Joshua turned around and noticed that the young Divine Armament was pouting at the side. Noticing him, she glanced away and remained silent.
Why are you jealous of a weapon?
Although he wondered about her silliness, he could actually partially empathize even though his warrior's soul knew little to naught about emotions.
As Ying had mentioned, 'A weapon can only find its true purpose when held in one's hand'. Initially, she had not been wielded frequently because Joshua boundless strength did not require it. She had only participated in battle that spanned slightly over two minutes before Joshua found himself another replacement, a greatsword of Supreme tier. Furthermore, Joshua asked Ying before about whether or not he would be able to form a second Pact with a second Divine Armament. Thus, the silver-haired girl began to fret all by herself.
If her master had no use for her, what meaning is there in her existence?
"Don't jump to conclusions on your own."
Joshua helplessly turned to face Ying and patted her several times on her back. The petite little girl could not help but step forward from the sudden pressure. After that, Joshua turned his head around and smiled at Ying who was staring back with her begrudging emerald eyes.
"Ying, you're a Divine Armament. You're much stronger than the army's greatsword and thus, I would have no reason to use it in place of you. However, since the pact between us is not high enough, if our enemies are not annihilated after the [Divine Armament Transformation] of yours ends, I would need another spare weapon to defend myself, am I right?"
"Hmm... You're right…"
Although she secretly felt a little indignant , the silver-haired Divine Armament also acknowledged the simple fact quite swiftly.
As Joshua's Divine Armament, Ying's attitude was naturally quite similar to Joshua's attitude. They were straightforward in handling personal matters. Upon ensuring her 'enemy' no longer posed any threat, she immediately cheered up. She smiled and raised her head. "Then what do you intend to have for dinner, Master?"
Joshua replied, "There's no need to rush. We've just returned from the banquet. Ying, go ahead and sort out the mail that came in today. I'll have a look at them later on."
Standing right in the middle of the entrance, the warrior looked at the little girl who was walking to the study gracefully. Then he looked at his own palms and muttered to himself in a very soft voice. "I can't believe that the relationship between the Master and his weapon can develop in such a manner… Interesting."
That emotion stayed with him for quite some time. Joshua then cast his thoughts aside, turned around and walked into the house heading for the living room. There, he retrieved an item from his coat..
It was the red runic box that Mengsk had handed to him when he arrived. According to Mengsk, that was a runic box bestowed by the Emperor himself.
"A gift from the Emperor."
Joshua held the box in his palm. After moving his palm to guess its weight, he said, "It's not that heavy at all. That's strange. So what actually is this item that could lead the Emperor to believe that I would be able to resolve the Dark Tide problem once I receive it? The enemies are the legion of daemons. So what is this little box capable of?"
Since it was really a strange idea, it would be better to open up the box.
Joshua knew that this mysterious box was engraved with runes that could propel any form of Prophecy spells. Thus, brute force would do nothing to the box. The box had a powerful magic barrier shielding across its entire surface. It could be said that this little wooden box was comparable to the strongest metal there was. Using brute force to pry it open would cause it to explode. The theory behind this was similar to the idea of blowing up the magic door and getting through the combination for accessing his old butler's secret letters. Only one special trick or one special message was required to unlock it.
As if he had done this before, Joshua reached out with his finger and his red Combat Aura was ignited. He then emitted the one and only signal wave that he possessed. The next moment, the runes all over that red wooden box began to move slowly. After a brief moment, all of the runes on the box froze.
In the meantime, the lock on the box began to unseal and the box slowly revealed its secret.
At the very instant the box was opened, everyone within range of the box felt their hearts beat unexplainably irregularly. Meanwhile, the squirrels that were hibernating and the other animals were instantly roused from their slumber as well. A wave of fear surged through their bodies, leaving them frozen and trembling in their positions, unable to escape even if they wanted to.
Just like the scent of blood permeating throughout the battlefield, the scent that came out of the box was obscure and ancient. The entire living room was filled with the smell of dry blood and rust mixed together. Meanwhile, all sorts of bizarre thoughts passed through their minds in a chaotic manner; flashes of slaughtering, sealing, purifications, and extinction. As dreadful and horrific waves undulated outwards, everything began to fused with a strange power to form a tremendously heavy pressure as deep as the sea, lonely and cold.
"This is Dragon's Might… Wait a minute, this must be the curse and Presence that was sealed up after a dragon was killed."
Joshua was not affected by this power. However, he tried moving the box a little further away and began to frown. He then started looking into the box with a serious face reaching out with his right hand to retrieve the object in the box for an inspection under the light.
