The longer Baiyi conversed with the barbarians, the more something dawned on him.
‘These guys don’t even know why they are here.’
Their ancestors’ directives had a sparse amount of detail. All they had said was: “Lo! In the South, something pretty powerful as appeared! Gotta’ have someone among you check it out, okay? Just to be sure that that thing won’t end up endangering us or anything.”
That was all.
Although their ancestors’ directives were sparse, they made sure to carefully dictate some commandments to these barbarians that they must obey; ‘thou shall not rob’, ‘thou shall not kill the innocent’, ‘thou shall follow the Southern Land’s laws and rules’, etc.
Before the barbarians left, their ancestors gave them one final instruction: “Should you find yourself chanced, go and seek out Hope. His wisdom will guide you.”
Baiyi knew these barbarians as the sort that wore their hearts on their sleeves, so he did not suspect that they had hidden anything from him. Besides, that ambiguous manner of speech was typical of the barbarians’ ancestors. Baiyi did not understand what had transformed a forthcoming, plainspoken barbarian into someone needlessly abstruse with their words.
“The Ancestors are always right!” Zar’Zar mumbled and shoved a full pig leg into his mouth. “Just like now! As soon I meet Brother Hope, I got help for my tummy. I was so hungry!”
‘This can’t be what they meant, right?’Baiyi thought, feeling helpless, as he watched the barbarians display a disastrous lack of table manners.
After eating two pigs, two bulls, and two goats, the barbarians finally felt full. When they had eaten their fill, the barbarians told Baiyi how they had arrived at the city.
Their method of arrival was strange and surreal…
The barbarians lived alone in a vast expanse of land. Their neighbors had long since left the vicinity because the barbarians constantly attacked them. After every successful attack, the barbarians would pilfer their stock of animal parts. The barbarians especially loved pilfering dragon tendons. These muscular bands were incredibly tensile and sturdy, and they were far better than most artificial tensile materials. These dragon tendons were especially perfect as bowstrings.
The barbarian ancestors issued a directive: every barbarian in Horrogath was to bring every dragon tendon that they had. When all the tendons were collected, they were made into a huge bowstring that was strong enough to fire an enormous titan.
With this huge bowstring in hand, the barbarians arrived at two mountains, which were close to each other. The connected both ends of the bowstring to the areas close to the peaks of both mountains, forming something that could pass off an enormous Y-shaped slingshot. Husker, Zar’Zar, Char’Char, and the three mountain goats got in a basket, which was then placed in the middle of the makeshift slingshot. All the barbarians in Horrogath came together to pull the bowstring backward.
The dragon-tendon bowstring was as adamant as diamond, yet it nearly snapped when all the barbarians jointly pulled it. If the energy used to pull the bowstring had almost snapped it, what more could one say about those who were being fired? The speed and pressure would have been enough to instantly burn a normal human to ashes. Only these inhuman barbarians could survive that.
A while after the barbarians in the basket were fired into the sky, they opened their makeshift parachutes; these parachutes had been made using a unique epidermis found in dragons’ wings.
The only reason why a dragon, which was such an enormous beast, was able to take to the sky, defying the laws of gravity, was because the unique epidermis in their wings naturally had a soaring effect. These unique-epidermis-parachutes enabled the barbarians to slow down the speed of their descent all the way down to a light hover. They continued descending very slow for a while.
When they finally reached the ground, they found themselves within the borders of the Walthart Empire. They continued the rest of their journey by riding their mountain goats, who circumvented populated towns and spots. They went on this way until they finally reached the Capital City.
When Baiyi heard their tale, he marveled at the amount of luck these barbarians seemed to possess. They had not gotten lost on their way, neither did the wind blow them off course. This was worthy of someone screaming “It’s a miracle!”
“Oh no, we did get blown off course,” Huskar said, matter of factly.“We were hit by a really tremendous gust! But we had Cuckoo steer us back on course.”
‘Cuckoo… that beautiful, fair Alpine hawk-eagle? Am I supposed to believe that a large bird dragged them?’Baiyi pondered.
“Well, normally it would not be able to do so. But with the ancestor’s power, it could!”
“You’re telling me that a bird could also be possessed by the barbarians’ ancestors?’ Baiyi murmured, imagining the shiny, radiant, golden phantom of the ancestors descending into the bird’s head. ‘Then why were the goats not possessed as well?”
Cuckoo itself was pecking at some raw meat which the maids had prepared for it, but at the sound of Baiyi’s sarcastic remark, it raised its head and sent him a proud gaze, which seemed to mean‘Yea duh, bruh’.
“They are our brothers! As long as you’re one of our brothers, you could do that. Did you not know that, brother Hope?” Char’Char’s elucidation ended with an awkward question.
“Cough! Well, not that I’ve ever tried that before…” Baiyi replied, feeling embarrassed.
“Not surprising, brother. You’re already powerful enough alone; the Ancestors don’t need to lend you their strength,” Huskar solemnly said. “After our last flight, I began to envy you a bit for your ability to take off into the sky! The freedom! The ecstasy!”
“Yes! A brother who could fly anytime he wants makes me jealous!” Zar’Zar chimed in.
“Really? Perhaps I can help with that,” Baiyi said. He pondered for a while, then he went on to cast a levitation spell on Huskar.
