Good thing this dragon had a similar move set to the one at the cathedral. While it certainly had more HP, I still managed to take it down and take a lift up the mountain side to a most magnificent sight: Dragon Aerie. The Emerald Herald was inexplicably here too, and tells me of the ancient dragon I should go talk to high up on the shrine. Sure, that sounds like a plan!
This place is great! :D
Eventually I make it across the final, long rickety bridge at a dead sprint (because going slow makes it break, thanks loitering dragon) I make it to the base of the dragon shrine and find a bonfire. Phew! I light it up and BOOM! Shrubbery surprise! Damn it! The shrubbery finally introduces itself as Aldia - the same creep who owns that keep where they experiment with monsters. Apparently he too tried to get rid of the darksign but failed. Now he is a shrubbery. He wonders how I will do before vanishing once again.
The shrubbery is very deep.