Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
The moment man made that decision, heaven and earth fell into lightless darkness.
In the shade of chaos, the crystal wall of Grandia dimmed in a single breath, the fluctuating radiance became stiff as if a frozen sea. The bottomless dark seeped into every corner of the world, glaciating the atmosphere, all life and even space itself, pulling it into silence.
In the void, indescribable waves of nothingness quickly unfurled towards the world of Grandia. A world that had lost fire, light and everything should not exist and was rightly part of the nothingness. Such was the cycle of the multiversethe death and rebirth of worlds would repeat itself amidst Order and Chaos, rotating within vacuum and flames.
But there was another layer of radiance that blocked every single one of them comprehensively.
Countless sheets of repeating colossal holy magic circles formed from patterns, gears and runes engulfed the world of Grandia that had been utterly extinguished. Its existence was so monumental that any form of observation would only see part of it.
The circle, left behind by the Sage and so huge it concealed an entire world while staying dormant for a thousand years, activated as the world died. It pivoted systematically, bringing the world utterly into its fold and dominating every little corner of it.
And in the heart of the world, Joshua held the Initial Flame in his hand.
Everything had stopped in the darkness. Only spots where the flame’s radiance illuminated had the sounds of breathing. It was within the dark coldness encirclement that Joshua decisively made his choice.
Joshua needed no time at all to make the choice between the worlds of Grandia and Mycroft. It was neither being callous or heartless; it was how all of it should be. Furthermore, he had come exactly to save Mycrofthow could he possibly make another choice?
As for Grandia, their civilization had grown from the 103,000 sinners, with courageous heroes as well as weak traitors exactly like other worlds, the diverse life of it having a rich variety of characters on each level.
It was not because they were borne of traitors that the choice was made to abandon them. To the warrior, believing that the children of sinners were still sinners was despicable. If the descendants of those traitors were willing to take up their sword and use their own blood clear the shame of their ancestors’ weakness, why should they not be given a chance?
The reason Joshua had known all this and yet made the decision was that he was clear on his own objective, that was why his heart felt no regret or pity.
If a world’s rebirth required the death of another, so be it.
Whether it is pride or not, I chose to and am willing to shoulder it all.
Let everything end.
Grasped within Joshua’s hand was that little flare that was as heavy as a world, igniting a little spark in accordance to the warrior’s will.
As it brightened, the darkness that filled the continent was suddenly flooded with countless pale gold light. They were speckled like the stars, glinting with hazy but beautiful colors, before assembling together and subsequently surging towards the flare in the warrior’s hand like a tide.
The souls of all life were like a silently cascading wave, surging into the little flame. From beyond the world, four radiances of varying colors flew towards it alongside the boundless tide of light towards Joshua, seeping into his body.
White was fire and light, the origin of all existence.
Silver was Order, judgment of sins, and the end of malevolence.
Colorless was nothingness, but also meant the beginning, the key to grasping rebirth and destruction.
Green was flames yet to be lit, the source of possibilities and hope of the things yet to happen.
And the last was the warm, scorching flare.
Under the clustering of the endless pale-gold soul lights, the Initial Flame did not blaze, nor did it drown under the clusters. It was a flare that was indescribable, unobservablenothing about it could be verified apart from the fact that it existed.
Carrying Joshua, it slowly rose, breaking apart darkness and silence and fused with the sacred circle that covered the entire world.
In an instant, most civilizations that could observe the Void within the Multiverse would discover a fact in astonishment.
Upon the endless sea of stars, a red-gold galaxy stretched across the infinitely expansive void, connecting two dull planets that stood on two different ends.
Naturally, it was the same for the Mycroft Continent.
Within the Infinite Horizon, the slumbering gods opened their eyes.
On the Far Seas Sacred Mountain, the white-haired pope stared at the starry sky, his heart surging.
In the center of the Eternal Lake, two elves were stroking the seemingly budding World Tree Seed, before lifting their gaze doubtfully.
In the dry and scorching desert, a high priest was instructing a group of children. The middle-aged man who had just taken up the post pointed to the starry skies, patiently describing the meaning behind each celestial body. However, the scarlet galaxy utterly distorted his procedure.
A wandering knight roaming over wastelands and cities also stared at the sight thoughtfully. Moved, he sighed unintelligibly.
Amidst the mountains, below the earth, within the merfolk settlements deep underneath the oceans or in the unfathomable underground ruins of ancient races, champions were looking up towards the sky.
Even the swordsman who shouldered a Holy Sword and the mage who lived in the Skypiercing Tower were astonished. Amongst the many kingdoms, monarchs and emperors had shifted their plans schedules, turning their eyes to stare towards the sky.
“Flame seed and soul.”
Within the Star Altar, the dragon-winged girl’s almost inaudible mumbling had been heard by the pope. Igor answered her question, and gazed at the unconscious successor with a compassionate gaze.
He now knew what choice the warrior on the other end of space had made.
A monumental and prideful choice that bore the lives and souls of billions.
