Chapter 241: Past battle
After we finished our rest in the thirtieth-floor boss room, we descended to the thirty-first floor.
“The map won’t be useful from here. And there will probably be enemy attacks that take advantage of this darkness. Let’s proceed with caution.”
“Luciel-sama, what shall we do for lighting?”
“Well, we can recognize where each of us are and a light may end up drawing monsters. Furthermore, by increasing the tension a little more, I feel like I can grasp the movements of my enemies through the tingling sensation on my skin.”
In that way, our real exploration began.
We slaughtered the monsters that crawled out of the darkness and disabled traps as we completed the map of the floor.
Naturally, during our exploration, we had to fight monsters, encountered dead ends and monster rooms so it took some time but it helped to raise my tension.
I don’t think anything had changed dramatically just by being conscious of the monsters.
Nevertheless, I felt that by detecting presences and magical power as well as the murderous intent from the monsters, I could gradually link the attack timings into a mental image.
By doing so, I felt that I could synergize with the movement of everyone and consciously see my surroundings properly to make appropriate movements.
As I was concentrating, we apparently reached the fortieth-floor and we stood before the fortieth-floor boss room.
“It’s already the fortieth floor?”
“It might feel that way since Luciel-sama was concentrating quite hard. However, even though your body is all right, you might make a wrong judgment if you are too tense.”
“Then let’s rest in this room.”
“Let’s brace ourselves.”
After Kefin pushed open the door, we entered the boss room cautiously and that’s when we discovered a countless number of turtles like the buzzy beetles that appear in Mario.
“Ah, those are Turtle Helmet Bombs.”
“You know about them?”
“Yes. I’ve heard that the characteristic of Turtle Helmet Bombs is that their carapace is tough and it can even repel magic. But they also have a weakness, they can hardly move and they will self-destruct the instant they receive the slightest of injury.”
“Then, they won’t be much of a threat?”
“That’s right. Normally it wouldn’t be an issue as one would just throw something from a distance and make them self-destruct. But with this number, if we make a single one explode, it will cause a chain detonation which will likely be quite terrible.”
I tried to imagine a scenario after hearing Kefin’s insight. If we just have to deal with the blast wave, I determined that it should be no problem if I apply Area Barrier on Lionel, have him protect us with his large shield and I continuously cast heal.
However, if the blast is accompanied by flames, the temperature of this boss room will drastically rise and we might not be able to endure it.
“Do you have any ideas?”
“Yeah. This is unexpected.”
“Lionel, can I leave the defense to you?”
“Of course. But what is your idea?”
“Ah. There’s a high chance I reach magical power depletion but I’ll create an ice wall. Everyone, please retreat to the entrance.”
Everyone immediately followed my instructions and retreated to the entrance.
“Lionel, there’ll be an explosion so please brace yourself.”
“Kefin, aim for any of them.”
“Okay. This distance is fine.”
I returned my illusionary sword to its cane form and channeled magical power into the cane as I gave out orders.
“We’ll go with brute force. Can you aim for a monster that is further away?”
“Yes, it’s possible.”
“Then, I’ll give the signal so once you do your throw, immediately move to my and Lionel’s back. I’d like everyone to standby in a straight line too.”
After I cast Area Barrier, I gave Kefin the signal.
On my signal, Kefin threw a dagger and grazed the feet of one of the Turtle Helmet Bombs.
Maybe they are actually quite weak? I thought but I believed Kefin’s information and constructed the ice wall.
“Water Dragon, build an ice wall to protect us from all sides, block all attacks.”
My magical power was shaved away in an instant and the moment a thick wall of ice sprung up, I heard the sound of an explosion occur far away, followed by a chain of explosions like firecrackers.
To be safe, I built the ice wall with the image that it would self-repair to prevent it from breaking or melting, but there was no need for that as even after all the monsters self-destructed in less than a minute, the ice wall remained and didn’t melt at all.
“Dragon power sure is amazing.”
Lionel touched the ice wall and commented like he was impressed.
“Consequently, the magical power consumption is terrible though. This ice wall used 80% of my maximum magical power in an instant after all.”
“80% … No wonder.”
Lionel commented and pondered on it.
“Luciel-sama, it’s a little cold inside this wall nya. Please quickly dispel it nya.”
“I can dispel it anytime but after that many explosions, the room might still be in flames so we would be hit by a heat wave if I dispelled it now.
“Can’t help it then nya.”
“By the way, doesn’t that robe have temperature control functions?”
“It did but it lost its function since a while back nya.”
“You should have let me know the moment you noticed it.”
I immediately passed her my Church white robe.
“I’ve not seen this robe for a long time nya. I’ll gladly borrow it nya.”
“Sure. Everyone too, if your equipment has issues, let me or Dolan know. We’ll do something about it.”
We passed time having such conversations and I dispelled the ice wall an hour later.
After that, I purified the room and we had our meals. In order to accelerate my magical power recovery, I took a short nap.
“Where is this?”
I would usually wake up after my stamina had recovered when I use the Angel’s Pillow but this time the place I woke up to was not normal.
Even though I should have fallen asleep in the labyrinth, I was now standing in a place surrounded by mountains.
While I was perplexed about the situation, I heard a voice from behind me.
“Don’t be alarmed. This is still in your dreams, I have merely guided your consciousness here.”
When I turned back, I saw Estia … the Darkness Spirit residing in her body.
“What is it that you have to infiltrate my dreams?”
“I want to tell you about the Darkness Dragon sleeping in this labyrinth.”
