Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Now, having become a Legend, Joshua understood that word more than ever before.
If one were to say that Strength Mastery was released from the shackles of innate talents, while attaining great evolutionary prowess to surpass the limits of species, Skill Mastery was to approach the principle, and attain an understanding free from rigid styles.
Super-strength, extreme-speed, superhuman senses, and bloodline awakening were all Strength Mastery given form, and having it was to have oneself gradually altering into a more powerful lifeform. Just as Joshua had done back then, his body became gradually sturdier and near invincible—even the blaze of dragons and magma was as harmless as warm water.
On the other hand, intricate control, reflexes that surpassed limits, senses that directly grasped energy flow as well as instinctive alarms almost akin to foretelling the future were the manifestations of Skill Mastery. It was a refinement in regards to seeing the world, because it saw and understood completely, and hence allows one to use their own power to their heart’s content, in turn forming all variety of technique—such was the truism in unlocking techniques.
Of the two, one granted humans the power to wrestle dragons, the other allowing mortals to establish new subsidiaries. There were many champions on Mycroft who wielded those masteries—at first, they were mostly troops and generals on the battlefield or hunters and adventurers who hunted monsters in the forest. Because they exist, the talents and combat techniques in human bloodlines began to enrich and branch out, refining the entire race.
When wielders of Strength Mastery improved their own bodies and the bloodlines of their descendants, it was equal to spreading their refined bloodlines throughout the human race, granting them incessant evolution up to the present. It was under the same principle that the world does not have similar wielders of Skill Mastery, but their diverse development of utilization and subsidiaries in aspects such as Extraordinary abilities, magic, and aura was similar to spellcasters of the past, just like how they were now divided intricately into alchemists, bloodline warlocks, psionics, elemental mages, divination mages, and many others. In the foreseeable future, they would still branch out without ceasing.
For Joshua, in the pre-existence, the two masteries were equal to sublimation of hardware and software, with Strength Mastery raising the basic fundamentals and Skill Mastery developing one’s horizon and limit.
As for the last, known as Soul Mastery…
“The earliest and the oldest Mastery, and yet the same Mastery that the fewest people could awaken.”
Starfall Year 836, the 27th of April, an evening in the North.
The setting sun had sunk below the horizon, the dusk light shrouding the main city of Moldavia. Joshua was sitting on Black’s head as the black dragon slowly flew amidst the high clouds. From above the dragon’s head, he overlooked the specks of light that slowly shone in the city consecutively, while the stars gradually appeared in the night sky. His eyes observed the daily life of hundreds of thousands, although his heart was thinking about Soul Mastery.
Soul Mastery. Legends said that it was the first Mastery that was founded, far earlier than Strength and Skill Masteries. There were but a few scrawls recording it in the ancient books of the Glorious Era, and the founder was rumored to be a pioneering sage while humans were still in a savage state of prehistory. He had established the earliest psionic and spell systems along with other sages, while naming the system as ‘Mastery of Soul’. He was also the first undead being recorded in the history of the world, and it was after him that the term ‘soul’ appeared.
Joshua’s knowledge of Soul Mastery in the past was only two points: the undying soul after the flesh had rotted, and the intensity of the soul far surpassing ordinary Extraordinary individuals. Even so, that power was not absolute—many Legendary champions who never acquired Soul Mastery had psionic abilities that far surpassed Supreme champions who had learned it. Joshua believed himself to be such a person and hence had no need to deliberately train in that aspect, but now it was clear that Soul Mastery was very likely not merely simple ‘power and toughness’, but a state that meant ‘perfect’.
“Controlling power, and not being controlling power… Say, Black, what does it mean to be perfect in terms of the mind?”
As he patrolled the skies of his own domain with his mount after what appeared to be a long time not doing so, Joshua weaved in and out of the night clouds with the black dragon. He watched the top of the clouds that were illuminated by moonlight and starlight, and simply asked the question that was puzzling him. The warrior did not expect an answer, but the owner of a seaborn Ancient Dragon bloodline thought about it for a moment before giving a prudent answer. “Never retreating in the face of a threat, never submitting against might? Facing danger directly, gallant and fearless, never cowed and never looking back… uh, I really can’t come up with anymore, Master…”
“…That’s not called perfect, just having a bad temper.” Joshua paused for a moment before stroking the black dragon’s horn, slightly pleased. “But it’s not wrong. Looks like you did read some books as Ying had said, and is more cultured than before.”
“Hehe.” The black dragon made a silly laugh, and flapped its wings slightly to adjust the direction of its flight, and spoke with a voice that was rather pleased with itself. “After all, apart from eating and then sleeping, sleeping and then eating, I have nothing else to do. Light doesn’t even play with me anymore, so I can only live by reading books…”
“Really. Can’t let you be so free then—report to Winter Fort Academy tomorrow. You will train together with those young white dragons. Twenty times the training, and if you were still breathless by night, you will get double training the next day.”
Not concerned with Black’s cries, while Joshua did not get any beneficial suggestions from his mount’s words, he certainly understood something: everyone’s mind was different, just like how trees had different perfect forms because they had different branches and leaves. No two humans in the world were equal, and as such there were certainly no two equal minds, which was why the requirements for perfection was different.
“What was ultimately Soul Mastery? What is the limit of the soul? Looks like I have to ask those who are accomplished in that aspect.”
Although it might be difficult for champions of Soul Mastery, it was not so for Joshua’s present abilities and reputation, and he was acquainted with quite a few individuals of the same Mastery in the first place.
“Influenced by divinity, and therefore trying to solve it through Soul Mastery? No wonder you were acting so weird before, that explains things.”
On the research airship hovering above the skies of the Great Ajax Mountains, William looked up from his experiment table where he had been testing something, and looked toward Joshua. He frowned after some thought. “However, you’ve asked the wrong person—although I am proficient in controlling the flaws within minds and dissect information in the depths of the soul, it was in fact Skill Mastery promoted to Legend. I have seen too many imperfect souls, and never once found myself perfect and in fact, I snort at the word ‘perfect’. As for divinity, I may have some methods to suppress it, but I don’t think you could use it.”
Just as Joshua was still left in astonishment that the [Mind Lord] was not a wielder of Soul Mastery, he learned another fact that shocked him even more: Rune Master Barnil, the greatest mage in runic discipline actually rose to Legend through Strength Mastery—he had inscribed runes to every cell in his body, and slowly ascended as Legend after his lifeform was completely sublimated. The man was first a master of Ancient Dragon biology before a mage.
Still, it was not unusual once he thought about it. How could someone obsessed with Ancient Dragons be not proficient in biology? It may be a little hard to imagine that Barnil’s mastery in the discipline surpassed his runic talents, which truly left people in awe.
Still, William did not mind Joshua’s surprise since there had been too many shocking things in the past few decades. He had explained his solution of suppressing divinity in detail for the warrior—it was an immeasurably complex mental network, with two thousand and forty-eight mind traps and soul seals assembling into ten restraining circles. Each mind trap is linked intricately to another and could produce different chain reactions.
Nonetheless, Joshua could not do it. He even suspected that if he really did put that thing onto his own soul, his own mind would be suppressed so much that he would become a dullard, despite divinity being suppressed.
“This is a seal I’ve prepared this to counter a Demon General, it’s still a prototype,” William explained briefly as he watched Joshua with a flicker in his eyes. “However, if you could help test it for a bit…”
“Sorry for the trouble.”