“COME, DRAGON! LET US ENJOY THIS FIGHT TO THE FULLEST!”
Just my luck… this bastard’s one of those “loves-to-fight” types. Coupled with the fact he’s currently unkillable, this fight’s gonna be one hell of a slog for me.
These are my thoughts just as we exchanged hundreds of blows, maybe even thousands. I’ve been blowing this bastard into clouds of red mist so many times in each clash, but he still somehow hits back. I really wish my mind could think as fast as my body when it moves to intercept each of his attacks while hitting back… that way I could think of a different plan to end all this bullshit. Then again, stuck in this deadlock, I may have the time I need to think of one.
“YOU BETTER GET READY, DRAGON! GETTING SMASHED SO ONE-SIDEDLY, I’M GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE THIS UP A NOTCH!”
Dafuq, he could get stronger!? I know it makes sense he does, but these are some serious levels of extreme bullshit! I really REALLY regret not working on my magic some more! Even my last trump card won’t work on this guy! Why I – what?
Before I could continue my inner ramblings of frustration, a warm blue energy seemed to coat me from head to toe. A blurred image of my body seemed to move before me and compels me follow it. Hold up… isn’t this what Astranir said before? His last present?
It seems my strange state hasn’t been missed by that guy. If I was furious and irritated before, my mind is now clear and serene. I followed the sensations and movement the energy seemed to be guiding me into and as soon as I lifted my hand palms upward before me, a ball of pure raw mana appeared at the top of my palm.
As I followed the sensations, the mana suddenly began to shift into many elements. First was earth, ever firm and abundant… then water, ever flowing and deep… then wind, ever formless and free… and lastly fire, ever burning and pure… the elements of the world… feel all so natural as they dance across my fingertips.
“Oho… it seems I’ve gotten a little carried away… I probably should’ve tried to end the fight sooner… I was wondering why you haven’t used magic in this entire fight other than enhancing yourself… looks like you’ve only just stepped into the realm of a true Dragon.”
Indeed… what Astranir… no… my brother, has gifted me… was the inherent knowledge that Dragons were supposed to possess… the mastery of mana and by extension… Magic.
As I’m getting accustomed to the energy, I feel like I was supposed to have this knowledge when I was born… but perhaps my reincarnation with pre-existing knowledge might have muddled that natural inheritance. Who knows… maybe that Old Soul?
I don’t know how proficient a normal Dragon would be in magic, but the energy that flows within me… makes me feel like nothing in the world could stop me. Is this what being drunk with power feels like? If so, I’m glad my mind was cleared of that madlust nonsense before I got this knowledge back. Now, while it feels amazing, I can still make choices with clarity.
“Now that this has taken a troublesome turn, I guess this doesn’t leave me with much of a choice…”
I prepare myself to intercept whatever plans he has up his sleeve. I’d like to use magic to stop him now, but the idea that he’s doing something based on the fact I can now do magic means I probably can’t keep him from doing whatever it is he wants to do. I could risk it, but I’d rather do that if I was on my own, not in a temple with possibly hundreds of people inside, especially the ones we’re supposed to save. That’s why I’m preparing for a counter-action instead.
“I see you’re cautious… wise, but you forget that my purpose was never to beat you. It’s regrettable, but how about we make a deal?”
A deal? Either he’s confident he can still match me, or he’s stalling for something… maybe… let’s listen to him for now.
“What do you have in mind?”
“Simple. Let me and crow-boy over there walk away, and we’ll be on our way, never to bother you again. Our mission’s a failure the moment the noble, Harkwall, revealed himself to be an Ascended. We were supposed to forcefully convert him into our cause, but… No world-bound curse or magic would ever work on a mortal who’s stepped foot into the realm of divinities… our realm.”
Wow… I honestly forgot about that guy… Like, we were even supposed to work out how to find him and save him, if I recall. I ended up making a mess though, but I think it’s time I try to find out what these guys were up to.
“I’ll consider it, but first… Why did you need to convert Harkwall?”
“Heh… because only he has the means to access an important information locked away in a certain God-forged Vault… the location of the Dragon God of Magic’s temple, which is said to be underneath the city.”
! – This isn’t good. This might be the real reason why brother bothered to intervene at all.
“Oho… it seems there’s some truth to it after all, given your reaction. I could try to force it out of you as a premise to fight you some more, but this fight will take too long, especially with Harkwall catching up soon. He’ll grow bored of that bishop any time now. So, what do you say?”
