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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by Chunwa
Since the two sides exchanged information as much as the equal exchange allowed them, Gabriel and Bael excused themselves and bid farewell to Nisha. She sat next to the smoldering volcano mouth and submerged her senses in the armor on her lap.
The so called special bloodline spirit had yet to show any extraordinary prowess or miraculous effects, though it grew by itself and did not hamper the elf’s progress either.
Nisha pondered the black and white spirit and forgot that time was passing time until the sun rose on the horizon and a new day arrived. Another night of cultivation in her [Inner Space] came to an end.
While the elemental in question had no particular opposition to the newfound attention its master paid it, it only floated closer to the elf and inspected whatever item she picked up.
Nisha knew that there would be no immediate change and only through consistently paying attention to the little thing and finding better methods would the spirit transform into a capable helper.
When the dragon descended from the first floor, her damp hair swayed in the air and sent droplets of liquid everywhere.
With the assistance of her fire aura, she bathed in boiling water and though this water barely felt lukewarm, Nisha still had a spirited expression on her face.
Any progress was still progress. The two goddesses gave her a way forward to improve her strength and raise the little spirit at the same time.
Since Little Lia’s eggs and the armor spirit almost had the same glow and intensity and only differed in elements, they ought to be around the same level at the time they grow up.
Adding the bloodline of a dragon to that with their master-servant contract, maybe their final potential will also surpass the bounds of their species.
At the bottom of the stairs, a well aged man clad in formal attire already waited for her. The dragon had no idea how Galan knew she was getting ready for breakfast. Summer caused the sun to rise early and set late, most of the servants living in the Dharnas residence were still blissfully sleeping in their chambers except those that had to open the gate or prepare the meal in the kitchen.
Nisha had not asked anyone to prepare a bath for her and relied on herself to heat the water, yet the old butler still knew exactly when she was finished and awaited her arrival.
“Young miss, do you have any special wishes for breakfast? One of the villages under the head of the house sent a parcel with excellent ham produced by their village’s speciality, [Emerald Cows], along with other ingredients. Please do expect a great flavor from the provincial style menu, it’s rare to get such fresh groceries in Thurgau.”
He bowed his head ever so slightly and raised his hand to his chest in a formal salute. Galan did not just portray a role when he gave off the impression of a steward to others.
Servants generally had a lower status than citizens, not to mention nobles, in the hierarchy of the kingdom.
The seasoned head servant, on the other hand, shamed some of the newly anointed nobility in Leandar—his conduct and dignity were flawless.
When she first arrived in the human capital, the dragon had some misgivings about being treated as high nobility and lording over others without earning the right, but with Galan’s performance and assistance, she grew into the role of a young mistress and perfected the manners that Eldrin had taught her in the hunting ground.
Now, the elf had the confidence to step in front of the high council and king and not give a single one of them the opportunity to criticise the Dharnas house for a lack of decorum or to trap her with their words.
“Sounds good. Do we often get presents from the villages and towns belonging to the Dharnas house? As far as I know, settlements are only required to pay one tenth of their wealth to their lord every turn.”
As Galan had promised, all kinds of delicacies a perfect rustic breakfast needed rested in various places all over the table.
Nisha helped herself to a hearty portion of sausages, cheese, and bread while the butler sat in his usual spot.
The honor of sitting with their employer was by no means common for servants and employees — only through his long and excellent service had the man acquired similar prestige and rights to a family elder. The dragon hardly cared about regulations like that, but in the capital, there were very few trusted servants such as Galan.
“Young miss is right, there is no need to offer materials as well. However, there are many offerings anyway. They express their thanks to the late lord Eldrin, who built all the villages and founded the towns, in their own way.”
Coming from Galan it did not sound like a big deal. Nisha perked up though, as she had no idea that her grandfather had so many admirers.
Quickly eating her meal, she asked the butler to elaborate.
“You might not fully know about the distribution of the noble families, so let me start with a wider scope.
Thurgau is the westernmost city on the continent and the coastline runs southeast and northeast along the bay formed by the river delta.
If you continue south, there are the twin kingdoms and the frozen tundras of the south, which house the [Whitehall] family forces and their subordinates. There are many mountains, mines, and related resources scattered there. It’s not the most fertile land, but the raw materials unearthed every moon make up a sizeable amount.
Then there’s the east, which has many forests, water sources, and wild game. The [Silverwood] family earned their name thanks to the rare wood materials and fine products they carve out of them. The family is closer to the Wilderness but makes additional income thanks to that.
To the north is the [Blackburn] property. The endless steppes and green fields run all the way to the northern desert, where they import rare products from the nomad tribes and transport them through the fields that make [Leandar] the most prosperous granary among all the kingdoms.
Raising domesticated monsters as livestock and farming on the open pastures, this marks their vast land.
House [Sheridan] is special. The elves did not originally live in this kingdom and claimed the [Crescent Moon Island] and all the other small isles along the coast. If you have the chance to visit the elven forest on the main island, you should definitely make the trip. It’s a wonderful land.”
When Galan spoke of the wonders and temptation, his usually composed face showed a dreamy glaze over his eyes.
“Anyway, the three major houses surrounding the capital claimed the east, south, and north for themselves when the late lord established his dukedom. The king himself asked Lord Eldrin whether he wanted to open up a part of the Wilderness with the help of the royal army, but Lord Eldrin declined. Instead of building a massive territory on the blood and tears of countless subjects, he split his land in two and occupied the fringe territory between the major houses. Shaped like two triangles, this arrangement made the kingdom more closely connected and created trade routes that did not rely on the main roads.
The late lord personally founded many villages in important and strategic locations and spent his own fortune to help them develop faster and send their young to the bigger cities belonging to other houses so they may foster a generation competent in administration and development.
This in turn meant that the lord himself lived in meager circumstances for many turns and invested every single gold coin he had to allow their children to have better lives.
Older folks among the city councils and village elders still remember the grace that the lord had shown them and pass the tales along to make sure this favor is not forgotten.
And whenever there is a surplus from the harvest or some produce left over, they send it to the mansion to express their thanks.
As far as I know, the late head of the house is considered a figure of legend and at night, the children include him in their prayers.
It is my pride to have served Lord Eldrin.”
With these words, Galan’s back became straight as a rod and the constraints of time seemed to no longer hold him.
His presence radiated outwards like a sharp sword and the dignity he represented was not lesser than that of any noble in the royal court.
The gleam of his presence vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Gathering the empty plates, the butler was just an old man again.
“That’s amazing! I knew grandpa built this house by himself, but I did not know that he also did a lot of charity in order to get the [Dharnas] name to where it is now.”
“Yes, I always admired Sir Eldrin’s magnanimity. Just like he took me in and gave me a purpose in life, he also created a great number of opportunities for unfortunate citizens and turned their life around.
Another great example of his generosity is an anecdote from the time when the late lord had just arrived in the capital and took me in for a few moons.
If you’d like to accompany me for a while, I could tell you the story.
Granted that you are interested, of course, young mistress.”
The deliberate attempt to rouse her attention intrigued the elf.
Galan could have stopped after explaining the origin of the gifts, yet he deliberately continued and gave her a hint about Eldrin’s past deeds.
Whether or not he wanted her to learn more about her late grandfather out of pure kindness or he had another goal in telling the story, she did not know yet.
Either way, there were no downsides to listening to his story. The dragon still had to plan the schedule for the day and it could wait a little longer in any case.
“Please do go on, Galan. I’m very interested in any ideas regarding a business, since I already decided to support Annabelle and Lydia in their endeavor to found a merchant house.
My experience with the trade is woefully lacking though, so I can only benefit from your past practices and knowledge.”
To successfully lead a business, one needed an ample amount of knowledge in all areas—a good amount of social grace to make the needed connections, the ruthlessness of a cold blooded animal to prevail against the competition, and a dash of luck to take on risky ventures that yield massive capital.
Just as Annabelle and Lydia were doing their best to acquire the necessary skills, the dragon elected to take this chance to learn from the butler’s expertise.
And a story would make a great accompaniment to her sandwich; the man had not promised too much when he said that it was the best that the villages had to offer.
“Alright, I shall commence then. As you know, your grandfather arrived here as an immigrant after the [Great Elven Forest] had been destroyed and originally sought refuge with some of his relatives. They resided with his kin from the [Sheridan] clan that had left about two or three hundred turns earlier and settled here.
Unfortunately, they had already left to seek out another place without leaving a word about their final destination.
So your grandfather had nothing to his name but the claim of another nation’s nobility and what he carried on him.
To his credit, he did not insist on getting it recognized and instead applied to work as a court magician.
Elves are often called forest children and he already had high attainments in magic related to nature. He proved to have sufficient skills to enjoy very good treatment and even became a close friend of the deceased king. Of course, that happened later on.”
Nisha nodded and recalled the conversations she had shared with the old man. Eldrin often chatted with the dragon in her original form and later on with the three girls—maybe as a way to stave off the loneliness in the empty house.
The elf was first driven out from his birthplace by his brother; the entire place fought over the few resources left when the domain faced destruction, but had yet to completely break down.
Not long after he left, the forest burned down and the entire elf population on the continent no longer had an ancestral ground they could return to and pay respect to nature.
“Coming from a noble and mercantile background, the late master did try to establish a place for himself in [Leandar] as well.
I had followed him for several moons already and under his guidance started on the path of cultivation. As a street urchin, I had never believed that I still had the chance to embark on the road to power.
You might not know, but I grew up on the streets here, with no kin or friends. Hence, serving the late master was not a chore, but rather a joy.
Anyway, to come back to the topic at hand.”
The old butler looked rather embarrassed at this point as he might have said a bit more than he originally intended.
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