The serpentine dragon flies up to the sky, causing every single spectator to hold their head up high, looking up to the sky, as the dragon returns the favor and looks down to them. The dragon lets out a mocking smirk, belittling them down below.
That is if anybody else besides me is still alive.
The thundering hail of thorny ice chunks finally passed, leaving a scene of Dae Sho’s obliterated underlings.
The ground, neither dirt nor grass, is soaked in the thawing ice and the fresh spilled red blood.
Even the once few standing trees have fallen, leaving the only thing that sticks are towering spiked ice. The kind of ice that came from the arctic that’s been hardened and frozen for millennia.
When Naga is summoned to this existence, the first thing it does is shower the plane with a storm of spiked ice.
One spell… One spell and it had managed to turn the table of the battlefield to our side and transformed the environment into a cold and brutal icy tundra.
No time to lose. Still laying down, I grab my vitality potion and quickly drink it. A never seen before a hideous grin spread over Naga’s face as it looked down towards the result of its rampage.
『 YOU ARE, ALL OF YOU, WEAKLINGS 』
The voice is deep, heavy, and resonant. Unlike the kind voice, I’m used to when I converse with the dragon, this one expresses such deep malice and hatred.
Even when its malice is not directed towards me, I still shiver.
『 I FORGOT HOW DECREPIT THE TIAN KIND CAN BE 』
My body starts feeling better, the stinging pain is becoming more numb, thanks to the vitality potion for sure. But blood is still seeping out, although a little less. I rip the cloth on my arm and start wrapping a makeshift bandage, trying to ignore the monstrosity outside.
『 EVEN YOUR TRUE PROUD ANCESTORS ARE NOTHING IN THE FACE OF MY WRATH 』
After finishing taking care of myself, I look around the battlefield once more. Dae Sho somehow is still alive — on the outside at least — as his face is going through a myriad of different emotions.
His eyes watching the dragon with wide, frightened eyes. Cold sweats drench his face.
Only he stands amongst the spiked hard ice. His underlings must’ve been finished, as they are not in sight.
Quiet mewling of pain and appalling are what’s left of them, maybe on the ground.
He looks shocked — frozen, his legs barely moving, one step back at a time. Retreating. All of his movements are stiff as if he’s a robot.
『 Kem! 』
A sudden spell cast. Puffs of white huge smoke surround him. A quick flash of his running silhouettes is what’s left. Running away in a flash.
The dragon swiftly chases him, leaving out of my sight.
『 WHERE ARE YOU RUNNING TO, LITTLE DRAGON? 』
Yet, even when I can’t see them, the dragon’s toying attempt can still be heard, forcing me to imagine what kind of fate lies in wait for him.
『 YOUR ANCESTORS MUST BE PROUD OF YOU FOR RUNNING AWAY LIKE THE LITTLE INSECT THAT YOU ARE 』
The ground trembles. Quick flashes of light spring out to the sky randomly.
『 WHERE ARE YOUR BOLD WORDS AND PROUD DECLARATIONS OF YOUR LINEAGE THAT WORTHS NOTHING 』
I want to move, but my body is too tired out.
『 COME SAY THOSE WORDS AGAIN SO I MAY LAUGH AS I HUNT YOU 』
All I can do is stay here and wait for Naga’s victory.
I wish I could see their fight… To make sure everything is going well. It doesn’t fit me to stay in here helplessly.
『 FOOLISH TIAN, DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS VENERABLE ONE NEEDS TO CHASE YOU DOWN? 』
A Magic circle appears on the ground, a huge one, right in front of me at that.
Then Dae Sho and Naga appear right in my own eyes.
How?! Teleportation magic?!
『 SURPRISE 』
Dae Sho’s once confident smirk immediately shifts back to the same frightening face. But amidst resignation, I start sensing defiance as rage sparks upon his face.
『 Fen! 』
Another sudden spell cast. The same burst of fire that decimated half of my shadow minions, blasting from the human-sized magic circle that hovers in front of him. The fiery red beam lances out with more heat and more than enough volume to cover the dragon, fed by his desperation, lit by his hope.
The Naga counters it with a small chuckle, as it pushes through like it is nothing, basking in its searing touch.
A swift tail smacks Dae Sho. Unseen to the eye, as I only notice it after I hear the smacking sound and the tail in Dae Sho’s former position.
