There was a gigantic hole in the surface of the wasteland.
With a diameter of approximately thirty kilometers, it truly was a gigantic hole. It was the former location of the Imperial Capital. No traces of that remained.
In the sky above it, there were seven figures.
Three to the west: Ria, Carla, Serge.
Three to the east: Ars, Ferna, and a man they hadn’t seen before.
Looking at him with Dragon Eyes, his level was beyond 200. Ria thought that he would definitely bring Rei along like how he’d done with the meeting, but she was busy with the demon army’s management.
Between the two groups was a woman whose hair was colored like a blazing fire.
Fire Dragon Ohma. The youngest and most inquisitive of the God Dragons.
“It’s a bit different than we arranged…?”
Receiving Ria’s gaze and hearing her question, Ohma smiled.
“What, there’s no way I could miss out on such an interesting contest, right? Besides, you need someone here that could stop you if it gets too far.”
(So that’s Ars’ insurance?)
Unlike Ria, Ars knew the value of his own life. He judged that Ohma would be able to stop the match before he was killed if he lost the match.
For Ars, this match was something that was unnecessary. Doing something like fruitlessly risking your own life was foolish.
Meanwhile, would Ohma make a move if Ria were about to lose?
No, would Ars even try to take Ria’s life to start with?
It felt like he wouldn’t. How to put it—Ars felt like the kind of human that made use of lives efficiently.
If someone was going to die, he’d make the most use out of it happening. Even during war, the demons’ army hadn’t annihilated their enemies.
Ars held the resolution of a king. Different from Ria.
Ria was a human who lived for the sake of fighting. Valis herself had chosen an utterly unqualified person to be her own successor.
“Ah well, it’s fine.”
Whatever the results would be, for now, she just wanted to fight.
“Shall we get to it?”
With that, Ria drew Nagasone Kotetsu.
“Oi hold up, that katana’s weird! Why isn’t its blade chipped after taking hits from an orichalcum holy sword!?”
After exchanging a few blows, Ars shouted out in surprise.
“Because it’s Nagasone Kotetsu.”
“Why’s Nagasone Kotetsu in this world then!?”
“Because I made it with genesis magic!”
She attacked with her Level 9 Swordsmanship skill once again. And she came to realize something.
Ars’ swordsmanship was inferior to Ria’s. To be more precise, he was worse at close combat.
She wondered why it was like that despite living for a thousand years, but he was probably concentrating on other things. If things kept on as-is, Ria would be able to end this without Ohma’s intervention.
Her instant-kill stab found its mark within Ars’ bosom.
At that moment, Ars’ figure vanished. Not surprised in the least, she sent a flying sword slash upwards.
Ria’s body moved in accordance to her sixth sense.
A sword made its way through her Dragon Fighting Spirit and sent her shoulder armor flying.
The two barely passed by each other as they took a small distance, facing each other off.
Ars had used teleportation magic, something that should’ve required an incredible amount of concentration to pull off, in an instant.
“Correct. It’s a trump card of mine, but it looks like that wasn’t enough.”
She could see how relaxed Ars was. Seeing as how it was ‘a’ trump card of his, he probably still had two or three more.
“It appears as though I’m at a disadvantage in close quarters, so I’ll just…”
In that instant, a barrier surrounded Ria. Immediately afterwards, he invoked a certain magic.
Thermonuclear Darkness Exploding Hell.
He was attacking Ria with a destructive force even more condensed than the one Carla had used.
“I did it… or not.”
Along with Ars’ mutter, the barrier was torn and she dashed out of it.
Ars was hit by Ria’s reverse cross slash, his body flying upward into the sky.
“— The abyss comes, returning all to eternity —”
Together with a short incantation, a darkness spread from within Ars’ hands. No, it wasn’t darkness…?
It was a magic that returned everything to nothingness. It’s the spell that the present hero had used when he fought against him.
A power of nothingness scattered about, eating away at space as it approached Ria. It immediately became apparent that this wasn’t something that her Dragon Fighting Spirit could even hope of defending against.
She dodged with all she had. Her left arm had disappeared, eaten by the darkness.
“— Let there be light —”
Meanwhile, Ars continued speaking.
This time, a beam of light attacked Ria at what was literally the speed of light. This attack, however, was cancelled out by her Darkness Dragon Fighting Spirit.
“I’d expect no less of the Demon King.”
Giving a ghastly smile, Ria looked up to Ars.
Her left arm had already been regenerated. Even the endurance it took to do so was regenerating at a rapid pace.
