What was that? I’ve never heard of it before.
“Berzen Lucustra, who was only a general at that time, murdered the king. And he took control of the government.”
“Yes, the current dynasty. From what I understand, they do have the blood of the founding royal family, but he was just a general who wasn’t part of the succession. Though, they say he was a good fighter. I suppose that’s how he usurped the throne.”
The Queen’s face popped up in my mind.
Her ancestors had usurped the throne? I hadn’t known that history.
“Well, such things were not too uncommon back then. In any case, King Berzen rebuilt the kingdom rapidly. And this was when the country was ravaged by the fight with the Moon Beasts and with Makoku. There was hardly any food and so they would surely have suffered a famine if the war continued.”
“So, this king called Berzen led Ryukoku to victory in the war?”
“No. Makoku wasn’t in a good state either. Like Ryukoku, they also had to battle the Moon Beasts. But there was one thing that separated the two countries. At the time, the Shadow Moon Road went through the south side of Makoku, while it went through the center of Ryukoku. So, the damage to Ryukoku would be worse, right?”
“I see. It was before the Great Transfer.”
Unlike now, the Shadow Moon Road was farther to the south.
“No matter how hard they tried, it should have been Ryukoku that collapsed from the damage. However, there was a small tribe of people that lived in the mountains known as the ‘People of the Mist,’ who caused a rebellion. This was much to Makoku’s surprise. They would not have expected a group of shepherds to suddenly raise their standard against them.”
“I never heard of them.”
“You know that medicine you have to take to become a magician? It’s the People of the Mist who gather it. Though, they have since united with Makoku, and do not exist as their own tribe.”
“I see… So, Makoku was taken by surprise. And then they suspended the war?”
“Something like that. It was impossible to continue a war with two threats when you also had the Moon Beasts to deal with. And lucky for them, Ryukoku had a new king, so it was a good time to strike a bargain. And so both countries had the same interests, and a cease-fire agreement was reached. However, Makoku had one condition for Ryukoku.”
“Condition? What did they want?”
“The independence of Dragon Masters. They pitied the Dragon Masters that defected to their country. These men and women had wills of their own that must be acknowledged. They must be respected without any forceful drafts.”
“So, that’s what happened. …Huh? So Makoku’s condition was just for the Dragon Masters?”
“No, not at all. It was for their own country’s benefit. They just used the defecting Dragon Masters as an excuse, but they really feared the idea of all Dragon Masters being in the army.”
It was quite obvious, now that I thought about it. Seeing the Dragon Masters up close would have made it all the more clear.
They wouldn’t stand a chance if all of them were part of Ryukoku’s fighting force.
“So, that’s the Dragon Master Dark Age, huh.”
“The lives of many Dragon Masters were ruined during that time. By defecting, they had to leave their family and loved ones behind. Others were forced to join the army and many of them died on the battlefield. Nearly all of them were affected. That’s why it’s considered to be the first dark age.”
“Aye. There was another dark age before we reached the present system.”
“But it is true. The Dragon Academy, patrons… Do you think all of this appeared out of nothing?”
“No… It’s always struck me as being very thoughtful, though.”
“Well, I will tell you all about it when there is time. All about the second dark age. After all, it was something built off the backs of countless Dragon Master corpses.”
Ark said with a sly wink.
That was when I realized it was already quite late into the night.
Thane and Marty were already sleeping.
No wonder it was so quiet. Also, this Ark guy. He talked too much.
I will translate the rest of the map later.
Ryukoku = Dragon country
Makoku = Magician country
Shoukoku = Merchant country
Gikoku = Craftsman country(?)