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Midnight

As soon as Zetsuen finished his chant, the light from the giant magic circle evaporated into the atmosphere, by forming a large silhouette right beside him. Countless magic particles floated through the air, creating..

Clear, chilly irises, a snake-like form, covered in a frosty chill of semi-hardened scales for protection. I could not see it before, but this guy also had large wings as well. According to my <<Estimate>> skill, this magic summoning cost a large amount of magic power.

I of course, can’t make any proven hypotheses due to the lack of information about magic in this parallel world, but I could at least guess that he had to conserve strength before he could do it again. The toll for calling the beast, Grandiore from before, in an instant, must be really harsh. Well, it was a dragon after all.

If I was my usual self right now, I would be excited against facing the beings popular in all the different games I used to play, and make it my pet in a hurry. But I wasn’t going to do that. Now that I can think even faster in this skill’s effect, several folds in fact, I concluded that there was no merit in contracting a beast that was already owned by another.

First of all, it would show reluctance towards me being the one who stole it from its rightful master. Also, I doubt I can defend against it without this abnormal strengthening skill during the day. It might take the chance to eat me, or even worse, wreak havoc upon the surroundings. This wasn’t like keeping a cat or dog.

But most of all, this guy was owned by Zetsuen, who treated human beings like ants, and looked at them like garbage. If this dragon, Grandiore was even influenced even a tiny bit by his master’s personality, I could not bring myself to show kindness towards it.

The strong who use their power for oppression without a good enough reason except to relieve boredom or kill time, are the scum of society. No, the entire world.

It wasn’t my obligation to pass judgement to them in any way. I am also not angry at how I almost died because of them, but I can’t let them go back to the city.

Because if I turn a blind eye to this, I know I’ll forever regret it. Our time was short, but the few people I’ve met there have good hearts. I myself, was only dragged into all of this, but that did not matter in the least. I won’t make excuses, I’ll just do what I want to do.

From now on until forever, that’s what I shall do.

Oh, it seems they’re done preparing.

The dragon, Grandiore was opening its large mouth to release a breath attack? While Zetsuen was preparing to lunge at me under the cover fire of his familiar. A simple but effective plan. The advantage of numbers side with them.

Adding to the fact, that the sheer raw power of both combined was enormous. At least, that’s what I saw through <<Estimate>> skill. And most people would cower and surrender before a rarely seen dragon in front of them.

What is this, some kind of joke?

I started to realize that whenever this skill is activated, my thoughts would accelerate, but at the same time, grow arrogant and prideful. No, this wasn’t overconfidence.

Even earlier, when I blocked his attack, I judged it only needed my pointer finger to intercept, so I reflexively did it. I also meant to say that ‘I’m glad it wasn’t that strong.’ and sigh inwardly in relief, but it somehow got jumbled up when I released the words from my mouth. Was this an unexpected flaw in the skill? I do not know yet.

But one thing’s for sure. My earlier fear and the <<Intuition>> skill alarming me of danger was all but gone right now. I felt no intimidation when I laid eyes on the enemy.

I literally couldn’t see their two-pronged attack, as anything but a joke. Are they messing with me? This kind of strength was stronger than before, I will give you that. But the difference in my eyes right now, was only a slight boost.

Funny, I was expecting more out of someone who kept babbling about being a knight who transcended humans, looking down on them. I doubt there was really a human under that armor now. He may be a dragon in human skin? I don’t know for sure.

In any case, this level of strength was growing smaller as time passed. Oh wait, that must be because I was still growing. It wasn’t them getting weaker, it was my own self getting stronger. I really am abnormal, huh. Well, that didn’t matter at the moment.

“Are you scared, human Saikyou!? Witness the power of Grandiore and my combination attack! Don’t even think of running away from this!”

You’re really pumped up aren’t you, you battle-crazy knight.

