"We should stay for a bit, find out what secrets this corpse may have."
Long Wei, Long Wang's brother, spoke as he returned to the captain's cabin. Long Wang nodded in agreement with her brother.
"This might not be any ordinary dragon corpse. This might be the oppurtunity we needed. Perhaps with this, we might be able to fully realize the goal of the department."
She descended to the lower regions of the ship where moments later, the sounds of rumbling and heaving echoed from below. The hull's armor lowered, revealing strange structures that unfolded into small bridges. These bridges extended past the barriers, coming up to the dragon's scaled skin.
Everyone began to take out a multitude of small bags from their spatial rings. They were all identical ones that carried an assortment of tools. They also had special suits made of durable cloths and metals that had to be put on if they did not want to be crushed by the dragon's aura. They had to go beyond the barriers to touch this corpse and needed the extra protection.* The barriers were only there to protect the ship.
Other than Ming Yue who stayed back and watched, everyone else quickly went to work as they walked the bridges up to the dragon corpse. Several of them carried a strange metal box which glowed as they opened it in front of the dragon.
According to Xin Kuo, who had explained these tools to her, those boxed are used to absorb the dragon energy that it exuded. They used a small hammer and vials to collect a bit of the scale. As dragon scales are extremely dense and hard, those hammers vibrate upon contact, making collection much easier.
Even then, all of them were extremely shocked to find that these hammers did nothing to the scale and the boxes had little effect. Despite hours hammering away, there was no sign of damage. In fact, everything that they had were not effective.
"What kind of scales are these? They're so strong, our hammers cannot break it. Not even our Dragon Harnessing Boxes could absorb the energy here, its too strong for them."
One of them showed their tools, the hammer seemed worn out and the head was beginning to warp. As for the Dragon Harnessing Boxes, there were tiny cracks on them.
"I suppose we just have to keep hammering away."
"At this rate, we might have to leave without bringing back any of this. Hell, even standing in front of it is exhausting. This might be the strongest dragon we've come across."
"We should return to the ship for now. Our suits are nearly at their breaking point."
That day ended with little to nothing gained as everyone came back to the ship sweaty and tired. The ship moved away from the dragon to lessen the pressure on it as no one would be able to sleep under this situation. Furthermore, the lack of progress and curiosity left them irritated.
They spent the night discussing with each other, browsing the records they brought with them to find out what kind of dragon this was.
That was the biggest mystery. What was the identity of this dragon? Its body was nearly pure white, stronger than anything they had ever encountered. The energy it gave off was different, more than just powerful it was almost godlike. Having felt it, they knew that the wave of dragon energy came from this corpse.
As the moonlight grew brighter, the discussion only became more heated and it ended with one conclusion.
"Is this something we have never seen before? A new discovery?" said Tian Zhui, whose eyes were lit with ambition.
"That can be the only answer. Even with all of my years, even after going through our records, there has been nothing about this dragon before, not a drawing, not even a word of it. We don't even have anything close to what is in front of us."
Senior Bei flipped through the pages of a thick book which could only be a collection of every dragon and their descendants that thay had discovered.
"It's very strange. I wonder what this dragon could be. It is the only one to have a white body", Xin Kuo's eyes furrowed as she looked to the others but none of them had any ideas.
Long Wang looked out of the ship, staring at the dragon corpse just meters from her.
"Whatever the case, this is an opportunity we cannot miss. This is a monumental discovery to make, we have to record it. We have to get samples of it, even if we have to go past the time to depart. Does everyone understand me?"
The research team nodded and went to their rooms to rest after a bit of planning. They would have to wake up early tomorrow if they wanted ot make some sort of progress.
Only Ming Yue stayed up, standing out on the deck to gaze at the dragon corpse. The white scales seemed to glow under the night sky, making for an enchanting sight. Even though, she looked from afar, it was like seeing a beast in deep sleep.
She couldn't help but wonder what this dragon was. An ancient beast that has probably lived for thousands of years compared to her, who wasn't even twenty years old.
Having seen a dragon up close, she did not regret coming on this expedition. How many people could say that they had seen a dragon, much less one that has never been seen before?
As she continued to gaze at the dragon, Long Wang and Long Wei walked from behind and stood next to her.
"It seems that we are not the only ones who could not sleep", they said, speaking in unison.
"This is my first time ever seeing a dragon. In fact, I never thought I'd get to see one."
"We seen countless of dragons before, whether in drawings or with our own eyes. However, we have never grown tired of it. It has become our obsession."
Still speaking in unison, they looked at her before looking towards the pure white body of the dragon, admiring it.
"Though, this is the first time we have felt so afraid."
MIng Yue turned to them, looking somewhat confused and surprised.
"Afraid?" she asked.
"Indeed, we're afraid. Afraid that this is the last dragon left in the world. That with this, dragons would no longer exist."
Ming Yue could see it in their eyes, a tinge of sadness.
"It had been our dream to see a living dragon, but it seems that it may nor happen. The last known sightning of a dragon was many years ago. Who knows when we will see another."
"But wasn't that dragon described as a fiery red beast? This one is pure white, is it not? Is there not hope for that?"
The Long siblings smiled.
"The chances are too small. Perhaps it has already died as did this one. It matters not, Once we gather what we need fromt his corpse, we will return to the kingdom. It shouldn't take more than a week but you never know."
They returned to their rooms, walking down the steps into the ship.
Ming Yue was left alone once again.
"The last of its kind", she muttered.
It was sad to see it that way. But it was probably true. This pure white dragon could be the last of its race and with that, the dragon race was all but extinct. There was a complicated expression on her face, to witness the end of such a legendary race of beasts was unsettling. At the same time, she hoped that it was not so.
Ming Yue took another look at the dragon corpse before giving a silent bow in respect and going to sleep.
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