TWEM Vol. 4 Chapter 4
Chapter 4 – Appearance of the True Hero
Phew, it looks like I made it just in time.
When I, Haruto saw Suzuno and the others stunned behind me, I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Pardon me. For coming so late.”
Tendo’s wound was deep, but there’s still time to save him.
“Is that you, Haruto?”
Suzuno, Mogami, Shinonome, and Asakura shouted. Tendo, too, seems to be conscious.
‘My breath was blocked? …Who the hell are you? No, how did you get in here in the first place?’
This voice that echoes in my head…must be the black dragon in front of me.
But I didn’t respond to it, and instead handed potions to Shinonome.
“I didn’t think there would be such a powerful dragon at the lowest floor. This is my fault, my bad…in the meantime, make sure Tendo drinks this potion, there’s enough for everyone. It’s safe and fast-acting, I guarantee it.”
As soon as Shinonome gave the potion to Tendo, the wound began to heal.
“Wow, it’s healing really fast.”
As I was smiling at the surprised Shinonome, who was probably not that surprised after all this time, the ignored Black Dragon shot out a black fireball.
“Sheesh, can’t you see that I’m in the middle of something.”
The black fireball disappeared with a whoosh sound as I dismissed it with one hand.
‘What!? Who the hell are you?’
The black dragon was trying to intimidate me, but I took no heed of his words and brushed it off.
“I’m just passing through. Pay it no mind.”
‘Like hell a mere passerby could put out my fireball.’
“What can be put out, can be put out. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
At my words, the dragon became speechless and sighed.
‘——Well, whatever. So, how did you get in?’
I pointed in the direction I had come from.
Ahead of me was…well, the wreckage of a massive door.
The black dragon stared in round-eyed wonder and asked.
‘That’s not something that could be wrecked so easily though…may I ask you something.’
“What is it?”
‘What brings you here?’
“It’s to help them. I’m the one who asked them to come here in the first place.”
‘…I see. But now that you’re standing in front of me, hope you’re fully prepared?’
“Prepared to defeat you? I need no such thing…get on with it, lizard.”
The dragon’s eyes narrowed as I unleashed more intimidation than the dragon had unleashed earlier.
‘More or less equal, perhaps even better…what’s your name?’
“Didn’t your mother teach you when asking for someone’s name, it’s polite to name yourself first?”
‘Hmph, cheeky brat. Fine. My name is Gran Kalamiras, the Smelting Black Dragon. I am the ruler of this labyrinth and the strongest and oldest dragon. You don’t need to remember it though, since you’re about to die.’
Ohh, I checked his status, and it looks like he possesses quite a lot of skills. I guess calling himself the strongest wasn’t beating his own drum.
“Kalamiras. My name is Haruto.”
‘Haruto, huh? I’ll remember it.’
The space creaked as if screaming as the intimidation from both me and Kalamiras clashed.
“You guys, stand back. I’ll put up a barrier to keep you safe. No matter what, do not try to leave the barrier.”
I said that and put up multiple barriers around them as they backed away to a location near the door. I was sure that Finne and the others will arrive soon enough, so I tweaked it so that my friends could come and go.
And once again, I turned to face Kalamiras.
“Well then, shall we get started. I don’t care who you are. I will crush you with all my might.”
‘It goes without saying. Come on! Mighty one.’
As soon as Kalamiras finished, I instantly closed the distance between us and struck him in the stomach with my fist.
There was a heavy, dull thud, and Kalamiras retreated a few meters from the impact. I can’t believe that only caused him to move this much…guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
Kalamiras’ eyes widened, and he unleashed a breath that contained more magic power than I had been able to prevent, directed at Tendo and the others earlier.
The breath at close range hit me where I stood, but I didn’t move…to be precise, I didn’t even need to move.
The only thing that remained after the breath was cut off was the scorched ground and me standing there unharmed.
‘There’s no way you could take that head-on and remain…how did you do it?’
Kalamiras was looking down at me and asked me that.
This guy is hopeless, and I could also choose not to answer, but what the heck.
“I just put up a barrier that has a spatial rupturing effect!”
‘…Why are you talking about such advanced technique as if it were an ordinary defensive magic spell?’
I can’t help what I can do.
“I think I’ll try hitting him harder than before. Since he’s way sturdier than I thought.”
I muttered this in a voice that was almost inaudible.
The barrier covered my feet, so my foothold was safe.
I stomped on the ground hard, leapt forward and swung my fist out.
My fist dug into Kalamiras’ gut again, making a duller, heavier sound than before.
But again, it only set him back a few meters. I didn’t think it was totally ineffective, but it didn’t do much damage either.
‘Your defense is admirable, but if you’re intending to only attack me with your fist? I’m afraid that’s not going to——’
“Rest assured, I’m just getting started!”
As soon as I said that, I put light magic in both of my fists.
“Fight darkness with light. Isn’t that a no brainer?”
With those words, I released consecutive strikes into Kalamiras’ stomach.
The dragon scales on his abdomen, which hadn’t even cracked earlier, cracked and peeled off.
