Important: Recently I have been feeling seriously unwell. If I suddenly disappear without updating on any news, I’m probably in a hospital. Also, I translated the remaining 5 chapters for this month because I was too sick to draw. After I checked the grammar, I’ll be posting the remaining chapters today. Check back in 45 minutes for the next chapter.
I haven’t been feeling too well these past few weeks, and a few days ago at my worst, I feel so fatigued that I had to sleep more than 12 hours. My stomach feels like it’s churning all the time and I feel nauseous for like a few hours before it subsides (I’m male, so no preggers joke plz). I feel dizzy the days after that along with that nauseous feeling, enough to affect me quite a lot, so I’ll be going to a doctor on Monday. I’ll give it 2 days with diet change, less coffee, more vegetables and fruits.
Could be a virus or something, or maybe I ate something seriously toxic. If I somehow stop updating/responding all of a sudden, shit has happened.
I guess I’m most concerned with my patreon users…… I don’t want to raise death flags or something, but shit, I think I need to set up a rule where if I don’t respond for 1 whole month, things have gone out of control. You guys need to message support and get them to turn off my page. I’ll have a new post there later.
I’m actually behind my schedule, because I’m still not done with my drawings and some of the basic stuff like updating glossary and others. At the very least, I’ll be finishing one portrait drawing and the above. The environment piece probably comes later during August if I cannot finish it.
Also, because I couldn’t draw the past few days, I actually translated the remaining 5 chapters for this month. I’ll see you on August 1 for the next update.
Chapter 3 – Letter
The doors to the room were suddenly pushed opened with force.
[Who the hell—]
Brendel was slightly angered by the people who barged in without seeking permission. When he turned around, he found three faces staring back at him.
The person with had unique features. His skin was dark and his angular face was chiseled like a rock. His deep sunken eye sockets with long ashen-white eyebrows which followed the bone structure. His grey hair was braided and tied behind his head and long enough to reach his bear-skin overcoat.
“Please stop, you can’t go in right now—” The mercenary who had tried to stop them from going in was pushed back by one of the strange men. When he finally realized that it was meaningless to stop them because he was already in the room, he turned around and looked at Brendel with an apologetic expression, “My lord, I couldn’t stop—”
Brendel waved his hand once, indicating that it was fine. He then looked at the strangely dressed men again, and immediately recognized them as Druids. They were mostly a unique force that held an agreement with Goddess Nia, staying within forests corrupted by Mana to observe and track the animals during the Month of Goetia.
[Hmm? Isn’t this Andellu, one of the Elder druids of the Waning Groves? The two young followers behind…… Nope, no idea. Some branches of Druids are even nice enough to become cordial with the natives and warn them when the monsters were invading during the ‘Waves of Calamity’. But the Waning Groves won’t do something like that. So why would they bother to find me?]
He suddenly spotted Sifrid behind them, just as the mercenary retreated out of the room and closed the door. Silence filled the room momentarily before it was broken by Amandina who made sure the mercenary was out of earshot.
“How dare you barge into this room without permission!” Amandina stood up in anger. She was completely dwarfed by the three gigantic intruders, but she was not in the least bit intimidated.
Andellu’s observed the room with a pair of hawk-like eyes. The room had not received the chance to be redecorated as the battle had just ended in the morning. It still retained the slightly dark red fancy furnishings that Graudin was fond of. However, the thick carpet emitted some form of foul, piercing odor that he was able to detect and caused him to frown.
Brendel scratched his brow in response to Amandina’s outburst and also waved his hand to calm her down.
[Well, these fellows consort with wild beasts day and night. I’m not surprised they ignore customs.]
Sifrid peeked out from one of the druid’s back and smiled shyly at him, and he felt his mood lift up slightly. Her green hair was almost like a waterfall that seemed to burst with life.
“Well then, would you introduce yourselves?” He said with a pleasant voice.
“I am Andellu. The two behind me are Reid and Raim.” The Elder Druid spoke with a stiff accent, and pointed at the younger men behind him respectively as he called out their names.
“This is Amandina and Falaern. So, would you explain yourselves?”
“Lord Viscount, we’re here to bring Sifrid away.”
“What exactly do you mean?” Brendel was not surprised as he suspected they did not aid the Lycanthropes out of kindness, but because of the mysterious little girl. When he cast his gaze at Sifrid, she avoided his eyes and nodded slightly. Brendel’s eyes returned to the Druids. “I’m sure you wouldn’t bother getting my permission to take her away. What exactly are you here for?”
“Lord Viscount,” Reid suddenly cut into the conversation, “we had already sought permission from her father and the Viridien’s Village Elder, but Lady Sifrid insisted on getting yours to let her leave.”
“Is that so?” Brendel pointed his question to Sifrid.
“It’s true, brother Brendel.” Sifrid replied softly, but there was something in her voice that said there was more to it.
“What exactly do you want from me?” He frowned and decided to get right to the point.
