A Day in the Life of a Dragon King
Those strong and sturdy legs tore up the ground as they ran through the plains.
The riding dragon that runs along the ground and can be ridden by one person, it’s the most common of all dragons raised by humans.
As Shirley dismounted, she used her incredible eyesight to see a large group of dragons flying on the horizon, though she watched them without a trace of fear.
It was an illuminated night, made bright by the light of the stars and the moon. That white hair of hers that looked like a flower in the grassland, it shone as if to rival those heavenly bodies.
“You lizards… I’ll make you regret ever coming here…”
That single flower bloomed into a battle-ready stance. Standing alone on this soon to be battlefield. She glowered at the dragons and their minions far in the distance with her red and blue eyes, how dare they interrupt the day she was planning to spend with her daughters?
The only thing she’s worried about is Canary’s upholding whatever her deal might be. She’s not concerned about a lack of reinforcements or magical support. But, even if she judges Canary as a despicable person, she can’t deny that she’s the kind of person who values promises and contracts.
The question is, just what sort of help was she going to get? No matter how strong of a witch she might be, it’s hard to imagine that she could also help out whilst at the same time preparing the dimensional barrier to save the citizens of the Kingdom.
(Maybe it’s reinforcements after all, but who would come?)
The adventurers over A-rank have all been assigned to protect different areas. As for the number of B-rank adventurers and below who would actually volunteer to come to join such a dangerous fight, the number would be extremely low.
Certainly, there will be some adventurers who go to battle if Canary got involved. But, for a battle like this, she’s not confident Canary will be able to find anyone.
The way Canary moves people is through money. She appeals to those who are in debt, need money to keep themselves or a loved one alive, or just plain love gold.
But when it comes to money, those B-rank adventurers who value their own personal freedom won’t move just for money, and C-rank adventurers would struggle with the subordinate monsters, not to mention a dragon.
And what’s more, the entire idea of it is ridiculous, to go and fight on a battlefield that even the Demonic White Blade is going to have trouble with is no joke for those adventurers… You may as well be asking them to walk through the gates of hell themselves, who on earth would agree?
(If only there were reinforcements that could at least take on the small fry, it would save a lot of time… If anyone does show up… Well, not that anyone will.”
To watch and laugh as she struggled alone… Maybe that would be enough of a motive for some people to come.
…No, Canary specifically said that she would make it so that she could get back for the Parent Visitation Day. She has to trust in her word, even if her everyday behaviour makes her think anything but.
As she tries to stifle her anxiety, she catches a flow of magical power with her eyes.
With a strange sound, the air becomes torn and distorted. It’s Canary’s space warping magic. If she’s using magic like this, it’s most likely reinforcements, although you never know with her.
“What’s with that face, you look like a pigeon who just got popped with a peashooter you know?”
From that tear in the fabric of space, a countless number of people with shining equipment began to emerge. To this, not even the normally cool Shirley can keep her surprise off her face, prompting a strange figure of speech from one of the first men to come through.
She remembered that face, and the giant buster sword on his back. It was the B-rank adventurer who was giving Yumina a hard time before.
“…No, I… I’m just a little amazed. I thought she would send reinforcements, I just didn’t expect this many and such high quality…”
The adventurers that were beginning to lineup in front of Shirley constituted all the B-rank adventurers from the remote town where she lived, as well as all the C to E rank adventurers following behind. Among the group, she saw those three rookies she had partied with not long ago.
All of them had a passion in their eyes and looked ready to fight as they faced Shirley. But it’s too reckless, it was a fool’s courage. Almost bringing shame to their status as veterans.
“Why did you come? Did Canary threaten you all with something?”
If that’s the case, she told them it would be fine for them to go back.
“Ain’t got nothing to do with the guild. One hundred gold per head, two extra gold for bagging a monster, and another hundred for a dragon. Ain’t that just too good to pass up?”
The adventurers respond casually, saying that if there’s a reward an adventurer will always fight. They intend to stay.
It’s a somewhat unbelievable sight. That Canary didn’t threaten anyone, and instead actually offered a reward to stir up the adventurer’s spirits?
“Of course, that ain’t the only reward, ya’ know?”
They grinned and laughed amongst themselves as Shirley looked confused, but she soon narrowed her eyes and asked them coolly.
“…You might die, you know?”
She addressed everyone with those straightforward words. B-rank adventurers are the only ones who should be fine. Although Shirley knows there are some adventurers with A to S-rank potential amongst them, the dragons are still incredibly fierce opponents.
