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Chapter 85 - The Scar Left on the World (5)
Laura Aunsauras had failed at her mission, and she eventually returned to the Plain of Darkness. The elders didn’t blame her. They had read the reports given by her, and the members that went along to carry out the plan. They decided nothing else could have been done by her.
After she retreated away from the elders, Laura went towards a detached palace where the Aunsaurus family lived.
Someone appeared in front of her when she arrived.
It was a beautiful blonde haired Dragon Demon teen. He possessed horns that looked as if it had been cut from ice, and color was infused into it. It was Kieren Baldazark. Laura spoke as she looked at him with a blank face.
"Lord Baldazark. Shouldn’t you be conducting a mission right now?"
Kieren had addressed Laura in a friendly manner. However, Laura was strict in using honorifics by calling him a lord. Kieren shrugged his shoulders.
"I was merely given a scouting mission where I had to a.s.sess the marquisate of Karzark. As I was conducting my mission, I received a report saying the Cold-blooded Queen was on the move. I was given an order to return."
"So you just cleanly broke off from your mission. That is very like you, Lord Baldazark."
"Of course, I was given a return order."
"If it was Niberis, she would have stayed to obtain a good result. She would have fought with the Cold-blooded Queen."
Baldazark’s expression stiffened slightly.
"Of course, I’m not in a position to speak about such things."
"Ah. Mmmm. Laura. What happened this time…."
Kieren knew Laura had come back after failing her mission. Laura had never experienced failure before. He was wondering if he should console her or not.
"Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad."
"I’m talking about failure. Now that I experienced it, and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal."
He couldn’t comprehend what she was talking about. Laura spoke to Baldazark, who had a puzzled expression on his face.
"However, it is regretful that sir Rick had to meet his death.."
"…I judged he would be able to succeed in his task. I guess I was too hasty with my decision.
At those words, Kieren let out a bitter laugh.
Rick was a Dragon Majin that had been a va.s.sal of the Baldazark family. He was dispatched alongside Laura to complete this mission. Originally, he was tasked to do the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual with the Thunder Dragon after the mission. However, he was pushed into a Dragon Slayer’s Ritual with the Frost Dragon, which was unexpectedly brought forth by the Guardian Shadows.
In the end, he was defeated in the life and death battle. He died after presenting his Wisdom to the Frost Dragon.
Laura was silent for a brief moment as she looked at Kieren. She dropped the issue as she changed the topic.
"Cold-blooded Queen. I’ve never seen her, but I heard she is more dangerous than the Dragon Sword Duke."
"Mmmm. I haven’t met her either. Even if I do come across her, I was given orders not to fight her. These were the guidelines given to me."
"She is someone I want to pit against Niberis at least once."
Kieren’s brows furrowed a little bit as Laura continued to express her desire to trip up Niberis. Normally, Laura didn’t even bother with Niberis. One could actually feel the tangible malice emanating from Niberis towards Laura. However, Laura’s indifferent att.i.tude had always bugged Niberis. So what had changed?
"Sorry. Am I being petulant?"
"I’m somehow in that sort of a mood. When I return, I’ll probably be compared to Lord Baldazark, and you know how much I don’t like hearing that."
Niberis, Laura and Kieren were the young geniuses that received the most attention in the Plains of Darkness. Of course, they thought of each other as compet.i.tion. This was why they were mindful of each other’s merits. In truth, this wasn’t something they demanded of themselves. Their backgrounds put pressure on them, and it was sometimes hard to breath.
Kieren was someone that was pulling ahead of the compet.i.tion. Unlike Niberis and Laura, he had experienced several failures earlier on. However, he had used this experience to better himself. He was more careful in his planning now, and he steadily increased the merits he achieved.
Niberis had been doing well compared to Kieren, yet she had suffered a very painful failure. Laura had suffered something very similar this time around. The elders of the Aunsauras family had requested perfection from her starting a young age. It had been said enough that she was fed up with it. She was annoyed when she thought about the words that would be directed towards her.
"Lord Baldazark. What would you do if there was a descendant of Azell Karzark still alive?"
"Mmmm? You mean THE Azell Karzark? Why are you asking such a question?"
"I’m just curious."
Laura didn’t go out of her way to explain to Kieren about Azell Zestringer. Kieren tilted his head in confusion at the question that had came out of nowhere. He answered her.
"I guess it could happen. Humans are able to procreate easily, so there might be some descendants left in the world. We killed the house of Karzark, and anyone related to him by blood. However, we aren’t G.o.ds. We can’t always be perfect in our tasks.."
