TL: I spilled coffee on my wireless keyboard while editing this chapter. It ended up typing gibberish and I opened it in an attempt to save the damn thing. I then proceeded to wipe coffee stains for the next hour which fortunately worked. Also spilled coffee on my mouse mat, floor and pants. Fantastic SMH.
Anyways, I TLed the drafts up to chapter 181, so I should have a regular schedule, kind of needed to TL ahead to ensure there’s nothing wrong, sorry about the delay on chapter 179.
Next Chapter will be on October 13.
Chapter 179 – Dream
When Brendel took out the gemstone, a ray of grey light shot out from it and pierced through the mist, pointing towards a certain direction.
“What are you holding on to?” Faena asked.
“Why do I need to answer your question? Surely someone from the Empire would not care for what a citizen from Aouine has to say.” Brendel raised the gemstone higher, making himself a lighthouse.
“You—” She gnashed her teeth.
But Brendel ignored her and started walking, dragging the irate girl along with him. Both of them became silent, unwilling to speak to each other.
The light from the gemstone was a form of Mana Resonance, and it focused on something within the valley. The two of them continued to walk in the fog for quite some time, following the direction of the light as black rocks peeked in and out. A strong air current was flowing past their legs like a river’s water which slowed their progress.
The boring landscape made the weary duo sleepy as they continued walking, but it did not take long for the gemstone in Brendel’s hands to flash a few times before it dimmed. The youth suddenly became alert and focused his attention on his surroundings that seemed to be oddly bright. He pondered a few seconds, before taking out Veronica’s sword and dropped its sheath onto the ground.
“What is it?” Faena did not understand what Brendel was doing.
“We’ve reached our destination,” He said, pulling Faena to a large boulder and indicated for her to be quiet.
Even though it was his plan to get the fake Lernaia Hydra to fight Andesha, he did not want to be caught by the monster because Faena made a fool out of herself.
He narrowed his eyes and tried to see past the fog. There was a bottomless quarry ahead of them, and when he looked into it, he suddenly held his breath—
[What the f…..]
There was an incredible beast lying in the quarry. The strange shapes that he first saw were actually a pair of white shining ears, leading down to a silver mane that glowed in the darkness. There was no fog around that beast, as though it was somehow pushed away by an invisible barrier.
When the youth took a few more seconds to look at it, he realized that it was a wolf that was just as big as the fake Lernaia Hydra. Its elegant snout was placed on top of its paws, with its body nestled up comfortably in a curvy mass. It gave off an aura that exuded magnificence, appearing more splendid than the most glorious mountains.
[A silver scar across its face and eye—]
Brendel swallowed as he looked at the mighty sleeping beast, even forgetting to breathe. Faena eventually discovered what was causing the youth’s shock. She nearly cried out, but her hands already covered her lips to prevent any sound from leaking out.
“What is this monster?” Faena whispered in disbelief.
Brendel took a deep breath and declared with shining eyes:
“The Twelve Demonic Moon’s son, the Warg that is known as Hati!”
“What!” Faena cried out through her covered lips.
The Warg Hati was also known as the source of the Calamity of Wolves. As the Kirrlutz Empire’s northern borders were frequently harassed by the Winter Wolves, Faena knew about the lore quite well.
Hati was depicted as a half-god in various legends and stories, but no one believed that it really existed.
“H-h-how is this possible, y-you are mistaken, r-right?” Faena stuttered in terror.
“The colossal wolf with a body filled with snow-white fur, and the unmistakable injury left behind on its right eye during the fight with the Winter Warg—”
Brendel suddenly stopped himself.
[This could be a trick from the Demonic Nightmare Fog. If it managed to turn itself into the fake Ancestral Hydra, why not the fake King of Wolves, Hati?]
He suddenly felt Faena poking his waist. He turned around and saw her looking up in the air,
“B-Brendel……” She could only utter his name as though she had her tongue tied up.
The youth was on his guard when he saw her appearance. He looked up and also changed his expression just like she did.
The fog was changing its shape repeatedly, forming into various Ancestral Beasts, but it ultimately turned into a shape they were familiar with—
The Lernaia Hydra was before them once again.
Fifteen pairs of eyes suddenly opened up at the same time, revealing nothing but evil killing intent. Brendel and Faena’s hearts turned cold, and they felt as though they had been pierced by fifteen sharp swords and were nailed to the ground—
[…… It’s the opposite. This Hati here is the real thing. Indeed, it’s the true source of the Calamity of Wolves, and it is currently dreaming of creating chaos in the real world. The identity of the Demonic Nightmare Fog is actually a dream of Hati that affects reality, and it’s strong enough to beat up everyone.]
“H-h-has…… it seen us?” Faena muttered.
Brendel shoved his hand to her lips:
“Are you stupid? It would have just attacked us long ago if it saw us. Stop talking unnecessarily, you’re going to attract its attention.”
