The Amber Sword - v4c33




A second invasion of the Bloodstaff did occur in history at the end of the Year of the Sword.

This untameable, uncontrollable King of the Corpse Mage colluded with Radner to stir up trouble in an attempt to create an excuse to invade Grinoires. The more underlying intent was to get rid of Madara's supreme emperor’s control, or at least to weaken the other side's prestige. 

That was why this was a completely self-directed show by the Bloodstaff, except that certain people had planned the opening of the great show, but did not expect the final ending. The once unstoppable Bloodstaff that swept across the eastern border of Karsuk had completely fallen in this war. The Bloodstaff was first defeated by the allied forces of Eikkel, Youla and Duke Viero, before dying in defeat after being ambushed on its way back to the Land of the Spiders by the army of Alvitr, the Queen of the Demons, who claimed to be unwilling to submit to the Mercury Staff.

Shortly after its death, the territory it had ruled over, the Bloodwoods, was divided. Yinstar Dragon inherited the largest chunk of it. Then, the Queen of the Demons, Alvitr, also surrendered to that supreme being of Madara after a token resistance. No matter how you looked at it, this whole process looked as if the King of the Corpse Mage had dug a hole and then buried himself in it. 

Yinstar Dragon had a secret deal with Radner before he left Aouine, and then the lovely Count went to the Bloodstaff to conspire together. Only the Bloodstaff’s empty corpse brain - which had been eroded by darkness - would think that there was odd with this.

The Queen of the Demons, Alvitr, was also a strong suspect, but that was not what Brendel needed to be concerned about. What made his heart skip a beat was the realization that this historical ‘September Conflict’ would bring him a huge opportunity, and might even allow him to solve the troubles in the South once and for all.

If the idea succeeded, then the princess would have at least one to two years of development after the unification of the South. If Aouine prepared in advance to deal with the war before that emperor of Madara was ready, perhaps the newborn Black Rose would carefully consider the westward route.

Brendel pondered and ended up distracted from all his thinking. He tapped his finger lightly on the envelope. The opportunity in it was clear only to him - he clearly remembered this point in history - the Month of Autumn of the Year of the Sword. The Bloodstaff would choose to travel east from modern-day Bucce - in other words, the Bloodstaff would move from the Sillman region into Grinoires - and then meet with Count Radner at the border of the North Tusankard Forest.

The armies of the Bloodstaff would then attack Grinoires’s capital from the north in an attempt to open the avenue leading west of Lake Vallendaren to Viero.

However, Madara’s Army was ambushed by the allied forces of Eikkel, Youla, and Duke Viero near Shallow Water Town and was subsequently routed. The Bloodstaff was killed by Alvitr on her return to the Land of the Spiders, and the forces of the princess and Duke Arreck then invaded Magitan, the capital of Radner.

The September Conflict began in the Month of Harvest. It lasted for more than a month until the middle of the Month of Autumn. Neither Madara nor Aouine recognized it as war after the fact, and the written consensus identified it as a border conflict between lords who had privately looted and retaliated. Brendel had been personally involved in the war as a player at that time.

Shortly after that, Count Radner was banished and fled to Madara to join the Yinstar Dragon’s forces, but that was no longer Brendel's concern. He stared up at the huge map of Aouine’s southern border that hung on the wall of one side of the Coldwood Castle hall, his eyes always straying to one of the lines on it.

That line stretched from Sillman in the south to Castle Kurco in the north. Historically, the Bloodstaff had taken Kurkel, but this time, Brendel was not going to give the Corpse Mage this many advantages. The South was like a crown jewel to the princess now, and Brendel was not so generous as to give away what he had.

The point was, this was exactly the perfect opportunity to bring in Archduke Grinoires, and Duke Viero was bound to join in. He hoped that the old man Arreck would join in on this endeavor as too; if their allied forces were completely wiped out, then the war in the South would be quelled.

Brendel's eyes rested on the warring Sillman region, and he suddenly thought of a few people.
 
Those guys should have gotten a firm foothold by now.
 
Then the plan was set.
 
He flexed his fingers and tapped the table. This action made Amandina - who was off by the side - perk up. The young aide, who was familiar with him, knew very well that he had already decided on his next plan.

Brendel looked up in surety, and he first glanced at Delphine, whom Scarlet had pressed onto a chair. The woman baffled him a little, but the fact that she had instructed her men to injure Freya angered him even more, the valkyrie had run in bandages earlier to tell him not to be impulsive, but that was exactly what made Brendel's heart even colder.

He gave a slight hum. A murderer should realize what it’s like to be killed; this woman had evil intentions, and although she did not succeed in the end, it was at least  an attempted murder. Besides, she hadn’t stayed her hand because she suddenly rediscovered her conscience. If Scarlet had not been there,  both Freya and Romaine might have been in danger. 

But the two armies were still fighting without beheading the messenger, and while the messenger had done something disgraceful, Brendel was not petty enough to be bothered by a woman. Besides, if he killed Delphine just like that, he was afraid that Freya would mostly feel guilty about it. He did not want to leave any grudges against the future valkyrie of this kingdom because of this small matter.

A death sentence could be avoided, but a punishment for the living could not. Furthermore, to Brendel, sometimes death meant freedom instead. This evil, cruel lady who was glaring at him might just rather die. She was the daughter of the Kirrlutzian prime minister and seemed to not be a common person, so if she were to be killed, a real war might break out between Aouine and Kirrlutz. 

Brendel stared at her and felt that her dark purple eyes were filled with spite. 

“Lord?” Amandina seemed to have seen through his thoughts and opened her mouth to ask in a whisper. 

