IRD Chapter 2

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Chapter 2: A Drowning Dragon.

There was a large ship on the coast of Long Island, the place Charles called Dragon Island, also the island that served as his residence. It was a ship that Charles had laboriously towed to the island after it’d been caught in a shipwreck.

Probably because of his half-blood nature as a dragon, Charles liked being close to, looking, and even acting like humans. There were all kinds of items on the ship and although he couldn’t figure out what all of them could be used for, he ensured that they remained – to the best of his ability – well preserved.

The broken wine bottles and glass windows were carefully placed in Charles’ secret stash, alongside the gems he’d found – dragons liked shiny things, and Charles at the moment wasn’t smart enough to know the difference between glass and a beautiful gem – or maybe he did and just collected them anyways, they were all shiny in some way.

Charles opened a dilapidated map, he located and used a quill to draw a circle around the city of Virnas, and then smiled proudly. There were more than a dozen human countries on Noah’s Continent and Virnas was the closest to his Dragon Island.

‘I Learned to draw the shortest route, I’m so smart!’

Thinking so, the soon-to-be-adult dragon quickly fell asleep on the table, not noticing that the ink rolled all over his face in the process.

– Three days later.

After three days had gone by, the Siren had lost most of her anger as well as healed up on her injuries and now as she gazed at a Charles standing on the beach who seemed about to leave, she hesitated and then swam over.

“Charles, did you decide to get a princess?”

The Siren’s eyes were full of sadness, and Charles felt that something was wrong with her: “Yes. But what’s wrong with you, are you hungry?”

The Siren sighed deeply in disappointment and after watching Charles for a while, turned around and returned to the depths of the sea.

Charles didn’t understand the siren’s emotions and after a while of aimless pondering. He put his doubts behind him and assumed his draconic form.

He’d flown across this sea countless times through the past 100 years, but never once had he felt so excited. Charles thought with a sense of conviction, ‘I’m finally an adult, today’s flight will not be the same!’

And truthfully – it wasn’t the same.

Charles had never thought in his life that there would come a day when he would be slapped into the sea by raging waves, and drown in the said sea even more pitifully than the little white flower from three days ago.

This was simply the shame of Longsheng!

As he struggled against the waters, Charles noticed that the storm and waves were strange, as if something was dragging him deeper into it. The waters around him surged powerfully any time he tried to expel fire, and the struggle continued until his consciousness blurred and he fainted…

Just before he lost consciousness Charles seemed to hear a vague voice saying something but he couldn’t understand it. “What is this?” The voice had said.

The sound of rushing water echoed in the valley, the fire in Charles rekindled, and consciousness gradually returned to his being. He instinctively flapped his wings; a spurt of seawater escaped his parted lips with a rough cough.

It was cold water that had affected him, but Charles felt a burning pain in his nasal cavity. He gradually, and groggily opened his eyes and struggled to prop up his massive body, the magma-like lines on his draconic body flickered unstably as if struggling alongside the being whose entirety they patterned.

As Charles struggled to rise to his feet, he found his limbs unable to generate enough power to lift his massive body and so, ungracefully returned to the earth, coughing out more water as he did so. Snorting in a mix of rage and embarrassment, he thought;

‘This is probably the most embarrassing moment of my life…’

It wasn’t until the stinging feeling of choking water disappeared that Charles regained his strength and raised his head to look at his new surroundings.

He thought earlier that he would have been washed ashore by the raging waves that’d knocked him unconscious, but instead of the golden sandy beaches he’d expected to wake to, he found himself in a dense jungle emitting a strange fragrance. The little dragon moved its nose, caught off guard, and sniffed what seemed to be ashes into his nose, a few clusters of small flames springing out in a resultant sneeze.

He was still sitting down at the moment, and to an observer, he would probably look like the silliest dragon to grace the lands of the living. Luckily though, there seemed to be none around but Charles himself.

