TL: Chapter 29 will probably come 12-16 hours later.
Chapter 28 – Expansion (9)
============= Amandina’s POV ===============
“They’re retreating,” Jana said.
Her face was painted heavily with blood, and she sat down tiredly opposite to Amandina. There were a few flecks of blood on the latter’s pale face, and even though her black eyes still had vestiges of apprehension, she had forcefully calmed herself down.
The Silence spell was not as effective as they had imagined. They thought it would bring about a miracle, but they soon discovered that it was not the case. When the Subterrane Dwellers realized the spell had affected them, most of them charged forward and nearly broke through their defensive line by overwhelming them with numbers.
The mercenaries had lost their chance to drive the invaders off. It was at that critical juncture where Raban led his men into a do-or-die charge, swept the enemies off the walls and stayed there as a final stand.
The Subterrane Dwellers suffered significant casualties and understood that they could not continue and started to retreat. Everyone’s heart was rapidly beating when they did so, and the mercenaries panted heavily.
No one on their side went on to count the injured and the dead. It was meaningless. If there were no miracle on the enemies’ next assault, it would be impossible to fend them off.
“They will come again.” Raban also sat down because his whole body was completely sore. After he glanced up at the moon, he spoke again: “Their next attack would probably come before dawn at the latest. There is definitely a second round of reinforcements.”
“Anyone have any ideas?” Cornelius asked.
No reply came.
Even Amandina who firmly believed in Brendel’s plans realized that the battle was much more dangerous than she thought, and she did not have the confidence to encourage the mercenaries to believe in him. After clearing her thoughts, she realized that the one that stuck out the most was whether she was going to die in this place.
After a moment of reflection, she calmed down again. If it were not for Brendel, she would have most likely died alone in her old home that was dark and cold.
“We mercenaries are here to do the very best we can and then leave it up to fate,” Raban grinned, “we have been through many life-and-death situations. The next time they attack again, we will open the gate and lead our men to break out from this siege. Whether we’re going to die here or live to see another day, will be on Mother Marsha’s decision to bless us or not.”
Cornelius gave a wry smile that served to mock himself. He shook his head and turned towards Amandina:
“With this, lady Amandina, we have answered Lord Brendel’s orders, right?”
Amandina took a moment to think before she nodded: “I thank everyone here.”
“That’s not necessary.” Jana interrupted: “We’re just willing to believe in that bastard this once. Don’t worry, even if he doesn’t appear, I won’t leave you two behind.”
Romaine was sitting nearby, and her hands were wrapped around her knees to fend off the cold. She blinked her large, brown round eyes and nodded earnestly: “Thank you, you’re a nice person.” But she smiled and continued: “But Brendel will definitely come. He has never exaggerated, ever. If he says he can do it, then he will be able to do it.”
“You trust a lot in him, girl.” Jana paid attention to her for the first time.
“In truth,” Amandina said a moment of hesitation: “I also believe in his words—”
“It seems like our young lord has overflowing charisma; to be able to charm you two beautiful girls to this extent,” Raban’s grin turned lopsided and teased them: “if I have the same capabilities like him I will be able to die satisfied.”
Cornelius scoffed at his words. He was quite the playboy amongst the mercenaries, and if this brute managed to charm the beautiful girls out there, then every other guy should just knock their heads against a pillar and commit suicide.
Amandina lowered her head in silence and maintained a noble lady’s conduct against Raban’s crude manners. But Romaine raised her pair of little eyebrows and waved her hands vigorously while blushing: “Wrong, wrong, that’s not the reason I believe in Brendel!”
“Then what reason is it?” Jana asked curiously.
Amandina also pricked up her ears. She had joined in later than Romaine did, and there seemed to be many stories between the young lord and the latter. She had made past inquiries regarding his past, but only heard stories right up to the time where he joined up with the Bronze Dragon, Leto.
She wanted to know how Brendel came to be, from the start of Madara’s invasion. Romaine was also from the same village, and there was also an air of mystery about her. The only story that she heard from Brendel was another girl named Freya, and the latter had left the group a while ago. She had no idea what happened to her since he never explained.
