Above the imperial capital, on the black altar―――
『Next, to the left! Forty degrees! Slash attack!』
I swiftly dodge to my left, avoiding the assault of the grotesque pig-like creature, and strike it with a claw slash.
『One second until magic activation! Pope-class wind magic! Deploy in all directions! Defensive posture!』
In a flash, Elibel’s Pope-class wind magic, “Tempest of Tyrannical Storms”, activates.
Just like earlier, numerous aberrations are caught up in it.
Of course, I dig my claws into the altar, bracing myself to not get swept away.
The black altar feels as though it’s shouting, “This hurts so much! I can’t take it anymore!” It vaporizes part of its pillar, but I don’t really care. Hey, I’m giving you more magic power, so hang in there. Don’t fade away.
I transfer some magical power to the altar, and take a deep breath.
『RAAAAAAAAH! RAAAAAAH! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!』
Amidst the roaring wind, I unleash a continuous stream of fiery breath onto a clustered group of enemies.
Being in the vessel lets me use consecutive breath attacks.
Is it okay for my vessel form to be more efficient than my real one?
Eh, it’s fine.
Anyway, I keep breathing fire until the aberrations turn to ash.
They’re beautifully charred now.
Just when I thought that was it, insect-like creatures rapidly approach from the side.
Yikes! There are so many of them, it’s almost ridiculous to count!
No matter how many I defeat, they just keep coming!
『Next! Slash! Behind! To the side, me!』
So they were coming from behind too!
These guys have such a “faint” presence, it’s hard to detect them! I immediately attack with my tail.
The armored tail strike is immense, instantly blowing away twenty creatures that tried to ambush me from behind.
The ones from the side have been distracted by Elibel’s magic.
『Water, Pope-class! Claws in two seconds! Thirty degrees ahead! Also, I need some magical power!』
『Alright! Here’s the magical power!』
Using the magical power, I solidify my footing which was getting unstable from the shock.
As I send out a claw strike, I simultaneously transfer magical power to Elibel through a corridor.
Doing both things at once drains my magical power significantly. But, I still have plenty left, so I should be fine.
Why do I have so much magic power, anyway?
「Alright!— ‘Triple Water Dragon’!」
Pope-class water magic: ‘Triple Water Dragon’.
From Elibel’s staff springs forth a massive water dragon that engulfs the aberrations.
Then, I tear them apart with my claws.
From there, a rapid combo ensues – mud, alchemy, and compression.
Elibel and I, in just these few minutes, have managed to communicate our intentions with minimal words.
The onslaught we weave together with our combination completely overwhelms these monstrous beings.
Perhaps these creatures have a “weak will,” for they fall into the same trap again and again, easily ensnared.
『Are you okay?』
I can sense Elibel’s fatigue through the corridor.
Unlike when she was an undead, detached from physical fatigue, the now living, breathing Elibel truly feels “tiredness.”
Probably because her body isn’t yet acclimated, the exhaustion she feels must be worse than normal.
『It’s not an issue. But more importantly―――』
Elibel continues to intently watch the creatures without letting her guard down.
The number of these creatures doesn’t decrease at all. Ouronus rains down blood, and their count only increases.
But, just that isn’t enough to deal with us now.
Armed from head to toe and in my full-grown state, and with Elibel regaining her full power, it’s unthinkable that they can simply overwhelm us with numbers. The enemy must be fully aware of this too.
Moreover, what worries me more is the current state of the battle.
I glance at Jibru, lying in the corner of the altar.
The aberrations, while targeting Elibel and me, seem to disregard the injured Jibru and Gwyve.
In a way, that’s a relief.
Given that these creatures could injure Jibru, a Divine Catastrophe Dragon King, to this extent, they shouldn’t be this weak.
If they have any tricks up their sleeves, it would be about time they… Hm?
Suddenly, the aberrations start acting strangely.
They tremble, and those with hands clutch their heads, appearing to be in agony.
I recognize this phenomenon.
In the memories Jibru showed me earlier, the creatures also slowed down like this.
And after that, Jibru was defeated.
―――The true “ability” of these aberrations.
This indicates that it’s now activated.
The trembling of the creatures―――stops.
The very next moment—BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! The figures of the grotesque creatures begin to swell.
They grow larger, more menacing, and adopt a more monstrous form.
The previously dark color of their bodies now varies and becomes richer from one creature to the next.
The creature resembling a jellyfish turns white, while the mantis-like ones take on a greenish hue.
