The snowy Kingdom of Airyglyph seemed to move slow today. Less people walked the streets, and the cold breeze gave Glou a reason to understand this lazy atmosphere.
"This is why I live in Krisla; Less snow and less clothing." A raspy voice spoke. Glou turned and now faced a middle-aged man whose beard was clumped together with small icicles. Glou couldn't help but laugh from seeing this. The middle aged man shook his head as Glou tried to hold in his giggles. Glou stopped and was now frowning.
"Oh, come on now Woltar, you need to lighten up." He gave out a heavy sigh. Woltar sighed too, but more in the manner he was to look out for this mischievous boy.
"Look boy, there are times to be playful and other times one must hold their composure. This is no-" Woltar was interrupted by a woman rushing over to them.
"Please!" She said as she gasped for air; she must have run all the way to where they stood. Woltar raised an eye brow and wasn't sure if he should say anything. "Please help us." She gasped again, but this time she seemed to be less fatigued. The young woman was covered in bruises and fresh wounds.
"What's wrong?" asked Glou. The woman took in a deep breath before answering.
"There is a group of slave traders in town," she looked around her cautiously, "I managed to get away but I couldn't just let the others suffer more than me." The woman began to cry. "Please!" She begged. Glou shot a quick glance to Woltar. He closed his eyes and shook his head.
"I am sorry young miss, but Slave traders aren't illegal by our laws. Unless there is a complaint from a citizen then we have no reason to fulfill your request." Woltar said casually, "You are but a slave." Glou stayed quiet, but couldn't understand why he was bothered by this. He knew the laws and everything, yet this woman's request made the laws seem unreasonable.
The woman froze in shock; Woltar's words seemed to cut into her deep. Noticing someone coming from a distance, Glou looked past the woman and saw two to three suspicious looking men coming towards them.
"Wench!" One of the men growled; he was most likely the leader of the group. The woman jumped and was too shaken, too scared to run away. She turned towards the voice; her eyes widened, and seeing the eye contact exchanged between the two, Glou had guess they knew each other. The leader came up and back-handed the woman without a second thought. Glou could feel anger start to build; the woman fell to her knees in pain.
"You think you could just run off and it'd be okay?" He slapped her again. "Huh?" he said harshly. He slapped her another time. The woman tried to hold in her yelps as the man continued to slap her. Glou looked at Woltar before grabbing the man's hand and stopping him.
"You know, as an officer here, I can, no matter who you are, arrest you for disturbance." Glou glared at the man as he pulled his hand away.
"Understood," He gave a glare back before dragging the woman away. As Glou watched the man walk away, he couldn't seem to quell his anger. To him, any man hitting a woman should be arrested.
"Do not pursue that man, Glou." Woltar spoke, snapping Glou back to reality. Glou fully turned to him and raised an eyebrow, silently questioning Woltar's meaning. Woltar shook his head as he turned away from Glou and started to walk away.
"You have much to learn, boy." Woltar mumbled, not caring if Glou could hear or not. Glou sighed and reluctantly followed Woltar.
"I am already twenty-eight, what more do I need to learn?" Glou whispered to himself, almost as if he was too shy to say it as a comeback.
Later that night, Glou couldn't clear his mind of the frantic woman's request. He felt like if he didn't do something he would regret it. He had been walking for a while before noticing he was in front of the dragon caves used by the Dragon Brigade. He paused and then smiled to himself. If anyone could help him, Adelaide could. He gave the fairly large dragon a smirk as he walked up to her. She eyed him curiously, then gave out a deep chuckle.
"What brings you here, mischievous boy?" She asked. Her voice echoed deeply, and the scent of brimstone filled the air.
"I have come to ask for your wise advice." Glou spoke. Since the day he faced her in the Accession of the Flames, he wasn't able to fully get rid of his fear of her. She was big, and the fact that she had sent him through time to prove himself, left him to wonder what else she could do to him. Through her scales he could see what looked like a smile.
"What is your request?" She asked. Glou took a light breath in and smirked.
"How would you like to teach some slave traders a lesson?" Glou said, still smiling. She propped herself up and stood, towering over Glou.
"I'd be delighted." She grinned, showing her sharp teeth and bowed her head so Glou could ride her. As he climbed on to her back, he could hear the crackles and the compression of the flames in her belly. She then propelled herself into the air.