So, what will become of the young adventurers in the back? There’s no way they can stand up to a dragon. She didn’t tell them, but she can’t see this ending in any other way than them dying a dog’s death.
Life should always come first. Even if they don’t participate the town should be evacuated before the monsters arrive, and if they die then what’s the point of a reward?
“You just don’t get it, do ya?”
“Gettin’ to fight dragons and all that, ain’t it unfair if you’re the only one doin’ stuff like that?”
None of them had been forced or pressured to come along.
No one wants to die. That’s obvious. But, if you give up on the opportunity to hunt such impressive game, then what point is there in calling yourself an adventurer?
“…I understand. If you’re willing to go this far, I won’t stop you.”
With a sigh, Shirley gave up on trying to persuade them.
If they’re all here just for the reward and glory, then Shirley doesn’t have any reason to try and turn them back.
Even if they face mighty foes, and even if tragedies occur, these adventurers are responsible for themselves.
“Well, we had other reasons as well. We can’t just let one swordswoman alone defend the whole town for us, right?”
A spear wielding man with a copper tag said, looking at the army on the horizon that looked like a haze of clouds.
Looking at the same sight, many of the adventurers gulped. There wasn’t much time left before the battle, and there were even more monsters than they had expected.
“You don’t have to tell us, we’re already convinced. Hey, it exists right? The rumoured secret technique of the Demonic White Sword?”
The Dragon King of the West, Beowulf, is characterized by his frenzied strength, he had long since lost his capacity for speech and reason through his desire for physical power, and his crazed mind is now staring directly at an enemy that should be nothing more than prey.
For such an insignificant and worthless an opponent as a human to dare block his way. His target is that dragon who had brought low the entire race by throwing away his pride, the dragon god who chose to befriend humanity despite residing at the apex of existence.
Although Níðhöggr and Vritra planned to attack the capital at the same time in a three-way pincer attack, Beowulf did not care.
For him, this was the perfect opportunity to eradicate Aion and claim his place as a dragon god. No matter how crazy he might be, the Dragon King of the West wasn’t going to miss this chance.
He would destroy any towns and villages on his path, and as the King who flew in front of an army intending to raise the capital under which their enemy sleeps looked into the distance, he saw a group of people.
Judging by their weapons and armour, they must be adventurers. Perhaps they are foolishly attempting to defend their town?
Even if some of them are skilled, what could their puny group of less than one hundred do against a foe both superior in numbers and ability?
As Beowulf sped up in anticipation of blowing right through this opposition, with his superior eyesight he spotted a woman with white hair at the front of the group.
“Wake up… 《Blue Citadel of the Country Ig-Alima》, 《Red Fortress of the Faith Sul- Sagana》.”
As a result of hearing equally as sharp as his eyes, he heard the woman’s chant as the two swords appeared in her hands.
Straight swords of blue and red, the same as their owner’s eyes. On the blue blade is the pattern of the King of Beasts and on the red the King of Birds, even through his madness Beowulf is wary of this unknown magic.
“《The Mountain Breeze Shakes The Flowers of Hell・The Mourning Song Disappears on the Tide》”
A clear voice echoes and power begins to swirl around the woman. Both the people nearby her and the monsters in the sky felt a strong sea breeze that shouldn’t be felt this far inland.
“《The Hand that Ravages Heaven and Earth・The Crimson Barrier Against the Waves》”
That voice echoed like a bell. Was it a song, a chant, or a lamentation? The blades in her hand gradually begin to grow brighter and brighter, dying the plains in colour like strokes of paint amidst the night.
“《Yet We Shall Cast that Hand Down・The Hand that Will Break on the Moment of our Prayers》”
Beowulf increased his speed. The Dragon King’s instincts told him that no matter what, he could not let this magic be activated.
But, he was too late. Just as the giant beast had almost bore down to blow the woman away, the world was swallowed by pure light – and was changed completely.
“《The Hour of your End Draws Near・It is We Who Shall Bury You》.”
It was as if myth itself had come to life.
When the spell’s final verse was sung, he was dazzled by the extremely bright light that shone out. All sense of balance and direction had come undone and he floated in that space, as he opened his eyes to a scene where night and day had become one, and horizons stretched all around him.
The Dragon King, his generals, and all three hundred monsters under them had been transported to a chain of three island ruins suspended in the sky.
“Welcome to my world. As compensation for interrupting my class visit… I shall have you pay with your lives.”
Beowulf turned to face the white-haired woman as they both stood alone, and bared his fangs at her.
In that land of floating ruins, the Sword Demon with blades of red and blue and the Mad Dragon King who had abandoned reason for power will decide victory or defeat.
