Chapter 51 – Jet Black Giant Dragon
The jet black giant dragon that appeared in the forest.
I sighed as its breath unleashed, piercing through the sky.
I had heard that it was the strongest living creature on the western continent, but I hadn’t realized what that really meant.
And yet, I had no thoughts of running away.
After seeing Nina crumble to the ground, no longer able to fight, I thought back to my old self.
Those times when Nina and I would run through this forest.
Yes, I had decided to beat up any abominable brat who would make my friend cry.
This was no time to try and hold back.
I had to unleash my most powerful magic.
Multiple magic circles were activated.
A chain of wind cannons were fired.
A surprise attack.
But even still, the power of the giant dragon surpassed mine.
It unleashed its breath, again and again.
It should have lost quite a lot of mana from the first attack, and yet it was still stronger than my best.
I could not win in a simple battle of power.
In that case, I had to rely on precision and number of moves.
I focused my attacks on a single point, and somehow managed to stop the dragon’s savage advance.
The old me probably would not have been able to do that.
It was my style to just use brute force, and not think about the details.
However, things are different now.
That flash of light from Luke.
I had been in awe of that near supernatural precision, and I wanted to be able to do the same.
The result of so much practice.
I could not hope to reach Luke yet in terms of accuracy, but I could cover for that with what I do best, which was force and speed.
Had he fought against a dragon before?
A dragon had not appeared in this kingdom for decades.
So that meant that I had fought against one before him.
In other words, if I am able to stop it, I may win against him for the first time.
In order to catch up with my friend…
In order to compete on even footing.
I didn’t care if this was the strongest creature.
I would stop it.
With this resolve in my heart, I unleashed my magic. Unsurprisingly, it looked just a little like his magic.
◇ ◇ ◇
The sight of Noelle standing in front of her and attacking the jet black giant dragon.
To Nina Lawrence, it was reminiscent of a scene from her childhood.
‘Get out of here! You outsider!’
They had just moved to the countryside.
Nina had been very shy, and she found it difficult to fit in.
And she could not tell anyone that the neighboring children were picking on her.
‘Oh, I just tripped while I was playing outside.’
She would say with a forced chuckle whenever someone noticed the scratches or the dirt on her clothes. But she felt her heart withering away at the same time.
‘Why am I like this?’
She asked her one and only friend.
Kumami had been with her ever since her fourth birthday. And she answered, though her lips of thread did not move.
‘Don’t worry! It’s not your fault, Nina! I’m sure something good will happen tomorrow!’
That made her feel a little better.
However, she still felt that there was something wrong with her.
And surely having a stuffed animal as your only friend was a sign of that.
She wanted a human friend.
A real friend.
But Nina did not have the courage to talk to anyone.
And so her wish had never come true.
‘Look. She has this expensive looking stuffed animal with her.’
‘Give me that. I just want to borrow it for a hundred years.’
But the world was crueler than she thought.
And on that day, when she was just about to lose her only friend…
‘Give it back. Give it back!’
She forced herself to say it.
But they just laughed at her.
‘You have a strange voice. What is wrong with you?’
‘If you want it so much, come and get it.’
‘You’ve been acting very superior, just because you’re rich. So this is just your punishment.’
Nina was weak, and did not have the power to resist.
That made her more angry than anything.
And so her old friend was thrown into the dirt.
Then the large boy raised his foot in order to step on its round head.
It was just as she screamed that word.
‘Eat this! Ultra-Super-Final-God Punch!’
A girl with such nimble movement had rushed in.
And after she knocked the larger boy off of his feet, she picked up the stuffed animal and stood in front of Nina.
‘Noelle, the ultimate and most powerful magician has arrived! If you wish to torment her, you will have to defeat me first!’
The three boys were older and larger than her, and yet she was not afraid at all.
‘Damn it! I won’t forget this!’
‘Hehe! Justice prevails!’
She laughed proudly and then returned Kumami to Nina.
‘Just tell me if anything happens again. I’ll get rid of anyone who hurts you.’
Those words were what saved Nina.
As someone who was weak and shy, the sight of someone so cheerful and full of energy was almost blinding.
And so before she knew it, Nina started to follow the girl around.
She taught Nina how to climb trees and to punch people.
Even her usually strict father and mother seemed at a loss whenever Noelle was around them.
Every day was more fun than the last.
Everything seemed colorful and bright.
And she was surprised by how beautiful the world could be.
But such days soon came to an end.
‘No! I want to stay here! I don’t want to go!’
‘Nina. Stop whining. The matter has already been decided.’
They were going to move to the neighboring country, Claless.
And she was not even allowed to say goodbye.
(I want to meet her again… No. I will become someone who can meet her again.)
And so Nina continued to chase that child from her memories.
Even if she wouldn’t go around fighting with other boys, she wanted to be like her as much as possible.
And so now, in the present, Nina could not help but be terribly moved by what she was seeing.
Noelle’s back seemed like it was just the same as on that day.
‘Thanks, Nina! Being able to read magic books is like a dream!’
The friend who had once obsessively read through her grandfather’s books on magic, was now fighting as a first-rate magician.
(You can do it… You can do it, Noelle…!)
She said as if praying, while watching her friend.
◇ ◇ ◇
“This can’t be real…”
The person who muttered those words.
The greatest Adventurer in the western region… Raven Alban could not believe what he was seeing.
The giant dragon’s breath.
It was being unleashed like rain, and every hit would be an instant death.
While the heat ray that tore through the sky would have used an immense amount of mana, its destructive ability surpassed human understanding, and reached the realm of a catastrophe.
And yet the girl faced it head on.
With incredible speed, numerous magic circles were activated.
Multi-Cast, while accelerating her own time.
And the violent wind and roar clashed.
The world shook.
The sounds slammed against his eardrums.
Unable to withstand the impact, cracks appeared in the earth, and the clouds of dust were swept away in an instant.
What remained was an equal match.
All alone, she was able to stand against the dragon and its breath.
It was almost too shocking.
Raven forgot to breathe.
The amount of mana made the air warp around them.
The ability to control seven magic spells at the same time.
The speed and the unfathomable firepower.
This was on a different level than any Adventurer magician that Raven knew.
(What is this…)
It did not seem real.
His mouth became dry.
He forgot the situation and place as he watched.
This unknown being who destroyed everything he thought he knew about the world.
He was witnessing something incredible.