A month passed in a flash. Drake spent most of his days in the company of Lewis, though he often went to the Dark Legion Barracks as well, sometimes for sparring sessions, sometimes for expanding his data base.
In Drake's eyes, the Dark Legion men and women were gold mines of information. Watching their moves and their combos enlightened Drake on the way to fight enemies. Average soldiers would not bring any benefit to Drake. Such soldiers are able to wield weapons. They are able to kill, but most of them only went through a few battles.
The Dark Legion trainees were different. They had accompanied the Viscount more than once in veritable battlefields. The lessons they were taught in sweat and blood could be seen in their fighting style. Drake took note of that, and learnt from them.
Knowledge is power after all.
The results were evident. He could now take on three Dark Legion Trainee and come out of the fight unscathed. As for Andy and Joy, none could even last more than a few dozen seconds against Drake anymore.
Lewis witnessed Drake's growth, and he was the most surprised one in the story. Others might deem Drake's progress as fast, and evaluate him as a genius. But Lewis could see the truth. Drake was progressing because of hard work.
He trained over 10 hours a day, and spent the rest of the day planning, eating and sleeping.
However, the main reason why Lewis was shocked was Drake's understanding of the Kadac Sword Art. At first, Lewis thought he was becoming mad. But Drake clearly showed deep understanding of the Kadac Sword Art. He knew it the feints, the weaknesses and the forte of the Sword Art better than the Dark Legion trainee themselves!
Lewis was currently in the streets, pondering on his life. He was born a slave, and rose to become the personal butler of Drake. Once the latter becomes a knight, he would become a squire and accomplish his childhood dream.
But now…Lewis had doubts about himself. In his whole life, he had never felt as powerless as he did at this moment. Even when he was tortured, he felt strong. He had a strong will. But with his left hand being cut, he knew that it would be very difficult to follow Drake in the future.
'The kid will become a Grand Knight surpassing his father in the future. That's how terrifying his talent and mentality are.'
But, Lewis was already 42. Since he was captured, he never managed to completely recover his peak strength, not to mention that his left hand had been cut. The Viscount gave him a way out. But truthfully, Lewis wished to commit suicide more than once. That is how deep his pride had been hurt.
Lewis used to be the Bonecrusher. Although he was only a Dark Legion warrior, his peers knew how fearsome he was in battles. He was extremely strong, allowing him to fight his enemies in a very aggressive manner. He would plummet his enemies with a rain of mace strikes. If he lost his mace, he would use his hands. If his hands were broken, he would use his elbows. Over time, his body had been tempered to 'endure' his wild fighting style.
But now…He was not even half the man he used to be. After eating to his fill and recovering, his strength was on pars with that of Joy. His constitution might even be higher. But, as a cripple, he couldn't allow himself to fight as he used to do. And he couldn't learn. He didn't know how to.
Lost in his thoughts, Lewis heard a commotion. Upon arriving at the scene, he couldn't believe his eyes. The commoners were rebelling.
Blackwater was a huge city with more than 20 000 inhabitants. Yet, there were only about 800 soldiers loyal to the Moonlight Household. The high taxes and the numerous executions had led the populace to hold a grudge over time. Had the lord been here, there would have been a massacre.
But since the lord had gotten away, there was no high-ranking official charismatic enough to repress the rebellion.
One man became two. Two became ten. Ten became a thousand.
The worst part of the story is that although most of the rebels were citizens who picked up bars of metals, some were mercenaries hardened by the war, possessing true weapons, true skills. Even the likes of Lewis would have trouble facing them, not to mention mere soldiers.
Since soldiers were humans, they would not attack the agitated crowd on a whim. They couldn't afford to do so. If they were caught and judged guilty, they would lose their hands. Or worse still, considering the Viscount's reputation. Their inaction, however, made the situation worse.
There was a man leading them. It was the head of the Silver Wolf Mercenaries, a gold-rank mercenary troop with more than 20 preparatory knights and 50 elite warriors who participated in the war against the barbarians and earned wealth and fame in the process. Years of drinking thinned out their pockets, and now that they tasted the luxury of being rich, they could not bear to be separated from it.
As for going back to a mercenary life, none of them wanted such a thing.
When the Viscount departed, they planned a rebellion. They assassinated those who spoke too much, and rallied many to their causes. With the Viscount's regime of terror, it was only a matter of time before people rallied themselves to their cause.
Viscount Allan Moonlight was the pillar of Blackwater. With him in his castle, the economy would flourish, and the people would be happy and safe. However, every time he left, there would be great instability, though it was never as big as it was right now.
Eventually, the head of the Silver Wolf Mercenaries arrived at the Castle Gate, and shouted.
"DRAKE MOONLIGHT! OPEN THE GATES, OR WE FORCEFULLY SIEGE THE CASTLE!"
Lewis sighed. It had started. When the lord truly needed him, he was not there to advise him or even help him. No matter what decision Drake made, it would end up badly. If he ordered the soldiers to repress the rebellion, the people would become restless and hostile to their lords. If Drake truly opened the gates, then even the Viscount would have trouble taking the castle back. The mercenaries might have wasted their time and fooling around in bars and taverns, but they still had experience. They participated to siege, and with the people supporting them, they could easily face the Viscount.
After all, unless they faced him directly, the Viscount would be powerless.