Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 125
Chapter 125: The Female Warrior
Chapter 125: The Female Warrior
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
A small house in a village outside Dragon Clouds City.
"It's been three years since I last saw you, Kohen and my dear Miranda. Did the tower send you here?" In a dark room, a girl with short hair lay on a wooden bed. Her name was Kroesch Mirk, and she gave them a troubled yet peaceful smile. "It is truly the best consolation to see the both of you now.
"Thank you, Uncle Kaslan," The short-haired girl thanked Kaslan, who was by her side without any emotion on her face.
Miranda furrowed her brows tightly.
Even the careless Kohen could not help but notice that the Northland girl, Kroesch had changed drastically. She used to be in the same year as them.
Compared to the high-spirited Kroesch Mirk three years ago when they parted ways at the Tower of Eradication, not only was she a lot thinner, she also became gloomier than before. Previously, her determination was like a stamp engraved on her round face. It was unknown when it had turned into bitterness and disappointment.
Kohen shifted his gaze to her hand, and his breathing stopped instantly.
This girl from the tower who had a firm and determined look on her face; this girl who was assiduous in her training and never gave up easily
Her right hand, which she used to hold her sword... was currently tightly wrapped bandages.
"Kroesch" Kohen tried his best to avert his gaze from her right hand and forced a smile. Then, he cautiously and slowly said, "Are you alright?"
Just as he said that, Kohen had the urge to slap himself.
Kroesch slowly looked at him without any emotions in her eyes.
"I'm alright." Kohen was hurt by the girl's empty gaze. "It's just that my right hand I can't use it to pick up my weapon anymore. That's all."
Kohen was in an awkward situation and he did not know how to continue the conversation. 'Damn it, if only Raphael was here. Comforting others has always been that white-cloaked brat's strength.'
As expected, Miranda walked forward and rolled her eyes at Kohen.
Then, like numerous times in the past, she did not bat an eyelid when she fiercely stepped on the foot of the innocent-looking Kohen.
Kohen took a sharp breath due to the pain.
While Kohen was grimacing in pain, Miranda sat on the side of Kroesch's bed. Her expression remained unchanged when she opened her mouth in resolution, "Who did this?"
'Any form of consolation is useless now,' Miranda thought to herself. 'Might as well go straight to the point, so that I don't have to think about meaningless matters.'
At the side, Kaslan let out a fake cough.
The former leader of the White Blade Guards did not have too much to say when facing Kroesch.
He had seen too many retired soldiers face the same situation before.
Kaslan sighed deeply to himself.
Those soldiers would never know how fortunate it actually was to be injured and retired.
Kroesch came to her senses and put on a strained smile.
"I believe you already have some knowledge on the beginning and end of the incident." Kroesch managed to recover her calm tone and she did not sound like a swordswoman who had just lost all hope in using her sword anymore. "A military officer named Hadel, who lurked in the Black Sand Region's army almost assassinated your prince in the fortress by using a Mystic Gun."
"I witnessed that scene at Broken Dragon Fortress, but I did not see it clearly. I thought that it was just a demonstrative test-fire," Miranda quietly replied.
"Oh, right. Miranda, you're currently the capable subordinate of Constellation's Fortress Flower, am I right?" Kroesch smiled at her former cohort and immediately glanced at her right hand. Her expression fell when she uttered the next word.
Miranda had a flat expression on her face and she did not say a word. She only reached her hand out in silence to hold Kroesch's left hand tightly.
Kroesch trembled slightly when she felt the temperature from Miranda's hand.
"About that Argh!"
Miranda remained expressionless when she elbowed Kohen, who was scratching his ears and cheeks. He was just about to speak and her actions made his words die in his mouth.
Kohen continued to grimace quietly with an anguished expression on his face. At the same time, he continued to protest against Miranda with his gaze.
'Do you really have to be like this?'
Kroesch could not help but laugh at the sight.
This scene reminded her of their past in the Tower of Eradication.
Kaslan crossed him arms and looked at Miranda approvingly. 'Such an attentive and considerate girl. She managed to unconsciously alleviate Kroesch's mood.
