Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
There was no time for Joshua to think or dodge when he saw that divine longsword that once appeared on the Abyssal battlefield and swept away the entire Demonic Legion of the Burning Blade.
It was not due to some karmic luck or airlock that he could not dodge. Quite simply, the area of effect for the Longsword of the Ashlands was too wide. Even before his opponent finished gathering the corona-like energy stream around the bale, the warrior was already unable to move out of its reach.
After all, this was the ‘Divine Sword of the Land’ known to readjust landscapes and flatten mountains and valleys!
The moment the sword tip was aimed at Joshua, energies were compressed, the dimensions trembled while an unusual mirage appeared above the skies over the western zone of the sacred mountain. There were lands set aflame, exploding volcanoes, plains covered in lava as well as many other flashes of illusionary images depicting the barren violence of Creation. The air became scorching while countless stars fell like rain.
A terrifying dominating pressure was spread across all directions. Flying dragons cried out as they plummeted down the earth, while both Supreme-tier clergies and dragons shuddered.
All the same, knights and priests stopped attacking at once, turning to look towards that plain but ancient longsword.
Evian’s face was pale. He could feel his mana, lifeforce, blood, and soul being absorbed without restraint by that horrific artifact. He felt that he would drop ill even if he were in his full-bloom dragon form.
Now, the red dragon could smell impending death.
The savagery deep within his blood was bursting. No longer giving a damn about his own life, Evian’s eyes were burning with golden-red flames as he poured soul and mana into the longsword, soon ground and mixed into a single composition of energy.
Death is never terrifyingit is life without value that was. The life of red dragons should always be fiery, just like the final glory of volcanoes at their last burst.
And he would have that human die before he did!
“Joshua! Come join me in the voi”
The last bellow of the red dragon was promptly cut short as his entire human body vanished from a mystical light, returning to his battered dragon body.
But the dragon too, soon turned gray-white, before changing into ashes that blanketed the skies, and all that was Evian was cremated and lost from this world.
Meanwhile, the Longsword of the Ashlands hovered above, its edge shining brilliantly.
Under threat of death, Joshua did no dally and quickly diverted all his spirit and aura to his chest area over his heart.
He knew that his life hung in the balance. If he did not block the attack, he would share Evian’s fate.
His heart thumped with the force of thunders, and every bit of power gushed forward in an instant. Quickly puffing up his chest, the warrior held up his arms in a cross shape over his head while lifeforce was pumped to every fiber from his heart, before converging on to his arms that had already transformed into the color of steel.
Veins tightened and muscles knotted as cumbersome aura condensed and materialized into a barrier. The green color of Order became a screen of light under the order of the Azurite, while his bones that contained divinity glinted with runes, both shrouding the warrior’s body and his weapons.
Simultaneously, the epiphany and inspiration he received from the self-destructing Nuclear Star quickly moved. In front of the warrior’s arms, that ball of red-gold fire swiftly became compact as lifeforce that changes reality mimicked the incinerating rush of heat akin to the sun’s, with aura feeding it as if a raging river.
In the next second, a heat comparable to Earth’s core spread from the sky above.
Every dust on the air was liteven the ashes that were the red dragon’s remains. An inferno blanketed the sky like the stars and soon changed into a vortex, accumulating at a single point until it became a single streak of light.
That single moment in time felt as if the War of the Sacred Mountain has stopped. Every existence that possessed a soul felt a reverberation in their hearts as they witnessed the shocking and inconceivable power.
When they looked to the sky, the energy flow has changed every natural phenomenon. Clouds were blasted into rain, the sun dimmed, the afternoon sky was now night and the stars appeared.
And amongst those celestial bodies was a dazzling red star that expanded urgently, tuning into a crimson light pillar that pierces the sky and strikes the lava earth.
The innumerable barriers and aural shields were shattered at once by the pillar. It may be incredible for one individual to create such realistic defenses against the light, but ultimately it was futile.
Under the red light, the black silhouette was bellowing. He waved his greatsword as if trying to cut something, only to be quickly devoured by the light.
That was the thought of every human and dragon. No one beneath the tier of Legendary could ever survive this attack that could either split summits or flatten it into a plain. However powerful Joshua was, the red dragon’s self-immolating strike would take him to eternal slumber.
A shockwave spread seemingly to the ends of the earth, and the entire lava crater rose in a frenzy as if being pulled up several times its sizebut soon was turned into ash too.
Then, something that nobody expects happened.
After the world-ending rumbling, a smaller explosion rang, skewing the pillar of light just by fractions of an angle. Under the rush of the colossal energy, the skew soon became unmistakable as the pillar soon swayed and finally shot towards the distant sea.
