Chapter 115 - Volume 2

TL: Schedule again is pretty tight for me, so it’s still 1 chapter per week, and if there’s a need to I might even have to put it at a ‘TBD’ schedule.

This is my final 3+ months before I graduate, so I’m going to put in a great deal of thought as to what kind of approach I want to have for my portfolio.

I believe TAS has a lot of potential for a portfolio. It has game elements, which is useful for UI design,  the cards based system also allows for some MTG/hearthstone drawings, and finally the characters allow for both illustrations and character designs. If I want to, I can even draw the battle landscape as environmental concept art, ie, Brendel vs Ebdon.

This allows for two (major) paths for me in the future.

a) I become a freelancer > draws illustrations/TAS web manga/manhua (style not decided), or some other free JP webnovel into webmanga (hopefully with blessings from author if I do) as a living.

b) Work for a company > draws whatever is handed on my plate + doing TAS/webnovel stuff in my free time.

I know there are a lot of people who want to see more chapters for this series, but it has to be on hold because this is my final chance to ask my lecturers for reviews on the stuff I do.

Chapter 59 – The last night in Bruglas (1)

The start of Aouine’s final demise came about from civil wars. Oberg the seventh had gradually felt that he was becoming frail from his old age, and he was desperate to clear the path for the new king’s ascension to the throne. In the end, he was unable to wait any longer and acted against the two southern duchies in the southern kingdom, which were his greatest threats.

Oberg the seventh had ascended to the throne only when he was thirty nine years old. This king who was fated to have a terrible demise had great ambition when he was young, and he was determined to his grandfather, King Ansen. That was the period where he created the militia draft and city guards in the cities, allowing central Aouine to become the strongest in its era.

Unfortunately, Oberg the seventh witnessed how the arrogant duke Arreck practically forced Oberg the sixth to change the militia laws, and that event had forever left a dark impression in his heart. Unlike King Ansen who ruled with both firmness and flexibility, as well as ruthlessness and clemency at the right moments, Oberg the seventh did not possess the skill to do so. In addition, the era during King Ansen’s rule was peaceful and without wars. The royal crown was able to control the military forces without any trouble, while the current era was fraught with constant wars.

The wind became stronger in Bruglas’s outskirts. It came from the direction of the sea, and the wind followed the northern mountainous region Karanjar to Randner’s mountainous region, bringing along the scent of the forest and rivers across its long journey, and finally entered everyone’s lungs.

Romaine was standing barefooted in the water as she held the hems of her dress up. She looked up and closed her eyes to feel the wind on her face and neck.

“Brendel, the wind in this place feels like the exact same in Bucce!” She took a deep breath and exclaimed excitedly.

Amandina also took a deep breath, but she immediately coughed.

Brendel glanced at her before looking up. The night wind was bringing a dense cloud from the west and it covered a huge area. It blocked the stars, as if to signify that the kingdom was facing a bleak future.

Brendel did not feel any burden on him, and instead felt excitement coursing through his nerves. The future civil chaos that was coming soon, was a chance for him with his meager strength to change a heavy and cold history that was seemingly carved onto a rock.

This dark cloud was not a manifestation of a delusion, but a signal for him to start moving. Brendel suddenly turned his head back, as if he had sniffed out a sign from the air, and his cheeks even had a faint blush of excitement.

“Did you get the money?”

Roen did not understand why a simple news of the guard’s mistake sent Brendel into a short daze, and he felt that Brendel was becoming harder to read. He had witnessed Brendel’s strength when he fought against the Zombie Outlander.

[That ability isn’t normal at all. Now that I think about it, this man really is that old bastard’s descendant.]

He looked at Brendel for a moment longer before answering in a convinced attitude.

“The money has been received, and I transferred the money to a safe place according to your instructions.”

“Did the people from the auction site pay any compensation?”

Roen was startled, but he immediately nodded.

Brendel knew that the auction was ran by a famous noble. It was an open secret, and to these people having a good reputation was more important than money, thus he was not afraid that that there was going to be a loss.

“How much did you receive?” Brendel asked.

Roen counted with his fingers.

“Around two hundred and fifty thousand Tor.”

Brendel nodded and looked back at the river’s direction and found Romaine walking back to him with a pair of shoes in her hands.

He looked at Batum and Amandina next.

“Very well. With this our business with Bruglas should be concluded. ”

[Although there are a few other things that should be done… There’s a mission within the nobles’ library that teaches some low level techniques, and the Star-crossed inn’s quest on the golden wine, increasing 1 OZ strength permanently… If I attempt these quests, I’ll be using at least a month to get them, and that will delay things.]

He wanted to pursue perfection and get every advantage here, but the change in Bruglas as well as the Unifying Guild’s appearance made him realize that this place was not suitable to stay any longer.

Once these signs appeared, Brendel had made the decision with his fastest reaction and decided to leave as soon as possible.

[Either the east or south area. We should go deep into Randner’s mountains or forest to seek the treasures there.]

