~ Chapter 43: Rumors in the wind (Part 1) ~

[Alkelios' point of view]

Seryanna left in a hurry as soon as we paid the fee and received the keys for our rooms. I didn't put too much thought in her hasty departure, she had her own troubles to deal with, and me sticking my nose into them could accidentally make things worse.

After we made ourselves comfortable at the inn, I realized I didn't have much to do in my room. Not having a computer to play games or browse the internet was a killer, so I went to check up on Kataryna and Kleo. With a [Purse] ring at hand, it was quite easy to make herself at home, so the silver-scaled dragoness' room was already looking slightly different, the bed especially. It was a king-sized one.

“I see you are doing some redecorating. Got another one of those?” I asked Kataryna.

“No, but there's room for two in it.” she smirked.

“No, thank you. I'll pass.” I shook my head.

“Too bad~.” she giggled.

“So what are you and Kleo going to do now? I'm quite bored and have nothing to do, so I'm open for suggestions.” I told her.

“I was planning on visiting the city to see how things have changed around here. Last time I dropped by, this place was in the middle of a war.” she shrugged.

“I see. Well, even 100 years could be a lot of time for things to change.” I nodded.

“True.” she smiled.

“Where's Kleo by the way?” I asked her.

“She went down to send a letter back to her grandfather.” she replied.

“Oh, really?” I said surprised.

“She's been doing that in every city with a Post Office.” she revealed.

“What? How come I never noticed this?” I asked surprised.

“If I said that your eyes were constantly glued on the chest and bottom of a certain redhead dragoness, would you know what I'm talking about?” she asked with a smirk.

“Hm. Maybe?” I replied with a serious look on my face.

Well, Seryanna was a truly enchanting woman, so it was natural for me to behave like this, although I won't deny the fact that Kataryna also looked good, especially after she came out of the rain. The way her clothes stuck to her skin would make any man drool.

“Let's wait downstairs for Kleo and then go visit the city with all of us?” I suggested.

“I agree.” she nodded.

I left her room and then took a seat at a table. The silver-scaled dragoness came down not long afterwards and then we began to make a small plan about what to do. Collentra heard us talking and suggested we should go visit the workshops to the south of the city just outside the walls. Apparently their merchandise was cheaper but by no means inferior to the ones in the Market Area or Workshop Area here in the city.

She made me curious about it, but we decided not to go outside the walls, since we didn't want to pay the extra coin to get back in. If by chance we ended up spending a long time in Drakaria, I was going to eventually pay that area a visit and see what the dragoness was talking about.

When Kleo returned, we already settled on where to go and what to see. The black-scaled dragoness got dragged outside by us the moment she stepped in. Outmatched and outnumbered, she had no choice but to follow our whims and guide us through the city.

One of the things that interested me the most were the [Purse] rings, so she guided us to one of the shops in the Market Area. Apparently, the only ones who could make these were either Dungeons or a Grand Master Enchanter. For the latter, it was a 1 out of 10 chances of success, and the result would be a very spacious ring. What Kataryna used to carry our bags and other stuff was something only a Grand Legendary Enchanter could try to make, but even he would have a small chance of success.

Because of this, the prices displayed in the shop were outrageous. 100 gold coins was the cheapest one and it wasn't even spacious enough to hold one of our bags. At most it could store only as much as the mushroom backpack Seryanna made me wear back then. On the other hand, one similar to what Kataryna had was way over 10000 golds coins.

Seryanna did tell us back then that these things weren't cheap, but by the gods were they expensive!

“There goes my hope of obtaining one.” I let out a disappointed sigh.

“Now you see why my Twin Daggers group prospered so much. By renting out such rings, we could achieve a steady flow of income.” Kataryna said with a smirk as she patted my shoulder.

“Speaking of which, where are the rest of your rings?” I asked surprised.

“After word got out that you and Seryanna exterminated the Twin Daggers bandit group, none of our previous customers dared to reveal that they borrowed those rings from us. They vanished like the wind.” she let out a sigh.

“Didn't you have a list of those you lent them to or something?” I asked.

“Remember that hole you made in my lair?” she asked.

“Erm... maybe?” I replied.

“Well, guess where the ledger was?” she smiled.

“Oops...” I said.

“Well, don't worry about it.” she waved it off like it was nothing.

“I wish we could have managed to retrieve at least one of those rings... or Seryanna not return hers.” I let out a sigh.

“Well, if you wish to find one, then who knows? We might stumble onto one of my former clients and 'retrieve' it from him.” the dragoness smiled as her tail swayed in the air.

From her gesture, I could only understand that she was going to pummel the poor bastard into the ground and take the ring with his finger and all.

“Yeah, who knows. Although what I really wish for is to obtain a skill with a similar effect to that of the [Purse] ring.” I said and then sighed again.

