Synopsis: But how was I going to find him… his majesty, the Ice Emperor.
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As I abandoned the boat and went ashore, I could see my haggard appearance and tattered clothes from my reflection in the water. It was almost as if I suddenly aged ten more years.
I smiled bitterly for a moment, before starting to walk forwards along the road.
Fortunately, a married couple driving a cart passed by and kindly offered to bring me to the nearest town in the area, under the assumption that I was a lost traveler.
They dropped me off at a town that was part of the powerful human kingdom of Bien.
Flourishing due to especially prosperous trade near coastal waterways, the place had rows upon rows of shops and humongous crowds of people everywhere. I stared, somewhat at a loss, until I finally realized an extremely critical and miserable problem.
I didn’t have any money.
The only valuable thing I had on myself was a ruby pendant that I always wore around my neck; it was a family heirloom that my mother gave me when I came of age.
She had told me to take good care of it, and yet…
I clutched the red gemstone and hesitated, but in the end, still decided to walk into what looked like the biggest pawnshop among the rest.
There was no way I would be able to make a living for myself with having absolutely nothing in my hands. I could only focus on obtaining immediate living expenses for now, and pawn it back when I get an income one day in the future.
To speak frankly, I was born as the heir of a lord, so I never did think about what other type of job I could take before. I ate a meal at a small restaurant and struck a conversation with the owner.
I said: “I came here to look for a person but I don’t have any leads, and I don’t have any means to support myself either. Do you have any suggestions for a job I can get, mister?”
He told me that the Adventurer’s Guild employed unskilled labor all year round. Even though the pay was poor, it was a good place to snoop around for all sorts of information.
I asked for directions and after getting there, easily found myself a job — in this place, work was plenty though wages were low. One had to swallow their pride and basically work like servants for arrogant, self-important, and completely unreasonable warriors and magicians. ‘If anyone had any other choice, they definitely wouldn’t choose to work here’, was what I thought.
My job was to assist adventurer parties that showed up looking for missions that suited them; it was work I rather liked doing because I could casually chat with them and get clues while pretending to diligently browse for missions.
I thought that it would be very hard to hear anything relevant, so I was prepared to stay here for a year or more. However, I had no idea it would be so simple to get what I wanted.
I asked them: “Hey folks, have you ever heard of a dragon that doesn’t have a dragon pearl?”
They gave each other strange looks after listening to me, then broke out into laughter. The leader, a warrior with a large beard, gave me a mocking look: “Kid, you think we’re green, inexperienced newbies like you?”
And from their mouths, I easily heard the circumstances of the current king of the dragons, Yiweisibel Hande.
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The dragon race’s political system was similar to a coalition of multiple clans. Each clan was made up of families, which were made up of individuals.
Only the chief of the strongest clan would be acknowledged as the king of the entire dragon race — and for nearly three hundred years, this position was held by the chief of the ice clan.
This reign would have gone longer if not for the rebellion within the dragon race that shocked the entire Ican Continent five years ago.
The king of dragons was murdered by a member of the ice clan’s royal family, while the prince sustained heavy injuries and disappeared.
Dragons did not live their lives governed by many rules and regulations, for they only followed one principle: might makes right. Everything was solved with strength.
For example, the leader of the rebellion usurped the position of the chief of the ice clan, but the internal strife’s effects were quite severe and their clan’s collective strength declined.
The ice dragons had no choice but to relinquish their position as the ruling clan of the dragon race to the gold dragons. Though his power was somewhat inferior, the chief of the gold clan ended up being coronated as the king.
The missing prince of the ice dragons remained as a thorn in their new chief’s side. Ever since he was born, the prince demonstrated extraordinary power – his authority over ice and snow exceeded that of anyone else’s, and nobody could utilize ice magic without his permission. As long as he was present, ice and snow would only listen to his commands.
If it were not for the gold clan helping the rebels and them catching him off guard, the prince would have never been defeated and wounded so severely.
He was the chosen one of the ice clan, the one bestowed with the title “Ice Prince” on the day he was born — Yiweisibel.
Around a year ago, the Ice Prince Yiweisibel who had vanished suddenly appeared. He assembled his former subordinates, cleared away the parties responsible for the rebellion back then, and once again shook up the ice clan.
After reestablishing the ice clan’s authority as the leading clan of the dragon race, he who was formerly known on the continent as the ‘Ice Prince’ had now colloquially become the ‘Ice Emperor’.
However, he was not granted the title of king of the dragon race.
Dragons would never acknowledge one without a dragon pearl as their sovereign no matter how strong he was.
As a result, the seat of the king of the dragons was currently vacant, though everyone tacitly considered Yiweisibel as the unofficial leader of the dragon race.
The way they addressed him right now was extremely awkward; his title was “His Majesty the Ice Emperor” at first, but later on they decided to switch back to calling him the prince of the ice dragons.
I silently lowered my head, while taking advantage of my job to ask more about Yiweisibel. My heart grew increasingly certain; aside from his name, everything else matched up.
When I returned to the storage room the Adventurer’s Guild offered to let me use later that night, I laid down on my wooden plank bed and stared blankly at a hole in the ceiling.
I had to go look for Fruu.
But how was I going to find him…his majesty, the Ice Emperor…?
The plot keeps bounding and swerving in melodramatic (TL: “dog blood”) directions.
Let me summarize for you what might as well be the classic sequence:
In a land far, far away, the owner of a tiny family restaurant rescues a wounded heir of an aristocratic family by chance. The heir, an extremely talented individual, helps the little owner and the restaurant booms magnificently in that remote place. But then, one day he decides to return to his family to settle the conflict that had caused him to be injured in the first place.
The little owner is betrayed by the manager he trusted, and is penniless as he leaves his hometown to search for his old friend. At that point he discovers that the difference in their status was far greater than he imagined, and it’s hard to meet him…
So if you follow the sequence, the next step should be…