As part of the Far South Sea, Anos Abyss was not vast. If it were notfor the violent storm and the raging tides, any ordinary sailing vessel with three masts could make it through the region within half a month. However, because of the bad weather in the region, even an enchanted ark like the Epoch would have to go through perilous areas before it could sail to the center of Anos Abyss.
In the middle of the dark storm, the rain resembled a gray curtain that covered everything in the area. However, a huge ark which gleamed with a warm white light broke through the waves as it was moving towards its destination. There were many divine runes that spun above of the ark. A gemstone like a small sun flowing with positive energy appeared and launched a blinding light directly at the center of the sea.
That ark was carrying 162 crew members who are experienced in sailing through the waves and tides. Each of them possessed at least the strength of Silver. They had gone through many storms at the sea and came back alive. Hence, they deeply believed that the expedition hosted by the Church of the Seven Gods would not be any different.
The captain of the Epoch was Delhi, a strong old man with red hair. Judging from his appearance, the old man must have the bloodline of barbarians. However, he was actually a man from the military and was very meticulous and attentive. It was because of his discipline and his tough body that this old man who was over sixty years old remained strong to sail through the waves across the sea.
Delhi possessed the strength of Silver advanced. When he was young, he managed to approach the border of Gold tier. However, he did not break through that barrier. Hence, he remained Gold advanced ever since. Time waited for no man, as always. Even though his body remained powerful and tough and he was still capable of controlling his combat aura smoothly and precisely. Delhi was getting older and was gradually weakening. He no longer had the will nor the strength to achieve Gold tier.
At that time, the rainstorm came through like an endless stream of waterfall. The great waves hit on the sides of the ark. The red-haired old man held a cigar in his hands pursed his lips as he stood on the edge of the ship. The enchanted pipe made of agate wood was extinguished by the sea water that splashed all over the deck. Yet, white smoke still rose the pipe. There was a tall man dressed in black standing beside the captain. That man seemed to be deep in thought as he stared at the colossal waves rolling in the sea.
The tall manwas Joshua. He observed the waves next to Delhi. The two of them started a conversation.
The reason why the two of them could have a casual conversation was that of a small accident that happened a while ago. Because of her shrunken size, Black would accidentally lose control of her own body as the fire element energy in her body would overflow when she was in her human form. She would unintentionally spit Dragon’s Breath and wreck some of the facilities of the ark. About two days ago, Black had accidentally used Dragon’s Breath a little too much that the breath penetrated two floors. That blast had also almost burned the red-haired old man into a crisp.
Delhi did not mind about an accident though. As Joshua spoke with the old man, he found that the old man came from the Novice Village where Joshua started the game in the past life. It was the Alpha Harbor located at Ansur Province by the coast of the sea along the Far South Kingdom.
Although the red-haired old man was wondering why a fellow nobleman of the Empire would be so familiar with a coastal city, he did not bother himself too much with that question. Both of them recalled the customs of the simple folks and the hospitality in the Ansur Province. They also talked and commented on the local delicacies of the place. Captain Delhi had been away from home since he started sailing about forty years ago. He had yet to sail back to his home since. Even though he did not treat the warrior who was familiar with his homeland as his best buddy, he had changed the way he looked at the cold-looking Count who hailed from the Empire.
As the two of them were having a good time chatting with each other, roaring was heard from far away. A dragon’s roar was heard loud and clear right after the waves rippled and swayed. A blue dragon and a black dragon broke the surface of the sea on both sides of the ark. Both of the dragons moved alongside the ark which was sailing forward.
With protection from both the dragons, the ark sailed forward faster than before. Dehli shook the smoking pipe he held in his hand and smiled. “So, let’s chat again soon, Count Radcliffe. You are nothing like the rumors said you were. You are noble and worthy of respect.”
“Rumors?” he frowned as he had no idea his reputation had been tainted, Joshua felt strange and he was a little confused. However, he did not have the time to think about that. So he greeted the old man and said, “So, we shall chat another time then, Captain Delhi.”
After saying that, he patted the shoulder of the old man.
