Chapter 11 – Into the night
As they rejoined the refugees, Brendel got to know that Tamar was searching for him ever since he woke up from his coma, so that he could thank Brendel. When he saw Brendel and Ciel leaving away from the refugees, he followed them and waited till they were alone.
But Brendel was not too worried that Tamar would whistleblow to the Holy Cathedral of Fire because he did not appear to be that sort of person.
While Brendel was surprised at Tamar’s identity, the latter felt he was mysterious. The middle-aged man had only seen the descriptions of the Blood Transmutation circle, and even he did not know how to use it. However, he could feel the negative feedback within Brendel’s body and guessed that he was using this forbidden magic.
But this talent of detecting negative magic did not come to many people.
Tamar did not have any opinions on this particular magic. To him, many nobles did illegal things. The Holy Cathedral of Fire forbade the black markets and illegal slavery, but the market for it in this area was just as prosperous, and the irony was even some members of the holy church participated in these dirty businesses.
The truth was, Tamar actually hoped to discuss the techniques of alchemy with him. He thought for a while before asking.
“My lord, what exactly are you trying to create?”
When Brendel heard the future Grandmaster call him ‘My Lord, he actually felt smug about it.
“I need a batch of spirit crystals. I have some higher undead bones, and I need it to make a Soul Statue.”
He needed a Soul Statue (White Deer). This was a simpler type amongst the soul statues. It was able to summon a white colored male deer’s spirit that was able to detect undead Shades. In Vaunte’s old legend, the white deer resided in place where souls went for their eternal rest, thus they were particularly sensitive to them.
[This is one of the mid-ranked undead types that we might encounter, and one of the most terrifying units that an undead necromancer can employ against us.]
“Soul Statue?” Tamar felt that it was unthinkable. That was nothing more than a simple alchemy tool, and the only difficulty was getting the materials for it. He found it hard to accept that Brendel would use a forbidden magic to make such a simple item.
“Sir Tamar, there’s really no need to be suspicious. It’s because I lack alchemy tools to do it…..”
Tamar nearly tripped and fall to the ground after hearing his words.
The reason why Blood Transmutation was powerful was because of the incredible speed and clean execution in the battlefield, something that normal alchemy could not compete with. But the price for transmuting a high level item was also an incredible burden on the user.
In the past, where the holy faction fought with the undead faction, there were many who sacrificed themselves to summon powerful creatures for the sake of victory. Ultimately, this went against the teachings of the church, and forbidden to be used.
But now this noble youth actually used this as a substitute for magic tools…. Any alchemist would bring their tools along with them, even if they had to risk their lives…
“… Errr, my lord. Actually, I have magical tools with me. If you don’t mind, you are free to use them. Blood Transmutation magic is a forbidden magic that damages your body greatly, it’s best not to use it.” Tamar finally reacted to his words after a long time.
“Of course I wouldn’t mind, please let me use them.” Brendel was not silly enough to use his own blood if there was a set of magical tools at hand. He saved his own HP and obtained a future Grandmaster alchemist. His mood rapidly improved and he discussed alchemy techniques with Ciel and Tamar leisurely. (TL: Pokeball thrown.)
As a wizard apprentice in Karsuk, Ciel had seen a lot of archmagi who were as proficient as a grandmaster alchemist. Even if he himself was not proficient in it, he had a natural disposition for alchemy.
As for Brendel who had level 5 alchemy, he would easily be able to obtain a professional first-grade alchemist rank if he went to Aouine’s formal alchemy exam. At this point of time, he was more like a genius compared to Tamar who was still knocking on the door leading to ‘genius’.
The more Brendel discussed with Tamar, the more shocked he was. Some of the ideas that Tamar had were extraordinary, and Brendel was certain that he would become that legendary Grandmaster someday.
Alchemy was something that was incredibly expensive. In the black market or wizard’s market, a lich’s tooth cost more than three hundred coins, and a simple White Deer Statue required thirty teeth.
They continued to the refugees’s camp, and Brendel suddenly spotted Freya walking around in a daze. He walked up towards her and waved his hand in front of her, but there was no response, so he had no choice but to tap on her head—
Freya jumped up and looked for the person who did that: “W-what the hell are you doing!” After realizing it was Brendel, she showed a furious expression: “Brendel! Where did you run off to, there are so many people that came over that I can’t handle it anymore!”
Her voice became softer and softer, as if she was suffering from great injustice rather than complaining. She had tried her best in leading the refugees, but with the increasing numbers, she felt she was completely exhausted. Just like Brendel, she had never not slept for days, and she was under more stress than Brendel did because she had to constantly settle the problems that the refugees had.
Ciel and Tamar stepped away when they saw Brendel and Freya talking together, and they continued discussing about the topic they had. As for the things that were happening to this pair of youths in front of them, they pretended like they have not seen anything.
