Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
When Joshua and Nostradamus arrived at the edge of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, the expedition teams from various factions had coincidentally arrived at the demiplane.
Over the sky, the silver sun was swirling with radiance, its rays that contained mana sweeping through the air and land to gradually purify and banish the seemingly endless Abyssal breath. The strong toxicity that had been within sand and dust had weakened greatly, returning vigor to the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and would change it to its original state in twenty years if this speed of purification continued. If the Commanding Will was empowered halfway through, or was aided by external agents, the speed would certainly be faster.
At the dimensional edge of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, the teams that had arrived at the small foreign world after passing through the demiplane barrier quickly noticed the changes. But before they could inspect the shift around them, they had all respectfully lowered their heads, for a black-haired man whose mass alone distorted space and a rather distracted middle-aged man was levitating straight before them and surveying them with a rather interested gaze.
“It’s Barbarossa’s people.”
Having already sensed that there were people entering the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, Nostradamus swept a glance over the expedition members who were offering them greetings for their safe return. “They always act quickly.” He added softly.
“The others are not slow either—all seven factions are here.”
Joshua could stay aware of some circumstances around Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds thanks to prompts from the Commanding Will. “It seems a little too elaborate an occasion, however,” he said, blinking, “are they here to welcome us or to encircle us?”
“…What stuff is your mind made of?”
At the moment, the jesting Joshua and Nostradamus were dressed in Midgardian fashion. Though the colors and forms were tailored to their taste and hence resembled the common Mycroft black coat and mage robes, there were differences in the material and its appearances that made them appear slightly out of place from this world. At first, Barbarossa’s subordinates from the Skypiercing White Tower were in shock and unusual terror when they first encountered the two returning Legends, but in seconds, most of them recovered their typical mentality thanks to the [Serenity Locket] they wore, and naturally noticed the difference in their clothing.
“Materials from another world.”
“Not anti-magic substances—quite the opposite actually. High affinity for magical energies, but not quite adapting to Mycroft’s mana environment due to its foreign origins.”
“Must notify base… the two revered ones had returned from a foreign world and appeared to be a voluntary action, and not being expelled from a trap inside the demiplane.”
In a brief few seconds, the elites inferred much information from the clothing that Joshua and the others were wearing alone. They had even ascertained from the fashion that the two had arrived on an otherworld with a civilization possessing advanced crafting industry—otherwise the two would not be wearing such clothing designed that were both specifically for them and weaved out of precious magical materials.
Joshua could hear every hushed conversation and discussion of those teams but was not concerned—he would eventually have revealed most of their experiences without them having to make inferences save for the World Will and the birth of the Evil God of Pestilence. Even those were not a matter of secrecy, but because Joshua merely thought that they would not understand, and it would become a grand scale popular science lecture if he had to explain.
And he was not here as a biological teacher.
On that note however, why were there no biological subjects in Winter Fort Academy? That would not do, and therefore the warrior made a mental note to add one when he returned.
Soon, the expedition teams from other factions entered the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds one after the other. When those parties from the Skypiercing White Tower, the Seven Gods Church, the Northern Empire, the Eastern Sea, the murlocs, elves, and West Mountain Royals noticed that Joshua and Nostradamus were floating halfway above the sky, they promptly notified their respective bases in Fairyland with their erected equipment, informing them that the falling silver star was precisely the two returning Legendary champions, and that they had now returned to the edge of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and contacted the expedition teams.
The various Legendary champions representing the different factions certainly could not afford staying at Fairyland perpetually and scrutinize the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds. Barbarossa, Vahina, as well as the Murloc High Priest were all leaders of influential factions who had much duties to handle. Things were better for the sage Vahina since there were just a few cities and the Sea Dragon Knights under her governance, but it was not the same Barbarossa. There were at least dozens of eastern kingdoms that were vassals to the Skypiercing White Tower, meaning that they control more than half of the Eastern Plains. Even if most duties were divided amongst his students and subordinates, Barbarossa still had to decisions in regards to plans for infrastructure in centuries to come.
