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Chapter 20 – Becoming Stronger at the Underground Labyrinth!! Part 10

In conclusionーー

ーーIt turned out to be amazing.

Collect magic power to the fist and punch.

That’s all.

That is all butーーa huge crater opened up in the Experimental Large Catfish’s body.

The hole is probably about 7 meters in diameter.

It was a large catfish that was over 20 meters long, but there is no way it could still be alive if its body had a hole in it.

Or rather, there is blood and pieces of meat scattered around everywhere, it is really amazing.

「… That is amazing.」

Lilith shrugged her shoulders as if to say that she is truly amazed.

Well, even I was amazed by how powerful it is.

As expected, having almost twenty thousand MP is an outrageous thing.

After that, I felt dizzy and collapsed on the spot.

Headache and pain started flooding in, and I began to sweat profusely.

ーーIt’s magic exhaustion.

「… The power is outrageous, but it would be very difficult to use it in an actual combat… the usability is close to the worst.」

Smiling as hard as I could, I said to Lilith, who is looking worryingly at me who is exhausted.

「I’m hungry. Let’s have a meal… and take a nap.」

The next day.

After spending the night in the cave, we walked straight to the bottom.

The inside of the cave was filled with damp air.

While pulling Lilith’s hand, I asked.

「Dragon Zombies… they are almost the same as when they are still alive right?」

「… After death, their corpse is protected and prevented from decaying with the Dragon Tribe’s secret arts. Then… their soul will be fixed in this world… and when they are reborn as an undead, their status will be just like shortly before their death is reflected.」

「Shortly before their death?」

*Kokuri* Lilith nodded.

「One won’t even be able to walk if they are in bed on the verge of dying from an illness. Even if you fixed their soul as an undead, in such a state… they can’t be a guardian.」

「I guess so, huh.」

「Yes. The true purpose of this ordeal… You can’t just receive the Dragon God’s blessing… In the world after death, a dead dragon will become a Dragon God even only as a soul. Then, at the time of their death… they will entrust their strength to their junior in a deadly struggle. By doing so, their divinity will rise and they will become a god. This is why grown dragons have far more power than young dragons.」

「ーーSo it’s a baton pass for a replacement in active duty, huh. So… when the Dragon Zombie itself becomes a zombie… Does their Dragon God’s Blessing skill disappear?」

Skill: Dragon God’s Blessing.

It’s a crazy skill that adds an additional 1.5x correction to the enhancement rate of one’s physical strength.

The multiplier of the skill Physical Strengthening is 2x… So if I learn that skill, my status will be 2×1.5, or 3x.

By the way, compared to the Hero’s level 100 skill… The Dragon God’s Blessing is quite tame.

After all, the Hero’s level 100 skill… is a magic skill that doubles the correction of Physical Strengthening… It originally was 2x, so times 2 again and it will be 4x.

Well, that’s why being a Hero is always said to be the strongest profession.

Under such circumstances, I want to have this skill no matter what.

Even though my growth rate is low compared to the Hero’s, If they can double the difference with the correction applied to their status… As expected, I won’t be able to reach Cordelia’s back.

「… Also, there are not a lot of dragons. Dragon Zombies aren’t always conveniently replenished at the altar.」

「But… there is one this time, right?」

Lilith didn’t respond to my words.

I also didn’t dare to ask her any more questions.

「…」

「…」

We went through a long, long cave.

「…」

「…」

Before I knew it, both Lilith and I were completely silent.

「…」

「…」

Then my field of vision opened up, showing a hall with a radius of about 100 meters.

「This is the altar… huh.」

Around the dragon, a radius of about 20 meters.

There are black rocks placed in a circle at regular intervals similar to Stonehenge in England.

No, those rocks… rather than rocks maybe they are closer to monoliths, huh.

Well, that much is fine… And Lilith is at a loss for words as I expected.

A golden giant that exceeds 10 meters.

It’s a splendid earth dragon.

Both Lilith and I… I think both of us had vague premonitions about this.

No, I noticed it from the moment I stepped into this labyrinth.

To be more precise, the both of us from there on… just didn’t dare to mention it.

「… Dad.」

Lilith’s words did not reach the already dead dragon.

She said that her adoptive parent was a dragon who died a month ago.

ーーThat’s, well… of course it’s going to be like this.

This is probably why Lilith has been reprimanding me for not capturing this place in a legitimate way.

It’s sending her own foster parent to the afterlife after allーas the final stage of the funeral, she naturally has a lot to think about.

But, there is no point in stopping here.

I sent a glance to Lilith… and with my eyes, I urged her to stay away.

After thinking for a while, Lilith nodded with an anguished expression.

