Devard scrambled up to his feet, finally understanding what Brendel meant when he said to be careful in front. The corner at the long promenade outside the nameless hall was where they passed when patrolling. He ran at full speed into the wall that was harder than iron. It seemed like Brendel was reminding Devard, but in fact, Brendel was distracting him; and when he realized that, it was already too late.
Brendel passed Devard, took a few steps forward, then stood straight against the wall. The army of Revitalizing Magic behind him was no more than a hundred feet away, but they were even closer to Devard.
“What are you trying to do?” Devard looked at Brendel, not knowing why he stopped suddenly.
“To watch a good show.”
As soon as Devard said that, he saw Brendel taking a long sheet from his backpack. Oh, no.
Not a sheet, but a grey cloak. But this cloak was too big and too long for a normal human, it looked like it belonged to some giant. Devard was startled slightly, then found it familiar at once. He saw Brendel raise the cloak over his head, cover himself up from head to toe, and vanish before his eyes.
“No- you monster!” Devard suddenly understood Brendel’s intentions. He growled angrily and turned back; though his face paled in an instant. Two Wandering Magic Lords were already standing in front of him like two mountains.
“No, I will never let you get away with this, Count Trentheim!” Devard was furious as he stood there, not moving. He looked determined that he would lure these Revitalizing Magics away even if he had to die.
The giant Revitalizing Curses that looked like shining stars continued to move forward, their tentacles that emitted soft light swept through the entire hall like a river of stars.
Devard’s face turned pale. At first he was motionless, but as the tentacle swept across his head with a whizzing sound, his expression changed, “Save me or I’ll take you down too!” He gritted his teeth as he yelled towards Brendel’s direction.
Unfortunately, it was as if Brendel had indeed vanished. No sound was heard from that direction.
“You’ll regret this!” Devard finally panicked. He was aware that he was sounding a false threat, but did not expect Brendel to actually not respond. Breaking cold sweat, finally he yelled with all he had, “Count Trentheim, I know that you want me to lure all these monsters to Duke Arreck, but you won’t get what you want, I will never give in!”
Rendel, who was hiding under Buni’s Concealment Cloak, felt delighted as he heard Devard say that. That guy’s imagination is something else. Brendel really had not thought of that, after all, these Revitalizing Magics were stirring energy bodies. If only there was only one in 10000 chance that he could detonate the precious thing in Arreck’s hand, then it would be fun. But if Devard was going to be stubborn enough here, then it wouldn’t be pleasant. Although Brendel had Buni’s Concealment Cloak and won’t be harmed, it would be a problem if the Revitalizing Magics lose their target reset and cross paths with Veronica’s team.
As he thought of this, he finally spoke up, “What are your terms?”
He used a little trick though. He used Sound Dispersion, a tier two air spell, which would disable the other party’s ability to discern where the voice was coming from.
For the first time ever, Devard felt like Brendel’s voice was the sweetest sound he could ever hear at that moment. He shouted like a maniac, “Save me!”
“Are you kidding me?” Brendel replied, “If I save you, who’s going to lure these monsters away?” Although usually this fellow looked dumbed, he was considerably reliable. But what he was saying now was as if his IQ plummeted.
When Devard saw that the promenade was once again silent, and those Revitalizing Magics were only a dozen meters away from him, he gritted his teeth and hurriedly ran a few steps forward, and stopped again. He himself realized that he had said something stupid, but he was not really a fool after all, and after a little consideration, he understood what Brendel was really trying to do, "I will lure these monsters away, but you have to make a promise."
"What is it?"
"I want you to promise that Her Highness will spare the Duke's life." Devard took a breath and replied.
"Who am I to promise such a request for the princess?" Brendel couldn't help but laugh a little, thinking that this guy's brain was malfunctioning, otherwise why would he say silly things one after another.
“You are Count Trentheim, the one who saved the princess’ brother when the Royal Faction betrayed them. You signed an agreement with His Highness, ostensibly to rest and recuperate, but in reality is to balance power, so the relationship between Her Highness and the Royal Faction would remain broken and she would have no choice but to rely on you. You rule Trentheim, making Radner yours in the future, and no one would be able to get their hands on you nor your position in Aouine. In the battle of Ampere Seale, you were the greatest winner, you are Aouine’s future ruler and the real one in power, how can Her Highness not obey you?” Devard roared.
Brendel was slightly stunned as he did not expect this guy to find so many reasons. What's this strange idea of signing an agreement with His Royal Highness to balance out the power? He suddenly shook his head with a bitter smile, thinking that it must have seemed this way to outsiders, including Her Highness, just that it was impossible to voice it out in front of him. It was only now that he suddenly understood why Princess Gryphine's attitude changed dramatically after the battle of Ampere Seale, he once thought it might have been out of gratitude, but now he thought he had been too naive. He was afraid that the princess had already thought it through that night. She clearly wanted to kill him that night, but she suddenly suppressed herself and signed an agreement with him. She was a princess from a royal family, how could she do that?
Maybe only a guy like him who had no knowledge in politics would take such a dramatic change in attitude for granted.
