Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Hill and Funa experienced Joshua’s swift and decisive style for the first time.
“Hey… didn’t you guys just return from an Otherworld a few hours ago? After having gone through such a long and difficult battle.”
The party had teleported again, this time to a marble teleportation hall by the foot of the Nissia Snowy Mountain that was completed barely a month ago. “Having returned to Moldavia from Fairyland in less than thirty seconds, and you guys are now heading to meet two Legendary champions… Is there no time for rest?” Hill asked the divine armament siblings beside him in disbelief.
However, he was met with responses from the siblings that carried a trace of grumbling.
“Hmmm, weren’t we resting all along?”
“Or should we say, when will Master actually give something us to do for real?”
Hill was left speechless.
To the party behind Joshua, rarely was there anyone who could keep up with the warrior’s fast-paced lifestyle. If it had been normal individuals, or even if they were decisive like Israel or Extraordinary like Igor, they would make preparations for at least dozens of minutes or up to two hours if they were to meet Legendary mages such as Barnil and William, readying the appropriate attire and accessories and notifying them beforehand out of respect. Joshua, however, never did such things—he would depart at the very first opportunity with no notifications whatsoever, leaving others unprepared.
Naturally, that included the two Legendary mages.
Beneath Mount Nissia, the flag of Winter Fort Academy curled under the northern winds by the ridge. As thick snow clouds surged, a blue dragon was leading a dozen white juvenile dragons and soaring amidst the whiteness, its imposing body vaguely discernible through the winds and clouds, while over the land, a group of knights in heavy armor was sprinting at full speed, following the flight path of their future mounts.
“They’ve grown quite considerably, looks like their depth would not be weak in the future.” Joshua praised after a single glance, before turning towards the knights. “Very diligent—as expected of my handpicked elites.
[To mount a dragon’s back, one must first keep up with the dragon’s pace.]
While a certain warrior may have an excessively rough understanding traditional principle of dragon riding, but since their two feet could keep up with a dragon’s speed, their ability must be capable of keeping up as well.
Hill and Funa sensed the dragons’ presence at once, but before they could give a little assessment for the new dragon riders as seniors, their gazes were caught by a tremendous reverberation from another end.
Boom— Boom— Boom—
Dull sounds of explosion resounded from below ground. “It’s a project called ‘underground rail’,” the attentive Ling explained. “A collaboration between the Moldavian Liege’s Office and the Northern Dwarves, those explosions should be the sounds of the passageways being extended… Zero-Three is in charge of the project, but since she’s also in charge of monitoring the security of the main city, she couldn’t explain things for you personally.”
“Oh… underground rail?”
Compared to Funa who was satisfied with learning the name and had no intention to understand things further, Hill though relatively more. He promptly grasped the real meaning from the two keywords ‘passageway’ and ‘underground’– it should be some subterranean high-speed transport path. Still, Joshua did not give him too much time to think as the warrior had already stepped upon the path towards the mountain ridge.
As the Moldavian Liege’s ability climbed step-by-step up to Legendary, more and more foreign investment had came to the Northern Count, with Winter Fort Academy assuredly becoming the greatest focus of their investment given that it was a campus jointly managed by two Legendary champions—Joshua himself and Nostradamus. In months, the rather plain academy had gone through three major expansions and exterior renovations, while hundreds of students from the North, as well as the Central Zone of the Northern Empire and the Western Mountains are enrolled. It even appeared that the number would multiply in the next few years.
Thanks to two Legendary champions, the new college had surpassed dozens of old-brand academies of the Eastern Plains in aspects of teacher resources or student sources, although none thought that it was unfair but very reasonable instead. After all, Joshua had accepted a few apprentices from that academy! Who knows if Nostradamus would take in a few as well, but that alone was worth any price.
Unlike Hill and the others who were distracted by the exquisite statues, orderly stairs and beautiful sights, Joshua himself was not concerned over the issue of capital. For the college that was appearing more respectable by each passing day and the cleaner path of the Nissia Snowy Mountain, his reaction was only the two words ‘not bad’. Soon, the warrior treaded over the ridge and arrived before the main gates of the college, prepared to sense energy signatures and find Barnil and William.
