Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
What was Joshua as a person to friends and companions?
There may be thousands of different responses to question, but each undoubtedly would share one common ground: he puts them at ease.
Be it his weapons grumbling complaints or the reverence and praises of his subjects, there was incomparable ease of mind hidden beneath those complaints. Joshua’s existence was as if a lofty mountain—worrying about turbulences was unnecessary as long as he was there, and though he appeared high and mighty he was in truth, filled with warmth. In Moldavia, nobody would speak ill of their liege, not merely because of their liege’s own power, but because there was definitely had nothing tarnishing about Joshua.
How Joshua was as a friend and comrade was even less worth elaborating. He advocated Order, dedicated himself to duty, and though he would not simply make promises, he would put words to action. There was nothing more calming than fight alongside such a person.
That said, what was Joshua to his foes?
There was only one word for it: monster.
Galvanizing and straightening its body, Helm neither retreated nor shriveled. It looked up toward the sky, at the unscathed giant, its body flickering with a thread of light that resembled a rune.
What other answer was there? Any being standing before the warrior would silently agree with such an answer: A Steel body nigh indestructible, unthinkable monster strength that moves mountains, regeneration comparable to undying aberrations, typical blows that would level hills and cities… Even in long-range battles, Joshua could still use the winds from his punches or his nuclear fusion flames. There was even less to speak off in close-range encounters—that was the worst choice.
A point in case, and the most recent being that fought him, Saluka itself was no weakling. The Insectoid Demon that had mastered transformation into diverse forms and adopted a multitude of combat styles had proved to be troubling for man. However, it was simply subjugated when it chose to go in a direct melee against Joshua, without the power to retaliate at all. Now, its incinerated body was still dropping to the unobservable bottom of the Bloodmoon Abyss—in one exchange, every bone in its body was shattered, its body completely deformed.
But was Joshua truly peerless? Helm did not think so, and was instead convinced that even if its own battle style and attacks were completely suppressed by the warrior, it would never believe that the Steel giant is unparalleled.
Joshua has weaknesses and can be destroyed. Kanor the Black Dragon King’s effective assault was proof, while Saluka’s ambush also broke a layer of armor apart. Even if the Steel Giant appeared invincible it was in fact, destructible. His and the Dragon King’s melee has tore each other to pieces, which was enough to prove that his body structure had various vulnerabilities, which Helm had noted down in turn.
But it was not powerful enough.
The Steel giant’s reflexes in short distances was quick, but would have a hard time in evading blows from long to medium distances due to its excessive mass, although there is difficulty in ambushing him given the movements of gravity wave that spread at lightspeed. Saluka’s successful attack on the warrior was not due to his deliberate exposure of himself so that he could prepare a counterattack, but he definitely could not evade it, which is why he defended before moving for a counter… In sheer speed, the giant is disadvantage.
But the demon was not powerful enough.
At the moment, the warrior appears to not possess any resistance against special attacks. His adaptability to normal energy and physical attacks were definitely unparalleled, but was it the same against special seals, curse of spiritual strikes? Indeed, there was no need to face such an unrivalled giant god in the battlefield just to defeat it—it could simply retreat to the Abyss, prepare a grand-scale soul sacrificing curse to weaken it and make thing hard for him to fight.
But Helm was not powerful enough.
Yes, not powerful enough.
Helm, having determined some of the weaker constructs in Joshua’s body, analyzed that the warrior was not agile enough and inferred that the Steel giant has no immunity against some special attacks—but so what? There was simply no way it could exploit those flaws, and the colossal could only nervously grit its teeth! Compare to a one-on-one fight, Helm was more adept at subjugating a world singled-handedly. Its attack could scorch half a continent, but remained useless against certain champions.
Its eyes see all, but could not attack the enemy’s weakness or exploit its flaws, much less granting it an opening to attack from those aspects. As the warrior was facing it, Helm had no chance at all.
