“Uuuhuu… Uhuhuhu… It is incredible. This one is really…”
It was a creepy laughter. Nainiae, who was vacantly staring at the head of a black dragon that popped out through the dimensional space, turned her gaze toward Hurial who was making belittling laughter sound.
‘… It cannot be?’
The one with creepy laughter was Hurial, who just took Nainiae’s magic with his barrier and fell on his knees.
His white beard was full of red blood. He had mad smile on his face. Nainiae was watching while holding her breath. She was getting serious goosebumps.
“We should return the favor as much as we received.”
Despite his condition, Hurial laughed continuously without getting exhausted. He raised his right arm, which was shaking. The dragon’s head was lifted with a heavy momentum.
‘It is moving?’
Nainiae was facing a pitch-black dragon head. She opened her eyes wide and was petrified.
It was the head of a dragon, the same being as her master.
With pitch-black eyes, it was starting to make a sound. It was full of overwhelming pressure.
“No. We shouldn’t be so ungrateful. We should return the favor in folds, shouldn’t we? Huh?!”
The gigantic dragon head opened its mouth wide as if it was tearing it open. It started to violently draw in the air from the surrounding.
“Ha, haha! Ahhahahaha!”
The wind was pushing her from the back. It made her falter. Nainiae looked at the dragon’s wide open mouth and opened her own vacantly.
The dragon’s mouth was not just sucking up the air or dirty water.
The pure energy around the area, the mana, was being collected and lumped up or mixed at its mouth.
Wind, dirty water, and mana were getting mashed up together in a round shape in front of the dragon’s mouth. The sphere had grown to the size of a person’s head, and it was gradually swelling up.
One time, her master, Andal, mentioned a dragon’s breath. Nainiae remembered it just now, and she became petrified.
“Since we brought it out… For the Great One! For our life long wish! We shall gather more sacrifices and go back!”
Hurial yelled as hi splashed blood from his mouth. Hurial started to laugh like a mad man again.
The sphere, which was initially small, was now swollen up to the size of the dragon’s head. It was overshadowing the head.
“I, Hurial, the Great One's left hand, shall take your bodies and definitely use them for the sake of achieving our life long wish, so…!”
Along with Hurial’s shouting, the gigantic sphere all of sudden became compressed to a small size.
“Ha! Uhhaha! Ah hahahaha!”
Breath of a dragon was something that the dragons, which were called great, ancient beings, used with pride. It had power beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. The compression was signaling that the technique was about to be launched.
In his past life, he had seen a dragon using the breath once. He looked at the compressed breath and Nainiae and quickly moved.
‘Damn it. I don’t have a sword.’
He gritted his teeth and threw his body to the front of Nainiae. Not sure of what could happen, Riley raised up the mana inside him and tightly held Nainiae who was petrified.
Having realized Riley just hugged her, Nainiae was shaking her eyebrows and flinching as if she just came to her senses.
Nainiae called Riley. However, she could not hear his voice.
Along with incredibly loud sound of explosion, enough to make one go deaf, the compressed breath sphere in front of the dragon’s mouth was launched toward them.
She was overwhelmed by the dragon’s head that was popping out of the dimensional space. Having felt the humongous energy emanating from the dragon’s breath in front of her, she gritted her teeth and raised her right hand to the front.
Of the rings that were circling around her heat, a red ring started to spin rapidly.
“Force of Barrier!”
Because of the sound of explosion, everyone’s ears were going deaf. However, her voice could still be heard clearly. Having heard her voice, Riley looked at the top of her head with surprised look on his eyes.
It was because it felt just like how Andal used magic when Nainiae did just now.
Before he could continue to think, the dragon’s breath collided with the barrier that Nainiae cast to the front.
‘Oh my… How could this…’
She only have heard about the dragon’s breath from her master. This was the first time for her to actually shield against the breath. She faltered to the back, but she managed to maintain balance and stand because Riley was tightly holding on to her.
She vacantly opened her mouth while being held in Riley’s arms. She said “… Ah” but it could not be heard by anyone because of the explosive sound from the dragon’s breath.
‘I need to get a grip. At this rate…’
The barrier suddenly cracked. Nainiae was in Riley’s arms, blushing. She came to her senses and put mana into the accessory on her arm.
Because she could not hear his voice, she had been rubbing her head in his chest as she called out his name in her mind. As if he realized her desperation, Riley turned his gaze to the right.
He saw a small dimensional space next to Nainiae. As if he was finding it to be a ridiculous idea, he clicked his tongue and said,
“Is this a souvenir gift from your traveling? Oh my…”
Riley saw a handle that was sticking out slightly from the dimensional space. He extended his hand toward it and let go of Nainiae.
At that moment... Instead of her right hand, which was extended to the front, she used her left hand and grabbed on to the back of Riley who was about to take the warmth away from her.
“What are you doing?”
Riley was drawing the sword from Nainiae’s dimensional space. Having noticed her hand, he asked.
“… Ah, No. It’s nothing. I’m sorry.”
Nainiae vacantly opened her mouth. She added that it was nothing, let go of her left arm and focused on the barrier that was cracked.
