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Chapter 13 – Conclusion
In the end, the Emperor Dragon knew exactly where I was and relentlessly chased me wherever I went. I couldn’t get in any direct attacks because I was inside the darkness, but I didn’t know when he might attack me with that golden light again, so I had to get rid of him as soon as possible.
But no matter how I tried, I couldn’t think of a way to do it. I didn’t expect [Ignition] to be extinguished just like that. I thought the Emperor Dragon’s light skill might have been from his [Supremacy] skill.
Needless to say, the only way for me to defeat it without the [Ignition] skill (which I thought could never be extinguished) was, of course, [Dismantling]. However, that required me to touch the Emperor Dragon’s body, and to do that, I had to stick at least part of my body out of the darkness.
Its body is huge, so it’s not a big deal actually touching it; the problem is it knows where I am almost perfectly. If I approach carelessly, I’m sure I’ll get hit or blown out of the shadows from his [Supremacy] skill again before I can actually touch him. And of course, that would also wipe out the forest for several kilometers around us.
“Hey, is it safe to go near that thing?”
“Obviously not, I’d say ― not even a little bit.”
“That’s what I thought…”
I couldn’t think of any useful strategies. So instead of taking it head on, I moved through the forest to see if I could get any useful skills from other monsters. The first one I met was slaughtered and cooked in short order, and what I got from it was [Mask Presence], [Camouflage], [Flee], and [Absolute Defense].
It was great that I was able to get the [Mask Presence] skill, and the other three would be helpful too. All I had to do now was wait until nighttime. The decisive battle would be limited to the time when darkness rules the world! Darkness was like my home turf now, so I’d have no disadvantages, unlike when I fought in the daytime.
The Emperor Dragon still followed me wherever I went. That was fine, it saved me the trouble of finding him again anyway. I looked up at the jet black night sky and made up my mind. Tonight, in this place, I’m going to defeat the Emperor Dragon!
I was ready. If I couldn’t kill it now, it would only mean this [LUK (EX)] attribute of mine was worthless. I slowly approached the Emperor Dragon at a walk. It looked more vigilant, regardless of whether it could see me approaching.
Still within the darkness, I arrived right in front of the Emperor Dragon’s face. I was actually floating in the air ― as long as it’s night, when darkness is all-encompassing, I can fly around or even go underwater. It’s only natural that I’d choose nighttime for the decisive battle when my daytime movements are limited by where the shadows are.
First things first, I activated [Acceleration] and moved instantly to the dragon’s back, sticking my hand out of the darkness to try touching its body. However, the big monster moved quicker than you’d expect from such a big thing, dropping down to avoid me and whipping its tail at my hand in the same breath. I retracted my hand quickly into the safety of darkness, avoiding the blow.
Its ability to sense my presence was quite precise. It didn’t even have a specific skill for that, but it could still tell when I appeared, and could detect danger just as well. What a troublesome opponent.
Next, I used [Mask Presence]! The Emperor Dragon noticed my sudden disappearance and looked around, trying to find me. The skill seemed quite effective. With it still active, I put my hand under its belly and tried to activate [Dismantling].
However, the Emperor Dragon reacted to this as well and leaped into the sky immediately. I already knew it, but that monster’s ability to avoid danger was incredible. Annoying, too, but given that it was the ruler of this Great Borf Forest, that was just driving home the fact that it was the strongest enemy I’d ever fought.
“You let out a strong killing intent. That’s why it noticed.”
“My killing intent, huh?”
“Yeah. Even if you erase your presence, you’re still letting off a strong killing intent the moment you activate your skill.”
“But my presence should’ve been erased by [Mask Presence]. Wouldn’t my killing intent be included in that?”
“[Mask Presence] does normally mask killing intent as well, but it didn’t work for you because you released more killing intent while it was active. That skill erases your presence as it was when you activated it; if your presence changes while it’s still activated, the changes will get through ― like releasing a strong killing intent. It’s obvious your opponent will notice.”
She says that, but I didn’t feel like I was intentionally letting out a killing intent, and I don’t have any tricks for erasing an unconsciously released killing intent, either. Crap, how can I get rid of it? I can’t think of anything.
My thoughts were interrupted by [Wild Intuition] alerting me just as the Emperor Dragon started radiating a golden light. Because I was in the middle of a thought, I was almost too slow to react. The Emperor Dragon released its [Supremacy] skill, and I barely activated [Absolute Defense] in time for it to hit me. I got blown away by the shock wave, but fortunately I took no damage due to the effect of [Absolute Defense].
“That was close.”
“It’s not good to get distracted by thinking during battle, you know.”
Black Mist warned me like it was obvious, when she was the reason I was pondering to begin with! I flicked my finger against Black Mist’s handle, ignoring the sword’s protests as I kept an eye on the dragon that had destroyed another part of the forest. It flew calmly over the devastation and approached me.
When I saw the cocky expression on its face, I thought about punching it, but I recognized that we were in a bit of a stalemate. What to do…
The Emperor Dragon calmly circled around me. What a depressing situation… but I finally got an idea. It’d be great if I could actually pull it off.
The Emperor Dragon followed me as I descended to the ground, but it stayed hovering in the air a few meters up. Tsk. If he descended all the way down, he wouldn’t be able to escape in that direction, but this shouldn’t affect the plan that much.
