The intertwining ice gaps were deep and winding, like the veins of a giant beast intricately distributed under the glacier, but there was no blood pulsing inside, only darkness and silence. Drops of water dripped down from the icicles that were a few feet long, occasionally emitting a tinkling sound that broke the silence.
Sudden footsteps intruded into the dream-like silence, stumbling as if being chased, as if it were chasing something. It passed through ice caves one by one, and then a young man came into view, a young man with dark skin, tattered clothing, still with blood smeared all over. But under the long messy hair was a pair of shining eyes.
Yaruta was panting heavily, since entering the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth, the sword wound on his body had never been healing, the fever persisted, the surrounding scenery was sometimes clear and sometimes blurred in his view. When he fell sicker, the ice-blue pillars even had double shadows in his eyes, but in the midst, he could always see a figure that was sometimes far away and sometimes close.
It seemed to be a person, but it was always only its back view. For two weeks, it had been floating indefinitely in front of him as if there was a magic force urging him to cross the forest and the glacier. He kept following behind it and arrived here.
But Yaruta was having a throbbing headache, his mind was foggy, and could not remember much, but he at least remembered his father, his sister, the hunter who died that day outside the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth. That hunter was huddled under the wagon, blood flowing from the wound on his chest and abdomen, his body getting weaker and weaker, lighter and lighter as if he was about to lose all consciousness anytime.
A voice entered his mind, and all he could remember was a neutral, emotionless voice,
"Do you want to live, mortal? Stand up if you want to live."
"Help me...... Please help me ......," Yaruta remembered groaning in his daze, but got no answer. He coughed as hard as he could, "You want to save me?"
"I can't save you, but someone can."
"......" Yaruta opened his mouth wide, feeling almost out of breath, let alone speaking. But then a cold breath from his chest spread out, restoring some of his sanity.
"You must come to me, fine me, and you can only save yourself if you do as I say."
"I will give you shelter for the time being, but you do not have much time."
A sliver of power was injected into Yaruta's body; he barely opened his eyes for a moment to see a huge, pale blue, imaginary image standing in front of him which was like a ghost. But he did not have the strength to lift his head to look at its face, he only managed to see the loose robes.
"Why did you save me, where are the others?"
"You and your sister, perhaps, have some connection with The Twelfth inheritance. But that's not the point, you need my help, and I need yours."
"Sister?" Yaruta got unsettled when he heard the word, "Sister...she is still alive......?"
"She won't die, someone will save her."
"What about me, can I still see her?"
"Don't worry, you will reunite with your sister, just do as I tell you-"
"But who are you really?"
"I am Crystal, as you mortals like to call me, but I prefer my original name, Luxis. But what you're seeing is not me, but merely a message; it is hard for me to explain to you, but you just need to understand that you need my help, and I need yours. "
"You need my help?"
"Yes, I need you to come to my side."
"Your side? Aren't you right in front of me?"
The blue figure did not answer but looked down at him, and then slowly turned around. Yaruta felt as if his body was speeding up its recovery, and a voice in his mind kept on calling him, which made him follow so dazedly.
They went into the forest, one in the front and one at the back. It was as if no one had noticed them at all, he passed by the Black Knights of Arreck, who were unaware of them. Then they went through the forest, the valley, the snow, and glaciers, without encountering a single demon. And every night thereafter, the blue figure would reappear, walking unhurriedly in front of him, at an unpredictable distance.
So day after day, Yaruta had forgotten about his surroundings, he had even forgotten about hunger, cold, and time. But gradually the figure moved on faster and faster, leaving him less and less time.
"Yaruta, you have to accelerate quickly."
"The time left for you is running out."
The teenager also gradually found out.
His body had been getting heavier and heavier, the sword wound that had not been healed was like a painful mark constantly pulling on his nerves. His steps were no longer as light as when he first stepped into the forest, his mind was sometimes muddy and sometimes blur. Most of the day Yaruta could only maintain calm for a limited amount of time, his vision became narrower and narrower, the surrounding scenery gradually grew a little darker, and finally, there was this moment.
