The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary

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Chapter 204: From Battle To Ceasefire

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Chapter 204: From Battle To Ceasefire

The action Loren took, when the thought ‘It’s bright’ crossed his mind, was neither attacking nor defending, but evading.

Like a premonition, the moment that bright clot of energy was about to be spat out from the dragon’s mouth, a clear image of him dying on the spot appeared in his mind should he not move.

Lapis seemed ready to defend against the attack, while Gula looked like she thought it might be hopeless with her stiff expression. Loren immediately exercised the self-boost technique, picked both of them up by their waists, and jumped sideways with all his might. The weight of two women combined with the weight of his own equipment, including the greatswords was enough to impede Loren’s movement to some extent, but the image of an impending demise mobilized Loren’s body to do the impossible. 

At almost the same time, the white, s.h.i.+ning > plunged forward from the dragon’s mouth. It easily engulfed the Evil G.o.d’s power Gula had deployed, then continued to advance while grazing the ground. It stopped somewhere far away, and with a horrified feeling Loren could see a pillar of pure white light shooting up from the ground into the sky, going on so high that he couldn’t see the end of it.

In fact, the pillar, shooting into the sky, had so much power that it blew away the clouds above the site of impact. Loren was startled when he saw Gula, who was still in his arms, belching smoke out of her mouth.

“It’s useless. It burns me before I can consume it…”

Gula groaned in frustration as she let out a burnt-smelling breath. Loren looked troubled hearing her words, unsure if he should be surprised that she had managed to eat some of that attack or worried about her stomach as she was belching smoke due to her > being burned.

“I guess I underestimated our opponent a little. The power of the > just now is… very problematic.”

Lapis’ tone had changed, and her eyes became just a bit sharper. This proved how dangerous was the attack of a dragon, which they had barely managed to evade. 

Loren also realized that Lapis had used the defensive magic item given to them by the Demon King when he saw something like a crushed sh.e.l.l falling from her hand. Looking around, he noticed that the atmosphere was hot enough for him to see a heat haze, and the part of the ground grazed by the dragon’s > had turned red and gooey. An attack of such tremendous heat should also have devastating after-effects, and Loren broke out in a cold sweat thinking about what would have become of a mere human like him, had Lapis not used the magic item to protect all three of them. 

There was no guarantee that they could evade the next attack. In addition, Gula had gone limp in Loren’s arms, perhaps as a result of having her power burned away, and couldn’t be expected to fight.

Loren looked at the dragon and wondered if all of this was a bad idea. But for some reason, the dragon was keeping its mouth wide open and refused to move as if it was frozen. It was lucky for them that there wasn’t any follow-up attack, but Loren found it suspicious that the dragon, which could have killed them with just one more strike, was not acting at all.

Loren gently set the two girls down on the ground.

“Does it become like that because of such an attack?”

When fighting with a sword, there would always be a break after an all-out swing, and Loren wondered if something similar was happening to this dragon after using >. But the time it stood motionless as if frozen was too long. There must be some other reason why it had stopped moving, but Loren had no idea what it was.

“Should we run away now?”

“That sounds like a good idea.”

Loren muttered, and just as Lapis voiced her agreement, the dragon closed its mouth, the action done with enough force that they could hear the clang of its teeth snapping close. The dragon stared hard at the direction in which it had shot its > for some reason. After a short while, it turned its gaze back to Loren’s party, who was wondering what was going on.

“YOU DID IT.”

“We didn’t do a single thing.”

Loren quipped, but that was the truth. The only thing that Loren had done was jumping aside with Lapis and Gula. He hadn’t done anything at all. 

The dragon staggered towards their party as if it had been damaged in some way.

“I HAVE TO GET YOU, NO MATTER WHAT.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, but I can’t say ‘Oh, sure thing’!”

Gula was lying on the ground, with smoke was still coming out of her mouth. Lapis was keeping a close eye on the dragon’s movements, but she couldn’t fight it face-to-face as she wasn’t carrying any weapons. Loren would have to do this himself. With his greatsword at the ready, Loren kicked at the burning ground and charged at the oncoming dragon.

“SUBMIT OBEDIENTLY!”

“I refuse, you idiot!”

The dragon breathed in heavily as Loren charged at it. He thought that it was going to use > again, but it let out a deafening roar instead of a white light. 

