162 Hikari“s Growth 2
While Hikari drowned in her anger and hate, Draco nodded his head. He was extremely pleased with her, in all honesty.
Most naive and ignorant people required a much stronger stimulus in order to understand certain things, but she had grasped it quickly.
Draco kissed Hikari deeply. At that moment, a black light seemed to escape from her body through her lips and enter Draco's like it was being sucked out.
Hikari's body, which had been trembling with anger, finally calmed down and lay in Draco's embrace weakly. She began to sob lightly when the kiss was broken, as she asked Draco a very pertinent question.
"Why? Did they even have to die?"
Draco shook his head and spoke bluntly. "They didn't. Had you been stronger, you wouldn't have had to be carried away. You could've directly fought and destroyed Sigurd, protecting your loved ones."
Hikari was brutally hit with these merciless words that made her grimace in pain.
Draco understood that his approach was different.
Most would tell Hikari that it wasn't her fault, and that there was nothing she could've done at the time, but that she now had the chance to make a difference and protect her new family.
Then the scar in her heart would be soothed and she would be motivated to work hard on his behalf.
However, while this method was very effective, the problem lay in the source of motivation.
With the more gentle and humane method, Hikari would work hard because she would want to protect her loved ones.
So, the source of her motivation would be external, which concerned her family.
However, when Draco and everyone else became strong enough to protect themselves from everything - which was inevitable - what would be her motivation then? She would have already achieved her goal and there would be no need to work hard anymore.
Her family would be safe and they all could live comfortably.
Thus, through Draco's method of laying the blame on her weakness directly, and stimulating her trauma, she would despise the presence of weaknesses in herself.
She would do everything in her power to become perfect, a pinnacle being that would never be trampled on.
Her source of motivation would be internal, for herself and her own strength.
And naturally, Hikari's expression became twisted as her mind processed everything exactly the way Draco had predicted she would. Her tear-stained face became fierce all of a sudden.
"You're right… I hate it, but you're right, Draco. If I had spent my time working hard to better myself instead of being pampered, I could've made a difference back then."
"Even if I couldn't hurt that… monster… I could've definitely saved a few of my family members... or even my father, when he chose to sacrifice himself for me."
Hikari's eyes which had been big, round and gentle turned sharp at this time. It was almost as if watching her swap eyes with someone else's. The shape became more like a flat trapezoid.
(Author's Note: Basically, from https://i.imgur.com/bphBuG1.png to https://i.imgur.com/wSWhW10.jpg)
Her light pupils became darker and sharper. Before, one could see only simplicity and gentleness in her eyes, but now her thoughts were more veiled and deeper.
Draco was surprised that her physiology could change this easily, but after pondering on this for a moment it made sense.
After all, couldn't she shapeshift? It was normal that her mental state would affect her transformation.
What Hikari and Draco both did not know was that the change in the shape of Hikari's eyes resembled her mother's perfectly.
Draco led Hikari deeper into the Land of Riches. They hadn't been attacked by another monster yet, so Draco went ahead to chat with Hikari lightly. Just because he was trying to make her mature faster didn't mean that he was going to treat her any differently.
Hikari, despite now aiming for unlimited power, also kept her wings and tail out as she happily chatted with Draco. A few times, his hands would even pet her head or caress certain parts that made her face turn red.
Draco had his Control on active mode, so he was aware of anything happening for miles around him with his Void of Perfection. He had finally detected something that was definitely quite strong.
Draco's eyes glinted as he got closer and identified what it was. This would truly make for a good kickstart to the second stage of Hikari's training.
As such, he grabbed her waist and blinked in that direction.
The two of them appeared in a nice clearing in the midst of a forest area, where a large monster rested in the center.
｢Name: Kilean – Captain Rank monster
Hikari's eyes widened when she saw the monster.
After all, what lay there was a Cockatrice, a sub-draconic species that had the head of a chicken, the scales of a lizard, the wings of a bat and claws of an eagle.
They were poisonous and very aggressive. They were one of the common sub-draconic species that usually acted as Field Bosses for plains or valley type Field Zones, and were hated by players and NPCs alike.
If Draco had not unlocked his bloodline, he would feel trepidation. Cockatrice were sub-dragons, so their ability to use Worldly Energy was truly spectacular. Their poison was debilitating and to make matters worse they could fly.
One should not forget, the old Draco hadn't even been able to use Archery, so a flying target had been one of the most annoying things to fight against. The current him, on the other hand, had some great prowess with the bow, so he was less hesitant.
Not to mention the Black Dragon would never allow himself (Draco) to be intimidated by a mere subspecies of Dragons, when he was the Apex Dragon!
Draco had chosen the Cockatrice because it should spark pleasant feelings in Hikari. After all, she must have thought she was completely alone for so long in her life and Draco had finally freed her.
To know that there was another species with draconic blood - even though it was pitifully low – should be extremely comforting to her.
So, one could imagine her shock when Draco took out a bow and arrow from his inventory and aimed at the sleeping Cockatrice slowly.
