Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 124
Chapter 124: Queen of the Sky
Chapter 124: Queen of the Sky
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
"Brat, I know what you're thinking about, but if you continue using that strange gaze to look at me"
Aida walked beside Thales' steed and clenched her fists, her index finger's knuckle jutted out. Her tone was incredibly impatient. "You know what will happen to you."
"Alright." Thales, whose curiosity had already reached its peak, stuck out his tongue and turned his head around.
"If you don't want to answer, it's fine."
The prince sighed from the bottom of his heart.
Aida sighed softly and sealed the memories of her past in the bottom of her heart once more.
'Jadestar. Those damn Jadestars.'
"Speaking of which, Aida, how did you become the Jadestar Royal Family's secret protector?" Thales watched the indistinct mountain range that was gradually appearing before his eyes and asked airily, "How did an elf come to be employed in Constellation, a country belonging to humans? I heard that they are incredibly prideful, and those who serve humans are one of a kind."
Aida lowered her head.
"Hey, brat." There was a slightly awkward tone in the elf's voice. "I already said before that I am not your family's guard. And"
Aida folded her arms across her chest, and her voice was full of scorn. "You're just a brat, how much could you possibly know about the elves?"
Thales could only stick out his tongue and shake his head in resignation.
This highly questionable elf. This elf who had lived for several centuries and even met the Virtuous King Mindis as well as Prince Keira must have plenty of exciting stories.
As for her personality...
After the group crossed a hill covered in snow, Putray steered his steed next to Thales. The thin vice-diplomat's face was solemn as he lifted his finger and pointed at the direction they were headed for. "We are here."
Thales registered what was going on and quickly lifted his head to look down the slope.
With his blurry vision caused by the snow that covered the world, he saw a giant with silver and black colors intersecting with each other appear in the mountains.
No, that was not a giant.
Its contour appeared vaguely in the snow in the distance. That was a majestic city built at the foot of mountains. He could faintly see a flag with dashes of red and black fluttering in the wind above the city.
Its grayish black walls were adorned by silvery white snow. The highest point of the city was located at the tallest summit of all the mountains. From the distance, the city looked like a giant leaning against a snow mountain. There were plenty of villages and small towns surrounding and protecting it, and the city stood erect in the land to the north.
Thales signalled for Wya to stop his restless steed.
He sucked in a breath of the freezing wind unique to the north and quietly gazed at the majestic and powerful city in the distance. A slight wave of excitement stirred in his heart.
'This is the Great Dragon of the North, the capital of Eckstedt?'
Without even realizing it, they had already crossed Prestige Orchid Snowland and entered a new territory.
"This is the first time you saw such a grand sight, right?" Nicholas rode to their side. The corners of his lips curled up, and his face was filled with longing for his homeland, and respect. "The giant city with the mountains on her back. The largest, most magnificent, most majestic city in the Northland with the longest history. The holy land in Northlanders' hearts.
"Dragon Clouds City."
At that moment, a light snort travelled into the air from his side at an inappropriate time.
"It was not known as Dragon Clouds City in the beginning."
Nicholas cast his gaze upon the Constellatiate who interrupted him.
"It was built in the era of the feudal kings, and is one of the places humans gather to in the north. And during the age of the Ancient Empire, it was the provincial capital of the original Empire's Northland Province." Putray continued what Nicholas had left off without any expression on his face.
"The fort that is built at that foot of the mountain was originally known as Arunde Fort. It is the dwelling place for the Arunde Family for generations and whom were ordered by the Emperor to govern the Northland. When the Empire fell, this place fell into a chaos and alternation of power that lasted for three hundred years. It continued until one day, Raikaru and Tormund's armies joined forces nearby and obtained our first victory in the Battle of Eradication."
"It was Raikaru who led the army and saved Tormund, who was in a perilous situation." Nicholas shook his head, unbothered. With his own understanding, he 'corrected' the Constellatiate's words. "That is why that war was known as the 'Reversal Gust'. It is said that Raikaru's army moved like lightning on an empty field nearby, and as if they had descended from the sky, they destroyed the enemies from the back."