「… This is something that I know. If there is a guardian in this labyrinth at this moment… as expected, it will be my father.」

「Are you good?」

*Kokuri* Lilith nodded.

「… This is a sacred ritual. Father also slaughtered a guardian long ago. And he himself would want to be slaughtered by a young one.」

Then… I cracked my neck.

With an axe in one hand, I marched forward.

The black rocks that are lined up in a circleーit happened the moment I entered the monolith.

ーーDragon Breath.

A scorching flame attacked me, but I ran towards the golden dragon without even paying attention to the flame.

My magic power is very unusual.

It can transform into a magical barrier and automatically creates a thin veil around me.

A dragon’s breath that releases magical power and MP will never be a decisive blow against me.

The breath stopped.

The difference in distance between us is less than ten meters.

The dragon showed a slightly surprised expression at me; who was unharmed; and laughed happily.

As it was, the dragon spun around like a spinning top.

A gigantic tail, over five meters in length, flew towards me.

ーFast.

But it’s nothing that I can’t see.

I dodge it by twisting my body.

It scratched my back just a little bit, but I somehow managed to get past the dragon’s tail.

And in return… I swing my axe at the dragon’s shoulder wing.

The attack hit perfectly.

A dull shock echoed through my hand.

ーhard.

However, it’s not as if the blade can’t stand up to it.

A small amount of fresh blood ran down on the dragon’s wings. The blood splattered as if to apply makeup on my cheeks.

The dragon spun on the spot again like a spinning top.

Arm… no, front legs? Well, it doesn’t really matter.

He hit me sideways with his claws aimed at my face.

*Gakinn*! A metallic sound resounded.

It hit the axe’s handle and my whole body was blown away.

After a few seconds of swimming in the air, I landed. I killed the momentum by sliding on the ground.

Then, I nodded greatly.

ーーStrong.

But, it’s not like I can’t compete.

The experience points I earned in this labyrinth became my nourishment.

I took countless lives, and they became my flesh and blood.

When I laughed fearlessly, the dragon also laughed happily.

Then, I charged towards the dragon again.

We swung at each other with our claws and axes.

I avoided the tail, and the dragon also avoided the axe.

He then opens his mouth and unleashes his deadly fangs.

I used the Damascus Axe to intercept it.

Metallic sound resounded over and over, as sounds of wind roared.

ーThe strong seeks the strong.

I feel like I understand a little bit of those feelings for the first time.

A feeling of wanting to see myself stronger.

I now understand a little about why dragons regard battles as something sacred.

The match… it’s a test of strength.

The ultimate form of the ceremony to be a grown dragon, where the match turns into a deadly battle.

It’s a selection of the living people who are worth living for the next generation, carried out by the dead.

Then… a frown formed on my face.

After several clashes, I was completely enlightened.

ーーHe’s strong… No, he is a little too strong. This is a bit unexpected. Lilith’s father who raised her must have been classified as one the really strong grown dragons.

In fact, I assumed that my current status… will be enough to overwhelm the Dragon Zombie.

But, anyway… at this rate my situation will gradually get worse.

He continues to attack me with solid combat techniques backed with overwhelming combat experience.

On the other hand, I desperately lack combat experience.

At some point, I will make a fatal mistake. And that mistake will push me off my foothold in one go… and I’ll die.

That will inevitably happen if this fight continues.

However, I smiled.

It’s not like I can compete.

Conversely, it is possible to continue fistfighting like this for a while.

ーーSo… If that’s the case, then this match is mine.

I dodged the dragon’s tail.

Continuing on, from over my head; like a pigeon pecking at its food, the dragon attacks me.

Accelerate.

I flew sideways in the same manner as repeatedly side jumping.

I glide over the fangs by sliding on the ground like I’m doing a slide tackle.

ーSkill: Body Strengthening, activate.

ーSkill: Oni Gate Method, activate.

I haven’t activated these skills yet.

I knew that I would be able to fight well with my physical strength increased by 2 times, and I knew that even if I activated Body Strengthening and Oni Gate Method, my physical strength would not match a dragon.

But, at this moment,

By using these two skills, my movement can surpass the dragon’s prediction, just once.

Accelerate.

Accelerate.

Accelerate.

I turned right beside the Dragon Zombie.

Furthermore, right now is a moment where a fatal gap is created from the previous series of attacks. In other words, it’s the perfect opportunity.

ーhere.

A bare torso defensively exposed.

I threw my axe away.

ーSkill: Villager’s Anger, activate,

I concentrated all my magic into my fist as I clenched it.

ーIf this doesn’t work, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!

My deadly fist, which was imbued with extraordinary magic power, landed as if it was sucked into the dragon’s abdomen.

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