The Amber Sword Chapter 874 – v5c58 Departure

If you are looking for The Amber Sword Chapter 874 – v5c58 Departure you are coming to the right place.
The Amber Sword is a Webnovel created by Fei Yan, 绯炎.
This lightnovel is currently ongoing.

v5c58 Departure

In the last days of the Month of Frost, the weather outside was cold enough to make one’s teeth chatter. The deciduous trees around Mirtai and Schafflund could not escape the fate of a drab landscape. A thick layer of dead leaves had been falling on the ground since the end of autumn. In regions more to the north, there were even a few snowfalls. Though the places were not snowed under, at least it signified the coming winter of Year of the Sword.

It was the worst month of the year to start a war, yet it was the beginning of the Holy War. That was how unreasonable history was, sometimes more whimsical than the stories.

In the midst of the warlike atmosphere in Coldwood, only the black pine forest outside the count’s castle remained green, except for the inky hue that seeped through the canopy. It looked as if the whole shaded parts were monsters hovering overhead from afar. The cold wind that whistled through the pines’ tips would make a blood-chilling sound. Trentheim’s guests were stamping their feet and rubbing their hands under the trees in the courtyard, filled with grumbles about the weather. Most of them were well-dressed with an air of people from bigger cities, hence evidently not locals. A dozen carriages were parked side by side outside the courtyard, their dark bodies painted with various emblems, each one representing the glorious history of a family. Most of these n.o.bles from all over Aouine were new to the less developed Trentheim.

They were here for one purpose only–to travel to Kirrlutz as envoys.

It was also a rare time of year when Coldwell Castle became lovely, whether or not the owner wanted to receive these guests.

Although Brendel was nominally the head of the diplomatic mission and could choose the accompanying members as he wished, an old tradition made it necessary to have a number of fixed members, people he could not designate.

One of these was the royal family’s representative, and Haruz was to represent the House Covardo as such. He could also choose two ladies, an attendant, and a knight, to accompany him. On the original list were Madam Windsor and Madam Signy—the two nannies of his in Winterclaw Castle. However, Haruz asked Brendel to replace Madam Windsor with Medusa, making the latter wonder if the prince was reaching p.u.b.erty.

Brendel’s attendant was a young man from House Covardo–someone he had not heard of before. Thus, he reckoned the man must be a royal family member. The knight accompanying him was naturally Maynild, Gryphine’s most trusted person.

In addition to House Covardo, the former royal house of Aouine, House Seifer, should also send a representative, according to the agreement made with the Holy Cathedral. However, unsurprisingly, this representative would not travel through Ampere Seale for two weeks to meet them at Coldwood. Gryphine’s brother had written them a letter of rea.s.surance in advance, saying that he had already chosen a candidate and that the latter and their entourage would meet them at Grey Mountain.

The other envoys were representatives of the counts of Viero, Grinoires, Lantonilan and Karsuk, Janilasu, Yanbao, Grey Mountain, and the marquis from Balta. There should also have been representatives from Arreck and Radner, but the two territories had joined the royal domain. Since the battle in Ampere Seale, the Arreck Family had gone practically extinct. On the other hand, Count Radner’s family was still imprisoned in the dungeons of Magitan, so naturally, they could not send any representatives.

Of the counts, Count Viero sent his youngest daughter, Count Lantonilan sent Eikkel, and Count Karsuk sent a stout man, said to be his second son. As for Count Grinoires, he sent his seven-year-old daughter. Count Janilasu was a follower of the Silver Lions and had no children, so he sent an energetic young male official. The envoy sent by Count Grey Mountain, too, like House Seifer was waiting to join them at Grey Mountain.

Lastly, there was a slight twist in the choice of Count Yanbao’s envoy, as he had long been out of contact. In the middle of Month of Frost, Dahl sent an envoy over, who Gryphine chased out in a fit of rage. Hence, Dilferi decided to be the representative of Yanbao, so that the Holy Cathedral of Fire would have an impression of the future heir of Yanbao and so that she could foil Dahl’s plot. Considering her health, Brendel purposely arranged a larger horse carriage for her.

Most of these n.o.blemen had their own retinue, as few as one or as many as three, so together, they added up to a huge group of twenty-odd men and six carriages. However, if one were to think that the group was large enough, they would be mistaken.

