CHAPTER 27 - Power Creep (3)
“This is a terrible idea, Ser Jaeger.”
“I am inclined to agree with the Lycan, Master.”
“Seriously, Alex. What are you even thinking?!”
Alex ignored them and continued walking, quickly traversing the flat plains towards the giant being only a few hundred meters away now.
“Oh, come on! Where’s your sense of adventure? That thing won’t be getting up anytime soon. That was enough stored mana to take down an aircraft carrier!”
He omitted the fact that it took weeks to save up that much mana, and if things went south, they really were going to die here.
“I don’t know what that is, but I know what a dragon is. Alex, we need to go back!”
Treya sounded desperate as she pleaded with him, but the next voice she heard wasn’t his.
“Ugh, I’m so hungry now. Feed me, Seymour!”
Alex laughed as he pressed his palm to ALICE’s Mana Reactor. A small amount of blue light filled her central reserve chamber.
“You’re gonna say that, but make fun of me quoting ‘Oz’?”
“We are talking decades of difference, here. Besides, don’t you think I’d make a better blood-sucking plant than some yappy little shit of a dog?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, justify it however you want. You know I’m right.”
“Fine. You don’t have to agree with me. I can’t force you to actually be right, after all.”
Alex’s smile widened, and the outline of the beast became more evident as they drew near. Treya and Celia had a hold of his arms and were trying to pull him back while Quinn obediently followed behind, shield at the ready.
White scales reflected the moonlight, shifting slowly as the dragon struggled to breathe. The body strained to move as if it was fighting against some giant being pinning it to the ground. Faint traces of Dark element magic surrounded the twenty-meter-long form. Slowly, it turned its head to glare at the group with an enormous, angry eye.
Alex raised a hand and waved once he was close enough to be heard. He marveled at the beauty of this creature even as he was sure it was trying to kill him.
“Hey, there! Can you understand me?”
The dragon’s mouth opened slightly, and it looked like even that was an arduous task at the moment.
“As soon as I dispel this foul magic, I am going to eat you!”
“Whoa, now! Shouldn’t you be thanking me? I easily could have just killed you instead. In fact, if you’re going to be like that, maybe I should just…”
He lifted the almost empty ALICE and pointed her square at the dragon’s eye.
‘You know we don’t have enough power to do anything, right now.’
‘I know. That’s why it’s called a bluff. Shut up.’
‘You are insane, do you know that?’
‘Yeah, but you love that about me.’
‘Keep telling yourself that, psycho.’
Unable to hear the conversation between AI and human, the dragon continued to stare at Alex and the odd staff aimed at it. It attempted once more to escape, thrashing wildly about. The gravity magic held firm, though, and the dragon eventually grew still.
“I had not expected to meet a Dark element mage this far from a human settlement. It would seem I was naïve.”
Alex blinked, pointing at himself with a fake expression of confusion.
“What do you mean? I’m a Null element.”
The roared word rivaled the sound of ALICE just a while before, and the three near Alex covered their ears while cowering behind him.
Alex remained calm because he was sure this would be like his books. He’d subdue a dragon, and they’d become his mount, and make what should have been a difficult journey spanning several years shrink to just one or two days.
There was just one problem with his hypothesis, which ALICE quickly brought to his attention.
‘You aren’t the summoned hero, though. Remember?’
Alex suddenly frowned as he realized the error in his logic. He stared at the dragon, watching as the magic was slowly dissipating from around the massive body.
‘That kind of thing only happens to the protagonist, Fenrir.’
His heart started to beat faster and harder, and he considered taking his party members’ advice. He was just about to take a step back when the dragon’s mouth opened once again. More of the magic was rapidly fading.
‘You’re just an idiot trying to singlehandedly fight a dragon.’