Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
The shroud had completely vanished.
Now, the black sea of shroud that rippled nightmarishly not too long ago was gone as if it had never come into being. What once was, was now nothingness, leaving just a street that was corroded.
In the immediate vicinity, the cries of surprise from city guards and church knights were still there. Though they could clearly see the disappearance of the twin-headed giant, their spirits were somehow still reverberating from the profound power. Only several mages could sense that that was just a physical phantom, now utterly vanished.
Meanwhile, Joshua shrugged, and said softly, “Farewell, Ogner.”
The death of a deity and a normal person was not that differentall they left behind was silence.
But just as prepared to leave and join Nostradamus and the others, he suddenly noticed that his body did not have a shred of enfeeblement due to the loss of divinity.
If that was indeed the case, he would be profiting instead by loaning out his powers. He could also feel somewhat hazily that he could predict the fortune of his own futureit was most certainly a gift from Ogner.
After pausing for a moment, Joshua sighed, whelmed with emotion.
“ Such a courteous god.”
Waving at Ying and Ling from afar, he threw away those complicated feelings and walked towards the other end of the Avenue of Truth. The pathway which had been corroded cracked beneath his feet, clearly in need of reconstruction and an ill turn of events for the citizens.
Then, when he walked past where the giant vanished, he suddenly found something flashing.
He naturally stopped, turned towards the source.
It was an unusual translucent crystal. Joshua frowned, walked towards it and picked it up.
“What’s this? An energy crystal?”
The moment he touched it, an intense surge of energy exploded like lightning on the warrior’s palm. It was a terrifying force akin to bolt spells strong enough to level an entire house into dust or char humans in a ten-meter radius, or at least maim them.
But that was all. This level of power was a bit tough to handle for Silver-tier warriorsthey could probably withstand one charge, but not a second. Gold-tier combatants who were super meat grinders on the battlefield would need to take caution too, but their protection aura could otherwise suppress it.
On the other hand, Joshua was a Supreme warrior, a threshold of power capable to lead entire armies and oversee entire provinces. While he had not fought after he leveled-up, power is power be it energy bolts, rain of fire, or lava carpet, he could endure it all without so much a change in expression.
Even as he pondered, his red-black aura had enveloped the energy charge tightly. Grabbing the bizarre crystal that seemed to have no weight, Joshua narrowed his eyes, considered it for a while and gripped it lightly.
Thud.The sound was quite distinct.
This time, it was a little surprising. “So tough that it doesn’t shatter?” Joshua exclaimed in slight shock, his brow raised.
His slight touch had been enough to push the bolts back into the crystal. It may be more or less a pinch, but the strength was enough to press iron into a thin sheet. Under such conditions, a normal energy crystal would have become powder as its integrity crumbled.
This crystal, meanwhile, stayed intact and unscathed.
Joshua now felt curious. It was not some plain object if it could withstand his power. Additionally, this was where Ogner had disappearedcould it be the remains of that deity?
Never heard of such a thing.
To any onlookers, the process in which Joshua bent down as if picking up something and subsequently clenched his fist was but a brief few seconds. Only Nostradamus, Saya and a few other elites saw that he had taken a blow in a flash.
The Great Nun had been informing the just-awoken Robzek about what happened after he passed out, while Nostradamus absolutely had no intention to give his old friend Moore an explanation.
Obviously, the elderly mage knew that such a level of energy burst was peanuts to the warrior. Still, he instantly became vigilant, convinced that the Chest of Erebus incident had not ended. After telling Vera to take good care of his instructor, he quickly hurried to Joshua with Ling and Ying in tow.
At the same time, Joshua had opened his system panel where he stood.
[Identifying mysterious crystal.]
[ Identifying item Origin knowledge identification failed Mystical Item knowledge identification successful Realm knowledge identification successful.]
[Identification Report: Divinity Trigger. Special Divine Artifact]
[Origin: According to legends, the gods have eternal life. Death is just a short slumber which they would rise from given the right timing. Still, it had been proven that they would indeed perish. This divinity trigger is one of the many relics they leave behind.]
[Artifact: As its name implies, the Divinity Trigger is an unusual catalyst to divine powers, usually appearing where the gods had fallen. The core of their being, it is a condensation of power that is difficult to ingest. Its purity and compression also made the power unusable, and any who touches it would be repelled by a force equivalent to the deity’s condition before their passing. Perhaps the wise could decipher some knowledge of the gods from his item, but the power within is simply impossible to be used.]
[Special: Divinity originally is without form or shape; it is a collection of concepts that cannot materialize. Since the death of a deity is inconceivable itself, some would leave these crystals behind. Other than striking those who touch it they are virtually useless. That being said, perhaps some sort of advantage could be gained by observing this special exclusively for other gods or individuals nearing the threshold of divinity.]
[Composition: A transparent crystallization that holds divinity powers, it appears ordinary but useless. Still, it counts as a divine artifact, even more so to special individuals.]
“A divine crystal that Ogner left behind, huh”
Standing up and raising his head, Joshua grasped the crystal. He looked towards Nostradamus who was hastening towards him, while sensing a lingering idea he could not seem to trace.
“Weird, this feeling.” He frowned and mumbled.
“Joshua, how are you?” The old mage asked urgently some paces away, not stopping his steps just yet.