“Darkness Dragon. Is it also a dragon that has received the curse of the Evil God?”
“Umu. If you wish to have a decent fight with the Darkness Dragon, you will not be able to subdue it unless you are as strong as Rainstar.”
“I don’t intend to fight it properly but what kind of Dragon is it?”
“You will understand when you see it after this. What can you tell by seeing this place?”
“Eh? Let me see~ If you ask me, it feels like a place near Rockford but am I correct?”
” … Now, I will show you the past. Think about how you can make the Darkness Dragon obediently accept the purification.”
“What do you mean?”
The Darkness Spirit looked up at the sky without answering my question.
I reluctantly looked up at the sky too and saw a jet-black dragon breathe out a breath attack from the sky.
I wanted to cast Area Barrier but I couldn’t utilize magic at all.
Not only that, I also realized that my body was transparent, which was when I became aware that I was truly inside a dream.
A slash of Light was released at the jet-black dragon which interrupted the dragon’s breath as it hit it squarely.
『Curses, who dares to attack me.』
Thick bloodlust that stung my skin fell over the area.
If this was the original power of a dragon, I realized that the dragons that I have met until now held back quite a lot so I thanked them in my heart as I saw a single young man flying in the sky.
It was without a doubt Sir Rainstar.
『Darkness Dragon, why do you destroy the world?』
『I have no need to answer a mere human.』
The Darkness Dragon said as it spat out a black purple breath at Sir Rainstar instead of at the earth surface.
The breath attack reached Sir Rainstar in an instant and swallowed him entirely before penetrating through the mountain peak behind him.
『That’s what you get for butting in when you are just a mere human.』
Then, as it was about to spit a breath attack at the earth surface, shining light the same size as the attack the Darkness Dragon released just now swallowed it.
When I turned to look at the origin from which the light flew from, I saw Sir Rainstar standing still in the air with not a single change on him.
I could tell that at that point of time, he was already beyond a normal human. That person was not the same living being as I am. That was the conclusion I came to.
『You bastard — You’re not a mere human!!』
Even though smoke was rising from the Darkness Dragon’s body, it didn’t look like it worked as it questioned Sir Rainstar.
『Yeah. Despite looking like this, I am a hero (provisional) after all. I had (unknowingly) defeated the Demon Lord so I am now getting people to work together and develop the land. And so, I’ll be troubled if you go around eradicating the land.』
『You say you defeated the Demon race’s King!! Then won’t that shake the balance of the world?』
『Well, it’s not like I eradicated the demon race. Moreover, I stretched a solid barrier so even though they can’t come over, the demon race should be prospering in the demon race’s land.』
『Once the world’s equilibrium has been broken, humans will definitely fight among themselves.』
『I won’t allow such a thing to happen as long as I am around. I want to create a world where children don’t see blood but instead compete for knowledge.』
『Show me if your resolve is the real deal. And think about the reason why I cause destruction from time immemorial.』
It was an extremely intense battle from then on.
Neither of them yielded in the mid to long range fight as Light and Darkness clashed without a victor.
That’s when Sir Rainstar made his move.
He drew his sword and perhaps he channeled magical power into it as the sword radiated light. And before I realized it, he appeared behind the Darkness Dragon.
The instant I spot his figure, blood spurted out from the Darkness Dragon.
Although I could tell that Sir Rainstar cut the Darkness Dragon, I totally failed to catch it.
And Sir Rainstar once again disappeared, maybe because he wanted to follow up with another attack.
But the Darkness Dragon wasn’t willing to take that without retaliating as the scales on its body actually started falling off one by one.
And those scales began rotating at high speed around the Darkness Dragon so that Sir Rainstar could not approach as the scales gradually picked up speed.
The battle continued for a long time before Sir Rainstar enlarged his shining sword and sent the Darkness Dragon crashing into the ground before he followed up with a barrage of magic cannons to decide the match.
And I realized that the mountain-sized depression in the ground was where Rockford stood in the future.
『In this world, I destroy while the Light Dragon recreates. And the other dragons give birth to new life, which is how we prevent this Galdardia from rotting.』
『Isn’t it boring to only destroy?』
『If I don’t destroy, the fellow races will kill each other, the planet will be shaved down, the world’s balance will break and the planet will lose its powers. Once that happens, there will not be an environment where life forms can survive for an extended period of time.』
『I am well aware of your concern. I cannot guarantee it to you but I will work hard to borrow knowledge from various races so that it will not result in that scenario and protect this world. That’s why could you please stop destroying?』
『It’s my loss. I will stop destroying the world while you are alive. However, if the world you envision does not happen, I will once again become the incarnation of destruction.』
『Then I shall work hard so that that won’t happen.』
Such a conversation happened between them.
“Luciel, the Darkness Dragon kept his promise with Rain and refrained himself from his destructive activities.”
“Can I ask why you showed me this past?”
“The Darkness Dragons does not know how to hold back. And it doesn’t like it if you don’t fight it fair and square. So if you hide and purify it, it will attack with a breath containing enough power to extinguish your physical body. I just wanted to tell you that.
” … Okay. I’ll think about how I can get it to recognize me and decide if I want to challenge it or not.”
“Luciel, I pray that you don’t make a decision that you will regret.”
The same time the Darkness Spirit said that, my consciousness surfaced and I woke up.
Confirming that it was the labyrinth ceiling that was reflected in my eyes, I spat out a deep sigh and pondered about the Darkness Dragon.
Thank you for reading.