TL: Unedited. In the non-Brendel’s narration Ebdon is an ‘It’, while Brendel uses ‘he/him/his’.
Chapter 23 – Mission?
Holy Potion 9’s effect was not as powerful as the other types of health potions; the effect of this particular one merely managed to pull Brendel away from eternal death. In addition to the potion, Ciel and Freya helped him bandage up his wounds, and the Emergency First Aid skill finally stopped the bleeding. Even though he felt faint from the loss of blood and was extremely pale, he confirmed that he was no longer in danger from his Stats Window.
Brendel stood up shakily, but after a few steps he nearly stumbled onto the ground. Ciel and Freya quickly went to his sides to help him up. He looked at Freya with surprise as he thought she would get angry for at least a day over his tasteless joke and ignore him.
Freya felt his gaze and she turned her head away. Her face was red with anger when she found out that he lief, but after thinking about it, she felt that this ending was better than losing Brendel. But at the same time, she gnashed her teeth and reminded herself that she should not fall so easily to this rotten bastard’s tricks anymore.
After a few moments, Brendel started to think about his plans again. They walked up to the horses and he patted Ciel’s horse and spoke to his squire:
“Ciel, help me up—”
Before Ciel reacted, Freya went in front of Brendel and blocked him: “Wait, w-what are you trying to do again!”
“I’m going to sit on a horse?”
“What’s wrong?” Brendel was confused.
“Y-your injuries are too bad to be able to ride on a horse, can you stop being so reckless. Think about those are concerned with you…” She grumbled with embarrassment.
She thought about how this had happened before. She did not understand if he knew that his injuries would be fatal on anyone else.
He looked at her expression and finally understood her concern. His attitude weakened and explained to her: “Freya, I’m really fine now. I just drank a holy potion, didn’t you recall how we saved Jonathon with the potion that night?”
Freya bit her lips. She half-believed his words, but the fact that he had just stumbled stayed in her mind. Yet every time she argued with him, she seemed to be on the losing end, so she chose to stubbornly stand before him and say nothing.
Brendel did not know how to persuade her. He could try to use harsh words to depict the current situation, but this would hurt her in the process and he did not want to do it to a girl who thought nothing but the best for him.
“Freya, please let my lord get on the horse.” Ciel suddenly spoke up just when Brendel was about to sigh in exasperation.
Freya looked at Ciel in disbelief. She had expected the squire to be on her side. In the continent Vaunte, squires were compelled to follow their knights and protect them, but why did Ciel look like he was not concerned with his master’s life?
“Ciel, why are you…..” She faltered for a moment and trailed off as she did not know what to say.
“My lord is really out of danger. He’s just a little weak, so please leave the duty of taking care of my lord to me—” He said as he glanced at Brendel with a little concern in his eyes, but there was much more admiration and respect in them: “My lord has to think of our situation. He has to ride on a horse to show that he has not fallen, that he’s still the banner that will lead us forward—”
Ciel said with pride. “This is his honor to fight for all of us., and the reason why he holds the sword into his hand.”
Brendel grinned when he heard the lavish praise. But the truth was that simple, he had to continue riding to give the mercenaries and the refugees the confidence that victory was at hand.
This battle was many times more intense than the previous battles, and the militia and refugees’ morale had been shaken. Even though he did not understand the art of war very well, the current army that he had was really nothing more than rabble. If they had already controlled the battlefield, they would still be fine, but once they meet any setback, they would quickly collapse.
Therefore he must show that was like an invincible figure that would always lead them to victory. As long as he was still standing, the remaining people that followed him would understand that there was still hope.
Freya looked at Brendel with a complicated expression, and after seeing him nodding in agreement to Ciel’s words, she finally stepped aside.
Brendel got onto the horse with Ciel’s aid, but he was so weak that he wondered if he could even hold on to the reins properly.
[I can’t believe what I’m doing. A few days ago, I was just a normal citizen… I really don’t understand why I have so much determination and will to keep going on and lead these people…]
The refugees watched their commander ride up to them. It was as if he had gained another victory and the only casualty was his horse.
Only those who were near him could see his body constantly trembling from the pain, as well as the cold perspiration on his forehead. But he was completely silent and did not say anything, not even bothering to look around him but maintaining a cold and stoic expression.
Leto and Mano looked at each other when they saw this scene. They bowed their heads in respect and went off to regroup with the cavalry. They wanted to ask if Brendel needed any assistance, but looking at his actions, they understood that he did not need any and he would not let them do so anyway.
They did not fully understand his personality, but this proved that he was full of pride from the determination to lead them to safety.
His pride was like the symbol of Aouine’s flag.
After giving out some instructions, Brendel rode over to the half-kneeling Ebdon. He threw away the gargoyle statue along his way. It had lost its meaning when the gargoyle was cleaved into two from Ebdon’s attack.
[It might be repairable if I had some true experts here, but the process is complicated to the point that it’s better to just make another one. This is one of the most important items that I lost here. From now onwards we’re going in blind. Other than that my gloves should be considered as useless. Perhaps it could be sewed back together, but the defensive magic in it might not work anymore…]
Brendel could not imagine that he was able to defeat a legendary figure like Ebdon in a duel, even in the game. But this ridiculous script had turned into reality. Ebdon was still kneeling there quietly.
[Ebdon. Born in the Year of the Walnut Trees. He came from a noble family and subsequently became a knight. He then joined Aouine’s Knights of Freedom and fought against Kirrlutz. This was his brightest moment and became a good commander. He participated in a few famous battle and won much fame and glory within his kingdom. When he finally lived his life fully, for some reason he had woken up as an undead…]
Brendel knew a great deal about the lore within the game, especially when Ebdon was one of the top elite commanders an was literally impossible to kill. There were very little missions around him, but Brendel suspected there might be a hidden mission when he said something about an oath.
[Most of the hidden missions have seriously good rewards. Something like the Ring of The Wind Empress at the start of the game could be considered legendary because it’s a 20 OZ equipment. But at the same time I only know secret missions that start after level 40… Hmm, wait, Ebdon… is still alive?]
He rode next to Ebdon and spoke.
“Do you have anything to say, Ebdon?”
A moment of silence.
“Young man, do you….. know me?”The undead knight suddenly moved a little and asked with a raspy and low voice.
Brendel shook his head. “I do not know you. But perhaps I do know the name Ebdon as an Aouine hero who should be resting for all eternity, back in the embrace of Mother Marsha.”
“You might have his name, but you are not him.”
Ebdon scoffed coldly, and stood up by putting strength in its sword.
“You should have died a long time ago, young man, but you have not.” It said emotionlessly. “It seems like your victory was not a coincidence. If you know about this body’s past and you’re here to speak to me, what else do you want to know?”
Freya received a jump when she saw Ebdon standing up from the ground. She immediately started to ride up to Brendel to protect him, but Ciel stopped him with his arm. He slowly shook his head to stop her. He did not know what relationship his lord had with the undead knight, but he felt that they should know each other. Furthermore, Brendel was a very cautious person who did not easily place himself in danger.
Brendel hesitated for a while, but he wanted to use his experience in the game and try something out. “You had asked me earlier if I was a scion of the Royal Family, if I say I am one now, what of it?”
The undead knight merely laughed.
Brendel sighed inwardly and mocked himself. Looks like there was a difference in the game and reality after all.
“Looks like you’re going to bring your secret to Mother Marsha, Ebdon.” He could only lament when he discovered he could not weasel out the mission.
But Ebdon shook its head.