Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
However, none of the elves responded to Joshua’s friendly greeting.
The entire elven group had their windbreaking cotton robes completely soaked in warm, damp rain. All of them were staring blankly towards the clouds at the black dragon and the warrior, their gazes filled with terror and astonishment.
Looking at the weather that was changed by human will, the young elven prodigy slowly understood.
Being powerful does not mean adapting to environmentit is to have the world change for oneself!
Meanwhile, Aydril Galanoud, the Nature’s Magister and an elder of the current Elven King, blinked in her carriage.
“Isn’t that dragon screaming?” She mumbled to herself, puzzled.
Although dragon-slayers did possess special intimidation abilities against giant dragons, he should not be that scary that he would scare even his own mount
In the end, even the Legendary champion could not imagine why a dragon would fear heights. Still, the welcome was ultimately satisfactory.
“Long time no see, Count Radcliffe. Your rise in ability surprised me.”
The Nature’s Magister did not get out of her carriage, while the warrior appeared to understand the reason and took no offense. Nevertheless, her gentle feminine voice echoed throughout the ice plains, allowing every person present to hear it clearly.
“We’re here solely to find the portal towards the world where Father Nature is present, and as such would not stop by town.”
Joshua was fully aware of the Aydril’s reasoning as he got Black to descend.
Each Legendary champion was the pillar that safeguards every great faction. Their journeying to meet another faction was akin to carrying a nuclear warhead to another country for diplomacy. If not for Pope Igor acting as a guarantor for the Nature’s Magistermost likely with some sort of recompense on part of the elvesIsrael would most likely have refused to let the elven champions to enter the country.
There were many other concerns even so. Additionally, since they could soon ascertain the location of the root of all elven faith, the journey of the Nature’s Magister’s party had been acutely subtle. They moved as fast as they could, and apart from the unavoidable occasions such as the Imperial reception, they would keep heading for the Great Ajax Volcano with almost no pause in between.
The warrior understood her impatience, and as such did not say much, ordering the knights to lead the way instead.
“Great Ajax Volcano,” Joshua said briefly. “Proceed.”
The silver-armored knights responded together under the torrential rain, and turned together, leading the band of elves that were moving again towards the stone path that had revealed itself under the brush of the downpour.
It was the road that heads straight towards the Great Ajax Mountains.
Since Joshua took office as liege, he did not supervise much matters in his own domain, but road maintenance was something he definitely pored over. Under his watchful eye, roads that connected his territory towards the Great Ajax Mountains, the Dark Forest and up to the Ural Mountains checkpoint were completed in its entirety. Apart from easing transportation, the road signs also made things convenient for hunters from remote villages and adventurers unfamiliar with the North.
Time quickly passed.
They were now deep within the Darl Forest, arriving at the depths of the Great Ajax Mountain range.
Nothing of note happened along the wayeven the uninteresting daemon ambushes that could have been used to kill time only happened thrice. Since daemons usually had functioning brains, they would hide within their own lairs the moment they saw the tremendous size of the procession. Only enchanted boars, the most moronic amongst them, would charge against their formation.
Throughout the journey, Joshua spoke with the Nature’s Magister. It surprised him to discover that her eminence, the Grand Druid who was revered by all elves was surprisingly friendly, and comprehensively analyzed the state of the warrior’s power as well as instructing him in some methods to suppress his presence.
“You’re just a step away from Legendary,” the elven lady spoke calmly from within the carriage, never taking a step out. “But the more it’s so, the more you need to control every ounce of your power. That applies even to your spiritual presence, even if it does not contain any ability.”
“I sense that there is an unusually frightening scent of curses imbued within your body. It exponentially raises your presence relative to normal people, but with my technique that fuses yourself with nature, you won’t petrify your own dragon.”
The warrior was naturally enriched with a Legendary champion’s personal instruction. Although he did not quite understand that part about petrifying his own dragon, Joshua could finally control his Charm that had long gone haywire.
Attempting to fuse his own will with the world, Joshua closed his eyes. Soon, his presence that terrified people slowly lightened up, assimilating into the world, and finally turning it into a presence that made the entire realm barren and hostile.
