Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
The entire sky was filled with falling snow, and the land became pale-white in an instant. Despite the calamitous and hostile weather, a man stood amongst the clouds, splitting the gloomy vapor, while another stood on firm ground, against the raging frost.
It was Joshua who stood in the air. His eyes churned as if lava, releasing a scorching flow of lifeforce.
On the land too, was a glare that could melt ice and punch a hole through steely stone.
At the moment, the warrior was not in a state bound by his own existence. An energy surge that could be described as a storm was wafting from his body, vaporizing and repelling snowy condensation over a kilometer around him. Circles of radiance were also being pouring out, making the warrior appear as blinding as a second sun.
His aural compression radiated lifeforce towards his environmentclashing against the desolating cold of that man on the land. The atmosphere between the pair twisted and surged, with rays of violent purple bolts spreading cracking sounds of explosion.
There was no doubt the other individual was Herlas. The current great priest of the Evil God of Calamity, a champion at the pinnacle of Supreme.
His enemy, his opponent.
Locking down on his target, Joshua inhaled sharply. The airflow around him cascaded like a cyclone over the land, and the lifeforce as abundant as a sea started to whirl urgently and explode like a volcanic furnace, setting free heats that could melt steel and stones.
All his enemies tend to have one end.
That was why the warrior raised his hands.
On the surface, the man who did not seem to be too mindful of anything or anyone, too raised his own hands.
By the banks of Magel’s Unfrozen River, two men who appeared to be adventurers and wearing white and light winter robes were hidden between the trees.
The pair carried exquisitely crafted longswords on their hips and a heavy crossbow on their backs. Their equipment was therefore excellent, and from the energies moving around him anyone could tell that one was a Gold champion while the other a Silver.
Hail and snowstorms would not even make adventurers of this level grimace. However, both were trembling amidst the thicketafraid of making a false move.
[Iron Fist] Socrasson was a knight who made his name at the Northeastern deserts of the Empire. During his Silver-tier days, the gray-haired man once dismantled a Silver-pinnacle metallic constructed that had run amok, thereby gaining his nickname. After more than ten years, the swashbuckling rider who once roamed the wasteland had become a calm and collected elite adventurer.
Throughout the years, his ability had risen and had now reached Gold, and had joined the famous archaeological expedition team [Eye of Kaiser].
At the moment, he was leading his own apprentice and was prepared to head for the meeting point beneath Mount Mordus from the team’s camp in the main city. It was then that they unexpectedly stumbled upon this scene that he did not even dare to take a deep breath.
“Sir, those two are” Beside him, the apprentice knight spoke with a soft and shaky voice. The youth stared with fear as well as slight anticipation at the standoff between the two by the river.
“I don’t know.” Socrasson shook his head before adding with a deep voice as the younger man appear disappointed, “What I do know is that both of them had surpassed the limits of ordinary. They are champions who reached Supreme.”
Supreme! It was such a simple term but bore such heavy implications at the same time. Even the apprentice knew that it clearly meant the ascendancy of an Empire or a major faction. If adventurers such as them reached Supreme they would carve their name deeply into history. If they were to defect to other factions, they would be able to lead an army, rule a land or attain a noble rank of count.
The fight between the two Supreme champions was the equivalent to a skirmish between two armies of a hundred thousand strong, and naturally they would also deal the same carnage to the environment. That was why Socrasson was regretting a little that he had journeyed too early and came into such close proximity to them.
If the pair did start fighting, he and his apprentice would definitely get caught in the shockwaves no thanks to the short distance.
Still, why would two Supreme champions appear in Moldavia to battle?
As master and apprentice pondered, the air over riverbank thundered. They quickly looked up to discover streaks of draught spiraling between the two, the incredible force whipping the air into semi-visible ripples, tearing the gloomy clouds into contorted vapors.
The vapors then started swirling under the buffeting gales. An invisible hand seemed to be pulling down the split clouds and grabbing the chilling water from Magel’s, packaging it into a hurricane that pillars the sky and surface below.
There were now two starkly different skies. One end was radiant as if a second sun and billowing with air currents that chases away any gloomy clouds, while the other rained with stormy and chilling rain and was quickly becoming devoid of light, with the land soon became shrouded in an Abyssal darkness.
The spot where the radiance was also made the surroundings appear overcast as its center was simply too bright. Within the darkness, the light of a newborn star was cast due to the enormous gathering of energies.
Socrasson and his apprentice gaped at the sight, the horrifying scene gripping them down to their marrow and making them retreat a few steps. It was only now that they truly understood the reason why Supreme champions only fought at isolated locationsthe mere exchange of breath before the fight itself was more than sufficient to bring natural disasters and deal severe damage.
