Chapter 19: That Village, Centuries Ago

Before the weaponry of today came into existence, was there a way to oppose powerful creatures? Before guns, tanks and nuclear missiles were a thing, could any normal human stand up to a supernatural. The answer was more or less no. So what did they do when they got into trouble with a supernatural? Well, they called for help. Whom did they call for help? The answer to that is how it all started. That’s where the root of the problem lies. The problem is – no one at present, not even people like Barry or Valdis know about this. But that was the time, Vermillion started to flourish.

They offered their assistance without any charges. They were free help and everybody loves that. So if a psychic threatens someone by showing off their power, call Vermillion for help. If a ghost tries to haunt people, call Vermillion for help. If a Vampire is running rampant and attacking people, call Vermillion for help. And also,

“Dragon, you say?”

Village Chief: “Yes, that dragon has become really aggressive and has blocked our trade route. If nothing is done, we will never be able to sell our harvest.”

This happened in one of the farming-based villages in the eastern region of England. A dragon started to act aggressively and caused problems for the villagers. Obviously, there was only one choice for them. They had to call for help, call Vermillion. But after they contacted Vermillion, they found out the real brunt of the situation.

Dragons have never been creatures of low prowess. But the dragon blocking their path was counted among the strongest even among the dragons. This wasn’t a mission where they could just send some capable supernatural to help and get it over with. In fact, they were told that at least 200 well-accomplished soldiers working for Vermillion may be needed to bring that monstrosity down. And even then, 98% of them will surely die.

Why would these soldiers go straight to their death when they don’t even get any reward for doing their duty? In fact, even if the villagers promise compensation to them individually, can a mediocre-enough village manage a huge enough sum for 200 people? Obviously, the answer was no. So it seemed like all hope was lost. But then,

Village Chief: “We heard you are special.”

???: “You did.”

The village chief nodded. Indeed he did hear that there was someone special who could defeat that dragon. The problem, however, was if they would be able to make him agree to taking this job. There was no guarantee he would comply. So this man – a blonde-haired, young and charming individual with fair skin and blue eyes – standing here, the villagers somehow had to make him willing to take this mission.

Man: “So, why should I defeat the dragon for you? What would I gain?”

Village Chief: “We don’t have a lot to offer, but we can offer you all the crops you need.”

Hearing the village chief’s words as he bowed his head and offered his crops, he started laughing. Knowing the reason for his laughing, the rest of the villagers who were gathered around these two looked down.

Man: “Ha! Ha! HA! You … you think some crops … will make anyone willing to fight a dragon. Are you insane?”

He said while trying to keep his laughter under-control. The villagers had no answer. They knew something like crops would never satisfy him.

Village Chief: “If that’s not enough, then … then we can give you …”

The chief stopped mid-sentence, making the blonde-haired man curious.

Man: “Go on. Tell me what else you are willing to offer.”

Village Chief: “… servants. You can take some of our men with you who will help you in any way they can.”

He chuckled on hearing that and then looked the chief in his eyes.

Man: “If I am powerful enough to kill that dragon, do you really think I would need help from weaklings like you people?”

The chief fell silent. There’s nothing else he could offer. He had made a vow that he would not offer women or children, so this is all this poor village chief could do for him. If he did not accept then, then there’s no hope.

Man: “What? Cat got your tongue? Isn’t there anything else you can give me?”

Village Chief: “There isn’t. I … am very sorry, but …”

He sighed after seeing the pathetic state of the village chief. He did felt a little guilty that he is making a leader bow like that in front of his people, but that won’t stop him from using this situation to his advantage.

Man: “Well then, let me tell you what I want?”

Hearing those words, the whole populous of the village turned their heads towards him. The village chief too, while still bowing, looked at him. After running his eyes through the crowd to make sure everyone is focused on him, he said,

Man: “I want the whole village.”

Silence befalls the village. No one could speak a thing, no one except the man who had caused that silence.

