Episode 19/Chapter 1: Intermediate Ranked Warrior (1)
The land of the dark fairies, Svartalfheim, had several divisions.
The shadows of the forest created by the branches covering the sky was the residence of the dark fairies. After leaving the forest, a wasteland covered in gray appeared, and if one went a bit more, a place called Nidavellir, which was the residence of the dwarves that were also called as Dvergs, appeared.
Winter in Svartalfheim couldn’t be compared to the one in Asgard or Midgard at all.
The winter in the wastelands was especially harsh. The time the sun showed up was really short, and there were no walls to buffer the winds. It was to the point that some might compare the wastelands at its coldest with Niflheim.
However there were some that were still fine in this harsh land.
“They really are amazing.”
Tae Ho, who was wearing the stealth cloak over the hawk wing coat, was looking into the distance while standing on a branch. It was the camp of the warriors of Valhalla that Tae Ho himself was at just a few minutes ago.
The warriors of Hedmod’s and Ullr’s legion had set up a big fire and were in the middle of partying. As the search operation had no results for the past month, Valkyrie Gandur had made a feast to raise their moods.
Tae Ho opened his eyes sharply. His eyesight was really at the superhuman level now that he was at the level of an intermediate-ranked warrior. Tae Ho looked at the warriors that weren’t wearing any shirts, even though a wind sharp enough to cut was blowing, and felt cold instead of them.
During the past three months, Asgard discovered one more soul fragment of Garmr and succeeded in destroying it.
It was either lucky or unlucky that no soul fragments appeared in the expeditions Tae Ho had participated in.
Following Heda’s words, it was estimated that there were between twelve to fourteen fragments. As Asgard had already destroyed three, there were about ten more.
How many fragments did the giants have from the remaining ones?
And how many were needed to wake up the World Wolf?
What was fortunate was that both sides hadn’t searching for a long time.
Although the giants were boldly searching for it everywhere in Asgard, they couldn’t do so before Garmr’s soul fragment appeared before the hundred days.
As they had proceeded with caution to not let their intentions be shown, the search could only become slower. Because of that, even if the giants did have some fragments, there was a high possibility for them to have few of them.
‘That’s one thing.’
Tae Ho took a deep breath and then looked down at the two objects hanging at his waist.
Gae Bolg’s fragment and the Unknown sword piece.
Based on Cu Chulainn’s words, Gae Bolg was currently divided in five.
Although not even Cu Chulainn could recognize the Unknown sword piece, it was still useful like this.
Because of that, Tae Ho decided to focus on Gae Bolg for now and he had finally made some progress the night before.
‘I memorized the location of another fragment.’
He had met Cu Chulainn in his mind in the past month and said that with a vague face. Although there were some cracks in his memories, he said that he remembered something after coming to Svartalfheim and more precisely to the center of the wastelands.
The temporary base of the Red Branch Knights.
The Red Branch Knights that Cu Chulainn belonged to were destroyed along with Erin. However, there were some survivors. Cu Chulainn had gathered them and built a temporary base for the Red Branch Knights in the harsh lands of Svartalfheim.
‘I had engraved a returning magic in Gae Bolg in case of the worst. The fragment that has the magic letters engraved in it should have returned to the base.’
In addition Cu Chulainn had said that there were relics, several weapons and treasures stored in the base of the knights.
Tae Ho let out a sigh and touched his forehead after frowning. He could now feel Erin’s power, perhaps for having gotten quite accustomed to the power of a God.
‘Hey, I don’t want to do this to a man either!’
Cu Chulainn had also frowned while giving a kiss blessing on his forehead.
However Tae Ho ended up smiling bitterly. Thanks to Cu Chulainn having blessed him in the forehead, Heda had changed places where she blessed him. He was thankful towards Cu Chulainn in many ways.
“Is it regretful, not being able to join the party?”
A voice was heard behind him. It was Siri, who was nice to see anytime just like Heda.
“How can that be? Thank you for going with me, Captain Siri.”
“That’s your task. I also have to pay back the grace I received from master.”
The master Siri talked about was none other than Ragnar. He desired Siri’s talent and character very much when they had gone to catch Rolo but now he had taken her as his disciple.
As a result, Siri visited Idun’s legion whenever she had time and had received classes along with Tae Ho for the past three months.
“Anyways, why don’t we prepare to depart?” Siri said in a low voice and started to take off her clothes. As Tae Ho turned his head hurriedly, Siri let out a laugh and activated her saga.
[Saga: The Wolf Witch]
He had already seen Siri’s saga several times, but the result was different from before. It was the result of Siri’s saga having developed and having had the power of a God added into it.
The golden wolf standing below the blue moonlight was really beautiful. It could be believed if someone said that she was a mount of the God of Hunting.
“I will excuse myself.”
Tae Ho placed the Beast’s saddle on Siri, who had transformed into a wolf as big as a horse, and fixed his posture. As it was troublesome to fly in Svartalfheim, Tae Ho could only ask Siri instead of using Rolo.
