"Sir, you're being requested to be received by your – uh – helper," a young small boy entered the castle room where the governor resided.
"Thanks, Galnev," the governor turned his head from the window, "please, remember to knock at the door next time. I may be needing privacy at any moment when you come at my door."
"I'm sorry, sir."
"It's fine, my dear boy. Just remember it and your job will be perfect," he said amiably. "Tell him to come here, will you?"
The boy smiled and went away. He was so young, still new to the job, but very willing to learn.
The governor, alone again, contemplated his room, its large wooden table with a red and golden armchair reserved for him, its red sheets and white curtains, the fine wood furniture that stood against the marble floor, and the rooftop made of stone – the only part of that room that didn't fit with the rest. A mirror next to his bed gave him the image of a middle-aged man, a little stocky due to his age, but nevertheless still quite elegant in his white-haired, shaved face and his good purple clothes.
He could not say to feel easy when in presence of the man about to come. That did not mean he did not do a good job – how could he forget that time he had alerted him of that conspiracy against him – he was simply...sinister. It could have been because of his elusive manners, or his spectral appearance.
Or it could have been because he had managed to tame a godsdamn dragon to travel all over the island and find him criminals to report.
Incredibly still, the dragon, a silver specimen, looked so docile. All the times the governor had been close to it, it had never roared, nor attacked – it had never done anything at all. In fact, its eyes had a sort of submissive look that could have almost been pitiful, hadn't he known those eyes belonged to a dragon. Still, he made sure its tamer would receive an iron collar and some other useful tools to keep control of it. Should the dragon cause trouble, he was always ready to give him the right sentence...together with his damn dragon, of course. Nobody was special in front of the law. Well, except for the Queen of course.
His eyes got back to the window that showed the city of Erakol in all its greatness. The new capital of the island, built by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen of Krisar, for the benefit of the new colonizers and the locals' alike, was a monument to the come of civilization the Krisaders brought to that land, once dominated by barbarity and a terrible cult of deadly dragons. Its streets filled with Krisaders and Gyraders alike showed wonderfully its benevolence and compassion. A place for everyone, where the Krisaders' progress and the Gyraders' (nevertheless) unique culture met to create a vibrant, innovative city, where all its citizens could enjoy civic and intellectual freedom, without having to prostrate themselves in front of wild animals. The governor was not one that enjoyed praising himself, but having governed the colony for almost twelve years he had, in his heart, given a good contribution. It was certainly a reason for being provided with a sense of pride and accomplishment in his role.
He smiled a bit. How nice that such simple visions like his town in the sunlight could give such good feelings.
The sound of knocks came at his hears. "Come in," the governor said.
The door opened, revealing a tall, muscled man with eyes the same color of his black, straight hair and his goatee beard.
"Good afternoon, governor."
"Good afternoon, Vark," he greeted him, "I assume you have news, to come here."
"Tell me, then," he said, offering him one of his large wooden chairs and sitting in his personal one behind his table.
"It's about one of the slayers that joined the Great Hunt" the spy started his explanation. "what I have seen charges him of murder and also treason."
"Mm?" The governor's amusement increased. It may have not been another rebel conspiracy, but still a possible traitor was enough to be alarmed for. It could mean a serious menace, about to be prepared. "Tell me exactly what you have seen."
"The slayer in question entered in conflict with another one who was fighting a pair of dragons," the spy explained, overlapping his legs in that attitude of self-confidence the governor disliked, "and killed him. Not only that, but later he escaped with the dragons." He concluded his speech with a large smile.
The governor took a deep breath and held his hands in his lips for a moment.
"This is a very serious accusation," he eventually spoke, "and nothing I have ever heard about. Are you really certain of what you have seen?"
"My lord," the spy said in visible satisfaction, "my sentinel's eyes can find things that our eyes would never do."
"Oh yes...your sentinel." He started moving nervously his fingers at the sole thought of that beast. "Did you remember to tie it?"
"Of course, my lord. I'm not stupid."
"Good." He breathed again. "But I do not understand at all how someone could escape with dragons alongside."
"Well...he did not escape, actually," the spy declared, "but he did not certainly fight them. In fact, he had a long conversation with them and did not make any attack."
"Dragons have the ability to talk. It's not something many know, but they do."
"And these dragons, they talked our language I suppose?" The governor's voice slowly descend into a polite, but present sarcasm.
"I was too distant to hear anything, my lord. I am only referring what I have seen. The slayer has assassinated a colleague that was fighting those dragons, then they exchanged words. Later, the dragons flew away. The slayer_" he abruptly paused his narration.
"The slayer?" The governor poked him.
"I...I do not know what the slayer did later," he admitted, "the dragons were flying in my direction and I had to tell my dragon to quickly fly away."
"So, from what you know, there's nothing that denies he could have been killed by the dragons themselves."
"My dragon would have smelled it," the spy replied, "it is exceptional in smelling out the scent of fresh death over very large distances."
"So he's alive," the governor nodded, giving a quick look at the sunny day over the capital of the land he governed, "are you able to describe him?"
The spy's face exploded into a very wide smile, even wider than before.
"Tell me, then."
"It was..." he paused for a moment, sticking out his chest proudly "...Axor, sir."
He nodded, like for confirming it was all true. The governor instinctively retreated with his chair.
"Vark, if you have come here only for making me a joke, I will make you regret it," he pronounced, gritting his teeth.
"Sir, have I ever come here to joke?"
He hadn't, indeed. The governor let some air pass through his mouth.
"Listen Vark. I have accepted the most doubtful stories reported from you. I owe you so much in keeping this colony safe and happy," he snorted, "but Axor is dead." It was a terrible tragedy for the whole land, indeed. The hero that had united the whole island population in acclamation, the man who had won the previous Kron Kavan with three dragons killed, celebrated by virtually all the bards in Gyr'end...that loss could never be restored. But heroes never die, he knew it. He would keep living in every Gyrader's heart.
The spy seemed to have already an objection ready.
"How do we know he's dead, sir?"
"Well...he...he just never did come back," was his weary answer, "isn't that enough? Our hero was clearly killed by a dragon, or something else happened. But it was certainly a dragon! He died heroically! I have no doubt that_"
"Exactly, sir. He did not come back." The spy gave him a direct, firm look at the governor. "I am reporting what I have seen with my, and my sentinel's, eyes, sir. I know it is hard to accept that the great Axor is a traitor, and that I currently have no tangible evidence. But I think to have proven, in all these years, that I can be trusted. I have not much to say, at this point."
The governor did not answer, at least not yet. He was conflicted. Axor...Axor...either he was truly dead or he had betrayed the cause he had sworn to fight for...truly finding him dead would have been better...Vark had to have made a really big mistake...
He snorted. He knew perfectly that Vark was reliable. He knew it very well. With heavy soul, he let himself accept the reported fact.
"Very well. You need to consider this. Everyone believes he has died heroically and has acclaimed him as a hero since he won the previous Great Hunt. I cannot afford to let them think of him as a criminal. On the other side, I strongly believe in justice. So, if he really is alive – I guess I have to trust you - and has fled to do I don't even know what with dragons, then I order you...to find him. Find him and bring him here, if possible. And discover what he has in mind." He clenched his fists. "Axor...of all people..."
"It will be done, sir," the spy smiled again, "you have my word. Nobody ever flees from the four eyes of the Winged Ghost."