Chapter 727 Etermity (4)
“All For One is made up of a senate, a privy council, and a secondary parliament. The members of the parliament are well connected with nobles from many countries. In fact, some of them are nobles too, such as Arreck, Seifer, and Yoakam. There are countless lower-ranking members in All For One, but they are not as involved with the society as compared to the higher-ranking members. Most of them only view All For One as a quick means of benefitting without risking too much. However, this is actually how All For One recruits its members. Their services include the utilization of Black Magic, bartering in information, assassination, as well as the transporting and trading of illegal goods. A good example would be slave trading in Kirrlutz, Sanorso, and Aouine. Even though these activities have been banned, they are still happening in abundance due to the support from the organization. Regrettably, many nobles are keen on having slaves. Through these methods, the Evil Cultists would seduce the corrupt nobles into further depravity, eventually leading to the nobles working closely with the organization. This is how some of the nobles came to be the core members of All For One, which I suspect Arreck to be one of them.”
Shido found it hard to digest Brendel’s words. She found it difficult to believe that some of her friends were part of that evil organization. “Mr Brendel, is what you said really true? How could this be…”
“Shido, you haven’t been involved in these matters for long, so you wouldn’t know about the corruption that is happening. Unfortunately, what Brendel spoke of is the truth. Our kingdom’s nobles are…” Veronica heaved out a sigh.
Brendel waited silently for the two to finish their conversation. He understood Veronica’s sigh. She too was a noble, so her disappointment at the corruption of her fellow nobles was well within reason. Brendel, on the other hand, showed no emotion regarding the situation. The world knew him as the son of Holy Sword Darius, having taken up the glorious mantle of a Highland Knight. Only Brendel knew that within his body resided a much nobler soul.
“The Privy Council is a group of 113 councilmen led by its president. These people can be recognized by a silver snake ring worn by every member. Each one of them calls the other by ‘lord’. All of them have united with the same goal, which is to return the world back under the rule of the Twilight Dragon. There are two requirements for one to join the Privy Council: first is to have absolute faith in the religion of All For One; second is to have reached the stage of Elemental Activation. Remember Amman? He was part of the Privy Council too. I found this in his Dimension Space.” Brendel pulled out a silver ring. A pair of snakes formed the loop of the ring, entwined at their tails.
Veronica scoffed. All For One only has 131 Elemental Activators? The Holy Cathedral of Fire has so much more Holy Knights! Even the number of Compassion Flame Knights are higher than that. I must have overestimated the strength of All For One.
Brendel could tell what she was thinking, but he did not immediately interrupt her thoughts. Instead, he said, “As for the Senate and the Privy Council’s President, they are a complete mystery. No one even knows how many members of the Senate there are. We only know of their existence because of vague reports. I think that these people are as influential as the twelve leaders of the Tree Shepherds, and their strength should reflect that too.”
Veronica had already guessed as much. She lifted her emerald gaze to Brendel’s face. “Did you get this information from the Black Tower Mages?”
“No, this is the results of Ciel’s investigation,” Brendel said with a slight smile.
Veronica stared at him. She had already known about Brendel’s identity from the Holy Cathedral, as well as Ciel by extent. She knew that before Ciel disappeared, he was deep into investigating All For One. Even the well-informed nobles had thought that the Highland Mage had perished at the hands of the organization. Veronica still had some questions, but she let them go unanswered, not wishing to linger on the subject any longer.
“The Senate rarely intervene with worldly matters, so no one really knows the extent of their influence. However, One For All’s secular forces are under the control of the Privy Council’ President. One of them is the Order of Chaos, while the other is the group of black-armored knights before us, who are known as the Order of Dead Knights. Only by the order of the President can these two groups be dispatched, so we can concur that Arreck might soon be promoted to a council member’s position. He might have been chosen as Amman’s replacement-”
“So, the job falls back into our hands,” Veronica interrupted with a smile.
