Chapter 64: Charnel on the Snow
“Okay, first is the ‘Magic Lake Monster’. It used magic to make all the mercenaries incoherent and uncontrollably walk towards the middle of the ice to mit suicide. I couldn’t do anything to break that magic, but you, my dear Semel, just show up and break that magic! You showed me your stronger side! Your magic power from then amazed me! Just from moving your finger, you could crack the ice. Then when you move it again, not only do you kill that monster, you even obtained it’s magic nuclei! Finally…you seemingly knew me as another person named ‘Zach”, and while standing in front of me, said you loved me.”
Duwei sat next to the fire talking casually, while breaking tree branches into pieces and throwing them into the fire.
No one sat next to him. All the mercenaries were busy; some of them were bandaging, some were lighting fires, and some were helping the wounded. The unfortunate mercenares who had dropped into the lake were being healed by Semel. Since they had fallen into the lake in the freezing weather, they had nearly died.
“What?” Semel stood next to Duwei. Her beautiful face looked confused,”I did such an act? How e I don’t remember anything?”
Duwei laughed and looked at Semel plicatedly, “Look…You killed a very strong magic monster and saved a lot of people. Then, after you stood in front of me and fainted…you woke up and told me ‘I didn’t do anything’. So, Semel, don’t look at me this way. If you really don’t know, then we have a problem! We need to figure out what’s happening with you!”
“Magic!” Duwei suddenly jumped up and took a deep breath. He looked at Semel carefully, “You can use magic! And, from my point of view…your magic is very strong! Extremely strong! But isn’t that a bit strange? You don’t even have a real body…you are only a shadow, an illusion! An illusion that can use magic! How is this possible?”
‘And you also called me “Zach”…’―― Duwei said in his mind.
Only the real Semel, the real female astrology teacher, would use that tone when speaking!
“Do you feel anything, perhaps some strange feeling? Or in your memory, is there anything that can explain this? Even a little bit?” Duwei looked at Semel seriously.
“No.”Semel answered quickly and firmly. She shook her head, “I am the cloned memory of Semel. I am a magic creature who was sealed in the oil painting and I am just a visual illusion. I only have part of the memories related to Semel……and I don’t know magic. I really don’t know any at all.”
Her pretty eyes looked innocent and confused, even a bit helpless.
With those eyes, Duwei could not believe she was lying. She seemed to be telling the truth……otherwise, she must be frighteningly good at telling lies.
Duwei decided he would rather believe the former.
A purple crystal-like object was thrown by Duwei into the snow. “That’s the magic nuclei of the magic lake monster. It shouldn’t be fake. I don’t have the ability to kill an adult magic lake monster, and yet you killed it in front of me and got the monster nuclei from it.”
Semel was confused and she tried her best to remember what happened, “I….I don’t know. I really can’t remember……”
At that moment, Dardanelle and Heinrich were approaching them.
Semel looked at Duwei and sighed, then became invisible.
“Mr. Magician.” Heinrich looked serious. He stood in front of Duwei, then he saluted, “Thank you so much for saving me and my people!”
Duwei sighed but didn’t say anything. Although this wasn’t done by him, he couldn’t think of anything to say, and he couldn’t tell them the truth…so, he just admitted to it.
Heinrich took out a leather pocket, and gave it to Duwei: “Mr. Magician. I know this is not enough for a reward, but please accept it. At least it can show our appreciation! From now on, if you ever need anything, the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group will always stand beside you!”
Then Heinrich opened the pouch, and inside were many colourful stones…and all of them were magic nuclei!
These were the magic nuclei of many different kinds of magic monsters…these were all of the harvests the Snow Wolf Mercenary group made during this trip! Although the leather of a magic monster could be sold at a nice price, the most valuable part of them were their magic nuclei! There were about thirty magic nuclei in the pocket, and the quality was very good too. Heinrich almost gave out every single one they had obtained.
This was the result of the hard work put in by the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group in this journey. They worked hard for the magic nuclei, and some even lost their lives in the process.
“No, mander.” Duwei surely couldn’t accept these things. First, these people were not saved by him. Even if they were saved by him, he still wouldn’t accept this expensive gift. In his heart, Heinrich was his friend and thus: “I cannot such an expensive gift.”
“But you saved our lives!” Heinrich insisted, “Without you, at this moment, the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group would not even exist in this world!”
Duwei thought for a bit and changed his tone, “Ok, if I’m a magician, even if I think your things are expensive, it’s still not enough to buy a magician, right?”
“……” Heinrich felt weird. “That’s true. Although these were the harvests from this journey, for buying a magician, it’s not enough obviously… Everyone knows that magicians have unique identities. If one wanted to hire a magician, this small mercenary group is not able to pay for it!”
