Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
[—Did you know?]
[Regardless of the phase or era of a civilization, there would always be people known as adventurers]
[They might not be known as adventurers then, and all that they did would not be as most would imagine today.]
[Be that as it may, all adventurers were ultimately and essentially one people irrespective of age or race.]
[In the wild age of ancient civilization, adventurers who the first ones to attempt ingestion of herbal medicine, the first to attempt eating various bizarrely shaped creature.]
[As civilization began to enter a tribal stage, adventurers were those who explored and wandered, searching for new settlements as they entered different dangerous, unknown territory.]
[Then, as tribes progressed to city-states and the near-present, adventurers remain existent. They would explore jungles teeming with monsters, establishing secure paths under the gluttonous leer leveled at them by the beasts of the wastelands.]
They would board ships of various sizes, parting the waves as they headed afar to find new continents, one by one.]
Starfall Year 839, third of May, noon.
Priest fastened an Information Terminal to his wrist. Having calibrated the newly installed 2.7 ver. External Exploration Department exclusive-issue information module, he nodded in satisfaction.
“Finally. Automated scans and analysis of unknown substances, spiritual communication with species that transcends language. It would seem that our leaders had successfully analyzed considerable aspects of the Black Fog—it’s all been rapid development recently.”
Amidst such musings, Priest rose from his working desk and tidied his clothing, leaving his bedroom as he headed downstairs.
“Another mission, Priest?”
The soft voice of a girl wafted from a corner of the first floor. Priest turned to find his sister Britney sitting before the dining table, with a small potted of plant placed before her. She seemed to have been staring at the plants blankly—Priest’s arrival appeared to have interrupted her thoughts and made her aware of her brother’s departure.
“Yeah.” Priest walked up to Britney, gave her a peck on her forehead and a one-arm hug, asking amusedly, “What, still can’t sense Nature Power? I’ve told you, you should go for strolls outside the house—it’s only natural you can’t experience the Power if you just stare at it.”
“But my teacher said potted plants are enough during initiation!” Unhappy with her brother’s attitude, Britney slapped the table with both hands and exclaimed in slight annoyance, “Clearly, the plants are scorning me!”
Priest glanced at the sprout of the Silver Leaf Pine inside the pot, and then at Britney, who was still glaring at it furiously, and decided to tell her about the difference of a seedling and grass later.
The Moldavian Childcare Center, affiliated to the various academy for advanced learning in the city was a special nursery and school. At present, they were tentatively teaching certain knowledge about supernatural powers, and through trials and body check-ups, the experienced instructors would generally determine the talent of each child and do their best to provide them suitable resources.
Britney’s school was one such innovative institution for elementary learning, with the younger herself having found the path best for her in a test given by her elven teacher a few days ago—the druid’s path of Nature Power. In fact, when the elven elder had contracted him, Priest was in slight disbelief that his own sister turned out to be a genius as well, and from what the elder had said, Britney had an innate affinity for Nature that was rarely found across centuries, and have greater potential than the elves themselves with training.
“Could there be elven blood in your ancestry?” The elven elder himself had added forthrightly, suggesting the norm that the worlds’ bloodline had been tangled.
‘Of course, Britney’s training still has a long way to go. Have to tell her about the difference between trees and grasses.’
“Remember to come back soon.”
When Priest was about to leave, Britney finally looked up from the plant and mumbled grudgingly. “It’s my birthday next month. It’s not like I’ll be sad if you’re not back!”
Priest smiled at the door. “Relax, it’s just a normal expedition to a living world—I’ve even prepared a special gift for you, stay curious as you can from now on!”
Laughing, he closed the door and headed for Victor Academy at the center of town.
[—Adventurers are ever present and always available, and so widespread that they are common knowledge for the world.]
[They slay magical beasts, complete missions assigned by others. Groups of them travel across the world for rumors or news, for an objective that could be noble or mundane. There is no lack of such adventurers in this age, just as there are no lack of champions.]
[To be frank, that’s really unusual. It would make sense that one would assume such risk when they have no other option—so why are there champions who would rather become an adventurer? They just have to stay at their own homes, in human nations to enjoy riches and find a suitable partner, have many children and establish a firm, or even a sparse family estate.]
[That should have been the best train of thought whether it’s from perspective of pure creature instincts or material comfort… The existence of adventurers is truly unimaginable.]
