Chapter 11 – I Heard The Voice of The Greedy Dragon
“…Where am I?”
I found myself floating in the darkness.
I was supposed to have been fighting along with Leticia against a herd of Lust Dragons a while ago, but what had happened?
I’ve seen something similar before. It was just before I was transferred to another world and then after I defeated the Black Dragon.
Just like that time, a translucent window appeared in front of me.
There, a golden dragon with a majestic mane was projected. It looked like Leticia’s hair color, but I knew intuitively that it was different from her.
Instead, a certain name flashed through my mind.
“The Gleaming Greedy Dragon, huh?”
The dragon nodded behind the window at my words.
Then, in a voice that sounded just like mine, he said.
Now I am speaking to you from within.
Zogral, the thing that ate us──will be here soon.
You must protect what you want to protect.
…If you can afford it, please take care of my sister.
* * *
“──The preparations are complete. Let’s go!”
Leticia’s voice brought me back to reality.
It seemed to have lasted less than a second, but what was that hallucination?
The Greedy Dragon said that it was the one that ate us.
It made sense if I considered that my previous life was the Greedy Dragon and my memories of my previous life spoke to me… a situation like that was common in anime and manga.
Or maybe I just didn’t remember that I was once captured by Zogral in the past──.
No, I’ll think about it later.
Let’s focus on what’s in front of me first.
“…It went well.”
With a sigh of relief, Leticia turned to me.
“It is only temporary, but I have completely taken over the consciousness of the Lust Dragon. ──Please take a look.”
Saying this, Leticia looked back behind her.
I looked there, too.
The twin storm seemed to have disappeared when my vision blacked out, but it didn’t matter much.
The Lust Dragons that had been chasing us just a moment ago had stopped moving and started to fall.
“Let’s settle this before they regain control.”
Leticia declared after tossing one of the Lust Dragons, which were bound by the spider silk threads from her left hand.
“I order you in my name. Let all of you, Lust Dragons, explode!”
Her order was immediately carried out. The Lust Dragons all seemed to glow at once and then burst into a huge explosion.
“We won by sheer compatibility.”
Leticia muttered as she brushed back her long golden hair.
The only thing left was the Rage Dragon.
Looking toward the royal capital, Iris’s barrier still remained, and the city was still protected without being damaged.
The Rage Dragon released an exasperated roar, turned its body around, and glared at us.
“Kou-sama, it’s coming!”
The protrusions on both shoulders of the Rage Dragon glowed red, and countless flaming bullets were released.
The trajectories of the fireballs were all different. Some flew in a straight line, others in parabolic lines, some curved sharply to the left or right, and some rose vertically before changing direction.
The total number of shots exceeded a hundred and were continuously fired in rapid succession.
It was like a barrage of guided missiles.
Since the danger of friendly fire had been eliminated with the death of the Lust Dragon, it must have decided to concentrate its attacks on us.
Of course, I have no intention of remaining silent.
I focused my attention on the Three Emperor Dragons’ bracelets and activated《Magic Creation EX》.
If the opponent is a barrage of flames, I will counter with a wall of ice and wind.
“Blizzard Storm Wall!”
At the same time as the activation, multiple overlapping storms of ice and snow are created.
They intersected to form a pseudo wall.
The flying fireballs were frozen and crushed by the blades of vacuum.
“As expected of you, Kou-sama, to be able to block that many attacks…”
Next to me, Leticia sighed in admiration.
I appreciated the praise, but we couldn’t win just by being defensive.
However, if I attack carelessly, a double, or perhaps even more than double, counterattack would await me due to [Full Retaliation].
The ideal situation would be to use [Limit Break] to win the match at once, but unfortunately, the skill’s cooldown time still had a long time.
The only means left was to use Yggdrasil’s bow to nullify the [Full Retaliation].
However, since it was now with the God of War along with Lily, all I could do was wait for her to finish inheriting the power.
…Oh, I see.
“I guess we’ll just have to wait.”
I told Leticia, who was asking me, my thoughts briefly.
There was no need to go out of the way to attack the Rage Dragon that had [Full Retaliation] and had it readied.
The best strategy would be to buy some time by first focusing on the defense.
“I understand. Shall I prepare for a long battle?”
“Yeah, please. …Hmm?”
I noticed that the barrage of flaming bullets had stopped.
The Rage Dragon roared and raised its left arm.
From the elbow to the tip, it was shaped like a sword with a silvery sheen.
It was the result of [Full Retaliation] learning from my first attack with《God of War Slash S+》.
The Rage Dragon swung its left arm down.
A dazzling slash of light shot out from the blade.
We both dodged to the right. A huge slash of light rushed past just to our left.
But we could not let our guard down yet.
The Rage Dragon raised its left arm again and was about to release another slash of light.
That was when it happened.
