Soul Of Searing Steel Chapter 856
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
What sort of an existence were gods?
Since ancient forerunners reverently bowed towards the lightning in the skies and the great surging rivers, the concept of gods slowly appeared in the human mind.
They were thunder, mountains, fire, water, even the most powerful magical creatures of the wilderness or unstoppable avalanches.
They were profound forces human could never control, and all that they would never understand.
Gods, in old days of yonder, symbolized the venerable unknown that one should be cautious of—at least, during ancient times.
Since when had that changed? It was when humans no longer saw them as the greatest protectors and destroyers, but an achievable target. The precursors of certain paths would hence view them as respected leaders, seniors, and not some untouchable heavenly deity.
That was probably the moment when humans develop curiosity and obtained their own power.
Because they had ceased worshipping and started thinking, everything in the world thus changed.
When curiosity about the unknown overcame fear, when one’s own power could recreate divine miracles, humans would lose all reverence. They would hunt the beasts they once saw as deities and conquer dense jungles that were former holy lands. They would also raise building and cities out of stone, stopping violent thunderstorms and torrential rains.
As time flew, and those who wielded supernatural powers increased, every natural phenomenon in the world would lose grounds for veneration. Ancient totems and beastly deities would hence vanish, with darkness conquered by the lights of lamps—large vessel with high strung sails would cross the revered seas, and most ancient gods would thus become a part of human civilization. They would use the fire god’s blessing to cook food, the thunder god’s gifts to animate machines, hang the divine radiance of the sun god high above their homes and the power of the tempest god to blow-dry their hair.
Be that as it may, there were still powers not in other’s control. Some powerful beings still command ability that surpassed human logic, just as there were much unknown and darkness in the Void beyond the world… therefore, the gods never vanished, but remain existent and embodying power human and civilization could not grasp.
Even in the present, in the Starfall Era.
In the bottomless Abyss, the Chaos receded and the curtains of the night diminished.
When the energy from the Great Mana Tide gushed into the Darkest Abyss, the white waves had intertwined with the dark Chaos into a massive vortex and create an ancient sight. The six gods, the Supreme champions and the Legendary champions who were repelling Chaos corruption all knew that the most dangerous moment had passed.
The God of Life gently removed his connecting to the sealing core anchor point. The Chaos tides had all been utterly subjugated by the light of the Great Mana Tide as every energy across the galaxy converged upon that location. They were still abiding with some natural rule, hence rebuilding the Vortex Creation at the Abyssal Paradise.
The process would certainly be long. Time was necessary for the Darkest Abyss to be restored into the original root of world creation, but it remained better than the start.
“When could your wish actually be realized…”
Pure white divine power refluxing and gathering into one form, the deity wearing a veil stared at the black and white Abyss. It could not help murmur with a complicated tone, as if questioning itself, “Is this Multiverse truly worth so much sacrifice from you and I?”
Behind the God of Life, steel-grey divine force appeared as the God of Conservation and Reformation materialized out of thin air. As the other deities following behind him, the dwarven god said, “It is worth it any time.”
“Back then, when our forebears drew tinder from burning forests to obtain the power of fire, there were those who asked: was it worth sacrificing so much?”
“Back then, when our forebears fought monsters in forests and plains with thousands left dead, there were those who ask the same question then, too: was it worth sacrificing so much?”
“At the beginning of our history where words had just been invented, when elements and combat aura truly combined with our civilization. Countless geniuses and the most intelligent of forebears had died experimenting with measures and rituals to awaken Extraordinary powers, although those experiments appeared to be mere simple mistakes now.”
“At the time, countless asked in doubt: was that worth it?”
“The answer is: of course it was worth it.”
Because everything was the sacrifice demanded by progress.
The God of Conversation and Reformation walked to the God of Life and gave it a good kick on its buttocks, forcing the ethereal and noble deity to plonk down blankly on the floor while Ezerg himself sat in front and growled, “Little Eleven. I know you were close to him and often saw him as your brother… but that is precisely why you must never disavow his sacrifice.”
“Without cost and sacrifice, there would be no obtainment and harvest. He had filled the ditch for us so that this plan would succeed—your hesitation now shames his honor!”
“You are now the God of Life and not that person in the past. Remember your identity, for you are a True God who defeated the most dangerous foe in the name of exploring remote frontiers. And it’s not just you—all of us have to act as the finest leaders and play our part as the greatest supernatural beings created from an entire civilization’s honor and skill.”
Behind Ezerg, the other four gods were showing different expressions: Scottson laughed once bitterly, Merlin and Yolanda stayed impassive, with Merlin being naturally impassive and Yolanda concealing his thoughts.