But that didn’t stop the barrage of blows. Kalamiras was unable to fight back.
‘Don’t you make light of meeeee!!’
Having grown impatient, a hemispherical shockwave was released from Kalamiras.
I was blown away because of my fist-throwing posture, but I adjusted my stance and landed in the air with the skill Sky Walk that allows one to walk through the air.
When I was far away enough, I took another look at Kalamiras’ belly, and saw that his dragon scales were peeling off in some places, and some parts were bleeding.
‘It would seem that you’re not just all talk. Still…’
Kalamiras opened his mouth again and started to accumulate his dense magic power.
At the same time as Suzuno inside the barrier shouted my name, Kalamiras released his breath.
The mana so concentrated to the point where it can no longer be called a breath but rather a laser most likely couldn’t be prevented by a half-hearted barrier or defense.
I lowered my body deeply and moved into a quickdraw stance——then, a flash of light emerged.
The crimson flash of the sword shimmered.
I activated the absolute cleave ability of my beloved black sword, Benizakura, and sliced apart the black flash of light.
And then the slash extended, cutting off Kalamiras’ left arm.
Kalamiras shouted in surprise and pain when his best shot was blocked and his left arm was dropped.
But his gaze immediately turned to the sword I was holding.
‘Nice job blocking my attack, ……. It looks like I’m no match for you after all. But as the ruler of this labyrinth, I can’t admit defeat so easily. So Haruto, if I may?’
Kalamiras seemed to realize that he could not defeat me.
“What is it?”
‘What’s the name of that sword? If by chance I defeat you, Haruto, I would like to have it.’
“I don’t mind. You’re not going to be able to beat me anyway. Also, this is not a sword, it’s a blade. Its name is Black Katana Benizakura. My partner.”
‘A blade, huh? And what a beautiful name.’
Kalamiras realized he was defeated, but he didn’t seem to want to give up. His presence became even grander.
‘This place is big, but I can’t bring out my full strength with this body. And I’m too big to fight little ones.’
“That makes sense.”
I nodded my head in agreement that he was too big, and the next moment, a jet-black wind swirled around Kalamiras as if to envelop him.
And just like that, it gradually became smaller and smaller as it wrapped around the giant body of the dragon and formed a sphere.
As soon as the sphere was about two meters in diameter, a crack appeared on the surface.
The cracks gradually widened, and when the sphere completely collapsed, standing there was a strong-looking, fine figure of a man, about 190 centimeters tall.
He had short hair and sharp golden eyes. He was dressed in a kind of kimono that I had seen in period dramas on Earth. He didn’t seem to know about my katana, so it made me wonder if such clothes existed.
Surprisingly, his left arm had regenerated, even though it had been chopped off.
“It’s been hundreds of years since I’ve looked like this…with this, I should be able to battle more efficiently don’t you think?”
And as he transformed into a humanoid form, he started to speak directly instead of that voice that echoed in my head.
“I see. So that’s what the Metamorphosis skill does huh.”
“Oh, it would seem you possess the appraisal skill. If so, then you should be most aware of my power…well then, shall we get started.”
Kalamiras said, extending his right arm horizontally to the ground.
Then a sword appeared from under his feet, and Kalamiras grasped it.
I could tell from a glance.
That sword is as good as my Black Katana Benizakura.
I was curious and appraised it…
Draconic Magic Sword Gloriace
The is the sword that the ancient dragon Gloriace, who lived in the age of mythology, transformed into after reaching the end of his life.
It has the ability to cut through space, and those who are cut by it are cursed with reduced abilities.
As a passive skill, it is indestructible and quintuples the user’s physical ability and skill might.
The sword is even more outrageous than I expected.
However, I have the status effect immunity skill, so the curse of reduced ability won’t work on me…it shouldn’t right?
I gazed at Kalamiras with some apprehension.
Kalamiras swung his sword a few times, as if to check the comfort of his grip.
The moment he took his stance, the battle resumed.
His Sword clashed with my blade, and sparks flew.
The two sides clashed against each other, but soon they were out of range of each other.
Then they approached each other again, and an exchange of sword fights ensued.
For Tendo and the others, this was a battle on a whole ‘nother dimension, and all they could do was watch.
Finne and the others arrived, but when they saw me in an intense sword fight with the enemy, they hurriedly entered the barrier occupied by Tendo and the others.
I could hear the voices of these friends talking to each other.
“I gotta say, Haruto really is amazing. That dragon that didn’t take us seriously is now fighting with all he’s got…well, it’s probably because Haruto’s level is higher than ours.”
“You can say that again. With a real life OP character right before my eyes, I don’t even know to be jealous.”
It was Mogami who answered Tendo. Tendo, who smiled wryly, must have been thinking the same thing.
Perhaps taking advantage of the fact that I was focusing my attention on them, Kalamiras slashed at me.
But I easily flipped off Kalamiras’ sword and cut off his left arm.
“Ugh, aren’t you something. But I’m not done yet.”
Kalamiras’ severed arm turned into black mist and disappeared. Then, a black silhouette came out from the cut surface of his shoulder, and the arm regenerated.
