Soul Of Searing Steel Chapter 716


Chapter 716 Deep Space Observation

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

News of Joshua’s awakening was quickly relayed amidst chest from the students to the academy instructors inside the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds joint research center, who had been observing them with magic.

The delighted instructors would in turn spread the news over the entire research center. Although Joshua himself was not aware, the Moldavian Liege’s Residence was in fact one of the most important investors of the research center. To a certain extent, he was every researcher’s funder, and the kind that was known for his generosity.

The joint research center of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds was largely established by the Northern Empire, the Skypiercing White Tower, and the Seven Gods Church. Those three leading factions of the continent had worked together while other nations and independent factions would enter their ranks, and while only the Trade Federation from the Far South was yet to participate in the exploration of those ancient ruins, they had provided almost all food supply in the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, a participation by property since they did not have the necessary technology reserves.

One way or the other, the leaders of the research center are able to directly contract the leaders of various factions, which was why in the tenth minute Joshua awakened and got in touch with the students from the Winter Fort Academy, Nostradamus hurried to the center of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds directly from the Void-Star Observatory.

Joshua was not affecting the students’ tour—then he could wait until the trip ended and they returned to Moldavia, where they will have all the time they could get. Now, he was riding Black with Ying and Ling for a stroll around the eastern building clusters of the Sacrificial Grounds. In the meantime, the warrior had kept the Unnamed Technician’s body, prepared to revive him when the time came.

And when the mage arrived, the over-familiar pair had a brief moment of claptrap before Nostradamus could not help venting.

“Do you know how many problems surfaced in that one trip of yours?!”

The Legendary mage of dimensional aspect, Emperor’s instructor, Dean of Winter Fort Academy, Chief of the Imperial Royal Mage Guild, the chief supervisor of the East Barnett Highlands Production Installation, architect of the pan-northern continental academy establishment and so forth—Nostradamus, the busiest man on the Mycroft Continent save for the elderly pontiff never had much time to complain. When the brief grumbling was done, he simply left Joshua with bulky reports before vanishing with a single warp. He would be meeting an envoy for the dwarves later, to discuss matters regarding technology for geothermal source extraction, and had no time to converse with the warrior.

“Master, that nameplate in front of Nostradamus is huge.”

“Yeah. Packed with words.”

“… His titles are almost as long as my nicknames.”

The trio of master and servants along with one dragon stared blankly where Nostradamus vanished with a puff of pale-blue mana radiance, which soon diminished while Joshua lifted the reports in his hand.

[Fourth Lab Report of Insectoid Demon General’s Living Flesh: Research and Analysis]

[General Study into Advantage and Disadvantage of Full-Scale Surveillance towards Nobles and Peasants]

[Key Speech by Her Eminence, Vahina the Eastern Sea Sage in the Sea Dragon City: The Four Different Forms of Psion and Transition]

[Major Awakening of Rogue Casters—Over Two Hundred Awakened within National Borders, Collective Bloodline Regression Suspected]

[Nature’s Magister Galanoud Led Colossal Creature Suspect to be Void Behemoth Back to Lake of Eternity, Causing Panic amongst Elves]

Joshua’s rather relaxed expression tightened after flipping through just a few pages, realizing that the Legendary champions of Mycroft were not idling in his months of absence. There were a few more reports behind, including His Holiness Pope Igor’s return letter regarding research of the soul and an invitation for a meeting, as well as preparation documents for the External Exploration’s expedition trails, along with another report of the three great factions’ joint Deep-Space Observation into the Void.

“The research on the Insectoid Demon’s body? There are results already?”

Joshua still remembered that Barnil and William had yet to distinctly analyze the constitution of the Legendary demon’s physical form before he left for Simboa. After he finished reading that report, he quickly realized that the Legendary mage duo had not determined how the Demon General rapidly transformed into other creatures, although they did develop a special magical ingredient from its gelatinous skin.

The ingredient named ‘Memory-type Macromolecule Compound’ was sturdy, elastic, transmutable, memorizes forms and could withstand erosion or friction, even magic-proof to a certain degree. It had widespread applications, stunningly stalwart as armor, although Barnil believed that the material could be used for otherworld exploration, and that the Northern Empire would be able to use it for expedition uniforms. Moreover, with its certain memorizing ability, the clothing made by that material would patch itself where there are openings.

