Chapter 158 – Amandina’s orders
“Do you not feel foolish for resisting me, when you clearly know that you’re not my match?” Mephisto placed his greatsword over his shoulder and asked.
Orthlyss smiled in response: “Bold warrior, even though your swordsmanship is powerful, your eyes fail to see the truth.”
Brendel’s change in tone made Mephisto slightly perplexed, but it was gone as quickly as a lightning flash:
“Are you trying to say that you’re not Kirrlutz’s royalty?”
“You will know whether I am in a moment.”
Mephisto’s eyes narrowed: “…… What are you trying to do?”
Brendel informed Orthlyss there was an area of safety similar to a Sanctuary in the Dark Forest. There were three spots discovered in the game, all of them located past the Blockade of Wolves, and the White Cliffs of Divinity was the nearest spot.
Orthlyss walked over to Amandina and passed the Fire Seed to her, while she whispered next to her ears:
“Amandina, follow this valley and walk north to the White Cliffs of Divinity.”
“White….. cliffs of divinity?”
“If you see the rocks changing turning to an ivory-white color, that would be it.”
Amandina looked at her lord and nodded, uncertain of the details but not asking for a further explanation. Mephisto released his grip on the greatsword’s hilt and tightened it again. He could capture the contents of their conversation with his high perception, but he did not interrupt them since he did not think the youth would be able to escape far away from him.
His target was Veronica, and Brendel was all that he needed to control.
“It doesn’t matter what petty tricks you’re trying to make, you can scheme openly if you want to,” he said.
Orthlyss turned to Mephisto and raised the sword in her hands.
“Oh? Are you done?” He asked.
“You are truly confident of yourself.” She replied.
Mephisto’s arrogance also drew out the ire of the female heroic knight of the past. The Sword Saint of Ashes thrust his weapon to the ground and beckoned with his hand.
Come and find out how confident I am.
Orthlyss scoffed through her nose as she returned Halran Gaia to its sheath. Six green wings of shimmering light suddenly spawned from the youth’s back.
“This is!” Mephisto’s expression crumbled.
[Wind Elf’s combat tactics, Cerulean Bolt?]
Orthlyss hopped into the sky and seemed to glide in the air. But the seemingly slow flight in the air was an afterimage, and the youth was already near the forest’s edge. The Sword Saint of Ashes snarled and pursued after him, his movements resembling a black dragon. His speed was indeed slower by a sliver, and the chase would be a contest of stamina.
Orthlyss changed direction once she entered the forest.
“How far do you want me to take him to?” She asked.
“One or two miles would do,” Brendel replied.
“That’s a little far, boy.”
The wings extended upwards, causing Brendel’s body to glide upwards above the trees. Orthlyss turned around and saw Mephisto was a second away from her.
His weakness was his speed, but that hardly mattered against Brendel.
“Don’t you have some special move to strike at him? It wouldn’t be a problem if you delay him a little,” she asked.
“No, the Holy Sword spell requires a certain condition.” Brendel shook his head. He had spent all his Earth EP long ago when he led everyone to the Blockade of Wolves. It only lasted two hours before he ran out.
Mephisto did not idle during their exchange and attacked Orthlyss. Three blasts of Sword Energy struck at her in a beautiful arc, and the Heroic Spirit dodged behind an ancient tree, allowing them to cut through it. The Sword Energy rampaged through the wood, causing wood fragments to fly everywhere and broke the tree in the middle, felling it.
Orthlyss hurriedly escaped from the explosion of wood splinters.
“Use the Charge ability.” Brendel reminded her.
“Fool, a straight line will be predicted at our skill levels.”
“Don’t worry, it will definitely work here.”
The two continued to exchange pointers.
Mephisto was currently listening to the movements of the surroundings. Orthlyss was shrouded due to the fragments and leaves from the fallen tree, and he could not determine where she was.
A green blur streaked past him, causing him to flinch and cut it down with his greatsword. The heavy blade cleaved the Wind Spirit Spider that jumped at him into two halves. The air elemental creature exploded, and Orthlyss charged out the instant when he was distracted. It was perfectly timed, and even though the Sword Saint of Ashes reacted quickly, he only saw Brendel’s shadow leaving.
[You have quite the number of tricks.]
Mephisto put away his sword on his back and started following Brendel. He was not afraid of an ambush, and he even welcomed the idea of Veronica attacking him; he could get her if she dared to appear.
============ Amandina’s POV ==============
Brendel’s army and the Tree Elves heard loud cracking noises, and they turned around to see a gigantic tree deep in the forest crashing to the ground. Everyone could only guess a battle happened there, but they did not know the details.
Scarlett gripped her weapon tightly to the point where her fingers were numb and white, staring at the fallen tree.
“Lady Amandina, what are your orders?” Quinn walked over to her and asked. Brendel’s words to her appeared like he had handed the role of the leader to her.