Just as the barrier protecting the city disappeared, the barrier was now deployed in a hemispherical shape, encircling the Rage Dragon.
A flash of silvery light was released from the blade of its left arm.
It was a flood of light with intense momentum, but it could not overcome the barrier dam.
The attack was repeated three or four times, but the Rage Dragon could not break through the barrier.
It was trapped inside.
That barrier seemed to be the《True Dragon Gods’ Barrier EX》, so it must have been Iris who did it.
I’ll need to match up the information, so let’s meet up for the time being.
I exchanged eye contact with Leticia and headed in the direction of the royal capital, manipulating the wind.
* * *
I, Iris, and Leticia met up at a point about a hundred meters west of the royal capital.
“Thank you for the barrier.”
“You can thank Fimbul for that. It was her idea to trap the Rage Dragon inside.”
Iris raised the spear in her right hand, and the tip glowed a shiny blue-white light.
I couldn’t hear her words, but I could somehow sense that she was proudly smiling.
“Fimbul is doing a great job maintaining the barrier. But it seems she’s running out of magic power. So, Kou, please share it with her.”
Fortunately, my magic power has already been restored to its maximum. I touch the tip of Fimbul and pour magic power into it.
The main point was the same as when using the《God of War Slash S+》.
Soon after, Fimbul begins to glow intensely.
“Is this okay?”
I asked, and Iris answered, “Probably,” then lightly closed her eyes.
Perhaps she was listening to Fimbul’s voice.
She opened her eyelids and said.
“She says she’s in better shape than usual, that she can maintain the barrier for hours… I wonder why?”
“It could be due to Kou-sama’s [Awakening].”
Leticia muttered as she turned her gaze in my direction.
“I also received a share of magic power from Kou-sama earlier, but as soon as I did so, the output of [Domination] skyrocketed.”
“Is that so?”
At that time, my vision was blacked out, and I did not have a proper grasp of the situation.
However, when I thought about it, it was very fast from the time I transferred the magic power until Leticia completed the [Domination].
Anyway, if my magic power had the effect of strengthening my friends, I might as well transfer it lightly before a battle in the future.
While thinking about this, I share the information with Iris.
I tell her that we defeated the Yellow Dragon and the Lust Dragon and that the Rage Dragon has a unique ability called [Full Retaliation].
It seemed that Iris had already guessed the existence of [Full Retaliation].
“After Kou attacked with《God of War Slash S+》, the left arm of the Rage Dragon turned into the shape of a sword, didn’t it? And since it was emitting a silver light, I thought it might have the ability to mimic the opponent’s attack.”
“So, that’s why you’ve been using the《True Dragon God’s Barrier EX》to defend against it all this time.”
“Yes. Then Fimbul told me, ‘I’ve come up with a way to stall the Rage Dragon without attacking it.'”
Iris turned her gaze toward the barrier as she said that. Inside it, the Rage Dragon was still rampaging, but it was completely trapped.
All that remained was to wait for Lily to finish inheriting the power of the God of War.
Not yet; you must not let your guard down.
Suddenly, words echoed in my head.
It wasn’t [Full Assist’s] inorganic announcement.
It was more human, more like my own voice.
Leticia muttered with a grim expression and looked around.
“What is coming?”
“This presence is a great evil. But from where…?”
“Fimbul says the same thing.”
Iris, too, said in a stiff voice.
“There is a presence, but I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
So where the hell is it hiding?
I activated [Auto Mapping] and tried to search for it.
At that moment──
The Rage Dragon let out a roar.
At the same time, the ground beneath its feet distorted, and small gray spheres sprang up one after another… as if sprouting.
The spheres seemed to stick to the surface of the Rage Dragon, and then they eerily wriggled and changed shape.
I immediately activated [Appraisal].
Devoted Envious Dragon: A great calamity dragon that flew in from “outside” of this world. It is the natural enemy of all life. It has been given the power of the creator god by Zogral and uses itself and other great calamities as materials to create even higher beings.
A great calamity that combined itself with other great calamities to create even higher beings.
The phenomenon as described by [Appraisal] was happening right now.
The figure of the Rage Dragon was transforming.
The protrusions on both shoulders grew larger and took on a shape reminiscent of a dragon’s head. On its back were huge wings, and the sword on its left arm grew even larger.
What appeared was a huge three-headed dragon that radiated an ominous presence.
The Ultimate Demon God Dragon: The Envious Dragon takes on itself, and the Rage Dragon buzz buzz buzz──.
I activated [Appraisal] on the giant dragon, but the explanation sounded strange in the middle of it.
What does that mean?
The Demon God Dragon possesses [Causality Counterattack] as its unique ability.
It is presumed that it learned [Appraisal] and acquired [Appraisal Interference].
With the announcement, information flowed into my mind.
