Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
After returning from the Void, Joshua stood on the land over the Ural Plains and looked up towards the sky, his gaze fixed on the Infinite Horizon outside the world as if to stare at the many gods residing within.
The divine mirage was dispersing with the wind in the North that gradually grew more powerful, the dry but chilling wind billowing at his clothes and dragon-skin cape, flapping them erratically. It would blow away the worries of man, but not Joshua’s puzzlement.
The Seven Gods of men.His heart kept repeating the term.
It was not an unfamiliar term. Instead, the name of the Seven Gods was virtually known to everyone who lived on the Mycroft Continent. It was true even for the ignorant beggars and peasantswhile they may not be able to list the name and designation of every god, they certainly knew their existence and would pray to them when necessary.
These grand beings that had watched over all life since the start of the Starfall Era had long become an inextinguishable part of the entire continent’s civilization. They instructed the humans, elves, and dwarves in agricultural, crafting, divine spells and magic during the early stages of civilization, witnessing how a race would grow as a member of a natural cycle and prospering across the world.
To a certain point of view, the Seven were the humans’ guide and protectorwithout them, the development of civilization would have been delayed by millennia.
“So troublesome,” Joshua mumbled as he stared at the sky then closed his eyes. “Even speaking with him directly did not give me answersthe questions multiplied instead.”
If a world was a book, then the Seven Gods were assuredly an important character in the book of the Mycroft worldand might even one of its cores. And yet, such an important core was filled entirely in puzzling unknown mysterious that would instill much doubt in many.
To the knowledge of most, deities require belief. In truth, the gods of the Mycroft Continent were no differentbe it the former deity of the orc race, or the ocean’s sovereign who protects the merfolk, all of them needed belief. However, unlike the major perception that belief was their source of energy, it was more akin to a stabilizer that maintains their existence.
It was quite easy to understand the fact. The incredible assimilation from divinity and divine powers could easily bleach a person’s self-consciousness. Even Legendary champions with staunch will such as Joshua would never be able to last long under the impact of divine powersand it was the same for deities. As such, they need the belief of all life to protect themselves from the monumental powers of assimilation and safely manipulate their own divine powers.
Gods that had lost ground in belief would neither die nor lose their powers, but were easily exposed to complete assimilation under divine powers and turned into the Source of the Multiverse. Still, for a self-aware intelligence, such an outcome was far worse than death. As such, most deities would establish their own religion and encourage devotees to spread their word while showering miracles from time to time so that more beings believe in them to embody their own doctrine and philosophy.
But the Seven Gods of men were an exception.
Since the founding of the Seven Gods Church, no mortal ever witnessed any miracles from the Seven henceforth. If not for every clergy’s ability to use divine spells unique to the Seven, as well as the divine reaction during each large-scale offering ritual or festivities corresponding to each god, most would definitely doubt the veracity of the Seven Gods. Completely unlike other deities, the seven majestic existence solemnly executed the highest order of ‘non-interference with the mortal realm’, causing their presence to occasionally appear lower than that of a small nation’s monarch.
It also appeared that they completely did not require belief to exist and were deliberately discrete. One must note that if not for the considerable presence of the Seven Gods Church on the continent, the combat affinity of clergies or that each incumbent Pope were all champions on top of the world, the Seven Gods Church definitely would have crumbled under the pressure of other factions. If more than a dozen layers of the Abyss did not join forces to invade in the pre-existence, the Evil Gods who lingered behind the scenes would have prevented them from saving the world and sealed their opponent’s higher-tier combat power.
Even the players did not know that these silent background panels were that formidable. Therefore, there must be hidden truth behind why there was such behavior that completely contradicts divine instinct and their fundamental rules of existence.
That was for the first problem. The second was their relation to the Sage.
Each deity was beings that had reached an extreme in terms of magic, aura or other paths of power. Although some would have flaws in their powers due to the limits of the era in which they ascended, it certainly carried individual attribute, while the divine spells and special powers they grant would definitely vary.
