Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
After silence albeit not a long one, Ling slowly exhaled and fixed his golden eyes on the floorboard.
“Luckily, obsidian isn’t expensive,” he muttered subconsciously.
He appeared to have completely accepted his role as butler.
On the other hand, Ying gulped as she stared at the cracked stone beneath 03’s feet.
Really imposing.She thought enviously.
Joshua, meanwhile, had finished changing into his ceremonial robes and did not mind the cracked floor at all.
“You definitely could come along, but you have to walk with lighter steps,” he told the artificial intelligence girl mildly.
In return, 03’s expression turned unusual as she paused, having never heard Joshua speaking in such a manner. The others found out that her living metal body could certainly make expressions as she delved into brief thought.
“The power output of this body is rather unstable,” she then explained reluctantly, “it tends to unconsciously increase core output whenever it treads on floorboardsthe run-in is too low, I can’t do a thing.”
“Then you’ll have to practice more,” the warrior replied with no hint of accusation in his voice.
He then waved his hand nonchalantly. Invisible power began to reassemble the obsidian shards, returning each piece of tile into its original form as if time was reversed. It was as if Joshua was carrying a vase while forgetting its sturdy construct. “You could practice as you wish around the residence, but be careful when you go outside.”
Perhaps still not adapted to the steel body, the A.I. girl suddenly lunged as if struggling. Ling and Ying were left perplexed, but the warrior could tell that she wanted to levitate in the air as usual. Even so, what was mana projection to a body constructed entirely from precious metals? A great deal of mana was required for the steel body that was also layered in all sorts of runes and magic circles to float, more than a hundred times costlier than levitating an equally heavy piece of metal.
Shaking his head, Joshua briskly stepped forward and picked up 03, who was about just half his size. Then, grabbing the instant she stared blankly again, she put him over her shoulders. The warrior also appeared to be prudent through the entire process and seemed attentive about his strength. Even so, his cautious strength made the two-ton construct look as weightless as paper and could float off at any moment.
Turning around, the warrior then saw the silver-haired girl envious expression. He laughed heartily, and grasped her hand.
“Take turns. Let’s go.”
Though there was a smile as he spoke, there was something staunch in his tone, and so the two girls nodded subconsciously before lowering their heads in silence.
Joshua then turned to look at Ling, who was still inside the study. The black-haired youth blinked in return, and quickly said, “Did you forget, Master? I have to deal with some landscaping issues in the new city zonesI won’t be going this time.”
“Sorry for the trouble.” Joshua walked to him and tousled Ling’s hair. “Anywhere you want to go later, just tell me as 03 did,” he added. “There’s no need to hold it in.”
“There’s not many places we can’t go in this world now.”
Soon, Joshua, Ying and 03 entered the portal at the highest level of the manor as they head towards the Imperial Capital.
Ling, sending them off, watched as the light-blue dimensional ripples slowly calmed while his smiling face gradually became serious.
“Strange. Why do I sense that something isn’t quite right?” he mumbled softly and rubbed his temples worriedly.
Apart from him, Ying and 03 were feeling that something was not right too. Unlike the A.I. who was using an unfamiliar steel body, the divine armament girl’s spiritual form could directly touch the warrior’s hand, which made her sensation rather apparent.
Was she really holding her master’s hand?
The warmth, the touch, the firmness, the strength The feeling was no different, but Ying had the lingering feeling of an inconspicuous but definitely existing barrier between herself and Joshua. It was so faint that it could not even repel warmth, and yet it was so strong that she was unaffected despite already become a holy-item armament.
In truth, their thoughts were on point. Joshua now undoubtedly touched no one.
On a certain point of view, he was not even touching all things in this world.
Since the warrior ascended to Legendary after returning from the world of Grandia, his body was changing little by little towards the extraordinary form he desired. He did not use all this time in his journey to the world of Karlis either, since he used most of his time in the few months he stayed at the Far Southern Sacred Mountain to exchange the path of Legendary with Pope Igor while regenerating his body’s form.
Now, all forceswhether it was lifeforce, aura or various miscellaneous elemental energies that flowed around Joshua’s body, everything was comprehensively converted into pure Steel Strength. As the highest threshold and most authoritative of energies, Steel Strength was reliant upon self-augmentation through assimilation of other matter and energy. All the power the warrior had before could only be shifted into a small cluster of Steel Strength, albeit capable of assimilating a small hill in Karlis and heighten the warrior’s body density and power to a horrifying magnitude.
In a way, although Joshua was still in human form at present, it was actually a shell that interacts with the external world. Within the shell was searing heat and incredible pressure, as well as unnamable bodies of dense assembled matter. The body itself, operating on an energy rotation similar to nuclear reactors would provide energy for daily movements. Still, his physicality was so substantial and the Steel Strength’s assimilative reaction was so rapid that it tends to make things complicatedwhenever the warrior used his body to touch something, power equal to mountains would directly pulverize them, with Steel Strength assimilating them later. Such was the process of an ultra-life self-evolving.
