Chapter 44 – The king's wrath

 

“Are we almost there ?”

“Yes, look you can see it over there !”

 

Glace and I were currently travelling to what was rumored to be the last remaining dragon community.

 

Six years had passed since the Aldenaf incident. I was now 19 years old.

 

After having completed my two years training with Master Yaquinn, we both headed different ways. My objective was to travel across the lands in order to try to find clues on what had happened to Aldenaf and big brother.

 

For a few years, my quest ended up unsuccessful. I met in person with the Archmage after waiting for an audience for a long time but I could not gather any valuable information. The only thing I got from that was that he was not the one linked to Aldenaf’s disappearance.

 

I then kept on travelling around the Sill continent, honing my techniques and searching for anything that could be useful. In the meantime, I had heard that Naxus had recently been attacked by a masked man and his army and that the Porcephone Empire and its capital had fallen in a single day.

 

I thought going back to Naxus for investigation could be a good idea but unfortunately, its access was restricted ever since the changes that took place there. Visitors were controlled and needed to have a clear purpose to be allowed to enter the town.

 

As I was at a loss over what to do, Glace – who was still with me – gave me a new objective. She personally wanted to meet the other remaining dragons and according to the knowledge she got passed down from her father, there was still one big draconic community remaining in the world. However, she did not know where it was located.

 

So we searched for a long time… and at last we found it. It was a huge dragon den located in the mountains in the far east of the Kingdom of Shadows (this was the name that had replaced the Porcephone Empire).

 

After reaching a village called Duskharbor, we were now heading towards the nearing mountains.

The bond between Glace and I had also naturally strengthened in the past years. Master Yaquinn’s training was harsh and the comfort she brought me after each session helped me cope with the burden on my body.

 

Despite the fact that I had told her not to act slutty, she was still overly attached to me. Needless to say that as a teenager in the middle of puberty, it was hard for me to resist her.

 

Eventually, I lost my virginity to her when I turned 16. Since then, I was acting less shy around her and I was no longer contradicting her when she claimed to be my girlfriend. Maybe I had matured a bit ?

 

Either way, I was actually thankful to have met her. After having lost my entire family, it was indeed hard to bear the sadness alone. But having her by my side was a cure that I had come to gladly accept.

 

Coming back to the dragon den, I did not know whether they would be aggressive or not towards us but I wanted to at least grant Glace’s wish to reunite with her kin.

 

As I had travelled with her, she had taught me many thing about dragons through her ancestors’ knowledge. The first thing was that dragons used to be an actual race, a long time ago, instead of mere monsters.

 

But everything had changed when the rapidly expanding Porcephone Empire started to take over the territory of the Dragon race and Half-race, who used to be the main two races living in harmony in the Sill continent.

 

Due to the threat of Miro Porcephone – the very first Porcephone Emperor – the Dragons had no choice but to declare war to protect their territory.

 

While the Half-race cowered and hid, the Dragon race was considered fierce, brave and powerful. The different dragon community were united by the one known as Houhandorkalis, the Dragon King.

 

The dragon quickly overwhelmed the human armies but the appearance of the First Sage turned the outcome of the war and by helping the Empire, the dragons eventually had no choice but to surrender.

 

This is when their King, in a last effort to protect his people, set off to challenge the one known as the Living God himself, to a duel. Despite the myths about the Elf being an unstoppable force, Houhandorkalis was ready to sacrifice his own life if it could help his people.

 

Glace’s knowledge stopped there as her ancestor did not know what had happened to the Dragon King after.

 

But since the dragons had lost the war, they had been reduced to be considered as monsters by the Empire and were hunted down, almost becoming extinct.

 

And the dragon den that was now in front of us was considered as the last peaceful ground for the draconic kind.

 

***

 

The dragon den was in reality a huge network of caves in the mountains linked to each other through underground passages.As we approached its entrance, we were stopped by two dragons that looked like they were guarding the place.

 

When they saw me, they immediately looked ready to attack. However, the sight of Glace made them think twice.

 

One of them approached me and started speaking. He was a slim dragon with red scales that looked like a huge snake with two legs and two clawed wings.

 

“Stop right here, human ! You are in dragon territory. Normally, I would roast you on the spot but out of respect for that weird creature that feels distantly related to a dragon, I will allow you to turn around and leave.”

 

Hearing that, the other dragon guard seemed to disagree.

 

“Orosmir, you can’t do that ! Lady Saphagard has ordered not to let any human leave the den alive.”