'This girl from the Arunde Family just looks a little cold on the surface. It would be so much better if she could smile more.'
"According to the archduke's instructions, we managed to track down Officer Hadel's point of contact for firearms," Kroesch struggled to maintain her smile as she continued, "They sold the parts of the military Mystic Guns Hadel removed and were supposed to be destroyed to the south and west. Hadel thereby exchanged even more funds and used said funds on the unit's training as well as forming contacts.
"The archduke's Mystic Gun unit could possibly be controlled by those people in a few years' time. Fortunately, we discovered this at an early stage and intercepted that point of contact for his underground firearms trade."
"That military officer What did you manage to find out about him?" Miranda asked with a gentle voice.
"Not much," Kroesch said faintly.
"Hadel came from a small village located farther up north. The territory belongs to Archduke Lecco of Defense City. Eleven or twelve years ago, he experienced the war between Eckstedt and Constellation. While he managed to survive the disastrous Attack and Defense Battle, he lost a hand and half of his face under the bombardment of the Mystic Gun."
Miranda's face went pale.
Once again, it was the war twelve years ago.
Kohen sighed and walked forward. He cautiously avoided Miranda's attack range with her bare hands and asked slowly, "Archduke of Defense City, one of the two archdukes in the north of Eckstedt? The Lecco Family? So, Archduke Lecco was the person behind the conspiracy to murder the Prince of Constellation with the help of the Mystic Gun?"
Kroesch shook her head. "It's not that simple. After the battle, Hadel arrived in Black Sand Region and stayed until this day. He did not have any contact with any people related to Defense City, so we can't be sure that it was him.
"But, there was something that made us extremely suspicious.
"We interrogated Hadel's contact for the firearms and discovered there was one time when Hadel incidentally mentioned that he had a daughter called Lucy."
Kohen's eyes glinted. "You found his daughter? Were there any problems with her?"
"It's not merely a problem." Kroesch pursed her lips together and shook her head.
"More like, this person does not exist at all."
"Does not exist?" Kohen asked in confusion.
"Hadel has stayed single for the past forty years. We received confirmation from his neighbor that he did not have a wife or a lover at all, much less any children," Kroesch replied faintly.
"We followed this name, 'Lucy' and continued to investigate We discovered that he had mentioned Lucy to more than one person."
"From Black Sand Region's firearms black market to Prestige Orchid Region's transportation team. When the trail led us to Dragon Clouds City, we encountered an interception." The girl with short hair lifted her head and revealed a terrifying expression on her face. "A group of strange swordsmen appeared."
Miranda furrowed her brows. "The Disaster Sword?"
Kroesch lowered her eyelids and nodded.
"What were they like? How many people were there?" Kohen's expression changed. He ignored Miranda's dissatisfied expression and rushed to ask his questions, "What type of Power of Eradication were they using? How did you recognize that they were the Disaster Sword?"
Silently listening by the side, Kaslan furrowed his brows.
"They had a great number of people with them and they covered their heads as well as their faces. Besides, it was at night, so I couldn't see their figures and appearances clearly. But their Power of Eradication it was just as Teacher Chartier had described," Kroesch replied faintly, "Cold and ruthless. The Power of Eradication was violently surging and never ending.
"I am the only person who survived and came back alive."
Kohen was stunned.
However, he immediately reacted. "Is there any more information? When and where did they appear? For example, the way they attacked"
"I already told Uncle Kaslan the specific information on their appearance." Kroesch could only clench her teeth and shake her head with a bitter look in her eyes. "Go and complete your mission regardless of whether it's for the Tower of Eradication, or your Prince of Constellation."
Kohen still wanted to ask her more, but Miranda held his arm and shook her head at him.
"I'm tired," Kroesch said softly. She slowly turned over and turned her face to face the wall. "I want to rest for a while."
Kohen and Miranda exchanged glances between them, then looked at Kroesch. Finally, under Kaslan's gaze, they bid their farewells and left.
Before they left, Kroesch suddenly called out and stopped the Constellation policeman.
Kohen was stunned when he turned around.
She was seen turning her head around and lifting her eyelids. In her eyes were unexplainable, complex emotions. "You
Kohen was momentarily stunned before he was immediately pulled out from the room by Kaslan.
