Hey everyone! Rate and comment! This is a bit longer of a chapter for all of you so I hope you enjoy!
Rumble in the Jungle and the Bell of the Ball
'What did you just say?' Richard demanded and tightened his grip on Dark Star. May shifted slightly in the large saddle on the red dragons back and regarded him thoughtfully before answering.
'I said that people didn't call me the Lady of Dragons for no reason, Richard. Had you not figured that out yet?'
'You've lost your mind, May! The Lady of Dragons lived over two thousand years ago!' he yelled out. He was furiously trying to figure out what to do in that moment; it was obvious May was off her rocker and if this turned out anything like the last time he saw her he would probably end up fighting her.
May sighed and released the reins in her grip, jumping deftly from the back of her dragon a moment later. Richard took into account that her arm with the bracer was pointed towards the ground but he still didn't put his sword down. He had no idea what was going on or how she had found him, but he wasn't going to take her lightly anymore. He had once considered this woman his best friend but he realized now more than ever that he knew nothing about her; and that scared him.
'My birth name was Lady Monica Rysto,' she said and took two steps closer to him, 'but I've gone by many names. You know me best as May, but you've also known me as Nurse Samantha who was one of the first people who held you when you were born. There was also Ms. Simmons who was your preschool teacher, and Lily who lived next door when you were young and babysat you. You were probably too young to remember those times though. Which is a shame; we sure had a lot of fun.'
'Do you actually expect me to believe that?' he asked and took a step back. The black dragon on his right side mirrored his movements and they both continued to stare at the fearsome duo before them. 'I've seen a lot of weird things here but you're shoveling something that just isn't possible!'
'Would you like to see my real form?' she asked and a shimmer of red magic ran over her lithe body. It rippled for a second and then her height shifted as she grew taller. Her hair grew out longer and looked a little dull as wrinkles popped into existence around her eyes and mouth, a small scar on her left cheek. 'I'm not quite fond of how I look when I am using my old body; too many wrinkles. Maybe you'd prefer a younger body.'
Once more red magic washed over her and she shrunk down until she was a little over three feet tall. Her hair came down to the middle of her back and her eyes shimmered with youth. She smiled a wide toothy grin at him and two buck teeth appeared, giving her a cute beaver kind of look that was almost comical; if the situation wasn't freaking him out. She had to have been around eight and Richard found it hard to believe a grown woman had been standing before him just a second ago.
'What do you think? I'm cute, right?' she asked and her voice was still the same as always.
'How are you doing that?' he asked breathlessly and took another big step back as he brought his sword up higher. His hand was shaking on the hilt and he had to swallow hard just to get his body to obey his commands.
'It's a spell I developed before going to Earth,' she answered and she resumed her normal college coed body that filled out nicely. 'It's pretty neat, eh? Now why don't you put down that sword and we can get out of here.'
'I don't think so. Why don't you tell me just what the hell is going on? If what you're telling me is true then why the hell have you been stalking me my entire life? You're the one that put the rune on me, weren't you? The one that suppressed my magic?'
'You really haven't figured anything out yet, have you?' May sighed and shook her head. 'I would've thought that you being back on this world would have jogged your memory at least a little bit. I'm not the only one who has had other names, Richard. You used to be called something else as well. Does Roku ring any bells?'
'My ancestor? What about him?'
'Oh jeez… this is ridiculous! You are Roku! Get it now?'
'You know what, we're done here! If you're not going to at least take my questions seriously then let's just get this over with!'
Richard moved forward a step and raised his sword above his head, his bracer filling with power in the same instant. He was quickly stopped though. The large red dragon opened its mouth and showed its teeth, a flicker of bright orange flame building at the back of his throat. In the next instant Richard took a step back and lowered his sword while the black dragon to his right lowered its body slightly and started to growl menacingly.
'You might want to be careful around Ryolas; she's not as forgiving as I am,' May cautioned and patted the massive beast on the leg as it closed its mouth. 'And if you're going anywhere, it better be with me. I'll need a few more weeks to gather enough power to send us both back to Earth again. Until then, well I'm sure we can find something that will pass the time.'
There was something in the way she said the last part of her sentence that made Richard blush a little, but right now he didn't have time for that. 'I… I'm not going back to Earth. That world has nothing for me anymore!'
'I'm sorry, but you don't have much of a choice in the matter.'
'You're going to have to do it by force again,' he growled and once more gripped the hilt of his sword. 'And I don't think you can. You yourself just said that you didn't have much power right now, so what's to stop me from just knocking you out and leaving?'
'I'm doing this for your own good, Richard!' May yelled and her face was twisted in anger. A wind ripped through the trees around them and Richard knew it had nothing to do with the weather; it was May's magic. 'Everything I have done to you has always been for your own good! If you stay on this world you will die! That's why I suppressed your magic; so you would never have to come back to the this place ever again! Your magic will end up consuming you and you will do horrible things because of it! What don't you understand? Come with me and you will never have to feel pain ever again! I promise you, Roku!'
'I'm not Roku! It's impossible! I'm just his descendant and nothing more!'
'That's true, but also wrong. You are from his bloodline, but you are also Roku's reincarnation! Do you know the truth about the Great War? How it began? I bet no one has ever told you, did they?' she asked and Richard didn't answer; he couldn't. 'You, me, and Prince Wales were the students of the strongest mage in the world. One day he asked us to use magic to obtain eternal life, and the first one of us to do it would be the next master. Only something went horribly wrong! Our master was also trying to become immortal and his use of banned magic back fired on him, turning him into a being of pure magic. He was the one who tried to destroy the world, and that's why we fought against him for over thirty years!
'Like me, you never stopped working on the cure to death. You fled from this world because you were dying, and the low magic content on Earth would sustain you until you could finish your work. When I learned that you had gone to another world I went after you, but I was already too late. All I found was a woman with a child and a strange note written in the language of the elves. You hadn't been able to safely stop yourself from dying but you did create a spell that would cause you to be reborn somewhere down your bloodline. So I watched, and I waited. Then seventeen years ago when your mother gave birth to a baby boy I knew instantly that the spell had worked. You had come back! You are Roku, Richard! The fact that you can use the same magic as him is proof enough. No one else in your family ever could, not even that bastard son Celia spawned!'
May's voice was getting louder with each sentence she spoke and Richard could tell she was close to losing it entirely. If he didn't do something now things would escalate and he probably wouldn't be so lucky to get away with just being sent back to Earth. He had to think quick; think of something that would leave her vulnerable and he could get the upper hand. That's when it hit him. All he had to do was get her to give up her source of power; the bracer.
'If I really am Roku's reincarnation then give me my other bracer to prove it!' he yelled.
May held the bracer up for him to see and Richard could feel the magic being stored up in it. It was glowing a bright red and he knew that if she released the power she was forcing into it there wouldn't be a tree standing for a mile in every direction. As she looked at it, a wide smile broke across her face and it was more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
'Come with me and I will think about giving it to you,' she said and waved for him to come closer. Richard stood his ground though. There was no way he was going to get closer to her right now.
'It doesn't belong to you! It never did!'
'It didn't belong to Celia either! Yet she took it without permission! So I hunted her down to take it back and keep it protected!'
'What did you do, May?' Richard asked and knew that he really didn't want to know the answer. The glint in her eyes was more than enough to form his own conclusion.
'Like I said, I hunted her,' May cackled and a shiver ran up Richard's spine. 'I took the bracer and then used her and her son's blood in my spell to become immortal. It was too easy a death for them, but I was short on time.'
Something in Richard snapped at the jovial way she was talking about murdering two innocent people and he was suddenly charging towards the inhuman beast that May truly was. Before he had take four steps the air around him cracked with power and a red beam shot forth from May's bracer, streaking right to Richard's face. Instinctively he lifted his sword up and thought with heart wrenching certainty that the blade would shatter into a million pieces from the sudden pressure and resulting explosion. Instead he was surprised to find that the beam hit the blade and suddenly disappeared as the metal began to turn from black to red. Thinking something bad was about to happen he pushed his arm with the sword in it from his face and was amazed when he saw a red beam shoot out of it and smash into May a second later.
The beam would have connected with her chest if she hadn't brought up her bracer and deflected it off into the jungle, trees falling as it came into contact with them. There was a loud explosion somewhere close by and debris ran down around them as May stood up and dusted herself off, an annoyed smile on her face.
'So you don't remember who I really am but you know how to use Dark Star properly? This is going to be fun!' she roared. 'Ryolas, attack!'
The massive red dragon reared up and spewed dragon fire all over the area, forcing Richard to pull a shield up over himself at the last second in order to live. The black dragon that had been standing beside him suddenly beat it's thirty foot wing span and blew the fire right back at the red dragon before leaping in and attacking it with its powerful jaws. Both dragons became solely focused on one another and Richard could turn all of his attention back to May, who was currently chanting under her breath as she forced a spell through her body.
Blood red flames suddenly leapt into existence and curled around May's body, their heat pushing Richard back five feet just so his skin wouldn't blister. The spell was like nothing he had ever seen before and he realized that May was fusing her strange red magic together with her element, causing a spell more powerful than either one could be alone. The torrent of flames coiled around her and hissed like a living creature, tendrils of smoke and flames striking out at the air every once in a while. With a sinking realization Richard knew there was no way he could fight against someone this powerful. He doubted even Daiya could.
