Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
“Have to say, such awe-inspiring talent.”
Rising from his seat, Igor studied the warrior with his real eyes. The pope was not in the best of health, that much was clear as he stood up. However, anyone could clearly sense a tremendous power lying within the thin and frail body, as grand and majestic as the forces of nature.
“I know that there are existences that possess heaven-gifted abilities,” he said, his tone grave and gruff. “Since their birth, they have displayed all sorts of natural talentssuch as elemental control, communication with beasts or the ability to see the flow of energy in all things.”
Igor spread his left fingers and looked down carefully at the holy light that whirls at his palm. “Such beings include me, Emperor Israel and Vahina, Sage of the Eastern Sea. As the saying goesgive ‘The Chosen’ a chance and their ability would grow by leaps and bounds.”
The old man’s tone soon became doubtful and curious.
“Joshua, I’ve heard about your past,” he said, leveling his golden gaze to the warrior’s crimson. “In the past twenty years, you’ve stayed largely anonymous, living like a typical heir of nobles. Even in the army, you’ve relied on family connections to get a plain position without making any eye-catching achievements.
“Thus your first twenty years ended like a grain of sand in the beach. But two years after your father’s passing, you rose like a meteor. Before this, I’ve said that was due to your sage inheritance, but now I think that was inaccurate.”
“Then, does Your Holiness believe that I’m a Chosen?”
Although Joshua knew that his body was as ordinary as any other that flowed with plain human blood, he did not feel weirded out by Igor’s attitude. Anyone would be shocked to see the extent of his improvement. Most of them would believe that he was naturally gifted, but those who knew more would naturally find all sorts of reasons and excuses for him.
Be it ‘Sage’s Legacy’ or ‘Chosen’, all are reasons and excuses. In the end, Joshua did not have to say a thing and there would be those who would write a detailed explanation. The people of this world never were the suspicious kindthey were more used to connect anything special with things they were familiar with as well as their knowledge scope.
But what does that have to do with divinity?
“That’s right.” Igor did not hold back on his hypothesis. “I believe that you have awakened your innate talent as a Chosen after the passing of the last Moldavian count. Hidden powers awakened by intense emotions were not rare throughout historybut more importantly, you should know what your innate gifts are.”
The elder nodded, as if assuring himself of the validity of his own speculation. “Now, it looks like it could be ‘plunder’. You will attain what you defeat, which in turn accelerates your improvementit’s a common trait in powerful demons of the Abyss.”
After hearing the last part, Joshua’s expression twitched. He was not thinking about the pope’s guesses, but was remembering that voice he heard in the Bloodmoon Abyss.
It was the moment he triumphed against Mandagar that a majestic, mysterious and androgynous voice echoed in his mind. It wanted Joshua to stay there, and become its liege.
That probably was what was known as the ‘Will of the Abyss’. Like the Steel Python Joshua encountered at Karlis and Illgner, the incarnation of a world’s mind.
Its purposeful invitation was undoubtedly an acknowledgment of the warrior’s depthand along with Igor’s reasoning, he could not help start suspecting he had such an aspect. After all, his power of the Glorious Light collects the soul shards of the defeated to increase its own power. To describe it as plunder was perfectly apt.
Noticing his change in expression, Igor shook his head and smile. “Don’t worry, Joshua. Even if it is an Abyssal demon trait, it isn’t rare for humans to possess it. To grab power from the loser, after all, is a common thing.”
“According to the texts, during the ancient era where the first sages discovered aura along with breathing skills, that sort of skill has already been observed. It was exactly because they could rob daemons off their lifeforce and mana that they could put in a cornerstone for the human forces.”
The old pope returned to his seat and shook his head lightly after a brief silence.
“To be frank, Joshua, however fast your power improves it would only make me happier. As an agent of Order and the heir of the Sages, you would only have my sincerest blessings even if you turn Legendary now.”
“Still” Igor sighed, his gaze towards Joshua welling with golden sacred light. “Combat, slaughter, destruction Such divinity just isn’t too benevolent. Still, you giving it form meant that it is the best suit for you. Along with the gift of plunder, perhaps that is the reason your impressive rise in ability.”
Apart from that ‘rise in ability’ part, the old pope was spot on. Even Joshua nodded agreeablyhe does feel that this divinity was too out of bounds. Combat is still alright since it fits the warrior’s nature, but slaughter and destruction were simply too malevolent.
He did not enjoy both though
Suddenly, he stopped and narrowed his eyes. He was remembering how he lay waste to the millions of daemons and Chaos existences, demolishing the landscape and entire buildings without realizing it.
Come to think of it, it was not that weird to develop such divinity.
“You’ve already experienced that pure and infinite power divinity boasts.”
The pope’s ancient and clear voice echoed in the hall, a ray of golden sunshine reflecting off his face as he sat on his white chair. Igor was not looking at Joshua anymore, and looked up towards the ceiling of the Great Altar painted with celestial bodies and the sky. Streaming Holy Light ripples made them appear alive, with an indistinct holy chorus.
“I could see clearly that your divine power came from anger. The stately strength that comes from one of the bases of our world allowed to kill a crystal dragon despite the mismatch.” Igor’s gaze was tranquil. “That is why you would definitely understand the splendor of the power and its constraints.
“Exactly,” Joshua replied lowly. Now, he finally understood the reason he was summoned to the Great Altar at the summit of Sacred Mountain. “That monumental power was over the top. It was like a great river that does not stop crashing around, or a tidal wave that consumes everything. You would be sucked in even by touching it lightly, turning into nothing but a little splash.”
“If I didn’t free myself from that strength I would have been torn apart by it to the very depths of my soul.”
“That’s exactly how it is.” Igor nodded seriously, his tone decisive. “‘Divinity’ is the simplest concept in this world, and only the simplest fellows could earn it by fate and chance. And it would be hard to manipulate because of that, and would annihilate the user in one split second of carelessness.”
Suddenly, the pope laughed. “Joshua, you’re a man who loves to fight. There would be more combats against the Chaos where you tear down your enemies. When the time comes and they are too powerful, you won’t hesitate to unleash your divine powers.”
The wrinkled old man shook his head while flashing a bitter smile. “If that’s the case, you would destroy everything including yourself.”
“Allow me to say something a little selfish. As long as the Sage’s Legacy is incomplete, I won’t let you die for some foolish reason. It’s a lucky coincidence that the Church still stores some information regarding divinity, and it does explain the experience and methods of handling it.”
“And now, I shall instruct you in those ways.”