The ground is burning.
Because of the miasma emitted from Astaroth, the air is black and muddy.
To the point that, even though it is daytime, the world centered on the Ancient Dragon King was dark as if it were night.
Bright red magma overflows from the mountains around.
It is as if the ground was bleeding.
I call the name of the Great Water Spirit I am close with.
“Yes, Our King.” (Dia)
Dia immediately answered and kneeled.
At her back, there’s hundreds of Great Water Spirits lined up.
A giant cloud spread.
Snow falls densely.
A peaceful and silver landscape spread with me as the center.
A silent world as if all living beings have died.
“This is…Spirit User-kun…you have gotten better.” (Mel)
Mel-san was looking here with a shocked expression.
Lucy, Sa-san, and the Ancient Dragon King proxy (Mel-san’s brother) had their mouths wide open as they looked at me.
“So you called…all the Spirits in this planet, huh.” (Astaroth)
The Ancient Dragon King mutters.
He doesn’t seem to be specially flustered even after seeing the Great Water Spirits.
“Not really all of them.” (Makoto)
I answer honestly.
If I were to really call all of the Water Spirits, the weather of the world would go awry.
Is what Ira-sama warned me.
That’s why this is my limit.
The pitch black miasma cladding the Ancient Dragon King.
The clear blue mana of the Great Water Spirits.
Black and blue worlds were pushing and clashing.
Looks like the powers are confronting each other.
At that moment…
— “Oh my, oh my, you are doing something fun, aren’t you?”
A beautiful voice that brought a shiver on me reached my ears.
Even though I am facing the strongest Demon Lord, it had a strange attraction that made me look over there no matter what.
What was in front of my vision was someone with shining silver hair more dazzling than snow, transparent-like white skin; an owner of beauty that’s hard to believe comes from this world.
The Goddess Noah-sama.
“Noah-sama, how did you come here?! Aren’t you supposed to be at the Deep Sea Temple?” (Makoto)
Did she descend for a second with the Miracle of Eir-sama again?
“Eir said that she wouldn’t do it ever again.” (Noah)
Noah-sama shrugged her shoulders cutely.
“What are you doing, Makoto?!” (Lucy)
“You shouldn’t be looking away!” (Aya)
Lucy and Sa-san reprimanded me.
“Yeah, I know. I will be careful.” (Makoto)
Just as the two say, with the Ancient Dragon King in front of me, looking away is out of the question.
And with what the two said, I clearly understood now.
“Is the Noah-sama here an illusion…?” (Makoto)
It seems to be the same situation as the time when I saved Sakurai-kun who was fighting the Beast King.
In the spaces where the ruling of the Holy Gods is weakened, I alone can see Noah-sama.
“Well, that’s how it is. Even so, the air here is nice. It is outside of the control of the annoying Holy Gods…and it is filled with the presence of the Spirits I love and the nostalgic Dragon God…” (Noah)
Noah-sama says in a good mood.
In other words, she came to breathe the outside air.
It is a spiritual body though.
“My opponent is the strongest Demon Lord… Please cheer for me.” (Makoto)
“Fufu, I always believe in your victory, Makoto.” (Noah)
She looks at me without a single blemish of doubt in her eyes.
If the Goddess I love and respect looks at me with such eyes, I have no choice but to do my best.
Now then, shall we do this… I take a battle stance with the Goddess’s dagger.
But the state of the Ancient Dragon King was strange.
He directed his eyes at Noah-sama and was looking surprised.
“Oh, you can see me, huh? Descendant of the Dragon King, Astaroth-chan.” (Noah)
Noah-sama said gently.
The Ancient Dragon King opened his mouth slowly.
“The brave and whimsical Goddess that continued opposing the Holy Gods despite being the only Titan God remaining, being able to charm everything in this world, Noah-dono. To think I would be able to meet you… I am honored.” (Astaroth)
The Ancient Dragon King showed respect towards Noah-sama?!
“As expected of the descendant of the Dragon God, you get it. But there’s no need to worry about it. You are going to be defeated by Makoto anyways.” (Noah)
That was not the expression filled with affection that she normally shows when speaking with me, she directed a cruel smile like ice towards the Ancient Dragon King.
The Ancient Dragon King doesn’t falter at those eyes and answers.
