The beginning of civilization was like a kindling material burning brightly in a wild bonfire.
When the Initial Flame lit chaos up creating the first millennium after order and the world had emerged, the ancient humans were born across the land without forests. This newly born race was walking in the newly formed world. Their eyes were filled with curiosity while they looked at everything in their surroundings.
During that time, nothing had a name.
Because the humans hated darkness, they tried to create their own thunder and lightning. They used hard rocks and dried wood to start a fire in the ancient times. Then they used the newly lit fire to illuminate their surroundings during the night. Lifting the torches while exploring the unknown world around them, they began to name everything without a name. They even used symbols of the ancient times to describe everything and record everything that was unfamiliar to them.
Gradually, the information was accumulated with the use of simple languages. The humans had finalized laws and logic for themselves. The era of civilization arrived shortly after that.
The culture was passed down from generations to generations until today.
Starfall Year 831, 11th of December, night.
Four days after the Dark Tide besieged the city.
The freezing breeze was blowing harshly on the fortress in the middle of the forest covered in snow. Snowflakes that were as light as a goose's feather were falling onto the ground, forming layers of frost across the land. The twin moons that looked like clean shiny silver plates were hanging high up in the sky. Bright moonlight was shining down like running water flowing across the entire path made of blue stones.
The black-haired man was holding his horse alongside as he was making his way through the street. Meanwhile, a silver-haired servant girl was following him silently without saying any word.
Looking around the fortress, the young liege's eyes could see through the dark and cold walls around him. He could see the living fire that was flashing across the dark surroundings. Meanwhile, his young servant was staring at the stars hanging in the night sky with curiosity. She was counting the stars softly.
The clear voice of the girl echoed back and forth across the silent street. Meanwhile, Joshua was very focused on observing his surroundings.
They then arrived at rear of the fortress. Rows of small houses were lined up neatly on the two sides of the street. However, it was visibly obvious that the houses were abandoned by their previous residents. There was no sign of any smoke coming up from their chimneys. There were also no signs of any movement in the windows of the houses.
In the recent days, the Dark Tide looked as if it was already over. There were no signs of any movement in the forest. Even after the warrior had gone into the forest to investigate, he did not see any sign of the Berserk Daemons that came charging like a tidal wave in their previous attempt at invading the fortress. The dark purplish mist began to disperse under the shining of the sunlight. The Dark Forest had returned to its former state now.
Since that was the case, after confirming that there were no more conspiracies in the shadows, the fortress had recovered and everything was back to business as usual. Countless caravans and business carts were entering the city, sending in supplies and weaponry as soon as they could. Meanwhile, to hold a service for the fallen warriors, Priest Artanis of St. Laurent Cathedral had arrived at Dark Forest Fortress along with his two apprentices. They came regardless of the intense cold weather just for the service.
The party that went to the Sacred Mountain under the leadership of the archbishop had not returned just yet. So Priest Artanis was the only one in the entire city of Moldavia who was eligible and capable of conducting a ritual of this magnitude. After burying the warriors who died in this Dark Tide in the morning, the priest did not stay in the fortress. He left not long after the service.
Before he left, he intentionally looked for Joshua to have a word with him.
"Now it's time."
This close friend of the old butler told Joshua. His eyes were calm, "Go seek out your father and Fang although I can't explain why, before he left, he wanted me to tell you this after you've become the liege for a while. He just told me that you'll understand what that means."
Joshua did know what that meant.
11th of December. It had been so long since his father passed away. The old butler had departed almost two months now. Since Joshua had arrived at the fortress, it would be a suitable time for him to see them again.
So late at night that day, Joshua picked up his jacket made of white wolf's fur and walked out of his room. He brought along his female servant and his warhorse while walking slowly towards the fortress.
This was a cold and well-structured city. Relying on the mages' spells, the gray-white walls of the city were almost repaired. With the repair work, the walls had once again separated the mountains and the land. The tall and strong tower was towering firmly right behind the wall. Meanwhile, the coniferous leaves on the trees by the roadside were rustling along with the cold breeze.
The road was wide but not straight. There were houses made of stones on the two sides of the road and some plants around the forts and barns along the road. There were also a small number of warriors walking back and forth on the stone-paved road. They were holding a tall lamp that glowed white.
Joshua's destination would be the church on the far side of the fortress.
