TL: 4 more chapters to go. Also, music is from a Korean drama called Signal. (links to the cd)
Chapter 78 – King of the Underground (29)
“I had thought all the Wind Empress’s knights slumbered into their final rest, but to think that you have become Heroic Spirits,” Brendel said after a moment, “……. can you tell me what a Guardian Spirit is?”
Heroic Spirits did not come from unfulfilled wishes or through sheer willpower.
It was through a complicated process held in sacred places, and an example was the Crimson Palace that was currently controlled by the Cathedral of Flames. The building was housing the Heroic Spirits from the War of the Saints and they nurtured the people who were anointed to become the Sacred Knights of Flames.
For a ring to be able to summon and link to the Wind Empress’s knights, it could only be said that the Ring of the Wind Empress was equivalent to a Divine Artifact.
“Guardian Spirits are actually Heroic Spirits carrying the name of the Wind Empress. Our Empress had twenty-four rings made and we sealed our souls into the rings. The other knights and I entered a contract with Mother Marsha to allow our souls to stay here in this world and nurture the next generation of heroes; youths who have potential like yourself. During our era, powerful souls were exceedingly important, because these souls became the best army to stop the Dragon of Darkness—”
“An army comprised of Heroic Spirits?”
“Yes. Be it the Wind Empress or the King of Fire, their abilities to create a Heroic Spirit came from the knowledge of the Dragons. The sages in our era also gained knowledge from the Dragons. It was a truly desperate war. You would understand how brutal it was if you were born in that era.”
Thoughts of the Silver Elves surfaced in Brendel’s mind. They were Heroic Spirits who willingly stayed behind to fight against the Darkness, along with Mother Marsha’s blessings.
[But there really isn’t a mention of the Guardian Spirits or other Heroic Spirits from other races in the game. It’s unlikely that only the Elves and Humans have Heroic Spirits. What about the other races?]
“What happened to the other Heroic Spirits from other races after the war is over? Did the contract with Mother Marsha somehow end after the various races established their kingdoms?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t know what their fates were.”
Brendel expected an answer like this. Orthlyss was killed in battle before the war ended, and it was a normal thing that she did not know what happened to them.
“Now that the war has ended, do you….. regret being sealed in this ring for all eternity?”
Orthlyss looked at him for a long time before giving out a sigh.
“There was no choice.” Each word was stated softly and slowly.
There was another long pause.
“If no one were willing to make sacrifices, then the Dragon of Darkness could never be defeated. And for the generations ahead of us, if there ever comes a time where evil surfaces, when will the flames of wars be extinguished if heroes are not made? We chose to seal ourselves so that civilization can continue.”
He listened to all her words attentively in silence. The ancestors of the past were truly sages compared to the nobles in this era. Yet the wisdom and sacrifices offered by them to offer peace led to a moral decay after the various races lived in comfort.
“Ser Orthlyss,” Brendel’s tone was much more respectful than before as he changed to a new topic, “is it possible for me to retain some of the skills like before?”
“…… I don’t understand how you were capable of using the swordsmanships as though you’ve been training for years.” She shook her head as she watched Brendel clear his throat. “It’s the first time I’ve seen this. Do you mean to say that you have forgotten how to use them when I separated from you?”
“In any case, it was a temporary solution to merge my body with you. I can, however, teach you the swordsmanships like I’m supposed to. Reaching for the moon in a single day is supposed to be impossible, boy.”
Brendel stole a glimpse at Kodan.
[A Guardian Spirit’s task is to cultivate a person’s talent as much as possible. A talented person with the aid of the strongest knights in the War of the Holy Saints as a teacher. Certainly, their growth would be incredible. Kodan’s certainly outstanding as a Gold-ranked Swordsman, but considering that my grandfather displayed enough skill to threaten me even at my best, it’s clear who is better—]
Brendel suddenly narrowed his eyes, and the Elven woman immediately did the same, even raising her head upwards as if to look down on him.
“The ring holds a limited amount of power. While it can be recharged over time, it’s not possible for me to appear and save you all the time. Like I said, merging with you is a temporary thing. I know that I’m a noble being, but I don’t have the power you’re craving for, boy.”
“Oh.” Brendel’s ears actually turned red. He was thinking that an incredibly high-level NPC was going to escort him while he went after the various quests in his plans.
“Do not forget this. The Guardian Spirits are only meant to pass down their knowledge. Four rings were circulated to the humans, and the reason why your grandfather had one of them is because the Elves owe your lineage a favor.”
“My lineage? What is the favor?”
But Orthlyss did not reply.
[Is there a familiarity bar somewhere like how it is in the game? Maybe if I raise my familiarity with her I can squeeze an answer out?]
There was a considerable amount of freedom in the game where players could coax an answer out from the AI, but for certain legendary NPCs, there were conditions and they had to be familiar enough with the players.
Brendel toyed around with the idea before he pondered on the things that his grandfather hid from his family. He caught Kodan and Medissa waiting patiently at one side in the corner of his eyes, and realized he was still in the dueling ring.
The green words were still flashing in his eyes. It was probably because of this system that somehow blocked the announcer from starting the next match.
[There are far too many things to think about. The sudden appearance of Earth’s languages; how this system works to interfere with the Laws of this world and vice versa. But I’m going to be utterly shocked if I ever get an answer from this place. The first thing I should do right now is to get the core reward, and release S—]
Someone from one of the cages called out to him just as he started to walk over to the Dwarven sword.