Chapter 263: Light and Darkness
Sila headed to the north . Along the way, he spotted three more Marquis Rank dragons flying toward his allies . He decided to conceal his presence and let them fly past him .
The number of dragons he needed to eliminate was two, and both of them were Lord Rank . It was close to impossible for him to take care of the two by himself . After giving the quest some thought, the solution he had come up with was . . . assassination .
No matter how high their health points were, they would still die if he pierced their hearts when they had their guard down .
After he mastered the Cloud Part, even though he didn’t get any increase in power, Sila was more confident in his control . In his current state, he was sure that even Goddess’ Resonance wouldn’t find him easily if he willed it .
Flaming Cloud Qi might be disadvantageous against Goddess’ Resonance . However, Flaming Cloud Qi wasn’t the only power Sila possessed .
Lord Rank dragons were supposed to be stronger than Lord Rank monsters from other races . They might even be as strong as Clute, who was born in the Monster Realm . Sila didn’t dare to underestimate their strength . The method he used to conceal his presence was adapted from Viola’s Divine Raiment .
Before he fought Pythia the Wind Dragon on the Island of Beginnings, Viola had used Divine Raiment to create a defensive dome . Sila adapted her usage by covering himself with a layer of the ability, not directly on his skin but one millimeter above it . He then created yet another layer of Divine Raiment directly on his skin and flipped its side of protection, meaning his presence—including his power, the sound of his heartbeat, or the sound of blood flowing through his veins—wouldn’t leak outside . As long as someone didn’t spot Sila with their own eyes, they wouldn’t be aware of his presence even if he was right next to them .
Sila adjusted his weight to be as light as a feather, quietly leaping through the canyon and finally arriving at a certain old temple that gave off an ancient vibe . It seemed this temple was built a long time ago by arranging carved stone and holding it together using vines and roots growing naturally . The atmosphere was quite sacred, giving off the feeling that just stepping inside without permission could be the gravest sin .
The entrance of the temple was so wide that even Rex in its dragon form could enter with room to spare . Sila swept his gaze around to ensure that no one was there before soaring up to a wooden frame that was part of the ceiling and sticking to it like a magnet .
Sila wanted to know what was inside, but he didn’t possess inhuman hearing like Himeko . He also didn’t dare to expand his profound sense to search as that would instantly give away his location . In the end, he chose to mimic a gecko by crawling near the ceiling .
Past the entrance was a long, wide corridor that stretched further than his eyes could see . On both sides of the corridor were several unlit lanterns, lined up all the way down the corridor . The interior had enough lighting due to small clusters of flames floating around with the support of magic power .
Sila silently crawled along the wooden beam . No one could see him as long as they didn’t look up at the ceiling .
The corridor was unbelievably long . Given Sila’s speed, he had gone far enough inside for him to not see the entrance anymore in just a few minutes, yet an end still couldn’t be seen . In fact, nothing could be seen at all, aside from the usual corridor, lanterns with no fuel, and floating flames .
Strangely, Sila felt like his vision was playing a trick on him . It was a small, subtle feeling though . He thought it was due to him strengthening his eyesight with qi too much at first . However, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he had experienced something like this before .
He went even further, then started to doubt his sense of direction . He wasn’t sure that he was heading in the right direction anymore despite the corridor being a straight path .
‘Ah! I see . This is an illusion . ’ Sila finally recalled that the feeling he got was familiar to when he looked at the secret passage leading to the Fairy Kingdom . The illusion of that place was blurrier though, while he only felt a subtle discomfort in this place . That implied that the level of the illusion in this temple was frighteningly high . Even Moon Reflecting Mirror couldn’t help him detect it .
The moment Sila earnestly activated Moon Reflecting Mirror, a stone wall appeared in front of him, four meters away . He turned back and saw that the entrance was only a hundred meters behind him, which was totally weird since he felt he had traveled a lot further than that .
Inspecting his surroundings, Sila found it was very unreasonable . There was only the stone wall blocking him while the entrance was behind his back . There was no crossroad or side path . This temple had nothing but a dead end .
