If even Brendel failed to find anything associated with this name after digging through his memories, the rest of the crowd were certainly unable to recall that name as well. Only Romaine stuttered out a question. “Y-you, why are you pretending to be me?”
Ovina looked at Romaine and paused in surprise. “So that is how it is.”
“Hmm? What do you mean?” the merchant girl asked.
The other girl turned around and frowned at Brendel, who was still on the ground. “You seem to have inherited the privileges of the Commision of Truth, but it is apparent that you have privileges that are even higher than that. This is odd… let me take a look. How strange, you have the feel of Gaia about you.”
She turned around to examine everyone else in the room, but then paused briefly when she got to William. The Great Mage from the Silver Alliance frowned in silence, as if in deep thought, but when Ovina’s gaze landed on Freya, her eyes lit up.
“A descendant of the Defender of the War Goddess... I had not thought that this bloodline still existed in this world,” she sighed admiringly.
Brendel caught every word the girl of lightning said, but he understood none of it. Every word that came out of Ovina’s mouth was foreign to him. Even with his previous experience with the game, he hadn’t heard of this.
He frowned and asked, “Madam, who are you? You’re an Elite Elf, but who do you represent?”
“Me?” The girl strode forward and tilted her chin up. “Human, according to your lore, you should address me as the Azure Knight.”
The Azure Knight.
Those words resonated in Brendel’s mind. He opened his mouth, but he seemed to have momentarily lost the ability to speak.
The others didn’t seem to be faring any better and were probably doing worse. Medissa’s lance nearly fell to the ground while Sir Makarov and the others standing behind her Royal Highness Princess kept muttering to themselves. “Impossible... This can’t be…”
Standing before them was the Azure Knight who shattered the skies, made the stars fall, and brought about the Era of the Mortals.
If you asked what the most famous epic poem in the history of Amber Sword was, it would be the Pale Poem. And the most well-known stanza from the Pale Poem was the one about the legend of the Azure Knight.
That was the archetype for every subsequent knightly epic poem. Countless stories have been adapted from that stanza. Almost every knight’s fantasies included this legendary figure.
But, she was a woman?
Everyone struggled for a moment to come to grips with this. Only Romaine, after figuring out that Ovina was not impersonating her, asked in curiosity, “But why do you look exactly like me?”
“The course of history is quiet and deep like a river. Amongst the millions of stars, it is inevitable that two will be alike. It is all mere coincidence,” the other girl answered in a low voice.
Brendel, however, thought the lady was making things up. “Lady Knight, may I ask what you meant by what you just said?” he asked her.
Ovina looked at him and answered, “You heard what I said. I would not so easily tell you what I did not say then. In this world, every secret has its price.”
“Then what price must we pay?” Brendel asked with a frown. In the game, the players kept trying to unravel a puzzle - the final path towards The Power of Existence. Even though nobody has succeeded so far, Brendel vaguely felt that what Ovina said was related to that final door.
Ever since the Ebabel Tower fell, knowledge of those ancient times became lost, and The Power of Existence was no longer mentioned in written history. Since then, no member of either the Golden Race or the Silver Folk had been able to truly open that door.
Even the Dragons, powerful as they were, got no further than the peak of the golden body.
Brendel looked at Ovina carefully, but the female knight made of lightning shook her head. “You cannot afford their price, human. Now, tell me: what do you hope to accomplish by coming here?”
“Accomplish?” Brendel suddenly remembered the purpose of their journey. “Lady Knight, we have accidentally found the Azure Lance, which you wielded before. We were hoping to gain its acknowledgement.”
“I see.” The girl of lightning nodded. She raised her head and looked around the Great Hall. “This must be the ruins of the Ebabel Tower. You must have not heard of this name before. So, what is this place to you? And what year is it in the outside world?”
“Right now, this land belongs to the Aouine Kingdom. It is currently under the commercial port Ampere Seale, Lady Knight,” Princess Gryphine answered. “And we are now in the 376th year of the First Era.”
“So the Era of Chaos has ended,” the girl of lightning murmured. “Are there any Divine Folk who still remain in this land?”
The rest of the party looked at each other in confusion. What was that term? Even for the players, that had simply been a term left in the background of the legends.
Ovina took one look at their expressions and understood what happened, but her face showed neither sadness or joy; she merely answered her own question, “Of course, I understand.”
She raised her head. “If you wish to win the Azure Lance’s acknowledgement, then it is simple. You just have to defeat me,” she replied to Brendel.
