651 – God of Death
Against my [Gravidon], Miia reacts an instant too late. The double-layered trap of alerting her to [Gravidon] then feinting an attack with my greatsword was a success.
To deal with my greatsword, Miia had prepared [Hollowed Moon] in advance. I was confident that a swordswoman of Miia’s calibre would take even the slightest twitch of my arm into account before making a decision. That’s exactly why I’m able to pull off such an impulsive and spur-of-the-moment plan.
[Hollowed Moon] defends against all physical attacks and sets up a counterattack. It’s a powerful skill, but its power is not borne of Miia’s technique, merely its own. That’s exactly why it has a weakness that can be exploited.
“I see… I can’t avoid this completely.”
Miia mumbles expressionlessly as the black light of [Gravidon] washes over her. I don’t know if it’s merely her recognising a fact or if those words signify her surrender. She doesn’t normally let her feelings show outwardly if at all.
A thunderous roar resounds. I jump backwards following the recoil of the point-blank gravity magic detonation. Torn off by [Gravidon’s] impact, Miia’s arm lands by my side. Her actual body should have been crushed into mincemeat.
It had an effect… In the first place, as an oneiros I’m more specialised in magic than hand-to-hand combat. [Hellgate] and [Wormhole] are over-specialised and thus hard to use, and aside from [Flash That Drives Away the Darkness], [Gravidon] is my strongest attack.
Against that, Miia is in humanised form. Her HP and defence were halved, and she’s bound to have lost the use of some characteristic skills. This should have blown away all her HP in one shot, with no room for her to recover.
That should have been the case. However, the notification of experience points doesn’t come.
『Master-dono… Y-you did it! It was by the skin of our teeth, but you managed to conclude it before Aro-dono and I reached our limits…』
Before treant can finish his sentence, I look towards Miia’s presence within the cloud of dust and send in a [Dimension Claw] after it. It’s clearly not Miia, but I sense『something』from inside. I feel a heavy chill.
“You got me. I made a mistake by disconsidering Aro-kun and treant-kun. With the three of you working together, it seems the pressure of being outnumbered was too much..”
The dust cloud clears. Once I lay eyes on that form, I feel a strong urge to recoil. It’s a monster that looks like a nightmare given physical form.
All this while, I’ve had an inexplicable fear of Miia. I played it off as things like the difference in conviction or the manifestation of our gap in strength. But, I was wrong. Seeing her current form now, I fully understand why.
“That’s why I’ve increased the means at my disposal. My original form isn’t good at reasoning or self-control, you see. I had thought I’d be able to achieve victory more reliably in my humanised form, but it seems I lose out awfully in the scale and number of attacks.”
It looks something like a dragon. However, the thing crawling with four pairs of leg-like limbs, reminds me more of a centipede. The body has three sets of wings with intervals between them.
Its body is a pale white, but part of it is reddish-black, with green spots here and there. A ferocious stench assaults my senses. It seems like a lump of rotten meat. Extending towards the ceiling, its long, ominous tail sways in the air.
Its head has six eyes and two giant mouths. It’s an eerie dragon. Miia’s upper half extends out of that head portion. Her form is made of the same rotten meat as her actual dragon body. The [Blackfly Greatsword] is clutched in her hand.
【[Thanatos]: L (Legendary) Rank Monster】
【The God of Death, or perhaps, the dragon feared as death itself.】
【Dragging its corrupted body, with madness, it brings death to all without distinction.】
【It is thought that when the [Thanatos] appears, the world will surely fall into an eternal stagnation due to death.】
T-this is a thanatos… The true form of Miia now that she’s cancelled her humanisation. It seems like she decided that she couldn’t handle a direct hit from [Gravidon], and so reverted to her thanatos form in order to endure it.
『Ah, master-dono… S-since we aimed for a short battle, we’re low on energy. That form, could she perhaps be quite sturdy…?』
Treant whines feebly.
His words are the truth. We’ve been relying on his armour, and Aro’s maximum firepower tripled by [Darkness Kaleidoscope]. It’s not a strategy to be used for a battle of attrition. We should have taken care of Miia while she was still in her humanised form.
However, more than that, I’m shocked at Miia’s current condition.
“Fufu… The actual battle begins from here on. The divine skills are all mine! I’ll make God’s Voice spit out all of the debt it owes this world! I’ve endured centuries of agony for that revenge alone! You don’t have the right to return to the surface! That’s mine!”
Miia… to think that you’d still long for God’s Voice’s defeat even in that form.
I’ve sensed that her expression was out of place this whole time. She’s probably already lost all her emotions besides her hatred.
The fact that she’s reduced to such a repulsive state is the biggest evidence of this. The thanatos is a dragon that rampages with that madness, bringing the world to an absolute death and leading it to an eternal stagnation, after all.
『Sorry, Miia, but I know for sure know that I can’t let return you to the surface. You might be much more capable than me for taking on God’s Voice… But, you’ll definitely destroy the world for the sake of victory.』
“You’re still naive. Sacrifice is unavoidable. That’s how much of a threat God’s Voice is. Using everything available to me, even if it means sacrificing the entire world, I must remove God’s Voice at any costs!”
『It’s the opposite, Miia. It’s true, I might be naive, but I can say this alone. If you treat the entire world as a sacrifice, then there’s already no reason to defeat God’s Voice. For me, I want to settle things with God’s Voice for the sake of protecting the world that saw me through until now. You’ve already given up on even protecting anything.』
Miia’s reply is cut short. Her face doesn’t have any emotion as usual. After a slight pause, with hollow-looking eyes, the corners of her lips rise ever so slightly.
“I realised this a long time ago. I want to kill God’s Voice. That is good enough of a reason.”