Chapter 78 - A Traditional Hero (4)
That body's length was over five meters and its weight was estimated to be in the tonnes. Just being hit by that body would turn a human body into chunks of meat. The creature roared wildly while jumping forward.
The huge roar caused Theo's already burst eardrums to throb. However, he didn't have time to care about such minor pain. Theo stared at what was before him without moving a single strand of hair on his eyebrows.
Judging by its movements a while ago, Superbia's power was two steps ahead of Theo's vision. So, Theo couldn't afford to blink even once. The monster took two steps on the ground.
Then the shape of the monster expanded suddenly. No, it only appeared to be growing because it was approaching so rapidly. As Superbia's body neared Theo, it pushed off from the ground.
The solid ground became broken like a grilled pancake. The spot where Theodore had been standing split apart like a spider web as Superbia landed. The shock caused a small earthquake, and Theo's body wobbled for a moment. Superbia's claws didn't miss this moment and tore his body into dozens of pieces.
However, Theodore's body once again scattered like a haze. This time, it wasn't just a single use of Illusion Track. A total of 12 Theodores appeared around Superbia. The sophisticated illusion that couldn't be distinguished from reality was the power of the artifact which symbolized the legendary thief, Orwell.
However, Superbia just laughed instead of panicking.
-You... I knew you were going to do this again.
The ability of the peak predator, Pride, allowed it to form countermeasures for anything it saw once. As such, it now had flames which could melt rocks, a tail which was sharper than a blade, and a shell which was harder than steel.
However, it was the same for countering the illusions. The ability to deceive the eyes of other creatures was unexpectedly common, while the ability to see through deception was rare but not impossible to find.
Another red eye appeared in the middle of Superbia's face-the eye of the observer.
It was the eye of a famous creature known as the 'magician killer.' The one eyeball could see any magic which entered its field of view and counter it. Without magic power, Superbia could only reproduce its insight ability, but that was enough.
Soon, Superbia's vision revealed the truth of the illusions. Among the 12 people, the real Theodore...?
Superbia stiffened. The 12 figures were all illusions, and there was no sign of the body which had created them. Before Superbia could understand the situation, it felt something underneath its chin. It was a really light sensation. However, above all, it gave Superbia a frightening chill.
"...It took me a while."
It was impossible to amaze Superbia with anything new. So, Theo had used a lavish spectacle as bait.
Pride was used to being the strongest, so it had never expected a counterattack to come when its opponent was in a clearly disadvantageous position. What could Theodore do when his flames as well as his greatest weapon, Magic Bullet, were blocked?
'I can't break through the normal way. But...!'
The expression on his face proved this wasn't a meaningless struggle or approach.
'Battle Song. Rhapsody of Power. Sforzando.'
Theo only strengthened his right arm. As the muscles swelled, his sleeves were torn apart, exposing the raised blood vessels. The effect of forcibly strengthening his body was revealed, but it was still good. If he didn't do this, he wouldn't be able to withstand the shock.
[In fact, Magic Bullet is an incomplete magic. To be more accurate, it is a magic that can't be completed.] Alfred Bellontes had said so.
There was a limitation because his fingers couldn't cope with the strong backlash of Magic Bullet. However, if he used his palm, then the pressure and range of Magic Bullet would be greatly reduced. The bonus was that the arm he used would be destroyed by the enormous repulsion. It was a defective spell which could only wreak havoc at a medium distance.
Therefore, he plunged into the monster's arm and used a desperate method.
'Memorize. All Slots Open. Magic Missile-Penta United.'
All five Magic Bullets stored at maximum power gathered in the palm of his right hand. Even though Theo felt like his right forearm was going to burst, he was able to somehow endure it thanks to the strengthening. In addition to this, he compressed one more Magic Bullet into his palm.
There was now a huge six shots in his palm. One blow concentrated at six times the power would be able to penetrate any 6th Circle defense spell.
His muscles were torn as blood flowed from the skin. This was a strong blow which wasn't possible unless he sacrificed an arm. Theodore stared into Superbia's eyes and used all his strength.
There was a blue flash of light which surpassed even Alfred's prime.
* * *
A flash of light soared into the night sky of the Nadun Mountains. In contrast to lightning which fell from the sky, the flash of light rose from the ground and penetrated straight through the clouds. Of course, this light was the trail left behind by Theodore's Magic Bullet.
Theodore lay on the ground and looked up. 'Succe...ss.'
The body of the beast which had lost its head was struggling. Black blood sprayed like a fountain, covering the scales and carapace. Despite its fearful defense, it couldn't withstand Magic Bullet which had been amplified six times. In the end, Superbia's body fell to the ground.
Theodore chuckled when he saw it. "One blow, I did it properly."
[Yes, well done.] Alfred smiled from inside Theodore and knocked on his shoulder.
It was a power which would've been impossible to achieve if they hadn't worked together. They had fought well against the monster which was a Seven Sins grimoire. If he had made a wrong judgement, then it would be Theodore with his head missing right now.
As a result, the winner and loser had been decided. Of course, the loser was Theodore who couldn't kill Superbia, and the winner was Superbia who had survived a number of fatal blows.
Kududuk...! Kudu...! Kududuk...!
With an unpleasant sound, a skull rose up in the empty space, and flesh, muscles, and nerves covered it as the head started to regain its original shape.
