Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
“Thirty-two out of a hundred, huh. Still, the margin is a lot more than I expected.”
The life radiation around Joshua’s body moved rhythmically. As if a crimson sun that had been embedded upon the earth, he kept emanating light and heat towards his surroundings. With this crude and brutal sensory method, the warrior could largely probe part of the Steel Strength essence in this world the system had named Grandia.
If the ionic energy that spread everywhere Mycroft world since Creation existed in the form of elements, then the energy of Creation in Grandia was much bulkier, crystallizing even before prehistoric times and buried deep underneath earth. As Joshua’s energy swept across the surroundings, he noticed that many of those tiny shards of crystal buried directly below the forest. They mostly had come from those champions who had died centuries before.
Naturally, the energy from those crystals would gradually disperse into the air as time passed, shaping Grandia into an environment similar to Mycroft. However, they were quintessentially a ‘bulky’ force, and usage from sentient lifeforms would accelerate the dispersing when they employed the crystallizations, filling the air with elemental energies.
That was also why, at present, Grandia resembled Mycroft. It was exactly because many extraordinary beings had absorbed the crystal energies as they cultivated themselves in life, whereas in death, the energies within their bodies would return to the world.
Having ascertained the gist of things, Joshua warily breathed in the unusual ion energies within the atmosphere. His lungs moved, drawing in these special elemental atoms, converting it into his own and suffusing it within his body.
At present, after having just traveled here from the Mycroft continent, the energy in Joshua’s body remained a body of energy from the other end of a dimension, therefore completely incompatible with Grandia’s environment. That was why it had been suppressed, allowing just a 32% output. Nonetheless, between breaths, the warrior could distinctly see that the system progress began to move, increasing to 33% with a flash of numbers.
Seeing that, Joshua could not help but smile as everything was not much different from what he thought. Although he did not completely analyze the new power in this land, he was already able to free his ability with an instinctive absorption and assimilation.
If that was so, then there was not much to worry about.
Standing upon the land, the warrior spread his arms as if embracing the world, and then opened his mouth to inhale deeply.
Thunder reverberated with that very breath. As if to empty all air in his immediate surroundings, Joshua consumed the energy that drifted around him. Even the winds around him turned into translucent ripples visible to the eye, cascading towards the warrior who stood in the middle of it all. The innumerable specks of fluorescence gathered too, and were completely taken in through his mouth.
Men who ate flesh had strength and courage, men who ate grains had dexterous hands and wisdomsuch was the state of the ordinary. But to the extraordinary, no food apart from daemon meat could change or augment their bodiesthey mostly absorb the energies adrift in the air to keep their extraordinary body working.
Such was the definition of nourishment by air and energy. Joshua had long arrived at this threshold, but at present he seemed to have surpassed it too.
The elemental energy of different worlds was basically different however similar they were. To simply consume it would cause indigestionsomething most extraordinary individuals must be careful to avoid. On the other hand, Joshua completely did not have such a tendency since his body adapted more to this world’s energy the more he absorbed it. The power he could unleash was also stronger, his flesh and bones more robust, evolving to the next level.
He was eating this ‘world’ and its essence, raising his understanding towards all things so that his body could attain the origin power of Steel Strength.
Such was the world devourer, the way to ascend into Legendary that Joshua had chosen for himself.
Meanwhile, Darwion were carefully stepping out of the Autumn Waters Forest, looking towards the warrior in the distant plain.
At present, Joshua was gulping down large chunks of the energies that drifted around him, with the shockwaves affecting even forests several kilometers away. Long green grasses that were blooming withered into yellow immediately, while lively branches started to shed their leaves. Completely different from the crimson sun before, it appeared to be spreading a deathly radiance in all directions, bringing doom and end to everything.
One of the men, a lean robust knight was trying to calm his nervous war horse even as he gaped at the sight.
“Ancestor spirits protect us. Was Was that heroic spirit a certain demon king in life?” He exclaimed with a low voice, positive that the warrior was a demon king whose bones were buried in the vicinity, revived as a heroic spirit from the power of the Cataclysm.
“No, it might not be.”
Darwion leveled a glare at her party to silence several other horsemen who intended to retort or discuss excitedly, after of which the imposing female knight spoke carefully and quietly.
“Just now, that He had unleashed energy contained a horrific breath of life, and those Death Shades crumbled immediately as if they have met the sun, so he shouldn’t be a Death Shade.”
Not quite sure how to address it, Darwion could only use ‘he’ as a substitute, but everyone understood who she was referring to.
“If not a heroic spirit, what could it be?” Another horseman scratched his head, taking a single glance at the warrior from a distance but quickly closing his eyes in fear.
“Why would such a powerful living being come to our backcountry?” He then said quietly, completely afraid of leveling his gaze at the warrior for some reason even at a distance of several kilometers.
