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Chapter 076 – Song of Dragons [B]
Raizen’s voice leaked out. But it wasn’t out of anger.
It was in praise of Leonhart’s fearless behavior.
The majin was currently riding on his back, grabbing onto the bulge at the base of his neck.
That seemingly too close and dangerous behavior had hindered the dragon’s actions.
The reason for that was,
…A dragon’s limbs can’t reach their backs…!
Due to the physical structure of the dragon species, the range of motion for their limbs wasn’t wide, and they were unable to touch their own backs the way humans could.
Therefore, Raizen couldn’t attack an opponent who was stuck to his back like that. This was a completely different situation from being attacked from behind. After all, he could just turn around for that.
…Unless I can shake him off, I can’t attack him…!
Therefore, Raizen tried a different method to force the majin off his back.
They were at the Rising Dragon Mountain, Raizen’s hometown, after all. He ran toward the wall of the mountain,
He slammed his back against the rocky surface with all his might.
At that moment, the shock and vibration reverberated as the wall was scraped again.
Then Raizen noticed that the weight on his back was gone.
In that case,
…Where did he go?!
Even as Raizen looked around to confirm, he couldn’t find the majin anywhere on the wall.
In that case, he tried to search for Leonhart’s presence,
“—You’re too slow to notice.”
Raizen felt a chill. The voice came from below.
The majin had once again moved under his chin,
…So that was what he was aiming for…!
Raizen tried to get away from the spot — but it was too late.
Before he could move, the voice of the majin reached his ear.
“Eat another one!!”
The majin struck his sword at Raizen’s reverse scale once again.
It was the pain from before and on the same spot. Moreover, it was a stronger attack than before.
Despite his severe pain, Raizen realized what had just happened.
…There were three simultaneous attacks…!
His opponent had become even more powerful.
Leonhart could feel that his strength had grown through the fierce battle.
He had no idea whether his opponent had realized that fact. It was practically a surprise attack, so subtle that it was hard to be seen objectively.
However, Leonhart was convinced when he saw his opponent. There was nothing he could use to confirm it. It was an uncertain thing, kind of like a hunch.
But the dragon should have realized it. Even without seeing it, he should have known from the degree of the wound.
Looking up, Leonhart could see the dragon screaming. Blood flowed from his mouth that shouted in pain, and was splattered around as the dragon shook his face. But still,
…So you won’t fall down yet!
Leonhart had certainly dealt damage to Raizen. The attack he had dealt to the dragon’s head should be especially severe.
Such things were clear from the dragon’s appearance, since Raizen was screaming in spite of himself as he tried to endure the pain.
Even so, he wouldn’t fall down. He could still fight. And, in that case, there was no reason to stop the battle. Therefore, Leonhart wielded his sword again and said,
“…Take another one!”
Leonhart jumped up and unleashed another set of simultaneous slashes directed at the reverse scale.
But, at that moment,
The dragon turned his eyes toward Leonhart. They were red, bloody beast-like eyes. The moment Raizen’s gaze landed on him, Leonhart felt a tremendous chill. It was an unpleasant premonition for an experienced fighter.
At the same time that Leonhart began to feel this sense of danger, the dragon started behaving strangely.
It was from within the dragon’s mouth that was stained red with blood. A torrent of light started leaking out from inside his closed mouth. It was one of the most powerful weapons boasted by all of the dragon species, without exception.
And the dragon was trying to unleash it from inside his tightly closed jaw.
…He’s trying to unleash a breath with his mouth closed?! Is he an idiot?!
Is this some sort of joke? thought Leonhart. From Leonhart’s perspective, what the dragon was trying to do now was no different than trying to self-destruct. Therefore he called out to him, because he wasn’t going to allow this battle to end that way,
“What are you…?!”
“Fuh… I guess you don’t know this after all.”
Raizen revealed a thin smile at Leonhart’s question. Then, with heartfelt words, he explained,
“There were some races among the dragon species that possessed powerful traits. There were those who could reflect magic, those who grew stronger the more injured they became, and many other variations. —And I also possess a certain trait.”
