Episode 8/Chapter 1: Inferior ranked warrior (1)
The warriors of Valhalla that numbered more than 2,000 were lined up in front of Black Fortress. Valkyrie Reginleif stood on a high rock and yelled while pointing at the violet doors.
“Warriors! We are preparing a banquet for you! Go to the banquet place after you enter the door!”
The warriors replied with an outcry at Reginleif’s words. Looking at their faces, it seemed like they were craving for meat and alcohol because they couldn’t have a banquet due to being on guard for the past week.
But even so, they couldn’t just go running towards the violet doors. It was because the space doors in the plains only amounted to two, so they could only wait for their turns.
Rolph smirked as if even waiting was fun and said, “We barely got summoned back.”
“Still, the past week has been really peaceful right?”
“Even if it’s Valhalla, we don’t go to wars every day.”
Actually, that was an expression that was a bit misleading. There was a high probability that there was another fierce battle occurring in another place of Asgard.
‘They did say that the other two planets were also in war…..’
Olympus and the Temple.
Counting Asgard, three planets were in the middle of a war. The size of the war was so big you couldn’t even imagine how it would be on the front lines.
Tae Ho nodded moderately at Rolph’s words and then turned to look at the fortress.
“Rolph, who are they though? They are a bit different to warriors.”
Rolph turned his head at Tae Ho’s question. Rolph frowned at the soldiers that were guarding the walls on the west side.
“They are warriors that couldn’t enter Valhalla. I heard that they are normally deployed in situations like these when they lack manpower. I also heard that there were some that came from Niflheim and Nastrond.
They were a force that came to Black Fortress to guard it in place of the warriors of Valhalla.
‘Ah, so that was the reason?”
He thought it was strange because he couldn’t see anything when using The Eyes of the Dragon, but he understood when he heard Rolph’s words.
‘It’s not that they are on a different level like the Valkyries that I couldn’t see in the first place.’
Their runes were so low it seemed like they didn’t have any.
“Those poor guys. I also heard that their emotions are all dried up compared to ours.”
As Rolph clicked his tongue, the warriors in their surroundings also looked at the soldiers on the fortress with poor eyes.
‘Aren’t they different from us?’
They were still the same soldiers.
‘Well, am I the only one that thinks like that?’
If the soldiers on the fortress were normal soldiers that were forcefully deployed, then the warriors of Valhalla would be the ones that had come voluntarily.
In addition, they couldn’t feel it with their bodies because they thought that it was still an army in the end, but they were treated quite well.
Most of all, growth based on the runes had a big role. For the warriors of Valhalla that respected strong people, the meaning the runes had plenty of meaning as they were no different to the path of becoming stronger.
As everyone was looking at the soldiers in the fortress together, it soon time for Siri’s troop to enter. Siri stood at the front and then turned back to yell at the troop members.
“It’s our turn! Let’s move!”
It seemed like they had waited too long as the steps of the warriors were fast. Maybe it was because he had experienced all kinds of things since he arrived at Valhalla that Tae Ho crossed the violet door without much refusal. After he closed and opened his eyes, he saw the same enormous hall of when they first departed.
“Wow, I’m going to go crazy,” said one of the warriors next to him.
Then, the other warriors also started to add, “I’m drooling. I’m sure this is the smell of honey!”
All the warriors were enticed by the nice smell. When he had first entered Valhalla, the banquet he had didn’t smell this good.
Siri led the excited warriors and entered the banquet room. The place was big enough to accommodate more than 2,000 people and had hundreds of tables with a great amount of food placed on top.
The warriors took their seats and started to enjoy the alcohol and meat to their heart’s content. Tae Ho also was more comfortable with the warriors since the past week that he ate without reserve.
After 30 minutes, someone said, “Oh, Tae Ho. Look over there.”
“My eyes are shining.”
When he turned around, he saw that three Valkyries that were on Black Fortress with them, started landing on a decorated stone table. However, all three of them were wearing dresses instead of armor.
Just like the unknown warrior had said, it was a feast for the eyes. Rasgrid, who was wearing a blue dress and a silver crown instead of armor, raised her cup lightly and said, “Odin has seen your performances. Everyone that has participated in this battle will be rewarded.”
