Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
If combat between Legendaries occurred in a living world, the damage could only be described as catastrophic. In such strife between super lifeforms, flattened cities and severed mountains were fundamental, while if things went a little more serious there would be earthquakes that stretch over a thousand miles, causing the environment to shift permanently. The worst-case scenario was in turn global weather change, causing long droughts in certain regions throughout the year or tidal floods.
Whatever the case may be, Legendary individuals could make a nation fall as a stable and prosperous land into a barren, lifeless place—one could never be too cautious in regards to such destructive forces.
That was why, having seen the two Legendary mages combining to tremble the void and tear away an area of several hundred miles with the most profound of magical power, both the gigantic Burning Eye and the Deity’s Crest stopped in their tracks.
To these two beings that had already surpassed most Legendary individuals, the spell that mages unleashed certainly would not pose much realistic threat to their real bodies—but it would be a simple matter when it came to their clones. In order to prevent that matter, both duplicates of the Goliath and the Pentashade Dragon God vigilantly raised protective shielding and prepared to parry the impact that was about to come anytime.
The moment they raised a threefold shielding with energy, matter, and spatial protection, a white light suddenly shone from the Squirming Forest and illuminated the dark Abyss. It was so bright that a significant part of the northwestern region of the Sixth Abyss became bright as day. Sensing the energy surge that was soon beginning to cascade intensely behind that radiance, both Abyssal Lord and Dragon God clone raised their alertness to the highest level!
After the white light dissipated and the energy ripple calmed, the Abyssal Lord stared at the empty Squirming forest. The spectacle that rather escaped imagination caused Goliath’s mind to stagnate for the thousandth of a second, while beside it, the Dragon God reaction was no better. Within breaths, the two extraordinary beings simultaneously bellowed deafeningly in rage and acted together, clawing towards the direction where Joshua and the others had vanished!
Endless dark flames condensed around the Burning Eye, condensing into a mountainous demon hand, while the Dragon God crest too materialized a draconic talon imbued with incomparable might. Both reached out at one, tearing through the air, traces of dark lines causing the entire space to contort why the pair of talons displaced even void where it reached. It was as if the entire world was a lucid oil painting, being torn apart by two majestic powers.
Having bombarded that single spot, Goliath and the Dragon God clone immediately transformed into two separate beams and leaped out of the Sixth Abyss, arriving at the endless Void. They tried their best to catch any trace of the two Legendary mages’ grand scale teleportation spell outside the Abyss but had definitely ended up empty-handed. The chaotic dimensional turbulence had ripped away any signs that could be used in their chase, and searching for them would as fruitless as searching for a single drop of water in the ocean.
“Three Monarchs from the world of Mycroft… I shall remember this!”
Following a few more futile tries, the Burning Eye decisively stopped its search and did its best to quell its own anger, and turned its pupil and glared most malevolently towards the other end of the Void. It was as if Goliath could see through nothingness itself, where a great, obscure world that was a single planet slowly orbited and moved. It was dull and lightless for a thousand years, and had been as feeble as a dying candle. However, it was different now—under the brush of the Great Mana Tide it shone with the brightest luminosity, and was distinct even amidst the most chaotic of dimensional ripples.
It was the world of Mycroft. The depths within the soul of that infinitely greedy and furious Abyssal Lord unfurled at the very thought, but it knew that the timing was far from right for an invasion. Leaving aside the matter of the Sixth Abyss’s own might, there were many forces that were spread far and wide in battlefield within other worlds. Even gathering them together would never break through that barrier that had been raised since ancient times.
Goliath turned back and returned to the Sixth Abyss. On the other hand, the Dragon God that did not act much along the way was still wandering the Void, its divine light of Pentashade splendor had refilled part of the hollowed portion on its flank, and it could see further and clearer than the Abyssal Lord.
It was a wall, a wall standing before the Sixth Abyss, Seventh Abyss as well as most discovered Abyssal Levels and barring them. In the Dragon God’s vision, a hazy sacred radiance was swaying in the Void—it forbade every overstepping behavior of Chaotic sentience and encircled the surroundings of the Mycroft Continent tightly. Nevertheless, the barrier was about to break since nothing is eternal—after a thousand years of wear and tear, there would be countless cracks even in such a miraculous creation. It might utterly disappear in a few hundred years, which was why demons could arrive in the Mycroft Continent to recruit worshippers from time to time.
