Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Searching for a body?
Joshua blinked, first sliding a glance at the world of Simboa before turning to the Steel Python. “What you mean to say is that you can’t return inside the world?”
“Yes,” Simboa the Steel Python replied, “We are the wills and souls of worlds, and worlds are our body. A thousand years ago, I who had slumbered was suddenly jerked out of the world by a power, wandering the Void from that day forth, unable to return.
“It is hence fortunate that the Void at the center of the vortex is unusually calm. My consciousness hence could still maintain its form instead of being blown part by Dimensional Turbulence.”
‘Tsk, isn’t that just an out of body experience? ‘ Joshua clucked in his mind. ‘ How to return a soul to a world? This isn’t really… something I’m good at.’
How should he go about returning a World Will into its own body? Joshua’s train of thought was to knock a hole into the World Barrier and let it enter, which wasn’t an issue for him. That, however, had a rather similar tone to when demons open Abyssal doorways for invasion. What was more, Simboa could be kicked out again even on reentry, which leads to more loss than gains.
‘No way.’ Joshua refuted the very first solution he thought of. After a moment of calm consideration, he turned to Karlis, who had been with him all along.
“Karlis, have you heard of such a situation before?” He asked.
“No,” Karlis replied quickly, “I’ve never experienced such a thing. As for you, the champions of your world had labored so much before Mycroft the Steel Python could be sealed… If it could have been chased off easily, why not do that?”
Karlis was not aware of the truth that Mycroft had been corrupted by Chaos, merely believing that its fellow World Will had simply fallen into discord against its own civilization. In response, Joshua nodded, gesturing that he understood.
“A World Will could only seek the aid of others of its kind after being chased out of its home… Looks like it is actually at a loss.” The warrior told Simboa after some more thought. “If that’s the case, there is only one solution: I will descend upon that world, and see what circumstances inside the world caused you to separate from your world.”
“That is what I originally intend.”
The colossal Steel Python nodded lightly in the Void, soon turning formless, leaving only its spirit that kept communicating with Joshua. “Since I was yanked out of my own body when I slumbered, I can’t give you much information… However, Foreigner of another world, do you know what actually happened to the Void around here?”
Simboa’s tone remained calm, but what it said made Joshua and Karlis look at each other in dismay in their spirit link. “There were still many worlds around here before I slumbered, but all that was left is the vortex now.”
“Do you know what actually happened?”
Neither warrior nor Steel Python could answer Simboa’s question. It was after a brief silence that they asked, “…Do you not know when the vortex formed?”
“And you don’t know why you are at the center of the vortex either?”
“No… I merely realized that I have been kicked out of my world when I awakened, while the Void around me had become like this… Until now, I don’t understand what happened.”
Though Simboa’s words remained calm, both Joshua and Karlis understood at once that the Steel Python before them was completely different from the other wiser and more knowledgeable ones of its own kind… This particular specimen was a dullard and slow on the uptake! It was calm merely because it was nonchalant and had not ascertained the situation it was in!
Still, Joshua realized that the silly world has its silly bliss as he frowned, looking at the Void vortex surrounding them. If there were still many worlds here a thousand years ago, it is very likely that only the ignorant world of Simboa was left in these parts of the dimensional region, along with those substantial Steel Shards.
If he was being truthful, Joshua strongly suspected that the energy vortex and Steel Shards that were so unbelievably vast concentrated and vast were the remains of those world that existed until a thousand years ago: the sector they had traveled past and witness was not some natural Void trap, but the grave of countless worlds! Before the advent of the Great Mana Tide, it would only swirl calmly, but after that, it would embody even more energy with its special construct, forming the grand vortex it was today!
Leaving Simboa, the one surviving world on its last breaths in the eye of the vortex.
It was an inference that had a great chance of being valid, which in turn might prove the hypothesis Joshua, Barbarossa, and the others came up with… however, Joshua did not intend to tell Simboa about that since it appeared not to mind.
“Then how should I descend?” Joshua asked. “Do we open a hole to enter? I must warn you that it is quite crude a move…”
“No, there isn’t a need for that.” Simboa cut the warrior short slowly and calmly—or, as Joshua realized now, was unemotional simple-mindedness. “While I have been chased out my own body, I still have enough power to get you inside… Still, Foreigner, your power is truly excessive.”
Simboa appeared to be sizing Joshua up even as it spoke. “While I do not know what actually happened in my body, it remained that I’m still a small world a thousand years ago. The abrupt presence as powerful as yours would very likely cause a series of chain reactions.”
“The balance of energy would be upset; the four seasons would lose harmony. Even your mass and your energy could cause tidal waves across the oceans… The fragile balance is my body might not withstand even one full power blow from your hand.”
