Snoring filled the barn with the sound of its echoing noise as the young man slept in the hay. He was a stout boy, 17 years of age, a rather normal build, light skin, with very prominent crow’s
feet on his eyes, but what stuck out the most was the color of his eyes, one almost pitch black one golden yellow. Although they couldn't be seen from the angle that the farmer, Harth, was standing
at, he smirked diabolically while he stood over the man with a spoon and pot.
Banging filled the Barn as Harth slammed the spoon against the pot over and over again.
“Drakin get up you fool you going to be late again!” screamed Harth as the boy shot up like an arrow, bit of hay sticking out of his hair.
“Sorry Harth, you know how easy it is to fall asleep on a rainy day..." Drakin replied, yawning continually
"Just get out of my barn and get back to work you damned fool, and don't let me catch you sleepin’ in my barn again you idiot! One of these days Darricks going to get sick of your laziness.” scolded Harth as Drakin bolted out as herememberedhe wassupposedto be working at the sword smiths that day.
"That fool..." Harth quietly whispered as started shoveling the hay into his wheelbarrow, "every damn rainy day I find that idiot sleeping in my hay doingabsolutelynothing when he's supposed to be workin' over there with Darick learnin' how to forge. I wish his damn parents had never ditched him on my doorstep when he does stupid things like this." He thought to himself proud to be the caregiver of such a fine boy no matter what he said to himself.
Drakin's barreled down the road headingtowardsthe forge where he could see Darick tapping his footimpatiently..
"So, was it the pot or a scolding today." Darick jokingly asked as Drakin imeidiatly set to work in the forge.
"Both, he felt it was necessary to remind me I had to work today, which you know he didn't cause I'd never forget about work."
"Of course you wouldn't," Darick repliedsarcastically. “Truthfully I don't care why you’re late, just get to work. It's already midday and you need to get at least order finished today otherwise I
may be forced to withhold you pay for today slacker.” Darick said with a evil grin crossing his face.
“Who you callin' a slacker, you old goat?! I don’t see you doing any work!” Drakin snidely replied.
“That’s cause I’m paying you to do it you. Just get to work and finish todays order and you’ll get your pay, don’t worry,” Darick half-jokingly replied.
The glowing steel rang as Drakin beat and folded the metal into the familiar shape of a sword. As he shaped the sword he sung the songs of strength that Darick had taught him over the years to bless the sword with strength and power, for even at his age Drakin was well known for his swords, mostly due to the fact that almost warrior in the village carried one of his creations. Darick himself only worked on an order if it was for an important client, he thought of himself as an artist and believed only those willing to shell out the extra coin should receive one of his creations.
“How’s it going in there, Drakin?” Darick lazily called from his porch in front of the forge.
“Well enough, it’s not as nice as the sword I crafted last week for Baronth sadly. I’m still not sure how I crafted such a beautiful sword.” Darick giggled from outside
“It might be the fact you were trying to impress Baronth’s daughter with your fancy smithyness.” Darick yelled in at Drakin.
“Smithyness? Really?” Drakin replied as he tried to suppress his laughter.
“It was the only word I could come up with at the moment, there wasn’t a word I could think of that seemed to fit.” Darick called back.
“You’re getting so lazy you’re makin’ up words now instead of speakin’ properly!” Drakin jokingly yelled back.
“Aye you be right about that, plus I think I be getting lazy enough that I’m going to take a nap while you finish your work!” Darick groggily yelled through the doorway
“Ah come on boss the only thing more boring than talkin to you is listen to you snore!” but Drakin’s call was too late as the irritating sound of Darick’s deep snore rolled in through the door way like a rolling thunderstorm.
“I’ll never understand how he falls asleep so fast.” Drakin whispered to himself as he set himself back to work.
The water almost instantly boiled from Drakin throwing his finished creation into the cold barrel of water. It was a steel, one and half handed blade. It was a flawless blade except where Drakin scratched his forgers mark in to the hot steel. It was a well-balanced blade but Drakin was not happy with it for he could feel how it was slightly heavier at the base of the blade than at the top which was the exact opposite of what he wanted. He wasn’t concerned though because the country was in a time of peace as of late. The republics army’s had been pushed back by the Emperor and he had cut off the Dragon’s and Capricorn empire back to their respective peninsulas with the help of the Elves and Dwarves.
