The Flight of The Draykes
As everyone headed to the table, I looked at the people present.
Sia, my childhood companion, protector, and friend?
Ares, my childhood companion, friend, and personal attendant.
Aaron, my brother, the good-natured silver knight with a sharp brain.
Sir Leonidas, the devil who allowed me to live in happiness all this time despite all the beatings. My first teacher.
Sir James, the rogue who makes me worry about my underpants at all times. My second teacher.
Frizelda, the lady who took care of me for a good portion of my childhood and who was my mother's closest confidante and godmother to Ares.
Lady Alina Drayke, my mother who has been my pillar for all this time and always will be, alongside the one person who I was missing terribly at the moment.
Sighing, I wiped away my eyes that were tearing up before vigorously wiping them again because, well,
He was standing in front of me smiling.
Running forward, I gave him a fierce bear hug - hoping he was real, else I would crash into the wall awkwardly.
But he was real! Very much so!
He picked me up and held me high above his head effortlessly before scanning my face with steely eyes that were crinkled up in joy.
Setting me down, he ruffled my hair heartily.
“My boy has turned 7,” He rumbled.
“All grown up now are we, forgetting your parents and everything,” He said with a chuckle.
Shaking my head furiously, I said, “of course not, I was just hoping you would come!”
“I was here before but a certain sleepyhead didn’t wake up and my ministers were getting antsy.” he teased.
Clapping a hand on my shoulder, he steered me towards the rest of the people who were either greeting him or curtseying.
Waving his other hand, he accepted all the courtesies and greetings before booming out, “Please, continue on and let’s eat until we can eat no more. Especially before Faustus finishes everything!”
Laughing,Sir Leonidas said, “Don’t you worry Count, Thomas has already resigned himself to staying within the kitchen to supply us with enough food for Faustus. He wishes you a happy birthday, by the way,” he inclined his head toward me then.
Smiling even more brightly, I made a note to myself to go see ol’ Thomas when I had time.
“He also asked me to give you this,” Saying so, Leonidas handed me a small box in which a military canteen lay.
Enchanted, I traced the green leather and the metal fittings of the canteen before thinking hard and watching it disappear within the finite ring.
As everyone ate and made merry, I felt truly at peace.
I looked at everyone and thought to myself.
I hope this lasts forever.
Fate must have heard me.
For what followed ensured that this day would be engraved in his heart for a very long time.
“Come Faustus, I haven’t given you a gift yet and I couldn’t decide on what to give either, So I thought - why not let you choose your gift on your own!” Callum Drayke said, scratching his chin.
“Yes, I’m taking you to the treasury.”
I was so excited my heart almost stopped!
Because this was the treasury!
The biggest storehouse of items that generations of Draykes had gathered.
As the party went on, my father and I made our excuses and slipped out quietly, not noticing that a pair of eyes followed us off.
Walking slowly, My father growled in his deep voice, “I heard you’re getting close to Alessia?”
I blushed and was about to defend myself, when I changed my mind and said honestly, “Yes Father. I think I like her. I feel happy when she’s happy and I feel sad when she’s sad.”
Turning his head to glance at me, my father thoughtfully said, “Nobody said that liking someone had to happen after a certain age. But keep this in mind, if you hurt her, the first person to beat you will be me. The girl’s a good girl.”
Saying so, he turned back toward the guards who had appeared in front of us.
We had reached the treasury.
Showing a badge, even though his looks were the best proof of identity, we passed through a set of metal doors that screeched loudly as they were opened.
A sort of early warning system or just bad maintenance, I thought.
Then I gasped as we walked into a corridor that branches into rooms that were full of chests and display shelves.
The chests were metal boxes made of metals I didn’t recognize but they looked incredibly heavy and seeing my curiosity, my father opened one chest with a grunt, only to display mountains of dazzling gold coins scattered freely inside.
“Each chest is a part of the lifeblood of the Draykes,” my father said proudly.
Moving onwards, we reached the last room which was also the most secure room with two people that I recognized as being gold-ranked soldiers standing guard.
Walking past them, I saw the entire walls covered with display cases in which antique, esoteric items lay.
Looking at my father for confirmation, I gestured towards them.
Nodding, he said, “Out of all the items here, you can choose one item here. The left side has weapons, the right side has armor, the front has artifacts. As for potions and the like, they’re with the master physician, kept at the hospital treasury.”
Discarding the weapon side because I already had the dagger and gauntlets, I moved towards the right side.
In front of me were suits of leather, chainmail, platemail, and every type of armor part imaginable on armor stands.
Shields were at the feet of the armor stands in every shape and size, clad in their leather covers, all gleaming with a strong sheen of oil and grease.
Tracing my hand across them respectfully, I moved from one end to the other but couldn’t settle on anything.
Then I walked towards the front where the artifacts were.
I wandered amongst the artifacts until I came to the center where a shield, a horn, and a sword hung. Each was distinct from the rest of the artifacts due to the space that was left around them.
Pointing at them, I asked my father what was so special about them.
He said in a thunderous voice, “They are the most important items of House Drayke, the pillars that have supported our house since ancient times!”
Excited, I said. “ since they are artifacts, what do they do father?!”
Coughing, my father turned red as he said, “we don’t know.”
“We don’t kn-what! How could we not know what they do?”
“That’s because nobody has been able to use them for all these years. The last known record was 4 generations ago. Since then nobody has been able to use them,” My father said as he reddened further.
I shook my head in disbelief and stood closer to the shield at first.
Touching it reverently, I found a faint calling from it.
Moving to the sword, I found it humming as though it was itching to leave to the battlefield with me.
In a daze, I touched the sword with my finger only to yelp as the sword edge slit my skin open.
As I jerked the hand back, the drop of blood flew unerringly towards the horn which suddenly started flashing and shrank until it was the size of a conch and not the gigantic horn that it was before.
Aghast, I watched the transformation before turning around to my father who was standing petrified.
“in-incredible, “ he whispered.
“The horn has awoken!”
“Father? Does this mean I have to take the horn?!”
“Of course it means you have to take the horn. It’s bound to you!”
“But what do I do with the horn!” I cried out!
“Do? I don’t know...blow the horn I guess,” My father said, messing up his hair furiously.
So I blew on the horn.
Only for not one bit of sound to come out.
Staring at my father who stared back at me, I slowly said, “This doesn’t count as one does it?”
“My one item selection?” I said pleadingly.
“Ah,” my father hemmed.
“Oh,” He hawed.
“Ahem,” he coughed.
“It is one of the most powerful items of House Drayke so of course it counts as one,” My Father said righteously.
“The most powerful item that does - what exactly?” I cried out!
Speechless, my father fell silent.
“One more item, let me take one more item!” I said, raising one finger while making my eyes as pitiful as possible.
“Impossible! I can’t go back on my word!”
Frustrated, I looked at the ground before a smile spread on my face.
“Father, You promised me one item for my birthday today. But what about just giving me an item which is not because of my birthday?”
Dumbstruck, my father gazed at me before he started cursing Sir James.
Interjecting, I smugly said, “It’s not Sir James who taught me this.”
“It was Sir James and Sir Leonidas together.”
More profanity followed before my father turned to me, eyes bulging.
“Fine, you little cunning brat. Take what you want.”
Without hesitation, I grabbed the shield and ran out the door past the shocked guards who didn’t know what to do.
For a moment there was silence, then a roar shook the treasury.
A voice came from far beyond,
“You promised me one more thing right, this is one!”
Helplessly, Callum Drayke raised his face to the ceiling before guffawing loudly in laughter, shaking the room again.
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