Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The giant silver cocoon transcended the dimensions, slowly moving through the barrier between worlds and arriving on the space above World Zero One. The instant he appeared, the protective runes wrapped around the surface of the cocoon burst into sheets of gray shroud, and the absolute gravity that had been isolated by the shielding runes once again appeared amidst the world.
In the skies, as if a singularity had appeared, heavy layers of distorted light shrouded Joshua and the silver cocoon like a shield. World Zero One was once against turned over itself as streaks of hurricane-like vortices of material flow rose into the air and surged toward the giant cocoon. When roughly seen, it appeared to be countless waterfalls flowing in the opposite direction up to the heavens, gathering upon a single point.
“Order the warships and the enchanted cannons to fall back.”
For the powerful, even calamity where the skies and the land were flipped was a mere walk in the park—having traveled from dimensions beyond at once to the edge of World Zero One, they certainly did not fear the various phenomenon triggered by the gravity from Joshua’s own body. However, the army of ordinary individuals, even with their enchanted warships would never withstand it.
Standing nearby the raging flow of matter, Nostradamus turned sideways and calmly communicated with the Imperial Army that was yet to arrive from the portal behind him. “This isn’t a battlefield for them.”
At that, he reached out and pressed down on his grimoire. A dimensional ripple hence radiated across half the sky, closing every remaining portal.
Though the Void warship technology of the Empire was commendable, it was far from the level of joining the battle of Legendary champions. They may be able to run interference against the Black Fog, but that was counter-productive and simply not worth it.
And with that, only eleven powerful beings had arrived on World Zero One through the power of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds.
The one in the lead was naturally Saint Igor, pontiff of the Seven Gods Church. Behind him was the West Mountain Sword Saint, the Murloc High Priest, Barnil, William, the Nature’s Magister and her Legendary behemoth escort, along with a master psionic from the West Mountain who was not very famous. On another corner, Barbarossa of the Skypiercing White Tower appeared to be speaking calmly with a robed leader of the Council of Seven—their relationship did not appear to be good, but had forcibly come to a compromise and were interacting amicably.
Moreover, after the eleven Legendary-tier champions had arrived, there was another being who came later and split apart space. It was a huge golden dragon which had assumed human form, standing impassively in a corner—the other Legends, however, noticed its appearance, with William muttering in slight surprise, “the King of the Golden Dragons. So, it has resolved itself and would no longer remain silent?”
The twelve individuals from the world of Mycroft were essentially a three-quarter assembly of the world’s peak powers, and the reason they had gathered was naturally their anticipation of the outcome for the Empire’s external expedition party.
Searching for valuable or colonizable worlds, along with searching for the Unified Archives was not something that mattered only to the Empire and the Seven Gods Church. The fate of the entire world of Mycroft hung in the balance, and while they did not seize the chance to participate in the maiden voyage, all of them had kept in touch through various channels.
Joshua had already told them about the Black Fog, and how terrible an existence the darkness amidst the stars were. They largely understood—although some believed that they might not cross paths against the Black Fog since the Multiverse was so vast, and there was no need to provoke such a formidable foe deliberately.
And fact has proved that, not only would they eventually fight them, they would be facing hundreds of them once they do.
Those artificial weapons that had no emotion would sweep through the Void. If they were not gotten rid of, each of Mycroft’s otherworld expedition would be met with all kinds of accidents and failure, just like this occasion. What was more, they were already aware of Mycroft’s existence, and it would be devastating if it approached Mycroft and started a fight inside the world. None would be able to endure such losses, and with that being the case, they should destroy their main force in this barren and dead world.
“Bastard… That’s a little too many.”
Looking up at the Black Fog in the skies, the Sword Saint drew his sword from his back, and the blade shone from the hilt to every part of its sheath, chortling. “Looks like it’s not that easy to cut.”
“That sword of yours can’t cut a thing anyway.” Barnil, an acquaintance of his, laughed, lightening the mood.
“Still, this is the first time I came to a planetary realm. It’s really vast.”