It was mostly the same for other factions as well. All Legendary champions were temporarily away from Fairyland, but when their bases notified them, virtually each of them placed the issues at hand on hold and departed for the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds. It was not merely to greet Joshua and Nostradamus—more importantly, they were curious about what was in the center of the demiplane. After all, it sneaked the two Legends away from this particular dimensional realm and returned them safely, not to mention what kind of an otherworld it was capable of delaying a Legendary mage who mastered the dimensions for over ten days.
Before the other Legendary champions arrived, Joshua and Nostradamus sought out the expedition team from the Northern Empire. The warrior nodded after giving them a glance.
“It really is the Black Raven Army’s coat of arms… how nostalgic, the days I fought the orcs as one of them.”
He had been part of the army when he first crossed over, recalling that he had been the vice-commander of the vanguard as they fought in close-quarters against the orcs on the Thomas Grand Canyon, a rank which was a considerable achievement for his young age. If this world had no ensuing calamity and his family remained at peace, he would probably become vanguard commander after the war and take over the army a dozen years later.
But would the Radcliffe Family be so at peace? Every head of the family which watches over the land where Evil Gods were sealed would never die a natural death—those willing to take the seat were either men who know their duty or ignorant fools blinded by power, just like Joshua’s uncle. Most of the others were ordinary folks such as Joshua’s cousin, people who were willing to remain anonymous, and reluctant to have anything to do with their dangerous family.
Arriving at the temporary encampment set up by the Northern Empire’s team, Joshua and Nostradamus took no notice of the greetings from the people surrounding them. However, it was at that time that the others noticed, beneath the obscuring from the two Legendary champions’ presence, there was also a young boy, a young girl and… an orb?
There was no better description of orb since Light was now rapidly changing its form, and was only not flying around rampantly thanks to Ying and Ling’s pained combined restraint. However, its outer shell was changing elements according to a regular order: it was first water, then fire, before turning into earth and wind, as well as positive or negative energies. It even changed into pure ether mana that had no attribute, and now appeared to be a sphere of rainbow that shifted incessantly as it freely controlled limitless elemental powers and emanated radiances.
Joshua did not get Light to stop playing around excitedly, believing that it was the ability it gained after consuming a third piece of Steel Shard. Now, it appeared that the three shards—the Fragment from Karlis that represented nature’s power, the shard from Illgner that represented lifeforce and the Stellaris shard that represented spiritual powers had formed a fundamental cycle. Light, the one that attained it was at a relatively sensitive transition period, which was why Joshua believed that it was better to allow it to develop freely rather than suppressing its innateness, and see what fruits it would bear.
Most of the Black Raven soldiers in the encampment knew Joshua, with some of them being his former subordinates or colleagues in the army. Some were in slight disbelief that their former comrade had become a Legendary champion, but most were simply there to greet him excitedly. Still, Joshua did not feel irritated and conversed briefly with any who dared to greet him. Time hence passed swiftly, until both the warrior and Nostradamus turned at once to an apparent dimensional ripple.
“It’s Vahina,” Nostradamus nodded at Joshua beside him. “Barbarossa is just behind her—both of them came once they received the news.”
“That’s really kind of them. So, what now?” Joshua simply replied. He was now holding Light before his eyes and scrutinizing the luminous orb that now resembled Skittles, albeit finding it hard despite having his Legendary-tier eyesight to determine the principle allowing it to shift so easily between the Seven Elements.
“We’ll meet them. They should be waiting for us in the Void.” Nostradamus said without any hesitation, seemingly having a script at the ready. “The Skypiercing White Tower is watching over a Sealed Land of Chaos as well, they must learn about the abnormal movements of the Evil Gods.”
