~ Chapter 96: The Nundaba Ritual (Part 4) ~
“You killed him... why?” I asked.
“He was evil... even by a Human Hero's standards. He tried to bring chaos to Albeyater.”
“I see... Then, what do you feel about Alkelios?” I asked curious about how such different species could be together.
This question was more of a personal curiosity of mine because of my wife.
“I love him.” she replied as simple as possible.
“The fact that he's a human doesn't bother you?” I asked.
“Me? At the beginning but then it passed. Alkelios, on the other hand, was bothered by it for a while. Human Heroes have... different morals, beliefs... and common sense.” she explained.
“Different morals, beliefs, and common sense. Interesting. Where is he now?”
“I don't know... The other Human Hero... he said he sent him away through time and space. I'm waiting for him. He's my husband, the dragon I love...”
There was something that surprised me when she said those words. Sir Seryanna didn't see this Alkelios fellow as a human as much as she did a dragon. For a proud and powerful dragoness like her to see this human with such high regard impressed me.
“Thank you, Sir Seryanna. I will leave you to it.” I said as I moved towards the door.
“Why did I answer so easily?” she asked.
“You are tired, and this place... it's not a good place to lie, you know?” I replied with a wry smile.
As I got out of the room, I was touched by the cool air from outside.
“Your Majesty, how was it?” I was questioned by the High Priest.
“It was interesting... I got what I wanted from her, so I will move on to Sir Kataryna.” I nodded.
The other dragoness was in the Room of Prayer in the Temple of the God of Earth. Just as the name suggested, it was a room where a believer could connect themselves to the element of this god.
For this place, my regular armor was good enough. Once I got changed, I stepped inside.
Tall stalagmites and stalactites welcomed me with a choir of drops of water. An endless echo bounced off the stone walls. The pressure of the air here was strange, but the temperature was at normal values.
There, at the center of the room, I saw the silver-scaled dragoness reading the prayer to the God of Earth. It didn't look like two days had passed for her. The toga she was wearing captivated her natural beauty, but it was kept clean, undisturbed.
“Sir Kataryna?” I asked.
My voice echoed with a loud ringing that forced me to cover my ears.
Bloody bats on a turquoise sandwich! I cursed as I clenched my jaw and waited for the sound to vanish.
“Ssh. Here, the sound is so loud you can hear your heartbeat.” the dragoness told me, yet her voice barely echoed.
“I... I'll try.” even when whispering it felt very loud.
“Why are you here?” she asked as she closed the book and looked into my eyes with a cold gaze that froze my very soul.
I gulped “It's part of the Nundaba Ritual. I must visit you all as the acting ruler of Trindania.” I said.
“I see. Very well.” she nodded.
“So... a question. What do you think of our continent so far?”
“Of this place? Hm... weak, boring, slightly dangerous? It isn't that bad. Maybe... maybe not?” she said and then shrugged.
Just like the other dragoness, this one was also completely honest with me.
“Then... what do you think of Alkelios?” I narrowed my eyes.
“Seryanna's husband? I love him.” I she replied bluntly.
“What?” I blinked surprised.
This was another answer I had not expected and nearly raised my voice because of it.
“Erm... You love him? As in a friend?”
“As a lover. I want to carry his egg.”
“Erm...” the brutal honesty of this dragoness put me at a loss of words.
“This love, however, I cannot share it... He belongs to Seryanna. Me... I'm just passing by.” she showed me a wry smile.
The sound of her voice was filled with a strange sadness. It made me feel pity.
Is she not confident that she would receive this love in return? I wondered and then I remembered something my wife asked me when I was unsure of whether or not I should ask her to marry me.
“Sir Kataryna, you say you love this man, correct?”
“Yes.” she nodded.
“Then, what are you afraid to lose if you choose to share your love with him?”
“Afraid to lose? I...” she stopped and looked down, she furrowed her brow.
“Do you think Sir Seryanna will push you away? Do you think he won't love you back?” I asked.
“I...” she looked at me as if she was in a trance.
Maybe up until now she never thought about this. If she didn't partake in this Nandaba Ritual she most likely would have never thought about it either. I told myself as I rubbed my beard.
“Maybe it's their friendship altogether?” I asked.
She shook her head.
“No... I'm afraid to lose my love for my past lover.” she replied.
Oh boy... that's again... unexpected. I thought.
“Would your past lover have wanted to see you alone for the rest of your life while keeping his love in your heart? I'm not saying to forget him, but no man would wish for his lover to remain alone after they passed away. At least, no man who is worthy of being called a man. I ain't afraid to allow my wife to find happiness after I am long gone. Sure, I wish to be mourned, but I prefer her smile rather than her tears.” I said with a smile.
Sir Kataryna took in every word that I said, but I couldn't tell if it made a difference or not. So far, I gathered that these dragonesses weren't bad folk. They definitely kept their words and focused on the ritual without trying to cheat or anything. This state of mind of theirs was the proof of that.
“Just think about what I said, maybe it'll help you. Unfortunately, I can't stay for any longer.” I said and then walked to the door.
The fact that they held a Human Hero in such a high regard also showed that we as dwarfs might not end up being oppressed by them if given the chance. We look quite similar to humans, and there are many Human Heroes among us now. I wouldn't want to sign an agreement through which I gained the favor of the dragons but had to abandon the favor of my own people.
After I stepped out of the room, a priest closed the door behind me and the High Priest walked up to me.
“How was it, your Majesty?” he asked.
I showed him a smile and then replied “They followed the ritual as promised. They do not belittle our Empire and they do not lift it in high regard. They hold the same worries as us dwarfs do, and for what it may be worth, I cannot see them as foes.”
“That's wonderful news, your Majesty!” he nodded and then showed me a smile.
“When I came here, I saw her Highness sitting on the Soul Platform and chanting the prayer faithfully. Has she stopped?” I asked.
“No.” he shook his head.
“Alright, then I won't bother her. I will return to the Palace now.” I nodded.
“Is it alright not to question her as well?” he asked me.
“Yes. The Nundaba Ritual tests her endurance and pride as a noble. A selfish fellow would not have agreed to go with it until the end, and someone like that would have no place at my negotiations table. Even if the subjects are good, if the leader is worthless, the whole group will fail.” I said with a nod.
“It is as you say, your Majesty.” the High Priest bowed before me.
After speaking with those two, I ended up being even more curious about this Alkelios fellow. Maybe sometime in the future, I would get to meet this Human Hero who captured the hearts of two powerful dragonesses.
The most difficult part of the Nundaba Ritual was now over and even if they didn't last the entire third day, they could still be considered as having passed. Nonetheless, it would be wise if I didn't tell the other tribe leaders what questions I asked those two. They would have seen them as foolish, but it didn't matter what they wanted to find out from them, it mattered what I wanted to find out for them, and that was the fact that they were not the monsters many made them out to be.
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!
This is the first chapter after my break! 😀
Well, this is it! The new Volume of the 100 Luck series! This one will be entitled: Do Dragons go on Adventures?
I hope you will enjoy it and aren't too upset with the delay. This is a very troublesome volume, as I had stated before, and there's a chance I'll be posting slower because of this. I don't want to make a mess of the timeline and plotline. 🙂
Author needs help!
You probably noticed the links to My Books and topwebfiction website. Well, I wish for more people to know about my work, and this way help me reach my dream of becoming a full-time writer. If you want to help me and my work, please give these stories their weekly vote and write a Review if you can on their info page (no one-liners please).
Thank you! 🙂
Check out my published books!
Read the first chapters!
An innocent project
Fan Fiction Stories inspired from various games or stories.
I am grateful for any and all of your support! Thank you!