On the dawn of the day of the Hydra’s reawakening—
Laura and I were walking along the shore of the lake that the Hydra slept in.
A white arrow materialized in front of my right hand.
However, that was all.
Frozen in place, it didn’t move an inch.
“It’s amazing no matter how many times I see it… I mean, I never thought Magic Arrow could just stop…”
Next to me, Laura intently stared at my Magic Arrow.
Her eyes quickly turned backward, in the direction we had been walking.
There, hundreds upon hundreds of Magic Arrows were suspended in the air, as if time itself had stopped.
“You see, I can adjust the speed of my Magic Arrows… I made their speed zero.”
“You can do that!?”
I became able to do it before I even knew it.
“If I say the keyword I decided on, all of these Magic Arrows will simultaneously begin flying at their regular speeds.”
Basically, my strategy was this:
Right when the Hydra reawakens, I’ll drive all of these Magic Arrows—which I assume totaled to around 10,000—into the Hydra all at once.
“Seems like it’s in the bag!”
I responded to Laura while continuing to create Magic Arrows.
“I can maintain these Magic Arrows for around an entire day, but it seems like they’re slowly losing their form. Their firing range barely reaches several hundred meters.”
According to the legends, the Hydra is approximately the same size as this lake.
So, if I deployed my Magic Arrows all around the lake, I could circumvent the difference in size.
“The bigger problem at hand is that they aren’t as powerful as my usual Magic Arrows.”
Naturally, I’ll be able to do way more damage with 10,000 Magic Arrows than with just one.
All it means is that it won’t add up to 10,000 Magic Arrows worth of damage.
“It’d be nice if the Hydra just up and died after taking this, though.”
I didn’t have any idea how the Hydra would end up appearing.
To make sure all of them would hit, I angled the arrows diagonally upwards from the lake and scattered them around.
Laura asked another question.
“…What’ll you do if this doesn’t kill it?”
“I’ll go to that place we went to yesterday.”
I shifted my gaze to a part of the mountain range that encircled this lake.
“It’s around 13 kilometers from the lake to there. I plan on blasting the Hydra with everything I got from there.”
It was simple brute force.
I reckon that Hydra will notice me and charge at me in full force.
According to what the mayor said, the Hydra’s poison contaminates a kilometer of the area around the Hydra. In other words, the other 12 kilometers I have at my disposal is my last line of defense.
If the Hydra breaks past that, it’ll be my loss.
“What if you tried fighting it on the run using your Magic Arrow to fly? Like shooting Magic Arrows from the sky or something?”
“…Actually, I can’t shoot any powerful Magic Arrows while flying.”
“It’s hard to control my flying, you see. Running away without fighting and putting some distance between us doesn’t sound too bad, but… it depends on the Hydra’s speed…”
My opponent was a gigantic dragon as big as a mountain. I could only guess how fast it could go.
I could increase my Magic Arrow’s altitude and speed as much as I wanted, but as long as I—a human—was using it to fly, I couldn’t go beyond what the human body could physically endure.
“…Guess I gotta leave that up to chance…”
“It can’t be helped! After all, we’re dealing with an opponent we hardly know anything about! I won’t be very useful, but let’s both do our best, Albert!”
Come hell or high water, Laura planned on sticking with me.
I shook my head.
“Laura, I want you to stay in the village.”
Laura was shocked. However, this was something I’ve already decided on.
I doubt our opponent this time around was going to be an easy one. It might end up becoming a battle to the death. If the Hydra got past my absolute defense line of 12 kilometers—I was prepared to stand my ground and lay down my life.
However, if Laura were by my side—
Would I be able to remain calm until the bitter end?
“Laura, pray for my victory in the village. I’ll come back victorious, I promise.”
She was dead silent.
She wore a sad-looking facial expression, but—
“…I understand! It’s alright!”
—she responded like so.
However, I, having always been with her—noticed something slightly unusual about the tone of her voice.
It was like she was… preparing herself for something.
I was a little concerned, but it couldn’t be helped in a situation like this. Laura must’ve been feeling uneasy as well, so I left it at that.
I gave Laura a smile.
“You don’t need to be so worried. We’ll see each other again, I guarantee it.”
From then on, I walked along the lakeshore until afternoon. I’m not too sure since I didn’t get an exact count, but I probably got around 10,000 Magic Arrows ready for the upcoming battle.
…Alright, I’m all set.
I was under the shade of a tree halfway up the mountain. The night was pitch-black. Tonight was a new moon, and the moon wasn’t out; no wonder it was so dark.
After I finished preparing all 10,000 Magic Arrows, I parted with Laura and made my way here. I just woke up from my nap.
Thanks to that, I fully recovered my mana.
I was ready for the Hydra to appear at any moment.
I shifted my gaze to the lake.
Because of the Lighting spells that Laura deployed around the lake, everything was shining brightly.
The lake was silent.
So silent it felt like there wasn’t a single living creature around.
So silent it felt like death itself loomed in the shadows.
I wonder how much time has passed already?
The ground and air began shaking simultaneously.
The tremors gradually grew stronger, and I lost my balance and fell on my hands and knees.
…So it’s here.
Looks like the time has finally come.
A strange noise loud enough to make me go deaf resounded throughout the surroundings, and the lake began surging. The water’s surface raged and stormed, as if a storm had come.
Nine heads rose from the surging waters. Eventually, the lake water swelled to the size of a hill, and a black shadow cut across the water.
Then, it finally reawakened.
Together with an ear-splitting roar—
The nightmare from ancient times, a massive dragon with 9 heads emerged from the lake.
“…Guess it’s finally time.”
The tremors already stopped.
I stood straight up.
“Unfortunately for you—I’ll be ending it right here.”
A white spark flickered from my right hand.
I raised my right hand high to the sky above my head.
Then, I swung my hand downwards and continued.
“All Cannons Released: Full Burst.”
Together with my words—
The 10,000 Magic Arrows surrounding the lake rushed at the ancient dragon.
The mountain-sized shadow lurking in the darkness was consumed by a white flash as bright as the sun.
The Hydra’s scream echoed.
Today’s first chap. I’ll get out the next one later today, see you guys then.