TL: First of all, welcome back. Second, I’m a little sick at the moment (coughing out blood — bad case of sore throat), I expect to recover in a day or so.
TL: Things have changed a little due to certain circumstances and I assure you that it’s unrelated to the readers’ comments, but I kind of want to bring things forward.
The secret behind the name Sophie for the protagonist.
As you well know, many people disagreed with the name Sophie (ranging from mildly indignant to I-can’t-stand-the-sissy-name-anymore); I too didn’t like the name too. But, what comes later on in the raws was a particular moment was Brendel stating his real name “Su Fei” at some point. Here’s the conundrum.
1 – The inflection of the Chinese pronunciation Su Fei cannot be mistaken as Sophie (when you pronounce it correctly in English). Despite the notion that Su Fei is a transliteration of Sophie, this fact is only known to Chinese. To get an idea on how it actually sounds, go youtube the word “Souffle”, or google translate Sophie into Chinese and hit that audio button. You can’t mishear it into Sophie.
2 – Chapter 2’s title, Sophie’s world, seems to reference a particular book. Sophie’s world is quite successful, with 40 million in sales and translated to 50 over languages. Intentional or not, this title will probably make more sense in the distant chapters ahead. And yet that title has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, unless one can consider his stats window to be the “world”. I did not read that far ahead, so I can’t give a conclusive answer.
3 – It doesn’t help that the Chinese characters for the name Sophie and the protagonist is the exact same as the one in Chapter 2 title.
4 – Later on, the protagonist used his original name in front of a couple of girls, who commented on his name where his name sounded like a girl’s name.
5 – Finally we get to the crux of the problem. I would like to think that Brendel would somehow mangle his Chinese accent into a “westernized” accent when he told the girls of his original name, and might even rearrange the letters to something like ‘Sufie’ in order to “westernize” it. Why does he go through such a loop? Well, he has always been cautious of him revealing that he’s another person from another world, and by revealing that he’s not really Brendel would have roughly the same effect of a witch getting caught in the medieval era.
This in turn leads to the reaction of the girls who state that his name sounds like a girl. Basically, Sufie = Suphie = Sophie (in the girls’ minds). Brendel does have a reaction in response to that, but I don’t exactly remember what it was.
6 – With everything considered, I personally thought that it was the author trolling his readers, mostly because the CN readers gave him the nickname of Big Sister (afaik it’s to make fun of him finding sick leave excuses every month?). But yeah, that’s how it is. Either it’s the author having the absolute worse naming sense ever, or he’s trolling us. Given that his plot and character development is one of the best in the webnovel field, I would think that the possibility of trolling is on the table. As such, I did my best to convey that sense, by giving the name ‘Sophie’ from the very start. I personally thought that would be the ultimate reveal as to why I did it…
7 – Here’s a poll on whether you want me to fix the Sophie name into Su Fei.
Since that is out of the way, here’s the chapter. I’ll QC the chapter tomorrow.
Volume 2 Chapter 66 – Brendel’s swordsmanship (1)
=================== Makarov’s POV =======================
The Chablis’s Lantern Grass inn sits on top of the town’s highest point of an ashen cliff facing east. The hall resembled like a painting, depicting a scene where heroes and mysterious godly entities congregated. The huge wooden logs that made up the walls had been beaten by countless storms and the sturdy structure was slowly turning black.
Lines of packed windows decorated the building’s exterior, and this unique sight appeared like a giant beehive or a dragon’s nest on a mountain when looked from a distant place.
But the truth was, these windows belonged to the inn’s rooms.
The ‘Maned Wolf’ Makarov, was temporarily staying in one of the rooms, and the door was opened approximately fifteen minutes ago. The veteran commander looked at the map of Chablis local region, then raised his head to look at the old man in front of him. His subordinates continued to explain several things to him, and one of his bushy eyebrows lifted high up. His deer-skin gloves still held a magnifying glass with a bronze handle as he spoke.
“314th rule in the Mercenaries’ code?”
