The Amber Sword - v4c79




It was as if a wind had risen in the forest in the latter half of the night, like the mythical wolves running at dusk, whistling through the canopy of trees, rattling, and attracting wind and rain. Peya had long been used to huddling alone in the shadows of her tent, and after the dramatic change, she could not fall asleep easily.

She saw her brother, covered in blood, walking ahead of her, followed by an indistinct shadow...

Half asleep, the glow of the flickering candles suddenly died out. Only a nobleman could afford the luxury of lighting expensive tallow candles in every tent. But the light suddenly disappeared and the darkness seemed to stretch further.

The four walls of the tent were engulfed in thick blackness, and there seemed to be light again in the distance. The female hunter blinked her somewhat heavy eyelids and saw that she was in the midst of a forest of shadows. When she heard the distant singing, she could not help but look up and see a line of fluorescent ghosts in white robes walking slowly through the forest.

Some of those ghosts were dressed in long robes, some rode horses, some held spears, and some carried swallowtail flags, each with a clearly visible face. Some seemed as if she recognized them, but felt unfamiliar at the same time, and suddenly she saw a short figure walking in the middle of the group, his head bowed, and it was her brother Yaruta.

"Yaruta!" Peya could not help but scream.

 Her mind was no longer concerned with anything else and she immediately ran in that direction. But the forest grew thicker and thicker, and the giant roots seemed to grow, tripping her up at once. She looked up, desperate to see her brother's back moving further and further away.

"Yaruta!"

"Peya." A firm voice came from beyond the dreamscape.

The female hunter felt as if someone had grabbed her hand, and the landscape around her receded rapidly, warm light seeping into this darkness from all sides. She snapped her eyes open and found herself standing in the middle of the camp, covered in cold sweat and her face as pale as a sheet.

Brendel was standing right in front of her, grabbing her arm, with the campfire in front of her. Peya leaned forward slightly as if she was about to run headlong into the fire.

"What happened to you?" Brendel frowned as he and Medissa saw the hunter maiden look zoned out as she burst out of the tent and dashed headfirst into the campfire without a second thought. If it had not been for his quick hands and eyes, she would have been badly burned by now.

But he realized now that she seemed to be sleepwalking.

"Another nightmare?" The hunter maiden woke up every night, clearly known by Brendel, who had to keep a short period of night watch every day.

Peya stared at him dumbfounded as if she had not realized it yet. Her hair was scattered against her completely soaked forehead, and her dark brown eyes were glistening with tears as if she had not recovered from her nightmare. 

"Sir Knight?" Peya was stunned and hurriedly pulled back her hand, lowering her head with some trepidation, "Right, sorry."

In the midst of a strict hierarchy, how could the daughter of a vulgar hunter like her touch the body of a noble easily?Nobles were the descendants of the former sages, glorious and noble, who did not want to be around untouchables. In some places, normal civilians were punished for approaching a noble without permission, and in Lob, those who came within ten feet of a nobleman's carriage were flogged.

In earlier times, this was a means to guard against assassins. But in the modern era, it gradually evolved into a unique privilege.

Brendel was slightly startled before responding with a shake of his head, "As I said, if it's because of my noble status, you don't need to apologize for it. Some people value it, and that's because they have nothing but it. They are proud of the title society gives them, while I have ideals and aspirations that I am proud of. Lady Peya, I have asked you to remain with this group only because you are our guide, and if it is possible, I will help you find your brother's whereabouts-"

He said so many words to appease the other party. Peya calmed down and she looked at this lord somewhat carefully, she heard Firas, Laurenna, and the other knights call him 'Count'. She could not imagine that this mighty existence of Shallow Water Town was just an aged Count.

But Brendel was undoubtedly an oddity, she had never seen such an unassuming nobleman before.

"Thank you, Sir Knight, I've had another nightmare."

"It's not like you just had a nightmare, what exactly did you just see?"

Peya was confused but told him about the dream anyway.

"White ghosts?"

"What's wrong?" Medissa asked softly as she stood up. She saw the serious look on Brendel's face and felt that something might be strange.

"Interesting-" Brendel looked up at the pointed canopy of the pine forest that was shaking in the wind. He was beginning to think that it was the sea breeze blowing from the direction of the Seas of the Dying Moon, but it did not seem that way now.

