“Like I said, you won’t be betraying us.”
Jack declared, ordered me in fact, as my vision started to fade and I started losing feeling in my body. He decided to kill me so that I wouldn’t betray Sam. I guess I cannot complain.
How pathetic, the First Dragon Shiggurath, the highest ranking dragon, being killed off like this. This would never have happened if I had not sealed my powers. But it’s too late for regrets now.
Just then I heard the roar of Bahamut. But that was not just a simple roar, it was one of the basic moves used by Ancient Dragons that I taught him when he was still my cute little brother. This roar imbued with mana allowed us to control the lower ranking dragons and make them fulfil any and all orders from us.
This is disastrous. All the dragons here will be subdued by him which in turn will make them mankind’s enemies. This will be a massacre.
Soon enough, I heard a loud explosion. Followed by another, and another, and finally by the soldiers’ cries. I could not see it, but I could still imagine the scenery of Hell that had been painted on this battlefield. Regina……… she really did something outrageous. Susan would have never wanted this. I wish I could stop her, but I already had my own troubles to deal with…….
But the man in front of me was still unfazed. He was just staring at me, concentrating on something. It was as if he didn’t care about the lives of the soldiers who followed him.
But what surprises me the most that even in the face of death, I can think so clearly…………
⟦Layer 1 has been dissolved.⟧
A feminine mechanical voice resounded in my head.
“You are not going to die today, Shiggurath.”
And Jack continued in his cold tone.
Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait!
I am on the verge of dying right now, so why am I feeling this bottomless power rising up from within me?! What was that voice saying?! It’s as if-
“You are a marionette, and a marionette must dance to its owner’s wishes right till the very end.”
It’s as if the seal has been broken!
⟦Layer 2 has been dissolved.⟧
⟦Layer 3 has been dissolved.⟧
⟦The seal has been eliminated. All the restrictions on Ms. Shiggurath’s abilities have been released. Thank you for using this system.⟧
That mechanical voice informed me of the happening of what I feared the most!
“You have been ordered to take care of Bahamut, so you will do it. Your wishes do not matter here.”
The seal that could be dissolved only by me and Him, has been dissolved by a mere human?!
No! He’s not a human! Apart from me and Him, only the creator of this system can release this seal! Which means he is-
“Now, how about you start dancing?”
Jack took out his arm and swung it to get rid of the blood on it. The moment he did that, the bottomless power sleeping inside me was released. The sky rumbled, and the air trembled from the overwhelming mana that was being released from my body. The space around me was shaking. The dragons attacking the humans stopped at once to gaze at their former ruler. Amidst all that, Jack Hargreave had a satisfied smile on his face.
“Now then, the former Dragon Emperor. Don’t you think it’s time for you to reclaim your throne?”
He sneered and asked me.
“Who the heck are you?”
I asked to confirm.
“You should know the answer to that question by now, shouldn’t you?”
I finally murmured the title of the one standing before me. But I don’t understand: he was still alive?
“Perfect. Now, listen to your elder and start. Ah, but don’t kill your brother yet. It would become troublesome if that happened.”
Do not kill Bahamut? What-
Just then, Bahamut flapped his wings and started flying to us with a great speed. Did he notice my awakening? No, he couldn’t have.
Jack frowned and clicked his tongue.
“Tch. Fuck off for a second you overgrown lizard!”
Jack screamed as he turned around and jumped. His jump was so powerful that the ground caved in as it couldn’t handle the recoil and pieces of rocks flew about. He stopped in front of Bahamut and started levitating there. Bahamut, sensing the puny human flying before it opened its maw to fire its breath.
Alas, an attack of such level cannot even scratch the Adjudicator.
The clouds above us thundered, and lightning crackled. Between all of that, the clouds parted to let sunlight in, and that light poured over Jack.
Black winds swirled around him, and in the next moment, he unfurled his black wings. The wings were much larger compared to his body. But the aura coming out from him was enough to make me stop breathing for a moment.
