Chapter 17 – Cleaning the battlefield.
————— Princess POV ——————-
“A knight’s duel?” The silver-colored hair princess could not suppress a smile when she heard that, impressed that the Black Knight was able to think of a tactic to try and delay the time. But she soon sighed and turned her head towards the scenery outside the window in a daze, looking past the floating dust that was visible in the sunlight. She frowned with worry as she thought about a number of things—
[Give up one’s honor? Throwing away your pride as a knight to avoid battling the ‘Dark Blooming Roses of Madara’? … This land has been plagued by war for centuries, and is now hardly loved by its citizens, but did that youth change their hearts when he led them?]
The princess did not know that her prediction would become reality. She looked back at Oberbeck and they both did not speak for a long time.
“The Wise King, Erik, our first ancestor king led citizens from Kirrlutz to independence in order to battle the unending corruption in the empire. Our country was formed for the sake of defying the nobles’ arrogance and greed.
And now, our nobles have become greedy and noble. Have we lost our virtues and the heart to protect justice, to the point of losing the ability to gather people?”
“I dare not to presume anything, but even though the nobles are corrupted beyond recognition, at least our citizens still believe in the crown.” Oberbeck answered.
The princess nodded, her mood lifting a little.
Oberbeck was able to see through inner her thoughts and continued speaking. “No matter rotten the ground is, a seed is still able to grow beneath it, my lady. Even since the time from our ancestor king, Ansen the tenth, we have been training militias and forming forces, for the sake of sowing these seeds. That youth that I met was able to give up on his pride and honor, showing the younger generation of Aouine is no lesser than any of Madara’s forces.”
However, the two did not point out that particular youth was from the Highland Knights, and had nothing to do with the crown. Still, the princess could not imagine why he was able to give up his honor as a knight.
However, they did not know that Brendel was not a knight in the first place.
—————- Battle’s POV —————-
Xelsa did not expect it too, so he could only die in humiliation under the combined attacks of the mercenaries.
Brendel had completely ignored him, except the moment where he swung his sword without any warning. Xelsa blocked it in time, but he was thrown off the horse, and Brendel ordered the mercenaries to attack Xelsa immediately.
Brendel met Xelsa’s eyes when he attacked him. He saw that the Black Knight pursued in the belief of true honor and faith.
[One person never only hold so much strength, but when you put ten of thousands together, that force would become a strong force. ‘Madara’s blooming black roses’ are starting to form. Unfortunately, I don’t agree with that honorable notion, and I don’t intend to.]
In contrast, Xelsa looked at the young human knight from the ground. He saw only pragmatism from his cold eyes.
Brendel knew what would happen in the future, but he also knew that no one would believe that future would appear. Therefore he had to become even stronger, to let his wings grow one feather at a time, in order to make the world respect his opinions, and before that happened, all fame to him was nothing but vanity.
[The only one I can rely on is myself if I am to save Aouine and everyone else. A Black Knight trying to change my thoughts because of a stupid knight duel? Ridiculous.]
A knight’s duel required fair witnesses from both side, a series of ceremonies and rituals. He would never agree to this ridiculous suggestion unless he was mad. Perhaps the ‘knights’ in this era would agree and respect his opponent as they observed such virtues as sacred things, but he was from another world.
[The only warfare available to me is unrestricted warfare, not fucking fair duels—]
Ultimately, Xelsa was unable to understand why the knight refused a duel, and only had unending regret when the militia struck their gleaming weapons into his chest.
The undead enemy had been completely defeated.
Brendel led his horse to run a few steps before stopping. He turned it around and found everyone was looking at him strangely. It was not strange, since a knight refusing a duel was considered as an important matter. Even though the mercenaries had seen many things, they were still affected by the world’s thoughts.
Brendel sheathed his sword.
“You might wonder why I refused his duel. It’s simple. The duels between nobles should be done with respect with both side, and the enemy knight is desecrating that because of the deceit in his mind.”
He paused for a moment before continuing. “As to why I said that, all of you can think about it.”
Everyone except Leto and Taron and his men still felt a little uncomfortable. Brendel changed his tactics and said: “Of course, that’s mostly bullshit. To be more exact, I have no interest in taking a bet without any rewards in it—”
This obviously suited the mercenaries and many of them acknowledged that with hearty laughs. Mano nodded vigorously, almost thinking that Brendel was someone he could get along very well.
Leto and Taron still looked a little unconvinced after noting the hidden meaning behind Brendel’s words, but Brendel knew he could only try to explain so much, as any more would have a backlash.
He quickly gave the order to the mercenaries to tidy up the battlefield and pick up the loot, while he dismounted and went near Xelsa and the Black Warriors’ bodies.
[Time to get my rewards—]
There were some small items that was burned along with the Black Warrior when they got struck by the Thorn of Light. They looked quite disgusting, but they were considered as treasure in his eyes. He kicked away the empty armor that was much bigger than the average human. The chest armor needed to be reforged to be usable for a human, so it was worthless in his eyes.
[Let’s see, are there any magic items that could be easily carried….]
Unfortunately, he did not get much after separating the ashes with his fingers. He found an ‘Iron-ranked rating’ ring in the form of a snake. It only added +0.1 OZ agility, but it was better than nothing.
He was not too sad about the situation yet as the three Black Warriors were the appetizers, and if he got anything from it he would be happy.
[Now for the level 20 + elite Black Knight…]
The half plate that the Black Knight was his size, but the mercenaries made quite a few holes and dents on it. He cursed out loudly.
[Seriously, will these bloody idiots think about their commander a little? I don’t even have an armor plate on myself as a commander!]
Brendel then knelt beside Xelsa and started rummaging through his waist bag, as most of the magic items and protection trinkets were kept in this place.