Sila stroked the wall and found that rather than calling it a wall, it was a giant boulder . He also felt Infernee’s magic power emanating from it .
Looking up and down, left and right, Sila only saw stone plates . There didn’t seem to be a hidden passage or anything . Sila didn’t dare to make any loud noises . After he had calmed his mind, he decided to launch Genesis Punch at the stone wall in front of him .
Genesis Punch worked silently as always . Sila had properly controlled his power so that his punch would drill a small hole with barely enough room for him . He then hopped in and crawled inside .
Passing through the thick wall, Sila arrived in another wide corridor . He quickly crawled to the ceiling before observing . There were dragon statues, with different kinds and species, lined up along each side of the corridor .
The further he went, the brighter it became . Therefore, Sila slowed down his speed and became more alert .
Finally arriving at the end of the second corridor, Sila found a room . Much like the parts of the temple he had seen so far, the room was incredibly wide, to the point where he couldn’t see the corners . The atmosphere was calm and serene .
Not far from the entrance was a large gazebo . In the middle of the gazebo’s floor was a clear pool that was emitting magic power . Leading down into the pool were stone steps, descending all the way to the bottom .
Sila got a subtle feeling that this place gave off a vibe similar to the Cliff of Heroes in the Slime Kingdom .
Unbeknownst to him, Sila’s guess was on the mark . This place was the Sacred Temple, an important place of the Dragon Kingdom . The dragon players would have to enter this place in order to read the Dragon’s Record inside the gazebo and select the kind of dragon they wanted to become through the Dragon Ritual . The ones who protected this place were none other than two greatest nobles of the dragon race—Aurora and Tiamat .
There was strong illusion-type protection at the very entrance of the temple . The ones belonging to the dragon race could pass through it without a problem and easily reach the gazebo . Once they selected their desired dragon, they would have to exit the gazebo and search the corridor for the statue of that particular dragon, then place their blood on it .
Later when they completed the ritual, they would have to come back to this place to bathe their bodies in the Sacred Pool and receive their rewards . Their Dragon Scales would transform into those of their desired dragon and they would be granted the right to learn the spells of that dragon . Additionally, they would acquire Dragon Domain .
Infernee’s Dragon Ritual was an exception though, as the player wouldn’t have to come back to bathe their bodies in the Sacred Pool . As the Dragon Empress, her ability transcended Aurora and Tiamat . She could directly transmit a part of her power to the one passing her Ritual so long as they were somewhere in the New World .
However, for those who didn’t belong to the dragon race, the illusion would imprison them until the day they died . It was impossible for beings of other races to infiltrate this sacred place .
Even the Slime Guardians—Poluk, Viola, and Divine—didn’t have what it takes to enter the Sacred Temple . That was why they said they couldn’t capture Aurora or Tiamat for Sila . There were only two non-dragon existences with the qualifications to step into this place . One of the two was the Slime King, and the other one was Sila .
The reason for that was simple . To enter the Sacred Temple without being a dragon, one must possess all three slime-raced skills as a prerequisite . At the entrance, one must use Divine Raiment to be protected against illusion magic . Sila had been using it since before he arrived, so he was unaware that all of his senses—including his sense of time and direction, or emotions such as fear or hunger—would have been manipulated if he hadn’t .
Nevertheless, just protecting themselves against the manipulation wasn’t enough for them to find an exit or even a way to go back . Moon Reflecting Mirror was required to find an exit . For the record, the numerical value of illusion’s power was infinity . Moon Reflecting Mirror’s passive ability could reduce its effectiveness by fifty percent, but half of infinity is still infinity . That was why Sila couldn’t see through it like the time in the Fairy Kingdom . He only felt a slight discomfort .
Even when the illusion was dismissed, the wall made of Infernee’s crystalized blood would be waiting for the intruder . It could only be seen and touched by non-dragon beings . If Sila didn’t break it with the power that could reduce objects to molecular units, like Genesis Punch, it would automatically regenerate at an incredible speed . Furthermore, that would trigger several traps .
