In the other world.
On the other side of the dimensional passage, on a hill a few kilometers away from Mount Sigma.
An elf was standing right on the top of a cliff at the top of the mountain, watching the spurting smoke relentlessly rising into the air through his telescope. He was looking right at the mountain that looked just like a lava of hell as he remained in silence.
This elf was dressed in a black protective suit. His thickly insulated clothes were covered in traces of volcanic ash. He also wore a well-designed helmet-type gas mask with magic radiance gleaming all over it. The mask functioned to filter out most of the dust and toxins in the surroundings of the volcano.
Meantime, on the space right behind him, there was a dozen of fully-armed soldiers and three specially modified magic-armored vehicles patrolling back and forth in the vicinity. These soldiers were taking serious precautions to observe the situation around them to protect the elf who was currently standing on the cliff from any sort of harm.
Not long afterward, along with the roaring of the magic-enhanced engine of a vehicle, another armored vehicle was rolling its wheels stirring up dust into the air as it made its way to the mountainside of the volcano, Meanwhile, a silver-haired elf with violet eyes came down from the vehicle. He went to the top of the mountain, escorted by a few sturdy and strong soldiers.
It seemed that because of the few thunderstorms that occurred before that, most of the volcanic ash in the surroundings of Mount Sigma had already settled down onto the ground. The quality of the air was considered normal again. Hence, the silver-haired elf and the other soldiers did not bring a gas mask along with them. After they had made contact with the other patrolling soldiers in the vicinity, one of the soldiers that appeared to be the captain of the soldiers escorted the silver-haired elf up to the cliff on the top of the mountain to meet the elf who was currently observing the surroundings of the volcano from the cliff. After arriving at the back of that elf, the silver-haired elf who just arrived bowed and greet the other elf in respect and said, "Chief Commander, the director of the Technological Department, Rolla has arrived."
"Thank you. Good work out there."
The gas mask was moved slightly. However, the expression of the elf was not visible though. It seemed that the elf had also noticed about that, so the elf that was addressed as the chief commander took off his mask and revealed his face that had been hidden behind the gas mask.
That was a middle-aged elf with red hair. He seemed extremely exhausted though. The corner of his eyes had obvious wrinkles. Compared with the standard appearance of the elf nation, the chief commander could only be deemed as 'not ugly' though. However, he somehow had an unexplainable aura that made others believe him wholeheartedly. Facing Rolla who seemed to feel anxious because of the constraint he felt for speaking to the chief commander, the chief commander smiled and patted Rolla's shoulder. Then he said, "You don't have to be nervous, Rolla. I know you. You're the youngest director of the Technology Department. You won the Golden Plume Award last year. You're also known as the youngest expert in extra-terrestrial animals from outer space."
"You came here because you are capable. So there's no need for you to feel nervous at all."
" Thank you, chief commander."
Upon hearing the words of the commander, Rolla seemed to be much calmer than he was before. After taking a deep breath, he also bowed deeply at the middle-aged elf before him.
The existence right before him was the supreme leader in the military and political power of The Bay Confederation. He was also the one who led the Confederation Army into the den of their enemies and defeat the last Elven Dynasty seventy years ago. And by doing so, he had liberated the entire Illgner continent from the chains of idiocy and brought the entire continent into a new era.
Although the density of magic in their world was declining fast day by day, the emergence of new generations of magic energy technology had gained new vitality for the people across the entire continent. Under the leadership of their great leader, the Confederation has gradually become prosperous and their world had entered an unprecedented golden age at the moment.
Hence, every single elf who had the chance to meet him face to face would definitely bow at him with their full respect towards him. That was the honor that only the chief commander was worthy to possess.
"Alright, let's not chat so much now. Come, take a look at this."
Looking calmly at the elf who bowed at him, the chief commander shook his head and handed the telescope in his hands to Rolla. "The target is in Section 73 at 11 o'clock, right above the lava canyon."
"Come have a look. What exactly is that creature?"
Receiving the telescope from the commander, Rolla fiddled with it for a moment and then put it right in front of his eyes and looked into the distance towards the direction where his commander pointed at.
