The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 40

𝐄𝐥𝐟 𝐕𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞, 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

𝐄𝐥𝐟 𝐕𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞, 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

“Ah?! Stella-san! Allan-kun! You’re finally back!”

The one who called out to us as we burst out of the Divine Tree’s door was Rin, holding a staff with a stern expression.

Around her were several elves, also wielding staffs.

It seems they were maintaining a barrier here while waiting for us.

“Rin! What’s going on now?!”

“We’re under attack! It started about 10 minutes ago! The assaults are long-range magical attacks coming from all four directions—east, west, south, and north! Judging by their power, they’re most likely high-ranking dragon breaths!”

High-ranking dragon. . . . . .

If breaths are coming from all four directions, that means there are at least four more dragons left.

How many of them are there?

These aren’t mere foot soldiers that can be easily defeated.

“Ernesta-sama, Eltrait-sama, and Blade-sama have already taken their troops to the east, west, and south! The interception unit is on standby at the northern boundary of the barrier! Ernesta-sama’s message is that if both of you return, lead the troops to slay the dragon in the north!”

“Got it!”

“We’re going!”

“Ah! Wait a moment!”

Rin hurriedly stopped us, and we barely managed to halt.

What is it?

Is there something else she needs to tell us in this emergency?

“The enemy is likely trying to divide us! There’s a high chance Dragburn will appear either in front of one of the scattered troops or at the main base in the village! Therefore, the unit that encounters Dragburn will signal by launching a flashy spell into the sky! Quickly deal with the immediate threats and gather where the signal is seen! That’s the current plan!”

“Understood.”

Having heard the plan, Stella finally ran towards the north.

I also keep up with Stella’s speed thanks to the wind generated by my leg armor.

Even if she goes all out, Stella could leave me in the dust, but she wouldn’t do that in this situation. We run side by side toward the battlefield.

All the while, I felt something odd about the enemy’s movements.

Divide and conquer.

Indeed, it would be an effective strategy against us.

The last time, it took all of our party members to even stand a chance against a weakened Dragburn.

Therefore, isolating and defeating each of us.

If high-ranking dragons are being used like this, we have no choice but to respond with Holy Warrior-level or higher forces.

We can’t keep getting hit and still maintain the barrier. If Dragburn attacks in this condition, it would be hopeless.

It’s a very effective strategy.

But would Dragburn really employ such cunning?

It seems more like he would gladly face our entire force head-on.

I can’t help but feel that something is happening that doesn’t align with his intentions.

Could it be that the other Four Heavenly Kings have joined?

No, it’s too early for that.

The Elves’ reconnaissance units are also excellent.

If there’s such a dangerous entity nearby, they won’t overlook them.

So, is there someone who’s advising that person?

I think Dragburn, the battle maniac, would reject such advice.

“We’re here! At the boundary of the barrier!”

While lost in thought, we had already reached our first destination.

Damn, there’s not enough time to think.

After all, what can I do with my limited understanding?

I should leave this to people like Auntie Elle and focus on the enemy in front of me and on Stella.

“Hero-sama! You arrived!”

“Are you the captain of this unit?”

“Ha! I am Balzac Bolt, Commander of the Fourth Army of the Elven Forces! Though unworthy, I have been bestowed the Divine Protection of Thunder and the title of hero!”

The defense unit captain who had been waiting for us was an Elf who appeared middle-aged by human standards.

It’s hard to tell the age of Elves due to individual differences in aging, but from his appearance, I could sense the demeanor of a seasoned warrior who has aged with experience.

Given his impressive titles, he is likely a great veteran who has lived for hundreds of years.

According to Auntie Elle, experienced Elves with Divine Protection who have lived for hundreds of years boast strength almost on the level of Holy Warriors.

Reassuring.

“I’ll leave the command to you! I’m not good at that sort of thing!”

“Understood! Then, as per the former chief’s instructions, we ask that Hero-sama and your party take on the task of subduing the high-rank dragon to the north! We will support you with all our might! All units, advance!”

“””Ha!”””

Under Balzac-san’s command, the Elves, who are impeccably trained, pass through the barrier and advance.

Like me, using Storm Leg Armor, everyone uses wind magic without chanting, rushing toward the enemy with incredible agility.

