Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Never would’ve thought,” Joshua remarked simply at Israel’s words that were filled with pride and ambition.
His Imperial Majesty thought nothing of it, however, and reached out to tidy his hair that had become rather unkempt after days of labor. Israel thought that the warrior was astonished by his actions—though he was much the same: if he was not seeing the gigantic base here before his own eyes, Israel would never have believed it.
How could he? A dockyard akin to a city, multitudinous magical machinery that surpassed the Empire’s own production capacity. In fact, Israel would not have hesitated to believe that it was a dream if he was told so.
Be that as it may, Joshua was not remarking that the existence of the underground base was inconceivable, and was instead left pondering the mysteries of fate.
In the pre-existence, Israel had died to concealed injuries, his life essence being exhausted by the curse from an orc priest—then, after the Emperor died, his children, caught involuntarily by the grip of the factions behind them, started a bloody war that lasted years, painting the entire Northern Empire with the ashes of war.
Within that era of instability, all of the Empire was taken by storm. The wounds from the Draconic Plague was yet to heal before the new war struck. In that period, there was no research on magical technology, with even the farmers in the mountains staying on guard of the ever-present Imperial conscripts, fearing that they themselves would be dragged into the meat grinder as every able-bodied man was called upon.
There was hence no spot of peace across the entire vastness of the Northern Mycroft. Everyone was fighting everyone else, the land and resources gained after triumphing against the orcs squandered as humans slaughtered each other. In that time, the Imperial Mage Guild that was the highest symbol of Imperial technology advancement was torn into pieces by the many royal children, while precious research data left by predecessors were burnt for the sake of not being passed to enemy hands. Technological progress? The entire Empire’s resources were falling incessantly instead, dropping to a weaker threshold than the period they were victorious against the orcs.
If not for Dimore’s cruel slaying of his own siblings and uniting the Northern Empire through blood and iron, the ancient and powerful nation might well have destroyed itself in civil strife, utterly unable to hold against the Abyssal invasion. Even so, no matter how well Dimore tried to patch things up and reintegrate all Imperial provinces into one faction, he could not revive the technological depths at the peak of the Empire.
On the other hand, this was the trail of fate, where Israel survived and Nostradamus ascended into Legendary. One destiny rose into the Void while the other descended into the Abyss—it was very much a monumental shift, as distinct as heaven was from earth.
Joshua watched the center of the dockyards, where many Imperial mages were using various automatic runic machinery to assemble the huge warships. Inside, he could not suppress the feelings of accomplishment, for all of it was created by his own hands: everything, be it reducing the damage from the Draconic Plague, or granting Israel divine powers to survive. He had even made that gigantic magically powered dockyard through Steel Strength Creation, by following and materializing every detail of Nostradamus’s blueprints.
“The power of Legends feels unbelievable—no matter how many times it was experienced.”
Nostradamus was sighing in awe at a corner. His sharp gaze was sweeping across the entire base, watching the countless machines that worked steadily. The old mage was stroking his beard that had grown out once more, and said with a low voice: “I’ve heard that you have improved your Steel Strength some time ago, even building a statue the size of a hill to boast your power, and I thought you would be of some help… Now, it seems that you have aided us greatly.”
“I didn’t make that one on purpose… That was an accident!”
“Indeed, indeed.” The mage replied rather nonchalantly.
It had been a frivolous matter when Joshua, experimenting with the limits of Steel Strength Creation, had accidentally created a huge steel statue that was almost three hundred meters tall several months ago. Not only did it become a bragging right for the local Moldavians, Israel and Nostradamus also learned about the fact.
At the time, His Imperial Majesty and the archmage had been troubled over their projected construction timeline—according to their initial estimations, they would be working two projects that would span five years before the production line beneath the East Barnett Highlands to the West of the Empire would take shape. It was incredibly time-consuming to produce the numerous magical machineries and attain the raw steel materials, not to mention there was a matter of logistics. In the period of constructing the base, the Empire would exhaust infinite manpower and resources, and if there were accidents, their finances could very well crumble for it.
It was then, thanks to the news about Joshua that a bold idea came to Nostradamus: Since Joshua could employ Steel Strength Creation and directly draw the stones and minerals from mountains with it, was he not a one-man colossal magical machinery production line? And one that did not need fuel or maintenance while being low cost and augmented!
That was precisely what they lacked!
Hence, Israel simply invited Joshua to aid them, and the result left the two immeasurably astonished. They never would have thought that with a blueprint, Joshua, the wielder of Steel Strength could materialize objects at an inconceivable threshold—it took just eight minutes for him to 3D print a large ‘Gale-class’ magical core, when it took four months for normal magical factories to make one. When compared, the Imperial mages who were watching at a corner were suspecting if they were dreaming.
Though there were some flaws due to the instability of this materialization abilities, the three Legendary champions present needed just a brief few seconds to correct it. Even if Steel Strength Creation is yet to be used in battle, it was divine in production terms.
“A ten-year project, completed in months.”
After taking a long look at the dockyard within the center of the base, Israel closed his eyes. “I’m actually a little lost now—what do I have to do after this is done?” He muttered to himself quietly. “I’ve never thought that far at the start. I was simply drafting the plan for a base… Time, has become abundant all at once.”
‘You’ll soon be busy’, Joshua thought sneeringly in return at Israel’s rather accomplished lament. ‘ Lost? You two might soon be so preoccupied you won’t catch your breath.’
A while ago, he learned from Commanding Will of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds that Vahina’s spiritual clone had left for Stellaris. The Legendary sage could well be the second Mycroft individual to have left for the other side of the Multiverse behind Joshua. Indeed, for the foreseeable, all other Legendary champions might attempt exploration of other worlds for various reasons, Israel and Nostradamus being no exception.