Brendel soon discovered some unexpected guests in the party, one of whom was Magdal, who, as Princess of Antoburo, naturally had to represent her duchy on the mission to Kirrlutz. The empire had thought she had perished in the war in Ampere Seale, so the decree was sent to the duchy, hoping they would dispatch another envoy. However, the news somehow reached The Nun Princess’s ears. When she learned of it, she insisted on going to Kirrlutz as the envoy of Antoburo and wrote to the royal family of Antoburo in private, so Brendel could not stop her.

After all, the princess was recuperating in Trentheim, not under house arrest. Therefore, he had no reason to restrict her freedom to contact the outside world.

The other uninvited guest was now in front of Brendel.

At that moment, he was staring at the merchant girl’s eyes. With the thick fur coat, boots, gloves, a scarf, and a bearskin hat covering most of her, he could only see her eyes. After glancing at the large suitcase she was tugging with her small hands, he finally could not resist the urge to ask, “Well, can you tell me now what you are intending to do?”

“To Kirrlutz with you; I’ve never been there,” Romaine replied matter-of-factly as she lifted her chin and peeked her mouth out from under the scarf.

Brendel rolled his eyes. “Of course I understand that, but I have already said that there are no more places available. Besides, you seem to have forgotten that I told you to stay in Trentheim and stay in a safe place. Don’t make me worry about you, got it?” He could not help but hold his forehead.

Yesterday, when I told her there’s no more s.p.a.ce in the group, she promised to behave and stay here to a.s.sist Amadina and would never take up a quota in their diplomatic mission… Wait!

Brendel suddenly froze in place when it dawned on him. Then, he glared at her and said, “Oh, d.a.m.n it, you’re playing word games with me again!”

“No,” replied Romain, smiling as she puffed white air into her hand. “I’m here as of right!”

“Of right, my a.s.s,” he said as he pinched her cheeks. “Stay in Trentheim, and don’t go anywhere.”

It had been a long while since he did this to her. Blinking from the pain, she stuttered, “I-I-I am telling the truth… Brendel, l-let me go!”

Brendel squeezed the merchant girl’s face for a few moments, but when she kept waving her hand to free herself from his grasp and never changed her tune, he became a little suspicious. This was not in keeping with her temperament. At that thought, he let go of his hand and asked dubiously, “All right. Tell me, what exactly do you want to do in Kirrlutz?”

Romaine rubbed his reddened cheeks and put on a fierce expression. “I’m invited by the Holy Cathedral of Fire, as the president of the Seven Seas Merchant’s Guild, to attend the Holy War ceremony in Kirrlutz as the honoured guest of the cathedral.”

She deliberately emphasised the word “honored guest” heavily and then handed the invitation to Brendel. He opened the parchment and almost fell headlong to the ground. It was true that the Holy Cathedral of Fire invited some famous merchants, poets, and even artists and scholars from various fields who worked closely with them to attend the annual celebration or the opening rally of the Holy War. Still, he had never dreamed that this list would include Romaine—his seemingly unreliable fiancée.

Unable to fathom it, he read the letter over and over again. Only after finally confirming that the magic wax seal on that letter was a genuine emblem of the Holy Cathedral of Fire was he forced to admit that it was not a forgery.

He looked up at Romaine as if he were looking at an alien. “When did your business expand so much?”

“I was invited by the Holy Cathedral of Fire to the Harvest Festival this year, but I have been there, so I didn’t want to go,” Romaine replied lightly as if the invitation from the Holy Cathedral of Fire seemed to be an invitation to go on a trip, and it was her liberty to decide whether to go or not. Brendel was impressed that he almost praised her.

This tradition of inviting famous people to the Holy Cathedral of Fire had existed in the game. At that time, there were some famous merchant guilds among the players in Aouine. Until the Second Era, those player merchant’s guilds, which often had major sponsors behind them, would fight over such an invitation letter. They even came close to starting a war between the guilds on a few occasions. At least, he had seen them happen a few times.

Brendel looked carefully at his invincible fiancée. No matter how he thought about it, he felt that there must be some cheat code, like Marsha’s daughter.

Afterwards, Amadina, who stood aside, voiced up to clear up his confusion. It turned out that many of the materials produced in the Black Forest, including some precious magical materials and Magic Crystals, were materials that the Holy Cathedral of Fire desperately needed, especially in the period leading up to the Holy War.

Trentheim bulk exports over the past year had long made it an important partner in the eyes of the Holy Cathedral of Fire, so it was no surprise that Romaine, the nominal president of the Seven Seas Merchant’s Guild, was highly valued.

