Episode 9/Chapter 1: Svartalfheim (1)
The space beyond the violet door was humid and heavy.
Tae Ho felt the change of the scenery the moment he took the first step. He cut his breath short and looked at his surroundings.
The first thing he saw were the high trees. The trees were lined up like a wall and the branches were interlinked, making a ceiling that covered the sky. The reason why it was dark was probably because of the resulting shadows.
Tae Ho took one more step. There was dirt, rotting branches, and browning leaves everywhere. As he breathed slowly, he could feel the cold and humid air.
Most of all, his body felt heavy. He didn’t know if that was the precise expression, but the gravity itself felt different. Although the difference wasn’t that great, it’s not as if there was none. In terms of numbers, it would be 1.1 times more.
Half of the warriors that were ahead of Tae Ho looked at their surroundings as if it were marvelous while the other half remained on guard with casual faces as if it wasn’t their first trip. Siri, who was the first one to pass through the door, belonged to the latter category.
‘So this is Svartalfheim.’
The land of the dark fairies that had a name that could twist your tongue.
‘So the dark fairies are the dark elves?’
As he started to think of slim beauties with copper skin, a laugh came from behind him.
“Amazing right? This place is Svartalfheim.”
Valkyrie Gandur, who crossed the door last, walked to the front and gave an explanation to the warriors that had never been here before.
“As you can see, this place is almost entirely covered by shadows thanks to the branches. In addition, since this forest is really vast, regardless of it being day or night, it’s always dark. The reason why Svartalfheim is called the world of the endless night is because of this.”
As the warriors of Valhalla nodded with impressed faces, Gandur started to explain in more detail as if she was excited.
“The ones living in this forest are mostly dark fairies…..Therefore, if you cross the forest boundaries, there’s Nidavellir and the land of the dwarves called Dvergr. So two races live in the same place.”
“Dwarves also live in forests?”
As one of the warriors asked this, Gandur shook her head.
“There is a forest, but Nidavellir is more of an underground world. The place is like a maze because it’s built with several tunnels. If you somehow end up there, be careful not to get lost.”
Simply put, the dark fairies lived in the forest and the dwarves lived underground.
In addition, her words seemed to indicate that this task was related to the dark fairies and not the dwarves.
“Gandur, what is our task? It’s about time for you to tell us.”
As one of the warriors asked again, Gandur fixed her expression and then started explaining seriously.
“The dark fairies have asked us to defeat some monsters. They say that one of the dark fairy families was harvesting a medicinal plant for Valhalla and woke up a basilisk near here.”
“When you say basilisk, do you mean the king of snakes?”
After Siri asked this question, carefully Gandur nodded.
“It’s that basilisk. The family that was attacked asked for assistance from the Dark Fairy Congress, and the Congress asked Valhalla to defeat it.”
“So that’s why we’re here.”
The warriors looked at themselves as if they understood. Gandur also nodded this time.
“Right, our legion specializes in hunting. We are the best at hunting monsters.”
Most of the warriors in Ullr’s legion were hunters.
“I’m also expecting a lot from you. Rasgrid makes it seem like you can handle monsters really well,” Gandur said while looking at Tae Ho.
He then realized one thing.
‘So Rasgrid was the culprit.’
He wondered why he, who belonged to Idun’s legion, was dragged into a legion with specialized hunters.
As he looked towards a place in the distance and laughed, Rolph approached him and patted his shoulder.
“This is also fate.”
His words were to console him, but his face was smiling. If he hadn’t come here, then Rolph would have been alone.
Tae Ho returned a complicated smile to Rolph and then concentrated again on Gandur. She continued with her fluid words.
“For now on you will be travelling to the liaison office nearby. I will go to the Congress to take care of some things with the dark fairies. So Siri, you lead the troop and visit the troubled family.”
Siri hit her chest lightly and expressed her manners. It seemed like Siri would be the actual commander, just like dwarven mine case.
Gandur also hit her chest and talked to the warriors.
“There’s one more thing I have to tell you. They will be especially moving with the white silences on this occasion.”
“Ohh! White silence!”
“I’m finally riding on one!”
Even before Gandur finished speaking, the warriors were letting out cheers. As they were all inferior ranked warriors, they didn’t seem like they would cheer without even knowing what it was like the lowest ranked warriors, but he didn’t have the courage to ask.
‘Just what is it this time?’
‘Is it also a projectile, which is a fetish for Valhalla warriors?’