The black gigantic dragon approached the deck of the ark slowly. When the dragon was about ten meters away from the ark, a giant seal about five meters long suddenly emerged out of nowhere and leaped onto the back of the black dragon.
The gigantic seal that looked like a spherical ball rested quietly on the shell of the giant dragon’s back. There were black totems across its fat body. When the black dragon moved closer to the ark, it simply flipped its tail as it leaped into the air. Then, the seal turned back to the shape of a human being and remained in midair as it steadily landed on the deck of the Epoch.
It was a young elf with a lean body figure. He looked delicate. His long black hair was tied into a high ponytail. The complexion of the young elf was a little reddish and he looked a little tired. He looked like he had just done a series of vigorous exercises.
Other than the patterns of totems that was hidden underneath his clothes, there was no other way to match that elf to the seal he was a moment ago.
“What’s wrong, Joshua? Why don’t you accompany your dragon and have a swim in the sea with her?”
After catching his breath, Hill slowly walked to the warrior. He waved at the blue dragon that was on the other side of the ark. The Ocean Bladed Dragon, which had a horn on top of her head, also nodded back at the elf before diving back into the sea.
“I’ll pass,” Joshua narrowed his eyes as he witnessed the young elf turned himself from the seal back to his human form. Then he spoke softly, “I don’t have any trick to transform myself into an oceanic creature However, you look so round when you transform yourself into the seal. So how exactly do you swim then?”
“ That is a secret skill that a druid possesses.”
After staying silent for a brief moment, Hill tried to end the conversation. He turned around and looked at the red-haired captain who was leaving the deck. Then he asked the warrior doubtfully, “Did you pour some life force into him?”
Even though he sounded skeptical, he sounded confident. As one of the druids from an elven tribe that was most sensitive to life force, Hill was completely sure that Joshua had poured quite an amount of life force into Delhi when he patted the old man on his shoulder. Even though the red-haired captain did not seem to realize it, time would tell. Along with the improvement from the life force being pumped into him, the old man’s gray hair would slowly turn black again. His strength that was deteriorating with his deteriorating aging body would recover again. Perhaps then he could break the barrier into Gold tier.
“It is just an attempt.”
Joshua was not bothered by that at all. He lowered his head and looked at the black dragon that dove back into the sea. Then he spoke gently, “Lifeforce will not be harmful in any way.”
Ever since he boarded the ark, he had obtained many more information about Order and Chaos from the Azurite. Joshua had slowly understood many methods to control the Sage’s Legacy. One of them was how to adjust and transfer life forcebefore that, the warrior could only heal his body by accepting the life force from the Azurite. Now, he had learned how to control the life force and he could direct the life force specifically to the vital spots that he wanted to heal first.
Within the Azurite, the life force obtained from combusting Chaos was as abundant as the sea. Giving out only a tiny amount of life force to the others was also something Joshua recently learned to do. Since he noticed that the captain was very friendly and the two of them could really connect, the warrior decided to help a new friend.
“Let’s not talk about that. Why didn’t you follow Ms. Funa? Why are you riding on the back of my dragon?”
The black dragon had dive deep into the depths of the sea to scout the region of the sea ahead of them. Joshua stared into the dark waves in the middle of the heavy storm and asked Hill, “Aren’t you worried that Funa might be jealous?”
“The sea water around Black is warmer. You have to know that the seawater of Anos Abyss is cold as ice!” The young elf responded to Joshua casually, “I’ve never actually gone diving with Funa before. The electrical current around her is too much to bear, you get what I mean? I need to stay far away before I become toast.”
It was obvious that the warrior was not the only person who was willing to chat. Because no one was there to start a new topic, the deck of the ark was silent. Standing in the middle of the howling storm, Hill sighed. He said ruefully, “You are really not a dragon knight.”
In order to become a dragon knight, one must possess great martial art to suppress and control their mounts. However, one must possess the ability to communicate charmingly and excellently. That was how one could convince the giant dragons to cooperate with the person willingly.
