114-113 Dragon's Nest

 The Dragon Emperor's Castle, the Geyser Dragon's Nest, is a massive castle-type dungeon.

 A dungeon is usually created in a stagnant place where the flow of mana that travels around the world stops and stagnates, and the highly compressed mana twists and turns the space into a labyrinth.

 That is the original dungeon.

 However, in the Dragon Emperor's Castle of Geyser Dragon, the space has been twisted and turned into an alien world by the power of the mana exerted by the Geyser Dragon himself, rather than natural mana.

 It was a genuine, Gaither Dragon-dominated castle.

 Moreover, its scale was far larger than the average naturally occurring dungeon. The scale alone would put it at the top of the world.
 Such an insane thing was not a gift of nature, but a single living thing. That's exactly what dragons, one of the most feared creatures in the world, can do.

 It is the dragon among the most powerful dragons that reigns supreme. He is the strongest of the strong with the right to command all dragons and to punish them.

 The Geyser Dragon, also known as the Emperor Dragon.

 No one with life can kill the dragon emperor.

              * * * *

 Dalper, the Grintz Dragon, was the thirty-fourth son of Geyser Dragon.

 With one exception, all of the dragons inhabiting this world were the sons of Geyser Dragon.
 The only exception was the Geyser Dragon's own person.

 The bastard sons of the Emperor Dragon, Grintz and Grinzel Dragons, were currently in the midst of a succession struggle for the position of the next Emperor Dragon.
 Each of the candidates for succession must take on the various tasks assigned to them and successfully complete them.
 If they failed to do so, they would be stripped of their successorships and never return.

 Dalper, the Grinz Dragon, trembled with fear as he approached his audience with his father, Geyser Dragon.
 The only person a dragon should fear in the world is the most powerful dragon of all dragons.

 The reason why Dalper was so fearful of an audience with his father was because he had returned home without fulfilling the ordeal he had been given.

 Each of the candidates for succession would be given a different ordeal.
 This ordeal is for that dragon, and this ordeal is for that dragon, and so on, and each of them is given a completely different challenge to see if they can overcome it.

 Dalper had failed his ordeal.
 In other words, he was in a predicament.
 It's no wonder they were atrocious.

 The difficulty and level of difficulty of each ordeal varied widely, with some being yawningly easy and some even unattainable even with the all-powerfulness of a dragon.

 The fact that there is such a disparity in the difficulty of the trials is due to the whims of the Gaither Dragon, the organizer of the trials, but among them, it can be said that the trial given to Darpa is the easiest.

 All you have to do is get the treasure from an inferior race that is nothing special.

 When the ordeal was first handed down, Dalper jumped for joy.
 For it was as if success had been promised before it began.
 It was entirely up to luck what kind of test the successor candidates would be given, and Dalper, in other words, rejoiced at his good fortune.

 Some of the other candidates for succession had been asked to take on the No-Life King, the only threat that could stand against dragons, or to find out what no longer existed in the world.

 Dalper even thought he was one step ahead of the pack in the race for succession, since he was able to comfortably pass the gauntlet and move on to the next level despite those unlucky people.

 And yet, he failed.
 It was painful.

''I assumed that I had won and relaxed too much.......!

 A sense of regret was swirling in Dalper's chest.
 The other party was a type of beastman called a satyr, but as a dragon, Darpa, the humanoid creatures on earth are all the same in that they are dust that will die if you breathe on them.

 I could have attacked the village, killed them all in one fell swoop and then snatched the treasure from them, but since I received a simple ordeal, I felt the urge to playfully take a little time to attack them slowly.

 He didn't crush them in one breath, but first he confronted them with his demands and when they refused, he took the strategy of blocking their path to the outside world, cutting off their supply and gradually starving them dry.
 I enjoyed watching my opponent gradually weaken and suffer.

 In addition to the treasure they wanted, they even made additional demands, such as 'give us the lives of all the children in the village while you're at it,' so that they would always refuse.

