༺ Sun – Claiomh Solais (9) ༻
Claiomh Solais was under the disguise of a Moon.
My mind turned blank for a second after coming up with that hypothesis.
“Sun during the day… and Moon during the night…?”
Lunia and Yuel seemed just as confused as I was after hearing our speculation.
“I would assume it is not as distant as the actual Sun or the Moon. Reaching that far would be impossible in the first place, so there is no reason to even worry about that possibility.”
“There’s probably a magical barrier cast around the entire floating island. To activate that and keep such an enormous spell up forever…”
“Claiomh Solais itself is probably acting as a catalyst of that spell,” I replied.
After being in this fantasy world for about 4 years, it wasn’t hard to come up with such speculations.
This was a grand spell in itself. It was in a completely different league to simple destructive spells.
“Is there a way… to even obtain it?”
“Probably, but it’s… going to be impossible for us.”
Everyone except for Yuel was a melee Knight. Plus, Yuel was also not going to be able to use much of her potential in a place like this with no forests around.
“…The Solar Eclipse will be in 2 days. Let’s think of a method until then.”
“Sure. There are probably some options that we haven’t covered.”
It was too early to give up. We tried looking for options but… something big happened on the afternoon of the next day.
Lunia cut off one of the arms of a giant.
A scream echoed across the island. We, who had been searching through the castle of giants, immediately raced to the source of that sound.
By the time we sprinted our way there, we found tens of giants standing in a circle, and at the center of them all was…
Lunia was standing tall and proud, while trampling on an enormous giant that was at least 3 times bigger than herself.
“Human…! How dare you!”
“We will kill you!”
“I will not stop you if you wish to die.”
Even in the face of tens of giants, Lunia wasn’t intimidated in the slightest. I quickly squeezed my way through the giants.
“Wait wait! Let’s just confirm what happened before we do anything!”
When I asked her, ‘What’s going on?’, she started explaining the situation with a calm tone of voice.
“That thing tried to eat me. He said anyone except for the druid would be okay to eat, so I gave him something to eat.”
That something seemed to have been the arm of the giant. It was an act of self-defense no matter how you saw it but…
“Insolent humans! How dare you do this at our castle!”
“We’ll boil you alive!”
The greedy giants did not care about that in the slightest. It was because of this savageness of theirs that they were pretty much imprisoned in this floating island.
Each and every one of the giants was at the level of a mid-boss and were at semi-Grade 1 at the very least. Fighting against tens of such giants head-on was the same as asking for death.
“Wait! Please listen to me for a second, brothers!”
“Our master, Mr. Dun Scaith will be coming here with a bunch of presents for you! Thousands of snakes and hundreds of toads!”
Some of them appeared puzzled as to what those were, while others were intrigued by it. In any case, I managed to gather their attention.
“Mr. Dun Scaith is more than aware of how much hard work you have gone through! He will be bringing to you so many snakes and toads that you will be able to fill your bellies forever!”
“As long as you show your benevolence and mercy to us, our master will surely provide you with infinite meat!”
The rest will be up to you, Dun Scaith. Good luck!
After my consistent rambling about empty pacts, all the giants were convinced and went back, including the one whose arm was cut off. They weren’t very intelligent to start off with, but it was still quite surprising how foolish they were to believe in everything I said.
“Miss Lunia. Let’s go back for now.”
“…Sorry for creating a fuss.”
“No, it was thanks to you that we realized that we have to be on guard at all times.”
We stopped searching during the day and decided to move only at night. And…
‘These fuckers. I knew it.’
Inside the castle was a large dining room that was big enough to accommodate the huge giants. There were several traces of civilization in the form of furniture and cooking utensils that were brought by the druids when the castle was first built.
However, for the wild and savage giants, the dining room was nothing but a big conference room where fifty of them could gather for a chat.
“Boss. You know the one that’s coming to take the Sun?”
“Right right. Dun Sukiyaki? That guy.”
“His little buddy said he will be bringing snakes and toads, right? Enough for us to eat forever?”
“Let’s attack that guy! There should be even more meat in his house right?”
Unfortunately, the giants were unaware of the concept of ‘trading’. Even though there were so many treasures inside the castle that they could monopolize all the meat and crops of the kingdom, they just didn’t know about the concept of giving their own to get something in return.
Their thinking process was just completely different from a human’s.
“But that’s someone sent by Uzkias…”
“When he takes the Sun, that will mean the end of the command given to us by our forefather, Searbhan, right?”
“Searbhan told us to give the Sun to whoever brings the fruits of the red rowan tree.”
“Yes. I heard that from my grandfather’s grandfather.”
“Doesn’t that mean we are free after we give the Sun?”
