Chapter 5 – Confrontation
Brendel’s sword swing shook everyone’s heart, stopping their feet after he slew the second man. Even though there were still people blocking the street and surrounding their carriage, everyone knew that he was not someone to be trifled with, and kept at a delicate distance.
The two corpses were simply left there in the open. Without the youth’s answer on what they could do, they did not have the bravery to do anything and could only pretend not to see them. These two bodies were also a deterrent to the new influx of people who came to see what the commotion was about.
Brendel sat in the carriage as he continued to wait for Freya with worry, but he did not display any of his emotions on his face. Suddenly a new batch of fearsome looking men came up from behind, forcing their way through the crowd and pushing them to the sides, even striking people who resisted a little.
“Trouble never seems to stop.” Brendel was alert and he frowned again.
“Who are they?” Ciel asked.
“They are merchants from the city.” The driver was terribly frightened in the beginning, almost wanting to abandon the carriage when Brendel killed the men, but suddenly realized that the stronger this noble was, the better the chance to survive this ordeal.
“They also look like they are bullies in the city.” Brendel observed their actions, then glanced at the driver’s face. The driver seemed to hesitate, as if he wanted to say something more, but Brendel knew that it did not mean anything well.
“Your peers doesn’t seem like good people, Romaine.”
“No problem, ” She sat beside him with a confident face, feeling very safe.
The group of men came near to the carriage, intending to pull the inhabitants off from it, but they suddenly spotted the two corpses on the ground and their expressions changed. The merchants and their guards exchanged glances, as they knew who to bully and who to leave alone.
They wavered for a while, then decided to push their through instead of picking a fight with the people inside the carriage. However, the guards who accompanied the merchants were used to bullying and they used more force than usual, and their numbers were big enough to push the people around near to the carriage. Because of that, a middle-aged man lost his footing after someone shoved him, and his head knocked onto the carriage’s wheel, bleeding profusely from the long gash that he sustained upon contact.
“Father!” A young panicked voice rang out admist the crowd. A boy was getting pushed further away.
The middle-aged man grunted as he used the carriage as a support to get up. He went straight up and charged angrily towards the guard who knocked him down. The guard who did not expect resistance was thrown into the crowd. Everyone went into a chaotic uproar, but the middle-aged man quickly ran towards the boy.
Just before he reached his son, the other guards already swarmed him like angry bees and struck him to the ground.
“Let go of my father!” The boy managed to slip past the packed crowd and ran straight to his father in tears. He tried to pull off the guards who were forcing his father down, but one of them simply flung his arm and the boy fell backwards. The guard who was knocked down by the middle-aged man cursed loudly as he got up, pulling his sword out as he cursed. He grabbed the middle-aged man’s hair and twisted his head.
“You fucking cockstain, are you tired of living? I’ll grant your wish today.”
The middle-aged man struggled futilely as the other guards pushed him down. The crowd who saw this scene turned their heads away. Even though they were angry and sad over this outcome, none of them dared to step out.
The guard continued to hurl insults at him as he raised his sword over his head, but before it swung down, a blast of wind came from the carriage. This visible wind blade not only went struck the sword, it also went past the hand that carried it. The guard suddenly screamed as he held a bloody stump; his hand was completely severed.
This sudden incident shocked the rest of the guards, and they pulled out their swords immediately, causing a metallic song to sound out as Brendel jumped down from the carriage again.
“Who are you?” The merchant yelled out after a moment. Even though Brendel’s attack awed him, he saw that Brendel was a young man and his attire did not look like he was a local noble. However, the merchant had never left Fortress Riedon his entire life and did not experience much of the world. If he was a noble from the capital, then he would at least recognize how big a threat Brendel’s attack was.
The youth merely glanced at the merchant and did not bother to talk any further.
But with this attack, Brendel’s situation changed immediately. There were many people in the crowd who experienced the guards’ oppression and were furious over their actions, but they did not have the power nor the courage to stand up to them. Now that someone with the ability to do so stood out, everyone subconsciously rallied to him.
Brendel suddenly became their natural leader and the atmosphere changed subtly. The merchants wanted to rely on numbers to suppress Brendel, but they hesitated when they saw the crowd gathering behind him.
