Icefang had caught up to the fairy first, and lost.
As Vainqueur reached a destroyed village, he found Magnifique and Suffisante motionless on the ground amidst the corpses of a dozen nagas. Houses had been pounded into dust, while ice shuriken and laceration marks scarred the landscape.
A good mile away, he noticed a swirling tornado of icy winds and miasma devastating all in its path, uprooting the entire forest. Icefang and whichever fairy had trounced his party were still fighting bitterly.
“Magnifique, Suffisante!” Vainqueur called, as he landed next to his fellow dragons with Gorynych in tow. “Wake up!”
No response, even though none of them looked wounded. They must have been beaten into unconsciousness or fallen asleep due to a spell.
“All these people…” Knight Kia said while riding Gorynych’s back, the zmey too intimidated to speak. “An [Instadeath] area of effect?”
“You, minion!” Vainqueur pointed a claw at his fellow dragons. “Heal them!”
Knight Kia remained silent for a moment, before shaking her head. “I can’t.”
“What do you mean, you cannot? I knew you were useless!”
“I can’t cure death.”
Cure death? But they didn’t have any wounds!
Vainqueur glanced at the two dragons in disbelief and gave them a closer look; he noticed the white blank in their eyes, the pallidness of their scales, the complete lack of warmth. The truth hit him like his own magical hammer.
|Vitality check successful. Shock negated.|
Vainqueur stared at their faces, frozen in terror.
They died of fright?
“This is not [Instadeath]...” Knight Kia said, analyzing the corpses with magic. “Their souls have been extracted while they were still alive.”
Vainqueur ignored her, his furious eyes settling on the icy cyclone. He expanded his wings and flew towards it with revenge on his mind, while Knight Kia and Gorynych quickly followed.
The dragon activated [Fire Crown] and [Victory Fist] as he entered the vortex. Ice shards melted before they could touch his scales, and he braved the battering winds to reach the center.
You are taking heavy [Wind] damage! Necromantic damage reduced by [Psi-stone of Positive Energy]!
[Ring of the Dragon Ur-Pharaoh] cast [Protection from Elements]!
With his trinkets shielding him from the storm, Vainqueur entered the eye of the cyclone, where two dragons were dueling to the death.
Icefang was fighting a beast as big as Vainqueur himself and losing badly. Blood flowed from his scales and horns, his right eye had closed forever due to a wound, and someone had dug a hole where most of his ribs should have been. The larger wyrm savagely strangled Vainqueur’s rival, its bony claws tightening around his windpipe while smashing him against the ground.
Not a dragon.
The monstrous creature that fought Icefang had the shape of a dragon. It had the wings, the neck, the tail, the fangs, and the claws. It breathed purple flames and roared its dominance for all to hear.
But that thing was no dragon. It was an abomination of white bones and putrescent moss, a corpse animated by ghostly purple flames and reeking of foul fomor magic. Two bright crimson stars shone in its empty eye sockets, and a spherical core of suffused energy radiated within its ribs. Its ragged wings had holes everywhere, reminding Vainqueur of an ancient bat rather than a majestic wyrm. A magical, prismatic layer of light covered its body, providing magical protection.
This creature was an unliving insult to dragonkind!
As Vainqueur charged to face it, he sensed something foul in the air. An invisible, sinister pull drawing him towards the monster.
You have entered [Dracolich] Mell Odieuse’s [Voracious Syphon]!
If you die within its area of effect, your soul will be devoured!
[Terrifying Aura] negated by [Crown of the Conqueror].
The undead dragon heard Vainqueur arrive and reacted by casting multiple spells at once. “[Death X], [Accelerated Hellzone].”
Level high enough! [Instadeath] negated!
[Hellzone] negated by [Immovable]!
Vainqueur tackled the fairy monster with his hands, forcing it to relinquish Icefang. The half-dead Frost Dragon collapsed to the ground, profusely bleeding golden blood.