‘Or is it an object that silences you for eternity?’
Tae Ho looked at Rolph cheering together with the others. In the end, he approached Siri and asked, “Siri, what’s the white silence?”
“It’s really cool. You will also like it.”
Siri answered like a warrior of Valhalla and so Tae Ho looked at Gandur with an uneasy expression.
“It’s the real thing!”
“It’s really big!”
The dark fairies liaison office was made by carving a really big tree and a really marvelous one, but no one paid attention to it. It was because they were all busy with the white silences Gandur had called.
‘It’s really cool.’
Even if Siri was a warrior of Valhalla, it seemed like reason and logic worked with her because the white silence was a really cool obj-no, beast, even in Tae Ho’s eyes.
There were huge wolves with white fur. They were so big he couldn’t even compare them to the tigers or lions he’d seen at the zoo. They were so big they could even handle the warriors of Valhalla as they were almost equal in size.
There were exactly 10 wolves. Just like the number of warriors.
“There will be people seeing them for the first time so to explain it briefly, they are one of the prideful summons of Ullr’s legion. They can obviously walk, and when they run they don’t make any noise. That’s the reason why they are called white silences. They will also be of great help in battle.”
Just like Gandur had explained, they white silences were really silent. It was a really marvelous to see those big things moving without making any noise.
‘Do all legions have their own summons?’
‘So what could Idun’s legion summon be?’
‘Wait, do we even have one?’
Heda hadn’t told him anything, and Ullr’s legion was a hunter’s legion, so it was understandable for them to have wolves, but that wasn’t the case with Idun’s legion. The only thing he could think of right now was an apple tree.
‘What kind of animals would Odin’s legion have?’
‘Wouldn’t it be a really cool animal since he’s the king of Gods?’
While Tae Ho was thinking of a different thing, the warriors got on the white silences one by one. Although they were hunters through and thorough, excluding Siri and a few others, the remaining ones rode on the wolves quite awkwardly.
“Tae Ho, hurry up and get on one. It feels really great to mount it.”
Rolph, who had a sloppy posture, spoke with a face that said that he would die of happiness. Tae Ho nodded once and then got on the white silence.
[ Saga: The One That Can Handle Dragons ]
The white silence that was on his side in the first place didn’t resist him. The moment he activated the saga his posture was automatically fixed.
“You really are skilled. It’s just like Rasgrid and Reginleif said. I really want you,” said Gandur in a low voice, but since he was next to her he could hear everything she had said. Perhaps, the one Heda had to worry about wasn’t Rasgrid but Gandur.
In addition, Siri had the same eyes as Gandur. Rolph also seemed to think that it would be good if he were in the same legion as Tae Ho.
As Tae Ho thought of Heda’s face and shifted his eyes, Gandur smirked and said, “A guide from the fairies side will come with you. Follow him.”
As soon as she finished speaking, a dark fairy riding on a black horse approached them. She wasn’t the slim beauty with copper skin Tae Ho had expected — he was a handsome youth with light violet skin.
‘Even so, he’s similar to the dark elves that I know of.’
His ears were pointy, his face was handsome, and his body was slim. His skin had a light violet color that had a pastel feel to it and silver hair that was nearly white paired well with his skin.
The dark fairy that was wearing brown leather armor placed his right hand on his left chest and saluted, perhaps because everyone else was riding their wolves.
“I’m Tollaris from the Mollo family. I will be leading you to our family’s house.”
“I’m Siri from Ullr’s legion. Treat us well.”
As Siri also hit her chest to express her manners, Tollaris nodded and looked back at Gandur.
“Valkyrie Gandur, we will depart immediately.”
“Let Ullr’s blessing be with you.”
“Let Ullr’s blessing be with Gandur!”
“The Valkyrie of our legion is certainly the best!”
“We will be going!”
“We will bring you the leather of the basilisk as a gift!”
As Gandur waved her hand and sent them off, the warriors of Ullr’s legion raised their voices and answered back. It was rough, but you could feel their affection towards Gandur, the Valkyrie of Ullr’s legion.
Tollaris just looked at them silently and then charged forward. As Siri followed him, the warriors also started to follow suit.
The white silences weren’t only silent, they were also fast. Tollaris’s horse galloped really quickly, but no wolf fell behind. Or rather, it seemed like they were faster than the horse in bulky places where roots were sprouting.