And above all, a clear presence of “magic” and “souls”, which wasn’t felt earlier, can now be distinctly sensed.
「GYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!! GYI GYI GYI GYIIII GYI GYI GYI GYI GYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!」
The mantis-like creature lets out a scream—or something like it.
Following its lead, the other bizarre creatures raise their voices too.
「’Thousand Ice Pillars’!」
Elibel and I immediately launch our attacks.
A storm of countless ice pillars and whirlpools of magic rains down upon these aberrations.
A breath attack engulfs the creatures. Elibel’s ice pillars also strike dead-on.
Now, what’s the outcome?
The smoke clears.
「GYISHISHISHISHISHI!!」「OOOOO… OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!」「SHAA! SHASHASHASHASHASHASHAAAAA!!」
―――The creatures are “unharmed.”
Not a single scratch.
Seeing this with my own eyes… it’s shocking.
From within the smoke, a large creature that looks like a shark with limbs lunges at us.
I can’t dodge in time, and instinctively guard with my armed forearm.
What———It bit through my armed skin!?
Oioioi, just how much has its strength increased!?
『Damn it! Get———offffffffffff meeeeee!』
Feeling this situation isn’t good, I fire my breath attack at point-blank range.
Engulfing even my arm, I aim it straight at the shark-type creature.
Yet, the shark-like creature clings onto my arm and doesn’t let go.
Finally, by forcibly peeling off the armored parts, I succeed in pulling them apart.
The flesh of the vessel, which isn’t armored, becomes exposed.
Damn… it hurts…
Though it’s a vessel, the sensations of this body are shared with my real body.
The pain I feel is real. I have to endure it because cutting off the sense of pain reduces my combat ability, moments like these are tough.
The shark-like creature, which had been blown away by my breath attack, spits out my armor and glares at me once again.
Its body remains unscathed, just like before.
Even though it took my breath attack at extremely close range, it remains unharmed.
『…Seeing it again, it’s really like they’re cheating with their strength.』
Elibel mutters, seemingly in disbelief.
『Right… Honestly, I was skeptical until I saw it for myself…』
Excluding the memories from Jibru, these monsters have an unusual ability.
『These creatures… they’re developing a ‘resistance’ to our powers.』
Yes, that’s the very “ability” of these monsters.
They learn from the abilities of their opponents and develop a “resistance”, making them a “natural enemy.”
Even against Jibru’s and my “Gluttony” ability, they’re adapting at an astonishing rate.
I had my doubts if any resistance could be formed against the invincible “Gluttony”, but seeing it happen in reality, I have to admit it.
It’s truly terrifying.
From the moment they’re born, they possess the strength of King-class beings. They can regenerate at an incredible speed, have the immortality of Ouronuss, and over time, they evolve into beings specialized against their opponents.
They are exceedingly troublesome.
It’s similar to Gijie’s golem-creating ability, but the level of these creatures is literally on another dimension.
To be honest, I wanted to deal with these monsters before they could evolve like this. But now that they’ve evolved, it might be too late.
With Elibel’s healing magic, my wounded arm instantly heals.
I channel my magical power back into my armored body.
The dramatic increase in abilities without any physical strain is probably the greatest advantage of having this vessel body.
Alright, this is where the real challenge begins.
If the enemy has built a “resistance” against our powers, I have no choice.
It seems the time has come to use our trump card.
I concentrate my mind.
And then… I realize.
It seems Elibel has realized it too, her expression souring.
The presence of the souls of those aberrations is denser now.
Or more accurately, we’ve been so focused on the fight that we didn’t notice it before.
The aberrations created by Ouronus… they’re on the surface too.
Damn it! How did I miss this?!
Elibel and I can hold our own against them, but these creatures naturally possess the strength of King-class beings.
If they’ve evolved enough to build resistance…
『Ann and the others… they’re in danger.』
My fears are confirmed as a massive explosion echoes from the surface.
It comes from Fafnir’s direction.
Are Ann, Una, and the others alright?
I should use thought transmission to―――
Elibel’s sharp reprimand interrupts my frantic thoughts.
『Don’t make that pathetic face. Our task remains unchanged, understand?』
To my pitiful objection, Elibel gives a soft laugh.
『Believe in the strength of your subordinate. After all, you were the one who taught me that, weren’t you?』
Her words shake me awake.
Right, of course.
They are my subordinate.
Who else will believe in them if not me?
