TL: Okay, I have to fix this right? The previous chapter 97 was combined with chapter 98. Oops. Here’s your chapter 98, which you have already read. >_> cough.
Chapter 98 – The girl’s thread of fate (5)
Medissa discreetly pulled Brendel’s sleeve and spoke into his mind: “My lord, the Golden Apple can only delay the danger temporarily. Do you have a real solution to this?”
Brendel paused for a moment and thought aloud.
[Ser Orthlyss, do you have a solution if we have a couple of years?]
“I did think of a solution when you pulled out that Golden Apple. The solution I had earlier was to destroy the Blood of Gods, but why not try and overwhelm the Blood of Gods now with a mental fight now? The apple gives out Lifeforce that strengthens the soul, and she is in a better position to fight back.” Orthlyss replied.
Brendel pondered for a moment to himself.
[Indeed, the Golden Apple is the best item for Wizards and Elementalists because it enhances the Will stats. But it’s not an easy task for a native of this world. There’s no cheat here where Scarlett can level up with XP, and the Golden Apple would only delay things for a year or two. To be truly effective, she needs to take on a Wizard or Elementalist profession and raise her level to the point where she can gain an Element Power—]
Unlocking an Element Power in two years?
Brendel shook his head inwardly when he thought about it.
Still, it was a solution that was better than no solutions, and it was not as if there were no chances. There were a few extreme methods that he knew of that could unlock an Element power derived from an Elementalist.
Now that things had come to this point, he could only try.
For now, he kept these answers to his heart and threw down a few words that evaded giving a real answer.
“Amandina, take care of Scarlett. The rest of us should leave so that she can rest.” Brendel said.
“Wait, let Romaine sleep a little more,” Scarlett said.
In the end, everyone except Amandina and Romaine left the room, with Brendel closing the door lightly.
Even though Scarlett had recovered, her body was still weak and she needed to rest properly. Brendel was also quite worried about little Romaine. She worked even longer hours than he did in Schafflund and seemed to have accompanied night and day with Scarlett when she returned.
Brendel rubbed his forehead when he thought about the extra ingredients that little female dragon left behind on the Golden Apple. He still had no idea what it was, but at least the matter about the fruit was over and done with.
Felaern soon led him to his room where he took a bath and rested later.
When he woke up, he went to the study to check up on Firburh’s report and spotted Odum in the library.
“Mister Odum, have you found anything interesting?”
“Yes, there are some notes about a drainage system and garbage disposal for a city.”
Odum’s eyes were gleaming slightly.
The Gold Dwarves were famous for mining and digging tunnels. Since they lived underground, they did not really think about hygiene, In fact, they rarely bathed their whole lives. They ate food that was in the soil and the only pollution they cared about was about the water they drank.
However, amongst their complicated maze of tunnels, they had a unique tunnel system to handle garbage.
A city that had hundreds of thousands of people living in it would produce a large amount of rubbish which would pollute water. If the polluted water and rubbish were not handled properly, they would lead to plagues, which was why areas with low levels of civilization did not have large cities.
Odum discovered the direction he should go into.
The drainage system could be developed in the way how the Gold Dwarves handled rubbish, and if he borrowed their methods, it might work out quite well.
As for the walls and gates, he had some architecture skills that he learned from the Mountain Dwarves. By combining his knowledge along with the books and squeezing out his potential as a Rune Dwarf, it seemed like things were not as complicated as they looked.
Brendel was considerably pleased as he exchanged words with him.
However, the people that he called into his study later were a different story.
He reviewed the reports where the mercenaries fought against Lord Macsen, began thinking about the mercenaries, and realized that he did not really have people around that excelled in leading like he thought earlier. Other than his summons and himself, there was really no one else who could lead the war against Count Randner.
“Why didn’t Ciel go along with the rest to at least oversee Lord Macsen’s battle? Did you feel that his expertise is needed elsewhere? Or did you think that it’s enough that the Mercenaries of Lopes led the rest of the mercenaries?” He questioned the commanders who led the battle.
Ciel and Amandina were also called in to listen.
“There are more casualties than your plans anticipated against Lord Macsen. Did you do a review about why it was so?” Brendel continued. Silence answered him, and he rubbed his forehead:
“I’ve been leading the mercenaries against bigger odds ever since Firburh’s battle against the undead and Graudin. Ever wondered why we succeeded? It’s because there are Gold-ranked fighters fighting in crucial areas. I’m not saying that they should hold your hands in every single battle, but at least make sure that they are there to ensure there are no loose ends. You had one for this battle, so why didn’t you at least get him out there? It’s not as if there are reports of enemy armies appearing out of nowhere and Ciel had to stay in the city to defend it.”
In truth, he did not realize he was asking for near perfection. Since he had fought for over a century of in-game years against the nobles and emerged from a sea of corpses, it would not be wrong to say that his experience outmatched against nearly everyone in the kingdom when it came to battles.
[Even though Amandina has strong analytical skills and a broad view of things, I still feel she needs more experience. Yes, she placed most of the scouts correctly around Firburh that would anticipate other enemy movements, but what’s the use if she lets Ciel sit in the city when there’s no need to?]
Amongst the various mercenaries, Amandina was perceived as an impeccable advisor. She was calm and decisive, had her opinions with strong insight in regards to various policies and yet they were never reckless. She could even foresee events that others could not.
There was even her extensive knowledge of monsters and the environment, as though she had insight into everything. They felt like she could even match Ciel, a wizard from the Black Tower, on these aspects.
The mercenaries who got called to her meetings were usually confused when she spoke, yet it sounded like her words made sense somehow. They wondered about her background.
Raban who had a better understanding of the nobles frequently looked at Amandina with an odd gaze. In his eyes, Amandina was like the children who were specifically raised in extremely affluent families to be their children’s loyal companions. Because of his relatively crude background, he had often wondered if she had to meet their lord’s ‘special’ needs.
This conjecture was not limited only to Raban. Many mercenaries had the same thought. Amandina’s authority was far beyond what an advisor would have, and that level of trust could only have one explanation.
Amandina was Brendel’s woman.
Sadly, Brendel was far too busy with his various thoughts to notice the small things like this. Since Amandina ignored the rumors and did not mention it to him despite realizing what they were thinking, it ultimately allowed this misunderstanding to continue.
Brendel continued to lecture Amandina with a dissatisfied tone on the things that she could have done better. It did not mean that she was shunned, instead, the mercenaries believed that she was viewed with importance.
The level of competency that their lord wanted made the mercenaries secretly shake their heads in disbelief. Yet the youth’s words were full of logic and pointed out things that could lead to a serious problem. Everyone could only redraw the line where the word ‘competent’ really pointed to.
A new aura started appearing on Brendel. Everyone thought that he was a scion of an extremely powerful family and was sent out to rule a territory on his own for training.
Eventually, they were all dismissed and Brendel started to ponder about the commanders.
[Raban’s a former cavalry commander of Karsuk. He’s probably the only one who’s stable and disciplined, and he does things better than Jana. But as a mere cavalry commander, his foresight isn’t good enough. Jana is someone who spends too much time on details and can hardly see the bigger picture, but she can be trusted.]
Brendel was satisfied with Jana’s actions in the mines and allowed her to stay in Schafflund to oversee Perkin’s actions. He doubted that she would do anything that would betray him.
[As for Cornelius, he’s too much of a bootlicker. He does have the capability to lead, but unless I solidify my position, I can’t really trust him with too much power since he might get ideas. Even though all of them can become fine commanders, but there really isn’t enough time for them to grow stronger.]
He shook his head. Yes, he was asking for too much, but where was the talented personnel that he needed?