Thales pursed in lips in resignation.
'Oh well, it's the small "difference in opinion" between the Eckstedtians and Constellatiates, the Northlanders and the citizens of the Empire again.
'And while they're both Northlanders, Nicholas seems to be even more stubborn than Kentvida.
'As expected.' Thales exhaled. There was an expression of disapproval on his face.
"So, how did this place turn into Eckstedt's capital?" Thales asked at the appropriate time, cutting off the 'intense discussion' that was about to start again.
Nicholas gestured to them to continue moving onwards. The commander of the White Blade Guards rode and began speaking like a real escort.
"This land was built with Dragon Clouds City as its center, and it belongs to the Walton Family, the family where Nuven the Seventh was born. It is also the ruling family that has the greatest reputation in Eckstedt. They held the title of Archduke of Dragon Clouds City for generations.
"Humanity's hero, Raikaru Eckstedt, became the suzerain of this place six hundred something years ago. He formed an alliance with nine knights here and swore an oath to protect the Northland and their homeland amid the chaos wrought by the Battle of Eradication, to regain the Northlanders' pride.
"From then on, the prideful Northlanders called their new kingdom 'Eckstedt', and the Eckstedt Union was formed.
"During the subsequent years, the nine knights returned to the land after expanding the country's territory, which to them, had been like slicing butter with a hot knife. They elected Raikaru Eckstedt as the king the Northlanders would wholeheartedly accept and would follow him to their deaths. The nine knights obtained their own fiefdoms to protect Dragon Clouds City.
"The history of the union ended here, and the start of Eckstedt's history began.
"With the spirit of fair rule and where the position of the ruler will rotate among the other suzerains, Eckstedt's highest ruler, who is the common-elected king, would be chosen from among the ten archdukes. The remaining others would obey his authority and commands. This was the oath Raikaru swore so that the other knights could rule together with him, and you can see that his prestige and influence extends until this date.
"Since King Nuven has the title of the Archduke of Dragon Clouds City as well, Dragon Clouds City hence also became the capital of Eckstedt."
At that moment, a military courier from Black Sand Region moved through the layers of blocks made by the White Blade Guards with much difficulty and reached Nicholas' side, asking him to meet with Viscount Kentvida.
Once Nicholas left, Thales turned his head around and looked towards Putray.
"You have something to say," the prince said with a certain tone.
"Of course." The vice-diplomat shook his head in disdain. "Do not believe in our hot-blooded Northland friends, especially in that nonsense he spouts about 'fair rule and where the position of the ruler will rotate among the other suzerains'. It is just used to trick the Northlanders. In truth, in Northland and perhaps in all other places in the world, power has always been the one that decides matters. Those with power will become king."
"Oh?" Thales chuckled softly. "Since that hot-blooded Northland friend of ours has left, then do you mind telling me more, my knowledgeable vice-diplomat who is gifted with many talents and who knows the Northland well?"
Putray extended his hand into his bosom, intending to take out his tobacco pipe, but the former bard hesitated for a few seconds. Then, though it was unknown whether he was lamenting over the fact that he only had very little tobacco left or he was struck by a conscience, he pulled his hand back with a pained expression.
He spoke to the second prince, "I do not know whether you have noticed it, but the first ruler of Dragon Clouds City and the first Common-Elected King of Eckstedt is Raikaru Eckstedt, but the Dragon Clouds City we see now is under the rule of Nuven Walton the Seventh's rule."
Thales registered what was going on soon. "Eckstedt and Walton are two family names, which means that the ones who inherited his position and his title are not his direct descendants?"
Putray lifted his brows and nodded. "The true history, or the history that you can find in Constellation's records are as follows: 'Raikaru died young and he did not have any children. After he passed away, his nephew, Nuven Walton, inherited the title of Suzerain of Dragon Clouds City.
"He was the first Nuven from the Walton Family to become the Suzerain of Dragon Clouds City, Nuven the First.
