Wizard! Chapter 474
William had no time to think and barely enough time to dodge as the dragon roared at him. He barely avoided being crushed in its massive jaws- or swallowed whole- but unfortunately couldn’t completely avoid the acid it spit at him. He was certain it was some sort of acid, even if it had different properties than he expected. He would have loved to study it if he could, but he was currently running for his life, jumping back up through the hole to the surface of the ship.
Pain ran through William’s left arm, and through his chest. The silvery acid seem to have no respect for the fact that he wore a magically enchanted robe, dissolving through it in an instant. William was relieved that it had mostly just dissolved his robe and the skin beneath it, though it wasn’t a pleasant process. On the other hand, he still had his arm, which was better than some possible alternatives.
William wasn’t sure if he was happy that the dragon started to follow him back up to the deck. It was good that it wasn’t focused on eating various components of the ship anymore, but now it was focused on eating him. Actually, William wasn’t sure if it would eat him, but if it killed him it made little difference.
Fortunately the ship was large enough for William to get some distance from the dragon as it wormed its way out of the lower deck. He was confident that he could move quickly enough to avoid it, with room to dodge and the additional distance. Currently, he was a handful of yards away, trying to avoid standing among various pipes that were around. Perhaps he could have used them as cover, but he wasn’t completely sure the pipes being destroyed wouldn’t come with worse consequences.
The dragon was not fast moving on land. Though it could cover several yards with each giant step, each step was ponderous and gave him a chance to retreat further. The situation wouldn’t last long, however, as William was quickly approaching the aft of the ship. He couldn’t just keep retreating.
There was another roar from the dragon. William dodged the silvery acid and used the chance to run past the dragon- the ship was wide enough that he only had to avoid the swiping of its tail as it realized his plan. William was able to jump over it easily enough. Unfortunately, he couldn’t just keep running back and forth across the deck.
William didn’t see the volley of arrows, but turned around when he heard an unexpected sound behind him, just in time to see the last few arrows bouncing off of its scales and dropping to the ground. He turned to look at the sea below and found a dozen archers, and Lila. “If you get a chance, attack the right side of its neck! Near the shoulder!” William saw the dragon was still oozing blood from the cannon wound, but it seemed to be a relatively small amount compared to the dragon’s size.
The dragon turned around and started moving back toward William. He had continued to move further than immediately necessary, but the dragon moved at a slow and steady pace toward him. Then it roared, not as an attack, but in pain. A half dozen arrows sank into its wound, unhindered by scales.
The dragon didn’t continue toward William, or even turn to attack the archers… but instead moved toward the other edge of the ship and flapped its wings. At first William thought it might be retreating, but his instincts told him differently. His instincts weren’t always the best, but he didn’t have anything else to go on at the moment.
The dragon flapped its wings a few more times and roared as it jumped off the ship, catching itself on magical wind. With it went William, grasping onto where a wing connected to the body. As he found himself being brought higher and higher into the air, he started to doubt his instincts.
The dragon twisted and spun and thrashed in its attempt to throw off William, but he held on tight. The dragon couldn’t spin fast enough to fling him off, though William didn’t find it easy to keep his grip either. He saw the head move to bite at him, but its neck wasn’t quite flexible enough to reach- and in any case it would have to bite into its own wing to really get at William.
Then the dragon leveled out, and William could see it was flying toward the small ship carrying Lila and the archers. The dragon started to roar, but William didn’t want to bet on the ability of the archers and Lila to dodge its acid. Perhaps they would, but he felt there was something better to do than sit around waiting.
It only took a moment for William to pull himself forward, and another moment to awkwardly place his thighs around the top of the wing, squeezing as tightly as he could to hold his position. Then he thrust Chris into the open wound in its neck, which was right in front of him.
The attack achieved two results. First was more damage to the dragon, and the second was it failing to use magic. William saw a small bit of magical feedback, but it wouldn’t be enough to damage the dragon even if it didn’t have any remaining control of the mana. However, the important part was accomplished.
William saw another dozen arrows fired, at the wing opposite him. He couldn’t see if they hit, but he couldn’t imagine they would miss. The archers were well trained, and they wouldn’t miss something actually the size of a broad side of a barn, even if it were moving. Since it was coming toward them, it was even easier.
Then there was a bright flash of light, and William knew it was Lila’s work. Unfortunately he was partly caught by it as well, and couldn’t see… but he supposed that wasn’t important. He continued to shove Chris deeper, wrenching him around inside the dragon’s wound. That made the dragon roar even louder and from the acceleration William felt, spin almost wildly.
He could feel blood gushing out over him, and knew he had succeeded in deepening the wound. Even though he couldn’t see, he continued with his efforts. The dragon was effectively immobile relative to him, so he even pulled out Chris and thrust him back in. He also shouted at the top of his lungs, using all of his effort to gather what mana he could and filling the wound with fire and lighting. For his own part, Chris was using what ki he could to create even more of a mess in the dragon’s neck.
Just about the time William’s vision was coming back and he was out of breath, he heard an even louder roar- probably. At least, that was what he got through his nearly ruptured eardrums. Then he saw the shore coming toward him very quickly, and at an unexpected angle.