Rather slow chapter, just introducing some new characters and places. Next chapter will also be a tad bit slower, but the one after it will speed things up a little. Politics are quite boring after all :’)
I drew a rather quick sketch of the gate to Dawnfae (the Capital) and you can see it at the bottom. It’s nothing special really, just a quick jot to give a crude idea.
CHAPTER VI – THE RADIANCE (PART 3)
“Tales of old are just tales. Stories of today are where eyes should be laid upon.” – Unknown
The capital, even by the modern accomplishments of architecture that Eon had witnessed before being transported into this odd world, still radiated with brilliance rarely seen. From what Lyon told him, the entire stretch of the city passed through two rivers, several hillsides and even a single mountain pass. The walls barred the view of the smaller structures, but were unable to hold back the grandness that the city displayed. Although ten meters in height, brick-built with several towers rising up with guards at intersections and curves, it still looked somewhat crude when compared to the rest of it. The dominant color of the city was pure white, adorned with linens of azure blue and soft green, as if planned out by a genius painter. The buildings in the distance rose like skyscrapers in the modern days, albeit slightly smaller, but far more adorned. Nearly each had vaulted windows with stained-glass reflecting the sun above, bathing in colors. Unlike villages, the roofs stretched from painted wood shingle to ceramic tiles, giving it rather alluring appearance. Yet, even among these technology-defying structures, several managed to stand out; in particular, the one that caught Eon’s eye, resided seemingly in the very heart of the city, and Lyon confirmed it to be ‘The Golden Palace’, residing home of the King. It stretched two kilometers in width, and nearly four hundred meters in height at its peak. It was composed of several arching domes and different buildings connected with swaying bridges. Eon was rather amazed at the level of architecture displayed, seeing as they still used primitive means of mining.
The most beautiful part of the Palace were the two rising and curving lines, arched towards the very peak, numerous runic characters plastered into them with golden threads, shimmering under sun’s glow. Converging at the peak, they formed a dragon-shaped head, several dozens of meters in diameter, details noticeable even from afar. Its eyes, according to Lyon, were residences of Eternal Fire, the last surviving piece of Dragon’s Flame from over a thousand years ago. It gave the head menacing appearance, yet for some reason felt rather familiar to Eon.
After they finished admiring the grandeur of the Capital, Lyon led them to the gates of the city, barred behind colossal doors which required twenty people’s force to be opened. The gates were symmetrical in design, with central part being large-scaled dragon head built out of crude iron, and two tattoo-like inscriptions at the top-end part of both sides. After guards, armored with glittering silver, inspected them, the doors suddenly began separating as the sight spread before them. The ground briefly shook and Eon and his group were allowed to enter. Lyon left the horse in guard’s hands, as animals were required to be tested for diseases before entering the city. The streets, it was evident immediately, brimmed with life as countless people raced left and right, from shop to shop, even here, at the very edge. Most people wore simple cloth, some standing out in the crowd, and Eon noticed countless shops brimming through the stone-paved street in front of them. Alchemy Shop, Blacksmith, Tailoring Magistracy, Weaver’s Bosom, Cheapstakes, Exotic Foods etc., the number was insurmountable. Eon immediately realized that this was probably game’s first large city, where low level players would gather to buy basic equipment, potions and form parties for hunting.
Diving deeper into the city, wooden homes quickly turned to stone-built ones, with far more fenced off space, and dozens of gardens stretching far and wide. According to Lyon, this was the main ground for ‘Phoenix Sect’, one of the five major sects within the Capital, which specializes in alchemy above all else. Going past it, they reached a branching road, leading in six different directions. Even though, from outside the city, Palace seemed to be extremely near, going uphill has proven that that wasn’t the case; according to Lyon, it’d take them almost a fully day of casual walking to reach the Palace. Instead, they turned to the far right road, one which led through rather empty street mainly filled with kids playing about. After a few minutes of walking, a large group of people in the distance converged towards them. They all wore white, gleaming cloaks and had air of deep-rooted arrogance about them. Leading them was a particularly tall and slender man with handsome features, similar to Lyon’s, with gold-adorned scabbard hanging from the side. Eon quickly deducted that the person is at least ‘Two Gold Stars’, which surprised him greatly. By the time the group intercepted them, he still wasn’t able to discern his stats. Most of the people behind him were at least within Jade ranks, while the one at the far end were still Bronze.
“Little brother,” the leading man spoke to Lyon, wry smile on his face. “It’s been a while.”
“How are you first prince?” Lyon spoke back formally, bowing down slightly. Eon figured someone would come and start a fuss from what Lyon told him, but they barely arrived. This somewhat annoyed him.
“Quite well,” the man replied, smiling. “I see that you’ve finally found some servants.”
“Yes.” Lyon muttered through his teeth. Through it, neither Lye nor Elain paid much attention to the newcomers, as their eyes swept pass the houses and a couple of kids playing behind them. Eon paid slight attention, but his primary focus was a blacksmith shop just a couple of houses down the road.
“Well? Aren’t you going to introduce us?”
