The demonic invasion quickly became the most urgent problem at hand. Everyone understood the weight of this report.
Wood hoped that the princess could release the captives of the Holy Cathedral of Fire and allow Konolia’s fleet to at least recover some fighting capacity in order to cope with the following war with the demons. However, Brendel did not immediately respond to this request. Time was tight, but it did not mean that he needed to hand over his previous victories in battle.
The war took a break and both sides needed a rest. It was impossible that the demons would immediately appear in front of them. These creatures from the Sulfur River would be hindered from moving under the heavy rain. Even in the worst-case scenario, he would still have more than ten hours to negotiate with Kirrlutz.
Brendel's request was very simple but it was also very demanding.
The Northern Army Coalition should return all the captives belonging to the princess, including His Royal Highness the Little Prince.
After that, the Holy Cathedral of Fire had to bear all the losses from the war, because Brendel determined that the northern nobles had initiated the war under their instigation. He did not care if it was true or not.
This included cash and trade compensation agreements.
Of course, the compensation would be paid privately, to preserve the faces of Kirrlutz people. Brendel could still meet this little request, as he only paid attention to the practical benefits.
The trade compensation agreement was the compensation method proposed by Brendel. On the surface, it was a preferential policy for the Kingdom of Aouine given by the Kirrlutz Empire. But in fact, there were many detailed conditions, including two important technology deals.
The drawings of the magic conductor and the manufacturing technology of the imperial "fearless" first-class battleship.
This was certainly a scam.
Seeing these two conditions, at that moment Wood's face expression was as dark as the storm clouds over Ampere's sea, flicking his sleeves, he left without saying a word.
He then sent an envoy to negotiate with Brendel.
The envoy had just claimed that if Brendel did not cooperate, the holy cathedral would give up Aouine, in which case the Kirrlutz would only lose some of their pride. On the other hand, if this were to happen, the best ending for Aouine would be severe carnage and the worst ending would be the annihilation of the country.
If these words were to be heard by Aouine’s nobles, it would undoubtedly be a huge shock to them. Even her highness would be swayed by the threat. But after listening to this, Brendel just smiled and told Morpheus to throw this guy out of the campsite.
What a joke.
He knew the holy cathedral's weakness well. The Kirrlutz people probably did not just want to save their face. What was more important was that the secret of the Door of Flame must not fall into the hands of All for One. He knew that there were several permanent Doors of Flame in the Kirrlutz empire. If the secret leaked out, the empire would probably become another gate that connected the Sulfur River to the surface world.
Having grasped this secret, Brendel would not easily compromise. But he was worried that if Wood, that old fox, really dared to stay put, then eventually Brendel would have to take the initiative to compromise with the other party.
Because only he, Amandina, and Freya knew that Romaine was still at Ampere Seale Port.
However, once the Kirrlutz people took power in this conversation, Aouine would probably have to shed a couple layers of skin. Brendel gritted his teeth and waited for an hour and a half. Finally, Wood gave in and contacted him. After all, this master priest did not have any news to reassure him.
After seeing Wood, Brendel felt completely relieved.
In just half an hour, Brendel signed a temporary peace treaty with Wood, utilizing the concessions of Kirrlutz people. Brendel did not relent. Apart from the superficial agreement, the two sides also signed a secret agreement.
The Holy Cathedral of Fire had privately permitted the right for the Covardo Royal Family to investigate the crimes of several major leaders of the northern nobles. This included the disposal rights of Duke Seifer, Marquis Balta, Count Vitokin, and Marquis Yoakam.
However, the second provision had not been brought to the surface. First of all, this was not the time to shake the confidence of the northern nobles. Second, the master priest had long found out that Duke Seifer, Marquis Balta, Count Vitokin, and Marquis Yoakam had disappeared. Haruz, His Royal Highness Prince, must have also fallen into the hands of All for One.
Therefore, even if the side of the holy cathedral wanted to fulfill this provision, they would not be able to for the time being.
After meeting all the requirements, Brendel would naturally agree to return all the captives from the Holy Cathedral of Fire including seven Paladins, White Winged Knights, and other prisoners of the Konolia’s fleet.
After all, these people also had to play their role in the next war. They were Brendel’s laborers, but the Kirrlutz people might not think so.
