9-10. Mountain Range Encounter
Satou's here. They say that negligence is one's greatest enemy, but I think it's fine when you're at least aware that you're being careless. Recently, I've begun to think that the real scary thing may be self-conceit.
The next morning, I have a reason for going ahead alone.
There's the fact that I want to look at how the wyverns react toward the air current, but I'm confirming things ahead since halfway of this mountain range is a different territory. I think it's most likely Bornean forest territory, so for the sake of my companions' safety, I should properly confirm it.
Actually I went out last night, but the air current was different, and the monsters weren't moving at night, so I went back because it was meaningless. Going back straight was embarrassing, so I cull out the stronger monsters around the perimeter of the camping ground. There were two horn snakes among the monsters I swept, I'll make another kabayaki next time.
Now then, the highest peak of this mountain range is about as high as the Everest from my original world. Wow, many 8000 meters tall mountains are lined up. Even the valley where I'm going isn't less than 4000 meters high, so it can be called a nature's stronghold.
The wyverns are most numerous on the southwestern 6000-meters tall mountain. Several dozens of them are there.
There is no wyvern on the mountain-crossing course that I've chosen, but the fan-shaped form that can be seen scattered away from the summit of the mountain along the course catches my attention. I wonder if there's something in the summit that attacks those wyverns like the wyvern from yesterday. The enemy search on the map works only in the mountain range, so if there's really something, it's probably beyond that.
Now then, enough about the wyverns, there are several hidden villages scattered about on this mountain. Any one of them is a small village of 10-20 people. There are various races like humans, fairykin, bearmen, and such, but since they're separated quite far from each other, they don't seem to have cultural exchange or competitions.
I didn't intend to get in touch with any of the hidden village, but I saw a girl-san who was being chased by a pack of wolves, so since I didn't want to abandon her, I routed the wolves with [Remote Stun]. My figure was seen, but since I was in silver masked hero mode, it was alright.
I choose a route where I won't be in a near-miss situation with the hidden villages, flying about 100 meters high above the ground along the mountain. Due to that, wyverns and flying beetle monsters attacks me in droves. Thinking that they would be heralds for the airship tomorrow, I cut them with [Magick Swords] whenever I encounter them.
I use [Remote Arrow] only for the monsters called land urchins that shoot out lance-like needles from the ground. I feel like I'd suffer pointed-tip phobia if I fought such hedgehog-like monsters up-close.
However, there sure are a lot of monsters.
There are only a few of them around the outskirts of the hidden villages, but if these many monsters attack the villages on whim, it looks like they'll be annihilated. Let's take care as not to use magic that are too noisy or showy.
I set up the [Magick Sword] against the wyvern that's come out of the mountain recess while feeling a bit fed up with it, but the wyvern doesn't seem to have me in mind.
'Perhaps', I think so while checking the map, and I understand the being that's chasing the wyvern.
I see, no wonder it's running.
While smashing the summit that the wyvern is detouring, that being appears.
The jet black dragon calmly flies, and then, after it glares at me while flying in the sky, it catches the flying wyvern with one bite from its jaws.
It's a large dragon that's about 100 meters long from the tip of the horn on its head to its tail. However, it's slenderer than the [Bulking and Heavy Western Dragon] in my imagination.
So they haven't become extinct huh. I immerse myself with selfish relief.
Now then, what should we do about this.
The black dragon has been really glaring at me since a while ago.
>[Dragon Language Skill Acquired]
For the time being, I guess I should talk. I raise the skill to level 5 and activate it.
"Little one, prostrate yourself. You're before the king of sky."
"Heya, nice to meet you, black dragon-san."
I wonder if I should have added honorific title? Black dragon-san sounds like a medicine's name, what's up with that. In preparation for if the other party is short-tempered, I adjust my position and put my back to face the mountains.
"Hou, you understand dragon language huh, little one."
In reality, it's hard to speak this language. If I didn't have ventriloquism skill, I might not be able to speak the words even if I understood it.
"Well then, you disrespectful one. Let's fight."
Why become like that.
To start a battle even before introducing itself, there's a limit even for battle junkies.
When my mouth is hanging to begin negotiating with it, I successively put up [<<Flexible Shield>>], and [<<Flexible Armor>>] while the crisis perception is kicking in.
Jet black color fills the view, and the mountains suffers the blow together with roaring sound.