It was evident to the others that Freya relied on Brendel, but the latter was not aware of it at all. Ciel watched them like it was an interesting story, while Tamar thought the young lady was the noble’s fiance.
“You didn’t sleep at all?”
“There’s no time to do so when so many people are coming in to join us. I had to assign a place for them and distribute the rations… Brendel, did you know that the White-Mane army was defeated? We just received a lot of soldiers that came from the River of Sharp Rocks, I heard that many people died…….” Freya rubbed her eyes that were as red as a rabbit and grumbled unhappily.
Brendel looked at her with a slack jaw. He rubbed his forehead as he realized that this silly girl actually took care of everything all by herself. “Did you really take everything on by yourself?”
“T-then what was I supposed to do?” Freya looked at him in bewilderment.
“Aren’t the veterans Leto and Mano there? Even if they are unable to do it, you should choose a few reliable people from the refugees and give them the authority so that they could assist you.” Brendel felt that this girl had a great lack of common sense.
“Wha–, Y-you should have told me this earlier!”
Brendel knocked on her head: “This has nothing to do with me, you’re just too silly.”
Freya’s face turned bright red and pushed his hand away. “I-I’ll talk to you later.”
She ran away as if her skirt had caught on fire, leaving behind a swinging ponytail behind her. Brendel shook his head as he laughed a little
“So how is she?” Ciel grinned and walked up to Brendel once Freya left.
Brendel raised his water tumbler and asked puzzledly “What do you mean by that?”
“Freya, she’s a pretty good girl. She’s kind and serious till the point of being adorable. Can’t you tell, my lord, she actually likes you.”
Brendel had poured water into his mouth and he spat it out with a ‘pfff’.
“What did you say?”
“I say, Miss Romaine and Miss Freya are in serious trouble, my lord…”
Brendel spent the entire afternoon trying to carve a suitable statue. Because it was the first alchemy tool he made, he wanted to create the statue all by himself, but after ruining a few blocks of fir wood, he realized there was a great difference in reality and dreams.
His best product looked like a carrot of stick and not a deer, and had no choice but to leave it to Tamar to finish it. Most of the alchemists were actually accomplished in sewing, painting and even blacksmithing, unlike Brendel who was cheating his way through.
When he got out of his carriage, it was nearly evening. The sun was setting into the western mountains, and it painted them with a copper color. The tip of the fir trees seemed to glitter, as if there was gold dust scattered onto them.
He looked at the evening sky and could not resist thinking of going into the western region. If he did, he would be able to reach an island in the Fallen Moon Sea if he traveled far enough. It was also the first time that he traveled a long journey in the game.
[This world is really right before my eyes….]
After a while, Brendel tried to spend time to find Romaine, but after searching for a long time, he still could not find her. It was impossible to find her most of the time. That girl seemed to have endless energy, and her warm heart must had gathered considerable fame for her, since he overheard the refugees discussing about her when he searched for her.
He looked at the sky again. It was already turning dark. At about 7.30 pm, Brendel ordered the refugees to stop in between a deep valley. The lack of light made things look dark. The two sides of the wall seemed to brighten and darken from time to time. The fog started to settle and they could not hear the night birds warbling, making them feel exceedingly uneasy.
[This is the only place that can avoid the bone eagles. But when it comes to night time, it’s when the Shades would appear…]
After settling the refugees, he commanded the defensive team to cut down wood. He wanted to make a badge of spears to equip the newcomers.
His true force was still the mercenaries and the cavalry from Fortress Riedon, but he planned to add additional personnel like the mercenaries that he accepted early, as well as the White-Mane army’s infantry. By enlisting even more civilians, their numbers might possibly grow to two hundred.
Right now he did not lack manpower, he lacked weapons.
He had told Ciel to gather the leaders of the patrol Leto, Mano, Gaspard and Batum. He had to talk about the plan in the evening otherwise there might be repercussion.
8 PM, the final ray of sunlight made its exit, and the first star of the Witch-king appeared in the sky.
Brendel and the leaders stood on top of a hill. He looked at the refugees who were busy setting up a tent. He spoke.
“I think everyone knows what happened. You have most likely heard about the outcome of the White-Mane army. Madara’s strategy is not merely about pursuing us, they want to destroy us completely, and allow the news of the Fortress Riedon’s fall spread to Vermiere”
“Then what should we do, my lord. At this time, the number of the undead army far surpassed us. Our scouts said that there were a sea of skeletons. They might have been slow in the daytime, but once evening sets in, they would be all over the place.”
“And there are zombies.” Someone added on.
“There’s definitely a way, but it’s impossible to avoid them. Because of Luc Beson’s failure, [Undead Maggot] Medes and Kabias’s army is right in front of us, and we need to consider taking a shortcut. Has anyone heard of the [Land of the Holy Saint’s remains]?”