A snowy war horse carrying a messenger was galloping through the rebuilt harbor of Ampere Seale, and it passed through the St. White Square where a war memorial was being built nearby. The vicinity of this war memorial caused quite a commotion.
A flock of white doves took flight in the square; workers by the scaffolding could not help but look back in awe, monks in robes stopped by the fountain to watch, and the ribbon embroidered with the crescent emblem on the messenger shone slightly under the sunlight.
The Royal Messenger.
This was the first time in half a month.
Something big had happened, and everyone’s mind was clouded with suspicion. But only those who knew the truth will understand what has happened.
That person has woken up.
The whole harbor had been in a state of chaos for half a month, but everything has finally come to a stop.
“Really?” Her Highness came to her senses even when the lady officer was still talking. She looked at her attendant who brought her the news; her pretty silver eyes showed her uncontainable excitement, “You wait, I’m going to see him.”
“Your Highness, your appearance needs some fixing first,” the lady officer beside her immediately reminded the princess.
“No need for that”. Without looking back, Gryphine had already hurried out the door with her skirts held up. “Triniyss, prepare the carriage.”
As if in the midst of darkness, Brendel remembered having a long dream. Everything in the dream was both real and vague. He remembered the sawmill where he practiced as a child, but there were many people in the sawmill that he knew and did not know. His grandfather taught him sword art while everyone watched.
At a sudden point, there were scenes of towering buildings and endless streams of cars. His senior was wearing a gray jacket and a thick scarf around her neck. She was reading something in a bookstore on the other side of the pedestrian crossing. He desperately called out her name, but she was completely oblivious.
He dashed across the road, but the scene changed again.
Everything turned dark and the scene transformed into a tranquil shore by the lake. A tower stood on the shore, and a black moon was reflected in the water. Dots of starlight floated in the canopy of the sky. It was as if the lights and the strange dream were signaling something to him.
As Brendel waded alone towards the tower, he saw a chilling shadow of a wolf walking through the forest.
But suddenly, the whole world was shaking again, as if the dream had been removed from his mind. The scenery around him started to collapse. Beams of light broke through the darkness and his eyelids moved slightly. He could sense the faint light outside through the blood vessels under his eyelids.
At that moment, it seemed that his five senses that had been unused for so long resumed their work. He first heard the chirping of birds. It seemed to be a delightful morning, but after contemplating in his warm bed for a moment, he remembered everything that happened previously. His memories were like bits and pieces in his head, slowly converging into forming a complete line.
His eyes instantly opened.
The piercing light behind the thin curtains made him squint immediately.
He then took a good look at Romaine who was fast asleep. The merchant lady was sleeping on half of his body, her little face pressed against his chest, with her mouth wide opened. Her drool hung in a silver line on the blanket.
Looking at this, Brendel finally calmed down. He was still alive. What is this place? How did the battle turn out? Where is Her Highness?
He quickly realized he was lying on a large, soft bed that seemed like a work of art. With columns covered in gold foil supporting a vaulted ceiling of unimaginable luxury, with countless light veils draped down from all around, such a scene immediately made him think of the word ‘palace’.
He looked up and found Amandina looking at him nervously. She was embarrassed as it was a little unpresentable for the lord’s fiancee to look like this, and she did not have a way to convince Romaine to leave Brendel. The merchant lady held Brendel tightly as if she was holding on to a treasure.
She only sighed, “My Lord…… you’re finally awake”. Although she had words that were left unsaid, Brendel could already see the joy and celebration in her eyes.
He clearly knew the reason behind Amandina’s sighing, but he couldn’t do anything but to accept the merchant lady’s behavior. As he nodded gently to Amandina, his eyes caught sight of Medissa who was behind her. The silver elf princess was accompanied by two long haired and handsome elven warriors in their silver-clad armor.
The silver elves did come after all. Brendel thought to himself.
“Lord!” When Medissa cried out for her lord, everyone followed suit. Morpheus looked like she was on the verge of tears, and if Andrea had not been glaring at them, Ciel and Carglise would have given him a thumbs up. Lastly, Brendel saw Scarlet on the couch behind everyone else.
The seemingly introverted young girl just gave Brendel a look from a distance, and then heaved a sigh of relief.
“How did the battle turn out? Where is the princess?” Since everyone was present, it seemed like the outcome was obvious. But Brendel was still uncertain and needed clarification.
An old but bright voice answered in Amandina’s place, “Because of the noble deeds of some gallant young man, Ampere Seale - No, the whole of Aouine was kept safe. You don’t need to worry, little one.”
This unexpected voice caught Brendel’s attention. Only then did he discover that there was a silver-haired, white-robed, and kind-looking old man sitting by the window perch. Ah, if it isn’t the Scholar of the Silver Fortress, Tulman, who else can it be?
“Master Tulman, even you came.” This time Brendel was truly surprised. The silver elves came on behalf of his request, but Tulman was truly an unexpected guest.
But he already knew the true purpose of his visit.
True enough, Tulman smiled and replied, “It was an invitation from an old friend, but I should come to visit here anyways since a demon appeared here. Regarding Wood, I suppose I would need to apologize, I keep forgetting how stubborn he is.”
Brendel was silent. Not that he blamed Wood, but he tried to think of a time when the nobles weren’t being stubborn. If there was still an opportunity to redeem this whole situation, it would not have come to this day. Moreover, it would not reach this point where countless lives and endless streams of blood were poured out to pay for this indifference.
Tulman continued, “As you know, the Archbishop himself is very regretful and he had already resigned his post as Archbishop and every position in the Holy Cathedral as well. He is willing to spend the rest of his life atoning for his sins.”
