After that, I traveled around with Elibel and set up teleportation gates in the surface dungeon.
We ended up with quite a number of teleportation gates just for transportation purposes.
Well, we had to make various arrangements to facilitate their use by humans on the surface.
It’s to make this dungeon appear useful.
That’s why there are many teleportation gates.
Seriously, moving around is surprisingly tiring.
Walking is tough for a shut-in like me.
But from the second time onward, I can instantly move using the teleportation gates.
We installed a large number of teleportation gates and returned to the depths.
Oh, it’s already night.
The moonlight is beautiful.
『Phew… with this, we’ve roughly set up the entrance and teleportation gates in the surface dungeon.』
Well, at least for now.
Today alone, we set up nearly a hundred teleportation gates.
I’m quite tired, to be honest.
But from the middle floors onward, we’ll have to set up tens of times more teleportation gates.
It’s truly daunting.
I just realized that Elibel said she would improve the drawing mannequin for traps.
Doing all this with just Elibel and me is tough.
I wonder if we can make a drawing mannequin for teleportation gate installation.
『I’m really exhausted from setting up this many. Well, I only provided mana, and Elibel did all the magic circle and configuration. Thanks for your hard—』
『Hey, why have you been silent since earlier?』
Since we finished setting up the teleportation gates, Elibel has been silent the whole time.
Well, to be precise, she’s been silent since we started setting the teleportation gates.
I feel like she went quiet around the twentieth one.
She’s muttering something like 「Unbelievable… this is unbelievable…」
Finally, Elibel turned towards me.
Phew, it’s tough when I’m being ignored.
However, Elibel doesn’t say anything and just stares at me.
「…Earth, I’ll confirm this, but you’re not tired, are you?」
『Huh? Ah, well, yeah, I’m a bit tired…』
「…Suppose we were to set up more teleportation gates, how much longer could you go?」
『Huh, let’s see…』
I calculate based on my current level of fatigue.
「I think I can manage about another… maybe two hundred more.」
Going beyond that is definitely impossible.
Upon hearing my statement, I felt a strong flicker of flame in Elibel’s eyes.
「Two hundred more?!」
After letting out a deep sigh, Elibel opened her mouth as if she had made a decision.
「…Earth, I’ll be straightforward. In terms of ‘magical power capacity’ alone, you have already surpassed me when I was alive.」
『Huh? Is that amazing?』
Don’t you realize how amazing that is? Elibel says with a hint of exasperation.
「It’s not just amazing, it’s overwhelmingly incredible. You’ve already reached a level beyond me when I was alive, which means, in terms of magical power alone, you’ve already reached Evil God-class.」
Is it okay for me to be a little excited?
The Earth Dragon is classified as a disaster species in its adult form, right?
So, skipping two levels and reaching the highest level of Evil God-class… does that mean I’m amazing?
「However, your body isn’t keeping up with that amount of magical power. You’re still in your juvenile form. Your physical abilities themselves aren’t much different from that of an intermediate-class monster.」
Ah, I was immediately brought back to reality.
Intermediate-class… which means I’m not much different from Earthworms or Orcs in terms of physical abilities.
I recall the Earthworms that Ann and Una were beating up.
Similar physical abilities… Hmm, it’s endlessly underwhelming.
「For a dragon in its juvenile form, that’s about right. However, you compensate for the weakness of your physical abilities with an enormous amount of magical power. In terms of overall combat capability, you’re currently at the level of a lower King-class. Considering the number of years since your birth, it’s still quite threatening」
Furthermore, she says,
「If you were to use ‘Armamentization’ on yourself, your combat power would skyrocket even further. Probably reaching a level on par with a Disaster-class creature in its adult form. Although, as that Dragon Slayer mentioned, your body can’t keep up with that level of power, and you would self-destruct after fighting for a few minutes.」
Ah, that’s true.
That battle back then.
I had quite a lot of self-inflicted wounds.
「Normally, with such a level of magical power and a body like yours, you would definitely collapse and die. But in your case, you have ‘Gluttony.’ Thanks to that, you can generate magical power beyond your physical capacity. Truly, the Earth Dragon is a mysterious species.」
『Oh, I see.』
「Just ‘oh, I see’? Even though it’s about your own body?」
『Well, um… Honestly, I don’t know how to react properly.』
I didn’t go through any proper training; I just ate magic stones and slept.