“Boss!” Drakin called out the door holding the word until he ran out of breath. When that didn’t work he walked to the door next to which Darick was asleep in his favorite walking chair. Drakin in a moment of mischievousness shove Darick’s chair forward and then ducked back inside. He heard a loud thump and then some angry words being spoken underneath Darick’s breath.
“You okay Boss? And if you are I got something to tell you.” Drakin called out making sure to mask his laughter with a cough.
“Aye, I’m fine boy! What do you want?” Darick grumpily mumbled as he rubbed his head.
“I’m finished, that’s all, boss.” Darick peeked around the edge of the doorway with a face covered in the look of sarcastic surprise.
“Finished!? You actually did your work?” Darick said in a voice laced thoroughly with sarcasm.
“Of course I finished you goat! I always do, why do we go through this every day?” Drakin complained.
“The only reason we go through this every day is because it annoys you dear boy that’s my only reason!” Darick happily replied as he threw his arm over Drakin’s shoulder.
“Here let me see that blade you’ve made.” Darick said as he took the sword off of Drakin’s work bench. He stepped outside the forge and swung the blade with the skill of someone who had been working with blades their entire life. The blade was silent as Darick swung it faster and faster through the air, spinning it like the magicians that hung around the villages square.
“It’s a good blade all and all, a little bottom heavy, but over all a good blade. It’ll be just fine for hackin’ and killin’ for whoever the solider that gets this sword is.” He said as he handed Drakin back the sword. “Now I think it’s time you head home. Make sure not to be late tomorrow.” He said jokingly as he tossed Drakin a small bag filled with that day’s pay, plus a little extra because he felt bad for teasing Drakin so much.
The stone path made a clacking sound as Drakin walked back to Harth’s house. Harth was as close to family as Drakin had in the world. He was an orphan, although he had never been without a home thanks to Harth. Harth had told him about the night he found Drakin on his porch. It was a couple months after a pair of travelers had come through town and settled, the travellers being Drakin’s parents. Harth had only described them as a man with blonde hair, golden eyes, and a glowing tan and a women Hair as black as coal, eyes as dark as a raven’s feathers, but the feeling of love that came off those two was intoxicating to anyone around them. Harth had told him many times about how kind they had been to everyone. But what Harth refused to tell Drakin was why they had left Drakin with Harth. Unfortunately Harth said nobody in the village had gotten to know them well enough to learn their names, for they lived on the outskirts of the village with a little fruit farm.
He had been disappointed that no one knew their names, for when he was under the tutelage of town’s mage; he had master scrying rather quickly. Scrying being the art of being able to look and speak to someone through a reflective surface if you knew their name. Sadly due to safety concerns, the Emperor’s Arch-mages had placed a very powerful spell over the kingdom so you could only scry the people with their permission.
He thought about all these things as he walked down the road while practicing a new spell used to levitate things on a small rock.
“Drrrraaaaaaky!” Rang a young lady’s voice from behind Drakin. As he turned around, he matched the voice with face of Lord Baronth’s daughter Koralina instantly, for no one else called him Draky. He gathered his thoughts, and immediately went into what Koralina jokingly referred to as his polite mode. They had been friends for many years, but he was extremely polite to her in public as first off she was a lady secondly she was the granddaughter of the Emperor.
“Yes, my lady? What is it?” Drakin called out as he turned to face her.
“What are you up to Draky? Doing anything tomorrow night?” She melodiously called to him as she continued to run towards him.
“No, my lady. Why do you ask?” Drakin replied curious as to why she asked
“Well, because I wanted to know if you would escort me to the village square dance tomorrow,” she excitedly asked him.
“Did you ask your father if it was alright?” he asked, rather worried that she hadn’t.
“Of course, Draky! You know I wouldn’t do that to you! Or do you really think of me so insensitively?” she asked, with a sad lip stuck out so far it seemed one could balance a glass on it Drakin thought.
“Of course not, my lady, but I wouldn’t trust myself to gain your father’s approval myself.” He said smiling apologetically; hiding his amusement at her attempts to make him laugh. “As you know, I’m rather well known as a klutz through the village, and I didn’t think he would approve of me with so many other fine men throughout the village,” Drakin politely replied.