This isn’t like any wizard I know.

Elves are too strong.

I followed Stella, who was running at the front, so as not to be left behind.

Breaths are being unleashed from the direction we are heading.

The power is comparable to the huge breath once unleashed by the Dragon Zombie.

The element is wind.

They are fired at intervals of several seconds, and are being blocked by the barrier protecting the village.

After witnessing the feats of the Hero’s Party that crushes packs of dragons, and the extraordinary breath of Dragburn, you become somewhat desensitized. But if you think about it normally, it’s an incredible sight.

Any average town would be downed by just one of these breaths.

The fact that it isn’t, despite being hit multiple times and from all directions, speaks to the strength of the Elves and the power of Rin.

A barrier that covers the whole village and yet maintains that level of strength is awe-inspiring.

The barrier created through the cooperation of countless Elves and a Saint is nothing to scoff at.

I can safely leave the rear to them.

“I see it!”

As we continue running, a massive figure comes into view ahead.

A high-rank dragon with deep green scales.

Judging by the element of its breath, it is likely a wind dragon.

For a high-ranking dragon, it’s on the smaller side, about 10 meters in length.

Instead, it had an incredibly agile and sharp body.

“Kylaralarararararara!!!”

The moment the wind dragon recognized us, it roared and took to the sky.

And then, it began retreating at full speed.

. . . . . .Huh?

“It’s running away?”

“Kyuaaaa!!”

The wind dragon aimed its breath at us while fleeing.

Stella and the Elves get into a defensive position.

That’s a reasonable judgment, but it probably won’t work.

“I’ll block it! Everyone else, focus on the attack and prevent its escape!”

I shouted and rode the gale from my leg armor, positioning myself between the dragon and my comrades.

The worst thing here would be allowing the wind dragon to gain distance and become separated from the other units.

If that happens, even if Dragburn appears, we won’t be able to join up.

This wind dragon, despite being a monster, is making smarter moves than I am.

But don’t think things will go your way so easily.

“O Light Spirit, guardian of a corner of the magic’s reason, grant me a fragment of the holy light of divine power. Combine light upon light to become a dazzling crescent blade and reside in my sword.”

“! O Thunder Spirit, guardian of a corner of the magic’s reason. Extend your reach and capture the enemy in a web of electromagnetism.”

First, Stella syncs her actions with mine. Seeing this, Balzac and the others also begin to chant their spells.

Several Elves are chanting barrier spells, just in case I fail.

A wise decision.

Then, the Wind Dragon releases its breath attack.

A fully charged, massive breath.

A high-rank dragon’s massive breath. . . . . .Something I could only dodge in the past.

Nostalgic.

But now, things are different.

I can clearly see the weak point to strike.

I know exactly how to defend against this raging dragon’s breath.

I’ve acquired the skill to do just that.

So now, all that’s left is to swing my blade.

“Third Strike—『Slashing Sweep』!”

Kurotenmaru slices through the gap in the wind’s breath, a complex overlay of air currents, effectively widening it and splitting the wind in two.

The split wind passes by us, to the left and right.

No one’s hit on our side.

Now, it’s our turn to attack.

“『Electric Net』!”

“Kura?!”

The spell Balzac releases traps the Wind Dragon in a net of lightning, freezing its movements for a moment.

The other Elves also cast more binding spells, greatly restricting the Wind Dragon’s movements.

And with its movements fully stopped, the hero releases her ultimate attack.

“『Moonlight Blade』!”

Unleashed, a crescent-shaped beam of light.

The surging light that inflicted damage on Dragburn, condensed into a crescent-shaped blade technique.

Although the effective range is narrow, the power is greater, and the range is sufficient on this side.

Moreover, it was a blow with the Holy Sword, strengthened by the divine.

It struck the Wind Dragon.

“Kuraa?!”

It’s an attack even stronger than what worked on the Four Heavenly Kings.

No matter how high-ranking, the Wind Dragon is split vertically in two and falls to the ground.

“Ku… a…”

And then, the Wind Dragon dies, unable to sustain its life.

. . . . . .I wonder why.

Its last cry seemed to contain an uncharacteristic sorrow.

