I folded my wings, stopped interference with the wind’s spiritual energy and the atmosphere, and suddenly descended.
Even though I was unobstructed, the fact that I was flying at high speed and then suddenly slowed down and moved to fall downward seemed to cause Vaje to lose sight of me for a moment. When she finally found me, I was in a position to look up at her abdomen.
Interfering with the surrounding air currents and accelerating in time with Vaje, I spread my wings against the sea of clouds and fired a barrage of fireballs at Vaje’s abdomen, which was covered in light red scales and exposed in front of me.
If it were a Crimson Dragon, which is born with a strong attribute of fire, my modest fireball would not hurt it in the slightest.
And I’m not fighting intending to hurt Vaje. As I told her, I was just trying to show my young compatriot how to fight as a mentor.
The saying that I had heard in my previous life, cold water for old people, a small kindness, big care, went through my mind, but it was okay to play a little.[TN: Coldwater for old people is a Japanese proverb that means ‘The parable of an old man acting like a young man or overdoing something that is not age-appropriate’. And Small Kindness, big care means ‘giving unnecessary advice’]
The reduced number of flaming bullets did not go far enough to hurt Vaje, but they did give her a big shock when they hit her. Receiving a huge impact from below while flying at high speed, she temporarily lost control of her wings and fell into the white sea of clouds below, writhing violently.
In order to follow her, I turned around from my position with my back to the sea of clouds, raised myself to the sky and looked down at the ground, then folded my wings and began a steep descent.
At the same time as diving into the sea of clouds, my vision was blocked by the clouds flowing behind me, but as a dragon with acute senses, the degree to which my vision was blocked would not hinder me from continuing the battle.
It’s not hard to imagine that Vaje has already regained her stance and is probably aiming for a surprise attack on me as I plunge into the sea of clouds after her.
As I spread my folded wings to catch the wind, I tried to see where she was in the sea of clouds, or if she was already below or above it. The next moment, however, I was forced to evade five consecutive fireballs from the front.
They were a little slower but anticipating my evasion, they grazed my body in a more subtle way than the previous ones, and the smell of burning air irritated the mucous membranes of my nose.
When I guessed Vaje would choose to follow up with another fireball or a flesh-and-blood battle with claws and fangs, she was already on top of me. When I noticed the shadow, I looked up to see Vaje’s figure puffing out her chest and filling her mouth with more fiery fire than ever.
“Did you deliberately slow down the fireball to induce me to act?”
Just as I was about to express my small admiration, she stretched out her neck vigorously without opening her mouth wide and spat out the fire in her mouth at me.
Unlike the huge flaming bullets that I had seen before, the flames that she spat out were thinly bundled, dramatically increasing their heat, penetrating power, and velocity.
I growled in the back of my throat, conjured up in my mind a solid shield of light that would never shatter, and activated my draconic magic. By constructing a semi-permeable shield of pure magical power over my body, I was able to catch the breath of fire that she had focused on me.
“Fumu, if you can shoot the breaths at such a young age then this is quite excellent.”
There are four main ways that dragon species shoot their breath: in the form of fireballs, as Vaje did a while ago; in the form of radiation; in the form of small, scattered projectiles that are released over a wide area; and in the form of thin, focused projectiles, as Vaje is doing right now.
Most adult dragons can only fire in a radial or fireball fashion, and it takes a certain amount of experience and skill to focus and fire.
However, most monsters and humans will die if you simply spit out a breath without learning how to shoot it, so few dragons bother to train. In my previous life, Bahamut and I used to talk about how unimpressive it was to neglect one’s efforts.
In the end, after finishing radiating the focusing breath and before Vaje, who was looking down at me with frustrated eyes, could move on to the next action, I took in the magic power that was mixed in Vaje’s flames scattered around me.
She forgot to give a follow-up attack and looked surprised as I sorted out her magic, which had almost melted into the air and was about to disappear, and absorbed it by synchronizing it with my own magic.
The technique of absorbing the residue of magic power left in the surroundings after the use of magic, if mastered, will lead to the learning of an efficient method of combat that reduces the consumption of one’s own magic power and utilizes the magic power of the enemy, even in a long battle.