“Would be nice if there are more Legendary creatures to dissect.” William had sighed at the time. “Material study would definitely progress wildly.”

“I could even build an ultimate construct that could regenerate and transform at will! It’s just a little scared of fires, and I could slap an anti-flame rune on it.” Barnil mused as well. “I’m calling it T-0001… Come to think of it, the puppet types I’ve developed had actually reached the letter ‘T’.”

—They should be very interested in Simboa’s Soul Puppet Technology.

Joshua nodded slightly before turning to the next report, which detailed the influence that Israel’s full monitoring of the Empire’s behavior had on nobles and peasants. It was rather elaborate, with most peasants indicating that they felt nothing apart from having their daily burdens alleviated. On the other hand, the many nobles also began to mind their behavior, although some of the village tyrants and fallen nobles kept to their malicious actions out of habit or were simply trying their luck. Still, they were caught by the Emperor, punished or directly executed.

“That’s normal… Something has to be wrong with their brain, however, for them to misbehave at such tumultuous times.”

Joshua made a mixed expression. Fattrovi of Simboa’s totalitarian rule was so terrible that it kept making the warrior uneasy, even though he remained aware that Israel was not exerting a solo rule. Aside from himself and Nostradamus who were two Legendary champions, Israel’s aides and ministers could voice their opinions, just as the Emperor himself would often send a clone to the Morlaix Palace for imperium audiences. To a certain point of view, Israel merely ensured ‘Absolute Fairness of Law’, with no criminal activity escaping his gaze and no one escaping judgment.

Therefore, he was decidedly different from Fattrovi, and Joshua did not have to worry too much. Even so, the warrior was determined to send a letter or meet Israel himself, describing the actions of another dictator so that he understood the greatness of his duty and position, and what would terrible consequences would come if he went out of control.

Next up was the matter of rogue casters—otherwise known as superhumans. However, there were rather few who had awakened Steel Authority and unable to cause upheaval in society, making them presently negligible.

As for the movements with the Eastern Sea Sage and the Elven Magister… they were rather normal. A while ago, Vahina’s soul form had journeyed to Stellaris, and she definitely experienced different psionic energies compared to the Midgardians and the West Mountain psionics.

However, Joshua found that creature suspected to be a Void Behemoth rather familiar. Was it not one of the invaders in the previous battle of Legends? Come to think of it, the Nature’s Magister certainly appeared to have not fought then—could she had really befriended the superior lifeform from another world?

Those were frivolous. Joshua was now most concerned with the two remaining reports.

“His Holiness was looking for me? Wasn’t that the day I left Mycroft as well? It’s been so long; the matter must have been delayed… Can’t tell if there would be repercussions.”

Joshua was a little helpless over the matter as well, since how should he know that there was someone asking for him over an emergency precisely when he left? Additionally, it was His Holiness who brought him back to Mycroft from the Void with the Holy Mountain Vessel. He really had to thank him, and Joshua hence planned to spare some time and visit Igor at the Holy Mountain vessel.

Nevertheless, he was most interested in the last report.

“Deep-Space Observation?”

As the warrior handed the other reports to Ling and Ying beside him, the two fellows began to read them attentively, while Joshua engrossed himself with the last one. It read that the Skypiercing White Tower and the Seven Gods Church were prepared to dispatch research teams to partner in the detailed observation a nearby dimensional region, and the plan changed with the participation of the Northern Empire. Now, the trinity of powers was prepared to work together and gaze upon the depths of the Multiverse.

“Although we had established a partial model of the Multiverse through the data vault from the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, that was something more than a thousand years ago. Invasion of the Evil Gods, the destruction of many worlds, the movement of the Great Mana Tide as well as the fact that we had been descending into the Abyss had greatly changed circumstances. To ensure the precise location we are in relative to the Void around us, Deep-Space Observation into the Multiverse is absolutely necessary.”

Barbarossa, the leader of Skypiercing White Tower had written the report. “With the survival and progress of our civilization amidst the Great Mana Tide in mind, we must understand our position in the Multiverse, the general circumstances of our immediate or distant environment.”

