Episode 145. The Wheels Begin to Turn (2)

When Bluegon first raised its head above the water, Seon-Hyeok could not tell what had changed from before its metamorphosis.

However, this confusion soon turned to shock as Bluegon crawled ashore on its own.

“Bluegon? Is that you?”

The sea dragon’s once smooth and beautiful body, which prompted admiration with a single glance, was now hidden behind a dark shell, and three pairs of webbed feet protruded from each side.

“What the hell is that?”

Seon-Hyeok screamed, face distorted in horror. Bluegon’s change was more shocking than surprising.

The ferocious but beautiful Bluegon was…

“You’re basically a turtle!”

Now a strange, deformed turtle.

Slither.

Bluegon raised its head high. At the very least, the sea dragon’s head remained in its beautiful and imposing state, but this, in turn, made Bluegon’s overall appearance even more bizarre.

Roar!

Without understanding its master’s inner dilemma, Bluegon roared proudly. The terrifying roar was shockingly at odds with the monster’s funny appearance, and Seon-Hyeok subconsciously held his head as he felt a headache coming on.

What the hell did I do to deserve this? Where did that ruler of the deep seas, the monster that put fear in the hearts of the rugged sailors of the South Sea, go, leaving behind this turtle-like creature behind?

With that said, it was only Seon-Hyeok who found Bluegon’s new, turtle-like appearance funny.

Even now, Bluegon had a tremendous presence and looked as though it could overwhelm all living creatures by virtue of its house-sized shell. Most people would find their legs trembling and collapse at the sight of this huge and bizarre creature.

Besides, it was not just Bluegon’s appearance that changed.

-          Sea Serpent (Bluegon) (Water) (Morphling) (Lv. 05)

o   Strength 118 / Agility 42 / Vitality 140 / Intelligence 37 / Magic Resistance 90 / Obedience 60

o   Condition – Slightly exhausted

Even before its metamorphosis, Bluegon had the highest stat total of his various creatures, and it was only the penalty of being restricted to water that held the sea dragon back. Such a monster had grown once again, and now, its vitality stat approached that of Goldrake. It was hard to look down on Bluegon just because of the turtle-like appearance.

“You were frustrated too, huh?”

Seon-Hyeok had a hunch as he observed Bluegon’s form change.

He recalled how Bluegon had been roughed up by Noctein’s superhuman beings before beginning metamorphosis.

It was likely that after reigning as an absolute ruler in the South Sea, the sea dragon considered its futility in the war a disgrace. After all, Bluegon was the most intelligent of the dragon subspecies he owned, and more than capable of such thoughts.

These emotions probably led to Bluegon’s transformation. Covering itself in an unbecoming shell was the ferocious and beautiful Bluegon’s determination to never again be hurt by the power of knights and mages.

From that perspective, Bluegon’s growth was a complete success.

In return for losing much of its exterior mystery and beauty, Bluegon was no longer confined to water, and it now possessed armor that looked impregnable. It was the sea dragon’s attempt to overcome its own shortcomings.

With that said, it was not as though the changes were all positive.

Step. Step.

“This is going to drive me crazy.”

Bluegon was incredibly slow outside of water. The sea dragon really did look like a turtle.

At this rate, Bluegon would simply be a good target for knights and mages. Seon-Hyeok wondered whether Bluegon could catch up with the slow-footed mages in battle, let alone the more mobile knights.

However, Seon-Hyeok was mistaken. Bluegon did not come ashore without a plan.

“Redvern!”

In the brief moment that Seon-Hyeok was lost in thought, Redvern, ever the troublemaker, caused a scene. Perhaps intrigued by the turtle-like monster, the wyvern approached and bit the sea dragon’s tail sticking out of its shell.

Shriek!

When the startled Bluegon screamed, Redvern was taken by surprise and flew up into the air.

Gurgle.

Angered, Bluegon shook its neck and opened its mouth.

Whoosh!

From its open jaws spewed out a powerful stream of water.

Crunch.

The column of water was propelled into the sky through enormous water pressure. Surprised, Redvern tried to evade, but was hit by the jet of water and fell headfirst out of the sky.

“Stop!”

Seon-Hyeok screamed, seeing Bluegon staring at Redvern as it prepared to attack once again. But whether it was because the sea dragon did not hear or simply disobeyed orders, a second burst of water flew from its mouth.

Shriek!

Redvern, shrieking in pain while rolling around the riverbank, hurriedly rose into the air once again. As a result, the water cannon missed its mark and instead felled the large trees along the river.

“I said stop!”

Seon-Hyeok shouted once again, but Bluegon refused to listen.

“Hey, you jerk!”

Bluegon was blatantly disregarding its master, and it was clear the sea dragon wanted to use this opportunity to vent its accumulated frustration all at once.

It could not target its owner, but instead continued to fire jets of water towards the panicked wyvern. Desperate, Seon-Hyeok called on Atiya to put an end to the commotion.

‘Ack!’

But it seemed as though the water blasts were much stronger than expected, as Atiya was unable to hold on for long before scattering into the wind.

It was a while later that Bluegon’s rampage came to an end.

Seon-Hyeok thought he noticed the endless streams of water grow thinner, and at a certain point, they were unable to reach far before weakly falling onto the ground.

Roar!

As if annoyed by the wyvern hiding in the safety of the skies, Bluegon roared furiously. With that, it crawled back towards the river and dunked its head into the water.

Gurgle. Gurgle.

