Shadow Court Magician Chapter 114: Subjugation of the Earth Dragon

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 —While Sicily was repeatedly attacking at night, Leon and his group entered Mount Shibi to investigate the dragon’s den.


 Mount Shibi is also known as the Dragon’s Lair. They are as common as the sparrows in the capital, which is a bit of an exaggeration, but it cannot be said to be false.


 Mount Shibi is a mountain range in the middle of Ernia that is home to an abundance of large mammals, making it an ideal environment for dragons.



“There aren’t any Ancient Dragons, but there are many migratory dragons here.” (Nine)


 These are the words of Major Nine Snipes, who has completed the investigation.



“Since the migratory dragons are huge. I guess they would need plenty of food.” (Victor)


“Yeah, we killed the southwest dragons the other day. The problem is the southeast and south. If we can get rid of the dragons here, they won’t interfere with the construction.”


“So, which one do you want to subjugate first?” (Victor)


“It’s all well and good to be spirited, but get your head out of the clouds.”



 When Victor was told off, Nine gets on it, “That’s right, you big sword idiot.”



“The basic principle of the Art of War is to achieve victory without fighting. I have just observed that the dragons to the southeast and the dragons to the south are of different races.”


“Seriously. Both of them just looked like big lizards to me.” (Victor)


“That’s why you’re such a moron. They’re both totally different. The one in the southeast was a wyvern and the one in the south was an Earth Dragon.” (Nine)


“Wyvern? Earth Dragon?” (Victor)


“Oh, you are such a muscle-brain.” (Nine)



 Nine explains with a sigh.



“A wyvern is a flying dragon.” (Nine)


“Dragons usually have wings.” (Victor)


“Well, a dragon with no arms or legs and only has wings are called wyverns.” (Nine)


“No limbs? I don’t think so. —I mean, how do they get off the ground if they don’t have arms and legs?” (Victor)


“Wyverns spend their entire lives in the sky.” (Nine)


“Seriously? What about this?” (Victor)



 Victor inserts his thumb between his index and middle fingers.



“You’re a crass old man. Wyverns eat in the sky and breed in the sky. They also give birth in the sky. Wyvern youngs can fly from the moment they are born.” (Nine)


“Seriously? That’s awesome!” (Victor)


“Yeah, they’re not the strongest of the dragons, but they have an interesting biology.”



 I supplemented Nine’s commentary.



“By the way, some researchers claim that wyverns are not dragons, based on their skeletons and other information. They don’t breathe fire and some believe they are a type of reptile with wings.”


“Seriously! I can’t tell them apart at all.” (Victor)


“Well, there’s a lot going on in the scholarly world, you know. The species are classified on where they branch out. By the way, they say they taste just like crocodiles.”


“Do they taste good?” (Victor)


“So it seems.”


“I’m looking forward to it.” (Victor)



 Victor seemed to be more interested in the taste than the academic interest. It was just like him, but we would have to wait until another time to eat wyvern. We had a lot of smoked and dried beef and pork in our luggage. I’d like to consume that first.



“I now understand what a Wyvern is, but what is an Earth Dragon?” (Victor)


“That is, as the name implies, a general term for dragons without wings.”


“Oh, yeah, they don’t have wings. There were dragons that crawled on the ground.” (Victor)


“This Mount Shibi is a dragon haven, with fire dragons, earth dragons, even wyverns.”


“So it’s easy for them to live here.” (Nine)


“But why are there so many kinds that live separately?” (Victor)



 When Victor asks a childish question, Nine immediately replies.



“That’s because they are different species. They fight over food.” (Nine)


“Why don’t we just split them up?” (Victor)



 I then said, trying to break up the fight.



“Victor’s words are correct, but Mount Shibi where food is plentiful has recently been drained of food by a giant fire dragon. Fortunately, the fire dragon was killed by a great sorcerer.”



 “Oh, that’s me by the way,” I added


 The two of them were impressed, but praised me, saying, “I see.”



“But it’s not like the ecosystem is going to recover today. There’s a general shortage of large mammals on the south side.”


“And they don’t get along?” (Victor)



 Victor, who had just seen the earth dragon and a wyvern battling each other, murmured.



“That’s right, they’re fighting over the carcass of a lousy goblin.” (Nine)


“I want to take advantage of this situation.”


“What?” (Nine)


“I want the Wyverns to fight the Earth Dragons so they can’t interfere with the construction work or the battle with Maxis.”


“I see. If the wyvern and the dragon are at odds with each other, they cannot physically intervene.” (Nine)


“That’s it.”


