TL: So I have more bad news, I am still behind by at least 2 assignments. I’ll be updating 1 chapter of the Amber Sword and Strategy (1 day or so), then the next update will be on 14 or 15 Feb. By then I should be able to clear everything and updates should resume as per normal (hopefully with chapters that were not updated during my absence).
Chapter 47 – Babasha
Brendel commanded the gargoyle to release them, and Ciel and him fell onto the soft meadow in the area. They were in a silent forest of a mountain peak, and what entered their line of sight was a crooked wooden house like a house from the slums. It was two storey high, and there were rays of yellow light from candlesticks pouring out from the gaps of the wooden planks.
“My lord, is this the place that you where you can ‘lvup’?” Ciel rubbed his sore wrist from the gargoyle’s grip as he carefully studied the house before him. His face was full of serious suspicion: “I do not wish to question you my lord, but no matter how I look at it, this place looks similar to the witches’ houses in Bunoxone.”
“You are not wrong, there is a witch currently residing in this house.”
“Oh, the witches do indeed have a way to raise the powers temporarily.”
“No, that temporary power is not sufficient.”
“Then my lord’s goal is spiritual magic? It is indeed a power that can be used under emergencies. But my lord, these spirits are difficult to control, and even though I can think of several ways to deceive them, I have never tried them out—”
Brendel already started to walk towards the wooden house, while the young man followed him from behind quickly and continued to speak.
“Ciel, tell me your methods the next time. This time however, we’re here to make a transaction.”
Brendel reached the door and readied himself mentally.
He was the only one who knew that the witch called Babasha was nothing more than a cover for something else. When the nobles designed their fortresses, they tend to make an emergency passageway, and the former owner of the pine fortress and duke of Grinoires created a secret passageway to this hill, due to the numerous enemies he had in the political circle.
And Babasha, who was the duke’s witch advisor, naturally protected the passageway. This secret was only revealed after the Second War of the Black rose, where players failed to reoccupy the pine fortress and seeked for an alternative way, leading to the discovery of the fortress’s blueprints.
Brendel was vert familiar with the level 32 witch. When he was grinding in the fortress, he was still inexperienced in the ways of the game and loved to gamble, so he fell prey to the old witch, as her place was the only shop that sold secret goods.
This time, however, he had to try and curb this witch so that he could execute his plans. His right hand was constantly on his sword’s hilt, and his fingers were cold from his tension.
He hesitated for a while, but knocked onto the strangely bent door three times.
There was a voice that quickly came from the second storey, old and sharp: “Who is it, if you want a divination come again tomorrow.”
“I don’t want a divination. I have brought something along.”
“Do you know the rules if you’re here to do a transaction?” The voice replied after a short pause.
“I have what you want, witch.”
“Is that so? Then you better have brought something that I want, otherwise I’ll tear your beating heart out and feed it to my dog.” The shrieking voice sounded out from the second storey to the first storey, along with the sound of someone walking down a light of stairs.
The door quickly opened, revealing an ugly old face. The witch raised her pointy hat and looked at him with a pair of cloudy eyes. “Speak quickly.”
He did not even think and quickly drew his sword and placed it on her neck. His action surprised the two people beside him, and Ciel broke out in a cold sweat: Was there anyone who did a transaction like this?
His whole body was as taut as a string when he drew his sword, and he felt a little weak when he succeeded in his action. He exhaled his breath in a hurry. If he was slower by a slight moment, Babasha had more than ten spells to turn him into dust.
But fortunately, perhaps even this witch had underestimated her guest. Because of her powers of a First Circle wizard, she did not see this lower Iron-ranked swordsman as a threat. Perhaps Babasha still thought that she might have a chance even if the sword impaled her, but for Brendel the battle was already decided.
Ciel quickly compared Brendel’s actions. From escaping the jail and seeking the duke, all that he did could not have compared to this moment. Babasha was a First Circle-ranked wizard, and Mother Marsha above, she could easily defeat ten of himself.
And yet his lord’s first action was to place his sword at her neck.
“Young man, what are you trying to do here.” Babasha’s countenance turned cold and demanded in a shrill voice.
“By the time your little finger completes the Third Movement of the spell you’re planning, I will pierce my sword through your heart. I have always heard the witches say that the heart is a human’s source of life, and reacts to the Three Corners of Mana. I had always wanted to test whether that is true. If I am you, I will stop that foolish act immediately.”
Brendel’s chilly voice rang through the air, and Babasha and Ciel’s expressions immediately changed drastically.
[This old witch was actually casting magic. I didn’t even notice it at all, and that must be a powerful spell. But how did my lord noticed her actions?]
While Babasha was thoroughly shocked. A swordsman who did not even a have a shred of mana recognized her spell, and even saw what stage she was in at casting the spell.
[Did the world somehow change when I was not paying attention?!]
Her attitude changed.
“What do you want?”
“The duke of Grinoires does not appear to have any friends in the capital. My guess is that he loaned it to the earl because he is someone close to the king. If that is the case, why do you need to give your life up for a stranger?”
