A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 160

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 160. An Empress of Ice (2)



Adjest gripped the sword tightly, still firmly lodged in the icy floor, and used it as support to keep herself upright.. Desir rushed over to her. Her frozen silver hair was slowly returning to her original color.




“Are you okay, Adjest?”




“Uhhhh.”




Adjest barely opened her lips. Her lips had turned blue.




“To be honest, I’m fucking dying here.”




“Here, lean on me.”




Adjest didn’t reject his offer and leaned into him. With something else to support her weight, she began to breathe more easily. Frankly speaking, she looked to be in a far worse condition than she was after her battle with Donape. Her face was incredibly pale and she looked as if she had tapped all of her


energy reserves, right down to her very soul. For some reason though, there was not a trace of pain visible on her face. There was only satisfaction.




After taking a moment to recover slightly, she spoke with a rare trace of excitement.




“I think I did it.”




Desir looked at the sword in Adjest’s hands.




The Center of Ice no longer emitted an intense arctic chill. Adjest had managed to completely dominate the blade clasped tightly in her hands; something that gave Adjest limitless potential to surpass her top-tier abilities that Desir witnessed in his previous life. Adjest had already reached the upper echelons of the power scale before taking on this challenge; not just anyone could hold out as long as she did against Donape. Desir couldn’t help being amazed at how much potential Adjest possessed.




Adjest finally pulled the sword out with some support from Desir. Despite its fame, the sword looked disappointingly simple. In fact, it was nearly unremarkable. The length of the


sword was similar to what Adjest was used to, and it didn’t have any obvious features making it unwieldy. She should be able to use it without any modifications to her fighting style. The only thing that was different about the sword was the blade; it was forged out of solid, unmelting ice. The carving of the blade was so incredibly smooth, it seemed more akin to a crystal jewel than metal. A slight breeze swirled around the sword, weak but betraying traces of its barely concealed, wild nature.




“This is the Center of Ice.”




Adjest swung the sword around lightly.




*Shing*




Even though Adjest exerted no direct control over the cold air, she couldn’t stop the energy surging out of the sword. It was too powerful.




‘Is this also an artifact?’




The energy oozing out from the blade was extraordinary. If this was the energy it exerted in response to an effortless swing,


then its power at full strength should easily be equal to an S-Tier artifact.




Adjest directed her attention back to Desir.




“Now we can go convince the Barbarians.”




“You’re right, Adjest. Great job.”




Desir honestly commended her, everything had gone flawlessly thanks to her efforts.




They had pretty much guaranteed a successful completion of the mission this time. There was no reason to rush now. Desir supported Adjest as they walked back together, slowly but steadily.




*Drop*




*Drop*


Something dripped down from the ceiling and landed on Desir’s shoulder. He looked up and discovered that the icicles were slowly melting.




“… water?”




*Crack*




Desir and Adjest followed the source of the sound and looked behind them. The ground where the sword had been housed all these years had cracked and water had already filled the seams. It only took a moment for Desir to realize what was going on.




“… Oh no.”




Thinking about where the temple had been located…




It was a lake. The cold energy that emanated from the Center of Ice had frozen the entire lake, and the temple had been built on top of that ice.




“Hang on tight.”





Desir slung Adjest over his shoulder.




“Wa… Wait!”




Adjest attempted to say something, but Desir was already running.




“…”




Pieces of ceiling began to fall and water began to quickly rise, but Adjest wasn’t nervous at all. The warmth from Desir’s shoulders and back made her calm.




* * *




Adjest and Desir managed to escape just before the temple completely collapsed. They were both soaked from head to toe and decided to head back to their room for some much needed rest and relaxation. Desir wanted to talk to Donape right away, but he knew that it would be impossible to meet someone of his status, the King of the North, anytime he wanted.




The next opportunity that Desir got to talk with Donape wasn’t until two days after obtaining the sword. They stood in the same place they originally met him on the first day. However, the mood was subtly different from that first meeting. As long as the Center of Ice existed in Harrowind, the barbarians would be tied to their oath in finding an owner for it and refuse to leave this place.




With such a situation, rejection to any requests for cooperation was the expected result. For that reason, the last meeting had been conducted in a lackadaisical manner. Any diplomats appealing to the barbarians for aid could be ignored, as their oath took priority. But this time, the situation was completely different.The many tribal chiefs were confused; they never expected that a party of mainlanders would be able to pull out the Center of Ice. Donape, who appeared to be the calmest amongst the barbarians, opened his mouth first.




“Did you really harness the power of the Center of Ice?”




