TL: I’m starting to clear one of my old games, GTA V. Anyone wants to recommend fun mods for that game? The next 2 chapters should come in two hours or so.
I have received a ticket to a wine-tasting event, so I might have to postpone the regular chapter a bit later.
Chapter 184 – The Druids’ Choice (2)
“Grandmaster Tulman, if you ask me this question, could it be that you wish to help Aouine?” Brendel asked curiously.
The great scholar was placed in the top three of his profession in the game, and he probably had his own plan for this calamity.
“Your observation is astute, but you’re not answering my question,” Tulman said.
“I don’t know, but I can only try.” Brendel paused for a few seconds before shaking his head: “Are you suggesting something, Grandmaster Tulman?”
“Rather than place one’s hopes into an uncertain possibility, why not choose something that is more definite?” Tulman scrutinized Brendel as he spoke: “The Druids should abandon the Green Tower. Young man, we do not have the right to gamble with the lives of others. The chance that you will succeed is abysmal— If the tokens for this gamble are merely gold, I will bet on you, but you are gambling with lives instead.”
“Brother Brendel won’t do that!” Sifrid felt like she was about to faint with anger because of the old man.
“Hmph. Using crafty words to sway others, that’s your common method of choice, you mysterious bastards—” Faena who was standing next to Brendel scoffed.
The girl did not know that Tulman was someone who was on equal footing with William, otherwise she would not have dared to mock Tulman, even if Veronica was there to guard her.
She suddenly realized that she was standing on Brendel’s side, even though she wanted to stab him a dozen times. Still, she could not help but get upset when Tulman went against the youth. In the end, she muttered that she hated people who tried to corner others.
“Hoh~ I didn’t think you will speak up for me.” But Brendel seemed like he wanted to pick apart her words, even going as far as to speak in a tone of ridicule.
Faena was so furious that her neck flushed red, wanting to strangle him: “What manner of foolish prattle is this, I did not speak up for you!”
Brendel’s mocking laughter persisted for a while before he turned back to Tulman.
The great scholar’s words were not wrong, and perhaps it was even meant to happen in the game. The Druids were destined to fail to protect the Green Tower.
It was a common sight in the continent’s history, after all.
But he was not here to give up on Aouine or the Green Tower. Tulman thought that it was a simple Mana Wave and would soon be over. However, the term in the game was Waves of Calamity, proving that there would be more Calamities, and the kingdom’s southern region would be completely destroyed if the Druids failed here.
Perhaps one day the Blackthorn Council would eventually return to the Dark Forest and set up the Green Tower again, but Tulman’s stance to help Aouine here would instead be crippling the kingdom in the near future.
Brendel could not allow this outcome to happen.
“I have to use lives as my gambling tokens because the thing that I’m saving is lives, and I risk my own by entering the most dangerous place. It is a fair trade.”
“Your bravery is to be commended, but you cannot expect others to be as brave as you.”
Brendel raised his voice and right fist, eyes glaring at Tulman:
“If that is the case— I shall request for the treatment that a hero is entitled to receive!”
His voice echoed in the hall, reaching everyone’s ears despite the noise from the heavy rain and lightning.
The Druids who were swayed by Tulman’s words suddenly felt ashamed, and the Great Druid Elder nodded in acknowledgment.
Tulman was slightly taken aback, but he laughed and exchanged looks with William.
“Very well, young man, you have convinced me. I will give you a little more time. Now, my friends—” Tulman turned around and glanced at the Druids: “What about you? Our young hero has extended an invitation, and only the brave can join this game. Have you made your decision?”
His voice reverberated in the hall, and most of the Druids answered with their eyes.
Brendel’s unwavering eyes and his confidence had affected them. Even Faena looked at Brendel from the side with astonishment. The country bumpkin who did not seem to know the meaning of manners, looked like he was incredibly……
The Great Druid Elder patted Sifrid’s shoulders, and everyone made a path for her as she walked to the center of the Magic Formation. The Elder Druids around her started to chant and completed their spell. Light burst forth once again, even stronger than before—
Tulman spoke in his mind:
“Valhalla, it looks like you discovered something remarkable, old friend.”
“It wasn’t me who discovered it. I’m just someone who’s observing all these things as they happen,” William answered, communicating through telepathy.
“But it is true that the Green Tower will be saved if Valhalla’s fabled Fire Seed is kindled.”
“Yes, and Aouine would also gain another piece of land because of this,” William nodded, believing that Tulman was happy about this outcome.
“…… But why did you ask me to agree with his plan?”
