Chapter 21 – Meeting

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Jade, Finn, and Klaus arrived in the Spirit Kingdom.

Currently, the Dragon Kingdom is facing a small problem.

The cause of the problem is its neighboring country, Nadarsia.

Time after time, Nadarsia had declared war against the Dragon kingdom only to get defeated in an instance. All is to be expected considering the obvious difference in strength between both races, be it their physique or magic affinity.

The current Nadarsia King can’t seem to see reality for what it is and continues to send out his troops to certain death, further thinning out the fighting forces of the country. To further exacerbate matter, the people of Nadarsia is charged with exorbitant taxes in the name of war.

In recent years, there has been an overflow of Nadarsia refugees migrating over to the Dragon Kingdom. The amount of migration request is still increasing even now.

However, according to the report from Joshua, not only is the King of Nadarsia not giving a damn to his people’s plight, taxpayer’s money was being used to acquire more weapons in preparation for war with the Dragon Kingdom.

In response to this out-of-control Nadarsia, the upper echelons of Dragon Kingdom decided not to just defeat Nadarsia, but also to wipe out the country itself.

Alas, other than counterattacking, the Dragon Kingdom is forbidden to attack another country and take in the land for itself as stipulated in the alliance treaty.

In order to do that, a meeting with all 4 party of the alliance has to be adjourned. Once it is deemed okay to proceed by the other 3 party, only then could the Dragon Kingdom execute their plan.

That’s the reason why they are here in the Spirit Kingdom.

Other than the representative of the Dragon Kingdom, the Beast King, and the Empress was also going to be here.

While waiting for their arrival, Jade was reading through the documents with the meeting talk points in the waiting room. As he was doing that, he gave a sigh when the thought of the pure white fur that he had not touch for a while flashed through his mind.

“I so wanted to bring Ruri along with me.” -Jade

Jade’s word wasn’t aimed towards anybody. It was merely his internal monologue leaking out. Seeing that, Klaus gave a bitter smile.

“It’ll be bad if anything were to happen to Ruri while we aren’t around her, so there was no other way.” -Klaus

There are many countries that want a Cherished One.

Nobody is foolish enough to kidnap or take another Cherished One by force. However, Ruri could still be swayed to go with them voluntary.

That is to say, as long as Ruri agrees to it, it is fair game to all party.

If someone managed to persuade Ruri over to their side, Jade wouldn’t be able to do anything to stop them.

In fear of such event, there was no way they could’ve brought Ruri with them.

It is understandable that the Dragon King would want to keep their Cherished One since it has been quite a while they had one in their country, another bigger reason lies on the Dragon King himself. Although Jade was only away from Ruri for a few days, he was already suffering from melancholy. To him, this Cherished One was someone who is slowly becoming an important part of him.

“The Spirit Kingdom already has a young Cherished One, so it would be fine even if Ruri were here. Beast kingdom on the other hand…” -Klaus

After hearing what Klaus said, both Jade and Finn made a difficult expression.

The Cherished One of the Beast Kingdom is a demi-human from the bird tribe.

‘Hyperactive’ would be one way to describe her and incidentally, she’s aiming for the position of Jade’s lifelong partner. In another word, his wife.

Not once, nor twice, but countless times has she proposed to Jade only to be rejected by him. Yet, she fails to read the situation. Indeed, she is someone that Jade can’t handle.

This also poses a problem for the Beast Kingdom.

If Jade takes the Cherished One in as his bride, she would, in conclusion, be a part of the Dragon Kingdom and leave the Beast Kingdom.

The land around the Beast Kingdom is more or less a wilderness. Just by having a Cherished One that could bring rain makes a huge difference in the overall harvest of food. That’s why this marriage is one they would like to prevent at all cost.

Here lies the problem, or rather the reason why Ruri’s appearance would be problematic.

The Beast Kingdom will without a doubt try to welcome her into their country as a replacement for their current Cherished One.

And for the Human Empire that is currently without a Cherished One, the Empress too would no doubt make contact with Ruri once she is alone.

