- 3The Master and the Student (1)
Back in the days he was Ian’s punching bag in his training days, the Dragon Soldier Spartoi had the weirdest dream.
He pondered whether he should discuss the dream with the Fairy Queen but in the end, he didn’t.
Instead, he was about to find things out for himself now when his family didn’t have any influence at all. The truth behind the horrific scene he had witnessed in his dream.
(Though of course, it could be nonsense…)
He had been moving around in the form of a ghost for half an year now.
He was a lot quicker, too. Maybe because he didn’t have his physical body.
He could even fly. Except he couldn’t do anything because his body passed through
(But still… it wouldn’t hurt to check… )
He must have flown up quite a bit, because he was over the clouds. He continued upwards.
(I might be able to find out)
Soon the spirit of Spartoi the Dragon Soldier’s arrived on land. It was a spotless field, and there was no sign of life.
Spartoi couldn’t help feeling surprised, because he was sure it was the same field of prosperity he had seen in his dream.
(It can’t be…)
The spirit of the Dragon Soldier melted into the ground. He had to check something immediately. If his dreams were real, it had to be down there.
His voice stopped. The Land of Prosperity started shaking.
It didn’t end there.
Something started shooting out of the ground.
It Spartoi’s physical body.
However, that wasn’t the only body shooting out of the ground,
There were an endless count of soldiers – even more than the head count of the ones Ian had called upon when he was battling Evantus.
Spartoi looked at his soldiers. He was sure he had seen the Land of Prosperity in his dreams.
He had seen it happen right here.
He had seen the dragons dying off mercilessly in the hands of a small human.
(Half of them… )
All the dragons that had died in his hands had been buried in the Land of Prosperity and it was at least half of the dragon population. Spartoi had come to see for himself whether it was true.
(At least… half of them…)
And from what he had seen, it all seemed to be true. Spartoi’s body was made of the pieces of dragon bones. He had called upon so many bodies like this.
What else could it mean? It simply meant there were dragon bones buried.
(Here, on this spot…. )
The Land of Prosperity, a huge piece of land that had been floating along over the clouds, had been a burial site. A burial site where at least half of the dragon population had been buried.
“Your Majesty, have you seen Spartoi?”
(Who am I to care? He has nowhere to go anyways)
“Are you not aware of his whereabouts as well, Evantus?”
(I wasn’t. He was a vagabond from long before.)
(As if! I just didn’t have friends)
Ian had started finishing off his procrastinated duties and promises he had promised to keep.
He eventually kept the promise he had made to the Fairy Queen and Evantus, that he would help them meet the dragons.
Of course, not the real dragons. Just the spirits of the dragons, but that should be enough.
“Well, I guess so. Since two bottles is the limit.”
I could only make two bottles’ worth of potion that would help them reach the permission of time because there weren’t enough supplies lasting, especially the gargoyle eyes.
So it was just the Fairy Queen and Evantus who made the journey. Of course, Ian wasn’t desperate to meet the dragon. He wasn’t trustworthy.
“Why don’t you go ahead”
The Fairy Queen and Evantus were able to return from the permission of time fifty days later in our world.
Just as Ian had thought he had been in there less than a week, or two to three weeks at most, the two also had thought only a week had passed.
But fifty days?
The Fairy Queen looked surprised.
(Fifty days? Impossible!)
“It’s true. It’s weird in there.”
And the Fairy Queen’s eyes were red, as if she had cried the fifty days.
(Then I should hurry and find the whereabouts of the gargoyle)
Evantus was in action immediately. He could prepare the potion only if he could find the gargoyle that would open the way to the repository of time. They were more active now that their children’s lives were at stake.
(Then… what about me?)
The Fairy Queen nervously flew up to Ian. Unlike Evantus, she was free from family influence. It was all thanks to Ian, who had offered not to exercise family authority if she didn’t want him to. Of course, that would change if circumstances were different
(He told me to help you, human.)
“Are you talking about the Dragon’s spirit?”
(How rude of you! Even if he is in form of a spirit, he is the master of all power and the Lord of the Dragons. Show your respect!)
