Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
It was a completely different weather, scent, sky, and land from the Mycroft Continent. Unlike that world that had just recovered from ruin, everything about the land before Joshua’s eyes was filled with the presence of ‘prosperity’.
The warrior was certain that this was the Central Continent in the Glorious Era, a land carved deeply into the River God Sinoer’s memory. His entrance had relieved the deepest existence within the deity’s brand, forcing Him to open his own domain.
Standing by the banks where the rivers gathered, Joshua put a food on a stone and watched as it flowed. Ling and Ying had followed him here, and so master and servant simply stood where they were and waited in silence.
The waters unfurled incessantly. Its source was the mountainous Migel Highlands, its icy stream flowing at the ditch between mountains underneath the sun’s warmth and assembling into a rivulet between the forests. Those innumerable rivulets would afterward flow into a single huge, elongated river that extends throughout the entire Central Continent.
The god’s spirit gestated here in this ancient past. In obscurity, it accepted the belief and prayers of the living, developing a form akin to life. Then, the Mother Goddess stroked it, finally allowing the innate demigod to awaken its own divinity and sublimate into a deity.
Joshua suddenly spoke.
“He has awakened.”
The warrior leaned forward, his spirit becoming excited.
As the words escaped his lips, a streak of indistinct green-blue radiance arose from the turbulent cascade. The water surged and assembled, forming a huge body that was dozens of meters tall.
Half man and half snake, the river god that rode the waves appeared in the center of the rapids. Its upper body was a man covered in scales and holding a staff, while the lower body was a giant serpent built from the rivers. Green-haired and youthful, he turned and stared at the trio by the river, its gaze empty as if devoid of any intelligence.
And the entire illusory world changed along with the gaze of the former god.
Noticing that the ground beneath her feet was fading and shifting rapidly, Ying subconsciously approached the warrior and tugged at the corner of his clothes.
“What is this place?” she asked tentatively.
Ling, too, came closer, sticking himself to the warrior’s back.
“What is He doing, Master?” he asked softly.
“This is the inherited domain of a perished deity,” Joshua answered.
“As for Him, He is searching for my weakness, to give me the most demanding trial.”
The warrior was not lying.
The trials that the dense Divine Dungeon Shroud handed to various beings was certainly different. Mortals were different from adepts, Silver could never hold up against Goldhence, if a Supreme champion was to enter the trial, the River God’s remains would not have to use his trump card.
On the other hand, the genuine physical presence of a Legendary champion was worth Sinoer’s showing His own true form and go all out.
Because he was not a deity at his peak, but the remnant thoughts of a long-perished one.
That was why the world shifted, and Joshua could sense innumerable information flowing through the link between him and the deity’s mark, thereby materializing the illusory world.
As if the wheel of time was rewinding urgently, fragmented sights began to surface within the blurry world. First, it showed the main city of Moldavia which was quickly expanding, and then the Radcliffe family crypt that was relocated in the Great Ajax Mountains.
The River God’s remainsthe mark that was located deep within the Divine Dungeon Shroud began to study every detail of the warrior’s memory, intending to find the weakness of the incredible trialist.
However, Joshua did not resist, and allowed the Sinoer to read his memories as he wished.
Leading the survivors through the Ural Mountains, meditating in the Seven God Church, speaking to Pope Igor As if a roll of tape that goes on fast-rewind mode, past scenes replayed while the surrounding environment changed from ceaseless flowing rivers into ancient forests, the Gray Forests of the far sea and the depths of the Star Altar.
The vista switched once more, but now the chaotically changing world was beginning to scare the divine armament siblings. They subconsciously grasped the warrior’s hand, intending to switch into weapon formit was an instinct of theirs that they would be able to fearlessly challenge all unknowns as long as they could fight alongside the warriors.
Still, Joshua merely grasped their hands in return, having no inclination for combat.
Light and shadow kept fluctuating.
Journey across the Multiverse alongside the Initial Flame, the world of Grandia that fell into darkness, fighting against the old knight, undead general and titan Joshua merely calmlyor perhaps confidentlywatched it all as the River God relived everything in clarity.