At those words, Simboa shook its head. “Most importantly, I am unlike those high-energy worlds—there isn’t abundant energy that you could use. One breathing cycle of yours might shave a portion of the entire continent’s wafting mana: it is an inconceivable destruction.”
“Then how should I aid you?” Joshua had prepared himself from the start. Small worlds were definitely fragile, just like demiplanes such as Fairyland. If the Four Fairy Queens did not maintain the balance there, a Supreme would have made a mess of the energy cycles across their entire realm.
There were demanding conditions for the birth and living of superior lifeforms. Planes where mana was insufficient would never see the birth of any such specimens since their single breath or lift of their hand may absorb the energy tens of thousands of people need for survival.
“I shall give you a fragment of myself—a reward in advance.”
While he was a little dull, Simboa had definitely decided on that matter early on. His handling was considerably swift as well: as he spoke, a Steel Shard that flickered in purple-green light appeared before Joshua out of thin air, which the warrior extended his hand to grasp.
He could still hear the Steel Python’s voice. “I will place your souls into my body, and enter a lifeform that fits the requirements. Then, with this Steel Shard, you shall attain enough power… I believe that it should be enough to solve any trouble.”
“If push comes to solve, you may summon your true form. I would accept anything as long as there was no world-ending destruction.”
“Possession? I don’t have that much soul…”
Joshua felt the power of the Steel Shard as he clenched upon it. It was power a million times superior than that of the Steel Particles revolving inside the vortex: life, form, soul, and will. Any who held that Shard would attain almost longevity and physicality that last almost internally, psionic ability to communicate with the mind, immunity from illusion as well as the Authority to directly communicate with Steel Pythons.
There was no question that Simboa was giving its all. After all, the Steel Shards that Karlis, Illgner and Stellaris gave him before were far less abundantly powered like this piece.
Indeed, any who held this particular Shard would directly become superhuman in body and soul. Even so, it was chagrining that the singular path Joshua himself chose had mostly melded his soul to his body—he could only separate part of his soul that would fuse with the Steel Shard and place it inside that world.
“Is the subject for possession arbitrary?” He asked.
“Yes,” Simboa answered, “but it would be fine. Any being that could attain the Shard would attain power—there won’t be any difference.”
“Is that so.”
Joshua nodded, frowning slightly. “Things would be a little complicated if that’s the case.”
Nevertheless, the warrior did not consider the moral issue of possession. According to Simboa’s explanation, bodies that fit the conditions were nothing other than corpses of intelligent beings without soul or unintelligent beast. Furthermore, the Steel Shard would be retrieved after he had descended, although the incomparably robust body would be left behind. In fact, there might be a resurrection it was a dead person—it was the possessed who stood to profit from the coming and going.
Be that as it may, the warrior was used to a male, humanoid form which allows him to employ his various techniques and martial arts. But now, things depended on luck since it’s an arbitrary descent: he might not be as fortunate as to directly possess the body a male intelligent being.
“I might have to hold back a little in martial arts if it’s a female body,” Joshua thought as he pondered possible scenarios. “Although there is also no telling if the intelligent beings in Simboa are gender-segregated like humans and large mammals—or, like certain beasts and insects, where the females are stronger.”
It would be slightly troublesome when it came to intelligent beings, but there would be nothing to nitpick with if it were beasts. As long as the foundations are good, Joshua believed that his power would be able employ enough lethal force. In actual fact, whether it was intelligent being or beast, the warrior could forcibly train and alter the body to unleash his most formidable combat form—as long as he was willing.
“Are you prepared, Foreigner?”
Simboa’s calm voice wafted to him as pale veins of purple patterns extended before the warrior’s eyes amidst the Void. Showing a slight tint of green-blue, the patterns formed one rune after another out of another, before finally forming a colossal thousand-meter circuit. While it gradually took shape, it approached the outer walls of the Simboa world.
Click. The sound of something combining resounded as the colossal magical formation embedded itself solidly on the outer walls. Meanwhile, at the heart of the formation, a silver fissure with the shape of a draconic eye slowly opened: there were clusters of grey, vague shrouds when one looked inside—there was no way of seeing what was inside the world clearly.
Joshua nodded. His thought was mere analysis, in actual fact, he was convinced that his power and skills could handle any trouble whatever he possessed—even if it were insignificant insects or rats.
The dimensional passageway directed towards the world that banished the Steel Python then opened. With no hesitation, Joshua split a part of his soul and melded it to the Steel Shard, before throwing it inside.
The passageway closed.
The warrior closed his eyes.
He sensed that he was falling.
As if descending into the Abyss.