Episode 23/Chapter 3: Saga (3)
The castle of Kataron was a simple building built with rocks and trees. However, only the center of the hall was different from the other structures.
A tree surged in the middle of the hall. It wasn’t a dead stump but a tree that was alive. In addition, the surprising thing was the shape of that tree.
The tree that was rooted solidly on the ground started to split into three starting from the height of an adult human.
It was a really big and flashy sword. Taking into account the part that was stuck, the sword seemed to be about 1.5 meters long and was also red in color, and the tree that wasn’t only one-colored had started degrading the closer it was to the hilt.
The black guard drew a clear cross shape along the blade and there was a big red jewel carved in the pommel at the tip of the hilt.
There were empty spaces in the tree so you could clearly see the shape of the sword but it had such a marvelous structure that if you wanted to pull out the sword, the tree might disturb you.
As Tae Ho’s eyes gathered on the sword, King Ivar put on a satisfied expression and the warriors that were already in the hall started laughing.
Bracky raised his cup of beer and said, “He certainly looks at that sword first. It really is eye-catching, right? King Ivar said that it was a precious and peculiar sword that had great magic power. It may be true as Ingrid didn’t refute him and just nodded. But unfortunately, it’s stuck like that in the tree. In addition, it’s impossible to cut down the tree to take it out. I stamped it with my axe to test it but it was true. The blade didn’t even get stuck in it. Based on the words of King Ivar, the tree would open up on its own to the one that has the rights, but it didn’t react to us at all. That’s why we made a bet if you were able to….is it opening?”
Bracky, who was voicing his long explanation, put on a surprised face and blinked. It was the same for the other warriors.. King Ivar stood up from his seat and gulped some air.
The tree was opening up just like Bracky had said. The tree that was twisted up started to loosen up on its own and as it spread out, and the lodged blade completely showed up.
[It embraces a fragment of Gae Bolg]
The rainbow-colored letters were really clear. In addition, the description really bothered him. Was Gae Bolg’s fragment embedded in a part of that sword?
Tae Ho slowly approached the sword and extended his hand. And then, the jewel in the pommel started to shine brightly as if telling him to pull it out quickly.
King Ivar, who had just seen the sword stuck in the tree, gulped dry saliva several times. Helga’s eyes shone, and the warriors of Kataron waited for the moment for the sword to be pulled out.
‘Don’t stop and pull it out quickly.”
Cuchulainn urged while everyone else was nervous. Tae Ho was putting on a serious expression to match the atmosphere and then grabbed the grip of the sword after smiling.
The sword was lightly pulled out.
King Ivar let out an exclamation after looking at the sword that seemed to be white.
The reactions of the warriors of Valhalla were all different. There were some that exclaimed while cursing and some were putting on teary faces.
The reason was simple.
It was because Siri, who was putting on a triumphant expression, extended her hands to all of them.
The warriors that seemed to have bet if Tae Ho would be able to pull it out or not took out some items and handed it to Siri. Looking at the situation, it seemed like only Siri had betted on Tae Ho.
Tae Ho laughed in spite of himself at that vivid look and then focused on the sword again. You could tell that it was good even at first glance but he couldn’t use it like this.
‘Place the fragment of Gae Bolg on it.’ Cuchulainn said. Tae Ho took out the piece of Gae Bolg from Unnir and placed it near the sword. And then, something surprising happened once again.
The sheath of Liberatus split in two. It didn’t break like a part of a machine but it split up softly as if only the center part had gotten liquefied. And as expected, a part of a white spear appeared from that split area.
The warriors of Kataron raised their voices as if they had seen something really marvelous. And that yell reached a peak when the fragments of Gae Bolg assembled themselves.
It was surprising enough for the sword that was trapped for a long time to be unsealed, but for it to have a part of another equipment in it was another thing. In addition, the one that had unsealed it already had the other fragments.
What had happened could become a story with just this. The wandering minstrels that followed King Ivar and made up stories and songs started to write something hurriedly. It was to clearly remember the scene they had seen today.
[The incomplete Gae Bolg (3/5)]
As three of the five fragments gathered, it became longer than an average sword. In addition, the strength from Gae Bolg was different. It felt like the enraged beast had calmed down.
‘Good. The flow of magic power became more stable because you obtained the handle. It will be more helpful in handling Gae Bolg.’
It was just like he had said. Until now, the usage of Gae Bolg was like barely hanging on the back of a riding beast. But now, he would be able to ride on it with quite a stable posture.
‘To even compare the usage of a weapon with riding. That’s so like you, it made me speechless.’
Tae Ho just listened to Cuchulainn’s words with one ear and then put back Gae Bolg in Unnir. It was because he didn’t only have business with Gae Bolg.
