TL: There are 2 plot ideas that I have temporarily cut out. I’ll be pasting them back at the end of the upcoming mini-arc.
Edit: Anyone experiencing website downage these few days?
Chapter 93 – Return to Firburh
“You’re Firburh’s lead architect now. If you need anything, go ahead and speak with a young woman called Amandina, and if you want you can take over the duty of repairing the walls.
There are a few important people that you should know. My blacksmith, Grandmaster Bosley, and two of the mercenary commanders working under me, Raban and Cornelius
If you have any questions you can ask them. It will take a while for me to gather enough funds and get you builders, so I’ll let you know when to start building a city.”
Brendel pondered for a moment, before continuing:
“There’s a library in my manor. You’re free to enter it and see if there are any related books to the Firburh’s construction, especially if you want to repair the walls. Firburh’s design has been changed several times to make the heart of the city resemble something like a fortress. You might get interesting notes from the past nobles and architects.”
Odum blinked a few times, suddenly realizing that the youth in front of him was the new “lord” of Firburh. Even though he could care less about the fact of who was in charge of the city, he suddenly realized the person in front of him was the leader of the rebels.
[The fact remains that I’m a dwarf without any real skills in construction. Also, it doesn’t look like this lad has a lot of money. Doesn’t this mean I have to work with limited funds? If I screw this up…… I’m not even given workers who know about construction too!]
What would happen if he failed to construct the fortress the youth wanted and squandered money instead?
He imagined speaking to Brendel:
“Ah! My lord, no one will be able to break down this fortress!. That’s because there’s no gate at all! And it fulfills the promise of being well-known too!”
If the youth was bold enough to murder a noble, he would definitely have no qualms about murdering him for this failure. He started thinking of an escape route.
[Hmmm, I don’t really care about this human kingdom, and I can go back to the Gold Dwarves as a respectable veteran miner. I can probably try to escape anytime I want if I plan well…… Also, the Gold Dwarves and humans are not truly on good terms. If I mishandled the construction, maybe I can brag about it and make it seem like I swindled the humans. It will be recognized as an achievement amongst the Gold Dwarves!]
Brendel’s expression suddenly turned dark as though he had read Odum’s mind. His eyes narrowed as though he had sensed something incredibly displeasing, and the old dwarf suddenly remembered Kodan’s words about the youth being someone who was even more powerful in combat compared to him.
Odum gulped and trembled once. He broke into a cold sweat.
But Brendel did not pay attention to Odum’s frightened behavior.
Ciel suddenly spoke to him in his mind, stating that Scarlett had taken a turn for the worst and she might not live past the next day. He started to brood.
The journey was filled with uncomfortable silence for Odum, as Brendel reached out to Orthlyss to ask about the Blood of Gods and ignored him.
[Ser Orthlyss? Have you recovered enough to speak to me?]
“Do you need me for something, boy?” Came the whisper in his ears.
Brendel was glad that the Heroic Spirit replied. She lived during the Era of the Holy Saints, and the forces of the Darkness and Chaos were far stronger than what it was now. The Tree Shepherds and the Blood of Gods were not things that were unfamiliar to Orthlyss.
“There are only two methods that I know of that will permanently cure her. One, invoking the strongest Holy Words to weave the spell of Astral Healing. It’s a spell that nearly ignores the Laws of this world and reverses cause and effect. This way, it would be possible to return Scarlett back to her former self before she was implanted with the Blood of Gods. However, I only know of the Holy Saint, Farnezain, who was capable of casting this spell.”
“I don’t think anyone is capable of casting this spell in this era,” Brendel said with a frown.
[Not even the gamers have this spell. It seems like only the ultimate NPC or World Boss would have.]
“The second method would be signing a contract with Mother Marsha. I believe that the effects will be even better than using Astral Healing.”
“Do you mean that she has to meet with Mother Marsha? But she hasn’t appeared before anyone for centuries.”
“I see. It’s not exactly necessary to meet Mother Marsha directly; there are artifacts that allow one to meet with her and sign a contract.”
“…… I have never heard of these artifacts before, and it sounds like it’s impossible to find one in such a short period of time.”
“Then I’m sorry, boy, I don’t have any more ideas. Perhaps I can think of something else when I check your friend’s condition.
After a few hours, the gate to Firburh was raised. The shiny black horse-carriage was driven into the city. Because of the many mercenaries gathering at the gate with an air of slight excitement and solemn discipline, everyone knew that the young lord had returned.
Since Kodan was sent back with Scarlett and Medissa a few days ago while Jana stayed behind in Schafflund, the mercenaries in Firburh got to know that the youth captured the silver mines with only thirty-odd mercenaries.
Was it not a miracle?
Even though they knew that their lord was capable, this deed had made it seem like he could do anything.
