Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Joshua recalled the recent moment when he had arrived at Fairyland.
Compared to the first time he visited the place, Fairyland was now much more normal. The four elements of earth, water, fire, and wind were in a cycle, forming a stable, beautiful world. Everything upon it—the red clouds in the skies or the flowers on the ground were all mimicry condensed from the elements, with countless faint luminous particles swirling around those objects distinctly, emanating a dazzling and aesthetical radiance.
A party of fairies appeared well aware of Joshua’s arrival. As soon as his clone arrived, they were already waiting for him at his landing spot.
“Her Majesties know the purpose of your visit, Master Radcliffe. Please follow us.”
The one in the lead—a water fairy—was rather proper and able to speak smoothly and formally as the situation required. On the other hand, the other fairies following behind her had excess curiosity, having begun to point and gesture at Joshua excitedly then while hiding themselves behind the water fairy.
“Look, that shovel really resembles a human!”
“Rubbish. He is human, it’s just that his ability is excessively strong that he does not resemble one!”
“He’s clearly not human… Are there humans who are made entirely out of metals? Likewise, would there be fairies whose bodies are not made of the four elements?”
Joshua was certainly aware of the fairies’ free and jovial talk, but his expression darkened when he heard them arguing whether he was human. What does using the four elements as bodies even mean? Have they never heard of the Empire’s artificial fairies project? And what about silver fairies? Is it inhuman to be made entirely out of steel?
So young, so unknowledgeable and such simple-mindedness.
Still, the carefreeness lasted for just an instant. Silently, Joshua followed the water fairy in the lead. His visit to Fairyland this time was neither to enjoy the scenery nor to relax, but to look for the Four Fairy Queens at once and obtain some vital information from those beings who may be the oldest creatures on Mycroft.
The Fairyland was semi-spherical, with a flat earth composed entirely out of sturdy earth elements. Beneath it was a layer similar to earth’s mental where fire elements cascaded, while the skies were formed fully out of surging wind elements. A sun formed by fire elements hung at the center, while water elements formed lakes over the land and rainclouds in the sky, a great cycle that stretches across the realm.
Such was the general basic cycle of the four elements. There were naturally other more delicate cycles as well, such as volcanoes that compounded fire and earth elements, or warm geysers that combined earth, fire and water elements. Along his journey behind the water fairy, Joshua could still generally observe the sights in Fairyland.
“During your last visit, the Earth Fairy Queen was grievously injured, which in turn left the ground on such a vague and broken state then… To heal such wounds would have take decades or more than a century, but thanks to the aid of other Legendary champions, Her Majesty has almost fully recovered.”
Along the way, the water fairy explained the present circumstances of Fairyland, while respectfully mentioning the human Legends who helped to heal the Fairy Queen’s injuries. As for Joshua, the warrior understood at once who had helped the Fairy Queen… A good-natured middle-aged man with nothing over his head at all, a clean-freak mage who had an artificial eye and a female caster whose face was vague and have crystal hair… weren’t they Barbarossa, Barnil and Vahina?
It appears that after the exploration of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds was finished, as gratitude for the Fairy Queens loaning of Fairyland as a forward base, the Legends had helped healed them later.
Joshua had presumed that it may be a typical fairy habit to keep to themselves all year round in the Fairyland without having to interact with beings from the outside, keeping to their innocent lifestyle with the help their own formidable abilities… It was when he met the Fairy Queens that he learned that it was no habit, but the very nature of fairies.
“Ah, I remember you!”
There was a huge and majestic palace of Elemental Smelter that looked like nothing a Fairy could build, with each of its four walls carved with huge sculptures of fairies that were at least four hundred meters tall. Each of sculpting held a corresponding, pure magical element, with sufficiently terrible energy to destroy an entire world. Joshua simply murmured in awe ‘huge’ once, before calming going to stand at the center of the palace, awaiting the four Fairy Queens to withdraw their spirits from across Fairyland
The first to arrive was Queen Mother Earth, the incarnation of earth elements who happily extended her little hand to point at Joshua. “You’re that well human who has a savage face and looks skinny with clothes on!”
Joshua, who has a savage face and looks skinny with clothes on was left speechless, just as the other three other Fairy Queens arrived one after another.
Despite being a far cry from the grand scale of the Elemental Smelter Palace, the Legendary Fairy Queens did not deliberately enlarge their forms. They simply maintained ordinary palm-sized fairy forms, wafting onto the little thrones carved upon the huge fingers of the fairy sculptures on the walls.
It must be said that it was difficult for fairies to predict fairy thoughts. They have created four huge sculptures that were hundreds of meters tall, and then carved their own little thrones on the fingers of those sculptures… if not for Joshua’s great vision, ordinary humans would never be able to make out the four Fairy Queens’ figures on the ground.
Nevertheless, Joshua was not here to banter about fairy traditional—such a thing would last for days given the fairies’ eccentricities.
