The Blue Dragon
Asagi carried me as he rushed over the sea of trees with Legs of the God Wolf. A tail of platinum and jade wind trailed behind him. And as I watched it fade away, I heard a deep sigh escape his lips.
“Are you still uncertain?”
I had tried to give him advice, but he only answered with another sigh.
“It’s not that easy… Ugh… Damn it…”
“We cannot turn back now. And we cannot fulfill our objective unless we defeat the Blue Dragon. Besides, there is the Ijlis flower as well. There is so much at stake here.”
It was necessary to remind him of all of this. Well, I was sure that he was all too aware. But he always had a cowardly side. It was good. It was closer to caution, really. He just needed an extra push sometimes.
I knew that when it came down to it, he was capable of bringing about the best results. However, it would make things much easier if he could get to that stage quicker.
“I know, I know. This for Mishka’s mother as well… It’s scary, but we have to do it.”
“Aye. We will surely accomplish it. The Snow Cat is with us.”
See, that was all it took. He could do nothing without me. Well, it is also part of his charm.
□ □ □ □
After a while, the Asul lake came into view. From above, the lake was made of beautifully contrasting blues and white. However, it was here that a most powerful dragon lived.
“…Here we are.”
Asagi muttered in a low voice. I spread out Presence Detection over the area and detected the Snow Cat. I could also sense the position of the Blue Dragon.
As if waiting for me to see them, Asagi began to descend. The Snow Cat immediately noticed us as it raised its head to the sky.
“Ah, how convenient. With such a trick up your sleeve, slaying the dragon should not be hard at all.”
“You overestimate me. And this really isn’t special…”
“Hah. We shall see…”
The Snow Cat spoke in a low growl as its sharp eyes glared at us. Hmm. But the Snow Cat was right. Asagi did well when it mattered. He could move freely in the air and fight like some kind of war god. If Asagi was in the right mindset, then this Blue Dragon should not be too difficult to defeat.
“I’ve given it some thought. And I’m going to try and stop its movement first.”
“Oh? And how will you do that?”
“It’s simple. By freezing the lake.”
And then Asagi started to gather the energy to his hand. When we first met, he was just a ‘stone’ who did not even know how to use magic. But now he was a ‘ruby.’ The quality and quantity of energy that shifted was on a different scale now.
And the energy that coursed through his body awakened the instincts of the ice dragon armor. The power of the ice dragon. It enhanced his ice magic. And like this, a greatsword was created.
This was the first step that he took. A greatsword of ice that froze everything.
It was Niflheim.
“…What crazy thing did you bring out…”
“Creating this takes up about half of my energy. But beating it around with a normal weapon won’t do much good.”
“And so you want to seal its movements. Do you really think it will be so easy?”
Indeed. Even though this may be one of Asagi’s strongest abilities, surely he was not capable of freezing the entire surface of the lake and everything below it as well?
“I can’t freeze everything, no. But I just need to freeze the area that it’s in…”
“And then you can kill it?”
Asagi nodded quietly. And then he looked at me. I see. So that was what he meant.
“You want me to use my magic to blow the water away?”
“Yeah. Can you freeze water as well, Lord Snow Cat?”
“Of course, I can. I could freeze half of the lake if I cared to.”
“In that case, I want you to freeze the water once Daniela creates a hole in it.”
The Snow Cat snorted.
Asagi’s plan was simple enough. I was to create a hole in the lake with my wind, right in the area that the Blue Dragon was lurking. The Snow Cat would freeze the water, and then, Asagi would use the Niflheim to freeze the Blue Dragon and what water remained.
There would be no direct combat. And so it was possible that we could finish it all in one move. In spite of his apparent reluctance, he had given it some thought.
“Well, we should not waste any more time then!”
“Alright. Daniela, you’re up first!”
“Leave it to me.”
And so I created the ‘Blast Board,’ which allowed me to slide through the air with wind magic. Asagi was fully to blame for the tasteless name, which he had no right to do. But regardless, this magic was incredibly useful.
A trail of jade remained as I moved towards a spot above the lake. And then I gathered together the energy within me. And then converted it to wind magic.
“Pardon me, but I could use your help.”
‘Leave it to us!’
The wind spirits that surrounded me then enhanced it. And so the magic I unleashed boasted of the highest class of wind magic. A tornado of jade.
I thrust my hands out to the water, and violent wind shot out, straight towards the Blue Dragon. It was difficult to control the board while unleashing the tornado, but much easier than the time I had used it in the valley of Replant. I suppose it was growth.
Below, I could see the Snow Cat dashing over the lake. It looked like the water was freezing under its feet. It must be its special power.
The Snow Cat seemed to be enjoying itself. My magic was causing the water to be disturbed in a most violent way, and yet it dashed through happily.
It got through the maddening waves and arrived at the center of my magic. The Snow Cat then descended as if drawing a spiral. And as it ran on the walls of water, they turned into walls of ice. Eventually, the hole was solid.
“Yeeesss!! Asagi! You’re up!”
I could sense the Blue Dragon with Presence Detection. It was not moving at all. What did that mean? Well, there was no time for such concerns.
I called the name of my reliable companion. He stood on the opposite side with Legs of the God Wolf and carried the most powerful ice magic. A greatsword that froze everything. He was preparing Niflheim.
