“I don’t know if it’s because I am too old, but I was deeply moved by your speech.” It felt like the honorable words of a sovereign. You are the person with the most noble bearing that I’ve ever met.
I felt ashamed by Rohan’s praise. I was after all just a skeleton, which was very far from the meaning of the word ‘noble’.
“That was the reason why I chose to come and meet you. Can you meet with the Sage?”
“I can’t bring just anyone, but if If it is someone with a noble character, he ordered me to bring them to him. ”
Alarm bells began ringing in my mind. If he was a Sage, he might know that this was an Avatar, and might even be able to figure out what my main body was. He might think of me as enemy, and it would be the equivalent of walking into the tiger’s den.
Seeing my expression, Rohan spoke before I could give my reply.
“But, I can see that you have a complicated history, will you refuse?”
“I think it will be a bit difficult.”
“The Supreme Sage is in a difficult situation right now and requires the help of a capable warrior. Please, I promise to reward you handsomely.”
I couldn’t help but feel some pity for the sad looking priest.
“Here, take this as a down payment.”
Rohan handed me a ring instilled with a large ruby.
“What is this?”
“I had received it from the Supreme Sage, I was told that it could grant one wish.”
That was certainly an attractive proposition. I was confident that even is this so called Sage was strong, if I had an all purpose wish I could easily escape. Still, the title of Supreme Sage was a bit worrisome.
“What kind of difficult situation has the Supreme Sage found himself in?”
“Well, he was trapped by a team of warriors and subsequently sealed.”
My thoughts had immediately thought of a guilty party. It definitely sounded like the work of the League, perhaps they had other warriors besides Nabe capable of sealing. Still, if they were enemies with the League then perhaps I could meet a kindred spirit.
“How was he sealed? If he was a great person and a defender of justice, I don’t understand how it would be possible for him to be targeted.
“He said it was a small misunderstanding.”
“Sealed as a misunderstanding, what a strange choice of words.”
“It would be better if you heard the details from the Supreme Sage himself. He is still, sealed and had plenty of time to share stories. He was accidentally discovered within a cave by a priest which was investigating Divine miracles.
I was still a bit skeptical, why didn’t the Temple release the seal, and why would he want to meet me?
“By the way…”
“Ah, I guess you’re curious why we chose you.” he quickly cut me off.
“I was told that the seal could only be released by a Chosen Warrior. I was also informed not to announce this information to the world, the priest that had found him had sworn a vow to secrecy, one that I will likewise uphold.”
Maybe it was just a coincidence, and the High -priest had simply approached me because I had become a Chosen. Perhaps they didn’t know anything about my main body.
“Please lead the way, I will meet him.”
“Thank you, thank you, I am quite old so I brought a carriage, please follow me.”
The wagon was mostly white and dark red, with the horses harness likewise being painted red. It reminded me of a Blood donation truck from my previous World.
“Hop in warrior.”
I sat in the carriage with Rohan for about an hour, before arriving to a secluded cave.
“From his point, you will have to proceed alone.”
I nodded towards Rohan and entered the cave.
“Ugh… Come this way… Gas….Pard?”
There was a large emerald green gem placed upon an altar. The voice coming from the jewel sounded familiar.
“ Are you the Supreme Sage?”
“Yes it’s me I go by the name of Gnoss”
I took a close look at the gem.
“Have we met before?”
“Well, isn’t it?”
Hearing his voice, I remembered that one time while clearing out an Orc cave, I had come across a similar looking green gem, albeit of a difference size. I recalled that its status window was a bit weird, just like this one, except that at the time I hadn’t payed it any heed.
“What is your connection with the Orcs?”
Did he quiet down because I hit the truth or insulted him?
“What is your connection to the skill Sage’s Wisdom?”
Silence once again.
“Do you not want me to unlock the seal?”
“Yes! Could you please release me?”
“Sorry, but I’m not a Chosen Warrior.”
