Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Mycroft Continent never lacked dragons, the creature known as the ‘Most Powerful Race’ in many worlds.
That title is was a fitting one a certain sense. Throughout the Multiverse—discounting the special types that had only one or two specimens, dragons were definitely the most powerful creatures. They possessed colossal and sturdy bodies, armed with extremely formidable innate magic and were born with the gift of flight. To mortal species without extraordinary power, an adult dragon was nightmare incarnate, the embodiment of power.
There were many draconic species too—wyverns, drakes, brute wyverns, astral dragons, old-world dragons, with their gap in power between the strongest and weakest races equivalent to the gap between a fly and a phoenix. However, even the meekest hybrid silver dragon and drakes possessed physical strength that typical beast would never compare to, whereas the greatest ether drakes could in actual fact freely glide cross the Multiverse—their very existence comparable to an entire race and civilization.
The Pentashade was far from such a threshold, the blue dragon Socrasson thought regretfully as it soared in the skies.
Far from enough.
The Supreme-tier blue dragon Socrasson was rapidly flying amidst the clouds. While moonlight illuminated the blue scales on its back, thunder and lightning shrouded its body as surging gales, hearing the command of magic, accelerated the dragon’s huge body. In a brief instant, it had already darted miles ahead, feeling the vacuum track that stretched out behind it. The blue dragon Socrasson could feel that it was immeasurably powerful than before and would have easily shattered even if a mountain blocked its way.
But that was not enough. Or, quite simply, there was too much of a difference.
The three Legendary dragon kings’ plan that had been made since a hundred a years ago had been utterly foiled by an old human clergy and two temporary allies. The army of berserker dragons that had looked capable of engulfing the entire continent was held at fringe mountains and forests in the Far South by a bunch of soldiers bellowing ‘Long live the Kingdom!’. Countless hybrid demon dragons were drastically killed under an unusual dimensional windstorm, while the blue dragon Socrasson itself became the captive of a human warrior.
Dragons were indeed powerful—their incredible physicality and universal high-level magical nature even made them perfect. However, it did not mean they had no threat. Due to various factors, there would always be certain races or figures who could subjugate these leviathans and pulverize their various schemes, just like the two-legged apes that stood upright on the Mycroft Continent.
Just like the man he was about to meet.
The blue dragon could almost see the nearby but obscure sight of the main Moldovia city—which, thanks to adventures, the center of town was still lit throughout. Socrasson overlooked the land and slowly spread its wings, using magic to control airflow and decelerate as it prepared to descend upon the landing zone beside the main city. Since airships had become common, the dragon also developed a habit of touching down on that spacious, sturdy area. After all, no man or dragon liked landing in a pool of mud.
Nonetheless, even as it decelerated, it agilely sensed that the man he was about to meet was now in a neighboring spot beyond the city, and was forced to quickly shift its bearings to drop down on that area.
As the blue dragon swept against the buffeting winds to land from the sky above, streaks of mana radiance shone around its body visibly. When the instant came that it stood steadily on firm ground, Socrasson had already turned into an elven youth whose face was rather pale, and hurried towards Joshua and Artanis before pausing and half-kneeling at a suitable distance away from them, reverently paying his respects to the master of his war-captive status.
The human transformation technique was, in fact, shaping a humanoid body and placing it in a special sub-space where it would be freely switched accordance to the user’s will, drawing one out while placing another in the sub-space. That was also why dragons changed into human forms after injury, and why their damage as well as any sort of detrimental status would be mostly mitigated once they reverted.
“My Lord,” the blue dragon said subserviently, “After a long interrogation and soul search, I’ve acquired information regarding the two human-form Pentashade dragons that were spying in the territory.”
With those words, Socrasson took a glimpse of Artanis who was standing beside Joshua, before lowering its head in silence.
“You may speak. Artanis is part of my domain too; he should be aware too.” Joshua waved his hand as he picked up the blue dragon’s hesitation. “Still, Socrasson. That matter has passed for more than half a year, why would you only get the information now?”
Though the warrior’s speech was relaxed, it was not something the blue dragon could leave it be. Still, it was quickly cut short when it wanted to explain. “It’s fine—it’s not some huge issue, just tell me about it.”
Really unexpectedly lenient, Socrasson smiled bitterly inside even as it maintained its half-kneeling posture.
The matter at hand began more than half a year ago when Joshua led his knights and many students from Winter Fort Academy to the Divine Dungeon Shroud.
There was no need to elaborate on particulars. In summary, when Socrasson was patrolling the surroundings around the Divine Dungeon Shroud to ensure the safety of the knights and students, he found two Pentashade dragons what were discreetly spying in their human forms.
At the time, Joshua had already ventured deep into the Divine Dungeon Shroud. To avoid any surprises, the blue dragon briskly captured the pair and threw them to Winter Fort to be guarded by the instructors. The warrior learned about the fact when he returned too, and gave the order to find out how the two dragons entered the North from the Pentashades’ settlement and what are the circumstances revolving around them.
However, there were none who specialized in interrogation or well-versed in draconic speech in Winter Fort. The one instructor who was often preoccupied with caring for a dozen young white dragons, and so the task fell solely to the captive blue dragon. Due to fear and some indescribable feeling, Socrasson quickly agreed to the request.
And now that it had acquired the news it desired, the blue dragon hurried here to swiftly inform the warrior of those important news.
“The Pentashade dragons have collectively settled in the Abyss…” The warrior nodded after listening to Socrasson’s report quietly. “I learned that from the demon over there, but I didn’t know that they were on Level 162. Continue.”
Meanwhile, Socrasson glimpsed with the corner of its eye at the Balrog that had been completely doused and was spread across the ground like a pile of mud. Gulping carefully, it continued to describe everything it knew seriously.