However, Brendel shook his head, still thinking that the merchant girl had a secret cheat code. After all, to become a trader who could trade with the Holy Cathedral of Fire on a reciprocal basis was not just a matter of having a source of goods but also required a rather extensive network of connections. It was easy to guess that Romaine had gone through the network of the merchant’s guilds in Ampere Seale, but it was impossible to figure out how she did it.

Amadina, too, explained it as a miracle.

“Can I go now, Brendel?” Romaine asked pitifully while covering her face, but there was a clear hint of triumph in his voice.

“Whatever,” Brendel replied uncharitably, feeling that his intelligence and presence as a count had been severely degraded in front of his fiancée, and it hurt him greatly.

“Then, Brendel, prepare a carriage for me. I want the one which I usually use, with a brazier in it that holds charcoal.”

“No, be a good girl and go to my carriage!”

“Fine.”

After dismissing Romaine and the second son of Count Karsuk, who had been trying to get close to him, Brendel managed to get out of the circle of n.o.bles. Then, he made his way to the side of the caravan just in time to see Ferlarn coming out of the castle with a notepad. As soon as he saw the Wild Elf, he knew that the preparations were completed, so he hastened to greet her, “Ferlarn!”

“My Lord.”

“Are the Brunhildes ready?”

The Wild Elf nodded.

“Very well,” Brendel said, finally relieved.

He wasn’t really taking this group of young n.o.bles on a trip; it was just for show. Gryphine had appointed him as head of the diplomatic mission and the commander of Southern Legion—an appointment that had arrived a little earlier—apparently so that he could choose the elites in Trentheim to form the mission’s accompanying guards.

It was a default tradition, customary since the first Holy War in which Kirrlutz summoned amba.s.sadors from all its kingdoms and duchies before the start of the Holy War. Until then, it had become a means for the Holy Cathedral of Fire to confirm the confidence of the partic.i.p.ating members and mobilise them for war and a way for the va.s.sals to compare themselves with each other and also seek higher status in the cathedral.

The diplomatic mission would begin with the n.o.ble families meeting with the representatives of the sovereign, which in itself represented a form of subservience and a way of pledging allegiance to the Holy Cathedral of Fire. Well, of course, it was more of a subtle form of meeting.

The Holy War was, after all, a war, and each kingdom needed to show its power to the Holy Cathedral of Fire in order to gain a position in the war and beyond. The guards were used as a means to display power and usually consisted of the most elite forces of each kingdom, representing the pride of the n.o.bility and the royal family.

In order to maintain their dignity, the guards of these envoys would even compete with each other and clash with each other in Kirrlutz, but, of course, such clashes rarely resulted in bloodshed. However, the one who lost would most likely not have a good time after returning to their kingdoms.

The strongest envoy guards of the Holy War was the one from Black Crows in the west of Kirrlutz, which bordered both the Haizaiers and the Holy Cathedral of Earth. Although they were loyal followers of the Holy Cathedral of Fire, their residents were half-beasts or werebeasts, hence possessing immense strength. At that time, their envoy guards were made up of bear warriors, which outcompeted the other guards by number or strength, unfortunately, lost to Aouine of that era.

Aouine’s group of envoys at that time was the shabbiest, consisting of representatives of n.o.bles and less than twenty officers from White Lion. However, it was led by Earth Sword Saint Darius, and the deputy leader was Tulman, a scholar of the Silver Fortress. These two men alone took down everyone, including the Kirrlutzian.

As to how later Brendel’s grandfather became the marshall of the United Army, that would be another story.

The envoy guards were the face of Aouine, and Trentheim was now the most powerful force in the whole of Aouine, so the Royal Faction dared not oppose Gryphine’s choice of appointing Brendel as the leader of the envoys.

As for Brendel and Gryphine, the two scheming partners had reached an understanding, using this as a pretext to insert men into the so-called guards blatantly, but it would be hard to say what they would do in Kirrlutz.

Brendel took the notepad from Ferlarn and flipped through it casually. Then, looking up at the whole caravan, he said softly, “Let’s get going then. I’ll see you in Kirrlutz.”

In the end, he added in a low voice, “Holy War, here I come.”

