The Hero Returns - The Hero Returns Chapter 463 - 463
Chapter 463 – 463
* * *
He had been thinking about this for a while now.
Just what kind of an item was the Cintamani?
“It’s not like I can break it apart to find out…”
Was it just an instrument to amplify the powers of the dragons and nothing more?
If that amplification ability was something that could enhance an entire race’s powers over a wide range, then yes, that alone would’ve qualified it as the mythical G.o.d-tier item for the dragon race.
Initially, Su-hyeun also judged the Cintamani’s powers through what he had been told. But after he met Ellid, he began thinking that maybe this red marble had some other uses.
“To think that it’s an item with G.o.dhood just like the Palm Leaf or the Somersault cloud…”
Greatly enhancing an entire race’s power was, without a doubt, an extraordinary ability. But that ability alone wasn’t enough for it to be ranked alongside either the Somersault cloud or the Palm Leaf.
The Cintamani wasn’t displaying its full range of powers, in other words.
And so, sometime later—rather unexpectedly—Su-hyeun was given an opportunity to confirm the Cintamani’s true powers. It happened at the same time he activated the Thunder Dragon.
“There’s definitely something…”
A strange and unfamiliar phenomenon…
When he “summoned” the Thunder Dragon, Miru, who was quietly slumbering, suddenly transmitted its will to him.
It said it wished to be let outside.
Its reason wasn’t all that hard to figure out. Miru was reacting to the process of him imagining, then materializing, the image of the Thunder Dragon.
But that wasn’t all.
The Cintamani in Miru’s possession suddenly began emitting a bright light for the first time ever.
* * *
The Thunder Dragon coiling around him growled deeply.
Su-hyeun reached out and patted the dragon’s head, despite that head being several dozen times larger than him.
Even though the dragon couldn’t speak and its growling sounded different, Su-hyeun still called out the Thunder Dragon’s name, “Miru.”
The Thunder Dragon raised its head at Su-hyeun’s call. It actually recognized its name and responded to him.
What a relief that was.
He had been worried inwardly, but that one thing he was most concerned about didn’t happen.
Even after being swarmed by the souls of countless dragons, the consciousness of Miru, the descendant of the red dragon, did not become diluted.
“To think that it was an artifact containing the afterlife of dragons…” Su-hyeun got his confirmation through today’s event, and a soft, hollow chuckle escaped his mouth, “What an absurd item this is.”
When dragons died, their souls didn’t travel to a specific world. Their souls would be encased within a certain “stone” after their demise.
This process was a unique tradition of the dragons who did not have an “afterlife” like everyone else.
A stone containing the souls of all the dragons from the span of history long enough to be called an eternity—that was the Cintamani.
On top of that, Su-hyeun thought, “Miru is the one in control of the Cintamani.”
Miru had become one with the Cintamani. It probably happened back when the red dragon swallowed up the artifact. This indicated that the Cintamani, or the souls of the ancestor dragons, had acknowledged Miru as their new master.
“What is that thing?” Fafnir asked as if he genuinely didn’t know. It seemed like he just couldn’t understand it.
But that couldn’t be helped. To a magician like him, the Thunder Dragon listening to Su-hyeun’s order and accordingly acting was a difficult phenomenon to accept, especially when it should’ve been nothing more than just a ma.s.s of electricity given form through magic.
“I wonder about that, too. That’s why,” Su-hyeun lightly waved his hand around. His action prompted the Thunder Dragon to move along with him. “I was thinking of confirming it for myself today.”
The Thunder Dragon flew toward Fafnir.
In the blink of an eye, the enormous golden dragon swallowed up the Predator. However, the Thunder Dragon immediately screeched in a fury and spun its head.
At the same time, a magic circle suddenly materialized in the sky some distance away. Fafnir, who had vanished from the spot, was there.
His figure was ever so slightly charred; he had hurriedly activated a spell to escape from there just as Su-hyeun gestured with his hand.
His activation speed was unbelievably fast, considering that he had teleported to quite some distance away.
“What a bothersome technique that is.”
The Thunder Dragon, which possessed both a soul and an ego, was not a single-use attack. Therefore, it didn’t disappear after an attack. It acted like a summoned creature and searched around to locate Fafnir’s current position.
