The Guardians of the Sky
Upon one of the many floating islands in the sky lives an old man. There are few who know his name, yet also few who do not know of his existence. People simply call him the ‘Great Sage’.
His personal history essentially includes the entire history of Regul Aire. For example, say you scoured the Cenart Library, the largest one up in the sky, and found the oldest book it had. It would probably be made with thick parchment and hand written with pen, having been made in an age without the current paper making and printing technologies. If you flipped through the pages, you would find an account of the birth of Regul Aire, the time when all life on the land verged on annihilation at the hands of the Beasts released by the Emnetwyte. When the few survivors were all gathered on Fistilas, Peak of the Gods, helpless against their death approaching at a frightening speed, a single man created a path to the skies with an enormous amount of Venom.
That savior would later become this old man, the Great Sage. Even the history books cannot reach further back in time than the wrinkles on the man’s skin. That’s how long this man has been alive, guiding and leading people.
“A man who can tune Dug Weapons?” The old man gave the silver eyed Prima lady who brought the news a suspicious look. She quickly turned pale and cowered with fear. “Ah, I’m not blaming you or anything. My eyes have been this way since I was born. No need to be afraid. Anyways, the one who came up with that worthless nonsense was Baroni Makish again?”
The lady nodded.
“For crying out loud, how can he not recognize such obvious lies? Maintenance of Dug Weapons is impossible. Even if the sun rose in the west, or snow fell in the middle of summer, or the Emnetwyte once again sprung up on the land, it will still never happen.”
The lady gave him a quizzical look.
“What?” When the old man looked her way, she let out a little yelp and shrunk back again. “No need to be scared. If you have a question, feel free to ask.”
“O-Oh no, your word choice just sounded a little odd to me. I’m sorry!”
“Hm? Ah, you are saying that if the Emnetwyte came back to life, then wouldn’t they be able to tune their own weapons?”
The lady answered ‘yes’ in a barely audible voice.
“I keep telling you to not be afraid. It’s a good question. If I didn’t know much about the Emnetwyte, I would think the same thing. But the answer is no.” The old man shook his head. “Dug Weapons, or Kaliyons, are collections of many Talismans bound together by magic. Now that may sound simple, but the word intricate does not even begin to describe the phenomenon by which different Talismans produce different effects by mutual interference with each other. Of course, it took a great deal of skill to tune such complicated systems. Getting a specific effect is like trying to stack a bunch of rocks on top of each other all the way up to the heavens.”
“I see…” The lady looked slightly lost.
“Even among the Braves who fought with those weapons, only a handful could actually take care of their own sword. They weren’t expected to be able to. If you wanted to fix a beat up Kaliyon, you would usually need to assemble a team of specialty technicians to work on it in a workshop with the proper facilities.
Now you can see why that report must be bogus. A man able to do maintenance all by himself? Moreover, on the great sword Seniolis? And other swords too? Hah!
He probably exaggerated a bit to make his report more interesting, but he went too far. Even in the world of the Emnetwyte, there was no monster who had mastered such a skill. To claim such a thing is utterly ridiculous.”
“A monster… I believe you used that word before to describe someone. The Black Agate Swordmaster… or something like that.”
“Ahh… that’s right.” The old man cheered up a little when the lady continued the conversation. The hallway they were walking through always seemed excessively long, and there was nothing interesting to look at. Without anything to talk about, it got boring real fast. “He might have been capable of such a feat.”
With a faraway look in his eyes, the Great Sage began to talk about that man with a nostalgic tone in his voice. “He was truly a fearsome beast. He had no innate talent. The amount of Venom he could ignite was below average. Couldn’t cast simple spells. Even in swordsmanship, the path he ended up choosing, he only knew basic techniques.”
“So in other words… an ordinary person?”
“That’s right. At least, in the beginning he was. However, he aspired to be a Regal Brave. And he never gave up on that dream, no matter how many times his lack of talent was pointed out to him. To fill in his many gaps, he simply learned and learned everything he could. And what he obtained, he polished and polished until he had mastered it.
