Chapter 165 – Gambler’s roulette (2)
Brendel had brought out an incredibly large map which had dust gathering on it from the secret basement and returned to manor’s hall. He placed it onto to a long table. All his subordinates were beside him, while Cornelius’s mercenaries shuffled in and out.
When the map was fully extended out onto the table, everyone gave an impressed sigh.
“My lord, how did you know that horrible man has a secret basement and map?” Dia asked while she cast furtive glances at her older sister. It was fortunate that the latter did not get angry at her and only received an exasperated glare.
Felaern was truthfully not feeling well. When Brendel became an Elementalist, she felt her world crashing before her very eyes.
The once arrogant Graudin was now lying outside the manor’s courtyard. There was perhaps some use for his body in the future. The mercenaries were flushing out the remaining enemies and to report any traces of Iamas. Brendel was certain that he had completely left the city.
[He’s not one to stay behind and vent his anger or create trouble to get revenge on me. That’s his habit. If it’s the Red Knight Ladios, then that might happen. The reason why Iamas is so hard to deal with is that his nature always avoided putting himself into a dangerous position. It’s hard to latch onto his mistakes.]
“Most nobles have similar habits, Dia,” Brendel answered as he thought about the overall situation. “But this thing might not be Graudin’s handiwork. I suspect he has no real wish to govern this region.”
His mixed his words with half-truths. Nobles’ habits had nothing to do with hidden basements and maps. The only truth here was how he knew gamers turned this place upside-down by overthrowing Graudin.
He took a few moments to study the map and concluded that it was not from Graudin, but generations before him who designed and built Firburh.
“This map has decades behind it,” Ciel coughed a few times from the dust. He looked at it with a frown: “Does that stupid fool not care about his land? In the Black Tower’s region, the Wizards would redraw a map every year.”
Brendel nearly snorted with laughter. Trentheim was the most barbaric region and furthest away at Aouine’s borders. The citizens here were clearly not wizards.
“In this era, it’s quite common for a small city to reuse their maps for several decades. It’s good enough to rely on it as a guide, and we don’t need a detailed map.”
“In this era?” Ciel looked at him strangely.
“It’s a lisp.” Brendel glared at him: “You have a problem?”
“No,” The young wizard hurriedly shook his head: “It’s just the moment my Lord speak that few words, I felt a heavy sense of richness like I have experienced history before my very eyes. I feel like my Lord has somehow stood at a very high place, almost like a God of War, no, truly a God of War.”
The corners of Brendel’s eyes twitched while the corners of his lips stiffened: “Cut the crap out.”
He suddenly thought of something and turned towards the older Elementalist sister: “Ah, lucky babe…… no, I mean, Felaern, where are the equipment I asked you to sort out?”
“Yes?” She answered like she was in a stupor before she asked back: “What?”
“Clearing up the battlefield?”
“Oh,” Felaern answered after a short pause: “You mean that Skeleton Lord? I found something strange on him, and I wanted to ask my Lord about it—”
[Something strange? Kabias is a high-level general. There should be goodies from him.]
There were many odd types of equipment in the game, and Fantasy-ranked artifacts were almost deemed as ‘Mini Cheats’. His ears perked up in curiosity, but Cornelius walked in with a forehead full of perspiration, alongside with Alistair in his dark green robe fluttering urgently from his large strides. Brendel immediately raised his hand up and stopped Felaern from speaking.
“Are you ready?” He asked in a hasty tone.
“We are ready, my lord, we can proceed to move any time—” Cornelius eyed him carefully and answered.
His words were like a signal. Brendel’s men stood up with their weapons ready. Scarlett who had been talking to Sifrid all this time stood up and patted the latter’s head.
“Then let’s move out! I’ll leave you to aid Raban, Ser Cornelius. I’ll have Medissa aid you too. Do you have any news of the west gate?”
Medissa nodded to Cornelius when she heard his order.
But the silver-haired middle-aged man frowned and shook his head: “We have been looking out for a signal, but there still isn’t any news. I have sent scouts to contact them, but I don’t believe they will be able to report back soon.”
“There’s no time for that,” Brendel shook his head: “We have to set out immediately.”
“My lord, I understand Jana well enough. Even if she did not reach the west gate in time, she would definitely choose to delay the Madara’s undead. My lord, there’s no need for you to worry—”
“Pointless. They won’t be able to hold it. I understand Madara’s tactics far better than you do. One has to guard against them with a fortified position. Under the sea of skeletons, three hundred mercenaries are nothing more than a rock thrown into the sea. They will be wiped out almost instantly.”
His hands laid on the table as he studied the map quickly: “And that’s not counting in the Dark Warriors and Necromancers.”
He straightened up and took up Scarlett’s longsword: “The only thing we can do is to set out immediately. We can only hope that Miss Jana is able to reach the west gate in time, or else we have one real ending—”
While everyone glanced at each other, Brendel already left his seat and went outside. His men left one by one after watching his back for a few seconds.
“So the worst outcome for you, my Lord, is to give up on Firburh, right?” Ciel quickly ran out and walked beside Brendel, keeping pace with his quick strides.
“What have you thought of?” Brendel looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m just thinking about how my Lord is as bold as before—
Brendel’s teeth were shown slightly when he gave a smile.
“The price for Graudin’s head is too high,” he said: “Thus I have to choose the most rewarding choice in order not to lose out. The risk is certainly too high, but like I said before, would a dead man care if one or two nooses were tied around his neck?”
“You are right, but I now realize that my Lord is indeed a great match for Miss Romaine.”
“My lord?” Cornelius who also followed him was confused over how the direction of the conversation went to.
“To be clear, Ciel is right about his guess.” Brendel nodded: “It doesn’t end with Graudin’s death, I’m also going to usurp Trentheim’s ownership. Count Randner is going to take revenge for his son; then I’m going to take his lands in return. Victory doesn’t rely on strength alone; wisdom is also part of it— After all, is there a rule that says a newly promoted noble is allowed to have one piece of land?” He said.
[No one can defeat the future after all—]
Brendel’s smile at Cornelius was so wide that his eyes were half-closed: “What do you think, Ser Cornelius?”
The handsome middle-aged man looked at him with his eyes shrinking to the size of a dot.
[Is this young man crazy! He’s challenging this old kingdom’s traditions and mocking the rules between the nobles! Marsha above!]
He lowered his head and dared not answer. If the youth actually succeeded he would have overturned everything about Aouine. The other possibility was this; he was insane.
Ciel had other thoughts. “But the risk does appear to be big. The undead is right outside the city. If you give up on Firburh, then you would have lost the reason to usurp Trentheim. What exactly do you plan to do, my lord? Are you going to prepare yourself by retreating to the forest and attack as threats come alone? Ah, what was did my Lord mentioned about something the previous time?”
[Is Firburh able to hold on against the undead…..?]
Brendel walked through the manor’s square and to the large arched gate. It was still dark, but dawn was about to break. The sun was going to be up soon.
“Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit.” Brendel said: “Since we chose to gamble, we should calmly enjoy the thrill that comes along with it—”
“As for performing guerrilla tactics in the forest,” he said: “Don’t worry, I studied under some of the finest Grandmasters.”