“If only your majesty would just get a partner, that Cherished One would give up on her wooing attempts.” -(Klaus?/Finn?)

“You are sounding more and more like Agete…” -Jade

In the end, the topic rounded back to about his love life.

“Right now, Joshua is on his way to get that other girl that you fancied, so that day might come earlier than expected.” – Klaus

Jade made an unpleasant expression.

“Your Majesty, please don’t make such a face. it was you yourself who let slip to Agete of the fact that you were interested in someone of the opposite sex.” -(Klaus?/Finn?)

“…I thought that saying that would make Agete more level headed about this whole ‘finding my lifetime partner’ thing…” -Jade

“It had the opposite effect of making him more fired up, it seems.” -(Klaus?/Finn?)

A beaten Jade gave another sigh. Klaus made a bitter smile and thought of something else while looking at Jade.

“If only Ruri was a Human or Demi-human, there wouldn’t be so much trouble.” -Klaus

Upon hearing that, Jade thought of Ruri.

In all his life, there was nobody else that matches his wavelength as perfectly as Ruri. Just by being with her gives him a level of comfort and warmth he never knew was possible.

It is rare for 2 individual to have their wavelength in perfect sync with each other. If that ever happens, it will inevitably lead to both individuals to seal the knot.

For people of the Dragon Race, because of their long life expectancy, they would travel all over the world to find that special someone. However, most of them would give up in the end and compromise to some level.

“Ruri huh…. You’re right. There is nobody that is in sync with my wavelength as much as Ruri’s.
The number of times I’ve thought ‘If only Ruri wasn’t a cat’…
It may now be impossible to find that other someone, as I’ll no doubt compare them to Ruri.” -Jade

“Agete is going to be absolutely furious if he heard this. He’s pouring his blood and guts in his searches.” -(Klaus?/Finn?)

“Yeah, no doubt about that” – Jade

A little chuckle could be heard.

After a while, an officer came in the room, announcing that everybody is now present, and guided all 3 of them into the next room.

Upon their arrival, The Empress, the Beast King, and the Beast Kingdom’s Cherished One were already seated.

As soon as Jade entered the room, the girl with pretty green eye and hair stood up and went over to Jade’s side.

“Jade-sama, it has been a long time!!”

Seeing that the Dragon King was making an expression that gives the impression of ‘why is the Cherished One in a place like this’, the
golden-eyed Beast King with sharply pointed hair jumped into the conversation.

“Although I told her not to come, she just wouldn’t listen. My bad.”

This person was Armand, a Demi-human of the Lion Tribe, and also the current Beast King.

The human form that the Beast King has taken is one that is tough looking, not losing to that of the Dragon King, suitable for one who is called a King.

After seeing the listless Armand looking at his own country’s Cherished One, Jade could imagine the hardship Armand had gone through on his way here. With that somewhat weighting in his conscience, Jade knew he could not complain and gave up on saying anything else.

Jade understood well that if the Cherished One decided to come, not even the Beast King could do anything about it.

“It’s been a while, Celestine. Oh and no, I’m not marrying you.” -Jade

“But I still haven’t said anything!” -Celestine

“Well, you ask the same question every time we meet. I’m just saving you the time.” -Jade

Celestine was rendered speechless by Jade. Even Armand was surprised by the retort Jade gave to Celestine.

A beautiful chime-like laughter of a very beautiful young female joined the commotion.

The owner of the sweet laughter walked towards Armand and sat beside him. She had a long silky black hair and is surrounded by an aura of mystery yet one can’t help but get entranced by her beauty.

Although she had an outward appearance of someone not past the age of 20, she was, in fact, a middle-aged woman with a son that is already entering early adulthood.

She is the empress that unites and rule the largest human populated country in the continent, Empress Adularia.

“I don’t know how many years you’ve been doing this, but it’s long enough to make the Dragon King take up this one stance like he was already conditioned to it. How about you give it up already?
Knowing when to give up is important too.” -Adularia

After hearing that, Celestine showed a sad remorseful face.