『Sorry, Elibel. I shouldn’t have shown such a weak side.』
『It’s fine. In any case, there’s no one more pathetic than the usual you. More importantly, follow the plan, okay? I’m ‘relying’ on you.』
Wait a sec, the first part wasn’t even a compliment, was it!
Elibel’s words make sense, I guess.
No matter how strong the opponent might be, the plan is set.
I don’t have the luxury of paying attention to everything on the surface. I can only trust Ann and the others.
I once again focus my mind on the battle in front of me.
And, as Earth predicted, fierce battles were raging on the surface as well.
Inside the imperial castle’s corridor―――
「HYAHA! I’m gonna take you all down!」
The leader of the Black Hyenas, a mohawk guy named Sub (real name Subrigues Seivern), screams like it’s the end of the world as he slashes at a singular, caterpillar-like creature.
His attack, augmented with wind magic, boasts the power of a General-class.
This should easily slice through the caterpillar creature’s skin―――or so he thought.
―――Clang! The caterpillar creature’s skin deflects Sub’s blade.
Not a scratch, and the recoil numbs his hand.
「What the…!? Why isn’t my attack working!?」
Mohawk (who’s married, by the way) looks incredulous. In contrast, the caterpillar creature looks unperturbed, as if saying, “Huh? Did you just try to attack me? I didn’t even notice.”
All while casually scratching its body with its many legs.
It’s probably laughing.
It’s mocking him.
He launches another attack.
The caterpillar creature swiftly twists its body and moves at an incredible speed.
It’s not just tough—it’s also gotten much faster than before.
「Boss, that guy’s gotten way faster than earlier…!?」
「What’s going on? This isn’t the same creature we were fighting just moments ago.」
The sudden change in the creature leaves the Black Fang Hyenas flustered.
The caterpillar doesn’t miss this opportunity and launches a counterattack.
The target is Mohawk.
I can’t dodge!
「Ah, Leader! Watch out!」
Pushing Mohawk out of the way, tattooed chubby takes the full brunt of the caterpillar-like creature’s charge.
He crumples to the ground, coughing up blood as his insides are crushed.
Well, given that he took a direct hit from the enhanced creature and still kept his form, one might argue it’s commendable.
It must be his hefty frame. Probably the fat acted like a cushion.
「Debuuda! Hang in there! Damn it, the wound is too deep!」
「I… I wanted to… eat one last full meal… with my sister…. *faint*」
With those words, the tattooed chubby, whose real name is Debuuda Pizza-Caller at the age of 22, passes out.
「DAMN IT ALL! DEBUUUDAAAAA!」
「WE’LL AVENGE YOU, DEBUUDA!」
「GET THAT BASTARD!」
With the memory of their fallen comrade (he’s not dead, just unconscious) fresh in their minds, the remaining members unleash a barrage of attacks.
But the caterpillar-like creature, seemingly irritated as if saying, “You guys are too much, both in character and in action!” spins its body and sends the Black Hyenas flying.
Despite its caterpillar-like appearance, this creature is a King-class. Moreover, it’s already acquired “resistance” against the Black Hyenas.
They stood no chance
Or maybe, the very fact that they’ve fought this King-class monster this far with just five of them is commendable.
In no time, the Black Hyena members are covered in wounds and fall to the ground.
Sir Schwein, who’s been watching from the sidelines, wears a face of despair.
「Idiot… What are you doing? Just run, at least save yourself!」
「Do-do you ask me to abandon the common folk and flee? I am a noble, after all! The thought of me running away before others… is unthinkable!」
With tears and mucus streaming down his face, making it all messy, and even staining his pants, running away like a coward wasn’t an option.
No, more precisely, abandoning them was not an option.
The proud adventurers who had risked danger to come to his aid…
How could he ever leave them behind?
Desperately, he moves, dragging the knights with him as he tries to escape.
However, as if mocking their struggles, the caterpillar-like creature draws closer to Sir Schwein.
Drool drips from the creature’s mouth.
「Ah… ah… ah…」
Slowly, the creature opens its mouth.
That word flashes across Sir Schwein’s mind.
And then―――a muffled, wet sound echoes.
At the imperial castle courtyard―――
Una and Dos catch their breath, assessing the situation.
They’re both covered in wounds.
His sister, gasping for breath.
Eight monstrous creatures stare at them, unscathed.
Clearly, things are bad.
「Pant… pant… Dos, are you okay?」
It started off well.
Though the creatures had the strength of King-class, their attacks were predictable. For experienced fighters like Una and Dos, they were no match.
But the moment they transformed, the situation took a drastic turn.
