Chapter 337: New Wolves
Two men were standing in the corridor. The one in the lead, with hair as white as snow, was Geralt of Rivia. He was still as badly dressed as ever. Grey jacket, yellowing shirt, and tight pants. His white hair was slicked back to his head, his stubbles almost overgrown. It was forever since he last groomed himself, and the White Wolf was waving at them.
Eskel approached him and stood by his side like his brother.
There was another witcher with Geralt, and he was the youngest among the Wolves. His hair was black and cropped short, his hairline was receding, his eyes were amber, his nose was crooked, and his skin was so pale it was red. A little stubble also circled his lips and chin.
The Wolves seemed to be cursed with scars on their face. Just like his friends, this witcher had an intimidating scar extending from the right of his forehead to his cheek. His arms were crossed, and the witcher was judging the newcomers arrogantly.
Age: Fifty-two years old
Status: Wolf School witcher
Witcher Signs Level 8, Alchemy Level 6, Meditation Level 5, Wolven Swordplay Level 10, Witcher Senses Level 7.'
He's fifty-two? Not bad for a man his age. At least he only has a receding hairline, not completely bald. Witchers stay young for quite a long time, huh? Like a certain alien warrior race. He looked past Lambert and peered into the courtyard, but Vesemir wasn't there. I'm not in a hurry.
"Welcome to Kaer Morhen, friends. It's been a few months, and you still look as good as ever." Geralt smiled stiffly and shook their hands. "Didn't lose any weight or limbs."
"You put on a few pounds, Geralt. And thanks for the invitation." Roy beamed and shook Geralt's hands.
"You've gotten to know Eskel on the way, and this here is Lambert, the youngest Wolf around." Geralt turned around and gave his companion a warning look.
Lambert nodded, but he was by no means happy about it.
Auckes stared at the guy judgmentally for a few moments. He was starting to get a little curious. He doesn't jive with me at all. There's not an ounce of quirk in his soul. Unless you count arrogance and scorn as a quirk.
"Lambert, this is…"
"It's getting late, and the winds are howling. Air's a bit chilly too. Come with me."
The witchers went past the grated gate and walked down the dark corridor before arriving at the yard. It was as big as Aldersberg's fountain plaza, but it was a lot more run-down than expected. The floor was made of wooden boards and rocks, and the grass was growing everywhere.
The yard was mostly empty, and ancient wooden scaffolding was supporting the chipped stairs and fortress walls.
Under the rickety walls stood the Wolf School's training tools: wooden stakes, spinning dummies, and pendulums that hung under a horizontal bar. There was also a whetstone to sharpen weapons.
The veteran Vipers exchanged a look. Kaer Morhen looked older than Gorthur Gvaed, and more dilapidated too.
They trotted up the stairs and were greeted by a big oak tree with a great canopy standing in the center of the clearing. It danced as gales blew on it, and its shadow covered a side of the castle walls.
Kaer Morhen was standing right in front of them. As the Vipers looked up, it almost gave them reverse vertigo. Towers and turrets stood around the main structure. Even the shortest tower was more than sixty-five feet tall.
The witchers would be able to see the dense woods underneath them if they just stood on one of the many towers and turrets. If they so wished, even the snowy caps could be within their vista.
The great wooden doors yawned open, and they arrived in a dimly-lit hall. It was starker than all of the castle halls Roy had ever seen. There were no resplendent decorations or beautiful ornaments hanging around.
Aside from the candelabras and haphazardly laid out alchemical tools, there were only tables, chairs, book shelves, and wine vats lying around. What left a big impression, though, were the stone pillars connecting the ground to the ceiling. "That attack left Kaer Morhen with nothing."
Lights from candle flames and the fireplace shone on the empty clearing in the center of the hall.
"Sit around, lads." Geralt pointed at the sofa near the fireplace. "I'll see how dinner's going. Eskel, take the alcohol. Sorry, but you guys came a bit earlier than expected. The alcohol's probably not as good as intended."
"It's fine. We don't mind as long as it's drinkable." Serrit shrugged.
"Lambert, you stay back and entertain our friends. And watch your tongue."
Lambert let out a reluctant snort and plopped down onto the torn sofa.
Geralt was about to leave, but Letho said, "Do you need help in the kitchen?" He gave Roy a look. The young witcher was looking around the castle and coming up with a plan for another adventure. "He's a decent cook. Better than most cooks in any inn."
"That'd be rude of us. You're the guests here. We can't possibly have you helping us out with the chores. Just enjoy your stay." Geralt really wanted to say yes. Wolf School's food was mostly edible, and taste wasn't the priority.
None of them ever polished their cooking. Even Vesemir's food was not bad at best.
"It's alright, Geralt. We're brothers here," Auckes quickly said. "And brothers fight together! Kitchen's a warzone, and we're sending someone in to help. Roy won't disappoint you!"
"That's an interesting saying, but you have a point." Geralt looked at Roy. "There's boar meat, rabbit meat, turnips, yam, and pumpkins in the kitchen. Can you whip something up with those?"
Roy heaved a sigh. Why do I have to work everywhere I go? He quickly went with Geralt, and the other witchers started goofing around.
"Get your Gwent cards and game board out, Letho. Time for some warming up with Lambert before dinner."
"Before that, I wanna know something about you guys. You're from the South, aren't you? Moving in groups is trending there? Don't you guys think that's a little bit stuffy? Won't you guys fight amongst yourselves? If I have to stay around for one more winter, I would bash everyone's faces in. Geralt only has one expression, and Eskel's face is just annoying."
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