~ Chapter 60: A day like no other (Part 1) ~
[Alkelios' point of view]
One week after I had met Queen Elliessara Seyendraugher of the Albeyater Kingdom, I found myself waiting in front of the large doors that led towards the Throne Room. The dragons managed to fix them nicely, and no signs of my forced entry could be seen anywhere. Well, given the importance of this room and also the fact that dragons had access to magic, it was highly unlikely that it was going to stay broken for too long. It was unaesthetic first of all, and second of all, the wrath of the Seyendraugher King and that of his Prime Minister wasn't something a worker would have wanted to bring upon himself.
I was wearing the armor I had used during my battle against Draejan. At my hips, I had Heaven and Hell sheathed in their individual enchanted scabbard. There were too guards in front of me, and both of them were wary of my presence. After all, last time we had the pleasure of crossing paths, they ended up flying across the room and staying unconscious for the most part of the day.
As for why I was standing here like this, the answer laid in the ceremony I was about to take part in. According to the custom, I had to wait here until I was called in. Like all those before me, I had to present myself while wearing my best armor and weapons, to look clean and presentable, and certainly not drunk or under the influence of any narcotics. Apparently they made this a clear rule after a certain dragon arrived late at this ceremony, half drunk, and also in his casual clothes. He still got the rank, but he was heavily scolded for this by most of the nobles present then at the ceremony.
Seryanna, Princess Elleyzabelle, and even the Queen herself made sure to remind me of this... several times. Speaking of which, after audience with her Majesty, I dropped by more often in order to prepare her the Cure-All tea and also to tell them about my adventures in the Seculiar Forest.
Feryumstark spat out his tea when he heard about the army of insect monsters that were marching towards Albeyater. Because it was too meddlesome, I told him that no further rewards or thanks were necessary. I just happened to be at the right time and place, but I was glad to hear they weren't allies or anything of the sort.
Unfortunately, given the dangers of the Seculiar Forest, there was no way to send a scouting party in the Northern Desert to bring back proof of my claims. I did show him, however, some armor pieces and a half broken weapon I had in my [Black Hole].
Besides the Queen and King, their two youngest children, the twins, also listened to my tales with great interest. They found themselves pulled in by the many battles I had and the things I managed to build. They always called me Great Hero, Human Hero, Dragon Hero, Brave Hero, but not even once did they use my actual name even though I asked them several time to do it. I had no problem in being called like that, but I didn't want the young prince and princess to grow up with a weird idea about me... or to expect more of me or turn me into some sort of ridiculous supernatural being who was nigh-omnipotent.
This ceremony I was about to attend to was one I was told about by the King himself, and the Queen agreed with it as well. Seeing how she was feeling much better, she wanted to find the perfect moment when she could show herself in public again, and what better opportunity to do so than the Ceremony of rise to Nobility of the one who saved her life?
The event was publicly announced exactly one week ago, and I heard that countless dragons and dragonesses were going to attend this ceremony. I for one knew not even a quarter of them, but after today, many of them will try to make my acquaintance.
On the other hand, I had a feeling everyone was buzzing inside with the sudden appearance of the Queen, which in result would also bring MORE attention on me. Hence why I decided to wear my best armor and weapons.
“Now enters Alkelios Yatagai!” shouted someone from the other side of the door, which began to open slowly.
I gulped and stood up straight. Even I wanted to go in looking my best.
Here goes nothing... I thought and then stepped forward.
Murmurs and curious eyes fell on me the moment I entered the room.
Unlike the time when the traitors were gathered up, today the whole room was filled with dragons and dragonesses as well as knights who formed a row to my left and right. The number of women far surpassed that of men, and the clothes they wore were all exquisite and representative of a refined taste. There were countless faces I couldn't recognize, but I didn't bother looking around. I stepped forward and led myself to the spot in front of the King and Queen where I had to kneel down. Doing anything else would have come as rude or disrespectful, and I wanted to avoid this possibility at all cost.
Still, in a way, I understood now why Feryumstark said this country had a matriarchal society where women dominated the political intrigue and the men flourished on the battlefield. All the dragonesses present in this room stood in front of the dragons, except for the royal couple, whose positions were symbolic. These women gave off an incredible pressure. Their gaze was only partially curious and more intrigued by my very existence. They were analyzing me, dissecting my character to find points of weakness or strength. To see if I was of more worth as an ally or as a foe. The dragons tried to do the same, but their presence was vastly overshadowed by the dragonesses. There wasn't even a point to compare the two.