“I’m not a dragon knight, that’s for sure. My mount just turned out to be a dragon. That’s all.” Joshua who possessed Charm above 200 nodded and replied the elf patiently, “Actually, having a mount is not convenient at all. That’s why it has been a long time since I rode Black into the battlefield.”
“Even as a warrior, you are still abnormal.” After looking at the body of Joshua from head to toe, Hill frowned and said, “Normally, an ordinary warrior will learn and train in many special arts, skills, and specialized abilities. Or else their strength will not be able to catch up with the other classes of the same level as they are. But you”
Looking at the body of the warrior once more, the young elf came up with a conclusion. “You are only refining one ‘Kokyu-ho’ now, nothing else!”
If the performance of the warrior had not spread to the other kingdoms around the Imperial City and if the warrior had not slain a Marine Abyssal Dragon, Hill might have been doubtful of the strength that Joshua possessed based on only rumors. Knowing that one did not practice any sort of special skills or even a secret skill, the elf knew that the warrior was training himself in an incomplete manner. He should be much weaker than the other classes of the same level as he was.
“There are many reasons regarding that.” Staring at sea, Joshua understood the doubts Hill had. He folded both of his arms before his chest and slowly replied, “One of the main reasons is the time is not right yet.”
The warrior knew the reason why the young elf said that. In fact, Roland had also asked the same question a few days back. The holy knight believed that the warrior did not get the chance to learn all sorts of secret skills or special skills because the warrior’s father had passed away too early. Believing that the warrior had lost all of the legacies of his own family, the holy knight had even suggested that he was willing to teach the warrior some of the secret skills of the church.
Naturally, Joshua rejected the goodwill of the holy knight.
The so-called special skills and secret skills were the same as Kokyu-ho. They were not part of the skills that could benefit from permanent buffs. Due to the limit of a human body, one could only receive a limited number of buffs. Hence, every warrior who sought to become stronger every day would determine his own future specialized abilities and work their best to train all their chosen abilities to the max.
Joshua also had his own goal. As a Legendary warrior in the past life, he had set his sights far. He did not even want to waste his time learning some ordinary specialized abilities and skills. What the warrior wanted were extraordinary specialized abilities such as the [All Seeing Eye], [Paranthropus Body], and [Perfect Reflexes]. One must attain at least Supreme-tier before one could start learning all those skills.
Because he already possessed Strength Mastery, his body could withstandmore permanent buffs than the ordinary people. However, Joshua was not going to change his own plan just because of that. He would not waste his time and space to learn some ordinary specialized skills. Furthermore, he had just crossed into Supreme not long ago. And now he had ventured into Anos Abyss. So, the warrior did not possess any other specialized abilities besides ‘Steel Armor Kokyu-ho’.
Perhaps, it was already time for him to prepare himself for that. Joshua nodded as he remained in silence. He had already possessed the strength of Supreme. He also possessed a tremendous amount of combat aura from slaughtering Chaos beings. The power of the warrior was in fact much higher than his own level because of that. He had already met many conditions by training quite a lot of extraordinary specialized skills now.
“In recent days, it has been quite peaceful. There was no attack at all from the sea monsters.The storms have been quite mild as well. Nothing was able to threaten the Epoch.”
Next to the warrior, Hill was also muttering to himself, “If we can just arrive at the shore nearby the Great Central Whirlpool, then we should be able to complete our mission easily.”
Upon hearing that word, Joshua laughed. He shook his head and smiled at the young elf. “Mr.Hill, do you really believe that?’
The warrior’s smile was cold. The elf shrugged, feeling a little uncomfortable. Then he asked the warrior doubtfully, “We are really sailing peacefully now, aren’t we? Ever since we encountered the Marine Abyssal Dragon, the Epoch had not encountered even one sea monster for a few days. Even though the storms were a little strong, everything seems to be normal in Anos Abyss so far.”
Joshua shook his head and said, “Although it is really unbelievable to say this, my friend”
Suddenly, the sky was filled with dark clouds as thunder began to roar. A series of lightning began to spread across the sky like spider webs. The sound of thunder continued to rumble across the ocean. The storm began to turn even denser as if the black sea was about to flip the entire world.