Judging from her surprise, she wasn’t yet able to synchronize and incorporate the magic of others.
Perhaps she has never had to learn such a skill, but it is more likely that she has only fought monsters or demi-humans of a lower rank than herself.
Unlike those who could easily be defeated by breathing or using their body parts, there is still some inexperience in terms of technique when it comes to fighting me, a dragon of her own race.
Did she use strong words against me because she understood the danger of fighting against her own race, which has little combat experience, and was half bluffing to avoid a fight?
The reason why she attacked me unexpectedly when I tried to leave this place may have been because she was mad at herself for attempting to get her opponent to let her go. Fumu, what a troublesome character she has.
“It seems that you can’t synchronize your magic power. If you learn it, it will be useful when you fight opponents of the same rank or higher. Make sure you make an effort to learn it.”
As soon as I finished, I unleashed a breath that fused my magic with Vaje, which I had compressed in the tip of my mouth, at Vaje above me.
The ray-shaped breath, which was the same form as the Focused Breath that she had released on me, formed a huge pillar of flame, with my white flame as its axis and her crimson flame surrounding it, and attacked Vaje.
The overwhelming amount of heat instantly blew away the clouds surrounding the line of fire and created a huge hole in the sea of clouds, and she narrowly avoided the incoming focused breath with a reflexive movement.
The scales on her left wing and long-tail were charred by the aftermath of the convergence breath. I used a bit too much firepower.
“My scales are burned!? I’m a crimson dragon, goddammit!”
“That just means you’ve exceeded the limits of what your body can withstand. Just because you’re a fire dragon doesn’t mean you’re invulnerable to all kinds of flames. Also, I can’t say I’m impressed with the way you’ve taken your mind and eyes off your opponent. That’s why you are a young lady.”
In the few moments that Vjae was distracted, I jumped into her bosom and bit into the neck of the stunned Vaje.
I was able to pierce the crimson scales, but I didn’t want to go that far with a younger member of my race, and I had to limit the amount of force I could apply to keep her from escaping my restraints.
After noticing my voice and presence, she realized that she was making an irreversible mistake and tried to shake me off before I could completely restrain her, but soon my outstretched arms and tail wrapped around her body, preventing her from even flapping her wings.
I interfere with gravity and the flow of the surrounding air, keeping her restrained, and accelerate to descend at an almost vertical angle toward the Black Dragon Bone Mountains far below.
Her scales shivered in the wind that cut through them, and the folded wings naturally spread out as the wind crept in through the cracks, but before she could blink, the blackened ground of the mountain range grew larger in her vision.
Vaje, frustrated by my descent into the ground, moves her body in fierce resistance, restrained by my arms and tail, but it is not enough to shake off my hold.
I spread my wings to catch the wind and decelerate rapidly as the ground was coming up fast. At the same time, I manipulated the inertia with dragon magic interference to remove all the load on my body, and released Vaje’s restrained body, slamming it into the mountainside of the Mores Mountains.[TN: just imagine it as Charizard seismic toss from anime, Charizard vs Magmar]
Vaje, who was released from my grip by being thrown around at high speed, did not have time to regain her stance and was slammed down with all her momentum, shaking the mountain face.
As she collided with the mountain, web-like cracks spread across the surface of the mountain, and her huge body was half-buried in the crumbling soil and rocks.
Nevertheless, thanks to my sudden deceleration just before the collision, she was able to withstand the impact of the crash, and her bones did not seem to be broken. I guess you could say that she was slightly dazed from the jolt to her brain.
I looked down at her, who was shaking her head and trying to regain her senses and awareness.
“You’re not used to fighting against your own kind or those stronger than you, are you? Even though it’s rarely necessary, you should always be aware of the ingenuity with which you fight.”
“…… Ugh, you look down on me all the time!”
“You’re doing a great job of staying conscious. If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, defeat me someday. First, you’ll have to give me a scratch and identify yourself. I’ll be back to see you soon.”
