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A team of soldiers wearing long red gowns passed downtown in a hurry, causing loud rattles as the metal trim of their gowns hit against their chestplate. Amandina looked back at the guards as they disappeared in the distance, the orderly sound of their footsteps going away. She felt that the atmosphere in Ampere Seale had become even tenser compared to two days ago.
“I did not expect the princess to bear the Lionheart Sword, but will the nobles in the North give up that easily?” Amandina asked the other person in the carriage. Perfume permeated throughout the air, making her feel uneasy.
“That’s why they will postpone the next meeting by two days,” Brendel closed his eyes slightly and answered.
The subtle changes in the noble meeting led him to abandon his original plan. Duke Arreck has given up allying with the Royal Faction and is standing neutral as Kirrlutz continues to pressure him. Unless the Holy Cathedral of Fire confirms their standing, my plans will be in ruins.
No one was expecting the Holy Cathedral to intervene, but it would make sense if they did. They would not hope to see Aouine fall into civil strife, but, what if the war was already inevitable? In the game’s history, the key moments were the months just before the Lion Beastmen had completed hoarding their food stock. It was not impossible for the powers to shift within this time period, and if the princess was able to show her competence, perhaps the Holy Cathedral of Fire would shift their support towards the South.
But just why is the Holy Cathedral of Fire so interested in the matters of Aouine? Brendel thought. It cannot merely be a coincidence that Archbishop Moros is coming here to replace Wood almost one month earlier than he did in the game. As history was changing surreptitiously, Brendel felt like he could not predict things as he did before. Things were becoming even more complicated than he had thought.
As the atmosphere in Ampere Seale had now become more subtle, Brendel had to suppress his desire to take action, and he chose to observe for a while first. Besides, he had other things to do today.
“Will they be able to prove that the holy sword Princess Gryphine used was not the Lionheart within two days? ” Amandina asked.
“They should not be able to discredit it. Although that sword is slightly different from the previous Lionheart, the Knight of the Lake was the real deal, and Count Yanbao can prove that.” Brendel sighed and decided not to think about it. Archbishop Wood was still within the Holy Cathedral; plus, the person he is meeting with today will explain the entire situation to him.
“Yanbao?” Amandina looked at her lord with curiosity.
“Hehe, I don’t expect you to know something like this. The first ancestor of the Yanbao Family was King Erik’s guard. Before King Erik died, he ordered the Yanbao Family to guard the Holy Swords. It was an important role which has led them to their current standing. As for the Lionheart Sword, its guardian should still be that first-generation guard...” Brendel answered.
“How is that possible!” Amandina opened her eyes wide in shock and exclaimed, “Isn’t he already hundreds of years old?”
“The Knight of the Lake is no human, his existence is the outcome of his consecration with his sword, his sacrifice for it. In a way, he’s more like an Undead.” Brendel tried to recall some information that he had back in his previous world and answered. But those were just merely wild guesses on the forums, and in reality he could not really validate them.
“Then isn’t it terribly strong? The Princess is going to have one more powerful helping hand now.”
How Amandina switched it to politics was so hilarious, that Brendel could hardly hold in his laughter as he replied, “it’s not as scary as you think, even though the Knight of the Lake has the capabilities of an Elemental Awakener, he is still slightly weaker than Veronica from Kirrlutz by not possessing a physical body.” Or, in gaming terms, the level 57 Knight of the Lake was still slightly weaker than the level 59 Veronica who was in the later stages of her Elemental Activation.
With his powerful dragon bloodline, Mephisto, at level 60, is definitely at the peak of Elemental Power Activation. Beyond that, he would be at the ultimate peak of the Elemental Realm - Elemental Control. Unfortunately, there are no such existences in Aouine yet.
From the Gold stage, humans required a long time to get to Elemental Awakening. Then they had to break past the Elemental Barrier to Elemental Activation, also called Elemental Awakening, and finally arrive at Elemental Control. But to the Gold and Silver bloodlines, this task was as simple as eating cake. He continued to sigh.
