It was snowing.
The cold chilly wind with snow covered the lands of Moldavia. It was Starfall Year 833, end of March.
As the final snowy day came to an end, the temperature of the northern land slowly rose. Areas where the snow melted earlier had already begun their farming activity. They proceeded to loosen up the frozen soil and started planting new crops on their land. The melted snow from the peak of the mountain flowed into the river, passing through the snowy forest.
The animal started to wake up from their hibernation within the forest and the icy plains. White bears and squirrels came out from their beloved home after waking up from a long sleep. The wolves which roamed around the forest the whole winter were excited to see the number of prey increasing. At that moment, a lot of merchants were traveling from other regions, proceeding towards the land which was sealed for a season.
The atmosphere was getting more active in Moldavia as they would be celebrating spring soon. All the shops which were silent during winter finally started their business to be ready to accept new trading opportunities. Restaurants became popular once again. The topics heard within the eateries were no longer news about the neighborhood, but all focused on the news of Winter Fort Academy.
For the children who were successfully accepted into the academy made their parents felt very proud. Obviously, it also made others envious. Being the first authentic profession-based academy, those who were accepted into the academy had the rights to be proud. Parents were boasting their child's success in entering the academy, whether or not it was direct or indirect. Amongst the people, the person who gained the most attention was an old man with white hair, drinking the strong liquor from the beer glass which was half the size of a human's head.
This scene scared the crap of out the middle-aged man who just entered. After getting the explanation from the people around, this man immediately knew that the old man in front of him was Edward, whose both grandchildren were successfully accepted into Winter Fort Academy. Both of them gained great attention from the instructors. He was drinking without constraints due to the fact that the people around had sort of given him their blessings and encouraged him to drink.
"It seems that only when people are drinking, you'll get this excitement from the northern lands."
After ordering a beer and meal, the middle-aged man sat at a certain corner and observed the hyped up mood within the restaurant. He smiled for a moment and fixed his uniform which was black in color with red sides. On the chest of the uniform, there was a badge with half a sword and half of a golden scale.
Mengsk the examiner had once again came to Moldavia after a year.
He carried the same task just like the last time he visited this land. However, this time he was not that rushed to monitor the Dark Tide occurrence. His task this time was to observe the situations within the city of Moldavia, thus he had plenty of time to walk around.
After finishing his meal, he started his aimless journey to explore the view in the city of Moldavia.
As he walked through the streets made of rocks, he saw many shops which were initially closed resume their operation for the incoming spring. The business street was livelier as compare to the days in the winter. There were numerous of people walking around the streets, buying their daily necessities. There were a lot of people who were wearing armor made of daemon leather and pelt. Based on his experience, the middle-aged man knew that the people who most excited about the end of winter were the old mercenaries who would march out to the wild when the ice melted.
As he approached the city center, there were people who were wearing silver armor or daemon-made armor with the insignia of the Radcliffe family were more common at that point. There were also quite some knights wearing white fur coats patrolling near St. Laurent Cathedral.
The whole city was brimmed with life. It seemed that everyone was eager to be active after being held down the whole winter. This sign was very apparent from the knights patrolling around. They were in extremely high spirits. They were hoping that some foolish people would appear and allow them to have a reason to beat them up, releasing their excessive energy.
Mengsk walked silently across the city. He was enjoying the scenery of the surrounding, the clean streets, and environment. There was a melody from an accordion spreading from the restaurants. It was unbelievable that being the second tier city, Moldavia was quite an impressive city. However, it still could not be compared to the main cities of the Empire. The people roamed the streets filled with hope and energy, not like half-dead zombies who just tried to live for another day. It seemed that the liege here was not bad and was performing his duty quite well.
After passing through St. Laurent, he reached the street where the liege's mansion was located.
When he saw the mansion, he stopped his steps.
"That is quite surprising unbelievable."
After taking in a deep breath and relaxed his muscles, Mengsk gathered his spirit. After shaking his head and muttering a little, he looked that the two heads hung at the castle side; two large and ferocious dragon heads. It made him quite speechless. "Come on, can this liege try not put on his display in such a fashion? Those two heads hung outside are terrifying. It really gives me the shivers."
As he turned his head and looked at the people around, it seemed that all the people had already accustomed with the ferocity released from the two dragon heads. They no longer had any fear for the faces of the monsters. Looking at this scene, the middle-aged man came into a deep thought. "Could that be Joshua's objective? To allow the people to get accustomed to the pressure from the dragons. Even if a dragon invasion were to happen, they would still have the willpower to escape?"
These two dragon heads also had another message: Dragons are not undefeatable. Look, two dragon heads are hung here. You guys have someone to back you up, there's no need to be afraid.
This weird thought whispered in the Mengsk's ears. He could only shake his head and throw this thought aside. Slowly, he proceeded to the liege's mansion.
At this moment, there was a silver-haired young girl coming out from the corners of the street, going towards the mansion's main gate.
Ever since Black awakened the Smelting Black Dragon bloodline, it always swam in the lake located near Mount Nissia. Ying who had one less job to do felt more comfortable. Other than the compulsory cultural knowledge which she had to attend, she had quite some free time for other activities.
Joshua was okay with this. He does not mind Ying walking around the streets every day. He would also provide some pocket money for her to buy some of the things she wanted. Ying didn't require that additional money anyway. If she needed to change her clothing, she could activate her magic and it'll all be done. So basically, the money she spent was mostly on food. Sometimes she would bring some back to the mansion to share with her master.
When Ying was going to enter the mansion, she saw a familiar person.
A person wearing a black uniform with red linings. On the chest of this man was a badge with a scale, who was standing right across the street. This familiarity caused the girl to blink her eye and dive deep into her memory. She immediately recalled the person in front.
Mengsk the examiner.
A person that master knew.
His arrival this time, probably he wants to meet Master? Ying went silent for a moment, proceeding to praise herself for being smart.
"Hi, Mister Mengsk."
Ying raised her hands and waved towards the other man. Ying recalled the teachings she had in the cultural class. After clearing her throat, she used her gentle voice to reply, "Do you have any mission on your arrival here, sir?"
Being suddenly greeted by another, Mengsk finally noticed the young girl in front of him. After trying to recall her name, the examiner immediately replied, "It was a pleasure to meet you again after a while, Miss Ying. You are even lovelier than the last time we've met"
Being able to meet with someone he knew, Mengsk could skip the procedure to register with the guards and book an appointment. This was definitely a bonus for him. However after one year, not to mention her size, even her height did not change at all? Mengsk heard that the Radcliffe maids were all tall ladies. It seemed like those were just rumors and was not true at all based on the fact in front of him.
"If you wish to meet the master, I'll have to report first."
Ying did not know what the other person was thinking. If she had known, she would not be this polite at all. The young lady bowed politely and said, "Master is probably performing his official task. If it was not urgent, please wait for a moment."
"Okay. All I have is some good news to be shared with your master."
Following her guide, Mengsk walked towards the main gate of the mansion. When the guards knew that it was someone known by their liege, all they did was perform a simple check, keeping his weapon and allowed him to pass.