Episode 30/Chapter 3: The knights of the round table (3)
“That’s what I’m saying. I met the five of them today. They were all good kids.”
Idun started speaking with a really excited face while sitting next to Tae Ho on the wide boulder. He could only see her lips because of the eye cover that was more like a mask but Idun could make quite a lot of expressions with just her pink lips.
Tae Ho felt like he was looking at a bird that was chirping so he started to concentrate more on Idun rather than her story.
“But still Tae Ho, you went too far. Heda was really troubled because the expectations of the warriors were too big.”
She could somewhat evade the answer when they were going to the residence but when they arrived they only found Heda as a Valkyrie. Excluding Tae Ho, the only warrior that stayed in the residence, the five could not avoid noticing that they were the only ones there.
Tae Ho answered boldly at Idun’s voice.
“Ey, weren’t their expectations fulfilled? They were greeted by Heda and even met Idun-nim. I didn’t lie up to that point. I was a bit subjective.”
And a little excessive?
“You do speak well.”
Idun giggled. She tilted her head and looked up at Tae Ho for a moment and then asked with a friendly voice.
“My warrior Tae Ho, did you listen about picking a new Valkyrie from Adenmaha?”
“Yes, I heard that Heda proposed it to her.”
If the commander was someone that commanded the warriors of a legion, then the representative Valkyrie of a legion led the Valkyries in a certain legion.
The need of a new Valkyrie wasn’t that noticeable as Tae Ho was the only warrior, but Heda was in charge of selecting new Valkyries and training them as she was the representative of Idun’s legion.
“New warriors will increase so we will also need new Valkyries. All of these things haven’t happened in a long while, so it’s quite enjoyable.”
He could feel just how happy she was with her lips, voice and even her small movements.
Tae Ho looked at that Idun and felt that it was regrettable. Because the more warriors entered, the time he would be able to face Idun also got shorter. Perhaps, it may also be true for Heda.
Was this the feeling you got when you get new siblings?
As Tae Ho smiled bitterly, Idun placed her hand on top of Tae Ho’s and said.
“You are special Tae Ho. How will you be the same as them?”
Idun was looking at him as if she already knew what he was thinking about. Tae Ho got happy but also bewildered.
“Can you show that much favoritism?”
“I can. Why wouldn’t I be able to?”
Idun answered rather shamelessly and smiled brightly. No matter how many warriors entered the legion, the one Idun would favor the most would still be Tae Ho.
“Now that I see, Heda was asking. A Valkyrie more beautiful than a Goddess. Just who were you talking about?”
Tae Ho couldn’t see her eyes because it was being covered by the eye bandage but he felt like she would be putting really sharp and expecting eyes.
Tae Ho answered immediately.
“Of course it’s Freya.”
Idun seemed to be really happy that Tae Ho said Heda was more beautiful than Freya, perhaps because she had had a little confrontation with her.
Idun snorted for a moment as if she was imitating Adenmaha and then looked up at Tae Ho and asked like a surprise.
“Then Tae Ho, what if you compare Heda and me? I’m also a Goddess.”
Tae Ho couldn’t answer immediately. As Idun saw his hesitation on his face, she put away the hands that were on top of Tae Ho’s and pouted.
“So that’s the case. Tae Ho was certainly a warrior of Heda. That was the case.”
Rather than imitating Heda, it seemed to be her own words.
As Tae Ho started to drip cold sweat, Idun giggled like always and then shook her head.
“I’m joking, a joke.”
Until what part and up to where was a joke?
“Good times always pass by the fastest.”
Idun took a deep breath and then stood up. She placed her hands on Tae Ho’s shoulders and said gently.
“My warrior Tae Ho, I will be waiting for the day you return to the residence safely.”
Tae Ho closed his eyes after getting up and Idun placed her lips on Tae Ho’s forehead.
“Let my blessing accompany you.”
A warm golden light wrapped up Tae Ho.
The biggest advantage with the flying ship was that you could ignore the terrain and fly, but being able to operate it day and night was also a strong point you couldn’t exclude.
Excluding Rasgrid, who was tired from operating the ship all night, all the other Valkyries and intermediate ranked warriors were gathered at Tae Ho’s room. As the cabins were small in the first place and there were too many members, everyone’s shoulders were touching each other.
“The reaction of the soul fragment is becoming stronger. It seems like it really is the mountain ranges of Katon.”
Ingrid said with her usual sincere face. Merlin pointed at the surroundings with a cubic light and said.
