Translated by Tianic, edited by LtBeefy & Grammarly
Wilder’s mouth was wide-open, the corners of his eyes and mouth almost connected. His laughter was loud and hoarse. No one else could laugh for that long; I’ll give him that.
“Boss, you’re awake! Boss is up!” Manta seized Steven’s neck, he rocked the wingman excitedly, didn’t even care if Steven was able to bear the excessive movement.
Poor Steven, he was dying.
Flynn, as always, was scrubbing my forehead with a towel. Only this time, she did it with tears.
After I had passed out during Leila’s surgery, Ray treated me with dragon’s magic. Their magic was peculiar enough to drag me from the edge of death, though they were too genius to treat a simple trauma. I assume it was the cost of magic supremacy.
“Please, I’m begging you. Stop smirking…” A fading and powerless stranger’s voice came to my ears, “It’s driving me crazy…”
Why was there a stranger in my carriage? I directed my eyes to the voice. To my surprise, it was the man who called himself Fischer!
“Cohen, here’s what happened.” Flynn explained, “You fainted. Ray said Fischer doesn’t need to die because you saved that white dragon’s life. Afterward, our physician healed him, but without an extra horse, we put him here.”
“I see. Don’t forget to charge him for the ride!” I said, “Fischer, why did you want to kill a dragon?”
“Well…” Fischer looked a bit embarrassed, “I’m craving to make a battlesuit out of its white skin for my father.”
“So that’s why…” I stopped looking at him and said, “But dragons are not beasts, don’t you know?”
“Luhrmann told me dragons are evil.” Fischer said, “He offered me the Dragon Sword.”
“Luhrmann? The minister?” I was immersed in my thoughts.
After spending two days on the open grassland, we had to say goodbye to the dragons.
“Remember, because of the blood loss, she needs to eat more fruit and anything rich in protein… avoid excessive water intake… try not to move around too often.
“Protein?” Ray stared at me blankly.
“Eggs and beans.” I supposed dragons were smart but ‘protein’ was not yet in their vocabulary.
“I see.” Ray nodded and began explaining to Flynn and Winslet about my future caring advice, “Cohen is healed, but he’s not yet strong enough to move. Everything will depend on his recovery. I reckon maybe after a few days. By the way, this is for you.”
Ray put a silver necklace around my neck.
“Young lord,” Maiza boomed joyfully, “now where are we going?”
“Back to the capital! Let’s surprise my dad!”
The dragon took off into the air, circled above us, and headed west.
“Forward… to DC!” Maiza’s voice was as loud as it could be!
Since I was not dying, my friends started fooling around once again. Fischer was the poorest one all the way along. Our little group split into two sides. One side thought he must be a villain or at least stupid enough to be fooled into killing a dragon. The other side felt that I wouldn’t have been saved if it weren’t for him, or we saved each other was a better way to put it? Nevertheless, Fischer was given extra attention on the road.
As the fleet advanced, I healed faster and my body became more relaxed day by day. I was able to talk with Fischer a lot after saving him from my friends’ silly jokes; he was smart enough to keep up with my thoughts. Though I was never going to tell him about missiles or bombers, he’s able to detect my philosophical ideas and develop them. I was impressed.
“The thing you said… makes sense, but can you make sure the regulators and controllers are well educated and skillful enough to carry out your plan?” Fischer frowned.
“That’s why it’s crucial to enforce education, universal education.”
“Universal education? Please be more specific.”
“Nobles and commoners, humans and alien races, they are not so different after all.” A white cloud projected its shade on our carriage while I considered my choice of words. “In the current system, the education right was given solely to nobilities rather than commoners. As a result, the nobles have grown superior, and others inferior, humans arrogant while aliens barbarous. If it continues, the world will grow increasingly unbalanced…”
“Hold on!” Fischer put up a hand, after a short moment, then hinted to continue.
“Take a look at the uprisings and wars these years. How much money did we lose? If the empire spends it on education, not only could we resolve conflicts, more importantly, we can discover more talented men and women, which would create more wealth for the empire!”
“Talented? We have nobilities.”
“Let’s see, within an empire, how many people make up the nobilities and how many make up the commoners? Since you have so many talented people in the nobility group, then what if we search among the commoners? A great many people are ignored…” I half-lied down to make myself comfortable, “Every human life is insignificant unless you make it great…”
“I…” Fischer’s lips seemed pale, “… need a drink…”
My speech has probably opened up a new outlook for him, though, he was not splitting hairs once I reasoned myself.
