Translated by: SaltyTank
Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
Sponsored 1/1, Queue 4 Left
‘Hell Island’ was indeed a very suitable name for the new volcanic island. It was not the only volcanic island in the Velen Isles; a lot of other islands were larger and taller than Claudius’ transformed home. Having only forty square kilometres and a peak height of 1000 metres, Hell Island could not even make it into the top 10 largest or tallest volcanoes in Velen Isles, but its specialty was something else — it had the most dangerous terrain. As a newly emerged volcanic island, the spiky surface had yet to be smoothened out by corrosion over long years, and the rough surface also made it almost impossible to climb up the volcano. Volcanic ash with rich organic matter and minerals sunk down to the sea bed as sediment, inducing rapid growth of aquatic life once again. Schools of fish reappeared due to the two branch currents, replacing their dead counterparts. Various sea creatures lived in the submerged reefs and reproduced despite the chaotic water current. If not for the sea monsters, fishermen would be scrambling towards the area.
Claudius was optimistic about the situation as the supply of seafood was secured once again. He thought that the stormy weather made it hard for plants to survive on the island, let alone forest animals, thus it was nice to at least have unlimited supply of sea creatures for food. It was, however, a mistake to assume that vegetation could not grow on the island. The active volcano was erupting on a daily basis, and it seemed to have brought along a new plant. Patches of dark crimson lichen which were giving off heat like fire could be seen near the volcanic crater, and the plants soon covered the entire crater as they grew quickly.
“So they can’t grow on magma, huh? What the hell are those anyways, giving off heat on their own……” Claudius was confused as he had never seen such strange plants. He noticed that the growth rate of the weird moss reduced as they were further away from the crater, but was unsure what it implied.
Claudius then began to rebuild his lair, since it was demolished during the transformation. This time, he simply decided to make a lair in the volcanic crater as it was comfortable. As the pool of magma in the centre of the crater erupted regularly, clouds were constantly dispersed by the current of hot air. This meant that heavy rain could not reach the insides of the crater, and that was exactly what Claudius was looking for. Occasionally, rain might be brought to the crater by strong winds, but they would end up as hot steam before long. Japanese people might treat this island as a paradise as geysers and hot springs could be found all over the place. Claudius, as a Crimson Dragon, liked a different type of ‘hot spring’; his lair was located near a stream of molten rocks and metals.
Claudius casually flattened a part of the crater as his lair and used the inclined wall as the roof. He made sure to excavate the rocks in front of his lair so as to allow the magma to flow near his home. The smell of sulphur soon flooded the entire lair, and the Crimson Dragon felt extremely pleased.
“The smell is nice…… Oh, I can even toss the remains of my meals into the magma too! That’s much more convenient than before.” He continued digging until a magma moat was formed, isolating his lair with molten rock.
This lair was an ultimate failure from a normal dragon’s point of view. There neither was a well-hidden entrance nor trap-filled tunnels, not to mention the lack of valuables in the main chamber and a backdoor in case he had to escape. To fulfil his desires as a Crimson Dragon, Claudius dug a tunnel through the wall, connecting the lair to a platform on the outer wall which served as his exclusive sightseeing deck.
His newly built lair was empty as expected. There were neither gold coins nor large chunks of valuable metals, but a tiny water pump was present. An endless flow of boiling freshwater originating from the magic tool gushed through the cracks on the volcanic wall, creating a small waterfall full of rainbows. The effect was only available at the volcanic crater as sunlight could not pass through the storm clouds in the nearby areas. People then learnt that the lair of a certain Crimson Dragon was nearby if they ever saw a rainbow near a volcano, but that was another story for later on.
Claudius thought that Anbo’s revenge was simply pathetic at this point as it was clear that the plan failed miserably. Unless the goddess personally descended into the realm, her actions were more like an annoying bug. As his continued to grow over time, Claudius came to believe that the bitch goddess could not kill him even if she descended into the body of one of her believers; he could feel the power growing within his body. Right now, the island which he settled down was already nothing like before. Even if he currently was not one of the legendary creatures in the world, his very presence was enough to gradually turn the island into a volcano in the middle of an everlasting inferno.
The ‘battle’ between fire and water never came to an end, with the volcanic island expanding every time it erupted. The stream of magma flowing from the volcanic crater into the sea also contributed to the island’s expansion, creating new land along with small-scale steam explosions. The heavy rain also brought the volcanic ash into the sea, providing unlimited supply of food for the sea creatures and nutrients for aquatic plants. Claudius was now deep in slumber; although he was somewhat different from others of his species, he was a Crimson Dragon nonetheless and his activities still obeyed the activity cycle of a normal dragon.
The numerous sea monsters which gathered due to the goddess’ command still surrounded the island. They had nothing to fear as long as they remained in the sea, despite the fact that the smaller ones would sometimes be attacked by the Crimson Dragon from the air and end up as food. The campaign was rather successful as the crowd of monsters achieved their goal of limiting the dragon’s region of activity with only little losses from time to time. Claudius could only hunt in the shallow regions as the sea monsters lurked around the large schools of fish in deeper regions, denying him free access to easy prey. Some amphibious monsters also kept him from leaving the island unattended for extended periods of time as they would demolish the lair as soon as the master was gone. Sensing that the Crimson Dragon was hibernating, the sea monsters began to infiltrate the volcanic island.
Hell Island was almost like a short and thick crucifix, with the centre part being the volcano which Claudius resided in and the four chunks on the sides being the remains of the previous island. The large fragments were turned into 500-metre-tall rocky mountains after they were lifted upwards by the emerging land from beneath the sea during the transformation. As they were all fragments of the previous island, it was inevitable that large gaps and sinkholes were present on the inside of the four mountains. It was a spectacle to witness the insides of a mountain being filled with seawater, but that also proved to be a danger for the sleeping dragon. Four powerful sea creatures claimed the mountains as their homes, and the fearless creatures were all under the command of the bitch goddess……