Translated by: SaltyTank
Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
Sorry for the late release, but there you go! Enjoy the 2 chapters 🙂
Ignoring his pile of fungi, Claudius began to recall the knowledge he learnt from Sylvia’s library; to be precise knowledge regarding meditation. According to the books she had in her library, the first step to becoming a spellcaster was to meditate. He tried to follow the steps mentioned in the books, but to him, meditation was no different from taking a nap. Every time Claudius tried to meditate, he ended up falling asleep.
Five days had passed since he settled down on one of the mountains of the Starspire Mountains. Claudius now had a general grasp of his surroundings, excluding Achilles. He did manage to discover another Bronze Dragon living around 60 kilometres away though; it was rather easy to spot as its lair was a small limestone hill with multiple holes. The Bronze Dragon seemed to know of Claudius’ activities too, as it always hid somewhere during his patrols. Various animals and magical beasts resided near Claudius’ lair as well. The most notable discovery was a dead volcano; the volcanic crater had collapsed to form a pitch black cave, and the entrance of the cave was so spooky that it almost seemed to be a path to the underworld.
Claudius concluded that nothing could really threaten his safety, thus he shifted his focus to magic. After falling asleep a number of times while ‘meditating’, he worked on magic tricks, which were basically Level 0 spells, instead. Claudius managed to cast a few of the Level 0 spells without much effort despite not understanding the underlying principle. They were all nothing noteworthy though; he merely changed the colour of a mushroom with his spell. It was quite intriguing nonetheless, as meditation was regarded as a must for even the most basic spells. This was probably the inborn ability of dragons given the circumstances.
Claudius repeatedly casted the Level 0 spells, attempting to grasp the flow of mana. The results were not much of a surprise; magic was similar to a task, where one would complete a process to obtain the desired result. The authority to access spells increases as the casting level of the spellcaster rises. It was nothing deep or complicated like ‘discovering the secrets of dimensions, feeling the reality of the world and sculpting magic from the sea of mana’ as stated in one of the books he read. Magic research was more or less a repetitive process of trial and error, with the fortunate researchers creating a complete spell from random fragments.
At least that was what Claudius could apprehend after messing around with Level 0 spells. What he failed to observe, was the fact that he did not require meditation to cast spells successfully. Claudius’ compatibility to magic would gradually increase over time as a benefit of harbouring a human soul from the world of the Mages of the Seashore. Sylvia’s combat ability lay in her wide collection of spells; what Claudius read and learnt was merely the tip of an iceberg. His knowledge in magic was mostly about the structure and language of Level 0 spells; though they held insignificant power, it could still be counted as Claudius’ first step into the realm of magic.
Claudius was troubled about whether or not he should record the Level 0 spells on the precious bark he obtained. The books clearly stated that the caster would forget about the magic structure of the spell after casting it once, but that did not happen in his case; he could clearly recall all the structures of the spells he had casted before. Unlike others, Claudius had a cheat which broke the restrictions of being a spellcaster. The cheat was called Mana-Dependent Spellcaster — as long as he had sufficient mana, he could cast the spell as many times as he wanted to. A normal spellcaster could only cast a limited number of spells before resting regardless of how many spells a caster knew or prepared.
As Level 0 spells were rather puny when compared to other spells, Claudius believed that they were not regarded as ‘proper spells’, which further caused him to have the misconception that the rules did not apply to Level 0 spells. Without the need to record down the magic structures, Claudius thought about noting down the descriptions and features of the creatures he came across instead. The problem, however, was that there was no spell which allowed him to record pictures on the pieces of bark, and his artistic talents were……unsightly. After giving it some thought, he ultimately decided to record all Level 0 and 1 spells which he knew on the pieces of bark. It was pointless to make ‘books’ regarding creatures if he could not add pictures.
Claudius used a piece of processed treant branch as a pen; it was first sharpened with his claws, then dried and hardened with his Ring of Blaze. He bit himself on the left paw for blood, which was used as ink as he could not find a proper substance for the job. Claudius had to bite himself quite a few times as his high Constitution automatically healed the wound faster than he could draw blood.
Claudius could now cast a range of Level 0 spells, but things were not as smooth for Level 1 spells; every time he tried casting basic spells such as Endure Elements, Mage Armor and True Strike, they would fail right before the spell could be casted. The reason for his failure was due to his Earthly soul and the Mana-Dependent Spellcaster cheat. These overpowered traits and abilities came with a cost; the difficulty to cast spells was increased. For Claudius, casting Level 1 spells was equivalent to normal spellcasters casting Level 3 spells. Thankfully, the level of difficulty to cast Level 0 spells was still 0 after applying the multipliers; 0 would always be 0 no matter how many times it was multiplied anyways. This also meant that Claudius would most likely be unable to cast Level 6 spells before reaching an old age. Other Crimson Dragons would probably be casting Level 8 or 9 spells at that stage though.
Despite being Level 0, the spells he knew were still sort of useful at times. As his lair was semi-open, it would be brightly illuminated by sunlight during daytime. Dragons had night vision as well, thus night time was not an issue for Claudius as well. It would not have been a problem even if he had no such ability; his body was a massive dark crimson light bulb of around 100 watts. Spells which were generally regarded as useful such as Light were pointless for Claudius, but he still casted Light for a whole hour just for the fun of it. Originally, the duration of the spell reflected the spellcaster’s caster level; Level 6 was required for casting a Light spell with duration of 1 hour. Well, at least that was the case for ordinary spellcasters. The duration of Claudius’ spells were random variables; the minimum duration would be equivalent to the duration of the spell being casted by a spellcaster with 1 caster level below Claudius’, while there was no upper limit. Mage Hand was also a fun spell to fool around with, but he could only exert a maximum force of 5 lbs. Apart from babies and mice, it was impossible to kill anything with such a tiny force. He might do well as a street performer though.
Claudius happily messed around with his newly acquired spells while writing down information about several interesting creatures on the spare bark. Writing on a 1 square metre large bark required a lot of effort as his claws were much larger. The huge claws could only hold relatively thick and wide objects, thus the ‘pen’ was almost as thick as the thigh of a human adult. Thankfully Claudius had perfect eyesight, allowing him to read the tiny letters he wrote. If he was short sighted, it would have been impossible to write on such a small piece of ‘paper’.
At the same time, the plan to purge the Crimson Dragon was proceeding at a steady pace. It was only made possible thanks to Achilles’ efforts; as a dragon representing order and kindness, he was an organized dragon. It would be a big mess by now if other dragons were in charge; for example, Copper Dragons were also righteous dragons, but they were rather simple-minded and sometimes chaotic in a sense. This was further proven by the actions of Sleipnir the Copper Dragon. As a well-known prankster, Sleipnir had already thought of several pranks to trick and fool around with the new inhabitant.
Back to Achilles’ plan, various other powers also played a part in purging the uninvited Crimson Dragon. Apart from Copper and Bronze Dragons, other righteous creatures such as Unicorns, Giant Eagles and Druids which led a reclusive life in the mountains were also included in the plan. They all joined hands due to a single piece of information which Achilles acquired — the new inhabitant was confirmed as Claudius ‘The Crimson Disaster’ who had made his debut in the ongoing war known as The Emerald War (the war between the Greenliner coalition and Silvia the Jade Dragoness’ army).
For this very reason, Achilles visited Showdown Town1 near the Starspire Mountains; he was going to seek help from the Udaeus in the seaside town. He also sent young Copper Dragons to search for the Derhii living in the mountains, hoping to gain assistance from the neutral gorillas.
1. My best guess is Zazesspur