“I see, the nobles in the North intend to use this time to come up with a legitimate excuse for war,” Amandina responded.
Brendel was satisfied with her quick response and hence nodded his head. In fact, both the North and the South had no intentions for negotiations and were waiting for the response of the Holy Cathedral. Now that the Holy Cathedral had clarified its standpoint, their only option was to fight. However, Princess Gryphine surprised everyone when she took out the Lionheart Sword during the meeting.
Perhaps even now Duke Seifer is so worried that he is losing some hair. Brendel thought.
Princess Gryphine was as clever as she was rumored to be. She took out the sword as a testament, declaring her rights to the throne, not to the nobles, but to the masses who witnessed the scene. Undoubtedly, she had succeeded as the Lionheart had high prestige within the hearts of Aouine’s people. It was really beyond expectation that the princess was able to counterattack even under the suppression of the Holy Cathedral.
As Amandina said, the nobles in the North would not give up so easily. Therefore, Brendel’s main objective for coming here was to inquire more about this. Though, of course, he had other objectives as well.
“Princess Gryphine really is a smart person,” Amandina couldn’t help but praise her.
Soon the carriage stopped. Brendel raised the curtains and peered out at the carriage next to him. Upon careful inspection, he knocked twice on his window. Shortly after, a woman hopped out of the carriage and got onto Brendel’s immediately.
“Mr. Brendel, I…” While holding her skirt to jump into the carriage, Magadal tried to talk to Brendel. The Nun Princess looked really gentle and innocent wearing a long white dress. However, she seemed a little nervous as her chest kept undulating sporadically, and she looked around skittishly before closing Brendel’s carriage door.
However, Brendel interrupted her and shook his head, signaling her to keep quiet.
Magadal looked at him in confusion.
“When will the auction start?” Brendel asked.
“The auction… We would almost be right on time if we head there now.” Through Amandina’s hand signs, Magadal knew that Brendel was trying to stop her from mentioning just what ‘those things’ were in case of eavesdroppers. The Nun Princess quickly caught on and responded quickly, “Mr. Brendel, just set your heart at rest. My friend is a trustworthy person and he will arrange your slot nicely. But unfortunately, there has been a lot of unrest in Ampere Seale recently and there are many who are wanting to auction off their art pieces. Though the manager had originally planned to use your art piece as the highlight of the auction, I don’t think he can do that anymore.”
“It’s okay,” Brendel answered. In fact, it was better this way. The piece he was auctioning was a plundered loot, and it would be better if it went unnoticed.
Magadal took a deep breath and looked up suddenly. She gestured to Brendel anxiously and tried to communicate with sign language. But Brendel panicked a little as he did not understand the gestures.
Boy is this princess really multi-talented. People had said that she was a linguistic genius, and had served the role of a diplomatic ambassador for the Holy Cathedral in many countries. But I never expected her to know sign language as well.
While he was impressed, he felt Amandina clutching his hand tightly. He looked over to see her drawing on her palm with her other hand. It took him a while before he understood that she was translating for him, “Archbishop Wood has been taken under house arrest…”
Brendel looked up, staring at Magadal with surprise. She nodded seriously to confirm the news, and Brendel’s mind began to spin.
Wood and Moros are colleagues from the same organization. There is no known bad blood between them. Though they may have differing visions of the Holy Cathedral, it would still be unreasonable for Moros to come over and place him under house arrest right now, wouldn’t it? I would rather believe her if she said they were in an alliance together...”
Doesn’t this signify a betrayal?
Is this necessary? Or is the Holy Cathedral left with no other option now? But just what would make them this anxious? Brendel tried to figure out the reasons behind all of this and subconsciously grabbed Amandina’s small hands. Amandina did not expect this from Brendel and her face blushed immediately. Anyway, as a calm person, she only shuddered slightly and managed to not let Brendel know.
