Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
There is an attraction between people.
Those who love drawing would meet others who loved to draw, just as those who love to write would meet others loved to write. Even if extraordinary stayed within secluded forests, they would always come across other extraordinary individuals and become involved in a series of incidents as if an invisible power drew them together.
It was fine if such incidents happened once or twice, but it happens perpetually since ancient times and continues to this day. It was something that made people unable to repress a sigh that there was definitely an attraction between different individuals.
Naturally, that was not the truth. Most knew that it was not some ‘attraction’ at work, but the inevitable result of a person having entered a certain circle and reached certain boundaries. If an artist wanted to sublimate their drawing technique they assuredly would search for peers and pay attention to everything related. It was the same for writers, much less extraordinary individuals. They are like stars in the dark night that would never be ignored by people, and precisely because of that, their existence alone would attract a series of events to them.
Joshua had long understood that principle. Champions were like vortices, and the currents known as power would sweep every abnormality and unexpected things to himself, while every speech and move he made would deeply influence everyone around him and produce subsequent events.
Just like his travel to the Sixth Abyss this time. It was a simple trip, and yet it caused the utter destruction of a dozen demon territories, a heavy blow on Demon General Helm, while the Abyssal Lord and Pentashade Dragon God acted together. Then, he arrived at the Bloodmoon Abyss and actually met a newborn Flame Seed, a luminous lifeform that was the future incarnation of a World Will and received its seedling. So, he instinctively knew, having done so much, he would never return to the Mycroft Continent without any issues.
And the truth proved the point.
In the Void between worlds, the warrior’s figure abruptly vanished with a silver-white flash right in front of Black, the orb of light and the two Legendary mages. It was so sudden that there was almost no interim, and the black dragon girl had already returned to the world of Mycroft amidst the surge of dimensions that traversed through Void. When she shook off her dizziness and stood up, surrounded by the faint sulfuric scent spreading from the Great Ajax Mountains, she finally reacted in shock that her master had vanished.
Both William and Barnil were just as shocked as Black. The moment the two mages’ teleportation was over they swiftly unleashed all their powers, with Barnil keeping the portal open, his seemingly fragile artificial eye whirling rapidly under wildly cascading magical power, even forming a spiral shape that peeled of layers upon layers of dimensions and mysterious. The mage scanned every corner of the dimensional passageway with a solemn expression, the pale blue light being churned into an obscure shroud under his gaze even as massive volumes of information that could fry a typical mage’s brain poured into his mind.
“He’s gone,” he said gravely after a while. “There’s no clue.”
“Damn it!” Beside him, William had drawn out his pure crystal ball, wherein a minuscule forest filled with shells, dragon scales, and tentacles were squirming over the land. It was precisely the Squirming Forest he had sealed within sub-space, and now, with sharp sounds as if glass was breaking, countless cracks appeared over the sub-space. In the very next moment, the Squirming Forest and large chunks of rotten Abyssal soil simply appeared out of thin air over the Great Ajax Mountains and crashed heavily on the ground.
Like his friend, the wandering poet drove the crystal globe in his hand, sending streaks of pure, transparent radiance into the portal and relieved images of the past. However, after a dozen replays, neither he nor Barnil found any clues, driving the Legendary mage immeasurably annoyed. “Count Radcliffe came searching for us in the Abyss—which was successful since we’ve returned, but now he is missing! Damn it, how are we going to explain it to his kin and subjects?!”
“There is no hurry.”
A few seconds after the two Legendary mages cast their Legendary abilities with no restraint, another pale-blue doorway appeared naturally before everyone’s eyes with the hum of dimensional churning. Instantly, a new Legendary mage with white hair and white beard stepped out simultaneously alongside a dark-blond Legendary warrior with shoulder-lengthed hair. Halfway through, Nostradamus’s silhouette paused slightly and allowed Israel to move ahead half a body before him which the Emperor did not politely decline.
