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As the final items were auctioned off, the auction drew its conclusion. During that time, Brendel had bought three hundred thousand Taels worth of adamantite, one of the materials needed to forge the Full Metal Armor. With Abram’s relics and the money he had inherited from Amman, soon he would be able to get his hands on that new armor. Magadal had also bought a brooch from the Wind Elves as a gift to Amandina.
The last item of the auction was a round shield that had been passed down since Kirrlutz’s Kanov Dynasty, however both Brendel and Amandina were no longer paying any attention. The only thing that occupied their mind was the shaky state of Ampere Seale’s politics. Both of them hurriedly left the room once the auction was concluded.
Magadal was planning to return to the Holy Cathedral to avoid raising any more suspicion. She wanted to research further on the Holy Cathedral of Fire’s true motives, as well as whether Archbishop Moros had made any under-the-table deals with the nobles.
As for Brendel, he was rather satisfied with how things had gone. Even though there wasn’t much news, at least he had gained a reliable ally in the Holy Cathedral and understood Kirrlutz’s intentions. Brendel had a lot of confidence in Princess Magadal’s character, after all kindness was her strongest suit. In his original timeline, she was known for her kindness, and brought about the saying ‘beauty in the heart transcends appearance’. Not that it suggested she was ugly in any way, her beauty was only slightly below Princess Gryphine’s, earning her the title of ‘Humanity’s Queen Aines’. [T/L: Queen Aines was an Elf Queen known for her beauty back during the Holy War.]
Brendel had Amandina deal with the transactions while he immediately left the auction house. He entered a carriage and ordered: “74, Scorpion Street”. The carriage took off in a blur, twisting and turning in the maze-like Ampere Seale, until it stopped in front of one of the buildings of the suburban district. All of the houses in this area had been bought by Sue. He walked towards a house looking over the bay area of Ampere Seale. The doors immediately opened for him once he arrived.
A peculiar feminine face appeared from behind the doors. Gills were growing in the underside of her face, and her skin was the color of green jade. Her yellow eyes were wide with alarm, staring at Brendel with a cautious look. “Hello, Nendez,” Brendel greeted the naga with a smile. Nendez nodded her head, retreating from the door to let Brendel enter.
“Master.” Two other nagas walked out, one of them being Sani, who was sent here to act as an envoy to the lord of Trentheim after being injured in battle a few days ago.. Brendel had become the nagas’ most precious ‘friend’ after he used Health Potion No. 1 to cure their queen, but the true reason the nagas valued Brendel as their ally was because the queen had her sights on Brendel’s potential. Anyone who possessed a Health Potion No. 1 was definitely someone whose future was bound to be bright.
Before anyone else could speak another word, Sue exclaimed: “Master, there has been a problem!” While wearing a worried expression.
Oh? What could have happened in the few hours that I’ve been gone? Did the nobles decide to put Princess Gryphine under house arrest? “What happened? Did something happen to the princess?” Brendel furrowed his eyebrows.
Sue shook her head, and handed over a letter. Brendel scanned through the contents of the letter, and his expression immediately changed.. He had previously asked Sue to gather information from the north so that he could ascertain the Holy Cathedral of Fire’s intentions, and the letter he was holding was the result of his request. The Lion Beastmen had already launched an attack at the borders three days ago, and the Holy Cathedral of Earth had already begun mobilizing for war half a month ago. The Holy Cathedral of Earth had begun preparing for war three months earlier than they previously did, and the reason for that was that they wanted Aouine to return their lost Divine Artifact --- Halran Gaia.
Brendel was speechless. He had been racking his brain, trying to figure out why the Holy Cathedral of Earth suddenly changed their mind, but he did not expect that this was the reason. They were willing to start a war just to reclaim their Divine Artifact. In the end, Brendel was the reason for this war.
“How did you get this news?”
“A contact of mine in the north sent it over here through the nagas. Now that Ampere Seale has closed off the roads out of the city, news hasn’t been easy to come by.” Sue replied.
He must be the one who brought it over. Brendel thought while looking at Sani.
“Is your contact reliable?”
“Nope. He’s only paid to work, but it should be okay to trust his info.”
Brendel nodded. Everyone in the north must know already that the Lion Beastmen had advanced their plans for war. Only Ampere Seale, who had already sealed their gates, did not receive the news.
The situation was dire. The war between the Holy Cathedrals of Fire and Earth would not affect Aouine much, but the effects on Kirrlutz would be devastating: it would be comparable to the impact of the War of the Black Roses on Aouine. This was a war of religion, and the Holy Cathedral of Fire was bound to use their full strength, which was why they needed the political situation of Aouine to be stable.
In order to make that happen, they had chosen to employ more forceful methods.
To the nobles in the north, this was good news, but for the princess it spelled nothing but trouble. “Master, what should we do now?” Sue did not know the contents of the letter, but she knew that it wasn’t good news. She suspected that it had something to do with the rumors she had heard of the Holy Cathedral.
“By now, the princess must already be locked up in the palace. The Holy Cathedral of Fire definitely will not let her leave Ampere Seale. They will force Arreck to take a stand, which will put the Royal Faction in a precarious position.” Brendel muttered to himself. The Royal Faction must have already received the news by now. They might not have the help of nagas, but I’m sure that they have their own methods. If Arreck decides to support the nobles now, then the princess will be in grave danger. She might not even be able to leave unscathed…
Brendel looked up and asked, “Where’s Romaine?”