Fairies appeared no different from shrunken versions of elves. That was because the first intelligent beings the fairies came across were the elves, in an early moment back when they were deciding the form of their very own race. Later, to differentiate each other, most of the fairies grew a pair of elemental wings of different styles.
Unlike rumors that circulated around the continent, as beings of pure elements, the average ability of fairies did not lose out to the dragons. Each adult fairy had the prowess of Silver-tier elemental mages, while they also possess psionic shields and bodies, keeping them immune from most physical and magical attacks. Additionally, they were small and extremely swift—if they would muster hostility and became fully destructive, they were essentially miniature cannons that barely offers itself as a target, capable of wreaking frightening devastation on certain special zones.
The fairies also possess the finest craftsmanship and power legacy of today, able to forge sacred swords and divine items and are—next to humans and dragons—the race that boasted most Legendary champions. It was rumored that the forging of the Sacred Sword Mystletainn was aided by a divine fairy craftsman, who sacrificed her own life to make the blade invincible.
Of course, that was definitely false.
If Queen Mother Earth was the size of ordinary humans, she would appear to be a young married woman with mild mannerisms. The wings behind her back that resembled a butterfly i formed from complex patterns and flowed endlessly with earth elements signatures. Those ripples were in fact the model of some powerful elemental spell, and if the caster was willing, it would easily unleash countless spells of the same type.
Beside her was Queen Blue Sea, who resembled a young and pretty elven girl and whose long, ocean-blue hair flowed behind her. Her wings, however, appeared rather unusual—it made Joshua remember the sails on ships, or could it have been fish fins? The warrior was left a little unsure what style it was supposed to be, but since it was stirring with water-element ripples it would appear to be more or less the same.
Meanwhile, Queen Blazing Sun appeared to be a beautiful lady with a voluptuous body. She was studying Joshua’s hair curiously, and murmuring something softly along the lines of ‘doesn’t seem like it would burn’. Joshua coughed once to interrupt her, but when he saw clearly the style of her wings, he could not hold back his surprise.
Those were quite simply a pair of rocket silos!
Blazing magical energy was ejecting incessantly from inside the cylindrical fire-element construct… the construct itself was essentially two rockets, floating behind the queen’s back and had nothing at all to do with wings!
On the other hand, the last Fairy Queen—Queen Sky Mist was normal in both appearance and wings. She had the valiant impression of an elven hunter and wings resembling the avian people’s, with vague feathers condensed from wind-element energies falling without stepping and vanishing into thin air.
Naturally, each Queen was half the size of Joshua’s palm.
And rather cute.
“I know why you’ve come, Count Radcliffe.”
Queen Sky Mist was the first to speak—it was clear that the Legendary fairy was normal in both speech, appearance and mannerism. “You wish to obtain information regarding ‘World Shaping’ and certain ancient secrets,” she said solemnly on her small throne, “we certainly could grant you those, but knowledge is priceless treasures—the price of which is another knowledge.”
“Reward only comes through equivalent exchange. Such is the code of our kind.”
“I have firsthand information on how Steel Strength manifested as worlds, and I could tell you the location.”
Naturally aware of the fairies’ norm, Joshua had already prepared many things to barter with. As he spoke, the warrior used Steel Strength to transmit the sight of the Void Vortex, which had now turned completely into a nebula that creates stars. All four Fairy Queens exclaimed in awe at once, and it was clear that the contents were definitely very important for them.
And it would certainly be the case. The sight of countless worlds being born was unquestionably priceless treasures for the Fairy Queens who had set their ambitions on creating worlds themselves. Moreover, only Joshua and Karlis possessed that firsthand information of worlds manifesting and birthed, and now that the Void Vortex had entered a stable phase, one could only observe any valuable changes once every dozen thousand years if they went there now.
“…While we knew that you would definitely be ready, we never imagined that you would be so well-prepared.”
Buzzing, the four Fairy Queens accepted the data pack that Joshua sent for complete analysis later, but certainly could not stay quiet after accepting a reward. “Well, human,” Queen Blue Sea said delightedly, “ask away. There is no limit to what we know, and we would tell you everything—hmmm. Depending on the situation, there are some things that must be left unsaid.”
Blue Sea appeared to have noticed the warning gaze from the other Fairy Queens, and had to awkwardly wave her hands. “I just got a little too excited, heh.”
Now, Joshua was questioning if he was mistaken in seeking the Fairies for information. Even so, it was no time for hesitation.
“As the race that was least affected by the Lost Three Hundred Years, fairies have the most complete of preserved archives,” he said. “I wish to know… what do all of you think of the Multiverse after the Lost Three Hundred Years, the galaxy wherein our world existed?”
The rather noisy Elemental Smelter Palace fell into silence at the question. Even if they were cheerful and appeared unreliable, the Fairy Queens remained Legendary tier—when they become serious, even worlds would shift at their will.
