Chapter 171

Her silver hair fluttered with the wind and glistened as the sun’s rays shone down.

Her eyes seemed to look far away and were indifferent, but it rather added a strange charm to the overall feel. Regardless of age or sex, people stared blankly at the female knight, unable to take their sights off her indescribable beauty.

As if feeling the people’s gaze, the female knight turned her head towards the crowd.

“Heup!”

As she looked around, those that met her cold, gleaming eyes felt a suffocating feeling descending upon them. Everyone turned their gazes away at the same time due to a mutual feeling.

It was instinctive fear.

Somehow, they felt that something big would happen if they continued to stare at her.

As people averted their gazes, the female knight once again pressed her hood deeply before continuing as if nothing had happened.

People were freed from the strange, oppressive powers of the mysterious figure, and their eyes once again turned towards her. They simply could not shake off the overwhelming beauty and their curiosities.

After a while, quite a few people started to walk behind her in sync while stealing glances at her. Soon, a long procession had formed behind her, and it became apparent to the soldiers guarding the gate.

“Huh?”

“What’s wrong?”

A soldier let out a vain laugh and his comrade called out.

“Look at that.”

“Hmm? What?”

The soldier’s eyes widened when he turned his gaze towards where his colleague was pointing towards. People who came to Leus usually travelled in groups of three, four, or at most five or six. However, an unusual sight was unfolding before them today.

Along the road, the travellers were walking towards the gate in a line like a swarm of ants.

“This is strange.”

The soldiers glanced at the procession starting from the end, and their gazes travelled all the way to the forefront of the long line. They saw an unusually tall person adorned with a thin, silver robe unbefitting the season.

“Hmm?”

The soldier narrowed his eyes. He could see a sword glistening the light. A part of it could be seen sticking out of the robe.

It was hard to see the appearance of the figure due to the distance, but there was a huge following behind someone who appeared to be a knight. Recognizing the strangeness of the situation, the soldier turned to his colleague.

“Let’s alert the captain.”

“Got it.”

“Really?”

Kyle Vaughn, the company captain responsible for guarding Leus’ gates, displayed a curious expression after hearing the report from his subordinates.

“Yes, they should be arriving soon.”

“Hm, they might be a knight from the Pendragon Duchy. I will go personally greet them.”

“Yes!”

After giving a salute, the soldiers climbed back onto the spire above the gate.

“The wind just isn’t giving me a day to rest, is it?”

Kyle Vaughn murmured in a quiet voice, his expression darkening.

In the meantime, the procession of more than a hundred people led by the mysterious figure neared the gate. It was not long before the figure came to a stop in front of the gate. The people following behind her stopped as well.

The sight was reminiscent of ducklings following their mother, which was quite puzzling to Kyle.

People in carriages and other guards of the gate also turned their attention to the unusual sight.

“Tsk.”

Kyle Vaughn clicked his tongue and approached the person in the silver robe before speaking.

“I am Kyle Vaughn, a company captain of the 7th imperial regiment. Where are you from?”

Kyle asked politely. Even though he could not see the face of the figure, he instinctively felt that they were not to be underestimated. It seemed Kyle had become used to the job after working as the gatekeeper for several months.

“……”

But the figure remained silent.

‘Ah, dammit! If I had my way, I would just…!’

“Excuse me…”

Kyle Vaughn felt a little annoyance creeping up, and as he started speaking again, the figure took off their hood.

Their, or rather, her face was revealed.

“…..!”

Vaughn’s eyes started to gradually widen in surprise until his jaws fully unclenched as well. The soldiers and the other passersby could not hide their shock when they caught a glimpse of her face.

Her beauty could only be described as overwhelming, and even the current of air seemed to stop at her elegance.

However, just as it was a while ago, an unknown sense of oppressiveness was conveyed to everyone, and the passersby, the soldiers, and even the knights slowly lowered their heads to avoid eye contact with the lady.

Kyle Vaughn had experienced countless battles as a company captain of the 7th regiment, but the phenomenon held true for him as well.

‘W, what the hell…’

Kyle Vaughn felt like he was going insane. He could not understand what was happening and felt frustrated at the happening. How could he act in such shameful ways as a knight of the imperial army and the captain of the Leus gate guards?

Nevertheless, he could not raise his head.

A mysterious silence swept through the scene. All travellers and carriages stopped in their tracks, and everyone had their heads lowered.

An unexpected person broke the silence.

Clop! Clop!

The sound of hooves clacking on the ground grew louder from inside the gate, and someone shouted in a welcoming voice.

“Sol!”

Everyone, including Kyle Vaughn, barely turned their heads towards the cheerful voice.

The new governor could be seen jumping off his saddle with a brighter face than ever before. It had not been too long since the governor had returned to the residence with the group from the Pendragon Duchy, so Vaughn was surprised at his appearance.

“Your excellency…!”

Kyle Vaughn and the soldiers quickly straightened their postures and saluted the governor. However, he rushed past the soldiers and grabbed the hands of the female knight.

At that moment.

Wooong!

Others did not notice, but Kylve Vaughn felt the change as a veteran knight. A transparent membrane was erected around the new governor and the female knight.

“I have been waiting. Why are you so late?”

Just a moment ago, Raven had quickly rushed to his horse when he suddenly felt the energy of Soldrake. It had been months since he last saw the companion of his soul, so he firmly clasped her hands.

