On the next day, the celebration of my completion of the proving was held, at the same time, the announcement of my becoming as a Tribe Chief.
During the announcement, I remained at the center of a wooden stage overlooking hundreds of Dwarfs, Elves, and Enarfs.
They are all different, but they are all mixed up. I thought as observed the members of the Tribe.
I thought. Four, no, three years. I’ll make the residents of Laurel familiar with the peculiarities of the Tribe in three years or less.
As Sylvar and Garfin announced the result of my proving, my achievements, and my position as a new chief, several different reactions painted the crowd. Before it officially closed, I was asked to give a speech.
I moved forward until I reached the edge of the stage then stood there as I moved my sights around the crowd. Before I started, I inhaled deeply.
“First, good morning to you all.” I said with a light bow, wearing a smile. “Before anything, I wish to express my gratitude for accepting me and my Grandfather here in the Tribe.” I spoke loud and clear.
Silently, the crowd listened.
“Between humans, most if not all of us thought that the other races were nothing but evil. We were selfish and close-minded, ignorant and apathetic.”
“Due to the varying accounts that depicted the races as demonic beings, our minds were poisoned. In retaliation, humans fought and did the same, no, far worse. We knew no bounds. We enslaved the races, innocent or not it didn’t matter, we all looked at them as a toy for entertainment. We were monsters.”
I said placing a hand on my chest and gave a deep bow. “Although I am not fit, I wish to admit our sins, and as a representative of my people, I gravely apologize to you all on their behalf.”
Then after pausing for a while, I continued with my speech. “But every once in a while, there were those who viewed things differently, and one of those was my Grandfather, Randolf Laurel, a King.”
“Grandfather taught me many things, but among those, the most important thing I’ve learned is to never judge a person by his or her birth, human or not. And because of this belief, he led Laurel into thinking that there is a stage where we humans and the races could meet eye to eye.”
“To prove this, Grandfather led expeditions in Alabaster to search for a community of any race, and this resulted in the discovery of the Tribe. After seven years, his efforts bore fruit, and a connection with the Tribe was established.”
“During those seven years, he had begun showing that the races in the Tribe were harmless. Little by little, the citizens of Laurel started thinking and gradually accepted that the other races may not be as bad as the accounts told.”
“For the next two years, the trade between us increased the diversity of the commodities available in Laurel, but at the same time, the Tribe was satisfied. It was a mutual correspondence.”
“Positive of the result, he thought that the account should be spread, hoping to change how the humans viewed the races. But in the end, the result was his death.”
“The church, forerunner in advocating that humans are superior, feared that their teachings would be denied and their position shaken. They were cowards that hid behind their believers and pushed them into doing what they wished. They were a society of puppets, a false religion.”
“Hoping to continue what Grandfather started, I left my own kingdom and studied in Academia. In Academia, my life was harsh. Everywhere I went; there would always be a rumor, a rumor of a child loved by the demons. To them, the truth did not matter. They were my fellow humans, but they were blind. Because of this, I learned that fruits of the same tree are not similar."
“In Academia, there was never a day that I could rest at ease. Even so, I moved forward until I finally reached what Grandfather achieved. Standing in front of the Tribe, hoping that we could live together peacefully.”
“And now, to all of you, as a new chief of the Tribe, I hope that one day we could all talk as equals, as a community, as beings living in this world, and not as different races. I hope that one day we can live under a single roof, free of prejudice, unconcerned by our differences, and worthy of trust. And so I ask you, to help me show my fellow humans that the races are not what they think they are.”
Then and there I ended my speech as I stepped backward. After ending the announcement, the feast started.
The celebration was lively, Elves sang songs, Dwarfs quarreled over the drinks, and Enarfs performed dances. It was a community where everyone was treated as equals, chief or not.
“Lia, come, let’s eat!” It did not take long before I was dragged by Kanna and was forced to eat their local food.
From one place to another, I mingled with the residents and learned of their names. We shared stories, what we like and what we don’t. All in all, we ate, we drunk, and we celebrated for another day of nothing but joy.
During the celebration, I started to observe some peculiarities among the races. The Elves ate meat without a hint of disgust. The Dwarfs ate fruits and vegetables accompanied by meat. The Enarfs enjoyed either of the two.
As I observed this, I smiled. The change is hardly visible from a person outside the community, but they adapted each other’s traits and became an entirely different race.
I wonder if this is what Grandfather wanted everyone to see. With a warm sense of fulfillment, I thought. Seeing everyone like this, I kind of understand why Grandfather wanted to start the change…
A place we can all call home huh. I wish that someday if ever I retire, can have a home like this…
It did not take long before the celebration reached its peak. At night, the Tribe kneeled on the ground, placed their fists on the left side of their chests, and began praying. After praying, a horn made out of goat’s horn was blown to signify its end
With a wry smile, I thought. A prayer of thanks and guidance towards Amalthea huh.