“Yes I’m aware, but I could show you the path, after all that is the role of a sage.”
I had guessed correctly, Rohan was most likely a subordinate of this Supreme Sage and he indeed knew about the selection of Chosens.
“Tell me all you know.”
“I won’t divulge it until you give me your word.”
“Aren’t you uncomfortable, stuck in there?”
“Yes, but it’s a great honor to become a Chosen Warrior, so I can’t simply tell you for free.”
His words sounded innocent, like those of a naive child, but he protected his secret quite fiercely.
“Okay, let me analyze the situation. You’re sealed and you don’t want to tell me how to break the seal. Why don’t I just walk away then?”
I deliberately turned around and began walking away for extra effect.
“Don’t you need to become a Chosen Warrior?”
I had decided to answer honestly for once.
“I also have a seal to unlock.”
“Sorry, I can’t tell you.”
“Hm… it’s not Soleste is it?”
Oh, it looks like this Sage knew about Soleste.
“You’re not some terrible demon are you?”
“No, of course not.”
Well, not yet at least.
“Gaspard, can you pledge to me that you won’t use your powers for evil?”
“Whose standards should I use to judge evil?”
I had learned through my interactions with different races that not everything was as clear cut as simply black and white. It often depended form whose point of view you were looking at it from.
“Gaspard, you are a wise man with a unique perspective on life.”
“Well, let’s just say that I’ve seen a lot of strange things.”
“Ok, then how about you pledge that you, Gaspard, would not use the power of the Chosen Warrior to do things which you consider as wrong.”
I was happy to make such a promise as it was in line with my usually way of doing things.
“But what if my idea of righteousness doesn’t lign up with others’?”
“You were brought by Rohan right? He’s a good judge of character and has yet to fail me once. ”
“If that was the case why did you ask me so many questions.”
“Just being extra careful, after all it was my negligence that led to me being imprisoned here.”
I was curious as to what he was talking about but the first order of things was to learn how to become a Chosen.
“I agree to the pledge so you can tell me now. ”
“Recite to me your vow, and I promise to hold up my end.”
I took a deep breath and began my pledge.
“I vow to only use the power of the Chosen Warrior for my version of righteousness.”
As I finished reciting my pledge, I saw the Emerald gem emit a faint glow.
“The path is simple, climb to the top of the Sage’s Tower and read the Codex. Rohan will be able to lead you, tell him it’s the tower without an entrance, just remember your vow!”
I still didn’t know the extent of its strength, but it didn’t seem all powerful After watching the sealed emerald gem for some time, I finally decided to go ahead with my plan.
“I have something to ask of you.”
I took out the ring I had received from Rohan.
“That… is that the ring of Obedience? Did Rohan give it to you? Damn it all!”
Gnoss voice held a hint of panic.”
“I’ll speak my wish now, I want you to be with me to answer my questions when I require it.”
This time the light from the emerald shone considerably brighter.
“Huh… why did you make such a simple promise? With that ring you could ask absolutely anything of me.”
“All I require is knowledge, that alone will suffice.”
I had been annoyed by my Sage’s Wisdom skills which was always on cooldown when I required it most. My intention was to replace the skill with Gnoss. Having concluded my business, I turned around to leave the cave.
“You have to become a Chosen Warrior and return to free me, or else you will suffer a penalty.
‘He was right, I had little choice.’
As I returned to meet Rohan, I knew that my only way forward was to become a Chosen.
“How was his story?”
I simply nodded in response.
“He instructed me to head to the Tower without an entrance.”
“Hmm, if it’s a tower with no entrance… well there is one such in the temple, but why would he send you there?’
“I don’t know, that’s all he said.”
“Okay, let’s get going then.”
We took the carriage back to the Temple, Rohan guided me to a large pillar, about 20 meters tall. It looked nothing like a tower and was situated in a remote corner of the Temple.
