It went without saying, but the strength of Ryukoku lay in the existence of Dragon Masters.
Dragons were the strongest of beasts.
Their vitality was so high that their wounds would heal completely with enough time.
And it was these tough dragons that helped greatly in the development of the country.
So it was no wonder that other countries wanted these powerful dragons for their own.
However, that could not be.
Because those who lived far away from the Holy Dragon Gate could not acquire a dragon.
This had been investigated thoroughly in the past, and they knew where that borderline was.
This circular area that spread around the Holy Dragon Gate was called the Dragon Mark Limit.
Even within Ryukoku, Crowselt in the north, and Churis in the south were outside of the boundary.
But the other remaining great cities were all inside of the boundary.
Because of this, people from Shoukoku often moved to Sol. And people from Makoku moved to Uruth. Many immigrated just for the chance of having a dragon.
It was all for money.
If they could acquire a dragon and return to their country, they would be guaranteed to become rich.
“Of course, it’s not so easy.”
You had to be chosen by the dragon. In other words, you had to receive the Dragon Mark.
And the mark only appeared on people who had lived here for over 10 years.
Furthermore, it only appeared on children. And so while many people moved with their families in hopes that their child might receive the mark, it was usually too late.
The chances were incredibly low. It was 1 in 1,000 or 2,000. And so there were not many dragons owned by the other countries.
Nearly everyone in Ryukoku looked up to the Dragon Masters.
And so there were hardly any who would defect after acquiring a dragon.
“And, yet there are people who get the Dragon Mark who don’t even want it.”
Ultimately, I felt like the whole thing was a gamble.
Once the mark appeared, you had no choice but to become a Dragon Master.
That meant you had to spend the rest of your life fighting the Moon Beasts that fell from the Shadowmoon Road.
Regardless of my prior ambitions, once the mark appeared, my life was decided for me.
“The rest of my life…will be spent obeying the Queen’s orders.”
It was probably useless, but I might still ask, ‘please allow me to be a baker and assassination who occasionally works as a Dragon Master.’
After all, she might just agree to it.
No. That was ridiculous.
As I continued through the underground waterway by Shadow Crossing, I came to the split path that father had told me about.
Going down this one would take me below the castle.
So I was probably under the resident’s district now.
Things had gone very smoothly so far.
The problem was the magic barriers that were set up. But I would probably be fine.
Normal detection barriers were not effective when Shadow Crossing.
Now, if it did detect me, the person who set it up would be alerted.
And if I wasn’t aware that I had been detected, I could be surrounded by a swarm of assassins before I knew it.
This was not a good place to have to kill others of my kind.
“Surely, I’ll be fine.”
When Shadow Crossing, the outside world became a blur.
It was like looking through a thin veil.
And so I didn’t notice it.