Synopsis: It’s said that dragons love to hoard treasure.
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Andy ordered his troops to clean up the battlefield and sort out the mess.
Everyone’s eyes were on the dragon who flew in lazy circles above us before landing on the town square plaza, a few spaces in front of me.
“Is this the powerful enemy you mentioned that frequently attacks you?” He tilted his head and slightly tilted one wing to point to Morgan’s frozen troops.
I blinked for a moment before promptly responding, “Yes.”
So it turned out that Fruys was actually listening to everything I had said back then.
He snorted out two puffs of air and said to me, “This can’t even be called a war.”
I looked at him, not understanding.
He said, “This is merely a scuffle.”
A scuffle, that is, a skirmish between street gangs. I think that’s what he meant.
..·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 14 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
I expressed my gratitude to Fruys, and then asked if there was anything I could do for him.
I initially thought that he would want nothing—after all, my tiny territory probably had nothing he would have considered valuable.
However, I was taken aback when he bluntly told me, “I want treasure. Lots and lots of treasure.”
I almost thought I misheard.
In the end, I brought him to the lord’s private storeroom—in theory, this place was owned by my mother. After my parents married, my father would sometimes go off to war. Every time he returned, he would bring back the three most valuable treasures he personally picked from the spoils of war to give to my mother. This was where she ended up putting all of them.
A pair of ice blue eyes narrowed slightly as they took in the collection of items inside.
“It’s much better than I expected,” he finally decided, and then brazenly ordered me to leave.
I watched Fruys shrink his figure, then squeeze into the storeroom. Sighing slightly, I remained standing outside to wait for him.
The wandering bard once told me that dragons liked to kidnap beautiful princesses and hoard mountains of gold and silver ordinary people could only dream about seeing. The dragons would crush anyone who dared challenge them until meeting their predestined hero.
I wondered silently to myself, “Could it be that dragons needed to sleep nestled in gold for a good night’s rest? Did Fruys intend to turn the storeroom into his personal sleeping nest?”
However, it was soon revealed that I was overthinking things.
After three hours with no signs of Fruys coming out, I could not resist opening the door to take a look.
Fruys, who had shrunk in half, was sleeping soundly on the floor, surrounded by scattered bits of black, yellow, and red metal. Save from him and the scraps, the storeroom was completely empty.
Included in the things that disappeared were the scratches and scrapes on Fruy’s body, and were now replaced by a layer of faint gloss covering his scales.
I didn’t know if it was merely my imagination, but the color of his scales seemed slightly lighter in color.
At this moment, Fruys opened his eyes. I asked with difficulty, “What happened to everything here?”
“I absorbed all of it,” he responded matter-of-factly. I honestly felt like I was struggling to breathe.
I hoped that my mom would spare me on the merits of our close bond.
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My mom was furious as expected.
As she beat me up, she explained that everything in there was being saved for my dowry.
I sighed in relief. In any case, I didn’t plan to get married in the near future.
As for my little brother’s portion, I could save some up for him again. He was still young after all.
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Actually, the biggest success that we achieved in the battle was capturing Morgan himself.
During the conference, my ministers argued incessantly over what was the best thing to exchange Morgan for.
Later on the same day, I prattled all of this to Fruys as usual, but he only looked at me with a confused tilt of his massive head. “Why aren’t you taking advantage of the opportunity to annex his whole territory? Especially while you have the momentum?”
His suggestion was a bolt of lightning that froze me on the spot.
But soon enough, blood began to rush into my head as my heart furiously pumped in a frenzy, resulting in a weird, heady sensation.
Fruys told me that he would help me in exchange for half of the treasure obtained as loot.
I waved my hand, and spoke very magnanimously, “You take 70%.”
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The northern area of Finanse’s political web was presently preserved in a delicate equilibrium.
To use myself and Morgan as an example, my fief was weaker than his, so it would be easy for him to conquer our land. However, the first thing he’d have to worry about is indigestion, or whether he would be able to assimilate the newly-acquired territory into his original one without wrecking the state of affairs of both. Second, expanding his domain would inevitably attract the suspicion and wrath of other large lords who might even attack him from behind.
If other lords wanted to seize either of our territories, they would have to defeat both of us simultaneously if they did not want to face a similar problem as Morgan’s.
As a result, powerful lords plundered and bullied weaker ones, but they had reservations about directly annexing territory.
But not me.
Those who were barefoot had no reason to fear ones who wore shoes.
We had nothing to lose. If matters continued on like this, we would either shrivel up and die from being squeezed and exploited repeatedly, or end up being subjugated by another lord. But if we fought–fought like our lives depended on it–there was still a possibility that we would survive.
I wanted to break away from this pitiful situation. I needed to rally the troops and brave danger, to free ourselves from a hopeless future with our own two hands once and for all.
Besides, I now have a dragon on my side.
…·:*¨¨*.·:*¨♡¨*:·. 18 .·:*¨♡¨*:·.*¨¨*:·..
The news that Morgan lost the battle had not yet spread.
I doubted that the people of his territory could even imagine the possibility of their lord losing anyway, much less consider it.
Our craftsmen mended the war chariots, and our men donned the armor we previously seized. As we rode Morgan’s warhorses and disguised ourselves as his army returning from victory, we easily entered their fortifications, bypassed the catapults and watchtowers, and charged straight in, slaughtering our way directly into the barracks.
Fruys followed from behind, circling the skies and providing moral support to those down below.
Morgan’s territory was easily captured in a single day.