~ Side Story: The Knight Master's sins (Part 3) ~
Although I was old, I was far from turning senile. If Sir Seryanna had indeed found something valuable, I would have been one of the first dragons to know. If it was a weapon, then she would have asked my opinion on how to properly wield it. Her friend, Dregarya, would have also sniffed it out and the ruckus she would have made would have been enough to alert my eyes within the Palace.
No matter how hard I struggled to understand this matter, I couldn't wrap my mind around it, but then his Majesty spoke that name.
“Huh?” I blinked surprised.
How is that boy a gem? I wondered as I was now even more confused.
“Sigh, it appears that old age has indeed gotten a hold of your wits.” his Majesty turned around and shook his head.
“I beg your pardon, but he was just a human peasant who almost got killed by Draejan and...” I was unable to finish my words as the King's fingers were wrapped around my neck and I was lifted off the floor with one hand. “Ugh... your Majesty?” I asked as I struggled in his grasp, but freeing myself from it was like struggling to pry open the jaws of a giant river lizard.
“The very fact that this human came here together with Sir Seryanna should have told you that there was something special about him. I mean even I know of how deep her hate ran for their kind, yet from what I was told this dragoness showed a smile she never did for the past 38 years.” he told me.
“I still d-don't understand, your Majesty.” I said as I was now holding onto his hand rather than trying to open it.
“Although I'm currently staying by my wife's side more than I do in the public eye, this does not mean that I have grown deaf and blind, Teolas.” he glared at me.
“D-Does this have anything to do with Draejan?” I asked.
“Everything.” he glared, and I could feel his claws piercing my skin.
“GAH!” I cried out in pain.
“He dared to claim full ownership of Brekkar's Army, although I had intended only to lend it to him temporarily. He forced the granddaughter of my friend into an engagement she never desired and despised from the bottom of her heart, but most importantly, he nearly killed the human she brought along.” he summarized it for me, but I feared that the most important part was that last bit.
“W-Why is that human so i-important, your Majesty?” I asked.
“Why?” he narrowed his eyes at me and the pressure of his presence increased to the point where I felt as though every breath of air I took was going to be my last.
Just because he managed to get in Sir Seryanna's bed or become friends with Kataryna Greorg shouldn't have made him important enough for the King of Albeyater to make a move. No, it was ridiculous for him to make a move for a human, he barely did so for a dragon. Even when Brekkar was announced to suffer from the [Berserker's Burst] he still didn't give out the order to find a cure for him.
There were some who said that Brekkar himself asked him not to waste the country's resources on a dying old dragon like him, but that had to be a lie. The Albeyater Kingdom was certainly shown to have suffered from the loss of a great general like him.
“Maybe your eye have gone blind, you old lizard.” said his Majesty as he finally released me from his grasp.
I fell down on the floor and felt too weak to even try to stand up. I was gasping for air shaking from every join, half of it was from the fear that I have somehow wronged his Majesty and the other was from his very presence.
“I-It's possible... y-your Majesty, but... m-may I ask? W-What is it that your Majesty saw in that human that I didn't?” I asked as I drew out every spec of strength I had left in me not to faint.
His Majesty walked up to the window once more and released his pressure that was pinning me down to the floor.
“Courage. Passion. Determination. The strength to fight against the impossible...” he stopped and then looked back at me “And the opportunity to make my wife's dream come true.”
“The Queen's dream? An alliance... with the humans? An end to the Great War?” I asked as my eyes grew so big they almost popped out of their sockets.
If that human could bring our nation to that outlandish future, then I could see why the King treasured him so much. Even to the general population of Albeyater, the Queen's dream was far more important than that of the King's. After all, we were a matriarchal society at our core, despite the fact that recently the Prime Minister Elovius took up most of the Queen's work.
“Your Majesty, I understand now why you would wish to keep this Alkelios Yatagai within your reach, although I fail to see how he will be of any use in this regard. However, may I ask what have I done wrong to earn your Majesty's spite?” I asked and then knelt before him.
