TL: Magic the Gathering (MTG). It’s a card game. For those of you who don’t play that game or never even heard of it, I will explain a little about it, otherwise, you can skip straight to the chapter. Also, author numbered his chapters weirdly. Next chapter….. hopefully in a few hours. I want to finish the remaining two chapters as soon as possible, but no promises.
Chapter 177 part 1 – Battle in the canyon (1)
The path in front of the group split off into two directions. One led to a deep gorge with black granite cliffs on each side. The edges of the cliffs were smooth and flat, as though it had been snapped into equal halves. The second direction of the path was probably a dead end or led back to where they came from, and it was not where he wanted to go.
Violent winds constantly blew into the gorge with visible air currents, with mist forming a white line, entering and exciting the chasm like a sea’s waves. It took a moment before Brendel recovered from the picturesque scenery.
[If I follow the air currents, they will most likely lead me to the fake Lernaia Hydra’s lair.]
He glanced back at Veronica. Even though she was still weak, she had gotten back her spirits with the short break. But she did not ask him to learn her swordsmanship again, and he did not want to ask her about it, especially in front of Scarlett and Faena.
“The way to go into the Loop of Trade Winds is through the underground passage located below here. The Druids had put in countless manpower and materials into this area just to find that passage.” He spoke to Veronica.
“Did they find it?” Came the reply.
The youth shook his head.
“And yet you know where it is?”
“I’ve read an ancient document that gave a hint on the entrance’s location, it should be nearby.”
It was his habit to throw out ‘ancient documents’ as his cover against the ‘Projectiles of Questions’. Somehow, it felt like there were indeed ancient documents that existed when he stated it so earnestly.
He started surveying the gorge, but it was difficult to see if the underground passage was in this bottomless gorge. Suddenly, he discovered Scarlett looking at his wrist with a strange expression yet again, making him put on an awkward expression.
He could not help but rub the teeth marks on his wrist. How should he explain it? Or did he really have to tell the truth and said that it was not a gesture of allegiance from Morpheus?
Just a while ago, Scarlett woke up at an impeccable timing and caught him favoring his ‘injuries’.
[Screw this Planeswalker System…… Why isn’t paying the Life Force an automatic thing?!]
He turned to glare at Morpheus, but the damned Vampire trap merely averted his eyes.
“Hmm…… Well, to continue where I was,” Brendel changed the topic in an awful attempt that did not seem entirely coherent, “we should try and make our way downwards from here. But it does look like it’s difficult to do so, and I’m also not certain there’s really a passage down there—”
“From here?” Faena suddenly interrupted him.
It was the first time she spoke after waking up, almost as if she had done so from her stupor in order to question his decision. Her eyebrows were knitted together and raised high up as though they were to disappear under her fringe.
“T-that’s absurd, right!?” She stared at the dark ravine with a pale expression.
“For a sheltered, useless, and weak female noble, it would be so,” Morpheus replied with a blinding speed that surprised everyone. He looked at Faena with an emotionless face: “this is a warning, girl, you are not to question my Master’s decision—”
“You!” She glared back with furious eyes that were also filled with disbelief.
“That’s enough, Faena,” Veronica broke up the quarrel, “since there’s a historical document about the passage, then there is meaning if we made our way down. Let us search for it.”
[Sometimes I wonder if these people really don’t know that I’m lying about the documents….. Let me think. The gamers who entered here didn’t even reach half of my current power. The cliffs are impossibly steep, so it means there’s a safe way to the ravine if we’re on the right path—]
Brendel suddenly sensed that it was about time to draw a new set of cards, and he hurriedly dismissed the Platinum Angel Card, in hopes of getting it again.
Firburh was not in urgent need to have the Platinum Angels for defense, since there was other better summons protecting the city, like Ciel and Medissa.
If the Holy Sword card’s maintenance was not paid when it was on the battlefield, the card would be unsummoned and returned to his Deck. The Magic Control Card had been used in battle and already returned to the deck a long time ago, but it would be good if he got the card again.
He waited for a few seconds, then frowned when he looked at his newly conjured cards.
He now had the Platinum Angel, Golden Battle Flag, and the Holy Sword cards in his hand.
[Damn it. I was hoping to get the Silver Colt too. That way I can ferry the others down in just a few rounds….. The Platinum Angel is able to fly, certainly, but does it has the stamina to carry even one of us down all the way?]
He currently had the Wind Spirit Spiders and Morpheus out, with the spiders ordered to reach him in the canyon a while ago.
The Fire Dijinn and Ropar were killed in battle and sent to the Graveyard quite a while ago, but he had plans to bring them back when he made a mock battle against Andesha in his mind.
“Andesha is down there,” Scarlett said all of a sudden.
The youth was momentarily lost in his thoughts as he subconsciously looked down behind him. That woman was indeed moving upwards on a path. She did not discover them as she did not bother to look up, but it was also true that there was a deep fog masking their presence.
[Shit…… how fast is she moving? She doesn’t even know this place well but she’s just a few minutes behind us. The difference in speed is staggering.]
Brendel quickly lowered his body and signaled to the others to do the same. They lowered themselves onto the ground as he whispered: “Regardless of whether there’s a path, we need to move now.”
“That woman……” Faena could not help but tremble as she recalled the earlier events. She balled her hands into fists tightly until her fingers were white.
“Let’s move off.” Brendel signaled to Morpheus to drag the trembling girl towards the path, while the others nodded.
