“When you squeeze the nobility, it’s the peasants that feel the pinch.”
And that, right there, is why it’s lunacy to raise taxes on the rich and think it’ll make things better for the poor.
Sorry, soap box moment. Moving on.
Draco the Dragon says this to his unlikely friend, the fallen knight, Bowen. The two were adversaries when they first met, and they are not friends just yet, but they have formed a partnership, the sort that no one would suspect. Draco swoops in on a town or village or something, Bowen rides up offering to slay the dragon, they put on a little theater, and escape with their reward. Bowen reaps gold, and Draco gets some time in the sun instead of hiding in a cave waiting for knights to come for his life.
Side-note: beware the dragon slayer who is already approaching when the dragon attacks, for there is no such thing as coincidence.
While they’re meandering through the countryside, with gold extorted from a petty, corrupt nobleman, Draco and Bowen discuss their little scam. Bowen is quite happy to fleece the oppressive nobility, but Draco helps him consider more than himself, his wallet, and his grudges against those in power. After all, where does the noble get his cash? The peasants. So, to recoup the loss of paying an exorbitant fee to a dragon slayer, the noble will just take more from the peasantry, and keep living high on the hog while his people starve even worse than before.
With Bowen’s conscience pricked, the duo shifts their targets directly to the peasants themselves, and charge less for each “slaying” than they would charge the nobles. Still not an honest living, but it’s a step in the right direction, and that direction takes them back to being more noble and selfless than they’ve been for awhile.