Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Nostradamus left with a bellyful of questions and gloom.
He had been asked her to dissuade Joshua, but not only was he left shocked by the warrior’s acts, he was stuffed full of information that he barely understood yet extremely well thought out as it was extremely terrifying.
The elderly mage found himself very annoyed but helpless, which was why he could only return home to rest and left every researcher in the underground cavity fearing that the creatures made from the Void Behemoth’s flesh would escape control and turn the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds upside down.
Meanwhile, Joshua remained seated at the center seat of the Fourth Practical Lab, giving a thorough gaze at the synthetic bodies and monsters, his gaze impassive and appearing pensive.
“Nostradamus clearly didn’t understand what I’m saying about game and players… That’s normal since Mycroft doesn’t have such culture.”
Joshua turned, manipulating Steel Strength and continuing his refinement of systems such as ‘Soul Preservation’, ‘Physical Regeneration’, ‘Resurrection’ as well as ‘Dimensional Teleportation’ without a hint of trouble in his emotion.
“I know that, and that everything remains possible.”
Last time, when Priest and the others had explored an otherworld in the Dark Domain only to encounter the Black Fog, his entire team would have been wiped out at once if not for the Steel Strength Legacy he left as protection. Even so, two of the party members died, and was only revived thanks to their souls being preserved by a Soul Pool Sphere.
Their revival had in turn supplied Joshua with substantial practical data—that was not the case for Unnamed since he had to control that particular resurrection on his own, a fundamental difference with the restoration achieved through the independent resurrection of the Restoration Beam.
When he ascertained that the Restoration Beam, coupled with the Soul Pool Sphere, could resurrect any Silver to Gold individual who had died as recent as five minutes ago, Joshua could not help remembering a particular word.
Swift healing of injuries, reviving from death—if the day came that Joshua’s power could fill the world, his Steel Strength shrouding every reach, life and death of all souls would be in his hands. He could convert and simulate any creature into data as he wished, controlling the flow of the world’s energies to achieve all unusual nature shift, turning the entire world into a reality.
He could create dungeons after dungeons out of thin air, tens of thousands of mysterious environments, allowing humans to challenge them repetitively without end, thereby improving and rewarding themselves. Through rewards, he could guide the progress of civilization, the course of wars, and all life was like chess pieces at his command.
Players would certainly be the beings that lived within. They would not die, for their flesh was a mere shell that could be abandoned when hurt, and their souls need not even exist in that shell—Joshua would preserve them in a safe place, controlling it through spiritual projection.
To that extent, the world of a game would be utterly manipulated and dictated by Joshua van Radcliffe, a world where even perished souls would have no freedom hence created.
A paradise and hell of absolute perfection.
Compared to a ‘Peaceful Paradise’, Fattrovi had come up with all sorts of control in order to harvest souls that were so complex it was laughable. He clearly held his world’s Authority, and yet extracted the souls of genuine living beings in the real world again and again, essentially forcing others to rebel and heaping the vengeance of countless humans… Joshua believed that he just had to extract portions of players’ souls each time they resurrected as a penalty of ‘revival weakness’ and allowed all humans to flourish without fetters, collecting souls that died of natural causes or old age—in a thousand years, he would certainly have gathered an amount of souls that did not lose out to Fattrovi.
And the world would thank him for that, consecrating him as the lord of all.
Still, was that mere imagination or something achievable?
Naturally, it was the latter.
Joshua stared at the numbers he calculated himself—thirty-four hundred and sixty-seven days, eight hours, twenty-nine and a half minutes. With his present ability, that much time is needed for his Steel Strength to dye the world bit by bit, placing the world and all life into a single colossal ‘Restoration Beam’. That speed was a base prediction as well, since in those nine years, Joshua’s power would definitely grow stronger.
“As long as I use Steel Strength to seal the world’s outer shell and no information leaked, Mycroft would simply not exist for the world exist—just like how the Black Fog had isolated all information of Shelter Alpha and preserved it amidst the besieging of Evil Gods.
Picking up the lab records which contained the numbers he came up with, Joshua sated at the innumerable text and formula while muttering to himself. “I could create a Peaceful Paradise completely separated from the world, and everything in it is simply a game, devoid of death, hate, war or even sadness. All races could live within, and souls could be assimilated and altered regardless of their distortion.”
“A thousand years, ten thousand years… As long as I did not die—even if I did, the circulatory system would keep the game going forever.”
Clenching, Joshua burnt the lab record. Although it was simple paper, he had already recorded the information within into his personal data vault—it was an attitude.
Sighing rather exhaustedly, Joshua did not say a thing and simply closed his eyes and lay on his chair. A rare occasion of unwinding, the warrior allowed himself to sink into the goatskin cushion—clearly, his clone was no Neutron Star battle form but a simple body of flesh. Otherwise, his weight even in relaxing would see his entire body directly pierce the plane’s barrier and fall into the Void.
He closed in eyes, meditating amidst the absolute silence of the Practical Lab.
Joshua is reluctant to have an autistic child live within a fake paradise, even if most of the humans in Mycroft were willing. Hiding underground and living like a rat was simply nothing worth being pleased over, but a profound shame.
However, that did not mean the concept of ‘game and player’ had nothing of value.
“I can already revive, heal and teleport others to different worlds.”
