Return To Player Chapter 265

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Return To Player

# 265

265. Direct Confrontation (2)

“Can’t believe a player is commanding a dragon.”

It was beyond imagination.

First off, the very notion that dragons still existed on Earth was baffling.

“When did the era of myths end for dragons to survive till now?”

Ages had seemingly passed since then.

To Talion, it felt like thousands of years, at least.

The shock of there being a surviving dragon over this extensive period was overshadowed only by the fact that a player could command it.

“Weren’t dragons beings even the gods struggled to subjugate?”

Mythology often mentioned dragons that devoured giants and gods without much trouble.

That wasn’t an exaggeration; dragons were such formidable creatures.

Even if they were lesser deities, dragons physically encompassed the utmost limits of strength.

Dragon scales, bones, eyes, and heart – any of these were top-tier materials.

Facing a monster equipped with all these, even Talion would struggle to conquer.

“…Could it be that this is a monster registered as a Sentinel?”

He wasn’t well-versed in game operations, but the aura emanating from the dragon was reminiscent of a Sentinel.

The system had apparently categorized a monster from the mythic age as a Sentinel.

Yet now, this dragon ignored its role and sided with a player.

“I can’t comprehend this.”

Talion gazed at the dragon.

More accurately, at the man standing atop its head.

Guild master Arthur of Pendragon was known to be a powerful player, but the ability to control dragons was a new revelation.

Furthermore,

“A fairy.”

Golden chains twisted and entwined to form a massive spherical barrier around them, preventing anyone from leaving or entering the area.

‘Hasn’t the myth era ended long ago on Earth?’

This wasn’t some simple elf-like being.

Fairies were essentially living spirits, commanding powers of a different magnitude and scope.

Considering the strength he felt, this fairy had to have survived for a very long time.

How had it lived through to the present day after the end of the mythic age?

“Indeed, it was a smart move to isolate me. But do you think anything will change by you doing so?!”

Talion shouted toward Arthur.

“Even if you defeat me, by then, my brethren will have destroyed everything you’ve achieved. No matter if you have a fairy as an ally, you are not a match for us.”

Talion was undoubtedly one of the strongest giants there, but the others were far from weak. They were part of an elite guard, notorious amongst the giants, weren’t they?

“While we cause havoc here, the main forces will arrive. And with them, the end of Earth.”

“I am aware.”

Between the elite attacking key figures and the arrival of the Publisher’s main forces, the earth was in peril.

Arthur knew through Sehan’s information.

But it wasn’t like he had a special countermeasure.

Even if he anticipated an ambush and prepared, the foes weren’t ones easily thwarted.

Thus, the strategy was simple: confront and topple them head-on.

‘Thank goodness Draigg Goch was persuaded just right.’

Arthur let out a sigh of relief inwardly as he looked at the red dragon, which had acknowledged him.

Had it not been for this dragon, the idea of facing the giant Talion alone would’ve been inconceivable.

‘As for the outside… Morgan will take care of it.’

Arthur slowly lifted Excalibur and pointed it at Talion.

As he did, the dragon roared and charged at Talion.

[Kyaaaah!!]

“Damn it!”

Talion’s forehead jewel shone as he responded to the dragon’s gaping maw charging at him.

‘I need to revert to my true form and finish this at once.’

Most giants, except ones like the mighty Bango, couldn’t fully tap into their strength in smaller human forms. The larger form was inconvenient for stealth and dealing with smaller humans, hence why it was preferably avoided.

But now wasn’t the time to be concerned with such trivialities.

“I’ll make you regret this!”

The godhood within swelled, and the two-meter giant’s flesh instantaneously grew to match the dragon in size. The patterns etched upon his body emitted light, and faced with his immense godhood, Arthur felt choked.

‘It truly feels like standing before a deity.’

As he considered this, Talion’s massive axe descended toward Arthur – and the dragon below – aiming to split them both in a single blow.

“Draigg Goch, I’ll handle the axe. Charge forward!”

At the last moment, a pure white radiance enveloped Arthur’s sword.

The giant’s axe was immense, but Arthur stood unflinching.

‘Concentration of Conviction.’

Arthur’s most potent ability.

As long as his will reached, it continually accumulated power, strengthening it.

It was akin to Azazel’s ability.

This alone spoke volumes about the infinite potential of Concentration of Conviction.

GOOO!!

Holding the glowing white Excalibur, Arthur leapt from the dragon’s head.

He swung Excalibur horizontally at the vertically descending axe.

Screech!

“……!!”

It was an axe filled with divine force.

But the axe, swung with the full force of Talion’s mid-high tier divinity, was cleanly sliced in half.

It wasn’t a close call.

The axe split as easily as cutting soft tofu, and Arthur closed in next to Talion.

‘That sword is no ordinary weapon!’

Talion didn’t know.

That the sword Arthur wielded, Excalibur, was the mightiest on Earth.

And that the fully unleashed Excalibur held the power to nullify godhood entirely.

No matter how charged with divinity, to Excalibur, it was just a massive, sturdy axe.

‘There were no records of such an ability! Had it never been used until now?’

It hadn’t been used.

There had been no one worth drawing out divinity against, and during the Aldebaran incident, Arthur couldn’t fully harness Excalibur’s power.

‘Save it for when there’s need to use it,’ Sehan had said.

Arthur had followed that advice faithfully.

As a result, none of the giants knew the power of Excalibur.

