Chapter 164. The Rondo of Scarlet Flame and Silver Ice (7)
"Peika, what's with your appearance?"
[My appearance? What do you me... Kyaaaak! When was the seal released!?]
Seeing Peika screaming, I thought back to the moment we made our contract. Peika had said that the small dragon tattoo on her cheek was a creature closest to the essence of my soul. However, when I contracted Ruyue, the tattoo that appeared on her back wasn't a creature, but some geometric shape. At the time, I just thought it was different for a mad elemental, but...
"You... Did you lie?"
[L-Lie? ... Y-Yes.]
I was told elementals couldn't lie, but everything was a lie! Wait, come to think of it, elementals were the ones who told me that! Those liars!
[But I thought you'd hate me if my real body was a dragon!]
[Do you hate me? Un? Do you hate me?]
"Of course not. No matter what you guys really are, you're still my precious elementals. You don't need to worry about that."
Peika looked noticeably relieved as she hugged my arm. It seemed coiling around my arm was her way of expressing affection. In truth, she looked very similar to a snake. If it wasn't for the two horns on her head and her marvelous scales, I wouldn't have been able to tell.
The wind elemental, who was watching us, was acting strangely.
[Hateful... You took her away from me, but you're together with elementals!]
"I'm not the one who took Pesina away from you!"
[Unforgivable! All humans are the same. Humans took my Pesina away from me! They should all die!]
It's getting worse! I quickly summoned Talaria and flew up. At the same time, I infused Ruyue into my body since she couldn't fly when she materialized. For an instant, I felt my body getting cold. However, I could also feel myself getting stronger.
[Wow, I became one with Shin!]
"Uh, yeah... Certainly, I feel much stronger."
I somewhat dodged Ruyue's awkward comment and focused on my next duty. It was to materialize Peika.
[C-Can I materialize in my human form?]
"Whichever one is stronger."
Soon, a black dragon appeared in mid-air. With a body length of about 15 meters, she truly looked like a dragon from Eastern legends. The two horns on her head were continuously letting off sparks, and her black scales were also brimming with lightning.
Looking at Peika's awe-inspiring look, I widened my eyes. The amount of mana she was using up was completely different than before. Ruyue also used more mana after she was unsealed, but it wasn't to this degree.
Peika wasn't completely unsealed. What was she really? I swallowed my question and hurriedly took out a highest-grade Mana Potion from my inventory and drank it. Although I was curious, that wasn't my priority.
[Fine, I'll beat you up until you're almost dead!]
It seemed she wasn't happy with being in her dragon form, as Peika shouted angrily and charged at the elemental. He tried to blow her away with his wind, but Peika snorted and shot out lightning from her mouth. The lightning easily annihilated the wind mixed with freezing energy and continued to hurl toward him. Peika shouted.
[You think I can't!? But if I do...!]
[If you're going to be stubborn and refuse to accept the world's greatest master, you better bet your life on it!]
Peika was emitting an overwhelming pressure. The endless lightning shooting out from her body became spears that rushed to the wind elemental, and he could only run away. Even though he posed great danger to us in the 2nd floor, he couldn't do anything now.
Would I have won if I just materialized Peika before? How did she get so strong!? No, I can't just stay here and let Peika do everything!
"Let's go before Peika really kills him!"
I kicked off the air with Talaria's power and charged toward the elemental. In my hand was the Chaotic Spear.
"If you don't want to talk, I'll do it your way!"
[Kuu... No, noooooo!]
[Master, he's materializing!]
His presence suddenly became bigger. The spear I thrust out was caught by the elemental's hand.
[This... This is why I hate it!]
I girl's voice rang out. At the same time, a giant wall of wind pushed toward me. I formed chaos flames and pushed away from the elemental's hand. I blocked the wall of wind and murmured in shock.
"You... I see."
An elemental that refused to materialize. Elements might not want to materialize for multiple reasons. I thought that a free elemental would refuse to do so as it didn't want to waste its elemental power. That was what I thought.
But that wasn't the case for him. It was obvious from his appearance.
Long ears and clear facial features, a slim, yet somewhat voluptuous, body. It was undoubtedly the appearance of a female elf. Boundless elemental power and mana. He possessed a mana that an elemental could not possibly have.
[Yeah, yeah, yeah! It's because of you humans! You tricked me by saying it'll help defeat the Demon Lord!]
It was only obvious that he would go mad. Throughout history, the fusion of an elementalist and an elemental only brought about tragedy! This fusion was an evil magic, completely different from infusing an elemental into one's body like I was doing with Spirit Aura.
It was unlikely that an elf would do such a thing, so just he said, humans had to be involved. How irritating. First Ruyue, now him. Innocent elementals were hurt. The humans who made him like that must have died. There wasn't anyone for me vent my anger.
[Do you realize now? DO YOU!?]
[Why are you getting mad at my master! He's innocent, you idiot!]
The reason 'he' kept a male appearance was probably to not subconsciously go back to that appearance. Fusing an elemental and an elementalist was already horrible. Whoever did so couldn't have made their sex different, as that would only increase uncertainties.
[Pesina died in pain! I hate humans, I really hate humans!]
