TL: I’ll see you next wednesday for a new chapter of TAS.
Chapter 105 – Lure (4)
Four of the Lizardmen’s mount darted through the darkness, their faint shadows passing through the valley like river streams. A few moments later, the rider who was leading them raised his hand high up, and the others quickly pulled back their reins to turn their mounts around, then started to dismount one by one.
Brendel held his sword down with one hand while he nimbly left his mount by standing on the stirrups, jumped up from them and landed gracefully onto the ground. When he did so, he heard Romaine grumbling loudly behind him:
“Brendel, riding this thing is awful—” She was still on her mount with her eyebrows in a frown with her hands rubbing her neck: “It’s not exciting at all and it’s painful.”
Brendel laughed as he went over to her and helped her down.
[If I let our highness Romaine have fun on this mount, would you still follow me properly?]
The Lizardmen’s mounts were creatures that crawled on the ground, moving in a ‘s’ direction that jerked from side to side. If the riders did not have specific training on it, they would not have an easy time on it. Brendel had wasted ten-odd skill points on it from the Lizardman prisoner to learn how to ride it.
He had learned this lesson in this game once already and would not fall into such a trap again. But when he saw that her face was slightly pale, he felt a few pangs in his heart and replied gently: “Take a short rest.”
The battles ahead did not involve Romaine.
“Then I’m going off to nap—” She jumped down from her mount with Brendel’s support with his arm, and blinked at him: “I’ll be praying for you.”
“In your dreams?” Brendel asked with some exasperation.
“Yes, in my dreams.” She nodded seriously, her smiling eyes forming in a line like she scored a small victory, then ran past the Mercenaries of Lopes who walked out from the forest. Brendel’s mood also lifted up when he saw her actions. He was truly fond of her optimistic mindset even under dire circumstances. Every time she smiled, he found his heart getting conquered by her, regardless of the old and new Brendel.
Even from the first night in Bucce, he found it hard to take his eyes off her whimsical actions.
He took in a deep breath and allowed the cold air of the night to enter his lungs, and slowly cooled down his slightly dazzled mind which was getting hot. When he spotted the Nightsong Tiger, he paused for a moment before moving straight to him while waving the back of his hand at him:
“Prepare for battle, the enemy is only two miles away from us. Hurry up, I want all these XP from the two hundred Lizardmen to be taken completely.”
Brendel did not like to waste time on pointless banter before the battle. He had explained everything clearly to them and it was just a small ambush. It was not even really an operation that required tactical maneuvers like those in the game.
“XP?” Sanford looked like he was confused as he got down from his mount as he heard this unknown word. The Nightsong Tiger merely curled his lips as he glanced at him. He was used to his lord spouting some strange words from time to time. The other mercenaries had even learned what they meant.
“I meant that none of these enemies is to be left alive.” Brendel changed his words with a straight face.
The Elven commander’s lips twisted subtly at the corner without anyone noticing.
Brendel’s orders were quickly executed—
His men quickly moved in the forest and the youth started to deploy them at strategic positions. He chose to use the most common tactic in the game against these low level mob of Lizardmen. He hid with the Elven commander and the Nightsong Tiger, while the other Elves and mercenaries moved to their designated positions. The Elves’ armors were made by the Elven craftsmen not to reflect moonlight, while the majority of the mercenaries painted their leather armor black. They hid well enough that even trained eyes would not spot them unless they specifically looked for them.
The Elves crouched down behind bushes with a single hand on their broadswords which were covered with fallen leaves, while the mercenaries were approximately thirty feet behind them, waiting anxiously with readied shortbows or crossbows, not daring to breathe loudly.
Brendel did not want any deaths in this battle, so he let the Elves lead the forefront while the mercenaries were in charge of ranged suppression. This subconsciously made decision looked like he was taking care of the newly recruited men. Even though Makarov was able to bring victory for them every time, he was a commander who was born in nobility, and the nobles tend to see the deaths of their subordinates as mere numbers.
With the high birth rate of Vaunte surpassing the medieval ages’ birth rates on earth, the rich population was always a resource to be used in the commanders’ eyes.
However, Brendel paid for each NPC from his own pocket in the game, and some of them were obtained from unique missions; it could be said that every one of them was obtained with effort, and he was reluctant to treat them like cannon fodder.
Naturally he did not notice his actions had raised the loyalty from the remnants of the Grey Wolves Mercenaries; he merely checked the time from the stats window.
[I have about an hour more.]
He exhaled and shook his body to get some warmth in this cold forest. He mocked himself a little. It was just a small battle but he actually felt a little tense. He had led so many battles in the game against Madara forces, and even did so in this world by leading the refugees, but here he was, almost like a new soldier who was participating in battle for the first time.
[I haven’t done an ambush against such numbers for quite some time. My heart seems to be beating faster.]
He looked at the constant numbers fluctuating in the Stats Windows. It was calculating the penalty for the distance in both projectile and magic constantly, and he felt like it did not fit reality. Brendel blinked a few times before he checked his own stats:
Strength: 19.4 (+0.1)
Agility: 10.9 (+1.1)
Physique: 21.2 (+2)
Will: 3.6 (+1)
(TL: The stats are inclusive of the bonuses as stated by the author. Strength isn’t 19.5 but 19.4. Also, his intelligence has not grown since the start of the series. Brendel is currently below level 25, and still classified as a Iron-ranked fighter.)
[My stats are almost at a Silver-ranked fighter. If I gain another level I will definitely reach it. But compared to my basic stats, my techniques are truly outstanding. The encounters in this world are much better than the last, Power Break and the White Raven Sword Rave are pretty much the best techniques for a warrior.]
He could not really remember how he was able to survive back then in the game with his basic stats and techniques. Right now with his current skillset, he was truly invincible amongst his enemies at his level. If he added the various techniques that he had right now, he could fight against against a mid level Silver-ranked fighter. If he combined his experience in the game, he could even go against the Gold-ranked fighters who had not unsealed their Element.
Brendel rubbed his forehead as he pondered on several things, before he suddenly turned to the Elven commander and asked: “Are your techniques from the Holy Land?”
The Elven commander was taken slightly aback, but he immediately looked back with a little caution.
“Don’t worry, I know your rules. I haw no interest in your Elven techniques but I’m just a little curious.” Brendel’s mind said otherwise, of course. If he had a high renown he might have a better answer from the Elven commander.
“Even if I tell you about them, you wouldn’t be able to learn because our Elven techniques are designed specifically for us, human.” The Elven commander replied coldly.
There was a scene in Brendel’s mind where he was pulling the Elven’s commander cheeks with a ‘A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as clear as the nose on your face!’
He had learned the Silver Elves’ techniques before but he did not break his lies and merely smiled:
“Come on, Ser Nalaethar, don’t be so cold. You experienced the War of the Holy Saints right?”
The Elven commander eyed him coldly, not understanding how the topic turned to that, but he still nodded.
“Have you learned any Dark Techniques?”
“No.” Nalaethar snapped. His eyes glared at him, while his lips parted again to say something before he resisted doing so. Any Silver Elf who learned Dark Techniques meant they had joined the faction of the Dragon of Darkness. Even though he thought Brendel was being sarcastic to him, he convinced himself that the latter was innocent.
Very few people in this era would know that era well.
Unfortunately Brendel was one of them, and he was indeed making fun of him.
Nalaethar was silent for a moment before he suddenly spoke again: “Do you really wish to learn something, human?”
This time it was Brendel who was surprised. His mouth went open but he did not know how to respond.
[You really want to teach me something? You’re not yanking my chain? But it’s the hardest to raise one’s reputation amongst the Silver Elves—]