Book 2, Chapter 106

Waiting

Faelor had endured invasions from many foreign planes, but peace would eventually be restored every time. The two recent invasions weren’t significant when compared to the threats of the past, only a small ripple in the long river of history. The only thing that mattered was that the plane would survive. As for the future, nobody would be able to tell.

However, a primary plane like Norland was never peaceful. The night view of Faust was as beautiful as ever, but Gaton’s mood was nowhere close. Accompanied by two rune knights, he haughtily made his way to the Church of the Eternal Dragon. There he met with high priestess Ferlyn in a private room.

In the face of a bubbling volcano like Gaton, Ferlyn appeared resigned, “I truly am sorry, Lord Gaton, but I cannot contact Flowsand at this moment either. Although I’m unwilling to admit this, I have to say their party was likely lost in the streams of time. If luck is on their side, they might have appeared on an unknown plane.”

She didn’t say what would happen if it wasn’t, but that was clear even without her speaking.

Gaton fixed his gaze on Ferlyn, his eyes blazing with fury as he spoke slowly, “We presented the Eternal Dragon with such a rare and precious offering, but in return we are lost in time?”

Ferlyn sighed and replied, “The Eternal Dragon was quite satisfied with the offering, bestowing generous blessings on the Archerons in response. However, mere mortals cannot comprehend a god’s will. The endless planes are filled with mystery, the things we know and see are merely a drop in the ocean. Anything can happen when one is travelling through spacetime; you should know how common getting lost is.”

“But the offerings were different!” Gaton replied coldly.

“I’ll admit that, but Richard has also received a lot of blessings. The will of the Dragon himself descended upon this plane during the ceremony. Nothing we already know applies, and anything is possible now. The best idea is to wait patiently,” Ferlyn said gently.

Gaton fell silent. He knew what Ferlyn said was right. During a regular ceremony, the Eternal Dragon only sent down a trace of his divine power to the church, and it would handle the sacrifice and blessings by itself. With the dragon descending itself, any previous rules didn’t matter anymore.

Gaton suddenly raised his head and looked at Ferlyn, uttering each and every word slowly, “This matter, did it occur entirely by chance or did someone interfere?”

Ferlyn thought for a moment before she answered, “I can’t tell.”

“Can’t tell…” Gaton smiled grimly, “Alright, I understand.”

He suddenly stood up, walking towards the door. He only turned his head back once he was about to leave, “I’m very grateful!”

Ferlyn smiled, “Waiting is often a wise choice.”

Gaton grinned in reply, “But the Archerons are always quick-tempered!”

From the beginning, they hadn’t talked further about the fates of Richard and Flowsand. They had both avoided the topic, and it was intentional.

……

Atop the famed Snow Cliff at the east of Klandor, a young lady with her hair combed into many braids was sitting atop a large rock as she watched the sun set.

The side of the Snow Cliff facing the sea was a straight, precipitous drop that was over a thousand metres tall. True to its name, the the precipice was made of rocks that were white as snow, while at the top was a meadow that was green as jade and smooth as velvet. It appeared extremely beautiful from the distance, a generous miracle nature had bestowed on all living things. It was one of Klandor’s most famous sights, and a sacred place for the barbarian tribe.

According to tradition, every young warrior in the tribe was elected by the shrine to undergo trials once they gained enough strength. They would be tested to see whether they were qualified to inherit the sacred totems, and Snow Cliff was one of the trial venues. The young warriors who wished to prove their courage had to leap into the sea, and climb back up to the top once more. If they completed this process, they would be acknowledged as a successor of the sacred totems. Every warrior who even had the chance to participate at this trial would consider it the greatest glory of their lives.

Yet, the trial was extremely dangerous. The impact of a fall into the sea from so high would leave even the sturdy barbarians extremely frail, and the waters below had reefs everywhere. Those undergoing the trial had to pick the point where they dropped carefully from the hundred kilometre length of the cliff.

Once they fell, most didn’t have the ability to climb back up anymore. However, these fearless warriors would not give up. They did their utmost to climb back up, using every bit of their strength before they fell back down once more. Before they fell these warriors would nail the ivory they wore onto the cliff as a testament to their courage. The higher a warrior climbed, the more valued he was by the tribe. In turn, this also meant he had a higher chance of inheriting the sacred totems.

