Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
There were uncountable stars in the Void beyond heaven and earth.
Every star was a world. Behind those flashing radiances, there could be a giant floating island, a single continent surrounded by oceans on all corners with a hemispheric sky, or a vast star sky without borders in which innumerable planets orbit a single burning star. Under the illumination of the flaming radiance, countless races flourished across the land and developed their own civilizations. When they could break away from the barrier of space and enter the Void, it meant that another civilization had broken away from infancy, opening their eyes to look upon the Multiverse.
Then, they would witness the most profound spectacle of this world, wondering how small they were amidst their shock.
The Steel Python Karlis was now showing Joshua that spectacle.
The Initial Flame ignited Chaos, its rays illuminating the Void so that nothingness turned into existence while destruction turned into life. Billions of specks of light, as if the purest diamond, energized their own brilliant splendor under the Great Mana Tide that engulfed the Multiverse. It was hard to describe, leaving even the warrior speechless, but it was that moment when the endless light suddenly began to die.
As if the lights in a city that were extinguished in an orderly manner, the endlessly blazing light of worlds dimmed one after another. It looked just like candles being blown out by a child, swiftly vanishing in the Void, no longer existing.
The stars had lost their like.
If someone could see the infinite Multiverse in its entirely, they would discover in shock that, starting with the incessantly undulating light of the Great Mana Tide, there were multitudinous black shadows expanding and unfurling alongside the waves of the Tide with no sign of stopping. Within breaths, nearby worlds darkened and became lightless, returning to silence just like a flashing spark falling into the sea, or an extinguished bonfire covered in snow.
It was a tidal darkness that enveloped ten thousand worlds, the eternal tide of finality surging from within that even the supreme light when worlds die could not shine upon it.
And the creatures that lived and breathed within the Multiverse, holding reverence, fear, and disgust, named the origin of that impregnable darkness ‘the Great Destroyer’.
Otherwise known as Evil Gods amongst those who were aware in the world of Mycroft.
“They have returned.”
Karlies stared at the huge screen of light it was projecting; the World Will spoke with a calm voice without any ripple. “Thirteen hundred years ago they wandered towards the depth of the Multiverse, and now, the waves from the Great Mana Tide brought them back to their former starting point.”
“Then how far are they from us?” Joshua asked without nonsense, frowning as he understood the current situation. “When would the Evil Gods return to this dimensional region?”
“Incalculable. There are too many inestimable circumstances when it comes to dimensional turbulence,” Karlis replied. It moved the screen, causing large starry regions to move rapidly before focusing around the two worlds—Mycroft and Karlis. “However, it would be no later than seventy years if calculated according to the Mycroft calendar.”
“If they do come early,” the Steel Python added after a pause, seemingly laughing. “They would appear before us in the very next second.”
“Is that so…”
Treading slowly in front of the screen, Joshua stared at the dimensional scene. He had recently seen the same scene just after he ascended into Legendary. Zinsen, the God of Might, had been showing him a path with an ever-present glow that leads towards the other end of the Multiverse. There were endless worlds next to the path of light, providing it radiance that belonged to themselves—it was completely different from the dark shadows that the Evil God wrought, a pure and glorious illumination.
A thousand years ago, an old man from the Mycroft Continent had stepped upon the path. Why did he do that at the time? A champion that surpassed deities, leaving his homeland and leavening just four objects imbued with his Legacy? The thoughts of the Sage had been entirely unfathomable for Joshua, but now he seemed to comprehend it a little.
“Exactly the same…”
Reaching out and touching the endless cluster of stars I the screen, the warrior’s expression gradually became serious. His finger pointed out a trail directed towards the depths of the Multiverse—which was also the outline of the path of light. It kept going forward, until it coincidentally came in contact with those destroyers returning from the void. “It’s the same path.”
“What was at the end of the path that could get both Sage and Evil God to embark on their journey with no hesitation?”
It was a question no one could answer—not even the Steel Python Karlis, a World Will.
After a long silence and lowering his finger that was pressing on the screen, Joshua took a deep breath. Calming himself, he turned towards Karlis again.
“Thanks for telling me about this information,” he said calmly. “But to be frank, it’s useless to do so.
“I had just ascended into Legendary.” The warrior evaluated himself subjectively. “I can’t quickly vanquish even one Demon General, and have no way of reacting when the Abyssal Lord acted, much less Evil Gods that stood above them. Karlis, even you could not resist the talons of the Evil God [Famine] after mustering the power of the Karlis Civilization then. It’s the same for the world of Mycroft now, while we may be able to resist multiple Abyssal invasion, but we are far from sufficient against Evil Gods.”
“I’m no Sage,” Joshua said thus.
“I know,” t he Steel Python replied.