"From then on, with the Cloud Dragon Spear as their symbol, the Walton Family ruled this land and this city to this day.
"But Nuven the First's blood made the suzerains skeptical of his legitimacy and also caused the other suzerains to cast covetous eyes on the throne of the common-elected king. No matter how many times he stressed that his mother was Raikaru's older sister and how Nuven himself was the legitimate successor closest to the former King Raikaru, it could not diminish the ambitions the other nine suzerains habored in their hearts. Even if they were the model knights that had been loyal to Raikaru."
A light crease appeared between Thales' brows.
During that moment, what laid in his mind was not Raikaru and his nine knights. Instead, he was thinking of the gigantic portrait in the middle of Mindis Hall. On the battlefield under the setting sun was a young knight covered with injuries. Six people accompanied him and charged forward fearlessly.
Constellation's King of Renaissance, Tormund Jadestar the First, with his six knights who were the celebrated families of the dukes in their territories, the Six Great Clans.
Arunde, with their white-backed flying falcon; Cullen, with their sun sword and shield; Covendier, with their tricolored iris flowers; Fakenhaz, with their four-eyed skull; Nanchester, with their great deer antlers; and Tabark, with their blood moon.
Together with the ancestors of the Thirteen Distinguished Families, they were the ones who fought beside Tormund in the past.
Were they 'loyal' to the King of Renaissance in the past? Just like the nine suzerains, the nine knights, behind Raikaru?
Putray continued. "An intense conflict erupted between Dragon Clouds City's Nuven the First and the nine knights as well as their descendants, for Eckstedt's throne and the issue of the legitimate right of succession. After the war, the suzerains' stalemate and conflict lasted for several decades. At that time, Eckstedt was practically ten fragmented pieces. They were known as one country, but in truth, they were enemies who were like oil and water.
"During this period of time, the survivors of the Final Empire were at the bank of Shepherd's River, located to the south. The new country that was originally insignificant and built on the area that was once the ancient chauvinistic province's territory began slowly rising to power and continued expanding its territory outwards."
Thales understood what he meant and answered, "Tormund the First, the King of Renaissance?"
"That's right." Putray nodded. A peculiar light shone in his eyes. "Constellation."
"In the end, due to the pressure cast by the rising Constellation, Nuven the First and the nine suzerains came to a compromise in the end, though it was in the most awkward fashion possible.
"Under the support of the nine suzerains, Nuven Walton continued to possess the common-elected king's seat, and Nuven the First used the name of the great previous King Raikaru and designated Eckstedt's territories once again, then conferred the ten suzerains, including himself, the titles of Eckstedt's legitimate ten archdukes. But once Nuven the First died, the king must be chosen once more from among the ten Archdukes. They would vote on their own to choose a new common-elected king, and the new king will rule until his death. This repeated itself, and Eckstedt's king selection system was established and applied for six hundred years.
"This is the so-called 'oath' Raikaru swore so that the other knights could rule together with him, because it is the oath ten people swore in Raikaru's name and was also made once they signed their names under Raikaru's signature. Ironically, it has nothing to do with Raikaru."
"Hold on." Thales was stupefied by Putray's words. "The king selection system I only read the general idea of it when I was in Mindis Hall The ten archdukes vote at the same time and choose someone from among them?
"What if they had the same number of votes? Is there a mature system with rules to ascertain that the common-elected king will be chosen in a smooth manner during the King Selection Congress?"
Thales remembered a peculiar movie he watched in his previous life. In there, the pirates had to choose a Pirate King, but in the end, all the candidates chose themselves .
"There is, and it is simple, straightforward, effective, and filled with the romantic flair of the Northlanders," Putray said in a low voice, "That method has inherited the customs of the Empire and the age of glory from the knights. It is still used by Eckstedt, and when the archdukes are in a bind, they will use it to choose who the throne will belong to."
"Inherited the customs of the Empire, use it to choose who the throne will belong to?" Thales tightened his grip over the reins and remembered something he heard from Kaslan in the Hero Tavern. He could not help but be shocked. "Are you saying...?"
