Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Starfall Year 834, the 7th of December. The main city of the Northern Moldavia territories.
A month had quickly passed since the trial in the Ural plains had ended. As the seasonal bell in the St. Laurent’s Cathedral rang to signal the chilling winter, the entire city was engulfed by great snow that blanketed the sky, covered in boundless white.
Hunters and farmers who labored for the entire year were resting in their warm homes, while workers expanding the city had stopped as the violent snow rampaged. Most adventurers were also settling downa rare sight, as they moved to taverns to boast about their experiences his year.
Since Moldavia had completed the first probe, information regarding the Divine Dungeon Shroud spread throughout the Empire to every corner of the continent. The factions that had been prudently sealing those unknown regions were now using them instead. However, none of those factions had the warrior’s vigor, and so began by sending hundreds of elites to collectively participate in the trials, doing as common-sense dictates to find out the rules behind the shroud trial.
Although there were considerable results, most of the reconnaissance efforts ended in failure. Many important people had lost their temper over the matter, sighing in envy that their own faction did not have that Northern Legendary champion to hold their rear and hence refrained from taking larger risks.
Nevertheless, the struggles of the outside world had nothing to do with Moldavia. Now, the main city was wrapped up in a relaxed, hopeful and energetic atmosphere. The smiles of the citizens now outnumbered the total annual count of smiles in the last ten yearswith many different reasons apart from the higher quality of life after the introduction of diverse magical machinery.
The ascension of the Northern Countwho was also the Radcliffe family head who rules this landinto Legendary had much more influence to his territory than most had imagined. Beyond the fact that more and more admiring adventurers came and contributed to the locals’ pride, there were also much more practical benefits.
First and foremost was the clear skew in Imperial policy. To congratulate the liege’s ascension, the Morlaix Palace issued a decree the day the warrior returned to his domain. Virtually all merchant guilds established in Moldavia were surprised that they no longer have to pay the heavy tariffs on trade routes, while the ban over most precious combat materials and luxury items were lifted. That was for businessas for development, the Royal Family had generously permitted Moldavia to freely expand towards the Great Ajax Mountains ‘until the domain area befits a Legendary champion’.
There were also a lot of other various gains which were unnecessary details that could be left aside for the moment. Apart from the Empire’s official good-will, even more nobles were coming forwardaside from sending congratulatory gifts, a considerable number of nobles whose family had ladies of ripe age came up with various tactics to try finding out what was ‘that person’s’ type. With him already progressing into Legendary just a few years over twenty, he had at least one or two centuries worth of prosperity. If a union proved successful, it meant that their family would have the most solid supporter in the entire world for one or two centuries.
It should naturally be noted that other Legendary champions had other powerful family backgrounds or were usually elusive as they focused on seeking Truth or Holy Light. Even those of the right mold were either advanced in ageeven over a hundred years. Whether the targets were being accepting notwithstanding, the appearance of ingratiation would be so terrible that the family’s reputation would be affected. On the other hand, that person from Moldavia was of the suitable age and allegedly still single at present without any level. There has to be just one unit of such incredibly valuable stock in this worldif the investment proves successful, it was truly a profit of incredible margins.
Naturally, that was not all. Even if some noble families had no daughters, they had sons! Upon receiving news that the Legendary warrior was taking in several students, those nobles became even more excited than the other families that had daughters. In the cold relations of noble families save the rare few affectionate ones, daughters were tools for marriage connections under most circumstances. Only sons receive strict cultivation, meaning that they were more likely to become the warrior’s apprentice than the peasant children.
To this world where extraordinary powers exist, the ‘Legacy of Power’ was infinitely more important than ‘Human Relationships’, which was why most nobles would allow their children to work as attendants under champions. After all, to most influential figures, love and kinship must be set aside for gain, and to grasp power in their own hands was the most genuine and greatest gain of all in this world.
Hence, it was a possibility that leads to the greatest of outcomes if their progeny was selected as the warrior’s students and acquired Legendary legacyeven if they took a vow of secrecy not to reveal the legacy.
For that possibility, many would not mind paying any price.
If anyone deliberately compiled the innumerable and chaotic discussion, they would quickly notice that the warrior’s name would never appear even in discussions about him.
Indeed, every newspaper, book, and news announcement on the Mycroft Continent would use all sorts of pronouns and titles in place of the warrior’s real name. In fact, apart from the widely revered Saint IgorPope of the Seven Gods Church, the name of most Legendary champions would never appear on paper or conversationeven Emperor Israel was mostly inscribed as just ‘Emperor’ or ‘Dragon Rider of the Blue Yonder’. It was allegedly a form of respect, while others say that Legendary champions had reached an extraordinary level where they would sense it whenever others mention their name.
But now, another monumental event was gradually replacing the craze caused by a new Legendary champion, becoming the hottest topic for the people after a meal.
Almost half a year ago, an elite adventurer party under the employment of Grand Duke Romain had unexpectedly discovered an abyss of unfathomable depth when they explored the West Mountains. It directs deep beneath ground, with plenty of underground rivers flowing below ground and shining mold illuminating the way. As they head down by following the river, the party was astonished to find an immeasurably huge and vast cavity that was concealed beneath the mountainseven larger than an entire dukedom. Innumerable stone pillars that resembled stalagmite held it aloft, while the party also discovered traces left behind by sentient life around the rivers, amongst them a long saber crafted expertly from mithril. Despite its infinite sturdiness, its blade was clearly damaged, and there was still blood on its hilt. Around it, the ground had countless craters a dozen meters wide, the result of an explosive magic attack from a Gold tieror even Supreme tier.
