Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
There were many so-called ‘gods’ at the beginning of the Glorious Era.
The first type were powerful beings born when the world was created from various natural phenomenon, even primordial Steel Strength. They include the Steel Python, Ancient Dragons, Earth Goddess, various mountain gods, the Sun God and the fist generation gods of the seas and the skies.
They breathed with the world, grasping nature’s power and were amongst the world’s earliest and most powerful living spirits. That is why they are known as the Prime Gods, the main deities of various legends. Amongst them, Steel Pythons and Ancient Dragons were the most special since their definitions blurred lines, and the other nations could not be described on equal terms.
The second type spawned from the Prime Gods, powerful beings born in the world: such as the Gods of Thunder, Windstorms, Avalanches, and Tremors.
Such gods spawned from the power of the Prime, and were considered children that partially inherited their power. It was them who were the main form of the earliest deities, known as the World Gods and commonly seen in various myths.
The third type were superior beings born sheerly from human imagination, faith, and worship of certain concepts, including the God of Knowledge, the God of Craftsman and the God of Wanderers… There were so many such gods that some of their existences were suspected and mostly counted as divine spirits, and could be set aside.
Their existence originated from human faith. First comes divine class and then their birth, which was why these deities were different from the first two. Given that their power comes from their devotees, they were the only ones who need faith—otherwise, they would vanish into nothingness no matter how powerful they were.
But are the Seven Gods of men to be classified into the three aforementioned groups?
“We are different from them—they are simply innately powerful, as if a mountain chain gaining consciousness and devastatingly powerful when compared to human. That said, their knowledge and skill was probably less than an Iron-class individual.”
The God of Life spoke serenely to Joshua in the Void sealed by divine power mist and Steel Strength. “Unlike the perished, eliminated ancient gods, the ‘True Gods’ we refer to holds divine power, wisdom, and skill.”
“The three types of gods we spoke of are definitely powerful, but only just—they christened themselves gods but were simply powerful creatures, and it was a certain form of Nature’s Power which sustains them.”
Such was what the ancient gods did day to day: strengthening themselves by absorbing power through faith, nature, and world. Civilization was their infinite bakery, suppling inexhaustive resources as they willingly live alongside humans.
‘True Gods’, however, did not require that.
Linked to the Root by divinity, every God could obtain near boundless power. The doors to that power was only that large, difficult to spread or develop and would be stimulated by mere conflict, they have to be careful not to touch the limits of divinity, leading to assimilation with the Multiverse Root—nevertheless, while True Gods were connected to the Root as well, they were the most powerful, the most perfect and the most difficult class to be accomplished.
“So, what are True Gods, actually?”
The white mist of divine power slowly fused into the Steel Strength, the figure of the God of Life gradually turning illusory. One could tell that its clone was about to leave, but neither Joshua’s clone nor true form moved. The Warrior was fulfilling his promise—he would not fight since the God of Life had revealed the information he wanted to know, while the impulse from divinity dissipated, and Joshua regained calm.
“Simple-Minded One. ‘True Gods’ are but gods created artificially, and yet more powerful than all naturally created divine beings. It is a refinement combined from the ideas of Prime Gods, World Gods, and Doctrinal Gods, and in other words was the so-called ‘Path to Divinity’. By fitting the conditions and possessing a sufficiently firm will, ideals and ability, even a mortal could sublimate from the self-refinement of Fated Legend to True God!”
The God of Life spoke with a pleasant but ever-calm tone. “The essence of ‘True Gods’ was the greatest crystallization of an Extraordinary civilization’s skill and the pinnacle condensed out countless people’s wisdom. The ‘True Gods’ could even reach the frontier of ‘infinity’ by relying on their divinity and the Root, overturning the constants of reality in the world, something which natural gods would never achieve over their eternal lives.
Joshua wrinkled his brow in return but said nothing. None could tell what he was thinking from his expression alone.
The God of Life shook its head, having appeared expectant over his reaction but now disappointed. Still, it continued, “Therefore, Simple-Minded One… Do you know why the Sacrificial Grounds that Bridges the Multiverse’ was known as such?”
“No, but I would like to know.”
Joshua replied simply. He was definitely very familiar with the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and often spoke with the Commanding Will, but he only understood the ‘Multiverse’ part of its name in both past and present lives, and not that of ‘Sacrificial Grounds’.
