Sword of Dawnbreaker - Chapter 17
When Herti’s voice fell, everyone present swallowed subconsciously.
All except Betty—the little girl did not understand anything they said.
Rebecca could not help but think of the monsters who had ruined her home.
Those monsters were the product of the Dark Wave.
She had once thought that these monsters had wandered over from the wastelands through the Great Barrier and intruded into Anzu territory—after all, the Cecil Clan’s territory bordered the south of Anzu, which was pretty close to the wasteland.
If something was really wrong with one of the sentinel towers that caused a breach in the Great Barrier, then it was conceivable that some monsters would have come through.
Now, Rebecca could not help but imagine an even worse scenario—what if the monsters had not come from the wastelands, but were born on Cecil territory lands? What if those monsters… foretold a new tide of magic? “Um… aren’t we getting a little too worried about this?” Amber was the first to break the silence.
The half-elf girl forced a smile and pointed to the notes in Herti’s hands.
“That’s just a notebook from a single rogue mage.
The clarity of his records are questionable.
Do we really have to link it to the Dark Wave?” Gawain did not rebut her, but nodded.
“Yeah, I might just be a little too nervous.
” After all, he was only analyzing the inherited archives of someone’s memory.
Even though it felt awesome to spew out the great history of seven hundred years past in person from memory, he felt a little shocked by its contents after his recital.
” Amber breathed a sigh of relief after seeing Gawain nod.
“Your ancestor has been dead for seven hundred years, and his mind is still adapting to modern times—I know you’ve experienced the Dark Wave in your lifetime, so the psychological shadow is probably causing… Ouch!” .
Rebecca smacked her staff onto the half-elf’s head and glared at her.
“Don’t be rude to Lord Ancestor!” Gawain cast a strange look at Rebecca’s wand.
In his head, he was thinking about how she was already rude for hitting her old ancestor with the “rod of ‘rest in peace’”… “Whatever may be the truth of this matter, we have to report this to His Majesty the King when we reach St.
Soniel,” said Herti as she handed the notebook to Gawain.
“As for how much the King would believe of this… That’s not something we can influence.
” Gawain tucked the notebook away in silence, suppressing all manner of complicated thoughts to the back of his mind.
Then, he lifted his head and gazed at the large “sun” in the sky.
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COM There was no canopy shading the glade.
The sky was wide open above them, and a giant sun had now reached its zenith.
The mighty yet oppressive crown of brightness was bringing light, heat, as well as the power of magic to this world.
Perhaps it was the last element that brought about a drastically different natural order on this planet from that of Earth’s.
Gawain’s eyes traveled across the surface of this giant sun.
Those faint streaks looked like they could be storms on the surface of the gas giant.
He tried to scour the surface for any ominous dark red spots on it, but his efforts were in vain: their appearances were only but a flash on the surface and disappeared as suddenly as they came.
However, the sense of foreboding in Gawain’s heart did not vanish with it.
He merely pushed his concerns to the back of his mind, silently planning what he should do next.
First of all, he had to gain a foothold in this world.
Even though his family was run-down and ancient now… having a starting point was better than building it from scratch in the wilderness or cemeteries.
After passing through the dense forest, their journey became much easier.
Perhaps the “law of conservation of character” did exist, for the crew were not waylaid by any more monsters or “natural phenomena”.
They thus made their way to the main road safely, and even met a small caravan of traveling merchants along the way.
After handing them an adequate amount of money, the crew finally put their worries of having to traverse over hill and dale on foot, and rode with them in a carriage that sped towards Tanzan.
The leader of the merchants was a plump northerner who hailed from the richer lands of the kingdom and sold local products and herbs in the south.
He told them he had planned to head to the Cecil territory to secure one last deal, but heard that it was in the throes of a terrible disaster along the way, causing him to abandon his journey halfway.
At first, he was cautious and was reluctant to bring Gawain and the rest of his weapon-carrying crew on board, but Herti managed to finally persuade him with two pieces of gold, and even talked her way into letting them ride in the carriage.
Gold was indeed the most eloquent negotiator in business transactions (for sure).
On their seventh day after leaving the Cecil territory, the gates of Tanzan Town finally loomed over them.
This was the first time Gawain was in such close contact to a town populated by humans in this world.
Of course, he had climbed up the top of a hill to look at the estate that was named after him before he left, but the entire Cecil territory had already been utterly destroyed by elemental forces, which was afterwards burned by a dragon who had spat fire on it like it was creating an abstract painting.
Really, he could not make out anything of the local culture by then, but seeing Tanzan Town right in front of him… did not feel that good, to be honest.
