Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
One of the orbital inclinations surrounding the Infinite Horizon, directly above the West Mountains of the world of Mycroft.
Starfall Year 839, sixth of March.
Behind an inconspicuous demiplane portal that virtually did not exist, three hundred mages arrived at their working posts after clearing a dozen physical examination and soul screening.
These mages came from different corners of the world, with some hailing from the Far Southern Kingdom, various courts of the West Mountains, as well as clergies and alchemists affiliated to the Seven Gods Holy Mountain. There were quite the number of mages from the Northern Empire and the Eastern Plains as well, with them occupying five-thirds the number of mages present.
The ability of the mages ranged from Supreme-advanced to Supreme-pinnacle, and were considered the cutting-edge of Mycroft scholars. Each of them had written ‘world-class’ thesis and may have varying influences on the magical system on Mycroft—in other words, if these three hundred elite mages were to be wiped out right now, the scholarly standard on magic would retrogress a hundred and fifty years for the world.
But now, these pillars and authorities of Mycroft’s magic were simply ‘moving’ things around, although they were shifting the core data hub that was passed on from the Glorious Era a thousand years ago, the all-encompassing library known as the ‘Unified Archives’.
[Welcome to the Central Unified Archives of the Glorious Era]
[Please observe silence when reading]
Two large lines of words that were dappled were inscribed directly above the main hall of the Archives. The information hub that was once open to all worlds and races was now dilapidated—thought the venerable Guardians had kept maintaining it that most data remained in fine condition, the entire building which had not seen upkeep over a thousand years was now in danger. To assure the safety of the data, all factions of the Starfall Era decided to do all they could to move those precious bits of knowledge to a safer place, with these mages who valued professional knowledge the most being the staff implementing.
Along with… the Artificial Intelligence that lived precisely for that.
Zero-Three floated above crystal floorboards of the vast main hall that was almost a square kilometer wide. Beneath her feet, behind those seemingly fragile floorboards that could actually withstand a direct blow from a Gold-tier spell were levelly stacked rows of twenty-two thousand and five hundred black cylindrical data storage.
Each data storage had a numerical serial number written with pure energy assigned above it ranging from 1 to 22500, with various unique information wafting inside each symbol. By linking to it with magic, aura or any other supernatural power, one could attain the table of contents of summary detailing the data stored within.
This was the Unified Archives’ four hundred and forty-seventh hall, where Zero-Three had been working for recent days.
Each cylindrical data storage contained near endless text, images, and footages that were categorized to various different information including cultures, humanities, arts, mathematics, philosophy, Extraordinary training and art of war. Typical medieval history, technology and all philosophy, study, and art would not have filled one and a half data store even in the form videos, and each hall of the Archives had twenty-two thousand and five hundred of those data storage devices, and there five hundred and fifty-one of those coded Archive halls.
“Starting from Four Hundred and Seventeen, the information stored no longer talks about the Mycroft continent and Extraordinary training—it’s basically data stores of other worlds and civilizations.”
Floating alone at the center of the Archives Hall, Zero-Three simply spread her hands, and the wings behind her dispersed as countless feathers, each of which were beams constituting of purest data flow. In that instant, the AI girl appeared to be an agent of heavens, her violet feathers filling the hall and soon turning to streams of light that linked her simultaneously to all twenty-two thousand and five-hundred data storage.
Each stream flashed with a faint luster—it was the phenomenon of energy fluctuating as substantial data was being transferred. Having gotten used to the task, Zero-Three no longer felt the faintness when she commenced grand-scale processing to transfer data at on the get-go, and now she proficiently compressed and packaged all information, uploading them to the Mana Net for caching, before uploading them to the other three archives in the Infinite Horizon, Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and the Triple Mountain as well.
If it had been an ordinary human, their brain would have overloaded and directly exploded if they were to take on the massive data transfer of all information from several civilizations. Even if their luck held and did not die on the spot, it would be typical if their self-consciousness were to be purged clean. Even elite mages extraordinarily trained would require comprehensive defensive preparations just to ensure that they would be so stuffed with those precious pieces of knowledge to the point that their consciousness would blow up.
Only artificial souls like Zero-Three, as well as several mage tower spirits with vivid self-awareness, beings that had already assimilated with data could ignore the impact of substantial external information, therein performing rapid and precise information transfer.
“I won’t be here if not for Joshua asking me to help. Every day is boring uploading and downloading data…”
While transferring data, Zero-Three still had the strength to complain. Holding her knees and curling into a ball in the air, she rolled around indignantly. “I heard that he’s always lingering around the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds. Who knows what he’s doing, never once dropping by to visit me here.”
