TL: Next chapter coming up in 45 minutes.
Chapter 6 – Letter (6)
“But the Wilderness isn’t something easily conquered. No one will acknowledge sending out their men into the unknown, when there are hardly any resources and filled with monstrous beasts and demi-races because of the Mana Corruption.” Andellu said impatiently before he tried again in another approach: “Also, Ser Brendel, do you not have your troubles from the people out for revenge because of the former Lord’s murder? Would you risk all your men to do this?”
“Conquering the Wilderness not as hard as you believe, and profits will always spur people into action,” Brendel said after reflecting for a moment.
[This is the same reason as to why Portugal and Spain ventured out to the sea: For gold and silver. I’m just following what Prince Henry did. The only comparable organization who knows what kind of probable valuables are in the Wilderness, is the Church, and they are unlikely to match what I know.]
“There are examples of great valuables found in the Wilderness, besides the usual gold and silver. These are easy reasons for the citizens of the kingdom to act if someone succeeds in bringing them back. Mortals easily forget themselves when they see a profit, and only a few can see the risk in them. This is especially so when they find their lives improving from the riches, and will never want to go back to the past. You have seen the poverty in this town, haven’t you? You will gain the men you need to quell the monsters, and I get the resources I want.”
“How can you be sure of the profits when these events of getting valuables are clearly rare? Once you failed, the shock from your assumptions would be devastating.”
Brendel was giggling to himself. If Andellu was standing in his shoes to think for him, it would mean that he’s already persuaded.
“Which is why I need you,” Brendel said with a beaming smile: “with your knowledge of the land and my expertise, a thorough plan with a little luck, the chances would be far better. Do you know why the Pioneer Knights in the past failed in getting anything done? That’s because they lack the natives’ and the Lords’ support. Even the entire kingdom did not spare anything for them.”
[There are cases where powerful Lords tried expanding out to the Wilderness, but given the number of political enemies, nobody wants to invest too much into the unknown. Such gambles are usually a single time and never repeated. Since the majority failed in Aouine’s history, people are hardly interested in expanding anymore, other than crazy gamblers.]
Brendel had a far better understanding of the Wilderness, and was confident that his investments would always end up in profit.
Andellu folded his arms and thought for a long time about the events leading up to Graudin’s removal, and he finally nodded: “Very well, Lord Brendel, you have convinced me. If you’re capable of expanding into the Wilderness, what do you want us to do after that?”
“I don’t need you to do anything. Rather, you should think about how you can protect what you have earned. You will understand what I mean. I believe you have not truly seen the nobles’ greed in this world yet.”
“I see. I must say that you’re the best speaker I have seen yet.” Andellu nodded.
“There is one final thing before you go,” Brendel said as he lifted two letters from the table.
“What else do you require?.” Andellu said and took a deep breath. In truth, he was a little agitated when he heard the possibility of the conversion of the Dark Forest. If Brendel were able to accomplish that, then he would possibly be able to do the same for the Wilderness, which was even more impressive.
King Erik the Kind was known for the greatest expansion of the Wilderness after the Era of Chaos, creating the Kingdom Aouine, and this youth somehow appeared like he was going to be as famous as he was.
“Help me deliver these two letters to Port Gris to the east of the forest. I have some subordinates there. In particular, send them to the Red Bronze Dragon, Leto. His name is ridiculous enough, so I don’t think you will get it wrong.” Brendel said.
Andellu received and looked at the letters. Striking words were written on one of the parchment’s back: ‘To The Red Bronze Dragon, Leto’. The other letter was void of the addressee’s name.
“Is there anything else?”
“No, that’s it. The only thing left is to leave it to time and prove things. I have other things to be concerned with, so I won’t send you out. I wish you luck in your endeavors.”
Andellu nodded: “Then I’ll take my leave.”
The three Druids bowed deeply and left the room.
Falaern merely sent them off with their eyes and only spoke when they were gone: “My lord, you passed both letters to them?”
Even though she knew Brendel’s actions were beyond reproach, she was still worried because the three men were strangers. Not only did he entrust Sifrid to them, he even gave them the letters that could decide their lives.
Brendel was unable to explain that he had actually met Andellu in the game as an NPC over ten years later from the current time period. He had raised the reputation with the Waning Grove to participate in Valhalla’s quests. Graudin had been slain as well, and it could be said that Aouine was at its peak after recovering from the civil wars.
“Well, Leto has kept in contact with Freya, so having him deliver the other letter to princess Gryphine would be convenient enough.” He chuckled.
Falaern glared at him: “You know I’m not referring to that…… My lord.”
“I know what you mean, but you have to admit I understand the Druids better than you. Trust in my judgment. Everything they said is the truth. Their respect for the Goddess Nia is much more than you can imagine, and that prophecy is real. I’m certain that Andellu perceives this letter as a test,” Brendel thought a moment and explained further: “If you don’t look at things from their perspective, it’s very hard to understand how much importance they put on this matter.”
“Look, that itself is just a single plan of mine, I have other moves.” Brendel gave up convincing her and lied.
“You do?” Falaern looked at him with suspicion. There were no signs of any other plans. Having Amandina write the letters and then dismissing her without having anything else done, made it impossible to believe he had more plans. She had started to understand what the youth much better after a long time with him.
“Of course,” Brendel peeked at her unimpressed face. He suddenly had a flash of inspiration: “So has the goods been accounted for?”
There was a moment in Falaern’s eyes that showed she looked down at him for changing the topic. But she reached for a book in her bag and said flatly: “We checked the warehouses. There are fifty thousand bushels worth of grains, and we can support the entire city for approximately three to four months. The other goods like raw metal, lumber, stone, and others are much less than what’s recorded on paper, and there’s no way to track down where they went to.”
[Embezzlement is a common thing amongst the nobles. With Graudin’s greed, I should be thankful that he hasn’t turned Firburh into another Dark Forest. The Druids should be glad that he doesn’t know they existed.]
“We need to find a solution to the shortage to stone and lumber. The city isn’t in a safe state, and the damage caused yesterday needs to be fixed and repaired.” He was rubbing his forehead so hard he was causing the skin to go red.
[The game used 2 units of stone and lumber to repair a wall— Then how do you convert that into reality? Amandina probably knows nothing about repairing a wall—]
“Is there anyone amongst the prisoners who know about the city’s conditions or related to maintaining the city?” He said.
“Most of them are mercenaries hired by Graudin. A few of the commanders refused to answer our questions and would rather pay ransom for their freedom.” She replied.
“Fine, we have enough resources to repair the southern gate at the very least, yes?”
Falaern eyed him for a few seconds. He had shown off by cleaving the gate into two, but he was literally shooting himself in the foot. She grumbled internally while she said flatly: “My lord, the short answer is, an unequivocal no.”