163 Chapter 160 A Lesser Dragon
(JOSEPH, I DETECT A RATHER LARGE DIVINE INTERVENTION IN THIS REALM.)
'Can you give me any more information?'
(NO, I REALLY SHOULDN'T HAVE GIVEN YOU THAT.)
"Stella?" Joseph turned to her, where she was standing by a window.
"I know, Joseph," she said looking off in the direction of the neighboring mountains.
He stepped outside of the small building where they had been discussing the movement of supplies with the previous king, Ormir, to get a better look. There was a gale of wyverns heading their way.
"Ever have wyverns attack?" Joseph asked Ormir.
"No, they generally stay too far north to bother us. I suppose they might attack the humans that go into their mountains, but none of my, er… our people are that stupid."
"Think you can handle things, while I deal with this?" asked Joseph, as Stella stepped up next to him.
"You've moved most of the people from the smaller towns that would never have made it in time. There's only a couple more hours of moving supplies onto the mountain, and we should be ready for this move," said the dragon-kin, glancing down at the scrawled list in his hands.
Joseph rose into the air, to gasps and cries from the crowd of people who were there helping, and Stella jumped up into the air behind him. When he gave her the tattoo that allowed flight, he had used PERFECT ILLUSION to make it seem as if blood red angel wings grew out of her back whenever she activated the tattoo. She could suppress the illusion at will, but he had figured that if she was ever fighting something in the air, they would attack her wings first and give her an opportunity to counter-attack. Joseph couldn't wait to see if it would actually work.
"Joseph, why would 30 wyverns ever form up at once? If that big dragon was hunting them, they should scatter, not keep flying together," said Stella as a larger creature appeared from behind the group of wyverns.
ANALYZE CREATURE. KEEN VISION. HAWK VISION. ANALYZE CREATURE.
"The wyverns are dominated. The big one doesn't appear to be."
"What's wrong?" asked Stella as he paused in thought.
"I have a bad feeling about the big guy," he said, resuming their flight towards them. "Stella, can you take the wyverns?"
"Of course. What kind of question is that?"
"No, I mean cleanly. I want the hide and the meat when this is over."
"Oh. Yeah, let me get out the gang." She reached into her purse, her hand disappearing for a moment, then threw the small figurines away from her. They fell only a short distance before the golems had grown to full size and flew towards them without any wings.
"I'll take the big one," said Joseph.
"Why should I let you? It's my job to protect you," pointed out Stella.
"It has the same mana territory as I do. Your magic tattoos will be stopped when you get near it, and I'm not sure about the enchanted items, including your weapons, and the gang will be suppressed. I think I can overwhelm it with my own territory, but only once they overlap."
"Be careful," she finally said, after a momentary hesitation.
Joseph could see her trying to figure out if she could fight the thing without her magic, and figured she probably could, but he wasn't going to risk it. Those wyverns looked nasty, and he didn't want them to reach his new people.
He teleported past the wyverns in order to face the dragon. He barely noticed as Stella and her gang started darting among the wyverns. They could kill them quickly, but not if they were trying to keep the corpses in good shape.
As the dragon roared, he turned his focus solely on it.
Joseph had to dodge as the dragon used REVERSE MISSILE, and reflected it back at him.
The dragon opened its mouth and a yellow glow grew quickly, then blasted at him. Joseph ignored the LIGHTNING BOLT as it was absorbed by one of his tattoos.
This should have been too big for the dragon to reverse back at him, but it was able to dodge it. The giant block of rock crashed into one of the neighboring mountains. The dragon opened its mouth again, and shot an icy breath at him.
The breath dissipated before it could go very far, barely causing a cool mist to fall upon the people in that direction.
ACID STEAM STORM.
A dense cloud of 600-degree hydro-fluoric acid vapor appeared all around the dragon, but none inside its territory. As the dragon dissipated it with a whirlwind, Joseph followed up with a stream of MOLTEN SALT JET.
A scream ripped out of the dragon as the droplets sprayed all over it. Casting RESIST FIRE, to protect itself from the salt jet gave Joseph just enough time to set up FRYING ANTS. The magic used to focus the sunlight like a giant magnifying glass. It could only work during the day, but no magic would actually be used inside the dragon's mana territory.
The very sky seemed to grow dim as a blinding column of light struck the black dragon squarely on its back. This spell was meant to be used against enemies with magic resistance but it worked great here, too. RESIST FIRE may protect from heat, but this much light couldn't be completely ignored with just the first or second level of it.
The dragon obviously hadn't thought the third level was needed as it fell in a smoking heap. Joseph quickly re-aimed the focal point to keep baking it.
"STOP! I YIELD!" it screamed.
Joseph created a small gate to loop the sunlight infinitely. When he released the gate, if it wasn't serious about giving up, the resulting damage would likely punch a hole through it, and the underlying bedrock.
Joseph was so startled by the dragon's laugh that he almost released the gate.
"I will acknowledge you, human."
"I'm not a human," Joseph yelled at it.
The dragon shook its head, then cast RESTORATION on itself. The light had blinded it, and the damage had melted its ears shut.
"I was told a human had cheated on the sacred duel, for the honor of King, against one of our lesser kin?" The dragon looked up at him, curiously, and Joseph flew a little closer. The dragon was clearly confused.
"Then, why did you bring the wyverns?" Joseph asked.
"Oh, I didn't. They were flying this way when I left my cave."
Joseph sighed. "Then why did you attack me?"
"To see if you were strong enough to have won the duel, of course. With that much strength you wouldn't have bothered cheating in the duel. If you can defeat me, there is no reason to cheat against a mere kin."
"Who told you I had cheated? And why did you attack me if I had Bahamut's blessing?"
"I don't worship Bahamut. I worship the god of battle. And a delicious human came to tell me about the duel."
"Why would you believe a human?"
"Most people, knowing that I will eat the messenger, won't come to me with lies. Things like, I give my life if you will burn this city, or kill this lord, sorts of things."
"Stop, just stop," said Joseph, rubbing his head.
(YOU HAVE BEFRIENDED A DRAGON? MADE IT A SUBORDINATE?)
"Go back to your cave and get your stuff. We're going back to my home realm. I have trouble with an evil god there, and at some point, I'm gonna have to kill him."
"Right away. This will be epic!" The dragon jumped into the sky with a massive grin on its face and flew much quicker than it had approached, back to the mountains.
Joseph released the spells he had going, and covered his eyes as the resulting blast turned a section of rock, where the dragon had just been, into a molten pit. Two nearby trees burst into flame.
"It's ok. It's not my realm," he told himself before teleporting back to Stella. She had already returned to Ormir's side. This just reaffirmed his suspicions that Nurkong was behind all of this.