TL: Because of my numbering mistake in chapter 181, it’s reflected yesterday in novelupdates and wasn’t corrected. Please click on Chapter 181’s link again to read it.
Chapter 182 – Waiting
“What is there to be curious?” Brendel said.
“Yes, strange, very strange. A noble who’s rumored to be from Aouine’s borders, but he easily recognizes me, identifies Hati readily, casts a Space Magic that borrows from Delasityle’s powers, carrying Bahamut’s Grasp and Halran Gaia…… You even have that girl’s sword, the Azure Sky—” The old wizard looked at Brendel with his dull-green colored eyes, his smile extending to them.
Brendel’s heart skipped a beat.
“Is it strange for a low-ranking noble to be capable of these feats? That’s nothing but prejudice.”
“But you have to admit that prejudice is a gained experience. Though, I must have crossed the line as it seems you wish to hold on to your secrets. If I apologize to you, surely you will not hold it against me, an old man, right?”
Brendel could not help but smile at his cheeky words. William’s friendly attitude was a breath of fresh air compared to the people from Kirrlutz, and in theory, he was actually much more qualified to look down on the lowborn because he was a leader of the Silver Bloodline.
If one were to compare the Galbu Wizards’ polite and humble attitudes to the people from Kirrlutz, the latter would definitely be treated as violent savages.
“Very well, my true interest here is this,” the old wizard looked at the imposing stone gate and shook his head, “the Lionheart’s place of rest isn’t behind this gate, everyone has guessed wrong.”
He glanced at Brendel, his eyes twinkling with curiosity: “But if my guess is right, you know what lies beyond this gate?”
Brendel turned his head sideways a little, looking at William from the corners of his eyes. He was certain that the old wizard did not come to this place just because the latter was curious. The youth even thought that it was possible that he was the reason that William came here.
Still, he played along with his act and asked a question:
“Grandmaster William, what is the basic principle behind Magic?”
This question was simple to the old wizard, and he answered immediately: “Magic is the exchange of Mana and rules of the Laws.”
“I’ve heard that the symbol of the Silver Alliance is a silver balancing scale, would you please tell me why?”
William’s eyes glinted as he laughed: “An equal exchange— Alright, what do you want, you rascal?”
“I need a helping hand.”
“I see, you want me to aid you against that woman?” The old wizard looked at the entrance of the valley: “It’s a little troublesome, but I can consider about it.”
Brendel nodded. It was not surprising for William to make a correct conclusion quickly. The latter not only had wisdom, but his experience alone would allow him to arrive at the truth of many things.
“This is truly a difficult transaction to accept, but I think I can see it as worthwhile. Now, can you tell me what is behind this gate?” The old wizard asked with a laugh.
“Valhalla,” Brendel answered.
William froze a little: “Do you refer to the Druids’ secret that is handed down to each generation by word of mouth; the ruins that they have been looking for throughout the years?”
Brendel was not worried about William getting involved in this matter. People viewed Valhalla as a place that housed a primeval Fire Seed. Possessing it would certainly allow one to become the lord of the land, but the Archmagi was already standing at the very top of authority amongst the wizards, and there was no meaning to possess Valhalla.
In addition, Galbu was an alliance formed with floating cities. There was no meaning or need to own a land on the ground. If anything, the Archmagi should be on the youth’s side to help kindle the Fire Seed, since he was one of the allies of Order.
“There are tales of the Goddess Marsha leaving behind a Fire Seed in the south of Aouine, but to think that it’s in Valhalla, and right behind this gate!” William exclaimed: “But while it’s all very surprising, this secret is highly guarded by the Druids, and even I had no clue at all as to what is really behind this place— So how do you know this secret?”
Brendel merely smiled back without saying anything.
“Ahh, another secret? How very vexing.” The Archmagi sighed in exaggeration to Brendel’s nod.
============= Druids’ POV =============
The ordinary citizens were mostly gathered in the Green Tower’s town hall, with a few people trickling in every now and then from the various districts. Adults hugged the children and loved ones comforted each other in the air that was filled with uneasiness and tension.
A few high-level Druids conjured up thorny brambles that sealed off most of the paths from various city areas leading to the town hall. However, if the town hall was lost, then the only place left to defend was the Blackthorn Council’s area.
The growling wolves were slowly moving up the Green Tower, and a fight was taking place in the markets. The Centaurs and Tree Elves had lost this area a while ago, but they regrouped and successfully took it back.