The result? A monster who could go into battle amongst guys wielding legendary swords with legendary techniques and still come home with the best results was born.”
The Great Sage shivered, perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of respect, and perhaps out of something entirely different. “With regards to pure strength and the number of things accomplishable with that strength, even back then I was ahead of him. But still, after hundreds of years, after I’ve acquired even more power, I can’t imagine myself winning in a fight against him.”
The lady looked down and tried to hold back a small laugh. “We have no knowledge of those legendary swords or techniques you speak of. Even if you talk of someone with greater strength than yourself, I cannot even begin to picture such a person.”
“That may be for the best. What was lost will never return. The events and people of that age are now no more than a source of nostalgia for me. We must live in the present.” The old man stopped walking. “Is it this room?”
“Yes. Do you still wish to meet him?”
“Well, you brought me all the way here, so I might as well see what kind of imposter we have with us.”
He turned the knob and pushed the door open.
A black haired young man sat with one elbow propped up on a reception desk, yawning in boredom.
“… hm?” The young man looked their way. “Ah, Suwon. Long time no see… you look pretty different now, huh?”
The Great Sage’s jaw dropped.
“You’ve gotten quite a bit taller. Without that cloak I wouldn’t have recognized you.”
“Black Agate… Swordmaster…?” With a voice barely louder than a whisper, the Great Sage — Suwon — called the young man’s name.
“Been a long time since anyone’s called me that, Magus of the Polar Star. Glad to see you doing well.”
Suwon Candel. Like Willem, he served as one of the members on the team of Braves called upon to defeat the Visitor Elq Harksten over five hundred years ago. The sages of the imperial capital cherished him from a young age, recognizing his immense talent as a thaumaturgist. On the battlefield, his strength rivaled that of the Quasi Braves. His fashion sense had some major flaws, he was a bit shorter than other boys his age, and sometimes he had a bit too much confidence in his abilities, but other than that he lived up to his reputation. Even though he had so much innate talent, he also had the diligence to put in hard work to improve even further and the modesty to recognize the talents of others around him. Moreover, he knew how to work as a team to accomplish a goal. He had almost everything.
To Willem, Suwon was a comrade he could trust and confide in, although he never told him that directly. And of course, Willem thought that Suwon had died in that battle five hundred years ago. However, the fact that Suwon survived and even became a founding pillar of Regul Aire didn’t seem too farfetched.
For example, almost everything in Regul Aire was based on Emnetwyte culture, something Willem always thought of as strange. Well, backing up a few steps, the entire concept of Regul Aire seemed unnatural. If you gathered up all the different races, who lived completely separately from each other on the land, and stuffed them into one place, you might expect a survival of the fittest type power struggle to erupt. Why did they all just decide to work together to build towns and prosper up in their new home?
Now back to the first point, no matter where you go, every building in Regul Aire looks similar to the ones built by the Emnetwyte. Back on land, the beast people lived up in the trees or in gaps between the rocks. Orcs tended to dig out caves to reside in, the Reptrace made homes out of tent like structures built from grass, and the Ballmen and Prima didn’t even have the concept of a permanent home. Now why did all those races get together and build Emnetwyte style houses to live in?
There were countless other examples: food, currency, sewing, social hierarchy, paper and book making, etc etc. In fact, it was hard to find even one counterexample. Regul Aire, a world in which many races except the Emnetwyte live, had come to closely resemble the old world where the Emnetwyte once lived.
Willem now had an explanation for all that: Suwon. In the founding of Regul Aire, he took the lead and essentially created the culture which would be dominant in the new world. Suwon’s hometown was the imperial capital, and he also knew quite a bit of history. Now, the history of the imperial capital was filled with invasions and annexations, which made it a treasure box of examples of different people from different cultures being forced to live in the same place. With all that experience and knowledge, there was no doubt that Suwon had the capability to create a new culture. After all, he was a genius.
