Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As Joshua landed on the top floor of the liege’s residence quietly with a slight frown, two figures that were already waiting for him there shuddered a little, before promptly going to welcome him.
“Ying, Ling? What is it?”
At present, Joshua was thinking about the circumstances surrounding the world Karlis had requested him to aid. However, he could not help loosening his grip when he saw both his weapons going to him, loosening his grip over the struggling Light that jingled joyfully in turn as if escaping death, vanishing after scampering in the air for a while, apparently to look for Black.
As for the two figures—Ying and Ling, they both glanced at each other in response to Joshua’s question before Ying spoke first while scratching her head.
“Supper is ready, but there is something else—here, Master, a letter that had just arrived.”
When the girl who held a doubtful expression handed him with a letter which was decorated rather elegantly, Ling spoke as well, his arms folded across his chest, “The letter was passed to me by a messenger from the far south, but it bears the signet from the eastern coast, and seemed to carry considerable power… Although Master did say before that we could open any letter beforehand and act over it when you return, but it’s better if you open it.”
Though Ling spoke with genteel, there was a hint of discomfort, and Joshua quickly noticed that his fingers and sleeve had the signs of burning… clearly, he had a little trouble when he opened the letter.
“I did say you guys need better training. Look at Zero-Three—her ability improved so rapidly that even archbishop Artanis had to admit the fact. Even if he was fully prepared, he won’t be able to defeat her now.”
Joshua shook his head and reached out to pat Ling on his shoulder, pouring a mild shred of Steel Strength into his body and healing those small wounds. While he spoke, he focused his gaze to see through the letter. “You two possess psionic bodies and fine depth, and you might become Gold or Supreme in years to come if you train well. And in the case that Soul-Substance Transition could be thoroughly research… Eh? It’s from the Nature’s Magister and another unknown Legendary champion?”
With just a glimpse, Joshua swiftly picked up the power of two Legendary champions in the small envelope. Despite being just a tiny bit of their powers, it could still hurt anyone who tried to open it.
The only thing that made Joshua felt curious was why would they send a letter… Although the Far South had yet to fully recover from their wounds from war, they should have popularized magical communications equipment as well—primitive contact methods like sending letters should have been ousted early on.
‘Perhaps out of gravity of the situation?’ Joshua thought, and kept reading the letter from outside the envelope.
“Alright. Looks like Fina had been working hard since it’s settled so quickly.”
After half a beat, the warrior put down the letter thoughtfully before sighing. “She’s really something, being able to withstand such concentrated Ancient Dragon Blood.”
“Master, what’s written in the letter?”
In a corner, Ying who tried to slip behind Joshua for a peek when the warrior opened it was left in gloom—Joshua never did open the envelope, instead staring through and reading the contents directly.
On the other hand, Ling appeared nonchalant, although he did stare at the letter curiously as well.
“It’s Hill and Fina’s wedding,” Joshua explained summarily, brandishing the envelope. “Since Hill would officially inherit the title of his elders after the ceremony and lead a considerably influential elven tribe, which is why the Nature’s Magister and the current Empress would preside over the ceremony.”
The elven tribes were rather united. All elven cities and villages in the far southern forests were all spread out with the Mother Lifetree at its center, while the many tribes also integrated tightly around the Elven Court. The elves whose population were lower than humans were aware that they would be assimilated utterly if they did not unite themselves, just as the grasslands elves and half-elves had been. While that was not a bad thing for a world, it was not so for a race. To preserve their own culture and bloodline independence, it had been had on the elves for the last millennium.
According to what Joshua know about elven culture, elven monarchs were similar to leaders of larger tribes. Other tribes were all family members, and it was customary for them to host wedding and funerals for them.
“I’m invited… It’s alright to take a look in the Far South, since it doesn’t clash with the time Karlis had mentioned.”
Joshua could tell that there was hidden meaning behind the letter. The Nature’s Magister invitation to the Far South was definitely not only to attend Hill’s wedding—there is certainly something they wanted to discuss with him, a Legendary champion, which was why such a formal invitation was delivered. Moreover, the matter must be one that could not be elucidated over communications equipment, and he must be present for things to be clear.