As Priest walked across an avenue, a liquid crystal display screen broadcasted the afternoon news while various races and characters shambled along the street beside him: there were elven druids and archers, Eastern Sea Murloc Tidebreakers, human warriors, wanderers and the occasional dwarven cavalier, whose armor, beard and hair clanged with copper rings. There was no lack of mages as well, with most flocking together to discuss business with shop-owners of alchemy merchandise.
[After uniting seven dukedoms and two kingdoms, Fidel Romain, the highest leader of the Romain Grand Dukedom could be declared Emperor in November. He had collaborated with the Stone Dwarves to develop a ‘giant bipedal puppet’—the giant war machine which many had came to be known as ‘titan’ or ‘thunder god’ had been sighted in different nations on multiple skirmishes. The enchanted puppet, remarkably similar to the ‘Giant God Warrior’ of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, possessed frightening combat abilities, with certain parties believing that the Grand Duke may have attained design plans for the ancient weapons.
[For the fourth time, the Trade Federation had issued a grim reminder…]
Such diverse atmosphere could only have been observed in Northern Moldavia, or perhaps a few border towns of various factions. These people who were of different races, faith, traditions, habits, or even personalities had all come here for one man’s name, intending to secure opportunities from that man or was simply tired—rationally speaking, this may be the safest place to grow old in the world.
Priest himself was once a junior, but he was now a senior—the young warrior now entered the castle gates of Victor Academy. The guards, familiar with him, simply waved him off and hurry along after a glance at his pass instead of wasting their time. Thus, Priest smoothly entered the castle and climbed the stairs to the top floor, a special teleportation room.
It was rumored that in each branch of the Winter Fort Academy had a single room restricted from any student entry. They could be top floors, dungeons or even near a cafeteria, but wherever they were located, regular students would not be able to open them—not that most of the instructors could, either.
The students believed that the room may be some secret lab or perhaps a passageway to another even more mysterious room hidden inside the academy. One particular student even swore on his life that it was a resting quarter for the Deans’ exclusive use, and might be directly connected to the Liege’s Residence or the Imperial Royal Mage Guild, since he had seen the Dimensional Mage and the Count left that room with his own eyes.
In truth, his guess was not wrong. The portal occasionally connected to the Liege’s Residence and the Imperial Capital, as well as many other enigmatic places… namely the Imperial External Exploration Department, or a Void vessel known as the Grancypher.
“Yo. You’re here then, captain?”
There were already four others sitting inside the portal room, polishing and maintaining their own weapons, armors and various unique magical tools. One of them—a man with a robust and muscular frame stood up to wave at Priest enthusiastically upon his arrival, while the other three grinned at the young warrior as well.
Thanks to the perfect preservation of the Soul Pool Sphere, Rider and Clergy were completely resurrected, their abilities unaffected. According to Rider, any hidden sickness and internal injuries after his death had been cleared away, elevating his abilities a notch further. However, whatever the case may be, all of them survived the whipping from the Black Fog’s tentacle precisely because Priest had blocked it—the entire Elite Party would have been left in two-dimensional form otherwise.
The expedition party was not the only ones around. In another corner of the room were a pair of Drakonid girls who appeared identical, while another pair of individuals who were clearly siblings pored over a LCD screen as they chatted away idly, partitioning the room into three distinct territories.
[—Adventurers are extraordinary in their very existences.]
[Though they trained and learned diligently, honing their power and absorbing knowledge, fighting magical creatures time after time, champions who remain in human society are several times more formidable than adventurers—those are guardians of all in the resistance against the Mana Tide, earning the support and worship of everyone while rising to the elites amongst the ruling class, obtaining great authority. Eventually, they would gain their own tribes or cities, perhaps even kingdom or empires.
The countless dukedom, kingdoms and royal families in the West Mountains, even the Diamond Family had risen through the ranks in such manner, establishing a hereditary royal bloodline.
On the other hand, the names of those who explored faraway lands, exploring and searching for new continents would not see their name spread far and wide. They live in dangerous regions far away from human society, living in isolation from the world, dancing against the edges of blades and playing hide-and-seek with death.
Even so, many champions chose the journey to afar, toward uninhabited, forbidding lands to battle against various monsters in pursuit of the wondrous sights and treasures of legends.]
“Here, Mister Syndicate. Open wide.”
