Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Ning Chu looked at this system prompt for a long time, confused and uncomprehending. The night before the accident, he had hugged Fifth Cub and put her to sleep. Fifth Cub was a small female dragon, purely herbivorous, quiet and introverted, the most well-behaved of the five rare dragons.
One time, some rabbits that Ning Chu had raised escaped, and one of them slipped into Fifth Cub’s house and ate all the dandelions in her bowl. When Ning Chu found out, Fifth Cub was cowering in the corner of the wall and only ran into his arms when she saw Ning Chu appear.
Fifth Cub couldn’t fly, but actually had a pair of small wings. They were so small that they couldn’t be found if one didn’t look closely at her back, let alone use them.
She was loved by the other rare dragons and they would let her ride on their backs, taking her along for the ride. But now suddenly… How did Fifth Cub die? Ning Chu wondered what had gone wrong. Had he been away for a long time?
He stretched out his hand in front of him, but his fingertips passed right through the screen and couldn’t touch it at all. After several attempts, Ning Chu finally found the right way to operate the game as long as he meditated in his mind.
However, when he chose【Yes】under【Resurrect her?】, the system prompted.
【Insufficient funds, cannot resurrect, please recharge.】
Ning Chu looked at the upper right corner of the game interface, where the current balance was displayed.
He had just spent almost all his money… buying decorations to set up the playground, and hadn’t had time to recharge. Ning Chu regretted that he didn’t save any of his credits. But before, how could he have predicted this situation?
This world didn’t seem to have cell phones or anything like that, and Ning Chu didn’t know how to recharge, plus he didn’t have any money on him. He stared at the system prompt for a long time, but finally sighed and closed the prompt for now, ready to see what else was happening on Dragon Island.
The game interface was still exactly the same as before, the map, mall, packages, profile cards and so on were all there, but the color had all changed to gray, covered with a small lock. Ning Chu frowned and tried to click on the map, but it didn’t work.
The system prompt was the same as earlier:【Insufficient funds, can’t unlock the function, please recharge.】
Ning Chu, “…”
It was normal to need money to resurrect the dragon cub, but how come these most common features also needed to be recharged to use? Ning Chu didn’t give up and clicked everywhere, but all the prompts popping up were the same.
He tried to communicate with the system again, but found that the original portal for contacting customer service had disappeared, and no matter how he clicked on the game interface, all that popped up was always a mechanical system prompt.
Ning Chu lost his temper, but just then Fei Rui pulled open the tent and came in, “Are you still awake?”
The game interface was still there, but when Ning Chu scrambled to find the button to close, he found that Fei Rui was indifferent, so it was probably invisible to him. He responded, “I was just about to go to sleep…”
Fei Rui’s attitude wasn’t salty, taking off his jacket and extinguishing his half of the light, he laid down with his back to Ning Chu.
The other people in the team actually didn’t agree with Ning Chu staying. He seemed to be weak in combat, so once there was danger, he would only drag them down, but Bly, as the captain, made the decision, and the others had no right to refute.
The tent wasn’t crowded and the two were separated by a wide distance, not interfering with each other. Ning Chu also turned off the light beside him and prepared to sleep. The faint sound of insects and night sounds came from the camp, and the wet smell of grass and trees spread upward from under the pillow.
Ning Chu couldn’t sleep and reopened《Dragon Island》.
The map wasn’t accessible, so he couldn’t check the situation on Dragon Island and wondered how the little dragon cubs were doing.
Ning Chu suddenly remembered a problem. If the Scarlet Flame Dragon he saw today was Third Cub, how long did it take for him to grow from a young dragon the size of two palms to the behemoth he was now?
How long had he been away?
The largest of the dragon cubs was only about two months old, and under Ning Chu’s care, he basically only ate, drank and played, chased rabbits and fought.
Ning Chu, as an old father, prepared food for them every day, built and repaired their houses, played with them during the day and put them to bed at night. The little dragon cubs got used to Ning Chu’s company, and if he really left for a long time, Ning Chu couldn’t imagine them waking up and not seeing him, eventually trying to find food for their hungry stomach.