Their attacks became so sharp they easily broke through their defenses. Their speed increased to the point it was hard to track, and their defenses became impenetrable.
Frustrated with this nightmarish reality, Dos feels overwhelmed.
While gasping for breath, Dos racks his brain for a way out.
How can we get out of this?
Should we carry Berg and run?
No, it’d be difficult to run while carrying his massive frame.
Could we call for reinforcements in the dungeon?
How could we communicate our peril when thought transmission can’t get through?
Panic starts to take over, stealing Dos’s usual calm and reasoned thinking.
Isn’t there some way…?
「―――Dos! Get a hold of yourself!」
A moment’s carelessness. A slight disturbance in thought.
In that instant, the strange creature resembling an earthworm is rapidly approaching Dos.
Damn. How foolish of me.
「Dos! Watch ou…!」
But Una is too far away.
Her magical support won’t make it in time.
Dodge, impossible, it’s too late―――
But out of nowhere,
A fist emerging from behind sends the earthworm-like creature flying.
The one who did that is….
「Who else would it look like…?」
Yes, the one who rescued Dos from his predicament was Berg, who should’ve been injured and down.
Una immediately rushes over.
「Berg, are you okay?」
「Huff… I wouldn’t say I’m completely fine… But it was a good call having the magic stones. It’s helped me recover enough to move.」
Berg explains, swinging the now-empty magic stone pouch.
It was a deep wound for sure, and the fact that it was an accident caused by Earth makes it quite — no, very — tragic.
But the fact that Berg can move is a stroke of luck for Una and Dos.
With Berg able to move on his own, their options have expanded.
They aren’t just defending anymore. Now, the three of them can make their escape.
There’s a glimmer of hope.
「…Una, Berg. I’ll pave the way with my trump card.」
「You’re going to use THAT? Got it. Then, I’ll assist———」
Dos immediately thinks of a plan to escape from this situation.
Though he’s battered and bruised, if he can still use both his hands and has enough magical power left, there should be a high chance of success.
―――Just as he thought that.
A sound like shattering glass, ―――Pariiiiiiiing! rings out.
「…what was that noise」
Not just Dos, but Una and Berg too wear puzzled expressions.
Suddenly, fragments like pieces of glass start raining down right in front of Dos.
…What is this?
The countless glass shards vanish as they meld into the air before even touching the ground.
Is this some kind of magic? The work of the monsters?
When he looks at the monsters with that thought, they too appear puzzled, merely remaining on guard.
So, it’s not their doing?
Then what on earth―――?
Looking up, there floats a woman in the air.
Moreover, surrounding her are strangely shaped coffins, hovering as if to protect her.
Wait, is that…?
「What!? Why is she here―――!?」
The one there is none other than Una and Dos’s charge.
The blind saint, Orion Karla the Holy Ark.
Why is she floating in the sky?
No, just where was she and what was she doing until now?
Before wondering any of this, instinct takes over.
The moment the floating coffins around her vanish, obeying gravity, she starts to fall.
Dodging the obstructions from the monsters, Dos barely manages to catch Orion.
Orion’s face is slick with sweat, her complexion far from healthy.
「…Orion, are you okay?」
「Huff…huff… I’m… sorry…」
Sorry for what?
Before the puzzled Dos could ask, Orion speaks.
「…The ‘Holy Ark’… maintenance… has reached… its… limit…」
With that, Orion loses consciousness.
What did Orion want to convey?
And why did she disappear and suddenly appear here?
So many unanswered questions.
But one thing is crystal clear.
They now have one more person to worry about.
Considering the situation, the best choice would probably be to quickly abandon the baggage and run.
If the imperial capital is under these circumstances, even considering the Continental Congress and what’s to come, leaving just Orion behind wouldn’t have that much of an impact.
…But for some reason, Dos couldn’t bring himself to abandon that burden.
「…my feeling, it’s really weird right now…」
Eight aberrations stare them down.
With mocking laughter, the monsters slowly start their attack on Dos and the group.
Meanwhile, on the rooftop of the imperial castle―――
「Uh-oh, this is looking real bad…」
A plain-looking woman, Léna-Lloyd Reynolds, mumbles to herself.
「What’s so bad? Wait, Lady Léna! I’m reaching my limit here! At this rate, I’ll die! Can’t you help me out a bit———Aghhhhh!」
The knight of the witch screams in vain, swallowed up by the swarm of monsters.
He’s probably not dead.
After all, he’s a knight acknowledged by Léna-Lloyd.
He won’t die so easily.