Although it was unstable, the fused power of an elemental and an elementalist was truly powerful. The wind power instantly overwhelmed Peika's lightning and pushed her back. However, I gritted my teeth and charged toward him... no, her.
"How long do you plan on tormenting her!?"
[I'm not tormenting Pesina!]
"Then remember your name! Let her go!"
I swung my spear. The wind arrows hurling toward me were all burnt away, as I continued to fly toward her.
[No, I don't want to lose her forever!]
"Are you going to torment her for eternity for a stupid reason like that, Sharana!?"
Although I was the one that said it, I couldn't help but stop in shock. It was the same for the elemental... Sharana.
She screamed. She suddenly began to shine. Then, I remembered how I knew her name. Right, in the dream I had to awaken my ability, I wasn't just with Peika and Ruyue. Sharana was there, too!
"God, to think Ciara would actually be helpful..."
When I fought Ruyue, I barely made her remember her name after beating her up. Back then, I couldn't remember the dream at all. Feeling somewhat strange, I approached her.
[Ah, aaaah.... Shara, Sharana...]
The moment I shouted her name, something I didn't expect happened.
[Pesina, let's stop. This person isn't your enemy... He's my new master.]
A new clear voice rang out. She was calling me Master. It was then that I realized I had been gravely mistaken. The one I was facing wasn't Sharana. I should have realized when she attacked her contractor.
She was Pesina, who was pretending to be Sharana.
[Pesina, you can go back now. Look, someone who could save us came.]
[Sharana, can you believe a human? I can't do it!]
[Pesina, I don't want to see you in pain... He's right. We have to go back when we can.]
Seeing two voices taking turns to talk in one body was somewhat surreal. I simply watched them quietly. Perhaps because Sharana spoke out, Pesina sounded a lot calmer.
[Sharana... Is that okay with you?]
[He's a good person. Look, he has two elementals that can materialize.]
Her gaze fell on me. From beyond the elf body, I could feel the elemental, Sharana's eyes.
[But you're human, like the humans who tormented me and Sharana!]
"I don't have a hobby of tormenting my elementals. Isn't that obvious from seeing me?"
[Pesina, let's stop hurting and rest. Okay?]
Sharana's words silenced Pesina. Although my companions were fighting around us, the area we were in was quiet. Even the strong winds had subsided, as we were waiting for her answer.
Finally, Pesina opened her mouth.
[You're free now, Pesina."
[If Sharana's... okay with it...]
[It's for Pesina and me.]
With a voice of resignation, she reached her hand out toward me. While Peika was coiled up and watching us, I caught her hand.
[I'll trust you one last time, Human.]
"Leave it to me, Pesina."
[Okay. Now, I'll rest...]
Pesina's eyes slowly closed as she fell into my embrace. To be exact, their fusion had been released and her body fell after losing the power of its soul. With Pesina's 'corpse' in my arms, I looked around. There, I saw an elemental. Not an elemental who looked like a boy or looked like an elf, but a beautiful elemental who wore a dress weaved with the wind.
I finally understood. The reason that Sharana, no, Pesina was in the form of a boy was to prevent Sharana from coming out. Now that she was freed from Pesina, Sharana had regained her appearance.
She looked like a lively girl in her teens, whose long green hair was split into two-side-up tails[1. Two-side-up is a twintail-like hairstyle, but slightly different. In two-side-up, the back hair isn't fully tied up like in a twintail. Look up "anime two-side-up" hair.].
[I'm Sharana. Thank you for catching Pesina.]
"I'm Kang Shin, nice to meet you. Also... it's only obvious that I show your past contractor respect."
First, I put Pesina into my inventory. I didn't know if I was going to bury her or cremate her, but leaving her body out in the open here would only damage it further. Sharana flew toward me and spoke.
[To commemorate Pesina's departure, I want to cry all night and sleep in Master's embrace. Can I do that after we sweep this place?]
[Then let's first finish our contract, Master!]
With that, Sharan flew toward me and kissed me on the lips. She was swift, as expected of a wind elemental. Feeling the scent of a cool breeze on my lips, I opened my eyes, while Peika screamed.
At that moment, a fanfare rang out in my ear. I felt like I hadn't heard it in a long time.
[You formed a contract with the wind elemental Sharana! Your affinity to the wind element increases greatly!]
[List of Contracted Elementals
1. Peika - Lightning elemental. Unique elemental. Materialized. First seal released. Second Awakening.
2. Ruyue - Ice elemental. Unique elemental. Materialized. Unsealed. Second Awakening.]
3. Sharana - Wind Elemental. Unique elemental. Materialized. Unsealed. Second Awakening.]
Feeling the new power flowing through my body, I knew the contract between me and SHarana was made. At the same time, Sharana took my mana and began to materialize. She became taller and more mature. Her hair always became longer and fluttered in the air as the wind blew around her.
Right, this was the normal unsealing. Ruyue and Peika were truly unique in this regard as they changed their form. Ruyue became a girl from a wolf and Peika became a dragon from a girl.
[Wow, the seal was released right after we formed our contract! We must really be a perfect match, Master!]
