“Please wait. Even though the rumors indicate as such,” Reid interrupted, “we have not seen any signs of Valhalla in the forest.”
Andellu suddenly became alarmed. He realized it was a possibility that Brendel might be misleading them and even coaxing information out from them.
“Ser Brendel, let’s go back to our original topic!” He tried to stop the discussion.
But Brendel shook his head.
“You are mistaken about your position. Sifrid told you to seek permission from me to let her leave, and if you’re unable to convince me to do so, don’t even think for a moment that I will allow her to even take one single step out of this land. And you can stop raising your eyebrows, old man. Spare me your nonsense about using your abilities like Merging With Nature or Hide In Nature’s Shadows. You can go ahead and try either technique, but I have my ways to catch you.”
When Andellu heard the Druids’ techniques being called out, he abandoned the idea of taking away Sifrid by force. The masses had a poor understanding of the Druids, but the overbearing youth in front of him was an exception. He did not believe it was an empty threat, so he spoke again after some hesitation.
“Ser Brendel, what exactly do you want? We are of no threat to Lady Sifrid, and I’m sure that you believe in what we have told you. We can swear upon Goddess Nia that we are only here to bring her to our land and have her become a Druid.”
“Have you been listening to anything I have been saying so far? Are you not interested in lighting up Valhalla’s Fire Seed?” Brendel said in exasperation.
The three Druids froze.
“Of course we do. This is one of our goals in the Dark Forest. The Druids believe in Mother Marsha as well, but I have to be blunt, my lord, Valhalla—” Raim was incredibly polite.
“Valhalla is in the Dark Forest! The rumors are true!” Brendel’s voice was almost in a yell, before he suddenly stopped and glanced at Sifrid, his voice back to normal, “To be more precise, the Lady of the Forest isn’t the key to lighting up the Fire Seed, but the key to using part of Valhalla’s power.”
He walked over to an armchair filled with cushions and sank fully. He showed an amused face and interlocked his fingers: “Let’s make a transaction.”
“What kind of transaction?” Andellu said.
“Help me find Valhalla, and I’ll help you light up the Fire Seed.”
“And you intend to become Valhalla’s lord as a Pioneer Knight?” Andellu finally realized his real intentions. “This suggestion is feasible since we have no desire for power, but I have to repeat myself. Valhalla doesn’t exist in the forest, and it is a mere legend.”
“Fine, believe what you will. If that’s the case, I want you to enter deeper into the forest and help me locate the ruins of a city.”
Reid suddenly whispered to Andellu’s ears: “Elder, didn’t we discover the ruins in the outskirts of the Annulus of Wind?”
The words seemed to jolt Andellu’s memories.
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