Sure, his arm is twisted in a strange angle, half his face looks crushed, and some internal organs are peeking out, but he’s probably fine. No problem at all.
But more importantly…
Even as she watches her own knight get thrashed by the monsters, her attention is elsewhere.
It’s focused on the presence she felt earlier.
The aura of a soul―――
「That must be Orion’s… The protection of the ‘Holy Ark’ has been undone, huh.」
This is not good, she thinks again.
The protection of the “Holy Ark” from the Saint, Orion, has disappeared.
She understood the full implications of it.
Orion’s “Holy Ark” is essentially a “seal”.
A barrier that locks away all forms of malice and disaster.
Thanks to her powers, the damages were kept minimal.
But now, it’s shattered.
「Better wrap this up quickly, Eli, or the aftermath will be a pain.」
She murmurs, adjusting her slightly askew glasses.
Back again, above the Imperial Capital, at the blackk altar———
It’s about time.
I decide to unleash “that power” I’ve been holding back all this while.
Honestly, there’s no holding back in this situation.
Elibel has given her consent too, so there’s no issue.
「AHAHAHA! What do you think you’re doing now? Your attacks will never work on my aberrations. Instead of resisting in vain, why not let them end you? You’ve interfered with my time with my sister. I hope you suffer, and suffer, and then DIE in despair!」
Ouronus’s taunting, which I’ve been hearing for a while now, is extremely irritating.
Elibel probably feels the same way.
I can tell because she’s been twitching her temple for some time.
But I don’t care.
Here I go!
Facing the mantis-like creature charging at me, I activate it.
Take this, aberrations, and you too, Ouronus!
This is my trump card!
『I’m borrowing your power, ‘Yamu’! — ‘Heavenly Claw’!!!』
In an instant, the blue gem embedded in my chest shines brilliantly.
And at the same time, a radiant, gigantic claw emerges.
This is the power once demonstrated by Yamu, the leader of the Celestial Dragons, in my dungeon.
I swing my glowing claw, which extends more than a hundred meters in diameter.
Slash! Slash! Slash! The aberrations in front of me are easily torn apart.
As I suspected, they might have resistance against the powers of Elibel and me, but this is different.
Since it’s not my power, the resistances they’ve developed mean nothing.
Witnessing this, Ouronus is in utter shock.
「What the—?! IMPOSSIBLE! Aren’t you just a lowly being? An earth dragon, just like my sister! So how? How can you wield Yamu’s power… the power of a Celestial Dragon?!」
Nice reaction there. But then again, if it weren’t, there wouldn’t be a point in me keeping this hidden.
Hold on, did he just call me a ‘lowly being’?
Just for the record, I’m the son of Jibru.
Oh, maybe he hasn’t realized that the Earth Dragons went extinct during the thousand years he was sealed.
Well, that doesn’t matter now.
Anyway, this is one of my trump cards:
The “Power of the Celestial Dragon.”
When Yamu wrecked my dungeon in the past, he left behind this crystallized power as compensation.
I embedded it in this Earth Dragon golem when I set out.
I pour more magic into the crystal.
Suddenly, a set of glowing blue-white wings sprout from my back, four in total.
I flap them and take to the skies.
Wow, so this is what flying feels like?
It’s such a surreal, floaty sensation.
To be honest, it’s a power I’d never need cooped up in my dungeon, but it sure comes in handy now.
「An Earth Dragon flying…? You’ve got to be kidding me! That’s an insult to the Earth Dragons and my sister! I SWEAR I’LL KILL YOU!」
Screams Ouronus, trembling with rage.
Who cares if an Earth Dragon flies?
He’s so narrow-minded.
There are ants in the world that use sword techniques, slimes stronger than dragons, and even eternally horny perverted undead.
Why not a flying Earth Dragon?
Even if the wings and the claws are borrowed.
There’s a limit to how many times I can use them, so I still have to be cautious.
Speaking of which, one of my allies is currently on my back, chanting to activate another trump card.
Below us, the Black Altar. We plunge directly into an aerial battle with the aberrations.
The power of the Earth Dragon, the Celestial Dragon, and the Sage’s power.
When combined, I’ll show you how formidable they are, Death Dragon Ouronus.
Sub29: Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to be away for the next few days, approximately 5 days to be exact. This means I won’t be able to post any new chapters during this time.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
Sub29: Hey there! If you enjoy the content and want to stay updated with all the latest, make sure to follow my channel on WhatsApp! Click here to follow
October 2023 Patron: GoatBeards