Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
When the Mycroft Continent welcomed their first sunlight at dawn and all things awakened from their slumber, a profound yet majestic building oversaw all of it amidst the boundless Void. One of the crystallizations from the highest wisdom of humankind, the Void Star-Observatory silently whirled the shell of its twenty pale-silver surfaces and studied the continent below it as well as the limitless Multiverse before it.
Special-class observation mage Shang Mu sat in the center of the seventeenth control point of the Void Star-Observatory, carefully and vigilantly monitoring the Void spectacle in the direction assigned to him. Chaotic dimensional turbulence revealed their essence under the scan of observation circles—those were streaks of ripples that spread from the existence of the world itself.
As a second-generation apprentice of Nostradamus, chief of the Royal Mage Guild, Shang Mu was a Gold-tier mage who was well-versed in the dimensional discipline, understanding the dimensions far better than orthodox spellcasters who were focused solely on mana and soul. He understood clearly that fundamentally, those seemingly complex and chaotic dimensional turbulences were of the highest ‘Order’. The only matter was that every world had ripples that belonged to itself which spread into the distance, and how many universes lay within the Multiverse? With just a little thought, one could understand the reason why the clues one wanted could not be found from the chaotic undulation.
The control point of the Void Star-Observatory was not large. It was a circular room with an armchair levitated at its center, where Shang Mu, who appeared rather young, sat and monitored every information appearing over the crystal screen encircling him at a three-hundred and sixty degrees. Streaks of crystal clusters and pillars flashed in magical radiance, providing sufficient mana for those screens and observation circles.
“Everything is normal,” he mumbled softly as he linked every information from the circle to his mana and soul. Though his voice was calm, his words could not conceal the taste of disappointment.
The young mage was not anticipating the arrival of chaos, but merely felt rather bored. When he first passed selection five years ago and arrived at the Void fortress that was known as the most mysterious and most distant fort in the Empire, Shang Mu was astonished. He could not imagine that the world would actually have such modern man-made building and facility, and was also unable to estimate how much riches the Empire actually spent to build it. However, Shang Mu quickly accepted this task—to constantly observe the Void spectacle from the point he was assigned to and do his best to search for any anomaly within.
While dimensional ripples appear chaotic, it was in fact orderly. If the Void Star-Observatory that was specialized with ‘life observation circle’ rapidly detect any anomaly, there were usually two possibilities. The first was a tremendous change in a nearby world such as life was born or calamity that destroyed everything and extinguished all life had appeared.
The other was much more significant—perhaps a whole new world was born nearby.
Shang Mu was billed with an extreme pride after learning about his task. He knew that his mission was a strive for well-being to all humans in the Mycroft Continent. The value of a world with life or a whole new world was incalculable for an intelligent race, and yet that pride did not last for years. He was now a little bored—leaving aside the many years of finding no anomaly around the dimensional spectacle, there was no entertainment in the Void Star-Observatory that hangs amidst dimensional turbulence! Every special-class observation mage was focused in their work and rarely interacted too, and if not for the fact that mages were adept in living alone for decades in one place and make company with their own steel puppets as well books, they would have gone mad early on.
Suddenly, a brief sound of notification rang beside Shan Mu’s ear, and the young mage’s originally distracted gaze quickly focused. He excitedly looked toward the crystal screen that was issuing the unusual tip, linking his spirit to the observation circle and monitoring every detail there was.
“It’s a massive object! A reaction to the presence of life!”
There was both a hint of excitement and discomfort in his mumbling. Shang Mu learned after scanning the monitoring information that it was not some world with life that was discovered—the detector had picked up a colossal creature that was wandering through the Void that resembled the Void Behemoth of legends. Its form resembled a small hill under the scan of the circle while its whole body flashed with extremely conspicuous and searing radiance of life, churning the dimensional turbulence around as is a small sun and creating faint ripples.
It was exactly those ripples that had alerted the notifications of the Void Star-Observatory. Although it could not be compared to a world, it was a power sufficient to disturb the Void. After redirecting the message with surprise and slight worry to the management hub a level above him, Shang Mu turned the angle of the crystal screen to look toward that part of the Void. It was his first time seeing a Void Behemoth, and the young mage’s heart was brimming with curiosity.
However, he saw nothing.
Or rather, he saw something that was completely different from what he imagined.
