Episode 33/Chapter 2: Idun’s warrior (2)
The Drakkars, the ships of Freya’s legion, were some of the most common viking ships seen around.
This ship, which could also be called a long ship, had a really drawn out shape but was light and stable, so its mobility was quite excellent.
The warriors of Freya’s legion were at their posts after spreading the sail. Being able to stir the oars so that one could move when things didn’t go as expected was one of the strong points of a Drakkar.
As it were, the ship wasn’t one commonly powered by sail and oars as it belonged to Freya’s legion. Adenmaha pointed the blue sail and said in a low voice,
“There’s wind magic casted in it.”
It was a magical sail that could control the wind hitting it freely, be it strong or soft.
As the Drakkars were single floor ships, they didn’t possess cabins or a storage.
It seemed like the curtain installed in the rear of the boat was acting as both the cabins and the storage.
“We have prepared a place for commander-nim at the innermost side of inside the curtain. You can rest there at night.”
Tae Ho nodded suitably. What Tae Ho was riding right now was a war ship, and in addition, the warriors of Valhalla were all people accustomed to living on ships. Getting angry because a separate, luxurious cabin wasn’t prepared was something lacking common sense.
‘Right. Since when did you mind those things? It’s enough with having a place to lie down. In addition, isn’t that place really good? You are the only male on this vessel, but there are no walls.’
Cuchulainn spoke while laughing creepily.
Tae Ho lamented that this kind of man was the one called the Prince of Light and clicked his tongue, but he didn’t say that he disliked it.
Tae Ho and Cuchulainn had gotten much closer while living in the Tower of Shadows for two years. So he was also accustomed to speaking about absurd things with him.
On the other hand, Hildegarde commanded the Valkyries and the warriors and increased the speed of the ship. It was so fast that the ship that was passing through the fog seemed like the slash of a sword.
“Commander of Idun, come over here. I will explain to you the objective of this trip and about the structure of Vanaheim and the realms.”
Hildegarde had spoken in a friendly manner when she first met Tae Ho, but her words and attitude were now really polite as he was now a commander.
As most of the Valkyries he knew were related to him since he was a lowest-ranked warrior, this kind of treatment was really new.
‘You are really enjoying this.’
Tae Ho ignored Cuchulainn’s words and approached Hildegarde. She made Tae Ho and Adenmaha sit on some chairs that were prepared near the mast and started her explanation.
“Freya-nim has ordered me to explain everything from the basics. There should be many things you already know, but I hope you understand.”
“It’s good to do a review.”
“I’m grateful that you speak like that.”
Hildegarde smiled brightly and then produced a thin, wooden board made with wood from an ash tree on top of her thigh. There were many runes engraved on top of the wooden board, and when Hildegarde placed her hand on it, the runes started to shine.
“Just as you know, there originally existed ten realms, including Asgard, but one of them, Erin, was destroyed. Now there are only nine realms.”
Hildegarde’s voice was calm and soft. In addition, holograms started to form in the places her hands passed over. Tae Ho felt like he was in a planetarium.
“Our realm is called as Asgard, and there are several small worlds in it including Midgard.”
The holograms started to take shape.
The shapes and colors were a bit different, but they shared the same commonality that they were round and flat.
‘It’s marvelous even if I see it again.’
He had already heard an explanation of the composition of the worlds by Heda. At that time, he had also heard it while looking at the magic video made by Heda, but surprisingly enough, it wasn’t the earth shaped worlds that Tae Ho knew.
A round star planet located in space.
But this wasn’t the case in this world. It was a world with land that had sea surrounding it just like the people before the medieval age believed with elephants holding it up.
‘A fantasy indeed.’
In addition, that kind of land wasn’t only one. When the several round lands found their location, Hildegarde started to explain once again.
“The biggest land is this one, Midgard.”
Compared to the other lands, it was much bigger. There was sea water falling down like endless waterfalls around the borders of that world.
