Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
A long time ago, when Joshua had just returned from the world of Grandia, he did not return to the Mycroft Continent at once, heading instead to the world of Karlis which had its Flame Seed reignited.
To meet the child of the Mother Goddess—the Majestic Mountain Urbandy.
Joshua had two objectives when his visited the pure-blooded Titan who had helped him much in his path to Legendary, the first being to request that he took care of the refugees from the world of Grandia.
The second was to ask about how his true form as the Steel giant could evolve to the next level.
The Majestic Mountain Titan understood all that had happened in the world of Grandia. Facing the human that had destroyed its home yet saved its life, Urbandy agreed to Joshua’s request after a long silence—towards the direction of development the warrior should take to develop even further, the child of the Mother Goddess gave a suggestion that appeared simple, but was in fact extraordinarily difficult.
“Devour. Assimilate. To fuse with the land and let the mountains become your armor, the earth’s crust as your armaments.”
In the revitalized world of Karlis, the Titan that was already four hundred meters tall with just half its body spoke with its deep and rich voice, stating the legacy hidden deep within its own bloodline. “Joshua, you have grasped the Power of Origin that I did not. It is one and also all—the root of all life and even more so, the mother of all things. It’s the toughest matter in this world, and as long as your crucible could endure enough, you would be peerless.”
Urbandy spoke with the divine language used amongst the gods in the Glorious Era. All intelligent beings would naturally understand those words once it was uttered, and though Urbandy’s appeared unfathomable, it became clear once the warrior summed it up.
To compress, assimilate, to condense the ordinary and loose mold into ultra-dense degenerate matter. That way, a mountain was nothing but a part of the giant’s armor, and as long as the Steel Strength that Joshua could tolerate was sufficient, he would one day become a pure dense assemblage, a being that was indestructible and yet could destroy everything.
In ancient times, after Majestic Mountain Titans learned Steel Strength, they would search for a region of land which they would convert into their own body. Nevertheless, with Steel Strength being the energy that stemmed from the Steel of Origin’s power, it was incredibly difficult to master it. Therefore, their targets were mostly hills, valleys or small mountains in the beginning—it is until after centuries when their Steel Strength became developed that they would become a mountainous giant like their namesake, an agent of the Mother Goddess who walks amongst men.
Joshua had made that step right on the day he learned the fact by assimilating the husk of a mountain range, ‘eating’ part of the world under the silent permission of Karlis’s Steel Python.
Since then, the Steel that was now loaded the power of mountains became the warrior’s armor, his bones, part of his Steel body and the heart of his power.
And now, there was such a bunch of creatures—minions of the Evil God, the incarnation of virus and pestilence, their goal being to devour and assimilate all life and corrupt everything organic. Now, they were intent on using their innate power to assimilate, infect and corrupt Joshua so that he would become one of them.
It was truly hilarious—would a man who feeds upon the world be devoured by some plague?
With Joshua’s unbridled laughter, silver radiance became to spread like cancerous cells at the center of the psionic cage, starting from the points where the minions of Pestilence were collectively touching the Steel giant’s four arms and body with their appendages and tentacles. Just as Herlas, the High Priest of the Pestilence Cult had failed in his attempt to devour the warrior’s lifeforce all those years ago and was instead assimilated into Joshua’s life flames, it was the same as comparing a sparkling diamond and loose mud.
While the mud could assuredly enshroud the diamond with its quantity, it could never harm the precious stone, much less erode it.
Now, in the moment the Void swarm released their path for assimilation, Joshua never hesitated to release his own Steel Strength and assimilate the bodies of those creatures. Even if he had no way of assimilating their flesh and blood organic forms, there were trace amounts of elements in their bodies despite being creatures of the Void. It was precisely those elements that the silver radiance was absorbing, and when they had lost them, the massive swarm started to crumble, decay, and be subsequently torn apart. Where the silver radiance reached, pale-green psionic radiance abruptly dulled and turned into immeasurable darkness that appeared capable of swallowing everything.