“But how do you make them fight?” (Victor)


“It’s simple. Have cattle graze on the border of their nests. Then they’ll fight each other.”


“Cows again! You like cows, don’t you, sir?” (Victor)


“What do you mean?” (Nine)



 Nine asks confused.



“No, it seems that when he saved Princess Sicily, he used the [Flaming Cow Tactic] to save the princess.” (Victor)


“Oh, a flame cow. That sounds amazing.” (Nine)


“It’s an ordinary tactic. All you have to do is tie a torch to a bull’s horn.”


“No, I wouldn’t have thought of that.” (Nine)


“I learned it from those before us in the otherworld. Well, now that we’ve applied the cow the situation, let’s see if we can get our men to prepare 30 heads of cattle.”


“Isn’t that too wasteful? They are valuable food.” (Victor)


“It’s a small price to pay for victory at the expense of a few cattle. You can’t weigh it against human life.”


“Well, yeah. We’ve got plenty of food this time.” (Nine)


“Yeah, we picked up some supplies from the military supply depot on the way over.” (Victor)



 It reminded me of the scene where Nine was shooting flames and Victor’s men were stealing supplies from the warehouse. I thought to myself, “Surprisingly, these guys are also talented bandits.”


 As I spoke, I let a raven fly. It took off with the speed of an arrow, so the cattle would be here tomorrow. I would use it to pit the Earth Dragons against the Wyverns, and my plan should easily succeed.


 —However, there is one thing I’m curious about.


 Looking to the east, there were signs that the forest had been torn down.


 At first, Nine had concluded that it had been torn down by the recent storm, but I had learned from the weather agencies that the recent storm had not reached the mountains of Shibi.


 –No, I had only seen it in one corner of the report, so it was possible that I was misremembering.


When I told him about it, Nine said, “Maybe it was a mark left by a giant dragon crawling around.”


 To which I replied, “Not likely.”



“There are no ancient dragons in this mountain, and if they were this huge, they would have been certified as an ancient dragon species.”



 But it is quite rare to find an ancient dragon that has not been certified as an ancient dragon species.


 For example, if their active period was only a few hundred years, it was possible for them to exist without being reported to the Ancient Dragon Division.


 This time, we were going to come into contact with this “rare” case, but we had no way of knowing about it yet.





 The men of the Libra Division brought in the cattle.


 They looked ferocious. I heard that they were gathering tough cattle on a daily basis because I often use the Flaming Cow Tactic.


 It was a well-known story among farmers in the suburbs of the royal capital that the Libra division was collecting “Gontakure Cattle”. [A/N: Gontakure meaning mischievous] [T/N: A note from the author.]


 My men’s eyes lit up as they said, “Once again, we’re going to be treated to a miracle similar to Leon-sama’s magic,” but I asked them to return to their squads. As I announced the other day, this time it will be just me, Victor, and Nine who will finish the job. I wanted them to focus only on the fortification of Mount Shibi.


 So we didn’t give them front row tickets to the battle but asked them to return to the headquarters, and we took the cattle to the border.



“Moo!” (Cow)



 Some cows went wild, but when we pat them in the butt, they listened to us.



“I wondered if I had done well in my previous life. Or maybe it’s because I’m a Taurus and the cows like me?”



 When they saw me poking them at the flank, they asked, “Where do you like them to be?”, so they helped move the herd.



“It would be easier if we could solve the problem simply by sending cattle to the border.” (Nine)


“So, a herd of cattle will tame a dragon.” (Victor)


“Well, that’s the plan if it goes as well as I hoped.”


“Don’t worry, sir.” (Victor)


“Well, we always get into trouble, that’s why I brought you here.”



 As soon as the cattle were brought to their destination, the wyverns began to fly overhead.


 From the surrounding forest, there was something like an earth tremor.


 Wyverns in the sky above us.


 The ground seems to be under siege by the earth dragons.



“Thank goodness they have good noses.”


“Now, if we just leave the cow and run, we’ll have achieved our goal, right?” (Nine)



 Nine sighs in relief, but it didn’t come to that.


 One of the wyverns charged at us with bloodshot eyes.


 Not at the cow, but at us.


 It gallantly spread its wings out, and Nine complains.



“I was told that according to Commander’s plan, the dragons would start fighting each other.” (Nine)


“I thought so too. I thought so too, but it seems he prefers us to the dragons.”


“We’ve got a big one, a tiny one, and an intellectual the most unsavory of men.” (victor)



 Victor complains, but this Wyvern may have a strange palate.