If Azell had heard this conversation, he would have used every method possible to kill them. The eradication of the Karzark family had been a calamity carried out by the Dragon Demon King worshippers.
"I guess that isn’t what I wanted to ask you. What would you do if his descendant really got in our way?"
"We have to kill him. That is an obvious question."
"Isn’t it? Thank you for giving me an answer."
As if she expected such an answer, she nodded her head before she turned her body away. However, when she reached a point where Kieren couldn’t see her, she looked up into the air as she mumbled to herself.
"However, I want to ask him a question. How did our burdens, which comes with our bloodlines, differ from each other…."
The Dragon Demon King had wanted to make a new world, and they were the chosen ones that had received the blood of such an exalted being.
Then there were the humans, who had received the blood of the one that stopped the Dragon Demon King from establishing himself as a ruler.
It had been 220 years, and she wondered the difference significance each side put in their bloodlines. Laura was very curious as to learn about this.
She stopped walking. She had been heading towards the detached palace of the Aunsaurus family. However, she started heading towards a new direction. She wanted to meet someone that’ll give a different answer to the question she posed. She was going to meet an elder, who was the oldest being on this land.
After rescuing the Dragon Demon Prince Seigar, the Guardian Shadows didn’t say any goodbyes. They just disappeared. It seemed they didn’t want to reveal themselves to Seigar, who wasn’t part of the Guardian Shadows.
The unconscious Segiar woke up the next day. Seigar realized his teacher had saved him, and this knowledge made his face turn red. Then he explained what happened in his battle with Laura…..
"So if we piece together your story, Segiar…."
When he heard Segiar’s words, Kairen was able to come to a conclusion.
"So the reason why they tried to kidnap you and Arrieta… Maybe you guys are from the Dragon Demon King’s lineage?"
"That is what I think."
Seigar nodded his head.
As Laura Aunsaurus was subduing him in the fight, she had dropped several clues, and he was able to come up with a conjecture. She had pointed out Seigar as she spoke regarding the Great Being. She had said he was someone, who had a part of the king within him.
In some ways, their conclusion was a bit hastily made. They only had snippets of information. However, Laura was basically a n.o.ble that had come out from the Plains of Darkness. The only one she would call ‘king’ was the Dragon Demon King.
"The probability is high. It somewhat explains the reason behind their kidnap attempts… Mmmm. No. This doesn’t really explain it."
"How can it not?"
"I know right? However, there are a lot of Dragon Majins, who were descended from the Dragon Demon King Atein"
"Mmmm? What are you talking about?"
Kairen asked in surprised. From what he observed from working as part of the Guardian Shadow, the Dragon Demon King worshippers treated anyone with the blood of Dragon Demon King Atein as n.o.bles. No, they were treated almost as royalty. Yet Azell was speaking about such existences as if they were commonplace.
"That is… Atein is one of the oldest Dragon Demon, and he is hypothesized to be the very first mage. He named himself the Dragon Demon King, but before he could unite the Dragon Demon race to muster up an army, he had lived for a very long time. He probably had a lot of relationship throughout his lifetime, and from what I know, he left behind a long of descendants. Therefore, there are an abundant amount of beings all over the world with Atein's blood in them."
"…this is the first time I’ve heard such a story."
"Did the records regarding Atein get erased too?"
"No. That’s… Hmmm. I guess so."
Kairen had been about to deny it, but he furrowed his brows.
For the past 220 years, the Dragon Demon King worshippers had erased numerous records off of the world’s history. It was reasonable to think that records about Atein was included in this deletion. No, it was likely.
"I knew the Dragon Demon King had lived for a long time, and he was one of the very first Dragon Demons. However, I never realized he had so many descendants. No. It would be more accurate if I said I’ve never even thought about it."
"Well, it is probably hard to fathom a being that named himself a king left behind descendants all over the world. I guess it is normal to not want such information spread widely."
Azell accepted that possibility. Before the Dragon Demon war had started, Atein’s existence was an unverified legend. He had been treated like a character from a myth that disappeared a long time ago. The knowledge of the origin of the Dragon Demon race and the existence of Atein was limited to magicians. Moreover, no one expected Atein to live so long.
Basically, the world found out about Atein’s existence after he named himself the Dragon Demon King, and started the Dragon Demon war. Even Azell didn’t know about Atein, and he had learned the information through Carlos at a later date. Moreover, Atein's past was discovered when Carlos researched in depth into the subject.
"Well… Even if the princess and prince was born with a more undiluted blood of the Dragon Demon King, it wouldn’t be a reason to kidnap them. If we are comparing the purity of their bloodlines, the ones in the Plains of Darkness are probably superior in those terms."
