Episode 112. Maiden Flight

“I sent a signal to the Royal Mages. Once they’re able to identify it, they’ll open up a channel for communication.”

For a normal mage, the communication stone would be sufficient to send a single short message. In Aria Eisen’s hands, however, that same tool became a magical medium for continuous long-distance communication. It was talent befitting of one recognized even among the Royal Mages.

However, the matter at hand was too serious for Seon-Hyeok to simply marvel at her ability. He anxiously waited for the communication channel to open.

“We’re connected.”

Seon-Hyeok could not notice any difference. The communication stone looked just like it did a moment earlier. However, he put his faith in the mage and cleared his throat.

“I, Earl Drachen, greet Princess Ophelia Laurel Ro Adenstein…”

[Let’s skip the greetings.]

He had asked to be connected with the princess, and thus, he naturally assumed she would respond. To his surprise, it was a low-pitched voice that emanated from the communication stone. The voice itself carried an overwhelming charisma that changed the atmosphere in the room, and Seon-Hyeok, immediately recognizing the owner of the voice, hurriedly offered his respects.

“I greet King Theodore Tiberuius Ro Adenstein…”

[I heard your mage is skilled, but even so, the time we have is limited. Get to the point.]

As always, King Theodore valued practicality. Seon-Hyeok gathered his thoughts and shared his decision.

“I’ll be a willing participant in this war.”

If he was destined to be swept up in the war anyways, it would be more advantageous to actively participate. Pleased with his response, King Theodore encouraged him heartily.

[Good, good. The Drake Knight’s prestige will once again be felt throughout the kingdom. So, what is it that you would like to say?]

Seon-Hyeok hurried to gather his thoughts upon hearing the king’s rather straightforward question.

“Please give me independent control over operations.”

[I had planned to do so in the first place. We would be unable to make full use of the Drake Knight’s mobility if we attempted to micromanage you. Any other matters to discuss?]

“Give me a little more time.”

This time, King Theodore did not give his immediate approval, but instead asked why.

“There’s something I need to prepare.”

Seon-Hyeok briefly explained his current situation, and the king willingly obliged.

[Perhaps the title of ‘Drake Knight’ might be old news by the time this war is over. I will be looking forward to your contributions in this war, and what your new title will be afterwards.]

He then made a few more requests, which the king granted for the most part. With that, the nerve-wracking communication with the king concluded.

“You did well, Sir Eisen.”

Aria Eisen looked exhausted from briefly maintaining the communication channel. It was evident she had forced herself to endure, not daring to cut off contact with the king midway. Even the mage, unconcerned with the matters of this world, was fearful of King Theodore.

“As you just heard, I intend to participate in this war.”

“That’s a wise decision.”

None of the leaders at Rheinperle opposed his decision, whether due to their belief in the lord or because they had become desensitized by the frequent wars that plagued the western territories.

“I will only be accompanied by Sir Trail and Sir Eisen this time.”

But now, everyone expressed their disapproval.

“A squire staying behind and not supporting her master? Not a chance.”

“We’ll come as well!”

Julian immediately frowned, and likewise, Clark shouted angrily.

“We can’t trust anyone else! We’ll come with you!”

Seon-Hyeok shook his head when he heard Clark say that other cavalry could not be trusted.

“No. This time, I won’t be moving with the cavalry.”

They were all baffled.

The lord had always fought alongside cavalry in the past, but he doesn’t plan on doing so this time?

Seeing their faces, Seon-Hyeok added a word.

“I’ll be leaving Goldrake behind as well.”

Clark repeatedly expressed his concerns, realizing that it was not just the squire and riders destined to remain at Rheinperle.

“This time, I’ll be moving with Redvern and Bluegon.”

Shriek!

Redvern desperately screamed and twisted its body, but the arbeiter refused to loosen its grip. No matter how many times the wyvern stabbed with its poisonous tail, the earthen giant did not budge.

“Just hold on a bit. It’s better to be in pain now than later.”

Seon-Hyeok followed the writhing Redvern and applied the healing potion to its wounds.

