Soul Of Searing Steel Chapter 560


Chapter 560 Preparations To Save A World

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

The scale of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds—the demiplane within the dimensional anomaly exceeded the imaginations of every Legendary champion present.

“This place… is at least as vast as the Northern provinces.”

Nostradamus looked to the horizon as he flew high above—his expression was solemn when he looked towards the center of the demiplane, that region obscured by sheets of gray dense fog directly beneath the gray sun. “The desert alone is almost ten thousand square kilometers, and there are six similar regions if not more around it. Quite a number of unknown parts also lay within the desert…. Did the civilization of the Glorious Era actually created such a powerful demiplane?”

“…”

“Joshua?”

“I’m listening.”

Joshua was up in the air as well. He reacted slowly when his name was called by the old mage, because the calling that he sensed was becoming stronger.

If the sensation before was obscure, it was now the equivalent of placing a sword right in front of the warrior’s forehead, giving him the feeling that someone was about to attack him and his body subconsciously prepared to counter it in return. Joshua had to suppress that urge in order to calm himself and be capable of communicating with others.

“You’re distracted,” Nostradamus turned doubtfully and said straightforwardly. “What is it? Could it be that the Abyssal breath here is making you uncomfortable?”

The old mage, however, shook his head at his own words. According to what he knows, the fellow before him had almost slain an Abyssal general—it was impossible for him to be uncomfortable in the presence of Abyssal breath however one thought about it.

“Nothing, probably… Certainly an environmental issue.”

Joshua inhaled deeply once to forcibly subdue that urge within his body. He looked towards the distant horizon as well, his pupils reflecting the gray sunlight at the heart of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds. “The various races and civilizations of the Glorious Era certainly have the ability to create this demiplane,” he answered calmly, “but would have to pay a huge price, including triggering the Mother Goddess’s wrath as the Mycroft Continent loses a huge chunk of its resources. In fact, the Multiverse Sacrificial Ground was constructed jointly by the gods over a century as they tethered world shards floating around in the Void. It is hence not unusual, or perhaps it had indeed contracted considerably as it floated around for centuries.”

Definitively.

Having heard Joshua’s reply, Nostradamus nodded thoughtfully. He unquestionably noticed Joshua’s curious behavior since entering the demiplane, even as he advanced alongside him and passed by different regions.

Be it traversing the Desert of Death or the Silent Highlands, Joshua was very calm and neither showed curiosity nor surprised. That calm was also not out of apathy or an indiscernible thought, but the indifference that grew from familiarity. In other words, Joshua was as familiar with this unvisited demiplane as his own home. Towards Nostradamus’s question, Joshua even revealed much information that could be classified as truths by default as if nothing was more natural, and felt nothing extraordinary about it.

That’s unusual, Joshua. You shouldn’t know that much.

Nostradamus kept the thought deep inside his mind as he landed alongside the warrior. He had become truly acquainted with Joshua after they had mingled for several years—the archmage did not have to send word ahead before visiting the Moldavian Liege’s Residence, and both door guards and Zero-Three would unaffectedly allow him free roam, and the warrior did not mind since he was used to it as well. But it was precisely due to that gradually growing acquaintance that Nostradamus would be doubtful.

He had noticed the young Count who was suddenly rising meteorically all those years ago during the Dark Tide in the North. Nostradamus’s attention had remained on Brandon then, though he did sense Joshua’s talent. Even so, it was just talent—the old mage never dreamt that the young man who had just ascend into Gold and succeeded his father’s title became a Legendary champion like him—and reached the pinnacle before himself!

It was that great paradox which made Nostradamus all the more interested. A mage’s curiosity was fearsome, for they would analyze and dissect every intricate detail bit by but just to get the answers they want. Nostradamus had hence meditated for days over the matter for days, reviewing and filtering Joshua’s every act and word along with any information related to him. That was when he made a shocking discovery.

Joshua van Radcliffe. A man capable of foretelling the future.

In fact, even calling it ‘foretelling the future’ did not quite fit—the things that the Joshua knew should not be known even in the future. Still, there was no appropriate description apart from that.

Be it the Dark Tide, the Berserk Dragon’s plague, the cultists, the great plague, or any number of monumental events in the Mycroft Continent, Joshua could predict it all and make the appropriate countermeasures. He was the first to defeat the daemon onslaught in his own domain before moving to rescue Countess Vale Dani, the Moldovan Liege whose death was all but assured. In the Berserk Dragon’s plague, he even slaughtered every white dragon in his own territories half a year earlier and developed the vaccine for it—indeed, Nostradamus felt that he must have been so fatigued that his brain was damaged at the time, which was why he did not suspect a thing at the time.

He should have noticed it a lot earlier.

