The stars shone in the night sky. The howling wind blew clouds from afar, yet nothing could blot out the dazzling shine of Marsha’s Star, a symbol of both order and wisdom. In the wee hours of the night, a faint glow seemed to be emanating from the dark depths of the sea.
Brendel looked up, staring at the horizon, silently counting the time. Three more hours until daybreak…
It was currently three in the morning.
Off the shores of Ampere Seale, a long silhouette appeared beneath the inky waves. Fins split the water surface, creating massive waves that rolled over the sea, crashing into each other in explosions of white foam.
Sani swam close to Brendel. As the naga and his army entered the bay, he flipped his fins, within the salty spray of the sea and the rain.
“These are the warriors of my tribe.” Sani said, turning to look at Brendel.
Brendel remained silent, but his heart was burning with anticipation. This day has finally come. After half a year of hardships and all of the pain I had to go through, my plan will finally come to fruition. He did not know about the future, but at that moment, his conscience was clear.
If they won, he would be making a ripple in the original timeline where Aouine was bound for doom. Princess Gryphine, the War Goddess, Romaine, and everyone whose fate relied on the people of that boat, would be able to survive with his actions.
But if we lose… Brendel’s mouth tightened, his eyes staring into the void in front of him. A flash of lightning split the heavens, reminding Brendel of his memory of Aouine wreathed in flames.
A raging flame burned within his pupils.
Brendel glanced at Sani. And Sani, feeling Brendel’s piercing gaze, could not help but to shift uncomfortably. It was suffocating. Such a strong will and determination. It is comparable to my Queen’s. Anyone with a character like this could potentially cause a revolution.
Under the same night sky, a certain half-elf too removed her gaze from the heavens. The sun rose slowly behind Princess Gryphine, as if Marsha was informing the people that a new day was near.
It’s going to be daybreak soon.
She turned around to look at the people standing behind her. Makarov, Fleetwood, Count Baley, Oberwei, and the rest of the nobles from the Royal Faction were here. Standing together, it felt as if they had never been split up before, but that everything was the same as the past.
She allowed herself to daydream a little, imagining the times when everything was fine. She tried to imagine herself ruling over Aouine, with everyone by her side, but now all she could see was an image of nothingness.
“Princess, it’s time to get on the carriage.”
Gryphine turned to look at her mentor one last time, but all she saw in Fleetwood’s eyes was guilt. She turned away, disappointment evident in her actions. It would have felt so good if they had held onto their initial goals.
The carriage stopped in the rain, its door yawning open like the lids of a coffin. The princess walked towards the door and held her head up high, just as a member of Aouine’s Royal Family ought to, and walked into it.
The “Sly Fox” Makarov pulled himself up onto one of the horses. While he was a noble, he too was once a cavalier. He sat up straight on his horse, and drew in everyone’s attention. He brandished his sword and yelled, “Depart!”
Hooves thundered against the ground as the Royal Cavalry surrounded the carriage. Every one of them wore a cape, silently advancing in the rain. Clad in black, the escort rode into the woods.
Freya tilted her head, listening to the hooves pounding against the ground. She had been lying awake all night, so she was visibly tired. She turned around to see the Knight of the Lake trailing behind her.
“Mr Knight. Today, I might actually have to kill someone… And the enemies I will be facing are comrades of the past… This irony… I’m sorry if I bring shame upon the Lionheart Sword.”
“The sword will not be ashamed just because you have killed someone,” the Knight of the Lake replied curtly. It was the first time he had spoken in days.
Freya turned to look at him in shock.
“The sword is meant for the wise, noble ones, to punish sinners,” he continued.
Then came a period of silence.
Ampere Seale was finally within their sights.
“The princess has set off!”
After he had finished reading the headline, Carglise immediately turned to look back at his Brendel. His voice was steady, but he could not mask the jumpiness in his eyes. “Lord.”
“I know.” Brendel nodded his head.
Everyone looked at Brendel.
The first rays of light had just broken through the horizon. Brendel sucked in a shallow breath and yelled, “White Lion Battalion!”
The soldiers thundered out their response. The storms in front of them were far less intimidating compared to that of their experience in the Black Forest. In fact, they were burning up with adrenaline at the thought of fighting. Alas, they were youngsters and they did not care about whether fighting this war or not was the right thing to do.
They put their complete trust in Brendel and only cared about what they needed to do.
In the future, this day would definitely leave a mark in history. [T/L: if the future exists that is.]
“The Royal Faction has begun to move.”
Archbishop Moros’s POV
At that same moment, the Holy Cathedral also received the news. Once the messenger had left, Archbishop Moros, whose face was as serious as ever, turned around to be greeted by bows from both Marquis Yoakam and Baron Buckland, as they stood within the shadows.
“History is being recorded right now.” Moros said quietly.
“Command the White Lion Legion to enter the city.” [Note: There may be a bit of confusion here. The White Lion Legion is the force under Marquis Balta, or you could see it as the old White Lion Army that had degraded over time with Aouine’s corruptness. However, the White Lion Battalion is the newly formed army underneath Brendel. It is his recreation of the gloriously famed White Lion Army of the past.]
News spread fast within Ampere Seale. And within the storm that had engulfed the shoreline, the tense city slowly awakened, like a beast stretching its claws.
