Book 2: Chapter 178
A refreshing breeze tickled his hair.
Gently sweeping away the hair that had been blown into his face, Lukas muttered.
“This city is huge.”
Although he knew Lukas was just talking to himself, Bargan still nodded his head and responded.
“[Lirua] has a large arena and is considered one of the Eight Major Cities, but just a few decades ago, it was still classified as a small city.”
That didn’t seem to be the case at all.
Anyone who saw the sight in front of them would have the same thought.
Of course, Herui was the only city in the Heavenly Realm that Lukas had visited, but it was classified as a small city.
This was why Lukas was feeling a sense of disparity at that moment.
He couldn’t quite believe that this enormous city in front of him was developed from a small city like Herui in only a few decades.
Lirua had an appearance similar to that of a castle city, and it had a staircase-like structure in which the ground gradually rose as one passed through the different inner walls of the city.
Because of this, the building located in the very center of the city also occupied the highest point in the area, and its tall and large size made it appear even more daunting.
Lirua was large, so large that it wouldn’t be strange to describe it as a city-state. And yet, there were still seven other cities of similar size on Combat Island alone.
As expected, the Heavenly Realm really was a place that could be described as its own world.
“Is that the arena?”
It was obvious that it was, but there was a reason that he asked that question. That was because, be it appearance or size, that building didn’t appear at all like an arena.
Even the royal castles of some countries would not be so large and luxurious.
The building was very thick, almost like a tower, but the difference from a normal tower was the fact that the building was flat on one side, almost as if it had been cut by a huge knife. Nevertheless, it was extremely tall and wide.
Maybe the architects had deliberately designed the building in this way to give the feeling that it was still unfinished.
“On the days of major fights, the ceiling is removed so that people can enjoy watching the matches from above.”
“Watching from above? Do you mean by using Sky Carriages?”
“There is a grandstand installed on a floating platform. Of course, such a thing is incredibly expensive to maintain, so those who don’t have a lot of money would never be able to enjoy it.”
Upon hearing that, Lukas narrowed his eyes and looked carefully at the arena, and sure enough, he found a small floating platform above the building.
From this distance, it appeared as nothing more than a pebble, but he was able to infer just how large it actually was.
Dragonmen were born on floating islands, so they probably didn’t have a fear of heights, right?
Just as Lukas had this thought, Bargan spoke.
“…are you really okay?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The Ancient Dragon’s corpse. Even if you gave it to the Major City Lords…”
—It had already been a week since Lukas gave the Ancient Dragon’s corpse over to the five Major City Lords.
But there were still a few things that Bargan couldn’t understand even when he thought back to that time.
This included Lukas’ attitude, as well as the attitude of the Major City Lords.
They were offered the Ancient Dragon’s corpse for free, but none of them appeared happy about it.
In fact, they all had subtle changes to their expressions and their faces became stiff as if they were seriously contemplating something.
In Bargan’s opinion, the best way to handle the Ancient Dragon’s corpse would have been to sell the parts equally to the five Major City Lords. As for areas with higher value like the skull they could have let them compete among themselves and sell it to the ones who offered the highest price.
By adopting this method, they wouldn’t need to give in to any specific Major City Lord.
However, to his surprise, Lukas didn’t do that. Instead, he decided to give the Ancient Dragon’s corpse to them for free.
Was he trying to win the Major City Lords’ favor? No. They weren’t that simple.
To expect them to owe or return a favor just because of this could only be considered naive.
In any case, although they were reluctant, the Major City Lords didn’t reject Lukas’ proposal. They must have thought that Lukas was up to something, but the temptation of the bait was much too strong for them to reject.
“I didn’t give it to them. They paid me for it.”
“…compared to the price of the corpse, it was barely enough.”
The Major City Lords all decided to give Lukas 20 million erus, the amount they had previously agreed upon. And since he was receiving it from all of them, it meant that he’d gained 100 million erus. He didn’t refuse this.
But the other incentives like the flying dragons and slave Fighters were all refused. This was because he didn’t really need those things at that moment.
‘And the tomes.’
Lukas thought about the three magical tomes in his bag.
They were the items offered by Spera, the Major City Lord of Akad, which he accepted because of his interest in sorcery.
He’d originally intended to read them on the way to Lirua, but he didn’t have the chance to because he was still working on the heart of the young Dragonling.
In any case, the Major City Lords left with the corpse of the Ancient Dragon. With the cliched words of treating him well if he ever went to their cities.
Lukas roughly responded appropriately while making eye contact with Lee Jong-hak, who nodded slightly.
That was enough.
