Translated by: SaltyTank
Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
Not much this time, just another plain ol’ chapter. Enjoy!
It was understandable for them to be so awestruck. If this had been the world of Azeroth, people would have been screaming ‘DEATHWING!’ while soiling their pants as soon as they saw the protruding jaw of the dragon covered in patterns which looked as strong as steel, along with the razor-sharp canines poking out, not to mention the four large horns on its head. Well, that was not the case here in this world. The crusaders could only mutter ‘So that’s The Crimson Disaster mentioned in the oracles and rumours……’
The topaz eyes of the awakened dragon were locked onto the crusaders. The divine blessings blocked the overwhelming dragon aura surging from the Crimson Dragon, allowing them to take a defensive formation without being affected by the aura. Claudius stood up on two legs as the invaders regrouped and continued to observe the unwelcomed guests on the opposite of the magma moat. He now looked majestic and powerful as he now had a far larger body than others of his age, but contrary to his atrocious appearance, Claudius was more intrigued rather than angry about the fact that humans managed to make it into the volcano. Speaking of which, it had been decades since he somehow ended up in this world, but the number of humans he had since encountered were no more than a few. Claudius had had fights with gnolls, ogres, beastmen, druids and even other dragons, but he had yet to inspect a normal human thoroughly— he did not pay much attention to the shady merchants and pirates he met before as they were identified as ‘meat’ instead. He had also met elves, but their appearances were pretty much identical to what he had expected, just like the elves in Japanese fantasy games. The beastmen were ugly bastards with wild looks and barbaric tusks like their counterparts in World of Warcraft, but the humans were rather…… ordinary. They slightly resembled humans in World of Warcraft as well, but they looked more civilized than those in the game. It would be more accurate to describe them as typical muscular characters you would find in American comics or movies.
This was probably also the reason why the crusaders looked so manly and masculine. Even the old priests were muscular uncles and every one of the crusaders kept a beard of considerable length. The beard of the youngest crusader was shorter than the rest, but Claudius still found it uncommon for youngsters to keep such a long beard; he probably did not have the leisure to shave during the harsh journey throughout the past few weeks. The older members did not seem to mind their messy beard which clearly did not go well with their shiny metal armour though. The paladins’ armour sets were all well-made equipment which released a magical glow. Claudius considered them as glowing ‘Milan-style cans’ though, considering the difference in size between the two parties. As for the priests, their protection gears were completely identical, the only difference being the white cloak they wore on top of the armour. The paladins held broadswords in their hands while the priests were equipped with various brutal-looking weapons ranging from spiked maces to meteor hammers.
“Damn, I would rather get chopped by those swords then getting smashed by those things!” Claudius mumbled.
The crusaders shouted loudly as they immediately casted barriers on themselves as they thought the dragon was about to cast some sort of magic — they had mistaken Claudius’ grumble in Chinese as chanting. Claudius could not help but laugh at the funny scene where dozens of little humans shout together as they get covered in tiny bubbles of light.
“What are you people here for?” Claudius asked the crusaders a simply question, in the Common Language of course.
Obviously, the crusaders sortied as commanded by the gods through oracles. Their objective, however, was not to slay the Crimson Dragon. Gods’ servants were all valuable assets, and Claudius was not so notorious that the gods had to kill him even if it meant sacrificing their own treasured troops. There was a young paladin among the crusaders who was particularly powerful, being blessed by the god Lathander, but the others were only medium-ranked combatants. The isles in the sea were not a well-established base of the righteous gods, thus the number of high level Priests and Paladins were limited.
What happened next surprised Claudius — the priests casted Detect Evil on him, lighting his body up in a bright glow. That was not all; the originally blue glow suddenly changed into red.
“Haha! So this is the divine spell which determines the alignment of the target? Fascinating, I wonder what criteria the spell considers when determining evil from good.” Claudius was worked up for some reason.