"Hikari, this will be your second lesson. In this world - especially in the wild - there is one law above all others. The survival of the fittest. Only the strongest claw or teeth can guarantee one a life of peace and contentment. Otherwise, you will end up in the belly of another beast."
Draco released the Phoenix Cry Arrow and activated its only combat skill which was Vermilion Fire.
｢Active 1 – Vermilion Fire: Activate this skill to add a disintegration by immolation effect to the arrowhead. Cooldown: 1 minute.｣
The Arrow's passive, which was to release a sonic cry when fired, instantly buffeted the sleeping Cockatrice, startling it to wakefulness.
This was the perfect timing Draco predicted, as the arrow that had been fired without the Star Shot Technique pierced deeply into the right eye of the Cockatrice.
Coupled with the immolation effect, the monster's head combusted as it screamed and thrashed in pain. Before it could hit the arrow, it disappeared and re-entered Draco's quiver.
Critical hit! -43000!
The Cockatrice managed to put out the flames surrounding its head and trained its one good eye on Draco with hate and killing intent. It screeched like a bird and flapped its wings to take flight.
Draco spoke to Hikari without taking his eyes off the Cockatrice. "Restrain your aura and do not activate your Source Origin. Heal me if I take any damage and protect yourself at all costs."
Hikari had a complex expression on her face, but she still nodded lightly. "I will."
She had already taken the first step on this pathway, and it was easier to take the second one. She knew that this wasn't the time to hesitate and cause trouble.
The reason Draco wanted her to restrain her aura and Source Origin was because the Cockatrice was a sub-species of Dragons. If Draco or Hikari applied their aura, it was more likely that it would turn around in flee in fear, which would ruin his plans.
Right now, they looked like two ignorant humans in its eyes, and its rage and hate clouded its reasoning, should there even be any capacity for that in its head.
As such, from its high vantage point, it began to attack.
First, it used its skill, Feather Blades!
｢Feather Blades – Active Skill
Effect: Use your feathers as blades and fire them as projectiles onto an area of 20 yards.
Cooldown: 30 seconds｣
Immediately, hundreds of sharp feathers that glinted in the sun rushed towards Draco and Hikari. Draco knew of this skill because he had heard horror stories from players that had fought these monsters.
They were the ultimate party killing monster, with almost all their skills being AOE attacks that dealt illogical amounts of damage.
Draco put the Hawkeye bow away and switched to the Dragorugio blade and his recently acquired Fragarach.
The Legendary blade was styled like a typical longsword with a greyish blade that was double-edged, possessing a long rivet in the center that ran from the hilt to the tip.
Its hilt was a brown color and had no unique design.
The weapon looked like a typical mass-produced longsword, so it was hard to believe that it could contain such power.
Draco swung the Dragorugio sword and Fragarach together to deflect the feather blades. He even used his Control to make some of them veer to the side, but feathers were larger than bullets and this was a system assisted skill, which was more powerful than a bullet from a gun.
Draco was thankful for Fragarach, as the passive skill King of Wind played a big role in defending against this onslaught.
｢Passive 2 – King of Wind: Every attack with this blade can summon the wind, dealing 300% wind damage.｣
The wind came to his aid and deflected many of the feathers. As such, Draco and Hikari came out unscathed from this AOE wipe skill that cleared most parties in one hit.
The Cockatrice was further enraged by this and cast another skill while in the air.
｢Poison Shower – Active Skill
Effect: Spray out a shower of toxic discharge over an area of 15 yards.
Duration: 5 seconds
Cooldown: 1 minute｣
The Cockatrice's neck bulged as it gathered up a large volume of poison. This poison was soon sprayed out in the sky and separated itself into droplets like rain.
This shower of toxic discharge fell onto Draco and Hikari furiously. Hikari's face became pale while Draco's became serious.
He had some immunity to poison. It was limited to organic types and the Cockatrice's poison fell in this category, so he could manage it.
But Hikari could not. She had no defensive equipment and no usable items.
While her defense was high enough that this shower might not even do much it still had a risk of inflicting her with a status. Draco did not like the idea of her experiencing any sort of pain.
As such, his eyes glinted as he used a skill.
Black Dragon's Roar!
｢Black Dragon's Roar – Active skill
Effect: Send out a soundwave containing elements of destruction that boosts damage dealt by the user by a factor of 30 over a distance of 1 mile.
Note: Due to inherent destruction elements, this attack has a 10% chance to disintegrate targets and negate drops. It cannot be used on players.
Cooldown: 30 minutes｣
This soundwave hit the Cockatrice and performed a unique technique that the current playerbase were still trying to grasp.
That was skill interruption!
Most games had such a mechanic.
If a player or monster was hit with a certain skill or attack when they were initiating or in the middle of using a skill themselves, their skill would be halted and they would fall into a stunned state.
Draco had already demonstrated this when he had led the Five Generals to the Ursa's Cave.
There had been some horny idiot who couldn't take his eyes of Rina's impressive chest and fat butt, so he had tried to provoke Draco in order to entice her.
