Episode 38/Chapter 2: Ratatoskr (2)
“So you succeeded. You have done well. Your merits are really incredible.”
Odin’s words were quite calm as if he already knew that Tae Ho was coming.
‘Well, he’s the King of Gods.’
Even if he didn’t have Hugin and Munin, he was still the King of Gods. He couldn’t see a thousand miles away like Hermod or hear the sound of a sheep’s fur growing, but he had experience and wisdom that no other God was able to catch up to.
Tae Ho wasn’t the only one that showed no signs for nine days.
Nidhogg also didn’t show any kind of reaction. It just remained lying down.
It was also the first time that Odin had come down the root, but he still heard its roars from the lake of Mimir. It never happened that the roar stopped for nine days.
Because of that, Odin didn’t think that Tae Ho failed, and his guess was spot on.
Tae Ho explained briefly how he’d suppressed Nidhogg and its current state.
“It’s a story that’s hard to believe.”
The other things were secondary, but Nidhogg’s nature was really hard to believe because the dragon was an evil one that would bring destruction by emanating its nasty poison across the realms.
“But it’s all true.”
Cuchulainn, who had materialized thanks to Odin’s magic, stepped up.
His insight with the Scathach-style techniques could see through an act or lies at a glance.
Odin stayed silent for a moment instead of agreeing.
Tae Ho, who gazed at Odin, opened his mouth carefully.
“Oh, Odin, there’s something I want to ask.”
“Is it impossible to bring Nidhogg with us? It will certainly be of help in driving away the giants from Asgard.”
Tae Ho brought a realistic excuse instead of pity.
He was thinking about getting out of the roots, but not everything would be solved by doing so.
They needed a way to suppress the World Wolf and drive away the giants.
You could say that the body of Nidhogg, that spanned 2 kilometers, was an incredible force by itself. The problem was that it didn’t know how to fight at all, but time would solve that.
In addition, Tae Ho had the ‘One that Controls Dragons’. If he controlled its body and fought, he would be able to display a tenth of its incredible battle prowess.
Tae Ho knew well that Odin disliked Nidhogg, but even so, he couldn’t give up on her that easily.
Odin didn’t answer immediately. He kept silent for a while longer and then closed his only eye and said,
“I think you are a bit dazzled.”
The opponent was an ancient dragon.
It was one of the several existences that could bring a world to its end.
“You may be looking at this matter with prejudice, but I thought of this with what you told me.”
Odin opened his eye again and looked at Tae Ho fixedly.
“Why did it appear with the shape of a woman?”
A white woman with long black hair that reached her waist.
A mature, beautiful, and poor woman that stimulated Tae Ho’s compassion.
“But of course, that may be its real body. An ancient dragon is the same existence as a God, so there’s a high probability it was born with the shape of a human like most Gods. But you can also think of it in this way-”
Odin paused for a moment. He spoke about humanoids, giants included, but then he remembered about the existences hoping for the end of the world and said once again,
“Just like you have seen its memory, it would have also seen yours. That’s why it may have chosen the best shape to pull your compassion and carelessness. Isn’t it weird? The fact that an ancient dragon that has lived for thousands of years chose the shape of a woman to appear in front of you.”
Tae Ho flinched. It wasn’t because he’d been persuaded by Odin’s words. It was because the ill interpretation blocked all words from him.
But if he took a look at it from a step further, Odin’s words were quite reasonable.
Tae Ho couldn’t answer immediately. It was because he thought only negative words would come out in response.
Odin didn’t urge Tae Ho, and Cuchulainn opened his mouth.
“Oh, Odin, can I say something?”
“Speak, Prince of Light.”
“I understand what you are thinking about, and what you said also has some possibilities. But I thought of another thing.”
Odin opened his eye sharply. Cuchulainn looked at Odin fixedly just like he had done and said,
“The reason it chose the shape of a human may be because it saw Tae Ho’s memories and thoughts. Perhaps it may have been an instinctive judgement. What shape would suit the best with Tae Ho. What shape did it have to take to interact with Tae Ho more easily.”
