Chapter 609: Dragon Race Divides
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"What? They want to break the seals for the crack?!"
Elder Pettalong couldn't keep sitting after hearing this news. He shot up, brows furrowed and gray whiskers trembling. Shock was written all over his face.
"Relax, relax." Link pressed his hands. "It isn't irrevocable yet. It isn't easy to break the seals around the crack. Of course, we must respond to this quickly. Do you have any ideas?"
Pettalong leaned against the table. Half a minute later, he was still shocked. Worries and concerns flooded into him without stop. He forced himself to stay composed, but those thoughts were still affecting his mind.
If it was five years ago, he wouldn't be so easily affected. But recently, so many things have happened in the Dragon Valley. Each event had been shocking. He had felt powerless each time.
The entire world was getting stronger while the Dragon Valley kept weakening. This was the worst period for the dragons.
Now, he was on edge. There were problems with the crack again. He feared that things would get to the point of no return.
A few minutes later, he sighed. "Duke," he said to Link. "My mind is a mess. I'm afraid I won't be able to make suggestions, but I only have one request. Do not let Her Majesty know. She's heavily wounded and must rest well... Ah..."
Right now, the elder was depressed and feeling down. Link could clearly sense the hopeless aura coming from him. People who had racked their brains and still couldn't change the current situation or see any hope were usually like this.
Link frowned, confused about Pettalong's state. He was still a spirited man before. Why had he changed so much?
However, things were urgent, and he didn't have time to wonder. He couldn't expect help from a dragon elder like this either. Thinking a bit, he said, "In that case, please recommend someone to help."
Pettalong paused and then said, "Then Felina. She's young and vigorous, filled with bravery and courage. She's the star of the younger generation, and you two are familiar. Duke, she can help you."
Link was even more confused. "As I recall, there are ten elders here. Why don't you recommend an elder?"
Pettalong shook his head. "No, Duke. We're all old and don't have energy. Things like war should be handled by the young."
"Oh, that works." Link knew Felina. Since Pettalong insisted, he didn't have any complaints. "Then I'll go now."
"Wait," Pettalong called out.
"Duke, many things have happened, and many high-level dragons have died. There aren't many left. Now, there are less than 1000 true great dragons... We cannot have more losses."
Here, Pettalong lowered his head and avoided Link's eyes. He wished Link could take care of the dragons to reduce losses, but since the demons wanted to target the crack, there would be an intense fight. If they wanted to lower dragon casualties, they would be replaced by humans.
Before, this would be no problem. But now, Ferde was huge and surpassed the Dragon Valley in every aspect. With Ferde, the humans were now a powerful race. Pettalong didn't have confidence in saying this.
Link knew what he meant. Chuckling, he said, "I'll try my best, Elder."
With that, white light flashed. When he reappeared, he was at Felina's door. He knocked. A while later, Felina opened the door.
"Duke, what's wrong?" Felina was dressed in armor. Dark red dragon scales flashed all over her. Her hands had become dragon claws. She was panting heavily, her cheeks were red, and her forehead was covered in sweat. It looked like she'd been practicing in her room.
Her state was the polar opposite of the elder.
Link repeated what had happened in the Dragon Valley. After listening, Felina also asked strangely, "Duke, why are you asking for my opinion? You should ask the elders."
"Elder Pettalong had suggested I find you." Link found it strange too. He couldn't understand Pettalong.
Felina couldn't figure it out and shrugged. "You don't need to ask me. You're the duke. Whatever you want to do, just send the order."
To Felina, Link was the dragon duke. Since the queen was hurt, Link was technically the leader now. His word was the law.
Link smiled wryly. He was only the duke in name, but now it seemed to make sense too. He couldn't explain to Felina clearly right now.
Unexpectedly, Felina continued, "Duke, I actually know what's happening. Some elders think you're an outsider or that you're only our ally and not a dragon. But I think they're wrong. You passed the Mist Maze alone and was recognized by the ancestors. You received the dragon body too. You became a dragon long ago. There are no doubts! Those elders don't admit it because of their bias and selfishness!"
Her eyes were determined as she spoke. There wasn't any doubt. She'd already thought through this long ago.
Link flinched. Thinking closely, Felina wasn't wrong. But he still hadn't become the dragon duke legitimately. Some dragons could understand, but the others couldn't. If he really acted like a duke with his current status, it would cause a storm within the dragon race.
Thinking of this, Link said seriously, "Felina, you must know that if I acknowledge what you said, it will cause a divide within Dragon Valley!"