“The ones at the right of Midgard are Svartalfheim and Nidavelir, and the one at its left is Alfheim.”
The characteristics of the two round lands were clear.
Svartalfheim, which Tae Ho was familiar with, shared half of its land with Nidavelir but there was no river or lake or even a sea like in Midgard.
The land of light fairies, Alfheim, had the shape of a big and shining island on top of a calm lake. It was really beautiful and emanated faint light while shining brightly simultaneously.
“Niflheim, also called the otherworld, is located under Midgard. Some call Niflheim as the underworld because of this structure.”
Niflheim was a bit smaller than Midgard, and it was a world that sun never shone on as Midgard was covering it from on top like a lid.
‘So that was the reason it was called the frost world.’
“The queen of Hell, Hela, who is located at the center of Niflheim, is loyal to Asgard unlike her father Loki or her brothers. Her army is the one that protects the outer areas of the several small worlds.”
Tae Ho remembered the soldiers of the otherworld that he saw in Black Fortress. They were existences that lived with worry and suffering and had no life compared to the warriors of Valhalla.
“Asgard is above Midgard.”
Asgard wasn’t located at the center of Midgard but at the end of it.
As it was a land that humans couldn’t reach and was much smaller than Midgard, the humans couldn’t see Asgard directly.
“The thing that connects all of these small worlds is Yggdrasil, the World Tree.”
When Hildegarde rolled her fingers, white light connected the worlds which she had explained.
“You could say that the World Tree, Yggdrasil, is the connector which binds the smaller worlds. The humans in Midgard just think of it as a big tree, but such a notion is only half right.”
Hildegarde now slid her finger from above to below, and a big tree that passed through Asgard, Midgard and Niflheim soon appeared.
“A huge tree that connects Midgard, Asgard, and Niflheim actually exists, but this is only a part of Yggdrasil that has been materialized.”
The lake of Mimir that Odin frequented or the nest of the evil dragon, Nidhogg, were near the root of Yggdrasil.
Erin had no small worlds in it compared to Asgard, so Adenmaha looked at the holograms with shining eyes. These were all things she already knew, but it was marvelous every time she saw it.
It seemed like Hildegarde enjoyed Adenmaha’s reaction, and she smiled and moved her hand. Promptly, a new land that was quite a distance away from the lands already revealed appeared.
“Vanaheim is located the farthest from Midgard among the smaller worlds. In addition, although it is connected with Yggdrasil, it’s connection is unstable compared to the other places. If we compare it to a sea route, you can say that it’s a harsh sea with a constant storm running through it.”
The light connecting Asgard and Vanaheim was really dull and faint.
“Because the connection is unstable, we aren’t able to approach it as easily through a space door as the other smaller worlds. If it deviates from the World Tree, we will become lost and will wander through the crevices of the world.”
It was the reason why Freya’s legion was moving with a ship instead of a space door.
“But going over there through the water isn’t easy either. It’s because of the Sea of Ymir that is in the path to Vanaheim.”
He did remember hearing it vaguely.
Tae Ho remembered the things he learnt from Heda when he was a lowest-ranked warrior and said,
“If you are talking about Ymir, he’s the Giant of ancient times, right?”
“Yes. He was a giant among giants that was used as an ingredient by the Gods when making Midgard.”
The birth of Midgard shared its story with the death of Ymir. It was because the King of Gods, Odin, and his brothers Vili and Ve defeated Ymir and used his corpse to create several places of Midgard.
“Just like you know, the evil spirits that appear in Midgard and the other worlds are existences born from the dirty blood of Ymir. A lot of his blood flows especially in Ymir’s sea, so strong spirits that are called Ymir’s shadows appear frequently.”
Hildegarde spoke up to there and then paused for a moment and looked at the path of the ship. The ship shook and then the surrounding scene changed. The sky darkened and the fog grew denser. The weather was also much colder than before.