Man: “Basically, what I am saying is that I will be in a position higher than that of the village chief. You can say I will be the king in whose territory your village will lie. That’s all.”

He puts his demand forward. It’s a demand that’s not very easy to accept, but …

Village Chief: “If we don’t agree to it, you will leave us here to die?”

Man: “Precisely.”

Death because of starvation or submission under a man who would let them starve to death if they don’t submit to him? Which would be better? Sure, at first glance, one might think living is most important. But is there any guarantee to how life might be under him? Can they really trust him? He might bring even more pain to them than starvation would.

Man: “And hey, I forgot to tell you all something. The dragon will attack the village today.”

Fear suddenly doubled on the faces of the villagers. There’s a good chance he was just trying to rush the chief into a decision but they couldn’t just dismiss his words like that. At that point, what choice did they have?

Village Chief: “Well … if that’s the case, then we will …”

The chief took glances at every direction. The villagers understood what he meant to say and got to their knees and bowed.

Village Chief: “We will submit to you. We will become your loyal subjects.”

As he saw the sight of the village already treating him like a king, he smirked.

Village Chief: “But …”

By saying that word, the chief turned everyone’s attention to himself. The chief looked at the eyes of the man he had been bowing to and said,

Village Chief: “That happens after you defeat the dragon.”

He nodded to the chief’s words.

Man: “Sure, I’ll defeat him. Just one more thing though …”

All eyes turned to him, all showing worry and anxiety in them.

Man: “Now, now, don’t look so worried. I just need to properly introduce myself.”

He paused to make sure they were all listening and then continued,

Man: “I am a psychic who will one day take over this country. And this village will be my first domain. You all – will be my first subjects. My name, the name of your king and this country’s future ruler is-”

He proudly raised his head to look at the mountain, his destination, and continued,

Man: “Ozyllus”

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The village had a valley to its south. Going through this valley was the only way for this village to be able to trade, which is why, the dragon blocking this path caused them to panic so much. But why exactly did he block this path? Only he himself knows. This dragon – with large black scales on his back, a white belly not fully visible because of him being a four-legged creature – was a 6m tall monstrosity that, even in Vermillion, no one would ever want to face. No one would stand a chance after all, no one except a particular blonde-haired man.

Aside from the different skin color and eye color, this man looked what the dragon looks like 1000 years from this day.

Ozyllus: “Yo!”

-is the first thing he said when he saw the dragon. The dragon looked at him for a second but then turned away, not even considering him a threat.

Ozyllus: “Hey, don’t ignore me like that.”

Ozyllus said with a smiling face looking like an idiot. The dragon couldn’t help but wonder what’s wrong with him. Even though he looks like a mindless creature, he is sentient and very good at understanding human speech. This is why he first thought the man was a clown and ignored him, but …

Ozyllus: “So, I was wondering,”

He would just not stop smiling while talking. It was as if he was making fun of the dragon.

Dragon: (This damned human!)

Ozyllus: “Huh? I don’t think I am damned yet.”

He replied with a poker face leaving the dragon baffled on how he understood his speech. The dragon may be able to understand the human language but he couldn’t speak it. Obviously, whatever he said was in his language and to humans, it would just sound like vague roars. But this man understood those words.

Ozyllus: “Why are you so worried about something like that? It’s not that big of a deal after all. Understanding your speech is only one of the many things I can do after all. Don’t be that surprised already.”

He said with a smile as the dragon turned to look straight at the man. He saw the tiny figure of the man he could crush under his toes at any moment. He wondered why this man is so daring … or is he actually the kind of fool who doesn’t even understand how big of a threat the dragon is?

Dragon: (Tell me, who are you?)

Ozyllus smiled at that question.

Ozyllus: “Well, there are many introductions I can give for myself.”

The dragon narrowed his eyes to look straight at Ozyllus’ face.

Ozyllus: “I guess I am Ozyllus, the most powerful man on the planet. I am the lord of the village that’s north to here. I am also the future king of this country.”