And to utterly grasp the power and not assimilating under its drive, Joshua had to temporarily stop ascending to focus and study on a deeper level the fundamental levels of Steel Strength. Before that, he would manipulate the energies and magnetic fields around him into a thin barrier to restrain his body. If matter from the outside world could not crack the magnetic barrier constructed from Joshua’s own energy, it would never be able to touch Joshua’s shell.
The shell was indeed all-encompassing, which was why although Joshua now appeared to be standing above ground he was in fact floating in thin air. There was a layer of imperceptible space below his feet tooif he did touch ground, his terrific weight would completely contort and crumble however sturdy the surface was.
Which was why he was so tolerating towards 03. The A.I. girl was just two tons, while his weight now was at least ten thousand times above that.
Even so, walking in this manner was too inconvenient and he also had to pay attention when touching things around him. That was why Joshua was prudent when he made physical contact with 03 and the otherseverything was so fragile that an unrestrained poke would break everything into pieces. And now he also understood why most Legendary champions would live in seclusion or use an incarnation of themselves to act in the outside worldtheir true form certainly had such monumental power that existing alone would influence the existence of others.
Joshua’s current state was still fine, but if his quality went up to the next level he would have to build a new residence deep within the Great Ajax Mountains or he would become a severe threat to the dozen thousands of citizens around him in the city. Most of the city would instantly be destroyed if he carelessly relaxed his restraint on a day, while even one ‘blood’ drop could corrode land hundreds of square meters around ita result Joshua acquire after experimenting deep within the Great Ajax Mountains.
Come to think of it, the few Legendary champions he knew mostly did not have such problems.
Saint Igor’s was a body of light, and his true form was probably the Eternal Light that encircles the Great Altar that stood on the highest level over the Sacred Mountain of the Distant Sea. His body was but a shape of his bygone human form and his incarnation. Even if he utterly released all restraints in that form, he would at most become an extremely colossal sunny lantern hanging above the Sacred Mountain.
The Nature’s Magister was an incarnation of the life cycle. Not only would her existence not cause troubles for her surroundings, but it would also instead calibrate the form and environment of a certain region, fertilizing barren lands even as she prioritized elven prosperity. Even if her powers run amok, it was at most a transformation into a Dark Forest, though the Dark Forest itself was a Legendary tier lifeform.
As for Israel, his power was alleged to be ‘Will Materialization’. Still, both description and rumors did not describe it as a power that would influence the material world by muchit was indeed more realistic to worry about the Emperor suddenly forgetting to feed that Hellfire Dragon of his, since the destruction wrought on by an angry dragon was definitely much greater than the Emperor’s own powers going haywire.
It was also difference caused by path chosen. Igor was Pope of the Seven Gods Church, the Nature’s Magister was one of the most powerful elven leaders while Israel was Emperor. Each was the leader of powerful factions, which was why their abilities encompassed other aspects apart from carnage and battle.
Joshua’s choice on the other hand was the path of Pure Steel, a unitary route of ‘devastation’.
Steel is that which all weapons were crafted form. Although it could be made into farming tools as well, it was an artificial object that ultimately had to be forged through fire.
And, as with all artificial objects, it denoted the strife of this world.
Even the seemingly harmless hoe was essentially something that lays waste upon the original form of the land and shape it according to human needs. Sowing seeds, harvesting crops, maintain human survival, developing civilizationsall these actions were, in truth, humans utilizing their own wisdom as intelligent lifeforms, issuing a challenge against the world’s natural life cycle with their identity not as beasts but the master of all creatures.
Aura, lifeforce, mana, martial arts, magic, magical technology, divine spells The crux of all power is the sameall were tools humans employed to develop their own bodies and challenge the world. Even Steel Strength, an origin power at the start of Creation, it was no exemption once it reached human’s grasp.
Even as he stepped into the portal, his hand linked to Ying’s and 03 sitting and his shoulders, Joshua was still thinking about his issues.
Chief among them was the problem of progeny.
The warrior’s age was meager compared to other Legendary champions at the moment. Before him, none would have imagined that there would be a Legendary champion who was in his twentiesapart from Joshua himself, the other youngest Legendary was at least forty. While they would not be blessed with many children, they would at least have posterity unlike him who was still single.
It was still possible for natural conception on the early phase of Legendary. But when it came to Legendary-intermediate where one would completely transform into a higher lifeform, there was basically a barrier to propagation, and there would not be normal descendants without using special methods. However, the Void Behemoth that Herlas would have ascended into would not have that problemthat thing was almost the same as dragons, perhaps even more powerful.
And yet, it could procreate with any creatureindeed,anylifeform. It could pollenize even flowers to conceive herbal descendants or spread spores of fungus, essentially versatile. That was why Void Behemoths, beings of primitive lifeforce were also called the living plague of the Multiverse, leaving only its own descendants in worlds they invaded.