“Unfortunately, your Apostle will be dying by my hands… Even if it is your Apostle, he won’t be able to match someone who has awakened the blood of the Dragon God-sama.” (Astaroth)
The Ancient Dragon King stated clearly that he would win against me.
Even after hearing that, the face of Noah-sama didn’t change.
“Fufu, right, descendant of the Dragon God that has already left this world… Among all those, the only Ancient Dragon who has awakened their blood is you. Because you have become the strongest in the world, you were unable to have a serious battle ever; a pitifully strong one.” (Noah)
“Eh…? But isn’t the Great Demon Lord Iblis stronger?” (Makoto)
I objected to the words of Noah-sama.
The Ancient Dragon King is the strongest Demon Lord, but he should just be the subordinate of the Great Demon Lord.
“The blood of the Dragon God-sama awakened through my battle with that personage -Iblis-sama. Thanks to that God that flowed from the underworld, I have become stronger. However, there was no one in this world aside from that personage who could fight properly with me now…” (Astaroth)
The Ancient Dragon King seemed sullen by that.
“There’s the Light Hero, right?” (Makoto)
When I asked this, the Ancient Dragon King silently shook his head to the sides.
“I did have my hopes, but if you weren’t there, she wouldn’t have been able to fight me properly, right? With just that much…” (Astaroth)
I was a bit pissed since it seemed like he spoke ill of Anna-san.
But it is true that the Light Hero Skill’s way of use was questionable since the first time we fought the Ancient Dragon King.
She had become a lot stronger by the later half though…
“And who knows how strong the present Light Hero is…” (Astaroth)
“Oh, you lack information, Ancient Dragon King. The current Light Hero is stronger than me, you know?” (Makoto)
The brows of Astaroth twitched at my words.
I have been together with Anna-san for a long time, so there’s no doubt.
The Light Hero Skill of Sakurai-kun doesn’t lose to Anna-san’s.
The reality is that it is the version 2 of the Light Hero Skill after all.
The performance is different.
By the way, the reason why Althena-sama gave the Light Hero Skill to Sakurai-kun was because, from the many candidates, he was the least lightly one to use that massive power for evil.
Well, Sakurai-kun is such a good person that you would question whether he is a saint after all.
Also, Althena-sama apparently likes handsome men.
…How unfortunate of you, Sakurai-kun.
I asked Ira-sama ‘Eh? But aren’t you the one that gives Skills?’
She said: ‘It is normally the job of the Destiny Goddess to provide Skills to the believers of the Holy Gods that have been born to this world. But the special Skills like Hero and Oracle, the respective Goddesses choose and give them later. Also, for otherworlders like you, Takatsuki Makoto and the others, the Skills given are random… That’s why it is hard to manage’.
That’s how it is.
I remember this while facing back to the Ancient Dragon King.
“…After I defeat you, I will face the Light Hero.” (Astaroth)
The miasma of the Ancient Dragon King swelled up.
(Here he comes, huh…) (Makoto)
I take a battle stance with the dagger and my Spirit Arm activated.
I suddenly got curious and directed my gaze at Noah-sama.
Noah-sama gave me a meaningful gaze.
“I will do my best.” (Makoto)
“Yeah, do it.” (Noah)
Noah-sama elegantly crossed her legs and waved her hand.
The next instant, the roar of the Ancient Dragon King made the air tremble, and a black beam cut the sky.
◇White Dragon Helemerck’s POV◇
(…A full power breath from the very beginning.) (Mel)
The breath of Father is on a different level from the Ancient Dragons around.
It pierces through mountains and has enough power to erase a city.
Normally, if a human mage were to be hit, they wouldn’t leave a single remain.
“What a relief… Makoto.” (Lucy)
Just as his comrade -the red haired elf- said, the Spirit User-kun didn’t have a single scratch on him.
The barrier that the Great Water Spirits placed had blocked it.
But the breath of Father is a deadly attack that has Divinity.
There’s no way a normal barrier spell can block it though…
“Hmm, aren’t the surroundings of Takatsuki-kun…strange?” (Aya)
There were several ripple-like things spreading around the Spirit User-kun and disappearing.
“It is kind of hard to breathe…” (Lucy)
“I am not feeling that well…” (Aya)
The two comrades of the Spirit User-kun had pale faces.