While that was what she said, Zero-Three was keeping in touch with Joshua daily through the Information Terminal. They would not have been able to exchange information regarding the archives, which was why such complaints were simply nonsense mumbled out of boredom.
Noticing her faux paus, Zero-Three diverted her attention and focused on the contents of the information she was transferring.
Her few months of work had seen her process capital amounts of information, amongst of which included the calculations of Mycroft’s birth and its progression, images, and details of precursor bloodlines from which various races originated, along with near-complete records of ancient history. Most of the information were so detailed that the minutes of a council held by a certain race was noted.
These records of pure history were naturally boring for Zero-Three, but beyond that, there were also countless process of Extraordinary training and development contained in the Archives. The AI girl read it all from the beginning, browsing through human history from the psionic powers of the early days, up to arcane magic which was in turn converted into the ‘pre-modern magical system’ which included the six elements and ether.
Compared to information about Extraordinary powers, even the frivolous history of races and civilizations were but a drop in the ocean. If the Archives Halls that numbered beyond five hundred had at least eighty storing bygone civilization and world history including the Shelter Federation, three-fourths of remaining four hundred or so Halls at minimum all contained records of development for various Extraordinary powers along with special substances.
Psionic, arcane, Nature Power, elemental magic, lifeforce, ether, Holy Light were the supernatural powers that were founded by humans and the other races in that particular order, thereby spawning a glorified Extraordinary civilization. The roots of the Glorious Era was built open countless systems of supernatural powers that could be either complex or simply, and the Archives ensured that the legacy, regardless of how insignificant it was would be part of history, never to be forgotten by the successors, while the successors could eternally stand upon the shoulders of those who came before.
Be it complex or simple, erroneous or correct, the all changes and branching out of each supernatural power as well as the millions of experiences in training in such disciplines were stored in the black cylinders as a near-eternal legacy, until the Archives was blasted away.
Zero-Three enjoyed studying that information, where she would absorb useful knowledge and improve herself. After all, it was not enough with her intermediate ability to stand at that person’s side.
She was aware that she was neither Ying or Ling, Black or Light, although she did not have to call Joshua Master or Father, and could say his name directly… That’s the greatest difference she had compared to the others, and the reason she should be diligent—only through strength could she earn the confidence and right to be at his side.
“Huh, that’s it? Next up… information about the war and enemies?!”
However, just when Zero-Three was studying interesting in the thesis titled ‘Seven-class Logic Intelligence’, ‘Synthetic Souls—the Dawn of Artificial Beings’ and ‘Manmade Intellectual Progress’, she suddenly realized that the data storage beyond Eleven Hundred and Forty-Six no longer saved various complex scholarly theories or technological theses, but different information that were rather miscellaneous yet immeasurably vita.
It was information regarding the war, ‘Abyss’, ‘Chaos’ and ‘Hostile Civilizations’, even ‘Evil Gods’!
Quickly scanning the table of contents, Zero-Three’s magical projection could not hold back from a ‘sharp inhaling’ expression. “What remains should be records and data on the course of the war against the enemy,” she whispered solemnly, “left before the Unified Archives was blasted away?”
Zero-Three proved that her hunch was correct after browsing through massive volume of information in the matter of seconds. Starting from the data storage device 1146, every following device contained information about the Glorious Era, the galaxy it existed within down to the Abyss, the Chaos and any worlds that held hostile intent against Mycroft!
In the Multiverse, apart from Abyss, Chaos and Void Behemoths that were viewed as mutual enemies, there were also ultimate beings known as Evil Gods and Endbringers. They were threats to all Orders, the greatest foe to all that lives, and yet Order itself was no single block of metal. There were always those unique civilizations that assumed the path of wanton destruction out of innate culture, their races’ physical instincts or even a warped lust for survival.
They may be a purist civilization that could not abide by the existence of other races in the Multiverse, a society of devourers that saw all other beings—even Abyss and Evil Gods as food, or even radical zealots that massacres anything that did not view them as their gods. There were all kinds of freakish civilizations present, all of which were great threats without exception. That was why the former Glorious Era had stored records of them and their fate of destruction at the hands of many civilizations: it was a warning to their successors that they should be respectful and accommodating to the Multiverse, and to grow the courage of accepting others’ differences.
The reason Zero-Three was interested in that topic was that she found an ‘AI Civilization’ that had destroyed their own creators and replaced them as the dominant society. That civilization viewed all intelligent creatures as natural enemies, and only trusted only the various machine intelligence and tower spirits, their very own kind.
