Episode 32/Chapter 7: The land of darkness (7)
The sun set and rose up again.
They were still small and cute, but Rolo’s offspring had started to look more like gryphons, Adenmaha, who was playing with them, raised their heads to check the location of the sun. It was now time to enter the cave of Scathach.
It had already been a few months since she had started to learn the mystical powers of the Tuatha De Danann instead of Tae Ho.
Adenmaha had become more knowledgeable in the several magics thanks to Scathach’s classes, but her steps towards Scathach’s cave were always heavy.
But it was different now.
Adenmaha hummed and left Rolo’s nest, and Rolo’s wives Ferrari and Benz looked at Rolo as if to inquire on what was happening.
‘It seems like noonim has reached the boundary where she can enjoy things.’
Didn’t they say that if one couldn’t dodge it, they should just enjoy it?
Ferrari and Benz praised Rolo as being outstanding because of his guess, and the chirping chicks also chirped even harder.
‘Hoho, this is the way you should be living.’
His master was training or something and wasn’t even calling him.
Rolo looked at his fox-like wives and his rabbit-like children and put on a proud face.
But the happy times of Rolo were also coming to an end.
In addition to that, his guess about Adenmaha was also wrong.
The reason Adenmaha hummed and headed towards Scathach’s cave wasn’t because she had developed into a masochist as expected of a Valkyrie of Idun’s legion(?) and started to enjoy her lessons.
It was the twentieth day since Tae Ho entered the Tower of Shadows.
Cuchulainn had told her when he got out of tower for a moment.
That Tae Ho would be getting out of the tower today.
The reason she was happy wasn’t only because Tae Ho was going to get out.
It was because Tae Ho had successfully cleared the assignment that evil witch Scathach had given him, and a really good thing happened.
Of course, Adenmaha didn’t have the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’ and she couldn’t see the green words.
But she felt like she could sense the letters above Scathach’s head, who was sitting with a casual expression.
“Yes, I did.”
Adenmaha raised her chin and answered briefly.
Scathach, that was reading a book in her chair, opened her eyes sharply and Adenmaha gulped dry saliva.
‘It’s a battle of spirit! You can’t lose!’
Adenmaha determined herself and maintained a calm expression while hiding that her heart beat had increased.
“Your words have shortened once again.”
“Hmph, that’s because I’m now your senio…….Uak!”
Adenmaha fell to the ground. She collapsed while not being able to finish her words and screamed and Scathach, who’d pinned down Adenmaha in an instant, twisted her arm roughly and asked,
“Senior Valkyrie! Senior!”
Adenmaha yelled hurriedly with a red face.
Just like how the ocean had an upper and lower region, there were also seniors and juniors between Valkyries of a legion. Although you didn’t have the right to order others just because you were seniors, juniors still had to respect them.
However, Scathach pretended not to have heard Adenmaha’s cry and tilted her head.
It was a lie. There was no way she didn’t hear that.
Adenmaha tried to use a more effective attack instead of transforming recklessly like the last time.
“I- I will tell master!”
As Tae Ho was the commander of the legion, it could be said that he had a higher position than the Valkyries. However, Scathach didn’t mind that.
“He’s still my disciple.”
Adenmaha let out a cry once again, but Scathach still didn’t budge. She rather twisted Adenmaha’s arm more harshly and said with a low voice.
“Once a master?”
“A- Always a master!”
“It’s enough if you know that.”
Scathach put down Adenmaha’s wrist and then sat on the chair once again. She didn’t shed even a drop of sweat even though she’d moved so rashly.
On the other hand, Adenmaha had become a mess. She sobbed sorrowfully like a damsel in distress while being on the floor and mumbled in a low voice,
“Sob sob, the legion is flowing backwards.”
Scathach turned to look at Adenmaha once again and she flinched. She had said it for her to hear it, but was it too loud? Did she have to say it a bit lower?
Scathach looked at the flinching Adenmaha and then clicked her tongue and pointed the side next to hers with her chin.
“Wipe off your tears and sit over here. It’s almost time for him to wake up. You wouldn’t want to face him while looking like that, right?”
Today was a good day.
One of the reasons for that had gone out the window, but there was still the other reason.
Adenmaha determined herself and then wiped off her tears to sit next to Scathach. There was a big platform next to the two people where Tae Ho was lying.
There was a time difference of thirty times between the world Tae Ho was at and the world Adenmaha was at. Because of that, not even Scathach could determine exactly when Tae Ho would wake up.
Scathach started to read the book again and waited patiently, and Adenmaha rolled her feet while sitting down and waited for Tae Ho to wake up.
And about ten minutes later-
Tae Ho opened his eyes.
The first thing he called out when he woke up was the name of Heda.
Scathach smiled as if it was absurd and then said,
“You really have your priorities set straight.”
It really was the case. Adenmaha pouted her lips once and then stood up and approached Tae Ho. It was an elegant walking that wasn’t in a rush.
“Did you return?”
