|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3664 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1630 words|
I knew this was going to happen someday. A time when my lies would surface and my friends would turn a cold shoulder to me. Feeling their judgmental stares there, blaming me for giving up my duty as hero, I was unable to remain there and ran away. I had fought with Tiamat many times in the past, so I knew the temple’s layout by heart and went to an empty place.
What has gone wrong? Had I made a mistake somewhere? Maybe if I had been upfront about my identity from the start, they would not have looked at me like a traitor. Or maybe I should have just moved away after helping Karin, and never interacted with them again. Maybe this was my fault for taking advantage of their kindness and lowering my guard for too long.
I muttered to myself, without anybody nearby to hear. It was not my fault. Even if I was ridiculously strong, I was still human. I had lived in solitude for nearly three hundred years, so it makes sense that I would miss interacting with people again. What was so bad about trying to be human again for a bit? Am I not allowed to desire a regular lifestyle? Had I done something so evil?
“Maybe I did…”
For them, I was powerful enough to defeat the Demon King, but I was too lazy to ever do something about it. I could have ended everything if I just picked up my sword like before and charged alone to fight the Demon King, and in the worst case I would have taken him with me to the tomb.
But why had I chosen not to do that? I was simply too scared. I finally had found friends I was close to, who treated me like a regular person, who did not fear my power and were kind to me. But if I used my powers to fix everything, I had enough proof that they would keep a distance too. Meanwhile I was training someone else to be a hero, pushing all the responsibility on her, so it also made sense they would scorn me for that.
Karin, Ciel, Luvias, and Diaria. They were my dear comrades we had gone through thick and thin together, but our relationship was going to end now too. It felt painful, and extremely lonely. I had just met such wonderful friends, but now…I hated my own cowardice.
A dry and loud sound broke the silence as I strongly slapped both my cheeks, clearing my mind a little. It was time to change my mindset. Even if they hated me, I did not hate them. There was no need to dislike them even if they wanted to push me away, there had to be things I could still do for them, so I had to think about that.
If they could go through their training here, their skill level would soar greatly. Even if I did not fight alongside them, they would be strong enough to defeat a Demon King, so maybe I could just relegate myself to supporting them from the shadows, shaving away the enemy’s power enough to make things easier for them. If that is enough to save the world, I could just go back to living alone afterward. Not to mention that I had a place to hide in now, Sorciere had made a city for me, so I could just accept her invitation.
“Well, time to train then.”
“Have you decided what to do yet?”
Tiamat was standing behind me, I had not noticed him getting here. He had been waiting silently for me to reach a decision, his large eyes looking curiously at me. This also made me realize something, I had suffered so much emotional damage that I had not heard someone so big approach from behind.
“Yeah, I’ll train. I have to polish my skills again so I can fight alone.”
Saying that, I leaped back and created some distance between me and Tiamat. It was only the two of us here, no one was watching. Trying to fight the Dragon King without any support from allies or powerful weapons could be considered suicidal by anyone. I had past experience fighting him so I also knew he would not hold back, or rather, he was incapable of doing that. His body was so large that no matter how much he wanted to, he could not control it properly and any movement could be lethal.
How would I fare now then? I no longer had my old holy sword, armor and shield. All I had now was a mithril halberd. I was so unprepared it was almost laughable, would any of my hits have any effect on him? Tiamat took one step closer, and that was enough for the pressure I felt coming from him to increase many times over.
“Fighting you ought to be fun, please don’t disappoint me.”
“I’ll try my best to satisfy you.”
I let magic course through my body, some excess flowing out and manifesting like bright sparks illuminating the temple, and my halberd began glowing like a sacred sword.
“Let’s do this!”
(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)
(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation and stop supporting the content thief!)
I kicked off the ground, speeding ahead like an arrow as I raised the halberd up into the air, swinging it down against Tiamat who showed no signs of evading. There was a loud clang like two metals clashing, my attack rendered futile.
Even with all the force I put into it, it was not enough to pierce his skin! I barely had time to be astonished, as I almost immediately had to dodge his incoming claws.
His claws passed right in front of my eyes, an attack that could turn a regular person into mincemeat. I raised my halberd again and swung down, with even more power than before, but the result was the same. There were scratch marks left on his scales, but there were no signs of him taking any damage. Instead, my halberd had reached its limit and broke in half.
I knew regular weapons had no effect on him, but I had expected more use from my halberd. I threw away my broken halberd, focusing on gathering magic to use spells instead. Unlike most other dragons, Tiamat had no element he was weak to, he could resist all the same. So it was best to just use spells I was good at.
My body began glowing bright, bolts of lightning whipping out from my body and assaulting anything that got closer. The ground turned glowing red and melted when hit by the lightning, destroying any foothold. If anyone else saw me like this, they would think my body had turned into pure lightning.
I kept increasing the power of my magic, the lightning turning into a blinding light. I just had to redirect all of it towards Tiamat now. I struck my right hand towards him to take aim, but froze when I saw him. He had opened his mouth wide, ready to unleash a powerful breath attack.
While dragons have powerful and large bodies, their most dangerous attack is their breath. Even Green Dragons, known as the weakest type of dragon, can easily mow down rows of average monsters with a single breath attack, and a starting adventurer would helplessly perish. Tiamat was about to use his own breath attack, the power of which I hesitated to imagine. It would not surprise me if he could level a mountain with it. He really was not holding back, and would not have any qualms if he killed me with it. It was too late for me to attempt dodging it, and since I was already amidst casting a spell, if I canceled it, I would not be able to move for a while, and by then I would be dead. There was only one option left, having my spell collide with his breath to stop it!
A white glow appeared inside Tiamat’s throat, and it slowly became brighter, blinding my eyes. My right hand moved towards it instinctively, releasing my magic to stop his. The spells collided violently in the center point between us, sending a wave of destruction to the sides, my magic and his breath going off-target creating an explosion that crumbled everything. I desperately kept pouring more magic out, managing to resist his breath, but I knew I was still inferior to him.
Dragons already had the upper hand when it came to magic power compared to humans, so I would always lose if I fought him with power alone. Even being the hero blessed by the gods, my magic power was far inferior to that of Tiamat. That was the reason why I was in this predicament, I had chosen to directly fight his power with mine, even though I have such a smaller body.
I was starting to lose my own magic power too, seeing his breath inching closer every moment. For Tiamat’s enormous magic pool it was a small issue to use his breath for this long, but I was at my limit.
“I think…this is it…for me… will this let me rest in peace, I wonder..?”
Thinking this might be the end of my life, rather than being afraid, I felt relieved. I would not have to hear my friends’ harsh words, I would not have to think about anything anymore. That idea was too alluring, invading my brain as my consciousness faded away. At the same time my magic vanished, allowing Tiamat’s destructive breath to approach closer, as if trying to grant my wish. A bittersweet smile took over my lips, as if the destruction I was witnessing was directed at someone else.