Shriek!

Every time the liquid touched its body, the wyvern screamed in pain. After all, Aria Eisen’s special treatment had been so pain-inducing that it was previously capable of waking the monster from unconsciousness. Seon-Hyeok could not imagine how agonizing it would be now that the wyvern was fully cognizant of its surroundings.

“I hope it’s effective.”

Seon-Hyeok gave a regretful look as he saw white foam frothing between Redvern’s broken wings and torn membranes. One look at Redvern’s status window was enough to tell him what a miserable state the beast was in.

-          Pain, terror.

How much pain was the ferocious monster in for it to feel such fear? 

Unfortunately, Redvern’s pain was only just beginning.

“Just hold on a bit longer.”

Seon-Hyeok was determined to restore Redvern to health and bring the wyvern to the battlefield.

He had already suffered the consequences of being separated from a dragon subspecies for a long time, specifically one with a low obedience stat. Leaving both Bluegon and Redvern alone at Rheinperle while away at war would be tantamount to having a time bomb waiting to explode.

In addition, even if that had not been a concern, he had no choice but to take Redvern and Bluegon this time. Now that he was certain there would be other superhuman beings in this war, Goldrake’s vitality and charging abilities would not be the absolute force on the battlefield.

Though he was not certain, he imagined that a large number of Noctein knights deployed in the area would challenge him as soon as Goldrake showed itself in battle. His drake would not be able to withstand their focused attacks and would be exposed to fatal wounds. Naturally, he, as Goldrake’s rider, would also be in mortal danger.

Knowing these risks, Seon-Hyeok had no reason to willingly bring about that situation.

As such, he instead planned to utilize Bluegon and Redvern.

“So get better soon.”

But this would only be possible once Redvern was completely healed. Thus, he focused on Redvern’s recovery, even if there were some(?) side effects involved.

Thanks to his efforts, Redvern was finally able to spread its wings wide after a month of treatment.

Shriek!

Redvern looked as imposing as the day it first appeared, flapping its wings as if to fly away that very moment. Seon-Hyeok placed the pre-constructed saddle on Redvern and carefully climbed onto its back.

“Hm.”

His nervousness now was incomparable to when he was on Goldrake. He tried to relax as he grasped the reins.

“Let’s go.”

As if awaiting this order, Redvern flapped its wings vigorously. The heavy body seemed to float, and soon, the ground began to move away.

“Uh, uh…”

Seon-Hyeok desperately struggled to keep his body steady as Redvern’s wings beat in the wind. Whether or not he was a dragon rider chief, he would be dead if he fell off Redvern, as they were already dozens of meters above the ground.

Fortunately, Redvern’s chaotic movements did not last long. After reaching a certain height, Redvern ceased to veer in all directions and held steady.

It was truly a relief. If the terrible motions continued, Seon-Hyeok would have had to abandon the idea of riding Redvern into battle. The ascent was simply that brutal and violent.

Shriek!

Redvern let out a joyful shriek and slowly circled in the air. Seon-Hyeok belatedly came to his senses and expressed his admiration as they gently wandered through the sky.

“Wow, this is amazing!”

He could see Rheinperle far below. As Seon-Hyeok expressed his admiration at this bird’s eye view, Redvern began to pick up speed.

His land below seemed to quickly fade away before disappearing completely from sight. With that, the world began to rush away.

It was a speed he had never experienced even while riding the Widowmaker, a war horse of exceptional pedigree. However, this was not the end. Redvern continued to increase its speed, without any signs of slowing down.

“Huh?”

Though he cheered with excitement at first, Seon-Hyeok’s expression slowly hardened. Soon, his face turned pale.

“S, stop!”

However, whether it was because his voice was drowned out in the wind or because of Redvern’s low obedience stat, the wyvern continued to accelerate.

“Atiya!”

A strong wind, unlike anything he had ever felt on the ground, battered his face. Seon-Hyeok barely managed to keep his eyes open in these terrifying conditions by calling on the wind spirit.

