Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Helm, Saluka. Familiar bastards.”
The atmosphere trembled from the man’s voice, jolting the Demon Generals that had taken a few steps back from their instinctive terror in their hearts. Shaking their head and waking up from their shock, both Helm and Saluka kept in mind that that was the best chance for them to defeat Joshua.
The two demons glanced at each other, seeing the resolve in each other’s eyes.
Thus, in the very next instant.
The battle began.
Cold light flickered. In the thousandth of one second, a dark specter broke through the atmosphere with divine speed. Turning its body into something that surpassed even ‘Thalam Mountain-Devouring Insect’ that could cut adamantite armor like a hot knife to butter, Saluke dashed at full power, embodying massive magical power and breaking the fragile space in the Bloodmoon Abyss, revealing the black Void that lay behind it. Around its body, blazing black energy turbulence drew veins of frightening lightning, pulverizing everything.
Meanwhile, another radiance shone as boundless energy cascaded wildly. Helm remained where it was to directly spread its true form: a ten-thousand-meter serpent with mountainous coils. Without hesitation, the demon elevated its full power and caused the colorless illumination rising from within its body to condense endlessly. Hence, energy that was the purest and most terrifying in the world that represented the utter destruction of a planet shot out from its maw, blasting the light of stars without end towards the broken body of the Steel giant.
The two Legendary demon generals—Saluka, King of Insectoid Demons and Helm, King of Beholders abandoned all past dispute and natural disgust of each other, and jointly assaulted that powerful enemy high above the Bloodmoon Abyss!
On the other hand, Joshua took a deep breath. He knew that they would launch a combined attack since that was the best choice and what he would do in their position.
Kanor, Black Dragon King, Dragon of the Nether Sea… There was a saying that soldiers burning with righteous anger would always triumph. Though the black dragon was one that was denied true victory, its callous and flawless melees against Joshua definitely hurt the warrior substantially. Nobody was more aware than Joshua himself of this current state—organs that regulated his body had been clawed out by the Black Dragon. As a result, regardless of how swift Steel Strength regeneration could be, the two Demon Generals would never leave any chance for him: their best chance to kill him was now.
That certainly would be the case if the battle was one against one or one against two, catching the warrior in unprecedented danger. Therefore, it was a pity since the demons made an error in judgment.
This was the Bloodmoon Abyss, Joshua’s domain.
And he never intended to only fight one in the very beginning.
Watching coldly as the two demons glanced at each other to ascertain their thoughts and mustered their power in attack, the warrior spat out a breath. Violent gale burst at once, drawing a wild tempest over the skies of the Bloodmoon Abyss while endless stone fragments and dust danced in waves of cascading sandstorms. Now, it was as if Joshua had become the center of the world, and all things moved for him.
It was then that Saluka’s internal alarm started to wail after having launched itself toward the warrior. However, despite sensing that something was extremely wrong and that a tremendous threat was building up, the Insectoid Demon General had no path of return, and was only able to keep charging.
Helm felt it too. It was as if some slumbering behemoth has awakened from its slumber, a holiness opening its long-closed eyes. At the same moment, a small luminous orb was happily bouncing around the Cocoon of Light at the heart of the Blood Moon. With a single jingle, it assimilated itself within.
Thus, Light awakened.
High above, the Blood Moon suddenly emitted a white luster, the incandescent white carrying a faint golden beam shrouding Joshua’s entire body. The air behind the Steel giant god hence ignited in boundless flames as circles of mysterious black-red patterns of light appeared. It resembled a demonic summon, filled with blasphemous runes of corrupted meaning, but now, those patterns of light slowly changed, a hint of sacredness surging in its core.
The Bloodmoon Abyss favored the warrior. It trusted all he did and gave him the support of its unshakable faith—in this very moment, his wishes were its wishes, just as its wishes would certainly be his wishes in return.
In fact, it was their wish.
