Chapter 37:

37

Balancing the Scales: The Sage Hero's Story


The usual forty-five minute drive seemed a bit slower than usual, Kaz's car was quite cramped with everyone barely able to move inside. At last as Kaz pulls into the spot under the grove of shady trees everyone is able to get out and move around. Ferron runs ahead into the gate and returns shortly with a pull cart for the arms. With everyone's help, the arms were unloaded from the trunk and ready to move in a matter of minutes. A large gust of wind blows through the area as Saphana lands nearby, Kaz had already headed that way to meet her carrying a dress neatly folded under his arm. As the rest of them chatted a bright yellow light shone from the direction of Kaz and Saphana. Kaz returned with Saphana who was changed into a human form wearing a pure white dress Malcolm had made on the side for her. Bookmark here

Ferron clapped his hands to get everyone's attention, "Alright everyone, follow me. We're off to deliver the order to King Rayne." He shouts as he pulls the cart behind him towards the gate. Kaz looks over to Salamat, "Just act normal, like you're just a regular guy." He says as he takes Saphana's hand as he follows Ferron. Lucia and Tasi see this and race to snag the other hand, Tasi wins just barely and holds his free hand up until they reach the gate. The guard waves them through with the usual smile, they pass Alden's general store, followed by Malcolm's clothing shop. Kaz could see the shop was busy and Telos helping customers through the window. Telos raises his head and seems to sniff the air, he bows to the customer and then runs to the window and waves at the group. Everyone waves back as they pass by, before long they come upon a large gate with a row of guards in front of it. Ferron walks up and hands the guard nearest to the gate lever a piece of parchment. The guard nods and pulls the lever, the large metal gate rises with a loud ear piercing metallic screech. Bookmark here

The group heads inside and each relinquish their personal arms to the guard standing outside of a rather exquisite door. Ferron again shows the guard the parchment and the door is opened, inside was a spacious room with a red felt carpet that led to a grand throne set in the back of the room. Atop it sat a middle aged man in regal attire with a golden circlet upon his head. The party approached, Ferron pulled the cart in and left it near the door. Everyone got on one knee and bowed to the King, "You may rise." He states. As everyone stood back up, "Thank you your majesty. I have completed your arms request, you may find this hard to believe, but I couldn't have done it without the dragons of Rath." Ferron speaks. Bookmark here

King Rayne steps down from his throne and walks to the cart of arms, "Is that so?" He chuckles, he then calls a scrawny looking man over. The man raises his hand to the cart, and blue lights pour from his hand and reveal the data on the arms in the cart. Rayne stops laughing immediately, "Ferron, I respect your craft. But I find it hard to believe you this time. You're aware of the danger we face, correct?" He speaks in an annoyed tone. At this point Kaz speaks up, "Your majesty, I am the Sage hero Kaz Skaldheir. I can assure you that Mister Ferron is telling you the truth. As a matter of fact, I come with an offer that would be far more beneficial in thwarting an invasion by demons." Kaz says in a serious voice while trying to sound as respectful as he can. Bookmark here

King Rayne picks up one of the blades off of the cart and gives it a few swings, "Ah, the sage hero. I've heard of you from Commander Hargeon, and you must be Tasi. I was told of you as well, it's a pleasure. Now what can you possibly offer that could be more useful than these fine blades, hm?" Rayne asks with a snarky attitude. Kaz gets on one knee again, "I can offer you the help of the dragons of Rath in the invasion to come." Kaz states. A loud clang reverberates throughout the room as Rayne drops the sword onto the ground. The room goes silent, the King sits back on his throne, "You're full of lies, nobody can talk with dragons, everyone knows that." Rayne tells him. Saphana was becoming upset with the King, Salamat pats her shoulder and steps forward, "You may be the King of Vance, but I'll not have you talk down to my son like this. Talking to dragons is possible, you may have learned this had you not shot down every single one that comes near." Salamat growls.Bookmark here

