Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Triplet Mountain Holy City, capital of the Northern Empire.
In the Imperial Garden at the heart of Morlaix Palace, Second Prince Dimore stood silently like a stone pillar in a corner of the garden as he listened to his father’s grumbles that were laced with rage and anxiety.
“If possible, I must give those two bastards who don’t know the gravity of things a beating with my own hands. What the hell are they doing?”
This was not the first time within the last two weeks that Dimore heard his father—Emperor Israel Diamond grumble as he did now. In fact, there were three similar grumblings today alone—it was certainly quite extraordinary, especially given that Israel was not that irritated when countering the careful probing of the old school nobles from the Eastern Border.
But the Second Prince was also aware that all of it was excusable. It was precisely because there were many reasons that Israel fell into a foul mood, thereby forcing himself here in the garden, watering the flowers to control his temper—for example, the restless movements of the Eastern Duke, the sudden war between the different principalities in the West Mountains to the west of the continent, as well as that incident in Fairyland.
The most important being the last one, that incident in Fairyland.
Having been brought along by Israel as he handled various affairs, Dimore could not help recalling the prudent yet helpless words in those reports and memo to the Emperor: according to the report from the escorting personnel, Count Radcliffe and Nostradamus had simultaneously vanished within a silver luster that abruptly appeared when they were exploring the demiplane anomaly—now ascertained to be an ancient artificial demiplane. If the Legendary mage Barbarossa, chief of the Skypiercing White Tower, had inferred correctly, the two should have been sent beyond the edge of the Multiverse after activating an ancient teleportation formation, to a place that even the Seven Gods would not know.
They might even have left the detection range of the Void Star-Observatory, transcended the distance between dozens of worlds.
Heaven knows how they did that, and Dimore could at least be sure that the Seven Gods really did not know either—after that silver luster burst out, at least three deities had descended urgently from the Infinite Horizon, a clearly different act from their previous principle of non-interference. Though they quickly left and returned to their holy throne on the Infinite Horizon, the priests and clergies who were present all received the same oracle: to seal that demiplane and do their best to not destroy the ruins within—especially the silver sun in its heart, for it was the beacon that would guide the two Legends’ return.
Though that might be the case, even if there were some person mad enough to lay waste to the ruins, it was impossible for them to stop two Legendary champions of the empire from returning. After the silver luster had shone through the entire plain, hundreds of gigantic and sturdy ancient puppet guardians—war machines called ‘Giant God Warriors’ buried all over the demiplane had reactivated and now patrol throughout the ruins, wiping out any intruders.
Those crude, bipedal war machines that appear to be just two legs holding aloft a rectangular piece of metal were operating normally despite being creations of the previous era. Their abilities were not outdated either—a party of explorers, under Barbarossa’s indication, attempted assault on one in perfect condition. In three minutes, they almost lost their lives under a rain of charge beams, arcane missiles, and elemental tremors, and thus retreated haggardly, escaping their pursuit after moving some hundred miles away.
The elite spellcasters that could suppress Supreme-tier monsters revealed that they felt as if they were not fighting against one machine puppet but an entire legion of modern magic combatants. They even said that the Giant God Warrior even knew how to unleash malevolent curses, and while they believed that they could destroy that Giant God Warrior, it would only after they had played ever trump cards—and only lunatics would use everything at their disposal to destroy themselves with an ancient puppet.
There was hence no one save for Legendary champions who could stand against the Legendary champions, and were there any who would obstruct Joshua and Nostradamus’s return? While the mundane factions would bicker frivolously in the name of profit, all of those things would become meaningless once they arrived on their threshold. These champions cared only about the future in centuries or perhaps millennia to come, acting as the balance and progress of a world. Against an unknown threat from the Multiverse and being aware of the Abyss’s spying, they believed that it was better having more Legendary champions around in this troubled world where the Great Mana Tide swept across the Multiverse. It was the only way that they could face those great foes who were preparing in the darkness.
Even if they were separated by factions and allegiance, they were at least born in the same world. Such was their enlightenment.
Despite the few scoundrels who did not agree with that opinion, they would never risk the same risk of disappearance to explore the core zone of the demiplane, and though Joshua and Nostradamus were both relatively new Legends, none felt that they were easy to handle. One was a dimensional mage who was already famous decades ago and merely did not deliberately ascend, while another was an inhuman beast who broke through to Legendary under thirty. Could anything that made those two vanish be solved easily? Additionally, the ruins itself was no plaything—leaving aside the Giant God Warriors that would knock a few teeth off anyone, the silver sun was also rapidly growing energies that astonish even the gods. Careless actions equated to death, and not even Legends would have it easy.
The dimensional anomaly—the ancient artificial demiplane—the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds. Through an excavated obelisk, the explorers from the world of Mycroft learned the name of the demiplane. It was unquestionably an extraordinary Glorious Era ruin, one that made every other ruin of cities on the Mycroft Continent as meaningless as grains of sands. Its discovery promptly attracted the attention of all champions around the world—now, it was no longer just the Northern Empire and the influential factions of the Eastern Plains that were partnering in the exploration. The Seven Gods Church that had been rebuilding in the Far South, along with a psionic Royal Family from the West Mountains had dispatched envoy ahead to observe. Now, Fairyland hosted representatives from almost every influential faction.
“How could they cause such a fiasco?”
As Israel grumbled again, Dimore looked away and offered no suggestions. Still, the Second Prince could hear that his Father’s rage had mostly calmed compared to before thanks to the passing of time, leaving only a heavy sense of weariness.
“Damn it, how many times has he acted on his own without reporting in first? And why didn’t Master Nostradamus hold him back, and join him in that ruckus instead?”
‘Him? Could it be Count Radcliffe?’
Dimore could not help shaking his head, believing that his father was overthinking things. Holding back Joshua? Laughable—he even suspected it Nostradamus had been dragged along when the archmagi prepared to retain him, an inference far more reasonable than the old mage simply joining the warrior in the ruckus.
It was when Israel finally cooled and looked up towards the sky, thinking something unfathomable that Dimore made his own suggestion.
“Father, do you think we should dispatch another team to have a look again?” He asked calmly. “Since the Life Crystal that Master Nostradamus left in the secret room never dimmed, it was evident that he and Count Radcliffe are not in any trouble. They might even return as the Seven Gods’ oracle stated.”
It was a reliable plan. Given that envoys from every influential faction were essentially now in the Fairyland, while several Legendary champions had not left as they await eventual developments, the Northern Empire must show some initiative despite losing two Legendary champions. The only hassle was the candidate for party leader, but Dimore planned to volunteer and inspect the circumstances around the demiplane at present.
Moreover, since returning from the army to the Imperial Capital, Dimore had not come across such a major and stimulating event. He was now very much raring to go.
Like an arrow, Israel’s gaze seemed to pierce the skies as he looked on to the Void beyond it. He then narrowed his eyes, his pupils flickering with a discreet radiance as if he had seen something, before breaking into a smile. “You’ll have to stay in the capital and help me handle governing affairs.”
“As for me, I’ll be leading a team myself to receive my teacher and that little rascal.”
At that moment, a silver star tore across the skies, returning from the limitlessly distant Void.