Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
A bright light flashed across the horizon. Two rays, as gentle and yet intangible as moonlight, shot up toward the sky from the main city, Moldavia. This mildly surprised Joshua, who has brought his party to his doorsteps.
The warrior was dazed, not because he recognized the fact that two Legendary-tier casters were the cause of the two rays, but because both these two Legendary-tier casters were very familiar to him.
“Rune Master” Barnil Gaskell, and “Mind Lord” William Charles; these two casters were a world-renowned itinerant Legendary team who pledge allegiance to no authority. They would give lessons in the Eastern Plains only because they were invited to by the Skypiercing White Tower. Most of the time, however, they would conceal their identities while roaming among the Mycroft Continent, going on adventures that they have been carrying out for decades.
Many are unaware of the goal of these two Legendary champions, with whom a thousand days of adventures was as one day. But Joshua knew full well the objectives of Barnil and company: to seek out the long-lost Ancient Dragon of the Mycroft Continent.
The epic quest chain “Chasers of the Ancient Dragon” started from their commission, and Joshua had also received this quest chain. Unfortunately, many Ancient Dragons were awakened at the invasion of the Dark Abyss, and during that time, the duo who had been searching for the Ancient Dragons their entire lives have had an earlier falling out. The legendary bard William Charles inexplicably went missing, and the Rune Master Barnil Gaskell had been seriously injured, so he secluded himself within the deep of the West Mountains. It was not until the time daemons rampaged did they make a comeback.
In all this, there had to be many hidden feelings, but no one knows the reason for them; many simply slipped into Tear Valley Fortress with Barnil in order to protect Brandon and company, but the truth was buried with them when they perished from going head-to-head against the demonic hordes that numbered in the hundreds of thousands, including three demon generals.
Yet now, decades after William’s disappearance, the two men known as the most-approachable Legendary champions were still alive. The warrior could not help but laugh because he even sensed a friendly message directed at him from within the lights.
Why are you leaving so urgently? I haven’t even thanked you.
Joshua understood. Because of his return, the Legendary champions who received Pope Igor’s mandate to help Joshua protect the territories of Moldavia could consider their mission accomplished. As the country’s greatest fighting force and pillar, the majority of them were very busy to the point that it was normal for them to leave without having the time to greet each other. But Barnil and William were different; of the two, one was a descendant of a noble family from a small country in the West Mountains region, the other was an orphan from a city of half-elves in the far south. When it came to freedom and coolness, not even Joshua could compare to them. After all, the warrior was still the liege of the land; he would not leave his own for too long over nothing so he listened in all seriousness.
Perhaps it’s because of Mount Great Ajax.
This suddenly came to Joshua’s mind as he remembered that, incidentally, the lair of an ancient dragon was within the lava caves. It had even placed a Dragonblood Mythal there, which sealed the dimensional passageway on Illgner.
Barnil and William were eager to explore the traces of the ancient dragon most likely because they didn’t know where they got this information from. When he thought about it, the warrior stopped thinking about where the two were headed and instead continued walking towards the main city of Moldavia.
Without mentioning the respectful salutes from the city guards and inhabitants, Joshua handed more than thirty youths from Grandia over to the superintendent in the main city who has rushed over from Winter Fort Academy, and then returned to the liege’s mansion carrying Ying and Ling.
The gripes of 03 greeted him.
“Joshua! You’re finally back!”
His arm grabbed and shaken by the magical projection that appeared without warning by his side, the warrior was smothered in the A.I girl’s bitterness the moment he was back in his own home.
Apparently, in the months that followed after Joshua had left, many things happened within Moldavia.
Firstly, there was the matter of the prison being at bursting capacity.
Thanks to 03’s descriptions, Joshua was able to quickly grasp the situationin the months that followed after the beginning of the Great Mana Tide, the concentration of mana in the atmosphere increased sharply, which in turn led to the rise in determination of the adventurers and cultists who trespassed on the territory due to the incident. They desired to kick up a storm on the warrior’s territory because they presumptuously thought of themselves as extraordinary beings dissimilar from what they were before.