“Let’s get a bit further away. The space around the Spirit User-kun is filled with Ether. That’s what the Devils of Hell and the Angels of the Heavens use. For the people on the Mortal Realm, that’s a hazardous substance that can bring harm to the mind if you get continuously bathed by it.” (Mel)
“No way! Is Makoto okay?!” (Lucy)
His comrades scream, but I explain plainly.
“If it is the Spirit User-kun, he should be okay. Even the Divinity that residents of the Mortal Realm would go mad the moment they touch it, he would borrow it from the Destiny Goddess-sama and would control it. Even 1,000 years ago, he was easily using Ether.” (Mel)
The two girls nod as if in understanding of my words.
But we mages take the mana from the magical element in the air and control it.
By refining that mana, it becomes Ether.
With Ether, the power of the spells are incomparable to those of mana.
But you can only get a little bit of Ether from the mountain of mana you obtain.
It is not something that residents of the Mortal Realm would do.
It is impossible even for Ancient Dragons.
However, the current Spirit User-kun controls several hundreds of Great Water Spirits.
He has an infinite amount of mana in his power.
He couldn’t pull something like that 1,000 years ago.
Just how in the world…
At that moment, at the same time as Father shot a bright red breath, several black beams attacked the Spirit User-kun.
But the Spirit User-kun…the Great Water Spirits around him got in between, and not a single attack was reaching.
“You have become strong, Spirit User!!” (Astaroth)
It is rare to see emotion filling the words of Father.
It is most likely…happiness.
Father was hungering for battle the whole time.
Because of the Dragon God that was also a War God, he obtained overwhelming power.
But at the same time, he had no one he could fight but the Great Demon Lord.
Asking for a rematch to the Great Demon Lord who he aaaajjalready lost once was against the Ancient Dragon’s honor.
That’s why he was waiting in anticipation for his rematch with the Spirit User-kun.
(He seems to be having fun…) (Mel)
It has been 1,000 years since I have seen Father be emotional.
And then, the other one…
“I have been training for 1,000 years after all.” (Makoto)
There was no agitation or sense of danger from the expression of the Spirit User-kun as he answered.
What kind of nonsense is he saying…? No, he might unexpectedly be telling the truth here.
I have fought together with him against the Demon Lords and the Great Demon Lord in the past.
He has been doing reckless stuff the whole time even then, but right now he has become something on a completely different level after reuniting.
The battle was getting more and more violent.
The ground tore and lava was overflowing.
A mountain of ice lumps were falling down from the sky continuously.
Hundreds of lightning bolts fell down.
It was a sight as if the world was ending.
We took distance to not get caught up in it, but we were attacked by a black gale.
A gale that has dense miasma in it.
That thing that was simply a shockwave of the battle was already like an offensive spell.
“Are you okay?” (Mel)
I look at the two comrades the Spirit User-kun left in my care.
The town girl-looking one was cutting the wind.
…I do a double-take.
What kind of logic is that?
It was a miasma gale that would injure someone if they were to be hit by it, but it isn’t something you punch to block it.
“Are you two not going to use barrier magic?” (Mel)
“I can’t use magic itself.” (Aya)
“I am not good with barrier magic…” (Lucy)
“I will put up a barrier.” (Mel)
I was baffled by the words of the two as I used magic.
The two seem to be quite the powerful fighters, but their abilities seem to be pretty specialized.
You could say that’s just what you would imagine from comrades of the Spirit User-kun.
“Uhm…you are the Holy Dragon-sama that was the comrade of Makoto 1,000 years ago?” (Lucy)
The red haired mage spoke to me.
“That’s right. I am not used to being called Holy Dragon though. I was the comrade of the Spirit User-kun.” (Mel)
“I see… But the Ancient Dragon King is your dad, right? Is that okay?” (Aya)
I answered ‘that’s fine’ to the town girl-looking one.
Father is fighting all lively, and it isn’t something I can stop anyways.
I am the comrade of the Spirit User-kun, and I could only watch over my Ancient Dragon family.
In the end…the battle between the Spirit User-kun and Father went on for a whole day and didn’t end.
◇Takatsuki Makoto’s POV
(…I am tired.) (Makoto)
It will naturally get me if I continue shooting magic for 24 hours.
