Chapter 162 – Secret Arte, Wind Dance
Brendel’s distracted thoughts only lasted until a sharp clink woke him up. Scarlett knocked away Veronica’s sword pointing at her chest with her dagger, attempted to fight back with a thrust, but the female general easily disarmed her.
The dagger fell into the grass—
Scarlett held her injured wrist with the other hand, glaring hatefully and silently, with revealed canines biting her lower lips. It was the second time she suffered a defeat by Veronica, and the condescending look that the latter gave pissed her off.
She would have fought to the death if her lord was not in Veronica’s grasp.
Veronica’s response was to drag Brendel away, not caring if Scarlett followed them.
“Lady Veronica, this is impolite.” Brendel felt his shoulder was being gripped by a vise. It was difficult for him to resist her in his position.
[Hahaha. If any of the male gamers got dragged so intimately by Veronica, they would have rushed to the forums in shocked delight. It’s indeed a pretty unique situation to be dragged away into the bushes…… But I don’t think it’s really something to boast about right now.]
Veronica continued to drag him away as though she did not hear a word of what he said, but eventually gave a reply: “Ser Brendel. You can only talk about being polite if you survive on a battlefield.”
She released him, and he felt his body was given back control. He drew in a sharp breath as he rubbed his shoulders, and the pain caused him to bare his teeth.
[This old witch’s strength is enormous.]
“Let’s not waste any more time. Where are Faena and the others?” She asked.
Brendel’s hand stopped moving.
Veronica glared at Brendel without saying anything else. Her hand shuffled about under her robe, and this small gesture did not escape his eyes; he was certain that she was holding on to some kind of artifact that allowed one to detect lies.
This action would most likely not be seen through by anyone else, but it was pretty much a boring trick for an experienced gamer like himself.
“I last saw Lady Faena and Lord Elman when the wolves started appearing. They left very early.” He said without changing his expression.
It was not a lie. They did, however, sought protection from his army, centaurs, and Tree Elves after it started.
“You didn’t kill them?” Veronica’s brows came together and sank a bit.
[You saved me because you think I killed Faena? What kind of twisted play is this…… In any case, this means that she did not meet up with the Mistress of Withering Decay yet.]
Brendel sighed. He looked at the sky. A fog was spreading throughout the forest from the air, and it meant that even his original destination would be unsafe.
“Why would I do that? I don’t have any reason to cause a war.” Brendel returned his gaze back to Veronica. He had completely calmed down.
Veronica relaxed. But she suddenly recalled that Amandina said the same thing as Brendel and frowned. Was there something amiss?
“Ser Brendel, you seem to know the Dark Forest well, would you guide me and search for them?”
“That’s not possible!” Brendel refused with a snarl. “You know this very well that I have no responsibility to take care of the nobles from Kirrlutz if they go missing.”
Elman and Rono’s corpses were likely eaten up by the wolves, and Faena was taken by Andesha long ago. He still had an important mission for him to complete, and there was no time to waste and search for them.
Veronica did not show whether she agreed or disagreed with him. She merely stared at Brendel as if she wanted to read his real intentions.
The air between them became tense.
Scarlett wanted to move behind Brendel, and she broke the silence by walking onto a patch of grass. But as soon as she did so, Veronica placed her blade on her throat. The cold temperature had lowered the sword’s temperature cold enough to make Scarlett shudder.
“What is the meaning of this?” Brendel looked at Veronica with considerable astonishment and disbelief, while his heart skipped a beat.
“I apologize, young man. But if you don’t agree to help me, I’ll have to take away your companion.” Veronica’s voice was cold.
“Are you threatening me?” Brendel gasped.
The Goddess of Combat was known to be lawful and upright, and she even had a half-teacher, half-friend relationship with Freya. He did not think that she would draw out her sword to threaten two youths. Looking at her emotionless expression made him realize how important the Duke of Flower’s little princess was to Veronica.
“Lady Veronica, the reason why I’m refusing to help you is that of the current calamity that’s happening. The monsters are invading the region and the Druids have requested me to fix the Laws within the Loop of Trade Winds, and prevent the destruction of the Green Tower from the Calamity of Wolves. As one of the descendants from the King of Flames, you know very well of the consequences if the monsters are not controlled.”
“And what has that to do with me? I am a noble of the Empire, not the savior of the world.” Veronica lifted an eyebrow, filled with the qualities of what a commander should have.
“Surely it is not your wish to sacrifice the lives of others to rescue only one person, right? It might be true that Lady Faena is the only successor to the Duke of Flowers, but her life isn’t more important to anyone else here.
“…… You are right,” Veronica sighed, but she was shaking her head, “unfortunately there is no meaning to your words. You clearly know what my status is.”
She grabbed Scarlett’s shoulders and caused the latter to frown in pain: “I apologize, but if you are unwilling to aid me, I have no choice but to bring your companion along with me. It seems like this is the only way for you to assist me.”
“I’m afraid I will not do as you wish!” Brendel answered with a low growl.
Having Mephisto coming out from nowhere to pick a fight with him had caused him to wallow in great frustration, but having Veronica threaten him over the spoilt girl who attempted to get him killed stoke up the embers of anger in his heart.
[Since negotiations have failed, there’s no need to continue to tolerate this bullshit.]
Halran Gaia was drawn out in an instant and swung to draw out a dark line that aimed for Veronica’s wrist. Against an opponent who was vastly stronger than him, he had no choice but to take initiative.
But his decisive action did not surprise Veronica. After the battle in the Centaurs’ market, she knew that he would not easily submit to her threat. A fight was within her expectations.
“You overrate yourself, boy.” The Goddess of Combat scoffed and casually swung her own blade to deflect Halran Gaia.
In Brendel’s eyes, the path of Veronica’s sword was more like a shield that could not be penetrated or deflected. He instantly lowered his body to the ground to change the path of his own sword and swung it at her feet instead. This move was done in order to avoid her blade and force Veronica to let go of Scarlett instead.
Veronica was secretly startled at Brendel’s reaction. She had used the legacy swordsmanship that was taught to each generation of the Azure Sword Saint, but the youth still managed to predict and counter her sword’s path.
[Just how gifted is this boy in the usage of a sword?]
Changing the path of her sword was too late, and Veronica had no choice but to let Scarlett go and retreat. However, once she took a step back, she thrust out her sword and a blast of Sword Energy struck Brendel’s blade.
A loud metallic clang could be heard, and it was as though two physical blades met each other.
At that moment, Brendel felt like it was not a blast of Sword Energy but a dragon that smashed onto his blade. The feedback from Veronica’s sword energy was a mighty blow that could not be defended from. There was no time for him to react to it and his body was hurled back like a cannonball.
An explosion occurred with a loud crash as Brendel slammed into the sandy ground next to the frozen stream. It was not a surprising conclusion. He felt dizziness assault his senses for a moment, but he got up immediately to see Scarlett rolling away from Veronica’s hand.
Unfortunately, even though her reactions were quick, Veronica’s speed was much too fast. She rushed straight at Scarlett who attempted to resist by kicking a pebble towards her face. It was quickly knocked away by her sword and her hand once again reached out for Scarlett’s shoulder.
Brendel did not think any further and threw Halran Gaia out like like a javelin. The weapon shot out like an arrow at Veronica, with a trail of rocky spikes following behind it. The latter frowned and stepped sideways, allowing herself to avoid the projectile and was prepared to jump over the spikes to get to Scarlett.
But she froze in her jumping stance as Brendel conjured up a wind with the White Raven Sword Arte. A Sword Energy reached out for Halran Gaia, pulled the sword back in mid-air, and with a huge rotation—
It shot at Veronica once again.
She was finally troubled with the sword’s path. Although it was highly inaccurate, the speed it was thrown at was as fast a bullet and the spikes that jutted across the ground were a threat. She had no choice but to deflect it with a Sword Energy of her own before it reached her, and the sword merely rotated once before it landed back on Brendel’s hand.
The youth let out a long sigh when he received Halran Gaia. The two-stage attacks from the sword were unintended, and he did not think that it would actually work. But if he had to describe it…..
[I’m so freaking awesome!]
He was even stunned for a moment.
“Boy, your application of the White Raven Sword Arte has nearly reached the standards of the original technique!” Orthlyss immediately rang in his mind and could not but sigh: “If it was not for the fact that I know you have not learned the Wind Elf’s Wind Dance technique, I have to suspect what your background is. Your talent in the sword is just too brilliant and I can scarcely believe it.”
Brendel did not reply to the Heroic Spirit and simply stared at Veronica with a relieved expression. Scarlett successfully escaped from the female commander and was nearly at Brendel’s side.
The distance between them was not much, but it was enough.
Veronica’s expression was dark as she sheathed her sword, intending to approach the two first, but she suddenly recalled something when she saw Brendel’s expression.
She turned around and looked up.
Her breath was held as she saw fifteen dragon heads in the sky. The Lernaia Hydra was already close to their positions, but Brendel pulled Scarlett back into the bushes, while Veronica found herself standing on top of the frozen stream with no cover.
It was clear who was more eye-catching.
[Damn it, I’ve been fooled by this brat!]