Ch. 201 The Dragon’s Orb (2)
Elena had already come this far, and she had no intention of retreating.
Once again she supported Sullivan’s frail body and they stepped into the secret space. Fortunately, the pain from her wound did not bother her severely.
Their footsteps echoed as they descended the gloomy underground passage. At the bottom of the steps, they arrived at a place that looked like a cross between a museum and a treasure vault. The walls were covered with eerie paintings and geometric patterns, and in the center of the room stood a statue of a dragon.
Elena took in her surroundings in awe.
Sullivan quietly finished her sentence with a remorseful expression.
“This is where the Ruford family’s secrets are kept.”
Elena’s eyes turned to the blue bead ring she was wearing. She wondered what massive secret this little ring could contain.
“What do you think of the ring?”
“I was told at a jewelry store that the gem was very unusual.”
“It’s not only that.”
There was a dark gleam in Sullivan’s eye, and when he spoke his voice was grave.
“It’s not just a bead…It’s called the Dragon’s Orb.”
If Sullivan weren’t talking in such a serious tone, Elena would have thought that he was joking with her. She remembered something Carlisle had said before.
—My father believes that the blue bead ring I gave you is the Dragon’s Orb.
She thought it was absurd then, but the words “Dragon’s Orb” were embedded in her heart.
‘Is this bead really the Dragon’s Orb?’
She wasn’t easily convinced, and the ring was completely ordinary in all the years she kept it in her last life. Even if Sullivan’s words were true, there was no reason for Carlisle to give such an invaluable item to Elena when they were children.
As if sensing her doubt, Sullivan spoke again.
“You don’t believe it?”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t. To be honest…it’s so sudden that I don’t know how to process it.”
Sullivan nodded in sympathy.
“It is understandable. This is the first time you’ve heard a story like this. But listen to my words carefully; the power of the dragon has been passed down generation to generation in the Imperial Family, just as the myth says.”
Elena had already witnessed the transformation on Carlisle’s body, so she knew that was true. However, she couldn’t fully erase her skepticism.
“Then why don’t you speak of it? If the other kingdoms knew, they would be more afraid of the Ruford Empire.”
“That’s because not all the offspring have the dragon’s power. It is only manifested in a few select boys of the Imperial Family.”
“So when the dragon’s power was passed on to Carlisle…that meant…”
“Yes. That is why Carlisle was made the crown prince.”
If that was true, it explained how Carlisle, who showed no special outward signs, caught Sullivan’s eye and was made the heir to the throne.
People whispered that it was because Carlisle was the eldest son, or that it was because he was the son that was most favored by Sullivan, but…the truth didn’t seem like that.
“Father, what exactly is the power of the dragon?”
Despite her doubt earlier, Elena couldn’t help but express curiosity about the story. The more she considered Sullivan’s words, the more she wanted to know.
Sullivan gave her a knowing look and then spoke.
“A part of the body transforms into a dragon and the person gains immense power. Another ability is to create a dragon’s orb, but it is extremely rare and not many have done so.”
Elena recalled the black scales on Carlisle’s arm. When she had first seen them, her immediate thought was that it looked like a dragon’s. She glanced down wonderingly at her ring.
“Can this ring…really grant one wish?”
She found herself gradually starting to believe his words, but that only opened up even more complications. Sullivan had been misled by Carlisle’s false wish on the ring. Carlisle had told her:
– Say that I gave you the blue bead ring as a token of the proposal. Tell him that I said the man who marries you will become the emperor of Ruford Empire and bring about a great revival.
But he never made that wish to Elena. If the bead truly was the Dragon’s Orb, as Sullivan claimed, then Elena did not know what Carlisle’s true wish was. Considering that he had given the ring to Elena, there was a strong possibility that it was about her.
‘What wish did he make in his childhood?’
Her mind swirled in confusion, but she couldn’t tell Sullivan what she knew. In any case, he strongly believed in the lies that Carlisle instructed her to deliver to him. She could only wonder what was true or false.
“If what you’ve told me so far is true, and you’re reluctant to let outsiders know this, then why did you tell this to me?”
A small smile spread on Sullivan’s face at her question.
“You have a quick mind. Good question. Some of the Imperial Family may already know what I’ve told you so far. But no one else knows what I’m going to tell you from now on.”
This only aroused Elena’s curiosity even more. Why would he say this to her?
“There is only one reason I would tell this to you and no one else.”
Elena gave a hesitant nod.
“Because there is something you need to do for the child that will carry on the dragon’s blood.”
“Something…I need to do?”
An ominous feeling came over her. Then suddenly, her eyes were drawn to the eerie paintings in the room.
One of them depicted a man kneeling before a black dragon on the ground. Blood flowed from the man’s lips as he devoured something he held in his hands.
‘What is he eating?’
She suddenly realized that the scene depicted in the painting differed from the widely known myth of the founding of the country.
[The one born between dragon and man will become the emperor of the Ruford Empire, and will have absolute power for generations.]
As it was known, a blessed child born from the loving union between a dragon and human would become the emperor.
But the scene she saw was…monstrous.
A heavy silence settled in the room as Elena grappled with this new information. Sullivan’s expression was grave as he opened his mouth to speak.