And what was the cause of Fifth Cub’s death… If he had been there, this might not have happened. The more Ning Chu thought about it, the more depressed he felt. He grew up alone, and what he wanted most was to have a kitten or a puppy, but unfortunately his health wasn’t good, and he was allergic to animal hair, so his uncle didn’t allow him to have one.
Once upon a time《Dragon Island》was just a game to him, he liked to play and was willing to pay time and effort and money. Now he was told that the dragon cubs in the game might all be real, that they had come out of the small screen and became living beings, which meant something different to Ning Chu.
The slightly bright game interface was cast in front of his eyes, and while Ning Chu was walking, he unintentionally clicked on a button. He took a closer look, and it was the taming manuals he had collected before.
The manuals were readable, Ning Chu had collected all the illustrations, and all the manuals of common and rare dragons. Ning Chu sighed silently, turned off the game and closed his eyes, forcing himself to sleep.
The next morning, Ning Chu and the team set out together, heading deep into the woods. Before leaving, Bly had breakfast brought to Ning Chu, which he accepted with some embarrassment. He didn’t even have a backpack on him when he transmigrated, only his commission card and an old staff.
Bly agreed to let him stay with the team and let him eat and drink for free, and Ning Chu was so grateful that he helped the team with chores, carrying things and other menial tasks, doing whenever he could. When he was ready to leave, Ning Chu saw a few people in the group with a beast by their side. He guessed that these should be the contracted beasts that Bly mentioned. They looked strange and Ning Chu didn’t recognize any of them, but they were all meekly and quietly staying by their masters.
Bly saw Ning Chu keep looking in the direction of the team’s contracted beasts and explained, “When the Scarlet Flame Dragon appeared yesterday, these contracted beasts who aren’t high level, couldn’t resist its pressure, so they couldn’t be released to fight.”
This was also one of his blunders, three or four level contracted beasts could still face a normal dragon in a fight, but encountering one of the magic dragons, they were completely powerless to fight back.
Ning Chu nodded, he was half a step behind Bly, and heard Bly ask, “If I’m right, you’re a first year student, right? Who’s your teacher?”
“…” Ning Chu remembered the words carved on his wooden stick and said carefully, “I have a water… innate skill.”
Bly had a look of recognition, “So it’s Clark? I’ve had a few encounters with her, she’s well taught… I heard she’s very strict?”
Ning Chu gave a vague response, “Yeah, I guess.” He changed the subject and asked again about the dragons, “The magic dragons you mentioned yesterday, they’re so powerful, could they have been captured… or killed by someone? Or killed by other beasts?”
Bly scowled and gathered his composure, “I did hear someone mention some news… But I don’t know if it’s true.” He looked into the distant woods and pondered for a moment, “Speaking of which, there’s something unusual about the magic dragons lately.”
Ning Chu hurriedly asked, “Abnormal? What is it?”
Bly replied, “They didn’t used to come and rescue captured dragons like they did yesterday.”
Counting the sub-dragons, there were many dragons, and even though the magic dragons were leaders among the dragons, they were still magic beasts, and couldn’t guarantee the safety of all their kind.
So at the beginning, the magic dragons and other races didn’t interfere with each other, but somehow, recently skirmishes became more frequent. Bly didn’t say much, Ning Chu still wanted to ask for more information, but Bly suddenly raised his hand to signal the team to stop. He went up alone and found several deep claw marks on a nearby tree trunk.
“It’s a dragon,” Bly gripped his heavy sword tightly, “Still fresh, go inside and look for it.”
Following the direction of the claw marks, there were indeed some trampled marks on the grass and leaves deep in the woods, and the small group held their breath and advanced cautiously.
Ning Chu walked in the middle of the group, when someone beside him whispered, “So much effort to catch the dragon, why not start breeding it from childhood like other magical beasts?”
He looked very young, probably participating in a dragon hunt for the first time, not understanding enough of the habits of the dragons.
Bly in front of him stopped and turned around, “If it was as easy as you say, why bother?”
The young man who spoke earlier turned red, not expecting Bly to hear him even from so far away. Bly stopped caring about him and concentrated on looking around. The trail suddenly broke, and the dragon that had been here was nowhere to be found.
