Chapter 149 – Along with the Dragon (2)
The sea dragon, the so-called blue dragon, was known as one of the biggest among the dragon species.
It had a streamlined body more than 50 meters long, with a horned head and a powerful tail. On average, they boasted a thicker and more elongated body than that of adult dragons, who were typically 40 meters long. Clearly, there was a reason why the red clan, famous for their strength, couldn't face them in the sea.
These dragons gave up aerial wings and chose the sea. They developed a large size as well as sharp claws. Their fins and tails could endure the strong currents.
The speed of Aquilo, the water dragon who was so thoroughly specialized for underwater, was faster and more flexible than an arrow shot on land. Every time the smoothly curved tail moved through the water, she traveled a few hundred meters and emitted an intense shock wave.
[I caught up.]
Aquilo smiled cruelly as she caught sight of 'Pride.' She had sensed it on land, but she couldn't help feeling something ominous from the creature. It had reconstructed itself to be more efficient, with the feet of a mollusk and a wide tail like a squid.
Aquilo observed it for a while before opening her mouth, [Hrmm, should I just check it after I kill it?]
It wasn't a false confidence. She had lived for over a thousand years and had never missed a kill. Yet this insignificant thing dared to come unauthorized into her domain? She couldn't forgive it. As anger bubbled in her body, the water around her was sucked into her mouth.
This was Aqua Breath.
Water sprayed out with ultra-high pressure became a weapon in itself, and it was sharper than any sword. It had the strength to crush a thick ore to pieces. Theodore had barely survived just one drop of water, so this was serious.
A thin, solid line shot out from Aquilo's mouth. The prerequisite for the propulsion was that the narrower the output, the stronger the pressure would become. She exhaled for 8 feet, and it turned Pride's bizarre body into a sophisticated puzzle piece.
Even a body made from adamantium wouldn't be able to survive this! It wasn't surprising that even with the traits, Pride's body was rendered into dozens of pieces. This was a scene of blood and flesh scattering instantaneously. However, Aquilo sensed that Superbia was still alive.
She muttered in a small voice, [You, a slime?]
–You are foolish, but you noticed quickly.
One piece of Superbia which had been cut off confirmed it. The body of a king slime…
A king slime was an S rank slime which occupied the southern swamps, and common attacks rarely worked against it. The slime's weakness was that it had a 'nucleus.' So, in order to get rid of it, she needed to destroy the whole body at once with huge firepower. It was unfortunate since Aqua Breath only exercised absolute power at one point.
–Now, it is my turn, Superbia declared as it restored its body in an instant.
Before Aquilo could prepare, Superbia's body expanded and transformed into another form. Attached to the surface of the thick eight legs, there were suckers filled with poison where one drop could poison an adult male.
It was called a nightmare by seafarers in legends and was one of the two disasters of the sea, along with the sea serpent.
The eight tentacles stretched out swiftly and wrapped around Aquilo's confused body. It wasn't just the outward appearance. Aquilo felt pressure on her scales from the poison.
She was the strongest in the sea, but she wasn't invincible. When she fought the kraken occasionally, a few of her scales would melt. Additionally, the megalodon's skin was sharp enough to penetrate a dragon's rugged hide.
However, she was never inferior.
The tentacles around Aquilo's body swelled up. No, they were trying to tear her apart. However, the tentacles were unable to cope with the power of a sea dragon, so the mollusk's flexible body started to rupture.
Finally, Aquilo tore apart the kraken's tentacles. The dark water became so brightly lit that all the fish fled desperately.
[…Okay, this is finally a fun entertainment.]
Superbia wasn't an easy opponent, so she would start killing it sincerely. As Aquilo thought so, the sea water stirred and a wall of currents surrounded the whole area tightly. This was the sea dragon's innate ability to dominate the water. Despite the complete disappearance of an escape route, Pride scoffed.
–This will be the last play of your life.
However, Aquilo didn't have an answer. For her, the enemy was an object to be defeated, not a person to talk to. The fight had already begun. As Aquilo rushed into the waterway she had made herself, Superbia created the teeth of a megalodon.
There was a huge shock wave! The impact of the collision was so much that it even created a tsunami, as one of the rulers of the sea and a Seven Sins entered the battle.