Keeping such an enemy like the king’s eldest son to prevent Her Highness and the Faction from abandoning the benefactor (Brendel) upon achieving their goal, then uniting the Highland Knights with Duke Viero to sweep Count Radner off his feet? Brendel had not even thought that Radner would surely be his territory in the future, otherwise Trentheim would not be the Count’s territory, and why would the princess give him the title as the Count? When he was to become the Duke of Radner, he would be Aouine’s future ruler in the eyes of others whether he liked it or not. Brendel could imagine what the following path would be like. Marrying Her Highness, then becoming the regent of Aouine. What Arreck could not do today, was within reach to him.
To be even more sinister, restructuring the dynasty and everything within did not seem impossible, as long as the prince fell into some trouble.
Brendel broke out in cold sweat. If even I could figure this out, what’s going through the princess’ mind? She would never tolerate any threats to her brother. He suddenly realized that Princess Gryphine let Haruz become his student and follow him around, this was obviously a deliberate arrangement. Because Brendel was not considered ‘fully grown’ yet, it was impossible for him to strike at Haruz now; giving him the title of a teacher might just be an act of holding back. Both Aouine and Kirrlutz extremely emphasized honor and righteousness, the dynastic change was often in accordance with those nebulous conventions and legends. Just like House Seifer’s declination, which was simply because they had lost the favor of the Lionheart Sword.
And the Yanbao Family could use the broken Sword Throne as a reason to ask Her Highness and her brother to abdicate. Duke Arreck had been in business for generations, he could be said to be above the royal family’s strength, but yet, he did not dare to act rashly. To covet the throne, one would still need a reasonable reason to intervene. For example, political marriage. The northern nobles were the same, no matter how powerful one was, they relied on the Seifer’s family which had declined a thousand years ago, because this was a tradition and a rule that everyone must comply with.
But Aouine would not tolerate a regicide, a teacher-murderer, or someone who conspired to kill his own students to take the throne, because these were dishonorable.
The princess was indeed well-intentioned. Brendel could not help but sigh, he was almost certain that this was a test, and Maynild who was with him was the princess's spy. If the princess knew the true origin of Maynild, she would immediately change someone to take her place. These were the so-called coincidences of history, but Brendel shook his head, he did not have any thoughts about these, the throne of Aouine or the fate and future of this country, had nothing to do with him if it was not for the experience of the other world.
I think this would be the case with my senior.
Most of the time, people tend to be rational, but his life was often governed by emotions.
No matter who it was- Arreck, Devard, Her Highness, or even Amandina, or the others around him, they would never truly understand what he was after. Perhaps only one person could, as she had once asked innocently, “Brendel, what is it that you want to do?”
“I want to become a merchant in the future.” He replied that he wanted to save Aouine, to drag the kingdom back from its track towards destruction, and everyone would think that this was just an excuse; they were certain that their Lord had greater ambitions.
But it was really that simple. She wants to be a merchant, and I want to be a savior. It seemed as easy as a child saying that he wants to become a general or a king; it seemed as easy as just doing what one wanted, without any reason.
Brendel laughed slightly as he shook his head, secretly feeling suffocated while taking Devard’s words as a joke.
Although it was just a brief moment, the Revitalizing Curses’ army was tangibly close at hand. Devard simply did not know what he had said wrong again that made the damn conspirator, the devil and the fraud stop talking. Even if he wants to leave me to die, say something, damn it. Looking at the current situation, Devard would have immediately cursed at him if he didn’t need to get Brendel’s favor.
But Brendel suddenly came to his senses, shook his head, and replied, “Your request is impossible.”
It was a refusal. Devard sighed, “You’re being too harsh, Lord Count.”
“Devard, it is not up to us to decide whether Duke Arreck would die or live. Besides, he has not failed yet, it doesn’t seem that nice for you to be here to arrange your master’s funeral.” Brendel sneered.
He wouldn’t have failed, but now it’s hard to say since you’re here. Devard thought to himself in hatred. Arreck was still not aware that Brendel and Veronica had caught up, which in itself showed that things had accelerated faster than what they expected, or perhaps the Duke had a back-up plan. But the young man in front of him was not so simple to deal with. In fact, Devard had a strange feeling, maybe they had failed, and Brendel’s appearance here was just to get something back.
Devard didn’t know that his own speculation was close to the truth, but Brendel’s words managed to shut him up. After all, even if that was the fact, he could not curse his master to fail, right? He pondered for a moment and finally replied, "I have only one request."
When Devard said this, he had already rushed forward, pulling a longer distance from the Revitalizing Curses behind him again.
"Say it." Brendel replied.
The huge obsidian door was humming low, and Korfa withdrew her hand from it as streams of light were flowing through the texture of the door, all of which were concentrated in the central groove, forming a bright nebula. "It's done." The eldest daughter of Hati replied coldly, and behind her, all the members of the All For One had a gleam of excitement in their eyes, except for Arreck whose expression remained unchanged. He and his gloomy face, as if the whole plan had come to a final end, but instead had nothing more to do with him.
