The streets were silent. Brendel, who was in the midst of the crowd, was still mulling over his memories of history and lore from the game.
The Sword Saint named Darius was both unfamiliar and familiar to him at the same time. Since the Second Revival, this name belonged to one of the three important ministers of Aouine. He was most active one century before the rise of Aouine. To a player of The Amber Sword, that era was just an insignificant part of the game.
According to history, the kingdom was no longer in its glorious state later on. It was said that Gory Keyes left and Tuman had also returned to his secret Silver Fortress and lived in seclusion ever since. There were rumors of him being both alive and dead, but Brendel clearly remembered the moment of his grandfather holding his hand.
That was just an old man who resembled a wilted plant. Although he had still been burning with determination, he was nonetheless walking towards the end of his life. In another part of Brendel and Sophie’s memory, there was an old soldier from the Eleven Months War standing next to the Golden Tree holding a long sword and smiling.
It was just a scene made up of Brendel’s memories which would not make any difference in reality. He could even feel that expectation. But it was only on this day that he realized the old man had expectations for him which were far removed from the usual expectations the elderly placed upon the young.
However, in the real history, Brendel would have died in an old house in Bucce at that time.
If such was the case, why did he not tell Brendel the secret about the Wind Ring? What was the Sword Saint trying to hide?
“My grandfather was the Marshal of the Holy Cathedral of Fire during the first Holy War?” Brendel lifted his head and asked after a while.
“Ah, I thought you would be more surprised upon knowing your grandfather’s identity.” Ciel continued, “Indeed, he was once the Marshal of the Holy Cathedral of Fire.”
No, no. In Brendel’s memory, in the history of the other world, the Sword Saint Darius was never once the Holy Cathedral of Fire’s Marshal. Either the history or Ciel was lying. Brendel looked at Ciel and the princess. And Gryphine was also looking at Ciel, but with an expression of agreement.
Darius, the Sword Saint, was also a part of the Royal Faction. Not of the new one, but of the true Royal Family in the past. But why did he give up his authority, leaving behind a life of decadence and the Royal Family of Corvado?
The look in Ciel and the princess’ eyes told him that they were not lying - or their ability to lie was too good to tell truth from falsehood. Gryphine, however, had always been trustworthy, never the cunning type.
“This was because the Holy Cathedral of Fire would keep every file of the Holy Wars confidential.”
“That is incorrect.” Brendel mercilessly exposed Ciel’s lie. Even if the files of the Holy Wars in the past were confidential, there were always a few details being leaked out. It would be impossible for the nobles to forget someone with as prominent a status as a Marshal.
What more was that in another history, Brendel managed to look through the confidential file of the Cathedral once when he was investigating the princess’ death. Aouine had not even existed when the Eleven Months War occurred. Unless some changes were made in history, or all the information related to Darius the Sword Saint was abridged or archived...
There was definitely something else to the story.
The part of Brendel that participated in the game awoke, it was as if all his memories were revived. Like a river of language and words, all his thoughts became clear as flowing water.
The year Darius the Sword Saint lived in seclusion was the 325th of the first century, the year of Castor. Numbers flashed through his mind like lightning.
At that point in time……
During the year of the Star Festival, the Earl of Albania led the White Lion Legion towards the west of Hagan, supporting Kirrlutz’s flanks and launching an attack on Lion Beastmen’s Blackfang division.
Ever since that incident, the Holy Cathedral of Earth was suppressed, and the four Cathedrals concluded agreements for reconciliation over the course of four years. The Holy War ended four years after the Star Festival.
Brendel could clearly remember that the Star Festival was in the year 321, during the first century. The timing between these two events was far too coincidental, which was very interesting as it signified an abnormality in the situation.
He closed his eyes and immersed himself in his memories.
The Battle of the Long River.
The death of Kinins.
The Holy Cathedral of Fire’s eastern invasion.
Right into the Alfalfa Fields...
Then came the start of the bloody and long Eleven Months War, a sanguine bloodbath even more gruesome than the Holy War. Brendel suddenly realized what caused the war to be so brutal. Those veterans who had experienced more than ten years of war were expended in less than a year of the war.
They were battling……
A series of conflicts around the region of the Alkash Mountains.
The historical record was……
The four Holy Cathedrals entered this region at the same time. Then, there was a year-long slaughter on the battlefield. It looked like all the blood of the Kingdom was sucked dry by these four Holy Cathedrals.
The horrors of that war still continued to impact Aouine to this day; the country lost a whole generation, or even two generations, of its people.
Brendel was slightly shocked, as this history was so recent. In another battle one hundred years later, Gretius’ Knight Squad, Great Priest Farnezain, Eleranta, the Holy Cathedral of Wind, and Madara entered this battlefield once again.
And it was the same brutal war.
He still remembered the overwhelming army of the undead, everything seemed to be thrown into darkness.
But Alkash Mountains did not seem to have such a crucial strategic battle position. Why would the Holy Cathedrals fight here again and again? It was recorded that the Alkash Mountains was a traditional territory that belonged to Farnezain, but until the later generations, the wind elves and Madara’s undead army were all stationed here.