After a while in the air Glou spotted a dimly lit area deep in the mountains. He steered Adelaide toward the area and made a circle around. Grabbing the rope he had tied to the harness he jumped down off of the large dragon. Don't do anything until I say so. He thought knowing she could read his mind, her abilities amazed him to no end.
Landing Glou let go of the rope, he should have hand worn gloves his hand burned and felt as if it was skinned bare. He stood still hoping none of the traders heard his landing. One laughed, good they didn't hear me. Quietly he moved to the camp making sure he wasn't visible in the camp fire.
Glou hid behind a tree and peeked around it, he could count at least twenty people or slaves. It was hard to tell in the dim lighting, I'll use this to my advantage. Glou moved along the tree line making his way to the start of the slaves. As he moved along the tree line Glou was caught off guard by the sound of a branch breaking, turning around he could barely see a figure swing something at him. Hitting him on the side of the head he could only guess it was a thick tree branch. After that he couldn't remember.
He could feel a unusual warmth around him; it comforted him but at the same time he could feel an odd chill to it. Glou opened his eyes to find a young woman over him. She seemed to be covering him from something. Looking closer he now saw the young woman bleeding from the left side of her head; just above the temple. She gave him a soft smile, yet it seemed forced; was it from the pain? Seeing her sway Glou grabbed a hold of her as he sat up; her wound was worse than he thought.
"Why?" Glou asked. He was mostly asking himself but the young woman answered him. She took in a ragged breath.
"It's… My fault your-our," She took in another breath and exhaled; "Here, I had begged-ed you." She finished; she griped Glou arm as she grimaced in pain.
"That was you?" Glou whispered to himself, he had not recognized her do to the blood she was covered in. A tear slipped down the side of her face.
"I'm sorry" she tensed before falling limp in his arms. Glou could feel no heart beat and her chest did not rise to breath. Anger flushed throughout his body; these people were not slave traders anymore they were murderers. Adelaide, he called out mentally; being a great dragon as she was she must have been able to hear him from this distance. ADELAIDE! Glou screamed to her, this time he could feel as if someone else was there within his mind. Please….. kill these men, kill them, do anything! Just make them pay! Make them Pay!
"She dead?" one man asked another, Glou could hear them shift near and around him. He then felt one tap him with the side of their sword.
"Hey, stand up." One ordered. Glou did nothing; he was too angry to even think straight let alone make himself move. Same trader grabbed Glou by his hair, lifting him up.
"I told you to stand up." Glou looked up at the man, he wore an angered expression and looked as if age had finally caught up with him.
"I'm talking to you." He yelled at Glou. Seeing this man's face and hearing him yell Glou couldn't help but laugh. The man raised an eyebrow clearly thinking Glou was crazy.
"I have no need to listen to you." Glou said glaring at the man, " I don't take orders from a Murderer!" slapping the man's hand away Glou kicked the man aside right when a deep, echoing roar was heard. Finally, Glou thought seeing Adelaide land and making the ground shake under her wait.
"Oh shit! It's a dragon! He must be from the Dragon Brigade! RUN" a few of the other traders yelled as they tried to run. Adelaide wacked a few with her tail while she growled angrily.
"Glou, hurry stand next to the slaves." Adelaide ordered. Glou nodded and went straight to the huddled group of slaves.
"Hurry everyone gather near me!" He asked the slaves, a few were hesitant but then gave in as most hurried over to him. Some pulled at other to come while some ignored the others. Seeing all gathered near him, he cleared Adelaide to do her business. Turning his gaze behind him he saw Adelaide glowing in a bright blue light and chanting something in her native tongue. After a few seconds later the blue light expanded off of her and exploded past him and the slaves. Filching Glou closed his eyes, hearing some slave rustle about, Glou opened his eyes.
Glou looked around him and into the surrounding area. He saw nothing, just trees and Adelaide looking at him. Glou raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth to question her but was stopped by deep and loud roars or wails from other dragon in the mountain area.
"Do not worry, they are not after you or the other little ones. They are enjoying their meals I have sent them." Adelaide said with a grin.
"But how? How without doing the same to us?" Glou asked as he approached her. Adelaide lowered her head to Glou's level. She gave him a light nudge with the tip of her snout.
"There is said to be a magical bond between rider and dragon. This bond is also said to keep rider and those who are around him safe from a dragon's magic." She softly spoke. Glou smiled and pet her head.
