TL: Next Monday is my milestone review from my lecturers, so I’ll be busy with tidying up my stuff. I’ll be TLing one TAS chapter today and you can expect my other series some time next week (probably around next Thursday).
As usual, I haven’t really done any proofreading so you guys have to help me out here.
Chapter 42 – New member
“S-sword arte……” Roen’s face paled immediately, and he stared at Brendel.
[Is this Brendel that young man that I know of? You might have gotten some recognition for your potential in the path of the sword, but possessing the power of an ‘Enlightened Element’ since our meeting half a year ago?!]
Amandina first grabbed the door frame tightly and released it. The sudden scene that happened before her eyes was beyond her imagination and she bit her lips due to her myriad feelings that stirred within her.
[The young man who brought my father’s news was at a rank of a ‘Swordsman of Flowers’… This young master swordsman, is it possible that he’s a ‘Blessed’ person and had the strength of an Iron-ranked fighter since his birth?]
(TL: The specific flower described in Chinese doesn’t really exist in the west, so I just took from Game of Thrones. I can’t think of a better term for 启示者 right now other than ‘Blessed’. Exalted, sacred, revelator all sounds weird to me because the level of these people aren’t powerful enough to use these words. Finally, the rank described by Amandina is the upper tier of the Golden-ranked fighter which is around level 60-70+ where they can use sword artes freely.)
Batum merely folded his arms together without changing his appearance. He took everyone’s reaction in his eyes and laughed inwardly. He had felt the same thing when he first saw his lord display that same skill, and even felt proud to serve someone like him, because Brendel’s abilities did not end there.
As for the ‘City Guards’, they were already weak in the knees. Their lack of imagination had limited their view of Brendel as a noble who had some strong backing behind him in his family, but they recognized the Sword Arte and changed their opinions about him.
Brendel’s sword went back to its sheathe. He had intentionally shown that skill in hopes of making them retreat. He was not even close to a Gold-ranked fighter, but that impression they had of him were already carved into their hearts.
“Did you hear that, this young lady had said her father does not know anything about this Lord Tirste.”
“But……” The leader of the ruffians finally recovered from his shock, and looked at Brendel with a face full of conflict.
Brendel did a hand gesture to Batum behind his back.
“But what, get lost right now!” Batum saw the hand gesture and immediately yelled at them from the sides.
The ruffians exchanged looks at each other. This was a familiar tactic to them, doing something like they did not want to argue about logic. In fact they were also common users of using brute force instead of logic, but standing before them was a young master swordsman who could wiped them out within seconds, not to mention there was another bodyguard with him.
The ruffians were angered by Batum’s approach, but the leader took a deep breath and spoke: “I understand that you, ser noble, is going to interfere in this matter. May I please know, who exactly is going to go against Lord Tirste?”
Brendel’s eyes narrowed.
[Hoh. This man isn’t half bad at all, trying to corner me with words. If I’m a real noble I might have to answer him properly, but I’m not. Heck, I’m even a shameless ‘gamer’ at that. Still, this leader is quite smart, you are attacking me in the open with a scheme for everyone to see and I have to respond.]
He was secretly on his guards because refusing to answer might actually lead the ruffians to suspect of his identity. He grinned inwardly as he took a piece of paper out and folded it.
[Give this thing to your lord. As for my identity, none of you has the right to know who I am.]
The ruffians looked blankly at the paper. But they could not do anything else other than taking the paper and going back where they came from. They glared at the cripple, but they did not speak to him. If they tried to do so, they would be humiliated by Brendel.
Brendel watched the last man leave before turning around to look at Roen. The cripple’s eyes were glittering and Brendel looked at him with inscrutable eyes.
“What are you thinking, Ser Roen?” Brendel said.
Other than Batum, the cripple was the only other person who knew of his real identity. Batum could be trusted, but the wily old fox in front of him could hardly be trusted.
“N-nothing.” Roen immediately denied it.
The aging cripple was bitter in his heart. He did not expect to have so much trouble for being a guide. He would have risked getting injured by Brendel instead of going along if he knew he would offend Lord Tirste. The ‘Night Owl’ definitely remembered him for participating in this affair, and his life in Bruglas was definitely going to be turned upside down.
[Brendel definitely knows that Lord Tirste is going to come after me. I doubt that Brendel is going to trust me, especially when I don’t trust myself. I know that he’s a fake noble… and I might want to divulge that information to Lord Tirste… but…]
Roen took an involuntary glance at Brendel and was certain that the young man would not give him a chance to do so. He did not know what Brendel was going to do. Now that Brendel was a Swordman of Flowers and appeared to be more decisive when he last met him, the cripple felt cold sweat forming behind his back as he started to imagine his future. (TL: Here comes that terrible naming sense again. First it was Sophie, now it’s Swordsman of Flowers, I’m going to see it as comedic relief from now onwards >_>.)
The more he thought about it, the more frightened he got, and he started trembling.
“B-Brendel, if you kill me, they will suspect your identity.” The cripple stuttered.
“It’s the same if you go missing.” Brendel smiled.
“That’s right, yes.” Roen agreed with a heavy heart.
“But wanting us to trust in you, Ser Roen, what’s the possibility of that?”
“Certainly….. a little right?”
Brendel eyed him with slight disgust, but he shook his head. “I won’t kill you, cripple.”
Roen was slightly surprised and looked at Brendel with a little disbelief in his eyes.
[Why are you telling me this? Are you trying to deceive me?]