"Yes." Putray nodded. With a complicated gaze, he uttered two words with some force.
Thales was stunned.
"When the sacred King Selection Congress cannot perform the final choice, the candidates for king with the same number of votes, no matter their age or status, must enter the arena to personally prove their worth.
"They must prove in the arena that they have the bravery that is worthy of the common-elected king, the leadership qualities that can lead the Northlanders, the fearlessness in battle born from being numb to death, and the ability to stand victorious in the end."
When he heard this, the Archduke of Black Sand, Chapman Lampard's face that alternated between light and dark due to the illumination by the light from the fire suddenly appeared in Thales' mind. He also remembered the battered old sword on his table.
In the end, they were Northlanders.
Thales suddenly realized that even though he had already stepped into Eckstedt's territory in the north, his understanding of them still remained very basic.
This country in the north that was famous for their strength and their determination was far more complicated and peculiar than he thought.
And he was about to face them.
"Continue." Thales frowned with a solemn expression. "Before I face them, I would like to understand the Archdukes of Eckstedt...
"... Such as their relationship with the common-elected king."
Putray only paused for a moment before he nodded his head and continued. "The Archdukes of Eckstedt have absolute autonomy in their own territories. They will only show obedience to the common-elected king and have the duty of sending their soldiers to battle when the country is at war. They also need to fix the quota for tax, though I heard that many archdukes cannot even do this. They can decide the matters in their territories on their own, and whether or not they want to accept and carry out the king's decrees which is supposed to be effective through the entire country completely depends on the archdukes' wishes.
"Don't the Archdukes of Eckstedt have too much power in their hands, then?" Surprise appeared on Thales' faces. As he moved forward, he sighed softly. "Can it be considered a miracle that Eckstedt has not been divided even now?"
"That is right, which is why they are called archdukes and not the dukes during the Age of the Empire." Putray sighed. "To a certain extent, Eckstedtborn from a compromiseis even more divided than Constellation.
"The power they have to run their own territories is far greater than what the dukes have in Constellation. At least, no matter how miserly and unwilling he is, Duke Cullen still has to send a certain amount of money from Eastern Sea Hill to pay a sufficient amount of his taxes to Eternal Star City and His Majesty. The appointment or removal of important officials in Constellation as well as the appointment or demotion of nobles must adhere to the 'Holy Constitution of Constellation'. In fact, they have to verify these promotions or demotions through the supreme king's warrant, which is why if the dukes want to interfere with the kingdom's politics, the fastest way they can do so is to take part in Eternal Star City's central departments, or by drawing the kingdom's alderman to their side with the influence of their territory."
Thales shook his head. "Then what is the point of having a common-elected king? If he cannot even control his own archdukes who are his subordinates, then why does he still want to be the common-elected king?"
Putray pondered over it for a moment before he answered seriously, "For great prestige, the obedience of the other suzerains, and the legitimate name of the rule of Eckstedt."
Thales frowned again.
"This is much more effective for Northland than for Constellation. No matter how uncultured these Northlanders are, they know that the common-elected king's authority cannot be infringed upon. They cannot go against Raikaru's oath." Putray recalled his knowledge and continued.
"In history, there are three occurrences where the Archdukes of Eckstedt rose against the common-elected king because they were displeased with him, but every single time, it ended in failure. Because no matter how the archdukes who rose against the common-elected king tried to defend themselves with their arguments, once they publicly ignore Raikaru's oath, they will lose the public support from their subordinates and their people. Even the greediest Northlander will not be willing to fight for them. Some of these archduke's families even withdrew from the right of ruling Eckstedt ever again."
Thales stared at Dragon Clouds City in the distance. He puffed a breath of warm air on his cold hands and started thinking carefully.
'Great prestige. A legitimate name. The loyalty of the people.
'The traditional culture of the Northland?'
"Too simple," Thales said faintly several seconds later.