Even so, all that the warrior had gone through was so cumbersome that the deity’s remnant was dealt a monumental burden.
Meanwhile, outside the shroud.
Around the trade routes near the Divine Dungeon Shroud, many adventurers and mercenaries who wanted to enter the shroud but worried over the risks had stopped beside the lake. They planned to buy information regarding the shroud that would leave people unconscious for days from the knights and students when Joshua’s party prepared to leave so that they could be better equipped for their future adventurers.
But after a dozen minutes after the warrior and the others entered the shroud, the gathered adventurers had largely fallen into silence. Apart from a few who insisted on observing the dense shroud’s reaction, most were already becoming distracted and began to chatter.
These dull circumstances changed when a mercenary who determinedly kept watch exclaimed in surprise.
“Heavens, the shroud is shining!”
The crowd exploded into an uproar. In seconds, countless pairs of eyes watched the nearby silver sea of shroud.
At that moment, the Divine Dungeon Shroud shifted tremendously.
Originally blanketed thousands of square meters and immeasurably substantial, any man who entered the shroud would vanish entirely after walking just a few meters as if devoured. Now, however, the shroud was thinning at an observable speed, the abilities on its edges weakeningthey could now make out the figures of academy students who did not enter too far deep into the shroud.
Inversely, the concentrated shroud had condensed into a slowly whirling solid ‘sphere’ at its own center. It was unleashing incomparably bright green-blue radiance as if it was a green-blue sun itself. On the cellular level that normal people could not observe, the gigantic sphere of light was actually innumerable and dense soul particles that possessed a hint of divinity. Fervently pulling in every bit of energy around them while simultaneously calculating and thinking, each of these particles unleashed a bright radiance that proved that every single one of them under incredible stress.
In the meantime, Joshua’s memories that were still being replayed in the deity’s illusion had reached the distant past. It was one that made the silver-haired girl widened her eyes at every image around her, while Ling softly exclaimed too.
What they saw were sights before the warrior had made the contractthe war against the orcs at the Thomas Grand Canyon, life with the army in the Black Raven army, education in the Miskatonic Military Academy, the difficult training under the old butler and former liege in Moldavia The memories gradually accelerated so much that the periods of years flashed by in seconds.
Thus, in less than half a minute, the River God has finished browsing Joshua van Radcliffe’s life.
And yet, no trial designed for the warrior appeared.
As if sensing that His efforts were futile, a hint of a grudge appeared over Sinoer’s gaze. He was but a mark left behind by a former god presently; his search for the trialist’s weakness to give them the most suitable test was His duty and instinct. However, He still could not find a hint of fragility within the man before him even after reaching the edge of Joshua’s memories.
To him, the seduction of gold and power were meaningless to him, while his relationships with women and friends were as tasteless as waterin fact, there was not even a trace of desire on this man for delicacies, fine wine or any form of enjoyment. In terms of ambition, the man had reached the mildest limit, none could tempt him lest there be something unexpected.
As for other aspects such as physical strength, skill, will, spirit, intelligence or luck, the man was above-par. Though there might be the occasional imperfections, there was nothing that Sinoer who was born a god could use. If the River God’s remains was not merely a fragment left behind from prehistoric times, thereby focused solely on the legacy trial mission that His true form set in place when He was still alive, He would probably have ended the utterly meaningless search for weakness early on instead of falling into an irreversible death cycle.
However, for some reason, the replay had not ended despite the memories having reached its edge. Sinoer might not have noticed that the world around Him was altering.
The world had fallen into darkness, as if everything descended into a void.
At that moment, the warrior moved within the absolute lightlessness.
Lifting his foot within the pitch-blackness and subsequently putting it down, the black booted leg did not touch the empty void. Instead, it had stepped onto a distinct land that kept shifting.
In the last scene, Joshua had been standing into the frozen dirt covered in snow in Moldavia and the unnamable void, only for him to be present at an unfamiliar world that would astonish even the gods in the very next second. The divine armament siblings who had followed him through it both gaped as they looked around, as if sensing something. They quickly looked up, and found a sight that would not be seen even in the wildest of dreams.
