The Amber Sword - v4c52




Before evening, Brendel had a map of the hidden routes the hunters had taken into the forest. Thanks to the bald innkeeper selling publicity, or better yet, intimidation. Knowing that each of these secret trails in the forest, known only to the hunters, had been handed down from generation by generation by the hunters of the region, it would have been almost impossible to hand them over to outsiders if it was not for the safety of his family.

Of course, the identity of Count Brendel and the Royal Cavalry also played a big role. The common people always had a subconscious understanding that a nobleman did not need their secrets.

On the contrary, hearing that another knight from the royalty was going to rescue their loved ones, these people were so grateful that they even offered to be Brendel's guide, but Brendel declined. It was not that he thought he would know the northern forest better than the locals, it was just that it was not worth it taking a burden with him for the sake of this little convenience.

On the contrary, hearing that another knight from the royal family was going to rescue their loved ones, these people were so grateful that they even offered to be Brendel's guide, but Brendel declined - it wasn't that he thought he could know the northern forest better than the locals, it was just that - it was more than worth taking a burden with him for the sake of this little convenience.

It was fast approaching sunset.

The red sun was dipping into the mountains on the western shore of Lake Vallendaren, and the setting sun was tinting the world in a golden red haze. In the twilight, a mere caravan of wagons was leaving the north gate of Shallow Water Town. Brendel was riding his horse at the front of the procession along the crescent shaped beach of the lake, his shadow stretched out by the setting sun as if it were a silhouette of the eerie north Anserra forest ahead.

Brendel looked up at the forest buried beneath the shadows of the mountains, like a thousand nails arranged upward in a dark canopy layer that stretched all the way down to the gray background of Goldfinch Mountain, a vast forest of cedars.

A series of hoofs galloping sounded behind their ears.

Brendel turned sideways and back to see a bright purple. Ciel's robes fluttered slightly in the evening breeze, straddling a chestnut-colored horse that had come up from behind. Highland Mages were compared to other schools of wizardry because of a period of apprenticeship as a knight. Therefore, they had more or less mastered the art of horsemanship. This young mage was undoubtedly the best of them.

"Hey, Lord." Ciel's fair hand gripped the reins with one hand and held his staff with another. Giving his characteristic greeting, "I just got something interesting that you'll want to see."

Brendel did not bother to look at the grinning fellow. The eastern sky was fading slightly in the late afternoon, surging to a transparent light blue. A few white stars dotted the tile-blue night sky, faintly visible, and a cool breeze blew across the lake, floating golden shreds of light that rippled above the waves like a few ribbons of light.

He was indulging in the evening breze and said softly, “What is it?” 

He was well aware of the nature of this guy who had been following him for a while, and if he showed too much interest, this guy might try to pull tricks.

Ciel let out a laugh, ‘That inn bill……”

Brendel thought the bald man had ended up tampering with the bill again on the sly.
He could not help but sigh. It was disappointing that the trickster had been caught out and it was disappointing. "He’s just commoner, there's no need to get on his bad side."

"No, no, no." Cie; shook her head right away, "I don't think he's that stupid. Did any of us replenish supplies at that inn?"

Brendel was slightly startled, "Replenishment of supplies? Of course not, but you can ask the Laurenna couple, maybe they've bought something."

"I've asked, and they have no idea, my lord."

Brendel turned back, a a suspicious look in his eyes. The convoy had made its last supply stop at Kurkel Castle, and there was no need to add supplies after that.” He started to be alert, "What the hell is going on?"

"I questioned the waiter-"

“Ciel, get to the point. I’ll kick you in the lake if you try to pull tricks again.” Brendel replied, impatiently. 

 "All right, all right," Ciel threw up his hands in surrender, "My lord, that's what the waiter said, and that the little girl with us told him to set it up."

"And then he put the responsibility on us?" Brendel was slightly puzzled by what he heard, "Does he think we're in cahoots with that little girl?"

“You and her are indeed a gang, but that’s what the little girl said herself, it the waiter wasn’t lying.” Ciel spread his hands on his horse. 

 "Wait!" Brendel responded in a flash, "You said she left us the bill?"

"I'm afraid that's exactly what happened, my lord," laughed Char, "Successfully plotted to seize the lordship of Graudin and force the righteous nobles to recognize it. Guarding all faith and hope, saving the Loop of Trade Winds, going to Ampere Seale only to thwart Duke Sifah and the Holy Cathedral of Fire, and Count Trentheim who has never suffered any loss, it was never expected that today he would finally capsize at the hands of a little girl. I'm sure no one will believe that if you tell them."

Brendel looked up, straightening up and facing towards the forest, urging his horse to run faster. He narrowed his eyes in the wind and turned back to reply, "Yes, that's a terrible thing to say."

Ciel was startled to see his lord's smug look, but naturally, he could not catch up with Brendel as he was zoning out, so he could only shout after him, "My lord, why do I feel like you’re celebrating the success of your plot?"

