Last High Human 13: Garland
Lyshia: ”Your lack of common sense and regular knowledge. Your behavior, your way of speaking. But that’s nothing compared to-”
Newt: ”Your combat style is based on the sword and shield, and focuses on techniques that originated in the Era of the Kings. To be more precise, it resembles the Third Way of the Sword: Dedication. Also it is not that weird to know about it’s existence since we study it in the Knight Academy, seeing it in practice is nothing common.”
… What the…?
Newt: ”All references about the teaching material have been lost when the High Human kingdom fell. Several Weapon Masters have tried reproducing it. It got largely imitated, but never equalled. And then there’s you: using it’s purest form with unnatural speed and strength, and using it in actual combat to defeat Crimson Daggers and Mantikons all by yourself.”
Rhod: ”Wait a sec-”
Newt: ”But that’s not all, Rhod!”
The hell is going on…?
Newt was different. It’s like he suddenly aged in mind, he’s not giving off the same vibe as usual.
Newt: ”There’s also the matter of your body itself. Tanned skin, but not an Amazon. Dark hairs, but you’re neither Ketrian or a Dwarf. Silver eyes, but not a Demonic and… Another something Lyshia and I noticed that made us sure about something.”
Lyshia: ”You can use magic, right?”
Rhod: ”I have no idea what is going on with you two right now.”
Lyshia: ”Are you from the Era of the Kings and can you use magic, Rhod?”
Under the severe look and tone of both Lyshia and Newt, I decided to tell them the truth.
Rhod: ”Yes. To both questions.”
Lyshia: ”Seems like you were right, Newt.”
Newt: ”How could I not be, Corporal. I’m about to run out, so don’t count me in the conversation anymore.”
On these words, Newt climbed on the bed and fell asleep right after lying on it.
Too much just happened in the last five minutes!
Lyshia: ”Before you get the wrong idea, let me clarify something: Neither of us wants to bring you trouble. You helped us out of a tight spot and because of you, it seems like things are now starting to move. We’ve even been able to slow down the monster’s invasion.”
Rhod: ”It’s not like I did it to earn your sympathy or trust, don’t get me wrong.”
Lyshia: ”That’s actually a good thing. But let’s get back to the topic. You see my… 'wound' was infected with Cocatrix Blood. It will slowly petrify my body and cause my death.”
Cocatrix Blood’s properties was discovered by Deunan. To think I would see it used against my own allies millenias later…
Lyshia: ”Luckily, it seems that being a mixed blood is slowing the petrifying process. And I want to put what little time I have left to help you. There’s a lot you need to know.”
Rhod: ”I see, thank you for your concern. I’m listening.”
I dragged a chair resting in a corner of the room and sat on it, right next to the bed.
Lyshia: ”What time did you exactly came from? First, what was the last important event you remember? And how did you arrive in the present time?”
Rhod: ”I left my… 'time' or 'era' on Bruhl the 5th, in the graced year 4362, Era of the Kings. The last important event I witnessed was an attempted assassination on my king and the abduction of his son through some sort of Transportation Gate. I went to the crown prince’s rescue through the gate and battled the abductor, returning the prince safely to the castle. But I got injured in the fight and couldn’t move for a moment. When I could move again, the gate had almost completely closed."
And then I spoke with my King, and he gave me the Knight Ring.
Rhod: ”The Dagger I had with me belonged to the abductor, which managed to take the prince on the other side of the Transportation Gate. Same for my waist bag.”
Lyshia: ”That’s… Surprising… This is important information, Rhod. But telling that to anyone would only get you arrested for blasphemy and encouraging the Crimson Daggers actions. Keep it a secret.”
Lyshia: ”Like I told you already, I’m half-Amazon. I’m not the smartest person you will meet around here. But let me give you some pieces of advice and intel. I don’t know how many times after that attempted abduction, the capital of the High Human kingdom had suddenly been destroyed whole by a gigantic Energy Shockwave. Right after that, life forms have started to turn into hideous creatures and monsters have started to mutate in new variants of their specie, tougher and more powerful. As for the citizens, an unknown plague killed most of them. We ended up quarantining the whole country.”
… Th… The whole country…?
Rhod: ”Any survivors…? I’m sure I saw humans other than me in Madol before. Like... the kid in the stables… Right?”
Lyshia: ”Yes, some survived the plague. But no High Human survived.” Rhod: ”No High Human survived…?”
What is there to say…? Deunan died… The king and his son died… Everyone I knew died… I can’t think straight anymore, just… I’m just… How did this happened…
Lyshia: ”Yeah. No High Human survived. Or that’s what we thought until not long ago.”
Rhod: ”Wh- What…?”
Lyshia: ”We have a spy in the Crimson Daggers. And from what he heard, the organisation has a High Human as it’s leader. And that’s all we know about it.”
Rhod: ”I… I see…”
… A member of the royal family is still alive, that is good to know. But that person is leading a criminal organisation. How is that possible…?
Lyshia: ”The story doesn’t stop there.” There’s more?!
Lyshia: ”Right when the plague got quarantined, it was discovered that any Human using magic died shortly after. So your race stopped using it for nearly a millenia. When they tried using it again, only women could use it. It’s up to you to cause a ruckus or not. But you should avoid using magic until you get accustomed to how the world is now.”
Rhod: ”I… I see… Understood…”
Lyshia: ”I know it’s hard, but I had to tell you.”
It’s hard, for sure… And even more! How come it… How did… How…?
The door slowly opened behind me.
Garland: ”Time’s up.”
The silence fell into the room, only broken by Garland’s loud steps. He carefully took off Lyshia’s bandage, revealing her half petrified arm. He then wraped it in a new bandage, quietly, before ordering her to take a sleeping pill.
Garland: ”Now, ye rest, Corporal. As for ye kiddo…”
The giant turned to me, and continued with a low voice: Garland: ”Let’s get outta here.”
Lyshia: ”He… He’s a contractor… Can… Can you help him f… find a… a j... job…”
As she was speaking, the Corporal gradually fell into sleep. After sighing for a long time, Garland led us out of the room. We silently walked down the stairs where Zamasu was waiting, smoking her pipe.
Zamasu: ”Ara ara, Garland, are you cancelling, zamasu?”
Garland: ”No way in hell, Bravil. We’re just takin’ this kid with us. He needs to grab a drink.”
Zamasu, whose name was Bravil, took a quick look at my face, before answering in a low voice.
Bravil: ”Seems like he needs more than one, zamasu.”
Garland: ”Yeah, thought so.”
We all went outside, waiting for Zama- I mean, waiting for Bravil to lock the door. She then started to walk at the giant’s sides. I walked a few meters behind them. Under the cover of the night, we silently walked in the depths of Madol.