300 Traces

 Chapter 300: Traces

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

In the Dragon Valley, there was a large population of average dragons-apparently more than three million. These dragons lived just like how regular citizens of a human kingdom lived.

In the eyes of the high-level dragons, these average dragons were their slaves and servants. They had nothing to do with what happened in the Dragon Temple. So, even though something so grave had happened to the Red Dragon Queen, no high-level dragons came to Creekwood Village to check.

This was normal. The high-level dragons were honestly too powerful, and they didn't care about the average dragons.

The average dragons were a bit stronger than the average human. On average, they were at Level-3. Level-4 was extraordinary while Level-6 was the pinnacle. This was incomparable to the high-level dragons who could easily reach Level-6, Level-7, and even Level-8.

But now, there were two guests in the Dragon Valley who didn't have this bias.

Link and Elin waited patiently until nightfall. Late at night, they brought Nana along and cast an invisibility spell to sneak to the circus. This was the Dragon Valley, after all. The captain of the Creekwood militia was a strong Level-5 fighter, so Link had to be very careful.

During the day, the two had already checked on the location. Now, they successfully crept to outside the tents where the circus members rested. Here, Link whispered to Nana, "Go in, knock him unconscious and take him out. Be quiet and don't get discovered."

"Understood." Nana's intelligence was increasing as she continued to learn. She snuck into the tent and ran out with a burly man half a second later. She was so fast and silent that she was practically a professional thief.

This was a perfect kidnapping.

"Go to the forest outside the village!" Link waved his hand, and the three quietly ran out of Creekwood. They dove into the forest and didn't stop until they were about one mile in.

Plop. Nana tossed the dragon onto the ground.

This was Elin's first time kidnapping someone at midnight. Both scared and excited, her little face was flushed, and her big eyes glittered. "Link, what should we do now? Should we threaten to chop off one of his arms or stab one of his eyes?"

Link didn't know how to reply. "It's not that complicated. This is just a regular dragon who knows some regular tricks. With his tenacity, it'll be easy to get the truth out of him."

With that, he took out the cold water he'd prepared and poured it over the dragon's face.

This dragon looked to be around 30 years old. He had a grizzly beard and was around six feet with bulging muscles. If he were human, he'd have great potential for a Warrior, but in the Dragon Valley, he was just average.

Stimulated by the cold water, his breathing fastened, and he started moving. Half a minute later, he opened his eyes.

"Uh... what's going on?" He was still dazed and sat up, holding his head.

Taking advantage of this chance, Link walked over and propped the Storm Lord's sword on the dragon's neck. "Polot!" he uttered. "You've been discovered! The queen will punish you!"

This dragon's name was Polot; Link had asked around for it earlier.

Hearing his name and the cold voice, paired with the cold sword against his neck and the mention of the Red Dragon Queen, Polot's dazed mind was shocked. He trembled and instinctively yelled, "Let me go! Let me go! I didn't do anything!"

This was completely an instinctive reflex and had revealed his identity. He was just an average dragon and was probably the least important spy for that high-level dragon.

After he finished screaming, he finally snapped out of his daze. He looked around at the surroundings and discovered that he was in a foreign forest with three people standing beside him. There was a thin human youth, a little girl half as tall as him, and a thin girl. This was a strange group, and they definitely weren't the queen's messengers.

Polot was a bit emboldened. "Who are you?" he asked in defense. "This is the Dragon Valley. Don't you fear the queen's laws?"

Link laughed. Rather than answering Polot's question, he continued, "Polot, we know everything about you. Someone told you to come to Creekwood and pay attention to the Dragon Temple. He gave you a bag of Red Dragon gold, right?"

Polot was a temporary worker for the circus, but during the day, he had spent frivolously. This didn't match his income as a worker, which meant he had recently earned some extra money. This was why Link said he'd received a bag of gold.

"You... That's nonsense."

Good. This reaction meant that Link had guessed correctly, allowing him to have the upper hand and control the direction of the conversation.

Link's expression changed gradually, and he tossed down a bag of coins. "One hundred new Red Dragon gold. I need to know that person's information. Tell me, and this is all yours. If you don't tell me, we'll take you to the Dragon Temple. I'm sure those high-level dragons have a way to open your mouth."