A bright, white light emanated from Huskar’s body, and after a few moments, it went off abruptly.
“That… That was actually the levitation spell I use to fly. Furthermore, I can cast it on someone else, whenever, without failing the attempt. But why has it failed just now…?” Baiyi muttered as he scanned the Huskar with his psychic energy. Just as he had expected, there were no traces of the spell in Huskar’s body.It was like a rock which had just sunk to the ocean floor1.
Did that mean these barbarians were not only impervious to physical attacks, but also to magical attacks as well?
“Improbable speculation, Sir Hope. Need I remind you that there exists a glass ceiling that was forged by the Higher Power to cull the existence of beings with such spectacular advantages?” The Scholar Walker said in the Void. “First and foremost, observe their war tattoos. These are calligraphies drawn using the blood of dragons or other kinds of mystical beasts and indeed, mystical beasts are renowned for their inimical property to magic, in quantifiable degrees. The blood of mythical beasts is even commonly used to manufacture battle wares capable of mitigating magical attacks. From here, we can deduce that these battle tattoos are not mere embellishments of valor and triumphs, but also serve, more pragmatically, to provide cover against magic.”
Feeling curious, Baiyi poked the Caveman Walker after hearing the Scholar Walker’s explanation. “I actually have no idea what purposes the tattoos serve, really,” the Caveman Walker helplessly added. “The previous Huskar taught me how to draw them. Besides, when battling mystical beasts, their magic usually does nothing to me. No harm and no injury. Of course, if I was to met with magic as strong as the First Walker’s, I doubt that I would be able to handle it,” the Caveman Walker continued. “He’s too terrifying! And I have no idea how I’d be able to quickly get close to him. If I had to fight him, It is really obvious that I will lose.”
“Immeasurable strength, a physique advantageous by nature, acute and exceptional battle instincts, veteran battle experience, unwavering loyalty and unity, and a bonus ability to ability to provide backup, from far away, via unconventional means! These Divine Warriors are truly the creme of all warriors in this world. Sir Hope, with Harrogath’s help, there are only a few things in life that could hinder you,” the Thane Walker flattered.
“They had already coined you their brother, so they will definitely help you. Don’t worry about it; we, the Alpine people, never turn our backs on a brother,” the Caveman Walker said.
However, Baiyi shook his head quietly. The “help” that the Thane Walker implied and the “help” the Caveman Walker meant were, in fact, two distinct things altogether.
Frankly, Baiyi had no need to use his barbarian friends to achieve his goals, neither did he plan to drag them into the chaotic affairs of the world. He did not plan to deliberately avoid asking them for help, but that would only happen if he needed it; after all, their friendship was one of genuine camaraderie.
At that moment, he wanted his barbarian friends to experience the joy of flying.
Baiyi pondered deeply for a while before saying, “What about that parachute that you guys used? Yes, that dragon wing. Did you bring it with you?”
“Of course!” Zar’Zar and Char’Char answered in unison. They produced two rolled up objects from their bags, which were made using wild animal hide. Then, they tossed the rolled up objects over to Baiyi. “The Ancestors told us to keep these, or use them to exchange for food if we must.”
On closer inspection, the rolled up objects appeared to be some sort of membrane. Baiyi unrolled them fully and saw that it was the complete, unbroken skin of a young dragon! The skin seemed to have been flayed cleanly from a young dragon.
“YouBarbaricSunsovbitches! Bloody murderers! Heartless knaves! If I ever return to the world, the first damned thing I’m gonna do is to peel, oh yes, peel the skin of your children, until they don’t have any left for themselves!” The Third Walker bellowed in the Void. Although the skin may have belonged to a dragon that was not related to the Third Walker, he was still the previous Divine Dragon and would not want to see his kin flayed. His fury was reasonable.
“Oh, as if that dragon wouldn’t have swallowed my people if they hadn’t done that! Do you want to take your fury out on my people? Why don’t you see if you can win against me first!” The Caveman Walker retorted in rage.
Naturally, the right and the wrong were never clear-cut between species just trying to survive.
“You puny bug! You’re challenging me for real?! Challenging a Divine Dragon, no less?!!”
“Hey, Salamander, listen up: I just wanna tell you that on a list of beasts I’d love to choke the life out of, you and your salamander friends are first!”
The situation had escalated to an extent that the other Voidwalkers had to step in and try to diffuse the tension. Even the Warrior Walker poked Baiyi in annoyance.
The Fifth Walker did not say a word; he knew he had really done it this time. He was never supposed to have opened the roll in front of them.
He returned the parachute to Zar’Zar and Char’Char and made another using enchanted goatskin. Then, he drew a simple levitation spell formation on the goatskin-parachute, using his mana, and after a little tailoring, he had turned it into a makeshift robe. Then, he had Huskar wear it.
Suddenly, Huskar began to rise into the air slowly, as though there were balloons above him, lifting him up. With Baiyi acting as flight control, the barbarians’ flight speed increased. In the end, Huskar was flying around as nimble sorcerers did; he quickly circled the air above the manor.
The big man laughed and cheered the whole entire time, like an excited child on a ride. His exhilarating guffaws attracted the attention of the powerhouses currently in the manor.