TL: Some stuff to talk about. Also this chapter is a draft chapter, expect mistakes (come back on Aug 1st for proper clean up)
Brendel rubbed the bronze ring as he carefully studied the ring’s settings of the shield and sword. When he finally wore the cool ring to his left hand’s forefinger, he closed his eyes and drank in the feeling of the power that rushed into him.
The Ring of the Wind Empress, the Flame Ring, and the Warrior Ring. These rings were respectively worn on his right hand’s thumb, forefinger, and his left hand’s forefinger and fully occupied the Magic Boundary which formed somewhat into a triangle.
[It’s only until the Year of the Holy Griffin that I assembled a set of rings like these.]
Trinkets containing magic in them were incredibly rare, and Brendel spent three years from the start of the game to get them. Even Pay-to-win gamers needed to spend months trying to get them.
[I do have a Brass-ranked Shale Longbow and Tamar’s Soul Arrows. Rock Mercenaries’ Necklace, Star of Flames, three Ghoul Necklaces, three Defensive Totems, Element Bracelet and a Deer Statue. From the looks of it, I do have a great selection of artifacts gathered, and a moment where the first Madara War had ended recently…… Although I still feel like pounding the ground when that unlucky dragon girl ruined my chance of getting a Fantasy-ranked defensive armor….]
He suddenly looked up at her when he realized it was all thanks to her luck.
“What is it, my lord?” She asked.
“Nothing,” he said as he brought up the Stats Window and looked at his abilities.
– Power Break
– Level 11(10+1), Master Rank, 3 Stamina, + 15 OZ Strength, +10% OZ Strength
– White Raven Sword Arte
– Level 6 (5+1), Elite Rank
– Frontal Assault (5+1)
– Level 6 (5+1), Elite Rank
Brendel walked out to the center of the garden, drew out his sword and slashed at the sky. But instead of the usual crescent-like wave, a gigantic web of air currents violently formed into a spiral that seemed to drag the world to its center. Metallic petals seemed to appear from nowhere and refracted light as it followed the air currents, piercing through anything that crosses its path. When the burst of wind finally died down, the nearby trees were in shambles and bald.
Leaves fluttered through the slight breeze that still remained, while the two stared at the scene with agape mouths.
[Holy shit, this AOE is huge,] Brendel was cursing from the shock: “I have never heard of such an insane Sword Arte. Did the Aouine court ever have something like this in their teachings?”
“My lord,” Felaern’s eyes glinted once as she adjusted the account book in her arms: “was that the Royal Court’s Sword Arte?”
“It’s a coincidence that I got it,” Brendel said.
He sheathed his weapon and saw a red and white figure dashing over. Scarlett and Medissa were resting in their rooms, but the explosive sound from the wind pressure reached them. They were slightly taken aback at Brendel and Felaern’s figures, glanced at each other once, and spoke at the same time: “What happened my lord!”
“Nothing to be concerned about, I’m just training a little.” He replied.
Scarlett immediately frowned when she saw the trees that were stripped bare. She was fond of the certain tranquil silence found there and felt at peace whenever she walked past it. Her eyes went back to the young man with slight dissatisfaction.
Brendel completely missed her reproachful gaze and said: “Right, Scarlett. Follow me for a walk.”
“Where to?” Her spear relaxed slightly from the surprise.
“We’re going to Firburh’s inner area, before leaving the city.”
“I probably want Cornelius and the others to come along.”
“What about me,” Medissa bowed slightly and put her hand over her chest as she asked: “should I go along, my lord?”
“I need you to stay in the city,” Brendel shook his head, his eyes going to her “the undead might have fled, but they did not move far away. I need to leave men behind in the city to prevent any sudden attacks. Even though Iamas won’t fight a battle with such odds, but a battlefield can change anytime, and I need to put safeguards. Ciel and you should be enough to hold him off.”
Medissa quietly nodded without any surprise shown, and merely head back. Scarlett walked and passed her by. She had thought of something, but after a moment of hesitation, she chose not to say anything. She lowered her spear and walked over to Brendel: “Where exactly are we going, my lord?”
“The prison,” he said.
The journey took approximately thirty minutes. When he set foot in the prison, it was just as he had imagined. It was a dark, dirty place filled with a foul stench that caused him to frown and wrinkle his nose. Rats larger than cats would sometimes run past the uneven ground tiles when they went past the cells.
