「I’d have to decline. I kinda forced myself a bit too much to protect the hot spring resort when it was being attacked by the dragon back then, you see… I may have already recovered from my injuries, but I’m not quite in my top state, yet. I’ll let you guys take the credit for this one.」
Tanaka declined the invitation with a mature and composed expression on his face.
「That’s a shame. We’ll take you up on your offer and defeat it without reservation then.」
Without a hint of concern for the fact that her invitation was rejected, she moved to return to her group after casually giving him such a triumph declaration. Tanaka addressed Homura’s leaving back without even turning around.
「Let me give you a word of advice. That one is the dragon which devastated the hot spring resort… Be careful, it’s strong.」
「I’ll keep that in mind.」
Homura paused for a moment and replied as such without even turning around before continuing to return to her group.
「Being young sure is nice…. for they know not what fear is, how enviable.」
Tanaka floated a smile as he emptied his cup of milk. He was intoxicated by how cool he had carried himself there, as he watched over these youngsters who were about to challenge a powerful enemy.
「You haven’t even met the dragon, do you?」
The tavern old man, who had been listening in silence until then, finally couldn’t help but speak up with a look of exasperation on his face.
◇ ◇ ◇
The other day at the tavern, they seemed to be holding a celebration as they had finished gathering all the information about the dragon.
A few days later, early in the morning, the group of guild members, having all of their preparation to slay the dragon done, departed for the mountain ranges.
As the group departed, Echigoya anxiously saw them off from a window on the second floor of the guild. At the same time, in a certain room of a certain inn, Tanaka was in the middle of his journey through a pink-colored dream land.
The dragon subjugation group arrived in the mountain ranges without any notable problems. After spending the night there, they set out the next day to scout the area where the dragon was rumored to be still roaming around at.
They soon discovered a cave that was assumed to be the dragon’s sleeping quarters, and then proceeded with the confirmation of the details of their plan. They decided to carry out the dragon slaying operation the day after.
The next day, after confirming the presence of the dragon in the cave, a magician went ahead into the cave, and fired a fireball from a distance to lure out the dragon.
The magician immediately retreated and got out from the cave. Before long, the dragon showed itself as it chased after the magician. The other magician, who was standing in wait there, immediately casted a seventh-order magic at the dragon.
The dragon struggled desperately against the sudden crashing blizzard, but to no avail, as water and ice began to cling on its body, restraining its movements.
The wings on its back, in particular, their movements had become very stiff. Then, another guild member who wielded a great sword began to move and attacked the dragon at once.
Dragon wings were a natural magic tool for flying. Thus, the subjugation group decided to first disable its wings to reduce its mobility, as well as to prevent it from flying away.
As the wings were frozen by the blizzard, they next received concentrated attack from the members of the subjugation group, and it didn’t take long before one of them got broken, left in a sorry state. As soon as the dragon was deemed to be incapable to fly, the subjugation group immediately moved the operation to the next stage.
Currypan the great sword attacked the dragon head on with his vaunted attack power. The current him had received an eighth-order physical enhancement magic from the magician, giving him power comparable to that of a B rank.
Currypan the great sword steadily reduced the vitality of the dragon. To protect him from it’s attacks, well-timed arrows and attack magic were sent raining on the dragon.
The operation was going smoothly as planned, and defeating the dragon seemed to be only a matter of time, or so they thought. However, right then a strange phenomenon suddenly occurred.
Suddenly, the dragon ceased attacking at all, and looked up to the sky before letting out roars of agony. Black spots began to appear all over its body until the entire surface of its body gradually turned from dark-green to jet black.
「What’s that? What’s going on?!」
Someone exclaimed as such. It was without a doubt an abnormal situation. Thus, everyone ceased attacking the dragon at once.
「Calm down. The operation has been progressing very smoothly. We’ll continue according to the plan!」
Currypan the great sword calmly called out to the other members of the subjugation group, and swiftly resumed his onslaught. The rest of the subjugation group also followed suit, and began to continue to attack the dragon again, which was remaining to stand still on its two hind legs.
However, the dragon showed no response to their attacks in the slightest, as it simply stood there, having its body continuing to turn jet black.
And when it had completely transformed into a jet black dragon, the dragon began to move to retaliate.
From the stance of standing on its two legs, it made a crushing attack with its two forelegs, utilizing the force of its dropping body.
Currypan the great sword, who had already had his guard up, somehow managed to evade this attack. However, he only barely managed to evade it, as it turned out to be way faster that he’d expected. Then, before he noticed it, the dragon’s fangs were already coming at him in rapid succession.
It was a very swift attack which even Currypan, who had obtained physical enhancement, failed to react to it. That movement ignored both arrows and attack magic which were raining on it.
Currypan the great sword got swallowed up and teared aparts by the dragon.
Someone shouted. No, maybe everyone did.
The dragon slaying operation had been going very smoothly up until just a moment ago. However, the current dragon standing in front of them showed power which was world aparts from the one they had been facing earlier, which made it as though it was a different creature altogether.
The attack that caught Currypan the great sword earlier was enough to make everyone there aware of that fact, as the subjugation group quickly moved into a retreat.
As expected they were still a group of C-rankers, it could be said that they just got unlucky as they had to face such an abnormal opponent.
The jet-black dragon swiftly chased after the retreating subjugation group as though a hunter hunting its prey.
Meanwhile, Tanaka was originally hunting monsters at the surroundings of the town, however, before he knew it, he seemed to have gotten lost and moved a bit too far away from the town.
Level: 58 Experience: 1050/5800
Vitality: 0.00/819.10 Magical energy: 349.01/349.01
Strength: 470.56 Dexterity: 377.49 Agility: 379.31
Intelligence: 258.72 Spirit: 261.89
Skills: Sword (4.05) Magic (1.09)
Equipment: Great sword, Leather armor