While bracing against the wind pressure, we were dumbfounded by the huge dragon that had landed.
A white flash surged.
The instant I thought that, there was a huge hole in my side.
Not having any time to process it, I acted on a bad premonition and jumped to the right.
A flaming sphere that was two meters in diameter passed through where I had just been.
When the sphere collided with the ground, there was a small explosion, and I handled the shock with an ukemi.
Then I heard Rou’s scream.
(9: ukemi is a technique to land safely from a dangerous fall or something.)
Most likely, Rou received the same kind of attack that I had.
Had the first sudden attack on me distracted her or something? Because even Rou, who had a way higher status than me, was unable to deal with the attack properly and was blown away.
It seemed that Rou didn’t die.
However, unlike I, who landed safely, Rou continued to be blown away by the force of the attack.
Tumbling further and further away, it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to return for a while.
Had the dragon named Apocalypse come to the same conclusion? Its golden eyes shone as it focused its aggro on me.
True Dragon of Truth.
I didn’t really know what the dragon’s name implied, but the pressure I could feel from it was extraordinarily huge.
If I gave it just a glance, I would think the one before my eyes was a Named Boss Monster.
But was this existence before me really such a simple being?
After all, I couldn’t see its level.
There shouldn’t be any levels written as ???.
Or at least, this was the first time I’d heard of being unable to see a monster’s level.
There was also a possibility that our levels were so far apart that I was unable to see its level.
Then there was the possibility that this monster was part of an event.
Well, no matter the reason, the situation was hopeless either way.
After all, the HP of the dragon in front of me easily exceeded ten bars.
「So, I lost a minute, is it….?」
It seemed like its attack hadn’t dealt that much damage.
Looking at my HP, there were roughly two minutes left on the《Ravenous Wolf》skill.
Fortunately, there wasn’t much pain, but I could still feel the empty space where the hole was.
The main problem was that losing a part of my stomach caused me to bleed, triggering a damage over time effect.
From the beginning, I had already lost some HP, but because of Ravenous Wolf’s effect, the damage over time was doubled.
I knew that I could only last a little longer.
Now, let’s analyze the situation.
There was no way to win.
My remaining time was short.
I didn’t have any allies.
And there was only one enemy.
「Don’t think that I will die that easily, okay?」
I pointed my iron club toward the jet-black True Dragon that looked down at me as if testing me and muttered in desperation.
Two seconds after we began fighting, I understood something.
I…had a bad affinity with this guy.
It was close to the worst type of enemy for me.
Saying it briefly:
The 《True Dragon of Truth -Apocalypse-》was a magic-type dragon.
「Really, what an unfair game!」
Bursting sounds echoed as fireballs streamed from the dragon’s magic circles like machine gun bullets and gouged the ground on impact.
I had used my equipment and my skill to forcefully raise my agility, and I counted on those things alone to help me evade.
The dragon’s rate of fire was five shots per second.
The shots were precisely released to block my path, and I evaded them by moving around as I pleased.
With my remaining HP, if even one were to graze me, it would be fatal.
Understanding that, my concentration increased.
Because Apocalypse’s entrance was grand, upon landing, it hadn’t needed to change its position and just stood still.
It didn’t use the mysterious flash from the beginning, but sometimes it mixed in a flaming sphere when it released fireballs which was annoying as hell.
It was as if it was sneering at me, who was busy frantically evading its attacks.
I was obviously being toyed with.
I didn’t really like it, but I didn’t even have the leisure to complain.
All I could do was keep on running.
After evading for about twenty seconds, the fireball-producing magic circles deployed by Apocalypse changed in appearance.
What emerged this time was a spear of light.
The instant I saw it aimed towards me, I threw my body to the right.
At that moment–Kyuiin—-producing such a sound, the spear of light passed right before my eyes.
Ah, so that flash from earlier was created by one of these high-speed spears.
「Heck, it’s not the time to think about that!」
How many were there? Ten.
That was the number of spears Apocalypse had pointed towards me.
It had been a total coincidence that I avoided the first spear.
I couldn’t completely evade them all.
I was definitely done for.
While saying bad words, I thought, would I lose like this without even enduring to the end? That idea was so mortifying that I shouted.
At that moment.
The color of the world changed.
When you reached the utmost limits of concentration, due to the extraordinarily high acceleration of your thoughts, the time that your body experienced felt stretched out.
It felt like the world had become slow.
This almighty feeling circulated throughout your whole body.
