What was going on? Whose memory was this? Brendel didn’t have clear memories of the Aouine capital. In his memory of the capital, the grand palace was burning in the flames, the city walls had collapsed, and all the creatures were swallowed by an ocean of fire.
He could still recall the screams of pain and the pleas for mercy that surrounded him then.
But it hadn’t been this happy.
Brendel glanced over at the little prince beside him. This must be Haruz’s memory. Princess Gryphine and her brother lived at Monsterros for a long time in history. Haruz was familiar with it and this might be some summertime celebration in his memories.
Brendel looked up and saw the Lyra constellation in the southern hemisphere, which confirmed that it was a summer night.
But he was puzzled as to why the little prince’s memory could be tied to the memory of the person without a name. How did the assassination in that collapsing dream connect withthis happy dream?
Without letting his thoughts show, Brendel continued walking forward. A crowd was gathering along the boulevard. There were all kinds of people there, but everyone mostly ignored Brendel and the little prince. That was normal. Everyone’s memory of details was vague. These people existed in the memory, but their existence was fleeting and Haruz probably didn’t remember any of them clearly.
He led Haruz past the crowd and paid attention to the details of the celebration. Just then, a horse carriage drove by in the dark. It was a pitch-black four-wheeled horse carriage, the kind that glided past as soundlessly as a ghost; the kind that nobles used. Brendel saw the insignia on the walls of the carriage and shuddered.
“Teacher, that’s Viscount Benniger --” The little prince recognized it as well. It seemed like he remembered the person who betrayed his sister quite well. He gripped a corner of Brendel’s shirt in worry and warned in a quiet voice.
Haruz was still a bit confused. His tiny brows furrowed and he muttered to himself, puzzled. “That’s strange, Viscount Benniger’s insignia shouldn’t have holly leaves. I - I thought that was a pattern only counts could have…”
“Oh… this is a dream. I - I forgot again. I’m sorry.”
His unintentional words made Brende’s heart leap.
His brow suddenly furrowed. He clearly remembered a detail. Count Brenninger - there had indeed been such a title in history. After Her Royal Highness triumphed over the North, Anouine saw a glimmer of hope for peace. Then there were five years of development. Though there were occasional conflicts with madara, the years progressed peacefully in that other timeline.
Then the second War of the Black Roses arrived.
Brendel felt a sharp pain in his heart. The War Goddess died in battle after the Battle of the Crimson Valley and the situation turned against Her Royal Highness. In order to support her own forces against Duke Arreck, very soon after that she summoned Bernninger back to Monsterros.
Brendel felt a chill rise up from his spine. All of a sudden, he remembered the reason for this celebration. Youla and Eikkel defeated Madara’s army at Manoweir, and the allied troops of Aouine and the players seemed to catch a breath. Princess Gryphine had invited the representatives of the Holy Cathedral of Fire to a celebration in the hopes that Kirrlutz would lend them a helping hand.
The Feast of Books.
The time had become fixed at this point in history. Brendel suddenly figured out that this was not Haruz’s memory but his own. He had been there when Princess Gryphine had been assassinated.
Brendel suddenly gritted his teeth.
History was repeating itself in front of him.
“Teacher?” Haruz looked at Brendel’s face, which alternated between pale and flushed, and was puzzled.
Brendel took a deep inhale and answered, “Nothing, Haruz --” He was about to say that they needed to find a way into the city when, all of a sudden, he felt the piece of paper heat up in his hand.
He hurriedly took out that piece of paper.
The paper had now transformed itself. He discovered that it was a letter, about the size of his palm. He opened the letter and an invitation fell out. The words on the invitation were blurred, but one sentence stood out: “We invite Viscount Cauldell and his fiancee Miss Bessidine to join us in celebration --”
The clouds in Brendel’s heart cleared away. So that is how the nameless person’s memory connected with his. That guy had been on his way to the party when he was assassinated. But he was still confused as to what this had to do with the rest of his memory, why the guy was assassinated, and what he regretted?
Plus there was another question. Viscount Cauldell had been the only person in the carriage but the invitation had been extended for him and his fiancee to attend the celebration. So where was his fiancee?