"I see, then I'm glad to have that bond." Adelaide nudged Glou a bit harder this time almost making him fall. "Hey…You're stronger than me. Be careful." Adelaide chuckled. Glou sighed and turned back to the still huddled slaves. " I don't know what to do with them though," Glou mumbled to himself. Adelaide nudged Glou again.
"Believe what your heart tells you." She gave out a small growl, if she was a cat the growl would be a loving purr. Glou petted her again before leaving towards the slaves. Stopping a few feet in front of the huddle he took the time to see all their faces. Many did not look as if they have had a meal in a long time.
"I am Glou Nox of Airyglyph, Captain of the Dragon Brigade." He paused before continuing, "From now on, you all are free. There will be no more chains holding you down, no more traders to beat you. You are free to be as you want." Some slaves gave out cheers and hugged one another, all but one who seemed to be glaring at Glou. He meet her gaze, only her glare seemed to reply back to him. "Are you not happy?" He asked trying to get a form of verbal reply. She stepped forward and held her head high, Glou could now clearly see her face. She was quite beautiful.
"I have heard many men say the same thing to me and I have watched each one fail to keep their word. What makes you think I'll believe you?" She asked her voice unwavering. Glou gazed into her eyes, the color amazed him. It was as if she wasn't even human but a goddess cursed to live on this planet. Crimson, a deep crimson almost the color of blood. Seeing her blink made Glou snap back from his inner thoughts. Glou looked at all of the other people around them; some were old, too young to do labor of slave work. He could feel his stomach turn, their eyes watched him in fear and a few with eyes showing how broken they'd become. The damage to these people were great, but her eyes still held some strength.
"I know not of what you have been through nor do I want to. I was asked to set you free by that young woman over there." Glou gestured to the body of the young woman. "I do not know her name but she plead to me to save you. Seeing how I am here does that not prove I live up to my word?" He asked the woman standing in front of him. She looked over at the still corpse, her eyes now looked as if she was carrying a heavy burden.
"So it was you who Shannon went to…" Her voice was low and was shaken. She then turned back to Glou; strength returning and stronger than that when she first looked at him.
"Very well, because she gave her life to you then I and the other will as well. We owe you that much for the freedom you have given us." She bowed. Glou was shocked by the sudden change in her character, he shot quick glances at the others and saw the same thing; they all were bowing to him. Glou gave out a heavy sigh before speaking.
"Very well if that is how you feel then I know of a few places you all can go. However they are position that of a house keeper, personal servant, so on. You will have food and sleeping quarters. Is that all right? Of course until you have all found a place to stay." A young male lifted up his head.
"I accept one of the positions." He blurted out, Glou wanted to laugh at how awkward the boy was but stopped as the others started to blurt out the same thing. He couldn't help but smile, a warm and serene feeling flooded him. He felt no anger nor the pain he felt earlier. Glou turned his gaze back to where the woman had stood, he stopped, she was gone. Looking about he found her next to the young woman, Shannon's body. She was crouched next to her mumbling to herself. Glou walked up beside her.
"Was she important to you?" He asked. She didn't look up at him but replied.
"Shannon was like my little sister, she would have been eight-teen tomorrow." She softly spoke, her voice was tender and Glou knew she was holding back her tears.
"I can have Adelaide dig a grave for her, if you want her to that is, um-" Glou stopped realizing he never asked her name.
"It's Kiana." She stated. Glou tilted his head slightly. Kiana looked up at him and gave him a small smile. "My name is Kiana."
"Kiana…. Moon Goddess." Glou mumbled to himself, Kiana raised her eyebrow as if questioning him. He smiled back and offered her his hand. She paused before grabbing and letting Glou help her up.
"Where would you like the grave?" He asked. Kiana gazed back to Shannon before turning back to him.
"Not here please," she paused, " there is a spring near here. I'd like it if she could be buried there." Glou nodded and turned to Adelaide.
"Will you help?" He asked her. Adelaide nodded.
"She risked her life for you, It's the least I can do for her soul to rest in peace." Adelaide spoke. Glou gave her a smile.
"Thank you." Adelaide bowed her head in response. Calling over the young male from earlier Glou handed him a map and a sighed note stating it was alright for them to enter the mansion in Krisla. Waving them good-bye Glou turned back to Kiana. Picking up Shannon's body he motioned Adelaide to follow.
"If you please show us the way." He said turning to Kiana. She glanced at him then nodded.