'This is your last chance, Roku! Come with me and I will spare your dragon!'
'You and I both know that I won't do that. You're going to have to kill me!'
Richard released all the power he had been collecting in his bracer all at once, causing a brilliant explosion to ripple through the jungle as he leapt to his left. A second later the strange red fire cut through the light and lashed out at where he had been standing, hitting the ground with a thunderous boom that shook trees all around him. In the next moment he was on his feet and charging through the light, his sword held straight out in front of him as he aimed to impale May on it. When he emerged he realized that May had been expecting the feint and a beam of red magic was headed right towards his chest. All he could do to avoid it was twist his body in midair as he leapt to the side and watch, hoping it sailed past unimpeded. It didn't though. The instant the beam grazed his shoulder he felt his entire body convulse in pain and he landed roughly on the hard ground, breathing heavily and covered in sweat.
Nearby he could hear the two massive dragons thrashing around, the sound of jaws snapping, trees cracking, and fire being expelled ringing in his tender ears. He couldn't tell who was winning but he didn't think it really mattered. He was stuck on the ground and writhing in pain like May had just hit him with a taser. Her face swam into his blurry vision and he could see her smiling at him, her blonde hair falling around her normally pretty face.
'Are you done?' she asked with raised eyebrows and placed a soft hand on the side of his face. She knelt down and placed a gentle kiss on his forehead before moving back and smiling at him. 'This is exactly the reason why you shouldn't be here, Roku. You can't control your magic and one day it will control you. If you can't even beat me then what did you plan to accomplish here?'
All Richard could do was glare at the woman as she smiled brightly down at him. Her spell was still in effect but he was beginning to get movement back in his fingers; all he had to do was wait a little longer. He was not going to lose this fight. He wasn't going to rely on someone's help anymore. If he couldn't do this on his own then he deserved to die. May was right, if he couldn't even fight her with all of his strength than what hope did he have of saving his friends and family? If things got even more out of control May could start actually targeting them, and there wouldn't be a thing he could do about it. He didn't want to lose anyone ever!
'What's with that angry look?' May asked and used two fingers to push up the sides of his mouth into a hideous smile. 'Once Ryolas is done killing your dragon we'll all be on our merry way together. So just sit tight, please.'
There was a massive crash just off to Richard's left and he felt the ground tremor under him as one of the dragons was thrown down. There was a horrible and tear jerking roar of anger and fear and Richard knew it was coming from the black dragon. He couldn't see what was going on, but he could imagine it. The image of the massive red dragon standing over a hurt black one with its teeth around its neck was horrifying and Richard could feel his anger start to bubble over. Something extremely hot and powerful began to course through his body and his head began to spin as something much greater than him took over.
The spell that was keeping him from moving suddenly lifted from his body all at once and he clenched his fist as his rage started to spill out of his him. He could feel it envelop him and he grabbed onto it hard, pushing out mentally as violently as he could. In an instant the entire jungle for three miles in every direction was engulfed in a massive explosion that ripped trees out of the ground at their roots and tossed them high into the air. May was thrown back in the powerful detonation and she cried out in pain as she hit her head brutally on a rock. A terrifying roar from where the dragons were hit Richard's ears next and he could hear as a massive bone snapped on the red dragons wing, knocking it onto its back.
A second later Richard jumped nimbly to his feet and slowly walked towards May as she lay motionless on the ground. There was a small amount of blood on her brow and her eyes were closed, a look of pain etched all over her face. Richard gripped Dark Star tightly in his hands and raised it above her, the sickeningly sharp tip pointed right at her chest and over her heart. His anger coursed through his body and urged him on as a terrible power tried to grip hold of his mind and take full control. In that moment he wanted to kill her. He had never wanted to kill someone before, but he did now. She had stalked him, attacked him, taken away his magic and made people hate him. And for what? He didn't even care. She had to pay and that's all that mattered.
With a grim smile he brought the sword down onto his enemy. The strike never connected though. As the tip was a mere inch away he felt something strong and powerful grip him around the waist and the next thing he knew he was being hauled into the air; May and the whining red dragon sinking into the distance. Looking up Richard saw that the black dragon had grabbed him with its talons and taken him away, green blood oozing from scratches and puncture marks all over its massive body. As it flew it looked down towards him and its reptile eyes pierced right through the cloud of anger that hung over him. He slowly came back to his normal self and could feel his body trembling over what had just happened.
Not wanting to be held in the sharp claws anymore, Richard grabbed hold of the scales on the dragons legs and used them to climb up onto its back. He wrapped his legs around its massive neck and gently patted the beast on the head, mentally thanking it for stopping him. The dragon almost purred under the comforting gesture and slowly turned in a wide arc as the profile of the massive volcano came into view. It was taking him back to the city.
They hadn’t even been flying for more than five minutes when suddenly Richard could hear the sound of wings slicing through the air. Looking around he half expected to find May chasing after him, but instead found a large yellowish green dragon quickly approaching them with a rider. When it drew nearer Richard saw Daiya sitting on the back of the dragon and when she was only a few feet away from him she leapt off her dragon and through the air, nimbly landing on the back of the black dragon he was on. In an instant her arms were around his neck and her lips were pressing into his, warm tears splashing onto his cheeks. The kiss lasted longer than he would have expected, but he really didn't mind. It was what happened after the kiss he would have rather not happened.
'That's for being okay, and this is for not jumping off when I told you to!' she yelled and slammed both of her fists hard onto his chest, pushing the air right out of his lungs. 'Do you have any idea how dangerous that was?'
'I… I'm sorry,' he coughed and rubbed his sore chest. 'I'm alive though, so isn't that a good thing?'
Daiya stared at him intently before breaking eye contact to look around them. She seemed to have noticed they were flying on the back of the black dragon that had almost killed him because her eyes suddenly bulged and she gasped loudly. 'What is going on here?'
'It's a long story, and I promise to tell you everything soon. But first I need to see Aura as soon as possible. There's something I need to ask her.'
Daiya regarded him curiously for a moment but then nodded her head, her eyes never leaving his. She once more wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her body to his as their lips met once more. It was a more gentle kiss than the first and Richard found his own arms wrapping around her back and holding onto her body tightly as his feelings poured out of him. After a few moments of kissing they pulled back from one another and Richard could see a slight pink coloring in Daiya's cheeks as she breathed heavily out of her mouth, her eyes a little glazed around the edges. She cleared her throat and let go of the grip she had on him before running her hands over the dragons scales.
'Can you answer one question? Are you flying this dragon or are you still stuck on it?'
'Well I don't think I'm trapped on him anymore,' he answered with a small smile, 'we both kind of saved each other's lives. As for the other part of the question, well I have no idea. I don't think so though, he just took off in this direction without me doing anything.'
Daiya moved further back on the dragons broad back and sat down, grabbing a scale in each hand so she didn't fall off. She looked back towards Richard and said, 'Let's find out then. Try shifting all of your weight to the left.'
Richard did as he was instructed and the dragon began to bank slowly in that direction, a soft growl coming from its mouth. Wanting to see if that wasn't just a fluke he leaned the other way and was amazed when the dragon began to bank right, it's massive wings beating in the air loudly. He could hear Daiya gasp behind him so he turned to face her, a questioning look on his face as the Dark Elf Princess stared at him wide eyed.
'What?' he asked.
'Richard, this shouldn't be possible. The only humans who could ever tame dragons were the First King, the Lady of Dragons, and the-'
'The Eternal Master, General Roku, right?' he finished for her and she nodded at him. 'We'll get into that later. There's a lot I haven't told you yet but there's even more I don't know. That's why I wanted to talk with Aura. I want you there with me.'
'Fair enough,' Daiya answered and shimmied back towards him so she could wrap her arms around his waist. 'Flying without reins is very tricky with dragons, and very rarely done. This dragon seems to be quick with the commands given though so we shouldn't have too much of a problem. Lean left or right to turn or bank, and if you want to fly higher lean back. When we come in for a landing just lean forward and the dragon should do all the work for you.'
'Sounds simple enough. Should I head for the volcano?'
'No, take us to the palace. I told everyone that I would head there once I found you, so they'll be waiting. I can't wait to see the look on my sisters face when she sees you flying a dragon! Maybe it will change her attitude towards you.'
'Doubtful,' Richard laughed. It felt good to be away from May and have Daiya with him, but he couldn't shake off the feeling he had when he was about to kill May. It still clung to his heart and he knew if he saw her any time soon he would try to finish it right then. That scared him. He had never harbored that much hate to anyone before and he didn't know how to control it. It was like there were two separate sides of him and the newest one was beyond his control.
When the city came into view Richard leaned forward like Daiya had shown him and the dragon began to gradually descend towards the ground, an almost sad shiver running through its body. The palace was before them a few minutes later and they touched down in the back courtyard softly as maids and attendants came rushing over, speaking to Daiya in their tongue. Both he and the Princess nimbly jumped off the back of the dragon while it curled up on the soft grass and quickly fell asleep, smoke and steam hissing out of its large nostrils. A moment later the large glass doors of the palace burst open and King Dycoz rushed out with his wife Queen Rina, Aura, Lisbeth, and Lythia.