“I’ll be back. Humans, Metal Dragons…” The defeated one made an oath in its heart.
Then, the light of divine power vanished slowly from the void in tandem with the crest of the Pentashade Dragon God, leaving a sentence which words had been split sporadically by dimensional turbulence.
At the same time, Joshua and the others had reached the other end of the grand-scale world-portal.
Shaking his head to clear the dizziness of jumbled spatial awareness, Joshua moved the black dragon girl that had completely fainted and could only mumble “dizzy…” into his embrace, before looking around.
There was a scent of erosion.
There were black sky and black oceans, and the ground itself was a gigantic island that floats in the center of the ocean, composed entirely of stone and metals. It appeared to have been some part of a larger building, with many traces that artificial objects had left over it. Time, however, corroded everything, wiping away every distinct sign by dust and wind, although that was not the most important thing.
After a moment of observation, Joshua promptly frowned.
“No, this isn’t the Mycroft Continent, nor is it an island in the sea…” The warrior muttered to himself, having seen through the truth behind the surrounding black skies and oceans. “…It’s still the Abyss! It’s an empty island, but it’s also an island that is floating over the Void!”
Instantly, he remembered a familiar world by the sights alone and attained a most likely answer—this place was the Bloodmoon Abyss. He had explored this place together with an elite party from the Seven Gods Church, and did battle against the Black Crystal Dragon Mandagar.
Why would they teleport to the Bloodmoon Abyss? Could there have been some mistake with the warping spell itself?
Joshua quickly turned towards the two elderly mages that presided over the teleportation. He wanted to know why they would set the teleport coordinates to this world—and if he was being honest, the warrior was rather disappointed. He had wanted to learn how powerful the two Legendary mages were when they combined and if they could counter the clones of the Abyssal Lord and the Pentashade Dragon God. That way, he could generally judge the gap in ability between Legendary, only for the two to simply activate a grand-scale portal formation that was prepared long ago, sending everyone to another world between breaths.
Naturally, such a scale of warp was assuredly formidable. Joshua, who understood that fact, was aware that achieving it did not require only solely merely just power, but… it still fell short of the warrior’s imagination. Should it not be said instead that those two elderly Legendary champions were being wary as expected? That tremendous portal could only have been completed if they commenced constructing it the moment they stepped inside the Abyss, that they would consider the worst-case scenario was truly nothing less than the incarnations of wisdom and Truth…
But just when Joshua turned his head, what wafted towards him were two voices that were equally baffled.
“It’s weird, William. My precise dimensional coordinates were definitely the Great Ajax Mountains in the North, and I also especially left a corresponding circle in that place. So why did we warp to this damned place?”
The old mage Barnil, who had a monocle on as he browsed his gilded grimoire, was furrowing his brow. He repetitively checked the construct of the spell he had just made, even intermittently drawing a one or two signs in the air in comparison, causing a slight ripple in the surrounding dimension. “There’s nothing wrong! My circle template was right—we were essentially hitchhiking on a stable dimensional flow, it’s impossible for us to be affected by external factors!”
“It is weird, Barnil—but the problem shouldn’t be about us.” Beside him, the young mage William who held a crystal ball in his hand seemed troubled too. He stared at the crystal ball that appeared to be carrying a Squirming Forest, while muttering to himself subconsciously. “Strictly speaking, even if that Abyssal Lord and Dragon God clone obstructed the process, we would at most return to the Mycroft Continent just a little slower—so how could we have stopped in the middle?”
The two men were extremely confident about their power and magical precision, which inevitably pointed towards an external factor and in turn dragged the discourse into an impasse.
It was therefore clear that the two men were uncertain about the situation as well.
Having heard it all, Joshua sighed softly. Noticing his voice, the two Legendary mages quickly turned towards the warrior.
“Nice to meet you, Count Radcliffe. I never thought I would actually meet you in the Abyss!”