“Not wrong at all.” Joshua nodded in agreement since it was reality.

A single world was vast and boundless, inside of which contained one or even many life cycles, and the largest worlds were comparable to a universe. Still, that did not mean surroundings beyond the world was unimportant—like Simboa, which was positioned at the center of the Void Vortex, its unique location had led to its roller-coaster course of destiny, greatly affecting the civilization residing within.

It was a foundation for development projects in a dozen years, or perhaps decades.

Additionally, such a grand scale of observation could classify living or lifeless worlds. As long as the worlds around Mycroft was generally classified, both colonization and exploration would become more convenient.

Nevertheless, Joshua’s eyes bulged when he read up to the final parts of the report… It turned out that the day for Observation to commence was today!

***

Meanwhile, at the frontier of Mycroft’s dimensional region.

Countless indescribable dimensional turbulences meandered over the Void, forming a twisted sight akin to steaming water. The crystal-white energy waves from the Great Mana Tide hence churned under such environments, even as countless specks that were worlds flickered faraway.

Under such environments, a mountainous Void warship anchored itself. Its entire hull was dazzling and radiant, glinting in mild hold light. A colossal steel fortress stood atop its deck, presenting its twenty-sided form that was marked with the best observation circles that pierces space and time.

Those were the ‘Holy Mountain Warship’ that belonged to the Seven Gods Church, and the ‘Observatory’ that belonged to the Empire.

The joint deep-space study that sees the triple partnership between Church, Empire and White Tower was ago, with every possible method used. However, the observation wonder ‘Sentry Array’ that belonged to the White Tower could not be transported into the depths Void since it was a special building planted at the world’s outer layers, and was hence kept where it was as the base observation point on Mycroft. Meanwhile, the ‘Saint’s Eye’ and the ‘Observatory’ that had combined with the Holy Mountain Fortress were forming a network, unleashing a grand-scale observation spell at the surrounding Void.

The energy used from the observation enchantment alone would have exceeded any full-scale battle. If it were to be compared with a physical metaphor, it was directly emptying a mine with high-grade magic crystals, the resonating shockwaves of which would transmit into other worlds in other dimensional regions, sending millions from civilizations who had not even stumbled upon those parts of the Void into a panic.

“Beginning calibration of observation point.”

“Regulating data… Perfect resonance.”

“Commencing change of deep-space search procedures.”

“Spreading auxiliary balancing wings, releasing regional observation formations.”

A mana chain resembling a lightning bolt appeared between the Void Observatory and the Holy Mountain Fortress, just as a golden dot appeared at the Void in front of the two huge fortresses. Afterward, a vast, colossal magical circle that was a hundred times the size of the Holy Mountain Fortress extended like tidal waves!

In an instant, the circle which had a complex constitution spread to its three-dimension limit like a massive observation lens. And at the center of the formation, circles of seemingly solid energy ripples were at the ready.

“Commencing deep-space observation.”

With the instruction of the leader, the endless golden energy ripples hence cascaded out from the center of the formation, sweeping towards the endless Void!

A golden storm appeared distinctly at once in the surrounding Void, just as the golden dots within flickered. A model of the surrounding Void region was slowly forming vaguely at the center of the formation, and with every flickering golden dot, the model would float with a ‘glass sphere’, representing the infinite worlds in that part of the Void!

Every researcher from the Holy Mountain Fortress and the Observatory held their breath, watching as the Void Model took shape. In the central command room of the Holy Mountain Fortress, even Pope Igor could not help staring as the monitor in front of his eyes began to project the Void model.

More golden dots observed and flashed like fireflies amidst the energy storm. With every golden flicker, there would be a general data of the world’s model in the Void Model, and soon, as the energy ripples rapidly unfurled, huge sprinkles of golden dots utterly blossom in the vastness of the Void, thus assembling into the shape of galaxies!

“Hu… Huge…”

Everyone was left silent and the sight, with one of the mages from the Void Observatory unable to repress a shudder. With reverence, he watched as the Void model slowly enlarged, the genuine thing shattering his previous world views.

