Frederick Kaiser: Chapter Eighteen
It felt like we were riding forever… The shrubs and the dead trees surrounded me and Duryss. After being almost kidnapped by Harding and the whole town. I am not in the happiest of moods. If I ever see Lord Harding and his family I smash their faces with my hammer. Or even better yet they will feel my fathers' wrath… Then by his might, he will burn all of Denver's' homes and murder all of their dragons. They thought they suffered… They have no idea what is coming to them… I just have to get home so I can tell my father what had transpired.
I am now covered in dirt, leaves and soot. It is still raining and my royal robes are now drenched and feel ten times heavier. I hear Duryss slowing down and going into a slow walking pace.
"What are you doing? Keep going!" I kicked the top of his head. I then hear this loud roar from under me. Then by complete surprise, I was suddenly pushed by a green light into the air and I slammed into a large mud puddle.
"Did you just… You just magged me! What the fuck Duryss!?" I screamed at him as I sat in the disgusting mud.
He stands there and laughs at me. His bellowing laugh is low and strong I can hear the vibration in the ground.
"IT IS NOT FUNNY!"
"It is from where I'm standing!" Duryss laughs even more. He… He is enjoying this! I am humiliated… I just wanted to grab my hammer right now and smash his stupid head in. But he wouldn't stop laughing! So in complete anger, I marched right over to him and grabbed my hammer.
His laughter immediately stopped and looked down to me. "Woah! Easy there you stupid prince! Hit me with that hammer or insult me again! I will abandon your ass!"
By this point, the rain really started to pour down.
"If you abandon me Duryss! My family will come after you and trust me they will do things to you that you wish for death!"
He scoffs and then laughs at me… He is really enjoying it. "You think I don't know that? FRE-DER-RICK! What makes you think I will head back to Demir? That place is a shithole."
I looked at him complete disbelief… At a strange point, I thought we were friends… Yet here he is… willing to abandon me… He was assigned to me when I was ten and he was eighteen. He is a special dragon bodyguard trained by the dragon "masters". These masters are from the priesthood, but it really doesn't mean much. They are powerful but they really cannot be bothered doing anything of use. The priesthood was once known to be all-wise and powerful. Knowledge of draconium magic and technology. But now they enjoy drinking and hosting parties.
I let Duryss do whatever he liked… Stomping and fighting the other dragons. Roaring at my advisors to scare them. We were the perfect pair of pride and arrogance. AND WE LOVED IT! It is because of ME that he gets a softer life than other stupid dragons in this country.
"Well, you can't go south because that is where the war is at! And believe me… You do not want to go north! We maybe allies with the shadow folk. But they are still assholes! Head East you will be heading over to the Blue Empire. I can tell you right now we are not friends."
He starts walking away from me. Good thing he is lumbering slow… I looked around myself. I had no idea where I am. I had to admit to myself that I am completely lost. I run after him. He then stops and turns around at me.
"Admit it! You really do need me. You are lost without me! You have no idea where you are. You have no food and you are completely soaked. I heard you piss-weak creatures get sick when you get wet."
I wouldn't say that we humans are piss weak. But I couldn't lie to myself that I am starting to feel a chill in my bones. The weight of regalia is so water soaked it feels ten times heavier. If anything he should be worried… Us humans may get the flu or hell even pneumonia. But I hear dragons do tend to get the flu-like us and not only that… Scale rot. An illness that you only wish for your worst enemy.
"I will not admit anything! I am just walking in the same direction. Not my fault you are so slow."
"Admit it you, stupid prince!"
"No!" I then walk past him. I know he rolled his eyes as I pushed past him. I never want to give anyone the satisfaction of the great Prince Frederick Kaiser. Being the one who needs help in any situation. I have no idea where I am going. But I hope I am going in the right direction. As I walked through the dead shrubs. I noticed something in front of us. It was quite a distance away.
I pushed away some dead shrubs and looked forward. It was people riding dragons. At least ten of them in riding pairs. They were not peasants, they weren't miners, and they certainly were not city guards.
Who are they? As I looked closer I saw their dragons. They all varied in different draconium breeds. I felt Duryss's warm beath behind my neck. It was hard to concentrate. But I looked up behind me and I saw he was trying to look at them as well.
The rains have now eased and they rode closer so I could see their riders more clearly. They were all armed… I see armour platings and weapons such as spears. None of the items of what they were wearing matched though. These were people not to be messed with… But I had a choice. Stop them and ask for help. Or go completely alone. However, it did cross my mind how dangerous asking them could be… They could be bandits.
As I was contemplating my options. I quickly realised that the decision is going to be made for me as they were riding towards us. Without even realizing it I noticed Duryss magged me onto his back once again. This actually did catch me by surprise as he was going to abandon me not to long ago. I guess in a way he really does care for me… As he bloody should. Or maybe he doesn't want to face these guys alone.
