Episode 32/Chapter 4: The land of darkness (4)
Tae Ho screamed and rose up. He looked just like someone that was having a nightmare, as his body was completely sweaty.
“That’s a peculiar scream.”
Tae Ho’s breathing was ragged as he turned his head. He could see Cuchulainn snickering.
“Are you alright? Do you remember something?”
Cuchulainn sat next to Tae Ho and threw a question. Tae Ho faced Cuchulainn with an absent-minded face but then looked at himself in a surprised way.
“No way! I passed out even though I have Idun’s blessing?”
Idun’s blessing hadn’t let go of Tae Ho’s consciousness even when Tae Ho was at the verge of death.
But now, he had passed out so cleanly even though he had Idun’s blessing.
Cuchulainn faced Tea Ho’s shock and then placed his hand on his shoulder as if it was fun.
“Isn’t it fortunate? If you hadn’t passed out, it would have been more painful.”
“Well, that’s true but…”
Those were truthful words, but he didn’t want to agree to it.
Cuchulainn patted Tae Ho’s shoulders again.
“But hey, you still endured it for quite a long time. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone faint after enduring it for a long time like you.”
The majority lost their consciousness as soon as they started.
Tae Ho opened his eyes sharply at the compliment that wasn’t a compliment and threw a question with a sigh.
“But still, it does have an effect right?”
“Of course there’s an effect. Being able to speak with face to face is proof of that.”
“Huh? Now that I see…!”
Tae Ho looked at his surroundings. It wasn’t the residence of Scathach, but Cuchulainn had a profoundly clearer shape.
“Right, this isn’t the real world. It’s the imaginary world of master.”
Cuchulainn stood up and looked at his surroundings. The world was dyed in ash gray and was covered by a big shadow.
“You can say that it’s another Land of Darkness. Even though Erin was destroyed, the Land of Darkness…that world still remains.”
An incomplete world that was between the boundary of life and death.
Erin was destroyed, but the Land of Darkness still remained. Scathach had lost her people and country, but she was still the queen of that land.
The reason Scathach was one of the best magicians in Erin wasn’t because she had mastered several destructive or offensive magics.
Even though she was a Milesian, she was versed in the mystical powers of the Tuatha De Danann. She could naturally use the several wonders only the strong Gods of the Tuatha De Danann could use as if she were breathing.
In Erin, a magician wasn’t someone that fought.
They were the protectors and transmitters of knowledge and wonders.
But of course, if great magicians like Merlin or Scathach fought in a magical region after taking enough preparations, the story changed. Cuchulainn usually thought of Scathach as someone he had to protect, but he didn’t even think of that inside of the magical region of Scathach.
Cuchulainn looked down on Tae Ho and said,
“Listen well, Tae Ho. All the theories of the weapon techniques have been injected into your mind and body, but you aren’t able to use them freely as they’ve just been engraved. If you want to use them properly, you will have to learn with your body.”
What Scathach did to Tae Ho was simple.
It took a long time to teach him the techniques one by one, so she forcefully engraved them in his body and mind.
It obviously wasn’t an easy process and couldn’t be repeated easily.
Tae Ho felt pain like his bones and flesh were torn apart. Tae Ho had been pushed to the brink of death several times in battles against the giants, but this time was the worst. He couldn’t recall much that was more painful than this.
It was a process all the disciples of Scathach had to go through.
Because of that, Cuchulainn felt a sense of sympathy and pointed to a distant place with his chin.
“The tower you see over there is the Tower of Shadows. It has several floors in it, and there are floor masters protecting each floor. Defeat them and climb the tower. Every time you pass through a floor, you will be able to master one technique of Scathach’s.”
When Tae Ho turned his head, he saw a big tower. It was a common, pillar-type tower, but it was so high one wasn’t able to see its peak.
“As master connected her imaginary world with your mind, you won’t be able to completely use your saga. You won’t be able to use the sagas that borrow external power like ‘Idun’s Warrior’, and if possible, its good if you don’t use the other sagas either as the objective of this tower is to increase your skills. The best thing is to pierce through with just weapon techniques as if head butting into the ground.
“What if I die when battling against a floor master?”
He didn’t think that Scathach would give him a soft and easy going training by this point.
Cuchulainn shrugged his shoulders at Tae Ho’s question and said,
“Well, like you would have imagined, you won’t really die in this place. You just have to determine yourself once again and repeatedly challenge it. There’s no need to eat and sleep as its an imaginary world. You will continue fighting.”
Perhaps, it was worse than the myths of Valhalla that repeated endless wars. At least there was time to enjoy oneself after fighting in the myths of Valhalla.
Tae Ho thought of what he should do and how he should interpret Cuchulainn’s words and then stood up abruptly.
“Wait, until when?”
“Until you give up. You already know what kind of person our master is.”
He could give up on the first floor and on the tenth floor.
Only, the things one could gain lessened the earlier they gave up.
“In addition, she has already said that she enjoys polishing gemstones into jewels.”
“Um. Was that polishing in a materialistic way?”
Cuchulainn just showed a white smile instead of nodded to his question. He patted Tae Ho’s shoulder with a detached face.
Tae Ho turned his eyes and then saw that the door of the Tower of Shadows was opening.
