The Crimson Dragon - Chapter 16
That's right, Britannia was indeed missing. It was impossible for Claudius to locate his sister, as he had yet to reach the stage of acquiring magic from his sealed knowledge, let alone learning from others. Even though they could sense each other through the connection of blood, Claudius was unable to determine Britannia's location. It wasn't like Claudius had no clue about what had happened though. In the air, a tingling smell of rotten plants was present. After taking in a deep breath, the air seemed to turn pleasant for a split second before becoming a wave of nausea engulfed him.
’’What's this? So a guy with such a smell came here, and after that Britannia's smell became barely noticeable......Was she caught by someone? Well, I can't detect the smell of sulphurous blood, so perhaps it's a fortune out of misfortune that she's still alive.’’ Claudius mumbled.
Apart from smelling with his nose, Claudius also stuck out his tongue to taste the lingering smell. By analyzing the results, he could guess approximately what had taken his sister.
’’A Jade Dragon? Why would a Jade Dragon be here? Did it get so bored that it took a Crimson Dragon whelp as a pet?! Geez, this is really troubling.’’
In fact, Claudius was unaware of the fact that he was also in trouble. Now that Britannia had been kidnapped, it was possible for Sylvia to lock on and trace him with magic. As long as Sylvia wanted to capture Claudius, she could always locate him with magic through the connection of blood between the siblings. Fortunately, Sylvia's army of retards finally made a move and attacked the elves, and she had to return to her lair and command the army.
While Sylvia was busy carrying Britannia back to the forest, her mixed army of gnolls and beastmen could no longer contain their lust for battle. They divided into squads and went on the offensive. At this point, the ongoing skirmishes finally escalated into full-blown war. After suffering around 300 casualties, the beastmen elders and gnoll leaders gathered their armies and went straight towards the elven line of defence. There was no turning back, and even Sylvia did not have the power to contain the war anymore. The Jade Dragoness had no choice but to assume command of the army, assaulting the elves with the plan which she developed for years. It would be best if they could capture the elven city.
However, Jade Dragons were not outstanding commanders. While Sylvia may have been a strict and brutal queen, her commanding ability was mediocre at best. As she spent her time 'taming' the newly acquired Crimson Dragoness with magic, it was no surprise that her army could not get the edge over the elven army. The elves had a major disadvantage from the start, and that was the lack of new war potential. From the moment a spirit was born, it would take almost a century before they were fit for combat. Furthermore, their birth rate was nowhere close to that of humans, beastmen and gnolls. Purely looking at the combat ability of both sides, the elves had no chance of winning the war if they fought head on. Knowing such, the elves of course did not do so. That was why Sylvia's army could not even take over a scout outpost. Under the coordinated attacks of elves, druids and treants, the gnolls were suffering severe casualties.
The Jade Dragoness did head out to battle a few times, but her power was limited. When battling with the elite elves as well as High-Class Druid Knights and Mages stationed in the Spirit city, Sylvia could not dominate her enemies due to their fierce attacks. Sylvia would not have left her lair filled with traps if she had not controlled Britannia with magic and took her along to battle. Things would be against her favour if Britannia was not there.
Although it might seem that the elves were having success in the war, it was not the truth. They could not push the battlefront away from their town, and were simply defending the place. Once the elves left the area protected by the Yggdrasil, their battle ability would drop as fighting in the poisonous forest with twisted trees was difficult. While the elven army was busy slaughtering the invaders despite having smaller numbers, the contamination of the forest was gradually spreading. Under the influence of the Jade Dragoness' magic, the blood of her dead subordinates had the ability to contaminate the area even under the protection of Yggdrasil. Slowly but surely, the contamination was spreading towards the elves.
The Warriors of Justice, consisting mainly of elves, rangers and druids, gathered as soon as they received the distress signal from the elves in the city. Most of them travelled to the battlefront by sea, while a few skilled warriors could teleport using advanced magic. It might have seemed like a small-scale war at first glance, but it was simply a delusion. The war had yet to reach its climax. Nearby countries sent their armies as reinforcements for the elves, while gods who had a sense of justice as well as their friends sent their believers to aid the elves through oracles. A huge coalition under the banner of justice was marching their way through the Fire Dragon Bay, everyone determined to gain victory over the evil Jade Dragon army.
Originally, this war was none of Claudius' concern, but it seems that some of the reinforcements for the elves would trespass his territory. It was rather unfortunate that Claudius was now in his active period as he just woke up not long ago.
’’Damn, how am I supposed to fetch Britannia out of all the chaos?’’ The thought of saving his sister was an idea of his human mind;normal Crimson Dragons would not care too much about their relatives or whatnot. What Claudius did not know, was that he was already discovered by the coalition.
In spite of his young age, Claudius' body size was nothing to laugh at. Furthermore, he was hunting frequently in the skies. It was inevitable that the intelligent and agile monkeys in the forest would discover his existence. Even if they did not, the local elves would also eventually find out that a young Crimson Dragon was residing nearby. It was only a matter of time anyways. Crimson Dragons of this stage would normally have collected quite a bit of valuables, probably with a few magic swords or armour mixed in the pile. To defeat such a Crimson Dragon, a squad of Level 10 warriors, mages and priests should have been more than enough. It was also a major security concern for the elves as the symbol of evil and chaos may have settled behind their city.
It was common sense in Floren that discovering a dragon equated to finding a stack of treasure, hence quite a handful of rangers, druids and mages went out of their way to attack Claudius. The number of priests who did that was scarce, though, as the objective stated by the oracle was to save the elven city, not dragon slaying. Claudius had the advantage of mobility, as he did not have a fixed lair. More importantly, defeating Claudius would not make the dragon slayers rich;this Crimson Dragon was a broke bloke...... Up until now, Claudius still showed no sign of awakening to the sense of dragons. Regardless of whether they were merciful or evil dragons, they both shared a common trait, which was their lust for wealth and greedy nature. It was not that Claudius never had the chance to find such precious items, but he would always forget about the items before moving to another lair. He once found a shiny ore inside a beast's cave, and Claudius also found some gold inside a certain volcano. Yet, he would simply appreciate it for a while before tossing it somewhere, and he would not bother finding it when changing lairs.
Without treasure and a lair, it was hard to track down this irregular Crimson Dragon. Claudius wandered around to his heart's content, and the area was up to several hundred square kilometres. It would take a long time for the hunters to locate a single dragon in such a huge area. In fact, someone did manage to find a 'lair', but it was just a random pit which he temporarily stayed at. Claudius had pretty much forgotten about the location of his temporary lairs, though it was not like he would use them again anyways. Claudius was used to sleeping anywhere, and he could always create a new pit without much effort.
Yet, there were always those who got lucky. Right now, a squad of warriors and mages was staring at Claudius who was busy hunting.