Currently, the dense woods on Mount Sigma had been reduced to burnt charcoal and flying ash. The terrain of Mount Sigma had also completely changed. There were many cliffs and crevices appeared all of a sudden across the mountain peak. In Section 73, right above the canyon that was flowing with red gold lava, Rolla had seen the existence of the creature.
It was a monster so huge that people would lose their breath just by noticing it.
Through the scope of the telescope, Rolla could see that the monster with a huge black body was walking slowly in the lava. Its smooth curving shaped body and all four of its limbs contained an immense power. Its body was covered in black shells and giant thorns. They seemed extremely tough and extremely difficult to penetrate. Even thousands of degrees Celsius of high temperature could not cause even the slightest damage to the shells that were all over its body. There were two gigantic dragon horns attached by two sides on the top part of its head. Moreover, fire elemental energy was flowing around the horns like ripples of energy waves. Meanwhile, right beneath the dragon horns, its red eyes looked as if they were blazing with crimson flames which carried incomparable strength.
On the chest of that monster, there was a core that looked just like a mini-scale sun. Looking at it was literally like looking straight at a mini-sized volcano. There was a glowing radiance that one could not stare directly at.
Seemingly to have sensed that it was being watched by someone or something, the monster glanced towards the direction where the silver-haired elf was like it did not care about anything at all. After that, it turned its head around as it continued walking in the lava.
"What a powerful creature It feels completely impossible for anyone to resist its power."
After getting terrified by its glance as he almost sat on the ground, Rolla took a step back. One of his hand was swiftly placed right before his mouth, pressing against the mouth to prevent himself from making any sound. Meanwhile, his violet eyes were filled with terror. While he was being overwhelmed by fear, he muttered to himself, "That too huge. It's even large than the information had suggested it to be. By the looks of it, it's already larger than thirty meters. Was it an observation error then?"
"No during the period of time where we were preparing to look for it, the monster has grown larger than before."
The voice of the chief commander came from behind Rolla. The voice of the red-haired elf was carrying sense of weight. "Can you see the core right on its chest?"
The young biologist nodded and calmed his intense heartbeats. After he was calm, he continued to observe the monster through the telescope.
Right after that, a shocking gasp was heard coming from Rolla's mouth. " Wait a minute, that core it has been absorbing the lavano, it's been absorbing the fire elementals perhaps? Is it absorbing the elemental power with its own flesh? Or is it the fire elementals?!"
"It's truly remarkable that its body is so tough and strong. This is just unbelievable!" From the tone when Rolla said all that, he seemed to feel astounded and terrified at the same time. "If that's the case, any weapons that are even weaker even by the slightest will not be able to do anything to the monster. It can even completely absorb attacks that are ineffective against it!"
"Yes." The chief commander nodded as he looked into the distant volcano. He seemed to be extending his eyesight as he said, "It's completely different from those monsters. Itlet's tentatively name it volcanic dragon thenthis creature has an extremely high magical affinity and it can grow by absorbing elemental energy with its main body. In merely days, its size has grown quite a lot."
"That's right. Although it seems to possess the ability similar to magic resistance, this monsters is indeed different from all those monsters which have the ability to isolate or block magic energy. This is because its too compatible with the magic element. Hence, it can absorb the fire energy straight from the lava. Furthermore, can we really call that thing a dragon?"
Nodding as he was having some thoughts on his mind, Rolla whispered with a tone carrying a slight nostalgia. "The Year 785 was the year I first saw that word. It was from a book published on that year itself. The book was called 'Fantasy Mythological Creature Encyclopedia', published by the Confederation. And that's also the main reason I've loved that book ever since my childhood. That is also why I've chosen the path to become a researcher on researching these strange and bizarre creatures."
Then he raised his telescope and looked at the monster which was bathed in the lava as it walked freely in the volcanic area. The silver-haired Elf agreed and nodded, then he said, "Volcanic dragon? That fits it very well. And again, it's exactly the same as the description in the book... Does that mean the records in the book were not fantasy and myths? Could dragons be real?"
"All myths and legends have something to refer to. Today's myths are not necessarily false. They might be true histories. Maybe it's just because those histories have been too far long ago that everyone has forgotten about them."
Speaking with a slight regret, the chief commander remained in silence for a brief moment. Then he shook his head and laughed. "Since you're here now, Director Rolla, I shall pass the responsibility of observing the daily movement of this creature to you. After all, I'm not a professional in this regard. Plus, the information and messages that the other special parties had gathered are incomplete. I do hope that you can analyze and learn something new from its movement as a biologist."
