Chapter 401 - Volume 3
Chapter 180 – Through the valley
While Andesha was distracted with the gemstone, there was a sudden roar that shook the valley. The fog parted and a huge dragon head with open jaws rushed towards her.
“A dragon!?” The Mistress of Wither Decay jumped in fright, but she immediately chanted loudly: “Northern Wind, I command you to conjure a bitter winter!”
She flung out her palm; a blizzard formed on top of her head and blew out a wild storm of frost and hail. Shards of ice were fired like projectiles, striking the surroundings in front of her. The strong wind tossed her hair about and made it dance, but she did not move at all.
It was as though she was a queen who controlled the weather. Snow covered the half the valley in the blink of an eye, turning the ground into a carpet of hard ice. The Lernaia Hydra’s dragon head was forced back as the sharp ice fragments pierced through its body, riddling it with holes.
Andesha felt there was something wrong with the strength of the ‘Dragon’. She pointed at the head with her thumb, chanting:
“Time flows; nature withers. Your scales shall fall from off your body, your muscles will slack and rot, your blood turns dry, your bones be brittle, today is the day when your end is nigh!”
The Lernaia Hydra’s head bellowed. Its white scales turned yellow and fell out, while its muscles and blood were turned into liquid, and rained all over the area before turning back into mist.
In just a few seconds, the gigantic head disappeared.
But before Andesha had the chance to relax, the air was agitated. Mist gathered and the dragon head appeared once more.
Andesha’s brows formed a knot between her eyes.
Brendel had used this opportunity to slip past them while she was facing off the Demonic Nightmare Fog, but he was still struck once by a stray shard of ice on the shoulder, causing him to lose sensation of his entire arm.
Even though the Andesha’s magic did not affect him much with just a thin layer of ice spreading across the injury, it was the physical damage that caused him to grit his teeth.
He ran over a hundred meters before he spotted a crevice in the cliffs and went into it, gasping a little when he stopped. It was as though a knife had been stabbed into his shoulder. His blood seemed like it was being pumped hard to fix the wound, causing him to feel a scorching heat as it fought against the freezing magic.
Faena asked with a little concern in her voice when she saw Brendel’s twisted expression.
“Hey, country bumpkin?”
“What?” Brendel snarled at her.
“You—” Faena wanted to ask if she could do anything to help, but Brendel’s attitude made her angry. She scoffed and her tone was hard: “Nothing at all.”
Still, she asked again in a whisper: “Hey, country bumpkin?”
“What is wrong with your eyes? Lady, do you think I’m free to talk to you?” Brendel snapped at her.
“Huh? Who’s the obnoxious one? You mean calling me names is your way of apologizing?”
Faena eyebrows disappeared into her hair: “I’m not apologizing, why would you think I’m doing that, how is it possible that I will apologize to a country bumpkin!”
“Then why the hell do you keep talking to me?”
Faena’s face turned red. She wanted to say ‘Let me walk on my own since you are injured’, but her words changed to something else:
“When do you intend to put me down—”
Her angry voice became softer and softer with each word.
Brendel suddenly realized he was still carrying her in his arms. But he could hardly be blamed; the youth thought he was carrying baggage all the time and simply forgot.
If it were some other hot girl, he might have entertained some delusions about her, but Faena actually managed to send his affection score below negative points.
[Arrogant, condescending, wicked, and clumsy.]
He could not help but send a meaningful glare at the girl before letting her down.
Andesha and the Lernaia Hydra’s fight intensified. The fifteen dragon heads were repeatedly destroyed and regrown without being able to fight back, and its body was eventually forced back.
[Madness. Even though I knew this woman was strong, I didn’t think she would be this powerful. This fake Hydra is a beast that could take on Amman, Mephisto, and Veronica all at the same time, and yet Andesha is capable of making it do nothing but defend itself. Still…..]
The youth was on the verge of giggling.
The Lernaia Hydra could regenerate itself infinite times. If Andesha was unable to realize this point, she would eventually die from exhaustion. The Mistress of Withering Decay’s Element Power was not something that boosted speed, and given how persistent the creature was, fleeing would not be an easy thing.
[It’s best for us to go back in case something happens again— Wait, the entrance to Valhalla, could it possibly be past Hati’s lair?]