“Yes but look at the person next to him… my ancestors’ knowledge makes me feel like I’ve met her before…”

“No matter how you look at her, she’s a human ! Wait… actually… it does feel like she’s a dragon with a human look… How is this possible !?”

 

Glace chose this moment to introduce herself.

 

“My name is Glace ! I am a dragon under human form. An ice dragon to be exact.I ask of you that you let me meet your leader.”

 

The two guards looked at each other, unsure of what to do. Eventually it seemed like they reached a conclusion.

 

“Orosmir, go get Lady Saphagard. I’ll keep these two in check.”

“Alright.”

 

After waiting a moment, the dragon named Orosmir came back.

 

“She said to let them in. She wants to speak to them in the main room.”

 

The two dragons then led us through the caverns. The architecture was simplistic but it showed that the dragons were definitely able to live in a community, something that normal monsters are not able to.

 

At least, we reached a room far bigger than the others and met with their leader, the dragon called Lady Saphagard.

 

Unlike the other two who looked closer to a winged snake than anything else, she was similar to a winged lizard. The main difference is that she had two arms, in addition to her wings.

 

“Are you surprised by my appearance, maybe ? Not all dragons are of the same type you know ? Stronger ones usually have arms.”

 

The dragon seemed to look both serious and calm at the same time. She speaked with a gentle tone but it was clear that she was acting suspicious of us.

 

“So, I allowed you in because I wanted to witness first-hand a true human and dragon Hybrid.”

“You guessed that I was a hybrid just by looking at me ?”

 

Glace looked surprised even though she was the one who told me dragons could see the Aura of living beings, allowing them to identify their identity.

 

“Of course. I can even tell who your ancestor is, if I focus a bit more. This is an advanced technique that only more powerful dragons can perform but out of respect for your privacy, I won’t do it unless you allow me to. But first, let me hear the reason of your visit in these unwelcome lands.”

 

I personally stayed quiet the entire time, letting Glace do the talking. I thought it would make things easier that way.

 

“Yes, having lost my parents at birth, I was saved by this human, called Hell. What I seeked was to find out if there was still any dragon left alive…”

“Well, while we have certainly almost reached extinction during the last war against humans, my ancestor, Lady Siprieth, created a place for us to hide. In the end, this is all because of the Renegade… sigh…”

“The Renegade ? Who is that ?”

“Could it be that your ancestors did not know of him ? They must have lived cut from the external world then… The Renegade is the title we gave to the Dragon King.”

“Why do you give the legendary Dragon King such a disgraceful nickname ?”

“Do you not know of his actions ? During the war, he claimed that he would go duelthe enemy leader for our sake but used that as an opportunity to leave the battlefield, leaving us behind. And then he even had the audacity to come ask for asylum here, years later. Good thing that Siprieth banned that cursed dragon.”

“I see… That’s a shame. I remember my ancestor really looking up to him.”

“Banish that thought immediately. The Renegade is a dragon that is thought of very badly around here so if you don’t want to make any unneeded enemies, you should not speak of him like that. Besides, all this happened hundreds of years ago and even he should have died since then.”

 

The two of them kept chatting for a while, until finally Saphagard seemed to reach a conclusion.

 

“Since you’re like family, you can of course stay here. And although most dragons hate humans and they are obviously not allowed in here, I’ll make an exception since he is your… boyfriend…”

“Yes, that’s right. Thank you very much, Lady Saphagard.”

“Hmm. I’ll let every other dragon know that they must not attack him. For their own safety.”

 

Although I was unable to take on so many dragons at the same time, it seems that Lady Saphagard had sensed that I was strong enough to take on one or two of them at the same time. Not that I wanted to make them my enemies in the first place. Being on friendly terms with dragons was something I deemed to be very useful for my own survival, especially since they were like Glace’s family, hahaha…

 

We stayed in the mountains for about a week, getting to know most of its residents. Many of them had a hard time accepting me but Glace managed to calm them down enough for us to eat together multiple times. We then decided to leave and continue for my quest of information.

 

But on the last day we spent there, the dragons’ great bane happened…

 

***

 

“We’re leaving the den in a few hours, have you finished saying goodbye to everyone Glace ?”

“Almost, there’s only Lady Saphagard left.”

“Let’s head to her room then.”

 

Today was a bright day. The sun was strong and as such, most dragons were hanging out outside. But due to her duties, Lady Saphagard had stayed indoors.

 

We were walking towards the entrance of the cave and met the two dragon guards again when suddenly, the earth started shaking.

 

“An earthquake ?”

