The Great Grass Field (2)
There were various methods to threaten people.
Such as magic on a tremendous scale that would cause them to piss themselves.
However, Ian chose to ‘conjure a spirit’.
The reason was simple.
His opponent conjured a copied version of a spirit.
The first reason was that Ian had felt competitive.
The second was,
“Dear fire spirit!”
He knew the religious characteristics of the aborigines quite well.
To them, spirits were treated as Gods. Even the election process of the King of Shamans was related to spirits. A shaman who could conjure a ‘real’ spirit was elected as the King of Shamans. From the point of view as a mage, they were only around the 3rd class.
‘It must be their first time seeing a salamander level spirit.’
To the aborigines, a shaman was a king, and the messenger of God. That was the reason, that Ian had summoned this giant flame lizard, ‘salamander’. It was the most effective spell to the aborigines more than others, spiritually, and visually.
‘I didn’t expect them to be this astonished, though.’
Ian just tried to threaten them.
However, they were kneeling down and started bowing,
As if they had met a ‘real God’.
“Dear fire spi……”
By Ian’s order, the salamander breathed out. Even its single breath burnt down the grass underneath it.
“Now can we talk?”
The bent down aborigines looked confused. They were isolated from society for a long time. Since they had observed a greater spirit than their King of Shamans, they couldn’t think properly.
“The spirit is asking through me.”
It was very effective.
“Where is the King of Shamans, actually, why are you hiding him? You better tell me the truth.”
At last, the old fake King of Shamans came out and bowed down. He must be one of the high rank shamans so he was doing the King of Shaman’s job, which was similar to an Archmage for the aborigines.
“T, the King of Shamans is not in the village.”
It was the expected answer.
Their action had proved his words already.
They were creating some kind of plan.
It must be the plan of the King of Shamans.
“Give me the details.”
“F, for the details, we have no idea….”
“The spirit is furious.”
By Ian’s gesture, the salamander shook its head curiously.
Ian had to show the salamander by raising his head and pretending that he was breathing fire. Then the salamander understood Ian’s intention and started to breathe fire in the sky. That was the proper expression of ‘fury’.
“I, I will tell you!”
With this scene, the aborigines’ bodies started to shake.
It would’ve been no different to normal imperial men. Imagine giant flame lizard spreading fire on the sky. Furthermore, aborigines believed in spirits.
“The King of Shamans said that h, he is opening a path.”
“He told us that he found a new plan to conquer the northern monsters and open the path between other strong countries…”
“W, we do not know what the plan is. He just told us that he had a plan, and headed to the north, and he substituted me to do his job. That’s all I know, I swear.”
The old man desperately claimed that he wasn’t lying. However, Ian’s interrogating spell was revealing that the old man was saying a lie. The old man must know what the ‘plan’ was. It must be some plan that wasn’t pleasant to the empire’s men.
‘A plan to conquer all monsters?’
Ian had almost solved the puzzle. Those monsters acted intelligently, as they were ordered by someone. If assuming that the King of Shamans managed to control some actions of those monsters, it started to make sense.
‘He may be using the border lines to reduce their numbers.’
Sending monsters to the three countries’ border lines.
Endlessly, with deception.
Then, the three countries would act sensitively, wouldn’t they?
They would focus their forces on conquering all those monsters.
‘Falling into his lap.’
The consumption of supplies and sacrifices was the responsibility of those countries.
It was a decent plan, indeed.
In the point of the aborigines’ view, of course.
‘And it will actually happen soon.’
Ian knew the brief historical flow after this event. Three countries would soon hold their meeting, and form a united monster conquering army. As the King of Shamans wished, most of the monsters were eliminated from the Great Grass Field. But,
‘The aborigines become their slaves.’
A ‘new path’ wouldn’t be constructed. Rather, those countries divided this resourceful aborigine’s land into several pieces, and enslaved these aborigines.
‘It will happen in future after a while, though.’
Anyway, it wouldn’t change their future.
Ian leered at the old man.
Then, he spoke quietly.
“He found an incantation that controls the monsters, hasn’t he?”
The old man’s body shook greatly.
It seemed Ian got the point right.
“What kind of incantation is it?”
The old man’s face turned pale. The opponent was the one who conjured the ‘real spirit’. Furthermore, it seemed that he could see through his mind and find out the truth. If he kept lying, he couldn’t guarantee the future of his life and these tribes.
“…….. The King of Shamans had learnt the incantation from a woman, who had white skin like you.”
“The King of Shamans just called her a guest, and she left after a few days. A few days later, our king scripted such a formula on his staff, and then headed to the north. T, trust me.
That meant this event wasn’t planned by the King of Shamans alone. If the woman had white skin, she must come from an Empire or Principality.
Ian had imagined a few guesses and possibilities.
But soon, he decided to solve the problem he faced right now.
