Chapter 20 – S
The armored dragon is still hovering in the air, glaring down at Regulus and me with an unsatisfied look.
“Sophia…Don’t you understand? Algethi will not stop until I am dead! No matter how many times you destroy him, he’ll just come back again!” Miss Frey cried.
“Ugh, I told you to just stay down there!” I said, “If he’s not gonna stop, then I’m gonna knock him until he changes his mind!”
That moment, the dragon swoops down, expectedly aiming for Miss Frey. However, Regulus quickly intercepts his charge and wrestles against the dragon, roaring at his face. While they are tightly locked against one another, I swing my staff forward, releasing the explosive fireball onto the dragon’s back once again. He took a full hit from the explosion, and while he does stagger, Miss Frey does not seem to show any sign of pain at all. Apparently, Algethi also cuts all forms of links he has with Miss Frey the moment he deems her unworthy.
Agitated, the dragon smacks the lion’s face, trying to push him away. But the king of the jungle would not give up so easily. Relying on sheer brute, he pushes the dragon back once again. After that, the lion rushes in at the dragon while extending the claws on his left gauntlet. He slashes the dragon repeatedly, causing some serious damage on the dragon’s armor. However, despite all the cracks Regulus did, Algethi’s armor and body just seem to automatically recover no matter how much it was damaged.
“See, Sophia!? Your attacks cannot harm him. He is already fixated on killing me!” Miss Frey cried.
“Oh come on! What happen to your overconfident attitude earlier!? Why are you kneeling on your knees right now!?” I yelled back and launch two more explosive fireballs at the dragon. While each explosion creates a significant burn on the dragon, his skin simply recovers like the burn was never there.
“Dang it! Isn’t there anyway to put a dent on this guy!?” I grumbled while Regulus wrestles against the dragon once again, stopping him from approaching Miss Frey.
I heard mom calling my name from behind the invisible wall. I know that I am worrying her again, but I just cannot let Miss Frey die here. After pledging to protect Athenia, wouldn’t I also be deemed unworthy if I let someone die in front of me like this?
That being said, the fact that Zodiac Beasts aren’t as loyal to me as I thought is frighteningly depressing. All this time, I fought knowing that I will always have someone to watch my back. But seeing how Algethi suddenly turn against Miss Frey like this, I just don’t want to imagine Regulus doing that to me.
“FEAR NOT, MY LADY”
All of the sudden, Regulus’s voice echoes in my head once again.
“A HUMAN IS DEEMED UNWORTHY ONLY IF THEY TURN AGAINST THE WILLS OF MY ORIGINAL MASTER. WITH YOUR PUREST INTENT TO PROTECT ALL YOU HOLD DEAR ON THIS WORLD, I SHALL NEVER DOUBT YOUR CONVICTIONS!!!”
Regulus’s words, while loud and aggressive, help ease the anxiety in my mind.
That’s right…I’ve already set my mind on saving Athenia. There is nothing that is going to change my mind.
With the faith I had in Regulus restored, my body suddenly feels a slight burst of power, overflowing from within. My right arm swings my staff forward once again, releasing the explosive fireball onto the dragon’s back. Exploiting the stagger, the lion once again tackles the dragon and repeatedly slashes him with his clawed gauntlet. While Regulus is unleashing a relentless assault, my body hops me up into the air and my right arm raises the staff up above my head. Once Regulus knocks the dragon away from him, my body lands down next to the dragon. At the same time, six meteors follow me down from the sky at the speed of light and crashes against the dragon, blowing him back away a huge distance.
After a constant assault, the dragon finally kneels down to the ground, showing some signs of exhaustion.
“Woah…? Did sis…?”
Lin and Len muttered in awe.
“He’s finally showing some sign of damage,” I sighed in exhaustion.
“……No…Sophia…You just angered him even more…!!” mom cried.
Just when I thought I’m finally putting a dent onto this guy, it appears that he just become even more pissed off. The armored dragon stands up with his two feet and releases a ferocious roar. Regulus charges in for a tackle, but with a single punch, the dragon stops the lion’s charge on track and swings him against the mountains nearby. The reflected pain instantly sends me down to my knees.
His punch was so painful.
