Pride — Part 1
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
I flew, jumped, rolled, and crawled around in order to evade the stupid dragon’s attacks. Each dodge was accompanied by the crumbling of earth and rending of stone. Destruction followed in the wake of the asshole’s attacks. Every single strike would alter the terrain in some way.
There wasn’t even a moment to spare. The attacks followed one after another; I had no time to rest or room to breathe. His strikes were so fast that I couldn’t even afford to blink. But I could track them. The shitlord was not nearly as cunning as his usurper title implied. His actions were simple, straightforward, and easy to read. The muscle-brained retard didn’t even seem to know how to throw a feint. His lack of finesse was a result of his overinflated stats. He had likely always been so much stronger than everything he’d fought that he had never felt the need to do anything crafty.
I was only managing to hold on because I was a demon lord and I had the specs to match my title. I know I’ve probably said this like a dozen times already, but god damn, my eyes are good at keeping track of things. It’s probably ‘cause of that Magic Eye skill. God damn, that thing is the only thing keeping me alive right now. It’s letting me just barely keep track of him. Er, actually, I’m willing to bet that his usurper title is playing a part in it too. It’s probably proccing my One Who Judges title and boosting all my stats.
Despite everything I had going for me, I couldn’t afford to lose focus. The moment I stopped paying attention was the moment I would reincarnate into a bunch of scattered lumps of ground meat.
“Where has that high and mighty attitude of yours gone now, insect?”
Shit for brains sneered as he mocked me, so I put as much power as I could into my next dodge and managed to give myself just enough space to swing Zaien at his arm. The blade landed on its target, and though it was met with scale, it didn’t fail to leave its mark. Unlike Lefi’s scales, which were far too tough for Zaien, the stupid black dragon’s weren’t. The blade made her way through a thinner part of his natural armour and drew blood as she carved through his flesh.
“Sorry, what was that?” I smirked. “I can’t hear you over the sound of your blood gushing out of this bug bite you’ve got here.”
I suddenly felt a rush of magical energy from right underneath me. I tried to backstep in order to avoid the retard’s spell, but I wasn’t fast enough. The ground beneath me burst with an explosion and launched me through the air. A powerful shockwave coursed through my body and knocked all the air out of my lungs. I wasn’t able to right myself and didn’t stop until I hit a large rock.
I spent a few moments taking deep breaths in order to replenish my supply of oxygen before forcing myself back to my feet. I raised my weapon, only to see the dragon’s fangs right before my eyes.
There was little time to evade, but I managed to throw myself into a roll, then correct my posture and swing Zaien at the back of his neck. But this time, he was actually on guard. He immediately reared his head to avoid the blow before spinning around and striking with his tail.
Despite being as thick as the trunk of an ancient tree, the lizard’s scaly appendage whistled through the air like a whip and cleaved right into the side of my body. It was a direct hit. I was sent flying yet again and skidded off the ground a few times before finally losing momentum.
The scenery faded in and out over and over as my body throbbed with an intense, dull pain. I had to concentrate to keep myself conscious. I knew I would pass out the moment I lost focus.
“Behold, Leficios,” said the autistic lizard. “This insect buzzes about, but he has not the power to back his irksome claims. Only I am worthy of your companionship.”
Lefi didn’t bother responding to the shitlord. She simply continued staring right at me with arms folded. She didn’t step forward or shout my name. All she did was continue to sit where she was with her arms and legs folded. And in doing so, she demonstrated that she trusted me, that she believed that I would be able to figure something out.
“Shut… the fuck up… you oversized lizard.” I was only barely able to squeeze out my words between deep breaths. “You think… that a brain-damaged narcissist… like you suits her? Just how fucking… stuck up… can you be…?”
I had already used up all the potions I had stored in my thigh pouch, so I grabbed another out of my inventory and downed it.
The only reason I was still alive was because the autofellating freak kept allowing me to recover. It seemed he wanted to keep kicking me around in order to show Lefi my bad side and make an appeal with his strength. It was clear that he thought absolutely nothing of me. He didn’t see me as a threat, but rather a tool he could use to earn Lefi’s favour. Hah. Give it up, Moron. That ain’t going to get you nowhere. Lefi knows me. She knows every side of me. We spend the better part of every single day together. Do you seriously think something like this would make either of us flinch? Unlike you, we don’t spend our lives acting all self-righteous and pretending we’re more than who we really are.
“Your words mean little if you speak them whilst grovelling about,” said the dragon. “Truly, your behaviour is appropriate for that of an insect.”
“Oh, shut… up already…” I rolled my eyes as I continued to groan. “And for your… information… there are some…strong ass bugs… out there…”
Especially ants and bees. Those two are definitely some of this forest’s stronger monsters.
I used both arms to push myself off the ground before readying Zaien in order to confront shit for brains yet again. This time, however, it seemed he wasn’t going to be as patient as usual. I sensed an attack the moment I began getting to my feet.
There was no point raising my head just to take a look at the incoming strike. I didn’t bother. I simply dove forward and heard a loud roar as a jet black spear passed through the space my body had occupied only moments earlier. It was the dragon’s magic.
