Chapter 604 Breaking into the Ice Palace
One had to say that Second Grade Frost Dragon Aruntini truly did an excellent job of decorating her palace.
It was a tall and magnificent palace. It had full and brightly lit halls, beautiful murals, and brilliantly golden decorations. However, all these were encased under a layer of thick ice, creating a strange sense of chilliness amid the magnificence.
The party finally entered Aruntini's world of ice and snow after passing through a long, straight corridor. The first thing they saw was a magnificent hall. A tall platform sat above the hall. It appeared to be the seat that the frost dragon had prepared for herself.
She would spend most of her time lounging upon the tall platform when she wasn't asleep, silently enjoying the service of the dragonborn and either feasting or summoning some singers and dancers to entertain her. As for the matters of her territory, the dragons would never spend any effort upon those trivial matters.
At any rate, they had their loyal dragonborn slave to help them manage such issues. The dragon lords only needed to enjoy their lives while occasionally visiting their lands to reinforce their might in front of the foolish and ignorant natives.
Of course, as a female Second Grade frost dragon, Aruntini was not as sexually active and open as the female fire dragon. She wasn't as busy at work as Cherkes was, either. She was merely an ordinary dragon that played her part. That was why her territory wasn't all that large. It was only about two to three hundred kilometers wide.
With her speed as a Second Grade frost dragon, she would be able to make a trip within her territory in less than half a day.
Various ice-attribute magical creatures lived within her land. For instance, there were ice banshees, raging snowmen, iceworms, and blue demons. The dragons around the area were all more powerful than Aruntini, but they couldn't be bothered to deal with her since her lands were ones of only ice and snow.
That was why Aruntini was able to enjoy hundreds of peaceful years in this kingdom of ice and snow.
Sadly, the peace of the icy world was about to be shattered by a group of intruders today.
All the adepts held excited and nervous feeling as they walked within this world of ice and snow wholly formed of ice crystals and icicles.
What an exciting word!
Countless human warriors were willing to sacrifice their lives in pursuit of this intangible glory. They dared to take the fearsome dragons head-on, all so that they might add the prefix title of 'Dragonslayer' before their surnames. This way, their title of Dragonslayer would pass down for tens of thousands of years, even if they were to die of old age upon their beds.
While dragon slaying wasn't as simple as killing cats or dogs for Greem, it was not the impossible feat that was presented before ordinary humans. It was a tiny chance of success that regular humans would have to attempt to obtain with one hundred thousand percent of their effort.
The successful capture of Wind Dragon Cherkes already meant that the Crimson Clan's Second Grade squad already had a basic chance at slaying a dragon. Though there had been much luck involved in their first success, it was still evidence that they now possessed the fundamental power required to engage a Second Grade dragon in frontal combat.
That was why Greem immediately made the decision to slay this dragon six days after the public founding of the Crimson Clan. They had conducted an in-depth analysis and investigation of the locations and strengths of the three Second Grade dragon lords around them beforehand.
Greem and the others had made plenty of preparations to capture this Second Grade frost dragon.
The magical equipment that increased their frost resistance alone cost seventy to eighty thousand magical crystals. Everyone had also been provided with three Potions of Cold Resistance that could temporarily neutralize frost damage. This cost another fifty thousand magical crystals. The other miscellaneous items such as anti-scrying wands, Scrolls of Invisibility, Potions of Melting, Potions of Spirit Protection, and many others had also cost Greem another forty thousand magical crystals.
Not included in this were the frost armor and two enchanted shields that Greem had purchased for Zacha, the tank. That was to help him best resist most of the frost damage.
All these various costs added together totaled up to three hundred thousand magical crystals. The Crimson Clan had placed a massive investment upon this venture for Aruntini. Not only were they at risk of wasting these three hundred thousand magical crystals if they failed to slay the dragon, but they were also risking the loss of the participating members.
The latter was what concerned all adept clans. It was the one thing that they most hoped would not happen!
The adepts passed through the halls and walked toward the sleeping quarters of the frost dragon. All the First Grade adepts stayed behind and started setting up various arrays. These arrays would cut off all possible reinforcements the frost dragon possessed once the battle started. After all, this was a fight between multiple Second Grades. The commotion created by a battle like this couldn't possibly be small.
If the dragonborn camp picked up on the abnormality and sent a large army of warriors as reinforcements, then the four of them would be responsible for holding the enemy off for quite a while.
They might not need to face that fearsome Second Grade dragon, but they very likely needed to meet a massive horde of raging dragonborn. The danger they faced was not much less, and thus, they still had to treat the situation with utmost caution.
