Synopsis: Should have remembered the stories Fruys told
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However, very soon I no longer had the time to wonder whether Yiweisibel really was my Fruys or consider how I could go meet His Majesty the Ice Emperor.
A rather serious problem of my own turned up.
While I was working, a troupe of soldiers charged into the Adventurer’s Guild along with the owner of the pawnshop, who pointed at me and said: “Sir, it’s him!”
And thus I was arrested and thrown into prison.
‘Could it be that the ruby pendant my mother treasured for so many years is fake?’ I pondered while squatting inside my cell. If it was…then it really couldn’t be helped that the people at the pawnshop reported it to officials. I could only curse my own luck for ending up this way.
Someone who looked like he had quite a bit of status, perhaps the commanding officer of the area, came to interrogate me not too long afterwards.
I was asked where I had gotten the ruby pendant, so I answered that it was passed down to me from my mother.
The man became extremely angry and wanted to use torture to force me to tell the truth; luckily, he was stopped by an elderly officer beside him who quietly whispered a few words into his ear.
The way the man looked at me grew a little more inquisitive, then he asked me where I came from.
I thought for a little, and honestly told him: “I came from the other side of the sea, Finanse.”
The commanding officer ordered his men to bring over a silver box which contained a circular green stone.
If I was not mistaken, this was the Stone of Bien I had heard of before. Reportedly, it was regarded as a symbol of royal power because it was very rare and would only react to the blood of the Bein royal family.
At all levels and parts within the country, each had a piece of the stone that was bestowed by the king and served as a token that granted his retainers the authority to govern a territory.
The commanding officer took out a small knife and sliced my left hand with it, before pressing the wound against the Stone of Bein — instantly, the original green color of the stone gradually faded and revealed a pure white rock.
Afterwards the ruby pendant was returned to me, and I began to live my days like a prince.
Apparently, I had the purest blood of the Bein royal family in my veins, and it was at that point that I discovered that the ruby pendant my mother claimed was a family heirloom was actually the Bein royal family’s long lost national treasure, the Blood Stone.
It was said that it was blessed by an ancient devil king to grant power, status, wealth, and good luck to the wearer.
However, I could clearly remember that my dear mother, who worried that I would foolishly fall in love too early, gave me the pendant only after I came of age. She said that it was only a jewel that brought love.
..·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 60 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
Finding Fruys on that beach actually had some special significance to me — long ago, my father found my mother there after she drifted ashore along with Anna.
I knew that my mother came from the Ican continent, but she never spoke about her life before she met my father. Thus, I became ever more curious about her homeland and grew fond of listening to wandering poets whenever they told tales of the continent on the other side of the sea.
A person was dispatched by the official to come escort me to the capital, and from their mouths I found out what should have been the original identity of my mother: Princess Abeila, second in line to the throne in the Kingdom of Bein.
That year my father found her on the shores of our territory, there was a turmoil in the royal family that gave her the chance to run away and end up in Finanse.
Apparently, my mother had an elder twin brother named Alex who was first in line for the throne. They had a very good relationship, so after he had calmed the upheaval and discovered that my mother was missing, my uncle grew sick from excessive worry about the safety of his twin sister and eventually passed away.
I remembered the expression on my mother’s eyes when I was about to embark — hesitant, as if there was something she wanted to say…but she never said anything in the end.
When the previous king, my maternal grandfather died, his nephew Andel who was third in line inherited the throne. This grand-uncle of mine seemed very enthusiastic to receive me.
I made use of the opportunity to ask all the people around me for any news about the dragon race, but they only gave me very strange looks, stammered and mumbled, and did not say anything of value. The information I got at the imperial palace was even less than the amount I got at that tiny adventurer’s guild.
Approximately one month later, Andel invited me to have afternoon tea with him and asked: “I heard you’re very interested in the dragon race?”
I affirmed it was so.
He said: “It just happens to be that the kingdom needs to send an envoy to the territory of the gold dragons. Would you like to act as the representative of the royal family?”
Without giving it a second thought, I immediately agreed.
I had already heard about the situation around the gold dragons before.
The political climate in the Ican continent was substantially more complicated than it was in Finanse. Not only was the land home to various races but also to hostile demonic beasts which were mainly found in the northern part of the land, the Dark Abyss, and would often attack other settlements.
All of humanity’s cities could be razed by these creatures at the most severe times, so under these circumstances humans would enter a joint alliance with elves, dwarfs, giants, dragons, and other races to resist them.
The relationship between the human kingdoms and the dragon race was the most delicate.
In terms of total population, dragons who had longer lifespans and breeding cycles were nothing compared to humans, but each dragon was enormous, highly intelligent, possessed immense fighting prowess, and had a strong sense of community among themselves. Thus, high-level demonic beasts themselves would avoid provoking dragons.
Many human monarchs would send all kinds of gifts to nearby dragon clans in hope of receiving protection when demonic beasts or even other countries invaded.
The Bein kingdom itself was being protected by the dragon clan closest to them, the gold dragons, for close to a hundred years.
After coming to this strange and unfamiliar environment, thirsting to meet Fruys, and recently having come to know the story of my mother’s past, I was so exhilarated that I neglected to notice all the ominous signs around me. I vaguely remembered that I had once heard the king of Bein’s name before, but I didn’t think deeply about it.
I only noticed that something was off by the time I was already sitting in the carriage en route to the gold dragon territory. The carriage, I realized, was surrounded with a magic spell barrier on all sides as if to prevent me from running away.
It was at that moment that I saw the light. I remembered that Fruys once told me “gossip” I hadn’t taken seriously at the time: that the king of the powerful human kingdom of Bein was a coward who sent his own daughter as a gift to the dragons to seek protection, and his son to the Black Wizard in exchange for the method of immortal life.
Rumors are oft unfounded, but I couldn’t help thinking just like how I could not stop the cold sweat from drenching my clothes; my mother possessed the treasured Blood Stone, and my blood could cause the Stone of Bein to react. If my mother truly was the respected Princess Abeila, under what circumstances did she flee to the other side of the sea with Anna, and furthermore be unwilling to talk about her past for nearly thirty years?
I closed my eyes. I knew that at this point, even if I cried out to stop the carriage, nobody would respond.