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Chapter 55 – The Four Great Saint Dragon [A]
There was a figure standing as the dust slowly settled.
“…I guess this is it, for now.”
It was Majin Leonhart. He wiped the sweat off his brow and breathed deeply as he looked around.
The higher he climbed, the steeper the path up Rising Dragon Mountain, and the less flat places there were to take a break. At the last bit of flat ground, where he stood earlier, he was fighting against the dragons who attacked him.
As a result of the battle, many dragon carcasses littered the ground.
“Le, Leonhart-sa-an? Is it over ye— uwah… that’s merciless…”
As his companion, Pale, peeked out from behind a rock, she looked around as her voice quivered.
The Kalar Chief, who had hid herself in the corner so as to not get caught up in the fight, looked like she wanted to scoot back behind the rock after witnessing the gruesome battle result.
“It is over for now. There’s no guarantee that no more dragons will attack us, though.”
“I, I see… That doesn’t sound very comforting, uhh…”
Pale shivered as she quickly walked closer toward Leonhart. She then looked around at the remains of the dragons in the vicinity. And with an impressed voice, she spoke up:
“E, even so, to think there’s still this many dragons in the world. It’s my first time seeing one…!”
“I thought you often saw a glimpse of one if you lived in the forest, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, huh.”
Leonhart had assumed that the kalar who lived in the forest would have seen dragons flying overhead, or maybe found other pieces of evidence, but looking at Pale, who was touching the dragon scales scattered across the ground with wonder, it didn’t seem to be the case.
“It, it is said that most dragons live near the summit. It also said that dragons rarely go down… s-so, a, a shut-in like me would have never seen one before, unfortunately…”
“…Being a shut-in isn’t necessarily bad, right?”
“Uuh… thank you for your encouragement…”
Leonhart could see Pale visibly wilt, so he did his best to comfort her, but his words didn’t seem to help. As Leonhart watched her pout, he thought that her troublesome personality seemed similar to that of someone he knew.1
“But… I see. So ordinary people don’t commonly see dragons…”
“Tha, that’s right. It seems that even the people who often go to the mountain to harvest some herb that only grows near the base of the mountain also rarely see one.”
“Oh? So that’s how it is…”, said Leonhart, letting out a noise that indicated agreement. But at the same, the thought that ran through his mind was,
…I often get involved with those, though…
He was a bit dissatisfied at how he was somehow lucky (or unlucky) enough to have so many rare experiences. Leonhart looked back to the dragons he had been involved with until now.
The first one was the dragon majin he fought, Giri—Gili…Gi, Gilliam. The next one was the platinum dragon Majin Camilla, and of course the nephrite dragon Shichisei. Hunty is a dragon kalar, so that still counts, I guess, thought Leonhart, as he lined up the draconic people he had been acquainted with in his memory.
With that in mind, I seem to often get involved with a lot of dragons, but considering how long I’ve lived, it’s not that abnormal, thought Leonhart. Since he only got involved with four across a period of more than three hundred years, it wasn’t that many. Those numbers definitely grew exponentially thanks to the events of today, though.
“E, even so, Leonhart-san sure is strong…! To think you can not only stand your ground, but even have a one-sided beatdown against dragons… a, as expected of you…!”
“Hm? Aah, I guess so.”
As Leonhart was thinking about dragons, Pale suddenly praised him. She seemed really excited, seeing how tightly she clenched her hands near her chest.
In response to her compliment, Leonhart lightly admitted,
“Some of my acquaintances are fo—dragons after all. To be honest, I’m already used to fighting dragons.”2
“You, you have dragons as acquaintances?!”
Leonhart nodded in response to Pale, whose eyes went wide in surprise.
As she let out a big exhale,
“Haa~…it sure is amazing… i, if it’s Leonhart-san, perhaps you can still come out victorious even when legendary dragons appear…”
She said that as she looked up at Leonhart.
Leonhart frowned at that statement.
“Ah, uhm… those legendary dragons refers to dragons which were absurdly strong in the age of the past.”
As Leonhart echoed her words dumbly, Pale began to explain. She raised her fingers in order as she explained,
“A, according to literature, in the dragon era in the past, there was a dragon king who was known as the strongest, and several strong dragons who are said to have followed him.”
Pale then raised her second finger,
“They are the Four Great Saint Dragons and Eight Great Spirit Dragons, who played major roles during the wars of that era. Although most of them didn’t seem to survive to this day…”
“I see… so you are familiar with the history of dragons?”
“Ah, yes. There are books in Kalar’s Settlement which contain old records that only the chief of the settlement was allowed to access, and when I became chief, since I stayed inside all the time, well…”
“…Is it really okay to tell me all that?”
“…Le, Le, Leonhart-san should be fine, I think…”
Why are you stuttering there then? I don’t feel reassured at all… was what Leonhart thought, but he decided to leave it aside. What he needed to think about was the information she told him based on ancient records.
…The Four Great Saint Dragons and Eight Great Spirit Dragons, huh… it would be fun if I got a chance to fight them.
Such was Leonhart’s excitement, as he had high expectations regarding their strength.
It was easy to imagine that they were definitely strong, judging by their names and the fact they were so well respected, especially among dragons. He could also imagine the satisfaction he would get if he had the chance to fight one.
Leonhart couldn’t help but feel disappointed to learn that none of those strong dragons managed to survive until this era. Perhaps one or two of them still existed somewhere, but he couldn’t expect them to be at their peak power.
However, it was still valuable information nonetheless.
