Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Starfall Year 833.
As if layers of frozen ripples, the jagged hills, and mountain ranges were covered in the colors of deep winter snow. It was late at nightvicious beasts were lurking; the birds were quiet.
And upon the sky was a slit as if a scar, allowing moonlight to fall.
Frost refracted the twin moons, the crystalline silver light illuminating Mount Mordus in a dazzling glistenat the same time, Saint Igor broke through the barriers between dimensions, arriving at the North.
An ancient hand reached out as the pope soothed the dimensional ripples around his body. He stared before him, at the objective he made this journeythe warrior who made him surprised and delighted once more.
He has become stronger again.
Such was the first thought that flashed through Igor’s heart when he saw Joshua.
Becoming stronger was something only naturalevery warrior in their prime should improve all the time. It was only after more than a hundred years that their breath and blood would decline, their flesh slowly deteriorating while discord appeared between soul and will. Only then would their ability slowly fall to decay.
However, improvement that could move even the Pope of the Seven Gods Church was certainly no natural improvement, but something more akin to a shift in essence.
Igor studied Joshua of the now carefully.
Compared to months ago at the Sacred Mountain of the Distant Sea, the warrior’s body at present held substantial reserves of vigor that was several times what he had back then. The terrifying energy complied to the warrior’s will, flowing in his immeasurably sturdy and perhaps indestructible physicality. Layers upon layers of detailed, complicated, and unique constructs were crisscrossed amidst the muscles and arteries, forming compositions akin to natural runes, releasing energies that was exclusive to Joshua.
Igor could feel a familiar scent from within the warrior. It was energy directly originating from flame and steel, surpassing all mundane things across heaven and earthdifferent from the first clue displayed last time.
Right now, Joshua had grasped the essence of that power. With just a little insignificant understanding, it would be very possible for Joshua to step through the biggest barrier of this world to gain an epiphany for the power to grasp fate.
The power of Legendary.
“One step away, Joshua, van Radcliffe.”
Closing his eyes and opening them again, Igor could not help sighing once. He looked with a complicated expression at the white-haired warrior, his words carrying a hint of awe. “You’re just one step away from us. I’ve initially thought that this day would come in several or a dozen yearsnever would I foresee that it would come so quickly.”
The terrific speed had even disturbed his train of thought, astonishing the pope so much that he forgot the reason he came to the North.
“A world of difference still remains in one step away. Your Holiness, surely you’re not here to speak about such matters.”
Bowing once, Joshua turned slightly towards the distant horizon. After making sure that there was no reaction over there, the warrior understood that it was not due to some circumstance that happened suddenly, but something already planned. Maybe his fight against Herlas was observed by several Legendary champions.
Then what is it that could have attracted the head of the Seven Gods Church to travel here to the extreme north from the very ends of the south? Is it the sealed Evil God fragment, or the death of Herlas the Witherer?
The pope seemed able to see through Joshua thoughts. Brandishing the Bright Scepter in his hand, he smiled, shaking his head. “Stop guessing, Joshua. I’m not here for those trivialities, but for you.”
“And of course,” Igor added, turning towards Brandon who was still speaking in hushed tones with Vale Dani, his gaze fixed upon the dual blades on the swordsman’s hip. “For your friend too.”
The elderly pope’s arrival did not seem to shock anyone. Apart from Joshua, Brandon and Vale Dani did not reachmuch less the other Gold-tier champions of other factions. They never seemed to notice any out of the ordinary, as if the Legendary champion never existed here.
Indeed, Igor’s figure was like an indistinct sheet of light, unseen for anyone apart from the warrior.
“He’s very important,” Igor said softly after studying Brandon for a while. “If it wasn’t for you, he would have been the best choice But since you’re here, there’s no chance for others.”
What’s going on?
Joshua could not stop himself from frowning. The old pope’s mysterious tone was leaving him baffled, and as such the warrior decided to cut straight to the matter. “Your Holiness, is there something you wish to tell me after seeking me out?”
