Chapter 75.2 – Tower of God: The Dragon’s Cave.
The door of light teleported them to a new place. When Du Ze opened his eyes he was forced to close them again because he was almost blinded by the light coming from the pile of gold and silver in front of him. Although he only got a glimpse of it, that huge pile of gold was like the treasure trove in the black dragon’s cave back in Dragon Island.
Enoch whistled excitedly and began to circle around the heap of gold coins. Sunlight poured down from a hole on the top of the cave, shining down on the heap of treasures. Its reflection was so dazzlingly bright that people can’t look at the pile of gold and silver directly. The Tower of God would not have placed a pile of treasure here for no reason, but they had no clue what its use was for.
[This is your lair.]
Du Ze clutched his temples. “The rules” had imprinted those words directly into his brain. It was only that short sentence; there was no explanation given. Suddenly, a rustling sound came from above their heads. The sunlight from the hole was obscured by a troglodyte who was peering down at them. The creature with lizard-like yellow-green skin jumped down and landed on the pile of treasure. It did not attack Du Ze and others. Instead, it simply grabbed some coins and jewels and put it in a sack that hung on its waist.
The group had not yet registered what happened when Muir, seemingly irritated, swiftly changed shape and struck the troglodyte with his hard, barbed tail. The lizard creature was swept onto the stone wall and instantly died. Its body fell to the ground and soon turned into a wisp of smoke that dissipated into the air.
A few more troglodytes were at the hole above them. The black dragon raised his head and used his flame to turn them into smoke. Du Ze looked at the black dragon protecting the treasure and profoundly understood the Tower of God’s intentions.
— Welcome to the dragon race trial. This is your den; please guard your treasure.
Muir completely eliminated the lizard people and flew out of the cave while the rest followed. Outside the cave Du Ze saw a strange yet familiar canyon whose appearance made his hypothesis seem more and more plausible. Troglodytes were continuously gathering. Right now there were just a few of them, but based on the previous Tower of God trials, the difficulty will grow exponentially. Du Ze could see the lizard folk gathering; this was clearly similar to a tower defense type game.
“It’s like a dragon’s den.” Muir said: “The dragon race used to live in a place like this before moving to the Dragon Island under the sea.”
“The dragon race …” said Xiu thoughtfully. He turned to Muir and said: “It seems that we will finally meet the ruler of the dragon gods. Do you know him?”
“The ruler of the dragon gods is Io. He is called the nine-colored dragon god and can appear as any type of dragon.”
That is to say, he can change into every type of chromatic, metal, or crystal dragon? That’s cheating! Some silly, cute person conveniently forgot the fact that the person beside him was the one who had the strongest cheat, an expert with a 30-year history of using the protagonist’s halo.1
Xiu meditated for a moment. He glanced at the surrounding area before dividing the team into two groups: a group that will defend the lair and another group that will scout the area for more information. As of now they are not under great pressure; they should take this opportunity to gather intelligence.
Du Ze was partnered with Xiu and the black dragon. They parted ways with the others and the black dragon flew Xiu and Du Ze over the canyon walls. The Fire Phoenix followed beside them, its long tail feathers trailing gorgeously behind its body. Du Ze looked down and saw that below them was a curving river.
“I heard from Rachel. Are you looking for the God of Creation?”
Xiu’s warm breath was in his ear. Du Ze felt it tickling him so he wanted to escape, but Xiu hugged him tighter.
“It’s not just because of curiosity, huh?”
Du Ze knew that Xiu was waiting for his explanation, but since he could not tell the truth, he would rather stay silent than lie to him.
The sound of the wind in his ear was like a person’s sigh. Du Ze felt Xiu lean lightly on his shoulder and a bit of gold flashed in the corner of Du Ze’s eye.
“If you want to find him then I’ll help you find him,” said Xiu. He did not ask anything; he chose to believe in Du Ze.
“… I’d tell you everything if I could.”
This is the only promise that Du Ze can make.
When he heard Xiu’s words, Du Ze’s throat tightened. Every time, no matter how unreasonable his demands are, the person behind him always acquiesce and say “good.”
This man was always showering him with tenderness.
The black dragon flew out of the canyon and the scenery opened up around them. The river came to an end at a deep-blue coloured lake like a flawless piece of jade. The lake was surrounded by lush woods.Xiu suddenly pressed on the black dragon’s neck. Muir landed on a cliff and Xiu’s eyes were focused on a point. Du Ze asked him curiously: “What is it?”
“I see an enemy.” Xiu was looking at something in the distance and said: “Wait for me, I’ll get rid of him.”
Du Ze did not have time to reply before Xiu jumped down from the cliff and used wind magic to descend into the woods. He disappeared into the thick foliage. Though Du Ze searched the area, his eyesight was not good enough to spot Xiu or the enemy. He had no choice but to stand there, staring with the Fire Phoenix.
Xiu passed through the woods and arrived at a lake, in the place that he saw before. He brushed aside the branches and saw a girl standing on the shore of the lake.
The breeze lifted the girl’s wavy blonde hair and made her white gauze skirt flutter. She sensed the arrival of Xiu and turned to reveal a delicate, beautiful face.
It’s the Holy Saint Vivian.
This is …?
Xiu was attracted by the pure light elements and walked to the lake. He brushed away the branches and noticed the slender figure at the lake shore. It was a maiden, stooping to look for something in the water. The strong light element clung to the maiden, outlining her in light – even though he could only see her back, her perfection makes a person afraid of profaning something holy.
She seemed to hear Xiu’s footsteps. The maiden straightened up and she turned to look at him, one hand restraining her hair that was flying in the breeze.
At that moment, Xiu thought he had met a fairy from the lake.
— excerpt from “Mixed Blood”
- 穴蜥人 is troglodyte, a race of lizard folk from D&D but the raw used just 蜥人 (lizard man/person). However, since the author is always stuff from D&D, I chose to use troglodyte interchangeably with lizard creature.
- I hope everyone knows what a tower defense game is. It’s basically a game where you defend a fixed spot, normally your house, base, castle, or tower. An example of a popular modern tower defense game is Plants vs Zombies.
- When I read the ending of this chapter I was like: “Vivian is there… wait does this mean Eric is also here?” I’m not super interested in Vivian but I am interested in Eric.
- Reminder: Xiu and Vivian have met several times before. Xiu is currently in human form and the only time she saw that form was during the previous lake scene, as described in chapter 2. What do you think Xiu will do when he meets Vivian again?
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- Not literally 30 years. This is a meme. A common advertising slogan is “we have a long history of xx years in ___.” Thanks to KLBlood.