[I was finding out the things that Ray talked about, and I was resting in the lair.]

“I see. By the way, why did you walk?”

Raven felt a little puzzled. He knew very well that Soldrake did not have to walk through the gate with her powers.

[Because this is not the land of Pendragon. And unlike last time, I have to stay longer. I judged that it would be better to save some of my powers.]

“Well…”

Raven nodded his head heavily.

As she said, Soldrake would have to remain in Leus for at least a few months.

“I have a lot to talk about, so let’s go in… hmm?”

Raven was about to turn around, then he stopped.

Soldrake was maintaining her grip on his hands, and it seemed like she was not about to let go.

[Ray’s hands are warm, so I feel good. I want to keep holding them.]

Her expression and gaze were as calm as usual, but the warmth was naturally conveyed. It brought a ray of light to Raven who was thrown into considerable shock and confusion after Luna’s death.

Once again, Soldrake was the only one who made Raven feel that he was not alone.

“Yes, let us do that.”

With a faint smile, Raven tightened his grip on Soldrake’s hand.

“E, excuse me, your excellency, this is…?”

Kyle Vaughn stuttered after finally managing to lift his head.

Though he could see the two people’s lips move, their voices could not be heard. He must have felt a great shock.

“Hm, I apologize for that, Sir Vaughn. This is Soldrake.”

“Soldra… Keugh!”

Vaughn started to mutter the name before letting out a shocked cry with an equally shocked expression.

“What!?”

"S, so, so, Soldrake?”

“The White Dragon of the Pendragon family?”

The shock was fully delivered to everyone else who had been secretly stealing glances at the female knight. Some people even fell to the floor.

Who would not know the legendary name?

The strongest existence that protected the Pendragon Duchy, the creature of olden myths and stories, was standing right in front of them.

Moreover, she appeared as a beautiful, mysterious woman.

It was a sight that was truly hard to believe.

“Come on, let’s go.”

Everyone was still frozen, enchanted. Raven led Soldrake by the hand through the crowd.

But then, something amazing happened.

“Oh, great White Dragon…”

“Exalted one.”

People in front of the gate suddenly started to kowtow on the floor or bow deeply.

“Hmm?”

Raven’s eyes narrowed at the unexpected response. But on second thought, it was quite natural.

The presence of Soldrake was quite familiar to the Pendragon Duchy as the guardian of the land. A resident of the Pendragon Territory would have seen Soldrake quite a few times, whether it be in her dragon form or in human form.

But things were different in other regions.

Ordinary people never got the chance to come across a dragon in real life. They might have heard about the legends of dragons, but only a very few lucky ones would have gotten to see an actual dragon.

Moreover, the tales of the dragons usually described the ferocity and the formidability of the dragons. Dragons were beings that decimated cities with one breath. They massacred other creatures and forcibly took away gold or jewelry mines from humans and dwarves.

Such a monstrous entity was now acting as the protector of the city along with the new governor. The people of Leus came to face a being that was no different from a god, so it was only natural that they felt a sense of reverence towards Soldrake.

Also, port cities like Leus saw many sailors, and sailors tended to have more fear and superstitions about transcendent beings. There were large and small temples of the various gods, including Goddess Illeyna, and almost all merchant boats and fishing boats took part in ancestral rites and praying before setting sail.

“Please protect the Sea of Leus…”

“I hope this year will be plentiful in fish as well.”

“My son has been in the south for four months. Please keep him safe…”

Some people even went as far as to pray to Soldrake about personal wishes, similar to the ones that would be made in the temples.

Soldrake was suddenly being revered as a living god, and Raven stopped walking and stood still for a while.

After all, Soldrake had to remain in Leus for a while.

There was nothing wrong with her being considered the guardian of Leus, rather than a feared monster with overwhelming power. In this situation, it might even be of great help.

The previous governor died as the mastermind of the revolt, the new governor was almost assassinated during his banquet, and a daughter of a high lord was killed.

The entire city of Leus was plunged into a state of confusion due to the series of incidents. However, an absolute being had arrived at the side of the new governor.

It was certain to bring a sense of relief to the people of Leus.

[Ray, are we not going? Do you have some concerns?]

Soldrake could not understand what other human beings were saying, so she was oblivious of the situation. As well, she would not be interested in them even if she did understand their words.

Raven briefly stared at her before drawing her a little closer.

“No, it’s nothing. Something good happened because of you. Thank you very much, Sol.”

Raven spoke with sincerity. Just having Soldrake by his side made him feel at ease, but it was even more special this time around.

Soldrake blinked her eyes a few times, then a rare smile appeared on her mouth.

[If Ray likes it, I like it as well.]

The two companions of the soul comforted each other with smiles while standing in the middle of the crowd.

***

Rumors spread like the wind throughout Leus that the White Dragon Soldrake of the Pendragon Duchy had arrived in the city. On top of that, the whole city bustled with rumors of the White Dragon’s human appearance and that the dragon would help the new governor protect Leus in the future.

This incident brought great change to the heavy atmosphere that had sunk in after the assassination attempt and the death of Luna Seyrod.

But not everyone was happy to see Soldrake come to Leus.

A portion of the metropolitan city was unhappy with the new governor. They considered the presence of the Ancona Orcs and the White Dragon Soldrake a humongous threat to them.

They were the remnants of a secret organization that once followed the lead of the Dark King of Leus, Toleo Arangis -- an organization consisting of the inland pirates.

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