Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Even before he approached the main city of Moldavia, Joshua quickly sensed a shocking fact: There was a Legendary champion who was at once familiar and unfamiliar inside the liege’s residence—his or her presence was calm and stable, while Ying, Ling, Zero-Three, Black and Light were all there as well, moving around like they do every day.
Joshua could not recall who did the rather familiar Legendary presence belonged to, but it was undoubtedly not Israel—His Imperial Majesty’s presence was akin to vast, endless skies. It was not Nostradamus either, since the old mage was akin to erratic to dimensional ripples, and neither was it Igor. The pontiff’s power was so great that even Joshua found it difficult to pick up his presence, just like how hard it was to single out a single strain of light from the sun’s rays.
Whatever the case might be, the Legendary champion came in peace since he could at least sense that his kin within the mansion was still alive and well, while there were no problems in the city… perhaps it was someone like the Nature’s Magister who came to visit him, only to find that he was away and so forced to wait there?
“That’s not impossible either… wait.”
At the mention of the Nature’s Magister, Joshua suddenly remembered another famous female Legendary champion on the continent—Vahina, Sage of the Eastern Oceans! He quickly ascertained the presence of that Legend in the mansion, and it was that sage without a doubt!
Vahina had not come in contact with Joshua and the others since their venture to the dimensional anomaly in Fairyland. To the warrior, the lady sage who had melded with the world and so had not much of an influence, was certainly a Legend who was at once familiar and unfamiliar. Still, apart from realizing with a start that it was her, Joshua could not help be curious: why?
It would have been explainable if it was Israel—he must have come to see how he was after his outing and what he did, and there would nothing unusual if Nostradamus was with him as well, since the pair were friends of his. There would not be too much of a surprise with Igor either, as the pope emanated the presence of a kindly old man wherever he went… It would not have been bizarre even if Barbarossa of the Skypiercing White Tower visited him, given Barnil and William’s whereabouts.
And yet, why would the Eastern Sea sage… Vahina, come here?
Though it appeared that a lot had crossed his mind, Joshua had never once slowed in his flight. He had already arrived above Moldavia once he remembered that the presence was Vahina’s, with his foot touching the stone plates atop the mansion when he thought about why Vahina would come.
“Joshua, you’re back.”
In the air, Zero-Three’s mana projection appeared without a sound, with the warrior only noticing it when it was about to materialize. He had turned toward the avian girl, ready to praise the improvement of her abilities and had certainly not slacked in deciphering Gale’s legacy runes in recent days, but unwittingly changed the topic just as he was about to say those words.
“Eh? Zero-Three, your clothes…”
Before him, Zero-Three, who had always been wearing a complex doll-like gown was now donning a set of loose robes resembling priests from ancient temples… Moreover, while it was not enough to distract him, the robes were clearly too large for the petite Zero-Three, with her white shoulders and waist visible in between.
“It’s His Majesty, Gale’s priest robes, I’ve yet to adjust its size… What do you think?” Zero-Three appeared to have come at once to welcome Joshua once she had sensed his presence, which was why her expression appeared rushed and fidgety.
“Dress better, Zero-Three—that looks like it’s about to drop off,” Joshua said a little painfully. “Be cautious, and don’t come out like this next time.”
Zero-Three felt troubled as if she had been given a lesson by a father, but the artificial intelligence swift processing allowed her to speak unaffectedly at the moment the atmosphere cooled. “Right, Joshua, there was someone who came a few days ago…”
“Um. I already sensed it. The Eastern Sea Sage, right?”
Joshua had now let go of Lisa’s hand in the air—the Drakonid girl had blanked out once she saw Moldavia with her own eyes, although Syndicate was no better. Of the two village hicks, one grew up in a mountain village after their world’s civilization had fallen, while another hunted for food in volcanoes and toxic oceans. Some Drakonid and small demon cities notwithstanding, would they have seen such a great metropolis? And the instant Lisa felt the warrior letting go of her hand, she promptly mumbled to herself.
“Heavens… ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand… There are actually so many people!”
Using Mycroft’s mathematical units not too proficiently, Lisa estimated the general population of the city at once glance, abruptly becoming bewildered—even the entire Drakonid race did not number so many!
On the other hand, the demon’s thoughts were very different: if everyone in that huge city sortied with magic armor and all sorts of enchanted weapons, would a single Abyss be able to withstand their invasion… and if not a city, what about a nation?
The pair who shared the same body shuddered at once.
It was then that Zero-Three noticed Lisa beside Joshua. There was no helping it—the warrior’s existence was like a black dot on a sheet of white people, drawing people’s attention unwittingly and having them ignore the presence of others beside him. As for the Drakonid girl, she was also curiously swinging her tail as she looked up at the Avian girl before her.
“Greetings!” Lisa saluted her lovably. “I’m a new apprentice, my name is Lisa!”
Thanks to Joshua’s three weeks’ worth of fine education, the Drakonid girl’s manners was definitely of classical standard, with Zero-Three not quite getting used to such a formal greeting.
“Ah, right, that, I’m called Zero-Three.”
The Avian girl studied Lisa as she spoke… There were two ash-gray dragon horns on the black-haired girl’s head, while the tip of her hair that reaches her waist was slightly blue and flickering with minuscule lightning. A scent very similar to Black wafted from the depths of the body, just like the one that stood at the top of the food chain…
A scent similar to Black’s?
