Chapter Two: The Conspiracy
Morning came as I awoke after my first day on this world ‘Rulus’ although it wasn’t as long as I would have liked to since I seemed to arrive at their sunset. I got up and got dressed in my usual attire as I looked out to see the streets bustling with activity, most of what happens in this city must happen during that day, compared to back home where night seemed to be the time everyone was out and about, especially on weekends.
Breakfast soon came and I ate my fill of it before heading down the stairs. The bartender obviously noticed me as he said, “Mr. Carvhall, you had a good sleep I presume?”
“Back’s a little stiff, but that was from a steep fall I had yesterday, but yeah I had a good sleep” I replied.
“Glad to hear it, you take care” the bartender said.
“Thanks, you too” I replied as I walked out.
As soon as I stood outside a group of soldiers and an upper classman approached me, “You there with the strange clothes” the upper classman said.
“Dammit…” I cursed softly to myself before turning towards them and saying “Yes, can I help you?”
“My lord wants to speak with you, if you could please come with me” the man said.
“Can I ask why?” I said to him.
“That wasn’t a request, that was an order” he said as two of the soldiers grabbed me by the arms.
“Ow! Okay, okay, fine! Don’t need to be so rough…” I said to him, he obviously paid no mind to this as he just walked on and the soldiers dragged me to the castle in the city. After what seemed to be half an hour of constant dragging, I was thrown into the throne room.
“Here is the teenager as you requested lord Groul” the upper classman said.
“Very well Khalagh, you may go now” A voice said to ‘Khalagh’.
Khalagh bowed and exited the room as I stood up and dusted myself off “Jeez, I could’ve walked you know…” I said as I finished dusting myself off.
“So you’re the teenager I’ve heard about” the deep voice said to me.
“Yeah and why is it you’re so interest-“ I began to say as I raised my head to meet the eyes of a scaled reptilian creature, my eyes widened somewhat.
“I’m guessing that from your expression you’ve never seen a red were-dragon before?” the reptilian said to me.
“So there are other races on this world besides humans then” I thought to myself as the were-dragon looked at me.
“Well?” he asked.
“Erm no sir, I have not, I’m from a place that only consists of humans so I’ve never seen any other humanoid creatures besides humans” I answered as a half honest truth, trying to cover up the fact that I wasn’t even from this world.
“Hmmm… what’s your name?” he asked me.
“Erm Draco Carvhall sir” I said to him.
“And for what purpose have you come here?”
“I’m an adventurer, so I travel from town to town in search of new experiences, I came here only to stay the night and possibly buy some supplies”
Groul looked at my clothes and then to me “My advisor Khalagh was actually the one that wanted to bring you in, he told me you might be up to something”
I was somewhat offended by this “And for what reason would I have for causing you any trouble, just cause I dress differently, don’t mean that I’m some evil wizard looking to cause havoc and chaos” I said to him.
“Khalagh doesn’t seem to show much trust in strangers, especially ones like you, I must apologize for that”
“I sense he doesn’t show much trust for you either” I said honestly to him by the sound of Khalagh’s voice before.
Groul seemed to go silent at this and then said to his guards “Leave me with the boy”, the guards simply bowed and exited the room. “Okay…” I thought at the sudden actions of the reptilian lord.
Groul stood up from his throne “I must ask you, are you trustworthy?”
I was confused at this question “Why do you ask?”
Groul repeated the question in a different form “Are you trustworthy enough that I can confide something to you?”
“Well I am trustworthy in the eyes of my friends, but why confide in me as a stranger?” I asked.
“Because I cannot entrust this kind of information to any of my own men in fears of my advisors hearing this”
“You are afraid that your advisors will hear?”
“Come with me” Groul said as he led me into another room, which seemed to be a study of sorts. “Please sit” Groul said gesturing to a nearby chair, I sat down as he sat behind the desk adjacent to where I was sitting.
“So what is this about?” I asked.
“I fear… my advisors are plotting something, a plan to overthrow me,” he said to me.
“And why do you suspect that?”
“Let me explain…” he said as he shifted in his chair.
“I was the result of an experiment by the dragons that lived up in the dragonlands. It was an attempt to create the perfect warrior, the strength of a dragon, the wisdom of a reptilian, and the intelligence of man. The experiment was a failure, and I was exiled, banished from the dragonlands since I was of no use to them.”
“I feel sorry for you” I said to him.
“Thank you it means a lot hearing that from a stranger like yourself, but continuing on…” Groul replied as I listened again.
“I came to this place, Couvrant, with literally nothing except my sword and the clothes on my back. I ran into a strange reptilian when I arrived here, in exchange for some food and gold I gave him some insight to an artifact he had in his possession.”
“Artifact?” I asked curiously.
“It was a medallion created by the dragons with the power to grant enhanced strength to fight and resistance to fire and despite some doubts I had at the time, I informed him of its origins” Groul explained.
“After the exchange, he pointed me to a tavern, The Black Cat, which I could stay at with the small amount of gold he had given me. I made my way there and paid for my room and sat down to have a drink as I explained my situation to the bartender”
“Then what happened?” I asked.
“Dugan?” I asked.
“He was a politician with Duke status at the time, but has since become one of my advisor alongside Khalagh, but anyways…”
“The bartender told me of him and how he could give me some work to earn some gold, which at the time, I was happy to oblige. I approached him and after a few words with him, he gave me a job”
“And what was that job?” I asked.
