TL: As explained in my correction in the previous chapter, there’s a numbering mistake in the original raws. However, for my sanity points, I think I’m going to follow the raws numbering chapter from this chapter onwards.
The previous chapter’s contents have been fixed.
Chapter 76 – Night assault (2)
Redi and the person beside him walked closer and closer, the two lithe figures looking like they were floating specters in the thick fog.
Everyone at Brendel’s side had stopped their actions and looked over to their direction. Amandina lowered her head, estimated their direction and immediately paled. She raised her head and looked at Brendel, her eyes full of worry—
They had camped in an area where there was a clear landing, and the Mercenaries of Lopes had cleared all their tents. Even if they simply passed by the forest, they would surely discover this abnormal scene.
“Keep your hair on.” Brendel merely stared ahead and said. (TL: In here it’s a chinese idiom, so I replaced it with the english equivalent, sort of. It means “to stay calm.”)
Even though the people around him did not understand what the phrase meant, they regained their composure when they saw Brendel’s raised hand and unperturbed face. His action meant that they should not act rashly.
Amandina’s lips opened slightly.
The mercenaries were Brendel’s summoned creatures and completely obeyed the Planeswalkers’ commands. Even if there was a precipice in front of them and Brendel ordered them to advance, they would do so without hesitation.
However, in Amandina’s eyes, these proud veteran soldiers ceased their murmurs and actions just because of Brendel’s small action. Everyone became silent, and she subconsciously held her breath, not daring to exhale loudly.
The strength of the valley’s gale was at its peak, howling across the southern mountain’s entrance towards them. The branches beat upon each other and caused the leaves to drown out any other noises. Faint starlight danced across Redi’s face as the leaves swayed to and fro, making him feel like he was brooding.
The two people made their way across the thick foliage, but they did not act cautiously like how Brendel predicted they would be, to the point where they freely broke the dry branches beneath their feet.
Brendel changed his opinions and believed that Makarov did not tell his subordinates where Brendel’s camp was, and the two people had no idea they were near them.
[The ‘Maned Wolf’ probably wishes to avoid trouble as well.] Brendel thought.
They were less than a hundred feet away and Brendel was certain they would discover the abnormal sight here.
[If that stupid brat claims that they are suspicious of us, it will become impossible to explain our actions. Even though these two people are equally suspicious, Makarov will most likely believe in his men than any explanations of our own.]
He was actually tense like the others but he did not show any signs of it. When he looked to his side, the leader of the mercenaries, ‘Nightsong Tiger’ was also looking at him with queries in his eyes. He was shrewd as well as experienced, and his intentions were quite clear, “Do you want to take the initiative and ‘off’ them?”
[Off them? A decision not to be made lightly. This is a normal decision for any mercenaries, but this is different from the time in Pine Fortress. That time was simply because there was literally no choice as our lives are on stake. I have not fallen so far as to disregard lives… but…]
Brendel was conflicted. He had came from a civilized land in a more peaceful time, and murdering people out of a mere thought went against all his senses. In spite of that, his position at this juncture required him to act decisively, otherwise the consequences would be of dire proportions.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
[Should I follow the rules of this world and sever the connections of my past? Or hold on to a single thread. Denying Sophie would mean denying my entire past… Maybe I’m actually dreaming in my sleep, a nightmare of sorts… No, even if everything is a delusion in this world, all the memories that I had in the previous world are clearly there, carved into my very eyes.
How can I deny them?
If I cut off my past, then what meaning is there for me to work so hard in this world. Losing my ‘self’, can I still call myself ‘Brendel’? The answer is clearly right in front of me.]
Chaotic thoughts filled his mind, but he cleaved them apart like a sharp sword through ropes. He opened his eyes as if he was the king of gamers, his eyes crystal clear as he found his answer.
Amandina’s sharp senses had noticed Brendel’s hesitation. She was surprised that a decision would have been easily made as he had constantly presented himself as an unwavering noble who had never needed to even question himself to make ruthless choices.
These were certainly the rules of the nobles’ game—
Brendel looked back at Amandina with a look that was full of self-mockery, yet he was relaxed with a tinge of regret. She was surprised to the point where lost her words. Had she ever seen an expression like this amongst the cold-blooded nobles in Aouine?
[Is he faking it? But there’s no reason to do so…?]
Brendel raised his hand to gather the attention of the mercenaries. His mind was still somewhat conflicted when he did so, but when he lowered it, there was nothing but relief in him.
“Prepare to act. If it is possible, knocking them out will do. I do not wish to have a war with Makarov.”
Brendel’s voice was a nearly a whisper. He did not know whether his actions would cause him to look foolish to others, but if he did not give this order, then he would certainly look foolish to his own self.
The Mercenaries of Lopes nodded at the same time. The Nightsong Tiger felt a slight pity at Brendel’s answer. The situation should be handle once and for all without any hesitations.
Amandina’s reaction was different. She looked at Brendel with new eyes as she discovered there was something in him that she did not know at all. She could not tell if this unique quality of his was good or bad, but there was something about him that did not fit in this world. Yet she did not find that it was unnatural, and it conversly made her feel at peace after a very long time in the nobles’ circle.
The two people were seventy feet away.
“Brendel.” Romaine suddenly called out with a little anxiety in her voice.
He puzzledly looked at her but still whispered: “Now is not the time.”
She thought for a while and nodded. The mercenaries scattered and fell into position to await the two people to approach closer. Once they were within reach, they would move together. They outnumbered the two people and their experience vastly exceeded them, so they were confident they could subdue them with ease.
Brendel felt restless. There was most likely a strong enemy, or enemies that sent his card to the graveyard, and he could not afford to waste time here.
The two people were about to made their way out of the foilage, but they slowly stopped before they exited it.
“Did they discover something?”
Brendel’s eyelids flinched, and almost commanded the mercenaries to suppress them immediately, only to forcefully stop himself. The distance for the mercenaries to attack was still too far away. It was more likely to alert them than to catch them unaware. He slowly steadied his nerves as he was certain that they had not discovered anything.
He looked around to observe the mercenaries, and they were still as composed as before. Romaine gazed the area curiously, while Amandina’s face grew paler as time passed by.
Redi had stopped completely and he faced his companion to speak with her. Despite nearly a hundred feet away, Brendel still managed to catch a few words with his high perception.
Redi did not speak loudly, but looked at Brendel’s camp from time to time, as if he had noticed something.
The conversation between soon became heated, and even ended up as a quarrel. Even though everyone with the exception of Brendel could not hear what they were talking about, they understood that neither of them managed to convince each other. Brendel felt a little annoyed and even wondered if they simply came here to quarrel.
Their voices were raised even higher, and Brendel managed to catch a few key words, ‘Eke……’, ‘Chablis……’, ‘Necklace……’.
Brendel raised his eyebrow.
[It sems like Redi knows that Eke is still in Chablis, and if he knows, then Makarov should also know that fact. This mercenary group seems to have a number of troubles. But I still don’t understand why this discussion has anything to do with the ‘events’ that are to follow.]
He looked up at the sky to find the Blood Star. The moment when the Blood Star appeared was the moment when it was nearly midnight.