* * *
Despite there being not a single drop of rain, thunder struck down. The water shook ominously as vibrations transmitted from far away reached the harbor, creating high waves. Theodore, who used magic to float above the sea, measured the echoes of the shock waves and immediately calculated the location of the epicenter.
Aquilo and Superbia were on the bottom of the sea approximately three kilometers from the coast. Theo didn't know in whose favor the fight was flowing, but it was on a scale in which he couldn't intervene.
One side was an adult dragon whom even Veronica would struggle with, while the other was a Seven Sins grimoire with the 5th seal released. It was a battlefield from which no one but a master could return.
–Are you really going? Gluttony asked Theodore. –Stop now, User. Pride is an emotional being, but it is one of the Seven Sins grimoires. It won't slaughter you for unnecessary things.
"Can you be sure of that?"
Theodore smiled and shrugged at the uncertain answer.
"Well, that’s right. And even if I survive here, is there any guarantee I won't meet it again? If it becomes even more powerful than now, the world tree won't be able to stop it… The safety of Ellenoa and Elvenheim will be at stake."
"So I have to end it here. If it appears stronger next time, it won't be something that people of this era can handle."
Gluttony remained silent. The user's survival was always of the highest priority, but it realized that Theodore's words made sense. It was a gamble to fight here, but it would be checkmate if they fought again. Pride could reach the 6th stage by eating the sea dragon. By then, even if the continent formed an alliance, they would be wiped out in a week.
'Seems Gluttony is easily convinced by the far-sighted view…'
Theodore, who convinced Gluttony with just a few words, stared calmly at the sea.
Aquilo's tail would occasionally soar up, and red blood sprayed like a fountain, turning the water red. The aftermath of the two monsters' fight beneath the surface of the water was tremendous, reaching three kilometers away.
Theodore grabbed his pounding heart, which felt like it would burst, and looked down at his left hand.
"…Is it possible?" It was a weak voice but Theo couldn't help it.
Before facing Aquilo today, Theodore had desperately worked out measures to deal with a dragon and had obtained his own results. However, he had no time to practice it. Modern magic wouldn't work, so he had to pin his hope on ancient magic, which he had never attempted before.
At that moment, someone's voice reached his ears.
"Hey, Young Master! It isn't fun if you fly alone!"
Theo already knew who it was without looking back. No, he was afraid of what his expression would be like. So, he replied without looking back, "What are you doing here Randolph? You can really die!"
"Didn’t I tell you? It doesn't matter!"
Randolph's level meant he could clearly see it… the struggle of the monster in the sea and the hell-like landscape they were now involved in. Yet Randolph still declared that they would go together. That loyal goodwill was such a heavy burden. Theodore opened his mouth and enchanted Randolph's shoes.
Then he spoke in a testy voice, "Now you can even run around on the water. Of course, the surface will be different, but you can easily compensate for that."
Randolph took one step at a time on the water, feeling delighted at not falling through the waves.
"Oh, this is good!"
He could walk on water if he utilized aura, but it was good to save energy and not have his concentration divided by the technique. As expected of a master level aura user, Randolph walked on the waves easily. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't that different from his usual form.
However, there was no more time for the two of them to talk.
"Be careful, Young Master!"
There was no warning as the waves froze, and the warm air became freezing cold like they were in a glacier.
It was a chill reminiscent of the 7th Circle Blizzard. Theodore and Randolph stood next to each other and used their power to resist. A normal person would immediately have their muscles and blood frozen over.
The sudden chill meant his eyelashes were frozen, but Theodore easily removed the ice from his eyelashes and opened his eyes.
It was all ice. The famous frigid landscape of the north was spread out before them.
From the coast to the horizon, the whole area was frozen white. The seagulls flying in the sky fell down. They were so deeply frozen that no water emerged when Randolph placed the tip of his sword in one as a test.
The one who created this landscape…
Ku kwa kwa kwang!
Penetrating through the thick ice like it was a thin wooden board, a dragon with blue scales rose to the surface.
However, she didn't have her usual unblemished and beautiful appearance, as her body was a wreck. Her scales had been melted by poison, and her skin had been torn by teeth. These wounds couldn't heal, and blood flowed from them.
Who could push Aquilo so far in the sea? As if to answer that question, Pride's grotesque body appeared on the glacier.
