Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Joshua knew from the startunlike the two divine armament siblings who were guessing excitedlywho would be the third Legendary in the Empire.
There was no other person except Nostradamus himself.
Since the all-out war against the Orc Empire decades ago, Nostradamus had always been the man who been billed as Legendary after rising through the ranks. Born a peasant, he grew amidst the blood and fire in war, leading the Imperial Army and repeatedly trouncing the ambushes and schemes of the Orc Shaman Army. He had also been scholar, mage, pawn and generaland did his utmost in every post.
It was exactly because of that reason the then Imperial Prince Israel had rejected the majority suggestion to choose Nostradamus, a peasant mage with no nobility as his teacher. To the Emperor, he had assuredly found the best instructor in this world, and to Nostradamus it was his ladder to instant success and unleash his ambitions.
Everyone knew what followedhow Nostradamus and Israel combined to strike against the orcs was recorded in the history books and folklore. However, the public began to lose interest in any news or gossip about the mage after the Emperor had ascended into Legendary. When he reappeared before everyone once more, he was already the chief of the Imperial Royal Mage Guild and the Dean of the Imperial Mage Academy.
However, his ability was stuck at Supreme-pinnacle, and the man himself seemed to have no intention of breaking through.
Although on one glance it would appear to be a tale of a monarch trying to maintain absolute supremacy by forcing his former teacher and current servant from ascending, it was not so to Joshua.
Leaving the fact that Israel was not a man who could not bear seeing his subordinate becoming stronger, Joshua himself had noticed from his mingling with the mage in recent years that Nostradamus had no desire to ascend. Apart from dealing with Imperial matters, most of the mage’s time was spent on the students in various academies.
As for his abilityto quote the man himself ‘It’s fine it’s enough’.
“Breaking through into Legendary is something of incredible risk,” the warrior muttered softly, grasping his fist. “Reassembling your own life form means to completely transform the past self and sublimating it. Failing virtually equates to death, and even success requires a long transference and cultivation period.”
It was Joshua’s own extended cultivation period at present. With the meditation and epiphany he gained in the world of Grandia, added with the refinement from his battle against Akhar, Joshua had successfully broken through the limits of his being and stabilized the threshold with energy from the Initial Flame.
But from then up until now, he never did completely transmute his own body into ‘Steel’.
Decades ago, the emperor and the first heir had died on the battlefield. The nobles, instead of pouring strength in the front lines had other ideas, and started to reserve their strength as they planned a rebellion. If not for the extraordinary talent and power Israel had displayed in war and rising to Legendary after the war, the vast Northern Empire would undoubtedly have splintered into countless smallest nations then.
Truth be told, if Israel did not breakthrough then it meant his and his nation death, leaving him with a single choice. That was completely different from Nostradamus’s situationafter Israel had broken through, the old mage did not require much power anymore.
On the other hand, he needed more time.
To allow even common folk to learn magic and understand the truth and wonders of the world, so that they would have a chance to improve and not be bound to their limited birthright. Such was Nostradamus wishone in which long periods of reformations were necessary instead of power.
Therefore, while ascending into Legendary was the greatest pursuit for most it was perhaps unnecessary to that old man. It may even be a choice that carried certain riskafter all, if he failed, the labors of his life would become meaningless.
But why would he suddenly change his mind to break through now?
Although doubts flashed through his mind, Joshua did not delve into it. One way or another, all questions would be answered come spring.
“Alright.” The warrior put his hands together and rose, heading outside towards the study. As Ling, Ying, and Black hurriedly follow behind, Joshua muttered to himself.
“The trivial stuff is now completed. Autumn harvest is completed, and the spawning enchanted beasts are almost wiped out.”
“We’ll assemble the knights tomorrow to enter the Divine Dungeon Shroud.”
As the warrior made his decision, things were transpiring in another distant world.
All beings are acutely aware that all things have an end. Humans would die, steel would rust, fires would extinguish, evergreen pines would rot. Even oceans would one day dry while mountains crumblethe seemingly eternal world would one day, in the far future, welcome its own end.
But how vast was a single ‘world’ even? Even if death life would survive in some form and propagate for millennia. Within those thousand years, the dying world would detach from its original orbit and vanish from the ‘stars’ of the multiverse and descending into the deepest layer of all worlds.
That was the ‘Abyss’, hated and feared by innumerable worlds and civilization.
Hundredth and sixty-second layer of the abyss, the Toxic Sea.
Just like its name would suggest, this was a world infected by toxic. Apocalyptic wars had shattered the continent, filling the plane with poisonous oceans and seas. Countless malevolent snakes and venomous insects weaving in out of the seas of negative energy that was enough to dilapidate the dimensions.
Those creatures were unintelligent Chaos beings, remnants of a former civilization after the world died. Due to its immeasurably hostile environment, even the Demon Lords who ruled several layers of Abyss were unwilling to enter this place, leaving the world independent even after it had died more than two thousand years ago. Still, rumor also had it that it was due to the presence of a giant serpent with power equal to deities lurking within the depths of those negative energy oceans.
