216 The Serpent God Inheritance 1
Draco sat before Loving Aunt, who was gazing at him with utter seriousness. The woman looked a lot like Draco's real self, with the same hair and eye color.
Even their facial contours were similar, but Loving Aunt wasn't of the Dark Angel Inheritance, so while she was beautiful, it was just a physical appeal.
So unlike with Eva, someone with special preferences - like someone who was into thick girls - might not even find Loving Aunt pleasing to the eye.
"As you are aware, the Serpent God Inheritance allows us to bond with Serpentine Familiars that are summoned based on our own affinities. These familiars are no mere beasts which can be found and tamed in the wild but are beings coalesced from our own bloodline."
"Theoretically, purity has nothing to do with what kind of familiar you will have. You could have 5% purity and be affiliated with a red dragon, or have 75% purity and be affiliated with a rattlesnake."
"However, since one's purity decides the raw power for our Inheritance, it is still true that, the higher the purity of your bloodline, the more powerful your familiar would be when summoned. Therefore, the person with 5% would summon a retarded, trash red dragon that could barely live up to its name, while the one with 75% purity would summon an overpowered rattlesnake that could destroy a city overnight."
Loving Aunt placed her palms before her abdomen with a serious frown. "I've explained the relationship between bloodline purity and Inheritance to you before, and I've even used a very similar example. I want to repeat it now because the distinction between the two - for this particular Inheritance - is extremely important."
"I understand." Draco affirmed simply.
Loving Aunt nodded. "In the real world, I've already gone through the appraisal process with you, and we have discovered that you were a Black Dragon major and a God Serpent Array minor. You must have been curious as to what this means, or perhaps you might have had some ideas. Let me clarify this."
"The major and minor affiliations are simple enough to understand. The major is the serpentine form you have the strongest connection with, while the minor is the next best affiliation you have. The major forms the path of your Inheritance while the minor acts like a support or a backup."
"I reacted so strongly to your appraisal because you, my dear nephew, are a little monster this world has not seen before. Your major affiliation is the Black Dragon, the strongest of all the God Serpents, the one with the rawest power of them all."
"This alone makes you the strongest member of the Serpent God Inheritance since the progenitor himself. With your serpentine affiliation, no one in the world should be your match, just like how Black Dragons are able to dominate all."
Loving Aunt seemed to have an expression of chagrin as she looked at Draco, as if not knowing what to do with him. "However, this is not all. Your minor is the God Serpent Array! The fabled God Serpent Array!"
"It has only appeared twice in our whole genealogy, and even then, it was as a major. If someone were to even suggest something like that to exist as a minor, you would have been branded a lunatic, or worse, a heretic in the Lineage!"
"A God Serpent Array means that you can utilize all the powers of the other God Serpents!"
"The Leviathan, Ouroboros, Jormungandr, Nuwa, Quetzalcoatl, Nidhogg, and many more! All of these deity level serpents that are even known to the sub-humans are at your grasp! Even though one's minor would show weaker effects, it is still there!"
"The Ouroboros' eternity, Jormungandr's apocalypse, Nuwa's creation, Quetzalcoatl's lightning, Nidhogg's absorption of all energies… and more! Do you understand now?!"
Loving Aunt shouted out the last bit with all her fanatical energy, her breath stolen just speaking out what a God Serpent Array meant, and what it had to do with her beloved nephew.
Draco himself was frozen in place as his brain struggled to come to terms with what his aunt had just revealed. This was too much for him to comprehend in such a short time, especially a revelation of this nature.
"Your major is a Black Dragon! You have the raw power of one and the ability to use the destructive dragon's breath, as well as many other manifested abilities!"
"You can also revive from the brink of death with Ouroboros' eternity! If someone shoots you in the head with a gun, as long as you can burn a certain amount of bloodline energy, you will be able to restore yourself instantly!"
"You can create a fake apocalypse in an area with Jormungandr's Ragnarök! With enough bloodline energy, you can directly destroy an area without moving an inch!"
"You can create anything on this earth as long as you have the right materials and enough knowledge with Nuwa's ability of creation! She was believed to be the creator of the world, able to use clay to create us all!"
"You can summon the storms and call down the strongest bolts of electricity with Quetzalcoatl's lightning! Whole seas of lightning will be at your beck and call!"
"You can drain the life energy - or any other form of energy - from any living entity with Nidhogg's evil energy drain! This was a serpent that was believed to be able to sap the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, of its fundamental essence!"
Every new line from Loving Aunt's mouth dealt mental damage to Draco, as his heart began to pound. What he was hearing was more than crazy, it was simply unbelievable! This was reaching the level of deities at this point.
Aunt Fyre sprayed spittle as her eyes became red. She had become so excited by her rambling and her nephew's raw potential that she directly threw away her composure.
It took her more than five minutes of heavy panting and slapping her own face to regain her composure, but Draco couldn't blame her. He was truly starting to feel terrified of himself.
"However, while that all sounds lovely, the God Serpent Array is still your minor, so you can - at best - bring out 30% of the power our ancestors who had it as a major could."