Some believed that Sacrificial Ground was that it was a ritual place for the arrival of countless worlds aided by the Mycroft civilization dedicated to the Sage, the gods and all of the Glorious Era. Others believed that it was the greatest creation of Mycroft, fated to claim the prayers of countless civilizations and races, a holy land of the Multiverse.
But the God of Life revealed a puzzling answer.
“The Sacrificial Grounds that Bridges the Multiverse naturally consecrates gods.”
Unlike the earnest but seemingly always-tired God of Might and Justice, or the cordial God of Love and Death that only ever emanated a depressing atmosphere, the God of Life showed extreme nonchalance, freedom and appeared unburdened from the very start, its expression inscrutable from behind its veil.
At presence, its clone was slowly becoming illusory as it tapped into its own divine power, smiling and spreading its arms at Joshua while a screen appeared before its body, displaying a grand blueprint in front of the Warrior.
“The Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds naturally consecrates the Multiverse and the Gods.”
What had appeared before Joshua was nothing other than the plans for the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, dictated by the Sage and the Gods a thousand years ago!
The God of Life had, at this moment that exceeded everyone’s expectation, revealed the purpose of that mysterious wonder!
Joshua’s eyes widened, while the Silver Planet behind him rumbled.
What he saw was an infinitely large net that kept spreading as if at the speed of thought as if cotton but far more massive. Each line and strand were essentially countless dots that were worlds and planets connected, appearing to be a net in the God of Life’s screen but was the smallest of units representing a living world.
“This is the original form of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds: a self-checking, self-expanding Multiverse-class spell that independently seeks living worlds to connect with. The Glorious Era had spent centuries to forge its very base, while hundreds of Legendary champions captured Steel Shards in the Void for it, creating a peerless authority for it while the gods moved stars and worlds, draining them out of energy and substance to sketch the spells’ base.”
“In the very end, the Sage activated it—the greatest champion that was without compare and perhaps the strongest in the Multiverse spread the coverage of the spell, with unbelievable information feedback instantly spreading all over the galaxy, towards the boundless Void of the Multiverse.”
The network was so profound that the publicly-known plane of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds itself was its mere foundation. The Multiverse Project indicated that the facility would see countless renovations and expansion, becoming a new, profound world. When that time comes, Mycroft itself would be assimilated as the hub of that new world.
The God of Life displayed the most romantic of projects drawn up by innumerable Extraordinary individuals. They would connect virtually all living worlds in the Multiverse, making distance pointless to the Glorious Era: with that network, all who calls out would receive aid, and all could hear the cries of another. With the Sage’s guidance, the Multiverse would no longer have any sadness—the good would laugh, the evil would cry.
Conversely, it was most important that the aid offered from the Multiverse Project was not one-sided. With the guidance of Glorious Era champions, even mortals of the Mycroft civilization could go forth to other worlds through the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, hence obtaining raw resources and training their spirit. Even if their natural talent was lacking, they would rapidly improve with the near-infinite world resources.
Afterward, those champions would head to other civilizations and aid the races threatened by the Chaos or various calamities. They would learn about otherworld civilizations’ in doing so, affirming their own ideals and hence obtain divinity…
“And then, accepting refinement to become new ‘True Gods’.”
The God of Life was laughing, but its expression remained concealed by its veil—it must have been a gentle and expectant expression.
Almost transparent, the divine being then looked up toward the Void. “That’s the Multiverse Project, the purpose for which the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds was built… by connecting infinite worlds to secure infinite resources and infinite opportunity to train, everyone Mycroft could become Extraordinary champions and improve… in the end, with the graduation homework of saving one civilization or establishing a new civilization of Order, thereby earning the right to becoming ‘True God’.”
“Such was the ultimate objective of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds: the shrine that consecrates the Multiverse, the gods and every race!”
Far surpassing the ambitions of all races and all civilization boldness, it was the greatest feat of Extraordinary civilization: [Humans as Gods]!
“But that path reached its end.”
The God of Life’s expectant tone finally turned into flat calmness as its form utterly vanished, leaving pure information flow that compounded with the spreading white divine mist. “In the end, the romantic project drew the Evil Gods and Abyss, and the Glorious Era died in the face of infinite foes. That path was determined to have failed, for merely the power of champions would never hold against the countless unexpected things that Sacrificial Grounds brings.
