Author: Kaburagi Haruka
Translator: ShiroiKaze/Soyokaze Translations
5th Act, Chapter 108: Dragon King
Translated by Soyokaze Translations: soyokazetranslation . com
Translator’s Note: All in Alec’s perspective~
Seeing Marle and the rest climb the stairs, I let out a breath.
But, not giving me that kind of time, Tiamat’s tail came to mow me down.
“Shit, you could at least give me a moment to see them off!”
I held Gram up to receive the assaulting tail.
The thing was as thick as I am tall, and its armor-like scales stood up almost like a saw.
If I was stroked by this tail, that alone would probably gouge out my flesh, and shave off my skin.
With a clang, I took the tail’s attack, and every bone in my body screamed.
Even Gram gave off an unpleasant creaking noise when it took the blow.
“This… Would have been some heavy baggage for Master or Levy to handle. Glad I’m the one that was left.”
Master, who mainly uses body work for counters, wouldn’t be able to ward off this tail.
And even Levy would probably have a hard time dodging this much mass continuously.
“Well, not that I can take it easy… Either!”
I swung upward with Gram, which was still taking the attack, and turned it aside overhead.
When the tail passed, I dove into the opened space directly in front of the main body… Or what appeared to be a human-like body anyway, and slashed.
But that sword strike was blocked by its sharp claws.
“So even if I get past the tail, there’s the claws to deal with? That’s so unfair.”
Upon drawing out, dodging, and blocking a counterattack with the claws, next I felt something coming from behind.
I immediately turned toward the back, and thrust Gram.
Making a sound like scraping bone, Gram’s blade was stabbed into the tail coming in from behind me.
Tiamat groaned unpleasantly, and swung its tail around.
The tail still had Gram thrust in it while it swung around, and I couldn’t exactly let go of my weapon, so we were all spun around in one big mixture.
Into the ground, into the ceiling, into the wall… The whole tail struck against them, and I finally managed to get Gram out.
I dropped to the ground and, after I took some distance by rolling, the tail slammed into where I had fallen.
When I observed what kind of damage I managed to give it, it seemed like it didn’t think of it as anything more than being stabbed by a needle.
“Not good… Gram isn’t the best weapon for this.”
Gram is a fine sword, but it’s not a good match-up against this enemy.
This thing is great at cutting thick or large enemies, but against enemies like this, where the blade is just gonna be taken in and stopped by its scales, it can’t make use of its sharp edge.
For enemies like Tiamat, I would need something like Sentinel or Cleaver to smash the scales altogether.
“But Agni was handed over to Master, so I’m just gonna have to work with what I’ve got!”
If the scales are gonna stop the blade, then I just have to aim for places without scales.
After dodging the tail surrounding me, if I can just get a direct attack on the main body… I might just be able to deliver some damage.
Luckily this thing isn’t the type that’s good with finer movements. Getting in close shouldn’t be all that difficult!
I used Gram to smack away the tail when it hindered me from getting in close, and jumped out of the way to dodge the tail when it was attacking from above.
After repeating that several times, I eventually succeeded in getting up next to it.
I knocked down the claws attacking me, and then just as I was taking a big swing of my sword, I felt a sense of discomfort.
—The tail isn’t coming, I cleared away the claws… But why aren’t they coming back?
Plenty enough time had passed for it to bring both its tail and claws back in, and recover its posture.
The moment I reached that conclusion, the sense of discomfort turned into one of danger.
Following only that bad feeling, I reflexively leaped far to the left.
Tiamat roared like an earthquake. It opened its mouth wide… And Tiamat’s breath attack blew through the space where I just was.
The floor where I just was got gouged out, and scorched.
That floor, made of the wood of the World Tree itself, was.
“This is comparable to Sis’ “Just die already” level spells.”
But that’s one more card from its hand.
Tiamat’s methods of attack are tail, claws, and breath. All of them are high power, but it’s easy to see the “tell” before the attacks.
Dodging them is definitely possible.
“Give me… A turn already!”
After circling around from where I jumped away, I was next to the main body.
By moving opposite where the body’s connection to the tail was twisting, I rendered the tail’s moves useless.
All that’s left this way is the claws and breath!
“Let’s try this again… Eat this!’
To triumph in a single attack, cutting off the head would be simplest.
Following that bit of common sense, I brought Gram’s blade to Tiamat’s neck.
Even if it doesn’t result in victory, I was certain it would inflict huge damage. But the response I got once again felt like hitting iron.
The cause was… Its hair.
Every single strand had become tiny snakes, and of course, steel-like scales could be seen covering their surface.
Those covered Tiamat from the top of its head down its neck.
Just how many hidden tricks does this thing have…? I can’t quite find an opening to attack.
In my moment of surprise, Tiamat turned its body back. I’m still near it, but we’re just right back where we started.
I handled the downpour of claws from up, down, left, and right, and parried away the tail attacking from behind.
From the heavy attacks, my stamina gradually wore away. The very first attack would have been enough to bring death on most fighters.
“You’re… Seriously… Annoying!”
I repelled the claws, and cut at the body. That attack was stopped by the snakes wrapped around its head too.
This time the claw opposite where I was repelled came down. I stopped that with Gram—
A sharp pain in my ankle. When I looked, a snake, fallen from its hair, had bit my ankle.
My body started going numb. So it was even venomous…?
“Even if… I cut them off… They still live…?”
My radically dulled movements weren’t enough to dodge the next tail attack.
It wasn’t just an impact; the needle-like scales also scooped out the flesh of my right arm.
I guess it could be called luck though… My body was protected by the Fafnir scale mail, so I was fine, but I was back to one arm again. On top of that, this time my good arm won’t move.
My legs being uninjured is also a windfall. Though my right leg is a little numb.
“Kgh… But, I can still… I can still move!”
But no matter how tough I act, the situation is just getting worse.
I guess I should pull out my “trump card” while my body is still moving, huh…
But Tiamat must not have intended on giving me a moment to think; its claws swung wide to mow me down.
With my left hand I used Gram to take it… And, unable to block it, I was knocked away.
If not for how tough Gram and the scale mail were, I would have taken a fatal wound there.
“Gohoh… But, that attack… Failed…”
Though shredded ragged in an instant, I managed to take some distance. Now I’ve got time to use it.
I pulled out the cloth given to me by Sis, and spread it out.
Drawn on it was a [Teleport] magic circle.
With the same construction as the extra magic mantle, the magic power for the [Teleport] was already held in it. As a result its durability was significantly less than what it was designed after though.
“I can only use it once… So please… Be there!”
With practically the feeling of a prayer, I activated the spell.
What followed was the distinct light of [Teleport].
After the light had died down… On the ground was the figure of a young boy, lying down and relaxed.
“Hmm? Hey, Alec. Work to do?”
“Yeah, sorry, but I’m leaving it to you… This is just a liiittle too much for me…”
Talking with an attitude like we’d just met by chance on a street corner, there was Bahamut.
“Wow, that’s a pretty showy way to get taken down… Looks painful.”
“It hurts. Like hell.”
Normally he wouldn’t be able to enter the labyrinth.
Because the World Tree recognizes him as a foreign contamination, and would knock him away if he went in the entrance or anywhere around it.
—So what if he was [Teleported] directly inside of it?
Sis thought that, and made this magic circle.
Bahamut was in our house’s basement, managing the water and food [Teleport] circles for us.
If we [Teleported] food out, he would replenish it for us. If we sent back empty water jugs, he would refill them for us.
Put another way, he wasn’t doing anything else. He didn’t have anything to do.
His Dragon King self could, if he felt like it, not have need of water or food for years.
Dragons as a whole, guardians of their own nests, could indulge in indolence alone continuously.
But that didn’t mean there was a 100% chance he’d be there.
Food spoils, and he would have to go away to pump water. What we were using was the “World Tree’s water”.
It’s completely different from the water we could get from [Water Wall] or [Water Current]. He would have to go fill every single place where our water supply was.
Plus there was visitors.
Miss Remy would frequently visit and clean up the place for us.
There were food deliveries too.
Reports about the results of things we were showing at auctions, and carrying in the gold coin payments also had to be handled.
And there were no small number of robbers who were aiming for those assets and looking to sneak in.
Bahamut was taking on handling all of that.
Apparently the food that Sis makes is just that valuable to him.
He also seems to enjoy messing with Master and I quite a bit.
So he’s helping us with what he can.
Put another way, he would step away from the [Teleport] circle when he was helping us with something, so… It really was a roll of the dice whether he would be there or not.
“Hum, Tiamat, huh… You’re still acting as the guardian of floor 999? Oh, this is floor 999, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is.”
“If you’re still tied up with the world tree, I guess there’s no substitute for you either.”
With the appearance of a knew threat… Way too big of a new threat, Tiamat unleashed its breath.
Bahamut easily brought up a [Barrier] to block the extreme heat.
“Come to think of it, no Yuuri and the rest, huh? Where’d they go?”
“We’re acting separately right now. Yuuri is above, Master is below.”
“Above… Finally reached floor 1000, huh. How deeply moving.”
The unbelievably strong breath was blocked by Bahamut while he was exchanging small talk. This guy really is ridiculous.
When Tiamat realized its breath attack didn’t work, it switched to a tail attack.
It bent the tip of it like a whip, and assaulted Bahamut while making explosive rupturing sounds.
According to Yuuri, that explosive sound is proof that the tip went beyond the speed of sound or something?
—This bastard still had another card up its sleeve…
But even that was blocked one-handed by Bahamut.
The offending tail was grabbed hold of with one hand.
“Sorry, I don’t have a whole lot of time. Could you leave?”
Saying that, tail in hand, he threw Tiamat like it was a bug being shooed away.
Leaving a horrific sound, the tail was torn off.
This time Tiamat screamed in pain.
Hearing that, Bahamut nodded once, and his form suddenly expanded.
After his mutation was over, there was a “monster” in his place.
Scales with a black luster. Smoke spilling from the sides of his mouth. A piercing glint in his eyes. And a titanic body easily surpassing Tiamat’s.
What was there transcended being summarized as “holy” or “evil”… A “symbol of power” stood there.
Responding to that majestic figure, while being crushed by terror, Tiamat attacked.
Its breath was repelled by the scales.
Its claws were blocked, and broken off.
Even if it wanted to swing its tail, it was torn; it wasn’t there.
The snake god’s expression showed despair.
And right now… I know how it feels.
Winning against this guy—Is impossible.
“Good grief, you do not change. Neither your being tied to this tree, nor your attack methods, nor your lack of any questions about my current self…”
From Bahamut’s belly resounded a low voiced mutter.
The moment his form changed, his voice was also filled with dignity.
“I have no business with a puppet. Hurry and begone.”
Together with his pronouncement, Bahamut unleashed his breath.
The flash burned my eyes and blocked my sight… When I opened my eyes again, not a trace of Tiamat remained.
Nor did the firm wall of the World Tree.
Translated by Soyokaze Translations: soyokazetranslation . com
“So anyway, all good now?”
Once he went back to human form, he also went back to his lighter tone.
Even so, after seeing something like that, there’s no way this could go back to normal.
“What? Were you scared?”
“Yeah, of course I was!”
There was no point in lying. I was terrified down to my very core.
When I think of what making an enemy of that would mean, all I feel is despair. I’d almost consider it weird that I didn’t piss myself.
“Well, you were always enthusiastically saying you’ll surpass me, after all. You being docile feels a little off… I actually kind of liked that, you know?”
“Don’t ask the impossible…”
“And plus… It’s the time limit, huh?”
Immediately after Bahamut said that, vines grew from the World Tree, and went to restrain him.
“I can easily break these vines, but… They’re so persistent. No matter how many times I pluck them, they still come to wrap around me. They’re a real pain, so when you’re all done here, just come get me, yeah?”
“Hey, the Demon Lord is up above here! Sis and the others are holding him back, could you at least…”
“I’m sure that’ll go fine. You should really believe in your sister more.”
“Like I said, don’t ask the impossible!”
Translated by Soyokaze Translations: soyokazetranslation . com
With those as the last words, he was trapped inside the World Tree.
Author’s Note: Two more chapters in the 5th act.
Three chapters until Yuuri is complete.