The Dragon and the Journal
The street was still permeated with morning fog.
Holding a candlestick, the girl from the candle shop walked along White Rose Avenue. As dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight hit the Ash City, the doors of the grocer opened up. Mapelli greeted the girl who was passing by.
“Seti! Aren’t you up this early!”
“Good morning, Mr Mapelli,” Seti replied with a smile. “Things are rather busy at the palace, so I need to get there earlier.”
“I noticed that you were working late last night. Are you sure you are not overworking yourself?”
“Ah, my father’s legs are not as well as they used to be, so I’m just doing whatever I can to help.”
“That old Chris sure is lucky to have such a kind daughter, unlike that brat of mine!” Mapelli complained.
Seti giggled. Just as she was about to reply, there was a commotion coming from the direction of the palace. The sound of thundering hooves rumbled throughout the city. The crowd immediately fell silent and parted. They looked to the south, where the sound was coming from.
The fog dissipated in the distance.
A black carriage materialized from the murky fog, accompanied by a troop of grey-clothed knights. The knights paved the way on their horses of midnight dark wearing armor gilded with silhouettes of flames.
The Grey Knights of the Holy Cathedral of Fire.
After the carriage faded into the horizon, only then did the cacophony of speech and footsteps return.
“It’s House Kirk,” Mapelli spoke up once more. “Seti, I heard that the nobles in the south had already lost. Is your brother…?”
“I’m sure he is fine.”
In San Cotepe Palace, the floor was made entirely of black marble, with only roses of silver outlining a path. At the end of this path, sat the empire’s ruler upon a throne of stone, listening to the seven tolls of the church bells.
Every rose has its thorns. These words were etched upon the crown that rested on her head. The Silver Queen of Kirrlutz, Her Imperial Highness, Empress Constance. With her beautiful and youthful face, her body looking as if she had not aged a day past twenty-five, and her golden locks that fell to her waist, she looked like a perfectly crafted doll from a foreign land. In reality, the queen was a prim and proper Kirrlutzian who was a mother of seven children.
To other tribes, a typical Kirrlutzian would have immeasurable pride in themselves, always looking down on others. Whenever they were involved in political matters, this would often translate into a tyrannical personality, which described the empress very accurately.
The queen looked at the city that laid in front of her. Just as her palace had no doors, her power had no limit. Anything that she laid her eyes upon would become part of the empire if it weren’t so already.
But towards the north of the palace, dark clouds hung low in the skies, foreshadowing a storm that was to come. Wardnt had never experien
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