Episode 22/Chapter 5: Saga (5)
The ones that died of ‘Hella’s curse’ turned into the walking dead and attacked the people that were alive. It was a disease that the word ‘curse’ suited well.
The fight ended earlier than expected. Although there were hundreds of walking dead, not all of them were warriors and they only knew how to charge forward.
In addition, they weren’t good opponents. A force of eight warriors of Valhalla was enough to overwhelm hundreds of warriors of Midgard that were completely armed.
But of course, as there were just too many walking dead, there were some that passed through the defenses of the warriors of Valhalla. However, Katren’s garrison didn’t just stay idle. They poured arrows into the walking dead that charged towards them in a manner that one could say was a bit excessive.
“Are you okay?”
“It’s been tough because of a certain someone but I’m fine.”
Siri faced Tae Ho, who had charged all the way here from a deep place in the forest, and spoke while putting on cold eyes and smiling at the same time. He could feel the pressure emanating from her, as if she were telling him to explain properly the next time.
“Thank you, you really are the best.”
As he came out of the forest shamelessly giving a thumbs up, Siri smirked and loosened her expression. He had done that to rescue people in the first place. Siri also knew that it was unavoidable.
As Siri’s mood had eased up Tae Ho, that got relaxed, glanced towards the fortress.
“Captain Siri, I will go first. It’s because of Rolo.”
There was a limit on how long you could maintain a summon with the summoning rock. There were things he had to do before sending back Rolo.
Siri answered shortly and then pointed at the other warriors while slightly dropping her posture. Tae Ho looked at the warriors that were gathering in groups and ran towards the fortress hurriedly.
“Idun’s warrior is coming!”
The soldiers on top of the fortress and the evacuees that were still near the gates raised their voices.
‘Did the shieldmaiden I saved spread the rumor?’
How did he know that he was Idun’s warrior? Did he recognize the army flag?
Whatever the case, it was a good reaction. Tae Ho maintained his serious expression instead of smiling and kicked the air to surge up to the top of the fortress. The soldiers and evacuees raised their voices again when they saw that he had jumped down the wall that was close to ten meters as if nothing.
As he had jumped towards the place where Rolo was, he could meet the ones he had saved as soon as he landed. They were Rolo, that was putting on a vague expression while carrying Idun’s army flag in his saddle, and the three children and the black-haired woman next to him.
“Are you okay?”
“We are all safe. It’s all thanks to Idun’s warrior-nim.”
The shieldmaiden blushed and then bowed towards Tae Ho and pointed at the three children.
“My name is Helga, the daughter of Ivar. These are my siblings Gudmund, Gudrid, and Erik.”
They were two boys and one girl.
‘They were brothers with a bit of difference in their age?’
He thought that they were children of a rich family and their guard.
Looking at the shieldmaiden more closely he thought that she would be a teen as she still had a childish face. On the other hand, the biggest kid among the children seemed to be barely seven or eight years old.
But it was then. The warriors near them put on surprised faces and then looked at each other and started to whisper among themselves.
“They are the kids of King Ivar?”
“So that girl is Princess Helga?”
“She’s a beauty just like the rumors.”
Although they had whispered among themselves, you could still hear everything as they were on top of the silent fortress.
[Daughter of King Ivar]
[Princess of Kataron]
He became certain after looking with the ‘eyes of the dragon’. It wasn’t a rich family but she was of royalty.
But of course, there was a low probability for them to be successors of a huge kingdom. Even King Sven merely ruled two cities and a few towns. Based on Siri’s explanation there were small kingdoms the size of cities near Kalik. Ivar King should probably be the same.
Helga heard the whispers around her and then took a deep breath and said after fixing her expression.
“It’s embarrassing to say this to Idun’s warrior but King Ivar, that rules a part of Kataron, is my father. As my father was on an expedition, I escaped along with my brothers.”
Tae Ho had studied many things about Kalik’s surroundings with Siri while crossing the sea. When he spread a map in his head he could immediately know Kataron’s size and location. Just as expected, it was a small kingdom comparable to the island King Sven ruled.
‘They had a vague relationship with Katren, right?’
They did trade between them but were in guard against each other.
He had heard that the other small kingdoms near it were hesitation in several means as King Ivar was leading a really powerful army.
‘Whatever the case, they are royalty.’
Be it small or big, it was still a kingdom. In addition, the ones in front of Tae Ho were the princesses and princes.