Suddenly a team member lowered his voice, “Captain, over there!”
Bly looked in the direction he pointed, and through the gaps in the dense branches, there was a small stream in the distance, and a dragon was drinking by it. It was about two meters tall, with short horns, a slender neck and tail, and dragon wings resting on either side of its body.
This dragon was thin, but a pair of front claws were thick and sharp, looking very mismatched.
Bly said hesitantly, “Why is it…”
Ning Chu at the back of the room recognized the species of the dragon when he saw its features.
This was a Blazing Claw Dragon, with an extremely irritable personality, most likely to actively provoke fights and brawls, plus its pair of dragon claws were especially eye-catching, Ning Chu had an impression of it.
In the game, the behavior of ordinary dragons was relatively rigid; he raised a few Blazing Claw Dragons at six o’clock every afternoon. They would harass the rabbit herd, and then at six o’clock, Ning Chu would have all the Blazing Claw Dragons captured and locked up. Although it wasn’t as big as most other dragons, it was nimble and fast, and its combat power wasn’t low.
Those sharp claws were filled with toxins, cutting the skin the opponent would feel the pain of fire, and the wound would quickly fester.
For Bly, the Blazing Claw Dragon wasn’t a suitable capture.
It was almost impossible to be domesticated, no one wanted it in the lairage, and although a pair of claws was worth a lot of money, the overall price was far less than other dragons. While he was torn, the blazing claw dragon had keen hearing and cocked its head to look at the bushes where the squad was.
It noticed them!
Bly tightened his grip on his heavy sword, “Alert!”
The dragon was so excited to fight that it turned sideways and let out a short dragon cry, spreading its wings and swooping towards them. The team quickly formed up, with Bly wielding his sword and some of the men at the front to fend them off, the wooden staff-wielding team members scattered everywhere, using magic attacks, while Ning Chu was hiding in the back.
Seeing that there were more of them, and with the help of several contracted beasts, the fiery claw dragon gathered its wings and climbed up the trunk of the tree, weaving between the treetops to wait for an opportunity to move.
The team had to retreat to a wider area near the stream, where the dragon lost its advantage and was eventually cut by Bly’s sword.
Bly was so strong that he stomped down on the dragon’s back to keep it from getting up and shouted, “Get the rope!”
The ropes were soaked with magic potion, and the dragon’s limbs and wings were tied up and locked in the prepared cage. It was very reluctant, and its mouth kept emitting “uh-ga, uh-ga” sounds, trying to provoke the crowd.
Bly’s arm was accidentally scratched by the dragon’s claw, and the team was cleaning the toxins from his wound, asking, “Captain, should we deal with it first?”
The lairage didn’t take blazing dragons, so they didn’t need to bring back live ones. Bly looked at the dragon in the cage and before he could make a decision, the dragon suddenly started hissing as if he had predicted its fate.
One of the team members took out another rope and tied its mouth.
Ning Chu couldn’t bear to see this scene and turned his head. These dragons were just being captured and hurt recklessly. They were magical beasts no less, but to Ning Chu, they meant something different. But he was new to the area, and if he didn’t go with this group, he wouldn’t even be able to stay alive in the woods.
Bly finally said, “It’s not good to bleed it here, let’s take it back.”
The group planned to rest for a while before setting off again, continuing to explore deeper into the woods to see if they could find more traces of the dragons.
After the team’s reminder, Ning Chu also found two Soul Rejuvenating Grass by the stream. He squatted by the stream and saw his reflection in the stream water.
Ning Chu’s eyes were surprised and he raised his hand and touched his face.
The features of this body looked exactly the same as his former self, except that his pupils were a light teal color.
Ning Chu briefly sighed at the magic of transmigration and wrapped the Soul Rejuvenating Grass in a wide, washed leaf and put it in his jacket pocket. He got up and prepared to return to the squad when the air around him suddenly heated up.