"So what?" Felina moved aside so Link could enter. At the same time, she said, "Both Her Majesty and the elders care too much about the tradition. That isn't wrong, but it isn't right either. The dragon race is failing. If we never change, we may become extinct!"
In the past, the dragons had had horrible strength, but times had changed. The dragons hadn't gotten weaker and had even improved. However, the other races had improved more. For example, the Beastmen Warlords could kill a dragon with one strike. Ferde, the demons, and the High Elves were all more powerful than the dragons. There was also Aragu. If the realms fused, the dragons would lower even more in status.
Basically, the predicted future for the dragons was dark. They must change!
Felina's eyes had always glimmered, but now, they shone. They looked like two orbs of fire. Staring with a burning gaze, she said excitedly, "Duke, many young dragons actually worship you. As long as Ferde is willing to accept us, we can immediately leave-"
"Okay, stop! Stop talking. I understand," Link interrupted. He didn't think the Dragon Valley would secretly have such divisions. It was unexpected.
After a pause, Link asked, "Do the elders know?"
Now, he thought of Pettalong's attitude, and his heart jumped. The elder must know, but he didn't object or support it. He just chose to stay silent.
Felina shook his head. "They don't know, but it doesn't matter. The young dragons are stronger than the elders. They can't stop us."
"Have you thought about the queen?" Link asked.
"Of course." Felina calmed down slightly and sighed. "In reality, it's because of Her Majesty that we haven't done anything, especially when you two had argued... But now, there aren't any problems. We've thought it through. You are our duke, and we're all free. We can choose to be loyal to any strong dragons. We can follow you and become your followers. No one can stop us, not even Her Majesty."
Become his followers? That wasn't too bad. Even though it was still getting close to the bottom line, they wouldn't completely break apart. There was still room to amend things.
Now, there was one problem left. Should he accept the loyalty of the young dragons? Thinking, he asked, "Felina, how many people think like you?"
"Many. Most young dragons think this way. There are at least 300, all above Level-8. The strongest is Aonis. He's already close to Level-10. Unless something happens, he should become a new Legendary dragon half a year later."
There were more than 300 Level-8 Dragon Warriors. Unlike humans, these dragon Warriors had great potential to improve. They were likely to enter the Legendary level and could continue to strengthen to at least Level-16.
The dragons were a Legendary race, after all. After the Mana density rose, every race's average power was rising. It was the same for the dragons.
But the problem was that dragons had long lives. Their improvements were relatively slower than the other races. Thus, they would be relatively weaker in the beginning. For tens of thousands of years, the dragons had been at the peak of the mainland. Now that they had fallen, it was logical that the young dragons couldn't stand it.
But this was only temporary. After a decade, these young dragons would probably all become Legendary. The Red Dragon Queen would reach Level-19 too. This Legendary race would once again stand at the top of the food chain.
The game had proved this.
In other words, the dragons' current state created the opportunity for Link to have a huge group of future strong figures. This opportunity would disappear quickly too... Three hundred Legendary figures were enough to tempt Link.
But despite being tempted, his expression didn't change. After a pause, he put on a pained expression. "Felina, you've seen how Ferde has many strong people too. There are at least 1000 above Level-8 and six at the Legendary level. There will be more in the future. If I accept you all, the queen will be furious. The new alliance will probably fail too."
Link was speaking the truth too. Felina had flown around earlier and had a general idea about Ferde's strength. She was sad. Had the dragons gotten to the point where they would be looked down upon even while wanting to follow someone?
But Ferde's power from these short few years was all due to Link's leadership as the lord. Link was also recognized as one of the most powerful battle mages in the mainland. Countless people have been defeated in his hands. Ferde was also known as the cemetery for the strong. Even the renowned Bryant had been defeated here.
This was a place one yearned to be in.
To follow such an undefeatable man had long been the greatest glory for the young dragons. Felina was one of them. She was stubborn and wouldn't give up so easily.
After thinking, she said, "Duke, we won't make it hard for you. Just wait and see."
Link worried over the alliance and the queen's feelings. Felina didn't think it was a problem. If anything, she could talk to the queen.
Link didn't say anything. At this point, it was already decided. Now, he didn't have to state his stance. He only had to wait for things to develop. If the Red Dragon Queen gave tacit consent, he would naturally accept these young dragons into Ferde. If she objected strongly, he would use even gentler tactics.
Of course, this would be in the future. Now, the Korora Mountain Range crack was the most important.
He passed the report to Felina. "Your matter isn't urgent now. Look at the details and gather the Warriors to the Korora Mountain Range."
Felina accepted the scroll and scanned quickly. A few minutes later, she said, "No problem. There are eight young Warriors here. The weakest is at the pinnacle of Level-8. I will call them over now."