Nonetheless, many agreed with his notion, most of them baffled as to why such a powerful man would come to the edge of this continent. Whether he belonged to the Death Shades or the resistance, he should have been sticking to the center of the continent or southwest where the core battlefield was.
“It’s best if we leave soon,” Darwion spoke after considering it for some time while the party had a little discussion. Her expression somber, she restrained her mount before speaking again with a grave voice.
“Although the Death Shades were swept away they would not vanish entirely. Soon, they would revive collectively, and would still be in extreme danger if we don’t quickly break through back to the village right now.”
And such was the truth. At present, in the depths of the Autumn Waters Forest, the thin fog was yet to completely disperse. It was hurt significantly by the crimson radiance but was quickly regenerating too. Streaks of contorted black shadows were gestating in it, as if it would awaken at the very next moment.
As for the terrifying being in the distance The female knight utterly had no intentions to contact the other. Although he had clearly swept away a whole lot of Death Shades easilyas if swiping away dust from a tableand rescued her surrounded party, it was exactly because of the person’s formidableness that made Darwion unwilling to make contact.
If the other side had wiped out those Death Shades out of kindness it was the best kind of news. However, if they were just doing it noncommittally without even noticing Darwion’s own party, boldly approaching him would be severely riskythe entire convoy could be wiped out with a wave of a hand from the other person.
What’s worse, to Darwion, it was likely that the person who was unleashing heat and light just like a crimson sun while incessantly devouring the energies around him might very well not be a good person. It was not a conclusion from logical judgment but an instinctual cue and a premonition of danger.
Whatever the case may be, a presence that induces despair with a single glimpse was definitely not what a kindhearted individual would possess. The person must have slain innumerable lives by his own hand, and was an existence latched on by multitudinous vengeful spirits.
One way or the other, the further they were, the better. The champion had assuredly saved every single one of their livessomething the descendants of Astoria family would never forget. But even if they were to reciprocate it would have to wait until after they had safely delivered the materials in the carriages to the village. After that, the champion could do as they wished.
The others in the convoy were in full agreement. But just as Darwion turned her horse to go along the little forest path towards their destination, a shocked cry rang out.
“Da- Da- Darwion, sister! It- It’s bad!”
It was that lean and robust man once more. The ferocious knight who had been fighting hard against the Death Shades fearless moment ago was now stuttering and even biting his own tongueall his gallantry before vanished.
Still, nobody mocked him, including the female knight he called sister, because everyone was looking behind with a chilling sensation in their backs.
At the same time, the choppy voice of the man resounded amidst the carriages.
“That That He He’s coming!!”
In the distance, Joshua had stopped drawing in the air.
This time, he could unreservedly draw every herbal lifeforce and ion energies within kilometers around him into his stomach.
The tremendous and diverse energy were filtered and separated by the purest of lifeforce in Joshua’s own body, leaving some that he could not comprehend or lack. Apart from those, all vigor was assimilated by his lifeforcethose that he really could not convert were incinerated entirely, expelled as light and head.
By using the world breath at full-strength, Joshua had directly pushed his energy output level from the 32 to 37 percent. It was therefore an increase of 5 percent, even before the warrior really examined the energy essence of this realm, and was simply doing all his best instead to homogenize his own powers with this world.
If he finally began to study it, the progress would undoubtedly leap exponentially.
Still, it was not the time to rush such thingsexamining the fundamentals of a world could be done anywhere. Instead, Joshua raised his head, his eyes shooting out substantial life emission, scanning through the surrounding land.
In an instant, the crimson beam swept through the entire Autumn Waters Forest. His gaze caught everything, naturally including the carriages that were about to turn and leave.
He nodded satisfactorily after finding his target.
With a single step forward, the warrior reached several miles away while carrying his two divine armaments that floating behind his body. He left sound behind, breaking out a stretching corridor of vacuum and arriving in front of the carriage in seconds.
Pushing away the gale that surged violently in his wake by a whirl of his aura, Joshua peered at the female knight who was gaping at him and appeared to be the leader, as well as the panicked riders behind her who seemed to be seeing some horrible being. Then, with a tranquil tone, he asked, “Greetings, could you please tell me where”
“***, ********?” The female knight replied.
It was only after every single member of the convoy alighted from their horses and saluted him reverently that Joshua noticed a colossal issue. With the morphology of the Mycroft common tongue, he had no way of comprehending their accent and pronunciation.
In layman terms, it was a language barrier.
“ This is a problem.” Joshua could not help rubbing his forehead as his brain slightly painedalmost everyone was half kneeling before him, afraid of raising their heads.