‘Hold on just a little longer…’
Nainiae bit her lips. A stream of black blood came out of her mouth. As if he was trying to say Nainiae should take a break now, Riley turned his shoulder around in a circle and stepped toward the barrier that was on the brink of being shattered.
<It’s all right now. Lower it now.>
Nainiae did not wipe off the blood that came down to her chin. Concerned, she asked with a crumpled face. However, Riley shrugged as if it did not matter to him. He just turned his gaze toward the barrier.
‘That’s right. I should trust Young Master.”
They were reunited after a long time. Nainiae resented the fact that a situation like this came to them at this moment. However… She thought about how she was held in his arms, and she thought about the warmth she felt from him. Thinking about those, she thought that the situation was not a loss. She lowered the barrier.
‘… Not bad.’
The dragon’s breath was right in front of his nose now. Riley noticed that Nainiae had grown up noticeably. He peeked a smile and lightly grabbed the sword on his right.
‘If she was like before, she would not have been able to get a grip at all. She grew up a lot.’
Before the barrier could be lowered, Riley set his legs apart a little wider. He lowered the sword and fixed his stance. He narrowed his eyes and counted the timing.
“Young Master, I’ll lower it!”
Nainiae wiped off the blood on her chin and shouted. However, because of the explosive sound in the area, it was not possible for to be certain if Riley heard it.
Taking a stance, Riley was not moving at all. Nainiae realized Riley was focused. She waved her right hand to the side and lowered the barrier.
‘This brings back old memories.’
The barrier was lowered.
The breath that was shot by the dragon head summoned by Rebethra completely filled Riley’s view.
‘What a burp. It’s worse than Andal.’
Perhaps it was because the dirty water from the Lower Solia was mixed in. Perhaps it was because of the smell of the rotting corpse. There was a horrid stench that was poking at Riley’s nose. He narrowed his eyes and cringed.
“I think I’m going to throw up.”
At the moment Nainiae’s barrier disappeared, when the dragon’s breath came right in front of Riley’s nose, a long and narrow line, so fine that it would have gone unnoticed without a close examination, was drawn on the dragon’s breath.
Nainiae was watching Riley’s back. In a blink of an eye, Riley’s stance was changed. Having realized this, Nainiae just blinked her eyes.
Only a moment ago, his sword was near his left waist. Now, before she realized, it was above his right shoulder.
‘A cross cut?’
When Andal took her under his wings for training, she didn’t just do magic training. She also did not skimp on swordsmanship training. Watching Riley’s flawless stance, she mumbled,
‘I didn’t see him move at all, so how?’
Nainiae did not see the sword moving from the lower left to right above the shoulder at all. Nainiae opened her eyes wide.
As a result of Riley’s swing, a whirlwind came blowing at Nainiae. It made her hair and her coat wave in the air.
“Young Master, just now…”
Nainiae carefully called Riley, but she saw the dragon’s breath beyond his shoulder. She gasped for air.
It could be best described by saying the dragon’s breath was cut in half.
The dragon’s breath, which was completely filling their view to the front, was cut in half, left to right and they were shaking.
The dragon’s breath, now cut in two pieces, swallowed the Lower Solia’s sewers or old buildings, turning the surrounding into a chaos. However… it was not able to deal any damage to the original target.
Coming after the whirlwind that was generated from Riley’s sword swing, the aftereffects from the pieces of dragon’s breath that were wobbling on the left and right sides came toward where Nainiae was standing.
‘This was done by Young Master.’
Covering her face with her arms, Nainiae had been looking at where Riley was standing. Now, Riley lowered the sword that he just had raised up. Nainiae could see that he fixed his stance again.
‘That’s right. I should do things without getting in Young Master’s way.’
Instead of just watching with a vacant look on her face, she decided to do something that would help Riley. She turned her gaze toward the dragon’s breath on left and right which were splashing. She swung her left hand in a large motion above her head.
‘I need to do what I can do.’
With her hand swing, she distorted the surrounding space. She took a knee to the floor. With all of her might, she slammed the floor with her left hand.
‘… To the above, I’ll deflect them!”
When she slammed the floor with her palm, the slightly distorted space around her seemed like it was changing the angle. The splatter from the dragon’s breath had been coming at them like rain. However, now, they were redirected to above.
Nainiae prevented Lower, Left and Right Solia from being in danger. She quickly turned her head and looked at the direction where Riley was standing.
Riley was no longer standing there.
Nainiae figured that he probably went after the two who were responsible for creating this mess. She just trusted him and started to focus only on wrapping up the dragon’s breath.
With her hand touching the floor, although she was still not skillful at it, she managed to block the dragon’s breath by twisting or narrowing the space. She suddenly heard someone’s voice from the back. She flinched her shoulders.
“I think I definitely told you not to overexert yourself?”
The voice was low, heavy and extremely angry. She held her breath and turned her head around.
She saw a red haired man.
The red haired man was flexing a few blood veins on his forehead that bulged up. He was Nainiae’s master. He was the red dragon who was on an amusement tour as a human… It was Andal. He was looking down at Nainiae with a violent look in his eyes.