~ Chapter 50: Proof of my resolve (Part 1) ~
[Alkelios' point of view]
Kataryna's lessons and words that night were ones I wasn't going to forget any time too soon. They were spoken through tears and smiles, but also with a wisdom gathered throughout centuries. If it wasn't for that, I might have had a hard time believing her.
When we returned to the city, Kataryna lent me a few coins to pay for another week at Brekkar's Inn... in another room, seeing how she destroyed the previous one. I also had enough there to buy myself some new cloths and take a bath. As for the rest of my equipment, including a [Purse] ring and camp supplies, she was going to take care of them.
Because of our battle, most of the dragons and even the guards were keeping their distance from us. I felt bad about making a mess of so many buildings, but Kataryna assured me the Third Princess would see to it that they were all reimbursed properly, especially the owners of Brekkar's Inn.
The silver-scaled dragoness escorted me all the way to the street where the inn was located on, but then she made a U turn and left. When I called out to her, she excused herself by saying that she didn't like the ominous feeling the inn was giving off. I didn't feel anything of that sort.
The wreckage outside was mostly cleaned up, so I stepped inside with the thought of first apologizing to the owners for the disturbance I had caused even if I had a good excuse for it. As a friend of Brekkar and his family, it was unsightly of me to behave that way.
Upon seeing my ragged up and beaten state, Collentra took a good look at me from head to toe and then politely asked “Have you sobered up now?”
“Yes, I apologize for my unsightly behavior.” I bowed my head.
“Good. If it wasn't for Kataryna, I might have been the one to go up there and slap you to the other side of Drakaria!” she squinted her eyes at me.
“I appreciate your intention to help me, but I can assure you Kataryna punched me throughout the WHOLE of Drakaria.” I showed her a wry smile.
“Did you deserve it?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
I looked down and closed my eyes “Yes.”
Collentra walked up to me and tapped me on my left cheek. When I opened my eyes, she was showing me a gentle smile.
“I may not know what happened to you when all of you went to the palace back then, but I do know something. I had NEVER seen either Seryanna or Kleo look so bright and happy ever since that day 38 years ago when Brekkar brought them over. After their parents died, they never were the same.” she shook her head and sighed “It doesn't take a genius to realize that you were behind their smiles.”
“Even if the one who brought those smiles was a human?” I asked.
She smiled “More so because this means our King was right, and there's still hope for your species... You may very well be the embodiment of that hope. Well, that's probably asking a bit too much of you right now, but at the very least... don't give up on those two girls. If you can still be their friend and help them in their time of need, do so.”
She tapped my cheek and then returned to sweeping.
“Also, tell that silver-scaled dragoness that I'm not letting her off that easily for breaking my home!” she said.
I smiled and replied “I will, but first... I need a bath.” I laughed.
“Thank the gods he noticed it!” Bayuk said as he raised his hands to the sky.
“Hey! I don't stink that bad!” I pointed a finger at him.
“Indeed! You could kill a whole herd of sheep with that stench of yours! I'll give you a bath on the house just go get yourself cleaned up!” he retorted.
“Yes, mister Bayuk... and thank you!” I made a small bow to him.
A week later, when the sun was going down, I met up with Kataryna and Kleo inside my room at the inn. For some reasons I didn't know, the silver-scaled dragoness was grumbling something about a waitress uniform, while the black-scaled goth one was abstaining from laughing.
We first looked through everything Kataryna brought for my long journey ahead. I had to spend a few months in the Seculiar Forest, and no matter how high my Luck was, I learned that simply relying on it wasn't going to get me to the finish line every time. Actually, it had some very nasty flaws and possible side-effects whenever I forced it. As such, I had to look at my current situation as though I barely had any Luck at all.
The ring Kataryna brought wasn't as excellent as her own, but it could held about the same amount of items as the one Seryanna used when we first met. She also brought me a few bags as well for any sort of materials or plants that couldn't last inside it.
Once everything was set and ready, I explained the rest of the plan and how I was going to attempt the breaking and entering inside the most secured and well-guarded building in the entire Albeyater Kingdom.
“That's insane...” Kleo expressed her opinion.
“My first plan included borrowing Seryanna's pet squirrel and having you summon all sorts of fiends from the underworld, but I figured bringing forth the Apocalypse was a tad bit too much for this.” I shrugged.
Kataryna laughed when she heard this.
“Yeah... that would have been too much.” the black-scaled dragoness looked back at me with a raised eyebrow. “The Four Horsemen are just a myth, there are actually over 500 of them... and expensive. Greedy bastards...” she then added.
Apparently my joke had a seed of truth in it.
“Then once you are done talking with Seryanna, you'll return here?” Kataryna asked.
“Yes. I will then fly together with you two back to the edge of the Seculiar Forest.” I said.
