Chapter 48 – Infiltration
The Dragon of Darkness was the sworn enemy of the four saints in the holy war. It was especially true for the King of Fire, Gatel, who wanted revenge for his kingdom’s demise. Even though he was confused with the witch Babasha’s words, he did not acknowledge her words. A small misstep would make him the enemy of the world.
“The Dragon of Darkness, Odin? I do know that the witches see him as the guide towards the Fate of Darkness, but I have nothing with it.”
He looked at Babasha, but she still bowed down with trembling fear. He was slightly taken aback at her reaction, but suddenly realized he made a mistake with his words. He had forgotten that the people in this world had deeply revered the Gods and the mysterious powers, and even if they were enemies of them, they would not speak of them lightly.
He completely did not accept them as a player, while the other Brendel’s memories influenced his choice of words. When he spoke of the names, he naturally spoke of them like they were equals.
While this action did not appear to be anything wrong to him, it was an offensive remark to Ciel and Babasha’s ears. But the current circumstances were at a subtle state. Babasha was in a state of deep fear, while Ciel regarded his lord with exalted eyes, and hearing Brendel’s reply made them feel that he was hinting at something.
Brendel noticed that point and he shook his head: “Forget it, you’re free to think whatever you like. As long as you do not interfere with me, and simply wait here until the sun is up.”
Babasha’s forehead still laid on the ground and she did not dare to move even one muscle.
Brendel gestured at the stunned Ciel, then told him that there was a hidden trapdoor under the table nearby and asked him to open it. The young man moved the table with a skeptical expression, and took away the carpet that was under it. Indeed, there was a trapdoor there.
By this moment Ciel did not feel any surprise about his lord’s omniscence and could only concluded there were things in the world that could not be explained with human means.
He reached for the handle and pulled it up with effort, revealing a dark hole with a spiraling staircase.
“My lord, are we going to go in right now?” He asked.
“Of course, what else do you think was going to happen?”
“Oh? But Fortress Riedon is so big, isn’t there any other place that allows us to ‘lvup’?”
“Do you really think magic items are like ‘Big White Vegetables’ that you can pick up from the ground anytime you want to?” (TL: Literally TLed as cabbage.)
“I meant ‘Lettuce’, you know that right?” Brendel rubbed his forehead as he realized he misspoke again. There were slight differences in the terminology in this world.
“Of course, but it is very different when my lord speaks of it. Big, white, vegetable, it must have been derived from the ancient language, even the pronunciation sounds close to it.”
Brendel could not suppress his laughter. He did know of other secret areas in fortress Riedon, in example, the underground church and the well known ‘Tower of Winds’. However, there were Guardian Bosses’ restrictions to them, while Babasha was a NPC where he could use crafty means to get an upper hand. After considering many times, he decided to give up on the rest of the locations.
Right now the ideal dream would be to acquire all the items that he knew, while raising his power at the same time, but there was just not enough time. His current goal was to survive the war, and not to gather items at a leisurely rate and wait for the war to be over.
Once the war was over, he had plenty of time to gather XP and prepare the best equipments for himself before Aouine’s internal civil strife. After checking through his plans, he concluded that it was possible for him to become one of the strongest in the continent.
As a player, he recognized that stats, equipment and techniques made up the system to become strong.
He picked up the box that was beside him, transferring all the Element Crystals into his bag at his waist:
12 Wind Crystals
1 Fire Crystal
3 Water Crystals
Each crystal contain 1 point of energy.
After sweeping off with Babasha’s collection and acting like a professional robber, Brendel even took Babasha’s candle and went into the passageway. The witch’s candle was also a magical item, which could teleport someone to where its light reach. This was a secret that was only known amongst the witches, but it was not a secret to him.
The passageway was approximately 1.5 kilometers long, and most of the passageway only allowed one person to enter at a time as it was very narrow. At the areas where it became bigger, there were three poisonous spiders the size of human beings. The witches normally did something like this, raising beasts for them to become their guards. Babasha put them there to please the duke, but they were a total of 9 XP to Brendel. (TL: Lol. Can you imagine if the duke tried to escape, and the spiders attacked him? This is just asking for snark.)
The end of the passageway led to the cellar. After Brendel reached there, he started to search for the switch and used it, and the shelf holding the wines slid to one side.