The Amber Sword Chapter 875 – v5c59 The Last Two Members

If you are looking for The Amber Sword Chapter 875 – v5c59 The Last Two Members you are coming to the right place.
The Amber Sword is a Webnovel created by Fei Yan, 绯炎.
This lightnovel is currently ongoing.

v5c59

The Last Two Members

The moment Brendel set foot on the land of Grey Mountain, he felt the word “rvaslit” thoroughly. It described how the mountains looked like fangs piercing the sky, as used by the Highlanders. Undeniably, it was a perfect adjective to those steep peaks with grey limestone cliffs. The curving ridges of the mountains make the distant skyline equally twisted. Overhead was the pale grey sky, and beneath was a deep, endless valley.

Sunlight poured down on the other side of the valley’s cliffs, carving the shadows of the peak where they stood. Unknown birds circled on the streams afar, its occasional shrill growl echoing far and wide between the mountains.

Only when the young prince whispered to them that it was a gyrfalcon—a raptor that only inhabited the Grey Mountain—did it occur to Brendel that they were close enough to Haruz’s homeland.

If one could look beyond the mountains, one could see the lowlands where the Beales had lived for generations. One could also see the great plain to the north, with its scattered hills and black pine woodlands, and the great royal capital.

Brendel then asked Haruz if this was the same route he had taken when he fled, and the latter said yes. However, they had left by a carriage at night, entering the Grey Mountain in the darkness. In a state of trepidation, the mountains that looked like sleeping beasts left a deep impression on him. Now that he was with his teacher, there was no need to fear.

Haruz’s words made everyone laugh. It was a harmonious and warm atmosphere in the carriage. Other than Brendel and Romaine, Magadal, Dilferi, Maynild were on it. Supposedly, this carriage belonged to Magadal and Dilferi, and Romaine and Haruz came on afterwards.

Romaine did have a carriage of her own, but Dilferi’s carriage had a special charcoal brazier, so the sneaky lady had that in mind from the start and managed to coax the soft-hearted countess into inviting them on board.

Fortunately, Dilferi did not mind at all. She was more than happy to have a few more people to talk to, and Romaine’s chattering and endless stories, albeit mostly made up, were right up Dilferi’s alley. Hence, it was not long before the two became good friends who could talk about anything.

Magadal listened with a soft smile on her face the whole time, as if she had no intention of intervening in the conversation, only occasionally speaking up when asked. Nonetheless, every utterance she made carried meaning, displaying her bearing as The Nun Princess of the Holy Cathedral of Fire.

The carriage went along for a while more, then a knock sounded, and Brendel opened the door. As soon as he did, a cold breeze poured in from outside, causing the temperature in the carriage to drop several degrees. The ladies paled a little, with the exception of Maynild, the lady knight sitting beside Haruz while holding her sword hilt. Her eyes were downcast as she counted the ta.s.sels on the curtains.

Outside the carriage was the former commander of a mercenary and the current leader of the White Lion Battalion, Jana, who travelled alongside the carriage on her horse. When she saw Brendel open the door, she leaned down and said to him, “My Lord, Fortress Tiscow is right ahead.”

So we’ve arrived.

Brendel told the coachmen to slow down before jumping out of the carriage and closing the door. Right after he set his feet on the ground of the Grey Mountain, he finally had a grip on reality.

It was the first time he had crossed Ampere Seale to this northern land since arriving in this world. He could not help but glance back at the carriage, but through the foggy window, he could not see the expression on the face behind it clearly.

By then, Jana had brought him a horse from behind, and he silently took the reins from her. He climbed onto his horse and then asked in pa.s.sing, “How is it? Are you getting used to the northern land?”

Jane was a little surprised at how he sounded like a master as she wiped the frosty snow from her brow. Shaking her head, she said in a somewhat amused tone, “My lord, I know this land better than you do.”

Brendel froze slightly. Turning to look back at his subordinate, he recalled he had never asked about their origins.

“You’re from Grey Mountain?”

“Sort of… We lived in Covardo for a while before my sister’s accident. Well, frankly, that experience made me hate the n.o.bility, and sometimes I wonder if I had come to my senses earlier… Never mind. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore…” Jana replied softly with a sudden sigh, looking at the hills, somewhat fascinated by them.

Brendel nodded as well and did not ask further questions.

Jana was the captain of the guards for the trip, but she was not the best man for the job. The best man for the job would, in fact, have been Kodan, but the old man was now adamant about staying out of Trentheim’s affairs, whether big or small. After Count Radner was imprisoned, he bought a plot of land in the area of Mirtai, as if he was determined to be a carefree estate owner or a farmer. Nonetheless, he still recommended Jana to him.