It was a land hanging above the skies and nothingnessa monumental, indescribable blue ‘sphere’ that was so enormous it escaped the weapons’ conceptual ability. Huge cities crafted from steel floated in the dark void, the cylindrical space city rotating uniformly and thus attaining gravity sufficient for life to survive. Countless titanic silver ships would park for a while in the central harbor where gravity was absent before heading to other nearby steel cities.
In the darkness so vast it reaches its own threshold and exceeds the scale of multifarious continents, a golden star flashed with a blinding light on the other end. Meanwhile, the stars in the surrounding skies congregated into streams and twinkled over the black heavens. They were so incredibly distant that even light would have to run thousands of years to reach them, and yet their faints starlight transcended that faraway distance and shot into the alloy shell of the space city.
The planet was seventy percent ocean and thirty percent land, with a silver satellite one fourth its size orbiting on an axis around it. There were also various cities built upon that satellite as well as the surface of another flame-like crimson planet, even as silver crafts ejected pale-blue or colorless belts of light as they weaved in and out across the void harbor and the multiple celestial bodies.
Now, it was just Ling and Ying who were feeling astonished. Even the River God, placed in such an unfamiliar world, had fallen into a state of panicHe observed the plane alongside the divine armament siblings in wide-eyed wonder, only lowering His head obtusely when Joshua came to about a dozen meters away from Him.
The surrounding sights changed with every step Joshua made. From the planet’s orbit to the martial arts dojo in the space immigrant’s city, everything shifted little by little into the planet’s atmosphere. The rewinding time was also affecting the concrete cities that were so huge they could be clearly made out even from space.At first, they were a complete large-scale futuristic city with space roads, before turning into steel debris devastated by war.
Ultimately, in a wartime hospital hidden underground, the warrior stood at his place of birth in the pre-existence before the deity that was half-man and half-god.
He raised his head, leveling his gaze with the god. There was no hint of dissatisfaction over his memories being peeked at by others, neither was there fear or anxiety. Joshua simply stared at the other’s pulsing green-blue gaze as if waiting for something.
In the external world, the sea of shroud that covered a wide area was now boiling, causing every adventurer to retreat in panic.
In the sky, the black dragon that was still carrying the floating halo around to fly anxiously circled the globe of light beneath it, unaware about the state of its masters and friends.
At the core of the globe that was so bright it looked prepared to explode, endless amounts of thought particles glinted in sharp light, having reached the limits of processing. Even so, without the complete soul belonging to a deity as a hub, the particles could not acquire their desired outcome however active they were.
“Champion of the future.”
Soon, a stiff voice called out in the divine illusion. Sinoer’s empty eyes now glimmered with a curious light. Just like a machine firing on all cylinders, the bygone god spoke with a tone akin to a preset replyexactly like a machine.
“I have no way of trying thou, thou destined to rise abovethanI, please return”
The river god’s figure started to disperse as it spoke. Its behemoth of a body that was formed from rivers rapidly scattered into streams.
Even the knights and academy students who were under trials in the Divine Dungeon Shroud could feel the reverberation. In the mission world that belonged to them, everything began to lose lucidness, the other humans’ voices turning hoarse and shrill as the processing power allocated to them were pulled back into the most central deity mark to calculate the things regarding the warrior. Even so, it was all fruitless, falling into a final death cycle.
At the depths inside the Divine Dungeon Shroud where a star one fell, a piece of pale-blue complex rune appeared out of the void. It had picturesque patterns as if filled with streams and rivers that formed its main body. The presence that belonged to a deity, the most high, whirled in the heart of the rune which flashed with a pale-blue divine light cluster.
It was the husk left behind by the River God Sinoer in deatha legacy rune imbued with divinity related to the rivers.
However, the precious piece of rune that could help a mortal develop into Supreme, Legendary, or even Divine was shattering under intense tremors. Streaks of tiny fissures were spreading as the acutely shining dense shroud trembled. In a matter of seconds, the fissures reached every part of the rune, green-blue light extending along with it the supremely unstable presence seemingly prepared to explode when the rune shatter in the very next second.