It seems that [Causality Counterattack] is a unique ability that strengthens [Full Retaliation] and not only mimics the attack on itself in an amplified form but also learns the opponent’s behavior and responds to it.
It was originally a troublesome enemy, but now it has been refined. Is that it?
The three jaws roared in unison.
Just like that, the barrier surrounding the Demon God Dragon was shattered into pieces.
Iris screamed in surprise as she readied her Fimbul.
She probably intended to deploy the barrier again. But before she could do so, Leticia shouted.
Not to avoid, but to escape.
Perhaps she used strong words because she instinctively sensed the danger.
The Demon God Dragon pointed the blade of its left arm at us.
Then, without any pause, it released a silver flash.
Almost at the same time, Iris had activated《True Dragon God Barrier EX》.
A wall of light appeared in front of us.
But the silver flash broke through the wall as easily as a piece of shoji paper, scorching the atmosphere as it approached us.
I immediately activated《Divine Speed Blessing EX》.
Then, I held Iris with my left arm and Leticia with my right arm, and we left the scene at very high speed.
The direction is west.
I should keep as much distance from the royal capital as possible.
I want to minimize the possibility of damage to the city.
After escaping, I let go of the two of them.
The time that has elapsed up to this point was about one second.
After canceling the《Divine Speed Blessing EX》, the world began to move at its original speed.
Iris makes a bewildered voice. It is natural for her to be confused.
For her, it’s like she was supposed to stay there and set up a barrier, but suddenly she was warped to a different place.
“It seems you saved me. Thank you very much.”
Leticia seemed to have grasped the situation right away, and she thanked me.
I tried briefly telling the two of them about the Demon God Dragon. However, the enemy did not give me the time to do so.
With a triple roar, the Demon God Dragon flapped its wings in a loud flutter.
With just that, a storm blew, and a sandstorm erupted.
The head in the center lets out an even louder roar.
A flash of dark color flashed at its mouth, and then an extreme purple heat ray of electricity was spat out.
“Spread out, everyone!”
I move up, Iris to the left and Leticia to the right.
The heat rays rushed through the area where we were. It was a close call.
I breathed a sigh of relief inwardly──No, not yet!
The head on the right side opened its jaws wide and released a purple heat ray.
Iris was standing in its line of fire. There was no way she could evade it in time.
I activated《Divine Speed Blessing EX》again.
The MP consumption was intense, but I couldn’t overlook the danger to my precious companion──Iris.
In this slow-motion world, only I can move as fast as I normally do or even faster than I normally do.
…It was supposed to be.
The left side of the Demon God Dragon’s head roared.
At the same time, the《Divine Speed Blessing EX》was deactivated, and I was thrown out of the slow-motion world.
The Demon God Dragon has activated [Causality Counterattack].
It is presumed that it learned《Divine Speed Blessing EX》and acquired [Divine Speed Obstruction].
I immediately activated my second trump card, [Short Distance Warp].
My vision distorted, and I shifted to Iris’s side. It seemed that this time I was not interfered with.
However, there was no time to rest.
The purple heat rays of electricity released by the Demon God Dragon were now approaching.
I grabbed Iris’s arm and reactivated the [Short Distance Warp].
But nothing happened.
A new message was being conveyed in my mind by [Full Assist].
Apparently, the Demon God Dragon had acquired the ability to interfere with [Spatial Manipulation].
This made it impossible to use not only [Short Distance Warp] but also [Invisibility] and [Spatial Restraint].
I made a quick decision and pushed Iris backward.
“I’m okay! Get away from here!”
I turned my attention to the Three Emperor Dragon’s Bracelet and activated《Magic Creation EX》while shouting that.
What I need this time is a shield to protect Iris.
As if in response to my thoughts, new magic was created.
With the activation, a huge wall of magic power appeared.
It comprises three layers and is clad in the power of fire, ice, and wind.
The purple heat rays hit the protective wall. A violent spark was produced, turning the field of vision white.
But my wish was in vain, and the first wall with flames in it was breached. The second one with ice and the third one with the wind also shattered──
I was engulfed by the purple heat rays.
Fortunately, I was able to avoid a direct hit to my body thanks to the fact that I quickly took off my Fenrir Coat and held it in front of my body as a shield.
However, there was no way I could kill the momentum of the heat rays, and I was swept away by the torrent of lightning.
I was struck to the ground with no time to control the wind.
Although I activated [Dexterity] and took a passive stance, I was unable to reduce the impact of the collision to zero.
Still, I felt only a little pain, probably thanks to the [Transmigrator] disabling of status abnormalities.
As I raised myself up, I checked to see what state I was in.
I can see, I can hear, and I have arms and legs. However, my equipment is in tatters.