“We have to find another path.”
Humans as Gods needed near infinite resources that naturally had to be realized by a boundless measure—the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds itself. However, when it lured in the Evil Gods when it fully activated and itself severely damaged, the Starfall Era should naturally assume another path.
At least, now they did not have a being of the Sage’s caliber capable of creating another Multiverse-class spell.
Meanwhile, the God of Life left.
Even at the very end, that hollow and androgynous god was so whimsical, saying no words in parting.
Joshua naturally would not mind such frivolity—right now, the warrior was thinking.
He was not considering some profound question such as True Gods, the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds or civilization’s choices, for the warrior never thinks about such things by himself. At present, he was considering the slight difference in history between his preexistence and this life.
“In the past life, the Seven Gods were never seen again after briefly repelling the Champions of the Abyss. Everyone believed that they had headed to the Abyss to subjugate various Abyssal Wills in a counterattack, providing an opening for the Legendary champions who were there to take heads.”
Joshua mused to himself. “But now it appears that only one Abyssal Will and a single Demon King could hold their own against a True God.”
“Where had they gone to when they should be fighting? Could even the Abyssal invasion be insignificant to them, a frivolity not worth interfering over?”
That was naturally impossible.
Joshua slowly understood.
Indeed, if Yolanda, the God of Love and Death was aware of the Abyssal Paradise, it meant the others of the Seven Gods knew as well.
The Abyssal invasion came in a time of great strife for the world then. The Seen Gods never descended upon the mortal realm, while some Legends vanished without a trace… Everyone believed them to have fallen, but Joshua understood that they may have headed to the depths of the Abyss to suppress the Evil God that was stirring conflict over the Multiverse.
However, even after Brandon slew Goliath with the Holy Brilliance and the second great Abyssal invasion, they never returned.
It was an omen to a frightening future.
Joshua could not help but smile and shake his head at the thought.
“The God of Life even claims that I would rather aid other civilizations instead of aiding Mycroft. But without me, how much more Mycroft would suffer now? Even the gods who appeared at ease were forced to sacrifice themselves in that despair and head to the unknown depths of the Abyss.
“Still, no one would have to go—in place of everyone and the Seven Gods, I would go there and seek what I want.”
In the Void, Joshua’s human form closed his eyes. There was a faint planet-sized skeleton silhouette between himself and the Silver Planet, with the violent presence of devastation, slaughter, and war emanating, seemingly turning the world around into stricken fields of war.
However, Joshua quickly opened his eyes. In that instant, all phantasm disappeared, and the warrior reclaimed control over all forces including both divinity radiance or the remnant light of Steel Strength.
Zelma the Sartrean, captain of the Voyager trembled at a corner, sprawled over the ground as its fur stood up, praying that the person before itself would not notice itself.
As Joshua and the God of Life held nothing back in their exchange, the Sartrean who was rather learned about Mycroft caught many information such as Evil Gods, calamity, civilization, devastation, Abyss, Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, divinity and the like… it should have reacted at once then and cover its own years or just poke its own years into deafness, but it was a pity that the exchange between warrior and deity was through informational feedback—being inside the boundary, Zelma’s soul would catch the information even if he incinerated his own brain.
“Argh—am I about to be silenced?” Zelma noticed Joshua walking slowly towards him, and closed its eyes in despair amidst the Void in anticipation of fate’s judgment. “This is it for me.”
“Prepare, captain of another world.”
However, all it heard was a nonchalant voice, the voice of the champion who emanated boundless force of devastation and might. “After we teleport, you shall lead the way to your world.
Zelma could not help feeling shocked and bewildered, its heart sinking to the depths instead even after learning that it was not about to be killed.
‘Could he intend to utterly destroy the Satrean civilization and our homeworld…’
“Don’t think too much about it.”
Obviously able to tell what the unusual mind of the Sartrean was thinking, Joshua sighed and clapped, lifting Zelma from his prone position as the warrior said flatly, “Why would I bother going through the motions if I wanted to destroy your world? Relax. What you know isn’t too important and you won’t be silenced.”
“Well…” Unsettled, Zelma gulped and said quietly, “Great champion, why would you want to go you our small and filthy world…”
“Was it not you who asked for help less than an hour ago? Or have you already forgotten?”