Even though you’re looking like a kid to me right now, maybe even weaker, you’re still that haughty huh. I guess it wasn’t right to think this because it was rude but this guy had to be given his dues. If I leave him like this, he will still repeat his actions, and won’t ever change his haughty attitude and views towards the human race.

My current choices were, block, dodge, or counter-attack.

The first one is troublesome, since the dragon was already aiming at me with a range attack, and the second choice would entice another futile attempt even more.

Guess that leaves me no choice…

I’ll just use just enough to blow them away and break all of their limbs, assuming dragons even had limbs. That snake-like creature was out of the norm on my information about dragons in games. But, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

I surveyed the area with the map to check for any innocent bystanders, or random beasts roaming around, but I couldn’t find anyone for miles around, fortunately. It seems I’ve taken enough time monologuing due to my rapid thinking speed.

I start to chant..

“From the void, you were born, and to the void, you shall return…”

Waiting for the exact moment the breath is released, I mutter these words under my breath. Although, I could tell that Zetsuen caught me chanting, it didn’t matter that much this late in the game. I watch the beast’s inner mouth releasing a chilling ray of bluish white light right towards me at a speed faster than Zetsuen.

It’s too slow for me to even compare them though.

“…..<<Nullification>>”

With an abrupt signal, the breath dissipates into the nothingness, and the sword clad in lightning and flames lost their luster and evaporated into thin air. I can guess by the dumbfounded look on Zetsuen’s face, that it also nullified his enchantment skills.

What a scary skill. It’s mine though.

“What…just happened…my power….gone..”

“……”

I didn’t take the time answering him not because it was troublesome to reveal my cards to an enemy, but mostly I thought that sealing this mouth of mine, that only makes things worse is prudent. Yep, let’s do this quickly.

“…..In an instant…in an instant…”

I ignore the muttered words of Zetsuen who had lost strength in his legs, and was now sitting on the ground in disorder. His head was lowered in shame, and I can feel no fighting spirit coming from him, the him who couldn’t believe what was happening. I might sympathise with him losing his pride over this, if he wasn’t hostile to humans.

This, I could not let go. So, I cast <<Quicken>> and <<Instantaneous Movement>> once again, and move towards his range to launch a punch to his defenseless chest.

My speed was outstanding, so much that I had made it to the place right in front of him in a millisecond. Guess I should stop being surprised huh. I pull back my clenched fist, gathered magic power to reinforce it, and launched it. I don’t know if it was a skill or not, but I could feel sonic booms resounding as my fist slowly made it towards his chest.

But just as I did, my <<Intuition>> warned me about a hostile intent rapidly approaching my position. But it was too late. It was already there.

Even faster than my reaction speed, was the dragon, Grandiore, appearing out of thin air, almost like it teleported to protect its master, stood between my fist and Zetsuen. If stood was not in a literal meaning. It’s giant mouth that was surrounded with large fangs was already finished preparing to shoot its frost breath once again.

I didn’t have time to chant the spell to get rid of its attack, so I could only take it head on. Let’s just see who’s stronger. Because dodging was impossible at this position, right when I was putting strength into my outstretched fist, I reinforced it even more using magic.

This was because earlier, while Zetsuen was spreading the magic circle, I took the time to learn from <<Ruler’s Skill Tome>>, the skills that pertained to sensing and controlling magic power in the air and body.

They were <<Magic Power Sensing>>, <<Mana Control>>, and <<Magic Mastery>>.

I didn’t have the time to level them all up to Lv 5, but I judged them useful even at their present low-level. After a while, I could tell that the fog being released from the mysterious ring, could be controlled, but only slightly.

So the more I reinforced my fist, the dark fog encroached upon it more and more, almost dying my skin black. But this made my fist, harder and more heavier. I could see that this punch might even destroy a building, looking at it with <<Estimate>>.

When my fist, and the dragon Grandiore’s breath of chilling blizzard light collided, a bright explosion of black and white dominated the surroundings. It seemed that my fist could not completely suppress the ethereal glow and freezing power of its last resort breath, and I was slowly being pushed back.

