Episode 13/Chapter 1: Traces of the Great War (1)
A rough and scary wind blew in the deepest part of Jotunheim, the land of giants.
The wind was originated because there was an essence of coldness that had a mysterious power, and the palace of the giant king was placed over there, as if to protect it.
Magician king, Utgard Loki.
He, that had the strongest force even among the other giants in Jotunheim, was seated on a throne made from a branch of Yggdrasil and looked into the distance. A land of severe cold could be seen from the wall in front of the throne and beyond the terrace, and even beyond that, you could see Gastropnir, the fortress of the giants.
Utgard Loki closed his eyes. He, the giant king, remembered the Great War.
The war that put a world in extinction and dealt a fatal blow to Asgard.
The wound he had suffered from the Prince of Light, Cu Chulainn, the hero of the extinct planet, didn’t heal. He could still feel pain from the wound in his shoulder that had been pierced by Gae Bulg.
Utgard Loki let out a heavy sigh. He opened his eyes slowly and saw the back of the man who was on the path connected to the terrace. Although he was big compared to humans, it was a really small and frail existence compared to the giants. However, Utgard Loki didn’t ignore him. He was someone you just couldn’t ignore.
The one that was a giant and a God. He was a sworn friend of Thor, an adviser of Odin and Asgard’s disguiser, who shared friendships with several Gods. The God of fire and lies.
He, who had black hair and a handsome face, turned back. He was wearing a leather coat made from the fur of a white beast, and he wore a smile.
Close to a hundred years had passed since the Great War. The front lines were adhering, and both sides continued with an endless consumption rate.
Loki asked with his eyes. And Utgard Loki moved the fingers of his big, heavy left hand instead of replying to those green eyes.
They both knew the answers. The most effective method to end the adhering phase and collapsing Asgard had been decided since Ragnarok started.
The summoning of the world wolf Fenrir that devoured the sky and the earth.
They already had the methods to do it. That was the reason he was moving his five fingers, to execute the plan.
Utgard Loki didn’t express more than that. However, Loki nodded as if he had understood and then turned back. He charged forward lightly with his boots that could ride in the sky and the sea and disappeared.
The summoning of the world wolf.
Utgard Loki clenched his fists and then lightly patted the armrest of his wooden throne.
He thought about Loki. He really was a God that was like fire.. Although it was useful depending on it was used, if you had it too close to you, you would get burnt by him. He had that kind of temperament.
Odin and Thor of Asgard were wounded by him. But what did he have to do?
‘The war will soon resume.’
The Great War. The real Ragnarok.
Utgard Loki slowly closed his eyes. It was only for a moment, but he also wore the smile Loki had worn.
Siri opened her eyes. As soon as she gulped dry saliva, indicating that her mouth was dry, a voice was heard above her.
“You woke up just now?”
She was relieved to see a face she knew. Siri realized that she was lying on Tae Ho’s lap and then hurriedly got up and unconsciously adjusted the dragon wing coat. She had been prepared for it when she used the ‘Wolf Witch’, but her clothes had really become a mess.
“Where is this?”
She did remember that she had fought against the giant with Tae Ho. But she didn’t remember coming to this strange place where earth and sky were mixed.
Tae Ho frowned slightly and said, “That’s what I also want to ask. It was good up to destroying the giant with the Draconic Ballista, but we got covered in a blue light after that and we ended up here.”
Siri frowned when she remembered something at the words ‘blue light’. It wasn’t because her head hurt. It was because of a physiological need.
She was hungry.
Though it was an obvious thing. She had transformed into a dragon and battled fiercely. Maybe it was because she used her saga in consecution that her body and mind felt blank.
Tae Ho felt awkward after hearing the gurgling sound coming from Siri’s stomach but he then regained his composure. It was because he didn’t see that Siri was particularly embarrassed.
‘Well, she is also a warrior of Valhalla.’
For a warrior of Valhalla to be embarrassed because of a small gurgling sound? You couldn’t even imagine that.
“Do you want to drink something? Or eat?”
Siri became bright as soon as Tae Ho asked.
“Do you have provisions?”
She really wasn’t embarrassed at all. However, he liked her sincere attitude even more.
“Wait a moment.”
Tae Ho opened Unnir, which was attached to his waist, and started to take out several things. These emergency supplies didn’t seem to be prepared in a hurry, but they were all good things, as they were made by Heda.
Siri blinked in surprise when she saw that beef jerky, bread, several fruits and drinks appeared before her.
