Chapter 6 – A natural Lord
A miracle had happened before the citizen’s eyes.
The cavalry who charged towards the youth were crumpled like a piece of paper. Each time the youth moved, swords would either break or bend backwards, and steel splinters flew all over the place. The force carried behind the youth’s sword even hurled the rider’s horse upwards, before the rider flew off from the impact.
One, two, three, the citizens behind Brendel whispered, until seven of the riders were dismounted forcefully. The remaining three riders were already frightened to the point where they held the reins tightly and did not advance any further.
Gaspard stared at Brendel as if he was a devil, while Markov and his guards were frightened to the point where they forgot what they were holding in his hands. The refugees broke past their lines and ran to Brendel.
“Who are you?” Gaspard felt that the blood draining from his limbs. He had seen the captains in the White Mane’s squadrons training fights, and he felt they were elite fighters, but compared to the youth in front of him, they were amateurs.
[Who exactly is this person?!]
Brendel sheathed his sword and exhaled lightly. He used Power Break seven times, and he drained a fifth of his stamina, and he felt his hands were starting to go a little numb.
“I have already said my name. I’m Dunn.” Brendel pointed his sword at Gaspard and Markov. “Now, are all of you calm enough to listen to my words?”
The two leaders exchanged looks. How could they not listen? The riders who charged at him were not exactly amazing, but they were well trained and charged at their opponent with a horse. Even the soldiers of the White Mane army would avoid their direct attacks.
But he merely struck seven times with his sword, and each single blow knocked off a rider off his horse, and at the end of the fight he looked like he was not even tired, and even the captains under Luc Beson could not compare to him.
[He looks like he’s at least a intermediate Iron-ranked fighter, but he’s so young…] Gaspard swallowed. The captains under Luc Beson were veterans who were thirty to forty years old.
“Very good. It looks like you’re ready to listen.” Brendel nodded at the tongue-tied duo. “I regret asking you to scram, so I’m taking back my words. I want all of you to block the road. I don’t care how many undead comes here, your mission is to block them.”
“Ciel.” He continued speaking.
“Yes.” Ciel jumped down when he saw Brendel beckoning to him, and took out his pocket watch and passed it to him.
Brendel looked at the time. There was still a minute left to 4 PM, but Freya was still nowhere to be seen. After rubbing his forehead he raised his head up and said clearly: “All of you here are respected members of Fortress Riedon’s cavalry, helping out the refugees to gain time is a duty that you have. I am sure that none of you needs me to remind what you need to do, and will stand out with bravery to rush to the frontlines-”
“My lord, I am a merchant.” Markov did not dare to act smugly anymore and spoke carefully.
Brendel looked at him with an exasperated sigh. “You’re now under conscription.”
Markov’s mouth moved up and down wordlessly.
“Of course,” Brendel looked at the riders who got up from the ground. “I will be here personally to oversee everyone of you. Anyone who wants to flee as a deserted soldier, you can come back over here and try my steel. Whether you want to test me or fight against these damned skeletons, choose one.”
The citizens behind him had already started to move out to the north. People were pushing each other and trampled onto hapless people who stumbled onto the ground. The crowd was in a frenzied chaos as shrieks, curses and wails continued to poured forth from them, as if they were painting a picture of the world ending.
Admist this chaotic scene, the only place of calmness stemmed from Brendel alone.
“The rest of you, grasp this opportunity and leave now. Do not waste this chance that the cavalry gets for you by risking their lives.” Brendel tried to motion some of the remaining people who did not move. He was not a messiah, but he did not want to see more lives thrown away.
But he did not expect the majority of them to stay behind. The people had seen the unfortunate victims trampled to death by the frightened crowd, and even if they got out they were not certain that they could flee from Madara’s pursuit later on. They would rather place their hopes on Brendel, hoping that the incredible youth before them was able to lead them out.
There were many people with power in this world, but there were few who protected the weak. Brendel’s actions had left a deep impression to them, and the last sentence seemed to make them trust in him.
“You’re unwilling to leave?” Brendel looked shocked, suddenly guessing the thoughts of the people before him. He scratched his head and turned around, and saw Ciel with a face full of admiration. Brendel blurted out.
“In the era of the holy saints, the knights had eight virtues. Mercy was one of them. Every year in this era, there are many knights who swore to uphold the eight virtues in the Holy Cathedral of fire, but who amongst them are able to do something like this?”
The young man continued to speak. “To let the weak depend on you is the charm of the strong. But my lord, how are we going to achieve this?”
“I’ll think of something. Just let them stay.” He went to Markov and Gaspard. “Have you considered carefully?”