Everything from the entire Nissia Snowy Mountain itself, down to the forest and lakes beneath the mountain belonged to Winter Fort Academy. The teaching block, library, hostel, laboratory, and other facilities were jointly built between the ridge and the inside the mountain itself. The real main gates were located by the edge of the forest, while the gates on the ridge was in fact the door to the teaching block.
But just in front of the teaching block, Joshua unexpectedly heard much noise.
“Goodness… it’s exquisite!”
“What’s this, is this magic too?”
“Can magic actually achieve such things?”
The clamorous voice could be distinctly heard despite the door separating them. Joshua, Ying, and Ling all blinked in curiosity, much less Hill and Funa who had followed along to meet the Legendary pair of mages.
Guessing would only waste time . Joshua shook his head, pushed the doors and entered.
Unlike the outside, a warm and rather damp breeze came to them once the doors opened, but what everyone saw was not the thirty-meter guest hall of the academy, but a crowd of over hundreds of students—with considerable ranks of instructors in the mix. They were all interest spectators, encircling the center of hall, with some students who were not tall enough to see what was happening using observation circles to watch what was happening.
Though confused over what was actually happening, Joshua certainly did not have to use observation magic since his gaze could permeate human clothes, skin, flesh, bones, and the entire meat wall that was the crowd, and directly observe what was happening within. Soon, he was shocked by the fact that the hundreds of students were encircling the two mages he was looking for—Barnil and William!
What are those two doing? Are the students not afraid of the two Legendary mages? Though they are famous for being in touch with common folk, still …
Before he could finish that train of thought, he looked up slightly to find another familiar face wrapped amongst the crowd—or not so familiar, but more a passing acquaintance who had feminine features, long dark blond hair that resembled his father’s, a meek expression and purple pupils. Adrian, the Sixth Prince of the Northern Empire who was conversing with his brother—Seventh Prince Arlwa—was a rare guest here. Joshua could also vaguely see an invisible fairy settled on Adrian’s shoulder, looking interestedly at the two Legendary champions at the heart of the crowd.
“‘Tempest’, the incarnation of the Fairy Queen of Wind?”
Joshua was rather puzzled. He had come to Winter Fort Academy this time for just Barnil and William—he never thought that there would be so much surprises. It was then that the edge of the crowd noticed the cold winds surging in and the opened doors. Of course, all of them saw Joshua who had arrived at the scene.
Students from different nations, regions, and races exclaimed differently. The youthful students and teachers abruptly felt a chill that seeped into their marrow, and a fear from the depths of the soul spread throughout their body. Soon, the infectious fear got everyone present to notice the quiet Joshua, and like Moses parting the Red Sea, the human wall split open, making a path to the heart of the crowd.
Joshua did not say a thing since they already did everything by themselves, and so nodded slightly, gesturing for them to go about their business before heading up front with nary a care.
Then, he saw that the two Legendary champions Barnil and William were seated on two sides of a small table—the Ancient Dragon chasing duo held a set of cards in their hand as they frowned in deep thought.
Even Joshua could not stop the utterance from escaping his lips. He walked a little faster, arriving beside the thoughtful pair and looked on as they pinched their rectangular cards on the table.
The cards were of excellent quality, being produced mainly with ‘Eternal Wood’ exclusive to the Far Southern forests. Each card had self-recovery abilities. The faint mana radiance and trace of runes on the back of each card showed that not only were they not just cards, a fact that could be proved alone by that uniquely designed table.
“I use ‘Thoughsteal’, copying two cards from your undrawn deck and puts them in my hand!”
As Joshua looked on, the wandering poet, [Mind Lord] William activated the first card since the warrior arrived. In the instant the young and handsome Legendary mage put down a card, mana radiance flashed, and the 3D animation of a man grasping his own head in pain appeared on William’s side of the table that was built from steel and pyroxene. Two cards thus automatically flew from the poker-faced Barnil direction and joined William’s hand.
William took a look at the two new cards and made a clicking sound. At the moment, only two out of the ten pale-blue crystals on his side of the table were still shining, but he still concluded his turn. “End!”
