TL: I found out that I got a grade ‘B’ from one of the subjects that I really didn’t want to get a B on. It’s like, well, I spent weeks and weeks on just that subject alone and I kind of go meh on the other stuff, and the others got a B+. That really just drives me nuts -_-. I might have to go again with the 2 weeks 1 update in order to polish things until I think the new assignments shines, depending on the workload. Don’t worry, I’ll fill in the backlog once I graduate.
As for the artwork for TAS, there’s the freedom to do whatever I want for the next assignment, so I’m thinking of doing Brendel as a warrior. Right now I don’t have a particular inspiration because I’ve just started, but if you guys have any amazing artwork warrior images that you have seen, just comment away and send me the links.
Also at the end of my course, I’ll be doing a check on all the chapter’s text for content errors and grammar mistakes. For the mean time, I will be doing recaps for my series because of the 2 weeks update thingy.
Next schedule would be tentatively 2 weeks later. I kind of need to get a proper pose for Brendel and do up two good character designs, if I can get the design done earlier I can get a chapter out next week.
Recap: Princess Gryphine crosses blows with the Unifying Guild’s member who’s also a top ranking minister. Brendel meets up with Freya to talk with her before leaving.
Chapter 61 – Bruglas last night (3)
Freya became silent.
She looked like she was thinking of stray thoughts for a while, before she raised her head up to look at him. Her light brown eyes resembled like a pair of orange gems under the candlelight.
She hesitated for a while and then raised her left hand, and took off the ring on her thumb: “Take this ring with you. You will need it more than I do outside here.”
Brendel was slightly taken aback. He looked at the Ring of Fireball, and the red ruby glinted brightly in his eyes under the candles’ flames.
He looked at Freya again, while the latter turned her head away slightly.
“This ring was originally yours. I-I…… was only, borrowing it temporarily. Have you forgotten about it?”
The barkeep who was chatting with Brendel before Freya arrived, stood up and patted the young man’s shoulder. He smiled: “My friend, it seems like you’re in a bit of trouble. I’ll be off doing my things, and I’ll tell you about the wine cup’s legend later.”
The moment he finished speaking, he took his cup away and intentionally moved to the other corner of the bar, and started to gossip with a few drunk mercenaries.
Freya immediately snapped her lips shut without saying anything else after she heard him.
Brendel shook his head upon seeing this. His smile could not suppress the warmth in his heart. He gazed at her carefully and felt the weight of her concern in his heart. He originally wanted to simply leave her a message, but the stubborn girl insisted on seeing him after she talked to Romaine.
[Certainly, you’re not here just to hand me the ring back. You’re here because you’re concerned about me.]
Freya’s heart was beating quickly. She clenched and unclenched her fists. When she heard that Brendel and the others were leaving, she had only one thought in her mind and ran out without thinking. She wanted to see them one more time, as if she was a little child who could not bear to leave the adults around her.
When she calmed down, she could only feel her face burning.
She thought of her current situation in front of her. She was going to set off to Aouine’s Royal Cavalry Academy, and was leaving everyone behind, especially Brendel.
[Am I really able to do what Brendel said I can do? To gain the power of protecting little Felix, and everyone else?]
She felt no confidence in the undetermined future that was in front of her feet, and there was much uneasiness in her mind. Brendel was a lifeline in front of her, but when things came to the point where it counted, she found that she was unable to raise her hand up to grab hold of it tightly.
She stared at the corner of Brendel’s clothes and looked blankly at it for a while.
Brendel naturally saw through her thoughts because it was written all over her face. He smiled and received the ring from her. She looked slightly surprised and looked up: “Y-you accepted it?”
“Certainly. How can I find the courage to refuse the ring that the Goddess of War is giving me?” Brendel smiled. He knew that she would not come to any danger within the academy, while he certainly needed every single bit of power. If that was not the case, he would have not accepted the ring just so that Freya can be relieved.
“Goddess of War?”
“I have heard of a legend called ‘The Goddess of War’. In it she was the heroine who was beautiful and gallant, riding on her horse into battle, with one hand holding on to a swallowtail flag trailing behind her figure, while the other held onto a majestic longsword, leading her citizens towards victory and protecting her kingdom.”