Barnil went to him first in greeting, proving to be a jovial mage who was also famous for his rune discipline. William followed soon after, and was as passionate as his friend. It was as if both mages had already been acquainted with Joshua as they approached the warrior for a handshake, as though nothing could be more natural. Joshua certainly would not refuse, and solemnly grasped their hands in greeting after slightly adjusting the black dragon’s girl position.
“Me too. I would never have thought that I would actually meet you two in the Abyss.”
Clearly hearing the complaint in the warrior’s words, both Barnil and William knew at once of how much problems they had caused Joshua for suddenly going missing in his domain. So, they tacitly combined, with one staring at the skies while the other studied the ground, and skipped through the issue entirely. Joshua definitely would not nitpick on such triviality either, since he always had been pragmatic and direct.
“Leaving that aside, masters. May I know what’s the current situation? Why would we appear in the Bloodmoon Abyss?”
“You know this place? Though the issue at hand is a little problematic…”
William appeared rather surprised by the warrior’s words. After all, the Northern Empire was never known for their knowledge in regards to the Abyss—apart from the Church of Seven Gods, only the Skypiercing White Tower and certain royal families in a few West Mountains countries had researched significantly into the Abyss. Even, it was no huge obstacle, and after slightly adjusting his wording the good-looking mage who looked extraordinarily young gave a general of the entire process.
In the dimensional spells discipline within the Mycroft Continent, there were three methods of teleportation. The most common was by determining the coordinates of a location through supremely complex calculations and then send the intended person or object through a dimensional fissure to the target location. Most portals and dimensional passageways belonged to that type, the key point being the direction in which the passageway was opened. That however, was mostly used for teleportation inside the boundary of a single world, and if it had to be done between two different worlds, the dimensional barrier between them must be as close as possible—a small error could cause a problem in the entire teleportation itself.
The second was by distorting the space around oneself and undergo a lightspeed warp movement. Most teleportation spells were of this form—it is not appearing out of thin air but a high-speed maneuver by twisting space itself. That is why this style is usually limited in the Void where there are no obstacles, which was also virtually most of the methods to traverse worlds. When compared to the first one, however, this method cost more energy and had unstable pathways, although it is capable of reaching extremely distant otherworld. Nostradamus of the Northern Empire is a master of this style, as well as a pioneer and elite for it.
“The third is the one that Barnil and myself had used. The general principle us to calculate the direction of dimensional turbulence in our surroundings and ride along with it to arrive in another world.”
Both Barnil and William seemingly did not intend to conceal anything even if Joshua was just a warrior to them, and one who probably would not understand despite being informed. William even lifted a finger and started to draw an intricate diagram of the principle through mana projection in the air. “There are always one or two natural dimensional passageways in each temporal plane that reaches out to some world,” he explained patiently. “The link between most worlds came to be from it, and both Barnil and I had intended to use one such turbulence and directly return to the Mycroft Continent, although there was an error somehow.”
Having finished the lesson, the Legendary wandering poet glanced at the black dragon girl in the warrior’s embrace, his gaze showing immense curiosity. There were not many creatures in the Mycroft Continent that had awakened Ancient Dragon bloodlines, and even less were those that had awakened their intelligence and could turn into human form. There might even be none at all.
And that in turn meant that if, one day, this black dragon really awakened the information and legacy in its bloodline that originates from Ancient Dragons, she would be able to use the common tongue and recount all those details hidden deep within her bloodline. To Ancient Dragon chasers like the two Legendary mages, those details were undoubtedly precious—that was why, the favor Joshua did by searching for them in the Abyss notwithstanding, they were willing to share all they know with no limit, all of which just so that they could form a fine bond with the little female dragon.
At the very thought, both Barnil and William’s gazes became perplexed as they stared at Joshua with complicated emotions. The two mages had lived for so many years, having seen the most malevolent of clergymen and the kindest of orcs. They had also headed to unusual cities, coming across innumerable characters, amongst them kings, knights, the rich as well as beggars. They know the madness of men who had nothing, the boldness of individuals who own lionhearts, but never had one of them be so courageous—one man and one dragon, heading to the Abyss with empty-handed to slaughter monsters, defeat a Demon General, and actually nonchalantly ask what was going on after a failed teleportation with no hint of panic.
Was he a steel construct? Even machinery intelligence was not that valiant! Not even the plot of the most absurd novels was written as such—it would be criticized as inconceivable, unsellable, and yet the reality was that someone actually did it, and succeeded!
