Mythic Item Obtained & The Extra's Academy Survival Guide now available on Yonder! Learn more

The Divine Hunter

Reaper Scans

 

Chapter 343: Resident Sorcerers Dead

 

[TL: Asuka]

[PR: Ash]

 

"So he got his liver hurt and didn't live to see another day." Vesemir sighed and turned his eyes downward. He seemed downcast.

"What do you think about them?" Geralt handed the diagrams to Eskel and Lambert after he took a look at them. This armor is a lot sturdier than the rickety ones we have. But making it won't be easy. The alloys and components aren't something regular blacksmiths can handle. Only a master blacksmith is up for the job.

"Chird and Hieronymus were kind souls. They weren't arrogant and temperamental like their brethren. Their kindness extended to even the apprentices." Vesemir could almost see the images of a balding man in purple scholar robes in his mind.

He never interacted much with the sorcerers during his sword instructor days, but he was grateful for their contribution to the school.

"I have a question. Where did the sorcerers come from? Aretuza or Ban Ard?" Roy wiped the sweat off his forehead. "What's the difference between them and the mages who attacked the keep?"

"Your mentor never told you about that?"

Letho scratched his nose. "Gorthur Gvaed had long lost its resident sorcerers when we joined."

"So you passed the deadly Trial all by yourselves. Not bad." Vesemir explained, "Most resident sorcerers graduate from academies. They're experts in mutation and human experiments. Most of them are friendly to the first witchers and are willing to coexist with us. They're an indispensable part of any witcher school. Trials are that much less lethal thanks to their help. But the mages who whipped the peasants into frenzy are on a different end of the spectrum. They see witchers as disposable test subjects and a treasure trove of experiment results they could take by force whenever they want."

"Their test subjects will be of no use to them the moment they get their hands on what they want. Apparently, they finally got what they wanted. Most mages don't think highly of us now, nor do they hate us. They're just uninterested in us."

I don't think so. Roy shook his head. He was reminded of a certain woman he knew, and she was the best candidate to be the Viper School's resident sorceress. But I have another question. "Are you one of the first witchers, Vesemir? Have you seen our founders, Alzur and Cosimo then?" They're Rissberg's resident sorcerers to an extent.

"Technically, I'm a second-gen witcher." Vesemir shook his head. "I've never seen our founders, but the first-gen talked about them before. The creed held by the Griffins came from Alzur. Before he was a mage, Alzur was an apprentice knight who did his best to help the people and gain recognition. His mentor, Cosimo, had the soul of a researcher. His boundless curiosity led him to create the first witcher. Decades later, he found a new goal and left the fractured witcher group with his apprentice. There are stories about them all over the land, but none had ever seen them again."

Nobody knew if Cosimo and Alzur were alive or dead. Once the founders were gone, the witcher group had no leader to speak of. The difference in opinions led them to set up new schools of their own. They set off with their comrades and some sorcerers to settle in different parts of the continent.

"Storytime's over. Next stop, lad." Vesemir clapped his hands and snapped everyone out of their stupor. "Keep these." He gave the diagrams to Roy. "We'll discuss what to do with the diagrams once the search is over. And don't rush ahead next time. We don't push our young in front of us when danger is facing us."

***

The next diagram was also hidden in a ramshackle watchtower. It was located northwest of Kaer Morhen.

Onwards the witchers rode, but halfway through the journey, one little episode halted them. Three grizzly bears appeared from behind a snow-covered pine tree. Their roars shook the trees and sent the birds flying. Even the horses flung their riders off out of shock, but the witchers broke into two teams and cast Quen on themselves.

And then the hunters became the hunted.

Surprisingly enough, both schools fought in similar ways. First, they trapped the bears with Yrden, then they cast Axii to bemuse the beasts, and finally, they buried their swords deep in the bears' heads.

***

Lights of sword and magic shone between the woods, and the beasts' roars slowly became whimpers.

The beasts fell in less than thirty seconds, drenching the snow with their blood. They were hanging on, but just barely, and Roy dashed their hopes of living by thrusting his blade through their eyes before wiping the blood off on their hide.

'Grizzly bear killed. EXP +170. Level 7 Witcher (3660/4500).'

"What is up with the bears in Kaer Morhen, Geralt? Did they mutate like Roach and ditch the need to hibernate?" Roy asked. Man, I love these bears, A few more of them, and I'll make enough EXP to level up!

"You gotta brush up on your Almanac of Creatures, kid!" Lambert made a face at Roy. "They can't hibernate before they have enough fat stored up. You think they're that stupid? But honestly, though, it's weird. We're on a lucky streak since you guys came. First the diagrams, and now bear paws? I'd think a festival is coming." Lambert slit the bears' necks and pulled their hides off. The witchers took good care not to ruin the bears' hides this time.

"And it would have been a festival without you shooting your mouth off!"

Vesemir shook his head. He noticed something interesting. The Vipers asked them to leave the last blow to Roy. They said it was for his training, but Vesemir didn't believe a word. He looked at the excited lad curiously, thinking to himself, Does the boy have any other power aside from his premonition?

***

The next watchtower was located in a prairie. It was surrounded by some crumbling walls, and the witchers went inside easily. The moment they did, their pendants started trembling. A ball of light popped into existence, and then out came a wraith covered in rotten patches.

Bravely, or very stupidly, it charged toward the group of witchers all alone.

The veteran witchers decided to sit this one out and leave the wraith all to Roy.

Roy had enough experience dealing with wraiths. He cast Heliotrop and Quen at the same time before charging ahead with Aerondight in hand.

As usual, Yrden trapped the wraith, and Aerondight rained down terror on it. The wraith died after a few moments, leaving some loot behind.

Essence of wraith, specter dust, lesser green mutagen, and sixty EXP. Roy's heart leapt in delight. I love killing monsters for loot.

***

Giant debris blocked the watchtower's entrance, denying the witchers entry. However, they found some skeletal remains outside the tower and dug out one Wolven silver sword diagram from underneath the bones. And there were also notes left behind by Chird, the sorcerer's assistant.

Chord said he locked himself in the watchtower to defend against the angry mob led by sorcerers. In the end, the mob broke through and took or burned most of the treasures in this place before killing poor Chird off.

"So that skeleton you found must have belonged to Hieronymus. Both of our sorcerers are dead." The light in Vesemir's eyes dimmed, the delight of finding the diagrams gone. "I shouldn't have held onto any hope. This is what fate had in store for Kaer Morhen."

"Why didn't Chird escape through a portal? Why did he stay back?" Roy was bemused.

"Maybe he didn't know how to use a portal. He was an assistant, after all," Letho guessed

"Wait. Look, these notes mention a couple of names. I've heard of Varin," Geralt said. "He was a sword instructor in Vesemir's time. But who's Elgar?"

"A legendary blacksmith," Vesemir answered. "One of the first witchers who migrated to Kaer Morhen, but we lost track of him when he was out on an adventure. These diagrams are made from the equipment he left behind."

"But these are almost perfect, and they're only imitations?" The witchers were impressed. "If Elgar himself were here, I can't imagine how powerful the items he would make must be."

Roy was reminded of one thing. Elgar could have been on par with the likes of Ivar Evil-Eye, but he too disappeared. Where did the witchers of old go? Did they die in some unknown corner of the world and leave nothing but some items behind?

"Time to go, lads. One last diagram left." Eskel tucked the sorcerer's remains away. "Once we find all the diagrams, we'll give them a proper burial."

 

***

Join our discord to chat about the series and get notified when a new chapter gets released! 

https://discord.gg/sb2jqkv

***

 

Comments