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Chapter 312 - Nastronds Demon King (2)

    Chapter 312 - Nastronds Demon King (2)

    Anyway, the decision to face Jerem was unavoidable. A warlock didn't forget grudges, and Jerem was still upset at losing Theodore's body. Even if he didn't have any relationship with Theodore, he would've tried to steal Theodore's body.

    Theodore came to a quick conclusion. Fearing the hostility from Nídhöggur, Theodore quickly returned to Mana-vil.

    "So far, this is the whole story of my investigation." Theodore faced Kurt III and confessed everything he had learned in Lairon. This was a different environment from the third-party Soldun. Meltor was the great power in the north, and it would be the greatest victim if Jerem's purpose in Elvenheim was achieved. There was a need to know in detail about the power of the opponent and their intentions.

    "―Hah."

    However, it couldn't be helped in this situation.

    "We've been puppets of a grimoire for 500 years, and now it is the evil dragon Nídhöggur? He has been mentioned once or twice in the ancient records..." Kurt unconsciously held the back of his neck and leaned on the throne. The famous and wise king had a terrible expression on his face.

    However, there was no one for Kurt to rebuke.

    A dragon was making its mark in this era. The names of the gods were faded, and grand masters were only mentioned in popular novels. In the era of mortals that didn't believe in the Age of Mythology, Nídhöggur was a disaster. Niflheim's abyss, the demon king of Nastrond!

    Nídhöggur's power over that dimension was equivalent to a god's. Of course, in order to exert his power in other dimensions, a corresponding price was needed, and Jerem planned to offer the world tree and Baldur's body as sacrifices. If he succeeded, he would be able to dominate this material world.

    "We have to stop it."

    "Yes, that's right."

    The minds and gazes of the two people, Kurt III and Theodore, connected. They couldn't choose the option of standing by idly. The people of Meltor knew better than anyone else about a warlock's viciousness. Warlocks thought that human life was worthless. They despised the human race and worshipped death. If the top warlock, Jerem, obtained this world, then all living creatures would fall to hell.

    Kurt gave a long sigh and asked Theodore a question, "...Then what are you thinking?"

    "I will do anything I can, but honestly, I can't guarantee that Meltor will be of great help. Nídhöggur is something that humans of this age can't resist."

    "They are fair words. Thus, we have to end it before Nídhöggur completely descends."

    "In the end, it is the defense of the world tree. It is standing firm in this position."

    Kurt grasped the situation and laughed. It was a complete defeat the moment Nídhöggur descended. Gluttony said it might be possible if ten grandmasters were gathered...? As Theodore had seen in the fight against Invidia, they couldn't win against one grandmaster even if they collected all the masters on the continent.

    It was an impossible prerequisite. Thus, Theodore didn't even think about fighting with Nídhöggur. They would lose the moment they fought. If they couldn't fight against Nídhöggur, then they needed to defeat Jerem who was planning the resurrection.

    'The opponent is Jerem, who has the power of the four horsemen and an army of senior undead. Other than that, I'm not sure.'

    The odds weren't high in an all-out fight. It would be impossible if Jerem was in a perfect state, but after being damaged by Mitra, he was now only a little stronger than Theodore. Furthermore, if the pale rider was gone, then Veronica could deal with them with one or two masters. Considering the guardians of the world tree and the elemental rulers that the high elves could summon, there was no shortage of masters.

    The problem was Jerem's hidden cards that Theodore couldn't know about. Jerem was at a level in which Theodore couldn't guess what he was thinking. So, Theodore needed to increase the odds in an all-out war.

    The summoning of a senior demon? The undead stored outside Tartarus? He couldn't come up with measures for vague speculations. Theodore struggled for a while before coming up with an answer.

    "Your Majesty, I want to ask you for something."

    If the other party had unknown hidden cards, couldn't he counter it with the same tactics? Kurt III nodded, and Theodore requested something that hadn't been allowed since the founding of the Meltor Kingdom.

    "Please give me full authority over the Zero Library in order to deal with this!"

    Kurt's eyes widened at the unprecedented petition.

    *     *     *

    -It is a very desirable request, User!

    "Shut up."

    Gluttony buzzed with excitement at the thought of eating a lot, and Theodore bluntly cut him off.

    Needless to say, this request was accepted.

    Full power in the Zero Library. It was the first time this authority had been granted in the Meltor Kingdom. Even the previous tower masters hadn't been granted this privilege. It was possible for Theodore to read any books in the Zero Library, as well as withdraw them.

    This was to find a means to confront Jerem, but it was a big responsibility.

    'If I fail after all this, I would want to commit suicide...'

    Of course, it was more likely that he would be killed by Jerem or have his body stolen. Theodore didn't have anything to say and kept walking.

    -Um?

    However, his feet weren't heading toward the Zero Library.

    -User, this isn't the direction of the Zero Library.

