Episode 20/Chapter 1: Scathach (1)
The summoning rock, which was a bit smaller than a baseball, wasn’t the only one. There was one in each pocket that was hanging on a belt Midak was wearing and they amounted to five.
Although they had some curves, the rocks, which were close to being a circle, had different symbols engraved in them. And seeing that the colors in the engravings were also different, it seemed as if they had a different meaning.
When Tae Ho grabbed one of them and checked it Cu Chulainn said, ‘It seems like the magic was erased. Is it because the user, Midak, died?’
“The magic was erased?”
‘There are cases like this on contract magic, which uses blood or incantations. The contract itself gets destroyed because the contractor died.’
Tae Ho flinched for a moment but then calmed himself. It was because the golden letters were still hovering above the stones.
“But it’s still useful, right?”
‘Probably. But you will have to make a new contract. And you will also have to investigate what kind of item this is exactly.’
What Tae Ho knew right now was its name, ‘The Summoning Rock’. Inserting magic into a magic tool of an unknown identity was a really dangerous thing.
‘I’m saying this just in case, but I will be able to know what it is with time.’
“Ah, yes.” Tae Ho nodded aimlessly and agreed. In the first place, he had become convinced that he shouldn’t handle it on his own before knowing what it was. Ragnar also used to say similar things.
‘If I show it to Heda, she may know what it is, right? Or to Scathach.’
Heda specialized in rune magic and Scathach was the one who had taught the Cu Chulainn himself. In addition, she was a witch that had some powers of the Tuatha De Danann.
Tae Ho organized his thoughts moderately and then put back the summoning rock in the pocket and put on the belt. But it seemed as if Cu Chulainn had interpreted Tae Ho’s short reply in another way, as he started to say things Tae Ho hadn’t even asked.
‘As I just checked it briefly, so I’m not certain, but there’s a high probability that it’s used to summon something. As Midak had the nickname of the Beast Ruler… Perhaps it may be a tool to summon a beast that you have made a contract with. Mm, right. Maybe it makes sense that he had five of them. I think it really is a summoning tool.’
It seemed as if he was convincing himself, since the more he spoke, the more certain he got.
It was something he had felt before, but Cu Chulainn spoke quite a lot, excluding when he was serious. It wasn’t that he was showing off, but it felt more like he didn’t like people to ignore him even a little or treat him casually.
However, Tae Ho didn’t have any complaints with Cu Chulainn’s personality. What’s more, he was currently more interested in what he was saying currently.
‘Isn’t this a monster ball?’
He thought of the monster collecting game that caught monsters with a ball. But of course, the summoning rock didn’t hold monsters or beasts inside of it like a monster ball, it summoned them; but anyways, it was true that it could call monsters without having to carry them.
Tae Ho couldn’t bring Rolo on this expedition. It was because food would only be wasted on him as he couldn’t even fly properly due to the branch ceilings of Svartalfheim.
But if he could really use the summoning rock ,like Cu Chulainn had said, then the story changed.
It wasn’t just Rolo, but he would also be able to call the big Adenmaha everytime he needed her.
‘Rolo in the air, Adenmaha in the sea.’
If he had only caught a ground monster then he would have all ground, air and water creatures.
‘No, I can acquire even stronger forces.’
There was no way that it would end with just Rolo and Adenmaha, because Adenmaha was strong enough by herself.
‘I have five summoning rocks.’
There were still three empty slots. Thinking about the main battle that would come soon, there were still many possibilities.
“Warrior Tae Ho, are you not ready yet? I think we should start fighting by now.” Gandur said in a low voice behind him. She glared at Midak’s underlings and the Fomoires who were glared at couldn’t even think of attacking and had been just looking at each other.
Cu Chulainn said quickly, ‘Don’t overdo it. You just used Gae Bolg. You need plenty of rest.’
Gae Bolg was a strong evil spear, which was also one of the best in Erin. Tae Ho had gotten much stronger than before by rising to the intermediate rank but he still couldn’t use it freely.
In the first place, not even Scathach, who was the one that had created Gae Bolg, could use it in consecution. The reason why she gave Gae Bolg to Cu Chulainn wasn’t only because she loved and treasured him. It was because only the strongest warrior, Cu Chulainn, could handle it perfectly.
Tae Ho also simply consented this time. He had already defeated the most difficult opponent, Midak, and the remaining underlings weren’t a proper opponent for Gandur.
“Gandur, I will ask you.”
“You really like to use the Valkyries.”