In the skies, Joshua’s had mostly cooled down, and began to head toward the colossal skies. Though he did not move quickly, the emanating pressure could compare to the heavens, if it ever turned into oceans and crashed down.
He was advancing, and no one could stop him.
Searing gales struck the serpent’s body from front and back, causing the energy circuits flashing upon the Demon General’s skin to hum as the airflow continued to unfurl around him. Joshua looked on as Joshua walked within the fiery like, its heart cold, but finally resolved itself. The pairs of snake eyes on its gaze that had been closed opened, flickering in different lights: dull and bright, searing and ice-cold, lively and deathly… Hence, millions of different illuminations began to surge around the serpent, acceleration so that it became an assemblage of light.
“Goliath, Abyssal Liege, my king.”
Helm mouthed in ancient demonic words, as the heated gases streaming from its maw ignited the surrounding air, cascading around its surroundings.
“I fear not for my fate in battle nor torment and anguish. I shall serve and toil for my race eternally with rest, minding not the fall into eternal damnation. But I regret one thing, that my race’s hope had broken my hands, leaving me with no hope.”
Helm recalled the moment when it was defeated by Goliath so completely, and yet was not killed as is tradition in demonic battles, its life spared instead. Though it had yet to have ascended as the Demon of Gluttony, Goliath never once spared the fallen Helm a glance, and neither its words did not enrage the Beholder Demon, convincing it to become a willing follower instead.
“The Sixth Abyss is too small, Helm. I shall conquer other worlds and take all they have that I want, be it Flame, soul or the hope to revive the Sixth Abyss, I would not stay may hand.”
“Sparing your life isn’t out of benevolence. There are millions of worlds out there and I could not invade each by myself—I need a vanguard, and you’re a fitting choice.”
The Demon King had stamped the giant serpent’s head into the mud as it spoke in that day long past. Its voice was hostile and every move revealed belittling of Helm, but it was a natural right for victors in demonic battle.
And yet that word, ‘hope’, caused Helm to be blank out slightly.
Hope? What a beautiful and unbelievable thing. Since when do demons need such things, and when would they have such things? That stupid demon was definitely victorious against itself, but does it really believe itself capable of reviving the Abyss? It was extreme stupidity, and extreme madness.
Heh, interesting fellow.
In the skies, Joshua was still moving unhurriedly. The Steel giant’s joints were still reddened—while Helm’s Star Blaze did not wound the warrior visibly, it definitely slowed him.
The Demon General noticed that, but still could not find a possibility of defeating it.
Yes, it had no chance, and not a chance out of ten million for winning. In fact, it was more likely that the Black Dragon King would rise from the dead, for Saluka to recover from its wounds and for them to besiege him as a trio, than for Helm win in a single fight against the Steel giant.
However, not all things should be acted upon solely with the presence of ‘chance’.
As Joshua’s pace accelerated, the Star Blaze became less effective against him. But as the light around Helm’s body brightened, the thousands of energies that were of different types, elements and aspects gathering over the giant serpent’s body, and it suddenly whirled itself into a colossal halo. The Demon General gave up on its serpentine flesh form turning its own Legendary body in a pure halo energy construct, with infinite specks of different colors moving inside it. They kept accelerating, and turned into rapidly whirling rays in seconds, while Helm became an energy halo of fluctuating luminosity. Space itself broke due to the halo’s tremors, world shards breaking and falling around it as if myriad-colored crystals.
There was nothing else it could do.
In the very next second, the ray that Helm turned into rose into the air, lunging at Joshua amidst the warrior’s stunned look. It had turned into light, an assemblage of pure energy—its speed was that of light, and there is nothing that could stop it.
Even in a battle where defeat was fated, Helm would still act, to grab the near-zero chance for victory.
Such was the ‘madness’ and ‘stupidity’ of demons.