On the other hand, Joshua did not mind the opinion the two Legendary mages had of him. Having understood the three different teleportation methods William had explained for him, he muttered to himself thoughtfully. “Wormhole leap, warp navigation, and extradimensional channel? Interesting.”
While there were slight discrepancies in terms of intricacies, but it was mainly those three forms—although Joshua became even more bemused after grasping the idea. Since the extradimensional channel uses natural dimensional flow as a medium of transport, it would be the most stable teleportation method with proper preparations. They would not have deviated off track even if an Abyssal Liege obstructed them and materialized into another world instead!
Even so, just thinking about it would not award one with answers. Falling into silence alongside the two Legendary mages as he pondered for a while, Joshua decided to hand them the black dragon girl even as they kept discussing what went wrong, while he himself rose into the air to observe the familiar yet silent Abyss once more.
No demons lived in the Bloodmoon Abyss, although it was not a rare case in the bottomless Abyss itself. Demons were ultimately living things too and had certain requirements that must be fulfilled to exist—with all worlds in the Abyss being long-dead lands, there would be a few that did not allow the propagation of life.
In the air, Joshua could see that this was already a shattered world. Pieces of the continent was floating amidst the dark void, shaping into isles that hung in the air but was without water, plants, and life.
A blood moon shone with rays of misty radiance above the world. This had been precisely the place where he fought Mandagar in their decisive battle, diced Nolan with a hand chop and stopped the Abyssal demon dragons from invading the Sacred Mountain. Even now, he could almost sense the presence of the self-destructing Nuclear Star from the distance—the faint high-energy radiation wafted through the Void, bringing some warmth to the cold Abyss.
Everything appears normal, Joshua furrowed his brow, and things don’t appear to be too bad . The Bloodmoon Abyss is one of the Abyssal planes that was closest to the world of Mycroft, and was once even linked to the Anos sea. Furthermore, the two Legendary mages had enough ability to send them back to the Mycroft Continent, and were now merely fussing over the reason of their failure—to mages, such errors were enough to instill self-doubt in them for half a day, or, in more serious cases, tear apart the entire spell construct before and redesign it.
Still, Joshua felt that all this somehow was no accident, but something that was made certain by some influence.
Joshua did not believe in destiny, but he believed in causality. Instead of calling it an error that suddenly occurred in the two Legendary mages’ preparations to return home, it should have been an effect of external influence—there was definitely a hidden force failing their teleportation and pulled them to this Abyss.
If that guess was correct, the problem was what force it had been which affected them? The warrior pondered for some time before frowning and staring at the blood-colored moon that was high above the shattered continent. He lowered his head in thought again, just as the dull red radiance over the sky shone, bringing a tinge of warmth.
Blinking and sensing the fact, Joshua looked up solemnly again at the Blood Moon over the sky, his eyes filled with suspicion—if the warmth before could be explained away as a shockwave from the self-detonation of the Nuclear Star, that continuous radiance just now had definitely brought heat to the warrior’s body!
The warrior was a hundred percent positive regarding data on such aspects. Indeed, he had such precision that he could easily sense the difference up to the hundredth of a degree in temperature.
But how could that be?! No matter how much it resembled a sun, it was no sun! When he had come with the Seven God Church’s elite party here and fought the black dragon over the Blood Moon, he never once sensed any warmth then. It had been a liquid planetary body formed from infinite primordial soup, it was impossible for it to illuminate and radiate heat like a star!
That unusual and mysterious shift was very likely the reason their teleportation failed!
Although the warrior’s guess was based on nothing, Joshua did not plan to meditate on it. Being the decisive type, he greeted the two mages who had already drawn out pen and paper to sketch runes, calculate and verify calibrations, before following his instinct and flew towards the Blood Moon over the sky.
There was an immeasurably faint ripple in the silent Abyss that resembled both the sun and a fetal movement. Weak light shone upon Joshua’s body, and a light thumping sound rang from the Blood Moon over the sky, resonating with his heart.
It was no illusion.
After ascertaining the fact, the warrior had a sudden feeling in his heart.
Perhaps, all of it was related to that battle then.