My name is Mary, Bloody Mary the Graugrinzel Dragon.
My beloved father, the Geyser Dragon, has organized a succession race.
I am said to be the prime candidate.
Which isn’t surprising, as I’m the second hatchling born after my brother, Alexander.
And for that, I’m the second most powerful. But since Alexander had fallen out with Father and stepped down as his successor, I can say that I’m the strongest dragon with the right to inherit the throne.
The one who will be the next Geyser Dragon is me and no one else.
I’m 100% sure of it.
At Black Widow Mountain, my dungeon and citadel, my younger siblings keep buttering up to me.
With all of them in their human form, the palace atop my dungeon is always crowded like a ballroom hall.
They all flatter me, praising me as the future Dragon Empress.
“You look dazzling, Sister!”
One of my Glintz Dragon brothers adulates with a beaming smile.
“This succession race is just a waste of time! It’s only natural you’ll emerge victorious, Sister!” he says as he pours Bacchus’ finest grape wine into my glass. “You’re the strongest dragon, so I’m sure you’ll be the next Geyser Dragon!”
“Are you sure you’re not looking for an opening to outsmart me by saying that?”
When I pointed that out to him, his hand stopped pouring the alcohol.
“W-Whatever are you talking about? I’m no longer interested in being a Geyser Dragon!”
“Of course! My only desire now is to do everything in my power to help you become the new ruler!”
What obvious lies.
I know your true intentions. And that goes for the rest in the room.
They obey and patronize me to use me as their sponsor to gain an advantage over the other candidates.
When the time is right, and the number of rivals decreases significantly, they will betray me.
As proof, none of them have formally withdrawn from the competition.
After all, those who decline will have their magic and wisdom immediately extracted from them by Father and become Lesser Dragons.
In short, they haven’t given up at all.
But I don’t care if they backstab and betray me one day.
I’m much stronger than they are, so even if they take advantage of me, they still can’t kill me.
There is only one brother in the world that I fear, and that’s Brother Alexander.
As long as Brother doesn’t show interest, my victory is absolute.
So, to panic is futile.
The destined empress will always emerge victorious.
Absorbed in my superiority complex, a commotion disturbed the place.
One of my brothers has barged in.
“What is it? We want to spend this evening in elegance, so could you not make a ruckus?”
“This is no time for elegance! This is important!”
“We already have a new Geyser Dragon!!!”
The venue’s festivities came to a halt.
No one could comprehend the words that came out of his mouth.
The void in our thoughts turned into nothingness until it materialized into audible words.
Eventually, I, too, gathered my thoughts.
And let out a strange voice.
Not only me but also my cronies were in an uproar.
“What is going onnnnnnnnnnn?!”
“A new Geyser Dragon has been chosen?! Nonsense!!!”
“The succession race hasn’t even finished its first stage of trials yet!”
“How did they wrap things up?! This is way too sudden!!!”
“The Geyser Dragon was supposed to be meeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”
Some of the dragons were so shocked they ended up saying their real intentions, but I didn’t have the presence of mind to worry about it.
Someone else has become the new Geyser Dragon?!
The title that was supposed to be mine?
Just who?! And how?!
They snatched the title of Geyser Dragon from Father?!
My brother, who barged in to report this to me…Argh, I can’t remember your name!
Whatever, it doesn’t matter who you are.
“First of all, who is this new Geyser Dragon?!”
I’ve never heard of that name before.
I look around to see if anyone’s familiar with the name. But…
“I’m sorry, I don’t know…”
“We’ve never even heard of him, so he must be one puny dragon!”
And you dared speak when you have nothing helpful to contribute at all?!
Useless bunch! Why do I even let you serve me?!
“Fine, I’ll find out who that dragon is sooner or later!”
The problem is the trick he used.
“How did this Ardheg snatch the throne from Father?!”
He must have used some sneaky and underhanded tactic.
I mean, we’re right in the middle of the race right now.
I bet he used lip service to butter up to Father and snatch the title from right under his nose!
That’s got to be it!
“U-Um…” mumbles the dragon who reported to me.
“What? I don’t have forever to wait for what you have to say! Out with it!”
“Our father, the Geyser Dragon, was killed.”
“He was challenged to a battle by this Ardheg and lost. That’s why he got the title of Geyser Dragon!”
I don’t believe it.
No, before that, I can’t believe this Ardheg managed to take the title for himself in such a fashion!
Had I known such a method was possible, I wouldn’t have taken serious participation in this race like the other idiots here!!!
“What recklessness! What outrage!!!”
“Damn you, Ardheg! How dare you disregard the rules of the race and harm Father!”
“Sis! What he did was unacceptable! We must stand up to this ruffian’s injustice who became the new Geyser Dragon!!!”
Though I didn’t quite catch who said what, their words moved me.
“Yeah! We’ll play by his rules this time if that’s what he wants!”
“Let’s all go out and beat up this Ardheg!”
“Then we can elect a new Geyser Dragon by consensus!”
Right you are.
The Geyser Dragon is the Dragon Archon. Early birds shouldn’t be permitted to do such things.
The ideal dragon with intelligence, magic, grace, and above all, strength deserves to be the Archon. But a thief ignored that and claimed the throne for himself.
I, the rightful ruler, will punish him.
The rest of the dragons let out a cheer at my declaration.
“Bloody Mary herself is going to execute the ruffian!”
“What grace! As expected of the Graugrinzel Dragon!”
“Please allow us to accompany you!”
But the question is, where is this Ardheg?
Hopefully, he doesn’t cower and hide in fear of confronting me.
“I know exactly where he is.”
Sorry, could you repeat that?
“I actually received an invitation to his public coronation ceremony… There, it was also written that he defeated Father!”
Quite a haughty fellow we have here, eh?
I’m going to crush that ecstasy of yours by holding a ceremony without inviting me.
“After him, everyone! If he’s invited, we might as well show up and make sure his big day is dyed in blood!!!”
The surrounding dragons cheer again.
“Oh, but… there’s one last thing I must tell you…”
It seems that wasn’t all the intel.
What is it? I am raring to go out already.
“The sender of the invitation wasn’t Ardheg, but Brother Alexander!”
What does the strongest dragon have anything to do with this?