“The extinction of magic, the dispersion of elementsso that’s what two Supreme combatants could do! Those gales and hurricanes are formed from their clashing lifeforce!”
Socrasson was muttering to himself as he touched his own sword and feeling the surge of power within. “This place is now the death of mana! Even the magical circuits in enchanted weapons could not be activated!”
While the Golden knight calmly analyzed the situation, his apprentice had already fallen to the ground in terror, gulping, and stammering. “Th-they haven’t started fighting yet?”
“Nope.” Socrasson kept watching with a sobering expression, his eyes gathering little fine layers that helped him looked out into the distance.
Soon, he said softly, “It’s already started early on!”
Using a secret technique that allowed him to acquire vision imbued with lifeforce, the gray-haired knight could ignore most distractions on the physical plane. Frenzied airflows, sand or dust could not stop his sight, which was how Socrasson could see that sensational view on the air above the riverbank.
Within the cumbersome darkness and the lightless heavy fog, deformed tentacles made from pure lifeforce reached out. More than ten meters long, each was layered with compact tumors and pregnant with indescribable dark-green objects. In moments the fog dissipated, and a gigantic creature that resembled a squid that seemed to be made up of hundreds of those tentacles appeared.
The behemoth moved, layers of energy surging through its veins and accelerating the tentacles to move at several times the speed of sound. Their tips were so fast Socrasson simply could not keep up with them with his eyes as they charged towards the radiant zone, cracking the air thunderously.
However, a red-black palm reached out from the illuminated area and caught the tentacle handily. From the silhouette’s lifeforce that was akin to an ocean, fluorescence quickly gathered and soon materialized into a giant man that stood in the air and kept gaining in size.
Ten meters, twenty meters, thirty meters. In the end, the giant stood upon the ground, its height that was above a hundred meters giving it an appearance of a majestic mountain.
Reeling back from its first foiled attack, the squid behemoth threw out its other tentacles too, the chain of impacts booming across the horizon. However, the giant made of light simply caught all of them. As it slowly solidified, six arms that were tough as concrete moved around steadily, chopping off and shattering each tentacle into shards of light with its punches.
This was a scene that could only be witnessed by champions who possess lifeforce vision. In the real world, all the young apprentice could see was thunderous booms across the horizon as well as intense contortions and shockwaves in the air that detonating.
Socrasson, on the other hand, could see the melee between two titans. And although the beast’s attacks were easily parried, it was five times the size of the giant. If this continued, it would be the giant of light’s defeat.
“Combat Aura Steel Armor: External Ignition form!”
The name suddenly came into the Gold knight’s memory, something his grandfather who happened to be a priest assigned to the oasis once told him.
In this world, humans were the master of all living things and took over the most bountiful lands on the physical continent, not because of their dominating tyranny but thanks to their ability to learn, improve and gain wisdom.
It is through wisdom that mankind could incessantly analyze the abilities creatures and races of the land possessed, perform research that takes it to the next level as skills and spells that mages or warriors used in battle.
Nevertheless, there ware some innate powers that could never be learnedand the Combat Aura Steel Armor was one of them. It was a technique developed from imitating the abilities as well as the phenomenon of ancient dragons, Legendary beast, and behemoths.
Still, only the naturally gifted genius, whose aura and lifeforce is so concentrated they no longer resemble humanor more precisely, ‘monsters’ could learn such skills.
Furthermore, if they did completely master it, the human would unleash the powers that move the earth of Legendary beastswith a human body!
Man’s civilization was built through the ingenuity that creates all sorts of tools, steel armors being one of the earliest patents to withstand the fang and claws of vicious creatures. The more powerful it was, the more powerful the armor should bethe most primitive concept of Combat Aura Steel Armor.
“No, not yet. No matter who it was, the aural steel armor is still not complete!”
As the giant of light and tentacled behemoth continued their death struggle, leaves of the trees where Socrasson and his apprentice took shelter were blown away. However, he did not seem to intend to retreatthe Gold knight even made one ginger step forwardhis eyes flashing a blinding glint of desire.
“This is just a prototype form!” He said as he looked on at the distant battle, his voice low and shaking. “Regardless of who they are they’ve only made a copy in generalthe nucleus ‘Steel Armor’ still has not appeared And they’re just Supreme!”
Combat Aura Steel Armor is an extremely powerful Legendary combat skill. Since time immemorial, any existence that could utilize it were nothing less than ‘colossal titans’. So, despite the fact that the pair here were just Supreme combatants, to be able to recreate a general silhouette meant that they would definitely improve into Legendary!
