Translator: Dess Editor: EbonyFrost
As the sun set in the west, its blinding radiance dyed Herr Valley red, making Lightning Fortress look like it was set on fire in the midst of rebuilding.
The fortress cast a large area of shadow behind it, as though the place was devoured by darkness.
The natural contrast of color awestruck everyone's mind, whether it was Warren soldiers or the Prairies troops; the exclamation point of both sides was entirely different though.
Warren troops were recalling the glory days of their proud fortress while the Prairies troops were fortunate for the destruction of the fortress.
"We still need to strengthen the fortress walls," said King James VIII as he stood under the crude walls of the fortress.
Then, his brows furrowed together hard.
As the rightful king of Warren, even though his sister Jeanne was holding him back his entire life, King James VIII possessed a certain level of abilities as well.
He was clear that the current situation would require more than a strengthened wall but also a group of well-rested troops. It wasn't right to turn his soldiers into builders and farmers but without a proper defensive construction work, it would not matter how rested or sharp his soldiers were unless they were the elites from the different sects.
"We don't have enough men."
King James VIII couldn't help but sigh when the thought came to his mind.
He didn't blame the nobles that escaped by themselves or the people who were fleeing for their lives, he knew it wasn't the nobles or the people's fault that placed them in such a difficult position but himself who failed to be a king that his people could trust.
The king couldn't help but mock himself with a bitter smile when he remembered all the mistakes he made in the past.
A sudden call came from behind but just as the king wanted to turn around…
"Please remain as you are your Majesty and forgive my impoliteness. I come in peace and only here for the current war. Compared to the Prairies invaders, I am very much on your side, your royal wizard Rover's well being proved as much," The voice said.
The king clenched his fist right after the words, he noticed the threatening intent between the lines.
"How is Rover?" The king asked as he suppressed the anger within his heart.
"Worry not Your Majesty, your royal wizard consultant is fine. We didn't harm him by any means… and to be honest, we can be considered as his saviors!" The voice answered.
"Saviors?" The king frowned.
The evening was a new start for the woods near Lightning Fortress.
The birds returned to their nests and nocturnal beasts loomed in the bushes, the activities in the woods were just getting started.
Celty lit a fire within the woods and stayed out by himself.
He opened up the two packets of herbal powder and evenly spread them over his surroundings. When he felt that the prying gazes of the vicious beasts had gone away, he sat back down beside the campfire and waited patiently.
There were two roasted rabbits on top of the fire and an iron kettle beside, steam was coming out from the spout with a scent of wine.
Celty took the seemingly burning hot kettle, his face was as though he couldn't feel the burning sensation from its surface as he opened the cap and gulped a mouth full.
He heaved a breath of relief that reeked of alcohol and his weather-beaten face quickly blushed from the drink.
Right after the drink, two sets of clear footsteps echoed in his ears.
"Just in time!"
Celty stood up and presented his habitual smile.
"Thank you, Princess Mary and Sir 2567 for showing up at my place as promised."
Celty smiled even brighter when he identified the both of them.
He then passionately invited Mary and Kieran to sit beside the campfire and handed over one of the roasted rabbits.
"Please don't mind the crudeness, I have no choice but to serve you with the best I could find this afternoon."
Mary saw the slightly charred rabbit and couldn't help but cramp her brows together.
It wasn't that she hadn't tasted worse before but food handed over by a stranger raised her alarm and was reluctant to accept it.
Surprisingly, Kieran accepted the rabbit. He didn't tear the meat off like anyone would but opened it up like cracking a coconut.
The moment Kieran opened up the rabbit's body, an alluring fragrance burst out from its stomach. It was a thick and rich flavor with a slight scent of spiciness.
Mary was in awe when she saw Kieran opened up the rabbit and took out meatballs from its stomach. She didn't think there was something hidden inside the roast rabbit.
Kieran took the meatball to Mary's mouth and tried to feed her, she slightly blushed before accepting it. The moment she chewed on the meatball, a much thicker and flavourful taste appeared on her taste buds! It was the juice inside it!
The girl instinctively covered her mouth to prevent the meaty juice dripping out from the corner of her mouth but the delicious meatball made her chew loudly.
There were some crushed soft bones mixed into the meatball, enhancing its chewiness and perfectly fused itself with the meaty juice.
It was sparrow's meat!
Mary's eyes instantly lighted up.
She had a fresh memory about the texture of the meat because she ate it once when Kieran cooked it for her while they were on their way to Riverdale last time. The delicious taste left quite an impression in her.
The girl then took the other meatball inside the roast rabbit without further hesitation since Kieran's action had assured her enough; Celty was slightly shocked at the scene though.
"Sir 2567, have you ever been to the icy Trager Mountains?" Celty asked in a slight hesitation.
"No," Kieran replied directly.
"Then how did you…" Celty pointed at the rabbit.
"It's quite a simple culinary deliberation actually. You missed the fire by two minutes, the initial fire was too strong and you switched to a dim fire after that because you wanted to make up for the mistake, yet you enlarged it a lot more. The meatball was made from sparrow meat but the sparrow itself wasn't fat enough and was too small. Some of the spices you used were kept for too long even though you've tried your best in keeping it. Still, some of the scent was mixed into it when you tried to cover it with wine. The final taste was a little tough, to be honest."
With the temporary Transcendence level [Cooking], Kieran could tell how Celty cooked the rabbit based on a single sniff and without even tasting it.
It wasn't the end though, while Celty's jaw dropped, Kieran continued.
"There are vicious beasts and poisonous bugs around these woods, you must have scattered some of the herbal powder to repel them. The powder, however, has an extremely stimulating scent targeting the beasts and bugs but still sniffable by humans. Because of the wind direction, some of the powder was blown into the fire and it made the rabbit inedible. Or should I say, from your point of view, the rabbits have been acting as a container for the meatballs?"
"It's a shame to waste food you know. But it is a sin for one to craft food that had to be thrown away." Kieran glanced at Celty deeply.
The man was already awestruck, he never would have thought Kieran was a master in the culinary arts.
No! If Kieran could say something like that, he was already beyond the level of a master and has ascended to the state of a grandmaster!"
More importantly, Kieran had foiled his arrangement!
The arrangement that he had thought for a long time in order to specifically target Kieran and Mary.
"No! I must redeem myself!" Celty thought in his heart.
However, right as the thought bloomed in his heart, Kieran, on the other hand, spoke first.
"Since we came as promised, so please tell Mary more about her mother."
There wasn't any extra chit-chats or courtesy talk, Kieran went directly to the point.
His words sounded like a blade unsheathed in Celty's ears while he was still deep in thought.
A clear and loud noise sounded.