The process did not last long. The Void swarm would never give up on releasing Joshua so easily—swiftly abandoning the idea of assimilating him, they continued using their psionic ability to suppress the warrior, scheming to keep him ‘sealed’ with their substantial power within that specially-made pocket of flesh. However, it was too late and not something they could have done even in the peak of their power, much less now, with their inner section left with a dozen kilometers of dead, rotting meat? Joshua could tell that his opponent now had a hole in their psionic suppression after having suffered great loses in their inner formation, and hence shook off their subjugation over his body.
The colossal Steel giant thus leaped up from the center of the Void creature formation. Around him were huge chunks of dark, mountainous, and rotting flesh and blood, even as endless faint silver radiance shot out away from the black formations like starlight and entered Joshua’s body.
“Master, eleven o’clock above us. That’s the weakest link of the enemy’s psionic encirclement!”
The divine armaments were fulfilling their responsibility as well in the spiritual sea. After their true forms melded temporarily with Joshua’s combat form, their work switched to helping the warrior and observe anything he could have missed or had not the energy to be concerned about—exactly like how Ying loudly pointed out the enemy’s weakness now, while Ying agilely studied the Void creatures around them for any abnormal energy signatures.
Answering simply, the Nuclear Heart Furnace by Joshua’s chest shone again—first in red, and then orange, yellow, gold, and finally an incandescent white. Having received a substantial refilling of Steel Strength, the warrior who was a finer state than ever before mustered his full power. Incredible force built from fusion shot from beneath the Steel giant’s feet, bursting, turning the giant into a rapid missile that moved at a thousand kilometers per second, crashing on the spot where the circle of Void creatures was the most fragile. Along the way, all psionic barriers and meat walls were pierced as easily as butter cake, displaying no use at all.
On the bridges of the Third Fleet, commanders were debating hotly whether they should be maintaining their assault and support the Steel giant as well as the second Void being, or grab the opening and warp the short distance to the Sea God Star defensive perimeter and prepare.
Meanwhile, on the other edge of the Beam System, Nostradamus had almost wiped out every Void creature that was attacking him. Just as the elderly mage had said, it was mere exercise for him to purge the dozen thousands of unintelligent creatures with his Legendary-tier magic.
Despite that, he noticed a personal issue: though the magic he used was powerful and had a broad area of effect, it was rather small in the scale of the universe. The water element magic [Deep Frost] that could freeze everything within several kilometers or the [Incinerating Ray] that could destroy all mass in a straight line, would have wiped out dozen thousands of armies or leveled an entire city on the Mycroft Continent. Here, in the universe, these widescale war spells appeared a little petty on the mage’s part, with its rather limited reach troubling the old mage considerably.
Still, it was not the time to think such things. The old mage would build up a few brand-new war spells when he had the tie, but now, he looked with a piercing gaze at the dark green Pestilence minion swarm in the distance.
The almost deathly steadiness of their spherical cluster before had now diminished as the swarm began to tremble intensely. Huge layers of festers and cysts appeared over its dark surface, with endless dark-green fluorescent pus sloshing. With one glance, Nostradamus was positive that it was the early sign that minions belonging to the Evil God of Pestilence were nearing their doom—he had once traveled to the Plagued Lands under the banner of the Seven Gods Church for inspection, and was aware of what the reaction of these creatures meant.
At present, a portion the spherical swarm was visibly jutting out—it was as if the sphere had turned into a chicken egg, with a hemispherical bulging appearing over the dark green sphere. Then, the bodies of the Void creatures began to disintegrate and decompose, with endless fluids of rot spraying out of the wounds where they had been torn. Even so, nothing could stop the bulge from elevating and elongating, causing a disturbance in the psionic energies the Void creatures’ bodies emanated. From what the old mage could see, the considerably integrated psionic powers of the swarm had abruptly unfurled like lightning that had lost its shackles, therefore beginning spread madly in all directions, the rampaging light even shaping into a dark green energy halo by the edge of the Beam System.
