266 The new north god
"How could this happen???" Leona gasped as she continued to look at the remains of what used to be her staff.
Daren stood by her side not knowing what to say to help her.
"This can't be possible!! I used fire magic my whole life and my staff never even got a scratch! Why did it burn this time??"
Daren began to hold his chin, "Maybe terminal fire was a little bit too much for it to handle... Terminal fire and magic fire probably don't work in with the same rules..."
"But... But... Doesn't Evlin use terminal energy as well? How come her crossbow doesn't get burned?"
"I'm not sure... Sorry, I'm not an expert in this kind of stuff..."
"Ugh... What do we do...?? Without my magic, we are defenseless... What if we stumble upon another dragon??" Leona commented while shaking her head with worry.
Daren looked at the woman who appeared to be on the verge of bursting into tears, "Is this the first time you lose access to magic...?"
Leona began to glare at him, "Access to magic?? Don't you get it?? We lost access to everything!! We have no allies, no means of communication, no weapons, we are completely lost, and now, our only hope of survival is gone as well!! Why can you not grasp the severity of the situation!!!??"
Daren began to sweat as he felt Leona was a couple of seconds away from bitting him out of frustration, "S- Sorry... This kind of thing tends to happen with me and my friends all the time, so I guess I'm kinda used to it by now..."
"What? All the time?"
"Yeah... You would be surprised with how many times we find ourselves in a pinch, or about to die, or backed into a corner, or completely out of options... Although I will admit, even by our standards, this does look like a pretty big deal..."
Leona still wasn't feeling all that good about herself, but watching Daren keeping his cool even during this time of crisis, she felt motivated to try and calm herself down as well.
"Okay then... You're the one who is an expert in being in a pinch... What do we do now?"
"Let's see..." Daren began to think about his current options.
The two could try to exit the cave and explore the rest of the island, but there was a chance that they could fall prey to another monster outside.
They could take their chances and reach for the temple of the north by advancing into the cave tunnels, but that also could lead to another dragon, as well as having to deal with another god.
He could try to get in contact with Gustav, but no matter how many times he called for him, no connection could be made.
"Sigh... I think we should try to go with your idea..." he finally answered.
"R- Really?? You wanna go to the temple?" Leona replied with sparkles in her eyes.
"I don't WANT to go... But I feel we have to... We got careless and made a lot of noise this time... but if we try to be cautious, even if we face some monster we should be able to sneak by it while they sleep... Also, I feel you would try to go alone if I tried to oppose it, and I don't wanna think about what might happen to you..."
"I see!! Thank you! I appreciate your support!" Leona commented while shaking his hands.
"Fine, fine... let's just move before the sun rises... "
"But... Without my fire... How do we know where to go with no light?"
At that moment, Daren picked one of the bones of the deceased dragon, wrapped it up with a few layers of clothing, and knocking a couple of rocks together he started a fire using the dragon's blood to fuel it.
"There! Now we have light... let's move!"
Daren and Leona kept walking for hours through the tunnels of the cave.
Every time they moved by a new passage Daren would grab a piece of charcoal and make a small mark to avoid getting lost.
A few monsters appeared on their way, but nothing as dangerous as the dragon from before. They had no means of winning a battle against anything right now, so they mostly did their best to just stay as quiet as possible and avoided waking them up.
After a long journey that involved jumping over a pit, crawling through a hole that was half their size, and climbing a pile of rocks that looked like they could fall apart at any moment, the two finally reached the end of the cave and the entrance to the temple of the north.
"Finally..." Daren whispered, "I think I was about to pass out from hunger..."
Leona and the lad were now face-to-face with an enormous door with a beautiful design sculpted in golden details. The doors Were surrounded by rocks on both sides and at the top, the ceiling of the cave could be seen.
"Is the lower half of this temple supposed to be buried under the soil?" Daren wondered.
"The temple of the north represents a connection with the earth magic, the same way the temple of the east represents a connection with fire magic..." Leona answered.
"Oh... Is that why the temple of the south is located on a mountain of snow? Is it connected to water magic?"