“You were turned to stone!?” the old man asked hysterically. “After the battle, no matter how many times I tried sensing a heartbeat nearby I got no response, so I thought you were dead.”
“I mean, how is my heart supposed to be moving if I’m a rock?”
“Give me back the tears I shed that day.”
“Hm? You cried for me?”
“N-No! There’s no way I would do such a thing for you! I knew you would live all along!” The old man’s attitude at the moment didn’t fit him at all.
“Well anyways, it was a lot of trouble. Before I actually did it, I never heard of anyone waking up after being turned to stone. As far as I was concerned, I was basically dead. Since I had a load of curses on me in addition to being petrified, it took a lot of time and money to get me back in working condition. Thanks to that, ever since I awoke I’ve just been paying off debt.”
It’s not like Willem got turned into stone because he wanted to. And he didn’t wake up and come back to life because he wanted to either. He could understand what Suwon must be feeling though, so he kept that to himself.
“Anyways, enough about me. How the hell did you get here? I heard the Emnetwyte went extinct. Even if they didn’t, how are you still alive after all those years? I don’t suppose that anyone else is still alive, are they?”
“Don’t ask so much at once. Well, only one answer is needed for all three of those questions.” As he spoke, Suwon stripped off his tunic and revealed his chest. A large hole gaped where his heart should have been.
“I too was killed in that battle five hundred years ago by Jade Nail, one of the three earth gods, or Poteau, that protect the Visitors. I challenged him along with Emissa, but we both died without putting up much of a fight. Before I lost consciousness, I cast a spell on myself. I can’t tell you the details, but I meddled with a part of my existence so that it wouldn’t be lost to normal death. In my current form, I cannot die to a wound or old age. And of course, I am no longer Emnetwyte.”
“Just to make things clear, I don’t want your pity. I’m pretty satisfied with myself right now, and the thought of you feeling sorry for me makes me shiver.”
“No, not you. I was shocked at hearing that Emissa died.”
“So that explosive demon died, huh? I thought I already got all the sad out of me, but hearing about it again still gets me. So I assume the rest died too?”
“No, not everyone. Leila and Navrutri made it.”
Suwon did not survive by leaping through time as Willem did while he was encased in stone. Suwon was alive and active the whole time. All five hundred years. Given that, he should know. He should know everything that occurred while Willem was a useless, sleeping rock.
“Hey–” There were mountains of questions he wanted to ask. Where did our master, who we couldn’t get in contact with, end up going? What happened to the army of monsters after their march on the capital? Did the princess and king who always supported us survive? “Just tell me one thing: what are those ‘17 Beasts’? What in the world happened while we were off fighting the Visitors?” Doing his best to push all those other things out of his head, Willem narrowed it down to a single question. The results of Leila’s battle. The safety of his friends. There was no point in asking about those now. Humanity was long gone; he already knew the answers. There was only one thing worth knowing about.
“Do you remember True World?”
Willem nodded. It was one of the religious organizations going against the government of the imperial capital. At the request of the royal family, he, Leila, and others had crushed them.
“The remnants of that group set up base in a small town outside the capital and started research on biological weapons. The ‘Beasts’ are the result of that research.”
“I see. So it really is true that the Emnetwyte destroyed the world.” Of course, the bad guys were only a very small fraction of the Emnetwyte. However, the other races about to go extinct didn’t exactly care. And long after the ordeal, there was no reason for anyone to try to recover the reputation of a long gone people.
“From the Military Police’s report, I heard you’re an enchanted weapons technician now?” Suwon, perhaps not wanting to talk about the Beasts, steered the conversation in a whole different direction.
Willem still wanted to know a little more about the past, but he decided to not go against Suwon. “It’s just on the documents, so I feel a little bad for the real enchanted weapons technicians, but…”
“What are you talking about? You think there are actually real Second Enchanted Weapons Technicians?”
