The Dragon had a suspicious expression in response to Sungjin’s answer.
“Ariane? Ariane gave you that ring?”
Sungjin had by now given up on refusing to answer his questions since Dragons had the ability to force people to talk simply by speaking.
“That’s right. She gave it to me.”
“Really? Her? Unbelievable… But… It’s even more unbelievable for you to have taken that after killing her… Did you… Have some kind of trade with her?”
While the Dragon was talking, Sungjin attempted to look for potential opportunities.
‘What and how can I deal damage on him…’
While he was pondering this, the Dragon once again spoke forcefully.
“Speak. What deal did you make with her?”
Sungjin unconsciously began to talk about what had happened with her in length.
“Ariane said that she would give me a gift if I managed to hit her once while fighting her with my all. And then she gave me this ring as the gift.”
The Dragon looked at Sungjin with narrowed eyes. His eyes glinted briefly.
“Oh ho… Really? Then that means you succeeded in attacking her once, right? On that Ariane?”
Sungjin did not know if all Dragons were like this, but this one definitely seemed to be interested in the ‘Ariane-style test’. Sungjin said to him,
“That’s right. I inflicted damage on her. That’s why she gave me this ring.”
Sungjin decided to try and steer the conversation into conducting another ‘Ariane-style test’. Since the dragon referred to Ariane by her name, he was most likely similar in age to her, or perhaps even older.
If that was the case, then he had no chance of winning since in general Dragons were creatures whose strength was decided by their age. However, if he spoke the right words and was able to bring about a single victorious moment like he did with Ariane, then it was not entirely impossible. He had already done it once. However, the dragon simply nodded its head.
“Hrm… Really… That’s how it was…”
He did not mention anything about a test.
“I understand now. Well, hand over that gem and that ring. I require those minerals after all.”
Sungjin’s jaw dropped wide. Besgoro added,
‘What? Just what are we supposed to do now?’
The Dragon took a step towards Sungjin. Sungjin put the gem inside his vest and took out his sword. After having taken two steps, the dragon stopped in place and asked,
“Do you know what value those gems have?”
Sungjin briefly glanced down then looked back up and glared at the dragon as he said,
The Dragon looked at Sungjin with surprise. Sungjin said to the Dragon the very words that Ariane had told him when she had given the ring.
“This ring… It’s an item that will help me overcome my tragic fate.”
The Dragon made a strange expression once it heard Sungjin’s words. A face that seemed to say,
‘What kind of bullshit is that?’
While Sungjin wordlessly looked at him, the dragon suddenly opened his hand towards Sungjin. Sungjin was incredibly nervous that some kind of spell would appear from it. However, the Dragon then said,
“… Then should I read it?”
The moment Sungjin tilted his head, he was suddenly overcome with the feeling that he was being pulled towards the dragon’s hands. Sungjin tried to jump backwards in order to prevent being pulled towards the dragon, but at that moment, the feeling disappeared. When he looked downwards, he was at the same place.
‘What was that? Dizziness?’
As he did this, the Dragon lowered his hand and then suddenly grinned.
“You… aren’t someone from this dimension? You died… and then repeated the same thing…”
It seemed that in that short moment, the Dragon had looked over Sungjin’s past. Sungjin wordlessly looked at the Dragon.
“It truly is a tragic fate… Is that why Ariane helped?”
The Dragon muttered to himself. Sungjin saw a little bit of hope from that. Regardless of how the talks went, it was fine as long as it was not a direct confrontation. However,
“Your situation is pitiful, but I still have to receive the gem and the ring. Those items are absolutely necessary for my magic research.”
It seemed that this Dragon’s personality was quite different from that of Ariane’s.
“It’s rather regrettable. You struggled diligently, only to reach this conclusion. If you hand over the ring, you lose the chance to overcome your fate. If you don’t hand over the ring, you lose your life. There are only sad endings remaining for you. Still, I’ll give you the freedom to at least choose the ending. That’s why, tell me. Will you hand over the ring and survive? Or will you not hand over the ring and die?”
Sungjin briefly considered the Dragon’s words. Was it possible to win if he fought against it with all of his strength? It was likely that he did not have a chance.
If that was the case and he handed over the ring here and survived, how many Chapters more could he clear? After all, Sungjin had become the last one alive even without the ring.
It was possible that he could somehow clear the final chapter even without the ring and become the savior of humanity. Sungjin grasped the ‘Ring of the Great Sage’ in his hand.
However, he felt that he would regret things if he handed this over now. Until this point, he had never once run away from a fight against a boss monster.
He did not want to do so, no matter how strong the opponent was. Not to mention, he couldn’t help but dwell on Ariane’s words. She had obviously said that this ring was a ring that would let him overcome his fate. Sungjin wordlessly stood there for a moment, then shook his head as he said,
“There isn’t a choice among the ones you’ve given that I want to choose. I won’t give you the ring, and I’ll survive this place.”
“…Those words…Do you mean that you’ll resist me?”
Sungjin did not reply and took out his swords. Seeing that figure, the Dragon smirked as he said,
“That’s fine. Then I’ll end your tragic fate here.”
