Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
No pain or joy would last longer than time itself.
As dawn arrived, the obscure gray-white fog was dyed with a layer of gold radiance by the first rays from the sun. Streaks of bright but heatless radiance fell through amidst the cracks between the clouds, only to be devoured by the darkness that covered the land.
Orderly footsteps and the clanging sounds of armor colliding could be heard within the darkness that quickly advanced, but there was not a hint of human interaction.
Some silent visitors had arrived at the southwest wastelands of the Grandia Continent.
The ripples of contorted dimension lowly dissipated behind them. These dark beings carried a deathly presence that did not belong to this world were warped here from the far northern dust highlands.
Klang.The sounds of clashing metals echoed even as the sun slowly brightened. It broke through the gray-white clouds and illuminated the land, and the Death Shades that were scattered around quickly vaporized just as the darkness that engulfed the world slowly vanished, revealing the beings behind it.
It was an elite unit of heavy infantry that was as systematic as machines, their banners soaring overhead.
Each of these soldiers were adorned in black full-body armor. Each flail, heavy crossbow, and broadsword that hung by their hips or javelins they carry behind their backs were exquisitely crafted, gleaming with cool light of bloodlust.
But the most astonishing thing was that these beings with no hint of being alive did not disperse despite the arrival of the sun. They were protected by a dull black halo over their heads, containing abnormal Death Shade power that kept the sun from harming them.
At the very front of the troops, a warrior wearing a heavy armor decorated with a ferocious looking dragon-head while carrying a dragonslayer great sword behind his back led the team through the dimensional doorway as they advanced towards the soil of the Southwestern Wastelands.
No pain or happiness was more somber than death.
Great commander Arman was deeply aware of that fact.
As a dead general who once led endless armies and was awakened from eternal slumber, no one was more aware of how cumbersome time and death wereenough to crush all spirit and discolor all glory.
Armand Fernand was a general five-hundred and fifty-three years ago who served the Central Empirethe former incarnation of the Ulan and Gelug Empires. He led their grand army overseas to hunt the giant dragons that inhabited a dragon island, killing hundreds of those reptiles due to the unexpected ambush.
Then, under Armand’s instructions, the army closed down the space where the dragons lived on every other turn until the powerful general killed the Elder Dragon of that particular generation by his own hands. Thus, the ancient, glorious and powerful race was almost completely wiped out, leaving just a few dragon-blooded descendants behind.
Now, five-hundred and fifty-three years later, the reawakened dragon-slaying general led his revived armies and walked upon this land. And yet, everyone was now ignorant of their past glory, their records becoming but a light scribble in the history books. Just as the draconic races that were slaughtered and thus forgotten all those years before, everything they did slowly return to dust and silence under the sweep of time.
Now, this undead army that was filled with past glory, pressed on towards the wastelands with a confident stride.
Their goal was to wipe out all life within.
Since the Death Shades engulfed the continent, every faction in the world of Grandia crumbled beneath their boundless invasion. Most cities fell or self-destructed swiftly, leaving survivors who ran to live within the ancient forests.
Thus, ninety percent of life on the continent was extinguished, and the expression ‘nine out of ten’ was no longer a hyperbole but reality.
However, even those survivors were slaughtered by the gradually active Death Shade Army one after the other.
As the one behind all that, grand commander Armand neither felt ashamed nor hesitant. It was because all of it were orders coming from ‘that person’, and everything ‘that person’ did was unquestionable justice.
Even if it was war, slaughter and destroying this world.
Suddenly, the army stopped.
The sounds of their footsteps vanished in an instant, leaving the sounds of billowing wind in the air. The dawn sun had completely broken through the clouds, allowing the world to be blanketed in light and filled with warmth.
The general wearing a dragon-head helmet lowered the hand he used to gesture for the army to stop and looked up towards the seemingly borderless plains.
Behind the v-shaped opening of his helmet, two bundles of red flames could be seen contracting into specks, and he tightened his grip over the hilt of his sword that hung by his hip.
Armand had seen someone.
The plants over the wastelands were withered; the land cracked in countless spider-web fissures due to drought.
And yet, a warrior with black-hair and scarlet eyes and whose body emanated with an indescribable presence was simply standing over the plains that offered no cover, as if he was waiting for their arrival.
He wore a black light armor; his face was so calm it was almost cold. Beside him was a silver great sword almost the height of a person that stood upright as if a pillar, while he held another weapona war axe over his shoulder.
His imposing presence radiated to regions dozens of miles around him, holding such power that the dawning sky dulled. He therefore became the greatest source of heat in this world, scorching all things around him. Still, the dried plants were but incidental victimsthe undead spirits around him were the ones being bombarded heavily.