“GENZAAAAAA!!”

With a wide open maw, Draigg Goch aimed to tear off his neck, but Talion used his forearm to block the biting assault.

The dragon’s teeth ran across his skin, cracking against the indomitable surface and deflecting off.

‘My flesh is invincible. It cannot be punctured!’

That was Talion’s ability.

A powerful body, and divine essence spread across his skin, strengthening it via the patterns etched over his body.

His skin, tougher than any material, was Talion’s pride.

It was what placed him fifth amongst the elite guard.

‘I might not comprehend how he cut my axe, but he will not slash through my skin.’

Seeing the small human, Arthur, up close, Talion was gripped by an inexplicable unease.

Could the man who so easily sliced his axe also cleave his proud skin?

‘I was going to attack the moment the sword rebounded off my skin, but given the uncertainty, perhaps I should dodge.’

While it hurt his pride to dodge a human’s attack, his instincts screamed not to confront that sword.

“It’s too late.”

As Talion moved to dodge Arthur’s strike, his voice rang out.

“What…!”

The distance was close, but there was enough room for evasion.

And the speed was manageable.

Yet Talion witnessed it – the triumphant smile on Arthur’s lips.

“I’ve already dealt with a giant.”

When the axe first swung, Arthur roughly gauged Talion’s maximum speed.

He was merely gauging for any unforeseen abilities or faster movements.

WHOOSH!

Arthur kicked through thin air.

Using magic to momentarily create a foothold, he engaged Concentration of Conviction.

Instantly, the distance between an aloof Talion and Arthur vanished.

‘There’s no escape.’

Arthur wasn’t targeting Talion’s comparatively smaller neck, but his vast torso instead.

The Excalibur, glowing white, plunged into Talion’s chest.

Pfwuck!!

“Keugh!!”

Sharp pain surged through his chest.

The sword, negating his divine skin, had fully penetrated.

’So the sword negates divine essence!’

Now he understood.

Which is why it cleaved through both his axe and his skin with ease.

When Excalibur impaled him, the divine essence filling his body dispersed.

‘If only I knew, I would’ve simply countered.’

Though his chest throbbed, compared to Talion’s massive frame, the sword wasn’t terribly long.

Even the wound from Arthur’s concentrated sword energy wasn’t fatal. Killing this petty human was trivial.

‘If not divinity, I’ll use magic power to… Huh?’

If divine essence was negated, he’d turn to magic to slay Arthur.

Gathering his magic, however, he found it wouldn’t respond.

As if all surrounding magic was being sucked into a void…

“What is this?”

Before Talion stood the dragon.

The one that protected Briton, the Cinnabar Dragon.

Its maw glowed crimson as the barrier turned red.

Arthur was no longer visible in his chest.

Only the Excalibur, meant to disable his divine essence, remained.

Without divinity, what is the mightiest being?

It is the dragon, master of magic.

[────!!]

A crimson beam burst forth from Draigg Goch’s mouth.

A dragon’s sovereign power, the Dragon Breath, hammered directly into Talion’s chest where Excalibur was lodged.

Defence was impossible with the sword present, and magic simply nourished the dragon.

“Lord Ymir.”

These were Talion’s last words.

With a gaping hole in his chest, he was no longer a being capable of speech.

***

‘They’re fighting better than I expected.’

In the central control room of the Publisher,

Minah let out a sigh of relief as she watched Earth’s situation unfold.

Shocked upon hearing the vanguard had headed to Earth, she worried if anyone she knew had perished. But at least for now, there were no significant casualties.

“Yorouem, any deaths reported from the vanguard?”

“One – Talion,” was the response.

“It seems we’re well prepared, after all.”

Minah spoke with ease, pretending to be the giant Yorouem, while cautiously monitoring a presence beside her. It was Ymir who observed the situation at her side.

‘Shit, can’t he go away? It’s so intimidating.’

Ymir continued business as usual, processing operations in the central control room, stealing glances at Ymir.

‘Yikes!’

Why was Ymir staring intently at Minah?

As if scrutinizing something.

‘Did he notice? Am I dead?’

Silent, Ymir continued to watch her.

Minah shifted her inquiry-back glance to her regular work attitude and posture, carrying on as she usually did.

Time passed.

Ymir finally began to speak.

“You’re quite capable.”

“Pardon?”

“I heard you’re fairly new here, but you handle tasks well. Yorouem, I knew you were perceptive, but to be this efficient was unexpected.”

“Th-thank you.”

Unexpected praise.

Minah wondered if it was a test of some sort but saw no signs of it.

Thankfully, it seemed Ymir had not realized that Yorouem was actually Minah.

“Now that I think about it…”

Ymir’s gaze drifted from her to the giants in the central control room.

“Among the Die-a-side players, there’s one with Loki’s avatar and shapeshifting abilities.”

‘……’

Minah’s breath hitched for a moment.

“And recently, Loki’s been incommunicado. Have you seen any odd behavior among giants in the Publisher?”

“Um, we will reinforce security within the Publisher. Even so, it’s unlikely anyone infiltrated this far into the company. At most, they might have sneaked into the mortal realm, I would think.”

Another giant, with the longest tenure in the central control room, answered Ymir’s query.

‘I’m already here.’

Minah watched the situation with a heavy heart.

Luckily, Ymir, and the other giants, truly didn’t suspect an infiltration within the Publisher.

Their confident demeanor was quite a sight to behold.

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