Cuchulainn thought of Nidhogg that was playing affectionately in Tae Ho’s embrace. If Nidhogg hadn’t chosen the shape of a human and stayed in the shape of a dragon, would it have been able to still play affectionately in Tae Ho’s embrace?
“Rather than a dragon, that is many times bigger than a human. It would have been much easier to communicate as a human. In addition, just like you said, it saw Tae Ho’s memories. It must have known well how much this trash…..no, this bastard likes women.”
He was doing well, but what was he saying suddenly?
As Tae Ho protested inwardly, Cuchulainn rebuked him in the same way.
‘Stay still you bastard. Did I lie? Do you like women or not? Huh? You can’t say no, right?’
It wasn’t a punishment for nothing.
Tae Ho pressed down his boiling rage and unfairness, and Cuchulainn concentrated on the conversation with Odin once again.
“But of course, those are merely probabilities. It’s only a guess. But if I have to say, I think that what you said is also merely a guess. I hope you make a judgement after you see Nidhogg for yourself.”
“Prince of Light, you are really arrogant.”
“Forgive my rudeness.”
Cuchulainn put a faint smile and bowed.
Odin dropped his shoulders.
“Right. You are arrogant, but your words aren’t wrong. Perhaps, I may have become too narrow-minded as I only perceive the world with a single eye.”
Odin wasn’t a perfect existence.
The case with the World Wolf was one example of this.
If they had succeeded in resurrecting the World Wolf, there was no need to hide it. They would have placed it on the battlefield immediately.
He fell in a childish, fixed concept and suffered for it, and the result of it was that he got trapped in the roots.
As Odin twisted his thoughts by his own accord, Cuchulainn revealed a bitter smile. He was happy that his words had worked, but it was painful to see a king without his wings.
“Idun’s warrior, just like you and Cuchulainn had said, I will have to see Nidhogg for myself. We need its help to get out of here anyway.”
His wounds had healed up quite a bit the past nine days, but it was still uncomfortable to move. It was not possible to ride on Tae Ho’s back after he transformed into a hawk.
“Don’t worry about methods for me to move. I will engrave dragon transformation runes, so come closer.”
Tae Ho told Odin to wait for a moment when he made a gesture and used the ‘Warrior that had a Valkyrie Meet Him.’[Fake Heda] [Fake Ingrid]
As two fake Valkyries appeared in front of Tae Ho, Odin put on a really surprised face. It was because he had seen through the saga Tae Ho possessed at one glance.
“It’s a really impressive saga. The origin is also amazing. I can see how much affection Heda holds for you.”
Because the saga started and was completed by Heda’s meeting.
The fake Valkyries lowered their heads in front of Odin, and Odin engraved a rune in each of their collar bones.
Dragon transformation rune.
As the Valkyries yelled the activation code, the two of them transformed into small dragons of around 5 meters in size.
It seemed like their color took the color of their hair that Heda was a red scaled dragon and Ingrid was a golden one.
Tae Ho helped Odin get on the fake Ingrid and then he got on top of the fake Heda. And then Cuchulainn said casually,
‘Hey, it’s a one-use anyways, so couldn’t you just summon Heda?’
The dragon wasn’t small enough that two people couldn’t get on it.
‘No, but still.’
‘Why? even if it’s fake, only you can ride on it? Huh?’
Cuchulainn laughed and asked. In the first place, it seemed like he had spoken to make fun of him.
‘Let’s go quickly.’
Tae Ho interrupted Cuchulainn’s words and departed.
Tae Ho landed the fake Valkyries on the rock that was connected to the heart room.
Originally, he would have needed to walk for a long time to get there, but there was no need to do so this time.
“Tae Ho, master! You really came fast!”
Nidhogg, who was sitting on top of the rock, stood up while her eyes shone and then started to cry. It was because she was really grateful that Tae Ho had returned in only an hour.
‘Tears of happiness are really beautiful.’
Cuchulainn mumbled proudly and soothed Nidhogg. In the first place, Nidhogg stopped crying as soon as she embraced Tae Ho.
