Pride — Part 3
Editors: Sebas Tian, Joker, Speedphoenix
Roar after roar rang through the Wicked Forest as the black dragon known as Gilordio Gyogarr writhed about on the ground. The cut that ran along his face burned with fiery agony while the eye that had been crushed by his foe ached with a powerful throbbing pain. It almost felt as if it something was eating at the damaged socket.
To him, pain was an unfamiliar sensation, one that he had almost never known. Nothing he fought had ever inflicted upon him anything beyond a minor wound. Every single creature he faced was so far below him that he considered them mere insects he had to squish. And thus, the pain he now had to bear was the most severe he had ever experienced.
“Hmph.” The Supreme Dragon snorted scornfully. “An unsightly display. I am shocked to think that you would call yourself a man.”
Gyogarr turned his remaining eye up towards her and gave her a death stare. And as he did, he learned that she was looking at him as she would a piece of garbage. Her eyes were cold as ice, and the smile on her face almost seemed to exist only to declare that she wished to insult him.
“The pain that Yuki felt was much more severe than your own. You dared to insult him as he endured it and continued to fight. And now you have proven that you are much less a man than he,” she mocked. “A tiny wound has caused you to squawk and chirp like a fledgling. You are pathetic. I cannot believe that one so miserable would be crowned Dragonlord.”
“Speak of him no longer, Leficios, for I have already ended his life! I have crushed the insect that you held so dear!”
Gyogarr had eaten one of the insect’s arms and two of his wings. And then, he had fallen. The black dragon had even gazed upon him with his remaining eye to ensure that he remained still. And he had indeed confirmed it. He was certain that the insect Leficios appeared so obsessed with had remained unmoving. It had met its demise.
The Dragonlord’s original intent was to use fangs and tear him apart before swallowing him whole, but losing an eye had thrown off his ability to perceive depth. And thus, he had failed to perfectly replicate his intentions. Still, he knew that he had won. That much was fact.
His certainty was what had driven Gyogarr to fearlessly provoke Leficios, to mock her with his death. And yet, she remained unfazed. Her scornful smile never wavered.
“An interesting claim to make, whelp, for I see no evidence of Yuki’s defeat.”
The Supreme Dragon’s words caused Gyogarr to crane his neck around in alarm and gaze upon the insect that he had supposedly crushed. Doing so caused his face to warp in a mix of shock and disbelief.
He didn’t understand how it was possible. He was sure that he had killed him.
But even so, the insect had gotten back to his feet.
He was injured. His body was so covered in wounds that he would sooner be identified as a corpse than a member of the living. But even so, he continued to march. He continued to move towards the Dragonlord, one step at a time with his sword brandished in his mouth.
Every step he took, unstable as it was, was filled with purpose. He sought none other than Gyogarr’s life.
The Dragonlord did not understand the sight before him. He was incapable. The insect’s wounds were fatal no matter how one looked upon them. It simply did not make sense for him to be able to move. Gyogarr would have understood if he had done as he had earlier and drank a potion in order to recover his stamina. But the fact that he was still covered in injuries evidenced that it was not the case.
And yet, he somehow continued to step forward.
To threaten to take Gyogarr’s life.
“You are weak,” said the Supreme Dragon. “Attacks as pathetic as yours could never slay the partner that I have chosen.”
Her words swirled around in his head. They almost seemed to echo within his mind. And as they did, they led him to a conclusion.
The insect, the creature before him was abnormal. There had to be something wrong with him. The air about him was bizarre; it was almost as if he was giving off a domineering aura, one that threatened to devour the dragon whole. And the longer he watched the insect, the more at risk he felt of being consumed.
As the dragon gazed upon the man, he too craned his head upwards to look at the dragon.
Their eyes met.
And then, half a heartbeat later, the man began to grin.
A shiver ran up the black dragon’s spine.
He didn’t know exactly when it had happened, but he soon realized that he had retreated. He had been intimidated to such an extent that he had taken a full step back away from the creature that sought to deprive him of his life.
“T-take not another step! Do not come any closer!” The dragon couldn’t help but scream a frantic command as he swung his tail.
The attack landed. It caused Gyogarr’s foe to skid along the ground, but it didn’t stop him.
He got to his knees, and then to his feet, and once again began to march. It was like the attack had never landed to begin with.
Again, a shiver ran up the black dragon’s spine.
And then, he had an epiphany. He finally began to understand why the man refused to fall.
He was immortal.
The man was like a member of the undead, only more. He was a monster, a freak that would never fall no matter how much he was attacked.
He was dangerous. Too dangerous. The black dragon realized that he would have to do something to slay the man immediately else run the risk of being hunted.
His physical attacks were too weak. They were sure to do nothing to him. Not even his fangs had managed to end him. Gyogarr realized that he would have to completely erase the man in his entirety if he wished to truly kill him. He would have to ensure that no trace of him was left behind, that every scrap of his flesh was removed from this world.
Which meant he would have to resort to his most powerful spell: his roar.
The black dragon opened his mouth upon coming to the conclusion and took a deep breath as he began to channel his magical energies.
