Chapter 214 Dragon Valley
This was a taboo name for all the humans living on the knights' continent.
There were still plenty of bards and poets spreading grand stories of Dragon Cliff’s beauty in inns and bars of all sizes across the continent. However, the existence of Dragon Cliff remained as stories for most people. Rarely had people ever truly seen the place for themselves.
It was rumored that it was the place the dragons lived in. It was rumored that endless wealth was hoarded there. It was believed to be the graveyard of many arrogant individuals that dared to challenge the dragons in hopes of becoming dragon knights.
But where was the Dragon Cliff? No one knew!
This was a silent valley in a vast mountain range.
This mountain range stretched for long distances in all directions. A large forest grew atop the mountains, covering an area of nearly five hundred kilometers. Here, mountain peaks that pierced the clouds and dizzying cliffs were everywhere.
Moreover, due to the dense foliage and numerous wild beasts in the woods, this had become a dangerous place that no man dared set foot on. A true no-man's land.
Right in the center of this beautiful and silent valley, a tall cliff stood amidst the clouds. This was the legendary and elusive Dragon Cliff.
It was the time of afternoon where the sun was at its brightest. The great green dragon Aufreyr, who had just had his lunch at the outer rim of the forest, beat his large webbed wings and cruised about the Dragon Valley before finally landing near a small lake.
Some bulls, gazelles, zebras, and other herbivores were drinking water from the lake when they were frightened away by his presence. They ran far away before turning back and looking at this uninvited green dragon with cautious eyes. It was only until they realized he had already fed that they were able to relax.
Aufreyr crouched by the lake and drank his fill of lake water before contentedly folding his wings and strolling through the grassland by the lake.
The weather was so perfect that he couldn't help but want to take a good nap.
However, as the guard of Dragon Valley, his duty was to watch the entrance of the valley to prevent any outsiders from entering. Thus, he could only let out a frustrated snort and blew out a cloud of light green mist from his snout. It was only then that he managed to dispel that strong desire to sleep.
All of a sudden, Aufreyr straightened his body, raised his snout, and started to sniff.
He had detected an odd aura amidst the natural fragrance of the grass and flowers here. An aura that did not belong to Dragon Valley.
It was a human! Moreover, it was a human he knew!
Aufreyr's thick and strong hind legs gave a good kick to the ground and his heavy body shot upwards. Under the powerful beating of his wings he left the ground with some difficulty, flying towards the direction of the valley's entrance.
Dragons’ bodies were far too large, such that it was slightly difficult for them to take flight from the ground. As a result, most of them liked to build their dens near the top of cliffs, where outsiders found it difficult to approach. From that height, their vision was unobscured, making it extremely convenient for them to tackle enemies from above.
Aufreyr flew across the grassland of nearly ten kilometers and saw a familiar shape by the entrance of Dragon Valley.
This was a tall and burly human.
Golden hair that reached the shoulders, golden circlet, golden armor, golden armband, golden bracer, and golden boots. This human radiated the debauchery and vulgarity of the newly rich from the top of his body to the very bottom. Golden radiance shone from every accessory and bit of apparel on his body, making it hard to look at him directly.
However, it was such a vulgar human as this that radiated a powerful strength that was unmatched by most mortals. Even when the green dragon Aufreyr, with his body that was as large as a small hill, dove down at him while letting out a loud dragon's roar, he had no intention to dodge. Instead, he opened his arms and walked forward.
With a muffled thud, the large green dragon gracefully landed on the ground, forming a large crater one meter deep and three meters wide into the green grassland before warmly embracing the human.
In truth, the so called ‘embrace’ was just the green dragon lowering his head before the human and allowing him to hug it.
"Willis, since when did you have the time to come to Dragon Valley? Is that human king finally willing to let you go?" The green dragon tried his best to lower his voice, but when he spoke, the air around him still shook and quaked.
"It's a long story, Aufreyr! I'll tell you when we have the time. I wish to see Clan Leader Raistlin now. Please relay this message to him!"
"Uh… " The green dragon hesitated, "Willis, the clan leader has been extremely angry ever since you guys sent back Rissana in that condition. The few elders in the clan are trying their best to save Rissana now. I fear… "
"Aufreyr, I am also a member of Dragon Valley. Did the clan leader expressly forbid me from entering?" Willis questioned loudly. When he was angered, even a Third Grade green dragon could not endure the mighty and dominating power he radiated as a Fourth Grade Holy Knight.
"He did not!" An awkward expression appeared on the green dragon's long face as he spoke, "Very well, I'll give it a try! As for whether the clan leader will see you, that's something I cannot guarantee!"
