Starting from the Ural Mountains until the Lost Sea on the other end, the entire North had been a battlefield for the olden gods and their otherworldly foes. Be it the sealed land that the Radcliffe family kept guard over or the dimensional portal towards the Illgner World deep beneath the Great Ajax Volcano, all of it proved that the dimensional barrier of the North was extremely weak—so much so that the mana ripples that came before the Great Mana Tide were incomparably obvious and unconcealed.
If one were to say that there were locations where other sealed Chaos or sealed Chaos creations remained here, Joshua would definitely believe it to be true.
As such, without saying much, Joshua took Ying, Ling and Vale Dani and hurried towards the ruins of Mount Mordus in several times the speed of sound.
The divine armament siblings had already become accustomed to their master's volatile behavior—it was Vale Dani who was rather not used to it. She was clearly uncomfortable against the wind, but whatever the case may be, they arrived before the ruins within the mountain.
It was already late into the night, raging snow combined with frost winds bellowed shrilly in the darkness. Joshua stood upon the colossal body of Mount Mordus that had been split apart and looked around. He could see quite a few traces of man-made carvings—although thousands of years had passed, the traces were still very distinct as if it was just made yesterday.
How resolute was the warrior's attitude? Without hesitating or sentimentality, Joshua strode straight into the narrow passage in the mountain. He was neither fast nor slow—his pace set at a steady and vigilant speed as if he could meet an unknown enemy with a full burst of power at any time.
As he ventured deeper, the artificial traces became more apparent. There were various vivid wall sculptures carved on the smooth marble walls, depicting the battle between a champion against innumerable tentacles from the depths of the Void. The champion had then cut off a part of the monster's body, and sealed it within the mountains.
Through his night vision, Joshua could clearly make out every detail of the sculpting. He could also tell how somber the sculptor's mood had been, as well as how much strength he placed behind his chisel to produce this exquisite piece of art.
The violet-haired mage and the divine armament siblings followed Joshua down into the heart of the mountain. They were now hundreds of meters below the surface, and was no longer in the mountain but deep below ground. Still, the passageway stretched on windingly and narrowly, as if without end.
But in minutes, they finally arrived before a huge door.
Fashioned out of obsidian, the door was immeasurably bulky. There were mystical patterns that sparkled with radiance, giving out an ancient majesty.
However, it was already opened, revealing the true form of the ruins behind it that was made entirely out of iron.
"This is the ruins… the seal inside Mount Mordus?" Vale Dani could not help but gasp.
As a Gold-pinnacle mage, she could naturally see the various forms of terrifying magical patterns carved into the obsidian door. If not for those who had come before, using their plain brute strength to open it while paying the price of injury, the violet-haired mage would at least need a few hours to unlock the energy imbued within the sealing magical marks.
"That's right, this is the ruins."
Joshua nodded lightly, his expression absolutely confident. He turned to scan around, his powerful life radiation spreading, catching much information in an instant.
"This sealed land buried deep underground is built with steel as a shell, forming a circular magical formation. There are many old runes that deals extreme damage to demons and Chaos forces."
As he spoke, Joshua briskly stepped through the huge door and entered the ruins.
He did not have anything worry about. Joshua possessed the Azurite and Order power within his body, and his energy was uniquely pure aura and vigor. The runic forces inside the ruins that were tailored against daemons and malevolence were harmless to Joshua—they would even allow him to understand the intricacies within, thereby adding to his power.
The door that stood ajar naturally did not hold the warrior's party. After entering, they arrived at a tight and stretching corridor, and at the end of it was an immeasurably vast hall.
There were several corpses of Pestilence cultists in the corridor. They were naked, with lingering marks of their transformation into Blasphemous Spider-Demons. Quite a few other members of the factions died here too—their bodies were slit apart by clumps of infinitely pure energies, turning into diced flesh thinner than raw fish cutlets.
"Be careful, Joshua, there's a trap here!"
Vale Dani was stunned by the sight. She knew the professionals who had died here, who were affiliated with the eight great factions and mostly Silver tier. In fact, there was a Gold-tier champion amongst the dead without a hint of resisting. This meant that the defensive abilities of the traps within the ruins escaped imagination—capable of slaying Gold-tier in an instant and maim Supreme.
That being said, Joshua was now busy inspecting the seal in Mount Mordus and absolutely do not have the time to mind those things. Not bothering to chatter, he simply extended his hand and straightened his index finger.
With a low cry, an invincibly powerful lifeforce that could sweep through a chain of mountains assembled into a blazing dark-red ray and shot ahead. The purest condensation of lifeforce instantly expelled the mana and elements within the circle, with the extreme heat scorching the surrounding obsidian wall and completely destroying the snare circle that holds the causality trap.
Then, only did Joshua started to explain.
"It's a trap holding an evocation spell," he said matter-of-factly, pointing towards the crater that was now dripping with lava. "Stepping inside is equivalent to being struck by many Gold and Supreme-champions at once. The remnant of the cultists, along with Brandon and the others saw through the movement patterns of runes, that was how they could enter deep into the mountain unscathed."