“Other fine men? Surely you jest!” she said in her normal dramatic tone. “You’re the only respectful man in the entire village! You must notice how all the ladies fawn over you and how all the lads give you deathly stares from their balcony’s!” she said in a mockingly shocked voice..”
“Actually, my lady, I’m far too oblivious to notice such trivial things as death stares, and I’m too great of a gentleman to pay attention to the lady’s fawning, he proudly stated.
“Hopefully, you’re not too gentlemanly for me, my good sir,” she jokingly replied.
“Of course not, my lady! I am whatever you wish me to be, you know this very well,” He said, trying to pick his words carefully to sound as regal as possible.
“Well then, if you are whatever I wish you to be, you shall be my escort tomorrow, my good sir!” Koralina replied in a very dignified tone.
“As you wish, my lady.” Drakin replied with a short honorable bow.
“Good! Tomorrow, my doorway, sunset, is where and when you shall meet me Draky.Plus you know Grandfather would never let anyone go with me besides you he still considers himself in you debt!” she called as she turned and started running back towards the village. “
“I shall be there, my Lady Koralina! But please tell the Emperor he owes me nothing I just did what had to be done.”!” he yelled rather proud of himself, He was surprised at how he handled her surprise invite. The two burst into laughter as soon as they were out of each other’s earshot for they thought it hilarious how polite they had just acted even though they were childhood friends.
Tapping was the only sound to be heard in Harth’s home as he tapped his fingers on the table wondering what could possibly be keeping Drakin at this time.
“He’s never late for dinner! What could he possibly have gotten himself into this time?” Harth grumbled to himself. He picked up the spoon that he carried for good luck. He drifted into memories of his travels in the Great War and how that spoon had been with him the whole time.
A mage had put a charm on it for him during a battle as it was the closest thing they could grab as the arrows fell about them.
His thoughts were interrupted as the door squeaked. Drakin walked in with his usual drowsy look about him.
“I’m sorry that I’m late, Harth. Lady Koralina surprised me on my walk home.” Drakin apologetically said.
“What could Lady Koralina possibly have wanted with you?” Harth said with mock curiosity.
“She invited me to the village square’s dance tomorrow, asked me if I would be her escort.” Drakin replied mocking a surprised tone.
“You said yes, didn’t you? You’d better have said yes!” Harth bellowed as he tried to startle Drakin out of his chair and succeeded. For it was a game between them to scare each other.
“Of course I said yes! She’s been my best friend since were seven!” He said as if it wasn’t obvious that he said yes. “ There’s no way I could tell her no. Plus she said the Emperor still considers himself in my debt still.” Drakin, said trying to hold his laughter in as Harth repeatedly poked him with his spoon.
“If I found out you said no, I’ll gut you, and not with a knife! I’ll do it with this spoon!” Harth said, in a voice that sounded extremely serious, but couldn’t be taken seriously.
“You know, he might name you a knight or something! He knows lady Koralina is infatuated with you, and she’d never be able to marry you unless you had a title of some sort seeing as she’s the emperor’s granddaughter!” Harth said, as he continued to poke Drakin with his spoon.
“You know I’m not interested in her like that. I never could be! She’s my best friend!” Drakin said, rather shocked.
“Aye, I know, but that doesn’t mean she can’t like you like that…. Draky,” Harth said with a sly devilish smile.
“How did you know she calls me that?!?” Drakin yelled back rather irritated and embarrassed at this point.
“The whole village knows, you fool!” Harth said, before breaking into a fit of laughter.
“Oh shut up! You sound like a prairie cat! Let’s just eat our dinner and hit the hay.” Drakin said in a rather whiney voice. “I’m drained from work at the forge.”
“You won’t be hitting any of my hay! You’ll be sleepin in that bed of yours, not my horse’s food!” Harth replied in a sarcastic voice.
“You know what I meant, you goat!” Drakin irritantly grumbled across the table.
“What’s with all the animal comparisons as of late?! You’re getting less and less creative lately!” Harth said in a voice purely meant to irritate.
Back and forth the two grumbled and bellowed jokingly at each other through their meal of stew and bread until the hour was late and their stomachs were full, and they were so tired they more fell into their beds than crawled into them.
“Goodnight, Harth,” Drakin called down from the loft in which he slept.
