TL: I have finished 3 chapters and I’m now giving them an initial draft check. Two more chapters will come within 1 hour.
Chapter 102 – Lure (1)
The difficulty of attaining a perfect rating for the quest was harder than Brendel imagined. He initially thought that he simply needed to protect what was left of the Grey Wolves Mercenaries, but it seemed like he needed to wipe out every single enemy that was in his path.
[The reports from the Grey Wolves Mercenaries stated there are over a hundred Lizardmen Bandits, but the walkthrough states otherwise.
Lizardmen mob – Over a thousand.
Disciples of the Black Flames – Over two hundred with the average strength of Iron-ranked fighters.
Paper Cards – Over seventy with the same average strength as the disciples.
Hewjil – The peak strength of a Silver-ranked fighter.
Conrad – Gold-ranked fighter.
Earth Bishop – Boss tier headache.]
(TL: I might have made a mistake somewhere. There are TWO bishops that he’s most likely going to fight, the one currently with Conrad is the Dark Bishop who corrupted Scarlett. Brendel is now referring to a new Bishop who hasn’t appeared yet and probably took the Blood of Gods, particularly a God related to the earth element.)
Brendel pondered for a while before he turned around. The Silver Elves had already ended Redi’s life, while the Mercenaries of Lopes were helping the Grey Wolves Mercenaries with their injuries. Perhaps it was because of their similar professions, they seemed to bond well.
“What are you planning to do?” A voice called out from his side.
Brendel looked at the Elven commander in slight surprise.
“If that human did not lie, the disciples and the Lizardmen are going to meet soon. Their speed is probably the same as us, and the foes we are going to face will not be mere Lizardmen rabble when we reach our destined location.” The Elven commander described the scenario like it did not concern him.
“You are basically right,” Brendel’s response was quick: “But I believe the Paper Cards’ leader Conrad has already reached the Lizardmen commander Hewjil, and are discussing over how to prevent us from escaping to the north.”
The Elven commander merely looked at him without saying anything. Brendel was certain that the Silver Elves would not be able to perform as well as he did with the earlier fight, and in his own experience he had never seen a SSS completion rating with just the mere help of the NPCs.
“If that is the case, then the Lizardmen will send out their scouts now.” Brendel laughed: “They think we’re going to escape, haha, that is wonderful; I want them to commit such a mistake.”
Brendel’s guess was not wrong. The Lizardmen rode on their mounts and spread out from the Baern’s ruins.
A day passed and the next morning came. The dry shrubbery on the hill top was rustling constantly due to hands pushing them apart. Brendel and the Elven commander hid behind a thick bush as soon as they spotted movements in the valley. The youth observed for a while before he spoke:
“The Lizardmen Dragoons.”
“That’s the third group that moved out since yesterday—” There was no change in Elf’s expression. The scenery of the emerald forest was reflected in his eyes; the speed and agility that the dragoons moved in the forest was faster than any cavalry in this era, but it could not compare with the Miirna’s shadow knights.
Even though the dragoons darted through the forest and appeared through the gaps of the trees, it was considered to be much too slow in the Elven commander’s eyes.
“It’s two times the normal patrolling radius at this distance. This is just abnormal even if they are under the Tree Shepherd’s command……” Brendel muttered to himself: “In the end this looks like a quest mode.”
“What?” The Elven commander turned to look at Brendel.
“Nothing,” He realized his mistake and tried to change the topic: “I’m gauging the distance.”
“Pointless.” The Elven commander eyed him. They had estimated the distance more than once since yesterday.
Brendel quickly nodded: “Indeed there’s nothing else to look at, so let’s proceed as planned. Sanford!”
The former mercenary who turned into his subordinate ran up the hill panting and looked up to the two men: “I’m here! My lord, what do you need?”
Even though the Grey Wolves Mercenaries just joined them, Brendel accepted Amandina’s idea to tell them his ‘true identity’. Even though it was common to travel as an adventurer or merchant, they were delighted to know that Brendel trusted them with his identity, and a future lord strongly appealed to them.
Compared to the nomadic-like lifestyle, they were more willing to be a noble’s retainers. At least they could settle down, and from the other mercenaries’ description, it was apparent that the young lord was different from most nobles’ arrogant and cold attitudes who treated their subordinates’ lives like dirt.