“You fail to see how he will be of use? Let me clear that up for you. First of all, he's one of the few humans who fell in love with a dragoness. Second of all, that dragoness up till now was known to be a human hater. Third of all, she holds a fairly high political influence within the Draketerus Ducal Family despite she herself not being aware of it. Sir Seryanna, at the end of the day, is the last remaining matriarch of her family. The scorched lands of Scar Battlefield are still her domain.” he explained.
Now I see why Draejan wanted so badly to take Sir Seryanna as his bride. By doing this, he would have access to both the Brekkar Army and the Scar Battlefield, which he could then develop as he pleased. Not only that, but he could use her influence as his own. After all, the words of the Matriarch are far more important than those of her husbands. I thought as I it all began to pieced together in my mind.
His movements were strategic, but within this age of uncertainty and great turmoil, they appeared as invisible.
“Just imagine what would happen if Albeyater announced the marriage between the Matriarch of a Ducal Family and a Human with no status or rank on the Human Continent.” he told me.
“The rumors spread by the upper echelons in the human society would lose their credibility. Up until now, they have depicted us as nothing but rampaging monster incapable of feeling love and affection.” I said.
“Exactly. From there to actually establishing an alliance treaty with one of the foreign nations, such as Ten Swords Kingdom for example, it's not that much of a far fetched dream.”
“But something like this can only happen if Alkelios succeeds on both the political and military battlefield.” I pointed out.
“I'm certain we can find good teachers for him if he doesn't make a mark on his own by then. As for what you have wronged me with... no, Albeyater. Well, you almost chased away this irreplaceable asset.” he told me as he narrowed his eyes at me.
I felt a knot in my throat and gulped on empty air.
“The duel... I should have stopped it.” I said.
“Indeed. You should have realized that something was wrong, that an ordinary human cannot just appear within the Seyendraugher Palace like that. You should have been the first one to question who he was and why he was there, but instead you thought about him as useless as an insect. If Kataryna Greorg and Sir Seryanna had not reached the arena in time, then the boy would have died, right?” he asked.
Draejan at that time was intent on either severely mutilating him or killing him. The fact that those two arrived then and there was his best stroke of luck. It was as if the heavens themselves twisted the laws of this world just so that he can have another chance at life.
“Alkelios probably isn't even aware of how close to death he was back then, but leaving aside my Queen's dream, if he died, then right now, our war would have been against Kataryna Greorg and even Brekkar Draketerus himself.” his Majesty declared.
“What? Why Brekkar?” I asked surprised.
“Because Alkelios is the one who cured him of the [Berserker's Burst], and I don't need to tell you how that dragon feels about life debts.” he explained.
Upon hearing this unfathomable tale, I felt my blood draining from my face and my knees getting weak.
I had lived for more than seven centuries now and witnessed more things than I could count, yet I couldn't even begin to understand what sort of entity this Alkelios Yatagai was. It would be best to simply describe him as a walking natural disaster that twisted and changed the fates of all those he came in contact with.
Did this human boy earn the favor of the Gods to hold such power? I wondered.
“Do you understand now with what you have sinned?” I was asked.
“Barely, your Majesty, but I can only ask how can I atone for my mistakes?” I asked and lowered my head until my forehead touched the floor.
“Go to the Doesya family. Talk with my daughter and her husband. See what they know of Sir Draejan and find out if they are plotting anything against me. In case they are, I could hardly believe that daughter of mine can be capable of something like this, so there must be someone manipulating her from the shadows, feeding her thoughts of madness. Find out who that individual or organization is. Uncover all the dirt on the Doesya you can find, and I want you to compile for me a list with every single ally and acquaintance Sir Draejan has. Do you understand what your mission is, Sir Teolas Draegan?” he ordered in a firm and powerful tone of voice.
“Yes, your Majesty. This humble servant of yours understands and will proceed immediately.” I replied with my forehead still touching the floor.
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!
Technically, this should have been the second Side Story, but as luck would have it, I was unable to finish the first one, and since this one is easier... well... better than no post, right?
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