Immediately, everyone including the elves and the Moldavian knights who were leading the group appeared distinctly uncomfortable. They became short of breath, their pupils dilated while cold sweat broke through their entire body. Some who were more sensitive had goosebumps and started to dart glances around, intending to look for the culprit who was destabilizing their heart-rate.
The area of damage had expanded.
Seeing the results, Joshua could not help but sigh after ending the ‘lightning’, and consoled himself inwardly.
Well, at least I have a new intimidation technique with a large range.
The Nature’s Magister was baffled too, not quite understanding why a minor skill that others could apply to conceal their scent without any issues would instead become a collective tormenting technique when the warrior used it.
But it’s exactly as Igor had said.the Grand Druid though as she nodded in her carriage.He’s a guy that escapes expectations.
Since the target was clear and their movements swift, the party soon arrived at the outskirts of the Great Ajax Volcano in days.
The Dark Forest was only dangerous to ordinary hunters and lumberjacks. To proper Silver-tier knights, they were nothing specialmuch less a whole legion of them with units of hundreds, as well as dozens of Gold champions, several Supreme and one Legendary. Throughout the journey, every daemon that was in a winter frenzy were easily pulverized into shards. Several Gold-tier daemon liege even fled in panic after sensing the warrior’s scent, their complexion shifting entirely at his very presence.
Coincidentally, they ran into the iron-plated mountain dragon Joshua met once before. It had left the Icy Plains of the Extreme North and inhabited the southern parts of the Great Ajax Mountains instead, but never expected to meet the warrior again. The moment it felt Joshua’s breath, the powerful Gold-tier daemon briskly abandoned the old lair it seized and started to dug deep underground towards the north as if his life was stakeas if the warrior was a demon.
The entire elven procession, whose journey had been a little peaceful, arrived at the foot of the Great Ajax Mountains just like that.
Before they headed for the underground passageway
“Ira, you’ll stay at the surface with Davian and the others,” the Nature’s Magister ordered from within the carriage. “Elder Madalla, you’ll lead the other elder priest and descend with me.”
Joshua, too, was issuing his orders to the legion of knights. Apart from the divine armament siblings as well as the black dragon girl who had changed to human form but was still shuddering, others were to stay on standby beneath the mountain. Exploring what remained of the dimensional passageway might trigger an eruption over the Great Ajax Volcano. Even with the Nature’s Magister present, boldly entering the mountain body would still be dangerous.
After the teams were adjusted, the carriage door slowly opened, and a silhouette condensed entirely from jade-green nature energy appeared before everyone.
It was a humanoid figure assembled from the purest energy. Emerald and green-gold mixed, the watery light combining and shaping the outline of a perfectly lithe and beautiful woman. Within the finer parts of the flowing light patterns on her face, her gaze molded from platinum dots of light could clearly be seen.
The moment the silhouette appeared, the energy radiating around it had already engulfed the many mountains in the distance. Within the boundaries of that energy shroud, naturebe it plants or beast, gravel or lava, it was as if all were in awe of this incarnation of heaven and earth, the guide for this world.
All elves too reverently bowed and lowered their heads at the same time, showing their respect for the Legendary champion.
Nature’s Magister was the person who guides the world, including the sky, land, wind, thunder, air, water and fire. Be it mountain, forests, beasts, or lakes, rivers, and seas, all moved according to her will at the highest standard.
The form that Aydril Galanoud was showing at the moment was merely her weakest form. At her home ground, the Eternal Lake of a Thousand Islands in the Far Southern Lands, the power this beautiful elf could unleash could defeat multiple Legendary champions of the same level.
In the hands of the green-gold silhouette of light was an old and simple box that firmly caught Joshua’s gaze.
“Father Nature’s breath?” he said in a quiet voice the moment he saw it.
The Nature Magister’s voice carried an almost formless echo. It was as if it came from a place far removed, and had gone through many obstacles to travel here.
