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A note from MelasDelta

Last request in a while, and it's the same one as before, but pls vote for me on TopWebFiction, it takes five seconds and will really help me out a ton <3

Amelia: The Level Zero [Hero] | Top Web Fiction

Noele the Noble Spellsword stared at the towering figure before her. She saw the glistening red scales— the golden eyes like treasure. It cast a hulking shadow over her. Standing at hundreds of feet tall, even when hunched over. Draped by a pair of glorious wings protruding from its back, and a set of black horns sat atop its head like a crown.

It was a dragon.

Never in Noele’s wildest dreams did she ever think she was going to meet a dragon. They were legendary creatures— scarcely ever seen in Laxo. More plentiful in the elven continent of Drazyl, but still considered a rare find. They were strong and mighty. Great and terrible. An adult dragon could grow up to a hundred feet, yet this dragon standing before the blonde girl was even larger.

And the reason was simple: it wasn’t any ordinary dragon— it was an Elder Dragon.

Nearly extinct. A relic of the past. Elder Dragons were but a fable from Noele’s childhood. A story that she paid no mind. Like the tales of angels and demons. Or the stories of Vacuos long ago, when the continents were one, and its people enslaved, ruled by a dark evil.

There was said to only be five Elder Dragons left alive in this era. Each of them having gone to hiding in each of the continents, except for one who’d flown to the sky, never to be seen ever again. And arguably the greatest of them was known as the Glorious Terror of Mount Arkais. The King of the Crimson Flame. The Wisest Sage of the World System.

Grat-ra’zun. The Great Rakaarzun. One of the highest-leveled creatures in all of Vacuos. A being of majesty and might. Here he was, looming over Noele. Straight from myth. A piece of legend. And he was… prostrating with his head on the ground.

“Please,” Grat-ra’zun begged, looking at Amelia with pleading eyes. “You can have my hoard. My treasures. Anything you want— just please don’t kill me!”

Noele pinched her cheek as she walked up to her mentor. “...this is all a dream, isn’t it? I must’ve hit my head fighting that Goblin Lord and I’m imagining all this at a [Healer]’s ward in a comatose state.”

“I am no fool,” the Elder Dragon said as he raised his head. “I know when I am outmatched. Even my dragon’s pride will not let me struggle foolishly in a hopeless battle.”

And as he spoke, Amelia glanced back at Noele. The blonde girl blinked, seeing the face her master wore. A confused look. An uncertain expression.

For the first time ever, Amelia was just as lost as her student. She scratched her cheek, murmuring. “Uh, what do I say…?”

Meanwhile, Grat-ra’zun continued, puffing out a smoky breath. “I have battled you with my greatest magicks— my grandest Skills! Yet, nothing has come close to even harming you, fair [Warrior]. I cede my lair to you. I only ask that you spare me, for I still have a myriad of responsibilities to oversee.”

He bowed deeply as he finished. Amelia looked at Noele for help. But the blonde girl just shrugged.

“I guess you should spare him?” Noele suggested.

Neither of them had any intention of killing the Elder Dragon in the first place, so saying it felt counterproductive. But when faced with Grat-ra’zun pleading for his life, it felt like it needed to be said.

Nodding, Amelia took a step forward, and the Elder Dragon flinched. But the brown-haired woman just cleared her throat.

“We, uh, spare you?” Amelia said uncertainly.

Grat-ra’zun blinked. He stared at her in shock for a second, then he heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank Arrak’tun. I may carry out my duties for yet another century. I thank you, merciful [Warrior], for sparing my life. I owe you a mountain of debt.”

“Thanks, I guess. But it’s not really necessary.” She scratched her chin. “I mean, we weren’t going to kill you anyways, so it’s not that big of a deal.”

And the Elder Dragon paused. He blinked at her. “What?” he asked.

“Yeah…” Amelia shook her head. “We’re just here to ask you a few questions.”

