Chapter 152 - Along with the Dragon (5)
The moment Superbia sensed that this was an opponent it couldn't face, it chose to run away without any hesitation.
As part of the Seven Sins, Pride aimed to be the culmination of all living things. For someone who pursued the peak of life, 'survival' was an absolute necessity. Due to that, it could throw away its pride.
As someone said, one's will to survive was always strong.
While Superbia flew through the water, it muttered in order to soothe its wounded pride. -Don't think that this is enough to win over me, Gluttony's monkey! Your ability means you won't be able to summon it for a long time. As soon as the dragon disappears, I will kill you!
Surprisingly, Superbia's prediction was reasonable. Superbia's intuition couldn't be overlooked after existing for tens of thousands of years and experiencing countless battles with other grimoires, knights, and magicians.
It was like Superbia said. Without the special offering of 'Charlotte's Necklace,' Theodore wouldn't be able to summon Fafnir for even one second. The necklace, which contained the souls of a kingdom, allowed that primordial monster to be summoned for seven seconds at most.
Now, the time remaining for Fafnir was four seconds.
-Kuhuhu, let's see if you can catch me with that huge body!
Superbia's speed was staggeringly fast after shifting into many marine traits, as it managed to move hundreds of meters in a few seconds. Fafnir looked down at the surface of the water and chuckled in a mocking tone.
Speed and strategy, everything was meaningless before it.
The fire dragon took a deep breath.
It took one second for the endless heat to converge. Then it took another second to process the converged heat into the form of a ray. Lastly, it took one second to check the position of the target and aim.
In the Age of Mythology, this was the breath which burned the original world trees, and even transcendents were reluctant to face it. The light, which was like a 'laser,' seemed to erase the world. Fafnir, Muspelheim's incarnation, used the strongest means of attack available to it.
It wasn't a flame but a small supernova. The small supernova penetrated through the air resistance and pierced the surface of the sea faster than lightning. The seawater evaporated before the ray reached, and the water exploded from the heat, stirring up a small tsunami. This was merely the aftermath of the disaster...
And it only targeted one being.
-N-No...! This attack...!
As it split into hundreds-no, thousands of pieces in one second, Superbia's senses warned it of absolute death.
It had stockpiled countless lives and amounts of energy, but this ray was outside of the norm. The destruction rate overwhelmed its regeneration speed, and the destructive power surpassed its accumulated energy.
Pride realized that it couldn't survive and screamed.
-I, how can a monkey do this to me-!
It cried out before being erased by the ray.
After one or two seconds, Superbia's terrible regenerative power soon reached its limit. All of the energy stored in its cells was exhausted. Once this function was stopped, there would be nothing left.
However, the flash which burned Pride didn't stop there. The intense light ray pierced through the water pressure toward the bottom of the sea. The sleeping undersea volcano woke up, and seismic waves spread out, upsetting the ecosystem of the distant ocean. When comparing it to chess, it was like shattering the chessboard with a hammer.
The monstrous dragon ended the situation with one attack and declared in a languid voice, [Extermination complete, returning.]
It disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. After the seven-second summoning of Fafnir was finished, the darkness which had fled over the horizon returned to its original position. The outside air pushed into the vacuum, and the hot atmosphere calmed down.
"You did it, Senior."
As his ragged clothes flapped, Theodore stared up at the sky with a weary look. There was no voice to reply to him as Satomer's soul had become part of him and would travel forward with Theodore. He felt a small sense of comfort if he thought like that.
As soon as he realized that everything was over, Theodore's consciousness cut out like a broken rope.
There was no magic power left to keep the magic spell going, so the young man fell from the sky. The winner of the great battle was caught in a rare gentle touch by the sea dragon, Aquilo.
"...Huh, you have done something ridiculous," she murmured in an astonished and weak voice.
Aquilo cooled down the area using the power of a sea dragon, but it would take a few more days for it to return to the normal temperature. Additionally, the water which had become too salty due to the rapid evaporation had to be restored, as well as the ocean currents which had become messy due to the seismic waves.
Aquilo started sweating as she looked down at Theodore and thought inwardly, 'Boy, did you prepare this magic to fight me?'
There was no way he could have prepared this disposable battle magic so quickly. Aquilo thought for a moment about snapping Theodore's neck, before sighing to herself.
Regardless of the circumstances, these two people had saved her, and she owed them a life debt. A dragon's pride was high, so she couldn't tolerate doing such a cowardly act. In the end, Aquilo laughed as she looked at the brightening horizon.
"Doesn't this mean I almost died twice in a day? It was an interesting day. More so than my 1,000 years of boredom."
