Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Night at the southern wastelands in the world of Grandia.
Joshua stood at the peak of a mountain, overlooking the land below.
Before him was a continent shrouded in darkness. There was no illumination, no torches and no light that civilization and intelligence would bring. The complete dullness devoured everything, with obscurely seen Death Shades wandering as they wailed shrilly.
It had been almost ten days after he had arrived in the area. The warrior had searched through every corner of these lands, streaking across all directions. Along the way, he saved at least thirty survivors in shelters, killing Death Shades by the ten thousand and increasing his energy output level to 63%.
But it was meaningless, with Joshua’s brow so furrowed in frustration it was essentially standing uprightas if she had vanished, there was no trace of the dragon-winged girl.
The warrior did not speak within the darkness. Neither did the divine armament siblings who had finally adapted to the environment of this world and was now able to change in human form. Ling and Ying could both sense their master’s irritation, and understand the mood.
It has not been a month since the warrior had arrived at this world and found the location of the heir and ascertained that the Sage’s Legacy was in fine condition. That was almost too fast, but Joshua knew that he had almost directly found his own objective. What was worse, after gaining no result after searching according to the clues, it was certainly exasperating comparing the two.
In the next moment, after a long exhale to still his troubled heart, Joshua returned to calm.
“Looks like she’s left this wasteland,” Joshua muttered to himself. “Urbandy gave me her scent and I do sense it amongst these lands, but it vanished ten days ago I originally thought that she was hiding, but now it seems that she’s used some method to conceal her own scent and hide someplace else.”
With that thought, Joshua, looked around at the horizon of each direction as he stood aloft at the mountaintop. Even if she was hiding at another area, then where on earth would that be?
Who knows. All he could do was depend on luck.
Now. Joshua planned to have Ling and Ying revert to their weapon forms, hold them aloft and drop them, after of which he would search wherever the tip of axe and sword pointed towards.
However, just as he was about to do that, he sensed a weak yet familiar ripple, and Joshua could not help but turn his eyes towards where the ripple came from.
“Silver tier?” He exclaimed in slight surprise.
That ripple was created by someone who had broken through to a Silver Radiant Spirit tier. It must have been a Dark Iron Omen-class individual who cultivated in aura, allowing his own body’s energy to link up with his entire body and utterly grasping their own physical prowess to ascend!
“That was quick.”
Throughout the entire southern overgrown plains, Joshua had rescued more than thirty survivors from various shelters and left each of them a different style of Kokyu-ho. Those Kokyu-ho combined the two chief cultivation principles of aura and protocrystal mana, allowing them to ascend either by absorbing the energies adrift around the world or through absorbing protocrystal power.
Most of these survivors did not have powerful abilities. Still, it was exactly because of that reason, as well as their weak presence that got the Death Shades which had destroyed their shelters to ignore them. Nonetheless, after attaining the Kokyu-ho and Joshua’s help, their ability definitely increased greatly and was enough to resist the Death Shades.
But for someone to make a breakthrough in ten days into Silver-tier, it was something that made the warrior feel rather surprised.
This proved that his hypothesis was not wrongor should he say, great success!
And so, a crimson bolt of light leapt up from the summit and streaked down towards the land. The dim radiance carved out a straight line in the dark world, dashing speedily towards the eastern region of the southern plains.
Meanwhile, amidst the ruins of the southern wastelands, a boy and a girl with blonde hair were standing in front of a house that was recently repaired and facing a group of Death Shades that were slowly closing in.
“Crete, aren’t you done calibrating?”
The girl stood valiantly, brandishing a cleaver that was polished to extraordinary sharpness and rapidly killing the weak Death Shades before her. The southern plains had been the most fertile ground in Grandia, and one of the largest human settlements. Still, the Death Shades that awakened here were mostly mortal-class, which was also how the girl who possessed certain extraordinary power could hold out for so long.
That being said, however weak the Death Shades were, the young girl could not fight all by herself.
“If you’re not done adjusting, I’m going to die right before your eyes!”
At present, the young man’s whose name had been called was not in a fine state. He was closing his eyes and leaning on a wall of the house, taking short and hurried breaths as if he was about to drown. Underneath his skin, bundles of green veins were bulging, the muscle squirmingbringing energy but also extreme pain.
“Laurel!” The boy named Crete spoke with a choppy voice, biting back through the pain. “Thirty-seconds! Give me thirty seconds!”
Even as he spoke, a lot of blood moved visibly through Crete’s veins, transporting the seeds of power assembled within his body to his entire body as he prepared to muster Silver-advanced tier aura.
“I’m almost done!” He then exclaimed, his voice no longer quaking as much even as he gripped the felling axe beside him, his green eyes flashing ferociously.
But Laurel cold no longer wait for his support.
Naturally, it was not because she did not push the Death Shades backbut it was due to the crimson meteor that sparkled over the horizon.
Joshua had arrived.
As if the sun had swept through the land, the entire eastern flank of the southern wastelands was cleared of Death Shades. Boy and girl stared blankly towards the sky as a familiar figure appeared in the sky over their village.
The figure who once saved them from Death Shades and instructed them in cultivation.
Laurel and Crete quickly knelt, their eyes filled with reverence. Though they did not know Joshua’s name, it did not affect the place he held within their hearts. It was a character that was equivalent to reborn parents, a great teacheror perhaps something even more.
On the other hand, Joshua, who saw that the muscles and veins around Crete were yet to return to normal, pointed with his finger.
A faint lifeforce emission thus shot out from his fingertip and seeped into the youth’s body. In an instant, the youth sensed in shock that the squirming muscle and veins had all calmed, completing the ascension!
After everything was done, Joshua nodded in slight praise as he surveyed the broken village around them.
