Wizard! Chapter 475
William jumped away from the dragon just before they hit the shore. He just managed to angle himself so he didn’t land on the pebbled shore headfirst. As he landed, he felt an arm snap- but he didn’t much care since it wasn’t his neck.
He went over every body part. Legs? Just a bit bruised and battered. Torso? Rather uncomfortable. Probably a few broken ribs. Arms? He still had two, but his left was in a rather unpleasant state. He wasn’t sure whether the dragon’s acid had weakened his bones or he had just been unlucky. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to have any other issues except a large number of breaks.
Once William caught his breath, he started chanting, then used the gathered mana to snap his bones mostly into the right places. Ki would have been better for internal use, but he was still short on that.
William slowly sat up, looking at the pebble beach below him. He liked pebble beaches, but if he had to crash into a beach he would have preferred it to be the sandy variety. Looking over at the dragon, William was glad it hadn’t landed on him. While the dragon had a stronger body than even a gevai, its size was a disadvantage when considering falls. It was heavy, and all the force of its mass had crushed it, even snapping a number of scales. Bits of dragons came out from a number of places.
William slowly set about tearing apart the dragon’s chest. The scales and bones were also valuable, and he would come to claim them later… but he wanted the dragon’s heart. It was an awkward task to do only with his right arm. A few years ago, it would have felt less awkward- before William realized he was left handed. His right hand wasn’t undexterous, but it definitely felt worse.
Once he tore off what remained of the scales in the area, William realized he would need something sharp. He found a tooth that had been loosened by the crash, and used that to start tearing into the dragon’s chest. Its ribcage was broken, which made his work easier. Then he found the heart- the actual ball of muscle that pumped blood. It was around the same size as his torso. By that point, William had to stick his arm into the dragon’s chest up to the shoulder. As he worked around the heart, he severed an artery which poured out some last gouts of blood. Then he finally found the dragon’s heart- the crystal that dragons grew and used to amplify whatever magic they used. As a crystal, it was rather dull. It wasn’t even the milky white of a quartz, but a strange dull grey.
William knew that looks weren’t important for function, and more importantly the crystal was bigger than his head. Based on the absolute control over mana the dragon had in the area close to it, William could determine the gem’s potency. Of course, the dragon itself was responsible for a large portion of that difficulty- if he was to compare the crystal to Chris, he thought Chris would be better for most purposes.
After pulling out the crystal that was as big as his head, William started the trek back toward the harbor. It couldn’t be very far- he had only been in the air for a few minutes at most. Based on what he knew of the terrain, it should be just over the horizon to the south. William didn’t have a free hand, so Chris followed behind him on his own.
About halfway back, William ran into Lila and a handful of other gevai. “Welcome back, my king.” Lila smiled, “We saw the dragon flew this way, so we thought we would find you sooner or later- if you didn’t fly back riding a tamed dragon.”
William grinned at the thought- but besides the fact that he had no experience taming magical beasts he knew dragons weren’t tamable anyway. At least, nobody had yet succeeded. Wyverns were nasty and temperamental, but at least they could be controlled. Dragons were famed for breaking out of every sort of confinement- and knowing they preferred to eat magical materials, he could see why. He wasn’t sure if nobody else had noticed that behavior or it had been deemed so obvious nobody wrote it down, and then forgot it. Either way, it had been news to him when the dragons started attacking castles when powerful wards were activated.
William gestured to the soldiers with Lila, “The five of you, continue along the coast until you find the pebble beach. The dragon’s corpse is there, guard it until it can be picked up.” The soldiers saluted and continued on, while William returned to Tigershark Point.
As he approached the harbor, William surveyed the damage. He didn’t like people having to die, but he wondered if this time might have been worth it. The monetary value the dragon’s corpse provided wasn’t terribly important, but the ships- even damaged- were extremely valuable. The fortress ship itself was probably worth the entire ordeal, even damaged. Repairing it would be much easier than constructing one- and nothing terribly important had been damaged. Just most of the deck and a boiler room… a large portion of the outer armor. It would need new power, of course.
Even with all that, however, the biggest victory was that the dwarves no longer had these ships. By William’s calculations, they had destroyed or captured almost the entirety of the dwarves’ steam ships- minus perhaps one or two. They might have more than he knew about, but it was hard to keep too many secret. The fortress ship must have been hidden somewhere the normal crews didn’t know about.
Lila looked at William. “So… how’s your arm?”
William shrugged, “It will recover. I tried not to let the men notice, but the holes in my robe didn’t exactly help.”
Lila shrugged, “Being carried off into the distance on top of a gigantic dragon and walking back covered in its blood already shows enough invincibility.”
“Fair enough… what do you think we should do with the heart?”
“I’d say put it on a staff… but that would look ridiculous and be very hard to carry properly. I’m sure we can figure out something to do with it.”
William handed the dragon’s heart to Lila, “Go ahead and discuss it with Theo. The dragon spit some sort of metallic… Not sure if that will help figure out what to do with it.” William sighed and looked out at the harbor, both the damaged defenses and captured ships, “I’m going to have to pay a visit to the dwarves. At the very least, their forward outposts are much too close to our territory, based on how much they seem to want to kill us.”