The Dragon of Dreams - Chapter 349

Published at 2nd of April 2024 01:30:50 PM

Chapter 349

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Late Evening - Late Summer : The Eastern Oasis


"HAHA! I win again! Who's next!" *Thump-CHUG* Ripping her mug off the table and throwing the drink down her throat, Hera dunked the mug into a barrel of liquid on the ground next to her and refilled it. "For a barrel of Piotita, 34 platinum can be yours!" She quickly pointed toward the center of the table, where a bag of coins lay.

It had only been a few hours since we first arrived, but in that timeframe, Hera had amassed about twenty barrels of slightly aged Piotita. All from betting.

In the eyes of everyone else, it was simple. Beat her in any game of your choice, and you win the bag of platinum, but if you lose, you have to pay up with a barrel of Piotita.

As it turned out, people in the Oasis had begun amassing it because of a rumor that some people would pay huge sums of money for it from time to time. It was essentially like they were treating it as an investment. -An investment that will pay off for them.-

*Clunk* Watching a saddened man stack yet another barrel of Piotita behind Hera, I let out a chuckle. -Well, at least some of them...- *sip* "I should probably buy some to take home though." Although Krystallo was still too young to enjoy the taste, I was certain Mother and Grandmother would enjoy it.

"How many do you want? Five, ten barrels?" Adrian confidently looked over at me before looking at Abbie. "She's stockpiled a couple hundred over the years just for you."

A smile instantly came to my face. "I'm glad you were thinking of me, but you should really be buying up as many as you can even if it costs a couple gold coins. I know some people that would pay some exorbitant sums to get just a few barrels."

"Hoho, is that so?" It looked as if money signs suddenly flickered in Adrian's eyes instantly.

"It wouldn't be a bad way to give the city a new income source... Speaking of.. how's everything coming along in the city's development? From the sky, it seemed like the city was thriving."

Not questioning my wording, Abbie quickly spoke up. "It hasn't been easy, but we have come a long way. Our population is somewhere around twenty thousand, and we are by far the largest pirate group around this part of the Main Continent.. although that's bringing on some issues..."

-Hm?- "How is that causing issues?" -Are there some groups getting hostile?-

Her conflicted expression quickly darkened. "We have tried to work with Kaelallan for peaceful relations, such as simply having merchant ships pay us a tithe to pass through this area, or even engage in trade with us for mutual benefit, but they have all ended sour."

-Huh? They've ended sour?- "What do you mean?"

"Haah..." She let out a heavy, stress-filled sigh as she averted her eyes. "We've lost nearly all the ships we've sent to negotiate with them, even those waving a white flag."

-That.. doesn't sound right...- Right away, something felt off. "Are you sure it's Kaelallan? Why would they sink surrendering ships?" -I doubt Oliver would be so overly hostile.. even to pirates...-

"We haven't ever had friendly relations, but after we took one of their galleons, it got really bad. Because of lack of compliance, we ended up killing the captain and several in the crew before selling the rest of the crew and the noble aboard for ransom."

-Ah.. I bet the hostility is from the noble...- "Do you know who the noble was?"

"He was just a wealthy man who owned inns throughout Kaelallan, Toria, and the Holy Kingdom."

-Well, shit...- It was money they fucked with. -He probably just loaded bounties on the Oasis... If he has inns all around here, I'm sure some of the ships that get robbed are his.- "Do you have trouble with Toria or the Holy Kingdom?"

"Not as kingdoms. We've had trouble with certain merchant groups, but none of them got their respective kingdoms involved, and that gave us the upper hand in negotiations. The most trouble we've had outside of Kaelallan was one of the international merchant groups. They put up a fight until Adrian came around. Supposedly the captain knew him." Glancing up and seeing Adrian's proud smile, a faint smile came to her face before looking away again.

Adrian was quick to continue where she left off. "He was a merchant I came to know while I was still in Elynnor. After I de-escalated things with him, we made a deal to trade as long as we granted his vessels free use of the trade route... He gave us a decent discount on several things too."

