~ Chapter 43: Rumors in the wind (Part 2) ~
We continued our tour of the city, visiting as many other stores as we could without going too quickly through them. We wanted to enjoy our little tour. At the same time, I was keeping my eyes open for any suitable locations that could be used for a future date with Seryanna. Unfortunately, this city wasn't too good when it came to romantic dates. There was also something else I noticed around here...
“Is it just me or do the dragons here act a little different towards each other?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” Kataryna asked.
“Those two over there... Why is the fat guy acting like that?” I asked as I pointed at a fat dragon with little green wings on his back scolding a younger looking dragon with big blue wings.
“Ah, those two...” Kataryna let out a sigh when she saw them.
“Huh?” I was a bit confused.
“The fat guy is a noble and the other is a commoner.” she explained.
“But why is he looking down on him like that.” I asked.
“Haven't you noticed it in the previous cities?” she asked.
“Huh? Not really...” I shook my head.
“Well, we were together with sister, a knight who doesn't judge others based on class.” Kleo pointed out.
“True...” Kataryna scratched the back of her head. “Now that I think about it, your chances of interacting with nobles from a commoner's point of view were... almost non-existent.” she shrugged.
“With a Breakthrough Awakened and two noble women traveling with him, who would?” Kleo raised an eyebrow.
“That could be a reason.” she nodded.
“I don't get...” I repeated myself.
“Well, you see. In this society it's normal for nobles to act like that. Honestly, from a moral point of view, the fat guy might be in the wrong, but legally, he has every right to look down on the commoner who is supposed to always bow down to the nobles. Even if you are really talented in a profession, unless you reach Legendary rank or become a Breakthrough Awakened, chances are you will be treated like dirt by the majority of nobles. More so if they find out you aren't just some unawakened dragon but an actual human. There might be some who would even go so far as try to kill you.” she explained.
“Ouch... I would rather avoid that.” I nodded.
“That's why I believe that the moment other nobles find out that Seryanna fancies you, they will try to remove you. Killing a human is by no means a crime in Albeyater or any other Dragon Kingdom.” pointed out Kataryna.
“Great...” I sighed.
“Well, you do have one good point. The fact that you treated Brekkar and even gained his approval is enough to keep you alive at least, but in the end... it all depends on the King if it's off with your head or not.” Kleo let out a sigh as well.
“That's why I hate politics, and my advise is to never get yourself involve in them. Those idiots who flaunt their noble status can't even see the end of their tails let alone judge someone by their true worth.” Kataryna growled, showing her disgust towards such individuals.
Now that I thought about it, her own experience with politics wasn't a very good one. She lost a good friend to the schemes of politicians who didn't wish for the Breakthrough Awakening of a Superior Draconian of a High Element, basically someone like Seryanna.
Gulping, I made a wish in my heart just in case... Whatever happens, I wish that I will be able to save Seryanna if she will ever end up in danger because she is a Superior Draconian of High Flame.
With that being said, we continued our exploration of the city, but as we went on, we began to hear more and more rumors about this new general.
Apparently, he was stationing the Brekkar Army outside of the city's walls in wait for the tournament he was organizing. There were many who claimed he was a new genius just like Brekkar once was, while others claimed that he was only a cheat and shrewd individual. The latter blamed him for the fact that many soldiers were threatened to be fired, while others were promised to be risen in rank if they did well in the tournament. Brekkar apparently valued command, leadership, and the tactics employed by each squad more than the individual power of each soldier. As such, weak commanders with good leadership skills would often have strong soldiers under them. The way Draejan wanted to do things would mean the opposite.
We also heard more than once that the party of the Third Princess was weakening with each passing day. Right now, it was rumored that she only had one knight left, which was Seryanna. If nothing changed in the next years, she would lose all favor and may end up married off to a ducal family or someone from the foreign royalty, like a prince of Embryger Empire.
If rumors reached even the common folk around us, then it was clear that she wasn't doing too well, and this in itself was causing me to worry about her. I was beginning to feel more and more like I made a terrible mistake back there in Toros, that I should have just accepted Seryanna as she was or at the very least show a reaction. Well, it couldn't be help that my flag wasn't raised, but I could have just stopped her from leaving the following day... Wait, no, doing it in that merchant's house would have been very rude, but... at least I could have told her that I didn't mind what I saw and even if I failed once, I wanted to try again and again until the flag was risen up high.
Instead of reassuring her that I wouldn't give up on her... I acted like a fool. I said nothing. I mentioned nothing. I didn't even try to go for a grope when we were in the tent alone!
There's something wrong with me... I shook my head.
