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A Dragon’s Curiosity (Web Novel) - Chapter 96: Signing Up

Chapter 96: Signing Up

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by Chunwa

With the first light of dawn swiftly rushing through the dew filled streets of the city, Henry led Nisha towards the border between the noble district and the merchant area. Her step brother had already made a trip to the stables to visit his griffin before they set out, originally Nisha wanted to prepare a room for Accalia as well but couldn’t bear to push the little wolf outside after the adorable thing buried her head under the covers to retain the remaining body heat and avoid the rays of the sunrise falling treacherously on her head. In the end she allowed Little Lia to stay in her room while she went out, a small indulgence, nothing more. At least the dragon told herself this as the reason. Definitely not anything else.

Leaving behind his owl as well, Henry lead the pair in the direction of the academy, the path well known from his years of attending.

“Don’t you usually commute by carriage? I think lots of rich people use them inside the walls.”

As she grasped this point already, Nisha pointed out one of the passing vehicles, the two of them had to stand aside so it could pass.

“I don’t really mind walking this far, it isn’t that big of a distance to the academy from our place. And … well, I think I’m more free this way too. If I troubled one of our drivers to take me there, he’d have to wait all day until lessons finish and then for me to take me back. If I walk in the morning, I can decide my schedule myself. A trip to the common district, going out with my friends to eat, an extra lesson inside the Dungeon in case there’s a vacancy … these kinds of things, I’m not troubling anyone if I don’t adhere to my time table exactly. It’s also pretty good exercise once you get used to going to it or oversleep, I’ve run across this alley many times before.”

Rather than in a bad mood due to being separated from his new partners, he had an extra spring in his steps, wanting to arrive even a little bit earlier at the administration so he could settle the formalities and bring his beasts the next time.

“That’s a good idea, I think I will walk to the academy as well. At least not because of the oversleeping part, exercise is always good.

Rather than that, how come you go to the common district? Isn’t the Royal Academy situated in the noble area?”

Despite having heard of it, the elf had never been to the building itself before, even their path with Henry leading aimed more towards the wall dividing the common district from the noble’s, maybe she was misinformed?

Her step brother on the other hand showed understanding and explained.

“It’s really inside this section, but also in the common one.”

Blankly looking at him, she didn’t need to use words to urge him for a better excuse.

“Don’t look at me like that, it’s true. The reasons are rather historic, I’ve read about them before, it’s a good habit. Our House is rather newly founded compared to the other duke households so instead of reading about ancestors sponsoring a tavern here or falling from a watchtower there, I studied more about the city's past.”

Drawing a large arc with his hand, he indicated their surroundings.

“Before a single brick was laid in place here, there was only wide grasslands. The first king of Leandra apparently was a tribal leader first, riding on the black lions the royal family is famous for, they ruled over the steppe.

Leading his personal warriors into the cave system near the coast, an oddity, he would later be renowned as the Wise King for the decision he made.”

Disrupted by two carriages passing each other, he had to make a short interruption before Nisha could urge him to continue on, she was hooked to the story.

“As the first to step into the dungeon, this also meant it resulted in him being the first to realize the true value of being able to control the resources inside of it.

Convincing his tribe to settle down at this location, the foundation of the capital city was built on top of the hill where the palace now stands. Grass huts and a wooden palisade, that’s the origin of Thurgau, the great capital.

A name, which by the way, is a relic from the old tribal language. The Thurg, the great river, is the reason we have Thurgau today, because it means ‘City Near The River’.

Growing from there and resisting various trials, the kingdom Leandar, ‘The Lion’s Den’, eventually formed. Sadly, the trials also destroyed any records left of the first king, which led to the conclusion that we don’t even know his actual name anymore, only his title of ‘Brave King’ is left.”

Shaking his head at the tragedy, as nothing could resist the teeth of time forever, Henry paused again.

Wondering how this was related to their location, the dragon couldn’t take it anymore.

“That’s nice and I’m a fan of learning new stuff as well, but what’s the connection between the first king and the academy?”

Chuckling to himself as her impatience was justified due to him getting sidetracked, he raised his hands in defeat.

“Actually, it’s not the man himself but rather how Thurgau grew.

Imagine you are looking along the river itself and the sea. Forming a large natural bay, the right side has the hill with the growing buildings, then there’s a slight cliff on this side as well. As a harbor, the left side is naturally far more ideal. However, technology wasn’t advanced far enough yet to have a river undermine walls, which were needed to prevail against other tribes living in the area who coveted their newfound wealth due to the dungeon and settling down.

Therefore the city originally only grew on the right side, while a bridge connected them to the harbor later on. The current noble district is divided by a wall from the common district and it marks the original walls a descendant of the first king built when he established the kingdom formally and ordered the original settlement to be turned into a palace for his family and other distinguished leaders under him - the first nobles.