“However, thunder-type magic spells have a clear weakness.”
Fafnir raised the staff in his hand, causing hundreds of magic circles to materialize between himself and the Thunder Dragon.
Arcs of electricity leaking out from the Thunder Dragon got sucked into those magic circles.
Tall steel spikes had risen above those magic circles.
“Lightning energy tends to follow the lightning rods. Although it will be impossible to suck up such a large ma.s.s of lightning energy, merely changing its direction is nothing for me.”
It was the same principle as redirecting the falling lightning. It was a widely known basic knowledge to magicians that didn’t require a separate study on the subject.
This method demonstrated a clear and tangible effect in either canceling out lightning energy-type magic spells or, at the very least, changing their directions.
The arcs of electricity contained within the Thunder Dragon were now trickling toward those hundreds of lightning rods.
These steel spikes were definitely not some ordinary items; they boasted high endurance enough to withstand all the electrical charge of the Thunder Dragon they had sucked up.
The Thunder Dragon’s power seemed to waver. Even so, Su-hyeun looked unconcerned as he raised his hand.
“Since you don’t seem to have understood what I—?!”
Fafnir was stunned by something, and he hurriedly extended his staff forward. At the same time, a purple-colored magic circle materialized right in front of his eyes.
A blinding flash of light exploded right after that.
The light completely filled up the view, the explosion noise accompanying it a beat later.
Once the blinding light subsided, the ashes of the Predators vaporized in the Thunder Dragon’s wake scattered away like dust.
For the first time ever, Fafnir’s expression revealed how fl.u.s.tered he was.
His eyes, which were always filled with unshakeable confidence, were rocking visibly to denote his nervousness. At the same time, his mouth that had been clamped shut all along finally opened up to reveal his fangs.
Judging from how charred his body was, it seemed that he failed to completely evade the Thunder Dragon.
That wasn’t all that surprising, however. After all, he was thinking that the lightning rods had effectively stopped the Thunder Dragon from easily moving around, or at the very least, they would be able to redirect it to elsewhere even if it did move.
“You’re the one who can’t understand.”
Su-hyeun’s hand shot out and grabbed Fafnir’s throat, “For now, come with me.”
Su-hyeun threw himself and Fafnir toward the bottom of the ocean.
The scenery changed. At the bottom of the ocean was the wide-open black “sky.” Not a speck of clouds existed here, there was no breathable air, and even gravity was weak.
Meanwhile, the terrain was pockmarked by countless craggy craters.
They were now on the moon.
Su-hyeun powerfully slammed Fafnir’s body straight into the hard ground.
Another crater was added to the moon’s surface as a result. He raised his sword with his free hand and then thrust it down on Fafnir’s head.
But right at that moment…
Something incredibly hard blocked the motion, preventing the sword from going any lower.
Su-hyeun hurriedly kicked Fafnir’s chest and jumped up.
The Predator dusted his chest off, then wiped a few droplets of blood off himself.
“Was that s.p.a.ce Distortion?”
“s.p.a.ce Distortion,” just like the Earth Shrink Technique, was an ability that allowed one to fold a fixed amount of distance to allow one to travel in one breath.
The most significant difference between it and the teleportation was that, while the latter simply changed the target’s location, s.p.a.ce Distortion briefly created a “doorway” connecting one s.p.a.ce to another.
If one was proficient in it, one could even redirect the enemy attacks to another s.p.a.ce altogether. As such, its difficulty was also incredibly great.
“I thought you’re a swordsman. You’re, in fact, a magician, is that it?”
Unlike the Earth Shrink Technique, the s.p.a.ce Distortion as a technique had its roots in magic.
As a magician, Fafnir also knew how to perform s.p.a.ce Distortion. Of course, even he would find traversing this much distance tough to pull off.
That was why he began thinking that Su-hyeun was not a swordsman but a magician.
“Well, I was one,” Su-hyeun replied in the past tense. He thought, “Even I didn’t know if I could pull it off or not, though.”
One of Su-hyeun’s previous lives, as Arwen the Grand Wizard, understood the fundamental principles of s.p.a.ce Distortion but was never able to perform it properly.
