11 The Order
Under the dim light provided by the moon, most of the guards and soldiers were already sleeping or taking turns to guard the walls. However, Drake was still training.
Blue light appeared on his training blade, and despite the sword being unsharpened, its still cut through the sparrow.
[Beep! Repeat this sword move 1 853 more times in order to increase your proficiency of Arclight Chop to 'intermediate!]
[The two-hours-long training session has ended. The training will increase the following attributes over the next 18 hours and 23 minutes of rest: +0.002 strength, +0.002 dexterity, +0.002 constitution, +0.005 internal energy.]
Drake was sweating a lot.
'Turns out I cannot use the Arclight Chop 9 times in a row. No wonder my father told me that it was a trump card…At this rate, I will probably manage to reach intermediate proficiency in the technique in half a year. It seems pretty good.'
On his way back to the castle, Drake heard sword strikes.
'Who's training at such an hour?', Drake thought
However, after approaching the scene, he gradually recognized the man. It was Lewis. The man showed signs of bleeding from training. He was trying very hard, and Drake knew the reason why.
'He's still feeling guilty for the fight I had to go through. Well, the fact that he is holding a sword again is a good thing though…I must give him a scolding tomorrow for training too hard'.
When Drake returns to the castle, maids took him to the bath. Feeling at peace, he suddenly clicked his tongue upon seeing the two beauties entering his bath, completely naked. He could feel the shyness of the youngest one of the two, who was barely 18. She probably hadn't bled yet.
"My lord, would you care to accompany us on a bath?", the blond girl said.
"It's not like I have much of a choice now…"
"Haha! I told you he was easy-going! I am Yara, and this is my little sister, Lara."
"Yes…I am Lara", she said in a low voice.
Objectively, the two of them were very beautiful, and any man would feel tempted, but Drake wasn't an average youth. In his eyes, they were too young. Drake might look like a 15-years-old boy, but in reality, his mind was in his forties.
Sensing the awkward atmosphere, Yara asked Drake in a low voice.
"My lord, what are you living for? I have been wondering about that. Wealth? Authority? Strength? Or…women?", she said, whispering in his ears while embracing his body in a bold manner.
In the back, Lara was covering his eyes, fearful of seeing a thing she wasn't supposed to.
Upon contact, Drake felt cheated.
[Beep! Race – Lunar Elf
Name: Yara. Age – 31 years. Rank – Knight.
Strength – 3.5 | Dexterity – 2.2 | Constitution – 3.0 | Internal Energy – 5.0]
Yara wasn't a maid. Well, she was, but more importantly, she was a woman sent by his mother to protect him.
Lunar elves were a species who could live up to 150 years, and in their culture, 31 years-old-ladies were not considered adults yet.
"How would you react if I told you I want the four?"
Yara was about to kiss Drake when he said that, but Drake didn't react as expected. He pushed her back in the bath.
"Come on, Yara, you and I both know you aren't a maid."
The pair looked frightened. The lord had found out about their identity! They turned red in a second.
After his mother heard of the rebellion, she probably sent the two in the castle to protect Drake in case he ever got in a tough situation again. Of course, it was an act that was bound to attract her some problems, since their village was already lacking forces, but a mother's love could not be contained by any means.
Drake got out of the bath, and wore his secondary set of heavy armour. The 'real' maids were washing his original one.
There were plenty of believers in the Porfield Kingdom: those who believe in Light, an unseen existence supposedly spreading life in the world, those who believe in the Fire, which burns the evil, and those who believe in balance: the Order.
The Church of Light was the most powerful, since they had paladins who were as strong as Knights, some even stronger, having reached the Grand Knight Realm. Just in the Porfield Kingdom, there were 8 Grand Knights belonging to the Church of Light. This was force powerful enough to capture a city, perhaps even enough to capture the Capital Volantis.
The church of Fire was a bit more special, with some fanatics burning heretics in special ritual. However, History was a witness of its fearsomeness. The Fire King had defeated the undead a hundred years ago with flammable oil and flames. After the battle, people started to hear voices from the flames, beginning a new religion. However, the religion turned into fanaticism, thus being forbidden in the kingdom. The only ones who still practiced it were fanatics, burning criminals in broad daylight, sometimes even burning themselves along with others in an attempt to get closer to their gods.
The Order was the most ancient religion that existed in the Kingdom. The believers didn't believe in gods, but rather believed in balance. The Order was the official name for the organization that spread this religion, the druids belonging to the Order worshipping nature itself.
The Moonlight Household has always believed in the Order. And Drake wasn't the one who would change this tradition.
Drake was not very pious, but he was thankful to the Druids who had cured him from a harsh fever in his childhood. It was the same druids who tended to the soldiers' wounds when they were injured. Druids happened to be scholar as well, and speaking with them always gave Drake insights about life philosophy, something that made him the man he was today, a man of Honour.
When Drake entered the Sanctuary, the closest building to the Castle, Gallan was kneeling in front of a dying tree. Fireflies were flying around him, illuminating his old face. He seemed very focused, and Drake saw the tree returning to life. It glowed in a dim light, a green light that symbolized life.
'No matter how I looked at it���it's magic!'
The Druids were loved by the nature. There were 2 wolves by the Druid's side, two wild beasts that had been tamed into bodyguards. Of course, it was more friendship rather than taming, but to Drake, it all looked the same. In the end, the wolves were the druid's servants.
"Service as a Druid is a noble calling, one of vital importance to a prosperous kingdom. It is little wonder there are some who refer to the Order as the Knights of the Mind", Drake muttered while looking at Gallan in respect.
This old man used to teach Drake. After 2 years, he gave up trying to make Drake into a firm believer. However, Drake surprisingly multiplied the visits in the sanctuary over time. It was not belief, but rather friendship that kept him coming.
"Drake? It's been a while since you last came!"
"I apologize, I have been busy with training."
"I can see and hear that you had some gains. Are you here to pay your respects to the Order?"
"Indeed. It's been a long time, as you said."
"Take off your chest armour, then. It will not take long."
Drake obeyed the Druid. He came back a moment later, with beast blood in a pot. Chanting in a low voice, he drew runes on Drake's body. Drake then prayed. People were supposed to make wishes when doing this ritual. But Drake never made one.
He wasn't a true believer.
He only thanked the gods for giving him a second shot at life, a warming family that was prospering.