“You don’t understand,” the merchant girl displayed a smug and mysterious smile subconsciously, her eyes bright, “when Brendel led me out to escape from Bucce, his eyes had changed, and he became a manly person. My aunt frequently told me that a manly person would always be responsible for their promises, and I had to find a person like that who’s willing to protect me.”
“That’s…… your reason?” Jana looked exasperated.
Raban pondered thoughtfully on the actions that Brendel did and compared them to the things he promised in the past. But Cornelius merely made a booing sound and spoke with a disgusted huff:
“From the time I have been traveling I have not seen a noble that I consider as a manly person. If any of their sons actually have a real pair of balls, I’ll give them my thumbs up—”
Many mercenaries around him also agreed with his assessment. Amandina did not rebuke him for his rudeness but quietly thought about Bucce. When she wanted to inquire further, a mercenary from the other end of the wall stopped their conversation and brought out new information:
“Commanders, there seems to be movement within the forest. The scouts say that the Subterrane Dwellers look like they are going to attack again.”
Everyone was unsettled at the enemies’ speed. The earlier warm atmosphere was gone and replaced with a dark cold dread that enveloped everyone. The mercenaries were looking at each other with great uncertainty. Even Amandina felt she was short of breath despite her earlier claim in believing Brendel.
The clouds in the sky happened to cover the moon as if to signify the hope that was extinguished in their hearts.
============= Brendel’s POV ==============
Their captured leader had completely surprised all the Subterrane Dwellers.
The Silver Colt easily leaped over the enemies, and once its hooves touched the ground, Scarlett lightly landed beside Tagiv.
The Subterrane Dwellers at the edge of the battlefield were rushing over to their chieftain’s aid. One of the angels stood in their paths and struck down the nearest Subterrane Dweller.
Scarlett frowned and felt the urgency to finish things quickly. She pointed her halberd in front of the Witch Doctor—
“Get them to stop.”
“I…… die, you will, not live too,” Tagiv spoke in broken Kirrlutz.
She paused for a moment before she scoffed coldly and pretended to answer calmly: “Stop your foolishness! Do not forget we have a flying horse,” she brought her weapon closer to its neck, “I’ll give you one more chance, order them to stand down!”
Tagiv hesitated in its mind. It was afraid of death, but it felt that things were not as simple as they looked, so it decided to gamble: “In that case, please send me off to meet with Lord Siaa—”
Siaa was a deity in the Subterrane Dwellers’ legends. It was depicted as a gargantuan lizard that lived in the Realm of Earth Elements.
[What deity. That’s just a mythical subdragon, confirmed by gamers.]
“Don’t think that I don’t dare to kill you!” Scarlett’s ire was raised, and she kicked it forcefully, making it bend over to the ground with both hands extended.
But this kick confirmed its suspicions. It became less afraid and patted its hands to remove the dust on them: “I believe…… you can run away, but, your companions in the forest…… might not be safe?”
“You—” Scarlett’s words were silenced. She did not expect the Witch Doctor to confirm what she was thinking. She could not admit to it, but she had no idea what she could do.
“Which faction do you belong to?” Brendel took over the conversation and looked down at Tagiv from above: “Toland or Dragontongue city?”
His words immediately incited a reaction from Tagiv who quickly shut its lips. Even though it had no eyes, it involuntarily raised its head up towards him. If there was a description of its expression, then that would be as if it had encountered a poisonous snake.
Tagiv belonged to a faction which was the sworn enemy of Toland city. It was clear that the youth knew the Underworld well, and it suddenly felt like its advantages were extracted out of it. It had no choice but to take a second look the two humans again that it thought as unintelligent.
This was the first time a human had the right to negotiate with it.
[Where did this male human come from? If he knows about Toland and Dragontongue city, does he have any relationship with our accursed rivals? But he should be aware that we don’t have strong ties to our tribes once we are separated from the main group. It’s a common thing in the Underworld so why would he pursue this line?]