"Correct... All the temples serve as a reminder of the day the gods and the humans united to face-off against the demons... It's the ultimate symbol of our alliance... "
"I wonder if Evlin would get annoyed if she found out her magic is related to the north god... I don't remember her being very fond of him..." Daren commented.
"This is something that always bugged me a bit, why is Evlin an earth mage?" Leona bluntly asked.
Daren tilted his head to the side, "Eh... What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well... Her eyes are green..."
Daren continued tilting his head, "Yes...? And...?"
"Green eyes usually mean that the person's natural element is wind, not earth..."
"Wha...? Since when?"
"Since always... Why do you think people have different eye colors? It shows the magic element that works best for you! If Evlin's natural element was earth, her eyes should be brown, not green..."
"Oh... Evlin told me she tried to learn wind magic once but quickly gave up due to her fear of heights... She feels earth works better for her..."
"That's a shame... I think if she tried to walk the path of wind, her true potential could be unleashed..." Leona commented.
"True potential?? That woman's magic could be even stronger than it already is???"
And as if getting tired of their conversation, the door to the north temple began to open up, almost acting like the north god himself just wanted the two to shut up and get in already.
Daren and Leona stared at the insides of the palace. It looked pretty much like an exact copy of the east and west temple, a huge mansion with stairways that led to other rooms on the upper floors and a massive door that presumably connected with the main hall. The only difference was the lack of servants or followers to take care of the place.
"I think he is inviting us..." Leona guessed.
"Let's get this over with then..." Daren complained.
The two took a few steps in and the doors instantly closed by themselves.
"We're locked in!!" Daren gasped.
"D- Don't worry... I'm sure the god of the north means us no harm... In fact... He can't cause us any harm... Gods cant hurt mortals unless they try to strike them first."
Daren began to gaze around the place with an immense glare on his face, feeling like a cornered animal about to be attacked by a predator, "You would be surprised how easy it is for the gods to harm a mortal life when they put their minds into it..."
The duo carefully continued to walk towards the center of the room when Leona began to look upwards and opened her arms as if she was about to catch someone that was falling.
"North god!! North god, please!! Listen to our call and grant us with your presence!!" she prayed.
A beam of light suddenly appeared out of the ground, and from inside of it, a humanoid figure stepped out of it walking in their direction.
"He's here!!" Leona cried!
"He is..." Daren added in a monotone voice.
The god wore a white robe, very similar to the ones Daren saw the gods of the south, east, and west wearing before. He appeared to be a man with tanned skin, very similar to Joseph's, and spiky red hair.
His body was very well built, but not as muscular as Auren's, and his eyes, as if representing the element of his temple, were holding a strong brown color. He seemed to be someone in his late twenties, Daren guessed.
His face was very calm. Even though two people just stumbled upon his temple, he did not show anger, joy, or any mention. If anything he almost seemed bored, as if he was disappointed that he would have to deal with Daren and Leona.
Daren was already not a fan of gods, but the look on North's face was getting him even more annoyed than usual.
"So... Which one wants to be my champion...?" the god asked while yawning and scratching the back of his red hair.
"Excuse me...?" Leona replied.
"Mmm... It can't be you right?" the god added while staring at Leona, "You already are someone else's champion... So it must be this dude glaring at me?"
"Don't call me 'dude'... We are not friends..." Daren announced.
"Whatevs... Let's just get this over with... The boss doesn't like to wait..." North mentioned while raising his arms and preparing to perform the blessing ceremony on Daren.
"Would you just listen to us?? We didn't come here to become your champions! We came here to ask for help to defeat-"
"Wait!" Leona stopped Daren before he could continue.
"Leona? What's wrong?"
The fire mage began to stare at the god for a moment, "You said the 'boss' is waiting?"
Something about this situation was not making sense now that Leona stopped to think about it. Why was this temple not destroyed like the others? Why was there no demon dragon guarding it? Why is the new north god so relaxed even though all the other gods are in the middle of a crisis? Surely he must know about the current situation, and yet he was talking like nothing was going on.
"Who exactly... Is this 'boss'?" Leona asked.
North just looked at her confused, "Who else? The dude that promised to help me he would help me win the election to become the next supreme divine deity by taking out all the competition... My buddy, Knucker!"