As soon as I finished saying that, I compressed the blend of Vaje’s magic and my own magic at the end of my mouth, and released a breath attack at Vaje, who was directly above me.
Similar to the laser-like breath that Vaje had sent to me, I hit Vaje with a huge pillar of light, consisting of my own white flame as the center, and Vaje’s crimson flame surrounding it.
「You burned my scales!? Impossible, I am the Crimson Dragon!!」
「That just means your body has reached the limit that it can endure. Just because you are a fire dragon doesn’t mean you’re immune to all types of fire.
Also, you took your eyes and attention off the enemy, that’s really unimpressive. That’s why you’re still just a young lady」
While her eyes were diverted for just a moment, I flew toward her chest and bit at her neck while she was still stunned.
From there, I was able to pierce through her crimson scales, but since I had no intention of going further against my own kind, I restrained my power so it was just enough to keep her from running away.
Having realized that she could come up with no answer to my voice or aura, and had blundered, Vaje tried to struggle free before I could restrain her completely. I immediately spread my arms and tail so that they wrapped around her body, making it so that she couldn’t even flap her wings, so we began to fall.
As the ground steadily grew closer, I spread my wings to catch the air and decelerate, and using dragon language magic, I completely removed the weight of our bodies by controlling the air resistance and our inertia. I released my hold on Vaje as we landed on the surface of the Mores Mountain.
Well, even though she was released, I did fling her off at high speed, so she had no time to right her posture as she collided with the mountain’s surface from the momentum, causing a shockwave through the ground.
When she crashed, the ground cracked open like spider webs around her, and Vaje’s large body became halfway buried in the crumbling earth and rocks.
Even though I had suddenly decelerated from such high speeds, and she had received a strong impact upon collision, it wasn’t to the point of breaking any of her bones. Her chest heaved with her breathing, and her consciousness was still a little clouded, is all.
I looked down at Vaje, who was shaking her head in an attempt to recover her consciousness and her mind.
「Are you not used to fighting with your own kind, or with opponents stronger than you? Although you may not have a use for it most of the time, you should always be devoted to creating many methods of fighting」
「……Grr, you, you always look down on me!」
「It’s already impressive that you’re still conscious. If you still have regrets, then defeat me someday. But first, you have to land a hit on me, so I can tell you my name. I’ll come see you again soon」
I flapped my wings and took flight, flying far enough away that I couldn’t see Vaje anymore, and then for a moment, I floated midair and chuckled to myself.
This time, I had learned that there was a Crimson Dragon living in the northern Mores Mountains; that alone was a great result for today.
I figured that in the future, Bern Village would eventually further develop the mountains to the north, and cultivate the mountain vegetables and timber. But if I hadn’t gone flying in my dragon clone form, then I wouldn’t have known about Vaje, and we might have ended up having to fight her.
Now, I know about her existence, so I have time to build countermeasures against that. Well, the biggest problem currently was that pioneering to the north was still just a distant dream though.
I thought it would be a waste if I returned the magic energy of my clone to my real body right now, so I decided to go for a stroll through the skies of the Mores Mountains for a while.
Just as I was thinking about what I should do with my time next, I sensed a rare presence coming from the southwest.
It was another fellow dragon, one at about the same level of power as Vaje.
There didn’t seem to be any settlements near here, so it was quite rare to run into multiple dragons in a row like this. However, the presence I sensed wasn’t a Celestial Dragon, but rather a Dragon God.
Of the original dragons born from the flesh of the Founding Dragon, they were separated into two groups, the Celestial Dragons and the Dragon Gods.
There were seven of the highest ranking dragons, consisting of the Four Pillars of the Ancient Celestial Dragons, which includes myself, and the Three Pillars of the Ancient Dragon Gods. There is a clear difference in appearance between the Celestial Dragons and the Dragon Gods.
The Celestial Dragons have wings with skin that resembles a bat, and they also have long tails. They have four long limbs like humans, and long, stretching necks. Dragon Gods, on the other hand, have long and thin trunks like snakes, with short arms and legs. They also have horns that resemble deer antlers, with thin and long whiskers, and long hair flowing from the backs of their heads. 
The Dragon God I found seemed to be resting on the bank of a lake at the summit of the mountain.
As I caught sight of the dragon, the dragon also took notice of my white-scaled form.
Surrounded by tall conifer trees, and the dragon stood next to the lake with water so clear, it reflected light like a mirror.
Her long and thin body was completely covered in sea blue scales, and her abdomen and the inner side of her body was a lighter water blue color than even her scales.
There were no whiskers near her thin lips, and long, straight, jet black hair the color of a crow grew from her head, swaying gently in the wind.
If you could capture the color of the stars and the moon in the night sky and transcribe it into threads of silk, you would have beautiful black hair like this dragon’s.
Her slender body was a blue that resembled a clear blue sea, the water transparent all the way to the bottom. Rather than the toughness of a royal creature, she gave off a stronger feeling of softness and elegance.
This was another young lady about the same age as Vaje.
During my time when I was alive as a dragon, I thought that most dragons would usually become independent from their parents at a little bit of an older age than them, but it seems recently, the younger generation leave their parents at a younger age.
I stopped flapping my wings, and landed along the shore of the lake to exchange greetings with the young lady who was staring at me fixedly.
She seemed to be nervous as she hesitantly turned her gaze at me, observing me. This young lady had none of the brashness that Vaje had.
Although Dragonkin themselves could have a relatively gentle nature, it seems this young lady possessed an even calmer personality as one of her own personal traits.