He looked at the dragon, his smile was wide-enough for his teeth to show themselves.

Ozyllus: “For you, I guess all I am is the man who will defeat you.”

The dragon smirked at his confident statement.

Dragon: (Cocky, aren’t you?)

Ozyllus tilted his head as if he disagreed with that assessment.

Ozyllus: “Well, I guess I have heard people refer to me that way before.”

Dragon: (You have got guts, I will give you that.)

Even if he was bluffing, saying these things to the dragon unfazed is something that can earn a little respect from him.

Ozyllus: “Well then, I already know I can’t persuade you to leave the place and I already made the statement that I would defeat you, so can we start?”

The dragon smirked again.

Dragon: (Not even trying to surprise attack, huh? Damn! Aren’t you a little too cocky?)

Ozyllus didn’t respond but just kept looking at the dragon with a smile on his face and eyes closed.

Dragon: (Ha! Fine then)

The dragon raised his front legs and brought it down on Ozyllus almost as if it’s a guillotine. Beneath this weight, anyone will be crushed to bits. That is, if it actually hit. Unfortunately for the dragon, his attack got blocked.

Dragon: (Huh!?)

Ozyllus: “It’s just psycho-barrier but it can stop a hit of that caliber easily. You need to … let’s see … you need to put 70 times that force to break this level of psycho-barrier.”

The dragon didn’t speak anything for a while, neither did Ozyllus. One of them was busy being surprised for having his attack blocked for the first time and the other was enjoying seeing his opponent that way. But then,

Dragon: (So you are telling me 70 times that last one will destroy you. Huh? And here I thought you would be tougher than that.)

The dragon again raised his leg and this time, while in the air, focused all of his energy in his leg. He made sure the force this time is well over just 70 times the last one and then brought it down on Ozyllus, as the man who was being attacked smiled.

The dragon’s attack stopped again. Again, the barrier caused it to stop. But the impact caused the ground underneath to be turned into paste. Both the dragon and Ozyllus lost their footing, but neither of them fell down. While the dragon used his wings, Ozyllus used levitation – a psychic ability used to levitate one’s body.

Ozyllus: “Oooh! Why do you think that didn’t work?”

The dragon sighed.

Dragon: (Well, there are two possibilities. One is that you were lying about the number 70 so I don’t use more force than that and were betting that it somehow is enough to exhaust me.)

Knowing full-well that he used all the force he could muster, the dragon still acted like he had more to offer.

Dragon: (That one may have worked if I had low stamina. Unfortunately for you, that’s not the case.)

Ozyllus nodded not to say it’s correct but to say it makes sense.

Ozyllus: “I see. A fair assessment, but what’s the other possibility?”

Dragon: (Other possibility is that you were just trying to act cool and don’t know the number yourself. In which case you were lucky it was higher than what I used.)

He again nodded, again only to say it makes sense.

Ozyllus: “Hmm … not bad. I have to say. You can think well.”

Dragon: (I don’t care what your opinion of me is; now tell me which one it was.)

Ozyllus smirked.

Ozyllus: “Neither.”

Dragon: (Huh?)

Ozyllus: “If you try to remember, there was something I said other than ’70 times’ that you needed to really focus at.”

The dragon tried to think of what he was referring to. And then he remembered, and only then does it truly dawn on him –

’70 times the last one (is needed) to break this level of psycho-barrier.’

Exactly what his opponent is capable of.

Ozyllus: “I am guessing you have already figured out. That’s right. I just made the barrier a little stronger by enhancing it to its next level.”

The dragon fell silent.

Ozyllus: “You can try again if you want to – I still have five more levels of the barrier to go.”

The dragon did not speak. He could not speak.

Ozyllus: “Oh, do you want me to tell you the number? Let’s see, it’s 20 times of what you used last time.”

The dragon stood baffled. He had used all of his power and he was 20 times weaker than that barrier. Not only that, but this isn’t even his barrier’s strongest stage.