“Goodnight, Draky,” Harth whispered proud of himself, and proud of his son, but mostly proud of how much he could annoy Drakin with the name Draky.
The next morning, Drakin prepared his suit and ceremonial sword for the square’s annual festival. Drakin looked at himself in the mirror, admiring the suit his father had given him. “How did you afford this, Harth?” Drakin called out curiously.
“Well, would you prefer to hear that I spent the money you hide in the rafters to buy it, or that I got it as a present for you with the money I saved up for it?” Harth called from the kitchen.
“The latter, but how did you know where I’ve been hiding my money?” Drakin called out, rather worried that this whole time Harth had been taking his coin.
“Well the fact is that I went to hide my money there and just happened across yours! And don’t worry, I haven’t been spending yours. I’ve had no need to.” Harth called back.
Drakin looked out to see where the sun was in the sky since they did not own a sundial to tell the time or one of the mages ingenious time telling devices.
“It looks like it’s time for me to start walking to Lady Koralina’s house…” he didn’t hear a reply so he called out, “Did you hear me, Harth?”
“Aye, aye, I heard you my boy, but instead of walking why not take Lightbeam?” Harth called happily.
“But Harth, that’s your finest horse. I could never ride Lightbeam, for worry I might dirty his golden mane!” Drakin cried out in a rather dramatic voice.
“Just take the damn horse already you fool and don’t forget to put on your sword! You must look proper for the Lady!” Harth called out as he grunted, obviously having trouble getting his pants on in the other room.
“Too much lunch today, Father?!” Drakin teasingly called out to Harth.
“Just get your sword and my horse and get out of my house! Get to Lady Koralina’s.” He yelled out in an agitated voice.
“I’m going, I’m going, don’t worry!” Drakin said as he stepped into the stable looking very strapping in his suit and looking extremely dignified with his favorite blade strapped to his waist. As he walked down to Lightbeam’s stall he couldn’t help but feel admiration for his father’s fine horses. There were three of them, one as white as snow, one as black as midnight, and the third Lightbeam golden like that for which it is named. He hopped up on to Lightbeam, for Harth had already saddled and dressed him in advance, to Drakin’s surprise. The banner which covered Lightbeam was a crest he did not recognize, but he really was not interested in it at the moment as he needed to get to Koralina’s house quickly.
The horses steps were the only sound Drakin worried himself with as he rode up in front of Lord Baronth’s house. He dismounted and tied off Lightbeam to the house’s hitching post.
He knocked on the door three times as he stood in front of the door waiting for someone to open the door.
“Coming,” rang a deep strong voice from the inside of the house that Drakin easily identified as Lord Baronth’s.
“No! I wish to answer the door, father! It’s most likely Drakin! It is only proper I answer the door for my guest.” Koralina called from the upper part of the house. Drakin sighed in relief as she didn’t call him Draky in front of her father.
“No,” Called Lord Baronth “I will answer door, as it is my house, and your guests are my guests firstly!”
“But Father!” Koralina whined closer to the door than last time Drakin heard her.
“No, I’m answering the door,” said Lord Baronth from the other side of the door. The door flew open silently and quickly as Baronth pulled it open to see who was knocking. Baronth was a tall man, rather round but still more muscular.
“Drakin! You’re fashionably early, my boy!” Baronth cheerfully stated, looking well fed with his stately stomach. “Come in come in! There’s someone I wish for you to meet, my boy!”
Curiosity instantly swept over Drakin. “Who is it, my Lord?” he asked.
“You shall see, you shall see. That is, if Koralina ever gets down here!” Baronth bellowed up the grand steps of his house.
“I’ll be there in a minute father! Be patient!” Koralina yelled from her room.
“Ai yi yi,” Baronth whispered under his breath. “Well, my boy, let me introduce you to my father. He’s come to enjoy the village dance!” Baronth cheerfully exclaimed.
“Your father!? The Emperor?!! I’m not worthy of such an honor, my Lord!!” Drakin exclaimed, excited but worried at the same time. He knew the Emperor felt he was in debt to Drakin but he didn’t
want the Emperor try and pay him back for he was content with all that he owned already.
“Dear boy, you are more worthy than anyone, not only for your deeds and humility, but your bloodline is an amazing one.” Baronth said comforting Drakin the best he could, even though the bloodline comment confused him terribly.