It was a common-looking piece of rectangular stone. After he diabolically glared at the stone repeatedly, Joshua noticed that the stone was not entirely black. It appeared that the stone had been soaked in the blood of a powerful creature over many years, resulting in its current appearance.
"Dragon-repelling Stone? No, this is far beyond that. Could this be a Dragon-slaying Stone?!"
Upon evaluating the item on his hand, Joshua was awed. "Judging from the looks of it, they must have killed hundreds of dragons in order to form a stone with such a tint as well as to have its surface completely saturated with dragon's blood!"
As its name suggests, the Dragon-repelling Stone was one of the materials used to restrain the bloodline of the dragons. It did not exist in nature. The stone itself was the highest attainment in the art of alchemy. It was just like a magic grindstone or whetstone. All you had to do in order for a myriad of alchemy to work their charms was to rub the stone against your weapon once. By doing so, your weapon would be able to weaken the power, soul, and attribute-resistances of the dragons. The most powerful ones could even make dragon scales that were as tough as steel shred as easily as paper would.
Meanwhile, the Dragon-slaying Stone could do much more than that. The Dragon-slaying Stones were basically the pinnacle of alchemy, crafted by fusing all the functions of the Dragon-repelling Stones. The effect was devastatingly powerful. Therefore, the price for acquiring one was unbelievably high for a stone that was only as large as the palm of Joshua's.
The value was inconceivable as well. This stone, no bigger than Joshua's palm, would cost gold and gems a hundred times its own size!
Due to its outrageous value, there was no clear market for it. There was no definite way on where or how to acquire them either. Only the four powerful and influential forces known as the Imperial Royal Alchemist Guild, Star Ring of the South Central Alchemist Workshop , the Eastern Mages' Headquarters also known as Skypiercing White Tower, and the Church of the Seven God's Sacred Mountain of the Distant Sea were capable of manufacturing them.
Meanwhile, that little piece of Dragon-slaying Stone had obviously been used more than just a couple of times. Judging from the looks of it, the stone should have originally been a much larger piece, shrinking after repeated usage. Joshua could tell how precious that piece was before that.
"Well, this is a precious item, but how is it related to the Dark Tide and the dragons then?"
Joshua was a little puzzled at the moment and thus, he quickly shoved the stone back into the box and shut the lid. The runes that had already halted began reshuffling around the box once more. Under the glow of the magic runes, the dreadful aura in the surroundings were isolated and contained in the box. Meanwhile, the aura of the dead dragons that terrified every living creature in the surroundings began to dissipate after its source was severed. The animals that were paralyzed due to the dreadful horror that the stone unleashed on them regain control of their bodies and immediately scattered. Meanwhile, the people within the area could feel that the strange and bizarre sense of fear had all but vanished.
"If all of the daemons in the Dark Tide had the blood of the dragons, I'll have the confidence to fend them off with this Dragon-slaying Stone... Huh?"
The warrior turned his head and looked towards the entrance of the living room. He could hear footsteps approaching in a hurry. The door was opened swiftly. Joshua saw Ying holding two letters in her hands. She was standing by the door; her countenance, grim. The silver-haired girl then looked around with caution. After noticing that there was no threat in the surroundings, she nodded at Joshua to express her apology for barging in. Then, she asked Joshua with a sense of apprehension.
"I'm sorry, Master. I could feel a strong Presence coming from this very room just now… What happened?"
"It's nothing. That thing that the examiner brought here is really something not to be ignored."
Joshua stored the box in his pocket after that. Then he picked up the cup of tea that was cold and took a sip. After that, he spoke in a soft and slow manner.
"It seems that he did not even know what he was carrying. Well, that makes sense. If that White Dragon group accidentally found out that the examiner was carrying a Dragon-slaying Stone on him, they would have... Ying, what's with the two letters in your hands?"
Upon noticing the two letters that were firmly in the grasp of Ying's hands, the warrior felt curious. Thus he asked, "Are those letters important?"
"Ah, the names for these two letters seem to be special. So I was preparing to inform you later, Master. I did not expect the letters to unleash such a dreadful aura. I first thought that our enemies had invaded our territory."
Sweeping her silver hair that was hanging down by her cheek to the back of her ear, Ying decided to pass the two letters over to Joshua. Her movement was elegant. Her slim and fair hands removed the teacups from the table. "The tea is cold. Let me replace it with a hot one for you."
"Alright, thank you."
After smiling and nodding at Ying, Joshua turned his attention towards the two letters in his hands.