Odin, who had seen their exchange, said. It was brief, but there were several emotions mixed in with his voice.
Nidhogg looked at Odin while leaning on Tae Ho’s chest. There was curiousness and fear in her eyes.
Odin could know that reason, and because of that, he said to Nidhogg.
Nidhogg flinched at the low call. She just stuck her face closer to Tae Ho and didn’t move closer to Odin.
Because of that, Tae Ho slightly separated her from him and said,
“It’s fine. He’s a good person.”
Nidhogg groaned a few times but then approached Odin after nodding carefully.
One step, two steps. Nidhogg, who was walking hesitantly, turned to look at Tae Ho and then increased her speed. She stopped right in front of Odin and sat down.
Odin observed her actions. He looked at her black eyes and asked,
“Nidhogg, do you know who I am?”
“No but I feel like I do. Scary. You are a scary person.”
Odin’s face wasn’t in Nidhogg’s memories, but she somehow felt a natural familiarity and fear from him.
A person that wasn’t in her memories but felt like she had certainly met him before.
She was scared. Fearful. It wasn’t familiar to her at all.
Nidhogg shrugged her shoulders and turned her head as if evading Odin’s eyes.
Odin opened his only eye sharply and thought,
‘She’s in the middle.’
Between the one wanting to maintain the world and the one hoping for its destruction.
The black dragon, Nidhogg, was born with both of those attributes, and the one that developed more was the one that hoped to maintain the world.
But it was dyed with another color.
If one compared the version wanting to maintain the world with white and the version wanting to destroy it as black, Nidhogg wasn’t black, white, nor even gray. It was a mixture of the two.
Half in white, and the other half in black.
She was a dragon that wanted to maintain the world but was leaning towards the one that wanted to destroy it.
‘Is this also fate?’
If they had left her alone, Nidhogg would have completely become a being that wanted to destroy the world.
But Tae Ho had appeared.
Just like Odin gave a rank among Gods to Loki and pulled him to the side that wanted to maintain the world, Tae Ho also controlled Nidhogg with the ‘One that Controls Dragons’ and led her to his side.
“It would have been better if they’d met before.”
He never thought that Nidhogg would be in such state.
He ended up hearing the roars from the lake of Mimir and judged it rashly.
It was born an evil dragon. It’s roars were filled with rage towards the world.
But that wasn’t the case. The roars of Nidhogg weren’t filled with rage, but with loneliness.
Odin extended his hand and stroke her head. She pulled her body back reflexively the moment he extended his hand, but then accepted it. She slightly bowed as a puppy being stroked and closed her eyes.
Tae Ho let out a sigh of relief at that sight. He transmitted his words to Odin with mystical magic.
‘Odin, pardon my rudeness. Am I able to bring Nidhogg with me?’
The reason he had spoken to him in such a method was to prepare for when it wasn’t possible. Because Nidhogg could get hurt with such expectations.
Odin smiled bitterly at his consideration. Idun was one thing, but her warrior was also too soft; however, Odin didn’t seem to dislike that softness.
“Just like I said before, it’s impossible with our strength.”
Nidhogg opened her eyes while wondering what he was speaking about. Tae Ho gulped dry saliva and waited for Odin’s next words.
It was because his words were heard differently from before.
Impossible with our strength.
That was a clue. Another being may exist that could help them.
If it only wasn’t with their strength.
If someone’s help was added.
Nidhogg spoke at that moment. She raised her head and stood up.
“Ratatoskr! Ratatoskr is coming!”
Nidhogg said happily. She always got hurt by Ratatoskr, but it still was her only companion to talk with. Even words that ripped her heart were valuable to her.
‘It finally came.’
Cuchulainn said in a cold voice, and Tae Ho also looked up the sky with cold eyes.
He couldn’t see it yet, but it was definitely coming. The sound of footsteps were heard as before.
“There’s no time. Listen to what I say well.”
Odin gathered everyone’s attention and then started to speak.
< Episode 38 – Ratatoskr (2) > End
TL note: Thanks for reading~