An example was the [Savage Instincts] unique to former Orc [Divine Generals] and the [Compound Bloodlust] of [Shaman Warlords] that presages the former God of War’s brutal nature. As for the merfolk, their patron deity the Oceanic Sovereign excelled in the manifestation of bloodline powers. That was why the [Ancestral Awakening] of the [Awakened Guardian] or the [Ancient Sacrifice] of the [Prehistoric Form] were all secret techniques that allow merfolk to evolve temporarily or revert to the most powerful form their ancestors carried.
It was the same for the Seven Gods Church. In fact, their clergies certainly had diverse special techniques, but it is extraordinary that the core body of power of the Church was the Holy Light doctrine left behind by the Sage during the Glorious Era. Followers of the Seven Gods must have some level of entrenchment in the Holy Light before choosing to train in those special skills, which was inconceivable to other gods. After all, who would refine their own faction with the power of others? It was equivalent to watching the happiness of others under your own blessingan act at the height of folly.
And yet the Seven did it, and not only thatthey had even spread the influence of the Holy Light. At present, the humans, dwarves, and elves that know of the Holy Light absolutely outnumbered the people who know the secret techniques of the Seven Gods, with those deity even using the Holy Light themselves.
If any one declared that those people have nothing to do with the Sage, Joshua would be the first to doubt it, while suspecting if the one who said that possessed a brain.
Still, now was not the time to be tangled in such guessing games. The warrior had noticed that the mental circuits of the divine armaments behind him were beginning to heat up. Having seen too much of an inconceivable mirage and witnessing the advent of a deity’s clone, Ling and Yang had fallen into a daze.
However, sensing that Joshua’s thoughts were returning from the distance, the silver-haired girl gingerly tugged at the corners of his clothes.
Joshua mildly bent over, while the girl stood on the balls of her feet to softly whispered into his ears.
“Master, are you still our master?”
The divine armament lass did not comprehend what was actually meant by the sights that flashed through the mirage rapidly. She never thought much about complicated matters, but it was also exactly so that she could acutely sense that the warrior had become rather unfamiliar just a while ago, and so much so that there was the gap of a world between them.
Joshua answered dryly yet patiently without much thought or hesitation. Not one adept at consoling others on such matters, the warrior briskly hugged both of them with one arm per divine armament under their surprised exclamations, expressing his stance with the most determined demeanor.
Of course not, he thought inwardly.You guys are neither my servants nor my weapons. And I’m not your master.
You two are my only family in this world.
Meanwhile, by the edge of the Infinite Horizon amidst the outer reaches of the Void, the God of Might overlooked the mortal realm, the whirling black halo flashing with inconspicuous beams as if deep in thought.
“Joshua.”He muttered to himself after a long time.“Sinoer might not be able to find your weakness, but I can.”
His gaze did not linger on the youths who appeared rather embarrassed, but only the young liege who was smiling lightly.
Warrior, your weakness is that extremely staunch will of yours, the will that never gives up and surrenders.
You would never despair or flee even against endless, unstoppable and unbeatable foes. As long as there was the possibility of victory you would keep fighting and never be defeated.
Thatiswhy,exactly why you would fall into a cycle. You would never retreat or meander against the true enemy. How would you, who do not understand giving up and biting down, attain genuine victory. You would only end up in a stalemate with them in the endless slaughter and finally become one of them or descend into eternal battlean eternity no different from death.
Like a star that had journeyed to the end of its lifespan, emitting short yet brilliant radiance before vanishing within the long stream of time.
“That’s why. Do not become a god and tread on our old path.”The deity’s sigh echoed throughout the Void amidst the Mana Tide and dimensional turbulence.“It’s a path of destined shackles.”
The black halo rotated slightly and ‘looked’ towards the Mana Tide. Zinsen stared towards the stretching belt of light that head towards the other end of the Multiverse. Uncountable words and civilizations floated amongst the dazzling shroud of lightthe burning Initial Flame was so striking in the eyes of the deity, as if imbued with infinite radiance.
That is the path you should take.
On the Mycroft Continent, the warrior was unaware that a deity was pausing because of his own existence in the distant void.
The surface of his body was streaming with a soft glint. Monumental energy was surging within his body, altering every single facet of the man’s entire body, changing his body in the path of becoming the most condensed, most heavy and most invincible form in this world.
That was the most powerful Steel born after the end of a star.