Chapter 450: Old Friends
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
Rene Medde had been trapped in the basement of the Elk's mansion for half a month.
He thought he could've stopped Jacques, but he hadn't expected his elder brother to make the first move.
"Here is your lunch. Hope you enjoy it." Sean, the long-faced steward, brought a plate of sticky food to the cell. What was on the plate looked like a mixture of oatmeal and vegetables, and the portion was only palm-sized.
"Set me free, you dumbass!" Rene threw the food on the floor. Holding the cell bars, he shouted, "Jacques is a dumbass too. He has no idea what he's doing. It's not too late to let me out!"
The steward shook his head regretfully, took out a handkerchief and cleaned up his dirty shoes. "If I were you, I would've eaten that food instead of spoiling it. The Earl told me to bring you food once a day all this week, to let you save some strength."
"Damn it. Haven't you heard what I said?" Rene burst out with strong language. "This isn't about a meal. If Jacques doesn't stop, he'll destroy the Elk Family. For my father's sake, open this cage!"
Seemingly, the steward was moved by what Rene said in the end. As he was just about to leave, he stopped. "Your father? I think if he were still alive, he would've expelled you from this house." He then turned around and looked at Rene, expressionless. "Master, you seem to have forgotten that it was Roland Wimbledon who killed the Earl of the Elk Family. On the other hand, the Honeysuckle Family has not only gone over to Prince Roland's side, but also assisted him in suppressing the other four families. At this moment, your elder brother is trying to correct this mistake, yet you're scared to death. How can you be a qualified knight this way?"
"It's not for you to judge whether I'm a qualified knight," Rene said angrily. "In the past three years, while I was defeating the demonic beasts in Hermes' defensive line, Jacques was busy enjoying wine and women in the King's City. Do you think it's out of bravery that he decided to attack the Honeysuckle Family? Don't be ridiculous. He's only blinded by profit!"
Sean sighed. "Even if you're the younger brother of Milord Jacques, you should show him some basic respect. After all, he is both an Earl and the head of the Elk Family."
After this, the steward ignored Rene and left the basement along the stairs. When the door was closed, the basement returned to silence.
The second son of the Elk Family smashed his fist down onto the floor forcefully.
Since the beginning of winter, Jacques had begun to visit the other families more often. Rene didn't pay much attention to it at first—after all, he wasn't interested in managing his family. Besides, when he was taken captive by His Royal Highness the first time, Jacques refused to pay the ransom, and it was Petrov who offered him a helping hand and got him released from prison. Since then, the relationship between the two brothers had fallen to the freezing point. Even so, Rene didn't plan to fight with his brother about who would be head of the household. When he heard the news about the construction of Border Town, he even considered going to the town and serving Prince Roland by becoming an official guarding knight. But afterwards, there were some changes in the situation. During a private feast held in the Elk mansion, Rene heard that the four families were planning to unite and fight together against Longsong Stronghold.
That night, Rene rushed into Jacques' study and confronted him, but Jacques wasn't happy about it and threw him out. Thinking about it overnight, Rene decided to tell Petrov the news and lead his patrolmen to stop Jacques. Unexpectedly, his breakfast was poisoned by Jacques. When Rene woke up, he found himself in prison.
Since then, despite his yelling and threatening, he hadn't yet earned himself a chance to meet with Jacques. Every day, he could only judge time by looking at the brightness of a louver in the basement corner, and the only person he had seen was Jacques's personal steward.
With this lengthy growl coming from his stomach, he realized that he was hungry.
Taking a glimpse at the scattered food on the floor, Rene turned his head and lay back onto the pile of straw on the floor. "I'd better go to sleep... I won't feel hungry once I fall asleep."
The moment Rene closed his eyes, a series of footsteps resounded in the basement.
"Could it be... Jacques coming?" He instantly hopped off the pile of straw and rushed to the bars. With the help of the dim light from the louver, he saw a small and slim figure. Obviously, that couldn't be the arrogant Earl.