“By the way, when are you going to give my sister her bags back? She left without them, I think?” Kleo pointed out.

“If she comes by and asks for them, I will take them out for her. No problem there.” Kataryna replied.

“That reminds me, back in Toros, I completely forgot to ask you to take out some of our things.” I said.

“I also didn't realize this until after we checked in at that inn.” Kataryna said.

“Yup.” Kleo nodded.

“Speaking of which, what's the name of our current inn?” I asked.

“Hm, sister never said, did she?” Kleo asked.

“Nope.” I shook my head.

“It's called Brekkar's Inn or Inn Brekkar, however you wish to call it.” she replied.

“Ah, so from here the connection to the old man.” I nodded.

“Yup.” she smiled.

“Or more like they used the name for its fame, and he didn't mind it at all.” Kataryna smirked.

“Yup.” Kleo nodded.

After our small talk and the failure of acquiring a [Purse] ring, we looked around various stores that sold armors and weapons. Thanks to my skill [Identificus Processus Juridicus], I was able to see the quality and enchants all of them had. Because of this, I felt like I was walking through an end game town in a MMORPG. All of this stuff was downright crazy! No, it was ALL high-end stuff, but most dragons here treated them as average.

Kataryna took interest in swords, while Kleo looked around at spears. I had no idea what to look for, so I just wandered around hoping to see something that caught my eye. However, let us not mention the part where Kataryna accidentally turned a very sharp sword into a boomerang, and Kleo accidentally cursed one of the spears. We quietly left before anyone could point us out as the culprits.

While we were looking around for stuff, I happened to hear several rumors that were flying around the market.

“The King is said to not be doing too well...” a dragon merchant whispered.

“Yes, I heard the Queen was seriously ill as well. I never saw her again since the festival 12 years ago.” a buyer replied.

“Maybe giving birth to twins was a bit too much for her?”

“Who knows? I just hope that rumor about her having been poisoned by a human isn't true.”

If that's true, then I hope I'll never meet the King any time too soon. He might kill me before I got a chance to introduce myself. I thought and gulped.

Half an hour later, we heard to soldiers talk about something else at the opposite stand. We all perked our ears and listened to the conversation.

“The new general sure is strict.” said one of them.

“He's not a general yet. The King will make him one after the tournament next year.” the other said.

“He might as well make him now, because there's no one else for the job. Besides, Sir Brekkar will die soon because of his illness... It's a shame, but we can't let the army go to waste either.”

“True as that might be, I still hate it... We were part of the Third Princess' faction, now we'll be in the Sixth Princess' faction... or is it the Doesya Ducal Family faction?” he scratched the back of his head.

“It's called a party not a faction, because they don't fight for the throne. When they will, they will be called factions.” he corrected him.

“Don't they mean the same thing?” he asked.

“Erm... I think.”

“Then why the change?”

“Who knows, it's a noble thing. I would honestly prefer to stick with the term faction.” he shrugged.

“Noble thing? I don't get it...” he shook his head, and the two of them walked away.

Looking back at Kataryna, I asked her “A noble thing?”

“To put it simply, a party is a group that backs up or shows favor towards a certain noble or royal family member who declares that they won't try to aim for the seat of the ruler. The party is also an indicator of their potential political power, meaning that they are more valuable inside the country than outside of it. On the other hand, a faction is a group who backs up or shows favor towards an individual who aims for the seat of the ruler. In this case, when the appointed time comes, the one with the strongest faction wins.” she explained.

“So basically, it's a political game?” I asked.

“Yes.” she nodded.

“I see... Then does this mean that the Third Princess' party is weakening?” I asked.

“If what we heard is true, then most definitely.” Kataryna said as she looked in the direction of those two soldiers.

“That's worrying... The Third Princess' party is the one Seryanna should be part of.” Kleo said.

“What happens if the support of a party reaches zero?” I asked.

“Then... that individual, in this case the Third Princess, will have absolutely no political value within the kingdom.” Kataryna replied.

“Could we join her party?” I asked.

“As a Breakthrough Awakened, I can, but you can only join if you marry Seryanna, but even then you won't be considered of much value in their world. On the other hand, Kleo has a lot more political power as the fiance of a Paladin trained by Brekkar himself. Both of them are nobles, so their status is far higher than yours. Then again, you are a human, so your status could even be seen as a negative one by some.” Kataryna offered me a rather detailed explanation.

“For some reason, this depresses me.” I let out a sigh.

Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!

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September 13, 2016 8:27 PM

Thank u always for ur great work…

Why do I get the feeling that Kataryna know the king?
And Alkelios need to decide about that dragon race change thing soon, I hope that he can easily change between two race thought…