Suwon looked at Willem’s dumbfounded face with an even more dumbfounded one. “The nature of the second technician is completely different from that of the first or third or lower. I mean, it’s an empty job where you pretend you’re doing research but you know it’ll never get anywhere. The only real responsibility is to just be there, and that’s it. After all, it’s assumed that the research won’t produce any results, so writing a report is just a waste of time and paper. Pretty much all of the previous people in your position were officers who got a little too annoying and consequently received a demotion. The job gets only the bare minimum amount of authority and pay.”
Suwon took a deep breath. “That research which was never expected to get anywhere was research into the fundamentals of the Kaliyon. In other words, you can give a whole new meaning to the post of Second Enchanted Weapons Technician.”
“Well, this job is good enough for me. I get to relax since it’s not really a job at all, and it’s not like I want more authority or money.”
“Agh!” Suwon propped his elbows on the desk and buried his head in his hands.
“I can’t decide if it’s the perfect job for you or the biggest waste in all of Regul Aire. You’re the only one who can perform maintenance on the Kaliyons, something which can unlock huge potential in our fighting power. But to have you wasting away there doing nothing…”
He seemed to be complaining about something, but he talked in a quiet voice so Willem couldn’t really hear. “Anyways, that Military Police officer said he needed to ask the Great Sage about what to do with me or something. Sorry for the rush, but could you decide quickly? I promised I’d be home soon.”
“Home?” Suwon raised his head. “You mean that fairy warehouse?”
“What else would I mean? I doubt my home down there is still around. It’s true that it would be nice to talk to an old friend for a bit longer, but fortunately we both look healthy. We can meet again on a later day.”
“Ah…” Suwon mumbled. “… well before that, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
“What, there’s still more? It’s already been two days, you know? I got hungry kids to feed at home.”
“If he knew you were alive, I’m sure he would want to meet you. As for you, well, you probably never wanted to see him again. Still, you can’t ignore this chance.”
“An acquaintance of mine? If you know him too, then that means it’s someone from back then?”
Suwon failed to answer.
“Come on, who is it? I’m just an ordinary Emnetwyte. Besides you, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know anyone who could live for hundreds of–” Willem suddenly cut himself off. Someone he met in the previous world. Someone who both he and Suwon knew. Someone who could remain undying for hundreds of years. He could think of just one who fit those criteria. “– Don’t tell me…”
“We’ll talk on the way over.” Suwon stood up.
“Wait. I haven’t said I’ll go.”
“Well? Do you plan on saying that you won’t?”
Willem was at a loss for words. Suwon, taking that as an answer, flung the door open forcefully and spoke loudly to the lady waiting there quietly.
“We head for the 2nd Floating Island. Prepare an airship immediately! … ah, don’t be scared. My fault for raising my voice; I’m not trying to yell at you. I should have opened the door more gently too, so you don’t have to cower in fear.”
The 2nd Floating Island, also known as the Heart of the World Tree. If you look down on Regul Aire from above, it sits almost right in the dead center. Naturally, you might expect it to be a major trade center. However, not a single one of the inter-island airships stop there. There are three reasons for this.
First, there are no villages or cities on the island, meaning there isn’t actually anyone to benefit from trade. Second, it floats at a much higher altitude than all the other islands, and it is usually surrounded by wild storm clouds, prohibiting even well built airships from passing. And third, it is sacred ground.
Fundamentally speaking, all things fall down. The many huge islands floating in the sky which make up Regul Aire then seem to contradict the laws of nature. The secret which enables this is said to be on the 2nd Island. To disrupt the sacred grounds would mean causing the fall of the world, so any entry is forbidden.
Still, occasionally salvagers who think they can uncover the truth veiled behind the scams of religion try to reach the island. Most of them return home battered and bruised by the violent storms and air currents surrounding the island without even getting a glimpse of it.
Sometimes, salvagers appear claiming to have seen what lies beyond those clouds. They say that it is not a giant rock in the sky like the other floating islands, but a massive chunk of polished black quartz. That countless plants grow on its surface without regards for the seasons; spring and autumn flowers bloom at the same time. Their tales almost all sound like incoherent delusions. Of course, hardly anyone actually believes them, so the 2nd Floating Island still remains shrouded in mystery.