Withstanding the assault of enemy forces, it also has been torn down and been rebuilt several times, but the general outline is still the same.

During one of the reconstructions, a famous general under a much later descendant stepped forward and made a request which was reserved to nobles so far.”

Teasing her by keeping the suspense, Nisha could see a sturdy compound also surrounded by walls akin to the glamorous and well maintained barrier she had to cross every time she wanted to go out of the noble district. Punching him on the shoulder lightly - for her - the young man yelped before refraining from teasing her even more.

“He wished to be bestowed a land similar to how the actual city at the time was distributed among the nobles. The man in question rose from the ground up, a man of the folk and as much as a commoner as you can be. Blood was the most important thing so far, yet this general won many campaigns for the king, no matter how bleak the chances were.

When the king at the time heard the request in the palace, during court, he was inclined to agree and raise him to nobility. Afraid of being misunderstood, the general declined being bestowed a title, he wished for the land for a different purpose. Instead of relying on noble sons to lead the armies and sacrificing the commoners as they saw fit, worded much more nicely and in a non offensive way, he wished to establish a house of learning. Teaching his military experience and the ways of the court, this man wished to open the path for more common men to come in the army, valuing the lives of their comrades and bringing even more glory to the kingdom. The first academy recorded in our history.”

Leading her to a grand statue with its sword raised to the sky, Nisha almost could make the ending of the story by herself.

“What happened then? Did the king grant his request?”

Studying the features of the statue, the dragon guessed this must be the general in the story Henry told.

“As a good man under his banner, the royalty at the time was enlightened by the idea. If he could have had an army composed of men like his general, wouldn’t he be able to rule over all of the plains? He did not only grant the general his land, he bestowed him with the title of the Royal Instructor, a title to be passed down in the academy, which should be called from henceforth Royal Academy. Supported by the crown and governed by only the most capable teachers, he sent forth his own knights to teach and even sent his own children to attend once it was established.

The nobles at the time opposed to giving such honor to commoners, afraid of losing their own rights, but eventually it became a custom to have children belonging to the high and mighty to study well in the Royal Academy, as the families which did so first soon rose through the ranks and grew their estates.

This statue depicts the founder, the general, who paved the road for generations to come and forge their own honor through effort and hard work. Valor, an unwavering will and service to the kingdom, all of this is supposed to be symbolized here.”

As there was no inscription on the block supporting the icon, Nisha had to take his word for it, and she was inclined to agree. Just by gazing at the spirit captured in the sculpture, her own heart started beating faster, burning iron coursing through her body.

“Granted a large amount of land, a new wall was built around it and it became a new barrier against outside forces. The king allowed the academy to control a gate which they could use at their own discretion without having to pay a toll if they wanted to go to the dungeon. When Thurgau eventually outgrew its boundaries and enclosed the river in the middle, architecture and masonry advanced enough to produce a wall enclosing a larger area, with the academy and the former town all at once. By that time, mostly nobles owned the area around the castle itself, which gave birth to the noble district and the town outside. But the rights to the gate have never been revoked, even on this day the academy connects this area and the commoner area, building a bridge for each student to rise their status with the original intentions of the founders. It’s a piece of history I’m proud of as a citizen of Leandar.”

Revelling in the burning honor and respect she held for the general, the dragon was inclined to agree. To use his own merits as a means to care for his fellow soldiers and allow them to soar, the founder was worthy of her admiration and support for his ideals.

“I see. You can never tell, even the location alone has such a profound background. It looks like I will have many chances to learn here.”

Instead of standing around like country bumpkins during their first time in the great city, her step brother led her away when other personnel started giving them glances the moment they walked in and pointed out a few of the more noteworthy buildings.

“Yes, this account has barely scraped at the surface compared to the long history the institute has amassed over the years.

There are traditions, regulations and even a tourney held here. You’ll have time to discover them on your own while you attend. Take a look at the old building over there for example, it’s one of the oldest on the whole compound and some rumours say it’s the original building where the founder taught. Nowadays the seniors in their last year have classes there and it also houses the War Chess room.”

Chess, this term peaked her interests immensely. Having never heard of the so called War Chess, she looked at him with pleading eyes to tell her more.

“I knew you’d like this. Actually, it’s not even that much of a popular course currently, an older professor teaches it together with economics. Akin to regular chess, the board is divided in different fields, just in a bigger frame and there are more pieces to simulate a real war. I’ve hospitated the lesson once, it’s a good spectacle although there’s not that much importance placed on it. Now that I think about it, you should choose lessons freely, don’t listen to my opinion and go look at it yourself.”

With just a smile as her answer, Nisha definitely marked the building in her mind, eager to take a look at it before she made the final decision about courses.

“Let’s see, we still have some time before the admission opens for new students, I’ll show your around a bit more.”

Leading by stepping inside a corridor familiar to him, Henry led the way.

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