Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
From the moment of birth, Extraordinary civilizations face a question: why should Extraordinary individuals be concerned with the continuation of civilization?
That very question sounded callous and illogical, but it was indeed as the question puts: Setting aside the emotional portion, the most powerful Extraordinary individuals simply did not have to be concerned over the prolonging of civilization. Their very existence was equal to or perhaps superior to an entire civilization, while their might and wisdom could crush the composite of billions of normal individuals.
A point in case were Legendary champions.
Each of them has the individual ability to destroy Starfall Era Mycroft. As long as other Legends did not act, they would easily subjugate the world and turn all civilization into their plaything—even William the Mind Lord, the one who had the least capacity for physical destruction could turn billions into his puppet through widespread brainwashing.
The way they saw the world, the speed of their thought, their knowledge of all things and their thinking were all far beyond human. Against champions who could directly observe electromagnetism of all wavelengths, manipulate gravity, electromagnetism, atomic force and control the tune of mana and ether as if playing a piano, rare geniuses amongst the millions would never compare: as such people experimented to prove their theory and verified models, the champions had already invoked reality to see through the true nature behind it all.
Their mental process and calculation were unimaginably powerful as well. Within a minute, Joshua’s own processing core could handle more information than all life on Mycroft would produce, and Joshua could create dozen thousands of such cores in the blink of an eye.
They were the very pinnacle of civilization, the composite of boundless power and intelligence, having already secured a place on top of the world even as mortals. Legends were even a different species—they have refined themselves into a greater, more unbelievable existence, and they were inhuman. If not for the influence of memories and emotions, they simply have no reason to help the ordinary people who were once their peers.
According to their survival instincts, they would wander the Void alone, and only then could they have a greater chance of obtaining resources and living on… but intelligent life were ultimately not merely life: They had another purpose beyond staying alive, for emotions and duty kept those champions believing that staying together and moving forward was the right path.
Therefore, the acknowledgment of emotion and culture was the bond between Extraordinary individuals and civilization.
But one must be aware that such bonds are never eternally realistic.
Civilization must never stay reliant of that facet. If it acted as mere earth where champions were nurtured but could not aid them moving forward, the single-sided contribution from the champions would even leave Legends in occasional loss.
Joshua knew one such example: a few years ago, the Nature’s Magister had exhausted all efforts for the elves, striving to adjust a greater Nature’s Path so that the elves would improve and adapt to the world, and yet the elven tribes did not agree. All they wanted was for her to hand over and share the World Tree Seed with all the tribes—a relic given by Father Nature that was incompatible as an embodiment of Nature’s Path and contained nothing other than nostalgia.
They simply did not comprehend the Nature Magister’s effort, merely following their lamentably foolish thinking in demanding… herself at a loss, if not for Joshua’s presence to affirm her, she might have doubted her own effort and her purpose to strive for the elves.
Single-sided things never last. It had to be a mutual victory to keep such bonds eternal.
Hence, we return to the fundamental aspect of the question: how could a mutual victory be truly maintained when a civilization could do nothing by themselves, and are forced to rely on Legendary champions on every turn?
Quit with the jokes.
Civilization could create champions and depend on them, just as they could aid civilization… but what if the day comes that they became unwilling to help? While such outcomes appear unthinkable now and nigh impossible, the disaster civilization only ever faces were, in fact, the infinity of impossibilities.
Someone must consider such questions and prepare—before such disasters occur.
Joshua believed that the present issues in Mycroft had yet to deteriorate to the point where life and death hang in the balance and the Legendary champions did not have to make a move. Like how children take a fall as they play around in the mud, they could be aided with bandaging, disinfecting and a warm bath, not chemotherapy, amputation or cloning a new body where their mind could be translated…
Another simile would be that Mycroft had presently arrived before a ditch. They could cross it by building a bridge, so why would they need an invincible tractor such as Joshua who would directly flatten the ditch along with the mountains and the world itself?