“Zero-Three. Take Lisa for a spin around the mansion, and bring her on a visit around Moldavia tomorrow. Find any room for her to sleep in, or have her bunk with Ying if need be—I’ll be taking her to Winter Fort Academy in a few days.”
Joshua spoke to Zero-Three as if it was perfectly natural, before simply walking down the stairs in the mansion. “I’ll be greeting the sage lady, and ask about her visit.”
The Avian girl naturally agreed at once in return. Nevertheless, once the warrior vanished down the stairs, she turned, her gaze turning distant as she scrutinized the immeasurably curious Lisa, who was in turn studying the environment and overlooking the entire city from the battlements at the edge of the mansion. Zero-Three did not disturb the excited girl, and merely waited until she calmed a little before she spoke.
“Yes, sister Zero-Three?”
The A.I. girl abruptly sensed an unusual sensation growing inside her when she heard the Drakonid’s earnest words. She had wanted to be truthful, like how she was more than a thousand years old and more a ‘granny’ than a ‘sister’… Or at least an equal to Joshua, or would her have not otherwise lived so many years for naught? Still, no one would insist their seniority in such manners, which was why Zero-Three simply accepted her title as sister. “Ying and I will take you to see the city later,” she said, “but now let’s have you meet the others in the mansion first.”
“Alright, sister!” The Drakonid girl said happily, and the two entered the Liege’s Residence.
Ying blinked in the second-floor study of the mansion when she saw Zero-Three flying calmly toward her, as well as the chipper Drakonid girl who was following behind the A.I., and the divine armament her gaze turning distant as well as she studied Lisa without a word. Ling, who was reading a book titled [Official Guide: Discrete Psionic Warp] on a nearby couch narrowed his eyes, his gaze curious.
“That scent…” The siblings muttered at once, but they quickly greeted Lisa and Zero-Three, albeit becoming more suspicious when they learned that Lisa was a new apprentice of Joshua’s.
“That’s not right. Didn’t Master just took in a few nominal apprentices? Why would he bring back a formal one after one trip away?”
“And didn’t Master said that he was looking for Ancient Dragon with Misters Barnil and William? Why would he bring back a Drakonid girl?”
At the moment, the divine armament siblings notwithstanding, even the maidservants of the residence who saw Lisa along the way sought out their nearby colleagues and made exchanges with only their gazes. They did not say a word, but appeared able to communicate information through their distant look.
And right now, following some thudding footsteps, a dark figure with a luminous sphere on her head appeared out of nowhere, striding into the study.
“I sensed Master! And I heard someone else as well?”
Black opened the doors to the study flamboyantly, exclaiming without an effort to lower her voice. “Where are they, let me see!”
“Ding-Ring-Ring!” Light, who was whirling incessantly between her two horns added rather solemnly.
Nonetheless, the response she got was everyone’s weird glances, and Lisa’s lively greeting. “Greetings, sister!”
Ying rose slowly. The silver-haired girl, recently having been ordered by Joshua to further her training so much that she now moved elegantly like a noble daughter, slowly approached Black alongside Zero-Three, a mild smile handing over her face.
“What… What is it?”
Feeling a chill behind a back from that voice and gaze, Black turned in panic to Zero-Three, only to find that the A.I. girl had locked the doors, and casting a blocking circle on the study, further alarming Black.
“Wait, what are you guys trying to do?!”
But both Ying and Zero-Three ignored Black’s questioning as she tried to put up a tough face, instead closing in on her and force the black dragon girl to unwittingly take a step back. Soon, however, she had nowhere to go as her back touched the wall, and so Black promptly plucked Light down from her head and hugged it, with one dragon girl and one luminous orb shuddering in a fearful expression. “What are you two planning… I say, Master is just downstairs! He would definitely notice!”
“It’s nothing, as long as you play along.” Ying said rather calmly.
“Just be a good girl,” Zero-Three added.
The two kept approaching, with Black closing her eyes as she flattened herself to the wall, her face crying tearlessly while she felt her hands sealed in a corner by Ying and Zero-Three. Then, the two…
“Hmmm. It smells alike but isn’t actually the same kind… looks like it’s not her type.”
“Right. We thought too much—come to think of it, wasn’t Black with us all along? There won’t be a chance for that.”
“Must have been brought here from outside… Ancient Dragon Bloodline, huh?”
“Looks like she’s taken in as an apprentice because she’s really talented. Now that you mention it, little Lisa is certainly powerful to have such ability at such a meager age.”
Black had utterly no idea what the two were talking about, while the luminous orb jingled bewilderedly. Still, Ying and Zero-Three had already left and later brought Lisa to meet Black—thus, everyone in the liege’s residence was acquainted with the courteous and talented Drakonid girl.
Unlike Lisa who found everyone friendly, the demon soul inside the little girl found itself speechless. But thanks to its identity and that it was certainly tired, it hence simply fell into a slumber, avoiding from getting involved with such weird matters.
Meanwhile, in the guest hall of the Moldavian Liege’s Residence.
“What is it, Joshua?”
As Vahina’s clone composed completely out of spirit asked doubtfully, Joshua paused for a moment, having heard the exchange of those few fellows upstairs. “It’s nothing,” he replied. “Let us continue the conversation.”
“That’s good. Though my spirit clone could last long during my sleep, it would diminish quickly when it is used in unfamiliar places.”
The lady whose appearance was vague spoke, nodding and closing her eyes as her tone became earnest. “Then let us continue…”
“Tell me. What do you think about my suggestion of an all-encompassing partnership between Moldavia and the Sea Dragon City?”