Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Hillya was a bit confused. She has never heard of any mission for her, let alone forgetting it. Yet without a doubt, the serious white-haired middle-aged man before the girl would not lie. By instinct, she would rather doubt herself than to doubt others.
Standing before the altar surrounded by flames, the man lightly said, “Not just for you. This is a mission for all life in this world of yours.”
If Joshua were here, he definitely would have been able to realize just how much more dignified and indifferent the phantom of the Sage in Hillya’s heart was compared to the phantom of the Sage in the Azurite.
Even though growth does bring about a change of character, when it came to saying that the adult Sage was more indifferent than when he was in his younger days, it was actually more like boredom and intolerance.
And this dawn.
It was when Armand Fernandez completely died and turned into a light in the sky.
It was when Hillya was reverently heeding the mission given to her and all life in the vision of the Saint of Origin Robe.
In the world of Grandia, located all around the Tomb of the Saint in the center of the western part of the continent, the deepest parts of the four colossal yet completely different cities, four existences, who differed from each other in form yet who were all incomparably powerful, lifted their heads, their gaze seemingly able to pierce through layers of rock and steel, staring straight up to the heavens.
“Armand the Dragonslayer has been defeated. His soulfire has completely dissipated.”
Within a vast fortress of countless steel and machinery, steam, and gears, an old man, whose entire body has been replaced by various specialized constructs, stood at the top of the towering observatory. He activated his two completely mechanized prosthetic eyes, and with a stern, solemn look, the old man gazed at the middle of the empty sky, whispering to himself in a synthetic voice, “With the passing of such a formerly-divine soul, the ‘vacancy’ it has left us with has increased by very much.”
Turning his head, the old man adjusted the focus of the pupils of his artificial eyes made of crystals and magic circles. He stood on the stargazing platform which, following the rotation of the gears, could adjust its height and inclination at any time, overlooking the busy working crowd within the fortress.
Myriad workers in heavy protective clothing used fire-spewing magical tools to inscribe runes onto the steel gear fortress. Many mages solidified formless energy channels midair without stopping, causing the seemingly unconnected runes to link up, finally forming a complete whole.
But it would be faster this way.He thought.With the additional filling in of a divine soul…the final assault is very likely to arrive soon.
“I must leave behind a Flame Seed as best as I am able.”
This old construct-man, who seemed to know what was going on, turned his head away from observing the busy workers and mages. He and the enormous stargazing platform slowly disintegrated into scattered gears and parts, lastly merging into the middle of the entire steel city.
Inside the fortress, pipes flowing with magical energy and steam gushed forth, releasing an ear-piercing screech and plumes of white smoke which condensed into clouds above the fortress.
It was as if a giant life was breathing, sighing.
In the deepest parts of the city, which was simply built in between the vines and the giant wood, and which seemed to be completely assimilated with plants, at the very center of the convergence of countless tree roots, an aged elf lady awoke among the amber-like gold-colored protocrystals. She was completely surrounded by Bluestone, which is equal to Cloudites and Prisms and second only to Jewel Seeds. These protocrystals that contain exceedingly strong amounts of vitalityso much so that even one who is among the dead can borrow it to grow flesh and bloodhave been nourishing this elf that has lived for an unknown number of years, and they now bear witness to her tears and despondency over the passing of another.
“He suffered the most despicable assassination, receiving a most dishonorable death”
The elderly lady who witnessed the end of several eras, as well as the fall of an empire, spoke in a tone that is unknown as to whether it is of consolation or of sorrow, saying, “Who knows if he has gotten the ending he wanted this time?”
Soon after, on the streets of the city, flower buds large and small grew out of the green vines that ran through innumerable buildings. The buds grew and bloomed, releasing spiritual waves. This caused the crowds who were busy at work cultivating various plants to halt all activity and listen to the voice of the protector in silence.
“The final assault is coming.”
The gentle voice of the old lady spoke to everyone’s hearts, “Children, do your tasks at hand.”
“That is the Flame Seed, your only hope for surviving death.”
This world was younger than anybody could imagine.
In the mountains that towered above the clouds and bathed in the moonlight, atop the peak of the rocky city hewn out of an entire mountain, a short yet incomparably fit dwarven warrior leaned on his own great hammer, sitting on the top of the mountains looking at the faint moonlight and stars, as well as the rising dawn, with a calm unchanging gaze.
A thousand years? Or was it a thousand and five hundred? When all is said and done, it absolutely couldn’t have been over two thousand years.
This was the dwarf’s conclusion when he first felt the fusion of the rock and soil and the earth’s core.
He swam in magma and explored the inside of the earth’s core. On the first day of having broken through to the heavens one hundred years ago, he crossed the molten path within the volcanic archipelago on the southern side of the continent, traversing within the earth’s mantle. He was looking for the oldest layers of rock. Yet having touched the most ancient of magma, the dwarven warrior even wanted often to get close to the earth’s core, that legendary center of the universe that revolves in the void carrying the whole land and world.
Even though he did not succeed, he understood one thing.