The mercenaries escorted him with to the base of the huge manor with much fervor and stopped there. Odum alighted with an exhausted face and was about to be led away to a guest room before Brendel called out to him.
The youth thought the old dwarf’s exhaustion was due to him being unused to riding in a horse carriage and politely told him to rest well. He even apologized for suddenly not speaking halfway through the journey and explained that one of his mercenaries had gotten very ill which caused him to be moody. Odum’s ears turned slightly warm when he realized the real reason behind the youth’s attitude.
The old dwarf could hardly face Brendel’s eyes and wondered if he should tell him the truth. In the end, he decided not to. It was not beneficial to either of them, and he was worried that Brendel might faint from the shock.
The youth did not look too well too.
Also, Odum was even more afraid of the mercenaries around him who were looking at Brendel like he was a saint. If he caused harm to their lord, he might get quartered right there. Even bravery had its limits, and there was no need for him to be hacked into pieces even if he had to die.
He thanked Brendel for his kindness.
When the youth reached his destination, he opened the door to a quiet scenery filled with green and red colors. The past owners of Graudin’s manor had also planted evergreen trees around the manor so that the place would be filled with some greenery throughout the seasons.
He did not change anything to the manor when he conquered the city. However, when he glanced at the building in front of him, he realized that the curtains’ colors had been changed into a pale yellow, which was a color that he was fond of.
[It must be Felaern’s doing. The manor feels like home.]
Even though he did not know how the older Wild Elf knew about the colors that he liked, he felt a little happy to a meticulous arrangement like this, especially when he always felt a slightly disdainful feeling from her like a disapproving secretary when she followed him around.
The word ‘home’ was far and distant to the youth, and he felt like it had nothing to do with him anymore. The old house in Bucce was just a temporary stop or symbol that he would never be able to return to his old world.
Perhaps there was a family in this world waiting for the original Brendel to go back, but the current Brendel felt like he was unable to cross this invisible line. He knew that as long as he felt this way, he would never be able to meet his family of this world.
He studied the quiet manor as he alighted. The guards stationed there were looking alert. The place was orderly and clean, making him feel at peace. The youth closed his eyes and breathed in the winter air deeply.
He could sense the hopeful gazes of everyone around him, and they made him realize he was indeed the owner of this city. In order to save this kingdom, he had gotten all of them involved in his dream and there was hardly any way out for them. If he were to lose the upcoming battle against Count Randner, everyone would be killed.
But he was confident that his actions would not disappoint them at the very end.
He felt someone approaching him and opened his eyes, jumping a little when he found that it was Felaern was standing before him with a stoic expression. She carried a thick book and stood straight with a dignified posture; even the most professional etiquette teacher would not be able to point out a mistake.
The Nightsong Tiger ordered her to cater to his needs ever since the battle at Firburh, and she had done a fantastic job as Brendel’s secretary and personal maid thus far.
[There’s really no need for her to do this job. Although—]
Brendel briefly wondered if he could get her to wear a pair of spectacles and a tight dress to cosplay an office lady worker, but he quickly shook off that thought.
“I like the manor’s change,” he thanked her.
The older Wild Elf regarded him with a pair of eyes that resembled a dead fish and the youth coughed, wondering if she read what he was thinking. But she nodded a second later, probably satisfied with Brendel’s words.
“A bath has been prepared for you,” she said.
He nodded and entered the manor while taking a few more glances at her as they walked in. As an Elementalist himself, he could feel the change of power in her even without using his system.
After he emerged from the silver mines, he attached the Dwarven Treasure Vault card to the Mercenaries of Lopes and raised their levels. Each of the Mercenaries of Lopes became top Silver-rankers, and their abilities matched Aouine’s second-tier commanders.
The Nightsong Tiger’s skill in commanding an army was good as well, and the youth started to consider making him the backbone of his armies.
[But there’s a problem with their identities. If anyone of them is struck down and revived later, what would my men think? Even if they accept that the Mercenaries of Lopes are summons, the latter would hardly inspire them to charge into dangerous battles when death hardly means a thing to Mercenaries of Lopes.]
He rubbed his forehead. He could think about that point later.
“I’m skipping the bath, bring me over to Scarlett’s room right away.”
“Are you not going to rest just a little, my lord?” Even though her tone was flat, the contents of her words showed her concern.
She knew that Brendel had traveled from Schafflund without resting at all. Judging from his appearance, he had not been resting much when he was working in Schafflund as well.
Indeed, he only slept for four hours every day ever since he conquered the silver mines.
“No, it’s fine,” Brendel said anxiously.
He had dropped everything in Schafflund and rushed back to Firburh. While he was not sure whether he could save the kingdom, he had to at least keep this promise that he made in the silver mines that he would save her.