"Hmm?" A puzzled expression appeared on Putray's face.
"I'm saying that concluding Raikura's reputation and the Northlanders' personalities as well as their traditions are the factors contributing to Eckstedt's stability and unified power is too simple." Thales lowered his head and started thinking about this carefully.
"Human actions and the structure of power in society will always affect each other. It is impossible for this situation to exist where acts alone will solidify a structure, but the structure of this society has no effect on human actions. It does not matter how great the conduct of the Northlanders are, how much they revere their ancestor, and how much they respect their traditionthey cannot maintain this sort of state system.
"A power structure that is bound to be divided and shatter will only bring about the same effects on the Northlanders. They are bound to live under a structure where they are ruled by different suzerains, have different interests, and different systems. As generations come and go and as society changes, they will develop a set of actions and motives that fit the structure of that era.
"Under this strange, divided system Eckstedt has, it is difficult for the Northlanders to not treat each other as enemies and kill each other."
'That's right.' Thales nodded mentally.
This was the society he knew of.
'But Eckstedt was'
"Do you have any other thoughts?" Putray narrowed his eyes and asked while he pondered over Thales' words, "Why don't you voice them out so that I may hear them?"
The second prince remained silent for a moment before he said one word, "Constellation."
Thales lifted his head and said with an affirmative tone, "Constellation."
A glint appeared in Putray's eyes, and he waited for the prince's explanations.
"It is just as you said, Constellation's expansion and growth in power should have facilitated Eckstedt's stability and unity to a certain extent." Thales patted the steed beneath him, causing the horse that did not like him to become restless.
Wya scrabbled about to control Thales' steed, and Thales gave him an apologetic smile.
Thales turned his head around and continued speaking, "With that gigantic existence in the south, not a single one of the archdukes or suzerains in Eckstedt will face it alone. They must sit down, bring their conflicts in line, and face the enemy as a unified front.
Putray nodded in praise. "This is a good angle. Indeed, Constellation's existence has largely put the conflict between the common-elected king and the archdukes in check, and also made them shift their attention away."
Thales sucked in a deep breath.
'But if I turn it around, isn't Eckstedt's existence and the threat it brought with its existence also the reason that caused the internal factions of power in Constellation to band together?
Thales looked at the city that was getting closer and clearer, and then lowered his head slightly.
'Constellation and Eckstedt affect each other?
'Even if I analyse it in this manner, it's still completely insufficient.
'This is not the main reason behind why Eckstedt can last to this day, and not why the authority of the common-elected king can remain so stable in his hands.
'Just what sort of power is holding together Eckstedtwhich should have been a fragmented countryand made it continue to this day, remaining stable and powerful?'
Thales stared at the red and black flag in the distance and narrowed his eyes.
They ran into the first sentry post in Dragon Clouds City which was just in front of them. The White Blade Guards were speaking to them at that moment. Then, the escorts who had been protecting him over the past few days came up to him.
"This is the furthest we can send you, Prince Thales." Black Sand Region's Viscount Kentvida was rounding up his troops. He looked at Dragon Clouds City, located right before his eyes, and sighed, "Thankfully, nothing happened along the way."
"Thank you for escorting me along the way, even though we did not ask for it," Putray sighed. His face was indifferent. "And thank you for your 'welcoming' ceremony as well."
Kentvida was not bothered by Putray's attitude, and neither did he acknowledge the hostile glares from the White Blade Guards around him. Kentvida nodded to Tolja behind him, gesturing to him that they were prepared to leave. Then, he turned his head back and said to Thales,
"Then we will bid you farewell here. I hope that things will go smoothly for you when you are in Dragon Clouds City."
Thales stared intently at Archduke Lampard's strategist.
The experience and efficiency he displayed when he commanded his army on the way, his sharp wit and the unique train of thought he showed when they were in the Hero Tavern all left a deep impression in Thales.
Several seconds later, the second prince suddenly asked, "Why is His Grace not coming?"
Viscount Kentvida was stunned.