Sharana looked at her body with widened eyes, then hugged me excitedly. Mm, why did elementals' intimacy go through the roof as soon as they formed contracts? Strange, I didn't remember pulling the same card more than once.[2. I don't know what this is referencing. Perhaps some card game where you can "evolve" or "strengthen" the same card?]
As Peika was glaring at Sharana like she wanted to eat her, I pushed Sharana away slightly and answered.
"My affinity to wind was practically at the peak already."
It had been strengthened by many things, so it made sense that Sharana's seal was undone the moment we formed our contract. In any case, with Sharana no longer being a mad elemental, I was done with my job. I turned around to see how others were doing.
[He was defeated!?]
"Ah, an opening!"
"It's so hard and cold!"
"If you're done, hurry up and help us!"
[Ice Souls! Catch them!]
"Ludia, block them!"
"I told you, don't call me Ludia! O Mitarus, embrace this evil soul with your love!"
[Ice Witch, take this!]
The close-ranged attackers were all fighting the giant armor while dodging its hammer smashes. The long-ranged attackers were destroying the army of armor minions that the giant armor was endlessly creating, while also attacking the giant armor. It was a total pandemonium.
"Haaaaap! Heaven Collapsing Strike!"
The spear father thrust out clashed with the giant armor's hammer. A boom rang out. Meanwhile, Laz Michel charged toward the giant armor and struck down on its foot with his bastard sword.
"Hit and run, Shadow!"
"I know, Ajusshi!"
[You can try to hurt me, but it's useless!]
A giant scarlet flame rose up above the giant armor. Focused on the area carved away by the others, the scarlet flames were slowly but surely devouring its body. The giant armor roared and summoned more minions, which were promptly melted by a wave of Ina's hand. Hwaya's flames and Ina's ice were dominating the battle.
"Peika, let's go in straight."
[Leave it to me, Master!]
I formed chaos flames again and asked Sharana.
"Sharana, what are you most confident in?"
[Master, I can make everything stronger. Colder ice, faster lightning, hotter lightning!]
"Good. I'm sorry to ask you when you just materialized, but can you help us?"
Sharana's body seemed to scatter into thin air. In the next moment, the chaos flames began to rage as if to break through the ceiling. The chaos flames' power had almost doubled in an instant! Its powerful energy made everyone focus their attention toward me.
[Elemental, so you choose to side with humans! Even though the Lord gave you a chance!]
[Demon-ssi, I hate demons more than I hate humans! Let's go, Master!]
I imbued all my mana into my spear. The giant armor sent armor minions after me, but they were easily blocked by Peika. While it was focused on me, my companions attacked violently.
If I was the only one here, I would have attacked with Crimson Roar, but that skill attacked everyone, whether foe or ally. As such, the next strongest attack was to use chaos flames!
[I'll melt your fat armor!]
[Like I'd bow to a mere elemental!]
While Peika and I were charging toward him together, Peika opened her mouth widely and accelerated. She dodged the hammer it swung and bit down on its neck, immediately releasing a vast amount of lightning. For an instant, the spacious hall became dyed in gold.
With the opening created by Peika, the attackers each left a grave injury on its body. Father used his shockwaves to break the ice forming its body, Ye-Eun and the others left cracks on its body with quick successive attacks, and Laz Michel widened the cracks with his unexpectedly delicate control over his sword.
Even with Peika's full-force attack, it was daunted in the least. Its eyes flashed and the air instantly became colder. However, we had our way of dealing with it.
"That won't work on us!"
Along with Hwaya's sharp shout, the air began to heat up. The ice that tried to form were quickly sublimated to vapor, as foggy steam filled up the hall. At the heated air, the giant armor roared.
It was then that I decided to make my move. Amidst the dense water vapor in the air, I charged toward the giant armor. It seemed it could clearly see me even in this fog, as it flashed its eyes and shot its crumbling fist toward me.
[I can see you, cowardly human!]
"I thought you'd say that, so I prepared this specifically for you. Shadow Blink!"
In the next moment, I was behind it. Using Divine Speed, I gained more time and focused the chaos aura and heroic aura to the tip of my spear. Then, I thrust forward!
My spear easily pierced through the giant armor's neck, which had been weakened by Ina and Hwaya's joint attack. A huge flame erupted. Strengthened by Sharana's power, the inextinguishable flame ignored its resistance and blazed, eventually separating its neck from its body. It let out a death throe.
[Kuaaaak! Y-You cowardly human!]
"Life's about the result, Fool."
As I swung my spear and shook off the chaos flame, I murmured to myself like a cold city man. I was pretty cool if I said so myself.
Immediately afterward, a fanfare rang out for all of us.
[You defeated the Event Dungeon's boss monster, 'High-rank Demon Protesla!']
[4,000,000 gold will be distributed evenly among party members. You obtained 500,000 gold.]
As the other party members were watching, I made a cool pose on top of the crumbling Protesla's body. I knew what they wanted to say. It was probably why I was acting so cool or that my flame was a cheat. But since I didn't get the first place in contribution, it should be fine!
I shouted inwardly and said to the others.
"Alright, let's go home!"
Our short, yet long, expedition had finally come to an end.