As Alfred had said, this wasn't in the realm of regeneration but immortality. No matter how well the two people fought, they couldn't beat it. In the first place, Theodore and Alfred lacked a way to destroy that huge body without leaving a trace of it behind.
-Your last hurrah ends here. Superbia's voice was convinced of its victory.
Why did it need to be agitated in front of its food which had already lost strength? Superbia laid a sharp claw at Theo's neck. It wasn't dumb enough to leave this threat alive. Superbia would tear off the head of the being which irritated it and then eat slowly.
'Well, it is just up to here. I fought well.' Theodore closed his eyes in the face of death. He felt a bit sad about his parents, but he believed that his mentor would take care of them.
Finally, Superbia's sharp claw moved.
It was quite a cheerful sound for someone's head being cut off. As he thought this,
"...Kid." It was a cold but beautiful voice.
"Sorry, I'm too late."
Theo opened his eyes hurriedly and saw Veronica, whose red robe was flapping in the wind.
She had spoken in a heavily subdued voice, which made him wonder what she'd seen on the way. Blood was dripping from Veronica's firmly closed fists, and Theodore thought the blood almost looked like her tears.
Veronica moved forward, toward the monster before her.
"Wait a bit. I'll end it quickly."
Shortly after that...
Something was waving like a worm from Superbia's crushed head. The half skull and crushed eye looked like a frog which had been hit with a hammer. Superbia was one beat too late to recognize the damage. Then as it opened its mouth to scream...
"Be a sword, fire of purgatory." Veronica summoned a sword of fire-Inferno Blade. She used a spell which compressed Inferno into the form of a sword.
No matter how fire resistant the monster was, it couldn't withstand a temperature which would melt it in an instant. It was impossible to block this fire sword with pure durability.
However, Superbia started to regenerate when it was sliced apart. Its speed was faster than a troll, and there were no traces left of the wounds Veronica had inflicted upon it. Nevertheless, Veronica gazed at the scene with cold eyes and suddenly jumped from the ground.
No, the moment she jumped, she was already punching out.
It was a huge blow. The slender fist of the beautiful woman contained the weight of several tonnes, and the creature was thrown back into the air.
-A-A monster like you...! This mixed-blood monkey!
"What?" Veronica had the dragon senses, so it wasn't difficult for her to hear Superbia's low-frequency voice.
She then pointed to the creature which was 100 meters away and sentenced him to death. It was the worst attack magic of the 7th Circle, a flame of the Demon World which couldn't be erased with the usual method.
"Hell Fire." A black fire storm appeared without a sound and wrapped around Superbia.
-■■■■■■――!?! It was a scream, not a roar.
The senses of Superbia, who focused on the traits of creatures, were extraordinarily sharp, so its perception of pain was different. The sensation of its body's cells burning was hell. Superbia couldn't endure this. The firepower exceeded its regeneration, so Pride, who had encountered few monsters in this age, decided to escape.
Simultaneously, Veronica decided to deal the last blow.
"Suuuuop..." She used a great suction power to swallow the air around her.
"Huwaaaack―――――!" Then a fearsome jet of fire blew from her mouth!
'D-Dragon Breath?!' Theo didn't know why a quarter dragon like Veronica could use that power, but the red dragon's breath was famous for having a destruction equivalent to the 8th Circle.
She blew her breath toward the airborne Superbia and destroyed any clouds in the way. The power of it truly couldn't be described in books. Nothing was left in the place where the breath passed.
"Huuuu..." As the breath died, Veronica let out a tired sigh and took several deep breaths while steam emerged from her mouth.
"Tch. It ran away? It is more annoying than a master level aura user," she grumbled in an annoyed voice.
Veronica had definitely missed out on the kill. She didn't know what creature it was, but it was more difficult than she thought.
"Indeed, he wouldn't have died if it wasn't that much." A bitter expression crossed Veronica's face as she thought of Elder Herman's body which she had passed by along the way. Elder Herman had been one of the elders who had known Veronica for decades and treated her like a daughter or granddaughter despite her mixed blood. She had never thought he would die in a place like this.
Even though death didn't belong to a time or place, she couldn't help feeling regretful.
After a moment of silence for her dead colleagues, she turned toward Theodore. "You did well, Kid."
"Don't answer and stay still. Your wounds are deep."
It wasn't easy for Theo to speak. As the sense of urgency and tension faded away, a heavy fatigue came which seemed like it would cut off Theo's consciousness right away. Veronica realized this and placed his head on her lap while calling to someone, "Hey, you can come out now."
Who was she calling? His heavy eyes found green hair among the trees. She had probably met Veronica while fleeing and guided her toward the location of the fight. The high elf, Ellenoa, came out with Veronica's permission and grabbed Theo's right hand gently.
"Theodore, Theodore...!" Her glad calls echoed in his ears a few times.
Vitality flowed from her fingertips and gradually improved the condition of his right arm and body. He wanted to reply to her call, but the damage accumulated in Theo's body didn't allow him to remain conscious any further.
'Ah, how long will I sleep this time...?' He could sense it. This was the aftermath of forcefully having Alfred 'transmitted' to him.
Theodore fell unconscious as the two beauties called his name. Shortly before his vision and hearing cut off completely, he heard a voice.
[The 4th Seal which unlocked through an unusual path has been resealed. The user won't be able to use 'Overwrite' until the 4th Seal is released normally.]
[You were mentally hurt by Transmission. Time is needed to restore your mental state.]
[At the present time, there is no knowing how long it will take.]
[Entering a forced dormancy.]