After that, the dragon flutters his wings and soars up to the sky. The ring hovering behind the dragon now changes its position to hovering a few distances in front of him. After that, it starts to rotate at a high speed and the dragon opens his mouth, gathering some kind of energy in front of it.
“!?!?!!!! … Get out of here, Sophia! If you get caught in the Millennium Flare, you will never make it!!!!!” Miss Frey cried.
The dragon’s charging stance definitely looks threatening. For the first time after this fight starts, I’m actually starting to be really scared.
But I won’t let Miss Frey die…
If Algethi wants to kill Miss Frey because she would oppose the wills of the angel, then perhaps our only chance now is to make Miss Frey changes her mind.
Thinking so, I quickly run towards the blonde lady and kneel down before her.
“Miss Frey, listen to me!!” I drop my staff and grab both of her shoulders. “Come with me!”
“…What?” The blonde lady looks at me with a surprised look.
“Come with me!” I repeated, “If you can prove to the Zodiac Beast that you are no longer opposing the angel’s will, then there is no more reason for him to kill you!!!”
“You told me that I am weak, right!? I know that! So why don’t you join our side!? With someone as powerful and as skilled as you are, we just might have a chance against anything we will face in the future! Both the Nebula Corp. And Ophiucus!” I cried, “Please, Miss Frey! Protect Athenia with me!!!”
That moment, something seems to hit her from the inside. Miss Frey’s eyes suddenly change from ones covered in despair to ones tearfully glittering with remembrance.
Is she hallucinating me as her sister!?
Or has she completely lost her mind!?
Mom’s scream startled me, reminding me of the dragon charging its energy up in the air.
Staying here is probably not a very good idea.
I have to run away.
…But it was too late. By the time I turned around, a ball of flare shoots out from the mouth of the dragon, and through the rotating ring, the flare was amplified, turning it into a huge fiery glowing sphere resembling the sun itself!
I swing my staff shooting the explosive fireball, but the fiery sphere shows no sign of dispersing at all. With the flare this big in size, I’ll never be able to make it out alive!
That moment, I felt my arm yanked and my body fell down to the ground. The blonde lady picks up the scythe lying on the ground and swings it against the approaching fiery sphere.
“Get away, Sophia!” the blonde lady yelled while holding her scythe against the fiery sphere, “It’s…It’s too late for me…Algethi has already decided my fate. But you can still live! Just get out of here, and go protect Athenia!”
“Hey, weren’t you listening to me at all!? I’m not gonna let you die!!!” I screamed. “Don’t give up! Think of this as a test! The Zodiac Beast is testing you! You have to overcome it!!! Don’t let other people decide your fate!!!”
Miss Frey did not reply. But some how, I could almost tell that my words finally reached her. The dark fog like earlier bursts from underneath her, covering her scythe’s blade with an eerie crimson glow. To my surprise, the fiery sphere’s glow seems to have slightly dimmed down from before.
Perhaps, our efforts to destroy this thing aren’t completely hopeless.
If we can unleash something with nearly the same strength as this thing, we just might be able to negate it!
I called my dear loyal servant for help.
Hearing my command, Regulus quickly gets back up on his feet and stands firm on the ground with his four legs. After that, the lion opens his mouth and releases a ferocious roar, unleashing a tremendous wave of energy forward. For a split second, I could vaguely see the glowing energy wave forming the shape of a lion before it crashes against the fiery sphere, bursting it into a bright flare.
Once the light fades, the fiery sphere is no longer there.
It’s really gone!
“Ah. That was so close!” I sighed in relief. Suddenly, I heard a loud thud in front of me. Apparently, Miss Frey has also fallen down to her knees, puffing from exhaustion.
That really was some crazy stunt that she and I pulled. After it was over, my mind just asked myself how in the world did I even decide to go with it?
“Sophia!!!!” I heard mom’s voice calling me from the other side of the invisible wall.
Hearing so, Miss Frey raises her right palm at the invisible wall and it suddenly disperses like it was never there. Mom and the twins quickly approach us worriedly, but then they had to stop when they noticed the armored dragon landing on the ground a few meters away from Miss Frey and me.
Oh dear…What now?