Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In response, the old white-haired man who stood beside Joshua stroke his own beard, shaking his head either in wonder or doubt.
“Gold and Supreme are certainly as you put it,” Pope Igor said quietly, “But the birth of Legendary champions depends only on personal luck and understanding—it’s unfathomable.”
“Even so…” at those words, the elderly pontiff closed his eyes and nodded seriously, “You’re right. The world of Mycroft is not without talent, but we lack the conditions to uncover that talent.”
There were eight thousand ‘geniuses’ who could reach Gold or Supreme in the Main City of Moldavia alone, which population amounted less than one million. That also did not take into the account the few dozen thousands of talents that were competently endowed and had equal chance of developing as Gold through diligence, training, and resources, as well as those hidden and unfound. All in all, they made up ten percent of the entire population, which was very much unbelievable.
If all of Mycroft’s population could become Extraordinary individual, there was no question that those with buried talent would also become a cornerstone of civilization. Even if the world population was a few hundred million, ten million Golden champions and a few hundred thousand Supreme champions remained an unimaginable force.
“According to the Great Khan’s information, we can basically be sure that the outer galaxy is in a warring state of turmoil, and the phenomenon of Chaos gathering that we’ve seen before is precisely because of that strife.”
Joshua stared at the Steel Shard that hung at the skies above Moldavia. It was the one from Stellaris that could improve basic human attributes, and one which Joshua himself could create. He did not mind sharing his power with others, but before that, he must let others know about seriousness in the present tenseness.
“Each of those powerful Void civilizations command the power to destroy Mycroft. We do not pale in comparison when it comes to our superior champions, and were perhaps more powerful than them, but what about logistics and backup? They might be able to replace an entire fleet even after losing one, but how many years would it take for us to replace one Legendary champion?”
The elderly Pope remained silent, and Joshua did not continue either. It was some time later when Igor finally sighed.
“I understand your meaning… You wish that I establish academies for knights or even clergies similar to how you found academies for adepts, yes? To make common Extraordinary individual regardless of method, finding talents amongst them and thus grooming through resources extracted from Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and otherworld expeditions… A flawless plan.”
“That being said, the path of the Holy Light is not so simply inherited, Joshua. It’s really difficult to connect with the Holy Light and obtain its power without a pure mind and spirit of benevolence cultivated since a young age—to increase the ranks of clergies had been hard all along, just as it is difficult for anyone to go through the early, laborious stages.”
“Then why not groom them since young?” Joshua replied puzzledly with a glance at the pontiff. “Nine years of compulsory education and recruiting acolytes at the age of six. With the reputation of the Seven Gods Church, wouldn’t the peasants of the Far South beg and cry to have their children sent to the Church? It might not be easy for adults to develop a pure heart, but it is much simpler for children.”
“In fact, it might not be just the Far South. Children sent by every person in the continent who have similar ideas would probably overpopulate the entire Far Southern Holy Mountain—even if they could not endure the hardship, there would be a huge batch of children that fit the requirements.
‘Is the Church that rich?!’
Igor had wanted to scold Joshua for being delusional. After all, the Seven Gods church was not some political body, their main income having come from the clergies’ exorcism and similar work apart from the voluntary offerings of their followers. If the Church had not been a prestigious organization of Extraordinary individuals who possess their own unique channels for resources, they would have been bankrupt early on.
But now, after thinking things through for a while… The elderly pope realized in shock that the Seven Gods Church was actually very rich!
The dividends from otherworld exploration projects and the profits from those few mining worlds alone was enough to establish the most basic of academies and its recruitment!
Seven Gods above! Everything was made simpler with resources!
Igor had thought that it would not be a bad idea to establish a clergy academy, but the timing simply was not right (mainly due to lack of capital). However, after thinking about it, now might be the moment to spread the Path of the Holy Light on a larger scale.
“Still, Joshua. Your exclusive invitation for me to come here surely is not to talk about an issue that could be resolved over a communications spell.”
Having a blueprint of development planned out in mind after a split second, the pontiff composed himself and turned to the warrior. “Speak. I’ll listen to whatever it is that could trouble you.”