“Knightsbane,” the undead creature muttered, recognizing her superior. Albeit twisted by a whispering echo, Vainqueur immediately identified the voice, and the smell. The fairy that murdered his chief of staff, stole his items, and cost him a fortune! “Is your manling with you?”
“He has better to do than clean up fairy trash!” Vainqueur snarled, shining with the bright, golden light of his hoard. “Like breeding new minions!”
|[Shining Majesty] couldn’t affect [Prismatic One] Mell Odieuse!|
“A pity. I relished the thought of killing him again.” The false wyrm let out a screeching wail and opened her mouth, unleashing purple, ghostly flames at Vainqueur. The attack didn’t damage his scales but sapped his very will, his soul.
Massive [Spirit] damage!
[Ring of the Dragon Ur-Pharaoh] reflexively cast [Hasten]
Moving at an incredible speed, Vainqueur powered through the attack and pummeled the fairy with a dozen punches, faster than she could defend herself against. The creature fought back with vicious ferocity, but she had neither the Tarasque’s strength nor Wotan’s awe-inspiring skill.
“How many?” the [Augustus] snarled. “How many dragons?!”
“Not enough.” The monster vanished, transformed into a ray of light, only to reappear a hundred meters away from Vainqueur. Ten tiny flying black prisms materialized around her. “[Prismatic Shards].”
The tiny prisms fired a potent laser, each a different color, and all aimed at Vainqueur. The dragon moved around the battlefield to dodge them, while Mell Odieuse used his distraction to cast another spell. “[Magical Suppression].”
The effects of your magical items will be suppressed for five minutes!
Charisma check successful! You ignored [Terrifying Aura]!
Vainqueur felt his body slow down, and rays of light hitting his scales; he considered using his [Geomancy], but relented out of fear of harming Icefang.
Thankfully, minion reinforcements chose this time to cross the cyclone.
“Leave… leave Big V alone!” Gorynych opened his mouths to attack Odieuse but froze at the mere sight of her. Unlike Vainqueur or his own rider, the zmey became paralyzed by terror.
“What is this thing?” Knight Kia shouted in disgust, before casting a spell on the monster; information appeared over Odieuse’s head, revealing her true nature.
Mell Odieuse the Overlord
Type: Soulcrested Dragonblooded Fomor (Fairy/Dragon; also count as Undead whenever beneficial)
Level: 60 (Dracolich 10/Prismatic One 10/Tyrant 10/Deathlord 30)
Weak to Starmetal and Cold Iron.
“I am an existence that transcends fomors and dragons,” Mell Odieuse lied proudly, as she began assisting her prisms into attacking Vainqueur, firing ghostly fireball after ghostly fireball. The dragon retaliated with his own flames, but the fairy teleported out of the way like the annoying Furibon. “The strengths of both, the weaknesses of neither.”
“Yeah, I heard that one before,” Knight Kia shrugged off, before raising her sword and calling upon her [Solar Judgment].
|[Solar Judgment] canceled by Mell Odieuse’s [Anathematic Horror].|
No light fell from the heavens to smite the fairy. “Your gods will not save you from my jaws, Bekele.”
“No, but my sword will!” Knight Kia countered, wreathing her blade with wind and light. Unfortunately for her, the zmey refused to budge, paralyzed by his overwhelming fear of the false wyrm.
“[Gorgon Gaze],” Mell Odieuse whispered while glaring at the zmey and his rider. The three-headed reptile immediately turned to cold hard stone, falling on the ground. Meanwhile, Knight Kia ignored the spell and jumped off her mount’s back and towards the fairy. The [Paladin]’s blade cut through bones and carrion like butter.
“Why?” Knight Kia snarled as she landed on the ground, leaping to avoid being trampled by the larger creature. “Why kill these people? You shouldn’t gain any exp from them, so why you sick—”
“I believe you mortals call it happiness.”