‘Wait, that’s not right.” Charles recalled hearing words he didn’t understand from a voice he didn’t recognize just before he fell unconscious. He didn’t understand the words, and neither could he picture the owner of the voice, and now he found himself in this unfamiliar space – everything pointed to an extremely worrisome situation now that he’d had time to reason properly.

As he worried internally, the towering ancient-looking tree in front of him vibrated and before Charles could react, a strange being jumped down from its canopy to land before him. Startled by this sudden occurrence, the young dragon immediately spread his wings and hissed in an attempt at intimidation. His eyes warily observed the newcomer as he did this.

It seemed to be a man garbed in luxurious golden robes. But the style of clothing was different from anything that Charles had ever seen on a human. It was similar to the clothes depicted as those worn by gods, but at the same time, the style seemed completely different. The man’s hair was strangely long – ‘As long as a sea monster, and pitch black.’ Thought Charles. His eyes shared this same unnerving color.

According to Charles’ memories, only the eyes of the undead were supposed to be black.

‘Angel? Undead?’

Regardless of which it was, Charles didn’t think he would come out superior in a clash, and this only served to boost his already sky-high unease.

However, to his surprise, the human in front of him simply stood there, calmly looking at him… and then said something that he couldn’t understand.

The words sounded similar to the ones he had heard before his trip under the sea, and this time it lasted long enough for Charles to start to believe that this was a human language that he was unfamiliar with.

God knows how long it took him, a little dragon with no inheritance, to understand what he’d believed to be the generally understood human language. Only for him to meet a man in the middle of nowhere, speaking another language that he couldn’t make heads or tails of. Now more than a little irritated, Charles internally debated whether or not to slap this human away with a paw.

Whilst he pondered, another strange man – this one visibly older than the first – came out of the bushes to his side. His irritation instantly gave way to fear once again, following this new arrival, Charles wondered just how many others were lying in wait out of his sight.

The little dragon that had only just reached adulthood had never flown too far away from his home in his life, naturally, he had never encountered a situation such as this. His brain couldn’t process what to do next.

‘To fight or not to fight? If he fought, what if he lost?’ Although he had never personally seen divine envoys, he had heard tales of how they used crosses to kill resentful spirits and they used garlic to smoke vampires. Charles wasn’t sure of his victory against either spirits or vampires, and so was even less certain of a victory against divine envoys. And seeing the strangeness of the men before him as well as his inability to understand their tongue, Charles couldn’t help but fear that he had chanced upon these storied killers.

* * *

Jiang Wuyi stood there quietly, watching the alien beast in front of him, switch from curious to alert to fearful to irritated, and finally back to fearful, and couldn’t help but have doubts in his heart. Turning to look at the old Locust to the side, he asked: “Could it be that he is not smart?”

The old man next to him touched his white beard and squinted, he wasn’t certain either, but “It doesn’t look like it, he simply doesn’t seem to understand our language.”

Jiang Wuyi on hearing the old man’s response, turned back to carefully scrutinize the strange beast in front of him. ‘By his aesthetics, the alien beast in front of him couldn’t exactly be considered good￾looking and he didn’t seem to have spiritual intelligence either. But it wasn’t easy to gain a beast pet, things of this size, in particular, were rare and expensive. Particularly this one before him whose kind he had never seen before.’ He thought and took another step forward.

Charles’ eyes widened in response. He’d been holding his breath in fear for a while now, but at this unfortunate moment, found the aftereffects of the strangely smelling forest cropping up once again to result in him releasing another fiery sneeze that burned the dying grass in front of him. Sensing the feeling of oppression from the being before him made his body tremble uncontrollably, and he unconsciously reverted to his human form.

To most dragons, their human form was their weakest state. And so in a crisis, reverting to their human form could only be deemed as a sign of weakness.

As much as Charles hated to admit it, these strange people exuded an energy that made him a little scared. It didn’t feel like magic, and it wasn’t like the power of faith in those gods. He couldn’t figure out what it was, all he knew was that it made him scared and uncomfortable.

T/N: You’ll understand everything in the next chapter… Hehe

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