Brendel quickly found a snake statue and three protection amulets. They were considered as good items in the game as they would bring luck to the person who brought them along. In the game lore, they were originally made by the wizards in the Forest of Ice in the north.
But they were gradually made popular and spread to other areas years later, and became highly valued by people. They were rated with ‘Bronze-ranked rating’, with the important property of not affected by the limitations of the overall magic capacity. (TL: A person can only use that many magic items before reaching their limits. I.E, if Brendel has only 100 OZ worth of magic capacity, he can’t equip magical equipment past that number otherwise it will not work.)
The amulets separately gave +1 HP, +2 HP, +0.1 defense.
[Well, they are made with awful quality, but it’s better than nothing.]
He kept away the amulets and inspected the snake statue carefully, before identifying it as an object that bestowed poison onto blades. There were similar statues made by druids, but some necromancers created them and upon activation, they would release a poison magic.
[12 OZ worth of magic capacity requirement. There’s HP damage along with weakening when the poison is applied. Shit, you fucking dirty cheating bastard, and you dare to pass yourself off as a knight? A knight using poison?!]
Brendel thought it was lucky that he was not a honorable person himself, otherwise he would be in trouble.
He kept it well hidden away. His current status was still a Highland Knight and anyone who recognized the statue would make things problematic.
[They are a lot of rules binding the knights. A light punishment for breaking them is losing the title, but a heavy punishment would be the equivalent of burning witches alive. That shit isn’t a joke.]
He then flipped over Xelsa’s body and checked his neck and hands. He did not find any necklace or rings, but a frost-coloured glass bracelet.
[… Glass Bracelet?]
“Elemental Bracelet!” Brendel was stunned and quickly pulled it off his body. Even though the game stated it as a ‘Bronze-ranked rating’, this was highly useful as it could add on damage to close or ranged combat with a certain amount of elemental damage.
[The lowest tier for this kind of bracelet is 25 OZ, and it can do an additional 4-4 elemental damage! The Thorn of Light is only 9-9 damage without having critical damage.]
Brendel suppressed the immense delight in his heart. This item was as expensive as the extremely rare ‘Silver-ranked rating’ items in the game, and an item that he could not afford at the height of its popularity.
[Attack damage is life. Especially when it comes to melee professions in the early stages. Sadly this can only be used by level 20 and above so I can’t use it for now…]
He tucked it away carefully into his bag, giving it more importance than the Thorn of Light.
[Even though the Thorn of Light is a legendary weapon, it’s only good for Iron-ranked tier swordsmen. Once I go beyond that level I need to find a better replacement for it… Especially with the toughness of the sword… The fights against the Black Warriors’s two handed swords made me feel uncomfortable since my blade is so much thinner. The bracelet is different in this aspect, and I can’t think of a better replacement for it before level 40.]
Finally, he determined that he did not miss anything from Xelsa’s body and stood up and sighed. The rewards from this battle were excellent. Besides gaining 770 XP, the equipment that he received was enough to increase his overall rating by two times.
If he was able to get another elemental ring and bracelet, he would be able to form a pure attack build and defeat a dragon whelp in the Vierio region before level thirty. He unsheathed his sword and blow on its edge, acting as though as the dragon’s treasures were already in front of him.
But after a moment, he went back to his normal state and stopped having delusions.
He checked his surroundings and discovered that most of them had brought back something, especially Leto and Mano who were more experienced than the other mercenaries. Their targets were the necromancers, and getting one or two alchemy items from them aided with their personal strength.
Brendel checked the timing again after the entire battlefield was cleared. The time taken from the start of the battle was forty-five minutes. The militia was also done with their search. He quickly checked the surroundings as he felt that Madara’s undead riders could appear anytime at this moment. The gargoyle could only scout one direction at a single time, so they had to be quick.
The refugees had already gone ahead in the gargoyle’s directions, led by a few veteran mercenaries. With the gargoyle scouting ahead, he was not worried that the refugees would run into trouble. He called out to the mercenaries and regrouped with them, and they rode off to find Freya.
Right up to this point, his plan was progressing considerably well, and the only thing left was to play hide and seek with Madara, until the moment where the star constellation of ‘King of Knights’ appeared. He took out the deer statue and raised his head to look at the sky.
TL: Brendel is accusing Xelsa for having impure motives like delaying the battle so Madara’s undead can discover them, and that is against the spirit of a fair duel. Also, it seems like lots of people kind of forgot what happened to that necromancer back then where he stole that spider ring. Imo, Brendel will most likely troll the enemies whenever possible and hardly engage in a fair fight, especially when he’s leading that group of refugees..
TL 2: Actually I have no idea what this 4-4 and 9-9 means. 4D4? 9D9? But 9D9 sounds ridiculously high for DnD damage, and I find it strange that there’s no minimum-maximum damage fluctuation. Head scratch. I might not want to include future weapon damage numbers as I feel it will detract the seriousness of the story.
Edit: Let me explain why I find that having numbers is bad. Typically DnD will first apply attack rolls, i.e 21 > 20, and damage rolls next (9-9 + 1 strength*stats modifier + bonus damage . So if Brendel nicks a black warrior, he does -72 damage (it was stated somewhere one or two chapters ago). If he strikes at the chest (attack roll 30 > 20), he does the same damage.
Only when he does maybe like head thrust (attack roll 40 > 20, perfect critical), he does 144 damage.
Does that sound ridiculous? So even if I see through the text with “The Amber Sword in-game calculation”, the numbers 4-4, 9-9, makes no sense to me. I am very much in favor of removing such numbers because the author has never stated his ‘system’ properly as far as I know of.