“We will head down this valley and wait for my lord at the White Cliffs of Divinity.” She answered in a calm voice.
He nodded, gestured to his men and ordered them to advance. He did not show any signs of worry, but he glanced at the forest one final time before marching off. Kodan did not waste any time and also commanded the youths to move, and they marched slowly in the snow, though the group of nobles from Aouine were still confused.
Silence filled the area after the tree was felled. There were no signs of Brendel or Mephisto.
Scarlett was still in a daze. There was only worry in her heart, causing it to beat painfully and quickly. What if she discovered Brendel’s lifeless corpse at the felled tree? The sudden lack of movements caused her to be at a loss. She rebuked herself for thinking the worst all the time, but she was unable to feel at ease.
“Scarlett? We need to leave.” Amandina walked right in front of Scarlett, blocking her view of the forest. Her white fur coat fluttered against the wind, while her hide boots dug into the thin snow. Her calm demeanor made people feel relaxed.
“I wish I was as strong as you Amandina,” Scarlett said, her face showing signs of exhaustion.
“I’m worried as well,” Amandina sighed, “but worrying will not help our current situation. We must fulfill our lord’s orders.”
“It is why I hate being weak,” Scarlett answered miserably.
Amandina did not answer and merely nudged the red-haired girl along. She was just as unsettled. The men trudged on in the silent snowing winds. But her worry was soon replaced by another issue. There was a sudden clamor amongst the Tree Elves, and half the group had stopped moving.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, only to discover the men dividing in front of her.
A woman wearing a green robe came out from the trees and marched quickly with large strides, making her way towards Amandina, and she caused the latter to pale. Did no one realize the commander of Kirrlutz’s imperial army was this close to them?
The Goddess of Combat, Veronica.
She pursued Brendel all the way to the Blockade of Wolves by following the wolves’ endless corpses, but did not realize that someone had managed to get there before her. Her eyes swept through the remaining group of people still alive.
Faena, Rono, and Elman were not there. Brendel’s presence was nowhere to be found. However, she recognized Amandina and Scarlett. Her hands went over her sword, while she took one step—
And that step seemed to bypass time and space. It was as if she had turned into a gust of wind and traveled over a hundred meters to reach them.
Amandina was shocked and took a step back, but the cold blade was already placed across her white slender neck. Quinn was the fastest person to react, but he merely managed to raise his bow. Scarlett and Kodan did not even lift up their weapons in time.
Veronica was taller than her, and she looked down on the pretty girl’s black hair and eyes, which were unlike Aouine’s noble lineage. There was a short pause while she stared at them as though there was something unbelievable about it.
[I placed my sword on someone who knows nothing about fighting—]
She had used her full strength in order to get to one of them because she was completely on edge over Faena’s disappearance, not realizing the person she attacked had no weapons. It would not be surprising if someone amongst Brendel’s men who could resist her attack appeared, but here was someone who probably had never held a weapon in her life.
Still, the hesitation disappeared quickly.
Three important nobles of the Kirrlutz Empire were missing. It was especially so for the daughter of the Duke of Flowers; nothing must happen to her.
“Lady Veronica, what are you doing!” Quinn notched an arrow and aimed directly at her. Kodan discreetly placed his hand on his sword’s hilt, prepared to move at any time. However, they were dismayed to see Kirrlutz’s men appearing from the direction of the Blockade of Wolves.
Veronica did not even bother to look at Quinn and interrogate the girl: “The nobles from Kirrlutz, I assume you have seen them?”
“I don’t know where they are. They left us a long time ago.” Amandina said.
“Brendel did not kill them?”
“Naturally. My lord does not want to cause a war.”
Veronica’s expression changed to one of surprise: “When did they leave, no, where were they last seen?”
“…… I apologize, I don’t have the permission to tell you that. Even if my life is forfeit, Lady Veronica.”
“Hmph! Then where is your lord?” Veronica said as she sheathed her sword.
Threatening the girl was apparently her bottom line.
Amandina hesitated for a while before she made a firm decision: “My lord isn’t here now.”
“What? Where is he? No, I want you to bring me to him now.” Veronica was too distracted to detect the Amandina’s strange behavior.
“I’m afraid I do not have the capabilities to follow you—”
“Fine, then have that girl bring me to him.” Veronica suddenly pointed at Scarlett.
The latter jumped up like a startled cat, took a step back and brought her halberd up as though she wanted to protect herself. She stared at Veronica like a wary beast.
Amandina could see all the muscles on Scarlett tense up. It was clear that the red-haired girl would fight to the death once Veronica made a move; she would never betray Brendel’s location willingly.
“Scarlett, stop this foolish act now!” Amandina cried out.
Scarlett looked back at Amandina in confusion.
“Bring Lady Veronica to where Brendel is. This is an order!” Amandina put emphasis into every word.