I flapped my wings and flew up until I was out of sight of Vaje, then floated midair and chuckled.
This time, I learned that there was a Crimson Dragon in the Mores Mountains to the north, which was a great gain.
In the future, I was thinking of exploring the wilderness, forest areas, and mountains north of the Bern village, but if I hadn’t taken this dragon’s body north, I wouldn’t have known anything about it and would have had to fight her.
Now that I have learned of its existence, I can afford to take countermeasures.
Well, at present, the development of the area north of the Bern village is only a dream.
I thought it would be a waste to immediately return the magic power that makes up the body to the main body, so I decided to maintain the form of the white dragon and enjoy walking in the air for a while.
Well, I haven’t ventured to the north side of the Mores Mountains, and haven’t even scouted the northwestern part of the village of Bern, where goblins, orcs, and other monsters have shown up in hordes in the past.
As I was pondering how to spend my time, I could sense an unusual presence in the southwest direction.
It was the presence of a kindred spirit with the same level of power as Vaje. However, from the signs I could sense, I could determine that it was not a Divine Dragon, but a Dragon God.
Even though there are no nests or settlements, it is rare to encounter someone of the same race in succession like this.
The Ancient Dragons that were born from the fragmented bodies of the Origin Dragon are classified as either Divine Dragons or Dragon Gods in addition to their rank.
Of the seven highest-ranking Ancient Dragons, including myself, four are called the Ancient Divine Dragons, and the remaining three are called the Ancient Dragon Gods, and there is a clear difference in appearance between these two types of dragons.
Divine Dragons often have bat-like membrane wings and long tails, human-like limbs, and long necks, while Dragon Gods have long and slender bodies, short limbs, and deer-like horns, with long and slender whiskers growing out of their faces, and long hair fluttering from the back of their heads. Female dragons do not have beards.[TN: So, Divine Dragon is Igneel(Fairy Tail) like and Dragon god is like Shenron(Dragon Ball)]
While most Divine Dragons live in steep mountains and deep valleys like Vaje, many Dragon Gods live in large rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Though most Dragon Gods are wingless, they are still capable of flying and soaring through the sky, and they can also move freely in the water.
I flapped my wings in the direction of where the Dragon God stood, thinking that given its nature as a species, it would not come at me as Vaje did.
From the village of Bern, the Mores Mountains looked like nothing more than a huge mountain range that filled my vision from one end to the other, but once I started flying as a dragon, I realized that it was a land with a surprisingly green and diverse environment.
In some places, the trees were all green, while in others, there were countless lakes and rivers of all sizes, some crowned with snow, and even lava flows deep beneath the mountains.
The Dragon God I found seemed to be resting on the edge of a lake that had formed on top of one of the mountain peaks.
As I looked at it, I could see the Dragon God’s reflection in my eyes, and I was sure it recognized my white figure.
There, it was, besides a mirror-clear lake surrounded by tall coniferous trees.
With a long, slender body covered with scales reminiscent of the blue of the sea that seemed to be absorbed forever, the inside of the body, including the tiered belly, was a lighter blue than the scales.
There were no whiskers on its long, slender mouth, and the raven’s wet feather-colored hair stretched long and straight from the back of its head was blowing in the wind.
If I could capture the colors of the night, with the stars and moonlight removed from the silk thread, I would have black hair as beautiful as this dragon.
Her long, slender body, which resembled the clear blue of the ocean that you could see all the way to the bottom, gave the impression of softness and suppleness rather than the strength of a dragon, the king of creatures.
She was also a young lady not so different in age from Vaje.
During my time when I was alive as a dragon, I thought that most dragons would usually become independent from their parents when they were a little older, but I wonder if the younger generation leaves their parents at a younger age these days.
A dragon’s rank is determined by the number of fingers extending from its four legs.
Dragons like me have four or five fingers, and the number does not make a difference, but when it comes to Dragon Gods, the more fingers they have, from three to four or five, the stronger and older their lineage.
In the past, it was only the three great Dragon Emperors and their relatives who held the remaining Dragon Groups together on this world, or mutated individuals who were born with powerful powers due to ancestry, who had five fingers, while 90% of the Dragons Gods were those with three fingers – although, in my previous life, I have to say.