What transpired next was even less worth mentioning. Count Radcliffe was always a step ahead than everyone else, handling everything perfectly even when he was in an otherworld, achieving a feat that countless Successors of the Sage’s Legacies could not—rediscovering the Fourth Legacy, and reigniting the Flame Seed! It was not something that could be simply explained by using the Sage’s Legacy as an excuse! Many things evidently prove that Joshua simply knew things that should not be known, and the most frightening aspect of it all was that never concealed it.

Just like how he mentioned the ‘Multiverse Sacrificial Ground’ a moment ago—the very name of this demiplane.

Nostradamus could have sworn that, in his dozen years of research into the ancient civilization, not one Glorious Era text mentioned that name, as if the demiplane was something that never existed. And yet Joshua was immeasurably acquainted with it, even knowing the name within… Such a great paradox was definitely giving the old mage gastric pains.

Could he be testing me by revealing all this information so defenselessly?

Amidst his aching stomach, Nostradamus had at first suspected if Joshua was deliberate in his actions, only to throw away that thought after a brief logical consideration—the man would not be Joshua if he knew how to scheme. He should be mentioning it as he intended, never once minding that he was exposing himself.

“Right, you definitely have a clear conscience,” Nostradamus muttered to himself out of the blue. Joshua turned and glanced him hesitantly in return, but soon stop paying attention due to that intense sensation.

Noticing the warrior’s reaction, Nostradamus breathed a long sigh.

It was fine, for so what if Joshua knows the future? Everything he had done all along was to help free more people from toil so that the dying world would regain vitality, never once minding whether he himself was some reincarnated ancient deity or some gifted prophet. The old mage was purely curious, and anticipated that the warrior could tell him the truth of it all one day.

Meanwhile, Joshua did not even notice the Legendary mage’s tangled thoughts despite being right beside him, merely reaching out and clasping his forehead, closing his eyes. In reality, he would be unconcerned even if he did, and might straightforwardly reveal the fact that he was a Traveler. Just as Nostradamus himself put it, he had a clear conscience, and no one would provoke a powerful Legend over something so trivial and unverifiable, since even the Seven Gods took no mind.

But now was not the time for this. At present, the warrior did not even notice that both Ling and Ying had approached him and holding his back, nor the fact that both the old mage and the luminous orb had turned and rushed towards him. Right after Joshua had mentioned what he knew about the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, he sensed an enormous trance that was invading his mind. If he never discovered the source of the anomaly before, he did now—it was that dull gray sun that was hanging in the skies above the demiplane!

The gray sun had been so dull over a thousand years it appeared about to be extinguished, and had never once showing any sign emitting any light even in the preexistence. However, it was beginning to release rich and powerful silver-white light at the moment, but neither Nostradamus nor the other Legendary champions exploring the plane took notice. For them who did not quite understand the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, they thought that it was an ordinary shift from day to night, believing that the artificial demiplane was at night when the sun was in its dim state just now.

*****

[I could hear the lamentations amidst the stars. Cynthia, Morningstar, my apostle, do you hear it too? They are crying, for world, civilization, life, Order, everything was being destroyed under the invasion of Chaos… I could no longer hold back.]

[What shall we do then, teacher? The Multiverse is simply too vast, even You have no way to save everything.]

[I could at least help those whose cries I hear… I already have a plan.]

*****

Along with the immense trance, Joshua could feel an obscure conversation flashing through his mind. He could almost see a beautiful elven lady with kneeling on one knee reverently towards a white silhouette, her expression filled with anxiety. She raised her head in sadness—her facial features reminiscent of the Celestial Saint from the world of Grandia.

“That’s… the Celestial Saint, Cynthia Morningstar? And the other person is the Sage?”

Even if it had been a brief flash, Joshua could still clearly identify the pair who were conversing. Nevertheless, he did not understand why the intensity of the trance elevated at the same time the gray sun far above his head gradually brightened. In turn, the warrior’s capacity to think was also lessened, but he soon realized the intention behind the invasion of this spirit and will—it merely wanted its spirit to pull him into its spiritual realm, just as the Azurite had drawn the warrior’s will into the spiritual realm that had been fragments of the Sage’s memory.

But now, Joshua was completely different than he was back then, and additionally the anonymous owner of the will was clearly not the same as the Sage. Joshua could feel as well that its spirit was maimed and yet to recover, and so both his and its will struggled against each other forcefully, with certain information being exchanged amidst the clash—exactly how he saw those memories related to the Sage.

“Don’t try to pull me there!”

Having detected the other’s intent, how could Joshua simply let the other take the lead? It was fine if it was the Sage—that was a champion who could cross the Multiverse and kill multiple Evil Gods, an individual who Joshua would admit he was far outclassed at the moment. Even so, Joshua believed that there would be one day that he surpassed the Sage, not to mention other individuals.