"Could you not ask him to mediate relations with Kaelallan?"

Adrian quickly shook his head. "Unfortunately not. According to the last trade ship that came by, he's on his way towards Elynnor again. Even if we sent the message now, it'd take months."

"Hm..." Turning back toward Hera, I took another sip of my Piotita. "In that case, use this..." *Ding* With a casual flick, I tossed a small gold medallion to Abbie with a special Kaelallan insignia on it. "Just don't go to the port. Take it straight to the capital. It'll let you meet with the royal family... If they ask where you got it, say you got it from Vasilias Whyte."

Overhearing me, Hera quickly looked over. "Do you know the royal family of Kaelallan?"

I quickly nodded. "How do you think they went from a fairly small nation to an Empire in nine years?"

Silence quickly filled the tavern, but before long, Ann came running back inside after playing with Ilios, and the liveliness of the tavern returned, not to fade again for the rest of the night.

By the time morning rolled back around and Hera finished creating a small horde of piotita, many of the pirates had passed out from the alcohol, and we finally decided it was our time to leave.

Having talked to Abbie and Adrian the whole night, it was quite obvious they were doing well for themselves, having not only grown the city but also a family in that desolate corner of the world. But I was quite happy for them. To a small extent, it made me want to start a family myself, although I knew such a thing wasn't a possibility as things were.

"That does make me wonder though..." Looking back at Hera as she hopped up on my back and got situated, I gave her a curious look. "Did you ever have kids?"

Having never heard of the Monachikós family outside of Hera, I honestly wondered what had happened with them.

But I ended up getting the answer I didn't expect. "I.. have not..." She quickly became embarrassed as she helped Krystallo up onto my back.

-Huh?!- I was certain she would have, especially considering her position just below Bahamut. -I'm sure she had guys trying to court her...- "Was Bahamut your husband, and you just never tried to tie the knot?"

"No." She instantly gave a firm response. "He never cared for anything like marriage.. and to be frank, he was a bit too much of a goody-two-shoes. In his eyes, everyone near him was equal, friend or foe, regardless of strength. The only exception to that was Nott..."

-Is that so...- I could definitely see it from what I knew about him, from his legends to the policies he put in place for the sake of humanoid races. It also made it make sense why he would put someone who rules with an iron fist, like Hera, by his side.. to keep his tendencies in line. -The more I hear about him, the less draconic he sounds...-

Finally seeing Krystallo, Hera and Ilios situated on my back with the few barrels of Piotita I got, I finally took to the air and gave our idle chatter some thought while we flew.

But I didn't have too much time for that.

Before long, we arrived at the space rune in the heart of the temple, and after letting everyone off my back, set the rune's destination to Ampelos, the city a few thousand kilometers south of Akri, and about a thousand kilometers south of the newly constructed Elder Hall. -Mom and Grandmother should be there...-

Looking up, Hera had transformed into a shrunken version of her draconic form, exactly matching my size, and Krystallo had followed suit. -Looks like they're good to go...-

But the moment I went to put my mana into the rune, a presence approached with haste. -Uh oh...-

It was Grace. -Something better not have happened to Father...-

*Fwoom* Slowing time around me as my presence turned heavy, I looked to the side before Grace's figure suddenly appeared.

But as she did, she hesitated.

"What's wrong? Did something happen to Father?"

She quickly shook her head before glancing at Hera, who also used her divinity to chime in on our conversation. ~"I'm not sure if you really care to know, but.. Myles is about to wake up from his dragon sleep.~"

My whole form tensed up instantly. -ALREADY?!- Turning to Hera in a flash, I asked in a frenzy. "Didn't you say it would be at least sixteen years at a minimum?!"

But rather than being shocked, she just shrugged. "I just gave you an estimate for what was average." A smile slowly crept onto her face as she paused. "But I can't say I'm not interested in a dragon that could finish stepping into the realm of a demigod in just eight years."

I looked at her in disbelief for a moment before letting out a hardy sigh. "Haaaah..." -Why do I feel like a sudden weight just appeared on my shoulders...-




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