“There are already quite a lot of fomoires gathered. Looking at the flow of magic power, they are preparing to operate the gate.”
Looking at the number of fomoires gathered in the mountain ranges of Katon, it seemed like they weren’t able to operate the gate yet, so they had arrived just in time.
“So the fomoires have the soul fragment?”
“They may have a beast that has transformed with it or are holding it to gift it to the giants. But the latter is probable, right?”
Because there was no way the fomoires and the beast would look at each other in a friendly light.
Harabal nodded as Gandur answered at Siri’s question.
“Good, whatever the case we just have to sweep up the both of them. It’s good as its simple.”
They just had to charge towards them and sweep them up. Although it was a really crude and simple way, it was really the way of Valhalla.
Reginleif smiled bitterly as if there was nothing to do about it and spoke to Tae Ho.
“Commander, our exact objective is to destroy the gate and stop the fomoires from escaping, and also retrieving the fragment of Garmr’s soul.”
It was more systemized but in the end it was similar to what Harabal had said.
“Merlin, is it possible to destroy the gate?”
The gate of the Tuatha De Danann wasn’t showing up above ground. It was inside the huge fortress that was dug underground just like the kingdom of the dwarves, Nidavellir.
The size of the fortress was so huge it wasn’t excessive to say that an entire mountain was used for it and it was as complicated as an ant tunnel.
Merlin frowned at Tae Ho’s question and answered.
“It won’t even budge if you touch the surface as it is a really huge gate. But if you destroy the core you will be able to stop them from operating it.”
As Merlin moved his hand, one of the mountain molds made of light got amplified and then a complicated structure showed up. It was a map made based on Merlin’s memories.
The core of the gate was located in the deepest cave of the fortress. It was right next to the huge gate that was installed in the floor.
“If the fomoires are planning to gift Garmr’s soul fragment to the giants, the possibilities of it being on that place would be the highest as it the place with the tightest security.”
“If we approach a little more I will be able to amplify the location.”
Ingrid answered at Bracky’s words and then she turned to look at Tae Ho.
“Commander, if we move at the current speed a battle will occur in two hours. I hope you can choose the strategy for this battle.”
How they would fight there.
Everyone turned to look at Tae Ho. Tae Ho looked at the mold for a moment and then crossed his arms and said.
“Let’s go the Valhalla way.”
Just what was the Valhalla way?
Everyone could understand it excluding Merlin.
“Th, I can’t sense my lower body!”
“It’s thrilling! It’s always something new!”
Rains of steel fell down the sky. There were a total of three steel structures and they were the ones that were used in the battle in Kalliv’s castle.
They had sent back almost all of the steel structures back to Valhalla along the warriors, but Tae Ho had taken some just in case. Even if it looked harsh, it was worth having carried it.
The flying pirate ship and Scuabtuinne increased their speed in between the steel structures that were drawing a triangle. The speed was similar to the rains of steel but compared to the steel structures, there wasn’t anything to fix yourself to so the suffering was much bigger. The members that rode on Scuabtuinne, that didn’t even have a roof, screamed as if they were riding on a Black flash.
And in front of them, a red dragon charged. Tae Ho and the intermediate ranked warriors, that could be called as the key to this battle, were riding on Rolo that had transformed into Shooting star, the owner of flames.
“Amazing Tae Ho!”
Bracky yelled sincerely. Siri gritted her teeth and closed her eyes and Harabal seemed like he would die at any moment because of his blue face.
Tae Ho and Rolo looked at the ground while sharing their senses. Tae Ho thought of the trauma generated when he rode on a Black flash but he could somewhat maintain himself calmly thanks to Rolo who enjoyed the thrill.
Tae Ho counted the numbers while looking at the ground that seemed like it would smash them at an amazing speed. He looked at the words covering the mountain range of Katon with the ‘eyes of the dragon’.
The cry that was like a scream was heard in several places of the mountain. The flying type fomoires surged up but they couldn’t do anything about the Rains of steel that were descending with an incredible speed.
Tae Ho chose the slope to descend on that was a bit higher than the entrance of the fortress. The reason was too clear.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The Rains of steel hit the ground. Rolo flew up before clashing against the ground and flew up the dust cloud, and Tae Ho extended a summoning rock and yelled.
“McLaren! I choose you!” (Ed note: Brock chose Onyx! 😛 Jk.)
The rock serpent that appeared in the air acted as he was ordered beforehand. It started to dig on the mountain rather than landing on the ground to carry Tae Ho.
(Ed note: Onyx used dig!)
