Frofa had already been gone for two days, within that time period Princess Magadal had woken up once. Brendel had been at New Valhalla, waiting for the arrival of the Folded Sword Squad and the Kirrlutzian prince, but it seemed that Veronica still had a lot of matter to attend to. She had yet to leave Port Gris with Mangrove. Reports from the north and south were piled up on his desk. Most of the reports were about the movements of the northside nobles, but some of them were to inform him that Count Radner had finished mobilizing. There were also accounts of people seeing troops travel south from Magitan. In the south, the war that had been brewing for so long was soon to begin.
The Lantonilan-Viero alliance was heading south, but the exact route they were taking was still unknown. Brendel looked towards the giant map of Aouine hanging on the wall. His eyes landed on the Manoweir region, he estimated that the army would be in that area based on the time past. As for Radner and the Bloodstaff, he had no idea what the future held in store. Right now, Brendel was waiting for an opportunity, an opportunity for Trentheim’s army to attack. But before that moment arrived, he would not make a single move.
Another one of the reports mentioned that the undead near Bucce were acting strangely, but Brendel had already predicted this, to the point where even the person who wrote the report had less information than he had. Trentheim’s intelligence-gathering team was comprised of Trentheim’s first adventurers, as well as the Red Bronze Dragon mercenaries. After going through multiple selections and battles, the remaining members were elites who had the utmost faith in Brendel. However, their abilities were still lacking. The ones in Ampere Seale had the most excellent performance, followed up by the team in the north, but the teams in Madara and Kirrlutz still left much to be desired.
However, the internal conflicts of Aouine were not the biggest problem, rather it was the threat of the undead in the south that spelled potential disaster. Furthermore, at the northern side, Kirrlutz had begun to slowly make their move, Brendel’s intelligence network in that area was starting to weaken. He needed someone with the right talents, someone reliable and capable. Amandina, Ciel, Freya nor Romaine were fitting for this role. The only other person Brendel could think of was Sue. Her stellar performance at Ampere Seale really caught his eye. She could remain calm and clear-headed despite the chaos, and she was not easily swayed by her emotions. She was the perfect fit for the role. Even though Brendel lacked expertise in this area of work, he did not let it stop him from discovering the talents of others.
Perhaps it is time I have Ciel send her here, he thought to himself while flipping through the reports. He frowned.
There was still no news of Scarlet.
It seemed as if the highlander had vanished from this world. After catching a glimpse of her at Spiral Hall, Brendel had heard nothing of her, even the settlements surrounding the Deadly Tundra Forest had not seen her. Brendel dropped the stack of papers on the desk in frustration. It had already been half a month, his hope was quickly dwindling. Sometimes, he wondered if Scarlet had decided to leave his side, or perhaps she might have hit her head during the explosion and lost her memories. Not only were these thoughts illogical, but they also could not explain why no one has seen her either.
Could it be that Milos’s Myth was misleading Brendel? But a deity would not need to resort to such methods right? Brendel thought to himself.
Brendel stood up from his seat then sat back then, unsure of the course of action he should take. His fingers drummed on the desk as he pondered on the matter. He felt the urge to personally go to the Deadly Tundra Forest to see for himself, but he knew that it would be a fruitless endeavor. He had a hunch that Scarlet was not in the Deadly Tundra Forest, she might have even left the place long ago. However, he was still perplexed as to why no one had seen her leave.
He could only rely on Lantonilan to aid him in his search. Brendel knew that Duke Carnon had suspicions as to why he was treating Scarlet so well, but Brendel paid the duke no mind.
At this moment, the doors swung open. White dress, white hair, silver eyes -- it was Kind Korfa, the younger sister. Following behind her was the obviously impatient elder sister. Dark Korfa glared at Brendel with her red eyes, hostility evidently permeating the air. Brendel had no doubt that if given the chance, he would have his throat ripped out by her fangs. Behind the sisters, Brendel spotted another figure. Maynild could already walk since a few days ago, right now she was going around Valhalla and doing whatever she was capable of doing as part of her recovery process. Her injuries were recovering at an astonishing pace, to the point where Brendel suspected that she had some special abilities.