This time, the old mage was left far more shaken by the battle against the Evil God minions than the warrior, since slaughtering Chaos aberrations and demons were such after-tea entertainment for Joshua that it might even be considered his daily life and work. However, Nostradamus did not share the same sentiment—he was still quite affected when he witnessed firsthand the Great Devourers that previously only existed in history and classical tomes.
Now, the Evil Gods were following the Great Mana Tide as they wandered through worlds, and the Mycroft Continent would unquestionably be in their path—perhaps even an important part of it. Joshua had already told him about the fact on Midgard, but the other Legendary champions remained oblivious. At present, the world of Mycroft did not have any preparations against an Evil God-class onslaught, for most of the people were soaking in the piece following the end of the Berserk Dragon Plague, and even the West Mountains settlements were merely having their almost-traditional civil wars. After all, when one compared those skirmishes that involved dozens of armies which did not exceed two hundred thousand even after being added together, to a battle against the millions of Void aberrations, it was little more than a game.
Moreover, the spying from the Abyss was something to be careful about as well. Mycroft was truly under dire circumstances when one really thought about it.
Joshua told Ying and Ling to take good care of Light before rising to the air with Nostradamus and head for the Void to meet the other Legendary champions. Halfway through their flight, however, the old mage suddenly made a perplexed face.
“Strange. Why is he here? And here I thought it would be Dimore who would be leading another team this time…”
Joshua focused slightly at the familiar name, and reached out with his senses to touch the presence of the champion in the Void, and soon laughed inadvertently. “It’s Israel—looks like our Emperor is really angry.”
Nonetheless, the pair could not really determine if Israel was upset, but they soon found out that a quite a few people were waiting for him once they tore space apart and entered the Void.
Within, dimensional ripples resulting from vibrations of countless worlds were stirring each other, forming infinite dimensional turbulence. It is only by the individual powers of Legendary champions that could advance in this realm of Chaos that had neither color nor directions, but now, three individuals were waiting for them in this region. There were hence five Legends together with the warrior and the mage, half the number of Legendary champions in this world.
The man in lead was Israel, [Dragon Knight of the Blue Yonder] and Emperor of Helgamoth. He had donned his war armor but did not bring his dragon along, with the sharp spikes on his fearsome dragon-rider armor appearing slightly red, not quite telling whether it was dyed by the blood of his enemies or simply represented the blaze of dragons. Israel first studied Joshua, before being slightly taken aback after he turned to the old mage.
“Nostradamus, you’re injured?”
As a former warrior, Israel could certainly see through Nostradamus’s state with one glance. And he was right—the elderly mage was recovering from his wounds. The star-destroying energy beam that the Void Mother unleashed could scorch the surface of an entire ecosphere bit by bit, and as an individual body, it was already severely difficult for Nostradamus to actually evade it. Therefore, it was not unusual for him to recover just eighty percent of his peak abilities as he rested in Midgard.
It was certainly a shocking news for a Legendary champion to be injured to such a degree. Apart from Israel, both Barbarossa and Vahina also looked up towards Joshua and Nostradmus, naturally knowing the seriousness of that detail: although Nostradamus had ascended recently, he was a famously powerful spellcaster in the continent before his rise. None believed that such a man would come short much against themselves, and any being that could harm him would certainly be able to hurt them as well.
Even so, the pair’s personalities were rather dull, and neither were they close to the Legendary champions of the Northern Empire—hence they refrained from asking.
“It’s a long story,” Nostradamus did not answer straight away, turning to Joshua and handing the task of explaining to the warrior instead. “I’m involved by accident, Joshua was much more aware of the circumstances.”
Even when he sensed that the gazes of the three other Legendary champions had turned to him at once, Joshua still felt no pressure. He first glanced at Barbarossa and Vahina, two powerful spellcasters whom he never met much even in his pre-existence, before turning towards the direction of Fairyland and feeling the presence within.
“Let’s wait until the others arrive,” the warrior said, “and then I shall tell you all about some truths regarding this demiplane and the Glorious Era.”
“Truths that is correlated to the world we are in, and its fate.”