“Not bad,” he said. “In just ten days you’ve already built a house from the debris, mostly completed the defensive fortifications and improved to Silver Although that’s because you two had sufficient protocrystals, it still most certainly counts as genius.”
The warrior’s eyes could see through all secrets, and assuredly understood the reason for Crete’s quick ascensionnot because of his accelerated cultivation, but because he held enough protocrystals.
According to the youths, the shelter village below Joshua had been leveled by a bunch of Death Shades led by a headless knight, with both of them only surviving after jumping into the bottom of a well.
Despite that, it was a stroke of fortune that these Death Shades were no robbers and plundered nothing. That was how Crete and Laurel had enough protocrystals to cultivate themselves with, after Joshua had rescued them and taught them Kokyu-ho.
In ten days, four thingsoutstanding inheritance, fine talent, sufficient resources along with the daily toiling live combats shaped a youth who could ascend into Silver in ten days.
“Rise,” Joshua said, getting them to stand up since he did not have the habit of conversing with others as they knelt. At the same time, his gaze penetrated Crete’s flesh, staring as he studied the seed of powers within his body.
It was a unique change. The mana from the protocrystal that the youth absorbed within his body was broken down into basic lifeforce and elemental power through the Kokyu-ho Joshua had taught him. The lifeforce was subsequently used for empowering his physicality and spawn aura, while the remaining elemental power was stored near his heart for mystical reconstruction.
After the youth ascend to Silver-advanced tier, Crete could work his lifeforce so that it would fuse once more with the elemental power around his heart, thereby reverting it into magical energy.
In other words, it was a Kokyu-ho that combined the cultivation methods of fighters from two worlds. It was almost a common Kokyu-ho on the Mycroft Continent, but on the Grandia Continent it was one of the finest honing techniques thanks to the immeasurably excellent progress by absorbing protocrystal energy.
More importantly, Joshua could tell that the fusion energy seed in Crete’s body already bore a hint of similarity with the pure aura in the Mycroft Continent.
And that similarity was the most basic essence of Steel Strength, one that would not change even after stepping to a different world!
“Let me try.”
Stretching out a hand, Joshua moved the energies throughout his body and mimicked that hint of energy essence. Instantly, a dull-silver radiance flashed through his palm that was substantial despite the dimness, as if it carried an entire world.
Having just stood up, Laurel and Crete could not help kneeling again even as they sensed the hint of a curiously familiar scent while their hearts were filled with reverence. The youth felt that the powerful red-eyed black-haired man before themthe mysterious instructor who left them their cultivation methodseemed to be melding slowly with the world and becoming one with it.
64%, 65%, 66%, 67%, 68%, 68.5%… 69%!
In no time at all, Joshua’s energy output level reached 69%.
So, a monumental presence swept through the entire southern wastelands!
Just like how leviathans that wandered the oceans kicked up borderless tidal waves, an indescribable vast power swept through every person across these lands.
Be it survivors who sensed the familiar presence or Death Shades scattered all around, all were suppressed by that power and rendered immobile. Further away at the southwest of the continent, certain Heroic Spirits and champions slumbering within undestroyed shelters promptly felt a pause in their breath and energy circulation, the palpitation lingering for some time.
Even further away, in Guetardthe formal Ulan Imperial Capital northwest of the continent, a Death Shade commander quickly turned and look towards the southern horizon.
“Divine” It said in a low voice. “Who Who could break through Divine at this time?!”
Back at the source of the ripple.
Joshua’s crimson eyes flashed with a metallic silver light as he floated in the air. That was the radiance of Steel Strength, the power that carries, shapes and engulf all things.
The power that he wished to grasp.
At the moment, Joshua’s power output level has yet to reach a hundred percent, but his ability now had surpassed his peak back at Mycroft.
It was a power that surpassed Supreme-pinnacle and was about to reach Legendary threshold!
However, just as warrior reached 69% of output rate, he suddenly stopped ascending further.
So, his presence shrunk back into himself.
Joshua landed slowly on the ground, ignoring the divine armament siblings excited chattering behind him such as ‘Master you’ve become really powerful!’ or ‘Feels like you’re even more powerful than when you were still in Mycroft!’, as well as Crete and Laurel’s worshipful gazes. Instead, he stared with utmost solemnness at his palm that no longer glinted with silver radiance.
“Steel Strength is being corroded?” The warrior muttered to himself in astonishment and doubt. “The power of the world’s existencethe Initial Flame is shrinking?! Who, who could do such a thing?!”
A moment ago, when Joshua’s power output was about to breakthrough to 70%, the aura and lifeforce around his body was about to be refined into energies that had more affinity with Steel Strength. He therefore breathed in resonance with the world of Grandia, and that in turn allowed him to vaguely sense that the essence of this world was being changed, and Steel Strength, the fundamental of all things, was being eroded.
There was no similar Steel Python existing in this world compared to Karlis and Illgner. The world existed for too brief a time, so much so that its own will was yet to be birthedthat was why the essence of this world could easily be changed, even corrupted and eroded.
So that he himself would not be affected by erosion, Joshua gave up his breakthrough without hesitation.
In the distant northwest at the Imperial Capital of Guetard within the former Ulan Empire, black clouds that caused unease cascaded as black rain begun to fall.
The city was shrouded in the light of seven dully-colored halos, which also maintained the dense fog that never dispersed and the roaring dust hurricane.
In that very moment, the fourth halo broke away from the seven-halo formation and slowly headed towards the south. The dark vortex, carrying tremendous dark energy, started for the world out there.
It was as if some shadow was climbing out from the abyss.
Its target was the southern wastelands.
And its objective was to destroy all resistance and hope.