"You've seen her current state To be honest, based on my observation, I do not think that she is injured to the point where she can't use her sword anymore. It's her own mental obstacles that prevent her from using the sword again," Kaslan said faintly.
"What do you mean? Mental obstacles?" Miranda furrowed her brows and asked.
"Kroesch is the daughter of an old subordinate of mine in the White Blade Guards." Kaslan followed the two young people out of the house. He looked at the Dragon Clouds City in the far distance and shook his head. "Both of you knew her from the Tower of Eradication, so you should know that she has great aspirations. I guess it is also something you Constellatiates instill"
"Hey!" Kohen objected. "What are you trying to imply when you say that it's something 'we Constellatiates' instill? Kroesch has always been"
Kaslan ignored him and muttered to himself.
"She has been very strong-minded since a young age and she always wanted to become a legendary female knight like the 'Heart of the Rain'."
"'Heart of the Rain' Loraine? From what I've heard, was she Great Master Shao's cohort as well as yours?" Kohen asked with much curiosity, "Was she the mercenary who bore the flag for Hanbol's Inheritance War?"
"Yes." Kaslan paused slightly while he reminisced, as if some past events had been evoked in his mind. Then, his face broke into a smile as he said, "There will always be some women that you won't dare to offend in your lifetime."
Immediately afterwards, the old, Ground-Shaker Kaslan sighed. "After experiencing the Tower of Eradication's training, Kroesch became even more ambitious. When she returned, she even recommended herself for the White Blade Guards' appraisal, relaying her desire to join"
Miranda lifted her head and revealed a burning gaze. "But she did not succeed?"
Kaslan raised his eyebrow. "The White Blade Guards rejected her, and it was a huge blow to her."
Miranda showed her confusion. "A huge blow? As far as I know, the White Blade Guards have a very high standard when it comes to their selection criteria"
"The rejection itself was not a big blow," Kaslan interrupted her and turned his head around. "It was the reason behind the rejection."
"Reason behind the rejection?" Miranda stared intently at him.
"What was it?"
Kaslan took a breath, but he did not answer.
"I know," Kohen was the one who replied just as Miranda was about to voice up.
The police officer sighed, "It's because she's a woman, right?"
Kaslan glanced at Miranda in a seemingly meaningful manner and nodded. "Correct.
"Because she's a woman."
Miranda clenched her teeth subconsciously.
Kaslan sneered. "Many people have said that we Northlanders are very valiant. Even women and children can pick up their weapons when they are fierce and angry, but according to my wife, many Northlanders still believe that matters regarding territory, politics, war and inheritance of nobles' titles belong to men. Women should stay at home and wait for their husbands' return.
"With that, Kroesch brought her sword along and turned to every suzerain, but she was rejected everywhere. A woman who went through the complete Tower of Eradication's training and a supra class swordswoman was unable to obtain a position, not even from one of the counts
"There were a few viscounts and barons who were willing to take her in, but the condition was that she had to marry them after her contract ended Without a doubt, they offered her a position because her father was in the White Blade Guards."
Miranda lightly held on to the hilt of her sword, which was by her waist.
'Compared to my smooth journey in Constellation, my father's care and Sonia's protection This was what Kroesch faced in Northland and encountered in Eckstedt?'
"According to her father Kroesch even considered heading southwest to Thornland or Dragon-Kiss Basin, or even the Great Desert to become a mercenary.
"But in the end, she arrived in Black Sand Region. Borrowing her father's name, she went to my worthless nephew. In his territory, she got a position under a viscount named Kentvida." Kaslan sighed,
"I suspected that this was one of the methods Chapman Lampard used to rope me in, but seeing Kroesch's state...
"Plus, this time"
Kaslan shook his head.
"Anyway, now you know the reason why, Arunde's little girl." The old man lifted his gaze to look at Miranda. "The way you dress is, to be honest, really too conspicuous in Northland."
Miranda did not utter a word and only stared at Dragon Clouds City, located far away.
"When I was in the Western Frontlines, there were also some female soldiers, because there would sometimes be a shortage of soldiers," Kohen slowly said.