Duryss tried running as fast as he could away from the direction of the bandits. But the rain has made the terrain so slippery, that Duryss had no choice but to go at a steady pace. Last thing we needed last this moment is to injure ourselves.
"Where are we going?" I asked Duryss as he tried to run.
"Somewhere where they won't be!"
I could tell by the pace that he is exhausted. His loud heavy breathing and shaking is starting to take a toll on him.
"COME ON! DURYSS! YOU CAN'T STOP NOW!" I could hear the roar of the dragons behind us as they seem to be in hot pursuit after us. They must have seen us or heard us. As Duryss is a loud dragon and his weight can be felt in every step that he took. Rushing through the dead shrubs and trees wouldn't have helped either… There was no time to be slow and contemplate the dead trees and shrubs around us. So we are definitely not the quietest beings around.
I had no idea how far we ran. But it felt like the dead forest is endless. There are no posts or landmarks to help navigate around us. Only the dirt path that leads Demir to Denver. However, we were both smart and left that path to avoid potential Denver guards… I believe we both regret making that mistake now. We are now well and truly lost… Now we have strangers chasing after us.
But through exhaustion after running, Duryss had to stop. I got off him and tried to pull and push him to move. But he is too heavy! I tried and tried but it was no use! Duryss rests his head on the ground as he breathed in and out. He isn't even saying anything… He is usually quiet unless he wants to insult someone.
I then heard the dragons roar. They sounded like the ones who are after us… There are well on their way here. I then had a sudden thought of abandoning him. I am more important than what he is… I am a prince… He is not… Will I leave him to save myself? If I get captured and these chasers are bandits. I will be held for ransom or worse killed. Duryss didn't abandon me in the end… Even though he said he was going to leave me he still tried to get me away. Maybe the oaf actually has a heart?
I took a deep breathe in… But my conscience got the better off me. I stayed with him… I just had to hope the chasers couldn't find us.
I was wrong… I saw a purple dragon jump over the dead shrubs that surrounded us. And just behind the dragon the whole crew followed after them. They circled around us shouting and cheering. Duryss managed to open his eyes and lifted his head. He managed to regain some strength and stood upright. He looked around and remained quiet. Very unlike him in this situation.
I unsheathed my Avaar hammer which is still connected on my back. It glowed with the brightest green draconium.
"So what do we have here?" A woman jumped and flipped off her dragon saddle and landed in front of me. Covered in random bits of armour and wearing an old guard captain helmet which covered her face. I prepared my hammer in a swinging motion in case if she sneaks attacks. However, I quickly noticed that she is not a person who will sneak attack. She has a war hammer sheathed on her back as well. I bet she can barely lift that thing.
But what is a random woman doing in the middle of the dead forest with a bunch of random people and dragons? It is not normal for women in this country to have access to weapons. I have heard that the Red Empire treasure their female warriors. But I think that is just stupid… What kind of country would want women to fight as soldiers along with men?
"Look at these men! We have a highborn! Nice fancy robes that have been sadly ruined by the downpours and he is covered in jewellery!"
I aimed my hammer directly in front of her face. In retort, she just laughs in my face and unsheathes her hammer. It is much smaller than mine and has cracks all over it. It is very old and brittle that it looks like I can smash it into pieces. She tries to walk closer to me and I wave my hammer in response.
"Oh… Come on! You are clearly outnumbered! You think you can beat us little noble?"
"I can beat you! I can beat all of you!" I raised my hammer once again in preparation to attack. Duryss has managed to regain a bit of strength and readies himself to fight.
She just sighs and not even looking at her face I could tell she is rolling her eyes. She is very open with her body language.
"Look, boy… You can't beat us… We will just take your Items and jewellery and we will call it day."
"You're going to have to get them off my dead body!" I am now prepared to fight for battle! The jewellery I am wearing is heirlooms from my family! Jewellery you can find nowhere else. It belongs to me and my family! No one else will have them!
Duryss cries out in frustration behind me. "YOU IDIOT! Just forget your jewelry!"
"I will not sacrifice my family's jewellery and I will not stand down to some random group of criminals!" I looked back at Duryss for a split moment. I know this decision is sudden. But I am not going to ruin my dignity for these people.
I then charged at the woman at full speed waving my hammer. I almost hit her! But as quickly as I ran forward she sidelined and punched me in the face.
Everything went black
Eventually, I started to open my eyes again. I had the largest headache… Everything is blurry… But after a long, while my eyesight started to become clear. I looked to my right and see Duryss looking down at me. He was saying something but I couldn't make it out. My hearing has been tarnished as well… I had to wait longer for my hearing to be back to normal. But as I heard Duryss talk I looked to my right and saw a woman's face looking down at me.
