Bern had been working in the Hoarfrost Manor for sixteen years now, and he knows that with his position as a hired guard in this place, the nobles that lived here would not trust him that much. So, he lived his life honestly and he was satisfied with the horse stables.
He did not have any major goals and just wanted to sustain himself. And that was not too much to ask for in Ampere Seale. He could rest whenever he liked and would occasionally sip from two cups of whiskey from the mist shrouded farms down the Arreck mountains. Besides, there were professionals who would look after the horses, and there was nothing much for him to do anyways.
Bern’s job was to look after the horse stables and just the stables. Not the horses. After all, it was still the property of a big merchant here.
While drinking today, he heard the approach of the Count’s knights walking in from the backyard. He quickly wiped whiskey wine off his lips, attempting to remove any trace of his drinking. While Ampere Seale may have been a place where good money could be found, there were not too many jobs such as this. So obviously, he would bend down to the knights and be courteous towards them.
However, the knights just ignored him, walking past towards the horses. He silently scolded, These bastards… @#%#^^%$^$
It was then that he heard one of the knights snort in displeasure. He was startled. With his tens of years of experience here, he had developed some kind of awareness and quickly realized that something was off. But before he could react, he could feel the icy metallic feeling of a blade on his neck.
“Wha?” Bern was so shocked his heart stopped momentarily. Is this the end of me?
Body riddled with sweat, he turned around slowly. But the face he saw was not something that a stern knight would possess. If there’s a princess in this world, she would most likely fit this description, he thought.
But Brendel quickly stepped in and stopped Andrea’s foolish act on this honest man. Isn’t she pretty lame? Despite knowing that the guards here are weak beyond comparison, what’s the point in scaring them?
Andrea just looked at Brendel, and then lifted a finger at the human. Bern’s eyes began to blur.
Most of the mages amongst the vampires were masters at mind controlling. And Andrea was one of them. She specialized in curses, but that did not mean that she was bad in mind control. At the least, she could easily control the mind of a Bronze ranker.
But Brendel was displeased. If it was something that could easily be resolved with just a spell, why would she want to play with her prey? He had originally thought that Andrea was, unlike the other vampires, someone who was calm and logical, but never did he expect to see her being just as lame as the others. Surprisingly, it was Morpheus who was the exception. Besides his odd sexual preferences, there was nothing wrong with him. In fact, he was really innocent and cute.
However, he was a cute guy.[T/L: Ship. Ship. Ship. #BrendelxMorpheus.]
The young lord just sighed, “Let him go knock on the front door of the building and say, ‘Andeco said that there were some problems with the Beinold war horse and he orders you all to come have a look.’” Andeco was the name of one of the patrol guards that he just beat up, now resting outside in the forest.
Brendel turned. There was indeed a priceless Beinold war horse right there. Freaking tycoon. He swore as he apathetically ordered Andrea.
Beinold horses were bred near the borders of Kirrlutz and Gretius. A pure breed of Beinold horse was already worth tens of thousands of Taels in the City-States just next to the Gretius kingdom. Not to mention Ampere Seale that was much further away. But, noble’s liked the dignity of horses, and it was not surprising to see many expensive horses in stables.
Andrea coughed slightly, and with some arrogance, she bent down as she asked Bern, “Did you hear that?”
Bern was still under her control and did not have any means of repelling that order. So, he just nodded.
Looking at that scene, Brendel asked curiously, “Will he not get exposed looking that silly?” The mind controlling skills back in the game were actually Dark Witchcraft here, and to Brendel who was just introduced to Dark Witchcraft, everything was like a new topic to him despite all his experiences.
“Hmph! He just looks that way to you. But to the others, he would definitely look natural,” Andrea put out a ‘you’re-a-country-bumpkin’ look.
Brendel had always been mystified with the unknown things he sees in this world. It was something he felt even back when it was a game. That was why he did not care about Andrea’s condescending look over him and just asked, “Then wouldn’t it be too scary if the people are indistinguishable?”
“It’s not that easy. This sort of trick can be easily exposed even to the most basic of Wizards. But, they would have to cast a spell to do so, while the higher leveled Wizards would only need to take a look. Plus the victim’s close friends may be able to detect them acting unnaturally,” Andrea replied extensively. “But this is just a trick, a tiny branch of Dark Witchcraft. It is incomparable to the really advanced stuff…”
“Because it’s too weak. Experts Silver ranked and above could use their Willpower to negate its effects, and mind control would practically be useless in front of those people.”
Glancing up, Brendel realized that the guard had already headed for the main building. He was not that far off from the stables yet, just about a hundred steps. Anyone Gold rank or above could easily perceive the changes in any movement at such a distance: even the knocking sounds the guard made on the door, which should be the kitchen door at the back of the building.