“King of Gods!”
Rasgrid waited for the cheers of the warriors to fade and then raised her voice again.
“There’s one more thing we will be announcing, Reginleif.”
Reginleif, who was wearing a red dress and a golden crown, answered the call. Rasgrid stood to the side while Reginleif took the center and yelled, “I will announce the warriors that have ascended to the inferior rank. Come to the front as you are called!”
Now, silence filled the room instead of cheers. Everyone gulped dry saliva with nervous faces as if it had become a waiting room that would call the people that had passed.
“Thor’s legion, warrior Bracky!”
“Ullr’s legion, warrior Rolph!”
Every time a name was called, cries of joy and sorrow came from the warriors. Reginleif named about ten warriors before looking towards the followers of Ullr’s legion. She cleared her throat, and called out, “Idun’s legion, warrior Tae Ho!”
“The warrior that rode on a Valkyrie!”
The warriors cheered. They didn’t know about the others, but they knew they had to recogize Tae Ho.
‘Can’t you just call me something like Giant Slayer or the sort?’
Or rather the warrior that had a Valkyrie visit him.
However, for the warriors, Tae Ho was already the warrior that had ridden on a Valkyrie.
In the end, Tae Ho half gave up and walked to the front. Then, Rasgrid who also had given up, spoke to the warriors that were lined up.
“You have ascended to the inferior rank starting from today. I will be expecting your performances from now on. This dagger is a symbol of the inferior rank.”
As Rasgrid made a gesture with her hands, Ingrid, who was wearing a green dress, started handing out one dagger to each warrior. It was unshapely, but there were quite elaborate runes in the handle and the shaft.
When the simple announcement ended, the banquet returned to the eating and drinking. Tae Ho and Rolph moved to the new table along the inferior ranked warriors.
“So you certainly ascended. Well, if it’s not you, who would?”
As soon as he sat down, a big and reliable hand was placed on his shoulder. Tae Ho knew who it was without even turning back
“You too, Bracky.”
“Well, it’s obvious to me.”
Bracky, whom he had gotten quite friendly with the past week, smirked and emptied his cup of beer. Rolph, that was seated at the other side, said with an admiring face, “The two of you are amazing. You ascended just after one expedition.”
“How many expeditions have you been through?”
“I’ve been to three similar expeditions to this one. But of course, this was the most chaotic one.”
Actually, Rolph had also ascended quite quickly. It was just that Tae Ho and Bracky who ascended at the first expedition were special cases.
“Rolph, Tae Ho. Congratulations.”
Siri was wearing comfortable clothes instead of the leather armor she always wore, although it wasn’t like the dresses the Valkyries were wearing. She approached them and served alcohol to Tae Ho and Rolph, and then dropped her shoulders, relaxing a bit.
“Now we are all inferior ranked. Rolph, I will be seeing you more often.”
“I’m expecting inferior rank lodging.”
In Rolph’s case, it would be like graduating to middle school after elementary school.
‘It would be the same for me, right?’
Tae Ho would still be alone with Heda.
After they laughed and talked, one more happy face appeared.
“Kya, certainly. Certainly. I have good eyes when looking at people.”
Bjorn laughed and approached naturally and then sat between Tae Ho and Bracky before speaking to the warriors around them.
“Congratulations on ascending. Do you have any celebration plans?”
“Hey, didn’t you become an inferior ranked warrior? You have to enjoy what you have.”
As Bjorn exaggerated this, the warriors all started to focus on him.
“How interesting. Elaborate.”
As even Bracky chirped in, Bjorn looked at his surroundings and then leaned his body on the table and said in a low voice, “How is it? How about going to Anaheim with me?”
“It’s one of the regions next to Valhalla. It has good alcohol, beautiful ladies, thrilling gambles, delicious food and good fights! It’s the paradise that all the warriors want!”
At that moment, the eyes of the warriors changed. In the other hand, Siri put on a pitying expression and then shook her head and left for another place.
Bjorn didn’t mind and continued with a low voice as if he was sharing a secret.