Brendel suddenly froze in place.
“Teacher?” The little prince had clearly noticed Brendel’s behavior. He saw the paper in Brendel’s hand turn into a letter and naturally connected that back to what Brendel had said before. “Teacher, did it remember something new again?”
Brendel remained silent and handed the letter to his student. Haruz picked up the feather-light paper, examined it closely, and then asked dazedly, “Teacher, are we going to attend the party in Viscount Cauldell’s stead?”
Theoretically, that was what the mission wanted. Brendel thought back carefully to the details on the walkthrough and arrived at basically the same conclusion.
“But what about the viscount’s fiancee? Should we find her first?” The little prince asked.
That was a possibility, Brendel mused. But he thought that wasn’t the likely outcome. As the viscount’s fiancee, he suspected that she was one of the core persons to this mission. But the important thing was, according to the characteristics of the nameless person’s collapsing dream, the most memorable things should appear first.
Like the piece of paper in his hand.
But until now, there was no trace of the fiancee. Either this so-called fiancee was unimportant, or she was dead, just like the viscount.
But regardless of whether it was the former or the latter, it would be basically impossible to find this so-called Miss Bessidine in the dream.
“I’m afraid we’ll have a hard time tracking her down.” Brendel answered.
“Ah? Then we’re going to the party like this? But - but the ceremonial officials told me that for Longriver nobles to arrive without a female partner would invite ridicule --” Harzu paused and then said worryingly.
“It’s not a matter of ridicule.” Brendel shook his head. What did ridicule in a dream matter? He had to admire the little prince for worrying about something like that at this time. The more important thing was that this invitation was clearly important to this damned Viscount. Otherwise he wouldn’t remember it so clearly.
He forgot all the other words on the letter except for the “invite Viscount Cauldell and his fiancee Miss Bessidine to join us in celebration” sentence. That meant this matter was extremely important to him.
Which meant that, according to the setups in Amber Sword, if he didn’t fulfill this criteria, he could forget about the rest of the mission.
Brendel did not want to be trapped within the dream for the rest of his life.
But what frustrated him to the point of cursing was: where in the damned hell could he find someone to pretend to be the cursed fiancee Miss Bessidine?
Then he suddenly stopped.
Brendel’s gaze landed on Haruz --
Aouine’s little prince, the future king, Haruz just turned twelve this year. Because of his many years practicing the swordcraft, he was already starting to shoot up in height and just about reached his waist. Haruz looked a bit like his older sister -- Princess Gryphine -- with a naturally cute face that was always a healthy shade of red. His silver eyes were always doe-like and his soft hair lay obediently across his forehead. Most times, he appeared like a tender little girl.
Most importantly, because of his half-elf blood, his figure was not as stocky as human boys but rather slender.
He stood there, looking weak and fragile as if in desperate need of protection. His temperament even appeared to be more docile and calm than his older sister’s.
Brendel hesitated and an evil thought sprouted in his mind. The little prince seemed to sense something bad happening and looked at him carefully as he asked, “Teacher Brendel?”
Brendel raised a finger and, with a single thought, Viscount Cauldell’s insignia ring appeared unharmed in his hand. That was the beauty of the dream. As long as the item existed in either his, Haruz’s, or Viscount Cauldell’s memory, it could be easily copied to another location.
Then he lowered down and said seriously to the little prince, “Haruz.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re very pretty?”
The little prince immediately turned bright right. He held the Lion’s Fang and stared dumbly at his teacher, not knowing how to react in that moment. “Tea-teacher?”
“It shouldn’t be a problem for you to wear girls’ clothing, right?”
There would be a lot of problems. Haruz hugged the sword to his chest and shook his head frantically. Then he lowered his head and his entire face, almost to the bottom of his neck, turned bright red in embarrassment. Upon seeing this, Brendel couldn’t help but think that truthfully, the little prince acted more like a girl than his older sister did.
He sighed. Truth to be told, Brendel himself thought this plan was ridiculous. But there was also a trace of joy at having played this prank. Besides, this was practically the only way forward.