Chapter 150 - Along with the Dragon (3)
Superbia, who had been hit by Theodore's Thunderbolt, was quicker to recover than Aquilo. The majority of the traits Pride had armed itself with were still unknown, but its red eyeball blazed angrily.
This was already the second time. Pride recovered its flesh and started growling.
-You again, Monkey.
The air was tense, but Theodore just looked over with a nonchalant expression.
"Hah, it is so funny."
"You are the one who fled, and now you've come back. Once again, I should be the one saying that, not you."
At those words, the thick ice beneath Superbia's feet broke. Superbia lost control of its strength for a moment, crushing the thick ice floor. This was 'Pride' of the Seven Sins, so Theo provoked its arrogance by mentioning that it had fled in the past.
Unsurprisingly, Superbia's dozens of eyes were now all concentrated on Theodore, not Aquilo.
-Pretentious monkey! The loser on that day was you, not me! If that female monkey hadn't come, your body would've become part of me by now!
An intense fury swept over Theo, but unlike in the past, he wasn't shaken this time. No, he looked at Superbia with cold ridicule.
"Do you think there is any point discussing 'what if'? You might boast about all the species you've usurped, but in the end, you are just a weak chimera."
Once water boiled over, there would be nothing left. Likewise, the monster's patience had run dry.
It changed from an underwater form to one suitable to fight on land. The kraken's eight tentacles turned into thick and tough horse legs. Its skin resembled a hard shell, and the fins became several layers of wings. Oddly enough, the form was very similar to the one Theodore had faced in the past.
A centaur's lower body, a storm locust's wings, and a spriggan's acceleration ability...
After restructuring itself with these features, Pride declared in a mocking voice, -Don't think this is the same as last time. You are no different from the gravel on the street.
"Your brain is worse than I thought." Despite the warning from his senses, Theodore raised his finger and gestured for Superbia to come near. "Do you understand what I am saying? Don't think I will let you flee like last time."
Finally, Superbia's patience broke, and it ran across the frozen ground with a loud cry. In response, the ground cracked like a spider web. Superbia's assertion that it was different from last time seemed to be true, as its acceleration exceeded Theodore's reaction time.
There was no room to evade, and blocking it would cause serious injuries. In this crisis situation, Theodore accepted the fearful blow without any defenses.
However, Superbia was the one who received a surprise. Theodore's defenseless body turned semi-transparent, and the attack passed through it!
At that moment, Randolph wielded his two falchions and aimed at Superbia. It was his trademark high-speed attack. In other words, it aligned with the saying that there were always gaps in the defense to exploit.
'Clovis Two Swords Style.
Special Hidden Meaning Technique.
This wasn't an opponent Randolph could go easy on. He sensed this and used his Hidden Meaning technique without any hesitation. Dozens of strands of aura emerged from the blades like thunderbolts.
It was a bombardment instead of a surrender, and the attack crushed Superbia's ribs and heart. This type of wound would take longer to recover from than a single, neat wound. Additionally, the combined attack of the two people wasn't over yet.
Randolph retreated, while Theodore's translucent body returned to its original form. Theodore, who avoided the attack with Fluidization, had prepared the magic needed for this situation.
'All Slots Open.
'Triple Blaze Burst.
'Triple Fire Strike.
'Spell Fusion: Explosion.'
The fusion magic converged six fire attack spells into one. It was overkill when used against humans but lacking if he wanted to kill Pride.
It was a menacing swirl of magic power! The heavy spirit of magic power and flames hit Superbia's upper body, which hadn't finished regenerating yet.
The sound of the attack shook the heavens and earth. Along with the loud roar, the frozen land shook and cracked.
The widespread melting of the ice caused the water to become unstable, and the seawater underneath evaporated, leaving only salt behind. This was the greatest firepower that the current Theodore could produce.
However, the monster at the center of the heat survived.
The thick water vapor was lifted by the sea breeze, revealing a shape Theo had never seen before.
-A monkey managed to do this to my body?
'Pride,' Superbia, glanced between the two humans with annoyed eyes.
It had golden eyes like a wild beast and white hair like a snowstorm. Unlike its previous ugly appearance, it now looked beautiful. However, Theodore and Randolph couldn't help taking a few steps back. This was because they sensed enormous power was hidden within this form.
-No. Gluttony, who had remained silent after the battle began, denied Theo's speculation. -That is a species called Ulfheðnar.
'I've never heard of it.
-Of course not. It is the species that exterminated the beast king, Fenrir. The werewolf that you just mentioned is a subgroup of the Ulfheðnar. It is similar to the relationship between the elves and the Arv.
'A top species!' Theodore's eyes filled with astonishment.
They were an ancient species who some said had the power of a god, unlike the modern species' descendants who had lost all of their origins. The high elves only inherited some of the Arv's powers, but they were able to cause miracles. So, what was the power of this top species?
'Gluttony, what is the ability of the Ulfheðnar?'
'You don't know?'
-I know. But it is ambiguous to explain.
As Gluttony was choosing his words, Superbia lifted both fists with a body which had completely regenerated. Theodore reflexively lowered his body as Gluttony's ridiculous ability came back.
-There is no special ability. It is just merely strong.
Simultaneously, there was a white flash, and a deafening sound rang out.
Theodore couldn't grasp the situation and frowned.
Suddenly, Randolph fell to one knee and coughed up blood. Both his hands were still holding the falchions, but it was like he had stepped into a furnace. Superbia, who was in its original spot, clapped and praised Randolph.