Both armies fought in this area that was made up of vines and immense tree trunks, having a battle which lasted for nearly ten hours—
But it was clear that they would be pushed back eventually. The wolves seemed like they were endless.
The Druids were waiting desperately within the Blackthorn Council’s hall. Lightning was striking almost every second, and it felt as though that it was not rain that poured but lightning. Flashes of light came from every direction, illuminating the Druids’ faces through the rain.
The hourglass placed in the center of the Blackthorn’s hall was flipped one more time. Perhaps it was the last time that it would be flipped. Each turn was merely four hours, but the Druids felt that it was the longest period of time in their lives. They were still waiting for their final chance to defeat the wolves, but it seemed like it was going to be a road of destruction that they were going to take instead.
This fact was clear to everyone.
The Druids had been debating non-stop, but once the young Druid who was in charge of flipping the hourglass performed his job, everyone suddenly ceased talking and a bizarre silence filled the hall.
“In a few more hours, the Fire Seed within the Green Tower will be extinguished. That young human still hasn’t contacted us.”
One of the elder Druids finally broke the silence.
“Perhaps he is dead.”
“I doubt it, I recognize Quinn’s Fire Seed, and it is still shining.”
Everyone’s eyes looked into the darkness. A lone pillar of green light was piercing through the clouds.
“But it hasn’t moved for a very long time. Perhaps they encountered some kind of trouble. Judging by the distance of that place, even if we give them another four hours, they would still be unable to reach the Loop of Trade Winds’s heart in time.”
This remark brought back another bout of debate. The uneasy feeling that they had was brought out into the open. Even the Great Druid Elder frowned.
“No, it’s more than likely that young human is still alive and about to reach his destination.” A loud voice pierced through the dissent.
The Druids looked at the hall’s entrance in surprise. A large figure appeared in the rain and walked into the hall. He removed his hood and revealed a bear-like face.
It was Andellu who had went out into the Loop of Trade Winds.
“Andellu, you’re safe!” Someone yelled in shock and delight: “We thought you had returned to the forest’s embrace.”
“I was near a narrow entrance in the mountains when the Calamity of Wolves happened. I sensed there was something wrong and sent out my raven to scout the area, and I managed to escape by moving deeper into the Dark Forest, avoiding the wolves successfully.”
“I’m glad to see you’re safe,” the Great Druid Elder nodded and said: “but it must have been incredibly risky to come back to us when we’re surrounded by the wolves. Surely, there must be something more you wish to report?”
Andellu’s appearance suddenly instilled confidence into everyone. There was a great amount of tension in the air, but the Druids hoped that he brought back even more good news. To their delight, he nodded:
“There’s no need for me to speak about the monsters that are approaching the Green Tower. But I believe you would be interested in the fact that I met Quinn.”
“You met that young human?” One of the Druids asked in astonishment, and many echoed his reaction.
“No, I met Quinn. Unfortunately, I did not meet that young lord.”
“What’s going on? Isn’t Quinn supposed to be escorting him?” Someone immediately asked before Andellu was done speaking.
“They encountered trouble along the way, and that young lord went to the Loop of Trade Winds by himself.”
“Alone?” The wrinkles on the Great Druid Elder were never more prominent. “Do you know if he managed to reach the Loop of Trade Winds?”
“No. I can’t. I came back only to inform you of what I have learned. But I have more to tell you. I spotted wolves that were capable of flight.”
“Wolves capable of flight……” The Great Druid Elder had to lean onto his stuff for support.
“We should get ready and alert the Tree Elves. If these wolves approach from the air, then the people in the town hall will be in danger!” A young Druid reacted promptly and yelled, but there were not many who answered his call.
While some were stunned by the news, many more were considering the idea of retreat. Was there any meaning to resist till the bitter end? Would it not be better for the young Druids with the potential to turn into ravens and escape from the Green Tower?
Escape would be possible because the flying wolves still had not gathered in large numbers. The more Druids that set out now, the bigger the number of survivors.
“I have to ask, is everyone still able to make time for a guest?” A voice called out from outside the hall.
Everyone was taken aback. Why would there be a guest at this time?
“If you’re a guest, then please enter.” The Great Druid Elder answered calmly, his voice cutting through the noisy rain.
The rain was parted in a sphere as a figure appeared before the Druids.
His hand held a silver staff with six Runestones floating around it in a loop, and he had a faint smile on his face.
The scholar stood there with a relaxed posture, as though the Calamity of Wolves did not exist, and some of the Druids felt that the old man before them did not seem to fit in with this world.