The fairy’s body radiated an otherworldly, unnatural light as she expanded her wings, becoming a mockery of Vainqueur’s own [Shining Majesty].
|All of Mell Odieuse’s stats have been raised by one stage, and her [Light] attacks will inflict twenty percent more damage!|
“This feeling I experience whenever I extinguish a life; this rapturous sensation, that fills me with such bliss; this pleasurable heat that warms my innards whenever I devour a soul. I am drunk on this feeling. This is the purpose of my existence.”
The expression on her rotting, shining face made even Vainqueur pause.
For it was one of pure, adulterated bliss.
“To be happy.”
The abomination let out a wail while her starry eyes brightened, unleashing a potent curse on everyone present. An invisible pressure crushed both Vainqueur and Knight Kia, weakening them.
Mell Odieuse’s [Evil Eye] decreased all your stats by two stages!
Charisma check failed! You have been affected by [Terrifying Aura]! [Terror] ailment!
The world turned darker, and for the first time in the entire fight, the crushing reality of the power difference dawned upon Vainqueur. The creature before him had been created to kill his own kind, and that for all of his might, he couldn’t defeat it.
His limbs shook in dread, as the prisms kept hitting him with beams of light.
|Heavy [Light] damage! You have lost a quarter of your HP!|
“There is no future for your kind, Knightsbane,” the abomination whispered, approaching the emperor of Murmurin while the prisms kept firing. “I shall rain arrows of searing light, so bright that all will burn. Poisonous smoke will reach so high in the skies, that it will choke the very gods of Valhalla. But for you, there will be no light; only the darkness of my gullet. All will go pitch black, as your soul is digested and your blood dries on my kingdom’s soil. You shall become dust as I ascend, the thirteenth and last goddess of Outremonde.”
Her claws tightened around his neck, ignoring [Fire Crown]. He felt the chill from her fingers, his soul forcefully pulled away from his mortal coil.
The monster’s rib cage opened, revealing her core in its full, sinister glory; hundreds of thousands of souls swirled within this prison sphere, wailing and begging for release. Among them, Vainqueur glimpsed Magnifique and Suffisante.
“Once I have purified Outremonde of the vermin that infest it, I shall cleanse the Earth, and then the world afterward. For all life I extinguish, from the smallest vermin to the greatest dragon, grants me equal satisfaction... and I shall never stop pursuing happiness.”
Vainqueur just had to close his eyes, and it would be over. His soul would be drawn into the vortex, and darkness would claim him forever.
She was death.
And there was only one way a true dragon could answer it.
|Charisma check successful! [Terrifying Aura] negated by [Dragon Arrogance]!|
Vainqueur opened his mouth, and blasted the fomor right in her ugly face!
Mell Odieuse screamed in pain and surprise, as the [Augustus] kept incinerating her rotting carcass; the agony too great for her to focus on teleporting away. The prisms once again attempted to hit him with lasers, but the wyrm increased his fiery output and melted them in atomic flames.
Then Mell Odieuse poked him in the right eye with her sharp claw, and Vainqueur screamed.
Half his vision turned bloody red.
|Warning! You have been [Blinded] in one eye! You will take a penalty to all visual percep—|
Vainqueur punched Mell Odieuse in the chest, her ribs closing to protect her magical core. The undead dragon teleported again out of sight, the Calamity of the Age guessing that she would strike from his blinded side. He turned his head around, noticing the undead false wyrm unleashing a volley of icy shards at him.
|[Mirror Scales] activated!|
His protection caused the spells to bounce back at the sender, hitting Mell Odieuse by surprise. Vainqueur countered with one of his new abilities and pumped as many SP in it as he could afford. “[Malleus Maleficarum].”
A spiritual hammer hit Mell Odieuse right in the head, fracturing her skull and dispelling the otherworldly light empowering her.
All of Mell Odieuse’s spell protections have been dispelled!
You have lost half your SP.
“I can’t believe it…” Minion Kia muttered to herself, as she managed to shake off the [Terror] effect. Icefang himself rose back to his feet, albeit struggling against his wounds. “Your Majesty’s build is the perfect counter to this abomination!”