“Exactly. Our objective is to make sure that the vacant seat remains empty.” Brendel quipped, “Aouine’s nobles are always complaining about how the Parliament of Nobles have been spending too much. I’m sure that All For One also has the same troubles, so let’s give them a hand.”
Brendel’s words conjured a wave of laughter among the group, excluding the Kirrlutz nobles, after all the joke was made at their expense. “You’re funny, Mr Brendel,” whispered the scholar.
But behind the scholar, Scarlet didn’t seem to be paying attention. She glanced unnervingly at Shido, rubbing the ring on her finger nervously.
“On a serious note, I’d like to remind you of how dangerous they are. Being a follower of their fatih is a requirement to become a member of the Privy Council, but it does not mean that the rest aren’t as fanatical as the higher-ranking members. In fact, they are so strong because they have so many fanatics on their side,” Brendel said.
“What do you mean?” asked Veronica.
“According to my knowledge, there are more than thirty thousand members in the Order of Dead Knights, almost all of them have the same level of strength as the ones that we saw. However, the battle prowess of the Order of Dead Knights cannot hold a candlelight to the inferno that is the Order of Chaos,” Brendel explained.
The tension in the air increased tenfold as everyone sucked in their breaths. They understood that Brendel’s ominous warning was to tell them to be more careful in front of such a formidable foe.
“Even so, Arreck must die. Not only because of the portal fragments that he possesses, not only because he is a member of All For One, but also because of the need for revenge.” Brendel looked towards Peja. The huntress balled her fists, her entire being shaking with emotion. After some time, she opened her eyes, directing her black orbs to meet Brendel’s gaze.
“Thank you, my lord.”
The rest of the group understood Brendel’s intentions. Truthfully, the moment they saw the dragon flying in the sky, they had already guessed that Arreck was waiting for the Frost Dragon to leave its nest. However, Arreck had no idea that he had just made a fatal mistake.
In the distance, the corpses of two hunters laid silently in a pool of their own frozen blood.
In the further distance, Arreck and his underlings had finally entered the narrow crevice. First went in the private soldiers, followed by the Order of Dead Knights who split into three groups when entering the opening. Last came Arreck and and his personal guards.
Brendel rubbed his hands warm as he looked at the scene. He dared not venture closer in fear of being discovered. He had confidence that he would be able to conceal himself, but it was a gamble to think that the others would be able to do the same. Beside Arreck was Silver Knight Sylvia, who was an Elemental Rank expert, and a few mages. Brendel did not trust the Kirrlutz nobles who had followed Veronica. A spell of silence had been cast upon the group. Other than Brendel who was using his Planeswalker abilities to communicate with Medissa, everyone else was completely cut off from the outside world.
After all, no one could promise that there wasn’t a spy among their group.
“Have you already scouted the people around Arreck?”
“There are a few mages who I am unfamiliar with, so they are probably from All For One. Devard is also among their group. I thought he was already dead, no wonder we couldn’t find his body after the battle at Ampere Seale,” Brendel replied.
“Will we be waiting here for them to come out?” asked Shido.
“No, there is a sprawling network of caves and tunnels beneath Frost Fang . We’ll try to follow them and take them by surprise.”
“Let’s wait a little longer.”
“Mr Brendel, didn’t you say that there’s an adolescent Frost Dragon in there?” Shido asked curiously.
“I also did say that it was a coward.”
Shitaht was indeed a coward, but he would never admit to it. He had chosen to live in that spider web of caves because it allowed him to easily hide from danger. He could easily hide in the shadows and observe the movements of his enemies, just like he was doing right now.
However, he did realize that it was getting harder to maneuver himself between the cracks in the ice.
Arreck’s group was actually moving close to Shitaht, but no one had detected his presence. He moved his pale blue body behind a translucent wall of ice, the interweaving icicles helping him camouflage even better. As he gave his orders to his followers – a group of furry, smelly cavemen with white hair – to attack, he prepared to make the cavern collapse.