“‘If there is a dispute amongst mercenaries in a formal mission, both parties shall join together and achieve the goal together. The details in the collaboration should be decided by both parties.”
The old man’s hair had turned completely white. He answered the commander without looking away from a thick red-leather book that was nearly four inches thick. He appeared to completely uninterested in the topic.
“Master Lockwood, can such a rule really be interpreted in this manner?”
“It can.” The old man answered.
“Fine. Then let me see who exactly is that lad first,” Makarov beckoned to a youth standing in front of his table: “Go, let Redi test him—”
Makarov paused for a moment before calling out to the youth: “Hold on, did you find that rascal Eke?”
“There’s still no news yet, commander.”
“Very well, I got it. Dismissed.” Makarov shook his head and snorted, mumbling to himself. “I’ll make sure that brat gets it from me this time. Seems like I had indulged him one too many times. If this continues I won’t be able to give an an answer to my lord.”
The old man continued to look at his book, but a faint smile streaked across his face and he shook his head slightly.
===================== Brendel POV =====================
“I’m Brendel.” Brendel looked up to the young man who was taller than him by a full head. His hair color was a rarely seen pure-white, and his eyes were like an unblemished gold that was as clear as an amber stone. His features were delicate, and he looked a little feminine.
[A citizen of Ablis?] Brendel secretly thought in his heart. The impression of the minority group was a young grandmaster swordsman named Gory Keyes with silver hair who was active in Vaunte approximately thirty years ago.
[Even though I suspected the mercenaries wouldn’t accept my request so easily, their commander actually sent a youth to test me. Honestly, other than a person with ‘Blessed’ or ‘Chosen’ status, there really isn’t anyone who could defeat me.]
Brendel was level 23 and a upper-tiered Iron rank fighter. Once a profession has crossed the barrier of level 15, then additional profession stats would be added to the progress from Tier 1 power level to Tier 2 power level.
Even though he had lost the Thorn of Light, his strength had increased to 15 OZ, and a dozen times stronger than a trained soldier. He might appear to be a youth who had a lithe figure, but he could easily kill a boar with a single punch easily if he wanted to.
His current overall power rating had exceeded 220 OZ, and he could face any mid-sized company of any kingdom’s second line of defense unit with much ease. With this level of ability, Aouine’s adventurers perceived them to have the equivalent strength of a Mid-tier commander.
Brendel’s hidden strength did not stop at his stats. His military swordsmanship at rank 10 was enough to make the majority of Aouine’s military personnel’s blood turn cold. Still, Brendel only thought he was still lacking as he was still a certain distance away from his grandfather’s swordsmanship.
Before he finished his thoughts, the youth in front of him had pulled out his sword and pointed to him. The tip of his blade shook slightly, causing the reflected light to dazzle him.
“Listen carefully, merchant. I have never accepted a weak challenge and I don’t show any mercy. It is in fact the exact opposite, because the fights between warriors are sacred. Bladed weapons cross each other’s path to end the opponent’s life—” The youth with white colored hair said: “The commander might have asked me to duel with you, but I will never betray my will to go easy on you. Do you understand?”
Brendel turned his head back to Romaine.
“Brendel, does he mean to say he’s stronger than you are?” She opened her eyes in an exaggerated manner in order to blink after.
“No, I don’t think he meant to say that.” Brendel sighed and replied, secretly relishing the fact that he did not become angry from Romaine’s comment.
“My lord?” Amandina asked.
Brendel shook his head.
[Does anyone here have any confidence in me?]
But his sword was already out from its sheath. He used an ordinary steel longsword after the loss of the Elven sword. Once the white-haired youth saw his sword, he showed off a look of disdain. The blade was completely new, as if it was just bought recently from a blacksmith.
He was not wrong. The truth was indeed so, as the previous sword had been destroyed as it could not withstand Brendel’s strength.
