The Amber Sword - v3c298p1




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Slightly different from his prediction, just one hour after reading the secret letter, Gryphine received the same letter on her desk.

The scenery of Ampere Seale before the storm was outside the window. The storm was gloomy and the haze that covered the entire port made it appear as if the entire morning was skipped. Although it was noon, it seemed like it was approaching dusk.

Lightning streaked through the clouds occasionally, thunder roared. Pale-white lightning projected through the glass panes, making livid and scary shadows on the carpet. 

“What’s the situation outside?” Princess Gryphine asked.

The knight that was kneeling on the ground replied, “Your Royal Highness, we have been surrounded. Making it out of here is not likely but if Your Royal Highness decides to leave, I and my fellow knights will definitely make a way out with our blood and sweat.” The knight was soaking wet, and the water that flowed down from his red cape soaked the valuable and expensive carpet. But no one could blame him for it.

“There’s no need for that. Go and change into something dry, my knight.”The half-elf princess replied and nodded her head.

The knight gave a grateful response, stood up and then left. 

“What’s going on with the Staff of Earth?” She raised her head and cast her eyes on others. “Has anyone seen its appearance in the Kingdom?” She asked.

“Regarding this…….” Oberwei replied, his face was uneasy and peculiar. “Some of our men had seen it before.”

“Our people?” Gryphine was a little displeased. “Why didn’t I know about this?” She asked.

“I just only got the news too, Your Royal Highness.” Oberwei hastily explained, “It’s Rowes.”

“Rowes? Count Audine’s son? House Delaine’s youngest successor?” The princess asked and pondered on this for a moment. She then remembered this person and added, “Isn’t this the party that my father sent to the south to search for the whereabouts of the Lionheart Sword……” She suddenly became silent. In just half a year the Kingdom changed and the Lionheart Sword was now in her hands. It seemed that the Aouine Kingdom had changed drastically in just a blink of an eye.

“What the hell is going on?” She asked.

“Why don’t we allow Audine himself to explain it to us? He is just outside. Outsiders will inevitably change the story and have deviations.” Oberwei suggested.

Gryphine nodded.

Only after a short moment, the pale Audine entered everyone’s sights. Previously, he almost lost his life in the battle of the Loop of Winds. Archdruid Andrew who passed by saved his life. Although his injuries are almost fully recovered, a scar remained, and he looked even more tired after traveling for some time.

But even so, he bowed to give his respect to Gryphine.

“Count Audine, are your injuries severe? Do you need to take a rest first?” The half-elf princess couldn’t help but frown at the sight of him. Although she had already heard about the accident that happened in the Loop of Winds, she did not expect it to be so severe.

“It’s just a minor injury, there’s no need to rest. Besides, Your Royal Highness’ case is more important now.” Audine replied. Before the Royal Faction split up, he was more supportive of Prince Luke’s campaign, but in recent months, his motives seemed to have swayed.

Each time he thought of the young man in the Loop of Winds, he was reminded of the choice he made at that time. So after he learned that the Lionheart Sword was in the hands of the princess, he came here without hesitation. 

“So, please tell us about the situation then.” The princess answered.

Audine nodded and began to describe the details of the battle. He was not a good storyteller, but he was organized, logical and concise. He shortened the months-long adventure of the Loop of Winds within ten minutes. Even so, he explained the details clearly.
 
When he finished speaking, the whole room was in silence. Oberwei knew about this for a long time. Princess Gryphine took a soft breath, and asked, “You mean, Halran Gaia is with that man? He is lord of Trentheim? His name is Brendel, right?”


“Yes.” Audine nodded but was surprised that Her Royal Highness knew the young man.

“Is it possible for him to return the sword to the Lion Beastmen?” Fleetwood suddenly asked, breaking the silence.

Everyone shook their heads instinctively. Although Grandmaster Fleetwood was a first-class court wizard of Aouine, he still lacked political understanding. Even though the Holy Cathedral of Earth had their eyes on the Staff of Earth, it was not big enough of a reason for them to ignite a war. The war will inevitably occur and continue.

And when that happens, there would be no turning back.

Audine looked at the chief wizard with a disdainful look. He was from a different faction and everyone else except Princess Gryphine had a prejudice against him for being a coward. Forming diplomatic relations with the enemy before the war was even forcefully imposed on the country was a totally absurd idea to Audine. 

“Even if the Holy Cathedral of Earth agrees, the Lion Beastmen will not agree. Setting out the army isn’t a trivial matter, teacher.”  Her Royal Highness shook her head, and said, “Now that things have already happened, it is better to consider what we should do next.”


“Any ideas?” Her eyes swept across everyone in the room.

“We should mobilize our army, while declaring our stand. Duke Viero had always been neutral, but he’s the long time nemesis of Count Radner, so he should be able to give us passage through the Arreck region where the Holy Cathedral doesn’t have much authority there.” Makarov replied.

“Who dares to board a sinking ship?” Someone asked.

