TL: I’ll also check the past chapters for grammar mistakes too in the next few days. Next chapter in a day or so.
Chapter 60 – King of the underground (11)
“My lord?” Scarlett whispered to Brendel while she looked a little distrustfully at Kodan.
“Just wait for a little while,” Brendel said.
He was certain that the door was not there previously, and it was likely that it had to something to do with the monsters.
“There are words on the door!” Kodan suddenly raised his voice.
The rest of them went closer to take a look at it and saw unknown letters carved into the heavy steel gate. Brendel studied the angular letters for a moment before he spoke:
“These are Dwarven words.”
“Dwarven words?” Kodan turned back and looked at Brendel with a frown: “But why would it appear here? Mountain Dwarves live in Trentheim, but they don’t live in caverns or mines.”
“Are there no Grey Dwarves or Iron Dwarves here?” Medissa asked.
The Grey Dwarves branched out from the Mountain Dwarves, while the Iron Dwarves branched out from the Rune Dwarves, and both variants lived underground.
But Brendel shook his head. Their language was derived from the Dark Elves, and the words were completely different. The letters on the door were far older, and from a certain point of view, could be viewed as the true heritage of the dwarves.
“If they are not the right Dwarves, which Dwarven branch carved these words onto the gate?” Medissa asked.
Brendel thought of three possibilities, as it was likely that the gate was related to the Silver Lineage.
[Fire Dwarves, Tempest Dwarves, and the Rune Dwarves. These three Dwarven races were present during that era. Fire Dwarves are out of the question because they live in a place that is strong in the Fire Element. It’s one of the last two—]
Before he could finish his thoughts, Scarlett struck the gate with her spear. There was a light ringing that came as the response, but when she took a closer look, the gate that was as smooth as a mirror did not even have a scratch on it. Its hardness was beyond imagination.
“My lord, do you know what is written on the door?” She asked with a frown.
“I don’t know.” Brendel shook his head.
“Kid, didn’t you say that the words are Dwarven?” Kodan asked somewhat exasperatedly, “Why are you telling us you don’t know?”
“I only know what the words look like.” Brendel rolled his eyes.
The system in the game automatically translated the languages, but it was not functioning in this world. He could only stare helplessly at the words. He walked over to the gate and inspected it by prodding and touching with his fingers.
“But I suspect that it’s a type of Barrier.” He continued.
“A barrier? A magic or illusion spell?” Kodan raised one of his eyebrows: “Are there other people besides you?”
“No, this isn’t a magic spell. The spells of magicians utilize the Laws of this world that are created by a higher power. But these barriers could be considered as Laws themselves—”
Kodan did not understand what Brendel was talking about, but Medissa’s eyes widened.
“A Legacy left behind from the ancient eras? My lord, you mean to say that there’s a Sanctuary behind this door?”
“Not a Sanctuary, but a smaller version— A Haven,” Brendel said. The entrance to a Sanctuary was not as small the one in front of them. Just like when he had entered the ‘Homeland of the Fairies’, where two gigantic statues stood at the entrance—
It would make sense if a Haven was created underground to store the Heritage from the Silver Lineage.
He closed his eyes and placed his hand back on the cold door, and recalled the first time he entered a Sanctuary. Hundreds to thousands of years worth of history were probably behind this door.
“Medissa, do you know where the Sanctuary to the Silver Elves is?”
The young Elven Princess blinked a few times before she shook her head: “I don’t know. I have never been to our sacred lands. When the War of the Holy Saints started, the Silver Elves had already left the Sanctuary for more than ten generations. The legends back then stated that we can no longer find our way back—”
“I don’t think that’s correct. The Silver Elves have most likely returned to your Sanctuary. Do you have a name for the place?”
“It was coined as the Holy Silver Valley.”
Brendel nodded, but Scarlett was a little confused.
“My lord, I don’t think it’s the right time to discuss this right now. Should we not find ways to open the door?”
“I’m opening it right now.”
“A Barrier that could be seen as the Laws of this world; it’s a symbolic door that represents the entrance of a place. The meaning of ‘entrance’ is to enter the place. If your wish is to go to the other side of the tunnel, then you will never open this door.”
“Enter? What place are we entering?”
“You will know in a moment.”
Brendel’s eyes were still closed, but his thoughts about the past had changed into one word, ‘Enter’. Suddenly darkness engulfed everyone, but before they could raise their panicked voices, the light returned once again—
Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it was brighter than before.
It was as if they had returned to the surface, where the sunlight reached everywhere. Their eyes narrowed in slight pain from the surroundings as they were used to the darkness just moments ago.
Scarlett and the worker hid their eyes away, but the others forcefully opened their eyes to look at the surroundings and immediately shouted in surprise.
