Lodoss Novel “Holy King of Valis”Author: Cool Snoops | Filed under: Record of Lodoss War
Holy King of Valis
After rescuing Ashram from his attempted suicide at Fire Dragon Mountain, Groder tries to lift his depression.
Ashram had settled into the quarters he’d been given. He lay out flung on the crude bed, staring straight up at the ceiling. At a desk against the wall at the other end of the bed was another man, wearing a robe as dark as Ashram’s armor His name was Groder. He had been a mage, the Black Adept Wagnard’s best pupil. Sitting on a plain chair without even a cushion, he regarded Ashram with a complicated expression.
“What’s on your mind?” Groder asked. He waited a while, but Ashram didn’t answer.
“Lord Ashram…” Groder got up and walked over to Ashram’s bed.
“Nothing much at all,” a delayed reply came, tonelessly.
Sighing, Groder shook his head. He stood at the end of the bed, looking down at Ashram. “What did I rescue—one of the living dead? I don’t want to see a look like that on your face!”
At the battle at Mount Fire Dragon, realizing that he was going to be defeated, Groder had used a teleport spell to return to Marmo. His master, Wagnard, a prepared a magic circle, so that he could return at any time after he had the Crystal Ball of Souls in his hand. Once back, Groder used the magic circle again, this time to rescue Ashram. Finding his location with a crystal scrying ball, Groder used all his magical power to summon him, pulling him back to the circle.
To do this, he used the ‘Forced Repatriation’ spell he had learned from Wagnard. It was one of the Lost Magics that Wagnard had obtained from the ruins of the ancient kingdom in Lake Lunoana. It was the first time Groder had used the spell, but he performed it with complete success. By a hair’s breadth he had caught Ashram as he was going to fall into the incandescent hell of Mount Fire Dragon’s crater, and called him back.
However, for allowing the Crystal Ball of Souls to be stolen, and for saving Ashram’s life, he incurred Wagnard’s anger. For betraying his master he suffered a harsh punishment.
Wagnard had cursed Groder with a geas spell. It was the same spell that Wagnard himself had been put under by his own former master Larkas. If someone under the spell used magic, unendurable ferocious pain ran through their whole body.
Even now Wagnard was confined by this spell; the geas Larkas had put on him was that strong. However, even in the midst of unbelievable pain, he was able to cast spells without his concentration being disturbed. He was even able to endure performing lengthy magical rituals.
For an ordinary human, to do so was impossible. After being put under the geas spell, Groder tried many times to use magic. However, each time he was discouraged. Now it had become clear to him that he could no longer use magic. Beaten by his own body, for the first time he understood Wagnard’s greatness.
However, betraying Wagnard, Groder became Ashram’s ally. He had only been swept away by the feeling for an instant, but that Ashram was essential to Marmo, and therefore to himself, he was convinced. However, nothing could be hoped of Ashram in his present state. To Groder, it wasn’t much compensation for losing his magic. Ashram’s manner was so dejected, you could even wonder whether his own sword had struck him and killed his soul.
He had been expelled from Marmo’s governing council, demoted to the rank of an ordinary captain of the knights, assigned as adjutant to Jadd, and required to cede Beld’s sword Soulcrusher to him; and all of this he had accepted. He had complied with a docility that left the council members in mute amazement.
“You’ve been pulled down into poverty,” Ashram murmured.
If now was the end, then yes, Groder was completely destitute. But he had no intention of this being the end. “What? Even though I’ve lost my magic, I still have better wits than most people. I could brag that I’m more useful than you are right now,” he said.
“No matter what you say, you won’t make me angry. I should have died at Fire Dragon Mountain. My heart’s desire was refused; Kashue defeated me, the Scepter of Domination was lost; our best and bravest fell, while our enemies won renown. What a great comedy!” he spat out, mocking himself.
It’s a bad wound, thought Groder, deciding to end the conversation. Time might take care of it, or Jadd’s manner of treating Ashram might ignite his anger. Groder himself didn’t intend to be the one to light that fire. Once awakened, Ashram would no doubt strike off the head of the person who did so. The old Ashram surely would have.
“If Emperor Beld saw you now, what would he say?” Leaving those words in the air, Groder left Ashram’s room.