"King Nuven sent an invitation to all the other nine Archdukes in Eckstedt, did he not? But Lampard is not here." Thales remembered his discussion with Putray from moments ago and said quietly, "You know, perhaps King Nuven wants all of Eckstedt to see how the common-elected king will handle Constellation's Prince, starting with the White Blade Guards' friendly welcome."
From that moment onwards, Nuven and Lampard did not appear as people in Thales' mind anymore, but were concepts of the 'common-elected king' and the 'archdukes' fighting against each other while representing their different authorities and statuses in the same societal structure.
"The archduke has his own reasons." Viscount Kentvida reacted to the situation quickly. He replied in a flat tone, "I believe that the archduke has told you before that no matter whether it is you or the archduke, both of you are in a perilous situation, and only when you cooperate in good faith with him"
"King Nuven hates him, right?" Under Putray's strange gaze, Thales interrupted Kentvida's words.
Kentvida stopped speaking. His face was expressionless.
"I guess that the affairs in Constellation's palace has already reached Dragon Clouds City. There might be no proof, but the Archduke of Black Sand cannot escape from being connected to Prince Moriah's death, and just like what that cold Star Killer said" Thales enunciated each of his words.
"King Nuven will deal with him sooner or later. And what does Lampard intend to do?"
Thales watched Kentvida's expression closely, wanting to find some clues from his face.
Viscount Kentvida frowned slightly, then shook his head slowly. A strange smile appeared on his lips.
He no longer used the polite and distant tone he employed when speaking to Thales, but used a serious and stern voice to answer him.
"Black Sand Region stands at the border between Eckstedt and Constellation. It has been in conflict with the Northern Territory for hundreds of years. It is not as weak as you imagined. And King Nuven, as well as the Walton Family's power, still cannot reach Black Sand Region." The viscount's words carried a profound meaning.
"Besides, Eckstedt employs a king selection system." A strange smile appeared on Kentvida's face. "The archduke is still young, and King Nuven"
Thales narrowed his eyes slightly.
'How very confident Chapman Lampard.'
He remembered the talk they had in Lampard's military camp.
'But only these sorts of people can be known as 'gamblers' and can make someone like Sonia Sasere, the Fortress Flower, wary of him, no?'
"Good, because I, too, am still very young," Thales mumbled, though no one knew whether it was intentional or not.
Kentvida stared at Thales.
"Before we left, the archduke asked me to deliver a few words to you."
Thales raised his head.
"Please do be careful in choosing your enemies and friends." Kentvida smiled once more and tapped his chest at the position right above his heart and said, "Being kind and compassionate is not a king's weakness.
"But not being wise in handling matters is a great taboo for a king."
Thales frowned and let out a cold harrumph. The second prince shook his head. "Let His Grace teach me those things after he becomes the king."
Kentvida nodded. His smile did not change. "I will bring your exact words back to him."
At that moment.
"Those from Black Sand Region, why haven't you left yet?" Nicholas went to their side and asked rudely, "What now? Do you still want to bring two thousand men and do a little sightseeing in Dragon Clouds City?"
Marquis Shiles came to their side quietly and laughed. "Don't mind him. I do think that Lord Nicholas speaks in a very unique manner."
"Do a little sightseeing?"
"How would we dare do? This is, after all, the territory of the Dragon Spear Family. It is also where the common-elected king is If His Majesty is still as generous as ever and can provide us with some"
"Then hurry up and leave if you don't want to freeze to death in the Day Before the Bitter Cold Winter." Nicholas' expression turned cold as he interrupted Kentvida. "Unless you have Lampard come to this place personally...
"... then His Majesty will not have the mood to be a good host to you."
Kentvida's words died in his throat, and in the end, he did not continue speaking. He quickly bowed slightly and left with a calm expression.
The army that spanned several hundreds of meters from Black Sand Region followed behind him. For a short while, only the diplomat group and the White Blade Guards were left beside Thales.
They were left to face the majestic Dragon Clouds City.