The King laughs, "Who might you be, and what could you possibly know of dragons?" Rayne asks. Salamat looks back at Kaz, who nods and snaps his fingers. Salamat and Saphana begin to glow in a bright yellow light, the King closes his eyes. When he opens them again he no longer sees Salamat and Saphana, instead he looks at a large red drake and a slightly smaller blue dragon. "You know what? You're right King Rayne, what could the I, Salamat, Lord of Rath and my daughter Saphana possibly know of dragons." He says sarcastically. Guards led by Commander Hargeon file in through the door in response to the bright lights from inside the room. The King looked pale, "Stand down, I order drop your weapons at once!" The King screams at Commander Hargeon. The rattling of steel hitting the stone floor echoes through the room once again, " I came here with no intention of fighting, if you wish to stave off the demons yourselves, feel free. But never talk to my son that way in front of his loved ones." Salamat speaks angrily as puffs of smoke spout from his nostrils. Bookmark here

Rayne stands up again, "Now now, let's not be hasty Lord Salamat. I'm sure we can come to some sort of agreement." He replies carefully choosing his words. Lucia and Tasi begin to chuckle from behind them at how timid the King had suddenly become. Saphana approaches Kaz and gives him a kiss on the lips, "Nice job my love." She tells him. Rayne watches the two, he sees the ring adorning her horn, "Mister Kaz, you're telling me you wed… That?" He asks in disgust. Lucia and Tasi come forward, "Not just Saphana." The two ladies add as they show their rings as well. Saphana turns to face the King, "Kaz is a wonderful man, he sees us for who we are inside. We're all equals to him, I was more than happy to wed and be taken to bed by him." Saphana explains to the King. Tasi and Lucia both express their innermost feelings for Kaz as well. The King sits back down, "Kaz, I can't say I approve of your taste in women. Let us get to it then." Rayne replies. The guards all pick up their weapons and exit the room, and with that the first negotiations between humans and dragons begin.Bookmark here

Later that afternoon, negotiations had gone smoothly. King Rayne signed a nonaggression treaty as well as a trade agreement that protected dragons visiting the capitol. Rayne calls in his steward and asks him to fetch them some drinks, "Lord Salamat, I must ask that you exercise restraint when your kind visit the city." Rayne suggests as his steward pours a drink for everyone. Kaz puts a hand over Tasi's glass before the man could pour it, "She'll have water please." Kaz insists as he remembers the incident at the Inn with Commander Hargeon, "Fine." Tasi grunts. Salamat peers over at the King, "May I ask why you suggest this?" He inquires as he pours a small keg of alcohol down his gullet. Rayne sits up straight, "As you can imagine, if we let a bunch of dragons into Vance, a massive panic would surely ensue. Please limit your visitors to one at a time for now." The King explains. Salamat sets the small keg down and laughs, "Ah, I see. That's understandable. For now I will station twenty or so of my finest warriors in the hills surrounding the capitol awaiting the demon's arrival, Is that fine by you?" The drake asks. Rayne nods in agreement before finishing his drink, Salamat raises his head, "I have one last request. I would like to employ Mister Ferron here to outfit my warriors as quickly as possible before the demons arrive." Salamat wraps his tail around a satchel on the cart and tosses it on the table in front of the King. Rayne winces as the sack hits the table and shiny coins of all sizes pour from the opening of the bag. "That should cover his fees." Salamat lets out a hearty laugh. Bookmark here

The negotiations came to an end, the King called the commander in and explained that no dragons were to be fired upon under any circumstances from now on. With this the commander walked the group out of the King's manse and back into town. Kaz hopped up onto Saphana's back as they walked through the streets, Hargeon continually repeated to the townspeople that they weren't hostile. Several onlookers watched as the odd party strutted down the street smiling. They stopped at Ferron's shed and gathered up the tools he'd need to outfit the dragons, after they loaded up the cart they made their way to the gate. Once outside Salamat flew off towards Rath to gather his force and soon return. The others walked alongside the tall stone walls that surrounded the capitol up towards the hills behind it. Roarke ran ahead and caught up to Kaz and Saphana in the front of the group, "Kaz, my family lives in the hills near here. I'm sure we can set up there." Roarke shouts up at him. Roarke leads the way to the homestead where he was raised, they arrive within half-an-hour on foot. Bookmark here

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