The Crimson Dragon - Chapter 13
The juvenile Crimson Dragon casually lay down on the peak of the rocky mountain while observing the surrounding forests. The Fire Dragon bay, despite its name, was actually a location not suited for Crimson Dragons. The dense forests and complicated terrain were more fitting for spirits, treants, druids and Jade Dragons. The treants and druids inhabiting somewhere among the trees gradually grouped up, and a Spirit city was founded within the forest. It was located at a dark and spooky spot, thus Claudius did not intend to visit that place anytime soon. On the opposite edge of the forest, Claudius could feel the aura of an adult Jade Dragon. As a Crimson Dragon, his senses were completely disproportionate to his Wisdom attribute.
Claudius did say he would rule this place in the future, but deep down he knew that he could not live here forever. As a Crimson Dragon, he would someday leave the area to find his true home. Crimson Dragons ultimately belonged to the volcanic areas, not this region filled with vegetation. Before the time came, Claudius could move freely without restriction. Even if Claudius could not rule this place, he could at least become the most feared predator in this area. Well, the ambitious Crimson Dragon needed time to become a bit stronger before he could proudly proclaim his domination over other species.
Crimson Dragons usually remained active for around 2 weeks before entering a dormant state similar to hibernation, which could last from 3 to 6 months depending on its age. During their slumber, the Crimson Dragons would experience a physical growth as well as awaken to new knowledge and skills which was previously sealed. It was almost like they were a privileged species, gaining power by simply sleeping in their lairs. In theory, they had unlimited potential and could continue to grow stronger as long as they slept.
While Claudius remained vigilant of the potential attacks from the Brutal Bears and Savage Wolverine, he was not too concerned about the bear. Claudius had confidence that he could defeat a Brutal Bear in a one versus one situation, though it was doubtful if he could deliver the finishing blow before his opponent escaped. This was not the case for the Savage Wolverine. The fact that they were over 10 metres long was enough to send Claudius running with his tail between his legs. If he could not fly, Claudius would certainly not go anywhere near the territory of the wolverine. There were actually 4 Brutal Bears, but Claudius could not spot the differences between them as he flew up high, thus he believed there was only one bear. Nonetheless, none of the two species could do anything about Claudius as he soared up high. They were also intelligent enough to tell that the dragon would soon become a supreme being which they could not afford to anger. For the sake of their own survival in the future, they would rather maintain a peaceful relationship with Claudius.
Recently, the spirits in the forests also caught wind of the existence of an evil dragon near their city. The residents knew from the beginning that their arch-enemy, a Jade Dragon, resided somewhere north of their hometown. The dragoness Sylvia, also known as ’’The Poisonous Breath’’, was an adult Jade Dragon that loved eating spirits. With their nemesis in the north, the appearance of a Crimson Dragon in the south was somewhat troubling. From the reports of the patrol squad, it seems that it was a teenage dragon. The Crimson Dragon was spotted over 300 kilometres away from their town, thus it was not as threatening as the Jade Dragon which resided merely 100 kilometres away. Sylvia the Jade Dragon was almost like a mobile army, as there were countless goblins and low level gnomes under her command. The main threat, however, was her army of gnolls, ogres and forest beastmen. With Sylvia's nest as the centre, a massive camp packed with beastmen, gnolls and ogres filled the 10-kilometre radius. With hundreds of these monsters under her control, the Jade Dragoness would sometimes initiate attacks on the spirit town. The Spirit, Treant and Druid elders could foresee that it was only a matter of time before a large-scale decisive battle between the two forces would take place in the forest. With this in mind, the spirit armies constructed a monitoring network with Greenliner city as the core. Numerous spirit camps and druid huts were set within the forest, and the information collected would be delivered to Greenliner.
Claudius made sure not to enter the territory of the graceful spirits. In the past, he once spotted a few spirits who were monitoring him. Even with his sharp sense, Claudius barely managed to see through their camouflage. The spirits were covered in vines, and antlers could be seen protruding from their heads. It almost looked like a bunch of humanoid vines. By observing their shadows, Claudius could finally spot their bodies protected by leaf-like body armour as well as the longbows carried on their backs. As for their looks, Claudius could not get a good look at their faces as their camouflage was excellent. It was only his preconceived belief that the spirits' appearances were graceful. After this random encounter, Claudius mentally marked the place as the spirits' territory and warned himself not to enter the area in the future. Although Claudius thought that the few spirits could not really take any actions against him, the antlers on their heads and the bows on their backs was a slightly threatening scene.
Claudius did not want to develop a hostile relationship with any species for now, as he was currently rather harmless to his neighbours. He only caused a bit of trouble for the Brutal Bears and Savage Wolverine as he flew above their territory all the time.
It was rather unfortunate that things did not go as planned. Sylvia's nest was an egg-shaped structure, formed by twirling humongous trees which were magically enhanced and experienced abnormal growth. Elegant yet poisonous vines coiled around the trees like curtains, and colourful flowers sprouted from the stems. In the centre was a pile of gold coins, and on the mountain of coins laid the huge Jade Dragon. The 15-metre long dragoness peacefully looked forwards as she was deep in thought. A voice filled with fear and trepidation could be heard from behind the curtain of vines which enclosed Sylvia's room from the rest of the structure.
’’Lady Sylvia, we just received some intel from the spirits, and I believe some might be of interest to our majestic leader.’’
In front of the curtains, an elder beastmen, who held a wooden staff in its hand, awaited her response. The beastmen spoke in a respectful tone as it reported the news to their ruler. After a short while, the Jade Dragoness responded in the Dragon language, ’’Enter. You better be sure that it really is something which can interest me.’’
The elder beastmen entered the room with a massive scroll which was about 1 metre tall. The elder beastmen then bent its back and carefully opened up the scroll on a stone platform in front of Sylvia. It then stepped aside, waiting for further orders.
’’Hmm......Intriguing indeed. Who would have thought such a fellow would appear here?’’ Sylvia was trying to sound elegant, but in the elder beastmen's mind, it only sounded forceful. ’’When compared to Silver dragons, this is......’’ The old guy pushed his treacherous thoughts into the deep void, and then began explaining the situation to its current ruler.
’’Yes, Lady Sylvia. Rumours of a teenage Crimson Dragon appearing in the south have been spreading recently. While we would like to confirm the situation ourselves, our forces could not infiltrate the blockade set by the spirits. Nonetheless, I believe that the spirits have no reason to make up such a lie. Hence, it is very likely that a Crimson Dragon is now situated at 300 kilometres south of the spirit town Greenliner.’’ The elder beastmen reported its analysis on the situation in a humble manner.
Sylvia paid no heed to her chief analyst's report, as she had a firm belief in her own intelligence. ’’A Crimson Dragon......a teenage dragon, huh? Such a reckless bastard. Perhaps we should go and teach him a lesson? As a fully grown dragon of the Five Coloured Evil Dragons, I guess I have the responsibility to teach it the necessary knowledge of being one of the most powerful beings here,’’ the Jade Dragoness rose up on the pile of coins and announced, ’’I will personally go and find the Crimson Dragon.’’
Going back to Claudius, he felt that it was about time to go back to sleep. Before returning to his lair, Claudius filled his stomach with several bulls. Claudius even spent a day flying back to the volcano where Britannia lived, tossing a dead bull into the crater before his cute sister chased him away in fear of him stealing the pile of precious metals.
’’No matter what, we still hatched from the same batch of eggs. I should at least visit my only relative in this world. Occasionally.’’
Before Britannia's dragon instincts kicked in, Claudius could feel a sense of relief and security coming from the look in the young dragoness' eyes. It seemed that Britannia was worried about her dear brother after all.