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Chapter 291 – INVIDIA (3)

    Chapter 291 - INVIDIA (3)

    "Suuep―puhaaaa―..."

    It wasn't just her pupils that had changed. Whenever Veronica breathed in and out, a cloud of hot steam emerged from her nose and lips. This was a phenomenon that was normally only seen in the snowfields. It was caused by the extreme difference between Veronica's body temperature and the temperature of the atmosphere.

    If Theodore were to compare an ordinary human body to a hot water circulating system, Veronica's body was a boiling furnace.

    The steam emerging from the respiratory tract was just the aftermath. The blood of a red dragon could reach hundreds of degrees Celsius, and it was now evaporating the moisture around her.

    Every time her heart pounded, Veronica's body became closer to that of a dragon than a human. The quarter blood of a dragon regained its strength by using the eight circles as a substitute for a dragon heart.

    Scales grew on Veronica's white skin, and a pair of small, pointed horns popped up on her head.

    Judging from the appearance, she was a dragon person.

    "You want to reproduce the power of a dragon with the lineage of a quarter dragon? The idea is quite interesting, but it won't last a long time with your flesh which is closer to a human's." Invidia instantly saw through the situation.

    This caused Veronica to snap her sharp fangs as she retorted, "That much, I know as well...!"

    So, this would only last for three minutes. Her heart was beating like it would burst, and her blood was boiling hot. This was a double-edged sword for her.

    In exchange for acquiring magic power and physical abilities far beyond that of a human, Veronica's body was quickly breaking down. Her bones that were stronger than steel and her muscles that were tougher than an ogre's couldn't handle the power of a dragon. It was only possible for a pure-blooded dragon or a high ranking demon.

    Invidia guessed the limits of this transformation and was interested. So, instead of attacking, he observed her mutation.

    15 seconds later, Veronica's transformation was over.

    Hwaruruk!

    Now, flames came out when she breathed. The king of fire that could swim in lava... The red dragon's unique violence shouted fiercely, 'Use your power!' She formed a fist and looked ahead.

    '...From now on, it is three minutes.'

    Her body was already creaking. Veronica smiled bitterly and faced the monster in front of her. Was it because she was closer to a dragon than a human in this state? Her eyes penetrated through Invidia, who was disguised as an elderly human. He was ridiculous. She couldn't conserve her energy and had to fight him with the resolve to die.

    Once Veronica's change was over, Invidia raised his sword and said, "Don't give up, come."

    Veronica was unshakable before his declaration.

    "Get lost―――!!" She let out a terrifying roar and punched.

    Kwaaaaang!

    It was like the earth was bursting apart. The sonic boom that accompanied her fist caused Invidia's body to fly back. He had managed to completely block the attack, but the impact caused his legs to lose their balance.

    Invidia laughed as he flew back hundreds of meters. He had confirmed one thing. "Hmm, I can't play around with this level."

    The power of 'Adamantine Might', which blocked great magic, had been destroyed by Veronica's strength, indicating that Veronica might currently be stronger than an adult red dragon. Her pure physical abilities lagged behind a dragon's, but her eight circles made her combat force superior.

    Breaking the speed of sound with one step, she destroyed his defense with one fist. Invidia flew through the air and recalled the enemies he had faced in the past.

    Peeng! Peeng! Peeeong!

    There were a few sonic booms, and Veronica appeared.

    "I think I will finish this in one blow!"

    She jumped beyond the walls of the speed of sound, clinging to him with four pairs of burning wings. It wasn't an elegant trick like flying magic.

    The flames propelling her from behind ran wild, and she could barely control the direction. Even though she was lacking control, it would cause a catastrophe if they just fell to the ground. She was moving at a speed that was several times the speed of sound, so even a body made of mithril wouldn't be able to withstand the impact.

    Veronica's aim was shocking. She focused on the wings on her back and aimed toward the still flying Invidia. Unlike magic, it was a power that dominated the flames itself.

    "Dieeee!" Veronica reached hypersonic speed and dropped like a falling comet. Her afterimages couldn't even be recognized as the physical properties of the air changed rapidly. Invidia couldn't avoid her attack, and the kick that was like a crashing meteor struck his abdomen.

    ―――――――――――――!!!

    The entire mountain range was shaken by Veronica's blow.

    Kukukukukung!

    It didn't end with just the crash. With her feet deep in Invidia's abdomen, Veronica continued to push deeper into the ground, traveling a few kilometers below the surface. She demolished the solid granite and the limestone beneath it. The strata contained enormous heat and pressure. It wasn't an environment where living organisms could live.

    In this hell-like environment, the skirmish between the two monsters ended.

    'This isn't enough! A little more explosive power...!'

    Her scales became clearer and her horns grew larger as she sucked in the mana of the environment. The deep heat and pressure of this underground world was an ideal environment for a red dragon. The flames near Veronica's body became incandescent, and the olivine in the area melted.

    "...Interesting. Is this enough to match the firepower of the 9th circle?"

    'Envy' of the Seven Sins pointed his sword at Veronica, who had become the incarnation of white fire, and declared spitefully, "Why don't you try it and see, hybrid?!"