'Thank heavens you found him!' Queen Rina exclaimed and hugged her daughter quickly before hugging Richard tightly. 'Are you two alright?'
'We're fine mother. It turns out there wasn't much to worry about. Richard had everything under control.'
'Is this the dragon that took off with him?' King Dycoz asked and pointed towards the massive sleeping form of the black dragon on their lawn. Richard was going to answer but he suddenly found himself suffocating as Aura hugged him tightly and cut off his air supply, causing tears to come to his eyes.
'Yes,' Daiya answered for him, 'when I found him he was riding on its back and headed towards the city.'
'How did you get it to land?' Aura asked him after finally releasing her hold.
'It was all Richard,' Daiya beamed but everyone looked at her like she had just lost her mind. 'No, really! The dragon moved with his commands and everything! Watch! Richard, go mount him for a moment.'
Sighing, Richard moved back towards the black dragon and gently ran his hand over its scales before leaping deftly to its back. All he wanted to do right now was get Aura away from everyone else and ask her some questions about what May had told him, but he should have realized that wouldn't be quite so easy. Daiya was making a pretty outrageous claim and they would need to back it up with some proof if they wanted people to understand that they were telling the truth.
As soon as he landed on the dragons back it awoke and stood back up until Richard was sitting nearly twenty feet off the ground. He climbed into his spot on the dragons neck and gently leaned back as the dragon flapped its massive wings and lifted a few feet in the air. He kept it level for a few seconds before leaning back even further. He and the dragon flew around the courtyard a few times before landing once more. Once he had gotten off, the dragon went to sleep again and Richard realized it was probably tired from its fight against May's red dragon.
'That's… that's amazing,' Queen Rina breathed and Aura nodded her head in agreement. The King regarded Richard hard for a minute before walking towards him and slapping him hard on the back as a wide grin spread across his weathered face.
'I knew I picked the right man for my daughter!' he yelled with a loud barking laugh and Richard had to force himself not to shrink away from the imposing man. 'You impress me with everything you do, Richard! I don't know whether to praise your abilities or feel jealous because I don't have them!'
'Umm, thanks… I think.'
'Dycoz, dear?' the Queen spoke and grabbed her husband's attention while everyone else stared at him with stunned looks on their faces. Even Aura looked like she had been frozen in shock. 'Richard and the dragon have formed a bond…'
'Oh, right! Where is my head at? Richard, it is our law that anyone who is bonded to a dragon is permitted to keep the dragon. It's highly uncommon for someone to bond with an adult dragon, but it doesn't change the fact. This strapping one is now under your care and you will have to look after all of its needs. This also allows you the right to join the Dragoons and ride your dragon whenever you want. The only thing you must do to accept this great honor is give him a name.'
'Richard get's to keep the dragon?' Lisbeth asked and her face had once more lit up with a wide smile as she thought of the implications. 'You have to let me ride on it at least once, Richard! Please?'
Richard looked at the powerful Dark Elf King and couldn't find any lie in his words. Only an hour ago he was fighting for his life trying not to be killed by a dragon and now here he was being given that dragon as his mount and friend. It was hard to wrap his mind around and he didn't think he would ever have enough time to get used to it. But, he had come up with a perfect name for the dragon already.
'I'll name him Loki,' he said and everyone tilted their heads in confusion. 'Loki is an ancient god from where I grew up. He is apparently the god of fire and is known as the trickster. I think it fits this dragon perfectly, especially after all the trouble he gave me today.'
'God of fire and tricks, eh?' King Dycoz mused and then suddenly smiled. 'I think you have yourself the perfect name for such a unique beast! From here on forth, this Greater Black Dragon will be known as Loki, the companion of Lord Proud!'
Loki lifted his massive head and gazed at them for a moment, almost like it understood that they were talking about him. Figuring nothing bad was going to happen it lowered its head once more and drifted off into sleep that kept proving to be elusive. Queen Rina came and hugged Richard once more before whispering something into her husband's ear and taking her leave. King Dycoz seemed to contemplate something for a moment and then split into another wide smile. It was almost becoming a permanent part of his face.
'I believe I have something to negotiate with now,' he said to Aura and she nodded gently. 'Let's go resume out talks and let the young ones have some time away from their parents.'
Aura smiled and turned to walk away with the king, but Richard grabbed her by the wrist and moved in close so only she could hear him. 'I really need to talk to you about something; in private. It's really important,' he whispered into her ear.
'Wait for me in your room, I'll try to come by as soon as I am able. I'd suggest taking a bath and getting your wounds looked after while you wait,' she answered in a hushed tone and then walked off, disappearing into the palace a moment later.
Realizing that he must stink to high heaven and that he was covered in cuts and bruises that oozed blood he quickly asked Daiya to come to his room once Aura was free and then took off towards the bath. He soaked in hot water laced with oils and soaps for a good hour before getting out and allowing the maids to attend to his wounds. There was a pretty nasty one on his left shoulder from where one of the dragon hatchlings had grabbed onto him and he was told the area May had hit him with her spell would take some time to heal. He was given something for the pain thankfully, and didn't worry about it too much.
Because of the events of the day his lesson with Master Riyo was cancelled and he was allowed to eat in peace while secluded in his room. He could have gone down to the dining hall with the rest of his friends but he didn't feel like socializing right now. There were too many things swimming through his mind for him to sit still or hold a decent conversation anyways. Perhaps Loki felt the same way because whenever Richard looked out the window of his room he would find the massive black dragon lounging on the vibrant green grass right underneath where he was. He was going to have to ask Daiya for help when it came time to feed the big fella, because he honestly didn't know what they ate or when they ate.
The moon had risen by the time someone came and knocked on his door. He was expecting to find both Aura and Daiya there but it was only the Princess. She was dressed in a thin green sleeveless dress and her hair had been tied back in a tight and high pony tail that showed off her long and slender ears. She looked absolutely beautiful and all Richard wanted to do in that moment was hold her in his arms, but there was a tense air between them and he couldn't find the courage to do it. He knew she was dying to know what had happened in the jungle and she was pretty quiet. Little did she know that she was going to hear a whole lot more than what had just happened that day.
'Their meeting just ended so Aura should be here soon,' she said and sat down on the couch in front of the fire. 'How are you feeling?'
'Not bad,' he admitted with a slight smile. 'The weird herb drink the maids gave me works better than Advil, so I don't feel any pain right now.'
They sat in silence for five minutes before Aura knocked on his door and entered before he could stand up. She noticed Daiya sitting there and questioned him wordlessly with a turn of the head as she slowly walked towards the couch where both of them were sitting. Richard just shook his head and stood up, allowing Aura to take his seat. He really didn't think he would want to sit too much now that she had finally arrived.
'Thanks for coming,' he said and was about to launch into his first question when she interrupted him.
'Even if you hadn't wanted to talk with me I would still be here right now. There's something very important I need to tell the both of you.'
'Me first,' Richard interjected a little rudely. 'Sorry, there's just a lot I have to get off my chest and even more I have to ask you. Is that alright?'
'Go ahead,' Aura nodded.
'Tell me the real reason for the Great war, not what you tell students in your class but the real answer.'
'Uh, what's this about Richard?' both Aura and Daiya asked.
'Is it true or not that the real reason behind the war was a man had gone mad in pursuit of immortality?' he pressed and Aura blanched at the question, her eyes bulging. She shot up from the couch and looked him straight in the face with her question written in her eyes.
'How did you know that?'
'So, it is true?' he pushed. He refused to let her change the subject on him. He had to know the truth!
'Y… yes. It's something only the Alysian royal family knows, so I ask you once more: How did you know that?'
'When Loki and I landed in the jungle we were found by May,' he answered and both women suddenly had hard looks in their eyes at the mention of her name. 'She told me before we got into a fight.'
'Did she say how she learned of this truth? It is very important that you tell me everything, Richard,' Aura spoke and her words were icy.
'When she cornered Loki and I, she was riding atop a massive red dragon that obeyed her commands,' he said and now it was Daiya who shot to her feet with an incredulous look on her face.
'Richard, maybe you were out in the sun too long,' she said and moved closer to him, grasping his left hand in hers. 'With you there are only four humans who have been able to ride a dragon.'
'What was Lady Monica known as during the Great War?' he asked both women.
'Lady of Dragons,' Aura answered automatically and she seemed to be piecing it together in her mind; but she still needed a another nudge.
'Who else would have known that Princess Celia had taken Roku's other bracer when she left the palace? The same bracer that May is currently in possession of.'
'O… only King Wales and Lady Monica…' Aura answered and a light flickered in her eyes as she saw what he was getting at. She shook her head violently a second later though as if to dismiss the thought. 'It's impossible Richard; there's no way that could be true!'
'Did the Demon King not achieve his goal of being immortal?'
'Yes, but he went insane and started trying to absorb all the magic in the world to feed himself. The spells he would have had to cast just to become immortal would have twisted his mind and soul until he was no longer human. There's no way Lady Monica would have done the same thing once she saw what happened!'
