A Dragon had died.
No, it had been murdered.
A conversation passed through Cale's mind once he heard that fact. Eruhaben was thinking that Cale did not know about the relationship between Dragon Slayers and Dragons, however, he already knew about it.
It was when he had questioned the Guardian Knight for information. The conversation he had with Clopeh went through his mind again.
‘Cough, he is supposedly a fake Dragon Slayer. Ugh! In addition to him, the leaders from Arm that are with the Indomitable Alliance are a mage and a healer.’
‘He is said to have grown after eating the latest ancient Dragon that died about two hundred years ago.’
The information that was scattered throughout his mind quickly started to move and gather together.
The ancient Dragon that had died about two hundred years ago.
Cale had assumed that the Dragon had faced a natural death based on that comment. That was because the fake Dragon Slayer had indicated that he had never killed a Dragon himself.
Cale slowly processed all of the information and asked a question.
“Is the dead Dragon-nim the eldest Dragon in the Eastern continent?”
“Yes. He was the oldest in the Eastern continent.”
“…Approximately how long has it been since you last saw him alive?”
“Hmm, not too long. Maybe two or three hundred years?”
It had to be that Dragon.
Cale brushed the side of his face with his hand. He felt as if the number of things he needed to take care of were increasing.
However, something else was the most pressing issue.
“Is Raon going through his first growth phase?”
The child's heavy breathing filled the tent.
The Black Dragon was breathing heavily, and his body was hotter than before, making him breathe out white smoke every time he breathed out. Even still, Raon looked extremely cold, even with the area getting warmer with the rising sun.
Cale gently touched Raon's hot forehead as he continued to speak.
“He has been like this since early this morning and has no strength. His fever seems to be getting higher and he's been unconscious the entire time.”
“He is not unconscious.”
Cale could not help but stop caressing Raon's head.
‘He's not unconscious?’
Cale looked toward Raon, who had his eyes closed. He could not open his eyes nor could he speak, but he could hear everything? Cale started to seriously frown.
Cale watched Eruhaben lift Raon up.
Eruhaben patted the young Dragon's body with his hands that were covered in mana before putting his forehead on the Black Dragon's small forehead.
He could feel the young Dragon's heartbeat.
At the same time, he could hear Raon's voice.
I want to hurry up and open my eyes!
I want to hurry up and be with them!
The six-years-old's silent shouts echoed from inside his tiny body. Raon was fighting an intense battle right now.
“It’s definitely his first growth phase.”
Dragons went through a total of three growth phases throughout their lives.
The foundation for the Dragon is set during the first growth phase. That is why, although there will be no physical changes, the foundation inside of Raon will be at a completely different level.
The body of a Dragon will then grow significantly during the second and third growth phases, giving them an aura of a ruler.
The ancient Dragon that had been through all three growth phases looked toward Raon with an odd expression.
‘Why did the little kid suddenly enter his first growth phase?’
The first growth phase that had not appeared all this time had suddenly started. Although he was curious about the reason, seeing the young Dragon's fever raise in temperature made him make a comment.
“Looks like he will have quite the difficult growing pains.”
An average first growth phases took a minimum of one week.
“The longer and stronger the growing pains, the stronger the Dragon will be at the end.”
Based on his experiences, Eruhaben believed that Raon would either be sick for a long time or overcome it extremely quickly.
Existences that are different than others tended to show unique sides even during their growth phases.
Eruhaben wiped away the sweat that was on the Black Dragon's face. He then heard Cale's voice again.
“…What a rotten world. What use is getting bigger through pain?”
Cale could tell one of the reasons all Dragons had terrible personalities.
What good was growing if you had to suffer to get there?
Cale did not like it at all. Wasn’t it best to slowly grow without being in pain? Dragons live a long time anyway, so who cares if it went a bit slower?
Eruhaben's laughter filled the tent. He had to force himself to stop as he put Raon back on the bed.
“There is nothing we can do for him right now. We just have to be by his side and make sure he is not vulnerable to any danger. We also need to create a space for him to rest peacefully for a few days after he wakes up. Well, this little kid already has all of that.”
He could see that Cale had a disgruntled expression on his face.
However, Eruhaben did not tell Cale anything else.
A Dragon's growth phase was a battle against itself. Numerous clashes were probably happening inside this small body right now.
‘A Dragon's growing pains revolve around those he will have to support.’
Why did Dragons tend to be self-centered?
It might be a way to protect themselves from the pain.
Just supporting yourself was the way to feel the least amount of pain.
However, this little kid was a weird Dragon with many different relationships with others.
That could end up either being a burden or a benefit. He would be able to tell based on this Dragon's growth.
“…Anyway, that is not the issue right now.”
Cale let out a groan.
Eruhaben’s eyes had their usual gentleness, however, they seemed very dark at the same time.
The Dragon killer.
It must be because of the anger he felt toward that person.
Cale's mind became complicated, but he quickly stood up.
Both Cale and the ancient Dragon spoke at the same time.
“Shall we go?”
“How are you alive?”
Cale was completely baffled. Eruhaben peeked toward Raon, who could hear everything they were saying, before walking over to Cale. He then pulled at Cale's arm.
“Why are you still alive?”
“…Should I not be alive?”
What the heck was going on?
