The Amber Sword - v5c47

“I don’t know where those guys are from, but they had an Erdek accent and they looked like smugglers from Greywater Bay or somewhere around that area. There were about ten of them, most of them were the kind of people that I’ve just mentioned, but there were two or three men who were quite different from the rest of the group. They were taller and sounded like they were locals. Nibeto noticed that they had the same long and thin sabres with two feathered wings embossed on the handguard. Those guys lived at a campsite that was abandoned in the forest and they rarely socialised with outsiders. They’ve stayed there for around half a month and Captain Madden had actually sent some of his men to monitor them at first, but we then realized that they only moved around in a small area in the forest and they weren’t affecting us, so we didn’t care much about them later on. They weren’t that powerful, but of course, perhaps one or two of them were tricky to deal with, but they weren’t a worrisome problem to us. The campsite was abandoned by its original owner when he fled to the north before the war happened. The campsite is not far from here. We’ll be able to see a path that leads to that place after walking southwards for about one and a half hours into the forest."

According to Phineas’ description, Brendel led - or rather escorted the group of Patrol Knights into the forest. At this moment, the first full moon, Ginhae, had already fallen below the horizon, and the second moon, Moa, had just risen above the mountains. The grey moon illuminated their way as they walked southwards along a narrow and winding path in the foothills. A while later, they found the hunter’s campsite.

The moon was bright that night. They could see the campsite from miles away. Brendel stood at the hilltop as he looked towards the direction of the campsite. He then asked Phineas who was next to him, “Is it over there?” Phineas replied softly, “Yes, Brother Brendel. Captain Madden used to bring us here for training, but the Skeletons were making too much noise at one point, so it was occupied by others later on.” He then bragged and said, “Honestly, if it wasn’t for Captain Madden who told us to stay out of trouble, I would’ve brought some men to kick their asses. Those guys don’t seem nice at all… Ow!"

Freya smacked his head and glared at him. She hadn’t seen him for a year, and he was already replacing her as the new head of Bucce’s militia. Esson and Mackemie were more mature than him, but the young people preferred a capable leader. If they were still in Bucce, he wouldn’t have dared to bring his men for a fight. Freya got furious at the thought of it, the militia under her leadership was never synonymous with causing trouble.

At this moment, the young Patrol Knights couldn’t help but snicker. Phineas rubbed his red forehead and looked at them angrily. He felt that his pride had been hurt. “What’s the matter? Do you guys think that I’m not capable of doing so?”

"Of course not, Mr Phineas, we admire you a lot."

"Yes, yes!” The Patrol Knights quickly replied.

Eugene also complimented him. “The Count’s young friend has an amazing talent in swordsmanship. He’ll definitely achieve great things one day."

Brendel agreed with Eugene as he looked at Phineas. There were two extraordinary people in Bucce in this era, which were Freya and Bennett, but Phineas’ swordsmanship was way better than theirs. He didn’t know whether this young man would end up dying in Bucce as he hadn’t heard of his name in Aouine later on. “Little Phineas, what are your plans for the future?” asked Brendel.

"Captain Madden has recommended me to join the police force in Manoweir. He said that he has some friends there who knows about laws.” Phineas was open to Brendel and he didn’t want to hide anything from him.

“That’s good.” Brendel nodded, “What do you think about it?”

Phineas looked at him and said, "Brother Brendel, I want to learn swordsmanship from you."

Brendel suddenly thought of Haruz and nodded silently. He actually had this thought before when he saw Phineas’ outstanding swordsmanship. He couldn’t let such a precious gem turn into dust here. Phineas’ name didn’t exist in history, but he must belong to a place in this world. He had this feeling when he first left Bucce, but when he thought about it right now, Aouine was probably going to lose a real talent.

Phineas had the potential to become a Sword Saint like his grandfather in the future. Though he’d probably forgotten that he was gradually gaining the prestige and reputation of Darius himself. Most of the nobles knew that Darius had a grandson who’d already possessed Elemental Activation and had the strength of a Sword Saint when he was only in his early twenties. After Anson’s era, there would soon be a true Sword Saint in Aouine.

“Brother Brendel, does it mean that you’re willing to teach me?” asked Little Phineas excitedly.

“Brendel, don’t pamper him too much. The captain must have his own reasons for this, so I think you should ask Uncle Madden about it first,” interrupted Freya.

“Freya, why are you helping an outsider instead of me!"

"Hey, how dare you say that? Brendel isn’t an outsider!”

“Yeah, Brendel is indeed not an outsider to you, Freya. My bad."

“You… you brat!” Freya fumed when she heard what he said.

Brendel giggled when he saw both of them arguing. It was as if he’d gone back to the good old times in Bucce. He wasn’t concerned about Freya’s worries at all. Madden had planned to let Phineas join the police force in Manoweir because he didn’t know about Brendel and Freya’s situation. Now that they were back in Bucce, Madden would definitely ask for his help. This veteran of the Eleven Months War knew exactly where Phineas would have a better future.

He looked at the hunter’s campsite again. He wasn’t here on a whim to impersonate Praguesse’s sheriffs. Rather, it was Phineas’ description of the men that caught his attention. "There were about ten of them, most of them were the kind of people that I’ve just mentioned, but there were two or three men who were quite different from the rest of the group. They were taller and sounded like they were locals. Nibeto noticed that they had the same long and thin sabres with two feathered wings embossed on the handguard.” Those sabres were commonly used by the cavalry, and there was only one group of people in Grinoires who had those kinds of sabres - the White Winged Cavalry. So, these three men were probably deserters. He suddenly thought of what Teste had told him last night. He kept his guards up and wanted to get to the bottom of this matter.

Though he hadn’t told Freya and Phineas about this yet since it was just a guess.

The group of people approached the campsite slowly. Brendel instructed the Patrol Knights to encircle the entire campsite. These young men from Praguesse seemed to be competent as they were able to spread out quickly and encircle the campsite quietly under Eugene’s leadership. As everyone got closer to the campsite, they could see a few wooden huts scattered out in the woods. The campsite was enclosed by a wooden wall that was as tall as a person, though the walls were already broken and covered with cracks and gaps. The campsite was also overgrown with weeds, it seemed like nobody had taken care of it for a long time. Based on this, these people didn’t intend to stay here for a long time. In this era, refugees were basically the same as outlaws.

Eugene looked around carefully and told Brendel, “These guys are really back here. They’re brave, I thought they’ll move to somewhere else.”

Brendel had an acute sense of hearing, so he’d heard twelve breathing sounds in the huts a long time ago. He then looked at the captain of the Patrol Knights curiously and asked, “How did you know that they’re here?”

Eugene looked at him weirdly and pointed at the second hut. Brendel looked in that direction and coughed softly. It turned out that there was a guy on the lookout in front of the door. He hit his head gently. He’d only listened to the sounds and didn’t notice that there was a bandit right in front of him. It was too embarrassing. He quickly kept a straight face so that the others wouldn’t realize that this count had made a fool of himself.

After listening carefully again for a while, he discovered that the strength of these people was just very ordinary, just like what Phineas had said. The guy on the lookout roughly had the strength of an Iron Rank, and the strength of the other men was similar to his. There was a silver-ranked guy in the third hut, but since he was too far away, Brendel couldn’t tell what tier he was in, though he was probably just a Middle-Silver-ranked man at most. After all this judgement, Brendel was disappointed because they were too weak. Even if they were Evil Cultists, they weren’t the core characters. These outlaws were commonly found to be roaming around and committing murders or other sensational crimes in Vaunte, but he wouldn’t cross paths with them in their world.

After confirming this, Brendel shook his head in disappointment and gestured to the Patrol Knights.

His gestures indicated how many people there were in the huts, where they were located and what their strengths were. They were tactical gestures that were often used by the Patrol Knights. Eugene was impressed at how skilful Brendel was in using hand gestures, which made him couldn’t help but wonder if he was also a Patrol Knight in the past. Of course, he wouldn't think that Brendel was a low-level minion like them, he thought that he was most probably the senior commander or the leader of the Patrol Knights. But what he didn’t know was that his former thought was closer to the truth.

Although these few Evil Cultists just seemed like they were thieves, Brendel wouldn’t let them go so easily. He didn’t intend to do the job personally, instead, he wanted to give the credit to the young Patrol Knights. After all, they’d accompanied him in the wilderness for half a night, so he wanted to give them some benefits, even if they were not willing to do so.

Under Brendel and Eugene’s orders, the Patrol Knights immediately took action. They sneaked into the campsite and took out the watchman quietly. Just as what Eugene had said, these outlaws were so bold that they’d only arranged one person to keep watch over the whole campsite, and the watchman was even dozing off. They obviously weren’t expecting the Patrol Knights to come and take out their nest. The Patrol Knights didn’t wake the bandits up until they entered the third hut and a battle broke out immediately after that.

The silver-ranked cultist was the first to react. He grabbed his sword and lunged at the Patrol Knights. Eugene also rushed towards him with his sword, and their swords clashed with each other. It seemed like defeating this cultist was quite a challenge for the Patrol Knight’s captain. Unfortunately, his men were weaker and they were defeated by the Patrol Knights easily. A while later, the cult leader was the only one left in the hut. It seemed like he knew that he had no chance of escaping, so he suddenly let out a roar, stabbed his sword into his throat, and fell dead to the ground.