“Miss Romaine went to the market district. She said that we had no connections with the merchants in Ampere Seale, so she wanted to build some connections. This country is on the brink of war, the economic situation will also be affected, so she is worried that it might affect our trading too.”
“She went alone?” Brendel asked, worried that the merchants might not be as lawful as they seemed.
“Scarlet went with her too.”
Brendel nodded his head, relieved. Scarlet’s ability was almost that of a peak Gold Rank’s, so he did not feel the need to worry about Romaine anymore. “When they come back, tell them that no one is allowed to set foot outside anymore. Also, tell everyone to gather in this building.”
Sue nodded, but she could not hide the worry in her eyes. Is the situation really that bad? She only knew part of Brendel’s plan, which was to gather as much support as he could. The conference did not go as he wanted it to, so the only way was to use his strength to talk. However, it was clear to see that Trentheim’s strength was but a tiny nuisance in the eyes of the superpowers.
“Do you have a question, Sue?”
“No.” Sue shook her head, tossing away her feelings of unhappiness.
Brendel felt a sudden stab of guilt. He felt that it was selfish of him to drag all of his companions into this war. Sue was just the daughter of an inn owner, Romaine had a dream of becoming a successful merchant, Freya was trying to help the citizens of Bucce, Scarlet wanted to be accepted by everyone, even the Red Bronze Dragon mercenaries, the young people of Trentheim, the Royal Faction and Princess Gryphine, their fates were never meant to intertwine. The only reason that it had become so was because of his own desire.
Why did they need to worry about who succeeded the throne? Why did they have to risk their lives just to change the fate of one person? In Brendel’s eyes, every life was worth the same, even the princess’s life was not any more valuable than a beggar’s.
Brendel did not care about making Gryphine the ruler of Aouine, the only thing he cared about were the memories he had made with her and his comrades in his past life. But to them, these memories did not exist at all.
He knew that he was being selfish, but he felt that he had to do something to change the princess’s future.
“Sue, do you trust me?” Brendel asked out of nowhere.
She looked at him curiously without giving an answer.
“We may not succeed in what we’re doing, but I can assure you that it’s the right thing to do. The nobles cannot save Aouine, and it will cause the innocent commoners to suffer..” Brendel suddenly thought of the second Black Rose War in the other timeline. The Kingdom was burning in warring flames, and no peaceful method could have saved it.
If he chose not to act, then history would definitely repeat itself.
Sue closed her eyes and replied, “I do not understand, but Miss Freya has chosen to believe in you, my lord. Hiding away from our problems would not solve it, is that what you meant, my lord?” She let out a small laugh. “Honestly, I’m fine with the way things are now. My father’s opinions are my opinions, and he chose to believe in you. Master, he believes in you just because you have never failed before.”
“You’re saying that everything would end if we fail, and we can only strive for success, correct?” she continued. If that’s the case, even if we can’t succeed, we have to fail pridefully.
He nodded with ease.
He turned to the naga envoy. “Sani, proceed with the plan to attack the harbor. I will provide you with the details of the locations and defenses of the Merchant’s Guild and the Navy’s warehouses. Everything within those buildings is free for the nagas to take, but if it’s possible, try not to kill any innocent people.”
“We’re not like those Evil Cultists, okay?” Sani huffed. “Once we know their defensive positions, we will try our best to steer clear of the innocents, but can you get the plans to us? The plans are protected by the Holy Cathedral of Fire, so it won’t be easy.”
Brendel smiled mysteriously. He had no way to get it, but he did not need to. He had planned for it. “You can relax. There won’t be too many guards on duty that day. I will draw out the plans for you later.” Other than the navy troops, there were also the monks from the Holy Cathedral to worry about, but Brendel was confident that he could draw them away.
Furthermore, the season of storms was upon Ampere Seale, no one would expect an attack from the sea.
“Oh, I’d also like you to summon the Demon Whale once more..” Brendel wanted to borrow the Demon Whale’s abilities to make an escape. There were still a few battleships docked at the harbor, and the Demon Whale had the ability to calm the storm. After all, he would need to pass through the treacherous straits when escaping by sea, and he had no intention of becoming fish fodder after pulling off the escape from Ampere Seale.
Sani hesitated for a moment, but he still agreed in the end. Brendel had done the nagas a huge favor, it was only expected that they repaid the favor. Furthermore, the nagas had suffered huge casualties in the West Ocean Battle, and Brendel’s plan to attack the navy and raid the warehouses would allow them to replenish their resources. Ampere Seale was the largest harbor in the south, if they succeeded in raiding the navy’s supplies, then the nagas would be able to compensate for their past loss.
Brendel was overjoyed when Sani agreed with his request. “Thank you!” It was merely a coincidence that he met the nagas back then, who would have thought that they would become the key to his plans in Ampere Seale?
“We are just returning the favor.” Sani was as dense as ever, easily writing off Brendel’s debt. If his queen, Winter Dew heard of this, she would surely send Sani to the ocean abyss to reflect on his actions.
Now, Brendel was going to meet the half-elf once more.