“His Majesty asked you to help me?”
Ian asked, addressing him differently
(How am I, a lowly servant, to understand his ways? But he has clearly ordered me to do so, and I will do as you ask for the time being. You just need me to protect your family, right?)
Fairy Queen had always been stuck up, so it was a surprise to see her so humble. I guess the dragon really did have authority.
(You may even use the spell of kin)
“Are you serious?”
(We’re supposed to help you anyways, so adding you to the power of our kin makes things a lot easier. The spell of kin has so many more effects other than simply making people obey. For example… )
The Fairy Queen started flapping her small wings. She seemed to fly over Ian’s shoulder pink dust dropped from her wings.
It was fairy dust. And not just any fairy dust. It was the Fairy Queen’s dust.
(My dust doesn’t simply have the power to cleanse the Magi. As long as a master of our kin have even the smallest speck of my dust on them, I am able to sense their location and whether they are in life threatening situations. It’s a skill to have to protect them even more perfectly, but I think I can do the same for you.)
It was a pretty efficient skill to have.
Which was why I had a reason to have doubt.
“Were you not able to find the whereabouts of the dragon with your skills?’
(It’s the same as when you first entered the permission of time. My powers had vanished so I couldn’t sense life or their locations. And that’s something the owner of the powers can do.)
That was understandable.
‘Of course, you can’t trust dragons too much.’
At least he could use the kin to his benefit.
Then he realized the spirit of the dragon living in the permission of time could have changed during the past 1,000 years. If the dragon living in the permission of time happened to be ‘normal’, the golden dragon I had met when fighting Lagnar would be one that had changed over the years.
‘He did seem a lot different.’
He could only rely on feelings and assumptions to make his decision. He didn’t like it, but he had no other choice.
As of now, it was like an irresistible force.
“Alright,” Ian said, coming to a decision.
“Instead,” he spoke slowly, “promise me you won’t change your mind later. I never fooled you, put a spell on you, or threatened you for this.”
(Have you lived your whole life being fooled? Or rather, fooling others? You’re very sharp.)
“Yes, that’s right.”
Ian said, giving her a meaningful smile.
In his past life, he had been fooled by many.
In his current life, he was always fooling others.
The golden Mana started to surround the Fairy Queen. The irresistible power of the kin connected the two.
( I had been sensing this before, but I don’t like this sense of obedience to a being other than the dragons… and humans, at that!)
“I will say this again. Don’t…”
(I know, I get it! You really do take after your bloodline. So full of suspicion!)
Yesterday she had called us short-lived. Now she was calling us full of suspicion. Anyways, the queen of the fairies was once again part of Ian’s kin after being free for a short while.
“I will leave my family in your hands, Your Highness.”
The most important problem was solved. The next problem was to organize his fortunes. And Ian had a lot.
The jewels he had brought from the ivory tower were his, not to mention the personal riches of the former owner of the ivory tower which the Emperor had given Ian. He also had some of the jewelry made by Hector Coldwood.
‘And there’s also the message the Emperor left for me.’
He at least wanted to take care of Herbert’s fortunes. There wouldn’t be a problem in doing so, but it was an offering that he felt uncomfortable holding on to.
‘How am I to take care of all of this?’
He could simply take the artifacts and magical objects Herbert had gathered for himself secretly and keep it in the royal room with object from the ivory tower. The real problem was his fortune.
‘I should take care of it so that it doesn’t look bad on my end.’
But Ian wasn’t used to that, and he didn’t have the time to take care of things carefully. He didn’t even know how. Of course, the Emperor would have wanted him to donate the riches to the people and rise as the new generous owner of the ivory tower…
‘But I’ve never done that before.’
The old Ian never cared about the people.
He could actually just say he never had the chance. He had a limited number of friends and family in his former life whom he had lost during the unification war. As for his last friend Lagnar, he had poisoned Ian.
‘I’ve reached the limit to the few relationships I have.’
He had nothing else to rely on except for magic. His first life was wasted helping a friend who was obsessed with war. That was all of his 42 years.
‘If only there was someone I could trust this with.’
Ian looked around his house and his eyes lay on his mother, who was busy sewing for some reason.
Ian wondered what she could be making.
‘If it were my mother…’
Ian’s mother, Vanessa Page, was a kind woman. She had such a pure heart it was a wonder how Ian could be her son. She was the closest person Ian knew who would be seen as a generous figure.
‘She would be a much better match for the job than I.’
It was a job that didn’t fit Ian in the first place. Even if he did take the job it would only look like a big show. It would be right to leave the job to someone who would do good things out of kindness in their hearts. As for now, his mother was the best choice.
‘But not even my mother knows how’
He couldn’t just throw her a stack of money and tell her to use it for something meaningful. She needed someone with knowledge to help her and Ian wondered who that could be.
Ian slapped his thigh in realization.
‘Princess Hiley Greenriver’
She was a princess, which meant she never did anything. But strangely, she knew a lot. I was pretty sure her duties as royalty also included looking after her people.
‘And she just happens to be in a place where I can boss her around.’
She just happened to be Ian’s disciple. She had considered him her teacher herself. Not that he had actually taught her anything yet, but all he had to do was start with something.
‘I just need to teach her how to do the Mana Respiration Method‘, Ian thought, getting to his feet.
He was thinking of mentioning it while it was still fresh on his mind.
He thought of teleporting immediately, but he changed his mind.
‘I wonder if that would be rude.’ She may be his student, but she was royalty, after all. To top things off, she was a lady, a princess.
‘I should walk.’ Ian thought, shaking his head.
Soon, he headed for the palace.
He hadn’t been able to in a long time, but he took off his robes to change into a proper outfit to greet the princess.
Hiley Greenriver, the most beautiful maiden in all of the land, and earned her place as the student of Ian Page, felt her heart beating wildly.
Or at least, it was like that until a few weeks ago.
She had been waiting for months, waiting for a word from him or to assign her some sort of commitment, anything. She had been waiting faithfully, thinking, maybe he was busy. Maybe he had a lot to take care of.
Her teacher’s never got back to her, even as the seasons changed. Thanks to him, she just worried a lot more. She wondered whether she should go talk to him personally, or contact him first, but she shook her head.’
Wouldn’t it make her look pitiful?
It would make her look desperate.
Princess Hiley frowned, and her forehead creased.
‘He couldn’t have forgotten, could he?’
Knowing Ian, there was a big possibility he could have. After all, wasn’t he such a cold person?
Her memory of him making outspoken comments telling her she had a less influential position in the palace and that she should roam around doing things she liked was still fresh on her mind.
‘Which of course,’ she thought, ‘was what made him more attractive.’
She turned redder in the face as the memory came to mind. She was for certain it was the first time her heart fluttered whenever she thought of someone like this.
‘But what’s the point?’ she thought ‘I’m certain he has forgotten me.’
At that moment, when the princess was full of thoughts, her servants, who were more like her friends, came hustling in.
“Your… Your Highness!”
Was there something wrong?
The princess’s white, delicate face was full of curiosity as she saw her servants making such a fuss.
“What is with you? What’s this all about?” she replied, and they exploded to replies.
“Finally! After all this time!”
“In his proper clothes, rather than his robes!”
It was hard to make out what they were saying, since they were all talking at once.
Regardless, the princess understood what they meant.
‘Master Ian has finally come?’
She had such a good ability. She understood what was going on immediately.
“Girls.. “ Princess Hiley whispered, her voice full of caution, “help.. help me out!”
The servants understood immediately, just as the princess could understand them inside out.
“Just leave it to us!”
Her worries started to get taken care of in the hands of her servants – how her hair should look, what dress she should wear, what makeup suit her the best, her shoes, her perfume…
“My Lady, Ian Page, owner of the Ivory Tower is requesting to meet you.”
A servant’s voice called from the other side of the door by the time she was ready.
He was here, just on the other side.
Her coldhearted teacher, Ian Page, who was two years younger than herself, was finally here.