Out of the five mercenary commanders working under him, Leto intended to stay out of the battle for power within Coldwood, only interested in making things better for the refugees he had brought out of Riedon. Carglise and others had privately referred to him as the head of the refugees and to which the Red Bronze Dragon dared not refute them.

As for Batum, he was immersed in maintaining the order in the place as if satisfied with being a magistrate. He had confessed before that he had no ambition and that his life now was his dream.

Brendel had no intention of forcing his two earliest followers, not to mention that he knew Batum was indeed limited in his abilities and that being a magistrate was all he could do. In spite of that, Amadina constantly complained about him.

The three mercenary commanders who joined later were more ambitious. Cornelius, who was under Amadina’s command and in charge of the logistics of the local army, could now almost handle things on his own.

Forn, on the other hand, had long made his mark in the White Lion Battalion, and his military experience in the Karsuk had aided him a lot in Brendel’s army. After the battle in the Month of Autumn, he had become another important deputy to Carglise, who intended to put him in command of the cavalry. However, this army had yet to be formed.

However, Jana’s performance in the White Lion Battalion was mediocre, although she had done well as a mercenary commander. It seemed that her experience as a mercenary commander limited her vision. Keeping their experience and loyalty in mind, Amandina had been meaning to give them a better position.

Forn and Clenchia were both capable of accepting the position, but Jana was in an awkward position. Moreover, she refused to climb up the rung by making use of her relationship with Brendel, so she remained a minor infantry captain in the White Lion Battalion.

When Brendel was given the task of going on the diplomatic mission, he intended to find a commander capable of commanding a small team, and Jana was the first to come to his attention. Kodan, too, suggested to him that Jana’s experience could make her extremely useful when commanding the guards, made up of multiple professions and types of soldiers, similar to a mercenary regiment.

Of course, Brendel actually had a better option, and it was Freya. However, it would be a waste of her talents. Besides, she had only just gained a little prestige and needed to stay behind to strengthen her position in the Southern Legion, not to mention he and Maynild had to head to Kirrlutz.

Gryphine needed someone loyal to aid her, so having Freya, Amadina, Carglise, and Cowan, who was far away in Cielmann, with her, he was much more comfortable with leaving. Even if the old n.o.bles wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to cause trouble, Gryphine and Trentheim would not be in immediate crisis, not to mention that he had left behind the Tree Elves and the White Lion Battalion, leaving Freya with enough military power at hand to use.

For this reason, he chose Jana in the end. Her performance was satisfactory too. In this diplomatic mission, he brought along Medissa, Ciel, Hipamila, Raban’s mercenary group, Mars’ troop in White Lion Battalion, hundreds of iron golems, gargoyles, several witches, four War G.o.ddesses, and a certain lady who could not be seen under broad daylight. With her experience, Jana made proper arrangements for the different people, soldiers, and war machines.

Apart from the overt White Lion Battalion and Raban’s mercenary group, Brendel wanted the golems and gargoyles provided by the Bugas to be hidden, not to mention the witches and War G.o.ddesses, of course. More than anything else, it was best to stay out of sight if they could. Thus, Jana divided these troops into two squads overnight, devising a marching route specifically for them. She was very experienced in travelling through the mountains and keeping them from getting lost, and some of the routes she created were routes that Brendel had used in his previous life in the game, which impressed him greatly.

After more than a week of travel, Brendel could fully confirm that making her an infantry captain was a waste of her talents. Some people were born to be mercenary leaders and a commander of an elite squad, and Jana was certainly such a talent.

Only then did Brendel look up at the carriages moving in procession along the narrow mountain road. There were mainly five carriages, the first with the representatives the counts Eikkel and Janilasu, the second with the son of Count Karsuk, the third with the daughter of Count Viero and the young girl of House Grinoires, the fourth with Romaine. All the carriages were accompanied by a number of attendants plus the guards, making the already not very s.p.a.cious path congested.

Brendel was wise enough to put the hundreds of men of the guards behind the caravan, leaving only a small group in front of them to clear the way. Otherwise, they would have been stuck on the trail.

A wall had appeared ahead of this group, casting a tall shadow over the procession. The fortress stretched across the mountain pa.s.s. One side of the tower clung to the steep mountain walls, and the other side seemed to hover over a cliff. From afar, it looked imposing.

