The night sky was clear. The winds had blown the stench of blood away. The corpses that remained emitted a bright light underneath the moonlight; those were the dragons’ scales. At some point in the future, the scales would become frail scrap that a passing breeze would break. Just as the once grand nation built by the dragons was gone, the scales would crumble and turn to grains of dust.
It was just another night no mistake about it, but there were corpses piled up outside. It was another night just as any other where the dragons lived together, but there were no longer many dragons alive. The entire forest was quiet. Camille silently looked at the cold land outside. Her gaze contained a complex mix of emotions. One of them was despair. She saved her race. Everything she did was for the sake of their future, yet the dragons destroyed everything they currently had with their own hands.
The dragons went extinct because they never realised the reason they were dying out. The dragons took pride in their strength, but their strength was the very factor that brought about their demise. The dragon race was greedy, and it was that greed that drove them to extinction in the end.
Camille thought to herself, “Why didn’t those dragons understand? Why didn’t they understand my painstaking efforts? I was somewhat selfish in trying to make my daughter be the one to give birth to the future of our dragon race; but nonetheless, that was for the sake of our race! Not only did they not understand my painstaking efforts, but even destroyed our future with their own hands. I put my dignity and life as a dragon on the line for this dragon egg. I did everything for this child, including resorting to vicious means without hesitation, yet all I’ve gotten from that is a crushed dragon egg.
What can I do now? Sylvanas will never agree to this. The best ending possible would be for Sylvanas to spare me, but that’s the extent of it. Sylvanas didn’t comment only out of consideration for the child; otherwise, I would’ve been strangled to death on the spot after waking Sylvanas. It really seems that I lost everything in the end no matter what I did. I’ve lost my home, my race, my child’s child, my hope and my career. Everything… it’s all gone.”
Dragons had very long lifespans, so time was the most worthless thing to them. Everything that happened would with the passage of time. Time was the most powerful thing in the world. It could heal all wounds and erase all pains. That was probably the last thing worth celebrating for Camille. In saying that, Camille had no idea when she’d forget and when she’d be able to be freed from it. Maybe a decade, maybe a century, but maybe never.
Camille slowly stood up. She looked as haggard as an ancient dragon heading to her grave. Who would’ve known how many more years of life she had left, though? She slowly went back to her house, the mountain cave. She coincidentally encountered Sylvanas, who was coming out.
“Queen Dowager Sylvanas.” Camille was meek and speechless.
Sylvanas: “You sure are out so late at night. Did you want to do something for the dragons? The dragons are dead. While dragons have remarkably strong life forces, a headless dragon can’t survive.”
“I’m sure that you still have the attitude of a dragon. I mean that you won’t be grieving over our own kin’s death for too long. They’re dead, and that’s that, but we have to continue with our future.”
Camille looked at the house. In a soft voice, she responded, “What future do we still have to speak of? It’s over. Everything is over. Everything is over.”
Sylvanas solemnly argued, “No, the future still exists. As long as my son is still alive, there will be a future.”
“What are you talking about?”
Camille jolted, and then she looked back to Sylvanas. She couldn’t believe her ears. She thought Sylvanas would certainly kill her, but Sylvanas wasn’t showing her any hostility. As a matter of fact, there was no ill-will in Sylvanas’ gaze. That was better than any preferential treatment she could imagine. Nevertheless, she was ready to face death. She drugged Sylvanas and forced Troy against his will. There was no way that Sylvanas would allow anybody to force her son into doing things, which was why Camille was at her wits end. After all, Troy made it clear he didn’t plan to betray his wives or have a child with another woman, either. Since his wives had arrived, it was even more impossible than impossible to get Troy to have a child with her daughter. Plus, his wives reacted so hostilely. Camille couldn’t fathom how she could convince Troy to have a child with Irina again.
Dragons struggled to conceive children. Nobody could say for sure if it’d be even harder for Irina to have children as a result of her injuries from the incident. If it was more difficult for her, the dragon race really wouldn’t have any future.