'She admitted to killing Celia,' Richard countered, 'and she also admitted to killing Celia's child. She knew the child was Roku's. She knew that Dark Star could absorb and return magic when even I didn't know that! And she knew that Roku went to earth after the final battle of the war! That can't all just be coincidence!'
'Richard…' Daiya spoke up and he looked over to find her staring at him intently, something odd in her eyes as she listened to them speak. 'This woman, is she the one that you said followed you to this world and sent you back home?'
'Yes, the very same one. Why?'
'She would be the only one who could have placed that rune on the back of your neck. When I got back home I was bothered by the strangeness of the mark and began to do some research with the help of the Fire Master. We found that the spell used to repress your magic was a very ancient one that hadn't been used in over two thousand years. And this May also used an odd form of magic that was red in nature; that much I saw for myself. There's also a dark ritual that was banned over four thousand years ago that involved using the blood of family killed in anger to empower ones magic. It turned your arcane power the color of blood…'
'So if Monica killed Celia and her son that would activate the ritual?' he asked and Daiya nodded her head; even Aura nodded slightly. She was the Daughter of Arcane so she should know something about banned spells and rituals. 'Look, I know it's hard to believe but all the evidence points to one thing; May is the Lady of Dragons. She, Roku, and Wales had at one point been trying to achieve immortality on their own.'
'You're right, it's very impossible; but troubling none the less. The last record of Lady Monica was of a sighting by a villager near the base of a mountain. He claimed that he saw her using powerful banned magic and that she disappeared from sight. There was nothing after that and her younger brother took over the family.'
Richard gently squeezed Daiya's hand and then let go. He moved towards the fireplace and looked into it for a long moment as he tried to gather his wits about him. He finally turned to face the two troubled looking women and told them the last thing he wanted to get off his chest. There was still the whole killing intent thing, but he couldn't tell them that he had been close to killing another living human with no remorse. Not yet.
'There's more,' he spoke slowly and both women looked up at him, 'she claims that Roku also continued his research into immortality. He apparently died before he could finish it completely, but she said he left a note with his wife and child on Earth. It was written in the language of elves and said that he would one day be reincarnated. May thinks that I'm Roku reborn, not just his descendant. Apparently not even Celia's child could cast light magic even with the bracer. No one else on my side of the family could either.'
'You're a descendant of the Eternal Master?' Daiya whispered the question and both Richard and Aura nodded. 'That might explain why you were able to tame Loki and ride him.'
'It's possible. But him being able to use Light Magic, a magic that was created by Roku, doesn't mean that he is the reincarnation of the great general.'
'It might,' Daiya offered and moved a step closer to Richard. 'His Light Magic is an elemental magic. It's already been proven that a person's affinity to elemental magic doesn't come from their bloodline. It's a random choice the magic makes based on the person's body. If Light Magic was created by Roku then it might only be able to be used by someone who is an exact copy of him. If that's the case then Richard very well could be him.'
Aura sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, sitting down heavily on the couch she was still standing by. She looked up at Richard for a few long moments and then sighed once more, obviously trying to choose her next words carefully. In the beginning Richard had only meant to ask questions to try and see what was really going on, but the more they talked about it the more it looked like May wasn't lying. It was just too impossible to be true though. The odds would be so against it that it should never, ever happen. Yet it looked like it was.
'I'll do whatever research I can on all of this,' Aura spoke a few minutes later, 'but this might be something we never know the truth about. For now I think we should keep this between just the three of us. If the Lady of Dragons really is wandering around out there then that could prove dangerous to anyone who knows who she really is. Lady Monica was considered to be just as powerful as King Wales, and they were seen as only a small step down from Roku. She's not someone we want to anger right now.'
'You're telling me,' Richard groaned and remembered that he had been easily beaten by her twice now. If he hadn't had lost control of his emotions and went nuts on her he might very well have been captured.
'She bested me in three exchanges. I've never see anyone that powerful before,' Daiya remarked coldly. Richard could tell that her loss to May at the Alysian Palace had really angered her and she probably wanted another go at her.
'Was there anything else that you think I should know, Richard?' Aura asked and he quickly shook his head. He felt so over stimulated and confused that he couldn't think about anything properly in that moment. He was sure he had a hundred other questions he wanted to ask, but nothing was coming to mind. Well, besides the obvious question of how to feed a sixteen foot dragon.
'Then how about you two take a seat. There's something that I must discuss with you as soon as possible.'
Richard and Daiya did as they were asked and sat down on the couch next to one another. Their thighs were touching and Daiya's hand reached over and clasped his tightly, moving it over to her thigh so she would be more comfortable. Aura noticed this and smiled a small smile before sitting down on the large wooden coffee table between them and the fireplace. She opened her mouth but hesitated for a moment.
'Is something wrong?' Richard asked. He had never seen Aura look this out of sorts before and it was honestly freaking him out a little.
'Not exactly,' she answered. 'You know that Reiea is visiting to speak with King Dycoz about his kingdoms involvement in the war, right?'
'Yes, but I don't think it will do any good,' Daiya answered matter-of-factly. 'My father isn't very keen on getting into someone else's war when we aren't threatened.'
'That may have been true a week ago, but things have changed on the front. Two other countries have joined against Alysia and we currently find ourselves badly outnumbered. If something isn't done Alysia will be over thrown and they will set their sights on the second largest nation, Elothia. Even King Dycoz fears an invasion and has said he would join our effort of protecting the southern kingdoms.'
'I'm guessing there's a but in here somewhere,' Richard said and Aura nodded. Daiya gripped his hand tighter all of a sudden and she must have realized something Richard hadn't.
'Both Queen Reiea and King Dycoz agreed that for our nations to work together they would need a symbol of unity to look up to. That's mostly what these talks have been about. For his part, King Dycoz has been pushing that an exception be made in the law that doesn’t allow students of the Majou Academy of Magic to marry while they attend. He wanted the two of you to be that symbol for the troops from both nations to look up to. He was still open to other idea's, but once Richard showed that he could tame and ride a greater dragon he refused to accept anything else other than your marriage.'
'Aura, are you saying… what I think you're saying?' Richard stuttered slightly and she looked him dead in the eyes.
'It was finally agreed on tonight. The law will be lifted on the two of you and you will be wed,' she answered and her voice and body posture were serious.
'W… when?' Daiya asked with a whisper.
'Two days from now, on Saturday evening.'
'Wow…' Richard sighed and it felt like his brain was being overstuffed with things he needed to worry about now, 'that's really… soon.'
Aura reached out and placed a gentle hand on his knee before speaking once more, 'If neither of you is comfortable enough or ready for it, Queen Reiea says you can decline the offer. She understands it is a big life decision.'
'I don't have any problems,' Daiya said confidently and looked over at Richard. 'Do you?'
'No, I… I guess not.'
It was amazing how fast two full days could pass when there was a massive life changing event waiting for you. Richard had tried to fill up his days with as much stuff as he could, but it still didn't stop him from thinking about the upcoming wedding that stared he and Daiya down. He trained with Master Riyo (only with wooden swords so he wouldn't get cut before the ceremony), learned how to handle, train, and care for a massive dragon, practiced his magic with Lythia and Lisbeth, and even began learning how to help out in the nursery. By the time he got to bed each night he would pass out immediately; only to wake up the next morning with his first thought being about getting married in another day or two.
Richard and Daiya were only allowed to see one another the second day before the wedding, and then she was whisked away by her mother, sisters, Aura and Coni to a private mansion the royal family owned on the edge of the city. Back on Earth it was tradition for the bride and groom not to see one another on the day of the wedding; here it was a full twenty four hours. This was tough on Richard as he really didn't know what to expect and he had been relying on Aura and Daiya's knowledge of the ceremony to help him out. Now he was left alone with a bored Lythia and Lisbeth who was more interested in feeding Loki slabs of meat while petting him.
One good thing to happen was that Richard was allowed someone to stand up at the altar with him, sort of like a best man. There was only one person he knew on this world who fit that bill; Karo. The minute he heard about this from King Dycoz he sent out an envoy to find Karo and bring him back, forcefully if need be. With the help from a Dragoon Knight, Karo arrived late afternoon the day before the wedding and even brought his fiancé Sabina along as well.
It had been three months since he and Karo last saw one another but they didn’t skip a beat. But it turned out that Karo took after Lisbeth and was so impressed with everything around him that he was little to no help. Sabina had to strongly remind him why he was there and that he now had duties since Richard chose him to be his best man. Unfortunately he knew even less than Richard did on what to expect and they both found themselves floundering horribly.
One thing Richard had learned was that unlike on Earth, married couples on this world didn't wear wedding rings to signify their bond. So Richard got the idea in his head that he and Daiya would be the first, and with the help of a palace attendant, he managed to get in touch with a jeweler and he ordered two ornate wedding bands to be made before the ceremony. He really didn't have any money of his own but he was sure that Aura wouldn't mind so he would charge it to their name and worry about it later. And with that out of the way he and Karo were fitted for brand new dress suits to wear for the occasion and it took the better part of a day just to get them finished. The work the tailors did was amazing though, and both young men looked very sharp as they checked it out in front of a large mirror.
