With a loud thump, the huge dragon landed in front of the two. Claire stared dumbfounded at the dragon in front of her, unable to speak.
The huge dragon stretched out its neck, snuggling up to Jean cozily. Jean gave a rare smile, also reaching out his hand to pat the dragon’s head.
“Judy, let’s go. Take us to the outskirts of Devil Region.” Jean took Claire’s hand, ready to get onto the back of the dragon.
But the dragon puffed cold air out of its nostrils angrily, completely different from its familiarity just now. It stared at Claire, humphing.
Claire immediately understood. The dragon was excluding her, unwilling to carry her.
“Judy!” Jean’s expression changed as he yelled in a cold voice.
The dragon whimpered, then lowered its head, its eyes going dim.
“Miss, this is my mount, Judy. She doesn’t know how to talk yet. In fact, she is still a baby dragon, and has some tempers. But it’s okay.” Jean patted Judy’s head as he spoke.
Claire nodded. She understood Judy’s protest. The mount of a knight was for the knight only, so of course she would exclude Claire, who was not her knight.
“Let’s go, Miss.” Jean helped Claire onto the back of the dragon, and they sat down one behind the other.
“Go, Judy. This time, you’ll have to do more. Fly towards the outskirts of Devil Region as fast as you can.” Jean patted the dragon. The dragon roared, then shot up, flying into the sky quickly.
Wind blowing by her ears, Claire looked at Jean, who was sitting in front of her, but her mind was filled with thoughts. Jean, hid his real strength at first and followed besides her, then she found out that he was secretly helping the second prince under Grandfather’s orders, and now his identity was actually a dragon knight. There were only two dragon knights in the entire Amparkland, mysterious yet powerful. But from what Claire knew, Jean was definitely not one of them. That means Jean’s identity as a dragon knight was secret! Jean; how many more secrets did he have that she didn’t know about?
Under Jean’s urging, Judy flew as fast as she could, not resting for the whole day. Only at night did they land at a secluded place to make camp and rest. Judy was so tired she lay on the ground and didn’t move.
“Jean, for a baby dragon, isn’t this too exhausting? Let her rest tomorrow.” Watching Judy sprawled on the ground, too tired to move, Claire couldn’t help suggesting.
“If we also fly tomorrow, we can reach the outskirts of Devil Region by evening. We must stop master Cliff before he enters Devil Region, or else everything will be too late.” Jean wouldn’t budge as he insisted.
Claire turned to look at the exhausted Judy, then thought about the consequences of Master entering Devil Region, and became conflicted. “Judy is still a baby dragon. If she continued like this, she would be over-tired. What will happen to her then?”
“It’s fine. Let her get some good rest tonight, and it’ll be over by tomorrow.” Jean also couldn’t bear it, but when he thought about the irreversible consequence if master Cliff went inside Devil Region, he hardened his heart again.
After eating, the two went to sleep.
Early the next morning, Judy carried the two people once again into the sky.
Judy, exhausted, finally reached the outskirts of Devil Region when night came. Claire noticed with much surprise that underneath them, were rolling hills that stretched for as far as she could see! A river too! But they were covered by an enormous barrier that she couldn’t see the end of. Judy landed slowly. As soon as she touched the ground, she collapsed. But she still controlled her body not to squash the two people falling off her back.
“Judy!” Jean cried out in worry.
Claire also landed lightly, and stood to the side, looking at Judy on the ground with a complicated expression.
Judy tried her best to lift her head, stretching out her tongue and licked Jean’s worried face, comforting him, telling him she was okay.
Jean touched Judy’s head softly, his eyes full of love and sorry.
Claire was silent. She sighed in her heart, but was unable to say anything.
“Based on the time, master Cliff most likely hasn’t arrived yet.” Jean patted Judy’s head while comforting Claire.
“Yes.” Claire answered quietly, scanning her surroundings. The place they landed was the valley between two mountains. The mountains were steep, continuing all the way into the horizon. In the valley were dense forests. This was the entrance to Devil Region?
It was impossible to see the end of the barrier. Who did this? How powerful must he be to create such a place?
“Jean, you stay with Judy, I’ll go look around.” Claire turned around and instructed Jean.
“Miss, whatever you do, do not enter Devil Region.” Jean warned solemnly.
“I know.” Claire waved her hand, and a pair of golden flame wings spread out from her back abruptly. She flew up into the sky slowly, and started to examine their surroundings.