"It's my genuine honor."
Speaking of his area of specialty, of course Rolla would be confident about himself. He picked up the telescope again and started observing the situation far from them.
The mountain that they were on was less than five kilometers from Mount Sigma. That distance was actually not that far. The lava and the muddy rain that came from the volcano eruption that took place previously had completely changed the terrain of the mountains. The cliff that the two elves were standing on was in fact a cliff that was newly formed.
It would only take a few minutes for that sort of gigantic beast to travel across that distance. Well, they could potentially find many details about the monster and its behavior for observing it from that distance. However, it was truly risky and dangerous for them to do so as well.
But Rolla did not care. His dream was to search and observe any strange and bizarre creatures from a close distance. So that sort of risk and danger were nothing to him. Even without the command of the chief commander, the silver-haired elf would have thought about something to get here so that he could observe the monster himself.
Although it knew that it was being observed by someone, the giant monster seemed not interested in those insignificant beings. It was only moving back and forth between Section 73 and Section 75 as if it was searching for something though. This volcanic dragon would let out a roar occasionally, causing the fire energy in the surroundings to burst out and subsequently cause some intense explosions. Its behavior had led the soldiers nearby to heighten their cautions. However, it did not make any further movement than that. It just kept walking around in between the sections.
Meanwhile, Rolla had already obtained quite a number of information and messages after his brief observation.
"Its body is slim and similar to the body of a sea serpent. The wings do not seem to be fully developed. So the creature should not have the ability to fly just yet."
"It seems that the creature has a body more compatible to swim than to run. Its tail is extremely powerful. The driving force of the creature while it's in the water is very strong. But its tail can only be regarded as a weapon. Or else it would be just a burden to it."
"Just by the look of its appearance, it seems to be an underwater creature."
Speaking of that, Rolla could not help but to furrow his brow. It seemed that there was some contradiction about the information and messages he obtained from his observation. "But it can manipulate the fire energy Oh, yes. It lives in a volcano area. It should become active whenever it comes in contact with lava and high-temperature hot springs. That point should not contradict then."
After all, this creature was a volcanic dragon. It could not be understood with common sense. It could indeed live in lava. Rolla continued to wear the telescope right before his eyes as he was adjusting the spell on the telescope to focus and magnify what he could see through the lens of the telescope. "Its body mass and the shapes of its limbs... They look a little bit like a horse though. If I'm to make an estimation based on my visual observation, that creature can run at the speed of at least 70 kilometers an hour and because it is a creature of magical species, there is no way that I can estimate its top speed."
One message after another was summed up together by Rolla as he continued to observe the creature. However, Rolla began to question. "Strange the way it moves it seems that it's really looking for something."
"So what does this dragon seek?"
Of course, it was looking for a way back home.
Unable to find its way back home, the black gigantic dragon kept roaring towards the sky in rage. Waves of fire elemental energy were surging through the hot lava, one wave after another, spreading into its surroundings in all directions. Rolla and the chief commander who were observing the dragon from afar instantly sensed a presence that came from ancient times. That presence was deemed to be so powerful that it could be on the highest place in the food chain. The two of them stared and witnessed that the volcanic dragon which was initially walking through the lava at a slow and steady pace volcano had leaped towards a certain direction with a rapid speed that was even faster than a hurricane.
Being stunned for a few moments, the both of them could no longer see the shadow of the volcanic dragon. For all they could see, the shadow of the draconic creature had vanished into the dust and sand that were flying in the air all over the place.
Unlike Rolla who was still trembling in fear at the side, the chief commander had swiftly reacted to the current situation. He quickly picked up the communication device and spoke with urgency, " I'm Chief Commander, Vulcan Ulla Knoll. By the name of Ulla Knoll, send out a warning order immediately!"
"The powerful creature with the nickname 'Volcanic Dragon' is on the loose. It's no longer in Mount Sigma's area. It's heading straight towards"
The chief commander looked deadly serious as he also revealed a slight sense of fear on his face. He had also used a trembling tone as he swiftly spoke out in urgency, "The capital city of the Babel province."