If Aquilo collapsed, they were dead. Pride wasn't an opponent that Theodore and Randolph could face. Theodore flew in the sky, while Randolph ran on the glacier. A distance of three kilometers wasn't particularly far for two people whose speed was accelerated to the maximum, but they couldn't help sweating from the intense nervousness.
Fortunately, Aquilo still resisted violently.
Pride was struck by the long tail and pushed deeper into the glacier, but then it pounced at Aquilo and gouged her with sharp claws. This was probably a fearsome trait from another creature. As Theodore moved closer, he calculated the distance and prepared the magic which would be most effective.
However, there was still a big gap between them.
[Kuack, this chimera bastard is trying to intimidate…!]
As Aquilo prepared another breath attack, Pride saw an opportunity and its claws flashed.
Superbia used an unidentified poison. It was a poisonous solution capable of melting a dragon's scales and muscles, and Aquilo couldn't even guess its origin. If this poison hit her heart, brain, or spine, it would be a wound that could endanger her life.
Aquilo, who sensed her defeat, closed her eyes.
Then lightning struck with a thunderous sound and shattered Pride. It was the 6th Circle lightning magic, Thunderbolt!
Theodore had used 'Memorize' to create seven Thunderbolts, so it was inevitable for even a master to suffer serious injuries. The seven thunderbolts struck the unprepared Superbia, stopping its nervous system momentarily.
Then in front of Aquilo, a red cloak fluttered down.
"You will probably tell me not to interrupt," the magician, who had inherited one of the Seven Sins, spoke as he thoroughly prepared for battle. "But Aquilo, I have a previous appointment with this creature."
Current schedule: 6 chapters a week to match the author's release rate.
Chapter 150 – Along with the Dragon (3)
Superbia, who had been hit by Theodore's Thunderbolt, was quicker to recover than Aquilo. The majority of the traits Pride had armed itself with were still unknown, but its red eyeball blazed angrily.
This was already the second time. Pride recovered its flesh and started growling.
–You again, Monkey.
The air was tense, but Theodore just looked over with a nonchalant expression.
"Hah, it is so funny."
"You are the one who fled, and now you've come back. Once again, I should be the one saying that, not you."
At those words, the thick ice beneath Superbia's feet broke. Superbia lost control of its strength for a moment, crushing the thick ice floor. This was 'Pride' of the Seven Sins, so Theo provoked its arrogance by mentioning that it had fled in the past.
Unsurprisingly, Superbia's dozens of eyes were now all concentrated on Theodore, not Aquilo.
–Pretentious monkey! The loser on that day was you, not me! If that female monkey hadn't come, your body would've become part of me by now!
An intense fury swept over Theo, but unlike in the past, he wasn't shaken this time. No, he looked at Superbia with cold ridicule.
"Do you think there is any point discussing 'what if'? You might boast about all the species you've usurped, but in the end, you are just a weak chimera."
Once water boiled over, there would be nothing left. Likewise, the monster's patience had run dry.
It changed from an underwater form to one suitable to fight on land. The kraken's eight tentacles turned into thick and tough horse legs. Its skin resembled a hard shell, and the fins became several layers of wings. Oddly enough, the form was very similar to the one Theodore had faced in the past.
A centaur's lower body, a storm locust's wings, and a spriggan's acceleration ability…
After restructuring itself with these features, Pride declared in a mocking voice, –Don't think this is the same as last time. You are no different from the gravel on the street.
"Your brain is worse than I thought." Despite the warning from his senses, Theodore raised his finger and gestured for Superbia to come near. "Do you understand what I am saying? Don't think I will let you flee like last time."
Finally, Superbia's patience broke, and it ran across the frozen ground with a loud cry. In response, the ground cracked like a spider web. Superbia's assertion that it was different from last time seemed to be true, as its acceleration exceeded Theodore's reaction time.
There was no room to evade, and blocking it would cause serious injuries. In this crisis situation, Theodore accepted the fearful blow without any defenses.
However, Superbia was the one who received a surprise. Theodore's defenseless body turned semi-transparent, and the attack passed through it!
At that moment, Randolph wielded his two falchions and aimed at Superbia. It was his trademark high-speed attack. In other words, it aligned with the saying that there were always gaps in the defense to exploit.