Wherever the light passed, the earth was demolished, plunging the surface several meters deeper as the western zone of the Sacred Mountain boomed. Then, a rupture formed in lava tore open by a giant sword spread, starting from the crater and extended past the ten kilometers out, parting the sea, stopping the storms and removing every cloud.
Above the land, the black sword cracked by bits before turning to dust. The replica only had one charge in it, returning to the earth afterward.
Liquid lava was swept into the sky and fell to the land like rain. As the extreme heat from the molten rocks released vapors, little twisters were formed, shrouding the entire western sea and quaking the Gray Island of Aida and sending multiple fissures into the ground.
Although the divine circuits at the altar zones could not keep out the tremors, they kept aloft and raised layers of dim gold sacred light shielding to cut off most of the shockwaves from the lava rain. Still, the rampaging quakes were unstoppable and rendered several temples useless temporarily, allowing black-gold molt to stream forward.
The dragons, however, were defenseless. Most of them who happened to be nearby was blown away by the shockwaveseven giant dragons that had grown up to twenty meters in length were no different than a fly.
Thus, the draconic troops at the western sector and the immediate vicinity was wiped out in one swift stroke, the lava rain burning all and showering the land with scorched corpses.
One way or the other, the war was given paused as the dragons that were still engaged in skirmishes quickly rushed back to help the giant dragons that had been caught in the aftershock of the Longsword’s blast. The Pentashade’s numbers were dwindling, making those adult dragons that participated in the war even more important as their mainstay. There was no way they would be allowed to die in such a meaningless manner.
Meanwhile, the Supreme-tier clergies that Robzek led also disengaged. The dragons’ lives were precious to their comrades, but so too were the clergies’. Each of them shifted into Sacred Light, split up and headed towards the temples that had lost their shielding.
If such devastation was leveled at the Sacred Mountainwould a single attack had knocked out the entire column at the west?
Nevertheless, a single golden radiance dashed out from one of the shrines and headed for the center of the pillar of light, where it stuck the lava lake.
Roland grimaced, not quite minding clergies or the dragons who were busy rescuing their comrades. All of them appear to be certain of Joshua’s demise, but the blonde holy knight did not think so. He keenly sensed that the moment that pillar of light struck the crater, a force familiar to him exploded and shoved it off by just that little fraction.
If it was a direct blow from a divine artifact, even Roland would not doubt that Joshua had perished. However, since there was that slight distortion, the holy knight would never believe that the warrior who could prevail after a direct assault by the Evil God of Calamity would simply die here!
Roland arrived at the crater in the blink of an eye, where the intense heat still lingered. Tiny seams of that horrific surge of energy echoed around, striking the holy knight’s divine light shield with banging noises. He looked down, his eyes sweeping across the blotches of lava as if trying to see the existences below it.
His expression then turned both stunned and joyful at once.
Rays of radiance were shooting out of the lava’s surface. Soon, the molten rocks were repelled by a force, and a black shadow covered in a blurred shielding appeared.
The scene did not escape the notice of a Supreme-tier white dragon, which in turn almost suffocated itself by forgetting to breathe.
Then, finally respiring normally again, it let out an outraged bellow.
“How could he not die?!”
Joshua, naturally, was not dead.
He still held his sword with a posture of cutting something down, while his axe lay sloping in front of his chest, blocking part of the explosion. He appeared to be roaringburning cinders sprayed out of his mouth and shifted into an air current, signaling his survival.
All of the warrior’s clothing had already been vaporized after the Nuclear Star imploded. He had replaced them with aural armor, which now was on the brink and about to vanish. His skin was charred as if burnt charcoal, all his blood carbonized.
But however haggard he was, Joshua was not dead and still clenching his weapons.
His muscles, and eyes were blackened, while white bones could be seen on his arms with divine runes whirling over it. His skin was now one with the piping hot steam, and there was almost no flesh or bones left.
Even as the warrior’s lifeforce was about to extinguish, the Azurite over his chest twinkled in a feeble glow. The incessant high-speed regeneration has quickly overburdened it, and the jewel was about to give in.
That was the meaning of winning.
With aura vibrating the air in place of his throat, Joshua’s eyes that were two empty sockets remained gleaming with a black-red radiance. He looked up, ‘staring’ at the air, as if teasing.
“Want to take me with you? You’re not worthy!”
As the Longsword of Ashlands unleashed its power, Joshua had crisply cleaved the fireball replica of the Nuclear Star’s implosion.
The warrior had come to grips with the Nuclear Star’s power after twice coming into close contact with itonce employing it, the other experiencing its carnage.
Although the fireball replica was rather unstable, it was exactly what he needed. As soon Ying’s divine armament form swung out, the unstable fireball imploded with a detonation far greater than Evian’s nuclear star. The chain reaction overwhelmed the warrior in no time at all, colliding with the impact overhead.