The passage that connected the fortress were all complicated. As it was filled with the fomoires gathered from various places of Midgard, there was too much waste in time to charge through the entrance.
Because of that Tae Ho made things simpler like a warrior of Valhalla.
He would dig a new path.
He would destroy the normal passages and make a new path that connected to the core of the gate.
The sea serpent McLaren could move freely in the ground. Just by charging forward a tunnel of several meters was made.
“Amazing. Amazing. You are an exemplary warrior of Valhalla!”
Bracky yelled in joy and Harabal, that landed on the ground, started to throw up. Tae Ho sent back Rolo and then looked at the tunnel McLaren was making ahead of him.
“It seems like Garmr’s soul fragment is at the core of the gate, just like we expected.”
Ingrid got down from Scuabtuinne and spoke quickly. Tae Ho turned to look at the steel structures hurriedly.
“Rasgrid! I will entrust you with securing the path to retreat!”
“I will heed to your order!”
The fomoires that were near the entrance and scattered throughout the mountain ranges were flocking over there.
There were a lot of them but as most of them were low class, he could leave them to Rasgrid..
About half of the members that got down the steel structure stayed behind with Rasgrid. As three steel structures and one flying ship took place, it looked like a rather small fortress.
The warriors of Valhalla charged with Tae Ho at the front. As they had decided on the landing spot after looking at the map Merlin created, McLaren’s path was mostly straight.
“The fomoires are coming!”
Merlin yelled running behind Tae Ho. Tae Ho could also feel that the flow of magic in his surroundings was becoming faster.
The tunnel McLaren made passed through the original paths. Tae Ho looked at the fomoires that were gathering with his ‘eyes of the dragon’.
They were stronger than the ones that were outside and also numbered the dozen.
It was quite a big number when they were the remnants.
But thinking about it contrarily, this was the remaining force of the fomoires as most of the fomoires outside of the mountain ranges of Katon were already subjugated by Tae Ho and Rasgrid.
“Leave it to me!”
As Tae Ho yelled, Gandur set up a defensive wall along the warriors of Valhalla that stayed behind once again. It was to retrieve a retreat path just like Rasgrid had done.
McLaren kept charging without stopping and reached its destination.
A big hole pierced the core of the huge cave. McLaren jumped as if diving inside the ground and Tae Ho kicked the air and observed in front of him. There was quite a strong fomoire at the end of the cave.
[Has planted a fragment of Garmr’s soul]
Korga had somehow made it out alive from the battle of the castle of Kalliv. He had a fragment of Garmr’s soul, that was emanating a bright red light, stuck in his chest that was broken because of the injuries.
“Crazy dogs of Valhalla!”
Korga cursed out. He could only do so. Crazy bastards. They really were crazy. For them to pour down from the sky and even make a new path. To make the defenses they had prepared become useless!
Korga increased his magic power. The red and black smoke that surged up from the soul fragment covered Korga’s body and the flow of magic power filling up the cave became faster.
“For Asgard and the nine realms!”
Valkyrie Reginleif yelled and announced the start of the fight.The warriors of Valhalla charged towards the fomoires that were inside the cave and Merlin looked at the ground. The huge magic circle that filled the entire floor of the cave was emanating a golden light.
“It’s right before the gate activates!”
Tae Ho charged forward instead of answering. He charged like a storm and his objective was Korga.
Bracky and Siri ran towards the direction Merlin pointed at. It was towards the altar that was at the middle of the magic circle.
“Idun’s hunting dog!”
Korga charged towards Tae Ho instead of fleeing. Cuchulainn found the expression hunting dog to be funny and Tae Ho concentrated. He wasn’t planning on wasting even a second on defeating Korga.
The smoke that was covering Korga poured out towards Tae Ho. That thing, that got gathered at one place took the shape of a huge hunting dug in an instant, and Tae Ho swung the sparking Caladbolg and pulverized the smoke. He didn’t stop at that and kept charging.
At that moment, Merlin that was checking on the magic circle, raised his head and Tae Ho could feel it instinctively.
The gate was already fully charged with magic power. They could activate it whenever they wanted.
In addition, Korga was already in front of it and there was quite a number of fomoires gathered.
But why weren’t they fleeing? Were they waiting for other fomoires to gather? That Korga that even left behind his king and fled?
Tae Ho reached Korga and he got bewildered at the really fast Tae Ho and moved his hands urgently.
Tae Ho didn’t parry his sword but cut off his arm. It was possible as he had entered Korga’s reach even before he could react.