 I was going to dismiss it that way, but then one of the dragons jumped out of the bushes and came after us, not the cow.



“What’s going on? Nine, do you have beef wrapped around your belly?” (Victor)


“Is there any reason? You do smell of sweat, right?” (Nine)


“Is being sweaty delicious?” (Victor)



 Victor dodged and took out his greatsword to deliver a blow.


 The earth dragon, which resembles a large lizard, survived the blow. His human-crushing strength could still not kill a dragon with a single blow. However, it still works quite well.


 Nine’s hands glowed and he countered them with his flame magic.


 If it is against a fire dragon, the flame would have been useless, but if the opponents are earth dragons and wyverns, the Flame Magic seems to be quite effective.


 The scent of roasting reptiles drifts around.


 As expected, of Nine the Flame Magician and Victor the Demon Lord, but before I can praise them, there is something I need to worry about.


 Why are they as agitated as wild beasts?


 I was curious about that.



“Originally, dragons are intelligent to some extent. Some studies have shown that they have the intellect of a nine-year-old child.” (Nine)


“Maybe they’re just a group who got left out of a nine-year old’s birthday party?” (Victor)


“That’s a possibility, but I also think they’re scared of something.”



 While thinking about it, I use the spell [Ice Spear] to skewer a dragon.



“You seem to still be contemplating a lot sir, but would you mind leaving that contemplation for later? I’d like you to worry about whether we’re going to get eaten first.” (Victor)


“You’re absolutely right. Well, Victor, how long can you hold out on your own?”



 Victor looks around and calmly calculates his strength. The hero of the battlefield finishes the calculation in about 5 seconds,



“Around five minutes, I guess.” (Victor)



 I then said.



“Then, give me exactly that much time, starting now I’ll use forbidden magic to drive out the Wyverns.”


“What about the earth dragons?” (Vitor)


“I’ll leave the earth dragons to Nine.”


“What? Me?” (Nine)



 He points to his nose.



“Well, Brother Leon, I’m an ordinary magician, unlike you. I can’t just shoot forbidden magic and kill them in one blast.” (Nine)


“Then, you can do it twice.”



 “That’s the same!” I laughed at Nine’s angry reaction.



“Just kidding. I have a plan. I’m really glad you are a flame magician.”



 When I say that, I whispered the plan to Nine’s ears.


 Nine, who heard the plan, said, “Well, can I even do that?”, But Victor seems to be feeling left out.



“We’re not leaving you out. It’s just more interesting to keep it silent.” (Nine)


“It’s kind of awkward, but will be okay. If you ask for details, you may get flustered and we may end up with a quarter of the time.”


“That’s a good point. I’m going to start the five-minute count down.” (Victor)



 I threw a fireball and at the same time Victor took down the Wyvern.



“The warrior of my division is a demon.”



 I couldn’t help but complain about the signal timing to start counting, but when I heard it, I started chanting forbidden magic. Nine moves backward and begins the “trick”. He would bring strong reinforcements in five minutes. I had no doubt about that.


 The only question was whether Victor could hold out for five minutes.


 I observed the activities of Major Victor, the Demon Lord.


 He is a man who lives up to his nickname of “Demon Lord”.


 He struts around the battlefield wielding a large sword.


 When surrounded by earth dragons, he spins like a typhoon and knocks them away.


 If he is attacked by a wyvern from the sky, he flies, spins vertically, and cuts it in half.


 His movements were inhuman, but to my horror, he did it all with his muscles.



“It’s a trick that Nine and I can never do.”



 Both I and Nine can be as good as Victor, but we’re just magically enhancing our muscles, so to speak, we’re doping. However, Victor was able to perform such unorthodox movements using only his own well-trained body.



“Cutting a Wyvern while rotating vertically is something that sounds like from a ‘game’ from the otherworld.”



 I haven’t done played one, but it was written in a book that these ‘game’ from the otherworld seems to display such flashy sights.


 He once again impressed me, but even so, it’s hard to deal with the Wyverns and the Earth Dragons at the same time by myself, so I speed up the chanting of the forbidden magic. I cut off the unnecessary parts and put the power of the Wind Spirit King in both hands, and asked Nine who came at just the right time.



“It looks like you’re ready.”


“It’s done, it’s done. I mean, I’m not a cowboy.” (Nine)


“You have a wonderful skill for that though.”


“I’m a fire magician. I also have pine tar.” (Nine) [T/N: Pine tar is a form of tar produced by the high-temperature carbonization of pine wood in anoxic conditions. This is from Wikipedia-sensei.]


“You’re going to smear it on the bull’s horns and cast a long-lasting fire spell.”