“This box consecrates the Eternal Seed, a sacred object Father Nature had blessed our elven race with in bygone days,” Aydril spoke without taboo, softly explaining things for the warrior.
“In other words, it’s the seed of the world treethe Divine Tree of Beginnings, Father Nature’s true form.”
Thousands upon thousands of years ago, the elven civilization prospered and flourished. They built solar ships that could navigate the void, exploring and colonizing other worlds. As their Father God and Mother God, Father Nature naturally support that action without reservation.
He did not spare using divine powers to create His own seed, intending to let the elven expeditions to find a suitable world to plant it. As an eternal and extraordinary existence, Father Nature did not require descendantsHis action was therefore a complete violation of the natural rules, and was dealt a backlash even as a deity. And so Father Nature was weakened for decades, only recovering to full bloom with devout consecration from the elven race.
But it was that also in period that the Abyss and the Evil God invaded.
As Father Nature left, this seed that carried the hopes of the elven race withered, no longer useful.
Nevertheless, the reason Aydril Galanoud would believe in Pope Igor’s words was thanks to the seed too. The Eternal Seed, once enshrined at the heart of elves’ Mother Lifetree Altar, recently showed signs of revival, meaning that Father Nature’s condition was certainly improving.
Even if it were the possibility one over a hundred, the elven race would never give upmuch less the ‘very probable’ chance that they had right now? It was exactly for that basis that the elven diplomats would come to brave the immeasurable colds of Moldavia in the Northern Empire.
Without ado, the Nature’s Magister led the Supreme-tier elves and the many elves as they followed Joshua towards the underground caverns. Though the magma cavern that was recovered from the collapse was narrower, it did not branch out by much. After walking a few hundred meters, the party could sense a huge magma karst in the distance.
Rich fire elements condensed into sparks in the air, before being returned into the magma by the powers of the Nature’s Magister. Lifeforce emission was repelling most of the boiling elemental energies, staving the heat away from the others as they arrived at the depts of the underground.
Therein lies a vast magma lake at least several kilometers squared.
When she arrived, the obscure expression of the Nature’s Magister slowly became distinct. Slightly agitated, she took a step ahead, before reacting and composing herself.
She had already felt the presence of the damaged dimensional passageway, thus forgetting herself.
The Nature’s Magister turned to look at Joshua who was smiling beside her. “You’re the owner of this land,” she said, her voice returning to her usual tranquil and mildness, “and a human who had come in contact personally with Father Nature.”
“Please guide us on the path to Father Nature.”
The Grand Druid bowed lightly towards the warrior, a salute Joshua did not refuse. He nodded and led Ying, Ling, and the now-recovered black dragon girl towards the center of the magma lake.
He stepped upon the surface of the magma as if those scorching and surging gold-liquid rocks that was thousands of degrees hot happened to be sturdy land. With each step, the warrior solidified the magma into a path, the divine armament siblings and Black following be him as if it was logical and ordinary daily life.
Arriving at the center, Joshua looked halfway up the sky, his crimson gaze flashing with streaks of light beams. To the Supreme champion’s eyes, the flow of energy was as clear as the lines in one’s palm, allowing him to identify the points of dimensional contortion with relative ease.
That’s why, with a brisk point of a finger
Pale blue radiance twinkled.
The Illgner realm.
To the elves of that continent, the impact of the Evil God of Calamity had not vanished until this day.
The haze disaster that once blanketed the entire world had dissipated. As the sun’s ray shone once more, plants started to cover the land that returned to life. Furthermore, the mana that once thick in the air slowly recovered, giving quite the surprise for the elves who were rebuilding after the calamity.
Still, even with the help of magic, rebuilding a civilization was no small matter. Even so, not one of the elves felt depressed or worried over the matter, because at the heart of the mainland was a stone tree, titanic without compare, pillaring the sky and earth.
The god of the elves had appeared again upon this world. Though He slumbers, His mere existence helped the elves regain hope and drive.
Under the destruction of golems, harmonic puppets, and natural disasters, only scarce few elves that hid beneath the fortresses survived. Nonetheless, before he completely slumbered, Father Nature used his buds to rebuild the flesh of countless dead elves and transfused their souls back within.