Bluegon’s neck shook wildly in the water, and taken aback, Seon-Hyeok asked.

“You can charge up those attacks?”

Clearly, the giant shell’s purpose was not solely to provide a suit of armor. Bluegon simultaneously seemed to use the space inside as a water tank.

Having completed charging(?), Bluegon raised its head high and looked down at its master.

It was as if it was showing off its changes, after having been abandoned repeatedly due to its inherent limitations.

“Incredible.”

Seon-Hyeok repeatedly admired and praised his sea dragon. Of course, they were not just empty words to placate Bluegon.

He truly was shocked by Bluegon’s abilities.

It was true that Bluegon was horribly immobile, but the sea dragon, with a sturdy shell and water blasts capable of knocking down trees, was like having his own artillery. The only difference was that this weapon fired streams of compressed water rather than artillery shells.

“You’re the best, Bluegon.”

Seon-Hyeok gave his sea dragon the thumbs-up, genuinely admiring Bluegon’s more “modern” set of abilities compared to those of his other dragon subspecies.

Growl.

Only then did the angered Bluegon growl and show signs of being placated.

Considering these events occurred at the river bordering Rheinperle, it would have been strange if the Rheinperle patrol failed to notice the disturbance.

“What the hell is that?”

Jonasson had been leading the cavalry, and he was overwhelmed by the majesty of the giant monster before he could even greet the returning lord.

“What have you been doing that you were able to find such a beast?”

Jonasson and Hansen had seen Bluegon before. However, they were unable to recognize the sea dragon because of its drastically changed appearance.

Seon-Hyeok flatly replied to Jonasson as the rider looked back and forth between his lord and the monster.

“I’ve had it.”

“I’ve never seen a monster like…”

At Seon-Hyeok’s words, Jonasson frowned and stared at the sea dragon. His eyes grew wide as he saw Bluegon raise its head proudly.

“Wait. Is this Bluegon?”

He nodded.

“Do dragon subspecies normally transform in weird ways like this?”

Jonasson looked dazed. After all, he had now witnessed Goldrake grow into a frilled lizard-like creature, and now saw Bluegon’s strange metamorphosis.

Don’t tell me. Is Redvern going to change too?

Seon-Hyeok sighed before calling on the wyvern, who had already fled from Bluegon.

Seon-Hyeok’s purpose in returning to Rheinperle was to check on Bluegon’s condition following its transformation. He had fulfilled his objective, and the disgruntled monster was now in a better mood.

As though satisfied with its own changes, Bluegon paid little attention to its master, despite seeing him for the first time in a while. The sea dragon spent several days firing off jets of water before returning to the river.

-          Exhausted

Considering Bluegon did not even take the time to recover after its metamorphosis before wandering about on land and incessantly using its water cannons, it was natural the sea dragon was exhausted.

While watching the Rheinperle River after the monster dove into its depths, Seon-Hyeok frowned as he recalled the last remaining dragon subspecies he had in his possession.

“All I need now is for the fairy dragon to wake up.”

Now that the monster previously confined to the water was unleashed, all that remained was the fairy dragon asleep in its egg.

“I wonder when…”

At first, the fairy dragon looked like it would wake from its slumber at any moment, but it had been nearly a year since then. Seon-Hyeok wondered whether there were any underlying conditions for its hatching, but he could not find any clues, considering the lack of information around the species in the first place.

“Ugh.”

In the end, all he could do was hope that time would solve all issues.

He remained at Rheinperle a few more days to catch up with Clark and the other riders, and he spent some time with Goldrake before heading back to the capital.

Having left the capital in a hurry to check on Bluegon’s status, Seon-Hyeok began to worry about Julian’s condition.

When he arrived, he was able to sense the subtly different atmosphere from before he left.

“Earl Drachen.”

“It seems like something happened while I was away.”

He located Asha Trail, the only person in his party staying outside the inner palace, and asked about the current situation.

“There’s nothing for you to do at the moment, but the public sentiment is not favorable.”

In a plain tone, Asha Trail explained how the nobles had slandered him and drove the other foreigners into a corner.

“Those damned bastards. Their attitudes change on a whim.”

He was deeply dissatisfied with the nobles’ actions. After trying so desperately to get the foreigners on their side, the nobles were now treating them like pests to be exterminated.

“Now that I think about it, I wonder how Yoo-Jung is doing.”

Seon-Hyeok recalled Atiya’s original owner, the foreigner summoner. He momentarily debated going to visit her before deciding otherwise.

He held himself back, having learned how to best navigate life in the capital during his time here.

Right now, it was best to stay inconspicuous. Meeting other foreigners now would make him the prime target for additional rumors.

“More importantly, how is Julian doing?”

More than anything, Seon-Hyeok was concerned about Julian’s condition. He felt responsible for his poor squire, as she was cursed to remain in a child’s body for the rest of her life because of his actions.

“Hm.”

Hearing his question, Asha Trail hesitated for a moment.

“It can’t be. Is something wrong?”

Seon-Hyeok felt his heart sink at the sight. The female knight’s attitude was unusual.

“Nothing’s wrong, but…”

“Then what is the problem?”

Frustrated by the knight’s unusually vague attitude, Seon-Hyeok repeatedly asked the same question.

“I think it would be best if you met Julian yourself.”

It was clear something had happened. If not, Asha Trail would never act in this manner. Seon-Hyeok did not hesitate and headed straight to the inner palace in search of Julian.

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