Brendel looked up, and gave a charming smile. Even the harshest Bishop would not even see any problems with that ‘noble’s smile’. It seemed to be the most accurate depiction of how a noble should act.
This was his response to Devard’s fury. He was not scared that Devard or even Arreck would trouble him here. He beat the person formally, and there were at least three witnesses who saw his victory, including Marquis Yoakam. It was already very kind of him to spare the swordsman’s life.
And the people who were here were obviously not fools. The crowd instantly reacted, “It’s him! He’s the one who chopped off Devard’s arm!”
“That young? How can that be?”
“Dear Marsha! I had heard some time ago that Devard is an Elemental Awakener, but this young boy actually defeated him!?”
“That’s impossible, wouldn’t it? He’s barely twenty…”
The people started to discuss, and the winds of rumors seem to spread amongst the masses. Arreck raised his eyebrows, and leaked an air of displeasure. On the other hand, Duke Seifer was smiling mockingly.
Devard was so moody he seemed like a lead plate. He had completely lost all sense of himself just as he saw the person who defeated him. Just because of the defeat, he had become the joke amongst the nobles, and Duke Arreck would definitely hate that.
“That’s right, I even heard that the Archbishop personally blessed him!” Devard bellowed once more as he gripped onto his sword hilt. It was more impactful than the first roar, and the crowd became a silent city once again.
The Archbishop blessed him personally?! Just how much of an achievement is that? The people who were blessed the last time were already dead, but to think that there’s actually one here... Count Cordo thought. The last time the Archbishop broke the rule of the Holy Cathedral, but for what is he doing it this time?
“Blessing… Don’t tell me he’s a Paladin,” someone shouted aloud.
Brendel was slightly stunned. He did not dream that the conversation would lead to this development. There were two requirements to become a Paladin: one is to have heavily contributed to the Holy Cathedral, and the other is to be an Elemental Awakener, or to have the ability of one in the least. But Brendel was a Holy Knight and not a Paladin. Although they were similar in terms of names, they were vastly different ranks.
“That’s right. If he didn’t have the power of a Paladin, how could he defeat Devard?”
“That must be the case.”
That ridiculous assumption seemed to be accepted by the masses, and it just spread like a horse out of reins. Even Dilferi was shocked, and looked at him with awe, “Yo-you-you are the mysterious swordsman who defeated Devard in one move?”
Hold on, one move?
Just where did this preposterous rumor originate from? Brendel witnessed the power of rumors for the first time. The news of him defeating Devard had slowly transformed into one where he managed to pin Devard onto the Cathedral walls in one strike. It was always human nature to exaggerate news, but never did Brendel expect himself to be the main character of the small talks.
He immediately glanced at Dilferi to notify her that his facade might be thrown off. As of now, the people who had their eyes on him were intelligent people. Especially those few clergymen who would definitely be able to see through his disguise easily.
“What now?” Dilferi said with a panicking voice.
“We should just continue with the play. Just say that I’m your family servant,” Brendel whispered.
“My family would definitely not able to nurture such a powerful servant like you,” Dilferi scowled.
Brendel was crying on the inside as he heard her comment. I say my lady, can't you just tell them that I cultivated by myself and won’t you be free? But he remained silent and just smiled. They walked forward, one in front of the other and seemed to attract the attention of many. Behind them was Niya, Lonin and then a disguised Ciel. They were all Gold rankers, and discussion of Yanbao’s power brew up another discussion amongst the masses.
But this time, the discussion was on whether or not it would be good news for such a powerful and mysterious family to join the fray-
“I didn’t expect him to be Yanbao’s men,” Marquis Yoakam was deep in thought as Dilferi and Brendel left his sight. No wonder he was so hard to trace. But he suddenly had another thought.
The Yanbao family may seem like a secret to the other people, but as a member of the Royal family, he had some insights on the matter. Back when Aouine and Kirrluts were in war, King Erik led his men to fight a battle that lasted countless decades. And then the Holy Cathedral of Wind and the Holy Cathedral of Fire came into the picture, turning it into a gargantuan war neither side had ever seen. The outcome was unexpected as well, but it was remembered well by generations to come. Upon an agreement with the two Holy Cathedrals, Yanbao had become a neutral zone for both the Kirrlutz and Aouine people.
And the pact? It was sealed up.
The Yanbao family were not Aouine people and neither were they Kirrlutz people. They were the mediators for the agreement. As to why that’s the case, not even Marquis Yoakam knew. But that did not stop him from guessing. He quickly remembered that Wood was somewhat related to Brendel, and came up with a misconception.
However, he did not think that he was wrong and seriously thought that he had linked all the dots together.
And then, he suddenly thought of another person and smiled. He knocked the railings, and ordered his servant, “Let’s go meet his Count.”