If he did well, won’t he gain diplomatic ties with them? Just like Athens, the capital of Greece, worshipped the Goddess Athena.
He started to see Helga in a new light. He felt like he could see the words [Idun’s warrior(in the future)] or [Estimated to enter the army: Idun’s legion] above her head.
‘Let’s calm down for now.’
Rolo’s vague eyes looking at him helped him in calming himself down.
Tae Ho fixed his expression and then hit his chest twice just like Valhalla’s etiquette and spoke to Helga.
“You have gone through a lot with the body of a princess. Both your courage and commitment to protecting your brothers until the end are really amazing.”
“Ah, no. I just did the obvious as the eldest.”
Helga blushed and bowed. But looking that the corner of her mouth was curled up, it seemed like she was really happy to have heard that.
“I also did the obvious as Idun’s warrior.”
Tae Ho lightly patted on Helga’s shoulders and said. Helga looked at Tae Ho’s hand that was on her shoulder and flinched, and then acted as if she didn’t know what to do and hurriedly expressed her manners.
“I will be going now. I will never forget this grace.”
“Warm up as the night is cold.”
Tae Ho took out a coat he had put in Unnir as a set of female clothing and gave it to Helga. Helga’s face got even redder than it was before and bowed again.
Helga left with the children. And Tae Ho, that was looking at that, let out a sigh of relief.
‘It was hard.’
He had taken Rasgrid’s or Reginleif’s way of talking and pretended to act as a warrior of Valhalla filled with dignity, but it was hard to do something he didn’t usually do.
“Rolo, you have done well.”
As Tae Ho smirked and said, Rolo turned his head and snorted. Although it was fainter than before, he still had the feather decoration that was a characteristic of Valkyries in his head.
[The first male Valkyrie(Temporary)]
[Rolo that feels strange]
Fortunately enough, it seemed like there was no confusion in his identity.
Tae Ho slightly glanced at Rolo’s lower half and let out a sigh of relief before patting Rolo’s legs.
“You got the title of the first, congratulations.”
It wasn’t a man Valkyrie but a male Valkyrie, so it was good to say that he had written history anew, but Rolo kept looking at him vaguely.
Tae Ho placed the things he had prepared in a pocket that was hanging in the saddle instead of taking it off.
He was returning the summoning rocks that had used all of their magic power and a letter to her.
“Send it to Heda, okay?”
Rolo couldn’t speak but could understand words really well. He nodded moderately and then looked at Tae Ho as if asking if he could return back to eat. Tae Ho used the summoning rock again to send him back instead of answering.
As the big gryphon disappeared in front of their eyes, the soldiers that got surprised raised their voices. Tae Ho was wondering whether he should preach them about Idun’s beauty and wisdom now that he had caught their attention but he changed his thoughts. It was because Siri and the warriors had reached the gate and Ingrid, that wasn’t seen anywhere, appeared on top of the fortress.
“Idun’s warrior Tae Ho, you have done well.”
As he approached Ingrid, she spoke to him first. He was really thankful towards her because she called him ‘Idun’s warrior’ instead of just ‘warrior’ like she usually did.
Although Ingrid seemed to be the silent type, as she always had a business-like expression, he was able to read her expression after spending a few days with her. Although her face seemed to be the same every time, she was expressing her feelings through the faint movements of her eyebrows and eyes.
Ingrid put on a smile only Tae Ho could barely recognize and then put pointed at the young man putting on a nervous expression.
“This is Katren’s defense commander Blotan, son of Erik.”
“Greetings to Idun’s warrior.”
“Nice to meet you.”
As Blotan and Tae Ho ended their short greeting, Ingrid spoke again.
“King Catil, the governor of the city, is coming. It feels like it would turn to become a long story but will you participate in the conference? You can rest as you have just returned from battle. King Catil will prepare a conference room.”
It seemed like the last words were directed to Blotan rather to Tae Ho.
Tae Ho and Blotan, that had flinched, turned to look at a fat man that was being escorted by guards, nodded.
“I will participate.”
“Okay, he’s coming over there.”
Ingrid turned towards the fat man- King Catil.
The conference with King Catil took place in a big mansion located at the center of the city.
King Catil was hiding his expression but he seemed to have many complaints.
Like he was going to return to the mansion again so why did he have to go to the walls and why did they end up letting in the evacuees inside the fortress?
It seemed like he had almost never lowered himself below someone else or endured it.
But it seemed like he still knew how to differentiate a bit that he didn’t act rudely openly towards Ingrid and the warriors of Valhalla.