"Because of various reasons like lacking the means to live, many female soldiers from the Suicide Squad were enlisted in the army. Many of them were female mercenaries who came from various countries in the southwest, but they were... usually not welcomed."
Kohen eyes were glistening when he said, "Their natural strength and weight endurance were weaker than that of men. Not to mention, the specific requirements for the style of their upper body armor and their absolutely disadvantageous heightthese were usually very deadly factors when facing the orcs. Because you had to leap into the air to be able to attack their vital organs.
"Of course, there is also the monthly you know."
Kohen lowered his head and furrowed his brows. "Their status in the military camp was very low. Sometimes, they had to resort to pleasing their commanding officers and comrades.
"And once they fell into the hands of the enemy, especially the hands of the Barren Bone people their endings were usually a lot more tragic than men's.
"So, whenever the Shock Brigade chooses soldiers, even I would usually avoid the female soldiers."
Miranda still remained silent.
"I guess this is more or less the White Blade Guards' consideration." Kaslan sighed. "It's one matter to learn sword skills in the Tower of Eradication, but naturally, females are unsuitable for the battlefield."
Miranda lifted her head abruptly and snorted coldly. "You men can only see the disadvantages of female soldiers in the battlefield, and purposely overlook their advantages."
"Advantages?" Kaslan furrowed his brows.
Kohen raised his eyebrow helplessly. At an angle away from Miranda's gaze, he spread his arms in front of Kaslan.
"Lesser energy consumption than males; patience that far surpasses that of male; nimbleness, suppleness and strength that exceed the limits of your imagination; meticulous and sharp power of observation; the ability to stay calm in the face of a tense situation These are all advantages that females possess," Miranda said indignantly, "Even if you want to compare with strength and height, just take the Kingdom's Wrath as an example. I witnessed it with my own eyes, his height and strength could not compare with Lady Sonia! Besides, we have the Power of Eradication!
"I am also a woman," Miranda said coldly, "In the Tower of Eradication, I was stronger than you, than Raphael, than Misadun, than every single one of the cohorts.
"On top of that, let's not forget the legendary Valkyriethe 'Heart of the Rain', Knight Loraine from twenty years ago!"
Kohen awkwardly coughed a couple of times.
"Look, uncle also mentioned earlier that the battlefield was another matter You can't just take some special person to serve as comparison." The police officer spread his hand helplessly. "The 'Heart of the Rain' was an exception. Lady Sonia is also a legendary individual under the Duke of Star Lake. And you, Miranda are the daughter of the Arunde Family. Since you were born, you've been trained to be a warrior, suzerain and commander"
Just as Kohen finished this sentence, Miranda directed her murderous gaze towards him and he felt the coldness penetrate into his heart.
It also cut off the next half of the speech in his throat.
"I think the Western Desert and Northland are comparatively unique." Kaslan let out a snort of laughter. "The Western Desert has been on the frontlines, in a state of turmoil and chaos for years on end. Whereas, Northland's view on females have existed for a long time"
"I am also a Northlander!" Miranda refuted with a cold look on her face.
Old Kaslan brought them towards the stable, and two people who looked like soldiers bowed before him.
"You are Constellation's Northlander, and you are also an Arunde. Your family even allows females to inherit the title of duke. I also remember that you had a queen a few hundred years ago."
Kaslan sighed, "As for Northland to accept a female knight, female suzerain, or even a queen
"There is still a long way to go before we reach that state."
'No. Even in Constellation, female suzerains are still looked down upon by the others,' Miranda silently said to herself, 'A few hundred years ago, Constellation's Queen did not have a good ending either.'
Miranda lifted her head and revealed her firm gaze. "The day will arrive where female warriors, swordswomen and even queens are no longer the minority. We will prove to the world that what men can do...
"Women can do as well."
Kaslan shrugged and walked into the stable.
Kohen stuck his tongue out and sighed helplessly when he thought of his two devilish, younger sisters back home.
'Miranda how could Raphael like her?'
Kohen's mood became heavier when he thought about Raphael, his current position and the Power of Eradication in him.