When Richard woke up the morning of his wedding he was in full panic mode and running around the palace like his head had been cut off. The rings hadn't arrived yet, his suite had a loose thread he was afraid to pull on, Loki had decided to take a mud bath during the night, and he still had no idea what was expected of him during the ceremony. Lisbeth, Karo, and Sabina did their best to calm him down and get him to eat breakfast, but he didn't feel hungry at all. He honestly couldn't believe he was getting worked up over something like this. Richard had been looking forward to getting to know Daiya over the next three and a half years before they were supposed to originally marry; but their marriage had now been turned into a political tool to help the war effort. He shouldn't be freaking out about it should he? But he was!
By the time lunch was served in the palace, Richard had only managed to get his suit fixed and Loki bathed. Tending to Loki took the most time and it was a total disaster as it seemed Loki didn't like to be washed. Richard had heard that trying to bathe a cat was a hard thing to do, but he would honestly take that over a nine hundred pound dragon that would try to fly away whenever you got close to him with a brush and bucket of water. He actually had to get Karo and Lisbeth to tempt Loki with fresh meat just so he could wash him and it took them close to two hours. After it was done he made sure to send Loki to the Dragons Den so he couldn't go off and find another mud puddle to lie in.
King Dycoz and Queen Rina were dealing with getting everything set up on such short notice and had already left the palace before anyone else had woken up. That meant Richard was left alone with Karo, Sabina, Lisbeth, Lythia, and Prince Pochiro who couldn't be bothered to do anything but sit in his room and read the entire day. It wasn't until around four in the afternoon that a very welcome and familiar person returned to the castle, and Richard almost tackled her in his glee to see her. Apparently Aura had left the others to come and check up on him, since he was technically her son; she was shocked to find that he had no idea what he was supposed to be doing.
Apparently the ceremony started at six that evening and it was expected that Richard and Karo were there at least an hour and a half before that. That meant they only had half an hour to get bathed, dried, dressed, groomed, and to the church on time. The next thirty minutes were the most rushed and harrowing of Richards life and by the time he, Karo, and Aura got into the carriage he felt like he was dying. He still didn't have the rings yet and had asked an attendant to go into town and track them down before the ceremony started.
On their trip to the church Aura proceeded to tell him what else would be going on. Both Richard and Karo tried to mentally catalog everything they were being told, but there were so many things that it was hard to remember even half of it. So Aura took them through it again. She wasn't able to finish the second time though as the carriage pulled up in front of the massive church in the heart of the city and they got out. People lined the streets in all directions and they chanted in both English and Elfish when he stepped into view. It was so deafening that he could barely hear Aura as she said something interesting about the church that stood extremely tall and had multiple spiraled steeples and towers coming out the top. He didn't have time to admire it though as he was soon being ushered inside the cavernous interior by a well dressed Dark Elf usher.
Guests were expected to start arriving any time now and Richard and Karo were led to a secluded room in the back of the church where they wouldn't be seen. Aura promised to come check up on them after she took care of setting a few things up and then left. The second she disappeared from sight Richard felt his knees start to buckle and he was forced to sit down in a rickety old wooden chair while Karo smiled on nervously. He was most likely thinking about his own nuptials that were scheduled for a few years down the road and realizing just how stressing something like this was. Richard would gladly trade places with him though.
'Do we bow to the King and Queen when they enter the church, or once they've sat down?' Richard asked as he had suddenly forgotten what he had been told. Karo flashed him an alarmed look but his face relaxed a second later as the answer came to him.
'We bow when they sit down, and then you and Daiya will bow to them again once you leave the church after the ceremony. Don't forget that Queen Reiea is here as well, so you will have to do it more than once,' the slightly older man answered and ran his hand through his long blonde hair.
They sat there in silence for a few moments and Richard's entire body began to shake in fear as he counted seconds until they turned into minutes. 'What do you think would happen to me if I ran?' he joked trying to lighten the heavy mood around him.
'I'm not sure what her parents would do, but I'm pretty sure Daiya would roast you alive if you did,' Karo answered with a chuckle and Richard forced a laugh out. It was hollow and empty sounding though. 'Take a deep breath, Richard. It's not the end of the world… well not entirely…'
'Thanks… that makes me feel a lot better,' Richard replied sarcastically and his friend laughed nervously as he took a seat next to his friend.
They continued to sit there in silence as the sounds of voices echoed through the larger section of the church. It sounded like close to a hundred people had arrived already and the wedding was still an hour away from beginning. Richard's mouth was starting to get dry so he shakily poured himself a glass of cold water from a pitcher that had been left out for them. It did nothing to quench his sudden thirst though and he slammed the glass down in annoyance. Karo noticed this and he reached into an inside pocket of his suit and pulled out a small animal skin flask, holding it out to Richard.
'Lisbeth gave this to me in case you started to get jittery,' he said and Richard tentatively grabbed the flask from him. 'You know how good she is with elixirs right? Well she says this one will calm you down enough so you won't make a fool out of yourself out there.'
'Remind me to thank her after this,' Richard said and pulled out the stopper. He put the flask to his lips and drank deeply from it, draining the sweet liquid in one gulp and swallowing it down hard. He felt a sudden warmth rush through his body and his mind cleared up a little as a small smile crossed his lips.
'Better?' his friend asked hopefully.
'Much better. I feel a little giddy!'
They both laughed at that and Richard didn't even seem to notice the tension hanging over him like a wet blanket anymore. With fifty minutes to go there was a knock on the door and an attendant let himself in. He handed Richard a small box with the two rings in it and then left quickly after wishing him luck. Richard really wanted to open the box to see how the rings looked, but he didn't trust himself right now so he handed Karo the box and told him to hang onto until he asked for them later. He didn't plan on giving it to Daiya until after the ceremony anyways; maybe during the reception back at the palace.
With only half an hour left there was another knock on the door and Aura entered, quickly followed by the Arch-Bishop from Alysia. Richard greeted Aura with a light hug so he didn't wrinkle her beautiful lavender dress that hung gently from her body, and then turned to bow to the Arch-Bishop. He didn't follow their religion but he knew this was a man of power and influence so it was proper to salute that side.
'I'm surprised you look so composed,' Aura commented as she closed the door behind them.
'You should have seen him thirty minutes ago,' Karo laughed and even the Arch-Bishop chuckled lightly at the remark.
'It's common to be a little nervous on such a momentous day,' the elderly man said with a gentle smile, 'but I'm glad to see you're not letting the nervousness get to you too much. It really shows what great character you have to be smiling right now.'
'Well, I had a little help from an elixir a friend made for me,' Richard admitted sheepishly and Aura giggled.
'Whatever helps, right?' the Arch-Bishop said and took a step closer to Richard. 'I've just come to tell you that there's been a change to the ceremony. After you have been wed, King Dycoz will hold a special ceremony for you. He wants to keep it secret, so all I can tell you is that when he stands and walks towards you, you need to get on your knees and bow your head before him. After that there's nothing else you will need to do.'
'Um… okay…' Richard said slowly and wasn't sure what to make of this sudden change. It sounded simple enough though so he wouldn’t worry about it.
'Now, I must leave to go meet with Princess Daiya when she arrives. You and your friend stay here until someone comes to get you, and remember to have a good time out there. This is a joyous day for you and your fiancé and you should enjoy it. Be well, my son.'
Richard and Karo bowed their heads as the man smiled upon them and then left, closing the door tightly behind them. Richard lifted his head to see that Aura was still there and he smiled, hoping she would be there until the time came for him and Karo to leave. Ever since he had first arrived on this world she had always been there to help guide him along and he would feel lost without her.
'Your cloak is a little crooked,' she said and adjusted the deep purple royal cloak until it fit on his shoulders just perfectly. 'There, much better.'
'Thanks,' he said and it felt like the effects of the drink he had been given were starting to wear off. His hands shook slightly and his mouth was starting to get dry again. 'Will you be here until it's time?'
'I'm afraid not,' the blonde woman answered with a sad shake of her head, 'I have to go and greet the guests again. I'll be in the front row watching you though, so make me proud okay?'
Richard nodded and Aura pulled him into a tight hug before walking out of the room. As soon as she was out of sight he fell back into the hard wooden chair and let out a long and low sigh that rattled his lungs. It wouldn't be long now and he could hardly believe this was happening. The sound of talking coming from outside the room had turned up a notch and it was all Richard and Karo could to not open the door and peak out. On more than one occasion they had caught one another shifting slightly towards the door and it provided them with a good, albeit nervous laugh.
At ten minutes to go an usher popped their head into the room and notified them that they should make their way to the altar now. Both Richard and Karo stood stiffly and took a deep breath as the time had finally come. As they left Karo patted him heavily on the back and whispered a 'good luck' before they were out the door. The minute he stepped out into the main hall of the church he instantly wanted to turn around and go hide in that small room again. Close to five hundred people sat in pews and chairs and all their eyes followed Richard and Karo as they walked towards the large and ornate golden altar at the front of the church; they had even stopped talking and you could hear their footsteps echo off the stone floor with each step.
In weddings on this world it was customary for the groom to not see his bride before she was standing beside him, so Richard was forced to stare at the altar and he found it was the hardest thing he had ever done. Even if Daiya hadn't entered the building yet. Karo had promised him earlier that he would tell Richard how she looked when she appeared but it wouldn't be enough. She was already such a beautiful woman that he couldn't figure out how they were going to top that for this event.