“Let’s go down to the ground and eat all the humans! It will be fine as long as we don’t eat the druids!”
“But how do we go down…?”
“There’s the tree they used to climb up. How about we climb down using that tree?”
“Let’s do that! Do that!”
“Let’s feed on all the humans! Steal all of Sukiyaki’s meat!”
The giants screamed out loud all at once. They were excited by the thought that they will gain freedom after resolving the responsibility etched into their body through the blood of Searbhan.
To be exact, they were excited more by the future pleasure than freedom.
In the end, we couldn’t come up with any ways for us to approach the Sun. Even though it wasn’t as distant as the actual Sun, it was still incredibly distant from us.
The conclusion we came to was that ‘We cannot obtain Claiomh Solais’.
“Alicia, are you ready?”
“Yes… I am.”
However, that didn’t mean we didn’t do anything for the past few days.
Hiding next to the giants, we figured out what their most-beloved treasures were. One of them was the ‘chicken that lays golden eggs’ that I saw with Alicia during the night, and the other one was…
“A harp that plays by itself… It’s very interesting.”
Those were the two cherished treasures of the giants; the chicken that lays golden eggs and a harp that plays by itself.
And right now, those treasures were in the hands of Alicia and me.
Why were they here, you may ask? Of course, it’s because we stole it!
“How is it, Yuel? Did you get a report from the spirits?”
“Yes. And the Sun…”
We turned our eyes to the sky at the same time.
Shadow was slowly being cast on the Claiomh Solais, which was currently disguised as the Sun. Along with the start of the Solar Eclipse, the Claiomh Solais was also starting to be covered with shadow.
“Good. Everything’s going just as we predicted. It was worth paying the astronomers.”
The full Solar Eclipse in the east was quite a famous event in the last iteration. Apparently, it was the first time this had happened in 99 years, where the Moon had completely covered the Sun for 2 hours.
As soon as I defeated Fermack and acquired news about Findias, I contacted the astronomers of the city through Renya of the Intelligence Guild to figure out the timing of the Solar Eclipse.
Originally, Dumnorix and Dun Scaith were supposed to acquire Claiomh Solais through the rightful process but here, my strategy was to crush their plans to pieces.
“I did hear about the plan but… it seems that my fiance is clever in very unorthodox ways.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Yuel stayed behind, while the Arden sisters and I proudly left the castle, with the chicken that lays golden eggs and the harp that plays by itself in our hands.
“Take a deep breath and…”
It was time for the grand return of Immortan Lork.
Dun Scaith and Dumnorix were able to reach the floating island according to schedule.
It was a shame that they arrived 2 days later than Korin’s group, but unlike them, they had the red rowan fruits. They were at an overwhelming advantage compared to Korin, who hadn’t gone through the rightful process.
Facing the mighty appearance of the castle of giants, Scaith hopped around like a little kid.
“Hmm…” muttered Dumnorix. It was his first time coming to this floating island.
Although he had been to Murias before to acquire the Magic Cauldron, that place was completely different from the floating island of Findias.
This place, which was made by the Sky Titans and the druids, was the hiding place of the treasures of the Danaans and was unreachable without following the correct steps.
“Is there going to be a buddy like Searbhan here?”
“There is not going to be any of them here. It is too small for Sky Titans to reside in.”
Even the magnificent castle in front of them was probably nothing but a toy castle for Sky Titans who were all taller than dozens of meters.
– Kugugung! Kwang!
– Catch them!
For some reason, the castle seemed to be in an uproar. It was when the robed men alongside Dun Scaith were surprised by all the noise happening inside.
The gates of the castle were pushed open, but what came out weren’t giants.
An enormous wooden doll reaching 14 meters in height suddenly appeared from behind the gates. That was the forest giant, that could only be made with the secret skills of a Druid sage… So why was such a thing opening the gates of the giant’s castle?
“Ohhh. You are finally here, my masterrr…!”
Someone raced out of the castle with a full smile on his face. It was the boy with a wild look on his face; Korin Lork.
“My master! My magnificent lord! I have done everything you have commanded us to do!”
That excessively polite manner of speech made Scaith blink his eyes in doubt. He had no idea what was going on.
“Ahht! Master Scaith! Your faithful servant, Alicia, has done what you have commanded us to do!”
It wasn’t just Korin Lork; Alicia, Lunia, and Yuel all sprinted out of the castle before suddenly kneeling in front of Dun Scaith.
In their hands was a chicken flapping its wings.
“Umm… Little friends? What’s going on?”
““Here you go, sir!””
Korin and Alicia handed over the items at once. Dun Scaith, who was suddenly made to carry a chicken and a harp, was still confused by everything happening to him.
“Don’t tell me…”
Dumnorix was the first to realize what was going on, but it was already too late.