The arm of Korga that fell to the ground let out a blunt sound. Korga let out a terrible scream and Tae Ho tried to slash his chest upwards.
But Korga was a bit faster this time. He rather charged towards Tae Ho instead of stepping back. He released the red and black smoke once again and yelled after holding Tae Ho.
It was certainly the activating word for the gate. The golden light getting emitted from the magic circle got stronger and Korga tried to walk towards the inside of the magic circle even more.
Bracky destroyed the altar with his lightning hammer. Merlin hurriedly recited a chant and disturbed the flow of the magic power.
Tae Ho now understood what Korga was planning.
He wasn’t simply planning to escape from Midgard. His real objective was to take Tae Ho’s group through the gate and send them to Erin.
Tae Ho stopped pondering about it. He emanated the divine power of Idun and endured it with his two legs. Tae Ho then faced Korga’s pushing power head on and stabbed Caladbolg in his body and then made the lightning in Caladbolg explode!
Caladbolg was closer to being a rod that fired lightning rather than being a sword. Lightning exploded in the center of Korga’s body and he couldn’t advance anymore. Garmr’s soul fragment fell from the huge hole that was made in his body. It seemed that just trying to push him rather than fighting Tae Ho had weakened him.
Tae Ho gulped dry saliva. He threw his body in between the hole that was created and then retrieved Garmr’s soul fragment and turned around.
It seemed like it was thanks to Bracky for having destroyed the altar or thanks to Merlin’s chant having taken effect that the golden light being emanated from the magic circle got really reduced. However Tae Ho could see it with his eyes. The gate had already activated and the transporting magic to Erin was still proceeding.
Korga had failed. He had failed from pushing Tae Ho to the magic circle and activate the gate.
But Tae Ho had to make a decision.
And the reason was really simple.
There were still people on the range of the magic.
Ingrid and the warriors of Valhalla. Bracky and Siri.
The transporting magic got completed. The light emanating from the magic circle became a pillar of light and surged towards the ceiling.
Tae Ho didn’t hesitate. The moment the light surged up, he was already charging forward.
Merlin yelled however Tae Ho didn’t stop.
Because he was a commander. No, even if that wasn’t the case, he couldn’t throw his allies in front of his eyes!
The pillar of light dispersed.
There was nothing in the place the pillar disappeared at.
The great barrier didn’t stop things from going outside of it. If you wanted to enter inside the great barrier through the gate, your body and soul would get crushed after being hit by the barrier but fortunately, such things didn’t happen when you got out of it.
It has been a long time since Erin got destroyed.
The fire of the Giant Surtr burned and destroyed Erin and the destroyed Erin broke down to pieces and scattered towards Asgard, Olympus and the temple.
Because of that, there was a possibility for the arrival gate to not exist. But fortunately enough a destination existed this time.
The pillar of light dispersed.
Moving a long distance through an incomplete gate was dangerous and hard.
The warriors of Valhalla let out rough breaths and sat on their places and Bracky and Siri also panted with hard expressions.
Tae Ho, that could jump inside the pillar of light by the breath of a hair, raised his head. He had heard Merlin’s voice calling out to him at the last moment.
There was grief in that voice and sorrow about the reality.
The beautiful land he had seen from Cuchulainn’s memories didn’t exist anymore. The broken land, the land of death that has dried up everything.
The magic power in the ground was really weak and the sky and ground were completely gray.
Tae Ho looked at his surroundings with the ‘eyes of the dragon. He couldn’t see any fomoires, excluding the ones that were transported with him.
But the moment Tae Ho looked up at the sky he could understand why Korga tried to push Tae Ho inside the magic circle.
That was a really simple story.
You couldn’t send forces inside the great barrier as you pleased. It was also impossible to dispatch a giant strong enough to be able to defeat Idun’s warrior.
That’s why they would take him out of it.
They would hunt him down outside of the barrier.
Two of the Five Fingers were obsessed towards a warrior that had just become superior ranked. It wasn’t an easy thing to happen and because of that it was also hard to guess.
Korga had failed and Merlin had intervened with the transporting magic. Idun’s warrior appeared in a different place to the planned one.
But the important thing was that Idun’s warrior had gotten outside of the barrier.
The Giant of Night Avalt thought of when he first faced Idun’s warrior. He observed him inside the darkness.
The place where the destroyed fragments of Erin gathered at in the ash sky and beyond the front lines. The land that was closer to Jotunheim rather than to Asgard.
The Giant of Earth Balgad said and descended on the completely gray land.
< Episode 30 – The knights of the round table (3) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~