Sila jumped from the ceiling of the room to that of the gazebo in one go . He looked down and spotted a book on a podium open at a random section, though the pages were blank . As he would later find out, the reason he couldn’t read the contents of the Dragon’s Record was because he wasn’t a member of the dragon race .
In any case, Sila was more interested in his targets that were supposed to be here . He hadn’t seen a single dragon ever since he stepped foot into this place . Himeko’s dark art shouldn’t have made an error . The distance from where she was to the location of the temple was also exactly as she had told him . That meant the two dragons must be somewhere around here . He just hadn’t found them yet .
Suddenly, small bubbles appeared on the surface of the pool, making ripples . Sila quickly flattened his body against the gazebo’s ceiling . Soon, two dragons came out from beneath the surface . Sila felt both happy and thrilled, resisting the urge to look down and see their appearances .
“I heard humans are invading our kingdom . Sane humans wouldn’t use a Dimension-Crossing Device to invade us . This must be that slime’s doing . He is the only one to have received an Invitation Card from us . ” A hoarse voice was heard, but Sila could tell that the voice’s owner must be female .
“If this invasion is really his work, then his target must be us . Suppose he has planned things ahead, he must have arrived at this temple already . Since he isn’t here, maybe he got trapped in the illusion?” Another voice rang out . The owner was also a woman, though her voice sounded sweeter .
‘That’s weird . I remembered them being a man and a woman . How can they be two women?’
Regarding this point, Sila had no one but himself to blame . He didn’t have a proper look at Tiamat or research his opponents beforehand . Not only was Tiamat called the Chaos-Creating Dragon, but she also went by another title—Mother of Evil Dragons . Thus, it didn’t matter how masculine she appeared to be, she was undoubtedly a female . Sila saw her uptight posture while her body was covered by thick armor, hiding her figure, so he was too quick to judge her gender .
Tiamat replied to Aurora, “You have a point . Let’s take a look . ”
Aurora nodded, then the two of them exited through the door Sila had just passed through .
Sila descended into the gazebo . The two dragons would come back soon . Prior to that, he would have to find a suitable spot to assassinate them from . The first spot that caught his interest was the pool . He wondered how the two dragons had been inside without him seeing them, since the water was so clear he could see the bottom . Still, he didn’t think waiting underwater was a good idea .
Sila picked up the Dragon’s Record and flipped through it . It turned out that every page was blank . In any case, the book being there must mean it was an important item . It might be a good idea to seize it . However, after thinking about it some more, that might help the two dragons realize that there was another person in the room . Thus, he returned it to the podium before continuing to search for a suitable hiding spot .
This room was quite empty . There weren’t many places in which he could hide . In the end, Sila chose the spot directly above the entrance . He pulled out both of his swords and strengthened them with the full power of Formless Soldier . He patiently and calmly waited like a great eagle waiting for prey to appear . Soon, the sound of footsteps gradually returned .
There was only one chance . Sila had to do it without making any errors .
“The inside of the illusion is also empty . He is probably busy fighting against other dragons in the canyon then,” Aurora speculated .
“That should be the case . ”
The approaching sound of footsteps further calmed Sila’s mind . His eyes shimmered with killing intent . Once the two dragons stepped through the doorway, Sila silently descended and stabbed his sword through Tiamat’s back, accurately piercing her heart .
“Arghh!” Blood splattered as the blade thrust all the way through her chest .
Noticing the enemy’s arrival, the two dragons of light and darkness instinctively unleashed their magic power .
However, their power was absorbed into Sila’s swords before they could do anything . Sila no longer concealed his power and relied on the dragons’ moment of panic to forcefully seize their power through his swordsmanship .
Heaven’s Dismissal — Vast Underworld .
The power within Sila’s swords surged with mana from nature and the two dragons’ magic power . The Divine Raiment covering his body transformed into Demonic Raiment . Sila violently pressed his sword down and transmitted power through the floor, sending it straight to Aurora’s heart .
