Chapter 3 – Royal Knights and Dragons’ Breath

Chapter 3 – Royal Knights and Dragons’ Breath

“I thought I told you not to get involved!” Subaru claimed.

“Eric! This is your chance! He can’t move!” Sara suggested.

“Unfreeze him…” Eric requested.

“What? No!” Sara was shocked to hear that.

“At least his face… We need to… Talk…” the wounded knight said. He was wheezing, and he was sitting on the ground.

“I said no! Do you want to get killed?” the wizard said.

“Don’t be whimsical. In a pirate crew, the captain’s orders must be followed, no matter what. Keep that in mind,” Subaru approached them and unfroze the knight’s head with his right hand.

“I forgot about that bracelet, and I’m sorry,” Sara said.

Subaru and Sara stand back so the knights can speak.

“Go ahead and kill me now if you want,” Alfonso said.

“Explain… Why? Why did you kill my parents? We were friends…” Eric said. He was trying to withstand the pain and calm down his rage.

“Have not you figured it out yet? It was just envy!”

“Envy?” Eric asked.

“I always wanted that armor of yours, the power you have. The former king chose you out of all the knights from this kingdom, and now no one can compete against your strength. I always worked so hard, and it was all for nothing. So, when the new king usurped the throne, he offered me to kill your parents. That way, he would lend me the most powerful sword. Now I am superior to every other knight,” Alfonso explained.

“I cannot believe your words. You are lying, and I know it because you are as bad liar as I am. If you wanted it so badly, I would have given this armor to you. You were always the best man… I admired you. The only reason the former king chose me was because he found out about Sir Dragonfly. He just thought I was kind and courageous by raising a creature that people usually fear,” Eric whistles loudly, and his dragon hurries to the site.

Alfonso remains silent. The dragon gets close to him, and it exhaled a green gas. The layer of ice that covered him disappeared without damaging him.

“How did it do that?” Subaru asked.

“Dragons are immune to magic, and they can also dispel it,” Sara explained.

“Why have not you slayed that dragon yet?” little Alfonso asked.

“You told me that a knight should not attack a defenseless being, do you remember your words? It is still weak to defend itself, so I plan to help it grow. When it is ready, I will fight against it,” little Eric replied.

“Well… Do as you wish. I will not get in your way,” little Alfonso said, and he looked a bit annoyed.

“Why is this hellish beast helping me?” Alfonso asked.

“Because he wanted to.” Iris said, she just came back. “Forest dragons are the kindest.”

“Where is my sister?” Eric asked, worried.

“I am truly sorry. He managed to escape,” Iris said.

“I am going to stop him… I am going to end the tyranny of King Carlos,” Eric said. He hopped on Sir Dragonfly.

“Wait! Are you crazy? You have many wounds!” Alfonso said.

“Are you suddenly worried about me? You should have stayed out since the beginning!” Eric said. The dragon flies at great speed, straight to the castle.

“Where did he go?” Sara asked.

“Curses! He is going to King Carlos’ castle!” Alfonso exclaimed. He seemed to be worried somehow, and he runs after the green haired knight.

The dragon reaches the castle in no time, and Eric jumps to the ground as his dragon flies back to hide in the forest.

“What is that?” a knight noticed something above them.

“It is… That is the traitor! Kill him!” another knight exclaimed.

Eric punches the ground as he lands, creating a seismic wave that make five knights around him to fall. Eric ignores the pain as he snatches a sword from one of the fallen knights and hurries inside, and he knocks them out to avoid further trouble.

A knight saw everything, and he rings a bell to warn the others about Eric’s intrusion.

A chariot pulled by a white unicorn approached the castle minutes after Eric got inside.

“We are here. I know you are there, but do not worry. I am not the bad guy,” Alfonso said. The pirates were hiding on the back.

“I thought you wouldn’t notice us,” Sara said.

“I only ask you to keep out of my way. I must stop Eric, before he gets killed by the king,” Alfonso said.

“You have the king’s sword, right? How strong could the king be without it?” Sara asked.

“You do not know anything. The king is a powerful wizard. He studied the ancient manuscripts from the council that existed in days of yore, so nobody could stand against his will,” Alfonso warned.

“But you just tried to kill that knight, anyways? Why do you want to save him now?” Sara questioned him. He remains silent.

The chariot stops in front of the castle. Isaac is waiting for them at the doorway.

“You want to stop Eric, right?”

“Out of the way, Isaac!” Alfonso exclaimed.

The crimson knight throws a fire ball at them. Subaru grabs it with ease. Alfonso ignores them and gets inside the castle.