“What, are Sylvanas and I meant to take Irina’s place? We’re old enough to be Troy’s mother, yet we’re going to be the mother of the children in the next generation? Sylvanas, herself, would probably be unable to accept it,” thought Camille.
Little did Camille know that Sylvanas could actually do it. It wasn’t impossible for Sylvanas, though. Sylvanas could do anything for her race just as Ling Yue did it for the Moon Fox Tribe. Furthermore, Sylvanas quite liked her son. Therefore, it would come as no surprise if she did it. After all, she could save the dragon race by doing it, too. That said, Sylvanas took Troy’s feelings into consideration. Troy was a normal man. It would be hard to explain to even elves if he got into a relationship with his mother. That was something Sylvanas learnt while living in the North. There were two factions holding different opinions of him.
Sylvanas wasn’t just living for her own sake anymore nor was she able to resort to unscrupulous means for the dragon race. That was the one thing Sylvanas, herself, didn’t notice. Despite dragons having lived in the elven lands all that time, their inherent nature remained intact; they’d resort to any means to get what they wanted. Having lived in the North, nevertheless, Sylvanas had adopted elven and human traits, which was to be considerate of others around her and think about them when acting. Sylvanas didn’t intend to do that, however.
Sylvanas explained, “Irina is still alive; so is Troy. As long as they’re together, there can still be a future, a future for our dragon race. It’s all right. Elizabeth has given her approval. The main thing now is to get Troy’s approval.”
“But why…? Why…? Why…?”
“I was trying to say that you can still have a future. Irina can have a future, the future of the entire dragon race. I believe in her. Irina got pregnant once, which means she can get pregnant a second time. Your initial means of achieving your goal seriously infuriates me even now. Without the child, I really would’ve killed you by now. I forgave you out of consideration of the child. I’ve also seen hope.
The revival of the dragon race is the biggest issue to me. I’m content to have just seen the future of the dragon race today. I’m not happy about it, but since your method worked, I must give credit where it’s due. After all, the egg exists.”
“There is still hope? Will Troy accept?”
“Maybe, maybe not. Troy is a very kind and gentle child. If you sincerely plead him, he may not turn you down, except he may not acknowledge the child. His four cute daughters are his most precious treasures, after all.”
Eighteen years later…
A young man knelt down on one knee to salute the King and Queen: “Your Majesties.”
The King stood up and walked up to the young man. He helped him up and patted him on his shoulder. Consoled, he said, “Uhm, got it. I understand now. Well done. While some hiccups occurred during the job, you successfully completed the task in the end. My daughters are safe and sound. Good work.”
“Had I not mistaken the target at the beginning, it would have gone well, and everything that happened after could’ve been avoided.”
The young man found himself in somewhat of a dilemma as he looked at the King before him. His nervousness rendered him unable to speak. He was eager, but also afraid.
“It’s fine. I’m not worried about the process. It’s fine as long as the results were what we were after. It was a relatively complex job. I just want my daughter to be safe. You did a decent job, though. You deserve to be rewarded. Henceforth, you will no longer be an apprentice guard. Henceforward, you are an official member of the guard unit. You can stay by my side from now on.”
The King removed his own chest pin and placed it in the young man’s hand. He then patted the young man on the shoulder again before turning around to return to his throne. His white cloak fluttered in the wind. The young man looked at his back, feeling so eager that he nearly forgot to give his thanks.
The King didn’t make a deal out of it. He sat back down on his throne and went on, “Go see Ying tomorrow to report in. Go and have a rest now. It’s time I spend some time with my daughters now, as well.”
The King stood up and then turned to leave his throne. He headed off to the door and left. The Queen, however, dawdled. She didn’t immediately leave. Instead, she looked at the young man with a blend of expression passing his face. After hesitating, her long ears twitched: “If you want, you’re welcome to come join us at dinner tonight.”