    "I know. I need to head somewhere else prior to that."

    -What is more important than magic to a magician? If the material world is to fall tomorrow, you should read one more book.

    "Don't talk about the world being destroyed to someone who lives here," Theodore said. Then after hearing Gluttony's increasingly human-like words, Theodore spoke of his destination, "I'm going to meet the guardians. They are people who have to return to Elvenheim, and I have something to ask them about Heathcliff's prophecy."

    -It is reasonable. But don't fuss over them too much, User.

    "Just wait quietly for a few hours."

    Theodore ignored Gluttony's urging and arrived at the room where the two elf guardians were staying. He didn't hesitate and placed a hand on the doorknob.

    Click.

    Clean air leaked out as soon as the door was opened. Was it the influence of both guardians? A wind normally found deep in forests greeted him. Simultaneously, both guardians saw Theodore.

    "Benefactor! You are safe!"

    "I'm really glad that you aren't injured."

    Theodore was at a loss for words when he saw them.

    "...I'm sorry for not coming sooner."

    Edwin's left sleeve was empty, while Ellaim's voice was soft as if the wound on his neck hadn't healed yet. Despite suffering serious injuries, the two elves were genuinely pleased that Theodore was safe. Theodore' conscience was stabbed by this innocent response. Ellaim refused his apology, "It is nothing Benefactor. Didn't something big happen as soon as you got out of bed? Rather, this visit is sooner than I expected."

    "Sir Edwin..."

    For an archer, the loss of one arm was devastating. Unlike a swordsman that could hold the sword with the other arm, an archer had to use both arms. Yet there was no gloominess on Edwin's face. Theodore put a hand in his pocket. The elixir was meant for someone to use. Half a bottle could restore one arm and a cut neck. What were a few drops of elixir compared to those who risked their lives to delay Invidia?

    "Ah, you don't have to worry about that."

    However, Theodore's determination was blocked by an unexpected opposition.

    "...Do I have to force-feed this to you to make you drink it?"

    The two guardians were different from Vince, as they were Elvenheim's protectors. It would be shameful to turn a country's masters into useless existences, let alone the elves who had crossed the Red Plateau and come to Meltor because of Theodore.

    While Theodore was struggling over the idea of force-feeding them when Ellaim explained, "Hahaha! That isn't it, Benefactor. I have pride in the life I have built as a guardian and would take that remedy if I had a body that couldn't shoot a bow again."

    "Then why?"

    "It is simple. We can receive the grace of the parent tree and restore our lost body parts."

    Theodore's eyes widened. "You can even recover lost limbs?"

    "Yes. It consumes a lot of innate vitality, so an elf can only use it three or four times in their lives.

    "Ah... Then it is impossible for humans."

    There was a big difference between the elves who could live for thousands of year and humans who could barely live to 100 years. He had wondered if he could fix Vince's body this way, but the two guardians didn't refute Theodore's words. This method was only available to the elves who had a long lifespan and could afford to lose some of it.

    'No, now isn't the time to be obsessed with this.' Theodore quickly pushed this matter to the side and cut to the chase.

    First, he explained the prophecy he had heard from Heathcliff, "...The prophecy has now reached the third verse, and there are two remaining. 'Big birds and snakes are surrounding a tree' and 'the squirrels will help you to repay the favor.' Can you think of anything?"

    It could be good or bad. Theodore felt like the elves held the key. The memories of elves were long, and they had much fewer generations, so the guardians might know something about this prophecy.

    ...And his guess was right.

    "I have." It was Ellaim.

    Edwin and Theodore turned their eyes toward him. This caused Ellaim to open his mouth with an awkward expression, "It is a story I heard from a female elementalist. In the old days, it was said that a god and demon surrounded the world tree and fought. One was in the image of a dragon, while the other was a giant bird."

    'This!' Theodore sensed something and asked hastily, "Is the name of the dragon 'Nídhöggur'?"

    "Níðhöggr... Yes. The pronunciation is a bit different, but it should be referring to the same being. A sneering butcher and dragon who swallows the dead. Additionally, the huge bird is called 'Hraesvelgr', and it was a sacred creature trying to protect the world tree."

    "Nídhöggura and Hraesvelgr... big snake and big bird..."

    Just like thread moving through a hole in the beads, the clues started to join together. He could be sure after one more clue was added. Theodore's mind started to move at full speed. Meanwhile, Edwin added, "That reminds me, Ratatoskr is the name of the squirrel that appears in the old myths. Is the squirrel in the prophecy perhaps Ratatoskr?"

    "Ah!" A lightning bolt flashed through Theodore's mind.

    At this moment, all of the verses of the prophecy linked up perfectly. Theodore grabbed the hands of the two elves without being able to hide his excitement. "I have to go to Elvenheim with you."

    All that remained were the final preparations.
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