The power from a world assembled, turbulent light spawning inside Joshua’s body. Instantly, his innards were repaired and he regained Steel Strength in less than a thousandth of a second. Thus, the Steel giant reappeared amidst the world in its most perfect form once again—donning strong silver armor while his fists surged with thick fiery illumination. Joshua walked out from the light with a calm and cold gaze, silently raising its right hand against Saluka that had turned completely into an Otherworld aberration, forming a knife with his hand and chopped down on it!
It was clearly a knifehand strike that was bearing down on the demon, and yet there was rumble akin to a volcanic eruption. The two collided with a thunderclap echoing across the entire Bloodmoon Abyss, although it only lasted for only an instant as the crash between the two Legends emptied hundreds of miles of air into vacuum. In the distance, a floating island that was struck by the ensuing raging gales was blown into dust and debris in the very next instant, leaving only a shadow in the eyes of others.
However, the two individuals that collided against each other appeared not to have left the center of the crash. In that battleground now engulfed in dazzling light and thunder, there were no signs of living activity. It was in that moment that Helm did not hesitate to unleash the ultimate spell ‘Star Blaze’ towards that center.
A burning light, the ultimate radiance that destroyed all things and made all color, senses, and direction meaningless turned into a ray that destroyed planets, causing vacuum to burn, distort, spreading destruction and deathly silence.
Even the thunder and radiance that shrouded the center of the battle were vaporized beneath the brush of that powerful ray, and the state battle was finally clear—shockingly, however, Joshua and Saluka did not separate after crashing into each other: Saluka’s huge horn had stabbed the warrior through the abdomen, just as the warrior’s knifehand cut apart the Insectoid Demon’s skull. However, while the demon struggled in its attempt to escape, the warrior’s three other hands held on to it tightly, even as the Demon General’s expression turned into one of terror and despair in the face of the oncoming Star Blaze. According to the plan it made with Helm, it was to immobilize the warrior as much as possible before using the momentum of the warrior’s counterblow to escape the Star Blaze.
Its plan was a success. Joshua never once moved half a step… albeit with it as well.
However, before the Star Blaze struck, the core by the warrior’s chest could be heard humming. Burning Steel boiling inside his body, surging tides of energy hence built into a storm within Joshua’s strength and boomed violently. Saluka, still caught tightly in its arms promptly felt—in immeasurable horror—the abundant might emanating from all around its body.
It was the monumental pressure, as if the core of a planet had utterly engulfed it.
Did the Black Dragon King really fight a monster of such power a while ago?
Be that as it may, Saluka did not have the time to think such things. With the clear sound of bones breaking and muscles spraining, Joshua’s arms began to tighten, and the Insectoid Demon General’s outer shell that imitated a Legendary aberration from Thalam began to shatter inch-by-inch, spraying fountains of green blood and body fluids that welled with energy into the air. Though its body was now misshapen, Saluka did not die, but was lost all ability to resist for the moment—and it was then that Joshua stopped ’embracing it’, relaxing his grip and throwing the broken Saluka at the direction of the Star Blaze.
Joshua then looked up, keeping his eyes ahead even as the indescribable ray shone upon the warrior’s face, drawing long shadows over his distinct facial features and make him appear even more fearsome.
“You’ve used that against me once before—it’s not powerful enough,” Joshua said softly. This was the first battle against demon generals after his excursion into the Sixth Abyss. Facing the gamma ray cannon that would destroy all things, the warrior simply parted his lips and revealed his sparkling white teeth beneath in a pleased smile.
“But I see improvements this time.”
The blazing white light that came striking at him consumed all things—dust, atmosphere, isles, thunder, plasma, Saluka before surging towards its final target: Joshua, who never moved an inch from where he was. To be precise, however, he actually moved his four arms, holding them before his chest as an unparalleled magnetic field swirled around his body.
Magnetic fields could not stop gamma rays, but Joshua never planned to stop the blast in the first place. The magnetic field so powerful that it could levitate all steel grains in deserts was merely a sign that the warrior was no longer suppressing his ‘normal state’ of ability… After extensive adjustments, from the Ancient Dragon of Kronos to the many Steel Strength knowledge attained from the secret text of the Earth Temple, Joshua had raised his Steel Strength assimilation rate to eighty-five person.