“Am I not good enough for Jade-sama?” -Celestine

“Instead of forcing your feeling onto a man that had bluntly rejected your feelings, wouldn’t it be better for you to choose a man who would shower his affection at you?” -Adularia

Upon hearing this advise that seems to stems from actual experience the empress had gone through, Celestine fell into deep thought.

A glimpse of hope. Is this where she gives up? Is it finally happening? Alas, it was all but a fleeting hope for Jade and Armand that was utterly shattered as Celestine returned to her usual self.

“Nope! The only person for me in this world is Jade-sama.” -Celestine

“… Oh well, if you’re that adamant about it, I guess it can’t be helped then.” -Adularia

“Please don’t give up that easily, Adularia.” -Jade

Jade was giving Adularia the stink eyes for creating a false sense of hope at him.

“Since the person herself showed no sign of giving up, no amount of words would change her thoughts, no?
Besides, this would be a non-issue if your Majesty were to take in someone else to be your queen.
Unlike the Beast King who practices polygamy, it is well known that Dragon Race only has one single wife as their partner for the rest of their life.” -Adularia

“… I was just told the same thing by my close aides…” -Jade

“Oh. I see. Umm…that… … my condolences.” -Adularia

Finally figured out why the Dragon King was showing a drained expression even before the start of this whole thing, Adularia apologized. Her ‘advice’, it seems, was just compounding on what the close aides had mentioned to him, which means she was not helping with the matter at all.

To change the atmosphere of the room, Adularia brought out the topic of Ruri.

“By the way, I heard the Cherished One appeared in the Dragon Kingdom. What sort of person is the Cherished One? What is of the race?” -Adularia

Armand and Celestine were also showing a deep interest as they looked at Jade with wondering eyes. Jade answered reluctantly.

“… That I cannot answer. Details on the Cherished One will be made public in due time.” -Jade

“That’s really vague of an answer.” -Adularia

It is true that Ruri is now in and under the protection of the Dragon Kingdom. However, she hasn’t said anything about wanting to be affiliated with the Dragon Kingdom or be a permanent residence there.

Not to mention that she is a cat.

With her current situation, she is not bound down by any country in particular. If the others were to ask for a meeting with her, Jade is in no position to refuse.

If the meetings lead to Ruri’s departure….

Jade would have to respect her decision.

Jade was going to wait until Ruri had gotten used to life in the Dragon Kingdom before asking her if she would like to officially be a subject of the Dragon Kingdom. He’s going to fast-track that to the moment he goes back to his country.

The revealing of anything concerning the Cherished One will come after that.

“Hey Armand-sama, since a Cherished One had appeared in the Dragon Kingdom, wouldn’t it be fine if I switch places with her? It’s fine, right? We’re both the cherished One after all.” -Celestine

“ABSOLUTELY NOT!” -JADE

In contrast to the softly spoken word by Celestine to Armand, Jade voiced his rejection with strong conviction.

The sudden exclamation by Jade made it sounded like he was mad. Celestine can’t help but tremble in fear.

“I will never give up Ruri.” -Jade

Surprised by the no-bullshit rejection and dangerous look Jade was making, Adularia turned her concentration towards Jade.

There are not many things that could cause the always composed Jade so agitated.

“What’s this, what’s this? You’re looking quite desperate there aren’t you, my dear lonely Dragon King? Is she that important to you?” -Adularia

“That’s right.” -Jade

Adularia only intended to mess with Jade, but his instant reply shocked everybody present.

“… This can’t be true… To think Jade-sama had found someone else…” -Celestine

Celestine was shaken by the revelation that she kinda lost her footing and stumbled about.

From the flow of the conversation, everybody must be thinking that Jade had found that someone in his life.

That’s not 100% correct, but it is true that Ruri is an important existence for Jade.

People of the Dragon Race have a strong desire to monopolize something. Once they found that special someone that is right for themselves, even a simple meddling would be as foolish as attacking a Cherished One.

If Jade doesn’t clear up this misunderstanding, he is sure that nobody would request to meet with Ruri for a period of time in fear of retaliation by him. As that works out just fine for him, he just kept quiet.