‘He is not telling a lie.’
So there was only one way to solve this problem.
Firstly, he had to find out where the King of Shamans, among those tides of monsters were.
Whether killing him or stopping him, Ian had to release those monsters from his control.
The method was simple.
‘It is rather the problem on how to find where he is and approach him.’
Ian tied up his long hair.
Now the solution was clear.
It was the time for action.
“Thank you for your help.”
Ian treated them politely, again.
There were no businesses left with the aborigines. He didn’t even care enough to punish their rudeness. He got what he needed, and the staff must be with the King of Shamans.
“That man may need some treatment.”
Ian dismissed the salamander, and pointed to the man that Ian had defeated with his sword.
“Excuse me then.”
Ian was raised up to the sky. Conjuring a real spirit already shocked them, but now Ian was flying. The aborigines were astonished again.
“Is something going wrong?”
The great land lord of the Pieric Province held his head. It was already ten days since the Archmage, Ian Page, had gone to the Great Grass Field. But he hadn’t received any messages from him since.
‘If he doesn’t return…..’
The ice wall that blocked the path of the valley started to melt down. He told him before that it would hold for ten days, so it would melt soon.
‘I can’t just wait for him, either.’
He already had heard enough about Ian Page. He had trusted Ian’s mighty power would solve this problem, but it seemed he was wrong.
“Yes, My lord.”
The great land lord Kalian called ‘Adol,’ who was waiting outside of the barrack, the best warrior of his, and ordered him to prepare for war.
“As we planned, form a formation. Focus every army and catapult we have in the province. Even bring squads who were guarding the mountain side, as well.”
“As you command.”
Adol’s voice was revering.
He was prepared to die.
He quickly left the barrack.
‘Sir Ian, I do not blame you.’
Kalian was telling the truth. It must’ve been too much for him to solve this problem solely by himself. He rather wanted to blame the royalty and the Ivory Tower, who refused to send supplies and armies, but only sent him alone.
‘Rather, it might’ve been the better choice to ask him to fight together on our side.’
If so, he could kept blocking the path with the wall, so he could resend his request to the Empire and earn some time to let them come.
‘It is too late for regrets.’
Kalian stood up. Then he picked up a pair of axes that were laid on the barrack. It was the family heirloom battle axes, ‘Pieric’s Executioner.’
“We will defend it, me and my soldiers.”
Kalian self encouraged himself.
Protecting the province and the people in there, as the strongest shield of the Empire.
With hundreds times of reminding himself, he left the barrack and confronted his battle field. He looked at the ice wall’s height, which was quite lower, calmly.
“Humph, come at me, foul creatures.”
At the ice blocked Valley of the Big Snake, every force was focused. The imperial armies which he received as the first reinforcement, two 3rd class mages and the conducted mage McGedie, and catapults for the first strike.
After a few hours later, they finished their preparation.
The ice wall which had melted down to half of its original size.
“Prepare the catapults.”
A quiet order of the great land lord on the watch tower was relayed to every catapult squad. It was quiet, and everyone was nervous. There was no speech, nor encouragement. It was the silence before the storm.
The conducted mage, Mcgedie shook her body.
She rather preferred to being teased by the supplies squad now.
Not only her, but most of the other soldiers, as well. They recalled their best moment of their life or a better moment than now. They all wished to rewind their time.
But soon, by the great land lord’s dry order, they awakened.
It was about to start.
The defrosting rate of the ice wall was increasing.
It would melt down in a few minutes, low enough to invade.
“Little bit more.”
The land lord’s right arm was raised with his battle axe. The blade of the axe was reflecting sunshine everywhere. Whenever he put down his right arm, the catapults would start its attack.
“Little bit more.”
When the opposite side of ice wall was about to be revealed, everyone lost their focus quickly. The wall suddenly started to crack down.
“Is it cracking down?”
20 thousands of soldiers started whispering.
It wasn’t an ideal atmosphere before the war.
The land lord had to calm down and let them focus.
Just before the firing order had given,
The crack of the ice wall getting bigger, quicker than they thought,
*Grrrrrrrrrrr – !*
Soon it started to fall down.
Thanks to that, every soldier could see its opposite side clearly.
There was nothing.
Nothing at the front of the ice wall, nor over the horizon of the valley.
There was not even a single monster standing there.
Instead, there was a man alone.
It was Mcgedie who recognized him first.
Soon, other people recognized him as well.
“Pa, pant! Phew……”
It was a young man who wore a robe, covered by dust.
The man breathed roughly, as his lungs were fractured.
“S, sir Ian?”
It was the tenth day since he had been gone.
Today, he didn’t come with his flying spell, but with his bare feet.
Ian was holding a staff with injured hands.
It was a staff with quite the rare appearance.
“Never….. Never touch i…….”
After barely warning them, Ian fainted.