Translated by: SaltyTank
Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
Hello! There will be a a total of 2 chapters today, 1 being a sponsored chapter. Good news for everyone, starting next week, there will be releases on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, making it 3 regular chapters per week. We will also try our best to clear the queue of sponsored chapters. Speaking of which, I would like to thank everyone for your generous support. Excluding the chapter today, there’s still 13 sponsored chapters in queue! It is a bit hard for me to handle so many chapters in such a short period, thus each sponsored chapter will now be $15 instead of $10 (The queued chapters are not affected by this change). I hope you guys can understand the reason for such change, thanks a lot :3
Claudius’ was not in good shape right now. The metal spearhead and handle were melted by the high temperature, but the large wound on his thigh showed no signs of recovery. Even if all the vines were burnt, damage had already been dealt to his body. The nutrients stored within his body were insufficient for complete recovery at this point. This was all due to the exaggerated breath attack Claudius used a while ago.
The breath attack exceeded his physical capabilities. It was common practice for Crimson Dragons to attack by breathing a column of fire between intervals when their bodies had yet to reach a fully developed stage. Spraying fire continuously placed a huge burden on his still-developing flame gland and air compression sacs, damaging them as a result. Both tired and hurt, the Crimson Dragon desperately fled the battlefield, hoping that his wings could still function properly.
Claudius could detect various movements coming from a distance; it seemed that other adventurers were now rapidly heading towards the scene. If the five-man squad that had just fought Claudius had faced a typical young Crimson Dragon, their prey would be dancing in the palms of their hands, struggling pointlessly before getting eliminated. It was just that Claudius was out of the norm. Although everything in the area had pretty much become ash, the fire burned on even when physical fuel was absent. The flames were supported by magical elements, making the situation more of a magical phenomenon rather than a normal fire. The place would probably continue burning for at least 10 minutes, but Claudius did not plan to stay there for even a second more. Flapping his wings, the burning dragon flew towards a distant location.
“The great me would go west if a fellow with even a bit of power appeared right now……” Claudius moaned while enduring the stinging pain in his chest and throat.
The pain originated from the torn throat muscles, damaged lungs and air sacs, which were forced to withstand too much pressure during the breath attack. There were no sensory neurons for pain detection in the organ which secreted flammable fluid, thus pain could not be felt. However, it was dysfunctional beyond doubt right now. Claudius could not spew even a single spark of fire right now.
The burning torso was extinguished after Claudius flew for a few minutes. After fleeing from the fight, his wounds had recovered to the point that bleeding had stopped, but any further recovery was impossible. The cut muscles and tendons remained as they were, and wounds which looked like smiley faces were visible. During the flight, Claudius ground his teeth as he removed the arrowheads embedded into his body. The intense pain caused him to swear for a while, cursing the bunch of goddamn rangers. Luckily there were only 5 of them, and none of them were professional mages. If Claudius had to face mages of similar level in addition to the five-man squad, it would be a miracle for him to make it out alive. With that in mind, Claudius once again decided to migrate to another region, abandoning his newly obtained territory.
“If I were an adult dragon, you noobs would have had to run as far as you could! Hmph! Just wait and see!”
Claudius decided to settle down in a location which was far away from civilization in order to stay away from intelligent beings. Fortunately, Floren was a vast continent. The majority of the continent was unexplored and unpopulated by such beings. After flying westward for who knows how long, Claudius finally found the ideal place. At the very end of the Fire Dragon Bay, the Crimson Dragon discovered a cave on a cliff near the seashore and designated it as his lair. Just to be safe, Claudius surveyed the surroundings and found that no elves or whatsoever were present; the only creatures which could be called ‘intelligent beings’ were the dumb gnomes. Before reaching the stage of a teenage dragon, Claudius had no intention of leaving the place. Once again, he decided to pick up the art of mushroom farming to minimize the chance of exposure. The attacks he suffered most likely became traumas for Claudius.