Asking for a time-out, Celestine exited the room with a devastated look on her face. In her place, in came the Spirit Lord.

Awein. The sole existence of the Kirin race in this world, and the current Spirit Lord.

The appearance of the Spirit Lord is of a long straight hair colored in deep green like that seen from the depth of the ocean coupled with bluish silver eyes.

Giving out a somewhat scary look that would make one think that they had slighted him, this look was, in fact, the normal appearance of the Spirit Lord, and he was not mad or anything.

“I just passed by the Cherished One of the Beast Kingdom. Did something happened that made her walk in such an unstable wobbly way?” -Awein

“Ah, she going through a rejection shock episode. It seems our Dragon King here finally got his hand on someone special.” -Adularia/Armand?

“Hoo~ that’s calls for a congratulatory wish. When’s the wedding going to be held?” -Awein

“Yes, that…… Err… Someday, maybe?….. Soon?…” -Jade

Even though it is to make Celestine give up on him, to think that their king would dig a hole so deep for himself, both Finn and Klaus who was sitting quietly behind Jade was face-palming themselves hard.

Although he doesn’t fully understand the situation, the Spirit King didn’t push forward with the matter when he saw the Dragon King giving his response timidly. Instead, he spoke to Armand.

“With this, the people of the Beast Kingdom can breath a sigh of relief it seems.” -Awein

“……. As long as she doesn’t do anything to the Cherished One in the Dragon Kingdom.” -Armand

With this, it might seem that the problem with the Cherished One leaving the Beast Kingdom is no longer, but a new set of problem presents itself.

“Cherished One? Is the person Jade interested in, a Cherished One?” -Awein

“That seems to be the case.” -Armand

“That’s troubling.” -Awein

“Why? Is there something wrong with that?” -Jade

“Well you see, one of the 12 top tier fairies that is protecting this kingdom, ‘Tree Fairy’, is expressing his intention to meet the newly appeared Cherished One.” -Awein

Awein answered Jade’s question in a troublesome tone.

The Tree Fairy that protects the Spirit kingdom possesses the body of a huge tree, situated in the middle of the Kingdom.

The magic power that flows out from the tree shields the Spirit Kingdom from harm. Being a tree, the Tree Fairy can’t move away from that spot.

That’s why it was needed for Ruri to come here herself. However, there’s a little snag with that plan, mainly with the Dragon King.
With his possessive nature, the mere thought of having someone he thinks fondly of to leave the Dragon kingdom territory doesn’t go well with him.

Even if that is the case, it is Awein’s hope that the wish of the Tree Fairy can be granted.

“Why does the Tree Fairy want to meet with Ruri? Did the Tree fairy said anything similar about Celestine?” -Jade

Jade turns his attention towards Armand, but Armand just shook his head.

“I think it would be impossible to ask the Tree Spirit to give up the notion of meeting with the Cherished One, seeing that she has already made a contract with one of the 3 highest tier fairy.

Not to mention, she even gave both the Water Fairy and the Wind Fairy personal names and is under a named contract with them!” -Awein

In response to Awein’s response, Armand and Adularia stared at Jade with wide eyes and quizzing stares.

However, the one who was really surprised was Jade himself.

“Could it be that you didn’t know about this?” -Awein

“Y-Yeah, this is the first time I’m hearing about this. Ruri never mentioned anything about that…” -Jade

Ruri is a Cat. That said, Chelsea had taught her common sense before sending her to the Dragon Kingdom.

However, it seems that Chelsea did not teach her about the importance of names to a Fairy.

Thinking back, Jade did saw a small magical beast swirling around Ruri recently.

“So that’s….” -Jade

“I see that you have some idea of what I’m talking about?” -Awein

“Yeah. But I would like to confirm something. If I were to bring Ruri over here, it must be in her own term. If she doesn’t want to, I will not force her.” -Jade

“I understand. The Tree Fairy did not specify a date or time, so there is no rush.” -Awein

Nodding his head in agreement as he has gotten permission from Jade, Awein then made a serious expression.

