Volume 2 Chapter 4
At dawn the next day, the trio left the relay station and continued their journey to the blood elves’ territory. Although their destination was far away, it was not as boring now that they had a bard in the group. The three of them shared interesting stories they’ve heard about different parts of the world and fantasised about the gigantic trees and delicate tree houses built by the blood elves.
It was currently the transitional period between summer and autumn, and the weather was getting cooler by the day. Everyone must have liked the cool autumn at some point in their life. Who could come to hate such a comfortable season?
The once-green leaves, now turned golden, waved in the soft breeze. One after another they slowly danced to the ground with grace, covering the road in gold. With something padding the stone road, the carriage was moving a lot smoother.
The night sky was clear and void of thick clouds, revealing the stars overseeing the land from a distant place. Among them, one in particular caught Witsen’s eye; a bright, violet star that always hung high to the North. He felt familiar with the star and had a feeling that it was hinting at something, but he simply could not wrap his mind around to it.
Days passed by. The scenery had already changed from the wide, green plains to spiking hills. The towering mountains in the distance were almost like a barrier, giving people a sense of security. As they travelled further into the North, the road was gradually getting narrower, but that was not necessarily a bad thing.
“We’re almost at Los Lanca,” Witsen said with a bright smile after checking the map.
Los Lanca, the land of the blood elves, was almost like a utopia. Surrounded by three tall mountains and a dense forest called the Lion Mane Forest, Los Lanca was almost an unbreachable place. Only blood elves knew the way through the forest and were agile enough to travel through it safely. Now that the trio could see the tall mountains, Lion Mane Forest was not far away.
Unlike other elves that dabbled in worldly affairs from time to time, blood elves were true hermits who had completely no interest in the world. They only focused on books and scrolls, reading and studying tattered ancient scripts to perfect and discover new magic.
“Karile, you’re a ranger right,” Witsen chatted with Karile as he drove. “Have you been to Los Lanca before?”
“I think I’ve been there once.” Karile looked at the mountains. “But I was just a kid then. I don’t remember much. This mountain though, I know it quite well.”
“No one would really come over here. There’s a mountain blocking out the North.”
“Merchants will,” Karile laughed and replied. “What do you think those big guys in the North feed on?”
“There’re countries in the North?” Witsen asked.
“Yea,” Plato rushed to answer. “There’s a country named The North’s Crown, but it’s just a small country.”
“That’s not a country. It’s the name of the five-country alliance,” Karile added in.
“An alliance? Who were they fighting against?”
“Back in the old times, there was once an evil king who created a nation of undead. The five kingdoms on the continent came together to defend themselves against the undead. The alliance built a great wall in the northern region and sent their elites over. The evil king was defeated by the alliance five centuries ago, and his empire remains frozen even now.”
“Wow! Karile, you really know a lot!” Plato had shining eyes as he praised her.
“Of course,” Karile said proudly. “If not, how could I call myself a ranger?”
At the same time, a knight riding his chariot was rushing towards the capital.
“Open up! Quickly!” The knight shouted.
The knights guarding the walls looked at him. The alliance’s symbol could be clearly seen on the knight’s armour. The symbol consisted of the five weapons the five kingdoms’ armies were most proficient at respectively, namely the longsword, longbow, lance, warhammer, and staff.
The gate creaked as it slowly opened. The knight did not slow down, showing no intention of stopping. He rode straight past the gate and headed directly to the royal palace. His body aching, the knight leapt off the horse and ran into the throne room, then knelt in front of the king. The sudden intrusion of a knight attracted the attention of the lords and nobles.
“Your… Your Majesty!”
“Someone, bring him water.” Carlos, king of the Atlantis Kingdom, stood up from the throne. He walked towards the knight and helped him onto his feet. A nearby guard came rushing with a glass of water, and the knight downed the entire glass in one gulp.
“Speak slowly. What news do you bring us?” Carlos asked.
“Your Majesty,” the knight stuttered and gulped before continuing. “The North’s in trouble. Scouts reported that the castle has risen again!”
“What!” The king was stunned. The lords and nobles in the throne room were also startled.
“Tell us the details!” A lord shouted.
“When the scouts were patrolling the plains, they suddenly heard a loud noise, so they went towards the origin and saw… cough… cough…”
“Gustav was unfreezing! They also saw countless undead!”
“Gustav has been frozen for over five centuries now, how is it possible! You’re lying!” A lord said as he raged.
“In the name of the North’s protectors, this is no lie!” The knight retorted.
Meanwhile, Carlos, the king, was already sitting on the ground in despair. He pointed at the door and ordered, “Quick… Notify the other countries!”
A cavalry squad quickly assembled and headed to the city gates.
“Open the gates!”
The commander in charge of the gates was annoyed. He had just closed the gate after letting the knight into the city. He grumbled, “What the hell is wrong today… Someone go open the damn gate!”
The gates opened once again, and the cavalry charged out as quickly as possible, each towards their own destination.
Evening soon came. Witsen’s trio finally arrived at the town situated near the Lion Mane Forest. As the vegetation inside the forest was too dense for a carriage to pass through, they could only sell the carriage to a merchant. Karile looked up to the sky as the three walked down the street in the town.
“It’s getting dark, should we still continue?” She asked.
“Better not.” It was Plato who replied. “I heard that many beasts live inside the forest, and it’s easy to get attacked at night.”
“What, are you afraid of mere beasts? Coward,” Karile mocked the short Plato.
“Who’s afraid? I’m not… not… not afraid at all!”
Plato’s face flushed bright red. Looking at his reaction, Karile chuckled.
“We’re not familiar with the forest. It’s safer to continue tomorrow,” Witsen interjected.
The other two had no objections either. As such, they then went to an inn and stayed there for the night.