Once I’d reached this point, even if I tried, I couldn’t stop it from happening anymore.
It might have been that phenomenon in sports called zone or something.
Or maybe it was something totally different.
However, I didn’t really care about all that.
What was important was just one thing.
The course of the nine incoming killing blades.
My consciousness had seen it clearly.
Not all of them were released at the same time.
As if it were a warm up, the first one came by itself.
First, there was a spear of light that came at me from the front, which I blew away using my iron club.
After that, a cluster of spears was released.
The second spear was shot toward my head to make me drop down.
The third fang was aimed to hit me as I crouched to avoid the second spear.
Furthermore, there was a fourth one that was supposed to pierce the area between the second and third spears.
I couldn’t escape to the sides either.
The fifth and sixth spears obstructed my paths to the right and to the left.
Of these five spears, I could only deal with one.
I threw my iron club on the fourth spear’s route to intercept it and somersaulted between the second and third spears, allowing them to pass by me.
The seventh spear was aimed for where I would land, and I used both my hands to jump and twist my body to evade it.
But, as if it wasn’t permitting me to evade it, the eighth spear.
I looked straight at it as I floundered in the air.
Unable to get away from it, I watched as it pierced straight through me―――before that moment.
The rapier that came flying had knocked away the spear of light, and I was able to land somewhat successfully.
Then, while the last spear came at me, I opened my menu and ignored it.
As expected, right before the last spear pierced me, Rou lept in as swiftly as the wind and sacrificed her arm.
It was blown away by the spear.
As that happened, I noticed that Apocalypse had a little bit of surprise on its face.
Yeah, I knew.
That was why I had prepared myself.
Believing that Rou would to help me, during those few seconds, I had changed my equipment.
Using all my strength, I jumped.
Using the iron club that had been blown away as a stepping stone, I redirected myself.
And then I soared through the skies like a red bullet.
Well, that being said, I didn’t actually have any skills that let me run through the skies, so that was nothing but a metaphor.
Holding the end of the two-handed club with both of my hands, I spun it around me once.
I hope you can somehow forgive me.）
In my thoughts that were stretched to their utmost limit, feeling apologetic for doing so, I chose one of my arts.
Shouting in desperation, I used one of the strongest cards in my hand.
A blow that destroyed the weapon itself, Finisher was an extremely heavy blow.
Adding the force generated by the rotation, I poured my soul into driving the two-handed club made by Haruru into the horn of Apocalypse.
A thunderous sound rang out, and the whole body of the True Dragon shook.
Just one percent.
No, it hadn’t removed even one percent, but there was certainly a tiny bit of empty space in Apocalypse’s HP bar.
The moment I confirmed that, I totally lost my focus, and all the strength in my body disappeared.
In those few seconds of defense and offence, I had totally used up all of my power.
There was Ravenous Wolf’s weak point, slip damage (damage over time).
And on top of that, there was the fall damage I would take.
Since I’d die from one or the other soon, I was satisfied with hitting the dragon once.
Let’s proudly fall.
As I thought that, I noticed that there was no sensation of falling.
I was floating, or rather, you could say that 「I had stopped.」
Rou and I…no, it was the world itself that was stopped.
When I tried to move, I found I was fixed in place as if experiencing sleep paralysis.
And during that shocking phenomenon, an even more shocking thing happened to us.
『I have stopped the flow of time through space.
Right now, your bodies have been released from the influence of time.』
The dragon before us had just talked.
Well, the dragon had AI, just like the monster Red Wolf did, but being able to talk? That was on a whole different scale.
I was super surprised on the inside, but I didn’t have any means to express that in this frozen space.
In this world where everything had stopped, only Apocalypse moved.
Its voice did not send vibrations through the air to your ears but was instead a mysterious tone that you could hear directly inside your head.
Different than the True Dragon from earlier, it gazed at us with kind eyes and only just now began to create a black-colored magic circle in the skies.
『O child of human and child of Oni.
This is the reward for being able to break a fragment of my horn.
I shall show you a fragment of the truth of magic,《Truth Magic (Kotowari Mahou)》.
The dark magic circle that sat in the skies had gradually started to spread and multiply, and as the circles started piling on top of each other, it changed into a layered magic circle.
Before I knew it, the array had become several hundred meters wide, covering the skies.
While the magic circle creaked as it continued to expand, Apocalypse quietly released it.
『F a l l D o w n』
At the words of the dragon, time began to move once again.
If I were to describe that magic in a sentence, I would say this.
The skies, they came falling.
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