This young Dragon lady who had noticed my appearance had four fingers. Unless she was changing her form for some reason, she was probably not from a royal bloodline, but she was of a similar noble bloodline.
I stopped flapping my wings and swooped down to the edge of the lake to exchange greetings with the young lady who was staring at me.
The young lady looked at me with a hesitant, reserved gaze and seemed to be observing me, but I couldn’t sense any roughness in her temperament like Vaje.
The Dragon Lady’s temperament is not as rough as Vaje’s, partly because the Dragon God themselves are relatively gentle, but more so because of her own personality.
“Hello there, dragon lady. You seem to have come from a very distant land, what brings you here? That’s a face I don’t often see around here.”
As I spoke to her in a casual tone, she greeted me with all her might, looking very nervous, as if this was the first time she had met a Dragon like me.
“It’s nice to meet you. I am Ru Yu, a Dragon priestess in the service of Ryoukichi-sama, the Water Dragon Emperor, who is one of the three great Dragon Emperors.”
Ru Yu’s gesture of lightly bowing and introducing herself along with the name of her Lord, and her clear, cool voice that sounded as if listening to the murmur of a river, were in stark contrast to Vaje, who reminded me of a raging fire that was about to burn everything to the ground.
“The Water Dragon Emperor, Princess Ryoukichi, must be a dragon from Leviathan’s lineage. I remember that as of now, she holds the most power among the Ancient Dragon Gods. If you are serving as her priestess, then Ru Yu must be a very high-ranking Dragon yourself. That’s quite a feat for someone so young. Oh, by the way, do you mind if I call you Ru Yu?”
Ru Yu tilted her head in slight puzzlement, perhaps more in dismay than in anger, at my calling out to not only her Master but also the Great Founder as if I knew them well.
Or is she wondering, like Vaje, that I, who looks not much older than her, have a strangely aged air about me?
Because I’ve been freed from the vessel of human flesh that I usually wear, my words and actions are always closer to those of my dragon days, and I tend to speak in an aged manner.
Speaking of which, the title “Princess” refers to the emperor’s daughter, but would it be wrong to call Ryoukichi, who is already the Water Dragon Emperor, by the title “Princess”?
“Please address me as you wish. Also, I just happen to be born into a family that serves Princess Ryoukichi so it is not something to be praised.”
Ru Yu responded to my words with modesty.
“Well, by the way, is this area of land under your rule? If so, I apologize for stepping into your territory so carelessly.”
“No, no, I’m just a traveler who has recently arrived in this area. It’s not me that’s using this area as a territory, but a Crimson Dragon about the same age as you, Ru Yu. She’s quite a temperamental dragon, perhaps because she’s a crimson dragon, so if you don’t have any business that requires you to go north, it’s better to go around.”
“I see. If so, there is no pressing business, and there is no particular reason to head north. Let’s do as you say. Um, by the way, may I ask what kind of relationship you have with Ryoukichi-sama? You also seem to know Leviathan-sama in some depth.”
Fumu, I may have slipped up a little.
I was a little unsure of how much truth to give to Ru Yu, who was asking me a genuine question, but I decided to keep it to a reasonable level to cover it up. Even if the Ancient Seven Dragons, which were supposed to have already perished, were revived, it would not do any good.
“No, a little bit in the past. And about your lord, yes, ……. If you ever return to the lord, you can ask her this. “Did the pain pain go away already?” That’s it. Maybe she’ll remember me. When she was a child, a certain Ancient Divine Dragon was invited to a banquet, and the princess suffered a small burn on her left cheek. It’s already healed and there are no scars left though.”
Before I was defeated by the heroes, I was once invited to a castle at the bottom of the ocean where the Ryoukichi clan and the Dragon Gods that still remained on this world resided. At the banquet, the young Ryoukichi suffered a burn on her cheek.
