Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“You can’t help others fight every battle.”
A mild and familiar voice wafted from the depths of the Void straight into Joshua’s mind. He smiled gently, while dissuading him a little grudgingly. “Everyone has a trial that belongs to them—this one belongs to Brandon. Joshua, you must trust in your comrade’s strength and conviction that he could solve this problem.”
Joshua would not have stopped his charge if he did not recognize the owner of the voice, but since he was now aware of the other’s identity his attack was now rather unnecessary.
Standing halfway up the sky, Joshua looked at the land below. On the white snow plains, the dark and corrupt domain of vengefulness was rapidly unfurling, and was now a great quagmire that occupied several kilometers around it. Countless fearsome and terrifying behemoths and enchanted beasts struggled within, unleashing their own evil and malevolent rage and vindictiveness, distorting everything around them.
If not for the Sage’s advice, Joshua would definitely have never allowed such an unstable factor to do whatever it liked in his territory. Furthermore, if no one came to stop its spread, the quagmire would extend to the outskirts of the heavily populated main city in a dozen minutes at its current speed, devouring and polluting more than half of the satellite city construction ring and causing a huge disaster amounting above ten thousand in casualties.
Such was the terrible power of vengefulness that the Sage shouldered in days long past.
And yet, the voice was right. Joshua assuredly could not replace others in their fight and every person had duties that they must carry on their backs—since it was the trial for the wielder of the Dual Blades of Order, the warrior should not interfere and instead await his comrade’s triumphant return.
“However, if the peasant’s safety is at risk, I would still interfere,” Joshua said in reply of the Sage’s voice within his mind. “If that domain of corruption spreads near the main city, I would utterly wipe it out. It would be there around ten minutes at its current speed, that counts as Brandon’s trial too.”
“You won’t have the chance to act,” the mild voice said, firmly trusting the blond swordsman and offering no excess explanation. “Look, Joshua.”
Just as the voice that resembled the Sage’s uttered those voice, the dark quagmire churned into a chaotic tide. Innumerable magical beasts bellow synchronously yet silently within, and the middle, surrounded by all those increasingly agitated monsters that appeared to be given life soon, Brandon’s figure still did not react as if completely consumed by the darkness. Joshua flew, following the advance of the tide and watching the monsters as they urgently expanded the borders of the corruption domain. Time passed, and Joshua kept his promise with no intention of assisting—it was until ten minutes elapsed and the domain was about to reach the villages and towns around the main Moldavian city that he clenched both fists, prepare to muster his power and stop it.
It was also in that moment that the dark domain abruptly paused its expansion. The black vengeful tide, ready to push away a forest filled with frost and snow stopped, as if time itself has frozen. Meanwhile, at the heart of the domain, two pure and bright glints from blades shone from the darkest spot, tearing apart the black fog of gloom and vengeance and revealed an exhausted figure before the warrior’s eyes.
Having exhausted all efforts in the spiritual realm and finally shrugging off the endless vengeful curses from monsters and beasts alike, Brandon’s body was encircled by virtually infinite wailing soul shards. He spared no effort in brandishing his two swords, shattering and slaughtering every single vengeful spirit. When that was done, he looked up towards Joshua who was high up above the sky, and smiled tiredly yet purely.
“Leave the rest to me!”
At present, Brandon’s eyes were flashing with a pale-blue light. It was his gift borne from making company with death and vengefulness since he was a child—those were eyes that could pierce destruction and nothingness. Using that power, the blond swordsman studied the multitude of vengeful monsters before him. Though they appear powerful, the creatures’ bodies were filled with black spots that represent ‘death’ and destruction’. Brandon would never have been able to defeat them regardless of how hard he tried if those monsters were in their genuine form, but every single one of them present in the dark domain now were illusory soul shards.
That way, it would not be difficult for the swordsman to wipe them out.
Panting for a brief moment to recover some strength, Brandon tightened his grip on the hilts of his blades and stepped out, turning into a streak of green-gray light that darted towards the multitude of monsters surging within the quagmire. On both sides of that light, silver and white blade glow intertwined as if streaks of leaping light arcs, and where it passed, everything was quickly cut down without any fragment left, be it savage marine behemoths or bizarre monsters with many legs.
“I did not have such a trial back then,” Joshua frowned and complained a little disgruntledly, watching as Brandon exchanged blows against the many vengeful monsters within the dark domain. “This inequality isn’t fine.”
“Most would not deliberately seek such a difficult trial. Furthermore, you’re Legendary—any difficult mission doesn’t amount to much for you.”