Grat-ra’zun’s jaw dropped, revealing the insides of his ferocious maw. Slowly, he raised his head. He rose to his feet, and Noele backed up nervously. But he just stared down at the two little humans with wide eyes.

“You— WHAT?”

His roaring voice echoed in the cavern as Noele recoiled, covering her ears.

 

—--

 

That was awkward. This was the most uncomfortable situation I’d been in ever since arriving in Vacuos— and that included every fight I’d gotten into like with the Lich King and the Goblin Lord as well.

Of course, after being trapped alone for so long, I didn’t really care too much about the social graces. I just didn’t expect there to be such a misunderstanding when we got here, nor did I expect a literal giant dragon to be begging for his life either. Grat-ra’zun, however, thought the situation was rather clear from the start.

“Two adventurers— intruders who have broken through my outside barriers— armed with dangerous weapons and great artifacts. What other cause would bring you here into my lair other than glory and gold?”

He spoke as he led Noele and I further into the large cave chamber. I looked around, seeing the heaps of glittering treasures lying about. Everything here shone, made from some precious rock or metal. It was almost a ridiculous sight. There were swords made of rubies, spears made of emeralds, and books made of diamond and gold. My feet crunched over the carpet of coin, before I came to a halt before the Elder Dragon.

“So you just saw two people standing outside your home and assumed they were here to kill you?” I asked flatly. “And you didn’t think of just… asking us why we’re here before attacking us with a hundred traps?”

“If a stranger tries to break into your home in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping, I doubt you’d stop and ask questions either,” Grat-ra’zun snorted as he lay himself upon a bed of precious rocks.

“Fair.” I crossed my arms. “But we couldn’t have exactly informed you we were on our way to have a chat, either. It’s not like you have a doorbell or a mailbox anywhere in this mountain.”

He waved a clawed hand dismissively. “There are a multitude of ways you could have contacted me, humans. You could have asked the Archmage King of Scholus to send a [Message] my way, or you could have had the Grand Sage of Imbel Forest to deliver me a [Missive].”

“I have no idea who those people are,” I said dryly. “And even if I knew who they were, I wouldn’t have known that they could contact you.”

The dragon harrumphed. “Hrmph. That is true— their communications with me are kept a secret to but a select few individuals. So I suppose that may be a minor oversight in that regard…”

I glared at him. “You do realize that still doesn’t excuse trying to kill Noele and I, right?”

He winced, before nodding quickly as he glanced between myself and the blonde girl. “Ah, yes. As I said, you have my most sincerest of apologies. It is inexcusable, really. I should have known better than to attack you before asking a single question. I will be sure to remember that for the next time.”

I looked on as he quickly backtracked, cowering in his bed of treasures. Noele watched too, not having said much since Grat-ra’zun arrived. I turned to her, raising a brow.

“Is everything alright, Noele?” I asked.

She looked pretty shook up, all things considered. I just wanted to make sure she wasn’t having some sort of traumatic episode. As it turned out, she wasn’t.

Blinking, the blonde girl raised her head. “Me?”

“Yeah, are you holding up fine?”

“I am.” She nodded slowly. Then she shifted her feet, glancing past me. Her gaze locked on the giant trembling red lizard. “I just didn’t expect a dragon to, you know, act like such a… coward?”

Grat-ra’zun stopped shaking. He frowned, eyeing Noele with narrowed eyes.

“Are you accusing me of cowardice, human?” Shaking his head, he scoffed. “Ridiculous. There is nothing but bravery in admitting your faults— in acknowledging defeat! There is only strength in realizing you have been bested in every way! True cowardice is throwing away your life in a lost battle so senselessly as fools often do...”

That made Noele pause. She chewed her lower lip, clearly disagreeing with that statement. But instead of arguing, she just simply said, “I can understand fleeing, but I thought your dragon’s pride would’ve stopped you from surrendering outright, I guess.”