"Brother, are you OK?" When the person arrived at the cell, he found it was Aurelia, the third daughter of the Elk Family.
"How did you get in?"
"Jacques wasn't around, and those servants couldn't stop me." Aurelia saw the oatmeal on the floor and said incredulously, "Is this what they are serving you? This is outrageous! Wait a moment. I'll tell the kitchen to cook something else for you."
"Jacques isn't home?" What his sister said suddenly saddened Rene, and he almost forgot about his hunger. "Where did he go?"
"I've no idea... He left two days ago," Aurelia shook her head and said, "along with most of the house guards. Otherwise, I couldn't have come here."
"Damn it." Rene was disappointed. "Jacques left two days ago, and today is the third day—even if I can get out now, I'm afraid it's already too late.
"Brother, I heard that Jacques was trying to hurt the Honeysuckle Family. Is this true?" Aurelia looked worried. "Will Milord Petrov be alright?"
"Right... Aurelia has always had a crush on Petrov Hull. Although I've tried to set them up as a couple, it seems my friend Petrov has somebody else in mind. But now nothing can be done." Rene leaned against the bars and sat down, feeling feeble. He knew Jacques fully well. "Jacques won’t show mercy on the Hull Family, which would definitely cause Prince Roland to take his rage out on the whole Western Region."
"Jacques has spent too much time in the King's City, so he's no idea what he's got himself into... " Rene closed his eyes. He couldn't stop thinking about the day when he and his army attacked Border Town—fires continued blazing in front of his eyes; thunder boomed all around his ears unceasingly; knights in the front rows seemed to be hitting an invisible wall; and their skills, gained through years of training and the courage of fighting for honor, had all lost their effectiveness in the face of the enemies' powerful weapons.
From that moment on, Rene had totally lost the intention of fighting against His Highness ever again.
Nobody could defeat His Highness' troops—at least no human beings could.
"But when Prince Roland gets to know what's happening in Stronghold and decides to sweep through this area, what's the use then if the Elk Family gains a lot of profit? This time... Prince Roland may not let go of the four families."
"What's the matter, brother?" Aurelia shook him, but he remained motionless.
"The Elk Family is screwed."
Just then, some indistinct roars spread through the thick ceiling, and then the floor slightly trembled. It felt as if the mansion was hit by something.
"Is that what I think it is?" Rene turned around, and saw his sister with the same surprised expression.
Then came another dull, yet much clearer, thundering and a series of noises. Rene could hear panicked shouts from his family's servants coming from somewhere over his head.
"Could it be... Prince Roland's army coming?" Rene was stunned. "How's that even possible?"
"What's happening out there?" Aurelia stood up. "I'll check."
"Don't." Rene grabbed her hand. "Don't go anywhere. Just wait here."
"Listen to me..." Rene swallowed, and said in a tiresome voice, "It might be dangerous outside."
The roars quieted down before long. Only a few minutes later, a platoon invaded the basement—they wore brown uniforms and held strange, long-handled weapons. At a glance, Rene realized they were Prince Roland's troops.
He felt totally hopeless. He had expected retaliation from His Highness, but not so quickly!
"Or maybe this is a drama directed and played by Prince Roland himself?"
"Who are you?! How dare you break into the Earl's mansion!" Aurelia stood up and questioned them.
A tall, strong man stepped out of the platoon. With an angular face and a chilling aura around his eyes, he looked as if he was from an alien race.
"Are you the second son of the Elk Family, Knight Rene Medde?" the guy asked.
"Since you know who he is, you... should retreat. What are you up to?" Aurelia said, voice trembling, but still she stood in front of the bars.
"I'm Rene! Don't hurt her... She's innocent!"
Rene thought he was about to see something unbearable, yet the guy totally ignored Aurelia, and what he said next simply shocked Rene.
"I'm Iron Axe, Commander of the First Army. His Highness Roland asked me to find you specifically," the guy said in a low voice, "and he asked me to tell you that Mr. Petrov wants to see you."
Please go to https://www.novelupdates.cc/Release-that-Witch/
to read the latest chapters for free