“Lady Sifrid has requested us to enter an alliance with you, Lord Viscount.” Andellu’s eyes were just as sharp as when he stared at Brendel. He appeared as if he was studying an oddity of the rotting nobility within Aouine. “That’s because you seemed to be caught up in some form of trouble after rescuing her. We have thought about it and we agreed to do so if you—”
“Hold on,” Brendel’s eyes narrowed and stopped him from continuing. “I have no interest to engage in trafficking people. You lot better start from the beginning and explain everything.”
The room fell into silence, and Amandina and Falaern looked at Brendel in surprise. The three druids looked at each other before Andellu spoke again:
“Very well, Lord Viscount. This has to start from the reason why we left the forest. There has been a prophecy in our forest—”
Brendel raised his eyebrow slightly, but he did not interrupt and listened patiently.
“In the prophecy, it was said that a female baby had succeeded Goddess Nia’s will and would be born in this land…… And we believe Sifrid to be the chosen one.”
“Prophecy,” Brendel repeated that word.
The Gods turned themselves into Laws, but they continued to impact the world. When a God’s Will interfered with mortals, they would send a revelation down and be called as prophecy.
[The Druids won’t lie if they bring up Goddess Nia. This is surprising. If Sifrid came up in their prophecy, that means she’s a Chosen. Considering that idiot Graudin’s actions to want her in front of my face— No, that’s not it. It’s the Madara’s undead who wants Sifrid. Iamas wasn’t trying to stop Graudin from negotiating with me; he was trying to hide the information about Sifrid’s identity! That would mean the undead has received their own prophecy, and it explains the relationship between the Randner family and Madara much better. It’s not as simple as making use of each other. And yet…… to have both Druids and Madara to have their own prophecies, this isn’t something as simple as inheriting Goddess Nia’s will.]
“The Dragon of Darkness.” He whispered to himself. The divine being that blessed the undead could only be the Dragon of Darkness, and Goddess Nia opposed them. His expression turned serious as he felt the situation had turned into something complicated. He asked the Druids: “How certain are you that Sifrid’s the one mentioned in the prophecy?”
“My lord, we have the means to ascertain it,” Raim said.
Andellu nodded as well and immediately lowered himself to Sifrid’s height and said: “Lady Sifrid, would you please turn around?”
The Druid was almost like a clumsy bear bending at the waist, appearing to be nearly comical, but Sifrid nodded obediently and turned. Her hand pulled back her lush green hair and allowed Brendel to see something like a tattoo on her pale neck.
A leaf-like tattoo the size of a thumb with threads sprouting from the center.
“Nia’s Holy Sigil!” He shouted in a low voice. “The Lady of the Forest!”
Reid nodded to Sifrid, and she lowered her hair back and turned around with a blushing face. Andellu’s expression turned solemn and looked at Brendel cautiously: “Lord Viscount, you know of Nia’s symbol?”
“…… I need to correct something. I am not Viscount Gaston, that identity is used to deceive Graudin. My name is Brendel, and I’m a Highland Knight. I believe you have met Ciel, my wizard squire.” Brendel paused for a moment, “And from him, I learned quite some things about this land, including the legend about The Lady of the Forest……”
Brendel finished spouting his usual lies with truth intermixed into it. The three druids did not object to his words and even appeared to come to a certain realization. It was a great excuse for him since it was well known for wizards to be learned, but their expressions changed completely when they heard his next line.
“The Lady of the Forest is the key to Valhalla—” He said.
“Did you say Valhalla?” Andellu took a step forward, and his hands nearly grabbed Brendel’s collar, before he suddenly felt an oppressing feeling from the latter. His instinct told him that this normal looking man was a Gold-ranked warrior. “Ser Brendel, did you say Valhalla has something to do with the Lady of the Forest? The Kingdom of Fantasy that only belongs in the legends?”
“You don’t know that?” Brendel was at a loss for words.
[The Lady of the Forest is someone chosen by the Goddess Nia and the only person who inherits Valhalla’s lineage. The legend itself is closely linked to the Waning Grove, how could they not know of it?]
“Valhalla truly exists, and in fact, it has always existed within this forest. I am quite puzzled as to why you have no idea that legend existed there when you have been living in it for so long.” Brendel rubbed his forehead with one finger while he observed Andellu.
The Druids faced each other and began discussing in whispers for a short while before it ended.
“Valhalla has always been a legend in this area, and it’s rumored that the Sealed Kingdom is one of Mother Marsha’s given land in the earliest days. But there’s no one who’s capable of verifying such a story, as it existed before the records of history. Rumor has it that Valhalla has a unique ‘Fire Seed’, and if it’s lit up the entire Dark Forest will become a land governed by Laws.” Andellu said and swallowed once, “If that happens, the Waning Grove and other branches of the Druids can finally finish their task to guard this land and fulfill our promise to Goddess Nia.”
“Then isn’t it clear? That’s the meaning of your prophecy.” Brendel said.