Chapter 288: The Flame Has Long Been Extinguished
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Once the wheel of destruction was set on its designated trail, everything that happened next would become as uncontrollable as the wild horses that were running unbridled.
Babel Province, the Capital City, the outskirts.
And because the dimensional rift had brought along an enormous amount of magic energy into this world, the clouds, the hazes, the seemingly endless flow of violent winds and lightning were spreading out into the other regions of the continent—Babel Province as the center point. The density of the elemental energy during the bizarre phenomenon in other the provinces was reduced and was spreading across the entire continent at a slower pace. However, all the way from the capital city to Sapphire Port, the momentum of the phenomenon did not stop, instead, it was stirring even faster and very largely.
The light rain that initially poured in Babel Province had now become heavy. Everything seemed to be shrouded in heavy rain and darkness. The common people would not be able to carry out any activities in that circumstance. They could not even see their own hands right in front of them.
However, in the outskirts of the ruins of the city, a golden ray of light is shining, and the light is pulsing bright and then dark, as if it was breathing.
This was the core in the half-dragon’s chest. The original half-dragon is now lying in the dark rainwater like a gentle cat or dog. The rainwater that fell near it evaporated into water mist from the high heat. On its back, there was a human reading a book.
Sitting on Black’s back, the rain slid of the red Combat Aura that was shielding them from the rain. Joshua flipped through a book about the histories of the elves and golems. Next to the warrior, several books that were already read were stacked up.
The red anarchy of Babel Province still attached great importance to this powerful and unimaginable warrior. So when Joshua simply made a request, within half an hour, almost all the books that meet the requirements were collected and placed next to him.
Afterward, most of the high-ranking officials went on to plan for disaster relief, because many of the elves were hiding in their own basement, trapped under the houses that were destroyed by golems. The elves who are trapped are in urgent need of help. The rain flows into the basement through the cracks of the rock. If they were to delay the rescue mission for a few more hours, the elves will all return to the Mother Tree either by starving to death or drowning.
With that, Roland volunteered and prepared to help the elves with the rescue. Initially, the elves did not have many expectations of this ordinary blond man, but soon, they found out that he has the ability to detect and locate living beings within a few hundred meters. The holy knight could even lift rocks that were larger than him like they were made of light sponges, saving the people that were trapped beneath the rubble. The elves were simply shocked and in awe of what they were seeing.
Besides, the holy knight was the comrade to the master of the volcanic dragon after all. How could he merely be an ordinary man with no special ability?
Ying and Ling were whispering between each other behind the warrior. They seemed to be talking about something important. The eyes of the silver-haired girl were gleaming like fireflies. The eyes of the black-haired boy were also flashing like sparkling lights. Because they were exposed to the overly high density of Magic energy in the atmosphere in this world, the two Divine Armaments felt that the energy within their body was growing stronger. They felt a little surprised and anxious about the changes in their bodies, so they shared their feelings about the improvement of their strength.
The warrior, however, did not seem to get bothered by that. He furrowed his eyebrows as he continued to pay full attention to the book that was in his hands.
“This world once had a glorious magic civilization. There are active traces of magic that was used during the wars between the first dynasty and the third dynasty. However, during the fourth dynasty, also known as the last Elven Dynasty, the elves only had great archers in their main forces. Even if some of them knew a little about magic, they could only use some of the spells that were useless in a war.”
“About three hundred years ago, the meteorites that landed in the bay must be the first time the golems descended upon this world. About two hundred years ago, the meteorites that landed upon the bay was the first large-scale golem invasion in this world.”
He mumbled to himself, a little puzzled. His expression unreadable. “But it doesn’t make any sense. If the reduction in numbers of the mages was really the doing of the Chaos Evil Gods, it should look like how the Evil God ‘Famine’ had reduced the world of Karlis. No matter how I see it, the timing when the golems had descended upon this world and the timing of the deterioration of the density for the elemental energy is inconsistent.”
The deteriorating density of the elemental energy could be said to have happened ever since the elves began recording their history. Traces of golems and Chaos could only be found earliest about 300 years ago. It is safe to say that there was no way that they could have invaded this world much earlier than that.
So there was only one conclusion to be made—the deteriorating density of the elemental and magic energy in this world had nothing to do with Chaos. There must be some other reason to it.
Though the warrior had learned quite a lot about the Illgner World, he remained puzzled by the appearance of the gigantic magic circle in the sky and the descent of the golems upon this world. It seems that the elves had yet to look beyond the sky and therefore, they had no idea at all about the origins of the Apocalyptic Circle and what sort of connection it had with the golems. And that made the warrior feel somewhat helpless.
