Chapter 320

“It must have been hard to come all the way here. It was your first time in the flying carriage, was it not? Did you find it uncomfortable at all?”

“Not at all. Lady Pendragon treated me well, and the carriage was very comfortable.”

In reality, Iriya's arms had started shaking with fear as soon as the carriage lifted off the ground. In spite of the lingering tingle, Iriya had answered calmly as if nothing had happened. Deep down, she was happy to hear that Raven was showing concern to her.

“I see. Well, you should get some rest first. We will see each other at dinner time and talk more.”

“Yes, Your Excellency.”

Iriya lowered her head while hiding her regretful expression.

“Please escort Irene and Miss Mandy.”

“Yes, Your Excellency.”

Isla and two employees guided the two maidens at the words of Raven.

“Well… I will see you later.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

Ian spoke without hiding his regret, and Irene walked away after responding with a bright smile.

“Stop staring at her like that. It’s not like she’s going to run away anywhere.”

“Hmm? No, I wasn’t…”

Ian was staring at Irene’s back until the moment she disappeared. He winced and blurted his words with an awkward expression at the words of Raven. Raven grinned in response to Ian’s awkward actions, then turned towards the flying carriage. It was to see the one he waited for the most.

Indeed, Raven strode forward without concealing his overwhelming desire to be able to see her after such a long time.

“Sol. Welcome.”

[Ray.]

A soft smile appeared on her expressionless face. It was a smile reserved for only one person, Raven.

[I missed you, Ray.]

“And I, you. How are you feeling? Are you okay?”

Soldrake consumed a lot of mana in the South after leaving her lair in the Pendragon Duchy. Furthermore, she was forced to face the Bone Dragon Biskra in her draconic form and even used a Dragon Breath. As such, her mana had been almost depleted by the time she returned to the duchy. She had required rest and care in her lair, where a dragon vein was located.

[Much better. I could use a breath in my main form a few times now.]

“I see…”

Concern remained in Raven’s eyes even though Soldrake reassured him. Recognizing his worries, Soldrake reached out and stroked his chin.

[It is much better to be by Ray’s side than to be in my lair. Now, Ray is a mortal. I have to be by your side at all times.]

“Sol…”

Although she did not radiate the same warmth as human beings, Raven’s heart was touched by the sincerity of her words.

“Why don’t you stop staring at her like that? Is the White Dragon going to run off somewhere?”

Ian returned Raven’s previous remark. Raven became flustered.

“Let’s go in, Sol. There’s something you must see.”

[Got it, Ray.]

Raven, Soldrake, and Ian headed towards the governor’s residence.

“What do you think?”

As soon as Raven spoke, Soldrake responded in a quiet voice.

[It is dark magic. A powerful spatial spell was cast on the necklace. When the magic was activated, a certain amount of space touching the gem would have been transferred to another place.]

“Then the color of the jewel is like this because…”

[The jewel acted as a medium for black magic. Its usual radiance would have been from mana.]

“Hmm…”

Raven nodded heavily.

“What is it? What did she say?”

Ian could not understand the conversation between the two, so he hurriedly asked. Raven quickly reiterated Soldrake’s answer. 

Ian spoke with a frown.

“As expected. Damn it… So is this the doing of that sorcerer named Jean Oberon?”

“Sol, is the Nameless Necromancer the one responsible for this?”

[Most likely. There are only a few people capable of such high-level sorcery. Moreover, this human had a deep relationship with the Nameless Necromancer.]

“I see…”

Raven delivered Soldrake’s words to Ian, then fell into thought.

Everything was as he expected.

Jean Oberon waited until Duke Arangis arrived in the governor’s residence in Leus, then invoked his black magic. In doing so, Jean Oberon aimed to cause harm to Raven and Ian while causing chaos in the empire.

“Sol, do you have any way to know where the Nameless Necromancer is right now?”

[I do not.]

“Hmm…”

His expression became more serious. It was dangerous to be ignorant of the enemy’s location. In addition, the opponent was the strongest he faced until now. 

The enemy knew where he was and what he planned to do. By contrast, he did not know where the enemy was and what they were planning to do.

This was an extremely dangerous, pernicious situation.

[There may be a way.]

“What?”

Raven asked with surprise in his voice. Soldrake replied in an apathetic voice.

[I could ask the other dragons. If the Nameless Necromancer had been near or passed through my brothers’ lands, they would have definitely sensed it.]

“I see!”

“What? What did she say?”

Raven responded.

“We’re not completely sure, but she might be able to find out the location of the Nameless Necromancer by asking the other dragons.”

“Oh! That is great! So when is she going to ask? Rather, is it possible for her to ask right now?”

Raven delivered his message to Soldrake. She glanced at Ian before speaking.

[Unless the fate of our race is at stake, it is impossible to bring all the brothers together. But the Nameless Necromancer is the one who turned our brother Biskra into a Bone Dragon, so he could be considered an enemy of the dragons. I will let our brothers know about this before we decide on his disposition.]