“Im…pressive. Did Idun-nim give you that?”
She was obviously asking about Unnir. Tae Ho smirked and nodded. “Yes. She told me to choose between the flying horse wing coat and this, so I chose this.”
“It seems as if it will be impossible.”
“Gandur-nim was asking if there was no method to bring you to our legion. But as you are receiving this much goodwill from Idun-nim it seems like that will be impossible.”
As Siri laughed hopelessly, Tae Ho put on a bitter smile.
‘There’s also Heda.’
He was sorry for Gandur, but he didn’t even think about leaving Idun’s legion.
Siri spoke again.
“That’s a really amazing treasure. You should be the only one among the inferior-ranked warriors that has a treasure like that.”
He did think that it was amazing when he first received it, but looking at Siri’s reaction it seemed as if it was impressive even when taking into account the standard of all of Valhalla.
‘I am really being favored.’
Tae Ho felt satisfied, and smiled calmly.. Siri’s eyes became lukewarm at Tae Ho’s reaction and then she changed subjects.
“Now that I see, did you retrieve the runes Tae Ho?”
“Of course. That’s the most important thing.”
If you caught a monster, you had to get the experience. Not retrieving the experience after having caught it was something he couldn’t forgive himself for at all, as a pro gamer.
Tae Ho made a gesture with his eyes, as if telling her to check and Siri closed her eyes and checked her own runes.
“It seems like I was also able to get my share because of the saga that shared our senses… Amazing.”
Siri looked at herself while putting wide eyes. Her rune amounts had really increased. With this much, she could be called an intermediate-ranked warrior.
The giant they had defeated was stronger than the giant they beat at Black Fortress. In addition, it was important to point out that they had beat it with their own strength.
Tae Ho’s runes had also increased so much that they were now similar to Siri’s level. In the first place, taking into account that Siri had a lot more runes than Tae Ho, it seemed like it was divided based on the contribution.
‘My synchro rate also reached 19%.’
The 20% was right in front of him. He was sure that there would be another change, just like what happened when he reached 10%.
‘Captain Siri also got attribute runes.’
Tae Ho had received fire attributed runes in that battle. It seemed like Siri had also gotten a wind attribute rune.
Siri was amazed at herself having become stronger and smiled, and then Tae Ho smirked while looking at her and said, “There’s some benefit on having overdone it right? So let’s keep working hard from now on. Ah, how about you moving to Idun’s legion?”
After he said that, he mused about it and thought that it was a good idea. Because if Siri moved legions, she would be able to use the flying horse wing coat. In addition, they matched each other well, and their battle prowess would also increase by a lot.
However, Siri shook her head. “That’s a charming proposal, but I will have to decline. First of all, Tae Ho, there’s something I want to ask. You don’t need to answer if it troubles you.”
“What is it?”
“I know that you come from another world and it’s also rare for warriors to ask about their past. But…Your sagas are all amazing. So much, to the point that I’m curious what kind of world yours was. What did you do? I don’t think you were a normal warrior.” Siri asked rather seriously. Maybe it was true that she meant that he didn’t need to answer if he didn’t want to, since her eyes seemed to be a bit sorry.
Tae Ho pondered for a moment and then shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Uh…Actually, I was a world champion.”
Siri remembered the first day he entered Valhalla and then nodded as if it was as she had expected.
“Ah, certainly. That was why. I was facing a really incredible person.”
She had certainly misinterpreted. She would surely be thinking about a battle king or something of the sort.
However, Tae Ho turned the subject instead of resolving the misunderstanding.
“What about you? I heard that you were a hunter.”
She wasn’t a shield maiden but a hunter. Those were the words of Rolph.
At Tae Ho’s question, the light in Siri’s eyes seemed to dim but then she put on a smile and said, “I was a normal hunter. I lived in a hut far away from the village and hunted beasts and things worse than beasts.”
‘Those things should be humans, right?’
The words above Siri’s head that he saw when he first met her.
She didn’t look like a normal bounty hunter. The ‘witch’ word that appeared in Siri’s saga was one thing, and it seemed like there was something else.
It was easy to forget, but this place was Valhalla. It was a place only dead warriors could come to, so Rolph and Siri must have lost their lives at a young age.
It seemed like Siri noticed Tae Ho’s gaze since she erased the smile she wore and dropped her shoulders and said, “I like Valhalla. Instead of being jealous and having bad feelings towards the other person, they get sincerely amazed and show their strength. I like those kinds of warriors. They are pleasing allies that I fight with, and I like the present that we are fighting in, to protect Asgard and the nine planets;to the point that I want to enter the real paradise that was prepared by Odin as late as possible.”
