TL: I think the next chapter will be tomorrow. Also expect irregular updates. There will be at least 4 TAS chapters per month, but it’s not a fixed schedule for now.
Chapter 130- The group of ambassadors from Aouine
[What are they doing here?]
Brendel watched the nobles from Aouine slow down as they approached his camp. It appeared like they were studying him as well. The leader amongst them was a middle-aged man. His face was gaunt and he had a gait with an unsteady limp.
[If I recall correctly, that’s Count Austin, a high-ranking military officer in the north. The six men and two women behind him….. I don’t recall their names, but they should be members of the royal family, except they don’t wield any real power. ]
They were members of the Royal Faction or at least from a neutral party.
[But I feel something is odd here…… Ah, I see. Members of the Royal Faction appearing in Randner’s territory. Isn’t that strange? I should be seeing Randner’s men here instead.]
Brendel did not realize his actions had been recorded by Lord Oberbeck ever since the siege on Fortress Riedon. Oberbeck directly observed the battle between Ebdon and the youth, and he had been tracking the movements of the latter closely ever since.
But the nobles sent to the Dark Forest did not know who Brendel was, because they were tasked to search for the Lionheart.
Count Austin was certain that Brendel was a noble. His confident and elegant demeanor was not something that could be faked, and Amandina was even more striking, with every move graceful and assured. If the youth was partnered with such a lady of high pedigree, there was no mistaking his identity.
He glanced at the youths resting in the forest, secretly believing they were Brendel’s squires, before his eyes moved over to the Lizardmen and Elves. It was a messy composition.
He approached Brendel and said: “A citizen of Aouine?”
Brendel nodded, but he knew that these people were not here to have a friendly chat over their citizenship.
As expected, the short and plump noble who was beside Austin immediately interrupted them: “You’re that supposed noble?”
“Are you a supposed noble from Aouine?” Brendel raised his eyebrow upon hearing the rude tone.
The raspy voice from the short man allowed the youth to recall who he was. He was a famous conservative noble called Dolant, a seventy-odd-year-old man who had aged well. The humans in this world lived a long lifespan, and Dolant looked like he was still a middle-aged man, though part of his fetching curly hair that was combed to perfection had a layer of snow on it.
He was easily recognizable through his official silver uniform. His had was adorned with three golden leaves — An ordinary Count from Aouine should be wearing three silver leaves, and it was evident that the golden leaves were a special honor.
Dolant was stunned to have his identity questioned, and he bellowed in rage: “I have no need to prove my nobility here, you mewling churl! Answer me, did you offend the Kirrlutz Empire and bring trouble for the kingdom!”
Brendel’s eyes turned into an icy glare. These bastards were indeed here to point fingers at him. He shook his head inwardly; these foolish officers from the kingdom truly made him at a loss for words.
“….. If you’re asking whether I taught a bunch of arrogant cretins yesterday, that would be me,” Brendel glared back at him with slight ridicule, “but questioning me here, I wonder who exactly is the one bringing trouble for the kingdom.”
“Good! You admit it,” Dolant ignored Brendel’s reaction and continued: “the ambassadors from the Kirrlutz Empire expressed their discontent. It will be war if you’re not handed over to them within a certain period of time. I don’t think you need me to tell you what to do!”
Brendel almost laughed when he heard that: “You want me to hand myself over to them? Do you even think that is possible?”
“It’s an order.” This time it was a middle-aged female noble who answered, wearing the administrative officer’s uniform in the capital with a scholar’s emblem. Brendel guessed she was amongst the Lantonrand’s scholars.
“Orders? Based on whose orders, exactly?”
“We order you in the name of the king. We are the tasked directly by His Majesty to act as ambassadors in this territory and represent the kingdom’s dignity. You’re hereby ordered to lay down your weapons and come with us.”
“And if I refuse?”
“Then it’s treason. Your actions are suspected to get the kingdom involved in a war, and we will have reason to denounce your actions and exile you from the kingdom. Aouine has no involvement of your actions.”
Brendel had to take in a deep breath.
He was able to endure this affront because he witnessed the nobles’ filth within the game and this world, otherwise he might have fainted from his rage. He glanced at Count Austin. The latter was a fervent supporter of the Regent Princess and a high-ranking general of one of the northern armies.
“As a military officer, does Count Austin think the same way?” He asked.