So, even if they tell me I have an outrageous amount of magical power, it doesn’t really sink in, you know…
「Hmm… Well, whatever. Earth, can you extend your arm for me?」
『Huh? Sure, but why?』
I extend my arm as requested.
「There you go, buzz.」
Zzt, a massive needle pierces me.
It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!!!
What is this!?
Upon closer inspection, it looks like a huge syringe-like tool.
When did she have that?
「Stay still. It’ll be over soon.」
Saying that, Elibel removes the syringe from my arm.
Ah, that hurt…
「It’s a blood sample. I’ll take it.」
Saying that, Elibel carefully puts away the syringe she had in her hand.
『At least tell me first before you do that….』
「You would have definitely refused if I had told you beforehand, right?」
Well, yeah, I can’t deny that.
I’ve always been afraid of injections since my previous life.
「…………I’ve become really interested in examining you thoroughly. Earth, if you’re willing to accompany me in dissecting you, you’re welcome anytime.」
『No way! I absolutely refuse!』
「Oh, what a pity. Well, you can still cooperate in some experiments.」
『…Is it something safe?』
「Of course. Well then, let’s call it a day here. Goodnight, Earth.」
Waving her hand, Elibel disappeared into the darkness of the corridor.
Looking around, it’s already dark.
『I guess I’ll go to sleep too…』
Under the moonlight, I slowly drifted off to sleep.
By the way, the next day, I molted again.
This time, I’ll make sure Elibel doesn’t take it away from me.
Inside Elibel’s Research Laboratory in the depths—
Elibel was manipulating equipment with a serious expression.
On a small glass slide-like plate, a few drops of Earth’s blood, which had been collected earlier, were dripping.
Surrounding it were intricate magic circles that glowed like light effects.
「…Just as I thought.」
「Miss Elibel, what did you discover?」
Berg, who was standing behind her, asked.
By the way, he was holding a potion-like energy drink in his hand.
「…Take a look at this.」
Elibel showed Berg the compiled records of the results.
Berg’s eyes widened at the results.
「I measured the magical concentration of Earth’s blood, you see… To my surprise, this blood is currently ‘increasing’ in magical power.」
Berg looked at the blood as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
「Normally, whether it’s blood or any other part of the body like scales or a missing limb, once it’s separated from the main body, the conduit of magic is severed. While there might be some residual magical power, it is absolutely impossible for it to ‘increase’ from that point. Absolutely.」
However, the blood that was collected from Earth is not weakening in magical power even after being separated from the body and the magic conduit being severed. If anything, it is still “increasing.”
One could even say that the blood itself is “growing.”
It was an abnormal phenomenon to an abnormal degree.
Just how incredibly impossible this phenomenon was.
Elibel held her breath at the results.
「However, this phenomenon was not observed in the skin or scales I obtained from him earlier. Is it due to his growth, or is it only the blood that is special…? I still don’t know. Either way, for someone like him who has been alive for just over a year, this is… incredibly abnormal.」
Can such results arise solely from the “Gluttony” possessed by the Earth Dragon?
Due to the limited sample size, it is impossible to reach a clear conclusion.
After all, there is severely lacking in available data for the Dragon King.
「The Earth Dragon, considered the supreme material… Perhaps Earth is an especially ‘anomalous’ among them.」
Elibel gazed at the blood she had acquired, contemplating.
「…The pinnacle of the Dragon King, huh.」
Only four races exist at the pinnacle of the dragon.
Elibel chuckled faintly.
「I’ve truly become the servant of an extraordinary being…」
Contrary to her words, her voice contained a definite sense of delight and curiosity.
In response, the flames in her eye sockets flickered playfully.
By the way, in terms of overall combat ability at the current moment:
Earth (Armed Form + White Powder) ≥ Wald (Dragon Form + Sacred Sword) > Heleb > Beldi (Armed) > Ann (Armed) > Pururu > Una Dos Tres (Armed) ≥ Forest Four Leaders > Earth (Normal) > Berg (Normal)
This is roughly the ranking.
Please note that this is just an approximate estimation based on the current situation and can easily change depending on the circumstances.
For example, if Berg returns to his prime, he will become stronger than Earth (Armed Form + White Powder).
As for Elibel, she’s a bit special, so she’s in a separate category.