“Ying, draft a reply for me, saying that I’m accepting the invitation.”
Joshua made his choice once he ascertained that there was no clash in schedule, putting the letter which had been removed of any sealing forces. “You two will be going with me as well,” he muttered.
He smiled as both Ying and Ling whopped in response, but the smile soon vanished as he pondered.
“The world Karlis mentioned isn’t too far from Mycroft.”
At the moment, the warrior was still remembering the information the Steel Python told him regarding another world that required aid—he had an inexplicable doubt about most of the details.
According to Karlis, the world which World Will have requested aid was just a little further than the Sixth Abyss from Mycroft, and within the detection range of the Void-Star Observatory. However, in the centuries the Observatory had watched the stars, it never picked up that living world. It was either a dereliction on part of the observers, or that world was certainly unusual—there was no explanation otherwise.
Another factor could be the enemy’s identity… Karlis was suspicious as well, saying that the world appeared to have no presence of Chaos even as the civilizations upon it repeatedly revive and destroy themselves and was simply atypical. It suggested that Joshua take a look himself and determine the actual situation, which the warrior agreed. After all, after encountering the Dark Mist, Joshua realized that not all enemies of civilization were of the Chaos—they could be of Order.
The last was an obscure hint from Karlis.
“That world is really small… unlike Mycroft and I, whose worlds contain several continents and oceans, it is just a little larger than a demiplane, a rare lesser world.”
Then, the Steel Python’s words began to turn fuzzy, its link being affected by the Mana Tide and about to be severed. Even so, Karlis appeared to be thinking how to bid its leave, and only spoke after a while. “You should be going in three months. Joshua, please make the appropriate preparations…”
‘What preparations?’ Joshua could not come up with any after more than half a day, and simply ignored it—all preparations were ultimately to wipe out the enemy, and he only needed to do what he always did.
Beside him, Ying had already unsealed the letter Joshua passed to her while Ling looked on. I know the Nature’s Magister—she is that big sister who went to the Great Ajax Volcano, right? And is the other Elven Queen another Legendary champion? Why wouldn’t we know about it before…”
“Lady Galanoud would definitely appreciate that title.”
‘A big sister who is seven or eight times his age… ‘ Joshua grinned, shaking his head at the thought. “That’s normal—the world of Mycroft has a complete path of Extraordinary Legacy. The known Legends would only be the few famous ones.”
“As a huge race, it is impossible for the elves to have just one Nature’s Magister. The leaders of the Court across generations would all certainly be Legendary champions, and they wouldn’t be fighting from the frontline after they assumed the title.”
Moreover, it was more or less the same case for other factions. Even the Northern Empire had a Supreme-tier mage who could ascend at any given moment, apart from their renowned Emperor. In the Eastern Plains—Barbarossa of the Skypiercing White Tower and the sage Vahina notwithstanding—there was another unknown Legendary champion presiding over the ancient and dormant Council of Seven.
There were many Supreme-tier champions in the various West Mountain kingdoms as well, but since they were mostly rulers living in seclusion, none would know if there were Legends amongst them. Be that as it may, the current Sword Saint and the Mind Lord William were natives of the West Mountains, while the divine dwarven craftsman was also stationed in that region—all of them have their own successors, and the depth of Legends.
Joshua was aware that the reason Legendary champions were rare and only appeared one after another now was due to environmental issues. In the past life, the world of Mycroft had been essentially hostile, the damage from the Great Mana Tide far severe than any benefit it brought. The Abyss, the Pentashade dragons and the various cultist factions had ran everyone on the continent ragged, and that was not the case for this continuity.
One example was the Seven Gods Church: Igor did not sacrifice himself to keep the World Flame burning. Then, having the guidance of such a Legend, the Church itself did not fell to the same situation of being led by a successor who could not meet the demands, and Roland would not have to deliberately open Abyssal Gates to prolong the World Flame.