A herd of sheep was not frightening, but a lion leading them was a different story, and Brendel had became that lion.
But the merchant who shouted at Brendel did not know that he could slay all of them two or three times all by himself. The merchant got increasingly irritated with the guard’s shrieks with his severed hand.
At this time, another group of men came to this area. Brendel took a look at their attire and recognized them as the Fortress Riedon’s cavalry who dealed with the public order.
Fortress Riedon was protected by the white-mane army, so there were no formal kingdom guards here. The local public order was maintained by forces belonging to the nobles. These forces were comprised of cavalry and infantry, and were more of a representation of the nobles’ powers than a true policing force.
Most of these forces were even more corrupt than the merchants, and the most laughable thing was how the infantry and cavalry viewed each other as enemies. In Brendel’s memories, they even hired players to steal each other’s territory.
However, after completing the series of missions he thoroughly despised them. He furrowed his brows as he watched them come nearer.
“What are all of you doing, fighting in the streets like there’s no law here.” The leader of the squadron spoke with an air of superiority. He glanced sidewards at the merchant, then relaxed his expression: “Ah, isn’t this messere Markov, how is your business recently?”
“Not too bad, Captain Gaspard. But there’s a man here who killed openly in the street and injured my men, what do you think you should do about this?”
The leader frowned. If it was an ordinary day, he would have the mood to extort from the youth in front of him, but now that Fortress Riedon was about to fall and everyone was about to be killed, he did not have the mood to do something like that. However, he was used to a dominating attitude and he subconsciously spoke to the youth with a condescending attitude.
“Who are you?”
Brendel lied after eyeing him. “Dunn.”
The leader looked suspiciously at Brendel, but suddenly there was a commotion behind them. Two yells with full of fright rang out loudly: “Monsters, monsters! They are a lot of monsters coming here!”
“It’s the undead, everyone run!”
Madara’s vanguard was coming.
People started to move even faster and started to push towards Gaspard’s and Markov’s guards, but they immediately hit back the swords in their sheaths, forcing them to halt in their advance, and cries could be heard all over the place.
Gaspard rubbed his forehead. He was different from Markov who had never been outside Fortress Riedon, and knew that this situation could not be contained. He had to think of another way, and his eyes went back at Brendel.
“You, bring your carriage over and block the road.” He pointed at Brendel: “You lot, block the road! The rest of you, stand to one side and let us pass!”
The citizens behind Brendel were in a dazed stupor once he said that. Gaspard’s usual actions in the day already displeased the citizens and for them to brandish their swords to stop them from blocking the road was the last straw.
“Why should we!” Someone yelled angrily.
“What a fucking stupid question.” Gaspard motioned his men to move away, and he pulled out his sword. “As a citizen of Fortress Riedon, helping the Public Order’s Cavalry to maintain the public order is your duty. What of it, do you want to resist?”
Everyone looked at the parted cavalry with their bared swords, and looked at the raging blue flames that were burning behind them, and admist these ghastly flames, they could see shadows of skeletons appearing. For a moment, they did not know what to reply.
Many eyes fell back on Brendel.
[Damn it. Standing out was indeed a problem.]
Brendel felt uncomfortable all over, but once he looked at the despair in the citizens’ eyes after being threatened by Gaspard and his cavalry, he sighed and lamented at this situation.
His soul came from the modern era, his bones were mired and steeped in a civilized, peaceful and prosperous society. He was proud of the place he came from, and it was a sanctuary that he would never let anyone trample upon.
He leaned forward slightly and entered into the most common Aouine’s military swordmanship attacking stance.
“I’m counting to ten,” Brendel’s voice spoke clearly, and Gaspard turned around. “If you don’t scram after ten counts, don’t blame me for being ruthless.”
Everyone stopped moving, and fell into silence.
Gaspard and Markov were especially surprised, and they almost felt as if their hearing had problems. The cavalry leader felt like he had been given a slap on the face, and the muscles in his neck bulged and tensed as he roared out.
“Kill this fucking bastard!”
The cavalry raised his swords and charged at his command.