She had a green face tattoo that surrounded her eyes. Her face while also having tattoos is also covered in scars. I admit… I'm usually used to women having smooth petite faces. But this one's scars did make me feel a strange attraction to her. She is also covered in mud… She even smelt bad… What kind of woman is this?
"Well… Your face is certainly different from any other woman I have met… Maybe you should have kept your helmet on." I smiled back at her. But before I knew it everything went black again…
She must have hit me again…
Eventually, I re-awoke and I am in a different place. I notice this time it is night time and I feel a campfire nearby. Duryss is standing next to me. But this time I managed to reawake much quicker. I sat up as the headache reached its point in pain. It hurt so bad… It felt even worse after the second knockout. All of a sudden I vomited next to me.
"Finally… The piss-weak prince is up…" I see the woman standing in front of me looking down at me. Her dark green hair is cut in a rebellious short Mohawk. She is stocky built and she has taken off some armour pieces off I could see muscles. I will not deny they are impressive… Not THAT impressive… But it is something.
But then I quickly realised… SHE CALLED ME A PISS WEAK PRINCE! I looked directly at Duryss in surprise.
"DURYSS!? WHAT THE HELL!?" I shouted out at him and it looks like the whole camp heard me.
"What? I had to tell them who you are or they leave you to die as they drag me away. Unlike you, I try to choose a more logical option." Duryss then started eating some deer… He obviously has been eating well. It looks like his strength has regained and he is acting like his usual self.
"Yer piss-weak prince… Listen to Duryss. He has been the smarter one here." As the tall woman folded her arms and looked down at me in complete disdain. "You know you really are stupid… You could have just given us your jewellery away and none of this would have happened!"
I looked up at her as I rubbed my neck. Like the rest of my body, my neck is in pain and even more now that I am looking up at her. I was feeling weirdly attracted to her, but yet I wanted to badly punch her so bad… But I had to get myself out of this situation. Maybe if I can sweet talk her she might let up…
"Stop staring up and down at me like that piss weak prince. You making me feel very uncomfortable! Say anything like you did to me earlier today! I will not be afraid to knock you out again!"
"Well, you are the most unfeminine woman I have ever seen... Women usually love it when I look at them!"
"Not this woman!"
"Well, that is unfortunate… I really did feel a connection between us."
"Yes… My fist and your face."
All the men and Duryss laugh in the background. I just want to send everyone to go away! I miss my handmaidens! I miss my servants! I miss my bed! Ugh! I am hating everyone in the world right now! I am a prince of Demir! I should never be made fun off! I grabbed a nearby bag and threw it at her. She dodges it with ease.
"Seriously!? What was that!?" She then laughs at me. She is laughing so much she gets down on her knees as she laughs.
I felt so weak still from being knocked out multiple times. Of course, my throwing is not going to be at its best!
As all the laughing had settled down the woman gave me some stew. It looked revolting, but I cannot deny that I am starving… I ate the whole bowl in the quickest time.
"There you go, piss-weak prince! Eat up… You royal moron."
I looked up at her again.
"Who are you?!" I demanded. I need to know her name. I have no idea of what is going on… She knocks me out… TWICE and is now feeding me!
"My name is Erdmuthe Springs."
I had to try and hold in my laughter… Her name is not as intimidating as her personality. But Springs? That is a noble recognized bastard last name. Obviously born in the spring. Her parents must be of noble birth in order for her to have such a last name. Normally bastards are rejected and have no last names…
"Well… Erdmuthe… You have a very intimidating name! Just as intimidating as that moth over there!"
"Well, that insult is weak… But would you like a reward for trying?" She smirks at me… I rolled my eyes at her. I feel so annoyed at everything and yet I feel powerless. I have never felt like such a way. I am so used to getting my way… Now I am getting none of my ways… I just want to be back home where I am at my prime.
"I will tell you what is happening princey. Because we need you to cooperate. You are now being held for ransom. So we will feed you and will look after you. If you behave you will not be harmed. I will take you to our leader because he will be interested in you."
As she got up and close to my face. I noticed something… Her eyes… They are green… But not any normal kind of green. They were dark green with a light green glow near the iris… Green draconium eyes. And as she stared at me the glow went brighter. It is a royal family trait. I have those kinds of eyes… All of my family has those eyes. She has royal green draconium blood in her veins… She is not only a noble bastard… She is a royal bastard.
"Oh, you finally notice my pretty eyes? They're pretty aren't they? They are like yours."
"Who is your father Erdmuthe?"
"Isn't it obvious you stupid prince?"
I looked at her. It can't be… Really? No… I cannot believe it. I refuse to believe it… No… No… He would never… Would he?
"Seriously… No… No way…"
"My father is his royal majesty, Emperor Armin Kaiser."