When I stopped in front of their Majesties, I knelt on one knee and bowed my head in front of them. Silence covered the entire room, and everyone's attention was on us.
The King got up from his chair and took a step forward. His presence was imposing as always, making all those who looked at him understand their place in the food chain. The only one unaffected was the Queen, who just by being present here made the whole ceremony receive a whole new level of importance.
“Alkelios Yatagai, you have shown courage, intelligence, and determination when the fate of the Albeyater Kingdom was at balance. You have shown wisdom and understanding when my wife, Queen Elliessara Seyendraugher, was proven to have been poisoned by the traitors who sought to harm our Kingdom. You have shown strength and might worthy of a Breakthrough-er and an incredible devotion to the dragon kind when you yourself chose to become one of us! As the rightful ruler of the Albeyater Kingdom, I had come to the conclusion that it would be both unwise and unjust not to reward you for your achievements!” he declared in a powerful tone of voice, which echoed throughout the entire room.
While he spoke, everyone here listened to him carefully. No one even dared to make a single sound. I as well, paid attention to his words.
After he finished, Queen Elliessara got up from her seat and joined her husband's side.
“Alkelios Yatagai, you have done a great deal for Albeyater Kingdom. You have shown your worth not only to me but also to many important figures in this land. General Brekkar Draketerus, Sir Seryanna Draketerus, Lady Thraherkleyoseya Draketerus, Sir Kataryna Greorg, Prime Minister Elovius Seyendraugher, Princess Elleyzabelle Seyendraugher, and many others. Your desire to protect this kingdom has been shown on more than one occasion, and as my husband declared, they cannot go unrewarded.” she declared in a captivating tone of voice which let you know that she was the ruler here.
When looking at the two of them, you would normally think that the big imposing dragon was the one in charge of everything, but when they spoke, there was a clear difference between the two. Their presence held a different pressure as well.
“We have thought long and hard about what this reward should be. Seeing how you have no title or rank, we have decided to grant you one in accordance to your abilities, relationships, and achievements.” said the Queen.
“But before we announce which one it shall be, Alkelios Yatagai, raise your head and stand up straight!” declared the King.
“As you wish, your Majesty!” I replied and then got up from my kneeling position.
“Good! Now, I ask of you to make an oath here, in front of all these dragon and our gods above. Do you, Alkelios Yatagai, swear to protect and defend the Albeyater Kingdom from now on as though you would your own family?” Feryumstark asked.
“I swear to protect and defend the Albeyater Kingdom from now on as though it was my own family!” I replied in a firm tone of voice.
“Do you, Alkelios Yatagai, accept me and my wife as your King and Queen from henceforth, whose orders you will obey and whose laws you will reinforce?”
“I swear to accept Feryumstark Seyendraugher and Elliessara Seyendraugher as my King and Queen whose orders I obey and laws will reinforce!” I replied.
“Then from now on, you are not just Alkelios Yatagai, you shall be known as Duke Yatagai of the Albeyater Kingdom! In all you do from now on, may you bring glory to your King and Queen! May you bring glory to the Albeyater Kingdom!” declared King Feryumstark Seyendraugher in a powerful tone of voice which echoed throughout the room for all those present here to hear loud and clear.
“Thank you, your Majesties! I swear I will do everything I can to reinforce your laws and listen to your orders!” I made a bow at the waist.
“Then so be it!” declared the King.
I straightened myself and took a step back from them.
With this, the ceremony was over and everyone in the room began to whisper among themselves. Most of the dragonesses here seemed to have been shocked by the fact that I was made a Duke on the get go. Actually, even I was surprised. I was expecting a Baron, a Marquise, maybe even Viscount, but certainly not a Duke, which was a title one step under that of a Prince.
While the King and Queen returned to their respective thrones, several dragonesses approached me to congratulated me on becoming a Duke. Although I held no land to speak of, I was a Duke in title only and had more of a military role within the Kingdom. It wasn't like I minded, I wouldn't have had the time needed to properly administer the land either way, and I told their Majesties this very fact several times, pointing out that I had my mind set on traveling around the world and visiting other nations. While Albeyater Kingdom was going to be my home country from now on, there was no point in rooting myself to this place.