This group of elves had spent three hundred years in understanding their enemies and still, they had yet to know anything about the origins of their enemies.
Just as Joshua let out a disappointed sigh, a white mass of sacred light approached the warrior from afar. Shortly, it arrived right by the side of the draconic horse.
“Joshua, are you free?”
It was a calm and steady voice belonging to a man. Roland, who was a little exhausted, lifted his head and looked at the back of the warrior as he asked, “Can you accompany me for a stroll in the city?”
The warrior hopped down from the back of the draconic horse and walked towards the capital city of Babel Province with the holy knight.
They did not speak a word as they walked all the way to the city.
Through the outskirts, on the border of the city, the two men walk silently in the ruins at the center of the capital. There were gravel and rubble everywhere. The bodies of the elves and broken rocks were scattered all over the place. The rain was spreading the blood and the remains across the land, causing the smell of blood to become overwhelmingly strong.
Joshua was not affected by the smell at all as he had fought and experienced many battles. Even during the battle with the orcs back in the Northwest when he woke up and crawled out from a pile of corpses, the stench of the dead was much more disgusting than the smell of blood. However, Roland’s face was getting gloomier as they walked towards their destination. Even the warrior could not help but turn his head sideways to see the distorted expression of the holy knight.
Those eyes did not seem like the eyes of a holy knight… However, after knowing about the holy knight’s future, the warrior did not feel surprised at all.
Upon noticing the stare from the warrior, Roland caught himself and rearranged his expression. He took a small breath and started talking to Joshua again with a heavy voice, “Seeing the aftermath of Chaos’ invasion upon this world, draws fear in my heart.”
Joshua frowned. He knew that the holy knight before him was not a weak-hearted person. There must be a reason for the knight to say such a thing.
As expected by the warrior, Roland remained silent for a moment. Then he stopped walking and he looked at the ruins around him. Then, he spoke to the warrior with a slow and steady tone, “I do not fear death, and I fight without fear. Battling against Chaos is one of the purposes of my life. I exist to serve and protect humanity. That’s the resolution of a holy knight. That’s the realization of the descendant of the pope for the next generations.”
“However, every time I fought Chaos, I could not help but wonder. What would happen if I failed?”
As he said that, Roland’s face appeared as if there was a layer of dark mist shrouding his face. His sounded absent-minded as he continued, “My companions, my friends will be slaughtered, and my home will be ravaged, just like what is happening in this world.”
As he spoke, the holy knight pointed towards the ruins in front of him. Under the power of the Holy Light, Joshua could vaguely hear the mourning of the grieving souls. Those souls were killed and trapped here in the ruins by the hands of the golems. However, the warrior’s sharp senses noticed that most of the grieving souls were swiftly vanishing as if they were summoned by some existence in the distant.
Regardless, that was not the time to pay attention towards such matters.
“We’re not allowed to fail when it comes to battling against Chaos. Even if there was even the slightest possibility that we might lose, we shall never, ever lower down our guard!”
Roland’s expression reflected hatred and rage that burned deep into the marrow within his bones. His voice sounded as if he was pushing his voice out of his lungs by force, “All of Chaos should die! None of them should remain, not even one! But why? Why didn’t the pope completely destroy the plagued land? He’s a Legendary-tier champion, a man equal to a god that walks among the people on earth. It should not be a problem at all for him to accomplish that!”
The plagued land is also a sealed land like Moldavia. Both lands are regions that sealed Chaos. Just like the Radcliffe family had annihilated the lair of the Aragami, an immense amount of strength and manpower were needed to carry out a full-on eradication across those places in order to get rid of all demons on those lands.
Judging by the expression on his face, he must have lost someone important to him when he battled against Chaos.
Needless to say, Joshua could guess what the holy knight had gone through by looking at his face.
A holy knight dedicated to protect humanity was beginning to doubt his purpose to battle after witnessing his comrade-in-arms dying in one after another. Then he began to doubt the significance of his purpose to battle. He began to repent and to question. He resented all the causes for everything that was happening to him—the champions who did not wipe Chaos off of the surface of the earth completely.
In other words, he did not understand the reason why a Legendary champion would not just destroy the plagued land. He could not see the necessity for those ordinary knights to experience hardships and train themselves to battle against Chaos. Even though the reason was to allow the knights to get themselves familiar to the fact that Chaos was their worst enemy, that they should not take such a great risk to do so.
