TL: I am up to chapter 202 in terms of draft chapters, which isn’t very far ahead actually but it will ensure that the chapters aren’t stuck and will release on a regular schedule.
Reminder, Brendel’s Element Power has two traits, Stasis and Stability. If I remember right, the first trait adds +10% extra ice damage. The Dragon of Darkness adds some kind of Dark attribute to his attacks if he wills it, but I don’t think it has anything to do with his original Element Power.
Chapter 199 – Revive the dukedom?
“Impossible!” Andesha was unable to stop herself from screaming when she watched Brendel fall lightly onto the ground without any injuries.
But sometimes impossible notions were made into reality. Brendel added the attribute of Indestructible to Halran Gaia with his Element Power due to the Stability trait.
The Rift of Destruction seemed like it was a force that cannot be destroyed or hindered and Andesha was unable to affect it in the slightest, but it was ultimately because the grade of Andesha’s Element Power was too low. It was the same for Veronica. The Magic Formations from her sword were ripped off even though she was guarding herself with her Element Power.
Halran Gaia’s Magic Formations resisted the Rift of Destruction’s pull not because of the sword’s grade, but because Brendel’s Element Power was powerful. The youth realized this fact when his arrow shot across the violent winds and was hardly affected by it. He decided to trust in his Element Power when he could not resist the pull from the Rift of Destruction; he carefully assessed the Grimoire’s position within the black hole and thrust Halran Gaia into it.
[It succeeded? Really? Mavekart’s Grimoire is the representation of the Chaos Element Power. It should have destroyed Halran Gaia even if it’s a replica. If my sword resisted that book’s power, doesn’t it mean that my Element Power is at least amongst the level of the major Arcane Elements?]
The four Holy Sages. King of Flames, Gatel. Empress of Wind, Osorno. The Grand Priest, Farnezain. The Saint, Eirelannt. They gained their fame because they possessed incredible Element Powers. Brendel could never have imagined that he had an Element Power that rivaled them. Only the biggest pay-to-win players managed to procure these Element Powers.
[Ah, but it’s such a pity. Judging from the early looks of it, this power isn’t the highest tier though.]
Brendel’s greed to have even more power passed in an instant. Right now he simply wanted to roar to show off his delight. Not only did he managed to confirm the strength of his Element Power, but he also cleared off the final obstacle and Valhalla was in sight.
[I wondered how the lucky players who managed to get Valhalla felt. The entire chain of events was an endless number of death flags. I’m not even sure how I survived.]
First, it was the people from the Kirrlutz Empire, then it was the people who were interested in Halran Gaia. Next, he had to deal with the Calamity of Wolves which was even more dangerous than he expected. Mephisto joined in the party, along with that fake Ancestral Hydra, Veronica, and Andesha. With Faena dragging his feet all the time.
“Everyone wants a damned piece of me. Even S-rank missions are easier,” Brendel grumbled as he turned around to face Andesha.
The Mistress of Withering Decay gritted her teeth when she saw Brendel’s dangerous gaze: “I surrender!”
She was decisive. There was no way she could fight against Veronica and Mephisto when she was badly injured. Furthermore, Brendel was someone who seemed to have an endless number of trump cards, and he even managed to shatter Amman’s final spell that was created out of spite.
In truth, she was actually more wary of that youth than Mephisto and Veronica combined. She suddenly recalled the time where she could not take down the rock pillars that the youth conjured in the earlier duel she had with him, not to mention the mysterious golden flames.
“…… Lady Veronica, could you watch over this woman?” Brendel considered for a moment before he spoke.
He did not want to push Andesha into a corner. Even a cornered rat would bite back, and she was more like an injured lion.
Veronica was still mourning over the loss of her sword. It was no longer shining with a green glow. She sighed and nodded upon hearing Brendel’s words.
There were no signs of the Lionheart, which meant the Empire had wasted her time and instead cost her sword. She could not help but feel downhearted over the outcome.
“Roquel is still a guest in our Empire’s Imperial Jail. It’s just as well that you can accompany him, Andesha.” Veronica sheathed her sword as she spoke.
The Mistress of Withering Decay merely scoffed in response.
[What the hell…… That’s one of the Tree Shepherd’s twelve leaders, the Lord of Corrupted Blood. The game hackers mined the game’s data and discovered his title and identity, but they never found him in the game. Some even thought he’s the last boss of the Tree Shepherds, but to think he’s actually in a jail. I’m laughing my head off.]
Brendel was finding it hard to contain his giggle. If Andesha got imprisoned as well, then the enmity between the Tree Shepherds and the Kirrlutz Empire would certainly increase and end up as a blood feud. And the youth was certainly happy to see that conclusion.
When Faena discovered that the battle was finally over, she hurriedly ran over to Veronica. Scarlett was her usual self and led Sifrid out to Brendel patiently.
