Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 1: Dragon-san Battles Demon-sama
I have been waiting a long time for this.
Let us begin the “Magic Stone” chapter!
I am a dragon.
The black scales covering my body are harder than any metal know in this world, and my fangs and nails are sharper than any blade.
My golden eyes can spot even the smallest of details from miles away, my sense of smell is next to none, and my ears can pick up even the most faintest of sounds.
I can even use magic, a mysterious force that can manipulate the laws and fabric of this world, freely. As you can clearly see, the title of the strongest of the living creatures is not all that baseless.
None of the above change when I take my humanoid form, I might add.
Well, technically the levels of magic I am able to use is fairly limited in my human form, but the physical strength and abilities remain on the dragon level. Silver lining.
The way in which I move in my human form is different from my dragon one, but it is no problem for me, since during my previous life I was your plain and ordinary human, University student to be exact, back on Earth.
With all of the above, it is only natural that every living creature recognizes our superiority, and none dares to put that state of affairs into question.
Still, there are some who like to challenge our authority from time to time.
I was currently on the training ground of The Hunters Guild in the capital city of Barrow, and all around me Spring was in full bloom. There, disguised as the Hunter Noct, I was doing some light exercises.
I carefully check the movement of my body, and correct any error that I happen to come across.
After all, the center of gravity was totally different for men and female, so I had to constantly keep that in mind.
I was wearing a set of black armor, Noct’s signature equipment.
It is lighter than any ordinary Adventurer’s armor, but every single pieces was reinforced, so its defensive capability was on par with the heaviest of armors.
Depending on my mood I would sometimes also wear a cape, but for today I decided not to do that.
Sometimes it would help me to blend in the crowd and resemble ordinary humans, but for today there was no reason for me to do that.
I carefully surveil my surroundings and gently try to relax.
It was a training ground owned by the Guild, but all of the Guild staff were somewhere else at the moment, seemingly being busy.
They were busy preparing themselves to cast a spell.
Once cast by several Guild magicians, the spell slowly erected a shock-resistant barrier along the training ground’s surface.
“Can you hear me? We have now completed the experimental strategic magical barrier. Right now it is small in size, but it should be able to withstand even the most powerful of magical attacks. We want to try and test its endurance, so please try to destroy it.”
I could hear the voices of researchers, making final adjustments to the barrier.
They were going at it from early morning, and it took them almost an hour to start up the blasted thing, seemingly all because of its strength and complexity.
I was wondering if it was truly okay to do this without waiting for Nectar, so I sent a message to Ligurila, who was watching from some distance away.
“Ligurila, the rules are just like we agreed.”
“Of course, all according to human standards when it comes to strength and endurance. Magic is also limited to the abilities of humans. I have heard it so many times before that I practically got it memorized. More importantly, are you ready? I’m ready to go at any time.”
Ligurila’s expression was a mixture of both excitement an irritation, as if she was impatient to do something she was not able to do in a long while.
I’m sorry for making you wait such a long time for this, even though I was the one who suggested this battle in the first place.
Besides, when the news about the battle spread, there were whole lot of people coming here to visit the place, some of those people unrelated to staff members and researchers.
Most of those people were Hunters whom I recognized from the Guild’s joint exercises, but for some reason there were a whole lot of women of various ages.
Yup, I have absolutely no idea why.
I smile bitterly, and then I can see Aru coming right in front of the barrier.
「Noct-san! Onee-sama! Do your best, both of you!!」
He waves his hand at us with his eyes glittering, and seeing that I try to calm myself down.
Umu, I must do my best and act all cool since my child is here to watch me!
Then, I send a quick nod to both Nectar and Senjiro, who remained in the vicinity and were on alert (mainly for security reasons).
When they saw my nod, they retreated to a safe distance, signaling the beginning of the duel. In the next moment, Ligurila quickly picked up a whip that was hanging from her waist.
At the same time I heard the sound of something tearing in the sky, and a moment after that I was able to pick up several magical patterns all around me.