[A horrible history in this place. The lore in the game stated that it was constructed about two hundred and forty years ago. The threats from the borders were greater in the past, and this prison was used to torture and jail the ‘barbarians’ from the Dark Forest.]
However, Graudin used this place to imprison the poor citizens who did not pay their taxes, thieves or lowly ranked nobles who offended him. Most of them were falsely accused of a crime, and the remainder of them were directly thrown in without reason. Many had suffered in this place without seeing daylight for years, and given the fact that the kingdom set their laws during a harsh era and hardly changed, the treatment that they received was terrible.
Many died in the prison from illnesses.
After the battle against Graudin, Brendel ordered Amandina to release the citizens who were jailed; most of them were impoverished farmers who could not afford to pay the taxes. Thus, the prison that was used filled to the brim appeared oddly quiet.
Brendel, Scarlett, and Felaern continued to follow the guards in front of them. Footsteps echoed throughout the narrow path, and they would sometimes knock against the chains that hung loosely from the ceiling. Brendel was considerably irritated when he realized that they were there to instill fear to the prisoners.
An old man who was in one of the deepest, isolated cells sat up in alarm and steadied his breathing.
[Someone’s coming again— the footsteps sound constant and powerful, moving at an even pace. There was a lot of commotion during yesterday’s night. The guards seemed to be replaced with a new batch, and military at that. The people currently approaching here seem even more formidable.]
The old man’s name was Bosley. He had spent half his life amongst soldiers and developed an innate sense to detect bloodlust like a wild animal. Keys jangled as they repeatedly tried to open an iron gate leading to his cell’s section. Given that he was the only one in it, he was certain they were there to find him.
His heart beat painfully.
The first ray of light came from the corner and poured into this cell. He had not seen any form of light for a long time, and it painfully caused him to tear up, but he did not look away. He could not even recall how long it had been since he was thrown into this godforsaken place, neither remember what the world outside nor the daylight look like.
[There’s no reason for Graudin to send his man here…… Given the commotion last night, does it mean that bastard was replaced? But every member of the Randner’s family are as vile as they come.]
Bosley sneered in his heart.
A few seconds passed, before the warm voice of a young man wormed into his ears.
“Bosley Lipsius, Lord of the Golden City, Royal Faction. I do recall that you were supposed to be dead because of Everton’s Rebellion?”
The voice shook Bosley enough for him to stand up. His muscles turned rigid, and his face paled. He gradually got used to the light and realized the person who spoke to him was a young man.
“Who….. are you?” The old man’s heart was beating rapidly.
The Royal Faction lost completely in that fateful battle. The highest ranking leader within the Royal Faction, Duke Everton of Highfield, was implicated and imprisoned. Bosley received a secret report of the situation and cast the lies that he died in the battle and he was not an important figure in the Royal Faction.
He moved to the borders and changed his name, awaiting the day for the Royal Faction to rise again. However, he had offended Graudin over a small matter and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He thought he was going to die alone without anyone caring, but someone called out his true identity out from nowhere.
Even Graudin did not know his name.
On the other side, Scarlett and Felaern looked at him in surprise. It seemed like the young lord somehow knew at least one person from every single place they traveled. This time, it was someone who was supposedly dead and well before Brendel was born. Amandina had stated that he was probably a scion of an incredibly powerful family, although they did not put much belief into it.
“Who I am isn’t important to you. I am not from the Royal Faction, Duke Arreck or Randner.” Brendel smiled faintly.
“Then you are from…..”
“Consider me as a separate faction, Grandmaster Bosley,” Brendel received a waterskin bag from one of the mercenaries prepared for the old man, and passed it to him, “but you should know that my goal is the same as yours.”
The old man was considerably grateful to Brendel for his actions. He received the waterskin bag and drank from it greedily. When he was done, he wiped his lips with his dirty sleeves before asking his next question: “What does that mean?”
“To restore Aouine.”
“Restoring the kingdom? If that’s the case, why not join the Royal faction and assist the Corvado royal family?” Bosley lowered the waterskin bag as he studied the youth with considerable suspicion: “Or perhaps, you stand with the Seifers?”
Brendel shook his head, “No, I belong to no faction other than myself. I have my position to consider, and I handle things differently, but these things are not important. I am here to recruit you to my side.”
“What can a miserable old man help you with?” The old man chortled.
“Grandmaster Bosley, you’re one of the finest blacksmiths in Aouine proficient in crafting armor, are you not?”
“— You want to raise your own private soldiers?” Bosley’s eyes darkened.