“… that’s one big chunk of black quartz. Or is it a flower pot?”
Suwon nodded. “Apparently it’s something like one giant Talisman, but I don’t know the details. When it’s that big, I also don’t feel like trying to figure it out myself.”
“There sure are a lot of different trees growing in that big flower pot.”
“There’s some sort of barrier around the island which controls the climate, allowing it to be simultaneously all four seasons inside. The storm clouds around us are a byproduct of that. By the way, I don’t know why they set it up.”
“For a Great Sage, you seem to not know a lot.”
Obviously ruffled by Willem’s remark, Suwon responded, “A sage knows what he needs to know. Only one who does understand anything thinks that he should know everything.”
“Whoa there are bugs flying around! Bugs! The seasons are really out of whack!”
“Listen when people talk!”
For a floating island, the 2nd was pretty far on the small side of the spectrum. It didn’t even have a harbor district of any kind. Willem wondered what they were supposed to do without anywhere to anchor onto, but the small airship prepared by the Great Sage landed without difficulty on a small, flat clearing.
“Wow, this is nice. You should give me one. Seems useful for grocery shopping.” The harbor district on the 68th Island was quite far from the fairy warehouse, making it rather inconvenient when trying to go shopping on another floating island.
“Don’t be stupid. You can’t simply buy one of these for any amount of money.”
“Well that’s unfortunate.”
They got off the airship. Despite it looking like a very small island from a distance, it felt a lot bigger when Willem actually stood on the ground. Looking around, all he could see were various plants confused about what season it was. It made for rather eerie scenery.
“What is this? An apple and a peach are growing side by side.”
“If you’re hungry, it’s okay to eat one. There’s no poison.”
“I think I’ll pass…” Willem couldn’t help but think that they must be using some sort of sketchy fertilizer. He didn’t even want to touch one, let alone eat it. “Well anyways, is that where we’re headed?”
In the center of the island stood a black tower, probably made of the same material as the bottom of the island. At least from where Willem stood, it looked to be the only building on the entire island.
“It’s black, has thorns all over it… gives off a temple of evil vibe.”
“Correct… I’ve known him for a long time, but I never understood that fashion sense of his.”
“Look who’s talking.” Willem chuckled. “Even after five hundred years, that preference of yours for oversized white cloaks never got better, huh?”
“Don’t make it sound like a disease. It is a part of me. Even if a thousand years passed, I wouldn’t get rid of it.”
The nostalgia and memories evoked by their playful conversation almost made Willem want to cry. It was a conversation he should have never gotten the chance to have again, with a friend he should have never gotten to meet again. Just because of that, these few minutes felt infinitely precious to him.
“… and why am I being thanked now?”
“I just felt like it. Don’t worry about it.”
Suwon had become the Great Sage, but the Great Sage was no longer Suwon. He had gone through five hundred years of life, obtaining many new things and changing himself. That much was obvious. After all, an old man wouldn’t have the same mannerisms he had when he was a teenage boy.
Despite that, Suwon now talked and acted like the old Suwon that Willem once knew. And Willem was smart enough to realize that Suwon was probably behaving differently on purpose for him. The pain of losing friends, family, home, and everything else — Suwon had already experience it once, and he knew that Willem was now in the same position. To make Willem feel a little more at ease, he was acting like his old self.
“What are you smiling all creepily about?”
Or maybe he was still just a young man at heart. That was a possibility, but one that Willem didn’t really want to think about after he had just thanked Suwon.
The tower was empty. They pushed open the heavy doors climbed up a long spiral staircase only to find an uninhabited throne room.
“What’s going on?”
“It’s not unusual. The weather’s good today, so he’s probably taking a walk.”