"The last time I told you guys about the Knight Who Lost his Mind, Peya, you're from the Manoweir area, have you heard about the legend of the Lost Names?”

"The Lost Names?"

"Ah, um-"

"A lost name is a name, and a name is like a codename, which is really meaningless in itself, but a mark of other people to you; the Miirna have some dark tales that if someone loses their name, they become a wandering lonely ghost. Simply put, abandoned by the civilized world.”

"The Elves have a similar story, I suppose, for humans need each other, and if a man loses his proper reputation, his existence is of very weak value."

"The legend of the ghosts of the forest has a long history ......"

A knight who had lost his honor, is abandoned by the people, they are plunged into darkness, lost to themselves, murmuring all day long. They are in fact long dead, but their memories haunt the forest and remain there all day long, and if there is confusion in anyone's heart, they will be tempted by them.

Hunters often saw Knights Who Lost their Minds in the forest, but that was just the fear of the unknown in their hearts.

Brendel looked at the wind surging over the forest, it seemed to be strong enough to move the clouds. But there was still a dimness behind the clouds, which did not make sense, because it was not the wind, but a huge uneasiness that hung over everyone.

This uneasiness came from the turmoil of the entire world.

Brendel saw a hint of a pale blue arc of light in the sky, which he had thought was a faint gathering of light forming beyond the line of sight, but now there was only one logical explanation.

The second Demonic Wave was coming.

What an unfortunate coincidence.

"Medissa, go get the others up, I'm afraid this forest won't be so safe afterward. We need to find a way to get through the Wall of Sighs before then. The things in the forest might give us some trouble-"

"My lord?"

The camp seemed to come to life. Within ten minutes, the pale blue sky grew claw-like shapes in this direction, and the wind seemed to come to life, raging and swirling countless branches and leaves, gathering into a black river. Stars floated in the forest, a signal that the magic that had strayed into the main material world was skyrocketing.

It was chaotic before everyone was finally assembled. Brendel counted everyone, making sure no one was left behind, and turned back to Maynild who was staring at the sky, "I think I've seen this somewhere before....." She muttered to herself.

Brendel knew that she had indeed experienced it. But those memories might have already fallen apart into fragments. He wondered how many memories of that time she still held. But Maynild seemed to think of something and she looked back at Brendel, "Brendel, do you know anything about it......?"

"Let's talk about that later." Brendel looked at the forest that seemed to have suddenly become earth-shaking, this Demonic Wave was the second wave of tides recorded in history. Astrologers from the Tower of Moon and Stars had recorded the wave, and it was ahead of history, by about three months.

It was unclear what this meant, but the world out there must have been in a state of extreme panic. The second Demonic Wave had crossed the borders of the Land of Order, affecting Aouine, the southern part of Kirrlutz, Eleranta, and some areas around the Great Glacier, and it was documented that eclipses, the day turned to night, Demonic Waves, or similar phenomena had been observed in many places at the time.

Brendel was a little worried about Amandina and Romaine, but he believed that they should be able to handle the situation in their territory. Fortunately, the Kirrlutzians should obviously be on their side, otherwise, it would not be easy to deal with the Holy Cathedral of Fire if they came to their door at this juncture.

"My lord, what should we do now?" A knight leaned up and asked respectfully.

Brendel took a look in the direction of the forest.

The pitch-black forest was like a living creature, the magic of the forest's stars was its countless eyes, and the swaying canopy of trees seemed like wildly dancing hair. It was as if it opened its bloody mouth, waiting for the intrusion of an intruder.

But after a slight delay, the group made its way to the forest. Across this ruin was the Wall of Sighs, and Brendel knew in his heart that there was something there.

But the Demonic Wave had come too soon.

Most of the tents were abandoned, as there was no time to pack them. But no one dared to look back, and everyone rushed into the forest against the wind direction. At this time someone in the group suddenly let out a shout.

"Oh my God, what is that!"

"Ah!" Brendel heard Peya's scream of fear, and he looked back to see a team of knights covered in a glowing ember moving slowly through the forest not far away.

It was as if he had seen that team there before.

......