However, thanks to the actions of a few anonymous heroic championsJoshua knew at once, just from hearing it, that they were the Legendary champions in Moldaviaeach and every one of these conceited punks were thrown at the doors of the capital prison had their powers sealed. It was the same even when some adventurers had achieved Gold tier, a few had particularly vile thoughts; only those who have not actually carried out anything were hung up on the streetlights. Needless to say, they were all rounded up and awaiting judgment, but due to their extraordinary numbers, the prison had been filled to maximum capacity.
Secondly, there was the matter of the daemons.
Joshua could already roughly figure it out without 03 having to say anything. He and the youths from the Grandia Continent he brought over from the Ural Mountains had encountered innumerable monsters along the way. Even though these creatures that mutated due to the high concentration of mana could not penetrate the defenses of the village, they were able to destroy the farms and the fruit trees, causing exceedingly great damage to the daily production of Moldavia.
Though the knights had been mobilized numerous times, having gone forth to all the land to exterminate the berserk daemons, no result could be observed in such a short time. The number of wild beasts and magical beasts that reproduce in the Great Ajax Mountains was as the stars, according to the calculations of the A.I. This anxiety-inducing suppression activity would last up to this year’s winter at the very least.
The rest of the news was not that important, just the new opening of an elven opera house; a tavern by the square that could not be investigated; the taming of a docile armored mountain dragon by Winter Fort Academy, including a whole lair of armored mountain dragon eggsupon hearing this, Joshua had an unusual feeling of deja vu, but he could not think of any reason why.
And so time went by as Miss 03 softly grumbled; in the absence of Joshua and the divine armament siblings, she alone handled and “decided” all governmental affairs. This was no simple task to her. The four of them returned to the interior of the liege’s mansion. In the midst of the gentle crackling of the fireplace, Joshua put on a warm and gentle smile as he sat on his large chair, listening to the complaints of the other person.
Starfall Year 834. There were a few years left until the next epic event, but the biggest threat faced by the Mycroft Continent had already been dealt with, and so the warrior had become legendary. Regardless of the frenzied daemons or the restless adventurers, they were nothing he could not handle with just a flick of his wrist. As development in Moldavia was on the right track, there was nothing left that would require Joshua to personally do anything.
The Demon Incursion and the Abyssal Invasion happened almost two decades ago. He believed that, with the changes he has made to this world, at the world’s Rekindling of the Flame Seed, many cults with ties to the Abyss would lose the reason for their existence, and everything would not be as despairing as it was at the beginning.
That was why.
The warrior who had long toiled had lots and lots of time, to experience the life he could not experience before, and to listen to the complaints that he did not have the time to listen to.
Several months later.
Starfall Year 834, the 27th of September
There is no impenetrable wall under the sun (idiom, meaning “nothing stays hidden forever”). The news of Joshua’s breakthrough had spread to the upper echelons of the territories in a few months. Of course, apart from old Pope Igor, no one knew what the warrior had gone through in the world of Grandia, as they only thought that Joshua had found the last Legacy of the Saint in that distant otherworld, and having obtained the mystery of the Initial Flame left behind by the Saint, he extended the life of the world, while the warrior benefited from it immensely, advancing into Legendary tier.
‘The World’s Youngest Legendary Champion.’ Even though it was due to various encounters and legacies, as well as coincidentally being able to catch up to the Great Mana Tide, all forces could not help but admit that Joshua’s innate quality was his opportunism which enabled him to reach Legendary tier, and so it was added to this world another pinnacle, another legendary book.
On this day, the name “Joshua van Radcliffe” was written by the leaders of all the major forces in the most important documents with the most rigorous attitudes. As with other Legendary champions, there were many specialist teams responsible for researching the past experiences of these young warriors, analyzing their interpersonal relationships. They did not intend to be Joshua’s enemies, they simply wished to prepare the necessary documentation and preventive measures of extremely dangerous persons, regardless even if it was gifting or celebration, planning countermeasures and final measures, or at the very least their likes, dislikes, and habits.