I was about to respond until I heard footsteps behind me.
“Master! We’ve managed to release the captive priests and clergymen!”
I was wondering where she went. I was too focused on fighting that I only noticed her and that other guy’s presence were gone when I gained my magic knowledge. Glad to know she’s very proactive, but… this came at a bad timing.
As soon as Vai took my attention, Vulkratos moved. In a flash, I willed all the mana within the earth to subdue every inch of his body, forming a similar prison as to when King Nabolros launched me in an earth cocoon. The only difference is that instead of completely sealing him, I entwined the earth around his limbs to seal his momentum and not just cage him inside a coffin.
“Hahahaha! Nice job! You’ve managed to seal my movements really well. Instead of putting me in a cage, you’ve prevented me from putting strength into my actions. Too bad you didn’t know what I was going for.”
As he said this, I heard the sound of glass being crushed and noticed some red shiny powder pouring onto the floor from one of his hands.
“That was a signal. Now that I’ve sent it, the men stationed at the Labyrinth’s entrance will now remove the blessed wards. You’ll have to act fast, otherwise the town will be overrun by devils.”
Tch. He’s right. I’m feeling a revolting sensation or energy coming from the direction in the center of the city, and it’s massive.
“Vai, we leave now! Have the clerics and priests assist the adventurers! The devils are coming!”
Vai nodded and ran ahead while taking one last look of concern at me. I then turned one last time towards Vulkratos.
“It’s your call, dragon… or should I say, Camus? Do we continue the fight where no one wins, or you go towards the devils and help save the city?”
I’m a little annoyed at the fact that I’ve got nothing on how to deal with him yet, but he’s right, this fight is pointless. I could try to kill off or capture the crow-bastard, but who’s to say this guy won’t go apeshit on me in the process. I’ll deal with him another time, but for now…
“How do you know my name?”
“Heh. The Aruna have eyes across this world. The greater of our kin are always watching. That’s all I’ll tell you for now.”
A cryptic response as expected. Well, no matter. As soon as I can directly meet my brother, the sooner I’ll get clear answers for what I have to do.
As a last means to ruin this guy’s day, I made sure to put crow-guy into a similar prison as him and reinforced all the structures that are holding them. The earth holding the both of them should be stronger than solid steel at the least after my strengthening. I also left a few “traps” within the structure since I know it won’t hold him for good. With a smirk, I told him “Have fun getting out” before I left.
“Heh. That kid sure knows how to hold a grudge. I know I owe you a favor, but couldn’t you have picked a much simpler target? He’s fun to fight, but our match-up is pretty bad. Not to mention he’s… “ Vulkratos mused then trailed off as a winged purple orb the size of a man’s head with a pink fog and a yellow vertical slit within appeared beside him.
In response, the orb pulsed with an eerie light as it continued to “stare” in the direction Camus left.
“Tch, again with your weird impulses. Well, I’m not gonna judge considering which Law you possess. Just know that even I think your plan is crazy if you want to involve him in it.” responded Vulkratos musingly again.
The orb glowed several times with varying intensities as it turned to look towards him.
“Yeah, yeah, I won’t tell the others. You’re the one I owe the most, so you have no problems with me helping you with your plans. Plus, I also think it’s going to be more fun with him involved. And no, I don’t need help getting out. This cage is tricky, but nothing compared to the Infinite Void Prison I’ve been held at before. Currently, the only problems we have… are the ones up north…” a tinge of grimness coated Vulkratos’ words as his smirk faded.
Dim pulses of light came from the orb as it slowly began to fade.
“Well, nothing we can do about it now. It’s only a rumor he’s made his home there, but let’s hope our young friend will make it out alive towards Astranir’s Temple. As for me…” Vulkratos said as he looked towards a hall to his right.
The sound of stone and metal being smashed could be heard in the distance, growing louder as it loomed towards his direction.
“As much as I want to face that one… I’ve really overstayed my welcome. I welcome the challenge, dragon brat! Let’s see how long your prison can hold… ME!” Vulkratos yelled, as a surge of incredible energy enveloped his entire body and exploded out towards the entire region of space before him.
From the distance, explosions rang out across the entirety of the Church of Dominion. Other than those involved, no one knew what transpired in the temple. If it weren't for the dire situation caused by the devils spilling forth from the Labyrinth, then perhaps this incident would have garnered more attention.
In only a matter of hours… what remained of the church was mortar and ruin.