Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“I hate this.”
Joshua touched his chin as he watched the already-unconscious Kiara. It’s time to rectify this presence, he thought sulkily, or there is no way I could interrogate anyone properly.
With his ability now, the elemental forces—including air itself—around him would simply pile heavy pressure against certain individuals whom he bore even a little hostility, as if the world itself loathed them. Indeed, instead of describing Kiara’s loss of her composure a moment ago as being caused by her fearful memories of the Darkness amidst the stars, it was easier to call it the overlapping effect of multi-faceted factors: elemental seal, suffocation from drowning, dark illusion, terror of isolation, stunning suppression, phantoms of vengeful spirits, auguries of death… So many negative statuses assembled and exploded at once, hence throwing a Gold champion into a coma directly.
“And there’s no telling when she’ll wake up.” Joshua hesitated for a moment. He was very interested in the Darkness Kiara had mentioned since whatever earned that title is something not too different from Evil Gods even if it was not one. When he had returned from the world of Grandia, Pope Igor also more or less hinted that there was a darker shadow behind the Pentashade dragons and the Abyssal demons, which was why the warrior resolved himself a few moments later.
It’s fine—I could incidentally test a new skill, Joshua thought, and reached out with his right hand and aimed it at the unconscious Elder through thin air. Incessant silver radiance glimmered in his palm, while Kiara’s body slowly levitated as if it was attracted by gravity, floating to Joshua so that his palm touches her forehead. In that instant, Steel Strength that had been meticulously calibrated surged towards her brain, touching her soul.
Steel Strength, the power that molds all things could touch matter and soul while carrying massive volumes of information at the same time. If the information within a person was recorded by DNA, Steel Strength was a much more effective carrier than it was—with that power, Joshua could now ignore language and difference in life essence to directly communicate with any being, even if the other side had locked their own soul, much less fainting. It was a one-way coercing aspect, a connection of wills that could not be resisted save for direct energy fightback.
Not intending to wait for Kiara to wake up and uncertain if she would mention the Darkness again when she regained consciousness, Joshua therefore employed his new skill—it sounds as sinister as something a Demon King would do, he would swear that he researched the skill purely to better grasp the essence of Steel Strength since his assimilation rate has yet to surpass twenty percent even now. Who knew that such an excellent soul interrogation technique would be created, and not only would it not turn the target into a vegetable, it was fundamentally a soul inspection.
Still, browsing a person’s memories was unpleasant especially what you wanted to know was hidden in the depths of the other person’s soul. Joshua generally skimmed through most of Kiara’s private memories and pierced her fragile soul defenses directly, before searching keyword to find every content related to [Abyssal Demons], [Pentashade Dragons] and, [Darkness of the Stars]. He proceeded to replicate that information before quickly retreating out of the Elder’s soul face, standing alone where he was as he read through them.
Kiara did not lie to Joshua. The Earth Temple certainly always maintained a dubious attitude towards the Abyssal Demons and the Pentashade dragons, with the radical faction being co-conspirators for the most part. The worst they did was lending a hand in replicating the Longsword of the Ashlands—the Elder did not dare to be straightforward, but at least he now knows.
But when he started to read into the Darkness of the stars, Joshua’s expression promptly became serious. He first ascertained that the information was complete, before muttering to himself in shock.
Every memory in Kiara’s soul that was related to the Darkness obviously lacked a piece. Such was its impression in those memories, for Joshua could only detect a profound darkness, leaving only the memories and details of a conversation between the Darkness, the Temple’s high priest and the Elder. There was no way to ascertain it and the sensation was just like missing an important piece of a puzzle, causing others to suspect if it was deliberately left as such or that its form was indeed such a bottomless darkness.
Kiara herself did not met the Darkness on too many occasions either—the information was hence not very much. Even so, having understood everything, Joshua frowned solemnly and started to think.
“Neither Evil God nor their minions.”
Though the impression was deleted, the Darkness was in the very least a being of Order that could communicate from the looks of its conversation with the Earth Temple high priest and Kiara herself. It was fundamentally different from the Evil Gods—beings of complete chaos and possessing only the desire to destroy, with Joshua not sensing any Chaos presence he was familiar either. That, however, was precisely the most severe point: it was terrible exactly because the Darkness was a being of Order.
“They reached out to the Pentashade dragons first and supported their coup to become the primary race on the world of Mycroft. Then it was the Abyssal demons, whom they supported their potential plundering of resources and souls from this ancient world. Finally, they bewitched the Earth Temple by offering one method to save the world after another, before pulling them all into the depths of malevolence and descend into the madness of joining the Abyss.”
“They appear to be helping the Earth Temple to save the world but was in fact tearing down the Mycroft Continent’s ability for self-preservation. Be it berserk dragons, cultists, or Abyssal invasion, their shadows are ever present!”
At the very thought, Joshua could not help remembering the words the God of Might had once told him.
The greatest enemy of Order is neither the Abyss nor the Chaos, but another Order. Even if Joshua was not aware of why the other side was trying their deliberate best to weaken the world of Mycroft, it undoubtedly held malicious intent and was a civilization that could scheme and lurk in the shadows—a civilization of order that was far terrible than the Abyss and Evil Gods that invade through pure power.
Suddenly, a melodious windchime jingle rang as Joshua dwelled on his thoughts. He could sense an energy signature that was not faint swiftly flying to the tower, while also hearing the panicked cries of the black dragon girl who was wandering nearby. Soon, a warm luminous orb whirled and arrived beside Joshua, hanging in the air as it circled around the fainted Kiara.
“What is it, Light?” Joshua, puzzled, arched his back and held on those thoughts for a moment, grabbing the hurriedly orbiting luminous orb and holding it before his eyes. “Didn’t I say that there’s some business to be done today?” He frowned. “So, don’t disturb me—go back and play with Black, she’s worried about you.”