Meanwhile, in exchange for the second and more important agreement, Brendel eased a little off of the original technology transfer agreement. He had changed the condition from the latest type of magic conductor to a blueprint that was no more than ten years behind and the battleship manufacturing technology was also changed to frigate manufacturing technology.
But even so, Brendel still left a trap. His original target was actually the blueprint of the Kirrlutz Empire's newest frigate because the firepower and armor of Kirrlutz’s battleships were cumbersome. He actually preferred the new battleship of the Wind Elves. But even though, Kirrlutz's new frigate was a design stolen from their old enemy, the Hazel, it was extremely high class. After all, the Hazel people were one of the world's leading magic masters.
It was a pity that although Wood was a highly respected priest and the most talented high-level of Holy Cathedral of Fire, he was not a technocrat. Most of the nobles accompanying the Holy Cathedral of Fire also were unlikely to bring along people of the level of master craftsmen. In the situation where nobody understood the trap in it, of course, Brendel could set them up smooth and clean.
Finally, the two sides exchanged prisoners and reached an initial agreement. Brendel did not plan to make the two armies that just fought against each other a few hours ago merge and fight demons together. That would be impossible. So he simply let the Northern Coalition Army stay at the Bunuo area, while the Princess's troops and Anthony's troops were stationed directly in the Mar Highlands.
This proposal also gained everyone’s approval, since the northern nobles were unwilling to stand in the same trench with her Highness.
Brendel blocked news of the demons from invasion from spreading among the ordinary soldiers. They were only told that a foreign army from Jorgendy Ridge might have invaded Ampere Seale. Though it was frustrating that they had barely just won a big war and had to prepare for a new war without even time to celebrate, it was better than having a large number of deserters.
He had seen similar scenes, such as in the second and third war of The Black Roses. Both Audine and the nobles of the Royal Faction agreed with this as they were well aware of what their subordinates were like.
Although the Royal Faction had parted ways with her Royal Highness Princess in the past, the princess had let bygones be bygones and both parties were now temporarily back on the same boat. Due to the existence of Brendel and Eikkel, Princess Gryphine's status had improved a lot.
But the morale of the soldiers was still a problem. Brendel left the problem to the Kirrlutz and asked Wood to persuade the nobles of the Northern Coalition Army to assemble supplies nearby Bunuo, at least to let Anthony and Audine's troops celebrate their victory.
"As long as there is hot broth, even under this bad weather, ordinary soldiers would still be satisfied with it." Before the evening, Brendel had already begun to send scouts to the periphery to obtain information on the situation around the port and whether the port had fallen into the hands of demons, as well as the number of demons present.
However, considering that the residents on the surface world knew little about the situation of the underground world, Brendel decided to personally go and find out what had happened around Ampere. His adventurous action had naturally received strong opposition from Amandina, and even Princess Gryphine did not agree with it. However, he still decided to proceed regardless of the others' opinions.
Unexpectedly, Her Royal Highness Princess did not stop him from venturing, instead insisting on joining him. She ordered Oberwei to stay and appease the soldiers, then suited up in knight attire and mounted her horse. Joining the team, Count Audine rode alongside her.
Brendel would naturally be unable to stop Her Royal Highness from doing what she wanted to, but fortunately, he did not plan on fighting demons, only investigating the situation in the front line. So he just let her be.
Brendel naturally would not flatter himself by assuming that her Highness the Princess was particularly concerned about him. Perhaps it might be part of the reason, but there were several times when he saw the bright silver eyes of the half-elven girl reflected under the rain and thought that she must be unsatisfied with her position as a woman.
Indeed, she was actually far more suitable for the throne than her brother.
"I just don't know if those cavemen will give us a night of rest." Count Audine replied anxiously.
Brendel could understand Audine’s worries. Incidents like the demon invasion could be large or small and were happening every single second in the surface world. Whether it was an evil warlock summoning a demon and signing a contract with it, or an occasional fierce beast from the Sulfur River escaping to the surface, these events were not significant.
But once a situation like the one right now happened, where the demons controlled one or more Teleportation Gates, then it would be a severe incident. The demons themselves had also mastered the production technology of the Teleportation Gates, so if the local lords did not react to extinguish and destroy the Teleportation Array, the number of creatures from the underworld would grow like a rolling snowball.