Raizen said this with a smile. His body was shining,
“…Mine is Excessive Conduction. It is something that can be activated when I receive a certain type of attack — and that includes my own attacks.”
The dragon spread his wings as he stood up.
As he unleashed his breath,
The dragon’s body shone and he roared.
Hunty, who was watching the battle from a safe distance, spoke with a quivering voice when she saw the dragon roaring, illuminated in light.
As Ssulal looked on in amazement, she proceeded to ask Hunty,
“Do you know what that was?”
“…I know a bit. Just what I’ve heard, though.”
Everyone watching the battle started paying attention when they heard Hunty’s words. Even as everyone’s gazes were focused on Hunty, she kept her own gaze focused on the dragon while she explained,
“It’s Excessive Conduction. It is Raizen’s trait, and it allows him to temporarily strengthen himself when he receives a certain type of attack that he is resistant to.”
“…A certain type of attack, is it?”
Carol tilted her head in confusion. Hunty proceeded to list them.
“Attacks that use the thunder element, the light element, or the fire element. This includes magic, and any other form of attack associated with those elements.”
“…Doesn’t that mean—”
“That’s right,” said Hunty as she nodded at Ssulal’s words. Ssulal understood what Hunty was trying to explain. Basically, one of the attacks that could be included within that scope would be,
“Breath is also included in those —Raizen can render even the breath of the dragon species ineffective, and use it to strengthen himself.”
“And that includes his own breath too… huh.”
Leonhart stood in place and looked up at the dragon.
The giant dragon, who was big enough to fill his entire field of vision, was now glowing and radiating heat.
Leonhart couldn’t take his eyes off of it. It was so incredibly,
Overwhelming, the power in front of him was.
He could even say he was fascinated by it.
It was a serious error for a warrior to be so distracted during combat.
But it couldn’t be helped. There was no way he couldn’t stop and show his respect in front of such an awe inspiring existence.
It felt as if his imagination from his younger days had taken form in the shape of the legendary dragon in front of him. The dragon shone brightly in the darkness of the night, and Leonhart could clearly see the majesty in his appearance.
Meanwhile, the dragon spoke out.
“—Sorry to keep you waiting.”
“I see,” said the dragon, as he nodded generously. Then he proceeded to look at Leonhart,
“This is the most power I can muster at the moment.”
Basically, this would mean that, from now on,
“—Is it okay?”
—Their final battle had begun.
Leonhart took a breath. The warrior tremble felt too uplifting for him.
…So I’ll be fighting this — nah, I’ve fought against this…
He could take on the adversary in front of him. He had the chance to overcome this.
And, in that case, there was no way he would miss this chance.
The dragon gathered power in his four limbs.
Neither he nor his opponent had made it this far without injury. Both of them were damaged and blood was still flowing freely from their wounds.
However, there was no agony in their expressions.
Both of them had long forgotten about their pain and revealed fearless smiles toward their opponent.
Leonhart wielded the sword in his hands. The dragon lowered his posture.
Leonhart kicked the ground, so did the dragon.
Leonhart raised his face and ran at the dragon with his unbreakable spirit. The dragon roared at the majin and showed his presence.
Then a moment later.
The majin and the dragon clashed.
Raizen jumped forward.
He leaped toward his opponent, moving beyond the speed of sound.
His physical ability was incomparable to before.
He now exceeded the majin in every way. That was how tremendous the effect of strengthening was.
Therefore, when they clashed, the majin was sent flying as a result.
The majin attempted to counter, but the dragon forcefully made his attack, reaching the majin through brute force.
After the majin was sent flying, he quickly got to his feet, recovered his stance, and moved on.
At that time, a slash was sent toward the dragon’s eye. Raizen could feel the gaze of the majin that tried to pierce through him like a blade.
…What a good fighting spirit.
The pressure unleashed from the majin’s gaze was comparable to that of his compatriots who once fought alongside him, and it was enough to affect him.
Therefore, Raizen raised his speed in response.
Nobody could stop him anymore. He wouldn’t allow himself to be stopped. His assault would smash everything in his path and lead him to victory.
