Turning around, I dashed towards the forest.
If the Hero who came to hunt a dragon ended up hunted instead, that wouldn’t even amount to be a cheap joke retold by a bard, let alone be an achievement or rise in fame.
My opponent was an ancient dragon among ancient dragons—the ‘Twilight’ on its status window was proof. This meant its hour of death was near.
Of course, it would’ve been fine if it was an obese lizard that didn’t do its age justice even with the Twilight status, but surprisingly its job was ‘Supreme Ruler’, which spoke volumes of how belligerent it was. And that was why its Level and Skills were all beast.
That Supreme Ruler dragon was naturally not fameless. In the 1st Playthrough, not only did I not encounter it, I didn’t even know it had died of natural causes; however, I did hear about it from others as it appeared in stories of an evil dragon destroying countless nations about as often as a customer frequented a shop.
Three pairs of wings, massive frame, pitch-black scales, aggressive… It was exactly as the stories described.
Oblivion Dragon King, Noebius.
Although it was slightly pushed down the danger ranking due to Demon King Pedonar’s revival, it was an existence that took a spot among what Fantasia’s natives considered the ‘Five Disasters’. I knew of the other Disasters since, in the 1st Playthrough, I subjugated them one after another in later years, but the one before me was a monster of a card that I was completely helpless against in my present state.
The three pairs of wings of the great black dragon which rose into the sky blocked out the sun like a solar eclipse. Furtively glancing up, I saw the Oblivion Dragon King opening its maw wide.
The strongest attack method which made the absurd lifeform that was a dragon even more ridiculous in a fantasy world—dragonbreath. When it came to a dragon king, the might of that breath was even more terrible than a natural disaster.
Following a violent roar, the dark venom sprayed out of the Oblivion Dragon King’s maw rained upon the ground like a waterfall.
The deadly venom spread everywhere like a flood. All animals and plants touched by the dragon’s breath turned black in an instant and died. It was no use even when those animals fled to higher places such as mountains or boulders—the poisonous gas emitted by the venom was extremely fatal as well.
I managed to come out unscathed, however; the dragonbreath had been off mark.
“Has its eyes gone bad with age? What pathetic accuracy.”
I ran in the opposite direction of the village. The muppets I couldn’t care less about, but bringing harm to the great being was the one thing I wanted to avoid.
The appearance of the Oblivion Dragon King derailed my plans big time, but it wasn’t to a despairing extent.
I had been wildly growing stronger even since I took out the Orc colony. Although I still only had one S-rank Skill, it was just as hard in the 1st Playthrough to achieve S-rank as well. It was so hard that the general opinion was that A-rank was as far as you could attain with just effort.
But that didn’t apply to me.
‘Master Mollang. Thank you.’
My body was reacting on its own. When bacteria and poison invaded my body, the leukocytes produced in large amounts from the bone marrows created antibodies through phagocytosis to eliminate the antigens. When a wound opened on my body, the thrombocytes derived from megakaryocytes instantly formed a blood clot by clumping and stopped the bleeding.
I didn’t need the likes of healing and curing magic of a fantasy world.
The darkened parts of my skin which was exposed to the poisonous gas returned to normal. The Oblivion Dragon King’s breath was basically poison. While it would have been dangerous had its breath landed on top of my head, I was given time for my leukocytes to produce antibodies due to the dragon misaiming by far.
With this, I was now immune to its poison, but there still remained a threat to be dealt with.
I ran into a group of Orcs which had been escaping from the dragon’s breath. Refusing to run away all together like buddies, they instead rushed to attack me.
The reason for this was simple.
Covered in head to toe with deadly venom, I was an extremely threatening existence to the Orcs, and that was why they were attacking to prevent my approach.
But it wasn’t as if I couldn’t give way either.
I took on the Orcs’ attacks with my body as I charged. Their various bladed weapons dealt harsh blows, but I ignored them while coldly observing my surroundings, cutting down any high-level Orc I saw using Endymion.
I was no pervert that enjoyed pain, and neither did I have great tolerance for suffering. I merely pushed onwards using the power of science.
The endorphins would suppress physical pain. Normally, endorphin is only released in large amounts from the pituitary gland and hypothalamus during intense exercise or when under stress, but I had no such restrictions.
Only, abusing this had to be avoided due to addictive sensation of ecstasy. It was a hormone that needed to be controlled in moderation.
“Whoo~! Gettin’ high baby~!”
“Die! Die! Become my EXP! Nyahahah!”
During battle, the adrenaline released from the adrenal medulla triggers the blood vessels throughout the body to expand, thereby enhancing reflexes and bodily functions. In addition, adrenaline suppresses the digestive system and helps prevent being hampered by the related bodily functions.
However, too much of this hormone is also dangerous—you could collapse from hypertension.
I continued to run, while the Oblivion Dragon King also continued to follow.
When I saw a powerful monster half-dead on its feet, poisoned by the dragon king’s venomous breath, I would sneakily approach and claim their life using Endymion.
It was the ultimate teamplay!
My Level rose at an amazing rate, while my Skills which had stopped at A-rank broke through their limits and improved in all aspects.
Nothing else needed be said.
“Hahah! This is my first time getting carried like this!”
