As the innkeeper squinted his eyes and examined the crowd, Brendel himself couldn’t help but turn around and glance at the person who had quietly followed along their team this entire time. Until now, she had not spoken one single sentence with him and just kept following along silently.
But in deference to Her Royal Highness, he couldn’t just ask the woman anything.
When everyone walked into the inn, the bald innkeeper finally seemed to react and confirm that this crowd of people wasn’t here to collect debts. He blanked for a second before asking, “Do you all require rooms?”
“Unless you have other services aside from rooms? Isn’t this an inn?” Before Brendel could respond, Filas asked in confusion.
“Ahh, no. Of course… no, welcome!” The bald innkeeper jumped up as if someone held his feet over an open flame. “You need rooms? My inn has many available rooms and I guarantee your satisfaction.”
“Not just rooms.” Brendel finally said. “We also need food. We just arrived from Kurkel and we’re cold and hungry. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, the grounds of this godforsaken place are so cold and hard, not even tents and sleeping bags helped! I can finally get a good night’s sleep tonight and eat something decent --” Filas interrupted excitedly, “I want roast deer meat, preferably roasted with charcoal from the Alfafa Wilderness and so rich you could see the oil dripping from it. Combine that with spices -- best use spices shipped from the Luka Sea, if that’s not possible then I can also accept salt and vanilla from Sanorso -- then give me a pot of honey, butter cake, and baked herrings. A cup of black tea straight from Lusitar’s Golden House would be appreciated. Also --”
The Kirrllutzian knight was just getting in the swing of things, as if he could already taste the meal, but Brendel hurriedly interrupted him before Filas could demand anything even more outrageous. He said to the wide-eyed bald innkeeper, “Listen to him and get us roast deer meat - if you don’t have it, there should be some in season at the Trout Pool. You can go buy some there. Head out from here, and turn left twice. Then walk all the way to the end of the street. I’m sure you’ve heard of the place.”
“As for the other things, pretend you didn’t hear anything. But you can buy some of the aquatic products from Lake Vallendaren -- such as mackerel or salmon, which are both in season. Then you can make us some passable dishes. We’ll pay you double the money for them and, if you can get your hands on honey, I’ll give you an extra reward.”
“In addition, the ladies could do with some fruit wine to warm them up.” Brendel looked at the little prince. “And a cup of goat’s milk. I don’t care what you do, but don’t play tricks with me. I know the rules here better than you, understand?”
The bald headed innkeeper jerked slightly and realized that he was up against someone very experienced and also more familiar with the town than he was. He couldn’t resist giving Brendel an extra glance. Brendel’s northern nobleman outfit gave him slight pause. By all means, someone who could say things like that shouldn’t be a nobleman, but rather someone who spent many years on the road, like a mercenary or an adventure seeker.
But the bald innkeeper didn’t dare make a fuss and hurriedly made his goodbyes before instructing the waiters to carry out Brandel’s orders.
Only then did Brendel turn around to find everyone watching him in astonishment. Medissa, Ciel, Freya, Scarlett, and even the newly joined Pahimila knew, to some extent, that this Leader was very knowledgeable. In addition, Brendel was a master swordsman and also knew some of the secrets of magecraft and elemental magic. He even understood some of the secrets of the witches. From astronomy to geography and even rumors among the noblemen, Brendel seemed to know it all.
In private, Brendel also seemed to be an alchemist, a blacksmith, and an academic. Despite all this, they never imagined that the Leader would have this side to him.
This was not something you could explain away using just by them being knowledgeable --
At least in the eyes of the others, this count acted like a mercenary or adventure-seeker with all the experience in the world. Scarlett felt this the most. In the past, she had only felt something similar from mercenaries who had traveled throughout all of Aouine or even to Kirrlutz.
She couldn’t help but pause and stare in confusion at her Leader. But this caused the little prince, who was hanging his head in defeat, to walk into the case on her back containing the Azure Lance. He let out a grunt.
Haruz’s grunt of pain seemed to break the silence.
Brendel coughed once and seemed to realize that he had behaved a bit exaggeratedly. He couldn’t help but glare at Filas. If it hadn’t been because of this impulsive guy, he wouldn’t have subconsciously shown a side of him from his previous time in the game.
But he sighed quietly inside. It wasn’t all the man’s fault. He couldn’t resist looking at the scenery outside the window; this place was just too familiar to him.