"I have opened this door for you as promised, but you don't seem to be happy, human?" Korfa sensed this keenly, and she asked distractedly.
"What is there to be happy about when humanity and civilization are one step closer to their destruction again?" Arreck replied indifferently.
"Huh," the eldest daughter of Hati showed interest for the first time, her lips under the shadow of the hood showed a curious curve, "I thought that is your lifelong goal, and now that the wish is achieved, you're neither satisfied nor excited?"
"That is indeed the goal of my life," Arreck was silent for a moment, before replying in a hoarse voice, "But everything should have a final inevitable result, which makes it seem ordinary. Civilization is drifting away from the path of folly, and their demise could only be blamed on themselves. But in any case, I am still one of them, and their destruction, that is, would be our destruction. So what is there to celebrate?"
"Then why did you still go for it?" Korfa didn't understand these humans.
They were not of the Golden Race, which was the servant of the Divine Folk, the staunchest defender of Order. They were not the Silver People either, who were the followers of the Law. From the wilderness of the four realms to the shallow sea, from the borders of the Black Forest to the most distant Elemental Frontier, they watched and witnessed the changes of Order, and no one ever had ever heard of any betrayers among the Gold People and Silver People. But these people in front of her, the last generation of the Black Dwarfs, was Korfa’s first time dealing with them, which gave her a strange feeling.
She seemed to have realized something, but immediately shook her head and put this odd feeling at the back of her mind.
After a low roar, the giant obsidian doors gradually receded to the sides, revealing the dark walkway behind them. The soft light emanating from the magical gems held aloft in the hands of the members of All For One poured in through the open gaps, illuminating the walkway that had been dusty for thousands, if not millions, of years under the dust.
The Spiral Hall-
There was even a low whispering noise.
"Miss Korfa, you are not human and cannot understand human emotions. Men are most of the time self-described as rational, but his life is often driven by feelings that'll make him do things that seem very impulsive and incomprehensible to others." Arreck did not seem to care about what was happening in front of him, and he rarely seemed interested in going up to talk with the noble lady.
"Does it apply to you as well?" Korfa narrowed her eyes and stared at the old man who appeared completely wretched, but she could feel his wretched body being supported by a powerful dignity and determination. Although it seemed a bit ridiculous to her, it was impossible for others around to offend him.
"I am also human, so I'm not excluded." Arreck replied.
"Bringing Order to truth, don't you agree that this is a great purpose?" Korfa asked again
"It is indeed a great purpose, greatly further beyond those flies that are all about power and profit. I have seen too much folly who ended up choosing that path. In order to ensure that I'm right, I've even referred to many documents and sources, and only a few people know that I have studied in the White Tower of the Bugas for quite some time. I participated in the last Holy War, but everything I have seen, is verifying my suspicions - the Flame King had established Kirrlutz for only a thousand years, but would his descendants remember the glory from a thousand years ago? Wind Elves turned their heads and betrayed their sages, and where have the Sun, Moon and Star Elves gone? Furthermore, today's Farnezain is vulgar and unbearable, long gone from the transcendence of those days, and their civilization and Order is no more than simply repeating mistakes from a thousand years ago. I am sick and tired of this cycle of sameness, instead of letting future generations keep repeating the tragedies of their predecessors, let's put an end to it once and for all."
Korfa raised her thin eyebrows slightly. She didn't expect to draw out this old man's long-windedness, but she immediately asked with her usual acumen, "I hear you speak with great righteousness, but it's not hard to hear resentment in your words, human."
"I've never acted with great righteousness, I just make sure what I do is right. You're right, it's private indignation that drives me, but that's my own secret and there's no need to tell that to outsiders." Arreck replied indifferently, shaking his head as if he did not want to continue on this topic.
The team slowly advanced along the dark passage. After passing through a narrow archway, an open space suddenly appeared in front of them. It was a spherical hall, with similar arches on all sides of the hall, and each road extended from the archway to form a long bridge that spiraled to connect the center of the hall, where a giant platform stood. But the platform was not empty, there was a stone throne with a purple crystal hovering over it. When the members of the All For One entered the hall, they saw a tall, ghostly blue figure sitting on the throne standing up to meet them.
"Humans, this is not the place where you should come, back off now, you still have room to regret." When the blue figure spoke, the whole hall buzzed.
The Witch had told them about magic in the language before, but this was only when the members of All For One truly understood the legend's truth. The other party's words were not exorbitant, but the voice came like a shocking wave, with each word like thunder. It was obviously just a short sentence of warning, but they, including Arreck, felt as if were caught in an endless storm, trudging through the bitter cold wind, while the peak of the mountain where the storm stopped appeared in front of them, and there were endless glaciers in all directions, and in the blink of an eye, they were going to be completely buried under the ice.
This thundering voice made his identity known to all at once.
Milos - the God of Frost Giants.
Even Korfa bent down and bowed, greeting him with a clear voice, "Lord Milondal, long time no see."
The voice let out a sigh, "Little Korfa, I thought you have strayed far away from the war, but it seems like things don't go as you wish."
As soon as the words left his mouth, the illusion in front of Arreck and the others disappeared.