Leguna still felt a little worried after leaving the meeting. While the empire did make some preparations, he didn't think that was nearly enough. Based on the reports of the informants he already lost contact with, this disaster was something that all life on the continent had to fight back against. Yet, Larwin was planning to resist them only with the power of Hocke. Would it really be fine?
Leguna also remembered the warning Eiron gave him. The elder seemed to have predicted some kind of huge disaster, and now, it seemed to be the corpse wave. His worry only intensified at the thought of that, but no matter how worried he felt, he wasn't the one who made the policies, not to mention, he had other things he had to deal with.
"Let's go," Annelotte said to him.
"Okay." The two of them had made plans to visit Myr.
They gathered quite a lot of information in the past month and got some understanding of what happened back then. There was, however, a large hole in the records at a certain time, and that seemed to concern the reason Eiron chose to continue existing as an extraneous lifeform.
There weren't many who knew about that secret, and ever since Marolyt and Kevin went missing, only Myr knew about it. So, the two of them decided to visit him and ask what in the world happened back then. Leguna had a feeling that it probably had lots to do with the corpse wave right now.
He didn't reveal the matter during the meeting as his instincts told him it was best to keep the matter in wraps.
Myr didn't seem surprised at their visit. He had even instructed his apprentice to prepare enough snacks and drinks for the three of them. However, there was a look of gloom on his face. It seemed that the secret was a painful memory for him.
"So, you two are here. Sit." He forced a smile at Annelotte.
The two of them took a seat. Annelotte shot him a look to get him to talk.
Doesn't this old guy like you better? He'll be more willing to answer your questions… he thought. "Grandmaster, we are here to--"
"You're going to ask about the founding war more than twenty years back, right?"
After a moment of silent pondering, Myr asked, "Why didn't you choose to ignore it?"
"Because this seems to have something to do with the fate of the whole continent. My informants mentioned that the corpses would occasionally say a name: Nidhogg."
Myr's wrinkles creased even deeper, but he steeled his mind to reveal the truth. "Alright. I will answer your questions. Tell me what you know about this first."
"Nidhogg was your teacher. Back then, he was the one that discovered the potential you had in magic and patiently taught you, guiding you from an apprentice magus to a grandmaster in the field."
"That's right. My teacher, Nidhogg… He was an unparalleled supergenius in the academy back the. When he was ten, he awakened the gifts of the wind and fire aspects. After he joined the academy, he awakened his third water-aspect gift."
"I didn't think someone that lucky would actually exist." Leguna sighed. He had heard Marolyt mention this person long ago, but back then, the old man wasn't willing to say much. So, he wasn't that shocked when Myr brought him up. Back then, Nidhogg was a shining sun of the new generation. If he still lived, even Annelotte would pale to him in comparison.
"Lucky?" Myr didn't deny it and merely beckoned for Leguna to continue.
"Nidhogg had a girl he loved deeply. She was a student of the magic academy as well. Her name was Anna, and she was a gifted of the light aspect."
Seeing that Myr didn't make a sound, he continued. "But during one experiment, she lost her life. Nidhogg, a high-order magus back then, turned the academy upside down in his rage and killed many Stokian high-order magi. The founding emperor of Hocke, then known as Duke Mellin, used the chaos in the millennium capital to declare the independence of Hocke. My first question is: what was the experiment about?"
Myr gave the two youths before him a complicated look. "Back then, Stok wanted to strip Anna's gift away as she was far too meek, so the gifts manifested rather plainly in her. Jilroan wasn't too happy about it, so he had the academy research many years to come up with a surgery that could transfer gifts to another person. They had wanted to take Anna's gift away and give it to another amazing student, Alfreid."
I knew it! Leguna had long had a hunch that Alfreid was involved in the experiment, and now he got the truth from Myr.
"Well, you know how it ends too. There was an accident during the surgery and Anna lost her life. Alfreid, the genius inferior only to Nidhogg, also lost his abilities to use spells and became a normal person."
"After that, Nidhogg joined Hocke's side and contributed a lot to the empire's founding. He also broke through to the myth realm throughout the war," Leguna continued, "And here's my next question. Nidhogg is someone who contributed to Hocke greatly. However, why are there no records about him? Why did the empire wipe out all traces of this person? Why did he disappear all of a sudden after the war ended?"
"He didn't disappear. He died--" Myr sighed. "--I killed him."
"What?!" The two almost stood up in shock. Myr had killed his own teacher?! How could that be possible? The reason aside, Myr was far from Nidhogg's match.
Myr pondered for a moment before he said in a pained voice, "Nidhogg caused too much slaughter and suffering during the founding war and losing the love of his life made him gradually get drunk on power."
"What did he do?" Annelotte asked.
"He… tried to implant the gifts of others on himself… Just like what Stok did to Anna."
The two of them were completely flabbergasted.
"The only reason Hocke was able to obtain independence was thanks to Nidhogg and Marolyt. The myth and the saint had turned the tables of the war more than once. During that war, I, Kevin, Marolyt and Nidhogg became good friends. While Nidhogg was rather young, he was the most powerful among us.
"However, the founding war had forever changed his young mind. He became rather contemptuous towards others, however, we didn't really stop him. Even deities don't have the right to stop a mortal from seeking vengeance, after all--" Myr sipped some tea. "--We thought the flames of rage in him would subside after the war, but we were wrong."
According to his intel, Leguna said, "He gradually disappeared from the public eye after the founding war. Was that when he began looking into how to take the gifts of others?"
"That's right. He kept himself secluded and the rest of us were busy with other matters. It was only two years later that the emperor told us he discovered Nidhogg was experimenting with taking gifts. Naturally, I, Marolyt and Kevin didn't believe it. Anna died from the exact same thing, after all, so why would he ever do something like that?
"But when we rushed to the cave where he secluded himself, we had no choice but to believe the emperor's words--" He closed his eyes in recollection. "--Within Nidhogg's formation were six different aspect gifts. Apart from his own wind, fire and water aspect essences, we also saw the essences of earth, light and shadow."Previous Chapter Next Chapter