The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 31

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐃𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐨𝐧

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐃𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐨𝐧

“O Guardian Power, a fragment of divine might, envelop us who stand against demonic invasion with your holy power and protect us.”

From atop the carriage, Rin’s incantation can be heard.

Although Rin can use magic without chanting, she seems to have opted for full chanting to boost her spell’s potency since there’s time to spare.

As her chant concludes and the carriage arrives at an optimal location, I take this moment to call out to Rin.

“Rin! Stop here!”

“Understood!”

I pull hard on the reins, bringing the carriage to a halt.

From here, it will only be a matter of seconds before we’re in range of the lead dragon’s breath attack.

This is the perfect timing to activate Rin’s magic.

“『Sacred Barrier』!”

Centered around Rin’s raised staff, a holy light envelops us.

It quickly forms into a semi-transparent dome, covering both us and the carriage.

A barrage of breath attacks is unleashed upon it by numerous Wyverns.

Though individually weak, the combined assault packs the power of a mid-sized breath from a Dragon Zombie.

The barrier Rin created withstands the onslaught without budging.

“Well done.”

“Now we can go all out!”

As if in sync with my muttering, Blade shouts and leaps out of the barrier with his greatsword.

“I’m going in!”

Blade’s reckless charge is followed closely by Stella, who also rushes out. Blade swings his greatsword, producing shockwaves, and Stella unleashes a massive slash cloaked in light, both decimating the flock of dragons.

Additional support fire comes from Auntie Elle inside the barrier, and hundreds of dragons are slain, utterly powerless against us.

Watching these supposed strong beings scatter before an even greater force is almost pitiful.

I see, this is the battle of the Hero’s Party, isn’t it?

It’s not one-on-one or training; when you see a battle against a group, you’re left speechless at the scale of it.

Every move is a high-range area-of-effect attack, and from the opponent’s perspective, each one is a deadly strike.

A hero with divine protection is invincible.

When you become a Hero or a Holy Warrior, you’re a force to be reckoned with.

Even if it’s just one person, they’re called a great hero who can turn the tide of battle.

It’s frustrating, but this is something I can’t imitate.

When facing a group, all I can do is a messy brawl.

But just standing here idly doesn’t sit well with me.

Even on an unfavorable battlefield, I can at least contribute a little.

“Fourth Strike—『Dark Moon』.”

I unleash a dark thrust attack.

To be precise, this isn’t a slash but a 『thrust』.

The dark thrust, akin to a pitch-black arrow, flies and accurately pierces the eye of a Wyvern, destroying its brain and killing it instantly.

“Hmm, quite skillful. Hitting a small, moving target from this distance.”

“Well, it’s against simple-minded monsters, so.”

While talking, I continue to work my hands, hunting Wyverns at a pace far behind the others.

At this distance, hitting the fragile eye is the only way to inflict any damage.

Watching the overall movement, I anticipate the Wyverns’ actions and shoot my attacks precisely through their eyes.

The results are minimal, but better than doing nothing.

“ROOOOOOAAAAAR!”

As I chip away at them and Stella and the others slaughter dragons at a tremendous rate, a particularly loud roar announces the charge of a dragon aiming directly for our carriage.

Uncommon in this flock, it’s a wingless Earth Dragon.

However, in exchange, it boasts a gargantuan body and robust limbs, along with noticeably thick scales.

It measures about 20 meters in length.

It rivals the Dragon Zombies of yore in size.

Likely, it’s what’s called a high-ranking dragon.

According to the Old Witch Demon, it’s a monster that can even give a Holy Warrior a decent fight.

“Ha!”

“Oraa!”

“『Ice Strike』.”

“Gwoooooooooo!?”

Stella and Blade unleash soaring slashes, while Auntie Elle attacks the earth dragon with ice magic that seems like it might be effective. However, the visibly sturdy earth dragon takes the damage but doesn’t stop.

As usual, it pays no attention to Stella and the others, focusing solely on us as it charges forward.

Is it under orders to do so, or is it instinctively targeting the opponents it finds easiest to handle?

Well, either way, it doesn’t matter.

“I’m going in.”

I say that and grip my sword tightly.

“Are you sure? It looks like a bad match for you.”

“No problem. It used to be, but now it’s an easy opponent.”

I gather strength in my legs and leap.

Creating a gale from my leg armor, I soar through the sky as if stepping on air, heading straight for the earth dragon.

The earth dragon pays me no mind.

It’s because monsters don’t understand the strength of 『techniques』.

What they sense through instinct is solely the raw strength of a living being.

The stronger the monster, the less they regard me as anything more than prey or an insect.

This situation is full of openings for me.

Even with me right in front of it, the earth dragon doesn’t slow down at all.

It doesn’t even recognize me as an obstacle, probably thinking it will simply knock me aside if I get in the way.

I leap over the dragon’s snout and swing my blade at its head.