 When will they make a sound?
 When will they make a noise, throw away their dignity and pride, and come crying to us," he said, slowly torturing the satyrs as if he were strangling them with cotton.
 For an unusually long time, considering the fighting power of dragons.

 That was not good.
 I realized that I had failed the ordeal.
 And then I escaped back to Omoei Father Geyser Dragon.

''But there's still hope...!''

 If he explained the peculiar circumstances under which he had failed the ordeal, the Geyser Dragon might be able to give him a favor and allow him to try the ordeal again.
 With that thought, Dalper squirmed before the Emperor Dragon.

 He waved his tongue in a desperate thought that his progress depended on this excuse.

''........Therefore, I am confident that my failure was never due to my own carelessness or lack of strength!

 He spoke up desperately.

''It was all due to the wilfulness of my sister, Grinzel Dragon Veerle!

 The direct cause of Dalper's failure in the ordeal was that the same dragon, Veerle, had sided with the Satyr tribe and attacked Dalper.

 Even though they are of the same race, there are of course individual differences in their strength.
 Veerle, who originally boasted of superior strength among the candidates for the successor to the Gaither Dragon, kicked his younger brother Darpa to the ground with a single touch of his armor sleeve and drove him away from the Satyr's settlement.

''Sister Veerle is a coward! If they are allowed to do that, including sabotaging other candidates, the succession selection process will be chaotic! This could lead to a war that would heat up and involve the entire dragon community! I beg you, sister Veerle, to punish her accordingly.

 Then, in the name of a fresh start, he gave himself a new test. Dalper gambled on the chance to come back as a loser.
 And that bet failed.

'Who said it's forbidden to interfere?'
'Who decided that a candidate for succession should not interfere with another candidate? I'm asking,''

 A weighty voice that seemed to shake the entire Dragon Emperor's Castle echoed through the audience room.

''Interference is greatly appreciated. It would be more enjoyable for us to watch if there was that much unexpectedness. In any case, if the ordeal goes on, the remaining ones will kill each other and decide the last one. It's just a matter of whether they are slow or fast enough to eat each other's flesh and blood.''
'Um, Dad? Father!
"My....what son do you think it was? Oh, well. You've failed my test. You're not going to be my successor. Thank you for everything.
"Wait for me, Father! It was my sister Veerle! It wasn't me! So give me another chance...!


 A geyser dragon climbed to the throne of the audience.
 There were no dragons of his kind below him.
 All that was present was a single, mountainous, giant lizard.

 That giant lizard had originally been named Dalper, but now it had been deprived of the magic and wisdom unique to dragons and had dropped down to a mere beast.

 The dragon emperor, Gaiser Dragon, has the right to kill all dragons except himself.

 He can take away their magic and wisdom and incorporate them as his own power, just as he does now.
 In this way, an emperor dragon can maintain his power as an emperor for an equal amount of time forever.

 The great lizard, once known as the Dalper, was busily thrusting his tongue in and out of the tip of his mouth as he peered around. There isn't a shred of intelligence left in his movements.

"How long do you intend to stay in my sight?

 The Geyser Dragon didn't have the slightest desire for what was his son.

''Go away!''

 He barked at him, and the great lizard, which was a dulper, fled at once in a panic.
 It is the usual pattern for former dragons who have lost their intellect to be called Lesser Dragons, to run rampant on instinct, and eventually the demons or humans will make great sacrifices to exterminate them.

 That's why all the dragons on earth today are the children of Geyser Dragons.
 All of the brothers and sisters of the current generation of Geyser Dragons, all of them were defeated in the previous succession battle and perished as an inferior species after being robbed of their intelligence and magic.

 Because they are the strongest species of dragons, it was providential that they do not need two of the strongest.


 Dalper's excuses weren't even worth a second glance, but there was only one point at a time.

'You're the Veil of Grinzel Dragon. What do you have in mind?'