Conquering the Snowfields
Three days had passed since our separation from Adlus and the others. We had walked all morning and now that it was approaching midday, the forest came into view. A sea of trees that spread out at the base of the Alexia mountain range. The tall pine trees before us were all covered in a thick layer of snow. It reminded me of the boreal forests in the north, but the Alexia mountain lay on the other side. And Lambrusen was even farther on. To see a really impressive boreal forest, you would have to go north of Lambrusen, to Erediares. I wondered what Lambrusen was like now, as we entered the icesnow phase.
As this forest was so big, it would take a while for use to reach the mountains. If you walked in a straight line, it might take you two weeks to walk to it from the Imperial Capital.
It was two days from the Imperial Capital to Namila Village. And then two days from the village to the forest entrance. That really showed you how big the forest was.
And somewhere within this forest, the Queen Goblin and her thrall were hiding.
“So, this is where things become serious… Asagi. How are you feeling?”
“The effect of the potions have really kicked in. There’s no pain in my shoulder or legs anymore.”
The parts that had been wounded were exposed from beneath my damaged clothes, but they were completely closed now, and there was no pain.
“You seem to be doing well. …And while I did tell you to seal it, do you think you might be able to use Eyes of the God Wolf now?”
“Hmm. Wait a second… Uhh… I better brace myself…”
The pain was nearly unbearable, but it was necessary to check. I took in a few deep breaths and prepared. Then I activated Eyes of the God Wolf and tried to see towards the back of the forest.
“How is it?”
“Uh…gg…ah…oh. It doesn’t hurt…?”
“Why are you asking me?”
Right. But it really didn’t. That piercing pain was gone!
“It doesn’t hurt! Ahh, what a relief… I was afraid that I’d never be able to use it again…”
“It is probably best that you avoid overuse or looking too far away.”
“Yeah. I have to be careful.”
I had no choice during the fight. The future would have been much darker than it was even now. The result was that while I suffered some side-effects, no one had died.
We left the campsite immediately. There wasn’t anything to do in terms of cleaning up. All our belonging went into the bag or bracelet. And I was feeling better now, so I wanted to go after Adlus.
“I’m going to use the eyes a little.”
“Very well. But stop as soon as it gets uncomfortable.”
I didn’t like the pain, but it didn’t change the fact that it was really useful. And it was good that I could get an idea of what my limits were.
I switched my eyes like switching my attention. My eyesight blurred for a moment, and then I had a bird’s eye view of us standing there. Yes, there was no pain. I kept the height as I moved towards the forest. At the same time, I had Presence Detection activated so I could move towards any signals.
I found a group of ordinary goblins huddled together. Perhaps they had just escaped from something. Many were injured. Blue blood dripped as they screeched and shouted. Well, this wasn’t ‘Ears of the God Wolf,’ so I couldn’t actually hear them. It was like watching a silent film. Only with better picture quality.
“They’re injured…they look like slash wounds.”
“Probably. I don’t how you could get cut like that while just wandering in the forest.”
I doubted you would bleed like that if you were cut by a tree branch. Though, if you did manage it, it would be very embarrassing…
I pushed it out of my mind and switched my vision as well. I continued farther in that direction and saw that the snow had been disturbed. There were visible footprints.
Whatever it was, it shouldn’t be too far. Maybe around two kilometers…
As I tried to keep going, my vision was suddenly covered by noise. At the same time, I felt the kind of pain you might expect if a needle stabbed you in the eyes. My body tensed and I frantically deactivated Eyes of the God Wolf.
“Are you alright?!”
The strength left my body and I fell to my knees. As I closed my eyes tightly and pressed my palms against my face, Daniela worriedly lay a hand on my shoulder. I smiled back weakly and told her I was fine. But she clearly didn’t believe me.
“I was wrong to ask you. It should remain sealed.”
“No, I was so sure I could do it…”
I thought that I could keep going. My vision had suddenly turned into a sandstorm. It was quite a shock. I wouldn’t be able to use anything like ‘God Wolf Sword Reach.’ I wouldn’t last anywhere close to five minutes if I tried. It wasn’t something I wanted to put to the test…
“Thanks, Daniela. Hah… Well, let’s keep moving.”
“So you know where it is?”
“I know the direction. We just need to go straight here and we should find the footprints.”
The boots that had trudged through the snow. Considering that it had snowed, they must be rather recent. We might be able to make it in time if we hurried. Ah, I wished I could use Legs of the God Wolf…
“You must not use it. You will be completely hopeless if you lose the use of your feet next.”
It was the moment that I realized I’d be just your average Adventurer with only Jack of all Trades, Master of None.
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The snow crunched under our feet as we continued to walk through the forest. The tree branches swayed as the wind blew the powdery snow into the air. There was something mystical about the sight of the flakes of snow catching the sunlight.
While it might have been very pretty, this was also the final resting ground for a lot of goblins. The blue stains on the silvery snow were proof of that. I didn’t like to think I had a hand in defiling this place.
“Phew…just a little further.”
“Aye. I can sense them with Presence Detection now.”