“Definitely, yes, we will fight against the skeletons.” Markov nodded as hard as he could.
Gaspard said nothing, but ordered his men to gather. He had talked with Markov and agreed that they had better odds fighting against the skeletons. If they went against the youth they would be killed instantly, while they had a better chance to fight Madara’s army. Furthermore, Brendel had said that he would stay behind, and it was likely he would help out in fighting the undead.
Gaspard was the leader of the cavalry, and was at least considered as a capable man who would submit when the time called for it. He was even better at doing it more naturally then Markov, since he had to watch himself in front of Luc Beson and Lord Esebar. In the end he still watched himself in front of the youth.
Brendel, on the other hand, admired his decisive personality to be ‘flexible’. He stood there waiting for the riders whose weapons he broke to change to short swords, and at least for the time being he did not have to consider that the men had no weapons.
The guards and riders’ faces were uneasy, with the exception of Gaspard.
These men might have been dominating bullies during the normal times, but they were no different from a common man when they faced the fearless undead. Once they thought they were going to face such a frightening existence in the legends, they felt their limbs tremble. The merchant Markov took a long spear and stood beside Brendel, trembling like a leaf without saying anything, and it was apparent that even standing there was difficult for him.
The citizens behind them looked at Brendel and wondered why the youth did not escape. Because of the words Ciel used to address Brendel, they thought he was at least a knight of some title. Since they decided to follow Brendel, they did not dare to leave if he did not.
A prolonged silence between them happened.
Finally, the first skeleton soldier appeared from the other end of a burning street, with two more behind it.
Brendel immediately recognized them. They came over with the sounds of bones striking against the hard ground. Their speed were not too fast or slow. He checked the pocket watch again. If Freya still did not come, he would let Ciel and Romaine move ahead first, while he would go out to find her. He would still see her as a comrade even if she did not manage to succeed, even if he was disappointed at her results.
He put down the watch as he saw the skeletons approaching the guards. There were seven of them, and if they divide themselves into three groups, they would easily destroy the low level skeletons, but they actually crumpled right there onto the ground, not even able to turn and flee—
The three skeletons killed the seven of them.
The eleven riders were so shocked and frightened they did not even have the courage to go up and fight back. Brendel was dumbfounded and surprised at the outcome that he could not react in time to save the guards. For one moment, he wanted to just cut the useless riders in front of him and be done with it, before checking himself as he still needed more bodies to cut a path through Madara’s army to save the citizens.
“What are you bunch of morons doing?! Where did your bravery go after bullying the citizens for so long!” Brendel shook his head and yelled at Gaspard: “You, show them how it’s done.”
“Me?” Gaspard might looked like he was calm, but his hands were turning into jelly.
Brendel said nothing more and just looked at him.
Gaspard clenched his teeth. He knew that he was most likely going to end up dead. He normally drank and feasted while sleeping with some wench during the normal times, and had already discarded his swordsmanship a long time ago. He glared at his subordinates, but they quickly averted their faces away and pretended not to meet his eyes.
“You bunch of bastards raised by prostitutes!” The rider cursed out loudly as he charged forward with his long sword, half trembling. One against three, and the youth appeared as if he had not intention to fight. He closed his eyes as he galloped closer to the skeletons, almost certain that he was going to be dead.
But right at this moment, there were rumbling noises that felt like horses galloping. Gaspard was a rider himself, and was familiar with the noises. That was the sound of a vanguard cavalry charging together. The rumbling noises got louder, as if it was thunder that came from a distance away. The earth seemed to tremble, and the skeletons turned their heads around, noticing the oddity of Lifeforce gathered together.
Three horses suddenly jumped out from the burning flames, and sword flashes could be seen as the skeletons were struck down into pieces. The riders on them pulled the horses’ reins, and galloped towards Brendel before stopping a slight distance away from him—
Brendel looked up and saw the figure of a person wearing sky blue armor, with one hand holding a sword, while the other hand pulling the reins. The long ponytail was illuminated by the flames in the street, and Brendel saw an elegant rider on top of a horse.
Behind her, more and more riders came out from the flames and gathered behind her, the majority of them wearing outfits that belonged to mercenaries.
[The majority of them looks like they are at least of an Iron-ranked fighter, and quite a few of them are at least intermediate ranks…] Brendel was surprised.
[Where did this group of mercenaries come from? There are at least ten over people here that are as good as Luc Beson’s captains! Wait— Could this be the private army of Freya’s father?] Brendel knew of Freya’s true birth, and took a wild guess.
“Brendel, where’s Romaine?” Freya looked curiously at the people in front of her.