Chapter 78:

At Peace

Draconia Offline

“Do you have any idea how difficult it is to contact you from the outside? Virtually impossible!” Emi’s face appears on the screen and she looks annoyed. “For safety reasons, we tossed our phones,” she gets to explaining. “They were the only thing that could potentially make us a target. I bet Celestial network is as secured as it can be, but Clawfangs aren’t exactly keen on that.”

“I’m happy to see you, too,” I say cheerfully because not even her foul mood could spoil how happy I am to see that she’s okay. We haven’t heard from Emi and her pack for two days and even though there were only three missile attacks, I was worried sick.

“I heard about what happened to Werden,” Emi becomes serious. “And I watched the peace negotiations, of course.”

“You don’t think I decided right?” I tilt my head because Emi is visibly grinding her teeth.

“You did decide right,” she shakes her head. “I’m glad the decision wasn’t up to me because I wouldn’t be so forgiving. But that matter is thankfully over. How are Rien and Minoes doing at their jobs?”

“Rien is doing fine, he’s just a bit nervous around me ever since I told him about my telepathy,” I shrug. “I have yet to meet ambassador Minoes.”

“You’re meeting her in two hours,” Erik announces, checking my itinerary.

“Minoes is as wild as alpha females get, but she’s good-hearted and has her way with people,” Emi says. “She will make a fine ambassador and deal with European Clawfangs who wouldn’t listen to anyone else but another strong alpha.”

“When will you return to Europe?” I ask because I’d love to have her back.

“Not anytime soon,” she has to disappoint me. “My people aren’t like yours, Aefener. They don’t obey unless I make them, but that’s okay. It’s in our nature and I love travelling and meeting new people.”

“No problems with local humans?” I worry.

“Nothing serious,” she assures me. “Packs pretty much keep to themselves, but we’re still very friendly and open. I think humans like us actually.”

“They do?” I’m surprised because Clawfangs are known for their wildness and unwillingness to answer to authorities.

“Let’s face it, we’re just cute and irresistible,” Emi grins. “Certainly not as scary as the Dragonkin, not as incomprehensible as the Earthborn and not as unapproachable as Celestials.”

“Celestials can be cute, look at our Emperor,” Gotrid says jokingly. “His wings are inviting everyone to pet them.”

“Except nobody would dare to caress Celestial wings,” Emi rolls her eyes and her ears twitch in amusement. “Your race built yourself quite a reputation for being out of this world.”

We chat for a few more minutes and Emi updates me on what she’s been up to. A tiny part of me envies her—she’s free to do whatever she wants and every day feels like an adventure. But I know that Celestials aren’t made for that kind of lifestyle. Our bodies are frail, we need to eat a lot and we require comfortable living conditions.

And then even that tiny bit of envy dissolves and I realise that I’m deeply satisfied with my current life. Sure, I’d appreciate being able to fly more frequently and for longer, but I love working for the benefit of my people and I have two amazing partners who support me in everything I do.

When Emi ends the phone call, I decide to contact Twyla and ask her about Werden’s condition. I trust that the best Earthborn healers are taking care of him, but I still worry.

“Werden is doing great,” Twyla blurts out happily because it’s obvious why I’m calling. “We’re currently growing new skin cells for his burnt parts and his body is more than willing to accept the transplant. He should make a full recovery.”

“That’s amazing,” I smile, relieved. “What about your ranch? Will you start rebuilding it right away?”

“Nah, forget the ranch, it outlived its usefulness anyway,” Twyla waves her hand. “We are going to build ourselves a proper Earthborn habitat in a suitable forest somewhere.”

“You plan to build Traevamdra in the real world?” my jaw drops.

“Why not?” Twyla smirks proudly. “It will be much easier and cheaper than building your ambitious flying city.”

“Building real-life Assiath is far in future,” I sigh.

“Actually, we started preliminary preparations already,” Gotrid interrupts us. “Ever since you suggested it, the idea didn’t let us sleep. Sure, it will be a slow and lengthy process, but all Celestials are more than eager to contribute.”

“What preparations?” I frown because it’s the first time I’m hearing it.

“For instance, we’re purchasing crystals like crazy so there’s already a shortage of them in some countries. And Liana set up a transparent account for donations,” Gotrid recounts.