Still, I could not give up. This dragon, who was putting its life on the line for its master was giving its all to fight against me. I would not be me anymore if I refuse this challenge!

I gathered even more power, to aid my plight in reversing the very laws of causality itself.

Slowly, but surely, I felt my fist pushing back. It seems that we had reached a stalemate.

I just needed one trigger, something to decide it.

Right as I was thinking that, I heard a loud ringing of a bell. It seemed to have come from the city. It was so loud that even I could hear it from here. I don’t know why it rang, but it was a strangely familiar sound. I can’t remember where I heard it though.

At that moment, I felt my body growing hot, and filled with something unknown.

What..

What is this……sudden burst of strength?

I couldn’t tell what it was exactly, but I felt like I was unbeatable right now.

The heaviness and resistance from before had disappeared. This, this was the trigger. Now, let’s take advantage of it right now.

I move my arm forward, pushing my fist into its breath. Now, it felt like I was pushing a button covered with a pillow. That’s how lesser the resistance was compared to before.

“Grandiore? What, what are you doing! Stop!”

Finally, Zetsuen seemed to have regained his sense of self. But, it was too late.

As if understanding the situation, and accepting its defeat, the dragon who had intelligence, Grandiore, stopped releasing its breath, and quickly turned around, facing its master. In the shortest amount of time, between the impact of my attack, and its impending death, it coiled itself around Zetsuen, and shielded him with its wings.

I’m not going to apologize about this, since I will do what I want to do.

But I at least feel sympathy for you.

Foolish dragon who contracted this kind of master.

The skin of my fist, felt the scales of the enemy. And in the next instant, an ear-piercing explosive sound wave reverberated around the area. Followed by the formation of hundreds of dark spear-like weapons hardened from the fog along with my fist, which was the largest one, it hit the target successfully.

I unconsciously shut my eyelids to not see its actual moment of demise. Troublesome, I guess I was still soft and naive after all. This habit of mine that just wants peace will never change even if I gained this abnormal power after all.

After a few moments, when the explosive booming sound died down somewhat, I slowly opened my eyes. Greeting me was the sight of a disaster.

The short grassy prairies with craters here and there from before, turned into a giant pathway of gouged out earth. The rocks and dirt were spread everywhere, leading into a straight line, due to my punch. I could even see countless fissures of cracked earth under all the debris, as if an earthquake came.

It was like the time I was stuck in that hole all over again.

I just hope it didn’t reach that far. I would be disheartened if someone was caught up within it, even though I checked beforehand. I was still anxious.

Leaving the problems that might come of this, did I completely kill them now?

Strange, even though this was the first time I might have killed a person, I felt like it was natural. Part of me hopes this is just temporary, and another hopes that they died already. To be completely blunt, I doubt anyone could survive that attack.

I’m scared of my own abnormal self. That is a fact. I’m not used to it.

But for now, let’s not think too deeply about it.

Hmm? What, a window suddenly appeared out of nowhere in front of my eyes.

Notification
You have gained 743,211,330 Experience Points
You have leveled up!
Current Level: 271 >>> 280

Eh, I’ve leveled up? Did this confirm the fact that I had killed them?

Putting that aside, I gained 9 levels because of this huh. Honestly, it was more than expected. In fact, I didn’t even expect to level up one bit.

In any case, this was a pleasant surprise. I’d like to bask in celebration, but this wasn’t the time. I had to leave before I get caught by those knights from before. Not that they’d recognize me in this form, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.

Speaking of the knights, I wonder if Gerald and Elise are alright after that dragon roar. I have no way of finding out, but I wish for their good health. I had to catch up quick, maybe I can still ride with Dazel towards the next city.

Hopefully, I would be considered dead, and won’t be questioned once I arrive there. I still had close to no information about common sense in this world after all. Even more so, on how to materialize the money I had, which might solve most problems.