“That’s right,” Igor nodded in reply, not denying the fact. But as if remembering something, he clenched the scepter in his hand
“But this is not the best place to talk,” he said, extending his hand to Joshua.
Seeing that, the warrior turned towards the divine armament siblings.
“You guys stay here,” he told them, and extended his hand too to grasp Igor’s palm.
It is not flesh and blood.
At the moment of contact, Joshua sensed that the Pope Igor’s elderly palm was not a human’s flesh and blood body, but the condensation of countless energies and countless ‘light’. It had no shape, substance or weight, but could take any shape as the old pope wished and acquire the essence he desired.
“Time to go,” Igor said.
In the very next moment, the two men vanished after a flash of obscure white light, disappearing from Mount Mordus entirely.
Meanwhile, in the distant horizon, Israel and Nostradamus stared at the beam that normal beings could not see rise straight towards the sky, as if a reversing meteorite.
“Let’s go,” the sovereign of the Empire said in a low voice, shaking his head after watching for a little world. “Master, we still have much to do.”
“You’re right, Your Majesty.” The old mage nodded agreeably, and soon, both men stepped through a green-blue doorway before them and disappeared.
The void outside the world of Mycroft.
In the cold and desolated darkness, a warm arc suddenly shone.
When Joshua regained consciousness and opened his eyes, he had arrived at the boundless exterior of the world.
There was no air or gravity, but extreme coldness. The sensation of chilliness and suffocation rapidly came, though the warrior did not panic. The lifeforce in him energized, quickly building a layer of transparent membrane over his skin and eyes. Then, red-black aura shrouded Joshua’s entire body and shaped into a halo, blocking out the void energy radiation that was faintly coming through.
Only after having done that did he had the energy to observe his surroundings, and what he saw made him gape slightly.
The stars shone brilliantly in the void. In the borderless and desolate darkness, there were endless twinkling stars, while streaks of dazzling galaxies appeared before Joshua without the interference of atmosphere and dust. They glinted and moved as the warrior breathed.
But Joshua did not focus his attention on the distant ocean of dazzling stars. Instead, he lowered his head and looked below himself.
It was a layer of formless barrier, shining with hazy radiance and indescribable with any language. The warrior focused his gaze and saw through the barrier, and was soon able to see sheets of clearly divided white clouds and vapor, the dark green land mass as well as the deep blue oceans.
It was the Mycroft plane.
The world was at his feet right now.
After watching it silently for a while, Joshua turned to look beside him where Pope Igor stood. The elderly man was staring at the world below too. Noticing Joshua’s scrutiny, the old pope smiled slightly.
“This should be the first time you came to the external void, right?” he asked, slightly moved. “Never imagined that you would be so calmthat really surprised me.”
It’s just that I’ve seen similar sights.
Joshua did not want to give any further explanation. He never was polite or tactful, and so simply asked a direct question after some thought, “Now that we’re at the void, could you now tell me what’s the matter, Your Holiness?”
“Of course.” As if expecting the warrior’s attitude early on, Igor did not seem dissatisfied with Joshua’s straightforward speech.
“Joshua, do you know what’s the Great Mana Tide?”
Joshua noddedof course he knew. He had always been waiting for its arrival since he came through.
In the year of Starfall, the magic tide would arrive while strife would gradually arise. As the mana tide that sweeps across the multiverse arrive, the barriers between worlds would decline, allowing dimensional passageways to appear one after the other. Gods would descend across the horizon, the Abyssal seals would be opened, demons would return to life even as the stars lose their color as Chaos and Order wrestled.
The Mana Tide was the source of all strife in the near future. It would bring majestic progress that could push civilizations to improve their standards by hundreds and thousands of years, but was also a future more frightening than hell itself. Under the ceaseless invasions of Abyssal demons, infernos and gales scorched through the seas while smoke and ash covered the skies. Trapped within, humans struggled and wailed in anguish, unable to rest.