His knees were shaking, his hands sweating, and his head spinning as he stood there on the spot and waited for everything to begin. They still had to wait for King Dycoz, Queen Rina, and Queen Reiea to arrive, so until that happened he knew he still had time to mentally prepare himself. Nothing he seemed to think about worked though and he was more focused on the feeling of hot sweat on his forehead more than anything else. He desperately wanted to reach up and wipe it away but he was painfully aware of the hundreds of eyes on him in that moment, so he thought better of it. He was so focused on that, that he didn't realize things had already begun until Karo nudged him gently.
'They're here,' he whispered and Richard forced himself to turn around. The massive wooden doors at the other end of the church had opened and the imposing figures of the King and Queen of Elothia walked slowly down the long and wide aisle towards them. Just behind them was Queen Reiea accompanied by Aura and Richard couldn't help but notice the massive scowl on the young Queens face.
It took them a good two minutes to reach their seats in the very front row, and Richard felt like he was going to fall over at any moment. His legs were threatening to dump him on his ass at any moment and he had to strain all his muscles to keep that from happening. As soon as all three Royal members sat down both Richard and Karo took two steps towards them and bowed deeply at the waist, just like they had been instructed by Aura. Each of them nodded their heads in approval and Richard was free once more to turn his back on the congregation and focus on one small section of the altar in front of him, forcing his eyes to not move from that spot no matter what.
The next few minutes were absolutely excruciating and Richard almost broke down several times as the thought to run burned through his mind. If Karo wasn’t standing on his right he probably would have done it. But finally, after an agonizing wait that seemed to drag on forever, the massive wooden doors swung open and Richard could hear as people left their seats and stood. A hushed whisper ran through the church but Richard couldn't make out anything anyone was saying. He was dying to turn around and thankfully Karo nudged him softly.
'Try not to faint when you see her,' his friend whispered into his ear and Richard felt a tingle of anticipation run down his spine.
He could hear two sets of heels clacking against the hard stone floor and the sound gradually grew closer as the tension in the room built higher. The walk down the aisle seemed to take five times longer than when the King and Queen's had done it and it took everything he had not to turn around. But finally, after a long wait, he felt a presence on his left hand side and he shifted his head to take in who was there; Richard actually had to do a double take.
Daiya stood right next to him with a nervous smile on her face. Her hair was done up in a very intricate and beautiful style with a small and thin silver tiara capping it off. She wore a long and very elegant light green dress (a traditional color for Dark Elf brides) and it hugged her delicious looking curves perfectly. She smelled of vibrant blooming flowers and there was a twinkle in her eyes that seemed to draw Richard in as he looked upon her gorgeous form. He was sure he was smiling like an idiot in that moment but there wasn't a single thing he could do about it.
'Don't stare,' she whispered and smiled at him, 'it's embarrassing.'
'S… s… sorry,' he stuttered, 'you're just so beautiful.'
A flush of pink touched Daiya's tanned cheeks and she gently touched his hand with hers before fixing her attention on the large altar ahead of them. A moment later the Arch-Bishop appeared before them and smiled warmly down on them as he came to stand in front of them, holding both his hands up to quiet the crowd behind them. When all the noise died down he raised a single hand in the air and spoke in a loud and powerful voice that you wouldn't expect to come from such an old looking man.
'I'd like to thank everyone for coming this day on behalf of the couple! We have all gathered for a single reason, to witness their lifelong bond that is built upon mutual respect and honest feelings. I have spoken to both Princess Daiya and Lord Proud and I am happy to say that they were both excited, and we wish them all the best in life. Now, Lord Proud, if you would take Princess Daiya's hand in yours we can begin.'
Richard did as he was asked and held tightly onto Daiya's slightly trembling and warm hand. The way he grabbed onto it seemed almost perfect as their engagement marks faced both up and down, glimmering slightly in the light coming in through the large glass windows on the roof. It was like two sides of the same coin and Richard found it almost poetic.
'Today, in the presence of the Great God, you two have come to commit your lives to one another for all of eternity. The path you both walk down in life will not be easy, and there will be moments when you can't handle it. But you will find solace and comfort in the others presence and you will never be alone. Let no one or no thing come between your bond and place one another above all worldly desires. Cherish the bond between the two of you and nurture it like a budding flower, growing it for the rest of your days. Confide and trust, honor and hold one another for you are two sides of the same soul. Let each day be a wonderful new journey for the both of you and find your way through life as one. Please, kneel and I will lead us in a short prayer.'
Still holding hands, Richard and Daiya gently fell to their knees and the Arch-Bishop placed a gentle hand on both their shoulders and began to whisper in a strange language that flowed forth. Richard bowed his head and tuned out the unknown words, choosing to focus on the warmth coming for Daiya's hand as she squeezed his gently. The prayer went on for a good two to three minutes before the Arch-Bishop told them to stand and an altar boy appeared with a plush red pillow with two large blue flowers on top of it.
'As per Elothian tradition, I ask that the two of you receive a flower and place it on the altar. This will signify your commitment to each other under the sight of God. Once you have placed the flower on the altar say a short, personal prayer.'
Daiya reached out and clutched the flower closest to her, taking a step towards the massive golden altar in front of her. Richard did the same and followed Daiya's example by placing the tender flower atop the altar and once more kneeling to say a private prayer. The prayers weren't said out loud, which was good for Richard as he had no idea what he should say. He wasn't religious by any meaning of the word so he simply made a silent wish; a wish that he and Daiya would be happy for as long as they both shall live. With that done, he and Daiya stood and took a step backwards as the Arch-Bishop moved in front of them once more, a small smile on his lips.
'Lord Proud, do you promise in the sight of God, family, and friends to cherish Princess Daiya? Do you swear to uphold her ideals and be a lifelong companion that she can trust and rely on?'
'I… I do,' he pushed out his answer as loud as he could, which wasn't very loud at all.
'And Princess Daiya, do you promise in the sight of God, family, and friends to cherish Lord Proud? Do you swear to uphold his ideals and be a lifelong companion that he can trust and rely on?'
'I do,' she announced loudly and Richard wished he had even half of her composure.
'Then it is by my decree that you are now joined in matrimony! Please turn to the congregation,' the Arch-Bishop announced and both Richard and Daiya turned on cue and clasped hands once more. 'For the first time ever, I present to you Lord Richard and Princess Daiya!'
The crowd in the church stood from their seats and began to applaud Richard and Daiya. It wasn't an exuberant clapping, more of a loud yet regal noise that almost sounded like it had been choreographed. In the very front row, next to a gently scowling Reiea, was Aura. She stood proud and tall and beamed up at Richard like she couldn't be more happy for him. It felt really good to see her face in that moment and he smiled back while mentally reminding himself that he shouldn't wave to her. The really strange part was that both Coni and Lythia were smiling up at him as well and it made him feel a little awkward.
King Dycoz held up his hands and the crowd abruptly stopped their clapping, a look of confusion running through them as they wondered what was going on. A second later the towering man stepped towards Richard and he took this as his cue to fall to both knees and bow his head before him. He had no idea what was going on and only following what the Arch-Bishop told him when they had met earlier. Peeking up Richard saw King Dycoz grab hold of Dark Star from Aura who was holding it out. He unsheathed the black blade that glinted in the light, not a single scratch on it from his run in with May.
'Daiya, if you would,' he said loud enough so everyone could hear him. The crowd was still standing and looking on with interest as Daiya took the sword from her father and came to stand in front of Richard.
'Lord Richard,' she spoke and her voice slightly trembled as the day started to get the better of her, 'For your service, skill, and dedication, it has been decreed that you shall be inducted into the Dragoons! By my right as the heir to the Elothian throne, I pass onto you the rank of Dragoon Lord and all the accoutrements that go with it. Henceforth, you shall uphold the values, virtues, and honor of the Elothian and Alysian crowns!'
Daiya tapped the sword against the top of Richards head and handed it back to her father. A moment later Coni came out of the crowd and knelt down next to Richard, a small smile on her lips. She gently moved his royal cloak from his right shoulder and shifted it all the way to his left. She then stood, bowed before Daiya and King Dycoz and then returned to where she stood next to both of her sisters.
'I present you with the Cloak of the Dragoons,' Daiya began to speak once more and was handed by her mother a long flowing green cloak with a dragon painted on it. 'With this cloak and your companion, the Greater Black Dragon known as Loki, you will officially be recognized as Dragoon Lord Richard, my husband. Now rise!'
As he rose up from his knees Daiya leaned into him and placed the cloak around his neck, letting the material hang on his right shoulder. She placed a gentle kiss on his cheek and then moved back, handing his sword to him hilt first. Richard softly took Dark Star from her trembling hands and did a flourish with it before holding it before his face in a salute; a move that Master Riyo had taught him the previous day. He repeated the same move towards King Dycoz and then accepted the scabbard being offered and sheathed his sword before throwing it over his back and out of the way.