“What a waste, magma everywhere. Can’t plant flowers here.”
“Old thing. You’re still alive?”
Bustling voices echoed. None of them felt fear even when they face hundreds of Black Fog with Legendary-ability, because they were only the first wave of beings to arrive. Word was out that the Seven Gods of Men, the God of Murlocs and the Metal Dragon God was preparing for the second teleportation.
That means it wouldn’t be Legendary champions coming in the next wave—but the gods of various races.
Meanwhile, the power of twelve Legends entered conflict since they were all in one place, leading to severe energy resonant reactions. As profound tides of energy overturned the earthen surface, tearing apart one stone layer after another, the orbital trail of World Zero One and its whirling speed were seriously affected and began drift towards the outer reaches, which could lead to terrible consequences hundreds and thousands of years later.
In addition, with the hundreds of Black Fog faraway, everyone was aware that World Zero One would probably not survive, and staying anywhere was unsafe. Raising his grimoire, Nostradamus looked towards Priest’s party who were frozen in shock after being surrounded by so many Legends, and cast a propulsion spell to send them back to the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds.
And high above, Joshua was talking to Igor rapidly in spirit.
“The Black Fog isn’t infinite,” Joshua said, “It’s rare to get them gathered together in direct battle—we have to cull most of them at one go, and if possible, find their main body, the coordinates of Shelter world. That’s of chief importance—as long as their main body was not destroyed, there would be incessant backup, and we would never win.”
Having worked together on many occasions and understanding the warrior in the process, the elderly pontiff was certainly aware of his thoughts. “Do you have an idea now? Could you find Shelter Alpha?”
Joshua nodded silently. He had already seen how the infinite streams of Black Fog headed to the edge of Void Vortex to absorb energies, just as there were signs that the Black Fog was coming this time. From that, he had determined through the details of their teleportation that it had originated from nearby coordinates.
That location was not close to the Void Vortex, but the fact that all those Black Fog had come brimming with energies to fight made it evident that it was a vital hub where they recharged—even if the location was not Shelter Alpha.
It was worth the try, and the one most suitable to complete the mission was him: only Joshua himself could guarantee that he would survive the encirclement of endless Black Fog, and survive until reinforcements arrived.
At the moment, the thirteen Legends including Joshua were ready to fight. Far above them, the swarm of endless Black Fog had also reacted to the sudden exponential increase of foes. Having no human emotions and only machine logic, having ascertained that they outnumbered the foes of absolute combat ability by twenty-seven times, an electromagnetic signal that was immeasurably clear echoed across the entire world.
Instantly, endless Black Fog rapidly encircled World Zero One. It was as if the sky collapsed, with dark clouds crashing down by waves of avalanche while the solid fog disintegrated everything in its way, unleashing many high-energy beams and physical missiles in a rain of blaze and steel. It was as if the Black Fog intended to devour the Legendary champions along with the entire planet, and crush them into nothingness.
But even as the avalanche of blaze crashed down, a rather puzzled voice spoke.
“This otherworld… is without life?”
It was the elder of the Council of Seven who had been conversing with Barbarossa. His name was ‘Fedorov’, a huge, old Legendary champion having a hint of a hunchback. Decades ago, the Skypiercing White Tower had beaten the conservative Council of Seven on a worldwide debate on theories and policies, ascending as the greatest learning institution in all Mycroft spellcasters’ mind. Beaten, the Council of Seven could only hide in a corner of the Eastern Plains while enduring the humiliation of staying under the shadow of the White Tower, just like any ordinary mage academy.
Still, it was not to say that Fedorov was not formidable. The elderly mage who had stayed in isolation over decades narrowed his eyes, watching as the black crowds descended upon them. “By the way,” he asked softly and unhurriedly, clenching the scepter in his hand, “I can use my full power?”
As he spoke, great magical energy began to well out of his body. The power of the Seven Elements manifested as a rainbow-colored shield, elevating Fedorov’s body into the air as he laughed. “Radcliffe of this generation, I’m borrowing your sun!”