She did grumble, but there was a smile on her face. She took a deep breath and then charged towards the underlings along with the white Silences. Then the Fomoires started to run away from her, rather than facing them. It was appropriate to say that a wolf was let loose among a herd of sheep.
Tae Ho was partially vigilant of his surroundings, in case someone attacked him and then finished looking at the other items.
[Whip of Abuse]
[Net of Obedience]
Using Gandur’s way of expression, the names were all shady and dampish but if the performance was good then it was enough. He could always put a new name to them.
‘Most of them are blue.’
It was because he had seen several rainbow-colored items, but blue was also quite good. The hawk wing coat Tae Ho was using was also blue-colored.
Midak’s items were mostly meant to train or capture beasts. Now that he had obtained the summoning rocks, Tae Ho had decided to become a master of mounts, so these items were quite useful to him.
‘I was lucky.’
If it hadn’t been Midak that the Tyrant Bress had sent, then he wouldn’t have had this fortune for himself.
‘That’s an evil smile you have there.’
Cu Chulainn clicked his tongue and then Tae Ho took the things he needed and turned around. Gandur, who had already gotten rid of the enemies in the ship, wiped her hands.
Actually, almost half of them had fled without fighting her. But the Fomoires that fought against her would have also chosen to flee if they could fly.
“You really are Gandur. You are so cool.”
As Tae Ho praised her while raising a thumb, Gandur snorted and said with sharp eyes, “Leave the compliments aside. First of all, are you prepared to take responsibility?”
As he blinked, as if asking what she was talking about, she gulped some air. She grabbed her own shoulders as if she had gotten hurt and said with a teary face, “You tricked me with sweet words and rode on me and now you are playing dumb? They say that people gulp it if its sweet and spit it if it’s sour, you are too much.”
Although he was sure she was joking, it was strange to even answer with something. As Tae Ho was feeling troubled, Cu Chulainn spoke.
‘Hey, say that you will take responsibility like a man. She’s a beauty, like a Valkyrie should be and even has a good body. It seems like she also has a good character.’
Tae Ho didn’t know it well, but actually Cu Chulainn was a rumored playboy. It was to the point that he had collapsed more women in the bed than enemies in the battlefield.
Tae Ho simply heard Cu Chulainn’s words with one ear and proposed another thing.
“What about the beer that is sold in Anaheim?”
“I would like two barrels.” Gandur smirked and then summoned back the white Silences and approached Tae Ho.
“First of all Tae Ho, do you know how to control this ship?”
‘I know. Place the fragment of Gae Bolg in the controlling device where Midak was standing.’ Cu Chulainn said immediately. Tae Ho nodded towards Gandur and then walked towards the controlling device.
As the flying ship got closer to the battlefield, the morale of the Fomoires rose but it only lasted for a moment. Some of them seemed to have realized that something was wrong and then started to flee.
“What an easy victory.”
While Gandur was happy, Tae Ho waved his hand outside the ship. It was because Siri had approached them while riding on Adenmaha.
‘Did you get rid of Midak?! Sir?’ Adenmaha asked with a surprised voice. She was trying to speak as politely as possible because she seemed to want to be loyal to the geas.
“You really did it.”
Compared to Adenmaha, Siri spoke with a calm voice. Her voice and eyes were filled with trust towards him.
“Rest for a moment. We will finish cleaning this place up. You have done well Gandur-nim.”
Siri spoke to Tae Ho and Gandur and then pulled on the reins of Adenmaha, while smiling. It seemed like she had become accustomed to controlling her.
Tae Ho looked at Siri as she moved farther away and put on the same smile and at that moment Gandur let out a sigh.
“Hmph, I’m worried that she may really move to Idun’s legion like this.”
After she started receiving classes from Ragnar, excluding the times she went out on expeditions, Siri lived on the residence of Idun’s legion.
For Gandur’s situation, who really treasured Siri, it made her feel bitter.
But contrary to Tae Ho, who would be glad if Siri really did move, smiled brightly and answered. “If it’s Captain Siri we will always welcome her. Should we also bring Rolph?”
After he had returned to Anaheim, he hadn’t been able to see Rolph’s face. The moment Tae Ho mumbled Rolph’s name in a low voice, Gandur tilted her head.
“Why Rolph? Ah… Siri does treat him like a little brother. She said that he looked similar to her dead brother.”
After listening to her, Tae Ho seemed to recall something similar.
‘Tch tch, a brother. What bad luck.’
While Cu Chulainn was deciding Rolph’s fate own his own, Tae Ho thought about the dead people he had seen in Black Fortress.