“Soon, with the development of my Perfect Body and the dissecting of where the Void aberrations’ ability originated, hence acquiring a fundamental template, I could complete the system for supernatural modifications, granting normal human special bloodlines and abilities, even allowing them to absorb enemy monsters’ flesh and energies, ‘leveling up’ through ‘experience’ gained.”
“I can do this,” Joshua mumbled, opening his eyes. “And I can cheat death—although it was preferable if I did not have to. While the revival system can be used for insurance in adventuring, it cannot be adopted as an excuse for recklessness, and the number of revivals available have to be limited even for the expedition parties—I’ll use the excuse of soul damage; I’ll tell them next time.”
The Black Fog was the ultimate creation of the Shelter civilization by exhausting everything in their disposal, the initial purpose of its existence being to grant every Shelter society a mesoscopic runic system. It could easily provide any being with indiscriminate innate gifts, turning them into a race of ‘artificial deities’, which was absolutely fitting for the Shelter civilization that swore to aid all weaker worlds and shatter the walls between races.
Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds meanwhile had been the greatest wonder that the former Glorious Era in Mycroft had made. Its purpose was to connect countless worlds without regard to distance, and when used well, Mycroft civilization would develop into a vast Multiverse empire in a few centuries without having to worry about issues of communication and uncontrollable distances. Beneath the illumination of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, all worlds are one, all life consecrated.
They were two utterly different civilizations that had imagined varying paths. They did not have to compare so-called advantages or disadvantages, for all life was miracles of miracles.
But if those two miracles were to be one…
Innumerable adventurers, carrying Restoration Beams and able to strengthen themselves or be resurrected in their homeworld when they perished, using the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds to travel towards every corner of the Multiverse.
If that was the case…
Joshua exhaled. He ceased the delusions of his excessively beautiful future and awakened from his dreams.
Although the Black Fog’s composition had been analyzed repetitively in the joint research center of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, it would take a few more decades for Starfall to control it. Writing a general control runic programming alone would take Barbarossa, a few other Legends and several generations of apprentices to accomplish in two or three decades, and progress would not quicken if they did not recruit or expand their group.
As for the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, there was still much debris to be cleared. Leaving aside the matter of nine hundred huge craters that had been large computing arrays, there was not even a piece left of special buildings such as the ‘Hainamut Divination Hub’. To make it complete once more was certainly not something that could be accomplished in a hundred years.
Furthermore, would the Evil Gods allow them to farm in comfort for a hundred years?
“That’s the greatest problem—Evil Gods. As long as they are not removed, according to the speed and rate they sweep across the Multiverse, there would not be many civilizations that could grow.”
At the very thought, Joshua sat upright, activating the screen on the lab platform to display a model of the galaxy.
Still, while the Deep Space Observation that the Seven Gods Holy Mountain organized last time had studied the galaxy where Starfall was present and did not reach other galaxies, the Void model was extraordinarily huge. There were billions of specks of light that formed clusters of silver streams, hanging within the Void.
And at the center of the galaxy was a long, dark rift, and beneath it was a massive Void Vortex.
“Someone must have been controlling the invasion of the Evil Gods.”
Joshua could not hold back a cold laugh as he stared at the model of the galaxy.
Evil Gods were existences of Chaos, whimsically roaming the entire Multiverse even in the absence of the Great Mana Tide. If they really attacked on their own initiative, the ‘wounds’ they tore and the worlds they destroyed would not show such focus, forming a dark rift of such regular pattern.
Moreover, Joshua now knew that neither Evil Gods nor Void Behemoths existed a hundred and sixty million years ago. That was further evidence that Evil Gods were not natural beings in essence, but might have been a ‘Extraordinary Path’ created by human means, similar to the Holy Light and the recently appearing Shadow Realm.
But so what if he found the answer?
Even if that was the truth, could they really escape the battle against the Evil Gods? And if they did, would the culprit that created the Evil Gods spare them?
The Glorious Era was destroyed after completing the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, while the Shelter civilization was dealt a vital before the Black Fog’s weapon template was finished. Both were invaded simultaneously by multiple Evil Gods and numerous floors of the Abyss.
Joshua himself would not try to defend the Glorious Era. His identity as a Traveler notwithstanding, he would only acknowledge the Starfall Era Mycroft—what was there to stop him from admitting the foolish actions of the Glorious Era pioneers that led to their eventual doom?
Still, according to the information he accrued at present, there was a mechanism that was likely to exist across the Multiverse. It could determine the progress of civilizations, and when it reaches a Multiverse-stage, the Evil Gods would be activated to destroy it. In that respect, since the Mana Tide would lead to the rapid progress of many civilizations and push them collectively closer to that boundary, there was hence the illusion that Mana Tide would lead to the movements of the Evil Gods.
Joshua believed that most other Legends would have thought of that as well. Being individuals who could develop as superior lifeforms in a pseudo-medieval, almost modern magical industrial age, they were no fools. What the warrior himself could think of, the other Legends and gods would be able to as well, which was why after the Black Fog was seal, everyone was racking their brains or had sought out several allies to come up with solutions.
Being a Legend, would Nostradamus actually have come by the request of a few research mages? No way. He had intended to come here himself and incidentally found a reason—he left was also because he learned that Joshua was planning for the future too, only to realize that his specialty was mismatched and unable to assist the warrior in further study.
Either way, Joshua planned to use the External Expedition Teams as his test units for various Extraordinary ability. He would allow them to exchange for those with contribution points and clearance, before perfecting any flaws and deciding if that particular systems should be popularized over the entire world.