Dragon Masters needed Patrons. That was a stone-cold fact.
Even a small dragon was expensive to keep feeding.
If you were in the military, you might spend all of your wages and be able to cover it. But if that were the case, for what reason were you working? Why were you risking your life in battle?
We didn’t become Dragon Masters so we could spend all of our time paying for dragon food.
That’s where the support of the patrons came from. But to be honest, the matter troubled me.
As Marty said, saying ‘okay’ to the first offer you got was bound to lead to trouble later on.
After all, this was a decision that could affect the rest of your life.
“On the other hand, you can’t just refuse to pick anyone either.”
At the end of the day, you needed financial aid in order to keep your dragon.
Even a reasonably high-paying job outside of the military would not be enough.
Everyone said that the patrons were the best solution.
Land-owning nobles and rich merchants saw it as an investment.
Nobles were seen as especially desirable patrons, because of the income they received from their lands.
But on the other hand, they often fought with other nobles, which could complicate things if you also decided to stay in the army. Ark had told me about this.
“These nobles want to use Dragon Masters to show off. They don’t understand us at all.”
He said angrily.
Being a Dragon Master was the most glamorous occupation in Ryukoku, but in a way, you were a slave to your financial concerns.
“Considering all of that, I would be better off with a merchant.”
Merchants with especially large businesses had ridiculous amounts of money.
It was not rare for a merchant to boast about how feeding a dragon was nothing to them.
Being the patron of a Dragon Master made you more trust-worthy and was good insurance.
And so many merchants were desperate to have a Dragon Master.
Still, when you considered how such relationships would last for ten or twenty years, it became clear that there were disadvantages as well.
As the country oversaw the system, you could not just change your patron or have multiple ones.
And while there were occasionally ‘stray patrons’ who financed a Dragon Master without going through the official channels, such people were usually suspected of being spies and would be subject to intense investigation.
As a Right Hand, I had investigated such merchants myself.
For instance, if it was known that a registered patron fell on hard times, people would immediately start to wonder if the Dragon Master had a ‘stray patron.’
After all, there were villains who secretly supported Dragon Masters so they would owe them a debt. And they would eventually try to get them to defect.
Of course, such plans were immediately exposed.
“Well, whatever will be will be.”
At worst, I could just ask the queen to introduce me to someone good.
It was hard to imagine that there could be no one at all who was fitting.
“Oh, I better leave soon.”
Thinking about the queen had reminded me. Today, I was to put my plan into action and smoke out these Grass Snakes.
And to do that, I needed to prepare.
“I should be able to finish…by midday.”
I walked and left the school grounds.