 

Orosmir looked around, suspicious.

 

“That’s weird, they don’t usually last that long.”

 

But as the “earthquake” lasted for way too long, the sound of something fending the air with an impressive force made us understand that what was cause the earth to shake was not a natural disaster. But rather giant wings flapping in the air.

 

All at once, the sunlight disappeared. But it was not a cloud that was hiding it. It was a gigantic black figure, one that Glace seemed to recognise immediately. The two dragon guards looked like they did too.

 

Orosmir seemed terrified.

“I can’t believe it… it’s the Renegade !”

“Quick, go alert Lady Saphagard !”

 

In the sky, a gigantic jet black dragon was flying towards us. He was about five times as big as Orosmir and three times as big as Saphagard. He had two arms in addition to his wings, proving that he was the more powerful type. Something else that could be used to judge a dragon’s strength, according to her, was whether they had spikes on the back or not. And the dragon called the Renegade had too many too count.

 

A dreadful scream could be heard from him. A scream that made my soul scream in fear.

 

Quickly enough, Saphagard showed up outside and looked at the Renegade in disbelief.

 

“So you were still alive, fallen king.”

 

The mad dragon stopped at the sight of Saphagard and opened his mouth. It was not fire that came out but rather a very deep voice, one that showed his anger.

 

“SIPRIETH, YOU’RE STILL ALIVE ! GREAT, THEN I WILL HAVE THE PLEASURE TO KILL YOU MYSELF !”

“I regret to have to break your bubble but Siprieth was my ancestor. She died a long time ago. But I do remember her banishing you. You should have accepted the mercy she showed you a long time ago by not killing you. But it was a mistake for you to show up again. I will execute you myself, Houhandorkalis.”

 

Hearing himself be called by his real name seemed to tick off the Renegade more than anything else.

 

“I HAVE LEARNT A LONG TIME AGO THAT MERCY, TRUST AND HONOUR ARE STUPID VALUES. AND I NO LONGER GO BY HOUHANDORKALIS, I AM NOW CALLED SPADES !”

“You have become a disgrace. Just disappear !”

 

As soon as she finished her sentence, Saphagard fired a huge fireball from her mouth, directed at the Renegade. But let alone dodging it, he did not even try to parry it.

 

“I knew that you are only the shadow of what you once were. You’re nowhere near as strong.”

“HAHAHA, PITIFUL DRAGON, IS THIS ALL THE NEW GENERATION CAN DO ? THIS IS NOT EVEN A TENTH OF THE POWER ARCADEUS USED TO BURN MY SCALES !”

 

After the smoke from the explosion disappeared, both Saphagard, Glace and I were left in disbelief. The huge fireball she had shot had not even scratched the Renegade.

 

“I WAS ALREADY CONSIDERED THE MOST POWERFUL DRAGON BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN. BUT NOW THAT I HAVE GIVEN MYSELF UP TO THE SHADOWS AND MY WRATH, MY POWER IS NOTHING COMPARED TO BEFORE !”

After saying that, he shot a black laser towards Saphagard, She managed to dodge it but as she was flying in front of the mountain, the Renegade increased the output of the laser, turning it into a giant one that engulfed both Saphagard and the mountain… leaving nothing behind.

 

At the sight of this apocalyptic power, Glace became terrorized. I tried my best to snap her out of her terror.

 

“Glace, we gotta run. Glace ! Damn it… Don’t worry I’ll protect you to the best of my ability, even if I die trying !”

 

As if he heard me screaming to her, the Renegade then turned his gaze towards us. Surprise replaced the anger that had been showing in his eyes up until now.

 

“That aura… no way… could you… HYLDA’S DESCENDANT !?”

 

Furor soon took control of him again and he used that black breath towards us.

 

As Glace still looked dazed, I had no choice but to try to defend her myself. I immediately removed my internal limiters using a technique I had developed with the help of Master Yaquinn.

 

Wind’s Determination !”

 

Having removed all my limiters, I try to deflect the attack to the best of my ability by drawing out my sword – which was a katana given to me by Master Yaquinn at the end of my training – at such speed that it created a tornado that clashed with the dark breath. Somehow, it was powerful enough to deviate the enemy ability.

 

I then took Glace in my arms and jumped as far as I could from our current location. As I had predicted, the Renegade had soon followed with a barrage of dark lasers that completely destroyed the area we were standing on.

 

Finally, Glace looked like she had snapped out of it and realised the situation.

 

But it was too late. after deflecting ten lasers in a row, my stamina was reaching its limit and Spades had started to overpower me.