That was how difficult s.p.a.ce Distortion was as magic. Not even someone like Arwen, who was referred to as history’s greatest wizard, could do it, and even the dragon race didn’t have many individuals strong enough to cast s.p.a.ce Distortion at will.
If one was to get technical about it, only the red dragons could do it, who were the descendants of the Dragon King.
But unlike Arwen, Su-hyeun was practically overflowing with magical energy. Thanks to that, he was able to forcibly tear through s.p.a.ce.
“That’s an amusing answer. But why did you change our location?”
“It was too cramped down there.”
“Oh, was it to protect the world you live in?”
Wuuuong, buzz, wuuuuong—
Countless magic circles began floating up in the empty s.p.a.ce next.
Su-hyeun scanned these magic circles. Each looked different from one another, meaning they all contained countless other types of magic spells in them.
“If so, then, unfortunately, you have wasted your energy.”
To think that Fafnir could activate all these magic spells at once—worse still, they weren’t even the same type of magic but several different elements and types of magic!
“Something like this was even possible?”
This time, it was Su-hyeun’s turn to be stunned.
Back when Fafnir created hundreds of lightning rods, Su-hyeun more or less brushed that event aside. After all, activating the same type of spell in a row was possible to pull off as long as one’s calculation speed was fast enough.
However, this act of activating hundreds of different types of magic spells at once—unless hundreds of different consciousness existed in one’s mind—would be utterly impossible to pull off successfully.
Not only that…
Su-hyeun glanced at the asteroids traveling in the far-off distance. Dozens of them were rapidly closing in on his location, their speed gradually increasing.
That was none other than Fafnir’s unique ability at work.
“I knew it.”
The Thunder Dragon coiled around Su-hyeun’s figure once more.
“I was thinking that things have been too easy so far.”
* * *
An asteroid the size of a small mountain got sliced in half.
A huge spike flew in between the sliced asteroid and tried to impale Su-hyeun in his abdomen. He wrapped the Somersault cloud around him to block that spike, then stepped on the void to rise up.
His flames rising up alongside his advance defended against magic spells of various elements. However, a few of the spells still managed to break through the Somersault cloud and inflicted injuries on Su-hyeun’s body.
A Thunderbolt was generated in his hand next.
He c.o.c.ked his body back for a moment there, his glare locking onto a certain spot. He located Fafnir, who had been hiding through invisibility magic.
A flash of light so dazzling that it could blind one’s eyes exploded violently, accompanied by the tearing noise of the s.p.a.ce itself. However, both the noise and the flash of light came from a totally different place than Su-hyeun’s aim.
A lightning rod created by Fafnir had sucked up the Thunderbolt, extinguis.h.i.+ng it completely.
“Unless it’s the Thunder Dragon, it’s all useless, is that it?”
Right now, Su-hyeun couldn’t create a gigantic Thunder Dragon like how Zeus had done.
The combined power might be stronger, but compared to Zeus, who had been wielding lightning for hundreds of millions of years, Su-hyeun’s own proficiency was nowhere even close.
Thankfully, acquiring the G.o.dhood of Sky enhanced his ability to wield thunder and lightning. Still, using the Thunder Dragon several times in a row proved to be too much of a burden for him.
If that was the case…
“Should I use that?”
Su-hyeun made up his mind just then. His hand pointed to the ground below.
Su-hyeun’s energy traveled along the ground to spread out everywhere.
When that happened…
Fafnir, still using the invisibility spell to hide, abruptly revealed himself.
“What?” Fafnir’s was evidently puzzled.
Despite casting magic without any issues until now, he began raising his staff in a stiff, unnatural manner.
The flow of magic itself was creaky and coa.r.s.e. His body was getting as heavy as a lump of lead, and even his sense of balance was gradually crumbling away.
“What…did you do?!”
“It’s nothing special, really.”
Su-hyeun was also clenching and unfurling his hand, his movement clearly unnatural and seemingly restricted.
And right at that moment…
The ground’s color changed.
The moon’s surface was instantly enveloped in black flames, and the choking heat began cooking the land.
[Six Paths – Path to h.e.l.l]
“I want us to die together.”