Brendel smiled slightly but did not reply. He was in not just a good mood, but an extremely good one. Mikaila Everett was a famous name in history, the witch of Alucher, the Rebel, the Witch of Gold, the Merchantress of Equality and Sophistry, but one of the most famous was-

Undoubtedly the ruler of Bunosong, lord of the Winter Kingdom, and Queen of the Witches.

She is the ruler of time and space, the heir to Euphoria, the Witch of the Void, and is regarded as one of the most unique of the twelve lineages of Witches. For being both a Witch and yet pursuing a rebellious path to break free from a Witch's established destiny, she was once called 'The Rebel' by the Witches.

However, it was this rebel who was finally recognized by the Winter Crown and became the first Queen of the Witches to unify the twelve lineages of Witches in a thousand years.

Mikaila is from Aouine, but she left Aouine for Kirrlutz with her teacher before the third War of the Black Roses. Until then, the Queen of the Witches had resided in Alucher, Lantonilan, and was therefore also known as the Witch of Alucher.

Mikaila had been displaced for nearly thirty years when she became Queen of the Witches. Aouine had long since ceased to exist. Thus, Brendel had little interaction with her. The name was like one of the many stars floating in the bright starry sky of Vaunte, brilliant as it was, it was like a temporary wave in a long river of history. 

But the current meaning was slightly different. 

Mikaila was still a little girl, but her talent was unquestionable. Brendel now wondered if the 'parents' they were talking about really existed, as she was acting more like an orphan. It was a bit rude to think so, but this was truly great news for Brendel.

Compared to convincing a noble couple to give him their child to teach, it was obviously much simpler to lure an isolated little girl with a stable and privileged environment. It was clear that from Mikaila’s behavior, she must be poorly clothed and perhaps lost. 

But Brendel did not turn his horse around, however, as he remembered that Mikaila was to officially become a Witch around March of next year, he realized he had plenty of time before then, anyway, and he had instructed the innkeeper at to keep an eye out for him. Though he did not think the little girl, with the ease and intelligence she had shown, would remain in Shallow Water Town after her crime.

But that did not matte as there was still time.

Brendel galloped along with his own horse in the wind, and exhaled a soft sigh of relief. The Aouine Three Elites, Valkyrie, Amandina, Bosley, Tharma, and outstanding young people like Carglise, if you added the Queen of the Witches among the history on the other end, more and more outstanding talented people were gathering on this great ship that sailed out of the storm.

The history of Aouine might really be changing as a result.

From late afternoon to early evening, everyone in the convoy saw the young lord galloping under the moon. He ran a large circle along the edge of the forest and back around to his original point. He seemed to be in an exceptionally vigorous mood.

But few people knew what was in the Count's mind, and only a one person was always silently watching that silhouette under the moon with a cold gaze.

Nightfall in summer was always exceptionally late. Although a round full moon has already been running on the greenish-gray lofty mountains, the sunset was still blazing in the sky. But the fire-like sunset was unwilling to withdraw the last remnants of light, and it was not until after eight o'clock that the forest beside the lake was completely darkened. If it was in the area around Trentheim, the insects in the forest would have been chirping by now, but the cedar forest was exceptionally cold and quiet. 

The dropping temperature, as well as the white frost solidifying on the pine trees, seemed out of place with this time of the year.

But Brendel did not slow down the caravan, but returned to the side of the wagon, urging the men to keep moving at the same speed. From here on into the Foy Turnpike, they entered completely into the North Anserra Forest. This place was still far from the Falling Needle Hills Avenue, and the cedar forest was inhabited by frost demons, a level 20 or more demon that could easily be subdued even by seasoned hunters.

Of course, with the reliance on traps and cooperation.

But Brendel was looking for a more beautiful creature, and the first night into the forest was especially important to him.

He pulled on the reins and slowed the horses down, going around the wagons filled with supplies and carefully checking the condition of the shaft and wheels. Advancing on the undulating roads of the forest in the cold weather was particularly wear and tear on the heavy wagons, hence the need to be more cautious.

Brendel had been through many adventures, so he naturally had the relevant experience.

But when he reached the other end, he saw a familiar face. The female knight was seated on a dark horse, her hands gripping the reins, calmly watching him as if she had been waiting for him here for many hours.

"The first night is important, isn't it?"

Her voice was calm and cold.

As the night fell, the wind began to take on a hint of coldness, it seemed to sweep through the forest, and Brendel shivered. He gripped the reins with one hand and looked at the female knight.

"Who the hell are you exactly?"

"It matters not, let the others bivouac." Maynild swept her ebony hair behind her ear and gave him a quick glance from the corner of her eye on the horse's back, "You come with me and take your three squires with you."

She turned her horse around and left him with a dashing backward glance as she said that. 

“Wait…” Brendel paused.

“Idiot.” Replied Maynild with her back turned, “Don’t ask so many meaningless questions, isn’t it your mission to capture the Crystal Stag, I know where it is.”

It was as if a bolt of lightning had stretched across the sky and landed directly on Brendel, leaving him completely frozen there. 

…...