“I thought I was going to die for a moment there.”
“That Ruin magic was my second trump card though…”
Despite sweating down his back, Ars still didn’t break his act of playing the fool.
He was at a disadvantage in close combat. Having said that, not even his magic attacks had any effect.
This girl was stronger than the Hero.
Even if she was a reincarnated individual, her just being able to reach Level 230 was strange. Even Ars, someone who’d lived a thousand years, was just barely under 300.
And there was such a difference between the gap in their levels and how well they could fight.
Moreover, she even had a Gift that was more amazing than the Hero and Demon King.
This was Dragon’s Bloodline? To be honest, she was even stronger than the Demon King he’d fought a millennium ago.
She alone was giving him the same kind of tension it took the five Black Cats to give. A literal monster. Only she could succeed Valis.
He felt that he could beat her if he hit her with Ruin directly. However, she wouldn’t give him any chances like that.
“It’s no use. You really are stronger than me. I’ll just lose if we keep this up.”
“Nonsense. I know that you’re still hiding something.”
“No, you really are stronger. I truly do still have trump cards, but they are things meant for the Great Collapse.”
“So you’ll just sit there and die?”
Ria’s murderous intent thickened. Ars looked toward Ohma, but she didn’t look like she intended to step in, given the grin on her face.
“Oh well. I’ll just have to show you, then.”
Ars prepared himself.
Ria truly was stronger than Ars. However, as there were no holds barred on what they could use, Ars could use his trump cards.
A giant magic formation emerged.
“Demon King Machine God.”
It was a black giant. Outfitted in armor, it was a union of science and magic.
It had six pairs of wings and two sets of arms. Each of its hands wielded a different weapon.
“An individual cannot win against this.”
Ars spoke quietly.
A short sword was drawn from the Machine God’s arm. An ultrasonic vibration sword. This was a blade of destruction that could even tear through orichalcum.
Ria evaded at full speed. This robot was, despite its size, beyond quick. Guinevere’s golem’s performance was simply incomparable to it.
After she evaded, it took out another weapon with its other hand. It was a small warhammer compared to its massive build, but even so, it was plenty large enough to crush Ria.
Standing still in midair, Ria tried to catch its blow, but even with her Superhuman Strength Gift, it was impossible for her.
Blasted away several kilometers, she smashed into the ground.
“Do you like it? This thing is mass produced in the Demonlands. Well, their overall performance is a bit lower, but they can even withstand the blast of a nuclear explosion.”
Ria could hear Ars’ voice from somewhere. Spitting out the dirt that got in her mouth, she quickly stood back up.
She put Nagasone Kotetsu away. No matter how much she strengthened it with magic, it probably wouldn’t have been able to tear through the golem’s armor.
“I’ll use my trump card, too.”
Ria placed her hands together in front of her chest. Separating them slowly, a pitch-black sword appeared in the space between her palms.
Born from the Dark Dragon’s fang, this was the world’s strongest weapon. The katana by the name of Gallach.
“Now’s the time for us to really get this going.”
She flourished Gallach. With that swing, the atmosphere itself was sliced through and a mountain some distance away was destroyed.
“… That’s new.”
Ars muttered in a shaky voice.
“Now then, let’s see how you’ll stop THIS!”
A clash between a giant robot produced through the synthesis of all of the Demonlands’ technology and a godsword forged through the Dwarves’ work on the Dark Dragon’s power.
Wasn’t this something that could be called the reproduction of the age of legends?
Together with a terrifying vigor, Ria slashed at the Machine God. It protected its body by using its wings as a shield, but the blade tore through them, continuing to mar its armor.
A magic formation appeared on the Machine God’s armor as the emptiness of ruin assaulted Ria.
Ria deflected—rather, flicked it away with Gallach.
“Why didn’t Ruin work!?”
Even while shouting that, Ars shot a countless amount of nothingness at Ria.
Soaring at a high speed, Ria flung out a shock wave caused by Gallach.
The shock wave disappeared.
And reappeared, this time aimed at Ria.
Laughing, Ria cut through it.
A spear shot out from the Machine God towards her, followed by a battle axe that used the instant she dodged to attack.
That giant black battle axe was cut in twain.
Physical attacks didn’t make their way to Ria. Neither did magic.
It was the same for Ria, though, as her flying slashes didn’t land. Neither was she able to close the gap again to make an attack.
Defeat would be met by whoever first ran out of mana or endurance. That was the situation.
However, Ria held the disadvantage.