A vague sound of freezing winds rang out in the icy passage as they closed in on the frost dragon's quarters. The unique smell of draconic creatures was mixed with the chilling winds. Its aroma was dense and pungent. Anyone who picked up on the scent would feel like throwing up.
As an experienced Second Grade adept, Greem knew very well that this wind was not a natural wind. Rather, it was a freezing current created by the breath of the powerful frost dragon as she slept.
The frost dragon seemed to have yet to realize the enemy was closing in on her. She was still having a sweet nap.
Yet, a crisp sound of cracking ice came from beneath Zacha's feet when he turned to walk into a straight corridor. He had been walking at the very front. This sound wasn't significant, but it was pronounced in the silent ice palace, where the only sound was the wailing winds.
The adepts also sensed a nearly imperceptible magical flux with the cracking of the ice crystal.
"Dammit! It's a magical trap!" Greem instantly came up with a decision, "Don't hesitate, charge."
At Greem's command, Dragonborn Zacha reached backward and took out a massive tower shield that could cover most of his body from his back. He raised his head and let out a long roar before rushing into the corridor with the shield held up high.
This corridor encased a thin layer of ice suddenly flashed with a series of magical lights. Countless white blasts of cold air shot out of the ceilings, the floor, and the walls as more and more hidden traps were activated.
Several completed ice spells surged outward and blasted toward the advancing dragonborn like a glacial tide.
A milky-white Frost Aura still clung to Zacha even with his shield up. He had to drink two Potions of Melting to prevent from being frozen on the spot by the tide of chillingly cold air. His muscles flared, and he had to draw upon all his power twice before he managed to continue forward in the face of this freezing tide.
Greem, Mary, and Oliven hid behind Zacha's back and avoided being directly blasted by the cold wave. They would be frozen to the spot in such a cold space if their Strength and Physique were slightly weaker. The three of them grabbed onto Zacha's tail and borrowed his ferocious strength to conserve stamina. It was only then that they managed to make it through the corridor.
The cold winds within the ice palace suddenly turned erratic and fierce.
"The frost dragon is awakening. It won't be easy for us to ambush her once she's completely awake." Oliven, who was petite but extremely experienced in matters of dragon slaying, shouted under her breath.
Zacha once again drew upon all his strength when hearing her words. His large body accelerated as he charged into the frost dragon's room like a chariot gone out of control.
The magical traps that the frost dragon set up in the passage might be able to kill ordinary thieves, but they weren't much trouble to Greem and the others who had already prepared for the occasion. However, if Greem and his party spent too much time dealing with the traps, they would be dealing with a well-prepared dragon by the time they arrived in her room.
Now that they had taken a risk and charged all the way through this dangerous path, things were much more relaxed. When they finally arrived in front of the frost dragon, the white-scaled dragon had just opened her eyes. Her intimidating eyes were still filled with confusion.
She might have sensed the activation of the magical traps outside, but it took some time to break free of such a deep sleep.
Thus, the first thing that Frost Dragon Aruntini saw upon opening her sleepy eyes was a wild silhouette that was as large as a steel chariot. A massive tower shield increased in size before her fearful gaze. It took up most of her vision and smashed upon her nose.
Nose blood splashed everywhere, and an intense pain descended upon her. Aruntini let out a tragic roar and utterly broke free of the laziness and exhaustion that usually accompanied a long sleep; she instantly woke up.
By the time she straightened her elegant and slender body, three more tiny ants had appeared behind her. These ants simultaneously let out their most terrifying attacks upon the beautiful shape of the frost dragon.
Torrent of Flames + Rune of Explosion!
Bloodshade Strikes + Shadowstrike!
Hamstring + Eviscerate + Sinister Strike!
The three terrifying enemies immediately offered up three different types of attacks.
The spell that Greem used was still the most potent and most skilled Second Grade fire spell in his arsenal- Torrent of Flames. It was a torrent of elementium flames that had been bound together into a single concentrated blast. However, this ordinary Second Grade fire spell had turned into an extremely fearsome attack with the enhancement of the Rune of Explosion.
The roiling pillar of fire was obstructed by the chilling air around the frost dragon and could only spread out and burn the air around her elegant body. Ice and fire intertwined with each other before being detonated by the strange Rune of Explosion.
It was almost as if many fireworks had gone off on the surface of the frost dragon's body. Everything exploded at that one instant.
The areas with dense frost and thick scales would not be affected by these flame explosions, but there had to be weak areas to the surface of the frost dragon's body. Those areas became the suffered the most from the explosion.
The white mist around the ice dragon was suddenly colored with a layer of crimson. A dozen large, bowl-sized dragon scales were blown away, revealing the bloody muscles beneath.