Valhalla Saga - Volume 31 - Chapter 3
Episode 31/Chapter 3: Idun's legion (3)
A battle that took place in the air was different to one which occurred in the ground.
Compared to the ground which acted as a solid barrier, the concept of 'height' was reintroduced in the air.
It was possible to move more three-dimensionally so there was obviously a difference depending on the placement of one's forces and mobility.
The monsters didn't utilize this beside Tae Ho's group to block them directly, but they instead flew both below and above them. It was just like making a big wall.
The warriors of Valhalla clashed against the monsters. The giants kept pouring out attacks towards them, and the sound of thunder approached from behind.
Tae Ho looked at the scene before them on top of the eagle of light. Half of the monsters clashed against the warriors of Valhalla, and the other half continued to maintain the wall.
It was a temporary wall. Compared to the troop in the ground, the troops in the sky had to move endlessly.
The wall attacked Tae Ho's group. They covered them from above and below like a hand holding a fist.
Merlin gritted his teeth and increased his speed even more. Bracky and Tae Ho released lightning at the same time and opened up a path.
The monsters hit by the lightning fell down, but it was also different compared to the ground. The monsters that were outside of the range of the lightning started to charge towards the eagle of light. If one stayed still, they would get suppressed in the air.
The eagle fluttered its wings. Bracky fired lightning once more and Tae Ho gathered his strength. Merlin made the eagle fly higher.
This time, Tae Ho released lightning from Caladbolg. A big hole was created among the monsters charging from above and the eagle entered that gap. It fluttered its wings strongly and passed the monsters.
But it lasted only a moment. As soon as they left the chokehold of monsters, something else charged towards them.
Bracky yelled. They were the giants that were flanking them. The giants closed the distance once again and poured down arrows and magical attacks. It didn't matter if the monsters died or not, it would be enough if they caught Tae Ho's group.
The eagle staggered. The attacks that contained an overwhelming strength behind them were threatening even if they didn't hit directly. The flight of the eagle became more risky.
Ragnar's voice was heard from far away.
The warriors of Valhalla were crashing down on the monsters and advancing. The warriors riding on hawks formed the formation's insides, and the ones outside were the warriors of steel.
The Steel Warriors, that had steel wings in their backs, didn't hesitate for even an instant. They pierced through the monsters and grew closer to Tae Ho's group. Immediately after, they became shields that stopped attacks from reaching them.
A spear thrown by a giant pierced the body of a Steel Warrior. No, the Steel Warrior threw its body towards the spear that would have hit the eagle otherwise.
It was the same for the rain of lightning, flames, and light. The warriors gathered at one side to form a shield and then protected Tae Ho's group.
’’Go! Go! Go!’’
The Steel Warriors yelled. They didn't disperse the shield wall even as they were being destroyed by the attacks. It was a sacrifice to save Tae Ho's group.
'Why?! Why do they have to go to such lengths?!'
Tae Ho couldn't ask. He gritted his teeth and looked ahead. He could see Ragnar and the warriors of Valhalla using their sagas to fight against the monsters.
The monsters screamed and fell down, but some warriors of Valhalla also died in that confrontation. The soul of the warriors that lost their bodies turned to become a blue light and went to Valhalla.
The Steel Warriors yelled once again. They stayed behind the group. They then gathered once again to take the form of an arrow and then charged towards the giants.
The giants destroyed those Steel Warriors. They swung their huge, blunt weapons to rend the armor and cut off the wings with strong magic.
The Steel Warriors also didn't stay still. They attacked the monsters carrying the giants and brought them down. They slashed their chests and tore off their necks with their swords and axes.
Ragnar yelled. He reached the front of Tae Ho's group and then pointed to the direction from where the warriors of Valhalla had came with his viking sword, Ulfberht.
The objective of this battle was to rescue Tae Ho's group. The scale became bigger than expected, but Ragnar didn't miss the main point.
'It's just like Ragnar said! If we reach the objective, the warriors of Valhalla will also retreat!'
Cuchulainn spoke suddenly. Tae Ho turned to look at the Steel Warriors but then gritted his teeth and looked at the front. The eagle passed the warriors of Valhalla and went towards the rear.
’’Warrior Tae Ho! Wait for a moment!’’
When he raised his head to see who had called him, he saw some Valkyries and Steel Warriors. The Valkyries were flying even though they hadn't taken the shape of swans as if they had used a special magic.
As Tae Ho made the eagle stop, the Valkyries approached them alongside the Steel Warriors. There was a familiar steel structure being carried in the backs of the three-meter tall Steel Warriors.
It was none other than the Black Flash.
’’Get on. We will evacuate you first.’’