“Iris, Sara. Follow that knight and assist Derek. I’ll fight fire with fire,” Subaru said, as he sends the fire ball back at the knight. The crimson knight grabs it back. The female pirates enter the castle.

“Interesting. You own a blaze bracelet too. But I bet you don’t have this,” Isaac said, as he unsheathes his black sword. The blade is suddenly engulfed in flames.

“The hell is that sword?!” Subaru was shocked.

“It is a rare blaze sword, of course. It conducts the flames of my bracelet. It slashes, and it burns!” Isaac replied.

Subaru attempts to attack the crimson knight, but the blaze sword cuts his.

“My sword!” Subaru exclaimed.

Isaac laughs, and swings his sword once more. Subaru dodges it, and grabs the knight’s right arm. The knight tries to punch him with his free arm, but Subaru grabs it as well. The pirate uses the power of the bracelet to overheat his hands.

“Stop that!” Isaac yells and head-butts the captain.

“So we aren’t immune to the heat and fire… Just the palms of our hands,” Subaru said. The knight head-butts the captain once more with all his might, and the pirate releases him.

The knight swung his sword before Subaru manages to get away and cuts his shirt.

“Hot, hot, hot!” Subaru exclaimed, and rolled on the ground to put down the flames on his shirt.

Isaac and Subaru walk keep a safe distance from each other.

“Sorry. I got this toy a couple of days ago, so I’m still learning how to use it,” Subaru pointing at his bracelet.

“We both learnt something. I also thought I was immune to flames and heat until now. My armor does not repel magic, so you almost burnt my arms. I guess you are smarter than you look,” Isaac said.

“Thanks, everyone says that. I’m the best pirate of these seas.”

“I would not know about that, but you are definitely one of the most wanted. I do my homework, Subaru. The bounty on your head is fifty million Stallias, dead or alive. I still wonder how you are still alive, after the famous incident of the Kingdom of Oceanidis,” Isaac mentions.

“Shut up!” Subaru exclaimed. He was furious.

“Come on. You should be proud. You achieved the dream of hundreds of men, only to completely ruin it for everyone,” Isaac added.

“I’ll kill you!” Subaru yelled, and he takes out his gun and starts to shoot without thinking. The bullets bounce back because of the armor.

“I bet you are so furious that you forgot to aim at my head,” Isaac said, relieved he survived Subaru’s rage. “Now it is my turn, and I will get that bounty.”

Subaru had run out of ammo, so he prepares to dodge Isaac’s attacks and wait for an opening. The crimson knight manages to cut the captain’s arm just a little, but it was an incredibly painful wound as it burnt his arm as well. Subaru falls because of the pain.

The crimson knight tries to deliver the final blow, but the pirate notices a shield laying on the floor. It belonged to one of the knight’s Eric knocked out earlier. Subaru grabs it and protects himself with it. Isaac keeps hitting the shield, causing an annoying metal sound. The increasing heat made Subaru sweat, and he knew the shield would probably succumb just as his sword had done.

The pirate decides to roll out on the floor and he intentionally drops the shield. The knight trips on it and falls. Subaru punches the falling knight’s face with a fiery fist, returning him the pain of the cut.

“My face! You will pay for this!” Isaac yelled. His face was badly burnt. Subaru punches him again in order to knock him out, but Isaac withstands it and cuts Subaru’s leg with his fiery sword.

The pirate fell again because of the pain.

“You ran out of luck,” Isaac said, with Subaru’s head at his mercy. Blood fell from his forehead, and his face was badly burnt, but he was smiling because his next attack would be his victory.

“Look! A dragon!” Subaru pointed to the forest. Isaac turns his head, and the pirate snatched the blaze sword in a swift movement.

“What? How could I fall for such a childish trick?” the knight was furious, and punches the floor to vent his rage.

Subaru ignites the black sword with his bracelet.

“I like it. I’m keeping it,” Subaru said, threatening the crimson knight with his own weapon.

“What are you waiting for? Kill me now!” Isaac said.

Subaru raises the sword. Isaac closes his eyes and prepares to die, but he listens to the subtle sound of a sword being sheathed.

“Why do not you kill me?” Isaac asked.

“Well, I may be a pirate, but that doesn’t mean I kill everyone. Besides, no one can tell me what to do, but if you mention Oceanidis ever again, you’re a dead man,” Subaru’s expression made the knight believe those words.

The captain takes out a little bottle from his pocket and gives it to Isaac.

“What is this?” the knight questioned.