But he did not expect Faena to lose her footing when Morpheus pulled her. She was too close to the edge.
“Watch out!” Brendel called out to her with a startled look.
Morpheus seemed surprised, letting go of the girl, but he quickly regained his composure and managed to grab her foot. Faena was suspended in mid-air with tears in her eyes threatening to spill out; the Vampire gripped her with considerable strength in case he failed to hold on to her again.
Still, Faena had enough common sense. She bit her lips and tried desperately not to make a sound. However, the mistake was done, and the disturbed pebbles caused by her clumsiness rolled across the cliff, making clattering noises.
They stiffened for just a moment.
Brendel glanced at where Andesha was.
The winds in the valley were powerful and noisy, and it seemed like Andesha did not notice the strange event.
“P-pull me back in……” Faena was terrified.
She was dangling from her foot over a steep cliff. Even a knight would not be able to save himself if he fell from that height, let alone the sheltered Faena. It would not be surprising if she started crying.
The youth looked at Veronica puzzledly.
She was famed for being rational and intelligent, so why would she bring out a useless girl like Faena out here? Anything that the latter did was a negative outcome.
The female commander sighed.
But it was not her fault. It was Elman who did it without her permission. When she finally came to know about this act, it was not as if she could order them to go back to the Kirrlutz Empire. They were the children of powerful and influential families, not her subordinates.
[…… No, it seems like the Kirrlutz’s internal affairs are quite the mess too.]
The youth noted her reaction and mused to himself. It was unlikely that she was the one who brought Faena and the other young nobles along with her.
Still, these nobles were not as bad as Aouine’s. He sighed when he recalled Graudin and his subordinates.
Morpheus brought her back up to the ledge when saw Brendel nodding to him.
Even though the latter wanted to leave Faena and Veronica behind, he was afraid that the latter would just pull out her sword and demand him to get them to safety, creating a lose-lose situation.
But before they could relax, Brendel spotted a glint with his eyes and his jaw dropped.
The short sword that Faena was carrying slid out of its sheath—
It dropped out from the sheath as though it was in slow motion. Everyone saw the blade strike against a protruding rock, creating a crystalline sound, before shooting upwards as though it was making the most pleasant jump, spinning round and descending comically again to make the next clang.
This scene repeated itself, and the series of metallic rings echoed throughout the valley.
The people on the ledge froze completely.
Andesha stopped moving.
Then that woman suddenly looked upwards as her purple eyebrows lifted up slightly. Even though the mist blocked her view to finding them immediately, she believed she had found where Brendel and the others were. Countless vines sprouted from her back and propelled her upwards, and she was like an inky-green dragon that ascended to the sky, surging to where the youth was.
It was obvious that the steep terrain was not a problem for her, and she moved across the cliffs as though it was flat ground.
The distance between them shortened rapidly.
“Run away!” Brendel was the first to react. If Andesha was unable to discern their location after that fiasco, then she would not have become one of the twelve Tree Shepherd leaders.
“Shut up, just stick to our plan and run to the south!” He cut off Veronica’s words: “…… Wait, help me take of Scarlett.”
The female Sword Saint frowned. She suddenly realized the youth intended to split off from them. Indeed, Brendel wanted to lure away Andesha if she were to catch up.
[Really, having this useless idiot girl Faena around me, is the same as tying a noose around my neck.]
The youth watched Veronica drag the unwilling Scarlett away. Morpheus had already gotten Faena up, flipped her around, and carried her off like a sack of potatoes. Faena was hurting and burning with shame from the rough treatment, but she knew that the trouble she had caused and did not make any complaints.
Brendel was the last to move off, ready to stay behind if it was necessary. He glanced back and saw that Andesha was moving up the cliffs like a spider, her vines flailing about at a tremendous speed.
The group of five people scampered across the treacherous path despite the risk of falling.
Andesha’s feat had a considerable risk as well since she was fighting against the violent winds, otherwise she would climb even faster.
[She’s definitely going to catch up. Summon the Holy Sword Card into play—]
Brendel started to prepare his cards for the upcoming battle.
The Wind Spirit Spiders were able to make use of the wind when they entered the canyon, reaching to where he was at an astonishing speed. Hundreds of Wind Spirit Spiders appeared out of nowhere and formed a wall in front of Andesha.
“You dare to block me!?”
Andesha roared when she saw the green wall in front of her. As a leader of the Tree Shepherds, she easily identified the creatures with her vast experience. Her mind worked quickly and attributed this feat to the youth; Faena, Scarlett, and Veronica did not seem capable of using summoning magic.
She waved her hand in annoyance, and countless vines shot out to pierce the Wind Spirit Spiders. It was obvious that she did not use her full strength and wanted to swat them away.
It was a mistake.
In the next second, the green wall glowed and their color was replaced by a golden hue. The light intensified and formed a brilliant sun.
And the sun spread out its rays.
Countless beams of lights fired out, piercing through the vines and striking Andesha’s body. The Tree Shepherd shrieked. Though the attacks hardly caused any damage due to her overwhelming magic power, she was greatly flustered at the sudden attack.
Brendel used all the Earth EP that he had, unleashing the Holy Sword’s magic without reservation. Wave after wave of laser beams fired at Andesha, angering her, but she was unable to move well because of the violent winds. The Wind Spirit Spiders had a great advantage as they moved around easily in the air and out of reach of her counterattacks.
When the beams of light finally stopped, she realized that Brendel and the others had distanced themselves again, causing her to roar out in anger.