The blue blood unique to Demon Realm creatures flowing from the Wind Dragon’s corpse looks tragically beautiful.

Perhaps I feel this way because. . . . . .

As expected, the one who appeared next had an aura of unexpected sorrow.

“?!”

Suddenly, something falls from the sky at high speed.

A large cloud of dust rises from the impact of the landing. When the dust clears, there’s a shadow standing next to the Wind Dragon’s corpse.

“I thought it was noisy so I woke up. . . . . .To think it would come to this.”

“””What?!”””

Upon seeing the figure of Dragburn, everyone’s alertness shoots to the maximum.

However, Dragburn looks not at us, but at the Wind Dragon that has breathed its last.

And slowly wipes away the blue blood spilling from its mouth.

“So it’s true. That coward. . . . . .meddling where he shouldn’t.”

Flames rise from Dragburn’s entire body.

It’s as if his anger has materialized into this vortex of flames.

Coward. . . . . .?

What does he mean?

While we’re confused, Dragburn places his hand over the Wind Dragon’s corpse, engulfing it in his flames.

“At least let me send you off with my flames. So your tainted body won’t remain, turn to ash and rest in peace. . . . . .I’ve been indebted to you.”

Dragburn’s flames burn the Wind Dragon’s corpse to ashes.

We just silently watch.

Not only because he’s not showing any openings, but also because no one dares to act recklessly in front of an angry member of the Four Heavenly Kings.

“Well.”

Dragburn turns to face us.

His eyes are now tinged with an anger and sadness I hadn’t seen before.

However, he doesn’t direct those emotions at us.

The Four Heavenly Kings of Fire look at us with an eerily calm expression.

“I’m in a bad mood because of some wicked individuals. This situation is far from ideal. I had intended to challenge all of you at full strength, head-on. I never thought I’d encounter heroes who have brought such limited forces.”

“But,” Dragburn continues.

“Although it was unintended, this is a situation that my cute comrades traded their lives to create. I can’t dismiss it lightly. Besides, this is a fight to the death. There’s no reason to wait for the enemy to be fully prepared.”

With that said, Dragburn erupts with fighting spirit.

“Let’s begin. The circumstances might be slightly different than what I’d hoped for, but it’s time for a rematch. This time, we fight to the death, until one of us is completely wiped out.”

Many warriors are overwhelmed by his intensity.

Being up close to the Four Heavenly Kings’ anger certainly contributes to that.

Even though it’s not directed at them, they’ve felt the murderous aura released by the monster.

It’s more mentally taxing than being confronted with pure fighting spirit.

Even Stella, the hero, is no exception; her body shivers slightly in fear.

I smacked Stella’s back like that with a loud “thud.”

Just like when I encouraged this girl who was huddled up.

My feelings and Stella’s determination haven’t changed since that time.

That’s why the words I say should be the same as back then.

And they will get through.

“You’ll be fine. I’m with you.”

With those words, Stella’s trembling stops completely.

She looks forward without being consumed by fear.

With a face befitting a hero.

With the competitive smile typical of Stella.

『Hero』 Stella focuses her gaze on 『Fire』 Four Heavenly Kings, Dragburn.

“Ho. You seem different, almost like another person. You look much stronger now.”

Perhaps sensing Stella’s transformation, Dragburn also━━

“Then let us introduce ourselves once more! I am one of the Demon King’s Army’s Four Heavenly Kings! 『Fire』, Dragburn! Hero who stands against me, state your name!”

Like a knight about to duel, he loudly declares his name.

Stella responds in kind.

“If that’s the case, remember this! I am 『Hero』 Stella! The strongest hero supported by the best partner! The one who will defeat you!”

“HA HA HA! Such spiritedness, very good!”

Their fighting spirits collide, sending sparks flying.

I’m always ready to start the fight, my senses sharpened. The Elves, finally shaking off their fear after witnessing Stella’s heroic figure, proceed as planned and release a signal magic into the sky.

Dragburn pays no attention to that and takes his stance, focusing on us.

“Then, let’s go!”

Raising a fist wrapped in flames, Dragburn starts his charge.

Thus, our second battle with Dragburn begins.

It won’t end until one of us is completely wiped out, raising the curtain on a genuine fight to the death.


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