TL: Next chapter in a day or so.
Chapter 135 – Wolves’ movements
============ Faena’s POV ============
Faena watched the Lionmane Beastmen’s interrogation by the Druids with a pair of glazed eyes. Both of her hands were clamped over her lips. Her throat moved several times, wanting to grumble about how these Beastmen were useless for not being able to defeat a group of men from Aouine with superior numbers, but there was no sound.
Brendel truly terrified her.
It was only at this moment that she realized the country bumpkin had held back that afternoon. There was no way she could have waited for Veronica or the others to come in time if he wanted to kill her.
The three nobles from Kirrlutz had to stay where they were in order to avoid encountering the Druids who were searching for any remaining Beastmen. Instead, they continued to watch Brendel and his group of men from afar, but that youth from Aouine was slowly walking over to them.
Even though it seemed like he was just taking a stroll, Faena felt her heart beat heavily like a stick hitting a drum. The icy expression around his eyes made her afraid of even leaking out the tiniest of breath.
“Elman, Elman…… H-he hasn’t discovered we’re here, right?” She whispered in desperation.
“Don’t worry.” Elman frowned but he assured her, “it’s unlikely that he discovered our ploy so quickly. Even if he did, he wouldn’t know that we’re hiding here.”
There was nothing good about a gifted prodigy appearing in Aouine. He was even younger than him. Elman stared at Brendel, feeling a strange sense of enmity towards him.
“It’s a good time to leave now.” He patted Faena’s shoulders as he was also worried. Brendel’s abilities were too frightening. There was no guarantee that he would fail to detect them if he came closer.
“Are we not going to wait and see if the people from the Holy Cathedral are going to come?” Rono whispered.
“The people from Holy Cathedral of Fire are not like these beasts who act on instinct. The bishop leading them is greedy, but he’s not a fool.” Elman shook his head. He suddenly saw Faena lift her finger up and hurriedly knocked her hand down.
“What are you doing!” He hissed loudly.
“H-he’s looking in our direction…..” Faena’s eyes were wide.
Elman stiffened as he looked at Brendel. The youth’s eyes were fixated in their direction, causing his scalp to feel numb.
[Impossible, this is a coincidence!]
“Lower your heads, both of you, don’t let him spot you!” Elman whispered as a Wind Spirit Spider darted across the ground behind him silently.
Brendel tilted his head slightly as he pondered on what he should do. There was actually quite a fair distance between them because he did not walk for long. In fact, half his face was lit up with an orange glow because he was still near his camp’s torches.
“He….. discovered…… us!” Faena stood up and tried to run away, but Elman pulled her down. She struggled in his arms.
“Don’t p—” Elman’s words suddenly stopped when he saw Brendel pulling out Halran Gaia. An outline of golden light covered the black broadsword.
Elman finally believed that Brendel had discovered them.
“Run!” He shouted with a panicked expression.
A hurricane of light started to gather around Halran Gaia as Brendel raised it over his head. The figures of the fleeing nobles from Kirrlutz could be seen in his eyes. He brought his senses to his limit and swung his sword.
A single slash.
Speed that was too fast for a normal human to even catch a glimpse.
White energy emerged from his blade, bringing along screaming gales as invisible blades of air sailed through the air, almost in the shape of a pair of majestic wings.
The wings chased the nobles.
The wind uprooted the trees behind them and they crashed onto the ground, as though a gigantic beast was rampaging in the forest, advancing quickly towards its prey.
And in that moment.
The adventurers, mercenaries, ambassadors, and Druids in the Dark Forest turned their heads towards the source of the noise. The tremendous energy could be felt even from a great distance—
============= Veronica’s POV ============
Veronica was still discussing their plans with her subordinates when she heard the distant howls from the violent winds. She had a grave expression as she raised her head up away from the maps. The wizard next to her put down the crystal bowl in his hand and also turned to the source of the disturbance.
They were just in time to spot a blast of white energy lighting up the night in the northern direction. It finally disappeared after covering half the Dark Forest, leaving debris and dust across its wake.
“White Raven Sword Arte?! It’s from that boy, what is happening in that area!” Veronica’s eyes suddenly widened, and she turned to question her subordinates in a harsh tone: “Where’s Faena? Wait, where’s Rono and Elman!”
Delphine’s face had a deathly white pallor when she realized something was wrong.
“Delphine!” Veronica immediately noticed her reaction: “Did they go there?”
