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Volume 3 – Royal authority and the Rose

Chapter 1 – Letter (1)

=========== Tirste’s POV ==========

The afternoon’s sunlight poured onto the ground’s decaying leaves. The shadows shimmered continuously on them as the top of the trees trembled against the slight breeze.

“The silence here is slightly unusual, my lord.” Gail said with a slight frown.

“There is a particular legend circulating amongst the Highland’s citizens. The abnormal silence in the forest’s certain areas happens because the Goddess of the Lake is watching. ‘In these places, be wary and do not turn your head back.’ — So they say.” Tirste replied. His bony and pale fingers were on his sword’s hilt, while his gaze was cast towards a thin path where a vigilant beast was crossing. (TL: Tirste is a young man from the Unifying Guild who nearly killed Brendel during the auction quite a while back.)

“You jest, my Lord,” Gail felt the hair on the back of his neck rise a little. His eyes wandered all over the surroundings. The shadows seemed to have a pair of eyes hiding in them somewhere: “All manners of Divine Spirits are mere untruths.”

“I think not, Gail,” came Tirste’s reply. “I believe the Divine Spirits are real existences.”

Gail’s gaze went back to the young Viscount’s kind eyes, as though he was trying to find the source of the grisly tales. Tirste was recognized as a Holy Saint in the Unifying Guild. To get to his position, he was gifted with wisdom, talent and was completely loyal to the cause. He was one in ten thousand. Even though he was quite fickle with his personality, no one would believe he utter those words.

“If Divine Spirits exists,” Gail asked with uncertainty, “are our actions not blasphemy towards them?”

Tirste glanced at Gail’s unsteady footsteps; his expression seemed to mock the young knight’s cowardice.

“If there are divine spirits,” he said, “do you think they are always in the right? I don’t.”

Gail fell into silence. He realized the difference between himself and the viscount.

Tirste turned around and observed the nearby lake at the edge of the forest. Knights were approaching the bank on boats. They disembarked before towing them back onto land clumsily.

“Let us continue on our journey.” Tirste snapped his fingers. “Pay attention to your surroundings. We might encounter dark spirits and the likes in this place. Even if they don’t threaten us, they are still troublesome foes.”

He pushed out with his hand to brush his cloak behind him, marching forward. Gail followed him closely. The knights who landed near the shore eventually caught up to both of them.

“My lord, the third, fourth, fifth and seventh squadrons are ahead of us and will join us in the north. However, the other squadrons seemed to have failed to push through the fog shrouding the forest.” The knights’ captain reported to Tirste.

Tirste studied the beautiful forest’s surroundings as he continued to march forward. The ever-changing

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