“Just take it.”
With Joshua’s permission, the small sun that was a few kilometers long that was hanging in the air was pulled by profound seven-element magical energy. It kept rising with the rainbow shield, broken down by waves of different magical energy in its flight path, turning into scorching winds and spellcasting ingredients for the mage.
In the past, the Council of Seven had established theorems that considered that the crux of magic was in recreating every natural phenomenon of the Multiverse. As long as that was achieved, a complete world could be recreated, and that spellcaster would be the one who had grasped that world’s Truth.
On the other hand, the Skypiercing White Tower believed that the essence of magic was in creating ‘things that did not exist in the world. All that existed in the world was part of a cycle, and it was only by transcending the heavens and the world, piercing through everything, the Truth of the universe could be unveiled.
Fedorov never believed that he was wrong, for the Multiverse was simply too vast, and human imagination was ultimately based their own knowledge, and they would never be able to imagine illogical things out of nothing. For the Multiverse, as long as there are logical things to be imagined it would be possible for it to appear. Therefore, if it was possible, Fedorov’s magic would definitely be conjured.
Thus, in a brief few moments, the miniature sun was broken down into an incandescent cloud of molecules and transformed into a dozen violent cyclones under Fedorov’s control, spreading rapidly across all directions. Each of them became different mana origin points that absorb all particles around them without restraint, and in three seconds, the hundreds meter long cyclone expanded to thirty thousand meters wide and twenty thousand meters tall, a fiery storm that illuminated the entire planet.
“I once wandered the Void and seen various forms of sun. Some were a condensation of light elements, others a gigantic body of crystal, as well as energy leaking points of otherworld elements… Amongst them, this is the type I admired the most.
The storm of million-degrees heat drew the arc of a corona in the air as the searing molecular cloud expanded on the highest point in the skies, facing off against the beams and missiles that descended upon them—it was a storm that existed only in suns, a cyclone that could instantly incinerate an entire planet, and it was now stabbed directly into the Black Fog like a giant hand, turning all that it touches into ash.
The darkness cascaded towards them was stopped at once. Under the million-degrees blaze of the sun storm, the Black Fog that was allegedly indestructible vaporized at once. Before such magical power, even the entire Eastern Plains would have been scorched, much less any human nation—there was no doubt that Fedorov, who wield such power, could destroy any civilized world unless he encountered another Legendary champion.
That was the depth of the old school Legendary champion.
“It’s been really hard on the old man, having to hold it in for so many years.”
While Fedorov blocked the Black Fog descending up front, the boundless darkness had already arrived in other directions, consuming everything on the ground with relative ease and surging towards the many Legendary champions like a tidal wave from the sides, intent on outflanking them. The West Mountain Sword Saint shook his head at the sight, gripping his longsword tightly and started towards one of the headings of the Black Fog.
Raising the two-dimensional blade Mystletainn, a blade of pure light, the sword began to extend without end as the Sword Saint willed it. As he solemnly stared at the Black Fog wave gushing towards him, he swung his sword.
Everything ceased existing in an instant. All that was left was a two-dimensional space, which, when having reverted to a normal space, everything within was turned into a cloud of chaotic fundamental particles.
Across every other direction, the Legendary champions were meeting the Black Fog’s assault as well, some of them doing so seriously just as there were those who were nonchalant. While the Black Fog was powerful, Joshua had told everyone about the Black Fog’s strengths, and none of them allowed the shroud which possessed the ability to erode on a microscopic to get too close, just as they prepared the appropriate long-range countermeasures. Splitting into cells of two or three, or perhaps fighting alone, each of them could steadily suppress swarms of Black Fog coming from a particular direction.
The Black Fog was certainly multitudinous, but they could only strike simultaneously from only that many directions. Though it held the advantage of absolute power and numbers, it did not mean that they could secure absolute dominance against the Legendary champions of Mycroft.
On the eastern side, Barnil had turned his body into millions of runic formations, whirling in the air and striking the Black Fog in a reverse erosion, manipulating their base data source code. His corruption converted swarms of the Black Fog, which turned around and materialized various magic and beams to attack their allies.