The long-haired girl shook her head subconsciously, but the furious glare from the female general stunned her, and she nodded with difficulty.
Veronica’s face darkened. She advanced to the girl with large strides.
“Did you have something to do with this?”
A silent nod, again.
A slap resounded in the camp.
Veronica took a deep breath and stared at the girl who was knocked onto the ground and demanded an answer with a pause between each word:
“Why did you not tell me?”
Delphine had a hand clasped over her face as she lowered her head in silence. There was a stream of blood that flowed down her white wrist. The color of her blood was especially striking.
“I’ll deal with you later.” Veronica scoffed coldly at the girl’s response.
She was worried that Brendel had killed Faena and the other two boys. Things would truly become out of hand. Even though she threatened Brendel, it was definitely not a good time for the Empire to be involved in a war now.
Especially if it concerned Aouine—
“Get your soldiers ready,” Veronica’s eyes made the people around her tremble as she looked at them, “and move out.”
============== Brendel’s POV =============
When Brendel raised his sword, the ambassadors were still confused over what the youth was doing. When the damage to the vicinity was over, they jumped up in fright. Three sets of Kirrlutz’s uniforms bearing the symbols of important Houses. Three bodies lying on the ground.
The ambassadors were initially astonished at Brendel’s overwhelming might, but now fear consumed them and they could feel no warmth in their bodies.
It was all over.
Austin only had one thought. A war was going to break out between Kirrlutz and Aouine. The Empire would unleash its fury to their kingdom. It happened all too easily. Brendel’s subordinates thought the same as they watched him move slowly towards the corpses.
“You won’t be so lucky the next time. If I see you again, I’m afraid your heads won’t be attached to your necks again.” Brendel said.
The three bodies flinched when he spoke to them. Indeed, they were spared. Faena got up slowly, but her legs acted more like a newborn deer’s attempt to get up, and she fell onto the ground in a heap. The moment where the Sword Energy brushed past her head kept looping in her mind. She did not even have the energy to cry any longer.
Elman’s initial reaction to Brendel’s attack was much better than the other two. He instantly pushed Rono in front of him when he saw the attack and turned around to run. Unfortunately, he only took a single step before he crashed into a pine tree.
Rono stumbled from Elman’s push and fell face-down in the mud.
The Sword Energy seemed like it had a mind of its own and merely danced around their skin. Elman’s sword belt was cut off, Rono’s robe was shredded into pieces, while Faena’s pauldrons were split into half. They were then tossed up into the air by the shockwave of energy before they crashed onto the ground with a thud.
The trees around them were gone and not even grass was left intact. The Sword Energy snaked to a different path at a strange angle before it tore everything up in a straight line.
Brendel watched the Rono and Elman get up silently. They pulled up the shaking Faena and started to leave for their camps. However, they did not get far because they saw a colossal black wolf was in their path, motionless.
The boys sobered up and pulled out their swords but there was no reaction from the monster. They then noticed that it was in a strange pose. It looked as though it was charging towards something; its front paw was still lifted up. The two inched closer to the creature, their feet sweeping across fallen leaves and creating a rustling sound.
The wolf did not move but wobbled as though the minute vibrations had affected it.
Suddenly, its body split into half from head to tail, and a gush of blood and entrails poured all over the ground, causing a foul stench to permeate the air.
Brendel observed the golden lights emerge from the wolf’s body and flew towards him. Angry and annoyed as he was, he had no intention of getting Aouine in a war with Kirrlutz. As long as there were no deaths, these ‘insults’ to the people from Kirrlutz were unlikely to cause a war between them. Aouine had its troubles with Madara and the civil war, but the Kirrlutz Empire was not exactly in a healthy state right now.
The era of wars was still many years away.
It was not his personality to let these spoilt nobles get away with things. He chose the next best option. Threatening their lives in a show of power. It was the only way to make them feel fear from the bottom of their hearts.
But the true intention of his sword’s swing was to rescue the three aristocrats. Frightening them was his secondary goal.
– Black Wolf (Lord) slain.
– 2300 XP gained.
[They can’t die here even if it isn’t my fault. But the wolf’s appearance means that the event is starting.]
He sheathed his sword quickly and glanced at the other end of the forest where it led up to the black mountains.
A wolf’s howl pierced through the silent night—
And more wolves far and near answered it. Moving shadows started appearing in the forest. Brendel observed that area for a moment as though he was confirming something, before he turned back to the youths with a raised hand: