Chapter 161: Shiki and the hyuman dragon
“… Even if you say dragon, the Nee-sans at Kuzunoha are more daunting. This isn’t a big deal”
At the outsides of the castle where the flames were beginning to settle, several places of the Limia capital had smoke rising.
With the large quantity of light swords that rained down not that long ago, it seems like it had enough effect to control the battle between hyumans and demons.
The sounds of fight have stopped.
The expression of the man that was facing the giant shadow and spilling out abusive language, it was easy to tell that he was just trying to look tough.
He was standing on his two legs, but he was quite wounded.
(I totally agree)
At the words that the man squeezed out, the shadow standing at a mountain of rubble also agreed.
But this one was not a person.
A robe with glossy black and, while few, there were also gold threads added to it.
Just that, the body that was dressed in it, is a skeleton.
The hood that was covering its head was taken off and its cranium was laid bare.
The agreement of his was directed at the words itself, and it didn’t show a single sign of agreeing to the act of toughness of the hyuman male.
It’s the servant of the devil that is currently fighting with Sofia at the audience room, Shiki.
After following the hero Hibiki, he was staring at the destruction the light swords created.
“It saved me the trouble though”
Shiki confirms from afar the hero party that’s trying to stand up and somehow fix their stance.
But his gaze stayed the same.
It was clear where his interest was directed at.
The moment he said it saved him the trouble, what he glanced at was Hibiki and the others.
An adventurer that was heavily exhausted.
Hibiki who can be seen to be in the same state.
Using his sword as a cane to stand up, the knight Bredda.
The Lorel Priestess who is desperately trying to ‘activate’ healing magic, Chiya.
There was one more remaining that Shiki saw.
With a hole opened at his abdomen and prostrated on the ground, the magician Wudi.
Maybe it was a stray shot, or it might be because his defense was not enough.
Leaving the speculation aside, for Shiki who was thinking about leaving some of her companions half-dead because they are running wild too much, this situation where Hibiki and the others are concentrating in defense and healing is quite ideal for him.
Truly saved him the trouble.
“The Lich huh. It doesn’t seem like you are sided with the demon race, but well, I will let you go. Leave”
“Superior Dragon Lancer. ‘Mitsurugi’. I didn’t think I would be the one meeting you” (Shiki)
A dragon that is larger than a watchtower was there.
Shiki knew that superior dragon, and yet, it doesn’t seem like he was scared.
Actually, it can even be seen as joy.
The hero party that screamed the name of their companion royal court magician, resounded in the background.
But it didn’t shake a single emotion from Shiki.
“… What is that stance?” (Lancer)
“My name is Larva. The servant of the Devil. Now that I say this, you should know my intentions right?” (Shiki)
“Devil… that kid, had his own troops?” (Lancer)
“You understand fast” (Shiki)
From the body of Lancer an overpowering aura comparable to a dragon’s roar leaks out.
It was something produced just by being aware of battle.
Without being bound by it, Shiki holds up his black staff.
Within the mist that was enough to cover the lower half of an adult, at the ruins of the capital destroyed by the light swords…
The fight between what is supposed to be only a mere high-ranked undead Lich, and the superior dragon Lancer, began.
“You bastard, it seems like you are without doubt the servant of the Devil. Seriously, you are a Lich only in name. Like a ‘servant’ disguising with the shell of a hyuman” (Lancer)
“But too bad. Even if you want to put up a fight, I am not just a simple superior dragon anymore. But really, for there to be a servant that has power comparable to that of a superior dragon, as expected of the Devil. Raidou is dangerous” (Lancer)
“You said your name was Larva, right? You see, I want to hurry and join Sofia, no, I want to kill the Devil with my own hands. That guy, even if it was temporary, he robbed me of one of my legs in the past” (Lancer)
Shiki continued his silence and Lancer continued his words. His form was showing a change.
The dragon body of his shrunk and turned into a hyuman shaped one.
It isn’t the childish body that he had before.
He now had the appearance of a slender faced youth of around 20 years old like Sofia.
Different from when he had the appearance of a kid that was exactly the same as a hyuman, at his white skin, there’s a tattoo-like pattern floating.
The pattern shines slightly and illuminates his appearance faintly, making his atmosphere feel like an illusion.
“‘I want to kill him’ That is what I should be saying, Lancer” (Shiki)
“You and that mouth of yours…” (Lancer)
After the words of Lancer, several light swords appear around Shiki as if surrounding him.
Practically at the same time they appear, a rain of swords attacks Shiki.
Shiki destroyed some of the swords with spells and secures an escape path, but unable to escape the explosion that the swords made after. He was blown away in the sky as if riding the wind.
Instead of calling it blown away, it was partly like he himself flew though.
“Larva-dono, release this mist. If you do that, we can fight as well. We can help you defeat that dragon” (Hibiki)
“Fuh, Limia hero, it seems like you are not properly seeing the situation. I am not really facing a hard fight here” (Shiki)
“… Yeah right. No matter how you try, you are just playing way too tough here” (Hibiki)
Shiki’s robe was quite damaged and was tattered already.
And, his opponent Lancer…
Had an even stronger power coming out of him from the shrunken hyuman body and standing as if nothing.
No matter who saw this, one can see that Shiki is the one in a predicament.
“I have received the permission of master. His leeway will be gone now” (Shiki)
“Master… that white guy. Larva-dono, let me tell you my honest feelings. That dragon that has made a mess out of this capital and killed a large amount of residents… let me defeat him alongside you” (Hibiki)
“… Your name was Hibiki, right? That’s impossible. From now on, I will have no leeway to mind you guys. Right now, even the barrier that is protecting you guys, I will most likely be unable to maintain it either” (Shiki)
“No way! If you release this now, the mist will kill Wudi-san!” (Chiya)
“Lorel’s priestess, there’s no need to worry about that. This mist will disappear soon. Not only that. I will give you guys an appealing proposition” (Shiki)
“An appealing… proposition?” (Hibiki)
Hibiki looks at the cranium where emotions can’t be seen, at its shining eyes.
Those eyes were looking at Lancer.
Even when he was talking, Shiki wasn’t looking at Hibiki and the others.
“Right. If you guys stay obedient, that magician there, I will save him later. Of course, with the condition that the priestess there is able to continue her healing though” (Shiki)
“?!! You will… save him?! An undead like you, save Wudi-san?! A living being?!” (Chiya)
Chiya’s surprise was quite a normal reaction.
Normally, an undead can’t use healing magic.
Only a very few number of undeads are able to, but they by nature hate living beings.
They hate the light of the living that they themselves have lost.
There’s no way they would actively take the role of saving the life of a living.
That’s why, for Hibiki and the others, Shiki’s proposition seemed odd.
It is for that reason that, not only Chiya, but everyone there had a surprised expression.
“Are you saying that you are surely able to safe Wudi in that state?”
“Of course. A mere thing like a fist sized hole at the abdomen, it is an easy job. In the first place, the line where we consider someone dead is different. Don’t put us at your same level. Now then, how about it? I have gone all the way and proposed this to you though?” (Shiki)
“… I will believe in those words of yours” (Hibiki)
Bredda’s voice of caution.
“No, this is the correct answer. That dragon is not normal, but this guy is not normal either. The atmosphere he gives off is similar to a certain type of people. People that will do it when they say they will, that kind of people” (Hibiki)
“Larva-dono, keep your promise” (Hibiki)
Hibiki once again tells Shiki words that meant her acknowledgement.
“The negotiation has been established then. ‘Mist Temple, Nivlheim’ cancel. Let me warn you. Try to at least protect your own body, okay?” (Shiki)
“… Understood” (Hibiki)
One ring disappears from Shiki’s fingers.
As if proving that it originated from a strange power, the mist rapidly dissipates.
“How stubborn. Well, getting you along with the whole hero party is fine as well. Perish with my genuine swords” (Lancer)
Lancer faces Shiki, no, he fires off several number of swords that were floating in the sky at different directions.
“… It seems like, it is time to exhibit my specialty. Hero, and also that knight and adventurer. Protect your body with everything you have. If you don’t want to die, that is” (Shiki)
It seems like Shiki has grasped the intention of Lancer’s action.
After a slight delay, a scream was heard.
“Just what in the world is going on?”
“Kukuku, if you are going to hate someone, hate these fools that have dared to stand in my way. You vessel swords, remnant of strong beings that didn’t die” (Lancer)
Answering the words of Lancer, the several light swords that were shot, once again float in midair.
No, they were not light swords.
Red, black, silver, white… and also normal swords.
Swords that had substance were floating there.
“… Blade Dragon, Lancer. But that body of yours is a hybrid that holds two lives. A hyuman dragon, or maybe a dragon kin? I see, Root-dono’s words were truly correct. Your power has increased when you took that form” (Shiki)
“!! Root! You bastard, why do you know that name?!” (Lancer)
“Surrounded by many famous swords, the supreme dragon called ‘Mitsurugi’. The true form of those swords are the outcome of the strong beings you have turned into swords” (Shiki)
Shiki indifferently talks.
“… I can’t let you live huh” (Lancer)
“Hmph. People that challenged you themselves, strong beings that you had taken an interest in; you turned the tables on them and increased your own collection. Being able to reside in a place close to people must have truly been 2 birds with 1 stone huh” (Shiki)
“Lich… you said your name was Larva, right? You and that hero as well… turn into a part of my power!” (Lancer)
The swords plunge at Shiki all at once.
“‘Clad this body of mine in malice’ Groth. Shia, ‘the drifting silver cage that wipes out arrows’ Madhugiri” (Shiki)
Gently walking forward.
With his specialty of using soul language, he loudly clacks the aria and approaches Lancer at high speed.
In a quite short aria, Shiki’s body is clad in something dark red, and on top of that, several ripples were created.
7 of the 10 swords were pursuing Shiki.
An attack that doesn’t aim at a place but at an individual.
But Shiki didn’t stop.
From the front, the sides, and also the rear; ignoring the swords that were drawing near, he thrusts his staff at Lancer.
“You bastard!” (Lancer)
Just before a number of the swords hit Shiki, the ripples got in their way.
After that, Shiki activates the spell he was chanting his aria for.
The swords distorted heavily and disappear at random directions.
The two remaining swords collide with the dark red coating and slowly corrode.
The shock of the big light that occurred from behind, reached even at the place where Shiki and Lancer were.
It must have been the other three swords that attacked Hibiki and the others
“… I am truly lucky. Because something as convenient as this is actually happening after all. The Dragon Slayer Sofia and the superior dragon Lancer that holds the alias Mitsurugi; your sin of injuring one of our own, Tomoe-dono and Mio-dono would have killed you without remorse. I am truly… lucky” (Shiki)
“Killing me? Just because you have escaped my true swords once, you dare get so ahead of yourself!” (Lancer)
The thrusted staff was Shiki’s late declaration of war.
Lowering his staff, Shiki gets happy about his luck as if monologuing.
“And, you are unlucky. I have investigated you well. By having a bit of cooperation from what can be called the dragon’s chief, Root-dono” (Shiki)
“Root! So you bastard really do have a connection with that guy. In that case, the Devil also…” (Lancer)
“I think that the strongest weapon people possess is ‘comprehension’. I am a ‘former’ hyuman, but… I will proof this by slaying a dragon” (Shiki)
“This is a battlefield. There are elites in the demon race, and in the adventurers of Tsige there are some as well. There are still many casks of strong beings. That composure of yours, I will soon erase it!” (Lancer)
“‘Number 6 is my fittest…’” (Shiki)
“‘Free yourself from your scabbard and become your true form’, come… Ascalon” (Shiki)
Shiki holds the staff with both hands as if brandishing a sword.
It is a black staff that has few decorations, but with a light similar to that of a red moon, it changed its appearance and becomes a giant great sword.
And quite the big one too.
“You bastard, weren’t you a magician?” (Lancer)
“I am a magician. That recognition is correct. This is a sword smeared with poison and malediction, Ascalon. With my desires of one day being able to hunt you down, I have given this sword the name of a Dragon Slayer after all” (Shiki)
“Poison huh. It is certainly true that it doesn’t have the radiance of a legendary sword. Not even a ghostly aura” (Lancer)
“That’s fine. I am the one using it, so a beautiful legendary sword doesn’t fit me” (Shiki)
Leaving the point of the sword on the ground, Shiki holds the claymore with both hands.
If it were a strong swordsman, that stance there would be inviting for a swipe to break his stance.
“It is not a sword that a magician can use. If that’s your weapon, your choice was a mistake” (Lancer)
“Six step ‘Fray’ release. ‘Sword Emperor Possession, Sword Spirit Em’” (Shiki)
Lancer jumps instantly.
Firing light swords disorderly to the surroundings, he gathers a number of physical swords around him.
“For a magician to challenge me with a sword, what mockery!” (Lancer)
“Swords created from the life of mobs, are no match for Ascalon and Fray. Taste it plenty, the fear of death” (Shiki)
From the whole body of Shiki, a dark red power swells up.
The moment that power reached the tip of the sharp Ascalon, Shiki roars, and instantly closes the distance that Lancer still had left.
At exactly the range of the giant great sword that one wouldn’t be able to measure with one’s eyes unless they normally utilize it.
The bony arms made a reverse swing with Ascalon and aim at Lancer’s neck.
Several swords made a high-speed automatic defense in between the giant and Lancer, but they were being destroyed one after the other and were unable to accomplish their job.
Lancer himself was only able to make a momentaneous reaction and retreat from that location. He could only take distance.
His voice didn’t leak only because of that.
His right hand was dripping with blood.
“If I remember correctly, you bastards cut off the fingers of my master… right? How is it, does it hurt?” (Shiki)
Seeing that he received exactly the same injury as Makoto, Shiki asks him.
“You… bastard… Unforgivable!!” (Lancer)
“I feel exactly the same. What a coincidence” (Shiki)
After joking, he aims at Lancer with Ascalon.
In the moment of contact, a strong light was produced.
“This is quite the different disposition of sword. Ah, it is from your collection huh. As expected of a sword used by past heroes. A wondrous sword you have there” (Shiki)
“That’s not all!” (Lancer)
A red light comes out from inside Lancer’s mouth.
Immediately after, a light streak was fired at point blank range towards Shiki.
That was something that resembled the laser-like attack of Sofia.
That voice leaked out from Lancer.
“What’s wrong? I am a magician, it is obvious that I will have a barrier spread, right?” (Shiki)
The light bundle that was supposed to go straight ahead, was refracted and disappeared into the sky.
A giant great sword not fit for magicians, a firm and skilfull barrier not fit for swordsmen.
Lancer who was healing the injuries of his fingers, was slowly falling into chaos.
“Well then, let’s continue” (Shiki)
The lights of Shiki’s hollow eye cavities grew stronger.
Upper, center, lower; at times he would even appear at the back and do an attack as if striking by surprise.
Shiki was perfectly utilizing the weight of the claymore, and doing a sword dance that showed no openings.
The light swords imprisonment and the physical swords showed powerlessness akin to leaves.
The swords that were floating around Lancer and seemed to have special characteristics, were desperately trying to protect their master.
“‘Being true to yourself is the light of life’ Stavelot” (Shiki)
“You bastard, in between this battle of weapons you are inputting a spell aria?!” (Lancer)
The darkness Shiki created that was deeper than night itself attacks Lancer.
From an outsider’s point of view, there wasn’t much change, but the movements of Lancer had dulled.
But for the related party, it was quite a weakening that can’t be joked of.
“‘Sword that seeks its own return’ Rot Counter” (Shiki)
Purposely not repelling the sword that was about to reach him, Shiki once again forms a new spell in a calm manner.
The sword teared against the dark red aura that covered Shiki, but without being able to injure his body, it made a high-pitched sound and breaks.
As if it cut itself.
“You broke the sword of a hero?!” (Lancer)
“I will be breaking several more until your end, but I don’t think you have the leeway to count every single one of them though” (Shiki)
While feeling exaltation, and yet, still able to maintain calm, Shiki’s movements were quite the unnatural ones.
Two things that require extreme concentration to perform, and he was able to perform both at the same time.
Sword and spell.
Even the only spectators in that place, the hero party, were clearly able to tell that.
Even when they are looking from a slightly far away location, they could understand that Shiki was overwhelming Lancer, and were looking at a fierce battle from inside their barrier.
While spreading a barrier, they perform healing.
With just that, Chiya seemed like she was already unable to think properly. And seeing Shiki who was able to make more than two spells in the midsts of that dance of blades, she understood that he was abnormal.
It was as if his ‘body and spirit were moving as different entities’. Transcendental movements that can even make someone feel bad.
A superior dragon that is called the world’s highest ranked.
Hibiki and the others were simply looking at how that notion was crumbling.