TL: Well this is the first draft, not vetted for mistakes. I was kind of distracted by stuff recently, but you should see 4 draft amber sword chapters (including this one) + 3 draft TSTBGAM chapters over the next few few hours.
Edit: Okay, hopefully I copied the right chapter this time. The reason why there’s a mistake is because the original site had a numbering error. It literally skipped “chapter 66” and I have manually corrected each chapter, which kind of confuses me until I finally made a mistake with this chapter.
There is no chapter 75 because of mislabeling mistakes in the raws.
Chapter 74 – Night assault (1)
===================== Unknown POV ====================
“Here’s someone we know, Carles.”
A man wearing a black cavalier’s uniform watched the valleys from afar. The fire torches lit up the dark forest like stars in the sky. The Grey Wolves Mercenaries seemed to slumber as there were no sounds within the camps. The only noise within the forest were the rustling of leaves caused by the western wind that came from the sea.
[It sounds like a roaring tide.]
There seemed to be a creature bellowing deep within the mountain forests as the echoes spreaded out. Moments later, a giant monster emerged out from the trees with its immense claws dragging a female guard’s corpse.
She was also a scout that Brendel had seen in the afternoon, but she had turned into a lifeless corpse. The monster gurgled as the the orange flames shimmered; it was clearly displeased with the cavalier’s flippant attitude.
“It’s not your place to lecture me, small one.”
The monster’s voice was raspy and broken, like a clockwork mechanism that had not been maintained.
It straightened its body and threw the corpse down from a cliff. The dead mercenary fell into a number of dense shrubs, causing many branches to snap loudly as she fell some thirty or forty feet. Despite the noise, the distance to the camp was too far away for anyone to hear the commotion, especially when there was a strong wind.
The cavalier frowned as he looked at his partner—
Then he saw a group of ghastly translucent spiders with poisonous green eyes screeching noisily as they pounced from the nearby trees…..
================= Brendel POV ===============
There was a cracking sound.
Brendel stopped what he was doing and located the source of the sound. He found one of his cards on the floor. WHen he turned it over, he saw the Wind Spider Spirits had turned grey, an indication that it had entered into the Graveyard.
His first reaction was not to mourn for the loss of it but quickly kept it into his pocket and extinguished his lamp, causing his surroundings turned dark immediately.
[That’s too fast.]
Brendel felt like he was slightly caught off guard.
The Grey Wolves Mercenaries had selected an ideal vale to avoid the winds and constructed tents there. Brendel suggested their forces to be situated further from each other to avoid suspicion, Even though Makarov and Buga felt surprised, they happily agreed. Brendel did not trust them, and they did not trust him either, thus the two scheming parties found this arrangement to be agreeable.
What Makarov did not expect was why Brendel wanted this arrangement; it was just so that he could run away in the middle of the night with an excuse.
The youth crawled out of his tent and immediately felt the hair on his bare skin stand up. Chablis was mired in deep fog in its area, and had high temperature during the day time with the temperature falling quickly in the night. Unprepared travelers would certainly find themselves to be chilled if they did not prepare adequate bedding.
Brendel shook off any intention to sleep and observed his surroundings. Human figures came in the form of shadows, and despite Brendel’s lack of vision training in the night, his high stats in perception allowed him to perceive things in clarity during the night.
[It seems like Makarov is only suspicious of us, but they don’t intend to harm us.]
After confirming that there was no one nearby, he slowly stood up. He was already dressed and ready for full combat. He wore a set of studded leather armor, with pouches attached to his belt as well as a longsword. In his hand was a backpack with necessary water and food. He quietly went over to a nearby tent and patted on the tent’s cloth. After a few seconds, a curious voice came from within:
“Romaine, why are you in here!” Brendel felt confounded as he had checked repeatedly that it was supposed to be Amandina’s tent.
“It’s a surprise!” She giggled with a little pride.
“Cut your bloody surprises.” Brendel growled.
Someone emerged from the tent, and he saw Amandina tying her hair while she stood up. She had an apologetic face, but Brendel knew that Romaine would have ignored her protests. He gave an audible sigh and apologized to her.
“I’m sorry for the trouble……”
Amandina took a few moments for Brendel’s apology to register in her mind, then smiled faintly as she glanced at her tent.
“My lord, it seems that you are really fond of Romaine.” She whispered.
Brendel nodded. He allowed Romaine to do whatever she wanted, was not only because lesser half of him had spent his life with her as a friend, but also because the greater half of him acknowledged her as the first friend that he had when came to this world.
[Unfortunately, that naive and shy youth is no longer here. This body might be nineteen in this world but I’m certainly not of that age. what I want to attain here will demand an equivalent amount of responsibilities.]
He pulled back the corner of the tent’s opening, and found Romaine beaming at him.
“Are you both ready?” He asked.
They both nodded.
Brendel looked back at the other tents, and as if to respond to his action, a dozen men came out from their tents at the same time. There was no need for them to exchange words, and they began to pack their tents quietly. Even though they were fully equipped with armor and weapons, they did not make any sound from their actions.
Amandina had seen these men in the day, but her eyes quickly betrayed her surprise.
[These men are exceptionally well trained, where did he find them?]
The Mercenaries of Lopes were certainly renowned in history. This specific ‘Card’ summoned beings seemed to represent a certain collective nature, and these twelve mercenaries were the best representation of ‘Heroic’, ‘Loyalty’, ‘Honor’, ‘Morale’, and ‘Discipline’. They also did not fear death and pain, and were most likely to be the best soldiers that graced this world.
Brendel wanted more men like them.
The more Amandina watched them, the more impressed she was. She quickly felt her face, then looked at Brendel, wondering whether she was seeing things wrongly—-
It was not as if she had not seen mercenaries before. The nobles had more or less done dealings with them to protect their properties. Most of the mercenaries were related to the kingdom’s formal army, if they exclude the local bullies and criminals.
She thought she had seen the best of them when she traveled with the Grey WOlves Mercenaries, but Brendel’s men clearly distinguished themselves beyond reproach. They seemed to exude something that a normal mercenary would never have—
She showed a slight frown as she tried to find the words to describe them.
[… Pride and dignity. How many mercenaries would maintain what they do like it was some form of sacred duty, like a knight’s oath? These men doesn’t look like they could be paid with coins, but more like they are retainers from a noble’s family.]
The more she thought about it, the more she believed in her supposition.
A noble’s scion leaving his own family to create his own fiefdom. It sounded like it was came out from some legendary stories. When Brendel invited her to join him to create a land of his own, she was unable to resist her adventuring self, even if she had received the strictest education from young.
It was an immense enticement that compelled her to want to assist a young knight without using any help from his family to create his own territory.
[It seems like this lord of mine isn’t starting from scratch… But this is more a delightful find rather than a depressing one. It is better for him to be prepared, rather than someone who’s a hot-blooded knight who wants to imitate the legendary figures of old.]
Brendel did not know what Amandina was thinking about from his single ‘Cards of Fate’. If he knew, he would have tried ways to show off his mercenaries and recruit loyal retainers.
When the twelve men were done with their packing and had gathered before him for his next order, Brendel found he had encountered a small problem.
Two people, a man and a woman, from the Grey Wolves Mercenaries’ camps were heading over to his camp area.
He squinted and identified one of them—
[It’s that white-haired brat, Redi. Did they notice some form of commotion here— No, these two are clearly not heading for our tents. Judging by their direction, they are cutting across our camps to go out… Why are they going out there?]
He suddenly formed a new possibility.