The good team that we were, we adventured across the lands of Fantasia through day and night. Nobody, no one, could get in our way.
Demons, forests, heroes, monsters, knight orders, mercenaries, cities… They were all swept away like the dust before a vacuum cleaner.
‘It’d be great if tomorrow will be like today!’
How many days had passed like this without my being aware of it, I wonder? Even our friendship and adventure, which had seemed like it would last eternal, had a final stop.
Our parting was as abrupt as our meeting.
My dear partner, Oblivion Dragon King Noebius, was gracefully soaring across the night sky when it crashed headlong into the ground with a scream.
At first I suspected an attack by the Demon King. Apart from the possibility of that ‘sponsor’ of mine attacking out of envy for our terrific friendship, it was impossible for the strongest existence in a fantasy world, a dragon, to be brought down in one blow.
But that wasn’t it.
It couldn’t fool its age. It seemed even the strongest dragon was helpless before time. Its prolonged flight had pushed its spine and wings beyond their limits, and its body couldn’t hold up as its stamina failed.
As for me, on the other hand…
I had grown fantastically strong!
My Level had approached the limits of what could be reached through hunting in this peaceful continent. If I wanted to break through Level 999 from here, I absolutely needed the help of my ‘sponsor’ who possessed many demon minions that were packed full of EXP.
Our adventure had ended at a perfect timing. If there was anything to point out, though…
“This might be a little fatal to my reputation…?”
I unhurriedly took in my surroundings. The earth had become contaminated by the dragon’s breath, and I couldn’t find anything alive around.
The number of cities which had been wiped off the map, because of the poor-sighted dragon king shooting its breath in all the wrong directions, wasn’t few. And the damage wasn’t just limited to this region—half of Fantasia’s middle continent was in the same shape.
Demon King Pedonar had managed to plunge humanity into the depths of fear without even lifting a finger.
‘Ah! Professor Morals. It’s really been a while.’
‘What do you mean it ended? It’s too early to give up!
‘Didn’t you tell me to not easily give up?
‘There’s hope in this 2nd Playthrough!’
In the world of Fantasia, with its middle continent as the center, there are four other similar-sized continents that altogether form the shape of a cross: the east continent, west continent, north continent, and south continent. And the Oblivion Dragon King and my main area of activity was the middle continent. The surrounding four continents were still fine even now, and furthermore, a whole half of the middle continent which had received a big blow was untouched.
Statistically speaking, 90% of humanity’s homes were still intact, and that was why it was too early to give up.
I wouldn’t deny this. I had thought a young dragon whelp to be living in that nest, but who would have known a dragon of extreme old age on the verge of death to be just sitting there instead? It was even highly aggressive and powerful.
It was no longer the time to worry about character—my reputation had ended up going down the drain while trying to make an achievement.
“Still, there is something I gained in return for that.”
Oblivion Dragon King Noebius, who was all but spent, was quickly running out of life. Had it given up chasing me in the middle and returned to its nest, or folded its wings to take even a brief rest, it would have at least lived for a year longer.
However, this dragon had walked the path of the mighty until the end. It was the road it had chosen itself.
“Hey. Are you satisfied?”
The Oblivion Dragon King hadn’t lost its dignity nor its spirit even as it was dying. I approached the huge head of the collapsed dragon and asked it a question, and it opened its mouth to reply.
The language of dragons couldn’t be translated by any Skill. Even scholars who had long studied dragons couldn’t understand their words. Only when a dragon lowered itself to polymorph into a human to speak in the language of man could a conversation be established.
But this moment was an exception. I had no way knowing the expressions of reptiles, but I felt something similar to conviction that the Oblivion Dragon King was laughing.
As if saying that it was an enjoyable defeat.
“I enjoyed it as well, Noebius.”
I drove Endymion between the center of the dragon king’s forehead. Although it wasn’t a being that could be so simply killed with this much, but even a gentle breeze is dangerous when the flames of life is almost spent.
The dragon’s last will had a large part in it as well. It would have been different had it still harbored regret towards life, but it was satisfied by the outcome of our fight which was so intense as to have destroyed half of the middle continent. And that was why it gladly granted me the right of the victor.
It passed on to me its own power which had been accumulated over long years, and the sheer amount of it was beyond common sense.
The dragon’s body, the size of which rivaled a small mountain, turned into a flood of jet-black venom and swept across the earth once more.
Oblivion Dragon King Noebius… It was a terrifying dragon until the very end.
It would be nice if Demon King Pedonar, who had simply died just like that after getting his ass beaten, learned something from this.
A villain should have some grit I say.
I was bewildered upon seeing the change in my status.
The dragon hadn’t simply left me EXP and its heart after dying. It had even left me the element of ‘chaos’ which could be said to be its own identity.
Thanks to that my status abilities had also fallen into chaos. My race was chaos, my Skills were chaos, and my status was also chaos.
There was nothing but chaos everywhere!
‘Professor Morals, what’s with that mosaic?’
He was hesitant instead of giving a refreshing answer like usual. Could it be an ability which even the teaching staff that created this ridiculous education system didn’t know? Or was he feigning ignorance despite knowing all about it?
Honestly speaking, it didn’t matter either way.
“My oh my~”
My heart began to flutter like in the moment before scratching the covering of a housing lottery ticket.