Nearby, the Supreme dragon Suralno appeared to hazily sense the fact. It was ready to turn and flee with the carriage that contained two human-form dragons in its talons.
Then, the warrior’s hostage saw the black dragon that was flying around the globe of light, and could not help but suppress a sigh.
I would be killed by that man if I don’t help,it thought.
Thus, the blue dragon darted towards the black dragon in the fastest speed it recorded in its lifetime. But just as it was about to whisk the immeasurably panicked black dragon away, a star suddenly appeared over the bright white sky of the Mycroft continent.
The star itself was almost dim and lightless compared to the brilliant sun. Despite that, with a single flash of its dull radiance, a majestic power so grand and substantial it could not be sense plummeted from the sky.
Over the land, the terrified mercenaries and adventurers who tried to distance themselves from the dense shroud suddenly stopped, with a dagger that was dropping from its owner’s hand freezing in the air. Above them, the flying Suralno also ceased moving, stagnated at the moment it prepared to cast a spell and drag the terrified Black away.
In the middle of the lake, ripples over its surface kicked up by the wind also froze like ice and remained where it was, while the virtually boiling globe did not move an inch, the glinting thought particles silently stopping’dominated’ from the majestic force that descended from beyond this world.
And in the very brief second, all things paused, a sacred black halo emblem that was pivoting at the edge of the blue yonder flashed once. Then, as if time was reversing, the rune that carried Sinoer’s legacy within the center of the dense shroud swiftly ‘returned’ to its original form. The flashing divine light contracted while the stretching fissures pieced together. The mark, overburdened and thereby materializing in the external world began to disappear, returning to the void.
In the divine illusion.
The River God that was half-man and half-snake stopped crumbling as a majestic but distant force maintained the existence of the deity. Returning to normal, Sinoer’s eyes regained its emptiness.
Then, with one last look at Joshua, He closed His eyes and vanished on its own accord into the deity’s mark. Therefore, it was curious that the illusion did not vanish with Him and kept on going as normal instead.
Joshua stared thoughtfully at the incessantly contorting space before himself.
How was this mirage maintained withSinoer’s departure?
The answer was simple.
Another god has entered this world.
Staring at the black rotating halo that slowly appeared, the warrior nodded lightly as a salute.
“Greetings, Your Majesty Zinsenmaster of might and justice.”
As Joshua spoke, a human figure quickly materialized out of thin air.
Everythingthe specks of dust in the air, the minuscule drops of water floating in the atmosphere and invisible mana elementswas dominated by the incredible force. All that was in existence were controlled and turned into multifarious fundamental material particles as the black halo slowly worked while forming the body of an imposing man out of nothingness.
Middle-aged, the imposing man had scattered gray hair and sturdy features as if everything was forged from fire and iron. A thick and stalwart armor carved with innumerable exquisite sculpting covered his entire body, while an ink-black cape flapped with the wind over its shoulders like a burning flame.
In the world where everything has stopped apart from Joshua, the man who was as awe-inspiring as a godor was a god all alongopened his eyes.
There was an inhuman indifference within those gray pupils.
“Sinoer was our most staunch of allies a thousand years ago; the River God has fought against the otherworldly evil to the very last second.”
Unlike the mechanical Sinoer, the god whom Joshua addressed as Zinsen spoke with a cool but clearly intelligent tone, his deep yet clear voice immediately permeating the entire illusory space as its sacred, regal echoes resounded across the vast world.
“Due to Our oath, I could not sit idly by as He vanished, and so interfered with the present.
“Joshua van Radcliffe. The Sage’s successor, the man who reignited the flame seeds.”
Zinsen lifted His head and leveled His gaze at Joshua, His dull gray pupils glimmering with a curious light.
“I know you have questions. You entered Sinoer’s legacy illusion with purpose.”
“He is a long-dead corpse, unable to allay your doubts.
“But I, one of the Seven, can.”