Editors: Sebas Tian, Joker, Speedphoenix
Major events are often abrupt in nature. They occur without much in the way of warning and sweep you right off your feet with a series of unexpected occurrences. And there was no better testament to their sudden nature than today. Lefi and I had been in the middle of lazing around as usual when she suddenly stood up and looked towards the door leading outside.
“What’s wrong, Le—” I cut myself off in the middle of asking her the question as my map popped open.
There was an intruder. One powerful enough to prompt my map to open. Looking into the details, I immediately discovered that our uninvited guest was of the winged variety. It flew over the forest and headed in our general direction.
“The hell is this thing!?” I asked while narrowing my eyes.
“I believe it to be an acquaintance of mine,” muttered Lefi as she still stood facing the door.
Looking at her, I realized that her eyes had also been narrowed, and they were giving off the same sharp glint as mine. It was a glare, not the type one would typically direct towards an acquaintance. Welp… I guess that means it’s someone she doesn’t like.
“I shall return shortly, for it is likely I who his business concerns.” Lefi began moving towards the door, but I placed a hand on her shoulder and stopped her.
“Hold on. I’m coming too.”
“It would be best to refrain,” said Lefi. “The fool at our doorstep is one that believes himself far superior to all. I know that not even my presence will suffice in restraining his aggressive impulses. It is dangerous for you to accompany me.”
“All I’m hearing is that I should really be coming with you,” I said. “I’m not about to make you face off against someone like that all by yourself.”
The look on Lefi’s face indicated that the individual in question was likely the type she didn’t enjoy dealing with. It was true that she was far stronger than me and more than capable of handling the situation even if something was to happen, but that didn’t change anything. The dungeon was mine. Protecting it from intruders like her obviously not-so-nice acquaintance was my job. I wasn’t able to just kick back and laze around with my legs up while she handled everything for me.
“You do not need to concern yourself with my well being. I am the Supreme Dragon. No harm shall come to me.”
“Doesn’t matter. I’m still coming.”
She tried to dissuade me, but I wasn’t going to back down. As a man, I just… couldn’t. I couldn’t turn a blind eye on Lefi walking into a potentially dangerous situation on her own, even if she was so powerful that she was capable of overwhelming every other being in this world with ease. I knew that there was a chance that I would just be in the way, but there was also a chance I wouldn’t.
Our eyes met. She stared into my eyes, but I didn’t yield.
“I suppose there is no stopping you,” she chuckled. “Very well, Yuki, I shall entrust you with my well being.”
“Then consider yourself safe, partner.”
Lefi responded to my confident reply with a small smile.
I gathered up the dungeon’s residents and told them not to leave the true throne room under any circumstances whatsoever until Lefi and I returned. I then had Enne dispel her human form before grabbing her by the hilt and hoisting her blade over my shoulder. I didn’t even bother sheathing her before stepping outside the cave. The blade almost seemed a bit nervous, likely because she could sense that I was a lot less relaxed than usual. She wasn’t the only weapon I had equipped. I had my gun and a dagger holstered on my hips, and a pouch with several potions in it strapped to one of my thighs.
It was my newly devised fully equipped state. The potion pouch was a result of iteration. My battle with that one sadistic douche had led me to understand that it was best to have a few on me just in case I didn’t have enough time to reach into my inventory and retrieve them.
Once outside, Lefi and I stood side by side as we regarded the winged intruder, the dragon, flying through the air. It seemed to notice us, as it swooped down towards us the moment we left the cave. It stopped and began hovering around in midair right as it reached us.
Though it technically belonged to the same species as her, its form was nothing like Lefi’s. The dragon before us was larger, had black scales, and all in all, seemed a lot more rugged and bony.
Name: Gilordio Gyogarr
Race: Black Dragon
King of the Dragons
The winged lizard had one hell of a sense of presence. It exerted so much pressure that even being near it caused cold sweat to run down my cheeks. His level was less than half of Lefi’s, but it was still much greater than my own, which meant that I was likely only able to see as much of his stat page as I was because he had it on display.
My magic eye informed me that the dragon was chock full of mana. He probably had enough fuel to fight at full power for three straight days. And that was assuming that he’d be slinging spells the whole way through.
“I have finally found you, Leficios. But I do not understand your bizarre whims,” said the black dragon with a scornful laugh. “Why have you, the Supreme Dragon, adjusted your form to mimic that of a mere human?”
There was a disapproving glare in the dragon’s eye. The way he seemed to be looking down on everything around him, us included, pissed me off to no end. His expression had, admittedly, unsettled me a bit at first, but the emotion vanished as quickly as it’d come. Eugh. Yeah uh, I don’t think me and him are ever going to get along.
“State your business, Gyogarr, and be quick with it. I have little time to waste on a whelp like you,” said Lefi with a scowl. Her tone was much sharper than usual.
“A ridiculous label. No other would dare name me a mere whelp.”
“Why is it that you have become the Dragonlord? What has happened to Bellum?”
It seemed like Lefi had also looked at the black dragon’s stat page. Yeah uh, based on that usurper title? He probably stole it.
“I have slain the senile old bastard and taken his title for myself! Now I am Dragonlord, and all those that reside in our village have fallen under my rule!” he declared.
“You slew Bellum?” Lefi’s face twisted in confusion.
Hmmm… I guess that must mean that the Bellum guy was the last Dragonlord? And wait, did he just say that there’s a literal village full of dragons? Lefi’s making it seem like this guy killing the Bellum guy seems pretty unlikely, so I guess something weird must’ve happened in that draconic village or whatever.
“I have! Though you have never regarded me as more than a whelp, I am now the king that presides over our people!”
“Ridiculous,” snorted Lefi. “What of the other ancient dragons? They are not so foolish as to obey you.”