The young elf was soaked by the heavy rain that came all of the sudden. He almost got choked by the water that gushed into his nose and his mouth. The warrior was covered by a layer of red combat aura that repelled the rain and the splashes of seawater.
Joshua seemed to have predicted what would happen when he said those words. He lifted his head and looked at the lightning in the sky and calmly said, “There will never be peace as long as I am around.”
The humongous waves suddenly turned even more terrifying with the rampant storm that was blowing. A wave that rose higher than ten meters suddenly gushed toward the ark. The entire sea appeared as if the water was actually boiling.
“Holy heavens, I have never seen a wave like this for over twenty years!”
Captain Delhi who went back to his cabin witnessed the rising wave through the crystal screen. He was shocked to witness the storm outside. Then he cursed and took a deep draw of his smoking pipe. “The last time I encountered such a storm was when the underwater volcano erupted in the distant sea at a cape. So what is the reason now? What are we encountering this time?”
Even though the vice-captain seemed a little pale from shock, he did not flinch. He was barking actively, “This is Anos Abyss, the mother of all hells. Captain, don’t you feel terrified about it?”
“Bullsh*t!” Staring into the eyes of the vice-captain, the old red-haired man spoke with a heavy tone, “If we are sailing the broken ships we used to sail on, perhaps I’ll be scared. But we are sailing on the Epocheven if we are sailing straight into the underworld, I shall not fear anything at all! Let alone this drizzle!”
Even though those were the exact words spoken from the captain’s mouth, everyone on board did not dare to behave carelessly. In just a few seconds, most of the crew members returned to their posts. They were responsible for manning the arsenals inside the ark to resist the rampant waves that surged in the sea.
On the deck of the ark, Joshua and Hill did not take shelter in the cabin. The young elf observed his surroundings as if he was looking for something. At the same time, Joshua remained calm as he looked at the tumbling sea.
Not long after that, two gigantic shadows broke off the surface of the sea. A blue dragon and a black dragon leaped out of the water and transformed into their human forms bright before they landed on the deck. Funa and Black seemed baffled. They noticed the sudden change in the ocean. It felt very bizarre. That was when they immediately got out of the sea. However, they did not expect that the rampant waves were that bad. They did not expect to be greeted by a heavy storm the moment they broke out of the water. It remained unknown what had caused the storm to grow heavier.
Right after they left the surface of the water and climbed on board of the ark, black waves rose from the depths of the sea, one wave after another. Even though the sea region of Anos Abyss was known as the Black Sea, that was because of the dark clouds and the clear sea water that reflected the sky, making the entire sea looked black. However, because of some black powder of unknown origin gushing from the depths of the sea, the entire region of the sea had turned completely black.
Unlike Black who seemed to be ignoring most of the things that were happening around it, the blue-haired draconic lady frowned. She knew that the black waves were the bizarre ocean currents that she and Black sensed earlier on. Based on her instinct, Funa believed that those bizarre phenomena were the reason why there was no sea monster around the ark for the past few days. Something was in the air and she could smell it.
“It is coming,” Joshua whispered to himself.
The huge ark that was sailing forward rapidly had gradually slowed down. Screams and shouts rang in the interior of the ark. The black seawater that came into contact with the ark was flowing with fascinating colorful light.
“The magic energy is leaking!” Hill and Funa had noticed that. Their faces turned grim. Even though the Epoch belonged to the Church of the Seven Gods, the ark would still need the enchanted engines that were powered by the mages to keep sailing. The black seawater that were mixed with some unknown substances seemed to be absorbing all of the magic energy in the sea. All elements in everything had gone silent, leaving only the holy light runes beneath the ark glowing with holy light. That was how the ark was able to resist the impacts of the incoming waves.
In the sky, the black smoky shroud was gradually spreading into the dark clouds. The shroud was devouring the thunder and the light in the sky, causing the storm to turn dark as well, which eventually turned the entire region of the sea dark too. The only thing that was shining was the Nuclear Star that was located on the top floor of the Epoch.
The sea seemed to have turned into a cage of darkness.