His ambush was done in an instant . Using his own power combined with his enemies’, He managed to kill two Lord Rank dragons in a timeframe shorter than a second . No one would ever believe this if he shared this accomplishment with them .
Tiamat’s corpse glimmered a faint black light, followed by Aurora’s white light . The two dead bodies disintegrated into a mass of dust . The black and white lights were flashing alternately before the two dragons had their bodies restored to perfect condition .
“What is this? Dragon Heart? Only Montra and Infernee are supposed to have it, no?” Sila muttered aloud as he saw the two of them be resurrected .
Aurora replied to his offhand remark by saying, “That wasn’t the power of Dragon Heart . It’s our natural disposition . . . ”
“ . . . Darkness exists alongside light . Similarly, as long as the darkness remains, the light will never cease to exist,” Tiamat completed the sentence .
“As long as one of us is alive, the two of us will live on,” Aurora revealed the answer .
Sila was rather placid . “So . . . killing both of you at the exact same time is what I ought to do, correct?”
“That’s one way to do it . However, you won’t get any more chances to harm us, you sneaky slime,” Tiamat confirmed .
One of the two went to the left while the other went right . Aurora spun a mage staff in her hand, summoning seven orbs with different colors around her . The vision around her suddenly became strange in Sila’s eyes . No matter what she was doing, Sila judged that her specialty must be about light and illusions .
As for Tiamat who was on the other side, she swung a club to smash the floor . Five dragon eggs the size of bowling balls then appeared out of nowhere . Cracks soon appeared along the eggs and a baby dragon flew out from each of them . Seeing from afar, the baby dragons seemed to be young versions of Pythia, the Wind Dragon .
A black aura enveloping Tiamat was transmitted to the five baby dragons, accelerating their growth in a matter of seconds . They became miniature versions of a fully matured Pythia . Witnessing her power, Sila guessed that she was a summoner-type who strengthened her summons with black magic .
Five Wind Dragons flew at Sila, their speed equal to the real Pythia .
Sila raised his swords to block them, but he only managed to block two . The remaining three left injuries on his sides and his left cheek .
Before Sila could do anything, Aurora drew her mage staff toward Sila despite the distance between them being quite far . Suddenly, a pair of giant dragon feet appeared above him and began to descend .
Sila raised his swords again, but the feet simply passed through his weapons . He wondered if they were only illusions, but their weight pressed down on him a second later .
“You can’t possibly win against us . The slime race is dangerous to the world . They must be sealed for all of eternity,” Tiamat declared .
Next to her were three dragon eggs, which soon hatched into baby Hellfire Dragons . Meanwhile, Aurora continued to spin her mage staff, materializing two giant spears that were pointing at him .
Just one dragon alone was already too much for him to handle . With the two joining forces, the level of difficulty had risen several stages . There wouldn’t be a desperate moment more suitable than this exact moment .
Sila recalled Flaming Cloud Qi in his mind and started circulating qi in accordance to the Flame Part . Mastering the Flame Part was no different than playing with fire . An unsuccessful attempt would lead to doom, going up in flames . Desperation and danger were top-class firewood which had to be constantly tossed into a furnace with utmost care . Too slow or too weak, and the flame wouldn’t kindle . Too fast or too strong, and the flame would engulf the entire furnace, or rather the user . Mastery over the Cloud Part was required to balance the flames unless the user was a peerless genius .
Dots of flames slowly appeared underneath Sila’s skin . It was a totally bizarre sight but the two dragons paid it no mind . The two dragons of light and darkness unleashed more of their magic power as they rushed to attack Sila .
Sila’s body was swaying amidst a fierce torrent of magic power . The flames in his body seemed to alternate between fading away as if they were being extinguished and burning even brighter like they were burning him from the inside .
This scene from afar made it seem like Sila was but a tiny firefly, daring to fight against the gods of light and darkness .