“It was to kill groups of men that were under the command of Khalagh at the time that were scattered around the city”
“And you went through with it?”
“Of course, at the time, I didn’t know of the gravity of the situation at the time so I just did what I needed to do to keep a roof over my head and my stomach filled. After the job, I was paid 500 for the ten soldiers I had taken care of and decided to stay at the other tavern, the Northern Street tavern which Khalagh told me you were staying at”
“And my guess was that was where you encountered Khalagh for the first time?”
“Correct, I had paid for my room when he summoned me, like Dugan, he wanted me to do stuff to gain an advantage over Dugan, but it was a matter of spying on Dugan’s operations, and already working for Dugan at the time, it was a rather simple matter to gather the information that Khalagh requested”
“So you were playing both sides then?” I asked.
“I was only doing what I needed to earn my keep, and this went on for a while, Dugan asking me to assassinate selected members of Khalagh’s army and social network, and spying on Dugan for Khalagh and letting him know of anything that would endanger him”
“And then what happened?”
“It came to the climax of the situation, both asking me to assassinate the people closest to each other, in this case, Dugan’s wife and Khalagh’s cousin. But from all the work I had done in the past, I had deteriorated each other’s grasp of power, so I decided to capitalize on the opportunity”
“And that meant what exactly?”
“It meant asking each of them to meet at a nearby windmill”
“I take it that they were surprised by the fact that you had called them both there, and were a little…flustered?”
“Yes, they both had their turns at questioning my loyalty to each of them, but by the time I had called them there, my loyalties didn’t lie with them anymore, but with the people of Couvrant itself. I had learned to like it there and from the way both seemed eager to claim the Lord’s throne, it seemed like it would be more of a dictatorship than a democratic society”
“So you called them there to say that you would take over as lord?”
“More or less, and needless to say, they were both outraged by my words and preceded to attack me. However being a were-dragon, I easily overpowered them and made my stand let them know that I was not going to back down from my position”
“Was it necessary to make a decision like that at such a time?”
“Yes because of another problem that was developing on the outskirts of the city, the Ichiak”
“The what?” I said confused.
“The Ichiak are a force we have had to face many a times before, they have tried many times to invade Couvrant, but we have been able to repel them so far”
“And you wanted to be made Lord so you could help the people defend from the Ichiak?”
“Precisely, and from all the jobs I did for each time, I had slowly whittled down both their armies”
“What then, did the Dukes eventually agree?”
“After a discussion among themselves, they submitted their power to me. Then came the hard part, defending the town from the Ichiak. The battle was long and hard, and many lives were lost, but victory was ours, then that night, I was offically crowned Lord of Couvrant”
I had listened to the whole story and was amazed at how much Groul had achieved in such a period of time. “So you think the Dukes are looking to overthrow you?” I asked him.
“Yes, I fear that they want to rid me of my Lord title, and possibly more” Groul said grimly.
Groul stood up from his seat and looked at me “I must thank you for listening to my tale, I have not been able to tell it to many for the fear of the dukes knowing”
“You’re welcome, I promise to keep your tale a secret,” I said standing up as well.
“You’re an interesting kid, I’ll tell you that, but I will not say anything more since it’s not my place to delve into the personal affairs of others”
“It’s okay, I could always tell you, and you also seem the type to keep secrets”
“You are willing to share such information with someone like myself?” Groul asked looking at me inquisitively.
“I’d be happy-“ I began to say when a man ran into the study.
“Lord Groul…” he said panting.
“What is it?” Groul asked.
“One of our scouts spotted Ichiak moving this way, I think they are attempting to invade us again”
“Again? I swear they are a persistent lot, go warn the rest of our men, it seems we must defend Couvrant yet again”
“Yes my lord” the soldier said as he dashed out to warn the rest of the soldiers of the situation.
Groul looked back to me and said “I’m afraid your tale will have to wait, as you heard, the Ichiak are on the move again”
I crossed my arms and thought for a moment “I know I shouldn’t really, but…”
“Something the matter?” Groul asked.
“Can I ask you something?” I said to him.
“What is it?”
“Would you let me fight with you, I know I’m an adventurer, but I’m also honing my battle skills. Would you let me aid you in the fight to protect Couvrant?”
Groul was a little taken back by this and said “Are you sure? The Ichiak are not to be taken lightly”
“I’m sure, I want to help you, as a repayment for you not deciding to throw me in the dungeons”
It was Groul’s turn to cross his arms for a moment and was deep in thought for what seemed be around half a minute before nodding his head. “Very well, I expect you have your own weapons and equipment to use?” Groul said.
“Yes I do”
“Very well, get yourself suited up in one of the spare quarters and meet in the town square in half an hour” Groul said to me.
“I will, thank you” I said as I made my way to a spare bedroom and checked all my equipment, I figured only to use my crossbow and katanas for the fight since I knew that being the Medieval era, they were not accustomed to firearms of any sort.
After organizing myself for battle, I made my way to the town square…
“Did you see that, not only did he let the kid go, he went and told the kid about how he stole the throne from us!”
“Patience Dugan, remember the boy said he was going to tell Groul about HIS origins, we may be able to use that against him” Khalagh said to the other clearly distraught duke.
“Gah, fine… but I’m sick of being his lapdog, it makes me want to puke”
“Soon Dugan, we will be rid of him soon”