That night, inside the bedchamber of my lodge, I bathed myself on the moonlight and released my horn.
“Celes,” I called, grasping the crystal with my hand. “Are you there?”
In response, the crystal glowed faintly. [I am listening, Amelia.]
“You see,” I started as I peered towards the moon. “I think it’s not that bad that I followed what Grandfather had set for me.”
[…] In silence, she listened.
“Seeing them all wearing genuine smiles, I’m quite envious. I wish I could become like them.” I said. “They all lived knowing that their comrades are there beside them, ready to support. Unlike me, there’s a need to be wary. I cannot just lend my back to someone else. Celes, someday, can I become like that? Can I become innocent and free once more?”
As I continued, a tear dropped from my eye. “As everyone thought, I’m too harsh on myself.” I muttered. “Celes, can you please come? Just this moment, please, I want someone I can lean on.”
Answering my wishes, Celes appeared before me in her human form. Silently, I stood before her and buried myself into her chest. “Celes, will you help me? Will you guide me? I don’t think I can do everything on my own…”
Without answering my question, she stroked my hair and carefully lowered herself to a sit.
“Why do I have to be born to be a princess?” I cried. “It’s so hard, looking at them all genuinely living their life, while here I am in the dark, thinking about how I would face them all again once I return.”
Again, I cried weakly. “I’m sorry Celes, I’m pathetic. I shouldn’t be doing this…”
“Amelia,” Celes answered in a calming tone. “It’s fine to show weakness from time to time. Weakness is a sign that you are an imperfect yet perfect being. So just for today, you can act like a weak child you are.”
No longer that I remember what happened next, but I was sure that it didn’t take me long before I fell asleep in her embrace.
The day after, “Morning Lia!” Kanna, uninvited, barged inside my lodge.
Nevertheless, “Morning Kanna.” I replied.
She approached the table; “I’ve brought the books.” and placed it on top.
The books detailed both the language of the Elves and the Dwarfs.
“I’ve also brought the records that Randolf prepared in case you became chief.” She said while taking out a stack of papers.
“Records?” I asked, eating my morning meal. “What do you mean?”
“It's a record detailing the trade routes to be used, the commodities to be traded, the estimated value of the commodities generalized into different classes and a lot more just in case something happens to him.”
Surprised by what she just spoke of, I stood from my seat and took the records. After grabbing them, I skimmed over its contents.
This is… I thought as my eyes read through them one by one and collected the information in my mind and supplied what I knew of.
“This is incredible…” I muttered in disbelief. “I can’t believe Grandfather prepared this much…”
“Right?” She answered with a smile. “He also wrote there the people you could trust in case you need people to handle the detailed stuff.”
“Yes, I know them.” I muttered as I go over the names listed. “Most of them are retired Chancellors and some are direct vassals of Grandfather...”
“So, what do you want to do?” she asked.
“I want to review this for a moment,” I answered without moving my eyes away from the paper. “Probably it'll take me a day or two before I finish.”
“So you want to delay the language and riding lessons?”
“Please do.” I answered. “Besides, the council would be held two days from now. I’ll take the riding lesson first. There’s no immediate need for me to learn the language immediately.”
For two days, I reviewed the records left by Grandfather.
This is… I thought as I listed what I thought that needs to be retained and what needs to be modified. This will do, but for this one, I’ll need Mother’s opinion.
I checked it once, twice, and then thrice before finally putting the records down, satisfied with what I’ve done.
“Kanna, do you know where Mon lives?” I asked as I approached the door.
“Hmm? Mon you say?” She said as she fiddled with a dagger. “What do you need him for?”
“I need a favor, oh, that also includes you.” I added. “I need you both to deliver these papers to the palace, it would be faster if you take Mon on Birby and accompany him until the forest entrance. And a reminder, don’t approach Aves, they might mistake Birby as a hostile wyvern and take him down.”
“Okay.” She answered. “I’ll take a few minutes to reach the forest entrance from here if I take Birby anyway. But the journey back will be longer.”
“Yes,” I nodded. “Also, please tell Mon to meet me after his return. I need to apologize for the bow I broke.”
“Heeh, so he lent you a bow?” She asked.
I answered. “Yes, before the proving.”
“Don’t mind it. Mon probably gave it to you as a gift rather than lending it to you.” She said. “Anyway, I’ll go visit him now.” Then she ran off taking the documents I wrapped with a string and placed on the table.
“Wait!” I called, but I was ignored. “Haah…”
I guess I’ll go grab the rapier and the dagger for now.
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