~ Chapter 71: The reason behind everything (Part 2) ~
I never told master Draejan about this skill of mine. It was a secret and also my Ace in the sleeve in case anything unexpected happened, after all, even he couldn't win against several dungeon bosses who attacked him at the same time.
For now, I was watching over their fight while also planning how I was going to take out the winner. After all, getting out of the slavery collar wasn't such a hard task anymore. The only reason I kept it on was because I still needed Draejan to kill or at the very least weaken Alkelios enough for me to land the finishing blow.
It wasn't going to be long now... At the rate things were going, I would soon make my move and then... nothing was going to stop me from going to the Human Continent and raising a force powerful enough to exterminate the dragon species. The riches I had gained from my exploits here on the Dragon Continent would surely allow me to achieve my goals. After all, master Draejan ordered me to bring back any useful items, but what one understood by useful could be interpreted in various ways.
As they say: one person's trash is another person's treasure.
Huh? Did he just use a skill to create illusion clones of himself? I thought when I noticed several of them flying my way.
[Alkelios' point of view]
The battle was finally over.
Draejan had fallen and his army was pushing for a retreat now that all of their Breakthrough-ers had been slain. The one who had the toughest battle was probably Kataryna, who had to deal with two of them on her own, but thanks to my armor and weapon, she came out victorious.
Thinking about it, maybe even Legendary rank armor and weapons would have been enough, but unlike the Godlike ones, they would have had far worse side effects from using their powers. They were also attuned to their elements and skills.
When I began to forge them, I was a bit hesitant as to whether or not I should consume so many precious materials, but in the end, I was glad I wasn't greedy and instead poured everything I had in them. Right now, I probably only had enough to make a pair of gauntlets of Godlike Rank, but after this war, I would have enough time to go grinding for materials.
Looking at the fleeing enemy army, I noticed that their numbers have been reduced by more than half. All of their commanders laid dead on the ground, and a lot of the participating nobles surrendered.
All that's left now is to do the cleanup. I thought as I descended to the ground.
I landed at about 20 meters away from where Draejan crashed and approached him while keeping my guard up. Who knew what sort of tricks he had laying in wait?
“K-Kill me...” he groaned.
I stopped and looked at him.
The cut off wing was several meters away from him. Red blood was flowing out from his wounds, he was spitting blood from the internal damage I had caused him. A normal human would have been dead, without a doubt, but he wasn't a human, he was a dragon. Even so, without proper healing, he was certain to go to the other side in an hour or two.
The Legendary Rank sword he used to fight me with was far from here, stuck in the boulder on which it landed tip first. The Legendary Rank armor he was wearing wasn't emanating even a single spec of Magic Energy now, and it was nothing more than metal junk. The enchants were gone, and the crystals used to store Life Force had been shattered.
Because of the way he had used his gear, Draejan couldn't even move a single finger now. I wanted to, I could kill him with utmost ease, but I didn't.
“No.” I told him and then searched him for any other dangerous items, but I could only find a small dagger of Master Rank and two [Purse] rings. I took them off just in case. “No necklace?” I asked.
“Keh... Plundering a dead dragon's body? Have you no shame?” he spat.
“I'm not plundering, I'm making sure you can't fight back.” I said and checked again.
This time I noticed a small ring around his left horn. With a quick appraisal, I found out that it had a telepathic ability, but it was inactive now.
“What are you going to do with me?” he asked with a groan.
“Not kill you for starters.” I replied and then took out a red potion from my [Black Hole]. “Drink this. It's a healing potion.” I told him.
Draejan opened his eyes in surprise.
“Are you letting me go?” he asked.
“No. But I can't have you dying or fainting on me now, can I?” I told him and then pushed the bottle against his lips. “Drink.” I ordered him.
He looked away and clenched his jaw.
I gave him a punch in his wound, causing him to spit out blood and open his mouth from the pain. I grabbed his jaw and forced it to stay open as I poured the liquid down his throat. A few drops went the wrong way at the end, and he started coughing.
“What did you make me drink?!” he questioned furiously.
“A healing potion that has the side effect of numbing your body from the neck down. You'll be able to stand up, but your strength won't be any different from that of a dragon of Power Number 10 or below.” I told him as I took out a rope.
“What?” he glared at me, but the effects of the numbing agent were already showing.
After I tied his hands at his back, I lifted him off the ground and then pulled him towards the Queen's camp while keeping my hand on his shoulder. The teleporting human's power only worked if Draejan wasn't touching anyone else, and I was half certain of this because he was never teleported away after I managed to land a clean strike on him, only before or after.
A few minutes later, we arrived at the camp. When the soldiers saw his face, they started booing and cursing him, calling him him names and casting hateful glares at him.