“Uhm, yes,” Lyon said after a short pause. “Lye, Elain and Eon, this is first prince and my big brother, Alstar.”
“Oh,” Alstar slowly approached Eon, stopping in front of him, suddenly entering his view. Eon was well versed in people like him; even modern world wasn’t void of spoiled children taught to behave like gods. “’Three Bronze Stars’. You must have practiced quite a lot in the backwater village you were born.”
“Not at all my Lord,” Eon faked humbleness, much to Lyon’s relief. “I was just a bit more lucky than anyone else.”
“I like you,” Alstar exclaimed. “I’ll pay you triple of whatever my little brother is paying if you join me. After all, if you train under me, I can grant you riches beyond your wildest dreams. Certainly more than this brat can.”
“Brother, please,” Lyon joined them quickly, weak smile on his face. “I’ve traveled quite far and paid quite a lot for him to join me. If –”
“Paid quite a lot?” Eon interjected. “From what I remember, you owe me five meals young Lord.” Lyon felt dejected even though he knew Eon was merely playing a prank.
“Haha,” the first prince suddenly burst out in laughter, and his followers quickly followed. “You’ve fallen so low that even your servants have more money than you? Poor Lyon …”
“Servants?” Eon retaliated. “We’re partners.”
“Partners?” Alstar’s face grew dimmer as Eon spoke. Even Lyon withdrew from in-between them, his head hung low. “I don’t care what my little brother promised you, backwater country bums have no right to be anything but slaves to my family’s name.”
“Gods you are suffocating,” Eon sighed as he turned around. “Can’t you just abandon your family name or something? If I had brothers like him I’d have done it by the time I stopped sucking on my mother’s tit.” before anger, Eon’s words drove shock into everyone’s hearts – especially Alstar’s. It must have been years since someone dared even talk to him as if on the same ground, let alone insult him.
“Ah, whatever,” Lyon sighed as well, surrendering to fate. “Just do whatever you want.”
“You’ve rejected my kindness,” the air around slowly grew chilly, as if the winter suddenly overtook the summer. “And you dare ridicule my family?!”
“Relax,” Eon replied, deadpan look on his face. “If I really wanted to ridicule your family, I’d just have to point a finger at it.” the reason why Eon suddenly decided to be bolder was because he discerned Alstar’s stats; outside of intelligence which was in high seventies, rest of the man’s stats were pretty bad, even if compared to Lyon’s. Eon was certain that if Lyon had been granted the same amount of resources, he’d have long surpassed first prince.
“Even death won’t be enough as a punishment!” above Alstar’s head, a tube-shaped patch of ice appeared and quickly turned into a flashing array. Just as he was about to unleash it upon Eon, a voice broke out from above them.
“Halt!” the patch of ice quickly disolved and warmth returned to the area. Alstar’s face suddenly regained color as he looked up, cunning smile on his face. Lyon’s, on the other hand, grew ashened.
“Lord Father!” the figure suddenly heaved downwards from the sky, levels of dust embarking from where his feet hit the ground. Ignoring the first prince, he suddenly turned towards Eon, dark look on his face.
“A mere ‘Three Bronze Stars’ dares insult my family name?” Eon grew somewhat wary; after all, it wasn’t his intention to stir up trouble the very first moment he arrived in the Capital.
“Forgive me my Lord,” Eon humbled down quickly. “My intention wasn’t to sully your family’s name, merely the first prince. After all, as a friend of Lord Lyon, I wasn’t able to sit cheerfully and watch my Lord be put down over and over again.” one must say, Eon spoke rather eloquently. Even Lyon was somewhat shocked by the way he approached Lord Father.
“If that was the case, why bring in family’s name into the discussion?” the old man persisted. After all, he lived a long life and had gotten accustomed to people who spun words like webs.
“As someone who just arrived in the city,” Eon proceeded, not a hint of fear on his face, but rather an innocent smile. “I’m not well informed. I do not know who first prince is. From my deduction, it seemed that he put a lot of honor on his family’s name, and for me it looked like the only spot I could strike.”
“Lies!” Alstar roared from the back; he hasn’t felt this amount of humiliation since the day he was born.
“Enough!” old man roared as he briefly glanced back at the first prince. “Whatever your intentions were, you still insulted my family’s name. How do you plan on paying for it?”
“If Lord allows it,” Eon realized that, above family’s honor, these people valued materialism far more, and was quite grateful for it. “I was told that your miners still mine barehanded. I believe I’m able to build some contraptions that would double the production while lowering the risks of death by almost sixty percent.” his words even put shocked look on the old man’s face; of course, Eon wasn’t willing to give them the entire operation, just parts of it. However, the sound of ‘double the production’ resonated against the walls of minds that listened.
“Impossible!” Alstar scowled, anger apparent on his face. “Lord Father, how can a village-born idiot know of such inventions?! Think about it!”
“First prince does have a point,” Eon quickly interjected. “However, Lord Lyon can attest to the contraption, as he has seen it with his own eyes.”