Zerming, meanwhile, stroke his beard, sighed his beard and spoke.
“Alright. Now that everyone’s memories are mostly restored, there is no need to fight over such matters.” The God of Wisdom of Choice said, before looking around at the Abyss that was filled with the light of the Mana Tide. “Many had sacrificed for this, with our former comrades and friends left as nothing but marks, their Divine Dungeon Shrouds hence wafting the Infinite Horizon and the Mycroft continent… though there were certainly tribulations, this is not the worst outcome.”
The god whose identity remained unknown for the time being stared at the Darkest Abyss and said quietly, “Eve—God of Life, it was the choice you made then. Could you be lost now?”
“I did not retrieve my memories at the time… I… I simply don’t know…”
The God of Life mumbled. Endless memories appeared in her mind: dusty but now extraordinarily memorable.
A huge grey-haired man was laughing as he carried her and ran over the bridge, with the thunderous waves scaring her to the point that she was shrieking and clenching his head.
A fencer was guiding her as she learned to ride a horse, but she had forgotten her riding crop, with her legs going soft at once when she demounted.
As the youngest one, everyone had doted over her. The ones who treated her best, aside from her mentor who had picked her up from the ruins of a village in the battlefield, was the grey-haired knight, a person who was like her brother.
The memories—luminous and dark, warm and miserable, happy and blank. The memories that belonged to a human…
How could she have forgotten?
At the thought, the God of Life slowly arose, the mist in her gaze clearing as she spoke quietly after a brief silence.
“Just a little loss of composure… I’ve used too much divine power to maintain a calm mind.”
“It’s good that you’ve calmed down.”
Ezerg glanced at her and nodded, before turning to the Abyssal Paradise. “Our next task could only be accomplished with our full might—pulling a world from the Vortex of Creation, even if it is just a frame. It’s not a simple matter.”
The God of Life looked up as well, watching the depths of the Darkest Abyss.
It was only now that she understood why she would run off to meet the human warrior alone after Yolanda did.
The reason she gave before was right: she had indeed wanted to meet the human who was remarkably similar to her mentor any yet was completely different… reality eventually proved that he did things and thought differently, but he had indeed the shoulders and spirit to carry everything. There was no question that he was an heir of the Sage, a person who was closer to the Sage than the Apostles themselves.
No, he might not even be an heir… he had simply be given the Sage’s aid, and his future was fated to be different from the Sage. He was one who trod the same path with him, and largely different from the Apostles.
Worship was always the greatest gap away from understanding. Excessive respect probably had prevented them from becoming the god and human the Sage hoped they would be.
More than that, she had a reason… that warrior had been the one to inherit the Azurite, and heirloom from the Third Apostle. The guardian against Chaos had worked gloriously in his hand, and she would always reflectively peek at how that man was unique.”
The God of Life stopped thinking and recollection, removing every thought and recollection that unsettled her. “Let us drag our most valuable player out of the bottom of the galaxy.”
Meanwhile, the silver world was sinking without end.
In the vortex where black and white intertwined, the light of Mana Tide and Chaos tangled, brushing endless memories out of world fragments and converting them to pure Steel Particles.
Joshua’s spirit that wafted in the tides between the stars, but he was not asleep, and wide awake instead.
The reason the silver world descended was because he had chosen his outcome already. The light of the Steel Star swept through the Abyss along the Mana Tide and Chaos stream, with inexhaustive tales of civilization pouring within in every moment, voluminous data turning into fertilizer of worlds, nourishing the evolution and shift of realms.
Even the information and development process of civilizations that met their demise after taking a wrong path had their own merits. It would even be more right to say that the mistaken paths were more important so-called correct ones, for there were no assurances that the right path would develop mistakes in the future.
As for the mistaken trail, one just had to keep in mind to avoid those errors.
There were innumerable forms of worlds and stories of infinite races. The growth of civilization and the layout of the landscape would be inscribed upon crystal obelisks along with sorrowful memories. To convert that information, Joshua gave up on controlling his own body and allowed himself to flow along the tide, focusing on recording those precious data.
As the silver world absorbed Steel Strength at the center of the Darkest Abyss and converted Chaos energies, the singular geocentric realm began to gain in color. Floating islands began to appear over the world and the star, with nine of those islands obscuring each other—aside from the island that was closest to the sun, each island had the shift of daytime and night, with night being the moment they overlapped with other islands. Hence, night and shadows appeared over the continent that had only had eternal mornings before.
With the floating islands taking shape, the multitude of crystal obelisks were moved to them, with different ecosystems existing in each island.