It was their final splendor, the omen of their destruction.
Then, in the very next instant, a figure akin to a golden sun weaved out forcefully out of the bulge of flesh and returned to the reaches of the universe.
“Nostradamus? You’re finally here.”
With Ling’s directions, Joshua, who had just escaped the swarm’s encirclement quickly noticed the nearby mage and flew to him at once. “You’re too slow,” the warrior complained, “would these aberrations have wasted so much of our time if we combined?”
It was fact and not purely banter. If Joshua was aided by a mage who mastered dimensional spells, he could strike out in lightspeed within a short distance.
Just imagine. The warrior only had to stood where he was and aim his heavy fists true into a portal, easily bombarding the Void creatures on the other end of the portal, while the old mage did not need to use some time-consuming spell—all he had to do was opening over a thousand plain portals connected to locations where the Void creatures were, hence aiding the warrior in destroying the entire swarm in seconds without fuss. Thanks to the special attributes of portals, the strikes would even surpass lightspeed. Even with the three thousandth of the speed of light at which the creatures moved, they would appear so slow that time appeared to have been stopped and had no way of reaching the duo. Heaven knows how simple a matter it was.
After all, the synchronized partnership of two Legends would exponentially raise their power to destroy.
It was the simplest solution they two had come up with on the Midgardian home planet. Joshua had plainly called it lightspeed fist, while the old mage was intent on naming it an extradimensional strike—which was ultimately the crux of the attack. Beyond that, the two also prepared a certain chain of combat tactics, such as ‘dimensional resonant splash shot’, where the old mage would match Joshua’s power and simultaneously extend the destructive force of his punches to resonate over a dozen kilometers without any backlash. There was also ‘Infernal Blaze’, in which the mage would direct the searing heat within the warrior’s Nuclear Heart Furnace through, before connecting it for fusion power with nearby beasts, instantly charring their energy core… Clearing Void creatures would hence be as simple as sweeping away rubbish, with each inconceivable and almost lunatic methods that made the Mother Tree Will which was listening right beside them positive jubilant.
“You have built a Psionic Warp Engine inside your own body, while I had to create portals of lightspeed scale under the Mother Tree’s assistance. There was a huge difference in the first place, and the shockwaves from the energy as you fight would moreover obstruct the speed of my teleportation.”
Nostradamus shook his head halfway through his own words—how new a word ‘lightspeed class’ had been for him, an old mage who had at most wandered the outer Void reaches around the world of Mycroft. The distance covered in a second with that speed was an incomprehensible length even for the entire world, and in Stellaris, the faraway distance between the stars was so extensive that even light travel in units of years in between.
“Leaving that aside, Joshua, those enemy pawns notwithstanding, you had not told how to handle that big guy.”
Both Legendary champions looked to the distance at once, at the place where the behemothic psionic eye was. The Midgardian fleets and released psionic warp traps that interfered with the Void Mother’s warp portal, and its colossal body would probably require days to stabilize the portals. Until now, the Void Mother had yet to clear five percent of various erratic energies in the passageway, and the superior being could only project its cold and malevolent will across the dimensions and into this planetary region.
“I mentioned four plans before,” Joshua replied drily as he shrank his Steel giant form and transformed into the usual black-haired man appearance. “There’s still four plans now.”
Closing his eyes in pain, the old mage could only shake his head again in return. He then turned and opened his eyes, staring towards the Midgardian’s Third Colony Fleet which was now making repairs. “We’ll take a look at the Midgardian navies if that’s the case,” he said grudgingly. “We’ll try to learn about the local star system… Is that the right term? Either way, nothing would go wrong with understanding the local environment.”
Nodding, Joshua stared at the self-destructing and decomposing swarm of Void creatures with the corner of his eyes. Due to clashes of energy and extreme consumption of their lifeforce, the minions of an Evil God were now no longer a threat.
“Good plan.” He shrugged.