Nowadays, she is one of the most powerful Dragons in this world and the Dragon Emperor as well, but at that moment, she was the least powerful Dragon and a young child. Not only was she unable to bear the heat and pain, but she was also engulfed by the atmosphere created by those who were much more powerful than her, and she began to cry without looking aside, causing everyone to be troubled.
At that time, I went to Ryoukichi, licked and healed her burns, and performed a spell that I had learned from some human or maybe a demi-human child: “Pain, pain, go away.” Until then, she was afraid of me, but she relaxed her tension and smiled back at me when I treated her kindly.
It’s an old story that could have been buried in time, so I would have been happy if she remembered me, but there were many other Divine Dragons and Dragon Gods present, so she wouldn’t have been able to identify me.
Ru Yu looked at me strangely, not seeming to have any idea of what I was talking about. It’s not surprising that she has no idea what I’m talking about since it’s doubtful that Royukichi herself would remember it.
“If you don’t believe my story, please don’t ask your lord. I hear that the emperor is an intellectual, gentle, and wise ruler, but even she might feel displeased from hearing some nonsense story. For maybe having displeased the one you serve, I apologize to you, her priestess.”
With a wry smile, I told Ru Yu.
After that, I had Ru Yu tell me about her life with her fellow dragons, mermaids, and fishermen in the Dragon Palace in the sea, and in return, I told her that if she went north of here, she would be in the area where Vaje’s territory lay, and if she went northwest, she would probably find a large settlement of monsters.
Unlike some other Dragon subspecies, who might devour others if they are hungry, Dragon Gods are generally mild-mannered, so it is unlikely that if Ru Yu appeared in front of a human village, she would be attacked. Nevertheless, even Dragon Gods are supernatural beings who cannot be tamed by humans, so if she were to head north, she may encounter wild wyverns or tribesmen who tame wyverns.
It would be sad if the wyverns get excited and start an unfortunate fight with Ru Yu that no one wants.
Then I asked why Ru Yu left the Dragon Palace and was flying around here.
“If you don’t mind, can you tell me why you have come to a place like this?”
“When priestesses and military officials of those who serve Ryoukichi-sama reach a certain age, it is customary for them to leave the Palace and travel the outside world, to broaden their horizons. And it’s almost time for me to leave the Dragon Palace, so I thought I’d come here to get an early taste of the outside world.”
“Fumu, so that means, you are on a journey.”
That seems to be the reason why Ru Yu and I ran into each other.
She seemed to have encountered giant rock birds and flying monsters before her encounter with me, but I seemed to be the first Dragonpshe had encountered, and Ru Yu was very nervous.
As if to make up for the fact that I couldn’t have a proper conversation with Vaje, I continued to talk to Ru Yu, who had a calm personality. Before I knew it, we were talking for a long time, and by the time I realized it, a lot of time had passed.
I thanked Ru Yu for spending her precious time with me, then suddenly noticed the scent of her body and asked her one last question.
“And finally, Ru Yu, you flew in from the south, but didn’t you come from the eastern sea where many Dragon Gods dwell?”
“Ah, no, I left the eastern sea and came north from the sea south of this land.”
Ru Yu looked a little flustered and muddled her words as if she was trying to hide something. It seems that this is not a topic that should be pursued too deeply.
“Fumu, I see. Sorry to have taken up so much of your time. Be careful on your way home.”
“Thank you for your concern. Now, may I have your name, please?”
“Oh, that was rude of me, I didn’t introduce myself. My name is …… Doran.”
I hesitated whether to give my human name or my dragon name, but I liked the name my human parents had given me, and I didn’t know if she would believe me if I told her my dragon name, so I told her my human name.
“Doran-sama, I see. Thank you very much for the pleasant conversation today. If we ever meet again, by all means, let us converse like this again.”
“Yes. I hope we are destined to meet again.”
As Ru Yu turned herself around and flew off towards the south, her long, slender body covered with blue scales twisting as she flew, I tilted my head, remembering the scent of Ru Yu’s body.
“That was the scent of the sea. But the scent should have been worn off on her way from the southern sea. Now then, I wonder what kind of trick she pulled to keep herself covered with the scent of the sea.”
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