TL: Hangover. Drank many different bottles of wine. Yay. Enjoyed myself very much. Bad headache though. Might have bad editing.
Chapter 186 — The final moment (2)
The call was softer than the howling wind.
The red-haired girl raised her head. Veronica was sitting not far away from her. The two of them were hiding behind a black boulder that had a depression in it, shielding them from the natural wind. It was not rare to see similarly shaped boulders in the area that was enveloped in violent winds and sand storms.
Veronica wanted to break the silence but she did not know where to begin.
The girl in front of her was deeply guarded against her. Of course, she could not be blamed when they were still enemies. Still, the female general had made the first move, and Scarlett blinked her pretty eyes to look at Veronica with suspicion. The two of them had a subtle link to each other where they relied on each other.
Though Scarlett felt her situation was a little unreal, she was mostly overwrought due to her Lord leaving her behind, and did not care about the situation she was in. Her emotions were easily shown on her face. Little wrinkles formed between her eyebrows as she knitted them together, and the corners of her eyes drooped slightly.
Veronica finally found her words: “There’s no need to worry too much. Your lord will definitely be fine.”
Perhaps the comforting words made Scarlett relax a little; her hands were not formed into fists any longer.
“There’s a saying in the Empire’s army, the boys who live long are blessed by the stars.” Veronica continued with a smile: “There’s also a folk’s tale, if a baby was born during the moment where a sea of shining stars can be seen, then they would be a Child of the Stars, blessed with the incredible ability to turn misfortune into luck. I feel it’s very likely that he possesses this ability.”
Scarlett did not understand why Veronica started talking about Brendel, but she stared at the latter with large round eyes as though she was questioning her if the myths were true.
“Where are both you and your Lord from?” Veronica suddenly asked, sensing that her relationship with the girl was closer than before.
“I—” Scarlett only uttered a word before she became on guard, looking suspiciously at Veronica. But the female general only chuckled with a shake of her head.
“There’s no need to be so tense. I’m merely curious.”
Scarlett turned her head a little while her puzzled eyes narrowed slightly.
“I have seen many, many talented youths, but someone like your Lord……” Veronica shook her head.
Even though she was over a hundred years old, she still kept her energy up and appeared to be at her prime. Calling her an incredible beauty would not be wrong, but she appeared to be a little haggard from her exhaustion as she sat on the sandy ground.
“It is said that a talented person is born out of every hundred, but your lord must be someone who appears once every thousand years. I have no doubt in his future, but I cannot help but doubt his lineage. Even though he claims to be a small noble from the borders, that assertion is too much for me to believe it.”
Veronica’s eyes that seemed to be looking into the distance suddenly went back to Scarlett, glinting a little as though wisdom was flashing across them: “He came out from nowhere, like a heroic figure described in the legends sung by bards and told by storytellers, but everyone knows a story is merely a story.”
Scarlett looked at her blankly.
“Like I said, I am merely curious and mean no harm,” Veronica said.
“I don’t know.” Scarlett lowered her head and shook it.
The female general seemed like she was trying to discern if Scarlett’s words were true, but she did not force out an answer, nodding as though it was truly a casual chat.
“That girl got to know him much earlier than you did, right?”
Scarlett somehow knew that Veronica was referring to Amandina and nodded.
“Such a mysterious little rascal.” Veronica licked her lips subconsciously. It was a habit of hers to do that when she discovered a foe on the battlefield that she could not defeat. Her green eyes leaked out a wild intent to do battle.
“Are you still worried?” Veronica asked after a moment of silence.
Scarlett shook her head, unwilling to show weakness in front of a stranger.
Veronica gave a faint smile: “When the wind is a little weaker, let us search for him down there.”
The red-haired girl raised her head sharply, causing her ponytail to flail about, looking at Veronica in surprise.
The female general did not speak again.
In truth, she rarely showed a friendly disposition to anyone, but the lonely girl before her brought out her softer side. Veronica found Scarlett’s reactions to be interesting because—
She recalled the time when she was younger.
But there was a low voice that abruptly called out through the wind, interrupting her thoughts.
“The travelers behind the boulder, do you mind if I join you and avoid the wind? This weather is really unfriendly.”
Veronica peered below. There seemed to be a small boulder sliding across the path, as though someone was using it to block the wind and make their way across the steep path. The quick footsteps made by that person sounded more like he was running rather than walking.
The female general instinctively reached for her sword when she heard the voice, but after failing to grab it, she recalled that she had handed it to Brendel.
After a moment of hesitation, she answered with a raised eyebrow: “Come in, Count Mephisto.”
There was a stunned silence from below, but he immediately rushed towards the boulder where the two women were hiding at. The dim lighting that illuminated the boulder’s interior was blocked by the newcomer. Mephisto’s hand was on his sword and he looked down on the sitting Veronica.
“Veronica!” The Sword Saint of Ashes exclaimed.
============ Brendel’s POV ==========
After passing through valley’s massive obsidian stone gate, Brendel found that they had entered a spacious cavern that seemed like it was without end, and was poorly lit by the mineral content on the ground below them.
It was an Isolated Space that connected one place to another.
The youth thought he could easily conjure a light, but there was no telling what was around them and it might be dangerous to do so. Still, Brendel had to swallow a few times when he realized he was walking on a huge ‘bridge’ in the shape of a pole, and not on flat ground. He immediately warned the others about his thoughts.
[Shit…… I nearly fell down when I walked to the sides.]
It was not steep ground that they were climbing, but something like a bridge.
It was so dark that the group had to walk for minutes before they got used to it. They eventually managed to see many other pole-like bridges that led upwards. There were obviously no railings on them, but the width of these paths were tens of meters wide, making it relatively stable to walk on.
