TL: HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!
Chapter 104 – Trentheim and the young lord (4)
The insane strategy mentioned by Brendel was now proving to be an excellent one.
The wizards had the capabilities to cast illusive magic to aid the scouting party, and they were able to send messages back far more quickly through their flying familiars than the previous scouts could.
The scout relayed Ciel’s message to Brendel as he unfolded the parchment:
“My lord, though you have proven that you’re right, I must remind you that this will only work in the beginning of a war. If our opponents realize what we’re doing, the loss of even a wizard will be something that we can’t bear.”
Brendel nodded to the scout’s words, but his expressions become graver as he read through the report, his face appearing even darker than the grey clouds in the sky.
Scarlett and Medissa glanced at each other worriedly. They had rarely seen Brendel show such a solemn expression and they wondered what the report mentioned.
“My lord?” Medissa whispered.
“The contents of the report is quite simple. A group of Highland natives appeared in the Palas region.” Brendel said.
“Isn’t that quite normal? They are frequently seen fighting with Lord Palas, and it’s not just one or two years, but decades.” Scarlett asked, her mind thinking that it was fortunate Lord Palas was going to encounter trouble.
“No, this is an addition to the enemies that we’re going to face.” The youth gave a helpless smile.
“What? But why would they attack us?”
“There are many branches of Highlanders, and the report identified them as the ones coming from the east of Mountain Graham. While they are subordinate to Count Randner’s rule, their autonomy to their own lands is very strong. They hardly travel in large numbers, and certainly would not leave the land that they rule—”
“And so……” Scarlett did not really understand military affairs, but she knew there was something odd about them from Brendel’s tone.
“I can hardly imagine they would be there to celebrate the upcoming festival. I have no idea what Count Randner promised these stubborn people, but they are definitely here to attack us.”
“It’s not a problem. It’s the same regardless of whoever comes; we will defeat them.” Scarlett scoffed lightly.
Brendel smiled at Scarlett’s attempt at boosting his confidence.
“Is it a big problem?” Medissa asked.
“Definitely. If Count Randner managed to persuade one group of Highlanders, I can assume that he’s offering the same conditions to the other groups. It’s difficult to say how much pressure we will face.” Brendel’s tone was light, but his mind was not very certain about the odds.
[I’ve predicted the Highlanders would help them. Now the question would be on the food supplied to them. I have no idea how much food Lord Palas has in his region, or how much food Count Randner is supplying. If I can….. I would want to delay this battle as long as possible to waste their food.]
“Should I get Miss Amandina, my lord?” Medissa asked.
“No, it’s not necessary,” Brendel rubbed his forehead, “but I’m more curious about the person who sent out this report.”
“What do you mean?”
“The report even included where the Highlanders came from. This is a clear insight into the situation at hand. The things I just mentioned must have crossed this person’s mind.”
Brendel only knew so much because he had ‘lived’ in this world for decades. No one in his group was able to predict that the Highlanders was a trap, and Ciel only understood this point after he explained it.
[I wonder if anyone else would be able to understand the meaning of this report if they read this…… Just who is this scout?]
Brendel suddenly discovered that the Elementalist who delivered the report was still staring at him. It was as though he was waiting to speak.
“Is there something else?” Brendel asked.
“Yes, my lord…..” That Elementalist’s expression looked a bit odd, and he was stuttering: “Actually, Ciel had given me another additional letter. It’s addressed to you.”
“What do you mean by additional letter?” Brendel frowned as he wondered what stunt that fellow was pulling off now.
“Would you like to see it?”
“Of course,” Brendel snapped.
Since it was addressed to him, was there any reason not to read it? But he stared at the Elementalist in front of him a little suspiciously. No matter how much he thought about it, his attitude was strange.
“Erm, my lord, would you mind turning your head away first?” But the Elementalist’s face became even stranger.
[Turning my head? Is this a prank?]
Brendel did not react and saw that a spear-like shadow coming from his side. Scarlett had her halberd on that Elementalist’s neck.
“Take it out!” Her voice said coldly.
That Elementalist was terrified and trembled with a bitter face before taking out a creature from his robe.
His familiar peeked out at them.
Brendel immediately identified what it was, and so did the others.
A duck. It was a duck.
Everyone around the Elementalist froze.
Brendel and his subordinates had years of experience, even centuries worth, that included an Elven princess and a wizard from Black Tower, but it was the first time they saw a magic user with a duck as a familiar.
Brendel looked at the duck with a pair of crossed eyes for a while, before he woke from his stupor and nodded: “Very good, you’re stylish. Instead of picking a fairy-type creature like most Elementalists, you picked a duck.”
“My lord,” the Elementalist made a sorrowful face, “that’s not my choice. I originally did not use a familiar. This thing…… this thing is given to me by Grandmaster Ciel…… He said that using a duck as a familiar would bring luck.”
“Indeed, much luck,” Brendel put his palm to his face and shook his head when he thought about his bizarre squire, as Medissa tried to stifle her laughter, “what’s your name?”
He finally paid attention to the person in front of him; the latter was about as old as Brendel was, and his features were quite attractive. But after he pulled out his duck, Brendel found it hard to hold in his laughter. Ciel must have pranked this person.
If the Elementalist did not become a comedy actor back in his world, it would be a waste of his appearance.
“They call me Red Boar, my lord.” The Elementalist said.
“….. Right, and where did that name come from?” Brendel asked.
“It’s the name of a monster in my hometown.”
[Huh. Named after that level 30+ violent creature. Not many would want to hunt it.]
Brendel looked at the duck again and coughed. His voice had a tinge of laughter in it: “Well, how about this. Follow me around. I happen to need an apprentice.”
“My lord, you need an apprentice? Are you a wizard?” The Elementalist was surprised.
“No, I’m an Elementalist. Anyway, cut the crap, just follow me.”
The messenger looked at him a little blankly. A high-ranking Elementalist could give off a feeling of intimidation to someone weaker, but he did not feel anything from his young lord. There were two possibilities; his lord was weaker or was around the same level like he was.
[But this is the legendary lord who’s capable of doing anything! I can only see him from afar several times and only heard about how he defeated Graudin, made the Subterrane Dwellers submit, and captured Schafflund’s mine with only thirty people! …… But isn’t he a Gold-ranked swordsman? When did he become an Elementalist?]
The messenger became more and more puzzled.
Brendel waved him off. He needed an apprentice in order to prepare for another plan and it was a good time to start it right away. The appearance of the Highlanders made him feel pressured.
“In any case, I’ll give you a proper name. From now onwards, follow me, and your name is Mordenkainen.” (TL: DnD reference. Human wizard.)