~ Chapter 57: Duel (Part 3) ~
“Well then, shall we continue?” I asked and picked up Hell from the ground.
“You will fall here!” Draejan shouted when he saw me reaching for the blade.
I turned around and punched him in the face, sending him rolling on the ground all the way to the edge of the arena.
He coughed and groaned from the pain.
Shrugging as if I just swatted a fly away, I picked up my sword and then resumed my combat stance.
“The lad is merely playing with him.” remarked Brekkar in a whisper.
It wasn't loud enough to reach Draejan's ears, but I was closer than him, so I was able to catch wind of it.
“Indeed.” confirmed Feryumstark.
Elovius said something as well, but I couldn't tell what. Meanwhile, the nobles were standing still and trying not to look too surprised as it would have been rude towards the noble fighting in the arena.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“Ugh! I don't need your concern!” Draejan roared back as he stumbled up on his feet.
He was breathing hard, and his legs were shaking.
Did I hit him too hard? I wondered.
While he recovered, I remained calm and simply watched him. So far, I had yet to make a serious move.
“I will win this!” he declared to himself after he regained his composure.
When he lifted his sword up, I squinted my eyes at him and payed attention to the swirling flow of Magic Energy around him.
The dragon's body began to change and grown in appearance. He was assuming his half-beast form, in which his strength and stats increased.
As long as they retained human form, dragons were pretty much similar in strength with a level equivalent human, a well trained one. However, the half-beast transformation was something that increased their power by a lot, to the point where they could easily overpower that said human and many others like him.
Draejan did exactly just that, and thanks to the [Morphing] enchant on his armor, which more or less was mandatory on draconic armor and clothes, he didn't need to change. Dragon scales were tough and all, but the extra protection given by an enchanted plate of metal was well worth it.
A s for how he looked like, he had an anthropomorphic head covered in pure white scales, with several golden ones on his chin. The tip of his long, spiky tail also had golden scales, while on his wings only two rows were visible and flowed down from the tips all the way towards his back. His horns mounted on each side of his head were long, white, and smooth like polished ivory. Because of their shape and size, the helmet wasn't able to cover them in sheath of armor, or maybe showing off was his intent. The spike plates emerging from his spine were visible only on the back of his neck and his tail where the armor didn't cover them. They were small and looked more like bony bumps than actual spikes.
“Now, you shall feel my true might!” he gave a very cliché line in my opinion.
“Oh! Cool! Can I do that too?” I replied with a bright smile.
“Wha?” he blinked surprised.
Murmurs and whispers spread out across the entire training ground, especially among the nobles and soldiers who saw me only as a human. My friends, however, merely looked in my direction and watched carefully. They held a serious gaze in their eyes, especially Feryumstark and Brekkar. For some reason, Seryanna was blushing and Kataryna was wagging her tail.
“Are you mad, human?” Draejan growled as he clenched the hilt of his sword now turned into a short sword if I were to compare it to his huge, nearly 4 meters tall body if he stood up straight.
“Mad? Nah, I'm just clinically insane!” I replied, but my words only brought confusion to his mind.
The joke was too modern to make sense to them.
Now, just like he did, I began to gather Magic Energy from the environment and poured it inside my body. There weren't really any conditions as to when and how I could change from one shape to another. As long as I fit in that place and my clothes didn't shred, I was pretty much set to go any time I wanted.
Thus, my change to my half-beast began.
My body grew from its original size to a height of 3.6 meters, since I was standing straight. In a more relaxed position, I was averaging at around 3 meters tall because my legs were bent and my body was leaning forward. I had a wingspan of 9 meters, with two meters longer than Draejan's. My whole body was covered in Red, Black, White, and Gold scales in streak patters, giving me a menacing look. The amount wasn't just a scale or streak here and there, I was literally covered in them, and from all points of view, I looked like a battle-ready dragon whose sole purpose in life was to rush into the heart of the enemy's army and then slash my way out of there with my claws and teeth. Speaking of which, I had a pair of razor-sharp teeth that allowed me to slash through meat with ease. I was a carnivore when looking at my denture.
The spikes on my body were all slick black and between 2 to 5 centimeters long, going down on my spine, all the way to the tip of my tail. Several of them were on my wings as well, the bony ends of it.
As for the horns, I had a pair on each side of my head. They were golden and had a white base. The top ones were the longest and slightly curved inward, while the bottom ones were short, about ten centimeters and straight.