Since the Void disturbance was not shown clearly in the screen, all it displayed was a layer of dimensional turbulence that had not a sign of any Void Behemoth, merely the vigor reaction embodied by a scarlet comet that darted through the Void. In that very instant, Shang Mu even thought that it was a Nuclear Star shard that wandered around the Void, before abruptly reacting.
It was precisely the true form of the Void Behemoth.
“But… How could this be!?”
Shang Mu could feel his brain going haywire as he reexamined the two completely different and confusing information showed in the screen. It was a micro-comet that was just about two or three meters large, along with a Void Behemoth which had a mass that must be measured in ten thousand tons and was powerful enough to stir dimensional ripples. The two were so glaringly different and yet appeared in two different observation circles at the same time, puzzling the mage immeasurably.
It was also that moment when mages from other control points noticed the little comet and behemoth that was rapidly approaching and issued the warning to the control hub. The incessant yet paradoxical information threw everyone into a complete loss—the havoc caused did not calm despite hours after the comet unusually vanished the fortress’s defensive firing range, burying a foreshadow for the actions of the upgraded observation circles in the Void Star-Observatory for days to come.
In the process, Shang Mu did his best, intending to control the defensive circle to intercept that behemoth which existence was uncertain. But even if he did exhaust all efforts he could not determine what kind of being he was facing, causing a sensation of melancholy that almost made him spit out blood
As for Joshua—who was not aware how much of an uproar he had caused—had already entered the Void Star-Observatory by following Nostradamus lead, and met Israel who was waiting in a secret meeting room.
“There’s no need for courtesy. I had requested to meet here because it was necessary, and allowed absolutely no outsiders to know about it.”
The three were familiar with each other, with Israel and Nostradamus especially aware of Joshua’s personality, which was why the discussion cut straight to the main issue. The warrior directly threw out the information he attained from Karlis the Steel Serpent directly in their faces. In fact, Joshua did not explain Karlis’s identity in detail apart from obscurely describing it as a profound existence, while explaining everything he knew about the Abyss and Evil Gods word for word.
Details of the Evil Gods should not be divulged to commoners—not only would it allow the malevolence to learn about their dimensional coordinates, it would also cause huge panic. If everyone learned that the great destroyers were coming in a few dozen years, the hysteria and despair would disturb every step of development, throwing the possibility of the already severely difficult counter-attack into uncertainty.
Nevertheless, such information should not be shouldered alone either. No matter how prideful Joshua was, he understood that he could never stand against the Evil Gods by himself. Even if he could grow enough in the future into a person who could hold the Evil Gods in the Void, their minions that were seemingly endless and sufficient to wrap around entire worlds could easily level the world.
Nostradamus and Israel were Legendary champions and also leaders of the nation. Informing them would not cause panic, instead influencing the future of the incredible nation’s direction of development. If the Northern Empire prepared right now, then even if the Abyss began invading in twenty years as they did in previous history, they would definitely be dealt significant losses against the iron walls of the Mycroft continent.
“If someone other than you told me this information, I would dump him into the Black Prison in punishment for his lies.” Israel frowned, mumbling with a mixed expression after he finished listening to Joshua’s story. “I was already a little prepared for an Abyssal invasion since the demons never concealed their intent to invade our world, but who would know that there was so much behind the Great Mana Tide…”
“Could that profound existence be trusted…” The now-young Nostradamus shook his head, muttering to himself. His expression was calm, but the joints on his hands were clenched so tightly they became white. Clearly, the mage was unsettled.
Is the information ‘It’ provided reliable?
Mage and Emperor looked up at the same time toward the dimensional panorama that Joshua had conjured with Steel Strength. Although the Multiverse map that Joshua recreated from what Karlis had shown him was not clear, it was enough for him to believe. This place was the Void Star-Observatory—there was a general star map drawn by the Northern Empire after years of observation, and through comparison of nearby dimensional regions, Israel understood that no one could fabricate such a complete spectacle. It was a dimensional region that could only be completely observed by humans over a millennium that Joshua could never come up with, and not just something so utterly complicated made solely out of alarmist talk.
There was no question that it was all real. Be it the future invasion of the Abyss or the Evil Gods returning to the Mycroft Continent by following the Great Mana Tide, everything was the indisputable truth. Perhaps that profound existence that Joshua mentioned did not plan to deceive them, and it revealed every information it knew to beings that could stand up to them because they lost everything to the Evil Gods and as such held great hate toward them.