On the other hand, [Rune Master] Barnil’s cards did not have so many effects. Against his best friend’s cold face, the rather elderly Legendary mage showed a dazzling smile. “My turn? Well, I’m playing [Lava Reaver], and two [Flame Elemental]… Every other minion, slap his face!”
[Lava Reaver, 3 Cost 21, Rampage, each elemental card played +1 to attack] [Flame Elemental, 1 Cost 12]
As the three cards were placed on the table, the miniature shades of three monsters appeared at once. However, there were already four other monsters standing on the field before hand, and at Barnil’s call, each happily assaulted William’s zone. As magical symbols of ‘-2’, ‘-1’ and ‘-4′ appeared at the center of the table, the heart-shaped number that represented Williams dropped to 16, while Barnil’s was still a big fat ’30’.
Was that not Fairy Cards?
As the watched the familiar card duel, Joshua abruptly recalled memories buried deep within his memories.
Fairy Cards, otherwise known as Shadowlight Epic, was a minigame inContinental War . Developed by fairies and distributed by the dwarves, it was a phenomenal card game that spread across the continent, gaining the favor of all races thanks to its unique play and diverse assembles. Joshua had played for a while but did not delve deeper—he was in charge of a new Boss raid after all, and therefore had no excess time to research card game.
Still, that did not stop him from understanding the game. To Joshua, Barnil and William were using the ‘First Fairy Card Table’ displayed in the Northern Empire Museum, the first magical machine invented exclusively for the joy of Fairy Cards. It cost a hefty sum, but the dwarves had later used cheaper materials so that each tavern could buy a few for Fairy Card players. If Joshua recalled correctly, the table should have been initially designed by Starfall 837 before being popularized across the continent by Starfall 839—up until Starfall 853 just before the world war, Fairy Cards were the most widespread entertainment on the Mycroft Continent.
It was now only Starfall 836, and yet the final product was already out? It seems that Joshua had influence every facet of the future.
Just as Joshua kept remembering the past, the card duel on the table reached a climax.
“I play [Mind Control], and will take control of one of your minions of my choice!”
At the moment, William, a candle in the wind with his life points only standing at 5 and having no minions on his side, played a powerful spell card. However, he did not indicate the minion of his choice after putting down the card, and began to stare fixedly into Barnil’s eyes instead. The wandering poet’s gaze flickered with faint obscure radiance as powerful spiritual power spread from William and instantly penetrated Barnil’s mind. Ambushed, Barnil’s entire body quivered once, before reaching out with his trembling right hand to reach out to the right bottom corner for the button that indicates ‘forfeit’.
“No! William, you despicable bastard! It’s the card that does the mind control, not you!”
Barnil was, after all, a Legendary mage as well. Though he did not realize his best friend’s ploy at once, he reacted soon enough and bellowed, slapping the table in rage. “You’re cheating!”
“You’re cheating too! I already sensed your damned scandalous trick of shifting runes to change your card’s face! And I was thinking why you never seem to run out of cards in your hand, who else could create cards like you in real time!”
“Nonsense! Isn’t it normal for the Rune Master to control cards with runes? It’s a legal move!”
“Then my usage of mind control over you is also a legal move!”
“Didn’t you just fail!”
“Alright. What on earth is all this.”
As the two Legendary mages argued without dignity before the crowd, Joshua was forced to step up and stop the pair’s clash—he had noticed that Barnil was using his immeasurable runic depth to directly alter the face of the Fairy Card he had drawn on a nanometer scale. The depth of that technique did not dull in comparison to the Void Mother’s molecular fission class of offensive, and yet that ability was not use in a spell, but to… cheat.
“All students, disperse—it’s time for classes, why are you staying outside here? That’s fifty points off your semester if I still see any of you out here in three minutes!”
In truth, Joshua wanted to laugh, but there would be no seriousness in the scene if he did. Hence, he quickly issued his order and got every instructor and student who were absorbed in the liveliness to return to where they were supposed to be, before issuing another order.
“Adrian, Arlwa, and Miss Tempest. You three stay here and explain things.’