The First King
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“Uhh… what?” I stared blankly at the freshly carved name. It was mine, supposedly, but I had no idea how or why it had ended up taking the form it had. Like, seriously. The fuck…?
I wasn’t the only one that found it to be completely ridiculous. Lefi did as well, as could be evidenced by the way she immediately broke into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
“Yuki Lordaemon? Lordaemon!? Hysterical! Absolutely hysterical!” She cackled. “Are you so proud of your status as a demon lord that you wish to append it to your name!? I cannot wait to see you perform an introduction!”
“I-I can’t deny that I’m pretty happy about this whole demon lord thing I’ve got going on, but I had no intention of appending some weird variant of it to my name. I don’t even know how it happened!” I screamed indignantly before turning to Rhodunus. “Please tell me there’s some way to change it!”
“I am… afraid that nothing can be done. Now that it has been inscribed it will remain. Eternally.”
Fuck. I mean, I figured as much, but still. F u c k.
“I fail to see an issue. Possessing a surname does little but add to one’s dignity.” She stopped giggling, but she was still all smiles. “Very well. If you shall take Lordaemon as your surname, then so too shall I. I shall, from today onwards, be known as Leficios Lordaemon.”
“I uh… think we’d probably benefit from sitting down and thinking this through a bit. I’m not exactly sold on having Lordaemon as a last name. It’s too silly. And honestly, it doesn’t even work in your case, seeing as how you’re not a demon lord…”
“I see not any reason to alter it. While I may not be a demon lord, I am most certainly a demon lord’s wife.”
For reasons I didn’t quite understand, Lefi actually seemed quite attached to the bizarre designation.
“If I am to take the name, then I must begin introducing myself as Leficios Lordaemon, Supreme Dragon.” She nodded to herself as she spoke. “Yes, yes, very amicable indeed. It certainly makes for quite the pleasant introduction.”
“…Zaien Lordaemon.” Even the sword girl, who had personified and taken both mine and Lefi’s hands shortly after we landed, took the opportunity to finally join the conversation. “It’s nice.”
Yeahno. I think I’d rather have the last name I had before I reincarnated…
Actually, scratch that. This life has nothing to do with my old one. I’m not whoever I was back then anymore. No more Mr. Yuki Whateveritwas. I’m just Yuki now, nothing less, nothing more.
“Hmmmm…” The old dragon, who had been watching us with an incredibly satisfied smile, stroked his beard in contemplation as he scanned the Dragonstone Ledger. “I believe that there was a similar entry in the past. Like you, he was… an exception, a Dragonlord not of draconic blood.”
“Did he also have some random crap tagged onto his name?”
“Yes… yes, he did.” He raised a front leg and pointed at something roughly in the center of the monolith. “Here.”
“I’m guessing you’re talking about… the name with three parts?” I said, as I followed the clawtip. “Let’s see… Larren Fergarde Rehnn?”
“Yes, that is the one,” said Rhodunus. “Like you, he was not a dragon, but a member of the races. He is the sole human who took our throne.”
Woah. Of all things, human? Didn’t see that one coming.
“Larren Fergarde Rehnn was the sixty seventh king amongst dragons. Rehnn… rehnn is the term we use to refer to the ancient humans,” he explained. “It is said that he too established a bond… a powerful bond with a dragon of old, much like the one you two share now.” He looked between Lefi and I. “His life was one lived in a world that knew nothing but war. He thrived on the battlefield, growing mightier with each encounter. And then… one day… claimed even our throne.”
“I have heard the elders discuss him on occasion. He is often remembered as the first human king,” said Lefi. She spoke a bit slower than usual, as if recalling knowledge she’d learned in the distant past. “Rehnn held much less influence than humans do now. While they have remained largely unchanged, the ancient world was one that housed a greater concentration of magical particles. Monsters and the other races alike were far greater in power, as they possessed a much greater affinity with magical particles. It is said that the rehnn were nearly driven to extinction, and that those that did remain lived lives of maltreatment and abuse.”
I didn’t see any reason to question her explanation. Humans were currently thought of as a rather prominent force in the world. Their militaries were, as a whole, rather powerful and they were capable of maintaining and even winning the fights they picked with the beastkin and demons. Relatively speaking, they were on friendly terms with the demihumans, but they still skirmished with them from time to time, and again, pulled out a fairly impressive number of wins, overall.
As a race, the humans seemed like the type of group to go about their own business whichever way they wanted. But individually, each member of the species was actually incredibly weak. Demihumans had more magical potential and tougher bodies than humans did. Beastkin were able to borrow ferocity and might from the traits that came with their animalistic roots. And demons had a whole variety of useful abilities and features, many of which were based in magic.
There were some exceptions, like Nell, but generally speaking, the average human had no outstanding traits whatsoever. Physically and magically speaking, they were completely underdogs. Their technologies ranked amongst the few reasons that they were anywhere near as influential as they were, and most of them were modern, which meant ancient humans were at an even greater disadvantage. I wonder… Why is it that humans love picking fights with everyone else anyway? Could it be, at least in part, because of all the stuff that happened in the distant past?
“But… they did not die out.” Rhodunus continued Lefi’s explanation once she trailed off. “One man changed… everything. He united his people and rallied them under a flag crafted through ingenuity.”
I wonder if he was also reincarnated… I doubt I’m the only one that’s ever had this happen to them. Hmm… in that case, I wonder what world he came from. I mean, it could’ve been mine, but it’s also possible it wasn’t. Post reincarnation, I’d started to think that it was possible that worlds weren’t necessarily all that far apart, per se, and that it was possible for individuals to slip between them, one way or another. You know how people just randomly get spirited away? I’m starting to think at least some of them might’ve ended up in other worlds.