Brendel smiled fondly as he recalled another story about the Goddess of War in his heart.
At the end of Vaunte’s turbulent era, a female knight wore a full plate of silver plate armor, and watched every soldier under her with light brown eyes. The sky in Fort Malgar was dark gray and the Silver Cross army flags were fluttering weakly on long flagpoles. She was shorter than many warriors before her, but their dejected figures did not appear to be much bigger than her right now.
Her long ponytail that was kept ever since from Bucce’s demise fluttered behind her, and it was a symbol of hope that made people feel there was a reliable figure on the battlefield.
Freya was Aouine’s Goddess of War.
She rode out slowly on her horse and came to the front of everyone. The horse’s saddle was ornately decorated and silver robes shimmered and flowed on it.
A drizzle was falling from the sky.
Her followers were only from the Royal Cavalry Academy, only one hundred odd students, comprising of many rich nobles’ sons and daughters. There were a few of them who ultimately became her enemies in the future, but right at that moment, the cavalry who wore white uniform rode on their horses and followed behind her.
They were soldiers who were defeated again and again but they continued to stay by her side.
The gamers in the game had lost their confidence, fell into deep despair and became spiritless. They lamented and blamed themselves for choosing this kingdom. There was no hope, no tomorrow, and the only thing that awaited them was defeat, along with the humiliation that came along with it.
“Aouine is done for! This broken kingdom cannot match Madara at all!” They cried out.
But Freya rode out and brought about her soldiers, marching towards the battlefield. It was like a pure ray of light, that tore the dark sky asunder with a sharp blade.
Brendel could not forget that moment—
Her first sentence:
“My fellow soldiers, please, come with me and we will set out to defeat Madara—“
“Please forgive me. I am unable to sympathize with your pain, fears, cold and hunger. But I could see the deep despondent feelings on you. These despondent feelings, I feel the same way too! That is because right here and right now, my country has been defeated and we are about to retreat. The undead will soon ravage our lands. We are the losers, no matter how you twist the situation.
We cannot choose. We cannot win. We cannot fight back. This feeling suffocates me! Have we reached our limits? My fellow soldiers, please, set out for the battlefield once more! We still have a chance, please let me lead you to fight them once more.”
“I ask you to trust in me.”
She placed her hand on her chest.
“I will fight along with you.”
“I will shoulder all your burdens.”
“Follow me, and allow me to fight till I fall gloriously in battle. Allow me to use this promise, to bring about the courage for everyone to continue onwards!”
That was the first time the Silver Lily appeared magnificently on the battlefield. The legend of the Goddess of War, an epic story that was written into the annals of history and moved countless players.
When compared to the many other NPCs who defended Aouine, gamers had a deeper impression of her. She was the one who brought them out of the unending fate of defeat and gave them glory. Her name became Aouine’s pride, and she was their flag of pride. Everyone was willing to battle for her because they were willing to fight for honor and dignity.
Aouine’s battle song was written by a relatively unknown gamer on the forums, but there were numerous people who sang—
“We the proud citizens of Aouine—
Shall never bow our noble heads and hold it high up even if we are defeated
Our courage shall be carved unto our weapons
Our faith shall guard our flags
Our blood will flow towards the same path
We pledge solemnly
To raise the flags of the Silver Lily once more.
We pledge solemnly
To believe in Aouine and never falter.
Upon our deaths, our voices will echo
and reverb throughout this land.
Our voices shall chronicle
The love for our hometown.”
Brendel lowered his head and rubbed his eyes. When he looked back up, he saw Freya looking down onto the ground, mumbling: “How can I do the same thing like a legendary figure? I’m just a foolish girl who tries her best, even the point of screwing everything up.”
[That’s right! Your efforts are the source of this legend—]
Brendel stared at her. He admired the past and current Freya for her earnest attitude. No matter what it was, she had always tried her best to do it.
[Perhaps you don’t know your own potential, but one day you will shine brightly like a diamond.]
He laughed softly: “Then just treat it like a dream that you can aim for.”