Link nodded. "Remember not to alert Her Majesty. Her health won't allow it."
"I understand." Felina turned and walked away briskly. Different from the downtrodden Pettalong, she was energetic and did things quickly. She would do what she said without any delay.
Watching her leave, Link started preparing as well.
First, he found Evelina and informed her. Then, he sent her to chat with the Red Dragon Queen and distract her. Next, he found the Yabba airship commander in Scorched Ridge and called up the airship usage authority. Finally, he gathered the people above Level-8 in the territory. There were 300 in total. Two hundred and thirty-six were Sunlight Warriors. Sixty-four were newly leveled-up Magicians in the Mage Tower.
He could've found more, but many of the elites had been sent to the Orida Fortress earlier. Only less than half had remained in the territory.
These people didn't make a scene. After receiving Link's orders, they quietly hurried to the western suburbs of Scorched Ridge.
Around 20 minutes later, Nana, the Magicians, Sunlight Warriors, and eight Dragon Warriors had all arrived. This time, Celine had requested to join the temporary army and Link had agreed.
A short while later, there were buzzes in the air. Everyone turned to look and saw the Yabba airship fly over slowly.
This airship was called "City in the Sky." It was a new super-ship created this year. Hundreds of feet long, it had a capacity of more than 500. It could travel more than 3000 miles per hour and was even faster than the dragons. With this speed, they could reach the Korora Mountain Range in around two hours.
The pilot was Merlin, someone Link was familiar with. After seeing Link, he immediately saluted. "Lord, everything is ready. We can depart at any time!"
Link nodded. "Depart immediately after everyone boards. First, fly south slowly. Sixty miles later, adjust the direction to the realm crack in the Korora Mountain Range."
As he spoke, he suddenly felt something. Turning towards Scorched Ridge, his crazy vision allowed him to see Pettalong stand next to a window, gazing at them. Perhaps feeling Link's eyes, Pettalong turned and pulled the curtains.
Link had an idea. Perhaps following Ferde is a common voice within the dragons. The objections to accepting these young dragons might not be as big as I thought.
This was good news, but Link had to stay calm. He continued to watch and wait quietly.
All participants were strong this time and were fast. Within five minutes, everyone was in place.
Ding dong, ding dong. Under crisp bells, the City in the Sky rose up slowly. Then it sped up and, following Link's orders, it went southward first. Five minutes later, it had flown 60 miles. Then, Link added in his power and the airship sped up. It cut a smooth arc in the air and turned towards the Korora Mountain Range.
When it departed, a man and woman dressed as wandering vigilantes watched it in the suburbs. They were Hamilton and Noa. They'd traveled southward and had arrived five days ago. Mordena had told them to investigate the Book of Creation, but they wouldn't really risk their lives for the High Elves. They'd just wandered outside the city these past five days.
Unexpectedly, something had changed.
"Did you see him?" Hamilton asked.
Noa nodded. "Yes. He's the Ferde lord, and they'd gone south with so many people. They'll need a few days, right?"
Hamilton laughed. "This is a great chance for us to investigate Ferde. Yes, I think the Saint must be interested in the inner power structure. If we're lucky, we might even get the fragment. That'll be even better, heh."
They hadn't come to Firuman to help the High Elves. Instead, they were missionaries. Since they couldn't stop the fusion of the realms, the Saint wanted Firuman to become a new region of the Fire Sect. If they were to do that, they'd have to become familiar with Ferde, the power hub of Firuman.
"Don't underestimate them," Noa reminded. "There are still many strong people guarding the city."
"I know. Don't worry, the lesson learned in the Black Forest is enough." Hamilton shook his head in annoyance. He wasn't stupid.
As they spoke, they walked towards Scorched Ridge.
At the same time, in a grassy valley, thousands of miles away from the Korora Mountain Range
"When do you think they'll arrive?" The speaker was a Magician. Heavy black light wrapped around him. His wand kept flashing with dark purple lightning. His eyes burned with dark red fire.
He was Glyn, a Black Blood Demon. He was the demon commander in this mission. In the Abyss, he was an important subordinate of Nozama. As a rare demon Magician, he was very strong. Even with the restrictions in Ferde, he was still at Level-13.
His hands didn't stop as he spoke. They were speedily creating a magic seal. A Naga stood beside him-Priest Molina.
Molina was silent for a bit. Then she said, "It won't be too long. Master has already seen them." She raised her voice. "Hurry up. We don't have much time!"
Her voice boosted the morale of the Magicians beside her. They sped up quite a lot. On the ground, a huge magic seal that crossed the mountains was quickly being built.
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