“If that is the case. Perhaps… you could call the other dragons at any time?”

[Correct.]

Raven’s expression turned bright when Soldrake nodded. He spoke to her in a calm voice after thinking of something.

“Sol, as you may well know, the issue of the Nameless Necromancer isn’t just about dragons. His ultimate goal is to drive the world into chaos and transform it into something he wants.”

[…..]

Soldrake nodded in understanding, and Raven continued.

“As such, I think it is only right to decide on how we deal with him in the presence of other races, and not just the dragons. So…”

Raven carefully conveyed his thoughts to Soldrake. After he finished talking, Soldrake fell silent for a while. Then she gazed at Raven before speaking.

[That would be for the best. Most importantly, since Ray wants to.]

“Thank you, Sol.”

Raven felt grateful from the bottom of his heart as he nodded. He turned towards Ian.

“I think our plan might have been perfected.”

“Huh? What do you mean by that?”

Ian’s expression filled with anticipation as Raven spoke in a confident voice.

“First, we will proceed with the plan as we discussed yesterday. Afterward…”

Ian’s expression continued to brighten as Raven continued. But after hearing Raven’s last words, he could not hide his shock.

“What? Are you serious?”

“Is there any other way for our plan to be perfected?”

“No… There is not. It will be perfect, just as you say. But…”

Ian was more arrogant and courageous than anyone else as a prince, but he was truly astonished by Raven’s last words. No, rather, it was something that was hard to imagine. However, if things could proceed as Raven said, it would result in a historic event that could turn the empire upside down.

“Okay. Let us do that.”

Ian’s worries were short. His options were limited, and there was no better choice than to follow Raven’s plan in the current situation.

“Good. Well, tomorrow, we will announce the death of Duke Arangis before setting off.”

“Hmm.”

Ian nodded in confirmation, then turned to Soldrake.

“I think you will want to hold a private conversation, so I will leave you two be.”

He also had a fervent desire to talk to ‘someone’ as soon as possible, so he left the building. Soon, there were only Raven and Soldrake left in the room. Raven spoke while looking at the still body of Duke Arangis, which was seated on a chair with the head left hanging. 

“He is truly meticulous and beyond anything I have imagined.”

[It is just as you say.  I am certain that the spell was prepared years ago. Perhaps ever since he turned Biskra into a Bone Dragon. The Nameless Necromancer must have made the decision to kill this man.]

Even though Biskra was a heretic who was abandoned by the dragons long ago, Soldrake’s eyes gleamed coldly when she mentioned her brother.

“In a way, he is truly an amazing man. He will do anything to achieve his purpose. It’s almost as if…”

Raven spoke in a bitter tone. He was not able to finish his words.

Once upon a time, he also did everything and anything possible to achieve revenge for his brother and father. He killed countless people and even betrayed the soldiers of the demonic army who had been his allies before. Above all, he sacrificed knights and soldiers using his status as the Duke of Pendragon. They had been faithful and loyal to the Pendragon Duchy and to himself. To put it bluntly, Raven had used their loyalty as a means to achieve his end.

That was one of the biggest reasons he chose to return to the duchy early without finishing the southern expedition.

“…he is just like me…”

As such, Raven had to admit it. It could not be helped that he was selfish, but he had to make a small atonement for the dead by admitting it out aloud.

[No, it is different.]

“…..”

Raven looked up at Soldrake as she spoke in a calm voice. She continued while emitting a glow from her eyes.

[The path that Ray seeks to take is the path of humans. Your thoughts and expressions are things that every human possesses. But the Nameless Necromancer is different. He is self-righteous and arrogant. Above all…”

Soldrake reached out once more and stroked Raven’s cheek.

[As a human, Ray thinks, reflects, and doubts himself. Just like all the Pendragon I have ever seen. Gordon, Klein, Seyed, James, and Alex… All of them were the same. But he, the one without a name, is different. He seeks to become a god. He is completely different from Ray. Ray is human.]

Human.

Raven’s felt a strange echo in his heart at Soldrake’s last words.

She was a dragon. She was not human. She might not know what it was to be a human.

But she observed the Dukes of Pendragon over a long period of time. Perhaps she was the most suitable being to judge humans from the most neutral standpoint. That was exactly why Raven felt his heart flutter from her last words.

“I…”

He tried to speak, but Soldrake leaned against him. Although she was adorned in armor, she felt cozy and soft like a feather.

[Ray is Ray. Ray is human. And Ray is… my companion. Ray is more precious than any other being in the world. So you do not need to say it. Until the moment Ray closes his eyes as a mortal, my soul will be with Ray.]

As usual, her voice was emotionless. But Raven felt more at ease than ever. The dragon and the human. The two connected beings leaned on each other like one body, sharing their thoughts and hearts without saying a word.

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DantheMan's Thoughts

Yeeeet! It’s the return of the Queen. All shall bow!!