They say walls have ears. And that was the case for the incident in the Anderla Cathedral.
In just three days, the battle in the Cathedral had spread out amongst the noble circles, and then to the commoners. The battle was between a Sword Grandmaster that had made a name for himself for long in Arreck and a kid with unknown origin, with the Sword Grandmaster losing in the end. There were now tales about the incident, and Brendel had become one of the most promising and popular individuals of this age.
At least in Ampere Seale, his fame was comparable to the other outstanding noble kids of his age. Everyone was trying to figure out his identity, but little did they know that he was blessed by the Archbishop himself. The general consensus was that this kid’s future is promising for sure, and that startled every powerhouse in the Ampere Seale, and even Princess Gryphine assigned someone to seek out his origins after she received reports from her best friend, Magadal.
House Arreck and House Seifer was no exception and headed to Ampere Seale as well, causing the roads to that place to be packed with horses and carriages. Thankfully, the people were used to this sort of chaotic situation. Each time some major situation occured, they would come running in panic. But the people believed that as long as Anderla Cathedral stands, so will the port.
Amidst the chaos, Brendel lived his life as normal. As I expected, as long as the Archbishop doesn’t open his mouth, no one will come looking for me. He had met Baron Dunner through the introduction of Princess Magadal, in which he was very delighted to hear about the painting in Brendel’s possession. However, Romaine, with her skills in marketing, stopped Brendel from immediately pulling out the painting to showcase it, but rather suggested to bring it there again in a few days for confirmation.
Brendel found it hilarious to see the impatient baron talking to the smooth and composed Romaine. But he admitted that his fiance was really a prodigy in trading, being even better than veterans in the field as well.
And he was surprised by that.
I always knew that she had a thing for trading, but her words usually made no sense, and she rarely spoke to strangers, so she should be lacking in experience right? Being good on paper should be different from being practically good, isn’t it? I had originally thought that she would cower in fear when talking to Dunner here.
“How is it, Brendel?” As they walked out of Dunner auction house, Romaine arrogantly lifted her head to ask. Her slender neck and dull brown hair matched the dress Brendel bought for her. It was black, with lines as white as snow. Besides, she wore a necklace with a red gem embedded on it, its color like flames and fresh blood glinted with the pride and confidence she had.
Brendel totally understood where her arrogance came from. She was proud of being the one loved by him, and that smile of hers could make his heart palpitate.
“Yep,” Brendel nodded subconsciously. “It’s unexpected that you performed so well. Even that old man was praising you! He was quite an important figure around here, so that’s impressive!” Brendel was truly shocked. After all, her opponent just now was not simple. He was also a genius in the trade, and was the only person in Ampere Seale to win the noble’s trust with just his abilities alone.
“The old man was just joking,” Romaine lifted her head even further, saying like the fact was bound to happen.
Brendel looked back. It was rare seeing her so humble. Even back in Bucce, she was so prideful that she never showed anyone her stuttering side and wanted to be in control of everything.
“If I have a desire, I will get a weakness,” Romaine spoke in an inscrutable tone, and her next line made even less sense than her previous one, “Aunt said that one day, if someone were to exploit either you or me in a dealing, I will be really troubled.”
The first half of the sentence was already confusing, but the next half made even less sense. Brendel just pinched her face, “Don’t you dare use such a straight face when talking about using your fiance in a deal.”
“Ouch...ouch...You... Please let go!” She said as her cheek was getting red from his pull.
Magadal looked at them with curious eyes. Somehow, she admired that scene, “Your relationship is really good…”
Brendel smiled and let Romaine go. He then lifted his head to gaze at the silvery moon above the skies of Ampere Seale.
Several days later, news about the war in the north spread. The Kirrlutz people had already moved into the Sword Fortress as the threat of the Lion Beastmen became a reality overnight. The term New Holy War quickly replaced Brendel’s fame for besting the Sword Grandmaster. The atmosphere was heavy, and even the Anderla Cathedral was busy for the first time since Wood took the position as the Archbishop.
On the other side, ever since his encounter with Devard, Brendel had smelt a sense of danger. He appointed Sue and Andrea’s servants to investigate. Vampires were a creature that lived in the shadows, and espionage was one of their strong suits. Madara had used them to scout for information from the humans many times, and Brendel was just using a page out of their book.
Soon, Morpheus and Andrea brought back news that confirmed his doubts: Duke Arreck is now residing in a fortress near Ampere Seale, and it was heavily guarded.
Duke Arreck is the sly fox. For him to safeguard his place that well, there must be something going to happen.
Unfortunately, Morpheus and the other vampires could not manage to infiltrate the castle. This news worried Brendel. He wanted so badly warn Princess Gryphine. And unfortunately enough, she is so well protected that he gave up trying to sneak into her garden.
The time to the nobles’ meeting drew closer, and Brendel could not help but worry about Arreck’s plan. And on the other side, Archbishop Wood will update him with the movements with the nobles. Brendel could have done it himself, but it sure saved him a lot of time just by hearing it from the old man. Maybe he’s just doing it to tell me that everything will be fine in the end? I mean, he’s still going on with his normal routine like there’s nothing to worry about.
Upon calming down his mind, Brendel could not help but try to think of a way to solve the problem of infiltrating the meeting. He decided not to rely on the Holy Cathedral, after all, it was unreliable to leave the important stuff to others, and Archbishop Wood might disagree with his plans as well.
And even if he did help Brendel out, Brendel did not want to cause trouble for him.
Seems like the only useful information is the one Sue brought me a week ago.
And of course, it was not something he would trust completely.
Two days before the nobles’ meeting
Near the ocean surface of Ampere Seale, where Shakti Straits split the land into two, the waters hit the dark, black granite cliffs, forming a white streak. According to geography, Ampere Seale was located near the northern end of the Arreck Mountain Range. It was a place where ocean winds gathered, bringing in humidity that led to the bloom of the forest ecosystem there.
Silver Elf Princess Medissa was hiding in the bushes, her silver cloak that clung on her tiny shoulders were drenched with water, and could not stop but cough. She looked past the forest and into the fire lit village in the darkness that surrounds it.
The village was tens of kilometers away from Ampere Seale, and in it was a few farms. Near Ampere Seale, there were many such villages that heavily depended on the port.
“It’s here, Sue.”
She pointed at a location on a map hung on a tree branch and said.
Sue’s eyes were glinting in the flame, but she was expressionless like usual. Her gaze fell in the same direction as the village. I have already asked my servants to check this place out, so there’s definitely no error.
Medissa never doubted her subordinates, and upon hearing that, she said, “But My Lord…”
Then the noise of teeth gritting could be heard from the bushes, “Wait!”