While the tractor would not tire, it was not the case for ordinary people. In fear, they would mutter to each other to be cautious against people of such power and the tractor itself… And it would be no foolery. It might sound mindless, there would be those who—indeed, many of those who thought along those lines.
Be that as it may, after learning that the problems could have been caused by an Evil God, Joshua had informed the other Legends to be cautious as they handled various issues. Meanwhile, he would head to another world and search for possible information about an Evil God.
What was being responsible if all these were considered being a bystander and doing nothing? Should they lead civilization by the hand, teach them how to walk? Tell a player how they should play a game, acting as the father of every human in civilization, telling them how to live?
Even the gods would be knocked off their pedestal beneath the rage of the masses if they acted so arrogantly.
Joshua said nothing; the God of Life was silent as well.
Both beings were simply not creatures of many words, and not giving each other silent treatments. Just as Zelma looked on beside them, imagining that the two profound beings were in a standoff, both were incessantly exchanging through Steel Strength and divine power, entering a duel of ideals on the spiritual plane a through supremely efficient communication.
Just like that, time flew amidst indescribable silence. It was after a long time that the God of Life appeared relieved and spoke in admiration, “You answer well and not out of instinct, Radcliffe—you have certainly thought about the question. We imagined that one who is simple-minded such as you would never have thought about things so extensively.
“Even Extraordinary civilizations must never excessively interfere with its own growth through supernatural powers—such was the path we had once taken.”
A hollow voice resounded throughout the Void: it was not soundwaves but an undulation of information. The God of Life did not have to open its mouth, its powerful spirit would directly affect the souls of intelligent beings around it to conjured the illusion of ‘hearing’, even as the deity quietly murmured, “When Extraordinary individuals supply power and skill to mortals without restraint, it would form a powerful but malformed civilization… it was what the Sage had once done, his kindness grasping all of civilization in his palm, keeping it safe from everything without seeking anything in return.”
“He aided and freed countless people from torment, gifting salvation to those despairing in abysses, aiding and supporting civilizations while willingly instructing learners in the very root of his own power… in the end, the Glorious Era that appeared immeasurably prosperous remained an ancient feudal society in essence, albeit with supreme technology.”
“Nobles, knights, mages, old lieges, kings, deities, priests, churches, and their many devotees… Even the laziest of farmers would reap bountiful harvests, and all was well in our world thanks to Extraordinary power… but what about the world? It was only because a powerful shepherd is ruling over his flock of fat and naïve sheep.”
“Arrogance blinds one’s vision, keeping them from seeing future and the path ahead.” The God of Life laughed happily even as it stroked the skull in its hand. “Joshua van Radcliffe—you declare yourself prideful and yet is much humbler than others, and you are aware that there was a price that makes people flinch behind the beautiful painting of ‘taken for granted’.”
The God of Life spoke mildly and intimately. For the first time its voice was fettered, instead of its usual calm and flatness as if stagnated water. “There are innumerable advantages in leaving civilization’s path to Extraordinary individuals to break through the calamity before us, just as there are infinite disadvantages… Even the Sage who had assumed that path believed himself to have failed, that his Order was mistaken. Still, he knew all along that he was not Truth eternal, and in fact, by the end of the Glorious Era, he thought about how civilization could advance further, earning a different, better and stronger Order.
As it spoke, the God of life turned, its white feet and silky long hair swaying in the Void like waves. It appeared to have resolved it doubt and was thus prepared to leave.
Coming and going as it wished? Was this place its courtyard?
Joshua would be the first to disagree.
The sudden appearance and questions from the God of Life, the interaction from out of nowhere had suddenly exposed much information.
“At the end of the Glorious Era, the Sage was thinking how to strengthen civilization? An Order that was different, better and stronger?”
Two bright spots appeared in the gigantic silver star, so blinding that it appeared to be the eyes of a giant in the dark Void. The warrior’s true form fixed his gaze upon the God of Life, terrible Steel Strength searing and sealing the Void around as he spoke quietly, “The Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds… or perhaps the homework Yolanda mentioned?”
