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The moon on the horizon shook wildly. It was due to the wave of power caused by the invader. Finally, the moment when the glowing sunset spreading from the invader’s fingertips defeated the night’s darkness, a chain of cracks like a spider web appeared on the surface of the pale moon.
[Only One G.o.d Grid...]
The owner of the moon didn’t care. He had no time to worry about his lair, whose location had already been exposed and had lost its value. He repaired the wounds of his pierced body while observing Grid.
[Dragon Fear has greatly reduced all your stats and paralyzed your actions.]
[You have resisted.]
[The flames of the Fire Dragon have started to burn your body and mind.]
[You have resisted.]
[The flames of the Fire Dragon have started to burn the items you are wearing.]
[The eyes of the Fire Dragon are observing you. Some information about your level, stats, t.i.tles, and skills will be exposed.]
[Your level has increased.]
The moment when he pierced the body of the old dragon, Grid’s experience gauge rose by nearly 15%. Fire Dragon Trauka had given him more experience than anyone else he had fought. The 1st Great Demon, Baal; Martial G.o.d Zeratul, who descended to the surface; the cursed Evil Dragon Bunhelier; and Eve, the apostle of Yatan—none of them were comparable to Trauka.
‘This is even though he is weakened.’
Grid frowned. A lot of experience points wasn’t good news. On the contrary, it was proof of the huge level difference between Grid and Trauka.
In fact, the damage of Serve Dragon Pinnacle Wave Kill Link wasn’t dealt properly. Among all the movements included in the sword dance, all the damage of the ‘slashes’ were negated by the Dragon Words.
The Dragon Words of an old dragon—even the effects of ‘Conditional Sword Saint’ and Twilight were neutralized. Considering that a dragon’s scales and absolute defense could be easily sliced like tofu when these two effects were combined, the power of Dragon Words was indeed unbelievable. Naturally, the Castration Eye that he used with the feeling of grasping at straws when doing the sword dance didn’t take effect.
‘It isn’t a difference in status.’
It was just that the concept of Dragon Words was that special and powerful. It was natural. It was the power to establish providence. Of course, it wasn’t omnipotent. If Dragon Words was omnipotent, then Trauka would’ve made himself ‘invincible’ with it.
However, Trauka didn’t do so. He just strengthened himself to the point of negating some of the damage. Nor was it used in a way that weakened Grid. It meant there were limitations in many ways.
‘I am glad, but...’
The Dragon Words that Grid had experienced had the power to reverse the battle. Didn’t even Nefelina’s incomplete Dragon Words play a huge role? It had to be taken into account that Trauka was an old dragon. Trauka might have limited use of Dragon Words, but there was a possibility that Trauka could become truly invincible at some point due to the overlapping restrictions of Dragon Words.
The existence in front of him was a monster who fiercely hunted the G.o.ds of Asgard. It was right to a.s.sume the worst case scenario in a confrontation. It was better to aim for a speedy resolution.
In front of the eyes of the old dragon that were observing him, Grid first asked Marie Rose, “Why are you obsessed with me? You don’t seem particularly interested in revenge.”
Braham had said it. Marie Rose was the existence their mother gave birth to in order to get revenge. However, Marie Rose showed no desire to get revenge. She turned away from opportunities. She endured the Curse of Sloth that could’ve been lifted at any time if she made up her mind. The proof was that she didn’t intimidate Braham through force, or violate Grid.
‘She is a strong being who can move me and Braham the way she wants, but she just stood by.’
She stood by even when Grid set up the huge h.e.l.l expedition.
Grid recalled the face of Marie Rose, whom he had seen in the No Offspring Tomb not long ago. A sad expression had flashed on her face. It pa.s.sed by in a flash. It was to the point where he wouldn’t have noticed if he wasn’t an Absolute. If he combined that look with Marie Rose’s att.i.tude...
Did it go beyond being not interested in revenge to reluctance?
Then there was no reason to be obsessed with him, the Blood King.
“I told you.”
Putting aside her personality, Marie Rose’s attire was always modest. Perhaps it was because she wanted to minimize the exposure to sunlight, but the dresses she wore rarely exposed her skin. However, today was different. Her skirt went well above her knees.
She didn’t want Grid to see her hideously torn waist. She hid the wound by tying up her dress while feeling grateful for the flames of the Fire Dragon. Her wounds became invisible due to the evaporation of blood.
I just like you.
Didn’t she confess not long ago that she had been watching him because she liked him? Couldn’t he understand her heart with human emotions?
Marie Rose was going to repeat it again, only to close her mouth in a regretful manner. Her pale face was drained of blood. She felt a great sense of shame the moment Grid’s eyes brushed over her legs. It was the first time in her life that she felt this type of embarra.s.sment.
She placed her gloved hands neatly on her thighs and hesitated.
The face of a vampire turned red. It was the first time Grid was seeing it, even though he had a long-standing relations.h.i.+p with Braham and the other direct descendants. She blushed unexpectedly and he was finally convinced.
The favor that Marie Rose had shown him—it wasn’t a joke or pretense, it was sincere.
‘Is she so thankful that I released the seal?’
Wasn’t it too much after Yura, Jishuka, Irene, Mercedes, and Basara...? Despite his rare feeling of remorse, Grid had an upright att.i.tude.
‘First of all, I will repay the kindness.’
He had received a lot of help from Marie Rose. He would start repaying her by protecting her today.