Thales sighed. He turned his head around and looked at Dragon Clouds City which was getting closer. Suddenly, a crease appeared between his brows.
Thales stared at a stone bridge that connected through the entire upper portion of Dragon Clouds City.
The stone bridge hung in the sky. At the other end of the bridge was a huge cliff. The cliff was flat and wide, unlike the other cliffs in Dragon Clouds City which were filled with buildings. While this cliff was not small, it was empty.
He asked in puzzlement, "Why is that gigantic cliff so flat and empty?"
'Also that huge mountain cave behind it seems to be man-made." Thales narrowed his eyes and gazed into the distance.
Shiles moved past several people and appeared in front of Thales.
The marquis from Camus Union looked at the giant cliff, then frowned and shook his head. "That is the legendary 'Sky Cliff'. I might have seen it a few times, but the story behind that place Ha I heard that the place is an area belonging exclusively to their queen."
"Their queen?" While observing the cliff, Thales was momentarily stunned, and he instinctively asked, "What queen?"
"What queen?" Nicholas turned his head around. There was a strange expression on his face, as if he was slightly displeased. "Are you joking?"
Thales shrugged. He wanted to exchange a glance with Putray, but the latter merely kept silent in a profound manner.
At that moment, the attendant Wya, who had been silent for a long while, suddenly spoke up, "I have only heard some rumours about Dragon Clouds City's Sky Cliff. I heard that this is the royal pavilion belonging to the 'first queen'?"
"First queen?" Thales' bewilderment grew deeper. He exhaled and looked at Nicholas.
'Choosing a deserted and empty cliff as a royal pavilion? Is this asceticism?'
"Just who is the queen?" Thales asked impatiently.
"I thought Constellation's prince would at least have some knowledge in his head." Nicholas mocked him. "Of course it's the queen of King Raikaru Eckstedt, the Savior of the Battle of Eradication, the greatest hero in human history, the founding King of Eckstedt!"
Thales was completely stunned.
Thales frowned slightly. He raised his head and looked towards the cliff, the Cliff of the Sky.
'Hold on. A queen from six hundred years ago?'
"Yes." Nicholas nodded. His expression was solemn and respectful. "The first queen, whose existence is like a legend in Eckstedt.
"During the Battle of Eradication, she was the most reliable existence beside King Raikaru. His comrade and his one true love. When he was crowned king, she became his eternal queen.
"She is also the most noble and most perfect symbol in the hearts of Northlanders throughout these six hundred years."
An expression of reverence appeared on Nicholas' face.
The White Blade Guards might have their faces covered, but Thales could still tell that their emotions were the same as Nicholas'.
The leader of the White Blade Guards continued faintly. "She might have left quietly after King Raikaru passed away and disappeared without a trace, but the legends and myths around her stayed within every single Eckstedtian's heart."
Nicholas softly said, "During the Battle of Eradication, she was the legendary Crimson Wings in Blue Flames on the battlefield.
"The Queen of the Sky, Queen Clorysis."
Thales frowned. 'Why the sky? Could it be that the queen can fly...?
Thales looked at the gigantic cliff, and his mouth fell open.
"Did you say Crimson Wings in Blue Flames?" Thales turned his head around, and his face was deathly pale. With a flabbergasted expression, he stared at Nicholas. "The Queen of the Sky, which also means which also means, she is"
"Yes, that is right."
Nicholas showed a rare smile. The pale man who was usually aloof and stern was filled with pride and glory in that moment.
"During the Battle of Eradication, the great hero, King Raikaru Eckstedt"
Nicholas lifted his hand proudly and pointed at Eckstedt's flag fluttering in the sky.
"... was a knight."
Thales turned his head around and stared at the black flag with a dumbfounded expression. The crimson dragon on it bared its fangs and brandished its claws in the face of the wind.
"With his one true love, the Queen of the Sky, they soared through the air and fought together, and he was"
Nicholas' words travelled into his ears.
"... a dragon knight."
1. Pirate King: From the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, only in it, Jack Sparrow voted for Elizabeth.