Brendel was slightly startled by this. Wood had actually taken such a step in order to rebuild the reputation of the Holy Cathedral of Fire to its greatest extent. People of their status usually don’t make oaths regularly, and once they do, they would not break the oath so easily.
By giving up the chance of getting promoted to be part of the core of the Holy Cathedral, Wood was cutting his own retreat path. Originally, that promotion was just one step away.
Although he felt that this old man was a little redundant, Brendel regained the respect he had for the Archbishop. If a person had such principles and pursuits, at least they would not be a shameless person, right?
Everything previously could only be attributed to everybody’s own personal pursuits. Brendel sighed and asked, “So...the Archbishop is planning to stay in Aouine?”
Tulman looked at him with approval.
“That old friend of mine was going to live in seclusion in Aouine, and then become a district priest, to see if he could give a little help toward the rebuilding of Ampere Seale. But the Holy Cathedral had given him another job position.”
“Really?” Once Brendel heard the two words ‘Holy Cathedral’, he instinctively perked up his ears.
“My Lord, the Holy Cathedral of Fire had asked Archbishop Wood to act as a liaison between the princess and the northern nobles, and Archbishop Wood had already accepted,” Amandina replied.
Brendel was a bit surprised. This was interesting as he had not heard of the existence of this position in the Holy Cathedral. But what is the Holy Cathedral up to… are they giving Wood the chance of redemption, or is it something else?
To be honest, reaching a reconciliation with the Holy Cathedral through this event was the best option. After all, the Holy Cathedral of Fire was a huge organization, and even if it was inevitable that they would have to clash with the Kirrlutz Empire someday in the future, Brendel hoped that the time was not now.
Yet by the looks of it, the Holy Cathedral would not give up.
He frowned, “So does this mean that the Holy Cathedral still wants to mediate between North and South?” The stubbornness of the Kirrlutz people was really unexpected. He thought that the opposition should have already learned their lesson.
“Then what would you do, little one? Banish all the nobles in the north, or do you plan to just kill them all?” Tulman looked at Brendel with eyes full of wisdom.
Tulman’s simple question suddenly awakened Brendel, and he realized that he might have thought of the problem too simply. True enough, he could not kill all the nobles nor expel them. No matter how bad their reputation was, he at least did not want that to cause the separation of Aouine.
Besides, he had to admit that there were many talented people among the nobles due to the differences in the education program. The chances of creating talent were much greater than among the common people. He could certainly find a way to let the common people obtain the right to good education as well, but this was not an overnight thing. The kingdom could not be unmanaged even for a single day.
Her Highness had actually started doing the same thing, but it will take at least a generation of people to see the result. And until then, he still required the nobles to help build the future of Aouine.
But the key to the problem was that most of the nobles only cared about their respective interests, and there were too few people like Count Audine.
“But we can’t just let them off the hook here. Besides, the cultists have already infiltrated among these nobles. The Holy Cathedral of Fire might be worried about this themselves, right?” Brendel pondered on this for a bit and decided to tackle this problem from the simple aspects first.
“But again, they have no reason to believe you,” Tulman slowly replied, “Besides, you must believe that people will not commit the same mistakes again and again. My old friend is also a shrewd man. You think that a man of his character will just blindly follow the orders of the Holy Cathedral?”
Brendel thought about it again. Wood, being a solid member of the Holy Cathedral did seem to be a blind believer. He hesitated for a while, then asked, “Even if he did want to stay and help Aouine out, what can he do? And what is his purpose?”
“Hey, you seem to know my old friend well,” Tulman raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Actually, the reason is simple. I can see that my friend has a good impression of you, otherwise, he would not have invited me here.”
“Archbishop Wood he…….” Brendel heard an unbelievable message in Tulman’s words. Wood actually made peace with him, and Brendel immediately figured that Wood must have realized some of the drawbacks of the Holy Cathedral of Fire from this disaster.
Could it be that this guy is trying to change the Holy Cathedral of Fire’s way of handling things?
He shook his head to dissolve this dreadful thought in his mind. “So, what’s he going to do about the nobles in the north?”
“I don’t know about this, but you’ll understand everything when you meet the man himself,” Tulman replied.
He suddenly remembered that he had seemingly gone head-to-head with a Titan that day. At that time, his hitpoints decreased down to less than a few thousand - negative, of course. It could be said that even if there were ten priests surrounding him to heal him after he was unconscious, it might not even be enough to bring his hitpoints back to positive numbers.
Because after all, the Unyielding Talent that he had at that time would only last for half a minute at most.
And now he was alive and well, and he did not seem to be in any physical discomfort. Tulman asked him how he had survived, which, to be honest, was a mystery to himself as well.
He suddenly thought of a possibility.
“Thank you for saving me, Master Tulman.”
Tulman laughed out loud instead, saying, “It was not me who saved you, you have to thank this lady right here.”
“Huh?” Brendel was stunned, and he heard a discontented grunt instantly. “Hmph!” He turned around, and a pair of golden eyes stared at him.
There was a hint of discontent in the golden eyes.
It was like the color of crystal, with a bright flame burning within it. It looked like it was moving, yet filled with confidence and full of character. These clear, transparent eyes belonged to a young girl. The owner was short, and her long, curly hair hung down on both her shoulders.
She was still in the same leather armor outfit as last time, but with different colored eyes. The sword was nowhere to be seen, but instead, she was holding a book.
Brendel saw that the book was called - ‘Best Culinary Collections of Aouine’, written with the dragon language, and thankfully he could read it.
If an ordinary person were to see this, they would definitely think that it was a young girl full of energy and has a passion for cooking. But it would be a big mistake to think that way.
This was because the little girl staring viciously at Brando was actually a dragon.
And it was a very angry, very discontented little female dragon.
Flames were literally about to be spewed out from her mouth…...