He even felt a little disappointed.
Tanzan Town was huge—that was what Rebecca said, anyway.
Because of its wide plains, fertile land and proximity to a river, this town was one of the most populated southern towns, with close to ten thousand inhabitants on its triangular flat land.
The river flowed from the west, and split into two before running past the north and south of Tanzan Town, irrigating much of the nearby farmland and serving as a path for transport.
The eastern side of town was nestled against a mine, which powered the economy of the settlement.
Such a place, with its fertile fields, mine, and river as a road for transport, ought to be a prosperous town in every sense.
However, the majority of what Gawain saw after he entered the town were sallow-faced citizens, countless low, shabby wooden huts, and dirty, smelly streets.
Because the civilizations of this world were not so far advanced that humans were taking over nature to the extent of keeping all kinds of monsters and beasts in zoos, and the threat of frequent conflicts at the border existed, the entire town was surrounded by a low wall that offered some protection.
The impoverished areas were stacked by the wall, reminiscent of moss and sores squashed tightly together in layers.
There was no beauty to the run-down houses, which were at best a shelter against wind and rain.
Meanwhile, there was a broad road leading from the gates to the heart of the town, but the scenery was not any better either.
Seated in the carriage, Gawain observed those on the street.
He saw the poor, clad in short garments, walking on either side of the road.
There were only a minority of townspeople who wore shoes, while the majority tread on feet wrapped with rags, with the abject poor going barefoot, unable to afford even rags.
The people who walked in the middle of the street donned clothes that were much cleaner, and had shoes to wear too.
They did not interact nor come into any conflict with one another, but only went about their way quietly, as though they were living in separate worlds.
They were clearly living in the same town and walking on the same road, but seemed as though they were living in two distinct universes.
Gawain searched through the memories of Cecil, but discovered that there was not much available to compare this with.
Gawain Cecil had been born in the glorious empire of Gondor, and grew up surrounded by lands of abundance, so there existed no such scene at that time.
Later, during the outbreak of Gondor’s Dark Wave, Cecil had led his people to the north, leaving a bloody path in their wake.
On their journey, everyone had shared weal and woe with no distinction between classes.
After the establishment of the Anzu Kingdom, the pioneers had built their kingdom upon the wilderness from scratch, with some pioneering grand dukes and even the King himself laying down their swords to plow the fields instead.
How could he have seen such a scene then? And then… and then, Gawain Cecil had died on the southern frontier, a hero who had died at the young age of 35, who had never lived to see the country he had created divided between rich and poor.
Thus, he could only turn to “his descendants” for help, and ask about the rules of the roads.
“The people trudging on either side of the roads are serfs and slave laborers in the mines,” Herti explained.
“The people walking in the peripheral area of the road are the impoverished free.
They aren’t allowed to walk on the main road, because they won’t be able to donate any money when the road undergoes renovation.
The people traveling in the middle of the road are the legitimate “townspeople” and foreign merchants or mercenaries.
These people, who can afford all the taxes, are allowed to walk in the middle of the road.
” Gawain remembered that the plump businessmen had given a few coins to the guards at the gate before they entered—that must have been the city tax.
He then thought about the soldier who was now buried in the forest—the son of a serf.
The fact that he was able to wield his sword and die for his ruler was a result of Rebecca’s kindness.
However, even if he had died for his ruler, he was not allowed to be buried as a warrior, simply because he had not redeemed himself, nor had he even redeemed the sword itself.
“Lord Ancestor, is there something wrong?” Herti, who had noticed the troubled expression on Gawain’s face, asked.
Gawain looked away from the scene outside the carriage and shook his head slightly.
“No, it’s nothing.
” He was only resisting against what he saw based on his perspective as a transmigrator, and now was not the time for him to pass judgment and “make things right”.
His understanding of this world was still inadequate.
After pondering for a while, he looked at Herti and said, “What are you planning to do next?” Evidently, Herti already had plans.
“We will be heading to the ruler of this place.
Viscount Andrew can be considered a reasonable man, and it’d be easier for us to contact Knight Philip through him.
If all goes well with Knight Philip, we will be able to search for the men who broke out that day.
Afterwards, we should decide if we can resettle the people first or travel directly to the royal capital.
The destruction of the Cecil lands cannot simply be communicated by one or two messengers, but must be relayed to the King by Rebecca herself.
” Gawain did not see a problem with this (mainly because he was a transmigrator who was now an “ancestor” with a seven hundred year-old generation gap who could not think of any suggestions at all).
“We shall do that then.