To be honest, I get a bit anxious about that. Yes, I do think that building Assiath in the real world is possible, but it will take decades. I don’t want to give my people false hopes that it will be soon. Moreover, I don’t even want to think about the fact that once Assiath is finally finished, Erik probably won’t be here anymore to witness it.

“We’d better start our preparations as well then,” Twyla says. “Good for us, we will mostly use organic materials and let almost everything grow. A small basic settlement should be a matter of just a few months. The real challenge will be to find a suitable place that humans would be willing to give us. Assiath will float somewhere above the sea but still rather close to the land I suppose?”

“Probably,” I chew my lip. Frankly, I didn’t have any time to think about it.

“I’ll keep updating you on Werden’s condition,” Twyla concludes. “As much as I’d love to see those who did it suffer, you decided right. The Earthborn stand behind you, Aefener.”

I’m glad to hear that. I was particularly worried about Twyla’s reaction considering her husband was seriously injured and several Earthborn died during the attack. But it seems Twyla’s positive spirit wasn’t broken, Werden will eventually recover and the Earthborn are happy that I maintained peace.


“Your Majesty, the Clawfang ambassador Minoes,” Luviael announces solemnly and lets the Ambassador in.

She’s very different from Emi apart from the fact that Emi is a fox and Minoes resembles a house cat with warm light-brown fur and fiery orange eyes. It’s their minds—their temperament couldn’t have been more different. Minoes is indeed as wild as a female Clawfang alpha gets, but where Emi is reserved and strict, Minoes is affectionate and chill.

“No animals in the Royal Office,” Vermiel frowns at her.

Only now I notice that there’s a black cat following her like a second shadow.

“That’s okay, Vermiel, I allow it,” I wave my hand and watch the cat curiously. I get to witness Clawfang legendary beast taming in action!

“Your Majesty,” Minoes bows to me while the cat timidly hides behind her legs. Is it afraid of me? Sadly, Minoes is also rather fearful despite her otherwise confident personality.

“Please, sit down,” I tell her and she slowly takes the chair in front of my desk, putting the cat on her lap. “Does it understand your commands?” I ask to make some small talk first.

“He does,” Minoes confirms with a careful smile, studying me. “It took me some time to train him, but it wasn’t that difficult. I had him long before the Great Evolution started, so we have been bonded already.”

“How do you communicate with him?” I’m super-curious at this point which finally relaxes Minoes. She never expected a Celestial to be genuinely interested in beast taming.

“I can perfectly understand his body language and the sounds he’s making,” Minoes explains. “And I smell more like him than humans now. I instinctively know how to motivate him to learn new things faster and he naturally likes to follow me around.”

“Fascinating,” I’m impressed. “Can you train any animal?”

“There are limits,” Minoes admits. “Prey animals are generally afraid of us, but we bond well with feline, canine, vulpine, ursine and other predatory mammal species. Not birds or lizards, though. I guess because our smell and way of thinking are too different. But maybe Celestials could give birds a try?”

“Not likely,” I shake my head. “We don’t have a habit of keeping pets and taming birds wouldn’t give us any advantage. I think the Dragonkin might try bonding with lizards, but they aren’t great with animals either. I suppose the title of beast tamers belongs to Clawfangs exclusively.”

“Beast taming is certainly starting to trend among my people,” Minoes nods. “Cats, dogs, foxes, bears, wolves… all those species respond to us naturally. I wonder if we will be able to tame Draconian animals. Should they appear, of course.”

“Draconian animals?” Erik puts his hand on my shoulder, puzzled.

“There weren’t only hostile monsters ingame,” I explain to him. “Some Draconian creatures were rather friendly and Clawfangs were taming them.”

Minoes then tells me about her upcoming travel plans. Whereas Rien will remain stationed in our headquarters, Minoes will act as the ambassador for the EU and travel a lot. However, she will be coming back regularly to report.

“I was appointed to be your connection to Clawfangs and directly serve the Draconian government,” Minoes states clearly. “Emi is still my Supreme Alpha, nothing changes about that, but I’m willing to take orders from Your Majesty, provided they aren’t in opposition to my Alpha’s wishes.”