Dragons are bastions of strength and magical power, flying unfettered through the sky with their massive bodies.
Putting aside that amongst the ten generals of the dragon king there were no ancient dragons, the adventurers who expected an immensely tough fight were shocked by the scene that betrayed their expectations.
At the very moment that the new world had been built and they were transported to it, the dragons that had been flying in the sky but a moment ago had been dragged down to the earth.
Perhaps if there was a water dragon amongst their number, it would have been dragged up from the sea as well. Even if they try to take to the sky again, it’s as if they’ve been nailed to the ground, their claws can’t impact the earth under their feet and their wings lack the power to get them airborne.
It is the absolute law of this alternate world. The treasured secret swords of the Demonic White Sword, Igarima and Shul Shagana. Although they possess several abilities, their most formidable is the world creation magic -《Garden City of the Tyrant》.
A magic that literally creates a temporary fabricated world, the ability to confine others in another world for a time is a strong enough ability on its own, but where it truly shines is the absolute law that it creates in that world.
As the name implies, it turns the caster into an absolute autocrat of their created realm, and in that arena, they can control the rules, not even spatial magic can be used to escape it should they decide it.
“I’d heard rumours, but really, that woman… To be a solo adventurer, but having such perfect weapons for large-scale warfare, what the hell!?”
It was the perfect battleground for the allied adventurers. The ruins gave the mages and archers perfect vantage points, as well as giving the thieves and assassins ideal places to hide.
The adventurers who are taking on the dragons are only B-rank, but with their movement being constrained by their inability to fly or destroy the terrain.
The adventurers knew that the biggest threat was still the dragons’ fiery breath, so they made sure to attack them from the sides and prevent them from turning around effectively.
This power was what Shirley had planned to use to fight the several hundred monsters converging on the town, all alone. It wasn’t only swordsmen who were taking the front line as well, many other types of close quarters fighters helped out. As the parties shift their vanguard to keep energy levels up, typically you would have to worry about the dragon flying overhead ignoring your frontline, but that’s not a worry in this parallel world.
They considered human beings insignificant. Although the dragons had supposed that it would be simple to crush these humans under their feet like ants, they had realized just how deadly a trap this was too late, and before they knew it were mired in a desperate fight for survival.
“Hey, I sort of imagined this being a bit more of a climactic battle.”
“What a coincidence, so did I.”
On the other hand, adventurers of C-rank and below on another island were squaring off against the subservient monsters such as goblins and bad bonobos that had accompanied the dragons, without letting their guard down.
Compared to the adventurers who seemed to be chatting so casually, those monsters were seeing visions of hell.
Transported into a different world and dropped into a huge crater on one of the islands, they were completely exposed to the arrows and magic of the adventurers above.
Been thrown so suddenly into such a desperate situation, even these monsters that have some semblance of intelligence would fall prey to their feral instincts and be reduced to mere beasts.
What’s more, that crater soon became a fiery volcano after pots of oil were thrown in by the adventurers and ignited by fire magic.
All the melee fighters have to do is fell any monster lucky enough to escape the blaze. Just by defeating a single one of these weak monsters, they’d earn two gold coins. It really was terribly easy money.
Since they had begun fighting, it must have been at least twenty hours.
Whilst the other island battlefields were proceeding advantageously, the battle against the Dragon King raged on with streaks of lightning frequently raining down.
In addition to being able to control lower ranked dragons, controlling lightning is another key attribute of a Dragon King.
Although humans have developed magic based on the four elements of earth, fire, wind and water, they have not being able to cast lightning that can kill a man with one blow, like divine punishment handed down from above.
But, even though the secret to this magic remains unknown, there are many mages who assert it is definitely stronger than all the known elemental magic.
It is said that the speed of lightning is hundreds of times faster than the speed of sound. If it truly can reduce a person to ash with a single blow faster than the speed of sound, it could be terribly effective if twinned with earth attribute magic.
Lightning falls like rain, and Shirley barely managed to avoid taking a hit by blocking the strike with her blades.
Typically, something that travels at the speed of lightning shouldn’t be able to be tracked by the human eye, but Shirley’s ability lets her see where the lightning strike is going to hit a few seconds in advance.
Even something as fast as a bolt of lightning can’t escape her sight. It is the basis of the Demonic White Sword’s fighting style to combine the two, her magnificent swordsmanship and that inhuman ability.
It’s that all-seeing ability that lets her corner opponents the way she does. If you looked at it on its own, it doesn’t seem like the strongest ability in the world, but when paired with the swordswoman known as Shirley, they demonstrate their murderous ability.
