Translated by: SaltyTank
Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
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Claudius didn’t really like or want to fight, thus it was best if things could be resolved peacefully, achieving a win-win situation which everyone would be satisfied with. It was also obvious that Achilles had yet to decide whether or not he would kill the Crimson Dragon, or just banish it from the region. It was an undeniable fact that Claudius killed his friend Gudebar, but there would be considerable casualties among his allies if they went to battle. The kind Bronze Dragon could not bear to see his allies suffering simply for his vengeance.
Claudius, however, helped Achilles make up his mind. He went straight back to his lair after mocking the two dragons, ignoring them as if they were non-existent. Seeing the arrogant act of the Crimson Dragon, the young Lammasu which had been hiding behind Sleipnir sprung into action. The Lammasus were winged lions with a human face, and they were magical beasts of the good alignment, often saving the weak and suppressed. The Lammasu was friendly with Sleipnir, and was one of the trump cards of Achilles. The Lammasu had the spell Dimension Door, which allowed the Derhii and Udaeus to deploy all at once.
A door of light appeared behind the Lammasu. Fully armed Udaeus and adventurers who joined the campaign after hearing about the details rushed out of the door. The Udaeus lined up in formation rapidly, forming a small legion. The adventurers numbered around 5 or 6, and they made preparations on the flanks of the Udaeus legion.
The Derhii also joined the fray through the door. The flying apes began to climb up the air, occupying the high ground. They could not afford to be careless; the enemy was a Crimson Dragon after all. After ending the Dimension Door spell, the Lammasu also flew up high, reflecting sunlight with its golden armour. The luxurious armour attracted the attention of everyone on the battlefield — even Claudius, Achilles and Sleipnir admired the shininess for a split second.
Claudius, who was on the ground, grinded his teeth in rage.
“Going to battle straight away? The temper of dragons is as hopeless as ever,” he sighed.
He casually took a breath and sprayed flames in a fan shape. The red hot flames spread in an arc of 120 degrees with a radius of 40 metres, reaching up to 40 meters into the air. Swaying his neck, the flames covered all 360 degrees of his surroundings, blocking all advancement of enemy forces.
Claudius was not serious with the attack — he thought the Udaeus and Derhii were merely small fries which did not pose a real threat. To Claudius, it was no more than a farce. Little did he know that he was entirely wrong; they were much more dangerous than their looks. The Udaeus and Derhii all had well-made weapons, and these weapons were even enchanted with some sort of blessing for some reason. Against such weapons, the defensive capabilities of dragon scales were no more than mere leather armour.
Claudius immediately suffered the backlash of his carelessness. The Udaeus legion spread out while closing on to the Crimson Dragon, avoiding the incoming wide area attack from hitting everyone at once. Holding a spear and shield in each of their hands, the Udaeus marched into battle. They tossed their spears at their target in an orderly manner, which surprised Claudius. It was a prearranged plan to take out the Crimson Dragon when it was unprepared, and it was extremely effective. After blocking several spears, a handful of short spears struck his torso from another angle.
The blessed weapons easily punctured Claudius’ tough scales, and Claudius roared loudly in pain. The Udaeus were all talented soldiers; the spears dealt much more damage than the previous rangers he encountered. They were an army, unlike the small team of rangers. The cooperation and tactics deployed by the Udaeus were much more advanced than mere adventurers and rangers. Spears poked out of Claudius’ body with blood trickling out of the wound, forming a burning puddle on the ground. In response to the unexpected attacks, Claudius instinctively roared and released his dragon aura in full power.
At the same time, the vanguard — Achilles — joined the battle against the Crimson Dragon. The Bronze Dragon opened up a path with a lightning bolt; the attack which had comparable power to a Cerulean Dragon struck Claudius like a whip, staggering him. Not wasting the opportunity, Achilles, who was under the protection of Fire Immunity, lunged at Claudius and attacked with his claws and teeth. Claudius did not have outstanding balance in the first place as he walked on two legs; despite his excellent agility, his balance was rather mediocre. Right after regaining his posture, Claudius was immediately struck by the barrage of attacks. His scales were crushed by Achilles’ claws, while his own left claw was bitten by Achilles and was immobilized.
Claudius had elemental and physical advantage over Achilles, thus he began his retaliation despite suffering from injuries. He attempted to bite the Bronze Dragon with his jaws stuffed with razor sharp teeth, but Achilles managed to dodge the attack by a thin margin. If Claudius actually landed his bite on Achilles’ neck, the Bronze Dragon would most likely die straight away. After missing his attack, Claudius proceeded to release his Ring of Blaze at maximum power, cladding his body in a dim red glow. Without caring about the injury on his claw, Claudius sent a swipe towards Achilles.
The Udaeus were about to throw their second wave of spears towards Claudius when the Ring of Blaze engulfed them. They swiftly retreated, but the connection points of their armour were melted by the heat, slightly burning their bodies as well. They also experienced difficulty in breathing as their lungs were scorched by the intense heat. The ground dried up and cracked rapidly, and the spears, including the metal spearheads, were all burnt and melted by the high temperature. In order to engage Claudius in close combat, they had to acquire Fire Resistance first.
The Dehrii also pulled back along with the Udaeus; their fur was even weaker to fire than normal armour. Meanwhile, Achilles was at a disadvantage in the fight with Claudius. The Bronze Dragon was at the stage of a mature adult, and his stats were around the level of a juvenile Crimson Dragon. It would have been around the same level as Claudius if he was a normal Crimson Dragon, but his abilities were way above the counterparts of his age. Claudius’ claw attacks landed on Achilles one after another, tearing the flesh of the Bronze Dragon. From his battle experience, Achilles determined that the bite of Claudius was a fatal attack, thus he desperately dodged the incoming bites despite suffering from injury. Achilles would rather endure the strong hits from Claudius’ wings and claws than being killed by a single bite. For this very reason, Claudius was able to land a ton of attacks on his enemy, shredding the webbing of Achilles’ wings and dying the ground red with blood. Claudius’ body was covered in flames, but the Lightning Breath attack still managed to electrocute his shoulders, charring his scales in the shape of a viper.
“Soon, this guy will reach his limit. When I manage to land a single bite, this will all be over!” Claudius thought.