However, vision was not his only problem. As soon as Redvern descended swiftly towards the ground like a hawk, Seon-Hyeok felt his body floating in the air. He grew nauseated each time his wyvern turned freely in the air, feeling his internal organs being haphazardly tossed about.

“Ahhhhhhhhhh!”

Even his extended screams began to die down little by little. By this point, he was too exhausted to raise his voice.

If he could, Seon-Hyeok wanted nothing more than to throw himself off this violent beast. However, he desperately clung to Redvern’s back, knowing that all that awaited him otherwise was a horrible death.

“S, save me…”

He begged. Nonetheless, Redvern’s flight continued for a while longer, and Seon-Hyeok got a true taste of hell.

And finally, this terrible experience ended when Redvern returned to Rheinperle. He slid down his wyvern’s back like wet dough.

“My lord!”

“My lord!”

Julian and the riders rushed to help him, shocked by the sight.

“Ugh!”

Seon-Hyeok retched while being assisted by his people. The contents of his stomach were laid bare on the ground.

“Let me rest for a bit.”

He thought he would die if he kept standing up, so he eventually shook off the help and lay on the ground.

“What the hell happened…?”

The territory’s people looked at their lord in bewilderment. It had not been long since he departed on Redvern’s back, but he returned as a corpse.

“Ah.”

After a while, Seon-Hyeok finally recovered from his nausea and sat up.

“It’s amazing.”

The emotions contained in the short comment were indescribably complicated. And with that, Seon-Hyeok’s first flight ended.

Since then, Seon-Hyeok refused to give up and continued to adjust to flying on Redvern. He gradually adapted to spending time in the air, and by the time the Western Army had begun its advance across the border into Noctein territory, he was somewhat accustomed to flight.

-          Your indomitable will has allowed you to adapt to the wyvern’s (Redvern) violent flying. Your Dragon Riding skill has improved.

-          Dragon Riding (Mid Tier) has become Dragon Riding (High Tier).

“Wow. Sooo fast.” [1]

Other foreigners seemed to improve their proficiency as their skill levels increased, but for him, it seemed to be the opposite. Every time, his body became used to the motions and abilities before his skills were generated or improved. Seon-Hyeok was dissatisfied with the arrangement, but there was nothing he could do. The only way he could learn skills he was not yet qualified for was through repeated, arduous training.

Since it was self-inflicted, Seon-Hyeok increased his training rather than complain, and through his efforts, he eventually got used to Redvern’s violent maneuvers. It was at that point that he called on Asha Trail and Aria Eisen.

“Ugh!”

Asha Trail, the knight who seemingly never lost her composure, was left in a complete mess after a brief flight.

“I’d rather travel by horse.”

After retching for a while, she barely regained her senses and adamantly declared that she would never ride on Redvern again.

She rejected both the physical distress she felt as well as the act of flying itself. It was natural – after all, she even avoided horseback combat, saying she was not able to fully demonstrate her abilities in that environment.

“Ugh.”

Seon-Hyeok was unable to suggest further action because of her resolute position.

On the other hand, Aria Eisen was different. A mage’s body was far too frail to endure Redvern’s flight, considering that even a powerful knight was left ragged after a single trip. However, she endured the pain and even looked forward to flying on the wyvern again.

“Nobody will ever believe me! Countless mages have attempted flying magic, but none have succeeded. I’m the only mage on this continent who has successfully flown!”

She was the type of person to become talkative when excited, and she could not stop speaking while in the air. The only problem was that she had the typical cursed constitution of a mage, and she fainted whenever Redvern made a sudden maneuver.

Nonetheless, she did not hesitate to ride Redvern, and after countless attempts, she was able to get somewhat accustomed to flight. Aria Eisen managed to maintain her wits as long as Redvern did not make any sudden turns or descents.

“Sir Trail will remain to defend the territory, and I will head to Kalstein with Sir Eisen.”

Ultimately, Seon-Hyeok was forced to leave his knight behind and head to war accompanied only by Aria Eisen.


1. sarcasm

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