Wizard! Chapter 473
William considered the situation. They weren’t really set up to fight a dragon- especially not a considerably large one. Cannons would be useful… if they had any chance of hitting a dragon. Unfortunately they weren’t set up to aim that high. Once the dragon landed on the dwarven fortress ship, it would be a different problem. Unless the dragon was nice and stayed on the top deck letting the harbor cannons shoot at him, cannons would do more harm than good. That wasn’t even considering the fact that William himself would also be on deck.
If they had time to prepare, William could come up with something, but the dragon was already approaching the ship. It would probably arrive before William’s message actually reached Lila- though she would certainly notice the dragon on her own. William doubted that anyone near Tigershark point hadn’t heard it.
William wished he had saved more ki after the battle… or that he had spent more of his efforts on recovering it afterwards. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have predicted that he would need it, at least not for this.
As the dragon approached rapidly, William chanted to gather mana from the area around. Even without ki, his voice travelled far enough to pull in a significant amount of mana. Once he had enough the dragon was only fifty yards away- and a few seconds from him at most. William directed all of the mana toward the dragon to manipulate the air around the dragon to drag it down.
That was what he intended, anyway. As he directed the mana toward the dragon, the dragon roared. William wasn’t sure if it was intentional or coincidence, but he lost control of most of the mana he was using, and barely managed to cause any hindrance to the dragon. Its altitude might have dropped slightly, but it still landed on the deck of the ship with a loud crash. William dashed away from its landing zone as quickly as he could, but it hadn’t been aiming for him anyway.
With another loud roar, the mana swirling around the dragon gathered and then ejected itself in the form of… mercury. William frowned. No, it couldn’t be mercury. It was too fluid, and spread out into thin layer that coated the deck. It washed across the steel-plated deck with no apparent effect. Then the dragon clawed at a section of the deck. To William’s surprise, there was no sound of rending metal, just the splintering of wood beneath.
William knew he couldn’t just continue to watch, as the dragon started tearing a larger hole. As it continued to tear through other areas, William heard the expected metal sounds… leading him to believe the liquid had done something to change the composition of the metal in the areas it had covered.
The mana in the immediate area was mostly depleted, and William thought the dragon’s scales would prevent most of the damage he could do with magic at the moment. That left physical combat. William wasn’t crazy enough to fight a dragon head on- but it wasn’t really paying attention to him. If it followed what he had seen before, it would only focus on the magical materials it was trying to get to and eat. It might still swipe a claw or tail at him, but it wouldn’t be making a concerted effort to kill him.
It wouldn’t be long before it made it through the top deck to more important parts, so William didn’t hesitate. He rushed toward its hindquarters, swinging Chris at its left rear leg from the side. That was a place its tail couldn’t hit him, and it would have to turn to attack him with its front claws. As Chris bounced off the dragon’s tough scales, William once again wished he had conserved his ki. The dragon completely ignored his attack, and William couldn’t blame it. He backed up and charged forward again, putting his full effort behind the attack. He managed a slight crack in a scale… but the dragon was starting to get below the first deck.
William suspected by the time he did any real damage, the dragon would have achieved its goals and the ship would be completely ruined. He had to do something else. Jumping through the hole, William spotted something that might help. It could certainly do more damage than just him swinging Chris… and he wouldn’t have to worry about getting hit by a cannonball if he were the one firing it.
William rushed over toward a cannon. It soon became clear they weren’t meant to be turned around inside the ship. He had to remove the cannon rigging, which took a few moments. Fortunately he could turn it around on his own. The wheels helped, but even as a gevai if he had been slacking on his body training he would have had trouble. The dragon was clawing into the side of a boiler room. William saw that the strange liquid it had conjured only seemed to affect a thin sheet of metal, so it was taking the dragon some time. During that time, it wasn’t going to move far.
Loading the cannon probably took William longer than it should have, because he hadn’t ever done it before. Fortunately everything necessary was nearby. He swabbed the inside of the barrel- there probably wasn’t anything that would set off the powder early, but William didn’t want to find out the hard way. Next went powder, then the cannonball. William actually didn’t see a striker, but it only took a tiny bit of mana to create a spark.
William wished he’d worn some sort of protective headgear… the sound was much louder than he had expected. He also hadn’t even considered the kickback- there wasn’t much time to think while shooting a dragon with a cannon. Fortunately, he’d been standing off to the side. The cannon flew back into the side of the ship, and the cannonball flew toward the dragon.
William hadn’t done much aiming, but the dragon was a very large target that wasn’t really moving. The cannonball flew the few yards toward the dragon and hit it directly on the neck. William could barely see through the smoke, but he thought it hit the dragon in the neck.
Then there was a roar, and William saw the dragon’s open maw moving toward him. Well… at least he managed to get its attention. William really hoped there were reinforcements on the way.