Translated by: SaltyTank
Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
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Bronze Dragons — they were Metallic True Dragons who had mastered the water element and were known for their kindness. One of them had lived in the far end of the Starspire Mountains since two centuries ago; the now mature adult was still a juvenile dragon back when he met the lone treant Gudebar and became good friends. Though the treant was a bit stubborn, he had good temper and was tender-hearted.
Achilles was a mature adult Bronze Dragon with a long bronze-coloured body of 20 metres. Despite his size, Achilles could still move freely in water without restrictions. He was resting when the fierce battle between his friend Gudebar and Claudius broke out; the fight was so intense that shockwaves caused by the scorching dragon aura and the treant’s hits travelled all the way to his lair, waking the Bronze Dragon from his sleep.
One of the mountains near the sea had been excavated by Achilles, creating a large cave which he used as his lair for rest and hiding treasure. Winding tunnels connected the cave to an undersea entrance, allowing him access to the nearby sea.
Achilles rushed out of his lair, but it was all too late as he could only witness his close buddy getting shredded to pieces by the peculiar Crimson Dragon. He noticed the weird appearance of the attacking dragon as well, but Achilles knew it was undoubtedly a Crimson Dragon. From the knowledge obtained from the inheritance ceremony and his life experience, Achilles could distinguish its species from its dragon aura and the Ring of Blaze which clad it in a pale red glow.
“There’s a possibility that this dragon is of the Infernal Bloodline……” Achilles thought as he carefully observed the Crimson Dragon which had a weird look and abnormally strong hind legs. The Bronze Dragon was a knowledgeable dragon who had encountered various peculiar creatures, thus he took his time assessing the Crimson Dragon which killed his friend.
It was a fair guess, but Claudius was a purebred Crimson Dragon instead of having the Infernal Bloodline or whatnot. Oblivious to the Bronze Dragon beneath the sea, Claudius continued to enjoy the barbecue session. It was a short but pleasurable meal, and just as he was about to leave the area, Claudius felt a gaze locking onto him.
“Something or someone is staring at me……”
The sensation of being observed was not a good one; only formidable enemies could withstand his dragon aura and have the leisure of peeking at him. Claudius immediately took off and searched through the region with his keen eyes.
The camouflages of Bronze Dragons were extraordinary, and they could blend into the surroundings as long as they remained within water. As a result, Claudius could not discern the location of Achilles who was spying on him. Achilles even went as far as to hide most of his body within corals; Claudius stood no chance of finding the Bronze Dragons. Pointlessly looking around was a waste of time, thus Claudius could only bitterly give up his current operations and proceed to construct a lair.
As a fellow who had made countless lairs during the past few decades, Claudius was a veteran when it came to lair construction, but he was not interested in digging a large cave out of nowhere. Claudius casually chose a concaved spot on one of the mountains and dug downwards a bit before excavating sideways. After a while, a semi-open lair was completed.
He gathered the remaining pieces of Gudebar’s body in a corner and spat a gobble of water on the wood (he carried the water from a nearby stream in his mouth). Claudius then scratched his balls a few times and wiped his claws on the pile of logs.
“I’m definitely getting tinea cruris1 one day if I keep storing hyphae2 on my body like this! Ew, this is f**king gross if I do say so myself. Nah, even I can’t stand this shit anymore, gotta find a new way as soon as possible! F**k this shit……” Claudius slapped himself in the face out of instinct before realising he hadn’t washed his claws, “I’m so f**ked……”
Claudius dumped his whole body into the nearby stream and began rolling around. The feeling of salt condensing on his scales was irritating, thus he chose to clean himself in a stream instead of the sea.
After splashing around in the stream for a while, his scales were still rather dull and did not have a crimson shine, but Claudius still returned to his lair nonetheless.
“One day I’m gonna polish wax my scales to make ‘em shiny!” he muttered in Chinese while staring at the tiny white and red coloured fungi which were already growing on the corpse of the treant.
In reality, Achilles’ and Claudius’ lairs were merely separated by 300 metres of rock……
Achilles could not view the other side of the mountain beneath the sea, but his magic allowed him to confirm that the Crimson Dragon had settled down on the other side of the mountain.
‘If this could be endured, what else could not?’ — Of course, Floren did not have Chinese idioms, but there were idioms with similar meanings among the natives as well. As a Bronze Dragon, Achilles could not tolerate the fact that a Crimson Dragon made a lair in close proximity to his own, but as a mature adult, acting out of impulse was a big no. While he did not see the fight between Gudebar and Claudius, Achilles still labelled the Crimson Dragon as a dangerous target. The Crimson Dragon was more muscular than any other True Dragon, especially the pair of hind legs, not to mention his mega size body and the Ring of Blaze which covered the surroundings of his lair. Achilles believed that he would almost certainly lose if they went for close quarter combat. As a righteous Bronze Dragon, Achilles was nothing like the stupid and dobe Brass Dragons and Copper Dragons which could not read the mood and situation. To avenge his friend, Achilles began devising strategies and tactics to defeat the evil Crimson Dragon.
Meanwhile, Claudius was inspecting every inch of his body to make sure he was now clean; having fungi growing on his body was the last thing he wished for. It was simply pathetic for a mighty Crimson Dragon to suffer from such diseases. Other dragons would probably laugh and mock him for millenniums if that actually happened. Fortunately, Dragons were supernatural creatures, and it was extremely unlikely for such things to happen. Claudius’ scales were not clean as a whistle, but the skin underneath did not suffer from any form of sickness or disease as well. Just for the sake of soothing his worries, Claudius sanitized his entire body (especially his balls) with his flames and Ring of Blaze……
It was quite the shameless act, but Claudius recently realized that his sense of shame had been disappearing bit by bit. This was proven from the fact that he could blatantly fly in the air with his balls dangling and not worry a single bit.
Anyways, Claudius could not find the Bronze Dragon spying on him, thus he chose to slump down onto the walls of his lair and chill for a bit. His lair was a wide and spacious one with a tall ceiling, but the only downside was that it was in the shape of a funnel, with the upper areas being wider and the lower areas being crampier.
After settling down in a comfortable posture, Claudius began to brainstorm ways to record his memories and knowledge, as well as creating a ‘notebook’ for studying magic. In Floren’s terms, it would be known as a grimoire.
“Slicing my own skin for books is a bit too ridiculous, I guess. Paper isn’t available in the wilderness as well, while writing on leather and hides were pretty much impossible……”
Claudius felt a bit frustrated, but then realized there was something he had yet to utilize, “Right, tree bark! I got a stack of bark from the treant!”
Recalling the battle in his mind, Claudius remembered that the treant had tough bark which contained traces of mana. He flew back to the murder scene, but could only recover six pieces of bark which were around 1 square metre large each. In terms of scale, it was like a pocket notebook for Claudius. It was a pity that the rest were already burnt as fuel during his barbecue session…… Frankly, Claudius was rather disappointed at himself, but recovering 6 pieces was still better than none. Asides from ‘paper’, Claudius still needed pen and ink in order to write. He could use a branch as a makeshift pen before finding a proper one, and he was prepared to use his own blood as ink if a suitable substance could not be found.
After thinking this issue through, Claudius began to fiddle the Heart of Treant with his claws. He thought that it was a piece of garbage which looked like amber stone and contained unknown mana — Claudius’ ability to assess items was the shame of all Crimson Dragons……
“Meh, this broken thing is crap.”
Not giving a single damn about the precious item, Claudius threw the Heart of Treant to the pile of fungi. The essence of mana gathered by Gudebar throughout his life was now being used as fertilizer for cultivating fungi……
1. A type of skin disease
2. Basic cell/unit of fungi