Roen did not think Brendel was naive, but he was unable to come up with a reason after thinking about for a long time.
[Wait— Is he playing with me like a hunter toying with his prey? No, this can’t be happening, surely!]
“Have you heard of this term called ‘Namelist’?”
“You don’t know about it? That’s fine, you just need to know, once you sign it, we’re partners.”
“You’re trying to drag me into this situation?” Roen inhaled deeply.
The young man’s smile in his eyes seemed to resemble a devil’s smile. He hesitated for a long time, but he could only agree to it. He thought it was best to deceive him now and then find ways to gain Lord Tirste’s trust.
[Report secretly to Lord Tirste? … But I don’t know him very well. Kill someone to get noticed? But nobles hardly care if their underlings get killed.]
Roen’s mind was working fast, but Brendel’s words suddenly came over him like a shower of needles.
“Cripple, before you came to do what you do now, did you commit a crime in Arreck?”
A flash of lightning struck seemed to strike Roen’s heart. His face turned white instantly and looked at Brendel as if the devil was before him: “N-no.”
“That family name of the nobles is—”
“Stop it!” The cripple screamed as loudly as he could. He seemed to gasp for breath like he was drowning in water and waved his arms in fear. “I got it Brendel. Please, don’t say anymore. Fuck, you’re a devil, a monster, I have never offended you!”
Brendel merely gave a smirk. Roen had killed the entire family of nobles thirty years ago in Arreck before fleeing to Bruglas and changing his name. It was a famous sidequest in the game, and Roen was ultimately hung for his crimes. It was not exactly Roen’s fault, as the nobles in the story were not exactly good either.
Still, Brendel chose to bring this past up to force Roen to join his side. Roen had done something that was akin to treason in Aouine, and even Lord Tirste was not going to be able to protect Roen on this matter.
[With this secret it should be enough to control this cripple, but I should offer a carrot as well to calm him down.]
“Very well. Do not worry, cripple, I will not use that incident to blackmail you. I know what happened exactly and the fault does not lie with you. However, I need to protect myself. I can at least promise you that Tirste will not trouble you. This is a transaction that both of us can come out ahead without issues, and it’s not me or Tirste forcing you to submit to either side.”
Roen looked at Brendel with doubtful eyes.
“You don’t believe me? That paper that I gave to Tirste will determine everything.”
“What exactly is in that paper?” Batum interjected with curiosity.
“A small habit of mine. I believe Tirste will suspect a certain logical rival of his.” Brendel rubbed his forehead.
[Disregarding whether this Tirste have ties with the Unifying Guild, I’ll push the blame to the organization of the ‘Tree Shepherds’.]
When Brendel threw the paper to the leader, he had done so in a particular manner that resembled someone’s actions called ‘Turtledove’. That master swordsman, Lord ‘Turtledove’, was a core member of the ‘Tree Shepherds’ and the key political enemy of the Grinoires nobles. He was even someone who was rumored to be an admirer of Tirste’s fiancee. With such a wonderful scapegoat, Brendel believed that Tirste would have a headache trying to deal this situation.
[Maybe Tirste is able to get to the truth some time later, but that wouldn’t be a problem since there are no real disadvantages. It’s not as if I’m a paladin from the Holy Cathedral of Fire.]
The cripple seemed to have understood something from Brendel’s words, and he stared at Brendel. “I’m starting to wonder if a devil had impersonated you, Brendel. You’re not someone like that in the past.”
“This situation forced my hand.” Brendel shrugged, and finally looked at Amandina.
“What are your intentions, Miss Amandina.” He asked.
The young lady lowered her head and felt that her decision did not belong to her anymore. She started to wonder if her previous judgment was wrong. The young man before her did not seem to be as gentlemanly as she had thought, and after a while she could only reluctantly reply: “Have you not thought of a solution for me, Ser Brendel?”
Brendel smiled when he heard Amandina’s reply, and briefly wondered what kind of upbringing she had to be as perceptive as she is now. He patted the scroll in his arms and spoke.
“Miss Amandina, I am in awe of your talent and abilities, and I hope that you could work for me. In return, I am willing to sponsor you to continue researching on the creation of Magicite. Of course, as one who is under my employ, I will also protect you from the ruffians who wanted to harass you.”
Amandina coughed and looked at Brendel’s eyes, as if to determine if he was lying—
“You want me to create machines that uses Magicite? But my teachers said that I am not talented in that field.”
“The creation of Magicite and machines that use Magicite are two different things.” Brendel nodded: “Especially what you have in this scroll, you are the only person who is skilled enough to make this a reality.”
“This is only a half completed version.” Amandina became serious, but shrank backwards as she realized she was being rude in her confrontational attitude.
Brendel did not mind.
“Miss Amandina. You have enough faith in your half completed work to be used as compensation, why do you not allow me to put value into the creator? There is a certain phrase in my hometown, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’.”
The girl’s eyes lit up: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? … Ser Brendel, are you really willing to sponsor me to continue walking down this path?”
“I will be honest here. Currently I do not have the finances or my place, but I am certain that I will be able to get them very soon. Isn’t that right, Ser Roen?”
“Yes, yes!” The cripple nodded furiously.
Amandina thought for a while before speaking again with a determined look in her face: “Very well. I will accept your offer, Ser Brendel. But I do not wish to do nothing before you are able to gain the resources that you need. I would like to be your advisor until then, and I am confident I have the ability to do so—”
She looked straight at Brendel.