Just as I was about to leave the scene of the battle, I noticed something on the ground from where I stood. When I took a closer look at it by bending over, I concluded that it was a book. I calmly picked up the book covered in dirt off the ground, and held it.

But why would a book be here of all places? I made sure to check the surrounding area, and there weren’t any items around my radius before. Did this mean what I think it was?

“Oops, almost got me there..”

The black fog that was slowly receding back into the ring almost caught up the book in its clutches. I’m glad I quickly transferred it into my left hand instead.

I curiously opened the book, but it seemed that there wasn’t anything written on it.

Instead, another strange window likened to the confirmation window logs back in the games I played before, appeared in between me and the book’s open pages..

Notification
You have found a skill book!
Do you want to learn the ‘Unique Skill’ <<Dragon Eyes>>?
Yes/No

Ah, I was right after all. This was the so-called, ‘Loot Drop’ from a boss that sometimes drops upon death. I pondered for a moment as to why there was only one drop instead of two, but I just deemed it unnecessary.

I mean, you can’t expect a drop from every enemy you defeat.

With that, I had convinced myself, that I was lucky enough to get one.

But I sure hope, that this book wouldn’t backfire on me like this ring I got from before.

After thinking for a little while, I decided to accept the learning of the skill. It couldn’t hurt to get something to prolong my life in the day right?

As I pressed ‘Yes’, I felt a large amount of magic power being sucked out of me. I didn’t notice it before because I was too busy concentrating on the fight, but I seem to have exhausted most of my mana pool already.

I wonder what would happen when I ran out?

A scary thought passes through my head, as I slowly realized that my original sense of thinking was coming back. I also felt my own body growing weaker by the second.

I waited for the skill learning to take effect, and immediately after, I felt my eyes burning.

Like they had been staring at the sun for far too long, it hurt like hell. Naturally, I reflexively shut my eyes and unconsciously teared up all throughout the few seconds of intense pain. I didn’t cry, I just had dirt in my eyes.

When I opened them, I felt like I was seeing the world differently. As if, everything was far clearer now. Everything looked so detailed. Like I was wearing corrective glasses.

No, this was even stronger than that, I thought.

Notification
Skill <<Appraisal>> has been assimilated into <<Dragon Eyes>>
All effects have been transferred, and the skill shall now be eradicated
Status Change Confirmed

I see, so this is why. I took a closer look on the details of the skill, <<Dragon Eyes>>..

Dragon Eyes
Unique Skill
Gain the sight and insight of the dragon race

Oh, impressive. Does that mean I can know the details of a certain thing just by glancing at it? This is very excellent. I almost immediately tested it out..

Rock
Item
A stone that has endured many trials

 

Soil
Item
Dirt that has become fertile due to rain

Impressive. Truly, this is the skill I needed most in this world without any information.

Basically, it’s a higher version of the <<Appraisal Skill>>. This was much more useful, since it didn’t cost any mana, and I just needed to focus my attention on a certain point.

Well, this was worth the effort. I prevented damage to the city and its people, helped Dazel get the artifact he needed, and finally leveled up and gained a skill. Like killing three birds with one stone. It feels like I finally had done something worthwhile.

As I was celebrating my accomplishments on this strange night, I noticed the sky was getting lighter. This is bad, I had to leave before they got here.

I invoke my movement skills once again, and rushed towards the city gate on the opposite direction of where the headquarters were.

But the more I sprinted, I felt my body grow heavier by the second. Right up until I saw the large gate of the city in the distance, I also saw a village a few kilometers from the city wall. But as soon as I did, my body started to shut down..

‘I didn’t know that there was a village here..’

As the sun was starting to rise, I inadvertently lost consciousness due to exhaustion.

 

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5 comments on “Midnight

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

    Minor issue: “Using my <> skill, this magic summoning costed a large amount of magic power.” costed –> cost. Also, I would suggest “According to” instead of “Using”.

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