“Ding-Ring … Familiar, familiar…”
However, the tightly grasped and immobilized luminous orb repeated a simple line with a begrudging tone. “There was a… familiar scent… very sad…”
“Familiar breath? Sorrow?” Joshua stared blankly for a moment and, as if remembering something, there was now an assumption and sinister chill in his heart. He first took a long look at Kiara—who was gradually awakening from her coma, before taking a deep breath and mimicked part of the scent that spilled out unwittingly when he studied the Darkness of the stars.
“Is this it?” The warrior asked with a deep voice.
The moment Joshua released the scent, the friendly luminous orb that was never infuriated despite being slapped around by Zero-Three and Black like a ball, merely laughing through its jingles abruptly unleash a monumental energy. There was a radiance as blinding as the sun that combined with the purest of positive energy that instantly engulfed a radius of a dozen hundred meters, and in that region, every single body was being utterly purified, melting even the cold and threatening scents that lingered over the North. There was a moment when a mirage could obscurely be observed at the core of the light—it was the scarlet Blood Moon on a distant world, simultaneously emanating the same dazzling light. The behemothic lifeform at the depths of the star’s core had been startled, bellowing as it awakened from its slumber, its immeasurably brutal and unreasonable luminous energy devouring several floating isles and illuminating the whole world.
The light only appeared for an instant before it was stifled by Joshua. The warrior also traced the link between the luminous orb and its main body to touch the luminous being in the distant Blood Moon, forcibly ‘soothing’ it back to its slumber.
Meanwhile, Kiara was knocked unconscious again by the pressure from the exceedingly blinding and massive positive energy instantaneously even when she was about to awaken, and the sinister scent that Joshua mimicked was even less worth mentioning. After that brief explosion, the radiance over the luminous orb dulled as if it was baffled and lost. “Ding…” it jingled begrudgingly. “That feeling… So sad…”
“… Alright. Go play, don’t think too much.”
After a moment of silence, Joshua stared at the luminous orb that was dispirited and shrunk a few circles thinner, and said seriously, “Just leave everything to me.”
Having heard Joshua, the rather lost luminous orb floated obediently and darted wobblingly towards where Black was. Joshua kept his eyes on it until the orb finally settled itself on the black dragon’s girl head as she came to the vicinity in search of it before turning away.
There was a silver glint that fluctuated in the warrior’s crimson eyes. Steel Strength churned in his body because of his thoughts that could not be calmed and a horrific guess.
The former existence of the Bloodmoon Abyss—the world of floating islands Xillia was destroyed due to the shrinking energy of their sun. Even their final project ‘Ring World’ could not save their race, whereas what the Void Battleship that was their final chance brought back not hope but the root of destruction.
As he quietly recalled the world memory he saw in the Bloodmoon Abyss, Joshua, having compiled most of the information he had made a harrowing hypothesis of the truth: the ruin of the world of Xillia may not have been the work of Evil Gods, but the schemes of another world of Order.
When that Xillian Void Battleship had returned from its exploration of the Multiverse, they had said that they met a kind and majestic being that taught them a way to rescue their world, and it was to assimilate everything as one and restart—or perhaps reshape the world. The suggestion was not wrong since there were diverse forms of civilization, and perhaps that majestic being itself was a civilization of one single collective will, a being which examples include hivemind or a machine network assemblage? The fact that the Xillian civilization followed suit and was hence vanquished due to the incompatibility was also simply too wretched that Joshua naturally believed it to be a conspiracy of an Evil God.
Now that he thought of it, where would any Evil God find the brains to construct such a conspiracy? They could hide or lurk, wait for an opening over millennia like cunning and fearsome beasts, but it remained that beasts would never come up with such an eerie and unholy plan—only an intelligent being from another civilization of Order could. And the Xillian civilization, having never coming into contact with other worlds, had hence never suspected anything and truly believed in the other’s benevolence precisely because they were of Order as well, and so fell to the fate of complete integration.
“The aim of the Evil Gods is to destroy the world… while the Bloodmoon Abyss was more of a harvest, with an entire world as a unit.”
Pacing in circles around the tower, Joshua frowned and resolved himself. “Pope Igor should know a little, but he won’t be aware of the truth behind the Bloodmoon Abyss or the past of the world of Xillia, and so could not attain such hypothesis… This shouldn’t be withheld—every hierarch of every faction and each Legendary champion should be informed.”
There were differences between Legendary champions. A case in point would be the gemstone dragons and the metal dragons being slightly marginalized during the Pentashade dragons’ rebellion, another being the excessively poor relationship between the murlocs and the Eastern Plain nations. In the past, the Far Southern Nations were in fact not too different in their relationship with the elves living around them as well as the Trade Federation. Nevertheless, all of it were meaningless disputes in the name of profits—when the world truly came under threat, every Legendary champion knows what is what.
“It’s almost time to explore the Void abnormality, otherwise known as the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds. There would be more than five superpowers that would dispatch explorers in collaboration, which means that at least five Legendaries would hold the rear or even dive into the thick of it.”
That was assuredly the best chance to interact. As long as Joshua himself showed them the presence of the Darkness as well as certain details about the Bloodmoon Abyss, everyone would definitely understand how blood-curdling that being which hide with the shade and spied upon the world of Mycroft.
Certainly, apart from the righteousness of saving a world, Joshua had another sufficing reason to deal with it.
“Very sad, huh.”
Remembering the depressing emotions Light displayed, along with how the luminous being that was naïve and peaceful all along suddenly burst out under the rage and sorrow of the Bloodmoon Abyss, Joshua narrowed his eyes and looked up to the Void beyond the world. He has said just then—to leave everything to him.
And so, he shall.
That was the warrior’s pledge.