Book 7, Chapter 146

Arrogance

On the Dragon Plane, Kralkalor had finally finished his teleportation formation for a terrible price. The moment the formation was completed, he felt more despondent than anything else. While many of his peers were congratulating him, be it sincerely or otherwise, none of them understood the magnitude of his investment. Bahamut had already put him on a path of no return; it was win or die.

At this juncture, there was no point in doubting his choices. With the passageway completed and powerful enough to allow legends to pass through, however, he hesitated. He had no idea what awaited him on the other side, only that the communication array on the other end had been silent for a long, long time. Any who passed through the portal failed to return.

The other side of the passage seemed to be shrouded in a sea of fog. The humans of Faelor were clearly far more powerful than his subordinates were familiar with, and with the images of the mythical beings in recent days, his perception of them was warping constantly. Sometimes they were tiny and cowardly, other times tall and ferocious; the image seemed to pulse with his growing nervousness.

At some point, the gold dragon realised that his surroundings had gone quiet. Looking around, he found all of his peers quietly watching as they waited for him to step into the portal. However, a strong sense of unease flooded his mind, screaming that he would die if he went through. He surveyed the group around him and suddenly growled in a low, dignified voice, “Paero, go in!”

The dragon that was called out shuddered in shock, unable to believe what he was hearing. However, he was one of Kralkalor’s direct subordinates and couldn’t disobey orders; hierarchy was one of the founding tenets of draconic society that enabled a race of long-lived creatures that were rarely fertile to continue. Nobody would frown at Kralkalor killing him on the spot.

Having made up his mind, the gold dragon showcased his own power once more as a tremendous orb of energy burst forth and escorted Paero through the portal. Once the rippling surface calmed down, hundreds of dragons crowded around the teleportation gate and awaited the result.

Portals were inherently unstable. Paero could be gone for a few minutes or a few weeks, but it would be impossible to know which until he returned. However, dragons all had lifespans of over a thousand years; waiting a few days was nothing much.

……

It was early morning in Faelor, but the sky was covered so thickly in clouds that it was impossible to tell. Phaser and Zangru were the ones guarding the portal today. Things had been calm for quite some time, and the rune knights had all been chased away to give them some rest. Constantly being prepared for battle was quick to wear down morale, so they were all happy at the rare holiday. Also knowing just how powerful the two of them were, nobody else bothered remaining nearby.

This was perfectly in line with their plans. The Thinker appeared near the portal at some point, checking around before poking his upper body inside for a moment. Retreating only a moment later, he looked up at the sky to transmit some information.

Phaser flashed to his side and picked him up, jumping dozens of metres into the sky even as she tossed aside all of her clothing. Only her natural armour remained, alongside part of a blade peeking out of her hand. It was when she got rid of all her limitations that she was at her most powerful.

While she was grabbing a bunch of dragonblood spears and preparing to launch them, Zangru lost his normal smile and slowly walked to her side. His living polearm started pulsing with hunger as he prepared for battle as well.

The wind suddenly picked up.

Far in the distance, Mountainsea’s nose twitched and she got up. However, her eyes didn’t even open and she remained in place. The thunderous snoring outside her window didn’t stop either, but Tiramisu opened an eye and said lazily, “They’ll take care of it, we won’t even get a turn!”

The ogre mage then returned to sleep and joined his brother’s snores. Mountainsea collapsed back into her bed at the same time.

In another room, Waterflower slowly got out of bed and pulled out her sword. She didn’t go out either, but she did start warming up just in case. Taking a thin biscuit, she started cutting it with the Shepherd of Eternal Rest; every slice took off a layer so thin that it was near invisible, perhaps even lighter than dust. One could see the layers peeling off with every swing, but it was as though the biscuit would never run out.

It was under these circumstances that Paero reached Faelor. It was his first time travelling through such a long portal, but his enormous body belied his quick recovery; in only a few moments, he had recovered from his dizziness.

However, the dragon’s eyes immediately opened wide in shock, pupils narrowing into near-slits. The two humanoids in front of him weren’t much, but the weapon in the hands of one was something he recognised well. In fact, he felt his scales beginning to itch. Even a dragon’s flesh would be torn out by the living polearm.

As he managed to tear his gaze away from that, the throwing spear in the other humanoid’s hands made him shiver as well. He could sense an aura quite similar to his own coming from the weapon, making its purpose clear; there were also a good number more buried into the ground all over.

With a gentle smile on her lips, Phaser tossed the dragonblood spear and started heading towards Paero. The dragon suddenly realised that he had lost track of Zangru at some point, but that was quickly remedied by a painful jab to his rear end. That jab distracted him for the single moment it took for the spear to land, burying itself into his body and making him lose feeling in one of his claws.

Paero howled in pain, fear, and rage, glancing at Phaser grabbing another spear and throwing it towards him. He fled upwards as quickly as he could, trying his best to dodge the two other spears that were now coming in his direction. Unfortunately, losing ground with a few complicated manoeuvres showed him that both were enchanted to track their target; he had no choice but to try and outfly them.

The dragon suddenly felt the entire world go dark, looking up to see an enormous body flying out of the clouds with an aura more frightening than his own. In front of the broodmother that was now nearly a kilometre long, he looked like a little cat. Before he could even respond, he was caught by a number of tendrils with pincers and legs being thrust deep into his body.

Paero struggled with all his might, but he just couldn’t break away. He roared with fury and turned around, doing all he could to bite at the broodmother, but the shell he struck was so hard that his teeth actually began to hurt and creak. He used all of his strength to tear off a small section, only to find that there was a second carapace beneath.

With her own analysis of the laws of metal at an elementary level, the broodmother had remodelled her shell to increase her defences greatly. At the same time, her pincers had been strengthened as well, able to pierce through most things. The intensity of Paero’s struggles reduced quickly as she bit in hard, the dragon eventually just wriggling around like a fish out of water.

With her meal secure, the broodmother prepared to enjoy herself to the fullest. However, she suddenly stopped all actions and turned towards Bluewater Oasis, feeling a faint yet powerful aura erupting from that direction. It was an aura that was powered by laws, only visible to those who had reached such a realm.

That aura also had a message within it, “I’m here! Anyone who should be hiding away better do so, don’t make me beat you up!”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA