TL: PIKACHU I CHOOSE YOU. Remaining chapters tomorrow. Should be.
Chapter 175 – Deep lure
Brendel thought he would be able to escape even with the two unconscious girls as long as Veronica delayed Andesha, but he soon discovered that he had predicted wrongly.
He moved around the maze-like valley for approximately thirty minutes, but there was a raucous projectile moving through the air out of a sudden.
The youth nervously glanced behind him and saw a green flash in the dark sky. The next moment, there was a thunderous smash, and a human figure appeared before him, shattering the hard ground and creating a field of smoke and dust.
It was Veronica.
Brendel frowned and walked towards her, dismissing the particles with a simple wave of his hand. The female commander was lying in the middle of the pit covered with blood. Her cloak was reduced to rags and there were many places on her uniform that revealed her inner armor. It seemed like she used a tremendous amount of energy to escape, as there was white smoke coming out from her outer garments.
Brendel thought that she had lost consciousness, but she groaned softly and opened her eyelids to reveal emerald irises.
“Hurry up and leave this place,” she coughed with half-closed eyes, though there was still spirit in them, “Andesha’s about to catch up.”
She struggled to get up despite her injuries and reached for her sword with difficulty, but Brendel snatched it away before she could get to it, and she looked at him in surprise.
Brendel felt greatly conflicted as well.
If Veronica had the ability to continue fighting, he would have allowed her to continue what she was doing, but it was apparent that she was going back to delay Andesha with her life. Considering that she was Freya’s teacher in the game, he did not want things to end in this manner. It was especially so when he had to live with the idea that he sacrificed someone in need of help in order to stay alive.
“Lady Veronica, you are no longer suited for combat,” Brendel said in a monotonous voice, sighing inwardly.
Veronica saw that the youth was carrying the two girls with his left and right arms, and she was relieved to see that he did not abandon Faena.
“Give me the sword,” she extended her hand out and said.
“…… That is not possible. Lady Veronica, come with me if you want to live.”
“Escape from one of the twelve leaders of the Tree Shepherds? If we move together, no one will be able to escape.” Veronica sighed and closed her eyes with a frown.
“If there is no possibility of escaping I wouldn’t ask,” Brendel’s eyes were dispassionate, “I like miracles, but I never rely on them. I like gambling as well, but I will never put everything on the line.”
Veronica stared at him with a certain emotion in her eyes, as though she was assessing him. She smiled weakly and shook her head.
“How do you intend on bringing me away? I’m in a terrible state. Stop forcing yourself. Now, quickly hand me over the sword, my good child—”
Brendel showed a hollow smile. There had not been any signs of a sun for a while now. He stretched out two fingers, and a card formed with black trails of smoke swirling around it. Brendel took the card and tossed it to the ground.
A black hexagram appeared on the ground, and Veronica looked at it in wonder. Light poured out from it and faded. A girl with long hair and a short fringe wearing a tuxedo walked out amidst the black smoke. The beautiful girl walked to Brendel and placed her dainty hand over her chest, bowing respectfully:
“In the name of Darkness, this humble one’s name is Morpheus, and I have come to answer the call of my Master…… And I must inform you that I’m a man.”
Brendel stared at Morpheus with an inscrutable expression while he listened to the latter’s soft, neutral voice.
There was a real trap in front of him.
But it was not the time to ponder over it and he pointed at Veronica.
“Morpheus, support this lady and follow me.”
The vampire nodded once and moved over to the general. He easily lifted Veronica who wore a full suit of armor and supported her with an arm. Even though he appeared to be frail, he was a Gold-ranker after all, and carrying a person was not difficult.
But Veronica appeared uneasy and looked at Brendel with sharp eyes: “A Vampire? That’s High Black Magic, you’re a Necromancer?”
“You’re mistaken. It’s a Legacy heirloom.”
Veronica paused and thought for a while: “Something like a summoning statue?”
She became silent for a while, almost laughing at herself for entertaining a silly idea that Brendel was a necromancer. However, If he was really one, then there might be a chance to fight Andesha. Having just one more Gold-ranker was simply not enough to go against that woman.
“Andesha is close to us. I endured my injuries to get away from that woman, but she will catch up with us very soon, what do you plan to do?”
“There is a way.”
“Lady Veronica, do you know what’s ahead of us?”
“No.” She frowned and looked at the youth with suspicion: “It seems like you’re suggesting you do.”
“A little. It’s an immense canyon, the heart of the violent winds. The clouds surge past that area, driven by the air currents and the shape of the land. But my point is the complexity of the land. I am confident that Andesha would not be able to follow us easily there.”
“But you’re not going to shake her off.”
Brendel’s eyes were shrouded in darkness: “Shake her off? No, but I’ll find a way to kill that demon.”
Veronica stared at him, trying to see if he was joking, but she eventually exhaled lightly.
“You thought of a solution?”
