Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Starfall Year 834, the 3rd of February, deep winter.
The entire North was covered in snow for half a year. Although there were fewer blizzards come February, the chilling frost winds were still billowing across the plains, spreading icy crystal shards and snow dust everywhere across the sky.
It was now three months after Herlas’s death and the Mount Mordus ruins incident at Moldova. However, compared to the Imperial hierarchy that was unruffled as if a frozen lake, the entire Mycroft Continentespecially the many royal houses in the West Mountains regionwere astonished by the monumental event.
The new generation of Pestilence cultists, led by Herlas the Witherer himself, had run rampant across the West Mountains in the past few decades. They concealed themselves within the ancient forest, making bases at underground shrines filled with hidden circles and runes while executing horrific sacrificial rituals everywhere.
As such, the various nations in the West Mountains had kept guard resolutely, and so the sacrificial rituals of the Cult of Pestilence were rarely successful. But whenever it was, an entire region would fall, with severe damage to entire populations or the extinction of a certain species.
Several West Mountains Legendary champions had planned to wipe out Herlas and his ilk once and for all. However, up against the high priest who owned his own subspace and could abandon his flesh body at any moment, the champions could only retreat resentfully most of the time. Furthermore, sending menhowever manywithout Legendary individuals guiding the party would merely be handing Herlas rations.
As such, most of the champions in the West Mountains factions were shocked that Herlas would head for the Northern Realms of the Empire. They were initially elatedintending to see how the Empire would manage that huge annoyance and how they would fail.
Nonetheless, they only ended up severely disappointed, for Herlas had gone up against that rather famous dragon-slayer liege head-on, and ended up losing by a wide margin before dying in a foreign place.
The news had busted quite a few eyeballs and caused quite a few tables to be shattered. Although Joshua was certainly a powerful Supreme warrior who was hotly famous in recent times, Herlas was no anonymous pushover either.
That was something the Legendary champions who once besieged the high priest understood fully, despite their discrete surprise. It was not as if they did not fight against Herlas himselfit was just that they had never once succeeded. Herlas’s tremendous vigor already did not lose out against Legendary champions. In fact, he had arrived at the limit of Supreme, missing just that last breakthrough step to become Legendary.
And for Joshua to slay Herlas, it meant that he too had arrived at that threshold. In other words, he had already found his own path, and was just one step away from the door to perfecting his own body and arrive at Legendary.
In just three years, the growth of the Silver-knight up to now was at an ascending speed that was without predecessor or successor. None had done it before in the entire Mycroft Continenteven after accounting for the old historical records from the Glorious Era.
It was also inexplicable despite his inheritance of the Sage’s Legacy. Still, it was a blessing in itself since Joshua’s name was often accompanied by the impressions slaughter, terror and combat berserker. As such, many peopleespecially the extraordinary individuals in the West Mountains constantly toiled by demonsbelieved that the warrior had perhaps made a deal with some Abyssal Lord, which was why his power could improve so wildly.
Now, those rumors died down since no one would ever believe that a demon had such power. If they had the influence to make a human ascend to Legendary in three years, would they still be imprisoned in the Abyss? They would naturally have swept across the multiverse and conquered every world instead!
One way or the other, there are certain powerful factions that now silently acknowledged that Joshua was some deity’s incarnation as they sneaked into the mortal realm. Many wandering champions on the continent also developed an extreme interest in the youngest warrior of legends, and all of them invariably began to head for the North.
That being said, the North was unexpectedly calma contrast to the other regions that were rather restless.
Starfall Year 834, the 3rd of February, Moldavia.
Due to the Mount Mordus ruins incident at neighboring Moldova, the entire North had launched a large-scale wave of cultist culling.
Using the season as an advantage since the snow and sleet that covered the land made it hard for the enemy to hide outdoors, the four territories of the North had captured many scattered cultists who were hidden in remote mountain villages. Still, when it came to numbers, Moldavia had the fewest as well as the weakest.