Desir respectfully answered.




“We did, your honor. We have successfully retrieved the Center of Ice and would like to present it to you as proof.”





Desir signalled Adjest and she unsheathed the Center of Ice: the sword that was composed completely of ice. The one and only sword in the world of its kind.




“Unbelievable.”




The barbarians believed that they were the ones chosen to fulfill Melger’s promise. They had never even entertained the thought that someone who was not a barbarian would be able to pull the sword out. The chiefs could not accept that Adjest held the Center of Ice in her hand. It was just a few muttering under their breath in the beginning, but gradually more chiefs voiced their complaints.




“We cannot accept this.”




One of the chiefs, taking it upon themselves to represent the rest, spoke up.




“The Center of Ice represents the promise that Melger shared with his friend. We cannot let mainlanders like you violate its sanctity.”




The crowd let loose a roar in agreement. The cacophony continued before eventually reaching a crescendo. One person couldn’t hold their cool any longer and walked up to Adjest. Right after him, a few of his soldiers followed and surrounded Desir’s party.




“They know me as Lodelis, the chief of the Bears. I, as a guardian of the Center of Ice, politely request that you return it to us.”




“What if we decline?”




Adjest enquired.




“We’ll take it from you.”




Desir smirked as he responded.




“This is really funny. We properly followed all of the procedures and freed the Center of Ice after officially receiving permission. On what grounds can you say that you will take it


from us, let alone use force?”




“The Center of Ice has been passed down to us from Melger himself. We have guarded this sword for an endless amount of time. You can’t even comprehend the absurdity of the situation. If anyone is to lay hand on this sword, it must be one of us.”




Adjest added her thoughts.




“So what if we give you the sword? Do you think you can take it from us? Can you even hold it?”




Adjest loosened her control over the sword and let a bit of its furious cold energy leak out amongst the crowd. People who were unfortunate enough to stand near Adjest were assailed by an arctic gale that felt as if it sliced to their very bones.




“Screech!”




Donape noticed that the situation was deteriorating and stepped in to ameliorate the situation.


“You don’t have to do anything.”




Lodelis shouted back at Donape.




“Are you saying that it’s okay for them to take the Center of Ice?”




“I’m not happy about it either.”




Donape continued after a short pause.




“… But answer me, Lodelis. What was the oath that we have kept until now?”




Guard the sword until the person who is able to retrieve it appears.




This was what Melger had asked his friend to do, as he left behind the Center of Ice. He never intended for it to belong to those guarding it, let alone Melger himself.


“But… but… ”




Lodelis understood what Donape was intimating, but it was so hard to accept the fact that he needed to give up the sword, that he and his ancestors had guarded with their lives, to outsiders. It was not easy. But Lodelis couldn’t say anything, and lowered his head.




Donape’s authority was absolute. Donape referred to the oath and wrapped up this matter by accepting Adjest as the new owner of the sword. There was nobody left who dared to question who the rightful owner of the sword was.




With the problem of ownership of the Center of Ice solved, Desir moved onto the next issue, the main reason for the meeting.




“It is great that your oath to Melger’s companion has been fulfilled. I am now ready to hear your answer in regards to our joint cooperation against the Outsiders.”




Donape stood up and looked around.


“My greatest warriors, we have buried our teeth and claws in the cold snow, all for the sake of keeping the oath made in times long past. Due to this oath, we have looked away from injustice.”




Originally, the barbarians were fair and trustworthy. They were the bravest warriors who were the first step forward to help the poor and uphold righteousness.




Donape wielded his axe and swung it heavily into the ground.




“Our sacred mission is now accomplished. In front of us, we have a stage to prove that we are the soldiers who inherited the greatest warriors’ blood. My chiefs, go and tell your soldiers that it is now the time to reveal our teeth and claws! It is now the time to punish injustice!”




“Yaaaaaaaah!”




All of the barbarians brandished their weapons and shook them in the air as they shouted loudly. Most of them were active and loudmouthed. Truthfully, many of them had felt suppressed by the oath, forced to isolate themselves from the world. It wasn’t easy for them to hide and live like wanted men.


The people who had previously been complaining loudly, were once again shouting together in unison.




Donape Aslan didn’t climb up the social hierarchy to reach this throne relying on just his authority and lineage. Donape understood how to rally people and get them fired up. Desir admired his longtime friend.




“Listen, lions of the Empire. Return to your emperor and tell them that the greatest warriors of Harrowind will be there to help you in your time of need.”




The barbarians had officially joined the alliance.






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