“There has always been one. But it’s a little dangerous.” Brendel suddenly turned over his palm, and the grey gemstone, or as the Dragon of Darkness called it, the Grey Primordial Divinity, appeared on his hand.
[It is unrealistic to return to Amandina now, and the only way is to lure Andesha into the heart of the Loop of Trade Winds, where the Nightmare Demonic Fog’s lair resides.]
Getting two bosses to fight each other was something that gamers loved to do in the game. But the higher the level of the bosses, the more difficult it was. It was difficult to fool them when they had high intelligence and outsmarted people instead.
But he sensed a strong Mana Resonance when he received the Fool talent within the Loop of Trade Winds, along with the presence of the fake Lernaia Hydra. Even though the Dragon of Darkness did not give any useful information about it, he knew that Amman and his men did something there to cause the monster to chase them.
It explained why Amman was anxious to flee the area, and also why the fake Lernaia Hydra persistently went after him instead of the youth.
Brendel believed that the Mana Resonance came from the Lernaia Hydra’s lair. There was a small chance that he could be wrong, but he needed to convince Veronica to move along with him. With a flip of his hand, the gemstone was kept away and he started walking forward with Morpheus following closely behind.
Just like Veronica said, Andesha quickly found reached the place where Veronica reappeared in front of Brendel. She had tracked down the tracks left behind by them, as sharp as an experienced hound. If Brendel were to describe her identity, it would be half-Druid, which would explain her abilities to track. The Tree Shepherds had a muddied relationship with the Circle of Skies; the former was darkness and the latter, light.
Brendel and the others stopped at various sections in the valley from time to time, with the youth leaving behind tracks that led in the opposite direction. They moved slowly and Andesha eventually caught up with them, but she fell for his tricks and kept moving past them before she came back to search the vicinity.
At that point, they had already moved off.
This ability made Veronica greatly surprised. She even wondered if Brendel had a map of this area and highlighted spots that would throw off pursuers. But no matter how many times she asked him, he merely kept his silence, and she gave up in the end.
This went on for several hours. Brendel brought his group into the ancient canyon that he mentioned without any issues. It was the final landmark to reach the ruins of Valhalla. They were deep within the Wall of Clouds, and the entire canyon was filled with mist, almost giving off the impression the Lernaia Hydra was nearby.
This complex area was quite famous in the game. Roads were long and windy, frequently crossing into each other. There was no vegetation, and the ground was formed with latite and obsidian rocks. The large boulders that were present formed many dead angles, and Brendel had an easier time to avoid Andesha than before. But what caused him a headache was how she always seemed to have a natural instinct to be next to them, nearly discovering their presence every time.
This cat-and-mouse game was not fun for the prey, especially when it concerned their lives. After advancing through the canyon for half a day, Brendel truly stopped for the first time and took a rest.
Scarlett had forgotten about their bag of food and water by accident, while Veronica did not even bother to bring it along since she had her subordinates carrying it for her. Brendel was certain that this female Sword Saint did not expect this situation.
Thus he could only endure the feeling of an empty stomach as he sat quietly against a large boulder. Still, he did not feel a strong hunger after absorbing the Blood of Gods, and dared not to make a fire even though he also felt a little cold.
Andesha might be nearby.
Morpheus put Veronica down and sat opposite of Brendel. The female Sword Saint was visibly exhausted as she had lost quite a lot of blood, but instead of resting, she looked at the youth with considerable praise in her eyes.
“Do you know, boy, because you’re a citizen from Aouine, I will not give you my thanks.”
“…… I don’t need that.” His lips curled downwards, using an indifferent tone.
“Do you want to learn my swordsmanship, boy?” Veronica closed her eyes, smiling in response to the youth’s rude mannerisms.
“Tsk, I said I don’t need—”
Brendel said instinctively, but he suddenly snapped his head towards the Sword Saint so fast that his bones creaked, blinking rapidly, finally waking up from his resentment.
The youth looked at her in confusion, wondering if he heard her wrongly for a moment, even wanting to dig his ears to ensure it was not a trick.
“Unwilling, are you……”
“N-no……” Brendel muttered incoherently: “I-I mean, I can’t become a citizen of Kirrlutz, I said that before……”
[Are you for real? You’re really going to teach me your swordsmanship?]
Brendel felt like he had punched on the face a few times. Veronica shook her head lightly and sighed, her lips moving a few times as though she was saying something. The youth waited for a few seconds with great expectations before his eyes bulged, realizing that she had fallen asleep because of her exhaustion.
Her head was tilted to the sides, and her breathing was steady and long.
[NOOOOOO! Fuck me! Not like this! What have I done!!!]
Brendel screamed inside his mind.
TL PS: So, if you think that Brendel was going to be the next DoD and become evil because I hinted heavily on that, that’s not really possible. Just to remind everyone, he went up to pick a gemstone even though he was dying. Changing his ways? HAH.