Dream of Dragons
Dream of Dragons
Table of Contents
Chapter Twenty One
Chapter Twenty Two
Chapter Twenty Three
Chapter Twenty Four
Chapter Twenty Five
Chapter Twenty Six
Chapter Twenty Seven
Chapter Twenty Eight
Chapter Twenty Nine
Warmaster Sairus clinked as he walked. The plate mail he wore was fitted well enough, having been commissioned by the queen herself to fit the contours of his body. The smith, thankfully, had not balked at the idea of crafting a suit of armor for the Beastman, and that was when the queen knew the alliance with the Beastmen would be a success. The smith had worked very closely with Sairus, as he had not made anything for a Beastman before, and thought of the task as a great challenge and honor.
It had been a full year since King Jorrne and Queen Katarina had signed the alliance into effect, and a full year since Sairus had been given by the Beastman king to the human kingdom to serve in their court as the Warmaster, the tactician and adviser. He told himself frequently, while holding his head high, that his purpose was noble. One of a kind. He was the best man for the job and will serve faithfully.
Now, the esteemed Warmaster had to remind himself of his purpose, and to have patience, as he chased a squirming, shrieking little human girl through the halls of Castle Aldoran.
“My lady!” He called, his armor clinking as he walked faster. “Please, don’t run in the halls. Court will start in a few minutes, and the queen expects you to be there.”
Loren, the little princess and current thorn in Sairus’s side, giggled in response and sped around the corner. She peeked around it, smiling, and Sairus knew she wanted to play chase. The usually stern panther’s mouth quirked up in a slight smile. Cats did like to play chase. He undid the clasps of his heavy plate armor as he walked, and eased them down to the stone floor as he approached. Loren, seeing the Warmaster rid himself of his heavy armor, ran down the hall with peals of laughter.
Soon Loren ran out of breath, and didn’t hear the Warmaster’s clinking footsteps. She looked back down the hall, and strained to hear any noise above her own breathing. That’s when she heard the soft padding of footsteps muffled by fur, and the light tap of claws on stone. Sairus turned the far corner of the hall, running on all fours and quickly approaching the young princess. Loren shrieked, as little girls do, and tried to run away, but the panther pounced and easily scooped Loren up in a tight hug, rolling on the floor to her laughter. When he stood, Loren giggled and balled her fists in tufts of his fur, and beat at his tunic-clad chest.
“Not fair! You’re too fast when you do that!” Loren said, her little fits slightly sinking into the short fur of Sairus’s arms.
The Warmaster smiled, and put the princess down. “I’m sorry, my lady. But you do have to join your parents in court.” He offered his hand to the little princess, and began to walk with her back down the hall. “And it’s dangerous for you to be running the halls, my lady. You might trip or bump into things.”
“But you don’t, right?” Loren asked, craning her neck to look up at Sairus. “I saw cats on the castle walls, and they never trip or even fall.”
“I’m not a feral like those cats, my lady,” Sairus said patiently. “But I don’t trip or fall, just like them.”
“Don’t listen to him, my lady!” A voice sounded, accompanied by the rustle of a cloak. “Bathes by licking his fur just like the castle cats, and chases mice in the kitchens on all fours.”
The Warmaster sighed and waved dismissively at the figure that appeared behind them. “The Spymaster plays games, my lady, and his job is to spread lies. I do not lick myself, Beastmen are above that.”
“Sairus, my friend, you wound me. My job is to find secrets as well, don’t forget.” Spymaster Isran chuckled, pulling down the hood of his cloak to reveal his sharp eyes. He approached Loren and bowed, a hand disappearing into the folds of his cloak. “A present, my lady.” He said, taking something out.
Loren squealed, little hands eagerly grasping for the bag of candy the Spymaster held out. “Cherry candies! Thank you, Spymaster!” the princess said, hugging him.
“Candies, Isran?” Sairus sighed as he buckled his armor back on. “Wouldn’t that spoil our lady’s dinner?”
“Come now, you old cat. Where’s your sense of humor? The cherry ones are the little princess’s favorite.” Isran said with a chuckle. He stood, and with a wave of his cloak, held his arm out as if holding a rapier pointed at Sairus. “Do you seek to steal away the princess from me?”
“Isran, please. This is no time for games. We have to attend court; the queen will be looking for us and her daughter.” Sairus scoffed. “And we’re not little boys anymore.”
“Please fight, Warmaster!” Loren squealed, bounding up and down in excitement. “I love watching you fight!”
“Ah see, Sairus? We must always entertain our lady’s wishes. We may not be little boys, but our princess is a little girl.” Isran smirked down his imaginary sword. “Court is at the tenth bell, we have time. What do you say?”
The Warmaster sighed, and shook his head. Loren’s face began to fall from disappointment, when Sairus reached up to a pair of decorative swords that hung on the wall. He pulled them down, and ushered