The halo of light that the Demon General turned into whirled rapidly and advanced at lightspeed, shining in dazzling radiance that illuminated half of the Bloodmoon Abyss. Endless colors gathered into whiteness, but that whiteness was not pure, warm white, but one of indescribable, burning Chaos. It dove toward Joshua, as if wanting to crash into him directly.
It was about to succeed. All of it happened in 16.67 microseconds, meaning that five kilometers—the distance between Helm and Joshua—was covered by Joshua. No creature could react in such a brief moment, it was an attack that would definitely hit.
But four hands reached out, silver radiance mildly flashing to form an invisible barrier, setting it between the charging halo and Joshua.
Radiance burst, the entire Bloodmoon Abyss seemingly illuminated. All light coming from the Blood Moon was hence shrouded, but Helm was not left astonished by the sight.
It still could not react to the fact that it was blocked.
The warrior had stared at the halo that Helm had turned into, and though unable to understand what it was trying since it was such a brief moment, any attack that required a Legendary champion to abandon its own form cannot be underestimated. That was why Joshua applied its most prudent defense to withstand it, with Steel Strength assembling into countless crystal bodies with absolute smooth surfaces. Any light nor energy that entered the vapor-form crystal constructs would be refracted and diverted, completely unable to hurt him.
And the reason he reacted so quickly was not because the warrior’s reflexes had exceeded lightspeed, but because he had been prepared. After his defeat by Pope Igor, Joshua had always been thinking about how it should fight against the incarnation of light. Even if he had not come up with anything that could counter the inconceivable ability to alter light speed, he had strategized against all ordinary attacks of light. That coincidentally includes Helm’s Star Blaze, and that charging attack by turning itself into a halo was no exception.
In the instant it had changed into halo form, Joshua did not hesitate, assuming a defensive posture. It was no instinct, but a pre-judged reaction from rich experience that saw through every move of the Demon General, just like he did now.
“That’s the spirit.”
Giving a discreet praise for courage, Joshua did not spare time for nonsense. Silver light of flames brightened by his arms and accelerated without stopping, shaping into a chainsaw ray. The warrior admired Helm’s decisive attack, but did not intend to understand its intent. Gathering Steel Strength and energy waves that could shatter mountains, he would split apart the Demon General’s body of light that remained accelerating, to completely severe all of its hopes and chances.
But suddenly, a dull star shone from the bottom of the dark and silent bottom of the Abyss.
The Bloodmoon Abyss was a ruined world, but before its destruction, entire continents floated in the air, with any detached boulders levitating in the skies before absorbed by other islands. Thousands of different races and civilizations flourished upon those islands, but every single one of them held great reverence toward the bottom of the world.
They claimed that it was the edge where all things go to die, that it was a dark, bottomless abyss. None had gone there, none knew if there was an end—but now, a dim star was rapidly rising from the Abyss vertically in a gray pillar of light. It pierced all darkness and gave the black world a little dye, and emanated unparalleled might like a word. In that instant, even Joshua could not help from being a little distracted. However, Helm did not attack with that opportunity, being both incapable and distracted.
In an instant, they saw what that dot of light was.
It was Saluka, the Insectoid Demon General.
Swiftly ascending while bellowing angrily and inhumanly, Saluka had mostly regenerated its body, turning into another creature with streamlined form. It was heading into the skies, throwing light behind itself as air burned and thundered behind its back. It was maimed, but not without the ability to fight—the Insectoid Demon General yearned dearly to return to the battlefield.
‘Star’ rapidly enlarged and struct Joshua. It was not that the warrior could not react, but he simply could not divert its efforts to counter Saluka as it grappled against Helm at full power. Everything happened in the thousandth of a second, the whirling ray visibly finally breaking Joshua’s barrier and crashing into his chest, while the Insectoid Demon General that struck from the warrior’s back directly also turned into a bizarre squid-like form, latching on the Steel giant’s four arms tightly and preventing him from countering.
In the ten-thousandth of a second, a supernova shone in the Bloodmoon Abyss.