“Here you are, best of luck, I need to be heading back before others notice I’ve been gone.”
As the priest disappeared I began doing the turn of the tower, knocking on the stone to try and figure out a way in.
‘Do I have to use brute force?’
The tower looked quite old, constructed with solid black stones, but there were no entrances or windows that I could see. I had done the turn of the 4 meter diameter pillar and had yet to find a way in.
‘Ah, there’s a hidden mechanism…’
Passing my hand over the wall I had felt something different.
I got sucked into the tower.
I was dropped into a large, but simple room, no decorations, just a large spiral staircase which led up.
‘Hm, it was only 4 meters wide from the outside, but here it’s at least 10 in here. There must be some spatial magic at work.
I started climbing the staircase, without any end in sight. After 3 hours of climbing I could no longer see the bottom floor, but neither was the top visible. I walked for another 3 or 4 hours before arriving to a large door.
‘Is it finally the end?’
Upon the door was inscribed the following question.
“What creature sometimes has four feet, two, three, one or none?”
‘Is it like some riddle from a sphinx? Is it one of those silly answers like breakfast, lunch and dinner?’
I thought about it for quite some time but could not come up with a good response.
‘Tch, if he sent me here to do his errands he should have at least provided me with the answer.’
I spent two hours looking around and trying different methods to get across the door without solving the riddle, but finally gave up.
‘It looks like solving this question is the only way past the door. It’s been quite troublesome trying to remove the stupid sword sealing me.
Some of the stairs behind me had collapsed. If I answered wrong, a certain number of staircases would fall down, so I only had a limited amount of tries. Feeling hungry, I drank from the bottle of the World’s nectar.
‘Should I ration it?’
I was planning on saving some for later but eventually just drank it all. As hours turned to days, I still couldn’t figure out the solution and would soon die of thirst.
I returned to my body at the Pit.
“Lord, how come you’e returned during the daytime?”
Alpeon was sitting next to me.
“Uhm… Alpeon do you sit near my body all day long?”
“I like being near you, Lord”
She made a cute face which I couldn’t scold.
“Well I guess it’s fine then. By the way, are you good at riddles?”
“What’s a riddle?”
“Well, it’s like a clever question and you have to figure out the answer. It’s usually quite challenging, like a brain teaser.
“If that’s the case then maybe my sister Trisila would be good at it. I will call her over.”
It’s the first time to meet Trisila since she became an Antillien.
“Did you call for me Lord?”
“Yes, I have a difficult question I need answered.”
“Please ask away.”
“What Creature sometimes has four feet, two, three, one or none?”
Trisila’s face turned bright as she fell into deep thought. Her antennae twitching in excitement being faced with a difficult challenge. After about a dozen minutes, she exclaimed happily.
“Lord I think I’ve got it!”
“What is it?”
“I’ve heard from Arin the lives of adventurers. When they are born they crawl on all fours, as they grow up, they walk on two feet, but if they become injured they may lose one or maybe all their limbs!”
I nodded my head, it made sense. Indeed among humans, adventurers were the most exposed to danger.
“Thank you Trisilia, I shall reward you at a future date.”
“Thank you Lord!”
I woke up near the edge of the stairs.
‘Wait, why am I all the way here? Did my body move while I was away?’
Pushing my doubts to the back of my mind, I stood up and spoke clearly towards the door.
The door gradually opened.
Within was a large room, and the ceiling was finally visible. In the middle of the room stood a pedestal, with a large book on it.
‘Is that the Codex?’
As I approached the book the characters within it began to shine.
‘Ugh… do i have to read it all?’
Fortunately I was spared the tedious task and the letters in the book turned into a bright light which was absorbed into my eyes.
‘Those who know the name of God, wield his power.’
The contents of the book were engraved in my mind and my surrounding wrapped my in darkness. When I could see again I found myself sitting outside the tower.
“Is it over now?”
Gnoss: Supreme Sage sealed in an emerald gem.