There had been several incidents of a country’s destruction in history. The earliest incident was in The Year of Golden Hooves. Then, in The Year of Glory, there was another incident. The unlucky principality was very close to Aouine, just beside Antoburo Park.
"I'm afraid not," Brendel replied. The demons were not like Aouine's Dragon Cavalry, they could march even in the night, though the heavy rain would also hinder their movement.
The mountain in the Black Pine Forest became slippery and difficult to walk on under heavy rain. The world at the end of his vision became a blurry line. Fortunately, Brendel was very familiar with the terrain in this area. The line of people bypassed several low hills until a majestic mountain appeared in their view.
This was Brendel's goal.
Under the protection of the knights, the princess, and Count Audine, Brendel climbed up through the rain to the highest peak which was closest to Ampere Seale and then looked down from the top of the mountain. The port was completely dark, which was one of the worst signs. He raised his head and saw some dark clouds coming from the north. He then realized that they were all Eagle Demons. They were close relatives of Sirens, but were expelled during the Kalano War and later hid in the underground world.
Brendel put down his binoculars and could not help but gasp. He looked back and Her Royal Highness Princess was paid. Indeed, as Wood had expected, Ampere Seale’s port already had an army from Jorgendy Ridge.
The three people were silent.
"Those don't seem to be demons?" Asked Her Royal Highness Princess.
Brendel nodded. He glanced at the two and found that they did not seem to realize what was happening over there. There were demons mixed in with Jorgendy Ridge's army. This was not a good sign.
Cavemen were not the only residents of the underground world. However, most surface residents referred to all of them as cavemen. Few of them could actually distinguish the relationship between the demons and other forces of Jorgendy Ridge. So it was reasonable that they would refer to it in such a way.
Brendel knew that Jorgendy Ridge was actually a general name. The underground was complicated and it was where many places were connected. For instance, The Wild Mushroom, The Eternal Dark Abyss, and the demon’s habitat of the Sulfur River were actually at the bottom-most layer in the inner world, isolated by the Vaunte’s Elemental Boundaries. They were first discovered by the Dark Elves, who built a city on the lava field, called the Tip of Scorching Heat. Due to the impact of the Darkness Magic, the city's high-ranking aristocrats soon became corrupted, breaking the seal of the Elemental Boundaries. The demons broke out from the seal, and hence the dark elves’ empire disappeared.
Since then, the dark elves retreated to The Eternal Dark Abyss to defend themselves. The demons immediately conquered the land and became one of the aborigines in the underground world. However, the underground residents were hostile to each other. It was impossible for the Jorgendy Ridge Empire which was controlled by the Black Dragon to yield to the demons. So, how could the two races get along?
Brendel remembered that in Jorgendy Ridge’s first invasion to the surface world in history, it had lasted until the beginning of the second century, which was after the second War of The Black Roses. That was the third chapter of the game, Eternal Darkness.
Is it some unknown changes that took place in the underground world? It isn’t possible though. Brendel did not think that the history he had changed had affected Jorgendy Ridge so quickly. Halran Gaia was already enough of a coincidence.
No matter what, the real problems still needed to be solved.
"Mr. Brendel, what should we do now?" Princess Gryphine asked. The Eagle Demons in the sky were numbered as many as the dark clouds. She never had thought that such a large army would gather around Ampere within just a day. The number of demons on the ground was so overwhelming that even Anthony’s army together with the Northern Coalition Army could not withstand it.
Brendel looked at the scene, silent for a moment.
"I don't have a good idea either."
"Mr. Brendel, even you have no solution…?" Princess Gryphine could hardly speak.
Brendel nodded his head. All For One’s skill was really out of his expectations. The demon army was almost bigger than the army of Holy Cathedral of Fire and the Northern Coalition Army combined. And he was unable to launch another cycle of Paradise of Adversity any time soon.
To call out the Grimoire of Life, Adversity Wooden Horse, and all the preceding cycles, he had to accumulate elements for a considerable amount of time. It couldn’t even be considered for at least a week.
He pursed his lips, his head full of mixed thoughts about the current situation.