For that, Joshua gave it some thoughts for a brief moment. Then he slowly said, “For your doubts, I do have a rough guess about it. However, I’m not too sure if I’m right.”
“Roland, I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this legend—the world is originated from the light of existence shone by the Initial Flame?”
“… I might have heard of it before.”
The holy knight froze for a moment and frowned. Among the myths of the Seven Gods, none of them was about creating a world or an era. Even the Sage had not said anything about it. Roland vaguely felt as if he had heard about it from somewhere else. However, he remained a little doubtful still. “But I can’t remember much about it.”
However, Joshua would never let the doubts and hesitations of others bother him. He just went on and presented his own guess to the holy knight. The warrior glanced upwards at the dark world. He then raised his right hand and brought out a red light dot on the tip of his finger. The city ruins that was shrouded by darkness was instantly revealed under the radiating light. Then he calmly said, “Look, the flame is ignited and it spreads its light into its dark surroundings. A world with shape will be born under the shining light—However, the blossoming flowers need to rely on the soil to survive. Even the rootless lotus plants need to float in the river to survive.”
“The burning flames naturally require firewood to continue burning, and the operation of the world can never be an unchanging eternal cycle. The Initial Flame burns Chaos and creates the world. Then for the world, what would be the firewood that the world needs to continue operating then?”
The answer was obvious. As a man who became the King of the Searing Soul, who scorched Chaos and reshaped the world once before, Joshua naturally knew the answer to the question. He believed that the person standing before him would be able to notice the truth.
After hearing Joshua’s words, Roland remained in silence for a long time. His heart was filled with stormy waves of shock.
The words that the warrior spoke of were also spoken by Pope Igor himself before. However, he only said a few words and did not explain it in detail to Roland. Now, Joshua was explaining those words to Roland. After comparing both versions of the same story, the holy knight uncovered a possible truth.
A possible truth that could catch anyone by surprise.
“Just like the people need food, and the fire needs firewood, the order of the world needs to be maintained by only relying on burning Chaos as the source of fuel.”
He softly muttered to himself as his voice trembled a little. The holy knight recalled his memory on when the pope calmly told him the truth back in the church on the Sacred Mountain. “The fire was extinguished since thousands of years ago. Without these cancers as the source of firewood for the Flame, the Flame on the Mycroft Continent would have extinguished long ago.”
“Is that right? It seems that you’ve understood some things by yourself already.”
Joshua chuckled as he could tell by looking at the holy knight. It seemed that Roland had noticed something about the truth. He had his suspicions but now cleared them away.
The two of them stood in the middle of the city ruins. The warrior extinguished the red light ball in his hand and everything returned to the darkness.
Suddenly, a soft whisper came from the sky.
The sound was really soft to the point that Roland did not notice it. The holy knight was furrowing his eyebrows as he dived into deep thoughts. Only Joshua who has sharp senses had noticed the whispering.
The restraints of the world on the dimension was weakening.
But how was that possible?
Joshua looked back and stared at the dark clouds and flashing lightning in the sky. Beyond all that, ten huge spots of light slowly emerged in the distant. The white lights reflected in the eyes of the warrior like a curved stream of light. He revealed a sense of discreet in both of his red eyes.
He had always thought that he was merely a boorish fellow who only knew how to battle. However, even a boorish fellow could not really be undefeated. The warrior has sharper senses towards most of the things that came from the outer world.
“Are there going to be more golems descending down from the sky then?”
He was yet to feel any extreme danger. However, even though he had already informed Roland to prepare himself to evade anything that might come their way anytime, he was able to remain thoughtful about the question he had in mind, “Or is the magic circle intending to greet me with another light beam attack?”
The warrior had a hunch that things would not be as easy as they appeared to be.
The ten light spots in the sky appeared for a long period of time before all of them gradually vanished without a trace. Afterward, the density of magic energy in the atmosphere became even higher than before. Purplish magic lightning was boundlessly rolling across the dark clouds in the sky. They were dancing violently before they struck down upon the earth, leaving thunderous roars of deafening thunder. The rain was getting heavier by the second. There was a hint of Chaos energy in the rain as well. It was quite disturbing.
That was no longer an ordinary rain. If the rain continued pouring down like that, the situation would unquestionably become a flood.
Standing right in the middle of the heavy rain, Joshua stared up at the sky.
So what exactly has Chaos planned this time?
Meanwhile, at the outskirt of the city, the draconic horse and the two divine armaments were happily having their conversation.
Unknowingly, many enormous shadows were slowly emerging from the dark shadows.