Archbishop Artanis was silent throughout. Compared to the various information the blue dragon was telling, he was much more attentive towards the warrior’s mood.
“As expect. So, they want to grab the Divine Dungeon Shroud? They’ll never succeed—no deity would choose astral dragons as their successors unless it was the Dragon God Himself.”
In minutes, after the blue dragon’s outlined his findings, Joshua nodded slightly albeit with no visible mood. “Just as I’ve thought. The Abyssal Lord that made a deal with the Pentashades was that demon king of the Sixth Level—the Lava Inferno… helping them raise a ruckus in the Mycroft Continent with the condition that some magical-blooded dragons are to join their army, and even providing them a resting place in an Abyss without master. Ha, it’s now the Sleeping Dragon Abyss.”
“The other two dragon kings are still yet to return. Looks like Igor and myself had guessed wrong—they really were missing and not staying behind at some Abyssal corner or realm as a reserve… The Seven Gods Church can be informed that they could reduce their precautions.”
“However, I’m most amazed by this list of names,” Joshua added, his voice finally showing slight surprise. “How did you make them spill the information of other dragons that had transformed into human form? Such confidential information would not have been dug out even by Soul Search, which would at most reduce them into vegetables.”
“Thanks to your power, my lord. They’ve revealed everything themselves,” Socrasson replied respectfully. “In fact, after using some of my soul spells once to ensure that they weren’t lying, I didn’t use it anymore. After using your title to threaten them so that they think about the future and leading them for a trip around the main city gates with those dragon skulls and remains, the two simply gave up everything. Throughout this half-year, apart from helping them removing their soul encryption, I’ve been using the connection between them and the Pentashade to acquire more news.”
“You’ve done very well, Socrasson. I almost don’t understand a little why would you are so diligent.” Joshua frowned and turned serious unconsciously—it was not clear if he was puzzled that ‘his title was so imposing’ or because of the news regarding the Pentashade dragons. But the warrior soon spoke again with a calm demeanor. “Ultimately you’re still my captive while the Pentashades are your kin. Why would you so passionately help me against your own?”
There are many reasons—the Pentashades already determined that I’m a traitor and the entire world is vigilant against dragons, and I have no place to go other than here…
Still, before Socrasson could finish gathering the words in his mind, Joshua waved him off again. “Come to think of it, you assuredly did not kill any man,” he said nonchalantly. “Well, Socrasson, thanks to your due diligence you’re no longer my captive from now on. You’re free.”
“If you still want to work for me, report to Winter Fort Academy tomorrow morning. You’ll receive a salary appropriate for your identity, but you could leave now if you do not wish to.”
With those words, Joshua turned towards Archbishop Artanis beside him. “I’ll look for Master Nostradamus first thing tomorrow morning and ask about the dimensional coordinates. It one fits, I’ll have to leave my domain to you and 03 again.”
“As it should be.” The old clergy nodded somberly. “My liege.”
Then, without minding the stunned blue dragon, the warrior thus rose into the air and flew towards the main Moldavia city.
Through it all, the young elf with blue hair kept kneeling and did not rise for a long time, the sudden news giving him a rousing sensation from regaining his freedom as well as a feeling of absurdity.
Why would he do that?
The blue dragon Socrasson found it hard to comprehend.
There were always people of this world whose power surpass the innately mighty dragons, their minds even more difficult to fathom than the dragons that were incessantly volatile.
Many rumors revolved around his nominal master—no, he was his liege now—in the outside world that even the dragons had heard of. Everyone claimed that the Northern warrior was so fearless against death, that his fights were welling with terrifying cruelty and savagery.
Most people did not have much of an impression of the new Legendary warrior either, beyond somber, silent, cruel, cold, heartless and unforgiving.
He was quite simply inhuman and more of a war machine in human form.
The truth was not so, however. In the year it worked alongside the warrior who was alleged to be on the verge of becoming an Abyssal Lord, the blue dragon found in astonishment that its liege was neither cold, cruel nor heartless and would forgive unlike everyone else believed.
Joshua van Radcliffe was merely enthralled with combat.
Indeed, he did not resemble a human.
The blue dragon slowly rose and silently dusted off the mud on his knees. Looking up towards the direction where Joshua left, Socrasson remembered the warrior’s speech and gaze that was so calm it was apathetic when he said ‘you’re free’.
The man’s gaze had always been so—when he was not fighting, when there was no enemy, when he was not with friends, when he was not with his weapons. Calm, dispassionate and without any mood within as if it contained everything or perhaps nothing.
Those eyes quite simply resembled those eyes of those beings that stood in the skies above the clouds as they overlooked the mountains and all life from the Infinite Horizon.
Just now, he had his old acquaintance Archbishop Artanis beside him, Socrasson thought. He could not help imagining that if Joshua had no friends, no kin and no one beside him in this world, what would his gaze be like in such a life without anything worth caring for?
Still, the blue dragon did not keep delving in his thoughts. He bade farewell to the archbishop beside him and rose in the air too, transforming into draconic form as it flew towards Winter Fort Academy.
After both Joshua and the blue dragon left, the old clergy pondered for a long time alone in the suburban plains. He stood like a statue where he was, until starlight had faded and the light of dawn broke across the horizon before shuddering and sighing.
He turned towards the south—where the main city of Moldavia was. He looked towards the Far Seas Sacred Mountain of the Seven Gods Church, his eyes glinting with a silver holy light.
“You’re right, Your Holiness.” He muttered softly with a rather worried voice to himself. “Never minding anything apart from exploring and combat… Though his natural personality is such, there is no doubt.”
“Divinity is unwittingly influencing him.”