“Did you know my parents?” Drakin asked, guessing from the bloodline comment that he did.
“Yes, yes, but I have no right to tell you, nor does anyone besides Harth. He’ll know when it’s time for you to know, my boy, he’ll know,” Baronth stated calmly.
“As you wish, my Lord.” Drakin said, eyes lit with the flame of curiosity at the fact that Harth did know his parents.
“I’m reeady,” called Koralina from the top of the stairs. Drakin looked to the top of the steps to be greeted by what he momentarily thought was a sky goddess. She wore a dress as blue as the sky,
with hair as white as the clouds and eyes as green as the freshest grass.
“Wow,” Drakin sputtered as he ineffectively tried to get words to come out.
“You look lovely, my dear!” Baronth called out, obviously proud of his daughter and her amazing looks.
“Come Drakin, you must meet Grandfather! He will be so happy to finally meet you!” Koralina said excitedly as she grabbed his hand and dragged him towards her living room.
“Why what did you tell him about me?” Drakin said curiously.
“What wouldn’t I, Draky? You’re my best friend! Besides, he knew of you after that incident with me and the horse, remember?” she replied with a huge smile “Ever since then he’s made sure to keep
his eye on you.” Drakin smiled back; for she meant the moment they met.
“Come in,” said a deep, voice from Baronth’s living room.
“Grandfather, this is Drakin, my best friend!” Koralina said with the giddiness of a young child.
“So, Koralina, this is your legendary sword smith…” the Emperor quietly spoke. “Come forward boy! Let me get a good look at you, who my granddaughter so favors.”
Drakin stepped forward as regally as he possibly could, so as to try and impress the Emperor.
“Hmm...” sighed the Emperor, “yes, yes I see the resemblance...” he whispered to himself, so quietly no one besides Drakin would ever have heard. “Come here, boy, and let me see that sword you carry on your belt.”
Drakin stepped forward pulled out his sword, knelt before the emperor and handed it to him (for he was doing his best to be polite). Drakin’s sword was a black sword, shaped like a curving flame
with streaks of gold in the shapes of leaves caressing the sides of the blade. The guard was in the shape of a dragon so as to make it look as if the sword was being blown from the dragon’s mouth.
The handle looked like the body of the great dragon curving down to a two handed hilt but with the weight of a one handed sword. He had made this sword in his free time the past year for he felt a
normal sword would never please him as much as one made for the love of art.
“You know I owe you still for that day.” The Emperor said quietly
“You owe me nothing, I did what anyone else would have done.” Drakin replied respectfully.
“Obviously you’re not going to accept any material gift I would give you, so how about this. Recently a Count of the northern provinces passed away without anyone to take his place.” He said stopping for a moment to think, “How would you like a title my boy?”
“There are many more than me who deserve a title milord, and many who would be unhappy to share a title with me.” Drakin replied in a diplomatic tone as he tried to prove himself unworthy.
“Ah, but none so humble as yourself, my lad. You are more than worthy. Besides, it’s just a title, my boy, so that those around you know how kind you are.” The Emperor continued in his wise voice.
“Bow your head, Drakin. I wish to name you with this beautiful sword…” the Emperor said it so stern but kind that Drakin did not even think about it as Koralina stood off to the side, smiling with her father, who was leaning on the doorway with a great grin across his face as he puffed on his pipe.
“Drakin, Great sword smith, Man of the Light and Shadow eyes, Descendent of the Raven and the Griffin, Rise with the title of Count for thou hast this title as a birthright and you have earned this title with your deeds.” The Emperor spoke with such an authority as he named Drakin tapping each of his shoulders with his blade that Drakin felt as if there was a great weight upon his shoulder. “Rise, young swordsmith, Count Drakin. Live with your title proudly and honorably,” the Emperor said, with a great big grin taking over his face.
“Grandfather, we’re going to be late if you don’t hurry!” Koralina whined in a rather funny voice while drawing out her words.
“Okay, I understand. My dear, take the young Count and enjoy your evening!” the Emperor said in a joyful voice as he handed Drakin back his sword.
“Goodbye, milords.” Drakin said as he bowed to the Emperor and Lord Baronth.
“Goodbye Count…” the Emperor whispered to himself as Drakin walked out the door being dragged by Koralina.
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