TL: Chapter 113 will come maybe tomorrow. I haven’t edited it yet.
Chapter 112 – Trentheim and the young lord
After informing his subordinates the details of his journey as well as other plans against Lord Palas, Brendel started preparing for his plans to go into the Dark Forest.
But he did not immediately leave and instead waited for several days. When he was certain that Lord Palas had withdrawn into his territory and tightened his defenses, he finally felt at ease to execute his plans.
He went to the courtyard in his manor on the day he was supposed to leave—
“Your swordsmanship has improved yet again.”
Kodan picked up his sword that was on the ground and placed it back on the weapon rack in the corner. Brendel was not certain whether the emotions in his eyes were envy, helplessness, or vulnerability, but there was some kind of expectation in them.
Brendel did not act humbly but displayed a youth’s bashful smile.
Ever since the previous discussion, everyone immediately rushed out to prepare for his departure, but he was apparently quite idle.
The duel he had against Kodan lasted for ten minutes and ended in his victory. The youth was not surprised. After the duels in the silver mines, he raised Aouine’s Military swordsmanship to level 16 which was now greyed out. The maximum level that could be gotten from the system was 15, but Orthlyss’s teachings had caused the system to give out a confirmation window to appear and allowed him to raise it as an exception.
The total amount of TP spent was 11000, 2000 points each for raising from level 12 to 15, and 5000 points for going to 16.
[I can defeat Kodan because I’m seeing shared patterns in his moves gained from the level increase on my Aouine’s swordsmanship, but—]
He did not manage to see anything that gave an insight into his grandfather’s skillset from the Military swordsmanship, but there he felt like he was at the edge of grasping something new.
How was his grandfather able to see through the gamers’ techniques on Aouine’s swordsmanship or the Kingdom of Knights’ swordsmanship? When he asked Orthlyss about it, she said she was not certain about it unless she fought against him directly, and merely taught things that were similar to what the system gave.
[The level of my swordsmanship is 16+2. Does this ‘+2’ refer to attaining a Grandmaster swordsman’s traits instead of increasing the swordsmanship directly?]
In any case, Brendel understood that he had reached the limits of what the system could offer for Aouine’s Military Swordsmanship. If he wanted to go any further than level 16, he would have to train every day and get a breakthrough by himself.
He went back and changed into a Kirrlutz traveler’s clothes which were black in color. They were derived from the Tower clan’s warriors, and the clothes were made from some type of fur. It consisted of a thin long-sleeved shirt, but it was puffed up like a gambeson at the arms, while the ends of the sleeves were woven in a way that tapers at the wrist and made them fit tightly. The trousers were also loose at the legs.
The youth then wore a pair of wrist-guards and tall equestrian riding boots. He also carried a specially made sword sheath that had double straps on them which allowed the sheath to be attached to the belt; the blade of Halran Gaia was wide enough to look like a greatsword, but the length still adhered to a longsword.
His meeting with the Druids recently was considered peaceful. Andellu, whom Brendel met during the battle against Graudin had set out to the Loop of Trade Winds.
Instead, the elder that Brendel met was called Grey Raven.
The Grey Raven bird was the symbol of a tempest, and the name was likely to represent the druid’s abilities. It at least insinuated that Grey Raven was good at the Druid’s wind magic spells. A druid who possessed aerial magic was usually someone who enjoyed a high ranking position amongst the druids.
(TL: The term – Loop of 之环, Trade Winds 信风, is a direct translation here. Trade Winds is a specific term, which you can find in wikipedia. This term 信风之环 only appears from this chapter onwards, while the previous term way back was just 风之环. My translation on this was “That place you mentioned, is it the pathway that faces the seasonal winds and loop around the Karanjar mountains?”, so I avoided giving a name till now. This term is probably going to appear a lot.)
Thus Brendel believed that Grey Raven was a Druid of the Inner Circle.
There was a secretive group was known simply as the Druids’ Gathering who served as the communicators of other Druids. This particular group’s symbol was a loop, and their Inner Circle was called the House of Aerial Lords. Each member of the Inner Circle was a Grand Druid who could communicate with other members through the seasonal winds from thousands of miles away.
The only exception was during the spring, which was the Goddess Nia’s season. Each Druid would close off all their communication magic, ensuring the Goddess would not be disturbed from blessing the lands.
The Grand Druid, Grey Raven, had indeed brought an unexpected news to him. The Druids had most likely found Valhalla, but they had encountered into a small problem.
The Loop of Trade Winds seemed to have undergone a strange change, and the Laws within the Dark Forest were altered. The Druids encountered fogs and violent gales, and even their proud magic and techniques to navigate through the forest had lost their use.
“The trees within that area seemed to be rejecting us. If it were not for the fact that we did not have any evil intentions, we might not even be able to walk out from that area.”
Brendel only needed to think for a while before he knew what trouble the druids encountered. The Month of Mana was becoming stronger as the Great Wave approached; The Chaos within the Darkness was becoming more restless, and the Dark Forest was being affected by all kinds of signs appearing. (TL: Great Wave of [monsters].)
It was a difficult problem, and there were no particular tricks to solve it. The only solution was to force their way in, and power was needed. Even though the Grand Druid also had the abilities of a Gold-ranker, he and the other Druids knew too little about Valhalla. He had no choice but make a trip himself.
But it was also what he wanted.
[Half a month should do the trick, and I have a month’s worth of prepartions]
“It looks like I’m old. I’m not your match anymore.” Kodan said when he saw Brendel reappear in the courtyard.
“Times have changed, Ser Kodan, the student has become the master. But how about it, why not—” Brendel said as he approached Kodan who was wiping his sword and sheathed it after.