Blocking the thunderbolt had singed her skin and hair, but she still drove on.
Her white hair swirls in an arc like the hem of her dress as if forming a whirlwind, and Shirley breaks through the barrage of lightning to launch herself at Beowulf’s right eye.
He struck at her with his talons, but using foresight she managed to dodge, and with both blades Shirley sliced the king from his jaw down through his torso.
It screamed. But, it was not a roar of pain, but of anger.
From the beginning, this was a dragon king who had estranged himself from the other seven and abandoned his reason and logic. In exchange, it gained immense strength, and the ability to completely ignore the pain in pursuit of battle.
As his paw smashed into the ground, the entire island shook. Shirley used foresight to escape the blow, even if his talons had just grazed her it would have meant instant death.
Even though she was semi-immortal, she doesn’t have enough magical energy left to completely regenerate the damage a single blow from a dragon king would do.
But, knowing that a single glancing blow is the difference between life and death is what is keeping Shirley’s mind sharp.
(The burns from before are already healing… I need to pick up the pace… Hah!)
But, the Demonic White Sword launched into a counterattack straight away.
After dodging an attack the tremor of which would have completely bowled over any S-rank adventurer, she rushed the dragon and inflicted all manner of cuts and wounds to its body, slowly whittling away its energy.
Beowulf is being worn down even faster than she is. Shirley used the dragon’s forearm as a springboard to launch herself into the air, and dodged the follow-up swipe by the other paw with a midair pirouette, driving straight towards the king’s face.
Shirley breathed a short breath, and as she moved through the air she spun and sliced through Beowulf’s right eye.
The Dragon King of the West had been robbed of his right-sided sight. Not missing the opportunity, the Demonic White Sword struck at his now exposed right flank.
The magic swords smashed through the scales that were a symbol of the dragon’s strength and tore into the tendons with a sharpness that far exceeded the swords she could call on using her alchemy.
The giant monster tilted on its right side as it began to lose energy. Burning with indignation, the Dragon King of the West nonetheless knew the truth through his fog of madness.
This swordswoman has surpassed the power of a dragon king.
But, power does not always decide victory and defeat. Beowulf can still win if he lands a single blow, and he gambles on it.
Whilst shielding his vitals from Shirley’s blows, the King unleashes magical power throughout his body.
Lightning rained down not just on their island, but the two others besides. With both instantaneous speed, high density and incredible killing power, he unleashed a final attack to destroy the swordswoman in front of him.
Shirley doesn’t have the power to stop it. She is, in essence, a pure swordswoman, not some miraculous existence that can cancel out endless bolts of energy from the heavens with mere swords.
“Swallow the Wrath of Heaven, 《Red Castle of the Temple》”
Yes, Shirley doesn’t have the power herself to stop it.
The lightning that rained down was swallowed by the light coming from the blade known as Shul Shagana… The magic had activated as if words had appeared in the air, and the light emitted were wings on Shirley’s back.
“Unfortunately, this is my arena. I can’t accept self-indulgent things like attacks that saturate the earth, please do understand.”
Shul Shagana’s ability… To absorb magically created energy attacks, and disperse it harmlessly behind its owner’s back.
These floating islands are her personal realm as a swordswoman, and that red blade is one of the keys to unlocking it.
In front of the Demonic White Sword, such unrefined magic is futile.
“Now… Let’s finish this.”
His final gamble had been completely negated, and the Demon Swordswoman rushed towards the neck of Beowulf who had completely exhausted himself.
The two swords slashed through his vertebrae and extinguished his life in an instant.
“To delay me for an entire day… As expected of a Dragon King. To force me into using Shul Shagana’s ability as well…”
As she bid a parting compliment to her fallen foe, she staggered a little bit due to having so little practice using that sword’s ability, but her face was still bright.
If reinforcements hadn’t come, there’s no way she would have been able to finish this fight in such a short time. All those supporting monsters… They would have been troublesome, as they’re far deadlier as a horde than they are as individuals.
Even if she had gathered them on the same island, it would have been difficult. All those dragons would still be able to harass her from afar.
But, that’s all just hypothetical. She didn’t quite understand the details, but somehow Canary had inspired all the adventurers with sweet words and sweeter money to come to her aid.
Whilst not fully aware of just what awaited her back home, Shirley thought of the visitation day event as she happily went to assist wrapping up the fights on the other islands.
I really hated translating this one, lol. Anyways, as an apology for no chapter yesterday, double release.