As Adenmaha spoke with a well-mannered expression, Tae Ho rose his upper body and blinked. He then stood up and embraced Adenmaha.
Whether the surprised Adenmaha screamed or not, Tae Ho still put more strength in his two arms.
It had only been twenty two days in Adenmaha’s point of view but it had been two years for Tae Ho.
It would be a lie if he didn’t want to see her.
“I- It’s- hmph.”
Adenmaha mumbled from Tae Ho’s embrace. Tae Ho laughed as if this kind of reaction was also good and then looked in front of him.
“Are you back?”
“There was some progress indeed.”
Scathach put on a satisfied face and looked at Tae Ho from head to toe. His looks hadn’t changed, but Scathach could know.
Tae Ho’s spirit had also changed. The sentence of the Milesians was also emanating a strength so strong it couldn’t even be compared to before.
“So you climbed up to the thirty seventh floor right?”
“Yes. I learned all the basic techniques of Scathach’s style.”
Seven months to reach the eleventh floor.
Tae Ho had climbed up to the thirty seventh, and there were really few people that had climbed up to that floor in only two years.
In addition, Tae Ho hadn’t just ascended once. He had cleared the floors several times with the various types of weapons he possessed.
‘He may have set up a new record if he had climbed normally.’
Cuchulainn manifested next to Tae Ho and sent a message magic so only Scathach could hear it, and Scathach answered with a smile from her eyes.
In the other hand, Tae Ho activated the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’ out of habit as he hadn’t returned to reality for a long while.
“Right. I became a Valkyrie of Idun’s legion just like I promised.”
Tae Ho had successfully cleared the assignment Scathach had given him.
Idun requested Scathach to train the warriors in her legion, and Scathach gladly agreed to it.
Training talented warriors and turning them into heroes was one of her joys.
Having entered Valhalla was already proving the greatness of a warrior, so for Scathach, it was like having entered a theme park with various kinds of rides.
“She’s my junior, my junior. I am the senior here.”
Adenmaha whispered in a really low voice from Tae Ho’s embrace. Tae Ho laughed like Bracky and then released Adenmaha.
“Warrior Tae Ho, it’s a meeting.”
Scathach said suddenly.
And then, that became a formality.
Scathach approached Tae Ho and he lowered his posture like he did with Idun. Scathach’s lips reached Tae Ho’s forehead.
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
A blessing from a Valkyrie.
Tae Ho could sense a change in his saga.
The name of a new Valkyrie was recorded in the ‘Warrior that had a Valkyrie Meet Him’.
The Queen of the Land of Darkness. The teacher of the great heroes.
‘I should organize it a bit’
Because he could only register up to nine names in the saga.
If he didn’t clear a spot, Scathach’s name would disappear. Because of that, Tae Ho quickly reviewed the list of Valkyries.
[Idun‘s Valkyrie] : [Heda] / [Adenmaha] / [Scathach]
[Odin‘s Valkyrie] : [Rasgrid]
[Tir‘s Valkyrie] : [Reginleif]
[Tir‘s Valkyrie] : [Gandur]
[Ullr‘s Valkyrie] : [Ingrid]
[Njord‘s Valkyrie] : [Kaldea]
[Valkyrie Lord] : [Freya]
First, he erased the name of Hildegarde to make a spot for Scathach, as the completion rate was low and he thought he wouldn’t see her much.
‘Should it be better to swap Kaldea for Sigrun or Gudrun?’
Tae Ho hadn’t met them yet, but had heard their names and knew their existences through the things he had heard from Cuchulainn.
Just looking at the performances of the Valkyries, he had to choose Kaldea without even thinking about it as it wasn’t proper to compare a veteran Valkyrie to the two that had just become so.
But the story changed if he took the completion rate into account.
The number of blessings and the type of relationship influenced the completion rate, so it would be better to complete it with a Valkyrie that lived in the same residence as him instead of a Valkyrie of another legion he wouldn’t be seeing much.
‘Who should I take out?’
Even if he did take out Kaldea from the list, there was one spot lacking.
‘Do I have to take out Rasgrid or Reginleif……..’
The two of them were outstanding Valkyries, but their completion rate was lower than the other Valkyries and he even met her few times.
‘Ingrid has a high completion rate, and I think that I will be seeing Gandur a lot because of Siri.’
Ingrid was the one that had the highest completion rate after to Heda because of the time they had been together in Midgard. It seemed like it would change soon as Adenmaha was increasing at a frightening pace, but even if that were the case, she had the third highest completion rate.
‘Actually, just looking at the completion rates, I should take out Freya.’
Because he could meet the other Valkyries in the battlefield, but he almost certainly couldn’t meet a Goddess.
From a different perspective, he may be able to tell her to help him on strengthening his saga just like he did so for the other Valkyries, but he was talking to none other than Freya. It was doubtful whether she would agree to it or not and may even order him to remove her from the list as it was impertinent.
‘But it’s still regretful.’