Sudden roaring cheers emerged around them like tidal waves pouring into their ears. They were gradually able to get used to the blinding lights and yells, finally seeing clearly what the surroundings were like.
They had been in a dark tunnel blocked by a steel gate just moments ago, but now they were in an empty field lit by countless fire braziers.
But after a few moments, they realized it was not an empty field but a huge coliseum. They were standing in the middle of the field, while the audience on the seatings were cheering constantly.
There were no empty seats, and for some reason, multiple sources of bright light came from the stands and prevented the audience’s faces from being visible.
[The audience is made with an illusionary spell….. This place is a semi-physical dimension hidden in the gaps of space in the real world, but it’s not as complicated as the Homeland of the Fairies which also affects time. Still, the noise and light are really annoying. Just who exactly is that bastard who purposely designed it in such bad taste?]
Brendel rubbed his forehead.
“My lord, what exactly is this place?” Scarlett’s voice was trembling slightly, but she was calm enough to ask a question, unlike the worker who fell backward in terror.
Medissa and Kodan were silent, but they were on their guard as their hands were ready on their weapons.
“The Coliseum of Destiny,” Brendel said.
“Coliseum of Destiny? What is that?” Kodan asked.
“See that sword?” Brendel raised his hand and pointed at a certain location.
Everyone else followed his finger. There was a sword embedded in a boulder located near them. The black heavy-looking longsword reflected a dull gleam, and its design was quite unique. The length of the weapon was a longsword, but the width was as wide as a palm, looking like a combination of a greatsword and a longsword.
“What is that sword?” Kodan’s eyebrows jolted a little. As a grandmaster swordsman, he was able to see that it was an excellent weapon.
“I recognize it,” Medissa said in awe, “the Sword of Earth, Halran Gaia, This is the Legacy item of the Rune Dwarves.”
“Indeed, this is the sword, Halran Gaia. Legend states that it’s connected to the ground, and when it’s used it is able to cause the ground to shake and even make avalanches happen. A Fantasy-ranked sword.” Brendel said.
[Another name that the gamers called it was the Earthquake Sword. Each time the weapon is swung, it allows the user to cast an Earthquake spell……]
The spell was an AOE attack that could be cast in a frontal direction, and almost had the same area of his White Raven Sword Arte. Even though it needed Mana, the efficiency in conversion was definitely worth it.
It was truly a divine weapon for a profession like Magic Swordsman. Even Brendel’s fingers were itching when he saw the sword.
[There’s even the additional trait of ‘Guidance’. Since the name has an ‘Earth’ in it, it could ‘guide’ that particular element….. I see, so the Rock Panthers we saw came from this sword.]
“Halran Gaia…… That Halran Gaia that was used by that Giant, Migael?”
“Yes. The most doted son of the Earth Mother, and known as the Crownless king of the Earth. The sword is his symbol to rule the lands.” Brendel recited the legend he knew of, and his heart fluttered a little.
He drew in a deep breath and looked at everyone with grave eyes before he continued:
“Everyone who comes here has the chance to challenge the series of tests to obtain that sword. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a price. If you fail in the challenge, you will become a rock statue and never leave. This is where the name ‘Coliseum of Destiny’ comes in. You either win in glory, or lose in death.”
Brendel was feeling a slight headache. The Coliseum of Destiny was posted in the forums sometime after the discovered quest in the Silver Mines and was rated to be one of the harder Legacy Quests. Right when he was still agonizing over the quest, Kodan suddenly asked:
“How difficult is the challenge?” Even though the grandmaster swordsman did not understand what the place was, he considered himself to be skilled and a Gold-ranker like himself would not act like the worker who was still shocked into silence.
“It’s nearly impossible,” Medissa said, “this place is created in between fantasy and reality with the Laws of this world. There is no limit to the difficulty.”
Scarlett’s expression changed upon hearing that.
“What about those who can’t duel? Do we have to?” She asked.
Medissa shook her head: “There’s no way to avoid this. Everyone has to duel in this place at least once before they gain the permission to leave.”
“Everyone?” Kodan keenly caught on to the keyword.
“Yes. Everyone has to fight their own battles. The only exception is that if you’re an Iron-ranked fighter and below, and you can fight in twos.”
Scarlett’s face paled upon hearing that answer: “What…… if the person…… fails?”
She had no strength right now, and passing the challenge was almost impossible for her.
“You will be temporarily imprisoned. Once the Barrier disappears, you will become a statue permanently,” Brendel interrupted, “however, if someone is willing to challenge the test again and succeed, they would have the chance to save their comrade. There’s no need to worry, Scarlett.”
“My lord……” Scarlett naturally understood what Brendel was saying, and she looked at him with complicated eyes.