With money and threats, Polot instantly looked hesitant. After a long while, he said, "No, I can't betray him. He's powerful, and he'll kill me."

Link scoffed. "Ha, idiot. Do you know what exactly he did?"

Polot was frightened. He had completely lost all his wits. Looking at Link, he didn't reply but seemed to be waiting for Link to give him an answer.

"He plotted to assassinate the queen!" Link gave a hard blow.

"Ah... this... this is impossible!" Polot was absolutely stunned. The Red Dragon Queen was untouchably high. Assassinating the queen was terrifying!

Link laughed coldly. "Why else would a high-level dragon tell you to help him get information instead of personally going to the Dragon Temple?"

Polot didn't answer this time. He was just a regular dragon. Half a month ago, a masked man had come to his door and gave him a sum of money for him to help do something. Because of the money, he'd agreed though he felt unsettled. This matter truly was odd, and he could tell the masked man was a powerful Dragon Warrior. It didn't feel right for someone so powerful to ask an unimportant person to do something so small.

Now, something bad happened. Polot's mental defense line was at the brink of collapse; expressions battled on his face.

Link didn't rush him. Elin wanted to say something, but Link stopped her. He knew that success was near. When the dragon thought everything through, he would speak.

A few minutes later, Polot really did surrender. He sighed. "I don't know who he is. He just suddenly came to my door, tossed down a bunch of money, and asked me to help. I thought it wasn't something important, just keeping an eye on the Dragon Temple, so I agreed."

"Since he wanted you to keep an eye, you must have had a way to contact him, right?" Link continued asking.

"There's a contact method. He said that if there's something unusual at the Dragon Temple, I should write a letter and take it to 92 Bluestone Road in Pine Leaf Village."

This was a very important clue, and Link memorized it. Then he continued asking, "Where did you use to live?"

"I used to live in Pine Leaf Village," Polot answered without thinking. "It's around 30 miles from here, directly east of Creekwood Village."

"Does the Dragon Warrior have any specific characteristics? Anything special?" Link asked quickly without giving the other time to hesitate.

"The most eye-catching is his weapon. It's a blue sword. The back is carved with a dragon, and the blade is semi-transparent. It glows-"

Link cut him off before he could finish. "Not his weapon. I'm asking about him!"

Since the man was so cautious, he definitely wouldn't reveal such a unique weapon. If he did, it could only mean that it was a clue meant to lead pursuers astray. It could even put the blame on someone else.

This trick was crude. Link obviously wouldn't fall for it.

Polot was stunned. Then he asked, "Him? Uh... He's really tall, at least half a head taller than me. His hair is red, but it's really dark, almost black. There's also a really faint lilac scent. And... that's it."

He said three characteristics: height, hair color, and the lilac scent.

Dragons could change their physical characteristics so he could ignore the height and hair color. Only the lilac scent was usable.

So, Link had only received three clues during this process: the contact method, the fact that the last appearance was in Pine Leaf Village, and the scent.

Everything else was completely useless.

Thinking a bit, Link said, "I don't need you anymore. Go back and do what you need to do. Don't let others know about our existence, understood?"

"Understood, understood. I won't say anything even if I die," the dragon promised while his eyes kept flitting over to the sack of coins.

"Take it," Link allowed.

"Thank you, thank you." Polot hurriedly picked up the coins and stuffed it into his shirt.

Link glanced at Nana and made a gesture that meant, knock him out and take him back.

Nana immediately went up and hit Polot's neck sharply. Then she swung him over her shoulders and left. Three minutes later, Nana was back. "I brought him back and wasn't discovered."

"Elin, go back to Creekwood and keep an eye on Polot's actions," Link said.

Polot seemed like just an average dragon, but if anything happened, the enemy might secretly contact him. If Elin kept watching him, it was possible to find another clue.

In addition, Felina might go to the Night of the Dragon Inn to find them. If Elin was there, Felina would be able to find them.

"What about you?"

"Nana and I will go check out Pine Leaf Village."

The enemy was cautious but had still left behind some traces. Link could feel that if he continued down this road, he might uncover a huge conspiracy.