"That’s true. Yet they still tried to kidnap them even as far as going through such danger. There must be an underlying reason…."
"We don’t have any other clues to speculate on the topic. We could expend more of our efforts on speculation, but it'll be a shock in the dark."
"That is unfortunate."
Kairen clicked his tongue.
"Mmm. That woman was a really scary magician. If compared to the Dragon Demon Niberis, whom my sister fought, Laura was her equal."
"She probably is stronger than Niberis. This is why you don't have to be so down on yourself. Of course, you would have come up short against her."
"No. If I was a little bit more careful…."
Seigar let out a sigh. He was too careful with his subordinates. He made the error of stepping forward in such a defenseless state. He knew what he was worth, so he should have been a little bit more cautious….
Kairen just looked at Seigar before he spoke.
"As this event as an impetus, why don't you come with me to be retrained for an extended period of time?"
"Yes. I still have a lot I can still teach you."
Seigar was conflicted. It was an attractive offer. It was true the teachings under Kairen had been pure pain. However, if he hadn’t spent that time with him, Seigar wouldn’t be the man he is right now.
He knew he couldn't hold a candle to Kairen, but he had thought he had enough power. However, that notion was demolished by what had happened. He almost felt a compulsive need to get stronger.
"I want you to think over it then you can make your decision. I’m going to spend a good amount of time exchanging sword strikes with Azell."
Seigar was surprised. He didn’t know how he had been rescued. He had just woken up from his state of unconsciousness. The Guardian Shadows had hidden themselves long time ago, and Seigar a.s.sumed it was Kairen, who had rescued him.
Of course, he would have such a reaction. If one looked at Seigar’s standards, Kairen represented absolute strength to him. Kairen hadn’t said he would instruct this human knight. He had used the expression of sharing swords with Azell.
Kairen could read his pupil’s thought, so he smirked.
"Azell distinguished himself greatly in his actions to save you. If sir Azell hadn’t fought and defeated the Thunder Dragon called out by them, you would probably be still on your way to the Plains of Darkness. You might have been subjected to all kinds of treatments."
"He fought and defeated the Thunder Dragon in an one-on-one battle?"
Segiar’s confusion became much deeper. A human had fought a 1on1 battle with a Dragon, and he had won? Did they want him to really believe such a story?
Kairen spoke as he looked at Azell.
"As you can see, you did something that couldn’t be done by a human in Segiar’s way of looking at this world."
"In the past, wasn’t Duke skeptical of my claims too?"
"Still, I remember myself showing a little more flexibility in my att.i.tude towards your claim."
"Well, I guess everyone beautifies the past memories sometimes in the course of one’s life. I heard this tendency develops as one gets older…."
"Chet. You are always so insolent."
Kairen clicked his tongue as if he was indignant. Then he spoke.
"So in the spirit of this conversation, I want you to have a sparring session with Segiar."
"I’ll have to refuse the offer."
"I think what I did this time around allows me to be a little bit more obstinate. Isn't that so?"
"Unfortunately, I cannot gainsay you on that point."
"If the prince accept your offer and he comes to the Dukedom of Tarantos, I'll think about it. In truth, I just want to rest for the next few days."
Kairen shut his mouth at those words.
'I'm such a… I spoke for the betterment of my student, and it caused me to put my foot in my mouth.'
Kairen lamented on the fact that his thoughts had been too shallow. Azell’s condition had been poor prior to arriving here, and he hadn’t been able to sufficiently grow his power. He also didn’t have the needed tools, yet he had gone through the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual. After all that, Kairen was asking him to have a sparring session with Seigar…..
"You don’t have to be so earnest with your apology. In terms of my physical health, I’m much better now than when I arrived here."
Azell let out a light laugh.
Seigar was listening to the conversation, and his expression indicated that he had no idea what was going on. Everyone in this kingdom including the royal family treated his teacher with the utmost respect. Yet his teacher was being so friendly and respectful towards a young human….
No, it would be understandable if his teacher was treating Azell as if he took a liking to him. However, Kairen’s att.i.tude indicated that he was treating Azell as an equal.
Kairen didn’t pay attention to Segiar’s confusion as he spoke.
"Well, you probably have a lot of work to do now, so you should go meet your lieutenant. We are going to stay here for the night, and we plan on leaving in the morning."
On that day, Seigar had to thorough a busy day of work. In the end, he couldn’t give an answer to Kairen’s offer. Moreover, there were too many things for him to consider when making the decision.
Kairen didn’t ask for an immediate answer. He gave his farewell to Seigar, and he left for the Dukedom of Tarantos with Azell in the morning.