After he spoke, the Dragon took a step towards Sungjin. Soon, the Operator’s voice could be heard.
[Warning! Hidden Boss]
[‘Magic Researcher’ Archae’ard has appeared!]
It was the Operator’s warning that he had heard countless times until now, but Sungjin was startled.
“Aahh, wait a moment!”
At Sungjin’s cry, the Dragon stopped walking.
“What’s this? Weren’t you energetically coming at me just a moment ago? Did you change your mind now?”
Sungjin asked him,
“…You’re… Going to fight as you are? In human form?”
“That’s correct. I lived for a long time in the human world. That’s probably why… A human’s body has become more comfortable. This form seems to be a bit more admirable aesthetically as well. It might be a bit strange to say this… But I dislike returning to my original form.”
It seemed that he was a bit of a strange one.
“…Okay. Regardless, give me a moment to prepare myself for the fight. About a minute. You can give a human who is about to fight against a Dragon that much time, right?”
“…Ok, sure. A minute. I’ll prepare a bit myself as well.”
He pointed to an empty space as he said,
Soon, a staff was summoned. The staff had a body made of gold and a bluish sphere embedded in it. When he closely examined it, the bluish sphere seemed to be of the same material as the Hidden Piece that Sungjin had acquired.
‘Is it that he already has some, but requires more?’
While Sungjin considered this, he quickly took out the items that he could take out. He first threw Cain’s wooden figurine and Rajenta’s egg into the sky and rubbed Soldamyr’s lamp.
The summons looked at the Dragon that stood right in front of Sungjin. Cain and Rajenta did not know how to speak, but it seemed that they could instinctively feel that this was an incredibly strong opponent. They both cried out threateningly.
The Dragon looked at them without much thought, but the moment Soldamyr, the only one of the summons who could speak, saw the Dragon, he flusteredly spoke to Sungjin.
“Good God… Master, this time… Is it a Blue Dragon?”
Sungjin glanced between Soldamyr and the Dragon. Things like scales could not be seen. The one thing that he could find out was that the Dragon’s eyes were blue.
“Ah, that guy’s a Blue Dragon?”
“…Yes. You can tell by looking at the color of their eyes… Originally, there’s an unspoken rule that Dragons change the color of their eyes to match the color of their scales when they polymorph so that they can recognize each other.”
“I see… A Blue Dragon. Then he should be proficient in Blue Magic?”
Sungjin briefly examined the Dragon. He was holding a staff, and the Operator had even described him as a ‘Magic Researcher’. Sungjin wordlessly placed Blood Vengeance in its sheath and took out Artemio. Soldamyr added,
“Be careful. It’s not obvious because he’s naturally strong, but that dragon… I think his Magic Power is stronger than the Red Dragon you met last time…”
Sungjin’s nervousness returned in full at those words. Stronger than Ariane. Doubts about whether he had a chance to win began to rise. However, there was nothing to be done. He had already decided to put his life on the line and fight. Sungjin said to his summons,
“Cain, Rajenta, Soldamyr. This might be my last fight. Please do your best.”
They each replied to Sungjin’s request.
“Understood. Though my ability is poor, I’ll do my best to protect Master.”
Sungjin continued and spoke to the two ghosts.
“Besgoro, Moon Specter. Please do your best until the end.”
‘What are you saying? Your last will? Are you planning to die here?’
‘Don’t say such things. Master, I’ll help you to the best of my ability.’
“No, I don’t mean that, but it is possible that this might be our last fight.”
‘Don’t worry; you’re stronger than that big lizard.’
‘Of course, Master.’
Sungjin grinned as he heard the two ghosts’ encouragement. He then prepared the last item.
“Operator, will you take out Yanhurat?”
Sungjin took off the necklace he was wearing and wore Yanhurat on his neck. It had been a while since he had last worn it. Yanhurat began to rapidly whisper to Sungjin as if it had been holding back until now.
‘Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!’
Sungjin did not ignore the voice this time. If there was a single chance, then he would not ignore the voice. Sungjin then took out the Star of the Nameless. This took some consideration.
Should he boost his stats with ‘Master Hunter’ or increase his damage with ‘Dragon Slayer’. In truth, he could not estimate which was better. However, the length of time he had asked from the Dragon was just one minute. Sungjin did not ponder for long.
“Rename to Master Hunter.”
It was possible that Dragon Slayer was better, but he had fought until now with the optimized stats from Master Hunter. Whether it was swords or spells. In any case, it was probably better that he fought with the setting that he was most used to.
Also, he did not know why, but he thought that it would be better to die with the title ‘Master Hunter’ equipped if this truly was his last fight. After having changed even his title, Sungjin finally took out and held ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. He then said to the Dragon,
“Really? Then let’s begin.”
Then, the moment the Dragon finished speaking, he suddenly added another sentence.
“Pierce them to death, Ice Spear.”
Soon, an incredibly immense icicle flew towards Sungjin. Sungjin’s eyes opened wide as he raised Artemio high. However, before the icicle had reached Sungjin, the dragon added another sentence.
“Freeze to death, Blizzard Storm.”
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