Nonetheless, Armand stood before his army. The halo over his head whirled slowly, blocking the opponent’s cleansing lifeforce that radiated out of his entire body.
He immediately knew that the person was the target of their journey.
A Heavenly champion who stood before the threshold of Divine, capable of breaking through at any moment!
An equal of their current broken bodies, a power that belonged to the peak of this world that was deteoriating by the day.
“So, you’re that person from another world.”
Through mana resonance, the dragon-armor general’s voice that was so flat it seemed to have no emotion resounded across several kilometers. “We have a list of all remaining Heavenly champions of the entire continent. Heavenly-pinnacle champions who are about to make a breakthrough are especially given more attentionand yet, you’re not included.”
The warrior did not reply, however. Joshua seemed to have no intention of talking. He merely tightened his grip over the hilt of his axe and sword, while tremendous energy flowed within his body.
Armand, on the other hand, was indifferent to the fact. Seemingly having other thoughts, he simply carried on speaking.
“Although it’s not known why you would come to this world without hope, whatever the case may be, it’s better if you quickly return and not interfere in our struggle against the living. This isn’t something people of another world such as you could step into.”
Though Armand’s words were laced with thick caution, there was no hint of enmity. Even Joshua paused for a bit at his demeanor, but he soon shook his head as if mocking the other for thinking too much.
I’m just doing what I want.
Slowly lifting the greataxe and greatsword and assembling both into the unsophisticated Dragonslayer Swordspear, he assumed a combat stance with a spear in hand, inviting the other into a fight.
There were flames within his gaze, as if narrating a simple truth.
Only victors have the right to talk.
With that, the lifeforce emission that was spreading incessantly everywhere quickly shrunk, cascading back into Joshua’s body.
Knowing that his opponent was a being that did not dull in comparison against Herlasperhaps even surpassing him, the warrior would neither be careless nor spare an ounce of power.
“You wish to fight?” Armand smiled coldly on the other side, shaking his head as he grasped Joshua’s intentions. “Pitiful fellow. You totally have no idea what you’re dealing with.”
In the very next moment, the general drew the longsword from his hip, his fingers clenching over it as he held it before himself.
A resounding reverberation came banging from his body. With the thunderous boom, endless black haze ejected out from the seams the general’s dragon-armor, shaping into a gigantic black halo formed from endless runes and totem constructs over himself and his army. The halo chained every Death Shade together as if fusing them into a single body.
Moving clouds shifted under the manipulation of that power as if a pair of colossal, invisible hands were condensing every energy on this earth. Armand’s voice was also gradually growing more powerful, turning from your typical speech into the roar of a million dragons at once. Gales formed from the sound waves billowed across the skies of the wastelands, causing clouds to surge and the world to lose coloras if all things could not disobey his view.
The dragon-armor general lifted his head slightly and focused his gaze on Joshua, a cruel killing intent exploding instantaneously.
“I am the titled Divine, Armand Fernandez the dragon-slaying general of the Central Empire and the Fourth Death Shade commander.”
“You face the judgment of ten thousand armies!”
Every undead spirit that stood behind Armand drew their weapons. Blood-red radiance gradually concentrated within their red eyes, as if they desire the slaughter and flesh that followed.
With nary a sound, the phantom of a military god that seemed to pillar heaven and earth had seemingly awakened from the netherworld. It appeared out of thin air, and yet had not an inch of flesh but merely pale-white bones. Over its body was a heavy dragon-scale armor, its hands brandishing a bone-breaking war hammer and an armor-piercing longsword, while its entire body unleashed bloodlust and ferocious killing intent.
And as if the will and curses of the vengeful millions it had murdered had gathered upon the military god’s specter armor, its surface seemingly swirled with a black luminescence of malevolence.
Five-hundred and fifty-three years ago, the dragon-slayer general had condensed the power of armies. The taboo spell [Lord of the Armies], undefeated in all wars and wiping out nations or dragons alike has reappeared on this day!
Though his opponent was but one man.
“I am the army; the army is I.”
“If you wish to fight me, you would have to fight my armies. If you wish to kill me, you would have to kill us all.”
Armand pointed his longsword towards the silent warrior before his eyes.
Amidst the ranks of undead spirits, the military god that was comparable to a titan drew out its longsword and pointed at the warrior too. Its savage impulse for bloodshed poured out, as if to freeze all things and have all life bare their necks for its blade.
On the other hand, the warrior’s eyes glinted.
Then, he spokethe first line he uttered since he met Armand.
“Doesn’t sound too difficult.”