Since the ancient times there had been a religion where its followers reckoned fire as a form of life as it consumed woods and excreted ashes. Therefore, they though the sun was a gigantic sphere of godly fire and a supreme deity which brought warmth to the world and left kindling on the land, so that people could fend off wild beasts and cook food with the fire. At night, the sun would split itself into countless flames of fire, watching over every believer.
As time passed by, there were still people worshipping the fire. They regarded it as the light, the star, and the almighty God—
Fire Vampire: Give me, your power, or, you shall, die!
Kunlun Taoist: Humph! You arrogant pest! I’ll get rid of you with my ascetic power!
As waves of heat rose, carrying the heavy smoke into the sky, a summer resort burned vigorously. The doors and windows were spelled shut, trapping the servants in the inferno, and would not open until all were reduced to ashes. The building was surrounded by heretics and demons who were uttering strange prayers...
Nobleman: Are you satisfied, my friend?
Fire Vampire: Of course. But, you, made me, hate you, more!
Nobleman: Aren’t we of the same interest? Both of us like fire!
Fire Vampire: Our flame, is the fire of continuity.
Fire Vampire: Your flame, is just the fire of destruction.
Nobleman: Aren’t they just the same? The only purpose of living is to die.
Fire Vampire: No, living, is a mission.
As the house collapsed in the flame, the heretics guided the elements in the flame to envelop the elements using the souls.
Fire Vampire: Come! My lord! Here is, the food, we prepared, for you!
As Cthugha gathered its power, it heard the voice of the Dracospirits, feeling each of the souls connected to it. It could sense that its servant was beside it, while the priestess, along with its numerous incarnations, was approaching. The fire Dracospirits preferred burning everything in front of them into ashes, as opposed to returning their father Cthugha’s side. However, they were as easily content as their father as they never consume for fun; they simply suffered from constant hunger, and lacked a reason to stop. Only the Dragon Maiden would dissuade them and feed the Dracospirits with her own power...
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: This...Aren’t you bringing me to Honor? My Dracospirits—
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: Welcome, priestess of my lord, maiden of the sacred rites!
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: I don’t know you.
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: But we will get familiar with each other soon.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: I don’t think I will befriend a monster.
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: ...That’s strange, my sister. Don’t you realize we’re of the same race?
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: The Dracospirits led you here because they want you to see our master.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Cthugha—
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: No, it’s just an incarnation!
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: You’re right, my sister! Our master is storing power under the volcano.
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: Maiden of the sacred rites!
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: Accept your fate and serve Cthugha together with me!
Cthugha sent one of its Dracospirits to fly towards the cave where the Dragon Maiden was imprisoned. She reclined comfortably on the stone, as if she had gotten used to a life of imprisonment. Cthugha looked down at her, and she rose from her bed to gaze at it.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Have you come to convince me too?
The Fiery Ethereal Dragon: ......
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: What I love are embers that provide warmth, not an all-engulfing blaze.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Donald said they were one and the same... Do you think that as well?
Cthugha learnt about her disgust from the connection of Dracospirits. This had baffled Cthugha as fire was inherently shapeless and its colors dependent on the material it had consumed. Thus, the dragon could not understand why the priestess insisted that burning should be a selective process. And, at the same time, the dragon still believed that the flame should not be restrained. The color of her flame might represent the world, which was different from that of the dragon; but still, the dragon should not pressure the Dragon Maiden into changing her flame to meet its perspective.
Cthugha smashed through the wall with its incarnation and asked the Dragon Maiden to leave by raising its head...
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Wh......Why? I don’t understand.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Aren’t you going to cover us with the ethereal flame?
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Do you wanna try to become the fire of people, Cthugha?
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: I have told you, we would be instant friends.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Get out of my way, Donald. Cthugha wants me to leave.
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: I would not disobey my master, but...
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: I have to ensure its fire is strong enough,
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: So that it would not be extinguished by the minds of mortals.
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: Good... Leave, maiden of ritual rites.
Donald the Ablaze Thirst: Take the chance while your fire still blazes ...
As the servant did not stop her, Cthugha landed on the ground and let the priestess leave.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Thank you, Cthugha.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Maybe it’s just a naive thought,
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: but I really hope Ethereal Dragons can coexist with people,
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: and not just be treated as power.
Cthugha could not understand the priestess’ words, but it could feel the maiden’s gentleness. Unlike the passionate blaze of the servant, the priestess' fire was a lasting pillar of flame... Cthugha liked both.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: An overly vibrant fire would induce discomfort. Please calm down first!
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: Don’t act like Donald.
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: The maniac will only turn you into a beast —
Agatha the Dragon Maiden: one who only knows how to breathe fire and incinerate everything!
Cthugha could not suppress its hunger, so it did not promise. But it still listened to the priestess, Cthugha no longer burned everything down with complete indifference. When Cthugha finally woke up, it just drove away the mage who wanted to take his power, but did not burn him into ashes.^ Cthugha soared above the realm of men, engulfing everything it disliked, and spared the innocent. However, it was not always the case. After all, the fire was not always controllable.