A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 157

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 157. The Ruler of the North (3)



This was a story that didn’t exist in this world.




But the story still survived in a certain someone’s memory.




It was ten years after the Shadow Labyrinth had appeared.




“Our people were bound by the oaths our forefathers made and could not leave that land.”




Ahead  of  the  final  battle  at  Praynople,  Donape  Aslan,  the Barbarian king also known as the Ruler of the North, began to tell his story.




No one complained or questioned it.




It wasn’t strange.  Everyone did this.  When you thought you could die, you told someone else your story. It didn’t mean that he was afraid of death.  He just wanted someone to remember him.



Everyone shared this sentiment, so they willingly listened to each other in times like this.




“Are  you  saying  that  you  have  kept  the  oaths  that  your ancestors made up until  now? It’s hard for me to understand why you would do this… … … ”




“It’s something that we can’t disobey. Words can’t convey the importance oaths hold in the tribe..”




Donape stroked his earring. It was an earring with a red ruby.




“In the past, there was a man who made our people’s life shine brighter than ever before.”




Donape’s  voice  was  filled  with  more  self-esteem  and  pride than usual, as he referred to that man.




"Melger Khan. He unified a great number of tribes under his banner to drive out the enemies of the Gilgarus Mountains, and founded our homeland, Harrowind."



The story of Melger Khan, praised as a hero and still  talked about to this day, was famous not only for his wildness but also for being able to bring his people to glory.




“But there was a man who helped him.”




Somehow or another, the story of the man who helped Melger Khan  was  never  handed  down.  The  man  appeared  in  other legends as well, but no specific stories about him existed.




Historians used to consider the man to just be an amalgamation  of  supporting  characters  used  to  simplify  the narrative.




But Donape didn’t seem to think so.




“This man was a great person; the foundation he created for Harrowind is a massive factor in why it still  stands today.  In return, he asked Melger Khan for a favor.”




From this point on, this story was only passed down to and retold by barbarians.




“The man handed a sword to Melger Khan, saying it would save the world from disaster one day. He left Harrowind, asking him to take care of the sword until someone who could handle it correctly appeared.”




“So the request was… ”




After  hearing  the  story,  Desir  was  able  to  gain  a  shallow understanding of the oath that Donape had mentioned.




“Yes,   there   is   a   sword   left   by   that   man   of   legend   in Harrowind, our hometown. We call the area where the sword is located in ‘The Chamber of Extreme Ice’.”




Donape continued to talk.




“We waited in Harrowind for a long time, for the true owner of the sword to appear, to fulfill  the oath made between that man and Melger Khan.  Of course, we also tried to wield that sword ourselves… But in the end, no one ever managed to pull it out.”


“Well,  there  must  be  some  kind  of  requirement,  right?  Is there  a  powerful  spell  placed  on  it?  Or  is  it  guarded  by  an outstanding guardian?”




“If  there  was  just  a  guardian,  the  sword  would  have  been pulled  long  ago.  ‘The  Chamber  of  Extreme  Ice’  emmenates  a tremendous chill, and does not allow anyone to even approach it  casually.  Many  great  barbarians  have  coveted  the  sword’s ability, some even making countless attempts to wield it, but all who have taken the challenge have failed.”




The   barbarian   recounted   the   story   of   a   man   who   had entrusted the sword to Melger Khan, and the tribe that lived their lives in Harrowind to keep the oath.




However, they had no choice but to abandon their oath in the face of a disaster that threatened the entire human race.  The Shadow Labyrinth had appeared.




“Now that I think about it, I might have to find them myself. I shouldn’t just wait for the owner of the sword to appear.”




Donape’s gaze, sighing at the end of the story, focused on a particular place.




Permanently cold eyes.




Fluttering platinum-colored hair.




Even  after  a  fierce  and  protracted  battle,  this  woman  still remained lofty and beautiful to the end.




This is where his gaze lay.




“If I had met you a little earlier, maybe we would have found ourselves in a different future … … ”




* * *




Adjest,   Romantica,   and   Pram,   who   were   sure   that   the barbarians would accept the alliance based on the flow of the conversation, were left obviously embarrassed.  But Desir, who knew  Donape  would  give  such  an  answer,  seemed  calm  in comparison.


“We can’t leave here for any reason. So… ”




“Would  you  accept  the  alliance  if  I  fulfilled  Melger  Khan’s oath?”




Those who had been quietly watching the conversation until now  began  to  chatter.  Desir  didn’t  miss  the  moment  when Donape’s  expression  changed.  And  through  that  reaction,  he was convinced that he had got it right.




‘The history of the barbarians remains the same as it was in my previous life.’




Desir was aware of the circumstances in which the barbarians rejected   the   Empire’s   offer   of   cooperation.   Desir   had   not forgotten what Donape had shared about his tribe, during that very short moment in his previous life.