Brendel thought it fortunate that he hadn’t choked on his own saliva. Their opponent was the legendary hero who shattered the azure skies and brought about the beginning of a new era. Legend has it that the Azure Knight existed before the destruction of the Ebale Fortress, and most certainly possessed the Power of Existence. Even during those terrible times, she had been a force to be reckoned with.
Therefore, it was easy to see how terrifyingly powerful this girl of lightning was.
Even though he knew getting the Azure Lance was no easy matter - after all, the Amber Sword was first and foremost a game, and since it was a game, there would be no free lunches - Brendel had no idea this ‘side quest’ would have such a simple yet challenging condition.
You just have to beat the Elite Elf of the Azure Lance.
But the question was: was that even doable?
Just from that single attack, Brendel could gauge that even at the height of his in-game powers and with the help of all the elite players in the Gretius’ Knight Squad, they might not even be a match against this girl.
“Lady Knight, may I ask how much of your actual powers do you still possess as an Elite Elf?” he couldn’t help but ask.
Ovina smiled. “You are smart, human, to ask about your opponent’s strength. However, I am afraid my answer will disappoint you. As long as I am still within these halls, my power is as it was during my peak.”
Everyone felt like they had taken a punch right there and then.
Sir Makarov and the others looked over at the legendary mage from the Silver League, but even William could only smile with a grimace. While his strength was close to the peak of power that a mortal could attain, his powers were nothing compared to the Power of Existence.
He shook his head to indicate there was no possibility for victory.
“This is unfair,” Princess Gryphine couldn’t help but complain with a frown. “Milady, how could anyone defeat you?”
“Little half elf, if nobody can defeat me, then what rights do they have to my weapon?” the girl of lightning smiled slightly as she answered.
However, Brendel furrowed his brow in thought. Unlike the others, his first thought was that there was something off with this condition.
A game would not have criteria that was impossible to fulfill.
The princess had asked a good question. Who could defeat the Azure Knight? Forget about the ones present right here; even in his time, which player could say they could defeat the Azure Knight?
Or, going even further back, unless you possessed the Power of Existence, then you had no chance of victory.
He immediately thought of the hidden implications.
He lifted his head, only to see a pair of eyes looking at him. Those eyes were black with a tinge of light purple. They were set on a stunning face, framed by elegant eyebrows and a head of glorious black hair.
The female knight stared back at him, her intentions clear in those eyes.
But she still mouthed a hint at him.
Brendel immediately understood. He hadn’t had the time to think about why Maynild would consider such a question, but he still looked up at Ovina and asked, “Lady Knight, you said that your powers are at its peak while you are in the Great Hall,?”
The girl of lightning looked at him in confusion.
Brendel came to a realization. “Lady Knight, whoever defeats you can win the recognition of the Azure Lance?”
“Yes.” Ovina nodded.
“That’s fine then.” Brendel suddenly leaped backwards and shouted at Ciel, “Ciel, Dragon Strike!”
The young Assistant Mage instinctively understood what his leader wanted the moment Brendel opened his mouth. Since Ovina was unconquerable in the Great Hall, they would have to choose a different battlefield. He extended his hand towards the ground, and the ring of light from the Magic of Law gathered in the center of his palm, lighting up the hall.
“What do you think you’re doing!”
Ovina’s eyebrows - which were formed out of lightning - curved up, and then a wave of anger flashed across her face. “I hate people who attempt to cheat!”
As she finished speaking, her figure vanished from everyone’s sight. Then, Romaine called out in surprise, “Brendel, behind you!”
A shiver ran up Brendel’s spine. Most people, under the same circumstances, would attack Ciel first in order to cancel his attack, but Ovina clearly had figured out the relationship between him and Ciel. In other words, she knew he was a Planeswalker.
Brendel felt a chill on his back. He didn’t have time to resist before a cold - as if it hadn’t been made of lightning - hand grasped his back.
“Make him stop.” The lightning girl’s voice was frigid.
“No, Ciel, cast the spell! There is some law governing this place and she can’t hurt us!” Brendel shouted instead.
Ovina paused in surprise. “...How did you know?”
Brendel beamed at her. “You just stabbed at me with a lance, did you forget that?”
“You noticed?” Surprise welled up in the girl’s platinum eyes. “You do have some wits about you, but did you really think this would stop me?”
Brendel knew something bad was going to happen when he saw the cold satisfaction on Ovina’s face. He followed her gaze to see that the beam of light from Dragon Strike, which had been gathering in Ciel’s palm, had already shot out to strike at the ground. This hall had been made fragile by the passing of time, and this single strike caused the floor underneath them to shatter. Everything was about to collapse.
Right at that moment, Ovina said coldly, “Destiny’s power, History Reversal.”
It was just four words.
And then a miracle happened.