It looks like she wanted to come at me with everything she had from the very beginning.
Being perfectly aware of that, I drew the sword that was resting at my waist.
I was pretty confident in my own swordsmanship.
I was having Senjiro train me in the way of the sword which comes from his home country, as well as martial arts that they were teaching in the military, courtesy of Nectar. The combination of the two was proving to be quite effective.
Not to mention that with the enhanced senses of the dragon, I was virtually able to drive any kind of opponent into the mud with little to no effort.
However, since Ligurila was in the Guild for far longer than I, not to mention the experience accumulated over the years, her combat skills were far superior to mine.
Even if we were equal on the physical level, the only real way for me to win with her was to overwhelm her with my superior magic ability.
No matter who rigorous the training or the natural abilities of any creature, they were all pretty much obsolete when it comes to magic, which was able to adapt and counter any opponent in any given situation.
But when you are a dragon, this advantage was increased even further, since we were basically walking vortexes of pure magical power.
The moment she starts to cast a spell, I will immediately know what kind of a spell it is.
No matter how powerful or clever, if I can counter it, it’s my win!
When I notice it, I can come up with a countermeasure and attack with my own spell, completely negating her own!
So, when it comes to a serious match with Ligurila limited to human spells ––––
Ligurila fires a dozen of magical bullets in my direction, and I cut each and every one of them down with my sword.
The bullets in my direct trajectory are incapacitated, but Ligurila was already preparing another salvo.
I cut with my sword to the right, letting the sword’s momentum to pull me away from them, but they suddenly changed direction and hit my left arm.
Ligurila stroke with her whip, and when she did she could freely manipulate the trajectory of her spells!
My armor managed to absorb most of the impact, but still I could feel the painful blow resonating through my arm.
I somehow managed to retain my stance, and tried to back off a little bit, just so I could protect my injured arm.
Seeing that, Ligurila smiled in nasty manner, and jumped forward to close the distance between us, at the same time swinging with her whip at me.
I tried to block it with my sword, and our weapons clashed violently.
I positioned myself to try and protect my injured arm, but Ligurila answered with a barrage of swings, intent on not giving me any space to breathe.
If I lost my concentration here or lowered my guard, I would be pulverized in an instant.
But even though I was managing to deflect her attacks, I was feeling each and every blow in both my knees and hands.
We changed our positions, we moved around, and our exchanges were becoming longer and longer.
In time, we stopped hearing any noise from outside the barrier, and eventually it became the world in which only the two of us were present, and nothing else mattered.
It wasn’t so bad after all, devoting myself to the fight like that.
From where was the next blow going to come from?
Top? Bottom? Or maybe from the side?
Over the years we had hundreds of fights like that, but with each new one Ligurila was becoming better, forcing me into corner more and more.
For me, as a dragon, it was fresh feeling, one that was quite intense.
At some point I decided to put some distance between us and disengage, and so I parried one of Ligurila’s blows and kicked her to the stomach, sending her flying backwards.
Ligurila fails to defend from my kick, and lets out a painful grunt from the sudden shock.
However, this short moment allowed her to cast a spell.
In the next moment, a pillar of ice was erected right under my feet, thick as an adult man’s arm.
I managed to avoid some of them by jumping into the air.
However, Ligurila continued to erect the ice pillars from the ground, and eventually some of them managed to hit their target.
Normally, one hit with a pillar like that would be enough to kill a normal person.
Thinking that it hit way too close for comfort, I fell back onto the ground and shook my sword vigorously.
I said the ancient words and clouds of flames began to appear out of thin air, melting the ice that was attacking me.
At the same time, clouds of vapor began to rise all over the training ground.
The visibility became next to zero, but I could still sense where she was.
I jumped towards Ligurila with all of my might.
Suddenly, a water blade flies from inside of the hanging mist.
I deflected the blade and jumped in the direction that the blade originally came from.
But just before I swung my sword, I realized that something was wrong and that my sword would not reach Ligurila at all.