“Don’t misunderstand.” Duwei laughed immediately, “I am not saying it’s too few. But…Mr. Commander, I mean, out here I am not just a magician! You are not only a mercenary either. Do you know what I mean? Do you remember what we talked last night behind the snow? I treat you as my friend! Friends must help friends! When one sees his friend in danger, he must help him. This is logical, right? Please, keep your things, otherwise, it will be rude of me to my friend!”
Heinrich was shocked. This Commander with a beard looked at Duwei. He spread his arms and hugged Duwei tightly. Then he suppressed his passion and whispered, “My friend! Thank you! You are right, my friend! Sorry! My behaviour offended you! I take my words back!”
But this mander was a bit smart. He grabbed some magic nuclei from the pocket, around seven to eight magic nuclei and gave them to Duwei. He tried to stop Duwei and said, “Ok! This is not a reward! I am giving you this not because you saved our lives, but because my best friend is going to leave! This is a farewell present, a gift, not a reward. So you have to keep it!”
Duwei laughed and loosened his hands, then he hugged Heinrich tightly. They laughed loudly on the snow.
“Anytime, anywhere, the Snow Wolf Mercenary group is willing to do anythings for friends!”
This was the promise from Heinrich at their farewell. Duwei believed that this man who loved adventure would abide by his mitment.
As they left the Snow Wolf Mercenary group, the mercenaries gave their best weapon in appreciation.
The old Cyclops made some fried meat for Duwei. And Commander Bein gave the last bottle of wine, which was made from the magic nuclei of a frame rhino, to them. The mercenaries gave their best two sword to Duwei. Chester, the archer with eight fingers, gave his bow to Dardanelle.
If they were not worrying about the load, the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group would’ve given them even more things.
Walking along the lakeside of the Big Circle Lake, there were two series of footprint left upon the snow. Dardanelle carried most of the luggage, and still walked in front of Duwei.
According to what Heinrich said, by bypassing the Big Circle Lake and heading to the north, he had heard that there was someone who caught the golden eye python when he was young.
“Dardanelle.” Duwei suddenly asked,”You seem very calm…I am talking about last night.”
Dardanelle laughed. He said seriously, “Harry, you have saved my life twice including last night! This cannot be settled by simply saying ‘thank you’! If I can stay alive this time after helping mistress, I will leave the Lister family. I, Dardanelle, would like to bee the squire of Mr. Harry the Magician.”
“What are you talking about?” Duwei was shocked.
“I would like to be your squire.” Dardanelle replied calmly, “I owe you two lives now, maybe even more…you are such a good person, Harry. I like you, and want to be your friend. Also, I think that since you are so great, I am afraid I cannot repay you for the grace. So, why don’t I bee your assistant for life? You are a magician. Magicians should always have someone helping them. You need a servant…But unfortunately, I am not a magic student, so I could not be your servant… But I am a warrior! I can be your squire! I think I can do it well.”
In the Roland Continent, many magicians also hired warriors as their squires.
It was because although magicians had great power, their weakness was the close quarters bat! It was the truth that magicians were weak at close battle. So there were many magicians that hired warriors as their squires. When they were in battle, if the opponent stayed close to them, then the warrior could protect them. This was a sort of way of offsetting the weakness of the magicians.
Of course, only the famously strong people in the continent had the qualification to do that. This was because hiring great warriors was costly! Also, if they were hired, they won’t hire junior warriors, because if they did, it was useless. But those great warriors were always arrogant! If not working for the famously strong people in the continent, they were not willing to work for them.
So, when Dardanelle asked to bee the squire of Duwei, Duwei was shocked.
Firstly, Duwei thought that he didn’t have the qualification to hire squire. Many magicians, who were above level eight, still didn’t have this qualification!
Secondly, he thought that Dardanelle was too kind and he could not accept this kindness.
When he looked at Dardanelle’s resolute eyes, Duwei sighed……nevermind, when they returned, he could leave alone. As long as he didn’t know his real name, even Dardenelle wanted to repay him, he wouldn’t be able to find him.
They had been walking along the lake for two days. This lake was unexpectedly large. They still could not bypass this lake pletely after a full two days of walking.
In the afternoon on that day, Dardanelle suddenly pulled Duwei.
“Wait, Harry!” Dardanelle pulled Duwei carefully aside and pointed at the snowdrift aside.
Duwei was shocked. Dardanelle had already approached there, and then pulled out his knife and slightly stirred the snowdrift.
After stirring the snowdrift, there was a frozen hand!
Dardanelle looked serious, he kept on digging the snow aside, then he the found someone…or to be more accurate, he found a corpse!
The corpse was a knight. The badge on his chest had shown his identity. He was a level four knight! He had died miserably. His body was cut in half by some sharp weapon! His face was distorted showing how painfully he had died. The body was frozen, even harder than the ice. The whole body had turned grey, and it was quite creepy.