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Noradiana was opening her jaws to unleash a terrible Dragon’s breath while Valenor was pushing her speed to the limit, attempting to save me.
I realized that I could no longer hear the Elder’s Song so I reached out to Valenor Telepathically.
‘Quickly, Polymorph to my favorite form!’
Noradriana had interrupted her Greater Magic Nullifying Song in order to deal with Valenor.
“Teleport! Teleport! Teleport!”
I was able to arrive just a fraction of a second before she was hit by the flames. Hugging Valenor’s human form, I teleported us out of there and onto the green Elder dragon’s back.
“Ha ha ha ha, Noradriana, thanks for the free ride!”
She turned her body to try and flatten me on the ground, but I simply teleported to her underbelly
“Ha ha ha ha, it seems like your stomach isn’t green!”
I stood upon her like a conqueror riding a ship. Her claws chased me but they were able to match my teleporting speed.
“Noradriana,my companion is quite wild! Attacks of that level aren’t enough to reach him.”
Valenor also joined me in taunting the Elder dragon. Although the four dragons had surrounded us, they didn’t dare launch and attack on their mother’s body.
Noradiana tirelessly tried to catch us but her speed simply couldn’t match up. After a long time of being unsuccessful, she finally lost patience.
“Elder Dragon’s Authority!”
The Elder dragon’s eyes turned green and Valenor’s hand clutched her head, screaming and twisting in terrible pain. I was momentarily distracted by my wife’s torment and was just slightly too slow in teleporting away. Her claws had finally reached me and tore my body apart.
Luckily I had still managed to teleport, but I had lost my lower half and crashed down into the ground holding Valenor.
“Make it stop!”
Valenor continued to squirm in pain.
[You have learned Levitation Lv1]
[You have learned Teleport Lv1]
Gooooo Shoong Paaaah
The spot I had just been in erupted in flames as Noradiana has sent a breath and several spells my way. Having missed, she knew she had to seal my magic in order to catch me and began her song. However, this time I was ready for it and was able to escape its range in time.
“Teleport! Teleport! Teleport!”….”
I escaped with a series of short jumps, expecting the Elves and dragons to be hot on my tail, but when I looked back I was surprised to see that they hadn’t chased after me. The green Elder dragon was simply staring at me from afar. I quickly arrived back to my Pit, meeting the Goblin King , Chuck and the chimeras on the way. I instructed them to position themselves to maintain a 10 kilometer distance from the enemy before teleporting back to my palace.
“Damn! What have you done to my wife!”
“So,sorry Johra, Ahaaac!”
Despite our distance from Noradriana, Valenor was still clutching her head in pain, and had almost fainted. I rushed her back to our bedroom and lay her on the bed.
“Alpeon, quickly bring over some nectar!”
“Lord…. Your lower body!”
“I’m fine, just hurry!”
“Yes Lord, right away!”
I sprinkled what little nectar I carried with me on my lower waist before emptying the contents down Valenor’s throat.
[you have learned Cure Lv1]
I had lost the power of levitation and without any legs, fell down to the floor.
“Damn it all!”
I was angry with myself because of my arrogance and moment of inattention that led to this result.
Touching her forehead, I continuously cast cure until her condition appeared to have improved. Valenor who had suffered for a long time, simply passed out.
“Here it is Lord.”
“Thank you, now return to the frontline and keep me updated on any developments.”
I gave her my orders and fastened the new bottle of water securely to my back.
“As you command, Lord.”
After Alpeon walked out, I reached under the bed and fished out Gnoss’ gem.
‘Gnoss, what was that skill used on Valenor?’
‘Oh, I thought you didn’t need my help.’
‘Don’t misunderstand our relationship. I ask and you answer, that’s all. Don’t go around thinking that we are equals or something and don’t forget that I could always drop you in a deserted wasteland. I’ll give you one last chance, for your sake I hope you answer me correctly this time.’