Like last time, I activated [Mask Presence]. While the Emperor Dragon was trying to figure out where I went, I moved over its back and took my hands out of the darkness.
No problem so far. [Mask Presence] was still working, so it remained unaware of me. I gently touched the scales. Still no reaction. Might be due to his uselessly huge body being protected by hard scales. Then I activated [Dismantling], and the usual splattering occurred.
I let loose a celebratory holler, a drawn out “Yeah!” as the dragon’s dismantled parts fell to the ground. Black Mist congratulated me. “Oh, you did it!” What now lay before me was the meat, scales, bones, and other loot from the Emperor Dragon.
“But man, to think that skill can be used in such an interesting way.”
I can’t get rid of my killing intent, it takes proper training to erase it on your own. Just then, the Emperor Dragon didn’t respond to my killing intent. How?
It’s easy if I just told you the trick, but first I really want to praise myself for coming up with something so clever. I’ve done well!
“I’ve never heard of camouflaging killing intent with [Camouflage].”
Ugh, this damn sword! What am I supposed to say now? I was about to reveal the trick myself, but she beat me to it! Well, I don’t mind that much. As Black Mist said, I used [Camouflage] on my own killing intent, changing it to seem like affection. I figured it wouldn’t feel any danger if I came at it with love, and even if it did react, it wouldn’t immediately counterattack.
It worked, and disguised my killing intent brilliantly, so thanks to that, the Emperor Dragon didn’t react at all, or avoid my [Dismantling]. So here we are.
“I’ve leveled up.”
Oops, if I kill a superior opponent, as always, the level-up notifications won’t stop scrolling past! Let’s just grab the materials for now.
Man, [Material Storage] is such a cheat. I can’t store living beings, but there doesn’t seem to be a problem or upper limit for storing dead things. And now, finally, I’ve found something that I have to say is utterly weird to see in a place like this.
“Ooh, those appear in this place too, huh?”
“Do you know about this?”
“I do, yeah. It’s a clear bonus gacha that appears in front of those who have cleared a dungeon!”
“…So this world has a gacha too, huh?”
“Does your world also have it?”
“Yeah, it was like a game in our world. So if this is a clear bonus, it’s a good thing, right?”
“Hmm, a game, huh… When I think about it, the clear bonus gacha could be called a kind of game. So yeah, it should give us something good!”
“Well then, I just need to turn the crank, right?”
“Yep, you got it. Turn the crank and a ball will come out. You can tell the rank of the reward based on the color of the ball.”
“The color tells you what rank it is? What are the colors?”
“In ascending rank, the balls come in red, yellow, blue, silver, and gold. Red is the lowest rank and gold is the highest rank. What you get is usually random, ranging from a skill to an item. But jeez, I always suspected this Great Borf Forest was actually a dungeon…”
“Did you, now? Well anyway, should I go ahead and turn the crank?” I was looking forward to seeing what would come out.
I turned the crank of the dungeon’s clear bonus gacha. After turning it twice, I heard the sound of a ball falling out, and laid eyes on it. There was a pregnant pause.
“…Hey, this one is black, isn’t it?”
“The gacha balls I knew of only ranged from red to gold, but.. have the dungeons’ specifications changed during these hundreds of years?”
Apparently, even Black Mist didn’t know anything about the black ball that just came out. I knew it was formerly a sword saint, but I didn’t think it had been hundreds of years since she died.
That was all well and good, but what’s going on with this black ball…
The first thing that came to mind about the color black was something negative, like a curse. I couldn’t think of anything good.
“What’s wrong, won’t you open it?”
“I’m not sure I want to. With a color like that, it seems cursed…”
Black Mist laughed. “What a cowardly remark! I never would have expected to hear that from the hero who defeated that Emperor Dragon!”
“Uh, hero is kinda…”
“Tsukuru, you defeated the Emperor Dragon! No one’s ever been able to do that before! You have to take pride in that!”
“W-Well, yeah, but…”
“Don’t stop now! Go ahead and open it!”
The moment the black ball opened with a creaking sound, a cloud of smoke burst out of it and I started coughing.
You have learned the [Equivalent Exchange] skill.
Apparently I learned a skill from that. Equivalent Exchange is a famous catchphrase on that alchemy-based anime, so… well, it’s fine. I’ll check on it later.
My next task was to make use of [Ultimate Cooking]. There were a lot of pieces of meat this time, and one staggeringly large piece of meat from the tail, so I cut that one into smaller chunks with Black Mist, thinking it might not be possible to cut with the copper sword.
“Can you stop using me as a kitchen knife?”
“Come on, even if it’s already dead, you’ve cut a dragon’s flesh. There’s no greater honor for you than that, is there?”
“What do you think of me!?”
“Um, you’re a sword, right?”
“Ugh, yes, I’m a sword, but I’m a divine sword!”
In response to Black Mist’s protesting, I grilled one of the sliced chunks of tail meat with [Ultimate Cooking] and threw it into my mouth. Mmm, it’s delicious! How is it this good?!
You have learned the [Supremacy] skill.
What the…? Did it just say I learned that destructive skill with the golden light, [Supremacy]!?
TLN: About the Emperor Dragon’s “Supremacy” skill, I don’t know if it’s the proper translation. The kanji is 覇動 so if anyone has a better translation for it, let me know 😀