Episode 31/Chapter 1: Idun’s legion (1)
There were various reasons for why the front lines had stood at a constant state of adhesion since the Great War.
The force that was concentrated in Erin was split three ways into Asgard, Olympus, and the Temple. Otherwise, the nine realms wouldn’t have cooperated with each other.
But this, like many others, was merely a secondary reason.
The decisive factor was much simpler.
A loss of power. A really big loss.
A hundred years had passed since the Great War, but Asgard still hadn’t recovered from its previous state. The same held true for the giants of Jotunheim.
Tae Ho hit his chest and then collapsed, nearly unconscious. The current him didn’t even have the strength to lift a finger.
He murmured her name in a whisper-like voice. It seemed his calling to her was quite unavoidable, for he thought of Heda’s face first whenever things became tough or painful.
Idun would forgive him as the battle had ended.
No, in the first place, she wouldn’t have heard him as he had terminated ‘Idun’s warrior’.
Tae Ho laughed even though he felt he’d die and closed his eyes and prayed in thanks. The reason he could fight until the end was because Idun had supported him.
‘My Goddess, Idun.’
Tae Ho mumbled in a low voice while imitating Idun and then let out a sigh while closing his eyes. He felt the warmth of Idun that remained in his chest and then closed his eyes more tightly and rose up.
He wanted to sleep and lose consciousness like this, but he couldn’t. There were still things he had to do. The situation wasn’t one appropriate for a warrior to take a rest.
He was really glad that he was a warrior of Idun. If it was any other warrior, they would have already expended all their strength and collapsed.
‘En Taro Idun.’
Tae Ho mumbled a slightly altered line from a game and then rose completely. He first sheathed Galatin in Unnir and then scanned his surroundings while tripping over himself.
Merlin was approaching. He was rather fine among the ones that’d been transported with him.
Tae Ho took out a bottle of water from Unnir and drank it. The feeling of cold water passing through his parched throat was so reinvigorating that his throat became clogged.
Merlin approached Tae Ho and used recovery magic on him. Although the spent energy didn’t return, he did feel a lot better than before.
“We have to hurry.”
Merlin spoke with a face stained in tears. Tae Ho knew what he meant.
They had beaten the Giant of Earth, but it wasn’t the end.
Erin was closer to Jotunheim than Asgard. More of Balgad’s cronies remained, so they first thought of getting out of this place.
“I will retrieve the warriors.”
Merlin, knowing that Tae Ho understood his words, swung his staff and called a beast of light to take him elsewhere. His direction was towards Bracky, Siri and Ingrid.
Tae Ho breathed and then stumbled towards Balgad’s corpse. He retrieved each and every weapon stuck in his body and placed them in Unnir.
There were eleven of them including Gallatin.
Tae Ho retrieved Arondight lastly and checked Merlin’s progress by activating ‘Eyes of the Dragon’. He felt like his head would split from using multiple sagas simultaneously, but there was still something he had to check.
He didn’t see any red words, but Tae Ho felt uneasy. Just like Merlin had said, he felt like they should hurry.
“It seems like there’s no problem in their lives.”
Bracky, Siri and Ingrid were being carried by the beast of light Merlin had summoned. Their injuries were all severe, but they were breathing at least.
Tae Ho felt relief and sadness at the same time. They weren’t the only companions that had come to Erin.
“The warriors of Valhalla taught me the way we have to go. But King, we have to first find a place to rest and hide ourselves.”
Merlin looked at a certain direction for a moment. It was where the souls of the warriors went flying to.
Even Merlin didn’t know where they were exactly as Erin was currently destroyed and in pieces.
“The worst case is inside Jotunheim or near it. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.”
If that really was the case, reinforcements from the giants would have already arrived.
The reason they were looking for a place to hide and rest was simple. Excluding Merlin, everyone else was really exhausted. Ingrid especially needed treatment immediately. If they left her like this, there was a possibility she may lose her life.
“Is there a place to hide?”
Tae Ho turned to look at the ashen surroundings. As the clouds that had been split for a moment gathered again, the sky took a dark color once more.
“We have to hide underground.”
It was the only answer as they couldn’t see any man-made buildings nor forests or mountains.
Merlin swung his staff to summon an additional beast of light and began to ride it. Tae Ho jumped atop the big wolf of light and followed Merlin’s back.
The Giant of the Night, Avalt, sensed the death of Balgad.
As he’d left the darkness and Balgad, whom he’d been sharing his vision with, had died, it was now impossible to observe the situation.
But regardless of that, Avalt didn’t stop moving.
He had to end it here. He couldn’t allow Idun’s warrior to return back to Valhalla safely now that Balgad had failed.
Avalt urged the underlings of Balgad and he even pressured his own subordinates.
In the destroyed Erin, below the ground of ash-
Before Idun’s warrior escaped, and before he recovered his strength-
Avalt covered himself in darkness once again. He crossed into the skies of Jotunheim in an instant.
Merlin first chose to distance himself from the battlefield. Whether they were underground or in the sky, if they were near the battlefield there was a high possibility Avalt could find them.
But even if that was the case, they couldn’t go too far. He had to prepare a place for everyone to rest before the giants came and before Ingrid’s state worsened.
Merlin stopped only after he was tens of kilometers away from the battlefield. After he recited a hole-digging chant on the ground, he took out a magical seed.
The seed that was the size of a finger grew bigger within a split second and became a five-meter tall fruit.
It was a magical resting place that was hard outside and empty inside.
Tae Ho remembered the tree houses he saw in Svartalfheim.
“Let’s enter. I will cover ourselves with dirt after everyone has entered.”