When the time comes, no one in this world would find themselves unoccupied. Development and colonization will become mainstream in Mycroft, and His Imperial Majesty would certainly not have the time to be lost or in awe… However, it was a happy sort of bustling—Joshua believed that Israel would not find it wearisome.
It was then that Joshua’s entire body shuddered, and both Israel and Nostradamus promptly turned toward him. After a slight frown, the warrior reached to his own hip. “My residency is looking for me,” he said.
“Then I’ll take a look at the operation and distribution by the runic hub with Nostradamus,” Israel nodded.
Although Legendary champions could hear the voices they wanted to hear wherever they were, respectful gestures remained important. In return, Joshua waved his hand, signaling that he did not mind. “It’s fine.”
Then, he turned on the communications circle in his hand. As a rather faint screen appeared, Ying’s face surfaced before Joshua, while the silhouettes of two Legendary mages could also be seen.
“Ying, so those two were looking for me?” Joshua asked, understanding at once why the silver-haired girl who never bothered him much would suddenly contact him on her own. It seems that Barnil and William were looking for him, even venturing to Moldavia and found that he was away… it certainly meant something urgent.
Joshua was aware of Barnil and William’s personality as well: the two were not the type to trouble others over their own affairs. If it was nothing that required immediate attention, they certainly would not mind sitting down in a tavern within the city and wait for Joshua’s return—something significant was unquestionably why they sought him out so deliberately.
“Yes, Master. Misters Barnil and William told me that they have to discuss something important with you,” Ying replied, bowing slightly on the other side of the screen, her tone rather doubtful. “I’m not quite certain what the so-called Mana Net or internet is… Please hold, I will pass the circle to the gentlemen.”
On the other side, Joshua held his breath.
“Internet?” The warrior mumbled.
“Mana Net?” The Emperor and Archmage exclaimed, having heard everything beside them.
After Ying handed the communications circle to Barnil and William, the two Legendary mages were surprised to find Israel and Nostradamus beside the warrior. Still, they were not intending to discuss some secret that must be concealed, and so after a brief greeting, Barnil asked Joshua excitedly, “Joshua. Do you still remember the Squirming Forest?”
“Of course,” Joshua answered a little impatiently. “A remnant left by the power of Kronos’s Ancient Dragon—but that’s not important. Just tell me, what have you guys found? Internet?”
There was suspicion in the warrior’s tone, but Barnil simply laughed confidently. “You don’t have to rush… the two are strongly linked. Joshua, do you also recall that Barbarossa attained some information about Giant God Warriors from the Will of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds?”
Everyone present nodded—that information was no secret to Legendary champions. The Northern Empire had even simply obtained the corpse of one of the Giant God Warriors for research, with some of the Void warships in the dockyard here being augmented by Giant God Warrior technology.
Having ensured that everyone understood, William took charge of explanations. “In one particular experiment with Ancient Dragon blood, both Barnil and I suddenly found that a part of the Giant God Warrior replica placed to the left of the laboratory was suddenly resonating with a powerful magnetic field. Curious about that phenomenon, Barbarossa and us two analyzed that part… And the result was like what I have said before.”
Then, both Barnil and William exclaimed simultaneously, “By tracing the trails of electric currents, we found a colossal net that connects all things and engulfs the entire world!”
“The net is hidden amidst the ionosphere at the top of the skies, breathing alongside the world’s mana cycle. It appeared to have been inserted into the world by the sages of the Glorious Era, and there was a certain accessory inside the Giant God Warrior’s body which purpose we don’t know about that could connect to that net. It just might have been the method humans in the Glorious Era controlled larger machinery…. In other words, after finding the huge net, we have undergone hundreds of tests to determine the function of that mana-powered net.”
“And?” Joshua asked straightforwardly, his tone sounding curious. “The net… what applications does it have?”
“Applications? There are simply too many… Be it distant communications or lowering energy consumption of teleportation across thin air, the network could do it all! As long as there is equipment that could receive signals stably, it has unlimited possibilities!”
At that, the two Legendary mages looked at each other and smiled, before saying rather proudly: “That’s why we contacted you.”
“The trees in the Squirming Forest possessed special organs that could sense and transmit electromagnetic waves. We discovered that the construct just has to be improved a little, and it would easily link up with that network… Although we have the seeds of Squirming Forests, the largest one now is precisely within your domain. We could work together and explore the network, and dig up any possibilities therein!”
Thanks to the two mages’ description, Joshua and the others mostly understood their intentions.
At present, the Skypiercing White Tower had fallen into a bottleneck in regards to the Mana Net, and what they could observe was limited to the network within the Eastern Plains’ reaches only. Hence, they must work together with other factions to determine the full extent of its efficacy—for that, Joshua and the Northern Empire may be the first, but would also naturally not be the last. Later, William and Barnil also plan to invite Vahina, Igor, the Nature’s Magister and others to research it collectively.
With multiple Legends working together, they would understand the Mana Net’s true usage.
But now, Joshua’s mind was fluctuating.
Could the appearance of the Internet—or Mana Net—was a change he caused as well?
It was certainly so once he thought about it. Helping the two Legendary mages in their search for the Ancient Dragon or taking the Squirming Forest back from the Abyss were compulsory conditions for that to happen. Furthermore, Joshua’s role was also undeniable with the awakening of the Will that resides within the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, so that it would provide the blueprints of the Giant God Warrior.
When all the conditions were met, the Mana Net—Internet left behind by the Glorious Era would in turn be discovered by Barnil and William.
As for the Mana Net, what could a global network that could store and exchange information be used for?
Joshua shrugged. The lips of the warrior who came from another galaxy curled up in a smile.
For that question, you’ve asked the right person.