Synopsis: The little lord is actually deeply in love
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The truth was, there were some benefits to Fruys leaving.
I could dedicate more time now to worry about the people around me — my little brother, for instance.
It was only just recently that I noticed how much he had grown up, and furthermore, it looked like he was a lot like me. He always spoke like he was waxing poetic.
He once said to me, “Brother, it seems like you are living each day waiting for the next, but the next day always comes not much differently than the previous did, so you are perpetually left waiting.”
Sounds really philosophical, right?
I felt that my little brother was a budding talent, and so I had him inherit my precious collection of 《The Poet Haider · Collected Across the World · Anthology Edition》.
Time passed slowly and leisurely like this for a year while our power stabilized even further.
One day, I returned to the fortress and found my mother and Anna in the reception hall.
Next to them was a thin, shriveled old lady dressed in a purple gown who my mother introduced as a witch. Apparently, she had appeared the year I was born, blessed me, and suggested that my parents name me “Adam.”
The Witch spoke: “My lord, I know I do not have long to live, but I can use my last moments to answer any three questions you wish. In return, I only ask that you grant me a small patch of ground to use as my grave.”
My first question was about what Fruys had fed me before he left, and she said that it was a dragon pearl: a dragon’s greatest treasure that they would never willingly give away apart from death. My case, she said, was very rare.
Next, I asked her what qualities dragon pearls bestowed.
The witch admitted that she did not know much. All she knew was that I would obtain half of Fruys’s lifespan, and I would gain increased defensive ability on par with the dragon race for as long as he lived. Once a dragon dies, all the abilities granted by the dragon pearl would disappear.
I hastily asked whether this would have any impact on Fruys.
She looked at me very calmly, and answered: “A dragon who has lost his dragon pearl will be rejected by his tribe. What you gain, is what he loses — only half of his lifespan will remain, and his strength will weaken similarly.
I heard myself mutter softly, barely audible: “…will I be able to wait for him?”
There was no response.
The old, wizened witch sitting on a chair had her eyes peacefully shut when I looked towards her.
She had already answered three questions, and reached the end point of her life’s journey.
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Unease lingered in my heart as I ordered my men to bury the witch.
In the end, I never asked Fruys what kind of circumstances had caused someone as powerful as him to become so injured that he was even forced to fly over the Sea of Death to Finanse.
I also never asked him what it was that he absolutely had to return to do—if it was something crucial or possibly dangerous, why did he leave behind his dragon pearl with me when it was so important to the dragon race?!
I had always assumed that I was a tiny little blip in Fruys’ life — after all, dragons had lifespans reaching several thousands of years. I did not even dare hope that he would ever return one day, but now, I suddenly discovered that I meant everything to him.
He had literally given me half of his life, and as long as he was alive, I would never die.
An expedition was organized under my command.
Using blueprints recorded in ancient books, I enlisted skilled craftsmen to construct manned flying battleships and enormous ships that could cross the Sea of Death.
My intent was obvious, and any chancellor that dared speak up a contrary opinion was promptly suppressed.
Seven months later, three large ships that could purportedly withstand the perilous journey towards the Icanomics Continent were finally fully constructed.
I prepared a thousand soldiers, and we set sail.
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We arrived at a small island twenty days later.
The scouting party we sent in advance reported that there was fresh water on the island, thus making it suitable for a midway supply station. Having arrived here, it indicated that we were halfway towards our destination.
The island also had the remains of towers and fortifications built in the past, and after listening to the scout report, I decided that we would establish a fortress here.
Everything up to this point had happened smoothly and according to plan, save for one thing I did not foresee: Andy’s betrayal.
He was one of the people I trusted the most; we had, after all, grown up together and shared the same joys and sorrows. I never thought that he would betray me. I had left behind all of my loyal aides in Finanse, and thus, everyone who had joined me on this voyage were his followers. Now that I thought about it, that was probably part of his scheme as well.
It must have been hard for him to embark on a risky journey after already conquering all of the Finanse Continent.
He said that I was bewitched by a devil and had lost my mind, to go to the Icanomics Continent like this — which was akin to taking people to death with me.
But perhaps because he was considerate of our past friendship, he did not take my life and instead chose to shut me in a tower on the island with some aides to guard me. Then he took command and returned back to Finanse bearing news that “the Lord suddenly fell ill and passed away during the journey.”
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However, one of the guards Andy left behind wanted to kill me.
I had no way of knowing whether this was incited by Andy or if it was his own idea, but it was probably because he believed that as long as I was alive, I would be a hindrance to Lord Andy. Thus, I must be killed.
He tried many different methods: from directly stabbing and hacking me with a sword, to poisoning me, to setting me on fire, and then drowning me…
And yet, I did not die. I could not.
I was still very calm, but he seemed like he was about to break. He looked at me like I was some kind of monster.
In the darkness of the night, I weighed my feelings in my heart and felt that perhaps, I was really now a monster like what people saw me to be.
But if they wanted to kill me, they had to use at least as much effort as if they were slaying a dragon — after all, there was a dragon living inside my heart, and I knew that he would protect me.
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Suddenly, I found myself being released by the guard’s aide.
When I looked at the man with slight mistrust, he told me that he owed me his life: back in that battle with Lord Morgan, he was the wounded soldier I shielded and sent back to recover. 1
“My lord, I’m sorry for my incompetence,” he apologized, but he managed to find a small boat filled with essential supplies — to me, this was more than enough.
He promised that he would take care of the affairs here so I could escape with ease, and so I got on the boat and followed the ocean current towards the Icanomics Continent.
I did not care whether it was bright or dark around me, or whether the waves were rough or not; even if I could not see with my eyes, my heart was my compass.
I trusted that deep inside me was the strength to guide me forward.
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Perhaps there really were miracles in this world. After an indeterminate amount of time passed, a drizzle of dazzling light appeared in my vision.
On instinct, I covered my eyes with my hands, and then slowly, incredulously, peeled them away —
In front of me was a gray colored line in the distance, the view of a whole new, magnificent continent.
I could see.
Our Lord actually left behind a lot of his trusted aides for his little brother. He knew he was making a bad decision, and he chose to bring along Andy because he thought that Andy was a companion who was willing to live and die with him.
- See Chapter 2