Tae Ho called the name of the sword in a low voice. After taking out the fragment of Gae Bolg, the color of the letters changed but it was still white gold. It seemed like the sword itself was a special weapon.
‘I feel a strong seal from it. It’s not something that could be made by a normal blacksmith or magician.’
Even Cuchulainn couldn’t feel Gae Bolg before standing right in front of it.
Tae Ho looked at Liberatus with the ‘eyes of the dragon’. Just like Cuchulainn said, it was a sword that had a marvelous strength and had the power to seal.
‘It will be quite useful.’
He thought of several methods in his head. They were methods that would bewilder Cuchulainn if he heard them but the important thing was that it was useful.
Tae Ho nodded and also put Liberatus inside of Unnir. As it was all a natural action, everyone just looked still at him.
‘This, your stealing skills are really natural.’
As Cuchulainn criticized him, Tae Ho raised his head and looked at King Ivar. But fortunately he had an impressed expression again.
“I’m deeply impressed. Mr. Paul’s words were right.”
Grief appeared in the eyes of King Ivar. As Tae Ho just stayed still instead of asking, King Ivar got a hold of himself and said hurriedly, “Mr. Paul…..No, father Paul is the person that built Kataron along with Grim. He was a magician with marvelous powers but he just set up this city and then left after leaving behind this red sword. He just said that someone righteous would be able to retrieve it.”
‘Ask him if that Paul was the one that made the sword.’
“Is Paul the one that made this sword?”
The one that listened to Cuchulainn’s request wasn’t Tae Ho but Bracky. There was no way he had heard Cuchulainn’s words, it was purely curiousness.
King Ivar nodded immediately.
“He was a really skilled person. If he didn’t leave and instead stayed with us, Kataron would be controlling all of Kalic Sea.”
Looking that he emphasized those words, it seemed like he had thought about it frequently.
‘Paul….. It just feels like a fake name. Having hidden the fragment of Gae Bolg with the sword is also suspicious. He may be a survivor of Erin.’
Someone righteous will someday take the sword with his hands.
The words he had left behind also weren’t normal. It was hard to think that he left it saying that someone that possessed the fragments of Gae Bolg would appear.
“Did he leave? You don’t know where he lives?”
Bracky also scratched the itchy part. King Ivar put on a regretful expression and nodded.
“I have searched a few times but couldn’t find him. It has already been twenty years since he left Kataron.”
The magician and blacksmith that may be survivors of Erin.
Tae Ho was also interested in it but it wasn’t something he could intervene in. Tae Ho approached King Ivar to solve the ownership rights.
“King Ivar, will you receive this for the sword?”
What Tae Ho took out wasn’t only the golden bar of Valhalla. It was a sculpture of Idun that Ragnar had made out of boredom. It was a small sculpture that was a big than his palms, but the strength it held wasn’t small. It was made with holy ash tree and was blessed by Idun directly after Tae Ho had requested it from her.
‘It’s also good to use it as propaganda.’
Tae Ho handed over the sculpture of Idun while maintaining a serious expression. At first, King Ivar was putting on a complicated expression but it changed the moment he got hold of the structure. It was because he felt a holy power in the sculpture.
“It is a sculpture of Idun-nim that repels diseases and cures injuries. It will be able to become a treasure for Kataron.”
The warriors of Kataron started to have special feelings towards Idun after the battle in the winter tree forest. All of them wanted to see the sculpture.
With a soft expression, King Ivar said, “Thank you. And there’s no need for you to think about the sword. The ownerless item has just found its owner.”
King Ivar wasn’t uselessly greedy. It may be because he didn’t have the guts to negotiate with the warriors of the Gods but his thoughts were purer than that.
“I’m grateful as you think like that.”
Tae Ho patted the shoulders of King Ivar a few times and went with the warriors of Valhalla. Bracky asked as soon as Tae Ho approached, “How did you do that? And what’s that spear?”
“It opened up on its own as I approached it. And the spear is something I originally had.”
It was all true but the explanation was lacking. When Bracky was about to ask more in depth, Siri butted in.
“Let’s concentrate on the banquet for now. You are able to talk about that later.”
She was someone that knew about Gae Bolg and Cuchulainn.
As Siri stepped in Bracky started to hesitate but then nodded and stepped back. It seemed like Bracky listened to Siri’s words better than before.
‘It’s because beauties are a treasure of the world.’
The banquet resumed as Cuchulainn gave a weird answer.
King Ivar praised the military prowess of the warriors of Valhalla and he showed an especially excited look when he explained about Tae Ho and Siri. And that was the same for the warriors of Valhalla.
‘They are more excited with Siri than you.’