One of the giant’s hands pierced through the chest of the Wickerman that opened the castle gates. Due to being made with pure mana and no sacrifice, the wooden giant was easily defeated.
“These damn thieves! How dare you steal our treasures!”
“We will crush you… Hooh?”
After dashing across the castle chasing after the thieves, what the giants found was the sight of 2 thieves kneeling in front of the one who appeared like the ‘boss’ with the stolen treasures in hand.
“Ohh mighty Scaith! Our one and only hero!”
“We have stolen the treasures of the foolish giants as you have commanded!”
“Ehng? Me? When did I do that?”
“Now, let’s kill those giants together!”
“YOU DAMN HUMANS….!”
The giants poured out their wrath at the humans – more specifically, at Dun Scaith, who was the master of those thieves.
“Umm… big friends? I think there might be a misunderstanding…”
Without waiting for Dun Scaith to explain himself, one of the giants smashed down at him with their enormous ax.
Scaith was cut into halves in an instant, but that didn’t quench the burning fury of the giants.
“Kill all the humans! Eat every one of them alive!”
The fury of the giants was then pointed at the robed men that had come after Scaith. One hundred of those enormous semi-Grade 1 or above demonic beasts pounced at them.
“Don’t eat me! Please don’t!!”
The men wearing robes were massacred one-sidedly. It was when the giants were wiping their lips off their innards after crunching through the bodies of the humans.
One of the giants wretched as if feeling unwell, but that was only the beginning.
Thousands of snakes simultaneously slithered out of the giants’ mouths, eyes, and nostrils. Seeing those snakes wriggle on top of the corpses of the fallen giants, the rest of the giants were infuriated.
“Those humans are using black magic!”
“Kill them! Kill them all!”
The giants then began a fight against thousands… or rather, tens of thousands of snakes. Standing behind that unsightly fight, Dumnorix faced Korin whose lips were titled into a wicked smile.
The main culprit behind this devious set of plans carefreely gazed at Dumnorix, who couldn’t attack him because of the restrictions of geass, and casually went over his evil strategy.
“Nobody can stop me. Whether it be you, Dun Scaith or even Valtazar! No-one! If I can’t take Koprulu… I mean, Claiomh Solais for myself, then I will burn it into ashes instead…! Wahahahahahaha!!”
“Mr. Korin. I think we look more like villains.”
Leaving behind Dun Scaith and his group that were still fighting against the giants, Korin and his crew immediately began running to the oak tree.
“Huhuhu, let them fight between themselves. It would be even better if they all die in the process!”
“Do you have no sense of shame, Korin?”
“There is nothing shameful under the name of Immortan Lork…!”
“…And what is this Immortan Lork?”
“Umm… Don’t worry about it, Sister.”
Cowardly, underhanded, crafty yet proud… That was the perfect description of Immortan Lork.
“Haa~. Looks like there are many things about my fiance that I need to compromise with… I cannot help but lament at that fact.”
“By the way, Mr. Korin. Isn’t it bad if they subjugate the giants and obtain the Sun?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“When we get down to the ground… I’m going to cut off all the trees.”
Evil and cowardly.
It seemed that Korin wasn’t interested in the orthodox and rightful approach in the first place.
“History is written only by the victors. Guhyahyhyahya…!”
“Please stop with that weird laugh.”
In any case, the plan was a success. Acquiring Claiomh Solais would have been the best, but exiling two of the King’s subjects on the floating island forever was an incredible benefit regardless.
According to his first plan, Korin started looking for the branches of the oak tree that he and his group used to climb up to the clouds.
“It’s over there…!”
There were a few other branches next to it, which appeared to be the branches of the tree Scaith and his group used to climb up. However, that didn’t matter because the plan was to cut both trees down immediately after going down.
That was when Lunia stopped her feet. The other three stopped their feet with her but it was Yuel who first noticed why.
Next to the branches of the oak tree was a large Wickerman, taller than 20 meters, gazing at them.
“Did they climb up using a Wickerman?”
“That… can’t be.”
Lunia’s assumption was denied by Yuel the druid. Essentially, a Wickerman was a hidden skill that made a wooden doll move using a burning sacrifice as fuel. A Wickerman summoned with nothing but mana shouldn’t be able to last more than a minute.
Even if it was Dumnorix, it would have been impossible for him to climb all the way up here from the ground on a Wickerman. And even if they were trying to use a sacrifice, finding one that allowed them to climb all the way up from the ground should be impossible—
It was then. Their incredibly threatened survival instincts tried to force them into moving their bodies but before they could even react;
A demonic beast carrying two swords; a swordsman with purple-colored eyes pounced at them from the front.
A fiendish roar echoed across the floating island.
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