“It’s a healing potion I bought in Nichiyoubi. It will help you with that pretty face of yours,” Subaru replied.

“Magic is trash!” Isaac exclaimed.

“This kingdom is trash! The king is the culprit of this mess, not you,” Subaru stated.

“I did not want to say this, but you are right. The king is trash. I am sorry,” Isaac apologized, and drank the blue liquid. The burn in his face disappeared quickly.

“And for my burns, I have my own special medicine,” the captain said, taking out a bottle of sake from his bag.

“I will tell you something in return. You actually helped me twice today,” Isaac mentioned. Subaru was confused.

Meanwhile, in the Saint Marina, Kantaro and Sephtis were having a somewhat long conversation. Akio and Ronin kept watching them from a distance.

“Something is fishy here. The quiet Sephtis hasn’t been that quiet today,” Akio pointed out.

“You think so? To be honest, I’ve never trusted him. He must be planning something,” Ronin agreed something was odd indeed.

“Where are we?” Iris asked. They had just disembarked in an island with a vast jungle, and no traces of civilization.

“This is weird. The sea chart doesn’t show this island at all,” Ronin said, with a puzzled look.

“This must be it! The legendary Kingdom of Sacrab!” Subaru cheered.

“Legend has it that Sacrab was close to Oceanidis, but could this really be the place?” Iris couldn’t help but wonder.

Akio takes out his gun and makes his classic quick shot towards the bushes nearby. The birds fly away.

“Is there an enemy, Akio?” Iris asked, somewhat worried.

“Just a cat…” Akio answered.

A huge tiger approaches them. Its leg was pierced by the bullet. It roars furiously.

“A humongous cat!” Ronin said, after knocking out the feline with his sword.

“You guys are great!” Iris exclaimed.

“Of course. The best pirate captain has the best crewmates,” Subaru laughed with pride.

“We are only four people, though,” Iris said. The captain’s laugh stops.

“Don’t be that mean, Iris,” Subaru claimed.

Suddenly, an ominous silence invades the scene. Akio, Ronin, and Subaru ready their weapons. A rustling sound coming from the bushes alerts Iris of another possible threat.

“Identify yourself,” Subaru requested.

“Sephtis…” the mystery man replied.

“Where are we?” Iris asked.

“Ysterim…” Sephtis replied.

“Ysterim? Does it even exists?” Ronin asked.

“I’ve heard stories about Ysterim, but I thought that…” Iris said, looking at the blue sky and the white clouds above them.

“Well. We found Ysterim, so we’ll eventually find Sacrab. By the way, if you are alone, join our pirate crew!” Subaru suggested him, with a smile.

“Captain!” the crew yelled in disbelief.

“Fine…” Sephtis replied.

“Subaru, I have a bad feeling about this. We know nothing about him. We know nothing about this place,” Iris whispered.

“I have a favor to ask. I must go to Solunar…” Sephtis said.

“No problem,” Subaru replied.

“Captain!” the crew yelled once more.

“Subaru, Solunar is way too far from here.” Ronin claimed, showing him the sea chart.

“It will take at least three weeks for us to get there. We might be close to Sacrab now. Who knows?” Iris claimed.

“It doesn’t matter. Nobody has seen that place in centuries. We may find a good clue on our way there. Let’s explore this place a bit before we go since we’ll need supplies. I want to eat that big cat!” Subaru said, with a smile.

“You are so childish,” Iris said. If that was what Subaru wanted, it couldn’t be helped.

While Subaru was slowing Isaac, Alfonso, Iris, and Sara run through the hallways of the castle until they reach its center. It looked like a garden.

“Beware. There should be more knights around here,” Alfonso warned. At that precise instant, a tree grows in front of them out of nowhere and blocks the way. “I should have imagined this. It is Olga de Oblivion. She is the only female elite knight of this kingdom, and the only knight that uses magic.”

“Sure, the only one… This kingdom is totally magic-free,” Sara said in a sarcastic tone of voice, thinking about Eric’s armor, the king’s sword, and Isaac’s bracelet.

“Hi, Alfonso. You don’t look so handsome when you attempt to stop the traitor’s execution,” Olga said. She was a beautiful woman, with an orange colored armor well adapted to her curves, dazzling green eyes, and long auburn hair. She was sitting on a huge sunflower.

“Earth magic, huh? I can take her on,” Sara said, summoning her magic wand.

“Do you still use a magic wand? What a pitiful mage! You have no expertise in magic,” Olga laughed.

“That’s because I’m younger than you, old hag!” Sara yelled, upset.