“Where should we go?” Even though Batum kept grumbling about leaving this damned place, but he was a little uneasy when it was time to move. Even though he understood from Brendel’s suggestion that they could escape to Randner’s forest and mountains, they were still entering an untamed wilderness.

It was said that following the river or crossing over the forest after Randner’s mountains, was a desert that did not seem to end. The people living there described a story about a kingdom in the eastern desert: The famous Village of Pearls, the Kingdom of Nine Phoenix.

“We’re going to split our forces into two. Batum, take Roen with you and return to the squadron, and let Leto bring everyone to a place called Gris. You need to hire a guide in order to reach there. At least for now, the safer road in Randner’s main road. Based on the local etiquette, if you bring out your mercenaries flag, there shouldn’t be any danger.”

“Where is this place, Gris?” Batum asked.

“The most eastern port of the kingdom.” Brendel laughed. “The scenery there isn’t bad at all, and the girls there are warm. You might even find a girl of your taste.”

Batum’s face actually turned red as he grumbled: “My lord, I’m a mercenary who doesn’t have a fixed place.”

“That’s something of the past, you’re my subordinate now.” Brendel answered earnestly.

Batum turned quiet. Although he looked like he was still holding on to the past, he was ready to try and move to a new direction.

“My lord, what about you?” Batum asked after a moment.

“I have a few private things to settle—” Brendel felt that it was a pity to lose the Thorn of Light in the auction site, but it was about time to switch to a better weapon after he was level twenty, and it was necessary to switch to a new weapon.

In truth his stats and equipment had not really changed since the start of the month. Although reality was still within the acceptable levels of his plans, and the stay in Bruglas was a necessary must, he was just simply not satisfied even if he was moving at a reckless speed.

This was especially true after he encountered Tirste, and he felt the need to raise his strength once again.

[There’s a need to move faster. The next target is still that sealed kingdom, but before that I need to confirm Ebdon’s words about the Lionheart.]

Brendel did not dare to turn his back on this particular secret.

[I need the Sage Slate to make the statue speak, but that’s a no go for the one coming into Bruglas in a few days. First of all I can’t wait for it, and the second is I can’t find five hundred thousand Tor to buy that. The best option is to get one by doing ‘Instances’. The nearest one is the Lost Forest near Rander, the Undead Temple Ruins and the Dragon Valley. It’s possible for me to go there with my level, and I just need a little preparation. Indeed, this is killing two birds with one stone since I can level up as well.]

Batum did not say anything else after Brendel said he had other things to do, especially when his heart was taken to Gris. Brendel’s description of the place tickled his heart, as he had never seen the ocean before.

“Romaine, what’s your plan? Do you want to go with me or stay here to overlook the festival’s work?” Brendel asked.

Romaine turned her head slightly to look at him and replied naturally: “Of course I’m following you.”

But the lights in her eyes were obviously screaming ‘Adventure! Romaine is going on an adventure!’

“You’re not thinking about money?” Brendel was stunned and he wanted to check her forehead to see if she was having a fever.

“Of course not,” Romaine swatted his hand away and said smugly: “Lady Romaine has distributed the task properly to Sue, and the only thing left is to invest the money.”

“Sue?” Brendel was surprised as he recalled the girl who glared at him with an icy expression, as he owed her a million Tor coins: “Isn’t she Leto’s daugher?”

“Yes.” She nodded: “She was looking for Freya. Since I’m Freya’s best friend, I can ask Sue for a little help, heh.”

“You really trust people too much—” Brendel smacked her head lightly. This action was becoming a habit recently.

Romaine’s smile was like a little cunning fox.

“If that’s the case, I should stay back.” Amandina suddenly said. “This is supposed to be my job.”

Brendely immediately stopped to look at her.

“You can’t stay behind.”

[Mother Marsha above, you’re not staying here. Right now you and the future grandmaster Tamar are my greatest assets. Leaving both of you behind in this chaotic Bruglas is not an option. In order to guard against accidents, both of you are leaving this place.]

Tamar had to bring his heavy alchemist tools along, so he was setting with Leto, and it was a risk to have all his eggs in one basket, so he decided to take Amandina separately with him.

[It’s good that Romaine is coming too. It’s easier for a girl to take care of another girl.]

“Tirste is still here and you know his identity. The Unifying Guild is a formidable organization and there is too much risk to allow you to stay here. Romaine can take care of you if you come with me.” Brendel answered carefully after a moment.

“How can I do that?” Amandina looked blankly at him. Even though she was slightly inclined towards adventuring, but she knew clearly that she could never adjust to that kind of life. For someone like her, adventuring was only something good in her dreams.

Some people obey their rash thoughts but Amandina had a good head about her. Even though she still wanted to refuse Brendel, Romaine broke through her defences.

“Of course you can, Amandina. Adventuring is really interesting.”

Amandina looked at Brendel. He nodded.

“There’s nothing else to be said. Everyone should go ahead and prepare. We will enter the city separately. I’m going in alone in case that bastard Tirste comes after me again. Before the last star disappears in the morning, we will gather at the eastern gate.”

Everyone nodded.