As for those who congratulated me, they were formal and openly showed their interest in my armor, weapons, and scale colors. I replied with the words the Queen herself thought me to say:
“A pleasure to meet you as well [Rank] [Family Name of the individual], but I apologize, for at this moment in time, I am unable to answer your questions. Maybe with another occasion perhaps? I would be delighted to chat more then.”
It was only a formal matter as the sheer number of nobles who stood in line to congratulate me wouldn't have allowed for any small talk to take place. Besides, behind me were two dragonesses with a short fuse, who gave a glare to anyone who tried to get too close or tried to prolong the conversation.
Once the formalities were over, I stepped out of the throne room together with Kataryna and Seryanna and then the three of us went to grab something to eat at Brekkar's Inn. Collentra and Bayuk were waiting for us with a hot meal, and little Askanti, their child, was taking a small nap in the back room.
“So what title were you given, Alkelios?” asked Collentra when she brought us three bowls of soup, one for each of us.
“I'm a Duke now.” I replied calmly after the food was placed on the table.
“A DUKE?!” she said raising the tone of her voice.
“I told you she would be surprised.” Kataryna smirked my way.
“My apologies, but just last year you had no rank in this Kingdom, more so... you were a human, then before I knew it, you became a dragon and now a duke! It's like you have the luck of the gods, Alkelios!” commented the dragoness as she shook her head.
“You don't know half of it.” Seryanna replied with small smirk.
“Well, in that case, I'm glad you keep coming to eat here, Alkelios! Having such big names visit our humble inn can only be good for business!” Collentra laughed.
“Of course! The food is good and the atmosphere's nice!” I said with a nod.
“Glad to hear that! Enjoy your meal then, you'll need it for this evening's main event!” she winked at me and then left.
“Well she is right about that. The day had just began and there's still that ceremony to go through.” said Kataryna.
“And how do you feel about that?” asked Seryanna as she took a peek at the silver-scaled dragoness.
“Ah, that's a good question! What do I feel about it?” Kataryna replied and leaned back in her chair. Looking up at the ceiling, she said “I don't mind it, and I am indeed happy for the two of you... As for myself, I don't really know what I'm feeling...” she shook her head and showed us a wry smile.
“Weren't you the one who claimed you wanted to have an egg with me?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“I did and I still want to.” she nodded.
“Strange words to say in front of his future wife.” Seryanna pointed out.
“Are you against it?” asked Kataryna.
Seryanna looked up at her and then replied “I'm against witnessing the act and if he wants to offer you an egg, I don't mind it... that much.” she squinted her eyes “I would honestly like to keep Alkelios all to myself and leave it that way.” she declared and then let out a sigh “But you... you I wouldn't mind as a sister-wife.” she showed Kataryna a smile.
The silver-scaled dragoness blinked surprised and then showed her a warm smile “I don't mind you keeping your claws on him all the time just as long as you give him to me from time to time.” she said.
“Of course. We can manage this, but...” Seryanna smiled “We'll see if you feel the same after I had my first egg with him. Once I have our egg, I can lend him to you if you still want him.” she said.
“Erm... Sorry to butt in on this apparently important conversation, but would you mind not talking about me as though I am some sort of 'toy' with no free will which you can pass from one to another with no reservation at all? Especially when the said 'toy' is standing right here between the two of you?” I asked them as subtly as I could.
“Oh, don't worry, Seryanna, I'll make sure not to break him! I'll bring him back clean!” Kataryna said with a giggle.
“Make sure to properly feed him too. I don't want him lacking the energy to please me afterwards.” said Seryanna with a wink.
The two the giggled.
“You are totally ignoring me and having fun with this, aren't you?” I asked squinting my eyes at Seryanna.
“What? Nonsense!” she giggled.
“You are laughing!” I pointed out.
“Relax, Alkelios, this is a matter between dragonesses.” Kataryna patted my shoulder.
“Yeah, about who drags me into bed first!” I squinted my eyes at her.
“Hey, this is a matriarchy, remember?” she winked back.
“Why you... FINE! If you want to play it that way, I have something to say about this as well!” I declared pointing at the ceiling.
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!
Seeing how things have been a bit hard for me lately, I will try and focus around posting only at the end of the week, during a Friday or Saturday(ish). I'm going to try the weekly chapter dump version of the schedule to see if this fits me better.
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 donations! Thank you!