“Oh, all I have to do is wait for Brother Leon’s command. Can I ignite it now?” (Nine)


“Yes, I’m ready. I’m going to drop the wyvern with a bang, and you can use that as a signal.”


“Got it.” (Nine)



 When Nine replies briefly, I cast magic. The [Blade Storm] spell.


 Releasing the magical power of wind from both arms I create a tornado.


 I send it to the group of Wyverns who are about to attack Victor.


 The [Blade Storm] moves and rages like a tornado. Since a sharp iron blade-like wind swirls inside, the wings and body of the wyverns are slashed in tatters.


 Wyverns began falling one after another, and Victor is steadily crushing their heads.


 He seems to have regained enough room to catch his breath, but I’m sorry about that. I wanted to give him enough room to take a nap.


 Looking lightly at Nine, I nodded.


 He casts a spell on the cows he brought. It’s the spell of [Ignition], but it wasn’t just any [Ignition] spell, it was a widespread and long-lasting original spell. It seemed to have been made up on the spot, but this was the true ability of the Flame Magician.


 The horns of the cows were coated with pine tar, and they burned well.


 Suddenly, their heads were ablaze with fire, and the heat and pain excited the cows to charge.


 The cows rush forward in a rage.


 Some of the dragons were as large as three to seven meters in length, but the charge of the cattle weighing more than one ton was powerful.


 We were terrified by the herd of cattle that rushed at them, cloaked in flames.


 Victor attacked them as well, and I joined in.


 I transformed my magic staff into a sword and took them out one by one.


 The unhunted dragons were bewildered, but they didn’t retreat.


 Their eyes were bloodshot to the core.



“Where in the world does this madness come from? Even a drug-addled soldier has the ability to think a little more about when to retreat.” (Victor)



 Victor put it that way, but it was a strange way to put it.


 The wyvern began to withdraw from the tornado earlier.


 The fear of death seemed to have outweighed the agitation and appetite.


 However, the earth dragon was still in full adrenaline mode and showed no signs of backing down. Rather, the dragons in the mountains were gathering as if they were being drawn together.


 Should we retreat? I thought so, but then I realized something.


 I noticed that the dragons were forming a kind of formation.


 The formation was unusually thick in certain areas.


 I’m going to defend this place to the death. I will not let them through. I felt such a will.


 If that’s the case, I’m a foolish person, and I want to find out where it goes.


 I told Viktor and Nine the details and told them that I would use [Flight] to go over their heads.


 Their response was.



“Well, that’s fine. I’ll last for about 10 minutes with Tiny.” (Victor)


“If Lieutenant Colonel Leon wants to find something out, it would be something meaningful.” (Nine)



 They gave me an affirmative.


 I didn’t waste a second, and as I flew, I crossed the earth dragons and headed beyond them.


 What the dragons were hiding was a path to the forest.


 The trees at the entrance to the forest had been torn down.


 It was exactly the same scene we had seen earlier.


 When I carefully examined the trees, I found that they were covered with the scales of the earth dragons.


 It looked as if a group of dragons had knocked them down, but I didn’t make that judgment. This was because the dragon’s scales were bigger than my face.


 Inferring from its size, the owner of this scale seems to be the size of a hill.


 There is no such monster except for an ancient dragon.



“In other words, was there an ancient dragon in Mount Shibi?”




 It’s probably a type that changes its activity cycle every few hundred years. It is the most troublesome type.



“The wyverns were instinctively frightened by this thing and attacked us, but the earth dragons were instinctively loyal to it.”



 In other words, if they could defeat the ancient dragon, the owner of these scales, they would become docile.


 So, as a court magician and military strategist, I had to defeat the dragon.


 But I can’t do that.


 I’m not a dreamer, and I never expected to be able to defeat an ancient dragon by myself.


 –I didn’t think so, but I had to try.


 If there is a dragon that can knock down a forest like this, the plan to fortify Mount Shibi will be pointless. The fortress would collapse if the dragon went on a rampage. If Maxis attacked me at that moment, it would be the end of the world.


 Then I had no choice but to defeat it, so I entered the depths of the forest.


 Deep in the forest, the closer I got to the center, the thicker the presence of the ancient dragon species became.


 The smell of sulfur mixed with a beastly odor hung in the air.


 There was also a heavy bass sound that seemed to resonate in the pit of my stomach. The ancient dragon shakes its surroundings just by breathing.


 It is a terrible monster, but I put all my magic power into my right hand.



“—how about a forbidden magic spell as a greeting. That’s right.”



