Chapter 13 – The first demon king, Ancestral Dragon Verboros
“Now let’s begin, first demon king Ancestral Dragon Verboros.”
What stands before me is a divine looking six winged dragon covered with pure white scale armor.
This is the leader of the army of monsters, and the cause of the calamity.
A demon king.
The goddess calendar, tenth day of the fourth month of the year one thousand two hundred, six o’clock.
On this day, from this moment on, demon kings are born all over the world, one after the other.
Demon kings appear only once every few centuries, but they are enough to change the course of human history in a big way.
They are calamity incarnate.
They are strong enough to annihilate entire countries, and they are a curtain call for an age of peace and signal the start of an age of calamity.
The first of these demon kings is standing right in front of me.
Ancestral Dragon Verboros.
“…What… Are you?”
The Ancestral Dragon asks with a low rumbling.
“Why do you stand before me, with that tiny body? It seems you use some strange power… Could it be that you are what they call a hero?”
“No, I’m just the hero’s childhood friend.”
The Ancestral Dragon freezes for a second.
I don’t think it expected that response.
“Gu, gugugu… Guhahaha! Masterpiece.
Masterpiece, masterpiece, masterpiece! Not a hero! A frail body with no magic energy! You are going to fight a demon king!?”
I say with no hesitation.
“I will end every demon king.”
No matter what kind or how many demon kings are born, the world will stay peaceful if I beat them all.
Then El won’t have to be a hero.
“End, you say? A tiny little human?”
The Ancestral Dragon giggles.
Fool, fool, fool! Do you not know what a demon king is!? Demon kings stand above all monsters and demons! They are magic, the law of this world itself!”
The Ancestral Dragon opens its mouth… And sucks in magic energy around us.
Its chest starts to swell.
“I will show you the power of a demon king.”
And then a white light that looks like lightning is fired from its mouth.
The world around me is painted white as I hear a loud roar.
The breath of destruction.
The Ancestral Dragon’s breath that annihilates everything it touches.
Everything engulfed in it vanishes inside its light and heat.
The earth crumbles, bodies of monsters evaporate, and I’m swallowed by the light…
By the time the light subsides, the ground around me is red hot and boiling.
Look, look, look! This, this, this is a demon king’s…”
The Ancestral Dragon is about to yell victoriously, but stops.
Its eyes open wide in disbelief.
“What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Right in the middle of the ground carved by the Ancestral Dragon, I stand as if nothing happened.
Right after receiving a direct hit.
“…Y-you… What are…?”
The Ancestral Dragon steps back.
“W-why? You have next to no magic energy… But you’re standing? Why do you not have a single scratch? Impossible… It should have been a direct hit.
I saw it with my own eyes.
You should have no way to defend yourself against that attack.”
It looks like the Ancestral Dragon was pretty confident in its strength, but…
“Sorry, but I’ve fought enough demon kings like you to the death already.
An attack like that won’t kill me.”
What I did is simple.
I stopped my own time just as the breath was about to hit me.
Stopped bodies can’t be changed, so it’s an absolute defense.
The Ancestral Dragon attacks with its breath again, but its timing is easy to understand, so it’s easily dealt with.
I just stop my own time again.
But I have no intention of just defending forever.
I take out a few seeds from my pocket, and throw them with acceleration to the feet of the Ancestral Dragon.”
The seeds on the ground explode into a tree.
“What? What is this trash… Aaah!?”
The trunk and branches of the tree coil around the giant body of the Ancestral Dragon and bind it.
It tries to escape, but…
I stop the tree’s time.
Stopped bodies can’t be changed, so no matter how much the Ancestral Dragon struggles, it can’t escape from the stopped tree’s constraints.
“Guoooh!? Why? Why, why, why!? This is only a tree…! Why can’t I move!? What is this power!?”
It starts firing its breath in desperation.
Again and again and again… Each one carries enough power to level a city, and each one hits me directly.
“Now let’s talk about the future that was supposed to begin today.”