However, the best thing was how it felt when you boarded them. Normally your butt would hurt when riding on a horse even with a saddle, but you couldn’t feel any of that with the white silences when they suddenly changed direction or speed. Perhaps this was because of their cushiony fur.
Tollaris ran for a quarter of a day while resting at times. Because they were in such a dense forest that covered the sky, it was hard to determine their location or direction.
But they were certain that they come a long way from the starting point.
“It’s over there.”
Tollaris lowered his speed to a walking pace and pointed to a far place. Tae Ho, who had gotten accustomed to the forest while coming all the way here, discovered that the village was composed of tree houses.
‘It’s like a village of a single family.’
The dark fairy said that everyone that resided here were from the Mollo family bloodline. The dark fairies guarding the entrance looked at the warriors of Valhalla with vigilant eyes, and the kids also peeked at them while hiding behind the trees.
The warriors of Valhalla looked at the village with curious eyes instead of shrinking back from the many gazes, just like ideal Valhalla warriors.
As they entered deep into the forest, a house covered by fences appeared.
“Let’s go in.”
As Tollaris dismounted from the horse, Siri and the other warriors also dismounted from the white silences.
“You can just place them in the stables. Just place them far away from the horses.”
Siri said this towards the dark fairies that had put on troubled faces as they were thinking about what to do. Although they were summoned, it seemed like the Valkyrie was the only one that could order them as she pleased.
After they passed the gates, they saw a huge house with a wide yard. It was marvelous that they were still covered by branches with a house as huge as that.
“You have troubled yourselves by coming this far. I’m Mallus, the head of the Mollo family.”
A slim man with a sharp impression welcomed them from the yard. As the man waved his hand lightly, beautiful dark fairies appeared and gave each of the warriors a cup. It seemed like they were telling them to ease their thirst for having come a long way.
There was no reason for the warriors of Valhalla to refuse when they were wild for alcohol. Siri also accepted it while thinking that one cup wouldn’t do harm.
Tae Ho also did the same. But before he was about to place his lips on his cup, he activated the dragon’s eyes just like how he always did so when he faced someone new.
Tollaris’ name was green. There were many dark fairies in the village that had grey names which meant neutrality. Anyways, most of them were green or grey.
But it was different for the house.
[ Utgard Loki’s underling ]
[ Dark fairy: Mallus ]
Clear red words. In addition, he had already seen the name: Utgard Loki.
‘The giant from the Black Fortress!’
Utgard Loki’s warrior, Hgut.
There was no time to think. There was an enemy right in front of them, yet they were currently drinking alcohol from the enemy.
Tae Ho yelled and threw his cup. The warriors that had already taken a sip were surprised and turned to look at Tae Ho. Rolph opened his eyes wide as if he was flustered. However, Siri was different. She threw away her cup and also spat the alcohol out of her mouth.
Mallus looked at Tae Ho. He didn’t know about Tae Ho’s saga. However, the moment he saw Tae Ho’s eyes filled with certainty, he made a quick judgment. He raised his arm instead of making a sloppy excuse. Red words started to appear on the walls.
Mallus and Siri yelled at the same time. The warriors of Valhalla hurriedly raised their shields and the dark fairies that appeared from everywhere fired their bows.
Tollaris and the dark fairy ladies that were near them looked at their surroundings with flustered faces and fell after being hit by the arrows.
The dark fairies screamed. The house was filled with green words, grey words, and red words.
“Seal the door!”
“We are escaping!”
Mallus and Siri yelled at the same time again. The dark fairies in grey ran towards the gate, and some of the warriors hid behind the shields and fired their crossbows towards the dark fairies that were trying to close the gate. Siri pulled back the shield wall and then blew her horn trumpet.
The white silences reacted to the sound that resembled the wind. They bit down or slammed the dark fairies that were trying to tie them down. They ran across the yard and approached the group.
“Tae Ho! Take lead!” Siri said while hurriedly mounting onto the white silence. It was because she trusted Tae Ho’s eyes.
Tae Ho glared at the half-closed gates and yelled, “Let’s go!”
The white silences charged soundlessly.
“Close the gates!”
Mallus yelled again. The dark fairies ran towards the entrance while Rolph and the warriors raised their crossbows once more. A rain of arrows hailed from above their heads.
Tae Ho only looked in front of him and charged. He didn’t dodge the arrows coming from the front. He stormed towards the gate and extended his left hand. He activated the carved rune magic!
Rune of wind.
A strong wind surged from Tae Ho’s left arm.
< Episode 9 – Svartalfheim (1) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~