This struggle had involved a being from the Age of Mythology, which had ended before she was born. Today's fight was memorable even for the dragon who had lived close to 1,000 years. Aquilo, who ruled the sea, laughed pleasantly and turned away from the sun.
Three shadows were cast under the light of the rising sun.
* * *
Theodore felt relieved the moment he woke up from a deep sleep.
A magician could threaten a dragon, so he had considered the possibility of being killed by the vigilant Aquilo. Fortunately, she had decided to leave him alive.
The bed was so comfortable and luxurious that he couldn't help feeling sleepy as he touched it. He still hadn't recovered completely, so he wanted to fall asleep. However, Theodore had to check something beforehand.
-You woke up, User. As always, a blunt voice welcomed him.
"You don't need to give a greeting. Rather, what happened with Pride?"
Theo had been able to see its annihilation due to sharing Fafnir's senses, but he didn't know Pride's fate. A Seven Sins grimoire had extraordinary and bizarre abilities, so there was a possibility it could survive after being hit by Fafnir's laser.
However, Gluttony dispelled Theodore's worries.
"Are you sure?"
-Not even one cell remains as it was all melted. At the very least, it will take 1,000 years for Pride to reappear in this world.
Theodore was puzzled by the words.
"This world? No, if Pride was completed destroyed, how can it appear again?"
-Hrmm, a lock has been released. I will explain within the allowable limits. Gluttony made a dubious sound before explaining, -First, the grimoires don't exist in this world. Both me and Pride, our bodies don't exist in this lower dimension. In order to enter this lower dimension, we need a control unit that minimizes our function and size.
"So... there is a separate body?"
Occasionally, there were vague terms, but Theodore concentrated on the main facts that he understood from the explanation.
According to Gluttony, the bodies of the Seven Sins lived outside this dimension in a place where no life lived. They dispatched separate bodies to a number of dimensional systems. This world's Gluttony was just one of the many separate bodies which were scattered.
Then a question suddenly popped into Theodore's head.
"Why will it take 1,000 years to come back? It can just send another separate body."
-It is simple. There is a finite number of separate bodies. The number of dimensions contemplated by the Seven Sins is indefinite, and the number of bodies sent was also close to limitless. In the rare case that a separate body is destroyed like it is now, it will take around 1,000 years to restore it.
Theodore asked again with a cold face, "Then is it impossible to completely block it from this dimension?"
-It is impossible, Gluttony replied immediately, without any hesitation. -The body that lives in the outer dimension is a 7th stage divine entity which draws information and power from the inexhaustible dimensional system. You will only become part of the mountain of dead bodies.
"So, it isn't an area that I can touch."
-That's right. User did well as a resident of this world. As of now, focus on your own work.
Theodore shook his head at the strange method of praising him, but he sensed someone was approaching. Unlike Randolph's sharp presence, she stood in front of the door with the magnificent presence of tsunami.
Aquilo didn't knock on the door as she spoke in a loud voice, "Boy, you're awake?"
"Lady Aquilo." Theodore's nervous reaction was funny.
Aquilo couldn't help smiling and pointing that out. "What, last time you called me by my name, but now... Why are you saying 'Lady'?"
"Yes, doesn't this feel friendlier?"
Theodore felt tense leaving off the honorific, but Aquilo was pleased. She sucked on the pipe as always, then after taking a breath, she continued speaking.
"By the way, Boy, how is your stomach?"
"Stomach? Why all of a sudde-"
"You know, you were sleeping for three days."
Grrr, Theodore's stomach confirmed it. The sound was loud enough to be heard beyond the door. Theodore blushed and dropped his gaze. "......"
"Ahaha! Don't be shy. Isn't this natural for humans?" Aquilo laughed and turned around. Before leaving through the doorway, she said a few more words, "Your companion has woken up as well. Bring him down to the dining room. Tell him to dress appropriately."
As the sound of Aquilo's laughter faded into the distance, Theodore sighed with relief. Randolph was also safe, and Aquilo had no hostility toward him. Theodore's knees weakened, and he sank onto the bed as he realized he had escaped from a major crisis.
He had won against Pride.
"I paid back your enemy, Seniors."
Reminded of the members of the Magic Tower convoy who had sacrificed themselves so that he and Ellenoa could escape, Theodore closed his eyes in a moment of silence for them. The scars left behind on his body and the throbbing of his circles were part of his mourning.
Then Theodore finished the moment of silence and got up.
It was time to directly experience the return of the dragon's grace, which had been heard about in many legends and from heroes.