However, this abyssal world that was once known as the ‘Toxic Sea’ was now the habitat of almost ten thousand dragons.
As space itself rippled, waves spread with dimensional distortion at its core. Soon, dozens of dimensional passageways were opened, with thousands of exhausted Pentashade Dragons pouring into this oceanic world filled with radiation and toxic debris.
Somehow, the supremely hostile insects and serpents that would attack even the demonic armies that scorched hell did not react to the dragons’ presence. They merely kept weaving around and spawning in the toxic sea of negative energies, watching idly as the dragons built floating islands over the sky and rested.
Up above, three monumental will watched as the dragons drew materials from the world’s surface and depths to swiftly build the floating islands. They stayed silent for a long time before speaking slowly.
“The Great Mana Tide has arrived, and yet we’re banished from the world of Mycroft.”
The voice belongs to Bognar, Lord of the Falling Sleet and leader of the white dragons, its tone filled with substantial grudge. “The Abyss is the bottom of the Multiverseeven the splendor that graces all life is weakened here. Furthermore, our race now has no chance of taking the ‘opportunity’ on Mycroft now, it’s a devastating loss.”
“We failed, after all,” Kanor, the Nether Sea Dragon and the leader of the black dragons, replied. The Legendary black dragon was adapting very well to the toxic seaeven seemingly perfectly content with the abyssal environment, which was why it appeared not as resentful. “We might not have won even if we besiege Igor alone. And when the heavenly Dragon Rider and Nature’s Magister came to his aid, it was extreme fortune that our race was defeated and not extinctwe couldn’t ask for more.”
Meanwhile, the third Legendary dragonVerdia of the Eternal Mountain Wind and the leader of the blue dragons did not converse with the other two. Its gemlike dragon eyes were twinkling with an obscure radiance, sweeping through unfathomable lengths of the ocean.
Naturally, it found nothing except multitudinous amounts of unintelligent sea snakes. There was no trace of the legendary serpent that had power equating to the gods.
Having confirmed the fact, Verdia’s heart calmed considerably. Then, it waited until the other two were done complaining before it spoke.
“There might be a chance.” Verdia’s will was swift as lightningif the others it was speaking were not Legendary dragons, they would have been hurt by the menacing will. “We may have led most of the Pentashade away from Mycroft, it doesn’t mean that we can’t acquire chance. There must be some excellent hidden progeny we have on the continent, whether it’s you two or myself.”
Bognar and Kanor stopped their conversation immediately as they listened to Verdia express its opinion. They certainly had a little tacit understanding on the surface as ‘partners’ that had long combined to rule the Pentashade.
“The first wave of the Great Mana Tide is here,” Verdia continued. “That means most of the divine mark would be shed from the Infinite Horizon. It’s the chance for all the races to secure the legacy of the old godswould those inferior races even compare against us in terms of legacy? The spreading flames of war had already denied them many volumes of this aspect, and I dare say that most factions are unaware of the essence of those shrouds or their meaning!”
Even as it spoke, the Legendary blue dragon started brimming with confidence. “Now, it’s just less than half a year after the falling stars. Even mages of the Eastern Plains might not have discovered anythingwe just have to send some draconic humans or dragons assuming human form to train within the fog. As long as they could escape detection of those inferior races, divinity and legacy is assured with draconic power. Thus, our race would keep strengthening and not be affected by the current deplorable state!”
The blue dragon’s plan was so simple that even children could have thought of it.
Nevertheless, it was one with a huge chance of success. Though the Pentashade Dragons were essentially missing from the Mycroft Continent, the Metallic Dragons still wandered the planeas long as the disguise was good enough and their malevolent instincts were not exposed, not many could differentiate whether the dragon-form human was a Pentashade or a Metallic dragon.
That was an indisputable fact. It was not as if the many factions on Mycroft never did saw through that the falling stars were divine marks, they simply did not know how to progress through the divinity and the instinctual seal to acquire the legacy hidden deep within. The shroud, formed from the memory and energy of perished deities resembled a huge mental mazeall that fell in would meet one laborious challenge after the other.
It was only those who completed the challenge who could inherit part of the deity’s power. Therefore, Verdia’s idea was not wrong, the dragons certainly had a chance.
The Legendary dragon then proceeded to lay down the fundamentals.
“Remember, we should give up on targets located deep within the factionswe could never interfere with those marks. As much as possible, pick those inconspicuous marks at the edge of the continent.”
Hence, many hidden progenies began to make their move sometime later in the Mycroft continent. There were ‘merchants’, ‘scholars’ and ‘adventurers’ that rode a variety of transports towards the region where the stars fell.
Occasionally, there would observable soft vertical pupils appearing by accident within their eyes.
With the plans in place, the three Legendary dragons kept watch silently as their kin rebuilt their homeland bit by bit in the Abyssal world. It was also at this time that the hundredth and sixty-second level of the Abyss changed its name.
Later, [Sleeping Dragon Abyss] was the title it bore amongst the other Abyssal planes.