“Ah, yes. The infamous dragon’s pride. Challenge a dragon to a duel, and they will always answer without fail— they will never stop fighting until they are dead. Such is a trait of a brash young dragon. That is why so few younglings ever survive beyond a thousand years, let alone evolve into an Elder Dragon. I have not lived over ten thousand years by adhering to such foolishness.”

Grat-ra’zun raised his head proudly. Noele just stared at him, not saying a word.

“We’re getting distracted, Noele,” I said, turning to the blonde girl.

“Right.” She broke out of her stupor and cleared her throat. “We came here to seek your help, oh great Grat-ra’zun.”

The Elder Dragon snorted. “Grat-ra’zun will do, human. Saying ‘great’ before my name is redundant. You’d be calling me the great Great Rakaarzun.”

Noele bit her lower lip. “...as you wish, Grat-ra’zun. We have come here to humbly request your—”

“Well, I wouldn’t necessarily describe breaking into my lair, destroying all my traps, and humiliating me in battle as ‘humble’,” he interrupted her again.

“Very well.” She gritted her teeth, carefully choosing her next words. “We’re… here… because—”

“Could you hurry up?” Grat-ra’zun tapped a claw impatiently. “I haven’t got all day.”

The blonde girl pursed her lips, and he caught himself. He tilted his head, thinking aloud.

“Actually, I do have all day. But I would rather not waste time—”

“Fine!” Noele said exasperatedly as she gestured towards me. “Amelia is an otherworlder, but she can’t connect to the World System!”

I raised an amused brow, watching the Noble Spellsword snap at an Elder Dragon. Grat-ra’zun drew back. He glanced at me curiously.

“You’re an otherworlder?” he asked.

“I am,” I said simply.

The dragon nodded slowly. “You… you’re certainly dressed like one, indeed. And that immense power… I have met only one other otherworlder who has overwhelmed me as you did. That explains your… wait—”

His eyes widened. Grat-ra’zun leaned forward, blinking.

“You’re not integrated into the World System?!” he exclaimed.

“Yes, that is what Noele literally just said.” I gave him a flat stare.

“Impossible. Everyone who enters Vacuos is automatically integrated into the World System. And how else would you have achieved your strength if not for reaching a high level? Unless—” He stared at me in horror. “Were you summoned by the Voidal Worshippers?”

“Who?” Noele blinked.

But I narrowed my eyes. That’s…

Grat-ra’zun murmured to himself. “Wait, what are they called again these days? They keep coming back no matter how many times you wipe them out. Are they the… Harbingers of a New World? The Forsaken Paragons? No, that’s not right— ah, yes. The Sect of the Abyssal Thorns.”

The dragon snapped his fingers with a nod. He seemed proud of remembering that for a moment, before suddenly his face darkened. His gaze bore down into me, and my eyes flickered. I could sense his killing intent as he spoke in a booming voice.

“Answer me, Amelia. Because if your allegiance is truly to the Void, then I will have no choice but to eradicate you or die trying.”

Noele backed up, caught off-guard by the sudden change in the dragon’s demeanor. But I didn’t even flinch, nor did I reach for my weapon. Instead, I held Grat-ra’zun’s gaze.

“My allegiance is to myself,” I said without fear. “I do not care for the Void or the abominations that lurk its darkness.”

“And how can you prove that?” the Elder Dragon asked as smoke breathed out from his nostrils.

I shrugged casually. “Because I spent the last ten years of my life fighting against the Void. That’s why.”

“That took Grat-ra’zun by surprise. “What?”

“I can prove it, too. Watch—” I brought my hand out as both Noele and the dragon watched. I reached for an invisible wall. My fingers pressed into something that wasn’t there. And I peeled back the world itself.

The Elder Dragon’s jaw dropped as I tore a hole into space itself. A rift that broke through the very fabric of Vacuos’s reality. One that opened up to darkness. A chaotic space. A broken world. The Void itself.

Both Noele and Grat-ra’zun peered into the portal, wide-eyed, as I unfurled the curtain of Vacuos, revealing to them the Fractured Realm.

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MelasDelta

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