Navigating through the tunnel full of staggering piles of dry grain and food. It did not take long for Jill to find the secret ‘treasure’ that was buried by the three mysterious people. There was a huge sack lying quietly on the ground in the narrow tunnel.
Jill and Bu were visibly excited, “Jill, shall we open it?” Bu hastily asked.
“Of course!” Jill replied.
The two of them untied the rope, but the first thing that came into their view was not a dazzling pile of gold, but a young girl with a pale-white face and closed eyes. Both of them screamed at the same time, backing up from it as if they had seen a ghost.
“Aaaaah!! Jill, this is not a treasure!!”
“Of course I know that! Oh my, this must be a murder victim! Dear Marsha, this happened right under her eyes! The skies can be my witness, I have done nothing at all!” Jill exclaimed.
“Bu, please give me a hand here, I got scared till my legs became numb.”
“Jill, it’s the same for me. It’s not just my legs, but I can feel my back numbing too.” Bu said with a face of distraught, it was the first time he saw a dead body.
“Seriously Bu? How can your back become numb?” Jill was slightly annoyed.
“It’s true Jill. It got so numb that the wall behind me feels soft.” Bu clarified.
“Nonsense, how can the wall become soft?” Jill was even more annoyed at Bu.
“It’s true! I already told you that it is just an illusion!” Bu angrily replied seeing that his own companion did not trust in him.
Just before he managed to finish speaking, he heard a warm and soft voice behind him saying, “I don’t think that is an illusion, you’re just leaning on my leg.”
“Ahh!” Bu was shocked and screamed loudly. He turned back and saw a man in black noble clothing, armed with a long sword. He seemed like he was a caring young man.
“Ahhhhhhhhh!!” Bu and Jill jumped up at the same time, meeting a noble in such a haunted place was like mice encountering a cat, they were both utterly shocked. “Ahh! This..this is none of our business, we were just…...unlucky to discover this, please don’t send us to the authorities!” Jill pleaded.
“I’m just saying...I mean, you better not frame us of being guilty of this……” Jill added, staring at this stranger who just seemed to be silent. Although he had the guts to plead for mercy, the penalty for murder in Ampere Seale was a serious one. The penalty was to revoke the offender’s citizenship and would confiscate all properties and inheritance from his/her family.
It was obvious that the most serious penalty was confiscating all properties and inheritance. Well, at least to Jill and Bu.
It was literally a sentence to hell.
The young man who abruptly appeared was naturally Brendel himself. As half of him came from the ‘future’, he would naturally know about this secret tunnel of the cathedral. Rogning designed and built the Anderla Cathedral along with the secret tunnel with defensive purposes in mind. Unfortunately, there were more unsightly matters conducted here than he would have expected.
The tunnel and the entrance were controlled by the Archbishop, and normal civilians were not allowed to enter. But unfortunately, due to a quest back in The Amber Sword, a new visitor had finally reached this place.
This unknown entrance was connected to a sewer that was left behind by Rogning as a backup door. During the time when Ampere Seale was at war, the players who sided with Aouine often used this secret tunnel to repeatedly attack the Anderla Cathedral that was under the control of Madara. Therefore, this tunnel was named as ‘The Cathedral’s Lifeline’.
But in this era, the descendants of Rogning who used to hand tasks to the players were still in Grey Harbor right now, so Brendel was sure that there was no one other than him who knew this entrance. Excluding the higher-ups from the Holy Cathedral of Fire of course.
Therefore he was shocked as well when he saw Jill and Bu.
He originally thought that Princess Magadal had the keys to this secret tunnel. Considering her relationship with Wood, she should be able to own at least a duplicate key. And, although this did not match her image, Brendel would have expected it from her brash and determined attitude.
But he would have never guessed that he would have met a pair of Fairies here. He was quite well-versed with the Fairy tribe. It was a thieves den from where many famous Night Swallows among the players came from.
Brendel already knew their motives for coming here.
They sure have guts.
It was at this moment that Freya walked out from behind Brendel and saw the two talkative Fairies. She froze for a moment and then asked, “Brendel, why are there two Gnomes here?”