Daiya was quickly at his side and her hand slid into his as she leaned in and whispered 'good job' into his ear. A moment later King Dycoz moved back to his seat and all the royals sat down, their hands folding on their laps as they waited for the progression out of the church to begin. Richard and Daiya stepped forward and bowed gracefully to all of them before slowly walking to the aisle hand in hand, and beginning the march to the massive wooden doors. As they passed by people who had been invited to the wedding, Richard was surprised to see that each and every one of them bowed to both of them as they went by, their heads down and no words spoken.
Before he knew it they were walking out into the hot evening air as the sun had already begun to set in the distance. Crowds of Dark Elves that lined the streets by the church surged at the line of armored guards and cheered as they saw Daiya and him come into view, their hands high in the air as a roar rippled through the entire area. A large golden and open topped carriage waited at the bottom of the church steps and Daiya gently led him by the hand towards it. They climbed in and the driver slapped the reins to get the horses moving.
They were apparently to take a long tour around the city before returning to the palace, something he was not made aware of beforehand. It was to allow the people in the city to see them and make their presence known throughout the kingdom, which once again reminded Richard that this was a political marriage more than anything else. He tried not to let that thought bother him and began to wave to the masses like Daiya was doing, a stupid smile plastered to his face.
'Well that was nerve wracking,' Daiya said softly to him so her words didn't carry to the crowd. 'It felt like I was going to melt under all those stares.'
'You did better than me. I almost blacked out a couple of times in there,' he smiled in reply and gently squeezed her hand as she smiled back. 'It's hard to believe that we're married now.'
'You're not starting to regret coming back here are you? Because we've only been married for ten minutes.'
'I don't regret the decision I made; in fact I have proof of that,' he said gently and reached into his pocket. He had gotten the ring box off of Karo before he left the church and felt now was as good a time as any to give it to her. He pulled it out and held it to her, opening it with the hand that been holding hers. 'Married couples on my world give each other a ring to symbolize their commitment. I think it has to do with a circle being never-ending or something. So I had these made for us.'
Daiya looked down at the box and gasped at what she saw. In a moment where he thought the rings looked horrible, Richard looked down and saw why she had gasped. Both rings were almost identical. Made from shining silver they were thin and were inlaid with tiny little silver flowers accented with gold around the petals. One of the rings held a large shimmering diamond on the top of it and Richard realized that one was Daiya's.
'They're beautiful,' she hissed and reached into the box to pluck up his. Richard smiled at his bride and picked up hers in his hand before putting the box back into his pocket. He took her left hand in his and slid the ring on the proper finger, finding that it was a perfect fit. Taking his example, Daiya did the same. 'Thank you.'
They clasped hands once more and leaned in for a quick kiss as the crowd on the streets roared their approval. Remembering where they were and what was going on, they both turned back to the people lining the streets and began to wave again, a renewed vigor in their actions courtesy of the gleaming rings on their fingers and the caring moment they just shared. For the first time since Richard had found out that he would be marrying Daiya, he felt at peace with the arrangement. He was actually pretty happy.
The tour around the city took a little over an hour and a half. It didn't feel like it though. Before he knew it they were passing through the massive palace gates and pulling up to the front entrance where maids and attendants lined the steps with their heads bowed. Richard and Daiya climbed out of the carriage, him helping her step down, and they walked up the steps and into the lavish palace hand in hand. They were quickly greeted by the head maid and head attendant and congratulated before being told their guests were waiting in the back courtyard for them.
When they walked out through the glass doors they were greeted by a crowd of people that began clapping excitedly when they arrived, smiling faces as far as they eye could see. The reception after the wedding was really nothing more than a small party for their family and closest friends to congratulate them while snacking on finger foods and drinking expensive wines. There was soft lyrical music playing in the background from a live band but no one danced. It was a royal party after all.
Richard and Daiya were instantly surrounded by boisterous people as they shook their hands and wished them luck in their lives. It was like being crushed by a tidal wave and Richard was having a hard time dealing with all of the attention he suddenly found himself in. Thankfully Daiya was there holding his hand the entire time and he relied on her strength and experience in these kinds of situations to pull him through to the other side. The last people to greet them were the only people Richard knew at the party and he was glad when Aura's face pushed through the crowd and she hugged both him and Daiya.
'Congratulations you two!' she beamed. Coni and Lythia came up beside their older sister and gave them the same sentiments. Coni actually looked happy that her friend Daiya seemed happy, while Lythia just seemed happy to have a glass of wine in her hand.
Lisbeth, Karo, and Sabina were the next to greet them and they all spent a little time talking to one another as the rest of the crowd began to mingle around the courtyard. As always, Lisbeth was extremely excited and it took Sabina nudging her hard in the ribs to get her to stop talking long enough for anyone else to get a word in edge wise. She and Richard had come a long way from when they had first met and he was glad to see that she was once more enjoying life. After everything she went through with her family she really deserved it.
The last people they had to greet were Daiya's family and Queen Reiea. They stood off from the main party and waited patiently for their daughter and new son-in-law to come to them. When they finally arrived, Richard was greeted by a powerful slap on the back from the King and a gentle hug from the Queen. Princess Saphrin hugged her sister and him but the older siblings just mumbled a congratulations and looked like they would rather be somewhere else in that moment. Queen Reiea herself had that same look on her face but she cordially greeted them before striking up a conversation with Princess Nadia.
For the next three hours Richard and Daiya continued to make the rounds through the courtyard and tried to talk to as many people as they could. Even though this party and day were about them, Richard found that being part of a royal family meant you had to deal with things like this on a daily basis. There was a long toast given by King Dycoz about how proud he was of his daughter and how he and his family would accept Richard into their family with open arms. As the head of Richard's family, Reiea also gave a speech but it sounded like it had been scripted and there wasn't much enthusiasm in her voice. She got the job done though and Richard supposed that's all that really mattered.
When it got past ten, most of the guests started to leave and it became apparent that the party was over. It hadn't been all bad for Richard; the food was good and he was even allowed two glasses of wine because he had just gotten married. He wasn't used to alcohol though and his head was buzzing slightly as he saw people off. From the original one hundred people that had been at the party, only thirty remained and Richard was waiting anxiously for them to leave so he could go and lie down for a while. He was exhausted and just needed to get off his feet.
It turned out that he didn't have to wait much longer though. The King gathered everyone's attention and announced a little gift he had set up from him and his daughter. He had taken an entire wing of the palace (this included all floors attached to this wing) and gave it to Richard and Daiya as a place for them to live whenever they were in Elothia. They were allowed to do whatever they wanted with it and no one would be allowed to enter without their permission before hand.
Before Richard could even express is gratitude to the King, Daiya grabbed him by the hand and yelled a quick goodbye and thank you for everything before dragging him off. They ran through the halls and eventually came to the closed door that guarded their private wing. Without even stopping so much as to look around at what they had been given, she led Richard to the third floor and they entered a massive bedroom that mirrored the one he had been staying in before exactly.
'Sorry for just rushing off like that,' Daiya apologized and closed the door behind them. A fire was roaring in the fire place and warm yellow and orange light danced around the room. 'I just needed to get away from there and rest.'
'You and me both, so no worries,' Richard replied gently and moved over to the couch to sit down. 'I feel like I've been standing all day.'
'What are you doing?' Daiya suddenly asked and he looked over to find her standing near him.
'Um, sitting down. Am I not allowed?'
'On the bed.'
Daiya was suddenly in front of him. She grabbed him by the hands and lifted him to his feet once more, a fierce gaze in her eyes. 'We're alone, in a wing of the palace that belongs to us, and we are married. You have no more excuses!'
With that her soft lips found his and she kissed him passionately, the tip of her tongue pressing at his lips as she tried to find access. The first thing to pop into Richard's mind was to push the woman off him and get some space. The last time he had had sex it had turned out to be a bad experience as May had called him someone else and a few minutes later he was teleported to this world. But the more Daiya kissed him the more he found his resolve being eaten away and he didn't want it to stop anymore. In fact he opened his mouth and allowed her tongue access as much as it wanted.
With their lips still locked, Daiya began to slowly walk them away from the couch and towards the bed. Richard wasn't even aware of this fact until they were falling sideways onto the extremely soft mattress and their noses bumped slightly. He didn't care though and he wrapped his arms around her soft and slender back as she pressed her chest into his. Daiya's hands were around the back of his head and pressing his lips further into hers as she moaned softly under the feelings. Richard was thinking what his next move should be, fretting at how he was woefully unprepared and inexperienced at this, when Daiya suddenly broke the kiss and looked at him seriously.
'This is my first time, so be gentle,' she said softly and her eyes moved away from his. Richard regarded her curiously for a moment, thinking how it was possible that someone almost five years older than him and so beautiful could still be a virgin. Then he remembered that she was a Princess so it wouldn't be uncommon if she hadn't been with someone before. There was probably a rule against it or something.
'I'll be gentle,' he replied and his voice was gruff as he had to force his lips to move; he was extremely nervous.
'I still have the rune that prevents me from getting pregnant, so you don’t have to worry. We can think about producing an heir another night.'
