The Great Grass Field (1)
“It’s worse than I thought.”
Ian murmured after he searched through some monster nests in the northern territory, which was half of the grass field. It was a severe situation.
‘Are these monsters of the grass field united?’
The grass field was known to have 70 percent of its territory being conquered by monsters, and rest by aborigines. During the past hundreds of years, the aborigines had successfully united and formed one whole tribe. On the other hand, every different species of monsters used to kill each other, until only a few months ago. But from a few months ago, they suddenly became united. Furthermore,
‘They are not only attacking the Pieric Province.’
Monsters weren’t only attacking the Pieric Province, which represented the Greenriver Empire’s territory. From the point of view of the Great Grass Field, they attacked the Coldwood Empire located at their north side, as well as the principality of Lo located at their north-west side.
Ian couldn’t search through everything detail. But what he knew was that monsters were invading all of these three countries’ border lines. And it was the Pieric Province which was under the most attack from monsters. The reason must be due to the valley of the big snake.
‘The paths to the other countries are narrow and spread out.’
For the other countries, monsters had to invade the country with a small sized squad due to its narrow path, but the Greenriver Empire was connected by a huge valley, which allowed massive numbers of monsters to invade the border line at once. It was natural that the Greenriver Empire received relatively more damage by the monsters.
‘Then what about the aborigines?’
Monsters were literally, attacking every side of the grass field. Then what about the aboriginal villages which were the closest to the monsters nests? Were they being invaded by monsters as well?
‘I better check.’
The south of the Great Grass Field was the territory of aborigines.
Their union was formed by hundreds of small and big villages.
After Ian reached the border of their territory, Ian dispelled his fly magic. So much mysterious things were happening, and Ian didn’t know what he would confront, so he chose to save his mana as much as he could.
It was totally different to the northern side where it was full of noises due to the monsters.
The southern territory of the aborigines was peaceful. There were no monsters, and Ian looked rather like an invader.
And that made it more suspicious.
A quiet atmosphere as if Ian was no longer standing at the grass field.
In this situation, how this could have happened?
‘It’s supposed to be the aborigines who should be in conflict with the monsters.’
When everything became more suspicious, a small sized aboriginal patrol surrounded Ian with their spears and axes.
Black skinned aborigines surrounded Ian. Every one them had a big body as much as Kalian, the great land lord. Their appearance was quite threatening due to their accessories made by monster skins and bones.
“I am not your enemy.”
Ian started to speak a language that was unknown to most people. Ian had learned many languages while he was researching the dragon chants, as well as the aborigine language of the Great Grass Field.
“I came from the Greenriver Empire.”
The aborigines looked a little bit amazed.
Their language was spoken by a foreigner.
They had never experienced such a situation.
“How do you know our language?”
The biggest man of the patrol asked. His black and flexible muscles looked like obsidian, rather than human flesh.
“I don’t have much time. I came here to meet the King of Shamans.”
The King of Shamans.
They were like the aboriginal ‘Tower Lord.’
There were also aborigines who were born with a mana heart and a mana brain, and they were raised to become shamans, instead of mages. Since a shaman also yielded the power of mana like a mage, they both had common things, but also different things as well.
“I want to discuss about the northern monster invasions with him. I am sure he would know about this situation……
Ian explained his request gently in their language.
However, their response was cold
Rather, they seemed hostile.
“You arrogant dog of the empire dare to mention his name. Do you think he is your friend that can be called whenever you want?”
The aborigines started to smash the ground with the end of their spears.
To Ian, the King of Shamans looked like a Tower Lord, but to the aborigines, he was more than that. Literally, he was a ‘king’ to them.
“Get off you arrogant bastard! If you speak nonsense one more time, we will sacrifice your body to the spirit of the Great Grass Field!”
A rough and clear order was given.
However, Ian wouldn’t follow their orders. Rather, it made him angry. Ian wasn’t a bad tempered man. He wasn’t the type of mage who invaded their homeland and started to burn down their homes before speaking. Not in his former life, as well as this life, unless there was a special case. However, the situation was different this time.
“Then, for you guys,”
Ian treated them politely enough.
There was no need for a second time of politeness.
His opponent didn’t deserve it.
“Do I look like a man who would follow your order?”
Ian leered at them sharply.
The aborigines also grabbed their spear firmly.
“Let’s see if you can say that after your death!”
The aborigines started their assault.
However Ian didn’t deal with them with his magic.
More precisely, it wasn’t ‘only’ magic that he used.
A long icicle was formed in his hand.
It was a thin and sharp icicle like a sword.
Only the end of its body was dull, so that it was easy to hold.
Ian made it like this on purpose.
Ian took a legitimate sword fighting stance.
It was obviously the ‘Imperial Sword Art.’
It was only an icicle that had replaced the sword.
Actually, an ‘Ice sword’ replaced the sword.
‘I will try to save it as much as I can.’
For the last 5 years, Ian didn’t just duel with Oliver. Ian did some physical exercises that may help his mana heart grow. Naturally, Ian had a chance to learn the knight’s practice and Imperial Sword Art. It was quite interesting.
‘I wasn’t talented as a physical fighter, though.’
Ian wasn’t that talented as a swordsman.