Joshua smiled humorously, shaking his head at Zelma, who appeared overstimulated, its mind not thinking straight.
“Listen. I’m not in a good mood, so I won’t say it again: I’m going to your world now to restore peace and stability as well as pacify all conflict.”
“I bring salvation and hope from the Mycroft civilization.”
The Sartrean world.
The unprecedented uprisings lasted five days and nights, the destruction and despair comparable to Chaotic invasion cutting into the Sartreans’ marrow. As the Golden Fleet aimed their cannons at the citizens they should be protecting, the silver guardsmen who had once sworn to safeguard their homeland, now fallen, leveled their blades and barrels upon their own kind.
Thus, unstoppable collapse of society engulfed the already jarred Sartrean civilization.
The generals could not command their armies, the politicians left out of the loop about the situations in the cities. In the face of rioters and those with ill-intent, as well as ever-raving lunatics who gave themselves up to despair, the former city guards were at a loss of what to do.
In the Void beyond the Sartrean world, the Void fleets were clashing, magical radiance and energy projectiles illuminating the darkness of the Multiverse—those lights, however, were not aimed against the unknown and the Chaos in honorable voyage, but shot toward their own kind.
The reason they pressed down on the buttons to fire their main cannon was out of simple fear, that the other side had already acted against them.
Zessel flew blankly on the skies over a dilapidated city. Beneath its feet, skyscrapers over thousand-meters tall were falling, houses were ablaze amidst the debris as black smoke rolled, rising above, turning the already-dim sky utterly dark, the sun nowhere in sight.
As the world’s greatest champion, Zessel had the power to fight an entire Void Fleet alone. It had just been suppressing the rioters in the city, saving the city from one of the panicking fleets’ bombardment.
But how many such cities were there on the Sartrean World?
Thousands, or perhaps a dozen thousands?
Zessel had the answer to that, but now its mind was all static, unable to think straight.
“How did it come to this?”
A chilling, indescribable despair abruptly welled in Zessel’s nearly empty mind. “How…”
Those who had once thought to stir conflict amongst the conservatives and the libertarians by publicizing contents discussed at the Grand Consul never imagined that what they brought the Sartreans were not the chance to grasp their own fate and decide their species’ future, but the most genuine of ruin.
The Sartrean civilization was finished.
Despair that piled for millennia, the oppression that accumulated in their bloodline over thousands of years… the already somber room of gunpowder keg fully detonated from civil war, and from that point forth, the Coalition Government lost all authority. There would not be a single Sartrean who would place their trust in a governing body that leveled their cannons upon their own citizens, even if it was a misfire without their order.
As Sartreans over their world maintained that common thought, the cornerstone of civilization thus ground into dust amidst blood and fire.
The Sartrean Void civilization, living on borrowed time over several thousand years after surviving that dark war against the Chaos might face their end in the coming days. They would see a division into primitive tribes, or perhaps be directly wiped out in the civil war.
Perhaps this was it.
It was one of the conservative faction’s fleet wandering the outer Void of the world that first noticed something unusual.
Astonished, they realized that their instruments were displaying something that was immeasurably massive and bulky but approaching the Sartrean world at a speed they could not comprehend.
“Spawns of Chaos?!”
“Could it be an asteroid, the debris of a world?!”
The entire fleet was paralyzed by the terrible shock of such horrific possibilities. When they attempted to quickly notify the other conservative fleets and their homeworld, it was all too late.
The fleet signals were all at once silenced.
Meanwhile, inside the Sartrean World.
Zessel, suddenly looked up, having stepped out of his dejected state and started move wrecks and save the injured, staring puzzledly at the skies above.
In the very next second, a resounding rumble far louder than a thunderclap erupted in the skies near the World Barrier.
Every Sartrean that was still conscious looked up unwittingly at the skies, puzzled expression plastered upon their faces.
Thus, they saw the heavens quaking with the world.
A colossal humanoid shadow was expanding without stopping on the outer layer of the World Barrier, becoming ever darker and more visible. It appeared to have four arms while an incomparably dazzling light flickered upon its chest, and it was so massive that the lights from the sun and the stars were all blocked out.
‘It’s coming closer and closer,’ every Sartrean thought blankly.
And then, the shadow ‘gently’ touched the World Barrier.
The sound of something shattering echoed across the world.