“Sixth Strike—『Sky Rebellion』.”

Among the Seven Deadly Swords, the Sixth Strike 『Sky Rebellion』 boasts one of the highest difficulties.

But, unlike the time I broke Ruberto-san’s sword, the monster I’m facing only uses simple movements, underestimating me, making it easier to pull off.

The blow I unleashed, riding on the momentum as I continued to soar, collided with the earth dragon’s charge, generating the impact I wanted, and completely destroyed the insides of its skull.

To put it another way, it chose the worst possible spot to take the hit.

Unable to withstand it, the earth dragon dies without even recognizing me as an enemy, its brain destroyed.

The earth dragon’s body goes limp, sliding rapidly across the ground.

My revenge against the high rank dragon that I once couldn’t defeat is complete.

Well, if it had been a Dragon Zombie, destroying its brain probably wouldn’t have stopped it.

Even so, defeating a high rank dragon that once gave me so much trouble in a single strike makes me feel my own growth.

“You’re amazing! That’s why you’re my rival!”

“Whoa, incredible.. . . . . .A one-hit kill. . . . . .”

I hear the voices of praise from Stella and Blade, who are fairly close by.

They continue to slay other dragons without stopping.

In a few more seconds, they’ll likely wipe them all out.

Just as I thought we would win our first battle. . . . . .

Suddenly, a massive heat ray shot from the front pierces the barrier protecting the village and fells the towering Divine Tree in a single stroke.

The Divine Tree falls.

The symbol of the Elf Village, the miraculous tree supposed to weaken evil, collapses.

All that remains is the dissolved cross-section of a once magnificent tree.

“. . . . . .What?”

I let out a dumbfounded voice at the sight.

Looking at the carriage, Auntie Elle is wide-eyed in disbelief.

What happened?

It’s obvious. An attack.

An attack on Elf Village.

Moreover, an attack with a power that even surpasses Auntie Elle’s grand magic.

There’s only one being capable of launching such an attack among the enemies we were considering.

“Hahaha!”

Suddenly, laughter echoes across the battlefield.

“I’ve finally broken it! That annoying, freakish tree was a huge hassle, but its power will soon fade! No more underhanded tactics for you!”

The entity shouting was a dragon, of all things.

A small, bipedal dragon with crimson scales.

Its height was only about 3 meters, surprisingly small for a dragon.

However, its sensed power was overwhelming, even when compared to high-rank dragons.

“Come on! Stop skulking and show yourself! Then fight me at full strength! I even broke a pesky tree using a monster, just to get you out! Make it worth my while!”

“『Holy Sword』!”

“Huh?!”

Stella, who had been running the moment she spotted the loudmouth dragon, launched an attack.

Instead of using the power of the Holy Sword, she enveloped her blade in light using her own magic and swung it down at the dragon.

However, the dragon blocked Stella’s attack with its stout arms, covered in robust scales.

The attack of humanity’s strongest hero only managed to leave a scratch on the dragon’s arm.

“Ah! You are!”

The dragon, seemingly unable to contain its joy, aimed a retaliatory fist at Stella.

An attack relying solely on brute force, no finesse involved.

Instead of defending, Stella prepared for a counterattack. Meanwhile, I, who had been a bit late due to the speed difference, stepped forward to take the hit.

“Second Strike—『Distortion』!”

“Oh?!”

“Arrgh!”

I defended, Stella attacked.

I twisted the dragon’s assault with Distortion, and Stella’s slashing attack, passing by the dragon’s flank, left a wound on its side.

It was a shallow wound, but the damage was definitely there.

This enemy was not invincible.

Still, I was shaken by the dragon’s previous attack.

What was that feeling…?

The attack felt incredibly heavy.

Although it was easy to dodge due to the lack of technique and the core of the attack being unstable, the sheer power behind that blow was more than ten times that of Ruberto-san.

A power surpassing that of the Sword Saint by tenfold? That’s like the Demon King from my dream!

Even if the Stella in my dream had severely weakened him in exchange for risking her life, he was still the 『Demon King』.

Even in his weakened state, he was the strongest being in the world.

And now another like him appears as if it’s normal. . . . . .?

There’s no mistake.

This one is. . . . . .!

“HAHAHAHA!”

The dragon burst into laughter again.

A voice brimming with joy, clearly coming from the bottom of his heart.

“That immense divine protection on you! The swordsmanship that wounds my body! So you are the hero! I’ve been wanting to meet you!”

And so, this strongest of dragons declared its name.

“I am one of the Demon King’s Army Four Heavenly Kings! 『Fire』 of the Four Heavenly Kings, Dragburn! A pure demon who lives for and seeks battle! Hero and comrades, let us have a fair fight!”

『Fire』 of the Four Heavenly Kings, Dragburn.

One of the four monsters that led the heroes in my dream to their doom.

The monster we encountered so early in our journey attacked us while roaring with delight.


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