“…Thank you for telling me.”
“! Nnnnoooo! I, it’s okay! I, I, if it’s for Leonhart-san, I can tell you anything!”
…Is she really okay?
Leonhart began to worry as Pale’s voice, which was usually a little shaky and nervous, seemed to quiver even more. Maybe she’s getting colder, as we climb higher?But she didn’t seem in bad shape either, so I think she’s still okay. With that decided, he focused on the matter at hand for now.
…Well, if I manage to find one, let’s try to fight it anyways.
He thought about how else to find out the fate of those dragons.. Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask Camilla or Shichisei about it once he returned. Unfortunately, it was doubtful if they would really tell him, and he could easily imagine their disgusted expression as he asked them, so it might be a dead end.
“…Let’s end our chat here. For now, let’s—”
Get going, were the words that Leonhart was about to speak.
He suddenly felt a massive presence approaching and stopped talking.
“Ah, Leonhart-san — eh, kyaaah?!”
Leonhart suddenly grabbed the collar of Pale’s clothes, and threw her back towards her hiding space without saying anything.
The next moment, a torrent of light from the sky blasted Leonhart.
Leonhart, who received a direct hit, somehow managed to draw his Orpheil and successfully cut the impact.
However, even as his sword held up against the blast, he had to put in considerable effort to stand his ground.
…It’s heavy…! What an absurd strength…!
Although he managed to cut the impact, the inducing shockwave could very well blow his sword away if he wasn’t careful. Even as Leonhart exerted his strength, he still let out grunts of agony as he tried to resist it. The very impact he cut off split and gouged the ground and scattered destruction all around.
And as the dust settled down, Leonhart saw the incoming foe.
A big shadow landed on the ground of the Rising Dragon Mountain. The impact alone was enough to send the air whizzing past Leonhart’s head.
It was a dragon — but its size greatly differed from the dragons which had attacked Leonhart until now.
The dragon’s body was definitely more than fifty meters in length. The giant dragon had a body covered in shining white scales which reflected the sunlight and almost blinded Leonhart.
…It sure is stupidly huge…!
Leonhart thought: Did I hit the jackpot?
As Leonhart looked at the giant dragon, whose size looked comparable to that of a small mountain’s, Leonhart’s blank face morphed to reveal his excited smile. From the dragon’s perspective, Leonhart should be pretty tiny.
The giant dragon spoke out with its huge face toward that tiny Leonhart.
“—Fuhn, I did expect you wouldn’t be a normal human, but your presence… you should be a majin, right?”
It was a quiet voice. A voice filled with reason and intellect. At the same time, Leonhart could feel the strength of the dragon’s voice. And Leonhart was also surprised as he heard those sentences. After all, it was the first time he met a dragon who was capable of speech.3
Even as Leonhart was dumbfounded for a moment, he immediately regained his composure and spoke out.
“Aah, I am Majin Leonhart. —What about you?”
Leonhart introduced himself briefly and asked back.
Then the other party also gave his name.
“I am Raizen, a diamond dragon. And also — I was known as one of Four Great Saint Dragons way back in the past.”
The dragon was more capable of normal speech than Leonhart expected. Moreover, Raizen even saved Leonhart some time and gave him extra information.
Following that, Leonhart replied with a smile.
“What a coincidence. I’m also known as one of the Four Elite Majin and the Demon Army Officer. I guess our standings should be quite similar?”
The giant dragon nodded back.
“Then let me say this to you, Majin Leonhart — how dare you invade our land and slaughter so many of my brethren?”
At that moment, the dragon’s violent pressure struck Leonhart like a sledgehammer.
None of the dragons Leonhart met emitted great pressure comparable to Raizen. That was the proof of the uniqueness of this dragon among the rest of the dragons. It was a display of power that told Leonhart that Raizen was truly strong. A normal human would lose their fighting will facing such a dragon, and it wouldn’t be weird for them to be knocked unconscious by the sheer pressure, either.
…I see. It seems his claim as one of the Four Great Saint Dragons isn’t a lie.
However, Leonhart wasn’t normal either. The current world was dominated by majin, and as one of Four Elite Majin, this level of pressure wasn’t enough to deter him.
“I’m sorry about that. I came here to conquer this mountain, you see. As for your brethren… you know, right? They came all the way to attack me on their own.”
That’s why, continued Leonhart impertinently,
“I just came to climb the mountain. —That’s why, I can let you go if you step aside, you know?”
Raizen was lost for words for a moment. His eyes went wide as his thought process was completely stalled by the arrogant words of this majin. Despite being alone in dragon territory, this majin had the gall to offer Raizen an escape, as if the majin was the superior existence.
However, Raizen quickly analyzed those words and understood what the majin meant, so he also opened his mouth slightly to reveal a bit of his fangs.
That expression was something that could be described as a smile.
“—Don’t make me laugh. You don’t even have such intentions to begin with… then, I’ll extend the offer to you as well, since you were so kind. I can also let you go if you immediately climb down this mountain, you know?”
Leonhart shrugged his shoulders.
“Stop with that joke. You also have no intention to let me go away peacefully, right?”
“—Indeed. You seem to understand it well.”
“In that case,” continued Raizen, as he lowered himself into a lunge position,
“Then you should know what will happen even without me saying it — I will have a deathmatch with you. Of course, you won’t mind, right?”
Leonhart nodded as he wielded his sword.
“—That’s my line. I will turn you into nothing more than the rust of my blade.”
Both of them took their respective fighting stances.
—It took but a moment later for them to clash.
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