It knocks him far to the edge of my sight, where a chunk of ice stops his flight. An earth-shattering impact. Releasing a shout of deep pain as he hit the spike, leaving a huge crater on the vertical ice, as he ultimately falls to the ground.
『 KOWTOW BEFORE ME FOOL 』
Somehow despite his worn-out state, Dae Sho is still able to move slightly, now kneeling and his head touching the ground, kowtowing.
「 W-w-w-why… Why are you doing this?! What has this lowly one did to anger the great ancestor! 」
Ancestor? Definitely, the wrong question to ask, as Naga releases a deafening roar, causing the ground to shake for a second.
『 DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS VENERABLE ONE IS, LITTLE DRAGON? 』
「 M-m-my ancestor! 」Amidst his plea, he raises his head, looking directly to the dragon right in its eyes, forcing a smile「 Of course! Y-your my ancestor! My esteemed ancestor! 」
『 WRONG. I AM NAGA. YOUR ANCESTORS ETERNALLY HATED THIS SUPREME ONE 』
Out of nowhere, a frozen spike pierces Dae Sho’s abdomen. Shock and agony are clearly plastered on his face.
The ferocious smile that spread across Naga’s dragonic features that display its inhumane rows of teeth sends shivers to my back.
「 M-my family…… will never forgive this….. a-vaaa..ngeee… 」
The body slacks, laying flat on the floor, painting the dirt bright red as rivers of blood flows out from his mouth and from the huge gaping hole in his stomach.
The foe that I, despite using my all to fight, barely avoided dying to, was defeated in an instant — and in a toying manner. As if it was a tiny, insignificant matter. When it took me all my might to fight him.
With vengeance taken, the dragon seems to spare no time as it immediately dashes towards me. Its head that soared up in the sky is now lowered, closing down to me, touching the ground.
『 My Master. My Creator. Are You Alright? 』
The dragon’s voice carries an unmistakable tint of reverence. The once fierce dragon, who decimates his foes so easily, is now looking at me with its eyes that shine meekly. Its devilish and mocking smile is now replaced with a rather concerned one.
A rather abrupt change.
「 What’s up with you… Don’t worry, I’m fine… 」I say, mustering any last bit of energy I have within me.
I like to think I’m not in critical condition, but even with the help of the vitality potion, it is undeniable that I’ve lost lots of blood…
A mysterious purple light starts to emit from within the dragon’s body. It grows brighter and brighter, engulfing the dragon until it disappears inside. Worry grows more and more. I don’t know why it’s happening, but my gut feeling tells me that nothing good comes from it.
Yet, the dragon reacts with indifference, as it remains still and its attitude still the same, as if it accepts its fate.
The light brightness becomes too much to the point it stings, forcing me to close my eyes.
After a certain while the light slowly dims out, and when it is safe and the light is gone I open my eyes again. The view that greets me is jaw-dropping.
The humongous and mighty dragon is nowhere to be found, in place of it is a girl. No, a girl is not the proper word. Goddess would fit her more — as her beauty is out of this world.
Traces of the replaced dragon are apparent on her. Two bright brown horns grow out on top of her head, sharply pointing upwards zigzaggingly. Extending from the bottom that slips out from her dress is a dragon-like tail, with the same color as her hair, slightly smaller than her leg in terms of size. That’s where the dragon traits end.
Her human body is filled with tantalizing curves, as if God personally sculpted his ideal woman, wearing a one-piece purple dress that doesn’t shy away to hide her perky large beast. Her enticing, amethyst eyes gaze at me over her puffy, heart-shaped lips. She has a dainty nose and silky straight hair with the color of new bloom lilac that flows to her waist.
Her entire being radiates a bewitching aura, a mix of royal elegance and gracefulness, but with a sharp, powerful undertone. Hidden in plain sight. As her appearance would captivate anyone in her wondrous beauty.
「 Th-this grea— this one greets its creator, it’s master. 」
A feminine voice comes from her, forcing me to acknowledge her existence, reinforcing the reality where she’s not a mere illusion. Her voice carries the same depth and power, but they are greatly overshadowed by charm, grace, and intoxicating lullaby-like sound.
The girl from a seiza position bows down, lowering her upper body all the way until her chest presses against her lap. Her palms lie flat on the ground, forming a triangle directly under her face, copying Dae Sho’s kowtow. A truly revenant prostration showcasing the utmost reverence and admiration towards me…
「 Who… who are you? 」
Out of disbelief, that’s the only thing I can say. I know deep inside who she might be, but I refuse to believe in such a concept.