Freya looked at him and nodded. “Is that a legend from the Highland knight?”
Brendel paused momentarily, and nodded.
Freya stopped speaking. After a while, she asked quietly: “Is there anything else you want to instruct me?”
“Not really…… Wait.” Brendel paused for a moment, before calling her. He thought for a while before asking. “Freya, what do you think of Aouine?” Brendel lowered his voice when he spoke.
The truth was he had already checked his surroundings once to see if anyone were paying attention to them.
“Aouine? What about it?” She was confused.
“If I was to put it into an analogy, Aouine is currently akin to an old dying man who’s sick all the way to his core.” Brendel said.
Freya was completely stunned.
After all this time, she was no longer that naive militia leader. She had observed the filthy nobles with her own eyes, and she was worried about the upper echelons who ruled the kingdom, but she did not know where the problems exactly laid.
[Was it really like this? Maybe I misunderstood something—]
The uneasy girl could only comfort herself. In this world, there were both light and darkness. Perhaps everything would get better, but it was nothing more than a vicious cycle. Despite that, she kept hoping to get to the truth, to see if the world was in line with her naive thinking in the past.
But she did not expect for Brendel to strip away all her thoughts, and left the worst one behind with his words.
Freya was unable to say anything.
“Listen closely.” Brendel had hesitated many times before he was finally determined to speak to her what he thought.
He was constantly afraid that he would affect her future route, but she was not only the Goddess of War in his heart, she was also a reliable partner that he could trust in, and the latter occupied more of his heart.
He had no true relative in this world, and Freya lost both of her parents who took care of her, and he felt that he needed her support, and it was the same for her. Ever since that night in the village, he understood that his link with her could not be broken anymore.
The two of them were isolated and weak, blindly moving ahead and relying each other as they moved forward in the murky future.
[If I didn’t meet the people in Bucce, I would have found it to gain a relationship with this world, and would have constantly felt isolated here. Right now for Freya, she is heading to the path of that lonely Goddess of War.]
“Aouine can no longer go back to the past where it is peaceful. The only thing that can save this kingdom is having a drastic change. Certainly, an upheaval in the kingdom would fracture it into pieces, but everyone of us who were born in this era will try and restore it. I don’t know how many people can see this outcome, and I don’t know whether anyone understands what I’m saying, but do you understand?”
She looked at him in a bewitched manner, but she nodded subconsciously.
“Do you know now why I wanted you to go the Royal Cavalry Academy?”
“Freya, do your best.”
Freya took a deep breath and said with uneasiness: “I don’t know if what you say is true, but I think I need to believe in you. But I’m a little confused and I’m really scared. How about everyone in our militia, can we try and change everything?”
“I am also going to try my best to change that future. I need your help.”
“…… What must I do?”
“If there is anything that happens, then throw all your support towards the princess. I heard that princess Gryphine in Aouine is famed for her intelligence, if there’s anyone in the Corvado family who could lead this kingdom out of her predicament, we can only trust her.” Brendel paused and thought for a moment: “I believe you might have the chance to meet her in the Royal Cavalry Academy.”
“Why do you know she would be there?” Freya blurted out: “Are you trying to mess around with me?”
“I wish I was joking, but when you are a chess player in Aouine’s politics, no matter if you are willing or not, you would be able to see all the situations clearly. You will understand in time.” Brendel laughed: “Don’t worry about it too much. We will still be able to meet with each other. Don’t forget my words, I’ll definitely stand behind you—“
She lowered her head and pondered for a while to take in his words. She then spoke in a tiny voice : “I got it. I’ll take my leave now.”
Freya’s lonely figure was like a isolated bird on its migrant journey. When she turned around, he had the urge to call her back and ask her if she wanted to come along with him, but at the end, he stopped himself. She had her own path, and he could not be so selfish.
But at that moment, she stopped and looked back over her shoulder.
“I—- Please help me take care of Romaine. She’s my best friend.”
After throwing out her words, she walked out of the bar with large strides without turning back again, leaving behind Brendel who was trying to carefully figure out that sentence meant. In the end, the youth shook his head and drank from his wine cup.