Only to collapse where he stood.
“W-Wh…!?” Half-dick tried to speak, but he couldn’t so much as manage anything more than just a wheeze.
That said, I wasn’t all that much better off. I had to exert myself to squeeze out my words. Still, I was content. I smirked as I watched the douchebag that had kicked my ass collapse. So heavy he was that the earth shook as he hit the ground.
The mentally challenged lizard was confused. His eye darted about as he tried to figure out exactly what had happened. He even tried to speak, but his mouth wasn’t working right. He couldn’t voice his thoughts no matter how hard he tried.
“I’m glad… my plan… worked out…” I muttered under my breath as I came to the conclusion that bearing with the pain he had inflicted upon me had ultimately been worthwhile.
Numbskull had collapsed. And for a simple reason at that.
I had set him up.
Dragons were terrifying creatures. Their scales were so hard that normal weapons couldn’t even hope to scratch them. They were so fast that my eyes had trouble keeping up with their movements. Their bodies were capable of handling high altitudes with ease, they possessed incredible quantities of magical energy, and their spells had an excess of firepower. They were the predators that stood at this world’s apex. And that was the catch.
Being predators meant that they too were living things. They had needs. And living with Lefi had taught me more than everything I needed to know about draconic biology. Like me, they had to eat. Like me, they had to sleep. Like me, they had to breathe.
Their reliance on breathing meant that they were vulnerable to something that basically every other living creature was weak to: an odourless, colourless toxin known to the world at large as carbon monoxide.
The dungeon was my realm. So long as we were within it, my word was law. And that was why I could freely alter any property that I was aware of. The air’s precise composition was no exception.
I knew that this world wasn’t quite the same as my last. The air was filled with a mysterious substance known as the magic particle. But that aside, the air composition was more or less the same as that of the world I’d lived in prior to my reincarnation. Of course, I didn’t know if the exact percentages of the different gasses were anywhere near identical, but I did know that the very same gasses did at least exist. There was oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and basically everything else. The experiments that I had run whilst teaching the girls about combustion had demonstrated that their properties were no different from what they had been back on Earth.
Even in my past life, carbon monoxide had been a fairly well-known poison, one that many were familiar with and guarded against.
Mere exposure to a concentration of air that contained 0.15% carbon monoxide was enough to render one dizzy enough to collapse. Anything greater than 1% of the stuff was enough to knock someone out and kill them. It was a terrifying poison, one that was lethal to basically every sort of living thing. Although dragons were apex predators, I expected that they too would be affected.
And my expectations proved correct.
I had won my bet.
The dragon seemed to have wished to finish me off with a roar or something. And as a result, he took an incredibly deep breath, thereby flooding his own lungs with a sudden influx of carbon monoxide. His body was unable to rid itself of the toxin, and so, he swooned. Man, I’ve been hella gambling lately. At this rate, I might as well start introducing myself as the Demon Lord of Gambling.
Carbon monoxide had been my poison of choice because it was the most likely to fulfill its purpose. Fighting the retard had led me to realize that he had literally no skills that enhanced his ability to detect it. Thus, it was a much better option than a more traditional poison, as such a poison would likely come with a telling scent.
The many explosive traps that I had set all over the place had only existed in order to bolster the deadly gas’ concentration through incomplete combustion. In other words, they were there to trick him, to cover up the fact that I was using the dungeon’s settings to manually alter the air composition.
Of course, Lefi had seen through the trick immediately. She had even created a protective, wind-based barrier around herself. And so had I. Both of us had used primordial magic to ensure that we wouldn’t inhale the toxin. And yet, the piece of shit that I was up against somehow never noticed.
He never realized that I was too busy keeping my barrier active to cast any magic. Hell, he hadn’t even seemed to find my lack of magic the slightest bit suspicious. Seriously man. You really gotta learn to pay more attention. I guess that’ll have to be what you work on while you hang around in hell. Work hard down there. If you’re lucky enough, you might actually get another chance at life. I know I did.
With Zaien still held in my mouth, I slowly dragged my body over to where the dumb lizard had collapsed, step by step.
Muffled screams leaked from his throat as I slowly inched my way towards him. His terror was reflected in his eye. Seeing it caused my lips to spread into a huge grin.
“I kant… ell vat… you’re sain…”
Though, you probably can’t tell what I’m saying either. Besides, it’s way too late for you to try talking things out now. This might’ve turned out differently if you tried using diplomacy from the start. Actually, naw, who am I kidding. You and I never could have gotten along. Oh well, don’t worry. I won’t be mounting your head on any walls for the sake of keeping trophies. I don’t want to use that gross ass body of yours to make myself new gear either. I’m just going to turn you into DP, into fertilizer I can use to strengthen my dungeon.
So feel free to do me a favour and die.
I finally reached him as I finished entertaining the idea of murdering him in cold blood.
“Shee ya in hell, douchebwaag.”
I swung Zaien with all the force I could muster. She had absorbed so much of his blood and grown so much more powerful that his scales could no longer defend him against her blade.
Her edge easily sawed through his flesh.
And split his head from his neck.