They had suffered a lesson of betrayal from Makarov but such was the era of nobles and commoners. What could they do when they had no power?
They could only work harder to gain the favor of their new lord.
“Convey the order to get ready.” Brendel answered as he looked at the valley.
“Understood, my lord. I will go immediately.” But as soon as he took a few steps, Sanford suddenly turned back and asked: “My lord, there’s something I do not understand…..”
Sanford hesitated for a moment but he gathered his courage and asked: “My lord, there’s no need to use such a complicated plan. I’m sure these Lizardmen would not be able to fend us off if we strike at them. I’m sure the result would be the same even if they are working with the disciples. As far as I know, even Aouine…….”
He did not state the latter half. ‘Even Aouine would not be able to gather twenty knights of the Holy Cathedral’—
While it was true that Aouine had more than twenty knights within the kingdom, the majority of them did not work for the nobles or even loyal to any faction. But these words made it sound like he was questioning Brendel’s identity, so Sanford stopped himself from going any further.
Brendel still managed to understand what he was trying to say. He smiled:
“Perhaps you might be disappointed but these Elven allies are not under my command. They fight with us because we have the same goal. And one other thing, they get weaker the further they are away from their home.”
Sanford did not quite understand what Brendel meant by the Elves getting weaker, but he immediately spoke in a loud voice:
“My lord, you misunderstand me. We will never get disappointed. We swore an oath to follow you not because of you possessed a great army but to repay for your aid. Regardless of whether we are the former Grey Wolves Mercenaries or not, we will never break our oath.” But he quickly asked again: “Are the Elven allies Knights of the Holy Cathedral? Do they still possess such strength if they get weaker from their home…..?”
Brendel understood what he was thinking. Even if their ‘strength’ was weakened by half, they could still be considered as people who had the peak strength of a Gold-ranked fighter. Twenty such Gold-ranked fighters would certainly be enough to annihilate the enemies in this region.
However, the rules did not apply in such a manner. A single stat reduction merely degraded their powers by a single rank, but in truth it was a level loss by over half. These Silver Elves were originally level sixty Elites, but Brendel judged that they would become lower than level thirty when it was time to meet the enemies in battle.
This meant the Silver Elves could not even maintain their Gold-ranked stats. That would spell trouble, especially with the threat of the Earth Bishop and Conrad. He needed to find other ways to defeat the Lizardmen.
But explaining these things required some effort, so he merely folded his arms and answered: “Don’t worry and head off to convey my orders. Believe in me, and I will show you victory—”
Sanford’s reaction was delayed for a moment as he listened to Brendel’s words, before he nodded furiously.
The Elven commander watched Sanford’s figure disappear in the woods, then glanced at Brendel and said: “I did not think you are this arrogant, human.”
“You mean confidence.” Brendel tilted his head slightly as he corrected him: “Remember, this isn’t the battlefield of the Holy Saints, nor the era of your brilliant generals who are capable of commanding the battlefield to dwarf all other tactics. Perhaps the future might welcome that era again, but it would not be right now.”
Brendel paused as he looked to the north forest.
“At this point of time in this battlefield, I am certain that no one here has the capabilities to steal victory away from my hands. You can jot down my words, commander. I will lead them to victory.”
The Elven commander took a long time to respond: “To be honest, I do not understand what you mean by ‘the future might welcome that era again’, do you mean to say that the Dragon of Darkness is going to return to this continent again?”
“No, that is entirely another matter, I meant that there will be capable people emerging in the future.”
“How do you know of this, human? Can you see the future?”
Brendel’s voice was stuck in his throat. He hesitated for a while before replying: “It’s not foresight but intuition. When the future comes I’ll return to this place and tell you what had happened in the world if you don’t believe me—”
Brendel did not know why he said all these words. Perhaps there were too many secrets in his heart which he kept away for too long. After all, the Elven commander was a spirit that could not leave this place.
The Elven commander looked at him for a while and gave an emotionless smile: “My name is Nalaethar.”
“I shall wait to see that victory you claim will happen.”
[This bastard doesn’t believe me at all.]
“As you wish.” Brendel said through grinding teeth.