I quickly check her feelings. Clawfangs are notoriously known for not taking orders from anybody who isn’t a proven alpha and definitely not other races, but Minoes doesn’t mind taking orders from me specifically. It seems she considers me a valid equivalent to the Alpha.

“Thank you, Minoes,” I nod gratefully and lean forward to try to pet her cat companion. I’m surprised when the animal flinches and quickly hides under Minoes’s vest.

“I’m afraid that he’s scared of you, Your Majesty,” Minoes apologises for the cat’s behaviour. “Animals can’t feel Celestial mana directly, but they can instinctively feel when someone is dangerous.”

“I’m not dangerous,” I purse my lips.

Minoes blinks a few times, confused, while Gotrid and Erik can’t help it and chuckle.

“Right, you’re not dangerous at all, love,” Erik laughs. “You can only take down a huge monster on your own without breaking a sweat and you command an army of fierce angels who are absolutely devoted to you. But besides that, not dangerous at all.”

“I didn’t mean it in a rude way,” Minoes says hastily, both embarrassed and scared of crossing the boundaries of what’s proper towards the Emperor. “What I wanted to say is that Your Majesty is so powerful that even someone who isn’t able to feel mana directly can sense it.”

“Thank you, Minoes, it was a pleasure to get to know you. I wish you safe travels,” I say when the meeting is officially over.

“I’ll stay in touch with both Your Majesty and Rien,” Minoes promises. “My Supreme Alpha entrusted me with the role of a liaison officer and I mean to honour it.”

And then a huge misunderstanding happens. Minoes gets up a little bit too quickly while leaning forward too much and before I explicitly say that she can go. But just that is enough to startle my guards. A protective shield appears in front of me in the blink of an eye and poor confused Minoes finds herself surrounded by numerous transfiguration symbols. All of them are potentially lethal if unleashed.

“Dissolve your spells immediately, she has no bad intentions,” I order, my voice perfectly regal.

I repeat myself telepathically to persuade them faster. The guards dissolve all the transfiguration symbols and return to their posts as if nothing happened. I hope Minoes hasn’t been traumatised because she certainly feels scared shitless.

“Minoes, I’m sorry, my guards can be overzealous and jumpy,” I apologise for their actions because I know they won’t. The guards are convinced that they acted right, even if they were jumping to conclusions.

“Over-reacting is a weak word for it,” Erik catches his breath because that apparent demonstration of strength startled even him.

“On the contrary, I’m glad to see that the Royal Guard can react so quickly,” Gotrid approves and is satisfied with their performance.

Minoes barely kept herself standing and her fur is all puffed. All of that was because she didn’t wait for my dismissal and stoop up too quickly. No wonder other races feel anxious around me. I bet they figured out much quicker than me what the Royal Guard is capable of to protect their Emperor.

When Minoes leaves the Royal Office, I can tell she’s deeply relieved. I sigh. That’s not the kind of first impression I wanted to make. Minoes is a good person, eager to work for the benefit of Draconians. She doesn’t deserve to be treated with suspicion.

“Sorry, did it scare you?” I turn to Erik and take his hands.

“I know what they’re capable of,” he says, his voice shaking a bit. “I just didn’t expect they would be this jumpy, especially when it comes to another Draconian.”

“I hate to break it to you, Erik, but Draconians aren’t one homogenous group of people,” Gotrid has to remind him. “It might appear to humans that way because we have to stand together now and we were forced to unite under one government, but we are very different from each other and this certainly isn’t our preferred way of running things.”

“But Draconian battle units consisting of all four races are considered to be perfect,” Erik opposes because it challenges his current understanding.

“Sure, fighting in mixed groups is most efficient and we can generally cooperate well,” Gotrid admits. “What we don’t like, however, is living too close to each other. Moreover, under normal circumstances, there’s no way other races would be allowed to see our Emperor in person. Except for race rulers, of course.”

“I bet you would love to hide Ryuu in a palace high in the sky if you could,” Erik rolls his eyes.

“Ideally,” Gotrid doesn’t think it’s all that extreme. “But, unfortunately, we can’t, so we’re doing everything in our power to protect our Emperor using different means.”