As Tae Ho took the group and entered the resting place, Merlin recited another spell. The resting place entered the hold he’d opened. Dirt covered the surface, and a safe place was made just like that.
“This is just a secondary skill.”
Merlin smiled bitterly as if he was embarrassed and then called a light elemental to brighten the room for them. It seemed like there was a part connected above the ground since the air was really fresh even though they were underground.
If the Knights of the Round Table had offensive roles, then Merlin’s role was the equivalent of support. Originally, Merlin was more skilled in secondary magic like this rather than fighting.
Tae Ho laid down Bracky, Siri, and Ingrid before leaning against a wall. He felt better than when he was on the open battlefield, and his eyes seemed to close on their own.
But it wasn’t the time yet. It was too early for him to fall asleep.
Tae Ho took out a summoning rock. It was the last rock that contained magic power.
As soon as Adenmaha was called, she blinked her eyes a few times and then immediately cursed out Tae Ho. It wasn’t because she felt enmity towards him, one could know just by looking at her teary face.
Adenmaha embraced Tae Ho and cried once again, and Tae Ho hesitated for a moment but then grabbed her shoulders. After he stroked her head a few times, Adenmaha gulped down her cry and said with a heavy voice.
“Rolo and McLaren are both alive. They are really hurt, but they aren’t dead. They won’t die.”
Rolo had a wing torn off and had his chest crushed, but there seemed to be no danger in his life after he ate a piece of a golden apple.
McLaren was split in two, but as he’d originally been more of a spirit than a creature, he was able to maintain his life.
In addition, there was also Scathach in Idun’s residence. As she was specialized in the mystical powers of the Tuatha De Danann, her powers could prevent McLaren from dying pointlessly.
“Do you know how scared I was? Heda wasn’t in the residence because she had business to attend to, and I can’t even see Ragnar….my guys returned at the brink of death.”
Adenmaha spoke through sobs in Tae Ho’s embrace. He could feel how scared she was, as she hadn’t had anyone to help calm her down.
“Leave it. I have to do what I came here for.”
Adenmaha got out of Tae Ho’s arms and then breathed in after covering her face with her two hands. When she barely managed to calm herself, she looked at Tae Ho and continued.
“There are a few pieces of a golden apple remaining that Heda gave me.”
Adenmaha took out a piece and gave it to Tae Ho. Although it was as small as a sugar cube, it was enough to have some effect.
While Tae Ho wolfed down the piece of golden apple, Adenmaha greeted Merlin with an embarrassed face and then turned to look at Bracky, Siri, and Ingrid lying on the floor. She was wondering about how she should feed them the golden apples.
It wasn’t easy to feed medicine to a person that had passed out. The golden apple was very much an item that would only work if one chewed it.
Tae Ho grasped his memories for a moment and then remembered how Heda had fed him while he was unconscious.
“Go away. I will feed them. Don’t even dream of it.”
Adenmaha spoke rather sharply and then chewed a piece of a golden apple and fed Ingrid and Siri.
Tae Ho got embarrassed from nothing and turned his head as Merlin cleared his throat.
The effects of the medicine were clear. The states of Ingrid and Siri started improving at a speed visible to the naked eye.
Adenmaha wiped off her mouth with the back of her hand and then looked at Bracky. Tae Ho got nervous unconsciously, and Merlin tried to say that he could grind the apple to feed them in a liquid state.
But Adenmaha opened her eyes sharply and then hit the shin of Bracky.
“I know that you are fully conscious. Don’t try to act.”
Adenmaha spoke scarily and then threw the last piece of golden apple in his mouth.
“Sob, why is my body this resilient?”
As Bracky barely managed to chew the golden apple, he mumbled with a mournful expression. Tae Ho just looked at him with lukewarm eyes instead of cheering him up.
Adenmaha wiped off her mouth once again and changed the subject.
“Scathach said that Idun-nim would certainly do something; perhaps, a rescue team is already coming our way.”
Tae Ho nodded. He told Adenmaha and Merlin what Idun kept repeating in the middle of the battle.
Thor was coming. Thor was coming, so endure a bit more.
Idun wasn’t someone to spout nonsense. The faces of Adenmaha and Merlin grew comparatively bright.
But it was after that-
Merlin raised his head, and Adenmaha shrank down unconsciously.
Tae Ho could also know. He couldn’t see it, but he certainly felt it.
The giants had arrived. It seemed like there was no one as strong as Balgad among them, but their numbers weren’t low at all.
Tae Ho grabbed the stiff hands of Adenmaha and whispered.
“Adenmaha, return for now. I will entrust Rolo and McLaren to you.”
Adenmaha wanted to protest, but she wasn’t a child. She bit her lips and then nodded.
She placed her lips on Tae Ho’s forehead as a Valkyrie before speaking lowly.
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
Tae Ho also did the same for Adenmaha, and she sniffled once more and disappeared.
Bracky held his breath while shutting his mouth, and Merlin also stayed silent. Tae Ho closed his eyes and relaxed his body.
An indeterminate amount of time passed.
The number of giants continued to increase, and now, the sound of the ground ringing was heard. They could soon hear the noise of the ground being displaced.
Bracky gritted his teeth and glared at the ceiling. Merlin gripped his staff tighter, and Tae Ho’s face grew determined.
The shaking got fiercer. They could feel the giants gathering.
But right at that moment-
Bracky shot to his beat and raised his arms in silent cheer. Tae Ho also clenched his fists in excitement.
Far away, from the direction the souls of the warriors of Valhalla had headed to.
A string of thunderclaps was growing closer.
< Episode 31 – Idun’s legion (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~