“Hey, we are not Gnomes! We are Fairies!” Jill got mad. He could withstand the murder penalty, but not the discrimination that he was merely a Gnome. In their eyes, Gnomes were all just unintelligent, uncivilized cavemen.
Even though in Vaunte, Gnomes and Fairies belong to the same spiritual species, Fairies are absolutely disdainful about working with the dirty Gnomes.
“Fairies? Aren’t Fairies supposed to be small?” She gestured with her hands, indicating a winged figure only one to two inches tall.
“Those are Forest Fairies! We are Big Fairies!” Jill answered indignantly, but his tone of voice had a sense of sadness. Compared to the Forest Fairies, the Big Fairies were indeed lower in terms of hierarchy.
“I see… ahhh!” Freya shrieked, she suddenly saw the sack behind the two Gnomes, and her face paled. “Princess Magadal!”
Brendel’s complexion changed. He immediately pressed his fingers against her neck. Although her body was still soft, her body temperature was low, and he couldn’t feel her pulse.
He had first aid knowledge, so of course he knew what this meant, but he did not want to give up. He summoned the status screen, and his heart suddenly dropped.
The screen displayed a line of big text:
Name: Magadal Amanda De Antobroz
There was a wound pierced straight through her heart. If a human were to get hurt in this way, there was no doubt he or she would die. And Princess Magadal was just an ordinary human…...
Brendel’s hands shook slightly, his face turned gloomy. He did not talk to her much, but he had a very good impression of her. She was very gentle, kind, and well-mannered, yet without any snobbishness. She was not conservative nor cold, and sometimes very friendly. Most admirably, she did not have any bad habits despite being in a social circle full of nobles. Even during Aouine’s darkest days, she still remained pure and innocent.
People who would stand firm in their own beliefs for the sake of friendship had become very rare in a developed and civilized modern society.
Freya crouched silently beside Brendel. This was not the first person who sacrificed their lives in this political battle, but this time it was someone who was familiar to her- her best friend. That kind and gentle young girl was now lying dead on the cold floor.
Freya bit her lips hard, it was a big shock to her.
Brendel sighed. He stretched out his hands and caressed the princess’s messy hair gently, hoping to comfort her a little.
“Brendel……” The future War Goddess was trembling. She had seen deaths before, but she did not understand just why people were this brutal to one another.
Hasn’t The Nun Princess always been the most sincere believer to the cathedral?
Brendel shook his head, feeling a little confused. He never expected this outcome, he thought that even if Magadal exposed herself she would only be locked up at most. How could they have done this to her?
His mind was spinning, but he could not come up with an explanation.
Brendel was never a rational nor a calm man in the eyes of others. His personality was exactly the opposite of many nobles in this kingdom, who were usually the cold rational thinking kind of people.
It took quite a while before he pulled himself back together. Looking back at Bu and Jill, he said, “Look at what you two have done. You two murdered the princess of another country in the land of Aouine. Do you know how big of a mistake you guys have made? This could start a war-”
“I must arrest and deport you both. This is the only way to calm our neighboring country’s anger……” Brendel said in a calm and stern tone, but in truth, deep inside he was feeling suffocated.
Jill and Bu who got coldly stared at were terrified, although they did not understand what this young noble said, the terms ‘war’, ‘calm’, and ‘country’s anger’ scared them, and they were trembling in their boots.
Freya in particular, who was standing aside in an Aouine soldier uniform, made it sound even more threatening. Although what she was wearing was the army’s uniform, the two Fairies could not differentiate between the soldiers of the army and the Coast Guards.
To them, Brendel seemed like the horrifying death god who would turn them in to justice.
Freya indeed knew that both of them could not have possibly killed Magadal, but since they were here, they might know some things. She knew that Brendel was just using a tactic to scare them into speaking the truth, but looking at the terrified faces of Jill and Bu, she could only bear it by thinking of Princess Magadal’s death and forcing herself to be strict.
Bu and Jill were too scared to even say a word. Then Brendel said, “Of course, these punitive measures also include the confiscation of all your properties- including those buried in the forest outside the city.”
“No, how did you know!” Jill was shocked. They would normally bury most of their stolen items and would only return a small portion of it to the authorities. Each group would choose a separate hidden spot, and only the Big Fairies would know exactly where the goods are hidden.