My eyes were slit like a lizard's and with a dark-red iris. Around my eyes I had red scales with a row of black ones starting from the middle of my snout and going over the top ridge of my sockets, ending at the base of the horns. More prominent on my head were the red and black scales, a sign of ferocity.
When I transformed to my half-beast form, my armor changed as well, growing in size and morphing the aspect of some of my protective plates from a round one to a pointy one. The mass didn't change, it just got thinner, but the enchants were boosted by at least 25%, or so I presumed.
With my change over, I didn't let them catch their breath, so I lifted both Hell and Heaven up, and chanted a short spell. Believing it was an attack, Draejan took a defensive stance, but what happened next surprised everyone.
The two swords merged into the most powerful weapon I currently held in my arsenal. It was called Chaos, a two-handed sword only a dragon my size could properly wield. It was a double-edged bastard sword with a long hilt and flat blade that had sharp shark teeth formation closer to the guard. Starting from the base of the guard and ending at the tip, one half of the blade was white and the other was black with the middle turning gray. The engravings on its fuller were runes designed by me with inlaid magic enchants, each holding a specific purpose. When I activated a certain rune, it glowed bright red from all the Magic Energy accumulated inside it and then launched the attack through the tip.
Building the Magic Channels for this thing wasn't easy.
If I were to drain it of Magic Energy, it would still be quite a durable weapon, but not as durable as its individual components: Heaven and Hell. It was wiser that in a Magic Energy saturated area to use them without uniting the two and forming Chaos.
The blade itself was sharper than either Hell or Heaven, more durable if infused with magic, it had numerous annihilation-type spells engraved on it, it was light, and most importantly it looked absolutely BADASS! It was like some sort of ancient legendary artifact crafted by the gods for the simple reason of ruling over the battlefield with its ridiculous and awesome firepower.
Then, at the very end, I took a deep breath in, and activated the innate [Flaming Roar] skill with an [Intimidate] spell mixed in. The end result was me barfing a tower of fire towards the sky and letting out a terrifying roar that sent a shockwave around me.
When I was done, I clenched the hilt of my sword and lifted it up, then I let it rest over my shoulder. I glared at Draejan and released a puff of smoke from my nostrils.
The shocked expression on his face was priceless, but everyone else looked the same.
Maybe the [Intimidate] was a bit overkill? I wondered.
“Y-you... b-but you are... y-you are a human. HOW?!” Draejan asked dumbfounded.
“I wonder how?” I replied with a smirk.
“N-No! No! NO! NO! This has to be an illusion!” he growled and then charged at me.
I let him get close enough then I swung my sword at him, but with the flat side of the blade. I didn't want to cut in half and go against the King's order.
“Guha!” the dragon was hit right in the face and sent flying back through the air.
“STRIIIKE ONE!” I said and then rushed at him.
Draejan was getting dangerously close to the edge of the field. If he left it, I would have won by default.
With a [Rapid Dash] I moved in front of him, standing on the very edge of the arena and then struck him with the flat side of my sword again.
“STRIIIKE TWO!” I shouted.
I moved again to the other side and just before he went out of the arena, I hit him again.
“STRIIIKE THREE! YOU'RE OUT!”
The aim this time was towards the sky, sending him flying upwards in an arch. With a flap of my wings and a strong jump, I caught up to him. With my fist clenched tightly, I punched him in the face and sent him flying towards the ground. Several of his teeth were broken in the process and the impact from his landing formed a crater around him.
I aimed my hand at him and intended to use a spell, but I stopped.
He's not worth it. I thought.
I let myself land next to him, and I grabbed him by his tail. With a pull, I lifted him up in the air and then slammed him into the ground like I would have a lifeless puppet. I pulled and slammed him again in the opposite side, but this time, I released my grip and let him bounce on the ground as he spat blood.
Rushing to him, I punched him in the chest with the intent not to kill him but to shatter his armor. The enchants didn't resist and the metal broke off into pieces. I moved on top of him, grabbed his head and then headbutted him so hard I made him lose whatever drops of consciousness he had left. A few of his scales even flew off.
With this... it was over.
“Did I win?” I asked as I dusted off of my armor.
What came in reply was a row of applause from everyone who witnessed the battle. There was no need for other words besides this. A clear reply that the outcome had been accepted by all those standing here.
Even in his half-beast form, Draejan proved to be a weakling against me.
“I declare this duel won by Alkelios Yatagai!” Feryumstark announced through the roar of loud applause.
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