Unbeknownst to Loren, a dragon’s roar had an effect that would cause any weak-willed person to instantly lose control and become unable to act. The dragon wanted to use this to stop Loren’s movement, but Loren just lunged forward without a care and, as the dragon had stopped to roar, struck with all his might at its front leg.

Loren watched white sparks scattered from the collision of scales with the blade his greatsword. He grimaced in surprise as he realized that his blow had not been able to penetrate the dragon’s front leg at all.

On the other hand, the dragon cried out in surprise as it felt its leg tremble from the impact, even though its scales had prevented the swordsman from cutting through.

“YOU DARE TO UNLEASH SUCH A STRONG SLAs.h.!.+”

“Shut up! It didn’t go through at all, and I’m feeling a little less confident!”

Loren pulled his blade back and struck another blow at the dragon’s front leg, but once again it did no more than scattering sparks against the scales. Even though he knew it would not work, Loren was not going to let the dragon have any breaks.

“SUBMIT OBEDIENTLY!”

The dragon kicked the ground with its front legs, lifted its body, then slammed its raised front legs down at Loren. 

If Loren were to take the blow and be struck with the dragon’s weight, he would be crushed, no matter how skilled a swordsman he was or how good his armor was. He knew this, but he still placed his greatsword on his shoulder and caught both of the dragon’s legs with the flat of his sword.

“YOU’RE BEING RIDICULOUS!”

“Shut up!”

Loren’s knees almost buckled under the crus.h.i.+ng weight and impact, but he used all his strength and self-boost technique to resist it.

[‘Onii-san, I’ll help you!’]

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The King of Death’s magic power poured into Loren’s body as Shayna’s voice echoed in his mind. It was immediately turned into self-boost, and Loren just barely managed to stop the dragon’s blow before it crushed him.

“WELL, IT’S ALRIGHT. I HAVE ONE REQUEST THOUGH.”

“If you want to eat one of us, then there’s no discussion.”

Loren declared as a warning, but the shook its head”

“I’D LIKE TO ASK YOU TO MEDIATE WITH DEMON KING JUDIE.”

“What?”

“TO BE PRECISE, I WANT TO ASK THE DEMON LORD JUDIE TO MEDIATE WITH THE GREAT DEMON KING. THE La.s.s HAS MADE MISCHIEF ON MY MOUNTAIN MANY TIMES BEFORE… ADD THAT TO THE FACT THAT I’M LETTING YOU GUYS OFF THE HOOK THIS TIME, I’M SURE SHE WON’T REFUSE.”

Loren tilted his head at the sudden mention of the Demon King and Great Demon King. Unable to understand the flow of the story, he looked at the dragon to ask for an explanation. The dragon scratched its neck several times with its front feet in an embarra.s.sed manner, then started to mutter the reason:

“THE > JUST NOW… YOU’RE THE FIRST INTRUDERS I’VE HAD IN QUITE A LONG TIME, SO I SEEMED TO HAVE OVERDONE IT A LITTLE BIT.”

“It was a nuisance.”

“IT’S YOUR FAULT FOR GIVING OFF SUCH A STRANGE AND DENSE SENSE OF DEATH. REGARDLESS, I WAS PRETTY CLOSE TO BEING SERIOUS THEN…”

That meant it wasn’t really serious when shooting that >… Loren s.h.i.+vered, feeling a chill running down his spine again. But his jaw dropped when he heard the dragon’s next words.

“IT SEEMED THAT… MY > LANDED QUITE CLOSE TO THE GREAT DEMON KING’S CASTLE.”

“Ah? Ah… I see.”

Knowing the reason why the dragon had frozen up and unable to move after shooting that >, Loren nodded in understanding.

In short, it had made an accidental discharge.

“I DON’T KNOW THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE IT CAUSED, BUT IT SURELY HAS CAUSED SOME. IT’S HARD FOR ME IF I’M TO BE BLAMED FOR IT.”

“That’s why you want to ask the Demon King who knows the situation to mediate things.”

“THAT’S WHY WE MUST COME TO AN AGREEMENT.”

Loren still had no understanding of dragons’ facial expressions, but somehow he felt that the dragon in front of him was making a very troubled face. 

This was quite a disheartening task, but it was a cheap price to pay for not having to fight an Ancient Dragon. Loren looked at Lapis, and she nodded decisively – it seemed like she share the same opinion.

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