Tides of the four elements thus raged across the dome of the palace, churning and mixing. Unlike those petite and adorable humanoid fairies, the waves were the true form of the Fairy Queens—they were four devastating magical ripples that could engulf Fairyland in its entirety, extending even across the world, each blending and interacted secretively as the elements merged.
After half a beat, Queen Mother Earth, who now appeared much more serious, answered Joshua’s question.
“While we do not know why you would ask such a question, Count Radcliffe, we shall answer you earnestly since we’ve already accepted your reward,” she spoke calmly, her expression serene. “You’ve asked how we see the Multiverse and our galaxy three hundred years before and three hundred years later. We have but one answer—there’s a huge difference.”
“How, specifically?” Joshua pressed, unsurprised by the answer. He had a similar answer in mind, but had simply wanted to hear the fairies themselves say it to verify his opinion.
“There are many aspects. Firstly, the number of living worlds.”
Queen Mother Earth said quietly, tidying her hair and flapping her wings. “You are aware of the ‘World Order Resonance Phenomenon’, I presume? The shaping of a world of Order would lead to the autonomous condensation of any Steel Strength around it, forming outlines of worlds similar to said world of Order. That is why there are many living worlds with similar conditions nearby living worlds.”
“We were not born before the Lost Three Hundred Years, but our elders were. According to the information they left behind, the Multiverse, or in other words our galaxy flourished—even after the countless living worlds were destroyed by the attack of the Evil Gods, many worlds survived.”
“You might not know this,” Queen Blazing Sun then added, “but the world of Mycroft was once surrounded by more than a thousand living worlds. While most could not be colonized conventionally due to various factors, they were places where the Glorious Era obtained resources, and the Mycroft planetary region was known as the ‘Thousand Star Domain’ back then.”
“But now, just three hundred years later, there are no more than thirty dull worlds left across the entire region, a far cry from a thousand. I’ve even suspected that they were fooling me.”
After that, Queen Mother Earth coughed once so that she could speak again, but she nodded, admitting that Queen Blazing Sun had been right. “That’s exactly the case, except for a single contrasting point… We’ve also discovered that most living worlds of this galaxy had vanished, having changed their position, perhaps even destroyed—look.”
As she spoke Queen Mother Earth cast a screen displaying the Void model of the galaxy, a map drawn after the Seven Gods Church had carried out the Deep-Space Observation. “This should not be,” Queen Mother Earth said grimly, pointing at each of the dim planets in the screen, “the galaxy where we exist should not have so few living worlds, not even after Evil Gods invasion.”
“That’s right,” Queen Blue Sea nodded emotionally. “The regeneration capacity of worlds is formidable. Most would not die so swiftly even after being attacked by Evil Gods—they would at most suffer destruction on the surface, thus simply losing their ecosphere.”
Joshua nodded subconsciously as well. The Fairy Queens were right: worlds are not annihilated easily. A point in case was Planet Earth in the warrior’s preexistence—humankind had possessed such number of nuclear missiles enough to destroy their own civilization, but it might not wipe out the ecosystems on the continents, not to mention those living in the oceans. Even if that number were to be multiplied by a hundredfold, it would remain doubtful if the Earth’s crust could be destroyed. It was only after Black Technology had burst forward and the arrival of the Great Unity that galactic-scale weaponry appeared, finally displaying the capacity of destroying the planetary surface and threaten ‘world’.
It was the same thing for this Multiverse. All the Evil Gods often did was simply destroying the ecospheres instead of blasting the world into pieces, and the world was durable and would quickly recover in that respect, as is the case with the world of Karlis. Even after it had been destroyed more than a thousand years ago it still maintained its will, even reviving itself until Joshua came along to help it.
“Worlds certainly would fall into the depths when they lose their ecosphere,” Queen Mother Earth continued, “but any remaining seeds would still bloom after a thousand years, gradually reviving the world… And yet, we have not seen more than a few worlds coming back to life—most were simply and utterly ruined. It’s not a normal sign.”
Being the fairy specializing in earth-elements and the land in itself, she was the greatest authority in that field. Joshua, too, remembered the aquatic world the otherworld expedition teams had discovered… That world was certainly reviving, with oxygen-creating algae rapidly reproducing, the signs of an ecosphere recovering.”
“The model of our galaxy is unusual as well.”
It was now Queen Sky Mist speaking. She turned the model of the galaxy and filled it with elements so that it became a luminous solid. “Here. According to logic, galaxies come only in just a few forms: most are vortices with several spiral arms, along with a few spiral or ring-shaped… However, the galaxy we exist in is unlike the others.”
Noticing Joshua’s expression becoming curious as well, Sky Mist’s voice promptly became dark as she sighed softly.
“You see it clearly, too?”
“The galaxy we exist within… is dented.”