“They were but foolish, senile old men, lacking in the ambition that a dragon should bear! And as such, I have driven them from our lands. Soon, my subordinates and I shall take to conquering this world as our own! And that, that is why I have appeared before you, Leficios, to extend you an invitation.”
Lefi, who was dumbstruck by disbelief, could only manage a single word, but the black dragon didn’t seem to notice, as he continued passionately professing his intentions.
“Leficios, Supreme Dragon. Join me. Join me as my mate and rule this world by my side! For with our powers combined, all that exist shall grovel at our feet!”
“Shut the fuck up, asshole.” I had remained silent and just listened at first, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer.
“What was that, insect?” The black dragon focused his gaze on me for the first time since his arrival.
“I told you to shut the fuck up.” I growled. “All you’ve been doing is blabbing on and on about how your head is filled with nothing but shit. You’re pretentious. You’ve got your head so far up your own ass you’ve basically turned yourself inside out. What are you, some kind of narcissistic freak? Do you suck your own dick for breakfast every morning?”
The dragon didn’t quite seem used to being insulted, as my words had caused its eye to twitch in anger.
“I couldn’t give half a fuck about the world at large. You can take it over, fuck it up, whatever. I don’t care. But if you want to do it, then do it yourself. Don’t be going around trying to get others involved just ‘cause your dick’s too tiny to do the job. What are you, some kind of spoiled brat? Didn’t mommy ever teach you not to bother other people?”
“You dare mock me, insect!?”
The black dragon bore its fangs at me and snarled, but I sneered right back.
“Well, considering that I’m just teaching some dumb fucking kid a bit of common sense, I’d say it’s more like I’m schooling you. I mean, just look at you. Your body’s huge, but on the inside, you’re just a baby. It’s pathetic, so pathetic it’s making me laugh.”
“It is as he says,” agreed Lefi. “Leave us, whelp. I have little interest in assuming control of this world, and even less in becoming your mate. I suggest that you return to the village and pursue another. I have no doubt that there are many available.”
“I see…” the dragon muttered. “So this insect is the reason for which you have assumed the form of a lowly human.”
“Indeed, for he is the partner I have chosen.”
A sudden sense of crisis assaulted me and filled every fibre of my being.
I only caught the slightest glimpse of the attack. My vision was filled with naught but black scales the moment I realized what he was up to. I managed to defend, but only because I was lucky. Obeying my instincts had caused me to bring Zaien up to block the blow, but the shockwave was so heavy that I was sent flying through the air regardless. There was so much force behind the attack that I almost thought I’d been hit by an F1 racecar going at its top speed.
My field of view rapidly changed as I was carried by the momentum. Only after flying a few dozen meters did I finally process the fact that I was in midair. I materialized my wings, hit the brakes, and stopped.
Pain coursed through the arm I was using to hold Zaien.
“Oh? I had expected that to end you,” said the black dragon in a scornful tone. His arm was raised in a position that indicated he had just swung it.
“Yuki!” shouted Lefi before turning back towards the dragon. “You bastard!”
“Hmph.” The asshole snorted. “Your reactions are far too slow, Leficios. It is as I have thought. Imitating the form of a human has led to a drastic drop in your power. Not even the legendary Supreme Dragon means much in such a state, I see.”
“Is that a challenge, whelp? Very well. If you so badly wish for it, then I shall immediately deprive you of life and reduce you to cinde—”
“Stop it, Lefi.”
Lefi snarled as she readied herself to rise to the black dragon’s challenge, but I stepped in and put an end to it.
Hearing my voice led her to turn back to face me. “Are you unharmed, Yuki!?”
“Yeah, an attack like that’s no big deal,” I said. “Anyway, listen. You’re not taking him down. I am. Just sit there and watch while I kick his ass.”
I raised my blade and pointed it towards the black dragon. “You all good, Enne?”
“Yes, Master,” replied my trusty sword. “I’m more worried about you.”
“Nah, I’m fine. I’m your master, after all. Taking this asshole down is going to be a piece of cake.”
There was no other answer I could give. Even the girl that I thought of as my daughter was ready to fight. I wasn’t about to back down now. As her father, I always had to make it seem like I was fine so long as she was. Even if I ended up injured to the point where I was missing a limb or two.
“Hah!” The dragon laughed. “You dare to face me!? Did you perhaps assume that blocking a single attack was enough to qualify you as a worthy opponent!? Do not get ahead of yourself, insect!”
“Shut the fuck up. I wasn’t talking to you, half-dick.”
“How dare you! Do not think that you shall escape after invoking my wrath!”
I ignored the retard and continued talking to Lefi.
“Just sit down and watch or something. Come on, we’ve been over this, haven’t we? I’m going to protect you.”
“I suppose we have,” giggled the silver-haired maiden. “Then I shall trust that you will be doing a good job of it. I trust that you will not lose, Yuki, not to the likes of him.”
Lefi walked to the edge of the cliff and sat down. She crossed both of her arms and legs in order to declare that she had no intention of interfering.
Thanks, Lefi. Seriously. You’re one hell of a woman.
I grin before finally turning towards the piece of shit I had left fuming. There was an obvious difference between us. His level was well over five times my own, and his first attack had proven that the numbers weren’t just for show. I probably had a one percent chance of winning at best.
But that didn’t matter. I didn’t, couldn’t, give a fuck.
Because he had proposed to Lefi. Right in front of me.
That was why I wouldn’t back down.
That was why I had to fight him.
And that was why I had to win. No matter what.
Right then and there, he had declared himself indisputably hostile.
“Come at me with everything you got, asshole. I’ll show you just how strong I can be.”
“Prattle on, insect. Let us see how long that impudent mouth of yours shall last.”
And that was how I engaged the king of the world’s most powerful race in a duel to the death.