And now, whatever that boring thing which never appeared before in the pre-existence wants to drag his will away? Hilarious!

“Get over here 1 !” Joshua seethed between his teeth, biting down and bellowing amidst the concerned gazes of the divine armament siblings, luminous orb, and old mage. As his spirit focused to the very limit to engage in a tug-of-war of celestial distances, he pulled the will forcefully from the other end of that opaque track. The gray sun overhead that had been gradually invigorating lost its radiance at once, reverting to its previous dim state. At the same time, a monumental yet maimed will was hence perplexedly pulled into Joshua’s own spiritual realm.

And Joshua fell entirely to the substantial information flow that it brought.

*****

[My power comes from the blessing of worlds, and now was the time I repay those worlds. There is no need for all of you dissuade me—it is the path of my future.]

[No, teacher. Christina and I do not intend to stop you, but merely believe that such a grand task should not be shouldered by yourself alone… The gods and ourselves are willing to journey by your side!]

*****

In front of a temple burning with sacred flames, a brawny man who appeared a little tired and a mysterious white skinned, black-haired woman wearing a veil was respectfully bowing before the great doors of the temple. Their bodies were flowing with seemingly materialized holy light ripples as they conversed with the majestic voice that emanated from within the temple, as if to convince that revered being.

Yet to regain lucidity, Joshua took in the vision a little dazedly. He was aware that he had won in the spiritual combat, but clearly did not attain complete victory—the sporadic information before his eyes was proof. But as he watched the moments that flew by, the warrior suddenly understood something.

“This is…”

Another trance.

*****

[Let us cheer for the Light of Wisdom for all races and all the gods! This incredible creation deserves our eternal praise! Teacher, look—the stars are in your grasp from now on!]

[Well done… Hulse, you’re certainly the apostle who knows me the best. But tell me, apart from salvation, do you intend to use it for subjugating other worlds as well?]

[…Certainly, teacher. I would never dare fool you—if might is not used to hold the line, how could Chaos be banished, and how would Truth and Justice come?]

*****

Under the illumination of the silver-white sun, a huge gray-haired man was excitedly introducing the crystallization of collective intelligence from all gods and races—the pinnacle creation of the Mycroft Continent. His teacher appeared surprised but saw through his apostle’s thoughts at once, and yet the huge man whose entire body was carved out of the most flawless marble stated his ambition with no intention of hiding anything.

Joshua watched every sight in silence even as he recovered from his trance. At present, he began to consciously draw in the information that was spilling out, and the more he watched them, the more confident he became of the conjecture he had in mind.

“Just a little more.”

His spirit diving into the flow of information, the trance came striking again. However, it was now substantial chaotic fragments and memories that had no logic to speak of. It appeared to have been shattered and destroyed by some great power that even the owner of the memories could not repair them, allowing them to freely take the shape they had now.

After a long time, another brief trance finally appeared.

*****

[You people actually want my daughter to become one with that filthy being of Chaos? I’ll never agree to it! I’ll never allow it!]

[That’s the only way to save you and your daughter. Forgive us, but that is the only thing I can do.]

[Aaaaaaaaargh! I curse you! Curse you! Humans, elves, dwarves, every… living within… I curs…]

*****

Beneath the Vault of Stars, the sound of scraping metal boomed. Joshua could not see anything clearly but could hear a tired and grudging voice conversing with another low, raging voice. The two clearly did not come to an agreement, but under the undulation of immeasurably extensive energy, that raging voice promptly became faint and stifled, before finally vanishing.

“That’s not enough. Next.”

The warrior’s voice rang, and so light and shadow intertwined.”

*****

[Teacher. Would the world of Mycroft die?]

[If you’re referring to whether ever trace of its existence being completed wiped out, then certainly not. But if you’re referring to whether the world would survive, that depends on the labors of the generations to come—it’s a distant future that has nothing to do with you and I.]

[Couldn’t… Teacher, couldn’t you stay?]

[This accident had made me realized that many undiscovered truths remain… it’s something that can’t be done even if I stayed in Mycroft for another ten thousand years. So, this world is left up to you.]

*****

“Those were conversations the Sage and his apostles had. They are also memories of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, as well as its origin and end.”

As the final scene disappeared from sight, Joshua breathed a deep sigh within his own spiritual realm and turned towards the darkness beside him. “Right?”

“Unmistaken. Successor. What you say is the truth.”

In the lightless spiritual realm, a silver radiance suddenly appeared that burst out in the very next moment, illuminating all darkness while a huge silver-gray sphere thus appearing beside Joshua. “Being’s information confirmed,” it said with the monotone voice of a machine. “Successor number three, bearer of the ‘Azure Splendor’. Please head towards the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, the Pluralistic Quadrant Teleportation is ready.”

“Please make proper preparations to save a world.”