TL: TL thoughts at the end of this chapter. I’ll try to stick to a regular schedule from now onwards too. Uhh, probably 1 chapter this Saturday. I have to start fixing grammar of the past chapters now. Dread.
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Chapter 178 – Battle in the Canyon (3)
Brendel observed the place where Veronica was pointing to.
[Rather than say that it’s a path, it’s a series of boulders jutting out from the cliffs where we can jump onto. I can’t imagine if these are formed like the by some twisted accident of nature or an epic work created by human hands. Even without the violent winds, creating such a path down to the gorge is a miracle. In any case, it’s time for plan B, since Andesha is near enough.]
“Lady Veronica, give me the Lionheart! I’ll head down while you bring Scarlett and Faena to the other direction and escape!” Brendel spoke aloud.
Veronica and Andesha’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. The former saw that the youth was pointing at her sword, and she stared at him with disbelief when she understood what he was trying to do.
Anyone could see that it was a lie.
The female sword saint was hesitant, but she eventually tossed her sword over to Brendel, who caught it with an outstretched hand.
“My lord!” Scarlett spoke in confusion, taking a few steps towards the youth.
“Stop right there!” Veronica caught Scarlett’s arm.
“Let go of me!”
Veronica raised an eyebrow when the red-haired girl bared her teeth and glared back like a wolf pup, looking like she was going to bite her hand. The former merely laughed out loud despite the tension.
“My, my, just how fond are you of your lord?”
Scarlett stuttered with a denial and even forgot to resist, but she got pushed away by Veronica.
Andesha suddenly attempted to use her whip to grab Scarlett. He would most likely not leave his companion behind if she was caught.
The youth immediately saw what Andesha was up to.
Unfortunately, the dunce Faena was straying around the area and was much nearer to him compared to Veronica. If he failed to protect her, the same situation where Veronica threatened him with his companion would happen yet again.
He immediately rushed over and grabbed the girl like a sack of potatoes and leaped into the air, jumping straight onto the cliff’s protruding rocks, making his way down quickly.
Mocking laughter and insults echoed from the cliffs.
Catch me if you can, plant woman.
I thought you wanted the Lionheart?
Just how old are you anyway? Three hundred? Five hundred? Hahaha~~~
Andesha stared at Veronica for a moment. That sword was definitely not Lionheart.
But she was finding it impossible to read Brendel. What if Veronica somehow switched her blade to the real Lionheart sword and threw it to the youth?
In addition, she also used the highest quality Blood of Gods on him.
But most importantly, there was no way she could let this humiliation pass.
The Mistress of Withering Decay jumped onto the boulders, disappearing into the white fog.
Faena was so frightened that her teeth were chattering.
“W-w-w-why did you take me with you—”
Her voice was almost pushed back by the wind forcing its way to her throat.
“Then should I leave you here, my lady?”
Brendel was using his full speed to jump across the rocks, but he was still able to answer.
“Hey, do you want me to bring you along or leave you here?”
“Y-y-you, I-I-I will get my father to cut you into pieces when I get back!”
“Woah, I’m so scared, hmmmm, how about this, I’ll just make it so that you won’t be able to go back?”
Brendel let go of his hands, scaring Faena and causing her to scream immediately, and she hugged his neck tightly.
The youth felt liquid going down his neck, and he realized he had just intimidated her into crying.
[You did well, me!]
“You b-bastard……” She cried.
Brendel did not regret his actions at all. He even felt vindicated for doing so since she brought so much trouble to him. He glanced back to ascertain Andesha’s position.
Her figure was moving faster and faster in the blurry mist, advancing the terrain by using her vines instead of jumping across the rocks. It would not be long for her to appear clearly in his eyes.
[Our distance is just slightly more than ten meters apart—]
Andesha swung her whip from that distance, and a cracking sound could be heard as it parted the white mist. Brendel was on his guard and jumped high up into the air. The whip struck across the protruding boulder where he was at earlier, cutting a portion off like a knife.
Her speed made him frown. If he did not come up with something soon, he would definitely be caught.
He glanced at his surroundings. There was nothing he could use with this terrain, and the protruding rocks lined up in a row were the only things available. At that moment, Faena rubbed her red eyes and spoke a little angrily:
“Hey, your sword’s hilt is poking me all the time! It’s hurting me!”
Brendel suddenly realized he was holding on to Veronica’s sword. His eyes brightened as he thought of a plan.
“You gave me a nice idea.”
“What idea? Are you delirious?”
Faena was puzzled but she suddenly felt herself sinking like a stone, and the mist was rushing up at her face. She suddenly realized that Brendel was tucking his legs together and shrinking his body into a straight line as much as possible.