Almost as if there was silent reluctance acquiescence, among the peoples of the four major human colonies, a poem of the warrior had begun to circulate. Unlike government propaganda, these tales told by bards found their way deep into the nooks and crannies of the rural areas, laying the groundwork for the prestige of the rising Legendary champion. Because the Berserk Dragon Calamity had not been too long past, Joshua’s reputation now spread to every corner of the world.
Howevermost likely due to a slight error in reporting, or the bards’ miscalculation of what the crowd loved to hearit was unknown why, but the most popular stories about Joshua were the series of his revenge and his slaughtering of monsters. Even with the slight deviations, those who originally only had general knowledge about Joshua now know that there was a terrifying liegein the far north who killed his uncle, banished his cousin, quelled the Dark Tide, and massacred the giant dragons; his name was cast from fresh blood, the flames of his anger unquenchable, he sat on a throne of bones, with a black dragon prostrated at his feetif it were not for the fact that they really could not find any relevant news, the warrior could add “kidnapping a princess” to his list of attributes.
In a few months, the territory of Moldavia had increased by over twenty forces of horses and men, whose sole objective was to search out hidden information regarding the warrior from among the locals through various ways of beating around the bush, while the northerners who had long been used to this boldly accepted their request, later repeating in the tavern the tales that have been repeated countless times. These spies thought they were working in secret, but they did not realize that each and every step they took was recorded by the A.I girl.
As for these spies, the warrior had no intention to banish them, and instead of letting them make an unwise decision out of their ignorance of him, he would rather let them understand his situation at least somewhat.
Not to mention that he was not even in the main city at the moment.
Moldavia, Dark Forest Fortress.
The weather at the end of September turned cold once again. The mist of dawn caused thin layers of frost to form over the limestone boulevard. A silver-haired young girl and a black-haired young boy followed behind a raven-haired man, silently crossing the empty streets.
The sturdy tower had been modified by the rune dwarves and the many mages employed by Winter Fort Academy. On this day its entire structure glistened with a silvery-gray metallic luster. It stood majestically behind the city walls that have been reinforced by multiple spells, awaiting the arrival of the next Dark Tide in the cold winds. At that time, the magical beasts would not be facing ancient crossbows and cannons, but they would instead face alchemy constructs of the latest era.
Patrol guards carried lanterns as they went about patrolling the streets. Traces of the magic circle of detection covered the interior of this twice-rebuilt fortress, but regardless of magic or the eyes of the guards, neither could detect the traces of the warrior and company.
Not long after, the three of them have arrived before a quaint church at the edge of the fortress.
One could hardly make out the time-hardened wind frost on the surface of the old church that had been similarly-rebuilt; only the stone tablet that stood before the doors bore some scars of history. Having entered the doors, the warrior noticed somethingthere was no dust at all to be found on the seats and floors of the prayer hall. It was apparent that someone had been here to clean the place up.
“This place is” Ling blinked, his golden pupils revealing slight doubt. “It feels a bit weird.”
“Did you sense a very strange power?” Ying revealed an expression of reminiscence by his side. She knew that her brother has never come to this place with their master, so she explained in a hushed tone. “This, is a graveyard.”
“It’s the graveyard for the Radcliffe family, as well as their divine armaments.”
Without waiting for the black-haired youth to reveal his expression of shock, Joshua had already placed his hand on the altar before the hall. A grayish-blue light emanated from the bottom of the altar, scanning the warrior and the divine armament siblings. An inexplicable spiritual sound echoed from the bottom of the hearts of all three.
“Bloodline confirmed Radcliffe family direct bloodline, possessing the Divine Armament contract, conditions fulfilled.”
“Origin by fire, birth by steel, wisdom unquenchable, order eternal.”