According to those arrested, the Northern Realmsespecially Moldaviawere now a den of devils in the eyes of every Chaos and sinister faction. Many amongst them now would accept any punishment than coming here to die. In fact, the ones captured now were exactly here because they had committed many huge transgressions, and were exiled here as recompense.
Moldavia, evening by the Pawprint Lake at the Nissia Snow Mountain.
The glow of sunset was fading as the brilliant golden sun faded and surged with a dim red. Pale purple clouds hung on the gray-blue night sky, and in the cracks between them several faintly discernable stars could be seen.
Cold winds below thirty degrees billowed across the lake, raising layers of ripples over the lake that never froze despite the extreme cold. As crystalline rays of dusk swayed, dazzling radiances glittered at the bottom of the lake.
Socrasson and other adventurers from the Eye of Kaiser were standing beside the lake, gazing upon the beautiful scene.
Due to the Mount Mordus ruins incident, the Eye of Kaiser and Bucktooth Adventurers were dealt relatively heavy casualties. Unlike most official archaeological explorers of different nations or mercenaries hired by nobles, they came to the North simply due to their desire for adventure and exploration.
Therefore, nobody would foot the bill for their losses. Furthermore, now that the snow and sleet had blocked their route to return, the two parties of adventurers could only quietly stay at the North, earning a little side income from missions while rearranging their teams.
And would Joshua let those two excellent adventurers’ parties idle in town or carry out some meaningless expedition? As such, the warrior generously provided rewarding terms and invited these adventurers, who were considered elites even within the continent, to work as practical instructors for outdoor lessons at Winter Fort Academy.
For the two teams who had nothing to do no thanks to the snow, what else was there than going for it? The two sides quickly clicked.
Just now, the dozens of adventurers led by Socrasson had finished giving their classes, ensuring the safe return of the many academy student teams after half a month. Without any other tasks for the moment, they could now simply relax by enjoying the beautiful sights around the Nissia Snow Mountain.
Then, they saw a flock of dragons.
Due to the recent extraordinary activity of mana crystals at the depths that caused the surface of the Pawprint Lake to stay unfrozen, there were a dozen large cascading splashes. Then, an equal number of white juvenile dragons breached before diving back into the lake.
“ What were those?”
One of the adventurers, who happened to be standing beside the lake and appeared quite young rubbed his eyes. “Large white fishes?” He asked doubtfully.
“No,” said a middle-aged adventurer who stood beside the youth and appeared to be his senior. Though his eyes were sharper and could clearly grasp a portion of the young dragons’ anatomy in an instant, he was still unable to ascertain what species of dragon it had been. “From the looks of it, some kind of water dragon?”
Meanwhile, the others sighed with emotion.
“As expected of the dragon-slaying liegeto rear so many water dragons, truly outstanding.”
Some, on the other hand, were doubtful.
“But Moldavia is not beside the sea. There aren’t any rivers nearby, only scattered lakes. Why would the count rear so many water dragons?”
Socrasson, however, was even more shocked than the other adventurers. He could see that the white species of dragon were neither water dragons or silver dragons, but juvenile white dragonsone of the genuine pure-blooded species of the Pentashade!
What?! How did Liege Joshua hatch this flock of pure-blooded giant dragons?
Of course, Socrasson knew that Joshua had cleared out an entire dragon lair before. It was not unusual that the warrior could acquire dragon eggs, but to hatch pure-blooded dragons from their eggs had always been a bitter labor heavily dependent on luck. The difficulty itself does not dull in comparison to directly finding a giant dragon and beat it into submission as a mount.
But now, at Winter Fort Academy, he was actually seeing a dozen juvenile dragons!
Before Socrasson recovered from his shock, the others suddenly heard a long draconic cry.
In the sky, the clouds of dusk were split as a colossal silhouette floated past. A blue giant dragon was diving down elegantly from the sky with buffeting windstorms, and arriving above the lake.
The air boomed as its wings flapped, causing the adventurers’ ears with insufficient ability to ring. Additionally, with its completely unconcealed superior Dragon Might, their brain whited out immediately.
