TL: I’m still recovering from the coughing virus. This is pretty much unedited so there are probably lots of mistakes. I’ll edit the recent chapters in a few days time.
TL: I’m also writing some codes to prepare for auto linkage currently.
Chapter 134 – Romaine’s second plan (2)
Brendel looked at the natives in Trentheim with furrowed brows. Lives had no value here. There were black markets behind destitute places like this, and the price of getting a goat was equivalent to the price of getting a slave boy. In some cases, a slave girl was even lower than that of livestock. The settings in the game was now applied in the real world.
Anyone who possessed enough power or authority would be able to trample on these citizens. Bandits raped and murdered people. Lords did the same deed. The only difference was where it was done; either it was done outside the city, or it was done within the city.
Nobles could afford to pay these evil lords a little money to perform wicked deeds, and the latter even encouraged them to do so, simply because gold coins were much cuter than people who needed money.
Brendel wondered if he should explain to Amandina in advance before she found out on her own.
But Amandina thought that Brendel was displeased with her, and though she still felt frustrated over the mercenaries, she lowered her head and replied: “…… I apologize, my lord! I should not have said that.”
Brendel waved his hand: “Miss Amandina, you’re mistaken. I’m not holding it against you at all.”
Amandina looked up, as if to confirm whether Brendel was telling the truth. She quickly lowered her head again and did not say anything else.
“We still need to head south a little more to reach our land.” Brendel continued as he looked to the south.
“Further south?” Amandina was completely stunned as she jerked her head back up: “If we leave Trentheim it would be wilderness—”
“Have you heard of a Pioneer Knight?”
She blurted the word in spite of herself. She knew the term well. Young nobles or knights who had no land to inherit, would receive the authority from the Holy Cathedral of Flames to develop new land for the kingdom. They would bring along a few of their squires and head to the wilderness and develop new cities.
These stories sounded like children’s bedtime stories. She did not expect the legends to happen directly to her. She panicked for a moment. Even though it sounded like a great adventure, it was incredibly dangerous. No one in Aouine had tried to develop new lands for over a century, and for a moment she thought Brendel was a madman.
But she quickly calmed down. When she compared the days in Bruglas where she was hounded for her father’s debt to Brendel’s journey, she saw a glimmer of hope.
[…… So what if it’s dangerous?]
She took a long look at Brendel. A Pioneer Knight. The title sounded like the classic heroes from the past who were full of eager to progress. Even though it was dangerous, there was an air of romance about it. No matter how she looked at him, be it bravery, wits and morals, he fulfilled her ideal standards completely.
He was even quite attractive when he dressed up as a noble.
[It’s a pity. He already has someone else.]
Amandina blinked rapidly as she found her heart beating a little faster, before she looked at Romaine beside her. After her actions of running in the dangerous battlefield twice, she was lectured by him for a long time and was currently kept in check.
Romaine was looking at something with interest and called out to him: “Hey Brendel, look over there—”
She seemed to have a magnetic pull to her; Brendel and the others looked over to where she pointed.
There were many travelers on the street that were not natives—
Because of Brendel’s action a month ago, the news of the Divine Artifact Resonance in Randner had circulated to various bars and inns in the kingdom. The bards were carrying this news further north, and adventurers who wanted to try their luck started appearing. Mercenaries, merchants and bounty hunters were other groups were like hyenas which had smelled the scent of blood, rushing and gathering around the region.
Nobles who concerned themselves with Aouine’s brewing storm sent out their eyes and ears. Even the Association of Stars and Moon, as well as the Black Tower sent out their scouts. Within half a month, the population of Princess Gryhpine’s territory actually doubled. If Trentheim was not under the threat of Madara’s army, the cities’ lords would have been delighted at receiving more taxes.
[The situation is becoming complicated.]
Brendel’s eyes swept across them. It was clear that he did not fit in with these adventurers because of his attire, and the adventurers did not fit in with the local natives. This scene looked as though an artist deliberately painted the social differences.