-You are better than expected, Monkey. There were 36 strikes from the top, bottom, left, and right, so it is impossible for monkeys to catch up to this speed.
Theodore was shocked as he understood what had happened.
'This is ridiculous...!'
When he observed closely, there were traces of something having moved across the surface of the ice. Pride and Randolph, the two beings had an incredible exchange of speed.
'Merely strong.' Theodore finally realized what Gluttony meant. All the physical abilities were above the realm of a master, that was a Ulfheðnar!
Randolph used Hidden Voice to send the shocked Theodore a message.
[Young Master, please handle the healing magic.]
[Where are you hit?]
Randolph pretended to lift his right arm naturally, but Theodore was forced to gulp when he saw it. Blood was dripping out from the fist mark on the mithril alloy breastplate which Theodore had enchanted with protection magic before they left.
[I was struck lightly in one place... but three ribs are broken. I won't be able to endure a second direct hit.]
Randolph advised that he would be more comfortable if his ribs were healed. The wolf was able to deal a deadly blow to someone who had master-level aura and wore the highest quality armor.
The two people gathered up their strength as they watched Superbia.
At the very least, they had to hang on until Aquilo recovered enough to return to the front lines. That was the only prerequisite for their victory. The red cloak and double swords started to move against the white flash.
On the outskirts of the thrilling battlefield, Aquilo was staring blankly at the backs of the two people.
* * *
Once again, Randolph blocked an invisible kick and fell far away. His right wrist was dislocated, his left clavicle fractured, and even his hip joints were dangerously creaky.
Had it been 5 minutes, or maybe 10 minutes? Maybe it wasn't more than 30 seconds.
After Superbia transformed into the Ulfheðnar, the battle flowed one-sidedly against the two men. Despite concentrating on defense, their wounds were getting bigger, and scars were starting to form despite the recovery magic.
Theodore's thunderbolts struck the glacier, but Superbia wasn't hit by any of them. The wolf, Ulfheðnar, was a species capable of avoiding thunder. The speed of lightning magic wasn't comparable to sound, but Superbia's movements seemed to go beyond the walls of physics.
Superbia leisurely raised its claws as it walked forward one step at a time.
-Do you see your deaths nearing?
"You're a dog talking nonsense!"
-Hmm, the wolf definitely belongs in the mammals category with dogs.
This guy was saying hateful things. Theodore and Randolph were feeling hopeless and beginning to despair, and Pride didn't miss this moment.
-I'm tired of this. The appetizer ends here.
In an instant...
Superbia moved so quickly that neither Theodore or Randolph could perceive it. The story might've been different if the injuries and fatigue hadn't accumulated. However, Theodore had said it first, 'what ifs' were just the excuses of a loser.
The claws of the Ulfheðnar, which were more powerful than aura, headed towards their necks.
Randolph made at least 15 calculations, but he realized that all the countermeasures conceived would lead to a ruthless end. It was the same for Theodore. He could avoid the attack with Umbra, but the moment Randolph fell, there would be no one left to protect Theodore.
It was a checkmate, the desperate moment of life or death. Therefore, it wasn't them who saved themselves, but a helper from the outside.
The world stopped. Theodore realized it the moment he heard an unknown language spoken clearly.
It was magic which calculated the natural laws and changed the flow. If so, this power was the peak of a magician. The true power of a dragon was to change the existing flow and give commands above the natural laws.
The body of a top species was locked inside the glacier!
"-Ahh, this thing is really hard to kill," Aquilo muttered with a pale face, changing back from a sea dragon to a beauty. "But this will be able to hold it for a while."
She patted the trapped Superbia a few times before looking at the two people who were barely breathing. No, to be precise, she looked at Theodore's face and smiled.
"Boy, you are more than I thought."
"Did you come to fight on the premise that I will help you?"
Theodore closed his mouth at the words which pierced through him. However, Aquilo didn't seem offended as she giggled at him. She hadn't struggled like this even when wiping out a high fleet. When fools came to try and subjugate her, she had laughed merrily.
However, now, she was cornered by a monster and saved by humans.
"Hoo... This is the first time I've felt this way."
It wasn't good or bad. She was just angry that someone had intervened in the game, and the pride of a dragon didn't allow her to bow her head first.
Aquilo sent Theodore and Randolph a strange look as she sucked on her pipe and pondered for a moment. Then she decided to act in an improvised manner as always.
"Well, it doesn't really matter," she said to Theodore while blowing out white smoke. "I'll follow your instructions as much as I can. But do you have an idea of how to take that monster out? The power of my breath failed to kill it."
"...I've thought of a way."
However, there was no time to explain it as the mass of ice had begun to crack. They would die if she refused or tried to escape, but Aquilo replied surprisingly easily.
"Okay, then what do you need me to do?"
"I need time."
At least 10-15 minutes. Randolph couldn't hold on for five minutes alone, but it might be possible if Aquilo's support was added. Every minute and second was precious. Aquilo accepted the request. Then as the ice broke, the second round would soon begin.
During this gap, Theodore invoked the method he had prepared, "Activate Overwrite."
The system responded to the user's will immediately.
[The C Rank 'Overwrite' has been triggered!]
[Please select the author you want to overwrite. (Available people: 2)]
The martial artist from the east, Lee Yoonsung... Or the best summoning magician in the modern age, Satomer...
Confronted with these two choices, Theodore chose one without hesitation.
[Object name 'Satomer' has been loaded into the user's body.]