Episode 25/Chapter 7: Paul’s sword (7)
The day Erin was destroyed, the fomoires believed that they had finally won the long war.
They were half wrong and half right.
They had won the war, but Erin was lost forever. For the fomoires, Erin was much more than another land they had to destroy and burn down. Just as it was for the Tuatha De Danann and the Milesians, Erin was their homeland.
As recorded in the Invasion of Erin, the ownership of Erin had changed several times throughout history, and the fomoires that fought against each successive invader grew more detached as time progressed.
Once Great King Cichol took over, their pure blood became mixed with several races and a hybrid generation of fomoires was born into the world.
As a result, several kings grew to reign among the fomoires. Bress the Tyrant was hailed as the strongest amongst them, but he wasn’t alone in vying for such a title.
About a century after the destruction of Erin, Bress was faced against innumerable challenges. His denizens, filled with emptiness after losing Erin, required a sense of purpose Bress could not provide, and he had to suppress the rebels that felt that they were just being used by the giants of Jotunheim. During this period, there were many fomoire kings that aimed for his seat.
It could be said that Bress the Tyrant didn’t have a particularly good spot among the fomoire kings.
He was a crossbreed, a being born from the fomoire king and a Goddess of Tuatha De Danann. He was someone who climbed to the throne of the Tuatha De Danann, and with his origins as such, everyone, from the fomoire kings to even the common fomoires, looked down upon him with disapproval.
As a result, Bress the Tyrant protected his seat by suppressing his opposition with force.
He, who always had enemies at his throat, was forced to become an unyielding king.
Bress the Tyrant’s gaze penetrated into the distance as he leaned his body upon the unreasonably gargantuan wooden throne. By this point, between the fomoires that criticised, betrayed and schemed against him, he had already ruled for close to a hundred years.
His eyes and ears had grown clearer than anyone else’s, and it had been a long time since he had last sensed a disturbing element below ground.
The king was beginning to weaken.
No… He had already grown weak.
He couldn’t secure Scathach, one of the few existences that could provide the satiety the fomoires required. He had deployed a vast number of fomoires, but his forces were defeated to the point of even losing Midak, one of his prime underlings. Even Adenmaha, a Goddess of Tuatha De Danann that he kept as a trophy, had been stolen away from him.
But his failures didn’t end there.
The surprise attack of the giant, Balzak, ended in defeat. Bress lost a substantial number of fomoires before being seized by the Magician King, Utgard Loki, for his scheming in using Balzak.
Korga’s leading of a large army of fomoires and cooperation with Sigil in the attack of Radetza were due to this very reason.
The fomoires did not perceive this war in a good light, for they had been subjected to the same humiliation of being used by the giants as when Erin was destroyed.
To make matters worse, they had even lost that battle. Korga had returned safely, but countless fomoires had died a dog’s death in the battle against Valhalla and the giant.
The repeated failures had made the king weak, or the ones aiming for his throne thought as much anyway.
They desired victory and a new trophy. They needed to show the excellence of the king in front of everyone.
And the thing they needed to do that…
Bress the Tyrant curled himself up on his throne. He observed Midgard using the mystical powers of the Tuatha De Danann he’d inherited from his mother.
One might wonder the cause for all these failures.
It was all because Idun’s warrior had arrived.
The King of Gods, Odin, raised his head.
He had made a decision while still being curled up in front of Mimir’s lake.
A force had remained behind in Midgard to seek out the remaining soul fragments. If one considered the reason for the Great Barrier’s existence, then it would be clear that for the warriors of Valhalla to stay in Midgard for a prolonged period, it would be dangerous; however, the present circumstances were abnormal.
They had already destroyed three soul fragments in Asgard. As they had retrieved two of them this time around, a third of the fragments were now in the hands of Asgard. It was estimated that there were 13 or 14 fragments in total.
“Is it not time yet?”
He said in a deep voice before peering at the head of Mimir with his uncovered eye. There was deep exhaustion apparent in the gaze of the King of Gods.
Mimir’s head offered Odin the answer with an even deeper voice.
Odin nodded. From his seat, he sent flying Munin who had been perched upon his shoulder.
“Go. Fly to Valhalla.”
Send them the new order…
Odin could see something beyond Munin’s wings. Through the eyes of the crow, Hugin, he looked down on Midgard,.
As the God of War, he could foresee another battle.
As Adenmaha caressed the hilt of the prototype of Liberatus with her long, slender fingers, the magic message spread into the air above. Like before, it was also a map.
“Is it Midgard? It looks… close to the Draconic Straits. It’s the place where the Skald Knights are based at.”
Bracky offered these words while touching his beard. There was a hint of grief in his eyes.
“A legacy of Erin is also at a place like that?”
Siri inquired in a solemn voice. As Tae Ho turned to look at Adenmaha, she gingerly tapped the hilt and exclaimed.
“Wait a moment! There are a few more magical messages this time! This map isn’t the only thing.”