Erik sighs, but this isn’t anything new to him. He’s still finding Celestial behaviour alien and often downright fanatical, but nothing can really astonish him anymore. His only concern is me—he’s sad when he sees that my freedom is being limited further and further.

It’s okay, I hug him and let him sense my feelings on the matter. I don’t mind anymore.

He’s sceptical at first, but he calms down when he verifies my emotions. I really don’t mind. Not anymore. I love my people even if they are acting fanatical towards me and I enjoy being the Emperor. I finally love who and what I am. I feel like I could conquer the world if I put my mind to it. Figuratively speaking, hopefully.


“I’m sorry, love, but there’s no sugarcoating it,” Erik says strictly when he pushes me onto the hospital bed. “I know you have Celestial metabolism so you don’t have to go as often, but you haven’t been to the toilet in DAYS.”

“I don’t feel any urge,” I fight with him, but he’s much stronger than me so I remain seated.

“There’s no way you wouldn’t even need to pee,” Erik insists. “Let Noage check you and Julia will give you some laxative, no shame in that.”

“It will be over before you know it, Your Majesty,” Noage approaches me with a kind smile while Julia is already analysing the scans of my digestive system she took just a minute ago. Even with amazing Earthborn abilities, it would do us no good to abandon modern science.

Noage connects to my left arm with his rooty tentacles and is thoroughly analysing me with his eyes closed. At one point, he starts frowning. I get restless, but I don’t dare to pry into his mind because I don’t want to distract him.

“Is something wrong with our beloved?” Gotrid gets pale when he notices Noage’s and Julia’s concerned expressions.

“Give us a few more minutes,” Julia says, also frowning.

Erik and Gotrid start caressing my wings, more to calm themselves than me. They both hope it’s nothing either human medical science or Earthborn healing powers wouldn’t solve, but they are nervous nonetheless.

Noage releases his tentacles after twenty long minutes of silent concentration and he relocates to Julia to discuss his findings. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me, I feel more than fine, but I do realise that I haven’t visited the toilet for several days now and that’s certainly unnatural.

“So? Is Ryuu okay?” Erik loses patience when the doctors have been whispering with each other for several minutes.

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty, we wanted to be sure before telling you,” Julia apologises. “We compared our findings and we’re pretty sure that you’re perfectly healthy. Healthy as someone as unique as you can be.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I don’t understand.

“It seems your transformation hasn’t quite ended five months ago,” Noage explains. “It was very subtle so I overlooked it, but your body kept slightly adapting even after your wings grew to their full size. It’s probably the case for all Draconians, but even slower, so it will take months to take effect.”

“Long story short, His Majesty’s digestive system can transform everything into mana now,” Julia summarises. “Everything is getting digested without a trace.”

“So… Ryuuto simply doesn’t have to go to the toilet anymore? Never again?” Erik widens his eyes.

“It might be the case for all Celestials in a few months,” Noage speculates. “Your bodies can’t afford to waste even a calorie if you’re flying every day and casting spells. It was thought to be impossible for an organism not to excrete, yet living evidence is sitting in this very room. And it’s all thanks to your mysterious mana circuit, there’s no other explanation.”

“That’s good news,” Gotrid realises. “If we do build Assiath in the real world one day, most of our import will be food. We eat a lot, despite our thin bodies. It would be beneficial if every calorie eaten was transformed into mana and nothing got wasted.”

I caress my underbelly. It’s a bit weird to imagine that my intestines work differently now and my mana circuit is dissolving everything without a trace there. But I’m healthy according to Celestial standards and that’s all that matters in the end.

“So we’re going to use the toilet less and less frequently over time until we won’t need it at all?” Gotrid concludes, happy about the prospect.

“Probably, still too early to say,” Noage shrugs. “As always, your Emperor is first at everything.”

“If I’m okay, I can go, right?” I demand to be released.

“Still afraid of hospitals, Your Majesty?” Julia raises her eyebrows, a bit sad. “Even if you have us as your private physicians and no one else can touch you?”

“I trust both of you,” I assure them. “It’s the environment that makes me uneasy. And almost every time I end up here, you discover something strange about me so don’t blame me for being nervous in advance.”

“The fact that Ryuu can come here without being dragged is a huge improvement,” Erik compliments my efforts. “Besides, who feels relaxed when being examined?”