    Shortly after that, the Nadun Mountains suffered greatly.

    *     *     *

    Kururung! Kukukung...! Kukukukung...!

    The earth kept shaking. It was the vibration caused by Veronica's fight with Invidia.

    'She is enduring desperately. I also have to surpass my limits.' Theodore kept moving his hands, despite the shaking.

    He needed to reduce the task that would take five minutes to three minutes, preparing for it with Gluttony's advice and Satomer's wide knowledge.  The two tower masters remained silent at his desperate appearance.

    No, Orta approached the magic circle without hesitation. "I'll help you. What should I draw on the edge?"

    "Thank you. The crown and sword marks..."

    Blundell also wanted to help, but he was at his limit.

    "Cough." Black blood emerged when he coughed. It was proof that his body's organs were already dying. His heart rate was slowing down and his lungs weakening. He looked anxiously at the two people and sighed.

    Then he looked down at the jeweled ring on his left hand. The jewel which had looked like a ruby when he first got it had now turned dingy like coal.

    'Hrmm... I have spent it. I wanted to live until Sylvia was all grown up, but the world didn't let me.'

    It had been 10 years since Kurt had given Blundell this ring. For a magician who could control the flow of magic, Blundell had known that his life would be over in a few more years. This ring was a national treasure, another 'heart' that contained life force. However, the remaining lifespan of several years had now flown away after continuously using Time Stop.

    Rather than lamenting his fate, Blundell muttered, "Damn... A young magician who plays around."

    This was Blundell's perception of Theodore. Having watched Theodore since he won against Sylvia in the tournament, Blundell had become vexed. Theodore left Sylvia and went into the world to associate with other women? If it hadn't been her request, he might've made a big decision as a grandfather.

    'Well, I know why you did it.'

    As a man who could take steps toward the uncertain future without hesitation... Theodore was charming as a man and as a magician. In that case, an old man shouldn't grab his ankle.

    Blundell faced his impending death and asked Theodore, "So, what are you going to try against that monster emperor?"

    "Summoning magic."

    "...Summoning magic?" Blundell was dumbfounded. There was no magician who didn't know that the golden age of summoning magic had passed. When he was younger, he had also tried summoning magic and had only gotten a few turtles. Yet, in this situation, Theodore wanted to use summoning magic?

    Blundell was prepared to withdraw all his praise when he saw the magic circle drawn on the ground.

    "Hah..." He was deeply impressed with the absurd perfection.

    'Four-dimensional calculations superimposed over three-dimensional craft...! The idea is new, but his skill at completing this magic circle in a few minutes is more amazing. Is he better than me and Veronica when it comes to magic circles?'

    This was the combination of Theodore's brains and Satomer's knowledge, a magician with a genius talent and one with a passion for summoning magic. As Blundell admired the magic circle, Theodore placed his left hand on the ground without hesitation. "I will use this sword as the medium for the summoning."

    Then a sword emerged from the palm of Theodore's left hand.

    "Ohh...! T-That sword...?"

    "This dense power...!"

    Ellaim and Edwin were sensitive to the movement of mana and responded first. The sword shone brightly, light reflecting off the sacred blade. Even a person not familiar with swords could tell the greatness of this sword.

    It was the god sword, Claimhb Solais. This was the loot Theodore had acquired when he took down the 6th Sword, Hyde on the Sipoto Plains.

    "...Indeed, this sword can call a strong presence," Orta acknowledged it. Then he asked Theodore, "Captain, what are you planning to summon?"

    If this sword was used as a sacrifice, he could summon even the evil demons who had been expelled from this material world. Orta was going to stop him if he intended to call a tiger to fight a wolf.

    Theodore started talking like he had guessed Orta's thoughts, "At first, I was thinking about the dragon, Fafnir. Randolph, as you know, it is hard to find a summons with more destructive power."

    However, that thought was soon overturned. Fafnir was certainly powerful, but this wasn't the middle of the sea. His power could sweep over the entire continent. The continent would become like the Red Plateau, a wasteland where life can't grow.

    It would be a catastrophe bigger than this perpetual war in the Northern Continent.

    Furthermore, Invidia wasn't an opponent to be pushed with pure firepower like Superbia. He could get away through space, and as someone who had already reached the 6th stage, there was a possibility to reverse the situation since Fafnir was limited by the summoning.

    "So, I thought about the biggest and strongest."

    "That is?"

    Theodore placed the god sword in the middle of the circle and pointed at it. "The master of this sword."

    The people present still didn't know the truth of the god sword and were confused. Meanwhile, Theodore spoke with a serious expression, "The forgotten king, Nuada Airgetlám."

    He who was praised as the left arm of God, the king of the Tuatha Dé Danann. A warrior who won with an invincible sword, he was the god of victory who shed blood on the battlefield, bringing the gods to victory in two great battles.

    "From now on, I will call a divine summon."

    A god descending to destroy evil...

    There was nothing more suitable! Theodore's hands moved as he made up his mind, and soon after, a spell started to flow from his lips.
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