It seemed like she was preoccupied with her magic, for her polite words came both forcefully and naturally. Tae Ho patiently waited for her to finish, and a new magic message soon spread next to the map.
It wasn’t a map nor a string of words. Surprisingly, what appeared was nothing other than a holographic image of a man.
The man was particularly tall and wore a black robe with a longsword tied to his waist.
The gazes of everyone quickly shifted to this bizarre sight, and the man from within the message opened his mouth as if he had been waiting for their attention.
[If you are seeing this message, then that means that you are either Erin’s successor or mighty enough to break my magic.]
[Well, it’s good whichever you are, for you have the right to become a king regardless. Honestly speaking… I only hope that you aren’t a fomoire.]
There were various, mixed emotions apparent in his voice. A bitter smile crested his lips containing motes of despair, ill temperament, and grief.
The man’s shoulders sagged. He then sat nearby and continued speaking.
[You should have already guessed, but I’m a survivor from Erin.]
[I’m a really weak, old, and frail survivor.]
Despite his somber words, the voice of the man was healthy. He was tall and his back wasn’t bent, but the group watching the message appeared to have been enchanted by his words. They all seemed to acknowledge that he was indeed an old man.
[I lost everything the day Erin got destroyed. By the time I pulled myself together, tens of years had already passed since its destruction. The unending feelings of emptiness and pain… I wanted to end my life. I couldn’t forgive myself for having survived alone, but in the end, I couldn’t do it. I decided to dedicate my life to remembrance… so that there could still be someone left to remember that day. To remember that we didn’t lose everything. That we still had one thing. The last business I have… is with you.]
[I don’t know when you will see this message. Perhaps you may be watching this with me at your side, embarrassed of your eyes looking upon me, or perhaps it may be after I’m dead, and I’ve long since become dust. There are several other cases…]
[Bah! The words are increasing incessantly. Please understand, it’s merely a useless habit of this old man. Perhaps, it may be an illness that came from my job.]
The man smirked. Although the robe obscured his face, they clearly felt his soundless smirk.
[I am currently gathering the legacies of Erin, and I shall hide them in places throughout the world after putting them inside the protectors I’ve made. My reasoning is simple, for only the ones with your qualifications may unlock them. Since I don’t know when and where you will appear, won’t my chances increase if I scatter them everywhere? Hah!]
[If I have to list another reason… then it would be security. It’s the wisdom of not filling all your eggs in the same basket. Ah! Of course, you won’t be able to do anything about the difficulty that poses. Who knows, though? I may be next to you, grumbling about why I scattered them like this, leading the way.]
Bracky, who was fixated like the rest, laughed unconsciously. Although this old man was a person who appeared very old and exhausted, he had a vaguely pleasant aura.
[Come to Midgard. The spot marked on this map is a shelter I made there long ago. Once I finish gathering the legacies, I will reside at that place. Although I won’t be there if I can’t finish my task, I’ll at least leave behind some legacies and clues on how to find me to soothe you, so don’t worry.]
[Time is almost up. I don’t know who you are, but I will pray that we can one day meet. Having said that… I will also pray that you are a beautiful girl or woman.]
[Luck accompany you!]
[PD: I like black haired girls but it’s not that I dislike golden hair.]
The man released a post-data log and then took off the robe he was wearing. Just as he’d said, his appearance was that of an old man with a white beard. His big, clear eyes winked as if asking how his last joke was, and he smirked before dissipating.
“What a funny old man.”
Bracky smirked as if imitating the old man in the message and laughed. Siri also seemed to have taken interest in him.
It was different for Adenmaha, however. Upon the old man’s revealing of himself, her eyes had widened to become bigger than even his, and her breath had caught in her throat.
The reason behind this was simple.
It was because she knew the old man. She knew quite well as to who he was and what kind of person he was.
It was the same for Cuchulainn.
Cuchulainn also gulped down his surprise and proceeded to let out a magnanimous laugh.
He then called out the old man’s name.
The old man was accustomed to the night because he was a crossbreed between an incubus and a human. The origin of his magical strength was only within the realm of dreams.
The old man had roamed for a very long time, and unfortunately enough, his wandering hadn’t ended yet.
He had roamed several planets. Not only Nidavellir, but also Svartalfheim, Vanaheim and even Asgard.
During his travels, in addition to having discovered several legacies of Erin, he had also acquired several legacies that were as strong as Caladbolg; however, he still hadn’t uncovered the object he had designated as his real objective.
His last task.
The last order his king had given him.
The only sword he aspired to deliver unto Erin’s successor.
‘Merlin. My magician… The one that leads the path to the king…’
When he closed his eyes, he almost felt like he could still hear the voice of his king. He envisioned the curvature of the beautiful sword that was once laid in his hands.
“Where are you at?”
The great sword of liberation.
The god sword of the fairies.
The man called Paul, the great magician of Camelot, Merlin, kept walking.
He was now in Midgard.
< Episode 25 – Paul’s sword (7) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~