“I really don’t know how to use convenient spells like ubiquitous speech”
On the other end, Darwion had seen how the frightening humanoid being covered the distance of several kilometers in seconds and arrived in front of them.
As such, she crisply gave up all resistance.
How would they resist him anyway? The shockwaves from his steps were enough to destroy all of them. Only one who had taken a blow to their head as a child would be brave enough to stand up against such an opponent.
Thinking as quick as lightning, Darwion also realized that the other side had especially restrained the shockwaves from his rapid movement so that they would not be harmed. Since he did not lash out at once and yet showed such obvious kindness, the humanoid that appeared to be unkind might be kind.
At the very least, he was no kin of malevolence.
That was why Darwion could not help feeling chagrined at her own judgmental behavior which relied on nothing but instinct. But despite that, she still did not dare to level her gaze at the other’sit was nothing less than the truth that she felt her neck muscles turning soft. She was so petrified her entire body could not move at all, and could at most think a little.
The other riders were more or less than the same. Everyoneincluding the horseswere on their knees. It was not some reverent salutethey were just unable to straighten themselves out of sheer terror.
Then, they could hear the powerful existence uttering a line with a mild tone.
Subconsciously, Darwion replied, “Apologies, what was that thou had said?”
In a flash, she realizedthere was a language barrier between the champion and themselves!”
Perhaps he really was some bygone hero, speaking some bygone language?
Everyone else present was aware of the fact, too. It was a pity that they were just horsemen who were good at waving weapons aroundask them a question about how to launch a raid and they would provide you more than a few suggestions. When it comes to ancient languages, it was simply putting these men on the spot, since they would admit at once that their own Grandia common tongue was sub-par.
Then, as Darwion gingerly looked on, the anonymous champion furrowed his brow, clearly noticing the issue too. It was also at that moment that the female knight saw that two unfathomably huge weapons were floating behind him.
One was a silver-white greatsword while the other was a black-gold greataxe. The two weapons sparkled with flowing fluorescence, hanging automatically in the air. They streamed with a blood-curdling atmosphere, as if they had torn apart innumerable bodies of living things and enjoyed drinking their fresh blood.
The presence is exactly the same as the ancestral holy sword enshrined in the village.
Gulping, Darwion lowered her head once more. Although the other had shown a little kindness it was not affirmed that he was on the side of angles, and as such the female knight completely did not dare to speak out of turn.
But soon, a force that was tender but irresistible lifted everyone from their half-kneeling posture.
Standing before the convoy, Joshua made everyone stand up. He had no solution for the language for the time being, and so decided to take the next step directly.
“Since there are people, there would be lodgings. These carriages rushing through the mountain road must have been heading for their settlement.”
With his swift mind, the warrior quickly guessed quite a few details about Darwion’s party. “They were immeasurably respectful to me, meaning that there are extraordinary individuals like me here in this worldand by how proficient they were, they might be seeing them every day.”
Language barriers were temporary. With Joshua’s present power level and his mental development, learning a new language would take just a few days, and would be a lot quicker if there was an instructor. The warrior also believed that following these people to a human settlement in this world would allow him to grasp most information regarding this world.
His body floating gently in the air, Joshua watched as the riders below him hesitantly returned to their horses, worried if they should just return to base. If the champion became interested, and even if they had a trump card in the village that could fight against the warrior, huge casualties would still follow.
The warrior understood the fact, but merely waited as the other side made their decision.
“What’s with the dilly-dallying!” Darwion then chided angrily; the female knight ultimately made the choice. “The Astoria don’t have such overcautious specimens! All of you know that it was a matter of time for him to find our village. It’s also clear from his actions he isn’t some demon king here to kill us all. Let’s return, since”
Before she finished, everyone nodded in silence.
Since the village was not completely defenseless.
And so, under the riders’ collective shouts, the convoy resumed their journey. The warrior naturally followed them behind, striding forward in the darkness into the distance.
In a forest of unfathomable darkness at the other end of the continent, a red-haired girl with dragon wings opened her eyes, waking from her dreamland with a start.
She stared in surprise at the gown over her body that was softly emitting a green radiance, numberless thoughts flashing across her mind.
It was the first time this ancestral gown behaved extraordinarily after that last curious beam. Now, the green radiance was rippling like a beating heart, spreading endless holy power and scent of life.
The girl had a premonition.
This change was different from the ones before.
On the other side, Joshua too raised his right hand ponderously as he flew in the air. Pressing down on his chest, he could feel the Azurite drumming due to a curious ripple, spreading wave after wave of pure Order power and vigor. This scent that was holy and gentle made the riders below looked up at him from time to time, although their gazes were no longer as cautious as they had been at the start, relaxing slowly instead.
The warrior drew out the mirror Pope Igor had given him.
A luminescence twinkled, pointing towards the west.