Chapter 1:

The Draykes!

The Flight of The Draykes

“Faustus, my child. You’re hurt again! Let me take care of that” said a matronly looking woman with a smile that was curved downwards at the moment and lustrous hair the color of fire.

“Ah mother, not you too! Alessia already took care of me” Faustus groaned, for it was she who was right now trying to clean up the crusted blood and sandy hair of Faustus.

Frowning, she turned to Alessia and was about to open her mouth when Faustus quickly interjected, “It was my fault. I fell while climbing a wall.”

Turning a dubious eye on Faustus, his mother, Alina Drayke, the light, replied, “I suppose the wall was also the one who left that nasty bruise on your eye?”

“You wouldn’t think that it could throw punches but it can mother! Our enemies will have a hard time with it for sure!” replied Faustus cheekily.

“Pfft. Go then. Go and get ready. It’s your brother's Knight Accolade tonight and you better be presentable” saying this, Alina chased Faustus away.

“Not you though Alessia dear. We need to talk.”

Faustus who was about to skip away merrily, paused warily as he gazed at his mother.

“No Faustus, I’m not going to scold her. I just have to tell her something.”

Faustus looked at Alessia who nodded encouragingly and then he left reluctantly.

“Do you know what I want to talk to you about Alessia dear?”

“No, lady Courtesy, I do not.”

Sighing, Alina the Countess of the County of the Draykes said, “You cannot protect him forever dear. Leonidas came today praising your skills with the shield and sword but he was also exasperated at how you seem to disappear right about when Faustus gets into trouble.”

Blushing, Alessia was about to muster her defense when Alina waved her hand and said, “I know what you’re going to say. I don’t mind it dear. But Faustus needs to rely on himself. He cannot always hide behind you.”

Looking down, Alessia murmured, “He’s too young…”

Looking proudly at the dimming sky, Alina Drayke said, “He is a drayke. He will always be a Drayke. The thing about us Draykes dear? When we rage, the world shakes. One day he will rage and be careful that your world doesn’t shake, yes?”

Turning with a swish of her dress, Alina left the young girl to ponder on her thoughts.

Looking at the moon that was just becoming visible, Alessia sighed and whispered, “I hope that day never comes.”

Shaking her head, she set off to find Faustus.

The Castle was divided into 2 wings, the east, and the west wing. Cradled between them was the central hall where the Accolade would take place. Watching over the skies were the towers jutting forth from the wings and the back of the central hall. Respectively, they were the East tower, the West Tower, and the Tower of Drayke in the center.

The Count and the Countess stayed in the Tower of Drayke while Faustus and his brother Aaron Drayke stayed in the East Tower.

The west tower was for the knights of the Draykes.

While walking, Alessia mused on what Faustus had said before. “A prodigy? That means I’ll become someone else’s knight and not yours, you fool.”

Generally, the route to becoming a knight was to awaken one’s warforce at the age of 10, then become a page serving a knight till the age of 15, then a squire of a knight till the age of 21 when contingent on the warforce reaching silver rank, the squire would be granted his Knighthood in a ceremony called the Accolade.

Reminiscing on the past, Alessia had awakened her warforce at the age of 8 and had shown such tremendous talent in the field of war that she had attracted the attention of the observer of the Kingdom, Knight Leonidas, from the Kingdom of Leon within which Draconis city and the territory of the Draykes was situated.

As an observer, his duty was to observe the working of the territories of the Kingdom but he could not interfere directly. As such, he was left with a lot of idle time which he spent roaming the magnificent city of Draconis, shaped like a Dragon crawling on the ground with the four feet forming the different quarters of the city from east to west.

The northeast was the noble’s area where the Castle was located on the hill that was called the Elysee.

The southeast was the commercial area where the most elegant shops and restaurants were located, to provide easy access to the nobles.

The northwest was the residential area, located in the most secure position in the city as behind it was a towering mountain range called affectionately “the watchers” by the citizens of Draconis as it blocked access from the sea due to its insurmountable cliffs that gazed down haughtily.

Directly below it, in the south-west was the military camp which bordered one of the two entrances to the city, the south gate which led to the barony of Baron Jacob Drayke, brother of Callum Drayke, who protected the access to the middle sea for the Kingdom of Leon near the border.

The other gate, the east gate was located in the East, bordering the nobles area, and faced the only entrance in the east to the kingdom of Leon from the Hagarian Empire.

The entire central part from east to west was a long boulevard with trees and shrubbery dotting the sides and magnificent buildings bedecking the roadside, buildings such as the adventures associations, the mercenaries guild, the blacksmithing guild, etc.

The reason the residential area was in the most secure location while the nobles area was near the walls is that Draconis city was a frontier city of the empire of Leon. In the event of war, the nobles and the army would be the first line of defence while the common folk would retreat safely.

Of course, this was also due to the Count, Callum Draykes insistence that he would die before his enemies touched a single hair of his citizens.

This was a policy that Leonidas greatly appreciated, as he too was a man of the highest moral principles. A frontline fighter relegated to becoming an observer due to political missteps as a result of his frank and honest personality.

Initially, he regarded the assignment as a demotion but over time began to love the city and its people.

And then, he found her. The prodigy. Alessia.

She was protecting Faustus from a beating and with quick movements was dispatching all the would-be bullies bawling into the arms of their mothers.

Leonidas was going to intervene when he saw one of the bullies pick up the shard of a broken bottle and attempt to stab Alessia in the back, only to be stunned as the girl whirled around and smashed apart the shard with her fist. She had awakened her warforce.

Excitedly after the fight, he asked her how old she was and when he heard 8 years old, he was ecstatic and instantly begged her to be his student.

She refused but eventually the sight of a grown man with snot coming out of his nose as he begged her profusely moved her heart. That as well as the nod from Faustus that said she should accept it.

Being a gold-ranked Knight, Leonidas was an incredibly fearsome person on the battlefield. His vast reserves of knowledge and experience he imparted without reservation to Alessia and he was gratified to see her improve at a breakneck speed.

She still remembered his first lesson about warforce.