“Commander.” The supposedly spoilt princess saluted Veronica and addressed the latter properly. Veronica stared at the girl who had caused an endless amount of grief, but she eventually sighed and shook her head.
At least the girl was not a treacherous snake like some of the nobles in the Empire, though she was just as arrogant as most of the young nobles. The Empire had given the young nobles a glorious entitlement, but they also fiercely guarded the Empire’s dignity with great pride.
[Still…… Offending this particular boy—]
Veronica glanced at Brendel who was petting Sifrid’s head without saying a word. Scarlett was staring at him with considerable intensity.
“What is it?” He suddenly noticed the red-haired girl’s gaze.
“Nothing, my lord,” Scarlett said, secretly frustrated over the fact that she was unable to protect him. If she did not put on a resolute expression, she thought she would show off a weak side to her lord. That was something that she could not bear.
“Since we have settled things, let us go up there and take a look, boy.” Veronica interrupted them as looked up at the World Tree that disappeared into the clouds.
Even though it was probably impossible to find the Lionheart here, she was curious about what secrets the legendary tree held. They might be able to find the primeval Fire Seed that was created by the Goddess Marsha and reactivate it to convert the Dark Forest into stable territory.
Mephisto pursed his lips in contemplation as he approached the group. Civilization was going to expand again after centuries, and there was great meaning to this fact. Only Andesha gnashed her teeth and looked livid.
Brendel suddenly knitted his eyebrows together and turned around to observe Veronica and Mephisto.
[Hold on. I nearly forgot because the earlier battle was too intense. So. Why are Veronica and Mephisto working together again? He’s even looking like he’s relieved to hear Veronica’s words. Some kind of deal? In theory, this guy should be sworn enemies with the Empire’s citizens. I actually thought that Andesha had a pretty good chance to get Mephisto on his side.]
The youth was certain that nine out of ten players in the game would have the same conclusion, while he thought the remaining one-tenth were crazy players who liked to see mayhem.
“…… Lady Veronica, may I request for an explanation about that guy?”
“Hmmm? Explain? Why can’t Mephisto be on the Empire’s side?” Veronica pretended that she did not understand the question with a faint smile: “Boy, I must inform you that Count Mephisto is a very understanding person. The Tree Shepherds and the Unifying Guild are the common enemies of civilization, so it’s not strange that we would put away our differences and work together to stop them.”
[Haha. Hahahahaha. The bloody Sword Saint of Ashes is someone who’s understanding? This madman who wanted to catch me so he can lure you out? The same airhead who chased me around like a dog after a bone? Bullshit. No freaking way. It’s more likely that this old lady used some underhanded means. Like seducing him. Yeah. I mean think about it, she’s a really good match for him.]
Brendel nodded, but he was definitely not doing so to agree with Veronica’s words.
[Look at her. She’s in great shape and roughly the same age as him. And on top of the romantic inclination, she’s probably a good candidate for a political marriage. Damn….. All those nasty cliche plots about having some kind of personal relationship and vengeance. It’s definitely proof! Ahhh! Look! Look at how Mephisto is looking at Veronica!]
“Oi. Brat. What are you thinking inside your head?” Veronica’s eyes were like lasers.
“Huh? What are you talking about? Nothing at all.”
Brendel shook his head rapidly.
How crazy did she think he was? If he spilled out his thoughts, truth or not, she would probably impale him with that sword of hers.
“Hmph.” But Veronica had seen enough liars in her lifetime. She even managed to guess correctly what the youth was thinking about and gritted her teeth with annoyance: “I merely made a promise to Count Mephisto.”
“I knew it! You’re marrying him!” He blurted out unintentionally.
“Knew your fucking head!” Veronica lost her temper and tried to knock the youth’s head with her sword’s hilt. Her veins were bulging as she explained herself: “I made a promise to restore his dukedom’s territory!”
“Huh, restore his territory!?” Brendel blocked her sword with both hands, nearly biting on his tongue while he looked on in disbelief: “Did I hear wrongly, you want to restore his land? The Empire will never agree to it. Your Emperor and imperial nobles are too proud to admit their fault in persecuting House Sutherland. And restoring their land? Hah! Unless pigs learn to fly!”
Veronica was pushing the sword hilt down in a drilling manner, but Brendel continued to voice out his thoughts:
“Ahhh, I retract that statement. Even if pigs can fly, the Empire will never give back the land back to the Sutherlands. Lady Veronica, surely you’re not deceiving that guileless Sword Saint bro? We can’t handle his fury later on. Don’t forget that Andesha is right next to us, and he might work with her instead……”
Brendel was going weak in his knees at the idea of another twist happening.
Unless Veronica was the Empire’s Speaker, no, even if she was the Speaker, she could not make this decision.