Chapter 9 – Territory (3)
“But I belong to the Royal Faction,” the old man shook his head and raised the waterskin bag in his hands, “does Lord Trentheim really believe that a small act of kindness will move me?”
“Why not listen to me for a while? Different actions during different situations have another meaning. Stubbornly refusing to change will lead to ruin, just like how Duke Everton did. Surely you have experienced it for yourself by staying in this prison.”
“Then go ahead and try to convince me, young man.” Bosley scoffed.
“Two weeks ago, under Queen Anna, the elder son was announced as heir to the throne. House Seifer, Marquis Kluge and the nobles under his faction support him. Even though you have been imprisoned for years, surely you are familiar with their names?”
“What! What are Lord Oberbeck and the others doing to allow that bastard Kluge to get a hold of one of the royal family’s scion? What of His Majesty?”
Brendel merely gazed back at him without answering.
Bosley pulled back a little, his grey hair shaking a few times, while his wrinkles sank deeper and he looked as defeated as he could possibly be.
“How…… How…… If this is so…… Then our efforts are completely wasted,” he mumbled to himself for a few seconds, but he was someone who experienced all sorts of hardships and he recovered himself. “Lord Oberbeck isn’t a fool to suffer Kluge clowning antics. If that rat succeeded, surely it must be due to another reason?”
Brendel nodded, although he disagreed with Bosley’s assessment.
[Kluge is a core member of the Unifying Guild, he’s definitely not someone useless.]
He began to inform Bosley of the recent events. Because of his insight to Madara’s actions, Bosley quickly realized the meaning to the war was something different in its nature. (TL: It is hinted that Kluge persuaded the king to allow Madara’s invasion to happen to clean up the nobles straying away from the crown, although no one is certain whether the king actually allowed it to happen on purpose or he’s actually dead or influenced? Lots of question marks.)
“Madara’s invasion, you say……”
Bosley’s face was drained of all colors.
“Then, it means the Mercury Staff has reappeared? Loptr’s Mercury staff?” There was a sudden glint in the old man’s cloudy eyes.
Brendel’s mouth parted slightly. He did not expect Bosley to know of the staff. The legends of the Mercury Staff was hardly known, and the gamers actually had to do story quests not only in Aouine and other kingdoms to piece the story together.
“You know of the Mercury staff?” Brendel said.
“Of course,” Bosley scratched his head, sending specks of dust flying about. He walked a few unsteady steps closer to Brendel: “Not only do I know, I know the origin of it.”
“Oh?” Brendel’s eyes opened wider with interest. He had not seen or heard anything related to the staff’s origin. The legends only depicted Loptr having that staff before it appeared in Madara after countless years of silence. As to what history or whether a child of the Gods possessed it before Loptr, he had no clue at all.
[Interesting, I can’t believe I’m gaining lore from such a rural area. I wonder how much this blacksmith knows.]
“The Mercury Staff is not the only divine artifact that appears in the prophecy.” Bosley’s words nailed Brendel to the ground.
“I had thought it as a mere myth,” Bosley’s tone was flat, “but the story that you have told me might mean that the myth is turning into truth, then the next divine artifact that appears……”
He paused as he stared at the young man in front of him, his cloudy eyes suddenly clearing up: “The Firestorm Staff.”
“The Firestorm Staff? What’s that?” Brendel’s questions continued to grow.
He was confident in the game knowledge he possessed, but nothing from Bosley’s words reminded him of anything. He had completely no idea what he was talking about, and if a Divine Weapon like that appeared in the game, it was going to be huge. Madara had sealed off the information tightly, but it only took one year for the gamers to discover it.
“Lord Trentheim has heard of the Four Sages’ legend?” Bosley said.
“Naturally,” Brendel nodded, “King of Fire, Gatel, Wind Empress Osorno, The High Priest Enzian, Saint Eireann.”
Bosley’s gaze suddenly seemed to travel back a thousand years, and he spoke as if he was trying to recall an old memory: “That year, the Four Sages, in order to emerge victorious against the Dragon of Darkness, received the permission of the Ancestral Kings—”
He suddenly looked back at Brendel: “This is Kirrlutz’s poem of world creation, under the Poem of Grey, has my lord heard of it?”
“The Four ‘Hidden’ defeated the ‘Emperor’ in the darkness—” Brendel said before his eyes bulged.
Everyone and everything disappeared as if they were swallowed by darkness. When he turned around, he saw a bright moon and a dark tower that extended towards the sky. He felt as though he was standing in an empty land that was endless, making him feel as though he was nothing more than a speck of dust. He shook his head hard, and he was back to reality.
“My lord?” Scarlett whispered to him when she saw a sheen of perspiration on Brendel’s forehead.
Brendel put up his hand to indicate everything was fine. His mind went through possibilities but there was no answer, so he moved on: “Yes, I heard of it, and so?”
The old man studied him for a while before speaking again: “The Four Sages took four Divine Weapons from the Ancestral Valley, the Firestorm Staff, Dyrnwyn—”
“Wait,” Brendel interrupted with a near yell: “Dyrnwyn, isn’t that King Gatel’s sword?”
He suddenly realized something and took a look at his Ring of the Wind Empress: “The Wind Empress’s Hydra Ring, the Holy Staff Oarvolr, and the Divine Spear Gungnir, these are all …..”
“…… How do you know all this?” Brendel said.
“Does Lord Trentheim think I can trust you with that information?” Bosley answered in a low voice.
Brendel looked a little surprised at his response, and he rubbed his forehead as he nodded: “I understand. But my earlier suggestion to join my cause, Grandmaster Bosley?”
“Before that, I have a question. If you know what the Mercury Staff means, you understand that Aouine is standing on the edge of a cliff. Why are you so confident that you can revive Aouine?”
“I have no confidence,” Brendel said without any hesitation, “but is that important? As you well know, the next thing that comes after Madara’s war will be the civil wars in Aouine. The fact that Duke Arreck had put his support so quickly into supporting the king’s eldest son means that the princess is in grave danger. I have decided to lend my hand to her in times of need if it’s necessary. You can even consider me to be in support of the Royal Faction.”
“If that’s the case, why not join us? Will it not be easier for you and us to gain strength?”
“Like I said before, I have my position to think of and my means of doing things.”
“I still don’t understand why you keep refusing…… Can you tell me your motive for supporting her?”
“My motive…..?” Brendel laughed harshly for a long time, before he spoke through clenched teeth, “My motive is this, why have I come to this place if I’m not doing anything?”
Bosley did not understand Brendel’s words. Perhaps he would never understand the meaning of the latter’s words for his entire life. In the end, he just observed him and spoke slowly: “Then, what can this old man who has half his foot in the grave do for Lord Trentheim? If I can help you to assist the Corvado’s royal family, I’ll do anything. But surely you’re not lacking in armorsmiths if you wish to raise a private army. As far as I know, Firbugh alone has five different workshops to make standard armor. There should not be any problems for you.”
Brendel felt a headache coming on when the stubborn old man tried to deflect him again. He did not understand why the corrupted kingdom had so many loyal retainers. He even had to state that he was on the princess’s side to get his attention and interest.
“Grandmaster Bosley, standard armor is difficult to get, but I believe only a royal blacksmith like yourself knows how the recipe to create the White Lion’s Plate Armor?”
“The White Lion’s Plate Armor!” Bosley looked at Brendel with incredulous eyes: “You wish to create a regiment of the royal army?”
Brendel nodded, but suddenly frowned a little.
The Sage Slate in his bag was vibrating again.