Though the bud-elves had only a few years to live, they could still propagate naturally and possessed physical strength that exceeds that of most elves. Having experienced death, they were even more devout to Father Nature and hence became the backbone of the rebuilding efforts of the elven civilization.
Under the influence of the profound forces, the multitudinous local lifeforms on Illgner that were once extinct walked the land once more. The Illgner Steel Pyton took the opening as Father Nature slumbered due to its wounds to regulate the essence of nature bit by bit, an effect that even the elves could not avoid.
Still, it was not something bad. The elves that came from another were finally accepted by the rather ill-tempered world will, become a natural member of that realm.
Wooden or stone buildings were built even as enchanted machines were manufactured one after the other, working magical energies as the gears hummed. Each elf that could use magic therefore became a production center. They would control the enchanted machinery and begin to swiftly rebuild towns where wandering elves gathered, while heading to the debris of former cities to collect resources and data.
Everything was going well. Father Nature, who awakened from time to time, did not mind much of the Steel Python’s actions. It was simply creating the next cluster of knowledgeable bud-elves into the elven society, assuring that the legacy of the sorcery civilization would not discontinue.
Not long has passed and hence nothing major happened. But in those few months, though the elven civilization was not as prosperous as it once was, it had at least ignited a bonfire that was difficult to douse that burnt quietly in this post-apocalyptic world.
As the elves knewas long as the root stays even if the leaves were pulled, the greenery would return to the land soon enough.
An elven boy was listening to his teacher as he gave a lesson in a crude langage. The little fellow who had black hair and green eyes had a notebook in hand, scribbling notes with immeasurable seriousness alongside his classmates while the teacher, an elf revived from the tree bud, instructed them.
The animation of mana, the occlusion of gears, steel creations that operated on steam and electricity, mystical runic patternsthose were the contents they had to learn. As the next generation who had a long life ahead of them, the tremendous responsibility of rebuilding the entire civilization stood upon their shoulders, as well as the shoulders of their children and grandchildren.
It was an honor and a duty, and even more than thata massive burden. Those without resolve would be crushed halfway through, only those who had solid resolve could carry the burden and become individuals who led the future.
After the specialized classes were over, it was time for miscellaneous curriculum.
For example, history.
On the broad magical board, silhouettes that the young elves were extremely familiar with appeared one after the other as the elderly elf’s mana cascaded.
Those were great men who once guided the progress of elven civilization. Some amongst them had contributed to the continuation of civilization even in this world that Father Nature lived once more.
As they remembered those important figures, the final scene arriveda cataclysm that threatened to destroy the world.
Dust and fog were ever-present while black clouds blocked out the sun. Wandering within the darkness and hunting for all life were golems, thunder giants, along with sky fortresses and light silhouettes that floated in the air.
And the cosmic star that plummeted from the heavens, intending to shatter the entire world.
But one man stood before that star.
Will was the keen lance of that warrior who never took one step back, divinity was the sturdy shield of this man who bore a spear.
Behind him were the souls of all life. In front of him was the incarnation of the apocalypse.
And so, catastrophe itself was crushed. Just as thousands and ten-thousand years later, calamity could destroy one civilization after another, it would still be defeated by the will of Life.
The end of the history lesson marked the end of the day. As a ritual before leaving school, the elderly elf started to guide the young elves to recite a reverent prayer.
But the moment the prayer ended, the stone tree that was frozen as if dead suddenly started to sway.
The world tree, boundlessly colossal and holding the skies aloft, a towering peak that reaches into the skies even when its trunk was covered in dust and sand.
Now, its quaking churned the clouds, upper atmosphere, and gales over Illgner, building sounds of thunder that drummed the air along with bolts of lightning that illuminated the horizon.
In the distance were fluctuating twinkles of blue light, and Father Nature sensed a nostalgic presence.
Those were His children He had once abandoned, bring a blessing He once gave to find Himthis derelict deity, a father that left without a word in parting.
That was why torrential rains crashed down upon the land.
Just like a god’s tears.