More than half of my Fenrir Coat, which had been hit squarely by the heat rays, had been burned away, leaving it in a state like a rag. The Armored Bear Armor, Bastard Gauntlets, and Three Emperor Dragons’ Bracelets, which were worn underneath, were also riddled with cracks and on the verge of collapse. It was also impossible to activate the effects that had been granted to them.
Then, as if in follow-up, the [Full Assist] announced.
The Demon God Dragon has activated [Causality Counterattack].
It is presumed that it has learned [Dexterity] and acquired [Dexterity Interference].
I lost the power to handle any weapon at my disposal at this moment.
That alone was a serious crisis, but an even more desperate situation was about to unfold.
The Demon God Dragon has issued [Causality Counterattack].
It is presumed that the Demon God Dragon has learned [Full Assist] and has obtained the [Full buzz buzz buzz──.
The announcement in my mind disappeared, leaving behind a disturbing sound at the end.
I didn’t think that even the [Full Assist] had been interfered with.
Sweat beads down my cheeks. I was feeling the presence of death closer than ever before.
The Demon God Dragon roared with all three of its heads at the same time, then turned its gaze toward me all at once and opened its jaws wide.
A flash of purple electricity surged from the back of its throat. It was obvious that it was aimed at me.
This is not good.
I was blocked from using my [Full Assist], so I couldn’t even manipulate the wind to fly.
I tried to stand up to get as much distance as possible, but I fell down.
I didn’t notice it because of the lack of pain, but my right leg was bent in a strange direction.
No, perhaps it was because of the fracture that the [Transmigrator] was blocking my sense of pain.
I opened the [Item Box] and selected a Heal Potion.
However, the magic circle that floats in the void immediately disappears with a flash of sparks.
[Causality Counterattack], huh?
Just after I understood this, the Demon God Dragon roared.
Three extremely large heat rays were released simultaneously.
It was a concentrated fire aimed at me alone.
All my useful skills were blocked, and my equipment was not functioning properly. With nothing left to do, I stared at the Demon God Dragon, trying not to look away.
At that moment.
Two shadows descended as if to protect me.
One was Iris.
The other was Leticia.
“I will definitely protect you. I promised you that before…!”
“It’s only natural for a sister to help her brother…”
Iris raises her Fimbul and deployed《True Dragon God Barrier EX》.
Leticia also put her hand on the hilt of the spear and let the magic flow into it.
The barrier was quite solid and thick due to the fact that the spear had gained more magic power than usual.
Even though it creaked, it caught the concentrated fire of the heat rays. Soon, however, the barrier cracked here and there──and shattered.
There was nothing to protect me anymore.
Facing the threat to my life, my thoughts accelerate. It was an innate ability of human beings.
Concentration was pushed to the limit, and the moment was stretched to infinity.
In a few seconds or so, Iris, Letitia, and I would all be burned to a crisp.
I don’t want that.
No matter what happens to me, I want to save them, at least.
Is there anything I can do?
Is there anything left to do?
There is one trump card that has not yet been sealed by the Demon God Dragon.
What on earth would I use as a material?
What comes to mind is the hallucination I had earlier.
In the darkness, the golden dragon, the Greedy Dragon, was projected on the translucent window.
He said, “I am speaking to you from inside you.”
The Greedy Dragon is inside me.
If I can handle [Awakening] at will, I may even be able to defeat [Causality Counterattack].
Then there is only one thing to do.
Using [Creation] with me and the Greedy Dragon inside of me as materials.
I don’t know if such an absurd thing is possible.
But since Zogral, who has the power of a creator god, used the concept of “hell” as material to create the Rage Dragon, and the Envious Dragon created the Demon God Dragon based on itself and the Rage Dragon, there must be more possibilities hidden in [Creation] than I could ever imagine.
I can’t even come up with a recipe because [Full Assist] is blocked, but I don’t care.
This was a rule of thumb I learned when I was in Japan handling a case that had gone up in flames.
The key point, in the end, was to trust your instincts and bet everything on them without hesitation.
When you have played all your cards right and pushed yourself to the limit, the gamble transcends into the inevitability of success.
I turned my consciousness to my inner-self and thought to activate [Creation].
With a thump.
As if in response to my intention, something large trembled deep inside my body.
Can you hear it?
It’s me, the Greedy Dragon.
Let me tell you something first.
When the fusion proceeds, there will be no turning back because you and I will be completely integrated.
That means we will turn into something else, not human, not “Kou Kousaka,” but something else.
But, well, I’m sure you’re thinking like this, aren’t you?
‘What does it matter? If I can protect everyone, it’s a small price to pay…’
We’re just like each other. I know that.
The Greedy Dragon’s voice echoed in my mind.
The time limit is five minutes.
In that amount of time, even if we become one through [Creation], we can separate later.
Well then, let’s go.
Yes, let’s go.
I nodded and activated [Creation].
A golden flash burst forth.