Of course, Joshua was no Void Behemoth or stud of the Multiverse. Before this, he had never thought about issues regarding his own progeny since the feelings between man and woman were nonexistent in his brain. In the warrior’s eyes, all life is equalthe only gap between each being the combat power value above their heads. It was definitely a form of elevated spiritual level, but now it vexed him.
In the last few months, at least a dozen nobles had either discreetly or directly extended ‘invitations’ which were obviously rejected by Joshua without exemption. Still, he was not devoted to the idea of staying single and was merely uninterested in marriage at the moment. This world may have been revitalized after its fire was relit, but the warrior would not have the mood with the Evil Gods and Abyss still peeking this place and the issue was unsolved.
Things for a later time should be left for later. It was not as if Legendary-intermediate meant complete sterilityit just means that the hypostasis was simply too high and demanding for conceiving, and just a little more difficult.
If push comes to shove, Joshua still had other choices.
At present, the warrior could already inscribe legacies and information in his body. Like draconic bloodline legacy, the warrior could engrave his memories and legacy into his body and subsequently ‘split’ away. When Joshua reaches the level of Perfect Body, he would have the Ancient Dragon ability in which a single drop of his blood could survive independently. It was his descendant to some extent, requiring only a mother to gestate it and becoming a complete lifeform.
However, it was too alien and too unusual that Joshua found it rather hard to accept.
With those thoughts in mind, the warrior stepped out of the portal, pale-blue ripples slowly gelling behind him. In an instant, he arrived at the Imperial Capital by the foot of the Triplet Mountain from the North, covering thousands of miles in no time at all.
Portals usually could not transport overweight objects. The warrior was far above the standard from the start, but he restrained his own weight and so smoothly walked through the portal.
Joshua subconsciously adjusted 03 who was over his shoulder, but a figure flashed through his mind the moment he touched the other’s body.
“Wait, Unit 01!” He muttered subconsciously. The A.I. girl and Ying blinked in return, before looking at each other, feeling puzzled.
As for Joshua, he did not take note of the two’s thoughts. He was frowning, remembering the spectacle when Unit 01 was born.
At the time, he had sublimated a portion of steel into a Steel Elementallater named Unit 01due to his inability to control the ‘Authority of Creation’ in the world of Illgner. The power was given directly by the Steel Serpent of that world, and now it appeared that its essence was the Origin Steel from Illgner.
It proves that even that energy could allow the warrior to give life to inorganic objects, precisely the primordial lifeforce that displays the power of metaplasia. That energy had always been hidden within Joshua’s body and exploded then, he had originally thought it an accidentbut when he thought about it, it was perhaps due to his arrival to Supreme pinnacle that the aura in his body began to revert to its Steel Strength roots. The two had repelled and thus forced the foreign energy out and gave birth to Unit 01.
From the start, Unit 01 had intelligence perhaps because that Steel Strength contains information of the Illgner Steel Python and Joshua. To some extent, Unit 01 might be
“No. That’s still too weird.” Joshua inhaled deeply under Ying’s and 03’s curious stares, shaking his head. “I’ll stop thinking about those things. I’m here today for the carnival.”
With those words, the warrior cleared away all hypothesis regarding Unit 01, deleting and formatting them.
At the same time, he looked around.
It was noontime in the heart of the Empire. The Triplet Mountain region of the Capital was becoming the most illustrious sunlight since the long winter. In the emerald plains beneath the mountains, silvery rivers streamed quietly as if ribbons, spring winds swept through the forests that had already grown new leaves by the river, with creatures and their young running around the thickets almost visible.
Thanks to the celebration, the dimensional anchoring circle around the Capital was temporarily shrunk so that it only covers the mountaintop. Dozens of portals directed to different places were placed at various spots below the mountain with reception spots set up to welcome important guests who could use the portals. The avenue that leads to the mountaintop was also filled with tourists and adventurers from around the world, all here to see the biggest celebration of the Northern Empire.
The Mycroft Continent was vast and its population sporadic, and there would often scenes of many empty city streets come evening. However, the Imperial Capital was now uncharacteristically crowded as several dozen times of the usual flow of people went up and down the mountains. There were even rare visitors of other racesa few clanmates of the barbarian warrior who served under Joshua could be seen.
Compared to other zones, the area around the portals connected to the North was the least crowded. Due to the dimensional turbulence encircling the North in recent times, the portal network was only established just a few years ago while people who used it was few, which was why the trio naturally attracted the gazes of the crowd around them when they stepped out of the portal.
The rather surprised voice of a man called out from nearby. Soon, a blond man who was holding hands with a violet-haired woman walked out of the crowd and arrived before Joshua. He had spread his arms for an embrace with the warrior, but stopped short regretfully when he noticed the iron girl on top of the other man’s shoulders.
“You’re finally here, huh.”
“Brandon, Vale Dani, I wasn’t late.” Joshua shrugged, before making a cold joke with a straight face. “Justice might be late, but not me.”