Austin did not answer, but there was a small frown on his forehead. He was annoyed over Dolant’s interruption, but it was true that Brendel’s rumored actions were an unfavorable act. He was not afraid of Kirrlutz’s threat of war, but the kingdom’s unrest and ambitious nobles were growing because of the king’s waning health, and also due to Madara’s recent invasion. He had no choice but to acquiesce to Kirrlutz’s demands.
[How disappointing. I thought the future reformist would at least have something to say in my favor. But using the idea of exiling me? It sounds like these nobles don’t know the exact events that happened yesterday. Handing me over to Kirrlutz would likely mean a death sentence for me, so why would I surrender myself? Is this Veronica’s idea? No. That’s unlikely, because…… In any case, this event must be caused by some high-ranking bastard from Kirrlutz. I won’t be surprised if they are watching this show right now.]
Brendel finally realized that the nobles in Aouine were beyond saving. Creating his own force was indeed the right move. He quelled his anger with much difficulty before he looked back at the female noble with a faint smile:
“You want to exile me?”
“That would depend on your decision.”
Brendel’s laughter was full of incredulous mockery as he surveyed the nobles around him. For a moment, he thought of pulling out his sword and bashing the idiots with the hilt.
“Very well, then go ahead and tell the people from Kirrlutz that I have been exiled. Perhaps they would accept this answer.”
The nobles appeared stunned.
They thought the threat of exile would make Brendel submit. The ambassadors from Kirrlutz would never accept this outcome. They clearly stated that Brendel had forced a transaction from a shop merchant and snatched an item that their royal family member needed.
“You’re clearly asking to be arrested!” Count Dolant roared angrily.
He raised his hand, prepared to let the ambassadors’ guards take down the youth in front of him. The guards were actual knights in the capital, elites of the Corvado family. Forcing a small noble youth to submit would not be a problem.
In addition, he had observed Brendel’s squires sufficiently. Most of them were as young as the latter, and even if this motley crew was a bunch of promising talents, they would not be a match for the veterans in the capital.
There appeared to be a few Elves amongst Brendel’s forces, but that was not enough to deter Dolant from executing his order. Although it was dangerous to start a fight when the monsters were nearby them, he felt there was no choice because the Kirrlutz Empire might really start a war because of a whim.
Brendel confirmed his theory as he studied the expressions if the people in front of him. The ambassadors from Kirrlutz did not disclose the full events to them. None of them wanted to stop Dolant.
“It seems like everyone intends to hand me over, even if you have to use force.” He interrupted Dolant with a laugh.
“It’s clear that none of you don’t know the exact details of what happened yesterday, otherwise your actions would be very different.”
“Stop your pretense.”
“Pretense?” Brendel shrugged and rolled his eyes: “Very well, the people from Kirrlutz probably didn’t tell you I offended the only child of the Duke of Mottled Leaves. I caused her to be disgraced in front of everyone in the market after she got tied up by the Druids’ spell.”
Count Austin’s eyes widened as the words registered in his mind. He felt that things had become complicated. Based on rumors on that duke’s temper, a war might really happen. However, Brendel was not done with his words.
“They probably failed to mention that I single-handedly beat up their entire group of knights to the point where they can’t get up.”
The female noble originally intended to speak, but her expression turned into one of disbelief and she stared at him instead. Surely there was a limit to exaggeration.
“Ah, I even offended the Knight of Flowers, Count Cullens. That man had the reputation of becoming a master swordsman of his generation. It is most unfortunate that I smashed his face in with a magic spell. I’m not sure if he’s awake from his injuries,” Brendel paused for a moment before laughing good-naturedly, “I hope there’s no permanent scar on his face.”
Brendel brought his hands together as he tilted his head and closed his eyes, fiddling with his thumbs.
“Ahh, there’s another batch of knights that came after Count Cullens. My goodness, these people are the elite Imperial Knights in the capital. I think they won’t forget the beating I gave them. Oh dear, I think this naughty pair of hands of mine, I slipped up and nearly killed their Battle Alchemist. That poor fifteen-year-old genius…… I heard that the Kirrlutz emperor regards him favorably.”
Then he nodded: “But the worst thing that I probably did was to go against a lady called Veronica. My, my, my. The commander of the Azure Skies, you might have heard of her? It’s one thing to have a duel with her, but for me to threaten the life of the Duke of Mottled Leaves’ daughter to force her to back off….. That might have been a mistake.”
He gave the nobles a pleasant smile: “If the ambassadors from Kirrlutz told you all these things, are you still going to tell your guards to arrest me by force? Oh, if you do succeed in capturing me, who amongst the people I offended are you going to hand me over to?”