Fortress Tiscow was the most important pa.s.s when traveling from Seifer to Covardo. In his previous life, Brendel had been here several times in the game, but because of the presence of players, the fortress was not so solemn and much more lively in the game. He also remembered that there was supposed to be a marketplace built by the players on this mountain road.

Leading Jana forward through the crowd, they arrived under the wall, where Medissa and Ciel were waiting, along with the second son of Count Karsuk. After all these days, Brendel had figured out how to p.r.o.nounce the guy’s awkward name—Eltham or Augustus. When Eltham saw Brendel, he complained loudly to him about the fact that the place was full of uneducated hicks who had to see Brendel himself before they would open the gate and that they were being rude.

Brendel was immune to this level of complaint, but he was a little confused. Normally, soldiers would not dare to offend the n.o.bility since, in this era, no one would dare to impersonate one as he did before. If Eltham’s words were true, someone must be deliberately making things difficult for them, or something must have happened in the fortress.

At that thought, he cast a questioning gaze at Medissa and Ciel. The little elf princess replied softly with a frown on her face, “By the sound of their tone, it sounds like there’s been a burglary in the fortress.”

Upon hearing this answer, Brendel almost thought the viscount in Fortress Tiscow was making things hard for them on purpose. It was a poor excuse since it was not as if the fortress was inhabited only by soldiers and officers but also by their families and the nearby Highlanders. All in all, it was not a small town. If the appearance of a burglar required them to be on guard at such a scale, then they would have to maintain such practice 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.

Ciel, who obviously knew better, hastened to explain with a smile, “My lord, I have asked around. I’m afraid that Mr. Eltham has misunderstood. I heard it was because the burglar stole something from the owner of this place, which is why we are in the present situation.”

It was then that it dawned on Brendel. For a burglar to steal something from a n.o.bleman, especially a military n.o.bleman, on his own turf, it would make sense for the viscount to be furious. Although many of Aouine’s tales praised thieves and Night Swallows, shaping them as righteous figures who specialised in robbing the rich to help the poor, in reality, those who really knew the trade would understand that there were grey areas of existence for those who make a living out of it.

Most of them are inextricably linked to the n.o.bility, not to say that the n.o.bility secretly supported them in their work, rather for their own benefits to remain unaffected. Thus, the n.o.bility would know the number and the ident.i.ty of the thieves in the area. They would occasionally buy dirty goods from them, but otherwise, the two sides do not cross paths.

Brendel concluded that the perpetrator must therefore be a foreigner, but he wondered who had the audacity to do so.

The guards soon identified them. With a creak, the drawbridge was lowered, and the gate was opened to let them into the fortress. Brendel stared at the slowly rising gates, knowing full well that the so-called identification was just a pretext and that the delay was probably due to the fact that they had reported to the viscount. The guards were unwilling to take responsibility, so the viscount himself had to give permission to let them in.

What Brendel did not know was that the bold burglar he muttered about was really a local and not some foreigner.

Inside Fortress Tiscow, two carriages were parked in the shade of a tree—although the so-called tree barely had any leaves left. A number of servants crowded outside the carriages. At first glance, they did not look like attendants of upstarts in the countryside who wore extravagant outfits and were indolent. On the contrary, they were well-trained. As their masters remained in the carriage, they stood silently like puppets in two rows by the side.

As for the two carriages, the emblem on one had been removed, while the other was one of a black wolf. In fact, one look of that emblem alone was enough to stop anyone in Fortress Tiscow from approaching, for it was the family emblem of the Grey Mountain Family.

Inside the carriage sat two young ladies–one in her late teens, the other with her curly hair tucked away under a mortarboard and thick gla.s.ses. She looked like an old scholar, but she was short like a dwarf. Judging from her flat chest, she obviously had yet to undergo p.u.b.erty and was about eleven or twelve years old.

Both of them were talking, but surprisingly, the young girl was leading the conversation.

Brendel heard the younger girl say, “So slow, so slow. I hate people who are tardy.”

The n.o.blewoman sounded a little worried as she asked carefully, “Chiara, they seem to have found out they have lost something.”

“Of course they’ll find out,” Chiara replied matter-of-factly, “that viscount isn’t an idiot.”

“But will we get into trouble?”

“Of course not,” Chiara twirled a card-like object in her hand and surveyed the trinket with considerable interest. “I’m just a little interested in this thing. Would he dare disobey me if I told him to give it to me? I just didn’t want to owe him a favour, so I had to do it myself. Besides, I’ve never failed.”