He saw the blue figure in front of him disappeared.
His feet went weak, and he suddenly slid down the side of the ice.
There was a sound of crushed ice rolling down in the darkness, then it quickly reverted to silence.
"Wake up, wake up, there's not much time left for you."
"I need your help."
Brendel's eyes snapped open, his pale forehead covered in tiny beads of sweat. 'What time is it-' He looked up in some confusion, the ice above his head was still a magnificent shadowy blue, and in the distance, a sound that was called 'the ramblings of Jubius' echoed in his eardrums. The whistling sound was the sound of the cold current passing through an isthmus in the north, one end of the canyon was just a huge glacier connected to the underground.
The sound had been around for years, but it was still so far away that it often made people think there was a screaming beast locked in the abyss underground.
Brendel suspiciously stared deep into the cave for a while, his eyes confused like a puzzle that could not be solved. He grasped the blanket that did not seem tightly fit and then realized that he was dreaming just now.
He had an odd dream in which he saw many people walking through a glittering snowfield, dressed in odd clothes, black and white robes, riding wingless dragons, and were gradually getting surrounded by those black, huge, obelisk-like buildings with a strange metallic sheen, covered with a cobweb-like crystal grid. Brendel recognized it as the debris of Milos. It was said that the further one went into the center of the glacier, the more such debris there would be.
Brendel saw this very scene in his dream, he saw those people passing through these ancient relics, to the edge of a huge chasm, where they held a grand ritual, pushing slaves down the valley, and then a huge shiny box into the abyss.
Time passed slowly in the glacier, he saw those people settle down after, next to the cavemen on the ice field. But suddenly there was a dispute among them, then a split, a conquest, and a division into two factions from within.
The losing side continued north, while the rest stayed. The good times were no more, and many of the old men froze to death on top of the glacier, while the young men tried to leave the glacier for the forest, but they fell in turn on their way to the migration.
Only a few people remained-
The man he dreamed of watched over the glacier day after day, seeing his people fall one by one. The deaths were like a plague, which finally fell on himself.
Brendel vaguely remembered the last sunrise he saw in his dream- the sun rose from the west, it was red and huge; the sky and earth became blood red as if it was signifying something.
Brendel looked away -
The cave was quiet and everyone had fallen asleep. There was a bright light at the far end of Brendel's field of vision, which was the campfire. It should be the latter part of the night now. He could even hear the occasional low chatter coming from there.
But Brendel did not intend to get up, he leaned quietly in the darkness alone, not understanding what his strange dream represented. When he had completely calmed down, he realized that the scene he saw in his dream could be everything the Miirnas had seen with their own eyes back then, and the people he saw were probably the Miirnas who had crossed this glacier.
The Miirnas were driven out by Gretel at the end of the War of the Holy Saints, around the year of Chaos. Around the year 1024, that was, before the Year of the Golden Hoof, earlier than the age of runes and swords, and not long after that there was the last Demonic Wave, and according to the scriptures, the whole continent's population was cut by almost a third in that one disaster.
That was the deepest disaster Vaunte had experienced after the War of the Holy Saints.
He suddenly remembered that he saw the red and huge sun in his dream and remembered a passage on the Dark Prophecy: Blood descended from the sky and the disaster stopped from west to east.
Wasn't that the description of the last Great Demonic Wave?
But why would he suddenly dream of an event from a thousand years ago? Brendel himself did not understand, he only felt indescribably strangeness. He remembered the dream of the Miirnas throwing a golden ark-like box into the abyss, and he vaguely felt that this dream may be related to this box. But he knew nothing about what was in the box, nor it was recorded in history.
Brendel exhaled gently. The feeling of being spied on rose again, so he subconsciously looked back, but the surrounding was filled with only silence. The ice cave was like inside the body of a sleeping beast, the quietness could make one anxious. But Brendel alertly patrolled around, as he clearly felt a pair of eyes had been lurking in the darkness.
'Brendel, that would never be the Guardians-'
He could not help but glance sideways in the direction where Aloz was sleeping, remembering again the conversation between them in the afternoon.