It was a blunt way of speaking as if they wouldn't allow any objections. Tae Ho first placed Siri and Ingrid in the Black Flash. As there were only two Black Flashes, he put the smaller people in a single structure and the remaining three people each rode on one.
'Listen well. You don't have the strength to fight right now. You will be of help the faster you get out of the battlefield.'
Cuchulainn sensed Tae Ho's rejection towards escaping before speaking bluntly. Bracky and Tae Ho had spent all their stamina and concentration, and they'd barely managed to recover while releasing some lightning towards the monsters. They couldn't fight any more than this.
Right then, a deafening clap of thunder was heard from behind. Thor had returned.
But he wasn't the only one that reached the battlefield. Tae Ho could see the red words that were like blood through 'Eyes of the Dragon'. They were certainly the underlings of the frost giant leader, King Harmarti.
The giants and the monsters kept coming, but reinforcements from Valhalla were also approaching.
’’For Asgard and the Nine Realms.’’
A Valkyrie laid down Tae Ho and spoke proudly. She closed the lid even before he could answer and then recited a chant to fire the Black Flashes.
The Black Flashes flew in the air at an astonishing speed. Tae Ho looked at the existences flying above him through the spear that was hanging on the front. There was a really clear green word shining from among the warriors of Valhalla.
[God of Hunting]
Thor wasn't alone. Ullr had also participated in this battle.
Ullr pulled on the string of the bow loaded with multiple arrows of light and Tae Ho couldn't see more than that. The speed of the Black Flashes became faster.
The sound of thunder became more distant, and the yells of the warriors and screams of the monsters also dimmed.
Tae Ho closed his eyes and breathed some air. As soon as he released 'Eyes of the Dragon', great exhaustion came at once.
They traveled for a long while.
The Black Flashes that were flying in the sky began to descend to the ground. It wasn't towards one of the bases in the front lines of Asgard.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
A rough and harsh landing occurred. Tae Ho landed first and then closed his eyes tightly once and opened the lid. As he did so, he saw people running towards them, and surprisingly enough, one of them was someone they all knew.
It was Valkyrie Hildegarde of Freya's legion. She helped Tae Ho get down from the Black Flash and then placed her lips on Tae Ho's forehead.
’’May Freya's blessing accompany you.’’
It wasn't a simple blessing. Tae Ho received the blessing without resisting as if it was a habit and then closed his eyes unconsciously. It was a strong sleeping magic.
Hildegarde's voice passed by his ear with a low tone.
And Tae Ho fell in a deep slumber like that.
Time flew by.
Tae Ho opened his eyes slowly and then closed them again. He couldn't form thoughts about anything. When he woke up from a sleep after not dreaming of anything, this always happened.
Tae Ho closed his eyes for a moment and didn't think of anything. It seemed like he was trying to sleep again, but he couldn't do so;rather, his senses that were asleep started to awaken one by one.
Sound, taste, smell.
Tae Ho opened his eyes slowly. His back hurt. It was a common symptom one faced after having slept for a long time.
Everything that touched his skin felt nice and soft. It seemed like they were sheets and blankets of good quality.
Tae Ho closed his eyes again. He let out a long sigh and then rose up.
’’So, you woke up.’’
A voice was heard next to him. Tae Ho opened his eyes in a still confused state and then looked around. He saw a familiar face which completely alerted him.
He raised his voice unconsciously. Ragnar placed a chair next to the bed and then frowned before continuing.
’’I'm merely exhausted. You don't have to worry.’’
Just like he had said, he didn't seem that worse for wear, but Tae Ho could feel his exhaustion from his posture and heavy voice.
Tae Ho was still thankful that Ragnar was safe. He sat a bit properly and then asked Ragnar about the obvious.
’’How did the battle go?’’
’’We fought hard and then retreated. That happened three days ago.’’
Tae Ho put on an absent-minded expression at Ragnar's words, but it only lasted a moment. The exhaustion from that day was really severe. It wouldn't be weird to have heard that he had been sleeping for three days.
’’I saw Ullr-nim.’’
Tae Ho spoke. That scene was really clear, perhaps because he'd seen him just before he'd fallen asleep.
’’Right. It was quite a big battle. It was one of the biggest battles of all which have occured in dozens of years.’’
Basically, the number of forces the giants dispatched had numbered in the tens of thousands. Most of them were monsters, but still, it had reached that number. In addition, all the monsters that were dispatched in this battle were flying-type monsters. The meaning of that could only be significant.
’’The rest of the members are safe. They woke up earlier than you.’’
Ragnar smirked as he spoke. It was a joke to brighten up the mood, but Tae Ho let out a sigh of relief and then his face revealed sadness.