The warrior than blew a gust of air. The chilling gale blew past the crater and immediately froze the lava, turning it into a sleek stone walkway. Without a change in his expression, Joshua walked ahead along it, while Vale Dani, Ling, and Ying glanced at each other, shook their heads before quickly catching up.
There were quite a number of corpses in the adjacent hall too. Their flesh was utterly melted, leaving only pieces of white bone that could not be differentiated between cultist or faction member.
Joshua saw it, his gaze flashing once and shook his head. His entire body then started to spread a powerful heat that could melt ice steel. The warrior manipulated the lifeforce that was akin to solar radiation as it cascaded across the hall. In an instant, four runic formations appeared over the four walls of the hall, surging with immensely strong lifeforce ripple. They even turned into streaks of lightning bolts, imbued with unbelievable power, darting towards Joshua like a raging tide.
"This is a trap set up by a Supreme champion in correlation to lifeforce. It could melt all lifeforce that is not up to standard, turning it into pure life essence."
The warrior explained calmly again, as if the lightning in front of him was not important.
"One must understand the fluctuation of such traps. Just like the heart that would contract, the maximum energy output of the trap is never the same. The ones who died here were unlucky—they got here when the output is at its peak, and were totally reduced into scattered pieces of bone."
"To break such traps, you must pour your own lifeforce into the trap and slow it down in order to advance safely."
As he spoke, Joshua raised a fist and crisply struck out. The substantial lifeforce turned into four parts and flew towards the four runic circles, wiping the bolts along the way and turning everything silent. After the powerful formation took Joshua's heavy punch, bolts of myriad colors flashed immediately with the sound of lightning crackles.
Soon, the four huge circles vanished completely.
"Of course, I don't have to go through such trouble."
Quickly solving another trap with a single strike, Joshua kept striding forward deeper into the ruins, leaving Vale Dani and the divine armament siblings gaping behind him.
The violet-haired mage appeared distracted. Although she knew of the warrior's depth, she never imagined that he was actually so powerful.
It must also be noted that each time an ancient ruin was unlocked, there were unparalleled danger and calamity awaiting within. Even grandmasters who had ventured through the barren wilderness for their whole lives would not be able to easily handle all the traps along their way.
But Joshua simply broke through with sheer power, his pure and immense lifeforce breaking apart all sorts of danger in an unreasonable fashion. If the people who had set up the trap in a bygone era learned about this, they might vomit blood.
From then onwards, Joshua kept striding ahead towards the deepest part of the ruins, every trap along the way collapsing with a single blow from him.
There were also champions of the eight top factions who had stopped halfway into the ruins, not daring to break past the traps. As such they became immeasurably shocked as they looked on, their eyes swirling with great wonder while the warrior used his crude method to wipe away the exquisite ancient runes without leaving a mark.
Of course, there were quite a few mages who were frustrated inwardly, complaining against Joshua's crudeness. If they carefully examined how the energy circuits operated within the ruins, they would definitely be able to determine the depth and some extent of the energy the individual who set up these traps in those bygone days possessed.
But now, everything was turned into dripping lava, without a single trace of the past left.
While that was the case, none of them dared to point a finger towards Joshua. All of them were aware that if, not for the warrior, most of those present would simply stay in front of the traps, fruitlessly thinking about how they would advance.
Unlike now, to be there as they discover part of the truth about this world.
As Joshua kept going forward, the crowd behind him began to grow until they finally reached the threshold of the second obsidian door.
This door also had a mark of being opened. With precise footprint and scent identification, the warrior was positive that Brandon had stepped through the obsidian door.
As for the other scent that was at once familiar and alien, it must be the other Cult of Pestilence priest. It appeared that the two had battled along the way while passing through all manner of hazardous traps, before stepping into those obsidian doors at the same time.
"This cult priest is not weak."
Joshua was begrudgingly surprised. He was familiar with Brandon's ability—the blond swordsman could ascend into Supreme anytime. His powers had long surpassed the boundaries of Gold, arriving at an advanced level but not stepping towards it. Just like Joshua who broke through the traps with brute strength along the way, Brandon did so too albeit lacking a little in grace.
As for the anonymous cult priest, he was definitely uncommon to have held out against Brandon for so long.
While the warrior sighed emotionally, the entire ruins under Mount Mordus suddenly started to tremble.
Fractured lines started to tear open on the sturdy stone walls. Boulders and gravels started to gush downward, tremendous earthquakes started to destabilize the entire mountain as if to bury everything deep beneath the ground.
There was no doubt that the source of the tremors was behind the obsidian doors. The terrible tremors spread out from within. With his own power and level, Joshua could predict that something extraordinarily vicious and powerful was awakening.
That was why the warrior took a step forward, and cleanly tore away the cumbersome and huge obsidian door from its hinges.
And then stepped through the gap.
Without question, what was buried beneath Mount Mordus was not a ruin left behind by the ancients of the Glorious Era. On the contrary, it was a seal to suppress a great demon or an Evil God minion that had invaded the world of Mycroft at the time.