Wha-, hey that’s foul play!
Its speed is much faster than any super regeneration skill I have ever seen.
Kalamiras swung his sword as if nothing had happened.
I dodged his sharp feint attacks with minimal movements and shifted the trajectory of his sword with my blade.
This went on for a few seconds, maybe even a few minutes.
Finally, Kalamiras pulled away.
“You’re very good. What masterful prowess, to think you’re able to handle my swordplay…but, this is as far as you go. Let me put an end to this.”
Kalamiras moved behind me in an instant and slashed at me diagonally.
But right after that…
I circled behind Kalamiras and kicked him in the back.
“Ugh, when did you…”
His eyes widened as if he couldn’t believe that I had gotten behind me in an instant.
He didn’t mean to take his eyes off me, and I’m sure he didn’t expect me to move faster than he did.
Kalamiras came up behind me again. However…
“You should learn to disguise your presence a little better. If you’re leaking all that bloodlust and energy, you may as well be broadcasting your location.”
I grabbed his right arm before he could swing his sword down.
Kalamiras shook off my hand and backed away again.
He took a deep breath, and his mood and appearance changed.
His skin was covered with black dragon scales, his hair, which had been black, was now a fiery red, he grew two horns on his head, just like when he was a dragon, and he had a tail.
If I had to name it, I would call it…Dragonoid Transformation, or something.
“Now, I’ve become serious.”
“Looks like it. Be sure to entertain me, will ya?”
The mana was thicker than ever, and it surrounded Kalamiras as if it were wrapped around him.
In the blink of an eye, Kalamiras approached me and unleashed a blow with his left fist, which was covered with dragon scales.
In response, I quickly tried to catch it with one hand and was hit with another fist from the side.
The left fist was a feint, and the right hook connected squarely as hard as it could.
I was blown away and rolled on the ground.
As everyone screamed in shock, I quickly got up.
“Ain’t this a surprise. It’s been a while since I’ve taken any real damage.”
For what it’s worth, this is probably the first time I’ve taken this kind of damage since I got the cheat.
“I see. Then I guess you should be prepared to take in a lot more damage.”
“I am going to have to pass, thank you.”
I observed Kalamiras with amusement.
I hadn’t expected his fighting strength to increase this much. This guy, in his current state, would most likely defeat even the Demon King.
Perhaps those scales won’t let a blade through. Now that it’s come to this, it might be more prudent to fight with my fists rather than my blade…
And the next moment, Kalamiras jumped in again in an instant.
I had been caught off guard earlier, but this time I could see his movements clearly.
However, I couldn’t handle all the attacks and had to receive some squarely with my body…but the same applied to him as well.
We inflicted damage on each other, and while barraging each other with our fists, we also slashed at each other.
This went on for a while, but it didn’t look like we were going to be wrapping things up anytime soon, so I distanced myself.
As I cast a recovery spell on myself, Kalamiras smiled happily, breathing on my shoulder.
“What’s the matter, are you at your limit?”
“Keep dreaming. I just thought it was time for me to get serious as well…try not to die too fast, okay?”
“Hmph, what nonsense——”
I interrupted Kalamiras’ words and released the limiter on myself, unleashing my magic power.
When Kalamiras saw the crimson mana raging out of my body, his cheeks tensed up.
“What’s the matter. Are you perhaps feeling unwell?”
“…I’m fine. It’s nothing serious.”
“That’s a relief——then, shall we continue.”
As soon as I finished, Kalamiras approached, wielding his sword.
In Kalamiras’s eyes, it must have looked like the sword had sliced through me.
But my slashed figure disappeared as if it were melting into the air.
I whispered behind Kalamiras.
“When did he—?!”
As he turned around, the sword cleaved through me, but that too disappeared.
“You can’t keep up with me anymore.”
My blade protruded from Kalamiras’ stomach.
“ugh, agh, ughhh…”
As I pulled out my blade and put it into its sheath, Kalamiras immediately healed his wound and was about to slash at me when he fell to his knees.
I guess he didn’t know what had happened to him.
When he saw that both of his legs had been obliterated by my magic bullets, Kalamiras finally let out a scream.
I kicked away Kalamiras’ sword and shot a magic bullet into his arm.
Kalamiras continued to heal his wounds, but each time I fired a magic bullet at him, not allowing him to even stand up.
When he had used so much mana that his regeneration could no longer keep up, I drew my blade and placed it around his neck.
Kalamiras, who had probably used up the last of his magic power to regenerate his limbs, looked up at me.
“Damn it, just kill——”
“Would you like to be my subordinate?”
Kalamiras, who had been looking up at me resolved to his fate, paused at my words.
It would be reassuring to have such a strong guy in my group, and I don’t think he’s exactly bad either.
“I want you. That’s all. What do you think? And if you stick with me, you might even grow stronger than you are now.”
Kalamiras pondered my offer.
And after a few minutes of thought, the words that came out of Kalamiras were…
“——You may, no, please take me under your command, Master Haruto.”
“Yeah. Looking forward to working with you.”
Gotcha, now I’ve got a powerful comrade!