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Chapter 86 – Omens of war

Approximately ten days ago on the battlefield near Firburh—

A faint scent of soot, smoke and burnt flesh permeated the air.

Even though it was winter, Brendel had given strict orders to the Nightsong Tiger to deal with the bodies properly. A rampant plague was something that the youth did not want to risk, even if the weather was cold enough to start snowing.

As time was a factor, the Nightsong Tiger split up the mercenaries into various groups to set up multiple burning sites. Corpses were gathered and tossed into pyres to be burned, which poured trails of choking black smoke upwards into the sky.

Lord Palas’s scouts entered the forest a few days later to investigate the news of Lord Macsen’s defeat. Their heartbeats quickened when they found occasional armor fragments, shattered blades, and darkened blood spatters left in the forest, proving that a fierce battle had taken place.

While they found burnt remains at the site, they were not certain whether they belonged to the rebelling party or Lord Macsen’s men.

Since the rumors stated that the rebels had won a victory, they made their way to Lord Macsen’s region instead of going to Firburh directly. While it might be true that the latter was defeated, they thought Lord Macsen had escaped safely.

But to their utter shock, the region had been taken over by a group of mercenaries called the ‘The Amber Sword’.

When the scouts questioned the local citizens, they learned that these mercenaries led Fortress Riedon’s refugees out from a heavy siege comprised of multiple undead armies.

The mercenaries eventually went to Port Gris and out into the Wilderness, with the intention to search for arable land and become Pioneers.

(TL reminder: Wilderness is the area not blessed by Goddess Marsha, and a Fire Seed allows her protection to come through and prevent monsters from attacking. The people who set out to find new land are called Pioneers.)

But no one knew when they turned around and moved to Lord Macsen’s territory instead.

The scouts suddenly realized that things were not as simple as they seemed. The idea that it was just a group of rebelling citizens who successfully took down Graudin was unlikely when there were so many strange circumstances.

Lord Macsen was also nowhere to be found.

The scouts were close to the truth.

Brendel’s letter to Leto was to order them to set out from Port Gris and head toward to the direction of the Wilderness, before changing their direction to Lord Macsen’s territory if the noble attacked Firburh.

Lord Macsen did not even know that his territory had been taken over when he was captured by the Nightsong Tiger.

The scouts began to think that the leader of the rebels was someone who was highly capable.

Brendel on the other hand truly viewed the attack from Lord Macsen as nothing more than a ‘village fight’. He had fought against huge battles with complicated tactics in the

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