Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
I know almost everything.
“I know almost everything.”
Joshua said what he thought without holding anything back, even before he could come up with an explanation for Karlis the Steel Python while facing the question ‘Yolanda’, Lord of Love and Death put to him. Standing within the Void, the warrior held Light with a single hand and nodded.
“Do you require assistance?” He asked, his tone solemn. “I have seen the seal that lies by the earth’s core, perhaps I could contribute.”
Joshua’s logical thinking had always been very simple and direct: since the Mycroft’s World Will intends to stand against the humans, he naturally would not show any pity or restraint—though he could not kill the Mother of all things as human out of various reasons, he would have no mental burdens when it came to reinforcing the seals that subjugated it, and might even glad to provide a mountain if bricks were needed.
As to whether the matter was ultimately right or wrong, it was not something he, a descendant who came a thousand years after the Glorious Era should worry about—it was what the Sage and the gods of bygone days should have considered.
Still, the warrior’s answer was clearly not within the expectations of the Goddess of Death. Her divine radiance that kept wafting incessantly from around her body stagnated for a moment in response to Joshua’s forthright reply, before recovering.
She had never seen a human of such attitude since the turn of the Starfall millennium.
“Thanks for your sincerity, Joshua. However, the gods have no need for assistance—we have our own plans.” The Goddess of Death spoke slowly after studying Joshua silently for a moment. Just as she spoke, the goddess’s elven incarnation used for communicating with humanoid creatures dispersed into infinite divine specks of light, assembling into the Withered Heart.
“You wield the Steel Strength, a power that belonged exclusively to the Mother Goddess and her kin in the last era…” a calm voice wafted from that Heart . “To avoid unintended changes, we hope you could stay away from the Infinite Horizon.”
Joshua nodded seriously, understanding the mood of the gods at the moment. Now was the vital juncture where they strengthened the seal over World Wills, and nothing unexpected must happen at all cost. As a being who wielded Steel Strength, the warrior’s presence might stimulate Mycroft the Steel Python, something the gods do not wish for whether it was benign or malignant.
That was why the Goddess of Death had especially split part of her power, to advise Joshua so that he keeps his distance from the Infinite Horizon.
Having heard the explanation, Joshua did not say a thing and simply turned to descend below the World Barrier and into Mycroft. In one brief instant, he broke through the Void, and returned to his world.
Meanwhile, beyond the World Barrier, the Withered Heart slowly throbbed in the Void, remaining where it was for some time, seemingly considering something as She stared at the direction where Joshua left.
Dozens of seconds later, after waves of divine strength unfurled, runes and faces containing a profound presence appeared in the Void. The Black Halo, the Bifurcated Eye—the Holy Symbols of the Seven Gods appeared behind the Withered Heart, staring silently toward the direction where Joshua left as well.
“He is a peculiarity,” the God of Might said, “He calmed strife, ending the squabbles within the continent.”
“The core of instability, a mind that could not be fathomed.” The God of Order shook His Head. “A powerful being in itself would destroy all existing Order.”
“He would bring revival and new choices for the world.” The God of Choice thought. “Other Legends could not achieve that.”
“But he’s no fitting leader. He is too simple-minded, unable to lead and assemble the forces of this world.” The God of Conservation sighed. “Truly a waste.”
“We should keep our eyes on him, though he is not the ‘Divine Awakener’ we need at the moment,” the God of Freedom said calmly, “In terms of attitude, Igor is a better choice—and yet Igor does not have the requirements, while there is a little chance for him.”
“This is no time for idle conversation.” The God of Life concluded. “The climax of the Great Mana Tide is at hand—time is short, we must handle the vengefulness of the Mother of All as soon as possible. Let us resume our task.”
The Holy Symbols ceased their observation and gradually disappeared from the Void, that power of theirs returning to the Infinite Horizon and stabilizing the fusing process between plane and world.
“His heart is welling with passion…” Yolanda, the Withered Heart, said softly; she was the last to vanish, “Just like ‘he’ was.”
“But do we really need a second ‘him’?”
The spirit that contained massive information flow rapidly dispersed as fragments with a sigh. Like its companions, the God of Death returned its split power to the Infinite Horizon and continued its work.
As for Joshua, who was unaware that he was being assessed by the Seven Gods, maintaining his exchange with the silent Steel Python, Karlis through Light.
In the instant the God of Love and Death appeared, the active Karlis had become quiet, making no sound as the warrior spoke with Yolanda. Joshua knew that it was not out of fear from being discovered—as the Will of another world, even the thousand-year invasion of Evil Gods could not kill it. Without any special acts, the Seven Gods could assuredly do nothing to it, which made its silence even more unusual.
—Could it have guessed that the cry was from the vengeful World Will, and that us, the Mycroft people had sealed it?
Joshua thought, sighing helplessly inside… If he were to be truthful, it was much harder to explain that to Karlis than fighting a Demon General.
Joshua could not help reminiscing his trip to Kronos and Stellaris—the problem there was solved by just wiping out the enemy in those two worlds. Be it Void Mother or Black Mist, or four to five other Legends, the process did not require him to ponder so strenuously no matter how difficult he was. In the end, he was no speaker.
He could just reveal all.
Unwilling to lie, Joshua simply could not hide the truth about the matter from Karlis. However, just as he was about to explain the conflict between the Mycroft World Will and the intelligent beings inhabiting its world, the silent Karlis suddenly broke the silence.
There was clear disbelief in Karlis’s voice. It was the first time Joshua heard the ever mild and calm Steel Python speaking with such a voice of extreme self-doubt. “Perhaps you won’t believe this, but I just felt a very familiar presence.”
“Since you have noticed it, I could only describe things as they stand.”