‘Oh geez, can’t you even take a small joke. Despite being the Supreme Sage I was left under a bed, I mean….’
‘Is that all you have to say?’
Oh no no, Johra the skill used was [Elder Dragon’s Authority].It’s a special skill which only senior level dragons can use. It’s basically a punishment towards a junior dragon which has gone against their will. Just a single hit and you’ll be out of it for a couple days. There are a few other side effects but they aren’t serious and there isn’t any cause for concern.’
From the explanation I understood that Noradriana wanted to stop Valenor from interfering in our fight. If I had known of the skill beforehand, I might have been more aware and able to counter it. As it stands, Valenor would be out of commission for the next few days.
‘What’s the effective range of the skill?’
‘It’s unclear, somewhere between 1 and 2 kilometers maybe. It’s a skill where you have to lock eyes so a specific distance is hard to determine, much like your Death Stare skill.
The green Elder dragon was so large that the range might even be 3 or 4 kilometers, so it would be very hard to face her in the future.
‘Gnoss, I’ll be taking you with me this time. Tell me if you think of any way out of this, and if you hold back any information, I will toss you aside without a second thought.’
‘I’ll do well… by the way, what happened to your lower body.’
I put the gem in my pouch and answered.
‘Noradriana’s doing, a price for my arrogance.’
If it were normal damage caused by a physical attack, I should have been able to heal it. However the claw strike seemed to carry some purifying properties and my decimated lower half was unable to be restored at the moment.
I ground my teeth in anger, I had to get revenge for what she had done to my wife and legs.
‘What do you think is the reason that Noradriana and her army of dragons and elves aren’t advancing?’
I wracked my brain trying to come up with an answer but couldn’t find any. To make matters worse, since Lorina and her idiotic League were somehow involved, they were sure to strike at the most opportune moment.
‘Can’t we just run away?’
It was a situation where I couldn’t see a path to victory. Once the actual battle started, it would result in an overwhelming defeat on our end. Although I had been arrogant and suffered a loss as a result of it, I didn’t want to be the incompetent leader who abandoned his subordinates.
‘Lord, the enemies are setting up their camp and organizing their troops, they aren’t advancing yet….’
‘Thanks Alpeon, you only need to notify me if there are any changes.’
Escape wasn’t a viable option because Noradriana had claimed her purpose in coming here wasn’t the pit itself, but rather to exterminate me. She was likely to chase me down to the ends of the earth were I to escape.
‘Gnoss, there is something strange about the Elder dragon’s actions, what do you think is going on?’
‘I am curious as well, why don’t you start by explaining to me what you’ve experienced so far.’
I proceeded to explain how the negotiations started, the ensuing battle a well as the fact that the dragons didn’t pursue me.
‘You said Lorina had sealed you before right?’
After listening to my explanation, Gnoss asked me.
‘Hmm… the biggest issue I’ve always had with Lorina was on whether we should mete out punishment based solely on race. Although it’s true that Liches tend to lean towards the darker side, it isn’t a universal truth. I advocated to give them a chance to choose where as Lorina preferred to nip the problem in the bud.’
‘Gnoss you are correct in your thinking.’
‘However, with Soleste we followed my philosophy and the results were disastrous. An entire nation fell and countless lives were lost. Also….’
‘Right, didn’t they first sealed Soleste and then returned to seal you?’
‘Yes, that was indeed what happened.’
‘But isn’t that just a single case? It doesn’t prove anything.’
‘Regardless, it was a determining factor for most people. Now you’re my last living proof of my claim that race doesn’t determine good or evil. Of course, this also means that the dragons over there can’t allow you to live.
‘They are just giving me more reasons to fight them.’
‘That’s right, but if you go on and slaughter the people that come to stop you, it only proves their point that you’re a killer, further proving Lorina’s point.
‘So it’s a problem even if I somehow win?’
‘So Gnoss what would happen if I were to contest the words of the League of Reincarnators?’