“We’ve entered the Sea of Ymir. This region is a place where strong spirits called the Kator reside, but one can say that it’s a rather safe place to navigate.”
Adenmaha blinked and asked. Hildegarde smiled once again at her eyes filled with curiousness and then said gently,
“It’s because the appetite of the Kator is special.”
When Hildegarde waved her hand once again, the small worlds disappeared and the shape of a black and evil spirit with the shape of a bee appeared.
“The Kators that look like huge bees feast on dragon races. They have no interest in the ones that aren’t dragons so you don’t have to wo….rry?”
The voice of Hildegarde, that was explaining, became a mess.
It wasn’t only because Adenmaha’s face paled when she heard that they liked to eat dragons.
Hildegarde stood up from her seat and the Valkyrie that was at the stern yelled,
“It’s the Kator! Get ready to fight!”
Hildegarde grew instantly bewildered, but it was an obvious reaction. It was because she didn’t know that Adenmaha was of the dragon race. For her, she was just a newcomer Valkyrie of Idun’s legion.
The warriors of Freya’s legion stood up and then pulled out their weapons. The sound of the wings made by the flock of bees was heard from far away.
Adenmaha panted and trembled, and even if that didn’t reveal her panic, her face was completely pale.
The shadows of Ymir weren’t normal spirits. It wasn’t excessive to say that they were born to devour dragons, so the aura they emanated was like a curse for dragons.
“They are coming from above! Get ready!”
The warriors and the Valkyries yelled. The huge Kators that looked like wasps started to pour down like rain.
Adenmaha looked up the sky and stiffened. She knew that she had to use magic, but her body didn’t follow her thoughts. She had overcome several battlefields, but she couldn’t do anything this time.
One Kator fell down vertically. It was to stab Adenmaha with its poisonous needles that was like food emanating a sweet scent.
Adenmaha couldn’t use her magic. She couldn’t close her eyes nor scream.
Hildegarde gritted her teeth and raised her sword. But the Kators were too fast. The Kator’s that fell down resembled lightning.
She would die.
Adenmaha thought like that. But at that moment, a hand grabbed Adenmaha’s waist. It was a sword that was swung much faster than the sword of Hildegarde and much faster than the Kators.
The Kator that was falling down was split in two. It was bisected in a split second and fell to the sea on both sides of the ship.
Hildegarde opened her eyes widely. She couldn’t open her mouth at the scene that happened in front of her eyes.
She couldn’t see it.
How the attack was executed and when it started.
It was the same for Adenmaha. No, in the first place, she wasn’t in a situation that she could mind over those things.
The fastest sword.
Tae Ho grabbed the sword Glass Bruyn, which he’d used to defeat the Killius that could call forth lightning, and looked down at Adenmaha. He put more strength in his arm holding her and said,
“Don’t worry Adenmaha.”
Tae Ho swung his sword once again. The sword aura that got extended sharply split the body of another Kator in two.
It was the wind slash of Scathach’s style techniques.
Tae Ho had changed in the Tower of Shadows over the past two years, and Adenmaha realized that truth. That he hadn’t simply gotten strong.
Adenmaha felt out of breath for another reason and Tae Ho stabbed the wedge onto her heart.
“As I will protect you.”
‘Uwaaaaa! It gives me goosebumps. Goosebumps! As I will protect you, as I will protect you…. Uwaaa! Is this something that should be said by a human! My hands and feet are twisting! Spacetime is twisting up!’
Cuchulainn howled with a pained expression.
It didn’t seem that it was to tease him but like he really was in pain.
The battle against that Kator didn’t last for long. It was because the Kators were surprised by the overwhelming presence of Tae Ho and gave up and escaped.
However, Tae Ho’s fight hadn’t ended yet. His face flushed at Cuchulainn’s fierce criticism, and he didn’t know what to do.
He had said it without thinking much at the time, but he felt like it was really cheesy even if he thought about it.
“Ah, Adenmaha isn’t saying anything.”