Just as I expected, I cut through a decoy made out of water and I stood in the fast growing puddle. Then another water blade came at me, and I dodged it by rolling to the side.
While breathing heavily and being covered in mud all over, I somehow managed to calm myself enough to form a spell.
Then, once the steam cleared, I could see the real Ligurila who was holding a spear instead of a whip, and that she also finished chanting her own spell.
「Aqua Blade Dance!」
No, wait, that magical power!!
I let out that scream because I realized that she was suddenly coming at me with everything she had, busting out the most powerful spells at her disposal.
I look at Ligurila, and in her eyes I can see the expression like this cannot be helped and just roll with it.
Hmmm~. Oh well, what real choice do I have……?
While I was thinking that, a huge vortex of water blades began to approach me.
However, I was ready for it.
I spoke the spell, and a huge wall of fire was erected right in front of me.
But, since Ligurila’s spell was of higher caliber, it managed to cut through the wall with ease. I did, however, manage to change its course.
Another wall of steam rose from the clashing spells, and from behind of it I could hear the sound of another spell that Ligurila was ready-ing. I had really bad feeling about that one.
She lashed her whip at me again, invoking the spell with the speed of the sound.
I quickly cast the spell, and right after that chains of dark energy rose from the ground and bound Ligurila in place.
Even though Ligurila was unable to move, the fighting spirit was not gone from her eyes. Still, the battle was approaching its final stage.
Her crimson lips arched into a smile.
The spell that she just activated, it was an ice storm of absolute zero, freezing everything it touched on its way.
Seeing how I was wet all over, Ligurila’s spell was especially dangerous to me. Even a slight touch would be fatal for me.
That Ligurila, it was almost equivalent to a suicide attack!
Sensing that the temperature around me was rapidly dropping, I dissolved the chain that was still connected to Ligurila and again tried to put some distance between us.
Next I thrust my sword into the ground and formed the spell.
I shouted, and both Ligurila and I were surrounded by a whirlpool of infernal flames, that melted the ice and the atmosphere shifted from cold to hot in matter of seconds.
When I shifted my gaze up, I found out that Ligurila was swaying on her feet, barely able to stand.
「N, not yet, I can still go on…… Unyah!」
「Right, it’s over.」
I put my hand on Ligurila’s forehead, trying to ease her temper a bit.
I honestly think that sometimes we were really going too far with those duels of ours, forgetting that they were mainly meant to be “fun and games” for the most part.
If we were really going to continue this fight, both of use would need to be ready to sustain some grievous injuries, or even put our lives at stake.
But above all, if we went all out, our surroundings would turn into barren wasteland.
And unsurprisingly, more often than not the resulting damages would be Ligurila’s fault.
「Uggh, this time it is also my loss. Why does it always happen!? Why can’t I win!?」
「That faint with a water blade was good, though. Because the following spells were so flashy. One might even call it a foul play, but I’m not complaining when it comes to magic.」
「Oh my, but wasn’t the original goal of this duel to try and test the durability of the barrier? And since I had a few powerful spells up my sleeve, I thought it would be a waste not to use them.」
「First time I ever heard about it.」
I try to drop a heavy chop onto Ligurila, who was still talking.
Seeing that, Ligurila was unwilling to try to block it, but he she has gone too far now to try to back down. She blocked my chop with a swing of her whip.
There was a high-pitched noise, and in that moment I looked in the same direction in which Ligurila was looking.
Then I could see the audience moving away from the barrier as fast as they could.
We could also see the researchers who were looking in agony at the web of cracks which was forming upon the barrier’s surface as a result of magic raging inside of it.
Besides, blizzards and firestorms don’t go all that well with each other.
I broke into cold sweat seeing the clash of blizzard and a storm of fire, which naturally upon impact shifted into an explosion of hot steam which shattered the barrier into tiny pieces right in front of my eyes.
After that, I started to work even harder at the Guild, as a way for compensation for destroying the barrier that the researchers worked so hard to build.