"For the time being, I do not wish to see this one. She was born with such a beautiful face, and yet that face is wasted on someone who is so disgustingly hideous on the inside. Take her to the water dungeon beneath Coldwood Castle. I'm sure Lord Veronica will give me a satisfactory answer," Brendel replied coldly.

"The water dungeon?" Amandina asked, a little in disbelief. She could not help but give Delphine a somewhat sympathetic glance. In comparison, perhaps being executed would have been a little better. Those dark cells below Coldwood Castle were all constructed during the Graudin era, and the few lowest levels were water cells covered with an iron cage, with waist-deep, foul-smelling water. There was no way anyone could have changed the water in there. There was no telling how many human or rat corpses, or whatever were in there. There was also something else that was just too much for her to even talk about - no one could not stop the prisoners from defecating, could they?

It was difficult for her to imagine what would happen to this prime minister's daughter after a few days of being locked up inside. There was no way that a beautiful woman like her would not care about her image. Besides, Brendel would have to wait until Veronica replied, which meant that as long as Veronica did not give him an answer, Delphine would have to be locked in there for the rest of her life.
 
Amandina was getting chills by just thinking about it. 

But then she took one look at Delphine and could not help but sigh. This woman was to blame. When she had ordered someone to hurt Freya, the entire territory had nearly been riled up.

“Alright,” she replied softly and nodded, before preparing to order her soldiers to drag the prime minister's daughter away.

But right then, Laurenna - who was restrained in a chair with a spell cast by Ciel - could not help but speak up and plead when she saw the scene. "Lord..."

While she was the one who actually hurt Freya, she and her fiancé were treated the best instead. The other Kirrlutzian knights were simply left tied up on the ground, while she and Filas were merely confined to chairs with spells. From this, the female knight could vaguely sense that the earl in front of her didn't seem to be that unreasonable. 

Moreover, as a knight from the army, she knew very well what the Black Cauldron was. It was impossible for Delphine, who had been born into a noble family and raised as a noble since childhood, to stay in a place like that for more than a day.

It just didn't occur to her that Brendel would interrupt her as soon as she opened her mouth. "Ms. Laurenna, I know you are a good and honest knight. You know very well what would have happened if I hadn't been able to stop that scene. If Freya had died as a result, or if she had been seriously injured, I would have declared war on Kirrlutz immediately."

He gave the female knight a look. He had Laurenna and Filas in the chairs not because he could see that they were innocent, but because they had some fame in history. They were two of the rare Kirrlutzian commanders that Brendel looked up to. The title of Righteous Laurenna had been passed down through the land until after the Holy War. He was sure that she would not take a shot at Freya for no reason.

"Don't doubt whether I am capable of doing so." He paused and then continued, "Lady Laurenna, I'm sure you're already well aware of my relationship with the Ash Sword Saint. If Aouine were to cross paths with the Kirrlutz over this, then the end that awaits both kingdoms will surely be a bloodbath, except that because of this woman's selfishness, hundreds of people will die. Compared to my heartlessness now, the prime minister’s daughter in front of you seems even more like a cold-blooded murderer.

"Moreover, I'm afraid she didn't consider your safety when she ordered you and Mr. Filas to fight. You should know this very well; had you made a move then, you would be in a precarious situation. It's not hard to imagine what you would have faced if you had failed. If you hadn't met me, I'm afraid you would have met with an accident by now," Brendel continued.

Laurenna was taken aback, and could not help but remain silent.
 
 "What fallacious logic. Kirrlutz’s fight with Aouine is simply your own decision, Lord. However, you can just pin everything on me and make me the executioner, Lord,” Delphine, who was pressed into a chair, sneered out of the blue.

Brendel gave the woman a somewhat compassionate glance and slowly replied, "Compared to a woman like you, who has no normal human emotions, it is indeed difficult for you to understand the bonds of affection and bonds between people. After all, these things are too complicated and profound for you.  The blood within you is cold and heartless, while I am capable of declaring war on the Kirrlutz for Freya. That's the biggest difference between me and you-"

"You-" Delphine seemed to have been suddenly stabbed in her weak spot. She could not resist biting her lower lip and staring at him viciously.

 "Miss Delphine, I can vouch for Count Trentheim's words. I can assure you he is not an alarmist." Princess Gryphine, who was silently watching from the side, suddenly stepped in to speak at this time.

She quietly replied, "Mr. Brendel is right. This has nothing to do with reason or profit; he who kills pays, and Aouine is capable of guarding its people."
 
Brendel turned back.

He looked at the princess somewhat gratefully. While he knew that part of it was because she was trying to buy his favor, at least this time she had stood up in front of an outsider and chosen to stand with him. It meant that she would always be on his side in this matter.

Bendel wasn’t the only one. Even Laurenna and Filas could not help but look at the eldest princess of Aouine in surprise, both of them showing a look of amazement as they subconsciously re-evaluated this count’s importance to the princess.
 
Apparently, it was a bit more intimate than what was rumored out there.

As Delphine stared coldly at Princess Gyphine, she shuddered slightly and replied in a grumbling tone, "I understand. But you'd better kill me, or I swear that as long as you don’t, I will strike down the people close to you!"

"You don't stand a chance, Miss Delphine," Brendel replied coldly. "I know what you're thinking, but I have more brains than you think."
 
With that said, he was too lazy to deal with this evil woman any longer, so he turned back to Amandina again. "Amandina, take her down. Everyone must be held accountable for their actions." She gave a slight nod, and only then did she take the soldier accompanying her to escort the Kirrlutzian prime minister’s daughter down to the dungeon.