Once saw my waving hands by a carriage window, my father’s sad eyes instantly lit up. He roared with laughter and slapped an unlucky mage-looking man off the stairs.
“Visual Kheda!” He wiped his bleeding nose, “You shall remember this!”
“Haha! Cohen.” Father certainly did not care, “Come and meet your Uncle Webster!”
“Uncle Webster?” I glanced at this dirt-covered magic-user, “Arch-mage?”
“He is! He came as fast as he could once he heard you were dying and was about to catch up to you. Then god knows why you came back!”
“Oh!” I pointed at Fischer, “Dad, I picked him up on the way…”
“En?” Father gave him a look, “Fis…cher?!”
In the afternoon; I was chatting with Fischer in a desultory kind of way when a man and a woman came in, accompanied by my father.
The man, who looked a few years older than my father, stopped Fischer’s attempt to speak. He came closer to me, took my hand, and said, “You must be Cohen.”
“Yes, sir, I am Cohen,” I answered but paid more attention to the woman aside. She wore a luxurious outfit and had a graceful disposition in a way that glared the expression and gesture of maternal manners, which attracted me more.
“Not ‘sir’!” Father was a bit annoyed, he leaned closer to me and whispered, “This is His Majesty! Climos Summers!”
“Take it easy, Visual.” Emperor Climos smiled, “Sir will do, and this is your auntie. Nashor.”
The first moment she said, “My appreciation for saving Fischer.” The next moment. Queen Nashor seized Fischer’s ear, “HOW OLD ARE YOU TO TRY TO KILL A DRAGON! YOU ARROGANT BOY!”
She seemed like a pleasant mother but was more like a tyrant tiger.
“Good thing the priest didn’t burn your son.” The Emperor smiled, “Or who would have saved Fischer today.”
“Huhhe…” Visual echoed, “Wasn’t that your plan?”
“My plan, your deeds.” His Majesty stood closer, “I heard the Viceroy who’s never bribed anyone gave the high priest five grand in gold!”
“Please say no more.” Father forced a smile, “I’ve been poor since then.”
We said farewell to the Summers, then father started telling me his past. Turned out he and the king were close as kids. Years after, my father had resolved a number of problems as a civic viceroy. Then, the king assigned him to rule Darkmoon, which was a troublesome province back then.
“Dad,” I asked, “Our city is not rough at all!”
“You wish! I spent nearly twenty years to make it right!”
“Huhhe… you have a point.”
“However, these days won’t last for long.” Father patted me on my shoulder.
“What’s going on?”
“It’s something I’ve decided recently, which is yet for you to concern. You will find Webster and Tennessee when you get better. They will be your mentors, and you will learn, along with your Wilder and Flynn friends. As for the Winslet kids, they are going home.”
“I’m ok with that, but why do Winslet and the others have to leave?”
“You stupid little brat, they have to study their culture and skills, am I right?
“I see…” It’s time to say goodbye.
“Don’t be sad!” Father said, “You’ll meet again! By that time, the boys will become stronger, and the girls prettier…”
“Prettier and prettier… I know, but why are you grinning like a pervert…”
I was strolling in the garden trying to accelerate the recovery process. The air was infused with a light summer flower scent. I was delighted to watch the gorgeous night sky, sort of. I should be done for today’s exercise by walking back and forth beside the lake.
I found a corner and spotted a slender figure sitting by a large cobble, leg curled and eyes glancing down into the water, hands around the knees, four clear wings fluttering in the wind, long hair reflected by the blueish lake.
“Winslet, what’s on your mind?” I walked by.
“Cohen,” Winslet said, “I’m going home.”
“Father has informed me.”
“My mom sent a letter, she misses me, and I miss her.”
“You’ll meet soon.” I sat down beside Winslet and took her hands.
“You know,” Winslet laid her chin on a hand, she spoke softly, “When I was younger, my mom didn’t have much time for me. All I did was sitting down by the lake and watch it change colors, from light to dark and to lake blue. When there was wind, the lake would bounce silver dots, which looked like dreams… sometimes, when it rained, there were drops and ripples, they bounced around and vanished…”
“I love the song you taught me,” Winslet stared at me, “Can I sing one more time?”
In the garden, by the blue and clear lake, Winslet sang for me for the first time.
Raindrops as mysterious that fell in my heart
I can’t help staring at you, and you showed me none
No tongue yet unforgetful
That your look, bright and beau…
Winslet sang slowly, but my heart was touched. O Winslet, will I ever have the chance to watch the lake with you again.