Beside Barnil, William proved that he was no slouch either. His will reached out in the spiritual realm, establishing flaws in the will processing cycles of the Black Fog and creating one Bug after another, causing them to freeze where they were instead of attacking and self-disintegrate.
“Force insert command one: complete command two. Force insert command two: complete command one.”
The essence of thinking module for all that had awareness was a calculation. Being a manmade weapon, the Black Fog was especially rigid in that aspect, which was why the Mind Lord did not even have to cast a thousand and twenty for spirit seal formations that would make Joshua pale or reduce a Demon General into an imbecile screaming for its mother. He just had to insert several simple commands to cause errors in its infinite loops, paralyzing much of the Black Fog directly. Even if the loops were to be lifted, William still had at least a few thousand logical errors that could directly be plugged into the Black Fog’s mind.
Having been informed about the enemy earlier, all of the Legendary champions naturally prepared various measures. The Nature’s Magister was working together with the Legendary behemoth, unleashing huge shrouds of fungi highly resistant to electricity. When the Black Fog consumes it, they would briefly lose mobility, and more of those fungi would have matured before other Black Fog in the rear cleared the fungi away.
Still, Galanoud could not help be unhappy since she could not unleash her full power in the hostile, lifeless environment. She was only able to hold the Black Fog off but not destroy it, while Barbarossa simply and violently cast with no sense of technique, throwing forbidden curses at the Black Fog that the Nature’s Magister kept immobile regardless of the consequences.
Domains of absolute zero where all movement stagnated, a radiation storm that reduced the acceleration of the fundamental particles that formed the Black Fog, material disintegrating beams that broke down electromagnetism—spells that Barbarossa unleashing was never recorded in any spellbook. He simply came up with everything in that very moment, tailoring it against the Black Fog, and as those magic swept through, World Zero One’s already dilapidated surface completely disappeared, much less the Black Fog, with even the deep earth’s mantle being blasted into pieces.
For the first time, the Legendary champions who had no place and nothing to care for and protect may have felt, for the pleasure of ‘no restraint’ and ‘no care’.
High above, the duo who was not amongst the Legendary combat force: Joshua and Igor had just ended their conversation and nodded at each other.
“Well then,” the warrior said solemnly, “I’m counting on you, Your Holiness.”
“It’s fine,” Igor shook his head. “You be careful. I’ll lead the others to you after the Seven Gods arrived.”
At that, Joshua looked up, his gaze seemingly piercing the endless Black Fog swarm, toward the hexagonal dimensional passageway where lots of fog was still pouring forth from.
On top of his human form, the giant silver cocoon had already absorbed substantial matter from World Zero One and whirling wildly, the dense neutron flow pulling countless irregular lines akin to Jupiter due to differing density and speed. In the very next instant, both Joshua’s clone and the cocoon turned into a flash, embodying speed and mass that could shatter the space around them as he dashed wildly into the Black Fog swarm.
Watching as Joshua crashed a hole into the dark clouds, Igor looked down on his own hand, whispering, “No need to protect anything, destroy at full power?”
“Well that’s a first, a new experience.”
In a second, vast, pure-white waves of Holy Light burst around Igor’s body, turning into a gigantic halo that illuminated the world. Even the Black Fog as profound as the Abyss was pierced by it, and within that very moment, the terrific rumble and powerful lights created by the Legendary champions fighting on the surface became frivolous.
All things fell silent, with every energy signature being compelled. Igor’s body thus vanished within that light, turning into pure ripples and particles, fusing with all things into a single form.
At present, he was light incarnate.
Between breaths, as all Legends and Black Fog looked on, the gigantic halo exploded, unfurling rapidly. If seen from the Void beyond the world, it was a simple halo spreading across all directions, purifying or destroying all that it touches—or more precisely, turning everything into light.