Though I had managed to dodge his first strike, I knew that it wasn’t yet over. Crisis detection’s alarm system was still blaring as loudly as it could. And then, a moment later, I found myself surrounded. Countless black spears had spawned around me. There was no escape. They covered literally every angle.
The moment my mind registered them was the moment they began moving. Each and every single one began flying straight at me.
I clicked my tongue as I rolled, twisted, and swung Zaien in order to avoid and parry the attacks. But there were too many. I couldn’t avoid all of them. Several dozen scraped past me and dug away at my flesh. Some hit their marks and found themselves in one end of my body and out the other.
A bloody cough escaped my throat. I had managed to avoid fatal damage, but my desperate defence was still far from a success. One of my legs had been struck in a really bad place. All the strength suddenly drained from it and caused me to fall to my knees.
Shit-for-brains’ tail closed in on me. I had taken too much damage; I couldn’t dodge it. My only choice was to raise Zaien and take the attack head-on. And so, I was once again sent tumbling through the air.
So heavy was the blow that it momentarily deprived me of my consciousness. Upon regaining it, I found myself with my back on the ground with my eyes turned up towards the sky. I realized that I had stopped breathing, so I took a deep breath and forced my lungs to take as much air as they could while my heart desperately pumped oxygen into my bloodstream.
Regaining consciousness meant regaining my sense of pain. There wasn’t a single part of me that didn’t hurt. My body burned. It burned so badly that I wanted to scream like a child as I writhed about on the ground. But I didn’t. I endured it with sheer willpower as I used my shaking hands to wrench the dragon’s spears out of my body. I couldn’t be bothered to drink another potion, so I crushed the one I grabbed out of my inventory and allowed the liquid to flow all over me instead.
“You truly are an insect. I do not see how any other sort of creature would continue to struggle after sustaining so many wounds.” Fuckface sneered at me in a manner that showed just how lightly he was taking me.
It was annoying. And so, I responded.
With a laugh.
It was a deep, hearty laugh, one that seemed to make it appear as if I was enjoying the situation at hand. And as I cackled, I rose to my feet in a manner reminiscent of some sort of revenant.
Because I was finally ready to take him down. My preparations were finally complete.
“So you have finally lost your mind, I see?” Half-dick looked at me with a face full of disdain. “So miserable you are that I no longer have any words to describe you.”
“Hey, douchebag.” My face warped into a huge, distorted grin as I spoke. “You might want to watch your feet.”
I raised a finger towards the floating menu panel that I had kept open this whole time and pressed a certain button.
The moment I did was the moment the ground beneath the dragon vanished. Gravity pulled him downwards the moment he lost his footing; he fell right into the pit that had been dug underneath him. Inside the pit lay a countless number of sharpened stakes. Each was angled upwards, and each had its tip coated in a deadly poison.
“What!?” The asshole shouted in confusion before flapping his wings and taking to the sky in an attempt to escape. Hook, line, and sinker, motherfucker. What, you think I’m too blind to see your wings? Too bad, dipshit. I’ve got you read like a book.
The sorry excuse for an intelligent lizard came into contact with a series of airborne traps the moment it tried to rise, traps I had spent extra DP on, just for him. They activated one after another and caused a series of explosions. In fact, so many of them had been triggered that the sky was filled with flame and smoke.
Only after the explosions died down did the smoke finally clear. And there, the dragon was, entirely covered from head to toe in soot and blood. Whew. I’m glad that worked. I probably would’ve wanted to cry if all that proved ineffective.
“How dare you!” roared Half-dick. “How dare you employ tricks so cowardly in nature!”
“Heh…” I chuckled before twisting my face into a smirk. “I blew most of my DP just to beat your ass. So do me a favour and enjoy the rest of the ride, alright?”
I had converted most of the stuff I got from Lefi’s home to DP and even went out to hunt monsters on a regular basis. I had done all of it in order to earn myself a pretty penny so I could summon all four of my new subordinates at once. But now, most of my cash had gone out the window. The reason? I had filled the entire area with traps whilst tanking the retarded dragon’s attacks. Alright y’little braggart, time for me to learn you a few lessons on why the Geneva Conventions regulate landmines.
The area we were fighting in had basically turned into a giant deathtrap capable of instantly eradicating anything that wasn’t on the tier of a dragon. And that had been my goal this whole time.
I was facing something much stronger than me. I would have to be no different from the heroes of which legends were sung if I wished to win in a head-on confrontation. And while I was indeed the type of character that would show up in legends, I was no hero.
At the end of the day, I was just another ordinary guy. Or rather, an ordinary demon lord. I couldn’t possibly win against something so much more powerful than me without resorting to what others would label unfair. But that was fine. Because it was my dungeon, my world. As long as we fought within my territory, the rules were mine to make. If I wanted to win, then I would have to make use of that power and abuse my right as dungeon master to the fullest extent possible. I’m counting on you, dungeon old pal. I can’t lose here. Lend me every last bit of your power so I can pull all the underhanded bullshit I can possibly think of.
Fuckface didn’t quite seem to enjoy taking a hit from someone he looked down on. His face contorted in rage, so I flashed him a provocative grin.
“Come at me, bro. It’s time for round two.”