Adenmaha bit her lips upon seeing Tae Ho on top of the altar. His condition wasn’t good at all. He was sweating while frowning and even screamed at times.
“You witch! What the hell did you do to mast…..kyak!”
Adenmaha ended up cursing to Scathach as she was nervous but then got her arm twisted and fell to the ground. Scathach rode on top of Adenmaha and twisted her arm even more.
“Your manners are bad.”
“Ah! It hurts! Hurts! I was wrong!”
Adenmaha begged while crying, but Scathach didn’t let her go easily. She gave her plenty of time so that Adenmaha could engrave the lesson of today in both her body and mind.
And a few minutes later-
Scathach let go of Adenmaha’s arm and said while standing up,
“He has just started with the training.”
Adenmaha didn’t have the strength to reply at her answer that came with a slow tempo. She sobbed unfairly and then turned to look at Tae Ho and said,
“His frowning looks painful.”
“The price you pay is as big as what you gain.”
Scathach’s philosophy stated that there was no easy thing in the world.
“The timeframes of the imaginary world and the real world are different. You can say that it’s a place of time dilation. A month in that place is like a day here.”
“Uh, I think I have heard of something similar from master.”
It was certainly something that came out in manhwas (mangas).
While Adenmaha shut her lips and tried to remember, Scathach smirked.
“You now call him as master really well. It seems like you like him?”
“It’s a- hmph.”
Adenmaha pouted while turning her gaze away. Scathach smiled with her eyes as if Adenmaha was really cute.
Tae Ho screamed again. Adenmaha turned to look at Tae Ho hurriedly, and Scathach frowned and said,
“It seems like it has started for real.”
It was something Scathach was quite accustomed to. As a result, she spoke towards Adenmaha, who was uneasy while wiping off Tae Ho’s sweat, in a calm voice.
“Tell Heda that he will be like this for a few days.”
“You don’t know when he will wake up?”
“That depends on his disposition.”
If he gave up immediately, he would be able to wake up right now, but in the first place, Scathach wouldn’t have used the magic that connected to her imaginary world if Tae Ho was that kind of person.
“I’m quite looking forward…..to what floor he can reach and when he will wake up.”
She would polish a gemstone and turn it into a jewel.
Joy appeared in Scathach’s eyes and Adenmaha shrunk down with a scared face.
Heda turned around hurriedly at the low call.
“So you’ve requested to recruit a Valkyrie.”
Freya spoke towards Heda who was expressing etiquette gently.
The place the two people were at was at the dock of Freya’s legion.
The biggest legion among the several legions in Valhalla didn’t belong to Odin’s nor Thor’s.
The legion of Freya was located in the center of Valhalla and boasted its great size comparable to several other legions together. Naturally, it had several docks.
Among them, the one Heda arrived at was the one that was connected with the Valkyrie Training Center.
Heda put on a nervous face and stiffened because Freya spoke about the reclutation without even greeting her.
“Don’t be too nervous. It’s also a happy thing for me that Idun’s legion has started to rise up again. I didn’t bring it out to find a fault in it.”
Freya laughed at Heda placing her hand on her chest and then closed the distance with her. She looked at the nervous face of Heda up close and then nodded.
“You have certainly become prettier than before. It seems like your face is shining. I don’t like that Idun’s warrior acted so calmly after seeing me……but I can only admit this.”
Heda didn’t know up to what point Freya was joking.
Regardless, there was no evil in Freya’s eyes. In addition, Heda could only show an embarrassed smile because of the contents of the conversation.
Freya giggled. She pinched Heda’s cheek as if the embarrassed Heda was cute and then said,
“The Valkyries in the Valkyrie Training Center are quite interested in Idun’s legion. They are also really interested in Idun’s warrior. You will be able to get someone that wants to join without much problem.”
“Well, I didn’t really do anything. It’s thanks to you and the warrior of Idun for having worked so hard.”
As it were, Idun’s legion was a legion that was quite popular within the Valkyrie Training Center.
First, the number of Valkyries was low. That meant that a Valkyrie who has just graduated didn’t have that many predecessors.
Of course, it would be a complete failure if no successors entered, but Idun’s legion had started to rise up completely. The warriors and the Valkyries would increase in an instant.
There were few predecessors but a lot of successors.
As there were few Valkyries, if someone entered now, even a greenhorn Valkyrie that had just graduated would be able to take a spot.
It would be even weirder if it wasn’t popular.
“I will have to go slowly.”
Freya mumbled in a low voice and looked at Heda. She held her hand still and then looked at Heda’s golden eyes.
“Say hello to Idun.”
It wasn’t her usual, cute voice.
It was a voice and expression that had the affection of the Goddess of Beauty and Magic.
“Yes, I will.”
Heda answered while putting on a complicated face, and Freya nodded slowly. She put on a playful smile again and let go of Heda’s hand.
“For Asgard and the Nine Realms.”
“For Asgard and the Nine Realms.”
Freya hit her abundant chest twice and then turned around. Heda looked at her back for a moment and then let out a long sigh.
“I should return.”
There were many things to do in the residence.
Heda hopped on the wooden boat and then steered it towards Idun’s residence.
< Episode 32 – The land of darkness (4) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~