And so I deactivated Galestorm, as to not get in his way. I focused on maintaining my position in the air.
The greatsword was enveloped in dark blue light and the tip was directed at the bottom of the pit. Then he threw it down towards the center.
The Niflheim had been unleashed. As long as it was done right, even the Blue Dragon should not be able to resist.
The blue light fell towards the lake’s floor. As I watched, a horrible chill ran down my spine.
Magic that was equal to Asagi’s or perhaps even stronger, began to suddenly flow upwards.
The Snow Cat dashed on the lake’s surface. It was clear that this was an attack by the Blue Dragon. It would be best to move away at once.
My voice sounded coarse as I shouted for him to run. But he did not move.
The attack would be unleashed at any moment now. Something was eating away at the Snow Cat’s ice, causing it to melt rapidly. And in the center of it all, Niflheim reached the Blue Dragon and then seemed to vanish. Then there was a sudden explosion of magic.
It was pressurized water. The watery breath had swallowed up Niflheim and shot straight towards the sky.
However, Asagi’s magic was not so easily defeated. The breath only extended for a moment, it had not really swallowed up Niflheim. In fact, the breath had been frozen partway. The Blue Dragon continued to unleash its breath as if to be rid of it. But it was stronger than it thought.
The breath spread out around the greatsword of ice, and began to freeze, creating a kind of umbrella of ice. It spread out as if to seal the hole that we had made. As the Snow Cat and I stared, wondering if we should run, I saw Asagi move in the corner of my vision.
□ □ □ □
I shouted at Daniela, who seemed to have not decided yet. I was grateful that she wanted to stay, but it was too dangerous now.
My plan had been incomplete. It was all going well until the hole was created. However, the Blue Dragon was tougher than I had expected. I had not predicted that it would unleash its breath like that. I had been so close. Niflheim was supposed to reach it and freeze everything.
Now, I could either run or test my luck.
I took out the Cocytus Lance from the hollow bag. And into it, I sent the rest of the dark blue magic in my body, turning it into an ice lance.
“No, Asagi! Run!”
I raised my face to look at her and smile reassuringly. However, she must have misunderstood me, as she looked like she wanted to cry. It was as if I was marching to my death.
“Just give me a minute!”
I said. But it had the opposite effect. But I couldn’t wait any longer. The Niflheim would vanish soon. I had to pierce it with this lance before that happened.
I raised Legs of the God Wolf to its maximum speed and held the lance as I raced down towards Niflheim.
I could feel the power of the breath on my skin. Even now, the Niflheim was fighting against the pressurized water from its breath. My magic was freezing it, but the ice was being crushed just as quickly. The process kept repeating itself.
Water and chips of ice flew in the air like bullets. I squinted in order to avoid getting it in my eyes as I rushed through the storm and finally reached the Niflheim.
And just like that, I thrust the ice lance into it. The lance was made of Cocytus Ore, which was the result of combining Ice Ore and Water Ore. I used all of this power while sending what remained of my own energy, through the lance.
And then I used ‘Mana Conversion,’ which I had learned when fighting Adlus during the Imperial Sword Tournament. The Cocytus Ore was a perfect medium. After all, it contained the qualities of both ice and water.
In other words, it could absorb the watery breath of the Blue Dragon, while maintaining the effects of the Niflheim, and even strengthening it. The problem here, was that one mistake could get me caught in its breath, and I would die.
However, I had no intention of dying here. After all, Daniela was waiting for me.
The Niflheim regained its blue luster as it swallowed up the dragon’s breath. It froze rapidly and finally reached the source.
In an instant, the lake was bathed in blue light. I couldn’t help but close my eyes, but the light quickly died down. When I opened them again, I looked down at the Asul lake, and gasped.
“What the hell…”
I had not expected it to be so effective. I was trying to freeze it by converting its breath, but it ended up freezing the hole and even the surrounding area.
And at the bottom of the hole, the blue giant was frozen still with its mouth gaping open.
Surely it would not be able to move now…? But I wasn’t sure if it was dead or not.
In any case, my gamble had paid off. For a second I thought I wouldn’t make it… It was chilling, to say the least.
I deactivated the magic and stretched my back. …Just then, I felt someone hit me in the lower back.
“You bloody fool!!”
I was doing a backbend like some kind of shrimp. I saw that she was standing behind me with an angry glare. Still, it was an impressive kick, considering she was on the Blast Board.
And since I was caught completely by surprise, Legs of the God Wolf was deactivated, and nearly fell, before Daniela grabbed me by the arm.
“You know, that one kind of hurt…”
“You hurt me as well. My heart!”
“I would not be so mad if a mere apology was enough! You fool!”
But man, this posture was brutal. I felt like there was something stuck in my throat and it was difficult to talk.
“Ultimately, yes… But the risk was too high…”
Oh, she really was angry… There was no use arguing about it. I didn’t have the energy, anyway. I was all dried up.
Daniela carried me back to dry land and threw me down.
I must have looked quite pathetic as I lay on the hard ice. And to think I had just defeated a Blue Dragon.
“I’m not sure if they’re strong or weak…humans.”
“Well, this one is just a fool. I would not base your perception of them on him.”
The Snow Cat sounded exasperated.
Not much time had actually passed, but there were currently clouds covering the sun. And so I lay there, gazing at the sky and waited for my magic to recover.