Brendel sometimes looked out to the sides, seeing nothing but endless darkness. He could not see an end to the top, too. The strange ascension made him feel like he was walking on a ladder that led him from the ground to the heavens. The more he climbed, the more he felt he was going to fall back into the abyss below him.
It was all too easy to experience vertigo, and someone in the group was certainly experiencing it more so than the others.
It did not take very long for Brendel to feel another hand grabbing on to his own other than Sifrid’s. He turned around to see the terrified Faena next to him. Her face was completely drained of blood. She looked laughably pathetic, and there was a pleading look in her eyes, seemingly asking him not to mock her.
Brendel secretly giggled inside.
Her actions were quite visible to the others. William’s Perception stats was definitely higher than his own, and Sifrid was next to him and would eventually discover Faena’s actions. Faena was lying to herself.
“I don’t sense any creatures around, should we cast a light spell?” Brendel asked.
“Hmm. I’m sensing some kind of subtle interference, perhaps an anti-magic spell? You can try to cast a spell of light if you want to, but I doubt it will work. Even artifacts like an Everlasting Torch would probably fail.” The Archmage commented, as though he was not interested in lighting up the area: “But you can try casting a high-level spell.”
There was a dramatic pause.
“Like creating a sun.”
“…… Never mind.”
The Archmage’s joke was not exactly a lie. The spell really did exist, but it would probably blow up the area they were in as well. The darkness in the area was not exactly a threat. In comparison, he was more worried about the enemies behind him.
Just a while ago, William cast a powerful Magic spell that imprisoned Andesha and her helper in an illusion, causing the latter to go around in circles. The Archmage was indeed living up to his name; who could trap Andesha so easily? He even did so under the supposed anti-magic environment.
William caught Brendel’s expression and could not help but laugh with squinted eyes. He rubbed the top of his staff and said with a little pride: “My spell can trap them for a little while, but young man, I can’t help you any more than this.”
It was Brendel who suggested to implement a trap in the cavern in the first place. William had fought Andesha several times, but he did not know her personality very well and doubted that she would enter a suspicious place like this. The youth, however, was certain that she would follow them in order to get back at him.
“Are the Tree Shepherds not enemies of the Silver Alliance?” Brendel could not help but look back and asked: “Why not get rid of them here?”
He cast an imploring look at the Archmage, hoping for him to act so that Andesha could be rid forever.
“Continue to dream, young man,” William’s body was shaking with mirth, “though it is true that we are enemies and I would be glad to do so. However, that woman is one of the twelve leaders of the Tree Shepherds. I don’t know how you managed to draw her attention, but the chance of winning against this woman is too low for me, which is why I will not act easily.”
[Even gauging a battle’s outcome is rounded to a number. It is no wonder why the ‘Wizard Craftsmen’ never truly lost in a war. Then again, any member of the Silver Lineage is a monster.]
Brendel did not really expect William to be persuaded. He more or less kept thinking that the people in this world were somewhat game-like. At the very least, no high-level NPC would give a gamer such a chance to cheat so easily by helping them directly.
“How about a sneak attack?”
“No. That’s enough, you rogue, stop thinking about it. My spell is working because Andesha doesn’t know I’m here. If she did, the spell would be useless. She will eventually realize that it’s an illusion, though I think it will at least delay her for thirty minutes. But the true reason is that I’m running out of time.”
“You’re leaving?” Brendel was stunned. The Archmage was his greatest ally but he was leaving so soon?
“The Green Tower is about to fail in its defense. Surely you don’t wish your hard work from before to go up in flames?”
William scratched his head, soothing an itch there almost like a dog. Brendel’s eyes looked suspiciously at the Galbu’s leader.
“Oh all right, their plight has nothing to do with me; it’s Tulman who requested for my help and I can’t decline.”
[Hmm. It’s surprising to see the Green Tower’s defense fail so quickly.]
Brendel did not realize that he had been unconscious for at least two days, and he thought the reason why things progressed so quickly was the lack of gamers. If William participated in the battle against the wolves, then the Green Tower would be able to hold on.
Though he needed to hurry as well.
William patted the youth’s shoulder and took out a box out of thin air.
“I’ll give this to you, boy. There’s a cape here that will allow you to bypass Andesha’s senses—”
“Wait, there are three of us here.”
“I know, which is why you should let me finish my words. This cape is meant for a Giant.”
“A Giant?” Brendel put on a strange look. Just what sort of settings was happening here?
“Indeed, but you can only use it once per day, as it will turn into an ordinary cloak after each use.”
“Are you sure there are no other drawbacks to using it??” Brendel received the box and thought about the Galbu Wizards’ crafted items. Many of them were unpleasant.
“Hmm? It sounds like you know us very well. I’m reassured—” The old Wizard smiled, waving his staff in the air and opening a silver door out of thin air: “Don’t underestimate this cloak, when it’s working, even the Dragon King would not be able to see past the invisibility spell!”
“Dragon King? Bahamut?” Brendel stared at the box with slight skepticism.
Regardless of whether the Dragon King was referring to Bahamut or Fafnir, if the cloak did what William said, this was an item of the Gods.
And it was just given away like this?
William was already in the silver door, but he suddenly turned around and spoke with a solemn tone: “Young man, I have given you additional time, the rest is up to you—”
“Yes, yes, I know! But you haven’t told me what the keyword is needed to activate this!”
But it seemed like William did not hear the youth’s words. The door made out of light vanished as though it had never been there once the old Wizard finished speaking.
[What the hell!]
Brendel felt like he had been deceived in the worst possible manner.