The majority of these outsiders did not want to get involved with the locals, and the same goes for the latter who wanted to do with these likely lawless lot.
However, Romaine was pointing at something else. It was a small group of adventurers who were distributing food to the emaciated children. This sight made him feel there was an illusion where time was going backwards, as if he was in the game world, and these were the sympathetic gamers who were distributing food.
He quickly shook his head to get rid of that illusion. There were still young adventurers who pursued their dreams instead of profit.
[Four men and two women. All of them are indeed in their youths.]
Brendel could not help but reflect on the reality between fantasy and the real world. Adventurers were not the exciting and romantic life mentioned in fairy tales, and in truth it was bloody and difficult. They had to enter areas fraught with dangers and perils, and it was common for them to meet with their deaths just like mercenaries. Their compensation was a pittance compared to the danger they were in, and most of them ended up as bones in unknown places, although there was no lack of people who became rich overnight.
Because of this, the majority of the adventurers had to become practical and work for profit. Only the youths who acted upon ideal dreams did something illogical, and he was certain this group of adventurers had just started their journey.
The other exceptions were them being the descendants of rich nobles or merchants.
“What did you want us to look at?” He turned his head back to ask.
He felt pangs of danger when he saw her pretty, dark brown eyes roll about as though she had thought of something creative.
“What are you thinking about?” Brendel asked while being on his guard against her crazy antics.
“Something like what they are doing.” Little Romaine replied as a matter-of-fact.
“The food that we brought along isn’t enough, Romaine.” Amandina reminded Romaine as she understood her thoughts immediately: “Our men and horses are draining our supplies quickly. If we’re going to purchase food supplies here, we would have to deal with the local lord. Have you forgotten what happened just a while ago?”
Amandina was referring to the incident when they passed by a low-ranking noble’s land. Brendel had gone with Scarlett to negotiate the price of procuring food supplies, but the noble became interested in Scarlett and sent out his personal guards to abduct her.
The end results were thirty-odd iron-ranked guards were soundly beaten by the youth, then forced the noble to compensate for his transgressions. However, this event served as a warning. Even though the royal crown still retained its power, the nobles were already abusing their powers.
Brendel gave a grateful glance to Amandina when she finished speaking. The previous lord they encountered was still fine, but this time they were going to face Baron Graudin. Even though he was insignificant in Aouine’s history, his father was Duke Randner. If he tried to blackmail Graudin or kill him outright, the duke would definitely send out his army out after his head.
[In the past, Duke Rhun’s army is able to freely move through Duke Randner’s territory as they pleased. Perhaps the Princess’s faction established some form of deal with him. Someday I’ll deal with these parasites, but it will only be when my army is ready and I have enough speaking authority. Power, is still one of the most important rules in this world.]
Romaine shook her head upon listening to Amandina, gave a mysterious smile and replied: “Do you all not discover it yet?”
“About what?” Brendel said.
“The method to do business—”
Brendel took off his glove and brought his hand to her forehead, wondering if she was having a fever, while Romaine swatted his hand away in annoyance. The younger Wild Elf sister asked curiously:
“Miss Romaine, my hometown has a saying. Poverty and merchants do not go along with each other. In such a poor place, is there really business to be done in such a poor place?”
“Tia!” Felaern said as she glared at her.
Tia was scared of her older sister’s wrath, so she stuck out her tongue and swallowed her remaining words.
“You can’t really say that. My aunt said that if there are places with transactions to be done, then there would be merchants.” Romaine said.
“I don’t disagree with your aunt,” Amandina looked at the uneven roads. It was highly unsuitable for horse carriages to even pass through the streets at its state. Having commerce in this area was still a long way off: “But this place seems to lack even the basic conditions for transactions……”
“But are these adventurers not doing transactions right before our eyes?” The merchant girl looked at the young adventurers’ actions with great interest.
Brendel’s head snapped back to Romaine with incredulous eyes. A bold idea was forming in his head as he realized what she was thinking about.