Episode 4/Chapter 3: Rain of Steel (3)
“Get in quickly!”
“Close the door!”
The ones that spoke were a warrior whose name wasn’t known, Rolph, and the unknown wolf spider.
The door of the control room was a sliding door and it was really heavy since it was made of marble. So they obviously needed time to open it and close it.
Rolph yelled while firing arrows through the space of the closing door. The warriors closed the door from both sides with all their strength, and a wolf spider that got hit with an arrow cried.
The door closed. Rolph placed down his crossbow and let out a sigh of relief and Tae Ho also did the same. He took a peek before the door closed completely, and the number of the wolf spiders that chased them seemed to be about 10.
Cold sweat flowed down. Tae Ho sat on the floor and breathed in. Only then did he observe his surroundings.
“Is this the control room?”
It was a wide stone chamber that was as high as a two-floored building. There were cloths that had symbols of several colors engraved in it, and you could see a big door of marble that seemed to be the front gate. There were also complicated lines drawn on the floor.
‘Is this something like a hidden back door?’
At first glance, you could tell that the front gate was a door, but the back door looked like a wall.
Tae Ho looked at the front door again.
There were three stone pillars that were placed on the platform that was in the middle of the room.
Rolph also looked at the room once and then nodded.
“If it’s like the map, then it is. More accurately, it’s the second control room that’s used for emergencies. It’s one of the hidden places of the fortress.”
“Ah, so that’s why.”
Even if it was the back door, the place they came through was harsh and did look like it hadn’t been used. On top of that, he wondered why there weren’t any enemies guarding this place, as it seemed to be the most important, even when they were in the middle of a siege. But he then understood when he heard that it was the provisionary room.
“Anyway, let’s hurry. We have to open the gates even a second faster so that we can diminish the damages that our allies take.”
As Rolph said this with a serious face, Tae Ho unconsciously admired him.
To be able to hear something so normal from a warrior of Valhalla. Normally they would act to kill one more warrior instead of decreasing the damages.
“No, just. Let’s hurry.”
Rolph tilted his head as if it was strange but that didn’t last long. He ordered the warriors to check the room with a signal and then moved to the platform with Tae Ho.
There was one complicated crack in one of the stone pillars. Rolph took out one golden decoration from his chest and then inserted it into the crack without any hesitation.
‘Is it something like a key?’
Maybe his guess was right, a faint green light started to appear from the crack.
‘It looks like a computer is booting.’
It seemed to be making noise for a moment and then a voice that was a bit harsh for a woman sounded.
[Place your hand and insert magic power]
Two hand shapes appeared next to the decoration that Rolph had inserted. Rolph gulped once, and after placing one hand, gestured Tae Ho with his chin.
“I will ask you for that side.”
It seemed like two people were needed. However, Tae Ho couldn’t immediately place his hand on it. It wasn’t because he was scared however.
“How do I insert magic power?”
“You just have to place your hands. Probably.”
He spoke without much confidence but Tae Ho nodded, because doing would have more meaning.
‘Hot. No, is it warm?’
He felt like he had put his hand on warm water and felt exactly the opposite of when he had absorbed runes from a monster.
[Confirmed auxiliary key]
[You can now take off your hands.]
Tae Ho and Rolph looked at each other and then took off their hands. Then, a stream of light started to surge from a part of the decoration and then a woman took form.
[Nice to meet you. My name is Black Fortress.]
[Give me an order.]
She looked like a Valkyrie that had long black hair.
“It turned out well, right?”
“It seems so.”
Only then did Rolph let out a sigh of relief, and spoke to the hologram Valkyrie with a nervous voice.
“Black Fortress, open the door.”
[Understood. I will open the door.]
It was a simple task. Rolph laughed towards Tae Ho. Tae Ho was also about to laugh, but then he hurriedly yelled,
“Not that door! The gates!”
It was because the doors of the control room had started to open.
Originally, it would have ended at a small mistake, but the situation was different. It was because the warriors of Ullr’s legion started to shout.
“Close the doors!”
“Fire! Push them back!”
“Black Fortress! Close the doors!”
The doors closed! But fortunately, no wolf spiders that got into the room. It was because they were also perplexed that the door opened suddenly.
[There aren’t enough orders. Give me another order.]
“Open all of the gates of the fortress. Not the doors, but the gates!”
[Understood. Opening the gates.]
After listening to Black Fortress’ answer, Tae Ho looked towards the doors. Fortunately, it didn’t seem like it would open.
[I have opened the gates.]
Black Fortress said again. As something in the room didn’t move or the sound of the doors opening wasn’t heard, Rolph looked at Tae Ho with a suspicious face.
There was no reason for Black Fortress to lie.
Tae Ho and Rolph let out sighs of relief at the same time. And the warriors of Ullr’s legion that were waiting at the back door also wiped off the sweat from their foreheads or sat on the ground.