"In order to escort the prince, the Black Sand Region's army is currently staying in a village nearby Dragon Clouds City. They will bring Kroesch back with them." Kaslan pulled along two horses and looked at the young, noble swordsman as well as swordswoman. "I will hand over the following mission to you."
"Are you not coming along?" Kohen raised his eyebrow.
"My appearance there is not a good idea." Kaslan's expression fell. "It will alarm too many people."
Kaslan handed the reins over to Kohen and Miranda. "Fortunately, I still know some of the personnel in Dragon Clouds City. I have a few old friends and they can provide you with information. But in terms of the specific investigation and inquiries, to recognize the Disaster Sword from the Sword of Eradication. No one is better or more proficient than the both of you. You are the Seeds of this particular batch in the Tower of Eradication. It doesn't matter if it's the inborn observational skills you possess as nobles, your supra class combat abilities, which are suitable for the battlefield or your response to the Disaster Swords."
"You know some personnel in Dragon Clouds City?" Kohen looked at him suspiciously. "Uncle, didn't you open a tavern in Black Sand Region for twenty years?"
"Ah, that." Kaslan touched his gray hair awkwardly. "Anyway, I did stay in Dragon Clouds City for many years previously."
"Can contacts from twenty years ago still be reliable?" Kohen furrowed his brows.
"We always keep in touch" Kaslan glanced left and right, then gave out a mischievous chuckle. "Also, for a long time now, many of my old subordinates from the White Blade Guards stayed in Dragon Clouds City after they retired. I helped them when they were searching for a living"
"Searching for a living? You helped them?" Kohen's confusion became even stronger.
"When some of the retired soldiers were not doing well, I pulled some strings for them I found some jobs for them." Kaslan coughed unnaturally. "You know, there are always some jobs that need people who know how to battle"
"Just say that you introduced them to the gang," Miranda had a look of disdain on her face. "It will be easier for us to understand."
Kaslan started to cough loudly to drown out Miranda's words. "These past ten years, that gang of yours in Constellationthat something Brotherhood of yours has caused a real ruckus. They even expanded their business to Dragon Clouds City. A couple of old friends were always lacking manpower and they wanted me to introduce some people to them, so"
"What?" Kohen widened his eyes. "After all of that, uncle, you you are actually the middle man of Dragon Clouds City's gang?"
Kaslan's coughing became louder and louder. Under the suspicious gazes of the two young people, he lifted his head with a sense of righteousness and patted them on their shoulders. "In short, regardless of whether it's the Tower of Eradication's mission, or just to give Kroesch an explanation, or even find the truth behind the assassination attempt on Constellation's prince, I will just hand over the mission to you!"
One of them revealed a look of disdain whereas the other shook his head as he clicked his tongue.
"Remember, your mission is only to investigate. Do not give away your life for unverified news." Before their departure, Kaslan became solemn. "But both of you have the ability to come into contact with the Disaster Sword, and even survive in their hands.
"As long as you do not encounter swordsmen of the supreme class I believe in your strength."
The two of them exchanged glances and nodded seriously.
"My people will help you but if the matter blows up, remember to conceal yourselves Even though your prince is currently on a diplomatic trip to Eckstedt and the tension between the two countries has been greatly decreased by his arrival, you are Constellatiates; family members of Constellation's nobles to top it all off. So, it is still not a good thing to hastily expose your identities there.
"Other than that, what both of you need to mind and worry about isn't as simple as the sword on the surface." Kaslan narrowed his eyes. "It is very likely that Disaster Sword is working together with one of Eckstedt's suzerains, like some archduke for example. Intentionally joining forces with a suzerain and carrying out the act of assassinating Constellation's prince, I am afraid their motives aren't simple."
"I get it." Kohen inhaled and mounted a horse. "We'll look for inside information and the truth, whether it's about assassinating the prince or harming the Tower of Eradication."
Miranda did not say much. She lightly nodded her head and directly left on her horse.
Kohen followed closely after.
Kaslan stared at their leaving figures and looked at Dragon Clouds City in the far distance. His eyes glinted in fond recollection.
'That year, I also stepped into Dragon Clouds City from here.'