Things finally got more peaceful after moving to his new lair. As a former person, utilizing tools was an inborn talent. Claudius felt embarrassed and ashamed of himself when he recalled the days which he had to dive into the ocean to catch fish. For this very reason, Claudius collected a large bunch of vines from the nearby trees and dried them under the sun. After pulling the vines into thin fibre threads, he soaked the threads in water and dried them repeatedly. The fibre threads were then grouped to form tensile wires after processing. Claudius’ large claws, unlike other Crimson Dragons, had a similar structure to human hands. This allowed his claws to perform much more precise and sophisticated actions. With his human-like claws, Claudius tried to weave a fishing net with the wires.
Although there weren’t as many species in the nearby as forest when compared to the peninsula which he previously resided in, prey were still available. The largest difference would probably be that boars were the fiercest omnivores in the current region while they were small fries back then. With the spare strings, Claudius made a handful of snare traps and scattered them around. This was a useful and practical technique from the godly book known as The Ultimate Survival Handbook back on Earth. The harvest was decent as long as Claudius could retrieve the trapped animals before the gnomes did. The pesky gnomes always stole the captured prey before Claudius arrived at the scene. For this reason, Claudius proclaimed quite a few times that he would one day annihilate all the damn gnomes in the region. In the end, it was all talk as he was simply too lazy to do so.
Despite his intelligence, Claudius still faced difficulties when using the fishing nets. A few times, the net broke as he dragged it across the ocean. It was not due to the lack of strength of the net, but the overwhelming amount of fish caught in the net. The massive load of fish caused tension to build up, breaking the knots as a result. As suggested by the saying ‘failure is the stepping stone to success’, Claudius improvised his design and finally made a satisfactory net after a few months of experimenting. By simply dragging the net across the ocean as he flew, the harvest was enough to fill his stomach for a while. Claudius was still aware of the potential danger of the sharkmen tribe, thus he did not fish frequently. He wanted to stay away from trouble, and getting attacked by sharkmen again was indeed troublesome. It was pretty obvious that sharkmen were aquatic creatures, thus it was unlikely for Claudius to get assaulted once again if he refrained from excessive fishing. Apart from fat, the mushrooms could provide more than enough nutrients as they had a very short growth cycle. With a bit of meat as a side dish, having mushrooms as the main dish was not that bad. While it may seem surprising for a Crimson Dragon to live a reclusive life, it was actually understandable. Crimson Dragons of his age would most likely still be under the protection of their parents, thus they would stay in their lairs all the time as well. The only difference between Claudius and the other Crimson Dragons were that he did not have the protection of others.
Even if Claudius had left the area for a while, those who wished to become a dragon slayer would not give up so easily. They continued to search the area for the Crimson Dragon, but it was a task doomed to fail. It would probably take them a while to notice that the dragon they were looking for was long gone. The rangers discovered a lot of the temporary lairs which Claudius previously used, and they were greatly rewarded – with chambers of emptiness one after another. Not a single gold coin or valuable item could be found. It was not as if their hard work were wasted though. Some people managed to find Claudius’ secret mushroom garden, and the mushrooms turned out to be expensive magic ingredients. The mushrooms were constantly immersed in Claudius’ dragon aura and were granted magical properties. With dragon saliva as fertilizer, the mushrooms also contained magic power. While the mushrooms were undoubtedly valuable ingredients for alchemy and potion brewing, further research was required to identify their actual uses and effects.
As Claudius hid in his new lair far, far away, the war between the elves and Sylvia the Jade Dragoness dragged on and became a war of attrition. With the aid of elves of other regions and crusaders, the battlefront was slightly pushed away from the elven city, but that was it. Without talented and high level adventurers, the elves were unable to kill the two dragons, especially Sylvia. The Jade Dragoness alone was already a challenging opponent, but now a young Crimson Dragon joined the fray. Furthermore, the two of them rarely left their lair. The scent of battle attracted nearby beastmen and evil creatures, and Sylvia gladly assigned them to her army as reinforcements. For a war between elves and dragons, it was not uncommon for it to last over a century as both species boasted longevity. From the look of things, this one was no different. It was not a war which would reach a conclusion anytime soon.