Chapter 152 – Breaking Dawn (5)
============= Citizens of Firbugh’s POV ==============
The Year of Bustling Summer Leaves and Flowers. This year marked the first Black Rose War.
The regions near Karsuk were invaded and defeated by Madara, while Vieiro went into immediate alert. When the side flanks of the White-mane army were crushed, the Grinoires region went into a state of shock and withdrew themselves into their cities.
The Black Lord Incirsta marched his undead armies straight into Aouine’s territory, and Randner was in grave danger.
The news of Aouine’s defeat was not unexpected, but citizens of Bucce and the regions citizens could not help but ask:
‘Where is Aouine’s Army?’
‘Where is the sight of our victory?’
‘Where are our glory and honor?’
The reply came in the form of a paper stating that Bucce’s region no longer belonged to the Aouine kingdom and there would be no aid provided.
Silence came after that.
But a voice emerged from this silence, as though it was just there to answer the cries for help.
Within Fortress Riedon.
A flame that lit up the darkness.
The huge number of refugees broke through Medes and Ladios’s siege under his command, and slew Incirsta’s right hand, ‘The Pale Knight, Ebdon’, all in a single night. It was something out of a legendary tale when they appeared before Bruglas’s city gates.
The name that led them was The Bronze Dragon, Leto.
The citizens’ questions in Bruglas rose to a clamor, demanding to know who he was. Rumors spread throughout the southern region, and traveled far to the north, entering the nobles’ ears in the capital, and his identity was the discussions of the citizens.
He was supposedly the man who brought a miracle.
But the undead general Kabias known as the Reaper of Death and led the attack on Fortress Riedon spoke of a different truth. It was someone else who stood behind Leto and led the refugees. His gravelly voice was dyed with admiration and expectation. The flames in his eye sockets flickered wildly, as though they were looking at the youth in front of it with respect.
There was no need to lie to the men and women here, and thus everyone’s eyes were on the silent youth.
They wondered why he stood behind the scenes. If Kabias did not speak of his deeds, would his name not be known forever?
They did not understand why he rejected honor and glory. They did not understand how he had the courage to lead the refugees out of that situation when it was far easier to flee on his own.
And the reaction he had was a mere smile on his face, neither rejection or disdain at the truth that was revealed.
Some of them swallowed, a few gripped their weapons tightly, and the others inhaled deeply.
Neither fame or repute mattered to him. This mysterious air started to clad around him.
The only thought they had in their mind was, ‘Who is this youth?’
The silence in the battlefield continued, with the exception of Medissa fighting off the Crusader Executioner.
=========== Brendel’s POV ============
[What the f—. You mean to say I’m being targeted by the upper echelons of the entire fucking Madara army!?]
Brendel was screaming loudly in his mind. He did not know what the others around him were thinking at that moment, but when Kabias revealed the truth, he was unable to find a proper response and had to resort to a commercial smile in order to hide his confusion.
“Cornelius, what are you waiting for?” He roared after a pause.
The mercenaries stiffened before they regained their senses.
Medissa was charging across the enemy’s left flank and the Unicorn Knight leapt into the air like an arrow straight into the Crusader Executioner’s chest. Panic and confusion rose again amongst the city’s soldiers as the gigantic skeleton fell over in their midst, forcing them to withdraw even further.
Kabias knew that Graudin’s army was no match for the mercenaries. The former worked for money, while the latter was out for revenge and blood. The degree of conviction was too different, and it was not hard to predict the conclusion of the battle.
The outer city was lost and they needed time to retreat into the inner gates. This was the reason why it was here; to defend the inner city gates.
The undead within the city was limited and it had to focus their numbers on the most important area.
But Brendel also knew this point. He understood both Aouine and Madara’s tactics and was prepared to face both of them here. He would not allow Graudin’s private army to fall back to the inner city to set up their defensive lines.
Although he was perturbed by Kabias’s words, he knew about its plans like an open book.
The two of them faced each other without moving.
He was able to wait for Kabias to make its first move because Medissa was able to lead the mercenaries forward without any problems. He gazed smugly at his enemy with his folded arms, waiting for the moment where it could no longer hold itself back.
The Soul Flames within Kabias’s eyes flickered again.
The battles within the city ought to be complicated, but Brendel had targeted critical positions and broke through strong defensive lines one after another with unbelievable speed, as though he was looking down at the city like a chessboard.
This made Kabias cautious.
[This youth isn’t a simple opponent. When did Aouine gain such a formidable commander? It is no wonder Medes said he should be captured alive. His intuition in battle rivals Lord Incirsta. If he is under Madara, then the Emperor would have ushered him under his direct command.]
When he thought of the Emperor who wielded the Mercury Staff, he felt his Soul Fire trembling, as though blood was flowing through his body once again. It was as though he had returned to the glorious battles of the past.
These memories pained it when it thought about the past, but they also gave it the desire to battle.
Brendel’s gaze followed Kabias when it raised its battleaxe, but made no further movement.
[You dare to fight me alone without the Unicorn Knight?]
Slight fury grew within it when it saw Brendel’s arrogance. The exchange yesterday made it certain that he had just became a Gold-ranked swordsman.
“I know you are capable of the Aouine’s royal swordsmanship; the White Raven Sword Arte. But do you really believe a mere mid-tier sword skill is capable of defeating an Element power?”
Brendel gave a smirk when he heard the comment, almost bursting out in laughter when he heard the skeleton’s words. There was hardly anyone in the continent who could teach him anything about fighting.
He activated the skill ‘Evaluation’ and the color of Kabias’s skeletal body changed. His torso and limbs turned into a deep red, while the joints and waist turned into a light red. The Soul Energy in his skull appeared to be translucent.
White lines from its body lined up to the surroundings; these were indicative of where Kabias was able to attack. Brendel had little use of this skill because his attacks were focused on killing multiple groups of enemies and not on a single duel. But he was free to concentrate and use it now.
[Physique and Strength are at certainly higher than average for a Gold-ranked tier. His agility is slightly lower, while his Will and Intelligence stats are at an average for a Silver-ranked—]
Kabias shifted its center of gravity. The extending white lines gradually reduced to three lines that focused onto his path.
Brendel knew its stance well. It was a basic combat stance for Madara’s Black Knight, and his judgment was the same as the skill ‘Evaluation’; three paths of attacks were available to Kabias.
He sliced through the air with a palm, activating the White Rave Sword Arte. The violent wind created by the skill caused a steel Longsword on the ground to fly up into the sky.
It landed smoothly into his hand.
“No matter how much you brag about your Element powers winning against my abilities, the only outcome necessary is the one based on reality!” Brendel said.
Kabias scoffed loudly.
“Then let me see what abilities you have, young human.” It prepared itself for an attack on Brendel’s torso, and the attacking lines reduced to a single line—
Brendel had already charged straight into its path before it was at an optimal stance.
Kabias froze in surprise.