13 more Ch.
Chapter 56 – The invitation from the Unifying Guild
The battle was over before it had started—
Brendel ordered the Lopes Mercenaries to bring the two soldiers who were knocked unconscious to the room’s corner.
[That swordsman is probably going to reach here soon. The difference him and my stats is nearly twenty times, and he’s even worse than Ebdon or the Crusader Executioner. Even the slightest mistake in fighting him is fatal.]
Brendel held his left shoulder where the sword struck him. It was burning and the pain came in pulses. If Tirste came with full strength at him, it was literally impossible for him to even see his movements. Brendel wiped away the perspiration on his forehead and rubbed his forehead.
[We just met for the first time and the reaction he did was to attack me. The only organization that I offended was the Unifying Guild, so is he one of the assassins for them? But it doesn’t really fit their actions. Their typical actions are subtle and intentionally so. Even if they want to take revenge, they wouldn’t pick this place as a venue. Collaboration with Madara? That’s even more ridiculous. The Unifying Guild believes in Chaos and follows the Twilight Dragon, how can they work together with Madara believes in the Laws of Darkness?]
He shook his held to clear his messy thoughts. He pointed at different directions and instructed: “The six of you, move separately.”
The most important thing right now was to save his own life.
[Ah. But maybe what I told them to do was unnecessary. Should I call them back? … No, it’s better to be prepared, especially since it doesn’t make a difference if they are here or not.]
Brendel would have normally been delighted to order these Iron-ranked mercenaries to and fro, but right now in this cold and harsh reality, there was a Gold-Ranked swordsman who was trying to pick a bone with him, and it made him unsettled.
For a person to unlock the Third-tier strength, his Overall Power Rating had to be over one hundred OZ.
[That swordsman is using a thin blade, so he is probably training in the Elven swordsmanship which focuses on agility. If that’s the case he might have over 120 OZ in agility and his reactions must be faster than a normal person by twenty over times. That kind of speed burst is two times faster than a racing car. To handle that, his physique is also strong enough to handle the pressure from the air resistance. 60 OZ in physique. That defense is the rough equivalent of a tank. If I use the wind bullet against it… A dent?]
A swordsman who had unlocked the Third-tier, could be described as a monster in human form. Brendel thought of what was going to happen if he received a blow from him.
[Booooom, fly into the walls, passing through several of them before finally stopping? That person could run around the entire place under one minute and search for me. Even if I send the twelve men out to delay him, that’s only a few seconds worth. A few seconds means nothing to me, but in that time he could have killed me many times over.]
Brendel sighed. He thought he had basically controlled the situations under his plans. He was always very careful to avoid the existences of these people. In his adventures, the only mistake that he had was offending the Unifying Guild, but he was certain to avoid their eyes.
The only thing that he did not realize, was that this current situation was nothing more than a coincidence. Brendel got up and pulled out the soldier’s sword, then looked back at the door. The remaining Lopes Mercenaries had secured the passageway, while the corridor was silent and empty. But this silence made one uneasy.
Brendel displayed the Holy Sword card. White wings extended behind him, and a gigantic sword appeared behind him with the sigils of golf flowers. This was the third time he brought out this card. The power of the sword entered his body, and he like he could destroy the walls with a single finger. But he knew that it was just an illusion, and he only became as strong as mid-tier Silver-ranked fighter.
[Sure, it allows me to hurt the opponent, but the agility difference between us will result in me getting pierced through my thraot. But this still gives me a chance.]
There were several screams that came from the corridor, and the Merceranies of Lopes card immediately darkened by half.
Brendel’s heart gripped tightly. He raised his head and happened to see the young silver-haired noble slowly walking out from the corner. He wore a short black colored cloak and held a rapier in his hand, and there were droplets of blood on his blade.
[Crystal Scorpion Sting. It’s not even close to the most damaging weapon for its level at 60, but the toughness of the sword is amazing. When I was still a noob, I heard a veteran saying users of this weapon had extreme confidence in his skills.]
Brendel did not know if that statement was true, but at least from the appearance of this man, he looked like he trusted in himself.
At the same time he looked at Tirste, the noble was looking back at him with amethyst colored eyes. When he saw the remnants of the Holy Sword on his back, it narrowed slightly, before looking at the rest of the men behind him.
[It looks like he has some skills, but that’s nothing really much for me to take note of. Even if I don’t show my fangs at him, I’m still able to pressure him. If that’s the case…]
Tirste flicked his sword and returned it to his sheath, and the corners of his lips lifted. His smile was as sweet as a girl’s serene smile.
The attractive youth’s eyebrow lifted slightly: “Have I seen you before somewhere?”
Brendel did not know what he was planning, and could only force himself to be calm. He gave a derisive smile, showing part of his teeth, before saying: “Indeed. I believe that you stabbed me with a sword about a minute ago. But before that moment, I have not seen you at all, Ser.”
He spat the words out. As he did so, he was quietly opening his Window Stats, and the lines appeared before him like a waterfall.
[4730 XP. The Elemental Scroll saved me nearly 2000 XP, and most importantly it saved me the time from completing the mission. Even a few days are too wasteful.]