The more he thought about it, the more he felt it was possible, and he decided to move to the end of the valley. The fake Lernaia Hydra targeted Andesha because of the gemstone and her attention was on the monster, therefore it was unlikely that he would be targeted.
Two dirty yellow light rays lit up the surroundings. Andesha had cast a new spell and the Lernaia Hydra’s thunderous roars shook the cliffs and ground, giving the impression that an earthquake was happening.
Brendel and Faena advanced carefully against the cliff’s walls. Small rocks and sand kept pouring down as the beast’s pained bellows echoed around them, but Faena did not dare to complain. She merely looked at Brendel carefully with a frown when he was not paying attention to her.
The two quickly made their way through the winding path, and they went down into the pit. The mist did not interfere with their sight any longer, and they saw that the massive beast was sleeping quietly.
“Wait, we’re supposed……. to go past it?” Faena had already guessed his intentions, but when she saw the wolf appear so vividly before her eyes, she could not help but pale and question the youth’s sanity.
“B-but the King of Wolves, Hati?”
“It’s sleeping, what are you afraid of?”
“But what if it suddenly wakes up, are we not doomed?”
Brendel gave a condescending stare: “The slumber of a half-God. Do you think it will be roused easily? You must be dreaming, Lady Faena.”
Faena’s teeth were clenched together in irritation. She knew that lore stated that a god could sleep for thousands of years, and they could not be roused regardless of what happened during this period of time.
But it was just lore.
Facing the situation in reality was completely different. Hati was known as the source of the Calamity of Wolves, the White Spectre that hated all humans instinctively. Any child who lived in Kirrlutz would grow up with the story of a white wolf the size of a titan gobbling up humans under the moonlight. Faena was no exception, and her mind shut down a little when she saw the legendary monster with her own eyes.
Brendel had already started to walk again, and she had to follow him even though she was afraid. Explosions rang out above them, indicating that Andesha and the Lernaia Hydra were still fighting, though the sounds were a little muted in the pit.
The half-god was even more majestic up close. The silver fur looked like they were meticulously groomed and shone in the darkness. The wolf’s outline was like a mountain range that went up and down, and Brendel and Faena could not help but feel like a speck of dust when they looked at it.
They were in awe of the power presented before them.
Hati’s breaths were long and unchanging, its back rising up and down without fail. An immense soul resided in this body and seemed to fill it with endless strength. The wind that constantly blew in the Loop of Trade Winds were stilled in its presence, as if the world revolved around it.
[I remember now…… The game introduced Hati as a ‘she’. Many are mistaken about her gender when they read the lore because she fought to be the ‘king’ of all wolves. Indeed, she is beautiful.]
Despite the youth believing that it would not wake up, he still held his breath and carefully took his steps while he admired the elegant shape.
“I-i-it won’t wake up right?” Faena squeaked.
“…… Do you see it waking up from all the commotion around us?” Brendel turned his head slowly.
“Hati is the enemy of all sentient beings, right? Maybe it’s able to sense us?”
“And it will send out a group of Winter Wolves that will break your throat—” Brendel suddenly growled and his hand clawed towards her throat, frightening the girl into shrinking back her neck.
“W-w-what are you doing?”
“Trying to get you to stop talking nonsense.”
“You stupid evil country bumpkin!” Faena complained unhappily.
When the two of them passed Hati, its slow breath blew on them and caused their hearts to race.
But Brendel was right; Hati did not wake up.
Faena suddenly asked the youth whether they should take the chance and kill it while it was asleep. Brendel blinked several times and stared at the girl like she was the biggest fool in the world. He then passed Veronica’s sword to her and said with the most innocent expression, but his sarcasm was obvious:
“Form a contract with me and save the world by becoming a Magical Girl!”
Faena snatched the sword and tried to cut a single strand of the wolf’s fur, wanting to see the youth panicking as revenge for mocking her. But before the blade even went close to within three feet of the wolf, an invisible barrier suddenly repelled Faena’s attack.
Brendel’s lips were spasming as he tried to hold back his laughter. He had the last laugh regardless of the girl was going to do.
Faena stopped speaking to Brendel and glared at him all the way as they quietly made their way past Hati.
The end of the pit led to another narrow valley with obsidian walls. Its surroundings did not really look out of place in the canyon, but there was one thing that stood out.
There was a huge stone gate standing in the center of the valley.