“What? Did you not already agree to help him?” William was surprised at Tulman’s disapproval.
“No, I’m not fully convinced. You know very well that I hate uncertainties.”
“…… Or perhaps you have another reason to disagree. The Nine Phenix Kingdom has a saying, those who are talented and ambitious invite suffering to themselves.”
“Indeed. You already have a faint notion in your mind about how risky this plan is, so why did you tell me to agree to it?”
“Hmph, did you not hear the little girl’s words? She’s insinuating that the Silver Alliance is betraying the Order and influencing the Druids who have never broken their promise!”
Tulman smiled: “True, it’s also one of the reasons why I agreed to the youth’s plan. We are all standing in the same faction to maintain Order. The humans might have fallen, but the Silver Lineage must not follow in their footsteps. The intensity of this Mana Wave has made me feel very uneasy, and I’m starting to suspect the Black Prophecy has some truth to it.”
“The humans have fallen? I think not all of them are so.” William looked at Brendel and smiled: “But it is ridiculous to think that the Dragon of Darkness will revive. You and I know very well what existence the Dragon of Darkness is.”
Tulman shook his head but did not refute William. However, it was clear that he did not agree with William’s words.
A sudden explosion stopped their conversation. The Runestones in the Magic Formation had shattered, and the Druids were knocked back onto the ground. It was a common occurrence of a Magic Formation gone awry. If the Runestones were unable to endure the Mana Feedback, then the casters would receive the damage.
The candles in the hall were snuffed out, but before everyone recovered their senses, Andellu had already issued an order:
“Time is running out. Get up and reinforce our defense lines. We cannot allow the wolves that are capable of flight to breach them.”
The dizzy Druids who were affected by the explosion regained their focus, and they started to get up to join the others who were already competing to get to their posts. The chaos made the Great Druid Elder frown, but it was different from the Druids’ low morale caused by the despair that they felt.
In a heartbeat, everyone’s courage had been stoked, and they were thirsting for glory and honor.
The Great Druid Elder tapped the ground with his wooden staff and sighed. Tulman came before him and remarked:
“It is difficult to believe my eyes. Not only did the Druids put their trust in a human that came from the outside world, but they renewed their beliefs and vigor from him.”
“A heart that is full of resolve is something that’s transferable. When one sees the most determined person is still standing against impossible odds, then their hearts would become firm as well.”
“But it is a pity.”
The Great Druid Elder looked puzzledly at Tulman.
“Wisdom cannot be transferred. You could have requested me to send the little girl over to him. It would be easier for me to do so, rather than have your Druids perform a Magic spell that you’re not familiar with.”
Tulman spoke with a teasing tone as he glanced at the exhausted high-ranking Druids. It was clear that they had spent all their Mana, and regret immediately filled the Great Druid Elder’s face.
============ Brendel’s POV ===========
Brendel received Sifrid who popped out of thin air above the Magic Formation in his arms, and he let the girl who was looking at him full of admiration down gently.
“Ahh, I see, the Lady of the Forest?” Comprehension dawned on William’s face: “You intend to have the little girl open Valhalla’s gate?”
“So the legends are true. The Fire Seed in Valhalla is kept in the Lady of the Forest’s hands, and it will be awakened one day. It’s not strange for Tulman to suddenly talk about that prophecy when this particular one is going to become reality. But is she going to open the gate?”
Brendel rubbed his forehead. How would he know? The walkthrough mentioned that as long as Sifrid was brought along, the path to Valhalla would be open.
But the gate was still closed.
“I’m going to try a few things, it probably isn’t very hard,” he said.
The gamers succeeded after all.
“It seems like you don’t know how it works……” William raised an eyebrow: “I understand your plight, but I suggest for you to think quickly.”
The old wizard glanced at the valley once more. Mist was suddenly filling the valley: “That woman seemed like she has managed to escape from her troubles, and it seems like it’s going to be your turn very soon—”
Brendel’s expression paled a little, but he quickly replied: “I do remember that we had a promise, Grandmaster William.”
William smiled with a nod: “Yes, and that would not be all. I will give you another piece of information.”
“What do you mean?”
“Unfortunately, Andesha is not alone.”
“Not alone? What do you mean Someone else is here?” Brendel was holding on to Sifrid’s hand with a confused look.
(TL: Black Prophecy, as mentioned in Iamas vs Medissa way back: The Darkness will be born from no mortals, and the Glorious Races will expire amongst the flames. Brendel received the Blood of Gods and became an Acolyte, and one day he will kill everyone muahahaha.
No assurance of that previous sentence, ofc.)