Cale started to frown while the ancient Dragon had a shocked look in his eyes. However, Cale could not help but raise his voice at what the ancient Dragon did next.
A small blade made of mana appeared at the tip of Eruhaben’s finger.
He then slashed at Cale's arm with that mana blade.
The black uniform and the shirt underneath were both cut by the mana blade. Cale watched this and shouted in shock.
“You crazy- huh?”
He heard the sound of two sturdy things hitting each other.
Cale looked back and forth at the mana blade and his arm. His arm was fine. Cale's arm was making those noises as it made the mana blade bounce off.
‘What is going on?’
Cale's pupils started to shake.
‘When did my body become like this?
I didn't even feel anything.
I thought I was fine?’
Cale did not notice that his skin had become sturdy like this. Nobody else could have realized it either. Raon would probably have noticed, however, he was not in a spot to do so right now.
He heard Eruhaben’s voice at that moment.
“It is the power of the boulder.”
Cale thought about the Scary Giant Cobblestone. Cale's plate had expanded after using the Super Rock's power. It was to the point that he too could feel it.
That was why he thought that his body was more settled.
But that wasn’t it?
"Cale Henituse, you used up too much of the water ancient power.”
Eruhaben’s stiff expression and tone made Cale unable to say anything.
The Dominating Water.
He definitely used a large amount of that unstable power.
“The power of restoration inside your body blocked the unstable water from causing havoc.”
Eruhaben’s gaze headed toward Cale’s neck. He could smell the scent of blood.
Prior to gaining the power of the Super Rock, the Vitality of the Heart had prevented his other powers from clashing.
But it was different this time.
The balance was destroyed as the power of water had suddenly disappeared.
“It looks like the power of boulder is protecting your body now. You haven’t felt any recoil from using the power of boulder yet, right?”
Cale's silence told him he was correct.
He had coughed up blood when he had used the fiery thunderbolt and the shield.
However, nothing had happened when he used the boulder. Cale had thought that it was because the boulder said that it would protect him.
Cale recalled what the Super Rock had said.
‘I will destroy it to protect you. I will stand in front of you in order to protect you.’
The power to destroy was the stone spears.
So then what was the power that stood in front of him?
Cale's gaze headed toward Eruhaben. The ancient Dragon looked at Cale, who looked like his usual weak self but had a body that would defend against all types of danger.
“The power of boulder is still protecting you. The reason your body has not exploded yet is because of the boulder ancient power.”
Eruhaben started to smile. One of his questions had been answered.
“I was wondering how a human had managed to walk through that stone pillar pathway. It was possible because he could prevent external forces and internal forces from clashing.”
The stone pillar pathway located at the Super Rock Villa. Eruhaben had wondered how the Super Rock had managed to enter the pathway as a human.
The answer to that question was this boulder-like skin.
However, Eruhaben now had a new question.
‘…The Scary Giant Cobblestone. Who was the owner of that power?’
Who would have been able to have such strong abilities in both attack and defense?
‘Was he really human?’
The ancient Dragon was thinking about ancient times that were even older than he was before letting it go. The Dragon Slayer, the Dragon half-blood, and Raon. Although the ancient Dragon had come back quickly because of those three, there was something even more urgent right now.
“Cale Henituse. You need to find a water ancient power if you want to live.”
‘The Water of Judgment.’
The name of that ancient power filled Cale's mind. All he knew about it was that it was on the Eastern continent.
He realized that it was now time to find that power.
However, what Eruhaben said next was extremely cruel and cold.
“You have 3 days.”
His body could only last like this for three days.
That was what Eruhaben meant when he said that.
One of the young Dragon’s tiny toes started to squirm. The Black Dragon was frowning. He seemed to be using all of his strength as his face had a look of urgency on it, which only made Raon's temperature continue to go up.
Eruhaben and Cale were looking at each other such that they did not notice Raon's actions.
The growing pains of a Dragon with a lot of people to support were difficult.
However, the young Dragon was one who learned about working together with others.
The young Dragon's body stopped moving as if it had never squirmed in the first place, however, there was a fierce battle going on inside of him.
Eruhaben started to speak again after seeing Cale still remaining calm.
“That is the limit for your body.”
"What happens once I reach that limit?”
The ancient Dragon stopped speaking for a moment.
He had never seen anyone who had gathered so many ancient powers, however, he knew that humans who had more than two attributes had died in the past.
There was something that the ancient Dragon had learned by the end of his lifespan.
All life eventually dies.
At the same time, there was something, almost like an instinct, that he had developed as his life was coming to an end. It was not something he developed as a Dragon, but just as a lifeform living on this world.
He shared that instinct out loud.
“I don't plan on letting you die.”
The ancient Dragon saw Cale starting to smile as he said that.
“So, there is a method.”
Eruhaben quickly gasped in disbelief.
‘This unlucky bastard truly is different.’
Cale knew him too well.
An egotistical Dragon would never say something that they did not find to be realistic.
Eruhaben chuckled at Cale's confident demeanor and nodded his head.
“The dead Dragon left some traces behind.”
Cale's eyes started to sparkle.
He had a good feeling.
Eruhaben must have found some clues.
Cale’s instincts were telling him that they had found some clues about the Water of Judgment.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun!