CHAPTER 9 part 2: The Unclimbable Mountain
Nothing much happened during our journey nearing LouwenDale, not a single monster showed up, no Wild Rabbits, no Winter Treants, nothing…
“Strange…” Luke whispered as he glance over the landscape.
Even though not having to fight monsters and wasting our energy was a great thing, you would still expect a single monster to show up and attack. Luke explained to me and Yuna that when he was still an adventurer, no matter how many monsters they annihilated one or two always shows up as if they were limitless and this situation is strange. What possible reason could explain this situation?
“I don’t feel good about this…” Luke restlessly scanned for danger.
We continued our journey slowly, both Yuna and I also looked for any potential danger.
Thanks to the horse-drawn wagon we arrived earlier than it usually takes, even with many breaks along the way. We arrived in front of the gates of LouwenDale.
Tall, thick concrete walls surround the kingdom, banners with the crests of LouwenDale were on both sides of the entrance, the huge wooden gate which protected the kingdom was wide open. No guards stood by the entrance.
We parked the wagon outside by the open gate. Just by looking from the outside, anyone would know the power and protection the kingdom could offer once you get inside, the stone walls provide comfort and security, however, it was quiet… too quiet.
The moment we were able to peek inside, it is as if all the gods showered the kingdom with all of their hatred, the sight was unbearable, not a single house stood strong despite most of them being made of stone and concrete, the streets were filled with ashes that were scattered from the burning wooden wagons that tried to flee from what came, blood stains the streets and debris that came falling from the houses that were destroyed due to some unknown event that occurred.
Corpses were also visible right from the other side of the entrance, guards lay dead on the ground, eyes wide full of terror, and even from where I was, I saw corpses that looked similar, bodies violently slammed through the trunks of the trees or sharp cut stone debris.
The situation looked similar to what happened to Gadvell. I can only imagine the amount Shadow summonses that raided the kingdom.
Luke tried to go further inside the kingdom, his expression turned upside-down, then we saw a large crater, like a meteor had just crash-landed. At the edge of the crater, we saw what looked like half-eaten houses that got caught up with whatever spell was used. I was certain that the crater was large enough to fit Gadvell inside.
Within the crater, nothing remained, whatever was there is now gone, the streets destroyed, buildings nowhere to be seen, except someone was laying down in the very middle, someone that might’ve caused the crater.
Her clothes were almost completely burned off only covering what’s necessary, her seemingly flawless skin was full of bruises and scratches, her slender body lay unconscious on the ground, her elf-like ears held her hood in place nearly covering her face.
Luke slid down the crater to rush to the unconscious woman, took her by the waist, carried her out and we rushed to our horse-drawn wagon where we took care of her. The unconscious woman seemed to have used all her mana from using the large-scale spell and fell unconscious afterward. While we were taking care of her, I noticed that Luke seemed like he knows her so I asked who she was.
“she’s… Tiff… Tiffany Fareas, your aunt”
My aunt. The unconscious woman was a half-elf that looked like she was 6ft tall, she had black straight hair that just passed her shoulders, I don’t know what her age was but she looked like she was in her early 20s, but having elven blood, could mean she’s in her 30s, she was a beautiful lady, I could only imagine the number of suitors she might have had.
Seeing the state of my over-accomplished aunt and remembering the story that Luke told before, I can’t help but realize that she’s just human or in this case half-human, that she too needs help from others.
“Thank god she’s still alive…” Luke breathed a sigh of relief
“Luke, do you think she’ll wake up soon? I’m really curious about what happened”
“I don’t know kiddo… let’s just do our part and wait for now.”
We moved west using the wagon, rested by a nearby river, making ourselves comfortable by our campfire, Yuna using herbs to treat Tiffany’s burns, she had been taught by Ophelia how to do first-aid and what various herbs do.
After a couple of hours, it’s now nighttime that Tiffany finally woke up.
“wha… What happened? Why are you here?” Tiffany sprung sitting up, scanned her surroundings, and stopped at Luke
“We should be asking you that, Tiff, as soon as we arrived the whole kingdom was destroyed”
“The demons… attacked for 2 weeks straight, I was helping out trying to keep the demons away from the fleeing civilians. One day I found myself surrounded by thousands upon thousands of demons, I couldn’t really count as I tried to flee, but they managed to capture my parents and killed them. I was… frustrated and unconsciously conjured Eruption. I don’t know if I managed to defend the kingdom as I lose consciousness from having to use all my remaining Mana. And now I find myself in front of an old friend with 2 human children.”
After aunt Tiffany explained her side of the story Luke explained ours.
“Griffin’s…” as my aunt heard of Griffin’s death her eyes began to shed tears for her deceased younger brother.
“Who knew… that my stubborn younger brother would bite the dust before I do… that idiot… I was even planning on visiting him and Mary… what happened to the rest? Are they alive?”
“I have a feeling… no. I know they’re still alive!”
“Good, for now, where do you plan on going?”
“This is Sura, the son of Griffin, your nephew, he said that after coming here we can go west towards Neon Village… what do you think? He wanted to ask you to train him and Yuna”
“I don’t think going to Neon Village would be a good idea for them to get stronger, assuming Sura wants revenge…” I nodded as she looks at me wanting my confirmation
“I suggest going to the Kingdom of Niru, far west from where we are, they have an adventurer’s guild there, perfect for us to register ourselves and get your Adventurer’s cards, as well as a lot of monsters ranging from D to A+ class monsters. If you two want to get stronger the Kingdom of Niru is a much more suitable place for them to get stronger. Plus, the Elementalist Academy is built there, the 2nd best school in the continent.”
“Um… what’s an Adventurer’s card?” I asked thinking what’s so important about a card
“An Adventurer’s card is a new technology developed by the researchers in Niru. Did anyone ever mention to you that Mages enter some kind of test for them to reach a higher rank?”
“My sister Aishita did… what’s that got to do with the card?”
“So, you have a sister… I can only imagine the face of my cute niece just from looking at you… anyway, LouwenDale does that to keep track of every magician on the continent to know their ranks and to know if there would be anyone that would potentially endanger the continent… someone who rivals the strength of a Grand Sorcerer, the title given to the strongest mage in the world. If they discover someone as strong as a Grand Sorcerer, they would ask for their loyalty to the kingdom and ask to remain and protect it in case of emergencies… The kingdom of Niru invented the Adventurer’s card because the test took all day and people don’t want to wait.
The card automatically updates their network about the holder, it keeps track of an adventurer’s rank, for example, if you’re a B rank adventurer and reached A rank, it notifies both you and the kingdom. I just got mine a couple of years ago, so I don’t know if it’s reliable but I still suggest you guys get one from the guild in Niru.”
A card that keeps track of the progress of a registered individual is useful if I wanted to know if I reached another milestone. I just hope that I won’t face a dead end in my progress, if I want to be able to get my revenge or protect everyone, I need to at least reach a strength similar to a Grand Sorcerer. I need to reach the top of the unclimbable mountain that is my aunt, Tiffany Fareas.
For now, we decided to head for the Kingdom of Niru, forgetting the advice to reach Neon Village, excited about getting the card that lets me see my growing strength.