TNG Vol. 16 Side Story Part 4

“It’s really poison then. The range is too wide, it couldn’t just be evaporated water from the lake after all.”

Oxygen and Hydro returned to Romenun and immediately analyzed the samples.

The steam was spreading in all directions from the lake. It apparently couldn’t enter Romenun’s area and continued to shift along its edges.

“The poison is a combined type that causes weakness, paralysis, and confusion. It is also three times more powerful than other poisons with the same effects. Without protective items, we wouldn’t even last 10 minutes, I suppose. If we equip an 『Age of Gods Earring』 we could stay longer.”

“They were given only to our mistress, the other guild members, and Master Shin’s support characters, after all. We can’t craft them ourselves.”

At the moment, they could use the byproducts of Hecate’s research and the samples prepared during joint development with other players. There were finished products too, but naturally the highest grade status ailment prevention accessory was not among them.

“In that case—wait, that’s!!”

Oxygen was about to say something, then his face glued to the window.

Hydro looked outside too and saw a monster flying in the lake’s direction.

“A silver Dragon-type. It must be…”

“If there’s Durgin, it’s no wonder for that to come too. They’re a pair after all. Not even one hour passed since Durgin fell in the lake though. Was it always so fast?”

The newly approaching monster was identified quickly: that’s how famous it was.

According to what they knew, however, it would never appear so quickly. Both Oxygen and Hydro cocked their heads, deep in thought, considering what they should do next.

Being Hecate’s assistants, their creation-type skills related to item crafting, such as 『Alchemy』 and 『Compounding』 were quite advanced.

If they reinforced the anti-poison items they had, they could stay in the poisoned area longer.

“To see Baomultan before it changes is quite a rare event.”

“We have to go.”

Curiosity was their driving force after all. Oxygen and Hydro quickly stored the samples, prepared the necessary items, and left.

Baomultan, the monster forming a pair with Durgin.

A monster that purified the pollution absorbed by Durgin and brought blessing to the earth.

Usually it had the horrifying appearance of an undead dragon, but before absorbing pollution it was a beautiful silver dragon.

There was very little footage of its original appearance and very few people had ever seen it.

If they moved now, they could see what kind of pollution it absorbed and how it changed in the process, so they rushed outside. They had completely forgotten about the 『Age of Gods Earring』 already.

Oxygen and Hydro equipped as much anti-poison protective gear as they could and charged into the white steam.

Even if they had forgotten about the 『Age of Gods Earring』, they remembered to equip their concealing mantles. Though it was something like a habit for them.

Since they hurried outside, when they arrived at the lakeshore Baomultan was still in its original form.

It was covered in silver scales, which produced jangling sounds whenever it moved.

One set of wings, two sets of limbs, a long neck and tail. It was just like what anyone would imagine after hearing the word “dragon”.

“It’s huge. Durgin was large too, might there be a connection?”

The Baomultan on the lakeshore was three times the size Oxygen and Hydro knew it had.

“What is it doing?”

Baomultan was spreading its wings, facing the lake. It didn’t look like it was doing anything in particular.

They supposed it would do something to turn into its familiar form, so they observed it and its surroundings.

What they noticed in their careful observation of any changes was that Baomultan’s appearance was starting to change.

Its beautiful scales visibly lost their gloss and color and started cracking. It looked like fast-forwarded footage of rusting metal.

When Baomultan moved, sounds of creaking metal could be heard. It was very different from the shrill, light sounds of before.

The change spread to Baomultan’s whole body, which turned into a horrible sight in less than 5 minutes. A block of rust, shaped like a dragon. That was the most convincing way to describe it.

The change was too quick, too sudden. Oxygen and Hydro swallowed their breaths.

“I see why so few people ever saw it. This is too fast.”

“So it can absorb pollution from a distance.”

Oxygen focused on the speed of the change, Hydro on Baomultan’s pollution absorption ability.

They didn’t worry about Baomultan itself because they heard that it wouldn’t die because of the pollution it absorbed.

“What? A reaction from 【Analyze】?”

Their 【Analyze】 couldn’t scan Baomultan until now, but it suddenly showed its HP. They couldn’t see its name or level, but another change surprised them.

“If it turns like this it’s in a weakened state? Its HP is only half too.”

“After seeing that Durgin, it’s not surprising. Not only the quantity, but the quality of pollution might have been different too.”

Around Baomultan the ground was regaining its original color. Around the lake, however, the steam had only decreased a little.

“Will healing items work on it?”

“I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. They say that when it turns like this, it becomes more docile too.”

Oxygen took out an 『Elixir』 he had brought in case anything happened and approached Baomultan. He told Hydro to stay where she was.

Even if they had information about it, the situation was still dangerous. Their equipment, however, would prevent them from dying instantly even if Baomultan attacked.

If they didn’t have such insurance, they wouldn’t approach the dragon even if they knew it was supposed to be docile.

Baomultan noticed Oxygen’s presence and turned towards him. As the High Pixie boy was rather short, their size difference was striking.

“I’m going to heal you, so don’t attack, okay…”

Oxygen thought it would be okay, but the dragon’s form and stats were intimidating all the same. He couldn’t help but hesitate a little.

As Oxygen approached, Baomultan lowered its head towards him. It was close enough that Oxygen could almost touch it.

Its dull eyes made it impossible to see any emotion. Oxygen poured the container’s contents and Baomultan received the golden liquid on its snout, without reacting in any way.

The dragon’s HP recovered, but its appearance did not change.

Baomultan faced the lake and spread its wings again. Its large wings were tattered, it surely could not fly in this state.

“The HP is going down.”

Baomultan’s HP gauge already decreased to the point it was before Oxygen healed it.

The ground regained its color and part of the water surface recovered too. When Baomultan’s HP stopped decreasing the water returned to its previous color, but the ground didn’t change.

Baomultan retracted its wings and lay on the ground.

Its HP gauge was pretty much the same as before Oxygen healed it. The dragon, however, was crying in a pained tone.

“Healing it might not have been a good move.”

Hydro spoke from behind Oxygen.

“Looks like it’s true that it uses its own lifeforce to purify the area.”

“It surely looks like that.”

Despite the HP gauge not changing much, Baomultan was progressively weakening. Something other than HP had to be decreasing.

“…Hydro. We came all this way, why don’t we develop an item to get rid of this poison?”

“What a coincidence, I was just thinking of the same thing.”

Oxygen and Hydro made a decision before the suffering Baomultan.

They couldn’t let such an unprecedented research material slip away. With such an excuse in their minds, they proceeded to collect samples.

Anyone would realize that it was nothing but an excuse.

Rokuten’s support characters were generally too kind for their own good.

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