Chapter 44: Dark Slash
[TLN- Keeping the pronoun of the ice dragon as He/His/Him.
Note that it can be female which is quite common.]
The Ice Dragon gathered an incredibly powerful magical energy deep in its throat and exhaled a freezing breath.
No matter how superior Luke’s abilities were, he would not survive a direct hit.
But he simply gazed at it calmly, as if it were just an ordinary day.
Then, with a slight grin on his lips, he activated a spell.
In less than a second, before the breath could hit him, Luke sensed the tremendous amount of magic contained in the breath and judged that he could absorb it without any problems.
The dark sun created from his right hand slowly rose into the sky.
As if drawn to it, the breath that the Ice Dragon exhaled unnaturally changed direction and was swallowed up by the black sun.
“How insignificant!! This means nothing!!”
The Ice Dragon exhaled its freezing breath once again.
But this time it was not aimed at Luke.
It was aimed at the black sun that devours everything.
However, it was slightly different from before.
It was narrower and more concentrated.
In an instant, the dark sun froze.
At that moment, Luke’s magic was broken.
Perhaps it was due to his knowledge as deep as the ocean, which was far beyond human comprehension, or perhaps it was due to his exceptional insight.
The Ice Dragon had seen the weakness of dark magic.
The weakness was that “there is a limit to the amount of magic that can be absorbed at once.”
That’s why the Ice Dragon exhaled a breath with even higher magic density.
“Indeed, magic power density is extremely important.
—Kukuku, Lloyd is amazing.”
“What are you talking about—”
“In that case, I should also concentrate my magic power in the core.
More concentrated, denser.
— ‘Extreme Dark Sun’.”
This is bad.
The Ice Dragon realized this instinctively.
It should be the same magic as before, but neither its breath nor any other magic it can use can break it.
For the Ice Dragon, it was almost like a conviction rather than just intuition.
In addition, the magic was crafted too quickly.
There was almost no lag time before Luke activated the new enhanced magic spell.
Therefore, there was no time to hesitate.
It had to decide what to do now before this Dark Sun absorbed the magical energy in the atmosphere and grew bigger.
Dragons are creatures that are terribly resistant to both physical and magical attacks.
Moreover, they possess amazing regenerative abilities, which makes them far superior to humans as a species.
The Ice Dragon chose to destroy the magic with its strong body.
It swung its tail like a whip, sharp and flexible like a spear, and cut the Dark Sun into pieces.
Instantly, it felt like its magical power was being rapidly drained away.
The Ice Dragon was shocked.
It lost so much magical energy from just a slight contact.
It had to avoid a direct hit at all costs.
“I see, the Dragon’s abnormal endurance is just as described in the literature.
Overwhelming physical or magical attacks are necessary to cause damage.
—If both, even better.”
Luke had a fierce grin on his face.
At that moment, the ice dragon finally understood.
The creature in front of him was a human, a lower species, yet he truly intended to kill him, a dragon.
The ice dragon couldn’t read Luke’s expression as a human could, but with his highly honed senses that were incomparable to humans, he realized this fact.
The moment he understood, a feeling that he hadn’t felt in a long time spread slowly like mist.
(…Could it be that I, myself, am feeling fear…?)
However, that fear was immediately covered up by another emotion, a burning fury.
For the ice dragon, the fact that they had even momentarily felt fear towards a mere human was unacceptable.
“You human scummm!!”
The ice dragon flapped its wings and accelerated.
“Kuku… Ahahaha!! As expected, fighting to the death… How wonderful!!”
While giving in to anger, the ice dragon closed in on Luke with rational thinking that he couldn’t let him use that magic.
In contrast, Luke also flapped his wings created by magic and directly confronted the dragon.
The sharp claws and fangs of the Ice Dragon clashed repeatedly with Luke’s sword.
A human and a dragon.
In terms of raw strength, it was clear as day who would win.
Scratches, bites, and tail swipes.
All of them would be fatal to a human, but only if they hit.
However, every attack was dodged and evaded.
No matter how fast or heavy the Ice Dragon’s strike was, it couldn’t land a direct hit.
Even breaths and magic were nullified by dark magic.
This stalemate was undoubtedly frustrating the Ice Dragon.
The frustration of being held up by a mere human.
But every time it received Luke’s increasingly sharp sword strikes, its emotions naturally faded away.
It had realized it from the first confrontation.
It had forcibly pushed down its anger and averted its eyes, but it could no longer say such things.
It couldn’t underestimate the existence of Luke as just a mere “human.”
Otherwise, it would be the one to die.
The Ice Dragon sensed this instinctively and recognized Luke as an equal opponent, deciding to stake its life on the battle.
In the Kingdom of Myrstia, where magic is supreme, the position of adventurers who have no relation to magic, comprising more than half of the population, is not a good one.
Therefore, it is only natural that excellent adventurers tend to flow out to other countries instead.
And so here in Gilbadia, there are only adventurers of A rank or lower.
Luke’s battle with the Ice Dragon was something that no one in this place could have imagined as a real scene.