A faint blue door opened in the middle of the ancient eulogy, and beyond it lay an obscure black land and a distant pale sky. Innumerable gray stone tablets and damaged weapons were erected in the midst of silence. In the next moment, the warrior reached out with his hand, touching the door of dimensions, accompanied by layers upon layers of fluctuations. The world where the dimensions seemed to be obscured by something has become clear at once.
And Joshua’s voice also rang in the ears of the Divine Armaments.
“Let’s go, Ying, Ling.”
At this time, the voice of the warrior carried a hint of inexplicable lamentation. Joshua stepped forward, entering the narrow dimensional notch.
After a few years, he has returned to this place once more.
Before, he had just inherited the Radcliffe family, and the overwhelming Dark Tide swept over from the faraway Dark Forest and mountain range, like a torrent that could annihilate everything. Countless warriors stopped the invasion of the monsters with their own flesh and blood, protecting the peace of this territory, while he was here, obtaining the Legacy that could be said to be the beginning of everything.
Now, he has become a Legend, the immense powers of the summit of Mycroft Continent surged through his body. That was the all-conquering and unconquerable power of Steel. This was a realm that could never be approached by anyone in the family for hundreds of years, and not just this family; the warrior had become a bold unsurpassable mark in the annals of Mycroft’s history.
As his eyes scanned across, Joshua found the familiar stone tablet. He took great strides in this windless world, and the youths hurriedly kept up with their master’s pace.
In front of the stone tablet, a black gold-patterned greatsword was silently stuck in the black soil, the cold steel blade bearing some vestiges of fracturing. The remains of the old butler and the father of this body were here. The warrior looked downwards; the brand-new epitaph that appeared to be engraved just yesterday greeted his eyes.
[Perhaps one day, civilization and order would be able to change this world to be more suited for survival, but it is not this day. Before that could happen, there needs to be someone to stand up and fight, and then sacrifice themselves]
Joshua closed his eyes, memories surging in his mind.
In that era when darkness shrouded the earth, man’s ancestors raised up torches and dispelled the darkness using the light. Countless courageous people struggled and fought on the endless road to ruin, hoping to exchange their sacrifices for a hopeful tomorrow.
Joshua retrieved the azurite from his bosom. The Legacy item from the Sage seemed to have sensed the past beholders all around; it flashed bright azure rays which lit up all the stone tablets and defeated soldiers.
The low voice reverberated in the small, narrow path that hung beyond the world. The sayings which were unfathomable at the time have now been personally realized by Joshua; the Mycroft Continent has a new future.
“The sacrifices and honor of the Radcliffe family should never be buried in the river of history.”
The warrior stretched out his hands and stroked the tombstone. Dust and an icy touch made contact with his palm. He kept silent for quite a while, and then revealed an almost unnoticeable smile. “Every ancestor should also see the world that just received new life.”
With that said, Joshua stood in the midst of the stone forest made out of tombstones and empty shells of weapons, and raised his right hand.
Huff huff, fierce winds, hang in this windless world.
Red, like the red of flames, like the red that represents life, like the red of the sun, shone from the hand of the warrior. A silvery-gray metallic luster drifted among the dazzling red lights, and then filled the entire graveyard world. The sparks that flew even transmitted beyond the void, releasing bright lights.
At the same time, the sky above the Dark Forest Fortress lit up suddenly with a glare that forces people to close their eyes. The space gradually expanded, creating a spherical space that was as big as half the fortress. In the midst of the panicked cries of the squires and knights as well as the eyes of the guards, the scene in the spherical space gradually became clearer. One could see that it was a great land covered in darkness, as well as the black-haired man standing in the middle.
With his legendary power, Joshua broke the barrier of both spaces. With his own power, he brought the family graveyard which had left the hometown for four hundred years back to the world of Mycroft once again!
And so the curtains close on a story related to the passing of the torch.
But this is not the end.
Because another story about the mighty warrior had just received a new beginning.