The first island—the one closest to the sun was a magma landscape with eternal day. Obelisks of magma lifeforms and huge draconic beasts imbued with flame elements would rise from the land and lakes, with wild roars resounding from within.
The second island was a tropical continent that resembled a crescent moon. Obelisks inscribed with many different humanoid and huge shelled insects rose up from both ends of the island, while at the center were various unusual plant life.
The third island was an oceanic island formed entirely out of gushing ice and water. The obelisks of all aquatic lifeforms from mermaids to murlocs flowed according to the sea’s movements, with the silhouette of massive whales flashing past the depths.
After that, continental island, mountain island and grassland island appeared one after another. Obelisks that were completely different but having similar attributes towered over various spots of the continent and mountains, emanating silver light. A subterranean island, desert island, and glacier island were molded at last as well—even the most extreme creatures could find their habitat in those nine islands.
Various supernatural forces also stirred harmoniously over the nine floating islands and the continent, with the newly founded Shadow ability gaining form from the shade that the floating island threw as they blocked out the sun.
Indeed, any who were well-versed in Project Rebirth would exclaim in surprise when they saw the world inside Joshua’s body, for it was essentially a complete form of Project Rebirth albeit on a lesser scale.
Project Rebirth was not mistaken. Like the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds—the ‘Shrine of the Races, the Gods and the Multiverse’ where everyone could have the chance to ascend as deities or the perpetual shelter of a supercontinent, all of them were grand undertakings that only the greatest of minds could come up with. Bringing one into fruition would mean that the civilization that carried that out has essentially escaped their own baseness, and would never fall to ignorance. Even the Evil God of Death would never single out the weakness of such a civilization, and their demise could only come from external forces.
If every fallen civilization was simply a failed examination paper for the Multiverse, the two projects were great answers that almost obtained full marks.
“But exceedingly excellent students would instead invite destruction.”
At the star in the centermost region of the silver world, Joshua was musing to himself. “If I were to say it was just a guess before, then now I am a hundred percent sure that there was a mastermind—or indeed a bunch of them in the Final Battle against the Evil Gods back then.”
Like how the Sage had created the Holy Light all those years ago and an unknown magi founding Shadow later, in the early age where neither Void Behemoths nor Evil Gods existed before the Initial Flame shrunk, there was an existence that created the natural rule of ‘Evil Gods’ for a certain plan and objective. It had added new catastrophic scenarios, adding the choice of becoming an Evil God apart from the Abyssal and Void of Creation cycles.
What was its intent? Did Evil Gods destroy civilization only to curtail new champions? Having such profound power and yet still subjugating those who came later… what did that mastermind actually want to accomplish?
Joshua did not know and was not concerned.
He was simply aware that the damned mastermind wanted him dead and crush the Mycroft civilization, hence stopping each new Extraordinary sage who appeared in the Multiverse.
Then he would not allow them to get what they wish.
“You have stopped the expansion of the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds and obstructed Project Rebirth… you would destroy the last great relic of the Glorious Era so that the last survivors would die with the civilization.”
“But I reactivated the Multiverse Sacrificial Grounds, allowing Project Rebirth to leave its last seeds.”
Joshua looked around at its center. There was neither joy nor sadness in his expression—it was composure of immeasurable calm. He feared no challenges and threats, and the warrior was always willing to fight anything he found worthy, which certainly includes the unknown threat.
I would restart anything you stopped, resurrect anything you destroyed. Even if you would set the endless horde of Evil Gods upon this galaxy, I would defeat them with all my power! The day would come that I stand shoulder to shoulder with the Sage and advance to the center of the Multiverse, finding the source of all darkness and sorrow!
And the first step of that battle begins from world creation.
Inside the silver world, Joshua could feel that the memories collected from ruined worlds were complete. While some parts were still lacking, those were insignificant compared to the parts retrieved, and could still be reclaimed in the foreseeable future.
Joshua began to put the memories of planets and worlds together, compiling data of over millions of races. From the most basic of protein and nucleobase, the lowest energy constructs to electromagnetic beams and elemental links along with psionic signatures, he could accomplish it all, for it was not difficult for the God of Steel who had long since become able to Create.
He remembered every race that was forgotten, their history, their past, the reason for their demise—just as he predicted their future.
Finally, Joshua confirmed everything, his consciousness hence linking to the crystal obelisks. The souls hidden within were thus animated and awakened, with the dormant consciousness gaining life.
Conjuring a great sword and lifting it high above, the warrior declared to the entire world with a heavily echoing voice.
“Failures who have long perished—this is the moment to reclaim your glory!”