"Not only that, but as with anything in the lineages, bloodline energy will be necessary to fuel this. As you have no doubt experienced, we of the Serpent God Inheritance pay the most in terms of energy for our abilities."
"Even with the best training and aptitude, the cost one has to pay for even the simplest technique is more than 5 times that of the other two Inheritances. Since the God Serpent Array is your minor, you will pay almost 50% more for the same ability that another who had it as a major would."
"In essence, you pay 50% more of the total amount required yet you will only able to get 30% effectiveness. This might seem like a disadvantageous trade, but it's not like you will be using your God Serpent Array all the time."
"As I explained earlier, the major is naturally what you should focus on as it will be your bread and butter. The minor is merely a last resort or something to use as a gimmick to support yourself if the situation calls for it, and you can't display much of it, so don't rely on it."
Aunt Fyre's words calmed Draco's inner turmoil as he understood the logic of her words. Of his three Inheritances, the strongest was his Serpent God Inheritance, and he had even been able to use the Basic Manifestation Technique without any training.
He was even able to discern how to create the Orb of Destruction after watching his digital clone do it once. It was clear that his Black Dragon affiliation was truly his strongest.
There was a reason why the AI chose to give him the State of Being of a dragon, even though his bloodline encompassed so many others, including ones he hadn't even known he possessed.
Yet, apart from the time his bloodline was sealed where the black mass had taken the form of many other serpents, Draco had never felt anything from the other affiliations.
Even though his Horned Demon and Dark Angel Inheritances were currently barely activated, he could still use them instinctively on a very basic level.
For example, he had been able to use his Horned Demon inheritance to absorb blood, to sniff out negativity aimed at him - which had proven pivotal to the Flora and Fauna Unique Quest - as well as the sexual prowess boost recently.
For his Dark Angel Inheritance, he had figured out its control over his aura, he became able to spike lust in any female, irrespective of her own personal tastes in a man. After training with Richmond, he could even merge it with his spellcasting and had upgraded his mental faculties slightly.
Yet, even now that Aunt Frye had pointed out what his God Serpent Array did and named some of the serpents he should be able to call upon, Draco still couldn't feel anything from it. It was like a giant wall was blocking him. It was stifling and frustrating, but it was there.
Loving Aunt must have seen his frustration, so she smiled gently and comforted him. "Do not worry about any difficulties you might have. All will be resolved with a healthy amount of training on your part as well as an investment of time. I'm here to give you the basic theory and guide you through some of the practical applications, but that's all."
Aunt Frye scratched her head with embarrassment. "After all, how exactly am I supposed to teach a Black Dragon with a God Serpent Array when I am but a Blue Underwater Adder?"
Draco also laughed awkwardly, as she had brought up a good point. Aunt Fyre could only take him through the basic and fundamental knowledge, but as to what a Black Dragon could do, he would have to experiment and try it out himself.
If he had a more common Serpentine Affiliation, perhaps she could have given him a list with a plethora of techniques for him to use, but… sigh. Who asked him to be so outstanding?
In his next life, he would have to make sure to write 'above average potential' instead of 'son of heaven' on the application form for life.
"Now that we have discussed this, it is time to begin with the most basic technique we of the Serpent God Inheritance are able to use, which is the Basic Manifestation Technique."
Loving Aunt got down to the crux of the matter quickly, as the bloodline training didn't require so much esoteric theory like subjective magic.
"The Basic Manifestation Technique allows us to bring forth a part of our serpentine familiars using our bloodline as the medium and our bloodline energy as fuel."
"This is a temporary summon that, depending on your efficiency, can deal anywhere between one to four attacks, or alternative one to three defensive moves."
"The cost varies depending on the quality of your serpentine familiar, but for you, it would undoubtedly be extremely steep."
Loving Aunt gave Draco a wry glance. "But with your bloodline purity as well as a bit of training to even things out, it shouldn't be a problem."
"For the Basic Manifestation Technique, there are three steps to activating it."
Loving Aunt closed her eyes even as she spoke, and Draco could feel her aura change subtly.
"The first is visualization. You need to perfectly grasp the form of your serpentine familiar and picture it in your mind."
"This part is very difficult for most, because they would only have their affinity test done, and they would barely have a firm idea on what their familiar looks like. Usually, we have many books with illustrations and descriptions of those beasts, but alas, we aren't in Italy."
"Fortunately for us, you have already cast the Basic Manifestation technique many times - albeit extremely crudely - so this shouldn't be a problem."
"The second step is to give this visualized form a command. While this sounds simple, it is actually far from it."
"As I said before, one would only have grasped their affinity. Now that one had barely managed to visualize one's serpentine familiar, you would then have to display how it would move and act when summoned, which requires knowledge and a strong imagination."
"And after passing through these hoops, you will then be faced with the hardest bit, which would be bringing your visualized familiar to the real world by providing enough bloodline energy."
"Depending on how fanciful you were in stage 2, stage 3 could be as easy as breathing or absolute hell. It's best to experiment and be sure of your limits before visualizing world-destroying attacks, otherwise you won't have anything to laugh about when the backlash hits."