They were falling through the air freely.
Faena had never felt such a thrill in her entire life, and her heart was about to jump out of her throat.
Her voice dragged out like a falling star as she felt the wind cutting her face like blades. Her tears spilled out, no, flew out from her.
[I’m dying, dying, dying—]
Brendel did not need to ask Faena to hold onto him since she was already doing so. He took out Veronica’s sword and stabbed it into the cliff. A sharp metallic scream immediately assaulted his ears. Veronica’s sword completely disappeared into the cliff, and bright golden sparks showered from the cliff as he slid towards a rock platform.
He pulled out the sword and jumped onto it, taking a moment to rest and recover his strength, before he did the same thing again a few times. He actually reached the abyss without any issues.
Faena stared at the sky when she finally confirmed they had stopped. She gulped in the air like a fish, her chest moving up and down, acting as though her soul had left her.
“Am I dead?” She asked blankly.
Brendel rolled his eyes and pushed her over his shoulders, and she overturned once to fall on her butt.
“Ouch! What are you doing!!”
“Hah…… Didn’t you ask if you were dead? Tossing you over was the fastest way to find out.”
“Y-y-you scoundrel……” She started sobbing again.
The angry, spoiled, and stubborn girl was nowhere to be found.
Brendel massaged his sword arm as it was feeling numb and had no sensation. He sighed and looked upwards.
[I don’t want to do this again, even if it felt as thrilling as a roller-coaster. I nearly failed to hold onto the sword despite my increased Physique and Strength with Trance—]
Andesha’s speed was incredibly quick, and he could make out a speck in the air. It was hard to say where the lair of the fake Lernaia Hydra was, and the cat-and-mouse game still had to continue. He pushed Faena’s shoulder:
“Stay here and hide. I’ll lure her away.”
Faena suddenly stopped crying and stared at him. She looked wary and Brendel did not know what was going through in her mind, but she suddenly blurted loudly:
“I’m going with you!”
Brendel thought she hated him more than Andesha, but he shook his head after a moment.
“No, you will only slow me down with your speed,” Brendel said and walked away.
But he could hear her standing up and chasing him from behind, causing him to sigh immediately.
“It’s incredibly dangerous for you to stick with me. Do you even know what I’m going to do next?”
“Staying here is even more dangerous, h-h-how can you can leave a lady…… behind in such a dangerous place?” Her voice became softer and softer at the end.
Brendel was taken aback for a moment.
Faena was right. Who knew what was lurking in the abyss? Even though he told her to hide, she might encounter a monster. He would not mind if something bad happened to her, but what if there was an investigation from the Kirrlutz Empire or Veronica coming back to bite him back in the butt?
He turned around and extended his hand: “Hmmm….. Okay.”
“W-w-what are you doing now?” Faena was on her guard and stared at the hand before her.
“Didn’t you want to come along with me?”
“Who wants to hold hands with you damn it!”
“Okay, forget it.”
Brendel was about to walk away.
Faena ran up hastily and gritted her teeth as her twin ponytails shook behind her. She looked at his hand in hesitation before grabbing it. She was afraid of the surroundings but she was reluctant to admit it:
“R-r-remember this, I-I’m not afraid and did not take your hand because— I…… won’t thank you.”
“Ohhkay,” Brendel replied, enjoying the idea of jerking her around.
The two of them crossed the deep valley. The mist was taking on a grey color tone, and there was some kind of stench in the air.
Despite walking for a while, Brendel could not see any vegetation or signs of life. He sniffed the air, pondering to himself, but it was Faena who commented out loud:
“Strange. The purity of the different Elements is incredibly thick. It feels like Ether.”
“Eh?” Brendel turned to look at her: “You recognize it?”
“Why can’t I recognize it?” Faena rolled her eyes at him.
“I’m an Elementalist, are you one?”
“You’re an Elementalist? How is it possible that you even became one? And I’m a proud Magic Swordswoman, hmph, you country bumpkin!”
Brendel had been angered before by the words ‘country bumpkin’, but now the girl before him had frizzy hair and swollen eyes, and he could not help but giggle.
“What are you staring at?” She glared at him, feeling his ridicule.
“You said that it’s Ether? Do you know what’s Ether?”
“Hmph. The different Elements are active, but if they are stagnant in a place for long periods of time, it will turn into Ether. Incredible, how is it possible for so much Ether to be in this area?”
“You can feel it becoming thicker?”
“Then it means we found the right place.”
Brendel took out a grey gemstone that glowed faintly. Faena looked at it curiously, and she found it to be somehow captivating.