The youth stared at the fifteen dragon heads once again.
[It’s the gemstone. The Demonic Nightmare Fog appeared because the gemstone was taken out and too close to it. But what does this gemstone have anything to do with Hati?]
He moved further into the boulder’s cover and pulled Faena in as well. The latter squatted down and placed her hands on the sides of her torn up dress.
“Did you plan on luring that woman here from the start?” She thought for a while and asked.
Brendel looked at her in surprise.
“Wow, I didn’t know you had a brain—”
“What do you mean by that!” She glared at him and said through gritted teeth with a raised voice.
“Silence!” Brendel stared back and said with a huff.
Faena’s body jolted, and she remembered to lower her volume: “Did you know that this thing would be here? Does it have anything to do with the gemstone that you have?”
“Gee, your guess is right, how about making more guesses to my other plans?”
“Tsk, any idiot would be able to see through it, do you really think you’re so smart!?”
Brendel’s ire was drawn and he felt blood rushing to his face, and he immediately countered back with an insult: “Is that so? You’re an idiot who managed to see through my plans, well done.”
Faena’s eyebrows were knitted together and she was about to explode, but she saw the youth had his finger on his lips, and it caused her to deflate like a balloon.
“….. This obnoxious country bumpkin from Aouine.” She muttered.
Brendel did not have the mood to continue arguing with her. He looked at his surroundings and discovered a spot that was better than where they were at. The fake Lernaia Hydra would find it difficult to spot them if they were there instead. He gestured to Faena and brought her over carefully after walking for a few minutes, using the many boulders in the area as cover.
It was a gap within the cliffs, which allowed them to see the entire valley easily, as well as the quarry below them. It was a good place to avoid the Lernaia Hydra’s eyes and also allowed them to observe Andesha’s movements if she came.
Brendel estimated that she would take ten more minutes to catch up to them.
As expected, the figure of Mistress of Withering Decay appeared in the fog within that time frame.
[It is quite the feat, to be able to pursue us so quickly.]
Brendel thought they had only left their scent behind.
Interestingly, Andesha took a sheltered path that blocked her view if she were to look up, and thus she did not notice the Lernaia Hydra’s existence. It was the same for the creature, which also did not notice her.
This was not what Brendel wanted. There was a strong killing intent in the air that would invite Andesha’s cautiousness if she were to move any closer, and he needed to ensure his plan’s success to get them to fight each other.
He took a deep breath, ready to act—
“Hey, country bumpkin, are you sure this plan is going to mmmf—” Faena could see Andesha’s figure, and she asked after gulping once.
Brendel grabbed the girl’s cheeks using one hand and squeezed them with great spite. His courage and determination were suddenly deflated because of this stupid woman.
But he was out of time. He acted immediately and took out the gemstone. The Lernaia Hydra suddenly stopped moving, before fifteen heads turned and stared at the spot where the two youths were hiding at.
[Here it comes!]
Brendel’s heart raced as he lifted up the gemstone, and the figure of the Lernaia Hydra immediately moved towards the gap.
“F-Fhat arr yew dewing!” Faena could not help but speak in alarm, her hands flailing about.
Brendel did not answer her.
A dragon head was moving quickly to where they were, and he forcibly pulled Faena out of the hole. Four additional dragon heads suddenly parted the mist and appeared before them, and he hurled Faena like a javelin upon seeing that sight.
Fangs snapped at the screaming girl flying in the air, but they missed and Faena tumbled onto the ground roughly, rolling a few times. She had curled herself into a ball and hugged her head. The youth then activated his Charge ability and rushed next to her, scooping her up into his arms and he ran across the valley with a dazzling speed.
Even though the deep valley was considerably large, the size of the Lernaia Hydra was far too big for it to use all its heads at the same time. Fifteen heads moved to attack Brendel, but they knocked into each other and slowed down their progress.
The youth ran and made use of the many boulders and gaps within the cliffs, making it impossible for the Lernaia Hydra to get them.
He quickly ran into Andesha. She was holding on to the sheath of Veronica’s sword which he had left behind as a bait; the sheath’s materials were special and she took time to study it.
When the leader of the Tree Shepherds saw Brendel carrying Faena in his arms and appearing before her, she could not help but feel surprised. Her reactions were quick as she immediately spoke aloud with ridicule:
“Delivering yourselves to me, are we?”
“Surely you know that I’m not holding onto the Lionheart—” Brendel stopped running, and he laughed with sarcasm while he shook his head.
Andesha scoffed: “The Acolyte of the Dark God is more important than a mere sword.”
“Oh, then how important is this thing compared to me?”
Andesha was confused by Brendel’s words and actions; the youth tossed a gemstone over to her. She nearly smacked it away instinctively, but she managed to identify at the last moment and her expression changed.
“A Sealed Fragment?”
Andesha immediately caught the gemstone with a conjured vine whip and studied it.