The ones who couldn’t enter Valhalla.
Hadn’t Siri’s brother also been among them? Then it was a really painful situation.
“First of all, the Queen of the Land of Darkness is in that fortress?”
Gandur turned to look at the fortress and asked. The magic of the barrier around the fortress was disappearing, perhaps because the battle was almost ending.
“Thank you Gandur.”
Tae Ho expressed his thanks to Gandur, because this battle was meant to protect Scathach. Even though she had finished with her searching task, there was no need to help him like this.
However Gandur shook her head. “Don’t misunderstand. It’s true that I treasure you and Siri, but I didn’t bring reinforcements just because of the two of you. If that was the case, I would have come alone.”
There was no way she would mobilize an army for trivial matters just because she was a commander.
“The Fomoires, who are allies with the giants of Jotunheim, are the enemies of our Valhalla. In addition, we have a debt to repay to Scathach.”
At Tae Ho’s question Gandur nodded heavily.
“Our warriors of Valhalla weren’t the only ones that shed blood in the Great War. Countless heroes of Erin also shed their blood. And among them, there were several disciples of Scathach. Just like that great Prince of Light, Cu Chulainn.”
The moment his name was called, Cu Chulainn cleared his throat as if it was embarrassing but Tae Ho could feel his ears peeking up. Gandur continued speaking.
“And this is a bit different, but I’m also quite interested in her. She is a really outstanding teacher. I would like to at least learn most of the basics of how she taught her disciples. There really were good warriors among her disciples.”
Gandur started naming the heroes with high names one by one. Every time Cu Chulainn’s juniors and seniors were named, he smiled and said to Tae Ho, ‘I really like her. Why don’t you hand over Gae Bolg to her for a moment?’
It was obviously a joke. Ragnar and Cu Chulainn himself had decided that they shouldn’t divulge the fact that Cu Chulainn’s soul, which was capable of conversation, still remained in Gae Bolg. Only Siri was an exemption.
“I would like to invite her to Ullr’s legion but…she would probably go to Idun’s legion right?”
“You really are hateful.”
But compared to how she spoke, she smiled and then looked at how the warriors finished up the battle. Although she was a bit ill-natured, looking at her as a Valkyrie of a legion, she was really outstanding and capable.
‘The barrier has almost completely disappeared. Let’s return to master.’
The appearance of Valhalla’s reinforcement, Adenmaha switching sides, and Midak’s death were all misfortunes for Bress. Now that he had wasted quite a lot of time there, the probabilities of him sending more forces was low. He would aim for another chance.
Tae Ho listened to Cu Chulainn’s words and then waited for Siri to return along with Adenmaha. If it was this ship, then he thought that it would be possible to return with Adenmaha.
“The warrior that rode on a Valkyrie!”
“To ride on Gandur-nim! You are too much! Too much!”
“But I’m still jealous!”
The warriors that had finished the fight looked at Tae Ho and raised their voices. It seemed as if they were cheering for victory.
Tae Ho laughed with everybody and then got down off the flying pirate ship and went to Scathach’s fortress. However, he couldn’t not think back.
“Cu Chulainn, don’t you think we are forgetting something?”
‘Now that you mention it…’
It wasn’t particularly important but even so, it was something they shouldn’t have forgotten about.
Tae Ho and Cu Chulainn raised their voices almost at the same time.
“ ‘Sgaba Tune!’ “
The magic boat they had rode on from the treasury of the Red Branch Knights.
Tae Ho turned around and then ran towards Sgaba Tune, which had been left alone at the end of the battlefield.
‘Will he be late today?’
Heda stood on the wooden dock and frowned. She had thought about going out to meet him as she had some time, but something unexpected had happened and it had become late.
Compared to the Valkyries of the other legions, Heda didn’t spend much time outside of Asgard. If it wasn’t for a particular case, she had to return to Asgard before the day changed.
The place Tae Ho was at currently, so to say, Svartalfheim, was really far from the space door. If she departed now, there was a high probability that she wouldn’t even be able to see his face.
‘Let’s just return today.’
Nothing would happen in a few days. He was also with Cu Chulainn.
‘Let’s give Rolo and the gryphons some food.’
Heda calmed herself and then walked towards the wooden dock again. It was when she was tying off the rope she had tied up that it happened.
“It’s been a while.”
The voice of the woman that was heard above her head made Heda raise her head. She opened her eyes wide unconsciously and called the name of the woman.
< Scathach (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~