Maynild looked at Brendel, the message clear in her eyes. I’ve brought them here like you asked.
Brendel nodded in thanks.
He turned back to look at the Korfa sisters.
“Lord Count, we meet again,” greeted Kind Korfa with a sweet smile.
Conversely, her sister only grunted.
Brendel did not mind the rudeness displayed before him. He had invited them here because he wanted to confirm the relations between the sisters, Valhalla, and his own territory. At the last battle at the Holy Cathedral of the Sleep, Dark Korfa had decided to give up on Milos’s godhood to preserve her own Soul Seal, and so she did not perish in the Godflame with the Giant God’s body. Right now, her state of being was something between a Heroic Spirit and another Law. However, this did not bother her too much as this was one of the ways that Twilight projected themselves into this world.
No matter how the Korfa sisters chose to exist in the world, it was a fact that history as Brendel knew had already been changed. Hati’s eldest daughter was still alive, will the fates of the other daughters remain the same? What about the eldest daughter herself? Brendel did not have the answers to these questions. He could feel that he was touching another Line of Vaunte’s world, the changing of the Kirrlutz empire’s fate was the beginning, and the trip to the Deadly Tundra Forest marked the end. However, he still had no idea what to do with the sisters.
Brendel decided to leave his worries for later. He said to the twin sisters, “Miss Korfa, have you gotten used to this place by now?”
“The Lord’s territory is very peaceful, the people are happy and removed from violence. I like it very much. Valhalla has many beautiful sceneries to offer too. I am fortunate to be able to live in this legendary fortress. I have no complaints at all,” Kind Korfa replied sincerely with a smile.
Dark Korfa looked at her sister, or one could also say her weaker and softer self, disappointment oozing from her gaze. “Hmph, even if I said that I despise this place, you would not let me go either. Pretentious bastard.”
“You are not wrong, Miss Korfa. But do you remember my words? If I spare you, then I will be in great danger. I’m sure you understand. You are part of Twilight, and so you are a threat to this world. However, I know that you are kind, and I do not wish to murder an innocent based on a possibility. It goes against my principles. Even so, I must still take responsibility for my mercy, so I hope that you do not leave the vicinity of my protection, is that okay?” asked Brendel.
Kind Korfa nodded, “I completely understand, Lord Count.”
Looking at the pure-hearted girl in front of him, Brendel could not help but wonder if this was truly the eldest daughter of Hati. Her innocent and pure attitude was enough to make every human feel guilty, even he had a hard time being suspicious of her. Brendel had already decided that he would not change his mind based on a moment of pity. After composing his emotions, he turned to look at Dark Korfa.
Dark Korfa was slightly taller than her sister, which Brendel guessed was caused by her more forceful personality. She stared at Brendel with her blood-red eyes. “Is this why the count has brought us here? What a joke. Right now, we are just weak little girls who can’t even protect ourselves, a single order from the count and we wouldn’t be able to leave this compound. We wouldn’t even be able to resist if you wanted to violate us right here and now, there is no need to put on this act and ask us for our consent.”
Brendel’s eyebrows crept high on his forehead in disbelief. What do you mean weak little girls? Kind Korfa’s strength has been returning slowly ever since she left the Holy Cathedral of the Sleep, she is already close to the level of a peak Elemental Activator! As for you, you lost your powers because you were trying to steal Milos’s godhood for yourself! Now you are trying to make me look like the villain?! He narrowed his eyes at the older sister. “I’m afraid you are mistaken. My words just now were meant for your younger sister. As for you, Miss Korfa, as a prisoner of war, you will not be enjoying the same privileges as your sister.”
Dark Korfa frowned, a hint of panic creeping into her expression. “What do you mean?”
“You took something of mine, so it is only fair that you repay your debt,” replied Brendel.
Her eyes widened, her red pupils staring at Brendel in shock. “When did I ever take your stuff?”
Brendel shook his head, thinking back to what happened before.