The Crimson Dragon - Chapter 24
Sylvia intentionally took her time constructing the magic circle for the ritual as Britannia had little knowledge in magic circles. With the ritual involving her as well, Britannia did not dare to interfere with Sylvia's work. She lacked the knowledge to see through the components of the magic circle, thus there wasn't much that the Crimson Dragoness could do to help.
As for Claudius, he basically knew nothing about magic. The only magic which he could use was Locate Object, and it was a simple spell which was irrelevant in this case. It was so simple that Claudius could not learn much about magic from the spell as well, which was why he had been holing up in Sylvia's library. Well-versed in threatening others with violence, Claudius forced Sylvia to grant him access to the library in her palace. Sylvia lacked the power to transfer her books into a sub-space, not to mention that dragons rarely built magic towers.
Sylvia told Claudius that the ritual required a leaf from Yggdrasil, the tree of life which the elves guarded with their lives. As a blockhead in magic, Claudius had no way of knowing the authenticity of Sylvia's words.
’’I don't know much about magic;are you sure you're not lying to me?’’ Claudius spoke with suspicion.
Sylvia had finally found the weakness of Claudius his brotherly love for Britannia. For Crimson Dragons, this was indeed extremely rare.
’’So you're basically telling me to fight your war and fetch the leaf? Can't we just threaten them to hand it over? They probably don't want to fight too, right?’’
Sylvia shook her head.
’’Why the hell are people in this world so stiff?’’ Claudius spoke while feigning ignorance. However, he was extremely clear on the fact that Sylvia bore ulterior motives. Either she wanted him to crush the elves, or the other way round. It was unlikely that the Jade Dragoness would overlook such a great opportunity to turn the tide of the war.
’’If that bitch really did not have any plans in mind, should I say that she's a damn retard, or that everyone in this world are all naïve and righteous people?’’ Claudius had such a meaningless thought.
Without any effort to conceal his presence and intense dragon aura, both the elves and beastmen armies knew that a Crimson Dragon had joined the fray. With a Crimson Dragon joining them, the morale of the gnolls and beastmen reached a peak levels. With 3 dragons on their side, the army of evil once again commenced attack on the elves.
’’Get the leaf of Yggdrasil for me please...... Ah screw that, I'll get it done myself!’’ Claudius sighed before springing into action.
The Crimson Dragon travelled swiftly through the skies, landing somewhere near Greenliner after a short while. Claudius made sure not to travel too deep into the elven territory, as he did not want the elves to feel too threatened. While he did manage to break through the elven line of defence without breaking a sweat, Claudius did not attack a single elf. He was now standing before an elven fort 30 kilometres away from Greenliner, which should be enough to force the elves into negotiation without threatening their hometown too much.
’’There's something I would like to discuss with you elves.’’ Claudius spoke in the Dragon Language.
As he was not proficient in the Elven Language, Claudius opted for the Dragon Language. The elves should be able to understand him to a large extent;they had been in war with the dragon army for decades after all. The elves stationed in the fortress glared at the dragon with caution and a bit of hatred. The atrocious-looking Crimson Dragon stood on his hind legs, looking at the elves from above. Despite its appearance, the elves understood that it was speaking in a relatively mild manner. However, average elven soldiers did not have the authority reply Claudius. After a while, a slim and slender elven woman in delicate silver armour appeared before him.
’’It's fine to call me Caesar.’’
Claudius refrained from threatening her right away, opting to speak in a mild and respectful manner. It would be better if they could discuss things in a peaceful and civilized manner, even though he would indirectly threaten the elven woman during their negotiation. In Claudius' mind, the key to a successful negotiation was to maintain a smile on his face while pointing a sword at the other party.
’’Pardon my rudeness, Mr. Caesar. May I know the purpose of your visit?’’ The beauty spoke while applying all sorts of defensive spells, including Fire Immunity, to herself.
’’I'm not asking for something outrageous like the seed of Yggdrasil. I just want a leaf of Yggdrasil. It shouldn't be too hard to obtain, right?’’
When the elf was about to reply, Claudius continued.
’’Before you reject me straight away, please consider your fellow tribesmen.’’ After the threat, Claudius followed up with a proposal, ’’Perhaps you could name a price, and we'll see if we can reach a deal which both sides would be satisfied.’’
The elves were not brainless;they could understand the hidden meaning behind those words, but this did not stop them from being a rigid tribe. While the elves' lifespan were nowhere near that of a dragon's, the two were both species which boasted longevity. With time at their disposal, the elves eventually got used to a slow-paced life, causing them to take things slowly.
As expected, the elf declared that she did not have the authority to decide such things on the spot. According to her, a meeting with the elders would be held, and they would decide their course of action during the meeting. From the twisted looks on the elf's face, Claudius could already tell that the answer was without doubt a 'No'.
Before the elves could recover from the war, Claudius had no intention of killing them off as the only one who would benefit from that was Sylvia. Even if the elves rejected his offer, Claudius did not consider the option of forcing his way through the elven city just to grab the leaf. He did not have the confidence to emerge victorious against four magic towers.
’’Banishment, Maze......’’ Claudius mumbled.
He was no longer a blockhead in magic, as he had been studying in Sylvia's library for a while. Claudius now had basic knowledge of spells at the very least. It was a pity that Locate Object was still the only spell he could use.
The spells which Claudius was mumbling about were all troublesome spells to deal with. They were all spells which could transport him to an annoying location or dimension. His magic resistance was not applicable to these spells as well.
Right now, Claudius was taking in deep breaths, storing compressed air into his now-mature air compression sacs. Not only did he have lungs with massive capacity, the two air compression sacs which were located below his lungs (somewhere near the bottom of his wings) boasted an even larger capacity. Valves separated the muscular air sacs into several compartments, and by utilizing the surrounding muscles, the air sacs could simultaneously compress a considerable volume of air.
According to Claudius' own estimations, over 100 cubic metres of air could be stored within the two air sacs, not to mention the additional volume stored in his lungs. A strong current of wind would be produced when he used his breath attack, scattering flammable fluids up to a hundred metres away.
This was all for the sake of forcing the elves to comply with his demand in case they stubbornly decide to refuse repeatedly.
’’Should I take a stroll and crush a few forts to increase my persuasiveness?’’
Claudius noticed the curious gazes from the elves in the large fort while he thought of the dangerous idea. The elves had probably never met such a Crimson Dragon;not just his appearance, but also his behaviour. Anyways, Claudius looked nothing like the Crimson Dragons which lived on the Floren continent, and it could not be helped that the defenders would find Claudius intriguing.
Speaking of Crimson Dragons, Britannia was circling the area behind Claudius. As she was rather far away from Claudius, it seemed that Britannia was keeping the beastmen and gnolls under control. Rushing deep into elven territory like her impulsive brother was something she could not afford to do.