“You all know that in my early years, I spent some time seeking enlightenment away from home.” He smiled awkwardly and explained, “during those years, I crossed paths with adventure-seekers and mercenaries. I even traveled on the seas --”
“So that’s it.” Filas came to a realization. “Count Trentheim, you looked a bit like Lady Veronica just now. According to what I know, the leader of the battalion had a similar experience as you did in her younger years. I heard she even joined a mercenary group by herself.”
This Kirrlutzian knight seemed to easily believe Brendel’s explanation. But that didn’t mean everyone else was this easy to fool. When Brendel detected various levels of doubt in the other people’s eyes, he understood. Not everyone would believe his explanation.
First, there was an obvious point of suspicion: he was too young.
But right now wasn’t the time to discuss this, so Brendel could only force himself to ask everyone to sit down. Luckily, with the exception of Laurenna, Scarlett, Medissa, and Freya all trusted him blindly. They didn’t want to press when they realized Brendel wasn’t going to tell them more. Each of them fell into their seats.
Just when Brendel thought he had successfully cleared this hurdle, a cold voice interrupted. “Brendel, you said you traveled the seas?”
Brendel sat up straighter, looked up, and saw the female knight seated beside the little prince Haruz.
She seemed to belong to a race from the north. The bridge of her nose was taller and straighter, like those of Highlander blood. Her lips were slightly thick but that didn’t destroy her delicate beauty. Instead, it added a slight trace of sexiness to her.
This sexiness, however, did not turn her into a vixen. In contrast, she looked at him calmly with those purple-tinted eyes, as if she were a she-wolf looking at her prey.
She had one hand on her sword and used the other to tuck away the black hair across her forehead.
Brendel stared at her. This woman was the only self-invited guest to their party. At first, he thought she was someone the princess sent because the princess was worried about the little prince. But he had cautiously asked Haruz to do some of the more dangerous guard duties, and she had never seemed to stop him.
Just this alone made him suspicious. Beside, according to the princess’ personality, since she had already demonstrated complete trust in him, it didn’t seem like her to do something extra as a precaution.
In fact, after prodding at her for the last several days, Brendel could almost be certain that this female knight seemed to be here for him.
But for the moment, he had a hard time figuring out what her goal was.
So when Maynild opened her mouth, Brendel could almost hear the thump of his heart.
“Here it comes!” he cried out in his heart.
Then he hesitated and answered, “What about it?”
“I just want to know which port you left from.” Maynild answered quietly. Her tone of voice became gentle again. This caused Brendel to pause, because he didn’t hear any antagonism in her voice.
Instead, because of that familiar face, he even felt a sense of warmness.
“Is there a meaning to the question?”
“No,” the female knight shook her head. “I’m just curious all of a sudden. Brendel, could you answer me?”
Brendel suddenly felt awkward. He didn’t know why Maynilkd didn’t call him Mr. Brendel like the princess did and instead used his personal name. This move shortened the gap between them and caused him to feel like he was under someone’s watchful gaze.
But he looked at her serious expression and didn’t know how to refuse it -- could he refuse the female upperclassman? In his heart, Brendel shook his head immediately. Clearly not. In this moment, he suddenly realized the root to his anxiousness. Right then, Maynild was too like the impression he carried in his heart.
“I used to study on the Karsuk Plateau under a Black Tower Mage. I was even an apprentice. Then I left for the sea with someone from what’s known today as Sebons, passed through Sanorso and some places further east…”
He hesitated and carefully crafted his story. Luckily, he was experienced so that even though these were lies, he didn’t think they’d cause problems. Besides, in another line of history, he had been to all of these places. If she asked, he was confident he could handle himself.
He didn’t think the female knight merely glanced at him, as if wondering something about him but also a little bit regretfully. She let out a sigh and said, “Is that so? I thought you had been to the Shining Seas. If you leave from Port Gris by boat, it’ll only take you a couple of days before you can see the light of the Kalanga mountain ranges shining on the sparkling seas…”
“Such a scene must be very beautiful, right?.”
When Brendel heard that sentence, his heart thumped and then froze in one place.
At that moment, he couldn’t hear anything else. The only thing that echoed in his mind was that one sentence: If you leave from Port Gris by boat, it’ll only take you a couple of days before you can see the light of the Kalanga mountain ranges shining on the sparkling seas…
Such a scene must be very beautiful, right?
Yes, beautiful, majestic, and breathtaking.