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Chapter 11: Stormblood

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Chapter 11: Stormblood Empty Mon Apr 22, 2024 7:00 pm


In the days following the Dragon Order's conquest of the Voda River's territory...

Ever since their arrival it was clear that the warning had been truthful: As long as they followed the demands of the order, they have proved to be protective over the people in their domain. The local settlements saw a sharp decline of banditry and attacks from wild monsters, no doubt because of the frequent patrols of the order yet they also proved to be quite fair in the distribution of the river's bounty. The villages were fed and protected and as such these who joined the Prince's faction were contend. Yet at the same time the brutal example of Drurigrad's ally had clearly left an impression on these who opposed the ideals of an united Peregrade.

Quietly Ryuko was seated on her chair in the counsel chamber of the keep that overlooked the Voda River, the keep the order had taken as their headquarters. The Dragon girl had been thinking about something when the sudden intrusion of one of Prince Igor's attendants into the room drew her thoughts back to reality.

The man had come to report about the recent movements of the other principalities of Peregrade in the wake of the order's conquest. It appeared that other principalities had started to take the Dragon Order's presence seriously and had begun to take countermeasures against them. Drurigrad was rumoured to have begun negotiations to send delegations to other countries to send a plea for help in preventing Prince Igor's conquest of the country. It was nothing that had surprised her to this point. With the order's presence established and its influence steadily growing it was clear that she could start progressing her plans further. With the attention of the surrounding Principalities directed to her, she could start spreading the Order's presence further, all in the hope the dragons would take notice of her.

If Bahamut, her benefactor was to be believed it would be only a matter of time before some of the dragons would start to react, and then the ancients would be forced to make their stance on the matter official as well. Would they join in a united horde? Or would they decide to go their separate ways?

She wasn't certain. She would have preferred for it to be the former but if she had to make a bet, she would have to put her money on the latter. The Ancients were as proud as they were stubborn, and as such it would take a lot of effort to convince them to join forces with her.

Still, if she could get even a fraction of the ancients on her side, and then turn their attention then perhaps she could renew the legacy of the Dragon Emperor and see the dragon race properly united, a force even the gods would fear.

But there was much work to be done yet, the Dragon girl realized. First, she would need to strengthen her presence on the ground, then she would have to turn the tide of the war in her favour and secure victory over the principalities. But she was willing to pay any price and endure any hardship if it meant the revival of the dragon race and extract her revenge upon the gods.

"What is your plan going forward my lady?" One of the advisors asked.
Ryuko's eyes shifted from the map of the principality to the advisor. "For now I will convey the success of our campaign's initial phase to his majesty. I believe it will take some time before we will see the other nations respond to Drurigrad's pleas, but perhaps the greed of mortals can be turned in our favor: Maybe there will be some among them who will be willing to join the Prince instead."

"I doubt it will be that simple. There are a great many kingdoms beyond the Principality of Peregrade's borders, and the fact that this land is known for its many feuding rulers will not sit well with foreign powers."

Of course, and many likely saw Peregrade as unstable as a result, but its territory was too harsh and unforgiving for foreign powers to launch an invasion themselves. No, they likely would try to use the civil war to instal a puppet ruler on the throne. That was a situation that Ryuko and her order could easily take advantage of.
"Perhaps you are right. Still, we must remain vigilant. Our work as the Dragon Order is far from over, and should it come to war we will take to the battlefield, and we will continue to press on, conquering whoever stands in our way."
"As you wish my lady."
The advisor bowed before the Dragon girl, before returning to his place at the table.
"I will have a missive sent out at once to the Prince, and prepare my departure." Ryuko said, getting up from her seat, and turning around to walk away.
The advisor was quick to object. "Is that wise my lady? Surely you know how important your presence is here currently, if you were to meet with the prince now these who hold hostile intentions toward us might expect a war to begin any moment."
Ryuko knew. It was risky, yes, and perhaps she would have been better off staying put but at the same time her presence was what made her the most visible, the most important part of her order. So long as she was the figurehead of the Order, so long as she remained its guiding light, it would stand for all times. Even if she were to die, it would survive her, and as such so long as she was careful and kept a low profile it would be safe enough for her to visit the prince.
"There is no need to worry, I will not let myself get killed so easily. Besides, if it is not me, the prince may never truly appreciate the report of the events~" The dragon girl's playful tone made the advisor sigh softly. "Very well, I pray for your quick return then."

And then there was another matter she wanted to see handled. Till now she had been able to safeguard Maple from the ongoing events, but it would be only a matter of time before she would get caught up in the conflict. Before that happened she would make certain to get the half-elf close to her side so she could keep her safe.

It was odd, even if her heart had been consumed by hatred and her lust for power, there was still that fragment of her former self that lingered, that part that wanted to indulge in innocent ideals and the warmth of her bond with Maple.

Perhaps it was in a way her guiding light, the thing that kept her from truly descending into madness. As she left the chamber she turned her gaze skyward, a hand reaching up to the sky. "Are you watching Father? This is me, the path I have chosen. If you were known as Shinryu, the divine dragon of Joya then I will become known as the Monarch Dragon of Pergrande."

And with these reminiscent words she prepared to leave the keep, for once answering the prayers of the advisors by leaving in her human form and traveling on horseback instead of flying to the capital in her true form!

WC: 1250/1250

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