However, Ian was mage. If he enhanced his body with mana and a supportive spell,
‘I will be strong as a young royal knight.’
Supportive magic such as enhancing agility and reaction speed, with the help of those, Ian’s sword skill wasn’t that bad. It was quite good actually. That was the evaluation by Oliver and the other knights. There was no boot licking, but an honest evaluation.
The spear of the giant aborigine’s was deflected to the sky.
He couldn’t deal Ian with his big muscles.
‘H, how he can be…..!’
Ian was powerful as the shaman bodyguards.
They also yielded massive power with their small body.
Was this imperial man the same kind as them?
The aborigine stepped back while staggering.
Ian didn’t miss this chance.
A small mana sphere smashed the aborigine’s abdomen. A small explosion had occurred, as well. Although it wouldn’t kill him, he would be suffering for a while. His intestines were twisted by its impact.
This Imperial man’s muscle power was similar to their tribe guards.
However, that magic was similar to their shaman.
Embarrassed, the aborigines had stepped back.
“M, mage. An imperial mage!”
They also knew about the imperial mages.
They were a similar kind to that of the shamans. After they recognized Ian was mage, they pulled out their horn, and tried to blow it. They were trying to call for reinforcements.
“Don’t make it a mess.”
However, their effort was meaningless. A tangle arose from the ground and snapped the horn. It was the great grass field. It was the perfect area to cast ground type magic without using too much mana.
“Monsters are invading our border lines.”
Ian approached the tangled aborigines.
He aimed at their necks with his ice sword.
“However, it seems you guys are unaffected by them. You guys must be related to it.”
Even a soft touch of the ice sword made them bleed.
The edge was very sharp.
“Tell me. The King of Shamans. Where can I find him?”
“O, our king…..”
“Are you looking for me, young man?”
From behind, an old man’s voice was heard.
Although he was standing far away, his voice was clear.
A shaman was similar to the mage.
They knew how to enhance their voice with their mana.
“Why is an imperial man looking for the King of Shamans?”
An old man wearing a wolf skin approached, followed by many guards as well.
“Are you the King of Shamans?”
“People call me like that.”
“I came from the Greenriver Empire. I came here to ask you about those monsters.”
Ian drew away his ice sword.
Ian said to the old man while briefly looking at the birch staff on his hand.
“Do you know anything about them?”
“What are those monsters are doing?”
“They are invading three countries’ border line.”
The old man replied without any curiosity.
It was indeed the standard thing to happen.
But its scale was absurd.
“That’s strange. It must be you guys who are the most sensitive about the monsters’ movement, but you guys are reacting like you have never heard about it. Most of all, you are the King of Shaman.”
Ian’s suspicion was getting deeper, and clearer.
There was a critical fact that proved he was lying.
“You are not the King of Shamans.”
The old man swayed for a moment.
Although it was for a glimpse of a moment, Ian’s eyes didn’t missed it.
Ian was looking at the old man’s staff.
He was watching it from beginning.
That was the critical clue.
“As far as I know, the King of Shamans uses a different staff.”
Ian didn’t know well about the aborigine’s daily routine.
However, at least Ian knew about their staffs.
The staff that was given to the King of Shaman.
It was the ‘fourth artifact’ that Ian was targeting.
“What are you guys manipulating?”
Ian asked quietly.
By his question, the old man raised his staff highly.
“Dear fire element!”
Soon, giant flames started to burn its surrounding.
It was a different type of magic compared to imperial mage’s magic. The flame had a head and arms. It was a copied version of the fire spirit magic, precisely, ‘incantation’.
“It is not your business, imperial man.”
The aboriginal shaman’s voice changed and became cold.
His summoned flames started to attack Ian.
It must be their ultimate move for them.
However, Ian laughed bitterly.
It seemed he was underestimated by that fake King of Shaman.
‘This is quite awkward.’
They must have underestimated him due to Ian pretending to be a sword man. Maybe that shaman estimated Ian to be an imperial mage who could use the sword and a first class mage who could cast the lowest class magic, such as the magic missile.
‘Fire element, is it?’
He was attacking Ian with the copied version of fire spirit magic.
So Ian decided to show the higher tier of magic than those incantations.
Ian was the best mage of the Empire, wasn’t he?
It was unofficial though.
‘An eye for an eye and tooth for tooth.’
After dodging the attack of the shaman’s fire spell, Ian drew a conjuring formulae. It was much more complicated than conjuring the wolf spirits or conjuring a unicorn. However, Ian drew it perfectly, and without any mistake.
Ian spoke the casting spell in their language on purpose.
They believed in spirits as their guardian spirit.
“Fire spirit, Salamander.”
Compared to the fake fire spirit of the shaman, it was a giant flame lizard that had a much bigger body and flames around it. It was the moment where the ‘fire spirit salamander’ was summoned at the Great Grass Field.
“F, fire spirit…….?”
It was the appearance of a real spirit. Not a fake one made by the shamans, but a real fire spirit, a salamander, was conjured. Furthermore, it consumed the fake spirit that the shaman had conjured.
“If you want to live,”
The salamander walked around the aborigines.
Its fire energy had reached the aborigines very well.
Even a single breathe of air made them feel like they were burning.
Whenever if they tried to do any tricky moves, the spirit would burn them.
“Stop lying to me.”