Loving Aunt opened her eyes and a small black portal opened right in front of her. From there, the head of her Blue Underwater Adder came peeking out and shot out a spray of thin, but sharp water before it disappeared.
"This is a simple example of how the Basic Manifestation Technique works provided one follows the steps laid out by the Lineage."
Draco nodded. This method was truly more efficient than what he did, only…
"Aunt Fyre, there's something I should probably tell you…" Draco began with some uncertainty in his voice.
Loving Aunt felt her heart clench. She had a bad premonition that Draco was going to tell her something overwhelming, and she wasn't sure she could take more new revelations about him.
"W-What is it…?"
"Well, this is how things are…" Draco then explained how his Black Dragon was alive and a perfect coalescence of his soul, will, and mind.
When Loving Aunt heard this, she almost fainted. She had expected something outrageous, not something totally unheard of! Even having a God Serpent Array minor had been documented in their history, yet having the serpentine familiar represent their bloodline was not even possible in her mind!
"No wonder you can use the Basic Manifestation Technique to this degree without training… there is no need to visualize anything because your Black Dragon handles all that autonomously. As such, all you need to do is have an idea of what you want and provide the necessary energy…"
Loving Aunt looked like she had been struck with enlightenment, understanding the fabric of reality as well as the truth of the world.
Draco nodded, because her assessment was right. The Black Dragon was he and he was the Black Dragon. There was no need for visualization or the like. He just had to know what he wanted and provide the energy for it, and even then, the Black Dragon usually deducted it automatically.
"So, I was extremely shocked back then when you were able to control the Black Dragon's real form to fight the Metal Dragon. The only way to do so would be to split one's mind into two, so I thought you had come far with your Dark Angel Inheritance."
Draco smiled awkwardly. After all, the Black Dragon was autonomous, so all he had to do back then was shove Angel's Kiss potions down his throat to fuel it. In essence, he had been a glorified stoker. The Black Dragon had handled the fighting on its own perfectly.
Loving Aunt seemed to ponder deeply. She was silent for a whole 5 minutes, occasionally muttering to herself under her breath. Draco just waited patiently for his aunt to come to terms with his circumstances.
After some time, Loving Aunt sighed and gazed at Draco gently.
"Little Monster, you really are determined to kill your aunt with shock eh? Well, I can say that this will greatly reduce the time needed."
"What I'll have to do is teach you the techniques you cannot automatically use and how to minimize your energy drain while maximizing your efficiency."
"As for the rest, your little wife can handle that." Loving Aunt added with a crafty glint, making Draco sweat inwardly.
"Please educate me, Aunt Fyre." Draco said humbly.
"Good, I promise to do so to the best of my abilities. First, I want you to use your Basic Manifestation Technique to bring out any part of your Black Dragon."
Draco immediately burned almost all of his bloodline energy and summoned the head of his Black Dragon. A giant portal opened up in the atmosphere above Draco, and the head of the Black Dragon popped out.
From its snout to its neck, the Black Dragon looked majestic and dominant. Even Aunt Fyre was amazed by it deep down before she managed to shake off such strange feelings.
The Black Dragon looked around for a bit, taking in the sight of the real world. This was the first time it had come out without needing to attack and disappear right after.
However, it couldn't stay long as Draco was now sweating and struggling painfully. Maintaining the summon was even more hellish than using willpower to move cause and effect, because the energy provided came from his own body, not from the world outside.
After 15 seconds, Draco coughed up blood and had to de-summon the Black Dragon. He looked like someone had used a club to thump his back, and he acted like that too.
Loving Aunt smiled wryly and shook her head. "Waste, waste, waste! There is so much wasted energy! This isn't even at a level where you use a shotgun to hunt flies, no you are using cannons."
Draco nodded, a bit embarrassed at the comparison, yet he agreed. He felt like he only used about 20% of his bloodline energy, yet all of it had drained away.
It was like drinking a glass of water, but only 20% of it went down your throat while the rest just poured down the side of your lips and went to waste.
"How do I remove the wastage?" Draco asked the most pertinent question.
Loving Aunt thought carefully before answering. "The best way would be to actually use the visualization process, but involve your Black Dragon in it."
"In other words, I should stop being passive with it?" Draco queried calmly.
"Precisely. You leave too much of the process up to instinct, which is why the amount that is used is not properly calculated. You need to go through it yourself, and that would give you a better control of how much is taken away."
"Alternatively, you could choose to maintain your current method of summoning, and try to forcibly minimize the cost through a similar means to what you just used, which is to maintain the summon for as long as possible till you cannot."
"So basically, there is an easy way, which is through visualization, and there is a hard way, which is through painful practice."
"The former takes a shorter period initially, but the average power of your summon would be weaker for a long period of time until you are able to passively increase your tolerance."
"The latter takes a longer period of time initially, but the power of your summon would be at its peak permanently. You would also increase your tolerance actively, but this promises a period of intense agony."
"Which do you prefer, my dear nephew?"