‘Then maybe next time around they will bring a huge army, led entirely by top Reincarnators. Maybe even the Messiah will tag along as well….’
‘The Messiah? Like in that guy who banished you to another realm within your cave?’
‘Right, actually Noradriana is also kind of a Messiah, although Gaia is technically only a demi-god so the distinction is unclear…. Oh right, that’s why!’
‘What are you talking about Gnoss?’
‘What you asked before. The reason Noradriana isn’t advancing is probably because Gaia is restricting her actions.’
I quickly asked Gnoss for a clarification.
‘Then for how long is that the case, do I have a chance to turn things around?’
‘No, but listen carefully. I have a good idea!’
I nodded back a proceed to hear his explanation.
‘Hm, then all that’s left to worry about is the League of Reincarnators’ interference?’
‘No, I don’t think Lorina wants to show herself. As an uninvolved third party, their goal is most likely to observe and report the situation back to the celestial gods. Most likely they are hoping for you to succeed in slaughtering the elves and dragons, which would lend credence to their cause.’
‘Is that so, then isn’t the best scenario for me to get along with the dragons?’
‘Perhaps it is, but it is unlikely for the prideful dragons to agree to it. It guess it was the League comrades who interfered after seeing you unharmed by her Doombringer strike. If that didn’t kill you it meant that her cause wasn’t justified, so she stirred up this war in hopes that you’d engage in mass slaughter.’
‘Hmm… the golem Matilda did try to dissuade her at that time. Was it her who helped me?’
‘For now I think we can ignore the League’s involvement.’
‘I wish I could, but I think it’s best to be prudent just in case.’
‘Just let you subordinates be extra careful while scouting the area.’
I climbed back up to the observatory, leaving Valenor peacefully sleeping downstairs. It was already nighttime and the lights of the enemy’s camp located roughly 20 km away were dimming.
‘Take all our troops and under the cover of night, retreat to the Wetheros Mountains. The weak shall be flown out while the rest march.’
‘Will we be abandoning this place?’
‘Yes, there isn’t any reason for all of you to lose your lives here.’
‘When will we be leaving?’
Alpeon had only momentarily paused her thoughts, demonstrating her great confidence in me.
‘Set out immediately, bring everyone and all the resources. Set up another kingdom in Wetheros.’
‘Okay, but won’t you be leaving with us Lord?’
‘I will join up with you guys later.’
‘Are you thinking of fighting them off all by yourself?’
‘How is that possible? Oh right, take Valenor as well, make sure no harm comes to her.’
‘Good, take Ian and Mallepi as well, leave as soon as possible.’
‘It will be done.’
Under Alpeon’s effective management, they were properly split up into different squadrons. The airborne golden Antilliens and Asmodians were in charge of transporting the weak and valuable resources. Zipping through the night soundlessly, they were closely followed by the infantry who marched on behind them, slowly trickling out through the back so as to not be noticed by the enemy.
‘Johra, you can’t try and shoulder all the responsibility this time!’
‘Don’t worry too much about me Ian, I’m just grateful to have met you, Gwyn and Mallepi.
Ian was probably feeling bad because the last time we spoke she was angry with me.
Dawn was soon rising and my last Squadron of infantry had just set out. However, Alpeon refused to leave and stayed by my side.
“Why? I want to stay with you Lord.”
“Sorry but that isn’t possible, what I’m about to embark in can only be done alone.”
Alpeon dropped her antenna and said.
“Somehow I get the feeling that I won’t be seeing you again Lord!”
It was not the Alpeon I was accustomed to, her usual self would never show such helplessness.
“Don’t worry about me Alpeon, I’m hard to kill. Quickly go back first, everyone is waiting for your instructions!”
I stroked her antennae and she finally left with a worried expression.
When the sun finally rose, shining its rays upon my Pit’s palace, there was no one left but myself.
“Time to begin our counterattack!”
In the distance I spotted some movement amongst the Elves’ army.