Joshua at once remembered the God of Love and Death who revealed much in their recent exchange… such as the being which she spoke of which might not have been the Sage, and the homework he assigned his student about civilization and Order.
Indeed, the homework could actually make one a god and establish an Order that belonged to themselves!
The God of life had spoken calmly, but with a tone that was not be ignored.
“What are the true identities of the Seven? Why do you have such intimate memories of the Sage and the Glorious Era?”
At present, Joshua could no longer stand the Seven Gods’ enigmatic and secretive attitudes. Indeed, Yolanda’s personal connection with the Sage might be private and the warrior had no reason to ask, but the Seven Gods were beings that protected Mycroft—their true identities should not be kept so secretively like it was now.
Were they former Apostles of the Sage? Or fallen ancient divine beings that did not utterly die, but were revive a thousand years later?
Perhaps, artificial deities directly created by the Sage?
There were so many possibilities Joshua could think of that they were about leak out. Today was the day he would get to the truth even if he had to fight these guardians of civilization!
Still, the God of Life’s projected clone simply stepped out of the Steel Strength barrier as if it was Joshua’s own power. The divine being was neither surprised nor angered by the warrior’s seal, and simply stood unfettered beyond it, speaking softly again impassively, “Simple-Minded One. Do not guess who we are, for even ourselves are uncertain.”
“We certainly have partial memories of the Glorious Era—partial, that is. There is no proof, however, and they proved paradoxical and clashing.”
At those words, the genderless God of Life that resembled a simple silhouette smiled mildly once again. “Don’t guess, don’t think, don’t imagine—you are moving towards a future we never had, so why should you look back, leering at privacies us old bones do not want others to know?”
“You’re right. But if you really don’t want others to know, you should never have left things halfway and keep me in suspense!”
Would Joshua be dissuaded with such mild words? He always hated bastards who deliberately left things unfinished and walked away!
Boundless radiance spread from the edge of the silver planet as if infernos, igniting the Void. Four massive spiraling arms like that of galaxies slowly formed around the star just like the hands of a giant god, embodying infinitely brutal devastation.
“Ah… Perhaps we would fight over the different Order we have chosen in future, but that is not today.”
The God of Life sighed at the sight, its hollow voice resounding in the Void. “You should save your strength for the nightmares of Chaos… Simple-Minded One, do not be affected by divinity. What’s more, you’d never stop me if I wish to leave.”
“Still. You’d never let it go if I say nothing, I believe? I’m aware you wish to use this to understand how you are different from the gods, and I incidentally could tell you certain related secrets.”
“The greatest mystery about ‘True Gods’.”
In response, Joshua’s massive spiral arms that were almost fully formed promptly stopped moving.
He also realized that, unwittingly, he appeared to be affected by his own divinity that was subjugated early on.
Recently, the warrior’s development was so quick that the divinity that grew rapidly along as well, leading to another moment where his battle tendency was exposed like it had a moment ago despite having steadily subjugated his divinity before.
‘ In the end, the Seven Gods are allies… If they are willing to take a step back and reveal some hidden information, whatever…’
Holding in the carefree desire to at once fight the God of Life, the planet that was Joshua’s true form dimmed as his humanoid clone stepped up, awaiting the deity’s explanation of the ‘True God’s’ ultimate secret.
“Simple-Minded One. Do you know what gods actually are?”
The God of Life began short and simply, asking a question that appeared simple, shallow and posed no challenge at all.
But as Joshua thought about it carefully, he realized he certainly could not define that concept. Neither could he find anything similar between the so-called doctrinal gods and these deities of Mycroft, the latter of whom did not require religion or a church, merely watching as the world cycles on as if idly.
Then, the God of Life no longer spoke in riddles. Linking Divine Power and Steel Strength, he exchanged information with Joshua rapidly.