“I am the counter to everything!” Vainqueur boasted, unleashing a volley of fireballs at his fairy rival. The creature dodged by teleporting around, but couldn’t find any opening to retaliate.
“Get back, Vainqueur!” Icefang shouted, channeling ice in one hand and fire in the other. “She is mine!”
“You cannot handle her alone,” Vainqueur replied, but this only infuriated the frost dragon.
“I do not need your help!” Icefang snarled while charging, Knight Kia after him. “I have enough! I have enough of you being better, bigger, more loved than me while you do nothing to earn it! I will live in your shadow no longer!”
That idiot! “Time to perish like your fellow Mag Mell, fairy,” Vainqueur snarled, trying to draw the enemy’s attention on him.
“My father’s only worthwhile action was to create me,” Mell Odieuse whispered with cruel disdain, before opening her rib cage again, “[Soul Slaver].”
Two clouds of smoke escaped from the magical core, then quickly morphed into ghostly dragons.
Vainqueur froze, as savage, shadowy copies of Magnifique and Suffisante appeared to protect the false wyrm. The first immediately lunged at him, forcing the red wyrm to defend himself in close combat, while the latter engaged Manling Kia in battle.
Icefang, meanwhile, slipped past both shadows and attacked Mell Odieuse, hitting her with his elemental claws. He handled himself well for a second-stringer, fighting with savagery even with his heavy wounds.
For a moment, Vainqueur was almost proud to have him as a rival.
“Be still, weakling,” the fairy hissed angrily. Her core pulsated with energy, repairing her skull and healing the damage inflicted faster than her rival could damage her.
“Never!” Icefang snarled back with draconic pride. “A true dragon does not surrender!”
Icefang opened his mouth to unleash his breath, only for Mell Odieuse to grab his maw with both hands and keep it shut. The frost dragon fruitlessly attempted to free himself, but the fairy kept him down before widening her own jaws.
Vainqueur attempted to rush to his fellow dragon’s rescue, but Magnifique’s enslaved shadow tackled him aside.
And the inevitable happened. Mell Odieuse unleashed her purple breath at Icefang.
Purple flames came out of the magical core, traveled through the throat, and came out as a torrent of destruction from the fairy’s maw. Icefang let out a final roar as the ghostly power washed over his scales, his own soul becoming visible to the naked eye. The unnatural breath's power separated the frost dragon’s spirit from his body, the ghost instantly drawn into the fairy’s gullet.
Icefang’s body went limp, and a ray of light shone from the skies; a rainbowy crest descending from the heavens.
“Icefang!” Vainqueur snarled as the fairy tossed his rival’s corpse aside, punching Magnifique’s shadow through the chest. The apparition collapsed, its smoky substance returning to the false wyrm’s core.
“At last,” Mell Odieuse whispered, swiftly grabbing the crest and opening a fairy ring portal her size, “I have what I stayed for.”
“A [Heroic Crest]!” Knight Kia shouted while beheading Suffisante’s shadow, whose smoke-like substance returned to Mell Odieuse. “Vainqueur, don’t let her—”
“[Charged Attack]!” Vainqueur gathered all his energy for a final attack, to finish the fairy off once and for all.
Without turning around, Mell Odieuse casually pointed her free hand at the petrified Gorynych and fired a shadowy sphere at him.
His body moving on its own, Vainqueur leapt into the attack’s path, tanking it.
|Heavy [Darkness] damage! You have lost half your HP!|
Vainqueur couldn’t believe that he did that for a zmey, even a minion!
Knight Kia hastened herself and rushed after Mell Odieuse with her blade raised, closing the gap in seconds. While she did so, Vainqueur attempted to quickly summon his arena and trap the fairy. “[Glitzy Theat—”
The fairy crossed the portal and closed it behind her, Knight Kia’s blade hitting only air.
When the cyclone collapsed into a harmless breeze, Vainqueur could only stare at his brethren’s corpse, a freezing chill filling his chest.
His old rival had died for nothing, and his killer lived on.