Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
When he received Zero-Three’s alert, Joshua was preparing for the first graduation ceremony of Winter Fort Academy with Ying and Ling.
To be precise, Ying and Ling were planning and preparing, while a certain warrior simply sat in the chair of the Dean’s office and watched them labor, darting here and there. It was the first time Joshua felt like he was a Count, a noble Liege—although he was not sure if that counted as child labor exploitation, and if Israel would fire a flame arrow down from the skies at him.
Whatever the case may be, it was a happy thing.
Time flew since Starfall 832 to present day. Both youths had now grown into adults who could shoulder responsibilities and possess ability around Gold. When he himself was Gold, Joshua had risen with leaps and bounds up to Legendary intermediate, becoming an old man in his thirties going to his forties.
In truth, Legendary intermediate was quite simply a self-verification that had been freely made. Legendary champions who sensed that they were reaching their limits and could hardly improve on the path they had taken would all call themselves Legendary-advance, whereas those who believed that there was still untapped talent even if their body and spirit had been honed to the pinnacle were Legendary-intermediate. Joshua certainly believed that he still had a long way to go, which was why even if he was supremely formidable, he was still developing as a champion.
While the abilities of Winter Fort Academy students did not improve rapidly like their dean, it remained intimidating. Following six to seven years of nurturing, a batch of ordinary youths that had no foundation at first were now Gold-tier, a progress that did not lose out to the Glorious Era as recorded in the Archives. Although the Great Mana Tide had a part to play, it proved Nostradamus and the instructors’ effort in that respect.
The First Graduation Ceremony was planned for the twenty-third of June. Joshua had been listening to a few of the instructors’ discussion regarding the actual course of the event, but quickly materialized a clone in the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and teleported to the Archives when he received Zero-Three’s alert.
“Evil God of Wither, and nine missing Legends?”
Joshua held Zero-Three with one hand and tried to lift her to sit on his shoulder but was rejected, and so the warrior could only hold the Artificial Intelligence girl like a doll while stroking his chin in puzzlement. “The Steel Strength which that Evil God suddenly burst out with is extremely weird, but when you consider that the previous forms of each Evil God nurtured a civilized world, that would make things explainable. Whether the Evil God’s incarnation was incomplete or because its form was beaten to the point of collapsing, the conversion of Chaos power is nothing too unusual.”
The problem lies with why the Glorious Era, or the Sage and the gods would try to hide the fate of the Evil God ‘Wither’, carefully concealing information about it and nine Legends from history?
Joshua pondered for a moment, but could not find an answer.
If that Evil God was really the key to converting Chaos and Order and the point of the Sage’s inspiration, it did not have to be hidden. The war had been so cruel then that everyone battled on against the enemy in despair and agony—if they were to learn that Chaos was not inextinguishable but could even be restored as ordinary Steel Strength, how much courage would that information have granted the entire civilization?
The pessimists would believe that it was seeking for one’s own death, while the optimists would think that it was the finest solution to triumph against an enemy. Joshua was convinced that, in circumstances where the pessimists would betray them, most left would be optimists.
“This is very important news. We could use that information left behind to find the trail and coordinates in which the nine Legends pursued that Evil God and find the location of their disappearance, and perhaps find that Evil God’s remains… Zero-Three, it’s really thanks to your Seventh-Class clearance!”
Pausing his consideration of the Evil God, Joshua praised Zero-Three happily. “Us Sixth-Class clearance would never have found that data, which is the only flaw of the Archives—insufficient clearance, and data would not be attained even with violent means.”
Joshua was referring to an incident that occurred half a year ago, when the Archives was first being transported. A runic party led by Barnil had attempted to bypass the clearance setting of Data Storage Hall 18 by forcefully deciphering the storage device, only to trigger its self-destruction programming. More than twenty of those cylindrical devices were purged of any data, turning into actual black stone pillars that had no function other than to smash someone’s face.
Having learned from that experience, Barnil and the others began to alter the entire Archives from its very runic source code. However, that process was estimated to take three hundred years for complete decryption—one should indeed use their time better by training to be a god.
Meanwhile, Zero-Three, who was still held in Joshua’s arms said nothing. It was until the warrior called her name directly that she promptly looked up.
“Uh… ah. It’s thanks to you that I could obtain His Majesty Gale’s Legacy…” Even she stammered, Zero-Three studied Joshua’s face carefully for a while, before asking curiously, “That’s weird, Joshua—you clearly said that it’s good news… but why do you look unhappy?”
She then flew out of his embrace and floated in front of the warrior, looking directly at his face. “You’re not disguising it seriously… you’ve made an outburst and was angry before! But weren’t you at Winter Fort Academy just now? It’s definitely not Ying and Ling, so…”
His expression definitely gloomy, Joshua extended a hand and gestured for Zero-Three to stop guessing. “Yes, that’s right,” he sighed, shaking his head. “I’ve argued with Nostradamus and the others over at Winter Fort, and dropped them at a moment’s notice when I got your call, although it’s just a little late.”
Zero-Three had actually forgotten to ‘flap’ her wings when she heard Joshua’s frank admission. “Argue? Why?” she asked, blinking and not quite understanding the news. “Aren’t you great friends? Kindred spirits, even…”
“It’s precisely because we’re kindred spirits and great friends that genuine anger burst out when there are differences.”
Joshua created two chairs out of thin air and gestured for Zero-Three to sit with him. His expression calmed a little as he sat, but it was some time before he continued, “It’s actually nothing too important… Zero-Three, did you see our fight with the main body of the Black Fog?”
“I’ve seen it.”
Zero-Three’s chair was one size smaller than Joshua’s and a perfect fit for her form. Her processing core whirled for a few cycles as she thought about the warrior’s words, but still could not link that with why they argued, and so could only ask, “You’ve worked together to seal it… it was an incredible battle, but why would that cause conflict amongst you?”
In return, Joshua kept silent for a long time on his chair, but finally exhaled a somber breath.
“Because they want to run,” he said helplessly.