Thinking about it, King Catil should be the image of a standard king.
After having seen warriors of Valhalla that were all bright and good people, when he saw a rotten person in a really long while he felt more marveled rather than displeasure.
The people that were in the conference room could be divided into three groups.
King Catil and his advisor, Blotan, and his followers.
Tae Ho, Bracky, and Ingrid.
Lastly, Princess Helga of Kataron.
King Catil sent a sly look towards Helga without even trying to hide it. It was obvious as the successor of a neighboring kingdom had come rolling while they were glaring at themselves without fighting. In addition, Helga was also a beauty. The eyes of King Catil were filled with lewdness.
Helga pretended to act calm but it seemed like it was still hard to endure it that she kept sending glances to Tae Ho.
“Saying it briefly, the place the epidemic got originated at is from a forest near Kataron?”
“There’s a high probability.”
Helga answered hurriedly at Ingrid’s question.
The epidemic that originated in the forest got spread in small villages that were located in hills or the mountains but it ended up spreading to a village that belonged to Kataron and even affected it.
Ingrid paused for a moment and then looked at the map that was placed in the middle of the table. It pointed in the same direction that Garmr’s soul fragment pointed in.
“Shieldmaiden Helga, where is the army of King Ivar? Can I know the situation of Kataron?”
“Um…By now, father should have also heard of the situation. Hella’s curse is a really dangerous plague, so I think that he returned to deal with it. For Kataron’s situation…..I’m sorry. Even I don’t know.”
She was staying in a village outside of Kataron with her brothers and had escaped. It was impossible to know to what extent the disease had spread.
“I understand. Erasing the origin of the plague is the priority here so it would be good to join with King Ivar.”
“Are you talking about crossing through the infected regions?”
Blotan, that was silent until now, got surprised and asked.
Ingrid nodded with a calm face.
“We have a flying ship….that was bestowed by Idun-nim. It isn’t a problem crossing through the infected region.”
Ingrid had finished speaking and looked at Tae Ho. Now that she had determined herself to help him, she was really doing her best.
‘It looks like a powerpoint presentation.’
Just like when they presented a mobile game in dramas or only drinking a beverage from one brand and showing it.
While Tae Ho was forcing himself not to laugh at Ingrid’s cute side, the advisor that was next to King Catil put on a troubled face and said.
“Then our Katren…..”
“Katren’s walls are high and solid. There won’t be any trouble even if we leave.”
Ingrid cut off his words immediately. King Catil put on a dissatisfied face but he just shut his mouth and didn’t say anything.
Tae Ho looked at the place the eyes of King Catil were looking at and then said.
“Helga, you and your brothers will come with us. It will be exhausting to leave immediately but get ready to depart.”
“I understand. Thank you.”
Helga answered immediately. King Catil turned to look at Tae Ho as if he could do such things but he couldn’t open his mouth this time either.
He had been planning to capture the successors of King Ivar in this opportunity.
Actually, that was a mundane thing, and it wasn’t that King Catil was doing anything evil in particular. But whatever the case, he would have to deal with the thousand of evacuees that would remain in Katren.
However, Tae Ho didn’t need to side with Katren. He would be leaving Katren soon so it was obvious that he would invest more in Kataron that had a well polished base and where he would be acting from now on.
‘Right, now that it came to this why don’t I make a national religion?’
He would build a city with Idun’s name and also build a big shrine!
That was Tae Ho’s ambition but it seemed like Ingrid mistook Tae Ho’s eyes and shook her head while looking at Helga that was looking at Tae Ho with her face flushed.
However she really was sincere. She prioritized her things and stood up.
“King Catil, I entrust you the evacuees. You and the evacuees are all humans of Midgard.”
King Catil’s face stiffened when he heard the warning not to mix the mundane things with the things related to Valhalla.
As soon as they got out of the conference room, Ingrid gathered the warriors of Valhalla that were resting. It was doubtful as to how Garmr’s soul fragment was influencing things but whatever the case, Hella’s curse was a terrible disease they had to take care of.
If more time passed, there was a high probability that vampires like the Stragos or undead monsters would appear.
Hella’s curse became stronger the more walking dead there were.
The flying pirate ship, that was carrying the warriors of Valhalla, left Katren.
King Catil and the several others looked at them and had their own thoughts.
And at the same time, when everyone looked at the flying pirate ship.
There was one more existence leaving Katren.
< Episode 22 – Saga (5) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~