Even though I immediately moved using the Sky Drive and the Ground Shrink, two out of the eight flexible shields I had put up were gone.
I see, this is indeed.
Two mountains have been hollowed with just one attack. It's good that I changed my position. It probably won't reach the base of the mountain where Arisa and the others are, but in case of the worst happening.
"Hou, you've evaded Black Flame (Breath) huh. As expected of a hero."
"Thanks. I don't want to fight if possible though?"
"This is inevitable. Dragons and heroes, it's a fate for them to fight if they meet."
Wait a minute. Didn't they fight alongside Yamato-san?
The question is lost along with my voice from the second Black Flame (Breath) roaring sound. This time I'm a bit late from escaping, but it seems that I can defend against one blow of it if I use all eight of [<<Flexible Shield>>].
The black dragon has caught up with me since I was inspecting that.
Its tail attacks me from a blind spot.
It's several times heavier than Wagahai-kun's, but lighter compared to an attack from the wild boar king.
In other words, it's not a strength that I can't endure huh.
This time I counterattack the black dragon that has lost its momentum and stopped in the air. By combining Sky Drive and Ground Shrink, I strike the heart of the black dragon with fighting game characters-like kicks.
Many scales are broken the moment a kick connects, but the kicks doesn't pierce through it. That was dangerous, I mustn't forgot that I should not kill it.
However, there were responses like glasses breaking before the scales were broken. There probably are magical defense fields on surface of the scales.
The black dragon, that has become quiet after I fling it to one of the mountain, pushes aside some debris and gets up.
It howls once on that spot--looks like it uses magic.
I'm shot with black lightning.
>[Lightning Magic: Dragon Skill Acquired]
>[Darkness Magic: Dragon Skill Acquired]
>[Darkness Resistance Skill Acquired]
This is the first time I've acquired two skills from one magic.
It's quite strong, maybe because it's a compound elemental magic. It sips through even the gaps of the dense flexible armor formation, and burn the leather armor inside. The flexible armor still has 80% of its endurance, but the leather armor has been torn.
I feel tingling for a bit, but there doesn't seem to be any strange additional effect.
Now then, what should I do.
It looks like it'll die if I shoot it with an intermediate-level magic, and using holy swords will turn it to pieces.
Of course it doesn't seem like the black dragon is open to discussions.
Can't be helped, let's talk with body language.
I drop the black dragon that's trying to fly to the ground with [Air Hamer]. I've already expected the 150-meters radius crater that it produces. Since the dragon suffers even less damage than I've expected, I randomly pound it not directly, but with [Air Hammer], and [Short Stun] while 'oraoraora'-ing, breaking the black dragon's spirit.
While taking notes of the black dragon's health, I repeat the environmental destructions.
I guard against the Black Flame (Breath) that it's thrown out of desperation with [Aqua Wall]. Apparently, the Black Flame (Breath)'s strength is in proportion with the black dragon's stamina, it doesn't have the trace of power like it's shown in the beginning. [<<Water Film>>] might even be able to guard against it unexpectedly.
Nevertheless, the black dragon's attack isn't stopping even though it's been cornered this much. Just how much of a battle junkie this dragon is. It's used not only the [Lighting], and [Darkness] magic from before, but even the [Fire], and [Wind] magic, yet everything is blocked by the flexible armor, there's no meaning to it.
"Guhahaha, this is fun hero. It's been since my fight with the heavenly dragons that I use this much power to the limit."
This dragon must have certainly troubled the heavenly dragons.
Is it intentional, or unconscious, this conversation is probably for the sake of getting my guard down. Scraping sounds are mixed in the conversation as the dragon seemingly casts magic, jet black feelers that look like shadow whips arise from the shadow of the mountain in the surrounding below me at once. They're not only appearing from below, but also the surrounding shadow, wrapping me.
According to the log, it's a magic called [Dark Snap]. The darkness version of shadow whips huh.
By tying me, is it going to use Black Flame (Breath), or a secret advanced-level magic, or maybe a forbidden magic like the hero's companions was using.
--at this time, I was careless.
The next black dragon's attack is not magic.
One bite of the primitive fang.
It's said in the picture book that I read for Pochi and the others.
The fangs of dragons penetrate through everything.
The fangs of dragons destroy even the demon lord, it's the ultimate blade.
The black dragon fang penetrates my flexible shield, and tears through my flexible armor.
And then, fresh blood overflow--