The familiar hot scent hit him, and the water on the grass and leaves by the stream smoldered with white smoke. Ning Chu subconsciously looked up, and a dragon roar cut through the sky. The blazing dragon in the cage was wilting a moment ago, but now it started to get excited again, and its horns kept hitting the cage.
Bly got up with a start, looking incredulous, “It… It’s still around?”
When he decided to continue capturing the dragon, Bly took a chance, the Scarlet Flame Dragon didn’t like dense woods and didn’t often come to this area, so yesterday’s encounter with it might’ve been an accident.
Moreover, after it rescued its kind, it let them go, so it was likely it was just passing by.
Bly’s face was ashen, still making a last stand, raising his heavy sword in front of his body, “Alert!”
In the nick of time, he didn’t forget to shout towards Ning Chu at the stream, “Hide!”
A flash of red light swept down in a matter of moments, and the hurricane of wind raised by the dragon’s wings instantly lifted the squad over. The red dragon soared high into the air, reversed its direction in response to the wind, and swooped back down with fury, its claws striking hard at the magic cage the team had gathered in a panic.
The cage was damaged in the confusion and the dragon ran away, but the Scarlet Flame Dragon didn’t stop there, and Bly led the team back into the forest, trying to stall its attack with the terrain. Ning Chu was the furthest away from the stream, almost completely forgotten.
He could have turned and fled immediately, but came to a halt in the face of the red dragon. The dense woods couldn’t stop the Scarlet Flame Dragon, and with a swipe of its tail, it easily scraped down a large tree. It still didn’t use flame attacks, but in front of the strong power… It was almost a one-sided slaughter of the squad.
Compared to now, yesterday was just playing house with them.
The squad of a dozen people were either dead or wounded in a short time, so Bly told the crowd to scatter and flee, those able to run did. His loud commanding appearance attracted the attention of the Scarlet Flame Dragon, which saw that this man was the leader of the squad.
The red dragon’s eyes squeezed slightly and attacked in Bly’s direction. Bly raised his sword to resist, but he was too strong to fight a dragon, not to mention he was wounded. He was jolted back several steps by the dragon’s claws, sweet blood gushing from his throat, and fell to the ground and passed out.
The team was dead and wounded, and when he saw that Bly, who took care of him the most, was also going to die under the dragon’s claws, Ning Chu blurted out, “San San—!”
San San was Ning Chu’s usual way of calling Third Cub.
He wasn’t very good at naming and sometimes called First Cub “Boss” and Second Cub “Two”. When it was Third Cub’s turn, Ning Chu thought it didn’t sound good, so he called it “San San”.
Although Third Cub was skinny, he still listened to Ning Chu’s words. He spit dragon flames and often helped Ning Chu to make fire and boil water. He was so small that he had to follow Ning Chu’s example and went to the back of the mountain to “cut down a tree”. After scratching the trunk of the tree for half a day, he was so angry that he burned the tree with a fire.
Ning Chu couldn’t say anything to reproach him, only gently pinched his horn, “Don’t do that again.”
The Scarlet Flame Dragon in front of him was no longer the young dragon cub that he once was, and Ning Chu’s heart was actually not hopeful when he called out ‘San San.’
However, the red dragon stopped with a start. The dragon claws shifted direction and slapped the ground at Bly’s side, sending dirt flying everywhere, and it turned its head in the direction of the sound, only to find a figure not far away.
Black hair and teal eyes, a weak human.
Seeing that Scarlet Flame Dragon was really stopped by his own shout, Ning Chu froze for a moment and moved forward, his voice shaking slightly, “San San… Are you Third Cub?”
Most of the squad had escaped, and the rest of them were on the ground, their lives still uncertain. He was a little excited, not the least bit afraid of the giant dragon in front of him, wanting to look at its outstretched soft palm and seemed to want to touch its scales.
“San San, I’m…” Ning Chu’s “I’m dad” hadn’t finished, when the red dragon moved.
It spewed hot dragon breath between its nose, slightly annoyed, tossed his head, took a step back and turned to fly away. Ning Chu watched as Third Cub’s silhouette grew farther and farther away, disappearing into the air as it had yesterday, with an indescribable feeling at the bottom of his heart.
It had just flown away.