Bahamut realised the sudden change in his enemy, and sped up its breath. But before that could happen, Jack appeared in front of Bahamut’s middle face and punched it, thus sending him flying. That punch was so strong that the shockwave created from it reached even me who was at a considerable distance from them.
Bahamut groaned as his middle neck had been twisted at an impossible angle.
“You plebeian, can’t you see I am busy here?”
Jack declared and the battlefield went silent. In the next moment, the numerous dragons attacking the humans till now screeched and pounced on Jack. But instead of taking a battle stance or avoiding them, he looked at me. His eyes were beckoning me to come over to him.
Reluctant, I flew over to him and protected him from the dragons attacking from behind. The dragons stopped attacking after sensing their former ruler, and took some distance while growling.
Suddenly, Jack gave me an ultimatum.
“Either you can fight your brother yourself while I’ll take on these lizards, or I will fight your brother and you will handle them.”
He was giving me a choice of not fighting my brother. It goes without saying that I’ll take it.
“However. Do remember that I won’t hold back while punishing Bahamut, so I cannot guarantee that he’ll walk out of this alive.”
Punishing, he said. Not a fight, but punishment. The Adjudicator has decided that he’ll punish my younger brother.
“So, what will you do now?”
“I………. will fight my brother. Please handle these lowly dragons in my place, Lord Hargreave.”
I asked of him while bowing.
“A wise choice. But don’t kill Bahamut, understood?”
He flew past me, but while crossing my side he patted my shoulder and gently whispered.
“Don’t worry, you can do this. After all, you have been chosen by none other than Samuel Hayden.”
I abruptly turned around at this unexpected advice, but he had already reached the dragons and was declaring.
“It’s now your turn, you filthy beasts. At least, don’t bore me.”
That was the cue for the dragons to start attacking. But I know better than them that they have no chance of surviving this.
Jack Hargreave, the Adjudicator. An extinction class weapon. In this universe, only three of such weapons exist. The first one is Tzeeneth, which is currently being restrained in the God’s realm. The other two are the Adjudicators. One of them is Jack, and he bows to Samuel Hayden, an Overlord. I thought I had come to understand him, but I was so damn wrong.
An existence before whom the Adjudicator bows, that’s what Sam is. Someone like him would have more authority than the God’s realm itself. So just what is he doing here, and just what does he hope to achieve by doing what he’s doing?
Just what value do the results of this so-called game hold for him?
“It’s been a long time, soror Shiggurath.”
Bahamut, who had returned to his human form, had flown over from his previous position and was now floating before me. He was completely unscathed. His nonsensical regenerative capabilities were doing their work properly huh.
“So it seems, Dragon Emperor Bahamut.”
“May I ask, just what is the former Dragon Emperor who has disgraced us doing in a world like this? I was sure that you would have already killed yourself due to shame.”
His words hit me hard, making my heart ache.
“That’s of no concern to you.”
His eyes sharpened.
“But since you are here in front of me, I assume you are ready to die by my hands, right?”
Bahamut asked as he raised his right hand and clenched it, telling me how he’ll crush me. But contrary to my expectations, his eyes held neither glee for getting to kill me, nor scorn for me who had disgraced him.
His eyes held………… nothing. Bahamut didn’t even hate me, he just saw me as a stepping stone to reach higher glories.
It hurt me beyond comprehension, seeing the eyes of my only little brother holding nothing but apathy. The anguish I felt made me want to give up everything and just die by his hands.
But I cannot do that. Who knows what Hargreave will do to him if I failed to stop him here?
“I will warn you only once, you ungrateful little brother of mine. Either step down, or face my wrath.”
“Oh, and how are you going to do it, when you have sealed your powers?”
Oh, so he knew about that, huh.
“Sealed my powers? Whatever might you be talking about?”
I smiled as I released my full might. His eyes widened as he felt the weight pressing down on his shoulders.
He growled threateningly.
“You will die today, Shiggurath!”
He screamed as he started the transformation into his original form.
“Perhaps…… but not now.”
I mumbled as I also got back into my true form.
Let the battle begin.