That is, this world had only been around for a thousand years.
And the future that was coming to an end.
This world was shorter than anyone could imagine.
Long ago, the world was yet to come full term, but saints crossed into this world and guided the Pioneers in building this world, and the champions who created everything thus forcefully put an end to the fetal movements of this world, causing it to be a “premature infant,” carrying the many Pioneers and their descendants.
And now, the predestined end was to come, and the final war before the end was also soon to begin.
“We are paying for the debts of our ancestors. This is truly unfair.”
Having uttered those rude words, the dwarven warrior continued to mumble to himself, saying, “The dragonslayer is dead; who killed him If another Divine-level soul vanishes, then the final assault would truly be nearing soon”
“That leaves us with not much time.”
Within the huge city walls above the plains, made of a mix of rocks and tree roots, that were at least hundreds of feet tall, countless humans were farming, inscribing runes on bricks of stone, and building an incomparably sturdy tower fortress.
On an exceedingly large colossal throne, the height of which was at least ten times that of a normal human, at the center of a place in the heart of the city, sat a giant who was nearing seventy feet tall who sighed.
The throne was quaint, its pedestal composed of a few corroding gray rocks. Time has etched deep creases into it. The body of the giant and the throne cast a shadow on the ground, covering the many surrounding human subjects who were listening. With the smallest voice possible that could still rumble the atmosphere, he said, “Armand Fernandez has been slain by the Otherworlder. The Death Shades will not relent; they may not be looking for that person, but they will arrive to attack the Holy City and the Tomb of the Saint.”
“Make all preparations,” said the giant, “this is the final assault, and it will also determine your fate and mine.”
On the northwestern plateau of the continent, the other side of the Four Holy Cities, in the middle of the former imperial city Guetard, the fourth obelisk lost all light. It gradually corroded, and then turned into a sky-covering black smoke that blended into the surrounding mist.
Above the pitch-black stone monument, several pairs of eyes were observing this scene, followed by sounds of laughter full of disdain, along with lamentations of slight regret.
“I have said this from the start, he was only asking for death, don’t give him a chance to die in battle.”
“A pity. My fellows were not many to begin with. What we lack is the positive energy of the Dragonslayer Army. This time, what can be relied on in order to penetrate the blockade of the defense lines of the Holy City are only the low level irregular fighters, the Death Shades.”.
“I have some business to take care of. I shall take my leave.”
Suddenly, atop the third obelisk, the swordsman who had been silent the whole time started to speak. This haughty great leader of the Death Shades lifted his head and looked towards the south. His underling had already informed him of every information regarding the champion from the otherworld, be it the incident where he rescued not a few survivors, or the incident where he left behind numerous strange legacies. The shadeshifters sought out secret news that were unknown to the great majority of people, and they asked their master if they should make a move to eliminate the survivors.
Of course, the swordsman refused.
He may be ruthless, aloof, bloodthirsty, belligerent; one might even say he does not have a single feeling of kindness and compassioneven the teacher who gave him his name and taught him the practice of swordsmanship had also been slain in the name of “sword testing,” and his fellow apprentices who looked to him as a brother and father were also seriously injuredbut even when he was revived as a Death Shade, the swordsman would never fall to the point of acting against a group of children.
That would have brought shame to the sword in his hand.
“Swordsman, where are you going?”
Someone asked in curiosity, “Even though Armand is dead, we need to launch an offensive immediately. You’re not thinking of avenging him, are you?”
The swordsman shook his head and kept silent.
But in the depths of a festival hall of a small town hidden within the deep mountain at the other end of the continent, on the eastern side of the world, the old Heroic Spirit opened his eyes as if he were thinking of something and looked far toward the northwest.
Both their eyes met in the void, as if it were the clashing of two sharp swords, releasing a deafening buzz into the spiritual world.
At that time, the dawn had arrived, and the stars and moon were hidden away.
Within a speeding horse-drawn carriage, a kind middle-aged woman cautiously stretched out her hands to touch the shoulder of the girl with the dragon wings who seemed to be in a daze in front of her, to awaken her from her deep contemplation with a pat.
Yet before she could hit with force, Hillya suddenly came back to her senses, blinking her eyes. She appeared to still be in shock. She scanned all about her with some confusion.
The thoughts of the girl with the dragon wings still lingered in the time not long ago, among the phantoms left behind by the Saint’s Robe. She muttered as if she were out of her mind, “How how can it be this is not possible”
As she repeated these few words, under the mildly-disturbed sights of the middle-aged woman, Hillya looked at each other with dark and gloomy eyes. She then clasped her hands together, saying in an almost pleading tone, “No this is not true”
“We are not traitors, are we?!”
At the same time, a red spot of light flashed across the horizon; the obscure ray of light drowned out the radiance of dawn, eclipsing the stars and moon.
The girl subconsciously raised her head.
She saw it. A gargantuan existence carrying boundless presence, trailed by a green light, coming in at high speed from afar.
That was the figure of a “fellow kind” that she was previously looking forward to, but now completely repulsed by.