“And too vast…”

Most people from Mycroft—including spellcasters—believed that the Void between worlds was not vast, but narrow and short. The infinite worlds were glass sphere arranged in rows, with a layer of Void that was not too distant separating them while each world slowly moved on their position.

But the real Multiverse was not the same.

The Void’s vastness was far beyond worlds. If a world was a thumb-sized glass sphere, the dimensional region that revolved around it would be as huge as a mansion with a backyard, while the worlds that were little specks would be spread amidst that boundless realm, whirling in isolation.

Initially, the dimensional region where Mycroft was positioned could be seen. It was a wide boundary with twenty-seven worlds, although most of them were dead, barren worlds or simply too small to have any value for development. Looking from afar, those twenty-seven words made a three-dimensional shape similar to a dumpling, and Mycroft was at its center.

Then came a larger portion of the Void, and this time, the Mycroft quadrant was no longer a part of the larger world. Endless luminous ‘dumplings’ formed stretching auroras, like the arms of a galaxy.

The model expanded once again, and the entire shape of the galaxy became vivid. As expected, there was a huge gyro-shaped galaxy, and Mycroft was on the tip of that galaxy. Behind that, the tip was infinitely chaotic, dark and deathly worlds that spread in disorder, their construct akin to cotton… that was the Abyss, which resembled a pile of refuse, the most recently destroyed worlds at its upper tip while long-dead worlds were pressed to its very bottom, and no one would know what resides there.

However, that was not the most astonishing aspect.

Instead, that honor goes to a white darkness.

***

It sounded incomprehensible—why would darkness be white?

Still, it was understandable when the Void and the Great Mana Tide was taken into consideration.

If the Void was a black sheet, and the Great Mana Tide was a white energy shroud revolving over it, worlds were golden specks wafting in the shroud while the Abyss are cotton formed from dark red specks—was a Void region without worlds or Abyss not a sheet of white shroud of darkness?

The breathtakingly vast galaxies were hence being carved into two by a colossal cavity with no worlds. At the heart of that cavity was the energy form of a vortex that could devour millions of worlds, instantly vanquishing most things in the Multiverse. Almost nothing could enter deep into the vortex, and would instead be crushed into base Steel shroud.

“Not here!”

The old Pope could not hold repress a thoughtful expression in the main control room of the Holy Mountain Fortress, but soon frowned. “The stars are extinguished, the world entirely dark—it’s something recent, and that cavity must at least have formed during the Evil God’s Passover in the last era! The timing isn’t right!

‘But it must be nearby’, Igor thought. The pontiff knew the person or thing he was looking for is not too far from the cavity that assumed an energy vortex form—it was exactly why he presided over the deep-space study project.

It was then that a familiar presence appeared in the teleportation room at the bottom of the Holy Mountain Fortress. The elderly pontiff’s senses appeared to have picked up on that instantly, conscious that the familiar presence paused briefly before quickly approaching him, with sentries nor spells giving way, unable to stop him.

Igor knew that anyone who had the might to move freely in the Holy Mountain Fortress and ignore all divine spell circles were either beside him or had remained in the Gray Island of Aida in the Distant Seas.

And there was only one who did not fall into either category.

The doors to the main control room swung upon, and a presence that prompted goosebumps emanated despite being suppressed at maximum. It was a frozen chill that permeated the entire body, and almost everyone in the main control room unwittingly turned to stare towards the door, with Igor being no exception.

“Should have gone to the Void Observatory… But I thought I should thank you in passing as well, which is why I’m here.”

The Legendary champion who should have been a giant silver cocoon and slumbering at the heart of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, Joshua van Radcliffe had composedly entered the most concealed main control room of the Holy Mountain Fortress, but none were surprised. He leveled his gaze at the Pope with a smile and a nod, and without needing words, both turning at once at the Void modelling displayed in the monitors.

The warrior lifted a brow at once, exclaiming in slight surprise. “Void Vortex?” He muttered softly. “You lot actually discovered that I see.”

“You know the place?”

Pope Igor showed an astonished expression. “You’ve been there?”

“Just returned from that place.” Joshua nodded, stroking his chin and remembering his experiences there, while replying humbly, “Well… I am a little familiar with that place.”