Looks like, even when I have gone over 5,000 in proficiency and am borrowing the power of the Great Water Spirits as much as possible, I can’t win against the Ancient Dragon King.
So I say, but it should be the same situation over there. He seems to be lacking a decisive move.
(Lucy and Sa-san…?) (Makoto)
They were looking over here from afar as if praying.
It seems like they were cheering for me without a single blink of sleep.
The White Dragon-san and the other Ancient Dragons were watching here from afar.
The battle is even, but there has been no request for a ceasefire.
I asked this to Mel-san before, but the endurance of Ancient Dragons is the strongest in the Mortal Realm, and they apparently have enough stamina to fight continuously for 7 days and 7 nights.
I am borrowing the mana of the Great Water Spirit, so I am not running out of it, but I don’t have the stamina to fight for 7 days.
But I am lacking a decisive move too.
(Geez, this is impossible! To think he would be evenly matched against Takatsuki Makoto who trained for 1,000 years! What’s with the cheat-like power of that Ancient Dragon King! It is because of a guy like him that I mess up my visions of the future! Takatsuki Makoto, run away!) (Ira)
By the way, a few hours since the beginning of the battle, the Destiny Goddess has been giving me advice in a panicked voice.
But it seems like she has currently run out of advice.
(Takatsuki Makoto, are you listening?!) (Ira)
“I am~.” (Makoto)
Since the beginning of the battle against the Ancient Dragon King, Clear Mind has been activated to 100%.
I understand that numbing my mind is not good, but it can’t be helped against the Ancient Dragon king.
(Run away quickly!) (Ira)
“If I run out of cards, I will.” (Makoto)
(You don’t have anything more, right?!) (Ira)
Ira-sama said that, but something bothered me.
I directed my gaze to Noah-sama who was floating a bit further away.
She yawned lightly.
It seems like the level is so low that it was boring for Noah-sama.
(But she is staying…) (Makoto)
It doesn’t seem like she is returning to the Deep Sea Temple and is watching my battle against the Ancient Dragon King all smiles.
Unlike Ira-sama, she doesn’t seem to be giving me any advice.
But it feels as if she wants to say something…
Who knows how many times it has been, but the breath of the Ancient Dragon King cuts through the sky.
I use barrier magic with Ether to block that.
At this rate, I won’t be able to win against the Ancient Dragon King.
At best, it would be a draw; if not, it will be gradually worsening due to the difference in stamina.
Just as Ira-sama said, running away is an option, but I don’t want to delay the conclusion to my battle against the Ancient Dragon King. I want Sakurai-kun to fight the Great Demon Lord in a perfect state.
I need ‘something’ in order to turn things around here.
I feel like the answer is just right there…
Just at the moment when I felt that…
[Will you…offer it to the Goddess Noah?]
Words appeared in midair.
Seeing those words, my next action solidifies.
(So that’s what it is…) (Makoto)
I look at Noah-sama, and she directs a smile as if saying ‘finally?’.
(Takatsuki Makoto…what are you thinking?) (Ira)
The uneasy voice of Ira-sama resonates.
“Sorry, Ira-sama. I will be troubling you.” (Makoto)
(Y-You must not! Noah, stop him! History will…again, history will be changi—) (Ira)
The scream of Ira-sama reverberates.
“I can’t stop him, Ira. I have not given any advice to him. It is a conclusion that Makoto reached by himself.” (Noah)
Noah-sama was simply smiling as if she understood everything.
With my right hand holding the dagger, I stab my left hand.
I don’t feel pain because of Clear Mind.
Blood flows out from my left hand.
That ran through the blade of the dagger and it shone dully.
“…You…what did you…” (Astaroth)
The Ancient Dragon King directed eyes of suspicion at me.
You will understand soon.
“Noah-sama…this is an offering to you… Please allow me to, just once…borrow your strength.” (Makoto)
I use a Sacrificial Technique and say to Noah-sama.
The person I am offering to is right by my side.
“I allow it.” (Noah)
A short reply came back.
I ignore Ira-sama’s ‘I don’t allow it~!’.
I hear the generous words of Noah-sama, and I mutter this in Spirit Language.
— “XXXXXXXXXX” (Time Spirit-sans…I want you to lend me your strength.)