The others also changed their attitude to one of a ruler.

“Now then, Let’s proceed with the talk on how Nadarsia should be handled.”

***

The talk went on with the Dragon King being in the spotlight most of the time to present his argument. In short, the talk went quite smoothly.

The final decision was easy to make thanks to the report Joshua had collected. The talking point of the King not even trying to understand the pain his people are going through and not doing anything about his people migrating away from Nadarsia says it all.

Just as the meeting came to an end, some soldiers entered the room as Awein was about to lead the other rulers to another room where food was prepared.

A few soldiers hastily approached Awein.

“Our apologies! A magical beast had just intruded the perimeter and is heading towards the location of the holy beast!!”

“What?! What are the soldiers stationed there doing??!” -Awein

Awein’s shouting was filled with so much rage that the air in the surrounding was trembling.

With the memory of a holy beast poisoned to death recently still clear in the mind of his people, extra soldiers were stationed around that perimeter.

“Where in the forest is the magical beast at right now?! Gather up all the soldiers immediately! ” -Awein

“I’ll help out too.” -Armand

Armand volunteered to help out, as his bloodlust started to leak out.

At that moment, came a booming voice that could be heard throughout the capital.

『Quiet Down! 』

Jade and the other kings were looking around for the source of the voice. However, it was like the people of the Spirit Kingdom knew whom the voice belongs to and kneeled in respect right from the spot they were standing.

“Who is that?”

“It is the Tree Fairy that was mentioned earlier.”

The question of ‘Why did the Tree Spirit…’ was on everybody’s mind as they anxiously await the next words to be spoken.

『My dear Spirit King, the magical beast that intruded the sacred sanctuary is not a magical beast, but one of my brethren.
It seems that he came here in search of a new body.
He has his eyes on the body of the Holy Beast that died the other day. I trust that you’re fine with that?』

“Of course.” -Awein

It was a question that wasn’t a question.

It was the request of another fairy that has the same rank as the Tree Fairy. The Spirit King was never in a position to deny the request of a fairy. It was a rule decided by the fairies.

『Now, bring the Dragon King there over to the altar.

It would be wise to have the soldiers you had surrounding my brethren stand down. They will definitely die if they don’t.』

‘What is that idiot doing…’ so whispered the Tree Spirit as that was the last word by him. However, hearing that his soldiers would die, the Spirit King was in full panic mode.

“Jade, come with me.” -Awein

“Sure. But why me?” -Jade

Without getting any answer to his question, they headed towards the alter only to be greeted with the sight of soldiers pointing their guns menacingly at the white wolf-like animal that was standing on the altar. That animal was what they called the ‘Holy Beast’.

There was a lifeless body of a huge magical beast by the entrance.

Why is it that the soldiers are pointing their weapons at the Holy Beast could be explained by the fact that the very same Holy Beast died a few days back.

A Holy Beast that was supposed to be dead seemingly came alive, and beside it lies a lifeless body of a huge magical beast. It was no wonder the soldier fell into confusion.

The arrival of their King gave the soldiers a sense of relief.

However, the relief was short-lived. The soldiers once again got into a state of urgency as the Holy Beast came down from the altar and started walking towards them.

“Stand down and drop your weapons. That is the brethren of the Tree Fairy. It is another fairy here in search of the body of the Holy Beast.” -Awein

The soldier’s faces were showing the expression of astonishment. They hurriedly dropped all weapons at hand.

Realizing that they had pointed their weapons at a fairy, a torrent of dreadful feelings overcomes them.

Not paying any attention to the soldiers, the fairy that now possesses the body of the Holy Beast approaches Jade.

While anxiously staring at the fairy, waiting for his next move, the fairy started going *sniff* *sniff*, *sniff* *sniff*.

『You smell like Ruri. 』

The mentioned of Ruri’s name took Jade by surprised.

“Do you know Ruri?” -Jade

『I do. I am Ruri’s. She gave me my name.』

Jade recalls the information that he got from Awein just moments ago.