“Anaheim’s entry starts right from the inferior rank. Don’t you have to spend the gold you received after each battle? It is meant to be used in Anaheim.”
“There’s nowhere else to use it.”
“I thought that it was a commemorative token.”
Tae Ho refuted inwardly, ‘With what Heda told me, it has more uses than that.’
He glanced at Rolph and the others. When he looked at their expressions, it seemed like they had gathered quite a bit of gold. Bjorn’s eyes shone again.
“I know all the good places in Anaheim. If you just follow me, you will realize the sweet flavor of Valhalla.”
“I admire you.”
‘They look like beginner soldiers that are going out on their 100th-day vacation. No, aren’t they more like apprentices taking their first day off?’
Thinking about how they should play looked exactly like that.
Tae Ho looked at them with lukewarm eyes. Bjorn put strength in his arm and said, “Tae Ho, you are also coming with us. You understand?”
Rolph heavily added, “I believe that he would prefer being alone with the Valkyrie in his legion rather than playing with us.”
The warriors all turned to look at Tae Ho with stiff expressions. In the end, the choices Tae Ho was given was only one.
“I have to go with you.”
“Hehe, you thought well.”
As Rolph laughed, the expressions of the other warriors also loosened up.
“If you return, applicate to go out to the Valkyries in your legion. Since you have gone out on an expedition and have just been promoted, they will surely agree.”
Bjorn explained everything they needed and then hit on the table.
“Expect it. Tomorrow you will understand why Valhalla is heaven for the warriors.”
Bjorn smirked and the warriors also looked at themselves and also smirked.
It was then when Reginleif raised her voice on the platform.
“Warriors. The Valkyries of your legions have come to receive you. Return and rest your fatigue.”
The doors that were on the side of the hall all opened up. At first glance, it seemed like there was a dock over there.
“It’s time to separate, but we will soon meet again.”
Bjorn cheered with the warriors and then split up after saluting with their eyes.
Tae Ho went out to the dock alone because he was the only one in his legion and then found Heda.
“It’s Idun’s Valkyrie.”
“Oh, so she’s the rumored Valkyrie.”
Heda had become famous among the warriors that participated in the expedition of Black Fortress thanks to Tae Ho. She was playing dumb and acting calm, but her eyes were all flushed up.
“Let’s go quickly.”
As Tae Ho approached and talked to her, Heda hurriedly grabbed Tae Ho’s hand and went to the wooden boat. They didn’t talk for a long while even after that. Only after they had gotten far enough from the dock did Heda let out a sigh of relief.
“Haa, I feel like I can live now.”
Looking at Heda, Tae Ho asked, “Nothing happened on your side?”
“What about you?”
Heda couldn’t come to meet him in the past week. Tae Ho shrugged his shoulders and said, “It was peaceful after that. I only went out to patrol a few times.”
“The situation had been cleared up already.”
It was also one of the reasons why Heda didn’t go to meet him.
“Before that, Heda, can I ask for tomorrow off?”
“Huh? You want to leave?”
Tae Ho simplified the story of what happened at the banquet. At first, Tae Ho didn’t think much, but after speaking more he started to anticipate the break because it was the first vacation he’d receive since coming to Valhalla.
But Heda’s expression seemed to become strange the more she listened and then started avoiding Tae Ho’s eyes.
“Huh? Uh, yeah.”
“Why are you avoiding my eyes?”
“Uh, so…..I’m sorry. I also received it when I arrived here.”
Heda shrugged her shoulders and glanced at Tae Ho when she gave him an order.
There was a gathering scheduled for the inferior ranked warriors.
Lee Tae Ho, who belonged to the inferior rank of Idun’s legion, had to participate with the inferior ranked warrior troops of Ullr’s legion.
Gathering day: Thor’s day.
It was an order that didn’t have any decorations, which was so much like Valhalla.
He began to be filled with uneasiness as he read the letter. Tae Ho gulped dry saliva and looked at the gathering date.
“Um, is it maybe?”
Heda answered with a sorry face, and Tae Ho closed his eyes. He remembered the faces of Rolph and the other warriors that were laughing and brightly talking about going out tomorrow.
< Episode 8 – Inferior ranked warrior (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~