'Clovis Two Swords Style.
Special Hidden Meaning Technique.
This wasn't an opponent Randolph could go easy on. He sensed this and used his Hidden Meaning technique without any hesitation. Dozens of strands of aura emerged from the blades like thunderbolts.
It was a bombardment instead of a surrender, and the attack crushed Superbia's ribs and heart. This type of wound would take longer to recover from than a single, neat wound. Additionally, the combined attack of the two people wasn't over yet.
Randolph retreated, while Theodore's translucent body returned to its original form. Theodore, who avoided the attack with Fluidization, had prepared the magic needed for this situation.
'All Slots Open.
'Triple Blaze Burst.
'Triple Fire Strike.
'Spell Fusion: Explosion.'
The fusion magic converged six fire attack spells into one. It was overkill when used against humans but lacking if he wanted to kill Pride.
It was a menacing swirl of magic power! The heavy spirit of magic power and flames hit Superbia's upper body, which hadn't finished regenerating yet.
The sound of the attack shook the heavens and earth. Along with the loud roar, the frozen land shook and cracked.
The widespread melting of the ice caused the water to become unstable, and the seawater underneath evaporated, leaving only salt behind. This was the greatest firepower that the current Theodore could produce.
However, the monster at the center of the heat survived.
The thick water vapor was lifted by the sea breeze, revealing a shape Theo had never seen before.
–A monkey managed to do this to my body?
'Pride,' Superbia, glanced between the two humans with annoyed eyes.
It had golden eyes like a wild beast and white hair like a snowstorm. Unlike its previous ugly appearance, it now looked beautiful. However, Theodore and Randolph couldn't help taking a few steps back. This was because they sensed enormous power was hidden within this form.
-No. Gluttony, who had remained silent after the battle began, denied Theo's speculation. –That is a species called Ulfheðnar.
'I've never heard of it.
-Of course not. It is the species that exterminated the beast king, Fenrir. The werewolf that you just mentioned is a subgroup of the Ulfheðnar. It is similar to the relationship between the elves and the Arv.
'A top species!' Theodore's eyes filled with astonishment.
They were an ancient species who some said had the power of a god, unlike the modern species' descendants who had lost all of their origins. The high elves only inherited some of the Arv's powers, but they were able to cause miracles. So, what was the power of this top species?
'Gluttony, what is the ability of the Ulfheðnar?'
'You don’t know?'
–I know. But it is ambiguous to explain.
As Gluttony was choosing his words, Superbia lifted both fists with a body which had completely regenerated. Theodore reflexively lowered his body as Gluttony's ridiculous ability came back.
–There is no special ability. It is just merely strong.
Simultaneously, there was a white flash, and a deafening sound rang out.
Theodore couldn't grasp the situation and frowned.
Suddenly, Randolph fell to one knee and coughed up blood. Both his hands were still holding the falchions, but it was like he had stepped into a furnace. Superbia, who was in its original spot, clapped and praised Randolph.
–You are better than expected, Monkey. There were 36 strikes from the top, bottom, left, and right, so it is impossible for monkeys to catch up to this speed.
Theodore was shocked as he understood what had happened.
'This is ridiculous…!'
When he observed closely, there were traces of something having moved across the surface of the ice. Pride and Randolph, the two beings had an incredible exchange of speed.
'Merely strong.' Theodore finally realized what Gluttony meant. All the physical abilities were above the realm of a master, that was a Ulfheðnar!
Randolph used Hidden Voice to send the shocked Theodore a message.
[Young Master, please handle the healing magic.]
[Where are you hit?]
Randolph pretended to lift his right arm naturally, but Theodore was forced to gulp when he saw it. Blood was dripping out from the fist mark on the mithril alloy breastplate which Theodore had enchanted with protection magic before they left.
[I was struck lightly in one place… but three ribs are broken. I won't be able to endure a second direct hit.]
Randolph advised that he would be more comfortable if his ribs were healed. The wolf was able to deal a deadly blow to someone who had master-level aura and wore the highest quality armor.
The two people gathered up their strength as they watched Superbia.
At the very least, they had to hang on until Aquilo recovered enough to return to the front lines. That was the only prerequisite for their victory. The red cloak and double swords started to move against the white flash.