Still, Igor did not know what Joshua was thinking. He merely looked up, entranced at the stars glittering in the darkness.
Then, the Pope of the Seven Gods Church calmly raised his hand and pointed towards a direction in the void.
The warrior followed his finger and looked towards that part of the starry sky.
It was a cluster of stars that was brighter compared to the other parts of the void. Apart from the brilliant starlight and the veins of galaxies, there was nothing unusual of note.
As he kept observing, the warrior’s gaze suddenly twitched. He frowned then stared at that starry region.
“Those cluster of stars is extraordinarily bright!” he said in a low voice.
The stars within the void are the radiances reflected from countless worlds. The intensity of their brightness was a sign of their condition.
However, all the stars within that region were unreasonably brighter. Their light was connected, creating shrouds as if a star cloud that was spreading towards other regions at a speed observable to the naked eye.
Even amidst the void of Chaos, the distance between stars, as well as the obstacles between worlds, the shroud was unfurling as fast as the eye could see!
Seeing the shock in Joshua’s eyes, the elderly pope revealed a thin smile, and looked together with the warrior at that brilliant starry region.
“That’s the Mana Tide,” he said softly. “Stepping through worlds and stars and sweeping through the multiverse, it would be an unimaginable power and a horror we’ve already known.”
Though Igor’s voice was soft, it was incomparably distinct. His words resonated with the power surrounding both his and Joshua’s body, and echoed beside the warrior’s ears.
“Behemoths would not inhabit shrubs, just as whales and sharks would not wander creekseven Evil Gods are no exception. While the mana tide would allow worlds to emit blinding luminescence, it would certainly attract the leviathans within the Void of Chaos. They would follow the energy tide that even gods could not imagine, showing an unprecedented activity.”
No words were needed to explain as to who ‘they’ referred to. Joshua nodded, understanding what Igor was trying to say.
The elderly pope turned and looked towards the Azurite within the warrior’s chest. The Bright Scepter he held tightly was clearly resonating with the Azurite, sacred scents of Order spread all around. Even in the cold and isolated void, a pure-white halo appeared.
“One of the Sage’s Legacy is missing.”
Sighing deeply, Igor’s expression had a graveness he never shown before, so much so that the wrinkles on his face became much more obvious.
“If it was before, we could simply let it be. But now things are different, Joshua. We need to assemble all the powers we could assemble. Gathering the four Sage Legacy’s is of the utmost importanceit hides secrets regarding the Initial Flame, we must have it.”
“You know where it is?” asked the warrior suddenly.
“Yes.” Igor answered with extreme seriousness as he took a long look at Joshua. “Following the hypothesis from the Seven Gods, the Church has grasped the last Sage Legacy and the location of its heir. It’s located at an extremely distant fringe world.”
“You want me to retrieve it?” The warrior’s face displayed an unexplainable smile. “From that distant fringe world?”
“That’s right.” The old pope replied, pausing briefly in silence. “Joshua, I’m not trying to make things difficult for you, but the Church was dealt heavy losses. We’re now unable to use a large-scale teleport to send a team to a distant world and find an anonymous heir. Furthermore, the resonance between heirs is the best choice.”
“I have duties I must see too.” With those words, Igor’s expression became slightly pained as he turned to look at the Mycroft Continent below them. Despite that, his voice carried a hint of resolve. “Roland is now on retreat, while the heir of the Dual Blades of Order has just reached Supreme. They’re not the best choicesonly you would do.”
“I know that it’s a job with unparalleled dangers and a completely unknown world. But we have no choice even if Legendary champions could perish”
The pope appeared as if he wanted to elaborate, but the warrior quickly interrupted him.
“I’ll do it.” Joshua smiled, speaking with a tone that Igor could no comprehend while shaking his head.
“Going to another world?”
He pondered for another moment, before speaking in a relaxed manner.
“It is a really great idea.”