Looking through the window, silver lightning occasionally streaked above the dark black sea, lighting up the skies like bright embers. Brendel stood quietly by the bed in which Princess Magadal was laid. She was like a sleeping beauty from the fables who fell into a deep sleep.
After a moment, Orthylss’s words rang in his heart, “Brendel, you are right. This girl isn’t human--”
“She’s not even a living being,” Brendel said calmly.
“So you’ve guessed it already.” Orthylss was slightly surprised.
In the Scriptures of Creation by the Kirrlutz, the Poem of Cang said: ‘Life was born from water and it nurtured on earth, it was protected by the wind and was given wisdom by the flame. It was also written that in the beginning, kindness roamed upon the surface of the waters, and it gave spirit to the tiny living creatures that floated on the surface of the water, and that was how life started. There was light and darkness, positive and negative, so the gods decided that at the end of life, the dead would gather and be ruled by a deity. But beyond the world of the living and dead, there was a third dimension, in which rocks, metals, and every other soulless being existed.
(Note: The God of Death, Ruler of the Eternal Realm, The Lord of the Shadow under the Light goes by the name Kou Si)
“I never thought you knew the Poem of Cang so well, there are very few people left in this era who would actually read the ancient scriptures, and even I have only briefly studied it before. During the War of the Holy Saints, all these scriptures and prophecies were like the bright hopes out of the darkness.” She said. Brendel sensed Orthylss looking outside the window, so he turned to look as well-
A lighthouse stood on the shore next to the raging seas, and a beam of light pierced into the dark sea like a sharp sword, as if it wanted to overthrow the truth that laid in between the heavens and the earth.
Magical storms were converging at the edge of the world and had affected the world. This year’s storm in Ampere Seale was more ferocious compared to previous ones. But only a few people noticed this anomaly. But still, the number of boats that dwelled out to the sea reduced.
“Master Orthylss, you should know that I’m half a wizard as well. I have a great interest in history, and not just the Kirrlutz’s works, I also read some excerpts from the Black Prophecy.”
“Although what you said makes sense, I still feel like you’re hiding something from me,” Orthylss said with a smile, and Brendel could even feel the glare of this wind elf. “Also, I really hope you can call me big sister instead of Master Orthlyss.” She added.
“I can’t possibly call you that,” Brendel replied with embarrassment.
Orthylss chuckled softly.
“Since you’re my student, it should be alright for you to call me teacher, I suppose.”
“Teacher,” Brendel said respectfully. Orthylss was not related to him by blood but nevertheless she helped him out a lot, and she even saved him not just once, but multiple times. She cared for him just like any elder would care for the younger generation. Brendel was thankful to her but he could not express it in words.
Orthylss smiled and said, “Alright alright, so what do you plan to do after this?”
Brendel came to his senses.
He glanced at the others in the room. Sue, Amandina, Ciel, Raban, Ferlarn, Dia and the rest of the Mercenaries of Lopes. Morpheus and Medissa were standing somewhere near the door, plus a red-hair girl alongside. They were basically all the main members of his group.
“Princess Magadal had a wound pierced through her heart. And as I said, no human could’ve survived that.”
“Ah……” Freya went blank, then she pointed at Brendel with her trembling hands and asked, “But…...but…...you said……”
Brendel could not help but smile, “I said, a human could not have survived such a fatal injury.”
“Oh, so what you’re saying is that this young lady is not human?” Romaine was the first one to answer. Then others began to realize the meaning behind his words and looked at him curiously.
“Not human? Could she be a half-elf like Princess Gryphine?” Freya asked. She went to the Princess, who was lying in bed and looked at her ears- they were no different from a human’s.
“No. What I mean was, she might not even be a living creature.” Brendel said carefully.
Everyone was shocked.
Brendel was silent for a moment, not even he could accept this truth at the beginning. But when he examined her injury, he realized that there was something wrong. Firstly, when he opened her status window, her name and status were clear at a glance.
Was that her full name? ‘Magadal Amanda De Antobroz?’ Amanda was her mother’s family name and Antobro was her feudal name. It was named according to the local customs of Antobroz. But wait...
Brendel realised one anomaly on the status screen--
This was unusual because theoretically, Magadal should be human. Let alone humans, other common beings were easy to differentiate from their features. So technically it was impossible for him to be unable to identify her race.
When he first saw Magadal’s corpse, his thoughts were in a mess so he did not notice this. But when he thought about it later, he realized something was wrong.
After reexamining her corpse, he realized another problem. From what he had learned from his battlefield first aid skill, he could tell that she died at least two hours ago. The human body would supposedly have hardened by then, muscles would start to loosen and the skin color would have turned dull. All these changes would have been very obvious in the first hour of death, but these symptoms were not evident on her body.
