Above Your Head - Vol 2. Prologue - The Death of a Great Wizard
An old man was lying on a large bed adorned with gold and jewels. It was quite difficult to guess his true age. His dry, brittle skin looked so fragile as if it would break apart with a breeze, and his hair was flaky without any oil. His thin limbs could not support his body and his breathing was irregular, threatening to cease any second.
He was dying.
“Yes, Grand Master.”
A man of sturdy build carefully helped the old man up.
‘What kind of eyes…..’
‘Is this truly the eyes of a dying man?’
The people who stood in front of the bed flinched and trembled. However, it was not due to their weakness. They were no ordinary people.
Three Magic Towers
Five Martial Arts Houses
The Seven Families
It was no exaggeration to say that all of the powerful representatives of Another Plane, the other side of the world, were gathered in this place.
The head figures of each country, dictators who received enthusiastic support and blood-boiling resentment at the same time, a world-class tycoon, the head of a large religion, a notorious terrorist, a famous writer with over one million books sold, a scientist who received multiple Nobel Prizes, a world-star singer, Hollywood’s top superstar…
Just the fact that all of them were gathered together in one place was a scandal to shake the world. The bedroom was slightly larger than a regular auditorium, and it was densely packed with people from all walks of life. Anyone from the [outside] were bound to be unaware, but each one of the people gathered were capable people with tremendous abilities.
“Who would dare to disobey your words?”
“Yes. Since I was always nagging and at their throats, it might have been worth it for them to take the time to come and see my last moments.”
The face of Shin In-hwa distorted with anguish. He was the Tower Lord of the Supreme Magic Tower, and he had been answering the old man’s questions as a representative. Even if he was facing death… the old man in front of them was the most powerful transcendent in human history.
Zenon ho Kyprios, the Grand Wizard. He was the guardian of humankind who created the parallel world to save the world from distress. He also carefully nurtured his juniors to lead to the revival of soul energy power.
Miracles that were too much even for a transcendent, strong, mighty enemies, and the terrible and unstoppable years had left their marks on the old man, however… He was a beacon of light to humankind for a long time. Without him, there would have been no life on Earth.
“Honestly, I am not sure that I’m completely, perfectly prepared, but… I cannot put it off any longer.”
Zenon struggled to inhale, then continued.
“When I die… Disaster will begin.”
“Oh, shut up. I’ve done enough.”
The origin of all disasters was the Great War that occurred 400 years ago.
They were without a name, or perhaps they could not be named. The feared existence drove the entire universe into a whirlwind of war.
The battlefield basically encompassed the entire universe.
True even as of now, Earth-34 was not yet a Stage III civilization at the time. Like other civilizations that had not reached the breaking point, Earth was protected by their Primordial God. This meant that Earth did not have to worry about the existence of extraterrestrial creatures.
Earth was swept in war. Hundreds of countries disappeared and countless people perished. Even though Earth was never a direct target for attack or exploitation by the enemies, it was an unprecedented calamity.
‘It was a miracle that we survived.’
Gaia was a Primordial God, and a high-rank one at that. However, it had been such a fierce battle that even Gaia was almost killed several times by the attack of the Unnamed. Naturally, Gaia was able to resurrect time again and again as an immortal, but every time she revived, she became weaker. She felt helpless as humanity slowly descended into a ruin. Every day was a living hell.
At that time, many more transcendents were present on Earth, but only he, who could have been considered one of the weakest, had survived. What more needed to be said?
Zenon coughed violently and vomited blood. In-hwa became alarmed and emitted a shining energy like starlight. Dozens of magical circles started to appear around her and began to resonate.
“Don’t treat me.”
“But Grand Master!”
“If I tell you not to, then listen to me. You’re Asian, so shouldn’t you have learned to have respect for the elderly?”
He was the only transcendent from Earth 34 who was still alive. However… his body was not in its normal condition. A strong, powerful curse was causing him immense pain every moment. He had been prolonging his life with all kinds of great magic and miracles, but his body was already no different from a corpse. The curse and the pain gnawing away at his soul grew stronger with time, so he experienced greater pain the longer he survived.
As such, he tried to die 100 years ago. But.