That mild voice laughed, before offering a patient explanation. “The Dual Blades of Order is the only weapon amongst the Legacy left behind by the Sage. It is the power to massacre and subjugate agents of evil— there are no other factors, which is why to wield it one must experience a trail more profound than the others.”
“Those who hold the Dual Blades of Order must never be obstructed or disturbed by a mere, little vengefulness. If Joshua could not do that, the dual blades would seal itself, awaiting the next successor who fits the requirements.”
“That’s really harsh.”
Despite his words, Joshua did not feel anything wrong with the matter. He actually nodded, his expression clearly accepting before he sensed something was not right—he could certainly tell from that little difference in phrasing from the person’s words.
“Wait… You’re not the Sage?”
The mild voice paused for a moment before answering, perplexedly yet leisurely. “Of course not. I’m a Legacy spirit condensed out of a portion from the Sage’s memories and only that, so how could I be the exalted Sage? You are the successor of the Azurite, and should have come in contact with my kin. Why would you still have such a question?”
Joshua now could no longer pay attention to Brandon as he fought diligently below. He furrowed his brow, looking at his palm where a thin layer of silver radiance was flowing obscurely. There was the also mark of a little crown which precisely the power that the Azurite had left behind.
That’s completely different!
Joshua’s heart was shaken when he remembered the sight when he came across the Sage’s mirage in the Azurite for the first time all those years ago. What he saw was definitely no Legacy spirit but the genuine form of the ‘Sage’s childhood’! Be it form, speech, demeanor or power, the Azurite’s mirage was immeasurably more powerful than this mild voice. Without question, that was the difference between the genuine and the Legacy spirit, but why?
Why did he saw a true part of the Sage then, while what was solely a spirit from the Legacy was shaped out from the Dual Blades of Order?
Memories flashed rapidly. Joshua recalled everything from the beginning when he first met the Sage at the Ural fortress until the moment he returned from the world of Grandia. He was infinitely convinced that it had been real bygone memories from the Sage, even part of him and not a shadow he created. When he had moved the survivors from Grandia to the world of Karlis, the Sage’s power within the Four Legacies even helped him fulfill his wish.
“Wait, it seems to be that moment!” Joshua recalled a moment, finally finding what was not quite right: when he carried the Flame Seed from the world of Grandia to the Mycroft Continent, the remaining power inside the Four Legacies aided himself in moving the survivors to the world of Karlis. After that, the Four Powers vanished without a trace—Joshua believed them to be burnt out and hence within the Legacy objects to recover. Now, however, it appeared that the Sage’s real power had definitely left entirely, leaving only a specious Legacy spirit.
The Legacies, sensing that the homeland has recovered its flame while ascertaining that the heirs now had the power to protect themselves, growing out of infancy and could live independently, and as such retrieved their own power.
Understanding the gist of the Sage’s thoughts, Joshua kept silent, somehow disappointed. The warrior had hoped to learn a thing or two from the mirage of the Sage’s past from the other Legacies someday, but now it appeared impossible—though Legacy spirits had power, it would never compare to the true power of the Sage.
It seems that he could no longer truly meet the true legendary character.
Due to the unexpected discovery, Joshua could only watch forlornly as Brandon fought hand-to-hand against the many vengeful monsters on the ground. The swordsman was supremely exquisite, holding a stalemate even against several ancient evils that had ability equal to his own. Thanks to his Mystic Eyes that could see death, any powerful monster would be instantly destroyed, reduced to nothing as long Brandon he could find an opening.
Nevertheless, the swordsman now appeared fatigued—even his Supreme-tier body was gasping for air, its breathing rhythm erratic.
If there’s nothing unexpected, Brandon would certainly be unable to kill every monster of vengeance .
Joshua shook his head after projecting regretfully. “He had spent too much power in the mirage from the start, ending up without the physical strength to completely wipe out their foes. It seems that he might fail this trial.”
The Legacy spirit said nothing but Joshua thought nothing of it—even if he was willing to help his friend, this was an exception. Perhaps Brandon presently lacked the accumulation of the preexistence and was not enough to become the true heir to the Dual Blades of Order, so what if he had to wait another few years? If the Dual Blades of Order would seal itself and select the next heir, who could say that Brandon could not remain the next heir?
Failure is nothing; it is even the catalyst for growth.
Somehow, in Joshua’s vision, Brandon’s silhouette as he tore against the monsters in the dark domain was gradually combining with the figure of a white balrog that was pitting wits and courage against the countless demons in the Abyss. The warrior had believed it to be an illusion at first, but soon realized that it was Steel Strength resonating with Syndicate again. At present, the balrog had escaped the pursuit of the multifarious demons with plenty of strength left, even killing one or two formidable archdemons along its way to refill its power, incessantly devotedly praising the ‘Great Demon of Fear’ that blessed it with knowledge of power.
