Season 2 Chapter 1
“Lord, the sun is setting.”
“Is that so?”
Marcus Mogrian, the Grand Lord of the snowy Mogrian lands, stopped hunting. He had been with many able men, unlike before.
“We have caught enough meat for the banquet, so let’s finish the hunt here.”
It was a tradition of the northern lands that the head of the family would go on hunting on his wife’s birthday and share the meat with the family. Today was Roana Mogrian’s birthday, and the day she died. She had been his one true love.
“I am going to the kitchens like usual, so bear the flavor.”
The Grand Lord was the head of the lands, and he had a duty to lead the kitchen to prepare the banquet.
“We will enjoy anything you have prepared!”
“Yes! We will devour raw meat!”
“I cannot eat raw food…”
“Sir Eric! How can you say that when our master is preparing a feast?”
The atmosphere was carefree, and Marcus calmed them down.
“Don’t worry, I have a good recipe. You will not eat raw meat.”
Marcus was less severe than before, as he had learned how to let things be after being the in-law to the jolliest Emperor in history.
“Is his highness visiting us today?”
A soldier would have never been able to ask such a question, but Marcus answered him.
“I have spoken that he does not have to attend his mother-in-law’s anniversary.”
The soldiers looked disappointed, and Marcus spoke with a smile.
“Do not look so downcast. His highness has sent us his wines like before, and they’re stored in the wine cellar now.”
“His highness is too kind.”
“I have been thinking only of that for the past few days.”
“You can drink as much as you want today.”
“Cheers for his highness!”
Now was an era of peace brought on by a single mage, where even the Empire’s Shield was a bit lenient.
“So, let’s go back…”
At least, until this moment, when a scream was heard from the northern mountains.
“…What is that noise?”
“It has come from the Snowy Mountains from the north…”
“It seemed like a monster crying.”
Everyone’s eyes headed north, where one could see the northernmost Snowy Mountains where even beasts could not live. Only snow should exist there.
“What is that…?”
However, the men saw something huge that resembled a crouched man. It had two arms, two legs that it could walk on, a thick torso, and a head. However, it had blue skin, writhing hair, glistening eyes, and a physique that matched the mountain.
Something that should not exist was now slowly standing up, using the mountain as a crutch. It let out a scream. While there was quite a distance between the Mogrian Forest where the men had been hunting and the mountains, the sound rang the air.
“What is that?!”
“We have to run now!”
The sound shot through primal fear and was heard like the giant was right in front of them. Not only that, but the giant began to move with thumping sounds. The earth shook, and the giant was coming up south. It was beginning to walk faster, and the Mogrian Castle and the nearby villages would be crushed if things continued.”
Only the Grand Lord held his senses among his terrified men, as he was still the Shield of the North.
“You must get out of the forest to convey this information to the Imperial Family and the Ivory Tower. The quickest way is to ride a horse from the castle stables and run to the relay station.”
Marcus gave a command to Eric, the young knight leader.
“Eric Solanke, the Leader of the Mogrian Knights, will carry out my lord’s command without fail.”
Eric pledged his honor, as Marcus’s command was absolute to a commoner who had been made a noble due to his prowess.
Marcus turned to Aaron Taylor, one of the old knights, who answered his lord’s call.
“Return to the castle immediately and help the evacuation of the northern villages.”
“If so, the young knights may be a better choice than me…”
“I need someone who knows the northern lands well and can make split-second decisions. He also needs to be trustworthy to the people. Therefore, this is your duty.”
“…I will carry out your command without fail.”
Since there is no time, he had no choice but to obey.
“I wait for your command.”
“Help your father. He cannot do it alone.”
“Yes, my lord.”
Alex Taylor was Aaron’s youngest son and a promising knight. Marcus now looked at other men. There were fifty-eight in total, seven knights and fifty soldiers.
“The rest of you.”
Marcus unsheathed the family’s formal sword, ‘Avalanche.’
“Your mission is simple. I will try to contact that giant, and you will observe everything from a safe distance and report to the Imperial Family and the Ivory Tower.”
Marcus had already deemed his destiny to be the Northern Shield of the Empire until the last moment.
The men’s eyes wavered, as Marcus’s words meant he would face death. While they wanted to stop him at all costs, they had to follow his orders.
“Check whether the giant reacts to my words, what reaction it shows, whether it can speak coherently, and most of all, whether it is hostile to humans.”
Marcus stopped there, as there was no time to lose.
“…Today’s hunt had been fun. I will treat you to my dishes later.”
Marcus went up on his horse and rushed to the north, where the giant was coming with those words.
‘It is huge.’
The giant was even bigger up close, and its face was blank. Marcus stopped his favorite horse Winter when he could see those characteristics.
“I am the Grand Lord of Mogrian, Marcus Mogrian. I rule the lands you’re tramping on now.”
While Marcus did not know whether the giant would understand human words, he kept talking.
“Strange Giant. We do not have to be enemies. How about introducing ourselves to confirm this? I am interested in knowing your name.”
Marcus lowered his blade on the ground to prove his sincerity.
Had that act of courage worked? The blue giant acknowledged Marcus’s presence. Maybe they could communicate with each other.
“I repeat that I am Marcus Mogrian…”
It was then the giant spoke in what seemed like a structured language, which seemed to be the giant’s unique words.
‘What does that mean? Did it understand me?’
Marcus thought hard, and he noticed that the giant had stopped walking and had responded to his words. He spoke carefully, as he knew now that the giant had intellect.
“While we cannot understand each other, at least let us try to…”
However, his words were to no avail. The giant’s foot now cast a shadow on Marcus’s body.
That was the cruel ending for the Northern Shield of the Empire.
“We have to run…!”
“Come to your senses! Didn’t you listen to his words?! We have to report everything to not let his death have been in vain…!”
While the men were left senseless for a moment, they remembered their training to obey Marcus’s final command.
However, they could not follow through as the giant’s jaw opened to let out a white ray that vaporized the northern lands.
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