“Well, as you can see, there’s hardly anything on this island except plants. Which means there’s hardly anything to do to pass the time, so whenever the weather’s nice he usually strolls around outside,” Suwon explained as he walked up to the window. “Look, there he is.”
Looking down, Willem spotted a lady wearing a maid uniform pushing a large luggage cart.
“… who’s that girl?”
So it’s not an uninhabited island, Willem thought as he observed the woman. From his angle, he couldn’t see her face, but from the triangular ears he guessed she was an Ayrantrobos. Despite pushing what looked like a very heavy load, she maintained perfect posture.
“Not her. Look over there.”
Willem turned to where Suwon pointed and saw a black something resting on top of the cart. At first he thought it was just a rock, but his gut feeling told him otherwise. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason, but something felt a little off.
“Hey, you piece of trash! We’ve come by for a visit!” Suwon called out with a voice loud as thunder.
“Ah, the Great Sage! Perfect timing! I was just wondering what to do with all my free time!”
The black something moved. It was a skull. Or at least, it had the shape of a skull. It was pitch black and about as big as an adult’s armful. It was just a skull, if you ignore the part where it moved on its own, looked up to them, and moreover started talking in an old man’s voice. In other words, well, it wasn’t really just a skull.
“We didn’t get to finish our game last time either. Today we’ll make it clear who the better player is!”
Unfortunately, Willem recognized that voice. He had unmistakably met the owner of that voice just two years ago — well, to the rest of the world it would be about five hundred years. The events that occurred that day Willem would probably never forget. Those memories had been carved vividly somewhere deep inside him.
“Apologies, but I have not come to play around or cure your boredom today! There is someone I want you to meet, Ebon Candle!”
The two old men exchanged intimidating yet friendly shouts between the top and bottom of the tower.
“What… you have a guest? Tell me sooner, fool!”
“You were the one out taking a leisurely walk! If you have a problem with it, then just get a communication crystal! Then I’ll be able to actually tell you before I come!”
“Don’t be stupid! You know communications can’t pass through the barrier around the island!”
“Then do something about that! Or is that too complicated for an immortal god!?”
“I see your mouth has grown big, despite you only living five hundred years! Wait there, I’ll come and crush you on the game board!”
“I told you, I have other business today!”
“Oh, that’s right! Kaiya, sorry but can you please hurry?”
The lady in the maid uniform nodded and started running while she pushed the cart. Before long, they reached the gates of the black quartz tower and started ascending the spiral staircase, making loud clattering noises as they went.
“– By the way, Suwon.” Willem groaned as he pressed his fingertips strongly against his forehead, trying to suppress a headache. “I’m just having a bad dream, right?”
“I understand how you must feel, but face reality. If you want, I can give you a slap.” Suwon readied his hand in front of Willem.
“I’ll pass. If you do that, my head might go flying off before I wake up.”
The noisy clanking drew closer to the throne room.
Willem thought he felt a strong wind blowing from the throne. But it was not true wind, rather it was the result of Venom so overwhelmingly strong he could feel it on his skin. Willem knew only one person, or being, who could output such force.
“Long time no see, Brave! To think that we would cross the centuries and meet again! Truly an unexpected reunion!”
He was one of the three earth gods, or Poteau, in charge of protecting the Visitor Elq Harksten who stood before Willem and the other Braves at that battle long ago, their last and strongest opponent.
“But unfortunately, we are destined enemies! This miraculous reunion will soon be stained with blood!”
He was known by many names. The One who Sleeps in Death. The Weaver of the World. The Father of the Land. The One who Shines Darkness in the Garden of Light – – Ebon Candle.
In that ancient battle, none other than Quasi Brave Willem Kumesh defeated him in exchange for the young man’s own life. But, just as he told his opponent before dying, he had simply passed into a long sleep before reawakening.
“No, I think I’m good.” Willem, still dumbfounded, shook his hands in refusal.
“Hm. Boring.” The skull, Ebon Candle, suppressed his Venom. The threatening air which filled the throne room disappeared instantly. “I thought you would have a lot of hatred for me built up, so I was going to let you get it all out, but…”
“You have a weird way of being considerate of others.”