Very soon, Claire noticed the abnormality here. Even though this place was alive with plants, within five hundred meters from the barrier, there wasn’t a single creature. There could only be one explanation, and that was that the natural instincts of animals told them this place was dangerous, so they all kept far away.
Claire flew slowly, scanning the ground below. Suddenly, a glittering object caught her attention. Claire flew down. When she saw the glittering object clearly, her expression changed.
This object was Cliff’s! It was one of the crystal pieces he used to make potions! There could be no mistake. These stuff were very rare, but Cliff had many. And this place was a forbidden area in most of the powerful people’s hearts, so it couldn’t be such a coincidence that someone else came and lost this.
Claire put away the crystal piece, then flew back towards where Jean was at top speed.
At this time, Judy was a little better, but was still resting on the ground.
“Miss.” Seeing Claire’s heavy expression, Jean suddenly got a bad feeling.
“Master, has probably already entered.” Claire took out the crystal piece she found on the ground and continued in a heavy tone, “This thing, Master has a lot. There are no humans or creatures nearby, and it can’t be a coincidence that someone else happened to pass by and lose this.”
“Miss, it’s not for sure. Maybe Master Cliff hasn’t entered yet. Let’s wait and see.” Jean said hurriedly. He knew clearly that based on Claire’s personality, if she was sure that master Cliff entered Devil Region, she would definitely go in too.
“Jean, I know you don’t want to follow me inside.” Looking at the crystal piece in her hand, Claire sighed softly, “But, you also know perfectly, that this must be Master’s, right?”
Jean’s face instantly paled, and he couldn’t say anything.
“I will go in.” Claire lifted her head slowly to look at Jean, saying solemnly.
“No, Miss, no!” Jean tried to stop her immediately. The dangers of Devil Region; Jean knew them better than anyone else.
“Jean, wait for me outside. I will bring Master back safely.” But Claire was unusually determined.
“No! Miss, you don’t understand the dangers of Devil Region. Once you enter, you can never come out! You can’t go in!” Jean stood up anxiously, knitting his brows and saying to Claire seriously.
“You and Judy wait for me here. I will come out.” Claire had already made up her mind. Whatever Jean said, Claire’s resolve couldn’t be wavered.
“Miss, if you must go, I will go with you.” Jean sighed slightly in his heart, knowing that his words couldn’t change Claire’s mind. Thinking to here, Jean became calm, and said to Claire solemnly, “Miss, I am your guardian knight, and I will follow you wherever you go.”
“Jean, this time it’s different. I don’t wish for you to follow me inside.” After some thought, Claire finally made up her mind, lifted her right hand, and pulled off the glove slowly, revealing the shocking black mark.
Jean’s expression changed, his voice trembling, “What, what’s this? Miss?” His heart sank deeper and deeper. He already faintly knew what this was, but he wasn’t willing to acknowledge it. A voice rang in his heart again and again, no, no, this mark on the back of Miss’ hand wasn’t that thing.
“This is the mark the god of Darkness left on me. I am his offering. But, the time hasn’t seemed to come yet, so he won’t take away my spirit just yet. Which means, right now, I have a fierce and fearsome bodyguard. He will protect me.” After a pause, Claire still said it, “So, I don’t need your guarding, you see? Wait for me outside; I will come out.” Even though Claire understood how much it must hurt Jean when she said this, to make sure Jean wouldn’t follow her and be in danger, Claire still said this out loud.
“How come? Miss, why would the god of Darkness choose you as his offering? How could it be like this? The Dark Mark actually exists…… ” Jean stumbled over his words, muttering, unable to accept this reality.
“Last time, killing that elder of the Fire hall; actually, it wasn’t the enemy of the elder chasing him and killing him, but under the help of the god of Darkness, I was able to defeat him.” Claire said slowly. Looking at Jean’s lost expression, Claire was very conflicted.
Jean sat down, dejected. No one could understand the pain in his heart. Glaring red was already dripping down the gaps in his tightly clenched fist, but he didn’t notice.
“Jean, I will come back. All you need to do is to wait for me here!” Claire took a deep breath, then turned and walked towards the barrier. Jean’s head was lowered. No one could see his expression.
Claire neared the barrier. She reached out her hand to touch the barrier, but before she could read the wavelength, she passed through the barrier without obstruction!
Claire entered Devil Region!