It was one choice that even Akhar Akyev, the Founding Emperor of the Central Empire did not dare to make. Neither did the Celestial Saint Cynthia Morningstar, nor the Sage himselfthe same Sage who had decreed all of it, but was not unyielding enough to make his choice in the final part of the play, instead acting utterly irresponsibly and leave it all to posterity.
All of them hesitated.
Joshua, however, did not.
The galaxy flew, sailing at the speed of thought as the scarlet flare dragged an extended belt of light over the multiverse, allowing innumerable worlds to admire the magnificent sight.
It was one that even the radiant fog of the Great Mana Tide did not compare.
Amidst the flare, the man who controlled the navigation of the galaxy saw the past and future that should have been his destiny.
The turning point of Joshua van Radcliffe’s fate was on that chilling winter day in Starfall Year 831. His father who possessed the Legacy had died in battle within the Sealed Lands, and he, an ignorant youth then, could only drag his body that was severely injured in battle and return alone to Moldavia. Burning with rage, the man then withstood the Dark Tide invasion and the attacks of traitors, going through toiling battles before finally leading the remnant of his family’s knights to reclaim his territory.
The once cheerful man had become cold and stoic following the passing of his father and his old butler. His own uncle’s betrayal further leaden his vigilant heart, and in the next summer, the Joshua of that timeline finally attained an obscure Legacy from his family crypt, thus ascending into Gold tier.
Afterward, the man’s name echoed across the lands as he carried his black giantaxe and slew several Gold monsters, wrecking even the hills they lived in. Thus did the name ‘Joshua the Mountain Smasher’ spread across his territory even as Moldavia swiftly developedbut the berserk dragon plague had followed.
It was a toiling battle. Even the combined might of the four Northern Territories were virtually defenseless against the draconic army led by the white dragons, the only solution being to break inside the dragon lair and slay the two white dragon leaders. Molded by his skirmishes against countless Aragami, the man naturally led the strike team, and after a bitter fight paved in flesh and blood, they finally triumphed and calmed the draconic crisis.
However, his domain had been largely razed to the ground, the administration of his family that lasted for centuries essentially pummeled into nothingness.
Lost, helpless and laden with scars, the man simply recovered gradually underneath the ruins as he hailed the Great Mana Tide.
His subsequent ascension to Supreme, the renunciation of the pope, the Era of Development, the Central Dark Forest uprising, the Emperor’s passing, and the Imperial Civil Waras if driven by fate, the man would enter an immeasurably cruel slaughter and battle in the transition of each era. Against the cultists, Supreme monsters, rebellion, and the Central Army, he would emerge victorious in each occasion, seizing supremacy as he bathed in blood.
Combat never crumbled him, but the incessant number of dark wounds that he gained gradually churned and gradually festered, finally crushing him. Hence, the warrior who exhausted his soul and vigor was left with a short lifespan.
Before his death, he stared at the Azurite he inherited that only glittered with no other reaction.
Then, he gave a smile that had mixed emotions at his own divine armament butler.
“The Radcliffe family has been burnt out,” he said with a soft, hoarse voice. “Go, search for the next successor.”
And so, days later in the town of Moldavia by the North of the Empire, news that ‘Fireblood Joshua’, the current head of the Radcliffe Family was searching for an ‘Heir to the Legacy’ spread throughout the Empire.
It was how everything should have been.
Gripping the Dragonslayer Swordspear in hand, Joshua closed his eyes and opened them again.
Now, it was a different mirage.
The dragon-winged girl who had fled across every direction in the post-apocalyptic world had finally nowhere to run. Besieged by the multifarious armies of undead spirits, an epiphany finally crossed her heart.
What was the use of continuing like that? Death was inescapableeven if she had used her mystical robe to escape this time, she too would become a specter when her life was spent.
Even so, what meaning was there in a life such as this? There would not be any change and nothing could be done. It was a mere escape, passing the time that fate had left herself.
That was why, the girl who had resolved herself took out the Jewel Seed she had and unleashed the greatest ‘fireworks’ in the world of Grandia. The price was a flattened zone with the radius of several kilometers, the surface cratered over several dozens meter deep.
Meanwhile, the girl herself was sent flying by the shockwave of the explosion, fainting even though she was protected by the mystical robe. Men from the Four Holy Cities found her, and she, being pursued by the Death Shades so persistently, would quickly become famous amongst the survivors. The girl herself was received by the old man mechanized with magical constructs, and she learned from him the difficult position the Holy Cities were in.
In the Tomb of the Saints, a numberless amount of Heroic Spirits was slumbering. If they had the help of these heroic spirits that were yet to rot, they would be able to resist even the boundless ranks of the Death Shade army. In that period, they could dispatch an elite squad towards the Guetard Highlands and destroy the source of the Death Shades.
“The only problem is that awakening those slumbering Heroic Spirits require too much energy.”
The old man sighed thushe had had almost withered himself but had barely attained a fraction of the terrific energy requirement. It truly was a number that would cause the survivors to despair.
However, the girl appeared baffled while she touched her unique robe that never seemed to lack power. “Energy?” She muttered softly. “I have it here.”
Therefore, days later, the armies of Heroic Spirits and Death Shades fought at the wastelands under the Guetard Highlandsthe first all-out war in twenty-seven years.