Brendel raised his sword and swung it randomly, as it to get used to his new sword. However, his actions immediately drew the boos from the nearby mercenaries and adventurers who were gathering around them. Brendel’s actions were like someone who had never fought before.
“Redi, isn’t your idol the grandmaster swordsman, Gory Keyes? Show us your skills by defeating this tenderfoot!”
“Well said, since you came from the same homeland, you can’t disgrace the name of Ablis.”
“You have my support Redi, trounce him till his mother can’t recognize him!” The mercenaries immediately made a din. The lawless lot would forever be a chaotic group regardless of where they are.
“Gory Keyes?” Brendel paused for a moment as he heard the familiar name.
He was prepared into entering Aouine’s military stance, but his actions were half completed and he was off form.
The mercenaries booed again.
“You’re not fit to mention that name!” The white-haired youth’s face turned dark and thrust towards Brendel with his sword.
The sword might have been swift and deadly in the eyes of a normal person, but before Brendel’s perception at 3.7 OZ, it was much too slow. Unfortunately, because his opponent had made the first strike without waiting for him to finish speaking, he subconsciously entered into a defensive parry that deflected the sword upwards with a long ringing.
The white-haired youth could not hold on to his sword at all, and it embedded deeply into the slightly black wooden ceiling with a slight vibration.
The entire hall turned silent.
The mercenaries who cheered loudly earlier had their mouths dangling openly, as if they saw a dragon or some monster. They watched Brendel blankly, completely forgetting to either praise or boo him.
Brendel’s action with the earlier defense could not be seen as elegant. To put it mildly, it was like a barbarian swinging a stick, void of any technique. But the key point of his defense was not a matter of elegance, but his strength.
[A natural born with freakish strength?] Everyone thought of the same thing.
This was not anything that was out of the ordinary. There were rumors of a portion of people who inherited the Golden Lineage that was in the past, and a few of them would transcend themselves to become a ‘Chosen’ being. Even if they did not transcend themselves, they would still retain a particular feature of their ancestors. For example, boundless strength, or an incredibly strong regeneration factor, and even someone who could see elements compounded into a magic spell.
Right now, the bodies that were known to still hold onto the Golden Lineage were dragons, unicorns and a few other mystical creatures.
But someone immediately yelled out:
“Tier 1 Power Rating!”
The white-haired youth clutched his wrist and retreated five steps. He gazed at his swollen arm after he took on his opponent’s blow, and was unable to accept what had transpired for a moment. Even though he was not as talented as Eke, he was still able to achieve the strength of a low-tier Iron-ranked fighter, and was considerably impressive compared to the majority of the people out there.
He definitely did not expect that there was someone even younger than him who was stronger than him, and that he could not even hold his own against him even once.
[How can there be so many monsters like Eke?] Redi was confused.
His confusion only lasted for a few seconds, as Makarov and another tall middle-aged man walked down from the rooms to the hall. They did not witness the earlier scene, but looking up at the sword in the ceiling and the expressions of everyone around, the commander had a grasp as to what had happened.
He looked at Brendel and frowned. Even though he had heard that the merchant who wanted to join his mercenaries was a young man, he did not expect him to be a youth who did not look like he was past twenty summers.
“Buga,” Makarov lowered his voice immediately to the middle-aged man next to him. “Test him.”
“Me?” The middle-aged man had a strong Arreck’s accent.
“Yes. I suspect this man might be a person from ‘Paper Cards’.” Makarov stared at Brendel as he explained himself.
“How many talented youths do they have? Makarov, are you not overthinking things?” Buga said as he released the gigantic sword behind him: “But it’s fine to test him anyway since you already pointed this out. In any case, this youth definitely has some backing to him.”
Makarov turned to his old friend and looked puzzledly at him.
“Nothing much, it’s just that there’s a familiar scent that I’m smelling here.” The middle-aged man looked at Brendel with a hint of doubt.
PS: Just in case you wonder if the original raws 苏菲 is a manly Chinese name, HAH. Nope. That ‘菲 = Fei’ character is used to describe fragrant flowers.