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654 – Thanatos Blade
Carried on her many legs, Miia climbs up towards me. I broke past her [Eclipse], but she doesn’t seem even the slightest bit shaken. As I thought, all she wanted was time to recover, and any damage she dealt was a bonus.

“You were able to evade [Eclipse], but how about this?”

The human part of her body swings her sword at me. The blade blurs, becoming layered. Countless slashes of black light shoot out from it. She’s combining [Shockwave] and [Afterimage Sword].

[Shockwave] is a fundamental skill of a swordsman. But, when someone who has reached the pinnacle of the sword uses it, it becomes something else entirely. Serving to the side, I block the weaker edge of one of the slashes with my arm.

My scales shatter, and I feel the impact breaking my bones. It’s insanely powerful…!

Of course. Right now, Miia isn’t in her human form. She has twice the attack power I’m used to.

Enduring the pain, I strike back with [Dimension Claw]. She dodges, and all I manage is to graze the surface of her dragon-centipede body, but this is fine. Interrupting her barrage is enough.

While keeping Miia in check with [Dimension Claw], I carefully close the distance. Spotting an opening, I use [Ideal Weapon] to bring back my [Oneiros Raizem], and use it to block another [Shockwave]. I can’t keep using my arm to block now that she’s in her thanatos body.

But, immediately after I block one [Shockwave], a second slams into my sword. Unable to withstand the impact, I tumble through the air. A third [Shockwave] crashes into my abdomen.


Intense pain courses through me. I think the sharp centre of the [Shockwave] might have pierced all the way through. The power they have is insane. It’s far harder to deal with than [Eclipse], which I could evade by just flying away.

My vision flickers. My body burns. I can’t gather my thoughts. Suddenly, I realise I’m falling.

[Autoregeneration]…! I need to regenerate! No matter what, I need to regenerate my body! The pain is so intense that my thoughts aren’t functioning properly.

I see a [Shockwave] flying towards me. I need to avoid it…! But my body doesn’t listen to me.

One of the Aros jumps out of my mouth. It seems my mouth fell open when my abdomen was pierced.


Right in front of her, a giant wall of earth appears.

The wall immediately shatters into fragments. The power of the [Shockwave] is almost entirely undiminished.

But it’s angled away from me slightly now. It seems Aro was aiming for that from the start, and created the wall at an angle.

Thanks to her, I was able to avoid the [Shockwave]. However, caught up in the blast, the Aro loses her outline and becomes a mass of black light, returning to my mouth.

『Thank you, Aro. But wasn’t that bad for you?』

“She was a clone, so it’s fine. The mana I gave to her was almost all lost in that hit though, but it was necessary.”

My mistake forced her to use up more MP, even though she’s already running low.

“Dragon-god-sama… Just enduring that barrage from Miia-san is hard…”

Aro says, her voice bitter. This is how it is at a medium distance. Aro probably wants to say that, rather than trying to break through from the front, we should reassess and find some other approach.

But, no such convenient strategy exists. Miia has the cheat-level [Status Condition Nullification] skill, and her attack and speed stats surpass my own. I don’t have any advantages to press her with.  

Between her skills and her talent with the sword, she has no weaknesses at short, medium, or long range. Miia herself isn’t stupid, and she already knows my attacks from fighting together. There’s no way I’ll be able to hit her at medium or long range.

It seems she wants to wear me down at medium range, while closing in to finish me off in melee range. As a result, there’s no room for any clever ploys from me.

But, this approach is fine. It’s nerve-wracking to try and brute force my way, but with Aro and treant helping me, I can fight Miia in her thanatos body. That’s what I believe.

“Huh, if this is so effective then there’s no need to get close.”

Stopping in place, Miia sends another wave of [Shockwaves] towards me. It looked before like she was going to keep me in check with [Shockwaves] before coming to kill me in close quarters, but now she’s content to just use [Shockwave].

However, I only fell behind because I was underestimating her power as a thanatos. I suck in a breath and ready my sword. With large, bold movements, I slip through the barrage, knocking aside the slashes with my sword. With my other hand, I send [Dimension Claws] down at Miia, taking advantage of any opportunity to shorten the distance.

『Sorry for the poor display, Aro. It’s close, but I can do this. Believe in me on this.』

“Did your movements suddenly get better?”

Miia frowns up at me.

『You understand, don’t you? Even though you’re twice as powerful, your sword isn’t as skilled as it was when you were in human form.』

If Miia was firing a barrage of [Shockwaves] like this in human form, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to slip through. In exchange for having much more powerful and wide-range attacks, she’s lost her delicate swordsmanship. It’s no wonder she didn’t start out in her thanatos form.

If it was one-on-one, I’m sure her human form with its complete lack of openings would be superior. Miia was forced into using her thanatos form by Aro’s magic and treant’s armour. It’s because I’ve witnessed her swordsmanship in human form that I say with confidence that I’m capable of handling her now.


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