A Misunderstood Mentor – Side Story 1 (real version) – Alice and the Ancient Dragon
It hast been several millennia since I was born.
Born as the Dragon King, I reigned over the summit of life.
Thus, I could not recognize this disgusting emotion at first.
In front of my eyes was a human who could make me feel fear.
I was left trembling.
I only had my last trump card left to use.
When I first saw her, I could not believe that she was a human.
She came to my emerald-studded limestone cave without warning.
Her aura seemed to be at the verge of exploding. She was trying to contain such a brutal strength withing her body, but a fine, sharp aura was leaking out of her small body without end.
The girl’s long, flowing hair fluttered in the wind, shining in a beautiful gold. Her eyes sparkled like an azure gem, and I couldn’t help but to admire its beauty.
Her features were yet more beautiful than any other human I had seen before. Clad in a silver armor and with a longsword strapped on her back, I was reminded of the mythical Valkyrie.
Whispering a single sentence, the human peacefully and calmly walked towards me.
I would give her a light blow.
Just a small sweep of my claws to pin her to the ground. Or that was how it was supposed to be.
However, the one to be pinned to the ground was me.
It was simply a pure difference in power.
This small human girl was overwhelmingly stronger than I.
Terror and dread echoed within my body.
It would seem that I was completely unable to get a single hit on this single human girl. Impossible. I could not forgive myself for such a lack of power.
“What is thy name?”
It hast been over a thousand years since I last asked a human for their name.
A clear, pleasant sound resonated through my cave dwelling.
“Alice” became the second human’s name to be engraved upon my soul after the Grand Sage Nerissa.
“Splendid, Alice. Thou hast almost reached the summit of power. Thy power hast surpassed the limits of what a human can train to be. However, that is all thou amount to. Thou cannot defeat I, the one who standeth at the peak of draconic power.”
I bet my everything.
I undid my internal limiter.
My sealed power exploded out of deep within my body.
It was a power that I had crystalized within my body every day for the thousands of years since I was born. My final trump card.
“Farewell, Alice. I shall not forget thy name for forever into eternity.”
The most ancient of dragons.
It was the deepest, most hidden secret of the one known as the Ancient Dragon, me. I had never used this most strongest attack.
I roared with the strongest strength I’d ever mustered.
Thousands of years of accumulated power was unleashed into the material world with that single roar. It was an attack at contained the essence of my soul.
The move had no name.
An attack I could only use once in my lifetime needed no name. It was just pure, overwhelming power.
Alice was looking at me, not even attempting to dodge. Perhaps she realized that there was nowhere safe from the attack.
A bright white light, not dissimilar to the light that created life, enveloped Alice and the rest of the cave.
Everything was over.
Yet, right as I was about to relax, I heard a noise.
Alice yelled out a guttural sound.
It was a sound filled with the battle intent.
And that was all it took to completely dissipate the attack I’ve built since the start of my life. Swoosh, and it was gone.
“You gotta be f-ing kiddin’ me.”
I accidentally voiced my thoughts.
No matter how much I thought about it, that was impossible.
My life. Swoosh. Gone.
I stared at Alice.
“That I am not, Ancient Dragon.”
Like what the f*ck? I thought to myself. I glared at her.
“You have beaten me from heart to soul. I no longer have anything left. Please have mercy.”
I abandoned my shame and pride and begged for my life.
However, Alice did not grant mercy.
“Continue. Get up. Just this is too little. I’m still nowhere near strong enough.”
With a beastly howl, Alice grit her back teeth. And the feeling of being pinned down once again swelled up within me.
This was no joke. I’ve only yet seen a single part of Alice’s true power.
She was this much stronger than me?
This was no longer a question of surpassing human limits. She stood at the peak of power a living being could achieve.
“Why? Why do you seek yet more power?”
Alice clenched her fist before replying, “For when I meet my master again. So I can walk by his side.”
I could not understand what she was saying.
“Are you saying that your master is stronger than you?”
“Of course. I’m still learning the basics of the basics of my master’s techniques.”
What was with that outrageous story? Did a person like that really exist outside of her delusions?
“W-What exactly is your master. That is not something a human could achieve.”
“He’s a human. Just that I heard that his father is the omniscient and omnipotent God who created the world, and his mother is the High Dryad, protecting the realm of nature.”
That isn’t a f*cking human.
I couldn’t help but tsukkomi1.
A human who’s leagues stronger than Alice. If such a being existed, I should be able to feel its existence. However, I could feel no such resonance from the earth. What if there was a person so strong that they could hide their power from the very planet itself…
The draconic equivalent of goosebumps appeared all over my body. Such an existence would surpass even the God who created the world and the High Dryad.
“Would thou care to tell me what thy master’s name is?”
Closing her eyes, Alice spoke. “Takumi,” and with a laugh, she continued, “That’s my most beloved master’s name.”
Alice, who usually was surrounded in a beastly, ferocious aura, instead had a gentle aura, an aura that felt akin to a flower blooming, when taking about her master.
There was a human who could do this to Alice.
I must tell the entirety of the dragon race to absolutely never get on the wrong side of this Takumi.
“Where are you going, Ancient Dragon?”
“Well, umm, I’m just taking a walk.”
My attempt at escaping failed as I was pulled back into my cave by a strong pull at my tail.
“Don’t run away, okay?”
“Y-Yeah. I won’t.”
Thus ended the Ancient Dragon’s majestic era.
Legends were passed down of our fight.
…They couldn’t be more wrong.
- Tsukkomi, anglicized as “straight man” is a role in Japanese manzai comedy. Manzai comedy is a two-person comedic act where the Boke says something stupid and the Tsukkomi corrects them. There is no good translation of tsukkomi used as a verb. Retort comes close, but it has different connotations. As such, I will use tsukkomi if I don’t think retort will fit the situation.