The main point is that although her body was ice cold, her skin texture was still elastic, as if she were in a healthy state. In Vaunte, most illnesses could be cured with herbs and magic, so most people were not familiar with human biology, but even for Brendel with his basic medical knowledge these signs were something new.
So he took a look at her pupils. They were dull like those of any other deceased, but they were not enlarged and, most importantly, deep down in her eyes, something was glowing like the remnants of a star.
In Brendel’s memory, only one type of existence showed signs like these after death.
Those were the Embers of the Soul, and only one kind of being had it: a puppet.
He was so shocked that he screamed out loud. The first thing that came to his mind was: Could this be Princess Magadal’s double? But then he eliminated that thought, as he found a silver ornament of the Wind Elves on her dead body, which he had given to her during the auction that very afternoon.
If this puppet was a substitute for Princess Magadal, there was no need for her to keep the ornament, as it would have been evidence of her meeting up with Brendel.
Moreover, the doll’s design was too intricate to be a substitute. Except for the pupils, she looked human in any other way. She had blood and flesh, just like ordinary people. And even when it came to wisdom, personality or feelings, it was perfectly modeled after a normal human.
It was hard for Brendel to believe that the young girl with such strong faith and pure heart, who had discussions with him on how to save her own best friend before, was a puppet. But after Orthylss examined her, they came to the conclusion that the princess was indeed an extraordinary being.
To be more accurate, she was a special type of puppet. At least a very special one unlike the hollow, soulless creatures in Brendel’s memories.
In fact, the two recognized her existence to be an anomaly. Orthylss had seen such creatures before. They were once ordinary puppets, but after they were granted souls, they became an entirely different being.
These beings were the Rune Dwarves.
And it would have explained Magadal’s situation. But Brendel was curious about her identity. Magadal was a princess of a country, unlike a Planeswalker like him. Did her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Antobrov know about this truth? If they did not know about this, there might be a certain reason behind this…
At least for now, Magadal was unaware of her own past, and had always thought that she was a human. Brendel had never heard of this rumor even in back in the game. But he remembered one thing, rumor had it that the Nun Princess had a miserable life after her marriage, and she even disappeared in the end…
He regarded it as normal news back then, but it seemed really mysterious to Brendel now.
Brendel shook his head, throwing all of these messy thoughts out of his head. He carefully analyzed his thoughts and one by one explained these thoughts of his to the people around him. Of course, except for the last assumption that he made.
Upon hearing that, everyone else opened their eyes wide in disbelief.
“Hold it right there Brendel. You are saying that Princess Magadal is just a puppet?” It was not just Freya who was shocked, but Amandina as well. “But...but……”
“No, the princess was not literally a puppet, that is just a metaphor.” Brendel shook his head and explained, “In simple terms, Princess Magadal’s body and soul are not the same as ours. She has no blood circulation and she is not a carbon-based organism, but rather a constructed being. But she, like us, has her own soul too.”
“What is blood circulation? And what are carbon-based organisms?” Are these wizardry terms?” Amandina asked.
“Cough cough,” Brendel immediately realized that he made a mistake. His knowledge of the world was vastly different to these people’s. Therefore it was extremely difficult to explain this problem to them, so he replied, “These are just jargon, you just roughly listen to it. In short, it’s just like…”
“Just like the Rune Dwarves right? Brendel, you said that before that Uncle Odum was a puppet too in the past right?” Romaine could not help herself asking this question. This girl’s thought process was really abnormal.
“No,” Brendel replied. “That was a million years ago, if anyone was a puppet, it would have been his ancestors from a million years ago.
“But…… Princess Gryphine never knew about this. Could it be that Princess Magadal was lying to her all this time?” Although Freya had only spent a short time with the future regent princess, she has started to care for her.
Brendel’s heart skipped a beat. He immediately gave her a look and shook his head, saying, “No, I believe Princess Magadal was not aware of this herself.”
“She herself, did not know it either?” Freya was stunned. She wanted to continue asking, but when she saw Brendel’s serious expression, she refrained.
She pondered on this for a moment, and asked, “So how can we revive her?”
“As a matter of fact, Princess Magadal is not even dead. But regarding the process of waking her up, I will need to research it. But we still have more important matters to attend to now.”
Brendel looked outside the window.
No light before dawn could be seen between the lines of the pitch-black sky and the sea. But time was running up, the most important day in Ampere Seale’s history crept closer.
Even in such circumstances, Brendel was still unsure about his decisions.
What exactly made Marquis Yoakam and his fellow mates do such an evil thing? Murdering a princess, a high priestess of the Holy Cathedral? What exactly was it that Princess Magadal saw?
The history known only to him fogged up, as if a vortex was churning up the future in front of this life.