And these were the only non-colorful ones. Yet, no matter what they were tossing out at him, Draejan didn't even flinch, he kept walking as though he was merely listening to the wind and not a mob of angry dragons.
By the time we arrived in front of the Queen, Feryumstark and my friends were already by her side.
“Kuku. So all of you bastards have joined up to see my demise?” he asked with a smirk and then looked back at me “Is this why you brought me here? To give me a public execution in front of them?” he asked.
I didn't listen to him and simply told the Queen “Your Majesty, I have captured the leader of the enemy army.” I made a bow before them and forced Draejan on his knees as well.
“You have done well, Duke Yatagai.” Elliessara said with a nod and then looked at two of her royal guards. “Hold that traitor down.” she ordered them.
The dragons nodded and secured Draejan in place, allowing me to walk over to the other side and act from now as a simple witness to his judgment.
“Before we proceed, I would like to ask... Why did you do all of this, Draejan? As your grandparents, we are entitled to know, so speak!” Feryumstark ordered him.
“Hahaha! Grandparents?! You two?! Yes, maybe we are connected by blood, but that isn't worth a straw of grass to me!” he spat at the King's feet and glared at him.
“What made you think this way?” the dragon asked.
I could see that this wasn't easy for them, even if they put up a strong front. In the end, Draejan was their grandson, and I had already seen how much they cared about their family. I was also curious about why he turned out like this. Inside my heart, I feared that I was to blame as well for this dark change of his.
“Let me make one thing clear, grandfather...” he said in a tone of mockery towards the one in front of him “I've been planning this little war ever since I was twelve. It's not something that came up all of a sudden after I had bad dream. Do you really think I could have even gathered an army of 364000 dragons in such a short time?” he laughed. “This army has been building up steadily for the past twenty years...” he said and showed him a smirk “To be more precise, it gained strength from the moment I poisoned dear grandmother.” he laughed.
“What?” the King was shocked, and so was everyone else here.
With his authority within the palace, sneaking in the poison shouldn't have been so difficult, after all... by all accounts, Draejan was never thought of as someone who would dare to conspire against their Majesties. There were too many reason for him not to do so... his entire family from his mother's side, the fact that his entire career couldn't have gotten him closer than a general's role, the lack of nobility support or high improbability to grab the throne for himself, and there was also the fact that he had yet to become a Breakthrough-er. I thought, and just like everyone else here, I couldn't make heads or tails of what he wanted to achieve with this.
“You didn't hear? Let me say it again, the one who made it possible for the human assassin to sneak inside the palace was none other than myself! Rather, I was the one who came up with that plan in the first place. You see, those foolish humans kept believing that in our society the dragons were the ones who ruled not the dragonesses. Personally, I would have preferred if it was that way.” he looked with eyes filled with disgust at the Queen “Why shouldn't dragons be the ones to rule? After all, it was Feryumstark who raised the army when he founded Albeyater.”
“Foolish whelp! Watch your tongue or else...” the King growled as he used his Authority element to cast a mental pressure on Draejan.
“Keh... Or what? You're going to kill me?” he showed him a smirk although he struggled to raise his gaze from the ground.
I don't think I can use my Authority in this way... I thought as I witness a true master at play.
“You are not even going to beg for your life?” Elliessara asked in a calm tone of voice.
“Beg? HA! What for? Not like it will change my fate. I have nothing to win and nothing to lose.” Draejan scoffed.
Releasing the pressure of his presence, Feryumstark let out a sigh and shook his head.
“Hahaha!” Draejan laughed and fell back on his behind. He raised his gaze towards the sky and then spoke in a changed tone of voice. “When I was twelve...” he began to reminisce about his past, and their Majesty allowed it “I followed mother on a trip to one of the border towns... It's gone now, burned down during the invasion forty years ago... I met there the one the humans called 'Hero', an Awakened, a Breakthrough-er, whatever you want to call him. He's the one General Brekkar killed on the battlefield.”
“That fellow? Hm, he was strong.” the old dragon commented as he knitted his brows.
“Yeah, he was strong... He also mistook me for a human child back then. Maybe if he knew I was a dragon, he wouldn't have ever talked with me. Maybe luck was on my side? Hahaha!” after he stopped laughing he kept looking up and continued to speak after a short pause “He told me about the beauty of war and surprisingly... the fact that he didn't hate draconians. In fact, he was grateful to us because through our confrontations, he was able to reach his current Power Number.”
“What was his Power Number?” Feryumstark asked.
“I have no idea, but it was high... Higher than what I have... well, had.” he looked back at his Majesty “That man also taught me that war means strength and peace means weakness... You see, I kept in touch with him afterwards. One letter every few months or so was more than enough for me to learn the things my father and mother would have never told me. He spoke about how vast the world was and how our own isolation was akin to a sin.”
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.
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