“Task completed. Now we just have to protect this place until our side conquers the fortress.”
That was because it would be troublesome if the gates closed again. In addition, to get out of this place, they had to use the back door that was infested with tens of wolf spiders. So there was a big risk in fighting.
Rolph told Black Fortress to seal the doors tightly and then gave a bottle of water to Tae Ho. The bottle was half-filled with fresh water.
The warriors of Valhalla were strong. And now that the gates had opened, the fortress wouldn’t be able to serve as one, so they shouldn’t have to wait for too long.
As he was resting and drinking water that tasted like honey, he could see that the warriors of Ullr’s legion were moving. They piled up adornments and furniture on the doors to make a barricade.
Although this place didn’t have that many things, it would be better than not doing anything.
The warriors finished making the barricade in an instant and then started talking in hushed voices.
“We made quite the achievements.”
“The day we become inferior-ranked warriors isn’t that far.”
“If we return back, will the Valkyrie of our legion see me in a new light?”
“No chance. Look in the mirror.”
“What, why are you discouraging my kid?”
“When did I become your kid?”
“Anyways, who among the Valkyries?”
“I like captain Siri. She seems cold but has a rather gentle side.”
“Oh, after this battle ends, confess to her. You don’t know if she will accept you.”
“I will get hit in the head by her crossbow.”
Everyone started to laugh with dead voices. Tae Ho, looked at them, laughed unconsciously, and said, “They are all rather bright.”
“You won’t be able to endure it if you are always serious. Even more if…….it’s none other than this place.”
For the warriors of Valhalla, a war was a daily thing. Just like Rolph had said, if you were always serious, you wouldn’t be able to endure it.
“Before that, what’s the name of the Valkyrie that came to meet you?”
Rolph approached Tae Ho and asked him that question. Tae Ho smirked at his intimate eyes and voice.
“Heda….Is she pretty?”
‘This place is indeed an army.’
Why was the question after the name ‘Is she pretty?’
If it was another warrior that had asked the question, Tae Ho would have just ignored them, but since it was Ralph, he just nodded.
“She is pretty. She’s the prettiest among the ones I have seen.”
He was being honest. Because Heda was a beauty even among other Valkyries.
However, the warriors that started to listen to their conversation, started to ridicule him.
“That’s too much.”
“You really fell for her.”
“How many Valkyries have you seen? One?”
“There’s one Valkyrie in our legion…”
They all said some words as if this was the opportunity and approached Tae Ho. How many minutes had passed since then?
[There’s a lifeform approaching this place.]
[Prepare for battle.]
Black Fortress spoke, and this time they certainly knew the sign for that.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
A loud noise approached even closer from beyond the door. The warriors reflexively stood up and the door started to shake.
“Damn it! They knew of this place?!”
“Prepare for battle!”
Rolph and the warriors yelled. Tae Ho also stood up and looked at the front. Right at that instant, the door was destroyed.
It was good to say it was an explosion. The thing that had broken through the marble door and the barricade was a giant gnoll that was holding a really big hammer.
“Rats of Valhalla!”
It cursed while rolling its red eyes. Its voice was so big that the room seemed to shake.
Rolph yelled reflexively. Tae Ho also knew this name thanks to the report he received yesterday. It was the right arm of the giant gnoll that had taken over this fortress.
You could hear that more gnolls were approaching them from behind Red Eyes. Red Eyes roared once more.
“I will tear you all up! I will break your bones and…….Kuak?!”
Red Eyes stopped speaking and then let out a painful groan. It was because of the flickering arrow that hit his shoulder.
Tae Ho yelled and pulled the trigger again. The warriors got a hold of themselves only then and also raised their crossbows. There was no need to listen to the opponent’s speech.
Red Eyes swung his hammer widely and bounced off some arrows. Then, Tae Ho yelled towards the warriors instead answering it.
“Push him to that wall!”
The warriors didn’t ask back. They moved immediately and Tae Ho yelled towards Black Fortress.
“Black Fortress! Open the back door!”
As soon as it opened, the wolf spiders poured down into the room. The first thing they discovered was Red Eyes and its 10 underlings.
The wolf spiders charged towards the gnolls and the gnolls faced them.
Red Eyes got angry once again at the chaotic situation. It blasted away the head of an incoming wolf spider and then charged towards Tae Ho and the warriors.
“Rolph! Cover me!”
The original plan was to escape while the wolf spiders bought them time, but it seemed like that would be impossible. Because of that, Tae Ho glared at Red Eyes instead of escaping.
It was big. It seemed even bigger than the giant gnoll that he had defeated yesterday.
That gnoll was charging towards him while gripping its huge hammer. It yelled as if it would kill them immediately.
He was scared and afraid, but he didn’t look away.
He yelled the name of the Valkyrie instead of the yet unfamiliar God. Tae Ho gripped Runefang and charged towards Red Eyes.
< Episode 4 – Rain of Steel (3) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~