When he barely managed to say something, Cuchulainn snorted.
‘Of course she won’t. Adenmaha won’t.’
Because she is more in love than a certain someone.
Cuchulainn could feel like he could hear Adenmaha’s heartbeat even when she was deep inside the room beyond the curtain.
‘Look at the reaction of the girls of Freya’s legion. Ha, I am more embarrassed than you.’
Tae Ho flinched and then glanced at his surroundings but unexpectedly enough, the gazes looking at Tae Ho were quite good. And some of them were even showing favor towards him openly.
As Tae Ho counterattacked slightly after obtaining a bit of courage, Cuchulainn got bewildered, but it was only for a moment.
“Whew, do you know thanks to whom that it turned out like this? You should thank Master.’
Tae Ho just turned his head at the sudden change of attitude. It was because Hildegarde had returned after checking the state of the warriors.
She was looking at Tae Ho with eyes filled with interest just like when she first met him in the night banquet.
“I was sincerely impressed at the skills of Commander-nim.”
She had heard that Tae Ho was strong, but for him to possess a swordsmanship as strong as this.
It was possible for the warriors of Valhalla to become explosively stronger by accumulating runes in a short time thanks to the rune accumulation system, but but getting strong through the runes was merely for the basic abilities like the physical abilities or concentration.
It hasn’t been a year since Hildegarde brought Tae Ho to Valhalla, but for him to have sword techniques as outstanding as this. It really was something that couldn’t be imagined.
On the other hand, Tae Ho thought of a vague thing while Hildegarde was showing interest in him.
If it was just like he had heard in the night banquet, Tae Ho would have been able to become a warrior of Freya’s legion.
It was a family affair, but if that were the case, then the closest Valkyrie to Tae Ho would have become Hildegarde instead of Heda.
Of course, Tae Ho’s imagination ended there. It was because he didn’t want to imagine and couldn’t imagine himself being at another legion aside of Idun’s.
Idun, the Goddess of Life and Youth.
The gentle and affectionate Goddess of Tae Ho.
Now that he thought about it, the last time he’d seen her face was two years ago.
Two years ago.
Two years since he had an audience with Idun.
Hildegarde got surprised and blinked her eyes as Tae Ho yelled inexplicably. It was the same for all the warriors and Valkyries in the ship.
However, Tae Ho couldn’t mind their gazes.
“I forgot about it.”
He had certainly decided to go meet her after the party ended.
He had gone to Freya’s legion in the middle of the party and was going to Vanaheim after that.
So that meant that he had left without greeting Idun after having come out of the tower of shadow after two years.
‘It’s the end. The end! She will really sulk out now.’
Cuchulainn clicked his tongue and spoke, enjoying the situation, and Tae Ho couldn’t rebuke his words.
‘Shall I not sleep today?’
Tae Ho grew afraid of sleeping. Precisely speaking, of dreaming.
The ship of Freya’s legion flowed on the sea of Ymir.
A new thread of fate was made on the spinning wheel.
The oldest of the three sisters, Uld, spun the wheel. Verdandi, who represented the present, placed her slender fingers on top of the thread and read down the fate.
As the future wasn’t set, not even the three sisters could read the threads of fate perfectly. They could just guess the future with the given information as the background just like Mimir did.
Skuld released the threads that had passed through the hands of Verdandi. She could only see an uneasy future no matter how many times she repeated it.
Skuld, that was untying the threads, stood up from her seat. Uld and Verdandi didn’t ask Skuld where she was going. It was because the future always worked as it pleased.
The things she had told Heda hadn’t changed even now that quite a lot of time had passed.
A part of the threads of fate were still touching Idun’s legion.
Skuld spoke in a low voice and got out of the residence of the three sisters. She used the swan wing coat she received as a Valkyrie and then transformed into a beautiful and white swan and flew to the sky.
It was towards Vanaheim.
< Episode 33 – Idun’s sword (2) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~