After walking past a few streets, Joshua had arrived before an ancient building. He looked around and found nothing in the surroundings. It was an unexpected twist of events that made the warrior look surprised.
"What the hell is going on? It's not here? Impossible."
Upon shaking his head, he left Black outside and brought Ying along with him. He pushed the door that was not locked and walked into the church.
The moment they walked into the living hall, the silver-haired girl let out a breath of surprise. She seemed puzzled while looking around the church. After that, she frowned and said, "Master, this place it's strange."
The church was not big to begin with. There were not more than forty seats in the middle of the prayer hall. A thick layer of dust covered the seats and the tables. It seemed that this place had been left unattended for quite a while. Meanwhile, right in the front of the living hall behind the altar, the corner where the statues of the sacred gods were placed was currently empty. There was nothing there anymore.
However, Joshua was well aware that that was not the strange thing that Ying mentioned about. Because he could feel it as well. Since he stepped into the church through the main door, there was a strange force surrounding his entire body. The force seemed to be welcoming him. Or maybe, the force was trying to lead him to something.
Joshua could even hear a faint voice whispering in his ears.
He could not answer the question that his servant asked him. The warrior was as confused as the girl at the moment. So he said, "Although it was a memory when I was still very young, I can remember very well. I can confirm that this is the place. I just don't know what is really going on."
So the two of them began to walk forward.
While they were walking forward, Joshua could feel it obviously. There was a mythical sense of energy surging in the heart of this church. The energy was rejecting any power that did not fit the criteria. Even the elemental power and magic power that was found everywhere were completely nullified. They could not form any spells at all under the influence of this energy surge.
Joshua seldom encountered such situations even in his previous life. Other than some of the natural dead zones of magic power, he had not been intimidated by such an inert magic power.
However, the anti-magic domain of this church was not the same as the dead zone of magic in extreme environments out there. It was more like nullification instead of intimidation. It was not because they could not form a spell, it was because they could not form a spell with their free will.
However, as long as the criteria and rules were met, the spells could be formed.
By getting every step closer to the source of the energy surge, Joshua could feel that the oppressive force was getting stronger by the moment. Meanwhile, that source of the energy surge was coming from an altar made of silver.
Arriving before the altar, Joshua looked at the center deliberately. In the religious code of Continental War, when there were believers praying, a sacrifice for the gods must be placed in the center of the altar. On the other hand, when there was no one around, a god's badge or emblem must be placed there. In other words, the center of the altar must not be left empty.
However, there was nothing in the center of this altar. There was sacrifice, badge or emblem. There was only a concave mark of a handprint there.
" could it be?"
Looking at his own hand, Joshua did not hesitate for long before putting his palm on the mark. He wanted to see if there would be any reaction to his action.
A stream of blue light flashed from the bottom of the altar to the top as if it the altar had finally sensed the target's arrival. It was spreading like ripples. In an instant, the flash had gone through Joshua's entire body. It even went through Ying's body who was standing behind Joshua. The blue light flashed through everything.
"Bloodline confirmed Radcliffe family's descendant. Possesses a Divine Armament. Criteria fulfilled."
The voice that had been whispering in Joshua's ear had finally become crystal clear. A thought was passed from the altar, along with a tremendous amount of information into Joshua's head, "You're authorized. The path is opened now."
"Begin from fire, born from steel, wisdom never dies, order exists forever."
Along with the trembling of time and space and the ancient phrase, the initially sealed magic power was activated. At the same time, a blue door began to appear right above the altar soundlessly. Joshua could vaguely see that there was a dark land right behind the door. Meanwhile, there were countless tombstones erected on this dark land.
On each of the tombstones, was a weapon embedded on the ground in front. Some were blades, some were spears. Well, almost all of the weapons that humans ever used were all there. They all seemed broken or damaged. It seemed that every single one of the weapon across that land had received a large amount of damage beforehand.
" I see. I was wondering why I had not seen this when we were outside. As I recall, my memory is connected to this small church. At the end of it, I did not find anything in the surroundings."
Fixing his eyes on the door that slowly emerged from space, Joshua had understood all information that was passed to him from the altar, " So it's all here, it's actually all here that explains why the Divine Armament and the seals had not been discovered by anyone over the years"
Right after Joshua sighed. The cemetery of the Radcliffe family had completely revealed itself from the hidden dimension right before Joshua's eyes.