I start speaking quietly while approaching the Ancestral Dragon.
“You, the first demon king, killed a hero and destroyed my hometown, starting a dark age.
No one could beat you, and you destroyed a lot of countries.
That future, that destruction would have started here.”
That’s the original future.
The shape the future is supposed to have.
“But I reject that future.”
Even if it’s a sin to change the future.
Even if breaking this taboo is unforgivable.
I got here after a very long journey.
Eventually, the breath stops, and instead a lot of blood is spewed out of the Ancestral Dragon’s mouth.
I guess it spewed so much breath that it burned its own throat.
And yet, I took it all and I’m completely unharmed.
“Are you done? Then… It’s my time.”
It’s my chance to take down the Ancestral Dragon.
I turn my attention to the atmosphere around us, and see it’s immensely rich in magic energy, probably because the Ancestral Dragon fired its breath so much.
I use it all as external magic energy so I can activate my technique.
I place the palm of my hand on my chest and start formulating a technique.
Woosh… Magic energy around me whirls, and gathers in my hand.
My whole body is sparking…! Discharging magic energy.
I had no talent, so it took me a hundred years to get here.
“W-what… Is that power…”
The face of the Ancestral Dragon twists with despair.
It’s an intelligent being, so it understands the gulf between our powers.
“…I-impossible! Impossible, impossible, impossible! I-I am a demon king! Demon king! Demon king!? I should not lose to a puny human that is not even a hero! I-I cannot end here!”
“Yes, you’re actually right.”
I walk in front of the Ancestral Dragon and touch the tip of its nose.
“There aren’t any humans who can end you in this age.”
There is no record of the Ancestral Dragon being slain the first time around, just a pile of defeats.
Even in the end, humans couldn’t defeat it.
“So I’ve been thinking about how to kill you for the past hundred years.”
The answer is simple.
Those words are enough to end this demon king.
“W-what are you…!?”
A giant magic circle lights up beneath the Ancestral Dragon, and its body starts to violently shake.
The time of the body of the Ancestral Dragon begins to advance more rapidly.
“Time is power.
No matter how strong you are, no living being can fight back against time.”
The time of its body flows at a very high speed, and it visibly withers.
And since it’s stuck in the stopped tree, it can’t escape this time magic.
Damn you damn you damn you! Is that power time!? Time!? It can’t be.
It can’t be, it can’t be, it can’t be, it can’t be, it can’t be, it can’t be, it can’t be, it can’t be! How many taboos did you…!”
The resentful screams of the Ancestral Dragon echo.
It knows it can’t escape its death.
I look at those eyes filled with hellish hate one last time, and smile.
It’s thanks to you that I became this strong.”
The Ancestral Dragon rots, turns to bones, and then to ash.
The weathered dragon bones turned to dust glitter as they fly into the evening sky.
Nothing remains of the Ancestral Dragon, and nothing moves in this battlefield except me.
The first demon king has been slain.
I finally take a breath.
Looks like I was actually pretty nervous.
I gag, and blood comes out of my mouth.
(…I pushed myself too much.)
I was firing around great magic with this body that’s still not used to using magic in the first place.
This was a lot for my body of this time to take.
My head hurts a lot and I feel very dizzy.
Sweat pours from my entire body and I stumble, finding it very hard to put any strength into my muscles.
The demon king that once destroyed my hometown was terminated here.
Around me is the carved earth and countless monster bodies.
Only I can still move here.
In my youth, this monster army caused me so much despair, but I guess I became an even bigger monster.
You have become the most powerful ‘monster’ in the world.”
I remember something that was said to me in the future, and the fear the Ancestral Dragon had in its face in the end.
(…I don’t mind being a monster.)
I finally managed to protect what I wanted.
My hometown, my childhood friend, everyone…
That tragic future was changed by my hand.
(…Guess I’ll go home.)
To the hometown I once lost, with people dear to me.
To a peaceful time when everyone is smiling.
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