Dragon: (I see now why you are so cocky. I can certainly imagine someone like you one day taking over the country or whatever you said you would be the king of – but coming here was your biggest mistake.)

Ozyllus furrowed his brows on hearing something he didn’t expected to hear.

Ozyllus: “How so?”

The dragon lowers his altitude so he could look Ozyllus in the eyes. He then spoke,

Dragon: (You are only safe until you are in the barrier. With that high defense, sure I may not be able to hurt you; in fact, no one in the world will be able to hurt you. But if you want to accomplish anything, you should have brought someone who can attack.)

Ozyllus: “Wait a minute; are you assuming I am weak at attacking?”

Ozyllus scratched his cheek as if he was embarrassed by that assessment.

Dragon: (Are you telling me you’re good at it? If yes, then why not show it to me?)

The dragon provoked him. He, by no means, was foolish enough to think Ozyllus was weak at attacking just because his defense is strong. But he has an advantage over him in that regard. No matter what happens, if the dragon is brought close to dying, the person who is the cause for that will die. In this case, that would be Ozyllus.

Ozyllus: “I see. So that’s your ability.”

Dragon: (Huh?)

Ozyllus: “Oh! You didn’t notice? I just read your mind to understand why you were provoking me. I get it. That ability sure is something.”

The dragon felt a tinge of irritation on hearing that his mind was being read. But it won’t matter. Knowing about his ability doesn’t help anyone. Or so he thought –

Ozyllus: “Well then,”

He smirked as he raised his hand to make his palm face the dragon’s face, and then he twisted his hand. The dragon’s neck, within a second, got detached from his body and started to fall off. He was dead. Just like that. He died before even realizing just how and what happened. It was so fast that he didn’t completely lost his consciousness as he saw his head falling off his body.

Dragon: “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!”

*******************************

A roar came from the dragon in terror and shock. He panicked, tried to run away and roared mindlessly – before finally realizing that he didn’t die.

Dragon: (W-w-what?)

Ozyllus: “Calmed down yet?”

He saw Ozyllus sitting comfortably on a nearby cliff.

Ozyllus: “That was a premonition I showed you of what would happen if I were to use ‘that’ ability. So, what did you think of that? Still think I can’t defeat you?”

There’s no way the dragon could say ‘yes’. Of course the dragon had become painfully aware of the power difference.

Dragon: (W-what are you?)

Ozyllus: “I think I told you before, didn’t I? I am the most powerful person on the planet.”

What seemed like arrogance at first started to look like a fact to the dragon. The proof of his power was very clear to him and also was clear the fact that this man hadn’t even used half of his abilities. It won’t be that far-fetched to consider him a god. That’s what the dragon thought.

Ozyllus: “No! I am no god.”

Dragon: (Huh?)

Ozyllus: “I am not a god. I am a human-being. Don’t turn my achievements as a human to a boring cliché of a god.”

A serious expression had taken over his face. This was the first time the dragon saw that expression.

Dragon: (W-well, fine … but …)

Ozyllus closed his eyes and sighed. Then opened his eyes and spoke – no, ordered,

Ozyllus: “I will find a way for you to take a human-like form and learn to speak our language. Until then, go find some other deserted area to stay in and leave the people of this village – my subjects – alone.”

Dragon: (A-a-as you wish!)

The dragon bowed to him and turned around to leave. He was terrified out of his mind and didn’t want to stay near that man a second more.

*******************************

Following that, Ozyllus stayed there for some time, then went back to the village and told the people he had dealt with the dragon. When the villagers confirmed it for themselves, they fully acknowledged Ozyllus as their lord. Then he left the place ordering them to keep on living just like they used to and that he would return one day to that place when his plans would have moved much further.

A lot more things happened in this village. A bloodbath happened here. The dragon’s legend of befriending the god was forged here. And the devil first step foot in this country here. There is so much history to this village. One of them, coincidence or not, is that after many centuries had passed and concrete buildings had been built on this place, Ethan Kales was born here.

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