 I immediately shoot the forbidden magic spell [Flare].


 If it cannot be defeated by that, I will retreat and think of another way. This is the strategy of the best military strategist of this time. I’m a bit of a haphazard guy. However, when it comes to the ancient dragons, a clever strategy can be meaningless. It was not like the fire dragon that I had defeated before.


 I let out another breath, but the moment I did, a roar engulfed my body.


 It was a roar that seemed to break my eardrums, but I was wearing a [Soundproof] spell, so there was no problem. But even so, the roar that shook my hair and resonated through my entire body was worthy of awe.


 To be honest, I was terrified, but now that it knew I was there, I had no choice but to attack.


 I release the energy from my palm without targeting the target.


 The forbidden magic [Flare] spreads out in an arc.


 A huge amount of magic power converged and formed a single bundle, stretching straight out, but at the end of it was a huge earth dragon.


 It opened its large mouth and rushed at me.


 The reason I didn’t aim was that I didn’t need to aim.


 I figured that if it was this big, I could hit it with a random attack, and I was right.


 [Flare] hit the mouth of the giant dragon as it rushed forward, knocking down trees.


 [Flare] was one of the most powerful spells I could chant, but it didn’t faze the giant dragon. It only peeled off some of its scales.



“–What a monster!”



 It would take at least five strategic level magicians to defeat this thing.


 I’m sure I’m not out of line in my thinking, but there’s nothing to be gained by being right. But I didn’t freak out and attack.



“Okay, I have to do it. I’ll die or you’ll die. It’s a simple game.”



 As I said it, I magically strengthened my whole body and jumped at the earth dragon.


 It attacked the trees and I attacked its flank continuously, but no matter how many times I attacked, I could not inflict a fatal wound.



 Ten minutes later—



 My whole body heaves as I breathe. My magic power was starting to run out. 


 I was not injured, but I could barely stand.


 I could have collapsed and fainted right there and then, but I kept my legs strong and stood.


 I could not expect reinforcements if I collapsed here. If I die here, the princess’s future is at stake.


 Thinking of that, I couldn’t think of dying and getting comfortable.


 It was my destiny to fight to the end.


 While I was dodging the giant dragon’s attacks and trying to figure out how to get into a “duel” with it, a fireball flew at me from behind.



 When I turned around, I saw that Nine had released the magic of the Fireball.



“Hey, why are you here?”


“I came as reinforcement.” (Nine)


“What happened to Victor. Can he manage the front line?”


“He said this little guy was in the way and to save our Commander Leon. Well, thank God he’s your subordinate.” (Nine)


“…you guys.”



 So I thank my subordinate who should be wielding a blood-stained greatsword with both hands, I decided to repay their kindness with a match.



“Nine, how do you think we can defeat that massive earth dragon?”


“I don’t know.” (Nine)


“It’s okay, just give me something.”


“Seriously? I don’t know. The skin is so thick that it would be useless to attack it from the outside…” (Nine)



 Nine tilted his head for a while,



“That’s right! We can destroy it from the inside!” (Nine)






“You’re right. That’s my number one disciple.” [T/N: What about Sicily? Isn’t she the number 1 disciple? You fickle man.]


“When did I become your disciple? …Well, I’m glad I am.” (Nine)


“Well, you’ll be my temporary apprentice until I defeat him.”


“Then, until we defeat him, I’m your temporary disciple.” (Nine)


“Then, I will defeat it, watch.”



 Once I declare it, I planned on jumping into its belly.



“The Lieutenant Colonel himself!?” (Nine)


“I’m not going to risk my men, and I’m the only one who can do this because I’ll have to cast the [Implosion] spell once I’m inside its belly.”


“You’re right, I’m short of energy.” (Nine)


“I know. Well, you’re short, so what can we do?”


“Don’t say I’m short.—But Lieutenant Colonel, don’t die.” (Nine)


“I know. I can’t die until I’ve read every book in the world.”


“Hehe, how greedy.” (Nine)



 As Nine said it, he creates a massive Fireball fired it.


 The earth dragon that was hit, was in so much pain that it opens its mouth.


 I take advantage of the opportunity and use my [Transfer] magic to jump into the dragon’s mouth. I took great care to avoid the teeth, and if I had been a few centimeters off, I would have lost my right arm.


 However, my magician’s robe was not safe. The edge of my favorite robe was torn off.



“Damn, don’t you dare step on the low monthly salary of an Ernian soldier.”




 I had a headache when I thought about the cost of replacing the robe, but I still jumped into its stomach and chanted the [Implosion] spell.

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