Thane and Marty had completely opposite views.
And yet they seemed quite close.
“What’s the hardest thing about being free?”
I was curious to know the opinion of someone who was ahead of me.
“Well, probably securing food for your dragon. It will cost you a lot every year. So you’ll probably need a good patron in order to make it. Of course, if you’re not in the army, then your patron will have a stronger influence. It’s hard to balance getting the food while not being controlled by your patron.”
Dragons ate a lot.
Even a small dragon would eat a whole cow in 15 days.
That would be quite expensive.
The price of a cow was equal to that of a whole year’s wages for work that didn’t require special skills, such as a clerk.
There were also other things you needed to keep a dragon.
They required fresh straw to sleep on.
They also needed a place to exercise and you also had to wipe their bodies with a high-quality oil.
You would also have to hire someone to take care of them every day after you graduate.
Even if you had a small dragon, it would be very unlikely that you could earn enough money by yourself to take care of it.
That’s why it was important to find someone to help you financially.
And so that was where patrons came in.
“Did you get a patron, Marty?”
“My family is going to help me.”
“That’s…uh, your family must be very rich.”
You wouldn’t have to worry about money if you had a patron.
On the other hand, you would have to do various personal favors.
It was considered an honor to be the patron of a Dragon Master.
And so there were many people who wanted that honor.
If you were trying to break into a new market, and you said, ‘I happen to be the patron of a Dragon Master,’ then people would reply, ‘ah, you must run an incredibly successful business.’
If you were competing with another merchant for a contract, the one who was the patron of a Dragon Master would have a great advantage.
And so merchants who were patrons of Dragon Masters earned such benefits.
Furthermore, they were also able to make ‘little requests.’
This may involve allowing them to ride on the dragon when traveling to an important business meeting, or having the dragon displayed at a party.
Such requests were seen as being within the boundary of what was more than acceptable. And the country allowed such things as long as the requests did not deviate from this.
“If your family are merchants, you being a Dragon Master should do wonders for the business. For instance, if you had a flying dragon, trips that would take days by carriage would be much faster.”
Dragon Masters who were not in the military received no aid from the country, which meant that the financial burden for the merchant would be very great.
Still, people rarely complained, as long as the Dragon Masters fulfilled their part of the bargain.
“It must be because of the Dragon Master Dark Age.”
Ark said. I looked at him with a puzzled expression.
“What? Dragon Master Dark Age? What’s that?”
“It was a time when the country had total control over the Dragon Masters. It was a long, long time ago. Are you interested?”
Ark said with a mischievous grin.
This didn’t seem like a good time and place to say yes.
I thought as I looked towards Marty.
“Ah, the Dragon Master Dark is the…”
“Hey! Hey! Hey! I wanted to tell it!”
Ark said frantically. Marty chuckled.
If he wanted to say it so badly, he should just say so.