Bern knocked thrice before the door finally creaked open. From within, a pair of impatient eyes looked at him, “What do you want?”
Bern knew this knight personally. He was one of the servants of Count Yanbao. But, that was as far as their relationship went. Bern immediately bowed down and replied, “Andeco said that the Lord’s Beinold horse was having some problems and is requesting for someone to come and check it out.”
In any case, Bern did a magnificent job of imitating Brendel. Every motion and even his tone replicated what Brendel showed him just now. But Brendel, who was listening, almost spit out his saliva. He looked beside himself and saw Andrea have the same reaction.
“That idiot!” Andrea gritted her teeth as she spoke. Her pale white skin began to redden in embarrassment.
She folded her arms and spoke a weird word, “Foolish!”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing. It just sounds foolish for anyone to believe that lie.” She snorted again. “That’s the Dark Witchcraft you mentioned, but that’s the extent of its capabilities. I was just doing my best.”
Brendel looked to his side and noticed that his subordinates had already armed themselves.
Everyone was nervous, but the knight just became startled before yelling, “What?! What is that retard Andeco doing? Don’t tell me that he killed the horse and is too scared to come himself?”
Apparently, he did not notice anything wrong with Bern.
Everyone in the manor knew that the Beinold horse was Count Yanbao’s favorite. And, that knight could not help but feel a little worried. He opened the door and stared at Bern ferociously, “Don’t tell anyone else for now and wait for my return.”
Bern nodded honestly.
The knight did not even bring his weapons with him when he went to the stables, not that it would have changed the outcome much. Just as he stepped inside, a cold icy hand choked his throat.
“What’s up?!” he spoke in a terrified manner. He was about to continue when Brendel punched him once to shut him up.
“Who’re you guys?” the knight seemed to have understood his position then and spoke quietly, “Andeco? Do you guys know who you’ve just wronged?”
“No trash talk.” Brendel did not have the time to waste with him and notified Morpheus to restrain him. Then he said menacingly, “You have two choices. One is to lead us into the main building. And I believe I don’t have to tell you about the other option…”
He knew what Brendel was talking about and his face changed from white, to red, and then back to white again. But he just smiled and said, “I can’t lead you all in just like that. I will need an excuse; otherwise, I would be sending myself to death. If I’m going to die anyway, why not just swiftly kill me off?”
“Seems like your brain is still active,” Brendel applauded. “The reason is simple. Did I not just tell you?”
“Just now?” the knight blinked and tried to remember what Bern told him a while ago.
His face changed again and he nodded, “Okay. But can you promise not to kill me?”
Brendel swore to Marsha that he would not. Plus he never had the intention to do so anyways. The best way was to immediately capture the Count. If blood was spilled, things would have gotten real ugly.
Even the Holy Cathedral restricts the act of attacking nobles. And while his actions so far were along the lines of violation, they weren’t quite there yet either.
And, because of this, he only told the objective of tonight’s mission to his summons and closest friends. Even the White Lion Squad leader did not know about it. He was unsure if they would be executed for such an act, but these people had already experienced instances such as these and were therefore used to it.
The knight was relieved after seeing Brendel swear. In this world, swearing to Marsha was a really sacred act, and no one would be able to break that promise. After all, in this world, Marsha would not permit anyone to lie on her own name.
It was then that the knight decided to guide Brendel and co. Brendel was not scared that he would pull some pranks on him, as Andrea had been using Dark Witchcraft to see if he was lying. Morpheus was also on his side, pointing a dagger at his back. And from the looks of it, he would actually do his job as he was told.
It was too easy for a Gold ranker to monitor the abilities of a Silver ranker.
He then led them to the back of the kitchen where the deliveries would normally be sent. Brendel and his party were disguised as Count Yanbao’s men, and the others there thought they were here for an inspection and therefore did not cause any suspicion. They then passed through a long corridor before he knocked on a door, “Lord Lonin.”
Along the way, Brendel had asked many things about the details of the manor, which included the fact that the person inside the room was recognized as a Gold ranked captain..
“What is it?” A scruffy middle aged voice came from behind the door.
Brendel held his breath and hinted to the knight to answer. The knight hesitated before hurriedly saying, “It’s like this, Lord Lonin. Andeco seems to have found something wrong with Count Yanbao’s horse…”
“Horse? Which one?”
“It’s Fox Flame.”
Fox Flame was the name of the Beinold horse, and the voice from the room resounded once more.
The man behind the door seemed to understand the value of the horse and asked impatiently, “What are you guys doing? Don’t you guys know that it’s the favorite horse of Count Yanbao?”