“I see, indeed that may be the case.”
Marquis Rolentsor nodded. At seeing that the marquis obviously agreed with him, Eric shot me a triumphant look for an instant. I avoided his gaze, and looked at my spoon instead.
“Then, shall we make an agreement about the next baby draconis you receive here?”
“I believe that their breeding season is in spring. I don’t know when we’ll be fortunate enough to acquire another baby draconis, but I’ll make the arrangements.”
The next moment, Marquis Rolentsor and Wiegraf were making a gentleman’s agreement for a future baby draconis, while I could see Eric with a stupefied expression, as if he was saying “huh?”
Well, he wanted to separate Rashiok from me by any excuse, but unfortunately for him, a draconis never changes its master. There’s no records in history of what a draconis may do if it’s forcibly separated from its master, as it’s never been done before, considering the fact that draconis are both extremely rare and powerful.
“……If it’s to be a draconis for royalty, I think a silver-white one would have a better appearance. While silver-blue is also a rare color, silver-white stands out more and complements the royalty.”
I remembered the white draconis that was getting close to Rashiok earlier today, so of course Ergnade and Wiegraf must also know about that draconis, as they were grinning. It feels like they must intend to plan on using that draconis instead in a future breeding plan.
Whether or not one of Rashiok’s children will become a royal draconis is something I don’t know, after all, there were three of Rashiok’s siblings that were sent here to Fort Jugfena before, and two of them were female. Judging by the evidence that a wild draconis actually came here as well, due to the fortress being located at the feet of the Amon Nor mountains, the draconis here will have a much easier time finding a breeding partner, than Rashiok who usually travels around with me.
Eric’s face showed that his mood was even worse now due to things not going his way, and everyone else was also showing cold expressions. Well, that’s just how things are. And when you think about it, a draconis with only one wing like Rashiok wouldn’t make a suitable gift for the royal family. Besides, I’m not sure Rashiok would enjoy that type of atmosphere either, being with the royal family.
Apart from all that, even if it was allowed, it would only be the king or the crown prince that would receive a draconis, certainly not a second son from the archduke’s family born from a concubine who was sent close to the frontlines without much resistance.
……Without letting others know, I sighed mentally. Although I didn’t intend to denigrate Eric’s status for the way he was born, I realize that it’s a fact of life in this world that your parents determine your social status from the time you were born, and I feel like it’s affected my way of thinking just a little.
If I had been born a commoner in this world, then I would just be a commoner. But I was born into a noble family like the Kaldias, and the blood of that unimaginably evil family runs in me.
Early next morning, before Eric’s scheduled speech for the soldiers, Fort Jugfena was already on full alert and combat ready at a moment’s notice. Before sunrise, enemy scout troops had been detected invading the border. Of course, Fort Jugfena didn’t have the luxury of just letting them do as they liked without responding, so our soldiers went out and captured all the enemies.
“It seems that all the captured enemies have been branded with slave markings. Until we decide what to do with them, I’ll leave them here, is that alright?”
“I can lend you our prison, that’s fine.”
“I see. Then, I shall borrow the key to the prison from you for the time being, and imprison them in the two-floor underground dungeon below the training grounds.”
I had that conversation with Wiegraf earlier this morning, and I was now holding on to a heavy key ring. While playing with the keys, causing a jangling sound, I took Gunther and Ratoka with me, to the underground dungeon where the slave soldiers were imprisoned.
If the enemy scouts have arrived, their main army will be attacking at any moment. Ergnade and Marquis Rolentsor have already taken some soldiers to our most frontline position. I wanted to confirm the status of the slave soldiers as soon as possible before it was decided what to do with them.
“Elise, Gunther, if you’re feeling uncomfortable, feel free to leave the dungeon immediately.”
After letting both of them know that they could leave if they wanted, I unlocked the heavy door and descended the steps down into the dungeon. I imagined a dungeon like the one underground in my Mansion of Golden Hills, but this one wasn’t in such bad taste. The walls, floor, and ceiling were all made of polished stone, although the air inside was a bit stuffy. The slave soldiers were locked together in a big jail cell in the back, and as we approached, some of them noticed and were looking at us.
……There’s no light of life in their eyes at all. I reflexively looked back at Ratoka behind me. Back when I was talking to him while he was in my jail cell, he had those same eyes.
I turned my head back around, and began inspecting each of the captured slave soldiers one by one. They’re mostly silver-haired, tan-skinned children around my age, which are physical characteristics that you wouldn’t see in Arxia, they appear quite malnourished, and they were huddling close to each other with exhausted expressions. From among them, I noticed one who was observing me quite closely. Even when I looked directly at him, he didn’t try to avert his golden eyes, and I beckoned to him.
“You there, come out front.”
After calling him, I regretted making him come out front, because when he stood up and I could see him more clearly, he was dragging his thin body as he supported himself with his hand along the wall. This slave soldier who seemed just a little bit older than me, was missing his right leg.