 

“Hell, quickly leave ! It looks like he is only after me because of my ancestor ! You can still escape if you leave me !”

“No way am I leaving you now, Glace ! You’re all I had left so don’t you go disappear on me. We’re in this together, till the end you hear me !?”

 

Understanding my resolve, Glace looked like she became serious too. Scales appeared on her cheeks, shoulders and thighs, as they would whenever she was about to use her full power.She then unleashed similar laser beams except hers were snow white.

 

Her frozen breath clashed with dark ones and seemed to be enough to contain the Renegade’s power. Meanwhile I was trying to recover as fast as possible to help her.

 

Fortunately, it is at this moment that hundreds of dragons finally arrived and assisted us, either rushing straight to Spades or firing their elemental breath at him.

 

However, it seemed to have very little effect on the mad dragon and he easily got rid of them with a few slashes. At the same time, he redirected  his shadow breath towards them and even fired some other spells from his hands.

 

All was left was dead or wounded dragons on the ground as well as Glace and myself. The situation looked quite dire as the Renegade still looked unscathed.

 

“YOU STRUGGLED WELL ENOUGH, AS EXPECTED OF THE DESCENDANT OF THE DRAGON THAT BETRAYED ME, THE STRONGEST ICE DRAKE. BUT YOU WILL NOW SUFFER FROM MY FULL HATRED !”

 

Spades looked like he stopped firing his dark breath for a few moments. Instead he started compressing it within his mouth. When he finally released it, it was much more powerful and destructive than before and quickly overpowered both Glace’s ice breath and my wind slashes.

 

But as the situation looked desperate and Spades looked like he was to finish us off, a gigantic whirlwind coming from behind me hit Spades straight in the face, deflecting his breath and sending him flying even further.

 

I turned behind me to witness who had sent that attack but seeing the sheer power and the type of technique, I already knew.

 

It was Master Yaquinn.

 

“Oh fancy meet you here, Hell and Glace. A certain someone warned me you might be in trouble so this old man here thought you might need a hand, haha.”

“Of course, Master ! Perfect timing !”

 

Finally, I started being hopeful again.With Master Yaquinn here, we finally had had a chance to turn this battle around.

 

“ANOTHER MEDDLESOME HUMAN… ALL OF YOU SHALL PERISH BY MY HAND !”

“Hey there… I heard you’re the one who took down my friend Vlad… I’ve come here to avenge him. Hell !”

“Yes, Master !”

 

The two of us used a special technique that we had developed and that combined both of our power. We both created a tornado at the same spot but spinning in a different direction. The clash of the two tornadoes created a gigantic maelstrom that we fired at Spades.

 

Spades looked surprised by the size of the attack. He attempted to pierce through it with his dark breath but the maelstrom was too dense. When he realised it was useless, he tried to fly away from it but the gravitational force was too strong and instead he got attracted towards it.

 

No matter how strong his scales were, there was no way, he could not potentially survive an attack of this magnitude.

 

“NO WAY… THIS CAN’T BE ! ARRG !”

 

The maelstrom swallowed Spades and the sheer pressure started slashing him. His blood could be seen flying everywhere but he was still alive. However, the Maelstrom always ended by imploding and now that Spades was trapped in it, he had no choice but to be crushed to death by the pressure.

 

“ARG… NOOOO !”

 

Finally, the maelstrom disappeared… but Spades took no damage.

 

Yaquinn looked like he had seen something similar before.

 

The maelstrom had not actually imploded… all of it had just… disappeared. As if it had been sucked out into some kind of void.

 

Soon after, some kind of black vortex appeared where the Maelstrom used to be and a man came out of it, landing on Spades’ back.

 

From the distance I could see what the man looked like.

 

It was a tall man with silver hair, wearing a black and white vest over a white shirt and black pants. A black and white mask that I had seen in Aldenaf before was hiding the man’s face.

 

“Ha, ha, ha. Now that won’t do. I let my Ace of Spades out of Aldenaf for a moment and you guys try to kill him ? I can’t let you do that.”

 

Did this guy say Aldenaf !? And the mask he was wearing was definitely from there. Could this man be the one behind Aldenaf’s disappearance !?

 

Yaquinn looked like he was familiar with the man’s appearance.

He turned to me and told me.

 

“I’ve seen him on posters… this is the man that took over Naxus… this is the Dark Joker.”

 

I looked at the man once more but for now, it did not look like a conversation was possible. I was going to have to fight this man right here and right now if I wanted my answers.

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