Undoubtedly, even firepower of such magnitude could not nullify the divine artifact the red dragon burned its own life to activate. In spite of that, it reacted like a reactive armor that self-destructs to protect itself from an armor-piercing bullet, and simply pushed the incomparable explosion just a little.
Ultimately, that tiny adjustment changed everything for Joshua, who only had to endure just a minuscule impulse of the divine artifact’s direct blowhis pathetic form now was a result of the self-destructive discharge.
Roland quickly ran beside the warrior, caught him by his shoulder and quickly fled.
In the next second, the spiteful onslaught thrown out by giant dragons struck the lava lake. As if sun’s light was reaching the ground, every sort of spell struck the gigantic lake of molt at once, raising another round of lava rain.
When Robzek and the others saw that Joshua was still alive, they were almost stunned into vegetable states. The commander, who had even once witnessed the warrior took every formidable offensive spell thrown at him by Mandagar in his stride, could never believe that Joshua survived such desolation. It was unimaginable, and the miracle of miracles!
Still, throwing away his shock, the silver-haired knight quickly led the other Supreme knights out to act as escorts as Roland shouldered Joshua back to the temple zone. The dragons attack might have a great effect on unshielded areas, but under overlapping Holy Light defenses, all they made were ripples. When they finally got Joshua back into the heart of the Sacred Mountain, all the dragons could only seethe, and stop their hateful strikes reluctantly.
But right now, the warrior was in a poor state.
His thunderous heartbeat was weakening; his typically fiery mental state cooling. Darkness loomed rapidly over his spirit as if it had fell into the Abyss. Other than his heart and brain, everything else was charredeven the Azurite would need hours to repair a fraction of it.
Indeed, the regeneration could rebuild the flesh and bloodthe very essence of life, but time was what Joshua now lacks.
He would not last for another five minutes.
After being carried inside one of the most majestic temples within the underground fortress of the Sacred Mountain, Joshua was spread out over a stone slab with four Supreme Great Priests around him and injecting beams of Sacred Light to animate regeneration. However, he had not a drop of living blood or flesh left, and all the cascading power of the holy light could do was keep him an inch away from death.
In the grand and time-worn temple, blackened flesh had become as dazzling as a black precious stone after being administered with Holy Light. Any remaining fire elements were discharged, while glimmering light patterns that seemed to be going out formed over his body.
There was something devastating but aesthetic about. Nonetheless, there was no sign of life.
“Not like that!”
At the rectangular center of the temple, Great Nun Bertha, the head nun of the White Seven-Sisters Rose Abbey, approached with a scowl. Her usually compassionate face seemed to carry a shred of anxiety.
“Holy Light can regenerate flesh and blood and restore life, but it only works when the one being healed still has their body intact and not resisting. Liege Radcliffe still has a beating heart, but that’s the hub of his power. Even if he allows it, we could never administer it with Holy Light!”
“I see. Holy Light isn’t enough, this requires pure lifeforce!” Garcia, a priest with dwarven blood who kept his calm and quick wits replied quickly. He was another Supreme-tier clergy who was injured by the Legendary dragon’s frost attack. A Heart of Tarrasque, or maybe”
Suddenly, a faint, elderly voice wafted from behind the various Supreme-tier individuals.
“Your Eminence, that warrior is the key to finding Father Nature.”
Roland, who had been just looking on from a corner, turned to the direction of the voices and stared, his eyes widened.
“Your Your Holiness?”
Before the exquisite murals and wall sculpting, two hazy silhouettes seemed to be forming from afar, their incredible radiance of positive energy illuminating even the ceiling.
Pope Igor’s body constituted of Holy Light. He smiled slightly as his projection here left everyone staring in surprise, before vanishing quietly. Beside him was a beautiful elven lady’s silhouette, formed in green natural energies.
Her clothes were sewn out of plants, while her head carried a crown of rubber leaves. After Pope Igor’s projection dissipated she walked towards Joshua. The Supreme-tier individuals backed-off unconsciously when she did, giving way to her respectfully.
This was because she was the Nature Magister, the chief of the great elven druids and one of the top elven leaders of this world.
“To still live at this state” She could not help but sigh and shake her head when she saw Joshua’s condition, before flashing a begrudging smile. “Igor convinced me to fight the Pentashade with one line, and now wants me to save a life too”
“Well, it doesn’t matter if you are the indeed the key to finding Father Nature as he said” After musing to herself, the elf took out a warm green orb of light.
In the heart of the orb was an unsullied translucent material. It resembled a crystal, but was much more malleable and less sturdy, and was dispersing concentrated life energies all the time.
“The Heartwood of the Lifetree!”
Someone within the crowd quickly gasped in awe. Unaffected by the distraction, the nature magister walked before the warrior, and pressed the Heartwood over Joshua’s own heart without hesitation.
Green luster sparkled.
Thumping heartbeats rang across the entire temple again.