“Come to think of it, the world of Mycroft really plays its cards close to chest. As expected of heirs of the Glorious Era, a lame lion is a lion nonetheless…”
Joshua felt an inward jolt when he made the calculations in his mind. The Legendary champions he had saved in the open were more than a dozen, and when subterranean races and nonhumans who could become Legends in the future were counted as well, there would be more than thirty of them!
Thirty Legends! Even though almost half of them are would-be champions, the rest—provided they work together—would not find venturing into the Abyss difficult. A case in point is the Sixth Abyss: one deity-class Abyssal Liege and five more Demon Generals were already an extremely frightening force, and would be unequalled if the Three Dragon Kings were counted as well. And yet, when that force was besieged with Legendary champions twice their numbers, they might disperse off into the depths of the Multiverse while sobbing… and they had yet to take other deities into account.
Naturally, Joshua knew that it was not that easy to get Legendary champions to work together, and there had been considerable numbers of newborn Demon Generals in Goliath’s forces before. One of them was that Heart Devourer whose name Joshua had very much forgotten, for better or worse, the world of Mycroft had divided and weakened itself through civil strife, even as the enemy strengthened without stopping. That was the true reason calamity befell them.
However, Joshua believed that with the change he brought, the number of Legendary champions in the future would not be less than it was in the preexistence.
Meanwhile, the Nissia Snow Mountain, the main faculty of the Winter Fort Academy.
On one of the cliffs of the mountain itself, a black-haired Drakonid girl was lying down amidst the snow, staring at the moon between the cracks of the clouds.
The silver-blue moonlight descended like satin, refracted by the snow of the mountain and turning into rays of dazzling halation. Lisa stared at the moonlight that was distinct from her homeworld’s, her gaze flickering as if reminiscing about the past.
“What, Lisa? Homesick?”
The balrog’s voice wafted from her spirit, asking after her when it sensed that Lisa’s mood was not as calm as she appeared to be.
“It’s nothing, Mister Syndicate… Just a little lonely.”
Sighing softly, the Drakonid girl ignored the chilliness of the ice around her. “Although everyone in the academy is treating me just fine,” she said faintly, “none of them are willing to become my friend.”
“I think it’s more like they don’t dare to be than they are unwilling.”
Syndicate pointed out Lisa’s issue rather subjectively. “Your ability is far beyond those of your peers, and who would dare to befriend someone of a completely different level? And those with similar ability would only see you as competition, just like my lord’s other apprentices.”
“Still aren’t you quite famous on the forum? You have quite a few admirers there—don’t you want to give a few replies?”
“Weren’t you the one who made all those posts, Mister Syndicate? And you even uploaded my photographs without my permission too!” Lisa protested, a slight blush appearing over her face. “I haven’t even learned how to make a post—if any friends were made, those are yours, not mine!”
“Stupid.” Syndicate shook its head contemptuously. “A fellow like you who keeps climbing to the mountaintop to see the moon will never make a friend your entire life.”
“Actually, it’s not very important whether I have friends…” Lisa smiled in return. “I have Mister Syndicate and that’s enough! I’m also used to being alone since that’s how I lived all along!”
The balrog that had been puffing itself became quiet at once, but the Drakonid girl did not seem to notice as her thoughts were directed to the future instead. “I’ll look for Master Joshua in a few days. Your soul should have mostly recovered and could live independently from my body… When that happens, we can become friends!”
“Fool…” Syndicate could only mutter a single-worded reply, unsure how to respond toward the Drakonid girl’s simple-mindedness.
In the meantime, the cliff returned to silence. However, just as the Drakonid girl watched the moon and moved the lightning flow in her own body while sleep almost overcome her, Lisa and Syndicate suddenly sensed waves after waves of huge tremors.
“What’s that sound?”
Lisa rose from the pile of snow nimbly, her eyes widened as she looked toward the direction of the tremors. Syndicate vigilantly scanned their surroundings as well, observing the direction where the unusual sound came from.
Then, they both saw that colossal silhouette of Steel that appeared between the canyons amidst the distinct sound of lightning flow. It seemed to be strolling, and started to go toward the Drakonid girl when it noticed her.