“Not bad. A little hungry.”
With his mind preoccupied with searching for that vague intention, Joshua’s answer was rather half-hearted. But Nostradamus was dead serious, and quickly turn to order the other mages standing some distance away to get some food ready, while Ling and Ying silently returned to Joshua’s side.
After issuing the order, the mage studied the warrior solemnly, and finally breathed a sigh of relief when he determined that Joshua was perfectly fine.
The Black Shroud had simply been extraordinary. Even as the archmage of the Empire himself, Nostradamus was apprehensive about moving before he had carefully investigated the phenomenon.
He had even intended to stop Joshua from going inside it, and although he later relented, he regretted a little when he did. As a traditional mage, he believed in prudence and careful examination of unusual situations.
Either way, Joshua’s performance was unexpected the Black Shroud that knocked out elites such as Robzek parted, making way for the warrior as if in fear, allowing Joshua a free pass into the deepest level of the guild and solve the Chest of Erebus issue, thus erasing the shroud.
Although he still could not wrap his head around the twin-headed giant who had an air of profoundness about him, Nostradamus had an idea or two. The Chest of Erebus itself was an ancient sacred object found from a dig in a former place of worship, and around the shrines were twin-headed corpses of beings that once ruled the land which bore a striking resemblance with the giant’s shape.
But now was not the time for those things. Nostradamus looked up at the sky and shook his headit was already the dead of night.
“I’ll report to Israel tomorrowagain,” he told Joshua. “He probably would have been keeping tabs, but it’s now a must, given this mess. Joshua, you’re a great help once more, now the entire Imperial Mage Guild owes you”
Joshua, who had been ruffling Ling and Ying’s hair absent-mindedly, exclaimed loudly the moment he heard Israel’s name, his eyes glinting. He finally found out what that persisting idea was.
Ignoring the elderly mage, his brain whirled as he recalled the information he kept from the preexistence.
Israel Diamond, Emperor of the North, had perished; his date of passing was either late Starfall 839 or early Starfall 840. There had been a discrepancy of no less than two months since the royal family had initially concealed the fact.
The sudden passing of the monarch at the prime of his middle-age had sent tremendous shockwaves across the Empire. Not only did the death of a Legendary champion dealt a huge blow to the capabilities of the Imperial elite forces, other factions began to lust after the land, putting their weight behind squabbling princes and princesses since Israel did not leave a will behind.
As seven prince and princesses ignited a civil war, the damage far surpassed the war with orcs. Furthermore, the Empire never did have a firm grip over the Dark Forest territories since the Age of Developmentand under the strife most turned semi-independent.
Overnight, the Northern Empire returned to a state worse than ten years ago.
The rest was history. Nonetheless, Joshua remained baffled as to why a Legendary champion would suddenly pass away in the middle of his prime.
After all, he was Legendarya god amongst man, one who would be a demigod who could summon rain and thunder if it were ancient times. Their brute strength could destroy world shields and soar around space as they willed. Indeed, Joshua would be the first person who would call it out as a lie for an individual of such threshold of power to suddenly die.
Nonetheless, he did sense Israel’s dark wounds at the core of his life at the Glorious Main Hall.
Such dark wounds must have been a deficit formed from burnt out lifeforce, along with some sort of injury inflicted by an enemy before Israel attained his Legendary status. It would never stop draining Israel’s lifeforce even if it were Legendary elites. Rumor has it that shoots from the Lifetree could heal such damage, but it seems that Israel failed.
Still, Israel should not have died just because of that in five or six years. He was ultimately a Legendary, famed for his physique as a dragon rider and should have no problems weathering his injury for another one or two decades.
But now Joshua generally understood the reason for his sudden passing.
It was the crystal he now held in his hand.
If Joshua did not change the turn of events and allowed everything to flow like before, Nostradamus and Israel would have combined to handle the Black Shroud incident as the Imperial Mage Guild spiraled into confusion. As a Legendary being, Israel would naturally be able to sense the oddity within the Chest of Erebus and stay unaffected by the Divine Dungeon Shroud.
Perhaps the Emperor too would have mingled with the God of Fortune and Despair, just as Joshua did. Still, Diamond was not a carefree being like Joshuaeven if he did not desire godhood, he would probably want to know how to heal his own wounds.
And Ogner was, in the end, an Ougelthe deity of what was eventually seen as ogres, man-eating creatures in novels of the preexistence. Therefore, He was unlikely to be aware of any radical solution, and hence would have simply taught the Emperor how to nurture divinity. If successful, such wounds would not even matter.
But the fact remained that nurturing divinity was no simple task. Under certain circumstances, it could be far deadlier than the dark wounds that drain lifeforce.
Turning aside to the old mage who was sighing at the direction of the Morlaix Palace, Joshua appeared thoughtful.
Perhaps he has a way to help this Emperor who would die an early death?
There was a simple reason to why Joshua should help. However, it was not for his own profit or to spare the Empire’s citizens from the toil of civil war, much less having one more Legendary fighteror betteragainst the Abyss in the days to come.
The warrior never thought about such complicated issues.
“I’ve never fought against him in full-power,”Joshua mumbled softly, shaking his head before drawing back his hands and cracking his joints.
“How could it not be a misfortune to die so early.”