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Volume 4: Intermission – Rulers of the Sky (1/3)
The sound of wings flapping could be heard. The time has come for the youngest to soar to the sky.
Within the cave where it has taken nest, that sound belonged to the dragon that has lived since times of old. At the peak of the ever snowy mountains, at the northern ridge of the mountains where the gods once fought, further north beyond, lay a land untrodden, where mountains stood tall. In that region that reached past the sea of clouds, neither legged men nor winged creatures could enter.
Named after their creators,
He, who has been spoken of since the age of the myths, the sky king, the Golden Dragon Grimoa was there.
With a lifespan longer than even that of the elves, and the ability to produce subjects without a mate, he was more a god than a creature. He grew and fed off the mana in the sky, and the way he looked as his many subjects submitted themselves to him was truly the picture of the king of the sky. At his whim, he could scorch the entire continent, and it would be as easy as twisting a baby’s hand.
Those dragon scales that shone in gold, they were proof that he was the strongest among the dragons. With his wings spread, he spanned almost 30 meters long. And a golden crest could be found from his back extending to the nape of his neck.
His eyes were sharp, and they shone like a pair of jewels that captured the azure of the sky. His fangs stood strong, and they could crush even the hard flesh of the giants made by the
At the end of his powerful limbs were claws that could easily tear the
But as terrifying as a weapon as those were, the dragons’ greatest weapon lay in their mana. Within them was enough mana to cast a myriad of spells simultaneously, and coupled with that was the intelligence to control them as well.
But even if they were to lose themselves in their anger, anyone fool enough to receive the ire of dragons would only find themselves on the receiving end of the beast within. Dragons were intelligent, but they also possessed the terrifying nature of beasts.
Such were the creatures known as dragons. To describe them merely as ‘that born from dreams and illusions’ was not enough. The dragons were terrifying creatures filled with all the concepts of the strong. And his subjects littered throughout the region that the humans claimed unexplored. They numbered roughly 500. Every one of which, a match for 10,000 human soldiers, and yet as powerful as they were, they were also the greatest mages in history with mana that far outstripped other creatures.
He, who indeed deserved to be known as the ruler of the sky, looked toward the sky from the cave with eyes that blazed in blue.
As his sapphire-colored eyes turned to the sky, a ferocious smile appeared on his mouth. Since the day he was born, there was someone that he considered his enemy. Perhaps it wasn’t the case in his youth, but the moment he grew and became the ruler of the skies, he has always considered himself equal to the gods, and the only one to oppose him was a subject of the Goddess of the Underworld.
As the stories passed down among the elves would have it, that creature would descend with clouds of dark, slithering through the sky, though his back grew no wings.
And indeed, black clouds filled the azure sky, and a face appeared with two horns that stood tall as though in defiance of the heavens.
In his small hand was a jewel. He was the master of the dark clouds, that who commanded the lightning and the thunders, he was Gawain the Wingless Sky Snake.
He too commanded 500 subjects, and the visage he painted while accompanied with dark clouds roaring thunder could overwhelm all but the strongest willed.
“The promised time has come.”
Gawain’s voice resounded from the heavens, and Grimoa cried out.
“Rise, my subjects! You who know the name of Golden Dragon Grimoa!”
His voice resounded throughout the mountainous region, and his subjects answered back. Wind dragons that commanded the wind rose up. Rock dragons hidden within the mountains stood up and called forth floating rocks to show their might. Water Dragons that lived in the lake shores called forth streams of water, while the fire dragons in the volcanic regions flew to Grimoa’s side accompanied by flames.
If Grimoa the Golden Dragon was a dragon, then Gawain the Wingless Sky Snake was a ryuu .
He would slither through the air with no wings, call forth calamities and rule over all creation.
He looked down on Grimoa’s subjects, who were brimming with fighting spirit, and then as a ferocious smile appeared on his mouth, from the sky, he declared the battle begun.
“Now, fight! Name yourself, my enemy!”
Gawain demanded, and Grimoa answered.
“Now, fight! I am the rightful representative of the gods, the ruler of the sky, Grimoa the Dragon King! I have named myself. Now, name yourself, my nemesis!”
“I am Gawain! Servant to the Goddess of the Underworld, and the ruler of the heavens!”
As they called upon their names, a courtesy that stemmed all the way back to the age of the gods, in the distant unexplored lands, the battle of the sky rulers began.
 – Dragon in Japanese, in this case, likely pertaining to eastern-style dragons.