“I’ll fulfill that oath.”




“Hahahahaha.”


As soon as he said it, laughter burst out. It came from one of the chiefs of a barbarian tribe.




He then angrily shouted as the smile fell from his face.




“I don’t know how you know about it, but this is the legacy that  the  great  Khan  left  us.  How  dare  a  mainlander  like  you make a reckless remark about it?”




Donape silently raised his hand to restrain him.




As soon as it became quiet, Donape spoke solemnly to Desir. There were deep traces of doubt evident in his voice.




“Before  you  mention  the  proposal,  answer  how  you  know about the oath.”




“We  have  met  a  direct  descendant  of  Melger  Khan  in  a Shadow World. I heard about the oath from him.”




“I see.”



Desir had shared this story with his party. No one doubted it then, and Donape couldn’t find any reason to distrust them.




In  the  Shadow  Worlds,  historical  facts  that  were  hidden  or covered up by others and concealed from the accepted historical record, were revealed from time to time.




By using Shadow Worlds as a cover-up for his knowledge from his past life, most people would be unable to raise any further doubts.




Donape nodded, as if convinced, and soon smiled.




“Interesting.”




As  he  seemed  likely  to  accept  Desir’s  offer,  embarrassment covered the faces of each tribal chief who was watching.




“They’re from the mainland!”




“For many years none of us has managed to make it.  It’ll  be


okay for these guys to try.”




Donape  didn’t  appear  to  give  the  slightest  damn  for  their cries.




“However… ”




“Are you afraid they’ll do what we haven't done?”




“… … … … ”




The tribal chiefs could not speak any more due to their pride.




“I’ve  been  restrained  by  the  oath  and  itching  to  fight  for  a long time. If we’re freed of the oath, there’s nothing to stop us from   cooperating   with   the   Empire.   But   not   everyone   can challenge the oath. You must be qualified.”




Desir  had  never  heard  of  any  qualifications.  Concealing  his surprise at this obvious turn of events, he steeled his resolve. He couldn’t afford to back down anyway.



Donape continued to talk.




“And I will test their qualifications myself.”




Desir quickly understood what Donape meant.  To test one’s qualifications as a barbarian meant to win a duel.




“Who will challenge me?”




Desir looked back.  He had already decided who would come forward.




“Adjest, please.”




Adjest nodded unhesitatingly at Desir’s call.  She walked one step forward and boldly confronted Donape.




“I’ll challenge you.”




“Good. Follow me.”




As  Donape  headed  outside,  leaving  behind  the  tribal  chiefs whose  eyes  betrayed  their  insecurity,  the  now  chipper  party followed.




* * *




It was in the middle of a huge snowfield that the now lively party followed the barbarians to. While the ground could not be called slippery as a result of the thick snow coating it, it was definitely going to be difficult to perform normal  movements due to the restriction snow placed on footwork.




The place that they found themselves in was used as a training ground for the barbarians, and quite a few barbarian fighters happened to be present, training with informal spars.




When Donape appeared, they ceased training and bowed their heads  towards  him  in  a  show  of  respect.  Desir  could  feel  an unusual fervor leaking out from each of them.




Desir  realized  that,  amongst  the  trainees,  there  were  many barbarians who would later be active in the Shadow Labyrinth.




Yuria  chose  a  swathe  of  land  and  cleared  it  of  trainees, designating that area for the duel.




The people already present soon gathered around the dueling area one by one.  Before too long, the area was filled up.  They had gathered to watch the martial  arts of Donape, the Ruler of the North and their king.




Of course, Desir, Romantica, and Pram were also in the crowd watching Donape and Adjest. The two combatants did not say a single  word  to  the  countless  people  in  the  audience.  Instead, they only had eyes for each other.




*Shing*




Adjest drew her sword and Donape hefted the huge axe onto his shoulder.




The silence lasted for several minutes.




It was the Donape who broke the tense silence first. When he kicked against the ground, the snow around him exploded.





In a mere moment, Donape, who had narrowed the distance with the Adjest, swung his axe horizontally.




Adjest read the trajectory and turned to the side to dodge the attack.




The   axe   seemed   to   tear   through   the   air   in   a   show   of unrestrained   violence.   Seeing   it   wouldn’t   connect,   Donape rotated his body in an agile fashion that completely betrayed the expectation one would have of a giant physique like his. A giant fist flew right at Adjest’s face.




She raised her sword reflexively.




*Kagaang*




In the midst of a single exchange of attack and defense, a flood of  thoughts  passed  through  Adjest’s  head.  She  felt  a  splitting pain in her wrists holding the sword and almost dropped it.




Donape,  on  the  other  hand,  seemed  to  be  okay  after  the


collision of sword and fist, and swung his giant axe at Adjest again.




After   defending   against   the   ensuing   attack,   Adjest   took advantage of the force of it and bounced back to increase the distance between her and Donape.






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