"Yes. Wind Archers are a typical field force. Their greatest strength is their ability to be continuously invisible for short periods of time during a battle, or to stealthily move for long periods of time before a battle," Monica replied. “However, the current Valhalla Wind Archers are also equipped with the Wind Archer armor that you designed yourself, my Lord. That is why they also have the ability to fly and glide for short periods of time-”
Brendel could not help but feel pleasantly surprised after hearing this. It was easy to imagine how useful an archer who excelled at stealth would be on the battlefield. One of the major flaws of archers while they were out in battle was their lack of close-combat ability, as well as how easily they could be discovered. Normally, an archer formation would collapse as soon as they were approached by cavalry.
But Wind Archers were obviously completely different, as they did not even need protection. Once approached, they could immediately use the flight ability provided by the Wind Archer's cloak to pull away, then use their invisibility to re-enter stealth and wait for the next shot.
God! Brendel could well imagine how terrifying that was, but the only problem right now was that there were still too few of them. Otherwise, they could come in very handy in this war.
At that train of thought, he suddenly thought of something else and turned back to ask, "Ferlarn, did you get another new message from Radner?"
"Not this time, my Lord." Ferlarn’s expression remained the same as she replied, "This time it's about a certain Madara Lord; a certain fellow over in Sillman who had been favored by Your Lordship had our messenger bring back the news. As Your Lordship had predicted, Madara’s Army has begun to converge on the Yulsong region."
"Bloodstaff." Brendel turned off the Lord's interface with a 'pop' and stood up at once. "The Madara have already begun to move. The time to get Count Radner to depart should be soon too. It's slightly earlier than I expected, but it seems that there must be some pressuring new development on Duke Arreck’s side.
"Her Highness asked when you were leaving, my Lord."
Brendel was startled, but then a sudden commotion broke out from one side of the square. He looked up just in time to see the princess and her party approaching from the side of the Moon Tower. Presumably, they had come to the plaza through the circular path in the hall in the center of the World Tree.
The princess passed through the center of the plaza with a couple of female officers, and took a look at her own brother, who was bound solidly by the roots of the ancient tree. It was only then that Brendel realized that he had not warned her; the young prince seemed to have completely succumbed to the mighty power of the tentacles, his sword already separated. He kept ‘panting’ in a suggestive manner from where he was.
Princess Gryphine could not help but frown at this scene and shook her head gently.
She walked up to Brendel and inhaled before greeting him softly, “Mr.Brendel, you are still as spry as ever even though I have not seen you for a few days.”
"Your Highness... " Brendel was a little embarrassed. After all, he had tortured someone else's brother - the future king of the kingdom - into this state. It would have been fine if the princess had not seen this, but he had not expected to cross paths with her abruptly without warning.
"I did not come here to say that, Count." The princess shook her head. "I've come to say goodbye to you. By the way, I'd like to ask when you plan to leave for Viero?"
"Say goodbye?" Brendel was startled.
"I intend to return to Frada first. Oberwei and Lantonilan’s ambassadors are still waiting for me there, and besides, Mr. Eikkel and his fiancée have sent word that they left yesterday for Vallendaren. Duke Lantonilan has given him full authority to act on Lantonilan's behalf this time-" She paused. "So there's not much time left for me."
That was when it dawned on Brendel, and he fell silent. In fact, he already knew that the time was right when he received the news about the Madara’s movements from Ferlarn. Still, he did not expect the princess to come so quickly.
"Mr. Brendel, are you going to leave with me for Frada?" the princess asked again after pausing for a moment.
Brendel naturally wouldn’t refuse to travel with the eldest princess, but he hesitated and finally shook his head. "No, I will not be accompanying you, Your Highness. I have something else to do, so you can go ahead. I shall meet with you and the others at Vallendaren Castle later."
Princess Gryphine peered at him. There was no surprise in her silver eyes; in fact, she already knew where Brendel was preparing to go, and she chimed in, "Are you going to take those Kirrlutzians with you?"
"Yes." Brendel nodded. In a sense, the trip to the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth was actually supposed to help the Kirrlutzians, so of course he had to take them with him. However, most of those Kirrlutzian Knights were draggers. He thought about it and replied, "I'll just take Laurenna and her fiancé with me. Veronica would probably head there to meet me as well."
"Will you make it in time?" the princess asked.
"I should be able to." Brandao nodded.
Although the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth was a legendary dungeon, it was not all that big inside. Besides, he did not necessarily have to fight hard against the monsters inside; the best scenario would be that Arreck had already gotten the Heart of the Dragon. Then all he would need to do was snatch the items from the cultists.
And there would not be any mental stress.
"It's in your hands then." Princess Gryphine looked at him, the trust evident in her eyes. She whispered, "I’m leaving Magadal to you-"
"Don't worry, Your Highness, Princess Magadal is my friend too."
"I see, Mr. Brendel, then I am relieved.."
"Still, I have one more favor to ask, Your Highness." Brendel suddenly said again. He looked at the princess of Aouine with some hesitation, and to be honest, he was not sure if she would grant him this request.
"Actually, it's two favors. First, I’d like Freya to be in command of Frada's army this time. Secondly, I would like to request Prince Haruz to travel with me to the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth."
As soon as Brendel spoke, the surroundings immediately quieted down.
The princess fell silent for a moment. "For the first request, I have already said that military command of both territories are now your full responsibility, Mr. Brendel. It is also up to you to decide who shall be their commander-in-chief.
"As for the second request..." The half-elf girl fell silent for a moment. After all, this was her only brother. She had put all her hope in him, wishing that he would be able to support the kingdom. Of course, she wished Haruz would be stronger, but that did not mean she would easily let her brother be put in danger.
Although Brendel did not say anything, she was well aware of the dangers of the Stained Frost Forest Labyrinth. After all, it was still within the Aouine Kingdom, and most of the calamities in the Viero region came from the direction of the Falling Needle Hills Avenue. It was impossible for her not to have heard of those rumors as a princess of a country.
"May I know the reason?" she asked softly at last.
Brendel hesitated for a moment. He certainly could not explicitly say that he wanted to take this little prince to run a dungeon for equipment and gain experience. It would also be best if he could become more independent at the same time. He thought for a moment and finally replied.
"I think Haruz… The prince, he… needs a bit of training."
"Can't you do it somewhere else?" Princess Gryphine frowned.
“Of course I can, but we’re running out of time. Now that we have this opportunity, I think it might be time to let him walk his own path," Brendel replied seriously as he looked back at the young prince, who was tied up firmly. He asked, "Are you afraid, Prince Haruz?"
"I..." The little prince had been tied up for so long that he was about to cry, but he looked at his sister and then at this terrible teacher. At last, he said pitifully, "I-I'm not afraid..."
Gryphine could not help but sigh as she watched her brother in this state. Of course, she knew that her brother was not actually willing, but it was precisely because of his reluctance that she steeled herself. She nodded.
"I understand, Mr. Brendel. Haruz is in your hands."
Haruz looked at his sister with tears in his eyes. His pitiful expression made Brendel think that the princess had abandoned her brother, instead of just gracefully leaving him in Brendel’s care.
But the princess was clearly more stone-hearted than Brendel had imagined, and without even looking at her brother, she said to Brendel, "Then I will take my leave, Mr. Brendel."
Brendel nodded, slightly touched. There was no doubt that Haruz was currently one of the most important people to the princess. The fact that she had handed this young prince over to him was even more significant than when she handed the Keystone to him that time.
If anything happened to Haruz, she would lose her persistence and hope.
Brendel turned back. “Ferlarn, go and get Miss Freya to prepare herself. We’re about to leave.” He ordered succinctly.