“Okay, you can go, Your Majesty, but we want to keep you under closer watch from now on,” Julia makes a condition. “If Draconian bodies are still slightly adjusting, we should keep track and document everything. Since Your Majesty’s transformation is the quickest, it can help us predict future development.”

“I don’t have time for more frequent visits,” I refuse.

“Which is an ongoing problem, I know,” Julia clicks her tongue. “I keep telling Her Excellency that she can’t be overworking you like this. She assures me that she will make changes, but it’s back to frantic workaholism almost immediately.”

“Too much to do, too little time,” I stand up.

“So soon I’ll have the toilet all for myself?” Erik realises in a sudden epiphany and his expression brightens. He starts grinning. “Sweet!”

Good for Erik I guess, no more sharing one toilet between the three of us, especially in the morning.


I’m staring at the date and it takes me a moment to fully comprehend it. I’m leaving for Japan in just ten days. It’s not a hypothetical future anymore, I’m going to visit my homeland and there’s no talking my way out of it now. It’s really happening.

“Your Majesty, we are perfectly prepared for your arrival,” Gavreel, our Celestial ambassador for Japan, assures me because he notices the concern written on my face.

“Gavreel is right, they did everything we asked them to do,” Liana goes through a long list of security procedures and everything is shining green. “Damn, their mansion might be even safer than our headquarters.”

“Only because we’re not in the city centre and we can easily secure the premises around,” Gavreel says seemingly humbly, but he’s beaming with pride. “We even managed to duplicate the shield technology thanks to Rina’s research team.”

“Well done, really,” Liana praises him and she’s not easy to impress. “The Czech Prime Minister promised to lend us her private jet, so there’s finally nothing standing in our way.”

“I’ve always wanted to visit Japan,” Erik puts his hand on my shoulder.

“The homeland of our beloved,” Gotrid is moved.

“Bohemia is my homeland as well, I’m half Czech,” I have to remind them.

“Sure, but these are your roots you never had a chance to properly discover,” Gotrid insists. “Gavreel, will we be able to go sightseeing? It would be a shame to visit Japan and be locked in the mansion the whole time.”

“We’re currently working on that,” Gavreel nods with a smile. “Prime Minister Ichikawa allowed us to vacate some of the most famous sites across Osaka for our visit. They are very helpful and cooperative.”

“Naturally, they don’t want Celestials to leave Japan,” Liana comments realistically. “Seeing how effective we are at eradicating monsters, they would be fools to let us go.”

“I beg Your Majesty to consider Japan a special case,” Gavreel says slowly. “Sunako’s family offered us to use their mansion as our headquarters and, with the security we put in place, we hope Your Majesty will treat it as his second home and will be visiting Japan regularly from now on.”

“Regularly?” I’m taken aback by his suggestion and so is Liana. It’s obvious Gavreel didn’t consult it with her beforehand. On purpose, I bet.

“Draconia Online was originally a Japanese game, so many Draconians live here,” Gavreel tries to explain. “More Draconians are living in Asia than in Europe so it would be beneficial if you were visiting regularly. I’m sure it would prevent Asian Celestials from desperately trying to immigrate to Europe just to be closer to our embodiment of magic.”

“That’s...,” I get silent for a moment, thinking frantically.

Gavreel’s argument makes perfect sense, so I can’t just disregard it. Why does it make me so anxious, though? Because my father is probably in Japan and he might do something to me? Or because I feel comfortable with my current life in Prague?

“We will see about that after our visit,” Liana answers for me because she can see I’m hesitant. “Your arguments are sound, we won’t deny it, but this is about the safety of our Emperor.”

“Of course, I’m not saying that you have to decide right away,” Gavreel says amicably. “We want to convince you with our hard work. All we ask is that Your Majesty stays open to this possibility.”

“I will stay open,” I nod. I can promise that much at least.

When the call ends, I have to take a deep breath. I don’t know why it affected me so much. I’m strong enough to take on a heligorr, I can create a mega shield around the whole skyscraper, human governments fear me. Yet, I feel panicky about visiting my homeland. Erik and Gotrid, sensing my inner turmoil, hug me in comfort and I finally calm down. Because I can count on them being there with me.