Brendel’s heart pounded as he realized that he might have caught on to the crucial point of the whole story. He clearly remembered that after the Eleven Months War, the Holy War officially ended. His grandfather secretly took refuge somewhere during that time. It seemed like Brendel’s player-exclusive senses gave him the idea that if there was something wrong in this plot, it had to happen during the Eleven Months War.
The brutal war was deeply etched into the minds of the veterans. Brendel even remembered that the Cathedral gave out a precious ‘Candlelight Medal’ to many outstanding veterans during that war.
This was unprecedented.
He opened his eyes. His eyes shone with breathtaking light.
“Are you ok, Mr. Brendel?” Princess Gyphine asked.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” Brendel asked and shook his head.
“I’m sorry,” Ciel sighed, “If there was a choice, I would rather keep this secret to myself forever. Being able to silently guard my Lord who is the descendant of Marshall Darius was already my greatest wish.”
Brendel glanced at him, like he wanted to see through his lies, but Ciel remained as himself. The young man who wore a wizard’s robe was filled with confidence.
Ciel responded with a smile.
This sly bastard. Brendel thought to himself for a while and then asked, “Let me ask another question. Why did my grandfather end up hiding in Braggs? You know, I didn’t even know myself that he was a Highland Knight. Was my father kept in the dark too?”
“No, your father definitely knew some details, Brendel.” Her Highness replied, “As a matter of fact, I don’t really know much too. What I do know is that your father became an adult when Master Darius left the army. He arranged for marriage according to the tradition of the Highland Knights on that day too. Furthermore, the other party was the nobles of Cardiligals.”
“That was my mother, but my grandfather never taught me anything related to noble traditions. Before I grew up, I never thought nor knew there was a relationship between the Cardiligals and the Highland Knights.” Brendel replied.
“Ah, Master Darius was like that…...then did he teach you any sword skills?” Princess Gryphine asked. She was slightly surprised.
“Grandfather indeed taught me some swordsmanship, but it was all basics that were used in the military,” Brendel replied.
“Ah……” The half-elf princess was really surprised this time, she could not help herself but looked at Brendel curiously with her long eyelashes and asked, “Mr. Brendel, so your swordsmanship…”
“That’s another secret.” Brendel replied, “Including the knowledge I have now, it was from another experience when I once studied under a wizard.”
Brendel was sure that he was not lying. His swordsmanship did have a different origin. It was from a player who modified and improved the skills from the sword of Darius. He also studied under a wizard, but that was in a past game.
“That must have been a torturous experience.” Gryphine was amazed.
‘Yeah, there were many twists and turns……” Brendel sighed. Although Brendel expressed this in an obscure way, intentionally avoiding the complete truth, it was nonetheless vastly removed from the princess’ expectations. He had never heard of this, let alone experienced this story in person. Since the escape from Bucce, the two worlds have coincided in his life.
“So, what is actually going on?” Brendel sighed and continued to ask. He pretended to be anxious for the answer but the it was already looming in his mind. He just needed a confirmation. “I believe there is a bigger story behind this.”
“My Lord, I said, I will keep this a secret.” Ciel replied, “Actually, there is no meaning in the past, we just need to know that there are still some people who are touched by destiny. My Lord, your very presence here proves that this is right - “
No, perhaps only Brendel understood that all of this was not connected by destiny because history had changed long ago. Only he knew the real future and his presence here proved that this consistent and constant world had already plunged into uncertainty.
This was because Brendel was supposed to die in Bucce.
Destiny handed the ‘present’ over to Alice, but the ‘past’ and the ‘future’ were given over to Goddess Elaine. The ‘present’ was tied by a coil of string, and that was ‘Causality’. But ‘future’ and ‘past’ was an entire world of uncertain possibilities.
It was only because of this infinitely possible future-
Mortals could dominate their own destiny.
Brendel firmly believed in this. But even if destiny had changed, a timeline still existed. Except it was a timeline where Brendel had not died, a timeline which he had not crossed. In a different world, this line would produce a different result.
What a useless piece of shit. Brendel cursed in his heart. After becoming a Sword Saint, he died to a worthless opponent. This was probably the biggest insult in the history of Aouine. But it had been buried completely in the game, leaving no trace of it.
But it did not matter to him as he had already guessed a part of the answer. Brendel glanced at Ciel and asked, “If I am not mistaken, in November during the Star Festival, the allied forces of the Holy Cathedral of Fire must have ambushed Aouine’s army in the Alkash Mountains, right?”
“Let me guess, the Holy Cathedral of Fire did not expect that Darius the Sword Saint would lead the whole of Aouine’s army to kill their way out.”
“Am I right?”
His voice was not loud but had a firm tone. Brendel looked calm while the princess bit her lip hard, while everyone else was shocked by what they just heard.
Brendel suddenly began chuckling, but the shine in his eyes made him look wise and confident.
Brendel almost wanted to break into full-on lauhgter, “So that was what happened. That was how Madara’s undead army who attacked us from behind came about. Those poor bastards from the Fire of Thorny Flowers, hahaha, we have wrongly placed the blame on you……”
“Holy Cathedral of Fire, a glorious and holy place, is really interesting.”
“But it’s such a pity……”
“I turned out to be just a player, a player who came from another world.”
What a surprise. Brendel thought while gritting his teeth.