“It’s not actually trouble, Your Holiness. I simply wanted to ask if the Seven Gods Church which had battled the Abyss most frequently is aware of the concept known as the ‘Bottom of the Abyss’.”
Joshua certainly was not long-winded. Having gotten the pope to agree on a widespread circulation of clerical supernatural powers, he simply mentioned the true intention of his present invitation.
“You are aware that there might be some object of mystery hidden in the Abyss according to what we learned from the Great Khan… But I know nothing.”
Even in his pre-existence, information about the Abyss was solely limited to the Sixth Abyss and Goliath the Demon King. Joshua simply knew that the powerful Demon Kind unified the forces of multiple Abysses, and used it as support as it boldly invaded Mycroft. The invasion was naturally unsuccessful since a legion of Legendary champions led by Brandon slew its true form in the Valley of Tears Fortress and interrupted the Abyssal assault. After that, the war was dragged into an extended attritional warfare, and it was during the final counterattack in the Abyss that he crossed over.
Abyssal exploration was definitely a matter beyond that version. Whatever the case may be, Joshua did not know how things continued from there, and even he could only ask the pontiff—the most knowledgeable person he knew.
“I’m not sure. In fact, the Bottom of the Abyss does not exist even in the classical text of the Seven Gods Church.”
Igor’s reply was simple and straightforward, and he shook his head with a helpless smile. “The Abyss has no depth. Where would the bottom be?”
“Being a debris of countless worlds piled together after their ruin, their respective levels are counted according to its distance from Mycroft, with the First Abyss being the one closest to ours. It’s an extremely small demiplane right beside Karlis: there are no demons within and is nothing but a dead world. In comparison, the Sixth and Seventh Abysses are much further.”
“However, in Karlis’s perspective, our Sixth Abyss is their Third… who could be certain which is the bottom according to such a measure? Even the Grey Knight who ventured the furthest in the Abyss never once found the edge of the Abyss.”
“It certainly seems so.”
Joshua nodded in return, acknowledging the Pope’s description before offering his own counter. “Even so, we have to start a search. Even if the Great Khan was lying or if they have been fooled by their own ancient text, we should not give up on that power that might exist… If push comes to shove, it would be fine to reach the ancient battlefield between the Sage and the Evil God of Fertility. We might be able to learn something by just observing the traces from their battle.”
“Is that so… Of course, even traces from the battle between the Sage and the Evil God of Fertility is invaluable.”
Igor could not help become pensive as well. Things were as Joshua had put it: it neither has to be some secret or some mysterious ruin—for the champions of Mycroft, being able to find the wreckage of that battlefield was a greater reward than finding a new, perfect world for colonizing.
Be that as it may, he simply did not know where the hell the ‘Bottom of the Abyss’ was.
However, even if Saint Igor, the most powerful champion in the world did not know what kind of a place the bottom of the Abyss was, it did not mean that no one in Mycroft knew.
To the Southern District of Moldavia, an elven lady of graceful mannerism was nostalgically touching the enchanted metal object inside an enchanted steel carriage. There was a nostalgic air about her as if she was recalling an ancient past, a memory long diminished in the flames of war and destruction.
She was no longer who she once was, just as there was no sense of reality in memories, as if gazing upon flowers through the mists. However, ‘remembrance’ and ‘reminiscence’.
“All those years ago, it took us eight hundred years for all this.”
Stretching a little lazily, the elegant elf murmured in longing. “And yet, even mortals now need but a brief few years to catch up to the Glorious Era.”
Naturally, that was nothing unusual since it would always be more difficult to reclaim one’s own technology by starting from scratch. Even if this generation could invent new exclusive technologies, they had stood upon the shoulders of giants as they ventured forward.
Civilization had always been so: generation improves after generation, with normal beings standing upon the shoulders of old wisemen and see further than they ever could.
There was certainly nothing unusual since it did not affect the Sage’s majesty.
Nevertheless, they, the gods who watched by a side as the world cycled on… could not help but feel wonder.