“No, there will be space for strategic maneuvers if we still have three leaders with us. The Lion Beastmen have already advanced to the north to ambush them from behind. I believe the Holy Cathedral will not ignore this matter.” Makarov clarified.

Everyone in the room was silent. Princess Gryphine took a deep stare at this sly fox. Although this plan looked like it was very unrealistic and totally unfeasible, with some consideration, this plan might have a chance to succeed.

Makarov might be able to bust this deceptive plan with just a glance of his eye. If Brendel’s army were to work together with Duke Viero and take down Count Radner, and then come to an agreement together, the three leaders in the south would be on the princess’s side.

Accompanied by the unknown stands of Duke Karsuk and Duke Grinoires, the Royal Faction had already divided the Kingdom into North and South. Siding with the north may seem like the better decision to make now that Duke Arreck was not siding the south, once Brendel’s men and Duke Viero’s men joined forces, the Holy Cathedral would definitely not touch the Royal Faction.

Even in the end, the Holy Cathedral would need to discuss peace talks with the Royal Faction. But in that case, the Kingdom of Aouine would only be divided.

This was a wise choice but Count Audine frowned. Everyone present there was wise, no one could fool anyone. Oberwei and several others held their sword hilts and stared at Makarov. He really had the guts to suggest such a plan, what is wrong with him?

Is he declaring his stand?

This is probably the attitude of Duke Anthony. Once the Kingdom was divided, Duke Arreck who was stuck in the middle would have a difficult life. Everyone knew that Duke Anthony and Arreck had a feud against each other.

 The princess shook her head gently and said, “I will decline this proposal. The Royal Faction can fail but the Kingdom cannot be divided.”

Everyone’s face changed. Only Oberwei frowned slightly. Audine lifted his head and observed this beautiful princess closely as if he had noticed some potential power in her for the first time.

“Your Royal Highness,” Makarov reminded, he could not help himself.

“After we die, there will still be people who will remember the shining flag of our king, King Erik. But if the Kingdom of Aouine splits, we will have zero chance of unification.” She sat there and replied lightly. The silver eyes of the half-elf princess seemed like it could see through the hazy future. 

This was the problem with being a small nation, it would always be in the hands of other, bigger powers, in which was the Kirrlutz here. This Kingdom had always been maintained by inner unity. However, once the unity breaks, the Kirrlutz might not give Aouine another chance. 

Everyone knew this fact, but pretended not to.

“Let’s discuss the current situation now.” Oberwei interrupted.

“No need for that.” Gryphine suddenly understood something, then she sighed. “I would like to have some personal time alone, please leave me and don’t forget to take care of tomorrow’s noble meeting and the upcoming events.” She said.

The room went quiet.

Everyone glanced at each other, then nodded before leaving. The last person to go out was Audine. He took a good look at the princess, bowed, then closed the door while he exited.

Footsteps slowly faded away - 

The half-elf princess waited until it was completely quiet before she stood up. Like her Elven ancestors, she was not tall and looked a little fragile. She walked to the back of the chair and pushed it right next to the windows.

She took some deep breaths then she sat down against the window and stared at the stormy Ampere Seale.

The lines between heaven and earth were obscured, it looked like in the next moment, darkness would swallow the whole harbor. 

A long time had passed.

The door behind her opened, and a voice said, “Your Royal Highness, Sir Makarov and others have gone to see the prince. Only Master Oberwei and Count Audine left.”

Gryphine bit her lips, her face was pale. They were desperate and had taken the risk, but was she willing to stop them herself and let Haruz and herself die cold-bloodedly?Besides, what ability did I have to stop them?

She had already expected this to happen, for the nobles in the Royal Faction were independent. As for whether their intentions were the same as previously stated, no one knew.

She looked up and her face became pale with the reflections of lightning. King Erik, will the Kingdom of Aouine end here? She stared at the endless darkness of the east, and she knew that there was a growing empire there.

Aouine will eventually be consumed by this nation.

The door was quietly closed again.

But Princess Gryphine paid no attention to it, she continued to stare at the scenery outside the window as if she wanted to take them all into view. No matter how dark it was, it was still Aouine’s territory, at least for now.

Her face was pale, without joy nor sorrow, just like an expressionless puppet.

“It would be better for your body if you cry now,” a gentle voice said.

Gryphine was shocked and she responded to this very quickly, immediately pulling a silver short sword from under her skirt using her backhand. “Clang-” a sharp noise sounded when the short sword clashed with a long dark sword.

Her Royal Highness took a step back, and she finally got a clear view of the young man wrapped in a wet cloak in front of her. 

At the same time, Brendel also took a sigh of relief, How could she be so fast? I almost lost to her!

If only the difference in Strength between both of them was not so huge.

But Brendel did not expect that, not only did she not sheath her blade, she even dashed at him! Ah! He felt like he just awoke from a dream as he realized that she wanted him dead

She wants me dead?! Is she out of her mind? Brendel’s heart sank, even his movements were slowed down for a moment.