‘Let me try this,’ Claudius thought as he pictured scenes of volunteers of The Red Cross saving civilians in wars. He then imagined people praying in the Saint Sophia Church, and the results were as expected — the glow turned from red to blue as he thought about the two scenes in his mind. Claudius then began recalling various scenes in adult videos from his previous world, but that did not seem to affect the spell’s judgement. The moment he thought about the scandals of certain priests raping children, the glow turned to red. Continuing his plan, Claudius began thinking about imprisoning certain people in concentration camps like Hitler did back in World War II. The red glow intensified as his imaginary ‘plan’ became more detailed. For the sake of fun, Claudius imagined the most ‘evil’ thing he could think of — inflicting ‘A Thousand Year of Pain’ on the gods…… The glow on his body went haywire like a light bulb about to explode from receiving too much power input.
“HOW EVIL!” The crusaders shouted in unity, but Claudius continued to laugh while ignoring the provocative shouts.
“This is simply too fun! Too bad I can’t mess with these dudes for too long; they might come at me for real if I do that. It would be fun to try out various things……” Claudius then effortlessly changed the glow on his body from the brightest red the crusaders had ever seen back to blue. The muscle-headed Paladins who were prepared to throw their lives at the dragon dropped their jaws to the ground at the unexpected change. The priests, on the other hand, were also shocked to a large extent but still managed to maintain their composure. The paladins stayed on guard while the priests decided to have a talk with the dragon; they were well-versed in diplomacy and communication as their main duty was to spread the teachings of their god after all. There was nothing to worry about even if their target this time was a dragon.
“O Great Crimson Dragon,” the eldest priest was the one to break the deadlock.
“Claudius,” the Crimson Dragon pointed his finger at himself, “What is the matter?”
It was clearly a dragon capable of communication, but its motives were remained unclear at this point. Did it do so out of cautiousness, or was it trickery? The priest was uncertain as to how to continue the conversation. The Crimson Dragon was waiting for his response, and the only thing the priest could think of was the rumours regarding Saint Cruz Island. It was said that Saint Cruz Island was occupied by forces backed by the dragon in front of him, but the island was completely fine during their inspection. Public order on the island was as satisfactory as ever, and there did not seem to be any slaughtering or evil rituals going on. This was insufficient evidence to warn the dragon from interfering with human settlements, let alone slaying it. ‘The existence of Crimson Dragons are evil, so they have to be killed on sight’ was something politicians could accept, but it was simply too lame of a reason to be announced to the public. It was not enough to justify the casualties caused by the pointless subjugation.
The two exchanged their thoughts on the events regarding Saint Cruz Island, and much to the priest’s surprise, Claudius readily admitted that the Udaeus occupying the island were his subordinates and that it had nothing to do with gods or religion.
“Why the hell would I want to get involved in religion? I don’t care what you people believe in, okay?” This was Claudius’ response to the priest’s question about his faith. The experienced priest could already tell that the dragon was unrelated to the evil five-headed dragon queen Tiamat, but he still asked Claudius another question just to be safe.
“Oh, that old bitch dragoness with five heads? That w***e has so many lovers that her p***y is probably destroyed from all the sex she had, hahaha! Not that I give a damn though.”
The priest was astonished by Claudius’ response as it was a taboo for a Coloured Dragon to disgrace dragon deities, but he simply thought of it as a slip of tongue as the Crimson Dragon was rather talkative.
Thankfully, Claudius did not know much about Lathander and Pelor, or else the crusaders would be offended at some point during the conversation and the fight would have been unavoidable. Some of the relatively high ranked priests were inclined towards persuading the Crimson Dragon to join their religion — the fact that some beings from the Baatoor Nine Hells and the Endless Caverns converted their faith from evil to good years ago convinced the priests that even though the process might take a while, it could be done.
After conversing for a while, the priest thanked Claudius and left the place along with the rest of the crusaders. They all had different opinions, but the ultimate decision was not theirs to make; they would inform the gods of the situation and await their decision. From their point of view, the dragon could still be ‘saved’ and guided away from the path of evil, not to mention its frivolous personality.
Claudius could not care less about the crusaders’ opinions of him as long as they did not bother him. Even if he had been forcefully awakened by the Flame Myceloids, his mental state was similar to that of a drunken person. As a matter of fact, there was a large chance that Claudius could not even remember having the talk with the priest. The only thing he wanted to do right now was going back to sleep, and he quickly fell asleep once again in just a few minutes.
The Malar believers continued to lurk in the distance as the dragon lay back down while snoring……