Tirste shook his head, not angry at all: “No. We met much earlier. I am certain that I have seen you inside the Cavalry Headquarters.”
“Who are you?” Brendel suddenly realized something, but he was much more relaxed after he thought about it, and he spoke calmly.
“My name is Tirste. I chose this name for myself, taken from the Kirrlutz ancient word ‘Tiryhd’ which means ‘struggle’. If you are asking about my identity, then I am the Master Sergeant of the White-Mane army, and the right hand of the Silver-winged Cavalry’s commander, as known as viscount Marnowell. But compared to these boring titles, I still like my name. It is simple, meaningful and full sacrifice.”
[…… This is the first time I have seen someone bragging his own name with a smile like that.] Brendel thought to himself.
[So it’s him. Does that mean that he had already found the truth to Amandina’s situation? It’s unlikely, unless that cripple betrayed me… Does the cripple have that kind of courage?]
Brendel forced himself to remain calm in case Tirste discovered something.
[Viscount Tirste. He did not make too much of a splash in the Aouine’s history. The only impression I have of him is how he fell in love with a bard which ended sadly. But I do know of his personality. He might appear frivolous, but this person is careful to the point of being inflexible.]
Brendel suspected that he had something to do with the Unifying Guild since he was the right hand of the Silver-winged commander, Megeska. Looking at how mysterious his actions were, he was most likely related to the Unifying Guild. But Brendel was quite surprised. Tirste did not match the lore within the game, where he was described as bullied since he was young and had a twisted personality because of that. The Tirste in front of him was completely unperturbed without appearing to be a hypocrite.
Tirste’s smile was like a beautiful snake. Even though Brendel knows there was danger coming from him, but he could not help but appreciate that elegance.
Tirste’s hand was still on his sword, as though he was trying to say ‘there is still unfinished business, and I don’t deny the fact that I might run you through, but other than that, we can chat freely.’ It was as thought he had put aside life and death, and held on to his own principles.
Brendel was unable to find any weakness from his appearance. But the other soul in him had a fiery resistance to the powerful, otherwise he would not have fought against Madara for ten years. A cold smile illuminated his face, showing that he was calm.
“I don’t recall offending you. Vicount Tirste.”
Tirste’s eyes contracted slightly.
[This man isn’t simple. I made a sneak attack on him and he actually managed to escape my attack as a low tier Iron-ranked fighter. This means that he has some measure of skill. And now…]
It was a simple rebuttal, but it was a riposte and it was a trap to get more information out of him. The noble with silver hair felt a little awkward, and he rubbed his nose a little. He did not want to be led by his nose, but his pride did not allow him to pretend that he did not hear Brendel’s words.
“Well spoken. But not everyone in this world has a choice.” Tirste said.
Brendel’s eyes narrowed a little. Tirste was offered a carrot before using a stick, and it appeared the situation was not as good as he imagined. But handing over Amandina was not a possible choice. He worked his mind furiously as he quietly put all his points into the Mercenary class, finally reach level 20.
For the first time, his strength broke past the limits of 10 OZ. Even though it was still beneath Tirste eyes, he had risen to a mid-tier Iron rank fighter.
“What are you trying to say?” Brendel’s hand suppressed the Holy Sword’s strnegth, and his hands were sweaty.
Tirste seemed to have seen through Brendel’s actions, but he did not act upon it. However, this behavior actually made Brendel feel like he was facing a great enemy, and as a veteran warrior, Brendel was trying to find every possibility where Tirste was going to attack, and a bead of cold perspiration streaked past his forehead.
[This damned Tirste… Even though he looks like he doesn’t care, but he’s watching me closely.]
“Let’s be straightforward. What is your relationship to Leto?”
Brendel’s face color nearly turned when he heard Tirste’s question, but the qualities that he had gotten so far from his experience were not false. Within an instant, he had calmed down and answered coolly: “What Leto.”
Brendel looked like he did not know anything, but his mind was crashing around like a ship at the mercy of a thunderstorm.
[From what position is Tirste asking me from? Regional noble? White-mane army? Unifying Guild? Shit, it feels like all these possibilities are possible, but there’s no hard evidence. But the most important thing is how much they know.]
Brendel stared at Tirste’s eyes as it was his forte, and he had tricked many top players from Madara, but appeared like it was ineffective here.
Tirste did not find any mistakes from Brendel, but that was precisely why he became suspicious. He smiled: “Your answer doesn’t mean anything, and killing you is the simplest solution to me. But your performance has me appreciate your talents. I don’t really care what you say, because there’s no meaning— Brendel, right? I only want to ask you this, are you willing to join us?”
Brendel really wanted to act ignorant and say ‘Us?’, but when he saw the hand on the sword wearing a black ring with the shape of a snake biting its tail, he gulped down his answer. He knew that Tirste was giving him a final warning, either join him or report to Mother Marsha.
But joining the Unifying Guild was a torture to Brendel. They were just second to Madara as his greatest enemy. That was not the only thing, because joining the infamous Unifying Guild meant that he had to accept their branding for his whole life. This was not a road that he was willing to walk, unless there was no road left.
Brendel stopped fiddling with his Windows Stats.
He had to choose between Tirste’s sword or the Unifying Guild.
The room was full of dead silence.