There were undoubtedly intelligent lifeforms down in that gigantic underground cavity, and was powerful enough to possess technology that processes mithril and, at minimum, Gold-tier combat prowess. There was also other fungal growth apart from the glowing fungi, which the party promptly realized was suitable as a crop in that underground region after tasting it experimentally. Some fungal species even had effects similar to magical herbs, and could even replace certain expensive potion materials after more profound research by alchemists.
Unquestionably, the nether region that was seemingly barren with only mushroom growth was in truth a land of treasures.
After the adventurer party hurriedly return to the Grand Dukedom of Romain and reported the discovery, only the young and vigorous Grand Duke Romainonly in his thirtiesrecognized the unprecedented opportunity. Due to the party’s overwhelming ability, he did not try to hide the news by killing them, opting to cooperate instead. It was without a doubt a wise choicehaving been handsomely rewarded, the party started to give their best, leading the Grand Duke’s army to seal the mountain region at the first chance and took control of the cavern entrance.
The information was concealed for half a year until now. The arrival of winter had made the stationed troops’ resupplying difficultno longer able to hide their movements and harassed by neighboring nations, the young Grand Duke could only recall his army while spreading the news of the abyssal entrance across the entire world.
By then, the army of the Grand Dukedom had already harvested mountainous amounts of the magical fungi, while attempting to grow those rapidly-growing yet edible mushrooms under suitable environments.
“Underground world, huh.”
Joshua muttered as he read the latest edition ofMagus Weeklyin the liege’s residence study back in the main city of Moldavia. Spellcasters were always brimming with passion about new things, even more so when it comes to mysterious magic mushrooms. However, the warrior skimmed through fifty-pages worth of thesis regarding the mushrooms before finally finding the part he was interested in.
“Traces of the underground civilization is not yet discovered? Oh, right. The kingdom of the night elves is still under civil strife, while the boulder dwarves had just attained independence from themthey should be all still be going at each other necks at the center of the Great Cavity. There should be no movements by the border at all around this time, so it would be normal if the Romain Empire noticed nothing Hmm, or is it still Grand Dukedom at the moment?”
Beside him, Ling, who was handling documents, had gotten used to Joshua blurting out all sorts of weird information. Even if the black-haired youth did not know that the warrior’s every word would cause a huge uproar in the outside world, he knew that Joshua would never mumble to himself without reasonwhich was why he paused his writing and turned to the warrior.
“Master, you like this kind of news too?” he asked. “Do you want to order several other similar periodicals? Winter is coming, the adventurers are too freeif we give out exploration missions, most would be willing to accept.”
“There’s no need.” Joshua shook his head at his weapon’s suggestion. “It’s just new map and new races, nothing much related to us.
With the advent of the Great Mana Tide, more new races were appearing on the stage that was the continent. Besides the night elves and stone dwarves that revealed their presence amidst the West Mountains, the merfolk of the Eastern Plains coastal area had rescinded their usual discreetness. With their fertility greatly increased following the heightened mana concentration, their aggravation activities would become frequent. The affected sirens who had virtually become a legend after centuries gone by without any news about them would send envoys to ally with the Council of Seven.
Following the berserk dragons’ invasion, the Far Southern region had many things waiting to be solved and no excess force like other regions to explore unknown areas. They were doing all they could, with help from the Seven Gods Church as well as the Trade Federation to rebuilt key cities that lay in ruins. With many noble and local families perishing in the war against the dragons, the Far Southern Kingdom that was reborn from the ashes began awarding champions who greatly contributed to the war huge chunks of uninhabited lands. Thus, the new nobles began to labor with their utmost for their domain, with darkness surging beneath the surface as a scheme against the Kingdom’s Royal Family slowly took shape.
As for the Northern Empire, some of the fairy race that hadaccording to legendassisted the Founding Emperor in establishing the nation were stepping out of the ‘Fairyland’ and beginning to search for things that interested them. These pure-energy lifeforms were usually as large as a finger or at most a palm possessed the greatest and most detailed magic item craftsmanship in his world, being the only existence apart from the gods who could forge divine armament such as ‘holy swords’.
The warrior was long aware of those facts. Now that he was a Legendary champion, he naturally would not be concerned about areas he had explored in the pre-existence.
“Master!” Ying’s clear voice rang from outside the study.
Through his powerful senses, Joshua already knew that she was coming, only turning towards the door now. The silver-haired girl opened it later and quickly gave him a report.
“The Winter Fort Academy students are all here. Master, when do you plan to meet them?”
Swiftly throwing theMagus Weeklyaway, Joshua closed his eyes, doing all his best to withdraw the presence spreading naturally from him and finally suppressed most of it with the method from the Nature’s Magister.
Then, he opened his eyes.
“Tell them to meet me one-by-one,” he told Ying, “but let them do so at their discretion. This is just an inquiry, not an apprentice recruitment process.”
“Right!” the girl crisply replied, and went with thudding but brisk footsteps to notify the guards standing by the entrance of the liege’s residence.
Ling, too, stopped his work and bade his leave temporarily to clear the study for Joshua and the students he was about to interview. The warrior watched as he left, before looking up towards the ceiling carved in simple patterns.
His mind returned to that scene a month ago.
In the Chaos of the Void, the long belt of light formed from countless worlds directed towards the distant Multiverse and the breathtakingly majestic twinkling stars.
Those were the worlds that the Sage had trodden upon and passed by.
A champion more powerful than gods who defeated the Abyss and the evils of Chaos. Having left behind ways to heal his homeland, had decisively assumed the lonely journey.
Why would he do that? What was his goal? What kind of truth had he learned that gave him such resolve?
The truth of it all was shrouded in a mist, and the clues pointed towards that past, that history that had been wiped away.
“The Lost Three-Hundred Years.” the warrior murmured to himself. “How rare, to actually gain my curiosity.”