“Any news about the Holy Cathedral?” The ignorant Brendel wrote this sentence on Amandina’s palm to let her translate into sign language.
He chose to believe in The Nun Princess as she was the best friend of Princess Gryphine. Similarly, The Nun Princess also trusted Brendel, who was her best friend’s knight and because she had heard a lot about him before. In fact, The Nun Princess was being monitored and was banned from meeting Princess Gryphine now. This made her rush to meet Brendel, as she knew that Brendel’s true identity had yet to be revealed to the public.
Though, even now, she was still secretly observing Brendel.
Well, this man is not as barbarous as he was rumored to be. Some people may call him a bandit leader, but he did not leave a bad first impression. In fact, he’s more of a gentleman then that hypocritical Marquis Yoakam. Magadal thought, and nodded her head. Just as she lifted her finger to continue, Brendel stopped her and said, “Let’s continue this conversation when we arrive, alright?”
Thus, the carriage became silent as it quickly passed through Ampere Seale’s bustling city areas.
In fact, Brendel had been to this auction before during his previous life, but he was acting inconspicuously by asking questions as if it was his first time here. While there were no modern tapping devices here, there were still spells which could pick up on sounds through the wind. As the carriage passed the Sanpino Square, they were coming closer to the auction.
Brendel was holding open the curtains and glancing at the scenery outside in a relaxed manner. However, all of a sudden, the driver’s scream and some frantic horse neighs rang out. All at once, the carriage came to an immediate and abrupt halt, almost flinging all of its passengers out onto the sideroad. The ladies in the carriage could not react in time and screamed as well. If it was not for Brendel grabbing them in time, they would have probably kissed the floor. [T/L: meaning hit the ground face first.]
The carriage shook violently. Brendel hugged both of them with his back against one side of the carriage. But their position was really awkward: Brendel was hugging Amandina with one arm while supporting the carriage’s wall using his elbow. Her body was almost embedded in him, and her breasts were pressing tightly against him.
Even though she was a calm person, not too shocked by Brendel’s defensive actions, she could not help but blush at her current circumstances.
On the other hand, Magadal was so stunned and terrified by the sudden crash that she didn’t even realize she was being embraced by Brendel. The princess was completely incapable of self-protection. Her body was so soft and fluffy that Brendel felt as if he was hugging cotton, making him look down at her pale white face. Her eyes were shut tightly, and the pitiful air around her made his heart beat sporadically.
Soon, the carriage stabilized and rolled over to one side.
“Ouch!” Magadal shouted uncomfortably as Brendel fell on top of her. The Nun Princess finally realized the intimate embrace she was in and struggled slightly to make Brendel let go of her. However, Brendel did not release his grip. Although he was not sure about what exactly happened outside, he knew the horses were still frightened. If the horses were to panic and start bolting about like maniacs, while dragging the fallen carriage, his two companions could be in trouble.
Brendel quickly responded by taking out Halran Gaia from his Dimensional Space, slicing upwards in an arc.
A large hole was carved out of one side of the carriage. Taking both Amandina and Magadal, he jumped out. Although the whole collision had happened in the span of just a split moment, it was still a piece of cake for Brendel at the peak of the Gold stage.
The passerby only saw the carriage falling down to one side, followed by a huge crash. And before they could process what was happening, a young man hugging two beauties appeared out of thin air on the streets.
“Wow, this guy is so lucky! Was what everyone thought at that moment.
But Brendel felt otherwise. He was a ball of rage.
While both Amandina and Magadal were still in confusion, he looked around and found that not only were the two horses in a pool of blood, but the driver was also severely injured while groaning in pain besides the carriage.
There were two arrows protruding out of the heads of the horses.
Brendel looked up, staring at a group of calvary men in black armor not far away from him. He was at the end of his patience, and with barely suppressed anger asked, “Are you guys the ones who did this?”