The 2 fairies that were named by Ruri, the Water Fairy, and the Wind Fairy.

“Why are you here? Is it alright for you not to be beside her?” -Jade

『My previous body was too big for me to enter the capital. That’s why I came here in search of a new mofu mofu body. I’m glad that I found a good body.』

The fairy was wagging its tail joyfully.

Jade took another glance at the huge body of the magical beast by the entrance and muttered ‘It is indeed too big…’.

『I shall depart now. I have to be by Ruri’s side.』-Kotarou

Maybe he knew that the soldiers won’t do anything to him, the fairy walked in between the open spaces made by the soldiers and took flight.

“………. What should we do with that magical beast?”

“… Beats me ….?”

The tension in the air was totally replaced with awkwardness as everyone present stood aimlessly, contemplating on what to do with the huge souvenir left by the fairy.

***

A few days later, Jade was finally back in his castle.

His anticipation of meeting Ruri was smashed to pieces as he was handed a piece of paper by Euclase.

It was a piece of paper with no complete sentence in it. The handwriting was like the scribble of a child. That said, the few words written was legible.

Jade didn’t understand why Euclase had given him this.

“What is this?” -Jade

“Ruri left this written letter in her room and went somewhere else.” -Euclase

Jade frozen up as the paper slipped out from his hand.

Klaus picked up the paper and looked at the content. Finn too had a good look at the words written.
《House Leaving House Going Back》

“What do you think, Finn?” -Klaus

“A literal translation would mean that she ran away from home…” -Finn

Jade’s body shook at the mention of the word ‘running away from home’.

“But ‘home’ in Ruri’s case…. Did you hear anything from mother?”

“I’ve contacted her, but Ruri was not there. Really, that girl, leaving the castle without saying anything. This calls for a punishment once she’s back.” -Euclase

“You’re being quite nonchalant with this aren’t you, Euclase?”

“Yeah. I have an idea of where she’s headed, that’s why.” -Euclase

Euclase is aware that Ruri is summoned to this world by the country Nadarsia.

There are whispers about the current state of Nadarsia by the people. Some of the details probably caught Ruri’s attention while she was working part-time in the canteen.

She must’ve gone back to Nadarsia in order to see how things are going to the other summoned individual that came with her.

“That child still can’t write properly, that’s why the meaning of the paper turned out like that. But I’m pretty sure she just trying to say ‘I’m heading out, will be back’ instead of ‘Leaving house’.
As of right now, there has been no update from Chelsea. However, consider the destination, Ruri will definitely stop by Chelsea’s place. I believe that we just have to wait for a little bit longer and we should hear back from Chelsea.
Ruri is smart and disciplined. Not to mention the fairies are protecting her, so there is nothing to worry.” -Euclase

Euclase was right about everything; The thing about Ruri can’t write properly, and the reason why she left.
In fact, Ruri just didn’t know how to write the word ‘castle’, and wrote ‘House’.

“Seeing as Euclase is so sure about this matter, why don’t we just wait for her return, Your Majesty?…… Your Majesty??” -Klaus

Curious that there was no response from Jade during the conversation, Klaus turned his attention to Jade. And then…

“Ran away from home… Ruri… Ran away…” -Jade

Klaus was alarmed by the weird behavior Jade was exhibiting. Jade was making a crazed look while muttering repeatedly about Ruri running away.

“Your Majesty, did you hear what Euclase said?! I’m sure that if it’s Ruri, she’ll be back soon!” -Klaus

Klaus was shaking Jade to snap him back to reality, but Jade suddenly turned into his dragon form.

“Your Majesty?!” -Klaus

『I’m getting Ruri back.』-Jade

“Ah! Please wait for meee!!” -Klaus

In the next instance, both Klaus and Finn too changed into their dragon form and chased after the now far away Jade.

“…… This level of fondness, even though His Majesty thinks Ruri is a cat.
If His Majesty were told of the truth, that Ruri is human, what would happen then I wonder? ” -Euclase

The words spoken by Euclase disappeared in the wind just like the 3 giant dragons that slowly turned into mirages.

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