「Hello, young Dragon God lady. You’ve come to quite a remote land, do you have business here? I haven’t seen your face around here before」
I struck a light conversation with her, but maybe it was her first time meeting a Celestial Dragon like me, or maybe she was just extremely nervous, but she puffed out her chest with all she had and did her best to return the greeting.
「It is nice to meet you. I serve one of the Three Great Dragon Emperors, the Water Dragon Emperor Ryoukichi-sama. I am a dragon priestess, my name is Liu Yu」
She slightly bowed her head as she gave her name and introduced herself. Her actions, and her cool and clear voice, which sounded like the murmuring of a river; all of it contrasted completely with the fierce, must-burn-everything, fiery attitude of Vaje.
「The Water Dragon Emperor, Princess Ryoukichi, must be a dragon from Leviathan’s lineage. I remember that as of now, she holds the most power among the Ancient Dragon Gods.
If you’re working as her priestess, then that means you must be quite a high ranking dragon yourself, Liu Yu. You’re so young, but that’s an impressive accomplishment. Ah, by the way, is it alright to just call you Liu Yu?」
「Please address me however you like. Also, I only just so happened to be born in a family that serves the emperor, so it isn’t something to be praised so much. Oh, um, could it be the land in this area is under your governance? If that is the case, then I sincerely apologize for having stepped foot in your territory so carelessly」
「No, no, the one in control of this whole area isn’t me, it’s a Crimson Dragon who’s about the same age as you. I’m just a traveler who recently arrived in this area. She’s a Crimson Dragon with quite a wild personality, so unless you have really urgent business that requires you to travel further north, I recommend taking a detour」
「Is that so? Well, I do not have any urgent business, and I have no particular reason to keep traveling north. Then, I shall do as you advised. Um, by the way, may I ask what kind of connection do you have with Ryoukichi-sama? You even seem to be deeply knowledgeable about Leviathan-sama as well」
Fumu, I let my tongue slip a little too much.
「Yeah, we have a bit of a history. Regarding the emperor, let’s see…… When you return to her side, try asking her this question. Perhaps she might still remember me. When she was still a child, a certain Ancient Celestial Dragon was invited to a banquet, and the young emperor should have had a small burn on her left cheek. It already healed, and it didn’t leave a scar, but ask her, “Did the pain, pain go away already?”」
Before I was killed by the heroes, I was invited to the underwater palace of the Dragon Gods, one of the families still remaining on earth. And at the opening banquet, as I’d said, there was a young emperor who had received a burn on her cheek due to an accident.
At that time, I had met the emperor, and even healed her burn, then I used a rhyme that I’d learned from some humans’ or villains’ kids, which went: “Pain, pain, go away.” Until then, the emperor had been afraid of me the most, but upon being treated so kindly, all her nervousness melted away, and she gave me a big smile.
「What, if you don’t believe my word, then I don’t care if you don’t ask her about it. I hear that the emperor is an intellectual, gentle, and wise ruler, but even she might feel displeased from hearing some nonsense story. For maybe having displeased the one you serve, I apologize to you, her priestess.」
I told Liu Yu that with a bitter smile on my face, and after that, I had Liu Yu told me about how her fellow dragons are doing in the Imperial Dragon Palace under the sea, along with the mermaids and fish-people that also live there. In exchange, I told her that the whole area to the north was Vaje’s territory, and the land to the northwest contained large-scale demon settlements.
「If you don’t mind, can you tell me why you’ve come to a place like this?」
「When priestesses and military officials of the Emperor reach a certain age, it is customary for them to leave the Palace and travel the outside world, in order to broaden their horizons.
It is soon almost time for me to also leave the Palace, so I thought I would leave a little early and get to know the outside world better. That’s how I ended up here」
「Fumu, so that means, you’re on a journey」
That was the reason that Liu Yu and I both came up with.
Before meeting me, Liu Yu had come across many large sized rock birds and other flying monsters, but apparently this was her first time meeting a Celestial Dragon, so she was quite nervous.
「Lastly, Liu Yu, you came flying in from the south, but isn’t the land of the Dragon Gods to the east?」
「Ah, no, I left the eastern ocean, and traveled to the ocean south of these lands. I ended up traveling north from there」
Liu Yu looked slightly flustered as she answered ambiguously, like she was trying to hide something. It seems like this was a topic that she didn’t want others to pry too deeply about.
「Fumu, I see. Sorry I took up your time. Take care on your way home」
「Thank you very much for your concern. By the way, may I ask for your name?」
「Oh, how rude of me, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I am…… Dran」
I hesitated on whether I should give her the name I had received as a human, or the name I had as a dragon. I’ve taken a liking to the name given to me by my human parents, and I also couldn’t be sure if she would believe me if I told her my dragon name, so in the end, I told her my human name.
「Dran-sama. I enjoyed our conversation today very much, so I thank you. If we ever meet in the future, then please, by all means, let us converse like this again」
「Yeah. I’ll be praying that fate brings us together again someday」
Liu Yu turned her body around, her slender trunk covered in blue scales twisting as she moved. Facing to the south, I watched as Liu Yu took off, but as she left, I caught a small whiff of the scent coming off of her body. I remembered this scent, and tilted my head.
「That’s the scent of seawater. But if she came flying here from the southern seas, then the scent should have worn off by now. Now then, I wonder what kind of trick she pulled to keep herself covered with the scent of the sea」
*[1. TL Note: The difference between the Celestial Dragons (神竜) and the Dragon Gods (龍神) is that Celestial Dragons resemble European Dragons, while Dragon Gods resemble Asian dragons, and Chinese dragons in particular, hence the use of the more traditional kanji of ryuu, 龍 ]