Ragnar knew why Tae Ho looked as he did. He knew too well what Tae Ho had seen before he'd departed from the battlefield.
’’Don't blame yourself. They died in a meaningful battle.’’
The Steel Warriors had thrown their lives away to protect them.
It wasn't only one or two. The number Tae Ho had seen had numbered in the hundreds.
How many of them could have made it back safely? Just how many had lost their lives?
The reason they went to the battlefield was to save Tae Ho. It was really fortunate, but he couldn't help but feel a bit guilty.
Just why did they go to such lengths? Why did Asgard sacrifice hundreds of Steel Warriors just to rescue Tae Ho?
Ragnar lit up a pipe cigarette and elaborated.
’’We rescued two warriors that had high possibilities of becoming superior-ranked warriors and a warrior that had already reached the level of a superior rank and one who'd certainly become a top-ranked warrior at that. With this alone, you can say that it's enough.’’
Not all the warriors that entered Valhalla could become superior-ranked warriors. Only a very small minority achieved such a level.
There was nothing to say about top-ranked warriors.
If they could sacrifice hundreds of inferior-ranked warriors to obtain a top-ranked warrior, Valhalla would make the same choice every time.
Ragnar looked at Tae Ho's eyes for a moment. He exhaled the smoke from the cigarette and continued.
’’The Steel Warriors can't use sagas.’’
It was short, but his words Tae Ho couldn't refute.
The root of the warriors of Valhalla were their sagas. It wasn't excessive to say that the strength of a warrior that couldn't use their saga was halved- no, perhaps even a mere third of their prowess remained.
But the Steel Warriors couldn't use their sagas.
Naturally, the warriors of Valhalla had more worth than the Steel Warriors did for Valhalla.
The reason Ragnar retired instead of dying while fighting was to preserve his saga. Valhalla preferred Ragnar who could manifest his saga, albeit sloppily, over a Steel Warrior in his place.
’’There should be many things you are curious about, but let's leave those for another time. Before that, I have things I need to know.’’
Ragnar changed the subject forcefully. He placed down the pipe cigarette and then got closer to Tae Ho and inquired bluntly.
’’How did you win?’’
The Giant of Earth, Balgad, was one of the Five Fingers of the Magician King, Utgard Loki.
He was a strong opponent who only the most experienced among the superior-ranked warriors could face.
Even though Tae Ho had Bracky, Siri, and Ingrid by his side, it was still impossible. It was impossible for the current Tae Ho to have defeated Balgad.
But Tae Ho had won. The one that had lost his life wasn't Tae Ho but the Giant of Earth.
Tae Ho let out a long sigh at Ragnar's question and then leaned his body on the wall. He grabbed Unnir from the things that were on the table next to the bed.
’’I got some help.’’
Tae Ho started to take out the weapons from Unnir one by one and explained.
The moment he thought that it was over, the knights of Camelot had appeared to save him. The great knights of Camelot.
’’Indeed, the knights of Camelot....’’
When Ragnar finished listening to Tae Ho's explanation, he turned to look at the weapons of the knights with mixed emotions.
It was because he knew about the knights, and he'd even fought with some of them during the Great War.
Even after Erin was destroyed and Camelot had disappeared, their wills had remained.
That truth heated up Ragnar.
’’It should be quite uncomfortable to carry all of those.’’
Ragnar spoke like a joke once again. It was to lighten up the heavy atmosphere, but after he said those words he realized that it would indeed become a problem.
Tae Ho already had a silly number of weapons. But it wasn't only one, but eleven weapons which had been added, so it would obviously become uncomfortable even if he had Unnir.
Tae Ho nodded.
He was planning on giving the magical bow of Tristan to Siri, but he would be using the remaining ones for himself.
’’That's why I don't think I should be saving it anymore.’’
Tae Ho concentrated instead of answering anymore. He had used the empty slot for a saga he had saved until now.
The saga that was thought of quite a long time ago but wasn't actually made.
'Until now, Unnir had been enough.'
There was no way to waste it on a saga.
But the situation had changed. Because of that, Tae Ho manifested the saga he had saved until now without regrets.
[Saga: His Pocket is Connected to a Treasure Vault]
A window made of light appeared in front of Tae Ho. It was the common inventory window you could see in games and, obviously enough, in the Dark Age.
Tae Ho placed the weapons he took out from Unnir in the inventory.
Ragnar looked ridiculous while he gaped at the weapons disappearing in the air and then feigned a laugh.
’’That's not a saga. That's a cheat!’’
Ragnar spoke incredulously, and Tae Ho nodded.
<Episode 31 - Idun's legion (3) >End