ITDO - Chapter 70 - He Who Changed Dragon City (1)
Elven laughter rang out from the city lord’s palace. It seemed as though the city lord and his consorts were enjoying themselves. The city lord’s mirth boomed through the area in bursts as he savored his flowers.
Anyone who heard it might just take out a magical sword and strike at the evil dragon due to their jealousy. But in this empty location, there was no hero, nor was there anyone daring enough to challenge a primordial dragon.
Old John the farmer wasn’t actually old at all. He had just turned 20 and had not yet even reached the prime of his life. Nevertheless, for some reason, the people of Dragon City gave him the moniker, and it stuck.
Like the majority of San Soliel’s inhabitants, Old John belonged to the commoner class. Originally, he would rise early in the morning to plow the fields and tend the crops before returning by sunset each day. He did not have any lofty aspirations or ambitions and was more interested in getting by each day with a full stomach. And though he had no noble roots, he was a lot better off than those who lived in the slums.
Before the dragon arrived, the Theocracy had been in charge of what was once called Dragon City. Old John had gotten a lot of work from them and so was grateful, both to the Church and his ancestors for being in such a good situation. The Theocracy had treated Central City’s inhabitants especially well compared to others, at the very least the commoners could survive.
Unfortunately, the peace did not last. It was to be understood. After all, Central City was desired by countless powers. But on that fateful day, Old John saw something he never thought he would live to tell the tale about.
He remembered clearly the terror he felt on that day. Soaring in the sky, thousands of meters above the city was a titanic dragon hellbent on breaching its defenses. Wielding an impossible level of power, it shattered through Central City’s barriers and set half of the city aflame.
In the following chaos, the clergymen fled and the nobility did not even dare to pack their valuables before they escaped.
At the time, and indeed even now, Old John thought them foolish. The roads away from the city were filled with countless dangers: from bandits to monsters. By fleeing in such haste, they were making a perilous journey without adequate preparation. One didn’t need to be a genius to know how the majority of them would end up.
If this world was really safe, there wouldn’t be many people obtaining professions and becoming mercenaries. Merchants would traverse the continent without need for bodyguards, and travellers wouldn’t have to take care to avoid monster nests.
Old John knew that he could not run far. If he left the city, he would just become another corpse. Thus, he, his wife, and their two children hid in the cellar and hugged each other while shivering, hoping the dragon would ignore them.
It didn’t take long for the commotion to stop. Soldiers went from house to house to check on those who were alive. Old John and his family were lucky enough to survive with their house intact.
The soldiers who were searching the houses had bad attitudes. At first, old John inquired if the dragon had left, but he soon learned that the dragon had not left, but had in fact taken over the city and renamed it Dragon City, becoming its lord.
At that moment, old John and the citizens began to despair. The situation was as grim as could be, and survival was only a matter of days by this point. If they were unlucky, they would starve to death, and if they were lucky, they would be selected by the dragon to become its food, dying instantly.
No, a bulky man like him would definitely not be eaten by a dragon. According to the bards’ tales, dragons loved to eat princesses of human countries. They indulged in the tender flesh of little girls……. He worried that his own little daughter would soon become the dragon’s meal.
Suppressing this despair, he and his family stayed inside the house, waiting quietly for death to come. However, the outcome had exceeded everybody’s imagination.
“Honey, I’m going out to work. Is this shirt okay? I hope it isn’t too dirty.”
Old John was glowing with health and was vaguely excited about the day’s work.
He wore white handwoven clothes. He stretched out his arms and turned around to have his wife take a look.
His wife was a commoner like him, but to him she was as beautiful as a princess. She was hardworking, thrifty, and even bore him two children.
“Okay, let me see. It should be okay. John, you need to take care at work today. I and the kids will handle the chores today, so you should see us when you come back. I’ll also be working on making some things we can sell once the economic restrictions are lifted,” she patted his shoulders and added warily, “Also, make sure you don’t associate with Old Bill. He’s been cursing the lord ever since he lost his children in his flames. Make sure he doesn’t affect our family.”
“Don’t worry dear, I won’t have anything to do with him. That kind of person only eats wood chips and black bread. He doesn’t understand the greatness of the city lord. He deserves to die!” John said contemptuously.
In this world where countries and races fought against each other often, the death of family members was common. Although the survivors would lament, they would soon return to a good mood and continue to live their days. Those wandering minstrels and bards would often spin tales of revenge, but only nobles and strong people appeared in them. For the commoners, their only goal was to allow themselves and their families to continue living.
Although John sympathized with old Bill whose children had died, he did not feel anything deeper. He would never get involved with him and even felt that old Bill was stupid. It would be almost impossible to find a lord that was as wise and generous as the current city lord. By cursing such an existence, he felt that Old Bill would clearly not live for much longer.
“Dad, dad. Can we still eat soft bread and delicious meat today?”
A boy and a girl in ragged clothing ran out, drooling and looking at their father hopefully.
“Of course we can. Today, we can also eat our fill… the lord has said before, as long as you work hard, you can have bread, butter, and even meat. So you two must also grow up fast and display your loyalty to the lord, okay?”
The two children replied in a slightly confused manner.
John looked at the piece of meat they saved on the wooden table as well as the unbelievably refined wheat and gulped.
He simply could not forget those delicacies.
‘Thank you, my lord, for allowing us commoners to live a life that is the envy of nobles!’
‘Those nobles and lords that ran away... I wonder if they are now wallowing in regret!’
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