As a form of advanced control, Artificial Souls manipulated inferior machine bodies that lacked intellect, and through incessant self-replicating and data analysis mastered all of their creators’ technologies, even developing it one step further. They gathered all resources in their motherworld at a single point, crafting a colossal celestial warship with the intent on invading other worlds—the sheer mass of the warship itself could distort the Void, shifting worlds around it from their orbits in violent tremors.
It was hence a pity that the first world they came across was the Glorious Era, which had just begun to blossom. The rest was history—the tale and fate of those manmade intelligences and their creators were all noted in the Archives, becoming a data that stirred its readers.
Having read the entire story of her own wild and callous kind, Zero-Three sighed, said nothing and moved on to the next data. Soon, she found something that she wanted and would certainly interest Joshua as well.
It was data regarding Chaos and ‘Evil Gods’.
“I see. Even before the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds was activated, there were the signs of Chaos factions existing across the galaxy, albeit unnoticed by everyone at the time.”
Zero-Three sighed again, appearing grim after she had generally browsed some of the more vital reports and data about the Glorious Era before the Final Battle. “If the civilization had set preventive measures in place and stayed alert against those signs instead of basking in the delight of completing the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, there might have been a different story.”
Karlis would not have met the fate of devastation in the Evil God of Famine invasion, while the countless vulnerable civilizations around the world of Mycroft might still have the chance of survival.
Even so, everything had already happened. Zero-Three did not linger, and kept studying the materials.
According to the records, Glorious Era Mycroft had almost a hundred Legendary champions and similar beings on the eve of the Final Battle, more than thirty orthodox deities, various pseudo-Legends, demigods and innumerable pre-ascension gods. In that age of prosperity, towns were protected by multiple Supreme champions and Silver was the basic civilian tier. Gold was merely basic personnel who were rather excellent, while Iron only existed in underage voluntary schools.
In that era, with the existence of supernatural powers, most people only had to work for a few days to obtain a month’s worth of living resources. The Void resources Legendary champions convert into energies was enough for to last dozens of cities for almost half a year, production capacity and energy resources were rich while champions and normal humans were in perfect harmony. All of society was in a near-complete Era of Great Unity.
There were no discrimination and grudges between races, no differences between species—even elves and dwarves were known to establish families together as long as both sides did not have an issue with their union. There were no birth defects either, since parents could adjust with various magic and lifeforce to grant their fetus a perfect form.
As a singular world, Mycroft had progressed to their zenith, and thanks to the presence of the Sage, the Glorious Era did not rampantly colonize outside realms, and instead prudently selected uninhabited worlds as expedition points. Apart from the Sage’s personal ambition, the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds naturally embodied the tremendous responsibility for the Glorious Era’s outward expansion as well.
However, the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds was not connected to some beautiful, new world, but the endless Abyss.
And the Evil Gods naturally followed.
“‘Famine’, ‘Pestilence’, ‘Disparity’, ‘Aging’, ‘Frost’, ‘Air’, ‘Distortion’, ‘Tempest’, ‘Calamity’, ‘Pollution’… and ‘Fertility’.”
Zero-Three scanned through the list of Evil Gods, subconsciously ‘gulping’ as she did so while her projection flashed in static for an instant before recovering. “That many?” She muttered in shock. “There’s already twenty-one in total which existence was confirmed, and yet there are still more creatures of Chaos that were hidden behind the scenes and never really showed up until the Archives was detached?!”
Information of Evil Gods, once shrouded in mystery had now surfaced ever so mundanely. Amongst them were names that the Mycroft were acquainted with, just as there were some unfamiliar ones. In that respect, Zero-Three clearly understood what was going on.
“Evil Gods which names are still remembered are those that did not die after the battle. As for those forgotten Evil Gods, they probably don’t exist now anymore.”
After all, Mycroft’s peak powers then could have been the greatest in the galaxy around it, even able to compete for a spot for the most powerful of the Multiverse. They were more than a class above the Shelter civilization, since they could fight against several Evil Gods at once and even slay them.
Known living Evil Gods were ‘Famine’, ‘Pestilence’, ‘Air’, ‘Calamity’ and ‘Decay’. Amongst them, Famine, Calamity, and Decay did not attack Mycroft directly, and instead attacked Karlis as well as the Shelter civilization’s territories. Air itself had part of its body dismembered by one of the Apostles and probably left the battlefield right then, and only the Evil God of ‘Pestilence’, after having directly assaulted the Glorious Era civilization and fought the Sage, escaped with part of its body left… and may still be alive till this day.
Gathering the names of those Evil Gods, studying any information that was obtainable about them and keeping them in her mind, Zero-Three intended to send all those data to Joshua later.
However, the AI girl’s eyes unwittingly widened at the very text she read from the data storage.