The capital of the Silver Moon Kingdom...
In the sanctuary under the branches of the Ancient Tree of Life, bright green branches and leaves climbed on the walls of the palace eaves. A few mysterious multicolored fruits dotted the dome. A clear lake flowed into the palace, and a few brightly colored fishes would jump out of it on occasion.
The flower and tree spirits were only as large as a human’s palm. They weaved in between the flowers, giggling and laughing, and left trails of phosphorescent light behind them, as fireflies do. The palace buzzed with life.
Outside, two elven guards in emerald green armor stood erect on the jade steps, guarding the sanctuary and their queen from any intrusion.
“General Sisna, Her Majesty is praying to Lady Silver Moon, please wait for a moment!”
The two guards crossed their long spears to block Sisna’s way and spoke in a straightforward but respectful tone.
Despite their reputation for guerrilla tactics, elves were quite capable of conventional warfare. Had the potential casualties not been a concern, they would have fought many battles on the plains.
Neither humans nor beastmen had ever succeeded in exterminating the elves, but both had paid heavy prices in their attempts.
Sisna did not mind the guards blocking her and only nodded as she stood still.
Not long after, a cold but melodious voice sounded from within the palace.
“Sisna... come in.”
The guards put away their spears on hearing this.
Sisna crossed the pond filled with lively koi fishes. She walked up the stairs that floated on the river and arrived under a dome.
The queen of the elves was standing there. Although it was daytime, the light of the silver moon shone down from the open roof of the dome, casting a mysterious air on her figure.
Sisna hurriedly reached the bottom of the stairs and knelt down respectfully.
All the elves adored the queen. It was to her great credit that they stood among the many races today.
The queen was one of the oldest demigods, and it was said that she had lived for 10,000 years. According to the records, roughly 9,000 years ago, the various races were nothing more than barbaric rabble. Countries did not exist and races lived in scattered tribes. It was the elf queen who had unified the elves and established the Silver Moon Kingdom.
The elves were the very first bearers of civilization on the main continent. At the time the humans and beastmen were still relatively barbaric, with forces that could not hold a candle to their unified and coordinated armies. That era was the apex of elven civilization, and both humans and beastmen were heavily influenced by the elves. Even at present, traces of elven arts and aesthetics lingered within their cultures.
But in the long run, the population advantages of the humans and beastmen bore out. Once they started to develop, the elves retreated step after step until only the southernmost part of the Forest of the Moon was safe for them. They had lost their chance at continental dominance.
“How is the situation in Central City?”
Carandia asked, delight clear in her voice. She lifted her veiled face, and light seemed to flash from her eyes and head towards Dragon City. Even as a demigod she could not see through the dragon.
“Such a powerful magic vortex. I wonder what that dragon is doing...”
Carandia’s voice lowered, shaking her head somewhat helplessly.
Sisna did not dare hide anything and informed the queen of all that she had seen and heard.
“It truly was a lost dragon…… It’s got quite the luck to have lived up till now.”
Carandia whispered in a voice that could make flowers bloom.
Sisna lowered her head, silent. She felt a sense of strangeness within her heart.
That demigod dragon should have lived for more than 30,000 years, and the queen had lived for slightly more than 10,000 years at most, but from her words, she seemed to be treating the dragon as a junior.
Sisna did not dare think about the secrets that the queen was hiding. As an elf who had only lived for a thousand years, many ancient secrets were not for her to know.
“But that dragon is really interesting. He not only understands political maneuvers but wants to personally administer a territory. How unconventional. He’s quite like the little girl in the Dragon Kingdom...”
The elf queen’s tone rang with playfulness.
Sisna did not know who the queen meant by ‘little girl’. Was it a dragon? A human? She did not bother to think about it.
“Well, we don’t have much choice. Sisna, pick out some elite soldiers and head for Dragon City. You will be the chief of command there. Remember, the city itself is vital to our interests. Even if we don’t take over it, we need to maintain a presence there. Collect whatever important information you can, and keep an eye on any shady movements the other races might be making.”
“......Oh, by the way, pick out a group from my maids of honor. Dragons are a lazy lot, so he might want some help with housekeeping. I can tell that it wants a secret alliance. Since it’s helping out as our gatekeeper, we should show some goodwill in return.”
She paused for a moment, pensive, then continued.
“But remember to take care. Although dragons are arrogant, most of the time their promises are credible. That said, if the benefits are huge enough, they could also renege on their words. Pay attention to the dragon and its contact with other races. We cannot trust it carelessly.”
The queen invested in Sisna nearly all official powers related to Dragon City. Sisna was a promising general, and this was an important opportunity to groom her.
“Yes, Your Majesty! But…… is there really no problem in having that dragon govern the city?”
Sisna respectfully answered, but hesitated for a moment and could not help ask her doubts.
“Let’s see how it goes first. If Lord Caracolon really won’t govern the place, then I will personally go to his doors and convince him to let our elven advisors help him…… Remember, although that city is not nominally under our control, we need to control it in practice. Driving off the Theocracy without a single soldier is too good to pass up.”
The elf queen’s cool declaration revealed the resourcefulness and diplomatic skills of a topmost ruler.
Sisna shivered in wonder.
The queen was worthy of living for ten thousand years. Her hands were truly powerful!
Meanwhile, in Dragon City, Louie had just finished his first evolution. Groaning, he opened his eyes.