“Fly?” Kleo asked.
“Your beast form is faster than a typical Khosinni, and you can go there on a straight line.” I pointed out.
“Is that so? A human riding on the back of a dragon... That will be... unheard of.” giggled Kataryna.
“Well, what do you think?” I asked with a smirk.
“It's good, but you are forgetting one thing.” she pointed out.
I blinked surprised.
“This.” she then handed me a letter with the emblem of the Third Princess on the red wax seal.
“Is that...?” I asked.
“Yes. The Princess wrote it and sealed it in my presence, so you can rest assured that it's authentic.” she nodded.
“Great! Then this means I only need to get now something to prove that I am Brekkar's friend.” I said with a big smile on my face.
“I have that one. Here.” Kleo said and then handed over another sealed letter, but this one held the emblem of the Draketerus family.
“When did you get this?” I asked as I carefully received it.
“When we left Tomeron, grandpa gave it to me and told me to hand it over to you if you were ever going to visit the King.” she smiled proudly.
“I see... Thank you.” I nodded.
“Alkelios, I have a feeling even now you don't understand what it means to have healed grandfather and also to have become our friend...” she showed me a soft smile.
“Is it about the battle from 38 years ago?” I asked.
“What you have in your hand... is basically the proof that two of the families who have been heavily struck down by humans have put their entire faith within you.” she said in serious tone of voice.
“Remember her words when you meet with Seryanna, Alkelios. You are not someone who should think lightly of himself. In my eyes, you are already someone well on the road of becoming the most ridiculous individual on all of the known continents.” Kataryna said.
“And who would that be?” I asked.
“The human hero of the dragons who rule Albeyater Kingdom.” she smirked.
I gulped and even though I was short of a few achievements, I didn't feel like it was such an off-shot prediction.
[Three hours and 24 minutes later]
In the middle of the night, when every dragon was asleep, I opened the window of my room. I closed my eyes and then took a deep breath to calm down my heart.
With a calm mind and with every fiber of my being, I thought I wish to be able to reach Seryanna's room at the Palace tonight without having a single dragon spot me as I head there. I wish that when I reach her room, I will find her there. I wish to succeed in the goals that I had set for myself tonight.
Any wrong move from now on could land me in jail or get me killed on the spot. What I was about to do was risky, stupid, and unthinkable for the common dragon, but for me... this was my only shot.
I wasn't doing this for a country. I wasn't doing this to save Earth. I wasn't doing this because I was ordered to. I was going to do this because I fell in love with a redhead dragoness. That was all...
Thus, I climbed out the window and jumped down into the alley bellow. With a speed far surpassing that of a human, I began to ran through the buildings, staying only in the darkness of the shadows.
For tonight, I wore black clothes, with a black cloak and a hood to hide me better as I moved along. Just in case, I also wore a pair of black leather gloves, to avoid getting pricked or cut. At that time, it didn't occur to me that thanks to my stats, this sort of thing would have been near impossible.
Thanks to the information those two dragonesses had provided me with, avoiding the guards on the ground and hiding from those up in the sky wasn't going to be such a difficult thing.
Even so, there were moments when I waited for several minutes in the shadows before I was able to advance, but little by little I arrived at the walls surrounding the palace. On top of them, the patrols were made out of Royal Guards instead of City Guards. They were different in both skill and strength, with the former being the elites of the latter. Half of these groups moved clockwise on top of the walls, while the other half counterclockwise.
Using my strength and agility, I climbed swiftly all the way to the top and waited there for a bit until two patrols past by each other. At that time, I jumped over and dropped down in a bush on the other side of the wall. There, I waited for a few minutes before I advanced again.
All those bushes and statues were perfect for me to hide behind and slip through unnoticed. The number of patrols here was also smaller than the ones on top of the walls, showing that they focused more on keeping intruders out than trying to spot those that may have gotten through. As such, I safely reached the palace. From where I was to Seryanna's room, it wasn't that far, but I couldn't afford to let my guard down now.
With a good timing and always on the watch, I managed to get through and finally reach her window, which I opened with ease since it wasn't locked from the inside. This marked the ending of the first stage: breaking and entering the Royal Palace at night.
But, truth be told, although on the outside it was a smooth ride, on the inside I had more than one moment when I almost panicked and prayed like a maniac to not be spotted by the guards. The biggest danger for me were the air patrols, which although smaller in number, they had a top down view of the whole area.
Despite the danger and doing something that many would have thought both impossible and crazy, I was finally able to reach this place, and before me, I saw the one I wanted to meet with.
“Hey! Long time no see.” I said with a soft smile as I pulled down my hood.
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!
A small advice: if you are skipping through scenes and lines, you might find yourself later on wondering why my characters act in certain 'illogical' ways. 🙂 Every line they say or think is important.
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