a little recompense for your help?”Ogner smiled, shaking both His heads.“Such a stubborn and confident warrior. You would assuredly have ascended as a deity in our era and fought alongside us.”
Then, the giant raised His single remaining head towards the sky.
“The blinking stars So it’s you guys”He mumbled softly in surprise.“So it’s you guys”
Before he could finish, Ogner’s head was completely gone, turning into shards of light as if vapor.
Over the horizon, seven brilliant stars twinkled, as if in farewell.