“So are you trying to say you have no hatred?”
“Even if I did, why would I go through something as troublesome as a rematch? Before, I fought because I had people to protect behind me and you were trying to hurt them. That’s not the case anymore, so there’s no reason to fight. Am I wrong?”
“You fought to the point of throwing away your own life, yet bear no grudges… you’re a simpler man than I thought.”
“I mean, even if I had a reason to fight, what is with you? The Ebon Candle I fought had skin and flesh and a body below his head. Why did that turn into a head riding around on a cart leisurely sunbathing!?”
“What are you talking about? You were the one who burned away my skin, flesh, and body.”
“Well that’s true, but how are you not fully recovered after sleeping for a hundred years!?”
“I’m telling you, it’s all your fault. Since you destroyed me so thoroughly, my body couldn’t heal in time. Do you know how surprised I was when I woke up? I wanted to start crying, but I didn’t even have any tear glands!”
“And after that, I kept having to use power, so I haven’t gotten the chance to recover further. As you can see, after four hundred years I’m still in this disgraceful shape.”
The black skull reclined on his throne. Willem had some doubts about whether or not his current state was actually disgraceful, but in the end who really cared.
“Alright, that’s enough. Suwon, I assume you didn’t just bring me here to say hello. Let’s get to your real business.”
“Real business?” the skull asked.
“Ahh.” Suwon nodded. “This fellow is rotten to the core, but he is exceptionally skilled and we can trust him. He will be an essential part of our plan.”
“Hey! Who are you calling rotten to the core!?” Willem retorted.
“Willem, don’t you want to take back the land?”
“Don’t try to change the topic on — the land?” That word made Willem forget about Suwon’s insults for a moment. “I mean, it’s all already destroyed, and the Beasts roam freely. What are you trying to accomplish?”
“We will bring the fight to them… well of course, the land is too big to take it all back at once. First we will take back nearby Fistilas, Peak of the Gods, and use it as our base of operations. The two most important things we need are a way to fight the Beasts and a way to maintain the fighting. All this time, we were missing the latter. But now, with you here, we can take a giant leap forward. You can fix any unstable or broken Kaliyon. That’s huge.”
“I see…” Willem nodded slightly. “That’s a pretty ambitious plan.”
“I know, right? Of course, it’s an extremely long term plan and one which will require the combined forces of every city in Regul Aire. It’ll be very dangerous and may not yield immediate results, but in the end I believe we have a good chance at victory.” As Suwon talked, he became more and more excited. “Until now, only the number of working Kaliyons has been a problem, since we can produce as many fairies as we want.”
“– Oh?” Willem nodded slightly again.
Suwon, probably noticing his distasteful remark, lost his momentum. “Ah, never mind. That was… er….”
“It’s okay, Suwon. I think I figured it out. Ebon Candle used necromancy in his battle against me. I imagine sleeping off death for a hundred years must be a similar type of magic too. And the spell you used to let a part of yourself live on when you died must be the same kind of thing as well. Lastly, you two guys are the guardians of Regul Aire. At that point it became pretty obvious to me.”
From what Willem learned in his research, fairies are the lost souls of deceased children unable to understand death. Usually, they appear naturally in an unstable form, such as a will-o’-wisp or dwarf. And apparently, they can be artificially created and used through necromancy techniques.
The Leprechauns that Willem knew were definitely not will-o’-wisps or dwarves. Maybe they were unstable, but they had the body and mind of the Emnetwyte. Inside their hearts, they held hope, fear, love, admiration, persistence, despair. And with those emotions, they continued to fight and throw their lives away.
“Anyone could figure it out with all that evidence.” Willem was almost completely convinced that his guess was right. Overcome with strange emotions which made him want to cry and burst out laughing at the same time, Willem put to words the conclusion that had been brewing in his mind. “You guys are the ones creating the fairies, aren’t you?”