As for the few who had successfully climbed back up to the top of the cliff, they had eventually becoming outstanding characters whose names resounded throughout history.

The young lady quietly gazed into the distance. It seemed like her beauty blended into the scenery in front of her, the lines of pale totems on her cheeks adding a unique grace to her beauty.

The sun had just fallen below the horizon. Once the golden radiance banished completely, the only separation between the sky and the sea was a reddish afterglow that was both light and dark. They gradually joined into one, becoming a vast expanse of blackness.

The grassland on Snow Cliff gradually turned dull as the sky darkened. The wind grew stronger and colder, and an old man with a walking stick appeared at the end of the meadow. His movements seemed sluggish and weak, but he crossed numerous kilometres in the blink of an eye to appear behind the young lady.

“The elder is very worried about your situation, Your Highness.” The old man was Urazadzu, great shaman of the tribe. And of course, the young lady sat by the sea was Mountainsea. Despite having left Norland for a few years, the only change to her seemed that she was a little taller.

“How does he know about my situation? It’s not like he can talk to the Beast God,” Mountainsea replied lightly.

Urazadzu coughed heavily a few times, “... I can.”

“Such a trivial matter, do you really need to talk to the Beast God?” the young lady asked.

The shaman threw a knowing look towards Mountainsea and shook his head, “Clearly, this is not a trivial matter.”

The young lady let out a sigh and replied, “Maybe. But he’s just an outsider who smells good.”

Urazadzu smiled, “He also doesn’t want money, and taps you on the head.” 

A smile crept onto the young lady’s face as she remarked, “Yeah! Sometimes I wonder if I should just forget the promise, and snatch him like Mama did with father. I don’t see any chance of him beating me anyway.”

“Elder Greyhawk has been working hard all these years, practising his martial skills. Do you know why?”

Mountainsea shook her head, her little braids flying all over as she did, “Even if Mama slept everyday without doing anything, he still won’t be able to beat her. He could train for 30 more years, and it still wouldn’t change.”

Urazadzu laughed hoarsely before continuing, “I believe the wise Greyhawk is aware of that, your Highness. Even with no hope at all, he still trains hard without slacking off.”

Mountainsea was sent deep into thought.

“Norland’s men are all very prideful. Although we feel like their pride is absolutely unreasonable, it can become a formidable force that propels them. They’re all very persistent. Even in the most desperate straits without any hope, they will never slack off. Only people like that can create miracles.” 

“You mean Richard is someone like that too?”

“I’m sure you know what he is like better than I do,” Urazadzu replied, “However, you just can’t contact him now, am I right?”

Mountainsea nodded and extended her right hand, shaking it slightly. A string of ivory just like the one she gave Richard was wrapped around her wrist as well. As she shook her hand, the ivory pieces rattled against each other, making a crashing sound.

“Listen to this, the ivory tells me that he is still alive. I don’t know where he is now, but he’s definitely not on this plane. If he went to participate in a planar battle, then I should be able to know which plane he is on. Yet, I do not know. This means that he is lost.”

“It may be dangerous to be lost in time, but not all hope is lost. As long as he is alive, he can create miracles anytime. Do you hope for him to be a weakling who needs your help and support all the time, or to become a fighter who performs miracles with a wave of his hand, just like the most outstanding warrior of our tribe?” the shaman asked.

The young lady thought for a moment, “Alright, I understand. I’ll give him five more years. If he dies, I’ll find Umur, Jagger, or any other fellow to hand down the sacred bloodline before heading off to avenge him. Even if he’s still alive, I’ll hand down the bloodline once five years are up.” 

The shaman sighed, not saying anything.

Mountainsea stood up, “I’m a little bored, and want some exercise. Wait for me, I’ll be quick!”

The young lady then looked up to the sky as she let out a long, thunderous howl that reverberated into the distance. The long grass of the meadow collapsed and lay flat, rippling out layer by layer as the ground shook. Even as the howl still echoed, she had already leapt up and spread her arms open as she threw herself into the deep ocean!

A few minutes later, a drenched Mountainsea climbed up the side of the cliff. She shook her head hard, causing a lot of water to spray out of her hair. She then turned to Urazadzu, “Let’s go, we’ll return to the shrine!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA