Author’s note: here’s another chapter for today! We’ll be going to the hospital in the afternoon for orientation, and I hope I won’t be meeting patients yet lol. My brain is still full of fluff. Huhu
“Yes, Your Majesty.” The five nobles stood up and bowed before the dais, sensing nothing amiss.
The Queen lifted the accounting records and passed it on to Seiran, who in turn gave each noble a copy. Alenaire had totaled the tax income of both the regional accounts and the Royal accounts, and they did not correlate at all.
The nobles hands were shaking as they looked at the paper they held in their hands, their minds churning for a defensive statement that would help them get out of this predicament. If only they had bribed the regional accountant and made them input a different amount on the ledgers. However, they had naively thought the queen wouldn’t find out, as the council of elders had said that she was an incompetent queen.
“Are your pockets full enough?” The Queen Alenaire asked with a stiff smile.
“Seiran,” Alenaire looked over to the man who stood by her side, “What do you think we should do to them? The previous officials who I found out committed crimes of corruption, have been sent to prison. But do you think that is too lenient of me?”
The nobles shook in their golden buckled shoes, as they could envision themselves being beheaded instead. Why did those damned council of elders say she was incompetent in the first place?! They knew other officials had been sent to prison, but they had thought it was from the decree of the King, not the Queen. If only they looked more meticulously into matters.
“I could kill them right here,” Seiran said calmly, as he withdrew his sword from his scabbard. The nobles sucked in their breaths. Wait, wasn’t the Queen about to abolish slavery? Why was this the primary subject at court?
“How bloody,” Alenaire said distastefully. She turned to her son, Callel. “How about you, my dear? What do you think should be done to these bad guys?”
Callel wiggled his short legs on his throne. His feet could not reach the floor, and it hovered over the ground. “I dunno, mommy. Sometimes bad guys still do bad things when they get out of prison,” he said childishly.
“What are you suggesting?” Alenaire said, smiling deviously.
“W-Wait, Your Majesty!” The noble head of the Skene Household came forward with sweat dripping the sides of his face. “We, the five noble houses, have merely gathered money enough to compensate for the loss of our slaves, as we all know you have written a law concerning their emancipation. This is merely a compensation that the Royal family must bestow upon us.”
“Mmm?” The Queen was not amused. “That is not a very crafty reason. You are not only stealing from the people who paid their taxes religiously, but you are also stealing what is meant for the Royal treasury. The taxes are used to benefit the kingdom, and what you are doing is impeding its progress. Tell me, is that not a crime? What is there for me to compensate you for?”
One of the elders of the council came forward, gripping his staff in one hand. “Your Majesty, if I may speak.”
“Go ahead, Elder Gairm, I shall listen.” The Queen raised an eyebrow, as her fingers thudded against the throne’s arm rest.
“We, the members of the council, and also the noble faction, do not agree with emancipating the slaves. They are a crucial part of our system, and if it were to be done, major financial compensation should be made, which would make it difficult for the Royal treasury in this time of heavy war. Thus, what the nobles have been doing is nothing more than preparing for this act of abolition, little by little, as to not create a deficit for the Royal family.”
“Is that so?” The Queen’s smile did not reach her gelid eyes. She turned to her son again. “Callel, see how inhumane people really are? Some people only care about their own matters, especially matters of the pockets, and do not care how there are also some people who were born without a freedom to even earn for themselves. They do not care that there are people who, everyday, are being mistreated for the simple fact of being a mere commodity in their eyes.”
“There are really bad people, mommy,” Callel said sadly. “I don’t like bad people.”
“I as well,” the Queen replied.
The nobles and elders were now trembling with bridled rage, but one elder could not help himself as he pounded his staff on the floor, the tip of the staff glowing green to reveal himself an Earth Mage.
“You are merely a foreigner who does not understand!” Elder Gille pounded his green staff once more. “You do not understand our ways!”
Another staff glowed red, and then other, and another–until all the mages who were either nobles or elders, lit the throne room with color, signifying their defiance against this Queen who they reviled.
“Are you thwarting me?” The Queen sounded surprised. Callel jumped off his throne to scurry towards his mother, as they seemed to be in a perilous predicament.
“It is about time that we united together,” Elder Gairm said. “There are only two of you, and hundreds of us. Now, who is going to win?”
“You wish to overthrow me?” The Queen asked calmly.
“Is that not obvious enough?” Elder Gairm’s red staff glowed even more brightly. “Once the king comes back, we will speak of your tragic demise, and he would die in heartbreak just as his father before him.”
“Goodbye, Your Majesty,” Elder Gille pointed his green staff towards the Queen, chanting under his breath.
“SHUT UP!!!!!!!” A thunderous roar shook the whole castle, as debris from the ceiling came falling on top of their heads. Everyone in the throne room aside from the Queen, Callel and the commoners, were suddenly flat on the ground, as they felt a heavy pressure over their chests.
Seiran stood in front of Alenaire, killing intent flowing from every pore in his body as his normally blue eyes turned a vivid bright red. He was so angered by this scene before him, that he almost could not control his dragon aura. How dare they, how dare they! He repeated such thoughts in his head as his aura gushed forth like a wave.
“YOU DARE TRY TO KILL MY MASTER, YOU MERE HUMANS?!” He roared once more, and some of the nobles and elder’s ears started bleeding from the pressure waves that he emitted.
Suddenly, the castle walls shook, and a bright light entered through the throne room, and all of them looked on in horror at the beast that had clawed a portion of the stone wall, its snout intruding as flickers of flames passed through its nostrils.
“A DRAGON!!!!!” Alarmed screams and shouts resounded throughout the room.
“I-It’s a dragon!”
But none of them could even move. The commoners, although they were not affected by the pressure waves, did not want to move either, in fear that they would provoke the dragon’s attack. They turned their heads to the other side of the wall, and yet, through the glass panes of the windows, they could also see more dragons roaming about!
“Why are there dragons here?” Alenaire asked Seiran.
Seiran immediately calmed himself down before replying, “Ah, that is because I am a dragon.”
“You’re a dragon?” Alenaire asked skeptically as she held on to Callel in her arms. The boy thought the appearance of a random dragon in the castle was very delightful, and he kept squirming in his mother’s arms, wanting to be released to approach the beast.
“A dragon…master,” Seiran thought this was more appropriate. “I am a dragon master who can command dragons in this world if I will it to be.”
Alenaire did not look as surprised as he thought, so he turned back to the prostrating bodies on the floor of the throne room. He could smell the acrid stench of urine, as some of the nobles and elders could not contain their fright.
“I have positioned dragons around the castle keep and the capital,” Seiran said. “It took me a few years before I could communicate and find their whereabouts, and they only listen to me when I am of a certain range. However, worry not, as the whole country of Rhiannon is within range.” Seiran smiled at the terrified, ash-like faces on the floor. “So, my plan is to put them on our northern border as well, to eviscerate the northern enemies.”
He turned to look at Alenaire for affirmation, and she nodded her head. He raised his arm, and the dragon by the castle wall shrunk into a figure small enough to fly through the hole it had created. It was also small enough to perch on top of Seiran’s shoulder like a dignified beast whose scales shone gold from the sun’s blaze.
“So, long story short, our kingdom of Rhiannon will be protected by these dragons, and those who defy the monarchy will be sentenced to a macabre death beneath their truly frightening feet–er, claws.” Seiran chuckled as he petted the dragon on his shoulder. “If only I had made contact with my precious friends earlier, diplomatic discussions would have been employed, right?”
The unconscious bodies on the floor could not even utter a reply.