The two of them sighed with relief after walking out from the passageway. The stale air and accumulated dust were hard to adjust to, and Ciel thought his lungs were covered with a thick layer of dust after that ordeal.
“We took a little longer than fifteen minutes, my lord.” Ciel took out a watch and glanced it after coming from the passageway.
“That is fine.”
“I originally wanted to go the duke’s treasury, but we probably have to give on that. But the collection there are just some paintings and jewellery, they are not really useful.”
“My lord is truly decisive. Not everyone can remain unmoved by the treasure in front of them.”
“No, you’re mistaken, Ciel. I mean that you can just take a few of them on our way up, I’ll tell you which items are the real deal.”
Ciel was surprised at his lord’s unreadable greed, but he did not know that it was not his character, but simply a player’s subconscious action.
The two of them continued up the stairs and stopped at the same time to go over their plans. Brendel extinguished his candle and passed it to his squire, then placed his hand at the cellar’s door to the outside. He activated his skill and the door knob broke apart with a cracking sound.
Then he immediately pushed the door outwards. The two guards that were there turned their heads in dumb surprise, while Brendel’s other hand had already pulled out his sword. With an elegant swing with silver light trailing behind the sword, the guards’ half drawn swords were knocked away along with their sheaths.
They became fearful and wanted to run away, but he could not allow them to do so, and chased them from behind and ended their lives with a stab to each person.
This was the first time Brendel killed someone.
He did not think at all when he killed them, and his mind was blank when he did so. He felt he was even calmer than his normal self. If he hesitated, Ciel and himself would end up in a dead end, and in this life and death situation, he did not consider what Romaine or Freya would do.
His survival instinct was more than enough to make him do it.
Yet after he killed them, he suddenly felt dizzy as if he could not breath anymore. He tried to steady his body and forced himself to inhale, but he was rooted where he was and could not move. The blood dripped onto the floor.
At that moment, different thoughts went through in his mind and allowed him to gain a perspective on the situation he was in. The fleeting moment of chaos was merely to find an excuse, and when he found one he felt a little better.
“My lord?” Ciel noticed his strange behavior.
Brendel raised his hand to indcate he was fine. Even though he planned to bring the two corpses to the cellar to hide them, he did not have the mood to do so anymore. The best he could do was not to look at their bodies.
He did not develop a fear after killing them, but he could not accept the sudden blow.
Then he suddenly realize there was no XP for killing humans. Even though he desparately needed the XP, he felt consoled by the fact he did not gain any. His mind rejected the notion of getting XP from killing humans.
[No matter what, I am still a human being. Trading a human life for mere XP is not something I can accept.]
“We’re going to move separately now.” Brendel took a deep breath and replied.
“As you command.”
“I’m going to seek the earl and create trouble along the way, you should go to the other end and strike the alarm there.”
Brendel said as he mentally counted one to a hundred in his mind. When he counted to thirty, he had already calmed down.
“Strike the alarm?”
“Have you forgotten what I said? We’re going to attack directly, and the bigger the commotion the better it is.”
“Are we going to go back where we came from?”
“No, we must kill our way out.”
Ciel was flabbergasted: “Why?”
“The guest room is at the fortress’s upper levels. We only have time to escape from there, but if the White-Mane army brings along archers, then we’re going to need Mother Marsha’s blessings.”
Ciel nodded and prepared to leave. He did not ask any further questions. If he had to satisfy his curiosity he did not need to become a squire. The knights and their squires had to be ready for battle with their skill sets.
But Brendel took the initiative and called him: “Wait, why are you in such a hurry?”
“What is it, my lord? Is there anything else?”
“Of course. If you go up the stairs and turn left, you will find a corridor, and there are genuine artifacts towards the end. If you see something that is easy to carry and sell, just feel free to take them.”
Ciel stared at him for a while and finally spoke: “I take back my words, my lord.”
“‘Not everyone can remain unmoved by the treasure in front of them’, it should be, indeed, everyone is moved by the treasure in front of them.”
No, you see Ciel, I have the responsibility to take up on the burden on little Romaine and her aunt. It’s not easy helping a family and it’s a man’s reponsibility and I really have my reasons.
“Please leave your words to the duke, my lord. Please do not worry, I learned appraising in Buga. I’ll pick the most valuable objects.”
Brendel blinked twice, then made a wolfish grin.