ITDO - Chapter 37 - Enemy of the Lord, Satan
Before the group lay a gigantic creature flexing its tail in boredom.
As the professor predicted, its size easily reached ten meters in length, but what stunned them more was its glamorous appearance. The reptile had a graceful but powerful frame that certainly seemed capable of flattening trees. Its scales, however, were the real eye-catcher. Under the mottled sunlight that pierced through the forest canopy, they glittered in an ethereal and enchanting gold. The professor was perplexed. Orthodox evolutionary theory would clearly deem such a predator as impossible. Its size would make it an easy target for its enemies, and its sheen would mean it was easy for its prey to recognize it from a distance.
But how could the professor have expected that what awaited them was no dinosaur, but a creature from countless myths and legends?
“Dr...agon…… a dragon……” Lucy croaked dryly.
Its head was clearly reminiscent of the dragons of myth and was borne aloft by a slender yet brawny neck. On its back was a pair of bat-like wings, and its spinal column eventually gave way to a heavy and muscular tail. The tips of its powerful limbs were adorned with sharp claws.
Each scale shone as though coated with a mysterious metal. And its inverted pupils gleamed with a cold but elegant light.
“Professor……. this is not a dinosaur…… This is…… a dragon!!!”
Shivering, Lucy managed to form a cohesive sentence.
From her understanding, rather than from a western standpoint, dragons were never good omens. Rather they were tyrants and destructive creatures.
The original draconic legend originated from Mesopotamian and Babylonian mythology. The canonical clay tablet, the Enuma Elish, told of the creation of the world and gods by the deities Apsu and Tiamat. In the myth, the gods represented reproduction and sanctity, and dragons were forces of destruction.
Under the cultural interpretation of Greek mythology and Christianity, dragons were further cast as symbols of greed and despotism.
“Impossible! How could this be?! Unless… Could the myths of old actually be true?”
Professor Johnson first murmured in shock, followed by wild joy.
‘A dragon! This is a dragon! Hah! What dinosaur? Those are simply crappy lizards in front of this. This will transform everything we know about ancient mythology...biology even!!!’
Compared to Professor Johnson and his students, the soldiers had composed themselves much faster. Nonetheless, each one was filled with shock and disbelief. They could not help but instinctively grasp their weapons a little tighter than before, and some began to swap out their live ammo for tranquilizer bullets.
“Captain, is this why we’re here? To catch a fucking dragon? Ha!”
Private Bourne spoke with an expression that was at once excited and fearful.
Somehow, each soldier felt a deep reluctance to confront the creature before them. Despite their training, they seemed to hold an almost genetic fear towards it, like rabbits in front of a lion.
“Yeah, this should be our target,” said the captain with clear unease.
Their superiors had basically told them to go poking around the area, and then a dragon had turned up soon after. If this wasn’t what they were looking for, what was?
“Wait a minute! Look at its head!!” Professor Johnson exclaimed.
In their stupor, everyone else had failed to notice something critical.
Turning their eyes towards the dragon’s head, they all saw that it sported a gorgeous crown. The headdress seemed a perfect match for the golden luster of its scales.
“That crown…… is definitely a human-made object.”
Professor Johnson murmured, followed by a change in countenance and a look of horror, “Satan... Satan!!!! It is written in the Bible that one of the signs of the apocalypse is the descent of a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads!”
Professor Johnson’s words caused the faces of those who heard them pale. Although the dragon before them was a golden one and had only one head, the crown that it was wearing would indeed be reminiscent of the ‘Enemy of the Holy One’!
The captain was not entirely convinced. He comforted his men and steeled himself, “Don’t panic, professor. Even if it really is a dragon, there’s no way we can’t gun it down if we need to. The ancients might have described dragons as being powerful, but they didn’t possess the means we have now.”
At the captain’s words, Professor Johnson calmed down, slightly embarrassed by his outburst. Indeed he made a good point. Even if dragons existed, there was no reason why they would match modern weaponry in lethality. And they were assisted by the military after all.
At the same time though, they conveniently ignored that in the legends of old, dragons could contend against angels and monsters. Before the miracles spoken of in myth, current human technology counted for little.
But right now, they could only subconsciously avoid this reasoning so as to comfort themselves.
The dragon got up. It unfolded its wings, and instantly the surroundings were cloaked in darkness. As it reared its head, the party got a better look at its incredible stature. At that moment, everyone took a nervous gulp.
The creature widened its maw, and strange sounds erupted from its mouth. They were syllabic in structure and did not match the ravings of a beast.
Little did they know that it was pure dragon language!
Professor Johnson was stumped. With his lifetime of knowledge and dabbling in other disciplines, he could appreciate the linguistic structure in the dragon’s ‘speech’. In other words...
“It can talk!!!”
The professor screamed and the captain, fear seizing his heart, roared, “Fire!!!”
The next moment the soldiers sent a volley of tranquilizer darts in its way.