“That is right. At my current skill level, I would not be able to face the dragon. In fact, I would be torn apart with a single strike from the dragon. I, at least, need power that will place me on the equal plain with them. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I will simply rely on your master creations. I plan to train in the power of the language that my ancestor had wielded.”
Like Fran Paige, he will train in the power of the language.
That was more meaningful than anything else as far as the man was concerned.
“The power of the language… that means…..”
“The everlasting life that was given to you, the gift that is not a blessing, I will be able to lift it on your behalf.”
That was certainly an attractive offer and a deal. Help Ian Paige with all they can then after mastering the power of the language, he will try to lift the blessing of everlasting life. The man became visibly enticed.
“…..Are you sincere?”
“To be truthful, I, too, cannot guarantee it. It is a level that I have not reached yet. However, the intention to learn the power of the language, and the promise to find a way to lift the blessing in the process are all out of my sincerity.”
The man fell into a deep consideration upon hearing Ian.
His consideration went on a lot longer than expected.
Is it because he is an entity that has lived for so long?
A very long time of thinking about the offer has passed.
“That is my name.”
Finally, the man’s reply was heard.
It wasn’t an acceptance or a rejection.
Instead, he revealed his given name.
“It has been such a long time since I’ve given out my name.”
Bertholdo, the man repeated as if it was a very new feeling. About three hundred years ago, after meeting Mitchell Greenriver and the dejection that he had felt from the promise, he had given up everything.
After returning to the Knocking Island and spending purposeless time, it was certainly the first time that he has verbalized his name in about three hundred or so years.
“Follow me. I will show you what you want.”
Bertholdo headed towards the center of the Island.
Ian, of course, followed by carrying Craven in his arms.
“Even after Fran had disappeared, we kept making children to offer to him. There were so many ingenious children too. Ah, I’m referring to artifacts. They are like children to us.”
Having started to talk about artifacts, Bertholdo appeared animated. Is it because the lost sense of being a master craftsman has reemerged?
“Finally, those children will have parents. It has taken too long.”
Having arrived at the center of the Island with Bertholdo, Ian could not see anything around. What did he come here to find? The answer to that question soon emerged.
“Was it about here.”
Bertholdo swept the ground with his bare hands as if his memory maybe failing him. Then soon, under the dust, ground surface with words on it appeared. It was the very spot that Bertholdo was looking for.
That wasn’t the end of it. Bertholdo input mana into the ground. As it was with Craven, the so called the master craftsmen had many characteristics that were similar to sorcerers.
‘Is there an underground channel?’
A secret underground channel was what Ian’s guess was. But soon, what Bertholdo showed went way beyond that guess.
There was a massive shake. Was that all? Many manmade shaped colored white things began to emerge out of the ground including columns, walls, roofs, statues, chairs and tables. Then they all came together to form a ‘structure’.
“Do not move. This area is safe.”
As if he was used to it, Bertholdo watched as the structure was being formed.
The identity of the structure was like a temple, a white temple. To be more descriptive, it could be thought of as a ‘dragon’s temple’. There were eight large statues, which all had the images of dragons.
“As I’ve said before, Fran longed for the dragon’s body. However, it does not mean that that longing has somehow changed into jealousy or inferiority complex. At least, that’s how I remembered it. With the purest heart, he longed for and respected the perfection of the dragon’s body.”
Bertholdo said as he watched the white temple that had appeared at the center of the island. He recited quietly as if he was reminiscing.
“Do you see those statues over there?”
“The sizes are smaller than the dragons that I’ve seen, but other than that, they can pass as real dragons.”
“They are all the works done by Craven, whom you’ve brought. He is the sculpture. Ah, I’m a master tailor.”
It seemed that each master craftsman had their own field of expertise. The fact that Craven had focused on the sculpture even when he had lost his memory and that Bertholdo had made a robe for Mitchell Greenriver were all the reasons supporting that.
“Each of those statues holds an artifact that each of us has created for the purpose of offering it to Fran. Those statues are, in fact, storages that I don’t think that you too won’t be able to crack with brute force.”
Even the first sorcerer, the teacher of the dragons cannot crack them? That fact is incredible, but on top of that, the creator is none other than the child, Craven. He probably was not a child based on the time that he has lived, but it was just incredible at any rate.
“The only child that I can give you is only one at this time. The other statues can only be opened by their respective parent, that is, the corresponding master craftsmen.”
Bertholdo came to a stop at the front of the statue at the very left end.
“Do you understand what I mean?”
“You are saying that I need help from other master craftsmen in order to obtain the remaining artifacts.”
They could never die.
They are living somewhere in the world.
If want the artifacts, the implication was to find them and bring them here.
“First, I’ll introduce you to my child.”
As Bertholdo began to inject mana into the dragon statue, the mouth of the statue cracked wide open. In addition, bright white light spewed out of it as if there was an explosion.
“He has not a name yet. It is a tradition to give a name according to the owner. Since you’ve told me that your name was Ian Paige, this child’s name shall…..”
When the light has nearly dispersed away, a blue robe fell down out of the mouth of the statue. Like Mitchell Greenriver’s robe, it seemed that dark blue was Bertoldo’s favorite color.
“Ian Paige Robe, I think that will suffice.
Ian Paige Robe, a blue robe that was lighter than a feather, has landed on the top of Ian’s hands. It was a perfect landing as if it has recognized its owner.
“Do you like it?”
“Maybe. I’m not sure yet….”
“Please try it on.”
There was a strong sense of confidence in Bertoldo’s voice.
What kind of power is in this robe that the man feels so strongly?
Ian’s anticipation grew greatly.
“I’m saying this out of concern, but do not be too surprised. It is a robe that will make a dream, which anyone that knows magic may want to dream about at least once in his lifetime, come true.”