But Brendel was an exception.
“No...no… Wait, we’ve got nothing to do with this. You can’t do this…” Jill and Bu suddenly panicked. From a state of shock, they began to panic.
Especially when they heard that their assets were gonna be confiscated.
“Nothing to do with this?” Brendel raised his tone, and with a straight face, he asked. “Then what are you doing here? Don’t tell me you’re here to steal.”
“As a matter of fact, we were here to steal.” Bu split the beans without hesitation, Jill who was anxious tried to cover his friend’s mouth.
“Very well.” Brendel said without emotion, “According to Ampere Seale’s law, the court will confiscate half of your assets, and you will be in prison for a year for stealing. You two should be pretty clear with this?”
“Oh no…” Bu immediately regretted his decision, although it was not confiscation of his whole assets, confiscating half of it was already devastating enough to him, especially if he was considering the assets he was hiding.
“But there still is a chance to make up for it.” Brendel continued, “Now since you are involved in this murder case if you can provide us with some useful clues, I may consider reducing both of your sentences.”
Brendel seemed to be an officer to the two Fairies when he said that, and they did not know about the legal procedures of actually becoming one. From their point of view, a noble was certainly eligible to have authority over them.
Both of them quickly nodded their heads without hesitation
“Very well, tell me, how did you find her?” Brendel asked.
“Her? No sir, we just found a sack, but we did not know that this princess was inside.” Jill answered.
“Yes,” Jill hastily explained the whole situation that he witnessed previously, fearing that saying something wrong or leaving anything out might cause this judge to lose his temper and change his mind. For they knew that if he had the ability to reduce sentences, he would also naturally have the power to increase sentences.
Jill felt proud of his cleverness. He started to recap, and surprisingly, even details he did not pay attention to came to mind.
“Three people? Can you imitate how they sounded like?”
“Brendel?” Freya gave him a strange look. This request was just unnecessary. The tone and way of speaking of the nobles are quite similar, it is almost impossible to find out who the three people were.
But Brendel shook his head slightly, indicating to her that she should not worry. He raised his eyebrows slightly, his thought process never before so clear. The tragedy of Magadal really triggered his anger, and this time, those who were behind this will have to face his wrath.
Oral skills were one of the professional skills Night Swallows had, and Jill was definitely a master at it. He imitated the tone and slang of the first person and Brendel was able to distinguish who it was immediately. Moros.
“I don’t seem to recognize this guy, but judging from his speaking tone, he might be from the army. The Coast Guards and the Holy Cathedral should not be working together yet. Furthermore, Moros and Yoakam would not trust them. It should be someone powerful… Count Vitokin’s confidant?” Brendel frowned.
Freya’s concern that he would not be able to recognize the enemy was nothing to be worried about. Normal people probably could not discern from the imitated tone, but Brendel was not ordinary.
Someone who dares to harm Magadal would definitely be someone with powerful backing. And there are only a few of them in the whole of Aouine. Brendel was very familiar with who they were and their tones were distinctive to him.
In addition, the murder of Princess Magadal was a major crime. Not even the Holy Cathedral would be able to cover this crime up. So they would reduce the number of people involved in it, and the best way to do that would be to deal with it themselves.
As soon as he heard Jill’s description, he was even more sure of his prediction.
Brendel had a sneer on his face. Freya looked at him and asked, “Brendel, have you found out who they are?”
She was a little amazed. Although Brendel once convinced her that there was nothing impossible, she never thought that he was capable of such feats. Are there actually people born omnipotent?
That thought only lingered for a moment. But as soon as she saw the pale face of Princess Magadal, her heart tightened and she understood the reason for Brendel's anger.
“Brendel……” she called to him in a sad voice.
But Brendel patted her hand and whispered, “Don’t worry. This matter can be solved. However, I must teach the ones who do such evil deeds in secret a memorable lesson this time.”
The last few words were as if it was squeezed out from his gritted teeth.
“Ah!” Freya froze, she looked at her partner in unbelief, “The princess…...she……”
Brendel nodded his head, not to comfort her but because he suddenly thought of something.