It all happened so fast that its hesitation and inquiry just now seemed to be Ning Chu’s illusion.
But the wreckage around it proved that it had indeed stayed here.
Bly’s breath was still there, and Ning Chu struggled to move him to the flat ground and check the condition of the others. Unfortunately, all but Bly were dead. Ning Chu counted the number of people in the squad, there were about eight or nine people who had taken advantage of the chaos to escape.
Bly didn’t look too good. Ning Chu searched Bly’s entire body and found a small medicine bottle on him. Ning Chu carefully identified it, and the words “hemostatic” were written on it. Ning Chu poured one out, pried open Bly’s mouth and fed it to him, and then made him drink some stream water.
After waiting for about half an hour, Bly’s breathing stabilized and his eyes opened quickly. He struggled to get up in spite of his injuries, and Ning Chu rushed to help him, “How are you?”
Bly covered his lips and coughed, his voice was dry, “I’m not dead?”
Before he passed out, he saw the Scarlet Flame Dragon’s claws swinging at him, and thought he would die for sure, but he could still open his eyes.
Ning Chu didn’t mention what happened afterwards, and only said, “It… the Scarlet Flame Dragon left.”
In that situation, Bly didn’t believe Scarlet Flame Dragon would leave him alone a second time, but he did still breathe. He didn’t have the energy to look deeper and let Ning Chu help him over to the body of one of the men on the ground.
Bly searched through his team’s clothes and found a healing potion to take before he felt better. He got up on his own, counted the dead team members and relocated them to the stream, covering them with branches and leaves.
Ning Chu helped and said, “The others must be safe now.”
Bly responded, and after doing so, he looked remorseful, “I should have taken them away yesterday.”
This was also the first time Ning Chu dealt with such a thing, so he was silent and didn’t know what to say. Bly then in turn comforted him, “In battle, death is honorable. I will personally send condolences to their families.”
The mercenaries signed a life and death contract before they joined, and each time they took the commission they had to be prepared not to return, and when an accident happened to a member of their team, Bly was sad, but he quickly adjusted his mood. He put away his heavy sword and said to Ning Chu, “Let’s go, I’ll take you back to the Academy.”
Ning Chu didn’t refuse, and when he stopped for a break on the way, Bly took out some purple gold coins and insisted on giving them to Ning Chu.
Ning Chu hurriedly waved his hand, “That’s… That’s not needed…”
Bly insisted, “Take it.”
At the beginning, Bly only intended to help Ning Chu because he remembered an old acquaintance, but now Ning Chu didn’t run away in a crisis. If it wasn’t for the hemostatic medicine Ning Chu fed him, he might not have been able to wake up at all.
So to Bly, Ning Chu saved his life, and he had to ensure Ning Chu’s safety and escort him back to the Academy anyway.
He also saw that Ning Chu had nothing on him, and a magic wand was old and worn out. He guessed that he must be from a poor family, and took the second level assignment to earn money and came to the forest alone. A few purple gold coins were nothing to Bly, he just hoped it would be helpful to Ning Chu.
Ning Chu excused himself a few times, but accepted it. He was very grateful and thanked him repeatedly, “Thank you…”
He had just put the purple gold coins into his pocket when the familiar electronic system sounded,【Credit detected, do you want to recharge?】
Ning Chu’s eyes widened, wasn’t that what he needed? He said silently in his mind, “Yes.”
Bly gave him a total of five purple gold coins, and the system took them all without question, and Ning Chu’s pockets suddenly lightened.
The《Dragon Island》interface appeared, and the system prompted,【You have unlocked the profile card, do you want to view it?】
The data card was the status bar of all the dragon cubs on Dragon Island, and he could see their current location and status.
Ning Chu didn’t hesitate, “Yes.”
【The data card has been loaded.】
Ning Chu, who was inexplicably nervous at this point, took a few deep breaths and opened the data cards.
First Cub (Frost Dragon)
Second Cub (Gale Dragon)
Third Cub (Scarlet Flame Dragon)
Fourth Cub (Heavenly Thunder Dragon)
Fifth Cub (Rosette Leaf Dragon)