Israel glanced at the black dragon girl and the orb of light on her head, before turning towards Barnil and William, his might distinct despite his calm expression. “Can anyone actually explain the situation?”
Meanwhile, Joshua did not know that four Legendary champions were meeting due to his disappearance—he would definitely have been moved if he did. It was perhaps one of the occasions before the advent of the Seven Gods where the greatest number of Legendary humans gathered in a single spot. It should certainly be noted that only two human Legendaries—Igor and Israel were present in the Battle of the Sacred Mountain.
But now, leaving what he did not know, Joshua would not be too moved even if he did—for the being that now appeared before the warrior was far more profound than gods or Legendary champions.
Silver-white light roared past the warrior’s flanks. As he stood in the Void, Joshua looked up to see a majestic vault formed from endless dazzling stars. It was virtually the same as staring at the Multiverse itself when he feasted his eyes upon it, and soon, Joshua lowered his head towards the dark Void before him, where a single star glinted.
“It’s been a long time.”
Joshua did not panic as he kept watching the faint starlight. He merely smiled and step forward deliberately to approach the radiance. As he moved, the starlight rapidly expanded too, shining until the end, it turned into a colossal Steel Python that enveloped the entire Void and ocean of stars.
Joshua lifted his head and spoke softly.
“Steel Python Karlis.”
The giant python leveled its metallic gaze at Joshua, scarlet sparks forming as its silver scales scraped together and shrouding it in glinting crimson. It kept quiet shortly before it answered, its voice low yet mild.
“It’s been a long time, the King of Searing Soul of the Mycroft Continent.”
The two kept their eyes fixed on each other as if to observe each other’s existence, although spoke first, his voice rather leisurely. “You look well… Are the survivors from the world of Grandia still fine in your domain?”
The Steel Python, however, could not reply with the same demeanor. “…Of course,” it said, lowering its head a little and spoke with a slow, mild yet solemn tone. “I discovered those cute children and their flame seed as I slumbered before my destruction. If it was a surprising delight, it was certainly over the top.
“If I was only expecting the seed of Order to sprout in the future I would not be able to see before, now I witness in shock and joy the growth of a King of Searing Soul. The Sage’s eyes were definitely unmistaken, you really might be the successor he had chosen.”
As expected. Joshua was not taken aback having heard so many information, and only nodded quietly inside—the Steel Python Karlis was definitely linked to the Sage.
There were actually many clues a long time ago. Although many would ignore those tiny details Joshua would not. He still could remember vividly the moment he had met Zero-Three, the artificial intelligence girl had clearly indicated that she was aware of the Azurite’s existence—a Sage’s Legacy.
That meant a great many things. If Zero-Three, the final heir on the world of Karlis was privy to the presence of the Sage’s Legacy, the former Avian people’s civilization would know about it too. There had also been a significant population of Avian people in the past who could have migrated in from Karlis—which meant that the exchanges between both worlds were not so simple, and the Sage must have been involved.
What was the situation then? Was it before or after the Mycroft Continent had been invaded by multiple Evil Gods and the Abyss? Was it before or after the Karlis civilization had been leveled by the Evil God of Famine? Joshua did not know, but his guess would be after the Evil Gods invaded and when the civilization of Karlis was near its doom. It was logical and fits the historical timeline Zero-Three spoke of, and from what he could surmise from the Sage’s personality he would definitely have helped Karlis wipe out the Aragamis. It was only when Mycroft faced the occupation of several Evil Gods that the Sage would consider leaving Legacies, and hence would not have the time to assist other worlds.
Whatever the case may be, it was nothing surprising for Karlis to be aware of the Sage’s existence. Joshua nodded, and waited for the python to continue.
Not minding the warrior’s guesses, the Steel Python kept speaking in its mild voice.
“I once witnessed a race developing from irrelevance to prosperity, as well as a civilization that went from prosperity to extinction.”
At those words, Karlis stared at Joshua’s, its tone now rejoicing and moved.“But I had never seen a single body of life that could reach your threshold.