Though Joshua sighed in response, he was actually relieved inwardly. Given that it had already detected the presence of Mycroft’s Steel Python, he did not have to stay troubled. Hence, before Karlis spoke again, Joshua elaborated everything he knew about the Mother Goddess and World Will to Karlis.
Before Joshua could finish, the Steel Python clearly blanked out for a moment after learning such a monumental news, and shook its head regretfully after half a beat. “To actually fight against the Sage and the righteous… What is Mycroft thinking—could it have truly gone insane?”
Karlis’s criticism was rather objective, given that the Sage was an existence more profound than even World Wills. If Mycroft had abided by its role as Steel Python, Sage would certainly show it great respect as the Mother of All. On the other hand, if it wanted to reshape the ecosphere as if it had gone made… subjugating it was necessary.
Still, it was Joshua’s turn to be shocked. “You’re actually not enraged?”
“Why should I be?”
Karlis was rather puzzled, and reacted after blanking out for another moment.“You believed that I might be emotional because I am a Steel Python as well? That’s overthinking, Joshua—the difference between worlds is far greater than the difference between life. Though we are all known as Steel Pythons, we are fundamentally different beings.”
On the other side of the spiritual connection, Karlis shook its head in good humor. “Though I am not sure what happened, if Mycroft did plan to destroy civilization, it is a natural outcome for it to be sealed in return.”
In turn, Joshua could only be in awe that the relationship between Steel Pythons was much more unique than he imagined. Still, when he carefully thought about it, the differences between worlds is naturally greater than that between living things, be it from the aspect of size, energy concentration, number of races, population, civilization presence or progress… Those data are like human DNA and size, setting worlds apart.
“It is best for the Mycroft civilization to solve their quarrel with the World Will. While I am a little uncomfortable, that is merely because I fear the power that dared to act against a world.”
Then, instead of continuing, Karlis switched topics. “Now, it appears that the omen of a world’s destruction is nothing other than your movements as you sealed Mycroft once again… well, to continue where I have been interrupted—Joshua, I sensed a familiar presence from those gods a while ago.”
“What familiar presence?”
Joshua was flying swiftly toward the Main City of Moldavia; below him was the nightscape of the city brightly illuminated. However, sensing Karlis’s serious tone, he slowed down.
” Did you really not feel it, Joshua?” T he Steel Python appeared more weirded out than the warrior. “As a Successor of the Sage, could you not feel that distinct presence of the Sage from the gods?”
“The basis of their power is from the same source as the Sage’s!”
Wasn’t that something ordinary? Since They were all using the power of holy light… Wait.
Joshua had thought that Karlis was being dramatic: it was merely holy light, how could it be described as having the Sage’s presence and coming from the same source—would the Seven Gods Church not be disciples of the Sage himself?
But just as Joshua shook his head nonchalantly, he suddenly stopped and frowned. “That’s wrong… Holy light does belong exclusively to the Sage and his Apostles, and calling them his disciples would be correct.”
The more Joshua thought, the more things became clear. “It is neither magic nor aura, nor something Starfall civilization redeveloped… It is a legacy directly inherited by the Seven Gods from the Glorious Era, the widespread of holy light now is all a discreet contribution of the Seven Gods!”
If the Seven Gods did not pass down holy light, the Mycroft Continent would not have such a unique power, and in turn he would not have missed the Sage’s presence surrounding the Seven Gods… Due to the presence existing everywhere, thus becoming part and parcel of life, even Joshua would have a hard time to discover the uniqueness of holy light. Only a being like Karlis, dormant for a thousand years and awakened just recently, could notice it.
Nonetheless, Joshua did not continue the topic since Karlis was merely sensing a familiar presence and mentioning it to him in passing—not that Joshua had any reliable hypothesis in mind. After all, when he spoke to Zinsen last time, the deity had said that they did not know about their own origins, describing themselves as tools that were awakened by a predetermined time to preserve civilization.
Joshua could guess that civilization may have been beings jointly created by the Sage and gods who survived in the Glorious Era, and that the Seven Gods were originally Apostles beneath the Sage’s Seat.
At present, the night scenery of Moldavia as illuminated by its lights was visible. Scanning the city that belonged to him and studying the warm and pleasant night life of the citizens, Joshua slowed down so that his flight motion became undetectable. “Thanks for the warning you came specially to give today,” he told Karlis as he landed on his own manor. “With you keeping watching from the outside, it certainly provided us with many information we do not notice ourselves.”
“It’s a triviality. The main thing is that the destruction of the world could likely fit the conditions for the descent of the Evil God ‘Apocalypse’– I’m just reminding of the fact.”
From the other side of the dimensions, the Steel Python nodded lightly. “With the proximity of our two worlds, my own end would be at hand if yours came.”
“By the way,” just as Joshua was about to land on the top floor of the liege’s residence, Karlis suddenly spoke. “Joshua, I have another request from another world we discussed last time.”
Joshua stopped when he heard that.
“It said that the civilization it nurtured would always destroy itself for some unknown reason, and eternally unable to rise higher… It felt the signs of outside influence and suspect that it was something the Chaos did. It hopes that someone could examine it, and clear the Chaos from its body.”
But just as Karlis finished, the Steel Python noticed that Joshua, who appeared shocked initially by his world’s impending doom but not too emotional afterward now appeared spirited. He clenched both his fists, the might of his body rising notch by notch.
“You should have said that earlier,” Joshua could not help smiling after letting out a long breath. “Tell me, Karlis, about the specifics.”
Perhaps I really was born to slave away, he thought. The warrior genuinely believed that he was unsuitable for rest or a leisurely live—while a calm daily life would grant happiness, it was not what Joshua wanted. He has to do something profound from time to time to be satisfied…
But, so what? That was how he lived.
“Where will I be going? Who is the enemy? How many do I have to kill?
“When do I leave?”