The Goddess of Magic and Beauty and the second most beautiful- no, besides that, a strong Goddess that had light emanating from her.
He may be seeing her more than he thought as he had become a commander now. If he accumulated the blessings slowly, she would surely become a reliable force.
‘Good, let’s think of the other things at a later time.’
Tae Ho finished reviewing the list in a short time and then looked downwards. Adenmaha was struggling on her toes to give him a blessing.
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
Adenmaha barely managed to bless him and then smiled brightly and said something. However Tae Ho turned his head reflexively. It was because a familiar sound of foot step was heard.
Her breath was rough maybe because she came running to this place. When Heda reached the residence of Scathach, she took a breath and collected herself with a bright smile.
“Hello once aga……Tae Ho?!”
She couldn’t finish her words. It was because Tae Ho closed the distance in an instant and then grabbed her waist and kissed her.
Heda tried to push Tae Ho because there were many eyes looking them, but he didn’t even budge.
It had only been twenty two days for Heda, but two long and gruelling years had gone by for Tae Ho. He couldn’t let go of her.
And in the end, Heda also received him. Adenmaha pouted, Cuchulainn sent a lukewarm gaze, and Scathach smiled.
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
“May Idun’s blessing accompany you.”
The completion percentage of Heda’s clone increased yet again.
“It was a really busy day.”
Heda said when she exited out of the cave.
Tae Ho wasn’t the only one to have returned. The lowest-ranked warriors of Idun’s legion that had gone out on their first expedition with Sigrun were returning as well.
“Fortunately, there don’t seem to be any deaths.”
“They would have grown a bit more if they had accumulated runes.”
Adenmaha and Scathach, that were following from behind, offered their respective opinions.
Heda laughed and spoke.
“I was preparing food with Gudrun. We have to open a party that doesn’t fall behind to the night banquet.”
There were now more than twenty people in Idun’s residence. It wasn’t an easy thing for two people to prepare all the food alone, but it seemed like Heda enjoyed even that.
Because it had been a really long time since Idun’s legion was this lively.
“A ship is coming.”
Scathach looked at a distant place as soon as they reached the dock and said. Adenmaha frowned as if she couldn’t see well, but Tae Ho could see the green words that were approaching.
“Let’s go greet Idun-nim after the party ends.”
Heda said in a low voice while looking beyond the dock with a proud face. Tae Ho has been staying in the residence until now, but looking at it in another way, he had gone to a far away place and just returned. So receiving an audience with her was only proper.
Tae Ho nodded immediately as he wanted to see Idun almost as much as Heda. He then looked at the green words approaching and said,
“Did you go to meet them?”
Because the new warriors also belonged to Idun’s legion.
Heda opened her eyes widely at Tae Ho’s question and then laughed merrily. She opened her eyes sharply and said playfully,
“I wonder? What do you think?”
‘Tch tch, you have already lost since you asked.’
Cuchulainn clicked his tongue as if Tae Ho still had a long way to go. Meanwhile, people approached Tae Ho. Their faces were a welcome sight.
“It has been a while. You’ve changed a lot in three weeks.”
“Merlin. Master Ragnar. It’s great to see both of you.”
It seemed like Merlin had gotten quite accustomed to the residence while Tae Ho wasn’t around. He seemed as relaxed as a person in his hometown.
“Siri said that she would be coming later.”
Adenmaha added. It really was a gathering of the family of Idun’s legion. The first after a really long while.
The big warship reached the dock. Rolo and his wives brought his babies, and McLaren also showed his face with a healthy visage.
As the warriors that had remained in the residence yelled, the warriors that jumped down from the ship also yelled.
“Valkyrie Sigrun greets the commander.”
“Valkyrie Gudrun greets the commander.”
Sigrun and Gudrun hit their chests twice and expressed etiquette towards Tae Ho.
Tae Ho also expressed his manners and the banquet Heda had prepared started.
An indeterminate amount of time soon passed.
Not long after everyone got settled, Siri joined the banquet just like Adenmaha had said.
There was then one more person that reached the dock of Idun’s legion.
It wasn’t a wooden boat but a swan. As soon as she landed on the ground, the swan that had transformed into a black-haired Valkyrie passed the warriors confidently and stood in front of Tae Ho.
“Valkyrie Hildegarde greets the commander of Idun.”
Hildegarde expressed etiquette and gave a blessing on Tae Ho’s forehead. Heda looked at that and then frowned and asked,
“Hildegarde, why have you come here?”
Because she hadn’t heard that Hildegarde would be visiting. In addition, it was in the middle of the night.
As Heda asked with a wary expression, Hildegarde looked at Tae Ho once again and said,
“Freya-nim is calling the commander of Idun.”
The Goddess of Magic and Beauty, Freya, who commands all the Valkyries in Valhalla. Why was that Goddess summoning Tae Ho?
Tae Ho and Heda turned to look at each other as neither could come up with an answer.
< Episode 32 – The land of darkness (7) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~