At present, with his own mass alone, he could bend light, cause all rocky layers in the Northern Ural Plains to fly high above, and break an abyss into the ground. Indeed, his true form was so tough that, apart from the Black Dragon King’s negative energy that nullified fusion energy and crumbled all things into fundamental particles, it was basically indestructible.
Or basically, gamma ray cannons of Helm’s level would not destroy it.
The ray of destruction unfurled toward the warrior, with everything having happened in the time of less than a second where Helm opened its maw, readied itself and fired. Its Star Blaze was already unleashed the moment the Beholder General noticed that Saluka was defeated, the unimaginable power of the ray turning the entire world into black and white, consuming everything. In the blink of an eye, the ray drowned Saluka even as the Insectoid Demon rapidly regenerated, before swallowing the motionless Joshua entirely.
Water vapors in the air vanished, while inestimable hydroxides were incinerated. Stony islands in the distant melted slowly from the spreading heat even as magmas condensed into spheres that wafted around. The light over Helm’s body dimmed for an instant before shining again, looking nervously at the direction it unleashed its attack.
For that spot was filled with thunder, with incandescent oceans of particles stirring, resembling the sight of Heat Death of the Universe.
Where Helm’s augmented Star Blaze passed, the dimensions were broken into large sheets of fissures. Barriers between world and Void was devastated over and over again even as the Blaze unfurled incessantly into the distance. Since there was no air, there was no sound, and in that complete silence more frightening than death, unease and terror rose within the demon’s heart.
And then, amidst the endless radiance.
A foot strode out.
It was a substance—perhaps one the strongest in the universe, forge from Steel after planets were incinerated. Its surface was golden red, spreading inconceivable heat toward its surroundings and stirring seas of plasma.
Then, another foot strode out. Hence, the Steel body that was of such golden-red hue it appeared to be overloaded appeared before the Demon General’s eyes. It was simple yet intimidating, with rugged protrusions over all its body parts as if born for the slaughter and the fight.
The Steel giant appeared in this world once again. There was no hint of damage across its entire body, the Star Blaze that could destroy all things only reddening its skin with no traces of melting.
Helm had improved, but Joshua improved faster.
The giant whose mass now reached an unprecedented two million and seven hundred thousand tons lowered his head and stared fixedly at the colossal serpent beneath him.
Helm and Joshua stared at each other, the Steel giant’s gaze flashing with a light of silver and gold combined, cold and unemotional… There was neither belittling or reverence, and the Beholder General know that the head was no vital of the giants, and that it was useless to destroy it. As for whether the light glinting in the warrior’s eyes was due to thought or pure energy radiances, it simply did not know.
‘His… Where are its vitals? Does it even have a weakness? Can it really be destroyed, be killed? Those runes behind its back really resembled the King’s… Could it be that it’s an Abyssal Liege as well?’
Unknown. It was all unknown. Whether there was a chance of winning or escape, the path to the future was dark like the Abyss itself.
Endless thoughts swirled in Helm’s mind. The demon was completely unable to see an inch into the giant—everything about it, from thought, weakness to behavior were incomprehensible for it, an indescribable, dark unknown. Therefore, an irrepressible fear welled in the Demon General’s mined eye, the sensation named despair spreading in its head.
It wanted to kneel, to submit its shuddering surrender just like how it swore its loyalty to Goliath the Demon King on bended knee. Helm, however, did not so—not because it was in its ten-thousand-meter serpent form, but because it did not want to, it could not.
Gritting its razor-sharp teeth and dragging itself away from helpless despair, Helm slowly straightened its serpentine body. It cannot surrender for it was a failure in the first place, and would not kneeling once again mean that it was devoid of honor even in death? What was more, it was carrying out the Demon King’s orders, entrusted with the tremendous duty to search for Creation essences in Mycroft.
It carried all hope of Sixth Abyss demons.
That is why it would never take half a step back.