Clothed in white robes and silver armor, each holding a lance and a war halberd. The lances were decorated with a beautiful cathedral cross, and the halberds were like a sharp lance with spread wings beneath it. Further down each mace was a dovetailed flag with a cross, a sun, angels, and saints painted on it.
The flag read 'Tuienn sior chumree' in floral script, which meant the holy sword beneath the glory.
There were also Elves in the team, with pointed ears and long blonde hair braided into braids. Their horses were also dressed in white robes, painted with the patterns of sun thorns.
The entire group was shrouded in fluorescent white light, moving slowly but quietly through the forest, making the image seem bizarre.
"My lord, my lord!" Medissa tugged at him twice to bring him back to his senses. Brendel took a breath, this was the Holy Order Knight Squad of the Gretius’ Knight Squad, exactly like the one he had seen in Amber Sword. No, it might be it.
"Rosa!" Someone in the group let out a scream and a knight stumbled out of the group. "Rosa, Rosa? Where are you going?"
"Stop him!" Brendel suddenly reacted, but the man next to him was a little slower and the knight quickly disappeared into the dark forest. The group was flustered and Brendel quickly shouted, "Do not look over there, it is an imagination of the mind, it exists only in your memories. Those are the enchanted dreams of the Lost Names, entwined with your dreams, and if you are tempted, you will be with and for 'them'- "
Brendel had already established his authority in the previous battle, and his words had left everyone in awe, so he was able to settle the group down. But Brendel still saw people slowing down, just a little confusion in their hearts and they would be swallowed up by this forest.
Brendel secretly asked Maynild to do a headcount, and in just a few minutes, the entire team had lost seven people. He knew those people would never come back, they would spend their days wandering in a dreamland of the living and would never find their way out, then their souls would haunt the place after they die.
"These undetermined people." Maynild’s face was cold, and she pursed her lips, the side of her face all distinct under her long dark hair.
Brendel looked back at the female knight with some displeasure, "No one dares to say they can never falter, everyone has someone or something important in their hearts-"
"That's exactly why they faltered when they should have been determined. Hank's fiancée, Rosa, is waiting for him to return, and Collins has two sons and a daughter, but they can't hold on to their determination when it comes to their loved ones-" Maynild’s voice trailed off, "I picked them because I thought they were the best of the best, I thought they would survive and go back."
Brendel was stunned, and he suddenly saw that Maynild looked very down, "You're angry because of that?"
"No, it's just that I was wrong about the people and hurt them instead." She replied softly as she gave Brendel a cold look and turned to walk away.
Brendel stood stunned for a moment until someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned back to see the handsome but unorthodox face of Firas. "Count, you are amazing. You even dare to mess with Lady Maynild. Legend has it that a powerful woman is a rose with thorns, but Lady Maynild must only have thorns, not the fragrance of a rose." The young knight said mysteriously.
Brendel gave the guy an uninterested look, "But I saw that you were hitting on her the other day?"
Firas shrugged, not embarrassed at all at being demolished, and replied with a solemn face, "That's why I understand this so deeply."
Brendel stared at the guy.
"Because she beat the shit out of him." Laurenna's voice came from behind. She stepped forward and poked her fiancé in the ribs with the hilt of her sword, then turned back and asked, "Don't you see anything wrong, Mr. Brendel?"
"Well." Brendel lifted his head and looked around. Of course, he had spotted it or already knew it - the knights were trudging through the forest, parting the dense shrubs. But the light around them was darkening at an accelerated rate as if shrouded in a layer of black mist. At first, he could at least make out the outline from a dozen meters away, but now it seemed so dark that he could only see a handful of people around him.
"Ha, what's going on?" Firas seemed to notice what was going on around him just then, grabbing his arm with a chill went down his spine as he asked this question.
"I was about to talk to you guys about that, it's a lost dream."
"A lost dream?" Laurenna was puzzled.
"To put it simply, we are in a dream. This dream is the dream of a Lost Name, and 'they' often dream of what happened in their life. But this dream is overshadowed by the real world and is connected to the world we remember. The Lost Names often rely on such means to lure travelers and get them lost in the forest."