At the same time, the dragon-winged girl ran into the Emperor of a thousand years before unexpectedly.
“That’s teacher’s gown”
The old knight put down his lance as he fixed his gazed upon the young girl who bore a remarkable resemblance to the Celestial Saint. Unsure if it was fate or coincidence, he no longer desired to fight, and thus told the girl with a forlorn voice the heartwarming story that happened a thousand years ago, as well as the cruel truth behind everything.
Perhaps there was a slight error, such as the entire matter being so severe it was unbelievable and irresolvable. One way or the other, the story ended with the world never receiving salvation.
And so, 103,000 survivors patiently awaited the future within the dim radiance of the Initial Flame, hopping for the destined arrival of ‘certain people’ that would grant them the salvation they had waited for a thousand years.
It was how everything should have been.
Joshua opened his eyes; he had finally reached Mycroft.
Flame, holding infinite golden stream surged into the world, while the immeasurably holy magic circle spread and fused into the surface of the world that emitted in a faint light.
The warrior knew that all of it was overevery soul that had lived on Grandia across a thousand years had completely melded into the dying Mycroft Continent and turned into part of their circle of life. The 103,000 souls of the first sinners would as a result combine with the flame that their world had combusted into, entering the deepest core of the continent to prolong its lifespan.
It could clearly be seen that the sheet of light over Mycroft was also gradually brightening from its previous darkened state. It could clearly be seen that the surface of the world that was covered in fissures rapidly healed every single one of those wounds.
With the death of one planet, another one that was gradually dimming recovered its previous splendor.
And in the silence, the world that once faced death returned to liveliness, able to keep living for a thousand years.
Joshua saw it all, his heart calm and unruffled.
In that very moment, a voice said something enigmatic to the man who changed everything.
“That’s enough,” the warrior replied dispassionately and shook his headseemingly mumbling to himself and interacting with a certain being at once. “Everything has ended.”
“103,000 was an unreal number from the startthere isn’t a single coward amongst the living. The traitors have paid their debts, and those living should stay alive.”
“I have fulfilled my promise; I shall fulfill another now.”
In Joshua’s hand, an extremely faint flame that was about to die out remained, with seemingly millions of people slumbering within.
The warrior spoke softly, “I’ve said, I would not sit and watch That’s my promise.”
Then, he suddenly smiled.
“You would help me, right? Sage?”
An existence combined from the four radiance spoke with a tranquil voice that only Joshua could hear. “Since that is your choice, I would definitely assist you, my successor.”
Thus, the champions of the Mycroft Continent witnessed another sight.
Soon after the flaming galaxy had vanished, another scarlet illumination shone across the skies.
In the void, the warrior stood upon the world’s sheet of light. He scanned through the many worlds and found his target.
It was a world filled with ash and devoured by famine. There were chilling continental winds that caused the oceans to freeze, while ever-present sand and dust suffocated everything.
Carrying the flames, Joshua extended his hand towards the world that had long met its end and was left with a bare few ashes.
“I shall fight all Chaos.”
His arm inflated.
“I shall save all innocents and punish all evils.”
A metallic radiance emitted.
“Against my foes, my heart shall never forgive, my rage shall never extinguish.”
As tall as thousands of miles and unimaginably titanic, the six-armed giant stood amidst the void. The most intense and firmest of will surged out from the depths of the soul condensed, forming the blood and flesh of the giant while majestic power that surpasses limit flowing around its body.
“I am Joshua van Radcliffe.”
The light of the flame slowly kindled.
“I shall shoulder everything, save everything, punish everything.”
As if a pot, cracks spread over the body of the giant.
“I so swear.”
The ash giant whose body brimmed with sparks moved.
The King of Searing Soul opened his lava-like eyes.
Four cities, countless remaining settlements and millions of survivors flashed within the flames of the ash giant. Then, as the warrior’s body kept inflating, the flames finally turned into material form shrouded in radiance just like a little continent, and was embraced by the warrior.
The giant’s six arms carried the virtually unbearable weight. Bit by bit, he walked without trembling towards the world filled in ash, the four radiances illuminating the path before him as a supportive power.
Finally, he reached the world known as Karlis. He lifted a final remnant of a world as well as its last survivors, gently ‘placing’ them within.
The fragment of a continent, accompanied by the energy of the flame, descended upon the ashen world.
Warm and gentle light broke through the skies of gloom, expelling all shade and darkness.
The dry and corrosive wind slowly gained in warmth, while the deathly silent and decaying land became lively again thanks to it. Under the shinning of the light, green grass began to propagate over the earth while new sprouts appeared over long-withered trees. Red Sparks danced across the entire world, covering it without leaving anything outwhether it was plains, valleys, rotting lakes or frozen ocean, all was engulfed.
Flame incinerated Chaos, allowing the world to reclaim Order. Reviving a barren land, such was the power of the world guardian[King of Searing Soul].
But this time, the flame was enough. Even if it could remain lit for just a few dozen years more, that was a matter for the future.
Everything now thereby welcomed a not too perfect ending.