For Socrasson, to be able to witness the fight between these men was a coincidence worth marveling. As long as he did not die from the aftershock, he would definitely learn countless essence of power.
And it was then that the two gigantic beings broke the stalemate.
While thunder and lightning echoed across the sky, the tentacle monster suddenly made a burst at full strength and rolled its body that was larger than mountains, dashing towards the giant of light. At the same time, its tentacles extended urgently as the dark-green ulcers on it erupted, releasing waves of bizarre precipitation of green life energies, sticking on the body of the giant.
The giant of light could have dodged or resisted at first, but it froze as soon as the curious green sap had latched on to it. Then, as if living, the green liquid lifeform wormed its way across the giant’s body and formed circuits of fluorescence that stopped the giant entirely.
After that, the squid monster simply crashed in a hill-shaking rumble. Tentacles quickly shot out like bullets and contracted, imprisoning the giant firmly within its own embrace. The stalwart protrusions then slowly constricted like a python over its prey, intending to do utterly shatter the giant.
“This is bad!” Socrasson exclaimed in shock. He was no foolof course he could tell that the tentacled beast was not on the side of humans.
Additionally, having heard of the rumors regarding the cultist presence in Moldavia, how would he be unable to guess the identity of the individual? Now that he saw the Supreme champion of the Cult of Pestilence had taken the initiative, he could not help but worry for the giant of light.
If they did win this one, the entire Northern Realm and not just Moldovia would fall into a tremendous upheaval!
Joshua was indeed in a disadvantageous situation right then.
The warrior had never learned any technique. Combat Aura Steel Armor or not, what he created just now was just the simple compressing of his incomparable lifeforce, shaped into what he thought would be useful in a fight and thrown out hastily against his opponent’s own lifeforce incarnation.
Originally, Joshua’s body was just slightly above averageonly almost considered genius. Without the attachment of the system panel, he would only be able to break into the threshold of Gold just before thirty-five, reaching Supreme by fifty after the Mana Tide invaded. As for Legendary, it was a matter of miraculous serendipity.
Nevertheless, the warrior broke through, acknowledged by the Azurite and kept making new breakthroughs in the empowerment of his physical body.
One hundred and thirteen thousand, eight hundred and ninety-twothat was Joshua’s kill count of Chaos minions in different dimensions such as Illgner and Karlis. The Azurite then converted their Chaos force and imbued them as pure lifeforce within the warrior’s body. It refreshed, cleansed, and strengthened his composition, gifting him a horrific physicality that eclipsed giant dragons and Abyssal demons.
Right now, Joshua was using all the power stored within the Azuritea composite of lifeforce that made one man’s power comparable to tens of thousands of others, or even that of demons. That was how Joshua formed the giant of light akin to the Combat Aura Steel Armor.
But that was simply not enough against Herlas’s accumulation over decades.
The sheer magnitude of power the High Priest of the Cult of Pestilence possessed was several times that of the warrior. Joshua was also aware that it was definitely stronger than most Legendary champions.
Still, his own proficiency at controlling that power was better, and could fight on level terms with the abomination. All it takes, however, was a moment of carelessness to lose the initiative.
“As expected of Herlasthe one who would lead the Cult of Pestilence to ravage the West Mountain, and a Chosen who would not die even after being encircled and assaulted by five Legendary fighters.”
In the heart of the giant of light being enveloped within those tentacles, the warrior sighed in genuine awe. “I’ll definitely lose to you in terms of pure lifeforce.”
However, fights are not determined by who possessed greater power!
His lips curling up ferociously, Joshua suddenly had a thought and waved his right hand.
Outside, Socrasson could see the bound giant suddenly punching out with a force that could pierce the earth.
In a flash, more than ten of those tentacles were shattered, the resulting shockwave pouring up to the sky and clearing the sky from the gloomy clouds.
“But that’s not enough to break free!”
The Gold-tier knight was relieved for but a brief moment; he understood that this did not really help. The tentacled abomination possessed hundreds of appendages that could regrow in an instant, and the suppression of just a single arm was not enoughnot even for striking an opponent.
But in the very next moment, Socrasson and the tentacled monster watched on in shock as the freed hand thundered forward. The horrendous reverberation throughout the northwest of the Great Ajax Mountains caused an avalanche over the snowy mountains. The Gold-tier knight was thrown to the ground, lying prone by buffeting winds that suffocated.
Straining even to look up, Socrasson could see ita blinding fist, glinting in red-gold radiance like lava swinging out, pounding ferociously on the core of the tentacle monster!
In the blink of an eye, the multitude of tentacles freed and revealed the battered body of the giant that remained standing on its ground!