Unfortunately, I had no idea what, and as we were returning to the inn, I couldn't help notice something else... No matter where I looked, the Unawakened dragons were looked down upon by all the Awakened ones. It didn't matter if they were nobles or not, the gazes were the same... In their eyes, not having Awakened as a Dragon was the same as still being a child no matter your physical or mental age.
“Not being Awakened is a big deal for dragons, isn't it?” I said in a low tone of voice.
“Yes...” Kataryna nodded.
I let out a sigh and tried to look away. Today I learned many things, but most of all, I was once again confronted with the truth that said this world was very different from the one I came from. Most importantly, I once again came to realize that dragons were a completely different species from humans. They chose their life partners based on the elements they possessed and were considered adults not when they reached a certain age but when they Awakened as Dragons. I also learned that people never took the Unawakened ones seriously, unless they held a high position in their society, like Seryanna held the status of a Royal Knight.
At the same time, I learned that although Earth was different from this world in many aspects... in the end, they were both ruled by the cumbersome laws of politics. The games of the cunning ones within the state could shift the balance of power or even mean the difference between the life and death of certain groups or individuals.
I was unaware or maybe I just ignored it because I was afraid of it, but the truth was that I was a Human in a Dragon Kingdom when both species were at war with each other. More so, I was in love with a dragoness who served as a Royal Knight for a Princess whose power was declining... One wrong move, and it was off with my head. Worse even, it could be off with Seryanna's head as well...
I shivered in fear at the very thought of it, and my heart tightened from these conflicting thoughts. I had no power... no say in this country's course of action. I could do nothing to stop or save Seryanna from ending up accused as a traitor or even sentenced to death.
As we stepped inside Brekkar's Inn, we were greeted by two soldiers wearing typical chainmail armor and carrying a sheathed short sword at their waist.
“Are you the one who goes by the name of Alkelios?” one of them asked.
“Erm... Maybe?” I replied.
“Answer with yes or no.” he glared at me.
“What's this about?” Kataryna asked calmly.
“We have receive orders to bring a message to the one named Alkelios.” declared the other soldier.
“Alright, yes, I'm Alkelios... What's the message?” I asked letting out a sigh.
“You are summoned at the Palace together with Kataryna Greorg and Thrarher... Tahar... The young lady of the Draketerus family. You are to present yourself at the gates tomorrow as soon as the Sun has risen. That is all.” he said, butchering Kleo's name.
“It's Thraherkleyoseya, you dolts.” the girl glared at them.
“My apologies.” he said, but didn't seem to take it as an offense.
“Who summoned us exactly?” I asked since according to those the details, the person in question could have even been the Palace toilet scrubber.
“You are being summoned by Milord Draejan Andrakaryus Doesya!” he declared proudly.
Ah, not the toilet scrubber, but close enough... great. I thought.
So far, my impression of this dragon wasn't a very positive one. From what I heard, he was making a total mess of Brekkar's Army and even organized a tournament which role was to further make a mess out of it.
I let out a sigh and then nodded.
“I think I will decline.” I said with smile.
“What? How can you decline Milord's summon? Are you mad?” he asked.
“Erm... but I don't know any whatever his name is.” I shrugged.
“If you dare disrespect Milord's name, I will have no choice but to skewer you!” he declared.
“Would that be alright if... let's say, I really am his guest?” I asked with a smile.
“Urk...” the dragon stopped and sheathed his sword.
“Very well... Milord foresaw such a possibility, so in case it happened, he ordered us to tell you that Sir Seryanna's honor is at stake. If you do not wish to spit on her name as well, you better accept the summon.” he said with a smirk.
I squinted my eyes at him and just as I was about to move, I felt a strong grip on my right shoulder. Looking back, I saw Kataryna who stopped me.
“We'll be there.” she said in my stead.
“Very well.” he nodded.
“But do tell that whatever his name is. If I find out this summon is a joke, I will make sure that he will PAY dearly for this... rudeness.” the dragoness declared with a cold glare in her eyes.
Before the soldiers had a chance to retort anything, they were shivering from the cold air that surrounded them.
“W-We will...” the soldiers said.
“Good.” she smiled and let them go.
After they were gone, I let out a deep sigh.
“It was good you stopped me...” I said.
“You would have acted like a child, Alkelios. I know you care about Seryanna, but you don't have any strength to back you up. You would need to at least have reach the Breakthrough point to be taken into consideration.” she showed me a smile and hugged me from behind. “But don't worry, I won't let anyone take a bite out of you... if anyone, that should be me.” she giggled, but instead of feeling relieved, I felt a chill running down my spine.
What she meant by 'taking a bite' was by no means in a pleasing manner, she was referring to actually... harming me.
Maybe that's just my imagination? I wondered.
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!
Today I posted 17670 words... And I'm not even halfway there?! O_O Why does posting this takes LONGER than actually writing it?! *author cries*
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