In ten seconds, the dazzling halo displayed its most complete form. It was perfect like a ring system, vast and encircling the entirety of World Zero One. Constituting of twelve concentric halos inside each other, each whirled in different angels, and there was a perfect aesthetic in its simple form.
Such was the beauty of the Truth.
Sacred radiance wrapped around the entire planet. The endless Black Fog that had entered the surface of the world hence vanished in puffs of smoke under its illumination, and in no time at all, more of the Black Fog swarm was lost than the last few centuries put together. Nevertheless, having attained data about almost all Legendary champions present, they began to retreat as if an arm pulling back before punching out—and that was when a damned problem weaved in and out of the Black Fog swarm, carrying massive gravitational distortion and stirring the movements of the Black Fog, making it difficult for them to rally.
It was Joshua.
His aim was to directly find the main body of the Black Fog through the portal they were streaming in from, to find the final remains of the Shelter civilization, the location of Shelter Alpha.
And before that, he would not mind giving those killing machines that had no empathy a lesson.
His arms folded across his chest, Joshua stood above his own main body—the giant silver cocoon, dragging along a huge amount of Black Fog caught in his gravity toward a dim rainbow.
In other words, in the direction of World Zero One’s black hole.
The Black Fog that was ensnared in Joshua’s gravity appeared to sense the man’s crazy plan and began to struggle at full power, bursting out with waves of nuclear flames or electromagnetic momentum to attempt escape. Everything was futile, however—if they could not escape the gravity emanating from Joshua’s clone, what could they do with his true form being present?
Laughing, Joshua darted along his projected trail towards the black hole—he would not be crashing into it, but would simply fly by, accelerating by using the black hole’s own gravity as a spring, thus charging at a speed far beyond his own limits towards the dimensional passageway which the Black Fog guarded vigilantly.
All while adding sides to the black hole’s meal.
Joshua moved closer and closer, his speed rising to almost seven thousandth of one lightspeed even as he carried the clusters of fearfully shuddering Black Fog—if they had been capable of it—while rushing towards the lightless darkness. There were massive lightning discharging phenomena occurring upon the surface of the black disc, the very origins of the rainbow’s light. Solemnly adjusting his path, Joshua turned at the second he brushed past the black hole, looking toward the Black Fog bound behind him by his gravitational shackles.
On Mycroft, mages had a unique dimensional spell known as effective hostility banishment. It would teleport the mage’s target to various extremely hostile environment such as oceanic abysses, the inside of volcano or subterranean depths. If the mage’s skill was advanced, they could even send their foes into the Void or the sun, using Nature’s own might to destroy their opponents.
Incidentally, Joshua knew that spell as well.
Exhaling once, Joshua withdrew his fist, mustering power. In an instant, just as the giant silver cocoon was on a level trail with the black hole, Joshua punched out powerfully into the Void. Unimaginable gravity disturbance detonated like an iron fist equally upon all Black Fog particles, instantly sending all Black Fog flying away from the cocoon’s gravity influence!
Effective hostile banishment!
Seconds ago, the Black Fog would have been cheering over that, but now it felt despair. A profound power was ‘mildly’ pushing it away from its original trail, towards that beautiful, dazzling rainbow.
And then, nothing.
Meanwhile, Joshua no longer had the strength to care about the fate of the Black Fog. Using gravitational force for a bow effect, he had accelerated himself to fifteen percent the speed of light through the Black Hole’s gravity—what was more, his physical mass was comparable to a planetary satellite, and with such ultra-dense planetary mass added with such momentum, even stars would have been pierced by it!
The gigantic silver cocoon that could break stars was darting straight for the hexagonal portal, where new Black Fog kept creeping out of. All Black Fog in its way evaded in panic, automatically freeing a path just as the portal closed itself urgently.
But that was too slow. Joshua had already crashed right into it.
No sound existed in the vacuum of the Universe, and yet the tremendous dimensional ripple could be felt clearly even on the other side of the world. On World Zero One, the Legendary champions who had risen into space to face off against the Black Fog swarm noticed that.
And the warrior had already vanished in the other side of space.