Having finished speaking, Aufreyr turned his large body around and opened his mouth, letting out a long and loud dragon's roar that had a certain cadence to it at the tall Dragon Cliff thirty kilometers away.
After a short moment, an even louder dragon's roar rang back from the tall Dragon Cliff.
"Well, the clan leader has agreed to see you! Come with me!"
The green dragon took to the sky once more, with as much difficulty as before, sending powerful gusts in all directions that blew away the dust nearby. Willis, the Fourth Grade holy knight covered in his golden armor, also pounded his chest. In the midst of strange contortions and expansions, he rapidly transformed into a green dragon that was far more magnificent than Aufreyr.
The two green dragons roared and flew towards Dragon Cliff standing in the distance.
As compared to the vast stretch of forest outside the valley, there weren't many tall and ancient trees in the valley. There were only large patches of green grassland here, with sparse lakes adorning the green like stars in the night sky, giving this place a mysterious beauty as if it did not belong to this realm.
As the dragons flew closer, the tall and towering Dragon Cliff finally revealed its true appearance.
This was a tall cliff that took up an area of over four square kilometers. Numerous dark and dim caves dotted the steep walls of the cliff. Many green dragons stretched their slender and ferocious heads out of their caves when they sensed Willis' arrival, letting out dragon roars to greet him.
The transformed green dragon Willis responded in kind, with a loud and clear dragon's roar.
For one moment, the deafening roar of dragons filled the entire Dragon Cliff, making the place exceptionally lively.
On a patch of grassland at the bottom of the cliff, a group of green dragon whelps that were only three to five meters long were playing by a clear lake. They beat their small and tender wings, occasionally flying into the sky with much difficulty before crashing face first into the lake. Some whelps were playfully chasing after a few herbivores, scaring them and sending them running in all directions.
It was obvious that these whelps had yet to master their dragon breath. There would always be some clumsy ones that flew too low to the ground and failed to fold their wings in time. They would crash into the ground, before crouching and crying in pain.
Whenever this happened, one or two of the green dragon parents would fly out of their caves, diving down and skillfully piercing the body of a herbivore with their sharp claws before tossing it to their whelps' side.
Then a group of whelps would surge forward, breathing out poison mists or spitting green saliva on the prey to kill it. They would leap forward joyfully when the prey had finally succumbed to the poison, and use their fine fangs that had just grown out to bite the flesh on the prey's body.
It was such a bloody and cruel scene. Yet in the eyes of Willis, a green dragon himself, it all seemed so warm and sweet. As a half-dragon, the blood that flowed in his body was the blood of dragons!
The place the green dragons’ clan leader Raistlin met Willis was the meeting hall.
This wide hall located in the middle of the tall cliff, at its very heart, was large enough to host twenty or thirty dragons at once. With the exception of the Dragon's Altar at the top of the cliff, it was the most sacred place of Dragon Cliff. Raistlin would only gather the dragons here to talk when they faced a difficult decision.
Thus, when Willis transformed back into a human and walked into the meeting hall, a bad feeling had already risen in his heart.
There were three dragons waiting for him here.
Green Dragon clan leader Raistlin and green dragon clan elder Singe and Phantim!
They all had the terrifying prowess of Fourth Grade beings.
"I welcome you, my child." Raistlin's loud voice boomed throughout the hall and caused the walls to tremor, "I hope you bring us good news this time!"
"I wonder what kind of good news father wants?" Willis asked gravely.
"We smelled the evil aura of adepts on Rissana, whom you sent back. I hope your visit this time has nothing to do with them!" Raistlin lowered his body and put his imposing head before the two meter tall Willis. His large amber eyes stared unblinkingly at Willis.
"Oh great father, I may have brought news that you do not wish to hear!" Pain appeared on Willis' face as he spoke, "The king of the humans asked me to bring you a message. He wishes for the powerful Dragon Cliff to send green dragons to reinforce the frontlines, on the goodwill of all the past annual offerings the humans have provided us. It is said that the battle there is going terribly. The adepts hide in Greenland Forest and bring about terrible deaths and losses to the witcher-knights!"
"What is your stand then?" Not a single emotion was betrayed on Raistlin's ferocious face, "Tell me, my child!"
"I… " The struggle was becoming increasingly obvious on Willis' face, "Naturally, I do not wish the flames of world war to spread to Dragon Valley. Neither do I wish to see my brothers and sisters fall under the butcher's knife of the adepts. However… given that the adepts have already arrived, should we not stand out and defend our own ranch? After all, this is our territory. Our territory that we have managed for over a thousand years!"