On the outskirts of the thrilling battlefield, Aquilo was staring blankly at the backs of the two people.
* * *
Once again, Randolph blocked an invisible kick and fell far away. His right wrist was dislocated, his left clavicle fractured, and even his hip joints were dangerously creaky.
Had it been 5 minutes, or maybe 10 minutes? Maybe it wasn't more than 30 seconds.
After Superbia transformed into the Ulfheðnar, the battle flowed one-sidedly against the two men. Despite concentrating on defense, their wounds were getting bigger, and scars were starting to form despite the recovery magic.
Theodore's thunderbolts struck the glacier, but Superbia wasn't hit by any of them. The wolf, Ulfheðnar, was a species capable of avoiding thunder. The speed of lightning magic wasn't comparable to sound, but Superbia's movements seemed to go beyond the walls of physics.
Superbia leisurely raised its claws as it walked forward one step at a time.
–Do you see your deaths nearing?
"You're a dog talking nonsense!"
–Hmm, the wolf definitely belongs in the mammals category with dogs.
This guy was saying hateful things. Theodore and Randolph were feeling hopeless and beginning to despair, and Pride didn't miss this moment.
–I'm tired of this. The appetizer ends here.
In an instant…
Superbia moved so quickly that neither Theodore or Randolph could perceive it. The story might've been different if the injuries and fatigue hadn't accumulated. However, Theodore had said it first, 'what ifs' were just the excuses of a loser.
The claws of the Ulfheðnar, which were more powerful than aura, headed towards their necks.
Randolph made at least 15 calculations, but he realized that all the countermeasures conceived would lead to a ruthless end. It was the same for Theodore. He could avoid the attack with Umbra, but the moment Randolph fell, there would be no one left to protect Theodore.
It was a checkmate, the desperate moment of life or death. Therefore, it wasn't them who saved themselves, but a helper from the outside.
The world stopped. Theodore realized it the moment he heard an unknown language spoken clearly.
It was magic which calculated the natural laws and changed the flow. If so, this power was the peak of a magician. The true power of a dragon was to change the existing flow and give commands above the natural laws.
The body of a top species was locked inside the glacier!
"-Ahh, this thing is really hard to kill," Aquilo muttered with a pale face, changing back from a sea dragon to a beauty. "But this will be able to hold it for a while."
She patted the trapped Superbia a few times before looking at the two people who were barely breathing. No, to be precise, she looked at Theodore's face and smiled.
"Boy, you are more than I thought."
"Did you come to fight on the premise that I will help you?"
Theodore closed his mouth at the words which pierced through him. However, Aquilo didn't seem offended as she giggled at him. She hadn't struggled like this even when wiping out a high fleet. When fools came to try and subjugate her, she had laughed merrily.
However, now, she was cornered by a monster and saved by humans.
"Hoo… This is the first time I've felt this way."
It wasn't good or bad. She was just angry that someone had intervened in the game, and the pride of a dragon didn't allow her to bow her head first.
Aquilo sent Theodore and Randolph a strange look as she sucked on her pipe and pondered for a moment. Then she decided to act in an improvised manner as always.
"Well, it doesn’t really matter," she said to Theodore while blowing out white smoke. "I'll follow your instructions as much as I can. But do you have an idea of how to take that monster out? The power of my breath failed to kill it."
"…I've thought of a way."
However, there was no time to explain it as the mass of ice had begun to crack. They would die if she refused or tried to escape, but Aquilo replied surprisingly easily.
"Okay, then what do you need me to do?"
"I need time."
At least 10-15 minutes. Randolph couldn't hold on for five minutes alone, but it might be possible if Aquilo's support was added. Every minute and second was precious. Aquilo accepted the request. Then as the ice broke, the second round would soon begin.
During this gap, Theodore invoked the method he had prepared, "Activate Overwrite."
The system responded to the user's will immediately.
[The C Rank 'Overwrite' has been triggered!]
[Please select the author you want to overwrite. (Available people: 2)]
The martial artist from the east, Lee Yoonsung… Or the best summoning magician in the modern age, Satomer…
Confronted with these two choices, Theodore chose one without hesitation.
[Object name 'Satomer' has been loaded into the user's body.]
Current schedule: 6 chapters a week to match the author's release rate.