Let alone fighting with it, Gallach absorbed her mana just by wielding it. Ars, on the other hand, was able to fight this protracted battle by relying on the magic stone’s mana embedded within the Machine God.
However, the first one to make a move in this deadlock was Ars.
He threw his sword at Ria. She deflected that giant mass of metal with Gallach.
The opening produced by that was slight, but that opening was exactly what Ars desired.
The Machine God’s armor was blown away from within.
What the golem turned into was a giant of light that absorbed mana from its magic stone.
What manifested was something previously sealed by the dragons, another world’s God.
‘What the hell’ is what Ria wanted to ask.
Its mana far surpassed her own. Not even her Dragon Eyes could see its capabilities.
After shedding its armor, its body had expanded to being several kilometers tall. Its head pierced the clouds.
“It’s a God that fought against this world three thousand years ago. Maybe you’ve heard of it?”
This world had Dragons. It had Gods as well.
But it’s said that virtually all of those gods fell three thousand years ago, the rest sealed away.
Sacred City worshiped those sealed Gods, but in this world where Dragons were absolute existences, the faith towards those Gods was incredibly small.
Even so, those Gods still existed. And now, one stood right before her.
“And now I’m out of trump cards. It’s your win if you still have something, though.”
“This katana here was my only trump card. I’ll stop it with this.”
Still holding her katana, Ria looked up at the God.
“Something like that seriously got left out… I mean really, how’s he even controlling it?”
No one was next to Ohma to hear her mutters.
But in the next instant, something appeared.
“It must have been a God that was sealed in the demons’ area. It’s probably being controlled by that magic stone there.”
She had silvery hair and Dragon Eyes.
Wind Dragon Terrew. An entity that existed anywhere and everywhere within this world’s atmosphere.
Not surprised at her sudden appearance, Ohma felt admiration.
“Wooow, the human race is awesome. They can even subjugate Gods?”
“That’s because he’s the Demon King.”
When they looked over to who called them, it was Carla with an unusually desperate expression on her face.
“Could you two please stop this fight with your power?”
Unlike the disinterested Ohma, Terrew gazed straight toward Carla.
“I saw it back there… but you truly do seem to draw from my bloodline… as well as the bloodline of the fallen gods? What an interesting lineage…”
Not granting Carla’s wish, Terrew put her hand up to her chin.
“Come to think of it, there had been that oddball who produced children with humans, is it that bloodline? Even so…”
Carla grew fretful seeing Terrew mutter to herself, but the first one to respond was Ohma.
“Don’t worry about it~. It’s not over at aaaall~!”
But what Carla was seeing happen was Ria’s figure being tossed this way and that through the God’s power.
He had decided to be an observer. However, she couldn’t bear to lose Ria.
Even if Ria didn’t want her to, even if it was just her ego, Carla believed that she had to stop this fight.
“Just wait and see, the real thing’s about to kick off. Kishishi.”
The God’s power was overwhelming.
Even when she scratched it with Gallach’s blade, it repaired itself immediately.
Could not even this fang of darkness beat this mass of light?
Its gigantic arm and the wind pressure it brought about striking Ria’s body, her body, something that she had definitely reinforced, was being ripped apart.
That arm soon enough struck Ria down, embedding her into the ground.
Her limbs were smashed. Her internal organs ruptured.
Her skull had cracked.
Was this it?
This God, it was probably weaker than Valis. Even so, it was far stronger than Ria. Even those at the top still had to gaze up to others.
Did she not have any ways to beat this thing?
Even if she held Gallach in her hand, if Ria herself ran out of strength, it wouldn’t be able to demonstrate its might.
Was this not enough?
To start with, this wasn’t a match where she thought about winning or losing. This was just her selfishly wanting to draw a line within herself.
She couldn’t win against something like this. She went this far, so her friends and family on Earth should be able to forgive her.
Had her obligations not already been fulfilled? It should be fine if she closed her eyes and slept.
However, there was something that pleaded her.
The sacred treasure born from Dark Dragon Valis’ fang.
It was pleading, pleading to not stop there.
If you think I still have power, please, tell me where it is.
—The blood flowing within your body. What constitute your body and soul.
—Your Dragon’s Bloodline.
Gallach and Ria formed a resonance. Her tattered body reconstructed itself.
A new strength was born.
The God that had pummeled her into the ground lifted its fist.
Black scales. Elongated neck. Extended wings.
Fangs. Claws. A tail. Dragon Eyes.
What had emerged from beneath that fist… was a Darkness Dragon.