“Now you made me mad! I am almost as young as you!” the female knight claimed in anger, jumping off the sunflower.

“Sara, we don’t have time to lose here. Go help Eric. The king is a wizard as well. I can handle this by myself,” Iris said.

“But Iris!”

“Do as I say,” Iris looked really serious about it.

“Quick! We got no time to lose!” Alfonso warned. Sara and the knight continue on their way to help Eric.

“I will not let you go!” Olga yelled, furious. The female knight bends and touches the ground with her left hand, but Iris kicks her in the face.

“Don’t ignore me. I’m still here,” Iris said.

“Curse you! I will destroy that girl after I get rid of you.”

“Let’s play. I will show you something interesting,” Iris said. She takes out her cards and shuffle them.

“What are those things? The notes you want me to read at your burial?”

“Funny, but no. These are storage cards, and what I store in them are my precious dragons… Precious Tear! Bless me with your presence!” Iris said, as she places one card on the ground. A blue light warns Olga of an unknown magic.

“That is… A dragon!” the female knight was amazed. A light blue dragon with turquoise eyes and a long neck appeared in the middle of the garden. Its neck was filled by turquoise glowing marks. It had four fins instead of legs.

“Precious Tear is a Plesiosaurus Dragon, one of the most beautiful dragons that dwell in the ocean. You are one of the few lucky people to have seen one, but you’ve met a terrible fate at the same time,” Iris explained, petting the majestic creature.

“It does not matter. I will kill it,” Olga said, as she makes huge thorny stems to grow out of nowhere, and direct them straight to the dragon.

“Did I kick you that hard, or are you seriously trying to attack a dragon with your magic? Dragons are only affected by the breath of other dragons,” Iris reminded her.

“It might not affect dragons, but it will affect you!” Olga exclaimed. A thorny stem was right behind the dragon tamer and about to impale her, since the ones directed at Precious Tear were just a decoy.

The dragon repels the stem that tried to impale her owner by swinging its tail, and then it exhaled a powerful stream of ice-cold water straight at Olga. The female knight screams because of an acute pain on her left arm.

“My arm is frozen. How?” Olga said in astonishment.

“Its dragon breath is freezing. I noticed how you use that arm a lot when casting magic,” the dragon tamer said.

“You are keen, but you would be nothing without your dragon.”

Olga takes out a knife out of her gauntlet and rushes towards Precious Tear, but the dragon freezes her right leg as well.

“Surrender, and my dragon can heal you. The damage a dragon made with its dragon breath can be repaired by the same dragon. They are wonderful beings, don’t you think?”

Alfonso and Sara go up a spiral stairway towards the hall of the king. The knight repelled any other knights that got in their way with cutting waves.

“Watch out! That will leave them seriously injured!” Sara exclaimed, using her freezing spell instead.

“It does not matter. Eric is in danger,” Alfonso said.

“I don’t get it. You are trying to save him, but you almost killed him back in the village,” Sara said with a puzzled look.

“Because everything has always been King Carlos’ fault! The king cast a spell on me, and he has been controlling me! I never meant to attack Eric! I never meant to kill his parents! Do you get it now?”

“What?! Why didn’t you said that earlier?!” Sara is shocked to hear the truth.

“I did not want Eric to know. I feel awful for killing his parents, even if I was being controlled. I had been under the king’s curse until that beast used its breath on me.”

“Of course! Sir Dragonfly didn’t only dispel my magic. It may have sensed the mind control curse, so it decided to free you!” Sara analyzed. It actually made sense.

Back at the entrance, Isaac told the truth to Subaru.

“Wait a second. When you said that I helped you twice, it was because of the healing potion I gave you, and that my punch broke a mind control spell that was casted on you?”

“The current king is a terrible and powerful wizard. Out of the fifty knights that protect this kingdom, there is a group of five elite knights that have been recognized as honorary Triple S. The group consists of Alfonso de Luna, Eric de Castella, Olga de Oblivion, Ulises de Argento, and me. Since Eric rebelled against the king, Carlos has been experimenting on us with his mind controlling spells. Today, he finally managed to have the four of us under his control!”

Eric had been slowly approaching the hall of the king. His wounds, and fighting so many knights that showed up in his way, had left him exhausted. The hall was now at his sight, but an enormous, muscular knight was guarding the door. He had dark skin, and a golden armor. He was wielding a humongous axe instead of a sword.

“Halt! I, Ulises de Argento, will not let you…” the knight said right before Eric punched him in his torso with all his might.

“Out of the way!” Eric yelled. His punch broke the abdominal area of the armor and knocked out the huge knight.

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