Her words contained sincerity in them. He wanted to smile along with her but Tae Ho couldn’t pass the last part easily.
“The real paradise?”
“The warriors of Valhalla become steel warriors when they die. Then what will happen if even they die?”
Bjorn said that they would die for real then. However, Siri said another thing.
“A rest for a real warrior is prepared. Only warriors of Valhalla can enter that place.”
Because of that, the warriors of Valhalla could fight valiantly. They could focus on how they would die, rather than on when they would die, as they did in the mortal world.
Siri smiled. “I promised that I would go to Anaheim with Rolph when I return.”
“To Anaheim? With Rolph?”
“He looked depressed, like a poor puppy, because his promise was broken two times. I also think of my little brother,” Siri smiled and said. It seemed like she was really looking forward to going to Anaheim with Rolph.
‘But if Rolph goes with Siri, he wouldn’t be able to go to the places he wants to, right?’
But then he changed his thoughts.
‘No, it would be better for Rolph.’
‘Then should I also ask Heda?’
It was when Tae Ho was fantasizing that Siri, who was eating something, looked at her surroundings and said again, “Tae Ho, it seems like this is a trace of the Great War.”
Tae Ho had thought the same thing. Siri nodded and then looked at her surroundings and said, “I heard that the space that remained from the after-effects of the Great War was really unstable. That there was a crack in the world which you couldn’t see. This could probably be one of those cracks.”
A broken world that had the earth and the sky mixed.
There was a possibility that they had entered the crack because the blue stone of the giant broke and a magical explosion occurred.
“Tae Ho, you have a special eye. Haven’t you found something?”
“There is one thing, but I’m not certain.”
Tae Ho had checked his surroundings for a moment before Siri woke up. The magic power in their surroundings was flowing in one direction. Just like a current of water.
“I wonder if there will be something after we reach the end of the flow. Although it may be too hopeful, the exit could be there.”
Tae Ho pointed beyond a hill that was far away.
Then at that moment, Tae Ho felt a vibration at his waist.
He became surprised at the vibration, which was much stronger than the vibration of a cell phone, and then stood up and checked his waist. It was the Unknown sword piece that only had the hilt.
The vibration stopped when Tae Ho placed his hand on the unknown sword piece.
Siri, who wore the same surprised eyes, stood up from her place and asked, “Tae Ho, is it that piece you said you obtained before?”
Tae Ho seemed to have remembered something that happened when he grabbed the unknown sword piece and asked, “You are the one that answered just now?”
The answer to the conversation when he said that the exit may be over there.
At that moment the unknown sword piece vibrated again. Tae Ho looked at Siri, and she nodded.
“This place is separated from other places. It is filled with the strength of the Great War, so it may have recovered some of its strength. Perhaps this sword may be one of those legendary swords that had its own ego. Just like this sword, Freyr-nim was said to have one that fought on its own.”
It was an understandable story then. Tae Ho asked towards the unknown sword piece again, “Do you have something you remember? If you do vibrate once, if you don’t, do it twice.”
The hilt vibrated two times shortly. Maybe it was because it was in pieces that its memories were incomplete.
‘And it can’t even speak.’
However, if it was basic communication it was enough. It wasn’t an epic-ranked item for nothing.
Tae Ho organized his thoughts and asked again, “So the exit is over there?”
It vibrated once.
A smile appeared on Siri’s face.
And Tae Ho also smiled. Although there was a possibility for the unknown sword piece to be lying or that its knowledge wasn’t correct, even so, the thing they had to do remained the same.
‘And it doesn’t seem like a lie either.’
Tae Ho put back the remains of the provision in Unnir and then took a big breath and turned back. Siri got flustered and said, “Tae Ho, it’s over there.”
Tae Ho also knew. However if this really was a trace of the Great War, there was something he had to do first.
‘I beat one giant. Rasgrid will become in charge of the other one and reinforcements will also come.’
In addition, quite a lot of time had passed. In the first place, if every second was important right now, he wouldn’t have been able to even think of eating and conversing slowly with Siri.
So he had to do what had been needed.
The real objective he came to Svartalfheim for.
[Saga: The Eyes of a Dragon See Through All Things]
Tae Ho’s eyes started to read the various colored words.
< Traces of the Great War (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~