Supreme giant dragon! Socrasson instantly felt his scalp explode, his limbs paralyzed. The Gold-tier knight wanted to dig a hole to bury himself at the scene, but the lakeside was completely flat.
Perhaps the Pentashade giant dragon is here for revenge against the count, while rescuing the juvenile dragons?!
Nevertheless, even before the thought flashed through the knight’s mind, a dozen splashes appeared again. Following the giant blue dragon’s instructions obediently, they swam towards land right behind the blue dragon that floated in the air, as if a bunch of little ducklings that followed their mothers.
The Supreme blue dragon then swept a glance over the panicking adventurers. Nodding in a friendly manner as greeting, it led the juveniles into the forest.
After some time, Socrasson pinched his own thigh after witnessing the sight. Then, he turned and leveled his gaze at his companions around him, who looked equally lost.
A Supreme Pentashade dragon was actually helping a dragon-slaying liege, and bringing a dozen young white dragons for a stroll?
What, what on earth?
But even as the adventurers at the North baked a few fishes to calm their fluctuating hearts after seeing a Supreme giant dragon, the Imperial Capital of the Northern Empire was not so tranquil.
A side chamber within the Morlaix Palace, Holy City of the Triplet Mountains.
There was a hidden room here.
In the middle of the space that was several meters squared and stair-shaped, there was a single long table and many chairs. Each wall was carved with mystical runes that spread dull purple light, absorbing all sounds as well as concealing the small space completely from the automated defensive formations in the Morlaix Palace.
This hidden room has not been visited for a long timethere was a thin layer of dust on the table. However, there was now a lady with a slim figure whose hair hung below her shoulders now sitting on the leader’s chair, while a black armored cavalier was half-kneeling before her.
The lady’s face was obscured by a black vapor formed from magic. She looked at the warrior who was immeasurably reverent before her, and spoke gently with a voice that had clearly been transformed by magic. “So, you’re saying that the Northern Count that His Majesty thinks highly of is about to become a new Legendary?”
“Yes.” The black armored cavalier replied simply and concisely. “Tomorrow, or the day after, Joshua van Radcliffe would break into Legendary and affect your plans.”
“Indeed.” The lady sighed softly, her voice a little tired. “Everything has proceeded smoothly for more than twenty years, why would such a variable appear so coincidentally now? And more importantly, why would that little rascal prince Dimore be the first one to find him?”
However, judging from her skin and figure alone, the lady was not at the age to call the second prince a rascal. But it seemed perfectly reasonable whether for both herself or the cavalier, as if it was the truth.
“It’s an unforeseen misfortune,” the lady mumbled to herself, “that has to be wiped out immediately.”
“Who should be wiped out?” The black armored cavalier’s very determined voice was mixed with the clanging sounds of colliding metals. “The second prince or the Northern Count? I’d do my best no matter who it is!”
“Who should be wiped out?” The lady could not help but shake her head and laugh at the cavalier’s words. “Of course it’s the second prince, my little hunting dog. Unless you intend to act against the warlike lunatic who dashed headlong against the berserker dragon army, as well as charging into the Imperial Capital to slay the heir of the Feltham family due to a little disagreement?”
“Even if you desired death, your family and myself, your owner, would not want that.”
On the chair, the lady slightly arched her back to pat the cavalier’s headas if she was really patting the scalp of a loyal dog.
“I might keep my life because of Israel,” she said with a silky voice. “But it’s certain death for you.”
“Alright.” Straightening herself, the lady who was sitting spoke mischievously. “Be prepared.”
Though her voice was smooth, it had a chill that seemed to come from the depths of polar glaciers and would not melt in ten thousand years.
“It’s time for that son of a bitch to pay!”
The black armored cavalier nodded. “Understood, my master!” He replied with a distinct but deep voice.
The scheme within the Imperial Capital had just been tailored.
Meanwhile, the summit of the Sacred Mountain, the Gray Island of the Far Sea.