“Greetings Lord Father,” Lyon quickly joined in and knelt before the old man for a moment before getting up. “Clay speaks truth. I have seen firsthand the effectiveness of the contraption. It is the reason I decided to bring him over.” Sly fox! Lyon thought as he looked at Eon. The effectiveness of Eon’s actions were sky-high, in Lyon’s eyes. Not only will the first prince lose face, but Lyon would finally achieve victory of his brother. Not only that, but Lord Father might even reward him handsomely for finding such a gem and bringing him to the Capital.
“Oh?” the old man released a quick smile as he swept over Eon. “How long would you need to build such a contraption young man?” although Alstar wanted to interrupt, he knew it was fruitless. Once Lord Father decided upon something, it was best to just stay out of his way.
“As long as I have materials, it won’t take longer than a week, my Lord.” Eon said. Throughout the entire ordeal, he had realized he was quite hungry and wished for nothing but for this charade to quickly end. After realizing that the old man’s level was a peak of ‘Four Gold Stars’ and his strength is barely a hundred, wariness Eon held upon his arrival disappeared.
“Very well,” the old man smiled. “There’s no need to call me ‘my Lord’. Father Aggard will suffice.”
“Very well Father Aggard.”
“Lyon, escort your company back to the mansion,” Aggard quickly recovered his stern face. “And treat them nicely.”
“Yes, Lord Father.”
“Young man, what materials will you require?”
“Fifty planks of refined wood,” Eon replied without hesitation. “And five kilograms of any type of metal. If unavailable, stone will suffice as well, but I’ll need a stone mason in that case. In addition, the strongest rope you can bring, its length roughly twenty meters larger than the depth of the mine. Also, if you have anyone capable in the city in working metal, I’d like to borrow him for a week.”
“I’ll quickly gather the materials,” Aggard said, preparing to depart. “And bring them to Yarn Mine. Lyon, escort our guest there tomorrow.”
“Yes, Lord Father.”
“You better not disappoint me, young man.”
“I’ll do my best not to.”
Aggard quickly flew up and disappeared, only dust he left behind as a reminder he was even there. Alstar glared at Eon as if he massacred his entire family, before proceeding forward with his followers, ignoring Eon. Just when the group finally left their field of view, Lyon fell down to his knees and exhaled deeply. He just now realized how quickly his heart was beating, but he knew it was too late to turn around now.
“You better not screw this up Clay.” Lyon said.
“I would never my Lord.”
“Go to hell.”
“If by hell you mean your mansion, then please escort us.” Lye joined in, smiling. Lord Clay’s antics never failed to amuse him; after all, the contraption Lord Clay promised to build was fifty times weaker than the one they have in Dusk Village. “My Lord, you truly are something else.”
“He was right, though,” Elain joined as well. She was rather disinterested in the entire scuffle, but still overheard the way Clay played around with the Nobles. “If the rest of your brothers are like that, I’d rather be vagabond.”
“You guys wouldn’t understand,” Lyon sighed as he moved forward, the rest following behind him. “That’s the way we are raised. Every generation, there are at least twenty princes and princesses fighting for the right to ascend to the throne. And that’s just from our family alone – not even counting dozens of others who have the same right. We’re encouraged from youth to scheme and downplay one another in order to rise in rankings. Although publicly we aren’t allowed to cause mess, if within reason nobody really bats an eyelash. That’s simply how life is here.”
“Whatever,” Eon sighed. “Once you climb up in your prince-whoever rankings and get some gold, you owe me. A lot.”
“Yeah, yeah …”
Lyon’s mansion – or rather his family’s mansion – was more of a castle, really. It encompassed large area, coupled with dozens of gardens and odd fields for just about everything. The castle itself had several different structures cast into one, and reminded Eon of Gothic architecture and medieval churches in its design. Alongside the property they often passed other Nobility as well as servants, until they reached the entrance.
Inside, like the outside, was quite flamboyant. Reflective tiles, high-hanging chandeliers, adorned walls and dozens of small altars with glimmering jewelery atop of it … Eon was nearly blinded. These people really like their wealth, he thought, trying to not pay any attention to it. Lyon led them straight left, through a small corridor lit by candles embedded in sturdy walls, and then up the stairs to his room. Well – saying room is downplaying it slightly – as almost two hundred squared meters clearing had enough room for ten people at least. However, unlike the rest of the interior, it was slightly plain, with not as much glimmering jewelry and stones and whatnot placed about. There was one large bed and several smaller ones, as well as ten windows that overlooked the Eastern side of the property, towards the training ground glazed with wooden dummies. Elain quickly threw herself at one of the empty beds while Lye sat down on a chair and took out a dagger, sharpening it. Lyon himself sat down and sighed, in contemplation, while Eon strut about the room for awhile before lying in bed himself. They’ve finally arrived in Dawnfae, the Capital of the Kingdom of Lost. Eon thought he’d be excited beyond belief, but he quickly realized he was simply looking forward to leveling up and leaving this place, chasing tails of the heaven-defying devils in order to fight them. This, he realized, wasn’t a place for him – yet here he had to be.