“I could only force myself to believe it even if it was fake—toward all cases, there has to be plans for the worst.”
Rising from his armchair, Israel’s expression was unprecedentedly serious. He stood before the dimensional panorama drawn out by Joshua and pondered for some time.
Then, the Emperor spoke slowly. “In less than a hundred years, my people are about meet these terrible beings.”
He reached out and pointed toward the darkness that spread amidst the countless radiances, before letting out a rare sigh. “The Glorious Era of legends was vanquished in the hands of those beings.” He smiled bitterly. “A thousand years ago, our ancestors exhausted every last drop of blood to maintain civilization. Even so, he had lost a great many parts of history and legacy, as well as vast lands.”
Nostradamus nodded. In reality, both him and Israel were not beings that easily believed in others, and would never simply trust anyone before witnessing the genuine situation with their own eyes. Joshua, however, was special—leaving apart the issues with attitudes and attributes, the Northern Count was a successor to the Sage, a Legendary warrior and a member of the Imperial Nobles. He had no reason or excuse to falsify such inconceivable information, and just as Israel had said, everything must have a plan for the worst.
“There must be a complete seal on this information, but the other Legendaries on the continent must be informed.” Israel made his decision after exhaling a long breath.
He turned toward Joshua and Nostradamus who both had no intention of protest. Nostradamus appeared fine with it, while Joshua had already planned to so early on anyway. In fact, he was ready to contact Pope Igor directly afterward, and as such relay the information to those seven incomparably mysterious deities that never showed themselves through the pontiff of the Seven Gods Church. The warrior believed that the Seven would be absolutely aware of the veracity of his information, and certainly would act accordingly.
“I’ll leave the matter to you, Teacher.” After some thought, Israel took off a bangle from his wrist. “Take my token. Although you’re Legendary now too, the words of two Legendaries holds more weight… They must be informed even if they do not believe it—they would know the gravity of the situation.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.” Nostradamus swiftly answered after taking the token; his eyes were still fixed upon that dimensional panorama. As a powerful spellcaster who ascended into Legendary through dimensional spells, he could ascertain the authenticity of such things. After checking so long, apart from a few rather obscure sections, the entire map was flawless and contained no paradoxes or mistakes—that alone proved Joshua was telling the truth.
Could it be that peace would never come to this continent filled with strife? The elder thought, unable to stop a sigh inwardly.
Since he was born, the continuous flames of war had always been burning over the Mycroft Continent. First it was the swamp natives, then the orcs and now it was a struggle between the Emperor’s authority and the nobles. There were even Abyssal demons and unnamed Evil Gods waiting in the future—just thinking about such a dark future suffocated him.
However ultimately, humans would grow and evolve, to survive and progress under cruelty.
Nodding to Joshua and Israel, Nostradamus thus vanished from the secret meeting room with a wave of dimensional ripple and pale-blue radiance. Afterward, Israel held Joshua, who was prepared to leave having completed his briefing. “Don’t leave in a rush,” he said solemnly. “Noble Radcliffe, the information you had given was very important.”
“So?” Joshua was a little puzzled. He definitely knew the importance of his information, but now that he was done, why would Israel keep him?
The Emperor merely sighed at the warrior’s reaction. “You planned to share such important news with us immediately after you’ve learned about it… Joshua, I’m really sweating over your frankness. But coincidentally I have something confidential to tell you too—it’s also something you should have known once you developed into Legendary.”
What secret? Joshua could not help developing a great interest. Be it this life or the last, he only possessed half-baked knowledge of the secrets in the Mycroft Continent. He was ignorant of details, whether it was the Lost Three Hundred Years or the various underground ruins hidden within the Dark Forest and different locales. Furthermore, he was not sure what organization that traitor called Nolan was affiliated with, although those details did not seem too much of a secret to the Emperor who rules a vast Empire.
“It’s the truth regarding the Abyssal Seal and a secret of the land beneath our feet. It’s the truth understood a thousand years ago, when the survivors left the shelters.”
Noticing the warrior’s curious gaze, Israel understood that Joshua was firmly interested in the matter. So, he laughed softly and lowered his gaze, staring gravely at the steel floorboards of the Void Star-Observatory. His eyes could penetrate the sturdiest of alloy floor decks until the other end of the Void, which was precisely the world of Mycroft that was glinting.
“It’s also the origin of the Starfall Era.”