Chapter 14 - Dark Continent
"M-Master" - uwu - "i-it's my fault," Kaori said, tears falling endlessly. She was struggling from recovering her breath from running and crying at the same time.
"Kaori, let's stop and take a rest," I said, "we can't die without even knowing if aunt is safe."
"I-I-I-I'm sorry! Hic!" Kaori wails, just like a child that has lost sight and separated from her parents in the middle of shopping. "Hic! I-I'm sorry, hic!"
She was not calming down, and I can feel that she is starting to hyperventilate. So I slightly forced her to sit and lay her back in a tree.
"Kaori, calm down," I said, "aunt is strong enough to protect herself."
I hold her hands and talk to her, even though I am also lost and helpless, I chose to be the one not to panic in this situation.
"D-Dragon," Kaori said.
"What about the dragon?"
"V-Village... Hic... Dragon... Huhuhuhu."
From what I determine, the dragon is related to what happened in the Ischyros tribe. The whole village was put into chaos when the dragons decided to attack, burning everything to the ground.
Then the clansmen were either killed or scattered into different locations. This is why in time of weakness, Kaori was captured and enslaved.
The lady in front of me who was physically older by more than 10 years, is like a baby that doesn't know what she was doing.
I stretch out my hands and embrace her, while tears drench into my shirt. Time went by, and her crying started to mellow, I said, "Aunt is still alive, we can still save her."
There was a pause before she answered. "Mm..."
I pat her head. "And we will make sure that dragon will pay for what it did to your village."
"So let's regain our strength back."
"Look at me Kaori. We will bring my aunt back... Alive."
We rested for 30 minutes and resumes our pursuit. I also contacted our Shadow Intelligence Group so they can provide reinforcement when we confronted the dragon. We will be going full force.
"This is the foot of the mountain," I said, "it will take time climbing this. But we have no choice."
"If I remember correctly, areas with dark miasma around is what they call the dark continent."
"Yes my Lord, looking at this mountain closely, this must be the infamous Drakon Mountain of the Dark Continent."
"Is that bad news?"
"It is more than bad news my Lord. I think there is not just one dragon living here."
If it is really according to what Kaori said, that this Drakon Mountain is somewhere that the dragons inhabited. Then this rescue operation would be much dangerous than we thought. "Troublesome."
"But it seems the dragons are currently hibernating in this cold, my Lord."
"Really? How do you say so?" I might be knowledgeable about humans and business, but mythical creatures such as monsters are out of my league. I know the basic monsters that humans mostly encounter in this world, but things like dragons are not even included in the basic adventurer training guide.
Kaori pointed at the sky around the mountain. "It's because not a single dragon is flying around my Lord."
The adventurers of the Zen kingdom don't go beyond a few kilometers of the southern border. Because they are aware of the existence of the Dark continent.
"But this is weird my Lord," Kaori said, "the Dark continent should at least be another thousand kilometers farther according to the map, but now the dark miasma which is found there already reached this place. This must not be the Drakon Mountain that was told in the story."
"So it's a newly occupied mountain?" Kaori was right, looking at the mountain closely, it is covered by a dark purple miasma that is known for the Dark continent. "It might be so, we can investigate later. But for now, our priority is to save my aunt."
"Yes my Lord."
"As mas ferei o anemos," I chanted, creating whirlwind magic to carry us above. This might look like flying magic, but it is not. It is unstable and affects the surroundings too much. This can even alert the dragons, but we didn't care because we are in a hurry to save Sara.
We slowly ascend the mountain as we notice that it become harder to breathe. Luckily we found a giant cave that size is bigger than the dragon. Assuming that it is the cave used as a dragon lair.
"Let's enter the cave," I said, "this is also the altitude limit we can go."
We landed outside of the cave. It was dark. The purple miasma is also weakening our body. Kaori murmured, "...Master."
"Let's go." I created a fireball to act as our light source as we enter deeper into the cave. It was quiet, dark, and big. "This cave is larger than we thought."
"Yes my Lord. Should we move faster?"
"Alright." We fasten up and still took around an hour before we can even see the end of the cave. I pointed with my finger. "Look! That light must be the exit!"
We quickly ran towards it even though we can't see what is beyond the light. But when we arrived at the exit, we were stunned.
It was a dragon nest.
Not only one, but dozens of nests were placed in a sphere-like auditorium. It was so huge that we are like in a place of giants, but instead, it was a place of dragons.
It was weird that this place is blooming with trees and flowers, despite being in the middle of mountains with dark miasmas roaming around.
But this place is an exception. Not only there is no miasma, but you can see the sky above clearly, with the sun being able to reach the ground perfectly.
Starting this time, we talked in whispers.
"W-What is this place?" I said, looking around.
"My Lord, look!" Kaori points towards a certain spot in the middle. There was a bunch of animals, monsters, and humans that were unconscious piled up together.
"A...re those food stocks?" These are the food that the dragon hunted, as we inspected more, we found out that hundreds of dragon eggs are in this place. "Are they planning to feed these to the newborn baby dragons?"
Kaori was shocked as she points to something. "My Lord, master Sara is at the top of that pile."
When I heard my aunt's name, I trembled, focusing my sights on the location Kaori pointed to. Then I found my aunt Sara who was at the top of the pile, unconscious.
"We need to save her," I said, "be discreet."
We tiptoed as silent as possible as we go to the center, avoiding the outcome of waking up even a single dragon. It's nerve-wracking.
It was still fine. Kaori skillfully pulled Sara out of the pile, and I gestured for us to leave this place as soon as possible.
"Careful. Careful." We are already halfway through the exit as we suddenly heard a sound.
Startled, we glimpse at the side and saw an egg continue to hatch. "Gulp..." I said. "Kaori, run!"
Rushing while the eggs hatch one by one. However, it seems the worst thing is yet to happen.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
A footstep was heard from the exit. "Oh no!"
Hoping that the thing wouldn't be another dragon, but our expectations were quickly shattered when it suddenly blocked our only path of escape.
Not only it was a dragon, but this thing is bigger than anything we have ever seen. Its domineering appearance can make your legs weak just by looking. White hair that shows its intelligence. Multiple wound marks that show battle experience. And the dark miasma coming out of its own body.
"An Alpha Dragon," Kaori said, inhaling and exhaling multiple times as she tries to control her fear.
The dragon looks around from left to right, before it pulls its head, preparing for a howl.
This dragon roar is stronger than the one we partake previously. It was so much stronger, that it makes us propel back to where we retrieved Sara.
Injured, Deafened, Paralyzed, Weakened, and Frightened. A single shout rendering us immovable.
The roar, not only damages us but also made the other dragons in deep slumber wake up.
"My... Lord... Run..." Kaori said, forcing herself to speak while on the ground.
I know how hard she must have suffered just to speak these three words. Because when I tried to reply, my throat suddenly hurts, making me unable to mutter a single word. "Ka... Ngh!"
When the other dragons become fully awake, they roar towards us, one by one.
It was awful.