「 It’s me, master. The dragon you’ve summoned — your creation. 」
「 The dragon I know was never this submissive. 」I reply with curtness.「 And never adopted a human form… 」
There’s definitely a mistake.
「 This one depleted all of her reserved mana in maintaining her true dragon form and in casting her arsenal of magic spells, which subconsciously forced me to transform to my human form. This lowly one didn’t realize her true place as your creation. Sadly, this lowly one’s foolish dragonic ego obscured her true purpose in coming to her second existence, as your creation. 」
「 True purpose…? What are you trying to say? 」
「 Remember, my master, when you told this one to look from within her soul? To think hard of my own existence? 」
「 Yeah… 」I say as I recall the event where nothing unusual happens,「 what about it? 」
「 An epiphany strikes me — undoubtedly thanks to your guidance, my master.
「 I’ve realized, after pushing aside my foolish arrogant pride that deep within my soul I’ve finally had something that no sentient beings ever had and also what I’ve always craved for — a purpose. Insects had the instinct to survive, but they didn’t have the sentient mind to fully appreciate when they succeeded in their goals. Dragons could be born to fulfill some role assigned by their clan, but that was a purpose they were given.
「 I’ve come to realize, I had been reborn with a purpose, my body, my mind, my existence had been reincarnated around that purpose, for that purpose, by that purpose. You unconsciously gave me my life’s purpose. To serve you, to please you — to worship you. 」
All of this thanks from a talk out of whim? It’s undoubtedly weird how she can change her personality so easily. So many inexplicable things have happened and coupled with the recent intense fight, I can’t muster any brainpower to reason about what’s happening…
「 My master. My creator. 」She calls softly — affectionately, 「 please bestow your newly awakened servant a name. 」
「 Isn’t your name in the first place Naga? What’s wrong with your name? 」
「 That is this one’s previous life’s name. 」
In all honesty, I’m not sure what to make of all this. An almighty dragon is now submitting to me, especially more so in her womanly human figure. It would be a lie to say I hate it, but also one if I said I fully liked it.
I want to tell her that all of this is unnecessary. That she doesn’t need to prostrate and debase herself toward me. But, her prostration form looks excruciatingly stoic, as if she’s iron-willed in submitting to me. And with me being in a slightly critical condition combined with the devastated war-torn environment, we need to move and get away from this place quickly.
I should just get this over with as soon as possible and talk about this epiphany of hers more later.
「 Fine then, if that’s your request. Your name from now on will be Shen. 」
She loves to boast the title ‘God amongst dragons’ so proudly, so might as well name her from that aspect. Inspired by the Chinese word for god or deity — Shen.
「 My master… 」she says, sounding deeply ecstatic, 「 please allow this awakened servant to reaffirm her place once more by bearing witness to my oath of servitude. 」
「 What…? That’s unnecessary… 」I say, clearly shocked with what’s happening.
「 I-I insist… Please… 」
She quivers unexpectedly, still in her prostration position. Looks like I have to give in.
「 Fine… Make it quick. 」
Her quiver stops and somehow an aura of serenity and devotion comes out from her.
「 I, with the new name bestowed by his grace — Shen — solemnly pledge myself before Renald Alderhide, my creator, my lord, my master.
「 I am to fight bravely even in staggering odds on his behalf.
「 I am the guardian that defends and protects his very being.
「 To serve him; to please him; to worship him; to fulfill his commands.
「 I pledge my heart and soul to the servitude of my master until the end of times.
「 I am Renald Alderhide’s servant, and furthermore, proud to be. 」
As soon as she completes her oath, the familiar sensation of the soulbond between me and her disrupts and transforms to a gleaming thread with the exuberance of a purple diamond. Similar to the strength of the diamond, the bond becomes ever-more rigid, unbending, and feels more complete, eternal — flawless than ever before. I used to hope that the soulbond before maybe… just may be able to be cut off, but now it is truly out of the question and irreversible.
The girl raises her upper body remaining in a folded sitting position as she gazes so seriously at me. As if she’s focusing all her senses into capturing my existence.
Her expression, embarrassment? shyness? wonder?
Even in her myriad of emotions, she looks adorable and dainty, leaving no trace of the once ferocious ancient dragon that toys with its foes until finishing it with a heartless death.