Volume 8 Chapter 6 Part 5
I waved my staff and tried to repel the enemy’s attack in the middle of an incantation. But the attack slipped past my staff and hit my Magic Veil. But I didn’t care.
I cast Drain Bullet in succession, and swung my staff again, aiming for the next attack. This time I blocked it. But there was no Critical Counter.
My staff is sturdy and won’t break, but my own power is, of course, not even close to that of a Dwarf Dragon. Despite catching the attack, the attack still pushed me back, damaging my Magic Veil. But the power of the enemy’s attack was slightly diminished, and the mana consumption was a little lower.
I waved my staff while continuing to cast magic without stopping, so as not to slow down the speed of my mana recovery. Sometimes the staff blocked the enemy’s attack, sometimes it missed. More than often than not, though, it missed.
The rate of mana depletion was slowing down, but overall, it was still decreasing. At around the twentieth attack I blocked, I managed a Critical Counter.
Even with that, my staff was still pushed back. But the power had clearly decreased. The mana consumption from Magic Veil was only about ten percent of the usual amount as well. Taking advantage of the opening, I replenished even more of my mana.
“Drain Bullet. Drain Bullet. Drain Bullet.”
The Drain Bullets I cast this time hit before the next attack came, restoring the mana I had lost until now to almost full. If I could produce a Critical Counter every once in a while, it would make up for the mana consumed.
Actually, it’s better than that. The amount of mana I recovered was slightly more than the amount consumed. It’s precious mana that can be used for attacks.
Of course, if I were to use this mana for spells like Fire Bombs, I could go for days or even months, and I wouldn’t be able to weaken the Dwarf Dragon. But fortunately, Sages have an extremely mana-efficient offensive spell.
Poison magic is not good for instantaneous damage, but the total amount of damage it inflicts per cast is unmatched by normal spells. With Blood Poison, it would take about five hours to defeat this monster.
If I had more specialized gear for poison magic, I could shorten the time by a lot. Unfortunately, in this world, it takes a lot of resources to just obtain general-purpose equipment; having specialized gear for different purposes is a pipe dream. It would be much better to use ordinary, general-purpose equipment than to use low-level specialized gear.
All I have to do now is endure the attacks and wait for the poison to drain the enemy’s strength. Five hours of continuously repelling enemy attacks with a staff may seem too long, but I’ve experienced tougher battles than this one. I wouldn’t want to do this often, but it should be fine. I can take this one down.
Five hours later.
After continuously getting poisoned, the Dwarf Dragon slowly collapsed to the ground. Five hours was a rough estimate, but apparently it was quite accurate.
“It’s over!” I called out after confirming that the enemy was no longer moving.
There should be no one within earshot of my voice, but those with Skills that allow them to check the situation from a distance, like a Spirit Archer, should be watching this chamber.
No one came to this place for five hours, but that doesn’t mean the king was doing nothing. While fighting, I used Magic Search from time to time to see what was going on around me. There were several hundred people gathered outside the dungeon where I was fighting. Their mana signatures suggested they were soldiers.
My guess is they were following my instructions of no reinforcements, but they were on standby, ready to charge in in case I suddenly needed assistance. The Royal Army was also beginning to improve in Skill-based combat; they should have personnel with reconnaissance Skills. Well, even if they have reconnaissance Skills, they will probably only be able to hear the sounds inside.
An immediate response indicated my guess was right.
“First squad, and rescue team. Charge!”
With the king’s order, soldiers trickled into the room. Once inside, the soldiers began to check the situation.
“Lord Eld seems unharmed!”
“I don’t see the enemy, but there’s a small dragon that’s not moving!”
“Small dragon is dead.”
The soldiers quickly reported back to the rear. They also began casting healing magic on me, even when I didn’t appear to be injured. There are cases where people look unharmed but have actually sustained damage, so it’s basic to apply healing magic anyway.
After receiving the report, the king appeared. “A dragon?” he said. “I thought you were fighting a thief. Where did they go?”
“The dragon lying there was the thief. His body was rigged to turn into a dragon.”
“I-I didn’t know that was possible. Don’t tell me the enemy was after this from the beginning and got caught on purpose?”
Normally you’d be more surprised to learn that there’s a technique that turns people into dragons, but he was also wondering about the enemy’s goal. Maybe the king’s ability to adjust to unusual hostiles has increased. Well, from the rescue operation at the royal palace, the king has been quite the quick-witted type.