The battle ended sooner than expected. Brendel was still a little stunned by the Patrol Knight’s combat powers. Though this didn’t mean that the kingdom's Patrol Knights were powerful, instead, it was the opposite. These outlaws were so daring because the strength of these cavalrymen, who were in charge of the local security, was usually not up to par, so they wouldn’t have expected that there would be a surprise attack by the cavalry in the middle of the night. If Brendel hadn’t let them witness this personally, they must’ve thought that it was just an illusion.

But the young Patrol Knights were obviously unaware of this, and they gleefully escorted the bandits, who were still breathing, out of the huts one by one. Phineas didn’t want to fall behind, so he got one bandit for himself as well. The cultists lined up outside the campsite as there were five left in the huts. The others had their throats slit in their sleep. Brendel looked at the two taller men out of the remaining five, and sure enough, he noticed that they had the White Winged Cavalry’s sabres.

And as for that third person, Brendel figured that he was probably already dead.

“Did you manage to get any information from them?” he asked.

Eugene smiled and shook his head. He was slightly older than his men, though he was only in his thirties. According to how the years were calculated in Vaunte, he was still considered a young man and yet he was already the captain of these Patrol Knights. His men had found out that they were the Evil Cultists from All For One. Capturing twelve of them in one fell swoop with five of them still alive was indeed a great achievement. Plus, there were three deserters from the White Winged Cavalry among them. Eugene could already see a medal beckoning to him.

He replied Brendel cheerfully, “My Lord, these guys are all Evil Cultists. They’re hard-mouthed and they aren’t willing to say anything. But that’s okay, they’re all going to be dead anyway. They’ll be hanged in less than a week after they’ve been sent back. When the time comes, I’ll arrange a better platform and invite you to watch it in person."

Brendel wasn’t interested in watching the hanging as he didn’t care about it. He shook his head, but he agreed with what Eugene had said. Once the members of All For One turned into outlaws and were sent to nobles like Arreck, most of them wouldn’t utter a word as they knew that they would be dead once their identities were exposed, so they would just rather give up on hoping for mercy.

Though this meant that he’d made a trip for nothing tonight.

As he was thinking about this, a young patrol knight suddenly ran out of the hut with a piece of paper in his head. He shouted excitedly, “My Lord, I’ve found another piece of evidence!"

As the guy ran closer towards him, only then he noticed that he was holding a map. He opened it in front of Eugene like it was a treasure and Brendel immediately knew why this guy was so excited. The map had the topography of the streets in Praguesse. It was very detailed, so it should be a military map. Brendel looked at the two feathered markings on the map and figured that it was most likely used by the White Winged Cavalry. It was already a crime to keep military maps for personal use in this era, not to mention that it was stolen from the army.

As Brendel squinted his eyes, he felt Freya touching his hand gently.

She also knew how to read military maps. She saw at a glance that there were two faint red circles on the map, and one of them was marked on 52 Gravedigger Street.

“Brendel,” she whispered as a reminder.

He understood what she meant and immediately whispered in her ear, “Freya, go and get Amandina right away."


He nodded. He thought he’d guessed it wrongly, but every cloud had a silver lining. In front of him were the deserters and the leader, Magusk, of the White Winged Cavalry, who belonged to All For One. He’d also heard Teste’s last wail and he had the map. A faint ray of light seemed to have appeared right in front of his eyes. But he was curious as to why these guys from All For One would keep pestering Amandina. She was only a noble, so how could she have something that could spark their interest?

After pondering upon it for a while, he shook his head in confusion. This matter was indeed very strange. Teste and Magusk were obviously the elite members of All For One, so they wouldn’t be involved in this insignificant matter at all. What was the real intention behind this matter?

As he thought about this, he turned around and patted Eugene's shoulder. “Mr Captain, can you do me a favour?"

"What kind of favour?" Eugene looked at him in surprise.

"I'm afraid these people are more than what they appear to be. I think you shouldn’t send them to Praguesse’s prison first, instead, you should find a place to interrogate them properly,” replied Brendel.

After hesitating for a moment, Eugene nodded. Compared to getting the credits, he was clearly more afraid of offending Brendel.

Brendel smiled at him. “Thank you very much, Mr Captain. Don’t worry, the credit will still definitely belong to you and your boys."

When Eugene heard Brendel thanking him, he was overjoyed. He felt that he’d made the right decision this time.