Grid’s determined eyes changed fiercely. The gaze that was taken away by Marie Rose for a moment before fixed on Trauka again and Item Combination was released. They were weapons made of materials other than Greed. In other words, items that failed to resist Trauka’s flames and lost durability in real time were temporarily returned to his inventory.
He judged that he should take it out and use it only when necessary. It was a bit c.u.mbersome, but there was no pressure at all. If there was a compet.i.tion to measure item swapping speed, Grid was confident about taking first place.
‘First of all, protect Marie Rose’s safety. Then once the tower members arrive, counterattack...’
From Grid’s perspective, Marie Rose’s status was fine. There were no signs of an injury. But he wasn’t fooled. It had already been 15 minutes since she entered the warp gate along with Trauka. She had been in a fierce battle with an old dragon for at least 10 minutes. She might look fine, but she must be very tired. In the worst case scenario, there was a possibility she could no longer endure the Curse of Sloth.
‘I should consider that she might fall asleep right away.’
In fact, Grid was reluctant to let the tower members come here. Their duty might be to protect the world from dragons, but Grid judged that it was too dangerous as long as the opponent was the Fire Dragon. In the first place, the Tower of Wisdom was an organization that was established and act based on the principle of ‘avoiding fights with dragons.’ He didn’t think they could fight well against the Fire Dragon.
He was prepared to rescue Marie Rose himself rather than endangering them. Thus, he arrived at the scene first. Yet once he actually arrived, the situation wasn’t that good. Trauka’s presence was beyond imagination.
Escape that monster and rescue Marie Rose? It seemed impossible. The help of the tower members was necessary.
‘He is using destructive swordsmans.h.i.+p beyond his abilities... is it thanks to the power of the dragon weapon?’
During the time when Grid was understanding the situation and organizing his thoughts, Trauka restored the open wound on the back of his neck and grasped Grid’s potential. This was the type of enemy where he shouldn’t trust the surface-level information that had been exposed.
He possessed so many weapons that transcended his ability. He would always show a performance that ‘exceeds expectations.’
‘It is a tricky opponent.’
Trauka’s combat experience was immense. They were the experiences gained from preying on his own kin and hunting the heavenly G.o.ds. Of course, there were only a few opponents who were tricky for him. It didn’t matter if the opponent was an Only One G.o.d. He didn’t think he needed to be wary of a G.o.d who was born only a few years ago. It was something that even Trauka himself couldn’t have imagined.
‘I want to compete, but... it is right to avoid him.’
Trauka was now in a dangerous state.
A few minutes ago, Dragon Slayer Hayate had spread out his presence and woke up all the dragons in the world. Trauka’s lair was already exposed, so he also drew attention. If he didn’t leave the scene right now, Trauka was destined to be challenged by some of his fearless kin.
Yes, the cold judgment of an old dragon urged Trauka to retreat. The red dragon’s ferocious instinct to fight was suppressed. In the end...
[Only One G.o.d Grid. Take Marie Rose and leave. I am the one who previously asked you for a request. There is no reason for us to confront each other right away.]
Trauka took a step back. In fact, he had stepped back from the beginning. He had been trying to kick Marie Rose out even before Grid arrived. However, Grid didn’t know what was going on. Was an old dragon going to let him go obediently? He was taken aback by the unexpected development. In any case, it was good as long as they could pa.s.s through this crisis safely.
Grid used Shunpo while being wary of Trauka. He ended up beside Marie Rose. Trauka didn’t stand in Grid’s way. Rather, he took back the flames and opened the way.
‘Is he really going to let me go?’
Were the wounds inflicted on Ifrit bigger than they seemed? Even so, it was overwhelming enough.
‘Should I interpret it as a favor?’
He was confused. Grid hated Trauka for killing Xenon, while feeling thankful for the vague goodwill at the same time.
First of all, it was important to be able to overcome the crisis. Marie Rose finished regenerating her waist and pulled down her skirt. Thanks to this, Grid was able to look straight at her again. He urged her, “Let’s...”
It was because he could finish this short sentence.
“Don’t think about acting without thinking.”
Marie Rose’s fine hands wrapped gently around the back of Grid’s neck. She forcibly kissed the bewildered Grid. Pain and overwhelming pleasure spread from Grid’s lips.
[You... are you really this crazy...?]
Trauka realized his mistake and showed signs of frustration.
“Apologize to my dear husband,” Marie Rose swallowed the blood from chewing on Grid’s lips and repeated her previous demand.
It was a very commanding att.i.tude.
‘What is this?’
Grid’s eyes widened because he was even more surprised than Trauka. He looked in bewilderment at Marie Rose, who was trying to blow up any chance they had of escaping.
Marie Rose whispered to him, “Keep this in mind.”
Her red eyes were s.h.i.+ning brightly. It was thanks to consuming the blood of a great being and completely shaking off the curse for a while.
“Opportunities are given to us, not something gained.”
Was the word ‘us’ awkward? Marie Rose blushed slightly more lighter than before and wrapped her right arm around Grid. She moved her long fingers and held Twilight along with Grid.
“Let’s punish the dragon for acting against what is yours, my dear husband.”
For the hierarchy of her dear husband...
The dreamy whispers and gestures mesmerized Grid.
The landscape that Grid perceived changed. In a ballroom with a beautiful melody, he had the illusion that he was dancing with Marie Rose.
It wasn’t an illusion. The two people holding hands were performing the same sword dance. Marie Rose took the lead, followed by Grid who gently rested his cheek against her forehead.
[You have started a cooperative sword dance with the vampire duke ‘Marie Rose’...!]