“I clearly remember his subordinates calling him to be their Lord back then. If I’m not wrong, he’s the true successor of the Yanbao family.”
He gave an evil grin and said, “He would definitely not expect to see me here. I just wanna know how he’ll look like when he sees me.”
Although Marquis Yoakam did not have a good reputation inside the noble’s circles, but he did reveal his true self in front of his servants. Just to see Brendel’s look, he dared to confront that powerful and mysterious family, just how motivated is he?”
But Marquis Yoakam would be disappointed. Brendel was not any shocked to see him. It was like the young boy had expected the marquis to come up to him personally. Before the marquis, Brendel stuck out his hand and said, “No discord, there would be no concord, Marquis.”
Thankfully, Marquis Yoakam was not the normal uneducated hooligan. As an heir of the Covardo family, he was armed with knowledge. But that did not stop him from hesitating before laughing, “Count Yanbao, you sure are educated.”
Brendel replied with a stern tone, “No, you made a mistake. This is my lord,” He pointed to Dilferi, who was slightly flushed when Brendel tugged her. She bit her bottom lip, I will have to punish this bastard. But after thinking it through, she sighed. She could not think of anything to shame this almighty Paladin.
No wonder he was not afraid of me exposing him back then. After all, he was part of the Holy Cathedral from the beginning, Dilferi thought.
Marquis Yoakam, on the other hand, did not anticipate the outcome. Brendel could not have agreed to his words anyways, after all, he was not even part of the family in the first place. Not changing his mind, Marquis Yoakam looked at Count Yanbao and smirked, “It’s my honor to meet you, Count Yanbao.” He was speaking as if he was two separate persons.
But Dilferi was thinking about something else and could not even remember what she said. After the marquis left, other nobles began to walk up to them one by one. Of course, they were just here to greet her. But what surprised Brendel was that even Duke Arreck and Seifer came up, Seems like this mysterious family sure is attention-seeking.
These two Dukes were the cream of the crop amongst the nobles. Normally they would not even bother to talk to the Counts. It was clear that they were interested in Brendel. And there was another person who was as well.
“Dear Marsha,” Brendel’s heart was beating so fast that he was nearly out of breath. The princess was once the pillar of support for many players back in the game, and that admiration even surpassed the respect they had for the war goddess. That was because she represented the beginning of the new Aouine. If not for her, the reformation in the Kingdom would not have been done. Although it was history to Brendel, he had engraved the memory to heart.
In the game, Brendel had just seen the Princess in public occasions. He was a player and would always be a bystander. But he did not forget the waves of cheer they had for her. It could be said that everyone in Aouine back then, players and NPC alike, bore the same feelings towards her.
And Brendel was no exception.
Brendel’s goal this time is to meet the princess. But he did not expect an opportunity to arrive so quickly.
“I’m… I’m not ready,” he wiped off the nonexistent sweat on his forehead.
Princess Gryphine was already close to him.
The manor had never felt so silent before, and Freya seemed to find something wrong with the atmosphere. She woke up and shook her head.
“You awake?” Maynild looked back. There was something about her that gave Freya some sort of warmth.
“Ahh…” Freya jerked. “I’m sorry…”
“Don’t worry,” Maynild replied. “Being too worried would lead to tiredness. You’ll soon get used to it.”
“Well, even if you say that…” Freya gave a sad look and raised her eyebrows. With one hand, she tied up her hair into a bun, and then inspected her swords, “I’ll take note, senior.”
Maynild nodded and looked over at the inside of the building.
“What’s going on?” Freya asked.
“It’s that Count from last night.”
“They came?” Freya looked at that direction curiously and widened her eyes.
“Ahh! Bren- Bren- Bren?!” She was mouthing his name and could not believe her eyes. She had countlessly dreamed of the face and even at that moment when she was looking at him, she was thinking that she was still stuck in her dreams.
Maynild found the situation unusual, and slanted her head to ask, “You recognize them?”
“Ahh… No…” Freya was unsure about what to say. That’s too much! Everywhere he goes, he would cause trouble for me… Back in Bucce… or even during Fortress Riedon… and then now! How can I answer Sister Maynild? Should I tell her his real identity? But he does look like the person back in Count Yanbao’s manor back then… Don’t’ tell me!
But before she could come to her answer, Maynild had caught onto something.
“You can recognize those people? They’re not from the Yanbao family?”
“Ah!” Freya looked at Maynild. I didn’t even say anything.
The knight captain ignored her as she got her answer and pressed on her sword. She bent down and notified the others, “There’s some trouble with those people. Protect the princess.”
Ah! Wait! Freya was now in a state of panic.
Why did things come down to this?