Beaming, Lisa raised a spoon at the center of the room, intent on stuffing some powder with an otherworldly scent into Syndicate’s mouth. “We’ll continue designing your new human form after you’ve finished this bow,” she whispered, “and don’t worry. The glands of ‘Infernal Devourer’ could melt human flesh even in powder form, but for you that’s just reverting to your initial blob form. You won’t die.”
Having fruitlessly resisted, tears began to well in Syndicate’s eyes, who shared the exact appearance of Lisa’s own as he was being stuffed another mouthful of the powder.
“But, Lisa… I really don’t know what form I should take!”
“I like whatever Mister Syndicate chooses… Of course, it can’t be too ugly, weird or resemble me too much!”
Beside them, Ivan and Amelia, who appeared to have gotten used to Lisa and Syndicate’s exchange were changing channels on the LCD screen while quietly complaining about certain matters.
“Karin and Nick are on retreat, while Arlwa is returning to the Imperial Capital, where His Imperial Majesty would assess his learning accomplishments this year.” Ivan grumbled quietly as he switched to the ‘National News Channel, “There’s only two of us left in the team, it’s once again the boring and depressing life now.”
“You could have gone for a retreat too, and train your body or in the sword.” Amelia, snatching the remote control, turned to the ‘Magus Weekly Special Channel’ before turning solemnly to his brother. “As an apprentice of His Lordship, you’ve failed to defeat that poison swamp dragon with the sword in a single duel, relying on elemental enchantments to win—that’s just embarrassing!”
“But aren’t we mages in the first place?” Ivan countered, finding things unusual. “Although it’s bizarre that a Legendary warrior would have mages as apprentices…”
“Aren’t you the bizarre one? Mages must be proficient in two-handed swords in the first place!”
Beside them, Syndicate gruff voice echoed.
“No, no more, I really can’t eat anymore!”
“There’s still half a bow. Here, darling—open up.”
Priest, able to hear everyone else in the room, smile and shook his head. He said nothing, and joined his own team instead.
“Our fifth expedition is about to begin,” he said summarily. “Are you ready!”
The others cheered. All five of them were spirited, with neither Rider nor Clergy showing fear despite the dangerous exploration mission—they would stay prudent or respect an unfamiliar world, but would never fear the unknown meaninglessly.
[—the lives of powerful adventurers often leave others in wonder.]
[A talented adventurer would be developed by their teenaged years or twenties, thus beginning to roam beyond their own homes, completing various missions and exploring countless forbidding environments. They would grow, becoming able to develop distant lands for their nations, explore mysterious places and perhaps leave storied legends. It was indeed beautiful if such adventurers could end their tales well and safely return to their homeland as a revered person, but if they could not by either death or severe injury, they would hence fall regrettably in uninhabited wastelands, buried beneath foreign soil.
Apart from friends or adventurer circles familiar with champions, normal citizens would never know who they were or what their contributions were.
But if that same adventurer of equal age and ability chose not to wander but stay and hone his martial prowess, joining either guild or army and led teams against the threat of Mana Tide, participating in battles against the Chaotic Dark Forest, struggling until his last breath on the frontlines… even if he were to have died from old age, countless apprentices or troops beneath his command would mourn him. In the case that he fell in battle, the entire nation would swear vengeance upon his name, while the person himself would be buried with great ceremony, his life inscribed in history.
He might even get his own statue, story, legend or even family. His name would spread eternal.
Contributing to society and fighting magical creatures just the same, and yet such different lives.
Those two choices are part of greatness, and yet the gap between was as large as the sky and the abyss.]
[That being said, an adventurer’s life is rough.]
Priest equipped his armor and helmet, and issued a quiet but clear command.
With those words, he lifted the giant crystal shield beside him. At his command, the entire Elite Expedition Party quickly sorted out their armaments and equipment before entering a tidy formation without a pause, standing in front of Joshua.
The quintet strode out at once into the portal. They would be teleported to the Void vessel Grancypher on transit before would be sent to their target world by the power of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, ad having been familiarized with the process, none of them hesitated.
Priest’s lips, concealed behind the helmet curled up, a flame similar to his mentor’s dancing in his eyes.
—Indeed, he knew that such would be his life.
Generations after generations of braves ones boldly and determinedly made their way to the distant unknown, far away from home.