By five in the morning, the coast guards had been sent out on a patrol. Twenty minutes later, the entire city had gone into lockdown. And by five thirty, it was announced that the storm season had arrived.
Entrance to the harbor was closed.
“Ready your armor!”
Sets of shining armor were being carried down from the ships, and the troops immediately started to equip themselves. Rarely had they gotten to wear these armors before, and it felt slightly foreign to them.
Nevertheless, they knew full well the capabilities of their armor.
This was the true White Lion Armor. It had been recreated with advice from Brendel and Orthlyss, so its capabilities were as close to the original’s as any replica could ever be. In fact, the soldiers of Trentheim did not understand the significance of their armor, but just the fact that it had magical properties was enough to impress them.
The price of any such magic armor was atrociously high, a few of them being enough to buy a piece of fertile land. And even Count Graudin would not have been able to prepare magic armor for every one of his knights.
The new White Lion Armor was similar to Maximilian armor from Earth’s medieval times. However besides being magical, there was no armor for the legs, and the tasset had leaf-shaped plates on them. The helmet was based on the traditional style of the Wind Elf tribe’s, but the most eye-catching piece was the right shoulder pauldron that had been crafted to resemble a white lion. This feature had been removed from the armors of Aouine’s White Lion Legion, but Brendel insisted on recreating them to honor ancient times.
Brendel was the one who had come up with this new armor’s sketch. It was only thanks to the unique soul residing within him, that came from another world, that he could come up with a design that exuded such an ethereal charm, a new kind of beauty.
However, artistry was highly appreciated in this world too. And the new White Lion Armor appealed to the hearts of many. When equipped, an aura of power and majesty emitted from its bearers. Such a direct expression was rarely seen in Aouine at this time.
Brendel’s design had thoroughly impressed Orthlyss and other master blacksmiths. In the end, they could only label Brendel and his multi-talentedness as an irregularity.
Very quickly, the White Lion Battalion was ready. The army gathered in rows behind Brendel, awaiting inspection.
Both Brendel and Ciel were breathless at the sight before them; Merial and Amandina stared at each other in shock.
“Dear Marsha! Isn’t this the White Lion Army of the legends?” Amandina exclaimed.
“It’s exactly like the one recorded in history books.” Ciel shook his head in awe. He was present when the armor was being designed, but, at that time, he could not have fathomed how impactful it would be when it was worn by its soldiers.
“I’ve never seen the White Lion Army, but I really envy the people who lived during King Erik’s reign. To be able to witness an army as majestic as this would is a great privilege.” Raban muttered.
It looked like the White Lion Army had been reborn.
Only Brendel and Orthlyss knew that the army in front of them was closest to the actual White Lion Army. This elite army that had been lost in history seemed to be back in full force today, as if they had come, according to King Erik’s will, to save the Kingdom.
The sword is already here, is it time for the oath to be said once more?
“Lord, look at this.” Carglise said excitedly, his eyes shining with glee.
Brendel gave a slight smile. In this world, the White Lion Armor was purely meant for light infantry. To be more precise, it was an armor modeled after a cavalry unit’s, but instead modified for foot soldiers. Due to the difference in weight, in general, cavalry’s armor would be better than infantry’s. Simply because it would be inefficient for infantrymen to bear such large weights.
However, the White Lion Armor managed to overcome this difference.
It’s biggest feature was its magical capabilities inherited from the Half-plate Wind Armor, which drastically reduced its weight. While most winds may be calming, it could also come as a raging tempest. The Wind Defense Spell applied on the White Lion Armor could not only be used for defense and support, but it could also be used offensively. It was one of the best-designed armors in the world, and would probably be credited for the ancient White Lion Army’s nickname as ‘Gaia’s Protectors’.
‘The King Led his Knights and Dominated the South’. That was a saying meant for this Battalion.
It’s almost time. Brendel turned around.
Facing him, a carriage emerged slowly from the rain. The insignia on its walls were weathered, as if the carriage had come from another time. From within the carriage, a certain countess from the Yanbao family emerged.
“Mr. Brendel, the Yanbao family will never forget their debts or promises. Now, once more, I ask that you walk beside me. Will you grant me this honor?”
A clear voice cut through the cacophony of the rain.
“I’m willing,” Brendel replied with a smile.
“Carglise, I leave this place to you. White Lion Battalion, follow the plan and cooperate with Sani. Do not disappoint me.”
Carglise nodded his head seriously.
“Teacher, I’ll be counting on you.” Brendel said, turning to Mephisto.
The Ash Sword Saint nodded his head, accepting the reins of his designated warhorse. His gray eyes lingered on Brendel for another moment before he hoisted himself onto his horse.
Ciel, Scarlet, and Morpheus followed suit.
“I know that you are not familiar with riding in the rain, so follow me.” Brendel beckoned towards the carriage. The vampire royalty let out a tiny ‘hmph’.
Just before he closed the door, Brendel heard a tiny voice call out to him from behind.
Brendel’s eyes scanned the crowd, eventually locating the merchant girl who had called out to him.
“Don’t forget our promise!” Romaine yelled out. “I’ll be cheering you on!”
Brendel’s mind went back to that summer night in Bucce. The stars then shined as brightly as ever. The sky painted a picture of the galaxy, with stars closely clumped together, just like how his, Romaine’s, and Freya’s fates were so intertwined.
“I won’t. We’ll definitely become great merchants.” Brendel smiled back at her.