It was good to compare skills, and he wouldn’t deny his opponent the use of tricks or aces in holes.
However, he would reign supreme in a direct comparison of power. Whose power was superior, his or his opponent? There was no way he wouldn’t get heated up by that question. It was a true and innocent feeling, like that of a child. If one dared to run away from it, they would deny themselves of being a man.
The dragon asked himself, When did I last go all out like this?
However, before he would come up with an answer, there was a movement in the corner of his vision.
The majin had started to run. He was moving sideways while watching Raizen closely.
Raizen didn’t know what Leonhart was trying to do, but he would crush everything that came at him regardless.
And he went.
The dragon raised his speed to the maximum. Then he made use of his four limbs to continue hunting the majin.
With that thought, he shook his right leg, slamming his foot toward the ground.
But it didn’t hit anything.
And then his right foot connected with the earth below. At that moment,
He stepped right through the ground where his right foot had crashed down. As his foot was buried in rock, he turned his gaze to the majin.
“…So you weakened the ground with your sword!”
He uttered such words to the majin who was approaching him at high speed.
When Leonhart saw the dragon’s right foot buried into the mountain, he realized his trick was successful.
Earlier, he had used simultaneous slashes to create a crack in the ground and then tricked the dragon into stepping through it.
…The foothold here is not absolute, you know…!
After all, he had gotten caught in it when the ground collapsed a few days ago. Well, it was more like he jumped directly into it though.
Going further away from the mountain road increased the likelihood of encountering a collapse. But this was a very small part of the whole Rising Dragon Mountain. Considering how much they had rampaged earlier, there was no way such a place could withstand it.
And this would temporarily stop the dragon’s movement. That was the important part.
Leonhart approached the dragon’s chin at high speed and,
“There, eat another one!”
Leonhart unleashed a series of simultaneous slashes aimed at the reverse scale.
He slashed three times each instant.
He hit the reverse scale like before, and the impact penetrated inside.
As Leonhart watched, the dragon roared again,
“Get it cut already! Or be crushed!!”
Leonhart raised his voice. But at that point,
“It won’t be crushed yet…!”
The dragon shouted as he freed his right foot from the trap.
“You’re the one who will break…!”
The dragon swung his right foot again.
Since the dragon was now trying to slash at Leonhart with the sharp claws on the tips of his feet,
“—If it’s a competition of swords, then I won’t lose!!” 1
Leonhart deflected the claws with his sword. Raizen’s right foot smashed back down into the ground, the impact shaking the mountain road.
The dragon, on the other hand, roared.
Even though he mostly fought by depending on his scales,
“It’s not like I’m bad at handling my claws either!”
This time, it was the left claw that came.
As Leonhart deflected it away,
“I’m used to dealing with claws…! Just like how I’m used to fighting against dragons!”
The dragon raised his body up. Then he started to gain momentum, as if to trample the majin,
“Compared to any dragon you’ve ever fought… I’m still stronger!!” 2
The dragon rushed.
Kesselring could feel the ground shaking beneath her as the dragon made a series of attacks.
As she felt the earth rumbling, she squeaked,
“No good, the mountain road is going to collapse…!”
“Uoh, seriously? We should move a bit farther away then.”
Following Galtia, who responded first, everyone started to move to a place nearer to the cave on the mountain side.
They felt the tremors again, and Pale was frightened by it.
“Kyaah–?! I-I don’t want to fall from the mountain again—?!”
“…But why don’t you just fall then? Perhaps Leonhart will go and save you again.”
“No, he is busy fighting so he can’t?!”
Pale turned around vigorously at Ssulal’s harsh proposal. Pale was still screaming, but Kesselring could understand her feelings.
…This is because of that experience.
Kesselring could detect the aftershocks perfectly. Unlike before, Kesselring now had the strength of a majin and might be able to survive the fall, but it was better to not get caught in it to begin with.
And if Kesselring were to trust her senses,
“That place will only last a few more seconds at most…”
A few seconds after Kesselring muttered that.
As they all looked on, in the spot where Leonhart’s sword and Raizen’s claw had clashed,
The collapse occurred.
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