Karlis was not angered by the warrior’s straightforward attitude. It knew from the start that a single world and body was helpless against the Great Destroyers that fed on worlds, while there might not even be beings like the Sage in a hundred million years—even if it was his former homeworld, Mycroft. While that may be the case, the Steel Python should have another intention to intercept and meet Joshua, and not merely for that.
“Joshua van Radcliffe, you might not comprehend your depth.”
Before the earnest Joshua, the gigantic World Will whirled its own body, its endless scales reflecting like and forming a silver galaxy. “The Flame Deliverer—the King of Searing Soul possesses special authority,” Karlis explained patiently. “They could combust souls into virgin flames to ignite destroy worlds, just like what you did all those years ago within my body, and how you send those survivors to me recently. You can ignite and carry the flames—as a singular life, you could do many things us World Wills could not.”
“What are you actually saying, Karlis?”
“I need you, Joshua,” The Steel Python said gravely, studying the warrior. “Like other worlds, ‘We’ need you.”
“It is very difficult for Evil Gods to enter worlds directly. Apart from fulfilling many conditions, their minions must also occupy more than half the world and corrupt it into their world before the Evil Gods could descend themselves. That is why if the civilizations of certain worlds are powerful enough, the Evil Gods could not directly destroy a world no matter how powerful they are. To us, it is both an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time.”
Karlis adjusted the screen, where every detail of the moments when the world of Karlis was invaded by Aragamis flashing by.
“I was aware that there were seeds of Chaos in the Void Battleships of the Avian People,” the Steel Python said, watching those moments. “But apart from beings that had come in contact with the ‘Initial Flame’, no other being could meet us. Unable to warn them, I could only watch as the minions of Famine killed my children, dragging their remains from their houses, and feasted upon them. Joshua, there is a weakness in civilization no matter how powerful it becomes. I have no complaints in regards to my defeat by Famine, but if there had been men like you, the world of Karlis would not have fallen to such a state.
“You accepted the Sage’s Legacy and are a crowned King of Searing Soul. You reside within the mortal world and yet, you could meet us. You are the medium between world and life. With your hand, countless worlds could clear away the seeds of Chaos within their body, the source of destruction.”
Looking towards the solemn Joshua who had long since spoken, Karlis said gently, ” The Evil Gods would return to this dimensional realm within a century. They would destroy every world along the way, and there may already be some seeds of Chaos sowed by them in those worlds before. We are aware of their existence, but could not remove them.”
“That’s why I’m needed?” Joshua suddenly spoke, his tone rather relaxed. “Is that it? Because only I could meet all of you?”
“Yes, exactly.” The Steel Python nodded. “Your body has the scent of other worlds. They must have received your help too, even blessing you with their authority and power. Naturally, myself, as well as other worlds that need you in days to come, would not be parsimonious.”
As it spoke, a silver-white shard that glinted with a star-like splendor appeared before Joshua’s chest. It throbbed, emitting an energy wave that could fascinate people. Even Joshua subconsciously reached out with his right hand, wanting to touch the shard, but quickly stopped and frowned.
When he also remembered the Steel Shard that the world of Illgner had given him some years ago and Unit Zero-One, his expression promptly changed and he slowly withdrew his hand. “–It’s fine.”
I don’t want to make a Zero-Two or Zero-3 out of the blue… Wait a minute, that last name is already used.
Although Karlis’s expression indiscernible, the tone it spoke with sounded baffled.
“Don’t you need it? The Steel Shard contains part of my authority. Having it, you could command the earth and gales while calling upon water and lightning to do your bidding. Unless you believe that because I have just awoken and was weak in the first place, as such unwilling to receive my power?”
“… Yes.” Joshua nodded without a change in his expression. “That’s what I think.”
“Even I sigh in awe of your refined morals.”
After a brief moment of amazement, Karlis could only take back the Steel Shard that represents a world’s authority. “Since I have awakened,” it said honestly, “I had deliberately linked myself with other World Wills. Most worlds within this dimensional region experienced disturbances like myself did before; they really need your help and are willing to reward you for it.
“Believe me, Joshua. Through the assistance of many worlds, your ability would develop at a speed that escapes your imagination.”
The vault of stars began to quake slightly. Noticing the fact, Karlis knew that their discussion was about to end. It lowered its head and gazed upon Joshua. “Helping these worlds might be laborious for you, with countless obstacles in the world. The reward, however, would definitely not disappoint. Human warrior, are you willing to help us?”
At the moment, Joshua was thinking. He remembered the memories he acquired through the Azurite before, and his heart could not help making a guess.
Perhaps, when the Sage visited the different worlds all those years ago, it was the same thing like he was doing right now.
Otherwise, there was no other explanation as to how the Sage had power that could transform the entire world of Mycroft.
A smile surfaced on the warrior’s face as he pondered.
It was instinctive. He was clearly aware of the difficult road ahead, and yet he smiled expectantly.
Joshua looked up and leveled his eyes at the Steel Python, their gaze interchanging.
“Of course,” he said. “Leave it to me.”