Even though Brendel was sure of his actions, his sword hand was still trembling slightly. He continued to observe Babasha’s every movement and eyes, afraid that she was up to something. Even though a level 32 witch should have no secrets to him, his perception was too low and could only guess what she was up to.
[It’s a fight to see who have the bigger galls.]
Babasha’s expression changed again: “What are you talking about?”
“My demand is very simple. I want you to swear an oath upon your Star. Let me use the passageway to the pine fortress just this once, and I will also not speak of this passageway to anyone.”
The witch looked at him liked he was a devil.
[The secret passageway was only known to the duke and myself. Even his family members did not know, so how does this man know? Is he the illegitimate son of the duke?]
“What if I say no?”
“I do not wish to kill you.”
Babasha finally realized that she had no room for negotiation. She thought for a while and prepared to swear to the Throne of Witch King with her finger pointed at the star, but Brendel shook his head.
“Babasha, isn’t your Star sign the Long Snake?”
The witch’s body shook visibly. She looked at his jet black eyes. It was as if all her secrets were revealed under his sharp gaze. A witch’s star sign was a witch’s greatest secret, and she had only told the duke to gain his trust. She felt that Brendel was more and more mysterious, and did not dare to pull off any more tricks, and swore an oath to her star sign.
Brendel finally relaxed himself, and realized that his back was completely soaked with perspiration. He spoke to Ciel:
“Ciel, go to the bookshelf located at the back of the house, and take the very first scroll on the right side, the box on the second shelf, and three reagents left from the third shelf. Do not touch the rest.”
Ciel was completely impressed with his lord at this moment, and even felt that he was becoming more of an enigma.
Babasha felt she had fallen into a bottomless abyss. The young man in front of her actually knew what was useful on her shelf, and the other items were full of evil curses.
When Ciel opened the box he yelled in delight: “These are element crystals. My lord if you take some time to absorb them you can use the elements directly.”
But Brendel shook his head. He simply went over and picked up the dusty reagents and asked: “Do you know what these are?”
Babasha also looked up puzzledly. Even she did know what they contained. She was able to feel that was a mana ripple from the reagents at her level, so she had kept it for decades and there was a thick layer of dust on it.
Some reagents are poisonous or if the method to use them was wrong, it would also be fatal. Magic was a powerful, mysterious and dangerous thing.
Ciel took a while at to look at it, but he shook his head.
“This is a mana potion, how can you not even recognize this?” Brendel wiped away the dust with a little dissatisfaction, revealing the pale blue liquid.
“”Impossible!”” Babasha and Ciel were shocked.
“What are you surprised for, aren’t they just mana potion? I want to ask you now, this three mana potions’ effectiveness can raise your mana pool four times. Discounting the change in your powers, what is your wizard rank after having four times the mana pool?”
“A middle ranked wizard.” Ciel replied in a hoarse voice.
“Therefore, this is one of the targets I was talking about. Consider yourself as a middle-ranked wizard even before you use the potions, although the truth is you’re still an apprentice, understand?”
Ciel nodded subconsciously.
[That’s a mana potion, even called as the ‘Wizard’s Gold’! This item was created using high alchemical skills, and it is as hard as making a holy potion. I only saw these potions in scrolls, but my lord is just throwing them at me without a second thought?]
Brendel took the lambskin scroll taken from the shelf: “There is an Arte scribed into the scroll here. The air around the sword’s edges would become sharp after using the technique. It is also one of the methods. Do you understand what I mean by ‘lvup’ now?” (TL: Arte = Ougi = skill = ability, you get what I mean)
“Learning a skill isn’t something that is done within a day, my lord. Is there any point in looking at it just before—”
Ciel immediately refuted, but he saw Brendel glancing at the scroll and then discarding it instantly. As the scroll fell onto the ground with a rustling sound, the latter stood there blankly for a few seconds. Then suddenly he swung his sword at the door. With a cracking sound, the door split into two and flew outwards ten over meters before falling onto the ground.
Ciel’s mouth hung there as if his jaw was about to drop to the ground.
Brendel furrowed his brows. Just learning the skill took 153 TP. This was not even a subclass’s skill, but the amount of points required to learn it was just ridiculous. The prerequisite to get this intermediate sword skill without a scroll was level 25, and the amount of XP spent was going to be impossible for him right now.
But he definitely considered it to be worthy of the points. There were only ten over intermediate skills he learned in his previous life, and half of them came from his own profession. He had nearly gotten this scroll back then, but because of his bad luck he missed the opportunity to get it.
Regardless of the next action in his plan, this technique was necessary to get.
He lowered his sword and looked back at Babasha: “I’m borrowing these things for a while, are you fine with it?”
Rather than borrowing them, it was more like robbing. But this witch was not something of a good person either, so he did not feel guilty about it. But with a simple line, Babasha knelt onto the floor with a thudding sound, lowering her forehead until it touched the ground and said:
“The black prophecy said, only the Dragon of Darkness is able to see all the secrets of a witch. All methods that are used before are nothing than mere tricks. The ancestor of Miirna, you have returned—”
This time Brendel and Ciel were stunned.