“Joshua van Radcliffe. I have heard of your name from the otherworld refugees. I could never denounce your choices, but I’m truly thankful for your final actions.”
Then, the titanic World Python lowered its giant head, and continued in a somber voice. “The world of Karlis was already destroyed and I should have died when all life was wiped out—unable to even turn into an Abyss, becoming a ruined world in every sense of the word… But the flames from your incineration of the Aragamis’ soul granted me a gasp of breath.”
A huge screen of light appeared in front of Joshua’s eyes, showing barren dust plains. Stone and sand that could not nurture life formed the land—it was as if Chaos and death had long eroded everything, throwing the entire world into a silent fall.
But amidst the corroding winds were waves-like ripples. And in little corners where the wind could not touch, little silver-white flowers that resembled steel were blooming discreetly.
“That’s the Flame Seed you left behind. Though weak, it never extinguished.”
The Steel Python’s voice resounded quietly as Karlis watched the scene too. The sight changed in the next instant, and what appeared before Joshua was the survivors of Grandia who were prudently exploring the unfamiliar, rotting world. With help from Urbandy the Majestic Mountain Titan, these poor souls could finally live in safety amidst the wilderness after decades of struggle against the Death Shade apocalypse, and not shrink within their homes in panic come nighttime, afraid of going outdoors. Their footsteps gradually spread and had now reached the frozen coasts of Karlis, and along the way were silver flowers and grass spread throughout the mountains and wilderness.
Joshua stared blankly for a while at the stalwart yet fragile flowers, before showing a pleased smile. He once believed that he had done nothing, but now it appeared that he had some accomplishments.
Then, the warrior turned towards the people who were exploring the world.
The displaced people from Grandia were completely ignorant of the fact that they had gone through the destruction of a world and a mass migration. Still, the great impact of the change in their environment had not completely until this day.
With the Death Shades gone, the fog that shrouded the entire world dissipated entirely, and all sorts of plants and animals started to propagate over the land. The survivors started to rejoice, and built villages after villages in the wilderness around the former Four Holy Cities. Through the guidance of several old city lords who had preserved many historical legacies, the survivors who had once almost been reduced to primitive people due to their surroundings rapidly altered the natural environment around them. Not many years passed when vast regions of farmland appeared by the corners of the villages, with many youths also inducted into colleges under the instruction of the surviving elders, learning knowledge that their forebears were proud of.
Additionally, the presence of Grandia refugees could be found in every corner of the world. They carried crude tools and rough rations as they walked across the most hostile of environments. These pioneers would explore everything in the sand dunes and debris, and find out in astonishment one gigantic ruin of the former civilization on Karlis after another—monumental ruins of fortresses, damaged mobile cities and fragments of divine armaments that were spread across the world. Some of the more intelligent beings would gradually notice that they were not in the land they had once lived within, but a world where another intelligent civilization existed.
“You have brought me a new Flame Seed and new intelligent life… It is they who reawakened me. They may not be my children now, but they would be one day.”
Even as it spoke softly, Karlis closed the screen of light and turned. “You have saved two worlds at the same time—even gods could not do better.”
“Thanks for your praise.”
Arching his back slightly to show his thanks, Joshua felt his spirit lifted after he saw that the survivors of Grandia were living relatively well. Even so, he did not allow the Steel Python to divert the topic.
“And yet you have intercepted me, unless it’s just to convey your thanks?” he asked doubtfully.
I would like to return as soon as possible if I could, since Ling, Ying, Zero-Three, and Black would worry.
Those words, however, he left unsaid.
“Of course not. I had intercepted you in the surge of the dimensions for something more important. ”
The giant head swayed, causing even the vault of stars to shake too. After refuting Joshua’s doubts, the Steel Python’s gaze became somber, its voice low. Following another pause, Karlis finally spoke, placing weight behind every word.
“It is related to the Evil Gods.”