But voices suddenly interrupted them.
“I want to see your commander, I know that he’s already back for several days!”
“Cut the crap, a prisoner should act like a prisoner, why the hell do you have so many demands!”
Brendel looked over to the direction to the voices and realized they came from the direction of the guest rooms.
“Would you noisy bunch of liars just shut up!? The bastard that I defeated the previous time promised that I can meet up with your leader if I won! If you’re upset then get that fellow over here and I’ll defeat him again!”
“Hah!” One of the soldiers yelled out: “Can’t you see that commander Cornelius went easy on you? If his sword did not break during the duel, he would have defeated you.”
“Oh, then why not let him get a better sword and try fighting against me again?” The youthful voice retorted with a sneering voice.
“You damned brat, you really need to be taught a lesson!” The soldiers were irritated.
But there were several howls of pain followed by a young man who wore a white shirt running out of the bushes. His light golden hair was slightly disheveled, appearing to be flustered, and he held a sword commonly used by a mercenary.
Brendel quickly studied him.
[Hmm. There’s no blood on the blade, so he didn’t hurt them too badly?]
The youth who appeared from the bushes blanked out when he saw Kodan and Brendel. However, he noticed that Brendel had a sword on him and appeared to be the weaker fighter, so he subconsciously treated him as one of the guards and rushed towards him without even speaking.
Brendel’s eyebrows went up a little, wondering why the guards allowed Carglise to leave his room, but his thoughts were quickly stopped as the latter lunged at him with a readied sword.
Carglise’s target was his right arm, and it was apparent that he did not wish to hurt him.
[Fast! And his technique isn’t half-assed!]
Carglise’s sword arm did not even shake a little, proving that he showed a considerable amount of training into his basic strikes.
Brendel originally planned to disarm him, but he changed his mind and wanted to test the full extent of the opponent before him. He easily parried the incoming blow downwards and knocked his opponent’s center of gravity off. Carglise staggered a little, but he recovered quickly and attacked by swinging his blade up again.
Brendel’s eyes glinted.
[Oh? That’s a pretty good recovery and attack. So this is the skill that broke Cornelius’s blade and forced three mercenary commanders to a draw.]
He did not parry Carglise’s blade and instead swung his blade to meet Carglise’s blade at the same time with an equivalent force.
Each attack was resolved as though Carglise had told Brendel in advance where he was going to attack, and his eyes bulged a little when he realized the guard wearing an ordinary set of clothes was starting to appear like he was a Grandmaster Swordsman.
The youth started to sacrifice his accuracy and instead went for speed, trying to stop his opponent from meeting his blade. However, the supposed guard in front of him merely looked at him in amusement and started striking at precise points against his blade, causing it to swing back at odd angles. Realizing that his flow of attacks was being cut off on purpose, he quickly went into a wide stance with the aim of swinging his blade with all the power he could muster.
Brendel kicked Carglise hard in his right knee, causing the latter to yelp and fall down in pain.
[Well, the basics are all there and there were pretty good moves, but there were a lot of openings too. At least level 8 of Aouine’s Military Swordsmanship, if I go by the standards of the system? The attacks are better than his defenses though, hmm.]
“I give up!” Carglise tossed his sword to the side and raised his arms while looking like a deflated balloon.
He completely recognized that the person in front of him was a master in the sword, and there was no chance for him to win. Frustration crept over him and he regretted not escaping to a different direction. His eyes went to the old man in the corner, wondering if he should rush over there instead. Out of curiosity, he glanced at the old man’s hands and immediately shuddered; they were clearly full of calluses and belonged to a swordsman. He recognized the fact that his defeat was inevitable.
“Who are you?” He looked at Brendel again and allowed the soldiers who finally caught up from behind.
They were particularly displeased with their prisoner for injuring them, and they were naturally not gentle at all, causing him to bare his teeth in pain as they mishandled him.
It was fortunate he did not kill anyone, as the soldiers might have beaten him up even if Brendel was there.
“Are you not afraid that you will be killed?” Brendel asked and peered at him with interest. He suddenly had a new thought.
“Why would you kill me?” Carglise was not afraid at all and merely answered with a question: “There’s no advantage in doing so anyway.”
“Hmmm…… How about doing it as a warning to others?”
“Then go ahead and do it. If I blink I’m not a man of the Bantry family.” The youth puffed up his chest.
“So you’re not going to care about your father? That’s what a man should do?”
“What does being a man have anything to do with my father?” Carglise asked incredulously.
Brendel looked back speechlessly as he realized that the customs of this world were different, looked at his soldiers and asked:
“So why didn’t you kill them?”
“Why is that each time you speak you need to bring out the word killing? I’m obviously much better than them, and there’s no need to kill them so that I can escape. But if I meet someone of my skill, I’ll have to put my life on the line to bring him down.” Carglise spoke honestly.
“But they are your enemy after all.”
“And I can’t kill them all?” Carglise rolled his eyes and shrugged to show that he did not care: “Plus if I killed someone and get caught, the person who will be unlucky is still myself. Just look at me right now!”
Brendel found the fellow to be a little interesting: “You thought out things quite well. Very well, do you still want to know who I am?”
“Didn’t I just ask who you are earlier?”
Brendel tilted his head and looked at the soldiers: “So, what should all of you call me?”
The soldiers immediately bowed their heads, placed one hand on their chest and bowed: “My lord—”
Carglise’s jaw dropped and his eyes widened comically. One could fit a few eggs in his mouth: “Y-you’re……”
Brendel nodded with the most dignified expression he could muster, but he was laughing inside so hard at Carglise’s looks that he could imagine himself smacking on a table:
“Yes, I’m that person you’ve been wanting to look for.”