A-rank adventurers are nothing but a selection of talented and outstanding senior adventurers.
But even beyond that, it was made clear that it was presumptuous to compare them with S-rank and X-rank adventurers who were truly chosen.
That battle made the viewer feel like they had wandered into a picture story world.
This was a battlefield where one should always be in combat mode, but most of the people had lowered their swords and were simply staring at it.
“Luke… just how far can you go?”
Abel was also one of them.
There was no other emotion.
He couldn’t even have the ordinary feeling of longing to someday become like that.
( —I can’t be like Luke.)
What he had was a conviction that “I cannot be like him.” However, that was not resignation.
It was a resolve and determination to walk his own path.
(I’m so far away now that I don’t even know how far away I am.
But… I want to catch up someday.
No matter how long it takes, someday, for sure…)
There was a vicious presence that reminded them of death nearby, but no one panicked or spoke.
It was all very quiet.
A cry of ecstatic joy echoed through the air.
All eyes turned to find the source of the voice.
And there, on top of the circular wall, they found Alfred.
He had been watching Luke’s fight with Claude, who refused to evacuate.
“…Uh, Alfred, what’s going on──“
“My lord!! Are you watching?! This is it!! This is the realm of God that I couldn’t reach!!”
Claude realized that even though Alfred had served his family for many years, he knew nothing about him.
Most magic is divided into “scale” and “speed,” and the caster’s magic power is allocated accordingly.
Most people unconsciously determine this ratio without realizing it.
Luke learned this fact while studying at Aslan Magic Academy.
However, he was even more free with his magic.
It was not something he had acquired through effort.
Just as everyone knows how to move their hands and feet without being taught, most things about magic can be done from the beginning.
Therefore, it can feel boring.
Luke developed a new magic called “Dark Wings” by greatly enhancing flight magic with dark magic.
With each flap, he absorbed magical energy from the atmosphere and transformed it all into “speed”.
As a result, Luke gained a speed that was incomparable to mere flight magic.
He could move at a speed that even the dragon, the king of the sky, couldn’t catch.
“Dodging my bite… Kuh!”
He dodged the ice dragon’s bite and slashed his wings in passing.
However, no matter how many times he slashed, the damage was minimal.
The dragon’s endurance was incredible.
He thought about using “Dark Gluttony”, but…
That was Luke’s last resort.
It was a heinous magic that could even swallow matter by sublimating the characteristic of absorbing magical energy.
However, this magic was still under development, and the burden on the body was immeasurable.
(…What a waste.
I won’t use magic.
I’ll definitely cut him down.
I’ve already seen through his movements.
It’s really monotonous and boring.
He’s just a monster after all.)
Luke had no intention of using “Dark Gluttony”.
He perfectly incorporated the unknown power that was different from the magical power into his sword and slashed the ice dragon.
That was what Luke aimed for.
His vague sensations until now were sharpened and became clear in the battle with the ice dragon.
It would be a waste to end it with magic.
Luke had been able to cut without this power until now.
No, it should be said that he had been cutting by chance.
But now he was facing a formidable opponent that he couldn’t truly cut.
He parried the attacks of the ice dragon’s claws and fangs with his sword.
He even parried the magic and breath attacks.
In the repeated exchanges, Luke steadily gained control of that power.
“Ah, this is it.”
The time had come.
Luke couldn’t accurately grasp the source of that power.
But even without understanding it, he was able to control it thanks to his devilish ingenuity.
This was like “magic that a warrior could handle.” He judged that understanding it to that extent was enough for now.
He immediately switched his consciousness and poured all his concentration into his sword.
The light converged on Luke’s sword, and…
Since the start of the battle, the most blood spurted from the ice dragon’s tough body.
“Hahaha! Finally, I did it! This is great! Oh, that’s right, let’s mix it up!”
It was just an idea.
Luke thought of mixing dark magic with the special skill he had just learned.
The tremendous magic resistance of the ice dragon.
Luke thought that it was like having a “magic barrier” on its body.
So, if he wrapped it in darkness, it would be good.
The light that had been concentrated on the sword was stained black.
Without understanding how advanced the technique was, Luke had accomplished it.
The ice dragon tasted a pain it had never felt in about two hundred years and fell to the ground writhing in agony.
“More! Let’s go more and more!”
Once he had grasped that feeling, it was as natural to Luke as his arms and legs.
A bigger light was concentrated on the sword than before, and it was stained black.
The swung sword was a divine and speedy two-hit slash.
And then, a divine and speedy three-hit slash.
The ice dragon screamed while scattering fresh blood.
Luke, who was smeared with its blood, grinned and laughed from the bottom of his heart.
Once again, light was concentrated on the sword.
It grew even bigger and more ominous.
“W-w-wait! Wait, please!”
Luke’s sword stopped just before striking.
The tremendous gust of wind blew away the dust that had been swirling around the area.
“…What are you trying to do?”
“I-I-I fully… su-surrender…”
With its head down on the ground and its limbs and tail curled up as small as possible, it represented the dragon’s utmost respect.
──It was a pose of submission.
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