Draco had attacked the fellow, and he tried to log out under the guise of apologizing. Draco had canceled his log out - which was treated as a skill - and sent him into a stunned state.
A similar thing occurred here.
The Cockatrice was hit by Draco's most powerful offensive skill and had the Poison Shower skill canceled while it fell from the skies due to its stunned state.
The Black Dragon's Roar also disintegrated the majority of the arriving toxins while the rest Draco tanked by pulling out a tower shield and covering Hikari under him.
Of course, this Rare-tier Tower Shield could not handle such a potent attack, and its durability was lowered to nihility in no time. If it was so easy to raid a Cockatrice, why would the old Draco have been fearful of it?
Draco threw away the ruined shield and checked on Hikari.
"Are you okay?"
Hikari nodded lightly, with a bitter smile on her face. "Do you even need me here? You seem to have everything under Control."
Draco gently caressed her face. "I need you at all times. A Black Dragon is not complete without his White Dragon. We both have different strengths and weaknesses."
"It's only that my accumulations here are too potent, allowing me to face many battles and challenges with relative ease. However, I might end up in situations where I might die."
"That is when I will need you. You will be the only one who can prevent that. I may be immune from dying but believe me it's not a pleasant feeling at all."
"Besides, you are currently at a low level, so your potential will have to be unearthed first. Allow me to fight on your behalf, Hikari, so that I can draw out your greatness."
Draco's words greatly uplifted her and her guilt for being helpless vanished. She understood what Draco was trying to say, as it was obvious enough to understand.
Once she reached the higher levels, she would gain skills and abilities that would make her participation in battle more versatile and important. All she had to do right now was suck it up and allow Draco to do the work.
The Cockatrice shook its head as it came out of the stunned state. It was surprised to see that the two humans were chatting while it had been helpless, which meant that they felt no actual threat from its existence.
This was the truth. Although the Cockatrice could deal damage to them, it couldn't do anything long-lasting.
Draco was only worried about it hurting Hikari and the durability of his items which might get lowered by such attacks.
The Cockatrice crowed loudly and flapped its wings, rushing at Draco on the ground. It had realized that an aerial battle did not help since he had that accursed bow and arrow, as well as defensive abilities to avoid its AOE.
Then how would he fare in a one on one battle on the ground? The Cockatrice was confident that it could trample over him.
Draco just smirked. Truly this monster had a bird brain. It had seen him deflect most of the Feather Blades with his swords but still dared to rush at him.
Draco flourished his dual blades and began to sprint towards the Cockatrice with a light gait. The Cockatrice shrieked and spat out a glob of acid.
This wasn't a skill, but more of a technique. Techniques weren't limited to players or NPCs, because monsters could use them as well. Without the system's assistance, they still had to actually hit the target who could try to evade...
Draco easily avoided the glob of poison by performing an acrobatic leap. The Cockatrice recognized its chance and fired some Feather Blades at the pesky human while he was in mid-air. It also leapt at him to deal him a finishing blow.
Draco moved his body in an impossible manner, weaving Fragarach and Dragorugio at such a speed and with such grace that all the incoming Feather Blades were deflected.
He continued with the legendary feat of a double jump by relying on the King of Wind passive skill that Fragarach possessed to boost himself higher.
As such, the Cockatrice snapped at empty air, but its face was filled with shock. After all, Draco had used that chance to land on its back and drive both swords deep into its body.
The Cockatrice fell to the ground and coughed up greenish blood that melted the ground. Draco jumped off of it and grimaced when he saw the acid on his blades.
He swung it off and noted that both swords had lost a little durability from that, but he sucked it up. Since the Dragorugio sword had 500,000 durability and Fragarach had 1,000,000, there was no real harm done.
Draco's base damage was between 1000-3000 with the Dragurugio sword and Fragarach each at Rank 1 on a normal basis, which didn't factor in the level suppression and the nerf of the Field Zone.
Thanks to the Sword of Promised Victory passive from the Seal of Camelot, his one-handed sword damage was boosted by a factor of 10.
As such with the addition of the 300% wind damage from Fragarach's passive skill, his damage rose to more than 70000. That was how Draco was able to achieve such a high number despite his nerfed stats against the Cockatrice's buffed ones.
The Cockatrice, who happened to be a named boss with 350,000 health, suddenly found itself reduced to less than 150,000 health in just three attacks. Not only that, but Draco had also damaged its wings by piercing into the joints in its body.
It barely managed to rise to its feet and watched him with a mixture of fear and hate. It realized that it was likely to die now, but Draco had cleverly made sure that it couldn't fly away.
As such, it could only fight to the death!
Kilean the Cockatrice shrieked with madness as it gathered Worldly Energy on an abhorrent scale. It was preparing to use its strongest skill right now to end the fight once and for all.
However, was Draco so foolish as to stand there and let it play around?
Immediately, he burned almost all of his bloodline energy to summon the claw of the Black Dragon from the black portal. This claw that was coated in very little Destruction Energy smashed the surprised Cockatrice into paste.