Lee Jong-hak was currently in a position and had the ability to become a strong backer for Lukas. Therefore, for the time being, it would be beneficial to let him solidify his position building his skills and reputation on his own.
In the end, the only parts that Lukas kept for himself were the Ancient Dragon’s skull and heart, and the body of its offspring.
Bargan asked Ashstar to help them transport the goods.
He didn’t ask Igaru because he felt guilty to ask him when he didn’t receive anything.
Of course, it was the same for Ashstar, but she was already feeling guilty for the Sshiris incident. So when Lukas asked her for a favor, she readily accepted it.
Ashstar transported all of their luggage for free, and when they arrived, she bowed her head to Lukas.
“…I am sorry.”
Lukas didn’t think she had anything to apologise for, but after thinking about it for a moment, he decided to nod his head and accept it.
“There are many skilled blacksmiths in Lirua. They might not be on the same level as Babylon’s Fire Hammer, but they should be able to handle the skull of an Ancient Dragon.”
“I don’t have any intention of using the Ancient Dragon’s skull or its offspring’s corpse for now. I would just like to store them for the time being.”
“That’s possible. But it will cost a lot to store them.”
The cost to store the skull of an Ancient Dragon was not something to be overlooked, but with the amount he had at hand, money was the least of Lukas’ worries at that moment.
After storing the items away, they finally walked along the streets of Lirua.
‘It’s been an intense week.’
From encountering an Ancient Dragon and witnessing it being slain to meeting five of the eight Major City Lords and even negotiating with them.
Bargan realised that this short period had been the most intense experience he’d had in his entire life.
On the other hand, Lukas, who was the center of all this turmoil, appeared calm and unreadable as usual.
Sometimes, Bargan couldn’t help but wonder if he even had feelings in the first place.
“I would like to visit the arena, but before that, let’s find a place to stay. Bargan, lead the way.”
“…of course. Please follow me.”
As he followed Bargan, Lukas looked around at the streets of Lirua.
He could get a rough idea of the atmosphere in the city just by observing a few blocks on the street.
Lirua was a city filled with vitality. It was early in the morning, but those walking through the streets seemed to be overflowing with vitality.
That wasn’t all. The overall condition and quality of the various buildings in the city were very high. He’d had this feeling when he looked at the arena in the center of the city, but it seemed almost too sophisticated to have been made by the rough hands of the Dragonman race.
“The buildings in Lirua were built according to designs made by architects from Peace Island.”
According to what he’d read, Dragonmen living on Peace Island were so different it was almost as if they were an entirely different race.
It was said that those living on Peace Island were usually calm, intelligent, and had incredible artistic talents.
The building Bargan guided him to was also a very stylish building.
As with most inns, it also had a bar on the first floor. The difference was that the ceiling was very high as it seemed they had removed the floor between the first and second floors.
Because of this, even though it wasn’t a very large space, it didn’t feel cramped at all.
The bar was relatively quiet. It wasn’t that there weren’t any people there, it was just that most of the seats were empty. This was natural since bars were usually the busiest around sunset.
Bargan approached the man standing behind the counter and exchanged a few words before returning to Lukas.
“Would you like to eat at the counter or at a table?”
“Let’s eat at a table.”
Bargan nodded before ordering the meal.
In the meantime, Lukas found a quiet spot before taking his seat. After finishing the order, Bargan came back and sat in front of Lukas with a slightly awkward expression on his face.
In fact, it felt extremely wrong for him to sit beside his Lord, but it couldn’t be helped.
Lukas was a rational person, and he didn’t think that one group should sit at separate tables to eat.
Perhaps because the inn wasn’t busy at that moment, they received their meal quickly. It was piping hot bacon soup, smoked meat, with optional beef jerky. The side dishes were also filled with meat, but by this point, Lukas had already become accustomed to Dragonmen culture to an extent. (TL: Sounds like my kind of meal…)
He scooped a few mouthfuls of soup and ate it without complaints.
For a while, only the clattering of tableware could be heard. And before long, their meal was over.
The two of them lowered their tableware at almost the exact same time. This was possible mostly because Bargan had intentionally matched Lukas’ eating speed.
Lukas took a sip of water before finally opening his mouth.
“You said that Lirua was a city that had already lost its fight, right?”
“I would like you to explain that for me.”
Bargan’s face became a bit dark when he heard that.
Lukas looked at him silently.
[Wandering Dragonman Fighter Bargan]
[Titles: Headsmasher Bargan, The One Who Does Not Compromise]
[Skills: Swordsmanship(Lv.7), Malice(Lv.6), Survival Skills(Lv.7), Untamed Sword(Lv.5)]
[Feelings towards Participant: Trust, Admiration, Loyalty]