‘I resent the foresight. If I had not known, I would have died with grace.’
200 years ago, he had seen the future as he suffered from pain. The humankind would be destroyed, and the civilization of the Earth-34 would be reset. An unprecedented disaster would take place when the Unnamed, who had been suppressed and sealed at the end of the Great War, would revive. It was not just a mere possibility, but a future that was practically sealed in stone.
As such, he prepared.
He built three Magic Towers to train wizards. Another Plane was created to seal the Unnamed, and it was the best environment to rear talent. It was full of rich mana and materials to produce all sorts of magical items.
But it failed.
After confirming the destruction of humankind and civilization through his foresight, he began to prepare once more.
He revived the extinct Martial Arts Houses. He supported them and brought them together. He restored the long-lost martial arts of the ancients and created an environment for them to grow smoothly.
Still, the future was unchanged.
He started preparing again.
He began to study all sorts of inhumane techniques, including black magic. He caused world wars by stimulating human madness and supporting them from the shadows. The death and fear shook the world and corpses littered the ground. As a result, the evil mystic arts began to develop at an alarming rate.
He created chimeras. He produced mutants. He summoned the devil and contracted with the demon tribe. As a result, he was able to produce powerful factors that did not exist until then, and he created terrifying monsters born with might superpowers, unimaginably terrifying monsters, and a [system] to transplant artificial, mechanical, magical organs to wizards and martial artists. He created history.
The forces of Earth grew incredibly strong when he went all out. He was a transcendent after all, and a talented researcher as well.
But nevertheless, the future did not change.
Eventually, Zenon was forced to use a method that had been put off as a last resort. He turned his eyes to the Outside.
He made contact with other beings of the universe. Earth’s civilization was not yet at a point that enabled them to contact with external beings, but he was a transcendent. He was able to step outside of determined fate to make personal contact.
His actions posed a risk as well. Higher civilizations could seep into Earth because of his actions, but he could not stay idle because of mere possibilities.
He did his best to control everything. He strictly kept the science and technology of higher civilizations from reaching earth. He had already foreseen the destruction of the humans of Earth 34, and it would not do any good if even Gaia’s protection disappeared as well.
Earth 34 was transformed into a tourist destination and all kinds of services were provided to earn Gallats. With the currency, he acquired stronger equipment and systems, higher-level knowledge and secret techniques to train stronger ability-holders.
-Did. Not. Change.
‘Is it impossible to change the future no matter what I do?’
Zenon fell into fear. Every day that came and passed was despairing. Even though he was a transcendent, the horrible sensation deteriorated his soul and nibbled away at his mind.
He endured with a sense of duty, a goal to protect humanity and Earth 34. But he could not see even the smallest glimmer of hope, and it was getting harder to push back the urge to end his cursed life.
Then last week, the future suddenly changed without warning.
“Grand Master. Without you, the humankind…”
“Please lead us!”
Even though they begged with sorrowful voices and attempted to change his mind, Zenon did not spare them a glance. Naturally, he knew. He had to wait. He had to investigate the cause and identify it.
What the hell had happened? Within a short time span of a week, what peculiarity had created a rift in the future, the same future that had remained immovable no matter what he did? Did the capabilities of humankind finally reached a threshold that allowed them to overcome destruction? Or was an ultimate warrior of the legends born? Perhaps Earth caught the eyes of an unknown transcendent?
But Zenon stopped thinking altogether. He could not endure any longer.
“Everyone, follow the instructions I gave you.”
Zenon placed all kinds of restrictions on them as he developed humankind.
It was only natural. He could not trust them.
“Grand Master, but.”
“Blah blah blah, just do as I say.”
After cutting off the retort, Zenon lay back on the bed. His glimmering eyes started to slowly fade away.
“Ah… You stupid, ignorant fools. Will greedy beasts like you really overcome the oncoming disaster and face the future? Can we really protect humankind from the hopeless future?”
No one was able to answer his lament. The intense gaze that once instilled fear in the strongest of them slowly dimmed.
His eyes closed.
The groans and screams of mourning resonated in the background.
The one who protected, cared for, and raised humanity for an immeasurable time.
The one who could not believe in humanity until the end.
The Great Wizard died.