“Grab on tightly, I will run a bit roughly.” Siri also laughed that time and then started to run like a White Silence. Different to her words, that had said that she would run roughly, she was charging softly and gently to the point that no footsteps were left behind.
Riding in the wasteland that was covered in white was like crossing a boundless ocean. But the closer they got to their destination, the stronger and faster the fragement of Gae Bolg vibrated, so they didn’t lose direction.
It was when Siri had ridden almost for an hour with her quick feet that the vibration stopped.
It wasn’t because they got lost, but because they had arrived at their destination.
Tae Ho got down off Siri and put away the Beast’s saddle. Siri removed her saga and quickly put on some clothes.
A rocky mountain was in front of her. Tae Ho was able to find the secret door easily after activating the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’.
He placed his forehead, which had the blessing of Cu Chulainn, to the boulder and an entrance appeared with a clunking sound. It seemed to be a passage using the natural cave.
When Erin was destroyed Cu Chulainn had mixed emotions, like rage, hatred, sadness and emptiness. The other survivors must have also felt the same as it was kind of understandable that they had built a base in this desolate place.
Tae Ho made a light ball with the temporary engraving in his right hand. When the surroundings were lit up to about tens of meters, a big cave appeared.
“Erin’s knights…” Siri exclaimed in a low voice and looked at her surroundings. There were sculptures resembling the knights of Erin and the Gods. There were also sculptures that seemed to be Gods of Tuatha De Danann.
Tae Ho approached an altar that was at the opposite side of the entrance. If it was like Cu Chulainn had explained, Gae Bolg’s fragment had to be on top of that.
However, there was nothing on it. As Siri turned to look at him with a bewildered face, Tae Ho approached the altar even more instead of answering.
It was obvious. Even though it was temporary, this was still the base of the Red Branch Knights.
But that wasn’t all. Tae Ho felt a strong power from the altar.
Gae Bolg started to vibrate. No, Cu Chulainn’s soul that was inside of it was trembling.
Tae Ho placed his hand on the altar. Cu Chulainn’s blessing, which was inside of Tae Ho, reacted with the power on the altar.
A light exploded outwards. The cave, which was filled with darkness, was covered with a bright light. At the same time Tae Ho and Heda could see it. The shape of a woman made with the light that appeared from the altar was formed.
“Scathach.” Tae Ho reflexively called for her. The woman had long and abundant black hair and cat-like eyes. The Queen of the Land of Darkness, that was located in the boundary of life and death.
She, who was wearing the fur of a black beast, spoke up. It was a hologram that had been recorded tens of years ago and not a real-time conversation.
“Cu Chulainn, my proud disciple.”
Her words were short and indifferent.
The day Erin was destroyed, the Land of Darkness had also gotten destroyed. She, who had been struggling to defend the Land of Darkness, fell into an ambiguous flow of time and in the end was able to arrive in Asgard.
The first thing she did was to look for Cu Chulainn. She had been able to discover the Red Branch Knights with her efforts but it was only after Cu Chulainn and the warriors had gone to the Great War.
Scathach retrieved the fragment of Gae Bolg that was placed on the altar. It seemed like a joke of fate, but Cu Chulainn’s soul almost didn’t remain in it.
“If you return one day, come find me. I will be waiting for you, just like I always did.”
Scathach’s welcome ended with a sad smile. A sentence made with light and drawings appeared. Although he couldn’t read Erin’s words, he felt like he knew what they meant.
The map was telling him where Scathach was.
At that moment, Cu Chulainn’s emotions burst out. He laughed and cried. His emotions were so strong it even affected Tae Ho. Tae Ho cried a bit without him noticing.
Because of that Tae Ho and Cu Chulainn couldn’t feel the change that occurred in their surroundings. But fortunately, the two of them weren’t the only ones in that place.
“Who are you!” Siri yelled sharply and turned back. Tae Ho got surprised and spread his senses. There were things that were moving in the darkness beyond the light that had started to disappear.
Cu Chulainn, inside of Tae Ho, became enraged.
Erin’s old enemies, that were also called Fomoires. They, who had harassed Erin with countless invasions, hadn’t disappeared even after Erin was destroyed. No, in the first place, they were the ones that had brought Erin to destruction.
The Fomoires, which surged out from the seas, didn’t have a predetermined shape. They were giants that looked atrocious but there were some that didn’t have a shape and some had beautiful looks, of that of a God.
The ones that had moved were the rock-like Fomoires. They had been waiting for someone to come to this place for tens of years. They had been wondering if they could find a trace of Scathach and they had finally succeeded.
A part of the Fomoires threw themselves to the outside. The rest charged towards Siri and Tae Ho.
It felt as if the walls and ceilings were crumbling and pouring down. However Tae Ho thought instead of fearing.
He had to catch the ones that got outside. He had to find Scathach before the Fomoires flocked to her.
So what he needed to do so.
Tae Ho stopped breathing. He gripped the Unknown sword piece and activated his strength.
[Saga: The Immortal Warrior]
[Synchro rate: 32%]
The black storm that occurred from the tip of Tae Ho’s hands swept up the Fomoires.
< Intermediate Ranked Warrior (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~