Closing the link in slight amusement, Joshua kept watch over the battle between Brandon and the specters. In seconds, he promptly looked up into the sky, his gaze glinting in delight.
“Right, there’s still the Steel Strength Resonance!” He mumbled softly, before laughing loudly and excitedly. Raising and clenching his right fist, the King of Searing Soul’s Authority that represented the Sage’s Legacy flashed rapidly in his palm, with traces of fire surfacing like cracks over a clay vase. Paying it no heed, Joshua kept his eyes on the sky as if the light in his scarlet eyes could pierce the world barrier and stare directly upon the Multiverse.
The King of Searing Soul is the burning flame and the power to reshape the world’s order. It originated from the Initial Flame but was intricately linked to Steel Strength. The Legacy power that came directly from the Sage was currently entrenched deep inside Joshua’s body in harmony. The warrior hence gained a little inspiration—triggering most of his body’s Steel Strength with no hesitation, he resonated with the Sage’s power, the origin of the King of Searing Soul.
Incredible powers were sent out from Joshua’s body without restraint, gradually melting snow across dozens of kilometers and warming the entire Moldavian domain as if deep winter had changed to spring. Meanwhile, the warrior’s spirit broke through a pure-white radiance and reached the other end of the Multiverse, just like how it communicated with Syndicate across worlds albeit with a millionfold difficulty.
He saw a figure formed out of the purest of light.
That figure stood amidst the blackness of the Void, advancing to the other end of the Multiverse in the opposite direction against the Great Mana Tide. Countless sinister evils, terrible calamities that existed in the depths of the Void brushed past him and yet could not hurt him even for a tiny bit. Beside that figure, the distance of thousands of worlds were traversed in an instant, with some dying and some being reborn.
However, all that could not even give him pause, have him stop for a look.
But now, as if sensing something, the figure slowly stopped his steps that could not be delayed even by the life of death of worlds. It was nothing else other than him sensing a peek from his home, a peek that he had waited for a thousand years but never appeared.
Turning, he smiled towards the Void. On the other end of the Multiverse, Joshua too watched the Void calmly, both exchanging a glance for an instant.
An instant, and only just.
And yet, in that instant, Joshua could see that the figure of light was heading for the brightest spot of the Multiverse—the source of the Initial Flame which existing light demanded the subservience of the worlds. However, in that place where the light of origin shone, specks that resembled sunspots were fading, with the Great Mana Tide that engulfed worlds hence prospered as if to banish the darkness that conceals the light.
Within moments, the fragile link was severed, causing Joshua who had used all his power to maintain that very brief instant to slowly take one step back and almost drop from the sky. Despite such exhaustion, he had not pained expression, showing a delighted expression instead.
“I saw ‘him’,” he muttered. “He remains on the ‘path’, never stopping.”
Joshua knew nothing apart from that. There were no exchanges between them, but one reason or another he was suddenly brimming with drive, an energy that did not appear for some time since he reignited the flames of Mycroft.
Just because he could see it meant that he could pursue. If he could pursue it meant that there would finally be a day where he catches up. It should be the same for the Sage—this being who had combined with the gods to save the whole world from destruction and leave many Legacies would definitely anticipate that his successor would follow his footsteps and fight alongside him.
Lowering his head, Joshua looked towards the dark domain where Brandon fought and was shocked. The blonde swordsman who could only stave off defeat had now received a power from some unknown place, subjecting the remaining vengeful evils into a major beatdown just like a machine of slaughter. If nothing unexpected happened, the trial that was going awry should conclude within minutes.
Looking around, the warrior nodded as he got his answer—at the nearby borders of the dark domain, the purple-haired Countess had brought their two daughters to the edge of the battlefield, and the warrior could almost hear the child-like but immeasurably passionate voices saying ‘Go, go, daddy!’, a reasonable root for the power that promptly surged out of Brandon.
“A little plain,” the Legacy spirit’s voice appeared once more, seemingly happy. “No?”
Definitely . Whether it was standing up against Evil Gods, saving the world, sacrificing himself, sealing the land that was brimming with ill-intent towards all creatures or leaving Legacies to let the flames of conviction that all life possessed to be handed down and propagated without end, such were the infinite mundaneness and repetitive development of history. Thousands of years ago the Sage was touched by such things, just as he was thousands of years later.
Joshua looked on in brief silence, before laughing softly. “But I like it.”
And it was enough.