"No wonder earlier I just saw the little woman I saw in Lenore, Marsha high above, she was just as charming and sexy as she was then-" before Firas could finish his sentence, Laurenna gave him a fierce glare.
"Do you mean this is an illusion, Count?"
Brendel replied as they walked. The woodland seemed to thin out after the group had passed through thick undergrowth. He saw a flat area appear and darkness seemed to close in from all sides. Not far away the knights seemed to notice something was wrong and began to be unsettled.
"Everyone, lean in close." From the front came Maynild’s voice. The female knight’s voice was as assertive and calm as ever, as if she were a sturdy flag in the darkness. Brendel did not like her character much at times, but he had to admit that Maynild was an excellent knight.
Even better than his senior.
The open terrain reminded him of a place, and after a while of walking, the ground was uneven with pebbles and gravel. It was a riverbank, but only at the bottom of the valley would there be similar terrain.
But he could not be sure if this was already the Wall of Sighs.
"You know about dreams, Miss Laurenna," Brendel replied, "Everything in a dream is uncertain, and the passage of time in a dream depends on how active your mind is while you sleep, so now we can neither be sure that we have reached that place, nor how long we have been walking through the forest, and all we have seen through the darkness of this forest is a dream. "
"Wait, I'm a little confused." Laurenna held her forehead, "Are you saying that this is a dream now and you are in my dream, Count?"
"That's not very good-" replied Firas jealously.
"Of course not, you can understand it as being half asleep." Brendel glared at the guy.
"You mean a large group of us walking around in the forest, collectively sleepwalking?"
Brendel thought the guy had a really lame analogy. But he had to say that it was the most appropriate one for the situation at hand, so he just nodded to the two.
"That's great-I mean for the beasts inside the forest; Brendel, you can imagine how it feels to have food come to you on its own. I'll bet that Lusitar's Unicorn and Maiden Inn don't have such an excellent service either."
"If I wander through this forest until I die, do you think they'll put up a tombstone with 'Friend of the Forest' on it, and maybe even give me a two thousand pound medallion? The medallion must have the emblem of the Unicorn and Maiden Inn engraved on it, to prove that I have given selflessly to this forest as a good waiter-"
"You shut up!" Laurenna interrupted Firas' long speech, "Is there any danger in this dreamland, Count?"
"This dreamland is linked to the dreams of the Lost Names’ life, and if one is confused by them, one's soul will remain in this forest forever and never wake up."
"What should be done then?"
"Be determined." Brendel replied, he raised his voice and shouted, "All of you move closer to each other, this forest is a lost dream woven by the Lost Names, be careful or they will pull you into the dreams of the past. If you don't want to sleep in this forest forever, you only need to remember two words: Determination and Calmness."
His voice could be heard from afar.
The dream of the Lost Names was somewhat like the battle of the Magical Golden Tree. But this dream was very different from that of Forbidden Garden, as it was real in this world, and the dreams of the Lost Names in their lifetime would consume everyone, like a giant whirlpool, pulling them towards the center.
And the only thing to do to escape these dreams was to redeem the entire world of dreams.
The darkness had grown so close that Brendel gradually could not even see Laurenna and Firas clearly beside him. From time to time in the darkness, someone would ask for direction.
That was Maynild's answer.
But actually, direction was all meaningless. As Brendel walked on for a while, it became quieter and quieter, as if even the whistling wind had gone silent. After a while, there seemed to be a rhythmic chirping of insects again, and there was melodious music coming from the distance.
Not the ethereal singing of the legendary Elves or Fairies, but a human instrument, a trumpet-like wind instrument that played a joyful tune. Only the sound was faint as if it came from some direction outside the forest.
Brendel blinked, feeling the light around him grow brighter again. The woodland had thinned out completely, and there was an open clearing in front of him, with light in the distance, like a town.
He stood alone beside the riverbank, the stars above him, the forest full of beautiful black pines, the moonlight against the gurgling water, like a night after summer in Bucce or some other part of Chablis.
Maynild, Laurenna, Firas, Freya, and the knights, all of them were gone. He froze for a moment, then tried the Psychic Connection, but there was no response.
Brendel then realized.
He had 'fallen asleep'.
This was the dream that belonged to him now.