“Well, they are men.”
Tae Ho said in a low voice and Cuchulain snickered.
In the first place, the warriors of Valhalla were all cool in the eyes of the humans of Midgard. As Siri was already a beauty, she would be seen as the prettiest woman that shone in their eyes. But in addition to this, she acquired a new saga that even made the enemies turn to look at her. For the warriors of Kataron, she was a beauty of fantasies that was hard to meet even in their dreams.
As Siri waved her hand and spoke in a low voice as if answering the cheers of the warriors, the warriors yelled even more enthusiastically.
“For the beautiful warrior of Ullr!”
The atmosphere heated up in an instant. Tae Ho looked at the reaction of Siri that was not like her and she said with a bold face while her ear had turned red.
“Well, I’m also a warrior of Ullr’s legion.”
It was really confusing as she stayed in Idun’s residence for a long time, but she still belonged to Ullr’s legion.
Tae Ho flinched at the appearance of a strong competitor but the other warriors laughed and enjoyed it.
After the alcohol started to take effect, King Ivar started to talk about his plans.
Hella’s curse was a magical disease. It was difficult to lower the infection rate before destroying the strong magical factor originating it, but if you removed it the danger rate would lower to the level where only ghouls or normal zombies appeared.
But of course, you couldn’t easily see zombies or ghouls. However, they could only relax a bit as they were comparing it to Hella’s curse.
King Ivar finished the presentation about making his kingdom stronger while restoring Kataron as the base, and then the banquet turned out to be a drinking bout once again. The warriors of Kataron wanted to mix some words with the warriors of Valhalla but unfortunately the warriors of Valhalla had things to discuss among themselves.
Ingrid expressed her manners to king Ivar and then led the warriors of Valhalla to a separate room.
“It’s about the expeditions that will come next.”
Ingrid’s words were short and clear as always.
The two fragments of Garmr’s soul, including the one they had acquired, was pointing to a single direction. It seemed like another fragment was not too far away from them so they had to keep up with the expedition.
Although, their consumption in this battle was big and there was also the possibility of the giants and fomoires entering the fray.
They judged that it was impossible to keep the expedition with just this force and requested Valhalla for reinforcements.
Some of the warriors of Valhalla put on complicated faces when they heard that reinforcements would be sent. They were the warriors that couldn’t perform well in the battle against Balzak.
They didn’t look at the warriors that achieved merits with jealousy. Because that wasn’t what a warrior of Valhalla would do.
They were blaming themselves for being overpowered and being powerless.
Ingrid didn’t say any words to those warriors. It wasn’t because she wasn’t disinterested. It was because she believed in them.
If they had climbed to become intermediate ranked, then they knew well what they had to do. There was no need to interfere with warriors that were already mature.
And actually, the warriors of Valhalla soon returned to their usual faces. And rather there were some that had more determined faces than before. If there was something they lacked in this battle, they could just compensate for it in the next battle. There were no other words that didn’t fit the warriors of Valhalla like discouragement and despair.
As the atmosphere turned to normal again Bracky raised his hand like usual and asked, “Who are the reinforcements?”
In an expedition, a Valkyrie would naturally be added as their leader. It wasn’t that there was no possibility of only sending warriors as they already had Ingrid but thinking about it normally, there was a possibility for a new Valkyrie to come.
What legion would the Valkyrie that will come belong to? And how many warriors of which legion will come? Were they also intermediate ranked?
Ingrid faced Bracky’s eyes that were filled with curiousness and opened her mouth to answer. But when she looked at Tae Ho, she put a playful smile that didn’t suit her and said.
“You will know after two days. So it will be a secret until then.”
Bracky asked with a bewildered face but Ingrid closed her mouth as if there was nothing else to discuss and opened the door.
“Let’s leave it here. Rest well.”
Just who was coming for her to act like that?
The night deepened while Tae Ho and Siri looked at each other.
The night in Midgard was deeper and darker than Asgard.
Today it was darker than usual.
Loki stood at the center of the winter tree forest that was devastated, as if proving the confrontation against the giants, and looked at the sky. The night didn’t even have a moon but that was why you could see the stars more clearly.
Loki looked at the sea that held countless stars that could fall at any moment and then lowered his gaze. Things were flowing differently to what he had imagined.
But of course, the big picture didn’t change. The flow he wanted was maintained.
What had gone wrong was the speed.
He thought that they would still be battling the sea monsters but they had already taken care of that and had also solved the case of the winter tree forest.
The one that could be considered as the cause.
Loki looked at the direction where Kataron was and put on a faint smile.
It was a cold smile that seemed to be fake, just like the God of Lies.
< Episode 23 – Idun’s warrior (3) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~