Holding the Bright Scepter, Pope Igor stood upon the highest floor of the Great Altar. He was staring at the setting sun that was about to be completely silent, his eyes reflecting the dim sunlight.
Soon, the setting sun was utterly devoured by the sea, while the elderly Pope closed his eyes too.
As if a radiance in itself, unfathomably tremendous spiritual powers spread, with the aged man at its center, at the speed of thought, towards the entire Sacred Mountain and even the Far South mainland. Soon, the entire southern continent and all its regions were under Igor’s spiritual sense, with most people not even detecting the little breeze. While there were some powerful individuals who did sense it, they simply considered it an illusion in their doubt.
It appeared that this was not the first occasion the Pope had done this. He silently swept his gaze across haven an earth, before focusing his sense on a certain vast forest within the Far South.
The holy land of the elves, the Lake of Eternity, near where the Lifetree stood. There, a flourishing green ‘soul’ of unparalleled depth was cascading across the land and the skies. The Soul of the Holy Wood was pulling its roots from within the void, and slowly condensing to form the shape of a beautiful elven lady.
Aydril Galanoud, Nature’s Magister, had spent several months to adjust the balance of that region and subsequently pulling out her real body from the holy land of the elves. The great druid with noble rank sat on the carriage that was already prepared, and made for the continental warp portal that was already opened.
She was about to depart for Moldavia in the North, to seek the roots of the elves.
As if she could sense something, the Nature’s Magister turned and smiled towards the south in her plain cane carriage.
That man might really be able to change the world.
Recalling his spirit, Igor sighed softly once.
That warrior with black hair and red eyes had already changed many things that the old man believed to be fated. He leveled the dimensional passageway, acquired information regarding Father Nature, ended the machinations of the Pentashade giant dragons as well as sealed an Abyssal crack that the Church tried to but failed to for many years.
The old Pope lowered his head and glanced at his pair of hands that was filled with wrinkles and had already aged immeasurably as it turned pure-white.
To Igor, it was fine to sacrifice an old bag of bones like himself, but he was ultimately the most powerful Legendary of this world.
If Joshua did succeed in finding the fourth object of the Sage’s Legacy and learn the secrets of the Initial Flame, he would not have to rely on secret methods that had been passed down for a long time and become a pillar to keep this world burning.
“How far could you go?” The old man muttered softly, starting at the slowly burning tip of his scepter, the invisible and colorless flame that gradually grew weaker, his gaze filled with anticipation.
Allow this bag of old bones to bear witness!
Starfall Year 834, the 3rd of February. Main City of Moldavia, the back gardens of the liege’s residence.
The center of every gaze assembled.
The warrior, whose white hair had largely returned to black, was holding a huge hairbrush to scrub the black giant dragon’s back in the gardens. Beside him, the silver-haired girl and black-haired boy were busy helping, bringing water and tools while helping to clean the less conspicuous dirt. Meanwhile, the artificial intelligence girl rolled about as she floated in the air, watching as they busied themselves with interest.
Joshua, who had calmed himself to learn the mastery Herlas and the Evil God Fragment had displayed was cleaning Black’s body, something he had not done for his own mount for some time. He appeared to be in a fine moodhe was humming a cacophonous tone, and scolding the dragon softly.
“Turn over, Black Wait, you actually slept?!”
Before the black dragon that fell asleep blurrily thanks to the extreme comfort, a knight who looked in a hurry arrived at the garden and half-knelt to give Joshua a report.
“My lord, there are two urgent messages!”
The man was Joshua’s dedicated communications officer, and as such cut straight to the main topic without saying much else. “One is from the northern runic dwarves’ settlement, and one more from the Sacred Mountain of the Far Sea!”
“Read the one from the dwarves No, read the one from the Sacred Moutain first.”
Blinking, Joshua immediately understood. He glanced at the artificial intelligence lady that was floating in the air, and coughed once.
“You can leave the one from the dwarves on the main hall table later.”