Daiya smiled at him softly and her hands found the buttons on his coat. With nimble fingers she quickly undid them and with his help she pushed the jacket off. She then focused on taking off his cloaks and dress shirt while he slowly drew circles on her soft tanned skin that caused her to coo. In a blink, he was naked from the waist up and she was running her warm hands over his scratched and bruised skin, placing small kisses all over his shoulders. Not wanting to be the only one partially naked, Richard hooked his thumbs under the straps on her silky dress and pulled them down her shoulders, the neck of the dress dipping slowly and showing an ample amount of cleavage. It turned out Daiya wasn't wearing a bra and after a few moments her breasts popped out of the dress and bobbed slightly as he gazed at them in lust.
He wanted to wrap his hands around them and maybe take one of her nipples into his mouth, but Daiya pressed her body into his and kissed him once more. He could feel her soft breasts pressing into his chest and the hard nipples poked him in a very pleasant way. As they continued to kiss, Daiya reached her hands down to his pants and slowly undid the button keeping them in place. With almost no hesitation, she began to pull them down his hips, her thumbs under his boxers and pulling them down as well. His hard erection sprang forth and pressed against her stomach as she gasped in both surprise and excitement.
Seeing as how he was now totally nude, Richard sat up on the bed and peered down at his beautiful wife with her gorgeous chest on full display. He grabbed her expensive looking dress in his hands gently and began to pull it down the rest of her body, getting a good view of her taut and tanned tummy as it gave way to her hips and pelvis. When he pulled it down over her legs he was greeted by the sight of slightly pink and frilly underwear that looked to be made from silk. As soon as it was in view Daiya covered her lower half with her hands and blushed up at him, a twitching smile on her face.
'T.. this is really embarrassing…' she breathed but Richard just smiled at her. His lust was driving his confidence now and he felt amazing in that moment.
'You have nothing to be embarrassed about,' he said gently and began to slowly move her hands away from her panties, 'you are absolutely stunning. I'm the luckiest man in the world to have you as my wife.'
Daiya blushed even deeper now and her tensed body slowly relaxed as she moved her hands the rest of the way and let him get a good look at her. Richard wasn't satisfied with just seeing her in nothing but a pair panties though, and he quickly shimmied them down over her supple thighs and took her in fully. He was amazed to find that her pussy was completely bald, as it wasn't something he would have expected from a world like this. But he was happy; it topped off the whole image just perfectly and he felt his cock twitch in anticipation.
Daiya reached up and grabbed him by the back of the neck, pulling his face towards hers as they kissed once more. One of Richard's hands gently ran over Daiya's tight stomach and over her pelvis before dipping into the crevice that delved between her legs. At the slightest touch, Daiya sucked in a deep breath and her body trembled beneath him, a shuddering moan escaping her lips and into his mouth. She was so hot and wet that Richard thought she might be melting, and when he flicked the little nub at the top of her pussy she bucked her hips into his hand and bit down gently on his lower lip.
He dipped his middle finger into her slick pussy and felt her muscles instantly clamp down around him. She once more bucked up into him and his finger drove all the way in as Daiya cried out at the sudden presence. There was no cherry to push through and he realized that all her time riding dragons had probably bust that little flap of flesh ages ago. It didn't bother him though, she was still as tight as a virgin should be and he couldn't imagine how she would feel wrapped around his hard cock that was straining to be touched.
'Wha… what is that in me?' she asked in a breathless voice and her eyes were no more than little slits.
'My finger,' he answered with a soft smile and began to wiggle his digit inside of her. She moaned and thrashed under him and he was amazed that this was the stoic Dark Elf Princess who was the most powerful student at the academy. She was like a totally different person, and Richard felt lucky that he could be the only one to have seen her like this.
'It… feels so… big!' she gasped as he began to curl his finger upwards like he had seen in a dirty video once. This drove her absolutely nuts and she shook violently on the bed as her entire body tensed and relaxed over and over again. He continued to do this little move as she gasped and moaned, her hands grabbing the silk sheets and tangling them up around her. 'I want you!' she screamed.
Richard was only too happy to comply and he lowered his hips onto hers, the tip of his cock pressing up against her soaking wet folds that radiated heat. He used one hand to grip the base of his throbbing cock and used the other to brush some stray strands of hair out of his beautiful wife's face. She smiled shyly up at him and nodded to let him know she was ready.
'Try to relax,' he advised and began to slowly press his manhood between her tight lips. She gasped in pain as she was spread open around him and her hands gripped both of his shoulders tightly, her long nails digging into his flesh. He knew she must have been in some discomfort but he continued to push, not wanting to stop and give her the chance to change her mind. It took him two minutes in total before his hips pressed into hers and he was fully buried within her.
'R… Richard... go… go slow, please?' she asked in broken words and he nodded slowly.
He began to pull his length out from her pussy slowly, and once he felt the tip of his head slide out, he pushed back in gently. The rhythm was slow and it took all of the self control Richard had to stop himself from thrusting into her with abandon. She was so tight and so hot that it felt absolutely amazing; it was grabbing at his mind and telling him to pound himself into her as hard as he could. He kept a cooler head though and pressed himself into her folds as slowly and gently as he could. Every centimeter that he fed into her pussy caused her to moan and groan and her fingers would dig a little deeper into his skin. He could tell by the look on her face that she wasn't doing this out of pain though.
'A little faster…' she breathed.
'Are you sure?' Richard asked, the base of his cock delving deep into her as a shiver of pleasure ran up his spine.
'Do it, please!' she begged and Richard began to move his hips faster.
Daiya's lips found his once more and her tongue swirled around his. Both hands that had been digging into his shoulders wrapped around his head and held him close, forcing him to breathe through his nose. That didn't bother him much as he was totally focused on the amazing feelings he was receiving from his cock and Daiya's slick flower. It was so tight around him that it would almost be painful, but there was too much pleasure overriding that sensation of pain for him to even register it. Inside her pussy was like a tight, hot, wet velvet glove that fit him perfectly, and it was all he could think about. Every thought was about this gorgeous creature beneath him, shaking slightly as she moaned unendingly into his mouth.
Without being told to, Richard picked up the pace even more and the room was now full of loud wet slapping noises as he rammed his hard cock deep into Daiya. Her body had relaxed a little and it made it easier to drive into her depths and she seemed to be enjoying it greatly. Whenever Richard opened his eyes he saw a flushed and ecstasy riddled face looking up at him, her eyes swimming and soft. They stared up at one another as he continued to thrust his cock into her at a decent pace, his balls tingling as th feeling of an orgasm began to brew in his stomach and muscles.
Daiya was the first one to cum though and her eyes suddenly screwed up in concentration as her muscles contracted around Richard's phallus. She released the kiss and tossed her head back onto the bed as her body began to shake uncontrollably under him. She was hissing, mewing, groaning, and moaning as her body was torn apart by her orgasm. It was honestly that hottest and sexiest thing Richard had ever seen in his life before. Her pussy was clamping down on him hard and she kept bucking her hips upwards as he continued to push his cock deep into her body. His balls began to tighten and as Daiya continued to moan and grip him tightly in every possible way, Richard lost all his control and came.
His balls emptied into her body and Richard shook under the extreme pleasure rippling through his body and mind, an incoherent groan passing over his lips. He continued to jerk into her as spurts of hot sticky cum coated her tender walls, and when he finally came to a stop he collapsed on top of her, totally spent. They lie there embraced by one another for the longest time, each one breathing heavily and twitching ever so often as little tremors from their orgasms continued to course through their nerves. They were hot, sweaty, tired, and completely satisfied; so much so that neither spoke for half an hour. Finally it was Daiya who broke the silence.
'Can we do that again?' she asked in nothing more than a whisper directly into his ear.
'I like the way you're thinking…' he sighed happily and began to kiss Daiya fully on the lips, all of his passion returning and bubbling. Richard and Daiya continued to sample one another's body for the rest of the night and most of the divine memories were lost in lust clouded minds. There was nothing else that mattered more to them that night than just being with one another.
Note: Hey all you fantastic readers! It's Mishikail again! Captius let me post this for him after I finished reading through it, as he is currently out cold on my couch right now. His brother just got into town last night and we all ended up going to the bar... well that wasn't a good idea for him. He had a drinking contest with his brother and lost and is currently drooling like a baby! I don't know when he will be able to write again but I will do my best so he gets back on track! I do own a riding crop, so you never know (for an actual horse.)
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter, as there is finally a sex scene. I'm sorry you had to wait so long between those kinds of scenes. I'll admit that I kind of got carried away in creating the story and mostly forgot about it. I felt this one flowed with the story though.
I thought I would take a moment to answer a few questions that have been in the comments. Someone asked if Lythia was a character based on me: HELL NO! She is modeled more on my younger sister! If I had to pick one for me I would say Lisbeth! But that's just my own pick. Captius is the one that created most of the characters personalities so you would really need to ask him.
Someone else also said that they didn't know what I was doing to keep him writing, but to keep it up. I can explain that simply: I bug him constantly until he caves and gives me what I want. Just the other day I bribed him to keep writing. Captius got a PS Vita and I got another chapter produced :P lol. No, it was a birthday present really, but he knew there were strings attached.
As for when the next chapter will be out, I hope to have him finish it by Saturday evening if possible. With his younger brother in town it might take a little longer, but I hope not.
Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and are looking forward to the next installment.