“So I get that the guy was basically just Superman, but how does that relate to whatever we were talking about before?”
“I cannot vouch for the details, as the Ledger was created a very, very long time ago… even by draconic standards,” said Rhodunus. “But I believe that the Ledger has a method of keeping track of the… non-draconic. It is said that they document the abnormality so that the feat is… better remembered. “You and the sixty seventh, both exceptions, seem to show this to be true.”
“I see… so I guess this makes Lordaemon more of a racial name, in Drakentongue, than an actual last name?”
“…I see not a problem adopting it as a surname,” said Lefi, with a bit of a disappointed pout. “And I must say that I find it quite odd you are capable of reading Drakenscript. I suppose it must be the work of your ‘Translation’ skill.”
You know, now that I think about it, she’s got a point. This is my first time seeing their language, but I’m reading it as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. You know, thinking back, I’ve never really paid this skill all that much attention, but it’s been a major contributor to my success. Hell, I’d say it’s probably safe to call it the only reason I’m alive right now. Lefi might’ve just ended up squashing me instead of negotiating if we couldn’t understand each other.
“You know, this skill’s actually really great. I’d never be able to whisper sweet nothings into your ears without it.”
“I-I see no reason for you to have mentioned that,” she stuttered. “L-let us put an end to this discussion for now. We are not in a private space.”
“So what you’re saying is that it’s okay if we get all flirty in private? Sweet.”
The now crimson-faced dragon couldn’t quite seem to think of a response, so she instead attempted to hide her embarrassment by lightly hitting me in the shoulder. I love you too, Lefi.
“Master,” Enne tugged on the hem of my shirt.
“Can I call myself Zaien Lordaemon?”
“Uhh… if you want. People will probably end up taking it the wrong way though.”
“That’s okay. I’ll just be a demon lord too. We can all be demon lords. Together.”
“Y-yeah, s-sure. Let’s do that.”
The concept of “being demon lords together” was one that seemed nonsensical to me, if anything, but she seemed fairly happy about it, so I decided to just leave it be.
“How… lovely. Yes, what a lovely scene indeed.” Rhodunus chuckled to himself as he continued to happily play the role of an observer.
The stop that followed the forbidden sector was a wide open area, one I presumed to be the town square.
“Oh? So he is our newest King? I expect not for him to be a member of the races,” said one of the older dragons.
“He seems to be a demon lord, and the long lived kind at that,” said another.
“Indeed. I have seen many things in my time, but none like this,” added a third.
Basically all of the dragons were observing me as they would something curious. Many actually opted to approach, but some of the more cautious ones kept their distance.
Seeing so many members of the species at a time led me to recognize that each was actually quite different, and that they were in fact very easily distinguishable. I quickly learned not only how to pick out different genders and age groups, but also individuals.
The most obvious traits were their relative sizes and the colour and lustre of their scales. The length of their fangs and the shape of their horns varied too, and were very much akin to the different facial structures in people. I was even able to tell which were considered more handsome or beautiful at a glance. And with that ability came the confirmation that Lefi was undoubtedly the most beautiful. None could match her. Unlike them, she gave off the aura of something divine.
The other dragons only had power in their auras. Overwhelming, irrepressible power.
“Soooo uh… hi. I’m Yuki, the hundred and thirty second Dragonlord. Nice to meet all of you,” I said. I was a bit stiff. Being surrounded by high level dragons on all sides was a bit nerve wracking.
“The pleasure is ours, King,” said one of the dragons. “This must be an omen, one that signals the start of a new age…”
“With Leficios as his mate, I’m sure his rule will remain stable for at least several thousand years,” said another.”
“Yes, yes. This appears, to me, like the birth of Drakenstead’s—and this era’s—newest champion. He’ll likely be one to go down in the legends,” agreed the first. “ How very interesting indeed.”
“Champion? Iunno about that. You guys are way stronger than I am,” I said.
“None of us are able to stand up to that stubborn Leficios tomboy,” said the second. “The ability to keep her under your thumb makes you our champion already.”
“I’m sure all of you remember the last time she threw a fit,” laughed another. “Destroyed half the village in one sitting.”
“If you continue to dredge up the past, I shall reduce all of you to ashes,” huffed Lefi.
The statement caused many of the younger dragons to freak out and literally curl up in fear. The older ones, however, laughed it off without a care in the world.
“If you throw another fit, we’ll all be done for. Drakenstead won’t survive another one of your rampages.”
“My thoughts exactly. The wound that damned tomboy gave me was the deepest I’ve had in all my years.”
Seeing her old acquaintances continue to have fun at her expense, in spite of her protests, caused her to huff in frustration.
“Our business here is complete, Yuki. Let us return home immediately. I would much rather spend the night in the comfort of the dungeon than listen to these old fools ramble.”
Unlike her, I actually wanted to stay the night, so I smiled wryly as I tried to figure out a way to convince her. Fortunately, I didn’t actually have to chase that thought to its end, as Rhodunus stepped in as a mediator in my stead.
“Would you not consider spending the night, Leficios? I was under the impression that… doing so was your original intention.”
“Yeah, pretty much,” I said. “I was hoping to hear a few stories, you know, of Lefi’s past and whatnot.”
“Mhm. Me too. I like stories,” agreed Enne.
“…If the two of you insist, then I suppose I have little choice but to comply.” She was still in a bad mood, but ended up playing along for our sakes. “But let it be known that I shan’t stay for long, and that is final!”